5 things learned in 5 years of marriage

wedding bs
Celebrating 5 years of marriage is a big deal! Ok not that big of a deal when I consider my parents have been married for 35 and my grandparents were all married for more than 50. We’ve got a long way to go, but we have learned a lot these past few years. Sam and I have been together for nearly a decade – we met in high school and started dating in college. I’ve grown so much since we got married. I thought it would be nice to share a few things I’ve learned. Read on if you would like!

  1. Try and do one kind thing every day. This sounds simple and it really, really is. Trying to be a perfect wife is overwhelming and frankly impossible, so I try to do this instead. It’s as easy as it sounds, I pick something each day that I think would make Sam happy and I do it. These are ridiculous things like making the bed, making a Costco run, or making evening plans I know he will enjoy. He is WAY better at this than I am and has taught me what it really means to be thoughtful.
  2. Celebrate the small stuff. I notice we get little happy bursts when we celebrate small accomplishments or events. Whether someone got a raise or a really great golf score, we try to celebrate.
  3. You can’t say I love you too much. I never tire of hearing it. I think it’s so important to let Sam know I love him every single day and he does the same for me.
  4. Marry the guy that will do all of the jobs you don’t want to. This sounds terrible, but it’s true. Sam is much more responsible than I am. He keeps our finances in check because I hate dealing with numbers (hello journalism degree!), he keeps our yard looking nice and always does the dishes and takes out the garbage because he knows I hate those chores. He never complains about doing any of these things and I think we balance each other out quite nicely, even if my only addition is the fact that I’m kind of good at baking :)
  5. Enjoy every stage. Our relationship now is much different than it was five years ago. We are a bit more grounded, but also much more deeply in love. We’ve gone through lots of stages – The Honeymoon Stage – The College Graduation/Searching for Real Life Jobs Stage – The New Homeowner Stage – and now, the Pre-baby Stage! All of them have been so fun to experience together. It’s crazy to think I’m now having a baby with the boy I’ve loved since I was 19. I feel so lucky to experience life with Sam and I think this next stage of parenthood will quite possibly be the best one yet!

Before and After pics from Brooke’s living room makeover!

IMG_4617 (1)flooringprogressshotIMG_3099IMG_3139IMG_3292

Parker has been hard at work over the last few months working on some of our bigger house projects. We have now officially lived in our house for one year and it has gone by so fast! The home was built in the 1950’s and definitely needed some TLC. When we first walked through the house we made a mental list of big projects that we wanted to do and the fireplace was near the top of the list. We knew that the outdated red painted brick had to go! Along with the wallpaper. I am so happy that the previous owner only did a statement wall in wallpaper because that stuff is so stubborn and takes forever to get off. (Many thanks to my mom and brother for helping me peel it off piece by piece!) It has been a long process to do the fireplace and the rest of the living room flooring and walls but I am so happy with how it turned out! Here are just a few of the things that were done during the process:

  • wallpaper removed and wall painted gray
  • brown carpet removed and wood flooring put in
  • old baseboards taken out and new ones put in and painted
  • demo of the fireplace and rebuilding the entire wall and shape of the space with cement and drywall
  • building the actual wood mantel and painting it white
  • tiling the surround with Carrera marble

We are still working on a few furniture and art pieces for the walls but I love how it turned out! The most amazing part of the transformation is that Parker did it without a blueprint or plan! He knew what he wanted it to look like and made it happen which is something I really admire. Some advice I have if you are thinking of doing a living room remodel:

  • Be patient: every house project takes 2-3 times longer than you expect and there will always be unexpected bumps along the way.
  • Test multiple paint colors in various areas of the room. I am so glad we did this. Also, do not be scared to have them specially mix two different colors together so that you can get the perfect shade – it is free!
  • Decorate slowly with furniture, art, and accessories. It is really hard to know what things will look like in a space before it is finished.

Happy remodeling! Now we are moving on to start working on the nursery. 3 months to go, updates to come!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

mothers day gift ideas 2017

We had fun putting together this gift guide filled with things we are loving right now!

  • Katie Waltman necklace: Local Salt Lake City jewelry designer. Affordable pieces that support local!
  • Robert Matthew bag: A great Mary Poppins bag that can contain everything a mother needs on a daily basis.
  • Blue Lily Candles: Handmade in East Millcreek these candles smell divine and are one of a kind.
  • Slipper Socks: At $1.99 these slipper socks are a STEAL and so cozy! You can find them on ulta.com or at your local Ulta Beauty store. They also have incredible aloe vera socks that leave your feet feeling silky smooth.
  • Pastel Hue Wallet: These wallets are both affordable and adorable. The best part is they come FREE inside a matching purse when you buy a fragrance over $75 from Ulta. So buy mom some perfume and get yourself a new bag and wallet!

 

 

Pregnancy Survival Guide {first half}

eden eats for two

{photo via @edeneats my fave pregnant lady/food lover to follow on Instagram}

Both Brooke and I have learned a lot in the first half of our pregnancies. Surprisingly enough, they have been very different. I had pretty bad morning sickness for the first trimester, while Brooke felt good for the most part. We thought it would be fun to put together a list of things that helped us survive so far.

DEALING WITH MORNING SICKNESS:

Trader Joe’s Ginger EVERYTHING

  • They have ginger mints, ginger snaps, ginger thins, ginger ale, etc. All of them are helpful in calming queasy stomachs. Having never been a huge fan of drinking ginger ale before pregnancy, it was the one thing that tasted good and settled my stomach. I’ve had friends say La Croix has a similar effect! triple ginger snaps

Vitamin B6

  • I started taking these vitamins after my doctor recommended them for my nausea and throwing up. It really seemed to help and I could tell a difference when I missed a day.

Overall, both of us were very lucky when it came to feeling sick. We know there are women who have it SO much worse. We were also so grateful to both feel good towards the beginning of the 2nd trimester.

BEAUTY:

Skin

This has been one of the toughest parts of pregnancy. Both Brooke and I have noticed major changes in our skin – more oily and a lot more breakouts while pregnant. This is probably due to the fact that both of us had been taking either birth control pills or other medication to deal with acne. In pregnancy, you really can’t do much to help with skin issues. It also isn’t helpful when there is a camera getting close-ups of your face every day :) This has made skincare an even bigger priority. We have had to find things that are very gentle, but still cleanse the skin. We have stuck to the brands that our dermatologist suggests – mostly Cetaphil products. I have also used Phytoceane cleansers that are super gentle and smell amazing. Good to remember this part won’t last forever!

phytoceane cleanser

Makeup

Thank heavens for makeup! We’ve said it before and we will say it again. When you are not feeling pretty, a little makeup can go a long way. The only big makeup change we’ve made is to use less oil based makeup and more powders. Our favorite new finishing powder is Too Faced Primed & Poreless – it just gives your face a nice matte (but not too matte) finish.

Lash Extensions

I think every pregnant woman should try these. When nothing else is working out, you can still have great lashes! Not only do they save time, but they make me feel good even if I have no makeup on. I’ve been getting mine done by Melissa at Salon Lydia for a long time. I can easily go 5-6 weeks in between fills, so it is a very worthwhile splurge in my life.

CLOTHING:

It’s normal to sit in front of your closet and cry after you break the zipper on your favorite skirt because it no longer fits, right? Well, I sure hope so! Ha. My changing body has been very humbling. I can no longer fit into most of my clothes that I love and it’s kind of sad. BUT! Then I remember that it’s because I’m growing a beautiful human being and my stomach is supposed to be getting bigger, so things are exactly as they should be. All of that being said, there are a few pieces of clothing that I would highly recommend.

H&M Maternity Pants Why fight the zipper anymore? I can’t find the ones I have online, but these are similar.

Why fight the zipper anymore? I can’t find the ones I have online, but these are similar. The plain black ones are game changers. So comfortable and they look like real pants, while they feel like you are wearing pajama leggings. I wear them a few times a week.

Pink Blush Dresses

This dress company is great at making dresses that flatter and fit a pregnant body. My personal favorite and most worn item is this super comfy Black Hi Low Midi Dress. 

black hi low midi dress

SLEEP

Get a humidifier! One of the odd side effects of pregnancy is feeling extra congested (at least for me). My mom recommended getting a humidifier and I don’t know why I didn’t buy one sooner. Having the humidifier on while I sleep has made a big difference in feeling like I can breathe easier.

Boppy Pregnancy Wedge $13 it’s the perfect size to sleep with in between your legs or underneath one side.

pregnancy wedge

Body Pillow although it feels like there is a third person in bed, it’s worth it! So comfy.

EMOTIONS

Oh wow. They are up and down and up and down and I started crying when Sam asked me if I wanted a milkshake :) I think one of the things that helped me the most is to actually stop researching and reading. I have found it just stresses me out and I end up feeling overwhelmed. I normally love to read, but when it comes to maternity and pregnancy books, I have decided to set them aside for the next little while. Right now I am trying to enjoy these moments as a family of two before everything changes.

Thank you for all of the kind words and advice. I would love to hear what helped you survive the second half of your pregnancy! Any tips and tricks?

 

Brooke needs help decorating her nursery!

I have been looking at different nurseries on Pinterest for months and I cannot decide on ANYTHING! Here are the items I think that I want to include in our nursery:

  • one accent wall with wallpaper – leaning towards a floral pattern but I’m a little worried I might get sick of it?
  • a cute white crib (suggestions? friends tell me they love theirs from Ikea)
  • a comfortable glider with ottoman that Parker can easily fit in. He’s 6’4″ :)
  • dresser/changing table in one
  • soft, pretty rug

That is it! Below I have posted a few photos that I really love from Pinterest. I want to know what you guys loved having in your nurseries and what I should skip. Is there a certain brand that is better than another? Help a pregnant girl out!

wallpaper

wallpaper2

thisisourhappyplace

glider

changingtable

Please send me your suggestions!

 

It’s a…

girl announcementWe are so thrilled to announce we are both having girls! Brooke has thought all along she was having a girl, while Sam and I were pretty sure we were having a boy. Surprise! Both girls. Of course, this just means we can start shopping :) The moment when you find out during the ultrasound is pretty special. There were a lot of happy tears shed. Eventually, the ultrasound tech asked if we needed tissues and double checked to make sure we were crying because we were happy, not sad. It was a rush of emotions and happiness I’ve never felt before. Everything seems to be much more real now. Truly the most important part of the appointment was knowing that our baby is healthy and we were so happy to hear that she is doing great.

Our parents keep saying they are thrilled to be having twin girls again. Our dad loved to buy us matching clothes when we were growing up, so we can only guess he will do the same with our little babes. We both had little gender reveal parties with our close friends and families after we found out. Brooke and Parker had everyone pop black balloons and pink confetti popped out, it was really cute! Sam really wanted to involve golf somehow (of course) so he found exploding golf balls on Ebay and luckily it worked. He wanted me to hit one as well, but I chose not to embarrass myself :) I posted the video below, if you want to watch.

Brooke and I have been so overwhelmed with the kindness of others. Thank you so much for all of the sweet calls, texts, messages and gifts! We are so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives. Everyone is making this whole pregnancy thing a lot more fun.

Neither of us have bought anything for baby yet, so we need your advice! What are your must-haves? Anything we should start buying right now? We are both making plans for our nurseries right now. Brooke is thrilled she will be able to go with the girly ideas she already had and I am going a little more neutral. All ideas and advice welcome! Thanks for coming on this fun journey with us!

brooke gender reveal

Surprise! Baby Haslam & Baby Hackett coming soon!!!

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Surprise!!! Baby Haslam is coming in August and Baby Hackett is coming in September! We couldn’t be more excited. We have been keeping this secret in for what seems like an eternity. We wanted to answer a few common questions we have gotten recently.

Q: Did you guys plan this?!

A: Actually quite the opposite, we were trying not to have babies at the same time so that we would not have to take time off from the show at the same time. However, the big guy upstairs definitely had other plans!! It was a shock at first but we both could not be more excited for ourselves and for each other.

Q: When are you due?

A: Britt is end of August, Brooke is beginning of September.

Q: Do you know the genders?

A: Not yet, we both find out in the next couple of weeks and we will be sure to announce it. Britt is leaning towards boy, Brooke is leaning towards girl. We are both probably wrong!

Q: Are you still going to host your show?

A: Yes! We absolutely love our jobs and plan on returning full time after we take some time off on maternity leave. Our search for a nanny has officially begun! Let us know if you know of anyone that loves babies! We will both be paying them so that should be a helpful incentive :)

Q: Will you be going natural, breastfeeding, eating your own placenta, etc.?

A: We have no idea. Honestly. Neither of us has taken any classes or anything at this point so time will tell.

We are just so excited that this news is out in public now and we no longer have to try and hide our growing bellies. We have many more pregnancy posts coming your way and would absolutely love to hear any advice from all you moms out there!

Our Weekly Fitness Routines

xcel

We thought it would be fun to share what we do on a weekly basis when it comes to the gym. We love peeking into people’s lives and finding out how they keep their workout routine fresh. We are definitely not anything special when it comes to fitness, but we have found some pretty great classes and created a community that we love at Xcel Fitness.

Brooke’s Routine

Monday: Both booty burners that I usually feel the next day when I am walking up the stairs :) Try High Fitness if you have not yet! Watch @xcelfitness on Instagram for Open House days where all classes are free to try.

1 hour of Jumpboard Pilates

1 hour of High Fitness

Tuesday: Reformer Pilates is a game changer. It works your entire body and the muscles that you forgot you had. It has also really helped my flexibility.

1 hour Reformer Pilates

Wednesday: Love going to High Fitness at 6 am and getting my workout done early if I can.

1 hour High Fitness

Thursday: Run/Lift weights or Rest. I like to hop on the treadmill for a few miles to fit some cardio in.

Friday: I keep my workouts short on Friday so that there is time for #datenight! The BBG workouts are great to do when you have a time constraint. (but they are brutal!)

Kayla 25 minute BBG workout

Saturday: Pilates and High Fitness: Pilates helps me wake up and do some resistance training while High Fitness gets my blood pumping.

1 hour Pilates

1 hour High Fitness

Sunday: Rest

This is my ideal schedule, I am not always able to go to all of the classes and sometimes I sleep through them :) If I am being honest most Thursday’s, lately, have been rest days. I just see how my body feels and what I can fit into my schedule. I highly recommend Pilates for every age group and ability. If you are in the Salt Lake area, Xcel Fitness has some of the best instructors in the state. I enjoy every single one of their classes. It is SO good for your body and it is kind of like meditation for me! Helps me find my zen, which we all need, right?

Britt’s Routine

My routine is eerily similar to Brooke’s :) We both have just fallen in love with our gym, Xcel Fitness. They have the best classes and the best instructors who have become great friends. It’s easier to be motivated when you feel like you are going to hang out with friends. BTW, they offer #FreeFriendFriday if ya wanna come try a class with us sometime! This is my ideal week and I am really pleased with myself if I can get to the gym 5 days a week.

Monday: I double up on Monday because it feels good to start out the week strong. #NeverMissAMonday right?

1 hour of Jumpboard Pilates (best butt burner of a class out there)
1 hour of High Fitness
Tuesday: I take it easier on Tuesdays and just go for an easy run or do pilates (mostly pilates in the winter).
1 hour of Reformer Pilates (which can still be really challenging and just works different muscles)
Wednesday: I like having a fun, upbeat class midweek!
1 hour of High Fitness
Thursday: I do my own thing. It can be really hard to stay motivated, so I try and make a little plan of what I am going to do before I get to the gym.
 60-90 minutes of self guided exercise. Usually breaks down to something like this:
20 minutes of rowing
40 minutes of lifting weights
10 minutes of abs and core stability
20 minutes of running
Friday:
I’m always proud of myself when I make it to the gym on Fridays :)
I like to take a one hour TRX class, or mix it up and do a HIIT workout with a 2-3 mile run. I always work out for a shorter time on Fridays because I’m almost always exhausted and ready for some fun weekend plans!
Saturday: I have a lot more time/energy on Saturdays, so I usually go to two classes. I know that might sound extreme, but pilates is a gentle workout that stretches and strengthens, while High Fitness gets my heart rate up with plenty of cardio.
1 hour of Barre or Reformer Pilates (both are lower impact)
1 hour of High Fitness
Sunday: Rest
Now we want to hear what you guys are liking these days!

Girls Trip to Arizona

KIMPTONBelieve it or not, we have never been on a trip with just our mom, sister and sister-in-law. We’ve talked about doing a girl’s trip for a very long time, but it just never came together. Well, we decided 2017 is the year! We coordinated everyone’s schedules and decided on a location – Phoenix! We came to the conclusion that all we really wanted to do was relax, eat great food and shop. Phoenix is the perfect place for that! So instead of giving you a full minute by minute breakdown of the trip, I’m just going to share some of our favorite spots!

Where to SHOP:

  • LAST CHANCE: if you haven’t heard about the legend that is Last Chance, well you’ve got to visit in person. I would compare it to a much rougher version of TJ Maxx. The thing is, you can find absolutely amazing designer clothing and shoes deeply discounted. Brooke bought two dresses that are amazing and they were each $20. Just beware, long lines and you have to do some digging.
  • BILTMORE OUTDOOR MALL: this is just a beautiful outdoor mall that is fun to browse and wander through. We loved all of the gorgeous flowers.

Where to EAT:

  • SNOOZE: if we could adequately describe our love for Snooze, I think you would be scared. Let’s just say this – we happily went there for brunch two days in a row. It’s just that good. Plus, we all tried something different each day and I truly don’t think you can order anything bad. Favorites: Eggs Benedict, French Toast and any and all of the pancakes!
  • The STAND: Goooooood burgers and fries. A total hole in the wall that knows what it’s good at. Deliciously seasoned fries and Stand sauce (or fry sauce as we call it here in good old Utah). The best part may have been the Dulche de Leche milkshake. Never in a million years would I order that flavor, but we tried it and it blew our minds!
  • PIZZERIA BIANCO: Travel + Leisure just named Phoenix the best city for pizza! It’s largely thanks to this restaurant and its chef. They make incredible pizza in fun and different combos. Jimmy Kimmel is a huge fan and has even had them on his show before.

Where to STAY:

  • KIMPTON HOTEL PALOMAR in downtown Phoenix. It was beautiful and was in the heart of the city. The rooftop pool was the major selling point and we spent several glorious hours there basking in the sunshine. I think our pasty white skin might have burned a couple eyeballs, but it was worth it! We also got to do a fun workout together because your stay automatically includes a membership to the huge gym next door.

Now we want to hear your Phoenix faves because we can hardly wait to plan a trip back to the sunny desert!

DSC_0245IMG_3039{the most heavenly peanut butter chocolate pancake ever}
IMG_3040{i love nothing more than a good eggs benedict}
IMG_3064{quite possibly the prettiest Pottery Barn ever}DSC_0213{thank you Linds for convincing us all to order Dulche de Leche shakes at The STAND}DSC_0215{perfection in a burger at The STAND}DSC_0216{tell the truth, have you licked your screen yet?}biancoverde_pizzeria_bianco_hoch{photo courtesy of Phoenix New Times cuz mine did not do Pizzeria Bianca justice}
DSC_0228{slumber parties are the best. we laughed A LOT}

The Week of Extreme Nice

heartsHi friends! We’ve told you before, but we are huge fans of author Gretchen Rubin. Many of you have probably read her book, “The Happiness Project”. Well, we picked the book for our book club on The PLACE for the month of November. For those of you that haven’t read it, Gretchen created a year-long Happiness Project for herself. She creates a theme for each month and then comes up with a few concrete goals to work on. This time re-reading the book, I loved the February chapter focused on marriage. One of Gretchen’s goals is to do a week of extreme nice – meaning that she picks one person to be extremely nice to for one week. She picked her husband and she made the goal to not criticize him, nag him, or snap at him. I decided to try it. Oh my gosh! What a great week! The trick is that you don’t tell the other person you are going to do it. I have since challenged all of my friends and even my poor Sunday school kids to try it out. Here are a couple of observations:

  • When I wasn’t immediately trying to get my way in every situation, I was able to see Sam’s side much more clearly. For example, we were buying decorations for our Christmas tree and I thought I really wanted white lights. Well, it was the week of extreme nice, so I let Sam pick. He went with rainbow colored lights. This probably would have bugged me a few weeks ago, but after coming home and putting them on the tree, I love them! It also made ME happy to see something make Sam so happy.
  • Attitude is everything: when I began each day with a positive attitude towards my spouse, the little stuff (like forgetting to cap the toothpaste) didn’t bug me as much.
  • Looking at things from your spouse’s point of view is healthy – I realized that Sam and I are so different and look at many things differently, but that is why we are so good for each other. Many times Sam is a lot more logical than I am and in most cases, he has thought through decisions much more extensively than I have, so it’s good to give him a chance to share his ideas (because they tend to make more sense in the long run).
  •  I loved Sam so much more by the end of the week. I was able to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. I am so lucky to have a loving husband who truly bends over backward to make me happy.
  • We had more fun! I realized I can be very bossy and stubborn, especially when it comes to our evening plans. When I let Sam choose what we were doing, we had tons of fun!
  • I give my kindness to everyone before I give it to Sam. I spend all day trying to be kind to friends and co-workers and by the time I am spending time with Sam, he often gets the tired and grumpy version of myself. Putting him first in my happiness expenditures really made a big difference in my happiness. He is the center of my world and it felt good to make the effort to make him realize that.
  • I tried to come up with one kind thing to do for him each day. Most days this just meant that I made the bed or cleaned the kitchen. He didn’t notice everything, but I could tell our lives ran smoother when I consciously thought of something kind to do for him each day. This was a lightbulb moment for me because these simple acts usually take under 2 minutes and I am normally so slow to do them.
  • Sam never asked why I was being so nice. Ha! I think this is a good thing. Hopefully, it means I am not a terrible person because he didn’t notice a huge change. He was pleasantly surprised to hear about it when I told him I got the idea from Gretchen’s book.

For our book club on the show, we got to interview Gretchen a few weeks ago. It was so great – except for the dozens of technical difficulties that came up. Many parts of her book are about maximizing your time, being responsible, etc. – I felt the opposite of that explaining that we were having issues with a brand new audio board. I shouldn’t have worried because Gretchen was so kind and understanding. She was a joy to talk to. It was fascinating to hear from her perspective what sticks out to people most from her book. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest you do! Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

We don’t need to be perfect, but we can all try to be a little better! If you try the week of extreme nice, let us know how it goes!

 

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