Traditioooooooooon, tradition!

Oh Christmas traditions.

We don't really have set traditions. Maybe someday we will have something more concrete. We mostly just have things we would like to do, but not a big deal if you don't get to it.

  • Put up tree before Thanksgiving and decorate after 
  • Visit Santa
  • Decorate gingerbread houses
  • Visit Mesa Temple lights
  • Decorate cookies

  • deliver treats to neighbors
  • fires in the backyard 
  • drinking hot chocolate
The kids and I have enjoyed thinking about and doing simple services with the  Light the World campaign for the LDS Church this year.

I have been over booked and over stressed out the last couple months.  So, I've been trying to keep things fun for my kids but also keep their expectations super low.  I hate to disappoint them with big promises and small deliveries.  We've skipped many parties and activities to just spend time and enjoy each others company.  I know Christmas time is a time for families gatherings, but this year I'm more focused on little family, at home. 

Do you enjoy traditions or do you like to keep it low key?  I'm not a planner in general so the lowest key possible for me, please. 

I'm liking this post up today with Mommy Style Monday ladies. 

Check out what traditions are happening in their homes. 

Kiana // Glitter & Donuts
Madeline // CaseyLand
Cayli // Nightchayde
Chelsea // Naturally Chels
Sue // Sue's News

If you'd like to join in the next Mommy Style Monday head on over to 
Kiana // Glitter & Donuts or Madeline // CaseyLand 

FYI: I also recently wrote a blog post about a winter bucket list for EVMB if you're interested in that. :)


Please Children, Sleep.

I like sleeping.

Like a lot.

Kids don't usually understand the beauty of sleep.

With my kids, it takes awhile for them to understand that sleep is good.

Sleep/bedtime routines can be a subject war.  There are so many ideas, opinions and what nots about what works best for kids and families.  This Mommy Style Monday is all about bed time routines.

I make bed time pretty lenient as long as they get their butts in bed and let mommy & daddy have some peace and quiet. LOL! (I mean this in the nicest way possible)

One thing that is always the same is the bed TIME.  7 o'clock! Yes that's right 7.  We've tried different times over the years but our kids wake up at the crack of dawn no matter what time they nod off, so they go to their rooms at 7.  Its harder in the summer cause the sun is still shining through their windows, but its a lesson in obedience (mwhahahaha!).

They get drinks of water, read some stories then its lights out.

We used to be the ones that read to the girls, but once Evelyn go bit by the reading bug she started reading to Amelia. Then Mia learned how to read so they read to themselves whatever books they want for about 10-15 minutes then they turn the lights out.  Mia falls asleep quickly and Ev usually comes down and complains about something then we send her back up.  

Camden also goes to bed at the same time, 7, for the most part.  I am actually okay that he doesn't nap anymore, because that means he will actually fall asleep at night.  He sometimes asks for a story, but mostly we just let him watch Netflix on my tablet till he falls asleep. Whatevs. It works for us.

Leo is a whole different ball game entirely. The boys are supposed to share a room, eventually.  We have a crib next to Camden's bed but it hasn't been used yet. Leo is still close to us.  We have a ginormous closest.  Its literally the size of most nursery rooms are, so he's in a pack n'play in our closest, with a noisy fan and pitch black.  He's just 7 months so he's still learning BUT he has consistently slept through the night more for awhile now so I say the, work around him-no sleep training, thing is working.  Sleep training has worked for our other kids, but this little one is just good at working with our emotions that we can't let him cry. ;)  I've tried some sleep training, but its just too sad, and its okay.  It works for us and for him.  He's happy so we're happy

I know some families are very vigilant with a specific routine and it works for them and their kids.  I know some families that let their kids stay up as late as they want, and it works for them and their kids. Our "routine" may seem like a chaotic mess, but it works for us right now.  Doesn't mean it won't change, 4 years ago it was different, and in 4 years it will be different again. You do you, and what works for you.  Your family, your kids, your life.  Make it work and happy sleeping.

Kiana // Glitter & Donuts
Madeline // CaseyLand
Sue // Sue's News
Juli // Journey of J^3
Beverly //What a Day
Monica // It's All About

If you'd like to join in the next Mommy Style Monday head on over to Kiana // Glitter & Donuts or Madeline // CaseyLand 


Capture Motherhood

I was recently tagged in a photo on Instagram by a company that I follow Regalo Baby about capturing motherhood

I love the words they posted "I didn't lose myself when I became a mom I found myself."

Its something that I've been thinking a lot about lately so it was fitting and exciting when they tagged me to share how I capture motherhood.

My younger self never had a definitive plan as to what the future held.  All I knew was that some day I would be a mom.  It was a natural transition for me, but I did have to give up a lot to be able to be a mother.  Social mental, financial. Being a mother takes, and takes, and takes.  Sometimes it takes so much that you feel like you never get anything back.  In just the past couple years I was forced to stop and look at things much differently in all areas of my life.  Things that seemed to be one way, ended up being another.  I had to build myself up more than I've ever had to in order to be the mother and the person I wanted and needed to be.  My perspective on motherhood has changed so much since then and I am glad I've had to change.

For me capturing motherhood is about the spontaneous fun, the mundane and the down right boring moments.  Moments of chaos, and moments of calm.

Its the little mom fails. Getting ready to feed your baby a bottle then dropping it right on his face.  He doesn't want to be near you any more, so you make it work.

Losing a battle with a 3 year old about wearing a winter coat when its 90 degrees outside and he's sweating, but it makes him happy.

Having a continuously messy home even though you swear to your husband that you spent at least an hour cleaning it, oh well.

A photo posted by Erica Jenkins//Good Job Momma (@airkaka) on

Seeing your kids have a love for the same thing (technology) and play nicely together.

Being a mother is my job.  Just like if I had a job outside the home, and I bust my butt everyday.  Its hard, its lonely, its worth it.

Thank you Regalo Baby for inspiring this post today.  If you want to join in capturing motherhood use the hashtag #capturemotherhood and tag @regalobaby  on Instagram


Mommy Style Monday: Accessories

Hello all and welcome to another Mommy Style Monday! We're in our second week of fall break and its been a bit crazy around here.  I am glad for these MSM posts to keep me coming back and updating the blog.  Sometimes, I spend so much time on the site I write and work for (East Valley Moms Blog, I LOVE it!  It's like another baby to me.) that I forget about my own! oops! Thank you for sticking around and still keeping up with me and my crazy life.

This MSM is all about accessories. Besides my eyebrows (its an obsession), 100% honest my favorite accessory is a hair tie on my wrist. 85 percent of the time I have one, even if my hair is already up.  Its just my thing I guess.

I don't wear very many accessories, I don't go out and buy many things either.  I have a few necklaces and a few pairs of earrings. I would love to branch out and have way more choices but I can't seem to spend my money on something like this.

Walmart: Black & Coral Necklace & blue earrings
Target: White pearl flower earrings
Gifted: gold necklace & peach flower earrings. 

I've had my Walmart necklaces for years.  There were a couple more necklaces but those are currently in a land fill somewhere weeping over my decision to let children wear them. Eh, oh well. Live and learn.

I tend to wear jewelry accessories when I'm kid free. So out at an event or to blog conferences. 

Let us witness accessories out in the wild.  

This past August at Say Hi Society Blog Conference photo Let Me See You Sparkle

This past April 3 weeks postpartum at a Say Hi Society Blog Conference

Getting my head shots for East Valley Moms Blog March 2015

First Moms Night Out Event for EVMB February 2015

I'm just saving the environment by REUSING!

But really my accessories are spit up, food stains, pen marks, and mess.  Give me a baby on my hip and a toddler tugging at my shirt any day over earrings, hats, rings, necklaces or scarves.

Maybe some day i'll get a chance to accessories with things, instead of children but i'll enjoy this time while it lasts.

What's your favorite accessory? Kids, hats, bolo ties??

Go and see what the other ladies linking up accessorize with.

Kiana // Glitter & Donuts
Madeline // CaseyLand
Juli // Journey of J^3
Monica // It's All About
Chelsea // Tessa Marie

If you'd like to join head on over to Kiana at Glitter & Donuts or Madeline CaseyLand 


LuLaRoe Review + GIVEAWAY

When I first heard about the company, it was fairly close to after it launched.  I wasn't very into the idea.  I don't buy myself clothes often and didn't know much except LuLaRoe had crazy pattern leggings, which is true (and they are totally awesome btw).  As time went on I saw more and more about LulaRoe on social media, and the idea was growing on me. I had a couple pieces but hadn't explored too far into the clothing.  So when Mandy was looking for someone to review the clothing, I was happy to do it! Fun Fact: I was in a bunco group back in 2009 and Mandy was in the group too.  I hadn't seen her since then! I loved catching up and she has the cutest kids now! 

I went over to her house (Arizona Local) and saw the incredible amount of inventory she has! It was a little overwhelming and intimidating looking at all those styles and patterns.  Its so great having a consultant that knows what they are doing and have an eye for matching, mixing and pairing the perfect pieces for you and your body.

I tried on quite a few styles, and fabric choices and finally settled on some amazing pieces.  I stepped out of my comfort zone with a couple pieces and I am so glad I took the risk.

I really wanted to show that 1.) Any size can rock LuLaroe and 2.) Don't be afraid of color and pattern mixing.

I received the following pieces to review.

  • XL Irma shirt
  • 2xl Cassie pencil skirt
  • Tall/Curvy Leggings
  • XL Carly swing dress.

The Cassie is my friend.  Each item is hand cut so sizing can very slightly, but the 2XL works perfect for me.  Its not constricting but not going to fall off.  The wide fold over waist band is so unbelievably comfortable, and the fabric is soft and has a good stretch.

I paired this bright fun Cassie with a gorgeous floral pattern Irma shirt.

An Irma runs big,(normally I would wear a 2xl in shirts but in the Irma an XL is the perfect fit) its a longer in the back tunic style shirt with just a slightly tighter quarter length sleeve.  It is exactly the shirt I need for Arizona's mild fall & winter weather.

What did I tell you about pattern mixing! Don't be scared.  I first saw this together and I was like WHAAAA!! but after I tried them on and saw what they looked like together I fell in love.  I wore this outfit to church and I wore it the rest of the day it was so comfortable.  I normally get home and change immediately out of my Sunday clothes.

Something else I love about the Irma is how great it pairs with jeans and leggings too. You can style it up for a night out, or glam it down for just around the house, running errands or out for a lunch with friends.  Its so versatile, which for me is great since, I don't purchase clothes for myself often I need one piece to look good many different ways. When you hear that LuLaRoe leggings are like butter, believe me they really are! You may sometimes catch yourself rubbing your legs often. If I could have a pair in every color I would be a happy happy gal.  They can be paired with an Irma, Classic T, Perfect T, Carly Dress, Amelia, Joy....okay basically everything! 

Last but certainly not least is the Carly dress.  Its new to the LuLaRoe line and its came out with a bang! The Carly is a high low swing dress.  Intended to be worn tighter on the top then its flows down over the body loosely.  I don't usually wear loose flowy dress, but this dress has changed my mind about that. 

Something that is usually difficult to find in clothing, particularly dresses my size, is a dress that is long enough in the back.  It could go to my knees in the front, but since my human body has a butt it comes up in the back and just looks odd and I'm uncomfortable wearing it. The Carly does not have that problem on me! I was very surprised too by the size that works for me, an XL!

If you are nervous LuLaRoe does not have a size for you, don't worry, because they do!  If I wanted an even looser look I could just go up a size and get that.  Same with the Irma shirt. I love the clothing and you could say I'm just around the river bend to becoming a #lularoeaddict?  OOPS. Sorry not sorry.

I know the price point of the clothing can be a huge turn off. I'm a fugal person and can't spend money on myself for the life of me, but after I purchased my first piece, and saw how great it was made, how comfortable I was in it and how happy it made me feel to wear, I was hooked.

I think it's all about the right pieces for you.  Start small and go from there!  Soon, you'll be in love too. :) My girl Mandy has everything you'd need and can help you find the perfect piece for you! She made me more of a believer in my clothing choices and more confident in myself!  Thank you Mandy!!

Don't you just love this Carly! Love the fun flirty pattern and it makes me feel dressed up, but also like I'm wearing a house dress. LOL! You can have that feeling too. LuLaRoe fashion consultant Mandy Shelley is graciously giving ONE lucky person a CARLY!!!! 

That's right folks, the Carly dress of your choice (from current sizing and inventory pieces from LuLaRoe Fashion Consultant Mandy Shelley).

Enter below for your chance to get a beautiful Carly dress for yourself. 

If you are Local to the Phoenix, Arizona area check out this Event Mandy and a few other local consultants will be at, at the end of October!  Get those fall outfits taken care of! 

**Giveaway open to US residents only**Must be 18+ or older to be eligible**Giveaway runs from 9/27- Midnight:10/1**

LuLaRoe Giveaway!

**all opinions are my own.  I received the items of clothing free of charge in exchange for my review and honest opinion**


Mommy Style Monday: Meal Time

I love me some food.

Its crazy that my kids don't. I'm constantly telling them "I wouldn't make this if it didn't taste good!"

I have multiple picky eaters in my house, so meal time and finding something that everyone likes is slim pickings.

This Mommy Style Monday is all about meal time.  I'm still trying to figure out what everyone will eat when it comes to meals, opinions around here change a lot.


I have found a few meals that are go too, and also snacks. My kids snack a lot, and the older my kids get the hungrier they get.  I feel like I'm always feeding them.

My go to dinners that nobody feels to share their picky opinions about.
  • Taco Salads
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Rice with Hamburger or Turkey Meat
  • Hot dogs & Hamburgers
  • Crock pot meat & potatoes

Pretty basic nothing crazy.  I know there are a few other things, but these are the ones that get rotated quite a bit around here. I do try and make something the kids haven't tried before or they have had in the past and I want them to try again, every once in awhile. Doesn't usually go over too well with some but sometimes you just gotta make something you like and the kids can just deal, even if they give me sass.

The things my kids love more than basic food is snacks.  Oh all the snacking! constantly asking for snacks.

Go to snacks

  • Malt o Meal GIANT bags of cereal. Knock off cinnamon toast crunch & fruit loops are the way to go.  On the grocery receipt it literally says MOM CEREAL.  Its a sign you must buy if you're a mom. 
  • Cheese sticks.  Yes, sometimes I spurge a little for these, Not often, but they love these and eat them up. So do I
  • Animal Crackers. Chocolate & Regular.  
  • Those crunchy Nature granola bars that make the biggest mess in the world. messy, but good. 
We're super classy, with food around here. LOL!

The baby just wants his bottles, rice cereal and i'm gonna start him on fruits and veggies as soon a i find a highchair i like.

As you can tell I wasn't able to take a single picture of children eating or food for this post, but I hope the use of a few gifs made this a tiny bit interesting.  Happy Eating. 

Check out what everyone else has to say about meal time in their house 

Kiana // Glitter & Donuts
Madeline // CaseyLand
Beverly // What a Day 
Chelsea // Tessa Marie
Monica // It's All About

If you'd like to join in the next mommy style Monday go on over to Kiana or Madeline's blog for the details. 

Till next time. 


Mommy Style Monday: Date night in

When I read the topic for Mommy Style Monday being date night, I wasn't the most excited. Because an actually going out on a date night isn't something that happens very often around here and we would't be able make one happen before this post (I really wanted to give you all a serious case of FOMO <<<< just learned this word and what it means).

There are always attempts at going out but most the time things just don't work out the way you want them too.  Sometimes its hard not to be disappointed but it is what it is, I always tell me kids, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit, and the same should apply to me. Right?

So since I needed something to write about I just made up a quick date night at home.  Even though I would much rather get out of the house (for sanity purposes), its really about spending time together to reconnect.

Our date night in started with pizza and pop with the kids. A classic weekend dinner.  I've been making every meal at home for the last couple weeks so it was nice not having to cook for a night.

We then watched a movie.  Man of Steel.  The girls really want to watch Batman vs Superman so you have to watch from the beginning.  

After the kids went to bed (its hard when its in home dates to wait for the kids to zonk out) it's all about card games. 

Phase 10 is a favorite.  I let Chris win, every time.  Yes, I did staged this picture. :)

I know these posts are supposed to be about style and outfits and what not, hence the name mommy STYLE Monday, but not this one.  I had big plans of taking pictures of myself in my pajamas, but I guess I was too comfy to care or just plain forgot. :)

I did remember in the morning, and attempted taking style pics, but didn't just much style.  I did like how this one turned out. :)

Our 10 year anniversary is at the end of next month and I'm at a complete loss of what I should plan for it.  I know I can comb pinterest and find a million idea, but I want to know what date/anniversary ideas you have done that you loved and were super fun!

I love linking up with Mommy Style Monday. 
 If you want to join next time got to Kiana or Madeline's blog to sign up! 

Check out other date night post from these lovely ladies! 

Kiana // Glitter & Donuts
Madeline // CaseyLand
Juli // Journey of J^3
Beverly // What a Day 
Kristen // Eat Play and Go
Chelsea // Tessa Marie


Crawling: A true story

I know I have other children, but Leo is the most entertaining these days.

I give you Crawling:
A true story by Leonard Jenkins

He's one happy crawling baby. Nothing is safe now.


Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

If you're anything like me then you have about a year supply of quick cooking oats in your pantry that needs to be used and rotated.

So a perfect way to do that it to make cookies. Chris loves oatmeal cookies, but they have to be a very specific kind and I needed to make an equivalent to or better oatmeal cookie.

I think I nailed it with this recipe. It was another Pinterest win.

Recipe adapted from: The Comfort of Cooking

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

I left out the nutmeg, on the fact that I didn't have any nutmeg. If you don't like nutmeg don't worry the cookies taste fantastic without it. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla until well blended. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nutmeg (omitted) in a bowl. Stir into butter mixture. Gently stir in oats until well blended.

Shape dough into rounded golfball-sized balls (about 2 Tbsp. each). (I used my trusty cookie scoop Place on prepared baking sheet (I fit 9 per sheet). Flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup dipped in sugar. (Totally missed reading this part. I did NOT flatten my cookies before baking.)

Bake for 8-10 minutes.(since I missed flattening the cookie before baking, I had to bake mine longer between 10-14 minutes) Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I think  I got at least 24 cookies.  I didn't count cause we started eating them immediately out of the oven. oops. :)

Cookies times to see how they turned out. 

Seriously so so good! We ate way too many! They were just as good the next day too. Just put them in a zip lock and you should probably hide them cause they will be hard to resist.

This would be a perfect base if you want to add chocolate chips, or raisins (yuck), or reeses pieces candies (yum).

Let me know how they turn out for you and how many you ate too. :)


Many Faces of Leo

Just thought I'd throw in some freaking adorable pictures of Leonard.

Not even 6 months and he's thiiiiiiiiiis close to crawling. He'll be running by like next week I think.


Easy Homemade Brownie Recipe

I'm continuing my quest in making the recipes I've pinned on my Pinterest.

Up next brownies!

I was wanting something chocolate and we only have cocoa powder in the house and I'm not about to start spooning it into my mouth.  That probably would not go over very well.

So I turned to the glorious Pinterest and found recipe that was simple and I had everything already in my house.

The recipe is found on I Am Baker site.  She had a brilliant idea of making the dry mix as a gift and including the recipe of the rest of the ingredients and such for the person to finish making it.  I may have to do that.  Its just like using a box mix but I think more personable because you spent the extra time on it. 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter, then cooled
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
*I doubled the recipe and it was still perfect* 


  1. Sift together all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. 
  2. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly. Beat two eggs with the vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients and stir.  Pour in cooled melted butter and incorporate.  Spread batter in a prepared 8-inch square pan and bake for 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees. *since I doubled the recipe I used a 9x13-inch pan and baked it for about 30 minutes, but started checking at 22 minutes.*

It is seriously such an easy recipe.  I am a huge fan of fudge style brownies and this is perfect.  Add a little vanilla ice cream and some chocolate syrup and its a perfect desert for any day or even a special occasion. 

Enjoy and happy baking! 

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