Saturday, January 7, 2017


If you're anything like me, you have a hard time letting go of some stuff. I'm not a hoarder, but after watching the documentary "Minimalism" on Netflix, I've gone on a major cleaning and de-cluttering spree! Okay, maaaybe it's the nesting, too. ;)

There's a lot of information thrown at you when it comes to tips on cleaning & organizing your space.  Sometimes I get stressed just reading about all the methods I can use. I've found that the easiest way to declutter your life & get rid of junk is to ask yourself these ten questions.

I love them so much, in fact, that I've made a free downloadable image just for you to try. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Have you had a hard time finding the perfect gift for your significant other? Well this girl's not stressing anymore cause I just got the best early Christmas gift for my Scott... 

I chose the Kosso and Midnight Blue watch for Scott from the Conway series. It totally suits him, and matches so well with ALL of his outfits. I looove this watch because while all of their watches are unique and built to perfection, the midnight blue shines and pops perfectly against the contrast of the Redwood. It's eye-catching and he recieves compliments literally everywhere we go.

I'm so pleased with it that I've partnered with JORD Wood Watches to offer you a giveaway to their site! With Christmas being right around the corner, you won't want to miss this chance to get your husband or wife (or dad, mom, cousin, bestie, etc...) a gorgeous watch. The recieves a $75 voucher to use on their site. And hey--even just for entering you get a $20 gift card! I love giveaways where you win either way. :)
click here to enter the giveaway

The giveaway will run until 12/18/16 and the e-voucher and e-gift cards are valid until 2/28/17. 

There's something so sexy about your man wearing a good watch, am I right ladies?
Those of you who know me personally know that I love getting deals and saving money. Watches in general can be a lot of money, so it's important to make a selection like this carefully. Scott has worn his old waterproof watch forever and I have been talking about getting him a nice one for years. I love that JORD's watches are hand-crafted and tell a story. It's so much more than just a nice watch to him--it's personalized and authentic.

Of course, it's super important for such nice watches to have a custom fit. They has a special wrist-sizer on their site to help you make your selection. It made it super easy for me to find the perfect measurement for my husband's wrist, so when it arrived in the mail it was already customized to him! Overall, I highly recommend JORD Wood Watches and I'm excited to see who wins.

Wishing you luck!


This post is sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. All opinions are 100% my own.

Ladies Wooden Watches

Saturday, December 3, 2016


I've felt especially grateful this holiday season. Despite catching sick bugs more than I ever have, this pregnancy has been healthy and I'm so glad for that! As of last week, baby boy has dropped and I'm really starting to hit the "nesting stage." I'm obsessively cleaning and my mind is fixated on every tiny thing I want to complete before he gets here, to the point where it keeps me awake at night! I've been pushing myself to work harder than ever, and yet my energy is cut in half... I keep thinking, "where in the world has the time gone?" 4 weeks and this little guy will be in our arms!

I am so blessed with a healthy baby, healthy body and healthy mind. That alone, coupled with the fact that I have an amazing and supportive husband is almost too much to handle. I can hardly even think of all of my friends and family without exploding with tender joy. Thank you all for your connection, you mean more than you know!

I'm sure you've all seen EyeBuyDirect's glasses taking the world by storm. I have dreamed of promoting them for years and I'm so excited to be working with them! I'm wearing Aura in Frosted Vanilla from the RFLKT line.

EyeBuyDirect's glasses are simple, trendy and sophisticated. They're also affordable--their frame styles start as low as $6. Right now you can recieve $15 off your order plus free shipping if you sign up with your email (just go to their site and the prompt will appear!)

You don't need to have bad eyes to sport a pair from EyeBuyDirect. In fact, it'll be much cheaper if you don't have a perscription and just want to order them for fun. So get shoppin! :)


This post is sponsored by EyeBuyDirect. All opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, November 28, 2016


I've never done a q&a before. I am absolutely flattered with how many questions I recieved! I had to narrow it down a lot, so I'm sorry if any of yours got cut.  Curl up with a soft blanket, enjoy all this snow + get to know me a little more! :)

Favorite past time/favorite thing to do in your down time? A few favorites include: cuddling the hubs and our fur baby, painting/drawing freely, listening to Conference talks, skimming Pinterest for future home project ideas, or settling down with a classic movie and hot chocolate, mmm.

Are you high maintenance? I don't feel like I am... but this is a tricky question! I know some women who don't leave the house without makeup, extensions, gel nails, etc. and consider themselves low-maintenance. I just think it's more of a question of how ready a woman likes to be every day. I will spend quite a while getting ready for a big photoshoot or event a few times a month, however I don't do that on a daily basis--it would totally drain me. I definitely don't feel the need to constantly have my nails manicured, I style my hair with heat once per week tops, and I spend at least 2 days per week completely makeup-free. Oh, and I never spend more than $20 on any kind of makeup or hair product! That's just where I'm comfortable. But bottom line, I feel that the most important thing about self-care is to feel beautiful and feminine, whatever that means to you and whatever routine you like to follow in order to feel that way! :)

What are you most excited about being a first-time mommy? It's soo hard to narrow down what I'm "most" excited for, but I definitely can't wait to kiss/cuddle/squeeze and feed little ones. :) There's a special feeling associated with being so heavily relied on, and filling the needs of your babies. I feel like I've experienced a small portion of what it'll really be like with this little guy in my tummy. I can't wait for the full experience in a few weeks.

Ideal number of kids? I've always wanted 3-5, and Scott has always wanted 4, so we're on the same page on where we think the "perfect" number is for us. We will see where we end up!

Big parties or intimate dinners? This reminds me of a quote from The Great Gatsby: "I like large parties, they are so intimate. At small parites there isn't any privacy." That's exactly why I would have to say big parties. :)

Date night or girls night? Date night, because I can't get enough of my husband and he is literally my best friend. <3 But a girls night is MUCH needed every once in a while.

Favorite destination? I LOVE to travel so this one is really hard to narrow down! I'd have to say that Carmel/Monterey, California is up there because of the memories I made while living there a few summers ago. There is a cozy little town in Montana that Scott and I also love.

Best DIY project yet? Guys, this is totally hilarious and makes no sense--though I am a full-time artist, I am not skilled at DIY projects! I am very proud of our newly painted and re-finished kitchen chairs. We took them from a shiny black to light cream, and sanded down the reddish finish on the seats to leave them light and gorgeous.

Favorite bible story and why? I'd have to say that one of my top favorites is the bible story of Jesus and the little children. He taught the disciples that simple, childlike faith is crucial to entering the kingdom of God. Likewise, in 3 Nephi chapter 17 (in the Book of Mormon), Christ gathers the little children around him and offers a prayer that is so marvelous that the words of it could not be written. He blessed them one by one, and they are surrounded and ministered to by angels of heaven. There is nothing sweeter to me than that story.

Ever used essential oils? Yes! I love them.

Worst fear? I go back and forth on this all the time, but I've got to say that since becoming pregnant my worst fear has become car accidents. I see so many people on their phones distracted, it drives me nuts!

Favorite exercises while pregnant? A couple months ago I wrote a post about tips to staying healthy during pregnancy that talks about my routine. I have been taking it pretty easy since week 30. My current favorites include lunges, squats and deep stretches with the birth ball I've been using. :)

How do you curl your hair? Click here to read my post on how I achieve wavy curls!

What do you do if you can't sleep at night? Most of the time if I can't sleep it's because my mind is racing a million miles a minute. I spend some time trying to quiet the noise by thinking of something calm, and if it doesn't work for more than 30 minutes or so then I get up and do something productive until I'm exhausted!

What was the best news you ever recieved? The first thing that popped into my mind when reading this question took me back to when I was dating Scott. It was a snowy day a lot like today, and I was really missing him. He was working in North Dakota and wasn't scheduled to come home for another month (he'd typically be gone for 3 months, home for a couple weeks, repeat). I remember recieving a call from him and his voice was full of excitement. He told me that he was being sent home Friday and had just bought his plane ticket home! I was beside myself with happiness. We actually ended up getting engaged that weekend. <3

Best piece of life advice for us ladies? Life is rough. I'd have to say that if I could give one piece of advice, it would be this: learn to enjoy life during the rocky patches. During the hard times, keep memories of peace and joy engrained in your memory to give you strength, find your connection to God and hold to it, be kind to yourself, and most importantly--stay true to yourself. Doing these things will not only build your faith and understanding through trials, but shape you and unlock your potential to become more than you could even imagine.

Hope you guys enjoyed this! I seriously cherish each of you who have followed along in my life journey. If YOU ever do a q&a, please tag me! I'd love to know more about you.



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

bumpdate + life

I have been FILLED with this overwhelming sense of gratitude today, more than most days. Life isn't perfect by any means and there are plenty of things to stress about, but I can't get over how immensely blessed I am to even breathe, walk and eat. I cannot stop giving thanks to Heavenly Father, both on my knees and in my heart. I have a testimony that He really does care about every tiny detail in our lives. He sees our hearts and knows our intentions.
We all experience highs and lows as we cycle through trials and moments of relief. Soak in every moment, every emotion and allow it to wash over you. Allow yourself to change into who you're meant to become. God never leaves us, even (and especially) when we feel alone. Don't ever doubt this! He is there for you.
Baby update: I can't believe there's only 6 more weeks until we meet our baby boy! He's super healthy, sitting in a great position (which is awesome because I am doing a natural birth), and gets the hiccups at least 2xs per day. He looooooves to stretch from head to toe, which is the cutest thing ever but is also very uncomfortable for me (he's doing it right now haha)! He wiggles around whenever Scott talks to him. P.S. We chose his name years ago but we're keeping it quiet until the birth. :)
Mommy update: Despite struggling to put my shoes on, coming down with colds every month and fighting the urge to rest and do nothing all day, I'm doing very well! From the time I was little, I had an image of pregnancy being miserable and I am so happy that it hasn't been that way for me. I hit 34 weeks and am preparing myself emotionally, spiritually and physically to bring Baby into the world. I haven't been working out every day but I have been focusing on exercises that will help with the birth and try to stay active. Last week, I spent every day walking around while we were on vacation and was super proud... It's crazy how much joint stress comes from my body doubling it's blood count and growing a full human. Pregnancy is seriously a miracle, it amazes me every second!

Photo: Lavender Belle Photography

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

how to achieve thick, wavy curls

How to achieve texturized waves with thin & fine hair: 
When gathering questions for my first Q&A on the blog, I was asked how I style/curl my hair. I decided to dedicate a post to my general hair routine. I'm a huge believer in keeping hair healthy, fresh, and finding products that aren't going to break the bank (All the products I use are under $10), so if that's something you're interested in, read on!

Pinterest inspiration

In high school, I hardly ever used a heat protectant, and used the blow dryer and straightener almost daily. I thought I had the most oily hair and skin in existence--I didn't understand that my hair was overproducing oil because I was washing it too much. I have trained my hair to work with only washing it every 3 days. It was torture for the first couple months while my hair adjusted, but this has worked wonders! I have less split ends and I have natural waves that I never thought I had. Creating some texturized, natural waves makes a great base for the look I'm about to show you.

I'm a huge fan of the free, beachy-wave look, as well as keeping my hair as healthy as possible. My hair grows reeeeeally slow and it's super fine, so in order to achieve volume and texture (while protecting it from heat) I follow these steps:

1) When I step out of the shower, I immediately spray with this miracle leave-in conditioner spray. I get too greasy to use conditioner all over my hair in the shower (I only focus on the ends), so when I use this stuff I spray about 4x's around my entire head to distribute shine and protect against heat. It's the most expensive hair product I own, but that's because it is worth every penny!!

2) Next I put about a nickel-sized drop of this argan oil on the palm of my hand and with both of my hands I apply it to the very ends of my hair by bunching in a gentle upwards motion. I have had this same bottle for literally 3 years, it lasts forever and it helps my ends stay nourished.

3) I don't blow-dry. I maybe use the blow-dryer once per month, on low heat. This is what has encouraged my hair to produce natural waves the most!
In case you haven't heard this before--do not towel-dry your hair! It encourages frizziness and breakage. Get a big soft T-shirt and designate it specifically for hair care. I have a certain way of turban-wrapping my hair with one of my hubby's soft T-shirts that I leave hanging with the towels. I leave it on for 15-20 minutes while I get dressed, cook breakfast, etc--then I unwrap my hair and use the towel to bunch my hair in an upwards motion (while squeezing carefully with each bunch) to dry it a little more. I let it air dry the rest of the way. I've been using a T-shirt for almost a year and my hair has way less breakage!

4) Once my hair is totally dry--and sometimes I even wait to do this the next day--I'll brush it with a wide-toothed comb like this one in downward motions. Then, starting with my part, I spray this dry shampoo into my roots, sectioning farther down on each side of my head as I go (about 1" each time). I spray the roots on the back of my head by flipping my hair upside-down and sectioning accordingly. YES, I use dry shampoo on clean hair! I find that this prevents my hair from feeling dirty as quick. I'd much rather use it on day 1 then wait until it feels greasy. 

5) Lastly, I use this curling wand to throw in some beachy waves. Remember, following the other steps should help you achieve some natural curl--even if you have fine, thin, straight hair like I do--and should give you a base so you don't have to use as much heat on your hair! As a rule for curls, I take fairly large sections of hair (over 1") and I don't leave my hair on the barrel longer than 10 seconds. As a final finishing touch, I go through with a mirror and pull smaller sections that need some extra curl--because there will inevitably be spots that need a little more heat when you're curling so quickly.

I hope this gave you a good visual on how to style texturized wavy curls! As a side note for hair care--generally be aware of ingredients in hair products. (Even higher-end products like Chi have ingredients like alcohol, which is why I stopped using their heat protectant that I used to love.) If anyone wants me to do a video tutorial, leave a comment. I'd be happy to make one. I'm always up for trying new things. :)

Thanks so much for supporting my blog! I was blown away with the number of views on my last post. You are all amazing!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

4 tips to staying fit during pregnancy

Hey everyone! 
I was sent some great questions about my favorite pregnancy workouts and eating habits. I decided that this was important enough for it's own post! Today I'll be dividing this into 4 tips to staying fit during pregnancy. However, this also applies if you're trying to get pregnant,  nursing, a first-time mom to toddlers, or a mom of 7 teenagers. I'm by no means an expert, but whatever stage of life you are in, I guarantee that the following information will help you stay fit, energized, and happy!

25 weeks pregnant

Tip 1: Get into a good exercise/workout routine.

Monday through Friday I have recently been doing IdealFit's new 15 Day Mommy Fit Challenge.
 Their workouts are safely modified if you're pregnant or nursing. They're only about 20 minutes
 long, so it's easy to throw my hair in a pony tail, step into my workout clothes, and blast
through it! With how short they are, I was surprised both with how difficult it is and how great I feel.
 All of the videos are public on YouTube, but I recommend going to the link because they'll
send you a 100% free invite to the Mommy Fit Challenge Facebook group and custom
meal plans. It's a wonderful way to connect to other mamas and get on track!

I like to go to the Crossfit gym that my hubby trains at once every weekend with him.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Crossfit, it is a very functional form of strength building. 
They implement both weight training and cardio. I modify according to what I can do and what
is safe for my growing baby. I don't do any workouts that selectively target my abs, I choose
much lighter weights than I used to use, and generally listen to my body. :)

Another great place to go for pregnancy workouts is @alexajeanfitness on Instagram! 
She posts short video clips in her feed that are easy to follow and she is a major inspiration
to me (she's pregnant right now and we are actually due around the same time!). However,
keep in mind her meal plans and workout routines are not free, which
is why I have preferred IdealFit's amazing mommy plan.

Tip 2: Prep simple and healthy snacks that you can grab on the go.

Especially since being pregnant--since May to be exact--I've been suuuper snacky. During the beginning months while I dealt with sickness, I craved tons of simple carbs (think pizza, mac & cheese, white breads, etc... not healthy carbs!!). However, all new mamas understand that you do what you gotta do to get past those difficult months (amiright?) and as soon as I could hold food down, I threw all the junk out of my diet and stuck to these basic, healthy snack foods:


-Cottage cheese topped with peaches, pears, pineapple slices, or anything that makes 
your heart happy (I recommend the Daisy brand of cottage cheese--only like 2 ingredients).
You can also get fancy and add sliced almonds or nuts on top.

-Oatmeal (raw oats, not sugary packages) with a scoop of raw honey or agave to 
sweeten, topped with whatever fruit you have in the kitchen.

-Fruit!! From someone who has a major sweet tooth, fruit has saved my eating habits. 
Keep apples, oranges, pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, peaches, blackberries, any fruit that you enjoy sliced up in tupperware in your fridge so you can hurry and grab some when the
dreaded sweet tooth comes around.

-Protein shakes, mmmm. (I crave my protein shakes like I used to crave candy, it's a miracle.) If you're growing babies or nusring for them, you need to be consuming your weight in protein
(135lbs=135g) EVERY DAY. I love adding a heaping scoop of peanut butter, almond milk, a
banana, ice cubes, and 3 scoops of IdealFit's chocolate protein.  I have seriously never fallen
so in love with chocolate in my entire life before trying theirs! 
 PS if you're looking for a really great protein brand, their new flavor Chocolate Coconut is 30% off for the week!


-Whole grain toast with avacado and 2 grilled eggs (make sure to double check the ingredients
on the bread you buy. Many brands have high fructose corn syrup in even their "healthier" breads). Add a dash of salt and pepper to satisfy salty cravings. :)

-Veggies in their most pure form. :) Keep fresh bell peppers, baby carrots, avacados, etc. 
cut and at the ready in plastic baggies in your fridge. I grab mine as I head out the door
to run errands so that I will be prepared when hunger strikes!

-Boiled eggs. My husband and I have to get our eggs at Costco, we go through them soo fast!
This is partly because we will immediately boil a dozen eggs and section them into baggies, 
2 eggs each. They make for a filling snack! We like to top them with salt & pepper.

-Egg salad on whole grain bread. I slice up boiled eggs, a little mustard, spicy mayo,
and a dash of salt and pepper in mine. It's not the healthiest snack in the world but
it's way better than other food choices and it's sooo delicious!

-Meats! If you can, try to limit the majority of your meat choices to lean meats 
(chicken and fish). Whether you prefer to bake in the oven or grill on the stove--season it with
delicious spices that help give you that "salty" fix! I looove to use lots of garlic when 
baking my chicken.

-Tuna on whole grain bread. If you want to make it a tuna sandwich on steroids,
toast your bread and immediately top it with cheese so it melts, then throw on a juicy tomato!


Lastly, and most importantly, I drink lots of water packed with BCAA's. BCAA's--branched-chain amino acids-- stimulate protein synthesis, and do so to a greater extent than a normal protein on it's own. They build immune system support, protect against amino acid deficiency, and prevent lean muscle mass loss. They are a MUST HAVE if you are planning on building muscle during pregnancy, as well as digesting your protein intake. There are many good brands out there, but I'm going to stick with IdealFit's forever because they are truly delicious. I feel like I'm chugging a cold raspberry lemonade soda, it makes water taste so good!

Tip 3: Break out of the standard "3 square meals per day" mindset

In conjunction with the last question, I've adopted the idea that it's healthier and better to 
listen to my body's cues and eat when I feel prompted, rather than wait for the standard 3 meals of the day. In addition to tons of studies that have shown that eating smaller meals more freqently helps control appetites and increase metabolism, my growing baby boy zaps all my energy! 
Nowadays if I'm not eating SOMETHING every 3 hours or so, I get super light-headed. 
Whether that will stay or leave after pregnancy, I'm content with eating less, more often--and
I've seen amazing results from doing this.

I still fall into the standard "3 meals" and find myself wondering what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner (especially because my hubby works the standard 8-5 hours and I like to have a hot meal for him to come home to). However, I try to fill gaps of time between meals with snacks, 
then eat a little less during mealtime. :)

Tip 4: Find your happy place by achieving balance!

Last month, as I was struggling to get back on track after some "cheat days" and feeling a little discouraged in myself, I realized how long our bodies go through the process of bringing children into this world. Not only does pregnancy take 9 months (which is only 3 months short of an entire year), but we then spend years breastfeeding and catering to our new babies' schedules. If Scott and I were to have 4 children, I realized could spend roughly 10 years being pregnant and getting through the breastfeeding years. So the question came to my mind,

"Do I want to be unhappy with where I am for the next 10 years?
Or do I want to form stable habits NOW that will make the next 10 years the happiest of my life?"

Um, I'd prefer to be at my happiest!! So how is this achieved?
First of all, forget about the "ONE thing to drop baby weight."
I believe that there isn't "one" thing that you can do to stay fit while you're making & raising babies. Most products that advertise immediate and total weight loss are either false advertisements or flat-out dangerous to your body. Having a healthy mind and body takes multiple decisions every day; sometimes decisions you reallyyy don't feel like making in the moment.

I've found that the key to achieving health goals is BALANCE. You don't want to push yourself so far past your limits that you fall into the trecherous cycle of restriction & heavy exercise followed by breaking and binging. I've been there, and it's an awful place where you feel like you will never reach your goals. Instead, sticking to a simple daily routine and adding in new goals one week at a time has taught me to really enjoy practicing a healthy lifestyle. That is the ultimate goal! You want to be a fit, happy mama that can keep up with her energetic kids--while loving every moment of the journey! :)


PS Huge thank you to IdealFit for having me model for them and sponsor their Mommy Challenge!
You guys are amazing and your products have changed my life.