christmas crafts – easy and way out!

So I love Christmas, but this year has been different for me. I felt that I needed to start my Christmas present shopping/making early (like this summer)… how grateful that I followed that inspiration since I then got sick! Thus, I haven’t been able to do do very many Christmassy things that I normally look forward to. So I am showing one that I think I will (or could) do and ones that I would in another stage of life :)

The first is what I will do with my tens of thousands of stray magazines in my house!

Melanie from My Craft Projects shows how to make these:

I like her idea of spray painting them… I was thinking a light coating of gold would be fun and festive. This I could definitely do whilst sitting on the couch.

Next is from one of my favorite inspirational blogs Sewing in No Mans Land. I just love how chic and classy all Kelly’s ideas are… and her Evie is just to die for!

Anyway, she is doing crafts for the 12 days of Christmas- I so think she is truly inspired in her creative side. No tole painting here :)

Here is her Three French Hen’s idea--- she went with the French

Here is her Four Calling Birds and her Evie!

I will definitely be paying attention to her next days of Christmas!


sign of a good cook

I can sure tell that I am feeling better and getting out of my first trimester, and this is why. In all my education at BYU they tell you that being an efficient and good cook is based on other things besides cooking the actual food.

Some of those things are:

  • planning your meal out and making time plans in advance
  • getting out all the ingredients out before you start cooking
  • washing your dishes as you go through your preparation
  • not serving your meals out of the pans you have cooked in

I actually had the energy to do this yesterday… and the day before yesterday, in fact. I have been able to plan out the meals instead of waiting for my hubby to get home and then pilfering our empty fridge (trying not to purchase groceries before our vacation to Colorado) for the dinner supplies. I also have FINALLY been able to keep up with my dishes. We don’t have a dishwasher and it showed for the past three months… but it seems she is back in working order - wish I was paid for that job :)

Do you do these things? When you feel nasty or tired, what is the first thing that drops off your list? Mine?--- not serving out of the pans I cook in!

Here’s to good cooking!!!


product reviews

This week I have tried a whole bunch of new beauty products. We are on a strict budget around here, so I couldn’t just go out and purchase what I normally use on my hair and face. I hope that this may help some of you stay in your budget! :)

L’Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base

First of all, my acne is in full force because I am expecting. It is tough. I really needed something that could help prep my skin so that my makeup stays on longer and so that my face looks smoother. I found, through the Allure Beauty Report that this had great ratings-

My review- I give this primer 4 out of 5 stars. I could not believe how much I loved this. It is $10.97 at Wal-mart and I have a $2.00 coupon. The jar is small (a downside), but I just used it under my eyes, on my nose and chin. It felt so silky on my bumpy skin and I felt that my makeup looked more flawless than ever before… and lasted all day.

John Frieda Frizz ease Serum

When I do my hair naturally curly or blow it out with a round brush, I get fly-aways ALL OVER my head! I feel like just a fuzz ball. Normally I use Matrix sleek look products to solve this. That product gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. Just amazing. But not in my budget… and I out! So I perused the hair care aisle and found the John Frieda line.

My review- I give this about a 3.5 star rating. It works, but not all day. It is a great value for your dollar and that is important. It is $7.97 at Wal-Mart. I have been really happy about it. I have used it on my hair wet and then pulled it back into a wet ponytail and I felt that it did help with the frizz control on my ends as my hair dried. If you use too much, it is really oily! There is a fine line between too much and just enough. Overall, I prefer the Matrix so much better.

Pantene Pro V Curly Hair Product Line

I have natural curly hair. Normally, I will throw tons of gel and cheap hairspray to get my curls to set right. It makes the frizz gross and the curls stiff. I wanted more of a natural look with movement. So I pulled out my Pantene Card. Normally, again, I use the Matrix line and swear by it, but my budget couldn’t do that. So what is next… Pantene Pro V products. I love Pantene. It works for my hair and it about the cheapest I can go on hair care products. I definitely find that for hair care products, cheaper means cheaper and not great quality.

I purchased the Mousse, leave in conditioner, and the hair spray from their Curly line.


My Review- Mousse- 4 out of 5 stars. This mousse is so nice! I love that it isn’t sticky and I felt that it really helped my curls. Leave in Conditioner- 5 out of 5 stars. I love the leave in conditioner! It is a great way to boost the moisture and care for my hair since I have to use lots of heat to get it to style. I will even use it when I do my hair straight. 4 out of 5 for the hairspray. It really helped get some of my curls to set well and still allowed for some great flexibility in my curls. I like that it wasn’t sticky. The downside is that it didn’t seem to last all day. The conditioner is 3.97, the mousse 3.97, and the hairspray 3.96… plus I had coupons for them.

Tresseme Heat Tamer

Like I said, I pretty much fry my hair on a daily basis. I noticed that since I have been pregnant, my hair is much drier and more brittle. My ends are not lasting the normal amount of time between cuts. So again, I checked out the Allure Beauty Report and found this one on the budget list of good products.

My Review- I give this a good 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only reason I do not like this is that the bottle and nozzle are really hard to figure out how to comfortable hold them. I loved that it didn’t make my hair starchy like some other heat protectants do. It helped me straighten my hair faster and it is much smoother. Love it! This was $3.84 at Wal-Mart

L'Oreal True Match Blendable Powder

I love to skip foundation. When I have acne like this, foundation just makes me feel like I get a really uneven coverage. I even use some great Clinique products for foundation. For me, I am just looking for even color tones. Normally I use Clinique’s Stay Matte Pressed Powder. I have tried all of their pressed powders and I have loved each one if I remember right. But for every beauty and make-up product that I needed this time around, I decided to find something that would work in place of this for the time being. So I chose the L’Oreal True Match Blendable Powder.


My Review- I give this 5 out of 5 stars! This stuff is perfect! For $8.97 (over half as much as Clinique) I have been able to get great coverage and in a PERFECT color! Usually when my face is acne free, I feel like powder helps control the shine and days that I need more coverage, I use foundation. However, this has such great coverage that I feel like I can skip foundation. Awesome product!


I have many more… my list was long and I was out of a lot of stuff, but I haven’t gotten to everything yet. I hope this may help you. Lastly, I wanted to ask…what are your favorite products and why?


simple, luxurious christmas gifts

These sugar scrubs are so easy to make and are wonderful! I tried mine out today and it was so nice. I got out of the shower and didn’t have to put moisturizer on my legs and arms because this helped lock in moisture so much! They would be so cute in a set with a CD of your favorite relaxation songs and a small candle. Perfect, easy, much appreciated gift! And cost friendly too! I bet you have most of the supplies already! Plus there are so many ways to change it up- add processed oatmeal, other spices, use raw sugar… they are FAIL PROOF!

White Glimmer Sugar Scrub

1 cup - Pure Cane Sugar
4-6 oz - olive oil
4 drops - essential oil (I love using orange and vanilla)
1 8oz. - glass container with lid
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Using a spatula, transfer mix into the container and secure lid. Contents will settle, mix before using. Scoop a teaspoon or two of the scrub on your hands and gently massage in circular motions onto your skin. Leave on for 3 to 4 minutes before thoroughly rinsing. The scrub will tighten on your skin.

Warm Brown Sugar Scrub

1/2 cup - Dark or Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup - Pure Cane Sugar
¾ cup - olive oil
2 tsp. - cinnamon, powdered
1 8oz. - glass container with lid
4-5 drops - essential oils
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients until thoroughly blended. Be sure to break up any lumps from the brown sugar or from the spices. Spoon into the glass container and secure with lid. Scoop a teaspoon or two of the scrub on your hands and gently massage in circular motions onto your skin. Leave on for 3 to 4 minutes before thoroughly rinsing. The scrub will tighten on your skin. 


carl bloch- the master’s hand

Right now at the BYU Museum of Art paintings of Carl Bloch are on display. This is such a rare opportunity to have these amazing and glorious pieces of art all together. Last night, my family went to the exhibit and was touched at the power of the paint and talent in which they were rendered.

You can go here to the BYU Museum of Art website to read more, see some of the paintings, AND get tickets to go see the exhibit. Whether you are LDS or not, one cannot discount the spirit of these paintings. An added BONUS is that you can rent an iPad that will take you through the exhibit and go into further detail about the artist.

How blessed and strengthened I feel because of this man. I am definitely going back again… maybe I can soak up some more insight into who my Savior is and what He has offered to me.

On display until May 7, 2011


my christmas wish list

Usually I have my list done and am stalking people for their list. But this year, I am the one behind. Then things are simple this year. I am noticing that I feel that as long as my family is taken care of, I am happy. (oo… sounding like my mom… but I FINALLY understand what she felt!) Here are some of the things on my list…

Cute headbands and hair clips from Forever 21

- Frilly, feathery, beaded, rhinestoned- the more outrageous you think they are for you, the better for me


Simplified Hymn Book


Cheetos that are just for me (um Prego craving?)

Remote for my camera


Brother Innov-is 40 Sewing machine (around $400 new)


this thing has AMAZING ratings on consumer reports


- Chunky, sparkly, fun, big

Some other things that would be nice- a massage, some really nice makeup to cover my prego acne laden face, my hair to be fixed (another story), laser hair removal, my bedding to be finished, a vacation, energy, and patience.

What is on your list? Maybe you could spark my mind of something that I would love to have-

woot off

For those who haven’t ventured to these websites… today is the day for you!

Usually there is only one deal a day but today is a woot off! This means that they will continue to post products until it is gone and then post a new one. The kids.woot has some GREAT Christmas gift ideas. You just have to keep checking back! Be quick too about purchasing!