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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

blue polish swap

i've been waiting for months to set up the blue polish swap for autism awareness. the swap was a total success. an even number of people signed up, and everyone seems really happy with their polishes. i was so excited to get my blue package in the mail from ann. she even packaged everything in blue with a blue card.

i totally got hooked up. love these fun blue polishes. i have seen so many cute nail designs, and i can't wait to combine these fun blues with other springy colors. i especially can't wait to try the texture polish.

spending the month of april wearing blue everyday, doing the polish swap, and generally being more aware of autism makes me feel like autism awareness month was a success.

have you ever tried the texture polish? or any other fun polish like magnetic?


wear it wednesday...accessories

with all the 30x30 posts this month, i haven't done a wear it wednesday for a while. since i've been taking and posting pictures of my blue outfits i haven't had any new outfits or pictures to post...until now. i LOVE accessories. they totally make the outfit. when i take pictures with bonnie, she is really good at making sure to get a few of the accessories too.

i obviously love scarves and bracelets and watches, but really i love it all. most of the time i buy disposable jewelry meaning it's a pretty inexpensive. i wear it until it isn't nice anymore, and then i get rid of it. i like to have trendy and current pieces without paying high prices. sometimes it is worth it to invest a little more money for nicer things that will last a little longer such as a watch, basic classy earrings, bridal sets, and other classic pieces.
speaking of bridal sets, people think i'm crazy, but i don't necessarily want a real diamond. i don't want a completely disposable ring, but i'm pretty sure i'll want something new later on down the road. it seems like it might be a little easier to convince justify a new ring if it isn't real. lately i've really been loving bands rather than a solitaire. has a great selection of beautiful fully customizable bands and other jewels...not that i need it anytime soon.
do you love accessories as much as i do? do you think i'm crazy for wanting a fake ring?
***this post was sponsored by anjolee. all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

extraordinary normal moments...toast with cheese

i can't even believe april is almost over. i'm almost done wearing blue, and i'm almost done talking about autism with every outfit post. i wish that meant autism was ending, but it doesn't. autism is everywhere, and the rate of incidence is growing like crazy. throughout this month i've shared a lot of facts about autism, but today i am so excited to bring you a personal story.
 i had the privilege of working with luke and his family when he was in early intervention. talking to families about autism is one of my least favorite parts of my job. no one ever wants to hear that their child is showing signs of autism, but i feel very professionally responsible to share that information.  to learn a little more about luke and his story, check out toast with cheese .
luke's mom, keisha, generously offered to give us a glimpse into everyday life with autism.

I found this entry from my personal blog from last summer. I have what I call “extraordinary normal moments” in my life where I feel almost every other mom wouldn’t blink an eye to what their child is doing at that moment, but if you have a child with special needs- even a moment where your child can handle himself in a group with other kids is worth a huge celebration.
I think that is one of the secret benefits hidden within special needs, you start to celebrate every little victory…every little triumph… because they are huge to you! You celebrate that power wheel car ride like it was a high school graduation.
Luke enjoying a ride with his friends and their dad last summer.
   8/9/2013 Earlier this week, we were hanging out in the Rick's front yard, a normal activity, and something magical happened. But you see, no one else would have known it was magical, probably not even Darren at the time. Let me set this up... The boys were doing their normal thing. Riding bikes, kicking soccer balls to the dads, and just running around to get the wiggles out before bed. All of the sudden more neighbor kids joined. And one of them had a power wheel... As I was casually talking to the moms, I quickly became enthralled with all the kids surrounding this barbie power wheel. I was nervous. Darren was playing street tennis with Sean and the moms kept chatting, but my eyes were glued on Luke. How would he handle this social situation? Would I need to go over and help him self regulate when he didn't get to drive or ride in the car every second? Would another kid become annoyed with him? All these thoughts and more running through my head. But what happened next was magical. I watched my Luke light up with excitement every time someone got a turn. He was calm, cool, and collected. He was a member of the "neighborhood gang" and I wanted to do a happy dance right then. Ahhh, this ordinary moment of being in a neighborhood surrounded by lots of people, and we were a "normal" family for that moment. Autism wasn't controlling what we were doing. Luke was in control!! Luke was happy. I was happy. This little boy who struggled with anyone a year ago, now welcomes more to the crowd and loves seeing people happy. This night was a moment where I felt like I got a little pat on the shoulder that said "Keisha, everything is more than ok, its great!"

big thanks to keisha for giving us a little glimpse into life with autism. i totally agree with keisha. those extraordinary normal moments mean the world and give us all a reason to keep moving forward. i feel so lucky to be a small part of helping kids like luke have more extraordinary normal moments.

***all information about luke and his family are shared with permission

Monday, April 28, 2014

spring 30x30...days 19-24

usually by the time this weeks comes in 30x30, it's getting a little harder to come up with outfits. since i didn't pick 30 pieces this time, it is a little easier. i am going to be excited to wear something other than blue once april is over.
autism is such an interesting disorder. diagnosing is done through developmental and psychological testing. there is no blood test or other medical test to diagnose autism although medical providers are qualified to give a diagnosis. concerns with autism are often addressed through a mental health professional. there are a few screeners that can completed by parents or other professionals. the M-CHAT is one of those screeners. more info can be found here.

day 19...i met up with a few girls for major blog talk. we failed at taking pictures, but i did have amberly take my outfit picture. her dog tried to sneak in also.
gap cardi, target v, gap boyfriend jeans, jessica simpson wedges
i see a lot of boyfriend jeans and natually thought i had to have some when gap outlet sold them for less than $20. i don't know that i love them. the fit is really weird.
huge shout out to mint arrow for posting about the jessica simpson shoes.

day 20...easter sunday
nordstrom cardi, banana republic top, walmart bella bird skirt, toms wedges
day 21
target boyfriend cardi, target boyfriend cardi, forever 21 leggings, target sandals
 day to St. Louis all day
target boyfriend cardi. target V, gap skinnies, target sandals
 day 23...started the day with mom at the temple and then met curly crafty mom for lunch. so fun to finally meet in real life. 
shade cardi, target cardi, walmart skirt, ross shoes
 day day in st. louis
gap cardi, old navy top, gap boyfriend jeans, jessica simpson wedges

meeting carrie in real life was definitely the major highlight of the week.

Friday, April 25, 2014

spring run

tomorrow is race day! i can't believe the nashville marathon is finally here. ever since robyn moved to nashville, we have been talking about running the marathon, and now we are finally doing it. i'm equal parts excited and scared...or more like mostly scared.
i did my last long run last saturday. it was the most beautiful spring day. the planned run included running near the course for the salt lake marathon. we ended up taking a few detours including running the the university of utah campus (complete with fun college stories) and actually running on the marathon route in the opposite direction. 

we met the cutest girl on the way to the car. she was so excited to show her medal.
we ran into our friends sharon and diana along the way. 
we ended the run dowtown and enjoyed the amazing spring flowers. 

it was the perfect final long run before the marathon. seeing all the marathon runners got me excited (and definitely scared). can't believe the race is tomorrow!

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?