Thursday, April 24, 2014


laurann and i have been talking about planning a tanning trip for a few months but never actually made a plan. we decided at the last minute to take advantage of the tail end of my spring break and go to las vegas for the get a tan. seriously, our main goal was to get a tan. we stayed at southpoint spa and casino and really liked it. the pool was nice, and we spent the majority of the time out there.

after sitting in the car driving all day and sitting at the pool (and maybe eating some treats), we needed a little exercise. we put on our gym shoes (and aged ourselves at least 10 years) and went to the strip. we parked a few hotels away and walked. feel free to laugh at us because we totally laughed at ourselves, but we did feel a lot less lazy after getting a little exercise.
beautiful blooms at the bellagio
my sandwich was so huge i couldn't even open my mouth big enough to eat it.
highly recommend the s'mores cheesecake at cheesecake factory. hence the need for the walking shoes.
dinner on the way back home. i might be the last person on the planet to try this stuff. i basically died. it is so amazing. i tried the coconut the week after, and it was amazing! if i'm not the last person on the planet to try it, you HAVE to try it. you'll thank me later.

the worst part of the trip was about 10 minutes out of las vegas. we hit terrible traffic. we drove 12 miles in 2 hours. luckily there were 2 of us to entertain each other. once we got outside out of that, the rest of the drive home wasn't too bad.
the weather was beautiful, and the weekend was so much fun. #operationgetatan will definitely be happening again.


gifts for girls...draw my doll

when my sister had her first baby, i bought her so many toys. my sister had a couple more kids, and their house is so full of toys. they all have summer birthdays so between holidays and birthdays, those kids have a lot of stuff. since they are the only kids in the family, they are pretty spoiled. my other sister buys them super cute clothes so i usually leave the clothes shopping to her. their birthdays are all coming up pretty soon, and i'm already starting to think about presents. my motto is usually the bigger the better instead of less is more, but in this case i think my sister might appreciate the less is more theory.

i found out about the draw my doll app, and it seems like the perfect gift for a young girl. it's so simple too.
1. download the app here
2. draw a doll
3. upload
4. they sew the doll and send it in the mail
5. voila perfect gift

i recently had the opportunity to review the app. my 5 year old niece, karlee, drew this cute doll. it was really easy with good color options.
the doll looks pretty identical to the one she drew
photo credit-draw my doll
karlee loves getting packages, and she was pretty excited to get her doll in the mail.

if you're looking for a fun gift idea for a little girl, draw my doll is a really fun idea. the process is really smooth, and the turnaround time is pretty fast. make sure to take a picture of the doll you draw so your little one can remember exactly what she drew.
does anyone have any good ideas for boys? i have 2 nephews to buy for too.

***disclaimer-i received this doll as compensation for this post. all opinions expressed are my own

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

easter recap

since i knew i was leaving town on tuesday, i didn't really plan much for easter. since i live far away from family, i figured it would be like any other sunday. i did make these cute these take homes for the little tykes at church. thank you pinterest.
one of my favorite families, the larsens, invited me over for dinner. i always enjoy time with them. they are the most welcoming and generous people i know. i was entirely unprepared for the fun we had.

imagine standing around talking waiting for the last person to arrive for dinner, and all of a sudden you see this out the window.
the easter bunny showed up at easter dinner. cute little lincoln wasn't sure what to think about the bunny, but mostly he liked it.
the larsens got easter candy for the orphan adopted extended family children
after dinner we went around the neighborhood with the easter bunny for some visits. the reactions were priceless. i really haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
after the neighbor visits, we came back in for the most delicious dessert
thanks so much to the larsens and the easter bunny for helping me actually celebrate this year.

along with the fun day, i took advantage of the #becauseofhim challenge. each day the week leading up to easter there was a prompt helping me to acknowledge Jesus more in my life. the week was super crazy, and the timing of the photo challenge was perfect. search the hashtag on social media if you need a little mood booster.

how was your easter? did you spend it with family/friends/the easter bunny?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

spring has least for now

i'm hopping on a plane in a few hours. i'm headed to missouri to spend a couple of days with my family (and meet bloggy friend carrie) before going to nashville to run the marathon. even though this is marathon #8 for me, i'm still freaking out. please bless i survive.

speaking of bloggy friends, i'm so happy to have rachael taking over again so i can travel worry free.

Hey there! 

It's Rachael again from LUMUHAND. If you missed the first time I dropped anchor here at Aubrey's blog while she was away, you can check out my first introduction and what happiness looks like here.

If you don't have time for that, here's the jist: I'm a one-foot-in-the-door-of-30; high school English teacher, who was a former professional wedding/event planner in San Diego; Starbucks addict; DIYer; Rosacea sufferer, fur-baby mama and new blogger circa's that. 

Now that the intro is out of the way, let's get down to business. 

Springtime = time for spring cleaning or dehoardingcluttering. Just like the extra pounds our bodies seem to latch onto during certain seasons, so too is the amount of stuff that accumulates in our lives, whether it be at home, in the car, or in the confines of our oversized purses.

As I work towards Domestic Goddess status (You can periodically read about my progress, or sadly, lack there of on my blog...) here are a few tips I'd like to share that I've learned along to way, that perhaps may be able to increase your productivity and/or help your organized life bloom.  

1. Turn off the TV. You know you'll get sucked into that Lifetime Movie Marathon. You have good intentions to just use the TV as "background noise" which evolves to I'll-power-clean-on-the-commercial-breaks which eventually leads to the movie credits, the passing of several hours and a bewildered

2. Don't tackle multiple projects at once. The small piles end up taking over, leaving you overwhelmed and approaching hoarder status. (Disclaimer: One of my family members was a hoarder, like could have been on the show...was court-ordered not-to-live-in-their-home-until-the-place-was-taken-care-of hoarder...I understand severe hoarding can be caused from a mental illness. I am not making them of them in anyway, please no snarkiness commenting on my lack of insensitivity...)

3. Make lists of what you'd like to accomplish (I should have added list-maker to my description of myself.. I make lists for EVERYTHING) By making smaller goals can make any major task seem far less daunting.. You can tackle the clutter and the end result will give you a sigh of relief... Ever notice how the chaos of your segment of your life can translate into others? Stop the stress of a cluttered home in no time with a plan of attack.

4. Turn on some music (I prefer some throwback guilty pleasure tunes... i.e. N'SYNC, Britney Spears, BSB) and jam out while your getting shiz done. Go ahead and light a deliciously scented candle, rock a sparkly headband or pretty head scarf and commit to being productive. You can do this..

Don't dread Spring "Cleaning", instead embrace this time to make a few lists of areas in your life that you'd like to declutter. You'll love the peace that comes with organization and if you're anything me, you'll feel like you're a step further from hot mess territory and a step closer to Domestic Goddess.

What will you tackle first on your To-Do list?

speaking of spring, did you enter the cash giveaway? use the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 21, 2014

spring 30x30...days 13-18

april is over halfway over which means i only have a few more days of wearing blue. besides helping to spread awareness about autism, i like doing this challenge because it reminds me every single day that autism is an everyday thing. it doesn't magically disappear and go away. with a lot of hard work, it often gets better. autism is a complex and complicated disorder. treatments are often likewise complex, complicated, and expensive. 

image via autism speaks

now for my outfits and a surprise at the end

day home from vegas trip comfortable clothes
target boyfriend cardi, target v (that has blue stripes i promise), gap jeans, target flip flops
 day 14...autism awareness day at work. instead of all wearing blue like past years, each program had a color from the autism ribbon. we had yellow. unfortunately, most people didn't remember after spring break.
target boyfriend cardi, target scarf, old navy top, gap jeans, target flats
 my new alex and ani autism puzzle piece bracelet
 day 15...i needed to be in a dress after work but also had to sit on the floor all day. leggings are perfect.
old jacket, gap dress, forever 21 leggings
 day 16...i normally wouldn't put this outift together which is why i really love clothing challenges. it really helps me shop my closet. cardi, gap t shirt. gap jeans, target sandals

 day 17... i take a lot of my pictures at work. it's just easier that way. i had a random person at work take the picture and didn't even look at it. obviously the lighting is pretty bad, and it's not quite full body. oh well right?!?
walmart bella bird cardi, forever 21 top, jcpenney jeggings, toms flats
most of my other 30x30 challenges have included a lot of bella bird. this one doesn't for some reason.
 day 18
gap cardi, bella bird top, gap jeans, target sandals

i obviously really love gap and target this week. go check out what everyone else is wearing and the surprise below.

it finally decided to be warm in utah the past couple of days. i know it's not here to stay, but i'm really enjoying it. to celebrate the sudden burst of sun,  we are doing a big cash giveaway!  I am teaming up with 10 other bloggers for a Spring Giveaway where you can win $105 cash money!

Here are all the amazing bloggers hosting this giveaway!

Aubrey of Dreaming About Someday // Lena of Root & Blossom // Jennifer of Mommy Life After Ph.D.
Ema of Our Love in Bloom // Fel of Fels Photos // Michelle of Our Three Peas
What an amazing group of bloggers!  There are many ways to enter and no mandatory entries!  Do as many or as few entries as you want!  Do them all to maximize your entry potential!  And don't forget to tweet about the giveaway for an extra entry every day!

Enter via rafflecopter below and good luck!  Happy Spring everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 18, 2014

be the change

"be the change you wish to see"

yesterday's prompt for the #becauseofhim photo challenge on instagram and other social media was
because of him i can be a better me.

i love the quote/motto of the shine project. things aren't really going to change unless we do something to change them. until i take some actions, make some changes, and become a better me, things really aren't going to change.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

change of plans

some bloggers like to schedule posts days or weeks in advance. i most often post one day at a time. there are some definite pros and cons to each method. i had a different post planned for today. i made the most delicious easter treats a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to share them with you. i planned to post that today, BUT last night i sliced my finger with a knife...again. i don't know what my problem is. minus my hip surgery, i've made it 34 years (yes 34. i know. you would never have guessed, but it's true) knock on wood without stitches, but my luck might be running out. since the first of the year, i think i have cut my finger with a knife at least 4 times. last night was pretty bad. i got nervous enough to google "how to know when you need stitches". turns out the internet is pretty informative. the first 2 sites were webMD and wikipedia. after reading both, i decided i could hold out until the morning. the real question is how do i prevent cutting myself in the first place?!? HELP!!!

have you entered the cash+lipstick giveaway

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

blogger roundtable

                                me, Danica, Eliesa, BonnieKimTayler
                                photo credit bonnie

last week bonnie hosted another grow your blog roundtable. the thing about bloggers is we can sit around and talk about blogging forever and ever. instead of a particular theme this month, it was open to questions. we discussed photos and sponsorship and different readers, and why we blog. the night went far too quickly, and i  am certain we could have talked for several more hours. it's always so much fun to get together with other bloggers and talk about all things blog. my particular questions were...

what keeps you coming back to a blog?
if you are a blogger and sponsor blogs, what do you look for in a sponsorship?
what's an ideal price to pay for sponsorship?

if you have any input, i would love to hear it.

speaking of bonnie, a few of us are giving away some cash.
super easy to enter with rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

spring 30x30...days 7-12

it's already time for week 2 of spring 30x30 or in my case bluex30. blue isn't really my favorite color so it always surprises me how much blue i actually have in my closet. before we get to what i wore for the week, here's the autism info for the week.
  • Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism
autism speaks

and now for my clothes...
day boyfriend cardi, random top, gap jeans
 day 8...h&m cardi, shine project shirt, gap jeans, target sandals

 day cardi, old navy top that really is blue i promise, gap boyfriend jeans, target sandals

 day cardi, old navy v neck, modbe skirt, ross wedges
i was home on spring break with no one to take my picture. i have a tripod and a remote, but it's such a hassle to use. i set my camera up in a glass and got mostly blooper shots. the remote is impossible.
 day 11...old navy hoodie, target v neck, gap jeans, target flip flops
my friend laurann and i decided to take a last minute trip to las vegas to get a tan. we spent most of day 11 in the car.

day 12...old navy top, gap boyfriend jeans, target flip flops

go check out what my other 30x30 people wore this week.