For the Joy of Life.

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© Aleigh Moore - For the Joy of Life Blog 2015. Powered by Blogger.

The Perfect Christmas Card + Our 2016 Family Photos

We take pictures of our little family often, but about once a year we actually get all dolled up with coordinating outfits and have a photographer take our photos rather than using a tripod ;)
Since living in Utah, our good friend Kiely has taken them and I love them all!
Kiely started her business not too long ago but it's super easy to tell she should've started a while ago!
She has such an eye for capturing perfect moments that you will want to remember years later.
Oaklyn was a complete stink this year while taking our family photos and Kiely still managed to capture pictures I love!
I remember getting in the car and thinking, "there has to be at least one I'll like... hopefully."
Turns out there were so many "favorites" I couldn't even decide which ones to put on here!
But here are a few that will definitely be framed :)
Check out more of Kiely's work (and her new little baby!!!) on her instagram and book a session with her by going to her website!

 Just had to include this one haha!




 We also love that family photos mean updated pictures of hunter and I!








When it came time to pick out a Christmas card, I knew it would have to fit a ton of our family photos since I seriously couldn't just choose one!
I've always made my own card because it's so fun for me to design... but as my days just get busier I realized it was time to let someone else do the work for me ;)
The choice of which company to choose was so easy for me!
I've always loved every card I've seen from Tiny Prints!
Their designs are always the cutest and there are so many options it's insane!


You can customize just about anything over at Tiny Prints and it made sending my Christmas cards this year an absolute breeze!
Seriously, with everything I already have going on, just thinking about addressing envelopes stressed me out.
I couldn't believe how easy the process was getting my cards from Tiny Prints.
I found my favorite card from their digital catalog within a matter of minutes.
It stood out to me the most and I knew it would be perfect with the color scheme of our photos this year.
Some of my other favorites included gold foil and glitter! 
I loved that this card had a ton of space to fit all of my photos I loved and the tri fold gave it so much dimension and personality. 


We have gotten so many compliments on this card, but all credit goes to Tiny Prints for making it a breeze on me!

We also opted to have all addresses and return addresses printed on the envelope which saved me SO much time!
Not only that, but we even got personalized stamps!
You guys, how awesome is that?
We chose these stamps and they turned out sooo cute!
Our order came so quickly and I was able to get our cards out in record time! 

Seriously, I cannot say enough good things about Tiny Prints.
We will definitely be using them in years to come and I just can't wait to design another card :)
If you still need to order you have til Sunday to get THIRTY percent off your entire order with the code HOLLYJOLLY so RUN, don't walk ;)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy




Holiday Gift Guide For The Man In Your Life!

Does anyone else struggle shopping for their husband every year??
Hunter is actually fairly easy because he's pretty low maintenance, but he can never think of anything he actually wants and it drives me crazy! haha!
He never needs clothes because he works for BYU football and gets everything he needs from them.
He also isn't home much with school and work, so fun at home gadgets wouldn't do much good just yet.
I usually just end up getting a few things so there's something under the tree for him haha.
I'm hoping this gift guide helps some of you out that are in the same boat as me!

Just as the women's gift guide, I'll be sharing small shop products first and at the bottom include shoppable links for your convenience!
Every brand on this list is tried and true :)


1) Thread Wallets: Thread Wallets are the slimmest wallets around. They are able to hold all of your cards and cash without taking up a ton of room in your pocket and they are safe! I remember watching a video where they took one on a rollercoaster and it didn't budge. I love all their designs and the convenience of these wallets. 

2) JoTotes Camera Bag: Yes, this was on my women's list as well... but their backpacks are totally gender neutral! Hunter takes all my blog photos for me and feels totally comfortable lugging around this bag. It's stylish but not too feminine and helps the photographer in your family carry all their equipment. 

3) An Arvo Watch: You've heard me rave about Arvo time and time again but seriously, these are our absolute favorite! hunter has the all black one and I just love how it looks on him. He's tried the brown band as well and liked it! There's so many options for these watches and your lover will be thanking you endlessly!

4) Kortni Jeane Men's bottoms: YES Kortni Jeane really does have men's suits! How cool is that?? She even has prints that match her mini and regular sized suits so the whole fam can match! These bottoms are stylish and comfortable and you are guaranteed to love them!

5) Dazi Tie: I bought Hunter a ton of ties while he was on his mission and I regret every purchase because all he really wears now are his Dazi ties! We absolutely love these ties. They are slim but not too skinny and look awesome on everyone. They have prints no one else does and every one of them is designed to please. Seriously, these are our favorite!

6) Blenders Eyewear: Hunter complains about the sun being in his eyes often and I'm always wondering why he doesn't just wear sunglasses! Now that he has a pair of these, he finally does ;) We love these sunglasses! They have so many styles and designs and are awesome quality!

And now on to a few shoppable links!
I hope this helped you find a few things for the man in your life!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy



Holiday Gift Guide For the Woman In Your Life!

Every single year, my husband and mom ask me what I want for Christmas and I can't think of anything!
I don't know why it's so hard for me, but I truly can't think of anything I really need or desperately want.
Then I end up asking for things I really don't even love because I can't think of anything I love. Anyone else?
While I think it must be a piece of cake shopping for a woman, my husband says otherwise... ha!
So ladies, I've put together a big 'ol list of things you are going to love to have waiting for you under the tree this year!
The first section is my picks from small shops and at the bottom are a few clickable things from larger retail stores :)
Happy Shopping, and Merry Christmas!

Alright, let's start off with those small shops! I can assure you, that I love every single one of these shops and will be a continuing customer with them! I have tried all their products several times and love them! You can be assured you're getting a quality gift if you pick from any of these shops :)


1) JoTotes Camera Bag: Jo Totes has the cutest camera bags of all time! I have a backpack version for all my equipment and a smaller brown bag that fits my camera body and smaller lens. Also doubles as a super cute purse ;)

2) Chatbooks custom book or giftcard: If you haven't heard of Chatbooks... you're missing out! They take your instagram, facebook, or camera roll photos and turn them into a soft or hard cover book! Get this gift for the memory keeper in your family or the mom that doesn't want to forget a thing!

3) Truly Kustom Hand Stamped Jewelry: Have I ever mentioned how much I love Hand Stamped Jewelry?? It is so personal and always has a story/meaning behind it. Your girlfriend, mom, fiance, wife, or sister would love this gift! Cover all your bases ;) Truly Kustom makes the best of the best!

4) Pine Design Beanies: It's kinda freezing in Utah currently... I seriously need something to keep my head warm but everything is so itchy! These beanies however are not! I was so excited to find that they are super comfortable and cute! Comes in mini sizes too ;)

5) Arvo Watch: I could go on and on about Arvo but I'll keep it short... I loveee this company! Between the awesome new designs they keep releasing to the fact that you can interchange the bands as often as you want... you need one of these in your life! Hunter and I wear ours all.the.time.

6) Coco and Kiwi Diaper Bag/Travel Bag: Coco and Kiwi makes super cute and high quality bags that I can't get enough of! I have two different ones and have nothing bad to say about either! They carry everything I need, hold up great, and are super cute! The mama with young kids in your life needs this! Or, use it as a travel bag!

7) Rad Swim Suit or Gift Card: I'm obsessed with Rad Swim! I have been from the very beginning and just can't get enough of their cute suits! I have quite a few from them and can't stop the addiction! They are all modest and cute and make me feel comfortable in my skin! Also comes in mini sizes ;)

8) Kiki Lu Designs Diaper Bag/Travel Bag: I would recommend this bag to anybody! It is not only super cute but also amazingly well made and super functional! There is literally a pocket for everything! Also has the convenience of a backpack or messenger style. Mine hasn't left my side since I got it! This would be great for hands free traveling with the backpack feature!

9) Wuko Gals Dress or Gift Card: Obsessed doesn't even begin to cover it with these dresses! I absolutely love every dress I have from them. The fit is perfect and flatters every body type. There are so many fun styles and colors to choose from there's no way you can go wrong. The quality is the best and is a purchase that is seriously worth it!

10) Kortni Jeane Swimmer or Gift Card: The designs of Kortni suits are so cute it's insane! The high waisted bottoms and peplum tops will never go out of style! People wait in super long lines to get their hands on these at warehouse sales (hi, I was one of them!) and once you try them, you'll know why! So well made with prints no one else has! Guaranteed to love these suits! Also comes in mini sizes!

11) Ruthie Grace Clothes or Gift Card: Ruthie Grace is one of the cutest boutiques out there! They are always so up to date with trends and carry styles I don't see in other boutiques. The clothes are always top quality and they have such an awesome selection. I can always find at least 10 things I have to have on their site! You really can't go wrong here ;)

12) Dainty Jewells Dress or Gift Card: Another favorite dress company! This is where you will find all your timeless classics. Every time I scroll through their website, I want to get all dressed up and head out with my love. Their dresses are so unique and fit all different shapes and sizes of bodies. There are soo many cute options and variations! Comes in kid sizes too!

Seriously guys, I wouldn't recommend these shops if I didn't love every single one of them! Your wife, girlfriend, mom, and any other women in your life are guaranteed to love them too!

Here's a few more shoppable links if you're still wanting ideas!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy



Tasty Tuesday: My Favorite Crockpot Meal


I'd like to start off by saying, pardon my absence!
I've kind of been in a blogging rut lately.
Bloggers block is a thing right? Like writers block?
Also, I'm doing the 12 days of giveaways over on instagram and it's pretty time consuming ha!
But, I couldn't let Tuesday go by without posting a recipe!
This is actually on oldie but definitely a goodie.
I LOVE these seasoning packets!
I'm sure they are wonderful for the grill... but they are so perfect to use in the crockpot.
There are so many different flavor options and they are on sale so often!
Even when they aren't on sale, they're still super cheap!
Switch up the meats and veggies you put in and the possibilities are endless.
I've done smoky applewood with shredded pork, Brown Sugar Bourbon with little steaks, Island wood fire grill with pork chops, Baja Citrus with chicken... seriously there are so many ways to use these handy things.

This time I'm going to show you what I did with the Zesty herb packet (my favorite one), russet potatoes, and green beans.
No matter which packet I use, I do the same thing, just with different veggies and meats to keep it interesting ;)

Ingredients:

1) 1 packet of McCormick Grill Mates Seasoning
2) Your choice of meat (this time I did 5 frozen chicken tenders. I also add in 3-4 breasts and guesstimate other meats.)
3) Veggies of your choice (I did the frozen green beans from costco and added potatoes as a starch because I LOVE potatoes in the crockpot!)
4) Water
5) Vegetable, canola, or olive oil

Directions:

1) Place your meat in first, then layer whatever veggies or starch you want on top. Only add the veggies at this step if they are frozen. When using fresh add at like the last hour or so on top.


2) Mix together seasoning packet, about 1/4 cup oil, then fill the rest to the 1 cup line with water.
(make sure to mix it good, I also add a shake or two of salt and pepper)


3) Pour mixture evenly over the top of everything in crockpot


5) Cook on high for at least 4 hours or low for 5-6. I like letting it go a little longer so the flavors really soak into everything. I stir it a few times periodically while it's cooking so nothing burns on the sides and it all has it's turn to soak in the seasoning. Yum!
And that's all! 
Seriously... it's that easy!
Serve it up and enjoy!
I realize that's not the most flattering photo but... just trust me on this, the stuff is yummy!


All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken and Dumplings


Today has been lame... Car problems, a million more stinky diapers than usual, and a whole ton of laundry...
But, we're breathing, have plentiful food, and running water... and today is Tasty Tuesday!
So, it can't be thattttt lame right?
I absolutely love a hearty chicken noodle soup, but there's something so warming about chicken and dumplings. 
I made this on our first snow this year and it warmed us right up!
I love creamy soups and this one is just that!
As much as I love summer, I think I may like soup season more ;)


Ingredients:
-3 cans chicken broth
-1 cup water
-1 cube chicken bouillon
-1 dried bay leaf
-1/2 cup cream
-2 cups shredded chicken
-1 package frozen peas and carrots
-salt
-pepper

Dumplings:

-1-1/3 cups flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-2/3 cup milk
-1 tablespoon butter, melted


Directions:
1) Pour chicken broth, water, bay leaf, and bouillon in a medium/large pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
2) In the mean time prepare your dumplings. Whisk together dry ingredients and form a hole in the middle like a volcano. Whisk together melted butter and milk then pour into the hole. Fold the dry mixture into the hole until everything is combined.
3) Drop dough by the spoonfuls into boiling soup. Cover and let simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. 
4) Take out your bay leaf and add in your shredded chicken. I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken from Costco but feel free to cook and shred your own chicken. Add in the frozen peas and carrots as well as about a tbsp salt and tsp pepper. Give it a good stir and let simmer covered for another 15 minutes. 
5) Mix in your cream and salt and pepper to taste. I always add more ;) You can serve immediately or let it sit for a few more minutes. Enjoy!


I have a few cookie recipes I'm excited to share with you guys!
However, I also have some fun healthier recipes I'm excited to share too. 
Those will probably come after the new year though ;)
Countdown til Christmas is on!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

A Thankful Heart '16 Round Four

I can't believe how quickly November flew by!
I feel like I blinked after Halloween and suddenly we were kissing Thanksgiving goodbye!
Speaking of which, I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving!
Mine was surrounded by some of our family, pretty snow flakes falling from the sky, deep fried turkey, dancing in the kitchen, and lots of laughing.
Now, our Christmas tree is up (let's be honest here, it was up weeks ago ha!) and almost all my shopping is already complete!
However, I can't let November slip by without doing my last Thankful Heart post.
I've loved doing this series more than usual this year.
It really was just what I needed to get through a hard holiday season and focus on what I have to be thankful for.

I posted what this link up is all about the first week and why I'm really pushing it this year, but I still thought I'd give a brief description this week for those of you just popping in ;) If you'd like to read the lengthy version, head on over to my first post!

Three years ago I decided to do a series of posts during the month of November about all the simple joys in life that I am genuinely so very thankful for. 
Each week, on Sunday, I would post a few things that made my heart feel that much more full.
It could be something as small as the meal I ate the night before or as big as my faith and family.
Either way, it reminded me of the many blessings I have been given and somehow my days felt brighter and my heart felt happier.
There are far, far too many things that I take for granted and it's about time they get some recognition.
Although I fully realize that I should be giving each of these things recognition no matter what time of year it is, November just seemed fitting :)
So once a week from now on, you will be hearing bits and pieces about the things that are giving me "A Thankful Heart"

1) Our Life in Utah


My husband and I are both from San Diego and I can't count how many people have asked us, "Well what the heck are you doing here then??" It always gives me a good giggle for two reasons. One, the only real reason we are here is because BYU is here and that's where Hunter goes to school. BYU brought us here... but it isn't what's keeping us here. The second reason is that we actually really do like it here! I know everyone talks about the weather being great in San Diego but I am completely loving experiencing seasons. The crisp leaves in the fall, the winter wonderland right in our back yard during winter, the blossoms covering the trees in the spring, and the green that covers the mountains in the summer is just so magical to me. It's so fun to look forward to a new season. I also truly believe that you can be happy no matter where you live if you just give it a chance. We are loving being "tourists" here and experiencing all that the mountains have to offer us. The other reason I love this place though, is the amazing community we have here. We've met some really awesome people and continue to find life long friends. I love that most of these people believe the same as us and our morals and values are also the same. I feel like my schedule is always full of fun events and play dates with moms and I just love it. I don't know what exactly our plan is for the future, but I will always cherish this time in Utah.

2) Family


I've talked about both Hunter and Oaklyn this year but I haven't mentioned family as a whole yet and this year, I am most thankful for so many wonderful people we call family. The day Hunter's dad passed away, I think our family grew ten times stronger. We leaned on each other for comfort and love. Everyone was supportive and helpful and rallied around our mother in law. There were hard moments, but for the most part I was overwhelmed with how much everyone truly cared about each other. I was expecting this last Thanksgiving to be really, really hard. Occasionally someone would shed a tear or two, but for the most part, we just really enjoyed our time spent together. We made memories and laughed and it was just what everyone needed. I'm so excited to see everyone again for Christmas, I know it'll be a hard one, but I am definitely excited to be surrounded by each other. I'm also thankful for the family I grew up in. I love that they love Oaklyn so much. We FaceTime them often and it's always so fun to catch up on each other's lives. My mom was the first person I called after I received the news about Hunter's dad and she immediately got a room ready for us. When I pulled up to my parent's house, they ran out to the car and gave me a giant hug. They watched Oaks when we needed them too and were just there for us when we needed them. I just love being surrounded by so much good family that I love so much. Of course though, I am just so thankful for my little family. The day we became a family of three I knew my life would never be the same. I get to love and be loved by the greatest people ever. Oaklyn's little face fills my heart with joy and Hunter is the best father and husband I could ask for.

3) My Testimony of The Gospel



For those of you that don't know, I'm LDS. My faith makes up who I am and pushes me to always be my best self. Because of it, I know my purpose and this life makes so much more sense. After having my Oaklyn, I would occasionally struggle to feel the spirit in my life. I felt so busy and with how difficult of a baby she was, I never really had a moment of quiet time anymore. My scripture reading became more of a chore and my prayers became less personal. While I still knew the church was true, I was lacking that warm, comforting feeling I usually have. I decided to try better and make more time for the things that really mattered. That meant less scrolling through Facebook during late night feedings and more reading the scriptures. It meant making sure I had a firm foundation so I could teach my daughter correct principles. It also meant realizing nothing is more important than what I will take with me to heaven. I'm so thankful I've been able to focus on my testimony and strengthen it when the world get's even more wicked. I'm so thankful I have the power of prayer in my life to lead and guide me in any decision. I'm thankful we have the power of the priesthood in our home. I'm thankful for the scriptures and the correct principles they teach. I'm also thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and a loving Heavenly Father. I know not everyone believes the same as me, and that's okay, but that's a little bit about why I love being a Mormon so much.





Link Up Rules:

1) Please subscribe to, follow, or just check out your host/co-hosts. (first 3 links)
 2) Visit and comment on at least 5 other blogs. This link up is meant to create a blog community so don't be shy!
 3) In your post, please either share The"Thankful Heart" image above or link back to this post on your blog post.
4) Make your post more appealing and creative by adding whatever pictures you please and as many reasons to be thankful as you'd like! (remember that the post you link up should be about what you are thankful for!)
(#5 is optional but, very much recommended!)
 5) Share your post on instagram using #thankfulheartseries (with your choice of picture) and go check out other posts! Be a friend and comment on or like other posts :)



Happy Friendsgiving!


I am so so so excited to share all the details from this event! On November first I threw a "Friendsgiving" with my friend Natashia from Canary Jane and Steffanie from Life With Wings. We invited some blogger friends, ate yummy food, socialized, had a little presentation, giveaways, and listened to a musical artist. The thought to do this came after we came home from California after my father in law passed away. I was in a weird state of mind and was having a hard time seeing what I have to be grateful for. All I could think of were the negative things going on and how life just seemed so hard. I was kind of in desperate need to just vent and talk about everything floating around in my head. Natashia and I had been planning on getting together for some time but finally got around to it once I got home. She had just experienced a miscarriage and my heart was hurting from the emotional roller coaster we've gone through over here. We sat there and talked and listened and ate as our little girls played at the park. Our thoughts ran deep and I found myself sharing things I hadn't even shared with family. I felt like I had known Natashia forever and really appreciated her being there for me. I wanted to do something to really advertise my Thankful Heart Series and a little blogger event seemed like the perfect idea. I was so thankful for the friendship Natashia offered that I figured a Friendsgiving would be the perfect fit. She jumped right on board and we got to planning. Not long after that we started hanging out weekly with Steffanie and she jumped on board too! These ladies are so incredibly talented and I am beyond thankful for them! Putting it all together was a blast and we got so lucky with the best sponsors out there! Sooo I figured I'd share a bit about all of it here :)








We held the event at the Very Jane headquarters. They have the most beautiful space in all the land. We were thrilled to have them host the party there because that meant we hardly even needed to decorate. It was beautiful as it is in there! When guests arrived they socialized a bit and looked all around. Seriously how could you not? The Jane headquarters literally has a barber shop in it! However, we did decorate a little! All of the cute gold foil balloons are from Northstar Balloons and I loved that pop of gold! Each table had a like real tablecloth, utensils, and a cup from Consumer Crafts, flowers, greenery, a leaf from Rodworks, and a Bridgewater Candle. On the big food table we had super cute chalkboard pumpkins from Rodworks and a bunch of gourds, small pumpkins, and greenery in wood boxes steff had. We implemented hints of chambray all over the place and loved the unique touch. Our photographer was the wonderful Summer Nicole Photo and all images from this blog post are taken by her. Our adorable videographer was Kallie Cooper and you can check out the video here but I'm also going to put it at the bottom of this post ;)













We then had everyone head over to the tables to eat some yummy food! Around Eatery is a newer restaurant in the Lehi area and I dream about their curried cauliflower! They supplied buffalo chicken  ranch wraps and cranberry turkey wraps. Both were sooo yummy! They also supplied a winter salad with a Utah cider vinaigrette. You guys, that place is seriously amazing. I've tried several things on the menu now and crave it alllll the time! Black Sheep Cafe supplied Cactus Pear lemonade and not only was it such a fun color, but it tasted sooo good! It was so fun to have something fruity to sip on throughout the meal. Black sheep also has super yummy food and I definitely crave their burgers! Oh Joy bakery supplied the cupcakes and I don't wanna sound conceited but they were pretty good ;) Yep, I made them! So now the secret is out! I'm starting up my little in home bakery again! Before I got married I made cupcakes for events and totally loved it. Here's to another business venture! Stay tuned for more info on that!









After we finished eating we brought everyone over to listen to a little presentation. I talked a bit about my Thankful Heart Series and encouraged others to join in the fun because seriously, I just love this series! While the event was for bloggers, the series is for absolutely everyone! I'd love for you to read about it here and join in! Next week is the last week til next year! After that I handed the mic over to Natashia. Have I mentioned she's probably the most creative person I have ever met?? Seriously. She created some super cool thankful tree illustrations that you can download from her blog here. It could be a fun family thing to do on Thanksgiving! We then had some super fun giveaways from Freshly Picked, Rad Swim, Agnes and Dora, Bridgewater Candles, and Kortni Jeane. Right after that we had the amazingly talented Calee Reed serenade us with her gorgeous voice! She has such a great stage presence and an incredible voice which wrapped up everything perfectly! She chose super uplifting and motivating songs and I loved every minute of hearing her live. She has a CD out at Deseret Book and on iTunes, plus does all the Time Out For Women Conferences! So make sure to check her out!













To end things how any blogger would, we took a million and a half photos! haha. Natashia created this amazing backdrop and I just loved it! It was so fun to get together and take some fun photos. On everyone's way out they got to grab a swag bag filled with a whole lot of goodies! There was: the darling canvas tote from Very Jane, a hot iron holster from Holster Brands, swim bottoms from Kortni Jeane, a beanie from Rad Swim, a gift card to Around Eatery, coupons from Loved By Sophia, consumer crafts, gathre, and rodworks, a sample from tubby todd, a gold foil print from Calligraphy.org, baby bib from Copper Pearl, Macaroons from Sugar and Confetti, a candle from Bridgewater Candles, a wallet from Thread Wallets, and a piece of jewelry from Hope Ave or Downeast! I absolutely love every single one of these companies and was so excited to have them in the bags! Also, my dress, Steff's dress, and Natashia's shirt are from Downeast as well. 





And last but absolutely not least, here's the fun video by Kallie!
I hope you guys got some inspo for a future freindsgiving!
And... a huge thank you to our sponsors and all who came!
All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Friendsgiving from KC Film & Photo on Vimeo.