datestampUSEThursday, August 28, 2008

Across the Pond

On B's last visit to London, he found a gem of a hotel tucked on the corner of Haymarket and Suffolk Place. He was so excited to share it with me on this trip and it did not disappoint. The Haymarket Hotel is not only impeccably styled (my favorite : traditional with a twist of modern) it is perfectly central. On our first day, while he was in board meetings, I was off gallivanting to Picadilly Circus, Regent Street, and Oxford Street. I'll share some of my finds later. Tonight we had a business dinner at the Oxo Tower and enjoyed a fabulous after dinner walk by the Thames and over the Millennium Bridge. (We even had a peek at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and St. Paul's Cathedral.) Loving every minute of it...


Ta Da!

Well it looks as if many of you got a peek at the new look even before I did! Isn't it JOLLY? You may be thinking, now why would she say jolly? And that my friends is because I am in jolly old England on holiday with my lovely hubby; hence my delay of this post.

But I am as happy to announce here as I would be anywhere that Show and Tell is now officially "Melt by amr." You can still find me at (though that will soon be changing as well). Why Melt? Because everything I post on this blog is something that I love (or like) or wish for (or wish on) essence, it all makes my heart melt and it makes my heart melt to share it all with you.

Come along and melt with me.



datestampUSETuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to School 2008

The pictures speak for themselves. Happy School Year to All!


datestampUSESunday, August 24, 2008

Playing Catch

I've been playing catch up this afternoon . If you're interested in our trip to Bear Lake and Cody, check out my new "old" posts here and here. (For my own journaling purposes, I've post dated them a little closer to their actual dates.) If you're not interested, I hope you've had a lovely Sunday afternoon.


datestampUSEFriday, August 22, 2008

The Sweet Shoppe

Welcome to The Sweet Shoppe. The kids and I spent the day baking and they set up "shoppe" outside the house last evening. Many of our friends and neighbors and even some passerbys stopped by for some dessert. What a project it was (for all of us:) but they had so much fun and even made some money for their piggy banks. We had such a good time, I think we'll do it again in the fall. Pumpkin cookies, spice cupcakes, apple cider bars...the menu is already coming together. Hope you can make it!


datestampUSEThursday, August 21, 2008

Signs of a Good Summer

What a summer we've had. I feel as if we've crammed a years worth of fun into just three months. I have been playing catch-up on iPhoto for the last couple of days and still have pictures from Bear Lake, our trip to Cody, and the 24th of July to post before the summer is over. However, I had a bunch of cute pictures that didn't fit into any better category than old fashioned summertime fun. Click on the mosaic to see a nice full-size image (a new trick I've finally learned). Enjoy!


Back to School

I have a friend in the neighborhood who has her first child going to kindergarten this fall. She practically had a panic attack when I asked her the simple question, "Are you guys ready for school to start?" She cried, "Everyone keeps asking me that, and I have no idea if I'm ready for school or not!" (Wow, did I ever open a can of worms!) Although I was generally referring to the attitude and excitement or disappointment as school approaches, my simple yes or no question spurred a great conversation. So what does it actually mean to be ready for "back to school"? Since my initial discussion with mama #1, I've asked a few other mamas for their tips because I thought it would make a great referral list for us all. Here's what we came up with:

One or Two Weeks Before School Starts:

1. Begin slowing cutting back on bedtimes. Take 5 or 10 minutes each night working your way back to your preferred "school night" bedtime.

2. Begin integrating those school year routines that you know work and are important for your family. If yours is anything like my family, a lot of the routine and scheduling that work so well during the school year creeps away during the summer. Whether it is eating breakfast together, having a morning family prayer, practicing instruments early, etc... It is important to do this one BEFORE school actually starts because it cuts down on a big portion of the adjusting that first week of school.

3. Revisit your family expectations around activities such as bedtime, household jobs, wakeup time, homework, extracurricular activities, playdates, school transportation etc.. Make any adjustments to fit the upcoming school year.

4. Gather those much needed school supplies, even if you don't have your teacher list yet. (I detest running around the week of the first day of school - there's way too much other stuff to do.) I've found it's pretty safe to stick with the basics: number 2 pencils, glue sticks, colored pencils, box of tissue and a binder. I also stock my own drawer up with fresh supplies.

5. Doesn't everyone (including boys) have to have a new first day of school outfit? I usually get just one new outfit and then let them wear their summer clothes (shorts and capris) as much as they can until the weather starts getting cooler.

6. Review your calendar with everyone who is affected. Make sure they know what nights their activities fall on, what nights playdates can happen, and what nights are reserved just for the family. I do this all on my iPhone and sync it with iCal on my laptop. I would LOVE any other suggestions...

7. Get your haircuts and dentist /doctor appointments done.

One to Two Days Before School Starts:

1. Beef up your pantry and refridgerator with handy, healthy, and packable lunch food.

2. Pull backpacks and lunch bags out of storage and wash and prep them for the new year.

3. Clear off that designated homework area if it has been piled up with summer projects. My kids' home lockers need a clean out and freshen up too.

4. Have that special outfit hung and ready to go for that special morning so there are no back to school morning meltdowns. If you're really on the ball, make a special back-to-school breakfast. (Honeycombs anyone?)

5. Give your child some one on one time to express your love and belief in them and their success for the new school year. This could be done as a blessing, a special evening out, a walk, or just a bedtime talk.
These are obviously tailored to a family with younger kids. I would love to hear more suggestions or ideas that have worked for others. Now I've got to boogie and get this stuff done!


datestampUSETuesday, August 19, 2008


Mercy - Duffy

I am hearing this song in the most random of places - and I'm loving it! I don't know anything about the artist "Duffy" but the song definitely has a great vibe. A good addition to the "new stuff" playlist.


datestampUSEMonday, August 18, 2008

Homemade Goodness

I'm excited to show off my new summer toy. We took it for its maiden voyage over the weekend. Yummy! Here's the tried and true Smiley family recipe for good old fashioned vanilla. Wow, it's a good one. Now I'm looking for some more to try. Any suggestions?


3 eggs

1 1/4 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
4 c. milk or cream
(I used 2 c. half and half, 2 c. whipping cream)

Beat eggs until fluffy. Add sugar gradually beating until mixture thickens. Add salt and vanilla. Add milk mixture. Freeze. Makes 2 quarts.

I Share because I Care :)

It's my last party post I swear. I was just so excited about how great these paper stars turned out, I wanted to share the template I found on a wonderful blog just last week. Simple little decorations that are inexpensive AND easy to assemble absolutely make my heart pitter patter. We copied the template onto 12x12 Amy Butler scrapbook paper and just followed the simple mountain and valley fold directions and wa la! We hung them from Josie's highchair, from our "happy birthday" banner, and from all the windows. Hope you can find a fun excuse to make some too.


datestampUSESaturday, August 16, 2008

Her Adoring Fans

The best and greatest happiness in life is to love and be loved.


Let her eat Cupcake!

She's hesitant at first...
Then she goes in for the face dive...
She's in her happy place now...
Taking a breather...The Happy Ending Mess...


datestampUSEFriday, August 15, 2008

The Party

Of course, we had to throw a pretty party for our pretty baby. All in soft baby blues and pinks; inspiration came from none other than the cupcake shop itself. Once I saw this beautiful blue cupcake named the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" the ideas came flowing. Kalli put together the sweet little Tiffany blue boxes that we filled with pretty candy at each setting. We served my favorite party drink - Jones Soda. I love them because they come in a wide array unusual colors (and don't taste too bad either:) And speaking of taste, the cupcakes - oh my! They were so delicious. Some of the best I've ever tasted. Can't wait to share the pictures of baby J enjoying her first.


Josie Faye Birthday

One year ago today I met my baby girl. Because of her my life is so much richer. Because of her, what I do seems more important. She is a sparkle, a twinkle, a gem. I marvel at how after knowing her for only hours, we couldn't comprehend how we'd ever lived and loved without her. I adore how she transformed our little party of five to a boisterous bash of six. I am utterly smitten and savor every moment. Josie Faye, you are a wonder. Happy Birthday.

-love, mama

First Order of Business... a stop here this morning for some vanilla Divas and some Breakfast at Tiffanys. Can you guess why?


datestampUSEThursday, August 14, 2008

Seen and Heard

If you haven't seen or heard, "The Tale of Despereaux" is coming to theaters this Christmas. Ohhhh I am so excited. If you haven't read this sweet book from Kate DiCamillo, you must! It is a great gather the family around and read kind of book. Let's hope the the movie lives up. Either way, I'm going! Who doesn't love a good family movie to go to over the Christmas break...


Using Our Imagination

With summer coming to a close and having checked off all the activities we wanted to do (lemonade stand, Gateway fountains, loads of swimming, beach, road trips, Liberty Park, movie theater, mini get the picture) we are trying to fill our days with some fun projects and activities that are new, fresh, and exciting. This one was a favorite: I had the girls dress up their American Girl Dolls, do their hair, and have an array of outfits ready and we set up a fashion photo shoot. They were so creative with the hair styles and loved posing the dolls in their darling clothes (hand made by Grandma Smiley - can you believe her?). I'm thinking this activity would be great with any toys if you don't do dolls. The girls were hilarious in finding all sorts of great poses and places to have me take pictures. This one is of Nikki swinging on our swing in the front yard. I did feel a little silly running around taking pictures of toys - especially when the girls wanted me to say "Work it girl!".
(You think I'm kidding? I'm not.)


datestampUSEWednesday, August 13, 2008

Oh Where Oh Where has my Little Boy Gone?

I woke up one morning and my baby boy was gone and this character was in his place. Lucky for me he still likes bedtime stories, chocolate milk, and smooching his mama. He still even tells me he loves me - although the "I love you mommy" has been replaced by "love ya" as he's running out the door.


The Family at Home

I love good design. I love clean design. I also love just plain clean! Now combine that with 4 children and two adults (my family!) and sometimes those elements go together just about as well as oil and water. That is why I was excited to add this book to my latest amazon order. I am a fan of any author who believes design and family life can go hand in hand. It's not always easy blending style with function. I'm excited to get some new ideas for creative (and beautiful) living...


datestampUSETuesday, August 12, 2008

Not So Crafty

I've been in such a creative place this past couple weeks. Turns out, I'm more creative than I am crafty. I had a great idea to revamp some previously loved but currently loathed Christmas ornaments. Let's just say they quickly made their way into the current "donate" pile. (Maybe someone else can rescue them from my torturous try.) I have however, been yearning to do a silhoutte of my kids using some funky papers. Perhaps this DIY from Design*Sponge may be just the perfect project simple enough to curb my creative craving.


datestampUSEMonday, August 11, 2008

My Find

Picked myself up one of these prints at the Oneity sale today. I can't wait to frame it. You can find more Sarah Jane Studio things here.


Tip of the Day

Oneity, a local children's store, is closing their doors. They've just announced that they are clearing out their inventory, even their fall line, for 50-75% off starting today. Find directions here. You can bet I'll be swinging by today.


datestampUSESaturday, August 9, 2008

Silver Lake

We went to Silver Lake this weekend and enjoyed an unusual Utah morning of cool, drizzling rain while we took our little hike around the lake. The lake was absolutely stunning and as still as glass. It was our first time there (in the summer, anyway) because in the winter it is a frozen tundra of ice right off the Brighton Ski resort loop. What a great way to spend a late summer morning. If you want to give it a go yourself, find the trail head directions here.


datestampUSEFriday, August 8, 2008


It's the weekend! Have a good one.


datestampUSEThursday, August 7, 2008

All Stars

Three quarters of my family are off to the Nada Surf concert tonight and I just had to take a moment to snap a shot of the footwear heading down to rock out at Gallivan. Can you guess who belongs to what shoe? What a bunch of All Stars.


datestampUSEWednesday, August 6, 2008

Hi There Hair!

I'm not exaggerating when I say we ADORE hair accessories. With four girls living under one roof you can imagine the baskets, bags, and caddies of ribbons and headbands that are stashed under our bathroom sinks. Sadly, I would say we average losing about one per week which is why I'm always on the lookout for new and most importantly INEXPENSIVE replacements. This lovely blossom clip is only $2.80 from Forever 21. In fact, I was quite impressed with their assortment of hair goods. Who would have thought? Just thought I'd pass it along...


The Olympics

We are getting so excited...only two days left! Our love for the Olympics was really magnified in 2002 when the Olympics were here in SLC in our very own backyard. We went to the opening ceremonies in Rice Eccles stadium (just a few blocks away) and were able to attend many events around and outside the city. It was an amazing, electrifying and absolutely memorable experience.

To help celebrate the upcoming summer Olympics in Beijing, here are a few fun ideas.

1. Check out library books on the Olympics. I've found some great picture books for the kids including one called "The Summer Olympics Encyclopedia for Children." It explains the history of many of the events.

2. Use this opportunity to learn a little more about Chinese culture. Use the internet, library books, newspaper articles, whatever is available to beef up on your world knowledge. I thought a trip down to our China Town market might be in order. Don't you think a few paper lanterns hung around the house might help set the stage?

3. Use this website to help track and find your favorite events...or find a new one you've never even heard of!

4. Take the night off from the kitchen and order Chinese take out!

5. Find a great red, white, and blue craft to make with the kids here. (I'm thinking about making up a U.S.A. pendant for each of the kids to wave during the final events we watch...still looking for a pattern...)

6. If you're feisty like (Kalli J) stage a protest. She's planning on making some signs and "protesting" in our family room during opening ceremonies about China's violations against human rights.

7. For the little ones, take some time to talk about good sportsmanship.

8. Host your own back yard olympics as the perfect finale. Come up with a few events, find some medals (I just got some at Dollar Tree), and get moving!

Now go on, and go for the gold!


datestampUSETuesday, August 5, 2008

Right Around the Corner

Three weeks from today to be exact. (Not that I'm counting or anything:) All three little Roberts who attend school are actually getting quite excited. You remember how it is...back to school shopping, pencil cases, new shoes, glue sticks... During some of our back to school preparations, I came across this great article in my file folder on volunteering. It's such a great resource full of tips from successful classroom parents and volunteers.


p.s. I'll add one more tip of my own. I took loads of pictures at school last year with my iPhone which has a really decent little camera. When I found out who was on the yearbook committee, I began e-mailing them to her as soon as the event was over straight from my phone - wa la! I was done before the call even came out for photo contributions.

Ch Ch Ch Changes...

Are you noticing any? There are a few hints of what is to come here and there. One of which is the adding of new blogs to my blogroll. Of course, the connection to old friends is one of the many perks of blogging. I've added a childhood friend, two families from our Provo days, and one of my nieces along with several favorites that you can link to. Stay tuned...there's more to come.


p.s. How much do you love this candy table, Amanda? The image is from Martha. You've all got to check out what they're doing. These ideas are making me itch for the fall!

datestampUSEMonday, August 4, 2008

Pianist Numero Tres

Ella has started piano lessons this summer and *WOW* our house has never sounded so lovely :) I AM impressed how quickly she's catching on and her enthusiasm is contagious. You can bet I'm redirecting some of that enthusiasm in Kalli's direction (she's been playing for three years and isn't quite so excited to practice.) Combine these two budding pianists with my new church calling as primary music chorister and you'd think we were practicing to be the next VonTrapp family singers. I'm quite sure if you stay tuned long enough you'll be privileged to hear her first recital piece.


First teaser...

Blogging, I'm learning, is an evolution.

First, you have to decide if it's for you.

Next, you have to commit.

Then, you have do to it. (Post, that is.) Over and over and over...and enjoy it.

Well, after eight screaming fast months, I'm hooked and excited to take my little corner of the blogosphere to the next level There are lots of things I like about my blog and lots of things, how do I say...not so much. So, I'm beyond excited to share that Show and Tell is under going some major construction. Lots of changes are a' brewing and I can't wait to share, but for now I'm exercising some serious patience and restraint. In the mean time, I'll be playing around with some picture sizes and resolutions, sidebar content, and post dating (I'll link if you're interested, mom:) Come along for the ride. It might not be pretty, so be patient. But I think the end result will be worth it.


datestampUSESaturday, August 2, 2008


After our dinner date last night at Tin Angel, Bryce and I buzzed over to Urban Outfitters at the Gateway. I have to say I am loving what they are doing with their home line. It is fun and fresh and funky - AND at a price point that allows you to play around with the accessories in your home and not have to feel committed. I was loving these painted letters in all sorts of colors. Spell out anything you want! They are also available online here. If only I had more walls...


datestampUSEFriday, August 1, 2008

Sticky Message

Today I am grateful for...

Volkswagon Bugs. Old, new, white, black, green, no matter! We love keeping our eyes peeled for these fun and funky little cars. They make our often dull errands seem a little more exciting and since we don't have an in-car dvd player, *gasp*, trying to be the first to spy one of these keeps the kids occupied and agreeable. Buggy, what color?


*image via flickr