Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sometimes... is just awesome. 

There's nothing like winning a giveaway to give me a perma-high for a week. 
Every time I think about it I get giddy!

Here's what I won!

I'm pretty sure I've told you about Mommy Necklaces before.
They're nursing necklaces that are super durable, made of non-toxic USA beads, with a "breakaway" clasp that will release when pulled on particularly hard, thus eliminating the risk of the necklace breaking. They also have a three year guarantee. You can even send your necklaces back after a year and they'll clean them and buff them up good as new if you want! Plus, the color schemes and beads are just plain gorgeous. And they are extremely customizable.
No, a shameless plug for MN is not required for me to receive this necklace. I just think they're fabulous.

Love them.

And I "like" their page on Facebook. That's how I won this gorgeous necklace and accent strand.
The ladies at Mommy Necklaces love to do giveaways through Facebook, so any time they make an "oops" necklace (too long/short/wrong colored donut, etc.), they'll post about it on their wall, and usually all you have to do is "like" that post and you're entered to win. 

In this case, the owner of Mommy Necklaces was just experimenting with the beads and came up with this beauty. She's dubbed it the "Just Because" necklace. 

It is the only one of its kind! Usually the giveaways are of collections (color schemes) they offer on their website, but not this one!

I feel so special!
And lucky.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So remember how I was needing a seating solution for my fabulous custom desk? 

I bought a stability ball.

I figure, it's squishy (which equals comfy, naturally...), I can tuck it under the desk, it will help tone my "core", Emily can use it as a toy/drum/trampoline, and I can use it to challenge myself in my workouts. 

What's not to love, right?

Turns out it is a lot of fun. Although, if I bounce too much while working on the computer I get a little motion sick... 

What's up with that???

Monday, January 24, 2011


For those who are new/er to my blog, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Our ward here in Vancouver meets at 1:00. 
Was that a collective groan I heard from all you other moms out there??

Guess what time our lil' bug usually takes her daily nap?
Yes, we've been down to one nap for several months now...


So far we've managed to get her up early (or in yesterday's case, she got up nice and early--sorry Kirby), and then put her down for a nap around 10:30. Yesterday she actually went right to sleep, so she got NEARLY the two hours she usually does before we had to wake her up to get her ready to go. 

Despite the nap, by the time sacrament meeting is over, she's done sitting still. 
Like, hardcore done.
Only about three more months until nursery!

So each week Kirby and I take one shift, either Sunday School or Priesthood/Relief Society. Then the next week we switch what shift we take.

Yesterday I had the last block--Relief Society.

Emily is really quite pleasant. She hams it up for the crowd--grins, and dances. But she also prefers to travel around the entire relief society room. Which I don't really feel okay with. So after a little while of trying to keep her within a 3-4 foot radius (I was even sitting with another friend of mine and her 10-month-old--you'd think that playing with another baby would keep her in one place--yeah right...) I took her out to change her diaper. I wanted to go back in, but I knew it would be impossible to keep her in one place, and felt bad about bringing a huge distraction back. Even if most of the ladies are probably okay with it, I know deep down there must be at least a couple ladies who are genuinely irritated by it.

So we wandered the halls.
And Emily hammed it up for everyone we encountered out there, too.
And any time someone entered or exited a classroom, Emily would make a mad dash for the open (or should we say rapidly closing) door. Visions of tiny squished fingers are dancing in my head...
By the time 4:00 rolled around I was exhausted and discouraged.

I thought to myself, "Why do we even come!? One of us might as well stay home."
Right away I knew it wasn't true. We both got to partake of the sacrament. And we each got at least 1 hour of additional learning. I knew it was just because I ended on the rough shift, and I'm also not used to spending so much time in the hall. In Orem, I taught the CTR 4's in primary, so Kirby had Emily for the entire second two hours of the block. But I still felt pretty discouraged.

I was thinking about how I felt yesterday as I got ready to eat breakfast this morning. I've been trying to read one conference talk from the last General Conference each morning while I eat. 

The talk I read (correction: I'm still reading it...) this morning is entitled Faith--The Choice Is Yours from Bishop Richard C. Edgley. A couple things have stood out to me.

"Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism."

"Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours."

What does this have to do with my experience at church yesterday? Lemme 'splain. It was fairly easy for me to feel like there wasn't any point in being at church when I was out of class. I figured I wasn't being spiritually uplifted, so why bother? 

But after reading this, I realized that it just means I need to be more active in finding spiritual experiences throughout the week to keep me lifted up. Whether my faith is strengthened is not up to whether or not my child will sit quietly on my lap durin Relief Society--it's up to me. Hey, there are probably even things I can do while we're wandering the halls! And I know that church is where we are supposed to be, so I will be blessed regardless of whether I'm able to sit through an entire class with my 15-month-old.

Looks like it's time to really crack down on my daily scripture study. 

But hey--I'm sure you moms have had similar experiences. What did you do to keep from getting discouraged? And was there anything you found that helped keep energetic pre-nursery children close during classes?

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Here is our current bedding:

I love it. Truly I do. But some of the patches (the silkier fabric with the zebra stripes) are fraying at the seams. So lame. 

BUT--also fun because it means I can change up our bedroom--which I've been wanting to do for a little while now. And realistically, changing up the bedding is a great way to do that. 

I've been searching different sites (kohls, jcpenney, walmart, target, etc.) for sets I love, but that are also affordable. I need something that is delicious and fun, but not to crazy or girly (since Kirby has to like it, after all.) 

Here's the thing, though--I surprised Kirby with this bedding. I saw it at Walmart one day, loved it immediately, but was worried Kirby would hate it. I decided to give it a shot anyways and put it on the bed while he was at school, keeping all the packaging in case it was a complete failure. 

He loved it.

He did, however, openly admit that if he'd been there at the store with me to help select our new bedding, he never would have chosen this, and probably would have been against it. 

My point? Sometimes taking chances can really pay off. 

I have found a couple I like so far, and would LOVE some input from all y'all.

The first three are all from Kohls. 

Found HERE.
 I love how luxurious these two look. Same set, different color schemes. 
Found HERE.
Update: Turns out this one (above) isn't available in a queen. LAME. But I'll leave it up anyways because it's gorgeous. :)

And this one? I am just drawn to it. I can't quite pin down the reason why. If it was just for me, I would buy this in a heartbeat. My only hesitation is Kirby--do you guys think it's too girly??
Found HERE.

The rest are from Walmart--some are available in stores, others are only available online. I couldn't save the pictures from their website (LAAAAME!), but I'll put the links. 

I think this one is fun and whimsical, while being elegant at the same time.

This one has me head-over-heels. I love the color. Plus--it comes with the decorative pillows shown in the picture!

This set definitely has a masculine vibe, which I'm totally cool with. But it is all brown, and I'm kind of itching to shake things up with the color. I like all the asymmetry, though!

This one is another that I'm drawn too, but I'm afraid it might be too feminine. The color, the print. But isn't it FABULOUS?

So there you have it. My huge dilemma. I have $40 in Kohls Cash from our shopping trip to get Kirby clothes for work, and a $30 gift card from Christmas. So I'd love to be able to use those on the bedding, since it would kind of even out the price difference between Kohls and Walmart. Plus part of me is telling myself, "If it costs more it should supposedly be higher quality, right???" That being said, there is plenty on my list-of-things-to-do that could be purchased at Kohls with said gift card and Kohl's Cash, so it's not like this will be my only chance to use them.

On the other hand, the Walmart sets are definitely cheaper, and while that could mean lower quality, the set we have now came from Walmart and we have loved it--the warmth level is perfect, and the fabrics feel fabulous. Plus-- it could give me a great excuse to switch things up again in a couple years, right?? ;)

What do YOU think? 
Which set is your favorite and why? 
Do you think I'm too paranoid about the girly-ness, or would it be wise to steer clear of those two more feminine sets? 
And what are your views on decorative pillows? I LOVE a made up bed, complete with decorative pillows, but the rational side of me (thanks, dad...) keeps telling myself they'll just be tossed out of the way. 
They WOULD make making the bed every morning a lot more fun, though. Ooooh. That's a great justification! I would definitely be more likely to make the bed if we had fabulous pillows.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Big Blue Wall.

So here's the plan. And I'm super excited about it.

I am going to shamelessly copy THIS idea, found HERE.

Which was inspired from THIS.

I'm planning on mounting 5x7 prints of our family, friends, and other cool looking stuff on foam board or something similar, to give it added stiffness, and then just stick them on the shallow "shelves." Of course, we would LOVE some cool postcards, too--if any of y'all have some sitting around or want to send one our way, shoot me an email at davisonphotography {at} gmail {dot} com and I'll send our new address your way. :)

I'm crazy excited about this because it will provide us with an art piece that is fun and modern, but it also easily changeable. It will be easy (and inexpensive) to switch out a 5x7 here, and a postcard there. It will also be easy to keep the pictures current--and it's a place to put those fun photos that don't quite make it into a frame. ALSO--in a space that would hold maybe 6-10 frames, we'll be able to fit 20+ pictures. 

I'm beyond excited.

Our Very Own Cookie Monster.

It's amazing what she can do with a single Oreo.

The Tour

I have had several requests for more photos of the place, so here's how it looked today.
As in... I didn't clean up. At all.
Okay, so I vacuumed up the toilet paper Emily ripped into tiny bits in the bathroom. But that's all.
So don't judge. :)

Welcome to our apartment. This is the view from our front door. To the right of the TV is the hallway back to the bathroom and bedrooms, and you can see the office/dining room back to the left.

Living room view from the hallway.

This is the office/dining room. We just got the pictures up yesterday. Yes, I know my "D" is not quite centered. Gotta fix that. And we're going to stain the desk that Kirby made. I'm trying to decide between a stability ball (cheap, and good for you), or a cute little bench/ottoman that I can tuck under the desk. OPINIONS?

The view from the dining room into the living room. That door on the right leads to our balcony and storage area. No pictures of that yet. Whoops.

The kitchen. It opens up to the dining room/office, which is nice.

A slightly different view that shows the microwave. And my charming child.
Yeah, okay, so I'm mostly including this shot because I think Emily looks hilarious.
And that mountain of newspaper beside the microwave? That's my old spice rack. I need to decide which of those spices I actually use and create magnetic baby food spice jars for them. Kirby left it ugly and in the way to "encourage" me to do it quickly. :)

Okee dokes. Let's head down the hallway. First door on the left is the bathroom.

This room is pretty much full of stuff that is not intended for a bathroom.
For example: That big fluffy rug? NOT A BATHMAT.
Funny story. We didn't have one when we moved in. But I had that rug as a photography prop for babies. But the back of it is rubberized, so Kirby decided to stick it in the bathroom. 
I was planning on switching it out, but after having that fabulous thing underfoot for two weeks? 
Ummm... It makes sitting on the pot almost luxurious. Maybe we should find a toilet seat cover made out of the stuff?
The brown shag rug is also not a bathmat, but is not rubberized. Not ideal for in front of the door. I'm hoping to get one of those west elm jersey knit rugs for right there.

This IKEA shelf is not made for the bathroom. We bought it for the living room before learning that the stud locations don't really allow for us to hang it on the wall without it looking dorky. And it's pretty hefty. So now it serves us remarkably well in the bathroom. It gave us a spot to store TP that is accessible from the toilet--seriously, how awful is it when you've already sat down and you realize there's no toilet paper!? It also gives us a place to store all the stuff we use regularly in the shower, but don't want it cluttering the sides of the tub. One basket holds Emily's bath toys, and the other holds feminine hygiene products--also conveniently accessible from the pot. I still need to decide what to do on the top.

Towel hooks? It was our coat rack in our old place, but since we have a coat closet by our door, we don't really need it for coats anymore. It was a perfect solution in the bathroom, which had a cheapo towel rod which only fit one towel on it. Yes, that's the mounting bracket from the towel rod still there. We didn't want to strip out the screws, thus creating a problem when we have to put it back up before we leave...

Directly opposite the bathroom door is our washer/dryer closet. Forgot to photograph it.

Next room on the left is Emily's room. It also serves as a storage room of sorts. It is in no way set up how I want it yet. I would like to put the crib up against the accent wall, and hang pictures above it. I just haven't gotten to this room at all yet. And yes. We have a toddler bed in there, too. We were gifted one from my aunt, and we don't have anywhere to store it--we figured it looked nicer set up than leaning up against the wall. Emily to climb into and out of it over and over again. Although, I don't think she understands what it is yet.

View from the window. Half of that closet is taken up by our water heater. Big bummer. What whatcha gonna do?

If you walk straight down the hallway you walk right into the master bedroom.

View from the window. That's our walk in closet, which provides us with half the closet space we used to have in our bedroom. :) We're managing. If anything, it just helps encourage us to take clothes we never wear to Goodwill.

Phew! Walk back down that hallway, and turn left and you're back at the front door!

Still lots to do. I need to:

Create a new headboard for the bed. 
We had to take off the one that came with it because it requires the bed to be several inches off the wall, 
and we couldn't comfortably fit the dresser at the foot of the bed with it on--and there was no other place to put the dresser.
Find homes for the junk on top of our dresser.
Reorganize the closet and try and find another home for Kirby's tools.
Window treatments.
New Bedding.

Get a new shower curtain and towels for the bathroom.
I love the curtain we have. The texture is gorgeous. But it is the same color as our walls. And the bathroom NEEDS COLOR. Desperately.
Who knows. Maybe once we have bath towels with color it will look super-fab.
Figure out what to do on top of the bookcase.
Get some legit bath accessories.
Do something beautiful above the toilet.

*Emily's Room:
Uhhhh... Set it up. :)
Figure out how to either get rid of enough stuff so we have room in actual storage spaces for the extra boxes, or find a clever way to conceal them in her room.
Window treatments.

*Living Room:
Do the picture rails above the couch. 
Buy new lamps?
Find a teensy side table for Kirby's chair so we can get more light in that room!
There's no overhead lighting. BWUUUT!?
Learn how to make Roman shades for the window.

*Dining Room/Office/Kitchen:
Roman shade for the window in a fabulous color. 
Print new photos for the frames.
The ones in there have never been switched and most are pre-marriage!
Stain the desktop.
Organize desk. a.k.a. find space for the extra junk.
Finish spice jars.

Ummm... so yeah. That's the tour!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh, Yum.

How delicious are THESE!?
found here...

Um, yes. I would love to have one of those bathmats underfoot while I brush my teeth. Sign me up!
I wish they came in more colors, but I think white could totally work in our bathroom.

Ok, so I'll make it work!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Settling In.

I finally broke out the 5d Mark II today. 
It was about time I got some new pictures of Emily.

I just got Emily some real bath toys. Hooray! Naturally, it needed to be photographed.

"Geez. Haven't seen that big black thing in a while..."

Emily's characteristic squat. Sometimes she'll go a full 10 minutes like this.

We finally got Emily some rubber-soled shoes. Seeing as the ground is wet here about 85% of the time, I figured it was about time. Now we can actually play outside!

She clearly loves them.
When we tried them on at Kohls she went ballistic when we took them off.

Are they darling or what!?

The tights/diaper cover/tennis shoes combo is SO in right now.

Belly shot. Because it's fabulous.

The News from Washington

So far, so good.
We have things moved in and organized to a point where we are as far as we can go before getting another bookcase. 

We're gonna get one from IKEA. 
I went there this past Saturday (Have any of you ever been on a Saturday?? INSANE.) and got two dressers to go under our TV and a small(ish) shelf which ended up in the bathroom. We were going to hang it on the wall, but it's a hefty lil' thing, and the studs just didn't line up in the living room. Bummer. Anyhoo, that final bookcase wouldn't have fit in my car along with the other items. It's 79 1/2 inches long, for goodness sakes! Plus, it was the first item I found in the self serve area, and I was alone, and chickened out. I was alone with the dressers and shelf, too, but by the time I found them I was in this-trip-will-be-a-total-waste-if-I-don't-suck-it-up-and-find-a-way-to-get-these-on-my-cart mode.

So... our place used to look like this:

Master Bedroom.
Emily's Room.
 Bathroom. Obviously.
Living Room.
 View from the front door of the living and dining room.

Now it doesn't. And I'll get pictures again soon. I am too tired and lazy right now to do it. Plus--they'll be better with natural light coming in the windows anyways. 

Our trip here was a bit crazy. I've already mentioned the crazy weather, and the truck delay... But I've only barely gotten to upload any pictures.

Our couldn't-have-survived-withouts were the DVD player, goldfish crackers, and kix.

This is what the road looked like before we got to Pendleton for the night. I know what you're thinkin'. What road? So glad I wasn't driving.

This is how I felt by the end of it all, too.

And some non-roadtrip shots. Just 'cause.
Emily prefers to sit in the lid to her puzzle box when she watches TV.

I came in to check on Emily during her nap one day to find this. Whoops!
Yes, the right side of her diaper managed to come undone. Fabulous.

I decided to let Emily have a go at a bowl of yogurt all by herself yesterday.
She loved it. 
By the end of it everything was coated in yogurt.

She doesn't quite have the spoon thing down yet. Sometimes it's just easier to eat with your fingers...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I know I'm long overdue for a personal post, and I promise I'll get to work on one once this is up. I've been wanting to tell y'all about Pinterest since I got invited to it though another blog I follow. It has simplified my life in a major way. 

'Lemme 'splain.

I am constantly finding inspiration for interior design ideas, crafting, fun activities to do with my kids someday, homemade and non-toxic cleaners, fitness tips, etc. etc. etc. on blogs I read, and other websites I come across. Well, back in the day the best thing I could come up with was creating a folder on my bookmarks bar with subfolders inside of it. So I had a "Crafts inspiration" folder, with subfolders like "Home Decor," "Sewing Projects," "Baby Stuff," and so on and so forth. It was a semi-effective system, except that I had to go through link by link to find a specific project I remembered, and half the time I couldn't picture the project until I clicked on the link anyways. No pictures = confusion. 

That's where Pinterest comes in. Pure genius. 

You simply drag a little thing that says "Pin It" from their site into your bookmarks bar, and then whenever you find a page you want to bookmark and remember for later, you simply click on the "Pin It" button, and then you select a picture from the page that represents its content (yes--it's one weakness--if there isn't any picture on the page, you are out of luck!), select which "board" you are pinning it to, and voila! 

You can see the "Pin It" button in my bookmark bar on the right side... Third from the right.

Another fabulous thing about Pinterest? Because it's all kept online, you can access it from any computer. This has saved me, because sometimes I use Kirby's laptop, and what use would that be if I had separate bookmarks on his computer?

Here are some screen shots of how fabulous the site is...

These first two are of the page that shows an overview of all my most recent pins to all my boards...

These last two are screen shots of what it looks when I'm looking at a specific board--in this case, my Interior and Exterior Spaces board.

When you click on one of the pictures it takes you to an individual page with all the information you've entered on it (you can even enter prices if you have a wishlist on there), and if you want to go to the actual page you pinned it from you simply click on the picture again and it takes you straight there!

Speaking of wishlists... this is also a great place to form one, because you can have pictures from a bunch of different sites all in one place. Tell your husbands how to get to your wishlist board, and they will love you for it. Not only does it have everything there, WITH PICTURES, but they can get straight to where they can purchase it.

You can also "follow" other people's boards, and re-pin items from others' boards to your own. Very cool. 

So there you have it. I don't get any sort of bonus if you join or anything, I just think it's amazing. As far as I know, it's invite only, which is why I posted about it. I think I have at least 5 invites as of right now, and I want to give them away! So please let me know if this is something you think you would use and love and leave me your email, and I'll send invites on a first come first serve basis until I run out! Again, I'm not exactly sure how many I have, but even if I run out I can probably request more.

I love Pinterest, and I think you will too! :)

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