my little pony party

We had Jillian's friends over yesterday to celebrate her 4th birthday! We went with a My Little Pony theme (which wouldn't have been my first pick, but you know, not my birthday!). But seriously, what happened to My Little Pony? Japanese animators got a hold of them or something and ..*shudder*.. I digress. BIRTHDAY PARTY!

My favorite part of the party was the giant rainbow pom! So cheap and easy to do!

I made a giant 4 from cardboard boxes, spray painted it silver then covered it in glitter. Now my backyard looks like a herd of unicorns flew over and had some serious diarrhea. Or something. But it made for cute porch decor!

Jillian was really excited to help me set up for the party. This was the first time I've done a designated kids table, so she loved setting everything out for her and her friends! I mean I did go behind her and straighten it all up, but you know. ;-) 

The centerpieces were another cheap DIY. The white metal buckets were from Target and I printed out the clip art, cut it out and hot glued a small wooden dowel between the two pieces and stuck it in some tissue paper. 

Rainbow color all the thiiiiiings!
It turns out shopping for rainbow party decor is pretty easy because you don't have to hunt down specific shades of anything. Except when the party store is OUT of one color- like the sodas. They were out of the blueberry flavor and my OCD was (and still is looking at this picture) off the charts annoyed. But then I couldn't just buy another brand because the labels wouldn't match...you know? Someone else out there totally understands this. 

This was my first time ever making a birthday cake. I usually spring for cupcakes or some other dessert entirely, but if you're throwing a rainbow party, rainbow sprinkles have to happen somewhere. So my goal wasn't so much to look like a professional cake as it was to just be yummy and keep the thing upright and not sliding off the table. Mission accomplished! I thought it turned out decent enough. Safe to say I won't be joining the Cake Boss crew anytime soon though. 

For a more unique party hat, I used printable photo booth props and instead of putting it on a dowel, I hot glued elastic to each end and wah-lah. The boys weren't super into that though, as you may have guessed.

^Don't be fooled about her accurate tail placement, she totally cheated.

Ponies catching on fire when James lit the candles was a legitimate concern. Fortunately they're all still alive to tell about it.

I loved the way she was looking at her cake when we were singing to her, like it was all so magical. Little kids are the best. I can totally do magic, and glitter, and rainbow sprinkles. Just stay little forever, k? 
(Because I'm secretly terrified of the teenage years).

Look at that cake standing there all in one piece! YAY! Seriously though...I did a practice run earlier in the week and it was a disaster. So I watched several Youtube videos on how to stack a cake and fortunately it all stayed in place. Thanks Youtube! The top was lemon cake with swiss meringue buttercream (seriously my new go to frosting- so delicious!) and the bottom was chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. What it lacked in stability it made up for in taste!

^In this picture Olivia had fruit on her tray, but saw the cake and was insistently pointing at it saying "ccoooookieeeee!" Cake > fruit, every time.

It was a great day and the kids all had a blast! 

Now to try to get rid of the glitter all over everywhere...



Jillian turned four this week! Part of me feels like she has been four since she started asking if she was on the daily about six months ago. ;-) It's been a long six months... :-p

At one point she was literally running around in circles saying, "I can't believe it! I can't believe it!" When I finally asked her what she couldn't believe she replied, "That I'm finally FOUR!". 

I love Jillian's curiosity about life. It comes with a bajillion and four questions a day and sometimes I literally run out of answer to "but, why?", but she reminds me to wonder about things, and to slow down- to stop and look at a bug crawling on the sidewalk or help her reach a leaf on a branch so she can bring it home to make soup (a concoction of grass, leaves, and snails she makes in her sand bucket). 

She absorbs everything around her and is a pretty bright kid. The other day she asked me how to spell her name and I did and she just wrote it- with no prior writing practice! 

Happy birthday sweet girl! I love you to pieces! 


inspiration for the master bedroom

I'm finally starting work on our master bedroom! Well, mental work anyway. But I do have plans to start painting in a couple of weeks. My sister has been suggesting I start on this project for months now, but seeing as it's the room we spend the least amount of time in and no one but us really sees it, it's nearly at the end of my "to do" list. 

Originally I just thought of painting over the ugly wall color and calling it good, but then I was reminded by myself that "just" doing something as simple as painting a room never actually happens that way (at least with me anyway), so you may as well not kid yourself and just dive right in. So this me, diving. 

(We know by now not to judge me on before pictures, right? I hope so. ;-)
This picture is slightly outdated- the mirrors are now hanging in a happier place elsewhere and a mantel shelf with some decor replaced them. Even still, we've had everything in this room for several years and I never really feel like I got around to decorating it.
It's just...meh. 

My style is modern farmhouse/rustic industrial. I'm also digging this mid century modern trend going on, but can't really commit to it. HOWEVER, I saw the picture below on the interwebs and my brain almost exploded-
it's a happy marriage of the two! Primarily rustic with just a touch of mid century modern. 
I'm super in love with this fusion. 


Soooo that's my plan for the master! I want a heavier focus on modern farmhouse with just a few mid century modern accents, keeping the overall color scheme light and airy. Hopefully it will all come together. I dunno. As with everything else, it's kind of a grand experiment.

Here are some things swimming around in my brain right now- it's not really a complete picture, but these are definitely some elements I want to include:

If you happen to see any other pictures like that above with a mix of those two styles, send them my way! I haven't found anymore of this style mash-up, despite my best pinteresting.


st. george adventure!

With my parents and Grammy in town this last week, we wanted to do something fun we hadn't done yet in Utah- so St. George it was! It's about 4 hours from where I live, which makes it the longest road trip we've taken with the girls. The way down felt like 7 hours...about 40 minutes in Jillian started asking "are we there yet?" Oiy...Also, there is NOTHING between here and there aside from a few gas stations and tiny Subways. We finally stopped at one and bribed them with suckers and new activity books. I'm so down with the bribes...that may come back to bite me, but right now it's pretty effective.

We stayed in a rental house which was awesome- way more privacy and space than a hotel. It also had a pool in the backyard which of course was the girls' favorite part; they're such little fish!

^Jillian is doing really well with swimming! She still needs a floaty, but she can get all around the pool and isn't scared to do so (a big improvement from last summer).

^Taking a swimming break to get in a few putts. 


Along the way to Zion National Park, we stopped at a Grafton, a ghost town. There are only a few buildings still left standing, but it was neat to learn about the history there. It sounds like an old western movie! I really wanted to steal some of the old pieces of wood for some projects, but apparently that's a big no-no at places like this (dang it!).

The red rocks are incredible! Pictures don't even do it justice. All of the different shapes in the rock faces made by hundreds of years of erosion were so interesting. Who knew geology was even remotely exciting? But when you see a perfect circle carved out in an enormous rock made completely by nature- that's pretty cool! It was unlike anything I'd seen before.

We drove through the first part of Zion, which was beyond gorgeous. It's one of the busiest national parks in the country! We stopped on the side of the road at one point and followed the screams/splashing sounds to this pothole (it was either people having fun or someone getting murdered- either way probably a good idea to check it out). People were climbing up on a giant rock and jumping into the water! 

This is where having two kids really screws you, because sometimes the sight/sound of water makes you realize you actually have to pee. And not just pee, but like life or death you are going to pee in the next 7 seconds regardless of where you are or who is around you (like I said, having kids really screws with your insides). That being said, it was one of those situations. So I literally just popped a squat behind a bush. I'm not even sure if I was fully out of sight, but when you gotta go, you gotta GO. I guess I can check "pee in the woods behind a bush" off my bucket list.


^The Tuacahn outdoor amphitheater put on an incredible performance of Beauty and the Beast- a highlight for Jillian! It was just as good as anything I've seen on broadway in New York. That alone was almost worth the four hour drive! (Maybe the four hour drive minus kids...)

Another day we went on a short hike in Red Cliffs where Jillian even joined us. I was so proud of her and her stamina. She had a great time scampering around the rocks and didn't complain once! Fortunately it was fairly overcast all day which kept the temperatures manageable. 

^These two are little spider monkeys. They would just get a jogging start and skadoodle up to the top of a giant rock in like 5 seconds. 

She actually made it the whole way in on her own but enjoyed a piggy back on James for the way back out! No one was quite as willing to give me a piggy back ride on the way back.


One thing my Mom was looking forward to the most was renting side by sides (which are sooo much cooler than four wheelers in this terrain) and driving around the dunes! And for good reason- the views were spectacular! It was also a lot of fun- everyone in my family is a closet daredevil except for me, I'm a bit of a pansy (no problem admitting it). Even my 70-something year old Grammy was loving every bumpy minute of it! 

^It's a little hard to fully appreciate in the picture, but that's the edge of a cliff! It's called "potato chip rock" and leads to a 200-300 foot drop off. I never thought I was scared of heights, but I'm not gonna lie- my knees were getting a little wobbly! 

^Timmy on the other hand, didn't seem to mind a close up with impending sudden death. 

 ^We were split up into two side by sides, lead by a guide on a four wheeler in front of us. If you didn't have a guide out here you'd drive right off the side of a mountain- they come up on you that fast! My Mom reeeaaalllly wanted to hot shot around the dunes (she turns to a near unrecognizable adrenaline junkie on these things), so the guide said we could as long as he could take over the driving. The dunes don't look that big in the video, but it felt like a roller coaster!

There were many places where it looked like we were on a completely different planet, with giant red sand dunes and huge red rock cliffs. Exploring out in the vast, uninhabited makes you feel completely tiny and helpless. In a way it's humbling.We live in such an amazing place!

It was a jam-packed but really fun and adventurous few days! The girls got sooo off of their schedules, so it's been really fun trying to get them back on one (mega NOT), but it just may have been worth it!

Summer you are the BEST!