Monday, March 31, 2014

Winter Park

We had one of those weekends that's just really good for the soul. One of those weekends you really need without even know how much you needed it. You following? Well we had one of those. And it felt like a breath of fresh air. And now this week I have Jasper home all week, and it really doesn't get any better than that! When he's in school all day it still feels like a part of me is missing, and it's not whole until he's back home. As much as I would just love to cuddle with him all day and not leave the house to have to share him, I'm determined to make it a super special, fun week for him! He deserves it after his amazing report card last week and with how well he has been doing in school!

Back to the weekend. 

It started with a cinnamon bun and iced coffee, which I've decided is how all great weekends must start.

After breakfast Jasper had his first soccer practice and scrimmage and then I went to lunch and did some shopping with a friend. Getting out of the house solo is also a way to make it a perfect weekend!

Saturday ended with our first family bike ride of the year to a new sandwich place in the neighborhood. Their fries come with sour cream, cheese and bacon and their sandwiches are served on a waffle. I mean, perfection.

As good as Saturday was, Sunday was so much better! We surprised Jasper with a trip up to Winter Park to go tubing to start off his winter break. The weather was perfect (40) with some sun and we had an absolute blast! I'm not sure who had more fun on the tubes between us! After tubing we walked around Winter Park, played at the park, had lunch, and then a coffee/cookie break before heading back down. 

There's just something about that fresh mountain air that make it impossible not to just feel thrilled to be alive! We definitely need to take more advantage of having these gorgeous Rocky Mountains in our back yard! 

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Stage fright?

I think I have it. Or rather  writers fright? Is that a thing? I've never really have stage fright. Not when I sang solos in school concerts. Or while performing in school plays in high school. Not when I had to give 10 min speeches in college with nothing but one note card (i wrote reeealllyyy small to try to cram as much in and then couldn't ever read

 But lately, when I see the numbers of blog readers grow steadily every month, I seem to have some sort of stage fright. I'll go and sit down to write and then doubt myself and hit delete instead of publish. It was so much easier to pretend no one read my little blog when the daily numbers were in the hundreds instead of thousands. I could write without thinking and hit publish without skipping a beat. But after hitting delete several times over the last couple months I've decided, enough. I didn't start this blog to sensor myself. I started this blog to share what I wanted, when I wanted. So I'm making a promise to myself and to you guys thats what I will continue! If I don't have anything to say, I'm not going to blog. I'm not going to try to come up with a lame post just because now x amount of people are visiting my blog. If I feel like writing, I'm going to do it. If I don't, I'll come back another day. That's how I have always done it till these last few months and that's how I'm going to continue. 

On that note,  it's time to head into the kitchen because Friday night = Pizza night at our house! Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I think spring is finally here in Denver! 

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I love reading. I always have. In elementary school I used to make my brother in Jr. high check out books from the jr. high library for me because ' I had read all the good ones' in my elementary school library. Then in high school I made him check out books from the high school library because duh, I had already read all the good ones from jr high before I started jr high. Also, I'm a fast reader. I used to be so embarrassed of this (after several people calling me out and saying I must be 'faking' it- ha) that I would race through a page in class, and then count to 30 slowly before turning the page so people wouldn't think I was some sort of freak. By senior year and I was in AP English we had a book to read every week, books everyone else always hated. Mark Twain, and Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, I loved it all. Okay except for Life on the Mississippi. That one was a complete bore. But I used to pretend I didn't like the books either. I didn't want to stand out as the BOOK NERD, who actually liked reading. 
But then at some point during my senior year I stopped giving a fuck what anyone else thought. I would proudly read during lunch, in the hallways, during study hall. And I haven't looked back since! But somehow over the past year, I've read less and less. I'm embarrassed to say that I probably read less than 10 books last year. And that is just wrong. For a book lover. I used to read a book or two a week. I have lots of excuses. Life has gotten so busy. I only check out kid books at the library. I read so much to the kids that when they are in bed I don't feel like picking up a book. My kindle broke. Excuses excuses. But this year, I vow to change that! And so far I'm off to a decent start. My goal is to read at least 40 books this year (not including kid books, obviously) and I think that's totally doable.  I want to keep an updated list here so I can keep track! 
I joined a book club (I've always wanted to be in one!!) And for that so far we have read 
Where'd ya go Bernadette 
The Last Letter to my Lover
This is Where I Leave You
After Her

All very different but I really enjoyed all of them and would recommend all four of them! 

 I also read the Divergent series, which I technically started those at the end of December, but I'm counting them anyway! I also reread the 50 Shades Of Grey books over the past week even though I read them two years ago. Does that count, rereading books? I'm going to say yes since I did read them this year! And I just finished The Story Teller, by Jodi Picoult. I have ready all of her books and theres not a single one that's not a page turner! 
That Brings the total to 11 which makes me think I aimed low with my 40 books goal!

 Does anyone have any favorite books I need to read? I have a lot of catching up to do! 

Books read in 2014 (and my little grades I gave them each) 

Where'd Ya Go Bernadette: B
The Last Letter To My Lover:B+
This is Where I leave You:B
After Her: B-

Divergent: A-
Insurgent: A-
Allegient: B-

50 Shades of Grey A (not because it's amazing writing..but I really enjoyed all three)
50 Shades Freer A
50 Shades Darker A

The Story Teller B+

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Monday, March 24, 2014


The beginning of last week, Drew and I did a three day smoothie cleanse. We had been talking about doing it for a while and finally Sunday said eff it, lets do it tomorrow. So Drew went to the store at 10 PM with a list and when he got back I chopped and prepared. I think thats the key to sticking to any strict cleanse or diet. 
Was it fun? Not in the least. Was it manageable? Sure was. Would I do it again? Probably. What was the hardest part? Making food for the kids that I wasn't allowed to touch. That was a little bit like torture. But other than that it wasn't so bad! We felt great after it was over, Drew even tried to convince me to continue for another day and a half..I laughed in his face. Obviously. 
I started out following Dr. Oz's three day smoothie cleanse, but decided to improvise a bit and make up my own smoothies because the texture of some of his had me literally gagging, though the taste was fine!

This top smoothie I 'created' using one of my own favorites not following the cleanse. 
2 C frozen blueberries
1 Banana
2 Large handfuls of fresh spinach
2 table spoons peanut butter
5-6 strawberries
1/2 C Almond milk

This green smoothie wasn't a favorite but it was a good way to get lots of veggies in!
1 Cucumber
3 Celery Stalks
1/2 C Coconut Water
1/2 C Pineapple 
1/2 Lime
1/2 green apple
1 tablespoon coconut oil
large handful of kale

The greatest thing this smoothie cleanse did was getting us 100% on board with eating clean. We will have cheat meals especially on weekends when we like to eat out but during the week we are committing to eating only clean, no processed crap! Sounds easier than it is I think, but I'm determined to make this change for our family. I thought we were eating pretty clean, but when I looked at all the breads, crackers dressings etc. on our daily 'menu' I realized we definitely weren't eating as clean asI thought! But now for the past week it's only clean!  I can't wait to share some recipes I've found and would love to hear your favorite clean eating recipes as well
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Reykjavik tips?

We will be making a quick stop over in Reykjavik, Iceland on our way to Sweden this summer and I can't tell you how excited I am about that! Stockholm is my favorite city in the world, obviously, but Reykjavik looks absolutely beautiful. I'd love to hear from anyone who has been! What are some of the must sees? Favorite restaurants? We won't have a ton of time there, but I plan on jam packing as much as possible into our short stay there!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Come on in!

Considering we have lived here for six months now (what?!?) maybe it's time for some house pictures! I have been meaning to post pictures forever, but then brush it off saying I'll wait till the house is really clean (which it only ever is for like 6 minutes, lets be real) or I'll wait till I'm 100% done, but that will probably happen a week before we move out so. Might as well be now!
This is our upstairs, minus bedrooms and a bathroom, because lets face it, those are both a disaster currently. 
My favorite things about this house are all the windows (lots and lots of natural light, a photographers dream I tell ya) and the original hardwood floors. Yes they are a pain. Yes I have to sweep at least once a day. But I just love Love them. I also love having a little breakfast nook in the kitchen where Jasper and Tindra sit eating breakfast while I'm getting Jaspers lunch packed for the day as well as a separate dining room. It's our first time with an official dining room and it's been Perfect! The table expands when needed so we can fit a lot around it! Behind the table I plan on doing a picture wall..maybe I will get around to that the week before we move out? Probably. 

Our house is filled with built ins everywhere, love Love them. Perfect for storing my vintage, Swedish knick knacks. 
I'll try to get some downstairs pictures taken soon! 
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Monday, March 17, 2014

Tiny Blue Lines

One of the first bloggers I started reading way back when was Chaunie of Tiny Blue Lines. I can't even remember how I found her, but her story was similar to mine. She also became pregnant while in college and was also terrified and didn't know where to turn. Now she has written an amazing book to share her story with other young, scared, expecting mothers. I wish this book had been available 7 years ago when I was newly pregnant! It's so encouraging and has many great resources and helpful tips available!

You guys should all read this book (and not only because I'm mentioned in it ;) and refer it to any young pregnant women you know! I know they will be as inspired as I was reading it!

And now, one of you ladies will get the chance to win your own copy of Tiny Blue Lines. Just hop on over to Chaunie's blog and leave a comment below! Giveaway ends in 10 days!

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

I just found your blog a few weeks ago and was reading old posts, and I would love to know how you got into photography? I'm really interested but don't know where to start.

Thanks Dana for the comment/email that reminded me I still have some unanswered questions! I will get to the rest shortly. Promise. 

For as long as I can remember I've loved taking pictures. In high school I was always carrying around a disposable camera (does this date me?) and I couldn't wait to drive to Des Moines (35 min away) to get them developed! I have so many 'selfies' , the original kind where you had to hold your arm out to take a picture.. 

When I got my first digital camera jr year of high school I think I was the first one in my group of friends to have one and it was a BIG deal! Then my dad upgraded me to one with 8 mega pixels (compared to my previous 3) when my sis and I took a trip to Hawaii and I went crazy snapping pics all over the islands. I came home and thought I needed to develop every single one! Which lets just say ended up being a Lot of money for 17 year old Darlene!

I became even More obsessed with photography when jasper was born. I would take a million pictures a day of him. And then when I got my first DSLR at the end of 2008 before studying abroad in Sweden and that was it for me! I used to only like taking pictures of people but after studying abroad there and traveling around, I fell in love with taking pictures of all the gorgeous buildings, the store fronts, the cobble stone roads, the lakes and rivers, really anything! It wasn't till about a year and a half ago that I took some online classes and decided I wanted to do something with my photography eventually. I just wanted to get better for taking pictures of my own kiddos. It wasn't till a few months later when some friends started asking me to take their pictures that it grew into something a bit more! Hopefully that answers your question! Sorry for the novel :) 

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

She came in like a wreeeecking ball

See what I did there? So I'm so clever. 
Last week KymSami Alexes and I (along with a few other girls!) went to see Miley at the pepsi center. And before you get all judgy 'Only God can Judge yaaa' (see what I did there again?) No, I don't think Miley Cyrus is a role model for 12 year olds or the best influence everrr. But do I care? Nope! I like some of her songs, and she puts on a amazing show. The whole night was a Lot of fun, minus the snow/rain storm we had the privilege of walking in for 5 blocks that had us looking like drowned cats after the concert. 
If you have the opportunity to go to a Miley show, GO. I mean, she comes in on her own tongue slide and flies out on a hot dog. Does it get any better than that? 

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