Merry Christmas from our family to yours!



Pinterest Pickings - Christmas Traditions

Jeff and I are spending this Christmas here in Denver this year. For me, this is my first Christmas away from my family. I'm kind of sad not to be with everyone, but at the same time its kind of fun to think of having Christmas with just the two of us. It also really has me thinking about what Christmas traditions I want to have with our family. Here are some good links I found on Pinterest:




Here's a list of my favorites I found while perusing Pinterest:

1) Rudolf's Nose- Get a red ball, "Rudolf's nose," and hide it around the house. The person who finds it gets a prize and hides Rudolf's nose the next day.

2) Flour or toilet paper 'snow' fights.

3) Make a Christmas ornament with your kids each year, or have some kind of Christmas craft night.


5) Every Friday night in December have a family Christmas movie night.

6) Mini-Van Express- Get your family in their pj's, get in the car and drive around to look at lights. Bring popcorn, treats, and hot coco. 

7) Make whip cream or shaving cream beards and take a picture.

8) Blanket forts.

And here's some traditions that Jeff and I have stolen from our families:

9)) Read/act out the Christmas Story from the bible on Christmas Eve.

10) Sleepover under the tree.

11) Open up a present of new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve.

12) Food traditions: Christmas Eve Dinner- Ham, funeral potatoes, vegetables, rolls, olives, pie.
      Christmas breakfast: Rice pudding and sausage & egg casserole.
      Christmas dinner: Lasagna

And, I kept my promise to myself for yet another holiday. I made some new Christmas decorations for this year! Here's my house all done up for the Christmas with my new decorations:

My map inspired by Emily Henderson

Our tree, advent banner, and chalkboard
This picture was made from tissue paper from the dollar tree and a free reindeer printout.
Here's my new decorations I made this year.

Inspiration for these jarred trees were all over this year, from West Elm to Pinterest. All I had to do was save a few glass jars, purchase some trees for a couple dollars at Walmart, and add some glitter and Epsom salt. (I made the penguin snow globe a few years ago with my little sister at one of our craft nights.)

 I really wanted something for our fireplace, since I've never had a fireplace before. I kept falling in love with these trees at craft stores made with glitter, sequins, and feathers, but I wasn't about to spend $24 for decorative cones that were large enough to make an impact above the fireplace.

I made these for only $2. Yep two bucks. I got my inspiration online here, here and here. I bought 2 large poster boards and a package of white crepe paper streamers from The Dollar Tree. I already had the glitter and Epsom salt.

The two smaller trees are just fringed crepe paper glued on my poster-board-made-cone with glitter stuck on with some good old fashioned hairspray. The larger middle cone was covered with a mixture of glitter and Epsom salt with some Modge Podge. So simple, but I love the way they turned out. Can't beat it for the price.

So that is what's on my mind this Christmas season, missing my family, starting/continuing family traditions, and crafts. I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Christmas!


Colorado Style

Do you ever feel like being in a different area gives you license to dress differently? Now that we moved to Denver I'm finding myself jones'n for clothes that I might not have typically gone for before. Not sure why, really? Maybe it's because I'm getting to experience a true fall & winter this year, or maybe it's the mountainous, green open spaces, but it makes me want to go shopping!!!! AND since Christmas is right around the corner, I think It'd be nice to give my late buying husband some present ideas!

1 Black and Brown Riding Boots found here and here
2 Classic Hunter Welles like these and these, or these cheaper wide calf knock-offs!
3 Gray Booties for everyday, like the ones found here and here.
4. Lastly, not boots, (kill me know) I want these Birkenstocks!

I want all kinds of different boots for this fall and winter. Riding boots, willies, ankle boots. I really, really want some new boots. Unfortunately, boots are kind of expensive, so maybe I'll pick one type to get this season, another to get later in winter, and maybe hold of on one or two styles until next year. Not sure if I'll ever actually get Birkenstocks, I know my family would just make fun of me.

I also really want comfy, warm, clothing with a more Native American or Aztec-y type design. First, these seems really warm, and second, they just feels like they belongs in Colorado to me. Jeff thinks it's weird, like I think I'm living in New Mexico, but this style totally reminds me of Colorado.

1 I've been eyes these cardigans here, here, and here.
2 Sweater leggings spotted here, and here.

I also feel drawn to wear all my turquoise jewelry, I've always loved it, but now I am completely obsessed!! Hopefully this gives my honey some good ideas for Christmas shopping this weekend :)


Jeff had a Birthday, Shout HURRAY!

Jeff had to work like over 10 hours on his birthday, but when he got home around 9p.m. we still managed to have a little celebration.

I made up some simple decorations for the dinning area and Jeff's cake. I ordered Chinese delivery because I had no idea when Jeff would get home.

He is so freakin' cute huh. I love this kid and hope he still somehow managed to have a good birthday.


Halloween - Keeping the DIY Crafts Going

I made a resolution some time ago to DIY some type of holiday d├ęcor for the bigger holidays. It helps me keep a festive home and definitive time to site down and make something.

I kept Halloween decorations this year very simple, Jeff is always at work and it's not like we are having tons of family or friends over since we just moved so far, far away. BUT, I did manage to make something small, just to keep the promise to myself in tact.

I am going to have fun with fire place mantels while living here. It's a perfect little spot to give a bit of holiday cheer.

The item I made this year was this cute "BOO" paper fan. See, I told you it was little. I just feel silly going out and buying pumpkins or expensive decorations when it'd really just be for me. I don't think Jeff even notices when I put stuff like this up, ha ha. Maybe when we have kids I'll feel comfortable turning up the volume on holiday decorations. 

This plate is from my wonderful sister-in-law Natalie from one of her many worldly travels. I absolutely love it! Jeff brought home this skull from a trip he took down to California with one of his buddies earlier this year.

Then I brought out some of my "fall" decorations that I'll have up until Thanksgiving. Slowly adding to the collection. I actually ended up selling or donating a good portion of my holiday decorations when we moved. Now I have an excuse to craft up some more.

Pinterest Pickings

I'll admit that the above is barely worth blogging about, but I like to keep myself honest to my DIY resolution. Below are some links I spotted on Pinterest with some cooler DIY Halloween decorations. I'm already saving empty glass jars and cereal boxes (for the cardboard) to make us some of these.
Tin can lanterns found here . . .
Glass jar and tissue paper lanterns found here . . .
Cardboard and scrap paper sign here . . .

This amazing wreath has already been sold from THIS shop here, but it gives a great idea for a DIY.


The New (temporary) Place

Well, I finally made it to Denver. It was very hard to leave Las Vegas (here is an Instagram video of me saying good bye to our Condhouse.) I was delayed for a bit for family stuff, but I am here now with my Husband! AND we finally have the internet. It was the most complicated ridiculous process here to sign up for internet, but whateves. I am here, and now have my life blood, the world wide web.
You can see the mess I moved into here. Uploading a video should have been simple in this day and age but somehow it managed to waste over an hour of my life, so hopefully the link works. I took another video a few days after we moved in to show my progress, but uploading these videos is such a pain I just re-took pictures of our place now.  Not dealing with video issues anymore! (I'll have to figure it out though so I keep showing videos for my fam to see.)

So mi familia, here is our new (temporary) digs . . .

Our living room/dinning area is smaller than our old place, half of our old furniture was just too big and gets to chill in our garage until we settle somewhere. The smaller cabinets and settee from our office now get front room billing.

The kitchen is connected to the dinning room. Love the openness!
Off the kitchen there is a short hallway that leads to our bedroom.

The bedroom is bigger than at our Vegas home. It's nice, but I haven't yet figured out what to do with all the space. Especially what to do with all the wall space.

We have two bathrooms here, the master bathroom and guest bathroom. I really don't mind losing the extra toilet to clean!

So there it is. We haven't yet got the guestroom/office fully set up yet. We want to get this daybed from Ikea for the space. Hopefully some family comes and visits us soon (hint, hint).


Christmas in Summertime!

We are packing things up, finalizing our home's sale, and making the trip out to Denver. Life is crazy right now. Too many emotions to know how to process, so . . . I think of Christmas.

Knowing that Jeff and I might be mailing or packing and flying our Christmas presents this year has really put the pressure on to find great, nicely packaged gifts. In our family we tend to give more couple/family gifts and then give smaller items to any kids. This year, the only real “kid” we have on my side is my youngest sister, and for Jeff’s we have his youngest sister and currently lone nephew. When we start to get more kids around, I’m sure the dynamic will change, but for now it’s usually just one main gift per family. In the past we’ve come up with some pretty good family gifts as a whole, but this year I’m struggling. (I might just have to think individually, oh no!)
So, to get my brain moving I’ve decided to make a list of all the best and brightest family gifts that we have given and received in the past. I am so tired of going to websites and seeing inscribed crystal plaques, cheese and cracker sets, and chocolate covered strawberries as gift ideas for a whole family. I think it would be better to give something that people will actually use, even if it’s not as fancy.
#1 Camping Gear
There are so many options with camping gear if you have family that likes to get lost out in the woods. Sure, some of the items can be a bit pricey, but if you’re giving it to say, your sisters family as a whole, then it tends to break down to a reasonable price per person. Plus, there are also a lot of fun less expensive items out there as well. Some of our favorite items to receive and give include:
Dutch Ovens
Quirky Cooking Items (think egg holders, roasting sticks, toast makers, camping spices)

#2 Beach Items
This is pretty similar to Camping items. This just works for our family because they all love to go to the beach. Last year both my older sister AND parents had the same thought on this, now Jeff and I are the proud owners of 4 beach chairs. We’ll need them all someday, ha ha.
Beach Umbrella

Beach Towels
Snorkeling Gear
Toys (Sand Castle kit, Frisbee, Volleyball)
#3 Religious Items
We are Latter Day Saints, and with that there is a smorgasbord of items that many LDS families like to decorate or have in their homes. These also can be on the more expensive side, unfortunately, however there are some more affordable options with books and movies.
Statues (Christ, Temples, or Prophets)
Art Work
Inscribed Hymn Book
FHE Workbooks
Past Years General Conferences on CD (big hit with Grandparents)

#4 Kitchen Items
Yes, these may be just typically given to the lady of the house, but in most of our families homes both the women and men do the cooking, so it really is a present for both of them. In a house were just one of them in charge of the cooking, then it might be better to give kitchen items to just that one person.
Crockpot (w/cookbooks)
Kitchen Aid Attachments
Cutesy Measuring Cups (think Anthroplogie)
Marble or Raw Wood Edge Cutting Board 
 #5 Entertainment
For some of our more extended family and close friends that we exchange gifts with we have some pretty regular standbys. I’d like to switch it up every once in a while, but these always seem to hit the mark.
Movie Bucket (Some cool new release (w/ gift receipt), Soda, Popcorn Bags, and Treats)
Board Games (We have family that actually is in to the latest board games, so it works)
Fast Food Gift Card (think something like Sonic, where $20-$30 can still go a long ways or just get everyone a treat) 

#6 Handmade Items
For a more personal touch, these items may be less expensive but more meaningful because of the time put in. Tears of joy can be a factor with these types of gifts.
Blankets (This does not have to be complicated, just use fleece in a more modern pattern)
Picture Calendars (We have family members that do this every year on both sides and LOVE it. We can keep up on whose birthdays are coming up and have wonderful family pictures from last year to look at.)
Picture Books (I made my parents one of those photo books from Blurb with pictures of their wedding)
Knitted Beanies or Scarves
Family History Workbooks or Old Journal Copies



Movin' On Up

I thought I was going to be a really good blogger this summer. I was sure I was going to record every vacation, every wedding (there are 3 sibling just this summer!), and get tons of things accomplished. But then something came up, something big, something that is taking a lot of my time.What could it be?

Denver Colorado Wedding, Neighborhood, or Housewarming Gift Print - Personalized Map Art
A suburb of Denver to be exact. We are looking in the Littleton/Centennial/Parker area.
I haven't said anything on the blog because I thought if I did I would jinks is somehow. But now I can officially say, we sold our HOUSE and I better get a movin' on finding a place to live in Colorado! I have so many mixed emotions about it. I am so nervous, terrified, excited, and everything else all at once. I have never really lived in such a big city away from my family. It is just very strange and I'm not sure when it will sink in.
Jeff was offered a promotion out there for his job so we decided to be adventurous and just take it. We should be moving at the end of the month. It is seriously so crazy!!! I worry that me and my family wont be able to visit enough, I worry that I haven't started to look for a JOB yet, I'm sad about selling my most loved home, but I am happy to be with my handsome husband again. He left for Denver way back in May. It was a last minute favor to his bosses when someone else fell through to train employees at a new store his company opened up out there. Well, they liked him so much they asked him to stay, with a promotion! It has been touch and go, up and down all summer long, trying to sneak in quick visits with my sugar buns and figure out what was going on with his job. Seriously stressful, but I'm hoping it has a good reward eventually.
I hear only good things about Littleton, so I am excited to explore a new city and have some serious adventures. I'm trying to take this curve ball and sit back and evaluate my own career, see if there is maybe something else out there that I want to try. Maybe, just maybe, when I am so far away from my family I will blog more, and just maybe (though very unlikely) one of my family members will read this blog one day. Haha, we will see. Off to pack more boxes and get things settled on the Nevada home front.  


Pinterest Pickings- Yards and Yards

Me and a couple of my lady friends (holla) are having a multi-family Yard Sale this weekend. It is one of those things keeping me very busy as of late. It is a lot of work! And I probably won’t make much, but man, cleaning out this ol’ house feels liberating. And I’m always game for having a sale (and donating the rest) rather than trashing perfectly good items. It’s been a couple of years since I had a decent Yard Sale and another one is definitely needed.

In honor of my hours and hours of sweat putting this thing together, this Pinterest Picking is full of Pins on how to have a successful Yard Sale.

Advice found here

& here

Tips here
Genius ideas here
Tips & printables here
Some of the tips repeat themselves and then some of them were like 'Ah ha'! Hope all goes well this weekend!
If you would like to come to our Yard Sale, check out our post on Craigslist for more details.


Music Monday- what I'm listening to lately

I love finding new music (or new to me music). I'm constantly listening to something at work to make it through the day, or using it to calm, pump me up, or energize myself as needed. It is a great tool. I've been stressed lately, with lots of things to do, so these guys below have been the perfect albums to listen to, upbeat tempos but still calm and collected.

Bastille- Pompeii

Two Door Cinema Club-What You Know

Ellie Goulding- Joy

The Neighborhood- Sweater Weather

They also seem to be swaying on the British side. I'm feelin' it.

I have lots to blog about, lots of changes happening in the Bame house, but will have to wait a little while to blog about it. First I NEED TIME and things to get a little more settled. Enjoy the tunes :)


30 in review

I was on vacation this past week on my annual “sister trip.” I will have to share some pictures as soon as one of my sisters returns my camera. (SJ, that means YOU!). My vacationing has put off my posts last week but I wanted to share some thoughts this week anyways. Warning: this post is kind of self-indulgent. This may be better served as a Birthday post, but I’m not patient like that.

In a few short weeks I will be turning 31. Yes, 31. I still cannot believe this. As you may remember I was not happy to be in my 30’s. Seeing my 20’s go definitely made me shed a few tears. My 20’s were awesome, full of learning, growing, traveling the world, big milestones (i.e.: marriage, firstreal-career jobs, purchasing house #1 and house #2). In short, I loved my 20’s. I made a 30 by 30 list to try and make my birthday more fun for myself. I wouldn’t say that it necessarily made turning 30 easier, or fun, but I did get more things done at 29 then this past year. (i.e.: the only books I read this year were The Great Gatsby again and Engulfed in Flames, sad state of affairs compared to the 5+ I made myself find time for last year.)

Chilling at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas with my hubby last year for my Birthday.
I may not really be thrilled about future imminent birthdays, but one thing I will say, 30 has been a really good year. It may have only been one year, and 30 may just be a number, but I really feel like I’ve grown  a lot more comfortable in my own skin. I feel like not only do I know myself better, but even more so, I like who I am. I am not as hard on myself about my flaws and weaknesses. I understand that just like trials are a part of life, my weaknesses are a part of me, but things get better. I’m getting better with age. I feel like at 30 I’m finally starting to really like who I am. I am okay with being a nerd/awkward, I like that I am sweet (Oh, how that word use to make me cringe). I also feel like I know what I want more than at any other time in my life. I know what I want and I know how to work for it; I even may on occassion just ask for what I want (GASP!).

It’s not necessarily that my life situation has changed at all. In fact my family is in more flux then we have been for a long time, but even with all the changes going on, I am at peace. I am more at peace with myself, my abilities, and my desires. That’s not to say that everything is perfect and I don’t ever freak out or worry about things, but more, that I understand I will always worry about things and I don’t beat myself up over it. In retrospect, turning 30 wasn’t all that bad. I think my 30’s are going to be fantastic, challenging, like always, but great none the less. It does not mean that I am doomed to career and domestic boredom as I feared. Sure, I may not be travelling to faraway lands or having a professor blow my mind with a new way of thinking, but life is always full of surprises and there is always room for growth.
Leaving the Hard Rock Hotel after one of my memorable birthday weekends ever!
I hope that in my 30’s I get tofinally meet my children. I look forward to exploring new depths to my marriage (oh how things have evolved over these past 6 years). I look forward to learning new things and taking on new challenges at work. I hope I can keep working on myself and continually improving.

Has anyone else noticed that peace of self that comes with age? Or did you notice a big change at any certain age?


Linky Links

Here are some links to what has been entertaining me lately . . .

I think I am jealous of a 14 year old boy. This might help explain why.

Summer is here and I am really in the mood to fill my house up with house plants. I think it's also because I want pretty planters like this, this, and this!

Jeff has been out of town on business a lot recently and I've killed our only current house plant due to lack of watering. I think if I get any house plants I may have to invest in one of these, or this.

Or, maybe I should just recycle!

I need to do a post about what I ended up wearing to my brother and sister-in laws weddings. Thanks to my very own younger sister getting hitched later this summer, I need to find yet another outfit! This online shop was like discovering wedding dress wear GOLD I tell you. Dresses in every size, good prices, and CUSTOMIZABLE! check it out.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Bridal Shower Planning

As I mentioned last week my younger sister is getting hitched. I can barely believe it, but it’s true. So us sisters are getting together and throwing her a little bridal shower. She wants some of it to be a surprise, but lucky for me, she never reads this blog- ha ha, so I thought I would share the mood board I made and some ideas we had planning the shower. ( I made the mood board to help convince my fellow party planners that my theme was the way to go and give them an idea of how I thought we should decorate. I think it's things like this is why people don't like planning things with me.)

As I also mentioned last week, I am in love with the color combo of black and white, which of course is being incorporated into her shower.  I toyed with a bunch of ideas and themes but in the end I settled on “Bride to Bee.” It is a classic and a goodie. Plus, her new last name with begin with a “B,” (we will be “B” sisters) so we thought it’s be fun to have little plays off of bees the animal, and “B” the letter.

The colors are going to play off of her wedding colors, but instead of pale pastels we decided to have the same colors but in bright and vibrant tones, mainly a happy yellow, bright green, and of course, black and white. We decided to try and keep things simple by mainly decorating the food table and favor table. The rag bunting will be swagged on the food table and we’ll make a paper lantern and tissue honeycomb cluster for over the table. All the tables (food, eating, favor tables) will be covered in white table clothes with vases or mason jars filled flowers in our yellow and green colors.
We plan to bring in the  Bee/“B” theme by serving food and giving away things that relate to honey, decorated letter “b”s on tables and doors, with the favors, and more. I will give a whole break down after the shin dig.  I don't want to give away too much in the off chance that my sister may actually read this blog.  I'm excited I think it will be super cute!


YW Activity- SPA Night

For the last couple of years I have been in the Young Womens Presidency in my LDS Ward. (Please visit here to learn more about my faith.) I started out as the secretary but am now serving as the First Counselor over the female youth group. I thought it would be fun to post some of our more successful mutual nights or cute activity ideas.

One of our leaders thought up this activity based on an activity that she remembered doing when she was younger. We called it a "SPA" Night. The leaders brought a bunch of beauty products from home, like nail polish, bath/foot soaking fizzies, and face masks. We induldged in a little pampering with the girls, painted each others nails and relaxed. Then, near the end of the activity we gave each girl a SPA Journal, which stands for Scriptures, Prayers, and Answers. We encourage the Young Women to keep a journal seperate from their everyday journal, using this one specifically for inspirational and favorite scriptures,  insights and revelation from reading their scriptures, daily prayers and the answers they receive.

We did this activity the week before General Conference and further encouraged them to watch General Conference after saying a prayer and to look for specific answers to questions they might have. We asked them to record thier experience in their SPA Journals. The activity would work for any time of year, but I think it works well before General Conference or Girls Camp, a time when they can start practing writing in their SPA journals right away.

I made some cute little handouts for the girls to take home as well. I got the small baskets and loufas from the dollar store and filled them with some homemade bath salts that I already had on hand. Handouts for all the girls only costs me $3, and it shouldn't be too much more if you need to buy supplies to make homemade bath salts. Heck, you can even buy bath salts at some dollar stores or in bulk at WalMart.

Overall it was a successful night. It was pretty laid back and easy but had a good spiritual punch to it as well. Here are some links to others who did similar activities with thier own spin for some more ideas, or of course, look it up on Pinterst for tons of ideas.