Posted by Crystal

Lately I’ve been doing lots of shopping for the baby. You’d think I have most of what I need since I already have 2 kids, but for some reason I’ve got quite a few things on my list of things to get before baby. I’ll show you all the things I’ve bought recently.

First are new car seats. I’m not a minivan kind of girl, although they are way more practical. I’m having a hard time finding the space in my car for 3 car seats so I found these compact car seats that look like they just might work.

I don’t need 3 of them, but I bought one on Amazon for $183 which was the cheapest I found. So I’m going to see if I can fit my graco infant carrier, with one of these Sunshine Kids car seats, then I found this Evenflo no back booster car seat at Target� ($30)� for Lily. Looks pretty compact. So I’ll have to see if I can fit all 3 of these on one row.

I also got this little Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper that a friend told me about. It has an inclined seat, which makes sleeping more comfortable for babies and helps with colic. This is what I’m going to use at my bedside.

Both of the baby swings I did have, broke, so I’m looking around for one of those too. Let me know if you have any recommendations.

I also found these great new products for babies. It’s called Hot Tot, and they are a company that provides all kinds of organic hair and skin care products for babies. Here’s some info from the website.

“Hot Tot�s formulas are made with individually selected organic and naturally sourced ingredients to optimize the performance of every product. Our formulas were created with tots in mind and are gentle enough to be used on children with sensitive skin, cradle cap, eczema and allergies.”

I’m all about products that avoid harsh chemicals, especially when it comes to my babies. These seem to be like great products, and smell yummy too!

Now here’s a few websites that have some great deals going on right now.

First is They are giving away free baby slings if you use this coupon code: BABIES

You only have to pay shipping.

I just got myself one. Here’s the one I picked.

Marriage Blog Recommendation at

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The truth is that there are product lines on the marketplace, easily available, that can enable you to solve your marriage concerns on your own. They work due to the fact that a lot of married couples have the exact same issues and there are tried, evaluated, and effective ways of resolving these concerns. I recommend you check out my assessments of these products-- Look to the right for links-- and decide if one or more of them is best for you. They cost a portion of what marriage counseling costs and at the very least they could be used to prep you for marriage counseling so that you can maximize your sessions.

Next you also get these Utter Covers for free when using this coupon code: SEVEN

Just pay shipping and handling. Here’s the one I got.

Next is Baby Steals and Kids Steals. These are awesome websites. Each day they post something new you can buy for usually half the retail price. Today my friend and I got to be their models :) Check out baby steals to see the pics. Here are a couple of them.

Here’s my gorgeous friend Monique.


This is the only cute one of me on there, haha. I think I look crappy in all of them, wish they would have just cut off my head in the rest of them.

Posted by Crystal

I never thought I’d be one to consider childbirth without drugs. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a bit of a woosy when it comes to pain. I do however, TRY to live a more natural lifestyle. Never been the type to be too extreme, but I’d definitely choose natural home remedies before any kind of drugs. I believe in eating healthy, organic as much as possible. I juice regularly, and do a cleanse about every 4 months (when I’m not pregnant of course). I’m also a huge advocate of drinking a meal replacement protein shake every morning for breakfast (my favorite is the Isagenix Isalean shakes) to be sure I’m getting plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals.

So when I was pregnant with my first, I considered going natural…

…for about 2 minutes.

With my second I didn’t consider it at all, but just so happens my epidural stopped working just in time for me to push out a 9 1/2 lb baby.

I thought I was going to die. Very painful, but then again, not quite as bad as I had imagined. I think I was scared more than anything. Plus, the recovery was MUCH easier for some reason. This experience also gave me the confidence that maybe I COULD do it naturally.

Now most people, including myself would say, “why endure pain if you don’t have to”?

Well that was before I took the time to research it a little more. Started by watching the documentary, Business of Being Born. Here’s the trailer, you MUST watch it.

I realized that my past desicions were all based on ignorance and fear. I never took the time to actually learn about childbirth, I was doing what everyone else seemed to be doing without second thought of the alternative. Natural childbirth was never even something my doctor wanted to talk about.

I’ve learned there is so much more to having a baby naturally than just pure horror and pain. Not that I know from experience… YET, but I’ve heard it’s the most amazing and empowing experience a women could have.

Not only do I want to have that experience, but I’m dealthy afraid of that epidural. I would dare say that getting that tube shoved up my spine was the hardest part of the whole thing for me, and my back has never been the same since. I still have pain there and get a sharp tingly feeling anytime I’m massaged in that spot.

Here are a few interesting facts about natural childbirth.

  • Quicker recovery for mother and baby
  • Shorter labor
  • More effective pushing, shorter pushing time
  • Less tearing of the perineum
  • Lower Cesarean rate
  • Less chance of damage to baby�s brain due to drugs or misused forceps or vacuum
  • Less chance of bodily harm to baby from forceps or vacuum
  • Less need for interventions such as internal fetal monitor, continuous monitoring, IV, catheter
  • Mother can move freely and get in comfortable position
  • Mother can squat to push, which makes pushing easier and shorter
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Baby is alert and reactive to environment
  • Baby is more coordinated
  • Baby can latch on better and more quickly for breastfeeding moms
  • Mother is in control of her body and can use instinct to birth the baby
  • Mother is unmedicated and can bond more easily with her child
  • No risk of prolonged pain from botched epidural or from Cesarean wound
  • No long-term negative developmental or behavioral effects on the baby

Information from Natural Childbirth.

To tell you the truth, I did feel a little disappointed after giving birth my first time. I was expecting so much more. I thought… that was it??? I didn’t really do anything. I thought I would be left with an overwhelming feeling of, WOW—- I’m pretty darn amazing :)

Don’t get me wrong, every mother is amazing for all that comes with motherhood starting with the 9 months of pregnancy. That alone is something to be forever cherished and praised. I just can’t help but feel that I’m missing out on a life changing experience.

A few things I’ve learned from having babies in hospitals and using traditional doctors.

  1. You don’t get ANY support when you’re in labor and they definitely don’t promote natural childbirth. It’s get in, get out, as fast as possible.
  2. Making the decision to go natural is something you need to decide on well before you enter the hospital. You can’t go in thinking, “we’ll see how it goes”. You will most likely go for the epidural when no preparation or commitment is involved.
  3. Coaching is a must, weather you hire a Doula, invite your mom or sister to be there, or simply take classes with your husband so he knows how to best support you through the labor.

So I’ve made my decision and I’m sticking to it. I’ve already been seeing a midwife, her name is Melissa Mayo who has been delivering babies at home for over 20 years. I’ve also found a great Doula, Becky Overson who has 17 years experience as a massage therapist and specializes in supporting women in labor.

My husband supports my decision whole heartedly and I know I can count on him for additional support. I’m so excited about this new endeavor but scared out of my mind. I’ve got 4 months to prepare myself mentally, so I’ve been reading a ton on natural childbirth and different techniques like hypnobirthing.

I will be sure to document this experience and share it with you all. What I need right now is major support and positive affirmations to keep me focused on the goal. Please, no horror stories :) Thank you so much!

Posted by Crystal

Here’s an easy magic trick your kids will LOVE!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Two colors of card stock paper.
  2. Scissors
  3. Pen
  4. Tape
  5. Small glass
  6. Glue Stick
  7. Penny or quarter

Cut one color of card stock into a rectangle shape, then use the small cup and pen to measure a circle (using same color as rectangle), to glue on the top of the cup. I used a glue stick because it sticks, but can also be washed off later.� With the other color card stock make a cylynder that’s big enough to cover the cup.

Here’s how it works.

Posted by Crystal

We just got back from our St. George home and I thought I’d show some of the decorating I’ve added this time around.

A while back I was over at the Village Quilt Shop and to be honest, that’s where I got my inspiration for a couple of the rooms. Here’s a picture I found on their website that gave me the idea for our master.

I wanted to buy the whole set when I saw it, but after realizing it’d cost me about $700 I decided nevermind. I don’t love it THAT much :) I figured I could come up with my own concoction at a much more affordable rate. Here’s my version and it only cost me about $250.

I got the bed spread from Ashley Furniture and the pillows from Target. That small pillow in the front is a little something I created myself.

I just bought some rust orange fabric, cut out some different sized circles, burnt the edges, added the pearls, then hot glued it all together.

Here are a couple other pictures I took of the bedding sets at the Quilt Shop. I took them with my phone so they are a little blurry.

I LOVE how they added the cute colorful flowers to the pillows. That’s what gave me the idea to do it myself.

This set is actually my inspiration for the kids bathroom.

I liked the black and white with all the bright colors.

I also wanted to show you how my vinyl letters turned out. I decided to put them up in the nursery. I’m far from finished with the nursery, still trying to decide on colors. It’s hard because Oliver is still sleeping in the crib, and I’d like to keep it that way as long as possible. So I need to make it gender nuetral since eventually it will be Brooklyn’s room.

So here’s how it turned out. I got these letters from Say It Your Way Vinyl Letters.

Posted by Crystal

Haven’t you found there never to be cute maternity clothes when you’re pregnant? It seems like when ever I’m NOT pregnant I see all kinds of cute maternity options which gets me all excited about being pregnant again. Well, I’m having no luck these days, so I’ve decided to just buy large in regular clothes.

Down East Basics seems to be the perfect place for me to shop. Everything is stretchy and comfy which is what it’s all about when you’re body is growing larger by the minute. I’m always impressed by how stylish their clothes are, not to mention VERY affordable, everything priced at around $30 or less. It seem like they’re coming out with new clothes every month which I love! It’s nice to get on their website and see that there’s always something new to choose from.

Here are a few of my recent finds.

These shorts are maternity. I got them from Lilac Clothing, which is a little pricey when you buy online, but they were selling them at Costco for way less last month.

I just LOVE cardigans! They are a perfect way to create the illusion of a curvy waist, which is something I don’t have right now.

And here’s a few recent pics we got taken last week for this years family pics. To see the pics of our kids, you can add me as a friend on Facebook :) I got this shirt from Charlotte Russe.

I got the shorts from Gap Maternity.

Oh, and pretty please “like” my picture over at Hapari on Facebook. I’ve entered their contest to win $2500 and a trip to Florida :) All you have to do to enter is email them a picture of you in one of their swim suits.

Posted by Crystal

Hey all my lovely friends. How is your summer going? Can you believe it’s almost over? Feels like it just started.

For us it’s been great. Lots of things going on thats for sure. Sean and I just got back from a nice little trip to Las Vegas to celebrate our 7 years of marriage together. Thanks to Sean’s parents we were able to leave the kids for a couple days and enjoy some alone time.

We stayed at the Vdara Hotel which is located on the strip next to the Bellagio. Sean decided to splurge and surprised me with a corner suite, which means we had two walls full of windows giving us an amazing view of the city. Perfect view of the Bellagio fountains too, which is my favorite part of Vegas. I would definitely recommend the Vdara Hotel, it was beautiful, reasonably priced and had extremely comfortable beds.

I didn’t take a single picture, can you believe that? I didn’t want the hassle of hauling around the huge camera bag AND my purse, so this morning I found the perfect solution.

Snugglens $99.99

Isn’t it cute?

It works as a purse, diaper bag and camera bag! How cool is that? I figured I’m going to be needing a new diaper bag soon, and thought this was perfect. I can stick some diapers and wet wipes right on the top, and still have room for my wallet, camera, and even an extra lense or a bottle if I need one. It was a little pricely in my oppinion, but I figure since it’s 3 in one, it was worth it.

I got this cute little strap to go with it.

So anyway, I think this will make bringing my camera places, much easier.

Next thing on the list of things I wanted to share with you is a fun contest Hapari Swimwear is having.� The contest prize is $2500 and a trip to Florida. All you have to do to enter is email them a picture of you wearing one of their suits. Email it to [email protected] They are posting all of the pictures on their Facebook page and they said that your chances of winning increase by the number of “likes” or comments on your photo. So if you head over there you can cast me a little vote if you want :) I’ll definitely return the favor if any of you enter. Just look through the 12 pics and you’ll find mine in there. See more details HERE.

Have a great weekend!!!

Posted by Crystal

Oh how I love that show. It’s amazing to see what the body is actually capable of.

The other day I was looking through my year book and found this picture.

Nice how I’m the ONLY one not paying attention.

This picture brought me back to those high school days. Boy, do I have some funny stories to share.

Watch this little video I made and you’ll see what I mean.

Posted by Crystal

Wow, this video is definitely uplifting. Check it out, and have a great weekend (holiday weekend if you live in Utah).

For more info go to


PS. The winner of the Vinyl Letter Giveaway is Monique Tuft Holladay. Yay for Monique!!!


Posted by Crystal

Yep, that’s me 9 months pregnant. Not really looking forward to getting that big again, but I do wish I was 9 months pregnant right now. Could the time go any slower when pregnant?

I tend to have big babies. Lily was 8 lb. 3 oz. and Oliver was 9 lbs 4 oz. I got asked all the time if I was having twins when I was pregnant with Oliver. Aw, sure made me feel good getting comments like that. When you feel like a whale, there’s nothing better than perfect strangers confirming that you look like one.

Posted by Crystal

So most of you already know that Friday we found out we are having a GIRL!!!� (I announced it on Facebook). It was no surprise to me though since I was already planning on a girl :) So far the name I absolutely LOVE is Brooklyn Star. Sean came up with the middle name and I REALLY love it!!!

The fun part about this is that my little sister is pregnant with a little girl too. She actually had her baby shower this weekend and I wanted to show you some of the things I made for her.

First is this cute little headband.

Yes, this baby is actually a doll. Creepy how real it looks though right? We got this for Lily the day Oliver was born. We wanted her to feel like she had a real baby of her own. We got it from The Ashton Drake Galleries.

I also made a matching bracelet. It was so simple too. Just took a piece of ribbon, cut it to size, hot glued a little flower and jewel on it, added a snap and wahlah!!!

Then I made this fun diaper cake. Once I got all the diapers put together I just added the ribbon around the bottom two layers, and the headband on the top layer. Then I clipped on a couple more hair accessories for her baby.

Here’s a quick little tutorial in case you’ve never made one before.

First you’ll need a box of these large polybands.� You can get them in the hair accessory isle at most any convenient store.

Start rolling the diapers starting from the top, when finished, stick a polyband around it.

Then fill up a baby bottle with some candy…

Place a rubber band around it…

and start adding the rolled up diapers.

Then add another rubber band around it for the second layer of diapers.

You can do more layers, but I just chose to do two so it would fit on the cake platter I bought.

And for the top layer I just stuck a pencil down the middle to help keep it on the second layer.

So there ya go.

A diaper cake. Now go enjoy yourself a slice :)