Small Statement Pieces

Can you believe that Christmas is only 5 months away? Time goes faster and faster each year.

For our family, Christmas is kept pretty minimal. With four children, we just have to be a bit frugal in our spending… and we find that less is much more come the Holidays. A lot less chaotic with less gifts… and the children seem a lot more appreciative of what they get too.

When it comes to yourself. You tend to as moms, not worry so much about what gifts you may get. Still, ever woman’s husband, almost always wants to get their wife a nice gift. Even if you do the whole “No gifts for us.” thing. We’ve tried that and seem to always break that rule hah…. If you have a husband like mine, you have to prepare them a bit…. give them little hints and ideas along the way… hoping they get you something you wanted or at least like.

My husband honestly looks to me for these tips often :) – as his gift is not in the area of giving gifts. No shame in that, it is just how he is. While that may have bothered me in year 1-3 of our marriage.. now at almost year 12, not so much hah….

One thing that is often times on ladies list… is a nice piece of jewelry. I have found with young moms however, many of us, don’t want much in this area. We have small hands pulling and tugging on us. Our hair, our ears, our necks… that having a lot of jewelry on, is often times not the most ideal thing to wear.

However. As a very modest jewelry wearer. I may not wear much… but what I do love, are simple pieces… esp those with meaning.

One thing I have always wanted was a necklace to symbolize motherhood.

ED9A4593I recently found a company called SHANE CO. That I am sure many of us are familiar with, had a great number of pieces geared towards moms. Some way out of my price range… but a few within it.

Shane Co. wanted me to take a few photographs of my visit and trip to their store. Originally the plan was to go on a nice date night with just my husband to the store… so we could take our time and look. However, with the cost of sitters adding up. We chose to go with all four boys and make a night of it. It ended up being fitting in the end… since what I purchased was all about them ;-) – and being their mom.

My husband prepared our boys for the trip. Telling them that they needed to dress nice. That tonight was a special night for mommy…. that they needed to be on their best behavior…. and prepare for a date night to treat me. Sweet huh?

So my boys got dressed and we made our way to Shane Co.



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I have only been in a handful of Jewelry shops… some give a feeling of stuffiness for me… However. Shane Co. greeted our brute of boys and my husband and I with very open arms. Offering our boys cookies (score!) and offering to help right away.

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The experience was great and the employees all very helpful. The main lady who helped us was so sweet. She even let me boys touch some of the sapphires and explained the refining process of all their gems. The boys found that so interesting. It was interesting to learn all about how sapphires come naturally in all sorts of colors.. not just blue… and that all of Shane Co. Jewel’s are their natural colors and not artificially dyed. So they will never fade or change color.



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ED9A4612On this visit I ended up choosing the Mother and Child Piece. A simple sterling silver piece with a 5mm cultured pearl in the center. I got the chain custom made to be a little bit longer too. I really liked how they gave you the ability to adjust those small details if you wanted to do so. In the images shown here, the chain is the original length. I had to go back a few days later to get the new chain extender. I am wearing the piece in this INSTAGRAM photo if you would like to see how it looks longer. I think it looks much better with 2 inches added to the length.

All of Shane Co. pieces come with a life time warranty as well. While it may not be as cheap as some etsy. pieces…. these jewelry items are beautifully made and something that will last a life time. I look forward to passing this down to one of my boy’s wife (daughter in law) or if I have my own daughter, to her one day.



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So here is to finding those pieces, that fit your fashion side. My personal style. Sterling. single pearls… and small gems. I’m not much for glam but love to dress up a casual outfit with a nice piece of jewelry from time to time.


Simple Mom Look

So what’s your favorite summer accessory?

Have you tried Polyvore yet? I just discovered them. Used them to create the fun fashion board above. Great way to put together outfits.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shane Co. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chocolate filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I am not a huge dessert person… not keen on ice cream…. milk shakes… pies… cheese cake… yea. Im pretty picky with my sweets… but one thing I do love, is a good chocolate chip cookie. So I am often on the look out for great Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes.

I have my GO TO one here. Made with Organic Hard White Wheat. I thought though yesterday, to try something new. So I went to Pinterest and found one that looked appealing… and sadly I did not save the pin!! So I cant credit the original :( – if I find it again ill update this post and link to her version at the end of this post.

So, lets get started.

ED9A5167Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat if you want… or reg. all purpose flour… I almost never use all-purpose white flour, but decided to on this one. Not sure why… but either way would work. Just look up proper conversions from white/wheat flour before doing so)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp real salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted, at room temp (not melted!!)

1/2 cup honey granules (or light brown sugar)

6 TBS sucanat (or white sugar)

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups (yes 2) semisweet chocolate chips (its a lot of chocolate!!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Plan to bake these on a seasoned baking stone or put parchment paper down on 2 normal baking sheets.

In a bowl, SHIFT (this is important) the flour, baking soda and real salt together.

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In a larger bowl use an electric mixer at medium speed to beat the room temp butter and room temp egg. I read through many comments on the original post on this… and people said if the eggs and butter were not at room temp it would result in flat cookies. So be sure to follow this rule.

Mix the butter with the sucanat, honey granules until smoothe… about 2 minutes.

Then add in the egg and vanilla at low speed until blended.

Slowly add in flour mixture until well mixed…

Once that is done, you then use a wood spoon and stir in the chocolate chips.

For BEST RESULTS, put the mixture in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow it to cool a bit. This makes for a better cookie. Having all the ingredients at the same temp. just seems to make things work better. This is totally optional though.

Using a small scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto the baking stones about 2 inches apart.

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Bake them for 10-13 minutes until edges are lightly brown and tops feel firm when lightly touched.

Let the cookies cool on the baking stone for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

ENJOY!!

This made about 25 SMALL cookies. FOR a family our size, I will DOUBLE this recipe… one batch of it just doesn’t last :) -so for me, I make more than enough for a few days… otherwise its not worth my time.

MY KIDS LOVED THESE as well as my husband. We without a doubt will have these again.

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*The Glass Cookie Display Piece I got at a yard sale this week for $3.00!! I love it. My bestie Shannon use to have one very similar. Was always nice to go to her house and see a display of cookies in hers. So I had to get it when I saw it. If she visits I may give it to her ;-) – since hers was broken this year.*

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Diapered

Unashamed confession.

I have a TON of cloth diapers… yet have barely used them with baby Reed…

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I had full intentions of cloth diapering my 4th… like I did my 3rd and 2nd.
One thing you come to realize though is, you can’t do it all.

With an over flow of boy clothing always needing washing. Bed Wetters (oh man don’t even get me started on this!) – can we say “changing sheets on a bunk bed is torture?!” – add to the load, school work, photography, cooking… the thought of washing one more load of laundry, dunking diapers to rinse of poo and storing smelly buckets around the house, was not high on my list.

You learn to let things go with the 4th… I suppose after the 2nd really, you learn to let things go… but most def. the 4th, makes you do it even more.

I wanted to cloth diaper. What was more important to me though was my sanity :) – not keeping up appearances with all the crunchy peeps in the world… Being ok with the fact that not all diapers are created equally… but the kind I could just toss in the trash, sure made my life easier. So, I went with it. Guess what… Life was totally fine without Cloth Diapers :) – Baby Reed has no weird rashes with or without cloth… Reed pee’s and poops in either one just fine. I don’t worry any more about what a diaper might do laying beside his boy parts. I remember with my other 2 children I use to think putting a disposable diaper would make it so my child couldn’t pro-create LOL… and while there may be some truth to that… to worry yourself to death over a “maybe” just isn’t wise. No Cloth Diaper Hate here :) – just being honest.

Now that Reed is almost 2 though, I have taken up cloth diapering again
. My oldest turns 10 in August… and my other two have a bit more maturity on them as well… so I have been able to catch up (some what) with house hold task… Also Reed SLEEPS AMAZINGLY now… First 7 mo. of his life he was up every 2-3 hours. I truly thought I was about to loose my mind during that first year… Thankful he sleeps 12-15 hours at night now. Praise GOD!!! Sleep is a must for me :) – With money tight though… The Cloth Diapering has begun again. One thing that is true about Cloth Diapering. IT SAVES MONEY. Esp. if you re-use the same cloth diapers for more than one child. I have had these diapers since Taite. So while some are newer than others. Many of them I have are 7 years old!

Got to say…

It sure is cute….

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So cheers to letting go… not expecting perfection… and learning to balance.

To those curious. The Diaper Reed has on is a BUM GENIUS from Cotton Babies. I have always used those diapers… and love them. They are expensive though. Thankful to have gotten many of my newer ones free years back… (just a lil perks of being a photographer… I photographed their diapers many years ago and got 25 free!!) – any how. So yea, they work well but there are def. cheaper alternatives out there. Kawaii Diapers I heard are great. Feel free to comment with your favs ;-)

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We caught a Whale!!

Meant to post these last week… but totally forgot! Last week on Travis’ off days, he took the boys fishing.

The 1st day started at like 6am. Crazy fishermen :) – they headed out early, made a pit stop at BO (yall southerners know what that is), ate a quick breakfast, then made their way to the fishing spot (about 10 min from our home).

Not to long after being there though, Owen fell into the water (full submersion) and so they came home for a change of clothes. By this point it was around 8am… Reed and I had gotten up, so we joined the fishing fun for the rest of the morning.

That is when this happened….


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Patient Taite… who waited and waited. Caught something big…

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… and he had to work hard, to get it in.

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I was honestly shocked his line did not break.

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Cause this fish was gigantic.

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Travis got him close to the surface and grabbed him with this fancy fish hook thing.

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Taite said “Oh man, my heart is going so fast!! my knee’s are shaking!” he was all smiles.

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He was one proud dude.

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Inbetween the fishing & people falling in (Caleb fell in 2, hence the towel above), we enjoyed chasing ducks…

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Or taking their picture :)

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Swinging.

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& enjoying each others time… on that awesome morning.

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& To those curious if we kept the fish. We didn’t :) – he went back to happy land swimming around free.

Just a lil sand – walnut play

We had to refill Caleb’s Dragon tank yesterday with new walnut bedding. It feels like SOFT sand.

Kids thought it be funny to hide August in the bedding while we filled it.

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I was surprised, he just sat there, letting us.

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Reed would have dug in this stuff for a while, had we let him :)

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