HAPPY FALL

Monday, September 24, 2018

It is officially fall, and I could not be any more excited. I love all of the festive fun that this season has to offer, and I can't wait watch the boys partake in all of the spooky pumpkin, crunchy leaf fun together. In all honesty, I have been in full fall mode since September started. However, Dane insisted that pumpkins and Hocus Pocus were for later in the month. So, I have resisted going too crazy...until now. ;) I put together a little list of all of the activities that I want to check off during the fall months. 


What are your favorite traditions for the season? 


Brother Bookshelf

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

We recently got some new books for the boys that I have to share with you! 


The Wonderful Things You Will Be: Crew got this book for Easter, and it is adorable...and it only makes me cry a little bit. The illustrations are beautiful, which I always love!

Here We Are: This was in Rowan's Easter basket. He loves it. There is a page with a bunch of different animals, and naming allllllll of them is his favorite. 

The Day the Crayons Quit: We just got this one, and Rowan thinks it is hilarious!

The Adventures of Crew and Rowan: Be still my heart! I am obsessed with this book, and I am planning on doing an entire post all about it! Check out Hooray Heroes to make your own, and get 15% off with code LOVEFIRST15.

You're Here for a Reason: Crew got this for his birthday, and it is the sweetest! He loves flipping through a good board book. 

Changing up this bookshelf is one of my favorite things to do! It is almost time to switch it up for Halloween, and I can't wait. What are your favorite books for kiddos?

Donut Grow Up

Monday, September 17, 2018

Over the weekend, we celebrated our littlest man turning ONE! I have no idea where the last year has gone. I am equal parts sad that he is growing up so fast, and excited to see all the fun things he will do and learn. 







I honestly wasn't sure that this party was going to happen, after a scary weekend regarding my brother's health. I am so thankful for every sweet friend who reached out to see if they could help. It would not have been possible without family and friends. They shopped and food prepped and decorated and I was able to be right where I was needed. Thank you for all of the prayers for Layton. The outpouring of love and support has been felt and deeply appreciated.

Fall Favorites

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

H A P P Y   F A L L

Okay, I realize that it isn't exactly fall yet, but as soon as August is over I am in full fall mode.

I am ready to fill my house with pumpkins, and plaid, and all the fall things. Who is with me? Here are a few of the things I am loving for the season!


Fall is seriously my favorite season! Maybe it is because my birthday falls on the first official day of autumn, or the fact that the weather is THE BEST, or all the fun things we have to do, or a combination of it all. Whatever the reason, I am always happy when fall rolls around. 

I wish that our house was finished so I could go pumpkin crazy right.this.very.second...maybe that is why Dane keeps putting it off. ;)

First Day of School

Monday, August 20, 2018

 Today was Rowan's first day of school. I was sure that I would be an emotional mess during drop off, but his excitement was contagious. He has been talking about his "red school" for months! He asked me to make his hair flat, put on his rocket ship backpack, and was all smiles as we made the drive to school. I am so proud of this boy and his love for learning.





How old are you: free
What is your favorite food: bananas
What is your favorite toy: Grandma’s LEGO shark
What do you like to do for fun: play, pick up, talk, and run
What is your favorite color: black
What is your favorite movie: Bolt
What is something you would like to learn about: toy activities
What do you want to be when you grow up: a worker
What do you love most: being kind

Happy First Day, Rowan!


Bath Time Favorites

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

 Bath time is a favorite at our house! Crew get's upset if anyone is in the tub or shower without him, and Rowan sometimes asks to take a bath multiple times a day. (Sometimes he needs multiple baths a day...boys!)



There are a few things that we love for a fun and easy bath time. Up until a couple months ago, we had been using this bath seat for Crew. It is perfect for newborns and works well when they start sitting up on their own.

The boys also seem to love squirty toys...I am not a fan. The trapped water and the who-knows-what that is growing inside of them makes me squirm. Luckily, Munchkin made these adorable squirty toys that come apart for easy cleaning. Rowan loves that the pieces are interchangeable.

This next item is on my "need to get" list. Crew is obsessed with the drain stopper more than anything. The shiny metal ring is way more appealing than any brightly colored bath toy. This little drain cover might be toy looking enough to keep him from being interested...it is worth a shot.

When bath time is also part of our bed time routine, I like to add some homemade bath soak. It smells so good, and is the perfect start to our winding down process.

BATH SOAK

1/2 cup Epsom Salt

1/4 cup Baking Soda

10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

10 drops of Peace & Calming Essential Oil

Don't have oils, I know a girl who can help you with that. ;) You can click here to read more if you would like. 

Milk Bath Session

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

My friend asked me if I would want to take some milk bath pictures of her little girl, and I was like, "UM....YES, but only if Crew can crash the session!" 





Crew is a splasher, so the splashing shots are my favorite.



Since cutting back on photography, I have really been trying to get my camera out to take more pictures of the boys. They are only little for such a short period of time, and I want to freeze these moments of sweetness and the magic of childhood. 

House Update

Friday, June 22, 2018

It has been a while since I have done a house update for you all.

Honestly, up until last week things were moving along pretty slowly and there wasn't much to update you on. BUT last week we decided to let someone come in and work on stuff while we were out of town. Now things seem to be moving along at a good speed again. 





For months we have had the wall removed between the kitchen and the addition. The next thing that needed to happen was to make the two spaces match and coordinate. Tearing the kitchen apart was something we weren't exactly looking forward to. Having it finished, yes! Having it out of order for who knows how long, NO! Regardless, it had to happen, and while we were gone seemed like the perfect time. 




They basically gutted the kitchen, fixed the floor, and dry-walled the whole thing, and painted. Since we have been home, Dane and his dad have finished putting the flooring down...which I am in LOVE with! 

Currently the kitchen is still missing the cabinets, counter tops, sink, and ALL of the appliances. I am pretty sure that Rowan thinks we turned into a dance floor. We are getting ready to start painting the cabinets and our fridge is being delivered soon! (Thank goodness...running to the basement every time I need something out of the fridge is not fun!)

We are one BIG step closer, and it is finally starting to feel like the finish line might be in sight! 

R-O-W-A-N

Thursday, May 03, 2018

I am always trying to find activities for Rowan that are fun but also educational.  So, when I found these customizable handwriting sheets from Indigo Ink Boutique, I was so excited to try them out. Rowan recently learned how to spell his name out loud, but we are still working on writing his letters. These cute worksheets come in a variety of designs and are custom made with your child's name. 

Rowan loved the robot design, and it made tracing his letters even more fun!


Ordering is easy, and you get a PDF to print off whenever you want. You could even laminate the pages to use with dry erase markers again and again!




This summer we plan on doing a bunch of fun "exploring" activities. I want to get outside and learn about nature. If you have any learning resources, I would love to hear all about them!

Spring Cleaning

Monday, April 09, 2018

Sure, we had the pretties snowfall of the year last night, but I have had spring cleaning on my mind! If you have been following me for a while you know that Dane and I have been slowly taking steps to get harmful toxins out of our home. Over the last couple of years, I have been tweaking recipes and learning tricks to natural cleaning.


Thieves Household Cleaner

This is the cleaner that I use most in my house. I use it in every single room and for all of our surfaces. It is the only thing that I use to clean toys, highchairs...basically anything that my kids are going to touch. It is highly concentrated, so I just add one capful to an 8 oz. glass spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Easy peasy and ready to clean! 

Kitchen

Sink Scrub: I love a sparkling kitchen sink! This sink scrub is easy to make and works so well! Just add 15-20 drops of essential oil (I like Lemon and Clove) to 2 cups of baking soda. Mix it up and let it dry before storing in a glass jar. When you need it, just sprinkle a little scoop of that into your sink, add a little dish soap, and get to scrubbing. You can also use this one on stubborn spots, like your stove top...why does that get so dirty?

Mopping: Get a mop that you can add your own solution to, like this one. Add a capful of Thieves Cleaner and a few drops of Pine Essential Oil to the refillable container and fill it the rest of the way with water. If you have wooden floors, you can also add a bit of grape seed oil or olive oil to help make your floors really shine.

Living Room

Vacuum: One of my favorite tips, is to add a couple drops of Purification (or Christmas Spirit if you are in that kind of mood) to your vacuum cleaner filter. It will smell so good as you are vacuuming, and long after you are done! 

Diffuse: Before I knew better, I loved to burn candles and relax after I finished cleaning. Now, I turn on the diffuser and enjoy the fresh scent of whatever blend I am in the mood for. There are a number of oils that help clean the air when diffused. 

Laundry

Laundry Spray: Add 15 drops of your favorite essential oil (I like Purification or Citrus Fresh) to a 2 oz. spray bottle. Fill the rest with water. Shake it up and spray it on your dryer balls before adding them to your laundry.

There are lots of other ways to naturally clean your home and recipes that I could share, but these are just a few of my favorite things. Now, I need to get to cleaning!

Easter 2018

Monday, April 02, 2018

I really feel like I failed at Easter. I waited until the last possible second to get the boys' baskets together (thank you, Amazon Prime), and I may or may not have stuck a bunny from our stuffed animal bin in Crew's basket because it need some "filler"...
and i didn't even manage to get a family photo.


I felt disappointed in myself for not taking the boys to an organized egg hunt, for not getting their picture taken with the Easter bunny, for expecting them to enjoy the Easter morning festivities in the midst of a construction mess. 

It was just a difficult holiday for me emotionally. 

But guess what? They loved every second of it. 

The wonderful thing about Easter is not all of the "egg"stravagant festivities...the beauty is that God loves us so much that He gave His son, so we could have eternal life (John 3:16).

When we feel less than, imperfect, and not good enough, God says we are loved. 

Happy Easter

Brave Hazel Boutique

Friday, February 23, 2018

I recently had the chance to hang out with the super sweet Laura Convery, and take some pictures for her adorable boutique! This girl has a heart that is crazy for Jesus, a husband who is just as excited about this beautiful dream of hers, AND she is a boy mom. So basically, I left the photo shoot hoping that we could be besties. ;) 


Brave Hazel Boutique, named after Laura's grandma, is a beautifully curated collection of pieces to make you feel unique, confident, and oh so lovely. If I am being totally honest, it hasn't been easy for me to feel comfortable (let alone beautiful) after having Crew. BUT I am happy to report that after some shopping at Brave Hazel Boutique, I am feeling super confident and excited about getting all dolled up...even if I am just serving mac and cheese to a toddler.


"We all know life can be uncertain and fragile. As women, we tend to take on the burdens of others and get caught up in the fast pace of life, often forgetting to do things that make us feel good or beautiful. I feel like the obstacles I have faced in my life, I only got by with my faith in Jesus Christ and the love from incredible family and friends. Often times feeling like I was barely hanging on. Sometimes we have to grab onto faith and trust that this journey is meant for making dreams come true, not wasting a minute and taking risks. With an incredibly supportive husband, encouraging me daily, running on faith & love, I bring to you my dream, with hopes of making you feel beautiful... BRAVE HAZEL BOUTIQUE." - Laura



Laura and her husband, Jon, are taking Brave Hazel Boutique on the road. They are getting ready to fix up this little horse trailer complete with a fitting room! Laura envisions the traveling shop going to her sons' ball tournaments, parking uptown for business in the evenings, and she is even planning on doing home parties! FUN...and is it not the cutest thing ever?! For now, you can visit her Facebook page to find cute clothes for your closet. 


"For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for style, fashion & individuality. I can remember spending hours dressing my little sister up in different dresses to photograph & pose her with our china dolls. Thankfully she was a trooper then and still is when I want to dress her in Brave Hazel and take pictures of her. :) Years later, my college days were spent in black heels, which I still have blisters from and now mom life, where I find myself loving to express my individuality as well as being comfortable. I believe that your style should make you feel beautiful, confident and fearless." - Laura


It is clear that her passion includes encouraging women to be brave enough to chase their dreams, to build their confidence, and to help them feel beautiful just they way they are. I can't wait to see what is to come for the traveling boutique...don't worry, I will tell you when it is ready for business! 

Go forward with your day feeling brave and beautiful.
For you are fearfully & wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14

Another House Update

Monday, January 29, 2018

The walls upstairs got some paint recently, and I keep going up there just to get a peek at how beautiful it is. I can't wait to start living in this space. When this room is finished it will be filled with toys. I hope to get some playful art for he space...and maybe some big prints of both the boys. 




The color we decided on for this room is Passive Gray by Sherwin Williams. However, the store that we purchased the paint from did not carry Sherwin Williams, so we color matched with a Dutch Boy base. We got an eggshell finish to keep any imperfections camouflaged and we opted to get a paint with primer. However, we are going to prime the downstairs before using this paint. (NOTE: we are not experts at paint AT ALL, but this has worked well for us.) If we do need to get touch up paint down the road, I will be sure to get the same base. I am sure that color matching isn't always 100% accurate, and I am sure that bases differ. I plan on keeping a detailed list of the paint in our house binder, otherwise I will forget!

Crew's Newborn Photos

Friday, January 26, 2018

It is hard to believe that our baby is already 4 months old. If anyone knows a secret to getting time to slow down, please share! I have started to think about what canvases and prints I want to order for the addition, and I realized that I never shared Crew's newborn pictures with you! 

A couple weeks after Crew made his arrival, my sweet friend, Chelsea, came over and spent a good part of the day taking pictures of this squishy little nugget! He did not want to nap at all that day...probably because there was too much excitement! 




We did get Rowan to fall asleep for some pictures. It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but it may be one of my favorite pictures ever. Dane asked me what size canvas I was going to get for that picture...I just told him that I was ordering it as wallpaper. I was only kind of kidding. I am sure I can find a space in the addition for it. ;)








I am so in love with this sweet baby and all of these pictures. Chelsea did a great job, like always! Click here to check out more of her work.