My Birthday Boy

Today is Brett's 25th birthday!  I feel so blessed to be married to such a wonderful man.  He takes such great care of me, he shows me unconditional love, he is a great example to me.  He is my best friend, my sounding board, my voice of reason, my snuggler, my comedian, my love!  Here are just a few fun photos of my sweetheart throughout his life...

What an adorable baby he was!

He always has been an athlete

Best buds with his brothers

Raised by wonderful parents

Was an excellent (and well-loved) missionary


And now he's mine for time and all eternity!
I love you Brett!

Birthday Weekend

Brett and I are going to be staying in this adorable, cozy
cabin-for-two this weekend to celebrate his 25th birthday. 
We can hardly wait to hit the road this afternoon!

Happy Days

A few of the happenings around here lately:

picking the last few flowers off of our rose bush

homemade sweet pork (Costa Vida knock-off) salads
(yes, I did buy the tins to eat them in--I know, I am a nerd!)

carving a pumpkin and making homemade caramel apples
(using the apples from Apple Annies--yum!)
we named him Pier and he looked quite lovely on our front porch...
before he slumped over and died

going to "Movie in the Park" and seeing "Guys and Dolls" with Jacob and Camille
(check out their fun dating blog, here)
complete with a picnic dinner and twinkly lights
obviously we didn't get ideal seating sitting right behind a pole and trash can,
but it was still fantastic and the weather was perfect!

we (or shall I say Brett) planted our garden with winter veggies
(I did make the markers though, ha!)
he also put in a dripline system (pays off to grow up on a farm!)
and just a few other shots of our backyard
I love all the different vegetation and trees (we have citrus and pecan trees)
and of course, our chickens had to make an appearance

and are these not the most adorable Halloween treats? 
one of my sweet Primary kids brought them over to me on Family Night

Weekend in Willcox

Brett and I went to Willcox a few weekends ago.  I love weekends away there.  They are slower paced, full of family togetherness, and wonderful weather. 

Here are just a few highlights from the trip:

fire burning in the fireplace and hot chocolate on chilly evenings

solving the worlds problems during family discussions

watching Brett round up 2 horses for us to ride, but a whole swarm of 10 followed him...he's the horse whisperer (or it possibly could have happened because of the bucket of grain he was carrying :)

a romantic horseback ride up into the mountains with a picnic lunch
(and Brett ripping a nice hole in his trousers)

taking the nieces and nephews on horseback rides and playing with them

homemade apple crisp from the apples in the backyard

being one of several fabulous "Sister Allred"s at church

a Fall feast of chili and cornbread

visiting brother and sister-in-law at their new beautiful home that is only surrounded by mountains and fields (she is just like Pioneer Woman!)

having chewy praline fudge for breakfast

picking out fresh produce at Apple Annie's

long talks and random dance parties in the car while driving

just being with the family
(I sure am going to miss my mother and father-in-law)

I've discovered that a huge part of me is a small-town girl
and I am lucky to have married the best cowboy around!

Anthro-Inspired Necklace

I came across this Anthro Inspired knock-off and knew I had to try it. 

Here is the original Anthropologie necklace:

Here is her knock-off (I like hers even better than the original)

I did mine a little different than her, I just used ribbon instead of using clamps.  I thought it was easier and cheaper--plus it would help the rope not fray as easily.  (Sorry that the lighting was bad in these pictures) 

 For my supplies, I used one flower from a pair of earrings, a flower off of a stretchy ring, and a flower from a brooche I found at a local thrift store.  (Sorry, I can't figure out how to turn the picture)

Then, I simply removed the back of the ring and earring, and hot glued them to the rope

 Wa-la!  The finished product!

I like it quite a bit! 
And I even adjust the length depending on what I'm wearing

Autumn Time

This decor has been up for quite a while in my house--well before the first "official" day of Fall.
Here is just a glimpse at the decor.  I am still working on the front porch area, but this is the top of our piano all decked out. 

Best part: all of it was DIY and inexpensive!  Here's a brief overview:

All except one of the mini apothecary jars are candlesticks and small jars/vases from the dollar store.  Just spray paint the candlesticks black and use E6000 glue to attach them to the jars.  The other jar is a terracotta pot spray painted black and glued to the small bowl upside down.  The big jar is from D.I. for a whopping 75 cents.  This is a great little tutorial from Jamielyn at I {heart} Naptime.  The marshmallows and candy corn are from Wal Mart and the rest of the candy is from the candy store Sweeties in Chandler.  Seriously check it out!  I love that place!

Both banners I made myself.  The "boo" banner out of scrapbook paper and the "happy halloween" banner is a chalkboard banner.  For some instructions for the chalkboard banner look here at Momtastic.  I made mine 15 squares, so it fits most sayings!

The books I picked up a while ago at a local thrift store for $1 each.  The small "A" I received as a gift for my wedding, and the small bird I got at the dollar store also (and just spray painted it black).

Just tied some lace around the big jar and some books, made things different levels...and wa-la!  A little fun for Fall.  I know it isn't anything crazy or super creative, but it makes things feel a little festive around here!  Now, off to find some yummy soup recipes for when it truly cools down for good.

Must-Try Pumpkin Cookies

I adore the cream cheese/pumpkin combination just as much as the next person (let's be honest: I love cream cheese with anything).  Although these cookies do not have that "comfort Autumn food" combo--they are definitely a must-try!  They are a light, moist pumpkin cookie with a brown sugar glaze.  They don't end up looking the most gorgeous, but wait until you have a bite, and you will never regret making them!

These pictures are from a batch I made a few years ago, but I didn't take any of the batch I made today (and they really looked almost exactly the same).  So go ahead and try them out, I know you won't be disappointed!

Pumpkin Cookies
1 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt

Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

Boil until mostly smooth (2-3 minutes)
3 Tbsp butter
½ cup brown sugar


¼ cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar or until desired consistency

Whip with a hand mixer
Spread on cookies