Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!
Happy February, friends! I honestly can’t believe it’s February because it has been practically tropical around these parts – mid 50’s, y’all. It’s amazingly awesome!
One of my goals this year is to read 50 books. I got off to a slow start in January (I only read 2 books), but we’ll be on vacation for almost two weeks in February, so I’m anticipating making up some time then!
I thought it might be fun to share a recap monthly with you all of what I read, along with my reviews. So here goes for January:
First up was How To Win Friends & Influence People In The Digital Age by Dale Carnegie.
I loved this one. I wouldn’t say the information was particularly new or groundbreaking for me, but it was just a good overall reminder of how you should be dealing with people in your everyday life in order to make the best impression and really just be the best version of yourself. If you’re in a business that requires you to be in contact with other humans, you should get this 😉
The second book I read was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
This wasn’t particularly high on my ‘to-be-read’ list, but it was on sale for 0.99 and I can’t pass up the opportunity to read a classic. Overall, I wouldn’t say this was a page turner, although the extended monologue from Frankenstein’s monster was pretty captivating to me. Going into it, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what the story was, but I really didn’t so it was interesting to see it unfold. It’s not one I’ll probably ever read again, but I’m still glad I did.
What have you been reading lately? Do you try to read a certain amount of books in a year?
Confession, guys: I have been guilty of house-envy. Ya know, it’s that thing where you’re watching Chip & JoJo design a perfectly flawless home, and then you look around your home and suddenly hate everything about it.
I have a wish list of things I would like in our next home, but the truth is, we’re not in our next home, We’re in THIS one. And there is NOTHING WRONG with our house. We have enough space and it’s not ugly or outdated. The one thing that’s always at the top of my list when I think about what I would want is more of a play space for the kids. Other than their rooms, we just don’t one. But instead of wishing for something that’s not happening in this house, I decided to make it a priority to find the space. I’m going to stop thinking about a house we may have in the future, and start focusing on making the one we’re in work for us.
Our house is a very open floor plan, so I decided to dedicate a wall at the back of our living area and in between our entry and kitchen to creating a space for our kiddos to draw, color, read, and create.
The first step in this makeover was painting the lower half of the wall with chalkboard paint. What kid doesn’t love being allowed to draw on the wall?! I then hung a line of picture ledges down the wall separating the chalkboard from the top half of the wall.
I’m nowhere near finished with this makeover, but for now I’ve got a couple of children’s tables from IKEA there, along with the art display station I redid a while back. In the future, I want to add a place for books/reading and some storage for art supplies. And then of course, I will hang some more art above the picture ledges.
Roarke has already taken quite the liking to this update.
So, what do you guys think? Do you have a designated space for your kids in your home?
Last year was my first year choosing a word for myself that would be my focus of the year. My word last year was ‘disciplined.’ I made really good strides in the area of my health – as some of you know, I started incorporating essential oils into our daily lives and I have loved the result! I also was more aware of the things I put in my body and that’s something I’m planning to continue even more in 2016. I want to eat healthy and be healthy! I also eventually got the hang of the whole two kiddos circus I’m living in ;). There are still tough days, but I would say I can handle it a lot better now!
In no way would I say that I mastered the art of discipline, but I did make a conscious effort to be more intentional with my actions and having that word in the back of my mind definitely helped!
So, I’ve chosen a new word for 2016: ‘willing.’
It may seem like an odd choice, but I thought about this for a few days, and this is the word that kept echoing in my heart. Willing.
For those who know me, you probably know that I’m an introvert. And, when I say that, I don’t mean that I can’t handle social situations or hate being around people. I simply mean that what recharges my batteries is, often, time alone – or, at the very least, time spent in a smaller group, like 1 or 2 people. I think introverts are often seen as laid back, go-with-the-flow type of people. And I think I am…for the most part.
See, the thing is, I may be an introvert, but when I do decide to do something, I want it to be well planned. I don’t like unknowns; I don’t like flying by the seat of my pants. I doubt I’ll ever be accused of being spontaneous. So, when I’m involved with something – an event, a trip, a project – I tend to want to take control and plan it. And if that can’t happen, it makes me a little grumpy.
But I want to do things a little differently this year. I want to approach my life with a willing attitude. I want to go against my introverted nature and say ‘yes’ a little more often and without hesitation of the consequences. Now, I don’t mean that I’m going to be careless or reckless – I’m a wife and mother of two small children, which is plenty reckless enough for me – but I want to challenge myself to embrace things that I normally wouldn’t. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit.
So here’s a few areas I want to work on:
- Health. As I mentioned before, my family’s health is still something I want to get a better grip on this year. And I want to be willing to go the extra mile to ensure I’m doing the best I can for them. That means doing more research, spending more time in the kitchen, and investing more time in exercise.
- Relationships. Being an introvert, I sometimes have a hard time forming and maintaining friendships. I tend to assume that everyone’s friend card is already full, and as a result, I have probably missed out on what could have been great friendships. I want to be willing to put myself out there more often and take chances that would normally seem intimidating.
- Time. I tend to be kind of stingy with “my” time, and I balk at the idea of doing unscheduled things. But, again, I’m sure I’ve missed out on what could’ve been fabulous memories just because I wasn’t willing to make the time for it. I want to be a little more relaxed about my time schedule and willing to put my ‘yes’ on the table more often.
- Faith. One of the areas of my life that I’m most convicted over is my Christian walk. Guys, let me just be honest: there is SO much more that I could be and need to be doing to further my relationship with Jesus. I want to be willing to die out to myself more so that I can be used for His purpose, rather than my own.
I love the start of a new year because it brings so much promise and hope. Honestly, I’ve felt more energized with that start of this year than any year I can remember in the past – I’m so excited to see what the coming months bring!
What’s the word you’re focusing on this year? I would love to hear it!
One of my favorite things to do every year around the holidays is to come up with a fun way to display our Christmas cards. Skipping happily to the mailbox is one of the highlights of my day, and I love keeping all the cards on display in our house throughout the holiday season.
This year, I decided that the kids art display station I redid a while back would make the perfect spot for all of our cards!
It makes the perfect display! And with the lights around it – gah – it’s SO pretty!!
There’s not much of a how-to to this one. I just taped some twine on the backside, and clipped the cards to it with mini-clothespins I got at Target.
This whole area of our house is so cheerful and cozy – it looks so pretty at night!
My cotton ball/jingle bell wreath is still going strong. You can check out that tutorial here.
Christmas decorations are just my favorite, guys. No ifs, ands, or buts. They’re just the best. The lights, the colors, the lights, the texture…did I mention the lights?! If I could find a way to leave my tree up all year round, I would. Maybe I can just decorate it for each holiday? No??
How are you guys displaying your cards this year?
Well, guys, if you follow me on Instagram (@lemondroplife), you’ll know that I’m feeling pretty Christmas-y already. I blame IKEA. We were there earlier this week and all their cute Christmas stuff totally pushed me over the edge!
But before I totally move on to snowflakes and reindeer, I thought I’d share what our mantel is looking like these days. It’s still decked out for fall/Thanksgiving (at least for a few more minutes;))!
The copper ‘Give Thanks’ banner is from Target. Isn’t it cute?! They have Christmas ones, too and I’m sooo tempted to go get one!
The window was a yard sale find – only $10! It’s a fun way to show off my bebes! Oh, and Roarke insisted that Captain Hook get in on the shot 🙂 #kidstyling
That basket on the left is sneakily hiding our internet box and Time Capsule. Gotta hide that ugly stuff when at all possible!
So what about you guys? Are you decorating for Thanksgiving or are you already in Christmas mode, too?!
Hello, loves! Another week is almost done, and I can’t believe we’re rolling towards the holidays! This time of year is really busy at our church – our ladies group makes between 750-1000 pumpkin rolls to sell as a fundraiser so I’ve been spending a LOT of time in the kitchen!
I shared something recently on IG and FB, however, and got a lot of questions and comments so I thought I’d post here as well!
I’m sure we all appreciate a good night’s rest. But, if you’re anything like me, that’s not always so easy to come by – especially with kiddos. The key to ME sleeping soundly is getting THEM to sleep soundly. And after some experimenting, I found my secret weapon.
It’s a cream I made using some of my favorite essential oils. So here’s the scoop on what you’ll need to make it:
- 1/2 cup raw shea butter
- 1 cup unrefined coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- 15 drops Lavender
- 15 drops Cedarwood
- 10 drops Gentle Baby
- 10 drops Peace & Calming
You’re gonna start by melting your shea butter and coconut oil together, and to do that, you want to use a double boiler method. If you don’t have a proper double boiler, never fear. Fill the bottom of a pot with water and get it boiling. Then get a bowl that’s wider than the pot, put the shea butter and coconut oil in it, and rest the bowl on top of the pot. And make sure the bottom of the boil isn’t actually sitting in the water – there should be a bit of space between the two.
Once they’re melted together, pop that bowl in the fridge until the mixture turns solid again (it will take 45 min-1 hr.). Once it’s solid, put it in a mixer and whip it for a couple minutes. This helps make it nice and fluffy – like a body butter.
While it’s whipping add in your Tbsp. of grapeseed oil. You could also use almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil – whatever you prefer. This helps emulsify the mixture and keep it smooth.
Mix for another couple minutes, and then it’s time to add in your oils! Once you’ve added those in, let it mix for another minute or so.
As far as application goes, here’s what we do: I apply a dab of the cream (a little goes a long way!) to the bottom of my kiddos’ feet and then rub some on their chest. It doesn’t take very much at all to get good coverage, so I’m predicting this jar will last us a few months! Meanwhile, I’ll be sleeping easy… 🙂
If you want more info on how we use essential oils for our family, shoot me an e-mail! And if you’re looking to jump in and order, follow this link.
Happy Hump Day, y’all! I’ve got a really cute project to share with you today so let’s get to it!
You might remember a few weeks back when I visited the World’s Longest Yard Sale and hung out with Krylon as they made over pieces for their first ever Pinterest 127 Yard Sale. (read more about it here). We got to check out tons of Krylon’s products that day and I walked away with something I was WAY excited to try out: chalky finish spray paint.
That’s right. Chalk paint in a glorious little spray bottle. Basically, that means busting out spray painting projects even quicker because you can cut out the prep step. Consider me sold! And I already had a perfect candidate for a makeover.
Earlier this summer, I picked up a folding screen that had a bunch of slots for pictures. Something like this:
How bout that lovely orange-y oak. No bueno. BUT I instantly imagined this being turned into a fun way to display my kiddos art. And with a little help from Krylon’s Chalky Finish spray paint in Misty Gray, that’s just what I did!
Let me just say, this stuff goes on like a dream. It sprays evenly and has great coverage. I almost covered the entire screen (front and back) with one can. And my favorite part? All I had to do beforehand was wipe everything down with a lint free cloth. No deglossing. No sanding. No priming. That’s my kind of project!
Now let’s take a look at our new display station!
This was such an easy project – the spray painting took me about 15 minutes and then I just taped some of the artwork we had right to the back. Easy peasy!
Each window had a piece of acrylic and a backing to hold photos in place. I decided to paint a few of the acrylic panes with some chalk paint to give my kids another place to draw and play!
Eventually, I want to make this whole area a little art area for the kids. My plan is to move that (recently redone) desk up to our guest room and get a small table for the kids so they can have their own place to sit and create!
Our home is a place where I want our kids to feel free to run, play, and have fun; I’m so excited to start working on this little space for them!
Feeling inspired? Well, I’ve got a treat for you. The other bloggers that I hung out with at the Krylon event are also posting fun project makeovers for you today! So be sure to hop around and check out their projects! (Note: I’ll update this post throughout the day as their posts go up.)
Vintage Desk Makeover from Kimm at Reinvented
Step Stool from Pam at House of Hawthornes
A couple weeks ago, I posted my plans for sprucing up our kitchen. And I”m happy to report that I’ve made a little progress! Namely, in they way of updating our kitchen table.
If you’ve been a long time blog reader, you may remember way back when our whitewashed our table (which I got on Craigslist). It’s been that way ever since. But in my DIY newbie-ness, I didn’t seal it as well as I should have and it was a bit of a mess. The finish was worn down and scratched in many spots, so I was always a bit embarrassed to have guests sit down at our table. Picture me trying to strategically cover every scratch with table runners, plates, cups, you name it. “I’m sorry you can’t reach your plate, Mom, but I really need it to stay in that spot, mmkay? Thanks.” Not terribly convenient.
I have long been a lover of marble topped tables (who isn’t?!), but the real deal is pretty pricey, not to mention probably not the most baby/toddler friendly option. So, what’s a DIY-er to do? Duh.
I surfed Pinterest for some tutorials and they were all pretty similar. Then I came across this one from Gorgeous Shiny Things that had a video of her demonstrating the technique. This was TOTALLY helpful for a visual learner like me. I can read tutorials over and over, but if I can see it, I’m sold.
Her video is awesome, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here but I will tell you that when I first started painting my base gray-wash on the table, I was scared. Real scared.
BUT. I persevered and it got better.
So, my biggest tip for this technique is BE BRAVE. And don’t give up just because things looks bad.
Geez, this is turning into a regular ol’ motivational speech.
Seriously, though. While I wouldn’t say this is a foolproof, can’t-fail technique, I would say it’s forgiving and what you might perceive as an ‘imperfection’ can be used to your advantage. I would say the key to this technique is a great blending brush and lots of layers of gray and white. Even when I was finished, I dipped my sea sponge in white paint and sponged lightly over the whole table. So, it just takes lots of back and forth. A little gray here, then cover with some white, then add in a little more veining, etc. I will say one thing I would’ve done differently is starting with a lighter gray to begin with. As you can see from those photos above, my gray was pretty dark, so I ended up added a lot of white layers to really lighten it up. Save the dark gray for your tiny veining. Or maybe you want that really high contrast look; that’s the great thing about this technique – no two people will do it the same!
Enough blab – wanna see the finished product?
I’m really happy with how it turned out. I sealed it with a gloss poly to try and add to that looks of stone and protect it really well. And I used plenty of coats this time – momma doesn’t want this finish scratching!
And who could resists styling up their newly refinished table for fall? Not this gal!
Funny story – I clipped the yellow flowers from one of my neighbors yards. Not their yard, per se, but from the end of their driveway where they had a bunch of these growing up along with other weeds around some trees. They literally had their garbage cans sitting practically on top of these. And the homeowner pulled up while I was clipping them. Picture me, red-faced and flustered as my neighbor says, “Can I help you?” No, don’t mind me. I’m just clipping weeds from your yard to use on my kitchen table. I think they thought I was trying to case their house for a potential robbery. Neighbor of the year, right here.
Isn’t my little helper the cutest?! He was smelling the “pitty fwowers”.
Now on to tackle the rest of my kitchen to-do list!
Summer is drawing to a close, which means switching out our summer wardrobes for sweaters and boots. But before I pack everything away, I like to make sure everything is freshly washed and clean – and that goes for our shoes, too.
#realtalk: Socks + summer don’t mix in my house. Socks don’t touch these feet so much as once from May-September (except for an occasional workout), and to be honest, my flats kind of suffer because of it. Especially, my canvas/fabric flats. By the end of the summer, they have a serious funk and that means every time I wear them, my feet have a serious funk. So, don’t be surprised if you invite me over and I loiter nervously in your entryway while I decide whether or not to unleash my funkiness on you. Usually, I just end up throwing them out and buying new the next time summer rolls around.
BUT! I think I may have found the answer to saving my shoes from a life of shame!
I’ve been finding more and more uses for my Young Living oils on a daily basis, and I’m really excited about this one!
And, no, I don’t have dwarf feet. Those are Roarke’s shoes. Socks + summer don’t mix for him either. And let me tell you, he might only be 2.5 years old, but he has the foot stench of a full grown man. It’s seriously impressive.
So, I took a couple of cotton balls and put a couple drops of purification and a couple drops of lemon on each one. Then you just stuff it down inside the shoe.
Within 24 hours, the smell should be MUCH better. But let it sit in there for a couple days just for good measure. And that’s it!
Another way I like to use this combo (besides diffusing it in my house ALL. THE. TIME.) is to take a cotton ball with the same ratio mentioned above and put it in the bottom of our trash cans (underneath the bag). It helps cut down on any left behind stinky-garbarge-smell, especially in the kids’ rooms where dirty diapers are playing a role.
If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, leave me a comment or you can go here to place an order.