beautiful things

Merry Christmas!

10:44:00 AM

Christmas Berries
Dec 18, 2011

I'm anticipating tomorrow. Now that Jack gets it, I'm giddy like a child again! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

I'm so grateful for my Savior and for his wonderful life and sacrifice for me. What joy I feel when I think what his life and sacrifice bring to me. View the story of his birth here.

beautiful things

beautiful things frosted morning

11:02:00 AM

Last Sunday we woke up to a frosted world. It was so beautiful. We had to hurry to church, but luckily it was cold enough that the frost stayed into the afternoon.

Frosted Pine
Dec 18, 2011

Frosted Bush
Dec 18, 2011 

 Frosted Leaf
Dec 18, 2011 

I've realized that putting a picture into black and white seems to bring out the flaws in the photo (I wish the whole leaf was in focus). I'm learning.
Now for some incredibly awesome news: we are closing on a house tomorrow!!!!! Yes, I finally said it. I didn't think I ever would.

One other thing I would like to take note of. The best thing that happened to me today so far is that Rosie has been grabbing my hand and pushing her little face into it. Sounds weird/funny and I would note this, but I realized how small her little face is, and thought I wanted to remember her little slobbery self because I know I'm going to miss it. She's at the cutest stage right now.

I guess I might as well include a picture of her. She's eating blackberries.


we grew up in the 40's

10:09:00 PM

My sister Kat had the most awesome idea that I wish I would have come up with. (That happens a lot). She made a wall of her favorite movie stars from our family's favorite eras. The glamor-girls and the heart-throbs. :) Seriously awesome.

From top to bottom, left to right (I could do it in order of awesomeness too, but I'll just mark it with an astrix.):
1.Fred Astaire  2. Myra Loy*  3. Joel McCrae  4. Ingrid Bergman  5. Clark Gable  6. Carol Lombard
7. Ginger Rogers*  8. William Powell*  9. Irene Dunne  10. Rock Hudson  11. Claudette Colbert  12. Howard Keel (Seven Brides)
13. Spencer Tracy  14. Grace Kelly  15. Cary Grant*  16. Audrey Hepburn  17. Gary Cooper* 18. Joan Fontaine
19. Lucille Ball  20. Bing Crosby  21. Jean Arthur  22. Jimmy Stewart  23. Judy Garland  24. Dennis Morgan

A little history:

If you know me and my family, you would know I went into shock and learning mode when I went to college. I was suddenly introduced to common TV shows, music and movies from what has been in everyone else's childhood. My sisters and I grew up watching movies from the 30's, 40's and 50's almost exclusively. We listened to music from the 30's, 40's and 50's almost exclusively as well. I had never heard of PeeWee Herman, Orlando Bloom, Mel Gibson, Jimmy Eat World (most common pop-culture icons).

My younger siblings have not been so sheltered from modern culture. They, as well as I, know who Justin Beiber is. However, the movies and music of those times are still prevalent. I mean, my younger brothers found complete entertainment in watching the Eddie Cantour (see here) series last summer (they are 9 and 12).

I could go on and on, but I'm afraid it will bore you.


alphabet and rainbow pillow

4:07:00 PM

A while back, I saw the cutest little pillow on Etsy (sorry, I don't have the link) with a stitched-on felt alphabet. "How cute!" I thought. I had been gathering ideas for Jack and Rose's shared room, and this was just perfect. My current plan for their room includes most of the colors of the rainbow, so I decided that the back of the pillow must have the rainbow-- educational and fun. It took many hours to do the applique of the letters, but luckily, I was in the car with nothing else to do.

dress up

Strawberry costume

5:21:00 PM

Here are a few better pictures of Rose's costume. She was the cutest strawberry I ever did see... Even if I do say so myself.

Strawberry Blossom How-To:

The blossom was made with five large white circles and five small yellow circles of felt. I basted the white circles together at the top of each circle and pulled them together tight to create flower. I made the yellow balls by basting all around the circle. I pulled a little on the thread, filled it with stuffing, and pulled it tight. I added a little sparkle tulle, swirly vines and leaves, and it was done.

dress up

Halloween 2011

5:10:00 PM

We had a great Halloween this year... filled with more candy than ever it feels. We didn't go with a family theme this year Jack and Rob already had their costumes in mind. Jack wanted to be Diego and Rob wanted to be a mad-scientist. Rose went as a strawberry and I did not know until Halloween morning that I'd be whipped cream (strawberries and whipped cream or strawberry shortcake). While we had a great day, we didn't get much in the photo department so here's what we do have:

Jack's costume was easy, the only real things he needed was a badge and a watch. I drew the little badge on illustrator and printed it on iron on transfer paper. Transferred the image to some scrap cotton and backed it with felt. I did the same for the watch.

Rose had a cute red polka dot jumper so we just added a fleece collar and blossom bow. I wore cream clothes with a dollop hat. For the hat, I rolled a piece of cream fleece up, twisted it into a swirl and tacked it in place.

We didn't get a picture of Rob as he was the photographer. Just know that his costume was awesome. :)

be prepared

spaghetti sauce

4:05:00 PM

For anyone who knows me, I commonly don't succeed in the kitchen. So when I tell you that I made an incredibly delicious condensed spaghetti sauce this year for freezing, you may not believe me. But I promise, I did. Part of the deliciousness was the fact that I had fresh produce (it makes a big difference doesn't?).

I came up with this after pouring through recipes of canning spaghetti sauce, but after a meager yet exhausting attempt to can salsa, I decided I'd go with making freezer sauce. Here it is:

Condensed Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

12ish large tomatoes
1 large onion
8 oz fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 cup mixed peppers (bell, banana, Hungarian, Anaheim)
1/2 tsp herbs de province (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary)
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp butter (melted)

1. Roast the tomatoes using the broiler in your oven until the skins start to fall off the tomatoes (about 15 min).
2. Chop peppers, mushrooms and onions. Put into food processor along with the spices. Pulse a few times to begin mixing.
3. When tomatoes are done, take out of oven and let cool. Peel the skins off the tomatoes (an core if wanted).
4. Start food processor and drop tomatoes in, one by one. Mix until it reaches your desired texture.
5. Pour into 2 quart size freezer bags. Lay flat in freezer for a few hours. When semi-stiff, divide into 4 portions with a dowel or stick. Each portion will serve 6-8.

6. When your ready to use your freezer sauce, break off a piece and add a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce. For a larger group, you could add two cans of tomatoes. You can add your meat of choice as well. Our favorite mix is a portion of spaghetti sauce, a can of petite diced tomatoes with sweet onions, tomato sauce and hamburger and onions. We add a teensy bit of milk at the end.

Note: this recipe is a little smaller just because I have a 2 quart food processor. You could certainly double or triple to get the more food from your work.

beautiful things

beautiful things: the garden

4:00:00 PM

Zinnias in the garden
Aug 18, 2011

A lot has been going on the past few months, jumping from place to place waiting to close on a house, things falling through, back up plan falling through... We're in the process of the second back up plan now, so we're hoping things will work out. 

Anyway, we stayed with a lovely sister from our ward who so kindly took us in for SEVEN weeks (yes, you read that right. She and her husband are so great) while we thought we were closing on a house. She is a wonderful gardener. This year her garden was full of zinnias. I had read in a magazine that zinnias are good to put in gardens because they bring the pollinators in. I was planning on planting some in my garden, but I never thought it could look as pretty as hers. I couldn't help but take pictures. I'm hoping to have a beautiful garden like this someday.

Pumpkin vine among the zinnias and marigolds
Aug 18, 2011

Roma Tomatoes
Aug 18, 2011

Aug 18, 2011

Bell Pepper
Aug 18, 2011

A row of zinnias
Aug 18, 2011

beautiful things

beautiful things: Yellowstone area

6:19:00 PM

Perfect white flower
Yellowstone National Park
July 18, 2011

We went to Island Park and Yellowstone in July and had a wonderful time as we always do. I love being surrounded in nature. It makes me feel so peaceful and appreciative of the beautiful things God has made for us.

Grassy rocks
Big Springs, Idaho
July 17, 2011

Yellowstone National Park
July 18, 2011

Big Springs, Idaho
July 19, 2011

Fluttering leaves
Big Springs, Idaho
July 19, 2011

Board walk
Mesa Falls
July 19, 2011

Mesa Falls
July 19, 2011

Ashton, Idaho
July 19, 2011

beautiful things


9:18:00 PM

 Peaches found here.

It's peach season around here and I best having at least one peach a day. I wish I could can them this year. Is it crazy to to and plow through a half a bushel in 5 days? Peaches are the best ... okay, besides raspberries. I'm not getting enough of them either.


the fourth

5:27:00 PM

The buns were baked and the rockets made, but I realized we needed popsicle molds if I wanted to make popsicles. Since I didn't make it to the store to get them, they didn't happen. Good thing I have the 24th of July to get ready for. : )

Here are some of our happenings from the weekend.

hot air balloon and traffic

toilet paper roll rockets

sunday dress

hot air balloon colors

My sister came up and we had a party. It was super fun. For lunch, we invited Rob's sister and her fiance, and had some yummy food that of course, Rob made. I guess I did make the buns... and cut out star watermelons.

I'm glad I've felt more patriotic this year. I've recently talked to people and heard stories of people who appreciate the little freedoms in America I totally take for granted. God bless America!

How was your weekend?

cool finds

fourth of july

4:43:00 PM

Okay, so I'm getting really excited for this weekend. I've said it before, my town knows how to celebrate on Independence Day. Hoping our weekend will be filled with hot-air balloons, pilgrims, flags, fireworks and festivals.

Some cool 4th things I've seen around the web... okay... on Pinterest. : )

Fun patriotic dresses (I bought a sailor dress from the early nineties at a yard sale for 50 cents last week. Tempted to wear it to church. Do I dare?)

Flag fruit kabobs (healthy and pretty)

Hanging jar lanterns (too much loveliness)

Patriotic Bunting (easy and fun decor-- sure brightens our living room)

Patriotic strawberries (yum)

I want to try making yogurt strawberry and blueberry pops too. I also plan on making patriotic rockets with Jack out of tp rolls like this. Whole wheat hamburger buns are on the list too... We'll see if we get time.


recently starred may

6:42:00 PM

  1. neon and a color block dress.
  2. lovely idea!
  3. so I'm color crazy. Why not have a turquoise and lime green kitchen?
  4. cute songs for the kiddies.
  5. been eating a low sugar version of this a lot. It's yummy.
  6. more flowers of course.
  7. loving the stick blocks.
  8. awesome celebration decor.
  9. would like to implement more of these in my diet.
  10. gets me excited for one of my favorite holidays

I've joined Pinterest (follow me) and have found it to be very satisfying. Perhaps more so than blogging because it's less time consuming. I guess we'll see which I end up focusing more on.

random piece of advice: Corn on the cob is extremely American, but only so if you eat it right off the cob, which is the only way you should do it anyway. If you have not changed your ways since having braces, consider doing so. : )

baby stuff

carseat cover

2:41:00 PM

My sweet friend had a beautiful baby a little while ago and she needed a carseat cover.

It was really easy and fun to make as I love combining bright colors. There are loads of tutorials out there like this, this and this. They all say basically the same thing.

animal series

grandpa's giraffe

4:35:00 PM

This is a picture of a giraffe my great-great grandfather, Abel made for my grandfather, Robert. Aren't the lines so soft and beautiful? It has aged a bit (the ears are broken off), but I love it more. Wood toys are so charming.

Abel and Robert (about 1937)

I learned that Abel was a successful farmer and rancher in the early part of the 20th century. Carving must have been a hobby of his as he carved at least four more animals for my grandpa Robert when he was a boy. I've seen the elephant and giraffe, but I'd love to see the rest of them if they are still here. I'll have to ask my grandpa.

In my search for giraffes, I found a cute wooden giraffe teether here.

animal series

Giraffes in your home

11:14:00 PM

You could probably imagine that giraffes can have a subtle tastepful place in your home or a completely overwhelming place if you really loved them. While I love giraffes, I'd probably go for the subtle and overwhelm the rest of my home with my true love: flowers... I guess that's for almost every other day on this blog, so here are some design boards of ways to include giraffes in your home:

*Sunshine Salt and Pepper Shakers by Fiesta
*Wallpaper Floral Valance from Land of Nod
*Blue Kitchen Towels by Martha Stewart
*Giraffe Stack Pots from Anthropologie (pinned by Laura Wilhem)

*Serena Bowl Chandelier by Alice Lane
*Classic Persian Collection- grey rug from Peerless Rugs
*Trinidad Chair by Alice Lane
*Giraffe Pillow by Alice Lane
*Origami Giraffe and Rhino from Z Gallerie

*Mukwa Wood Giraffe from Places A Far
*Big Giraffe Teal Rug from Modern Rugs
*Gold Sheets from Majestic Linens
*Coverlet Bed Quilt by Pamela Bronte
*Tree Lamp from Pottery Barn

animal series

Giraffe Facts

10:34:00 PM

My little brother (10 years old) is an animal fanatic. He knows everything there is to know about any animal it seems. He was so nice and wrote up a list of facts for giraffes:


Length: 7-10 feet.
Height: 16-21 feet.
Weight: 2,000 -3,000 lbs.

  • Giraffes are one of the largest land animals.
  • They live on the continent of Africa.
  • They are herbivores meaning they eat plants.
  • They have only a few predators which are prides of lions, and leopards.
  • Giraffes are categorized by their spot patterns, size, and habitats.
  • Giraffes have hooves that are the size of dinner plates. 
Isn't he cute? He has started a blog here, where he plans on posting about all the other animals he knows.

animal series

crafting a giraffe toy

4:55:00 PM

There is a multitude of giraffe toys that are easy to make, and what kid wouldn't like a giraffe toy, right?

I came up with this design, inspired by a Floral Giraffe Toy from ScissorStitch. 

It was a simple project and offers lots of sensory and color stimulation for little ones. I used a minky fleece on one side and a microfleece on the other. I had an array of different ribbons and ric-racs and layered them in rainbow order. I put a little jingle bell inside, so it rattles. It was fun to make and looks so cheerful in the baby's room! Of course, you could make your own version along the more neutral lines if you're not color crazy like me. :)

animal series


11:05:00 AM

Today is the beginning of the giraffe series! I have so much to share with you.

First off, I just want to talk about the giraffe itself. It is one of the most beautiful and graceful animals I have ever seen. Have you seen them walk around at the zoo? I remember just watching in awe that such a huge animal could move so gracefully.

Growing up, my very favorite animal was the cow. My cousins who lived on a farm just couldn't guess why in the world I would love such a stinky dirty animal. I think part of it was that I loved the black and white spotted cows. The contrast was really beautiful to me. I think another part was that everyone in my family called me a "bossy cow" so I felt some connection or something. :) Then one day while my family was at the zoo, I changed my mind. I'm not sure how long I sat and watched the giraffes, but they quickly replaced my favorite childhood animal.

Here is a video to convince you too:

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