Monday, May 7, 2018

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I thought I'd share four of my favorite gift ideas. These gifts are great for Mother's Day, but they also make great birthday gifts for friends or anyone who needs a pick me up!
Let's start with this backpack purse. I'm obsessed with mine. It makes carrying everything that us moms have to have so much easier and more organized. I love how it has a handle like a purse, but also the straps on the back for carrying it easier when your hands are full with little ones. It also makes a great diaper bag as well. I love the gold details and the pretty colors. I also love all the pockets! It makes it so easy to store stuff for all three of my kiddos! This bag was a deal on Jane from Little by Little. They have some really cute totes and skirts too! You can visit their site HERE.  

Next on the list is a beautiful, wood watch from JORD Watches. I love mine. It goes with casual outfits as well as dresses. It's perfect for the busy mom that wants an accesory that's stylish and pretty. JORD has a bunch of different styles and options to choose from that will be the perfect fit for your mom! You can find all the watches from JORD, HERE.
The third gift on my list is for the moms out there that might be having a hard time on Mother's Day. I have an angel baby girl, and after going through loss and infertility, I know a lot of women who need extra love on Mother's Day. A friend sent me and my family this book the week of our angel baby's one year birthday. It's an amazing book and has brought me a lot of comfort. It's always nice to know you're not alone and that others remember all of your children, not just the ones that they can see. So this is a great gift for mothers that need that reminder. You can find the book HERE.

And my fourth pick for Mother's Day is a gift box from Bright Box. This gift is a great one to send to friends or sisters that might live far away. Each box is $8 and choose a cute quote card that goes in it, a treat and a small gift. They will package it so cute and send it to your mom with a card telling her it's from you. I've recieved and sent a few of these myself and I love everything about them. It's so convient and quick to order, and when I recieved ones from friends it totally made my day! The bath bombs are my favorite and my kids love the candy. To send your own gift, visit Bright Box HERE.
Happy Mother's Day!
The Keeper of the Crayons  

Healthy Dessert Hummus


If you are looking for a healthy treat, I've got just the one for you! This Brownie Batter Dessert Hummus is the yummiest treat! I didn't know that dessert hummus was even a thing, but after trying it, I'm hooked! Delighted By Dessert Hummus makes several flavors of this delicious hummus. I love the Brownie Batter flavor. I serve it with vegan biscoff cookies and raspberries. It's so good. My kids love it too. It's the perfect dessert to have when you want something sweet but don't want a lot of sugar or calories messing up your week. You can find this yummy hummus HERE, or at Costco.
The Keeper of the Crayons

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Protein Packed Doughnuts

These protein packed doughnuts are seriously so yummy! They are the perfect dessert if you're trying to eat healthier, or they make a great post workout snack! I first saw them on Shark Tank and I couldn't wait to try them! I tried the cookie butter and fudge fish donut and it is my new favorite treat! They are so delicious. You can order your own protein doughnuts from The Dough Bar Here. You can thank me later.
The Keeper of the Crayons 

Podcast Interview


I was so honored when my new friend Reagan asked if I would share our story on her podcast, The Luckiest Mom. I might have cried through the entire thing, but sharing our story to help others feel less alone, is what gives me a lot of comfort. You can find her Podcast page HERE, and my episode is number 265. I have to give a huge thank you to Reagan for being so sweet and supportive. I sure love her and appreciate her. She's amazing and has such uplifting messages. Follow The Luckiest Mom for more info.
The Keeper of the Crayons 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Healthy Power Balls

Happy Friday! These Powerballs are such a yummy, healthy treat, I just had to share them with you! They will make the perfect weekend snack, or the perfect treat to start a new week! The recipe is from Clean Eats and Treats. They are easy to make, and Shannon also has a peanut free version on her site for those with allergies. They are so good and my kids love them too! I eat them in the afternoon when if I'm feeling tired and need some energy, or I eat them as a post workout snack. My kids love eating them after school or in the car going to and from sports activities! They are so delicious, I know you'll love them! You can find the recipe HERE.

The Keeper of the Crayons

Stock Up Sale at Smith's Marketplace

Smith's Grocery Store is having an awesome stock up sale going on right now! I was able to get all of the sale items for $20 and saved just over $20! I always try to stock up on cereal when it goes on sale. If you buy six boxes it comes out to be $1.49 a box! That's a great price on cereal. And if you're trying to eat healthy, the Minute Rice Ready To Serve Bowls are on sale too! They are so yummy! Smith's also has everything you need for your Super Bowl party. Cream Cheese, Soda Pop 2 Liters and Lil Smokies are all on sale too! I love shopping at Smith's and I love their stock up sales! You can find the Smith's Ad HERE. Happy Shopping!
The Keeper of the Crayons 

Friday, January 26, 2018

6 Things I've Learned After a Year of Grieving The Loss of My Baby

I can't believe a year has gone by since our baby girl Lucy passed away and I almost lost my life. Some days it feels like this year was the longest year, and other days I feel like only a month has gone by. This past year has been the hardest year of my life, yet it's also the year that I've felt the closest to our Savior. Grief teaches you so many things and you learn things when you experience a trial that you wouldn't normally have learned. I learned a lot of things and want to share six of them with you. I know everyone is different, these are just some of the things I've learned going through my loss and grief, and I hope maybe it helps someone else.
Losing a child is the greatest loss you will ever experience. I think this was always a given when I would hear people say this, but you can't even comprehend the extreme amount of pain that comes with losing a baby. Laying your child in a casket and kissing them for the last time here on earth is a pain that can't be described with words. Unless you have gone through that, there's no way for you to understand what it is like. I was always taught that you expect to bury your grandparents, your parents and possibly your spouse, but never my baby. That's the unimaginable. Parents aren't suppose to go through that and lose their baby, but unfortunately some of us do. It's a pain that never goes away and it changes who you are. You never fully recover since every milestone and first that I don't get to have with my baby is like another loss added on top of the grief that started when she passed away. It leaves a hole in your heart that can never be filled. This is unlike any other loss and is in a class of it's own. Period. The pain that you feel after losing a baby is just an extreme amount of  love that just doesn't have anywhere to go.  
Losing a child changes who you are and the way you look at everything. I remember the exact day and time that I realized this one. I was looking through some old photos a few months after our baby girl passed away. I remember looking at myself in those photos and it suddenly hit me that that girl was gone. I had changed and I immediately began crying. I missed that girl, I missed the carefree, happy woman I used to be in those photos. I missed who I was before I began carrying grief and PTSD around with me. I missed those moments and the person I was. I struggled with the old me being gone, and sometimes I still do, but I also remember the day that I realized it's okay that I'm not the old me. I had read a quote that said, "God knows who He needs you to be." I know this change is molding me into the person that I'm suppose to become. The one that I need to be to get to raise my daughter after this life. The one that I need to be to help lift others that go through this same pain as me. The one that makes me a great mom to my other kids. The one that makes me an amazing wife. The one that our Savior knows that I'm destined to be. It's not always easy, and I still miss the old me sometimes. But the new me is stronger, bravery and closer to where I need to be. Trials this heartbreaking can change you for the better, or for worse. For me, I wanted to make sure my loss didn't make me bitter. I want it to bring me closer to God and to help me see life the way He wants me to. I want my tears to show my kids that I have a strong testimony.  I cherish every little thing that a lot of people take for granted. I look for miracles because I have seen so many. I listen to the Holy Ghost and never postpone a prompting. I try my hardest to honor my baby to show my love for her.  
You will have to let some relationships go. This is one that I heard about a lot before I became a "loss mom." So I felt prepared for it. Luckily for me and my husband, we've only had to let go of one relationship in our life. But I know of so many loss moms that have had to go through letting go of several family and friends. For some reason, there are just some people out there that can't handle when someone has a baby pass away. It may be that this person isn't comfortable now that you have a loss. Maybe they don't know what to say or when to say it so they don't say anything and ignore you and the whole situation. Maybe they don't understand how important your stillborn baby's birthday is to you. Maybe they feel guilty that they have a baby close in age to your angel. Maybe they aren't a good person and aren't capable of being compassionate. Maybe they don't want to go out of their way to be supportive because they are just mean. Maybe it's all of these reasons. Whatever their excuse or reason for not being there for you, I can tell you it has nothing to do with you or your baby! It's something wrong with that person. Nothing you do can change their behavior, personality or compassion level. So you just have to let that relationship go. You've already gone through so much when you lose a baby, that worrying about someone else being comfortable with it is not your job. Your job is to honor the life of your child and to feel their spirit close to you. You can't do that with certain people in your life so you just have to let them go. And only you can decide what that means and looks like. You will see the true colors of people, and you will realize who truly loves and cares about you. There's a special peace that comes with surrounding yourself with people who love and support you and that remember your baby.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will not leave you. This is the greatest thing I've learned since my angel baby girl passed away. I have so many sacred experiences with this. They are so special to me and I've felt heaven so close. When the pain and grief and sadness is just too much to handle, because it will be, our Savior will step in and carry it for you. Heavenly Father will answer your prayers when you feel like you are all alone in this. When you feel like you are drowning in your own tears and that you can't breathe, our Savior will comfort you and let you know He is there. This is what I am most grateful for. I couldn't survive the loss of our baby without that love and comfort. I promise you're not alone and that He will never leave you.   
You will be surrounded with love, support and earthly angels beyond measure. This is probably the one closest to my heart. My family and I have been so overwhelmed with love, support and kindness this past year. Starting from the day our baby girl passed away, during my recovery, and up until today which is two days after her one year birthday, we have had at least one person a week do something kind for us. It's been support in the form of a text message checking on us or letting us know they are thinking of our baby, meals, flowers, donations, help with her funeral, sentimental gifts, hugs, cards, money, treats, letters, books, prayers and most recently birthday wishes for our baby girl. I was so grateful for the love we felt a year ago, and I was reminded of that same love and support this week as it poured in around our baby girl's one year birthday. I couldn't believe how many people remembered that day and took the time to show us. The same way we couldn't believe the amount of people that came to lift us the week she passed away and daily since then. My husband and I call them our earthly angels. Our nurses, doctors, family, friends, neighbors and some complete strangers have come as answers to prayers during this difficult time. Heavenly Father knew we would need them. And it has made me want to be that person for someone else. I think God uses our trials to help others. It has made me more compassionate and supportive to others. I want to give back to show my gratitude for all the love we've received. You will realize that the world is so full of good, loving, Christ-like people. 
Your baby's life has a purpose. This is something that has given me so much comfort and I'm grateful that I realized it shortly after our baby girl passed away. On the first day that I was in the ICU, the same day our baby girl was delivered, I told my husband that we needed to give back in Lucy's honor. That I wanted to give back to thank those who had donated the blood I received. I wanted Lucy's life to help us help save others. I wanted to show my gratitude for being alive still and making it through. I've said the only way to keep grief from overcoming my heart is to replace it with gratitude. So we started helping host blood drives. Two months after our baby girl passed away, my husband and some of our family donated blood for the first time. A few months later I was having a really hard day missing Lucy, when we got a letter in the mail. It was from the Red Cross telling us that my husband's blood donation helped save the lives of several premature babies in a different state. This was a huge blessing to me and showed me that my daughter's life has a big purpose here on earth and it's work that she is doing from the other side. Helping with blood drives and donating blood has made us so grateful to give back. We donate swaddle blankets to hospitals for stillborn babies and have an angel tree to give back for the support we received from our community and those that donated the keepsakes we received. These things have given us comfort and have helped us to include our other kids in honoring their baby sister.  They get so excited to help with these things! I've also been told that our story has helped others that are going through trials. It brings me so much joy knowing that we are giving back and honoring our sweet angel baby. And I know it will do the same for you. You will know how and when to honor your angel and it will bless you with the peace you need. You will feel the love of your baby so close to your heart.
If you have lost a baby, my heart goes out to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 
The Keeper of the Crayons

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Homemade Microwave Popcorn Recipe

My family loves eating popcorn when we watch a movie together. We have several different recipes and ways we make it, but this microwave one has become our new favorite recipe! You make the popcorn in a paper bag in the microwave! My kids thought it was amazing! And I loved how simple it was to make. All you need is a paper sandwich bag, 1/3 cup white popcorn kernels and scotch tape. Told you it was simple!

Pour 1/3 cup popcorn kernels in the paper bag. Fold the top over about 1/4 inch, and secure with one small piece of tape. Lay the bag on it's side with the tape facing up. Put it in the microwave and stop once the popping slows down. I used the popcorn button on my microwave.

Open the bag up, be careful it will be hot, and pour the popcorn into a large bowl. We melted butter and added salt on top of ours. I also used this method to make some caramel popcorn. You can also leave it plain and eat it. It's just as healthy as using an air popper, and it's a lot cheaper then buying the microwave bags from the store. Plus my kids thought it was so fun and loved helping with it!
The Keeper of the Crayons