DIY Mobile

Darling bird mobile, eh? If we were having a girl, I'd totally attempt this DIY project.
Find the tutorial and pattern here. (Pattern is on the left.)

I think Jack's room needs a mobile. Something interesting for him to look at, you know? It would get awfully boring staring at the ceiling all the time. :) Instead of the one above, I think I'm going to try my skills at a pinwheel mobile I found on Etsy. Cute, eh?
image via mamax2


I'm a HUGE fan of DwellStudio's kid books. They beautifully bridge the gap between modern design and being kid-friendly.
With a graphic designer as a mother, our kids will most definitely come to loathe Comic Sans as much as I do. It's never too early to encourage good design with your kids!

Wooden Baby Toys

I'm fascinated with vintage wooden baby toys. I truly can't get enough of them!
I've started combing TJ Maxx and Home Goods for cheap sets, and have collected a few. My mom has also been a great help. I think I'll also try Ebay for some old grandma selling her old toys.

image via littlealouette

But friends, today I spotted this on Etsy. How adorable is this teether?! Little Alouette's shop has dozens of wooden baby toys from dinosaurs to mustaches to rhinos and trees. Not everything has to be flashy and bright - it's nice to find something simple and practical for once.


Super Easy DIY 3-D Letter

Friends, just look at how crafty I am!

I'd been looking for the letter J to hang on baby Jack's wall, but the letter is actually harder to find than expected.  Then I saw a brief tutorial on this blog showing how to make wall letters. It looked easy, I had all of the materials at home, and I had the entire afternoon free! Here are my instructions:

Do-It-Yourself Alphabet Letter
Materials: an empty cereal box or two, masking tape, scissors, ruler, pencil, water, flour, newspaper
Find a font you like and print the letter out. I chose the font ChunkFive. Cut that out and trace two copies onto the cardboard. Cut that out.

Decide the width of your letter. Mine is about 1 3/4" thick. Using your ruler, start at the easiest part and cut the sides out, taping them on with the masking tape as you go. (Basically it's just cutting 1 3/4" strips out of the cardboard and cutting them to the right height. The entire curve is one piece.) Don't be afraid to use a lot of tape!

Make your papier mache by mixing water and flour together. I like mine a little thinner than pancake batter. Whisk it til everything is smooth. Tear small strips of newspaper up.

Begin coating your letter by dipping a strip into the newspaper and smoothing it onto the letter. Don't overlap too much - you want to do just one thin layer at a time so it has a chance to dry. There's nothing worse than a moldy alphabet letter. :)

Once you've made a layer, let it dry completely. I found the fastest, most effective way is to "bake" it in a 170-degree oven for twenty minutes or so. Sunshine also works wonders.

Repeat with a second layer of papier mache, and voila! You are now extremely proud of yourself and have saved $10+ by making it yourself!

Not too shabby, eh? All of my paints and brushes are in Provo, so when we get home in two weeks I'm going to tackle decorating it. It's hard just leaving it be until then...


Two weeks ago, Tyler and I drove down to San Diego and toured the USS Midway Navy ship. Parts of it were really neat, and parts of it were really boring to me. (I think Tyler was fascinated by the whole thing though - especially the planes on the top deck.) 

Look at the beautiful San Diego harbor!

On top of the boat

Playing tug-of-war (not sure who won though...)

Sitting in an ejected seat like Top Gun

Stuck in the Navy ship's jail

There were dozens of cheesy cardboard cutouts everywhere in the ship. Tyler made sure to take a picture with each one!

(note: Tyler's cast is off now! It has been for a week now, and he's been loving it!)


Bah ha ha. Idiots.

 This was mailed to us from the company who managed our last apartment. 

A) they got my name wrong - Tyler does not have a gay husband, and 
B) even though our contract was up at the end of June, they sent us a letter demanding July rent, or evict the premises in 3 days. 

They're idiots.

Ben & Jerry's

My Dad's line of work as a Chevron station owner is usually pretty fun for us kids. Free soda, icees, carwashes...and this time free Ben & Jerry's.

It's not exactly a good thing, but a few weeks ago Dad got a phone call from the station at 2am and the freezer was broken. Because a repairman isn't available at 2 in the morning, all the ice cream melted and other frozen things started thawing out. Luckily he was able to save everything but the ice cream, which meant dozens and dozens of pints to take home! 

The ice cream wasn't perfect (a tiny bit crystally from refreezing it - that's why he couldn't sell it again) but still so so good! I've never had Ben & Jerry's (never wanted to splurge for the good stuff I guess) but many of the flavors are quite tasty!



Today we (as in Mom, Dad, Logan, and I...but unfortunately not Tyler because he is working) are all going to Disneyland. Except for the fact that Logan and Dad had to work so we won't be leaving until 2:30 or 3:00pm. Kind of a joke, really, but the tickets were free so I can't complain.

Because Tyler can't come along, we went to see Inception last night (at the good ol' Krikorian theater in Vista) to make up for it. It really adds to the whole movie-going experience to hear the Krikorian Theme Song and people rhythmically clapping along to it. (There's a specific spot in their theater promo that locals clap to, and it was great to see Tyler's grinning face when he heard it. I used to participate in high school - well, as a matter of fact our generation invented the clapping in the first place.)

Anyway. Inception was AMAZING. No wonder the reviews were so high! I honestly wasn't thrilled about going because I didn't have a clue what the movie was about - the previews are very confusing and don't tell you anything. But man it was so worth 2 1/2 hours of my time. Mind boggling. I must admit though that based on other people's comments about the movie I expected to be more confused and "lost" on the plot than I really was. It was the hardest movie I've ever had to sit through in my entire life because Jack was so dang active the entire time. Usually he's pretty active after 8 or 9pm, but last night was an entirely different story. I'm not kidding you - this kid didn't rest for more than ten seconds! Because of the loud sounds and my heart rate and whatnot, Jack was wiggling more than ever and that made it difficult to sit still and pay attention!

Bottom line: highly recommend Inception. Tyler and I will RARELY see a movie in the "real" theater (we go to the dollar theater), but this is an exception. I'd pay to go see it all over again. (But next time, perhaps earlier in the day so maybe Jack will sleep through it?)



As heard on TV advertising for the show "the REAL housewives":

"I don't need to keep up with the Joneses. I am the Joneses."

I don't know if it's a good or bad thing to sort of wish that were true. Ahaha.


The story behind Jack's middle name

Naming your child is harder than it looks! Tyler and I have been going back and forth on names, and after many suggestions I turned to family history. I knew I didn't just want to "pick" a name I liked - I wanted to learn the story behind the name. It didn't have to be anyone famous, but I didn't want to name Jack after someone we didn't know anything about.

I browsed my mom's family history books and asked stories about my dad's. Nothing inspired me. Now this isn't to say our side of the family isn't cool enough, just nothing struck me this time around. I knew I was looking in the wrong place. (Tyler's dad once told me that he believes a name is extremely important, and has prayed about each and every one of their childrens' names. He told me we'll just know if it's right, and I agree.)

Then we turned to Tyler's genealogy chart (new.familysearch.org) and I browsed his Mom's line. A few lines back, her ancestors in the mid-1800s had the surname of Dalton. I immediately liked that name and felt like I should do more research with that specific family. My sister Courtney suggested googling a name, and most likely someone will have written about him/her. Thus, I googled Edward Dalton and read his entire life history that someone had compiled. Turns out Edward Dalton was the first in Tyler's mom's line to join the church! He brought the entire Dalton line to the gospel of Jesus Christ - how neat is that? Without this conversion, Tyler and I wouldn't be married for time and all eternity.

But it doesn't stop there. Some of my family spent the day in Old Town, San Diego on Tuesday and we finished up by touring the new Mormon Battalion museum. (Which, on another note, I highly recommend. It is free, newly remodeled, and was so neat and interactive! The guide told us most people think Disney designed it!) At the end of the tour, I hopped on their computer to casually browse through the list of soldiers who volunteered, and the name Dalton caught my eye. Edward Dalton. Could it really be the same Edward Dalton??

I emailed the information to myself, and upon further investigation it is the same Edward Dalton! How neat! I honestly can't wait until Jack is old enough and we can take him to visit the museum and learn about his ancestors! Lesson learned: research pays off! (It is also neat to consider the fact that if I hadn't been researching the Daltons the very day before we went to the Mormon Battalion museum, I wouldn't have ever discovered the connection. I still could have come across the Daltons in my google search and learned about his conversion to the gospel, but I wouldn't have known for years - if ever - that he was also a part of the Mormon Battalion and that museum was about him and his friends and family! God works in amazing ways. Nothing is coincidence, friends.)



If you've ever seen the old Old Spice ads, you will most certainly appreciate this video. 

If you've ever seen Stephen Jones from Humor U perform, you will most definitely appreciate this video. 

If you have no idea what I am talking about, you will most likely still appreciate this video.

Very well done, Harold B. Library. :)


Wild Animal Park

Tyler had never been to the Wild Animal Park here in San Diego, so we went last Saturday! We had a lot of fun, and sadly my transparent legs didn't get any tanner.

I've decided Tyler is a good luck charm - growing up, in all of my family's visits to the Park we have collectively only seen the tigers maybe twice. And we got lucky those two times. The tram (which I am upset that they got rid of, but that's another story...) always paused at the tiger enclosure for a minute or so and everyone would climb to the side to see if the tigers were visible. The tram driver would then tell everyone that 99.9% of the time, they can't be seen because they hide in the bushes all day. (The entire enclosure is filled with thick bushes and trees to simulate a jungle habitat.) I remember seeing them once, and the tram driver literally sat there in awe for a few minutes while we all gazed.

Walking up to the enclosure, there's a sign that warns you that you probably won't see them, and I pointed this out to Tyler. With that being said, we saw the tigers!! One came out, and then another came out, there was a small scuffle between them, then one grabbed a bone, and then both headed over for a leisurely afternoon bath. We watched them for probably 20 minutes or so before we moved on to the elephants!

As you can see, the enclosure has thick shrubbery.

Here's the tiger with the bone. Tyler was sure the other tiger was going to try and steal it from him!

Here they are sun bathing.

We also rode the tram,

saw the lions,

and Tyler grew a new pair of ears.

We hula-hooped in "Africa" (I gave it a shot but quickly stopped - definitely NOT a pregnancy-approved activity!),

we made friends with a bird with really cool feet,

and fell in love with this half horse/half zebra animal.


R.I.P. Blondie, Welcome Ginger & Spice!

Yes, I am actually donating an entire post to my parent's chickens. The Ladies (if you missed it, see my sister's post here) haven't grown on me entirely (I won't pick them up - they are chickens, people, not pets!) but I do go out there and feed them every once in a while.

This past week, Blondie got sick. She was lethargic, not eating or drinking, and got really pale. We researched and tried to save her, but unfortunately she was found dead yesterday morning with her face plopped over in the chicken food. So that unfortunately became the end of Blondie.

We went to the Country Feed Store last night and picked out two new chickens. The small ones were too small for our backyard, so we got two Rhode Island Reds that are about 5 months old. One is lighter and smaller (I picked her out and named her Ginger because she's really sweet) and the other is darker and larger, and isn't quite as comfortable with us yet. Mom and I named her Spice because she can be a little feisty. 

Meet Ginger (L) and Spice (R)

Last night we almost lost them! We forgot to keep them in the chicken coop for a little while so they knew where to sleep, and poor Dad had to go out with a flashlight late last night and hunt them down in the bushes! (If you've ever seen our yard, you know it is quite large with a TON of bushes, and our gardener does a great job at filling in all the empty spots with plants so this was no easy task for Dad!) We only found Ginger, but luckily we found Spice early this morning. Both are doing well, but we'll see how the next few weeks go!

Oh! Also while at the Feed Store, we met a giant turkey. I forget his name, but he sure was friendly! Isn't he beautiful?

We Love NY!

Our friends recently lived in NYC for two months during an internship, and asked everyone for advice on fun places and things to do in NYC. Apparently Tyler and I did our research well before our trip to NYC last year because we won!

We suggested doing the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, and stopping by Levain's Bakery for a gooey, warm JUMBO chocolate chip cookie. 

Kim surprised us as the winners by mailing us this adorable "I ♥ NY" onesie for Jack! Thank you so much, Kim! We loved NYC and hopefully our kids will someday visit and love it too!

I also found a mock Levain's Bakery recipe online, and we tried it out. Definitely not the real thing, but pretty dang close! It makes 14 cookies, and I think Tyler ate about eight of them!
Levain's Bakery website actually suggests some good mock recipes and has links of them for you. We tried the Recipezaar one. Delicious!

Tyler is 24!

Yesterday Tyler turned 24 years old! So Logan could attend (she had to worked the 8th) we celebrated the night before (the 7th) with his birthday cake. He doesn't like cake too much, and though he falls head over heels for a warm, gooey batch of brownies, I didn't think brownies said "birthday". I can make him brownies anytime I want - I wanted something special for him. Tyler also loves bananas and ice cream, so I decided to make an Banana Split Ice Cream Cake. YUM!!

My mom has won first place with this recipe!

12 crushed sugar ice cream cones
1/2 c. chopped nuts
6 T. melted butter
3 cups vanilla frozen yogurt
2 mashed bananas
1 t. banana extract
16 oz. hot fudge topping
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. strawberry topping
8oz. cool whip

Combine crushed sugar cones, chopped nuts, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9" round spring form pan. Let the ice cream get a little soft, and then in a large bowl, mix the ice cream, mashed bananas, and banana extract together. Press into the pan. Freeze. Make the next layer using fudge topping, freeze. Make the next layer with nuts, freeze. Make the next layer with strawberry topping, freeze. Finally, make the last layer with cool whip and freeze and/or serve.

Notes: I used Breyer's chocolate chip ice cream instead of the frozen yogurt. It seemed to harden up almost too much and was hard to eat. It never softened while we ate it. I also made a homemade version of the chocolate fudge topping, but it melted into a huge gloppy mess after being out of the freezer for only 2 minutes and it just didn't set up right. Verdict: I'd use a softer ice cream and a non-homemade fudge topping. It's also fun to set aside a little bit of the sugar cone layer to sprinkle on top afterward. 

For Tyler's real birthday, we went to Roy's, a Hawaiian seafood/steakhouse in La Jolla. Wow, it was amazing and so delicious! The most expensive meal I've ever eaten, but it was sooooo good. I got the filet mignon and it melted in my mouth. I barely had to chew it was so tender and yummy!

Jack's 1950's Crib

I am so glad my Dad insisted on keeping my Mom's old crib. My grandparents bought it in the late 1950's, and my mom (and her siblings maybe?) slept in it. Since then, about 20 babies have slept in it, including some of my nieces and nephews. It's still really sturdy and is a good size, and I love it! Once we're all finished with it, I bet something vintage like this would be worth a lot of money. But we're not selling it. :)

It definitely needs a new paint job. Above is our "before" shot. Since I am not allowed to be around harsh chemicals like wood stain, this job is up to Tyler! The color we chose is a little bit darker, and not quite as yellow. I have been working on the mattress and sheets, and I will repaint those little balls on it in brighter colors at the end. When it's all finished, I'll be so excited to show you the final product!

(Above the crib is shown with the front side down. I have made two 3" mattresses - so when Jack is smaller I won't have to bend down as far (I'll use both to make it 6"), and when he grows a bit I will use one and make it 3" tall so he can't climb out. Knowing Tyler, I think Jack is going to be one feisty little guy!)

Padres Game

The company Tyler is interning for, KPMG, has really good front-row season tickets for the San Diego Padres. I think Tyler actually was able to give up his loyalty to the Dodgers for one night! (Yes, the seats were that good.) 

Too bad the Padres lost that night, but we had a blast anyway! Thanks for treating us, KPMG! :)

Here's the view from where we were sitting:


Hitler Videos

Some time ago, someone put a bunch of "Hitler videos" on YouTube. Basically they take this scene from a movie where Hitler is yelling madly in German and put captions for what he was really saying (usually involving sports). They all got taken off of YouTube for copyright issues, but here's a BYU one we found on Vimeo!

Summary: Hitler is upset that Utah is going to the Pac-10. Just watch it. It's pretty dang funny.

Utah moves to the Pac-10! from Semper Ute on Vimeo.