The Life of Bon

Monday, November 23, 2015

We got hit by the plague

Last week the black plague hit our house.

Or maybe we should call it the green plague?  Let's just say there was a lot of vomit.

It started with June.  Sweet, innocent harmless June.  Saturday night/ Sunday morning around midnight she burst forth with a mighty cry from her crib.  She doesn't wake up too much in the night, and when she does it's usually around the 4-6 am time.  Midnight was truly rare for her to be stirring.  I let her cry for a minute, hoping she would just self soothe.  After a few minutes, I gave up on getting her to go to sleep and went to soothe her.

The smell hit me first.  All I had to do was crack her door just the slightest and my nose let me know that something was seriously off.  June was up, holding on to the crib railings, vomit all down her jammies and on her face.  I felt absolutely horrible and then and there I committed myself to getting a video baby monitor.  It's one of those things that I keep saying I don't really "need", but by golly, I'm getting one now.  No person, big or small, should ever have to stand there helplessly in their own vomit!  (Also, in the next couple of weeks I am going to write a post on stuff you NEED for baby, stuff I got that I wish I hadn't, and stuff I didn't get that I wish I did.  It's gonna be a party, so you know, stick around.)

June went immediately in the tub and with clean jammies and a clean body I pulled her into bed with me.  It wasn't 20 minutes later that she had thrown up again and soiled her new jammies + my sheets.   IT WAS A NIGHTMARE.  I took off our sheets and laid a gross, old sheet on the mattress.  That is what we all slept on the rest of the night.  June was up every half hour or so, crying and throwing up while I held her and soothed her back to sleep.  AWESOME MOM AWARD, RIGHT?  Little did I know I would pay for that later.

June still wasn't well the next day, and we all spent the day cooped up in our home.  Monday she seemed on the road to recovery and I thought the plague had left us.  Twas not so!  Tuesday morning I was up early with the same symptoms- nausea, vomitting, di--- well you know.  It was horrible and I could barely crawl from my bed to the bathroom to the bed.  Greg kept his distance from me.  He was the only well one in the family.  He was keeping the laundry going, the fridge stocked, the jewelry shipped.  Greg could not sick!

Greg got sick.  He fell on Friday.  And when Greg falls, Greg falls.  My husband does everything in his life with passion, and being sick is no exception.  He got it the worst out of all of us, vomiting every 10-15 minutes for five straight hours.  There was lots of painful cries, lots of insisting that he was in fact dying, and when he FINALLY fell asleep six hours later we all breathed a sigh of relief.  Would our house ever be well again?

Well, here we are, Monday night a week later and I am happy to say the answer is yes.  Yes.  We fell like dominoes, but we are all three healthy and back to our normal state.  I guess I should be happy that it happened before Thanksgiving week?  The plague has made its way through our house and now we are safe to travel!  (I haven't been to school in over a week.  Do I even know how to teach anymore?)

THE REASON I tell you this is because winter.  Winter is coming.  And so are the germs.  And the viruses.  And whatever else it is that makes someone go to the bathroom every 15 minutes for five straight hours.  We must protect ourselves from the sicknesses!  Around these parts we have totally recommitted ourselves to washing our hands sometimes frequently constantly ALL THE TIME.

I've also recently decorated our house with Kleenex.  I may not be an interior design genius, but I'm pretty impressed with Kleenex's winter collection- they just look like cute little Christmas decorations around my house.  But they're not!  They're Kleenex!  I went to Sam's Club and loaded up with an 11 pack because WE ARE NOT GETTING SICK AGAIN.   Now there is always Kleenex tissue close at hand to cough into, sneeze into, blow your nose, etc.

This season Kleenex has a couple of choices for all of us "I-refuse-to-get-sick-again".  I got the winter pack which comes with the three decorative Kleenex canisters as well as eight lotion Kleenex boxes.  Lotion Kleenex, you ask!?  Yep.  The Kleenex® Lotion facial tissues are three ply (for thickness and absorbency) and have Aloe Vera and Vitamin E in them so that your skin doesn't get all banged up from blowing your nose so much.  They are made especially for sensitive skin or for those of us who are just constantly using tissues. 

Also, I didn't get the Kleenex® Anti-Viral* facial tissues because I couldn't resist the cute winter designs, but those are definitely my next Kleenex purchase.  The Anti-Viral tissues have three soft layers, including a moisture-activated middle layer that kills 99.9% of cold and flu viruses. How cool is that?

I always like to think of a cute gift to give neighbors, co-workers, etc for Christmas.  Well, you better believe I've got my gift now.  1 box Kleenex® Anti-Viral* facial tissues + 1 jug of hand sanitizer.  Teachers need to fight off that sickness, you know.  I'm not really giving them something so much as NOT giving them something... not giving them sickness!

And really, what more could anyone want?  #bestgiftgiver

You can find your own giant package of Kleenex at your nearby Sam's Club.  If you don't have a membership then you need to get one!  Or, if you want to try it once or twice before you commit you can always do a 1 day pass when you go into the store.  You can buy anything you want, they just add 10% to your total while you're on your test run.  Head on over there and grab your own Kleenex Winter Pack to share with your office, street, co-workers etc.   #SpreadKleenexCare so no one has to endure the horrible sickness that my family just went through.

Now it's time for me to pack and clean house because we're headed to Arizona tomorrow for the holidays.  Thanks so much for supporting the companies that support my blog.  Everytime you click one of the links in this post my family receives a small compensation.  We appreciate your support so much.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving everybody!

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #SavorTheSeason #CollectiveBias


Guys.  Thanksgiving is in three days!  ARE YOU READY?!?

Greg and I are embarking on a ten hour drive tomorrow with Junebug in tow to visit Greg's brother and his wife in Arizona.  Not just brother and wife, either, but new baby Leo too!  We are dying to meet our  new little nephew, and I can't wait to smother him with aunty kisses.

Greg's parents are heading down too so it will be six adults + two babies for our Thanksgiving feast.  I am claiming stuffing duty this year because I found the yummiest new stuffing recipe and I can't wait to share it with everyone.  And, since I'm sharing it with my family I thought why not share it with my blog readers, too?  I mean, you all deserve all the yummy food that my family does, right?

The recipe comes from this website. I love it because it is a classic stuffing recipe mixed with the Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Roll Sausage--- we just took stuffing up a notch! Instead of the classic stuffing we get a stuffing with a little bit more zip and zest; this is the number one new dish you are going to want to include in your Thanksgiving meal this year.

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes


  • 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Roll Sausage (Sage or Regular)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread, toasted
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Cook sausage, celery and onion in large skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat 8-10 minutes or until sausage is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; drain. Spoon into large bowl.
  2. Add cornbread, parsley and seasoning; mix lightly. Add broth and egg; mix just until blended. Stir in pecans, if desired.
  3. Spoon into lightly greased 2-quart casserole or soufflé dish; cover.
  4. Bake 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated, uncovering after 35 minutes.

Cook’s Tips:

For the 4 cups crumbled cornbread needed to prepare this recipe, bake 1 pkg. (8.5 ounces) corn muffin mix according to the package directions for the pan of cornbread. Cool, then coarsely crumble. To toast the crumbled cornbread, preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the cornbread onto bottom of large shallow baking pan. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring after 5 minutes.)


8 servings (1 cup each))

*** A couple of notes***
1.  The celery, in my humble opinion, is VERY important to this recipe.  I added extra and loved it.  It gives the extra crunchiness that counters perfectly with the softness of the cornbread and sausage.
 2.  If I were you, I would bake the cornbread and the cornbread crumbles the night before.  That makes the stuffing A LOT more manageable the day of.
 3.  I used the Regular Pork Roll Sausage, but Jimmy Dean also has a sage variety- definitely trying that next!

You can find your Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Roll Sausage at a Meijer near you.  I found mine right smack dab in the middle of the sausage and bacon fridge- AS IT SHOULD BE!

For ideas for more holiday and other awesome recipes go here.

Sale is live!

See post below for details
Head to to snag your deals.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Hey folks.  I'm just popping in here to let you know of our big black Friday sale TOMORROW at Hey June.  We are offering the biggest discount we've ever had on all jewelry in the shop AND the first ten orders will receive a free pair of earrings!   If you've had your eye on something, now is the time to pull the trigger because you won't see a sale this big again for many moons.  (I keep asking Greg, "are you SURE we should do a discount this big and he replies, "Of course!  It's black Friday!  As if that explains any and all questions...)

Here's the nitty gritty details for you:
1.  Sale times are MST.  Make sure you calculate your time zone accordingly! 
2.  Sale starts 11/23 at 10 am mst and goes until 11/24 at 10 am mst.
3.  Any order placed within the sale may take up to ten business days to ship.
4.  Let me know if you have any questions about anything and I will be more than happy to answer them!

Thank you all so much for your support and love and good juju.  My family feels it.  I apologize for the lack of "real posts" lately.  We're heading down to Arizona on Tuesday for Thanksgiving, but come December I expect the blog to be functioning as normal.  I'd love to give you an update on Greg and how he has been post high school teaching, what we're doing in my classroom, what new cupboards June is getting into, etc, etc, etc.  Again, thanks for the love you are always sending me and my family.  We couldn't make it without this blog.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hi dad.

Yesterday marked six years since my dad left us for what I believe is a better world.  I didn't get a post out because the black plague has struck our house.  Finally this morning my two sickies were sleeping, and I felt well enough to crank out some words about my dad.  Well, it was supposed to be about him, and then it kind of ended up being to him.  And so it goes.

Hi Dad,

I wish you were here.  I wish you would take me to Crown burger again with Mary, and we could tell you about our college exams and the stupid boys we were dating and I wish you could try to figure out that silly camcorder and that “I got a feeling, tonight’s gonna be a good good night” could come on the radio again and Mary could say, “Dad, this is one of the most popular songs right now”.  I wish you would ask me when the last time I changed the oil in my car was and am I studying hard enough and please don’t stay out too late with the boys, Bopper.

So much has changed since you’ve been gone.  Since the last time I saw you I graduated from college, got my first job, met and married my husband, started a blog that even strangers read, moved a bajillion times, had a baby girl.  I grew up since I last saw you.  I am a different person, but I think I am a better person than the Bonnie six years ago.  I sometimes wonder if you are proud of the person I am today and I think you are.  I try to be stronger and I try to be softer.  I try to be kinder and I try to be more stern.   I try to laugh more, and I know I cry more.  

I miss you every day.  The missing now is different than the missing right after you left us.  Then it was blinding and aching and all encompassing.  Now it is a dull pain that comes on suddenly and sharply in moments when I least expect it.  A wish to tell you something.  To call you.  To ask your advice.  To have you hug me.  It is an absence that never goes away.

Sometimes I wish so bad that I could see you with June.  I know all babies are more or less the same, but not to a grandpa, they aren’t.  I wish I could see her crawl into your lap and I wish I could see you playing peek a boo with her and I wish you could hear the way she giggles.  I think you’d tell me that she looks like me or that she is such a petite little babe, and I think seeing you with her would make me feel so connected to both of you.  My past and my future.

I think you know this, but just in case you don't, I'll tell you that June has a dad that adores her in the same way you adored me.  I don't feel like I'm doing everything right in this life, but I did get that part right.  I look at them playing together, and I think she's so lucky to have him just like I was so lucky to have you.  It's one of the best things I'll ever be able to give June.  A dad like mine.

I wonder what you would think of the world we live in today.  It seems so different than the world we lived in together six years ago.  It seems harder and more confusing and more sad.  I wish you were here to help me navigate it.  It seems like people are less patient and less forgiving than they used to be.  Less caring about the plight of others.  You always had such a strong sense of “the way things ought to be.”  I try to think of the way you would see do things and follow that.

­Thanks for encouraging me to be such a strong woman.  I never realized it, but you were the one who first taught me about feminism.  Thank you for telling me I needed to get an education and not to date until I was 25.  Thanks for telling me I could be a doctor or lawyer or a teacher or a nurse or anything I wanted to be.  Thanks for telling me I was smart enough to go to any college I wanted to.  Thanks for telling me those boys weren’t worth it who made me sad in high school and that what they thought of me didn't have to define me.  Thanks for coaching me on spelling bee words and taking me to the cabin to work so many weekends.

Right now are you in heaven playing with my future babies?  I like to think that.  Will you keep them safe and happy for me until it's time for them to come join me?  They don't get to know their grandpa in this life, but maybe they get to know him before this life.

I miss you every day, dad, and I never stop loving you.

Much love,

P.S.  Do you get to watch baseball games in heaven?

Other anniversary posts for my dad: 

And because you should know that November 19 isn't always such a sad day, 
this one, about the day I found out I was pregnant with June.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Buttermilk Pie Topping Recipe (Also known as why I can never make my own pies)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #ShareTheJoyOfPie #CollectiveBias

Two years ago I was assigned to bring pies to our big family Thanksgiving dinner.  Pies?  I thought.  No problemo.  

I was a fool.  I had no idea.  No. Idea.  The amount of skill it takes to make a pie.  I woke up early Thanksgiving morning and set to work rolling out my pie crust.  It fell apart.  I tried again.  It fell apart again.  I called my mom for help.  She's been mastering pies for so long that she couldn't figure out why in the world my pies weren't doing what they were supposed to.

I had found out a week earlier that I was pregnant with June.  No one knew yet and, ecstatic as we were, the morning sickness and hormones were getting to me.  I broke down into tears and declared to Greg, "I'm never going to be able to make a pie!"  

"Bon, just buy a pie from the store.  It doesn't matter."
"You don't understand, Greg!  You can't just buy a pie from the store in my family!  Everyone is such great cooks.  I'll be the only one with gross food!"

Greg didn't get it.  But he supported me when I said I had to go back to the grocery store for more flour.

Sadly, the pies never turned out.  The crust caved in and the filling was so thin you could have eaten it like a soup.  Everyone tried to be nice, "Your pie is great even though I have to drink it with a straw!" my family said with nice smiles.  I saw right through it, though.  I had failed the task of pies.  The next year my food assignment was butter.  (I kid you not!)

 Two years later, I have now been introduced to Marie Callender's® Dessert Pies.  A little Marie Callender's and a little Reddi-Wip® and we're in pie business!   No dough falling apart on you.  No soupy feeling.  And best of all, NO STORE BOUGHT PIE TASTE!  These bad boys are good enough to fool that world into thinking that you made them.

And if you want just a little touch of homemade flavor, I have the best sauce to put on top of your pie.  I always think pies are just a touch on the dry side for me; this buttermilk sauce moistens it right up and is absolutely delicious.  You will fool the world into thinking the entire pie is homemade, not just the super easy yummy sauce you put on top of it. MAWAHAHAHA.

Buttermilk syrup/pie topping 

+ 1 1/2 cups white sugar
+ 3/4 cup buttermilk
+ 1/2 cup butter
+ 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
+ 1 teaspoon baking soda
+ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a saucepan, stir together sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda.  Bring to a boil and cook for seven minutes over low heat.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Notes:  The longer you boil, the thicker and, later, chewier, the recipe gets.  The mixture turns colors on your from white to a caramel-y brown as you are cooking it.  The recipe hardens when you store or refrigerate it, to use it again just reheat!  Don't walk away from the syrup as it is cooking.  Keep stirring as it can burn and boil over in a second.

Recipe source here.

This sauce takes 15 minutes to make, as opposed to the HOURS I spent (unsuccessfully) slaving over pies.  And the syrup is pretty hard to botch, unless you just abandon it on the stove.  I used the buttermilk sauce with Marie Callender's Razzleberry Pie.  The tartness of the berries + the sweetness of the syrup = the best combination ever.

Of course we all love to eat the pie ourselves, but do you know what's even better?  Sharing it with neighbors!  We have four houses on our street (including ours) so this Thanksgiving week I am dropping off a little pie gift for each of them.  You need to know how to make your neighbors love you?  I gotcha covered!


1.  You will need the following:  Marie Callender's® Dessert Pie +  Reddi-Wip® + jar of homemade buttermilk syrup + plastic wrap + twine (or any of string or ribbon) + printable.
2.  Make syrup according to recipe above.  When giving the syrup, make sure to tell neighbors to HEAT IT UP before they put it on the pie.  This is crucial, otherwise it just looks like delicious hardened caramel in a jar.  Awesome, but confusing.  And not fitting.
3.  Wrap Marie Callender's® Dessert Pies +  Reddi-Wip® + jar of homemade buttermilk syrup in plastic wrap and use the twine to wrap around the middle.
4.  Include the following note with your package!

You can download and print this printable here.

6.  Don't forget to tell them to #sharethejoyofpie!  Nothing makes us feel quite as good as being the one to do the kind service, so make sure you invite them to participate in that same kindness!

You can find Marie Callender's® Dessert Pies in the frozen desserts section at Walmart.  I found mine right on the end/ in the aisle.  Easy peasy!

For more pie recipes for Thanksgiving AND money saving coupons check out here.   Thank you so much for supporting the companies that support my blog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How would I live without June?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #loveandprotect #CollectiveBias

 I've always been a little clueless on the subject of life insurance.  In the past I've had this totally erroneous philosophy that if I don't think about the possibilities of needing life insurance I magically will never need it.  Well obviously that's a horrible and very unsafe philosophy.  The problem for me has always been not that I don't think that we need life insurance and that it's important, but that I've been too overwhelmed trying to figure it out.  It's always something I put off for another day. But I am clueless no longer!  Protective Life is the way to go for understanding the basics of life insurance and how to get started.  I am happy to say that both Greg and I have life insurance policies and now we are working on getting a policy for little June bug.  It is one of the most horribly sad things to think about, but ignoring it doesn't mean that possibility will go away.

How would I live without June?

Who would tear down the books immediately after I have put them all back?

Who would let giant stinkers at the worst possible time?

Would would accompany her dad on all their grocery shopping trips together? (One of the best things about Greg not working right now is that he does ALL the grocery shopping.  Groceries are my least favorite chore in the world so I am more than happy to pass this off to him.)

Who would spill cheerios all over the backseat?

Who would play with our dog?

Who would giggle nonstop at the silliest things?

Who would organize my tampons and pads for me?

Who would cuddle up to me and wrap her little legs around me when I'm feeling sad?

Who would come visit me at school and entertain all the students before taking off down the hall to find her own adventures?

 Who would make me so excited to come home from work so I can play and cuddle with her?

Who would make sugar cookies with me?

Who would make every family vacation more fun?

And WHO, oh WHO would unload the dishwasher for me?!

Visit here and here to learn more about how you can protect you and your family with Protective Life Insurance.  This post was written as a spin off of the video that Holderness family made entitled "Why I Can't Live without You."  The video is fun and light hearted, but still talks about the importance of making sure you and your loved ones are protected.  You can see the video here.  (Per the video:  We realize this video in a way does poke fun at what a spouse does but they focus on sharing the workload as a couple. We don't want the posts to come off as derogatory in any way. We want these posts to seem fun and light. This is a delicate matter and we don't want to offend anyone.)

Thank you so much for supporting the companies that support my blog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sick dayzzzzz

Hello blog.

I'm checking in here because it's been awhile.  We have been sick sick sick in our house. June started throwing up Saturday night/ Sunday morning. I made the mistake of letting her in the bed and cuddling all night long with her in between bouts of puking.  She had a rough Sunday but Monday seemed to be on the mend. I woke up this morning sick sick. So much throw up and... otherness... I know I shouldn't have cuddled with sick baby all night long but what's a mom to do?

Greg's been taking care of me and June today but then a few hours ago he starated to feel sick too. Same stomach bug. So we're basically quarantining ourselves in our home until we're all healthy.

Obviously this hasn't allowed me a lot of energy for blogging. Just now (6 pm) did I have the energy to move from my bed to the couch. Little victories. I do have four sponsored posts scheduled in the next week (including a post for this company that has had me do several posts for them.  Should I think that's weird?) and that might be all you see of me until we're back on our feet here. I apologize but know that as soon as we're all healthy and well and caught up on mandatory posts there will be lots of my good old regular posts coming your way. Thanks so much for reading this blog and supporting the companies that support my blog.  You all rock and I feel so grateful to have this blog and you who read it.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Best Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe Ever

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #NestleHoliday #CollectiveBias

Alright folks.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are breathing down our necks, and before they get too close I decided it is absolutely imperative that I share with you the best hot fudge recipe that you will ever use.  This has been in our family since before I was born.  Every time we had ice cream sundaes growing up we used this hot fudge sauce.  It wasn't until I moved away from home and ate out at more restaurants that I realized that my mom's hot fudge recipe does not equal the world's hot fudge recipe.  Doesn't even compare!

This hot fudge is amazing on any ice cream, but of course when the holidays get close I love love love it on EDY’S®/DRYER’S® peppermint wonderland ice cream.  Cool peppermint + hot fudge = the best dessert combination ever.  It also helps that my mom's hot fudge recipe is so super easy to make.  A total breeze and even the biggest idiot in the kitchen can't mess this one up.


4 squares (16 mini squares or 4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3 cups sugar
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Melt together chocolate and butter over medium heat.  Slowly add sugar.  Slowly, stirring continuously, add evaporated milk and salt.  Heat until very hot.  Do not boil.  Add vanilla.

See.  I told you it was easy!

I found my EDY’S®/DRYER’S® peppermint wonderland ice cream and other NESTLÉ® products at Walmart in the freezer section.  You know, where all the ice cream is.

For more ideas of NESTLÉ® yummy recipes this holiday season make sure to go Flavorful moments pinterest board.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Mama

Today is my mom's birthday.  I got to do lunch with her this afternoon, and now she is spending time at my cousin's house who recently lost her husband.  My mom is helping with dinner, cleaning up dishes, playing games with children, getting jammies on, reading bedtime stories.  When I heard my mom was spending her birthday evening helping someone else out, I wasn't surprised.  Not in the least bit.

My mom and I are the exact same personality types (ESFP) which means that when I was growing up we would sometimes butt heads.  Have you ever tried arguing with yourself?  It's exhausting!  You don't get anywhere!

As I've grown, though, I have been so pleased to see some of my mom's qualities in me.  I got from her my work ethic, my competitive spirit, my loyalty to family and friends.  (I also got from her my driving record, my fear of missing out, and my intense sweet tooth.)

When my dad died unexepectedly, my mom's world was completely turned upside down.  He had just sold his medical practice and they were planning to go on an LDS mission together in six months.  In a moment, all of my mom's plans for the future changed.

I think it would have been really easy for my mom to feel sorry for herself.  That kind of grief can be crippling for some.  People would say to my mom "Your husband's mission is now in heaven" and I remember my mom telling me, "Yes, but what about me?  What about my mission?"

In those months and years since my dad died, I have watched my mom devote her life to serving others.  She has volunteered to help missionaries who were struggling to read.  She works in an LDS temple.  She serves in her neighborhood.  She makes huge pots of soups and took dinner to people who just moved in, people who just had a baby, people who were struggling or sad.  She spends lots and lots of time with her grandchildren. She started a book club with other ladies her age who don't have husbands.  She fills her life with others and with others' needs.  (Oh, and she goes on a tropical vacation once a year with her other single friends.  She never forgets to have fun!)

I'm so grateful to look at my mom and the way she has always lived her life, but especially the way she has lived her life in the wake of my dad's death.  I believe strongly in the power of serving amidst our own suffering.  My mom has been the greatest example of it that I could hope for.  Her life is filled with the concerns and needs of others and I love her for it.   I love her for showing me the way.   For showing me how to think about others.

For showing me how to be strong.

Other posts about my mom are here and here.  She is so great.

(I am moving book club to next Wednesday, November 18.  That means you still have time to read "And Then There Were None."  Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

Monday, November 09, 2015

An Explosion of Necklaces and Such

Well, guys, my house looks like a jewelry bomb went off inside of it.  There are bracelets on the kitchen table, necklaces on the night stand, earrings in the bathtub.  We've been slaving away all weekend to get a bunch of necklaces made, pictures taken, listings up on etsy, etc, etc, etc.  We're trying to push hard in time for Christmas because rumor on the street is people buy stuff around Christmas time?  Yah, I don't get it either.

Wanna see what we've been working on?  Fine, if you insist!  Also, one day I'm going to write a post on what it's like to make jewelry and sell it on etsy.  It's kind of this fascinating little sub universe that I had no idea about.

VERTICAL BIRTHSTONE NECKLACES.  Might be my current fave.
These are 18 inch necklaces.  If you want one that hits mid torso, order the "Add Extra Chain" as well (an extra $5) and we'll get you a 30 inch bad boy.  I love them long and short. They come in all the birthstone colors + black + yellow + gray + gold + silver.

I'm wearing December here (turquoise).

HORIZONTAL NECKLACES.  Same concept, different shape. Again, all the birthstone colors + a couple of extra colors for kicks and giggles.

I'm wearing July here. (Ruby)

I like jewelry on my wrist because then I get to look at how pretty it is every day instead of other people looking at how pretty it is.  Same colors as above.  You can choose your bracelet length- 6.5", 7", or 7.5"

 March bracelet (aquamarine)

August (mint peridot), December (turquoise), and November (topaz).


All new items are ON SALE the first days of listing.  Necklaces will be regularly prices at $28 but they are $23 on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Bracelets are regularly priced at $22 and are $18 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

AND because we're doing a huge push before Christmas, if you share this blog post on your facebook or share about us in a post on instagram (@heyjuneshop) we will send you a coupon code for an extra $5 off your order.  Yes, we're practically giving this stuff away, but it's what you gotta do when you're getting started... gotta get that audience hooked, you know?  Email me after you share us on social media at and I'll zip you over the coupon code.  You guys are so great.  Thanks for all your support and love and good juju you send over to my family.  I feel it every day.

And now, to bed! To bed! To bed I said!

(Also, we're not done... we have birthstone earrings, baby bracelets, and more stud earrings before the week is out.  Phew!)

To be a mom

Nothing in this world has surprised me more than how much I enjoy being a mom.  I always knew I would "love" my own child, but I never in a million years imagined I would enjoy being a mom on this level.  And so, an ode to my favorite job ever.

What an unexpected joy this is, to be someone's mother, someone's protector, someone's number one comfort inducer.  To roll on the floor and do silly, stupid voices just to make her laugh.  To feel her little arms wrap around you.  To be constantly overwhelmed with joy and love and panic and worry.  To feed her big bites of oatmeal and yogurt and get only half of it in her mouth.  To know which cry is hers.  To look forward to nap time.  To look forward to her waking up from naptime.  To give a bath to her and watch her splash and try to drink the bath water. To realize that she has your nose.  To chase her down the hall and listen to her wild giggle.  To go into her room when she's sleeping just so you can look at how perfect she looks while she's sleeping.  To worry if she's warm enough.  To feel closer to your partner than ever before because you know no one in the world gets this love for her like he does.  To hear yourself saying a hundred times a day, "That is not a toy."  To have all vacations be more fun with her to share it with.  To give up your body for her needs.  To see her light up and start charging toward you when you enter a room.  To smell her horrendous diapers.  To want her to feel safe and protected in your home and in your arms.  To enjoy dressing her more than you enjoy dressing yourself. To want to somehow protect her from every heartache that life will deal her.  To always have someone trying to barge in on you while you're going to the bathroom.  To watch her fall asleep in your arms and to never want to get up because one day she won't be a baby and she won't sleep in your arms anymore.  To be constantly entertained by her.  To dress her up in mini Halloween costumes. To be amazed that she's yours every time you look at her. To hope desperately that she grows into a kind, thoughtful, independent, smart, loving woman.  To listen to her jabber away in her completely nonsensical baby language.  To feel her little body breathing in your arms.  To never have a personal bubble.  To share every food you ever eat because what's yours is now hers.  To wake up in the middle of the night to her cries and to be amazed that your mere presence can calm her down.  To have a constant mess left in her wake.  To read to her.  To feel frustrated and not good enough.  To feel overwhelmed with gratitude.  To want a million more babies because you love this one so much.  To never want another baby because you don't think you can love another one this much.  To be stretched.  To be tired.  To be needed.  To be loved.  To be happy.

This is what it is to be a mother.

The format of this post is copied after one I wrote several years ago entitled "To be Married"

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Lost Instruction Time: What Does Your School Do?

We survived October at the high school.  October's weird.  There are a lot of random days off. There's a fall break, a day off for parent teacher conference, a day off for end of the quarter. And then there's also a lot of assemblies, a PLAN test, and some random stuff the counselors have to do in my classroom, eating up our instruction time.  This year I have absolutely gone to battle over lost instruction time.  At our school the counselors have an amazing and detailed system in place for seniors to make sure that every student knows about scholarship opportunities, college deadlines, admission procedures, graduation requirements etc, etc, etc.  I think it is great and I love that they do such a good job of not letting students fall through the cracks.

BUT.  All of this comes at the expense of English teaching time. (And in the case of the seniors who are taking my class, their AP Literature instruction time).  English is the only class all students are required to take their senior year, so it makes sense that the best way to get information to every single student is to go through the English classrooms.  Counselors come in every month to give 10 minute presentations about scholarships and deadlines, they pull students out of English class to meet about graduation requirements (last month they took an entire class period to do this), and in a couple of weeks students will miss another entire class period to apply for colleges.  (This is a requirement in the state of Utah that students apply for colleges during school.  I love the idea of it- the execution needs some tweaking.)  The PLAN test was also administered during a B day, meaning that instead of 88 minute classes, we had 32 minute classes on that day.  College day and Josten's graduation assemblies have both been in the morning on B days- eating up that same AP Literature teaching time. 

SO.  I've been very frustrated with the limited time I feel like I've had to teach my AP class this year. 
I am not criticizing the great work that the counselors do- I love how in depth this program is and I wish there would have been something like this at my high school when I was a teenager.  Students at my school are very well informed, they have great relationships with their counselors, and they do not miss out on opportunities for colleges or scholarships.  BUT, I have a very hard time that my class is the one that is always sacrificed to make this happen.  Yesterday in a weird fit of rage I calculated every single minute that my AP Lit class has missed of instruction time due to counseling needs, assemblies, and late start meetings.  (This year my school implemented late start Thursdays for teachers to collaborate, share data, etc.  This means that students do not come to school until 9 am on those days.  Our instruction time each Thursday is cut by 20 minutes and it feels like quite a hit.)  During first quarter I lost 26% of my AP Literature instruction time.  These kids are forking over $100 to try to pass a huge test at the end of the year to earn college credits and they are only getting 74% of the time that they should be getting.  One of my colleagues said it best, " I have to question the wisdom of having students miss significant class time from courses required for graduation in order to learn more about graduation."

I've talked to the administration and counselors about this and we've agreed that a better system probably needs to be put into place, but we're having a bit of a hard time figuring out what that better system is.  I am guessing that the counselors feel like I am threatening the time they need to do their work and I feel like they are threatening the time I need to do my work.  Both works are important!  Certainly we don't have to sacrifice one to have the other?  I'd love to hear from other teachers, administrators or parents with kids in high school... how are you getting all the information you need about college, scholarships, graduation, etc to every high school senior without sacrificing English instruction time?  Give me some ideas so I can go to my principal loaded with solutions, not problems.  I am desperate to get this problem fixed!  I'm about to pull my hair out over here if I don't come up with some plausible solutions STAT.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

What are we going to do about daylight savings?

Dear blog world,

We gotta do something about daylight savings.  Can we all agree that it is just a complete mess?  I used to never be bothered by daylight savings.  I am now very bothered by it.   I believe that this is caused by two things: 

1)  I am older, and humans by nature like to complain more when they get older.  I suspect that with every passing year humans find more things that bother them until we all die as cranky 89 year olds.  Every birthday I have I find two or three more things in this world to be bugged by and add them to my list.  Daylight Savings made the list this year!

2) I now have a child.  June did not get the memo that we have all decided to shift our schedules one hour.  She wants her schedule the same.  She's being quite unruly about it, really.  Today she was an absolute mess by 6 pm.  I held off.  You can't put a baby to bed at 6 pm!  She'll be up awake by 5 am!  But she kicked and screamed and begged to go to bed.  I put her down at 6:30 with a blanket and she curled right up and was passed out cold before it was 6:32.  There will be hell to pay in the morning!  Daylight savings I blame you for this!

Of course, the easiest thing would be to not have daylight savings at all.  I kind of think I wouldn't mind it if we never shifted the hours.  But then people in Arizona sans daylight savings tell me that summer is horrible with the sun coming up at 4 am and all.  That sounds miserable.  And I admit I love the sunlight in the summer evenings.  July nights when it's still light at almost 10 pm are on my list of very favorite things in this world.

So I guess we could keep us on the daylight savings schedule forever?  But that won't work because then the sun won't come up in December until 9 am.  THIS IS NOT ALASKA, PEOPLE, WE CANNOT LIVE LIKE THAT.   Even now, in October it's pretty much dark until 8 am and that is horrible says every school teacher ever.  There isn't much that's more depressing than waking up, getting ready, and driving to work in the pitch black.  It's dark as midnight and you're on your way to a full day of seventeen year olds = constant depression and dread.

Here is my solution.  It ain't a good one, and it doesn't solve much.  But it's better than a current monstrosity.  I say we go back to the daylight savings switch being in October and April NOT November and March.  (Why did this change?  Does anyone know?  Who makes all these crazy daylight savings decisions and how do I stop them?!?) November is too late to change our hours back and March is too early.  By February I'm just starting to get a little light in the morning again and then the daylight savings gurus go and steal it away from me again.  Having the hour switch in November and March punishes people who start their days early.  That ain't nice!  People who wake up early and get their butts to work should be rewarded with sunlight!  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the extra light at night, but I certainly don't think we need it as early as March.  Let us early risers have some light too!

What is your perfect daylight savings solution?  Certainly there has to be one!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

I slept over with a bunch of bloggers and it was only a little weird

Back when I first started blogging I had the idea to go to a blogger get together.  I had seen it on some person's blog who lived in my area.  I had never met another blogger in real life.  I did not consider myself a blogger in real life.  But I wanted to go to this little blogger party (hosted by Elisabeth and Brooke who are both good friends of mine now) but I was totally terrified.

Well.  I went.  And I hid in a corner all night.  I mean, not literally.  Okay, fine.  Literally.  I LITERALLY HID OUT IN THE CORNER acting like there was something very important on my phone because I felt so awkward/stupid/weird.  I felt like a big fat fake which is a weird thing because anyone in the world can be a blogger but then in the same breath it somehow feels like this culture that is very exclusive.  OH BLOGGING.

The point is I felt like a true idiot and vowed to never go to another blogger get together.  It didn't help that I didn't win any prizes.  I mean, maybe if I won something it would have been some weird validation from the cosmos that I was destined to become a blogging superstar.  When I left I didn't think I'd ever go to another blogging get together again because obviously I was a blogging poser and the whole universe knew it.

Luckily I got over that.  Or I became desperate enough for friends to try again showing up alone to meet a bunch of strangers who I've only seen on the internet.  Yep.  It was that one.  Desperate for friends.

Last weekend I took the blogging get together thing to a whole new level and went to a BLOGGING SLEEPOVER.  Yes, such things exist, and yes such things are so awesome.  My internet/blogging friend turned real life friend, Aubrey Zaruba, hosted the event and she is detail oriented and thoughtful and a hard worker and everything that it takes to pull something off like a blogging sleepover.  I could never pull something like that off.  But I'm grateful that Aubrey could.

The night consisted of eating. Taking pictures. Talking blog. Getting blog/social media/small business advice. Eating. Laughing.  YOU KNOW.  There was unstructured/ chill time and then Aubrey had planned a couple of sessions of "blog talk" where we brought problems we were having or advice that we needed with our blogs/instagrams/ small businesses.  I confessed my undying hatred for Instagram loop giveaways and they said it's okay, Bonnie, calm down, and I did.  It was great.  Blog therapy, if you will.

No, but really.  It was blog therapy.  I left feeling so inspired and motivated with my blog.  My blog is like this totally sweet, hip boyfriend who I am totally crazy about until he hints that some other girl is prettier than me or delivers anonymous notes to me that the world hates me or won't leave me alone when I just want to lock myself in the bathroom.  Yep.  That's my blog.  We've all had boyfriends like that haven't we? (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, PAST BOYFRIENDS).  Sometimes I need breaks from my blog/ high maintenance boyfriend, but mostly I'm enormously grateful for it and the opportunities it has afforded me.  Lately I've been very grateful that I can earn a small income and cover our expenses through blogging campaigns while Greg is without work.  Last weekend I was grateful for my blog because of the great friends it introduced me to and the way it validated me and encouraged me.  Actually, my blog friends were doing that, but blog friends came because of blog, so thank you blog.

Friday night I stayed up late late late talking to Aubrey and Sarah.  I knew somewhere in the back of my head that we were probably slipping past the 2:00 hour and then past 3:00.  When we looked at the clock it was 5:30 am and I about peed my pants!  I thought "I can't be up until 5:30 am!  I have a baby!  That baby is going to wake up in an hour!" Nothing like motherhood to buzzkill your all nighters hard and quick.

BUT the important thing is that I WANTED to stay up that late talking to Sarah and Aubrey.  I felt such a closeness with them and a bonding that I've been missing since all my college besties took off and moved to different states.  The older I get the more I realize how important good girlfriends are in your life.  I am becoming a wise old guru, guys.

Saturday morning after an invigorating two hours of sleep, we had one last little blogger chat before we all had to take off.  We talked about goals moving forward with our blogs and things we will take with us from this sleepover.  I think all would agree that it took on almost a spiritual feel.  There was an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and motivation.  I think whatever you believe in religiously you can agree that there are things that speak to your soul and inspire you to be better, kinder, more forgiving.  This blogger sleepover did that for me.  I left feeling happier + lighter + more unburdened + motivated + grateful.

Be proud of me, people.  I've come away since hiding in corners.

And now.  Pictures.

Agnes and Dora hooked us up with these sweet leggings.  They are softer and more comfortable than I knew possible for leggings.  You can follow them on instagram @agnesanddora.

Sarah, Tayler, Yo.

Jordan, Jen, Aubrey, Sarah, Tayler, Yo, Kaylynn.  Kaylnn is great with child and walks around in a constant state of glow/bliss.  I'm jealous.


This is when Jen was telling us about spending a year and a half in Russia.  These girls are so bad A.  Jen was our hostess with the mostest.  The house was decked out head to toes in Halloween gear and she had sent her husband + two sons away on adventures so we girls could have the house all to ourselves.  It was such a beautiful home.  You know when you walk into a home and you can feel right away that someone very kind and purposeful about her life lives there with family whom she really cares about and works hard to take care of and protect?  That is how I felt when I was in that home.

Look at that diet coke with extra ice and lemons.  It was my nectar all night long.

Aubrey is so pretty and so great.  Thanks a million times for planning this, Aubrey.

We all slept in that bed together.


Or am I?

All pictures were taken by Jordan who is a ninja wizard behind a camera.  Follow her on insta @jordanbreephotography