It's been kind of slow around here because we are being lazy during our Christmas vacation, but I wanted to pop in and share some exciting news today.

I am so incredibly honored {and extremely nervous!} to be a guest contributor on the What To Expect website this week! I am still pinching myself to see if this is all a big dream. To be featured on a big, notable website like WhatToExpect.com seems too good to be true. In fact, when they emailed me to ask me to write an article, I had to have Adam read over it a couple of times because I didn't believe it. 

My article "How I Learned Motherhood Isn't Something to Check Off a To-Do List" can be found here. And you better believe I'm crying right now cause I'm still in shock... 

A little snippet: 

  "I always wanted to experience motherhood. Growing up I always had the idea of motherhood in the back of my mind when planning out my life, as anxious young girls do. But I also planned on obtaining a college degree, working in a fast-paced career, and changing the world. Whenever I played house, I was always the businesswoman who brought a baby to the office. Being a mom was just one of the things on my "Do Before I Die" list."

You can read the rest here.
I hope you like it! 

good books

I used the help of Grammarly to proofread this post because nothing ruins a story or article more than bad grammar (Twilight, anyone?). And since I'm trying to be a better writer, I figure I need to get a little help myself. :)

[I miss the chubbiness and doesn't-talk-back-yet-ness of little Baby Elijah. So sweet.] 

One of the things Adam and I full-heartedly agree on with parenting is that we want our children to develop a strong love for books & reading. We both grew up being avid readers and still love to read whenever we get the chance. 

Growing up I was lucky enough to have parents who kept a great young-readers library. I was able to read a lot of books that were passed down to me from my siblings and even from my parents themselves. Some of my favorites were The Babysitter Club series, the Little House on the Prairie series, Nancy Drew, Harry Potter (of course!), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Work and the Glory, and a lot more. 

As I got older, my love for reading grew. Once I was asked what was my favorite book and it literally was an impossible question for me to answer. I have way too many! 

Pride & Prejudice and Tale of Two Cities are favorite British classics.
To Kill a Mockingbird is an absolute favorite American classic. 
The Fault in Our Stars is a favorite current publication. 
Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends is a favorite childhood book. 
(Along with The Lorax and The Witches.) 
And Harry Potter is my favorite series. 

And believe me, that was hard enough to narrow it down to those categories. 

Adam is an even bigger reader than me and has read at least 5 books during his break from school this year. We both are trying to make our way through some classic books so we can feel more cultured. :) Usually for our date nights we like to find old bookstores or go to Barnes & Noble just to walk around surrounded by books. It's our happy place. 

With the abundance of technology in this day an age, (smart phones, tablets, computers, video games, even cable) when talking to younger kids, it's kind of sad to me that reading isn't a top priority anymore. Even with Elijah he would much rather play on our phones than sit and look through one of his many books. 

This new year, one of my parenting goals is to get Elijah more involved in reading and actually enjoying sitting down and listening to stories, not just before bedtime. I know that not only will he then be able to develop his own love for books, but it will help him greatly academically too. And it's fun! 

Jane Austen said, 
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!"
(Pride and Prejudice)

I hope that I can instill the magic and beauty of reading in all my children and not allow myself to get caught up in other unimportant things. Because I know reading is when I'm the most happiest. 

Now tell me, how do you get your children to read? What are some ways they have learned to love books? And what are some of your favorites or theirs to read? 

Christmas Inspiration

This is one of my favorite videos to watch during the Christmas season. Coupled with this beautiful song by Amy Grant, I feel like it perfectly captures all the emotions, hope, and true meaning of Christmas. 

What Mary went through to bring forth the Lord, the great plan of God to give His only Begotten Son, and the humble circumstances that He was born into are all represented beautifully in this video. I hope you take the time to watch it and remember why and who we celebrate during Christmas. 



It's been a while since I shared some of my favorite recent Elijah-isms. 
And after these last couple of weeks being kind of doozies, I feel like I need a reminder that Elijah can be a pretty cool kid sometimes. :) 

So some of my favorite Elijah-isms: 

The other week I wasn't feeling very good and was lying on the floor. Elijah came over and put a pillow under my head, covered me with a blanket, and then gave me his special blankie to "help you feel better, mom." He even brought me water and then cuddled up next to me. 
I mean, if that's not the sweetest thing ever I don't know what is. 

I was brushing Eli's teeth and told him to open his mouth wide like a hippopotamus. He said, "No, Mom! Hippos don't eat toothpaste." 
He's not wrong. 

We got to go see Santa a couple of weeks ago and yes, I cried. And what did Elijah ask for? 
"Toys, blue toys." 
So that narrows it down. 

He told me one day,
"Mom, I love candy and chocolate and candy canes and candy from church!" 

For his preschool Christmas party, the whole class sang Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas for the parents. I cried again. 

Lately he keeps asking me if we can go see Santa's Workshop and gets really upset when I tell him it's too far away. Who knows what cartoon he learned that from... (since that's all he does is watch cartoons. :/) Tis the season! 

He's really adamant about helping and watching me in the kitchen lately. It's fun and annoying at the same time honestly. Fun cause he can be really helpful and funny. But annoying cause he dumps salt or pepper into everything. Gross. 

And lastly, soon Elijah is going to be in the big-kid primary at church!! They did a practice round last Sunday and he looked so little in there with all the other big kids. 
Yes, I cried again. 

Happy Friday!

casual peplum

skirt: Target clearance // shirt: Wal-Mart // shoes: Old Navy // hand-stamped necklace: c/o ideclare! // heart necklace: Forever 21 

 When I first got this skirt I immediately knew that it would be a fun piece to dress up or down.
I know when I first think of a pencil skirt, especially a peplum skirt, I think it is only going to be suitable for nice, dressy occasions. 
But this skirt is sooooo comfy with its knit fabric that I thought it was a perfect candidate for a fun, casual outfit during the week running errands. 

And I honestly love it!
It's one of my favorite combos and it helps me feel just a little bit more like a fun, sassy woman while out grocery shopping instead of just the lazy mom that I am. :) 

My other favorite new piece is my ideclare! necklace. 
They surprised me with this gorgeous hand-stamped necklace with mine & Adam's initials on it and Elijah's name on the other charm. I couldn't be more happy with it!
I may or may not have cried when I first saw it...
It's so delicate and beautiful and keeps the two most important people close to my heart. 

I know it's cutting it a bit close, but these personalized necklaces make great gifts, for Christmas or other holidays :). I'm positive you or other women your life would love it. 

Also... can you believe Christmas is next week?!?! 
This is all happening too fast. 

Hope you all are more on top of Christmas preparations than me! 

ModCloth Wishlist

I have always loved ModCloth and their unique and vintage-inspired pieces.
It's always fun for me to go look over their website and window shop a bit.
Some eye candy :)

I can't always afford their clothes though but if we weren't students and I could buy my own presents (which I guess I could) I would definitely be buying some things from ModCloth.

So I thought it would be fun to put together a little ModCloth inspiration wish list for things I would love to add to my wardrobe.

ModCloth Outfit

ModCloth Outfit by mrs-robinsonblog 

dress // clutch // shoes // earrings // belt // statement ring // gold rings

But seriously. Those shoes!!!!

What is on your holiday wish list this year?

Saucy & Cheesy {and easy!} Lasagna

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Barilla, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #JoytotheTable  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

When Adam and I were first married, I was really excited to make homemade meals for my husband and put the cooking skills {I pretended to have} to work. After a few months though, I was getting kind of bored with my range of recipes. So I decided to give myself the challenge to cook through the Robinson Family Cookbook that Adam's aunts had put together. I didn't get all the way through every recipe, but I did find some great gems that I have now added to my meal rotation. 

One of the recipes I decided to try was Adam's aunt's lasagna recipe. The idea of making homemade lasagna totally freaked me out. For some reason I had this {kind of irrational} idea that lasagna from scratch takes forever and is really hard and it's hard to ever get right. Well, it wasn't hard and it didn't take that long but I did feel like I didn't get it exactly perfect to my tastes. 

So after a lot of tweaking and adjustments to previous lasagna recipes I've "researched," I think after 4.5 years of marriage I finally have come up with a recipe that I love and feel proud about sharing with others. And with the help of Barilla Lasagna Noodles and Barilla Sauce from Safeway, it made it even better. 

[Which, if you really know me, I get super nervous cooking for other people and self-conscious. So if I think it's good enough to share now, that means I really do think it's awesome :)]

One of my biggest problems with lots of lasagna recipes I tried before was that I felt like it was too dry. So that is why I call this... 

Mrs. Robinson's Saucy & Cheesy Lasagna

Here's what you'll need: 


*I do have to say that when I actually cook, I rarely measure out things exactly, unless it's baking or something. So, a lot of these measurements you can probably give or take for your own tastes and preferences. 

- 1 lb. ground beef or sausage [I used Italian sausage cause it's Adam's favorite :)]
- 1-2 jars of your favorite red pasta sauce. I used Roasted Garlic Barilla Sauce. 
- 1 package of Barilla Lasagna Noodles, uncooked 
- 1 tsp. minced garlic [give or take for your own tastes]
- 3 cups Cottage Cheese 
- 2 Eggs, beaten 
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Choice of seasoning. I used about 1-2 tsp. of parsley and 1-2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese 
- 1 cup Mozarella Cheese


1. Brown the meat and saute briefly with minced garlic. Don't let the garlic cook too long (especially if you are using premade minced garlic since it cooks fast) because it won't taste good and become bitter. {lessons I learned the hard way} 

2. Add 1 1/2 jars of Barilla pasta sauce to meat. I like it really saucy because I feel like it cooks the noodles better that way. But you can adjust the amounts for yourself. 

Save the other half of the sauce for later. 

3. Once the sauce is done, it's time to move on to the cottage cheese mixture layer. I use cottage cheese instead of Ricotta like traditional recipes because it's cheaper and I can't taste a difference... simple. 

Combine the cottage cheese, beaten eggs, pepper, and seasonings in a bowl. Sometimes I add some mozzarella and/or parmesan to the cottage cheese mixture if I'm feeling cheesy that day. 

Let a little helper stir if needed. :) 

4. Now for layering. Pour the other half of the jar of sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. I used to use part of the meat sauce I made but then I didn't feel like there was enough for the rest of the layers. So I just use the remaining sauce in the jar now for the first small layer and I think it has worked a lot better. 

Then add the rest of the layers as follows: 
- uncooked Barilla lasagna noodles
- cottage cheese mixture 
- about 1/2" of sauce 
- uncooked Barilla lasagna noodles 
- rest of sauce 
- and top with Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese 

Honestly, I kind of change up the layers sometimes. Sometimes I add a layer of Mozzarella cheese and then just put the Parmesan on top. Again, if I'm feeling cheesy :) 

When you're all done you'll have some pretty layers like this: 

5. Cover baking pan with foil. Bake covered at 350*degrees for 45 minutes. Take foil off and bake for 15 more minutes to get the cheese nice and melty and bubbly. 

6. And lastly, ENJOY!!

If you make this recipe, I would love to hear what you think! Or hear your own variations of lasagna to try out. 

And to help you make your next lasagna meal even more affordable, you can get $1 off the purchase of ONE (1) box of Barilla® Lasagne and ONE (1) Barilla® Sauce at your local Safeway store.  

Happy cooking!

neon, gingham, and... leopard???

sweater: Target clearance last year // shirt: c/o Fresh Produce clothing // jeans: Wal-Mart last year (for $3!!) // necklace: c/o That's So Fab (similar here) // shoes: thrifted // clutch: c/o PS I Adore You

I told Adam that this outfit made me feel like a legit fashion blogger. 
I mean I got the layers, the gingham, the color, and of course the gorgeous statement necklace.
His response: "You have take tons of pictures and NOW you feel legit??" 


Of course I had to put my own spin on this trendy look with lots of different patterns and texture.
I think it works well together, thought, without it being too in your face because it is all very subtle. 
The floral print & raised texture of the sweater is all the same color so it can blend well, the gingham is shown in small details at the sleeves and collar, and then the leopard print in these jeans is also the same color so it just adds that small bit of detail once you see it up close. 

And it all plays into the real eye-catching piece of this outfit: that awesome fan fringe necklace that brings in all the colors perfectly! 

So basically what I mean by all this babbling is... 
I was really proud of this outfit!
I definitely think it's one of my favorites so far. :) 

And Adam even approved so win-win! 
Minus he said the heels were a little much for a casual date to the movies. 

12 Months of Advertising Giveaway!

If you have a blog, a website, or a business, you don't want to miss out on this!

Today I am teaming up with a group of bloggers to bring you a giveaway that sets you up for a whole year of advertising. That wasn't a mistype. I said TWELVE MONTHS! It is the mother of all advertising giveaways and we are here to set you up for the entire 2014 calender. 

12 Months. 22 Bloggers. 1 Winner. 

We have bloggers of all genres from across the United States joining forces to give one lucky winner an entire year of publicity.

The winner will receive the following advertising options during the following months:
All of these blogs were chosen based on their blog quality and readership. The giveaway closes December 14 at 12:00 AM. The giveaway is open to international readers. Entries will be verified. 

So what are you waiting for? Enter for your chance to win an entire year of ad space by using the Rafflecopter form below!

Christmas Inspiration

"They present gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These are not gifts Jesus asks of us. From the treasure of our hearts Jesus asks that we give of ourselves." 
-Thomas S. Monson

things I'm loving lately: Put Me in the Story

This year for a special Christmas gift, I ordered Elijah this personalized Christmas story book from PutMeInTheStory.com. And to say he was excited about it is an understatement. 

Once he saw the book he carried it around the house alllll day and kept saying, "This is for me, Mom?!? This is my present??" 

But that wasn't even the best part. Once he realized his picture was on the dedication page and it actually said his name throughout the book he just kept saying, "This is my favorite book!! I love it!" 

So yeah, I think it was a good choice. :)  

PutMeInTheStory.com is a great gift choice for your little ones this season. And they don't just have Christmas books. They have lots of different books for all ages, even parents & grandparents. 

Right now they are also having a sale on their storybooks so it's a perfect time to order. AND they guarantee delivery by Christmas! So hurry and get your order in. 

If you do get one, I would love to know which story you chose! I'm already looking at other ones to hopefully get for future gifts (like this one and this one). 

Happy Weekend! 

cozy scarves & journals {plus a giveaway!}

pants: Kohl's // top: Downeast Basics // shoes: thrifted // scarf: c/o Uncommon Goods // earrings: c/o Kiki La Rue 

I was really excited to try out this cute scarf from Uncommon Goods this year! I don't have many scarves {I think I have 2?} so I couldn't wait to add to my collection and try accessorizing with them a bit. 

I love this scarf because they style and texture is so different yet it's still very soft and cozy [and warm!]. Even though it still isn't as cold here as in other parts of the country, we are already becoming wimps to the slight temperature drops this season and this scarf kept me perfect warm while running errands. And I mean it was pretty chilly and windy that day as you can tell from my incredibly large, poofed up hair. 

Plus Adam told me I looked hardcore. Like a real blogger. So I thought that was a pretty great compliment coming from him. ;) 

I also received this really cool Evolution to Groove Flip Book journal from Uncommon Goods and I have loved it. 

It is a perfect size to keep in my purse to take down notes and keep all my lists [I'm a BIG list maker!] but it also has these really cool flip animations in the corner of each page. Elijah loves watching the pictures too and thinks it's about the neatest thing ever. 

Here is a little video to show you what it does. 

Uncommon Goods has lots of other great unique gifts for the holiday season! Plus, about 1/3 of products found on Uncommon Goods incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials. And not only do they protect the environment but when you purchase from Uncommon Goods, they donate a part of their money to different non-profit groups such as Rainn and Women For Women International. I can always get behind a company that is doing so much for the world around us 

Today, to help you in your gift giving this year {or gifting yourself :)}, Uncommon Goods is giving away one of these cool Evolution to Groove Flip Book journals to a lucky winner. 

Enter with the Rafflecopter widget below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

not your grandma's housedress

dress: c/o SheInside // shirt: c/o Romwe // shoes: c/o Sugar Love Boutique 

Please say hello to the most comfortable dress ever!! 
I could live in this all day every day 
{if Adam didn't roll his eyes at it so much...}. 

But truly this dress is my favorite. It's like a super-cute mumu. 
[Or is it more proper to call it a housedress??] 
And now I know why my grandma wears mumus a lot. And now I can be just as cool as her but in a slightly more stylish way ;) 

I had a lot of fun trying to style this dress in a lot of different ways. I think it will be a great statement piece for my wardrobe that can be worn in all seasons and stages of life. 

And it's just beautiful
I mean, tribal print, bright colors, AND sparkles?!?! 
It does no wrong. 

Also, these shoes. 
I'm kind of on a shoe spree right now and these were love at first sight. 
I mean, obviously. They're fabulous. 

So what do you think?
Should this go on the "Heck yeah, it's fabulous!" list or "Adam's hate list?"