Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I recently saw on another blog that someone had made watercolor art from photos of all the homes they had ever lived in and hung them all on the wall together.  I'm feeling a little sentimental these days about my home (since we are anticipating a move in the near future), and I love watercolor, so I really loved this whole idea.  I found this free tutorial for photoshop which was super easy to follow.  I loved how it turned out so much that I found some more of my old photos to watercolorize!
 Our NYC apartment

Totally frame-worthy!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fun in February

The biggest news of this last month was that Stanford finally started walking!  We decided that maybe if we actually practiced with him he would do it.  So we did, and the next day, he was doing it on his own.  A week later, and he wasn't crawling at all anymore.  By the end of the month, he practically runs around and stands up in the middle of the floor and everything.  It's been fun to watch him learn, and I think he loves it too.  When we first started practicing with him, he didn't want to stop.  He would just get up, turn around, and try again.

The kids are into color coordinating their dishes and begged me to take a picture.
Yes, this happens sometimes too.  Dots is the new favorite game.
Daniel took the kids to his brother's house for a Superbowl party while I had church meetings.  The kids love any chance to play with their cousins.
They also all went to see The Lego Movie while I stayed home with Stanford.  Now we can't help singing, "Everything is awesome..." and Bentley made his own addition, "...when you ride on a train."  Of course.
That prompted Daniel to be the coolest dad ever and take them to the Lego Store for a second Christmas.  Emersen is really good at putting them together and following the "constructions."  The legos overtook our dining room table for two weeks.  Even though there were plenty of squabbles, they stayed pretty entertained for long periods of time.
Emersen dressed up for Pirate Day at school.
I have some pretty cute boys!
Bed head.
Stanford loves bath time and is a big-time splasher.
Emersen loves to play mom and somehow coaxed Stanford into laying on her to watch tv.
It seems Spring came early because it's been another mild month.  We've enjoyed near-60 degree days at times, so we've tried to take full advantage.  I took the boys to a playground while Emersen was at dance class.  I think that was the first time Stanford was on a slide, and he loved it.  He also discovered his shadow and kept trying to catch it.
Some sunshine has been good for all of us.  After at least an hour outside with the kids, I had more energy than I've had in months.  This was the first time Stanford played with the sand, and he was not happy about having to go inside for a nap.
The rest of the photos are my daily instagram pictures.  The descriptions are below each collage.
1. I was all alone at church when Daniel took the kids to his brother's overnight for a Super Bowl party.  Wrong day to forget my wedding ring.
2. Spread of possible decorations for Valentine's Day.
3. Bentley likes building pillow forts to hide things.
4. I learned to crochet at a Relief Society activity and finished this baby blanket all in one night.  It was so fun, I couldn't stop.
5. I can't help feeling grateful after I buy groceries and fill up my fridge.
6. The first day the legos took over the table.
7. We were hooked to the TV during the Olympics.  Figure skating is my favorite.  Bentley wasn't too interested on that lazy Saturday.
8. Caught a rare moment when these two are getting along.
9. Handout for my young women lesson.
10. We've all suffered some degree of a cold this month.  The boys got the worst of it, so we spent many days on the sofa.
11. Bentley found some treasures at Hobby Lobby.  Who said it's just for girls?
12. I brought out a bag of toys I had previously put in time out.  Emersen said, "It's like Santa Clause came!"
13. "Mom, I picked some leaves for you!"
14. The bikes got dusted off.
15. Where did she get these new poses?
16. Superheroes came for lunch.
17. Bentley enjoyed trying out Grandma's ukelele.  He looks like a pro already.
18. Another day of legos.  And Thomas.
19. This perfect notebook was just waiting for me at Wal-Mart.  I couldn't pass it up.
20. The sheet music for "Frozen" came in the mail and we've been playing and singing it nonstop!
21. Stanford finally got some freedom at the library, and I got to clean up after him.
22. Like he's been walking forever.
23. Looking for wild animals at Costco.
24. Washing his own plate because he insisted on using a dirty one from the dishwasher.
25. New shoes, new shorts, new pajamas.
26. Walking along the Jordan River while Emersen was at school.
27. Taking a break on his "bouncy bike."
28. I've almost donated this striped shirt about three times, and I think I originally got it at DI too.  I keep finding new ways to wear it though.
29. A new snack for me.
30. He doesn't fall asleep in the middle of the day much anymore.  We paid for it at bedtime.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Discovery Gateway Field Trip

Emersen had her first school field trip and also her very first bus ride.  She was beyond excited to ride a bus!  The neighborhood bus stop is right in front of our house, so she has been watching out the window longingly for a few years now.  Her turn finally came.  I was able to go with her.  She and her best friend were assigned to be partners.  They were happy about that, as you can see.
It was funny listening to their conversations on the bus ride.  They are both so dramatic.  On the way home, however, Emersen was a little grumpy and just wanted to take a nap.
We haven't been to the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum for a long time.  The girls had a blast and didn't get nearly enough time to play.

I can't even tell you how excited I am that Emersen will be starting school and all the fun things that come with it, like field trips and homework and school shopping and new pencils!

Monday, February 17, 2014


I'm finding that since I got a smartphone I've stopped taking as many pictures with my nice camera.  And I kind of miss them.  And for some reason this year, I got hardly any pictures of Valentine's Day.  I got out the little mailboxes a week before again, but the kids kept taking them and playing with them, so they didn't get "mail" as often as in past years.
 I finally did some holiday decorating a week before.  The banner used to hang vertically, with some other similar ones, so I decided to change it up this year. 
 I found this "Je T'Aime" print here.
 And the one below was just a card from the dollar section in Target.
 Emersen had pink day at school, and she went all out.  Belt, socks, and probably underwear too.  They got to exchange Valentines with their classmates.  This year, she just chose some cheap store cards and we attached them to suckers.
We ate heart pancakes for breakfast and I gave the kids little valentines at each meal. 
 Daniel gave me these pretty roses at the beginning of February as an early gift.  We were able to enjoy them for weeks.
I also bought this Pride and Prejudice Keepsake Edition for him to give to me.  (Thanks, honey!)  Can you believe I never actually had this on DVD before now?  (I did have the six-episode VHS set long ago though.)  I still haven't found the perfect opportunity to watch it yet (thanks to the Olympics hogging my television allowance). 
He also gave me some chocolate-covered strawberries, which I was secretly hoping for.  I saved them until I was home alone and devoured them in one sitting so I didn't have to share.  :)  We didn't do anything crazy for the holiday.  I actually wasn't feeling very well.  But my parents were in town for the evening, so Daniel made a fancy steak and shrimp dinner, which was so delicious, and we just enjoyed visiting until late.  I should have at least taken a picture of our fancy table.  I love my husband and I love my kids, but I'm glad that we don't have to plan something over-the-top to feel that way.  Simple is just fine by me.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Office Grows Up

While I'm at it, let's talk about another space that has received some nice changes recently: the office.  It has been AWESOME to have a whole room all to myself (not like I haven't had the rest of the house to do with what I want).  My favorite part is this gallery wall above the desk.  I just put up pictures of anything I love.  I sadly took down the vinyl tree, but I couldn't bring myself to throw it away, so I cut it smaller and stuck in on some wax paper to keep.  What a change this is!

 Starting at the top:

1. Card with a sketch of San Francisco sites that I bought there.
2. "Life is a journey" metal plate from Hobby Lobby.
3. Photo I took in Prince Edward Island of a little white church and wild lupins.
4. A watercolor practice assignment Daniel did in school that I made him save for me.  This picture doesn't do it justice, but I just love the colors.
5. "La Vie Est Belle" from The Pretty Blog.
6. "Mother" art by Madeleine L'Engle that I ripped out of a magazine a long time ago.
7. "Miscellaneous Mom"from the American Heritage Dictionary
8. "Be Amazing" from Eighteen25.  Daniel is always telling me I'm amazing, so I decided maybe I should actually be amazing.  This is a good reminder, which is why it is place right in my line of sight each day.

 9. Jane Austen bibliography art from Etsy, because OF COURSE this belongs on my wall.
10. "I can do anything with the right shoes" metal plate from Hobby Lobby.  I do love shoes.
11. Photo from Stanford's three-month photo shoot.
12. Photo of Emersen with seashells on the beach in Atlantic City.  One of my all-time favorites.
13. Photo of the kids at a pumpkin patch last Fall.  Sometimes the candid photos are the best ones.
14. Photo I took of Trafalgar Square in London.  What would a Riki gallery wall be without a London photo?
15. Two cards I found at a bookstore in New York City.  I don't remember the artist, and I'm not about to open up the frame again to find out.
16. The round frame will eventually have a photo of Bentley, but I'm still trying to decide on the perfect one.  He doesn't give me very many options.  And you would think that would make it easier . . .

 I also decided on the spur of a moment to sell my black Ikea bookcases on KSL.  Too much black around here.
 Which made the office look like this the next day . . .
 And prompted a last-minute run to Ikea that night to buy these lovelies (Daniel is so sweet to put up with me)!  They are taller and slightly wider than the black ones, so we gained two more shelves!  And they lighten up the room immensely.
 Also, genre organization is a must.  Do you spy my new old copy of Jane Eyre I found at DI recently?!  I have a thing for old books.
 I thought keeping all the rubber bands in this pretty container and up high would keep Bentley from scattering them all over every day.  Turns out he can still reach them using the bathroom stool.  Hm.
 We recently made these watercolor silhouettes of Christ for a mutual activity.  I love how this looks framed.  Did I ever mention how much I love watercolor?
 My Anne and Mary Stewart collection (which I think really belongs to my mother, oops).
 And some classic collections.  Looks like I have room for more books now!  Yay!
 I collect magnets from every place we travel to, and the cluttered fridge was getting a little overbearing for me.  So I bought this magnet board from Ikea and moved them all to the office.  They barely fit!  I either need a larger magnet board or to stop collecting.  Daniel was super weirded out by the blank white fridge, but I was so in love with it.
 Don't laugh, but I thought it would be fun to have my own calling cards.  Daniel made these for me.  I actually gave one out at the library last week to another mom who asked for my number, and I felt totally awkward.  Ha!
The other big change to this room was some new, more sophisticated curtains.  I found these on clearance at Home Goods on my birthday shopping trip.
 And I switched out the bird art for some fun photos of me and my love.
 And because I think it's fun to see before and after photos . . .

 And the other side . . .
 With a pile of projects in the corner.
 I really always wanted to paint the desk a bold raspberry color, so I painted it in the photo to see what it would look like.  Now I'm not sure if I still want to.  Too much?  Could be fun though.