Alexa Z Design Etsy Shop Review

The lovely Alexa, from the Alexa Z Design Etsy shop sent me two prints to review. I had the hardest time deciding which two to review! If you don’t know me, I am very indecisive…so it took me days to decide haha. The two that I choose are:

1 >> Eat Well Travel Often


I chose to put it in a small area in between the entrance to our kitchen and our main level bathroom. The funniest thing was, that when I showed Kevin this print, he loved it, and asked if he could take it to work. He loves to eat and travel, haha. That is partly why I chose this print. We both love food and LOVE to travel! I told him no and he was bummed. He seriously was going to take it to work. I told him where I wanted to hang it and then he decided it was a good idea :) Basically, if you and your husband both agree on a piece of home décor, you know you have a winner. This print is a winner! {On a side note, ignore the kitchen cabinets. I FINALLY moved back in and we have to put a wood piece above the fridge and same with the vertical piece to the right of the cabinet over the fridge as well…hopefully that made a little sense, ha.) I was planning to show more of the kitchen in this review but…we don’t even have backsplash so, it didn’t work out. It isn’t ready yet. It is now officially livable though, so baby steps!


2 >> I Love You To The Moon & Back

IMG_3117I Love You to the Moon and Back 8x10 Print - Free Shipping

I chose this print for Ryder’s room because I loved it and he still needs some stuff to decorate his room. It worked out perfectly. Right now it is on the nightstand next to a rocking chair in his room but I think I will hang it on his wall soon :)

Here are just a couple more of my favorites!

>> Floral Ampersand & I Heart NY & Pretzels

il_570xN.444678828_nojvI Heart NY and Pretzels - 8x10 Print

>> Teal Blue & Yellow World Map

Teal Blue and  Yellow 8x10 World Map Print

I was very impressed with the quality of her prints. When they came, they looked amazing! It sure made for a happy mail day! They also look great in our house. Be sure to check out her prints, because they are darling. And bonus…free shipping!

Thanks so much Alexa!

Check her out!

Alexa Z Design Etsy Shop // Facebook // Blog 

(By the way, she has the cutest little lady Ellie…& Ryder thinks she is cute & they are super close in age... So at least go check her out hehe. Also, her photos are amazing. I am jealous.)


Sloans Take Cali Part 3: Huntington Beach with BYU Baseball friends

See the first parts of our California trip…

Sloans Take Cali Part 1 &

Sloans Take Cali Part 2: Huntington Beach with Al

Friday, June 7th, Kevin went off to some business meetings and Ryder and I got ready and hung out. We were going to hang out with my friend Amanda Castleberry and her baby girl, Ella, in Newport Beach, but Ella was getting over being sick, so unfortunately it didn’t work out.

After Kevin came back from some meeting, we met up with one of his former BYU Baseball pitching coaches, Coach Applegate. We met him at JT Schmidt’s which I think was actually in Anaheim. It was a pretty good restaurant! Kevin, of course, had a great time talking baseball with him and catching up. It was his first time meeting Ryder too!


^^ My meal: a chicken sandwich and really yummy sweet potato fries!


^^ Family photo!


^^ Coach Applegate, Kevin, & Ryder

^^ Ryder in Huntington Beach

After we had lunch at JT Schmidt’s, we went to hang out at the shops at Huntington Beach for a bit. We were going to meet up with our friends, Blake, Whitney, & baby Tyler Torgerson around there later that evening. Kevin played baseball with Blake at BYU and they were both pitchers, so that is how we know them! We were killing some time so we shopped at Forever 21 and American Apparel. That was definitely ok with me :) We also browsed some super cute swim stores with vintage suits that I reallly wanted! I do think it is time for a new swimming suit though… We actually ended up meeting the Torgerson’s at Slater’s 50/50 which is a pretty popular new restaurant in Huntington Beach.


^^ Slater’s 50/50 is known for their burgers. Their burgers are made of 50% beef and 50% bacon! They are delicious! The burgers are huge so just a heads up in case you go there. You can probably split it with someone and be full (with a small order of fries ;)). Kevin and I split the burger above. It is their most popular one…and I forget what it is called. They also have awesome sweet potato fries as well.


^^ Blake, Tyler, Kevin, & Ryder

^^ Blake, Whitney, Tyler, Ashley, Ryder, & Kevin :D

It was a lot of fun to catch up with them! I wish that all of our good BYU friends could all live in one place. That would be a lot of fun. Too bad Tyler and Ryder can’t grow up being buds! I bet they both would have fun playing sports, maybe even baseball, together :) Sadly, Tyler was sick so they had to leave early from dinner but we are just glad we could hang out and see them for a little bit. I can’t wait for the next time when we can come to California…no clue when that will be, haha.

Next post will be the last post on our California trip!


Sloans Take Cali Part 2: Huntington Beach with Al

See the beginnings of our California trip here.

After Ryder and I swam for a couple of hours on Thursday, June 6th, we got ready to hang out with one of my best friends from BYU…Alexandra Sullivan! I have so many good memories of hanging out with her back in the good ol’ days and was so excited to see her again and for her to meet Ryder. The last time I saw her was T H R E E years ago. Guys. Three years! Within that 3 years, we both graduated from BYU, she did the Teach for America program in Louisiana, she became a teacher in Huntington Beach, California, I moved to Colorado, bought a house, worked for a year, and became pregnant and had Ryder! So much has happened and it was so good to see her. The hotel that Kevin and I stayed at was in Garden Grove. Kevin was in LA meeting with some fashion guy and checking out stores in Hollywood so I didn’t have a car. I mean, I came along with him on this business trip because the tickets to Cali were cheap, so I hung around and saw friends there while he worked :) After Alexandra got off school, she came and picked Ryder and I up at our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express.


^^ Our hotel


^^ Alexandra drove me by the area where her apartment was and then took me down to a cute little area in Huntington Beach that she rides her bike/walks to and hangs out around.


^^ We ate at Bruxie which is a gourmet waffle restaurant. A lot of people are into the chicken and waffle thing and…I guess I’ve never tried that, but I wasn’t feeling that combination, so I got one with eggs, bacon, and cheese. I love breakfast food so I figured this was a safe option. It was pretty good! Alexandra got one that had hamburger meat in it.


^^ Ryder enjoyed watching a dog someone walked into the restaurant. He was freaking out. He loves dogs!

^^ Afterwards we took a few photos.


^^ I LOVE these photos! Alexandra and Ryder!


^^ Gorgeous Huntington Beach


^^ Afterwards, she took us back to the hotel because she had to cook a big meal for her school class for the following day. She promised she would cook them a southern cooked meal for an end of the year celebration. I am assuming she learned her cooking ways from doing Teach for America in Louisiana! Above Ryder and I are hanging out waiting for Kevin to come back from LA!

>> It was SO fun to see Alexandra. I met her freshman year in Helaman Halls David John dorms. We were on the same floor but she was down the other hall. She was in my ward. We became friends instantly and bonded over excessive shopping, haha, but really…like we went through a phase when after we both got done with our classes, we would drive to University Mall and go shopping…EVERY DAY. Guys, we were SO bad. Seriously. It cracks us up. I remember her telling me about California style (belts under the bosom haha) and me having an insane amount of Abercrombie & Fitch attire. Like that was all I wore before I came to BYU and was exposed to better fashion lol. Some inside jokes: “It’s all about tonight!” & “Alexandra Sssss.” Got to love inside jokes. We also went to a pretty rad Hellogoodbye concert in Salt Lake City. Anyways, I could go on and on, but it was such a fun night. It felt good to hangout with her since it had been so long. Come visit me ALEXANDRA!


Sloans Take Cali Part 1

We flew out to Los Angeles, California on Wednesday evening (June 5th) and stayed until Sunday (June 9th). By the way, I got the name for this series of posts from the Kardashian show, Kourtney & Kim Take Miami or whatever…haha. We were kind of close to Calabasas (the city where they are from) so en route, they were on my mind as well as The OC soundtrack “California, here we come!!!” Gosh, I loved that TV show. ANYWAYS.


^^ Ryder & I on the shuttle ride from where we parked our car to the Denver airport. Unfortunately my back was killing wearing him in this (arthritis problems) so it didn’t last long.

^^ Ryder looking out the window waiting for the plane to take off.


^^ Kevin got upgraded to First Class so we tried to see if I could get upgraded too, because he has status from flying frequently. Unfortunately, they couldn’t upgrade me, so we both ended up with extended row seating and an empty seat by us :D Guys, always try to get an empty seat so your baby can chill next to you. It is AWESOME. Anyways, we had Ryder buckled in it for some of the flight and he played with toys and ate snacks. It was great! He is getting to be a VERY ACTIVE baby so it was a nice break for our arms.


^^ Ryder is obsessed with hats! He always love to play with my dads or Kevin's.


^^ Chilling in the  stroller.

^^ When we arrived, we had plans to meet up with my friend Taylor Gamble for dinner. She was one of my high school friends and is currently working in LA (saw her recently here). Unfortunately she had an event that night she had to work and by the time we got our luggage, took a shuttle, got a rental car, and with LA traffic, it wouldn’t have been possible to meet up with her. By the time we met up, she would have to leave right away. So sad! We also tried to see my friend Camille Gardner, friend from BYU, but with traffic it wouldn’t be possible. Why is California traffic so bad? Well, because everyone and their dog lives there, I guess. I don’t think I could handle living there unless it was in a smaller area or someplace with less traffic…anyways.

Anyways, so because I couldn’t see my 2 friends from LA we made our way into Hollywood to check out the area and see what stores were around that Kevin would check out the following day. All of a sudden, I saw DASH, the Kardashian’s store! I freaked out, told Kevin, and he flipped a U-ie and was going to take a photo of me in front of it (super embarrassing) but there was no where to park so I just took a photo as we drove by. So hilarious. I was joking with him that we needed to check out their store in Calabasas and didn’t even realize we would drive by one in Hollywood.


^^ Ryder is a champ at sleeping. He sleeps 12 hours every night BUT this was the first night in a crib with slats like this…so he kept getting stuck haha. Also, he isn’t used to sleeping with us in his room so it is harder for him to go to sleep when the lights are on and he can see us unpacking and whatnot. After he finally fell asleep, he was fine, but it took a little bit more work to get him to go to sleep hehe. I guess I may need to bring a breathable bumper or something next time so he doesn’t keep getting his limbs stuck!


^^ Thursday, June 6th, bright and early, we headed down for a free breakfast…with Ryder in the stroller. I kind of love eating breakfasts in hotels. It is fun and the whole exciting day is before you. Breakfast is seriously some of my favorite food. On a sidenote, I hate to be on trips and sleep in too much. It feels like you are wasting the day. Like once you are awake, get out and do something! Anyways, I just LOVE Ryder’s faces in the above photos. The left because he is trying to lean forward in his stroller and his face is HILAR. Also, the second because he is waving and I just love when he waves.


^^ Ryder and I then hit up the hotel pool while Kevin made a conference call and met up with some accounts (PacSun and others) in Anaheim. Because he had the rental car, we kicked it at the hotel for the day. One thing I was not expecting was the weather. I always feel like California should be hot and the last 2 times I went, it wasn’t really at all! The last time was in San Francisco but now I know San Fran is cold a lot. It would have been nice to have a heads up lol. So disappointing. Luckily the pool was heated so that was nice but the weather could have been hotter for sure. Ryder and I had the whole pool to ourselves and it was a fun little mommy-son date. Then he fell asleep in the stroller so I decided to figure out some restaurant that would deliver food to our hotel when Kevin called and said he could bring me some Mexican food. He brought something that was like a “Crunch Wrap Supreme” from Taco Bell. Actually the restaurant was called Pollo Loco, I think? Lol. But it was really good. All of the ingredients were fresh and very delicious. My favorite part of it were the big avocado chunks in it! It was definitely a high end up Taco Bell ;) Then after I got ready and hung out with Ryder until the evening when my friend Alexandra Sullivan (friend from BYU) would pick me up to hang out. :)

More on Cali later!


Ryder is 9 months!


Here is a little bit of fun info. about Mr. Ryder!

{ Ryder turned 9 months on June 3, 2013 }


>> Ryder weighs 19 lbs. 11 oz. (35% percentile) & height is 29 inches (70% percentile). We’ve got a tall, skinny boy over here!

>> He kind of still has a bald spot (top right front if you notice) from the vacuum attempt in labor/delivery. Kevin and I and the pediatrician are keeping an eye on it. He may always have a little bald spot. I guess that is a risk you take when trying a vacuum on a very stuck baby while trying to deliver. I have met a lot of people whose babies have been delivered by vacuums and not one of them has a bald spot. Poor Ryder! Plus, a vacuum didn’t even work because he was a c-section baby. Oh man. I am realllly hoping he grows more hairs there!!! We may end up meeting with a dermatologist to see what options we have…in the future. She said lets wait until 18 months…

>> Ryder loves to throw things, especially balls. Sometimes we play a game where we roll a ball back and forth!

>> Ryder goes to bed at 7:30 pm every night and wakes up 12 hours later, around 7:30-8:30 am. He takes 2-3 naps a day and they range from 1-3+ hours. His first nap is always about 1 hour after he wakes up. He also loves to sleep on his side and stomach. He really is an amazing sleeper!

>> He eats baby food twice a day. Once in the late morning and the other in the evening. He gets snacks whenever he wants as well ;) He nurses 4-5x a day so basically every 3-4 hours.

>> Ryder is a fan of Baby Mum Mum’s, Yogurt Melts, Puffs, pieces of bread, bits of turkey/ham/chicken, graham crackers, Cheerio’s, and whatever I give him. He likes everything! Not picky at all.

>> A favorite “toy” is a sippy cup with water! He likes to drink a little and chew on the spout.

>> He is getting super talkative and loves to stick his tongue in/out while talking. A lot of times it sounds like he says “doodle'”, haha. I love it. He still does the ‘da-da’, "ba-ba’, ‘bla bla’ (while rolling his tongue/spitting haha), things like that.

>> He also likes to do high-pitched yells. We talk back and forth to each other doing it. It is hilarious!

>> Ryder loves to wave at everyone! I will be shopping at Target and realize he is waving to strangers and then see them smiling and waving back to him. He also tries to get stranger’s attention by babbling loudly.

>>  He kicks/pumps his legs frantically when he gets excited…like when I am holding him, while he is in a jumper/exersaucer, swimming in the pool, etc.

>>  Ryder is a big fan of clapping his hands!!!

>> He loves to watch other kids! While in the pool the other day, he wouldn’t stop staring/smiling at another boy (elementary school age) and the boy and him became friends haha.

>> When I bring Ryder to the gym’s daycare, they always say “He is the easiest baby!”

>> When you say “RYDER…..Slooaaan” he smiles REALLY big.

>> When you are in a dark room and then turn on the lights, he smiles REALLY big. It is so funny. He sure loves the light on! I’ve got videos of this too!

>> When you hop down the stairs while holding him, he giggles and loves it. I guess he likes the feeling of falling, which I don’t, haha.

>> When you put him in a jumper/exersaucer, he hops around like a madman!

>> He loves to smack his hands/arms on you when you hold him! Sometimes it actually kind of hurts haha. Speaking of him hurting me, he can pinch REALLY hard. Oh my gosh. It is so important to have his nails cut short otherwise he will cut you and give you scabs lol. But really!

>> His first tooth came in and is the bottom left one! He actually just started getting his second tooth, bottom right while we were in California. Really, teething isn’t that bad! Knock on wood…haha. He doesn’t seem really that crazy or anything!

>> He LOVES the swings, will pump his legs, giggle, smile, just in heaven.

>> He has really good pincher fingers…basically he focuses really well and is very accurate with his fingers in picking things up and such ha. Like little tiny crumbs.

>> He loves when Kevin throws him up in the air! He crosses his arms in the air. It is hilarious. It is like he does that to feel safe or something?! Then when he comes down they un-cross, and then cross when he is up again lol.

>> He is still super ticklish…toes, back, thighs, belly, neck…it isn’t hard to make him laugh!

>> He LOVES my iPhone and loves to suck on it…thankfully I have the Otterbox case! He also loves car keys and TV remotes.

>> He can now ARMY CRAWL! It is hysterical. He started pushing himself backwards (while on stomach). Then he started pushing himself forward (while on stomach.) Now, he pushes with his feet and uses his elbows and arms to propel him forward. He is getting around very well and so I am starting to baby proof! Time to get window well covers, baby gates, etc… What made him crawl for the first time was a TV remote. Oh boys.

>> When you hold his hands, he takes steps. Wonder when he will walk! Hopefully not soon…lol. I’m not ready.



Neeleys in Town


Saturday, June 1st was kind of a crazy but good day. Kevin and a friend from church, Jared Croft, worked on our baseboards as well as putting in quarter-rounds. They worked on that for a few hours and did a great job! I would do a post on our baseboards (probably the most boring home renovation post haha) but they aren’t done. We have to find matching baseboards for a small part in our entryway as well as find finishing pieces from where the hardwood floors meet the carpeted stairs and where the floors meet the fireplace. Then Kevin will touch up/finish the baseboards with paint and some other things. While Kevin and Jared worked on the house, I took Ryder over and hung out with Lori (Jared’s wife) and cute kiddos, Katie and Tyler. We had lunch and then afterwards I brought the men some food. Then our friends Jonny and Stephanie Neeley (friends from BYU) came in town – they were driving from Arkansas to Utah – to stay at our house for the night. They have driven through Fort Collins one time before, actually maybe twice. It was fun to see them and hang out, especially to see Steph’s baby bump! She is pregnant with a little lady! Oh, and they got to meet Ryder! We had some Italian food, some amazing frozen yogurt from Spooner’s, browsed Charming Charlie and World Market, and finished the evening by watching The Impossible. The Impossible movie is about that huge tsunami in December of 2004. It was a sad movie but worth the watch. Later that evening, Kevin told me, he would not stop searching for me if we were separated in a tsunami! What a husband :D Haha. But really, it was a sad movie and makes me hate to think about my family separating in a natural disaster, especially with more kids! There is not much, if anything, in your control. ANYWAYS, watch it. Oh, and the photo above is of Stephanie and me…almost a year ago, we hung out at Table Rock Lake in Arkansas and I was 27 weeks pregnant and we have a photo of it. Now, we have a photo of her 29 weeks pregnant. So basically we swapped. We are always glad when friends come into town!


Wrapping up May: 2nd Infusion, Hunter’s Graduation, & BJ’s


This post wraps up May and encompasses May 28-31, 2013.


^^ I went in for my second Remicade infusion. It went much better than the first since I wasn’t as nervous haha. I was SO nervous for my first! The downside was that I didn’t have anything SUPER interesting to watch on Netflix. I sat there asking the nurse, Cyndi, questions and playing on my phone. It’ll be better when I can relax the whole time. My mom watched Ryder for me since Kevin was out of town for work on a one-day trip to Minnesota. Still waiting to feel more relief! Hope Remicade is my miracle drug.


^^ Ryder in the bath. He LOVES his bath time.


^^ One thing that Ryder started doing was biting the spoon. I would give him a bite of baby food, he would bite the spoon, I would let go, and he would leave it in his mouth. Too cute if you ask me! He had just gotten his first tooth so this probably felt good! // Also, our friends, Danny, Gwen, & Valencia Valles invited us to go to the Pre-Grand Opening of BJ’s! Danny and Gwen met each other attending school in Cali and loved eating at BJ’s (BJ’s started in CA and is super popular there). Ever since we heard they were getting one in Fort Collins, we all wanted to eat there together. Gwen worked her magic and got us a reservation for the pre-grand opening. What that means is, you get to eat there for free, with a set menu, so the cooks can practice making every entrée and the servers could practice on us. There were 4 entrees we could chose from so each of us had to pick one of them. We then got a berry crumble type of dessert. The meal was free and we just left a tip. It was fun and they had great food! We were glad they hooked us up! Oh, and next time we are definitely getting a pizookie!


^^ Hunter’s 5th grade class walked to Miramont Park to end the year off right. A lot of family members go to the park and meet the kids there and hangout. My parents, Zach, and Ryder, and I went to hangout for a bit. Hunter had fun pushing Ryder in the swings. Zach did too, but he pushed him a little too high and Ryder started losing control of his head, so I made him stop real quick haha. We also ate a lot of grapes I just remembered, ha.IMG_2149IMG_2150

^^ The following day, Hunter graduated from 5th grade which is the last grade at Werner Elementary School. What’s cool is that, that is the elementary school all of my siblings attended, including me! When I attended Werner, 6th grade was the last grade. Anyways, we went to his graduation which was fun. During the event, Ryder ate lots of snacks and made a friend. If you see in the photo above, Ryder is holding a boy, Ayden’s, hand haha! What is funny is that Ayden is Hunter’s friend. Anyways, they liked each other and it was cute! Oh, and my dad let Ryder try a brownie for the first time. He was definitely a fan!

Also: I got Ryder some new clothes at Crazy 8, The Children’s Place, and Super Target. We had a yummy dinner at Café Rio. I also went shopping at Walmart, Old Navy, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond. We finally got some new towels for our second bathroom (the guest one) since our friends Jonny & Stephanie Neeley were staying with us the following day. Kevin made a bomb Italian meal for my family on Friday. It was legit as usual.

That is about it for May!