January 31, 2012


With January rapidly coming to a close and Valentine's Day just around the corner, I know everyone is frantically trying to figure out what type of cards they want to send out.

{Ok, maybe not.}

But, just in case you are in the market for something fun and creative to do for Valentine's Day, I have three FREE pre-made card templates thanks to MY MEMORIES that are available for 14 DAYS.

These are compatible with any type of software, all you have to do is download the file {which is provided below each example}, add a photo and wording.  What could be easier?

Download Freebie Kit 3

I personally like Kit #3 the best.

What?!  Don't have a software program you can use to customize these freebies?  No worries!  Enter my giveaway to win the MY MEMORIES software program for absolutely free!  You have until 11:59p MST on Saturday, February 4th to enter.

To make things even easier, here is a TUTORIAL so you can see how to customize your card using the MY MEMORIES software program.

Not a giveaway person, but want the software program?  Be sure to purchase the program HERE using my promo code to receive $10 off the software and $10 off products.

My promo code is STMMMS14377

I hope you find these freebies fun and useful.  I will be sharing more with you as often as I can.


January 30, 2012


Did you know iTunes has songs you can download for FREE?

It's true!  Every week they have a SINGLE OF THE WEEK that you can preview and/or download for absolutely no cost to you.

Usually, the free singles are from bands/artists I have never heard of, which makes it even better for people like that are always on the look out for songs that don't pollute the airwaves.  At least, not in Utah. Maybe these bands are more popular in areas like LA or Seattle.

Anyway, these are the last two singles I've added to my iTunes collection via the Single of the Week.

I think this song is just cute.  I love the lyrics and love the shout outs to legendary music couples like June and Johnny.  Although the album is listed under the genre of alternative and pop, this song definitely has that country swing sound to it.  Give it a whirl!


When I first saw the title of this song, I thought for sure it was going to be a slower paced song.  To my surprise, it has a little bit of a beat and, had it been around at the time, would've been a theme song to one of the many 80s movies Molly Ringwald was in.  It has Pretty in Pink written all over it!  If you're an 80s music fan, or like fun, upbeat songs about love, I think you'll enjoy this tune.


You still have 5 days to enter my GIVEAWAY.  Don't miss out!

January 26, 2012

the MY MEMORIES giveaway

If you're like me, how to get your pictures and other fun memories from your camera to your computer to "in the flesh" is a struggle.


This fantastic digital scrapbook software offers it all by giving me CHOICES.

When I want frills {and The Husband is on board, of course}, I have access to ready-made templates for all occasions.

{Photos courtesy of MeganFisherPhotography}

When I want to unleash the creative beast inside me, I can create templates from scratch with the help of dozens of digital paper options, embellishments and fonts.  This includes custom calendars!


And, when I just want a photo book {no frills, no embellishments = HAPPY HUSBAND}, I can  make just that.


This program helps make my need to document my life less stressful by being compatible for both Windows and Mac, being completely digital {which is important for a person like me who has no room for scrapbook supplies}, giving me access to pre-made templates so all I have to do is add photos, and encouraging my creative juices to flow by making it so simple for me to design my own templates.

What could be better?  Well, how about the chance to win the MY MEMORIES SUITE?!

That's right!  This software is your key to creating one of a kind memories that you and your loved ones will cherish forever.  Best of all the software is a download, so no waiting weeks to receive your prize.  You could be designing away just minutes after finding out you're the winner!

Here's how it works.


All you have to do is visit the MY MEMORIES WEBSITE, browse their digital paper kits and leave a comment telling me which one is your favorite.


Following the My Memories BLOG
Follow/Like My Memories on FACEBOOK
Follow My Memories on TWITTER
Follow my BLOG 
{Already a follower?  You'll get this entry since you can't re-follow me}

That's a total of up to 5 ENTRIES per person.  

Don't forget to tell me which sites/blogs you've followed.

The Giveaway begins today and goes until Saturday, February 4th at 11:59p

The winner will be selected AT RANDOM.

But, wait, THERE'S MORE?

Not a GIVEAWAY type person?  Don't want to wait designing your memories?  All of my readers are eligible for $10 off the MY MEMORIES SUITE software.  There's more!  Any readers who purchase the software will also receive an additional $10 coupon for the store.

Just use my PROMO CODE:  STMMMS14377


January 25, 2012


If you haven't been to Red Mango yet, GO.

I recommend the coconut yogurt with fresh berries.  DELISH!

January 24, 2012


I'm happy to be posting my very first GUEST BLOGGER.  Suzanne was nice enough to volunteer and talk about my January guest blogger topic:  RELATIONSHIPS.  But, it's with a twist and also focusing on another hot topic for many, many women out there.

Thank you SO MUCH Suzanne for sharing your thoughts on my blog.  I look forward to continue reading your blog and getting to know you.


Hi there! I'm Suzanne over at Suze's Corner, happy to be guest blogging for my fellow blogger, Emily. I have been married for almost 5 years to my wonderful husband, Boss. He is currently in school at Arizona State Univ full time.

A year after we got married, we were blessed to welcome our first little baby into this world. She was born May 2008 and goes by the name Petey on my blog.

16 months after her birth, we welcome our second baby into this world. He was born October 2009 and goes by the name Spidey on my blog.

This is what our cute family looks like now.  Two parents, a 3 year old, and a 2 year old.  Last April, we decided we wanted to try for our next baby.  We secretly tried for 4 months before changes were happening in my body that I just knew in my mind meant pregnancy.  But I was wrong.  I took 4 pregnancy tests, all negative, so we made an appointment with my doctor. 

The next thing I knew, I was being scheduled for blood work and ultrasounds to help diagnose the problem. I was given the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in August of 2011 and we started fertility treatments shortly after that. 

Many times in those next few months, I blogged about my heartache. You can go back and read it if you'd like but today, I'd like to focus on what this did to my relationship with my husband. 

I believe trials in our lives can either bring us closer or move us further apart, depending on how we decide to look at it. I've searched for peace ever since my diagnosis and my husband and I have had many deep conversations about this change in our lives. 

You see, my PCOS doesn't just affect me. I now deal with hormonal imbalance every day of my life (mostly due to my fertility drugs but also somewhat from my PCOS) and can go from happy to sad in a split second. 

My poor husband, right? 

But he has grown up just as much as I have and has continued to support me throughout all of this. 

Yes, we fight.  But we fought before. :)  If anything, we fight less now because we both feel supported by the other person. We listen more, remember more, and care more.  This is something we should've been doing from the beginning of our relationship but it's never too late to fix something that is important to you. 

My husband is my best friend and I feel lucky that I am going through this trial with him and not just on my own.

January 23, 2012

and the WINNER IS....


{who just so happens to be my mother-in-law, but I swear everything is complete legit.}

Congratulations, Roberta.  I hope you enjoy your thank your notes.

And thanks again to everyone who entered.  And, please keep visiting my blog because I will be hosting another giveaway this week.  I know, I know, maybe it's too soon to have another giveaway, but I just couldn't wait any longer.

It's going to be a fun week!


I know I have a lot of mom's that read my blog, so I thought they would appreciate hearing about my favorite children's music artist.

The reason why I love Frances England so much is because her music is appropriate for children and tolerable for adults.  Because I want my daughter to adore music just as much as I do, it was very important for me to find songs that we could both enjoy.

England's songs include fun topics like visiting grandma, eating ice cream and tea parties.

Seriously, what's not to like?

My favorite album by England is FAMILY TREE.

So, if you're a mom {or dad} out there that wants to expose your children to great music without sacrificing your sanity, be sure to check out Frances England.

You won't regret it.

January 22, 2012


Thanks to all who entered my very first giveaway

I'll have the results in tomorrow.

In addition to announcing the winner, this week promises posts from my very first guest blogger, the weekly INSTAGRAM wednesday WITH a working GRAB BUTTON {thanks, K-Lo}, AND another GIVEAWAY.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

January 20, 2012

happy birthday, SHANNON

I spent most of yesterday recovering from the non-stop fun we had the last few days celebrating our daughter's birthday.  To accommodate everybody's schedules, we had three different parties and it was FUN but tiresome.  Even the little one was done by the end of it all.

But, this post today is not about that.  It's about another birthday our family celebrated this week for my sister-in-law Shannon, who would've been 36 on January 19th.

Just as a brief reminder for any new readers, Shannon {whom I've never met} was killed by a drowsy semi-driver 14 years ago.  She was only 21 years old.

Marrying into a family that had experienced such a tragedy was a bit of an adjustment.  I wanted to learn all I could about Shannon, but wasn't sure what I could ask and what were too sensitive of questions.  I enjoyed seeing pictures of her, hearing funny stories that involved her, but I never quite felt a connection to her like everyone else did.

And, since I never met her, I figured this was perfectly normal.

Then, years after my wedding, I recall one evening being at my in-laws house and being overcome with a sense of loss.  As I spanned the house and saw all of my family, I became distinctively and overwhelmingly aware that there was something missing.  Someone was missing.

I realized for the first time that I missed Shannon.  In my mind's eye I imagined what our family gathering would've been like were she still alive.  I imagined it being a little louder, definitely more nieces and/or nephews running around.  Whatever it would've been like, for sure it would've felt more complete.

I wish I could describe the feeling I carry with me everyday of missing someone I have never met before.

Fortunately for me, I have a firm belief that Shannon is still alive and is watching over our family.  

Death is not the end by any means.  

I have no doubt that I will meet her one day.  

And while I am in no rush to end my life here on earth and move on to the next phase of my existence,  I can say with no reservations that I am excited for that day.  Not only will I be reunited with loved ones that have passed before me, but I will get to meet Shannon.

In the meantime, Happy Birthday, Shannon.  

I miss you!

January 18, 2012


Our dog Tod loves to relax in the light. 

 He will sit almost anywhere, so long as he can feel the heat of the sun directly on him. 

 I find his want to always be near the light a little inspiring.

Share your photos!  Link up!


{P.S. GIVEAWAY is still open.}

January 17, 2012

a VERY important DATE

Today is a good day because it's the anniversary of two very important events.  First, it's the third anniversary of the day I became a mother.  Happy Birthday, Sweet Pea.  I love you.

Second, it's the seventh anniversary of the day Dustin and I got engaged.

Details?  Okay, here's the juice.

To understand the full story, I need to back track to a few weeks before January 17, 2005.  I believe the date was December 23, 2004.  Dustin and I were out to dinner with a friend of ours, Ashley.  Things had sort of "happened" with Dustin and me.  And when I say happened I don't mean in a sexual way, just in a way that one day he was just my friend and I thought nothing more of him to all of the sudden one day, out of the blue {literally} I knew I was meant to marry him.

During dinner I half jokingly said we should all go look at rings.  As in engagement rings.  And, of course, Dustin and Ashley were on board.  So, we hit up the mall and checked out all the different jewelry stores.

I have unusually small hands.  And, because I've played the violin since I was six years old, I bite my fingernails.  In other words, I have ugly hands.  Because of this, I've always been weary of wearing a wedding ring, and always knew I wanted to pick out my ring because, if not, I was afraid I wouldn't like how it looked.

Luckily, Dustin entertained my weirdness and didn't have any preconceived ideas about surprising his future wife with a ring HE and ONLY he picked out.  I know some guys like that.

Anyway, after looking at a few stores I was getting frustrated at the thought of never finding a ring I not only liked, but that looked good on my short and stubby fingers.

We decided to look at one more store before heading home.  We walked in and said hello to the salesman.  Dustin and I started browsing, our heads down looking inside the display cases, when all the sudden we both stopped and pointed to a ring and said "Let's look at that one."

True story.

I put it on my finger and I just knew it was the ring.  It was everything I wanted.  It was simple with a touch of a vintage/antique look, but not boring.  Best of all, it was custom made which meant no one would have one just like it.  It was absolutely perfect.

Then reality set it.  My mind was racing with thoughts like, "Crap, I found the ring of my dreams and I'm pretty sure I'm suppose to marry Dustin, but I haven't quite figured things out yet."  And, "What happens if we walk away from this ring and then when we are ready to get married it's gone?"

We left the store, but didn't get too far before returning.  Dustin bought the ring that night.  But, there was a catch.  The ring just had a CZ.  Dustin said he would buy a real diamond later and propose when he felt it was right.

As the weeks went by, I tried my best never to ask to see my ring.  It was so pretty, that whenever I was at his house, I couldn't help but ask to wear it.

Then, one night {January 17 to be exact} Dustin and I were chillin' at his place when I asked if I could see the ring.  He said  yes, and went into his room to get it.  He came out and handed me the ring and said, "You can look at the ring, but this time I don't want it back."

I looked at him and smiled and probably said something like, "No way!?"  Then I'm pretty sure he asked me to marry him, and my oh so romantic response was, "Of course I will, ya geek!"

He then told me about the night he went back to the jeweler and bought the diamond.  It was the same night my friend Karen and I went out to dinner and a movie.  Those two were so sneaky.  After he bought the diamond, Dustin drove to my parents' house and asked my mom and dad if he could marry me.

We were married six months later.

{P.S. Enter my GIVEAWAY here!}

January 16, 2012


My brothers always joke that the music I listen to is depressing, and it's true I'm definitely not a heavy metal type of girl.

According to iTunes, my genre of choice is 'singer/songwriter.'

However, that doesn't change the fact that I do like music with a good beat and totally rockin'.

Awesome, awesome group with fun songs, fun lyrics and overall really great to listen to whether you're cleaning your house {me} or going on a road trip.

My favorite Dandys song is We Used to Be Friends, so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was the theme song for Veronica Mars.  It made the show THAT much better. 

{Side note:  I'm not including the remix edition of the song they did in Season 3.  I'm pretty sure messing with the Dandys song was the reason the show was canceled.  You just don't mess with a Dandys song}

Anyway, check out The Dandy Warhols.  They are a great band and I absolutely LOVE their music.

{P.S. Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY and REFER your friends to my BLOG!}

January 14, 2012


Is everyone excited that it is the weekend?  I sure am.

Today starts a few days of celebrating as my daughter will be celebrating her birthday on Tuesday.

We have family coming into town today for a party.

We have another party planned on Monday.

And then on Tuesday, just the three of us will be celebrating her BIG DAY.

Needless to say, I'll be a busy bee over the weekend, and will be neglecting my blog somewhat; however, I did want to thank all those who  have entered my GIVEAWAY.  It's open for another week, so anyone and everyone should enter.

And remember...

The winner of my GIVEAWAY is not luck of the draw.  It will be determined by how many ENTRIES you have.  So, please remember to REFER your friends to my BLOG and tell them to leave a comment.

Good luck to all the participants so far!

January 12, 2012

the GIVEAWAY of the CENTURY {maybe}

Now that Christmas has come and gone, it's time for people to start sending out thank you notes for all the many wonderful things they received.  

So, to encourage people to do this, and in conjunction with my latest INSTAGRAM wednesday post, I am hosting my very first giveaway.


FOUR designed by yours truly

and FOUR from my own store bought collection

Entering is EXTREMELY easy.  The only requirement is that you leave a comment telling me who you will write a thank you note to should you win this giveaway.

This one and only requirement for my CURRENT followers is worth 3 entries.

{This is Sarah.  I love your blog, as usual, and was a follower as of Thursday, January 12th at midnight.  I will send a thank you note to my dad = Sarah +3 entries}

But, wait, there's more!

You can earn additional entries by referring your friends, family, and fellow bloggers to my blog.  If they leave a comment telling me YOU referred them, you will receive an additional entry.

{Hi, my name is Megan.  I was referred to your blog by Sarah = Sarah +1 entry}

But, wait, there's more!

If your referrals FOLLOW ME, you will receive an additional entry.

{Megan is a new follower = Sarah +1 entry}


You are eligible for the prize too!  If you leave a comment telling me who would you send a thank you note to, you will receive 2 entries.

{My name is Megan.  I am a new follower thanks to Sarah.  I will send a note to my mom = Megan +2 entries}

If you refer people to my blog and they leave a comment telling me YOU referred them, you will receive an additional entry.

{My name is Laney.  I was referred to your blog by Megan = Megan +1 entry}

If your referrals FOLLOW ME, you will receive an additional entry.

{Laney is a new follower.  Megan +1 entry}

And then Laney can enter herself by telling me who she'd send a thank you note to, she can send referrals, and so on and so on and so on.

Pretty simple, right?

The giveaway closes on Saturday, January 21st at 11:59p.

Whoever receives THE MOST ENTRIES will be the winner. 

I will announce the winner on Monday, January 23rd.

Good luck and enjoy!

{p.s. coordinating envelopes included}

January 10, 2012

why we SKIPPED CHURCH {and loved it}

The last two weeks have been pretty busy for Dustin at work.  Even though both were only 4-day weeks, we're pretty sure he worked 50+ hours each week.  He also worked when he got home and received quite a few late night phone calls from employees that needed help.

That didn't leave much time for us as a family to be together. 

On Saturday, I had the weird thought that we shouldn't go to church on Sunday.  Instead, we should just spend the day together.  I thought it was kind of weird to feel so good about skipping church, but I really did.

I thought, if we didn't go to church we would miss so many things... 

We would miss the usual tantrum of getting our daughter out of her PJs and into a dress. 

 We would miss the short, but always frustrating, walk to the church because the little one refuses to hold our hands.  

We would miss not sitting in the chapel during sacrament meeting and finding our usual spot in the foyer. 

We would miss trying to keep our full of energy sweet pea quiet and from running around the building during what always promises to be the longest 70 minutes of my week.  

We would miss the usual fight going to nursery, and (because if there is an opportunity to be difficult, why not be?) the usual fight leaving nursery.  

And, last, but not least, we'd miss the fun walk home because, again, our lovely bundle of joy won't hold our hands and insists on walking every and anywhere but the sidewalk.

After weighing my options and thinking about all the things we'd miss by not going to church, what to do ended up being a pretty painless dilemma.

We totally and utterly and shamelessly skipped church.

And it was probably the best Sabbath day I've had in a long time.

ART {or something}

Is this art
what happens when my daughter is playing with my camera?

You decide.

P.S. A giveaway is in the near future

January 9, 2012


Some of you may wonder what happened to "What the..." Mondays.  I'm discontinuing it because I'd rather focus my posts on things that I love rather than things that bother me.

No worries, I'll definitely still post about things that drive me nuts, but more on a sporadic basis, not a weekly one.

With that, I introduce MUSIC mondays.  These posts will range from giving a shout out to a favorite artist, song, album, etc., or sharing a story from my life that involves music.  

I also hope these posts will inspire people to share their favorite music with me.  I'm always in the market for new tunes to sync to my iPod.

Today I'm going to talk about one of my all-time favorite artists:  TORI AMOS.

I first discovered Tori when I was in junior high, so mid-nineties.  I didn't know many people my age that liked her music, but I listened to her anyway.  I bought as many of her albums as I possibly could and listened to her all through high school and into college.  Her music just made me feel good.

One such experience was when Tori released a new album called Scarlet's Walk.  I was at home doing the dishes and listening to the radio when all of the sudden the song came on.  The DJ introduced it as Tori's new single, and I quickly pressed the record button on my stereo.  I kept an empty tape in my cassette player for just these type of situations.  The song was called A Sorta Fairytale.

As I listened to this song, I fell in love with it.  When I heard the chorus, chills literally went all over my body.  It was such a beautiful song.  I remember just standing still in my kitchen, listening to the song and enjoying it so much.

I'll never forget that night.

And I hope you take some time to check out Tori's music.  She is one amazing artist.

January 7, 2012


It was January 2010.  I had just welcomed in the new year and had put together a fun list of 65 things to do in 365 days.  I was looking forward to my list.  It included minor things like organizing the photos on my computer to seeing a play or going to a baseball game.

Then February came, and Dustin and I decided to put our house on the market.  Our plan was to pack up our house and move to a different state so we could be closer to family.

And my list basically went out the window.  Suddenly, I found myself more concerned with the condition of my house and making sure it was "sellable" than doing much of anything else.

I spent my days making sure our house was presentable at {almost} all times just in case a realtor called wanting to show it.

What felt like an eternity in reality was only five months, and we found ourselves accepting an offer.  The next month was spent packing, moving, settling.  With a sudden change in jobs {after just one month of being hired}, we found ourselves packing, moving and settling again the following month.

I learned during 2010 that no matter what I planned on, things could change in an instance.  Sure, I had a lot to do with all the change that took place in my life that year, but despite that, ever since I've sort of lost interest in resolutions.  Part of me feels like it was pointless to do my 65 in 365 list when, just a few weeks after I put it together {and, trust me, it was not easy coming up with 65 things to do} a lot of my priorities changed.

Most of 2011 was spent recovering from 2010.  Both were pretty tough years on so many levels.  Now that we're a week into 2012, I'm still up in the air about making any resolutions.  Karen does an awesome 52 Project that is such a great idea.  Then there's making just a few, big resolutions.  

Then there's the idea of just being better.  Improving.  Be it a better mom, a better wife, or a better neighbor.  I think improving and striving to be better fits my lifestyle the most.  This way, as things come up, when life throws me a sudden curveball, I can still maintain my general goal of improvement.

Works for me!

January 6, 2012

the MOTHER of the YEAR AWARD goes to...

It was a typical day.  My "something-month" old daughter and I were at home while Dustin was at work. It was bath time for my little one, so I turned on the water in the bathtub while I gathered up the soap, towels and, of course, my baby.

I gently began putting my daughter in the water.  Her back touched what was in the tub and the water that was still running from the faucet.  All of the sudden, she screamed.  It was a scream I had never heard before.  It was loud and I could tell by the look on her face she was frightened and in pain.

I quickly lifted her from the tub.  I looked at the faucet and realized I had forgotten to check the water.  The water that touched my child's body was hot.  Extremely hot. 

I wrapped a towel around my daughter's shaking body.  Despite what I had just done, all she wanted was for me to hold her.  I held on tight to my little one, holding back my tears and being so grateful that she was not more seriously harmed.  By this time, I'd noticed her back was free from any burn mark.

We skipped the bath that day.  

I'll never forget the sound of my sweet daughter's voice and the look of terror on her little face.  I felt like not only a horrible mother, but a horrible person in that moment.  

But, at the same time, I felt grateful that in her moment of need and fear, my daughter held onto me with all her might.  I knew that day that she trusted me and knew I would care for her.

As my daughter grows and matures and ventures off on her own, I hope she will always remember that I am here for her.  I hope she knows that she can hold onto me when she is frightened or sad.

I'm not exactly sure how to make sure she knows I'm always here for her other than just always being there for her.  So, hopefully that works.

I am so grateful to be a mother.

January 5, 2012

my PROUD MOMMY moment {PMM}

Here we go.  I'm participating in a new meme for the first time today because it sure is fun to share some of the details of my day that include my daughter.

I don't have one specific experience, but I do recall a few fun things that recently came out of my daughter's mouth.

{When I came out of my bedroom on Sunday after I got ready for church} 
"Pretty Mommy!  Look at pretty dress!"

{While we were relaxing in my bedroom one morning} 
"Pretty hair, Mama."

{Completely random and out of the blue} 
"I love you, Mama."

{While reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear and on the page with the children} 
Me:  "Who's that?"  
Daughter:  "Friends."

{First thing she said this morning}
"Christmas Eve?"


I'm looking for guest posters. 

Anyone interested?

Here's the catch, I want it to cover the topics I talk most about on my blog:  parent/motherhood, relationships, general observations {i.e. customer service experiences, people you see in public, etc.}, music, and photography.

I'm hoping to have at least one guest poster a month.  In January, I want to focus on relationships, so if you have any wacky relationships stories {i.e. bad first dates, bad break-ups, unforgettable moments, etc.} you'd like to share, I'm ALL EARS.

I look forward to hearing from any interested people.

January 4, 2012


I recently redecorated my bathroom.  I was going for a spa look.  It's simple, but I love it.  I chose this photo as my first "Instagram Wednesday" post of 2012 because spas represent cleansing, recharging and rejuvenation.  And that is exactly how I intend 2012 to be for me.

Join me with INSTAGRAM wednesdays.  Link up so we can all see your photos.

January 1, 2012


Happy New Year everyone!

I have yet to meet anyone who is upset 2011 is over.  Apparently it was a rough year in general.

I'm going to spend today and tomorrow with my family before getting back to "normal."

Enjoy yourselves!
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