Sunday, August 7, 2016

Recent Reads

I am going to blame the busy summer and an always busy toddler on my lack of blog posts, and my lack of time to read!  By the time I have a minute to sit down, unwind, and relax, even the idea of reading a book sounds like work to me.  I do miss it though, and I have a whole stack of books waiting for me when my passion for reading returns.  (Including the new HP!)

Here are two books I’ve managed to squeeze in lately, both courtesy of Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Passion by Louie Giglio

“What exactly is it that instills passion in a person’s soul? What brings the fire to make a difference, the desire for significance, the power to live a life that matters? And who will lead us in this quest toward the future of the Church? In this remarkable book, some of today’s most gifted communicators highlight the dedicated generation that is rising up to show us how to lean toward the centrality of Jesus Christ and His bright light of glory that brings purpose to our own lives and proper glory to God the Father.”

I am a big fan of Louie Giglio after seeing this message by him one night in college at a night chapel.  (If you haven’t seen it, seriously watch it—it’s amazing.) Other people know Louie from his Passion conferences, which I had never heard of before… so I was interested to see what this book would be all about.

This book, Passion, much like his conferences is more of a collection of messages by some of Christianity’s most well-known pastors and speakers.  Each message ranges from 10-20 pages, which I really appreciated.  Being a busy mom it’s hard for me to read books because when I do I’m constantly interrupted… so these shorter segments made it easy to set down and pick back up later.  I also enjoyed the content matter as well, some more than others which is to be expected, but the overall message of the book is apparent and inspirational… "Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts." -Isaiah 26:8

The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan

“Just as Moses and the Israelites found themselves caught between "the devil and the deep Red Sea," so are we sometimes overwhelmed by life's problems. The Red Sea Rules reveals that even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations God promises to make a way for us. His loving guidance will protect us through danger, illness, marital strife, financial problems, or whatever challenges Satan places in our path.  Using the Israelites' story in Exodus 14 as an example, Robert Morgan offers ten sound strategies for moving from fear to faith.”

The premise behind this book is basically, “The same God who led you in will lead you out.” Understanding that Christians’ lives aren’t meant to be easy is a hard realization.  God allows our faith to be tried, and although sometimes these trials are more than we can bear… Jesus can bear it all for us.  These 10 rules outline what to do when faced with life’s trials and tribulations.  This book is packed with helpful verses and wisdom to tap into in the face of life’s obstacles.


What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

Monday, June 6, 2016


I received the #SuperMomVoxBox from Influenster free of charge in exchange for my honest review of these products.

Palmolive Fusion Clean with Baking Soda and Lime
I love this dish soap!  I feel like the baking soda and lime combination really makes my dishes sparkle and smell fresh! #PalmoliveFusion

Suave Kids Purely Fun
This 3-in-1 product is great in the tub after a day full of adventures! #SuaveBeliever

Plackers Flossers
Plackers Dual Grip Fruit Smoothie Swirl Kid’s Flossers are great in theory, but JJ is a bit young to understand the concept of flossing… and I don’t love the fruit smoothie flavor. #LoveAtFirstFloss

Secret Outlast Xtend Invisible Solid
I prefer the invisible solid version of deodorant so this one is right up my alley. It’s supposed to have 48 hour protection, but I’ll give it 24. :) #NeverStops

Pilot Acroball Pens
I love the smoothness of these pens!  Smear resistant ink and fun colors! #PowertothePen

Daisy Squeeze Sour Cream
This is probably what I was most excited about… sad but true!  I love the new squeeze bottle version of this classic product! #DollopOfDaisy

Goody SlideProof Spiky Soft Touch Hair Elastics
In theory these would be great, but with my hair I prefer a thinner hair tie. I did try these though and I love how secure they are!  If they only came in a little thinner version… #GoodyBrushed

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

JJ’s FIRST [star wars] Birthday Party


Hello little blog, I can’t believe it’s been so long!  And hello to any readers I might still have wandering around here… thanks for sticking around through my unpredictable pop ins.

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Well, we did it!  We survived a whole year (and now almost 2 more months!) raising a tiny little human.  I thought pregnancy and childbirth was a huge accomplishment, but having a one year old is right up there too!

I wanted to just share a little about our little guy’s first birthday party.  So much has happened since my last blog post, including a trip to Disneyland, 2 birthday parties, Christmas, a trip to Puerto Rico and so much more… but one post at a time here. :)

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We decided to have a Star Wars theme for his first party because that is the theme of his room… (which I can’t believe I never got around to sharing on here.  Soon, I hope!) Because the new movie was coming out right around his birthday too, there was tons of ideas!

We had his party at a local clubhouse, and it was the perfect amount of space.


We used different Star Wars things from JJ’s room as centerpieces, and in that back corner you can see his monthly pictures hung. (The ones shared at the top of this post!)


We printed out some of our favorite pictures from his first year and made them into this 1 sign, and right below we had some Star Wars coloring pages that I printed out for the little ones.


These blocks were a Christmas gift for JJ last year, and the 2 pictures are just ones we had hung in his room.


My mom was amazing and made JJ his own BB-8 cake, and other Star Wars cupcakes for everyone else!


For food we had just some small snacks—with a Star Wars theme.  Here we have grape sabers, trooper scoopers (tortilla chips) with Yoda-mole, Han salsa, millennium falcon fuel, (sour cream) and tie fighter washers. (olives)


We also had meat and cheese for the nachos, and Jar Jar Links in a Blanket. :)


For our guests’ sweet tooth we had light sabers, (pretzel rods dipped in colored chocolate with m&m buttons) thermal detonators, (whoppers) mini Ewoks (gummy bears) Han Rolos, and Wookie Cookies. (Chips Ahoy)


For beverages we had Luke Sky-water, Vader-Ade, and Blue Milk. <—I guess this is a Star Wars thing? I had no idea, but that was Zack’s one request for the party so I happily obliged.


True to most of our parties around here, we had a photo booth!  I hung a quilt that Zack’s aunt made JJ as a backdrop and made the masks as props.


My mom helped me sew up a special onesie for JJ’s outift—complete with a Star Wars bowtie.


A hit for all ages.  See how big little Hadley is now?!


JJ had a blast opening presents… little did he know this would be the first of many many presents to come with 2 birthday parties and 2 Christmas within 2 weeks! #DecemberBabyProblems


We weren’t quite sure how JJ would react to all the attention, (he’s pretty shy) but he didn’t seem to mind the singing and candle blowing…


He was a bit cautious at first with his cake, prefering to feed others instead of himself…


But in the end, BB-8 didn’t stand a chance.  I can’t say he actually ate much of it… but he LOVED smashing it.  And everyone loved to watch. :)


Overall, JJ had such an amazing first birthday party.  We were so thankful for all the wonderful family and friends that were able to celebrate with us both at this party, and at his party down South with Zack’s family too!

We just can’t believe he’s already one!  So thankful for the joy he’s brought us this past year, and excited to watch him grow!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Baby Harrell [11 months old]

I think every single month we find ourselves saying, “This has been the most fun month so far.”  It is just amazing to watch our little guy grow and discover new things every day.  Not to mention how active he’s becoming!  He’s definitely more fun… but also a lot more work! ;)


We don’t have a doctor’s appointment until 12 months so we will have to try and get some measurements on our own…but so far we haven’t.


This month was a tough month for JJ health-wise.  Right after he turned 10 months old we had a trip planned to go down south for his baby dedication at Zack’s home church.  The night before we left we saw his cousin Harper who was sick, and she sneezed right in his face.  I actually said, “If JJ gets sick, this is the moment it happened.”  And sure enough… he got sick.  Our poor guy had a runny nose, cough and fever for our whole trip… plus we had a scary brush with what we think was Fifth’s Disease.  Turns out, it’s pretty common, but giant red welts all over your baby’s face and body are pretty scary regardless.  Despite being so sick, his mood was surprisingly good—our little guy is a trooper.

On top of the 2 colds he had this month, he also is becoming a lot more mobile which has lead to his fair share of bumps and bruises.  He’s a little boy so I guess I’ll get used to that—but I feel awful when he gets these big bumps on his head. :( 


He is still loving to eat!  This month he is all about clapping and dancing, and we just think he’s the cutest.  Whenever he hears clapping on TV or wherever, he claps right along with them.  Then, when he hears music, he starts bobbing all around dancing. :)  He has also been really into waving hi and bye… but only to people he knows… he’s still pretty shy when it comes to unfamiliar faces. 

His favorite hobby has been ripping up old magazines.  He got hold of one when I wasn’t looking and I figured as long as he doesn’t eat the pieces, what’s the harm?  (Turns out, he did eat a piece… but we’re working on that. :)  He also loves to just sit and look at books.  It makes my heart SO happy that he is starting to love books just like his mama.  Usually throughout our day you can find him crawling all over the place pushing around a ball of some sort, it’s pretty impressive and he loves to do it!


Stranger danger is still there—though a bit better than last month.  This month his dislikes include sleeping, (could be due to him being sick so much!) and eating avocados… which is so strange because he LOVED them up until now.  When we try to give him avocado chunks he will make a sour face and gag on them.  It’s really weird. Maybe we over did it?

JJ has been skipping his second nap lately—it is such a fight to try and get him down for it so he usually doesn’t have one and starts melting down around 5pm.  From 5-7 it’s a struggle… Once he does go to sleep he is still waking up 1 to 2 times a night.

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JJ is eating mostly anything and everything these days.  We will still do some purees at each meal, (just to guarantee he’s getting a lot of good fruits and veggies) but we also will give him pieces from whatever we are eating too!  This boy loves to eat!

Mostly 9-12 month stuff… plus a few smaller pairs of 18 month pants.  We are still doing cloth diapers so they take up a lot of pant room. :)  He also still fits into a few 6 month onesies too.


Our big trip this month was down to Zack’s parents’ house to have JJ dedicated at their church!  It was such a special day and JJ was lucky to have both sets of grandparents there!


-JJ’s first Halloween was a success!  Read about it, here!


-Developmentally this month has been huge!  Not only is he crawling and standing and walking along everything… but he can sign, “more” “milk” and “please.” Wellllll kind of, they aren’t the textbook correct signs, but he has his own way of doing them each time and he’s consistent whenever we ask him so that’s what counts, right? :)

-JJ also claps, dances, waves, and blows kisses!! It’s the cutest thing ever.  He also just discovered belly buttons which is hilarious… but not ideal when I’m trying to nurse him and he stops to point out my belly button every 10 seconds haha!


-Verbally, we swear he has said, “Harper” and my mom says she heard, “Grandma” but I don’t know if I believe that one. ;)

-JJ is filled with so much JOY and he loves to laugh.  He has a fake laugh that he does quite often, it’s pretty funny.

-We had our first big snowfall of the year and JJ LOVED it!  I took him out for a few minutes (he was sick, so not long) and he was mesmerized by the big flakes falling.  A true mountain boy already.


-On the opposite end, he has started to throw little fits.  I didn’t think this started so early but boy was I wrong… if you tell him no, or try and stop him from doing something he wants to do, he will just throw himself forward on to the ground and start crying.  Oh boy, we’re in for trouble with this one already!

-Finally, this kid has a serious arm!  He loves to throw balls around, and he is getting great at it!


We’ve got a huge month ahead of us… lots of exciting things happening so I know it will just fly by and my baby will be ONE before we know it. :(  It’s a good thing, but I get so emotional thinking about it already.  Fastest year of my life—but also the best! <3

In case you missed them…
Welcome Baby JJ
Birth Story
1 month old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old
5 months old
6 months old
7 months old
8 months old
9 months old
10 months old

Friday, November 6, 2015

Baby Style—Thanksgiving Etsy Finds

baby style

Having a baby is a lot of fun for so many reasons… one of which being that you get to dress him or her up in the cutest outfits!  I love finding special clothes for JJ, perfect for every occasion, and I can’t wait for this Thanksgiving! 

Here are some of the amazing baby items that I’ve found perfect for this Thanksgiving holiday…

**Note: In this post I’ve just included things suitable for a boy or unisex… I know, there are so many cute girl outfits for every occasion, but this post I’ll stick to the items I’ve found that would be specific to my little guy… meaning unisex/boy items only.

I love how the back of this onesie from babyxpressURself includes the tail feathers.  Simple but oh, so cute!

I’m a sucker for a baby in a bowtie…bonus points for suspenders!  This shirt from CuddleSleepDream is too cute to pass up—and could be worn for any fall occasion, not just Thanksgiving!

I am a big fan of the simplistic designs I guess, and this shirt from bravelittleleaders really sticks to the real reminder of the holiday.  (*Sidenote: I’m loving all the designs in this shop—super cute!)

This onesie from TennesseeSweetTee is so clever.  I love the rhyming, and that it can be worn all season long!

Right after college I lived with a family and they called their baby boy their “little turkey.”  I thought it was adorable, and it always stuck with me.  I love this onesie from littleHONESTtees so much, and all the color options makes it even better!

This t-shirt from EmbellishedBD also comes in brown for a more festive look.  I’m pretty obsessed with the saying, “Gobble ‘til you wobble” I think it’s hilarious… so chances are pretty high that JJ’s outfit will include something like this.

Speaking of “gobble ‘til you wobble”… I’m in LOVE with these little fabric shoes from LittlePitterpat.  Too cute, and that little pull tab on the back of them?  Serious lifesavers… why all baby shoes don’t have those is beyond me. 

Finally, there’s this… I mean, come on.

JJ’s head is in the 99th percentile, so I doubt we could squeeze one of these hats from MiniToppers on him… but if we could—you know that’s what he’d be wearing this Thanksgiving.


There are too many fun Thanksgiving outfit ideas out there… have you seen anymore that I haven’t listed here?  If so, please leave a link—I’m in the market! :)