September Favorite Post Link-Up

Be sure to check out the hosts to find out their favorite posts this month + other blog posts from the link-up!

Permanent Hosts:

Ashley from After Nine To Five | Megan from And Here's To You, Mrs. Robinson

Becky from Beauty for Ashes | Jessa from Life of a Sports Wife

My favorite post of the month is:

Easing My Burden

Link-up below!

Inspiration

i constantly wonder how i can be a better mother, and this message says it perfectly.
understand their hearts.
connect with your child.
do things with them.
teach them.
and listen.  
 
i’m grateful for this gentle reminder on how to show Elijah more love and understanding.
i am grateful for leaders who know exactly what i need to hear, when i need to hear it.
and for the Lord in guiding me to find the answers to my prayers.
 

September group giveaway winners!!

with my brother coming home, my computer with all my files/pictures/blog info crashing {and still not fixed}, a new church calling, and feeling so incredibly exhausted lately with life [and probably some laziness mixed in], i haven’t gotten a chance to announce the giveaway winners from the big September giveaway!
i apologize for putting it off and not announcing it sooner.
i hope i didn’t disappoint too many people during the wait.

so without further ado,
here are the giveaway winners!!
[i usually have a “Winners” picture but i lost it in the divorce between my Dell & i.]

Medium Ad Space from Yours Truly
Jennifer Nace!!

Three Blind Mice finger puppets from Her Threaded Needle
Stacie Skinner-Hoxsie!!

Ladybug in the Clouds cozy from LaBelleMadeleine
Brittany Hendler!!

$10 Forever 21 gift card from More Than Just Peachy
April Crisafulli!!

Set of Crocheted Dishcloths in choice of colors from Impractical Composition
Amber McCain!!

$20 Shop Credit from Knotted Tree Photography
Mary Davis!!

Large Ad Space + 2 Custom Friendship Bracelets from The Sapphire Bee
Lindsay Kozyra!!

$10 Starbucks gift card from The Memoirs of Megan
Niki!!

$10 Shop Credit from Peanut Lilly Creations
Gia Martinez!!

Two 5x7 prints of winner’s choice from After Nine to Five
Karen Nahas!!

$20 Michael’s gift card from Blissful 55
Tabitha Black!!

Large Ad Space from Truly Lovely
Aimee Lee!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!
i will be emailing you all very soon to claim your prizes.

and thank you SO much to all who entered!!
i appreciate all the support & love you have shown my sponsors with the giveaway.

HAPPY SATURDAY!

friday giveaway: Whispering Sweet Nothings

i'm excited to introduce you to Shane from Whispering Sweet Nothings today!
if you haven’t had a chance to get to know her, you are truly missing out.

Header Mock up 1_1

Shane is one of the kindest & most genuine people i have met.
she truly believes in helping people & inspiring others.

one of my favorite things about her blog is her Operation Beautiful project.
each week she features different women who feel truly beautiful in their own skin with their own special unique talents.

from her own words:

This project is to make you think, ponder, appreciate the simple things about yourself, that add up and make you truly beautiful. The smaller qualities that you adore about yourself, like your lips or eyes, that make you feel pretty on the worst of days.

This project is about your talents, your secret hidden abilities, your amazing personalities. Those quirks which make you, uniquely you. And, I sincerely hope that after you read through the finished product to discover how these other ladies feel about themselves, you can spend the rest of the day, sincerely feeling great about yourself.

 

just one look at Shane’s blog & her mission and you will definitely fall in love! 
learn more about Shane here: 
blog | shop | facebook

today, Shane is giving away one large 200x200 ad & surprise gift {from her shop} to a lucky reader!
thead includes a sponsor spotlight, rotating ad space, and optional guest posting and solo giveaway.

-enter to win below-

GOOD LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

::: p.s.- the winner of the Peanut Lilly giveaway is… KELLY HOUTZ!
and the winners of the September Group giveaway will be announced tomorrow. thank you for your patience!

this little boy

photo (16)

this little boy…
is always keeping me on my toes.
once i think an area/item is protected from Elijah’s curiosity, he is already figuring out a new thing he can take apart and Elijahfy.

this little boy…
is becoming so independent!
he knows what he wants, when he wants it, and he can do it all by.him.self!
don’t you dare try to help him walk down the stairs.
it may be the last thing you do…

this little boy… 
has decided lunch is now at 10:30 every day. 
hot dogs & soup have been the recent requests for his odd brunches :)

and on that note
this little boy…
eats allllllll the time!
not even exaggerating.
he eats every 5 minutes i swear.
and screams asks for every kind of food/snack we have.
popcorn
waffles
crackers
hot dogs
yogurt
apples
bananas
soup
macaroni & cheese
fruit snacks…
and this was just yesterday.
[and all before naptime. no lie.]

this little boy…
loves to be tickled lately! 
i think it’s cause “Uhnkew Dawwin” would tickle him so now he requests it.
everyday.
”Tickew meee????” is his little request each morning.
if you insist little man…

this little boy…
is in love with Mickey Mouse.
after just one episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse he now asks for it once every hour.
{he doesn’t understand TV schedules yet}
guess it’s time to take him to Disneyland! :)

this little boy…
tries so hard to be the best little helper.
he likes to help with laundry, the dishes, and taking out the trash.
though his helping usually makes things worse… i commend his efforts.

and this little boy…
can totally and completely make me want to pull all of my hair out.
but he can also make me the happiest i have ever been.
i guess that’s the basic definition of motherhood right?
{and the definition of terrible twos…}

don’t you just want to kiss those cheeks though??
that’s basically what i do all day.
[until he slaps me away. quite literally slaps. that’s the terrible two part manifesting itself.]

happy homecoming

Dallin's Homecoming 12 Dallin's Homecoming 5Dallin's Homecoming 6Dallin's homecoming 9Dallin's Homecoming 8
[look at that face!! can’t even handle the cuteness :)]

my brother just got home {for good} after being gone at Air Force training. 
he has been gone for almost 6 months and hasn’t been able to see his cute little boy except for on a few short holiday weekends that he was able to come home.
so to see their sweet homecoming first-hand brought lots of tears to my eyes.

i picked up my nephew early so we could park wait for my brother to get off the plane.
he was sooooooo excited to see his dad that he didn’t even want to sit down on the chairs cause he was worried we would miss him coming down the walkway.
he kept asking me what his dad was wearing so he could spot him right away,
“is he wearing a white shirt? is he wearing a black shirt? is that him there? how much longer? when he is coming??”

then once he saw his dad coming down the walkway, he ran straight toward him and neither one would let go.

i love my brother & i am so grateful that i was able to be there to witness this happy moment.
i'm grateful for his hard work and dedication to his job & family.
and i'm grateful we were able to spend some time with him & his son this weekend.

Elijah especially LOVED [see: borderline obsessed] to hang out with them and still asks for “Uhnkew Dawwin” (Uncle Dallin) and “my cuzin” (my cousin) each morning.
[and yes he really does call my nephew “my cousin” instead of his name. cutest.thing.ever!]

they are definitely his two new favorite people.
but who wouldn’t love these two guys??

Dallin's Homecoming 11

Inspiration

the rickety horse

rocking horse 10rocking horse 8rocking horse 9rocking horse 7

we have this little rocking horse at our house that my grandparents bought when my mom was little. they have kept it ever since and all their children, grandchildren, and now {most} of their great-grandchildren have all played on it.

it has been so fun to see Elijah riding it in his room and remembering my own make-believe adventures i had on it when i was a little girl.
i remember exactly how it bounced, how it rocked, and how it sprung back and forth.
i remember how it creaked, squeaked and rattled as you rode faster.
i remember how the handles slid back and forth from years of kids holding onto it for dear life.
i remember how my knees came right up to my chest when i put them on the wooden stirrups but didn’t care cause i just wanted to prove i could ride it faster than my cousins.
i remember all of it as if i was a little girl all over again.

i’m sure all of my siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles have the same memories of the horse as well. and it makes me more than happy to see my own son making his own fun {and possibly painful… i mean look at how he rides!} memories on that little horse!
i love hearing the squeaking of the horse from the other room
and then Elijah running over to me to tell me,
“I go fast!!”

i have come to realize that one of the best parts of parenthood is seeing your child carry on your own childhood traditions & memories.
like playing with an old, rickety horse,
or singing a nursery rhyme your grandpa taught you,
or reading the books you grew up loving.

it completely melts my heart when Elijah learns to love the same things i once loved.
and it makes it all so much sweeter to be able to relive those childhood memories right alongside my own son.

rocking horse 6

Daring Greatly

daring greatly 

i just got done reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown for the BlogHer book club and WOW… it was amazing!
it was as if Brene interviewed me and observed me for a day and wrote this book just for me.

Daring Greatly is about “How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead.” it was absolutely amazing to see how being vulnerable affects every part of our life. and how even though vulnerability is our biggest fear, it is also our greatest asset. and that we try so hard not to be vulnerable when in fact that is what we long to be in the first place.

she talks about the way to truly be okay with being vulnerable we must believe in our own worthiness and live a Wholehearted life. and she gives “guideposts” for Wholehearted living which helps cultivate courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think:
“No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”

this book is seriously wonderful.
i could read it over again, marking up the pages, taking notes, and continuing to learn so many great things to help me have true happiness in my life.
i think everyone (men, women, teachers, parents, students, everyone!) needs to read this book, not just insecure, hyper-sensitive women like me. :)

you can read along with Brene Brown and ask her questions on her personal blog here.
and keep up to date with the BlogHer discussions here.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

fun with Macdonald’s Playland {+ a giveaway}

i LOVE this week’s guest poster.
Pamela is sweet, funny, kind, gorgeous, talented, and much more!
she has also become a great friend of mine and i really appreciate her in so many ways.
i know you will all love her too, especially after this interview.
{and be sure to check out the interview too! :)}
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. How would your friends describe you?
I've heard these in the past: organized, caring, bubbly, funny, personable, a family girl, Disney freak (true. I was engaged there, and that's also where I told my husband I was pregnant), a true Libra, a hopeless romantic, emotional, sensitive, a crier (yes, it's true, I cry at weddings and sappy commercials), an old lady with all those love songs she plays on her radio (what's wrong with that?!), weird, and "she can't make up her freakin mind!"(yeah..I can be pretty indecisive and like to weigh out all options multiple times before making a decision).

2. What is the biggest lesson you've learned about living a happy life?

That family is everything and I'm happier when I realize there is someone greater here who created me, loves me, and knows my every need. Prayer to my Heavenly Father & faith in my Savior is everything to me...and when I found that, my life changed. I find I am also happier when I try to make the right choices and do what's right.

3. How did you start your blog & shop and why?
Blogging is cheap therapy! It keeps me from pullin my hair out or poppin a cap in someone's....ahem...Sorry. Basically, I started my blog  to start documenting our family memories and adventures. I wanted a way to preserve them, and I plan to print the blog into books one day so that we and our children can read back on them and say, "Remember that? Yes, we did that, and we got through it together."
 
As for my shop, after my daughter was born, I had an obsession with creating cute headbands for her. When friends & family started finding out I was the one who had made her bows and headbands, they encouraged me and pushed me to open a shop. I've always loved (trying) to be creative and crafts, and so I knew I had a lot of ideas I could offer to other little peanuts out there. After a lot of encouragement and support from my husband, Peanut Lilly Creations was born. My daughter, Lilly, is obviously the inspiration to my shop...even all the way down to the name of the business! :)


4. What inspires you?
My husband and my daughter. Really, they push me and drive me and encourage me.
They help me believe that I can do anything, even during the times I feel like I can't.
Other things that inspire me: when someone shows brave integrity, a person who uses their amazing talent or craft for good, and Fall weather.
 

5. What would your totem-pole animal spirit be? 
Maybe a butterfly. Because I want to be known as someone who's gentle, kind, graceful, brave, and always striving to change to reach my full potential.
Also...let's be honest: they can fly. And that'd be freakin sweet.

6. What are some of your favorite items in your shop or blog posts [with links] and why? 
Our blog ranges from being humorous to our serious feelings to documenting our big moments. I love those specific posts because I think they sum up what I'm all about, how I think, the way I write, and basically what my blog is all about.

As for my shop, I don't put anything in my shop that I don't love or wouldn't buy for myself or a friend. The following items are currently my favorites simply because I like the way they look, and I worked hard to come up with my own crochet patterns or designs for them. I had so much fun making them, and love seeing them on my daughter or her friends. I also sell them at reasonable prices (again, prices which I would pay if I were the one shopping):

Mickey & Minnie sets

My Halloween creations (my favorite holiday other than Christmas!)

My Puff Flower Headbands (purple and red)

7. How do you define success?

I define success by what goes on in my home. One of my favorite quotes is by David O. McKay who said, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."
That's not to mean that we have to be the perfect family, live the perfect family life, have the perfect looking house, have the best behaved children, or the perfect marriage. But success to me is when we strive our best to keep our home as a place of love, nurturing, support, and a home with the proper spirit. If I can help make a happy home for my family, and my husband and children know they are loved and appreciated, even when things aren't always perfect, then I consider that a great success.

8. What advice would you give to new shop owners/bloggers? What did you wish you knew when you first started?
Be true to yourself in all aspects of blogging and shop owning, and be genuine to others. It can become very clear when you are not a phony-bologna and are having fun, or when you are out there just to make a profit, gain a new follower, or just spam commenting everyone and not caring about who you meet or even what you do.
There are so many great people and other great shops you can find when you don't just only care about yourself! The genuine connections, networking, & friendships you'll make (along with your blog & shop) will grow tenfold!

What I wish I knew was how much time it actually takes to keep up with your shop or blog. I always knew it'd take up my time, but I didn't realize it'd be as much time as it has been! When things get busy or crazy or demanding, take it all one step at a time, and keep it interesting for yourself. You don't have to stick to all the rules you made for yourself. It's your blog or your shop! Run it the way you want to & have fun!

9. What is a talent you have that you wish you used more?
Dancing. I love to dance, but stopped taking lessons when I was little.
Now I watch shows like So You Think You Can Dance and just sit there saying to myself,
"Why?! WHY!" Then I try to pretend I can do a pirouette in the living room.
Unsuccessful.

10. What are your goals for the future {long and short}? Do you have anything you want to change?

Short term is to plan my daughter's 1st birthday party in November! It is going to be Teddy Bear Picnic themed, and I seriously need to get crackin! Long term is to save up for a house & save up for a new car (as much as I love my Lola the Corolla, [she's been quite the loyal car and I'm totally fine having her] she's a 1998 and is getting close to her end here).
Also...my husband and I really want to go together on a mission for senior couples one day for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That is a big long-term goal of ours :)
Oh...and have some more little Macdonalds in there. That's definitely a huge, top goal!
And my ultimate goal is simply to grow old with my amazing husband and to watch my children grow up and hopefully see them happy. That would truly bring me the most joy, and if that were the only goal I could accomplish, I'd be completely content with that and wouldn't want to change a thing! :)


-------------------------------------------------------------

and a giveaway!

Pam is giving away an item of winner’s choice from her shop Peanut Lilly!
*excluding sets*

giveawaycollage

-enter below-
GOOD LUCK!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

::: and i have winners to announce!!
-WhitSpeaks giveaway winner is…. Ashleigh W!
-
My Freshwater Pearls giveaway winner is… Whitney V.!
-Shaping Up to be a Mom giveaway winner is… Amanda R.!

sunnies

Firmoo review

when you live with a destructive toddler, you can never have enough sunglasses on hand.
so when i got the opportunity to review a pair of Firmoo sunglasses i was all for it!

i absolutely love my Firmoo sunglasses!
they are great mix between that vintage style {that’s oh so popular now. who knew 80’s would come back?} and modern chic. i definitely feel like a cool mom in them :)

the Firmoo crew was really nice & helpful as well as really fast in shipping me my pair.
and they came with all the essentials needed to take care of your glasses well: hard case, soft case, cleaning cloth, and a mini screwdriver to tighten the hinges (which will come in handy with Elijah around!)

i also love that Firmoo has a virtual try-on system where you can upload a picture of yourself {or take one with a webcam} and see how the glasses would look on you.
you can bet i worked that magic!!
it was really helpful {and fun!} and ultimately helped me make my final decision.

the only thing i wish is that Firmoo had a little bit more of a variety of sunglasses.
though i really do love the sunglasses i chose, it would’ve been nice to see other styles as well.
[one thing to note about the sunglasses is that they say they are prescription but you can get them without the prescription too. that’s what i did.]
they do have lots & lots of different styles of eyeglasses though!
you’ll have fun trying all of them on {virtually}

Firmoo is also offering free eyewear to first-time buyers if it is your first time using Firmoo.
so now is a perfect time to get a new pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses for yourself!
to find out how to get your free pair of glasses, check out the program here.

with over 300 styles of stylish {and affordable} frames you are bound to find something you like!
[maybe more than one]

you can learn more about Firmoo and be updated on any deals by checking out their
website / facebook / twitter / google + / pinterest

September Group Giveaway

there are some really great prizes for this month’s group giveaway!!
can’t wait to show off some of my wonderful sponsors and their amazing talents & offers.
be sure to visit each of their sites and get to know them better.
you will not regret it!

today, there are 12 prizes up for grabs
{and 12 different winners!}

**please be fair and honest in your entries. these women work very hard and are donating a lot of time, energy, and money to give you all a great selection of prizes! please be respectful to their kindness :)

and now for the prizes!

 

Medium Ad Space from Yours Truly

chelseacup

blog / twitter / facebook / bloglovin’


Three Blind Mice finger puppets from Her Threaded Needle

blind mice

blog / shop / pinterest / instagram


Ladybug in the Clouds cozy from LaBelleMadeleine

il_fullxfull.284213079

blog / shop / facebook / twitter


$10 Forever 21 gift card from More Than Just Peachy

giftcard

blog / twitter / bloglovin’ / pinterest


Set of Crocheted Dishcloths {2 dishcloths & 2 scrubbers} in choice of colors from Impractical Composition

photo (4) (1)

blog / twitter / facebook / instagram 


$20 Shop Credit from Knotted Tree Photography

blog / shop / twitter / facebook


Large Ad Space + 2 Custom Friendship Bracelets from The Sapphire Bee

   FriendBracelets   

blog / shop / twitter / facebook


$10 Starbucks gift card from The Memoirs of Megan

102510-starbucks-gift-card-400

blog / twitter / facebook / bloglovin’


$10 Shop Credit from Peanut Lilly Creations

giftcertificate

blog / shop / twitter / facebook / pinterest


Two 5x7 prints of winner’s choice from After Nine to Five

blog / shop / twitter / facebook


$20 Michael’s gift card from Blissful 55

michaels

blog / twitter / facebook / pinterest


Large Ad Space from Truly Lovely

blog / twitter / facebook / pinterest

 

-enter below-

GOOD LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

sunday best

Sunday best 7Sunday best 5
[crappy phone pics cause Adam was not really feeling the impromptu photo shoot.
but Elijah sure was! look at that grin! :)]

being a mom, Sundays can be the best and worst days of the week.
for one, i have an excuse to get dressed.
and not just in anything, in actually cute clothes!

{so that’s always a plus!}
it’s one of the only days out of the week that i can feel pretty and not just a frumpy mom.
even though i am a frumpy mom so it’s a total wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing situation.

and some other reasons it’s a great day is the obvious:
visiting with good friends, uplifting messages, and yummy Sunday dinners
[that i have to make though… so maybe that’s a negative?]

so yes, Sundays are a special day…
until you have a toddler.
then it’s all:
-can’t hear the speakers
-{possibility} of no nap so cranky cranky kid
-OR naps at bad times so bedtime is a horror-fest
-chasing said cranky kid in the hall
-whining & refusal to get ready before church
-begging for fruit snacks as if he will pass out if he doesn’t get one more sugary bite
and the list can go on.

[except this Sunday, Elijah’s friend Kinley got to sit with us at church so that kept him entertained enough to {semi} listen to the speakers. yay for friends!]

BUT!
at least i got to feel kind of pretty doing all that right?
feeling pretty can definitely go a loooong way on a bad day.
:)

 

linking up with Jenny here

Inspiration

i needed this message.
i hope someone else can be blessed by this gentle reminder & promise as well.
 

Saturday Favorites

today is the big BYU v. U of U rivalry game and we getting stoked over here.
{we better kill the U!}
it’s a big, huge game and Adam gets pretty crazy heated during it.
it’s equal parts hilarious, inspiring, and overwhelming to watch him watch the game.
so yeah… big day!

we invited some friends over to enjoy the big game with us including Elijah’s little {girl}friend.
they have become inseparable as have their mothers. :)

Eli and Kinley

so as i go get our house presentable for guests to come over,
please enjoy these fun links to get you through the weekend!

love this matrimonial link-up. i think we all need a little inspiration when it comes to relationships sometimes.

be sure to check out the September Blog Party at Newfoundlander at Heart to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and the beginning of lovely fall.

i so so so SO wish i could’ve gone to this. so extremely jealous.

cutest little boy birdie blankie i’ve seen!

love that this program teaches healthy HABITS instead of just weight loss.

i always love Kristine’s letters. especially when she hashtags through them. :)

so i got a gift card to this place and can’t decide between this, this, or this…. or this. thoughts?

this was exactly what i needed this week.

love this quote!

we all need to learn this mommy lesson at some point. i personally need the reminder even now.

BEAUTIFUL post on thoughts on 9/11.

this post is hilarious and oh so so so true! loved it!

now that i have short hair i think i need more cute headbands. like this pretty one!

LOVE LOVE all these pumpkin ideas! i can’t wait to try them out!

annnnnnnd check out my feature on Hollie Takes Notes and Libby’s Life :)

 

AND before i sign off, i have a really great offer for Mrs. Robinson readers!
Christie of Christie Knight Photograpy is offering $50 OFF A FULL PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION!!
[sessions for newborn, maternity, engagement, or family up to 6 people]
this includes one location, 45-60 minutes, 20-30 images, a USB flashdrive, and copyright release.

OR
you can also get a mini session for $50!
includes: 20-30 minutes and 5-10 digital images with a copyright release.

book & schedule session before October 31st to get the great deal!

 

HAPPY SATURDAY!!
& GO BYU!

shaping up to be a mom { + giveaway}

Megan from Shaping Up to be a Mom is awesome!
i really love her and her friendship.
the move to Arizona was pretty rough at the beginning and she so kindly reached out to me right away and helped ease the transition with her sweet emails.
i really appreciate all she has done for me!

and really, her blog and all that she is about is just wonderful!
i hope you enjoy getting to know her today
and be sure to check out the giveaway at the end!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi all! I'm Megan, from Shaping Up To Be A Mom, and I'm super excited to be visiting here today!


Shaping Up To Be A Mom is all about how I'm trying to "shape up" in every area of my life! I love to write about family, fashion, and fitness, as well as home decorating, musical theatre, trip reports, and my bucket list.


These little critters make regular appearances of course!

There's a lot going on over at my little blog! On the first of every month I host this link-up, where we write about all our memories from one year. October 1st will be 1988, so come link up!


Shaping Up To Be A Mom

I also host a master list of bloggers who have a bucket list, so come check that out too!



And I'm also a stylist for Cents of Style, so I get to share all the latest fashion trends with my readers, including special deals on awesome products! Today I'm offering YOU the chance to win one of those products, so read on!



Cents of Style sells the latest trends in shoes, handbags, jewelry, hats, and scarves, for the lowest prices! And those pesky shipping costs? NOPE. Everything ships for FREE to the US!

Here are a few of my favorite, brand-new-for-fall, products:






You can also use my coupon code at any time ("0512") to get 10% off your entire purchase, and free shipping! Make sure to enter my code at checkout and hit "apply coupon."


You can also like my Megan's Cents of Style Facebook page, to stay updated on all the latest products and promotions! I'm currently having a giveaway for a free scarf, once I reach 1000 "likes!"

Hope to see you over at my place, and good luck in the giveaway!



 
today, Megan is giving away one piece of jewelry of winner’s choice from her shop!
{totally jealous!}
 
enter below
GOOD LUCK!!

and be sure to check out Megan here:
blog / facebook / Megan's Cents of Style / Cents of Style facebook / twitter / bloglovin’


a Rafflecopter giveaway