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New Year, New Goals, New Word

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Each year, like many, I chose a word to focus on that will help me grow. Grow spiritually, mentally, and so on. I pray about it before I choose it and sometimes I’ve even had a verse that accompanied it. This year came about a little differently. As I was praying, I kept “hearing” the same word. I kept thinking, “Yeah ok, but let’s think of some other words. That one is weird.” I’m sure God laughed a little at that and then kept giving me only the one word, one little word. SAVOR.

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December 5 Favorites

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I love love love the new year! I get so excited about the prospect of new goals, positive outlooks, and general NEWNESS of it all. It’s that awesome clean slate feeling that doesn’t come around all that often. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m an enneagram 3 (“The Achiever”) and all the new goals/projects/task/etc lay ahead. Speaking of, I didn’t QUITE make it to my 2018 goal of 20 books. (Yes, my achiever self hates it.) But, hey, I got pretty darn close and red more than I have since Gav was born! (Pic above doesn’t show all of them!) Anyway, I’m pumped. But before I get into all that, let’s recap this last month of the year!

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November 5 Favorites

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It’s December 6th and I’m finally getting around to sharing my monthly favorites for last month. This first week of December has been a doozy for us. Our little family of four is 75% out with the flu. I’m the 25% that has survived so far, so I’m downing all the elderberry I can and trying to get everyone back to healthy. Tis the season though, right?Continue reading

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October 5 Favorites

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*This post may contain affiliate links.

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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September 5 Favorites

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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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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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July 5 Favorites

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So we may be a week and a half into the month of August, but I still have time to share my July faves!  With school starting back, I feel like the summer snowballed to an end and all of a sudden we’re here.  One of the biggest (both literally and figuratively) things from last month was that giant wall quote I had the opportunity to draw at my mom’s school.  The shop has been doing pretty well lately and I’m excited to see where this might take it. Well, whether you’re still enjoying another week or two of break or your kiddos are back to school grind, here are some of my favorite things from July that you can totally enjoy too.

  1. Before Ever After – This was such an interesting read.  I feel like I can’t say too much without giving the main plot point away but let’s just say that it was a wonderful love story (not usually my favorite) dripping with world travel.
  2. White Fireplaces – In case you missed it, we painted our outdated fireplace and the transformation is so satisfying!
  3. Bullet Journaling –  I’ve been pinning ideas on Pinterest like a mad woman for awhile but never bit the bullet (pun totally intended) on getting the actual journal.  I make a ton of mistakes and a bound journal doesn’t always hold up when you rip pages out of it.  Then I came across THIS PAPER that fits perfectly in my mini binder that I haven’t used in forever.  So much fun doing different trackers and filling them in.
  4. THIS DEVOTIONAL – I finished this one up and it’s so inspirational as a handmade shop owner/creative.  If you’re a felling creative, I HIGHLY recommend this for focusing on connecting with God in your artistic/business endeavors.
  5. Chia Seed Pudding – There are pretty much 5,673,8234 recipes floating around Pinterest for this stuff.  Any flavor you can think of is out there.  My main obsession with it though is that it’s Whole 30 compliant.  If you followed my Instagram stories last month, I did a less extensive story journal of my second round.  I’ve made it with date honey but compliant sweeteners are frowned upon.  However, I found that the very basic recipe (2 Tbsp Chia Seeds, 1/2 Cup Almond Milk, and Cinnamon) was plenty tasty and filling.  If you like overnight oats, this is definitely worth a try!

What did you find last month that you’re loving!

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June 5 Favorites

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Hey there…Long time no blog!  It was a busy month for me but a good one.  I was, very thankfully, swamped with orders and travel but I’m back and ready to dive onto my keyboard.  First things first though…it’s July and that means it’s time to recap what I loved from June.

1. The Sugar Queen – Of course I’m starting off with a book! I may not be the fastest reader, aka I fall asleep a lot, but I’m determined to reach my book goal this year of 20. Speaking of reading fast though, I blazed through this one. I’m not even really sure why but there was something that drew me into the story and I finished it in two days. Could’ve been one but, you know, mom duties call! I highly recommend this book as a quick read and a delightful story.

2. Highwaisted Swimsuits – I’m so in love with this trend! As someone who prefers to be a little more modest in dressing (mainly due to insecurities but whatcha gonna do…) these suits are my jam! There are so many out there and they are super cute. I got THIS ONE from Amazon but it’s also sold by Cupshe. (You can see it on me HERE.) You know, that brand that pops up in your Facebook feed that doesn’t seem legit but I’m here to tell you it is because I’ve ordered straight from them before with great success.

3. MOD Pizza – You make your own pizza, all the toppings you want with no extra charges for being extra, delicious gluten free option. That is all!

4. Lavender Coffee – When I hear something has lavender in it, I HAVE to try it. My bestie and I met up at a wonderful coffee shop in Roswell, GA (shoutout to Crazy Love Coffeehouse!) and they were featuring their summer iced lavender latte. I have to find a way to make this at home!

5. Ziplining – I know that I’m completely late on this train but it’s so fun!  And more than zip lining, I love treetop obstacle courses.  I was able to experience this on my trip to visit my aunt in Virginia.  The Virginia aquarium in Virginia Beach has a great climbing park and I loved every minute of it.  I’m determined to find something like it here in GA.  If you happen to be local to VB, check out The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium.

How was your June?  What were your faves?

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5 Ways to Practice Self-Care on a Budget

In Health, Uncategorized

5 ways to practice self-care on a budget

Not only as a mother but as a human in general, it’s important that I take care of myself.  With mental health still (somehow) a taboo issue, many go weeks, moths, even years without focusing some of their energy on taking care of themselves.  I’m for sure guilty of it.  It’s so hard to break that cycle, especially as a mother.  Caring day-in and day-out for little people is exhausting and down right expensive at times.  What’s left over?  If anything, you have just enough energy to take a shower once every few days and shut your eyes for half a second.  So what can you do to practice some self care, feeling a little better about our selves and not spend an arm and a leg trying to do it?

1. Clean(er) Eating – Let me slap you with an old cliche. “You are what you eat.”  Cliche? Yes.  True?  Also, yes!  The better you do for your insides, the better you’ll feel about the outside.  I learned this first hand in the past month and as I’ve reintroduced some foods back into my diet, as well as indulged a time or two (ok, like 12!), I’ve increasingly feel crappier.  It’s also not has expensive as you think.  If you’re not spending the money on the bad/less good items, you have more left over for your good things.

I also realize that this one is a matter of doing it for yourself.  I can sit here and tell you you’ll feel so much better but you have to be willing to make the effort.  Make the investment in your health and you mind will thank you for it!

2. Nail Care – Mani/Pedis are wonderful.  You feel pampered and pretty and all that good stuff.  But I’ll be darned if they don’t cost way more than I’m willing to spend on a regular basis.  Invest in some good drugstore supplies and start doing it yourself.  There are great cuticle removers, base and top coats, oils, etc out there that cost a fraction of the price of a nail salon.  They also last much longer!  Here are some of my favorite drugstore finds:

All of these together cost LESS than one manicure.  Painting your nails can takes some practice (my left hand is so uncoordinated!) but it’s worth it!

3. Essential Oils – Oils are everywhere now and it’s awesome!  Even Walmart has started selling them.  All you need is a diffuser and a couple of oils to get you started.  There are so many uses for them and benefits to using them.  Some of my favorite single oils are lavender (calming), lemongrass (keeps mosquitoes away), tea tree (blemish treatment), lemon (fresh/clean scent), Eucalyptus (calming/fresh).  And I could go on and on!

4. Drink More Water – This one is basically free!  You’re body thrives on this stuff so give it what it needs.  My favorite way to enjoy water is to drop in some fruit and/or herbs.  Infused water just tastes better in my opinion.  Some great combos include orange/cucumber, lemon/mint, or just plain lemon.

5. Take a Nap – This one is completely free and, done in the right amount of time, can really refresh you.  I know we don’t always have time for a nap, #adultingishard, but when you can, treat yourself to a 30 min power nap and you’ll thank yourself.

What are your favorite ways to do something for YOU and not brake the bank?