4/26/16

House Dreamin' Part 1

So, you know I have been dreaming of houses lately. We are thinking about buying our first home next year and so it's got me thinking. Because I know all of you care so much (ha) about my taste in homes, so I have made a list of wants and dreams of my future house.

***I want to clarify that the pictures I have posted below are CLEARLY really expensive homes that I could not afford at this time (maybe never). Please know that I am not entirely delusional, but all the pictures online are of these glamorous homes. 

So, where do we begin? 

Let's talk Curb Appeal. For me, it matters. If I pull up to a home and am not attracted to the way the outside of a home looks, it will hard for me to love the inside. It's like a first impression, it's important! 

As of right now in my life, I have fallen HARD for mid-century homes. I love the interesting architecture and especially, the big windows. I really like the unique rooftop lines as well. I prefer two story homes over ranch/close to the ground homes. But, if it needs to be close to the ground, mid century style is the way to go.  


I have also, ALWAYS been a Victorian Home fan as well. My dream would to be a huge victorian home and completely renovate it. I wouldn't do this project for my first home but could totally see Chad and I doing this for our final home together. It would be so fun. And I think my Mother-in-Law would love to help with the experience as well (right Glenna, wink wink). I love the interesting colors you can do on the outside and the wrapping porches. And inside with the dramatic stair cases. It's just too fun. It would be like living in a doll house and I just couldn't say no. 


Lastly, I appreciate the more common but still very lovely Hampton/Nantucket styled homes. Clean lines, dormer windows, simple and classic. The type of house that would have a beautiful garden in the back and Martha Stewart is your next door neighbor. You know the ones. I find these homes to be the safest and most common of the 3 designs I have listed but I would be very happy in this style of home (I'd be happy in any home, let's be honest!). 


So, those are the 3 styles that I tend to be drawn to. I understand that there isn't going to be some perfect house that will every single things that I want. So, we will try to do our best to create a list of things that are most important and try to get the big ones. 

Some things that I am hoping for are:

-an open floor plan: this is probably the most important thing to me. I want to be able to see the living room from the kitchen. I want it to be nice and open, that way I can see what the kids are doing while I am cooking (correction, while CHAD is cooking. He is the cook in our home). I find that we spend a lot of time in the living room specifically so the openness is really crucial. 


-high ceilings in living room. I don't have to have super high ceilings in every room BUT I would love high ceilings in the living/family room. I just love the way it looks. And lot's of nice windows too. It just makes everything seem bigger and brighter. I love that idea. 


-wood floors on the main floor. I am fine with carpet in the bedrooms but I would like wood floors on the main area just because I have had disgusting apartment carpets for over 7 years and they get so disgusting. Wood floors on the main floor would be a real treat. I prefer medium to dark wood (generally, sometimes a fun gray wash catches my eye), I like it to look weathered but not too rustic. And nothing super glossy, not a fan of that. 

I am particularly fond of this flooring. This would be ideal.

-decent sized master bedroom. When I talk about the size of the master, I don't mean it needs to be huge. I just need it to be enough to fit our large bed in it, as well as a master bath and a big closet. They don't have to be extravagant but I just need a bathroom that can get trashed and that any guests don't have to use or see (our bathroom gets gross sometimes,  I'm only human) and enough closet space to fit all of mine and Chad's clothing.


I could go ON and ON but I feel like this is too long already. So there are just a handful of things I would love to have but again, I am fully aware that this is just daydreaming. But it's fun to write about anyway.

I will be writing a second post about furniture so, stay tuned!

Happy Tuesday!

Hil

4/15/16

Lately 4/15/16

Soooo behind this week. This post is just going to be a vomit of what's on my mind and what I am thinking about. It's the best way to describe life right now.

Geddy's new shoes. Yes, he is wearing a box. 

Thought 1: Geddy is with Grandma Glenna this weekend. She took him down to St. George so he will be with her for a few nights. And I have missed him SO much. How funny is that? I was so excited to get a break but the moment he left, I'm missed his whirl wind. I love that boy like crazy. 

Found a piece of pizza under our couch. Thanks Geddy!

Thought 2: While he has been gone, I have been trying to clean the house and get things done that I normally wouldn't be able to do with both kids at home. I am currently waiting for the maintenance guy to come and fix our bathroom drain because it is super backed up (I blame the postpartum hair loss). ***Sigh*** I hate waiting for stuff like that. 

Thought 3: Buy a house. Chad and I are currently in the hustle to (hopefully) buy a house next year. We don't know exactly what will happen this coming year (Chad continuing on to Grad school or us changing plans and staying here). I have been day dreaming about houses because, it's on the brain, I just can't help it. But it's also so overwhelming, what do I do? Thinking purely about the aesthetic side, I don't want something super cookie cutter but would love something new. However, I don't think buying a new home for our first house would be wise. I would love to find something mid-century that is kind of unique but would want it to be up to date inside. Haha, isn't it funny how we have these specific things in mind but may end up in something completely different? We'll see. Maybe I write a post about what I would love. Also, I have never done this before so I feel a little lost. Any tips? 


Thought 4: Makeup. I have had makeup really on the brain lately. Any extra money I have to spend on myself, I have been buying lipsticks (I love lipstick but rarely wear it but also keep buying it). And blush. I love blush and lipstick but actually need to find a new wonderful foundation. 

Thought 5: I need to fold the laundry that is currently sitting on my kitchen counter. At least my kitchen is clean. 


Thought 6: I desperately need a haircut. About a month ago, I almost chopped my hair and went frosty white platinum. Haha, I wanted something drastic. I ended up backing out though because I really like to be able to put my hair in a ponytail. So I am thinking I am gonna keep it dark and get a good trim. My hair is super grown out so my roots are showing like crazy. It's looking a little crappy. Also, my hair is so thin from all the hair loss after having Scout. AND the baby hairs/regrowth is out of control. I have a good, old fashioned, mohawk. Haha. 

Thought 7: CHAD GRADUATES IN A WEEK. I am so excited and proud of him. 

That's it guys. 

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Hil 

4/8/16

Scout Ivy: 11 Months Old

HOLY CRAP SHE IS ALMOST 1! Man this has gone by fast. What a wonderful year with 2 children. I feel so insanely blessed over here. 

Not a TON has changed in the last month. Well, I guess kinda. Scout has been feeling so much better this month and is back to her sweet self. 

She is crawling everywhere and pulling herself up on everything. She is starting to cruise around the couches and gets into EVERYTHING.
She loves her Brother so much, it's crazy. Her favorite place to play is in Geddy's room. 

She has started eating solids more and more (thank heaven!) and is doing a great job. We are still nursing a whole bunch but it's getting better. No baby food though, she refused that from the get go.  

She is still a poor sleeper at night but we are working on it. 

She loves it when her Daddy sings to her and absolutely adores bath time. 

Of course, Geddy had to get in on the action. 
They are such good friends.
She has a massive blow out while at the store.
Eating an Oreo.

Scout is such a treasure to our family. She is sweet and calm and shows love to us. We are so grateful for you Scooter!

Happy Friday!

Hil

4/6/16

Skin Care

Let's talk skincare, shall we? 

As a teen, I struggled with some pretty standard acne. In my youth, my skin was extremely sensitive. I would go to the dermatologist all the time and was on different medications. It was a battle, to say the least but I think a lot of it was pretty average for a teen. 

In my early 20's my skin continued down the same path. Sensitive skin, with some acne. I managed to keep it pretty contained my using Cetaphil products because they were so gentle. And honestly, I would recommend Cetaphil to anyone. 

Now as a big girl at the age of 29, I have found a pretty good flow and routine for my skin. I must clarify that I am not an expert in anyway! What worked for me may not be the answer for you. I would say my skin is normal with a bit of an oily T-zone But the older I get, the less oily my T-zone is, which is kind of nice. I do have extremely rosy cheeks. I don't know if it's rosacia or something but they are pretty red. The things that have helped my skin the most is simplicity, consistency, diet and water intake. 

I try not to use too many products in my routine at one time. I find that my skin reacts poorly to it. I like to use a cleanser, lotion and deep cleanse (I deep clean about once a week, depending on how often I wear makeup that week). Every now and then, I will throw in a gentle face mask. 

So, let's discuss the cleansers that I like. As mentioned above, Cetaphil is fantastic and so gentle. After 10 years of using it, I decided to try something new. I wanted something slightly stronger just to see if it controls break outs a little bit better. I started off using Olay Foaming Cleanser (I used the combination/oily formula) and really liked it. I felt like it was stronger than Cetaphil and it actually helped. After using the Olay cleanser for a while, I read a review on this Simple Brand foaming cleanser and thought I would give it a try. 

The thing that sparked my interest was that its cleanses and refreshes skin with safe, vitamins and "skin loving" ingredients. Basically, it's really simple ingredients and has no harsh chemicals or artificial perfumes and dyes. To be honest, at first, I wasn't that impressed. I felt like it was almost TOO gentle and wasn't really CLEANSING very well. I am nearly out of the product now and it's only been the last week when I decided that I really quite like it. Particularly paired with the Clarisonic that I use (we'll talk about that more in a minute). If you are looking for a good cleanser that is simple and skin friendly, I would suggest giving it a try. 


As I mentioned above, I have been using the Clarisonic Mia 2 off and on for about a year or two now. It's the only fancy face product that I use, haha. Chad got it for me because he I was interested in it. He is nice. The thing I love about the Clarisonic is that it cleans 6 times better than just with your hands. And because of the gentle vibrations, it cleans deeper than normal so it uproots all the dirt and gunk deep in your pores. It also allows your skin to soak up your creams and moisturizers significantly better. I don't wear makeup every day, but when I do, I always like to use the Clarisonic after I remove my make up. It's amazing how much cleaner my face feels after I use it than when I don't.


Every few weeks, I will use a face mask. I have never spent a lot of money on face masks and the cheap ones I would get at the store never helped my skin (in fact it sometimes felt like it made it worse). I saw a review on the TruSelf Organics Detoxifying Mask and thought it looked really interesting. It comes in a powder form (it's a clay mask) and you add water and spread it all over your face. The mask is wonderful. I haven't had any break outs or anything. And after using it, the skin really does look refreshed. The mask is vegan, all natural, and cruelty free. It minimizes pores and reduces scars as well as fights acne and wrinkles. Super cool product. I have been very happy with it.


Now, face lotion. My skin reacts really poorly to lotions with SPF in them. It a big bummer. I know that you're suppose to always to wear sunblock everyday but my skin just can't handle it. So, I stick with Cetaphil-like products. Its the Walmart brand of Cetaphil, if you will, and honestly it works just as well for me and cheaper. Score! I really haven't branched out on face lotions because the few times that I have in the past years, it doesn't go well. If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them!


I used to us a night cream every night before Scout was born. But since she came, I have been keeping things at a minimum so sometimes it just doesn't happen. Even if I don't put it all over my face, I try to slather a bit under and around my eyes. The Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream helps with fine lines and wrinkles, hence putting it under my eyes. It's a good thing to prevent, right? Right.


Lastly, and probably the most important, Water and Diet. I can tell a DRASTIC difference when I am not drinking enough water and eating too much sugar (sugar is my vice). I drink two of my big water bottles a day. That is 96 oz of water. And it makes a massive difference. Probably more than anything else. I pee a lot but my skin thanks me for it. Bring on the the water! 


And one more tip, never and I mean NEVER, wear make up to bed. Just don't do it. You'll wake up with some angry skin.

Happy Wednesday!

Hil

3/31/16

Easter 2016

We had two Easters this year. And Geddy had 3 different Easter Egg Hunts. Pretty fun for him! I forgot to take any pictures at the Olson Easter because I am such an awesome Mom...haha. But we did Easter 2 weeks before with the Olson's because my parents were going to be out of town on Easter. 

After the Easter Egg Hunt

So on Easter day, we went to church where I gave the lesson in Relief Society (it was just a coincidence that it fell on my week to teach. But I was stressed that I wouldn't make the lesson special enough. Anyway, it went well, at least I think! 

Geddy's eyes are closed again. Haha. 

After church, we hustled up to Grandma Glenna's cabin. There we ate SO much yummy food and an abhorrent amount of candy. Like, seriously, so much candy. I felt ill by the end of the night. There was a fun easter egg hunt and easter baskets. The kids got spoiled. And as we were getting ready to leave, Geddy had a spectacular meltdown. It was a sign of tons of fun and too much sugar. 

Our Little Easter Bunny
Scout's usual expression.

We had such a wonderful time. I am so grateful for my Savior and what he did for me. And I love my family. They seriously are my everything. 

Happy Thursday!

Hil  

3/30/16

My Name is Nyx Shrader- Dungeons & Dragons


Several years ago, I wrote about how awesome Dungeons & Dragons is (you can read it here). And if you don't already know, I play DND fairly regularly (our group is currently taking a break because Chad is SO swamped with school and work). And this blog name is actually inspired by Dungeons and Dragons (read about that here). Normally, we try and play every week and we have been playing the same campaign since August of 2013. As I mentioned, there are times where we will take extended breaks because people are busy or going to be out of town and schedules just don't match up. Also, characters come and go with players.

Chad, is our DM (Dungeon Master). So he creates the story and "referees" the game, if you will. He is basically in charge. But each of the players have their own character and we get to make decisions and actions, all by our own choice. Free agency, people! It's absolutely fabulous. Dungeons & Dragons is like playing pretend for adults. I am a massive fan.

**Also, fun fact. Chad and I pretty much fell in love while playing the game because it's how we first met and developed a friendship that continued on to a secret romance. So scandalous, I know.  

This blog post, is all about my current character (who happens to be my all time favorite!). I have had several characters over the 9 years I have been playing. I've played a Ranger, a Fighter or two, Scout, Valkyrie (her name was Freya and was SO cool), a Necromancer and a couple others (I have never been brave enough to try a magic user of any kind, too tricky).

Pic of a Rogue in the Players Handbook

My Current Character is named Nyx Shrader and she is a human rogue. I am going to give you all the details about my character because she is my favorite. You may not care and if so, I understand. But just know that she is super dope.

Appearance: Lets start off by explaining the way she looks. When we started the campaign in 2013, Nyx was just a small framed, 17 year old. She had mousy brown hair with green eyes and was a human (you can be different races like Elf, Orc, Halfling, Dwarf, etc). She had very little to her name and only had the most basic equipment (including daggers, which is her main weapon). Now, because we have been playing for so long, Chad has started a new section of the campaign that flashes forward about 20 years. We all had the option to keep our character or to make a new one. Because I was so fond of Nyx, I decided to keep her so she is now nearly 40. It's quite neat playing someone in a different phase of the their life.

Now, Nyx has been through a WHOLE lot in the 20 years that flashed forward. She goes through something SO crazy (I'll explain more in the back story portion) that she is now super pale and has stark white hair (which she wears in mid length braid). Now, Nyx is rarely seen. You see, rogues tend to be excellent hiders and extremely quiet. They are the sneakiest of all the classes.


But Nyx has an extra leg up on other rogues because she found a Poncho that gives her complete invisibility when out of direct sunlight (if in sunlight, I am blurred). So, I just stick to the shade or hope for a cloudy day.


Nyx also wears a magical wide brim hat that identifies anything you put inside it. So when our group finds magical items, it can tell us exactly what it does.

I want these goggles in real life. So gooooood.

I stumbled upon some awesome magical goggles while searching one day (in game, of course) which happen to give me night vision. Huzzah!

Again, WANT THESE. Remind me of Drive. 

I found magical gloves. Now these gloves are super cool because when I find an item, I get to have a choice of 3 different items. Normally, you just get the one thing you found but I have the benefit of getting an OPTION of what I find. So, if I find an item, Chad will tell me 2 other items that I could find instead. Does that make sense? I still only get 1 item but I actually get a few options where as others wouldn't. Super cool gloves, especially when finding magical items.


Nyx also got an awesome vest that has human sized wasp wings attached to them. SO I CAN FLY. Thanks Gish!


Lastly, while fighting some terrible, giant, insect monsters, I got my left hand cut off. Yeah, it was pretty crappy. So I had to wait and find someone who could either restore my hand (basically make it grow back) or get a robotic hand. This was an easy answer, I wanted a new ROBOT HAND (does this scream Luke Skywalker to anybody else?)! Our group stumbled across a Sea Elf who was actually able to help me get a robotic hand, and it's awesome. I believe it can actually cast electricity once per day too, which is super (I don't think I've used it yet). Oh, and that hand also has vampiric touch cast on it too (I can take a few hit points from an opponent once per day).

Other than that, Nyx wears leather adventuring pants and knee high leather boots (that actually give me an extra 5 ft movement!). There are other items that I wear that are small, like a ring or two but I can't remember what they do off the top of my head. Haha.

Back Story: As mentioned before, Nyx started off as a 17 year old girl who was living on the streets. Basically a street rat. She was a thief and got involved in a nasty thief "gang" and eventually got into such trouble and had to leave the city. So, she went and joined a group Lumberjacks which is where I meet the rest of my group's characters. The first section of the campaign ended and during the next 20 years, my character actually ends up dying (remember, we didn't actually play those 20 years, it's just for the story's sake) but is brought back from the Ethereal Plain by my good friend Simon, who was a cleric (that was my friend Jon's old character). Simon became like a Father figure to Nyx (he was much older than she) because she never knew her family.

Even though she is alive again, she has returned with some unique traits. Mainly, she can turn into a ghost at will. That comes with some cool, creepy, ghostlike abilities (like horrific appearance, frightful moan, and some others). And Nyx LIKES being in ghost form, she is a bit tortured in a way (so much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The problem is, I have to roll a will save every time I want to come BACK from being a ghost. And the longer I am in Ghost form, the higher I have to roll in order to come back. Oh, and when in ghost form, I can go through anything (walls, doors, etc).


Now, unfortunately, Nyx's good friend Simon ends up dying. Because he was the closest thing to a Father to her or maybe Big Brother, she started praying to Pelor (God of the Sun, Simon was Cleric of Pelor) to find comfort? Answers? Closure? Who knows, again, she is a bit of a tortured character.  
Skills: Basically, I am amazing at hiding, moving silently, searching, lock picking, all things that a rogue would be good at.

Why I Love Her: You may ask "Why do you love this character more than your others?" and my answer is "I'm not exactly sure". I feel comfortable playing Nyx. She isn't a character who demands to talk to all the NPCs or who does actions to get a rouse out of an audience. And one of my least favorite things IRL is being the center of attention. That just makes my skin crawl. Also, I feel like she is the most developed character I have played. I am not the best player, totally not. In the past I have felt like I was playing to watch the story unfold (which I STILL love) but now I actually feel like Nyx is PART of it. Like really part of it. And it just feels good and feels right. I have no idea what I will play next but I will always hold a very special spot for my little Jinx (aka Nyx Shrader).

Did I totally lose all of you on this post? I am sorry if I did. And if you have no clue what Dungeons & Dragons is, google it. And if you ever have an opportunity to play. Do it. I bet you'll love it.

For any who are curious, my group plays edition 3.5.

And I found all these pics in random places on the internet. I'm sorry I didn't link them...too lazy.

Happy Nerdtastic Wednesday!

Hil

3/25/16

Trends I WILL Be Wearing

Last week I wrote a blog post all about 2016 trends that I will NOT be wearing. I figured it was only appropriate to post about trends that I WILL wear/like for this season. Just because it's fun. Now if someone wants to give me a millions dollars so I can buy all the things, that would be stellar.

Let's get started!

Flat Mules:

The thing that's great about these little slip ons, is comfort and ease. Being a Mom who is running out the door and rarely have time to sit in my closet to find the perfect this or that, these make looking stylish quick and effortless while still looking sleek.

I found an awesome pair at Old Navy and got them for $12 while one a sale. SCORE. These will be just as convenient as my Birks (I will forever love you Birkenstocks) but a bit more sleek. You can wear them with summer dresses, slacks, skinny jeans, shorts, YOU NAME IT. This is a trend that anyone could sport. Do it.


Clogs:

YUP, shoes again. Are you really surprised though? And another pair that is EASY and CONVENIENT. This a style that has actually been around for a while but doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Again, this something super comfortable and easy for anyone, including Mom's to throw on. It's got that retro 70's vibe but can absolutely be worn today. Throw it on with any kind of outfit and you're good to go.


I found mine at Lotta From Stockholm for about $60. They are real leather and wood and are actually from Sweden (I have Swedish Heritage so I totally loved that. Viking pride!). And I have to say that the quality is outstanding. Other clogs that I looked at were well over $100. These are fantastic and I would suggest them to anyone. When I wear mine, I feel like a Florist who runs a cute little flower shop (which I actually worked at a little place like that and it did not go well. The owners were terrible).

My clogs from 

Wrap Skirts:

All kinds of wraps are popular this season but I specifically liked the skirts. The wrap skirts that are still structured and modern looking are my favorite. They add some interest to a simple outfit and enhance the waist which is always flattering. 

Now if I can only find one that will work for me...

Alexis Mabille
Altuzarra
Michael Kors

Victorian & Ruffles:

I put both Victorian and Ruffles under the same category because I feel like they are very similar. They offer the same feminine and romantic style. I am particularly drawn to eclectic prints together with feminine frills as you can see with the options shown below. It makes it a little more funky which I am all about. Why not stand out? 

Gucci. May not be this season but love it all the same. 
Zimmerman
Gucci 
Gucci

Pleats:

Oh pleats! For some reason, pleats remind me of my mother (in the best way). It's a classic style that can give a lady retro vibe. I am a fan when the pleats are modernized though. Fun colors, prints, or even on places you wouldn't expect like shirts and jackets. They are just super good. Love it.  


Paper Bag Waist Pants:

The Paper Bag Pant is interesting. Sometimes it can just be BAD but other times, it can be feminine and flattering. I appreciate that it is a style that sinches at the waist but also has the potential to hide any pooches or insecure tummies with the slight ruffling at the top. I have yet to try on a pair of these so I can't say how they will work for me but I do know that I like the way they look. I also appreciate that they can work with trousers or a skinnier leg. 

Creatures of Comfort

There are a lot more trends this season that I liked but I have already spent WAY too much time on these ones so I will just list some of the other trends that are of interest to me. 

-Bold Stripes (I will love stripes, regardless of trends. STRIPES FOREVER!)
-Bell Bottoms/Wide Trousers (been around for a while, still love them and seeing them everywhere)
-Gingham Plaid
-Vivid Colors (although I'll always love black too)
-Garden Floral Prints
-Fringe
-Tassel Accessories

There you have it. This is what I do on Friday afternoon during naptime. And I love it. 

**I do want to say something about trends. There is no reason for you to love EVERY trend. NOR should you wear EVERY trend at once (we don't want to look like a clown). Be mindful with trends. I believe it is more important to have a strong fashion sense that is constant (kind of timeless) sprinkled with current trends. And again, if you hate a trend, don't wear it. Fashion is suppose to be enjoyable and a fun way to express yourself. You do you. 

Happy Fashionable Friday! (as I sit here in my sweats, mwahahahah). 

Hil