Monday, December 23, 2013

A very Remi Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends!! We love and miss all of you and wish we were together today. We are very grateful for the time we had in Ca a few weeks ago to celebrate Christmas a little early. We saw our families, ate delicious dinners, watched the kids tear through their presents, walked down Candy Cane Lane and were able to celebrate with my best friend on the night of her engagement!
JD is off work Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and we could not be happier about it. Last Christmas he was still in the academy and we spent Christmas across the country from each other. This year we are keeping it low key and making red velvet pancakes for breakfast, then relaxing in our pajamas all day.
We have a new member in our household this Christmas, a very handsome 8 week old chocolate lab puppy named Remi (Remington). Remi was an early Christmas present from JD, he surprised me with him about a week ago! He is so much fun, has lots of energy, loves to snuggle and is a crack up to watch. So far he has kept me on my toes, the only time I trust him is when he’s sound asleep. Remi has already proven to be the most popular in the Poplin house, and I'm sure he will be for a very long time!
This will definitely be a Christmas to remember, our first Christmas in AZ, in our own home, with a new puppy! Thank you so much to my in-laws and the Antonio's who helped JD surprise me with Remi, I know a lot of work went into making it happen and I feel so special! Congratulations to Kayleigh and Mark on their engagement, we are so happy for the two of you! From our home to yours we wish everyone a very merry love filled Christmas and we hope all of you have a happy new year!!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wreath making machine

Each evening for about 2 weeks I was making wreaths like a machine. I had my own assembly line going and hot glue guns spread out over our living room floor.
We celebrated Christmas with our families pretty early this year, in the beginning of December, because of JD’s work schedule. I wanted to have a small gift for everyone so I decided to make wreaths! I tried to make each wreath as different as I could, and use a lot of materials I already had. Most all of the wreaths have bits and pieces from events or things in our lives; our wedding, family baby showers, yarn from my grandma’s sweater knitting supply, paint from house projects, and our own Christmas décor. I like that they have personal touches from things that were meaningful to us at one point or another.
I made 13 wreaths and it wasn’t until we got home from our California Christmas trip that I realized I hadn’t made a wreath for our own home. I hung a few stockings on our door for some holiday cheer, but I need to get a wreath made for next year! Any input on the style I should make from looking at the pictures below?

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Hunt

One thing that has always been popular with the Poplin men has been hunting, and I am proud to say JD has officially joined the buck club. Every year the guys in the family go on their hunting trip and JD has always missed it because of baseball or work, so this year he got the time off and headed out to Missouri.
JD was in Missouri with family and friends for about a week, and on their third day of hunting he got the buck he was hoping for; a 4x4 white tail. I cannot tell you how proud he is, he’s already addicted to the sport and is planning his next trip out there.
I am really happy for him and so glad he had a great time and spent a week with his dad, papa and one of his best friends. I'll admit that even though we weren't apart for long I am happy having my mountain man back home! I am also really grateful that a family friend took pictures of all the guys, they are awesome pictures and I’m excited to share them!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My creative and crafty Cousin

To say my cousin, Katie, is creative and crafty is an understatement, this girl is proving she can do it all. As my cousin she was one of my first friends, I have looked up to her my whole life, and now that we are older she is still teaching me things! I am so grateful for the time we recently spent together; we did a lot of catching up and a lot of projects!
About a month ago I ordered a ton of fabric (from and had plans on using it for curtains in our master bedroom and to recover some pillows; trouble is I don’t have a sewing machine. So, last week Katie came to my rescue and we used her machine to sew, actually, she did the sewing, I cut, ironed and pinned. The outcome of our 2 evenings worth of work was: long drapery curtains for our room, 10 recovered decorative pillows and a bonus bathroom curtain made from left over fabric!
The curtains are simple panels, and I kept it basic with clips at the top. They may be simple in design, but they have had a major affect on the space, they have brought warmth, coziness, height and finish to the room! For the pillows we followed a tutorial Katie found on Design Sponge, it showed us how to make a pillow form with a zipper, instead of making an envelope type case. We both prefer the zipper, it keeps the pillow looking taunt and fitted.
As if coming home with new curtains and pillows wasn’t enough she spoiled me and hand built JD and I a table to go beside our couch in the family room. Let me just say I am in awe of what Katie can do… she works all week, takes care of her hubby and two sweet little boys, and sews, crafts, paints, designs and builds everything in their home. I wish I could show you all of the things she has made; shelving, side tables, a dinning room table, bench seating, wall décor, curtains, a sunburst mirror and the list goes on. I brought the table home and spent yesterday afternoon painting it white, after a few coats of paint and a top coat of Polycrylic Protective Finish the table is in its place and fitting perfectly!
Below are pics of the curtains, pillows and table, and the two of us in action, of course! Thank you, Katie, for all of your help; I can’t wait until we get to work on our next round of ideas! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone, JD and I hope all of you enjoy time with family; we are certainly grateful for each of you and wish we were in Ca to join in the festivities!



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What happens in Vegas... goes on the blog

Vegas was awesome! The hubs and I took advantage of a long weekend and turned ‘date night’ into three days and nights of dates together in Vegas! We took a few hour detour on our way and stopped to check out the Hoover Dam, wow,  it is huge and pretty cool to walk over and marvel at how they built it.
 Neither of us had been to Vegas since we were kids so we did the normal site seeing and touristy things. We checked out all of the hotels and the cool unique things they had, saw some animals from the shows, went on roller coasters, and did some serious people watching. We made our way down to Freemont Street one of the nights to check things out and stopped to take some pictures at the pawn store from the TV show Pawn Stars! We also found an awesome shooting range that lets people shoot machine guns and things, so JD shot the SCAR (I’m not even sure what it is, haha, but it looked cool).
My favorite parts of the trip were by far the restaurants we ate at, yum yum yum! We ate some of the most delicious food while we were there, including lunch at Buddy V’s (The Cake Boss’ new restaurant), dinner at Maggiano’s and dessert at Serendipity. Our first night we had dinner at BurGR which is Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant and they really were the best burgers we’ve ever had. After dinner we had drinks at the Chandelier Bar, it was gorgeous, the bar is literally inside of a giant Chandelier. And our last morning we ate brunch inside of the Eiffel Tower overlooking the whole strip.
On the drive home we started planning our next trip, where we want to stay, restaurants we’d like to eat at and shows we want to see. It’s was so nice to have a little get away just the two of us. Vegas is now very Popular with the Poplins!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting my autumn on- DIY style

I’m posting a couple quick pics to show my pumpkin and wreath projects from the other night. It is still pretty hot here in AZ, so I am faking my way through fall and living vicariously through our friends and family who are enjoying Apple Hill and sweater weather at the pumpkin patches. My autumn crafts are as close to fall as I think I’m going to get this year.
For our wreath I gave myself a small budget and hit up Hobby Lobby (with my coupon pre loaded on their app!) and picked up a few supplies. Later that afternoon I spent a little time with my glue gun and voilá, I had a quick and simple wreath to help me get into the fall spirit. There might have been a slightly traumatizing incident that happened while making our wreath, and I may or may not have mildly panicked about a lizard in our house! After watching it run all over (including up and down our curtains) I trapped it under a big mixing bowl and waited for my husband to come home to my rescue. I have no problem admitting to being squeamish, jumpy and grossed out around a small harmless lizard in our home.
The pumpkins I made for our dinning table literally took 3 minutes each and I had everything needed to make them which was great. We have a bunch of mason jars that we use as glasses so the lids and bands really had no use to us, until now. I cut a strand of jute twine, strung a bunch of mason jar bands on, tied the twine together tightly to make a circle and spread the bands out around the twine to make the shape I wanted. Once the bands were in the shape of a pumpkin I hot glued a few cinnamon sticks in the center to make the stems and cut a few pieces of burlap into leaves. Ta-da! I also attempted to wrap one of them entirely in the jute twine, I think I like the idea of it more than the final outcome, but it works.
In non crafting news, we are doing wonderful! I had a great friend, Kaitlyn, come and visit for a few days, it was so nice to spend time catching up with her, she is awesome in so many ways. We are also fully reaping the “benefits” of being home owners and have had more appliances, pipes, water systems, bathrooms, and tables break over the last few weeks than I even want to count, but I’m thankful we have a home and we are learning new things from each situation. JD has a chunk of days off work soon and we are both looking forward to it so much, lots of fun things planned, cant wait! Happy autumn everyone!!



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Under the stars... and into the woods

Ever since I was a baby the end of summer meant camping, at the same camp ground in the same camp site each year. My parents have been taking my brother and me to Sand Flats since I was a baby, and my grandparents started it all by taking my Dad and his siblings to this same site since my Dad was a baby. Whether it was just my immediate family or my entire Dad’s side full of aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins, we always made a camping trip together before school started back up.
I hadn’t been camping in years and had really been missing it, plus JD and I had never gone camping together, so we had plans in the works for a while and this year we were finally able to go! So a few weeks ago, JD and I drove to northern Ca, packed my Dad’s truck full of camping supplies and hit the road with him. (The trip fell on our 6 year anniversary!)
It’s about a four hour drive up into the Sierras and once you reach the turn off you definitely need a truck or bigger 4 wheel drive car to get down the “road”. It’s not so much a road as it is a very old washed out river bed, nothing is paved and it is full of dips, large rocks, steep turns and a dusty down hill grade. Getting back up the dry river bed is no easy feat either, it takes about 30 minutes to strategically go down or up it.
We had such a great time while we were there, and it was an amazing change of scenery and temperature to be in the nicely shaded, cool and crisp green woods. I love that is it isn’t a well known camping area; we had the whole place to ourselves. The water and rapids are only a two minute walk, which is perfect when you’re roughing it outside and you need the (freezing) water to clean off and brush your teeth. We took long walks and hikes each day, explored a lot, had some target practice with the BB guns, relaxed, cooked our meals over the fire and woke up to deer outside our tent in the mornings.
Going back to one of my favorite places, and getting to show JD, was really fun and brought back a ton of childhood memories for me and for my Dad. I’m so happy we finally went. Sand Flats is such an important place to my family and has always been popular with the Meier’s; I can’t wait for it to be just as popular of a place with future Poplin’s!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Aloha love

I am saying adios to August and welcoming September with open arms! September is the beginning of my favorite time of the year! Soon there will be hot caramel cider at Starbucks, cooler weather, pumpkins, sweaters, boots and I will be able to light my fall spice candle! I just hope Arizona actually cools off and I will get the fall season that I love so much.
I was thinking back and last year at this exact time JD was in Georgia, we had just thrown a surprise 50th /85th Hawaiian Luau for his Mom and Grandma and the next morning his parents and I got on a plane for AZ. We flew out here for a few days in the hopes of finding a home for me and JD. We definitely succeeded, within the first two days we saw about 12 homes, I made an offer on one, the offer was accepted and we had the home inspection completed!
I will have to post some before and after pictures of the house soon, but for now I wanted to show off the birthday luau party and pics. JD’s Mom, Aunt and super talent cousin did an amazing job with this party for his Grandma’s 85th (and we even tricked his Momma into setting up for her own 50th surprise). They went all out for this bash complete with a Tiki bar, Hawaiian dancers, and a pig roasting on a spit. It was the perfect way to end summer and his sweet Grandma loved the party and the reunion with family who flew in from all over the Midwest. Aloha!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Four Poplins, four days, four cities/sites explored… road trip! Last week my mother and father in-law arrived as our third and final round of visitors for the month. Looking back on the week I can’t believe we fit everything into four short days.
The guys spent a morning golfing, they also accomplished some home improvement items from our list, and we went on an adventure around northern AZ. Our first stop was Flagstaff, a beautiful city on Route 66 where we wandered the town and stayed the night. Next was a short drive to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, and holy cow, it was GRAND! We only spent a few hours and were definitely not dressed right or in the right shoes, regardless it was amazing. Next time I plan on packing better and hiking down a little further, but for this impromptu trip it was perfect to see the views, take tons of pictures and enjoy the day at one of the world’s wonders. We also drove into Sedona, which was by far the most gorgeous place we have been in AZ. We forgot we were in the desert state and started to feel like we were in Tahoe for the evening. It was awesome to finish our mini road trip surrounded by greenery and lots of fresh air.
On our last night all together JD and I took his parents to one of our favorite date night spots in Scottsdale, Studio Movie Grill. It is so much fun to have a full on restaurant and movie theater in one, with yummy food and extra big comfy leather recliners. I’m so happy JD had a few days off work and we were able to hang out, relax, travel and explore all together. I probably took a hundred pictures during the trip (I think I have a problem), so I posted a bunch below.
August has been so great with all of our house guests and happenings! I am already excited and looking forward to September’s adventures though… camping camping camping!! Until next time everyone…



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