Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Sassy Pepper Giveaway!

I love days that are so carefree and make me feel like a little kid again.

Riding my beach cruiser to school today I was transported back to the days of George Michael on the radio and life without cell phones or reality tv. 80's Love.

Essentially my childhood.

As I rode along the streets everyone seemed so happy and I said hello to them all. This was easy to do since I can only ride like 1 mph, because my bike has no gears and it takes every muscle in my body to make it go.  And I am a weakling. Ahh just like a child.

While I floated along on my cloud of a bike I thought about how easy life seems when you're a kid.

Everything is magical and fascinating.

No regrets. No worries.

Just simple and happy and carefree.

Fortunately for you guys, I learned as a kid the importance of sharing.

Since I'm feeling so nostalgic lately I thought what better way to help all of YOU feel like a kid again than to give ya a little special something to display in your home!

The fabulous ladies over at one of my most favorite blogs The Sassy Pepper are offering a giveaway specifically for Our Lovely Life readers!

Not only can you win an adorable banner, but Our Lovely Life readers can use the coupon code
APRIL212 for the whole month of April to receive 25% off anything you want!

I am madly in love with their blog. I don't consider myself a crafty gal, but boy do I want to be one when I see all the cute stuff they create! Or at the very least I wish I lived near Kylie or Leisa so they can make that cute stuff for me.

 Check out this sweet family sign Kylie made here...I want one!

Their photo canvases are so cool..have you seen them on Pinterest yet? See the tutorial here!

I'm especially in love with this dresser they refinished...go here!

The Sassy Pepper is one of a kind so it's only fitting they made a one of a kind banner for one Our Lovely Life reader!

 Primary Colors at their finest.

It's perfect to brighten up any party!

 What better way to welcome summertime with open arms?


The Primary Colors Banner is 67 inches wide with 36 inches of red, yellow, and blue patterned pennants.

Handmade with Love.

To Enter:
(* All 3 steps are required to enter!)

a.) Follow "Our Lovely Life" publicly!

b.) Follow "The Sassy Pepper" here!

c.) "Like" The Sassy Pepper's Facebook page...go here!

d.) Leave me a comment and let me know you followed the steps and want to own the Primary Colors Banner!


*Giveaway ends: April 3, 2012 at Midnight PST. 

*Winner will be announced the following day: April 4, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

just a girl and her bike

Well friends.

Much has happened in the last 48 hours.

Shall we begin?

I woke up yesterday morning to Elle sitting in my bed wanting to play at the bright and early hour of 7am.

I'm no morning person but who can deny this sweet little girl?

7 a.m

Her favorite word is "Prayer" and like any favorite thing you just can't get enough of, she asks to pray often. Like the other day she kept repeating it til we said one. We ended up praying 8 times in 10 minutes.  It is one of the only words she knows so can you blame her? Plus, with her tiny little voice asking to pray while folding her arms, can you blame me?  She's such an angel.

9 p.m

Oh yes this praying fiend looks innocent enough, but this was just moments before she snuck into the bathroom to play in the toilet.

I should've known that would be the beginning of a lonnng night.

3 a.m
Out of the goodness of my heart and in true friendship form, I had agreed days earlier to make cupcakes for my darling friend Melody's Bridal shower. By 3a.m I was questioning my judgement and my baking skills. Or lack thereof. And wondering where the maid was.

4 a.m

"Cupcake Wars" motivated me to press forward..although they bake 1,000 cupcakes in 2 hours and it took me 5 hours to make 60. It started well, but then after mixing my first frosting I realized that I had in fact just made Whipped Cream, NOT frosting. 2a.m really messes with your brain. (P.S-recipes are at the bottom of this post)

4:14 a.m

I hate Cupcakes.

10:48 a.m

Perfection in cupcake form. I have renewed my love of cupcakes now that they are finished and I don't have to bake them for a long, long time.

10:49 a.m

Just to clarify: I don't even like cupcakes. But I have this obsession with making them. Cupcake Wars will do that to a girl.

11 a.m

Let the cupcake lovin' begin. The winner?

Andrew: "Probably Peanut Butter, but they were all sooo good" (he's so sweet)
Ben: "White Chocolate Strawberry, definitely"
Me: "the Peanut Butter frosting (because who actually needs a cupcake to have frosting?) and the Coconut"


after a long night and day of prayer, little hands playing in pee-filled toilets, and cupcakes to feed an army of hungry women..

All of my bike dreams came true tonight!

7:31 p.m

 Meet Sheila! On my way to get her I tuned into a radio show that featured a man telling a love story. At least I think that's what it was about. It was hard to not be distracted by the fact that he sounded like he was on an oxygen tank, taking a deep breath after every word. Maybe it was meant to add drama and suspense. Maybe he has Asthma. This I will never know.

Back to Sheila..Isn't she pretty? I'm so happy!


Toasted Coconut Cupcakes:

Go here for the cupcake and frosting recipes
Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting:

Go here for the cupcake recipe and here for the frosting

White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes:

Go here for the cupcakes (I left out the ice cream) and here for the frosting

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

24? Wow you're old..

Life as a celebrity is overrated.

Not that I think I am one or that I actually know any. But I'm just guessing.

Guessing is only a good thing if you have appropriate facts to back up your guessing.

So obviously...here are some facts. Facts according to me..ahem.

a.) Money buys you love, but not happiness.

If what "they" (who are "they" anyway??) say is true, then it's the little things in life that really matter. Little things like having enough gas in your car or when your husband brings home toilet paper.  That's real love right there..bringing home toilet paper. Don't believe me? Ask someone who ran out lately..they'll tell you I speak TRUTH.

Celebrities buy so much stuff...I'm pretty sure that's really all they do. Buy stuff. Not toilet paper kind of stuff, but blinged out diapers for their kids and such. All I'm saying is that you find real love in the small things and do celebrities even notice the small things like toilet paper? I say nay!

b.) Birthday parties include Beyonce and a giant bouncy castle

It seems that a requirement to having a birthday as a famous person means you must invite every other celebrity you know and then be sure to have the papparazzi take pictures of the event so everyone knows how cool you are. Guests are sent home with a new iphone and their own personal trainer. What a life.

Remember when birthdays were meant to be simple, but meaningful? Your mom makes you a cake, no chores for a whole day, and you finally get that Lite Brite you've been dreaming of. Birthdays are meant to be awesome..not a headache or a popularity contest.

c.) "Personal Chef for One, Please"

We all know that if anyone wants this perk in their life it's me. You heard me..I want a Personal Chef. Celebrities have whatever they want made for them, whenever they want. Sounds like a dream, right?

I will say that I've learned a lot about myself as I've taught myself how to cook. I made cookies when I was 10 and added a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon..when my dad said it tasted like a pretzel, I knew right then I was well on my way to cooking glory. Victory in the kitchen would be mine someday!  Really, all I'm saying is that by having a personal chef, you would miss out on the satisfaction of baking something amazing and realizing YOU did that.

Personally, I feel just plain sad for all those pampered, well-fed, blinged out celebrites.

Andrew's birthday was last Saturday and somehow I managed without a chef or a party planner. And it was awesome.

Just plain awesome.

I made the most incredible Cinnamon Rolls for Andrew's birthday breakfast. Divine. What was that? You have a birthday coming up and you wanna make the most heavenly cinnamon rolls for the one you love? Fair enough. Go here for the recipe. But I warned you...

Then we took Ellie to an Extreme Airsports place where I showed Andrew what I was made of. Somehow jumping off a rock climbing wall into a giant foam pit isn't as hardcore as I imagined.  Forget "Family Fun Time"..let's just call it what it is. Family Fool Time. There I said it.

Besides myself and Elle, Andrew's other great love is Sushi. Happy Sumo welcomed us with open arms.

Because I love him dearly..DEARLY...I surprised Andrew with tickets to the one movie he's been talking about for months.

We stopped at Blickenstaffs, the coolest little toy and candy shop to pick up some of Andrew's favorite childhood candy on our way to the movies.

After a long day, we came home where I made a birthday cake all by myself with no personal chef to lend me a hand. Per Andrew's request we had Strawberry-Lime Shortcakes with Coconut Cream and yes it was very delicious. Go here for the recipe!

It was a really good day.

isn't he so cute?

Simple and meaningful and just plain awesome.

Me: 1 Celebrities: 0

And in other news...

I dyed my hair the most fantastic red color on the planet...what do ya think?!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jennie Moss Giveaway Winners!


I  do know that these winners were supposed to be announced on Saturday, but I can explain...

Andrew's birthday happens to actually be Saint Patrick's Day leaving me running around like a crazy person to make sure everything went according to plans.

I slept all day yesterday to recover. Birthdays turn me into the busiest bee in all the land and then I pass out indefinitely after.

So please forgive me for being a little late in announcing such exciting news!

The Winner of the Becca Peach Pink Houndstooth Bow

is Eryn Chauvin!


the lucky Winner of the Jane Lace Cream Bow

is Lynette Graff!

*Winners must contact me within 24 hours to claim prize. If not, another winner will be chosen.


Please email me at: abrisun@live.com for further details :)

Special thanks goes to Jennie Moss for sponsoring this giveaway! 

Be sure to visit her fabulous blog and her Etsy shop!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

if you're hungry..so am I. probably.

I went back to the doctor yesterday.

Long story short, a bland boring nothing diet is in my future.

Since I'm headed back to "no real foodville" for a little while it seemed only necessary to share all the goodness I've been eating over the last week.

Prepare to drool.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks

Oven Baked Steak Fries with Homemade French Dip Sandwiches

The BEST Blueberry and Graham Cracker FroYo

Andrew's favorite

Look at those sparkly chocolate chips!

Well Said.

When you're sick you reserve the right to eat whatever you want, whenever you want.

Until the doctor says "you're a fool, stop that."

If you need me, I'll be drinking my life away.  Protein shakes here I come!


French Dip Sandwiches and Oven Baked Steak Fries

BBQ Chicken Pizza Toppings:

2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 onion sliced (you can use a regular or sweet onion)
1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon
1 can pineapple chunks
2 cups mozzarella or colby jack cheese

*Spread pizza crust with pizza sauce and then swirl on bbq sauce as well. 

Courtesy of The Cocoa Bean


Courtesy of Golden Spoon

Have you entered the Jennie Moss Giveaway?!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Real Housewives of Provo

Oh the weekend.

Usually the only time I'm ever motivated to cook anything. Then Monday comes and I wonder why we still haven't employed a chef, because I know he'd be put to good use.

Oh that's right. We are poor and this is not "The Real Housewives of Provo" ..which is a shame, because I really am a housewife that lives in Provo. I just don't sleep on Louis Vuitton sheets or drive a Mercedes. But let's be honest here..I'm doubting those kind of people even exist in Provo.

Maybe they could start a new show. "The Real CHEAP Housewives of Provo" and then they could film me at Target trying to decide if that $5 shirt is worth it or at the thrift store searching for vintage furniture to make my house look more..well, fancy.

I'm sure people would love to see me do my grocery shopping at Walmart, the King of the cheap life. Viewers would be captivated while I stood in line for the whole hour of the show just trying to pay for my things. We all know getting out of Walmart is a bit like when the Titanic was sinking. Mad chaos, crowds of frantic people, not enough boats. Or in this case, toothbrushes and strawberries.

That's right, the last time I was at Walmart they were out of both of those items. It's a cruel, cheap life I tell you.

Viewers would be shocked at the sight of the local Walmart crowd which actually proves to be only the good part of ever going there.
Yup he is for real.

For date nights, the show would highlight the Cinemark Provo Movies 8...the friendly dollar theater down the street. Although unfortunately, if you're not a student they feel they have the right to charge you a whole $1.50 instead of just a $1.00. Yes, you know you're cheap if that extra .50 cents makes you shake your head and wonder what this world's coming to. A dollar theater isn't just a dollar theater anymore.

I hate to say this, but I am NOT the only cheapster in Provo. This place is the capitol of couponers and free deals.

Hear about something on sale? Forget it. You can feel confident it was sold out in the first ten minutes leaving nothing behind for slowpokes like me.  If you watch that "Extreme Couponers" show on TLC and wish you could see those people in action, just show up to Walmart on Tuesdays around here, because it's double coupon day and that's when people lose their minds over a good deal.

And just because we are cheap doesn't mean we don't enjoy the night life.

Since there are no clubs around here, you can find the party crowd at some local favorites:
The Nickel Cade: Where all you need is a friend and a bag of nickels.

Or if you're in the mood for something a little more wild, hit up the local ice skating rink.

Of course, on a show like The Real Cheap Housewives of Provo you can also expect there to be drama and action, because isn't that what real life is all about?

RCHOP would feature me reading the Police Beat as part of my morning routine with a good cup of cocoa. I'm actually surprised this kind of news doesn't make national headlines.

Suspicious Activity

Dec. 29: A male student was reported suspiciously looking into cars in a campus parking lot. Police discovered that the student was actually looking into his own car, looking for his backpack.

Jan. 2: A female student returned from Christmas break to her apartment in Wyview Park and found a cryptic handwritten note indicating that someone had entered her apartment during her absence. The incident is under investigation.

Jan. 6: Police discovered two male students had created a ramp by packing snow against a window at Helaman Halls. The students planned to jump from the window of the building and go down the ramp. Police asked the students to remove the snow and no further action was taken. 

Yes, Provo is one of a kind.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to contact BRAVO to sell them my idea.

If you feel you are cheaper than cheap and your idea of "night life" includes stopping at the Cocoa Bean for a cupcake and hot chocolate, please email me immediately. I'm currently accepting applications for fellow housewives that I can party, shop, fight, and be cheap with.

Send applications* to:


*applicant gives up all rights to information as it will probably be posted here for comedic purposes.

Speaking of cheap...have you entered the awesome giveaway for a FREE Jennie Moss Bow?  Go here!

Friday, March 9, 2012

For Kurt With Love

This is Kurt and his girlfriend Whitney.  Kurt has been diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Chlolangitis (PCS) which is a disease that causes your liver to stop working.  This has left Kurt very sick with the disease progressing faster than ever. His model for End-Stage Liver Disease has more than doubled in just a few months.

You probably don't know Kurt. You probably don't know that he's 23 years old,  loves to play softball, snowboard and is a really positive, happy person. He's also someone's son, brother, and friend.

This video was made by Kyle, Kurt's older brother. I found it powerful and deeply moving:

Right now Kurt is waiting for a liver transplant. Fortunately, this is a rare case where if he does receive a new liver he will be cured of the disease. Liver transplants are very expensive and Insurance only pays a portion of the cost.

After the transplant, Kurt will be in a long recovery process which will leave him unable to work for several months. He needs help financially in every aspect of his life from medical to living expenses. The cost of the transplant alone is estimated to be over half a million dollars.

You don't have to know Kurt to help him, even the smallest donation will make a difference.

To make a donation to Kurt's medical fund you can go here!

If you'd rather send your donation by mail:

"In honor of Kurt Garrett" (please include this in the memo line so it goes to his fund)
NFT California Transplant Fund
5350 Poplar Ave, Suite 430
Memphis, TN

RBI's For Kurt: Kurt's softball team has come up with RBIs for Kurt as a way to help him out. They're asking local businesses to donate a dollar for every run they score this season and in return they'll shout you out on the website. PLEASE like the RBI's For Kurt facebook page and let your friends know about it!

To "LIKE" the RBI's For Kurt page go here!

If you're in the Santa Cruz California area this weekend:

WHAT: Benefit for Santa Cruz's Kurt Garrett, who is in need of a liver transplant because his disease, called primary sclerosing cholangitis, has damaged his bile ducts.
WHEN: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday March 11, 2012
WHERE: Java Junction coffee shop at 580-A River St., Santa Cruz.
DETAILS: Java Junction will donate 50 percent of all its sales on Sunday to help offset costs related to Garrett's liver transplant, which could cost upward of $575,000. The coffee shop will feature live music. For information about the benefit, call 426-2128 or find Java Junction Roasting on Facebook.

*To learn more about Kurt read this article!

We love you Kurt!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

a lucky giveaway or two!


I love them, don't you?

I noticed the other day just how much I adore them.

A fail proof way to know if you love something is if it's everywhere you turn..

Among other important jewelry...can you spot my wedding ring?

Around your neck (or about to be..)

Makeup bag a la Paris

The backside of the prettiest sweater in all the land

Today I spotted this gorgeous ring

And wished it could be mine.


A girl can dream.

And it's time for some good news!

For of all you ladies out there dreaming of bows just like me, my darling friend Jennie Moss, the ultimate creator in beautiful bows, is giving away 2 bows to 2 lucky Our Lovely Life readers!

If you don't know Jennie you really should..she loves Anthropologie, late nights, and making gorgeous bows and headbands for her Etsy shop jenniemariemoss!

The first bow...
The Becca- Peach Pink Houndstooth Bow
and the second bow is my personal favorite..

The Jane- Cream Lace Bow

I love the retro feel of Jennie's bows!  She uses high quality designer fabric and this particular bow has lace from the 1950's. LOVE it.

So you wanna win?

The rules...

You have 4 ways to enter this Giveaway so get to it!

1.) Follow "Our Lovely Life" publicly and leave a comment letting me know you are a follower!
 (1 entry-MANDATORY)

2.) Share this giveaway on Twitter and Facebook so all your friends think you're awesome and they have a chance to win too. (1 entry)

3.) Leave a comment telling me why you're feeling "Lucky" enough to win! (1 entry)

4.) Visit Jennie's etsy shop and let me know what items you love! (1 entry)

5.) For TWO extra entries "like" Jennie's facebook page and  Follow her blog Jennie Moss Design!

 Giveaway ends March 16th at Midnight PST

 WINNERS will be announced the next day, March 17th (Saint Patrick's Day!)

Best of luck to all of you!

P.S- Be sure to tell me if you've shared this post on Twitter or Facebook so that entry will be counted.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

basket case

I'm currently lying in bed waiting for Spring.  I think I'll be here awhile but that's okay.

Life is so much prettier in the Spring.

My name means "new beginning" and I am in need of one soon.  Like now.

So in the midst of this bitter winter I just want to say a few things:

Thank you to the little girls who brought over popcorn because it's one of my favorite things and it was delicious.

Thank you to my husband and little babe who make smile even on the toughest days.

Thank you John Mayer for giving me sweet tunes to listen to.

Thank you weatherman for the promise of snow, because when I look out my window and see everything so white and beautiful I feel at peace.

And I'm also thankful for a Heavenly Father that knows me and loves me and believes in me.


"Perseverance is demonstrated by those who keep going when the going gets tough, who don't give up even when others say "it can't be done".

So if you're having a hard time right now, hang in there and I will too.

We'll just wait for Spring together.