Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Writers Block

Do you ever get a case of bad writers block?

I do.

In fact, it's happening right now.

I've had to do so much writing for work lately that it's taken up all of my creative thinking.. hmph.

Anyway, bear with me & my sporadic posts this week while I get back on track and caught up on work/blogging/life.

In the meantime, here are a few blurbs & pictures from the last couple of days:
We had such a fun weekend with my family! Jax & I went to my hometown for a work meeting on Thursday and brought my mom back with us on Friday--the original plan was to meet my dad halfway on Saturday so my mom could get a ride home with him but my dad ended up coming to Denver Saturday night and staying the night too! We had such a fun weekend full of shopping, overeating (mostly pumpkin foods--muffins, Oreos, & croissants), board games, visiting, and haircuts (pictured).
My mom and I got a bit starstruck at Target on Friday.. we spotted Pharrell Williams!!

..oh wait.. it's just Jackson!
Despite having to go to the chiropractor to get my hip popped back into place, we had a really nice Monday! The first good thing to happen was being pleasantly surprised at the post office (I mailed a 7lb package and fully expected to pay at least $30 to ship it.. it only cost $13! #winning); the second good thing was getting to have lunch with one of my best friends from college (pictured)! Kelly and I worked together at the college television/radio station and ended up becoming good buddies! It was so good to see you, Kel E--come back to CO again soon.
Have a great week, everyone! I'll hopefully be back tomorrow with another post (if not, I definitely will by Monday)!

P.S. Have you entered to win $800 yet? If you haven't, whaddaya waiting for?!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall into Cash $800 GIVEAWAY!!

It's Friday! Friday! Friday!

Do you have any big plans for the weekend?

Weekends at the Sandmeiers are my favorite because my hottie husband gets to stay home for two glorious days, I get to eat a lot of junk food guilt free, and there's always a football game to watch.

Win Win Win!

I'm especially excited for this weekend though because my mom is staying the night with us! I'm looking forward to playing lots of card games, eating a ton of Pumpkin Spice Oreos, and doing a little flea market/treasure hunting tomorrow (and I know my mom is especially looking forward to lots of Jackson time--her favorite.. and his). I can't wait!

What are your plans for this weekend?

If you answered "Oh, I don't know.. I wish I had $800 so I could go out and do something awesome..", you're in luck! A few of my blogging buddies and I are teaming up to give YOU $800. With the holidays coming up, who couldn't use a little extra cash?

Entering couldn't be easier--just follow the Rafflecopter below and get yourself some cash money.

Fall is here and we are celebrating by giving away some cash! Enter to win $800 in the Fall Into Cash $800 Giveaway!
To see a full list of sponsors, please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.
Fall Into Cash $800 Giveaway!
September 26, 2014  at 12 a.m. EST to October 3, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST
Open Worldwide
Prize: 1 winner will receive $800 PayPal cash.
Eligibility and Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. This giveaway is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body.
Winner Selection: The winner of the giveaway will be selected in a random drawing through Rafflecopter from among all eligible entries received throughout the promotion period. The random drawing will be conducted within 48 hours of the closing of the giveaway by Pretty My Party or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified by email by hello@prettymyparty.com. Potential winner must accept the prizes by email as directed by Pretty My Party within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”).
Privacy: All entrants acknowledge that if they are chosen as a winner, some of their personally identifying information may be disclosed to third parties at least as required by law, including, without limitation, on a winner’s list. All personal information submitted as part of the giveaway may be shared by and between the promotion entities, and each of the promotion entities will use such information in accordance with their respective independent online privacy policies. See Pretty My Party’s full privacy policy here.
Rafflecopter Disclaimer: This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer or endorse this promotion. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy.
Social Media Disclaimer: Entrants should understand that they are providing their information to the sponsors of the giveaway and not to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Google+. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with any of these social media sites.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is blog sponsored and is in no way associated with PayPal. If there are any questions, please email hello@prettymyparty.com.
The more entries you complete on the Rafflecopter form, the higher your chances are of winning. If you don’t have time to fill out all of the entries you may come back and complete any entries that you may have missed.
Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Happy Thursday, Kiddies!

I'm very excited to share another favorite thrifty find! Like last weeks TT (Thrifty Thursday), this piece also comes from Habitat for Humanity ReStore and also only cost $1.

Top by Eddie Bauer.
I don't have too many long sleeved shirts so this top will be getting a lot of wear this fall. I love the blue (blue is my favorite color!), the material is super soft, and it's another versatile top that can be dressed up or down. Last week, I wore this bad boy Christmas shopping and paired it with blue jeans and a simple necklace. 

I felt comfortable, confident, and ready to shop!

Shirt // Eddie Bauer (out of season)
Necklace // Riddles Jewelry

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ain't It Great? Brandon's 28!

My honey turned the big 2-8 on Friday and we celebrated all weekend!

On Friday, Jax and I surprised Brandon with donuts (and Krispy Kreme hats) in bed, presents/cards when he came home from work, delicious Papa Johns & PBRs for supper, and decadent Nothing Bundt Cakes for dessert. After all of the birthday surprises had taken place, Brandon and I indulged in our guilty TV pleasure (Catfish) and got somewhat caught up on the latest season.

Brandon, Jax, and I all slept in Saturday morning and (Brandon & I) enjoyed coffee and leftover Krispy Kremes for breakfast. After getting ready (and watching a few more episodes of Catfish), we met my parents & brother at my Aunt Nancy & Uncle Rolf's house, visited for awhile, sneaked away while Jax wasn't paying attention, and had a baby-less lunch at The Melting Pot. After a blissful 2 hour lunch full of rich fondue and wine, we returned to my Aunt's house for some visiting, baby snuggles, and homemade pizza.
Four course fondue is where it's at! We had such a fun time eating, laughing, and talking uninterrupted for 2 whole glorious hours.

A guy who Brandon went to high school with was in town doing standup and we'd planned to go to his show on Saturday night.. BUT our sleepy/grumpy baby had different plans so I ended up staying at my aunts while Brandon met up with old friends in LoDo. It would have been nice to have been able to go to the show too and meet some of Brandon's old friends, but I still had a very enjoyable time at my aunts (even with a grouchy baby--we made a Trader Joe's run, took a long walk, and sat around visiting/laughing)! 

Despite the Broncos losing again to the Seahawks, Sunday was a very laid back and enjoyable day! After church, Jax and I took a long nap and woke up to a bunch of yummy football grub prepared by the birthday boy. We ate way more than we should have and just enjoyed the rest of the weekend.

Happy Birthday to the best husband in the whole world! Thank you for always working so hard for our family and for being the perfect daddy to Jax.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jackson's 9 Month Update

It's official: we only have a quarter of a year left before our little guy turns one (cue the tears)!

Brandon and I had fondue at The Melting Pot for his birthday on Saturday and talked about how Jax seems more like a little boy now than a baby--he is a such a smart little guy and learns more and more with each passing day. We love watching the world through his eyes and thank God everyday for giving us our boy.

Here's what we've been up to this month:
Our monthly photo shoots are getting harder and harder to do!
Weight: 17.1 lbs (apparently our bathroom scale is WAY off)

Length: 28.5 inches

Nicknames: Jax, Bubbas, Cheeks, Jacksie

Wearing: Some 12 month clothes but mostly 9 month; size 3 diapers

Sleep: Still co-sleeping; still sleeping well (9-11 hours per night, 2-3 hour nap every afternoon).

Jax likes: Elmo & Abby (Sesame Street), showing off, other little kids, feeding himself, sweets (uh-oh), going for walks, story time, socializing, MOPS, playgroup, pulling himself up onto things, moving his picture around on Facetime, naps/sleeping, crawling, clapping, singing, "smelling" candles

Jax dislikes: Being left to play in his crib for too long, when mommy & daddy take him away from dangerous situations, dirty diapers, when he rolls over and hits his head on the floor, when he slams into the wall while playing on Johnny Jump up

Food: Anything and everything! Right now his favorites are Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, bananas, avocado, sweet peas, anything sweet (he's had bites of ice cream, birthday cake, whipped cream, and birthday donuts), Gerbers Puffs & Melts, and veggie pasta. His main food source is still nursing but I'm going to start pushing more foods and hopefully have him weaned at a year.

Mom & Dad's Favorite Things: How outgoing and social he is, his smiles, and how hammy he's become!

Teeth: WE HAVE A TOOTH!!! Two Saturdays ago during nap time, Jax woke up literally screaming and crying--I tried to calm him down but he continued to sob and scream, which isn't like him at all. After a good 5 minutes, I was finally able to get him to calm back down and nurse him back to sleep. Later that night, he was laying in bed with Brandon and me, grabbed my finger, and began to chew on it.. that's when I felt it. It's still just a little stub of a bottom tooth, but it's definitely there and I'm guessing that's what was causing his nap time meltdown that afternoon (poor baby!).

Happenings: We bought a house (much more about that later); having to put Bitsy to sleep :(; first airplane ride; visiting Grandpa, Gramma, & Great Grandpa in Tennessee; first trip to an aquarium; second haircut; road trip to Hays for the KVDM banquet; Christmas shopping w/Uncle Joey; first time playing (or trying to play) at the park; bought 1st Halloween costume; 1st MOPS meeting; Daddy's 28th birthday; hanging out with Grammy, Grandpa, Great Aunt Nancy & Uncle Rolf, and Uncle Joey while mommy & daddy went on a birthday date.

~As I mentioned before, we traveled to Tennessee over Labor Day weekend to visit Brandon's dad, step-mom, and grandpa (who flew down to Tennessee from North Dakota just to see us) and had a wonderful time! Jackson loved playing with and showing off to new people and getting to see new places like the Ripley's Aquarium, Sunsphere, and Gramma & Grandpas fun house! He did pretty well on the flight there (we kept him up during his morning nap so he'd sleep on the plane) but had a rough time on the flight home and refused to sleep or sit still.. Oh well. Better luck next time (I hope)!

~As you all know, we had to put our sweet Bitsy to sleep at the end of August. When we returned home from her appointment, Jax got the biggest smile and started looking around the apartment for her. My. heart. broke. Bitsy was the sweetest, most patient kitty and Jax just adored her. He looked around for her for a few days but started to forget soon after.. I sure miss that girl!

~This boy makes the world a better place--he will literally smile at anyone and loves to jabber to anybody who will listen. How could you not feel happy after being smiled at by a sweet baby?!

~We've been all sorts of busy this month and can now stand (while holding onto something), sit up, pull self up onto different toys/furniture, wave, and give high fives & kisses on command. He still hasn't fully mastered regular crawling but boy is he good at the army crawl (this kid is fast).

~Jax is a HUGE flirt and loves to smile and stare at girls. When we were at the KVDM banquet in Hays, I heard a group of college aged girls giggling behind us, looked back to see what was going on, and noticed they were looking at/waving at Jax, who had the biggest grin on his face and was talking/smiling/showing off for them. We're going to need to keep a close eye on him when he's older..

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Brandon!

Can ye guess what this day be?

Why it be National Speak Like a Scurvy Pirate Day, buckos!

But do ye be knowin' what else this day be?

'tis me first matey's day of birth.


It's hard to believe that I met Brandon a few days after his 24th birthday.. what a BIG difference four years make! It's crazy to think that we're now married, have a family, a mortgage, and live in a new city--I wouldn't change any of it for the world!

Happy 28th Birthday to the hardest working, kindest, and most handsome hubby in the world! Jackson and I love you and couldn't have asked for a better husband and dad!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

If you know me, you know I love to thrift.

Since moving to Denver, my thrifting hauls have gotten better and better--the Mile High City has so many places to shop! One of my new favorite spots is Habitat for Humanity ReStore (you can read about the best thrifting high I ever had--courtesy of ReStore--here); every Saturday, all women's clothing is only $1 and baby/children's clothes are $.50.


I've been thrifting my little heart out (guilt free) and am stocking up on high end brand name clothes on the cheap. With that being said, I thought I'd start sharing some of my favorite finds every Thursday to help encourage people to get out and thrift!

Without further ado..

An exciting new feature like this deserves a showstopper premiere.. this top does just that!

I scored this little number at ReStore (originally from The Loft) and LOVE it--it's soft, comfortable, and I absolutely adore the purple! It can be dressed up for church or for a date night with slacks or a skirt, or I can wear is casually with Toms and jeans. All of this for a dolla?


Now tell me: what did your recent thrift haul consist of? I'd love to hear!
Shirt // The Loft (out of season)
White Undershirt // Forever 21
Necklace // Chewbeads Jane

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sea Salt Nutella Swirl Pumpkin Brownies

Read the title again.

Are you drooling yet?

I am just thinking about them..

I decided to combine my four favorite things (chocolate, Nutella, pumpkin, & salt) into a delicious dessert and boy oh boy are they yummy!

These Sea Salt Nutella Swirl Pumpkin Brownies are so moist, simple & quick to prepare, and make for the perfect after school snack!

  • 1 "Family Size" box (19.5 oz) brownie mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin 
  • 1/3 cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl mix together brownie mix and pumpkin until smooth. Spread batter into pan. Add Nutella to microwave safe bowl and heat for 15 seconds. Stir in salt.
  3. Spoon Nutella mixture over brownie batter and gently swirl it into the mix. 
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, let cool, and enjoy!
No egg=safe & delicious (and Jackson approved!) batter.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jackson's First Halloween Costume

What another wonderful (albeit short) weekend! 

Friday was full of naps, baby cuddles, Christmas shopping with my brother, and a late dinner with Brandon, Joey, and Jax. 

On Saturday we took Jackson to story time at Barnes & Noble, thrifted, shopped for furniture, played at the park, and had a late night Trailer Park Boys marathon (I forgot how hilarious that show is).

Sunday was dedicated to church, Costco, Broncos, visiting my great aunt & brother, and artery clogging football grub (pictured above).

It was a great weekend indeed. 

The most memorable part though was finding Jax's Halloween costume at Costco..
Stop. It.
$10 later, we're all set for Halloween! We can't wait!

P.S. Costco has a bunch of Christmas stuff on display which makes me very, very happy.

P.P.S. Jax's first tooth made its grand (and painful) first appearance during Saturday afternoon nap.. more on that next week!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Go Home Colorado.. You're Drunk!

You know how I've been gushing about how much I love the fall, pumpkin spice lattes, and all that white girl garble?


Colorado has decided to just skip fall altogether and go to winter.


Yesterday was cold and rainy all day, which was just fine by me because Jax and I just stayed in our pajamas, made a Target run, napped, made a beautiful Shepherd's Pie, and went for a brisk walk.

The perfect fall day in my book!

Anyway, last night it SNOWED and today it's supposed to snow off and on..

..but here's the kicker: it's supposed to be back to the 80s by Sunday.

Go home, Colorado.

You. Are. Toasted.

I leave you with scenes from our perfect day yesterday.

Have a great weekend!
This ridiculousness will be coming to the blog soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Starbucks GIVEAWAY!

It's Thursday.. and the first official* day of fall is less than 2 weeks away!

*Though it "officially" started for me early last month.


Have you gotten your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte fix yet?

If you answered yes: you are a guy or gal after my own heart!

If you answered no: what are you waiting for?!

To make getting your fix a little bit easier, my friend Tara and I are giving away a $20 gift card to the 'bucks and we want YOU to win!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

These days, the slow cooker is my best friend.

With a baby on the move, a work from home job in marketing, and a full-time job homemaking/raising our son, preparing complicated & time consuming meals just isn't realistic.

This is why I love this simple, hearty, and healthy Slow Cooker Taco Soup recipe.

Brandon is actually the one who introduced me to this delicious soup--a gal he worked with used to bring it to the office for her coworkers and she was kind enough to share the recipe with us. This soup is extremely versatile and can be served with chips (Fritos, tortilla chips, etc.), warm tortillas, or corn bread (pictured).

  • 1 lb. Hamburger 
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1 pkg. ranch seasoning
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can pinto beans (drained)
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can light kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can great northern beans (drained)
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes 
  1. Fry hamburger until cooked thoroughly and add taco seasoning (prepare as directed on pouch). Add seasoned hamburger to slow cooker and mix in remaining ingredients.
  2. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Monday, September 8, 2014

#OBC14 (& the Time I Took Someone Else's Magazines)

The Online Blog Conference 2014 begins today! I'm so excited!!
Online Blog Con

I've always wanted to attend a blogging conference but have never been able to find one close by--Online Blog Conference to the rescue! After Brandon gets home tonight, I'm hightailing it to Starbucks in my yoga pants to watch the conference videos while sipping on a pumpkin spice latte (see Friday's post for more stereotypical white girl mumbo jumbo). I can't wait!

In other news, I've been on a huge magazine kick lately and have a collection of 5 different 'zines to read!

"Wow, Annie; that's quite the collection! Where'd you get all of them?"

Huh, that's sort of an odd question to ask.. but if you must know..

I subscribe to Country Living, picked up Real Simple & HGTV at Target, and may or may not have taken the Food & Wine and Travel & Leisure magazines out of the recycle box in our mail room.. it's hard to say for sure.

You call it crazy. I call it thrifty.
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