Sunday, November 15, 2015

H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N spells Halloween!

Halloween was a lot of fun for our family this year.  We started the day off by hiking in the Superstition Mountains with some friends.  It was a beautiful day!

^Ugh! We came across an anthromologist who was finding these type of scorpions under rocks. *Shudder* Apparently you can hold them.  Michael actually did it.  I did not.  I also don't regret that decision at all.

 Halloween festivities also included our ward trunk or treat.  This year our family was Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and Woodstock.  Laila picked our costumes and it was fun!

Laila's preschool also had a fun Halloween party where there were lots of great games, bobbing for apples, donuts, stories, mummy wrapping and so much more.

Then, of course, there was the trick or treating and candy!

Cute siblings who love each other...

...most of the time!

A Weekend to Remember...

A couple of weekends ago, we planned to go to our St George house to do some maintenance, restocking, and some hanging out.  However, we received a last minute reservation and so we decided to stay in AZ.  I was tempted to be a home body and just get some things done, but Michael came up with a great alternative.  We decided to drive up to Sedona, AZ Thursday evening.  It's just a 2 hour drive but it's a completely different world there.  It's a beautiful area.  We walked around town and had dinner that night.  We also enjoyed the fireplace in our fancy hotel room!

^Glad he got to wear this hat before he's too big.

^My blue eyed boys.

^Our family selfies are the best.  We found Fall!

Since Laila was Snoopy for Halloween she loves spotting Snoopy everywhere.  This photo opportunity was no exception.

 Friday morning we ate breakfast at the hotel and went out to hike Cathedral Rock.  It's a short trail but there were some slick, steep parts that had my freaking out a little bit at the beginning.  Thankfully, I calmed down so I could enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

After the hike, we went to Chapel of the Holy Cross which is built 
into the red rock cliffs with quite the view!

^They are just the best travel buddies!

That night we took our Peanuts gang to the Peanuts movie.  Such a fun movie of such a classic.  Laila loved pointing out all the characters we were for Halloween.

To top off the great weekend, we got things done around the house and went to the temple Saturday morning.  Then Michael and I got to go on an actual date to our favorite restaurant!  I sure do love this family of mine.

^Just to throw one more big event into the mix, Harrison started pulling himself up the stairs.  He thinks it's the best thing ever.  He giggles every time he's trying a new trick.  I love my little boy!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Last Week of September and a New Goal

A friend of mine is really diligent about documenting their family's adventures every week.  Since time does not seem to be slowing down for me, I also want to make this a renewed goal. Therefore, I can remember these days and weeks that seem to be zooming by at an incredible rate.

This week started off great at church.  I am Primary Chorister so it was the Sunday before the program.  I had the missionaries come into singing time and "catch the singing bug" again this year.  The children sang so well.  When they sing, they got a sticker to put on the missionaries.  As you can see, the missionaries are extremely patient AND the kids loved it!
Bless our missionaries!

 Laila now loves getting her nails painted.  I love painting her nails so it's a win win! ;)  It's become a fun Sunday tradition for us.

On Monday and Tuesdays I babysit for my friend.  So we have two babies (7 and 8 months old) and two 3 year olds and a kindergartener joins us after school.  It's a lot of fun.  Laila and Harrison LOVE having friends over.  I love seeing them play together.  Doesn't it look like I have two set of twins? Haha!  

^The sound of these girls clomping around in my shoes filled the house all morning. 

So, Michael had a work trip Monday-Thursday this week.  I don't sleep well without him and so I procrastinate my bed time.  Monday night was no exception.  I enjoyed some Netflix and texting friends and then decided that I had put it off enough and needed sleep.  I triple checked that all my doors were locked and turned off the lights and headed upstairs.  THANKFULLY, I turned on my phone's flashlight because on my stairs near the top was a SCORPION!!!!  I do NOT do well with those creatures.  I immediately became super panicked and couldn't decide what to do with it.  So I went with the rubber mallet method.  I don't feel like shoes squish them enough.  They are tough to kill.  You need something substantial!  Below is photographic evidence of my endeavor to protect my children!  (In my defense, I was shaking like a leaf.  And I needed to make sure it was completely dead.  SO the scuff marks came from me bringing the mallet up.  Not me missing the scorpion!)

Blah! I hate them!

Laila has been doing preschool with two other boys in our ward on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Another mom and I switch off teaching each week and it is absolutely a blast.  Laila LOVES going to school and learning her letters.   She is getting really good!  She can write her name (ish) and it's absolutely darling!  This week was D and they made some dragons "breathe fire."  I love how you can see the excitement in her eyes.  She brings so much joy to our lives!

This week I had my first date with myself in a LONG time.  (If I have ever had one.)  I went to a book signing of my favorite blogging couple, John and Sherry Petersik.  Their blog (found HERE) has inspired so many projects of ours around our house.  They recently published their second book, Lovable, Livable Home so they were in Tempe to chat and sign books!  I just think they are so talented, witty, and genuine! They also have stopped blogging for now so they could take a step back and have more time for their family- just super great people!  Needless to say, I was pretty starstruck to get to meet them!

Thursday also marked the return of my brave scorpion slayer!  We always love having him home with us.  I feel pretty lucky to have this guy by my side for eternity!

Also of note this week, we had our primary program practice which was super stressful and semi-chaotic and always leaves me feeling like Sunday is going to be a big flop (which it never, ever is!) I'm just left exhausted afterwards.  We also had our traditional ward fiesta.  It's always great to have a reason to get together.  Too bad it's still SO hot outside.

Saturday was clothes switch out day for Harrison.  He's moving on to to the next size up and I can hardly believe it.  Size changing is always bitter sweet.  Fun to see new clothes that fit him.  Sad to put away the small baby clothes.  This hat was no exception.  Look how little it is on him!

We were able to be productive around the house on Saturday and I was able to go to the General Women's meeting, which was very inspiring.  I love that conference is right around the corner!  Today was the primary program.  It was absolutely amazing.  The children brought the Spirit into the meeting right from the very beginning.   I'm grateful to be a part of Primary so that I can listen to their sweet, powerful testimonies every week.  

To top it off, Laila wanted her hair like Elsa today.  So her Mom did her best with what she had.  I do love playing around with Laila's hair.  It's more proof that Laila is quickly leaving the toddler phase and becoming quite the darling little girl.

So there's a glimpse of our life last week.  We are excited for more adventures coming this week!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Chateau Shields on Vacation

So...we've kind of been off the blogging grid the past couple of months.  I blame the AZ summer heat- it just kind of makes me want to sit as still as possible and do nothing all day sometimes.  Also, we've been pretty busy this summer working on a project that has been a dream of ours for awhile.  We love house projects so we have been looking to own a rental property for a few years.  Nothing felt just right until we came across the idea of getting a vacation home! With our families in northern Utah, we always stop in Las Vegas or St. George on our drive up or back.  We immediately loved the idea of having a place of our own in St. George that we could stay when we are traveling or even use as a meet in the middle point.  We also loved that we could also use it as a vacation rental to help offset the cost.  Well....this summer the dream became a reality!
We found a BEAUTIFUL new build off of Coral Canyon Golf Course in a development called Coral Ridge.  It has amazing finishes that seem like they were hand chosen by us even though we had nothing to do with any part of the construction and finishes. We fell in love.  That day we were under contract and working to get the financing and everything we needed to close on it as soon as possible.

The "fun" part was that we didn't want to purchase anything until we closed because what if it fell through and we couldn't have super huge purchases and be approved for the loan so it was a waiting game.  We had a few excel sheets that we mapped out a general idea what we wanted, needed and could afford.  Our HGTV loving selves had some fun working through it.  We needed to comfortably furnish the three bedroom, two bath villa, that could accommodate at least 10 guests, blinds, refrigerator, and washer/dryer.  All we had were a few measurements and pictures. so we tried to think of what could work in the space.
We closed on August 19 and then it was game on!  We had about a week to put things together, a weekend to get the house set up so that the next week we could have our first guests over Labor Day! We were collecting things from our home in Phoenix and Craigslist.  We were getting packages from Amazon like crazy and our front room looked like we emptied Walmart of all it's towels, sheets and home goods. (Semi-true since we had to go to a few different locations.)  Thankfully, we had Michael's parents with us to help get everything ready.  What a rush!  It was extremely exhausting and exciting all at the same time.  We were hoping things would come together like we imagined.  Here's our Villa:

 Hallways-  We actually got the frames on Craigslist.  The prints inside weren't our style but the frames were good quality so we found some prints of the beauty around St. George.
^Sigh...Love the tall ceilings, wood like tile and the six panel doors.

^This is the entry and the hallway to the Master.  The painting actually came from Phoenix.  It fits really well in the niche and carries the color scheme we went with for our house. Win win!

Guest Bath- Love the tile in the shower and the granite counter tops!

Bedroom 3-  (AKA Bunk room)  We got two bunk beds for this room.  One bunk was new.  One we found on craigslist.  Both bunks have fulls on bottom and twins on top. (This room can sleep 6!)  We had the Ikea print from when we first got married.  We knew we wanted white bedding so that we could bleach and switch out easily if we need to.  It was fun to be in Home Goods and find the pillows and the blankets with the lime green pop of color.  It's a color I wouldn't normally pick, but LOVE how it turned out.

Bedroom 2-  This is the bedroom set we used when we first got married.  Then it became our guest bedroom set.  Now it is here in St. George. (And our guest room in Phoenix is feeling very bare!)  I love the way it looks in here though.  I bought the lamps from Walmart.  The pillows are from Home Goods and across from the bed there is a huge print of Angel's Landing in Zion's National Park that has similar colors as the ones in the pillows.  I love the natural simplicity of this room.

Master Closet-  Some fun facts about this closet:  It has two entries. One is from the master bath.  One is the laundry room on the other side.  I personally think it is absolutely genius to have the laundry room right next to where all the clothes are kept!  Also,  the first night we got to the Villa, we didn't have any blinds so we decided to sleep in the closet so that we wouldn't feel like everyone could see us and to keep it dark so our kids wouldn't wake us up at dawn!  It worked.  We put a queen mattress, a twin mattress AND a pack n play in there.  It was AWESOME! Moral of the story: It's a decent size closet.

Master Bathroom- Again, love the granite and tile work.  It has dual sinks, super deep soaker tub, and a really pretty walk in shower.

Master Bedroom-  This was the room that made me nervous and we probably could have been smarter when we were planning it out, but it came together as probably my favorite room!  We found the headboard in St. George while we were out looking for a king mattress.  We ended up finding an amazing mattress on clearance somewhere else but we loved the headboard.  So we snatched those up.  This is when the magic happened.  I had brought the two pillows down from Phoenix.  They came from my couch in my living room.  I liked them but didn't want the black in my living room.  The color of the pillow matched the headboard perfectly so then we decided to get these two nightstands from amazon to go with the black.  The throw is from Home Goods.  When we were checking out at Home Goods, I spotted the mirrors that came in a set of three for $10! And there were two so I snatched those up real quick and love how they look with the lights and the lamps (which are from Walmart.)  On the opposite wall there is a TV that we brought from our master in Phoenix.  It is quite the retreat.

Living Room- It's so comfy!  We loved the gray sofa from the moment we saw it.  Then we found the cream sofa that has a pull out bed so that's why we chose two different sofas instead of a sofa/love seat combo.  (That makes a grand total of  at least 12 people that can sleep in the house!) We got the TV and the shelves from Amazon.  I love the shelves.  We used an end table that we've had since we got married.  When Michael was picking up the grey sofa from RC Willey in Vegas, he found the chair and a lamp on clearance.  Love them both.  The shelves are relatively bare in this picture.  And for the most part, they still are minimal.  But we added a few things so they weren't empty.  Most of those decor items came from Home Goods, our house, and D.I.  From the beginning, the carpet in the house was one of my favorite parts.  It's great carpet- soft yet hides dirt well.  Plus, it has a pretty basket weave pattern.

Laundry Room-  Probably one of the best Craigslist finds to date.  LOVE the washer and dryer- so much that I might bring them home to Phoenix with me one of these days.  Just you wait.

 Kitchen/Dining-  We loved the big, open space and the color of the cabinets and granite.  We added a large clock from Etsy, new fridge, table & chairs, and stools.  Not to mention dishware, pots, pans, etc.

Loved the stools we found on Amazon.

This table and chairs are another one of our best craigslist finds.  The leaf is built in and all six chairs came with it for $250! The table itself is still for sale at World Market for much more than that! They are great quality.  Then we got the head chairs off of Amazon to add more seating.  They look linen upholstered but are actually a vinyl that can be wiped down easily.  The table runner, plate and painting came from Home Goods.  Loved how well they defined our color scheme.

Outside- We have a nice patio on the side that has access to the living room and a door to the master.  We used an outdoor furniture set that we had and added new cushions.

The front patio has a great view and a great lawn.  We added some chairs and a grill to make it that much more fun to be outside!

We still have a few things to tweak, but overall, we are really happy with how it all came together.  We've had a few guests already and everything seems to have gone smoothly.  We are feeling so blessed.  We are looking forward to more guests and more spontaneous adventures in St George.  Come visit!