It's Fall! My excitement can't be contained any longer! Not that it's a secret that Fall is my favorite season, but there's always a distinct feel in the air when Fall arrives. It's been so warm the past few days and it's been divine, but last night a storm blew it and it's right chilly this morning. I woke up around 4:00 to thunder...awesome. The storm kept me up for a few hours before I was able to fall back asleep. The boys and I are sporting jeans and sweaters and I feel like I should clean my wood-burning stove to get her ready for the season. Hot chocolate for breakfast? Dark cloudy days? Sign me up, I'm ready for Fall.

This also means that many projects are on the horizon. Namely, my art room. We are just now going through the plethora of boxes that have accumulated in here. Some are craft and sewing things, others were just stashed in here because we weren't sure where to store them. Howeva! Yesterday I acquired this little gem to store my sewing goods...
This was my Grandma's sewing table. My Grandpa built it so it's ridiculously solid. It has ample storage (ALL my fabric fit in there with room to spare!) and lots of counter space...regardless of how it appears in this picture. It needs a wee bit of updating, I may even paint it (is that bad?). Stay tuned for 'after' pics!

I have to finish our Halloween Party invites by the weekend and finish decorating my house in spooktacular splendor. It's different this year - new house, new places to put things...pretty sure not all of my Halloween decor will make it out this year. But does that get me down? Not when I have a cup of hot cocoa and a dark afternoon looming!


Friday Finds

LOOK at what I have found! A cherry red chandelier...
Yes, it probably belongs in a brothel (no thanks to the pink wash of the photo), but I fell in love with it instantly. I was Halloween shopping with my Mom and when I spotted it there may have been a gasp and clasped hands...I don't remember. Anyway, it's going to look so great in my Art Room! Until then it will hang above my dining room table because it's the perfect touch for my Halloween party! You'll see...

Another great find we came across whilst shopping were these black glittery sprays.
That curl at the end? Are you kidding me?? I bought 5 and I'm pretty sure I'll be going back to get more. Both items were found at Tai Pan, friends - that's where the magic is.

This dress I love so very much...with teal t-strap heels? Snap. I also love the satin cuffs. www.modcloth.com.

And finally, I have been looking for these forever. Seriously. Red and white striped soda pop straws! Bah!!
There I was, casually flipping through my Halloween issue of 'Country Living' when all of a sudden there they were, calling my name. $6.00 for 20 straws. A bit pricy perhaps, but so worth it! I can't think of any party I will throw that won't showcase these. The site listed for the straws is www.jackandlulu.com. I couldn't find them online (they only had stationary...), so I emailed them and received a quick response explaining how I can purchase them. I can't wait for them to come in the mail! I think I'll celebrate with a chocolate malt.

**UPDATE! Liz just informed me of a better striped straw source. www.kikkerlandshop.com. These are cheaper - $3 for 50 - and they come in other colors!! This might be the best day ever. Thanks, Liz!



Hawaii was phenomenal. We had the best time! A stellar trip was had by all, just an absolutely amazing week. We left early, early Monday morning and arrived in O'ahu that afternoon. Flying over the ocean was incredible - I could not wrap my head around how enormous the pacific is. Finally the island came into view!

After we got settled in our rooms, we headed downtown and ate some of the best sushi I have ever had. Those Emperor Rolls...delish. After dinner we strolled the main street and walked down to the beach and walked in the sand for a spell. We were pretty wiped out from the long day of traveling, so we called it a night.
The next morning we headed out to Shark's Cove to do some snorkeling. It was so cool and the water was super clear! I have no pictures of this day...weird. We rented fins from this little surf shack that made the best shaved ice on the planet. Half banana and half coconut? I could live off those. After we snorkeled and laid in the sun we visited a Fire Station that sits right on the beach. Must be nice! We ate a little restaurant on the water and watched the sunset. Great day.

Wednesday we drove out to the Dole Plantation and sampled their yummy Dole Whips. Kevin was praising the Dole Whip all week.
They had this little stand where you could choose an oyster and they would open it and present you with the pearl inside.
For lunch we stopped at one of the many Shrimp Shacks for some steak and garlic shrimp. Ohmygoodness, so tasty. So smelly, but so tasty.
We went back to the surf shack for surf boards....and shaved ice. Here are our brave men Chase, Jake, Cody and Kevin on their way to conquer the waves.
The girls and I hung back to catch some sun and play in the waves. We were surrounded by sea turtles...4 or 5 at a time!
We wanted to check out Sunset Beach and it did not disappoint! This spot was so insanely beautiful...we came back almost every night to watch the sunset.
The waves were huge and the water was the prettiest color, really warm. Body surfing was so fun and so very sandy...
Thursday we decided to circle the island and explore. We stopped at this cute overlook...can't remember the name of it to save my life, but the views were gorgeous.
We lunched at Kualoa Ranch and then took a Jungle Tour with our trusty guide, Robin. 'Jurassic Park' and parts of '50 First Dates' was filmed here and currently in production on the Ranch grounds? 'Lost'.
Robin was a great tour guide and stopped to pick us fresh quava's and jungle apples (a sweet apple that has the texture of a raddish). We took a hike and saw some amazing views.
The Temple! Gorgeous! It was closed due to renovations (bummer), but the grounds were breathtaking. We walked around for a bit and went in the Visitors Center. It will be re-dedicated next July...Anniversary trip, maybe?

We of course ended the day at Sunset Beach once again...and Cody is cute in the tropics.
Natalie, Cecily, Mindi and me.
Friday morning we did the unthinkable - we swam with sharks. Sharks. Jaws. Gnashing of teeth. We left the dock early in the morning and it was a very quiet boat ride out to the designated spot. I don't think I stopped staring at the cage...
First lets talk about the water - it was so blue, so clear, so warm...perfect conditions for swimming with a terrifying predator. Once in the cage I was surprised by how beautiful the sharks were. It's so tempting to reach out of the cage and pet them as they swim by, but luckily we came out with all our appendages. It was amazing! We filmed the whole event, I'll have to show it to you sometime. We had 5 or 6 sharks swimming around us the whole time...just amazing.

To celebrate survival we had breakfast at Kono's which is world famous...apparently.
Chase, Cecily, Jake, Kevin, Mindi, me and Cody.
That night we went to the Paradise Cove Luau. Touristy, yes - but still fun. Cody and I got inked. Temporarily.

Mindi and I making headbands. Those flowers smelled so divine!
We watched fire dancers and hula dancers and even danced to the Hawaiian Wedding Song. Fun night.

Saturday was more snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. The boys took off for an hour or so, so the girls and I did some brave exploring on our own. It's crazy to swim through schools of fish, snorkeling may be one of my favorite things!
We visited Pearl Harbor on Sunday. Quite the place, I became misty more than once.
This room was the most emotional for me - the only headstone these men have.

We grabbed some lunch and ended the day watching the Sunset on our favorite beach. Monday we packed up our bags and spent the day walking around Waikiki doing some shopping. The flight back was long and we were sleepy and sad to leave Hawaii, but it's so nice to be home. This trip could not have been any better! We also couldn't have spent it with a better group of people - I love them all so much. Not sure how we're going to top this trip, but I know we're going to try. Mahalo!



It's been a fabulous Birthday weekend! Cody and I spent all day together and did some shopping, took Cache to his soccer game, went to dinner, came home and sat in the hot tub and settled in with some mint chocolate chip ice cream and watched 'Glee'. Great day. My Birthday party last night was a smashing success thanks to Kate, Tanya and Sara. Kate flew in from Phoenix and Sara drove up from Vegas to throw the party for me and Tanya made my cake and a plethora of tasty goods for everyone. And my Birthday present from Amelia? My very own 'Julia' Barbie - coolest thing ever. I have the greatest friends in the world!

Normally I would post photos of party central and my pink action figure, but I must get back to packing. In 12 hours, we board a plane and fly to...
I am SO excited for this vacation. It's been complete chaos lately and I'm so looking forward to doing a whole lot of nothing (in between our trips to Pearl Harbor, a Helicopter ride and waterfall hike...). Shall I bring you a souvenir? See you in a week! Aloha!



Happy Birthday to Me...


What I'm Loving Wednesday

Ladies and Gentlemen...

It's here! It's FINALLY here! I just might be clapping right now. 'The Beatles' for Rockband! Everyone must know of my love for this music, it is deeply seeded in my soul. It's so, so, so good. Not only do I need this game, but I think Cody and I are going to have to upgrade our gaming system specifically for it. Can you blame me? Can't wait to have everyone over for a Beatles night!
'Here comes the fun, do do do do...'


Why My Family Is Awesome

How cool is this? 4 pretty scouts, all in a row...
On Saturday my family took each of our Scouts up the canyon for a drive. We started in Provo Canyon and started the drive up to Squaw Peak (a drive I am so not familiar with, shame on you).

Stopping for lunch

We stopped at a few look outs on the way, it is so beautiful up there.

The weather was perfect - warm and overcast. Towards the end of our ride we got rained on a bit, but that adds to the adventure, am I right? Some of the leaves have already started changing and I foresee many more drives before the first snowfall.

The ride took a few hours and it was such a blast to do this with my family. I loved spending all day with just Cody, but I can't wait to install our back seat and take our boys for a Fall ride.

The next Patch mania? Perhaps those 1960's tear drop trailers...my family is awesome.



Happy Birthday to my marvelous Dad! I love my Dad so much, he is the bees knees as far as I'm concerned.

He is so supportive, wise and awesome - our family vacations are always such a blast with my Dad at the helm. Most of the pictures I have of him are at Lake Powell. That Lake is so special to my Dad, it's his Heaven. Powell is always a blast because of him. He is the first one to jump in the water and did I mention he can wake surf like a champion?

He worked so hard to make sure we had a fantastic childhood and even though we're all grown, he still likes to sit down with us and build rockets.

Holidays with my Dad are the best - he has probably changed the lyrics to every Christmas song and when I listen to them I can't help but hear his version in my head (one of the verses for 'O, Holy Night - "The thrill is gone and now I have four children..."). He's a great sport with our obsession for Halloween and he has always made our Birthdays the most important day in the world. He is just a big kid and is second to none. So fun, so young, so hilarious and the best Dad a girl could ask for. Thank you for being so golden, Dad! Hotdee Birtdees!



It's September! What? Where's August? We all know how I am overly anticipating Fall, but nobody likes to watch Summer fade. This past month was FULL of goodness, many fun things went on. Our Housewarming Party (it actually happened!) was a smash hit and it was great to have so many friends come over and see our new house, Thrillionaires shows were many, and my baby boy turned 2 on August 30th.

I cannot believe my blue-eyed boy is 2! I adore this little bug, he is my fearless kid that has probably eaten at least 2 crayons and 5 dollars in change. His squirrel-talk is starting to dwindle and we're understanding more and more of what he says (kind of a downer, not gonna lie - loved that squirrel-talk). While I love the little boy he is becoming, I miss this baby so much sometimes.

On Friday we had a Party for him and the little dude was spoiled rotten, just as it should be. The Jolley and the Patch families came, plus a cameo by my Aunt Trudy and cousins Kara and Mindy! They come up every year to shop for Halloween goodness and luckily they stopped by the party and we got to visit for a while. We had hot dogs and cookies and chips and some dlish corn on the cob that Cody's parents brought from Grandma's garden (thank you!). Here is the lovely Jessica with Graham! He loves his corn...
Captain ShyPants before the cake came out...

His first 4-wheeler from Cody's parents - he LOVES this thing.

Gary, Cody and Cache trying to put Cole's other bike together...priceless.
Oh, my dear little Cole, I love you so very much. You are the perfect sidekick for Cache and I could not ask for a better blue-eyed son. Happy Birthday, dude!

As August closes, September blows in full-force with packed days and upcoming events. We have a weekend planned with my family (my sister will be in town) for my Dad's Birthday, I will be 30 in 9 days (what the...), Birthday Party to celebrate my aging and then? We're off to Hawaii...Aloha!