Life Lately

Hey there! I’m back and I’ve missed you guys! Things have been pretty hectic around here with the relaunch of The Blissfully Made Shop, then Brynlee and I got horrible colds and Brynlee has been randomly deciding she doesnt need naps certain days (those are rough), so we really haven’t had time for much else. Hopefully things will start calming down a bit and we can get back into our normal routine, but with the holidays coming now who knows!

Since pretty much every weekend from here until New Years is packed full of holiday festivities, we decided that this weekend needed to be spent getting some stuff done around the house.

I finally got around to doing some much needed canning! We picked over 30 pounds of tomatoes from our garden throughout the summer!

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I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve made it a habit to blanch, peel, dice and freeze our tomatoes each time we pick a batch. This way I can just do one big batch of canning at the end of the season instead of a bunch of little ones and having everything already prepped it goes a lot quicker!

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I used this recipe for pasta sauce and it is delicious!! We definitely popped open a jar for dinner that night and it did not disappoint.  Pretty sure I will be making this recipe every year with our tomatoes.

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I also went ahead and made some strawberry jam using Ree’s recipe. I’ve made this recipe multiple times, its super easy and the jam is so yummy!

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We don’t grow our own strawberries, although I’d like to try sometime. So anytime the store runs a sale on organic strawberries, I buy 5-10 clam-shells and immediately come home to hull, dice, mash and freeze them so they are all prepped for canning day.

Do you see a pattern developing here? While I have canned food from start to finish before, I much prefer the method of prepping and freezing everything ahead of time, then planning one canning day or weekend and getting through everything. To me it seems like much less work and is really the only way I can make sure to get it done now that I have Brynlee constantly vying for my attention.

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We also did some work in our backyard and picked all of our lemons. Our poor tree was so full and looking pretty droopy from all the weight so we also trimmed up a few of the especially droopy branches and it now looks much happier!

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This little girl loved picking the lemons! She’s been trying to pick them all year and was so excited to finally being told she could!

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She was actually a really big help! I love being able to include her in things like this now, she has a lot of fun and so do we!

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Oh and my roses are blooming like crazy right now! I cut them way down a couple of months ago and now they have come back much fuller and I can’t wait until they all start opening up!

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And I finally hung (and by I, I mean my hubby) my scale/clock that I got at Junk in the Trunk a few months ago. I love it! As you can see I’m using it as my fruit bowl and I love being able to open up some counter space by having it raised. Brynlee thinks its a swing and is constantly asking for us to put her up there. I’m so thankful she can’t climb up on the counters herself yet or I might be in trouble!

We’ve also been working our way through our Christmas shopping list, every year I say I will start early so that in the last few weeks before Christmas I’m not completely stressed out and for the first time, I’ve actually managed to do it! I still have a few things to get and I’m making a few top secret presents that I will share the DIY’s to once they’ve been opened, but I feel much better about where I am on my list than I usually do! I’m hoping to get a few wrapped this week so that when we put up our tree after Thanksgiving I will actually have something to put under it! It usually sits bare until the weekend before Christmas and I always hate that!

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Life Lately

You know when you are really looking forward to something and are so excited and just can’t wait for that something to get here and how sometimes when you are that excited about it you build up all these awesome expectations of how perfect everything is going to be and you are going to have the most fun time ever?

And then not only does it turn out to be a complete flop, but in a moment of pure desperation you completely loose your sanity and end the day in a pile of tears and telling your husband to pack everything up because we are leaving RIGHT. NOW. even though it is already dark, but you don’t think of that because, remember, you have lost your sanity and so all rational thought has gone completely out the window regardless of what anyone says?

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I have been looking forward to our annual August camping trip all summer long! It is always such a treat to escape the heat for a few days and get back to nature without all the distractions of everyday life. Or at least it normally is anyway.

This was Brynlee’s 3rd time camping (here’s the 1st and here’s the 2nd) and because Brynlee did so well when we went in May, I really thought she would do even better on this trip!

Oh, how wrong I was!!!

Brynlee absolutely refused to sleep! And while I really didn’t expect to get much of a nap out of her during the day, I thought she’d be so exhausted from playing all day that she would get a good night’s sleep.

Well, she was exhausted alright, just a little too exhausted, the first (and only) night we were there she only slept about 3.5-4 inconsistent hours, which made for a very tired toddler and a very tired mama the next day.

Don’t get me wrong, we did have fun times, of course spending time with our family was amazing, but a lot of that time was broken by a very tired, very cranky Brynlee. Oh and did I mention she wouldn’t eat either? For the 2 days we were there she barely ate a thing, not even the dutch oven mac and cheese that I was sure she would love!

And it was at that point that I broke.

Saturday evening, Dutch oven dinner night (which I didn’t even get to eat), while Brynlee was vehemently rejecting dinner, the tears just started streaming down my face with no end in sight. Landon offered that we could just go home then and after thinking about trying to survive another sleepless night with Brynlee I said “I want to go home!”

I must admit that on the drive home I started second guessing myself, it was not very fun! Brynlee was not happy, the road we had to take isn’t a pleasant one during the day, let alone at night, it’s very twisty, and there was a ton of traffic. Far more than we’ve ever had before, even during the day.

But when we finally got home, Brynlee was so excited! We walked her upstairs to her crib and she immediately wanted in and when I laid her pillow down on the mattress she went “oooohhhhh!!!”, laid her head down on it, yawned and was asleep before we even left the room. And then I knew, it was right for us to come home. My poor, over tired baby just needed her own bed and she was finally able to sleep.

It wasn’t all bad, we did have fun times and Brynlee had A LOT of fun, and since I’ve already rambled on far too long, I’m going to let the pictures do (most of) the talking.

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*Our home for the weekend.

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*Oh hello, Mickey, of course you went everywhere with Brynlee and was a dirty mess by the time we got home.

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*Grandma brought a hammock and I’m sure she would have really like to use it, these two, however, decided to take it over.

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*Oh look, some dirt!

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*Oh, and there’s some more dirt over there!

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*”What??”

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*Ummm, yeah, Brynlee thought this was a slide and it provided a good 30 minutes of entertainment!

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*My little explorer

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*This really is the only way to hike…

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*Oh, wait, maybe I will walk for a minute…

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*Or not… when Brynlee saw this view she said “WHOA!!!!”

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*Hey look! I actually made it in a picture!

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*And again with the dirt…

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*I am so sad that I missed this dinner!!! I hear it was amazing…

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*Lola had a lot of fun too and has since spent the last 2 days sleeping, trying to recuperate from all the fun!

And that, my friends, was our weekend. I hope yours was better than mine and you didn’t loose your head quite as spectacularly as I did.

And I hope you enjoyed the multitude of run-on sentences…

Life Lately

This weekend was HOT!!! We spent as much time as possible at my SIL’s pool and other than that we tried to stay cool indoors.

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And part of that included lots of dress up and wearing 4 tutu’s at once.

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Brynlee has been boycotting veggies for the past couple of months, but just recently she’s  gotten even pickier. The only foods I can always count on her eating are granola, pickles, yogurt, pasta, cheese and luckily (for me) smoothies, anything else is a hit or a miss and its usually a miss. It’s extremely frustrating, I’m always worried about her being hungry! But at least she still loves smoothies, so I just try to jam pack them full of fruits and vegetables and so some nights that means pickles and smoothies are on the menu for dinner.

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Friday night I thought it would be fun to make homemade white pizza. Brynlee loves pizza (hello cheese!) and I loved that I was able to throw some some chicken on it and Brynlee actually gobbled it all up!

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Did I mention it was HOT this weekend, this is basically all my car said Saturday and Sunday, really, I was beginning to think it was broken!

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And so we took refuge in the pool!

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Brynlee loves to swim and she is getting so good at it!

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I love that it exhausts some of that endless toddler energy and almost guarantees a good nights sleep and great nap!

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Swimming is actually the only time she will eat any veggies, whenever we have a pool day she loves taking a little veggie tray break and will devour the broccoli and carrots!

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I hope you all had wonderful weekends and managed to stay cool too!

Life Lately

Happy Wednesday friends! We are half way through the week and I hope that it is treating you well so far!

We’ve been spending most nights and the majority of our weekend working on finishing our downstairs re-do. Brynlee’s birthday party is a week from Saturday, so the pressure is on. In all fairness, it’s good pressure, I’ve been wanting to make these changes for a year now and even bought my new drapery fabric back in February. I have been making slow progress, painting baseboards and door trim, but we are definitely really moving now that we have a deadline. The good news is that we are almost done! And I can’t wait!! I truly love how everything is coming together and I can’t even tell you how much brighter is in our house now that we’ve changed the wall paint and draperies. Needless to say, 5 years ago, when we moved into our house, I made a lot of design decision mistakes, but it’s all good, I’ve learned a lot from them and will know never to do certain things again so it was all worth it right?

We did manage to carve a little time out this weekend to have a pool party at my SIL’s house!

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Brynlee loves to swim, she would stay in there all day if I let her. And lucky for her, Aunt Billie Jo had this super fun little boat for her to ride around in so she wouldn’t have to get out, even while she ate a popsicle.

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Actually, the only way we were able to get her out without a tantrum was to tempt her with food. I guess 2+ hours of swimming will make a girl hungry!

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Aside from their time in the pool, the girls had a lot of fun playing together!

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It was so nice to see Brynlee play so well with others! We’ve been going through this anit-sharing phase lately, so I was a little worried with how she would act. Hopefully this is a sign that we are turning the corner on that and can play well with others again!

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We also made sure to spend plenty of time contributing to Brynlee’s sticker addiction.

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Oh the stickers!!!

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If I’m not careful, I can quickly find myself in situations like these… It took me nearly an hour to get all of these stickers off once she went to bed. Because of course, if you try to take them off in front of her a tantrum of epic proportions ensues with hundreds of very whining, high pitched “no’s”! Sometimes, it’s just not worth it, #pickyourbattles #andthenhidethestickers

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We also took a trip to the library for story time, but apparently they cancel story time in the summer (WHAT!?!?!?!) because they have a summer reading program instead… I’m all for promoting young reading, but they just took away the only toddler program they had and I was really looking forward to having something fun, that was indoors, to do with Brynlee this summer! I’m not so happy with the library at the moment, we can regain our friendship this fall when they bring back story time.

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All was not lost, Brynlee did have a lot of fun playing in the children’s play area and even made a new friend. That new friend’s mama and I got to talking about how disappointed we were about losing story time and she told me about a rec center that is a few miles away that has all sorts of summer programs for toddlers! I was so excited that when I got home I jumped right on to the computer to sign Brynlee up for a few, BUT… they all started the first week of June and were all filled up. How do people just know about all these awesome things! I’m hoping they will have another session starting soon, maybe during fall, some of the classes sounded really awesome! If not, I guess I know to look for the next summer!

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And of course, Brynlee got her picture with this guy, so for her, the library was a total success, guess that means it was for me too!

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Perhaps the highlight of Brynlee’s week (although, maybe not, she does really like to swim… Wow! Brynlee had an awesome week!), was the chance to have this bounce house all to herself! Brynlee’s loving Nana was so kind as so buy a bounce house to use at Brynlee’s birthday party. She decided it would be beneficial having one for all the grandkids to share and to pass around for birthdays and other events. I am pretty sure Brynlee agrees! She loved it! Thank you Nana!!!

We decided it would be a good idea to take it out and make sure we knew how to set it up and that there was nothing wrong with it before the big day. BTW, set up was super easy and so was the take down.

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It took Brynlee a little bit to figure out this little climbing wall so she could go down the slide.

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But once we got her pants off, she had no problems!!

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She must have climbed up that wall and gone down the slide 50 times! She was having so much fun! I love it because I finally found something that can wear that girl out! I swear, she has so much energy!! My family jokes that she is the energizer bunny. But not on this day, this day she came inside, drank her milk and headed to bed (without peep) EARLY!!! And friends, that never happens!!!

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 I hope you are all having some summertime fun and enjoy the rest of your week!

Life Lately  

Whew! What a busy past couple of weeks! I’ve traveled out of town the last two weekends and while I do love to travel, bringing a toddler along with me makes it all the more exhausting! We had a lot of fun but I am glad to be home!

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My Aunt and I have made it a Memorial Day tradition to travel to Panguitch, Utah to visit family and dress the graves. Our family comes from the small towns of Panguitch and Circleville in Southern Utah and while we don’t have any remaining family in Circleville, we still have a lot in Panguitch and it is always fun to spend time with them. We always invite anyone who can to come with us, sometimes the hubby’s make it, sometimes they don’t, this year was a girl’s trip and we had a blast, even with traveling with two toddlers and a baby.

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*All loaded and ready to go, you can’t see my nephew in his car seat, but he is in there too!

Watching us get in and out of the car was comical, between the luggage, car seats and entertainment supplies for the little girls we were pretty loaded down. We joked that it took us 10 minutes each time we had to get in or out of the car, but I’m pretty sure that was a fairly accurate statement.

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*A particularly sweet moment during our drive. 

We left bright and early Friday morning and a normally 5.5 hour trip took us about 8 hours… I had packed a pretty full bag of fun stuff to keep the girls (Brynlee and my niece) busy and happy for the road trip, but we still had to make plenty of stops to let them get out and run around. We also had to make some fire drill stops on the side of the road to rearrange seating when a mommy needed to be next to a little to help calm them down. All in all it was better than any of us expected when travelling that far with our littles (especially Brynlee, she doesn’t exactly have the best track record in a car), but lots of snacks and lots of stickers definitely saved the day! My poor Aunt will be finding stickers in her car for the next year, I am sure!

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*Isn’t that chalk board wall amazing!

Once we finally got to Panguitch and got unloaded, we were treated to a delicious dinner at the restaurant our cousins just bought and renovated, The Original Kenny Rays, named after my uncle who passed away last year. I really love what they have done with the place and the loaded cheese fries were amazing!! If you ever happen to drive through Panguitch I would highly suggest stopping by and getting some!

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*We also had to make a stop at Henrie’s in Panguitch (it’s a must every time we are there), Brynlee ate her first corn dog and loved it!

We didn’t exactly have the best weather while we were there, it rained a lot and us Arizonians were freezing the whole time!!! I’m so glad I brought mine and Brynlee’s big wool pea coats to keep us warm!

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We did try to stop by the old Butch Cassidy cabin, he’s my Great Great Great Uncle and who I am named after, we wanted to get some pictures of the girls there, but thanks to the rain there was basically a pond covering the road in, hopefully we will have better luck next time.

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*Brynlee should have been in bed, but instead, insisted on pulling this musical thing around.

Most of the weekend was spent visiting with family and letting all the cousins play. I’m so glad Brynlee is getting the chance to know her cousins in Utah, this is her 3rd time there and I’m hoping we will have the chance to go many more times throughout the years so she can continue those relationships. Sometimes it gets hard with our busy lives to always go visit family when they live in another stay, but we try really hard to keep in touch. Family is so important to us and I want Brynlee to know all of hers.

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*Since Brynlee insisted on waking up so early each morning, I kept her busy with Mickey on the iPad so I was able to get ready

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*This is a rare occurrence that needs to be documented, Brynlee usually refuses to sleep in the car, but I’m so glad she finally did. 

As always, the weekend flew by and before we knew it, it was time to go home. Thanks to some very tired kiddos (Brynlee decided it was a good idea to wake up at 4:00am Utah time, 3:00am AZ time every morning we were there…) the ride home went a little quicker.

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*She wanted ALL the stickers!!!

Again, stickers saved the day when emotions ran high, as well as some movies, thank you cousin Karen for bringing those!

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*It’s so hard to not get a blurry photo of this little ball o’ energy!

When we got back to my Aunt’s in Sedona, the girls were more than ready to get out! All they wanted to do was run around on the grass, but apparently we brought the rain with us and before we knew it we had to head inside at which point Brynlee decided to steal the dog’s bed and relax for a bit. We ended up spending the night at my Aunt’s Sunday night, I felt too bad about putting Brynlee back in the car seat for the 2+ hour drive home. When we did get home on Monday, Brynlee was so excited to see Landon. I wished I would have filmed her reaction, it was priceless. The entire rest of the day all she wanted to do was cuddle him. It was so cute! She definitely missed her daddy!

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! I am so thankful we were able to spend it with our loved ones and am so grateful to all those that serve, past and present, who have made special times like these possible. Thank you!

Life Lately

   .Whew! You did not want to be in our house this past week! A stomach bug swept through and hit us hard! It started with Brynlee, she got it the worst and it was so sad. Then it got me and finally, this weekend, it got Landon. Words cannot express how thankful I am that we seem to all be over it and I’m praying that we don’t get it again any time soon! Needless to say, our week wasn’t exactly riveting, but in case you want to hear about it anyway, here you go!

Aside from a quick doctor visit for Brynlee, a diaper run (we literally got down to 2 diapers in the whole house!) and quite possibly our fastest trip to the grocery store ever, we were confined to the house for 7 whole days. I think we were all getting a little cabin fever!

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Obviously, our Mother’s Day plans didn’t exactly happen the way we expected, but I still got yummy blueberry waffles in the morning, along with a delicious mimosa (okay, maybe more than one, after last week, I needed it!) and I got to spend the day with the ones I love most and my beautiful baby girl who made me a mama and that all sounds pretty perfect to me!

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We did have one little mishap Mother’s Day morning, we were in our backyard (mimosa in hand) watching Brynlee play and she tripped and scraped her knee, poor baby. This isn’t the first time she’s scraped her knee, but by her reaction, you would have thought she broke her leg! A 3 hour screaming/crying session ensued and there was nothing we could do to calm her down.

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Every time she would start to settle, she would look down at her knee and get all worked up again. Since then, she still gets a little freaked out when she sees it and will tugged at her knee like she is trying the get the scrape off, so for the most past, I’ve been trying to keep it covered up.

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Here’s hoping to a better week this week! I hope you all had great weekends and a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Life Lately

Well… I had meant to get this post up on Monday but then, you know, life happened and plans changed. My poor Brynlee caught a virus that has completely wiped her out and it breaks my heart seeing her so miserable. I’m not going to lie though, I do love all the cuddles, I wish they were under better circumstances, but I will take all the cuddles I can get. So that is pretty much what we’ve been doing since Monday.

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Last week we made another trip to the library and Brynlee really came out of her shell! Last time she stuck right close to me and was extremely well behaved the whole time we were there. This time… she walked in like she owned the place, had no qualms about dancing all over the place during story time and was quite happy to take off down rows of books leaving me in the dust. It was at the point that she decided she would help herself to another little boy’s tricycle that I decided it was time to make our exit.

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We did end up checking out this book and have had a lot of fun reading it! It is great for the littles to learn their words! Brynlee still isn’t saying a whole lot, but she loves finding and pointing out things like when I ask her where the puppy is in a book.

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I just had to throw this picture in, I die at the cuteness of Brynlee’s top knot and I’m so excited to have finally found a way to put a bow in Brynlee’s hair without her immediately ripping it out!

Friday evening my MIL came to spend the night so we could get up bright and early to go to Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market. My SIL and nieces also came over that night for dinner and the 2 older girls had a blast playing together. It’s nice because there is a little over a 2 year age gap between Brynlee and my niece and Brynlee is finally getting to an age where she will play back with Brooke. They had so much fun chasing our poor dog Lola around, they laughed and laughed and I was so glad to see them finally bonding.

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Then on Saturday we all made our way to Scottsdale for Junk in the Trunk. It was the first time for all of us and we really didn’t know what to expect. Well, let me just say, every idea I might have had was blown right out of the water! It was such a perfect mix of antiques and handmade items and it was huge!!! There were so many booths to see that we didn’t know where to start. I wish I would have taken a picture, but my mind was too busy being blown by all of the amazing wares that I couldn’t even think to whip out my camera. I ended up coming home with a few things, this amazing jewelry holder! I’ve been looking everywhere for a better option for my jewelry that just stashed on a shelf in my linen closet, but I’ve had a hard time finding something that will work.

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I love that is it completely customizable using “S” hooks, or they also sold these adorable hooks made from spoons. I got it at this shop if any of you are in the market for one. My SIL also got a beautiful crystal chandelier from there for her daughters nursery.

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I also hit up a few antique booths and found this amazing kitchen scale for only $12!

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I love vintage scales and was so excited to find this one. I also picked up this antique sifter and cheese grater to go along side my scale so it wouldn’t look so out of place. I’m just starting my antique collection, my MIL is a pro so it was great to have her along to help me know if I was getting a good deal or not.

All in all we had an amazing day at Junk in the Trunk, the next one is in September and if you are a local I would highly recommend going, it was so much fun!

After Junk in the Trunk we stopped at Postino’s for lunch (their chicken and mozarella sandwich is to die for!) and then over to my SIL to let the girls swim. Brynlee has no fear when it comes to water. I have her wear one of these floaty vests and she just wants to jump right off the ledges in the pool or float around by herself, no help from mama at all! She is one independent girl!

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This silly goose thought she was hilarious putting these goggles on.

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And she loved sitting in this little doll buggy of her cousins… Don’t mind her crazy after pool hair!

Sunday was our day of rest and relaxation from the already busy weekend we’d had so we mostly stayed home and played with Brynlee. First thing Monday morning, Brynlee and I headed out for a bike ride. We finally got our bike trailer set up and Brynlee loves going for rides! She laughs and squeals the whole time!! I love that I can finally get a workout in without having to wake up at 4 am.

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When we got home, I gave Brynlee her milk and started making breakfast and that is when the vomiting started. And it continued all morning, I felt so bad for her. This is the first time that she has been sick like this and it was just heart wrenching holding her while she was throwing up and crying. I took her to the doctor and he confirmed that she had the virus that is going around and was able to prescribe something for the nausea, it worked wonders! I picked it up right away, gave it to her when we got home and she was finally able to keep some water down and take a nap. She’s been doing much better since, but is still not feeling well and I’m just trying to do whatever I can to make her feel even the least bit better. In which case means being readily available for tons of cuddles (again, no complaints there), watching a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and dealing with the fact that there are cracker crumbs all over my couch and floor and I mean ALL over! But never mind that, my baby needs a cuddle!

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Hope you all had a great weekend and your weeks are off to better starts than mine! Thanks for reading, happy hump day!