Scripture Study with a Purpose

24 days into the year and we are still going strong on our New Years goals! I know, I know, big whoop…you made it less than a month! Buuuut they say it takes about 14 days to form a habit, so we might be in the clear! I like to set goals that are not only challenging but also something that we can realistically achieve.

One of those goals was to read and study the Old Testament. The Old Testament has always been a part of the scriptures that scares me. I have grown up hearing all of the stories, reading the “children versions” of them, and learning about them in Sunday school but it hasn’t been something that I have ever read and studied myself. I always told myself that I wouldn’t understand it, so why bother? It was time to challenge myself and break down the barrier of what I thought I couldn’t do and what I actually could do.

I, like most of humankind, am not the type of person that can open the Bible and just read from cover to cover. I knew by doing that I would be setting myself up to get bored and never finish… aka FAILURE. I wanted to actually learn and get something from my study, so I decided to come up with a theme. Something that I could focus on while I read. So I made a key. Like a legit key with color coding and all! Go ahead laugh, but I am telling you…IT WORKS (at least for the last 24 days.) I’ve decided to focus on patience. I am an expecting mother, so it was only fitting, lol! Not only patience but I also wanted to focus on the blessings that come when we have patience.

Focus wasn’t enough. I knew I would need some accountability. So my husband and I decided to study together every night after dinner. We read two chapters on our own, marking and taking notes, then we come together to discuss what we learned. It has been so interesting to see how different of a perspective we have on the same two chapters. I love being about to learn from him!

I never thought I would say it, but the Old Testament has really started to come alive to me. The stories I grew up hearing are finally starting to have context! It’s been 24 days, but the fire has come alive in me and I hope that this goal reaches all 341 days to come. I can’t wait to see what this book and this habit have in store for us!

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

Ramsay Taco Soup

Lately Kyle and I have been watching a new show called “Gordan Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking.” Gordan Ramsay is Kyle’s favorite celebrity chef! I love watching this show because it is so informational! He talked all about the how to’s and the why’s of cooking. On one episode he made THIS taco soup recipe and it looked so good on TV we just had to give it a try! Below is the basis of Ramsay’s recipe but fitted to our style! You can find the original recipe on the Asian Food Channel.

This soup can easily be made vegan or veterinarian by swapping out the cheese topping and chicken stock for veggie stock. I always get nevous that recipes that don’t have meat are not going to be as filling but that was not the case at all with this soup. We really loved how light and flavorful it was! We downed the whole soup and it is suppose to feed four people!

ENJOY!!

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

Our Pregnancy Must-haves

Today marks 27 weeks. I swear I just took the pregnancy test just yesterday and now we are entering our final stretch, THE LAST TRIMESTER! The thought of labor is becoming more and more real…and I am still not sure how I feel about that haha!

I do not claim to be an expert in anyway, believe me, but I have found a few products that have made my not-so-easy pregnancy that much better! Below you will find my top 10 products that -at the moment- I can not and will not live without!

#1 Pregnancy Pillow

This was one of my very favorite purchases! I got this pillow off of amazon the starting of my second trimester. There are a lot of pillow shapes to choose from and this is the shape I recommend. If your pregnancy is like mine, the back pain is so real. This shape offers both back and belly support. I can’t sleep without it at this point.

#2 Prenatal

I started taking this prenatal about two months before we got pregnant, which I really recommend (if you can plan it that way!) I absolutely HATED taking prenatals because they made me so nauseous untilllll I started taking them right before bed. By doing that I slept through all the nasty feelings and woke up feeling great! I highly recommend doing that for those who hate taking prenatals. I found this particular brand at Walmart.

#3 Belly Butter

I started using Burt’s Bees Belly Butter my first trimester. I used it right before bed every night and I haven’t ran out yet! This is something you can find on Amazon, Target, or Walmart. I also have yet to get a stretch mark!

#4 Coconut Oil

This is something my older sister suggested I try, and it hasn’t failed me yet! I use this every night along with the belly butter. Coconut oil is not my favorite thing to put on because I really don’t like feeling oily but it really does help with stretch marks. You can find coconut oil at most grocery stores, Walmart, Target or Amazon.

#5 Belly Band

This is the exact belly band that I use. My baby really likes to hang out down low so a belly band is a MUST for me. I like this particular style because it also acts as a undershirt. I found this belly band on Amazon.

#6 Eye Serum

I didn’t start really needing this until about a few weeks ago but since then I have used it every morning. I don’t sleep as much as I used to, at all. I end up tossing and turning most nights or having a harder time getting comfortable enough to fall asleep. So you can imagine the size of the bags that live under my eyes! This serum helps reduce my puffy eyes. I got this serum from the Clinique counter at Macy’s.

#7 Chewable Antacids

Raise your hand if you hate the chalky taste of TUMS! I doooo! These little gems are completely different, to me they taste like Jordan Almonds. My dad showed me these a few weeks ago and oh boy, I love them. I just started getting heartburn, mostly around bedtime, so I just pop one of these and I am good to go. I got mine at CVS and I actually got the CVS brand which I really like the taste of.

#8 Maternity Cloths

Okay to be honest, buying maternity cloths was the hardest thing for me. I literally didn’t get anything maternity until last week. I held out as long as I possibly could! I don’t know what my deal was but I am so glad I gave in and started wearing cloths that fit and are comfortable! I got all of mine from Old Navy including the leggings and dress that you see above. They only have maternity online but I loved there selection and everything was so SOFT. Don’t hold out as long as I did.

#9 Hair Oil

My hair has gotten so brittle since getting pregnant. I started using Kendi oil the beginning of my second trimester and I am completely hooked. It smells amazing and replenishes my dead hair. I use it anytime of the day, on wet or dry hair. You can get if off Amazon for a great price.

#10 Walking Shoes

I am a girly girl through and through which means I am either in heels or barefoot. Giving up my heels was really hard for me, and actually took as long to give up my heels as it was to give in to maternity cloths. When Kyle and I went to get me some good walking shoes, it was kind of depressing. But my back and my feet have thanked me multiple times! These are the ones I settled on and I love them! They have a memory foam insert and they are lavender colored! They are the Adidas NEO Cloudfoam QT Racer Women’s Shoes from Kohl’s. I haven’t seen this color anywhere else.

Comment what your pregnancy must-haves are! We would love to hear.

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

BABYMOON

For our last getaway as just us two, we decided to go San Francisco! I had never been to Northern California and it had been a few years since Kyle had been back there. We went right before Christmas, and I highly recommend going that time. There were giant Christmas trees everywhere and all the stores were decked out! The weather was pretty great too! It was in the 50’s our whole trip!

We stayed at the Hilton Parc 55 hotel right in Union Square. Union Square is a great location to stay if you are going for the shopping. There are the most amazing, high-end retail stores lined up the streets! We loved going into the GIANT Nordstrom! The store was probably about 6 stories tall and the decorations for Christmas were unreal! There was also a giant Target, which is you are anything like me, your addicted to Target.

If you go to San Francisco you HAVE to stop by Ghirardelli square. When we went they had a big Christmas tree right in the center. They have an ice cream parlour to satisfy your sweet tooth as well as a chocolate gift shop with every flavor you can imagine. The only thing missing was a chocolate making factory.

We also LOVED seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. It is amazing! We couldn’t bike across the bridge because of my big belly but if you have the chance, DO IT! We also stopped by Golden Gate park, which was wayyyy bigger than either of us expected! There was a lot to see. We thought it would be a great stop for families because there was a lot of kid friendly things to do in the park.

Fisherman’s Wharf is also a must. There were so many street performers! Plus this is the place to get fresh seafood and sourdough bread, although I am still biased for Kyle’s homemade sourdough. The bay was beautiful and we had the perfect view of Alcatraz. We didn’t but they do offer boat tours out to the Island.

TIPS:

#1 Everything is not as close as it appears. This was our first mistake. We looked on the map and thought everything looked so close, we decided to walk our first day. By lunch I was a total goner! We learned our lesson the hard way and took the city street cars, bus and train the rest of the trip. San Fran as excellent public transit. Before you go to San Francisco, download the Muni app. That way you can plan your routes and prepay for passes. Also if you use the app, you get a discount on all passes. All the passes were very affordable and convenient.

#2 Try the local restaurants. Our favorite places we stopped by were places that were one of a kind, mom and pop shops! Here were our favorites!

MAMA’S

This plate of french toast really should have a post of its own…it was that unreal! This family joint opened in the 50’s and now the brothers are running it. We stumbled upon this shop while wondering through little Italy. We were starving and saw this big line out front. It was worth the wait. Everything was scratch made and FRESH! I got eggs benedict and Kyle got orange cranberry french toast with walnuts and fresh fruit. Even though both were incredible, we both decided Kyle’s plate was the winner.

Halal Guys

This place originally started as a street cart in New York city. I am so glad they expanded! Talk about amazing Mediterranean food! I got the beef gyro and Kyle got a chicken and beef plate. The white sauce was the real kicker!

Patxi’s Pizza

This is deep dish pizza at it’s finest! You can buy by the slice or the whole pie. We tried the ceasar salad and meat lovers pizza. Oh man, it was so freakin good!

Boudin’s Bakery

You just can’t visit San Fran without eating fresh sourdough bread! We got two bread bowls filled to the brim with clam chowder. mmmMMMmm!

We had an incredible trip, but the truth about any place you visit is that it’s who you are with that really makes it special! I can’t believe the next big trip we take is going to be a party of three!

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

GOALS

I am one of those weirdos that LOVES keeping a planner, scheduling my weeks/months, making lists, but especially setting goals!

The new year is always an exciting time for me because it’s a blank slate! A time to reflect and be grateful but to also decide how I want this “blank slate” to be filled.

Looking ahead this is already going to be quite the year for us with a baby on the way, school, applying to dental schools and taking the DAT (dental admissions test.) Sometimes it can feel like life is already so busy, why add more to it? I really believe that if you don’t plan and set goals, life can just happen to you instead of you taking control of your own life. There are always ways to improve and grow. New things to learn and accomplish.

Growing up we had a goal book. Each New Years Day we would set 4 different goals. One financial goal, one spiritual goal, one educational goal, and one physical goal. This structure worked so well for me to keep everything organized and to really stay focused on specific goals. Each goal would be something we really thought we could achieve that year. It could be big or small! This year Kyle and I are adding a social goal. These past few months we have found ourselves a little more reclusive than we would like, so we really wanted to focus on building and refreshing relationships this year.

Kyle had a new idea this year to write our goals down and post them on a cork board, where we could see them everyday. We are going to be trying this out this year and see if this helps us accomplish ALL of our goals.

Two of my main goals I am focusing on this year are:

-Study the Old Testament. I feel like the Old Testament seems like such a daunting task and I don’t want it to feel that way!

-Loose the baby weight by the end of the year! My body has changed so much in these past 6 months and I would really love to get back into shape and recognize my body again! This will of course start after baby boy is born in April!

2018 can be whatever we want it to be! Don’t wait! We would love to hear how you are filling your “blank slates!”

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

Our Gender Reveal Party

Over Thanksgiving, Kyle and I took the ten+ hour trek down to Mesa to visit with our families. It was sunny and warm. I swear the sun is brighter in Arizona! I could barely walk outside with out my eyes burning. I guess I am too adjusted to the Utah climate!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving we decided to throw a gender reveal party! We found out the gender almost a week before and kept the secret allllll the way until Wednesday! This is a HUGE deal for me because keeping secrets is my BIGGEST weakness. Seriously! I always give away Christmas gifts and surprises all the time. But this time I DID IT. And I’m kind of proud. Really proud. I’m really proud.

Anyway, back to the gender reveal party! I really enjoy decorating and planning parties. It is so fun for me! We really wanted to go with a holiday theme since it was so close to Thanksgiving. We went back and forth for weeks and we finally decided that having pink or blue come out of a turkey or pumpkin just wasn’t cute. So we changed to Christmas, because close enough right?

The Monday before the party, I called a local baker named Katie Rickertsen. I asked her to make boy and girl gingerbread cookies for the party! These cookies were the main event! She did AMAZING!! If you live in the Phoenix area and need something baked, call Katie. You can check out my Instagram for her contact information.

We hung up ultra sound pictures of our little babe.

Other than the cookies we had a hot chocolate bar and pie!

We had everyone vote whether they thought it was a boy or girl using peanut and regular M&Ms.

We are over the freaking MOON to be having a baby boy!! And we loved being able to celebrate with our friends and family!

Also being pregnant with my BFF has been so fun! She is having a girl in January and we are pretty much already planning the wedding!

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

2017 Recap

Ohhh 2017. How can it already be the end?

This year has been my favorite so far! I actually think this will forever be my favorite year! From getting married, starting new jobs, visiting so many new places, and getting pregnant! This truly was the year for BIG firsts! So here’s the recap of the year that changed our lives in so many incredible ways!

Jan. 20th

Kyle knelt on one knee and asked me to be his FOREVER!

Feb. 5th

Stanley was born and Kyle’s love for baking was ignited!

Feb. 8th

Kyle was feeling 22 #cliche

Feb. 21st

I said YES to my wedding dress! I can’t thank Pritchett Bridal enough for making my dress dreams come true!

March 9th

Kyle’s amazing Aunt Jane took our engagement pictures!

March 16th

Kyle and I took a trip to Vegas! This was Kyle’s first time going to Las Vegas!

March 18th

Marlee and her mama threw me the MOST AMAZING bridal shower!

April 8th

Kyle’s cousin Witney also threw me an Amazing bridal shower in Utah!

April 23rd

Kyle and I took a trip to northern Arizona to visit Horseshoe Bend!

April 27th

I married my very own Prince Charming!

April 28th

HONEYMOON

June 1st

My baker made his first batch of French Macarons and they were nothing less of perfection!

July 3rd

I turned 23!

July 17th

We took a trip to Colorado, it was my first time! We loved being able to explore and visit family!

August 1st

I started my new job at Vitanya Brain Performance!

August 6th

We found out we were having a baby!

September 16th

We took a trip with our friends up to Yellowstone National Park! Surprisingly that was my first time up to Idaho and Yellowstone!

Nov. 16th

We found out we were having a baby BOY!

Dec. 21st

Kyle and I went to San Francisco for our Baby moon!

It has been so fun for me to look through all of these photos and reminisce about this year! I can’t believe how much has happened in just one year! I don’t know if 2018 can compare but I am excited for a new year full of firsts and adventures!

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

2017 recap

Ohhh 2017. How can it already be the end?

This year has been my favorite so far! I actually think this will forever be my favorite year! From getting married, starting new jobs, visiting so many new places, and getting pregnant! This truly was the year for BIG firsts! So here’s the recap of the year that changed our lives in so many incredible ways!

Jan. 20th

Kyle knelt on one knee and asked me to be his FOREVER!

Feb. 5th

Stanley was born and Kyle’s love for baking was ignited!

Feb. 8th

Kyle was feeling 22 #cliche 😂

Feb. 21st

I said YES to my wedding dress! I can’t thank Pritchett Bridal enough for making my dress dreams come true!

March 9th

Kyle’s amazing Aunt Jane took our engagement pictures!

March 16th

Kyle and I took a trip to Vegas! This was Kyle’s first time going to Las Vegas!

March 18th

Marlee and her mama threw me the MOST AMAZING bridal shower!

April 8th

Kyle’s cousin Witney also threw me an Amazing bridal shower in Utah!

April 23rd

Kyle and I took a trip to northern Arizona to visit Horseshoe Bend!

April 27th

I married my very own Prince Charming!

April 28th

HONEYMOON ❤️

June 1st

My baker made his first batch of French Macarons and they were nothing less of perfection!

July 3rd

I turned 23!

July 17th

We took a trip to Colorado, it was my first time! We loved being able to explore and visit family!

August 1st

I started my new job at Vitanya Brain Performance!

August 6th We found out we were having a baby!

September 16th

We took a trip with our friends up to Yellowstone National Park! Surprisingly that was my first time up to Idaho and Yellowstone!

Nov. 16th

We found out we were having a baby BOY!

Dec. 21st

Kyle and I went to San Francisco for our Baby moon!

It has been so fun for me to look through all of these photos and reminisce about this year! I can’t believe how much has happened in just one year! I don’t know if 2018 can compare but I am excited for a new year full of firsts and adventures!

Love,

Kyle and Taylor

Thanksgiving Recap

Since getting pregnant, I have been LITERALLY dreaming of thanksgiving dinner. Warm rolls, fluffy potatoes, creamy gravy, and hearty stuffing! Everything about Thanksgiving is my favorite. Cheesy, but true.

I love being in the kitchen cooking with the people I love. I love watching the Macy’s day parade (even though I missed it this year!) I love decorating the table. I love watching the boys play basketball. I love reflecting on the year and how God’s hand has been so prevalent in my life and others.

This year, Kyle and I kept some of our traditions growing up, and also started our own! In Mesa, where we are from, Kyle ran the annual Turkey Trot. Our brother-in-law Danny ran it with him, while Kelsea, the boys and I cheered on the sidelines with camera in hand!

Then we went over to my parent’s house to start helping with lunch. My family always eats at 11:30 am every year. This year Kyle made the rolls. They were UNREAL. I am pretty sure that will be his assignment every year! I made the cranberry sauce per usual. Britania and I also worked on the decor. I love decorating, especially when it comes to the holidays!

After Lunch, we all headed to the park so the boys could play basketball and the girls (and babies) could chat. I’m not sure who won the game but I do know that no one “cheated” this year…so that’s a plus. LOL.

Next stop was Kyle’s parents house! One of my favorite things was watching home videos of Kyle as a baby! It made me so excited to meet our little guy! I hope so bad that he looks just like his daddy! Meanwhile, Kyle made another batch of rolls! Dinner was delicious.

The rest of the weekend consisted of mostly shopping and eating. My two very most favorite things! Other than Kyle and Baby Boy, of course! We loved being able to spend so much time together and with family. I can’t wait until Christmas!

What do did you do this year! We would love to hear your traditions!

Love,

Kyle and TAy

Gender Reveal Party

Over Thanksgiving, Kyle and I took the ten+ hour trek down to Mesa to visit with our families. It was sunny and warm. I swear the sun is brighter in Arizona! I could barely walk outside with out my eyes burning. I guess I am too adjusted to the Utah climate!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving we decided to throw a gender reveal party! We found out the gender almost a week before and kept the secret allllll the way until Wednesday! This is a HUGE deal for me because keeping secrets is my BIGGEST weakness. Seriously! I always give away Christmas gifts and surprises all the time. But this time I DID IT. And I’m kind of proud. Really proud. I’m really proud.

Anyway, back to the gender reveal party! I really enjoy decorating and planning parties. It is so fun for me! We really wanted to go with a holiday theme since it was so close to Thanksgiving. We went back and forth for weeks and we finally decided that having pink or blue come out of a turkey or pumpkin just wasn’t cute. So we changed to Christmas, because close enough right?

The Monday before the party, I called a local baker named Katie Rickertsen. I asked her to make boy and girl gingerbread cookies for the party! These cookies were the main event! She did AMAZING!! If you live in the Phoenix area and need something baked, call Katie. You can check out my Instagram for her contact information.

We hung up ultra sound pictures of our little babe.

Other than the cookies we had a hot chocolate bar and pie!

We had everyone vote whether they thought it was a boy or girl using peanut and regular M&Ms.

We are over the freaking MOON to be having a baby boy!! And we loved being able to celebrate with our friends and family!

Also being pregnant with my BFF has been so fun! She is having a girl in January and we are pretty much already planning the wedding!

Love,

Kyle and Taylor (and soon to be baby BOY G!!!)