Best Of Memorial Day Sales

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One | This eyelet top is SO good and only $12. Ordered

Two | I need new pool towels and this one is so chic and under $5

Three | I have and love this vacuum! This is a great deal at $100 off.

Four | Such a chic little wear with anything bodysuit. And only $8. Ordered.

Five | These darling sandals are sitting in my cart. 40% off

Six | A great deal on Tory Burch sandals, and this bright colorway is so fun for summer

Seven | I’ve been looking for some new planters and I like these simple ones

Eight | A great deal on a classic sneaker! Can be worn with anything from jeans, to shorts, to sundresses. Ordered

Nine | I would love to upgrade the dresser in the boys’ room. This one looks so much more expensive than it is.

Ten | We don’t have much of a yard, but would still love to plant a little garden on our patio. I’ve been looking for a raised bed like this.

Happy Memorial Day! Thankful today and everyday for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy today.

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Memorial Day At Home

This Memorial Day we had planned on heading out for a week long vacation to Mexico. But obviously with Evan still recovering and dealing with Covid, we won’t be heading anywhere anytime soon. And honestly, after 3 months in the hospital…I am SO thankful to be coming home and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Quarantine at home honestly sounds pretty heavenly about now! And there’s nothing I want to do more than have a relaxing little backyard BBQ and spend the day enjoying having our family all together again. Today I’m sharing some fun finds and ideas for having your own backyard Memorial Day BBQ.

Grill | This grill isn’t just cute, it also has great reviews

Grill Tools | This is a great deal for a very complete grill tool kit

Hot Dog Bar | We had a hot dog bar for Cole’s 9th birthday and it was a huge hit, plus it is super simple to put together.

Melamine Plates | These are so pretty, I think I’m going to have to order these. The white and blue adds a little patriotic feel, but they could be used all summer long.img_4771

Drink Bin | I’ve had this this $8 galvanized bin for a long time, and still love it.img_4774

Serving Platter | I love serving things outside on galvanized trays as well and this one is only $8

Popsicles | Making your own popsicles is a fun way to kick off summer with the kids

Garden Lantern | Such a cute little lantern to spruce up your outdoor table

Picnic Blanket | I love the carrying handle on this classic picnic blanketimg_4768

Slip n Slide | We may not be able to go to the public pool, but this is just as fun

Cornhole Game | This is such a classic backyard BBQ game and my kids always have fun playing
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Quarantine Favorites

Being in the hospital for nearly 3 months has been a special kind of quarantine experience. The hospital only allows one parent to visit at a time, and you have to have daily screening/temperature checks, as well as wear a mask anytime you leave your room. It has definitely been very isolating and tough, so I’ve tried to bring as many comforts from home as I can to get Evan and I through!

Cozy Loungewear Set

This set is so soft, cozy, and affordable! You could definitely sleep in it, but it looks pulled together enough to wear out. I’ve been wearing mine here in the hospital a ton!

Top | Joggers

Comfortable Yet Stylish Joggers

I love these so much I bought 3 colors. They are fitted but still super comfortable and soft.

Joggers

Skims Bra

I wanted a few basic bralettes that would be soft and comfortable. I ordered this in 2 colors and I’ve been loving them so far.

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Slippers

I wanted a pair of slippers I could toss after our few months in the hospital. These look like Uggs but at a tiny fraction of the price.

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Pillow Spray

This spray helps us get a good night’s sleep (which is no easy feat in the hospital!), plus it makes our room smell so nice

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Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

With the constant hand washing these days, a good hand cream is in order. One of my friends gave this to me and I absolutely love it.

Lotion

Book

There’s nothing like a good book to pass the time. I found the Elizabeth Holmes documentary so fascinating that I decided to read the book too. It’s incredibly well written and a total page turner.

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Hair Treatment

My hair isn’t getting much love these days, and who knows when I’ll be able to make it to the salon again. In the meantime, this 8 second treatment is a nice (and quick!) conditioning treatment.

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Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Okay I haven’t actually used this one yet being in the hospital, but my family gifted me this Dutch oven for Mother’s Day which has been on my wishlist for ages. And Le Creuset just happens to be having a sale which literally NEVER happens. I can’t wait to go home and cook all of our quarantine meals in this.

Dutch Oven

Camera

I’ve been documenting Evan’s recovery journey in photos and I also plan to spend a lot more time practicing photography when I get home. It’s such a fun hobby for me, and I think having a hobby during this stressful time is so important.

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Minecraft Set

Evan is loving all things cheery and cozy, and he is obsessed with Minecraft. One of his therapists gifted him this cozy blanket and the Easter bunny brought him the fun matching pillow!

 

Blanket | Pillow

Kids Sweatpants

This 3 pack of joggers is a steal and Evan’s therapists are always commenting on how soft they are (and they all wanted to know where to get them for their own kids!).

Joggers

Monkey Noodles

Evan was given a few of these at the hospital and he loves them. They are a great little fidget toy.

Monkey Noodles

Suspicion Game

Cole got this board game in his Easter basket, and we got to play it together a few times before Evan and I left for Utah. Board games can be hit or miss with Cole, but he really loves this one (and it’s even pretty fun for grownups!).

0EA48CD4-820F-41F9-9E13-59CD82C57B4BSuspicion

Disney+

When Evan isn’t in therapy, there isn’t a whole lot to do since most of the hospital activities are closed up right now due to Covid. So we’ve been on a movie marathon and are making our way through the whole Disney catalogue!

Disney+

Salt Lake City

With Evan in the hospital here in Salt Lake City undergoing rehab and as we continue to deal with all of the visitation restrictions due to Covid, my hubby and Cole have been holding down the fort at home and coming for weekend visits. Cole isn’t allowed to come to the hospital and both parents aren’t allowed in at the same time, so it has been incredibly difficult to say the least. All we can really do is try to make the best of the situation and continually remind ourselves that this is temporary.

Our routine is for my husband and I switch off and he goes to spend the weekend in the hospital with Evan, while I spend the weekend in a hotel downtown with Cole. While we are being very careful to practice social distancing guidelines, we still need to get out of the hotel a bit and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. We love taking long walks around the city and especially love the beautiful temple grounds. Salt Lake also has some fantastic restaurants and we’ve been enjoying some great takeout. It has also been fun teaching Cole a little family history – Cole’s grandma Carolyn’s family was LDS and his great, great, great grandparents were very involved with the beginnings of the faith.

Top | Joggers | Shoes (similar) | Bag
Tee (similar) | Joggers | Shoes (similar) | BagTop (similar) | Joggers | Shoes | BagTee | Joggers | Sneakers | Bag | Sunglasses038E69ED-41CB-4C0A-A00A-A97AF0F8BBEBSweatshirt (similar) | Sweats (similar) | Shoes (similar)| Bag

A few of our recommendations from our visits…

Stay…

AC by Marriott Downtown | This hotel is very new and has a really cool modern feel. It is also within walking distance to all of the downtown shopping and restaurants. I especially loved the floor to ceiling windows with city skyline views.

Eat…

Takashi | This restaurant is the number one ranked Salt Lake City restaurant on TripAdvisor…for good reason. You don’t often think landlocked states can have good sushi but this sushi can compete with the best of Seattle. I loved the rolls I ordered (Sunshine Roll and Imagine Roll) and Cole really enjoyed his teriyaki chicken bowl.

Red Iguana | One thing I truly miss about living in Southern California is good, authentic Mexican food. Boise’s Mexican food scene is a bit…lacking. This popular and highly reviewed restaurant is quite possibly one of the best I’ve eaten at. The enchilada sauce was out of this world and the guacamole was freshly made. We also tried another local restaurant located right downtown called Blue Iguana, and apparently this restaurant is owned by a family member of the owners of Red Iguana. It is a bit more of an upscale environment but Red Iguana is better.

The Dodo Restaurant | This restaurant was recommended to me by a friend, and they are currently offering a drive thru service. On Mother’s Day we were on the hunt for a convenient brunch restaurant and decided to try this one. While the food was good…the real stand out was the desserts. Cole loved the coco layer cake and the toll house pie was delicious (albeit very rich!).

Bombay House | Another restaurant highly recommended by locals. I had this one delivered by Door Dash to the hospital when I was craving some good Indian food the other night. And all of the staff kept asking “is that Bombay House?!” If you like good Indian food, you won’t be disappointed.

Eva’s Bakery | This is quite possibly the cutest and most charming little storefront in all of downtown. We really came for the cute factor but stayed for the food. I’m normally not much of a sweets person, but the stuffed French toast was delicious, and the pastries we tried (lemon cake & brownie) were also top notch. My latte was also fantastic too.

Raw Bean Coffee House | So many coffee shops and restaurants are closed on Sundays in Utah and while on the hunt for one that was open I came across this one. Their large latte is an absolute monster and their coffee is quite good.

Shop…

City Creek Center | Only about 50% of the shopping center is currently open, but it was still fun to stroll around and window shop. It is a neat open air shopping center with some fantastic high end shopping, as well as mid range and affordable options as well.

The Lady Bag | They are currently closed due to Covid, but this is one shop I’ll want to come back to on a future trip! This high end consignment store has an incredible selection of designer bags.

Young Warrior

Young Warrior

March 3rd was just a normal day. Evan and I ran errands, picked Cole up from school, had dinner together, and were getting ready to go to Taekwondo. And in an instant our lives were changed forever. Evan started screaming in pain holding his head and became very weak & nauseous. I immediately knew it was a neurological emergency and I threw both kids in the car and raced towards the emergency room. Cole and I were screaming and crying begging Evan to hold on as he lost consciousness. When we arrived at the ER I told them that Evan was having a stroke. The ER doctor told me that it was “highly unlikely” but proceeded to take him for a CT scan which confirmed my hunch. He had a large bleed on his brain & I truly thought we were going to have to say goodbye right there in the ER. But moments later, in walked Dr Jutzy (one of Evans Pediatric Neurosurgeons) who smiled at me and said, “I think we can do something here.” Evan was rushed to emergency surgery to place a drain in his head, and Dr Jutzy’s words gave me the glimmer of hope I needed to endure what was to come.

E4336D0B-20D9-46D0-BE03-45D1E439434BMarch 5th – 2 days after his brain injury

For over 3 weeks after, Evan faced a battle that most people will be lucky enough to never experience. Evan was diagnosed with an AVM, a rare congenital blood vessel abnormality on the brain. People can actually have these their entire lives, and may or may not ever cause a problem. In Evan’s case, he developed an aneurysm which ruptured and bled. It was a constant battle in those weeks to try to stabilize him and treat the aneurysm. Not only did an attempted angiogram to try to treat the aneurysm fail, he suffered respiratory distress from a mucous plug and a code blue was called. He had to have an emergency bronchoscopy to save his life again. He then developed severe vasospasms in the vessels in his brain which caused additional strokes, and had to have a second emergency angiogram to attempt to open the vessels. This was followed by trips to CT every other day, and as he was so unstable he went with a team of 2 RTs, 2 RNs & occasionally a doctor, to continue to evaluate the vasospasms to make sure they weren’t returning. To treat the strokes, he was intentionally fluid overloaded to perfuse the brain as much as possible – which also caused horrible swelling making him completely unrecognizable. The pressure in his head was so high he continued to need to be put in a deeper and deeper coma with the aid of barbiturates and paralytics. There were a lot of long nights with 4-5 nurses and a doctor in his room fighting to stabilize him while all I could do was sit there and shake. There was talk of not being able to extubate him and potentially needing a tracheotomy. I tried so hard to hang onto hope, but it was obvious the situation was incredibly dire and we were going to need a miracle.

And by the grace of God, we began to witness a miracle unfold. On March 28th we crossed our fingers and extubated him. He started breathing and opening his eyes. Over the following week, his breathing remained labored, but he continued to wake up more and more. He eventually started following commands, smiling at us, and moving his extremities. And our biggest miracle was yet to come.

909E815C-C23C-4E72-A758-F1BE73E296CAApril 11th – our last day in PICU just prior to transferring to the Pediatric unit

On April 16th, a 3rd angiogram was performed in another attempt to embolize the aneurysm in Evan’s brain. Once an aneurysm has bled, it has a very high risk of bleeding again and every single day it felt like we were sitting on a ticking time bomb. When Evan went back to surgery, I kissed him goodbye and said a prayer for peace and surrender – trusting that God would see us through. The mood had been somber with Evan’s doctors that morning. After the last failed attempt, we all knew that there was a high probability that it could fail again.

9D409D1D-D2C3-4950-AB88-DB6D841713F8An image of the AVM

After waiting about 4 hours while Evan was back in surgery, our interventional radiologist Dr Bell came to the waiting room and told me he had some news. Not only did they successfully embolize the aneurysm, they got the AVM too. This wasn’t even something we had thought was going to be possible and had just hoped the aneurysm would be stabilized. We had been planning to pursue radiation treatments in the coming months to treat the AVM and there was no discussion of embolization even being an option. Covid be damned because I hugged Dr Bell as hard as I could and sobbed happy tears – and I hear there was a whole lot of high fiving and cheers happening in the angio suite too!!! We are so thankful to Evan’s incredibly skilled doctors (Dr Bell, Dr Perl, Dr Cherny, Dr Zouros, and Dr Jutzy) who didn’t give up on this incredible challenge. And so grateful to God for making a way. We witnessed a true miracle that day.

img_3243After his angiogram on April 16th. “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24

I’ve always known how special Evan is…and in this very trying time he has touched the hearts of so many. We had a string of surgical staff coming to the recovery room after Evan’s angiogram, who had heard Evan’s story and had been waiting weeks for this day with their fingers crossed for us. People we had never met were congratulating us & just giddy with excitement. After his procedure we were sent back to PICU for observation, and all of our PICU family was just as excited as we were! They said they had been calling down the whole time trying to get updates. His anesthesiologist began to tear up and told me that she’s been following us very close since she first met us in the ER the night of Evan’s emergency surgery, because her own 3 year old nephew was lost in a horrible tragedy about the same time we were admitted. Seeing Evan hang on and continue to get better had brought her some joy in this time of her own personal grief. I still think of her often, and I pray for comfort and peace for her and her family.

E9F3531A-DE3F-4365-9DD5-C12E3E991468April 21st – Evan’s first day of inpatient rehab

We are currently at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City undergoing inpatient rehab. Evan has a long, challenging road ahead. He is having to relearn everything – from speaking, to eating, to walking. He has to rebuild his strength completely as even just sitting up independently is a challenge for him. Despite the difficult days here, Evan continues to make huge strides every day. He works his body and mind to the point of complete exhaustion, all with a smile on his face. Every day I am more and more in awe of his incredible strength and resilience. Evan’s name in Welsh means “God has been gracious” and in Celtic it means “young warrior.” Our young warrior is fighting hard and God is watching over him every step of the way.

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Working so hard to regain strength! April 30th

During this time of great uncertainty in the world, we have seen that God still performs miracles. We are witnessing one unfold and I’m so incredibly grateful. God also sends his helpers, and boy…were we blessed with the presence of true angels. People who were strangers to us 2 months ago, are now our family. I can’t express the love and gratitude we have for the heroes at St Lukes Children’s Hospital in Boise. Not only did they expertly care for Evan saving his life over and over, they loved him like their own. They cried with us on the bad days and cheered with us on the good days. They surrounded Evan and stood in prayer at his bedside with us. They were just as giddy as we were seeing him make such huge improvements, and as one of his RT’s said, “he’s our miracle boy.” To his neurosurgeons, ICU doctors, rehab doctors, RNs, PTs, OTs, STs, RTs, CNAs, chaplains, child life specialists, social workers…you are all heroes. We’ve had the added aspect of facing a global pandemic during our time in the hospital, and the courage and sacrifice of our healthcare workers continuing to carry on despite their personal risk and fears is truly heroism. Thank you all and we love and appreciate you more than we can ever say.

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Saying goodbye to a few of the incredible PICU doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists that saved Evan’s life before leaving for rehab

We all think that something like this will never happen. But life can be inherently cruel and unfair, and I now fully realize how fragile it is. Tomorrow is never promised and your life can be shattered in an instant. Don’t take any moments for granted. Hug and kiss your kids constantly. Don’t wait until tomorrow to spend time with them. Let them sleep with you, play with them, find joy in every day. All the little things you are annoyed with or bothered by day to day…realize that those moments are actually a blessing. Most problems in life really are trivial. When you are sitting in an ICU praying for your child to live, you truly realize that what you thought were tough days, are in fact a gift. Embrace them. And no matter what trials you may be faced with…don’t lose hope. Your miracle may be just around the corner.

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“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted” Job 5:9 

Dresses For A Late Winter/Early Spring Event

My son’s annual school fundraising art auction is this weekend, and deciding what to wear to a dressy event this time of year can be a bit of a predicament. While I want to wear a pretty spring dress…the reality is it is still winter and pretty chilly outside. Today I wanted to share a few options I selected for myself, as well as some other options that would be great for any upcoming weddings, fundraisers, or any other occasion that calls for dressing up during this in between season.

Dress  (also here) | Bag | Shoes

This is the dress I ultimately chose for myself which really fits our theme of “Together We Are A Masterpiece” and goes well with the Van Gogh Starry Night painting we are using as our design and decor inspiration. Also being long sleeved and below the knee I feel a bit more covered up for a chilly March evening!

Dress | Bag | Shoes

This dress was my other option and while I absolutely love this one, I felt it was less on theme and also a bit revealing with the high slit for a school related function. This dress is truly stunning though, and I kind of want to hang onto it in case another event comes up!

Here’s a few other pieces I had considered as well and would all be great options for events coming up in the next few months!

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Resort Wear Picks

Resort Wear Picks

With spring around the corner, I’m dreaming of sunny skies and sandy beaches. For those of you lucky folks headed somewhere tropical for spring break, I wanted to share a few resort wear pieces I’ve come across that are perfect for a warm weather escape.

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One :: This super cute beach hat is highly reviewed and affordable at $55

Two :: I really want a leopard suit this season, and this one is one of the best I’ve seen

Three :: This straw beach bag is packable making it the perfect vacation tote

Four :: This cute little top would be so cute paired with cutoff shorts or white jeans

Five :: This kaftan is chic and still super affordable

Six :: This pretty breezy dress is under $100

Seven :: I have these shorts and they are my go-to denim summer shorts. Highly recommend

Eight :: The perfect gold flip flop

Nine :: This dress is just so pretty and feminine

Ten :: I just bought these Celine dupe sunglasses. They look just like the real thing and are under $15 (and come in lots of other color options)

Eleven :: A simple white puff sleeve top is the perfect mix & match piece

Twelve :: This is an amazing designer dupe and is under $25. I’m definitely grabbing this bag for summer.

Thirteen :: These look just like Baublebar, but are only $8. These are the perfect statement earring that will go with anything.

Fourteen :: I bought a pair almost exactly like these last summer and wore them a ton. The paperbag silhouette is one of my favorite trends for shorts.

Fifteen :: Um…hello gorgeous shoes. A little pricey, but seriously stunning.

Sixteen :: Perfect little sunscreen travel set

Seventeen :: These are amazing Valentino dupes and would be perfect with nearly any outfit.

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