Good Things to Come

I love this uplifting video put out by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that reminds us that though times can be hard now, it will be all right in the end. This makes me excited to watch General Conference on tv this weekend.

"...Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead."
"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."



I think Tyler would just like you all to know (especially Brandon, Mackenzie, and Brian who made a guest appearance at his last game) that his game was 3-1 today...one minute short of a shut out. He played A LOT better (they won!) and wishes you all could have seen tonight's game instead of the last game. :)


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You all might have guessed by now that I am in love with pesto. It's my favorite dish, and it's so versatile! (Though I only use it a couple of ways. I'm still working on expanding that.) I found a tip online a while back, and just got around to trying it out.

Because the baby is coming soon (5 weeks!) and so is the frost, I harvested my poor basil plant last week. I chopped off all of his vibrant, green leaves and made a giant batch of pesto with them. I doubt poor plant will grow back before the frost hits, but he served me well this summer!

Here's my basic pesto recipe. This time, Tyler told me it was the best I have made, but I think it's because I was trying to thin it out so I poured some milk in there. Thus, it was creamier than my previous versions.

a bunch of basil leaves
sunflower seeds (pine nuts work great, but they are so expensive!)
lemon juice
parmesan or romano cheese
olive oil
salt & pepper
milk (to make it creamy), if desired

I pretty much just throw it all in the blender and add more olive oil until it is close to the consistency I want it to be. I felt like I had added a TON of olive oil this past time, so after I scraped the pesto out of the blender, I stirred in milk with a spatula. It turned from an olive green color to a brighter, lighter green.

Here's the best part. I am always disappointed at a) how much prepared pesto costs at the store, b) how much fresh basil costs at the store (hence the basil plant that lives on our porch), and c) that basil plants do not thrive in the winter here in Utah (haha, I wish!). So I remembered a tip I had heard: to freeze the pesto. But how? In ice cube trays, of course!

It was much easier than I thought it would be. I set aside some pesto for that night's dinner, and then spooned the rest into ice cube trays, and stuck them in the freezer overnight. Then I popped them out of the trays, and zipped them up in a quart baggie. Now whenever we want pesto, I can just pop a few "cubes" out of the freezer, thaw them out, and enjoy! I think the best part is that there is no mess, and they now come in individual servings. So I can go ahead and eat that pesto sandwich for lunch, and not have to worry about the mess it took to make. :)

Dish Sponge Woes

Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just me? Am I alone in this? 

Every time I make a batch of bread with my new Bosch (!!! Which is pretty often now...thanks Mom and Dad), disaster strikes when it's time to do the dishes. My dish sponge, from the bread dough left in the bowl, turns into a scraggly, sticky, nasty mess. And I have to throw it away. I try to clean out the bread bowl as best as I can beforehand, but there's always bits and pieces left that I have to use Mr. Sponge to help me tackle. I guess it's a good thing Costco sells a GIANT pack of dish sponges so I can just grab a new one, but 60 cents is still too much to throw away every time I made bread. I've tried to make them last as long as possible, but when it's bread-making day (or as of Friday afternoon, cinnamon-roll making day) my dish sponge dies.

Tips? Tricks? How do you wash bread dough (or anything else, like butter or oil?) without ruining your dish sponge?

Choosing a Typeface

I love infographics, although I can't pull them off myself.

Credit goes to Tyler for showing this to me. Not exactly the best way to choose a typeface, but pretty darn funny to read.


BYU Football Lament

As the wife of a very dedicated BYU football fan, when BYU loses, I lose. 
Sometimes a BYU loss makes for a very crabby husband (sorry, Tyler...it's true.)

[But I've been seriously crabby and difficult these past three days, so tonight I'll let him off the hook.]

But BYU - can you just win for us next time? Maybe just once this season so us wives will have happy husbands?

XYZ Blocks

I am LOVING these alphabet blocks! They are clever and anything but ordinary. I could look at these for hours. Love the "AFRO" one.


Beautiful Branding

One thing I love is gorgeous, clean branding, and this ice cream store in Kansas City (why so far away??) has just that. I'd love to visit someday.

I love how modern and clean their design is, with subtle funny catchphrases here and there. Way to go.

All images via JordanGrayCreative

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Don't these Pumpkin Cinnamon rolls sound delicious? Yesterday was a long day for Tyler, so I think I might attempt some cinnamon rolls to celebrate the weekend.

Side note: Yesterday I finished Jack's colorful pinwheel crib mobile! I just know he will love it! (The maintenance man did!) I'll post pictures and instructions soon.


No-Sew Fabric Wall Decal

I came across this DIY months and months ago, and planned on using it for Jack's room (obviously didn't happen). However, I think it would look fantastic in any room, given you didn't do giraffes and elephants!

This easy DIY teaches you how to make fabric wall decals that peel right off and don't damage the wall.



My mom and dad brought Jack's dresser that we painted over the summer to our apartment this past weekend. I also made teal curtains for his room to cover the window, so it's a little more private (there aren't miniblinds on the window).

(It's not the best photo - we still would like to organize my art stuff so it's not in the way.)

(Ginos) Family Pictures

This past weekend was extremely special for my family. My sister Logan (the youngest) received her endowment in the Logan temple, in preparation for her mission this November. My entire family (siblings + spouses + grandparents + a couple of friends and cousins) was able to be inside the temple together. It was by far one of the neatest experiences of my life, for all of us to be worthy to attend the temple together. We haven't been together as an entire family since our wedding in December 2008 - almost two years ago - and we probably won't be together for several more years.

We snapped a few casual family photos on Saturday. Definitely nothing special, as we used my point & shoot camera. The lighting bothers me (it's really uneven with all the shadows cast) but no one else cared enough to do anything about it so here's what we ended up with!

Brandon & Mindy Ginos (+ Elaena, Jacob & baby #3)

Rich & Courtney Montierth (+ Afton, Madeline, Ben, & unborn Ethan)

Brian & Mackenzie Boring (+ Morgan & Sadie)

Tyler & Alie Jones (+ unborn baby Jack) (!!!!)

All the cousins with their grandparents

The kids with their daddies

dogpile on grandpa!

Thanks to everyone (especially the Montierths for sharing their home all weekend!) for a great weekend!

And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Mom and Dad! Look what great, eternal joy 30 years of marriage can bring to a family. :)


We Do Erase!

Thought you ladies (& gentlemen) with children might like to know this useful tidbit!

Crayons work on dry erase boards.

NO WAY. Yes way. Find out more here.

DIY Onesies

Oh goodness, I've gone crazy deep into nesting mode. I am ready to have this baby! I think that is all that I talk about (and blog about - sorry friends!) these days, but it is all-consuming. I feel him wiggling and squirming and kicking and hiccuping all day ... with all that motion going on in your belly, how can you forget you're going to have a baby in just a few (six!) short weeks??

I almost (almost) forgot to show you all these ADORABLE onesies I made over the summer! I was very determined to complete the entire project myself, but alas I had to enlist the help of my mom. I think she understood completely, and realized that it really was harder than it looked!

They were pretty easy (the first part anyway) and inexpensive. I got the idea off of onesies I had seen on Etsy that sell for $12. I completed mine for under $2.25 each and have plenty of "kits" to spare for baby gifts! 

First, I drew the shape I wanted. Then I bought fabric (which was actually hard because of Oceanside's bare-bones selection) and the stuff you iron onto the back of the fabric (and then iron it onto the onesie - I forget what it is called). I only bought an 1/8th of a yard of each fabric, and was able to make 12+ designs for each 1/8th of a yard. I ironed the fuse stuff (forgive me, I clearly don't sew) to the fabric and cut each shape out. Then I ironed the shapes onto the onesie and voila! Almost.
Here is where my mom came in. I tried to do it myself, but honestly, you've got to have mad sewing skills to make it look good. Even Mom had a hard time with it, and she's been sewing her whole life. This is where I envied the people on Etsy and realized why they could sell these for $12+!! I started off machine sewing a very small stitch around the outside of the applique, but failed miserably. I couldn't even keep the straight edge of the tie straight! Hence, my mom came in and helped me (aka did them all). She was a rockstar. They aren't perfect, but pretty close (much closer than I came!) They look fantastic!

I wanted to make another one for my friend, so the other night I got out the iron and my sewing needles. I ironed it all on, and then hand-stitched the design on (see the tie picture). It took me about an hour or so to stitch the entire thing (I'm slow) but it was so worth it! I actually like it better hand-stitched, but the real test will be to see which one - the machine or hand-stitched - holds up better in the wash!


I'm in love with this highchair. Tyler calls is "expensive" and "one step up from a toilet seat". Just shows the differences in taste we have, apparently.

Also loving this one, but it looks a little short to me.

I think I can guess where they were trying to go with this one, but to me it would look like a Transformer was invading my kitchen.

This one looks like it came straight out of The Jetson's. No, thank you.

This one looks a little dangerous. How does your infant stay in this, again?

I think I'm in love with these booster seats. (And their website. I am in love with their website.) Can I have one in every color, please?

I don't know what we'll do for a highchair. Baby is due in six weeks (!!) but luckily he won't need a highchair for several months after that. Good thing I've got options, eh?


Amazon Mom

Amazon.com has a new feature - Amazon Mom! It's free to join. Here's what you get:

FREE 2-day shipping for the first three months on ANYTHING (Christmas is coming up!)
30% off all diapers and wipes
Email discounts and offers


Baby Calendar

 image via NoellesCreations
After much thought and discussion, Tyler and I decided to document Jack's first year of life we'd like to do a baby calendar. You know, keep track of his first poop and first giggle and whatnot. I would love to make my own, but alas I have no idea what goes in it, exactly. So this time around, I think we will end up purchasing one. Any suggestions? I kind of liked the baby-ness of this one I found on Etsy. (And believe me - my family will tell you it is very rare for me to like cutesy things! I found this one was kind of vintage though, with its softer colors and simpler illustrations.)


Another thing I heard about the other day was a father who wrote one thing about his son every day of his son's life. Whether it was just jotting down a funny phrase his son said that day or an act of kindness or that he loved his son's dimples, he was consistent about it. Then, on his son's 18th birthday (or when he went off to college maybe?) he presented the book to his son. How neat is that?! 

I am not normally the sentimental type, but I think that's a really neat idea to do for all of our kids, and I have just the book to do it with. (It's a coptic-bound book I made in my bookbinding class last winter.) I'm going to try to do this with baby Jack. I think I might start early (how about tonight?) to form a habit before he is born. Maybe Tyler will even do it with me. I hope I can pull it off. My sister Courtney told me that even if I do it off and on and I don't fit every-single-day in there, it'll still be neat. 


Color Quiz

How well can you differentiate hues? Tyler challenged me to this yesterday, and I kicked his butt! Well, kind of. He got a 14 (which isn't bad! I'm quite impressed!) and I got a 4. Can you beat me? (The lower your score the better.)

I think one of the best jobs in the world would be decorating nurseries. Sometimes I wish our budget was limitless!

(Sorry I can't give credit for where all of these images came from.)

Nonetheless, I'm so excited to keep sharing with you guys all of the small things I do to make our nursery special. Even though baby Jack will have to share his room with a bunch of my art stuff, I don't think he'll mind one bit. :) 

On another note, check out this maternity book that I found on the ohdeedoh blog.  Neato, right? I wish I would have thought of something clever like this for myself!
Such fun things I found this week!


Name Puzzle

Check out these name puzzles on Etsy. Only $11.99! I want one! (Maybe Jack will get one for Christmas this year from Santa...)