Monday, May 28, 2007

Furniture Woes, or A Call For Help

We have inherited some new furniture and need to use them in the boys room. Besides this chest of drawers and dresser w/ mirror, there are 2 matching nightstands. If we had girls I'd use them as they are. But they sure don't seem very boyish to me and I'm looking for a solution, hopefully without involving too much money, time, or effort - although I'm willing to put in a little of each. Please help!

Friday, May 25, 2007

And the Wedding Bells Ring

Sorry I've been MIA - I'm in Kansas for my girlfriend's wedding. Michelle Vogt married Randy Bradford May 24, 2007 in the Nauvoo, Illinois temple. So wonderful! Will post more when I return.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

MMSM - '80s Fads

This post gets a lots of hits from Google Searches.
For more of my thoughts on fashion, click here.

My friend, Shannon, is hosting a weekly blog carnival called "Makes Me Smile Mondays" or MMSM. Check out her blog, What About Mom? for details or to join in. This week is devoted to Fabulous Fads of the '80s.

As much as I hate to pick a fad so close to Shannon’s pegged pants, the first ‘80s fad that came to mind was parachute pants. I probably think of this because at age 13 (’89) I fell in love with an older man. He was 18 and getting ready to go on a mission. He was the most popular boy in our ward; the best dresser & the best dancer. And naturally he wore parachute pants. With crazy patterns. And pegged legs. With white high top tennis shoes. You can see why I was so struck. I know that parachute pants were originally a little different, made out of nylon and usually solid colors. But I’m talking about the MC Hammer kind. For me this fad will forever be tied to my first love. TRB ♥s RJP Forever. Or at least for a few years.

I clicked on Shannon’s wikipedia link for ‘80s fads and almost decided to write about Garbage Pail Kids instead. In 5th grade (’87) I collected these cards and spent most of my recesses trading with other kids. This in the same year I met Lindsay and started attending ELP – where I cemented some lifelong friendships.

The ‘80s were so awesome! This site is fun too.

Cool Design Blogs

In conjunction (sort of) with my last post I wanted to link to some of the sites I have found that create/showcase/inspire good design. Many of these are linked to each other and I just found them randomly, by clicking on links on other blogs. I love to check out the pretty things and am often find inspiration for a project I'm working on. Like that baby shower I'm still having next month - or a new digital scrap page. Or just something nice. Please comment if to share your own finds of great blogs in this vein.

A Little Sussy - like my lucky magazine (but every day), showing off her favorite find
print & pattern - a bright spot of color
marta - she even has her own craft store through blogger. cool entertaining stuff and marta hosted a gift swap, read about it in this post.
Oh Happy Day - she says it all in her tagline, "updated daily with pretty things." I love her graphic.
Heather Bailly - a fabric designer - she does lots of cool crafty stuff
Oh Joy - a new blog I found, I've only gone there a couple times but love it
Design Mom -
Holly's Plate -

okay, okay - I'm gonna stop now. I just keep finding more and more now that I'm looking. It's addicting and the last thing I need is to be spending more money - even if it's on well-designed things.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking, or OCD

Tara thinks...

she is a tiny bit obsessive compulsive. Why else would I discover a cool thing and decide I need to stay up into the wee hours several nights in a row downloading free stuff from the internet. I think I want to be a designer. Although I love chemistry (my major) I think I would have really enjoyed graphic design too. I'm not as much into crafty stuff, but I love patterns, logos, cool websites, etc. Some of the blogs I look at include digital scrapbook pages, rather than just pictures and they are really cute. So I decided I should do it too and investigated sites with free downloads. And then I couldn't stop. I have Adobe Photoshop and have been using it to create a few pages and the invite for Emmett's b-day party last week. But it takes a really long time and I'm not sure I'll be up for using it for all my pictures. Okay, positive. But maybe a few cute pages here and there. And invitations, announcements and such. Here's the first one I tried out - just to get in the swing of things.

Here are some websites I found that had lots of free downloads. I am always looking for more so please comment if you have favorites.

I am also keeping my eyes open for sites with good tutorials for using Photoshop. I'm still learning lots.

I've decided instead of making scrapbook pages I will design papers/embellishments/fonts and the like, sell my designs and make millions. I am not deterred by the fact that these things sell for like $2 each.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

MMSM - Mothers

My friend, Shannon, is hosting a weekly blog carnival called "Makes Me Smile Mondays" or MMSM. Check out her blog, What About Mom? for details or to join in. This first week is devoted to Mothers. It was hard to choose only one story about my mother, Sandee. I love you, Mom!

I have been blessed in this life with a wonderful mother who puts the needs of her husband and children above her own. Now that I have become a mother, I find myself wanting to be like her because my children deserve that same kind of selfless love. I have a long way to go, but I find myself instinctively duplicating some of my memories.

While I was growing up, my sweet mother made breakfast every weekday morning. But not just any breakfast, we had a schedule. Mondays were eggs, Tuesdays were French toast, Wednesdays were hot cereal, Thursdays were cold cereal (her work day), and Fridays were waffles – the favorite. Don’t forget Dad’s pancakes on Sundays. This probably answers a lot of questions about my love of breakfast. I try to provide the same delicious breakfasts for my boys. But growing up in my house did lead to one interesting habit that I hope to pass on to my children too.

My first year of college I realized there was a big difference between me and all my roommates. When I eat cold cereal, I pour my milk in first. Gasp! This is how my grandmother does it; this is how my mother does it; and naturally all her daughters do it that way too. While at least one of my sisters chose to break tradition to fit in with the rest of the world, I have always been proud of this little quirk that links me to my mother. And every time someone exclaims over my odd habit, it makes me smile and feel a little bit closer to my mom.

My Own Thoughts on Women's Conference

I have been wanting to write down some of my own thoughts from BYU Women’s Conference. As Lindsay and I were choosing classes I thought about what I wanted to get out of this experience and what I would like to work on in my own life. At the risk of sharing some of my private thoughts, I have been pondering my marriage lately. Aaron and I have a pretty good marriage; I don’t think either of us has any serious complaints. But I have been feeling strongly lately about strengthening this pretty good marriage and nurturing it into more of the eternal relationship I know it can become. We are cruising happily along without any serious hardships in life but we will probably run into major trials someday; that is why we are here on earth. When the hard times come, I know we can get through them together – but if we are more tightly knit to each other and the Lord – it will be much easier to endure and learn from these trials.

I attended a conference session entitled Establishing and Building Eternal Marriages, taught by Allison and David Warner. Never having heard of these people, I was very impressed with the insights they gave on this most sacred relationship. I wish I had taken notes, or that the transcript was available, but I certainly left with a renewed vow to build up my marriage. This couple seemed very tender to each other and held each other’s needs above all others. I have a hard time with this because I am usually so selfish, and because I get so caught up with the kids and their more immediate, pressing needs. Even in the conference sessions I attended on other subjects, I kept my spiritual ears open to applications for my marriage and of course there were many.

Having decided to strengthen my union, there is no question of, “What should I do?” I can list dozens of things I can work on and ways to improve. It just takes my own effort to begin. So for now I will work on being more selfless and trying to connect more with Aaron. Sometimes it all starts with putting my book down or stepping away from the computer when he is talking to me, rather than only listening half way. By small and simple things…

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Much Anticipated Lip Product Debate

At long last! My favorite lip products. I am obsessed with finding the perfect chapstick/lip balm/lip tint. It should keep me moisturized, have just the right amount of shine, last all day, and come in several flattering colors. A tall order I know - I just keep looking and that's half the fun. There are so many products out there and while I obviously haven't tried them all, I've tried more than most people so here is my list.

Avon Care Deeply Lip Balm. In my opinion the best all purpose chapstick around. I've been using it for 15 years, get 10-15 in my stocking every year, and keep one in every bag and most rooms of the house. If they made it in tinted form I'd be set - but it's great over lip stains and such. $1 from or your friendly neighborhood Avon lady

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers. I know this is a favorite of many but it has peppermint or something in it and is just a bit strong for me. I could probably get used to it if I perservered. I didn't like the first color (nutmeg) I had as much as the second (rhubarb). About $4 everywhere Burt's Bees is sold (like everywhere nowadays)

Savannah Bee Company Beeswax Lip Tint in Blackberry. The comes awfully close to being perfect. Yummy scent, great chapstick feel, good color, but doesn't stay on as long as I would like (just like chapstick). Comes in 3 other colors too, (I own them all), but I like blackberry best. $5 at Bath and Body Works

Loreal Colour Juice Stick. This is just plain old lipstick, but it feels like very soft and wonderful chapstick. Hence my love for it. I've always been a fan of Loreal cosmetics and skin care. Unfortunately I don't wear mine much because I don't like the color I picked, sweet papaya, too bright pink. I need to get another one soon. $9.50 everywhere, but I'll wait for my grocery store to have it half off

Almay hydracolor. I saw ads for this in dozens of magazines and finally tried it since it's cheap. Still a lipstick to me but truly hydrated. Your lips feel like they are wet, nice and cooling for summer. And since it's a lipstick it lasts longer than chapstick. Not kiss proof. Like $3.50 on sale at my grocery store.

Aloe Lips by Sarah Cosmetics. This one has a pretty funny story involving Aaron's grandmother, which I won't tell. This lip product looks like the cheapest dime store stuff you can find, is housed in a plastic black and clear case, and come in crazy colors like green and blue - mine is gold. But they are color changing lipsticks, which means what you see is not what you get. Harder to find a shade, but supposedly they adapt to you and your coloring. I can attest that it looked much different on Grandma than on me. And the miracle of this stuff is that it lasts like all day long. I can apply chapstick over it for moisture. I have been wanting to order another color from their website but am stymied by how to choose a color. $5 for the plastic case or $12 for the fancy, 2 tone aluminum tube (don't forget the shipping, which was over $5) I might ask Aaron's aunt in Texas to get some more for me to save on shipping.

Neutrogena MoistureShine Soothing LipSheers. Another frequently advertised product. I like the SPF 20, sheer color, and the hint of sparkle (seriously just a hint). I am pleased with my shade choice, which I can't share since I can't find mine. They are lighter than you think. They have a cool, peppermint flavor - which I like tons better than the Burt's Bees, not as strong.

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint. This is the only lip gloss I'm going to include because I like the mint (for fresh breath they say), the sheer color, the not-too-bad stickiness, and the price ($5). Available at Bath & Body Works.

I have been wanting to try the following products, please comment if you know anything about them:

Neutrogena Moisture MoistureShine Tinted Lip Balm. What's with the super long names for Neutrogena? SPF 20 $6.50

Kiehls Lip Balm with SPF 15. Love the sunscreen. Wonder if this is really balm, as it comes in a squeeze tube. $8.50

Revlon Colorstay Soft & Smooth Lipcolor. I love soft and smooth - plus it supposedly stay on for hours and hours due to SoftFlex TM. $10 but I've read great reviews of it.

Clinique Superbalm Tinted Lip Treatment. Another balm in a squeeze tube, hmmmmm? Pricier at $11.50 I usually like Estee Lauder better than Clinique, but Shannon tells me they are the same company.

Propoline Lip Aid by Apivita (carried at B&BW, $5.50). I tried this in the store and liked it - will probably buy one of the 3 colors before too long.

I can't freaking believe how many hours I have spent on this post. These companies should be paying me to endorse their stuff! Please leave a comment on these products or others that you love.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Pedicure on the Cheap

Tara thinks...
every woman should be able to get manicures and pedicures weekly, or at least monthly. This is way far from reality for me but I do splurge on a pedicure once or twice a year. I wanted to get one on my vacation to Utah but it never happened. And my fingernails have been super awful lately. But now that I'm back home I vowed to find a few minutes to do something about the fact that I can hardly get myself or the boys dressed without snagging the clothes with my raggedy nails. A bunch of trimming and filing makes a huge difference, but the crowning glory is...
Sally Hansen Natural Shine Instant Nail Finish in pink.
I read a funny editor's review of this in Lucky and couldn't wait to try it myself. I can't keep polish on my fingernails for more than 2 hours so this is the perfect product for me. It's easy to apply, dries in seconds, and doesn't chip - just kind of fades off in about a week. It comes in neutral and pink, which I recommend because even then you can't see much color. You just get great shiny nails that look all polished and buffed!
Stay tuned for my much anticipated post on the merits of tinted lip balm and the like. If I hear one word from my more high-brow friends (you know who you are) making fun of my love of beauty products, I swear I'll make you go shopping with me soon. Not everyone can fill their blog with discussions of current events, controversial subjects, and spiritual enlightenment. Some of us are just here for fun!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

BYU Women's Conference

I am pleased to present my first guest blogger, Lindsay Humble Moore. Lindsay is one of my oldest friends and the hostest with the mostest who took in my whole family for 6 nights this week! I wanted to write some of my own thoughts on the conference but was too lazy while I'm on vacation, so Lindsay did it for me. Yeah!

I’m honored to be writing Tara’s first guest blog! She asked me to write about our experience at Women’s Conference this year, and what an experience it was. It’s just amazing to be in the company of so many women, all united by their membership in the Church and their desire to learn more about the Gospel.

The theme of the conference came from Esther 4:14, “Thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” The focus was on each of us being the right person, in the right place at the right time. Here are some of the highlights:

The new Relief Society General Presidency introduced themselves and spoke on the topic, “The Errand of Angels is Given to Women.” You are going to love these ladies! They each have such unique backgrounds and talents, and such great personalities. Sister Thompson was particularly memorable. A fairly rotund woman, her first words to the world in her new calling were, “To those of you viewing me on the big screen, I’m the same size live and in person.” She kept us laughing . . . then crying, then laughing. In her own way, each of the women made clear why they’ve been called to serve in the Presidency. Prepare to be inspired by these wonderful women.

Another presentation was entitled, “Let Us Cheerfully Do All Things in Our Power,” taken from D&C 123:17. The fact that those words were written by Joseph Smith from Liberty Jail is inspiring enough, but the speakers gave a lot of practical advice to help individuals and families live more cheerfully – with gladness, joy, hope and love. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on lately, so it was good for me.

Finally, the conference closed with Elder and Sister Holland speaking together to the women of the Church, encouraging us to give ourselves credit for the good we do, recognize our potential, and follow the promptings of the Spirit so that we can do the work the Lord has for each of us “in such a time as this.” Their love for the women of the Church was so powerful, as was the apostolic blessing bestowed on all of us by Elder Holland.

I will admit, as inspiring as the conference was, what I really wanted to hear was an Oprah-style announcement that would solve all of my problems much more easily than applying Gospel principles. Something like, “And all of you will receive a maid! And an on-call babysitter! You will have an hour to yourself every day just to pray and read scriptures!” Even after the Hollands’ talk, I actually left the conference feeling a little overwhelmed -- so many things to work on, and such limited time and energy. Hopefully I’ll find time to do a little more study on the topics covered by the conference and gain more of the inspiration I need.

You can receive your own inspiration by watching selected sessions of this year’s Women’s Conference May 18 and 19 on the BYU Channel. Check your local listings!

p.s. Several service projects were ongoing throughout the conference and on the second morning the director reported the service that had been completed just in the first day. It was unbelievable. As the seemingly endless list of projects was announced, and the huge numbers reported -- 20,000 newborn kits and 25,000 hygiene kits, just for starters – the tears started. It was really touching to consider all the good these women had done in such a short time, and the service the women of the Church perform throughout the world. The committee that spent months preparing service project materials got a long, well-deserved standing ovation in a packed Marriot Center.