Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Family Update - End of 2015

Well, you have probably noticed that I haven't posted since Little Man's birthday back in April. We have been so busy lately blogging has been pretty much the last thing on my mind. Hubby had his busiest summer yet with the youth group, and since then we haven't stopped moving. Our little man is growing so quickly it is really hard to believe how much he has changed over the last 6 months. Here is a little recap of our life over the summer, fall and winter of 2015.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Choo-Choo Carsen is Two!!

Purchased here
My little guy turned 2 last weekend. It is so hard to believe, but we had an amazing birthday party on Saturday with family and a few friends.

Little Man is into EVERYTHING that moves, any kind of transportation or balls. We watch Thomas and Friends, Chuggington, Chuck the Truck, etc on repeat. I knew I wanted a train themed party this year to honor his love of "Choo-Choos". I contacted our local train museum and set up a party. We had to pay per person instead of per kid like most places, so we decided to keep it small this year. Which ended up being a good thing because the party room was actually in a real train caboose, and there was very limited seating, in fact the 15 of us could barley fit inside all at once to sing "Happy Birthday".

 The party turned out great and the best part was that they had over a dozen real-life trains that you could climb on and explore My heart was exploding with happiness when I saw just how excited he was when he saw all the trains in the yard.

 He is becoming more and more interested in the potty (pi-pi as he calls it). He kept looking down the
whole and saying "I see you". What a Nut!


 My friend Melissa iced cookies for me they turned out so cute.

My dad used to make my birthday cakes growing up so I asked him to continue the tradition and this is what he made. I think the clouds are my favorite part. Little Man loves licking the icing off of the trains.

The entire gang.
I purchased these train hats on Amazon for less than $20 and everyone was excited to get to have one of their own. They are advertised as child sized but they have snaps in the back so they adjusted well to fit all of us. 

It was a great party and I would suggest hosting one of your own or even visiting the Great Plains Transportation Museum if you are in the Wichita area.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hey, That's my Jam....Berry

One of my very favorite things in life is to get a pedicure. My girlfriends and I go about every other month and treat ourselves. We are usually scouring Pinterest for the latest designs. We then show our manicurist and they "attempt" to re-create the design. More often than not, it is a poor second to the original design, but it at least makes me feel a little more pretty when my toes are pretty too.

As much as I love to have my toes pampered, I usually don't do my fingers because I have problems with getting the polish to stay more than a day or so. And there is nothing more frustrating than chipping nails after you spent time/money/effort on making them beautiful.

A few months ago I was invited to a Jamberry party. What is Jamberry? "The wraps are a solid film covering that can be applied directly to the nail to achieve a look not found anywhere else.
Unlike traditional nail polish, they won’t chip and require no drying time. It’s so easy to achieve a professional, salon look at a fraction of the cost."

I was sent a sample of one of their wraps. There was only enough to cover one nail but it was intriguing. I contacted a local sales rep Ginny Bergkamp about sending me more to try. She generously sent me a half sheet of wraps. This was enough for a complete manicure and pedicure. 
 I asked for something wintery since this was right after Christmas. She sent me an adorable set called Winters Edge that had snowflakes all over it. I followed the included instructions and for the first day they were great. As I wore them to work the next day I started having problems with flipping and peeling. I contacted Ginny who was super sweet about it. She suggested reason why this was happening and ways to fix it. Such as I was over heating my nail so the wrap was not staying. She even offered to come to my house and put on a new set showing me step by step how to do it properly. I photo documented the process so you could have visual aids on how to apply and hopefully won't have the same issues I had.  

Step 1: Make sure your nails are completely clean. Use rubbing alcohol to clean nails and wooden stick to clean up edges of cuticles.

Step 2: Measure a strip to your nail size. Trim it to fit, cut it a tad longer than your nail. This is VERY important. I did not do this, so some of the wrap would touch my skin on the sides, this is what caused most of my flipping. Tip: wrap should not reach to the cuticle. Trim to make sure it is just slightly smaller than your nail. 
Step 3: This isn't shown but heat wrap for 1-3 seconds. Ginny has a really nifty heater, but your hair dryer would work perfectly. If the wrap starts to curl you have heated it too much. Next place is on the nail, while placing pressure.

Step 4: Gently pull out and down on the edge of the wrap where it is longer than your nail. This will help it to seal to the edges. By stretching it a bit you will help to reduce or eliminate creases at the edges. This was a BIG problem for me when I attempted to do it on my own.

Step 5: Continue on the rest of your hand. Do not trim the edges until you are done with the entire hand. The wraps will shrink as they cool and if you trim too early they will shrink smaller than your nails. Again, another problem I had when doing it by myself.

Step 6: Once wraps are placed on the entire hand and have cooled,  trim MOST of the excess of the edge. Then use a nail file and file at a 90 degree angle. ALWAYS file down, this helps to seal it to the edge of your nail.

Step 7: Use a buffer to smooth out the edges. Use lots of pressure, and make sure you go over the entire nail and all the edges. This is the last step to seal everything down.

One week after application. As you can see a little bit of peeling, but I just filed the edges back down and  it was good to go. 

I found this awesome video from a Jamberry cosultant on youtube. She explains how to get rid of bubbles, and creases using your flat iron. I have tried this and believe me it is awesome! I have very curved nails and had lots of bumps and creases that lead to flipping. Since doing this technique they look much smoother and have lasted much longer. If one of the edges is coming up I just zap with with a warm flat iron and boom, fixed!

Wraps will last up to 2 weeks, more if you are very careful with your nails. The best thing is that when you are done, they are SO easy to remove. You can just peel them off, if they give you a little trouble then just add a little heat. It might leave a little residue kind of like a band-aid would, but it easily comes off. No nail polish remover, no smell, and an adorable design. Love it. 

  Nail wraps featured are Everything  Nice  Mint Green Chevron and the gold one is discontinued, similar here

  I love the designs that Jamberry offers, on of my complaints before was that although they have some amazing designs, sometimes it is just too much to have a bold design on every finger. And I didn't want to buy 2 or 3 different sets so I could use them together. BUT they recently came out with some really cute collections where you get 2 or 3 designs on a sheet so you can mix and match  yourself. I am drooling over these: 1.Tinted Classics  2. Desert at Dusk   3. Get Hoppy    4.Love Spell

  And those of you with little girls, they even have Mommy and Me sets. I can't get over how adorable these are: Destiny paired with Mint to Be  or Teal Mini Polka paired with Mini Polka/Mirage

For those of you who aren't as excited about the collections as I am, can create your own. Right now all wraps are buy 3 get 1 free! Ginny is such a sweetheart that she is offering a special just for my readers. Get a FREE accent sheet with any buy 3 get 1 free purchase. 

Accent sheets available.
Selfie with Ginny, she is so sweet. Go to her website and check out some Jamberry for yourself. http://ginbjams.jamberrynails.net/


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dear moms of teenage girls,

Let me start off saying that Hubby is a youth minister and works very closely with some amazing girls. I am not faulting these girls in particular, this is a letter about teenage girls in general. Things that I have noticed about girls in public, on TV and on social media.
That being said....

Dear moms of teenage girls,
I am writing to you to share some insight from someone who not only was a teen just 10 years ago, but who also works closely with many teenage girls myself. I know how hard your job can be. Dealing everyday with the drama and attitudes and emotions that come with girls age 12-18 (heck even now in my late 20's I have some of the same issues), you should be given a gold star for everyday that is finished with everyone intact and still with their sanity. This letter is not to address that part of motherhood. This letter is to address the way your daughter is being seen in the public's eye.
Prom is a very exciting milestone in a young girls life. For most it is their first time to get dressed up and go out on their own, often with a date. They get a taste of adulthood within the limits set by chaperones.  I myself have some really great prom memories. This letter though is to address what your daughter is going to wear to her prom. 
With prom season fast approaching, I wanted this letter to reach you before you take your little girl shopping for the perfect gown. You see I have noticed a trend over the last few years regarding prom attire and it deeply worries me. Traditional girls wear long sparkling gowns that make them look like beautiful princesses. These dresses roughly cost around $100-200 (although I think I spend less than $50 on both of my prom dress combined).

See photos of me and my prom dates at the bottom of the post.

 However I have noticed a trend over the last few years that is becoming quite alarming. Gowns have become shorter and much more risque. 

These gowns are made to show off the body and prove how sexy you are. But before you say "oh how cute" remember that the models shown are probably in their 20's, and these dresses are being marketed to 16-18 year old girls. These dresses also often sell from $200-600, and trust me I have seen even more scandalous gowns.

I know when it comes to clothing and teen girls I often hear "You just can't find modest clothes anymore." This may be the case with everyday clothes, but when it comes to prom dresses I know that just isn't the case. I recently worked for a local dress shop. We did have a few "sexy" dresses, but most of our prom/homecoming/special occasion dresses were very tasteful. They were also very cute, had lots of sparkle and were often fun and exciting colors. All attributes that teenage girls want in a prom dress.

Sometimes it is impossible to control what your daughter does, but when you are shelling out hundreds of dollars for a dress they will wear one time, that is something you can control. 16 year old girls are not paying $600 of their own money for these risque dresses, instead it is their MOTHERS who are paying an extraordinary amount of money for what looks like a bra and some extra fabric. Instead of purchasing the "sexy" dress your daughter is begging you for, teach her how to respect her body. I know as a mother all I want to do is make my child happy, but I know that giving in to his every whim is not in his best interest. We as a community should ban together and say enough is enough. We no longer want our daughters dressing like sexy women, instead we want them to dress like the princesses they deserve to be. We should assist mothers who are guiding their daughters into women-hood and help stand against the culture that is over sexualizing teen girls.

We are all the time shocked by teen girls becoming sexually active, or pregnant in high school. But when we allow our daughters to wear barely nothing, we are allowing them to promote themselves as a sex symbol.

When your daughter's date sees her in a dress like this...

What he really sees is this...
Or worse.

It is amazing every year how many photos I see on Facebook or other forms of social media of girls wearing dresses just like these. Already this year I have seen people trying to re-sell dresses like these. Please, I ask before you take your daughter shopping for such an important piece of clothing, to remember that she still is your little girl. Please, join me in pushing back on society and saying that we will not allow our young girls in the community to become a sex symbol. Please, join me in saying Enough is Enough!!!

I truly hope that this post will reach at least one family who is struggling with the idea of purchasing this type of dress for their daughter. I hope that it makes us re-think our cultural views on how we want women/girls in our society dressing.

***All images are from Google image search. I have purposefully not attached the links to the photos because I do not want girls purchasing dresses like these. If you are the original owner of the photos I apologize for not giving you credit, but I feeling like by creating a link to your website defeats the purpose of this post.

 As promised, Junior and Senior year prom photos....................enjoy :)


Friday, February 6, 2015

Well hello again...

So I realize that my last post was in November. I feel terrible, but seriously we have been so incredibly busy. We decided as a family that it was time for me to go back to work. It was a really hard decision and frankly we put it off as long as possible, but it just came time that we needed the money and could no longer make one income work. I started applying for all kinds of jobs, full-time and part-time, just trying to get my foot in the door after 18 months of no work (even before that I was a nanny, so not really using my degree), and 4 years since I had graduated. I had multiple interviews and each time I felt really exited about a job. Then I would get the email that they had selected someone else. After a month or two of rejection I decided to find a seasonal retail job to help fund Christmas and the looming bills. We went to the mall one day and I put in about a dozen applications. Later that week I had offers. I accepted at Bath and Body Works and David's Bridal. I went from spending every day at home with my baby boy, to working 5 days a week. It was quite a change.

Little Man started spending most of his day at Grandma and Grandpa's (Hubby's grandparents are retired and LOVE watching him). I was working 2 days at BBW and 3 at David's. After about a month of juggling both jobs I decided to just work at David's. I went from 3 to 4 days a week, and we also picked up in business so I was able to cover my other salary. 

Working at the bridal shop was really a lot of fun. The girls I worked with were awesome, and I loved helping brides to find their perfect dress. My knowledge of wedding planning was also very handy, as I could give them free advise on venues, and caters and such. Also it was like playing dress up all day, and who doesn't love that ;) The one downside is that we were commission based and so I had to work really hard to be able to get the pay I needed. Plus I had to work every weekend. I really wanted something more stable and that would give me and my family more time together, as well as allow us to put Little Man in a full time daycare that would provide education.

I was recently offered a full time position at a local medical school and am happy to say that I have accepted! I will once again have nights and weekends back with my family and we will be able to stop stressing over the bills. We have decided to take Little Man to an in-home daycare. She was actually my babysitter growing up, and she and her family are amazing. She has weekly lessons and is always doing science experiments and crafts. I know that he will have the chance to learn and grow all while getting peer interaction that he would not get by himself at Grandma's house.

This week was our first full week with me at work and Little Man in daycare. We are both doing great and I can't wait to see where God will lead us to next.

Notice the red paint in his hair

I hope to be better at updates and post in the future.

PS.... I'm blonde now!!!

Please excuse the over-sized sweatshirt

Friday, November 14, 2014


Recently a friend of mine invited me to a new website called Twice. It is an online resale shop that only offers name brand clothing. They have an amazing collection that is constantly changing. There are sizes ranging from 0-26 and they offer brands such as J. Crew, The Loft, BCBG and more. I was able to get FREE store credit and a 50% off discount so I could purchase over $100 worth of product for less than $10.

I picked out a new jean jacket from Style & Co. and a black blazer from Jones New York. They arrived a few days later and I was astonished by the quality of these clothes. It is a resale shop so I expected to find some wear and tear on the clothes, but they look brand new. Seriously I could have just picked them up from the store.

 I haven't taken any pictures of myself in them yet, but have worn both and got many complements.

I decided to keep my purchases but if you don't like what you order for whatever reason you can return for free shipping, if you get store credit back or for a small flat rate if you want your money back.

So here's how it works:
1. Follow this link and sign up for an account and receive a $10 credit.
2. Download the Twice app on up to 3 different devices for a $10 credit per app downloaded. (It will credit you with the $10 each time when you sign in to the app with the same account).
You should have $40 in store credit at this time.
3. Pick out $80 worth of clothes and add them to your cart. There are so many options that it took me a while to figure out what I wanted.
4. Click on this link for a 50% off your first order coupon. Just add the email address you signed up with and it will open up your cart.
5. Finish your order and BOOM there you go $80 worth of clothes for FREE!!!

Hopefully these steps works for you, I was only able to get $20 in credit for some reason, but still its free so I was happy with it. If you have some name brand clothing just sitting in the back of you closet you can send them in and get money or store credit to get some new stuff!

***Twice has no idea who I am except a happy customer. I am however getting more store credit for everyone of you who signs up. You can share with your friends and do the same thing too! I hope you are as happy with it as I am.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Quiet Books

 I made Little Man a quiet book for his birthday back in April. It was a lot of work, but really fun to make. I showed it to friends at church and they all suggested that I sell them. So I am happy to say I have my first customer, and hope to have many more. Below are the pages I have made and am open to suggestions for more. All pages are bound and secured with metal grommets and loose leaf rings. Book covers are also available.  I hope you enjoy.

Mail Box/Jack & Jill

Snowman/Counting Cupcakes

Matching Gum Balls/Mr. Potato Head


Rapunzel/Jonah & The Whale

 Old McDonald's Farm/Old Lady Who Lives in the Shoe

More are to come so stay tuned. Please contact me for pricing and details.