4th Day of Christmas: Favorite Christmas Blog Posts

Here are ten of my favorite Christmas themed blog posts:

  1. A Log of Four Lives: I loved Camille’s reindeer banner and snowman wreath! So cute!
  2. Danican Skywalker: Danica lists her favorite Christmas TV episodes that are on Netflix. Yankeeeeeee Swap!
  3. Messerly Moments: Erica posts something Christmasy that she and her family does every day. I’ve been copying some of the ideas (seeing the tree at Provo Town Center, painting, Provo Rec Center) and doing them with Eva!
  4. Six Sisters Stuff: I’ve posted this recipe of Grapham Cracker Toffee Crunch from the SSS blog but I have to do it again. I LOVE this toffee and it’s easier to master than plain toffee.
  5. Wearing It On My Sleeves: Sarah’s outfit with the sweatshirt and red plaid shirt looks so comfy and cute for the Christmas Season!
  6. Love Always: I really love this blogger’s post about the gift of the First Christmas and being able to share it with her children.
  7. Life is Beautiful: Sarah’s new tradition of a Christmas Kickoff Party is something I’m going to start doing in our family next year!
  8. The Morrell Tale: One of Tayler’s goals this month is to simply enjoy the holidays, and honestly I’ve realized how hard that can be sometimes if you let anxiety and stress get in the way! Making it my goal too.
  9. My Twin Love Affair: Okay, technically this one is not Christmased theme but it is a great blog post that reminds me of real Christ-like love, so you’ve got to read it.
  10. Silver Linings: Oops, this one is mine (is that tacky?)… I had nine posts I wanted to share and thought I’d make it an even 10 by adding this old blog post to the mix. It was a flashback of Eva’s Santa pictures from the past… here are the photos!



Friday Five

  1. I loved this article that was being passed around Facebook this week called, “When Did Being a Good Mom Turn Bad?” When you think of being a mom as a full-time job, just like in the workplace, you want to continually work hard and try to be the best you can be. We also should encourage others to be that way. Instead of being negative when they seem to go above and beyond, just congratulate them and tell them they’re doing a great job!
  2. Eva had been putting up a fight on the whole going to bed process last week and I was going to lose it! I also hated her going to bed after us yelling/threatening/crying. I’d much rather my child going to bed peacefully after giving me lots of hugs, wouldn’t you?! So, I decided to make a chart for the week. She got a sticker each time she finished something on the list, such as brushing teeth, reading books, going to bed with three books without asking for more (she had been calling me in her room over and over again asking me for more, but refused to read the same one she had read within the same week!). All of the tasks had to be done without any whining or crying. Each time she would cry, she would get a “crying sticker” and if she got more than three crying stickers through the week, she wouldn’t get a prize on Friday. Well, it really worked! The first two nights she got crying stickers and TJ was very skeptical of the system, but the third wasn’t filled so today she gets a prize! It made putting Eva to bed SO much easier this week and more fun for Eva. And the prize? An ice cream sandwich! She’ll be so excited!
  3. My beautiful bestie Danica is having her baby any day/minute back in Utah. I can’t stop thinking about it and am constantly texting her for an update. She wrote a blog post yesterday about pregnancy style and since I have a million friends that are expecting right now, you all should check it out! Come on, Baby Holdy… we are all so ready for you to come!image1-767x1024
  4. We finished the Friends series on Netflix, please don’t try and calculate how fast we finished it. I watched the whole series through back in college, but it was fun to watch it again since we are in NYC (even though it wasn’t really filmed here). But now that that is finished, what show should TJ and I watch on Netflix now?
  5. Here’s another post I saved on Facebook called “Are You Lonely, Mama?” I’ve been thinking about this post a lot. I’ve always been someone who likes having a social life, so I continually try and make friendships. But next week, one of my closest friends here in Jersey is moving away. I’m trying to come to terms with her moving and just be grateful for the wonderful times we had together, that we both moved in at the same time, and that we could learn to love this place and call Jersey City our home. It’s just hard to lose friends, isn’t it? And it’s even harder to FIND new friends, close friends. Especially as mothers. So this article put a really great twist on it, reminding me that this is the time for me to focus on my family.

Mama, I know that you’re lonely too. It’s ok. Just remember that this is a season and it is the most sacred season you will ever have the honor of experiencing. This is the time when your babies need you and want you and enjoy having you around. This is the time when they will cling to your legs as you try to leave the house without them and run into your arms when you come home as if you’d been gone a lifetime. You will never be more loved and wanted and needed as you are right now…in this moment.

That’s it! I hope you have a great weekend! And didn’t this week go fast? If only the rest of February goes this fast, we’ll have beautiful Spring in no time!


Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread

I don’t have any photos to accompany this post because we ate it up quickly and I’m just linking up to the recipe so I don’t forget it. But I had to let you know I made a DELICIOUS quick bread recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, one of my favorite dessert blogs. I made half of the batter as mini-muffins and the other half a small loaf of bread. Make this recipe now!

And if you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge just add the lemon juice to milk, like Sally suggests. Worked perfectly for me when I made the bread!

, ,

Tassel Bracelets

Have you seen this new trend of bracelets with tassels attached? They’ve shown up on my Pinterest feed a couple times and two blogs I follow posted about them:

Salted Sugar
Life on the Homestead

Well, I was in M&J the other day while I was in the city, and saw these adorable tassels. Every color imaginable, all different sizes. I couldn’t resist buying a couple packs to make my own bracelet!

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 3.39.19 PM

I was planning on making the rest of the bracelet when I go home next week. There isn’t a Michael’s or Hobby Lobby close by me here in Jersey. But I was browsing the Forever 21 accessory section, and saw they had gold chain bracelets for very cheap! Cheap and easy… Win/Win!

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 3.39.30 PM

Then I just attached the tassels this morning and boom… tassel bracelet completed! Not too shabby looking either, huh?

An Itch


I have a creative itch right now. This happens to me every couple of months. I get bored of my blog and want to write about something new. I have a couple ideas in the works, but we will see if I actually follow through with them.


BLT Chopped Salad with Corn, Feta + Avocado

Let me start by saying that I’m not the type of person who would ever want to eat a traditional lettuce salad (unless I’m at Olive Garden). But this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest because something about chopped salads make it seem more appealing. And anything with corn and avocados in it, sign me up. So, I tried out this recipe earlier this week and couldn’t stop eating it! T.J. even had seconds. SECONDS OF A SALAD? What? Crazy. It just shows how delicious it is!

The recipe comes from my new favorite food blog called How Sweet It Is. You guys should add her blog to your list. Thanks for sharing, fellow blogger!

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 3.29.29 PM


2 cups butter lettuce, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
1 pint grape tomatos, quartered
4 slices thick-cut bacon (I used turkey bacon-T.J. didn’t even notice)
1 cup sweet corn
1 avocado, chopped
4 ounces feta, crumbled

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


As a note, to chop my lettuce I like to lay it out on a big cutting board and just continuously run my knife through it (in all different directions) until it’s chopped as much as I like.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, corn and avocado. Add in salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice then toss well to coat. Fold in bacon and feta then divide evenly amount 2 plates. Serve!



Liebster Award via Black with a Chance of Cheetah

Danica from Black with a Chance of Cheetah tagged me in the Liebster Award. She described it as:

“Liebster” means dearest in German, and it’s awarded, blogger to blogger, to up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.  The rules for accepting and giving the award are pretty simple.  Once you accept the award, you just have to do the following in a blog entry:
Answer the 11 questions posted by the nominator on her blog
Give 11 facts about yourself
Nominate 5-11 other new, up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers
Make up 11 more questions to pass on to the bloggers you choose to nominate
Thank your nominator by linking back to her blog
Upon your post going live, contact your nominees about your nomination for them
  1. Who is your favorite Office character? Michael Scott, hands down. I’m so obsessed with him that I’ve got “Prison Mike” as my phone background. There’s a Michael Scott quote for everything.
  2. What are you the most proud of in your life? Being a mother to my sweet daughter Eva. I never imagined that at 24, I’d be in NYC a mother and not as a professional. But it’s the best choice I’ve ever made. Being a mom gives me a divine purpose and an eternal perspective.
  3. What books should all of us be reading at the pool this summer? Books? Just plug your headphones in and listen to old Office episodes. I’ve been working my way through Season 2 again. Or watch the new Arrested Development season.
  4. What beauty product can you not live without? I spend about two minutes doing my makeup everyday, but I can’t live without concealer or vaseline (useful for flyaway hairs, making my lips silky and smooth, or bringing back my dry skin to life).
  5. Where is your favorite secret place to shop (physical or online store)? Secret? Ooh this is a hard one because I buy most everything from Target or Amazon and I’m pretty sure there’s no secret about those places. I do love The Limited and am so happy because there’s one opening up in our local mall this summer.
  6. What is your best piece of marriage advice? Pray and read the scriptures together. You will be able to tell a physical difference.
  7. When you are stressed and just want to fast forward life to happier times, what do you do? I have a remedy of five things. Sleep, eat chocolate, drink diet coke, watch lots of TV, and finally-after doing all those things and feeling pretty crumby-exercise. Repeat.
  8. What is your favorite blog that you HAVE to read every day? #Whatshouldwecallme Some of the posts are completely unrelatable to my life. But some of them are so hilarious and make me laugh out loud.
  9. I finally have an iPhone. What are your favorite apps that I should go for? Since moving to the city, we’ve used Urbanspoon a couple times to help us decide where to eat. I also love Nike+ to track my jogs, Mint to track our expenses, and Hanging with Friends.
  10. What is your favorite workout to get in shape? When I had a gym pass, I loved Turbokick… so if your gym offers that class… go! But mostly, I just like getting outside with the stroller and going on long walks. It doesn’t feel like a workout because you’re just exploring.
  11. Favorite obscure YouTube videos… Go! Miranda Sings, the “Sweet Baby Sweet Baby Sweet” video, the bad lip reading videos are my favorites.
Okay, here are 11 facts about myself:
  1. I feel like bugs are crawling on my skin all the time. I’ll look, and there’s no bug in site. Itchy skin? Paranoia? Who knows but it’s awful.
  2. One of my fears is that my teeth will all fall out.
  3. I take very short showers.
  4. I love having my nails done.
  5. My first three jobs all were in the frozen dessert business. (Graeter’s Ice Cream, Snowie Snow Cones, The Creamery-Ice Cream scooper)
  6. I saw Justin Bieber’s movie at midnight-opening night and it was one of the best times of my life. Now JB just wants to be a rapper and I really can’t stand him. So disappointing.
  7. One day I want to go to grad school. Maybe for accounting? Is that even a thing? I don’t know. I just want to continue my education and grow my interests.
  8. I get really irritated on the subway when people who don’t have handicaps/strollers take the elevator. The elevators are very small and very slow, so when they take up space for people who need it (me and Eva), I almost say something… but I have held back so far!
  9. After years of eating goldfish, I don’t like them anymore. I mean, they’re okay. But I used to eat them religiously and now I don’t even buy them.
  10. I am the youngest of four children and we were all pretty spaced out in age. It’s cool now as we are growing up because now the difference doesn’t seem as big.
  11. Halloween is our favorite holiday here at the Derricks’ home. T.J. is already talking about what costumes we will wear and what decorations we will put up this year.

Now I’m tagging five blogs for the Liebster Award:

  1. Lelia from Life on the Homestead 
  2. Rachel from BORA
  3. Erin from We got married so now we have a blog
  4. Carlee from Tim and Carlee
  5. Laura from Our Life in Graphs

Here are the 11 questions for them… wow this is intense.

  1. What do you love most about summer?
  2. What is your favorite TV show?
  3. Where is your dream place to live?
  4. What was your best vacation?
  5. What is one of your biggest fears?
  6. Coke or Pepsi?
  7. Favorite scent at Bath and Body Works?
  8. What’s a beauty tip you want to share with the world?
  9. How do you motivate yourself to be healthy?
  10. What is your favorite website?
  11. Would you rather be in your sweats or get dressed up?

1001 Posts!

Guys, this is my 1001st blog post! I’ve had the blog for almost 3 years and have kept up with it quite a bit. Here are my favorite posts from 2010-2011:

  1. Our Beatboxing Car
  2. Tennis Star
  3. We’re From Kentucky
  4. Imagery
  5. Old Family Sayings
  6. My Mentee
  7. 3 Years Old
  8. Memories, All Alone in the Moonlight
  9. Baby, Baby, Baby
  10. The Golden Years
  11. It Walked on my Pillow
  12. Nice to Meet You, I am…
  13. Who made those great signs?
  14. Pumpkinpalooza
  15. Evelyn Kay Derrick: Your Birth Story

Best Pumpkin Cookies

I came across this recipe for supposedly the best pumpkin cookies ever that my friend posted on her blog. So, I had to give them a try because I don’t like the pumpkin spice cookies/bread from the mix. Homemade pumpkin baked goods are always better. I did half of the batch with chocolate chips and no icing. Both kinds were delicious!

So, give this recipe a try for sure! Beware, the recipe makes a LOT! I thought about doubling the recipe before I started but I didn’t have enough shortening… good thing I didn’t! It makes at least 5 or 6 dozen cookies.