August 31, 2011

Fleeting Moments

I'm reading a new book
{and I plan to share LOTS more on that later}
but I've really been thinking about how fast life goes by.

All we have are these moments:
We can choose to be present, enjoy them and be thankful for them,
or they go un-noticed.
Passed by with the blink of an eye.

It's probably the combination of my son turning two, the last week of summer vacation, and struggling to find a balance between work and family,
but the last few days I've really been focusing on enjoying each precious, fleeting moment, and being thankful for it.

Spending less time checking my phone for emails,
Not freaking out if I don't check every social media site for updates multiple times each day,
Cuddling with my baby during his nap instead of working like a mad woman,
and not beating myself up if I don't blog at the exact right time.

I tend to be the type of person who likes things to be a certain way.
Each morning I figure out what I need to get done, and make a timeline.
But when things don't work out the way I imagined, I'm not the most easy going about it.
{something that I'm working on} 
I find that I get frustrated and annoyed. Irritated that I didn't accomplish the things I needed to get done. Frustrated that I'm going to have to find time for it later.
Heck, I feel frustrated that I'm frustrated.

These last few days I've been trying to be much more easy going.
I have so much to be thankful for, even if my day doesn't go exactly as planned, and I need to remember that and enjoy my many blessings.
Instead of getting frustrated that Isaiah didn't take a long nap, I scooped him up and cuddled him on my bed {where he proceeded to sleep for almost 3 hours} and I absolutely enjoyed every second of it.

The moments that make up each day, year, month...they're fleeting. Gone with the blink of an eye, and I want to be there and enjoy every single one.

So far, it's been wonderful :)

August 30, 2011

Sponsor In September?

There's still time to advertise with
Alexandra Rose in September!

I'm so excited for this new, positive and exciting adventure my blog will be taking,
and I'd love to have you!

There's no limit on small and medium ad's,
there's only ONE large ad space available for the month of September!

For more information, or if you're interested in advertising,
email me at

August 29, 2011

Burlap and Twine {a giveaway!}

You guys may remember when I first introduced you to Ashley,
The owner and creator of Burlap and Twine,
but today, we're going to get to know her even better!

{can I mention enough times how much I LOVE this shop?!}

Hello Alexandra Rose readers! My name is Ashley. When I'm not busy corralling my energetic 12 month old son Morgan, and working part time as a RN, you can find me getting in touch with my creative side over at my blog Burlap and Twine. I'm obsessed with all things burlap {hence my shop/blog name}, pinterest, wedding blogs {well, blogs in general, actually}, and The Real Housewives {those girls are like a train wreck, I just can't stop watching}. The idea to start my own etsy shop blossomed from my own handcrafted rustic chic wedding. We had a serious budget for our wedding so I decided that in order to make it special, unique, and affordable, I would have to make a lot of things on my own. Now through my etsy shop I am able to offer affordable decor to other like minded brides, saving them time and money. My best selling items are my small burlap banners which can be customized for any occasion, but are perfect to set out on your guest book table or to add to an engagement photo display. I would love it if you would stop by my shop or blog for a visit!

A gorgeous girl, and a gorgeous wedding!
{and a pretty handsome little man too :)}

Today, Ashley is offering TWO of you
the chance to win a little something from her shop!

That's right, two Alexandra Rose readers will each win a small burlap banner from the Burlap and Twine shop!


Here's how to get in on it:
There are 7 ways to enter!
{please leave a separate comment for each item you complete}

{this one is mandatory} be a public follower of the Alexandra Rose Blog
Become a public follower of the Burlap and Twine blog
Become a fan of Burlap and Twine on facebook
Become a fan of Alexandra Rose on facebook
Follow Alexandra Rose on twitter
Re blog {tweet or facebook} about the giveaway with a link back to this post
Tell me about a new goal you have
Ashley is giving all of you the chance to save 10% on your entire order
buy using the code
at checkout!
So get to shopping now!
Giveaway and discount code will be open until Saturday, September 3rd at 11:59pm
Winner will be announced Sunday, September 4th.

August 28, 2011

Some Thoughts {and a giveaway winner!}

Source: via Alex on Pinterest

I've been doing lots of thinking lately,
and it's made me come full circle.

What does blogging mean to me?
Why do I do it?
What would I like to share with my readers?
Does this blog hold a greater purpose?

So, now I'm back to the place where I was when I started this blog.

What is my voice, and what do I want to blog about?

I started this blog as a way to promote my shop, and my handmade items, and it seemed really natural to include things about my hubby and son.
I started posting tutorials and DIY projects, as well as recipes and it was so fun to share the things I was making!
I was SO excited when I was first contacted to host a giveaway for a handmade shop!

However, now I feel like my blog has turned into a journal.
A way for me to document life {mostly Isaiah's} and I don't think that's what I ever intended this blog to be about.

I've heard lots of bloggers say it's so important to 'find your voice'
and I don't think I've ever tried to be someone other than myself,
but I'm ready for my blog to change.

I still plan to post lots of recipes and DIY projects,
and bring you giveaways from amazing handmade shops,
and {who am I kidding} there will still be updates on Hubby and Zaiah.

I also want this to be a really inspiring, motivational and encouraging place.
I want to have important conversations,
and challenge people to be the very best they can be.

I want to challenge myself to be the very best I can be.
And I want to take that step here, on my blog, with all of you.

So I dare you to stick around for this adventure.
I don't exactly know what it's going to look like, but it's going to be great.

{whoa, that ended up being kinda deep :)}

Moving on to more lighthearted things...
We have a winner from The Shine Project giveaway!

True Random Number Generator
Congratulations Heather!

i follow shine project on facebook under my business page!

And, since you're my hair stylist, photographer, and {just.lovely.things} goodie maker, I don't really need you to email me :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

August 26, 2011

Spanish Style Quinoa

This lovely little recipe was actually discovered by accident.
{the way I assume lots of great recipes are created}

We were invited over to a friends house for tacos the other day, and I needed to bring a rice dish of some sort.

If you don't have rice, and don't feel like going to the store, a rice dish isn't gonna happen.

I did have quinoa,
{are you catching the drift this stuff is my fav?}
and most of the fixin's for a Spanish rice dish,
so away with it I went!

I chopped up some onion, garlic, bell pepper, corn {raw} and tomatoes.

Sauteed them in about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and added in a little over 1 cup of quinoa.

Add in an 8 oz can of tomato juice and 1 1/2 cups of water, plus some spices and let simmer together for about 30 minutes and you're done!

Spanish style quinoa!

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

  • 1 medium onion {chopped}

  • 1 ear of corn {cut from the cob, but raw}

  • 3 cloves garlic {minced}

  • 1green bell pepper {chopped}

  • 1 8 oz can tomato juice

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Salt

  • Directions:
    Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa, onion, corn, garlic, and green pepper. Cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes until the onion is tender, and the quinoa has lightly toasted. Stir in the tomato juice and water, then season with the chili powder, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.Cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the liquid is absorbed {right around 30 minutes}.

    Again, I love how the ingredients are versatile and you can definitely adjust the level of spice and flavor!

    This is also a perfect filling for burritos, stuffed bell peppers, or to eat all by itself :)

    August 25, 2011

    The Oversized Clutch {the perfect take-along bag!}

    For those of you who follow me on facebook,
    you know I've been working on a new pattern,
    for the ultimate clutch.

    I wanted to make sure it was both functional and stylish, and I feel like it's the best of both worlds!

    And I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out!

    Take a peek at
    The Oversized Clutch
    {available now in the shop}

    The clutch measures approximately: 11" high by 7" long,
    and has two interior pockets to help keep everything organized.

    Check out how much it holds:

    Plenty of room for everything you need to get out of the house, plus then some!

    Swap the diapers and wipes out for sunglasses and make up and you have the perfect bag for a date or night out on the town!

    This item is sewn with stiff interfacing {to give the clutch shape} and a super thick interfacing {to help protect your items}. The combination of the two gives this clutch the perfect balance of structure and cushy goodness!

    Treat yourself, or give one as a gift now!

    August 24, 2011

    Wordless {ish} Wednesday

    My two favorite boys:
    The best thing to wake up to after a nap :)
    I'm one blessed mommy. 
    I'm linking up with these momma's:

    Click here to vote for my adorable boys :)

    August 22, 2011

    The Shine Project {an inspirational giveaway!}

    I'm soooo excited to feature Ashley, of The Shine Project

    Ashley is FULL of inspiration, creativity, compassion and has great style :)

    She blogs over at The Shine Project where she hosts weekly challenges, holds service projects all while inspiring and motivating us all.

    And, in case that's not enough,
    Ashley recently started a program called Change4Change

    I have a first hand experience of seeing the struggles that inner city high school students go through on a daily basis. After working with them for my internship last semester, my heart was touched. There are so many kids that have SO much potential, and just need someone to help them see it. Well I've seen it, and I want to show them that they can accomplish hard things. This is why I started putting money from each shine necklace sold into the Shine Scholarship Fund.

    My goal is to raise $20,000 for The Shine Project Scholarship Fund by the end of October. The money will specifically be going to four students at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix, Arizona, to help them pay for their first year of college. This will be accomplished in two ways. The first way is by doing CHANGE for CHANGE jars. You have the opportunity to get involved by pledging to do a CHANGE jar. I have tags to send you, and for the next three months you will throw your leftover change in this jar. Those of you who are brave will also get your friends, neighbors, and businesses around you to to show a little love and donate.
    If you think about it, $100 really isn't that much. But when 100 people ban together to make a difference, $10,000 suddenly is able to change 2 student's lives.

    If you're not in a position to donate money,
    Ashley is also collecting items for a silent auction that will be held on
    October 20th
    All proceeds will go directly to the scholarship fund
    that will help send inner city kids to college.

    If you are interested in having a Change4Change jar,
    or would like to donate items to the silent auction,
    please email Ashley at:

    Today, Ashley is giving one of you the chance to WIN one of her
    Shine necklaces!

    There are 6 ways to enter!
    {please leave a separate comment for each item you complete}

    {this one is mandatory} be a public follower of the Alexandra Rose Blog
    Check out The Shine Project blog and become a public follower
    Become a fan of The Shine Project on facebook
    Follow The Shine Project on twitter
    Leave a comment telling me about a random act of kindness you've recently done for someone
    Re blog {tweet or facebook} about the giveaway with a link back to this post
    Giveaway will be open until Saturday, August 27th at 11:59pm
    Winner will be announced Sunday, August 28th.
    Good luck!

    Some of the proceeds from each necklace sold go
    directly to the scholarship fund.

    To find out more information, or to buy one of your own Shine necklaces as a daily reminder & to support this amazing cause, click here.

    Oh, and don't forget to
    Get your SHINE on :)

    August 21, 2011

    A Weekend In Portland {and a giveaway winner!}

    Last Wednesday we packed up for a long weekend in Portland.

    Take a peek at what we did:
    Played dress up with all of Cousin Ben & Sterlings masks..

    Went to the Children's Museum...

    Took a trip to the zoo
     - which -
    I could {and might} dedicate an entire post to...

    Played in the bouncy house...

    Gave Lenny an 80's makeover...

    from this place.
    Where the line was out the door. Like, way out.

    Went to the Portland Saturday Market...
    {which included ridiculously large cookies and pad thai}

    Took a walk down by the waterfront...

    Found a vintage Mr. Potato Head...

    Had our first VooDoo Doughnut...

    Visited a rose garden where Lenny Lennerton got to run around...

    Stopped by Fabric Depot where I got lots of fabric and TONS of ideas...

    And had a picnic lunch {the kind in the car} on our way home.

    Busy, busy weekend...and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

    Now, onto bloggy business...

    Were you the winner of the Little Blue Feather giveaway?!

    True Random Number Generator

     Congratulations Ashley!

    Ashley said...

    I follow little blue feather on twitter

    {Ashley, email me and I'll put you in touch with Michelle!}

    For the rest of you,
    say hi to Michelle here, and pick up one of her adorable creations here.

    Oh, and don't miss the giveaway that's happening tomorrow from this sweet lady.

    Off to bed.
    Ok, to enjoy ice cream and then to bed.

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