Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Closet Must Have Tunics - #CentsOfStyle

It's an interesting thing to have teenage daughters.  I never thought about how as my girls got older all the sudden my closet would adopt an open door policy.  I've laughed while shopping with the girls over the last few years about how I could suggest a shirt or a dress "oh this is cute" and they'll kind of shrug their shoulders and tell me why it's not their favorite.  However, if I buy the same item for me and hang it in my closet it becomes the new favorite item in the house.  I could create a check out system for my clothes and I think it would constantly be full.
I've found myself considering my own clothing purchases carefully since this trend has began "oh, I love this and I know Belle will".... or "Anna's been wanting a new floral dress, I'll get this one".  It's a lot easier to buy something I like for myself while also considering if it's been something they've expressed an interest in needing/wanting then to rack my brain about if they'll like something I've picked out for them.

With my new shared wardrobe situation there are a few items that have really become favorites for all of us.  One of those things right now is this darling Tunic from Cents of Style.  Good news too, right now you can get this tunic in a variety of styles/colors for $19.95 + free shipping with code TOPSTORY.  I'm not alone in having to try not to cry when every time my daughters put on something of mine it looks cuter on them than it does on me right?

What I'm really loving about this top is that it is as comfortable and easy to wear as a basic t-shirt but looks like I actually put out effort in getting ready for the day when I wear it.  I've worn it to a work meeting and to help out at the school while Belle wore it for her Prom Day Date.  It looks so cute by itself with skinny jeans and sandals for a casual look and can be dressed up with booties and a cardigan.

We're adding a couple more of these to *our* wardrobe during this great sale.  Trying to decide what colors to get, I love the pale pink for spring but I'm a huge fan of black and grey so I am tempted to add grey to my shopping cart too.
Don't forget, between now and Sunday the 26th you can get these darling Tunics for $19.95+free shipping using code TOPSTORY.


I was provided a tunic in exchange for my honest review of the product.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Post contains affiliate links!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

We Survived February 2017 {and it was touch and go there for a bit!}

Today is March 1st and I couldn't be happier about that if I tried.  February was a hard/stressful month.  I'm so glad we were able to end it on such a high note as a family.
 This past weekend we didn't send the kids to school on Friday and Thursday evening we loaded everyone up and headed to the cabin up at Brighton Resort.  The whole experience was dreamy for me.  There was so much snow and it continued to snow the whole time we were there.  There was so much snow that Nate was concerned when he first went out Friday morning that if the kids crashed they'd disappear. 
  How beautiful is this place?  I've recently learned something about myself that I didn't know or maybe just didn't really recognize before.  The mountains are my happy place.  In every season I find so much joy being in the mountains.  I love to camp, I love to be outdoors, I just love it.  I enjoy the ocean so much but really when I think about it the mountains are where I want to be, I came home completely reset and rejuvenated and it was just the best.
Where is your happy place?  Where is the place you go (or even think about) that makes you happy, that rejuvenates you, gets you ready for what's coming next?  If you don't know the answer to that question I encourage you to find it.
 Here are some photos from our wonderful weekend.

To give you an idea of how much snow came down from one week to the next Nate had the joy of digging the snow mobile out!

Mia, Lila, and I were the first at the cabin so I got photos of the crazy amounts of snow there too.  That bottom photo, I was down at the door to enter the cabin and Lila is hiking through my trail, I can't remember the last time we had to hike DOWN to get to the door to the cabin.

It's sometimes hard to remember that the main living area of the cabin is actually the 2nd level.  That's the snow piled up outside the window of the 2nd level.

We all love to snuggle in and watch movies once we get up to the cabin.  I had a fire started by the time everyone else got up to the cabin and I had baked a whole bunch of banana bread for us to snack on and we watched National Treasure.  One of my favorite memories of the night.  You know the scene where Nicholas Cage grabs the girl and kisses her and one of the bad guys says "Why does that never happen to me?"
Lila immediately chimed in with "because you don't look that good!"  Oh it was funny, we all laughed and she blushed a little, apparently she thinks Nicholas Cage is a bit cute.
 One of my favorite moments of the weekend was after Nate headed down to the ski lift to get on the first runs of the morning.  Nate, Morgan, and Lila came up to the room Nate and I slept in and wanted to read.  I wasn't completely awake yet so I said "sure, but you have to read!"  We're reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (have you seen the amazing illustrated versions of the first two Harry Potter books yet?).  Bright dove right in and read to us, it was a long chapter so he handed off to Morgan who finished it off for us.  While they were reading cute Lila got her panda and Lola all situated for the day.

Here was the amazing view I got to wake up to each morning.

Lots of photos of the fun that was Friday

 While the older kids were skiing Lila headed outside with the sled and made her own fun!
 Nate was breaking icicles off the cabin and when he stepped back he sunk in the snow up to his hip and fell over...I'm posting the photo because Lila's reaction was the cutest.  She was so concerned for him, luckily he was completely fine and we all laughed for a minute.

The girls and I spent quite a bit of time sitting by the fire under a snuggly blanket was amazing!  Mia's knocking out books for the battle of the book contest they've got going at school.  I love that she's being exposed to books she would maybe not otherwise pick up off the shelf.

We had cute Paige with us for the weekend and I happened across this photo opportunity Saturday morning.  3 teenagers in one (I'm not even sure it's a queen) bed.
We were excited that Nate's Grandpa Jim was able to come up Saturday for a while.  We're so lucky they let us use the cabin!
{Morgan, Great Grandpa Jim, and Nate}
16, 15, and 14 year old girls are FUNNY and SILLY and CRAZY and FUN.  Seeing these three together makes my heart happy.
  So Grandpa Jim could more easily get into the cabin Nate shoveled out stairs for him...deep deep snow!
{For this series of photos of all the kids heading out...(LOOK Talon finally made it into a photo) I'm inside the cabin taking the photos through the window because it was cold!}
And one little video because Lila learning to ski makes my heart happy!

The beautiful snow covered trees as we were leaving the resort.
I have to say I was so so sad to come home.  The resort got another 2 feet of snow Sunday and Monday!  It would have been so awesome to have been able to stay up there for a while longer and watch that snow fall.
As things have been hard at the start of 2017 I have spent a lot of time looking for ways that help uplift me.  I've listened to uplifting things, read uplifting things, memorized uplifting quotes, etc...

I came across the following quote while needing to be uplifted:
"Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory."
~Dr. Seuss
One of my biggest goals for 2017 is to create more moments of value for us as a family so this was such a good thought for me to ponder.

Looking forward to a bit more winter weather before spring really gets here!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Enjoying the Snowy Winter Start to 2017

Growing up in Eugene, Oregon I have never taken my beautiful snowy winters here in Utah for granted.  I love when we have the opportunities to get outside and enjoy the fluffy white stuff.  This past weekend we loaded up all our skiing and snowboarding gear and headed up to the cabin for some much needed family time.

We woke up to absolute beauty.  It was snowing before we got up to the cabin and didn't stop the whole time we were there.
We were lucky enough to get to spend our time with a whole bunch of the Crookston family.  Grandpa Mike, Aunt Heather, Uncle Zach and cousin Ben, Uncle Matt, Aunt Angela and cousins Lexi, Addie, Ellie, and Harrison.
 Lunchtime break
I really think I could spend every day in the winter up at the cabin with snow so readily available to play in.  Watching the kids having so much fun with their cousins is just icing on the cake.
Nate beat everyone out the door Monday morning, there was no way he was missing out on all the fresh powder.  I'm not sure he was the first one on the mountain but he was definitely one of the first.  He got back and told everyone how amazing it was and they quickly joined him on the slopes.
Because everyone was trying to get out and do a few runs while the powder was fresh Lila had to wait back at the cabin with me.  She tried so hard to be patient but had everything ready so as soon as they were back she could go too!
Do you love being out in the snow in the winter?  It's seriously right at the top of my list of favorite things to do.
For years we've been wanting to go up to the Ice Castles in Midway, Utah.  Have you heard of it?  Every year I see friends posts from their trips up there and I'm so jealous that I still haven't been.

The Ice Castles are an acre-sized, all-ice castle in Midway, UT. One of four Ice Castles in America.  Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night. Built by hand and made from more than 20,000,000 pounds of ice, the Ice Castles in Midway, UT are READY to be explored!
Tickets On Sale Now!
 My readers get to save off admission too!  Use code USFamily17 and save 15% off admission! Get out there and enjoy this fun and unique experience with your family at Amazing Ice Castles!
I'm not sure there is a prettier backdrop for photos than beautiful white snow and tall pine trees.  I think one of the things that makes being up at Brighton Resort the best is knowing we can rush back into the cabin to get warmed up by a nice fire and hot cocoa.
The kids sure love this little area that is just their size.  How could you not with shelves full of games at your fingertips.  I snuck up the stairs and got this photo before they caught me.  Family time makes my heart swell and seeing my children create such strong friendships with their cousins just makes me happy.
As I look to what 2017 might bring I hope its many many more weekends just like this one.
What are your favorite activities to do in the cold of winter?  I love to snuggle up with a good book or for a fun movie as much as everyone else but I'd love to add some other activities to our winter fun!