Kassarie & Kayliray

I won’t lie… I’m kind of a makeup loser. ;) IF I get any makeup on at all during the day it’s always a little concealer to hide the mommy under eye darkness, some foundation and a little mascara. That’s it. So when I received the Maybelline Brow Drama® VoxBox from Influenster I was excited to try something new!

Maybelline Brow Drama Review

I received both the Dark Brown and Soft Brown colors. They are SUPER easy to use, just draw the color onto your brows either to fill in trouble spots or to add more definition. I was able to use either color as both blended well with my brows depending on how much drama I felt like having. The below photo shows the Dark Brown on bottom and the Soft Brown on the top.

Maybelline Brow Drama

If you’re interested, I did a little vlog about them that you can watch here, Maybelline Brow Drama Vlog.

Have you tried the Brow Drama crayons? What’s your shade?
Are you a less is more makeup girl like me? Or are you a makeup maven?

Disclosure: I received this VoxBox via Maybelline and Influenster, but all opinions shared here are my own.

Kassi

With school letting out and summer right around the corner I’ve been thinking about summer vacations… My kids aren’t really old enough yet for anything too big or exciting, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream about when they will be! I want to be that family that takes a fun vacation every summer. Something that will create amazing childhood and family memories. So here is my wish list of 5 someday family vacation destinations!

Disneyland Vacation

Disneyland! Every kid I have ever known has dreamed of going to Disneyland. Klara has been there once, but she wasn’t even a year old yet. I want to take both of my kids back when they’re old enough to really enjoy it. I’ve heard little girls LOVE the princess breakfast and I know Klara would go nuts!

Nashville, Tennessee! I have wanted to go there ever since I did a presentation on the city for a competition in high school! My husband and I both love listening to the Sirius Radio broadcasts of the Grande Ol’ Opry and it would be amazing to see it in person with my family. I’ve heard the Opryland Hotel and Gardens are so neat and I would love to check out Music Row with the hubs! As lovers of Sirius Radio you know we’ll be going to the Music Row Happy Hour while we’re there too! ;)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Go ahead and judge me, but Harry Potter has been my favorite since the beginning. I will go there someday, especially since I hear there’s one in California now! And my sister will be going with me, book nerds unite! I can’t wait to introduce the books to my kids! Klara already likes watching the movies with me, so seeing it brought to life as a family would be SO fun!

Grand Canyon! Ok, it’s really only a few hours from home, but especially since that’s the case it’s amazing and awe inspiring and all that business that such a HUGE canyon can exist the way it does. Every family should visit it at least once.

New York City! You see it all the time in movies and read about it in books. There are so many things to see and do there… A play or musical on Broadway, the Museum of Natural History, visiting the set of Good Morning America and getting on TV! ;) This would definitely fall into the ‘when the kids are older’ category, but it would be an educational and cultural experience for them from the rural area where we live for sure!

As I’m sitting here writing this post I realized two things… One, there are so many more amazing places I want to be able to visit with my family! What an amazing country we have! And two… it’s time to start saving… $$$$ ;)

Where is your #1 family vacation dream destination??

Kassi

I’m not an expert on breastfeeding by any means, but I have nursed two babies and feel like I have a good handle on things these days. I made it to 13 months with my daughter and we’re headed toward month three with my son.

Throughout that time I have googled, Pinterested, asked friends and family and by any means possible sought out as much information as possible on breastfeeding… The correct positions, the best way to get a good latch, help for pain in the early weeks, etc. So I wanted to share a few real life conclusions that I’ve come to for those other mamas trolling the internet for answers in the middle of a nightly nursing session.

Breastfeeding Information

The initial pain and discomfort of breastfeeding that sweet baby will pass by about 6ish weeks.

I remember searching for how long it would last those first few weeks when I was aching, engorged and just not very excited each time one of my kiddos as a newborn was ready to eat. I don’t remember ever finding a real answer. So here’s my answer to you… It might be sooner if you master the latch from the beginning, don’t have any issues with cracked nipples and things just go smoothly from the start. BUT if goodness forbid something doesn’t go right, IT WILL STILL PASS! With my son, just a couple short months ago, I caught the flu the second week after he was born. It was death. For real. But the worst thing that came from it was that I didn’t feel good, I got lazy and ended up with a cracked nipple. Like a Grand Canyon sized hole in my body you guys. It was bad. But it did eventually heal. I had to grit my teeth every time he latched there for awhile, but by 6 weeks I was totally OK.

Breastfeeding in public is uncomfortable.

Before you go all #normalizebreastfeeding on me hear me out. I know there’s this huge movement towards making mamas more comfortable to feed their children in any setting. Women are sharing photos of themselves nursing their little loves on social media. And that is awesome! BUT as a new mom, when you venture out of the house for the first time and have to figure out how to comfortably nourish your little one with prying eyes every which direction IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE. I just want you to know that it is OK to feel that way. If you don’t you are a total nursing rock star mom and kudos to you, but for the rest of us, just know that you will figure it out and it will get easier. Nursing in public with my second child was SO much easier, SO much more natural and SO much more comfortable than with my daughter when I was figuring it out the first time.

Breastfeeding

Formula is totally OK too!

I have to say that of all the things that I’ve learned throughout two kids thus far, the most important is that motherhood should be a judgment free zone. As long as you love and do your best to take care of your littles, then you are a hero mom in my eyes. Because honestly, I have known a few mamas that just don’t care. So however you feed your child, as long as they’re getting fed, continue to grow and thrive, then yay you!!! Case in point, my daughter’s little bestie is a cute little blonde headed girl that looks just like my daughter. In fact people get them mixed up sometimes. They are both smart, sweet, amazing little girls. My daughter was breastfed and her little friend was not. It all works itself out in the end, so do yourself a favor and realize that however you choose to care for your child, it is the right decision as long as you care.

What is/was your biggest breastfeeding concern? Any tips you can share for new nursing mamas?

Kassi

Ever since Instagram came out there have been apps popping up that allow you to print out your photos, but I have just found my new favorite! FavePix from Shutterfly! First of all… why would you print out your pictures if they’re already saved on Instagram and/or Facebook or whatever social media sharing site you prefer…  What if that social sharing site gets hacked? What if your account gets deleted? What if like MySpace it simply becomes unpopular and sort of fades away into early 2000s history. It can happen… I don’t even remember what my log in info was for MySpace back then.

FavePix Giveaway (2)

FavePix is an iPhone app by Shutterfly that enables you to create photo books from your Instagram photos.  For just $19.99, you get a 6×6 hardcover photo book and a bamboo stand. Shipping is free.

FavePix by ShutterflyYour book comes in a fun little box with it’s own wooden stand so you can actually display all those photos you’ve taken and are so proud of! I put mine right on my living room mantle!

FavePix Giveaway (1)

Creating your book is SO easy and really takes only about 5 minutes. You have three options for choosing the photos you want printed in your book. Just download the FavePix app from the iPhone app store, connect your Instagram account and then either;

1.       Select your favorites from all of your Instagram photos, you can choose up to 50

2.       Gather by hashtags

3.       Let FavePix choose your best photos for you

I chose to gather by hashtag using #KlaraBeth. From there FavePix chose my top 50 photos of my sweet girl and put them into the book in chronological order. You also have the option to print the dates and captions with the photos. I LOVED that because most apps available don’t allow you to print the caption that you shared with the photo, but I love to be able to look back and read what I wrote when I shared that photo on that specific date.

FavePix Giveaway (3)

You can choose a black or white background, I chose white. And it allows you a couple of options for the cover. Either one large photo or a few smaller ones.

FavePix Giveaway (4)

The back cover includes your Instagram profile photo and name. So fun, right?!

FavePix Giveaway (5)

I already want to make another with my #KlaraBethMonthly photos that I took during Klara’s first year. And then one with Quade’s photos when he gets a little older and has a few more… ;)

Now it’s your turn! Shutterfly has graciously offered a free FavePix book to one of our lucky readers! Enter the giveaway below. A winner will be chosen and announced on May 12th. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a free FavePix book in exchange for my honest review and hosting a giveaway. As always opinions shared here are 100% my own!

Kassi

I’m super excited to finally start sharing our Casa de Mortensen Home Renovation with you all!!! I’ve debated on the best way to start sharing these posts and it has seriously delayed me in actually sitting down to write. I finally decided to start with a Before Tour of the house to show how it all looked before we got started with our changes and making it our own. I snapped all of these before photos with my cell phone in the various trips we made to make plans and check out the house, so pardon the less than stellar quality… and the dog photo bomb… ;)

Remember, this was the house where my husband grew up. When he grew up here, it looked basically like this, minus the um… interesting brownish paint job on the cabinets in the kitchen. Those deer and elk heads were courtesy of a later tenant…

But these main living areas are more or less how they’ve been for years.

Kitchen Renovation Before

Kitchen Renovation Before 2

The pantry…

Home Renovation Pantry Before

Below is the view of the kitchen and dining area if you’re looking from the living room.

Kitchen Renovation Before 3

And from there if you turn around you’ll see the living room. The elk on the wall was from prior tenants, but again, the rest is basically just like it was when my husband’s family lived there.

Home Renovation Living Room Before

And this is the entry from the side door.

Home Renovation Entryway Before

This is the view of the side entryway, looking from the laundry room.

Home Renovation Entryway Before 2

And finally the laundry room…

Home Renovation Laundry Room

This is the view of the side entryway, looking from the laundry room.  Home Renovation Laundry Room 2

Up next I’ll share the other living areas before we started making changes… The bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Hope you’ll come back to see the renovations and cosmetic changes we’ve been working on!

Kassi

29. 03. 2016

Wow… it’s almost April. Kayli was able to sneak in a post at the end of December, but I haven’t written a single thing since November. Oops. Sorry peeps. You know… if there’s any peeps out there left reading this little blog-o here. Shout out to you dear reader… I hope you’ll leave a comment so I can personally thank you for sticking around! ;) I don’t really have a good excuse for not writing for the majority of that time… Unless you can call living life an excuse. But I do have an awesome excuse for the last month-ish. Friends… meet our little cowboy Quade!!

Duncan Arizona Newborn Photographer

Our little miss Klara is completely smitten with her baby brother. She asks to hold him several times a day and even just to see him if someone else is holding him or he’s laying in his bed or swing. Klara brings mommy diapers, helps with bath time and really hasn’t shown a single ounce of jealousy, thank goodness!!!

Greenlee County Newborn Photographer

Since everyone keeps asking, I am doing great. I had a rough week there during little man’s second week of life… His daddy caught the flu and passed it to me. Having just had a baby and then catching the flu is basically hell… In case you were wondering. But I did live through it and all is well once again. ;)

Now that things have settled down a bit I have been thinking of blogging again. So I hope to write some more soon and maybe catch up and share a little bit about what we’ve been up to lately… Casa de Mortensen needs a few posts dedicated to the changes we’ve made so far for sure. But no promises. I do have two sweet little kiddos that need mommy cuddles, so you know, priorities. ;)

Have a happy week loves!

Kassi

30. 12. 2015

Hey readers, it’s Kayli.

I want to write a little about 2015, and about the new year.

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions.
I don’t think that changes should be made on only one day. I think that if you want to make a change, June 6th is just as good of a day to make changes as January 1st is. I also hate that so often, we make unrealistic resolutions only to end up disappointed in February because we’ve “failed.”

That said, I love New Year’s Day. I love starting fresh, and the idea that we can leave everything that has happened in the last 12 months behind us, where it really belongs. I love the idea of developing positive traits and progressing a little at a time.

So instead of resolutions, I pick a word for every year. I haven’t written about it much before because it was new for me, and I wanted to give it an honest go of my own.

I started this in 2013. My word then was faithful. I needed to develop a trust in my Heavenly Father. I needed to rely more on him and believe things would work out.

In 2014, my word was bloom. I wanted to really embrace the ways in which I was leaving childhood behind and settling into my twenties. I wanted to embrace the woman I was becoming and take risks.

And this year, for 2015, my word was shine.

I wanted my testimony to be my most defining feature. I wanted to let the happiness the gospel has given me, radiate. I wanted to accomplish things and share things and be happy.

image

With Klara after The Color Run

I completed the Color Run, where the theme, very fittingly, was “shine.”

With my best friend, Claire. (Gertie of Gertie and Bertie)

With my best friend, Claire. (Gertie of Gertie and Bertie)

I attended the temple and received my endowment.
I overcame heartbreak. I spent time with my girls. I started over in Safford and spent time with Kassi, her husband, and Klara. I moved in with “new” family and found another home.

I student taught and fell madly in love with my “job.”
I went to football games, and basketball games, and I even attended a ballet.

Glitter letters. Glitter's my favorite.

Glitter letters. Glitter’s my favorite.

Then I graduated at the top of my class in Secondary Education from New Mexico State University.

I grew. A lot.

And the entire time, I reminded myself that what I was trying to do, was shine.

Choosing a word instead of making resolutions has been really effective for me.

I can’t fail my word.

It’s something I’m trying to develop, not something I’m trying to achieve.

I work on it throughout the year. When given opportunities, I think about my word. When faced with choices, I think about my word. When in times of darkness and trial, or joy and celebration, I think about my word and what I need to do next in order to exemplify it.

Wanna join me? It’s an easy process, I promise.
I pick a word at the end of every December. I choose something I want to work on, a word that describes something I admire and feel like I need to develop. It doesn’t matter what part of speech it is. Faithful is an adjective while bloom and shine are verbs. It can be anything you want to be more of, or do more of.

Then, (and this stuff is totally optional) I pin to my “Words of the Year” Pinterest board. I search my word and save quotes. You can see that board here. (I started the board over the last year. Before that I was just saving quotes to my “Things that Inspire Me” board, here.) I make my phone wallpaper something that reminds me of my word for the first couple of weeks of January. Then, I do my best to look for it, and remind myself of it, throughout the year.

So, what’s my word for 2016?

I’ve chosen “gentle”.

This is something I want to work on, being more gentle. Initially I thought about “strong”. I certainly want to be a stronger person, but before I develop that strength, I want to make sure that in my heart, in my actions, I’m soft. I want to be more kind, and more tender, and more loving.

I want to be more like my savior, and he was the most gentle person to ever walk this earth.

I want to be teachable, and moldable, and willing to change and love what comes, whatever that is. I want to be GENTLE.

So what’s your word going to be? I’d love to know. Share in the comments!

 

xoxo,

Kayli

It’s here… time to get those holiday cards on order so they’ll be ready to send out this holiday season!!! I already have mine. Don’t be jealous of my crazy preparation skills… Christmas cards are literally the ONLY holiday thing I’ve taken care of yet this year. No gifts, no new decor, just the cards. But it’s a biggie! And really, an easy one for me. I just use my go to holiday card website, problem solved. For real, this is maybe the fifth year in a row I think that I’ve order our holiday cards from Shutterfly. Favorite hands down!

Because I don’t want to ruin the surprise for those receiving our holiday cards this year, here’s last year’s Shutterfly Christmas Card instead… ;)

2014Cards

Then, here’s a few of my favorite designs for this year!! First, I am loving the pretty foil stamped designs and this year there’s even more colors to choose from to customize your cards!

Foil StampedOR instead of sending your loved ones an ordinary holiday card, you can now send them an ornament for their Christmas tree!!!! There’s a whole selection of fun ornament cards to choose from as well!

Shutterfly Ornament Christmas Card

I love that you can also purchase matching address labels and gift stickers to go with your holiday cards. Really complete the ensemble!

Shutterfly Address Labels

Gift Stickers from Shutterfly While you’re on the Shutterfly site choosing your holiday stationary, you might as well get some holiday gift shopping done! I personally LOVE their Personalized iPhone Photo Cases. SO much so I got one for myself with my favorite photo of my daughter holding a sonogram of our little man on the way!

Shutterfly iPhone Case

Other fun photo gifts include Christmas stockings, candles, gift wrap, and so much more! They also have fun home decor items you can personalize with your own photos!

To wrap it up holiday style, Shutterfly is my favorite site for my Christmas stationary, personalized gifts and cute home decor items. Nothing beats a thoughtful personalized present with a family photo!

Your turn: Do you send holiday cards every year? Why or why not?

Disclosure: I received my holiday stationary for this year in exchange for a sponsored post for Shutterfly. As always though, opinions shared here are 100% my own. I would never share something I don’t truly love!

Kassi

We’re still here!!! *Cue excuses… It’s just that it’s my busiest season as a photographer… Senior sessions, family sessions for Christmas cards, etc. Then there’s all the editing that goes with it. No time to sit and write a blog post. BUT… I have a bit of news to share that you may or may not have seen on Facebook, or Instagram… But if you haven’t yet….

Klara Gets a Brother

Klara’s going to be a BIG sister!!!! Her little brother is due in Mach 2016! We are thrilled to be adding a little mister to our family!

It's a boy!

Anyone have any tips on life with two kids?! Not going to lie, I’m freaking out a little about going from one to two… Working from home and all the other things that go on in life… Help a momma out! ;)

Kassi

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Manwich for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s been a long weekend, you’re ready to kick off the week with a great dinner but you’re at a loss. You’ve been busy, the kids are always busy… What to do? Enter Manwich Monday! #ManwichMonday

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Manwich is a tangy, sweet, meat less sauce that can be used in numerous Manwich Monday Recipes. Today I have one of my very own to share with you. A recipe that is sure to please the family, get everyone to sit together at the table and it’s super easy, so that makes life easier on YOU!

7 Can Soup with Manwich Sauce

Ingredients Needed:

Step 1: Open your cans. It will feel like your running the can opener forever, but it really doesn’t take that long. ;)

Step 2: Pour each of the cans into a large soup sized pot. Heat over Medium Low Heat.

Manwich Monday Recipe (1)

 

Step 3: Cut up the cheese into cubes and add it to the soup mixture.

Manwich Monday Recipe (2)

 

Step 4: Continue heating and stirring until cheese is completely melted and combined with soup and soup is bubbling.

Step 5: Serve with a side of corn bread for a fun fall Manwich Monday favorite!

Manwich Monday Recipe (4)

 

Make Mondays the best day of the week with fun Manwich Monday Recipes. There are three delicious flavors of Manwich sauce that you can use to make a traditional Manwich.

Manwich Monday Recipe (3)

 

You have to use BOTH hands to enjoy a Manwich dinner, so your entire family will be focused on dinner and the company of each other instead of those pesky cell phones. ;) Or get creative and try something new like this 7 Can Soup recipe! For more ideas be sure to Sign-up for ReadySetEat eNewsletter and Follow Manwich on Twitter.

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