Monday, July 29, 2013



Zumba class moved to a room with mirrors. Oh great Scott. Soooo unnecessary.

Yesterday I told my primary class this old classic to teach them about receiving answers to our prayers. At the end of the lesson the little boy saying the prayer asked "And Heavenly Father, PLEASE don't let us fall on any railroad tracks." with such distinct fear in his voice. If your 4 yr old has been scarred, I offer my deepest apologies. Also, apparently the whole "power of prayer" message was lost in the impending death by train shuffle.

I got a crazy wild hare for a dessert yesterday when I spotted some double stuff Oreo's on the counter. Next thing I know, I'm making a vanilla pudding Oreo trifle and then shoving it into the fridge like I was locking away a demon. Well a demon it was--a bogart I say. After hearing it calling my name for a few hours, I bent to the trifle's will and holy crap, would someone please come and get it out of my house?! It is so good y'all. I weep. Exactly the kind of thing that Jared would never eat and I would finish in one sitting.

I'm getting super trunky for Disney. So close yet so far. Blackout dates :(


Grammie gave me this adorable apron which belonged to my Great-grandmother Pearl. I have coveted it since childhood.

Hitting my ball through the last two wickets and squarely hitting the stick to win the heck out of last weeks croquet game. Jared won the first round, so it was a good night all around for the JK Alexanders.

Threef(x) ice cream! I may have to do an entire post on this place. I am soooo in love.

The first Manning great-grandchild was born last week. Welcome to the world Parker William! You are so handsome and have a really great shaped head and a cute button nose. Top-notch Candace and Tyler!

On measuring, my hips are the exact width of my bust. I don't know if this is an awkward or an awesome, but it does mean that a drop waist dress will never look good on me, and I will probably continue to try dresses on and then get stuck in them inside dressing rooms across the country. :D

Countdown officially begins for our whirlwind weekend in Northern California and our dear dear Kevin Newton's wedding.

Gilligan fetching golf balls in the mud.

Monday, July 22, 2013


This weekend's plans were derailed, but it was a blessing in disguise. I got so much done! One may say I only took the chaos from one room and displaced it, but I say nay! Now that I've conquered the beast (pretty much) of our spare room, I feel like I have a handle on things. The room has been sitting, unused and full of random boxes, since we moved in. It is now a usable, albeit slightly hideous, office. I was so excited to file the last of my craft supplies in drawers. It’s insane to me that the content of two large Rubbermaid containers and probably 8 cardboard boxes can all be condensed into one dresser.

I can't wait to decorate and, eventually, put a bed in there for a guest room. My idea for the room is to go very neutral with bright pops of color. I know, very innovative. Ha.

The older I get, the more I appreciate white, airy, minimalist spaces. Scandinavian design really rings my bell. Tchotchkes are a total gateway drug for me. I naturally want to cover every desktop,  shelf and bureau with stuff. And then one day you look around and think “Geeze, there are a lot of woodland creatures in this room.”

Seriously, I have an entire box devtored to vintage owl decor. I will always love my thrift store finds, and my heart will always battle my head over what some may deem too “precious,” but I vow to decorate with a lighter hand. I think I can be adult and timeless and still find a way to utilize my 60’s era ceramic owl book ends, don’t you?

In keeping with this theme, this week in things that I bought and love…at Wal-Mart at 11:59 pm Saturday night. Neon green floor lamp!

Oh Wal-Mart, just when I swore you off, you draw me in with cheap allergy meds and immediate access to Sunday dinner ingredients, and then you sweeten the deal with a gem of a cheaply made floor lamp. I just can’t quit you. This lamp was 12 dollars, and it also comes in hot pink.
I loved it from the minute I saw it, but in case you don’t see the beauty…well I’m sorry, I have nothing to offer you. It’s the perfect little touch of unexpected color in a neutral room. 

I do hope to one day do a little home tour. Is it wrong to think the entire house has to be exactly the way I want before I share? For this same reason I have only 3-4 pictures of our first apartment. Crummy as it was, it was still our home. This room may be a little incentive for me to share before everything is done.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I am a sentimental sap. I have the shirt I was wearing the first day I walked up to Jared in biology class and the one I was wearing the day he asked me to marry him, even though both have shrunk into oblivion. What is this weird phenomena where all of Jared and I’s shirts shrink UP instead of IN?

Last night I was at my grandmother’s house going through the last of my things that remained in my old room. I washed my hands of a large box of books and retrieved my old Veruca Salt costume. I’ve gotten so much better at letting things go, I really have.

But then there’s my wedding dress. From our first apt in Riverside to our new one in St. Nicholas, our homes have lacked the closet to hold the old girl. The dress has sat in its pink garment bag in the back of Grammie’s closet, taking up precious real estate all the while.

Here’s the thing: I don’t really like my wedding dress. It’s a beautiful floor length gown and when I look at it, I feel nothing. Well I take that back, I’ve grown a little bitter about it over the past year.

I had no idea I would be married at 22, freshly graduated making 10 bucks an hour. I always assumed I would be at least 25 if not 30 before tying the knot. Even though Jared and I talked about it constantly while we were dating, I was always afraid of being “that girl.” That girl who had 6 Pinterest boards of weddings, a dress picked out and a smug look on her face before the ring was even bought let alone on her finger. Wedding blogs were my drug of choice. I could look at them and let my mind float and scheme, and no one was any the wiser.

And then, I was engaged. And it was real. And I was getting married in 3 months. My parents were not in a place where they could help me buy a dress and I was on my own.

The first time I stepped into a bridal boutique my stomach began to churn. This was not helped when a zipper snagged on a hideous multi-tiered charmeuse nightmare and the shop girl literally had to CUT ME OUT. With scissors!  Wedding dress shopping was down-hill from there. I never found anything I liked and I refused to try on something I could never afford. It was incredibly stressful. It made me feel like a bad person with a bad body and a bad attitude.

I ended up finding this one at less than 300 dollars. It fit like a glove, the women in the store were incredibly kind and accommodating, I looked marginally skinny, and it needed no altering. My grandparents pitched in to help my buy it. I put it on lay-away and made 3 payments. It was luck.

The thing is this dress looks nothing like me. It was a dress for the day and that’s about it. Not good or bad, just a dress. I know that years of TLC have made me, and probably tons of other women, unrealistic about how we should feel about these things, but still. I should feel something right?

Which leaves me here, a year and a half (almost) after the big day and I still don’t know what to do with it. Sell it? Save it? Make a tiny blessing gown for the babies I will hopefully have one day? I was set on selling it last night. I had made up my mind. And then the guilt and pettiness set in. I would get so little money for this dress.  $175? $150? Money that would be spent and forgotten so quickly. And Goodwill? Please, don’t even get me started.

For now I will save this dress. I will clear a place in my spare bedroom, closet and hang it there. I will try it on occasionally to look at myself in the mirror. I will loan it out to anyone who may want to borrow it. Any other ideas for the fate of the dress?

P.S. I love my Dad’s face in this picture. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013



On Tuesday I got up early for a BodyAttack class. Basically 30 straight minutes of running, jumping, hopping, clapping, burpees, lunges, you name it.  About 15 min in, my sports bra unsnapped itself and with every jump worked further up my chest.

I have been in such a grumpy frump lately. The amount of bickering I instigate is absurd. When will I learn?

Jared having to work every Saturday and holiday since our vacation -____-

Knee length shorts. I look like such a twerp in knee length shorts. I think my severe addiction to high waist short-shorts, coupled with flashbacks of pleated forest green monstrosities that I wore at Disney, have ruined me forever on the more modest kind. 


This little dog of mine is probably the greatest beach companion who ever lived.

I’ve lost 12 pounds! And it feels really great. Getting up in the morning and getting into the gym before work has made a huge difference in my attitude, energy level and waist line.

My lovely little cousin Ashlyn consented to see Monsters University with me tonight. It’s definitely getting me through the day.

I can put my hair up!

If you did not get a piece of the JCrew sale action that happened last week, I feel bad for you son. 

Amazing 80's dress for 1$. And sister-wife hair. 

My brother is moving to Jacksonville! Jared and Trever already have plans to build a hovercraft. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Rhye has invaded our home and I have no intention of asking them to leave. Go on, try and resist.

Another song on repeat? Sigh No More from Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. That movie was so charming and so refreshing. The Kenneth Branagh version was a huge favorite from my childhood, and no one can dethrone him as the Benedict of my heart, but this newer version is really delightful

. For those of you in Jacksonville, check it out at Sun-Ray Cinema in Riverside. It makes a great date night.