Lemon Cookies

Monday, April 22, 2019

Dane and I are currently doing a little diet detox. I can't enjoy any kind of cookie for at least a week, but I think a will make a batch of these when we are finally done. Young Living has a variety of vitality oils that are great for adding to your favorite dishes or drinks. I love to add a drop of Lemon Vitality or Grapefruit Vitality to my glass of water, but these cookies might be an even better use of my vitality oil. ;) They are yummy all on their own or crumbled over some vanilla ice cream!


Lemon Cookies

½ cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup powdered sugar, set aside
8 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Whip in vanilla, egg, and YL lemon oil. Stir in all dry ingredients besides the powdered sugar. Form cookies into small balls. Roll each ball in powder sugar and place on cookie sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes.

I sprinkled the cookies with some powdered sugar once they had cooled.

They are a crowd favorite!

If you don't have oils yet, you can find some more info here!

Easter Basket Ideas

Friday, April 05, 2019

Last year I Amazon Primed all the boys' Easter basket goodies two days before Easter and used one of Rowan's stuffed bunnies as a filler for Crew's basket. You can see more about all that here.


This year, I am happy to report that I have already started getting baskets together! We don't really do any candy in our Easter baskets, because the kids get enough of that everywhere else we go. I like to fill the boys basket with practical fun things, and I try to keep it pretty simple. Here are some fun ideas I thought I would share with you. 

Hat: My boys are obsessed with hats, and Rey to Z has the cutest hats ever! I got each of the boys one for their basket and I am excited for them to see them!

Books: We include books the Easter baskets every year. I found I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home for Crew, and it is darling! For Rowan I am getting The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross. The illustrations are beautiful and message are beautiful! I also really liked You Belong Here and E is for Easter.

Stuffed Toy: If you have really young kids stuffed toys can be a fun addition. My mom found the boys really cute bunnies for their first Easters. I am getting Crew a little goat, because he is pretty much in love with our little goat, Dot. 

Sun Glasses: Another item that I get every year is sunglasses. They are affordable and easy to toss in the basket. I got Row this cute pair from Old Navy. I also found these really cool flexible toddler sunglasses from Amazon! Who ever thought of that was genius!

Outdoor Fun: Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, gardening tools, jump ropes...these are all great ideas to get your kids outside after a long winter! 

Swim Trunks: I am going to buy swim trunks anyway, I might as well stick them in the Easter basket, right? You could also get beach towels and pool toys. 

Pajamas: Another practical basket stuffer that you probably need to get anyway. The boys have outgrown a lot of their spring/summer pajamas from last year. I got them each a set of these. We love Old Navy pajamas!

Easter Eggs: We always have a little Easter egg hunt, but I like to stick a couple eggs in their basket. Usually we do quarters in our eggs. Rowan loves to put them in his "penny bank." If you have girls, little bows and barrettes would be really cute! 

A lot of these items are available on Amazon Prime, so if you want to wait until the last second it's no problem. ;) Is there something that you stick in your kiddos' baskets each year?

Road Trip Essentials

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

 We went on a little road trip last weekend, and had the best time. Kids and long car rides are not always a recipe for fun, but I did my best to make sure that there was plenty to keep them entertained while we were traveling.



Legos: I used some 3M Command Velcro to secure a Lego base to the bottom of a little pencil container. It worked like a charm. I was sure that the container was going to get dropped and tiny legos were going to go everywhere, but it didn't happen. Rowan built and rebuilt a "jungle" for well over an hour during our drive to Tennessee. 

Dry Erase Board: I threw this in our bag at the last minute, and I am so glad that I did. This was probably the favorite of all the activities that I brought along from Rowan. He practiced writing his name, then he practiced writing his "brudder's" name, and then he asked me to help him draw our whole family. 

Books: This one is pretty easy, I picked out a couple books for each of the boys to flip through during the trip. Crew loves looking at his board books! 

Movies: We have a DVD player in the car. Rowan didn't watch it a ton, but when he started to get sleepy, it was a good option. 

Tablet: I also packed his tablet, and made sure that there were lots of games and videos downloaded before the we got in the car. Netflix has an option to download and go, so you don't have to have internet connection for the movies you have downloaded. He spent most of his tablet time playing a letter tracing game. I honestly don't have great recommendations for games on the tablet because I haven't taken the time to figure it out. If you have favorite tablet apps for kids (preferably some that don't need the internet) please share them!

Bingo: We got these Road Trip Bingo cards on our first ever family trip...Rowan was 6 months old! We had a blast with them on that trip, and I am sure that Rowan would have loved them this time...but I forgot to pack them. #fail

Play Doh: This was actually an accident, and we didn't play with it in the car. It happened to be in the bottom of the diaper bag, and Dane found it looking for a toy to entertain Crew at one of the restaurants. It kept both of the boys happy and quiet while we waited for our food to arrive. I am going to leave a little container in the diaper bag from now on! 

We also packed some essential oils to help with meltdowns, but we didn't have to use them this time. Overall, the boys were really good. Luckily, Crew was all for sleeping during most of the driving.

The success of this trip makes us feel better about venturing a little further next time. We will just have to make sure that we pack more snacks. 


Nashville

Monday, January 28, 2019

We are back from our weekend in Music City, and I wish we could have stayed longer.



 While we were in Nashville we stayed in the cutest airbnb; it had so much character and Nashville charm. We have used airbnb several times are we are always delighted. My biggest suggestion is to read the reviews! Find an airbnb for your next trip!



This little bungalow was not far from The Pharmacy, where we went for burgers on Saturday night. So many people had suggested this spot, and the boys and I really enjoyed it. We used the Nowait app to get in line before we even arrived. If you haven't used this app, go download it now! 



After supper, we made our way over to Franklin to check out The Factory. It was the coolest little place for the boys to run around and burn off some energy. Several of the stores were already closed, but Rowan and I did paint some pottery! The boys spent Sunday exploring downtown Nashville while I went to a work meeting. We had such a great weekend, and I can't wait until we can all go back and visit again! 

DIY Shiplap Walls

Friday, January 18, 2019

I guess you could say I am a fan of shiplap. We have now done three walls in our home with faux shiplap, and I am asked often how we do it. So, I thought it was time that I share the deets with you. The process is actually pretty simple.


Step 1: Measure your wall and figure out how much "ship lap" you are going to need. The last thing you want is to start the project and run out of supplies, so measuring should always be the first step. 

Step 2: Go to your local home improvement store and purchase some 1/4" smooth plywood in 4' x 8' sheets. Bonus points if they will cut it for you! We got ours at Home Depot, and they will cut it for a small fee. You want them to cut to 8' x 7 3/4"...this will account for the blade width, and you won't have a off size piece left over. 

Step 3: Start in a corner of the wall that you are wanting covered, and use a nail gun to hang the plywood. We started with a full piece and then continued until we had to cut a strip to size. Once we moved to the second row, we made cuts to ensure that ends didn't line up with one on top of the other. We used a nickle at the end of each board to ensure that we had the spacing even. (It helps if you have an extra pair of hands for this part!)

Step 4: Paint! We have painted all of our shiplap walls white, but I also think that a really dark gray wall would be pretty! 


Tips: 

1. Paint the wall before you hang the shiplap. We didn't do this the first time, and it isn't as easy as we thought it would be to get paint in those cracks. I was sure that the wall wouldn't be visible enough for it to even matter, but it was. 

2. Get the Lauan that is primed if you have the choice. This was another thing that we learned from our first go. It soaks up paint like crazy and the first time we did this we ended up needing several extra coats.

3. Don't worry if it isn't perfect! The way the boards are cut doesn't always leave perfectly straight edges.While it may not be completely flawless, I still think it looks great! 


I love the texture that the shiplap adds. It breaks up this big wall in our addition so beautifully. It doesn't even really need any art...but it may also be the perfect wall for some family photos!

Snow Much Fun

Monday, January 14, 2019

Is there anything cuter than a baby in snow gear? I don't really think so. SO FLUFFY! We got the boys bundled up in lots of layers and mismatched gloves for some fun in the snow. Years ago we cleared a path down a big hill out at the farm, and every snowfall we hope to make it out there.  


There was a big group of sledders, and everyone had a blast (and there were no injuries...thank goodness!) The doggies even got in on the fun. We all stayed nice and toasty sipping on hot chocolate. My mom brought a big jug of it complete with marshmallows and chocolate chips.


Crew wasn't so sure about the cold weather, but he toughed it out and even made a trip or two down the hill. After a couple hours, he took a nap with his auntie in the warm car. Thank goodness for Auntie Brooke.


This was the first time Rowan has been sledding at the farm, and he LOVED it! As soon as he got to the top of the hill, he was speeding down at "blazing speed," which he made me shout as I gave him a little push. It was so fun watching him...he was fearless.

Rowan's 4th Birthday

Monday, January 07, 2019

Phew...we had an eventful weekend that ended with a gallon of confetti scattered around my floor. Yesterday we celebrated Rowan's fourth birthday! Rowan loves space and planets and rocket ships, so we wanted to have a party that was out of this world. (But also try to keep it simple-ish.) My mom made a solar system cake and star treats, we had rock candy, and we ordered some pizza...and it wouldn't be a party without a balloon garland! ;)





It was a fun day celebrating our boy!


Also, we really put our little home to the test! I have been anticipating the day that we would be able to host a gathering at our house. It was at max capacity, and it was so much fun! Our home and our hearts were overflowing.