December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

I'm fishing for some birthday love. Hope all of you have a Merry Christmas. I'll see how blogging goes during this weeks festivities.

December 21, 2008

Gifting
















I started preparing for this year's Christmas gifts that we give away to friends, in the summer. My mom helped me bottle up some sweet marion berry jam and I set them aside so I wouldn't have to hastfully put gifts together for Christmas like I usually do. Well, I'm still hastfully doing it but I guess it would be worse if I had done nothing at all. This year I paired the jam with a mini loaf of cranberry bread. Both are delightfully yummy. I got bored with the usual gift wrap so I wrapped them in some fabric I had in my stash. I thought they turned out nice.


December 15, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow . . .
















SNOWWW! It won't be long, la da la da la da la SNOWWW, Snowww la da la da la da la da la da la snowww. That song from White Christmas has been playing over and over in my head all day long. The girls and I were extra cheery all day with the change in weather. The last time I can remember snow in Vegas was back when I was in high school. This was a great test run for our upcoming trip to Utah for Christmas. We found out we are not really outfitted to play in the snow when we get there. An outing is due to buy the girls some snow gear that fits.















Look where the sleeves end on Nora's arms. I think the coat size is 18-24 months. We like to get our money's worth in this family . . . poor child.



Those are inches of snow that fell here. Pretty sweet for us Vegans.

December 14, 2008

Pass it Along . . .
















Just in time for Christmas! I am announcing that the health blog is ready. Visit the much anticipated Simply Healthful. You can enjoy great recipes (like my Christmas Lasagna, pictured above), and articles to keep you and your family happy and well. We have some amazing contributors. Visit often, we will be having healthful giveaways from time to time. Don't forget to pass this along and take a blinkie while you are there. Enjoy!

December 8, 2008

Busy Life and Sweet Beginnings

















For the past few days I feel I have let the house go without noticing. Today, I woke up and noticed the piles of laundry scattered here and there, stickers the girls stuck to the linoleum in the kitchen (they won't come up, I'll have to get something to scrape it off), the counter tops are full of miscellaneous items. You can see from the picture Spencer took on Sunday, that I'm telling the truth. You can also see, if you look real close, the early Christmas present (look all the way to the left), Spencer got for us.

For now letting it go has been worth it, I'm so excited for the upcoming launch of the health blog I can hardly contain it. It will be soon, I promise.

I finally got my dress I'm to wear to the Christmas work party. Then I tried it on and found the fabric pulled funny in the front and decided I didn't want to be the cutest pregnant girl there (mind you I'm NOT pregnant). That is one of the biggest draw backs of shopping online. So, I ordered another dress and I'm crossing my fingers that it gets hear on time (I'm keeping the other. During prego years it's always nice to have a flattering dress to wear).

Sunday was the first moment, in the past few days, that I truly felt I had time to be domestic. After making a delicious Sunday meal we had family over and Nora and I made gingerbread cookies.















Aubrey helped out by cleaning up after us.


If you didn't try out this recipe last year when I posted about them, you must try it this year. By far the chewiest, softest, yummiest gingerbread cookies ever! Making these will be a tradition from here on out during this season. I'd make it a tradition every month, but I know better.

December 1, 2008

Coming Soon

The health blog design is coming along. This is only a snippit. I am so excited for the launch I just had to share a little something before hand. It has been fun working with Charyce of Day Dreams by Design. She has some great design sense. Thanks Charyce!

November 30, 2008

Aubrey's Remedy for All

I think Aubrey has the right idea about how to lessen the pressure of a Thanksgiving meal. My pants myself were feeling a bit snug. Thanksgiving dinner was very generous to me this year and I'll be working it off for the next few weeks. We had a great time with family, friends, food and more family. Hope all of you had a wonderful holiday weekend too.

video

November 29, 2008

My Sister Had a Boy!

Isn't he so precious? I can't wait to get a hold of him. Congrats to the happy parents. I love the words my sister shared on Jackson's blog announcement. Lots of mommy love.

November 24, 2008

November 21, 2008

Mother Dear












There is a reason why my girls always want to be near you. I feel the same way. I love you. Happy birthday.

I'll be posting a picture of when she was younger soon.

November 19, 2008

It's That Time

The date has been set. I am to find a dress to wear to Spencer's work Christmas party. The party is usually a big soiree so I like to dress in something formal yet still comfortable. I haven't been able to find anything that fits that bill. I really like the dress above but find the whole sizing thing on Etsy a bit unreliable. Any thoughts on where to buy something formal yet comfortable and most definitely MODEST?

November 17, 2008

Wish List Items






I've been needing to compile my wish list for the in-laws (for some reason we don't do this on my side of the family) and came across this website while visiting Oh Happy Day. A different vision then fashion and design came to my mind.

The List:

Dell Inspiron 1526 in some awesome color (doesn't have to be yellow)
A stylish bag to put it in (doesn't have to be the bag above but I do like)
Sushi set for two or four and sushi mat
Slippers
New flooring in kitchen and entry (by all means if your feeling generous go right ahead)
A good classic chick book (I've been wanting Jane Eyre but any Jane Austen would do too)

After writing this out I feel like the true spirit of Christmas went right out my door. Darn it.

I'll have to go back and tinker with Winter fashion ensembles. It is fun to layer and see what you can create. Check it out here.



Here is the Wish List

November 16, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

Nora and I went to Disney's Beauty and the Beast play this past weekend. I was truly impressed in the production considering it was done at a local library in a small theater. Nora liked most of it but there were some scary parts that she had to nuzzle her head into my shoulder and I would plug her ears (wolves and Beast roaring). We got to take a few pictures with the cast. Stephen, my brother, came with us. He is actually dating the extra in the bottom left corner pic. Cute, huh? Sadly the pic with Stephen is not so cute. It's your own fault (he loves making faces for my camera).

November 12, 2008

Art

Anyone who loves or even likes art will enjoy this website. Very kid friendly too.
{pic via 2modern}

November 11, 2008

Picture Wall

Spencer and I recently updated our family picture wall and since, it has brought me much joy. He caught me staring at it the other day. He knows I really like it. There are so many memories there and family legacy. I just love it and love to look at it.

November 10, 2008

Indoor/Outdoor

Slippers. I'd like a pair for each level of my home. We have three. I'm liking these right now.

November 9, 2008

Dolphin Habitat


















We were able to attend a sweet VIP birthday party at the Dolphin Habitat at Mirage in honor of my brother-in-law and nephew. The kids loved it. Even the babies were genuinely interested and excited. I'm beginning to see why our Las Vegas Zoo isn't do so well here. They have this awesome dolphin exhibit and more to compete with.



Aubrey waiting for the dolphin to come back. Don't be fooled by her face, she loved the dolphins.

November 6, 2008

Ride on Cowgirl
















I'd like to brag about Nora, did I tell you she is reading books now? It has been fun reading stories with her, now that she can sound out words. Sometimes, I get this feeling that she just knows certain things even though we haven't taught her out right. A couple of weeks ago she recited from memory the first five Articles of Faith to the older Primary kids, she's only in Nursery. The kids were great to her, cheered, gave high fives, even came up to her after church to tell her how cool it was that she knew them. All the attention didn't even phase her. She wanted to go back to Nursery and play with her friends. She just learned the sixth a few days ago.

Along with her amazing mental ability to retain information, she loves to dance. I recently was having a conversation with her when mid-sentence she stopped, looked at me and said, "Mom, I gotta dance." Then proceeded to run into the family room and began to dance. It was a priceless moment, she has some pretty awesome moves.

Forever ago we taught her a lesson on modesty during family home evening (the reason why is a whole other story). Since then that topic comes up in conversation with her often. Sometimes she talks about it in public. Like the time we were in Target and the whole family next to us in the isle, including the mom, was dressed immodestly. So, Nora turns to me and asks, "Mama why are they not dressed modest?" We were right next to them, RIGHT next to them, within inches. We have had a few of those incidents and we'll be teaching in FHE a lesson on being kind to other's feelings soon.

I just love how she marches to the beat of her own drummer. Wow, this turned out to be long. I guess I am one of those parents. Oh well. Yeehaw, ride on cowgirl.

Sophistimom

On a search for squash soup inspiration the other day, I came across the delightful blog, Sophistimom. I not only got inspired by her squash soup but also by her sweet momming talent (I know, I just made that word up, like many of my words), and ability to capture what she makes for dinner. I'll be adding this one to my inspiring blog list. Check it out here.

November 5, 2008

Love



These beautiful girls have been given to me on loan from Heavenly Father. Lucky me. Sometimes it just hits me hard how blessed I am. In this crazy world - at this crazy time, I feel blessed.

November 4, 2008

I Run for Nie
















That is what the sticker said that we wore on our body for the 5k in honor of Stephanie and Christian Nelson. Saturday had perfect weather. It was great to see the crowd of people when we drove up all geared up for the race. We made it a family event so Spencer and the girls accompanied me. It was a feel good morning all around; great cause; good workout; great company; met blogging buddy Aranne and her husband (it was great meeting you!); saw and chatted with two of the Earl brothers from my growing up years in Reno and my friend Lyndsay with newborn Zackery. Yes, an all over feel good morning.


November 2, 2008

Costumes
























Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, visited Grandma's house on Halloween. Some may find it cruel that I dressed up my baby girl as a wolf but I thought she looked pretty cute, even if people couldn't tell whether she was a girl or a boy. I wish although, I would have made her a snout so others would have been able to guess what she was ("Is she a bear?"), there would have been no way she would have kept that on though.

Before taking these pictures, Nora, had a blue popsicle and stained her mouth and lips. We rubbed all we could but to no avail. So, we ended up putting lipstick on her 3 year-old lips. In her toothy smile you can still see blue. She had such fun since she was finally understanding the concept of Halloween. Now, if only she understood that the holiday was over. I would not feel so bombarded with questions like, "Mom, will you make me a blue Cinderella gown?" or, "Mom, will you make me a blue gown?" and, "Oh, you can't make me one? Well, then can you make me a green and pink gown instead?"

I wanted to show you a picture of Nora's pointed hood and vest. I loved the end result. I felt like she popped right out of the fairy tale's pages.


October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Have a spooktacular day! Happy Halloween.

October 30, 2008

Mutze Mutze

I want Mutze! My friend Ashley, over at Mutze by Ashley, never seizes to amaze me with her knitting creations. I'd love one of each please.

Halloween's Past

Some have asked what Spencer and I are dressing up as this year for Halloween. We have had a tradition since being married to dress up every year. Well, I am sorry to say that Spencer and I decided to break tradition. We were feeling bound to it and wanted to break the chains of tradition. We are not dressing up this year. But don't fret, there will be other Halloween's for us. I leave with you pictures of the costumes we've choosen (usually the week of), the past three years. Happy Halloween.






October 29, 2008

Run For Nie


This coming Saturday Las Vegan's have the chance to run/walk a 5k for a great cause. To find out more information look here. 100 percent of the proceeds go straight to Stephanie and Christian's Recovery.

October 28, 2008

Little Red Riding Hood

I got crafty on my kids this year. Show you more later.

October 23, 2008

Looking For . . .


















contributors. I have had this crazy idea in my mind for some time now and I am finally ready to pursue it. I am in the works of creating a health blog. It will be mostly geared toward food choices and recipes but it will also highlight some other important aspects of health (exercise, spirituality, and any other topic that relates to living a healthy life).

So, I am on the prowl for health conscience contributors for the blog.

Are any of you interested?

Keep in mind this is a blog geared about making healthy choices not healthier choices. Let me explain, the blog is not trying to be the next Cooking Light website (instead of using whole milk in this recipe I will make a healthier choice by only using 1 percent milk). I am gearing this blog to be one to help others make healthy choices for themselves and their families on a daily basis.

Still interested or just confused? Read on.

I am looking for contributors that are already thinking outside the American food-diet box. Those who either through formal education, sickness, or just trial and error have realized different ways to live a healthy life.

For those that are interested, email me merrymarleen@gmail.com and let me know what crazy health ideas you have. Know, that I will be selective on choosing contributors - to find those who will "merry" well with the new blog. Don't let that stop you from emailing me though. I would love to hear your thoughts and I will respond to each email I receive.

October 21, 2008

Bake and Serve


I love the La Champa bakeware from The Road Less Traveled Store. It's lead free and you can microwave with it too. It is also very pretty.

October 20, 2008

Leona Naess

Listening and enjoying this, this late afternoon.

Countertop Composte Bin

I've been shopping around for a composter and came across this portable kitchen composter. It would work perfectly since our living space is on the 2nd floor of our house. Which makes it hard to get to the backyard. The site to buy it from is very cool too and very green. Love it. Check it out here.

October 17, 2008

Western Style

We've been invited to a Western Harvest Festival tonight. I like dressing myself and my family up for themed events like this. While getting ready this morning I remembered a post that Darling Darleen did a while back and was inspired to put a braid in my hair (you'd think as a cosmetologist I'd do more with my hair on a daily basis). I broke out my sweet buckle I inherited from my dad too. I wish I had a cowboy hat and boots, then I'd feel my ensemble was complete. Someone once told me I have a "regal" nose (a nice way of saying your nose is big with a bump on it). The picture above I think shows it off real well.

October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Cinderella






















If you add a 2 to that 4 (meaning 42, sorry for those I confused, my writing is not always clear), in the picture that is how old the girl in the picture is now. My sweet sister Julene, just had a birthday yesterday. She is amazing. She is the oldest in our family and definitely set the tone in the right direction for all the rest of us nine kids. She is amazing and I will leave it at that of how amazing she really is because the list keeps on growing of amazingness. But here are a few pics to show you.


















She is cool and brave enough to wear jewelry in the pool.






She happily obliged to come as Cinderella to Nora's last birthday party. She even "played" Cinderella the whole time ("Why, yes I live in a castle with the prince," and, "yes, my stepmother was mean to me but I forgave her.").

October 14, 2008

Magic
















I believe that my baby has magical powers. She can easily brighten my mood, melt my heart, make me laugh and then take it all away- like that (snap). She even plays on her ability like a magician plays to the audience. Lately, she hasn't been using her magical powers as much. I'm thinking a bout of illness and cutting teeth are the reasons for this. I'm hoping these reasons are short lived. In the meantime, I'm hoping my mommy magic will do the trick.

October 13, 2008

Pumpkining
















Who said you couldn't grow anything in Vegas? My family and I ventured off to the local orchard here in Vegas this past weekend. It was the first day of cold and although cold (the weather dropped 30 degrees within two days), it finally feels like Fall. I am loving it. We even ate some soup that night and wore socks to sleep. Which reminds me, I still need to put some costumes together for a harvest festival this upcoming weekend (shoot!). No matter what, Halloween always seems to "creep" up on me.













Candid pictures of Aubrey and Nora.

















Nora helping Aubrey pick out her pumpkin




Nora trying to warm up.

October 12, 2008

Fall Deals
























There's actually deals going on all the time over at The Children's Wear Outlet. All of these sets are $16 or cheaper (WOW!). When I have purchased off their site in the past, I end up using the sets as separates for different outfits. For those who have children in uniforms this is also a great place to purchase them.