Learning To Live Different – A Journey To Minimalism By A Hoarder

Documenting it on the blog so then its REAL, ya know? That’s how things work on the internet, right? We talked today about how much freakin’ WASTE the three of us accumulate. It’s actually embarrassing. Today I’ve decided I want to do better. We NEED to do better. This includes reducing our overall waste, reducing the (obscene) amount of plastic we use, and ultimately getting rid of all the JUNK in our home that is just…well that…junk. My husband is most excited about that part. No lie, I’m kind of a hoarder. I just think EVERYTHING is important. Sue me.

I tend to be the type of person who thinks I will ALWAYS need something, so I hold onto it….for years….and years….and never use it.
Guys, I literally hang on to the stupidest of things because I MIGHT use them SOME DAY. Anyone else able to relate to that?!

I thought this would be a fun journey to document here on the ole blog. She needed some love. I am hoping to recap each week and share the POSITIVE changes we made for the week.

So I guess let’s start with a bang and share the positive things I did over the weekend:
– Got rid of an entire Walmart bag full of bathroom stuff that I have never opened or used, but felt the need to keep around for years. (Anyone else seeing a theme here?!)
– Reused the bag I got the lettuce in from the store rather than using a new ziplock bag. (This is the ridiculous stuff I am talking about. Like why would I need a different bag?!)
– Fed kitchen scraps to our chickens. (This isn’t anything new, but I’m adding it to my list. We love giving treats to our girls)

We are hoping getting the conversation going about less waste in our home will bring some positive changes our way. We are excited for this! If you have any products you use or advice, please share! I know I am such a dweeb when it comes to this stuff. But hey, I am trying. And that is the first step!

Have a great week, friends!

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Arizona Weekend Getaway at The Vavra Family Cabin

“Staycations” are probably one of my favorite things ever. I love exploring this state of ours, staying at new places, and finding adventure right in our backyard. Arizona is such an amazing state, you guys. I feel so blessed to call this place home.

Over the weekend we headed over to Heber-Overgaard, Arizona which was about a two hour drive from us. We pass through this town every time we drive to Phoenix, but we had never stopped anywhere other than the Chevron Gas Station. It had snowed the night before we got there making it a winter wonderland you see in movies! It was glorious.

We decided to head to this cute cabin to celebrate our anniversary! And it’s still crazy to me that we’ve been married for four years. What a special, special thing. We decided steaks and veggies would suffice for a nice anniversary dinner! Ribeye steaks, fresh green beans, and sautéed onions and mushrooms to top the steaks with. I wish you could have joined us because it was PHENOMINAL! And if you know me, you know I did not forget about dessert. We snuggled on the couches, watched Pinocchio, and enjoyed root beer floats! (The vanilla bean ice cream from SO Delicious was SO good! (Didn’t mean to do that. LOL!) But it was dairy free and it rocked my world.

They turned their garage into this epic game room filled with giant jenga, foosball, ping pong, and even bikes for your family to ride! How cute is that?!

Our daughter keeps asking “when can we go back?!” So I would call that a “WIN” in our parenting book! It was a nice weekend of disconnecting with the world, spending time together, and exploring somewhere new.

Want to stay here?!
Check out Vavra Family Cabin on Facebook! – https://www.facebook.com/vavrafamilycabin/
They also now have an Instagram page! Go leave some love – @vavrafamilycabin

We are always looking for our next travel spot. Where should we go next?!

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A Year in Review, According to Instagram

I decided to take a look back at the last year via Instagram and thought I would share the months with you guys!! 2017 was such a fun year. Lots of laughter, new adventures, pushing ourselves to try new things, and learning and loving along the way!

JANUARY

For Christmas we got a new microwave and we finally got it installed in January, making it a really REALLY exciting time for us! There was a giant hole there for FAR too long. HA!

We celebrated THREE years of marriage in 2017 and I can’t believe year four is right around the corner!

We spent another year in San Fran for a work party and it was so much fun. We always have the best time there and I am thankful for these memories.

FEBRUARY

Our sweet girl turned SEVEN!

MARCH

We spent a weekend in Mexico and loved every second of it. And I love every second of these two. They are adorable.

We filmed out first temple sealing video at the Gilbert Temple. It was my first time being up close and personal with a Temple and it was so so beautiful. I think of this day often and I am so happy we got to film that!



APRIL

We did a fun camping trip to Payson, Arizona with our siblings!

MAY

May…the month our sweet baby was due. I will never forget how LOVED I felt on the day of our due date. This town sure knows how to make a girl feel special, even when this was one of the hardest days of my life.

We did the BIG CHOP…and she loved it more than ANYTHING!

JUNE
We spent another amazing year at Circus Mexicus in Rocky Point, Mexico! We love this weekend more than anything and it is the perfect escape! (Fun fact: we got engaged right before Circus Mexicus in 2013!)

JULY
We celebrated this guys birthday over the summer.

I had the best weekend ever while doing a girls trip to Palm Springs, California!

AUGUST

Spent my birthday in Vegas with this stud. I’m ready to go back! Anyone want to go?!
We started SECOND GRADE!

SEPTEMBER

We (my husband) cleared out our back lot and I can’t wait to see it filled with fruits and veggies come spring & summer! It’s gonna be a good year in 2018 for the farm!


WE ALSO GOT CHICKENS AND IT WAS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! Sadly, they are being free-loaders right now. But WHATEVS!

OCTOBER

This year was an amazing year for our cinematography business. We traveled to New Mexico to shoot one of my favorite weddings to date!

We had the best Halloween!

NOVEMBER

We went to church more this year than any other year.

I baked pies for Thanksgiving and I LOVED it!

DECEMBER

We became closer to these cool kids and I couldn’t be happier. Such sweet and down to earth people and I am so thankful for our friendship.

After years of talking about it, we finally did Temple Lights. And it was beautiful. And magical. And I loved it.

This year was amazing. It really was. I am so excited about all the adventures 2018 is going to bring our way!

 

 

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Visiting The Petrified Forest National Park

We FINALLY did it! Four years of living 30 minutes away and we FINALLY visited the Petrified Forest National Park. This was such a fun day trip for our family of three. If you’re in Arizona, you need to put this on your list of places to visit!
There are three National Parks in the state of Arizona and I feel so lucky to live so close to one of them.

I felt like the Petrified Forest was an easily doable trip if you are with kids or on your way to the Grand Canyon from anywhere. Seeing the huge pieces of petrified wood was truly something else. I always thought the Petrified Forest was going to be super lame (hey, just being honest) and it totally wasn’t! If our 7 year old loved it, that’s saying something! 😉

It is only about a 15 min. drive from Holbrook and 30 mins from the coolest person in the internet land. So come stay with me and we can go together. 😉

I would love to go back again and do more of the hikes/trails. We did a short day there, and didn’t get through the full park. They had a lot of cool roads you could drive down that were one way loops with pull-outs to look and take pictures. For a lazy girl like me, I enjoyed the heck out of that! We loved the visitors center and thought it was a great kid friendly place!

Guys, the Petrified Forest was really cool. Please put it on your list of things to see in Arizona! I promise you won’t regret it.
What’s your favorite spot to visit in Arizona or surrounding states?! We want to add places to our list!!

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I’m Bad At Things….And That’s Okay!

We all know how hard it is raising kids, being a mom, being a wife, being a girl, or being a human being when social media is added to the picture. There is a stupid amount of stress to be the BEST at everything, look like you have your life together, and shine above all the rest. Well…that’s not me. That’s not me at ALL. I’m really bad at some things *cough* most things *cough* and I’m here to share them with YOU in hopes that YOU don’t feel alone or inadequate in a world that constantly shows off our best and better days. So here’s to being bad at things! CHEERS!

1) Hair.
I am so so bad at hair, you guys. My hair, my daughters hair, any other hair I lay my hands on. I can’t style for the life of me. I use Walmart shampoo and conditioner. I use Z E R O product to make it smooth or shiny or longer or ANYTHING else. My daughter is never the kid with cute hair at school or dance recitals. And guess what? I’ve learned to be okay with all of that. She may not have the cutest hair, but I love her a whole heck of a lot and I think THAT’S what matters as a mom.

2) Crafts.
If I never did another craft in my life, I would be fine with that. I don’t have a creative bone in my body and that will probably remain that way for the rest of my life.

3) Home Decorating.
My home looks like a cross between “having my life together” and “frat house”. We just cant seem to find a middle ground. And as I’m typing this, I have one set of blinds that are broken and multiple windows that don’t even have blinds. Y.O.L.O.

4) Keeping my gas tank full.
Nothing pains me more than filling up my gas. So I just don’t do it. It drives my husband insane. Someday I will learn…but until then…I’ll keep driving for miles after my “LOW FUEL” light comes on.

5) Cooking rice.
Guys, I wish I was kidding on this one. I can’t freaking cook it!!!

There’s a short list of things I’m bad at, and I’m okay with that! Do you have anything you’re bad at?!? Share with me!

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Finding Home

At what point in your adult life do you say “Yup! This is it for us! THIS is where we’re planting our roots!”? At what point do you just feel content and happy with where you are living, raising a family, and creating relationships that will last a lifetime?

I never had this moment. Maybe it’s the adventurer in me, but I never thought “THIS is HOME”. I always thought there might be something better, something more fun, or something more beautiful out there if we kept looking for it. The thought of settling down honestly scared me. If you know me, you know that I LOVE traditions. I love all things family, I love having parties, I love socializing, and I knew I wanted all those things in our forever hometown. Sadly, when we moved to my husbands hometown, I didn’t find that. I found myself on the outside looking in, and boy did it throw me for a loop. I was an outsider coming in on a VERY tight knit community. I was an outsider in a predominately LDS community.
I felt like an outsider in literally EVERY aspect of life when it came to this little town.

We had talked and talked on and off about where we wanted to end up. Did we want to be in the Valley closer to our siblings? Did we want to move where I grew up and raise out kids in the mountains? Did we want to road trip for a year and see what this country had to offer? We listed our house for sale and hoped for the best. I was praying so desperately for an escape from this town. I knew I needed it. I would literally cry myself to sleep because I NEEDED to leave. I BEGGED God for an answer. And he gave it to me.

He gave me an unsold house. And along with that, he gave me peace. He gave me joy and he gave me purpose and he gave me a new outlook on life. Funny how all of that can come from an unsold house. I woke up one day and I could fully and whole heartedly say “THIS is HOME”. This place is where we want to raise our kids, where we want to grow our family, and where we want to put up with each other forever.

This town has brought us a lot of happy times and a few not so happy times. We fought like hell for our marriage in this town, we grew our family in this town, we lost a baby living in this town, and ultimately…we fell so much in love with each other and our life in this town. We found friends in this town and we found a school we LOVE in this town. We found OUR home. There are no towns like this town of ours. Where people rally together when someone needs it, when strangers bring you dinner for a week straight because you need it, when someone needs a liver transplant and the first question asked is “where can I get tested to be a donor?”, when you’re out of cream cheese for a recipe and your friend has their son ride his bike to your house to drop some off to you…..and most of all, there are no towns that feel like HOME, except this one.
This windy, no stoplight, middle of no where town.

We’ve been fixing up our house for almost 4 years now, and I am so happy to finally call it our HOME. Home where traditions will be made. Home where holidays will be held. Home where our kids will grow up.
Here’s to the next 50 years here, babe! We did it. We found home.

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A Blog Post About Nothing

Man oh MAN!
Where have I been lately? Literally everywhere and no where. Our life has been a crazy whirlwind the last 6 months and I just feel like sometimes I can’t catch my breath. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way, right? I want to do a more “in depth” post sooner rather than later about what is going on in our life, but a small rant about pretty much nothing will have to do the trick for right now. Because I feel like writing and this is my blog so….cheers!

As many people know we’ve been trying to sell our house for the last few months and GEEZE it has been an emotional roller coaster. Trying to figure out this next big step in our life has been challenging and exciting and scary and frustrating and everything in between. Isn’t it funny how life works like that sometimes? All the emotions rolled into one. How do we stay sane?! (Well…TRY to stay sane, anyway!)

I truly can’t believe summer is almost coming to an end. Excuse me, what?! How is it even possible that we are going to have a second grader? The heartbreak with kids growing up is REAL, y’all! Why can’t they just stay little forever? Like it ACTUALLY hurts my heart that she’s growing up. But my GOODNESS is she growing up to be a heck of a lady! Beautiful, smart, kind, thoughtful….I just love that little doodle bug of ours.

In other exciting news…my sister and I are the proud new owners of a children’s consignment sale franchise. Say whaaaa?! Yup! We are the newest owners of Here We Grow Again – East Valley! So if you’re a mom like me who spends WAY too much money on kids clothes, shoes, and toys…this is the sale for you! Make back some $$$ on your out-grown clothes and shoes and also shop adorable clothing for your kiddos. It’s a win/win! Go “LIKE” our Facebook page!!!! (And tell your friends!)

I’ve been giving “monthly meal planning” a try. It’s been interesting. For the two weeks we’ve been doing it. HAHA! Check back in two weeks to see how we ended up doing!!

I wish I had more fun and exciting things to talk about, but this is real life….we all know how that goes! Especially with a low-key life like ours.
Sometimes I just really get the itch to write random things down, and decided to hit “publish” on this one. I hope you all are doing great! I miss you all. Give me blog post ideas so I can write more! Okay love you bye! PS MY BIRTHDAY IS IN ONE WEEK! HOLLER!

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All American Outfit | Girls Fashion Post

If you’re a girl mom (okay, a mom in general, who am I kidding?), you know how much fun it is buying clothes for little kids! I mean how the heck do they make it all SO darn cute?!

There is no denying that my little one has a love for fashion, so today we are bringing you a fashion post! Who’s excited?! *raises both hands* *does a little jig* *throws a party*

Have you heard of Switchables? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on some of the cutest skirts for girls out there! Actually, Cassidy and her mother-in-law Gayla can make any sizes custom ordered. So moms, you can even get something to match you and your little. Or you can get your precious newborn an adorable skirt. Anyway…Switchables are a 2 for 1 type skirt. Switchable. Clever, right!?!

They were kind enough to send E her own skirt and it so perfect for all the 4th of July festivities coming up! Guys. I’m dying over this. And I want my own.


I am always so intrigued by what sparks people’s drive for starting their own business, so I had to ask a few questions to my sweet friend Cassidy.
1. What inspired your company WahlFlowerDesignsCo and the idea for Switchables?
“My two girls! Having girls brought out the crafty side and I wanted them to be matchy-matchy all the time!! So I made these for Easter outfits. They were rough at first. Haha. But since teaming up with my wonderful mother-in-law Gayla, the skirts are perfect!”

2. What has been your favorite part of having an online store?
“It has been fun learning! This is still so new to me and I’m learning so much about everything…even taxes!”

3. What has been your favorite print/Switchable so far?
“I love ALL our prints! Right now though, it’s definitely the All-American Switchable!”

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?!
“Ohhh this is a hard one! I haven’t really traveled much, so my list is long. I’m torn between Alaska and Bora Bora.” (MY KINDA GIRL!!!)

Cassidy and Gayla can make you a skirt for any occasion! Birthdays, summer festivities, because it’s a Wednesday…ANYTHING! Make sure you check them out. I love supporting mom-based businesses! Make sure to follow all the adorable things happening on their Instagram @wahlflowerdesignsco (and tell them I sent you! 😉 )

SKIRT: WahlFlowerDesignsCo – https://www.etsy.com/listing/530303929/reversible-pencil-skirt-for-girls?ref=shop_home_active_1

SHIRT: Old Navy (ON SALE RIGHT NOW!) – http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=99571&pcid=6072&vid=1&pid=773497002

SHOES: Target – http://www.target.com/p/girls-lenita-dyeable-faux-leather-strappy-thong-sandals-cat-jack-153-brown/-/A-51487278

 

 

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