The Life of Bon: 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

On 2015: An Essay

Before we do anything else I must tell you that plans for Bon's Book Club 2016 are well underway. We will be voting on the majority of our book selections next week, but I couldn't quite get my shiz together in time so I just chose our book for January because you get to do that when you're running your book club.  Empowering!

January's book selection is These is My Words by Nancy Turner.  It is one of my top 15 favorite books of all time and I think a great book to ring in the new year.  It has a very strong female lead who is funny, likeable, strong and crazy tough- all the stuff I love in my women and in my books.  I am really confident that you will all like it.  I've literally never met a person who read this book who didn't like it.  The book club discussion will go down on this blog on Thursday January 28 and Danica will be co-hosting it with me in her true Jedi knight fashion.

AND I am adding a new element to Bon's Book Club... an in real life meet up for those of you who are local.  I like the internet and all, but the truth is I like real life people a lot more.  I'm excited to expand my internet book club to my living room.  I think the two will really like each other.  Our IRL book club discussion will be on Tuesday January 26 at my home.  That'll give everybody a day or two to write their post for the 28th.  And there will be food.  Of course there will be food.  If you live somewhat locally please come and join us!  I will give more details as the date gets closer.

And now... let's talk about 2015!

Instagram has the virtue of making your life look a lot easier than it actually is.

I've never really liked New Year's.   I think it boils down to an experience I had at 13 years old to a boy/girl dance and not one boy asked me to dance.  I was totally bummed and when my dad asked me the next morning how it went I almost cried because I felt like such an ugly pathetic loser.  He told me, "Ah, New Year's is always kind of a let down.  It's a dumb holiday."  That somehow made me feel a lot better that someone else had been let down by New Year's Eve before.  Ever since then I have allowed New Years' to be a throw away holiday.  I never have expectations, I never care if I do anything fun, and I never look forward to it at all.

But this year I'm looking forward to New Year's.

I have never been so anxious in my life to be done with a year.  I have tried to be honest on this blog about what we've been going through in my home while still maintaining the privacy and protection of my family.  Some details will never be shared, but all you need to know is 2015 beat us up, kicked us around, and left us for dead on the side of the road.  We left jobs, we struggled with doubts and fears, we battled depression, we worried constantly about our financial, emotional, spiritual and marital stability.  Sometimes it felt like Greg and I were on the same team, sometimes it didn't.  I kept thinking it would get better and then it got harder.  It was a stupid hard 12 months and I have never been more ready to be done with a year.


2015 taught me more than any other year ever has.  I haven't learned or grown this much since the years I was on my mission and those were also stupid hard years.  I need to get it in my head that hard is not necessarily the opposite of good nor is it the opposite of happy. (Ask any new mom that one!)  Some of the best things in my life have come as a result of really hard circumstances  The year was hard, but I like the person that this year made me.  I know not all of you are religious and that's okay but when I was getting ready to go on my mission a speaker spoke to a group of  several hundred missionaries about the Old Testament story of Isaac and Abraham.  You know- God makes Abraham wait for decades for a child, Abraham finally has Isaac when he's 100 or so years old, God then asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac for Him.  Abraham struggles greatly, but is willing to do it.  An angel stops him right before he is about to kill Isaac and says it was a test from the Lord and the Lord doesn't really expect Abraham to do that.  It was always a pretty tough story for me to hear and understand.  But the speaker emphasized that the point of the sacrifice wasn't at all to show Abraham's willingness/obedience/strength to the Lord.  The Lord already knew that.  The purpose of the test was to show Abraham to Abraham.  The Lord already knew what Abraham could do, where Abraham's heart was, what Abraham's strengths were.  But Abraham didn't know that yet.

I've thought about that a lot the past few days as 2015 is winding down.  Why did I have to live through 2015 with all its accompanying suckiness?   I think God wanted to show Bonnie to Bonnie.  I think He needed me to know what I could handle and what I was capable of.  He needed me to know my strengths, to be more aware of my weaknesses, to just be a more aware and better person overall.  I think regardless of your spiritual beliefs, we can agree that there are times that test our spirits, that stretch us, that make us grow, that turn us into the people we need to become.  2015 was one of those years for me.

I look back to the person I was when this year started and the good news is I like the Bonnie at the end of the year better.  I made mistakes and I have a lot of regrets this year.   But I hope I have learned from all the crap of the year. I think I might be a little softer, more aware of others' pain, hopefully kinder.  Don't get me wrong, I still am not thrilled with myself all the time, but 2015 taught me some tough lessons that I needed about the kind of person I want to be from here on out. I am trying for love and patience and kindness above all else.

So bring on 2016!   I'm ready for peace, laughter, and lots and lots of slobbery baby kisses.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Larsen Family Photos 2015

December was madness for us-  we were up to our necks in jewelry and markets and sponsored posts and teaching seventeen year olds.  The best kind of madness.  But still.  Total madness.  Somehow in the middle of all this- on a day right before a handmade market that we were preparing for and the afternoon before a teacher evaluation for me at the school- we managed to get out to take some family pictures.  I almost cancelled about 700 times because the timing turned out to be just horrible but I knew I'd regret it if we didn't get some good professional pictures taken of us already.  We realized half an hour before that we hadn't even thought about what we were going to wear or how we were going to coordinate. (We all just ended up keeping our coats on so all of that debate didn't matter at all.  Funny how those things work out.)  But I was determined!  I wouldn't give up!  The snow had just fallen and the backdrop couldn't be prettier.  We missed the exit and were about half an hour late and all three of us were a bag of stress and nerves.  Greg said "I don't think there's any way this will possibly be worth it after all this" and I hated to admit that I thought he was probably right.

But guess what?

IT WAS WORTH IT.  When we saw the pictures we both agreed right on the spot- it was worth all the craziness of getting ready for family pictures.  Brooke sent me a few peeks that evening and my eyes instantly filled with tears.  How had the pictures turned out that good in the middle of our stressful day in the 30 degree weather with June crying 90% of the time?  How had Brooke worked this voodoo picture magic on us?

The world will never know.  But she did it.  Also ours was a "mini session" because I knew we didn't have much picture-taking-in-the-snow stamina.  The whole session probably lasted 20-25 minutes and then we were out of there.  I really can't recommend Brooke highly enough for pictures.  She's based out of the Phoenix area but has family in Utah so she comes up here sometimes and you can nab her while she's here to do some of her picture magic.  Also Brooke is still fairly new so she doesn't charge an arm and a leg.  So nice!  (Brooke's photography site is here.)

And now, the pictures!

I spy... a blue sour patch kid...

Thanks Brooke for making our family look really good in twenty minutes of 30 degree weather.  The world will never know how you did it!

(Also- a quick word about my coat.  It came from my friend's instragram shop @theundergroundpearl and it cost $24.   TWENTY FOUR DOLLARS.  Bridgette finds great deals, scours thrift stores, resales clothes from 30 years ago, etc, etc, etc all at amazing deals.  She gets her clothes from all over the places- some used some brand new- and sells them at such reasonable prices.  I got a sweater from her that I absolutely love too that I'll share later.  Seriously, go follow her instagram because you'll never find so much cute stuff and such good deals.)

Brooke's blog
Brooke's photography site
Bridgette's blog
Bridgette's instagram

Monday, December 28, 2015

Home again, Home again, jiggity jig

I logged onto my blog today for the first time in what I thought was a couple days.  Twelve.  Turns out it was twelve days.  It may be the longest I have ever gone without writing on my blog.  Sorry about that.

There's a lot I want to tell you about Christmas and New Year's and how I am ready to kick 2015 out the door forever and ever.  But first I want to talk about my mission... You know... the 18 months of complete joy and torture that I endured down South

Today marks seven years since I have been home from Argentina.  I feel like my life is divided into pre mission and post mission and the fact that the post mission side already has seven years on it absolutely terrifies.  You mean I'm not 22 anymore?  WHAT IS THIS HORRIBLENESS?

Before we dive in, a couple of disclaimers...

Disclaimer #1:  I am starting this post after midnight.  I promised myself all day long I would do this post and then, in typical holiday fashion, I procrastinated.  (Actually I started organizing the pen drawer.  It is the black hole of my home and it was driving me absolutely insane.)  And while I may break a lot of promises to other people, I never break a promise to myself, so here I am, right before bed, hammering out this post.

Disclaimer #2:  This post will be about my mission.  If you think hearing about my adventures is Argy is a big yawn fest then quit reading, for crying out loud!  No one is forcing you.  I'll never even know if you stop right here.

But I hope you don't.  Stop reading that is.  Because December 27 holds a special little place in my heart.  I'm a date person.  I remember all significant dates in my life.  Baptismal date, date I started my period, first date with Greg, engagement date, date I went on a trip to California four years ago, date I bombed a calculus test, they are all stored away in my pretty little head.  And TODAY'S DATE is very important.  You see, it was exactly three years ago on this date that I was returning home from my old mishky in Argky.

Join me on a trip down memory lane.  The plane ride home was intense.  Surreal. I don't think I have ever thought about anything as much as I thought about what the day would be like that I came home from my mission.  I was kind of homesick... alot... on my mission.  I was sitting next to Elder Ward and Elder Daily and we talked about how totally crazy it was that the mission had actually ended.  Elder Ward told me his sob story of the girlfriend who had dumped him on his mission and then married his best friend.  I nodded sympathetically, happy that I still had my ever-loyal-and-faithful boyfriend at home.  And by ever-loyal-and-faithful he had another girlfriend practically the whole time I was gone, so you know...  that one didn't work out.

I pictured the scene of my family waiting for me a million times.  They'd be crying certainly.  They'd tell me how long my hair had grown, how tan my skin was, how skinny my waist (not a good thing- those Argentine parasites got the best of me!).  One of these days I will figure out that I should stop imagining the perfect scenarios because it never works out the way I think it will.

The first thing that threw me for a loop was that my sister, Mindy, met me at the gate.  She had landed in Salt Lake less than an hour earlier, so she had just come to my gate to find me.  The second thing that threw me for a loop was that she was holding a baby.  Her baby.  I knew she had had a baby while I was gone, but it's just one of those things you don't fully register until you see it with your own eyes.

Mindy walked with me to baggage claim.  Her phone rang.  "Hello?  Hi mom.  Yah, I'm with her.  The plane just landed.  Seriously?  Okay...  I'll tell her.  See you in a few."  She hung up the phone.  "The fam is not here yet, mom had to make a few Christmas returns and your plane landed a few minutes early." 

Talk about anticlimactic.

So we went down the escalators, and I went to the bathroom while we waited for the rest of the family to show up.

Don't feel bad for me.  I understand.  I'm the seventh child in my family.  My family had already done the whole "Wait for your missionary at the bottom of the escalators" thing seven times.  By the time it was my turn the whole process had really lost its charm.

The whole fam damily arrived a few minutes later, carrying a darling sign my nephews had made and screaming "Welcome home, Bonnie!  We missed you!"  They told me I looked tan, they told me my hair was long, they told me my waist was small.  My mom took one look at the mission clothes I was wearing and concluded "We must go shopping for you, dear!"    They were forgiven.

I wasn't hungry, but the fam insisted we stop to get a bite to eat.  Something weird happened to my appetite in Argentina.  And by weird I mean that it completely disappeared.  We stopped at Cafe Rio and I could barely get five bites down.  We drove home to Price, and dad made pizza and I didn't even eat a whole slice.  Mostly I just remember walking around the house in a daze, not believing that I was actually home, everything seeming so foreign and so familiar at the same time.  Everyone was watching a Jazz game and talking and laughing.  I felt weird.  So I went to bed.  It was 7:30.

I was in a new land.  I felt as weird as I had felt when I first arrived in Argentina a year and a half ago.  And oh, the snow.  That year it dumped snow days before I came home.  I went from sleeping on the roof and sweating through my shirts in minutes to a foot of powder and bundling up in four sweaters to keep warm.

I felt so misplaced.  Nobody told me that it was hard to come home from the mission.  I didn't fit in anymore.  Everything was too clean.  Too nice.  Too rich.  While I was on the mission, the big 2008 recession had hit, but I didn't see no recession.  I saw cars and tile and microwaves and carpet and girls with new clothes and this ain't no recession, people.  This is prosperity.

My big break down came a day later at the Burger King.  Something about the ease of Burger King was too much for me to take in.  Everything in that fast food restaurant screamed of wealth and luxury and ease.  It was so simple to get a burger.  So effortless.  Two bucks and I had meat in my mouth, none of this slaving away over every scrap of food and living on dirt floors and washing clothes by hand.  I couldn't handle leaving a third world country.  Going from so little to so much completely did me in.  So out of nowhere, I started dripping big fat tears into my half eaten Whopper.

"What's wrong, Bonnie?  What's going on?"  My mom rushed to my aid,  "We know it's hard, you'll have to adjust, you've been in a third world country for 18 months, but you'll be okay."  My siblings added their two cents, "I remember it was hard for me too!  I missed the mission, I felt like I didn't belong at home..."  They hugged, they comforted, they wiped my tears and told me how much they loved me.

It was sometime during that Burger King hug session that I realized that no matter how much I missed Argentina and no matter how hard it would be for me to adjust back to living a normal life, I did know one thing for certain. 

It was good to be home.

Excerpts of this post were originally published on December 28, 2011.  
I've been blogging for way too long.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet... ?

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

Check the box that applies to you.

In terms of my Christmas shopping I...

[ ]  Have finished my shopping

[ ] Am making progress on my Christmas shopping


If you checked box number one, then congratulations you have figured out the secret to life at Christmas and we all could learn from your greatness and wisdom.  If you checked box 2 or 3 then have no fear I am here to help!

As a little girl my grandma used to always give us boxed makeup and perfume sets for Christmas and I LOVED it.  I think I loved it so much because my mom wouldn't let me wear makeup yet so when I saw the makeup and perfume I felt like my grandma really got me.  She understood my excitement to wear perfume, to shave my legs, to be grown up now!  

My grandma passed away 8 years ago, but whenever I see these perfume gift sets at Christmas time now I think of her.  I swear I can still smell the perfume now.

This year I am excited to be gifting a COTY Katy Perry Mad Potion gift set to two of my cousins.  I mentioned on this blog a couple of months ago that my cousin lost her husband, leaving behind seven small children.  I've gotten to spend a little bit of extra time with these kids and I wanted to give a little gift to the two oldest girls who are so strong and going through so much right now.  There's a special place in my heart for girls who have lost their daddies too soon and even though it's a pretty simple gesture, I'm excited to be able to give this Katy Perry MAD potion to them this Christmas.  And if I know pre teen girls like I think I do, nothing is better in their world than a Katy Perry perfume set.

The best thing about these gift sets is that they make giving a breeze.  Every Christmas I feel slightly more frantic than the one before and I wonder how I will get everything done before Christmas.  COTY perfume gifts sets make giving quick and simple during the hustle and bustle of the season- I mean, it's practically even wrapped for you! 

Find ways to give this holiday season here.  

You can find your COTY gift set right smack in the middle of the aisle at Wal-mart.  They're hard to miss this time of year :)

Thank you so much to all you readers for supporting the brands that support my blog.  I enjoy doing all my sponsored posts, but this one was especially fun because CHRISTMAS and because I get to give this gift set away and I know those little girls are going to love it.  It's because of my readers that I get these cool opportunities so THANK YOU.

Last day to order!

Today is the last day to order from Hey June for guaranteed Christmas delivery!  And because I have a special place in my heart for people who always seem to be running just a little bit late, (it's not an easy way to live!) I am offering up a 24 hour discount code for today only.  Anyone who orders from 10 am MST 12/16 to 10 am MST 12/17 will receive 20% off your entire order with the code LATEBIRD.  Hopefully this is the push you need to finally get those Christmas presents bought!

Thanks so much for all your support thus far.  I have the greatest blog readers in the world.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Letter to Ben H. from June: (A guest post by Greg)

As an early Christmas present to all readers, I have decided to give you another guest post.  Yes, this is I, the man behind the curtains.  The shadow behind the giant.  The afterbirth behind the… yeah that one doesn’t work.

Yes it is Greg (the husband).  You may have read my last guest post, and I’m sure it might have left you confused, maybe disgusted, probably a little seduced.  Well prepare yourself for this next one!

As always (always being one time) I shall be writing a Bachelor related post.  Recently the female contestants for the upcoming season of The Bachelor have been announced.  To be honest no one is good enough for Ben H. The man is like Hercules.  No mortal can be with Hercules!  Disney tried, but Meg was never good enough for him and she’s only going to hold him back from achieving his rightful deity and plus she tricked him into fighting the hydra.  Sorry, little bit of a tangent.  But the world isn’t Disney! The world is reality T.V!

This has really left me wondering if anyone has a chance to be with Ben H.  I went through all the great possibilities in my head.  Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga, The Pope, Kate Middleton if she got a divorce… Nothing seemed to fit.  But then it came to me! The answer was inside of me! Literally from inside of me, my own flesh and blood…  Yes! My daughter, June!

June has been cursed with my red hair, but maybe she was gifted with my supreme understanding and respect for Ben H.  I talked with June about this whole situation, and she has agreed to send a petition to Ben H in order to be considered.  I had to do some translating to make it work.  It’s mostly the pros and cons of being together with her.  I hope you all agree that she would be a perfect fit.

Dear Ben,

Firstly, I would like to apologize if my dad has come off a little too strong.  Strong being the emails, invitations to dinner, animal sacrifices to you etc.  I want you to know that there are no weird intentions from him, and that he is loyal to my mom on a near serial killer/psychotic level.

My name is June.  I am 17 months old.  I have fiery red hair and an attitude to match it.  I want to tell you some pros to choosing me as a contestant on your show.

I am very easy to entertain.  I still think peekaboo is absolutely hilarious (where did you go!?) it gets me every time.

-          I’ve become very independent and won’t be one of those needy girlfriends.  If you litter the room with toys, I am totally fine for up to ten minutes playing all by myself.

-          I think farts are funny.  So you can let them fly.

-          I am a very good listener, especially if you read me stories.  (Something with pictures please).

-          I am an animal person.  Except sometimes I accidentally hurt them so they need to be durable.

-          I’m not picky with food.  But you do have to cut it up and don’t ever try to feed me!

-          I love movies.  My favorite is Curious George; that monkey is freaking hysterical.

-          I am a morning person.  Sometimes even a middle of the night person.  Sheesh, sometimes I never sleep at all!

Now, I know you might be in love with me already. But I have to admit that I do have some flaws.  Please be patient and understanding.

-          I have a little bit of a temper.  And I will throw things.  I won’t throw them far, but dang it, I will throw them!

-          I laugh at my own jokes.  Farts are considered jokes right?

-         There is a 50% chance that I will poo my pants during our date, and a 100% chance that you will have to clean it up.

-          I will get very cranky around 7 and I should go to bed.  But If we keep me up, I will bounce back around 9.  But then there’s little hope of me going to bed ever, so, well, just be prepared to hang with me all night.

-          I don’t know how to clean up after myself.  I just don’t understand the purpose.

-          If I see a dog during mid-conversation I will scream out “DOG!”  even if you are in the middle of a beautiful story.  This has offended people in the past.

-          You might have to hold my hand during walks.  Not because it is romantic, but because I will fall down otherwise.

-          I don’t know how to give hugs.  I choose head butts instead.

-          I will use your toilet a lot.  Not to go to the bathroom in, but to fill it with toilet paper, jewelry, hair bows etc.

      I am sorry to say that I haven't quite mastered how to kiss yet.  I will come in really strong but finish weak with a sloppy, spitty, and sometimes even boogery kiss.  I try to hit the mouth but a lot of times I miss entirely and just nail the lower chin instead.  

-        My teeth look a little like Gollum.  I'm sorry, but I really have no control over this.

Well now you know my best and my worst.  I hope to see you soon.  I really do think we could make a great match.

Head butts and farts,
June Bug.

What do you think?  Is she the perfect match for Ben. H or what?


Pssst... Bonnie here.  We caught an episode of this show last night and LOVED it.  Has anyone watched the whole series?  Is it worth investing in?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I need to read some books and you're going to help me.

Bon's Book Club 2015 selection.  Anyone read them all?

You guys.  I'm in a slump.  A reading slump.  They're the worst kind of slumps to be in because with most slumps I pull myself out by relaxing, taking bubble baths and reading.  Well how do you pull yourself out of a reading slump if you can't read?  TEEN MOM MARATHONS?!?!  Because I tell you, that isn't helping anything.  And yes I've been watching a lot of Teen Mom.  I watch it while I make your jewelry.  My life seems very stable compared to theirs and I leave feeling good about my own life and where I'm at so I guess it's cheaper than therapy?

Anyhoo... I'm looking to all of you to help me out of my reading slump.  I am kind of sort of reading And Then There Were None.  This was supposed to be the October book for Bon's book club and then I postponed it until November and then I postponed it until December and then I never wrote it and just hoped none of you noticed.  And I don't think any of you did!  Chalk that up as a win for me!   I just couldn't get into it.  It was a little too cheesy and predictable for me.  It kind of felt like watching an old, horribly made movie.  Like I kept rolling my eyes and thinking, "this would never fly if she tried to publish this today."  Are you allowed to say that about a writer who has supposedly published more books than anyone besides Shakespeare?  Well I just did.  And can we all just admit that Agatha Christie certainly ain't no Shakespeare?  She does not do it for me!

BUT I felt like I couldn't quit on And Then There Were None because 1) I have this stupid complex about finishing books and 2) it was a book club selection for the book club that I started and host so I thought I definitely definitely had to read it.  Well I didn't read it.  And I'm still alive.  And right now I am admitting to myself and to all of you that I'm not going to finish it and that I'm going to allow myself to read something else Agatha-Christie-guilt-free.

So now I'm looking for some book ideas because I have two weeks off of work and blog and business coming up and I want TO READ.  Also 2016 is around the corner and we've got to find some 2016 selections for Bon's Book Club!  Tell me... what do you want to read?  What are the best books you've read this year?  What book would be perfect for an online book club selection?  For book club selection keep in mind that the book needs to be readable in a month so nowhere more than 400 pages or so.  Also as far as content goes, keep it somewhat PG-13... no insane amount of profanity or crazy graphic sex scenes...  I don't know.  I'm not too conservative with what I read, but we want it to be a book that most people feel comfortable reading and discussing.  (Sorry--- those guidelines are super vague, I know.)

I will take all of your suggestions for books and we will vote for 2016 book selections a week from today- on December 21.  I'll get the list compiled over Christmas break and we'll be all ready to go for the new year.  We need ten books- January through October and book club will always be the last Thursday of the month.  Read the book, write a blog post discussing the book, and then come here to talk about it.  It's so easy to be in book club!

I am looking for a few ways to be more successful with book club this year.  More consistency from the host (ahem... we're looking at you, Bonnie) is obviously key.  I would like to have a co-host each month again, but last year I made the mistake of scheduling all the co-hosts at the beginning of the year and it got too hard to keep track of.  So this year we're going to take it month by month.  Would any of you who live in Utah be interested in a in real life blogger/book club night?  Any other suggestions from you of ways to make book club more successful?  My dream is to have as many people checking in for book club posts as "how we wore it" posts.  Can't bloggers like both clothes and books?  DO I ASK TOO MUCH?!?!?

Alright.  I've talked long enough.  Give me some book suggestions.  Some things that I have wanted to read are:

Between parent and child- parenting book that was highly recommend to me.
Quiet- nonfiction book about introverts
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Anything by Anne Lamott
All the Stars in the Heaven (Clark Gable, Loretta Young romance)
Major Pettigrew's last stand- recommended by a friend

Let's talk books baby!


- I admit that part of the reason I haven't been reading as much lately is because late at night I've been downing episodes of this with Greg.  We can't get enough!

- If you live in Utah and are looking for some inside fun things to do this winter, I found this list to be helpful.

- One of my favorite bloggers of all time is Elizabeth Ivie.  She doesn't blog anymore, but she does have a rocking etsy shop.  If you're in the market for baby sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. she's got you covered.  She's been a huge inspiration of mine in blogging and teaching for forever and now she inspires me with her business.  So cool to see women out there just getting it done.

- This post by Danica (Stop telling Teens to Put Away their phones) has had me thinking for weeks now.  I always take my students' cell phones when they are on them during class but I always struggle with the choice.  What do you think?!?

- June's been a hot mess lately.  I've started putting these in every room in the house for some damage control.  How does anyone make it through toddlerhood?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Get yer deals!

Hi folks!

Just checking in real quick to let you know of a few deals we've got going on over at Hey June.  I love love love LOVE these gold filled (or sterling silver) and cubic zirconia dainty balls and squares.  They are perfect for holidays and every day wear.  BUT I have got my eyes on some new products I want to make for the new year, so I am marking these down to make room for new inventory.

SO... these are marked down from $28 to $18 AND Free shipping.  18 bucks straight up will get you your necklace at your door.  Great gifts for sisters, teachers, friends, etc.  You won't find such good quality at this low of a price anywhere else.  Gold filled and sterling silver is metal that will NOT turn colors or turn your neck colors--- pieces meant to last!

You can find those listings here here and here.  (Offer good only while supplies last)

And these open gold circles (14k gold filled) are on sale for $24 with no shipping charges through the end of the week.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Open gold circle necklace listing is here.

Last day to order for guaranteed Christmas delivery for international shipping is December 10. (TODAY.)
Last day to order for guaranteed Christmas delivery for domestic shipping is December 16.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


Alright ladies and gents... um... probably just ladies... it's time for another How we wore it!  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?  Two fashion posts in a row?  What is going on around here?  Does Bonnie think she is a full on fashion blogger now?  The answer is yes!  Of course!  I always think I'm a full on fashion blogger, how else do you think I talk myself out of bed each morning?  By showing the world how great I look in clothes, no doubt!

But seriously.  Sorry for the two "fashion" posts in a row.  Balance always eludes me.  

This month's How We Wore It (Hosted each month by Brooke... if you want in on next month's theme, sign up on the google doc at the bottom of her post today) is taken from Shanna from Shanna Said So.  Here it is:

And here's my take on it:

Boots: Shoe Mint
Dress:  Old Navy maternity and you can't make me stop wearing it
Cardigan: Gap
Leggings: Forever 21
Scarf: Somewhere in Germany
Lipstick: Hot pink of course

About the outfit...

I might be the only blogger on the whole planet who isn't in love with scarves.  They just don't really do it for me.  I didn't have a big blanket or plaid scarf to pair with this outfit because I rarely wear scarves.  I get hot inside.  And my neck gets itchy.  And I start to feel like I can't move and I'm never going to escape and the world is caving in on me and I'm going to die sad and alone.

That's why I don't wear scarves.  This lightweight infinity scarf that I picked up from a street vendor while visiting my sister in Germany is about as scarfy as you are ever going to see me.

Also I struggled finding a sweater for this.  I used to wear cardigans ALL THE TIME and now I am afraid they just look way too teachery and I almost never wear them anymore.  What is wrong with me people?

If you want to see how other hottie patottie bloggers feel about plaid blanket scarves then here you go!

Brooke at Silver Lining
Robin at Penn & Quill
Aubrey at Aubrey Zaruba
Maren at Maren and Co
Brielle at Breezy and Co
Tayler at The Morrell Tale
Sharlee at My New Lines
Berkley at Berkley Anne
Jennifer at The Pepper Express
Alexa at He and I
Hannah at Hannah Rae
Rachel at Rachel Sayumi
Amy at Harris Inc.
Brooklyn at Brooklyn Jolley
Jennifer at Jennifer Sikora
Bonnie at The Life of Bon
Sarah at My For Real Life
Kyla at FordOlogy
Riley at Riley Jo Blog
Shelbie at R+S Brereton
Sierra at Sierra's View
Emma at Ever Emma
Danica at Danikan Skywalker
Deidre at Deidre Emme

IN OTHER NEWS... I took June to her 15 month check up today.  She's almost 17 months, but you know, 15 months 17 months, it's all the same.  The real reason I waited so long is because we've been in between insurances (And when I say between insurances that's really just a nice way of saying we've been without insurance.  Blogging is all about sugar coating it, am I right?)  since Greg resigned from his job so I kept putting off her checkup.  To get health insurance through my employment for our family of three is a very reasonably priced $950.  I mean, I was expecting it to be high, but my jaw hit the floor with that. WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR WORLD THAT THAT IS THE PRICE OF INSURANCE FOR A HEALTHY YOUNG FAMILY?  So we are looking into other options, namely Obamacare.  Anyone have some Obamacare experience they want to share with me?  The insurance world is all just so confusing.  How do most people cover themselves who don't have health insurance through their jobs?  It seriously seems almost like something that is only affordable to those who are either a) very wealthy or b) have a traditional job with traditional hours and traditional benefits.  But what about the rest of us, you know?  People who teach literature part time and start small businesses and write on a totally awesome blog for their income?  Must these people be forced to fork over $950 a month for health insurance?!  MUST WE?!?!  We still haven't figured out a solution for our family, but I got anxious putting off the visit any longer so I put on my big girl panties and just paid for her visit out of pocket today.

ANYWAY... this post was never supposed to be about health care.  It was supposed to be about June's check up!  Junebug has gone and turned into a giant on us.  For her entire baby life June has been in the 1st percentile.  She kept right on that curve, slow and steady, never budged an inch.  Well, what do you know, today we went in and she was in the 11th percentile!  Straight up had a growth spurt on us when our backs were turned.  Hurray for growing babies who are now toddlers!

We were all feeling pretty good about June's sudden growth when the nurse came in and stuck June real good with her vaccinations.  In typical toddler fashion, June screamed to beat the band and flipped and kicked all over that table.  Is it just me or are their shots harder the older they get?

In other news I have not started my Christmas shopping.  I have started a lot of YOUR Christmas shopping, however.  We've been working away here in my home getting your jewelry orders out from Hey June.  We feel so grateful for all your support with our small business. 2000 more orders and we might be able to afford health insurance!  (I kid I kid...  Kind of.)  But seriously, working and making jewelry from home has thus far been everything we hoped it would be and maybe even a little more.  We feel very grateful.  If you are wanting to buy something shiny and purty for a loved one for Christmas, make sure you order by December 17.  Last day for Christmas delivery is the 17th and then we're shutting down shop and watching a lot of Elf in our pajamas and you can't stop us!

(Pssst... can you see comments and or make comments on this post?  My friend told me she is no longer able to see comments or comment herself on my blog and naturally I am having a panic attack as any good blogger would.)

Sunday, December 06, 2015

What I Wore + What We Did In Class

Thank you to Aubrey for snapping these awesome pics.
(And when I say "snapping" it was very much staged and set up, but we can pretend it was just a quick snip snap, right?)

Hey, let's start doing these classroom posts with a little more regularity, eh?  YES.  I mean can someone around here post with a some consistency, PLEASE?!?

Um... yah.  I'm trying to be better.  I'm hoping to do What We Did In Class posts twice a month.  But I've stopped making guarantees.  I am only one woman, after all. 

Necklace: Gold pearl necklace from Hey June
Dress: c/o Micha Maxi dress from Shabby Apple.

I LOVE maxi dresses and skirts for the winter.  I have always tried to wear mostly skirts and dresses to work, but winter gets a little tough because Utah in winter in skirts is cold.  Tights also warm me up, but they make me feel like someone is trying to squeeze my intestines out of my belly.  So then I end up wearing ugly, baggy work pants or I just give up the fight entirely and wear jeans.  Maxi dresses for the winter win!

(Also you may notice one certain flat region on my body.  I was so excited to get rid of my nursing wardrobe, but with it went the nursing chest endowment.  YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, PEOPLE!)


A few weeks ago we finished up our Scarlet Letter unit.  I feel like I am questioning everything when it comes to juniors.  I used to love all the material and now I'm just like, 'oh gosh, THIS again?'  That may mean it's time for me to take a break from the junior curriculum (6 years strong, yah baby!)  It's hard for me to get them to buy into Scarlet Letter like I used to be able to do. (And yes, you always have to get high schoolers to buy in).  I felt like this year they were all like, "Why are we muddling through this atrocity?!?" and I was just like, "I know, right?!?"

With a regular junior class I have always done a condensed version of Scarlet Letter.  I put students into groups of three or four and then as a group they are assigned two or three chapters of the book.  They only have to read those three chapters and then as a group they present to the class in a fun and interesting way what happened in those chapters.  We go in order of the chapters of the book.  This way students learn everything that happened in the book + are exposed to Hawthorne's language + get a taste of the time period and the culture + become familiar with the themes of a classic piece of literature.  All of this WITHOUT having to drag 70 juniors who struggle with reading through the entire 200 + pages of Scarlet Letter.  Sounds like a great plan, right?

Up until this year I have always thought so, at least.  This year I just doubted everything.  More students struggled with this assignment than ever before.  The students were so confused, couldn't handle reading isolated chapters in a book, (which I admit, is a very hard task, but I have always felt like students before could manage it ok) didn't understand what they were supposed to present, etc, etc, etc.  I also had so many issues with the groups.  Kids being mean to each other, kids not showing up on the day of the presentation and screwing the rest of their group over, kids randomly leaving groups and trying to join other groups.  I guess this year I just felt very tired  the entire time we were doing Scarlet Letter.  I told Greg, "I don't know if I am becoming a worse teacher or if my students this year just struggle more, but this year it just feels like it's harder to teach than in years before.  I did the exact same assignment as I've done years in the past but it was ten times as hard."   I don't know what is going on.  I do know I'm not teaching Scarlet Letter to regular juniors again.

(Ugh.  I say that but I know next year I'll feel guilty if I don't teach them Scarlet Letter.  I have this weird complex with Scarlet Letter... like every student must at least know the basic story in order to understand half of our society's pop and culture references.  I need to just let Scarlet Letter go.)


We crawled through Hamlet and finally tested on it a week before Thanksgiving.  I know that Hamlet is important to teach and I generally really enjoy it, but by about Act 4 we're all just rolling our eyes like "Hamlet!  Do something already you idiot!  We can't take your "Do I give my uncle or do I not?" ramblings much longer!"

One of the best things about teaching Shakespeare, or teaching plays in general, is that you get to act them out in class with the students.  My AP kids are all about this- lots of them are involved in theater and they get into their parts.  Because of some previous ins with the school's theater teacher, (wink wink) I have collected a great deal of theater props in my room.  Capes, swords, hats, etc.  It makes reading plays as a class much more fun!  The kids switch off parts, and I often have them stand up and act out the lines as they go.  This seriously makes all the difference when we're reading plays.  (My suggestion if you are reading parts in the class together is always take the biggest part for yourself.  That way you can control how those lines are read so that the students get what they are supposed to out of it, and it speeds up the reading process.  I always take the biggest chunk of lines and it makes reading the play out loud together much more cohesive and smooth.)

If there are any teachers out there who need some ideas to spice up your Shakespeare teaching, may I recommend the Shakespeare Set Free teaching manual?  It is a TERRIFIC teaching book for each Shakespeare play that give ideas for each act and scene on how to make the text come alive and make it more interesting for kids.  Almost every scene is acted out in some way or other and the book guides you through exactly how to do it.  I have used the Hamlet Shakespeare Set Free for two years now and have absolutely loved it.  I won't teach a Shakespeare play again without the Shakespeare Set Free guide helping me along.

My favorite scenes to teach in Hamlet were:

(Um... if you've never read Hamlet and want to be surprised when you do, there are definitely major spoilers coming up.  So read at your own risk.)

Opening ghost scene with Hamlet's ghost dad.  For this scene we turned off all the lights and lit candles to give it that nightlike atmosphere.  We draped a sheet over our ghost who silently paced the back of the classroom. So eerie!  (Idea taken from Shakespeare Set Free, as are almost all of these.)

Ophelia describing to her dad how mad/crazy Hamlet has been acting.  Students got in groups and did a pantomime for this scene, showing the actions of every weird thing Hamlet was doing.

Laertes and Polonius giving Ophelia love advice.  In groups, students did a modern day interpretation of the dialogue in 60 seconds or less of this scene and then performed them for this class.  We were all crying we were laughing so hard.

"Get thee to a nunnery"/ King and Polonius spying on Hamlet and Ophelia   This scene is just----- ah, one of my favorite scenes in all of literature.  Hamlet is so conflicted and crazy and Ophelia feels so hurt and betrayed.  I just can never get enough of this scene.  I have my King and Polonius hide behind a sheet the whole time so we all get it real clear in our head that they are doing some detective work. (Same sheet as ghost!)

Who's under that sheet?  It can't possibly be the King can it?!

Hamlet talking to his mom in her bedroom/ weird sexual tension/ Hamlet kills Polonius.  This one we full on act out- We set up desks and blankets and pillows to look like a bed and then we had one kid acting as Polonius hiding behing the arras/ tapestry (really a black graduation gown).  I also have pictures set on a night stand  for when Hamlet is comparing the picture of his dad to his uncle.  This is one of the most fun scenes to act out.

Bedroom scene.  Oh la la!  (Notice my picture of the dead Hamlet?  HAHA)

Gravedigger scene/ Hamlet's convo with Yorick. For this scene students again had to act it out in groups- I had one student make up a grave digger song to the tune of Sam Smith's "Lay Me Down" that was so fantastic I made him come back and do it for the next period so they could see it and so we could film it.  "Yes, I do, I dig graves, I'm a grave digger it's true..."   Best performance ever!  Now I am constantly singing it because it is the catchiest little song you're ever going to hear.

Ending scene/ Hamlet and Laertes battle/ everybody dies.  For this scene we put the chairs in a big circle in the classroom and had students act out the battle in the middle of the room.  We got drinks to use for the poison, my king sat in a "throne" (my cushioned desk chair) at the head of the circle with his queen next to him, and we got perfect fake swords for Laertes and Hamlet to duel with.  By the end of the class period I had about six "dead" students lying on the floor and it was PERFECT.

All pictures are used with written consent from parent and student.

Have I convinced you to use Shakespeare Set Free when you teach Shakespeare yet?  It seriously makes all the difference!

One little note here before I sign off.  I started teaching Hamlet immediately after Greg quit at the school.  It was an extremely difficult month personally for me, but I was  so grateful for my mad Hamlet and for my sweet sweet students who were willing and anxious to learn.  I absolutely loved teach Hamlet and I felt a lot of healing and strength and happiness as I was teaching this play.  I really really really love teaching these crazy high schoolers, and I feel so grateful for my job and my interactions with these special kids.  In the past months this job has absolutely been a highlight, a joy, and a healing power in my life.  I am so grateful for this job.

Rock on.