Friday, May 31, 2013

Youth Pedestrian Safety: The Neighborhood

Nothing brings more assurance to the heart of a parent than their young child coming to a halt at a curb, looking both ways, and then safely crossing the street. What a well-trained child! Your 5-year-old may have the fear of speedy cars ingrained in them, but what about your tweens and teens? Surprisingly, a striking amount of pedestrian accidents involve youth pedestrians. They may have obeyed crosswalks at 5 but our adolescent walkers have more distractions now then ever...

Want to know more about the dangers that face our teen and tween pedestrians? I bet you do! Read more here!

This has been a moment with sleeping Liam!

Do ya ever get so caught up in stamping veggie art and taking pictures of powdered bunt cake that you forget to stop and take in the simple miracles of life. Yes? That's what I too. You see, I fancy myself a task-oriented person. I wake up early to pluck away on my laptop and throw in a load of laundry. During nap time I do some accounting, edit a book I'm helping write, work in Photoshop. After bedtime I catch up on reading and straighten up the house. But every now and then I stop and glance over and my sleeping baby toddler (what the %&#*@!) and just soak him in. You know, really look at him and have one of those strange out of body experiences where you realize that this little human depends fully on you (a totally imperfect human) and that you had better not screw this up. One of those moments. And then I realize, I am one lucky duck. Truly. A few days ago my grandma Facebooked me and was like "keep posting pictures of that growing baby" and I thought, has been a minute since I chatted about Liam. Enter stage left: a little list about what Liam is up to now:

- Liam takes every meal in his highchair. He prefers to feed himself, after all he is grown up enough to do so. The very second he decides he is done eating he goes directly from chewing his last bite to screaming like a maniac while flinging bits of toast at Jada (who willingly eats all dropped morals). Once the highchair hysterics begin I have about 1.2 seconds to wipe him down and get him out before a breakdown ensues. Let's just say Liam is a man who knows what he wants and wants it right now.

- This kid is walking everywhere. Let me rephrase: This kid is running everywhere. In the pantry (dumping out chips) to the living room (dancing with Ellen-I kid you not) to the bathroom (in the toilet). With how quick this kid moves I have become quite to the pro and baby-proofing. I think I will add that to my CV.

- Better out than in is Liam's motto. And I'm not talking bodily excretions (yuck). Little nugget prefers outdoors to indoors always. As we walk and walk and walk he narrates and I nod my head, listening intently and appreciating his little dialogue. Yesterday he removed 4 flags from our neighbor's yard (in about 5 seconds) and I had to go back and determine where the Century Link flags and Comcast flags belonged. Ooops. Cross your fingers for me (and my neighbor's internet services).

- Liam is practically talking now. I mean, he says pee-do (peekaboob), dain-do (thank you), janda (Jada), and uh-oh (uh-oh). My personal favorite is thank you. He will march around with a toy or strainer or broom in his hand and chant "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

Yep, he's pretty adorable. Pretty freaking adorable.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Vintage Cake Platter Makeover

Every now and then you just need to take some pretty pictures. There is really no need to explain yourself and they never need to be printed or framed, just appreciated by you. And after I fixed up this beautiful little cake platter I thought to myself, this babe deserves a photo shoot. So I gave it the glam it deserved and put a cake on it. Some milk with tea cups and saucers too??? You bet.

Here is what Ms. Cake Platter looked like when I picked her up from the flea market:

Can I just say, I love a piece with potential. More so than something that has reached it's full potential. I love the vase that is improved upon with fresh flowers or the old chair that needs a new coat of paint. The transformation seems so brilliant to me. That something may appear old or used and ordinary, but with the right perspective and some hard work a flea market find can become a treasure for a lifetime.
I think this is the same with people for me. I am drawn to individuals whose potential and talent appeal to me, but they haven't reached that pinnacle yet. These kinds of people only get better with time. They are always moving forward. That's one of the things I love most about Clint. The longer we are married the more interesting I find him.
When we got married I was 20. I was a baby. Let's just say he definitely married me for my potential and I will keep praying that 20 was not the pinnacle of Alix. In fact I vividly remember talking about our futures on our third date. I was only 18 (even a littler baby!). I asked, like a silly girl, if he thought I was a success as a person. Clint looked over at me and smiled and said, "you have so much potential". I beamed. This seemed like a real complement to me back then (now it kinda sounds like an insult upon reflection :) ) but I couldn't imagine a more promising quality to possess than potential. It means you are going to get better, move forward, your greatest work of art is yet to come.
Potential is how I feel about my blog, my photography, even my parties. I have so much creating left in me and I am always wrestles to make something new happen. Today I want to buy the orchard across the street and do horse-drawn slay rides. Tomorrow I want to start a wedding planning company. Perhaps this little beauty of a cake dish, with it's fresh coat of white paint, will make an appearance in a future craft party I host. Or maybe it will pop up at a baby shower for a little girl. Some day. But make no mistake, this little cake platter has potential.

Teepee DIY

I am a little bit giddy to share with you this craft. Remember Liam's teepee from his birthday party and bedroom makeover? Well today on And Then We Saved I'm teaching you how to make a teepee of your own! And this one is very girly and very fabulous! Go and check it out!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kid and Crowds: The Neighborhood

I vividly remember getting lost in a crowded mall at the age of 4. At the top of the escalators, with my hand in my moms, I realized I had left my prized $1.00 spending money on the back of the Nordstrom’s toilet. Before thinking twice I unlatched my hand from my mom’s, sprinted back up the escalator and straight for the restroom. Only, with all the crowds, I quickly became turned around. Which way was the bathroom? Would I ever see my $1.00 again? Where is my mom now?...

Read more over at The Neighborhood!...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life Jacket Guide: The Neighborhood

Is anyone else ecstatic about the summer weather like me!? Seriously I am delighted that I wrote a post for The Neighborhood all about the best life jackets for your family and the best way to use them. Know why? Because it's warm enough to use them! It's time for boating and surfing and laying by the pool. So check out my life jacket tips and hit the waves!

Friday, May 17, 2013

4 on Friday: iPhone Photos Update

1| Ever since the weather went from 40 degrees to 90 degrees (literally over night...subtlety has never been Utah's best attribute) we have found any and every excuse to venture outside. flower beds are pristine and 100% weed-free. Our grass is mowed and luscious. While we yard-work Liam carries around a hand shovel and yells at the dog. Hikes have also been a huge part of our weeknights and weekends. This particular shot is from a hike up in Alpine, UT. It was stunning...breathtaking. Summer has arrived.

2| Lately I have been spending a couple nights a week partying without Liam. When I say partying I mean going out to sushi and movies-like all the crazy party-ers do. One night when we were out Liam fell asleep in his highchair, which is a huge deal. I mean, this kid hardly ever falls asleep in a cozy comfy bed without a boob in his mouth. Never mind sitting up in a hard chair with strawberry cream cheese in his eyebrows.

3| Mom on the go...busy as ever. Liam is a fan of errands so long as he's stuffing his face with string cheese and cookies. I, on the other hand, have been cutting desserts out of my diet for 2 months now. Once or twice a week I slip up or splurge on a brownie or Nutella, but I am doing pretty good. This shot makes it look like I am thinning out, but I think it is mostly the Instagram filter.

4| This week Clint and my marriage turned 4. The last year has been my favorite, although they all were great. We celebrated with dinner and a trip to the Mummies of the World exhibit because nothing fosters romance like 2,000-year-old bodies. Just spending time with him was special enough.

Happy Friday!

Now for some links....
Power to the women (and men in skirts):

Kite cake toppers! Bless my soul.
Beautiful downloads to buy and frame!
I am making this mini animal busts. Stat.
From my Pinterest:
A cot so stylish you wont want to sleep on it.
A vintage trailer that is soooo inspiring!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Veggie Stamp DIY!

Today's DIY craft makes me so excited I could do a little jig. Seriously. And it's soooooo easy, fun to do with your kids, and requires potatoes. Plus it's patriotic (go America!) and cheeeeeeap. It was so fun I was kinda wishing Liam was a little older and could do it with me (but only kinda...would you slow down the growing Liam, please). Alright, enough nonsense. Let's dive right into the crafty crap!

- Craft paint in the colors that make you swoon
- A piece of material (or paper even). I chose a canvas-like material.
- Veggies (potatoes and carrots made the most sense to me)


1| Cut a shape into your veggie. For the carrots I just cut off the rounded edges to make them into squares and triangles. For the potatoes I cut them in half, then traced a triangle about 1/4" deep into the flat area of the cut potato. Then I turned my knife parallel to the flat area and shaved away the edges, revealing a shape!

2| Next, I taped out my map design on my fabric. I printed off a map, cut it out, and traced it with tape onto my canvas.

3| Dip your potato or carrot into your paint, making sure to cover the whole shape surface.

 4| And stamp it onto your canvas! It took me about an hour to stamp my entire map area and about 2 hours for it to dry completely. It was worth the wait!

5| Finally...peel off your tape outline to reveal your fabulous geometric design!

What I love most about this project is that it is a great way to bring some bright color to your home. I am planning on framing this sucker and hanging it in my craft room. The geometric design looks really fresh and fun, but is also super easy to recreate. You don't even have to be crafty to stamp with veggies! Send me pictures of your veggie stamp creations!

P.S. Thanks for the encouraging words from yesterday's post!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Work hard. Be fierce. Take naps.

I became consciously aware that I was taking a week off from blogging last Thursday. The fact that I didn't notice on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday really solidified that I was probably too busy and unfocused to blog anyways. Yes last Thursday I sat in my craft room, looked at my camera and then my laptop and exhaled "We need a break. We'll start fresh next week." I mean, of course I had 1,782 other projects simultaneously in the works. As always. But having one less thing-1,782 instead of 1,783-made the difference. Left just enough space in my mind to ponder where I want to be and what I want to be. In the back of my mind I probed: What do I love about me? What changes do I want to make?

Work hard.
I am a hard worker. If nothing else, at the end of any given day I can hold my chin up high and say I worked hard and played hard and squeezed every last bit of juice out of my day. This trait and habit seems so foundational to the person I am and want to be. Every grade, photo, story are all bits of my work, and where talent fails, hard work steps in. You say, "I can do hard things" and I say, "If you work hard". And I kind of love this aspect of life. I feel like working hard is the little miracle given to us to help us make up the difference. Olympian's have natural talent for sure, but hard work fills the gap between great and best in the world. Hard work is my security blanket. I know I can count on hard work to see me through.

Be fierce.
I want to attack life. You know?...really jump into it with both feet. I want to take risks, and not just the small ones, but the big ones. I want to embrace my heartfelt and intense passion for life like it's my everything and I don't want feel complacent. Being fierce is about being aggressive. Not letting life just happen to you, but molding life into the adventure you want is to be. I think it takes a great deal of bravery and fierceness to actually live the life you dream of living. Last week I decided I can't just talk about my passionate life. I am going to go ahead and live it.

Take naps. 
Literally, it's okay to skip a few things you "have to do" and just sleep instead. Skip a week of blogging. Don't do laundry. I desire more metaphorical naps as well. More vacations and long walks. Taking naps from crossing things off lists and use that time to develop talents and indulge in a good book. Taking naps is also about taking breaks. Breaks from working and being fierce and breaks from people, especially the people who drain you. My single favorite part of graduating from high school was that I no longer was forced be around toxic people. Being a kind a cordial person is at the center of my personal goals, but I think there is something self-healing about distancing yourself from people who make you feel drained. There are plenty of people who suck the life out of life and I don't really need to spend my naps with them.

So after a good long week away from this blog of mine, I came to the conclusion that if I really wanted this to last and I really wanted to find joy in life I needed to keep working hard (I mean really really hard), live the hell out of life, and throw in a few breaks. Nothing revolutionary but insightful nonetheless. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Trim your window! Maintain your bike! Help your babysitter!

Hello friends! I know, I know...I have gone hiatus lately-which is 100% due to being overwhelmed-but I'll share more of that on Monday! Soooo I have some exciting news! I trimmed out the window in our front room! Which is huge news really. It turned out fabulous and you can read more about it at And Then We Saved!

But wait...there's more!

I got a little help from my sweet and patient husband on THIS POST. It's all about bike maintenance for The Neighborhood, and let me tell you Clint is all about the bike maintaining, so it's an informative read for sure!

and...the party isn't over yet. You may be interested in my other The Neighborhood post with a FREE BABYSITTER GUIDE PRINTABLE (I put that in all caps to express my excitement. Did you get it?)

So have a fabulous Saturday and a positively wonderful Mother's Day and I'll see you back Monday where shiz is going to get real. people. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

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Cinco de Mayo DIY Cup Lights!

I am all about celebrating the little holidays around here. I mean, I don't go all crazy and decorate every room in math symbols and nerd glasses for Pi Day, but I will throw together a couple crafts in the name of DIY. Cinco de Mayo seems like an important enough holiday to commemorate. It feels like a holiday that brings us together. In the spirit of celebrating Mexican heritage in America we come together for tacos and drinks (like sprite and lemonade, of course), which seems like an important thing to do. While pulling out the glue gun for Groundhog Day is necessary, I have yet to perfect the art of freezing time and therefor have to limit some of my crafting to the simple and super quick. So here is my little Cinco de Mayo 10 minute craft. It literally takes 10 to 30 minutes so you will have it done in plenty of time to enjoy margaritas kool aid and some guacamole this 5th of May!


- Styrofoam cups
- Light strand
- Paint
- Glue
- Glitter (of course...I just can't call a craft done until I add excessive amounts of glitter)


1| Paint those cups! You can pick any variety of colors you want and paint as many cups as you want (so long as there are enough lights on you strand for all of them). Easy peasy.


2| Dip the top rim of you painted cups in white craft glue. Make sure the whole rim is covered in glue in insure complete glitter coverage (critical to the success of your craft). 

3| Dip the cup in glitter, hey! Dip the cup in glitter, hey! Dip the cup in glitter, hey! (must sing those words like you are doing a conga line-this is a party after all)

4| Cut a hole in the bottom of your cup and stick it on a light strand. Then enjoy!

 And I paticularly loved they way they lit up the night :)