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. 

Our New Favorite Children's Books

Friday, January 19, 2018

Books are on Rowan's wishlist every year. He loves to sit on my lap and read a story, or crawl in his tee pee with a stack of books. We have recently added some to our collection that we are enjoying, so I thought I would share them and a few others that we have been wanting.


One Thousand Things: This was under the tree from Santa on Christmas morning, and I think we have already read it a dozen times. It goes over colors, counting, and SO MUCH MORE...and the illustrations are so cute.

The Boy Who Lost His Name: This book is the cutest. You get to completely customize the book to your child's interest. Rowan thought it was the coolest thing to see his name inside the pages. They have a few different stories to choose from, and I guarantee that these are books that will be treasured forever.

1001 Things to Spot on a Farm: This is an Usborne book. I believe that there are several different books in the 1001 Things to Spot series, but the farm is obviously fitting for Row. He is obsessed with look and find books, and this one is adorable. If your little one enjoys look and find books, there is also a Paw Patrol one that is really fun. 

Home: We actually got this book last year for Christmas. It is still one of Rowan's favorites. The book talks about several different kinds of homes and the is filled with pretty illustrations. 

Some that we have had our eye on include, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, This Moose Belongs to Me, and Here We Are. I can't wait to fill the shelves of our reading nook with books for the boys. The playroom cannot be done soon enough.

Do you have any favorites that we should add to our list? I am always looking for more. 

This post contains affiliate links.

Wild & Three

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Our wild little man turned three a couple weeks ago, and we finally got to celebrate. He insisted that he wanted a Rowan themed party, so I did what I could to make that happen. We decided on a pool party...because who doesn't love to swim on the coldest day of the year? We found a local hotel that rented space out for pool parties, and it ended up being a great choice. They even provided all of the food.


The kids were all too busy swimming to even notice the decorations, but we had a few. I kept it pretty simple and just got a few balloons and pictures of Rowan. My mom made Row's cake again this year. I was wanting something rustic. I know that it wasn't her favorite cake (guys she is awesome...look at the cake she made him last year!), but I love how it turned out! She never disappoints.


The best part of the night was spending time with our friends and family...and maybe watching Rowan try to blow out his birthday candles. He got so excited!



In addition to celebrating Rowan, we also had a birthday girl to sing to and celebrate! We joined forces and did one big party for these cutie cousins...I think they really enjoyed it. 


No one tells you how difficult hitting 3 is...I seriously didn't feel prepared. I feel like Rowan has grown up so much over the last year. I am so excited to watch him learn and show off his wild and free personality, but I also miss my little boy. I love celebrating you, Rowan. Your birthday is one of my favorite days of the year!

House Update

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

T H E   W A L L  came down!!!! The moment that we have been waiting for. The moment that was supposed to let us see and feel how big our space is actually going to be. It happened, and it is big, and so is the mess! 

Here are some before pictures for you...they aren't pretty, but you get the point. We had a tiny kitchen and a wall that divided our livable house, with our new space...and that wall had to go! 




Also, not sure why my cousin let me paint my kitchen this color many years ago! ;) I still love it on our porch...not so much the kitchen! 

After:


So much light, so much room, and so many smiles from a crazy haired boy!

Now we are in the final stretch, though I have a feeling the mess is going to get bigger before we finish. Until then, I will be cleaning up all the dust...if you need me. ;)