Arlington National Cemetery

I don’t know where to begin this post – but I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to volunteer and help place wreaths to honor some of our American heroes at Arlington National Cemetery this morning. I didn’t expect to get emotional and went into thinking it would just be a “cool” experience…but I found myself with tears in my eyes on more than one occasion. It was an incredible experience. I am so grateful for all the men and women who have served, are serving, and have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Thank you will never be enough.



Anthony’s Birthday in D.C.

Most people already know that we are temporarily in Washington D.C. for Anthony’s work – and most people have stopped trying to keep up since we are always all over the place. I don’t blame them at all 😉

Since Anthony’s birthday fell on Saturday this year and since he has never been to Washington D.C. we decided that it would be fun to do a little exploring and see some of the sites he has always wanted to see. We didn’t end up heading downtown until later in the afternoon, so we were there at sunset and let me tell you…it was beautifulthat night (and I didn’t get a single photo of it)!! We had so much fun seeing the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, The White House, and the National Archives. There is so much more to see so we are definitely planning on spending a couple more Saturdays enjoying what D.C. has to offer! I, of course, took some photos of our evening so if that’s all you came for, look no further.













And this is the only photo we got of The White House…a good old iPhone pic.


Also here are some bonus photos of my failed attempt to be cute throwing leaves:

We have really fallen in love with this city and will be so sad when it’s time to go – but for now, we’ll just enjoy the time we have here!



5 years & Tibble Fork Reservoir

I decided to finally post again with a little life update and some random thoughts. (lots of pictures at the end, if you don’t feel like reading haha)

Anthony and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary this last week and I still can’t believe its been 5 years! I know it may not seem like a lot to those of you that have been married much longer, but we felt like it was kind of a milestone year. It was also kind of a weird year – I’ll explain that later. I feel like we always choose to have a low key anniversary celebration and every year I am totally ok with that. This year Anthony showed up to pick me up from work a little early and we went to the temple together (if you are not familiar with LDS Temples, you can click here to learn more). Afterwards we went to one of our favorite places to eat and then went home to polish off the rest of the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream we had in the freezer. It was nice and simple.

Now the “weirdness” that came with celebrating 5 years mostly stemmed from my own expectations. I always imagined that by our 5 year wedding anniversary we would have at least one kid, maybe a 2nd on the way. But I’ve learned many times that life rarely goes the way we want it to, and you know what? That’s ok! There are always going to be bumps in the road, obstacles to overcome, and lessons to be learned…and man, am I learning that patience means so much more than waiting in a long grocery line or anxiously waiting for a much anticipated call/package/etc. I would not be as sane as I am (most of the time ;)) without the man who promised me an eternity together 5 years ago. I can honestly look back on the last 5 years, even with all the ups and downs, and be grateful for the time that we have had, just the two of us. I wouldn’t trade these years together for anything. We have learned so much about each other, our relationship, and ourselves – both of us have been stretched out of our comfort zones and changed for the better. We aren’t perfect (shocker, I know) and still have a lot to learn, but I am grateful for the foundation that we have been able to build for the many anniversaries ahead of us.

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On Friday we went up to Tibble Fork Reservoir with the dogs to hang out and spend some time up in the mountains. We haven’t been up there as much as we had hoped this summer, so it was a nice little adventure. The dogs L-O-V-E swimming so they were pretty much in heaven…the people they would shake off next too, not so much. Whoops.

Now the best part, the photos 😉 Anthony hates being in pics (but he makes a good Instagram Husband haha) so all you get are pictures of me and the dogs…



California Weekend

Two weeks ago Anthony and I flew out to San Diego to spend time with family and attend his uncles wedding. It was a short trip, but much needed!! We stayed at my parents house, went for walks on the beach, spent time with my nephews, and ate lots of good food.

One of the many highlights was going to the fair (obviously) that I grew up going to every summer and that Anthony and I went to almost every night when we were dating. It has been at least 3 years since we last went so it was good to be back among the sketchy rides, greasy food, and best people watching in San Diego!

Most (ok, pretty much all) of these photos are from the fair since we were busy just enjoying time with our families the rest of the weekend!

early-ish walk to/on the beach one day



maple bacon doughnut the size of your face


Can’t even express how excited I was that Dan + Shay were performing FOR FREE the night we happened to be there.



no trip to the fair is complete without an ice cream cone
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pretty much the only photo we have from the wedding on Saturday

Thanks for stopping by (and making it all the way to the bottom of my random fair photo post)!





Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Why have I not heard of Bloglovin’ before?! It’s amazing. If you love to follow other blogs as much as I do (this is seriously how I find most of my recipes!!) then you need to sign up ASAP. It’s easy to navigate and has such a clean feel to it – it’s like pinterest, but just for bloggers!

I am so excited that MY blog is now a part of such a fun website, if you go check it out, let me know what you think!

“Are you making one of those in an adult size?”

One of our dear friends is having baby boy #2 this month and I am so excited to meet this new babe! She had her baby shower yesterday and it was really fun spending the morning celebrating their growing family.

I decided that I wanted to give them something that could grow with their little guy well into toddler-hood and this cozy little blanket was the first thing that came to mind. This was only my second time making one of these blankets (the first time was 4 years ago haha) so I would not call myself a pro at all…trust me, there are plenty of lines that are not super straight, I had to redo things a couple of times, and I even called my mom at 10:30 one night because I could not figure out what was wrong with my sewing machine (the thread was getting all sorts of messed up while sewing and I had to rip the stitches out 3 times). But I still found the whole process fun, frustrations and all. Overall, this is a pretty easy project, it just takes patience (especially when you are still a beginner).

Also, I never (ever) in a million years thought I would enjoy sewing baby blankets for fun, but here I am!

If you want the directions for how to make this, I used this link for the first part and this link for the edges. Let me know if you decide to give it a shot! I would love to see how yours turns out!

P.S. Anthony kept coming over the whole time I was sewing to touch it and ask if I was making an adult size blanket for him because the fabric was so soft hahaha. Hence the title of this blog 😉

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?


Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Picture from here
Picture from here
Picture from here
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Picture from here
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Someone asked me this a few weeks ago and it really made me stop and think. In ten years I will be 36. That seems old to me since I don’t feel 26 at all. I am still surprised sometimes when I have to tell someone my age or write it down. I feel like I’m still 19. But does that ever really change?!

Anyway, that one question led to this post…and if you want to know where I would like to be in ten years, just keep reading.

Growing up, I always wanted to live in a city; there’s so much to do and see, it’s fun for people to come visit you, and you are close to everything. My dad used to tell me that I was going to live in Colorado out in the country with lots of animals and kids. hahaha. I used to roll my eyes and say “yeah right, that sounds horrible.”

Well, I guess it’s true that things change as you get older because I tell Anthony 3 times a week that I want to live in the south (it’s not Colorado, buuut same idea), out in the country with lots of animals and kids. All I want to hear are the sounds of nature coming in through the windows. I want a porch swing, open fields, and a garden. I want a quiet life, away from the hustle and bustle of the city I always thought I would live in. I want to hear laughter throughout our home and watch my kids grow up exploring, appreciating, and enjoying nature.

I know that life won’t be as wonderful as that daydream sounds. There will be arguments, kids whining/crying/fighting, messes to clean, animals escaping, and all sorts of things that life may throw at us. But that is ok. Life isn’t perfect and that’s how we learn and grow. It is still fun to think/talk about together and make (tentative) plans for the future.

Also, don’t worry, we aren’t moving anytime soon. I just thought I would share some of my thoughts that stemmed from that seemingly simple question. Once Anthony gets closer to finishing school then we can seriously consider moving 😉


What about you?? What dreams do you have for your future? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

BBQ Turkey Meatloaf (with a twist!)

My sister sent me this recipe a couple of months ago and I was a little skeptical because of what was in it, but I decided to give it a try anyway…

Anthony took the first bite and his reaction was so fast that it startled me. Then he kept saying how good it was between every bite. hahaha. His reaction to a good recipe kills me every time. He’s been through some pretty epic kitchen fails with me so when I find something that I can’t mess up and he loves, it turns into a regular dish around here! Just ask him about the parmesan chicken I made him once in Hawaii – it was so disgusting but he still forced himself to eat the whole thing. #marriage

Anyway, if you like BBQ sauce, meat, and cheese you will love this recipe. Promise. There is even a sweet potato added in there for added nutrients 😉

What you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small sweet potato, shredded (about 3/4 cup shredded sweet potato)
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (94%)
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup italian style panko breadcrumbs (or use gluten free breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons low sugar bbq sauce (I like Stubb’s)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz sliced sharp cheddar cheese (or ½ cup shredded cheddar)
  • For the topping:
  • 1/3 cup low sugar bbq sauce
  • Optional: Cilantro, for garnish


Throw all the spices, egg, some bbq sauce, breadcrumbs, and garlic in a bowl (if you are using onion that goes in too! I just didn’t have an onion on hand tonight)


Let your shredded sweet potato simmer on medium/low heat for 6 minutes or so.
Then add the meat and sweet potato to the bowl of spices and mix all together. I use me hands because it is easiest, even thought raw meat kind of grosses me out.
Then on a lined baking sheet make a rectangle with a little less than half of the meat mixture.
Add cheese! Be sure to leave some space around the edges.
Add the rest of the meat to the top and be sure to seal the edges so you don’t lose all the cheese as it cooks. 
Spread some BBQ sauce on top and pop it in the oven at 375 for an hour.

I had never made meatloaf before this because it wasn’t really something I loved eating. I didn’t realize just how easy it is to make though! If you want full, detailed instructions on how to make this, you can find them here! Also, I forgot to get a picture of the finished product because we were too excited to dig in. But that’s ok because taking pictures of meat (and making it look tasty) is actually not my strong point. If you couldn’t tell. haha.

I would love to hear if you try this and what you thought, so be sure to leave a comment. Also, what are some of your favorite dinner recipes? I am always looking for quick, tasty, recipes to try, so please share!



I don’t know a ton about makeup or skin care. I am still learning and finding what products I love and what works/doesn’t work for me, but I have found a few products that I love and I thought it would be fun to share them with you.

I have probably gone through at least 6 foundations (I used to not even wear it at all because I was scared of it), countless mascaras, too many face washes, etc. You get the point. I’m definitely not a pro, but I have done a lot of testing and experimenting with different products. My skin is pretty sensitive so finding stuff that doesn’t irritate it can be a little tricky. Especially when I am putting it on my face every. single. day.

For me, one of the keys to feeling confident is having clear skin. Which means sticking to the basics and not using a ton of products as part of my every day routine. These four products are my favorite for every day use; from keeping my face clean to creating the “foundation” for the rest of my makeup.



Almay Smart Shade Primer

I have tried a lot of primers (including expensive ones) and have been using this one for 2 weeks. So far, so good! The lavender is to even out and brighten your skin tone and the green is to help reduce redness. I have really loved how well it keeps my makeup on all day and doesn’t irritate my skin. I will say this though, it does smell a little funky. It’s a very faint smell (that goes away quickly) but it’s better than having a bunch of fragrance added to it that makes your skin breakout. At least that’s my opinion!


Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear foundation

You guys…this stuff! I switched from my MAC foundation to this and I love it! It is advertised as a tone correcting foundation that also moisturizes all day. After about a month of using it, I definitely notice a difference in my skin tone when I don’t have any makeup on. Also, I have always had really dry skin and foundations have been kind of a nightmare in the past because they make my dry skin even worse. So if you are looking for something to moisturize and correct, definitely give this a try. Bonus: it’s only $15, great coverage, and feels lightweight.

At night I use these before bed:



Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin facial cleansing towelettes

I totally used to be one of those people who thought it was disgusting to use makeup wipes and not wash your face twice a day. Little did I know that it is actually possible to wash your face too much causing your skin to actually break out more. So now I use these wipes at night and just use water on my face in the morning. Now, I still have breakouts sometimes, but over all my skin is SO much better than it was. I really love these wipes because they are gentle but still get alllll your makeup off. I mean, they are one of the only things I subscribe to on Amazon. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.


Coconut Oil

This last one always throws people off, but I will put a little bit of coconut oil on my face at night (mainly on the dry areas) before bed. I also use it to take off my eye makeup and it is fantastic. No goopy mess like vaseline and its all natural so it’s ok if it gets in your eyes! Oh, and can I just say, holy moisturizing! If you have dry skin like me, this is your new best friend (along with the foundation above). I have tried night creams and as far as moisturizing goes, nothing has come close. Maybe I am using the wrong products, but that’s ok because I love that coconut oil is all natural and safe to use. Oh and one more thing – did I mention that it also helps with breakouts?! Coconut oil has some antibacterial properties and again, I can testify that it works!! I’m always shocked when people have no idea how great this stuff is because it is seriously awesome.


At the end of the day, you have to find what works for you. A great primer/foundation combo make a huge difference in how your makeup looks and stays all day but having a fresh & clean face matters just as much (probably even more)! I would love to hear what you use in your day to day routine! Have you tried any of these?? What did you think?




Vander Hoek Reception




I have never done wedding photos (and I only did the reception for my sister), but I kind of loved it! Our wedding and reception photos are some of my favorites to look back on, so I was excited to capture moments/details that they would love looking back on as well. It was such a beautiful day, everything went so smoothly, and Harper looked absolutely gorgeous! My mom was a champ at pulling everything together (planning a wedding in another state is no joke – thank goodness for amazing mothers) and making all of Harper’s ideas come to life. I just love weddings (I probably told Anthony that 15 times throughout the day) and it was so much fun having everyone together – I can’t wait for the next one in the fam 😉

(^ I am definitely going to get crap for that comment hahaha)

I hope everyone is having a safe and relaxing weekend!