Category Archives: Uncategorized

20 Little-Kid-Friendly Stocking Stuffers Under $10

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Stockings are one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning! I don’t know if it’s the challenge of finding items that will fit into a giant sock, or the excuse to splurge on the little impulse-purchase type things we resist throughout the rest of the year (those EOS lip balms in the check out line, am I right???), but both stuffing and opening stockings is something I always look forward to. Now that I have two little ones it’s twice the fun!

As much as I would love to go hog-wild on little treasures for my girls, we are on a tight Christmas budget this year (haha, I say that every year….I don’t see it changing in the near future ;)) and stocking stuffers can add up really fast. However, I also hate clutter and don’t want to just buy junk. Even if it was cheap to begin with, who wants to spend any money at all on things that will just be broken or forgotten in 20 minutes? My strategy is to set a budget for each stocking, fill it with a lot of snacks (little bags of crackers and cookies, juice boxes, fruit snacks, applesauce pouches, basically the prepackaged foods that kid dreams are made of), a few useful things that are fun but will get used up and we’d end up buying eventually anyway — play dough, bubble bath, character band-aids that Ella will quickly plaster all over her limbs, cute socks (the Target Dollar Spot is the best for stuff like this!)– and get a one or two nicer toys or games that will hold their appeal past 10 a.m. on Christmas morning!

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Our 3 Favorite FREE Family Programs at BYU

For the first five years of me and Dave’s marriage, and the first two years of Ella’s life, we lived right by BYU (Brigham Young University) in Provo, Utah. Even though I had gone to school and worked on campus throughout that time, I still hadn’t heard of most of these fun and FREE family-friendly programs until recently … after we had ironically moved about half an hour north! We love all of these fun outings so much, though, that we still head down for them quite often. It’s a good excuse to drop by the dozens of food places we love in Provo, anyway 🙂 This programming is really high-quality and I can’t believe a lot of it is free and open to the public! 

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My 72-Hour Kit on a Budget (With Printable Shopping List!)

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I’m probably not alone in my heartache for all of those that have been affected recently by hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes (and other crises) around the world. These events are always sobering, but for some reason social media made them seem so much more REAL to me this time! I think when we watch the news it’s easier to think “how horrible,” but detach ourselves from the situation. When we see an individual person’s take on the events, it makes it so much more personal.

Watching (via Instagram) a few moms like me deal with these situations really drove home the need for a little bit of emergency prep on my part. I’m embarrassed to admit that we had NOTHING in the way of disaster supplies. If we had to quickly leave our house, I would be a wreck (think how long it takes to get ready to go anywhere overnight when you have little kids!). And even if we didn’t have to leave our house, but were just stuck at home for a few days without power or heat or a way to get to the store to buy clean water, I’d hate to look at my cold, thirsty kids and try to explain why I hadn’t taken the time to work on this beforehand.

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Reading and Cooking with the Kitchen Club Kids!

*I was gifted copies of these books as compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.

Dave and I both love cooking and helping in the kitchen is one of the *few* chores that Ella is thus far interested in. She LOVES cooking with us (which, regardless of what we are making, mostly involves her self-assigned task of spooning teaspoons full of baking soda into a bowl or cup, or eating the ingredients as pictured above). So when one of the authors of the adorable Kitchen Club Kids series contacted me and asked if I would be interested in sharing their books with Ella, I jumped at the chance. And trust me, they have quickly become a staple in our house!

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Dry Skin Drama–Restored Body Butter to the Rescue!

Hi everyone! Ok, I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve blogged. What can I say, fall, a new school schedule, the holiday season, and a few other changes in our routine totally got to me and I was swamped. But I’m back, and hoping I will get back in the blogging swing of things starting today 🙂

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So it’s November, which is one of my favorite months. Like everyone else, according to my Instagram feed, I love fall and all of the holidays, beautiful foliage, and fun activities that come with it. BUT, we live in Utah. Utah is basically the driest place on the planet (ok, maybe not but I did verify that it’s the second-driest state after Nevada) and so when cold weather starts to hit, our skin suffers. Not just mine, but Ella’s and Dave’s as well. Growing up in Alaska, the long, cold winters were pretty hard on my skin. I think I permanently damaged my hands from blasting the heater in my little Honda on the way to school in the morning, and sticking my frozen little mitts right up on the heat. I would have chapped, cracked hands for months (super attractive when you’re an already-self-conscious teenager), but life in the dessert is its own beast, as I’ve learned, and if I’m not careful I’m an itchy mess by April. When it comes to winter, I NEED something that works and doesn’t have to be reapplied 50 times a day, because who has the patience for that?

Therefore, when Tiffany at Restored Natural Body Care offered to send me some of her body butter, I jumped at the chance to try it out! I’ve tried plenty of body butters before, but this one immediately stood out because of how natural it smelled and felt. Restored products are free of the 3P’s: preservatives, parabens, or phthalates. The majority of the products are organic and there isn’t a huge long laundry list of ingredients. The philosophy is that you don’t need a huge list of ingredients and preservatives for something to be effective! Just choose simple, natural ingredients that work, like shea butter and coconut oil.

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I tried the Lemon Fresca Body Butter which smells amazing! I love that this product is scented with essential oils. It smells fresh and invigorating. The butter is whipped, so it’s nice and light, but a little goes a long way! The texture is a little greasy, just because the product is oil-based to avoid the need for preservatives, but it soaks into skin very quickly. In fact, that is wayyyyyy less greasy than more mainstream brands that I’ve used for years, like Aquaphor.

Another aspect of this company is the fact that Tiffany owns and operates it on her own! Everything is mixed, packaged, and shipped by her and her alone. Her story about how she gained interest in skin care is really cool, too. And she donates 5% of all sales to local nonprofits. Pretty cool.

If you are interested in checking out any of Restored Natural Body Care’s products, you can use the code SLAPTHANKS for 20% off all orders until December 2nd. So if you’re in the market for some new winter skincare (she’s got a line of lip balms and scrubs as well), or you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift, consider supporting a small business!

*I was compensated with product to review for this post. All opinions and thoughts are mine. Thanks!

8 Hilarious Twitter Accounts You Need to Follow

I am FAR from a Twitter aficionado. I have an account but I don’t get on a ton and I don’t really utilize it for communication, or keeping up with the news or, you know, worthwhile things. BUT, I do appreciate the plethora of hilarious people and accounts that are on there, and I thoroughly enjoy logging in and, if I’m in public, laughing silently while tears stream down my face. So I thought I would share in case you enjoy them as much as I do! Far be it from me to withhold from you more opportunities to waste time on the internet.

 I owe my sister Grace credit for introducing me to like 90% of these. She has awesome taste in humor. If I’m ever bored or feel like wasting way too much time, checking out her favorited tweets is my jam. Also, I feel compelled to mention that while most of these accounts don’t post a lot of bad language/crude humor, I can’t promise that everything they say in the future will be G-rated so please follow at your own risk! 🙂 I don’t want to offend anyone.

 I am actually nervous that people will judge me for being so weird after reading these, but, who cares, so in no particular order, here are eight of my favorite peeps on Twitter:

1. Awkward Girl @AwkGrlPrblms

I said no particular order but she’s quite possibly my favorite person on Twitter. Lots of terrible puns, lots of self-deprecation, lots of 90s pop-culture references, lots of awkward.

 


 2. Bridger Wingar @bridger_w

I don’t really know how to describe this account. We can only assume i’ts a fake persona? I guess we’ll never know. Very very weird and intense.

3. Brendan O’Hare @brendohare

Very similar to Bridger Winegar. Dramatized persona (I can only assume…..), intense, socially inept and hilarious.

4. Very British Problems @SoVeryBritish

While I am not British, I still find most of these hilarious and relate-able. Some of these are Britain-specific but a lot of them are applicable if you’re just the people-pleasing type.

5. Jamie Woodham @jwoodham

Overall funny but I particularly like his Harry Potter and other literary references.

6. What Taylor Does  @WhatTaylorDoes

A must for any fan of the real T-Swift. Parodied, third person, over-dramatized and romanticized narration of her supposed life. Bonus is the funny references to her songs and actual relationships, you know, if you follow that sort of thing…..

7. Jordan Schlansky @jordanschlansky

 Associate producer for Conan O’Brien with extremely dry observations about life.

8. Anti Comedian @jokeisntfunny
If you roll your eyes at overdone jokes, you’ll enjoy this. Very dry and sarcastic calling out of cliche humor.

And there you have it! I hope somebody out there enjoyed this because I spent an embarrassing amount of time compiling these. Please comment with some of your favorite funny people!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Most of the time, the phrase, “pasta salad” does not conjure up the freshest or healthiest associations. I typically think of macaroni or rotini doused in a bland, mayonnaise-y dressing with bacon and cheddar chunks floating around. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….but sometimes you want a pasta side dish with a more updated and flavorful twist!

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Cash in Your Closet: 4 Ways to Make Some $$$ on Your Used Clothes!

 
I don’t remember exactly how it all got started, but last fall I fell in love with reselling my used clothes, shoes, and purses. Since then I have probably sold around 100-150 items (some of them being things my sisters were getting rid of and asked me to sell for them), and I have definitely learned a few tricks of the trade along the way. And the best surprise? There’s a market for brands that I actually have in my closet, like J.Crew, Loft, Ugg, Nike, Boden, Land’s End, etc, not just super high-end, designer brands, which is what I had kind of assumed before!
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Canker Sore from Hades

Hello blog friends. It’s been a while….and I fully blame the fact that we have been battling never-ending colds around here. Having a cold is the pits because, let’s be honest, it sounds a bit lame to say you can’t come to something because you have a cold.  The flu or strep throat or something, now that is a legitimate excuse. But I will admit that when other people are like, “well, I can’t make it, I have a cold,” I am kind of like, “Just admit you don’t want to come.” That is, until I get sick myself and feel that the world is coming to an end.

The cold itself was annoying, but somewhere along the way, after several days of sounding like a pack-a-day smoker, I also developed a canker sore. IN my throat. Which throbbed all day and night and I thought I was dying.

I felt like the most over-dramatic person on the planet as I debated going to the doctor. What was I going to say when I made the appointment….I have a canker sore? And it hurts real bad? So I put it off and kept saying I would go in the next day if it didn’t get better. In the meantime I was averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night because I would wake up in the night in pain and couldn’t fall back asleep. So obviously all I had left to do was troll the internet looking for solidarity on various message boards (which I found, in spades. Not that I was posting on message boards, just enjoying the helpful comments. The internet can be either a very understanding or very venomous place). I first accidentally googled, “cancer sore in throat,” and I was very concerned for about two minutes. Thankfully I righted the situation and found about 800 home remedies which I tried as I wandered the apartment trying from the hours of 4am-7am. For the record, holding an asprin on a canker sore….does nothing. And it’s really easy to drop it down the back of your throat and gag yourself.

After the third day I finally acquiesced and called the doctor. And I felt about as foolish as I had anticipated, probably with good reason. My doctor was very nice but I could tell she was like, “why are you here? You have a very common household ailment?” She prescribed a topical medication that would numb the area a bit and I left feeling like the world’s biggest wimp. I spent most of the rest of the week shining a flashlight down my throat and asking Dave if anything looked different than before. I also took a few pics of the situation (you know, for posterity). But I’ll spare you those.

Thankfully I am back to normal now. I am more thankful for the sake of those around me than my own. But I can promise you if anyone in my life ever has to back out of plans because they have a canker sore situation I won’t question their integrity. But if you have a cold you still have to come.

Sickie Day

We are having a sickie day around here today. Not to be confused with a sick day–those are more serious. Ella woke up in the middle of the night crying and had spiked a fever. She gets night terrors already, and when she gets a fever they get like five times as frequent, so we were up for a good part of the night trying to calm her down. There isn’t much you can do for night terrors except try to just soothe the poor kid with your voice and quiet them down but it’s hard as a parent to watch Ella moan and cry and not really be able to intervene (if anyone has experience with kids that have had these, let me know what helped!). Thankfully she is still in a crib so she can’t wander, and our doctor says she will probably grow out of them. But it still made for a rough night, and Ella was still a little feverish this morning and she slept in pretty late (we think it may just be teething) so we are laying low. 

Thank goodness for Arthur episodes on the DVR and jammies! 

Since we were home all morning I made the salsa that was supposed to go with our enchiladas last night. I wasn’t on the ball enough to make it last night so tonight we will have salsa and….pork chops. That goes well, right? Also I recognize that this looks more like a salad than salsa since, as per the name of this blog, I am much too impatient to dice things smaller than the size of a sugar cube. 


We did take a short little walk to get outside for a bit and checked the mail on the way back inside. I was so excited to get my first package from Kidizen! Kidizen has been all over the blogging world but for those of you who, like me, had never really looked into it, it’s an awesome app designed as a marketplace for parents to resell their kids’ gently used clothes. I should do a whole post on it sometime because I am totally hooked! I have already sold something and ordered a few things for Ella that were really good deals. I needed some more basic shorts for her for summer and these were only $7.50 for both including shipping. And they are in perfect condition! I can’t wait for my other stuff to get here (And no, this is not sponsored in any way, in my dreams haha. I just really like this app.).
Aaaand then it was time for Daddy to get home from school and Ella was clearly thrilled.

Just kidding! She loves seeing Daddy. And I think our little sickie is going to make a full and speedy recovery.