Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring {in a cup}

You know it's spring in Minnesota when it hits 40 degrees and people are wearing shorts and opening their windows. You also know when its spring you are pulling dog hair off of everything because your dog is shedding her winter coat!

I have a favorite spring/summer drink when I am not in the mood for coffee at Starbucks. Passion Tea Lemonade. Maybe you have tried it... it's the best. I call it a PTL for a reason.

Did you know you can buy Tazo Passion Tea at the grocery store?

On the tea bag describes it:
"An exuberant herbal infusion of hibiscus, orange peel, rose hips & passion fruit flavors"

It's amazing iced by itself, but it's even more amazing as a Starbucks knockoff.

Here is how to make it at home!

Equal parts lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade with Raspberry, regular lemonade will give you that amazing tartness) and water. Add the tea bag and steep until you see that dark hibiscus color come through. Mix, add ice, and enjoy your spring in a cup!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Where is that other sock?

Hudson's first birthday is quickly approaching. Don't even get me started on my sad trips to the store, staring at the newborn necessities. Or packing away the clothes that he has now long ago outgrown. The memories of being pregnant and folding and refolding the clothes I dreamed of my baby wearing.
I feel like I missed out on so much when he was first born- I was exhausted and had so many issues. I wish I could remember each moment when he was new.

But on to my point of this post.

I have learned a lot over this last year. My induction into mommyhood is still just beginning, but I like to think that I have passed the first course. Here is a humorous look into what I have learned in my last year.

You can always hold a burb rag and still be covered with all sorts of baby liquids.
No matter how well you think you have this down, something always changes.
Sitting down and watching tv when I want was an extremely selfish thing of the past
I am capable of doing anything with one hand, including my makeup and cleaning the kitchen.
Dinner for my family includes cooking, serving, cleaning, and if I am lucky, eating.
Restaurants and movies were a luxury of the past
Socks are a conspiracy. No matter how hard I try to keep them together, there is never a match with baby socks.
Pureed peas are delicious, but whole ones are not
Taking a shower is like a tropical vacation
Naps give you the ultimatum of napping, showering, cleaning, or sneaking a moment of "me" time
The second I start painting my nails, the baby is up
The dog makes an excellent vacuum after meal time.
Bottle warmers either scald, or don't do their job in the slightest
Making your own baby food is a great idea in theory
Pajama hand me downs are the best thing ever
mama is the greatest word ever spoken
why did I ever complain about doing errands before I had a kid
baby fingers can find in your carpet what you can't see with your eyes
Selling your home and moving with a month old is not meant for the weak of heart
Planning a first birthday is a bigger deal than all my birthdays combined

and so much more.
What other things have you learned from becoming a mom that makes you laugh?

Thank You

I can't shake this feeling of happiness, nor do I want too. This ecstatic bubble I've been living in this past year... especially these last few months. They never have to go away. They can keep growing and flourishing into my beautiful life. 

This past year has had some extreme up's with a handful of extreme downs. And I love that I'm at this point in my life where I can see God in every single aspect of those moments. Those moments of relationships broken, dreams being fulfilled, best friends moving away, additions to our family and the unfortunate loss of one of the best men I've ever known.

My grandpa who passed in November with my Sister Bethany.

I'm moving out of my parents house in the next few days and I have just been slapped in the face with this feeling of emotional bliss... Thankfulness... surreal gratitude?? My words can't completely describe this feeling. I feel like we go through hard ships and find ourselves on our knees asking God to provide, to take away our pain, to fix our problems. We really worship Him and ask all these things of Him but, when He actually does provide and we aren't "needing" his help, we don't give Him the praise or thanks. We almost forget about Him until we find ourselves needing his help again.

Not this time. I have this constant praise for Him. Without Him, I would have come out of those hard ships a completely different person. He's heard my cries, He's put me back together after I've been torn apart, He's been my rock. How can I not give him even just the simplest of thanks?

Here's a fun little recap of my last year:

Graduated Aveda Institute

Absolute wonderful job with the best bossman EVER!

Hudson Elek was born

Bought a car

Inez Leona was born

Learned that just because my best friend decided to move an hour and a half away from me, she is still always there for me and I'm incredibly happy that she talked me into doing this crazy blog which helps us stay connected.

Baby Stewie is on it's way and is due on my birthday 

I've been given the opportunity to plan/coordinate a fashion show with this amazing woman at work

New relationships with some pretty incredible people

And now I'm moving in with my Grandma and I'm so blessed to be able to spend some quality time with her.

Can't seem to thank Him enough!!


Friday, March 22, 2013


The Weekend is almost here! Yes! Happy Friday!

Here is our weekly link up with High Five for Friday!

{S:1} Finished a New design for my etsy website - Baby La Joie! They will be up soon.

{S:2} Fail.  Fail. Fail. I cannot make black beans from a bag. They never cook! Soak- boil -cook... no luck. Have any tips for me?

{S:3} I found green Tea Keurig cups! Delish!

{S:4} My awesome sandal finds from, you'll never guess it, K-mart! I love them and who knew K-mart could carry such things- I usually avoid that place like the plague. Now for this blasted snow to melt...
{S:5} Hurricane Hudson strikes again. While filling the bathtub, I found him Teasing the toilet paper by holding it over the tub.

{L:1} I got to spend some time with my girls this week!

{L:2} I celebrated spring with my scarf and an iced drink!

{L:3} Played a little Sonic...

{L:4} Found a vintage scarf when I went shopping with my sister in St. Paul!

{L:5} and the sandwich I am obsessed with that I concocted! Can't get enough! Recipe coming soon!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday | #tbt

2007. Just gotten back from Barnes and Noble. Checkin out the Pompeii book.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Search for Simplicity

I have had a craving lately. It is from a time-era I have never been a part of. It's branching off of stories I have heard my grandma tell.

It's when life was simplistic. It's when families were together. It's when homemade was the only option. It's when frugal was the norm.

I have been drawn lately to movies that take place in the 50's and 60's. I love seeing these families portrayed the way they are. I am so sick of tv now where dramatic and disrespectful are on every channel. Where I regularly think, "can they say that on tv?" Life was once pure and humor was innocent. Men were taught to respect women, and women had more sense of worth. Chivalry was alive.

I want my son to grow up enjoying simplicity. I want him to read and play and get dirty. I want him to dig for worms. I want him to use his imagination. I don't want him to live in a completely electronically centered world. I want him to work and earn what he has. Not just live in this society where everyone is entitled. I want him to look up to and learn wisdom from his elders.

I love having the ability to create myself. I am addicted to making family dinner where we all sit together; I love making my house a home- I don't want to miss out on these labors of love.

There is something with laboring with your hands. You feel accomplished and there is pride in your work. This brings me to baking bread.

I have tried on and off for a couple years to make a good loaf of bread. I started with my bread machine and have ended up kneading with my hands.

I love kneading dough. I love putting strength into it. I love feeling the warmth under my palms and the inviting smell drift through my home. This work makes me feel like life is a little more simple. That I haven't lost where we came from. The everything branches from someone's hard work, and that even today, I can be a part of that.

This bread is really good. It's soft. It tastes good. It's easy. And I feel comfortable feeding it to my son with its simple ingredients. It fills my soul with the simplicity I crave. (Find the recipe Here)

May I never forget what simplicity looks like.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weekend Rewind

We had the privilege of having my mom visit us this weekend. She is very good about seeing Hudson every couple weeks. Through exhaustion, housework, and regular work, I feel filled. My mom always brings me a settled feeling through her time here.

I love sharing projects, ideas, recipes, and thoughts with her. She is definitely one of my best friends. She is kind and complimentary and can boost my confidence. There is nothing like hearing "I'm proud of you" from a parent.

What I love most is that her grandson is a priority. She makes a countdown days before she comes. She loves on him and adores him. She makes him belly laugh the whole time she is here.

Anyone can do the above with him, but you can see he reciprocates her feelings. He lights up when he sees her. His eyes sparkle. He asks bashful, yet excited.

I love watching them interact. She is the only one that acts completely like a mad person- bouncing around with a high pitched voice, and he just soaks it in. She is fluent in Hudson. She speaks his language.

I am so blessed to think there are others that love my son as much as I do. He is such a lucky boy to have both parents completely smitten with him, as well as a family that surrounds him with joy and love.

It was a good weekend. Mom is heading home now, and the house feels empty. Now I can just look forward to the next time she is here.
Don't forget to check out this post about our upcoming giveaways! Be a part of this!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

We want to give you something.

We have been working on some giveaways that we will be starting in a month or so...

...and we are really excited about it.
Aveda products, beauty products, jewelry...
...just for YOU! And who doens't like free stuff?

We just need a couple things from you.
1. Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter (Links under header)
2. Follow us on the blog (on the right of the post- you don't need a blog or a google account to follow)

We see you are reading...
... we just want you involved.
It's like a pat on the back. A high five. A thank-you for writing. And that you may possibly like us.
We want to give you something.
We APPRECIATE you. And we want to say Thank You back.

Follow & Stay Tuned.

Friday, March 15, 2013


We are finally linking up for the first time- we are excited to join this party every Friday! Next week we will have 5 photos for each of us.

 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg

1. {S} I found this onion in my pantry. My pantry can grow plants better than I can. I'm going to see if I can get this thing going...
2. {S} Hurricane Hudson struck again. He loves taking wipes apart. Today he actually helped pick them up! Part two of this- I found Batman Jammies for $3! SCORE.

3. {S} I decided to dye easter eggs for the first time in years. Since my decor is more complete in earthy tones, natural dye was the way to go! This egg was dyed in blueberries! Pretty, huh?

4. {L} This week I went to the science museum with a friend. We went to the body exhibit- I'll spare you those photos even though it was extremely cool.
5. {L} My double color Process. Isn't it beautiful?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Young Living - All purpose Cleaner

I have fallen in love with Young Living Essential Oils. They have made such a difference in my life- and I have only just begun.

I had basic essential oil knowledge- they provided some training when I went to school at Aveda. Aveda's essential oils are pure in quality, but only meant to be used topically or by diffusing in the air. Young Living has such a large inventory, and most of them are pure enough to ingest. Quality!

A sweet friend of mine introduced me to these oils. I had no idea how endless the possibilities were with these oils. I purchased quite a few, then she suggested to me to become a distributer. So I did, and am learning more and more every day. If you need something, let me know.

I have slowly been changing the products in my home to the more natural kind. I was using Seventh Generation cleaner. It worked well, and was very affordable.

When I ran out, and after some research, I decided to make my own all purpose cleaner. I used my old Seventh Generation bottle, and went to work mixing.

I love this cleaner and use it for everything. I feel safe using it on Hudson's high chair, and it works great to clean mirrors.

Here is one of the best parts- there are only 4 ingredients! Cheap - Safe - Effective! Can't beat it.

I filled my old Seventh Generation spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. Then for the oils, I use 5 drops Young Living Purification oil, and 5 drops Young Living Lemon oil. Mix it and done!

Purification is a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and sanitizing oil. It kills odors and bacterias.

Lemon is a antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral oil.

The aroma took a little while to get used to- but at least it's not a strong chemical smell! It smells like ginger. I use it in my kitchen, my bathroom- anywhere! It works really well!

Information and photos have been taken from the Young Living Website
Partying with the Gingerbread Girl and A Bowl Full of Lemons

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

You know that gooey crunchy center in Dairy Queen cakes? Well, it's Kyle's favorite.

I have had this need to create some cake that incorporates his favorite things for each birthday. Sometimes its good, and sometimes it's a flop.I had some great compliments on this one, so I will take it as a success.

I had seen the idea of this cake a while back, just had never looked in to how it was made. I purchased some ingredients that would create what I needed and, Voila! Dairy Queen Cake knock off.

Here is how I made this rich cake dripping with hot fudge.

- Ice Cream Sanwiches (Depends on how big you want the cake)
- 2 packages oreos
- 1 jar hot fudge
- Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

1.) Make sure that the ice cream sandwiches are frozen solid. Also put your serving platter in the freezer at least one hour before you assemble the cake.

2.) Play lincoln logs. 3 sandwiches in each direction are equal length and width. Make your base layer the size you desire.

3.) In a bowl, mix crushed Oreos (make sure they aren't too fine. For my size cake I used 3/4 package of Oreos) 1/2 c hot fudge (not yet warmed) and 1/4 c Hershy's syrup. Spread evenly over base layer of sandwiches.

4.) Stack next layer of  ice cream sandwiches- begin heating hot fudge.

5.) Spread a thin layer of Hershey's syrup over the top of the second layer of sandwiches. Crush large pieces of Oreo's over the top. Evenly distrubute them to cover the top. Drip the heated hot fudge over the top of the oreo pieces.

Be sure to freeze the cake at least an hour before serving.

Enjoy! This cake is a multi-person pleaser! Partying with the Gingerbread Girl


Friday, March 8, 2013

The 28th Year

We just celebrated Kyle's 28th birthday.

The night before, we headed down to St. Paul for a MN Wild Hockey game. Hudson thoroughly enjoyed that and was wide-eyed the entire time.

The day of, we had some Italian for lunch and prepared for a party! It was so fun being close to where Kyle grew up so a lot of his friends could come. New and old, we had a blast together.

I had asked each attendee to bring an package of oreos or a 12 pack of mountain dew, Kyle's favorite. Let's just say we have an ungodly amount of junk food. Hopefully it will take him a long time to get through!

Here are some pics from the night:
And we of course couldn't forget Kona... it was her 2nd birthday. After our guests left, she had a special treat!
I'll share my cake recipe tomorrow- Check back!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jokes up

It's time, Sara... It's time to move closer to me now. 

This isn't funny anymore, I'd really like to have my best friend back.

This whole Sartell joke is up!

I guess what I'm trying to say is... 
I miss you.