Wednesday, June 29, 2011

how to talk to girls...

Jes on amountainbride just posted an article that I thought I should share with you too. I loved reading it (twice). Its a wonderful article about how to talk to little girls... the way in which their minds will be approached and appraised instead of their beauty. I think this applies to both little boys and girls.... all kids.. but how often do you see the cutest little kid and your first comment is how adorable/cute they are? Instead why not get down to their level, and ask them if they like to read?! The world is already pressuring our little kids to focus on looks, their body, and hot-ness.... so why not be a good role model and show them that what you noticed first in them is the capabilities of their mind?! What a fun idea... I love it, even though it sounds challenging. The article is by Lisa Bloom... who apparently is an author of a book pictured above that I will be purchasing soon. So I would encourage you to check out the article...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

gender reveal parties...

Perhaps you all have heard of this, but I just stumbled upon this fantastic idea on some blogs. A gener reveal party...for when you find out the sex of your babe around 20 weeks...your friends guess the sex of the babe, come to the party then they find out in a super fun way, and celebrate.

 Like these folks on Jack and Izzy blog...just utterly adorable.

...all of the decorations were gender neutral, and each one of their guests dressed in the color of their guess- blue or pink, then they bit into one of these cupcakes to find a blue colored gumball for the boy they were expecting. Go check it out... fun or what?!

[or this party]

[or this tasty idea, to put my beloved cake balls, colored in the inside of a cookie]

I know I will want to know the sex of our some-day-babe, so this party would be perfect. Did you all do something like this?! How did you tell your family/friends if you were expecting a boy/girl?! Perhaps, I just like the idea of planning parties.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

gas vs. charcoal

The big debate in our house this past couple of weeks has been gas vs. charcoal. I know, summertime is rough for us. I grew up with charcoal...matt grew up with gas. It all started when our (actually matt's parent's) old gas grill died. We've been using it, and loving it...for they gave it to us when we made our big move from colorado to oregon. But in light of its death...we needed a new one. As far as budget goes- that's a no-brainer...charcoal grills are loads cheaper. But you do have to purchase briquettes. However, for some reason I really dislike trading in gas tanks...and that does cost money. So we researched and discussed the pros and cons of both. I like the real BBQ, smokey true flavor that charcoals give...I love the smokiness in the air, I love how you can smell a BBQ a whole neighborhood away. It just feels great (...despite the carcinogens I try not to think about). Its an experience. Gas's easy, it's quick, and it's great for cooking many items...all at once, with a variety of temperatures.
Matt is the cook in our house, he is far better at making all things taste good, so he was the one who had the most say in the matter. After one afternoon searching for BBQ books for my dad's father's day present at barnes and noble (we ended up with weber's time to grill, and weber's real grilling for us...FYI). The books emphasized charcoal over gas, then matt agreed we could give it a chance.

 I started searching for cute charcoal grills... I found this incredible one. Its ceramic! And kind of looks like a big pickle or toad. Yeah, its about $850. No wonder I liked it.

Instead, we decided on the ol' circular weber grill...nothing fancy... and matt LOVES it. I mean really loves it. He was so happy basking in the smoke-filled backyard. I think he just felt like a man...doin' his manly thing. Just like I think he feels when he makes a campfire out in the woods. Then we tasted the barbecued half-chickens...phenomenal. We hadn't had this great of food since the big cook-out at our wedding hosted by our dads and lots of briquettes. So, we are officially a charcoal family.

the first night...

second night...

We didn't want to waste the hot briquettes...such a shame to waste all of that heat. So, I made a cobbler! Strawberry and rhubarb from our neighbor's yard. It was amazing. Just a cast iron skillet- and using the indirect heat from the coals piled on one side- just perfectly easy. I will be making dessert each time we cook outside now. Nice excuse right?!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Matt and I are going to colorado for a family reunion. We are stoked. To be totally honest...I was actually hoping to have a little baby bump by the time this reunion came along...but I guess I will be drinking beer along with the rest of them. Anyways, Matt will be driving out a little early and then I will follow (by plane...yay!). For the trip its better for gas mileage for him to take my car instead of his truck. Which means only one thing....I need to drive his truck while he takes my car. Its a stick. I don't drive stick. So.... this week I learned how!! I feel like I'm 15 again. Super nervous...super hard to learn. But actually a little less herky-jerky than I thought I would be.
Once I tried to drive stick, dad, remember that wretched night. We (mind you...we are a pretty tall family) all crammed into a little VW beetle one night when my car was getting fixed...this was a rental. I thought it would be fun to learn how to drive stick...on a car that's not mine. Well we went to a parking lot and let me tell you... it was hell. I think it all ended with me throwing the keys at my dad...yelling/crying...and him driving us home. It was bad, so this is my memory of driving stick shift about 11 years ago. after alot of anticipation, Matt explaining to me over and over and over what a clutch is and what the sequence is of using such an awful invention....we took to the parking lot at 1am, because we just couldn't sleep with all the nerves (well, mainly my nerves). It went ok. Sure kind of jolty a good 80% of the time...and definitely some stall outs....and yes some, "oh shits" oh shit how did I get into 5th gear, I wanted 3rd!!?! Or....oh shit here comes a car!! I have some practicing to do. But I did it! And I was more successful than I or Matt thought I would be. It will work. So we are doing some "dry runs" to my work with Matt in the truck so that I feel more confident. But man, I feel like a loser not knowing how to drive a stick shift. Our kids will be learning this, along with how to drive an automatic. And 1 of the 2 vehicles we own is a manual transmission...I need to know how to drive it. So...yay, I'm learning something so incredibly basic yet o-so difficult.

Friday, June 17, 2011

the quilt.

...our wedding napkins...

I love amy butler fabric....especially the turquoise and green prints she has. It was actually the whole inspiration for our wedding. I had chosen about 10 different amy butler fabrics I liked then made coordinating but different fabric napkins for our wedding, also amy butler fabric on our wedding invitations (seen here & here). I loved this fabric. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it afterwards...but my mother in law promptly snatched it all up after the wedding and told me that she was going to sew us a quilt...a double wedding ring pattern quilt. Seriously?! (This is the same mother in law who sewed my wedding dress). So that was a year ago (obviously) and she has been sending us little teaser photos of the quilt in-progress this whole year. It took her 8 months of solid quilting, but this anniversary matt's parents happened to be driving through Idaho and stopped in to give us this wonderful quilt for our anniversary present. It is a queen sized quilt with two matching shams. The back fabric is by far my favorite amy butler print that she ordered a bunch of. And what I didn't know is some of my wedding dress fabric- the swiss dot- she incorporated it into the shams. I love it. We love it. But I am too scared to put it on our bed. Our dogs- especially Colby the yellow lab- occasionally jump into our bed to sleep with us. We know we need to put an end to this- but they are so snugly when they are tired in our bed. Anyways...we will be loving this quilt as our bed quilt for many years to come. Its the most ideal quilt for me...not to mention how many wedding memories are incorporated in it. I asked my mother in law if she was done making quilts for us...that even when we have little babes that we already got our one huge quilt. She said no... she will of course make babe quilts, and there may even be one in the making already. Yay!

 ...see the swiss dot fabric?!...

... the shams... favorite fabric for the backing...

Right now the quilt is our guest bedroom (futon)/entertainment room/matt's office where the dogs are not allowed. 

...matt's dreamcatcher that I don't care for, but it gets a home in his office to make him happy... is matt's office area... is our little entertainment stand...with our archaic TV that does not have television but rather for netflix dvds...made out of the shelves that were once in my classroom built by my dad and I when I was a teacher...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

our camping anniversary

 [ at our wedding location...where our families stayed ]
[ at our wedding...tent city ]

So a year ago...for our wedding week matt and I chose to camp in our tent. Some of our friends also chose to camp...see the tent city picture above. Our families and bridal party were all able to sleep in cabins and the lodge...and we could have too. But we love camping. Plus why wouldn't we want a little space of our own in the woods for our wedding?! So for our anniversary when trying to plan for what to do to celebrate we wanted to go camping. And we did. And it was glorious.

[ the north fork of the river on the drive in ]

We went up the north fork of the boise river exploring new territory for us, with our 3 goonies (dogs) and chose a nice quaint spot along the river. We played disc golf, had a sweet little bluff to have our wine overlooking the river, and even a perfect campfire. We woke up to rain....which was super relaxing. And thank goodness for our stint living in portland...we know all about camping in LOTS of rain. We reminisced about our wedding last year, what we plan to accomplish in year two of being married, and just how good life really is. It was a perfect anniversary.

[our camping spot, not too shabby right?!]

[the three goonies]

 [matt setting up the disc golf basket]
 [matt's throw]
[ my might be able to see the little basket off in the distance. For the "course" matt set up, this was our "tee box".]
[matt and the goonies looking for his disc that he threw (lost) in the woods. If you want to know...mine was rather close to the basket, which was pure luck.]

[ two sweet dogs, sharing some warmth while I was enjoying some wine and the boise weekly]

[one year!! our little family]
On a side note...for all of these pictures of our recent camping trip I chose to take my little cannon digital camera. I was scared to take my DSLR camera. But gosh, I can really tell the picture quality difference and I wish these memories were captured with my DSLR. Do you all take your DSLR everywhere you go?! even dirty/wet camping?! Quite a dilemma.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

june 12th...

{our wedding day one year ago today}
Happy one year anniversary...babe. Our life is amazing. Thank you to everyone who made it special...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

summer to-do list.

We've been doing some odds and ends around the house and the yard to get ready for summer. Here are the updates on our to-do list...

:: DONE ::
-hang string lights

- plant all of our veggies and plants

-put a cage around the vegetable garden. Turns out when we thought it was o-so cute for our dogs to lay in the vegetable garden beds during the winter time, when they were empty... not so cute any more. We had to cage the vegetables, because they kept on getting in there to walk and lay down! I suppose we asked for it. We have to be consistent with our parenting.

-new lighting fixtures inside
[before: in the living room an eye sore of a! seriously?! not my style]
[after: ooolala...nice modern ikea lamp $29 (yeah...I know the lighting in the pictures taken are hard to even compare) super ambient white glow now instead of always looking up at raw bulbs. And it looks like a full moon hanging in our living makes me happy]

[before: in the little laundry/walkway to the backyard, rinky-dink light fixture that was always off-kilter]
 [after: nice old fashioned light fixture with energy efficient bulb...a whopping $8]

 [before: in our kitchen the track lighting, it would physically get HOT after only a few minutes on. Once we took them down we saw that the bulbs are flood lights. ha! I feel bad for all of the energy we consumed in this 6' square kitchen]
[after: energy efficient small track lighting. super bright still- even better ambient light while being nicer to our planet Earth]

-re-situate the patio again

-listen to music outdoors (ok, this wasn't on our to-do list, but it makes for some great mood-setting) Thanks to this little altec speaker, which was cheap ($23!)... we have great sound outdoors.

-bring the wisteria back to life
 [wisteria we managed to kill with sad.]
[so distraught that we killed our star-wisteria plant, we promptly replaced it with a larger with cute curly vines, and orange berries in the fall!]
[wisteria...after it pulled through, even though it was downgraded in our yard to the ugly white pot. yay!]

-make patio table with chairs (post about it here)

[...and matt popping up in my pictures, like a yard gnome...happy that the yard feels almost done!]

:: TO DO ::
-plant new sod....only 1/2 of the yard...we are kind of dragging our feet on this one for some reason. And its only like 400 square feet.
 [splotchy bad-half of yard]
 [progressing from bad-half to good-half]
[good-half of yard, minus the dog trail we need to sod-in also, oh sweet dogs]

-finish the other side of our front garden bed.
[finished left side, mulch-i-fied of course]
[to be finished right side, gosh that looks daunting]

-get my bike rack basket/wood box mounted on my bike.

-and now that everything is getting wrapped up the only thing left to do is...go camping!! Like...on our one year anniversary this weekend! Crazy how time flies.