10 Terrific Books for Halloween

I have always loved Halloween. Maybe it’s because I like to play dress up, maybe it’s because I really like candy. Whatever the reason, I get excited for it every year. Usually, I have our costumes planned several months in advance, but this year, I’m struggling! C wants to be Princess Leia or a box of donuts… She might end up being Princess Leia carrying a box of donuts if she doesn’t decide soon! To help you get into the Halloween spirit, here are some of our favorite Halloween books for kids (and adults) of all ages. By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson – This one is new to me this year. It’s […]

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A Fitness Series: H.I.I.T. and Progressive Overload

  Before I jump into this post, we must thank you all for reading this blog! We truly appreciate your thoughts and comments and hope that your lives are somehow benefiting from this blog. I have had several requests for some posts on health and exercise so I am starting a new series all about fitness. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I think one of the main reasons I am often asked about fitness is because I got my degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University. The other main reason is probably because I have been able to maintain a pretty high degree of fitness for most of my life. Like most […]

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Tips for Flying with Young Kids

Our trip to Oregon was so dreamy! We packed a lot into three days and definitely want to go back to do a few things we weren’t able to this time. We had one full day of sunshine, and we took advantage of it! We visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory, ate lunch on the beach, and drove along the coast, stopping to explore several beaches and viewpoints. The next (not so sunny) day we ventured up to Astoria, climbed the Astoria Column, and ate some amazing fish and chips at Bowpicker. On our way to the airport, we stopped at Multnomah Falls, which was a beautiful way to end our trip. My favorite […]

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On My Mind Monday: Reflections at 9/11

While I was in New York last week, I had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Like so many of you, I remember so clearly, the emotions and events of that day, as we watched the unfathomable terror and destruction taking place in our nation. The museum was so moving and my heart ached as we made our way through the exhibits. Seeing the faces of the fallen and the images of devastation was so overwhelming. The thought of somehow ever being able to recover from something like this seemed unfeasible and hopeless. Outside the museum, it’s hard to really imagine a scene like this picture above. Two beautiful memorials now […]

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Winner, Winner, Chicken for Dinner

I am a huge fan of rotisserie chicken. Every time I go to Costco I pick up a chicken or two. When I get home, I take all the meat off, shred it, and put it in the refrigerator if I am planning to use it in the next day or two, or freeze it to have on hand for later. Just knowing I have delicious, already cooked and shredded chicken available opens up so many possibilities when I am planning dinners, especially when I know those dinners will have to be made fast! Let me share with you 7 of my favorite recipes that feature a rotisserie chicken. Green Chicken Enchiladas There […]

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Enjoying Fall in the Desert

Happy first day of fall! Since I grew up in Phoenix, fall was never a big deal to me. Then, I moved to Utah for eight years and realized how much people love fall…and for good reason! The colors are beautiful, the smells are so comforting, the crisp air feels lovely, and, of course, football! While I still don’t go crazy for fall, I do like to enjoy what it has to offer. That can be hard to do here in Phoenix since we don’t get the fall colors, and the weather doesn’t allow for sweaters yet. But I’ve found a few ways to feel festive, even if the scenery still looks a […]

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5 Ways to Beat the Mommy Blues and Better Enjoy Motherhood

I recently returned home from a quick trip to New York where I was able to meet my brand new niece. This is my brother and his wife’s first child and I loved seeing them as new parents with their sweet baby girl. While I was taking a shift on baby duty, I couldn’t help but reminisce about my days as a new mom. I felt so much love, gratitude and awe at the miracle of motherhood and the precious little soul that had been entrusted to me. But I also remembered that along with these wonderful feelings came moments of anxiety, frustration, and often solitude. For those new moms out there, let me share 5 ways […]

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On My Mind Monday: Family Vacations

All through my childhood, my family took the same vacations each year. During Spring Break, we went to Utah to snow ski. In the summer, we spent time on the beaches of San Diego. Our itineraries were fairly simple. Utah: Wake up and ski every day, with an occasional outing to downtown Salt Lake City. California: Wake up and play at the beach every day, with an occasional outing to downtown San Diego or (if we were really lucky) Disneyland. Even though we did the same thing every year, it never got boring. We looked forward to each vacation and those traditions we had made. Nowadays, my little family and I usually take our […]

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A Homeschool Novice

By Arizona standards, my daughter is too young for kindergarten this year. Her birthday falls several weeks after the September 1st deadline. This has caused me a great deal of (probably unnecessary) stress! You see, my daughter is somewhat of an education junkie – quite unique for a 4-year-old. She has been reading for over a year and a half, loves math and science, and constantly asks to play pretend school. She is more than ready for kindergarten. I tried everything I could to get her into kindergarten early but without success. She had already done two years of preschool, and I really didn’t want to pay for a third. So after much thought […]

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Do You Know Joe?

If there is a Trader Joe’s grocery store near you and you haven’t checked it out yet, you really must! Under their own name brand, Trader Joe products can’t be beat in quality and value. Because there are so many amazing products to choose from, let me tell you my top ten favorite buys from Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread can’t be beat! The thick slices are perfect for toasting or turning into French toast. My family also loves to just eat it plain. It is soft with just the right amount of cinnamon, and also comes without raisins if that’s your preference. Spinach artichoke dip seems like such a luxury right? Definitely […]

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