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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October 3, 2015

Fun at the Farmstead

I won free tickets to The Farmstead in Meridian, ID with a picture that I posted on Instagram! I was excited to win because this corn maze is more expensive than the other one in town but a ticket includes some rides and games and things that you have to pay extra for at the other one, so we were curious how this one compared and wanted to go before our lives got crazy this month!

Ava was so curious why this scarecrow didn't have a head so I plopped her up there to put her head on his "neck" and this is what I got. (She actually thought the idea was funny but oh man these kids were tired today!)

Hilarious Owen face, not very becoming of this little goof but I couldn't leave it out.

We found corn in hair, socks, pants, diapers, and shoes all the way home...and poor Owen took a nap after with some between his "cheeks" the whole time - whoops!! (but how in the world does it get there? ha!)

We could have done the slide 100 more times! I love seeing Ava be more adventurous as she gets older. She even mustered up the guts to give a high five and a hug to a man walking around in an ice cream cone suit. We didn't make it to the corn maze part or pumpkin patch because the kids were soooo tired. But thanks to Ava, we already have a good assortment on our porch (thank you pumpkin displays outside the grocery store). Happy Fall! Pin It

September 18, 2015

The Summer We Tried New Things

So this was our 4th summer in Boise and there have been some things we've passed up in previous summers that we decided to try this year...with the kids! Sometimes we left thinking we are crazy and sometimes we left thinking that was really fun! 

And this first picture is an example of my photo situation right now. My camera got bumped in June and my auto focus hasn't been working since, so it's either iPhone photos or pictures I manually focused (which means only 1 out of about 6 turned out, ha!)

The Snake River Stampede Rodeo in Nampa

This one was a little bit of both "we're crazy" and "that was fun!". Both kids actually LOVED seeing the animals running and bucking and jumping and getting lassoed and chased. But there were also fireworks that went off right down in the arena after they shut off the lights and that freaked Ava out.
I'm having picture problems, so I'll just have to note that they had this awesome buffalo trainer come and show how he can get these buffalo to walk up a ramp to the top of a semi truck.
This was probably the most expensive thing on the list but also the thing we'll most likely do again and look forward to!

A visit to lil old Weiser

Garrett had been doing an accounting internship in Payette all summer long and so when Devin's parents came to visit him we decided to join and we all went to see the little town of Weiser, ID. We went to a cute (and yummy!) candy shop that is famous for their "velvet mints". Oh man, I'm usually not a chocolate/mint combo fan but these were indescribable and melt in your mouth delicious. They gave Ava a free lollipop and the kids loved spending time with Uncle Garrett, too!

The Western Idaho Fair

This was Ava's first time riding any carnival rides, which she got to do because as we were walking in, a family was leaving and offered us their tickets they weren't going to be using. It was just enough for her to ride on two rides, which was perfect! She did great riding by herself and she was thrilled to be "driving a car" by herself!

We didn't go crazy on fair food, we actually just split a piece of pizza because practically everywhere only accepted cash and we didn't have any. We were also rushing to get to the sea lion show which I have to note...it's always hard to get seats in the bleachers unless you are seated way before the show starts which is suicide with little kids so once we got there I parked the stroller under the bleachers and used it to hoist myself up to the seat that Devin grabbed for us. I know it's hard to picture, it was just funny at the time so I wanted to document it. The sea lion show was kinda lame though, we had seen an amazing show at Utah's State Fair after we were married so the long periods of talking and little sea lion performance was pretty disappointing. But the kids didn't know the difference and owen was clapping almost the whole time!

Horse Races

So this was the activity that I had been wanting to do for a LONG time. I've always been a fan of the Kentucky Derby and it's a really inexpensive thing to go do and I thought the kids would love to see the horses. Well, they did...for the whole 3 minutes that they raced. We decided this would actually be much more enjoyable without the kids because there is a 20 minute wait between each race while they rake the track and do who else knows what.

It was also incredibly hot so we'll probably time it to go earlier in the season, like late spring. They did do a fun little "kids race" with stick horses between two of the races, but the youngest age that they allowed was 5 so Ava just got to watch her friends participate and get prizes haha. She also got a little traumatized by seeing a horse that was having a really hard time breathing after its race and they had to get help. This was when we were right down by the track, so she asked me about that for WEEKS afterward!

After a boating outing we took the kids to New York Richie's - a cheesesteak place in Boise/Garden City and Chik Fil A (below) on Cow Appreciation Day. We've kind of done those things before but they were pretty stand alone events so here's to new traditions!
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