Long Time, No Type

Hi, friends!! How cringe-y do I sound if I tell you that I’ve genuinely missed you? Well, I don’t care. Because I have. Summer has been crazy. I’ve been busy. I’ve been spending quality time with my kids. I’ve been working on goals ad dreams. I’ve been outside in the pool a lot. I’ve been busy living life and my blog has been seriously neglected.

But lately I’ve felt the urge to get back here and write. I’m not sure what, exactly. I just know I’ve missed it a lot. This is an outlet for me and something I’ve really enjoyed doing for the past several years. AND I just saw that I’ve gained almost 200 new followers on my blog in the past couple weeks?! So I guess I better start entertaining people before they decide to unfollow me 😉

We are in August, which to me is the end of summer and the beginning of fall — if you’re new here, I’m a stereotypical fall gal and canNOT wait for the crisp air and crunchy leaves. But this year, August also means school. My kids are growing up, I guess. Harrison starts Kindergarten this month, and not long after, Emmett will start his first year of preschool. Two kids in school?! Twice a week when both boys are gone, Flora and I are going to have a solid few hours of just the two of us. All of this is so new. So exciting. So crazy. My boys are super thrilled, which is good, because in all honesty its making my mama heart a little anxious.

Craigs brother got married to the most wonderful girl this month and their wedding celebration was something I’m never going to forget. It was such a special, perfect occasion. I’ve just been feeling really grateful about families, love, support and all of that mushy stuff since the wedding festivities. Weddings are just so exciting and happy.

As for me, I’m doing well. I won’t lie, I’ve fallen off of my health goals a little. I’ve visited the gym a little less and have ate a little more carelessly. My mental health has felt this shift and its not always awesome. But I’m aware of it and I’m doing my best to give myself grace and I’m really hoping that once we are on a school schedule here soon I’ll be able to get myself back on track.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with my home lately. Planning new projects, making the space a little more ours. Its really exciting to me.

I’ve been kinder to myself. I’m trying to find more positive things about me than negative things, and this positive talk is really helping me out mentally and emotionally.

Life is good. I’m happy to be here. I’m happy you’re here. I’ve missed you guys. I’m sure hoping I can really stick to this blogging train again for a while now.

SatisFACTual Saturday: Splash Mountain

SPLASH MOUNTAIN

Did you know?…

  • Its original name was Zip-a-Dee River Run. But Michael Eisner then suggested the name Splash Mountain, as it sounded more like a thrill ride
  • Splash opened in Disneyland Resort in 1989 and was so popular, that Imagineers decided it needed to expand, so Tokyo Disneyland and Walt Disney World gained the amazing attraction in 1992
  • Legendary Imagineer, Tony Baxter, is the mastermind behind this iconic ride, and he came up with the idea while in LA traffic
  • In Disneylands Splash Mountain, its animatronics are repurposed animatronics from an old Disneyland attraction, America Sings
  • There are 3 drops in Disneyland Resorts ride, 4 drops in Tokyo Disneyland’s ride, and 5 drops in Disney Worlds ride

Opening Day!

Today is a magical day! Today is a special day!

Happy opening day, Disneyland!! Today you open for…forever!!

I’m typing this with actual tears in my eyes. It has been so long…too long…since Disneyland Resort has been open and I’ve felt the sting of its absence so, so frequently. I’m not a California resident, so I’m still unsure of when exactly I can make it back to the happiest place on earth, but the fact that its OPEN has my heart fluttering non-stop today.

The world is right again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be stalking all social media accounts of California residents who are in the park today!

Better with Time

I’ve been on my healthy lifestyle journey for about two and a half months now. In two and a half months, I’ve learned so much and a lot has changed.

Did you know I enjoy exercise now?

I don’t crave Diet Coke as powerfully anymore.

I eat so much fresh fruits and veggies, and I like it!

My mental health is feeling so much more in check and my anxiety is a little less crazy.

I’m more confident in my body image!

I believe in myself more and have learned I can be powerful and self-motivated and reach the goals I set for myself.

I’m just feeling so good. I’m feeling empowered and excited. I’m proud of myself for deciding to make this lifestyle change a habit and for sticking to it. I didn’t realize just how much my body needed this. It wasn’t because I felt I needed to lose weight or look a certain way, it was because I wanted to make myself a priority and show my body that I love and respect it. I wanted to nurture the relationship I had with this body of mine. And it’s working!

If you’ve been on the fence about starting a similar journey for yourself, GO FOR IT!! I will cheer for you! I’ll be a member of your support system and I’ll be here if you need someone to chat with! We all deserve to treat ourselves with kindness and respect!

Love you all

The Best Cookies

Last Saturday I posted this picture on my Instagram stories…

And for the next 24 hours I had so many people DM me and ask for the recipe. I couldn’t keep this delicious recipe from you guys. I like you too much. So here is the most delicious cookie recipe you’ll ever have. Also, I’ve got to thank Craig for this recipe. This one is his baby. He has taken *inspiration from several recipes on the internet after I told him how much I loved the Oreo Chocolate Chip cookie from Sodalicious and has really perfected these. Just another reason I adore this man.

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies

ingredients

1 C Butter

3/4 C Brown Sugar

1 C Sugar

2 Eggs

1 TBS Vanilla

3 C Flour

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 C Chocolate Chips

1/2 C White Chocolate Chips

15-20ish crushed Oreos

directions

  • Set oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, 2 eggs and vanilla until smooth
  • In a bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients while it is mixing together (the dough should end up being very thick)
  • Stir in chopped Oreos, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips
  • Roll dough into balls and place on lined baking sheet
  • Cook 9-12 minutes
  • Enjoy and thank me later!

Truly, these are my new favorite cookies. If you try them, let me know! I hope you love them as much as I do. They get 10 stars and two giant thumbs up from me!

*Belle of the Kitchen

Banister Revamp

In our new house, we have a staircase that goes up to our top floor. It has been painted this pretty turquoise blue type color, and somehow within our few months living here, we have managed to really bang it up and chip a lot of the paint off. Seeing as we didn’t have the same paint to use to paint over the chips, we decided to change it up and paint it. It took us a little while of deciding how we wanted to paint it, but we ultimately settled on black and white. The hand rails, trim and larger poles (I don’t know technical names of any of this) would be black, and the middle, smaller poles would be white. You’ll get it when you see the pictures, haha. I’m not good at explaining this detail it would seem.

The Process

We started, well, Craig started, by taping it, which was no short task. With all the small details of the trim, it was a bit of a more complex situation than we originally anticipated.

Then we primed the entire area we’d be painting, and taped it so we could paint the white parts first. This was another long task!

Next, our plan was to paint all the middle, smaller poles white, but much to our surprise we learned that somehow we’d left Home Depot with two gallons of primer and one gallon of black paint, instead of gallon can primer, one gallon white and one gallon black. So, since we were still motivated to work and in our paint clothes, we just painted the large poles, and some of the top of the hand rail, the first coat of black.

After making an exchange, we finally got to paint the first coat of all the white parts! This is when we first were able to see it all coming together and we were getting really excited about this decision!

We ended with a lot of touch up work, tape removing and little fixes here and there. The trim provided many opportunities for paint to bleed and run over the opposite color. It definitely took work, but the finished product was exactly what we wanted!

Paint and Product Needed:

.5-1.5 Nylon Brushes

Painters Tape

Behr Premium Cabinet and Trim Enamel – black base

Behr Premium Cabinet and Trim Enamel – white base

Behr Premium Paint Primer

Cecil Hotel #letsLEARNfriday

*trigger warning: Mentions of suicide and murder in this post

Getty Images

Oooooooooookaaaaayyyyyy. Who requested this one? I just wrote it down and don’t remember who sent this request in to learn more about. Literally, I read ‘Cecil Hotel,’ and thought it was going to be some fancy hotel in New York that had a really cool history or something. Well I mean, the Cecil Hotel definitely has a history… But it by no means is a fancy hotel! Its also not in New York. Learning about this place was a whole trip. Holy cow. So strap in while I do my best to cover this crazy place.

The Cecil Hotel

The Cecil Hotel, now called, Stay on Main, is located in downtown Los Angelas, California. It opened in 1927 with the hopes of being a “polished spot,” for traveling businessmen and tourists. Two years after opening, the Great Depression struck, and some say with it, brought the Cecil Hotel its bad luck.

Now, if you were like me and didn’t know anything about this hotel, it has a long list of crimes, death and murder/murderers. In 1931, just four years after opening, the hotel saw its first tragedy when a man committed suicide in November. It didn’t take long for the hotel that was designed to be a nice, comfortable place for people to stay in, to become a place where people stayed who were down on their luck.

There were several suicides that happened inside the rooms. Several guests fell or jumped from the building. Some guests ingested poison. A teenage mother killed her newborn. A woman was found raped, stabbed and beaten and this case remains unsolved.

In the mid 80’s, Richard Ramirez, who is also known as The Night Stalker, was known to have been fond of staying at the Cecil Hotel in the height of his killing spree. Ramirez was eventually convicted of 13 counts of murder, 5 attempted murders and 11 sexual assaults. In 1991, another serial killer from Austria named, Jack Unterwager, who was eventually convicted of 9 murders, also was known to have frequented the hotel.

In 2011, the hotel was renamed Stay at Main.

What the Cecil Hotel is possibly most known for, is the suspicious death of Elisa Lam in 2013. Five days after she checked into the hotel, she was reported missing. There have been security videos released of Elisa in the elevator in the hotel acting very strangely (I watched these videos and they gave me really uneasy, freaky vibes – I’m baffled by this whole situation). Three weeks later, guests at the hotel began to complain that their water was tasting bad and that their water pressure was low. This was investigated, and Elisa’s body ended up being found floating inside of one of the water tanks that was all closed up. This was eventually ruled an accidental drowning, but its left many people – myself included – skeptical. How did she get into a water tank and close it behind her? It was also on the roof and there were supposedly alarms she would have set off going up there? Like, what happened?! Crazy. If you have some time to spare and you want to get yourself all worked up and confused, I recommend looking into this whole story.

In 2017, LA made The Cecil Motel a landmark. As of now, its currently being renovated, due to reopen in late 2021, unless the pandemic has somehow halted the progress.

Did anyone else not know about this place?! Would you go stay in this hotel after the large renovation is done? I’ll be honest. I wouldn’t. No thanks. This is a very quick version of the hotels deep, creepy history, but researching this was just fascinating. And a little unsettling. The hotel, no surprise, has been deemed as a haunted place. Ghost Adventures, a tv show where ghost hunters investigate haunted location apparently has a really neat episode at the hotel. I haven’t watched it – but I am a little intrigued.

Like I said earlier, learning about the Cecil Hotel was a wild ride! What did you think? I wonder what other hotels are out there with similar histories.

Sources:

Good Housekeeping

Movie Maker

BBC

Buzzfeed

NOT National Yoga Day

You guys. I wrote this post the other day, because I had it in my mind that today, February 22nd, was 100% National Yoga Day. Or World Yoga Day. Whatever. But this morning I woke up to just double check my facts and…turns out that day is actually June 21st. Where did I go wrong? Did I dream this date? Did I read false information? What happened? I don’t know. I’m kind of embarrassed. But here’s the thing. I already have this post all written up. I also dug out this old picture of me in a yoga photoshoot. So I can’t let all the work go to waste, you know? So without further ado, enjoy this random post about yoga, on this, NOT World Yoga Day.

Yoga.

I love yoga so dearly. I can’t recall when my obsession with yoga began, but it was years and years ago. Before I even knew who Craig was – which makes it seem even longer ago. All I know for certain is that yoga has always been, and hopefully continues to be, my most preferred type of exercise. If you can combine exercise with mindfulness, meditation and this form of therapy? Sign. Me. Up. Its glorious.

Yoga can get a bad wrap for just saying “ohmmmmmm,” and sitting cross-legged on a mat with your eyes closed for hours. But its not that guys. I mean, if you want it to be, it can. But its so much more. It can be a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing workout. It can be ooey-gooey movement that leaves you feeling lighter both physically and emotionally. Its beautiful. It challenges you and pushes you. It forces you to channel a spot in your brain you don’t use much otherwise. It encourages you to be in the moment and give yourself this time just for yourself.

Its special to me. Its given me so much sanity and peace. Its mended my heart time and time again. Its taken weight off of my shoulders. Its re-centered and re-focused me. Its made me excited to move and exercise. Its made me eager to take care of myself – both mentally and physically.

If you have not tried yoga before, I sure hope you’ll give it a try. Its life changing.

Namaste, my friends.

A ME Update

So tell me something. Is it weird that I’m 30 years old, and just now feeling like I’m finding myself? I mean, I don’t feel like I’ve been lost for the past 29 years, but I just feel like I’ve found my groove. I feel good. I’ve been making changes in my life that I’m passionate about and feel really great about. I’ve uncovered a new side of myself that I’m delighted to finally know and am so eager to continue on this journey with the ‘new’ me. I just feel…right. Things are lining up and I’m at peace with how my puzzle pieces have been falling into place.

I am 8 months postpartum. Obviously this still comes with its own slew of problems. I’m still battling anxiety more frequently than I like to admit. I’m still figuring out how to be the best version of myself as a mom to three little ones. I still have hormones that throw me out of whack and make me act ways I’m not always proud of. I also have post-baby hair growth happening and look a little bit like a baby duck. But you know what? Its ok. This is part of my journey. 8 months postpartum with my third child – thats a chapter in my story that I’m blessed and pleased to be living out.

I’m a month into my new healthy-living endeavor. Um. Am I vain if I say I’m killing it? For a whole month – and three days – I have stuck to healthier food choices and daily movement. I’ve stuck to listening to my body and fueling it with things that I know will help it be a better cared for, more respected body. I’ve also found some of the body-love I lost after I had my third baby. Its not all there, but hints of that same body confidence I once had are showing up more and more frequently. I’m motivated. I’m feeling capable. I believe in myself. I’m seeing and feeling physical, mental and emotional shifts in my body and mind and I’m exploding with gratitude for this whole journey. I’m so glad I finally got the guts to start it and stick with it.

I have big ideas. I knew 2021 would be the year I stop dreaming and start doing. I don’t want to give things away yet, but I have been stewing over a plan for years and years. I’m not sure why I never really started reaching for it until now. But I’m in the beginning phases of this new chapter and I’m thrilled. I’m equally as thrilled to tell you guys about it, but that has to wait until I have some experience, knowledge and stories under my belt 🙂 I’m also so dang grateful for Craig, who is without a doubt the greatest support person in the entire world. How on earth did I get lucky enough to marry the best guy? He’s been urging me to chase this dream ever since I told him about it when we hadn’t been married that long. Nearly 9 years later, and he’s still my number one cheerleader.

Life is not perfect. A lot is still messy and crazy and I still mess up like, always. But life is also really good. There is beauty in the journey, no matter how crazy. I can truthfully tell you that right now? I’m in a good, good place. I’m blessed, humbled and super duper thankful.

Snow for the Soul

Maybe its because I grew up in Utah, where we’re known for our good snow. Maybe its because my birthday is in December, and I’ve always linked snow to great, exciting things, like my birthday celebration and Christmas. Maybe its because snow feels so peaceful to me, it always has. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but snow is good for my soul.

The last few days we have been getting near-constant snow. To be able to look outside and see the glorious, white and sparkly magic sticking to the grass and making me squint because of its beautiful brightness is such a wonderful form of therapy for me. Its special and calming. I feel good when there is snow outside.