Being Betty


Last Friday I finally graduated from nursing school. See how ecstatic I am?


The celebrations actually started a week earlier when my two best pals from school influenced me to ditch review class for breakfast, shopping for graduation scrubs, and a pedicure. How could I refuse, right?

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And the weekend before we partied at Grimaldi's with friends.


I know, I could not stop smiling. It is truly fantastic to be done.


I was even chosen to be the student speaker. See my instructors? It felt pretty good to hear their laughter behind me. I introduced a slideshow that I had prepared for the evening, we recieved our pins, lit our lanterns, and called it a night.

My parents, Easy, the chickies, and I all then enjoyed frozen yogurt and the sweet feelings of accomplishment.



Take 4.


We have the Christmas tradition of planning and making gingerbread houses every year around this time.

Lucky me, I have the 2 cutest girls around, who are ever-eager to help bake and excellent at licking beaters.


It really is a big undertaking with all the thought that goes into the layout, measuring, shapes, and cutting of pieces. Then it's transferring those fragile pieces to baking sheets, cooking them and finally assembling them.

Half way through I wonder why the hell I would choose to do such a thing.


But then it all somehow works out (most of the time...see Year One) and I'm so satisfied with the result.

This year I added more dimensions and used a heated water/sugar mixture for glue - only burning myself twice. :)


Gingerbread house 2010: A charming little tudor.

Last year.

The years before.

The gingerbread recipe I use here.


December Faves and Craves


1. Been eyeballing these boots for about a month.

2. I'm going to nab some more vintage ornaments from my mom this year when we go to Nevada. I love the vintage bulbs and Santa's.

3. A nesting nativity.

4. We bought this lamp from West Elm on Black Friday.

5. Also noticed this clock at West Elm but resisted.

6. Subtle decorations. These pillows would be perfect all winter long. Love the grey.

7. I'm a sucker for King Leo soft peppermints. You can find them by the tub at Costco.

8. Handcrafted calendars. This one is super cute.

9. Loving the vintage lights on our house.

10. Vintage classics. Oh, and they're on sale. :)

11. More peacocks. This wallet is darling.


Nursing School. Check!


Last night I walked out of the ER with a smile on my face, a growl in my stomach, and a slight headache. I finished my last 12 hour shift of 96 total hours as a precepting student nurse. Another chapter in my life complete. Hallelujah!

But unfortunately, I had forgotten my wallet that morning so I had only eaten what the $1.17 in change could purchase that I scrounged from Easy's car earlier that day (2 graham crackers, a tablespoon of peanut butter - free from the patient supply - a small order of fries and a banana). I was starving!!

When I got home I was greeted on the porch by three happy girls (well one was a little grumpy), beautiful flowers, and a big homemade sign with, "Congrats! Good Job MOM!" scribbled on it.

I quickly changed out of my scrubs and enjoyed their hugs and kisses forgetting about my growling stomach and pounding head.

We all climbed on mine and Easy's bed and with some playing, relaxing, and wrestling - we basked in what is now ours...time.

We now. have. time.

And I couldn't be more satisfied with that.

After the girls were down for the night I finally filled my belly with 2 slices of cinnamon toast, an avocado, a huge glass of raspberry lemonade, and a couple slices of cheese. Anything would have done really, but I just wanted to lay by E, watch The Office, and forget about everything else. :)

Next Friday. Pinning! (graduation)


A Date with my Chickies


Took the girls to see Tangled last weekend before sickness dropped on the house.

We loved it.

We laughed out loud. Ate all the popcorn before the previews were over. MaeMae sat on my lap during the scawery parts. Blondes held my hand during the sad parts.


I...Well, I cried like a big fat baby.



December. Oh my. It's here.


Amidst the chaos of my preceptorship, NCLEX review class, and a vomitous-achy-bones-sickness that has plagued the Gardiner home we have found time to discover December. It's really here isn't it? Eeeeeek!


Easy is stoked about our random mis-matched Christmas lights that we have inherited and I'm betting they catch our house on fire before Santa shows. There is a reason they don't make them like this anymore, but I have to admit they are pretty freaking awesome. Especially the ones that randomly blink - it reminds me of growing up.


Speaking of E. Have I told you lately how much this little girl of our adores him? It's heartbreaking actually. She follows his every move. If he sits, she sits. If he talks on the phone, she steals the phone. And if he walks out of the room she toddles all crazy and reckless after him. Forget about mom - apparently Dad is where it's at.


My three by the tree.
Dec 5, 2010.

Anyway, Christmas this year...
It really is going to be fantastic.

I'm sooooo excited!


A Humming House

Easy's sister Rachel and her boyfriend Nic joined us from Bermuda. Nic is French. Appropriately they came bearing cheese.


The weekend came and went with a blur and now we are all here missing those that made our house hum for 4 days straight.

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Our meal was delicious. The bird cooked a little fast, but almost to perfection. On the side were buttery potatoes, fresh baked rolls, a colorful salad, and savory stuffing. After we all had our fill, we peeled away to crash on the couches and floor allowing those most vulnerable to be mauled by the little people.


Aunt Ashley has the talent of sleeping in the most uncomfortable positions.


And I think the tryptophan even effected little Roo.


I am blessed with some fantastic in-laws who enjoy nothing more than to lay around and laugh with and at each-other. I love this family as much as my own. Awe!


After shopping, hiking, eating, go-kart racing, and watching movies, we ended the weekend making cards for our missionary Elder Gardiner, in Columbia. Thanks to Rachel he will hopefully be receiving the package by Christmas. He will return next May and for the holidays we will have another Gardiner home to celebrate with us. We all can't wait.


I have another busy week of preceptorship ahead of me.
I'm tired just thinking about it, but you know what?
I'm almost done.
Totally done.
And that makes me very very happy. :)


If you were here...


You would find tables prepped for a feast.

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And babies propped on counters.


A turkey stuffed in a bag.


And stuffing out to dry.


Plus some family for good measure.


With love,

The Gardiners.


the gardiner's are coming!


in less than 24 hours our family will be here.

we all can't wait!

the girls have been beading bracelets for their grandma and aunts and i have donned my best fall apron.


starting 2 days early is the only way i can keep sane on the big day. after 3 years in a row of roasting birds i'm grateful to have learned a thing or two.

on the list for today: featherlight rolls, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes.

tomorrow i'll brine the bird and start the stuffing.

there is something so satisfying about spending days in my apron prepping for the feast. i love it - each and every step.

and when it's over i love lying around chatting with my favorite people - stuffed bellies and tired eyes included. i love the board games and laughter that follow and the cool walks around the neighborhood.

all is good in gratitude.

i can almost taste it!

travel safe and well gardiners! we are ready for you!


Just How Fairies Frolic.


A Fairy Party


First, they had to fit the part.


Tutu. Flower Crown. Wings. (after halloween sale. cha-ching)

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Then there was fairy dust to bottle.


And a little fawn missing his tail.


Some were a better shot than others. Notice the little one waaaaay to the right?


Games were played in the grass.

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And there were plenty of faces to paint and birdhouses to beautify.


Plus, freeze dancing - a hit as always.


Finally, candles to blow out, cupcakes to eat, and presents to unwrap.


My girl has never looked happier. I'm guessing that being five is a little like standing on the moon. At least, she sure makes it look that way.



A special shout-out to my BFF Ali and my amazing
husband Easy for supporting my craze.

Sorry that I went a little overboard. :)

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