Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our Getaway

Our 10 year anniversary getaway was awesome! We have never been away on our own since we've had kids. Never. Not once. Because we are saving money, we decided to take a little staycation & Dylan booked us a room at the Red Rock Hotel.

I loved our room & immediately became very attached to the bed. It was so unbelievably comfortable. You just melted into it when you laid down. I would have been happy to have just lounged in that bed the whole time.

We went bowling & got matching scores. Seriously. Cute, right?

We went to a fancy Italian restaurant for dinner. Somehow we always end up eating Italian on our anniversaries.

Ordered a big ol' room service brownie sundae & then hit up the breakfast buffet in the morning.


We did a little antique shopping after checking out of the hotel & before going home to the girls. We thought it was really funny the way the lady bagged up Dylan's purchase.


It was just a big Chewbacca. Awesome antique, right?

Some things I noticed from our little getaway:

- We have a lot of stress in our lives & I like to bottle all that stress up inside me. It was fabulous to have a break from our work, chores, responsibilities, computers, phones & even the kids. It was quiet. We could do whatever our little hearts desired whenever we wanted to. There was nothing to worry about. Having not been able to have an opportunity like that to release all the stress in the last 5 years really opened my eyes to just how much it effects me daily. I felt cleansed in a way & recognize that I need to chill out more often.

- I love my husband more than ever. We are the same kids we were 10 years ago.

- We should look into buying a new mattress, but it may not be good for my productivity if we have a bed that I want to stay in all day every day.

- I am thankful for my parents for respecting Dylan & I as parents of our own kids & for willingly taking care of the little ones so that Dylan & I could have some time away to care for & nurture our relationship.

- It didn't cost too much & it was definitely worth it. We for sure have to plan some getaways like this on a more regular basis.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Giveaway - Simple Serendipity


My awesome friend Sara opened up her etsy shop Simple Serendipity a few months back & it has just taken off! She makes really cute earrings & each pair is priced at $5.00 or less!

She has been generous enough to offer one Sparkle Power reader a $25 gift certificate to her shop!!

To be entered into the giveaway, please leave one comment on this post telling me your favorite pair of earrings from the Simple Serendipity shop. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I can easily get in contact with the winner.

This giveaway will run through Friday, June 4th. Good Luck!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ten


We got hitched ten years ago today. I cannot even tell you how happy this makes me. We've got something special for sure. I know it & I will never be anything other than grateful for how blessed we are to have each other.

I love you forever, Dylan. Happy Anniversary!

We are going on a little in town vacation. Yippee! So, I'll be back in a few days. Come back tomorrow though for a really great giveaway!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

He's a Dead Man


I'm sorry about my absence around here. I've been a bit preoccupied with some other stuff... Until I can get it straightened out in my head & get back to my blogging groove, I wanted to share with you a photo of the John Locke head that has been sitting on my shelf since Sunday.

Claire got really sick over the weekend & I missed out on a really cool & fun LOST finale party with some friends. But Dylan was sure to make it & he brought me home this head from the hanging John Locke pinata made my my awesomely talented sister in law, Lilia. Is that not the best idea for a pinata? And he was hung up by an extension cord. :)

Anyway, I loved the LOST finale. We have been faithful watchers for years. I'm super sad it's over, but it was a really good ending.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Look Mom, A Heart!


I spent some time last week looking way back through my blog archives. It brought back so many fond memories. I won't even tell you how much it made my heart ache to be back in Cleveland now that it's spring time there. Maybe I was just longing for that time when the girls were so little & we spent so much time together.

I've decided that I need to be taking more photos of the girls. Yes, I'm busy, but it's not that hard. And years down the road we will all be glad that I made an effort.

Hope you had a lovely weekend! We had plans to go camping, but the weatherman says it's supposed to get really windy. Too windy for a tent. So we've made other fun plans & I'm pretty excited to hang out with the family. I love them the most.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Quilt



Take a look at the custom quilt I finally finished. A king sized tied quilt with lots of vintage fabrics in pretty, bright, cheerful colors. Everybody that came by & saw this quilt in progress called it the "happy quilt". I'm sending it off today to live in it's new home & I hope that it is loved for a very long time. :)


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Life is Good



* Thanks for your comments on the last post. I know that I'm not the only person that has ever been baby hungry & struggled with getting pregnant. I know that God is charge of deciding when to send these babies, still the control freak that I am likes to feel like I have some kind of hand in it. My plan is to cut down on sugar. It's really something I've been trying to do for a long time anyway.

* There is a Sparkle Power giveaway going on right now over at The Ardent Sparrow. The prize is two posters of the winners choice. Go check it out & be sure to enter.

* I'm also working on a new series here on the Sparkle Power blog. I will be offering etsy seller tips. Do you have any etsy questions related to selling? Let me know & it may be something we cover.

Life goes on here. I am happy. The family is happy. No reason to be down. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Diet Changes?

I woke up this morning not understanding why I felt so horrible. Then after going to the bathroom, I realized that I had started my period. Bummer. See it's been a few months since we've stopped trying to prevent a pregnancy & it's been about a year & a half since I miscarried. Yes. It's been that long. Had that baby survived, I would have a one year old right about now. Anyway, back to this morning...

I ended up back in my bed, still feeling tired, trying to get my head around this, trying to figure out how I should be feeling, trying to just ignore it all. I'm in pain. Dylan offers to bring me some ibuprofen. He brings me one of the big ones. A doctor prescribed one. The ones prescribed to me after my D&C. He mentions that it's the last one. Suddenly I'm aware of how long it's been again. I pray to Heavenly Father, asking him to just make me feel numb to the sadness. I don't want to feel the sadness. I wonder if I will ever experience having a baby again. I wonder if this is my life's plan. I wonder if I'm not supposed to have any more children. I think that I should have savored my last pregnancy & baby time more. I can't even remember what it's like to be pregnant. It feels like so long ago. Then I tell myself that I'm over reacting.

I get out of bed & greet the girls & get them ready for the day. Life goes on until I'm reminded again, maybe later today maybe tomorrow.


Last month I looked into fertility diets. I didn't buy any books, but I found this website that spelled it all out.

* Eat lots of organic vegetables & fruit
* Eat less or eliminate dairy products
* Reduce the amount of meat that you eat or only eat organic grass fed meat
* Only eat free range chicken
* Eat only grains in their whole, natural form
* Eat high fiber foods with each meal
* No soy of any form
* No refined sugars or fruit juices
* Drink lots of clean water

I'm not eating meat, so that's not a big deal. I cut out soy a few weeks back. Those parts are easy for me. I do love cheese so dairy can be a little tricky. The part where I know I'll especially struggle is the refined sugars. I love sugars & I have never turned down a cookie or a brownie.

I asked Dylan if he thought I could follow this diet & he immediately responded "no". It made me laugh. It's not that he doesn't have confidence in me. It's just that he knows me. I'm trying to decide if I should attempt a diet like this. Quite frankly, I think this is the ideal diet for health. I want to eat like this. I want to want to eat like this. I like the adjusted food pyramid over here. It makes more sense to me than our current food pyramid.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on a fertility diet? Do you think it makes sense? Can it help? And if so what are some yummy things to eat while on the diet?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Welcome Sponsors!

I am so happy to introduce you to some new Sparkle Power sponsors!


Paula Kathleen's Cutie Pants shop has lots of adorable goodies for both baby & momma including onesies, baby pants, flower pins & mama dresses. Through Saturday, May 22nd, receive a 20% discount when you mention "Sparkle Power" in the message to seller section at checkout.



V and Co. is the place to go for affordable pdf patterns & kits for really cute projects, including pillows, quilts, fabric bracelets, skirts & bags. Through Saturday, May 22nd, receive a 10% discount when you mention "Sparkle" with your order.



Just Be Jewelry offers really cute & fun jewelry including the popular & adorable grape soda bottlecap pin inspired by the Disney movie UP. They specialize in custom hand stamped jewelry, which make them a great place to shop for really sweet gifts. Through Saturday, May 22nd, receive a 20% discount on any custom order when you mention "Sparkle Power" in the message to seller section at checkout.


If you are interested in becoming a Sparkle Power sponsor, please e-mail me at SparklePowerCandace@gmail.com for more information. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Picnic Dress


Finished another dress for kids clothes week. This one is for Claire. I didn't use a pattern again. Definitely had some hang ups along the way & it looks a bit different than I intended it to, but I love it. Still, I'm thinking that maybe I need to try to follow some patterns. Going without can be a bit of a headache at times, but I love not spending the money on a pattern. Aren't I cheap?


I based this one off of another dress of hers that I like a lot. It's elastic around the neck so it goes on & off really easily. The dress I was copying had a elastic gathered waist as well, but I ran out of elastic when I messed up the neck a few times. Also, the pleat is something I added because I made the neck hole too large. In the end I think the pleat was a happy accident. I like it as it is now. A lot. And messy braids? Don't even get me started on messy braids! :)




I've Got a Button Now!

I know that I'm a little behind the times, but I've finally got a button. You are welcome to copy the html code below & put it on your sidebar. Thanks. :)


Sparkle Power



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Best Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Ever


We had the best grilled cheese & tomato soup ever & it was made in our kitchen!

For the grilled cheese, I used sourdough bread with a slice of cheddar cheese & a slice of creamy havarti cheese.

The tomato basil soup was amazing mae's recipe. Mine is a lot darker red than hers & I think that's because I didn't measure my crushed tomatoes & I think I may have used more than 4 cups. Still tasted wonderful.

For me soup is great for winter, but I'm cool with it in the warmer months as well. A bowl of soup, some salad & a chunk of bread....I could go for that any time of year. :) In fact, I had a really delicious cauliflower soup at Zupas when I was in Utah recently. Now I need to find a yummy cauliflower soup recipe. Anybody have one?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Current State of Things


This is what my living room looks like at the moment. I am sneeking moments between laundry & taking care of the kids to tie this quilt. The kids refer to it as "the tent" & quite enjoy laying under it. I won't even lie. The grown ups quite like laying underneath it as well. It's kinda special & I quite like seeing the back of the quilt that way. Plus it's sorta magical to watch TV for a minute from underneath a soft vintagey quilt. Also, I'm just enjoying my time with this quilt, because it is not for me & I am going to be sad when I have to say goodbye to it.

Hoping that "the tent" comes down by tomorrow, though. My house feels a bit disorganized with everything pushed out of place & so my head feels a bit the same.

It it going to be fabulous when finished! I've given myself the deadline of week end. So, fingers crossed that all goes well! :)

First Dress for Kids Clothes Week

I think I'm going to focus on skirts & dresses for Kids Clothes Week. We are in the desert after all & summer is approaching quickly. I think easy breezy dresses & skirts are most what the girls need. I've also got another big sewing project going on this week, so I'm not sure that I'll actually be able to sew kid clothes each day, but I'm going to try. I think I may actually carry on into next week. Yep, that sounds good to me. :)


I bought this really funky patterned fabric off the clearance pile at Joann's last week. It was on sale for an additional 50% off & for some reason I liked it. I couldn't pass it up. I kept coming back to it. And so I purchased my 3/4 yard & paid $1.50 for it & brought it home. I did feel the need to explain to the employee that was cutting that I knew the fabric was weird, I just had a thing for it. Like I needed to keep my street cred at Joann's?! Dylan wasn't really very fond of it when I showed it to him...or maybe he was just annoyed that I had bought even more fabric.


Anyway, I had a vision for it & here it is. I made this dress for Sadie. No pattern. It's not perfect. There are some bumps & tucks here & there that I should really go back & fix, but I think I'm just going to leave it as is. Except after seeing it on her, I'd like to bring the hem up a few inches.


Sadie didn't think twice about the crazy print. She asked me if she could wear it today & tomorrow & the next day. I call that a success. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Goods


A little while back on one of our "let's just pop into Urban Outfitters while we're close & see if there's anything good in the clearance section" outings, I came across some really pretty bags & mentioned that I wouldn't mind owning one. Then I told Dylan the he better not buy me one because they are way too pricey. Well, he bought me one anyway & I'm pretty happy about it in the end. :)

I have not purchased a new bag in over 3 years. I've been making my own & it was time for a new one. I wasn't feeling like making one though. I have too much to do. It was on the back burner. So maybe it's a little worldly, but every once in a great while it's okay to be a little worldly, right? Especially for such a pretty bag.


I also got an awesome pasta & popsicle stick magnetic gold frame from Sadie & a cute crocheted washcloth from my Grandma. It was a good Mother's Day indeed.

I also wrapped up a craft show this weekend & so I have some new goodies in the shop today. Just a few new garlands so far & my new tooth fairy pillows. As always, check them out in the shop & here are a few peeks:





Saturday, May 08, 2010

Motherhood Week Wrap Up



When my Sadie girl was in preschool, I went through a tough time as a mother. We had this constant power struggle for about two years. I would go to bed many nights feeling frustrated & like I wasn't parenting her correctly, but I didn't know the right way to teach her. Now that Claire has turned 3 and is starting to act like a little monster as well, I realize that this may have just been the age that Sadie was at. Still, I'd never had a preschooler before. This stage was new to me & with a headstrong little girl like Sadie, I was struggling & I was down on myself.

At Sadie's preschool graduation, each of the kids got up & said what they wanted to be when they grew up. One by one the kids got up & said that they wanted to be teachers & doctors & princesses when they grew up. When it was Sadie's turn, she announced that she wanted to be a Mom when she grew up & the whole audience let out one big group "Awwww".

Then, when I got her preschool journal home I found some really sweet & interesting things:




It was at this moment that even though this child is fiercely independent & wants to fight me on every little thing I ask her to do, it doesn't mean that she doesn't love me or doesn't like me. She loves me more than anything. I was & still am her constant. I'm the person that is with her the most every day. The one that has been with her for every new experience & every scary experience. I've been with her for every doctor appointment, every dentist appointment, every vaccination, every talk in sunday school. I've dressed her & bathed her & combed her hair most days. I've fed her & snuggled her & sang silly songs to her. I've helped her pick out her glasses & helped her understand the world around her. I've taken her to the park & baked her birthday cakes & made her clothes and toys.

I've been with her for so much that she's experienced in this life. I'm kinda a big deal to her. And it's important that I remember that when I feel that our personalities are clashing. I am so thankful to the wonderful preschool teacher that was so sweet & wrote down all that little Sadie said about her journal entries. I'm thankful to be a Mom. I feel that I'm only continuing to improve in this role & I'm thankful for the best kids in the world (seriously) for helping me with this progression.

I am certain that the most important work we will ever do will be within the walls of our homes. Hug those babies tighter. Don't be so hard on yourselves. Be positive even with the mundane housework. Know that you are extremely important in the lives of your family. So much of the attitude & feeling of the home depends on you. You are kinda a big deal to every person in your family. You are awesome.

Happy Mother's Day to you all! Thank you so very much to all of our guest bloggers. Weren't they amazing?

Giveaway Winners

Alright. I put the random number generator to work & here are all the winners of the giveaways:

Menuet Designs - Bekah
Lola Pink Fabrics - Eve
Earmark - Annie
Julie Peach - lilDdownunder

Congratulations! Thanks so very much to all of the wonderful etsy sellers for these beautiful giveaway prizes. Be sure to bookmark & visit their shops again!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Guest Post - Calico

Cally is the mother of five! She seems so down to earth, so calm & so balanced. I want to be like her. She makes beautiful things & I'm convinced that she is the very best person in the world at making ruffles. Read all about her beautiful life at Calico.




I like to look at rocks. Whenever we go to the park or to the lake I pick a spot and sift through the pebbles, looking for something special. A rock that’s unique and beautiful.

I always come away with a pocket full of treasures. It’s not so much that I love rocks, I just love finding something special hidden in a million of the same.

My days aren’t glamorous. duh. I wipe a thousand different varieties and species of guck off any given surface within an hour. I pick up dirty socks and apple cores out of every crevice of my home. all day. I make myself the same to-do list every morning. I talk to the Backyardigans. So what? This job isn't lists and chores, right? It’s about the treasures; the millions of moments I’d otherwise just be stepping on if I didn’t look around. It takes intention to sift through the messy and the mundane in order to collect those moments that make my heart swell. If I’m busy or distracted, those opportunities are unnoticed or ignored. But if I stop and look, they’re everywhere. The whines and the spills become memories that make me smile. The ones I want to keep in my pocket forever.

I’m grateful for the continual reminders to slow down and to love my children intentionally. I’m grateful for the compassion that fills my heart to capacity when I pray for guidance, and work for patience and for eyes to see. I’m grateful for the choice I have to make something good, to create something beautiful. I'm grateful for 5 opportunities to love completely. And for tomorrows, so I can do it again.

I love being their mom.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Guest Post - Foxs Lane

Kate lives with her family on an organic farm in the country in Australia. She has three really cute daughters that she makes the most awesome clothes for. Her vintage sheet collection makes me drool. Whenever I think of simplifying my life I think of Kate. I love her writing. She is so real. She is willing to show her vulnerability on her blog, Foxs Lane & that makes me feel like I can relate to her in so many ways. Would we be friends if we didn't live so far away? I like to think so!




10 things I am loving about being a mother right now.

1) I love that being a mother entitles me to be silly in public. Often I sing funny songs, do little dances or behave in a most unladylike manner. Sometimes it’s because I am trying to distract my little ones, other times because one of them started and I joined in.

2) I love what my daughters come up with during our dinnertime family ritual when we each tell what we are grateful for: from the simple 'I am grateful for my sisters and parents' to the profound 'I am grateful we are eating the most gorgeous vegetables our Dad grew here on our farm'.

3) I love it when my children play nicely together, or when one helps another out, or when they sit together chatting. Recently my 9-year-old has been helping her younger sister with reading. She is so patient and caring with her.

4) I love watching my kids sleeping: listening to their quiet breathing and watching their serene faces. They are so angelic when they are asleep that I forget the stress they caused me a few hours earlier.

5) I love it when my husband and our three daughters and I do something together as a family. Recently we were driving somewhere when a song came on the radio from a movie we had recently watched. It was the song where the two lovers finally get together. Instantly we all sang – together and loudly. This feeling of unity and fun and love is what it is all about for me.


6) I love sewing clothes and dressing my girls. In the past few years I have made more and more of their clothes. There is nothing quite like the feeling of something you have made being their favourite, and being worn so often that it wears out.

7) I love all the gifts they give me. Posies, special rocks, artworks, and lots of love notes and other treasures. Because MUM is one of the first words they learn to write, I see I LOVE MUM scribbled on newspapers, and in the fog on windows.

8) I love watching each of my children's unique personality emerge, and I marvel at how they are a product of the world they live in, but also of their parents. I rejoice that they are positive, passionate, loving and kind girls.

9) I love the cooking, the crafting, the making, the playing, the building, the make believe and the magic that comes with being a mother. It gives me permission to play games that adults are meant to have grown out of. I get to dress and undress baby dolls, build towers of blocks and do jigsaw puzzles. Lucky me.

10) I love that being a mother of a young family gives me permission to reinvent rules and traditions. Now I don't have to uphold my childhood traditions – unless I choose to. The same tooth fairy who visited me when I was a girl now visits my girls. But these days our family traditions have more to do with the seasons and our farm activities, than events from thousands of years ago. Though it’s difficult for our girls when they don't get many Christmas presents and Easter eggs, if we discuss things as a family and plan new traditions relevant to them, they feel happy and in control and proud of who they are.

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