Flower Power {8 Ways to Wear Them as an Accessory}

Lately, my favorite accessory has been an oversized flower pin.
It is so versatile and really adds an extra "umph" to my outfits.
I was inspired by Elaine on her modest fashion blog, clothed much (check it out!).

So, I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a stemmed flower (if it isn't on sale, take a coupon or wait a week--they go on sale FREQUENTLY!)

I chopped off the stem, flush to the flower base.
I kept the flower and all it's layers intact, and gently gobbed hot glue between
as many layers as I could.
Then, I hot glued a "pin back" on the backside.

The Perfect Accessory!

You have no idea how many compliments I have gotten on the flower from complete strangers.

My favorite ways to wear it include: 

On a regular, t-shirt. 
It really dresses up a casual outfit without any extra effort and a lot of statement.

On my plain purse. 
I got this purse for $10 because I liked the price, size, and color.  It is super plain, so I tied a thrifted scarf on one of the handles, and then pin the flower right on.  This is easy to do and isn't permanent, so you can change it up when the seasons or your mood changes!

On a plain cardigan.
I have a ton of simple cardigans, but I still get weak in the knees when I see an adorable embellished one at the store.  But with this flower, it dolls up even a plain sweater.  It takes a simple, understated outfit, to a whole new look--much more "pulled together" in my opinion. 

On a simple scarf.
I just love this look.  So easy, so simple, so chic. 

On my waistband.
Instantly makes this outfit glamourous!  Elaine also wears her flower this way, which I love.

Other Ideas:
Pinned to a belt (just on top of the buckle--gives it a feminine flair)
Pinned to an earwarmer
Pinned to a necklace (think one or two strands of long pearls, pinned on the side)

I even have a few other flowers, but you can see the versatility with just one neutral color!

And there you have it!  A few ways to glam up your get-up!
Gotta love {flower power}

(and after compiling this post, I am seriously sick of looking at my face!)

What's Cookin' in Your Kitchen?

As a newlywed, cooking can be a bit daunting.  Usually I love to do it, but sometimes, I'm just over it!  It's always one of my favorite things to chat with my friends...what do they make for dinner?  It seems everyone has some tips and tricks that work for them. 

So I thought I would occasionally post a few of the things I have learned since being married about
"cooking for two".

First off though, Brett and I both eat quite a bit.  Usually we have a bit of leftovers, which Brett takes to work the next day.  It's a system that has been working great for us and saves us a ton of money!

My first secret (or not-so secret): rotisserie chicken.
I love the rotisserie chicken because it is moist, already cooked, and slightly seasoned.

I love Costco's, but I've gotten them at other grocery stores. 
Costco just has the biggest for the best price ($5).
My tips for picking a chicken out is to find one that is touching or close to touching
the top of the case (it will be bigger and have more meat).

When you get home, take all the meat off of the bones and then divide it into quart size freezer bags.
Make sure to label and date them!  Then stick them in the freezer.
(You can use the leftover skin and bones and simmer them in water with onion, carrots, and celery to make your own chicken stock--this also freezes very well!).

They are ready for you to thaw out the day you have a recipe that calls for chicken! 

Here are my top three choices for using this chicken:

(this is a really hearty and healthy dinner)

(a really yummy twist on traditional enchiladas)

Chicken Noodle Soup
(use the "homemade" frozen noodles to kick chicken noodle soup up a notch!)

Knitting Needles

My Grandma Clark has been teaching me how to knit.  I know only two stitches so far...
but I've been practicing them like crazy. 

I take my carpet knitting bag almost everywhere I go...
Including to watch Brett play softball Tuesday evenings.
Someone came up to me and asked how married life was, I said, "It's great!"
And then he looked at me knitting and said, "Ha, yeah right!  Looks like a drag to me!"

Well, I think knitting is awesome!  I love having something to keep my fingers busy and these projects I can whip out pretty fast--and I love projects that come together quickly.

Here's my first project:  a camel colored scarf.  I really like it!

Don't look too closely though, or you will see a lot of imperfections. 
But when it's on, you don't notice...
I just say it's experience.

I am also working on a making a scarf for each of my little primary kids for Christmas. 
Let's hope I can finish in time. 

I have also whipped up a few of these ear-warmers (too bad it's still in the 70's here)!

I can't decide whether to keep my bangs tucked in or falling out.

I've considered selling a few of the ear-warmers, but I don't know if anyone would be interested.
If you are, leave a comment--I would keep them under $10, so they would be affordable.
And am I the only one, or is taking pictures of yourself super awkward?
Or asking your husband to take a picture of you kinda weird?

Maybe it's just me...

Brett's Birthday Weekend in Sedona

Remember this post?  Brett and I had a blast staying in a cabin-for-two in Sedona.  Seriously, we would recommend this adorable bed-and-breakfast to anyone!  They are called the Canyon Wren Cabins, check them out!  And if you don't believe us, look at TripAdvisor, they have phenomenal reviews!

We drove up early Friday evening (we stayed in the Honeysuckle Cabin) and grilled our own steaks, had baked potatoes, steamed veggies, and Brett's favorite Strawberry-Lime Jones Soda.  Topped off dinner with Sprinkles cupcakes (lit with candles of course!).  We watched a movie on Brett's laptop, and just chatted and relaxed in front of the fireplace. 

Saturday morning we woke up and had a delicious breakfast.  Then we were headed off onto a beautiful hike (of course I forgot my camera!  But we took a few on Brett's phone).  The hike was gorgeous.

That afternoon we napped, relaxed, and watched a movie. 

We hit a cozy Italian Restaurant that is frequented by the locals.  Complete with some live music and candles, it was a delicious recommendation by our hosts.  After dinner we walked through Uptown Sedona, and bought a souvenir.  Then we went back to the cabin, started up a fire in the fireplace, drank hot chocolate, made s'mores, and played speed scrabble. 

This is the life!


What a goofball!  Haha!

We had a wonderful time together, and it is amazing how much fun you can have when the TV and the internet aren't even an option!

Autumn Decor

I love Fall!  I love the colors and the weather, especially!
Since we will only have our Autumn decor out for another week or so,
I thought I'd better hurry and share.
Here is our front door and porch decked out.

The wreath I made with a thrift store grapevine wreath, a leaf garland on clearance, and some picks from the dollar store. 

The scarecrow and the "Welcome Fall" sign were both given to me, I collected the pumpkins a few times on grocery store trips, the flowers are from D.I. ($3), and the bale of hay/straw I bought at the Mesa Feed Barn--just around the corner from us.  It was so much cheaper to buy the real straw than to buy the decorative bales at Wal Mart or Hobby Lobby (plus, Brett even took the center out of our bale--and it still is huge!). 

And here is the top of the piano,
almost the same as the Halloween stuff, but a different banner and a
"give thanks" plaque I made at Enrichment.


For a date night last week, we rode our bikes down to Pete's Fish & Chips.
It is such a fun, old-school Mesa hot spot.  Everything is deep-fried, and it is cash-only. 
We recommend the chicken strips and deep fried burritos with chips.

We love utilizing our "I {heart} you because:" board in our bedroom to leave little love notes. 
It is so easy to make!  Just take an old frame, and place the phrase behind the glass. 
Use a dry-erase board marker to write the messages.
It's such a fun little thing to make it easier to remember to show love and appreciation!

I remember making these little "ghosties" when I was little. 
So for Family Night the Monday before Halloween, we made them
for our nieces and nephews and sent them in little Halloween care packages.
All it is, is a Tootsie pop with a tissue tied on it and a ghost face made with a Sharpie!

Brett's sister turned the big 4-0 last week,
so the whole family got their gifts together
and I made up the basket to drop off on her actual birthday.
The gifts ranged from adorable accessories all the way to wrinkle cream and more.
Brett & I did the "40 sucks" with the lollipop bouquet!
(She'd probably kill me for posting this, but I don't think she even knows I have a blog!)

Good Weather is Here!

And the good weather calls for:

Homemade soup in delicious bread bowls (left over from the Halloween party--thanks Aubrey!) 

Going "old school" on my morning run--gotta stay warm!

The best birthday present ever!  Brett and I got these from my parents...
they were waiting in our house when we got home from Sedona
and we are loving them!

Since we have our new bikes, Brett has been going to the local parks to shoot hoops.
The other night he let me tag along, and this guy asked Brett to play one-on-one.
Brett beat him 10-0.
It was awesome!
And the guy kept yelling out "This white boy can play!" and "Man, do you live on the court?"
It was a proud moment for me!

Mary Poppins and Bert = Happy Halloween

Do you remember how we went to our ward campout with our friends the Whitings?  Well Aubrey is finshing school studying event planning and they threw an awesome costume party a couple weeks before Halloween!

So we dressed up as Mary Poppins and Bert!  I just thrifted everything, and added a few touches (i.e. daisies to the hat, spray painted the chimney sweep black, made the red bow tie, etc.).  I was so excited that I found a carpet bag, an umbrella, and something close enough to a chimney sweep!

We ended up winning the "Best Couples Costume" Award!  And the decor was super cute.  I went a little early to help Aubrey set up, so right before everyone came I snapped a few pictures. 

the adorable drink station 

super cute table decor

the adorable awards given out 

the food table before the food arrived (the bag is covering all the delicious bread bowls!)
We had some different soups, bread bowls, appetizers, and an assortment of desserts.

Thanks Aubrey and Thomas, we had a blast!