February 1, 2016

Bear Lake 2015

I have no idea why this post has been a draft for so long, I've probably been waiting to get pictures from my phone but here we are in February and all I can think about is Bear Lake, or any kid of beach so I'm posting anyway.

A beach with no waves and parking the van right next to our spot, this was the perfect get away for a family with a ton of little kids!  Everyone took a night preparing dinner for everyone, we had raspberry shakes every night, stayed in a roomy cabin and we got to spend two full days at the beach! We rented some jet skis and brought the canoe to get out to the middle of that clear blue water...so beautiful! We stayed right before July 4th weekend and beat all the crowds too, it was so perfect. Pin It

January 10, 2016

Trip to Pennsylvania

Looks like something never got published from...October! I feel like we fully took advantage of the fall weather and while we were there. 

We made sure to go to Highland Orchards to see the animals and get some apple cider donuts - SO yummy! The kids had so much fun playing with uncle Ben on the slides and giant tires.

Another highlight of our trip was going to Lake Harmony, PA for the weekend, which is up in the Pocono mountain range. Had some cooler weather and hiked the trail to Hawk Falls, which was gorgeous!

My parents stayed at Lake Harmony Inn right on the lake which had a beautiful view and Ava loved sitting out around the fire pit with uncle Ben.

I bounced back and forth between where my parents were staying and a cabin that was a mile away where my friends from high school were staying. We were celebrating 10 years of being friends! We did lots of fun things like cook for each other, play games, hike, talk and laugh our heads off, build a fire, drop beats around said fire, ha! Love them. And they were SO fun and nice to my kids, can never be too grateful for that, MUAH!

The day after getting back we went over to New Jersey to my cousin Lori's house for a little birthday party/visit for me! I always look forward to seeing them when we go home, she and my other cousin Allison are just the sweetest, so fun to talk to - and both happen to have boys about the same age as Ava so it is always fun to share crazy toddlers stories :) And there is NEVER a lack of food at a Sandone gathering, my kind of people!

 side side note: 3 months later I hear from Lori that Xavier (furthest to the left) is still talking about Owen and can't wait for him to come again - this cute kid has 3 sisters in middle/high school so having another boy in the house must have been quite memorable for him. Can't wait to see them again!

Couldn't leave the state without a birthday breakfast with the sweetest girl there is. She makes everyone around her feel so special and she showered Ava and I with fun gifts for our birthdays and brought me to West Chester (Classic Diner), one of my favorite places ever. She makes me feel like I'm at home even when I'm miles away! Thank you Nicole.

And this picture just makes my skin crawl a tiny bit at the thought of doing a solo trip with two littles again but they sure are cute (and honestly, they did way better than I expected and it could have been much worse)!!

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October 30, 2015

Scenic Pennsylvania Drives

It's cold and drizzly here in Idaho today and all I can think about are the magnificent scenic drives through Pennsylvania last week. There is beauty all around!

The picture above is a golf course located right behind a big neighborhood...oh to have a house right there with that view! Sometimes when I am driving 5 minutes to church here in ID I think about how LONG it took to drive to church when I lived in PA (15 minutes, haha). But then when I'm there I remember how beautiful that drive is, which makes the distance no big deal!

This picture below was taken from the edge of my church parking lot. Can you believe the rolling hills in the distance? Our building is tucked back in this beautiful little section of Chester County near West Chester. West Chester is my dream place to live.

This is seriously what a normal drive through Southeast Pennsylvania looks like, almost everywhere! And New Jersey too, apparantly, because this was on my way to my cousin's house where they threw me such a sweet little birthday party!  (more trip highlights later!)

Leaves, leaves, everywhere! Stopped for a little photo shoot of the kids off the side of this road because how gorgeous is this fence and tree line?

Again, sorry you have to bear with my manual focusing (broken autofocus)...but I'm so glad I have these pictures to remember this place by. Lucky for me, this beauty is right here in our very own Boise, and the trees are still turning colors so I'm not too deprived!

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October 13, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Someone walked in my house the other day and asked where I got all my cute artwork from and then I started realizing how much of my prints actually do come from Alexa Z Design. Her bright personality shines through in her art and that's exactly what I want filling my home (especially to offset my horrible tan walls). Above, she designed the Home Sweet home print and did the watercolor print of the Bountiful, UT temple! My friend, Corina, also did that cool watercolor painting of me and Devin on our wedding day.

It's been a while since I did any kind of home tour, so here are some more things that have made our house feel more like a home:

After taking the first photo I picked up this black frame at IKEA and think it matches the print a little better, what do you think? Either way, seeing this quote every morning as I come into the kitchen is exactly what I need to start my day off right! And I used her brilliant quote transfer tutorial last year to burn that cute Happy Harvest onto a piece of wood. Fall is my favorite season to decorate for!

I love having designated areas of play for my kids - not only does it help rooms stay tidier but it also gives them ownership over a special little place in the house. This under-the-stairs space was a big selling point for this house to me and Alexa's "play more" print was the perfect piece to focus the main role that it plays for us! I mounted it on an 8x10 art canvas vs framing it to make it stand out a little more.

And bringing that pallet-turned-bookshelf downstairs into this new little reading corner was the best decision ever. We've just discovered Usborne books at our house which has revamped Ava's love to "read" and browse books and our TV time has naturally gotten cut in half! I got rid of tons of books that neither of us even liked very much and replaced with some really great ones that she can often sit down and be entertained by without any assistance.

I've always loved having Ava's room be the most colorful room in the house and I've slowly been adding to it. When Alexa came out with these darling prints of "Have courage and be kind" I knew we had to have it. Ava just barely missed the huge Frozen obsession and has really gotten into Cinderella (which I'm totally okay with!) and I just can't help but hope for this to be a lifelong motto for her.

As you can see below and in a previous picture of our dining room above, I got into some stenciling as an attempt to brighten up our horrible tan walls. I plan on getting a tutorial up for that soon...in the meantime go check out Alexa's darling etsy shop and give her some love!

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