Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Lovelies










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Happy baby eating watermelon and fresh corn. That, my friends is a summer lovely.





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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stella & Dot Giveaway - Closed

As you know, I've been on the look out for a great yellow cocktail ring to wear with my birthday outfit. A couple weeks ago, my friend Whitney walked past me at church and I caught a glimpse of something fabulous and yellow on her hand. I was momentary distracted by her darling baby girl, but then got back to business.

"WHERE did you get that amazing ring?!?"

Her answer, "Stella & Dot.".

Oh, I should have known. Back in the day of more free time, I used to love perusing the Stella & Dot site. They have the most gorgeous items. From statement pieces to everyday wears, their goods are simply yummy. I'm so glad my friend reminded me about them. Now I knew what I wanted for my birthday....

Call it a birthday miracle, but just a few days after seeing the ring, Jessica, a representative for Stella & Dot, contacted me about hosting a giveaway. AND she wondered if I would like to review the Yellow Bloom Flower Ring since that seems to be my style. I bet you guessed it...same ring!!!!! (No Shane, you still have to get me a gift. Maybe this necklace?)

I kid you not, I love every item on this site. My fantasy "want" list is two pages long. Interesting in joining the Stella & Dot Team? Contact Jessica and she can give you the skinny. Make money and get great deals on jewelry, can't lie, I'm tempted myself. More info here.

Jessica has generously offered a winner their choice of either the Yellow Bloom Flower Ring, or the Lily Flower Earrings. Both seen below.


To Enter:

Head over to Stella & Dot and look around. Come back here and let me know your favorite item besides the two prizes listed above. 

For an additional entry, let me know in a separate comment (for each) if you:
  • Are a public follower  
  • Like natalie's sentiments on Facebook
  • Have my button on your blog 
  • Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway leaving the link in your comment. (use the handy links at the bottom of this post if you like).
For THREE extra entries, leave three separate comments letting me know if you:


I will announce the randomly selected winner on August 6th. Good luck!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Birthday Celebration!

Just a little over a month until my birthday!!! 33 years old. Turning 30 was fabulous (extra big party), but becoming an official "thirty-something" is kind of freaking me out. I'm going to keep my eyes focused on the fun parts of it (cake, cards, new outfit, date night with Shane, dinner with girls....) and keep myself distracted.

Of course I would never leave you out of the celebration! Let's have ourselves a little blog birthday party right here.

Starting Wednesday and lasting for 5 weeks I will hosting over a dozen fantastic giveaways. I'll have something for every member of your family. From baby to dad. Though most of them are geared toward you fashionable ladies.

Now that I've officially switched over to www.nataliessentiments.com could you send me some love and leave a comment here letting me know that you were updated okay in whatever way you subscribe? I am just kind of freaking out worrying I did something wrong. Call it an early birthday present to me....

New Address

I'm making the switch to www.nataliessentiments.com

Like in one minute.


I have had it purchased for months, but I have been too afraid to lose readers and, gasp, lose comments. 


In one minute I am making a really exciting announcement. So if you don't see that birthday announcement in your reader or however you follow, it's possible you weren't switched over. Make sure to add:


www.nataliessentiments.com


Thanks!!!!
If you enter my old URL it will automatically forward you to my new address.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not wondering anymore.



Remember this post when I asked if anyone else worried they could not love their second child as much as their first. Well, I'm not worried about that anymore.

My little Collin is pure sunshine and has brought more joy to our family than I ever thought possible. Did I mention he's walking?!? I'll get a video posted soon. Ah, love. It's just going by too fast.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Yellow lovelies.




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Something really lovely and yellow is going to be given away on my blog soon. Get excited!

Friday, July 23, 2010

If America is so great, why can't we....

Nope, not going to talk about health care or the fact we don't have paternity leave. Nope. I want to know WHY CAN'T THE USA GET GOOD GELATO?!?! If you have been to Italy and tasted real gelato, then you know it's not replicated here. Is it really that difficult? Oh, to taste the decadence of nutella gelato and strawberry gelato on the same cone. It makes regular ice cream seem as exciting as a slurpee.


It is July. I'm hot. I'm sugar deprived. I want some gelato. Though, now that I think about it, obesity is a major problem here in the states. Maybe there is a reason we don't have the good stuff. I don't know if we could survive it's influx into the main stream.

photo source

By the way - I really do love America. Not the "sing patriotic country songs" about it kind of love. (I only did that at girls camp and that was under duress). More like I really love our forefathers and the constitution kind of love.   Go USA!


Winner!

The winner of the Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Giveaway is Mandy. Congrats! Email me and I will get you your prize.

Didn't win? You can still get 10% off the already crazy low prices by mentioning natalie's sentiments in the buyers notes and you will be refunded. Don't let a great deal slip by!

A LOT of giveaways coming up. I mean a lot. Check back on Monday for more details. Interested in me hosting one for you? I have a few spots open, email for details. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Keep baby cool.

Kids are napping. Usually I don't blog during the day, but I'm so hot I can't get off the couch and I don't like daytime TV. We went to the park as soon as breakfast was over. We basked in the "cool" mid-eighties and ate chilly watermelon. By 9am we were dripping and the kids were exhausted. I think I'm going to hold off going to the park again until September. 

A while ago I read this really cool book called Baby Body Signs about how to "read" your babies signs to tell if there is a health concern. A great parenting resource to keep on hand. The book's authors recently wrote a great post about "Keeping your baby safe in the heat" that I highly recommend. When the temperature nears 100, you can't be too careful. You can read the article here

What are you doing to keep cool?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Remembering home

When I was visiting my parents last month, I had the idea to put together a book of photos of the things that comprise a home. The small knick knacks and pillows and books that make up the memories and comforts of a house. I would have loved to have photos of the things that made up my childhood home. The project will likely take me a few more trips to complete, but I thought I would share a few of my photos. Maybe to inspire your own "Home Album".


Doesn't my mom have cool style? She's was into birds long before they became trendy.




































My dad has quite the fashion sense himself.


I have no idea what these things are, but we've had them for as long as I can remember. 





On the hunt. Man my hair is LONG!

Now I just have to photograph my own home.....

Let me know if you decide to do your own home album. I'd love to see your photos.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Giveaway - CLOSED

A bit ago I was reading nie nie and she was wearing the loveliest necklace professing her love for her husband. (So sweet!). Shane and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary next year and I thought a necklace like this would be perfect to wear on our vacation. We're thinking Hawaii so I want something simple I never have to take off. I started looking around Etsy for something a bit smaller for a good price. 


Ladies, I found it. DEAL ALERT!!!! Sometimes brand new Etsy stores start off with crazy low prices to get their product out there and when you come across this situation...shop!!! I found a gorgeous piece on Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, a shop just opening up. I talked to the store's owner about a custom order and she said it would be no problem at all. The Personalized Quote Necklace Coin Pearl, Mother of Pearl, 1 Inch Sterling silver Necklace is selling right now for only $25!!! I know! Such a great deal. It's just what I wanted, great workmanship and even came packaged cute. (True sign of a good etsy shop.) There was even a tiny heart stamped on the back. 

Well, you know me, I like to pick up a bargain when I see it, so I got Miss Lydia a Single Stamp Custom Hand Stamped Charm Necklace for this Christmas. And the price??? $10. TEN DOLLARS! And that includes the chain! I asked for CTR to be stamped into the sterling silver (it's a Mormon thing). It stands for "Choose the Right". I thought it would be a nice church necklace. Something she could keep for years to come.

Lucky you, Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice has offered one reader their own customized Personalized Sterling Silver quote necklace with mother of pearl! You can customize it anyway you like. Your kid's names, a favorite quote, your wedding date...whatever fits. Keep it for yourself, or send to a new mom, grandma or friend. Classic jewelry is always the right gift. At least, in my humble opinion :)


10% off your order if you mention natalie's sentiments when you order!

To enter:
  • Check out Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice and let me know in a comment on this post, something else from the shop that tickles your fancy and what you would have engraved. 
  • For an additional entry - let me know in a separate comment that you are a public follower. 
  • For an additional entry - let me know in a separate comment that you are a facebook fan
  • For three additional entries, blog about this giveaway, using a photo from this post, and let me know in three separate comments that you have done so.
I'll announce the winner on July 30th. Good luck!

U.S. addresses only.



As a side note, when I'm not wearing my necklace, I hang it on our framed wedding announcement. How can it be I've almost been married for 10 years? 10 YEARS! 

You can't escape gravity.

Thoughts while perusing my recently taken photos....



"Ah, so cute. She really is learning how to jump high!"




"Great expression. I might just have to frame this one for the playroom"



"AAKK!!! What the...????"




This is straight out of the camera! No photoshop here. (I don't even own photoshop sadly.)  I guess we know what Lydia will look like as a 80 year old women. She'll still be (kind of) cute.

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Quick note:

GO SEE INCEPTION. LIKE NOW! IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shopping this weekend....

Yippee for me! CSN asked little old me to review their site! There aren't many emails better than "would you mind picking out something from our site?". Okay, if you twist my arm. I do have this pipe dream to turn our playroom back into it's original purpose.... a dining room. I started small...but I've been looking through the many CSN stores and I may have gotten a little carried away.



My kitchen has kind of a maple and black theme, so I thought this table would work well. Free shipping!




With this rug?



And the first day we sit in the dining room, I'll cook out of this.



While wearing pearls and these

Ah, isn't dreaming nice? 


Friday, July 16, 2010

What to make after a visit to the farmers market.


Almost two weeks on my sugar detox. So far so good. The plan is 2 weeks with no sugar (except for fruit and milk), no white flour and no processed food. After 2 weeks I can have one small splurge a week. I have some birthday parties to attend and I don't want to miss out.

The other day I went to a farmers stand to get some blackberries. (Lydia's favorite.) While I was there I noticed a huge basket of "bruised" peaches on sale for $1.50! The bruises weren't bad at all, perfect to make peach ice cream or a pie. But alas, I can't have dessert! Still I knew I could figure out something. After looking through the pantry I decided on making a crumble. Even without sugar it was delicious! The fresh summer fruit was so succulent, it sweetened the dish perfectly. Here how I did it. So easy!

Filling:

10 ripe summer peaches, sliced
1/2 pint summer blackberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine fruit and sprinkle with one packet of splenda if needs more sweetness. Allow to macerate for 30 minutes or so. Pour into 8x8 baking pan.

For topping:

Combine two cups of old fashioned rolled oats with two splenda packets, a dash of salt, a tsp of cinnamon and 4 tablespoons melted butter or lowfat spread. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Would be perfect with vanilla ice cream. (sigh)

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Summer Meal Ideas

My sister in law is always asking me to send her dinner ideas, so I thought I would start putting a few on my blog. I love summer "cooking" since it is more about assembling food. Whatever is fresh and yummy is for dinner. Here's some from this week:


Grilled fish with mango salsa and brown rice. So delicious! 


Chicken and hummus wraps with berries for dessert. Use up your yummy crisp veggies to fill whole wheat tortillas. The hummus holds everything together.


And my ultimate go-to summer lunch? Whole wheat pasta mixed with leftover grilled veggies and chicken. Add in some basil and avocado and a bit of feta and you are good to go. Watermelon is, of course, a necessity.

Other meals I didn't photograph:

"Hot Dog Soup" - Which is what Lydia calls The Barefoot Contessa's Lentil Sausage Soup. I use turkey sausage instead of Kielbasa to keep it lean. Shane can't tell the difference. I double the recipe since it freezes well.

Frozen pizza and baby carrots - you didn't really think I cook every meal did you? Not even close. Though I did refrain from eating the pizza. Barely.

What are you doing with the summer bounty?

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Winner!

The winner of the Pear Tree Greetings Giveaway is Angela of Love Being a Nonny. Congrats! Email me and I will get you your prize. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Things making me happy this week.



I've been eyeing this hutch for literally years. Finally I told Shane to go pick it up. Now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long. Isn't it perfect there??? I'm loving my new kitchen paint too. Shane had it all done when I came home from Spokane. Now I need to think about painting the living room. Any ideas? Are the hydrangeas too much? I think I like the hutch better with nothing on top, but I really have very little eye for these kind of things. 



Look at the lovelies that showed up in the mail this week! Usually I only participate in one blog swap a year, but when I saw that Modblog was having an accessories swap, I had to join up. You know I'm addicted to jewelry. (By the way, I'll be hosting an awesome jewelry giveaway next week.) My swap partner Anna, sent me this darling handmade friendship bracelet in my signature color, and this amazing necklace! I made the earrings to match. I'll change up the yellow beads to match closer once I find some. Thank you Anna!

Now adorning my fridge is Lydia's new masterpiece. A painting of she and her preschool "boyfriend". 

Getting married. Ah, sweet.



I love fresh flowers on my kitchen table. I like them even more when they are "guilt flowers" from Shane admitting he was wrong in an argument. That's just double satisfaction. He He He.


And lastly...., this room is now clean!!!! Hurray! 



Hope you're having a good week too. (This is Collin waving bye bye.)

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