Year in Review | 2016

My word for the year was Diligence and truly, it was the perfect word to keep me going. We accomplished a lot + I accomplished a lot. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, there isn't a lot to say about 2016. It was a year with much good and some hard things. And overall, I worked hard on a lot of hobbies + made it to New York for the first time ever (aka dream come true!). What it came down to, was I wanted our family to try new things and we did! Lots & lots of new things = success!

Here's the best of 2016:

January | We went skiing for the first time as a family (minus Cam). Sadee was 3 and rocked the slopes! We also went sledding and even made a stop at the dentist (cavity free!!)

February | We started swimming lessons again and made huge head-way with both kiddos! They are excellent swimmers thanks to their excellent teachers. We celebrated Valentine's day via pink dresses and heart-shaped breakfast.

March | Our big man turned 2 and I don't even remember how we celebrated. Cake, mostly like! We also took a trip to St. George, rode scooters, bikes, watched baseball and took our first hike as a family.

April | We enjoyed spending time outside as much as possible. April always brings that warm whether and summer angst. We attempted some garden planting + yard work to spruce up our still new-ish home!

May | Sadee-bug turn FOUR! She had a friend birthday party with sprinkles + fairy houses. It was a great time. She also had her first ever dance recital and did a fab job.

June | The summer always passes in a blur. I spent a week a girl's camp with the young women in from church. It's always magic out there in the dirt... somehow. My kids got to party with dad!

July | We spent our Wednesday afternoon's eating lunch with dad-man at BYU! This ended up being the highlight of our summer. We also attended our ward campout + slept in a tent for the first time. Probably the last time (RV, anyone?). As well as hiked the Y together for the first time.

August | Before school started we headed down to St. George & Vegas for a week. We had been wanting to do this for the past 4 years and it was wonderful to get away. We visited Glitter Mountain, swam as much as possible and almost melted in the glorious desert heat! Sadee started her 2nd year of preschool & dad-man started his 3rd year of teaching. Movin' up in the world!

September | We headed to St. George again and hiked Kanarraville Falls for the first time. It was a total blast. We swam + ate... over and over again! The rest of the month was spent enjoying every last bit of warm whether possible. Sadee also started her first year of soccer. She crushed it!

October | We spent most of our week at soccer, but managed to break away to do a little pumpkin painting, outdoor playing and Halloween planning. We dressed up as Finding Nemo friends - a scuba diver, the anemone, Dory & Nemo. A Halloween to never, ever forget! I also ate Milk Duds like it was my job. 

November | My dreams came true and I headed to New York for 9 days with one of my besties! Friends, family and my dearest husband handled life at home while I played. New York will forever hold a piece of my heart. We went to Phantom of the Opera & Chicago, visited the 9/11 Memorial, the Rockefeller Center, Lady Liberty and even got tickets to see Jimmy Fallon. Plus the subway! A dream come true. The rest of the month was filled with family, a job change and eating, eating, eating thanks to Thanksgiving. Gimme the pie, please!

December | Sweet December always comes a little too quickly. Cold whether + snow + Christmas = lots of extra sleeping! Sadee was on top of setting up our decorations and they received lots of nice presents. I'm crossing my fingers we can hone in on our holiday traditions for next year (like moving to New York... oh wait, that's just something that needs to happen!).

Happiest New Year & welcome twenty-seventeen!

Stocking Stuffers | For Little Boys

T-minus 11 days until Christmas! Which means I better get cracking on my gift shopping. Today I've put together a stocking stuffers guide for little boys ages 18 months to 4 years. If your little guy is like mine, your house is stocked with all the cars, trucks, blocks and trains. Even when trying to find "new" gift ideas, sticking to the basics always wins. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This guide includes some of our favorites, plus a few new toys we're excited to play with. Enjoy!

01 Tegu 6-Piece Pocket Pouch - I've always wanted to snag some of these awesome magnetic blocks! They come in a variety of sizes and colors, but these are definitely my fav. They are colorful, travel-sized + come in the cutest felt pouch to keep everything together. I'm thinking "church bag" item here!

02 Chico Rose Bow Tie - Holiday outfits always stress me out a bit, especially for little guys. It's pretty much a white shirt + dress pants. My sister recently introduced me to the Chico Rose. The bow ties are made of felt and leather + come in a variety of colors. On top of that, the owner is absolutely darling. And BONUS! She makes little girl headbands that are equally as adorable. And under $15!

03 Thomas & Friends Minis - These are the best, right? Trains and MINI! We love them in our house and there are so many different ones to collect. They are also really handy to keep in the diaper bag or in the car because they are small.

04 Hape Voyager Kaleidoscope - Both my kiddos have recently discovered how fun a kaleidoscope can be at our favorite museum. It hit me then that this could be a great way to spend time together. Come to find out, they are a little tricky to find, but Hape Toys always pulls through. Now just to teach the little one how to use it.

05 Pull and Go School Bus - We LOVE buses in our house! Every morning is spend looking out the window waiting for the morning bus to drive by. Plus the pull-and-go vehicles always leave my son cracking up after they crash into all the things. Pull-and- go + BUS equals win, win, win!

06 DIY Color Blocks - A sweet friend of mine designed these color blocks to help her daughters interact and learn. They are genius + soooooo creative! My son is a lot like me, which means he loves to organize and rearrange. These are a simple DIY to make for your kiddos and a fun way to get on the floor and play together.

07 Petit Collage Construction Puzzle - My son is really into figuring out puzzles! So much so that he gets frustrated that he can't put them together. Petit Collage ALWAYS has the most beautiful puzzles, we have many of these The construction set is perfect for little ones because the individual puzzles consist of 3-5 pieces. Perfect fit!

08 ModMobiles by Fat Brain Toys - My favorite local shop (The Baby Cubby) recently posted a video on these ModMobiles by Fat Brain Toys. It was love at first site. These little cars offer the ability for kids to design their own cars + drive them around. There are endless possibilities!

Happy holiday shopping!

Check out more 2016 Holiday Gift Guides:

4 Ways to Style | Plaid Shirt 02

Shirt: Cotton On, Dress: Piper & Scoot, Shoes: KorkEase, Earrings: Truly Custom

Happiest Wednesday! I'm excited to show off probably the single greatest outfit known to this world. Why? Because a swing dress is like wearing PJ's all day + add that plaid button down and it's all heart eyes. Seriously, if it were possible, I'd wear this combo everyday and never feel bad about it. Comfy, easy, classy. I'm always on the hunt for an outfit that can be warn cleaning the house to the office to the park with the kids. This hits all the marks.

Happy Sunday!

We had stake conference this morning, which always feels a little long with two little ones. This sweet little story and metaphor was shared and it just was the sweetest. Happy Sunday!

In 1930, Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband purchased a tourist lodge in Massachusetts. Ruth made all the food for the guests and became well-known for her desserts. Her chocolate cookies were a favorite. She used baking chocolate to create the chocolatey batter. One day after realizing she had run out of her baking chocolate, she decided to use a semi-sweet chocolate bar she was given. The semi-sweet chocolate did not melt like the baking chocolate. Say hello to chocolate chip cookies. Nestle ended up purchasing the recipe for her cookies, which is now the recipe on the back of Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chips.

4 Ways to Style | Plaid Shirt 01

Shirt: Cotton On, Skirt: Gap (old), Leather Jacket: Target, Boots: DSW

Let it be known that I'm a total sucker for a good plaid shirt. They are so versatile and last a LONG time! But, how do you wear said plaid shirt or flannel without looking like your grandpa? Plaid definitely gets a bad wrap when it comes to easy styling. I've found them to be an incredibly essential piece in my closet, especially when needing to add quick color or patterns to an outfit. My FAVORITE plaid's (and button-ups in general) are from Cotton On. They seem to be the perfect weight, shape and length - which is tricky to find.

Stocking Stuffers | For Little Girls

Black Friday found me venturing out doing a little real life shopping vs online shopping. It was actually pretty fun, especially considering how many fun, little items we came across. One of the hardest gifts to find is "stocking" gifts. Yet, everything time I turned around, there were tons of the cutest mini toys, bags, games that my kiddos would LOVE and immediately made me think STOCKING! Over the next few weeks, I thought I'd share some of the cool things found while shopping that would make perfect stocking stuffers or gifts for all.

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