Thursday, December 29, 2011

our wall of fame

this is my favorite wall in the house.  our wall of fame.  all a lot of our heros' pictures and letters hang here.  all the people we love and admire.  friends & family- that's what life is all about!  Christmas cards are the best!  thank you to all those who sent us theirs!  we almost didn't get ours out this year- some of you may still be receiving them.  i ordered them up and they got lost somewhere in transit.  better late than never i guess!
YEEE there's nothing better than seeing their little surprised faces Christmas morning!  santa did pretty well i'd say!  all things that move apparently was the theme this year :)  lucky for them it was dry outside.  i still missed the snow.  this year has been the driest december in utah history.  crazy!
a fresh new calendar for a fresh new year!  i'm so excited to start filling it in!  does anyone else besides me and my seester get that pumped up about a clean new calendar?  thanks kates for your gift!

wow!  every year it's always so hard to believe how fast Christmas comes and goes.  i think i'm going to miss the hustle and bustle a little.  let's get real, there's always hustle and bustle around here!   my #1 goal for 2012 is to be better at planning out my days & following through with a schedule.   i better get on that!  what's your #1 resolution?

i hope you enjoy your last few days of december!  i know we will!  the kids are still home and we're savoring all the free time we have :)

happy new year!!!

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

this Christmas village strongly resembles our house right now-  a little messy and crazy, but we're havin' fun!  

final preparations are in the works all while i battle vertigo :(  
i don't know what is going on with me.  it could be the lack of sleep i've had these last couple of weeks, or i may be getting sick.  crap!  
don't ya think the word vertigo is kinda cool?  it sounds all psychedelic.  i feel a little psychedelic.  i don't like it.  not one bit.  it's like i've just stepped off a merry-go-round all day... 'cause i've kinda been on one non-stop!  i'm going ballistic!  so i'm taking a little break and sitting here for a minute.  typing.  

i'd like to wish you all a 
i hope you all have an amazing holiday!
now back to wrapping :)


©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

are you ready?

it's getting down to the wire!  are you ready for Christmas? 
ahhh, i have a lot to do still!  i haven't wrapped one present yet!  so today i plan to tackle that task.
however, i am going to sneak one more print run in later this afternoon if any one is interested in ordering any last minute Christmas gift prints and picking them up at my house tomorrow.  
if so, message me and i'll give you the 411 on how to order and skip shipping costs :)

last night i decided to play around with a couple new hip & bold colors to add to the shop.  turquoise & chartreuse have joined the "small homes" series!
hopefully they'll be well received and give a bit more variety!
i also offer custom color creation for an additional $5 if anyone is wanting a certain color.

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Friday, December 16, 2011

blown away!

i can't even begin to express the immense gratitude i have for my friends out in the blogging community right now!

my cute cousin stacy from not just a housewife has been hosting my first giveaway!  
a $50 credit to my shop which will be closing this evening- so if you haven't entered, be sure to go comment :)
*don't forget: today is the last day for orders if you'd like your prints by Christmas

and how about darling ashely from the handmade home included one of my prints in this to die for living room board!!!
  and the house of smith's star shelley wrote a super complimentary post about me too!  your support means the world!  thank you so much friends!!

i'm so overcome with flattery right now i don't even know what to do with myself!  i've had an overwhelming response in orders and it's been all because of you :)  i'm tickled red!

ashley's board:

here's what shell bell (i can call you that, right?) had to say:

have a most excellent weekend everybody!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

etsy shop giveaway!

today not just a housewife  is hosting my first etsy shop giveaway!  i'm offering a $50 credit to one lucky reader!  head over and enter!!  best of luck!
Inspired by my darling friend who would always talk about how "small homes" create the closest relationships... and while there isn't room to hide from each other, families are forced to interact, play & learn together! I LOVE THAT and agree with her whole heartedly!

this quaint print can be personalized and is offered in two different colors, slate and putty printed on premium photo paper perfect for framing.
(framed 8x10" personalized putty shown)
i just now added this house print with emily dickinson's quote, "Where thou art, that is home" to the shop this morning! available in putty & slate but not personalized. 
don't forget, you have today and tomorrow to order if you'd like to receive them by Christmas!
*note: i cannot not guarantee international deliveries by Christmas.  sorry :(

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

friends who drink diet coke together, stay together!

good afternoon friends!  have you taken a minute to check out my new ETSY shop?  if not, please do!  i think you'll like it!  it's not to late for Christmas orders!
you've gotta know someone special that sips this junk with ya...  i know i do!

this funny little 3x5" tag is available as a 99¢ download in my etsy shop!  just print, cut & attach to your gifts!  
remove a few flowers from a pretty festive arrangement like i did and place in some cans for a unique twist on flowers!
or you can have a gift lickety-split for right around $2!  right now most stores have two liters on sale for 99¢!
happy holidays!

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

the etsy shop is open!

yee haw!  it's about dang time!  holy mother of Abraham Lincoln, brightsides designs is finally up for business!  
oh yes it's business time!

i'm so excited for you to take a little gander!
i know i haven't given much time to place orders for Christmas, but it's still possible and oh so fun! 
These prices listed are all my grand opening sweet deals from now until the Christmas deadline (thursday, 12/16 at midnight MST).

fill your carts up because each additional item after the first is $0 to ship!

Monday, December 5, 2011

our favorite sugar cookies

the bright sun rays beaming through the windows warms my shivering body this morning.  it's been frigid!  
lol, annie is my default model around here.  i'm always asking her to pose for my posts.  hopefully these pictures were pretty easy peasy for her as she also adores these red & green sprinkled trees.

annie turns four this week!  she is sweeter than any cookie could ever hope to be! annie is our little Christmas Angel. from the time she arrived on a cold, snowy night and everyday thereafter (give or take a few) she has been the happiest, sweetest little thing ever!  she's my little sidekick, my snuggle buddy and big helper.

i love you more than you'll ever know little sis!

it's been a long time since we've rolled out dough and cut out cookies!  for the last few years i've tried to be good and not make them... knowing all too well that i'd be the one snarfing down most of them.
  this year i decided to heck with it!  i like to think my kids will have fond memories of making them with mom :) and they're also my favorite!
so, santa's in good chubby company, but we'll be jolly & filled with loads holiday cheer!
here's our favorite sugar cookie recipe:

Sugar Cookies
Preheat oven to 325ยบ
2/3 C crisco
1 C sugar
2 eggs
Combine these first three ingredients well, then add the rest
3 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c sour cream
Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are barely golden

Favorite Frosting
1/3 C butter, softened
4 C powdered sugar
1/4 C milk
1/2 t vanilla
pinch of salt
*1/2 t almond extract, optional (I usually don't add this)
Slowly blend butter and powdered sugar until incorporated.  Slowly add a steady stream of milk.  Add the vanilla, salt and *almond extract.  Blend well and add more milk if needed for frosting spreading consistency.

before you run off and start baking, shopping or cleaning, take a few minutes and check out this spirit of Christmas!  my heart loves!

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

i want to share a sneak peek of a new print i've made and will be selling in my shop!  

inspired by my darling friend who raised 6 amazing children in a tiny house.  she believes small homes help create the closest relationships.  she explains, "there isn't room to hide from each other.  families are forced to interact, play & learn together!"  I LOVE THAT!

i'm planning for these be customizable- allowing an address below (as shown).
i've pretty much settled on these two colors (putty & slate) for neutrality. 
i'd love to hear any comments/critiques you may have!  i've been starring at these way too long and would love some feedback!  be totally honest!  i'm new at this!
we have glitter and gold all over the house.  
and, the Lord works in mysterious ways.  that's all i'll say about that.
we pulled out my favorite Christmas book,  i believe in santa claus.  it's beautiful.  it's simple.  it makes me cry.  i believe every family should own a copy.

yay!  the tree went up relatively pain-free yesterday... besides the fact that i fell down the stairs while on my way to put a big ornament bin away lol.  i landed on one of my ankles.  ouch!  not good.  the strange thing is, after shaking it off and putting weight on it, it felt fine the rest of the day.  but when i went to bed last night, it got very sore.  i crossed my fingers and prayed i could walk in the morning.  there's just too much to get done!  thankfully it feels much better today.  i'm walking :)

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Monday, November 28, 2011


i hope all you fine americans had a sensational thanksgiving!  it was the BEST holiday weekend we've had in a long, long time!  ya know, some just don't go smoothly.  it seems like someone is always sick or the kids are driving us bonkers or something.  but we ate up every minute of this one! the kids all got along, the food and company were delicious, we got a lot done around here, i scored a few Christmas gifts, and no one threw up!  i couldn't ask for anything more!

how was your weekend?

i've been frantically working on our etsy shop while taking time to enjoy the festivities- i'm getting very close!  just working out the details! 
these beautiful pillows by pillowation caught my eye.  check them out!  the red origami pillow cover is one of my favorites. 
man, the more i "etsy" the more i love!  i'm obsessed!  there are so many incredible Christmas gifts to be found on here!
now back to all my monday stuff.  have a great day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

gobble gobble!

image via

delicious wishes to you and your family this thanksgiving day!
i'd like to thank all of you who visit here and inspire me to keep creating!  it means the world!

as a follow up, my hope to open brightsidesdesigns on etsy today is not going to happen :(
i honestly don't know what i was thinking!  there is so much more that goes in to this than i ever dreamed.
 however,  i found an amazing company that will rock all our printing & fulfillment... providing us with much better pricing so you'll pay less!  yay!
we're close.  thank you for your patience and please hang tight.  we'll get there soon!  i'll let you know as soon as we open!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

fox makes friends

 this book it too cute.  it's just fitting for this time of year.  friends, apples, orange... it just feels right.  such a darling read.  i can always count on annie to snuggle up with me and read.  she's our little bookworm for sure.

i've been cranking away at getting our etsy shop up and going; trying to get it ready for business before Thanksgiving if possible!  i'm sure many of you interested in purchasing my items will want to buy them for Christmas gifts soon!  i'm hurrying :)
enjoy your tuesday & stay tuned for brightsides designs on etsy!

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


the never ending photography business battle haunts me in my sleep.  okay, i'm not that disturbed, but i hate it!  do i take on clients or do i not?  this has been a constant debate of mine for a while now and it's been making me ca-razzy!  a bunch of you have been asking me about taking your family pictures lately, and i've been humming and hawing over it, probably driving you crazy.  but i've come to the decision that right now i just have to say no :(  it's simply not fair to my family right now.   

i took on a few small projects over the last couple of months just to see if i could possibly do some holiday work, and that confirmed my suspicion... it's just too much!  ahhh, why can't i just do everything!  i have to admit that i'm kind of glad i didn't start into this whole photography passion before i had kids, or i'm not sure i would have had any-certainly not four.  that makes me sad to say.  the Lord new better :)  choosing a career you love over a family would be extremely difficult!  now that i have my favorite little people and know what a blessing they are, i would choose them over anything in a heartbeat.  with that being said, i choose them now too.
there is a season for everything.  i must wait.  for now i will enjoy my hobbies, be grateful that i'm able to be a stay at home mom (thanks sam!) and chase around my little biting baby.  ouch!!
thank you so much for your interest and understanding.  i am flattered beyond belief!
best wishes to you all!

p.s. please don't be offended if you see shoots that i may do in the future... you know me, i get the itch every once in a while to take a few.  it's not personal, it's just timing.  and don't be afraid to ask- i just may say yes- just not before Christmas :)

p.p.s. stay tuned for my up and coming etsy shop!   that, [i hope] is something i can manage.  i'm excited!

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[farmall parking only]

all the little kids with their pump pump kins they better run, better run!
i completely forgot to post these pumpkin patch pictures.  
weeks ago we met the cousins to pick out pumpkins one toasty saturday afternoon last month.  
liv had just finished her soccer game and the kiddies were pumped to search for their perfect pumpkin, make their way through the corn maze, and of course take a turn on the tractors.  i admit i went a little nuts snapping pictures of jack tom on these bad boys!  it's so fun to do boy stuff with him!  all he needs is a little cowboy hat and boots!  
i think he looks so much like his  great grandma hansen (who happened to be a beet farmer) in this picture below.
cute aunt bek happily supplied the wheelbarrow rides.  that must have been a pretty good little workout!  
those kids and pumpkins get heavy!  what a champ!  pumpkin parading is the best!  until next year...

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


don't ya just love it when you feel like your fast forward button was pushed?  like you're on triple speed or something?  it's the best!  i can accomplish so much when i have those sudden spurts of energy!    yesterday was one of those for me!  and no, i'm not prego lol...  just in a little pre-holiday nesting phase i suppose :) 

check it out!  my mom found this amazing bird's nest in her backyard and gave it to the girls to show their school classes.  i just can't get over the intricacy.  how does mama bird do it?  to gather all the mud and grasses and mold them into this tight, strong little nest is a miracle.  nature is so fascinating isn't it?      
i found this object lesson i plan to use in our next family home evening lesson:
*if any of you neighbors are interested in borrowing this nest, you're welcome to!
Lesson: This nest is a marvel of engineering. The birds made it without studying any books, without any tools except their beaks and their legs and they didn’t even have an instructor tell them how to do it! Somehow, in their little heads, God just gave them the sense of what to do and they did it! Have you ever watched a bird building a nest? They really work hard at it and keep trying until they get it exactly right for them – or they finally go and start over another place.
Do all kinds of birds build the same kind of a nest? No. Some build with sticks, some with leaves, some with more mud. Some put theirs on or near the ground, some put them way up in trees, some put the door in the bottom, some sit on them and act as the roof, some put them in trees, etc., etc.! One interesting thing is that every bird of one type makes the same kind of house.
Application: That fits with what the Bible says. Each bird is made after its own kind (Genesis 1:21) in its own wonderful way. And God teaches them and takes care of them. They are important to Him! (Luke 12:24) Jesus knew this and talked about it.
Conclusion: We are important to God, too He teaches us through the Bible and He takes care of us. You do not have to worry or be afraid. If you have a problem, call to Jesus and God to help you. Say as Hebrews 13:6 says, “The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid.” You can trust God! Let’s pray and thank God for His goodness and trustworthiness. (Pray)

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.