Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Loving lately - December 2017

Hello again old friends! This time of year always has me thinking of my favorite things. There are a lot of things on my list but here are my top 4 this month:

This pine syrup from Dram Apothecary. One of my favorite stores in town, Knapsack, started carrying this syrup and I was intrigued the moment I saw it. PINE flavored syrup that you can use with anything from tea/coffee to meats? What? You guys, its GOOD! It doesn't taste overwhelmingly piney. It's sweet, has a subtle taste of pine (reminds me of gin), and it really does taste amazing in tea/coffee or my favorite, sparkling water. It's like a light, fresh tasting soda. I'm in love

In my mind, Rifle paper company can do no wrong. Everything they make is both functional and a work of art. I love love love this cute little journal. Its absolutely beautiful, not too bulky, and the soft cover can easily be opened and laid flat or tucked underneath for easy writing. These make excellent gifts for just about everyone. Check them out!

 Every year around thanksgiving I pull out Christmas Spirit and Idaho Balsam Fir and diffuse away until sometime in early spring haha! This combo gives me all the Christmas/winter/cozy/chestnuts roasting by an open fire feels and I love them. Not only does Idaho balsam fir smell amazing, it works wonders on sore muscles and supports the respiratory system! You're welcome ;)

 Little Giraffe baby blankets are the best! All of my kids have a small one that they have had since they were born. They are SO soft and the perfect size for small hands to carry around. The boys have loved theirs so well they are completely ripped and discolored now. Calvin will be getting this new beauty for Christmas! These also make great gifts and there are so many adorable styles and colors to choose from

Tell me what YOU are loving lately! I always enjoy trying new things

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Natural home cleaning products

Sometimes I go out of my way to make things that I could just as easily buy at the store. Usually my projects take 10x longer than they are supposed to and look like scary pinterest fails when I'm done with them. Once in awhile a project is really worth the time I put in and comes out looking fantastic and working well. Not only are these household cleaners super quick and easy to make, they work just as well as the chemical cleaners I've used in the past. I used to wait to clean until the kids were in another room or napping because I was so worried about fumes from the cleaners (or the mushroom cloud of comet dust when cleaning the bathtub). The ingredient list on these simple cleaners is short and sweet and they all smell fantastic thanks to essential oils (which also do wonders in the cleaning process). Grab the ingredients and try these recipes out! You'll thank me ;)

First up: Laundry detergent! This detergent is safe for all washing machines, even HE :) I use 1-2 Tbsp depending on the load size. I tend to use about 5 drops of each essential oil per batch but you can always add a few more if you want. Some of my favorite essential oil combos: Purification and lemon, Peppermint and lemon, Lavender and eucalyptus

 Next: cleaning scrub! Let me start by saying that I'm a HUGE fan of comet. I love it. It has always worked so well for us. I never thought I would find a product that could work as well. Then I made this cleaning scrub! It has minimal ingredients so I don't have to worry if there is a little residue in the kids' bathtub or if I want to clean while the kids are around. It smells so fresh and so clean and is a cinch to whip up

 Thieves cleaner. Young living sells a thieves cleaner concentrate that I can't live without. Love it (and you can clean everything with it, truly multipurpose). This do it yourself thieves cleaner is also wonderful. It makes cleaning fun :)

One of the main reasons I tend to not make my own cleaning products is that I hate ordering the supplies! Here are links to some of my favorites. You can order all of the containers on amazon and have them shipped to your door :) I get my vinegar, washing soda, epsom salt, etc. at target or walmart. Most of the bottles and containers come in bulk so invite some friends over and have a party! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Alone time: expectation vs. reality

As I was searching through my phone for a picture to use for this post I was looking for something calming, peaceful, beautiful. Instead I found this and its actually the perfect picture. These days taking time for myself usually looks like catching up on the dishes after dinner while Jeff puts the boys to bed. People are constantly telling me to take time for myself and I really love the concept but the reality of what it looks like is much different from my expectations and not really all that satisfying. I'm really not even sure what I did with my free time before Lewis was born but here are some things that I like to do now: 

Taking a bath
expectation: peaceful, quiet, no interruptions. Completely relaxing for mind and body
reality: spend 30 minutes making sure the boys have everything they need for their rest time and that Annibel is asleep. Things are looking good. I get into the bath, everything is going according to plan. As soon as I settle in both cats and both boys run in (Lewis has to poop, yay). Boys are asking questions non stop and BOTH cats are walking around the edge of the tub. Boys leave, cat falls into the tub (gross), aaannd my bath is over lol. 

Writing this blog post
expectation: My computer gets 30 minutes of my undivided attention
reality: after I type the first letter I hear multiple, extremely loud bangs coming from the attic (where the boys play). I race up and yell ask the boys to be quiet (hardest part of having a baby who still takes naps!). They both ask for a yogurt snack. I go back downstairs to grab their snack. No yogurt. I race back up to tell them I'll bring them a snack as soon as I'm done with my work. Start writing again. Sam is crying. Run back upstairs as quickly as possible to tell Sam to be quiet and to tell Lewis to share all of his toys immediately. All of this happens several more times before Anni wakes up from her nap

Eating lunch
expectation: eating lunch in silence without anyone needing anything from me
reality: The boys need help putting on their costumes, one of them gets hurt on the trampoline, they both need water, one of them spills his water on the way out, the baby cat escapes outside. 

Going to the gym before the kids wake up
expectation: sneak out at 5:50am while everyone is still sleeping peacefully
reality: Don't end up going to sleep until 11:15 pm the night previous, One of the boys wakes up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, Anni wakes up uncharacteristically early the SECOND I step out of the front door and wants to nurse

Grabbing coffee with a friend:
expectation: I will buy the kids hot chocolate and some delicious treats and they will play sweetly with each other while my friend and I catch up
reality: one or all of the kids undergo a strange, inexplicable emotional change on the way to the coffee shop which results in much crying and complaining from the moment we arrive to the moment we leave. 

I try to do something for myself every day so that I don't go crazy. I'm learning that right now "alone time" doesn't look the same as it used to and that's ok. Most days I just have to stop and laugh in the midst of all of the chaos. Life is so beautiful 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pumpkin patch adventures

At this time of year pretty much the only activity I can think of to do with the kids is the pumpkin patch! We've already been 4 or 5 times...and have so.many.pumpkins lol. Our favorite is Bartels because its free to get in, they have a great playground for the kids, and its only 15 minutes from our house.