i love you because...

i'm so happy to have Kassi here today! she is honestly one of my favorite and best blog friends and i am so grateful to have met her. not only is she one of the kindest person you will meet, but she also is so talented and crafty. today she is sharing a really easy and fun craft just in time for Valentine's Day. 

i hope you enjoy her post and be sure to head over to her blog and show her some love there as well!


Well hello there Mrs. Robinson fans!!! My name is Kassi and I write over at Truly Lovely with my sister, Kayli. That's me on the right, Kayli on the left. You might have seen me hanging around here before, but if not, I am a 20 something work from home wifey. No kiddos yet, but we do have two doggies and several horses.

Truly Lovely is where Kayli and I share whatever we happen to find lovely at the time. It can include crafts, recipes, our wishes for the future but in all reality we write about whatever we want to on that given day. :) We even host a Fancy This Fridays party every week where YOU can share with us what you've been up to lately.

So, I am so excited to have the honor of sharing with you lovelies today!!! Megan is over at our place as we speak sharing a lovely Valentine related post, so be sure to pop over and visit her when you're through here. It just so happens that I have a SUPER easy Valentine's Day craft for you!
So, my husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on July 9th!! Whoot! Did you know that the traditional gift for the first year of marriage is paper? I scoured the interwebs and finally found something for my husband that would fit the paper description...

An "I love you because..." frame! This would make a quick and easy Valentine's Day gift for your significant other. Besides, it only requires a few steps and inexpensive materials!

Materials needed:
  • Picture frame (I got mine at Wal-Mart for $3!)
  • Spray paint (if you prefer a different color for the frame)
  • Sanding block (again, if you plan to paint the frame and like the ruffed up look)
  • Dry erase marker
  • Two magnets
  • Glue
  • Photo or printer paper

This one is so simple I prefer not to insult your intelligence with a complete play by play. ;) But basically you spray paint the frame (my frame was black and I preferred a dark brown for where it would be displayed). I ruffed up the edges so a little of the black showed through for a more rustic look.
Then I designed my print out in Word, printed it on photo paper and stuck it in the frame.

I used E-6000 glue to glue one magnet onto the frame itself and another onto my dry erase marker. Now there's a marker handy anytime either of us wants to write on the glass!

Please excuse my horrible handwriting... I was in a rush before the hubs came home! haha! I displayed the frame in our bathroom so each morning we can leave one another sweet messages. ;)

Now, if you'd like to make your own, I've even saved you a little bit of time... Valentine's Day is only two weeks away after all. You can download the printable I created above here; I Love You Because Printable. It's even available in four colors. ;)

Thanks so much to Megan for letting me share today! Hope to see you dolls over at Truly Lovely sometime soon!
Happy crafting lovelies!
blog post by Kassi at Truly Lovely

DownEast SanTan Mixer

Megan modeling this lovely & comfortable furry chair :)
last night i had the opportunity to go the DownEast Home & Clothing Store grand opening in the SanTan Shopping Center in Gilbert
a HUGE thank you to Megan of Shaping Up To Be a Mom who invited me to go. 
it was so fun to be able to get out of the house and have a girls night with some local bloggers. 
[which i didn't even realize there were so many close by me so that was really exciting too!] 

the DownEast Home & Clothing Store has lots of amazing designer clothes and home decor items at a fraction of the cost in retail stores, some even up to 80-90% off.
so for a person who gets a huge rush out of discount shopping and finding the best deals, this place is basically my heaven.

some highlights of the night include: 
+ awesome swag bags 
+ teaching a professional photography how to use my camera that i don't even know how to use (as you can tell by the semi-blurry pictures)
+ winning a shirt 
+ asking a worker to undress a mannequin twice (two different outfits) to try on the skirts 
+ accidentally calling Megan's little girl a boy
+ meeting new bloggers in the area 
+ trying to mingle with said bloggers but always saying dumb stuff...

so basically the moral of the story:
i'm a seriously awkward person!! 
but i still had a ton of fun! 

thank you to DownEast for hosting the mixer! 
it was a much needed night out for this mama :)

the SanTan Shopping Center DownEast is having a huge contest to celebrate their grand opening! 
you can enter to win a $200 shopping spree plus four $50 gift cards for four of your friend. 
(the winner doesn't have to be present at time of drawing)
so if you are local, you should definitely get on down to the SanTan DownEast to enter! 

Hello Monday

hello my chubby, cuddly little boy, ready to play. 

hello ibuprofen. you will be my best friend today. 

hello leftover apple pie that i'm trying hard to resist eating for breakfast. 

hello lots of paperwork & errands to run. the apple pie with get me through. 

hello Tangled, Shrek, Toy Story, and Micky Mouse. i'm sure we'll be watching a lot of you today.
*see ibuprofen 

hello Hungry Caterpillar. you're our new favorite. 

hello beautiful rain. Arizona rain is the best kind of rain. 

hello almost February! i'm ready to keep this year moving! 

what are you saying hello to today? 

[sorry for the grainy Instagram pictures. i just love the ones of Eli :)]

my friend Jessica of Sebastian Design has her adorable hand-stamped necklaces featured on Very Jane today! you should definitely head on over and pick up 1 (or 2 or 3) for yourself and your loved one for Valentine's Day {only $5.99!}. seriously, you will love her stuff!
check out the deal here.

linking up with Lisa Leonard and Hello Hue

parenting truths

this clip pretty much sums up parenting perfectly.
it is the best definition i have heard so far.

guys. parenting is rough bizness. 
[business for those who wonder about my English skillz]
and if you ever meet anyone who seems like they got it all under control, don't let them fool you. 
either they're just straight up crazy too so kids don't scare them, 
they are getting lots of help, 
or they're not telling the whole truth. 

like this week for example. 
Elijah is being all cute and we're playing nicely and he's cuddling and is so sweet... 
then in a split second he turns to me and bites me as hard as he can on my leg. 
{like breaking skin/left a bruise hard.}
then he says he's sorry and he's all nice and sweet and wants me to sings songs to him... 
then he throws a book at my face and screams at the top of his lungs because i was sitting in his spot.
and another time were being all crafty and creative and making memories...
then he dumps the paint water all over the chairs and carpet for no reason other than he just can.

this is how every single day of my life goes.

i see other mothers and hear them rave about the joys of parenting,
how they wouldn't want to be anywhere else during the day,
how sweet & charming their children are,
how every day is just magical and filled with rainbows & unicorns.

and i'm thinking...
i could name off a million things i would rather do than get punched in the face and deal with the chocolate milk meltdowns of a raging two-year-old.
and where the heck are my rainbows?? everything is all drab & dreary 'round these parts.

i know it all goes back to my tendency to compare,
i compare other mothers' Facebook statuses and Instagram updates taking it for reality when in fact they are just posting a tiny portion of their day.

i specifically voiced all these concerns to my counselor, telling him how i feel like a failure of a mother because i don't like every second i spend with Elijah, which i felt was contrary to what others had taught me to believe about parenthood.
you know what he said?
"Megan, no one actually has days like that. And the ones who are saying that are either lying to themselves or taking lots of meds to help them deal with it."

obviously he was {mostly} being sarcastic,
[and there's absolutely nothing wrong with medication]
but it helped me really see things in a better perspective. and learn to be honest with my feelings.

i'm not going to like Elijah every single second of every single day.
who would like anyone who is screaming and bullying them?
no one. and that's normal.

and it's normal to admit that there are some moments in parenting that are just awful.
like when a kid throws a remote at your friend's face
or wakes up at 2am
or breaks all the DVDs
or grabs poop off the ground.
[Elijah totally did that! it was disgusting and disturbing and he didn't even care]
all of that stuff is.not.fun.
and it's okay to say that!

because even though you don't always like the things they do, you still love them. 
at the end of the day, they are still the sweetest, cutest, and cuddliest.
and they are really just the best little human beings when they want to be.
you learn to live for the little moments that help you to see their sweet spirits inside.

[right before he bit me. he looks sooooo innocent....]
that's what makes parenting awesome.
that's what makes it magical.
and that's what makes every day worth it.

i will never celebrate macaroni being thrown on the floor.
but i will always celebrate the time i had with Elijah & the true love we share.
[cause boys hit girls they like right?]

and for the record, sometimes i actually do like when Elijah wakes up at 2am. then he's super cuddly and sleepy so it's kind of the best. until he turns 2am into 4am then the novelty wears off :)

Shabby Apple $75 Giveaway - CLOSED

i am a BIG fan of Shabby Apple!
{let's be real, who isn't?}
they have some of the best style around and can make anyone look like a star. 

their beautiful lace dresses are especially swoon-worthy and they have some of the best peplum styles i have ever seen. you also can't go wrong with any of their more casual dresses that can be worn during the day or dressed up for a hot date night. and don't forget their adorable retro-style swim suits

but what i covet most are their GORGEOUS tulle skirts that i'm just dying to get my hands on! 

so now that i sufficiently told you what i'm loving at Shabby Apple, here comes the exciting part. 
Shabby Apple is giving away a $75 Gift Card for anything in their shop. 
here's how to enter: 
[please leave a comment for each entry]

1. become a fan of Shabby Apple on Facebook 
2. leave a comment with your favorite pick from Shabby Apple & email address to get in contact with you

3. follow Shabby Apple on Twitter 
4. share this giveaway on your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/blog and leave me the link. also be sure to tag both me {@megancamille} and Shabby Apple {@shabbyapple on Twitter and @shabbyappleclothing on Instagram} when you do so.

[must have a U.S. shipping address to win. winner will be chosen on Thursday, Jan. 31st.]



i wish i could give a gift card to all of you.. i honestly hate that i can only pick one. 
but! if you still would like to purchase something from Shabby Apple you can use the code 
to get 10% off your total purchase! 

okay nowthe winner of the giveaway is.... 

CONGRATULATIONS, Whitney!! i'll be emailing you soon :) 

huge thank you to all who entered!!

circus clown to tailored fave

i love thrifting
i love good bargains. i love one-of-a-kind items. i love quirkiness. 
so basically thrifting gives me all of the above! 

but sometimes finding good thrifted items can be hard when they aren't the right size. 
and since i'm no seamstress {by any means!} i'm always afraid that i'll ruin something by trying to tailor it myself. so i wait for my mom to come into town to do it for me :) 

this time though, i decided that i was going to put on my big girl pants and turn this shirt i love into something much more flattering. i loved the pattern and all the small details of the shirt that i couldn't wait to fix it up. i was pretty proud of myself {and honestly surprised!} that i actually pulled it off! 

here's the before: 
[this is actually taken inside out before i pinned it]

when i first showed Adam this shirt, he started laughing uncontrollably.
"is that a joke?" he asked. "it looks like a clown shirt!"
undettered, and a little offended, i assured him that this was a great shirt and just needed a little a lot of taking in. 

so the other night, i decided to try my hand at sewing. 

annnnnd i totally winged it. 
i had seen my mom do it to another one of my shirts and figured it couldn't be that hard. plus, online tutorials kind of overwhelm me cause i feel like they make it sound more complicated than it really is. and i just full out don't understand it. i like to make stuff up on my own and hope for the best. 
in this case, i think it did! 

maybe it doesn't look that much different... ha. 
but i promise if you saw it in person before you could tell the difference. 
before it was veerrrrry big, fluffy, and was too flowy. 
not the cutest shape but again, the pattern had me hooked!

and the sleeves are defnitely a fun change to other polka dots tops. 
i think you either love them or hate them. 
Adam hates them. i love them. 
and of course my opinion matters more. 

[holy crazy eyes!]

now for the moment of truth.... 
does it really look like a bad clown shirt?? 

Adam also said i just need some maracas to complete the look. 
i mean really?!

linking up with The Pleated Poppy

::: winner of the ModestPop giveaway is NICOLE S! i will be emailing you soon with details :) 

heart *bursting*

our trip to California was much needed for us. 
for me, especially. 
i had been feeling really burnt out in the motherhood department. 
{okay, let's be honest. when am i not burnt out?} 
but seriously Adam's school schedule and Elijah's growing rebellious streak were taking its toll on me. 
add on a frustrating 12-hour road trip and needless to say i was not in the best mood when we first arrived. 

but after just the first day i already felt revived. 

to say Elijah had the time of his life in California is an understatement. 
how could he not? 
he had everything he could ever want: 
going outside to play 
a kitty cat 
{sneaking} candy whenever he could 
fun uncles 
and of course grandma & grandpa

Elijah was so happy it was contagious. i loved seeing him have fun, explore, and interact with family.
one night, as Adam and i were discussing the funny/cute things Eli had done that day, i asked Adam,
"Doesn't it just make you fall in love with him so much more when you see him so happy?"  

and that is genuinely how i felt. 

no matter how frustrated i was before, i felt like my heart grew exponentially watching Elijah play. 
it was that moment in parenthood where i finally understood why my mom and dad would always tell me that they didn't want a present for Christmas/their birthday, seeing us happy & healthy was more than enough.
i always thought that was a cop-out answer and that they really didn't mean it, they just were trying to make it easier cause maybe we couldn't afford the actual present they wanted. 

but now i got it. 
i finally understood. 
when Elijah is happy, i am truly happy. 
seeing him be so excited about life makes me love life more. 
he is my heart, the outside representation of it. and seeing him filled with joy literally fills my heart with joy too. 

so as long as i can make that little face light up, then i think i'm doing a pretty good job. 

ModestPop.com $20 Giveaway

i told you before how much i love ModestPop.com
their clothes are so so cute, comfortable, & affordable. 
i cannot say enough good things about their website. 

lucky for you, ModestPop is generous enough to give away a $20 gift card to their site! 
they have so many cute things in their shop that you are bound to find something you love. 

since i gave myself a strict no-spending rule this month {and maybe the next couple...}, i'm going to live vicariously through you all and show you some of the things that are on my ModestPop wish list.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

there are so many other cute things too that it was hard to narrow it down. 
and almost all of them are $20 or under! 
[two are $21 & $23 so still within a cheap range with the gift card :)]

connect with ModestPop on their
and then enter to win with the Rafflecopter widget below.

also, be sure to leave a comment with your email address so i know how to get a hold of you. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

my disease

i have a sickness that i'm sure thousands of other people, especially women, suffer from.
it is debilitating. 
it is extremely harmful to my body & mind. 
and if left untreated, it can make life not worth living. 

this disease is "i'm-not-good-enough-otosis" 
or otherwise known as "always-comparing-ititis"

[also, i watch Doc McStuffins with Elijah and got good at making up words :)]

this is something i have always struggled with. 
whenever i get in a bad place, the first thing to blame is that i'm comparing... again. 
it has put a wedge in my friendships, in my relationships, in my parenting, and in my marriage. 

when i first started to go to therapy, the first thing i told my counselor was,
"i have a blessed life. but i don't know how to be happy in it."
the problem was i saw so many of my friends going on trips, moving into houses, having cutest/most fashionable clothes, buying the newest gadgets & products, looking way more beautiful, more talented, more crafty, more likeable.... 

do you see where i'm going with this? 

i could keep going. 

Adam is well aware of this problem. he {unfortunately} has to call me out on it often. 
i know it's tiring for him. 
it's tiring for me. 
but they say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. 
and thankfully a year and half ago i was able to do so in a safe environment

ever since i have realized that i have this disease
{and it really is a disease}
{and it unfortunately took me some time to finally admit that i even had it},
i have had to constantly make conscious decisions to avoid things that would make my comparing worse. or actively seek out situations that will help me feel more worthwhile.

with the help of my counselors & my loving husband, i have tried to make a list of {mostly} fail-proof ways to combat the sickness that is comparison-ocosis:
-i try to limit social media, 
-i limit some of the blogs i read, 
-i try to focus on & remember my blessings daily,
-i surround myself with people that are supportive & understanding, 
-i try to focus on things that i love, not trends that will pass away {definitely can be hard. but worth it}, 
-and instead of feeling sorry for myself, i try to actually improve on the things that i may not like. 

it is a work in progress. 
but i know that if i want to be happy, truly & wonderfully happy, this is the first thing that must go. 
and eventually, practice will make perfect, right? 
or at least soon there will be a more permanent cure.
[it's called higher self esteem :)]

lessons learned from my parents

last week my parents celebrated 35 years of marriage. 
35 years! 
in a time where it seems like people are getting divorced left and right, it seems like such a huge accomplishment to say you've been married to the same person for 35 years. 

i know that throughout the last 35 years it hasn't always been easy. 
but i know that through it all they love each other more than ever. 

through my parents' example, i have learned a lot about what makes a marriage work:
:: true forgiveness 
:: loyalty {especially against bratty teenagers} 
:: friendship [my mom & dad would always call each other their best friend :)]
:: unfailing support through all that life throws at you [career, kids, school...] 
:: patience 
:: communication & honesty
:: being positive especially through the ups & downs 
:: and most importantly i have learned about LOVE

no, my parents definitely do not have the most perfect life or perfect marriage. 
but you would never know that when you hear them talk about each other. 

i hope that in 35 years Adam and i can have as strong of a relationship as my parents have. 
and i hope that in 35 years our own children can say the same things about us that i see in my parents.

thank you for teaching me so much and being such a great example to us!

15 reasons why Eli is the coolest kid you'll ever meet

[Elijah playing "football" (air hockey) with Adam]

1. because he makes up songs about everything he sees.
"my socks!! my foot!! my chocolate!! my presents!! my shirt!!"
[don't worry. i have video :)]

2. because he says "What's up?!" while giving you a thumbs up and then laughs hysterically. 

3. because he's obsessed with pockets and putting his toys in said pockets
[even though they are obviously too big. the toys not the pockets.]

4. because he comes up to me when i'm laying on the couch or bed and cuddles up close under the blankets. 

5. because he says, "I'm sleeping... oh I woke up!" at least 5 times a day during play-time, dinner, watching Mickey Mouse... 

6. because when you ask him his favorite things he says,
"chocolate, Santa Claus, presents, Harry Potter, reindeer, Happy Birthday, robots." 

7. because he still talks about his friend Crue's birthday party that he was invited to two months ago and sings the "Happy Birthday" song randomly throughout the day.

8. and because he still talks about how he bonked his head on the door at church that also happened two months ago, adding new {true} detail each time. every.day.all.day.long.

9. because he loves to count everything around him,
"1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, yeah!!!" *claps hands*

10. because he is a good helper and will even tell you so.
"i do it! i good helper!"

11. because he puts his dishes in the sink when he's done eating and tells himself,
"good eating, ZaZa (Elijah)!"

12. because he says the cutest prayers.

13. because he loves the movie "Howl's Moving Castle," following in his nerdy parents footsteps.

14. because he pointed to a guy in Adam's home ward and called said, "Elf!" really loud during sacrament meeting. we can't decide if it's cause he looks like an elf or looks like the dad from the movie "Elf." either way it was both embarrassing and hilarious!

15. because he's mine and Adam's son and since we are cool...
[transitive property] = Elijah is the coolest!


as i've thought a lot about this last year and think about what 2013 will bring, i have been trying to decide what i need to focus on most this year. looking over how crazy, fun, yet stressful 2012 was, i realized that it took me having to look back at the memories to remember how worthwhile the events were instead of actually enjoying the happiness in that moment.

i know i can be one to maybe exaggerate or glamorize things when i look back on them {as Adam likes to point out once and a while ;)} but sometimes going through tough experiences it can be hard for me to think of the positives, to remember that this one bad day doesn't dictate my overall, true happiness.

Source: imgfave.com via Marcy on Pinterest

so, this year i'm focusing on {HAPPY}

i want to make happiness a habit.
i want others who are around me to feel uplifted.
i want my husband to be happy because he sees & feels my own happiness.
i want my son to grow up knowing that his mom is happy, teaching him happiness in return.
i want my relationships with my husband, son, family, & friends to strengthen because i'm focusing more on being happy than on being negative.

2013 is the year of:
happy mama 
happy wife 
happy friend 
happy life.

my love affair with ModestPop

i have a new favorite online clothing store. 
it has super cute {modest} clothes at very reasonable prices, 
which can honestly be really hard to find! 
[DownEast and Shade are great places but kind of over budget most of the time] 

this wonderful, diamond in the rough, store is called ModestPop.com
they came to fill the void of affordable, modest clothing possibilities and have completely won me over. 
and not only are clothes from ModestPop affordable & cute, but they are also really great quality. 
i was so impressed with how well made my items were. 

skirt & shirt: ModestPop [herehere-on sale now!] // belt: thrifted // necklace: Sebastian Design

i am definitely a believer in ModestPop
i love my skirt and shirt so much and literally wear my skirt at least twice a week if not more. 
i will forever be a loyal customer!
if you are looking for some cute clothes & accessories to spend your Christmas money on, this is the place to go! 

ModestPop.com provided me with the clothes to review but all thoughts & opinions are my own. i really do love their clothes and already have my eye set on some new items! :)

so, this is what's it's like to have a front yard

one of the best things about going home when you live in a small apartment is taking advantage of all the space, inside & out! 

Elijah loved being able to play outside and we loved that he was able to actually go outside in a safe, confined space. one day, while everyone else was gone, we decided it would be fun to "play house" and pretend like we actually belong in a real-life neighborhood. so we rode scooters & bikes, played street hockey, and walked around the cul-de-sac while daydreaming about our own future home 
{which won't happen for a looooong time :)}.

basically, it was everything i ever hoped to do one day with my little family. 
and even though it was just one afternoon, it made me so excited for a future away from student life.