Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Wedding

Our daughter was married last Saturday. 12-13-14! And it was the most awesome day ever.

When they set the date, she and her fiance decided that they wanted a winter theme, without it being "Christmasy." So we set out to accomplish that. A whole heck of a lot went into it, but it was worth it.

We started with this:

and this:

and my smart hubby worked up this:

From there we purchased 300 yards of white gossamer, 100 yards of gold gossamer, and about one dozen second-hand Christmas trees. Not to mention a giant fan cover, loads of heavy gauge wire, tablecloths, table runners and other various things. We rented black lanterns and borrowed lots of white lights.

And we turned all of that (and more) into this:

After the wedding luncheon, we switched things up a little and added some lights to the center of the canopy, like this:

We were able to pretty much transform the space, and our daughter and son-in-law were really happy with how it turned out. Much thanks to family and friends of both the bride and groom for helping us pull it off! 

Colors: evergreen, blush, gold and cranberry
Centerpieces: wood rounds, evergreen of various types, blush roses, berries and cedar roses
Chair sashes: 1 1/2 yds of gold gossamer

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

DIY Mason Jar Lanterns


So a couple posts back, I mentioned that my oldest daughter is getting married next month. Make that about 2 1/2 weeks from today!

We decided pretty early on that we would do the decorating large part because my hubby is pretty fearless about taking on a challenge, so he decided he could handle rigging up a fabric-draped circular ceiling that Nicole wants for her luncheon and reception. Once we felt like that was doable, it was easy for me to say I could handle the rest of the decorations. The wedding has yet to happen, but so far, so good. Today I am sharing one of the projects I've been doing to try and have a beautiful wedding on a reasonable budget.

The reception will take place in a church building in our neighborhood, so the intent is to transform it as much as possible. That includes dressing up the outside a little bit. Nicole wanted paper luminaries to line the sidewalk, but the more we thought about the possibility of snowy weather, the more I thought it might be good to have something a little sturdier just in case.

Enter the DIY Mason Jar Lanterns, something you have probably seen on Pinterest. They are easy to do and turned out pretty well. Luckily for me, my aunt happens to have five matching shepherd's hooks to hang them from. The hooks will be about 20 inches off the ground, so I decided that pint jars would be the perfect size.

For two pint jars, I mixed a couple tablespoons of the glue with a teaspoon or so of water, and then stirred in the glitter. Gold is one of Nicole's accent colors, but silver would be pretty as well. I learned that you want to go heavy on the glitter in order to have a good coating inside your jar. Once your glitter to glue ratio looks good, add a little more. Lesson number one. :)

Paint the inside of the jar with the glittery glue. I turned the jars upside down on paper for a little while to let the excess drip out, then used my finger to smooth out the drips on the inside of the jar. Once that's done, let the jars dry for several hours. Once the jars are dry, simply take some wire and wrap it around the neck of the jar to form a handle. I used 20-gauge colored copper wire, and it seems plenty able to hold the weight of the jar. A wooden chalkboard tag, with lettering yet to be added, finishes it off.

FYI: Gold battery-operated votives came from Dollar Tree, and all other supplies, including the awesome chalkboard tags {my most favorite recent find!} came from Bennion Crafts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Five-grain Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Hi! I'm guest posting over at Simply Sweet Home today, where you will find the recipe for the yummy muffins above. They make a great Thanksgiving morning breakfast. Click on over and check it out. Thanks to Jerri for featuring my recipe! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Check Your Neck!

Hey friends!

I've been largely neglecting my blog lately. There are lots of reasons for that, but mainly my life is full to the brim with stuff. Mostly good stuff, but some bad too. Which brings me to the title of this post.

Thyroid cancer. Did you know September was thyroid cancer awareness month? I did, and I should have written this then, but it struck real close to home and I didn't get around to it. My oldest daughter, who has made a few appearances on this blog *wink* actually had thyroid cancer surgery that same month. She also is engaged to be married next month. See? mostly good, but we've had to take the bad along with it.

Lots of people have asked me, how did you know she had it? The answer is simple. Other than a lump on the front of her neck, there were no symptoms. No screwy blood levels, no low thyroid, no high thyroid. She didn't feel sick at all. In fact, she ran a marathon last spring! Thanks to a doctor who checked Nicole's neck during a routine physical, felt the lump and sent her for an ultrasound, the cancer was caught and her thyroid removed. Treatment is far from over at this point--getting Nicole's synthetic thyroid hormones regulated correctly is proving to be a long, up and down process--but she is doing as well as anyone could expect. If you look closely in the pic above, you can see her scar, which she has decided that she is proud of. I'm proud of her!

The kicker? Thyroid cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. It's also the #1 cancer in young women under 25. I had no idea on either count, until it struck home.

So peeps. Please Check Your Neck! If you ever feel a lump get it looked at right away. And yes, thyroid cancer may be the "best" cancer to have, but it's still cancer!

See for more on thyroid cancer awareness.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fight The New Drug

I'm back! I sort of gave myself a little and all that. But an important cause brings me back today.

Pornography. It's so not cool.

First off, I wanna say that I don't judge anyone who may be addicted to porn, struggling to overcome it, or even wondering if they have a problem. My own research has taught me that more and more young boys, and even girls, are innocently trapped by it before they have any understanding of what it will do to them. That, to me, is the worst part of it: the stolen innocence. If you're trapped, please think about getting help. There are more and more resources out there for you. If you've gotten help and are working to be free of it, keep it up! It's definitely a fight worth fighting and winning. 

IMO, the harm porn does to those who use it, their families, loved ones and society as a whole, isn't talked about enough. If you're like I was, you know it's a problem somewhere, but you might think it doesn't affect you. Well, I'm here to say that, sadly, it probably does. It's widespread in society and it's dangerous.

Why? Because porn is The New Drug. I know there are people out there who think porn is harmless or not addictive, but it's crazy far from either of those. Numerous studies have been done that prove the dangerous effects and addictive nature of pornography. It literally can change your brain just like cocaine, heroin, or any other dangerous drug.

Please check out Fight The New Drug for more. The guys who started the cause are dedicated to showing the world why porn is harmful. The more people--of all ages--who take a stand and join the fight against the new drug, the better. 

Get the facts:
Get help:

Friday, May 9, 2014

I'm a Mom.

Photo credit: Erin & Nathan Barney
In two days, it's Mother's Day. And I'm blessed enough to be a mom to these crazy, fun kids.

In no way am I the "perfect" Mom. {Is there even such a thing?} In fact, while I enjoy Mother's Day most years, I've had a few that weren't so enjoyable, just because I happened to have a bad day and feel woefully inadequate! I'm sure I'm not the only one....but most of the time, I just try to be grateful for the amazing people my kids are....not because I made them that way, but because we have a Father in Heaven who sent them this way!

All mothers know one thing for sure--it is soooooooo hard to be a mom. I'm finding that it can get tougher as they get older. But the good news is, it's also rewarding. Mostly because these guys are all so amazing! Two of them are adults and are doing great things and it's fun to watch. The other four are on their way, and I realize that before I know it, they'll be adults too. And that right there is the hardest part--letting them go and be their own people--and hope they will come back and visit often. And {ultimately} bring grandchildren with them! :)

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Women in Our Lives

This video came out a few years back, but it's definitely worth watching again. This Sunday, celebrate all the women in our lives who help us be better than we are! For me that means mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, friends, neighbors....

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hot Cheesy Chicken Hoagie

This stuff is yummy, and all my kids love it! {You know if a recipe is liked by all the kids in a family, it's a definite winner!}

The recipe is originally from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, and adapted a little by me. I felt like the chicken mixture was not quite enough, so I increased it to cover the french bread better. I also think it's even better after a couple minutes under the broiler. It's an easy weeknight meal the whole family can enjoy.

Hot Cheesy Chicken Hoagie

1 loaf french bread, cut in half lengthwise
3 large cans of chicken breast
2/3 c. mayo
2/3 c. reduced fat sour cream
3/4 t. garlic salt
2 T. dried parsley
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the french bread halves on a large baking sheet. Mix remaining ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over the top of the french bread halves. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Turn the broiler to low and broil 2-3 minutes, or until browned on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and fresh ground pepper. Slice and serve.

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's Official!

Last December, Nicole finished all the requirements for her degree in Human Movement Science/Exercise Science.

Saturday, she officially graduated from Utah State University! It was an awesome day for us. I particularly enjoyed all the ceremonies because I missed my own college graduation....I was prego with our second child and confined to 90% bed rest. Doctor said I'd be on my feet too much if I went to it was out.

Anyway, I lived vicariously through Nicole and it was great!! We are SO proud of her for working hard and sticking with her goals! You ROCK, Nicole!! WE LOVE YOU!!