Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The "C" Word

On Christmas Eve we learned that our 11 year old niece has cancer. The prognosis is wonderful for a full recovery, but she will be undergoing chemo for the next 10 months. We are doing what we can to help cheer her up.

To say it's been a stressful time over the past year for our family is a bit of an understatement. Between my dear SIL having a brain tumor removed, and suffering serious side effects from it, to my husband having some unknown problems that we are still trying to get resolved, and now for our sweet niece to have cancer, it's a bit much.

Posting may be a bit light around here for a bit while we regain our bearings, but of course life goes on. There is joy in our hearts that while things might be tough, they could be so much worse.

Meanwhile if any of you have ideas for care package items (we have some seriously fun hats that I will share once they have been given) for a young girl, please let me know! We want to make this as easy as we can for her.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

IKEA inspiration!

Have you visited the IKEA website lately? It had been some time from my last visit, but since we are in the market for a new headboard and bedding I wanted to see what they had. What I found was awesome! Not only did they have tons of fun items, but they have rooms that you can get inspired by too. Here is a screencap of my favorite:
Since our room is pretty small, I love the idea of adding storage on the side of the bed. Currently we have nightstands, but I really love the way the tall closets on the side look. It also has me thinking of alternatives to the idea of a traditional headboard.

The bedding and the rug are favorites as well. The overall color scheme is really relaxing and pretty, without being too gender specific too (perfect for a married couple's room).

I have to say, exploring sites and getting ideas put together for our little mini-makeover sure is fun! What do you think about the room in the picture?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tide Coldwater Review

SheSpeaksbutton One of the great things about having a house is having your own laundry room. Sure doing laundry isn't one of the most fun things to do, but as household chores go it certainly isn't the worst either! And there always seems to be new and improved products for making laundry easier.

I recently got the change to try out Tide Coldwater thanks to SheSpeaks. I was thrilled to be able to try out a new formula for the brand that I already use for my laundry. Since I already use Tide, I knew that my colors would turn out clean and fresh in coldwater without any problem. The main thing that I wondered about was our whites, since most of them are "underthings" I always feel like they should be washed in hot water to get them really clean. So the challenge was on!

The Tide Coldwater did not disappoint! It got the whites clean and fresh, and I didn't have to use the hot water setting. To spare you, I didn't take before and afters of our unmentionables, but I will tell you that some otherwise very smelly socks came out smelling fresh!

You might be wondering why you would want to switch to cold water washing. For one it saves hot water, which if you have a lot of people in your home can be hard to come by in the shower sometimes! And of course, it conserves energy (since you don't have to heat the water) which will help save money on energy bills. Pretty great, right?

If you want to see how the Tide Coldwater worked for other SheSpeaks members, check out the Tide Coldwater Gallery! SheSpeaks provided the product and compensation for my review, but as always my opinions are my own.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

ALT Summit! Or in otherwords, design heaven!

Last year I was lucky enough to attend ALT, which is an amazing design and social media conference. If you are on Twitter, you could be seeing a lot of chatter about it recently as people are preparing to go again next week. I was thrilled when I found out that I would get to go again this year (won a ticket thanks to the people at Minted), so even though I am a little late to the party, I thought I might give you all a sneak peek at what it might be like!

First of all you need to know that it is winter here in Utah. While we haven't had much snow this year, it has been very cold. The upside is that it has also been quiet sunny! And besides, when you are at a conference most of your time will be spent in the hotel where it's nice and toasty. However, I do encourage you to get outside into the hotel courtyard! It's gorgeous.
The sponsors last year spoiled us in the lounge. So many tasty treats, hot chocolate and coffee, and the food at the lunches is downright amazing! Also, don't forget to try the cookies in the hotel lobby, and make a visit to the sweet shop too. There are French macaroons and gelato there!

The parties are a blast too! And also full of amazing food. Would it be strange to tell you that we had the best macaroni and cheese ever? And the chocolate fountains in the HGTV party were so good! You could smell the chocolate before you even reached the room!

The Grand America hotel is a treat in and of itself. There are tons of interesting chandeliers, and yes, the bathrooms are everything you have heard that they are!

Other advice I would give anyone coming to the conference:
  • There will be free WiFi, so you won't be out of touch.
  • Name tags are provided, which is really nice when you will be meeting a lot of people.
  • Everyone likely feels as awkward as you do! Don't be afraid to say hello first!
  • Have a card that you can give people, and ask for cards in return. Write something memorable about the person on their card so you can easily remember them after the conference ends. 
  • Make some time to enjoy what the city has to offer outside of the conference. Anyone up for shopping at Anthropologie?
  • Take a lot of photos, especially of the friends you meet. 
  • Follow people attending on Twitter. The hash tag is #altsummit. Even if you aren't attending you might learn some fun new things from those who are.
  • Above all, have fun! These moments only come once, so you might as well enjoy them.

Keep up with all ALT Summit news via their website. Dates have been announced for 2013, with tickets going on sale in August.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New bed, new opportunities!

Word of advice to all those who plan to get married, when you do take the plunge, get a king sized bed! Trust me, it will be so worth it! We finally got one after nearly 10 years of marriage, and nearly 10 years of very little sleep. I can't even begin to tell you how lovely it is to have space to sleep without running into each other, and waking each other up because of it. But this isn't a post about that really, it's a post about the excitement that is a NEW BED!

Since we went from a queen to a king, right now our bed is plain. No frame, no headboard. This means there is a whole new world of design opportunities to be had! A bed can really set the tone for an entire bedroom, and it is certainly an investment piece. Here are a few ideas that I have loved recently (all from Pinterest of course, a one stop shop for design inspiration):

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

Source: via Elle on Pinterest

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

All of them are quiet different in style from one another, but there are things that I love about each of them. I'm not sure what we will do in our room yet. It sure is fun to look around and dream about what we can do though!

Monday, January 2, 2012

German Pancakes

We had never made German pancakes before, but I had been seeing them pop up on blogs and now and then on Pinterest. New Years Eve, I decided that we would have to try to make them for a new tradition on New Years morning. We didn't have a new year's morning tradition yet, so why not try something new?

Luckily through the power of Facebook, I was able to quickly get a great recipe for the pancake from a friend who always posts wonderful recipes. It turned out to be so tasty! We are going to use this as our new year morning breakfast from now on! A new tradition has been born.

6 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cube butter
lemon juice
powdered sugar
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine eggs, flour, milk and salt & blend well in blender. Melt 1 cube butter in 13X9 dish. Pour batter directly into hot dish, bake 18 minutes (adjust for your oven). Sprinkle with lemon & powdered sugar.

We didn't have lemon on hand so we used maple syrup and powdered sugar. It was heaven! 

Have you ever eaten German pancakes? I learned that they are called a lot of different names from hoot nannys to Popeye pancakes! Whatever you call them, they are really yummy! Do you have a tradition for new years day?
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