October 5 Favorites

In Uncategorized
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I sat down just the other day to get back to brainstorming some blog content when I realized it was November.  October was an insanely busy month and I think I finally caught up mentally.  There was a wedding every weekend (#allthechalkboards), a few orders, a couple Instagram campaigns, fall break, and my best friend had a baby.  Oh!  And let’s not forget Trunk-or-Treat and Halloween!  November, let’s slow down just a bit.  Kthanks!

1. Thieves Household Cleaner – This stuff is amazing. If you’ve jumped on the oil bandwagon like I have, then you have more than likely heard of this. I’ve been using oils for almost a year but have just started using the cleaner. I am loving it! I love that I can clean anywhere in my house and not have to worry about toxins. It’s natural and smells so good too!

2. World Market – I am obsessed with World Market these days.  If you watch my Insta stories, I was raving about them just last week.  The Christmas selection is unreal and, maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I’m all about everything in that store!

3. Risen Motherhood Podcast – Such positive and uplifting advice, truth, and wisdom coming from these two sisters-in-law.  I look forward to days when I can just binge listen (that’s a thing right?) to a few episodes while I do laundry or catch up in the office.

4. Portrait Mode – We just switched to the iPhone X and it has what I have been drooling over for months now.  PORTRAIT MODE!  I’m all about it.  It’s amazing what they can do with technology and the quality of pictures our phones can take these days.

5. Chuck E. Cheese – Yes, that’s literally on my favorites list. It gets such a bad rep but Gav and I went over our fall break and had a blast.  I have a few pieces of advice to make the most out of your experience:

  1. Look for coupons.
  2. If you have kids older than 4, opt for time, not tokens.  100 minutes of play goes WAY further than 100 tokens when your kiddo jumps from game to game like mine did.
  3. Get there early.

What did you find in the month of October that you’re loving?

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A New Phase of Motherhood

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A New Phase of Motherhood

Motherhood is a strange and amazing thing.  I’m sure no one will deny that.  It’s scary, awe inspiring, frustrating, rewarding, elating, on and on and on.  From one extreme to the next and it has phases.  There’s the newborn phase, toddler phase, mom of more than one young child phase, but now I feel I’ve entered into yet another new phase of motherhood.  A more self sufficient phase, if you will.

Continue reading

Master Bedroom Makeover

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Master Bedroom Makeover

I am thrilled to be sharing our new and improved master bedroom!  It was a labor of love and my husband and I are pretty proud of how it turned out.  It can be a challenge when it comes to decorating for both of our tastes.  I lean more toward the bright, paint all the things white, style and my husband likes a darker, more rustic aesthetic.   One thing we DO agree on though, is the farmhouse style.  So we had to strike a balance between farmhouse chic and rustic country.  Here’s how it turned out…Continue reading

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September 5 Favorites

In Uncategorized

September was a blur.  I think I had so much on my plate that I went from one week to the next just trying to hit all the deadlines.  Luckily, I made them all and now here we are in October.  This is sure to be another jam packed month.  I’m booked every weekend with wedding chalkboards and then orders in between all that.  (Yay orders!)  Be on the lookout for ornaments to pop up in THE SHOP very soon and there may even be a new design or two in the works.

Instead of the usual favorite list, I thought I would do a more fall festival addition and tell you about 5 of my favorite things from the Duluth Fall Festival last weekend.  Duluth (the city in Georgia, not Minnesota) is what I consider my home town.  I’ve been going to this festival for years, been in the parade numerous times, and it’s just one of the highlights of my year.  So here’s what I found at this years festivities that rocked my socks off.

  1. Seasoned Fries – If you happened to watch my stories or ran into me at all this weekend, I probably told you about these fries.  I so wish I knew what the place was called that sold them but all I know is that they better be back next year!  They were $7 a basket and worth every penny.
  2. The Humble Hutch – This booth had the cutest gourd art.  Very farmhouse meets folk art type of style.  Some of the pieces were just incredible, like these amazing llamas.  I went for one of the penguin ornaments and plan to hand letter on the back to commemorate the year.
  3. Offerings / Diffuser Jewelry – Loved this booth!  The simple jewelry is perfect to compliment any outfit and all of the beads can diffuse the oils.  I walked away with a necklace AND a pair of earrings that are so cool.
  4. Simply Fragrant Home – I was praying that this booth would be back this year and I was so relieved when I saw they were.  I’ve been wearing their magnolia perfume oil for the last year and it is so good.  I ran out though the day before the festival.  I was using it very sparingly so that it would last.  I had lost their business card months ago and was just hoping they’d be back so I could buy it in bulk!  They have great scents and blends for diffusing and personal use.
  5. Pure Taqueria – This is actually a restaurant that sits on the main corner of the historic downtown area where the festival is held.  Why am I mentioning them?  THE BEST margarita I’ve ever had!  They were outside the restaurant and serving tacos and margaritas as a booth if you didn’t want to take the time to go in and sit down.  It was glorious!  If you’re local, Pure Taqueria is where the margaritas are at.

Have you been to any festivals yet this season?  I wish I could go to every single one but my bank account screams otherwise.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the season and it’s a great way to support local businesses and artists.

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How to Turn a Store Bought Cake into a Themed Cake

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how to customize a store bought cake

For the past few birthday parties, I’ve been the one that made the cake.  I enjoy it and it’s fun to me!  I love being able to completely customize the cake and be as extra as possible.  However, this year I ran into a small, well, a big problem.  I guest list was seeming to be a little large and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to make a large enough to accommodate.  I was going to have to go with a store bought sheet cake but how would it look?  Time to use my imagination and get to work doctoring the giant chocolate confection from Costco.Continue reading

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This party was so much fun to plan for a few reasons.  One, this year I went with something Ro is really interested in.  I didn’t ask him what he wanted for is birthday, but I knew this would be a hit since he was asking to watch the movie at least once a day.  Two, it’s my husband’s favorite movie and he was actually really excited whenever I would show him things for the party.  And three, I’m now the proud owner of a Cricut!  So with my fancy new machine, the movie constantly playing in the background, and a little “pure imagination”, I got to work planning a Wonka-tastic birthday party.Continue reading

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Treating My Skin with Food

In Health

Over the Summer I did my second round of Whole 30 and, if you’ve been around since then, you know that I’m a huge fan of it.  It’s funny that I thought I’d never try it about a year ago and now, I’ve done two rounds and don’t find it so crazy after all.  It does wonders for resetting your body in so many ways but the one I noticed the most was my skin.  It is so clear when I’m doing Whole 30.  I’m not talking breakouts though, but that is something I was clear of too.  I’m talking about my skin condition, tinea versicolor*.  It was GONE.  So I’ve decided that, for the most part, I’m going to start treating my skin better with the food I eat.

*What is tinea versicolor? It’s a common fungal infection that occurs when the body has an over production of the yeast/fungus that our bodies naturally produce.  Flare ups can be small discolorations on the skin, to larger patches that appear scaly.  Mine have even been mistaken for an allergic reaction.  It’s not contagious and you can be perfectly healthy and have this condition.

Treating my skin with food

I had no idea before Whole 30 that my skin condition was being effected by food.  It makes sense now of course, but it just never dawned on me.  I pride myself on knowing a good bit about nutrition and health for someone who doesn’t have any formal education so the fact that I’m just now figuring this out is crazy.  Anyway, after this revelation, I decided that I wanted to make a permanent change to my diet but I wasn’t quite sure what was causing the flare ups to come back.  There’s a period of time after Whole 30 called the reintroduction phase but I didn’t notice flare ups until after that time.  So what was it?  Gluten? Dairy? Sugar? Time to do a little research*.

Turns out that it’s most of those things, not just one.  Yay for me right?  It’s also a number of other factors too, such as humidity, excessive sweating, oral contraceptives (something I’m NOT willing to change at this time of my life), and hormonal changes.  The hormonal changes definitely explains why it’s worse in my postpartum life than when I was younger.  As for what I can control and am willing to change, I had to decide what was worth it for me to keep and what I felt effected my skin the most.

Treating my skin with food

Let’s cut to the chase…

What can’t you eat?  The answer here is best given as a list of what I CAN eat with little to no risk of flare ups.

  • Whole Grains (foods with no yeast)
  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Eggs
  • Poultry, Beef, Pork, and Seafood

Yeah…that’s it.  But why?  Because with this condition, my body over produces this natural fungus and it reacts with many common ingredients in food, even naturally occurring ingredients.  That includes fruit!

So, is that all you eat?

No.  I ate a ton of fruit on Whole 30, aka natural sugar, and my skin was still clear so that’s one food I can keep.  Vinegar is also a food to avoid but, again, I had balsamic vinegar dressing while resetting.  But the most problematic foods I have definitely cut out (with a few exceptions).

Treating my skin with food

Sugar, added and otherwise, alcohol, baked goods, and dairy are the main things I try to stay away from.  It’s also advised that I stay away from coffee and opt for teas instead.  Not happening.  It’s all about finding a balance and figuring out what’s worth it for me.  (Food Freedom Forever is a great book to read on that topic!) If I’m going out to dinner, or having dinner with family, I’ll have a glass of wine but I’ve decided to not have it in my house.  Too tempting.  I eat gluten-free items and stay away from cheese/milk products but I’ll eat a little ice cream or fro-yo with the boys on the weekend if we happen to be doing that.

I totally have my weak moments, I get stressed and completely fall of the bandwagon.  What happens then? I get flare ups.  It is what it is.  My condition does not have a permanent solution so I have to do my best to keep it from flaring and keep my anti-fungal cream handy.

If you have a health/skin issue (non life threatening), I highly recommend trying Whole 30 as a way to discover what you’re body is reacting to.

*Articles: whole30.com / livestrong.com  / healthygoods.com / tineaversicure.com / mayoclinic.org
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August 5 Favorites

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Another month has gone by and we’re now in one of my absolute favorite months of the year.  I love September for many reason like fall, Ro’s birthday, and the start of festival season!  But before I get ahead of myself, let’s take a look back at August.

I’m so sad to report that I don’t have a book to recommend this month!  Time got away from me and I didn’t finish a book this month.  UGH….oh well, I’m close to finishing my recent one and plan to use my free time (aka Ro is starting preschool!) for more reading.

  1. My Cricut Machine – Legit in full on obsession mode with this thing.  I can’t wait to show you all of the fun things I’ve made for Ro’s party.  You can see some of them in THIS Insta post but I’ve gone off the deep end and I’m not comin’ back!
  2. Bento Boxes – I’ve always wanted one for Gav and when I got the opportunity to review Stuck On You’s bentos I was so excited.  Both boys have one now and it’s made making lunches so easy!  You can find the full review HERE.
  3. Distressed Wood Panels – Last month we completely overhauled our master bedroom (have no fear, bedroom post is in the works!).  I wanted to do a shiplap wall because we love the farmhouse style.  #basic  But anyway…my husband found THESE and we new they would be perfect.  Just enough distress to still look great and to satisfy hubby’s preference for a more rustic look.  Bonus points because we didn’t have to do any painting!
  4. Paperless Post – I may never go back to regular stationary.  This is the perfect solution for our digital society.  My full review can be found HERE.  I can’t wait to use them again for my bestie’s baby shower.
  5. Plant Therapy Kids’ Roll Ons – We are loving these roll ons!  I’m a big fan of oils and aroma therapy so I was definitely game to try these pre-diluted Kid Safe ones.  I think that my favorite right now is The Calming Child that I use on Ro.  I’m not saying that he has zero tantrums now and is the perfect angel child, but there is a noticeable difference in his everyday demeanor.

What fun finds did you discover last month?

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Putting Together the Perfect Gender Neutral Baby Basket

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*Some items in this gift basket were given to me for review/feature.*

What do you get your best friend that is pregnant her third baby, is not finding out the gender, and already has a boy and a girl? I don’t know how people do it, waiting until birth to find out if they’re having a boy or a girl. I’m a planner to the core and while I love how far we’ve come with gender neutral baby gear (i.e. everything isn’t just yellow and green anymore), I am still a person who wants to know. I applaud anyone who can do it and has done it, my best friend, Katy, now included. But what can I get her?! I can’t personalize anything and she already has two children, one of each gender, so she has so much saved up. My solution, ESSENTIALS!Continue reading

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Invites Made Easy with Paperless Post

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*Compensation was given in exchange for an honest review of my experience.*

Hard to believe that in just over two weeks it will be Ro’s third birthday! HE’LL BE THREE! What?! Anyway, we’ll also get to have his party on his actually birthDAY this year which is always fun. So, staying true to my party planning-loving self, I’m going all out. If you’ve been around here for a little bit, you know I love themed parties (check some of them out HERE) and this year is no different. The ONE part about party planning that I dislike the most, however, is sending the actual invitation. I know, I know….makes no sense but invites are a HUGE hassle for me. Printing, postage, addresses…all of it.  But this year I was able to keep all of the fun of the themed invites, plus some extras, by using Paperless Post!Continue reading

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