Thursday, May 20, 2010

To: Ashton From: CSN Stores

It's here! What's this, you ask?
a horsie?oh...a chair!!
*sigh* time to relax!

I was lucky enough to review an item from the CSN stores. I chose that little chair. Needless to say it is a hit! Ashton has been sitting in it everyday since it arrived! He loves to watch his shows in it and I can even fit in it! Now, I didn't choose to sit in it- Ashton wanted me to try out his comfy little chair.
Reasons I like the chair:
1. So so soft (its like a light weight fleece)
2. Washable! Yes it got dirty on the first day. It has zippers so you just wash the outer layer and not the foam.
3. 3in1. Ashton can sit in it, cuddle with it like a stuffed animal and use the back part as a table.
4. It is a unique looking animal so it has caught the eye of many a children that have stopped by our house to play.
5. The item was priced at 34.99+shipping. I am an extremely thrifty person so this seemed a little high for me. When I went to discount stores to look at their prices, theirs were about $40 for not as cute chairs like Dora or Thomas the train engine prints...
Reasons I like CSN:
1. You can find everything you need because they have tons of stores
2. Good customer service. Ashley, on the promoteam, was extremely nice and helpful.
3. Fast shipping!
4. Unique items. I don't like to have the same things as everyone so you can get good quality unique items.
Things I would change about both:
1. The chair is slippery...but I have hardwood floors so any cloth would be slippery. Problem was solved when we put it on the rug.
2. The back isn't high enough so Ashton's head isn't supported that well.
All in all though, with a few minor adjustments, this chair suits our needs just great! Once Ashton is done, I put the pieces back together and it just looks like a cute stuffed animal. It doesn't look too out of place in my toy-filled living room :)
Thank you, CSN for giving us this opportunity to try out something from one of your many stores!!
**Please note: I was asked to choose an item at no cost for this review. It will in no way influence my review of the product.

Winner Winner

the winner is....


Woo hoo. I actually knew she was going to win.

The correct answers were Peru, family, being pregnant.

So, Miss, just let me know what you would like :)

Thanks to all those that participated!

To my second place winner: VAL!

Val, let me know what you would like :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I win! yes- a real prize!!

I am really missing a few things in my life. Like, I feel as if my body is craving certain things that it can't have right now. There are at least 3 things in this picture that I really miss right now. If YOU can name 3 things (can't list individual people) you WIN! Really, you win something that I have made/or will make for you....whether it be stationary, cards, headbands, editing pics, etc. You name it (please be reasonable- I can't give away Ashton...or a million bucks 'cause I don't have that nor do I make ANY money haha)

this pic might give you a better hint to 1 of those things.
good luck! the prize will go to the first person that posts correctly. and even if you don't want anything from me...just humor me will ya? :)
**Edited 5/19 12 pm
I won't reveal the right answers and the winner(s) until tomorrow at 9am. If I am feeling overly generous I will announce more than 1 winner :)

Monday, May 17, 2010


what happened to spring weather? I feel like its summer was seriously so hot out today i was sweating just sitting outside. not that i am complaining or anything. i heart heart heart this weather.

we went outside.



except when ashton doesn't want to come back inside and throws a tantrum.

i'm pretty sure my neighbors laugh as i walk by carrying ashton like a sack of potatoes.

also i love that i peek outside my window and see meelllions of children outside playing...that is my cue to bring out the child and mingle with the other moms. love small neighborhoods.

Friday, May 14, 2010

hippoty hop

I am not a fan of hip hop but I love this!!

yes I know this isn't really hip hop but it should be! If all hip hop music were as wholesome and funny as this I would love it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Stats221 is for Lovers

4 years ago today (well i wrote it on wednesday but i'm posting it a few days late) was one of the happiest days of our lives.

3 guesses.

No- we actually have no idea when that happened.

No- no comment.

Yes? The man in the back with the turquoise hat? You are correct!

Lorin and I got hitched! WoooHoo!

I want to tell y'all the story of how we met. It really is a fantastic one. So, pull up a chair, get some snacks ready and put your kids down for a nap.
It all started with 2 experiences before I went off to school the fall of '05. I didn't know what I wanted to major in and had been praying for guidance. I was led to research Business Management (for all that know me this is just ridiculous!). I wanted to major in business not to make beeelllions of dollars, but to work at a non-profit where I would make, well the opposite of that. So, I signed up for the business pre-req Stats 221. The other experience was a blessing I received from my daddy right before I hopped on a plane to Utah. When he said a certain phrase, I raised my eyebrow, opened my eye and saw my mom giving me the same confused expression. Ha! We thought my dad must be going crazy or something. Let me explain. I was "waiting" for a missionary. We dated all of freshman year, over the summer, and continued our "relationship" through my sophmore year. My dad said something to the effect that I would find my eternal companion this year and prepare for marriage. So you get the confusion right? My missionary wasn't coming home until next year! And everyone knew that I wanted to marry him. Anyway, I thought my dad was nuts, hopped on a plane and prepared for my pre business major classes.

As I sat down in the JKB classroom, I prepared my brain to stuff all this "cool & fun" stuff I was about to learn. I was right by the door and watched everyone as they strolled in. One caught my eye.....I believe he was wearing his green Hurley shirt and board shorts (his signature style). He was super tan, had long hair with a cute little curl on the ends and had piercing GREEN eyes. Hmmmm, ok enough of that, focus. And guess what? He sat down right next to me. That's right. There were empty seats and he chose the seat directly next to mine. And then it clicked. My roomate, Bev, had talked to him in church the previous Sunday. He was in my ward! He said "hey." He had me at "hey."

"I think you are in my ward."

"How do you know?"

"Um, I think I saw you in the building."

"Prove it."

Ok weirdo. You talked to my friend. Whatever. By this time the teacher had started talking. And Mr. Sexy Hair kept talking. I obviously didn't really respond because it is rude to talk while the teacher is talking, duh. He didn't see it that way and thought I was rude. I believe he sat next to me the next class, too. But after that he sat next to this little blonde chick who was Snow White for Halloween....enough said. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I thought this "stats-mance" was over, afterall he had moved on to a cute little blonde.

Ha! Was I wrong, we "studied" for Stats even though I wasn't in his class anymore. (I switched times because work conflicted with that time). And by "studied" I mean we seriously talked the whole time. Then he didn't want to study with me anymore because we didn't get anything done. But we did hang out! We had a lot of fun times just hanging out as friends and eventually became more than that.

I will say that dating Lorin was not easy for me. No, not because he didn't know people actually celebrated Valentine's Day, but because I didn't want to fall in love with him. I just wanted to focus on school and my missionary. Lorin's roommate did warn him that I had a missionary but he paid no attention. When I prayed for comfort in my decision to break up with Lorin it never felt right. Something always kept us together.After struggling with the decision to keep on dating Lorin, and many many talks with my friend, Steve, about it....well I decided to go for it.

We were married in the Washington D.C., LDS temple on May 12, 2006. I was so nervous and excited that it is a blur to me. And even now, I cannot believe how fast 4 years have gone. We have many ups and downs, complete joy and sorrow and have felt the purest of loves when our son was born and when we attend the temple. We've traveled to Europe, South America, national parks and local cabins. We've argued over everything from placement of coffee table books to, well, more serious matters. I miss him when he is at work for the day or on business trips for days. My favorite time of day is when we go to bed and the world is silent. We have that time to reflect on our days and just hold each other we fall asleep....or he pushes me away because he gets too hot.

Babe, you are the best husband I could have asked for. You know me sometimes better than I know myself. You know my likes and dislikes. I love you so much that I go camping and skiing, just for you. May we have many more years together, experiencing more joys, trials, disagreements, travels, and most of all, love.

Upcoming Review on CSN Stores

Have a busybody toddler? I sure do! And he has a hard time sitting down for anything....except... Bear in the Big Blue House. I have been in search of a itty bitty chair for Ashton to call his very own. I found a cute little monster bear softie chair at the CSN Stores. They have over 200 stores on their site! They have everything from toddler beds, to accent furniture to cookware like Le Creuset! You can seriously find everything you may need for your home on this site! And with a little busybody I can shop for lots of things from the comfort of my own home...while he watches his show of course!

I was graciously offered an item to review from any one of their stores. Of course I chose this cute little chair for Ashton. It reminded me of a bear (which he loves) and its kinda goes with my home decor. Also, the price and shipping price is awesome! I can't wait for this little monster to join the gang of friends Ashton has (yes his stuffed animals). So, stay tuned for when I will be posting my thoughts on the product as well as a cute picture of Ashton snuggling/sitting/asking me to put it in his crib... I am absolutely postive he will love it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

part deux

yep. your eyes are not deceiving you. THE martha stewart signed MY book! my sweet mother waited patiently in line at costco in CT. they had a separate line for mommies with babies so she only had a 40 minute wait. and then she talked to martha. yes. they chatted about how awesome my mom was for having a 25 yr old daughter AND a 6 month old son...with 3 boys in between. my mother was elated. we both LOVE LOVE LOVE martha. and I don't care about her brief stint in the slammer. she is an awesome homemaker so there.
ok how awesome is my mom. she got me all this delicious ribbon...look at all those velvety textures! she knows me too well!!
ashton made me this flower in nursery. i will treasure it forever. seriously i will. i may even sleep with it tonight.
lorin's gifts:
i was balling, seriously sobbing when i read lorin's letter. if you read the last post- we got into an argument on saturday night. we went to bed upset at each other. but sunday morning we forgave each others foibles and went on to! haha. it wasn't mushy because that isn't lorin's style. and that is why it meant so much more. ashton saw me crying and started fake crying and signing "mommy." he climbed on the couch, made his little sympathy noise "awwww" and gave me hugs. then he signed "baby" because he associates crying with babies. i love him. i love love love my boys more than i can possibly describe.

more of mom's gifts:

to top of the day we had chicken masala for dinner and had the fam over to play hand and foot. lorin and i won. boo-ya

zoology & greek cuisine part 1

first: happy mother's day! i am so grateful for a wonderful, beautiful, spiritual, strong-willed, intelligent, crafty, selfless, generous and patient mother. i really do have the best mom in the world. seriously, who else can i call for a quick question and end up talking for 2 hours? i love you, mom. you are my best friend, my confidant, my mother.

and a wonderful mother's day to my other mom. i am so grateful for your dilligence in teaching and raising such a wonderful young man. he is who he is because you are a wonderful mother. thank you for your love and helpful advise. we love you.

i had a wonderful mother's day weekend. we started the day with me going to a yard sale...alone! trust me, this is a good thing :) i returned to two sleeping boys (another good thing). we had breakfast and got ready for the day. we went to jcrew where lorin ordered my swimsuit for mother's day. utah stores don't carry swimsuits so you have to order them. if you do it at the store it is free shipping! then we went to the zoo! ashton loved it!! the bird show was so fun and ashton really really loves birds so he enjoyed it. after walking around, i got tired and super hungry so we went out to dinner to aristo's. we've been there before and we really like greek food. i got the lamb (yummy) and lorin got the pork gyro (even yummier!). then we went to joann's (i am addicted to crafting- it really is a problem). we got home and lorin and i got into an argument for some stupid reason. i believe it was my fault- i got mad at lorin for moving around my coffee table books.

will lorin stop moving the coffeetable books? will brenda let it slide this time? or will they call it quits- afterall they do argue over stupid things often.......stay tuned for part 2 on tomorrow's post.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My thrifty message center

I have been getting my craft on. Perhaps it is all the days inside because of the fickle Utah weather. Seriously, I don't even want to talk about the 45 degree weather out today- MAY 6!! Are the Jensen's happy about moving here after I said that?? Ha. JK. Not my fault guys. I prayed for warm weather and have been trying to channel the global warming guys by wearing flip flops and shorts to no avail.

ANYWAY...OK. So I have been trying to revamp my builder's white filled house (by that I mean that my walls are the white the builders used in every. single. house. in my neighborhood.) I really DO NOT want to paint the walls because I don't have those skills. And...I CANNOT afford to pay someone to do it. walls will be the ooogly builder's white.

So to make lemonade out of the lemons I've been handed, I decided to put color everywhere else instead of the walls. I have also decluttered the dreaded drawer that everything is stuffed in. And voila....a cute, toile message board, erasable calendar and mail sorter thingy.

The message board I had (it was a gift given to me in high school). I just recovered it with red toile fabric. Oh yes...before I recovered it, I covered a square piece of cork board I got at Hobby Lobby (I think it was $3 for 4 pieces of cork board). I also covered a rectangular piece that went along the right side and another rectangular piece that went along the bottom. I had a plan for this but I did it so long ago (which is why I can't show you a step by step) I can't remember why. But its pretty simple. Cut enough fabric to cover the board and hot glue around the sides. I didn't like the edges showing so I hot glued some green ribbon on the sides.
For the push pins I used those flat glass beads you put as a filler in flower vases, thumb tacks, scrapbook paper scraps, modgepodge and hot glue.
1. Spread modge podge on flat side of bead and place that side on the right side of the paper. 2. Let dry (cue jeapordy musique)
3. Cut around paper.
4. Put hot glue of top of thumb tack and quickly place on the back side of the bead. The pic shows me putting it on the paper but don't do it this way. Let my mistakes teach you! The tack fell off this one only, while the other ones (put glue on tack first) stayed. Coincidence??
5. Repeat step 2.
6. Voila! Cute thumb tacks to brighten up the oh so awesome pieces of paper tacked on the message board.

Erasable/Rewritable Calendar
Ok I have this thing about scribble marks. Well....I HATE them. It's like nails on a chalkboard. The only scribblies I like are when I purposely scribble things off my to-do list. I write things I've already done just to scribble them out....I am giddy just thinking about it. Anyway, my family's plans change often and I hate wasting paper (except post-it notes where my glorious to-do lists are printed on). I saw this at the house where my husband home teaches and STOLE (muhahah) the idea. I"m pretty sure there are tutorials out there....but here is my version sans pics (again- I made this a while ago)

1. Choose a pretty frame with the glass still intact (spraypaint it if you don't like the color.)
2. Optional: Modgepodge cute paper to the cardboard paper that comes with it so that is what shows through instead of the wall of back of frame. I chose to skip this step because the pretty paper made it hard to read what I wrote.
3. Measure height and width. Now this all depends on what you want. If you only want the days then divide the width by 7. I divided it by 9 (the extra two were for an extra column detailing my cleaning sched.). I divided the height by 6 (5 weeks and one for the header).
4. Now make your lines using a marker and ruler. I used a dry erase marker and just flipped the glass around so I wouldn't smudge the lines when writing on the calendar.
5. Fill that bad boy in (days, numbers, month, etc.). Remember to schedule in my 10 months.
Whoa ok. long post. Last ditty.

Supplies Holders (Pens, Mail, etc.)
It is the end of the month which can only mean one thing.....not a lot of money left to spend. Don't get me wrong, I like to spend but I love more to be thrifty and creative when I am poor. or rich. whatevs. So I put my noggin to use after watching 3 episodes of Bear in the Big Blue House. I had some empty food boxes I could use. I originally wanted to use mason jars but that would not be kid friendly and might be too heavy for the bitty nails I had leftover. So off to my empty granola bars box and sample cereal box.
1. Pick sweet paper..or fabric.
2. Cut flaps off.
3. Measure box on paper. I just traced each side of the box on the paper and cut them all out.
4. Spread glue or whatever adhesive you wish. I used watered down modge podge to stick it on as I am running loooow on mine. Make sure to really get it in the corners.
5. Slap on the paper and smooooth it out making sure to get the corners, again.
6. Let dry.
7. I made labels using left over scraps and stamped "OUT," "PENS," and my personal favorite "BILLS." I glued those on.
8. Using a hole punch, I made 2 holes on the each side of the back of the box.
9. I threaded some ribbon through the holes and tied a knot.
10. Hang 'em up and admire how cute those colorful papers look on your boring white walls. :)
11. Add the necessary items to their respective boxes...I must say even my "bills" look pretty now.

Sorry about the crooked papers on the message board. I was in a hurry as this was done during A's naptime. Anyway, my less than $5 message center totally beats Pottery Barn's chic and sophisticated one ;) This is a just a fun version and an idea for all of y'all with a tight budget.