Friday, September 30, 2011

4th Anniversary!

Hey! It's my blog's 4th anniversary this week! I just can't let it pass without doing something now can I? That really isn't my style. If you're a public follower (or a regular reader) leave a comment below and enter to win this little yellow and gray bundle. (Yep, still my favorite color combo.) A bit of yellow candy, along with a pair of yellow earrings, made by yours truly. I'll be throwing in a couple fun surprises too :) And isn't the sticker I used on the bag cute? It's from Peartree Greetings, and I'll send a few different ones to the winner!

I'll choose the winner on October 8th. Thanks for reading. And thanks to you who leave comments. Really. They make my day. (They make every bloggers day. And if they say they don't care about comments, they're lying.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On the shopping list, a little humble pie.

Shane and I have boycotted Walmart since moving to Boise. For lots of reasons, I won't go into. I do my shopping at Fred Meyer with their large health section, lots of dairy free and nut free products and free babysitting. Unfortunately we were totally out of humidifier filters and Walmart is the only place in the area that carries the size we need. I decided it was time to temporarily end the boycott.

As soon as I got there I saw this beautiful girl (I'm talking beautiful) wearing the shortest shorts I've ever seen. Part of her butt was showing. The shortest shorts with the highest heals. I'm sure you know exactly what stereotype flashed through my mind. I felt horrible as I then watched her help an old lady put groceries in her truck.

I walked back to the photo lab (while I was there I might as well get some pics for the grandparents.) The guy there was so helpful and nice, commenting on my cute kids in the photos and talking about his 6 grandkids.

The checkout lady and I laughed with the women behind me in line - poking fun of her insane amount of candy on the belt and me buying every humidifier filter in the county. The women told me her plans for her son's birthday party (Marshmallow themed! Cute Cute!) I left with a smile.

I won't be shopping at Wal-mart regularly, for all those unnamed reasons. But I was reminded again how much being around kind people changes everything. I did wear sweat pants. If you were wondering. And not everyone thinks Wal-mart is a bad place to visit. (Seriously. Click the link. It's awesome.)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sponsor Love

So many fall lovelies out right now, I'm getting gitty. 
And it may only be September, but I'm in Christmas shopping mode.

Some of my favorites from a few of my sponsors....

Love Without End - Sterling Silver from Luxe Adornments

Interested in becoming a Natalie's Sentiments sponsor or 
having your product featured this holiday season? 

Monday, September 19, 2011


I'm feeling some Hawaii withdrawal today, so it's probably a good time to post some pics from our trip.

Cause it was freaking INCREDIBLE.

Our trip could not have been more perfect. It helped that we had 6 months to read up and plan. We knew just what we wanted. To relax and enjoy. To eat and eat some more. To not over schedule, but when we did do something, to do it right.

We knew that we wanted to stay at the same resort the entire time. Unpack once. We had the top floor with the most dazzling view. Lots of our afternoons were spent on our balcony with coconut ice cream, recovering from the morning on the beach and watching the water below. 

We slept each night with the sound of the crashing waves.

We got free Mai Tais everyday. Of course, virgin Mai Tais are just fancied up pineapple juice and pog, but they still were delicious.

This is where we ate breakfast every morning and drank our Mai Tais and appetizers every afternoon.
We averaged 4 full meals a day. Plus ice cream.

Shane says that the most memorable experience of the trip for him will probably be sitting at the resort restaurant the first night, eating and drinking and watching the water.

It was amazing. I can't explain it. For the first time in over 5 years it was just us. No responsibilities. Just each other. Just pleasure. It was as if I could feel myself unwinding from the job that never ceases. I breathed in that sea air and rejoiced in a week of being just us.

(I did have a total freak out the day we left the kids, but once we got to Maui, I chilled out and trusted in my mom.)

I think the first night was the best too. We just couldn't stop smiling. Or kissing.

We spent an exorbitant amount of time on the beach. We chose our resort when we read it had the best beach in Maui. Beautiful and very few people. We swam in the ocean, dried in the sand until we got hot, then got back in the water to cool off. We collected shells and coral to take home for the kids. We read books, ate picnic lunches from the resort restaurant and talked.

How's that for perfect.

We ate out soooo much, we had tons of leftovers. But no microwave in the room, just a fridge. 
We discovered that if you sit your containers on the hot sand for 30 minutes, they will be as hot as if they just came out of the oven. 

Got through two books while beaching. Juliet was a really fun one that I recommend. 
Thanks Mary Lea for sending it to me!

It says something about how much we swam and walked that I only gained one pound.
Shane ran three times while we were there. I, on the other hand, walked around the golf course talking on the phone.

I loved my smart phone cover to protect it from the sand. I got mine from Come and See the Seitz.
And yes! It does match my blog background. Thanks for noticing!

My favorite outing was going out for my birthday to Mama's Fish House. We read over and over again that it was the best place to eat in Maui. And I will say, it was the best place I have eaten, ever. The ambiance, the service, the view of the water, the fresh caught seafood. 
The PASSIONFRUIT CREME BRULE. Better than any birthday cake I can imagine.

Fair warning, it was also the most expensive meal I have ever had in the US.

Totally worth it.

The view.

But look at the darling blue and purple lai the manager gave me for my birthday!

Not to be outdone, Shane got me one a few nights later after a walk on the beach. 

He pointed out that his lai was yellow.

Shane got yellow swim trunks for the trip just for me. 
He said that it would make it easy for me to find him when were snorkeling. :)

And we did some fantastic snorkeling. We paid a bunch of money to go out to Molokini for the day to snorkel and it was a total letdown. We saw a few cool fish. No biggie.


Just a few minutes walk down our beach we went to Black Rock and snorkeled right off the shore.

I kid you not, I turned around and was 3 feet from two HUGE sea turtles! It was unreal. 

Shane went out father than me and he saw an eel and a ray. 

We of course went back a few days later.

This time there were 4 turtles.

We walked from the beach straight to our luau. Other than having a damp swimsuit under my dress, it was pretty fun. It was the one night we chatted with other people. Everyone at our table were newlyweds. Wedding talk!

And can I just talk about my hair for a moment. If only I could get it to look like this all the time! It only looks this way if I let it air dry after swimming in the ocean and it's my absolute favorite way to wear it. Saw a recipe for salt water spray here that I'm planning on trying. 

Oh, I could totally do that.

Went on a lovely sunset cruise. You can see our resort in the background. 

I still can't get over the color of that water.
Or how warm the sand stayed even well into the night.

Several times we went into nearby Lahaina to shop and eat. Even though it's touristy, it's still quite charming and worth going to at night for some "shave ice" and to look for treasures.

If you go, grab a burger at Cool Cats for great food and even better people watching. 

I love people watching in tropical places. Something about seeing what people choose to wear on vacation makes me happy.

And while I'm giving advice, here's another tip.
Always upgrade to the convertible. (I miss that little mustang)

(Shane doesn't always see the genius in my photo taking moments like I do.)

Lanaina is a great place to watch a sunset too.

I was planning on getting myself a piece of jewelry to remind me of our trip, but my mom gave me this gorgeous shell bracelet for my birthday and I never did see anything I liked better. I wore it almost everyday. I just bought a little charm to add to it.

I got to wear fresh flowers everyday too.

And enjoy a fridge full of diet coke.

The last day we were pretty tired. We hung out on the beach some more.

Laid out by the pool and swam a bit.
Made out under the waterfall.

And took one last sunset walk on the beach.

It was one of the most lovely weeks of my life, and the perfect way to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. 

I cannot wait to go back again.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

All I'm going to do this weekend is play.

My sweet kids, mid-seventies, no humidity.

Don't you just love the end of summer?

Other things I'm loving....

and so is Missoni for Target
this video made me laugh so hard!
pretending that this is my life
this amazing home (not for the parenting type I'm afraid)
thinking of doing Collin's "big boy" bedroom with a beach theme. love these paintings for it.
wowing over these gorgeous wooden bracelets
what I'd be getting my NYC family if I had their name for Christmas this year


most darling wedding I've ever seen (surprised that even though the bride and I were best friends when I was a child, I didn't get an invite)


The randomly selected winner of the Shabby Apple Giveaway is Tj and Amy . Congrats!
Email me and I will get you your prize!

more giveaways to come...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yellow Kitchen

I will get around to posting my Hawaii photos one of these days, but first I have to post some pretties from my birthday! I will openly admit I wasn't too excited about this birthday. I was not in the mood to turn 34. I was out with some friends a few weeks ago and we were discussing "the talk" you get from the doctor at this age. The "now that your fertility is waning" talk. My hope was to be done with having babies by 35, but I'm upping that to 36. Wouldn't it be great if our bodies would catch up with the times? Let us start our periods at 19 and let us stay super fertile until we are 40 +. Wouldn't that be something. No periods in our teens. Heres to dreaming. 

Anyway, I'm 34 now. Yay.

BUT, on a happier note, this birthday completely indulged my yellow obsession.

Look at this amazing summer table cloth and yellow chargers! Complements of my very stylish mother. (She got me the aluminum cups a few years back. Keeps your drinks so icy cold.) My sister Molly sent me the adorable yellow butter dish from Anthro. 

My sister Emily always knows just what to send. This is my new fruit bowl.
(Thanks for the hideous cat mug too. No photos of that atrocity, though it is holding my pens at my desk.)

My mom also brought me this little darling. Swoon.

I'm going for a yellow (all different shades), navy and white kitchen theme. 
(Thank you Abby for the white kitchen linens. They're perfect for me. Bleach-able.)

I've got yellow in the kitchen, a yellow guest room and planning a yellow nursery. 

Anyone else have a color they love this much?

Celebrated my actual birthday in Maui. Wearing yellow of course!


I know I need to choose a winner for the Shabby Apple giveaway, but my company contact needs to get back with me with some information, so I'm extending the deadline until Friday. So make sure to enter! Just think how great that grey dress would look with some yellow jewelry.....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back Home

Our vacation is officially over and we're home. Thanks to my wonderful mother, my home is clean and my kids are happy. I have lots of photos to go through and even more laundry to do.

It's funny, but I expected to be depressed when I got home. Our vacation was beyond perfect and I thought that knowing it was all over would make this week rough. But strangely, the opposite is happening. This vacation gave me something I have been pining for since I became a mother. Time to step back and gaze upon this life I am living.

(to quote myself

"I can't see around the haze of motherhood with enough clarity. I know I need to enjoy my children. Everyday I should plop down on the floor and color and play for hours. But that is the exact problem. It is EVERYDAY. ALL DAY LONG. I try to explain to Shane that he leaves his job at the end of the day and comes home. But my home is my job. I never leave. My freedom is relativity non existent. It is difficult to constantly embrace what you can never get away from....
I don't want to miss these amazing moments with my children, just because I am drowning in them. I need to step away so I can see them with clarity."

The past couple days home have been some of best part of my vacation. I finally got the chance to miss my children. I got to remember what it was like before we had them. Even though our week in Maui was amazing, a week was as long as I would want to be apart from them. But what an incredible gift to have real time away. When we came home everything they did and said made me smile. I felt my heart tug in a way I had never felt in my 5 and a half years of being a mother. Has Collin always had that adorable voice? Has Lydia's laugh always been that infectious? I love my kids so much. But stepping away from them makes me love them even more. I have a strong feeling that it makes them love me more too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Beach Lovelies

This is where I am right now. 


Oh, well. Here's some beachy lovelies for a nice mini vaca. 
Compiled before I left of course. 
I have no computer with me fools! 

Though I do have my smart phone with nice reception. 

Thank you for voting for me in the Sits Summer Photo contest! 
I didn't win the grand prize, but it was so cool to be one of the 4 semi-finalists! 
(And to win some serious bling!)

And the two lucky readers who will be receiving something fun from my trip are:

Amy F. and TroxelTribe. (Email me your addresses please)

I think I over packed. I brought more earrings than days I will be there. Same with dresses. But how often are you in Hawaii with your love?

We have lots of romantic dinners planned. 

Lots of yellow packed. (Even Shane has yellow swim trunks!)

For some serious beach time.

Virgin for me please!

I really, really needed this.

Don't forget to enter my Shabby Apple Giveaway!!

Did I mention it's my birthday today?

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