Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Stuff I'm Loving Right Now

Here are yet more things I'm really loving right now:

1. Waking up this morning to a blanket of snow. Last night, I sheepishly put Buster in snowman footed x-mas pjs even though we haven't even hit Halloween yet. This morning, he looked downright appropriate for the season. Unfortunately, I haven't done laundry in over a week and he had no pants to wear so he stayed in that sleeper alllll day (even on a trip to Target and the dr.--I guess I'm THAT mom.)

2. Having said snow melt by late afternoon. I can only take so much of the white stuff. Now I want it gone. Back to fall please!

3. Everything in Boden's Winter catalogue. Boden speaks to me. Maybe it's the fact that the stuff is made in the UK and uber cool. Whatever the reason, I love everything in there. Look how cute this dress and jacket are:

This cute silk skirt too:

Trust me, everything in there is to die for. I don't have room to show you all the cute stuff.

4. Finding the most awesome cheap make-up brushes at Ulta Beauty supply. Where have they been all my life? Are you like me? Have you been using those crappy little sponge applicators that come with your eye-shadow. If so, discard immediately and head to Ulta to buy real makeup brushes. I'm not kidding folks--changed my life.

5. Having my mom take my kids two days in a row to do fun grandma stuff; i.e., making Halloween sugar cookies yesterday and making a pumpkin snowman (complete with orange food coloring sprayed on the snowman) today. Don't be jealous. She really is every bit as awesome as she sounds:

6. Knowing that Halloween will, in fact, be over after this weekend. I made the critical mistake of taking all four of my kids all by myself to our gym's Spooktacular. Just like my sister Ashley, it is my life's work to avoid crowds. The hoards of children at this thing dang near put me over the top. My kids loved it--think pony rides, games, crafts, food, etc. The only good thing is that I got this great idea for a party--apple sundaes:

All the toppings had cute names like Bat blood, candied ants, monster teeth, etc.

7. We got a new Golden Spoon five minutes from my house! For those of you living under a rock--it is only the best frozen yogurt known to man. The best part is--it is on the way to get my kids from school. Hello new 3:00 treat!

8. The Bumbo. Greatest invention. How did I ever make dinner when my other kids were babies?

9. Vitamin Water bottles. Truth be known, I'm not a huge fan of Vitamin water--I prefer Sobe. But have you ever read Vitamin Water's bottles? They are hilarious. Whoever is writing that stuff is genius.

10. Coordinating me and my kids for church. Since last Sunday was our primary program, we busted out the Christmas outfits early. Sam no longer wants to get in on the fun, so I got a matching outfit. Truth be known, 90% of my church clothes are black and white so this wasn't really new but it does warm my heart to look down the aisle at church and see everyone in matching duds:

What are you loving right now?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shower Power

Tomorrow, my friend Sara is getting married. Two weeks ago I threw a bridal shower for her at my home. This is a picture of her (in the center) with her sister Kristen and her mom. They are all good friends of mine. And yes, they always look that beautiful.

While I have never hosted a real dinner party (except for my gourmet dinner night) I seem to throw a lot of showers. When you attend a shower at my home, (no matter the season or the time of day) you can always expect the exact same thing.

Photo of my kitchen before the food was put out. Notice the bazillian croissants in the background. We only ate a 1/3 of those.

The decor may change a bit but I will always serve chicken salad sandwiches on croissants with my favorite punch. Other guests bring the salads, chips and treats. Showers at my house are always open house style and there are never games. No one has to write in an advice book or give up an entire afternoon of their life they will never get back. (I'm not bitter or anything about showers I've been to in the past...)

Action shot from the beginning of the shower. I always wish I had more seating but I got over that a long time ago and do showers anyway.

Since it is October, I wanted the treat table to reflect the season without being too overtly Halloween. My candy jars came in handy as the perfect centerpiece.

Here is the recipe for my chicken salad. I know I didn't actually invent chicken salad, just like Al Gore didn't invent the Internet, but I did invent this chicken salad. It contains all my favorite things and none of the things I hate. Here it is:

1 10 oz can chicken, drained (from Costco)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup low-fat mayo
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup sweet pickles
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup grapes halved
salt and pepper to taste

Combine and serve on croissants (from Costco)

And my favorite punch (from the Ivory cookbook):

In large punchbowl combine:

1 (2 liter) bottle Shasta Diet Grapefruit Soda (Fresca will do but Shasta is better)
1 (12 oz) can frozen white grape juice undiluted
1/2 bag Sonic ice

I usually double this. Mix with no water, just ice.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall Break...Put a Fork in Me

My kids have been out of school since Thursday for Fall Break and they don't go back until Tuesday. Everyone in the house has a nasty head cold and a serious case of cabin fever.

Thursday, I got my hair done because we were doing family photos on Friday night. Yes--colds and all. So after the kids had been home with a babysitter all day I took them to Rasmussen farms to get their pumpkins. They've done this enough times to know the drill. No one touches a wagon or a pumpkin until they have posed for the obligatory photos:

My fat Buster in the pumpkins

Sammie loves her big baby

Thursday night I went to dinner with my friends for Misa's birthday. I promise my shirt was not see-through in real life. Damn the flash. This photo was a wake-up call for me too. I need a new bra stat. "The girls" are practically sitting in my lap:

Friday, the kids starting complaining that we haven't done anything fun for fall break (and I couldn't invite anyone over because of their colds.) So like an idiot, I bought them the spooky Halloween gingerbread houses to decorate. I hastily tried to glue the freaking things together with frosting only to watch them collapse in on themselves. I've only done this exact thing like four years in a row. Someday I'll learn to buy the pre-assembled houses.

Sam got home from work and we ran to take our family photos. Here is a sneak peak:

I know the photo is tiny--this is just an unedited photo my photographer extraordinaire Jill emailed me to make me laugh because Ryan's hand is down my shirt!

When we got home that night, Sam took one look at the gingerbread mess and decided to take matters into his own hands. He informed me that I had actually used the roof pieces for the sides and he had to take the houses apart and start over. He went to Home Depot to buy black caulking to glue the houses together. Why do I even try?

Saturday morning, I helped the kids decorate their houses. By "help" I mean I made the frosting and set out bowls of candy and let them go to town. Clearly, they had no help:

Aren't they gnarly? (the houses...well, the kids are too.)

After a much needed massage on Saturday (thanks Heidi!) and a trip to Pottery Barn kids with a friend, I felt like a new woman. I then helped the kids make their Red Ribbon week (say no to drugs) posters for school. No one is ever going to accuse me of doing my kids' work!

Today I had to teach the Relief Society lesson at church. I was just praying the whole time I wouldn't start coughing. With enough diet coke, I got through it. (I had to send Sam to the Sev to get me a fountain DC and chocolate donut because the ox was the in the mire.)

I have no idea what I am going to do to entertain four sick kids tomorrow. I bet fall break was a man's idea.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Leggings 101

Disclaimer: I clearly have no pride in posting these photos. Maybe I shouldn't be wearing leggings--holy crap!

A couple days ago my sister Ashley called me in a panic asking for leggings advice. She was at the Gap on the verge of buying a pair of capri leggings with zippers. I saved her just in the nick of time.

First, let's get one thing straight. I am no expert on leggings. I have only actually worn my leggings outside the house one time. But in my defense, it has been a little too hot for leggings around here so I've just been parading around the house in them and dreaming of wearing them to all sorts of sundry events--like picking up the carpool from school.

I know what you are all thinking--Brooke is giving fashion advice?? That is like Lindsey Lohan giving classes on clean living. Alas, a few of you have asked for it--so here I go. Please feel free to add any advice you have in the comments.

1. The leggings should be black.

2. Make sure your top covers your whole behind in your leggings. This is just a given. Did I really have to say it?

3. It is a good idea to have the waistband on your leggings not be "low rise." At least for me, I need all the tummy control I can get. No one is going to see that part, so hike them up as high as possible.

4. The only appropriate shoes with leggings are flats or tall boots. Make sure your flats are in good condition because they seem to get more attention in leggings.
I stand corrected. Booties (or ankle boots) do look cute with leggings. I just saw models wearing leggings with booties on White House Black Market's website.

Leggings with boots

5. I think capri leggings and leggings with zippers and other embellishments are a no-go. Correct me if I'm wrong.

6. I think your top needs to be long and loose.

7. Forget about the stirrup leggings. I know the Gap is selling them. Just walk away. Actually, be like Joseph of old and RUN! You will look like the 50-year-old secretaries at my husband's work (bless their hearts!)

8. I've seen cute leggings at Nordstrom, White House Black Market, Macy's, etc. They are usually about 35 bucks.

9. To me, there is a huge difference between jeggings (jeans that have mated with leggings) and leggings. I am no expert on jeggings. These rules apply to leggings.

10. Don't stress about whether your legs are too short or too chubby for leggings. It's all about attitude.

That's it ladies. I will be teaching cooking classes next..hahahha

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays Never Get Me Down

Today is Monday and it is raining and I couldn't be happier. Somewhere between four kids and now, I started to hate the weekend. Maybe it's the two soccer games every Saturday.

Maybe it's the fact that Sam is training for or running a race every Saturday. (This weekend it was the St. George Marathon.) Maybe it's the fact that Sunday's are NOT a day of rest for moms and by Sunday night my house looks like a bomb went off. (See my friend Natalie's blog for a brilliant example of what her and my Sunday look like!)

Anyway, Monday is here. The kids are back at school. Ryan is sleeping! It's raining outside and my house is cozy. And I have the softest little teddy bear to cuddle.

Are you enjoying your Monday?