Meet Savvie and Simple

Hey everyone!  So much has happened since I last wrote on the Savvie Designs blog.  I got married, moved out of state and became a mom!  My little one is already a year and a half now and time is flying. I have wanted to start writing/doing something for me again but wasn’t quite sure what to do.  I picked up a copy of Artful Blogging and fell in love with that magazine and wanted to start sharing my experiences all over again.  Being a parent is the greatest and hardest things in the world, never mind adding in a fulltime job, being a new home owner and trying to continue with activities I love.  Anything I learn that is helpful along my journey in this crazy life, I want to share.  My goal is to help others, create an outlet for myself and have fun while doing it.  Don’t worry, I still plan on throwing in some art (once those boxes are unpacked) whenever I can 😉

Welcome to Savvie and Simple!

Vanilla Orange Fall Tea

The cool crisp Fall mornings have begun!! This is my favorite time of year and as my daughter would say “so cozy”!!

House is officially decorated, the baking has begun, and the Fall drinks are being drunk.

I’ve been sticking to the same recipes and teas for a while.  Now that we are getting into cold season I would normally have lemon, honey, and cinnamon or lemon, honey, and Thieves tea.  Which, I was already starting to already get a cold and those definitely helped nip it in the bud.  But it was time to try and throw something new into the mix.  Trying new teas is fun, exciting, and at times motivational to me to continue trying new things. I wanted a tea for the morning that would wake me up, help with cold season, but also be a little sweet.

Orange…Cinnamon…Vanilla….Honey………my new love 🙂

This tea is delicious!!  I use 3 drops of Young Living orange essential oil, 1 tiny, tiny drop of Young Living cinnamon bark essential oil (it’s very strong), and some vanilla powder.  If my throat is a little scratchy I add some honey.

If you don’t want to use any of the Young Living essential oils in your tea, I would recommend getting some dried orange pieces (or making your own) and cinnamon (powder, chips, or sticks) and using those instead of the oils.  I would not recommend using any store bought oils, or oils you have not researched if they are able to be consumed.

Did you know that you are only supposed to add raw honey to temped water?  You can’t add it in when water is too hot because the heat will destroy all the wonderful properties that honey has.  I only started to use honey for these properties and I haven’t even been benefiting from them like I thought because I would put it into my scolding tea!!  A co-worker of mine has her own bees and taught me all about this.  She gave me some of her first batch of honey and the lesson I learned once I got it home….don’t leave it in a drawer that a toddler can get into.  Enough said, I’m sure!

If you get a chance to try some Vanilla Orange Tea, let me know!!  I found these adorable reusable cups at Marshalls!! I wish they weren’t disposable and came in a travel mug.  I’m obsessed.

Enjoy this beautiful and colorful time of year everyone 🙂

 

Growing Chives From Scraps

Testing the waters of my green thumb again with chives.  I have heard that you are able to start growing some with scraps from the kitchen.  Once you use what you have, put the white bottom part into some water and it will grow.  Well, by George…it did!!

I was so excited and just kept watching it, watching it, and watching it some more.  The problem I ran into…I did too much watching.  I should’ve planted it after a few days because it became slimy and fell apart.  Lesson learned, plant it once it starts to grow so it can continue to grow.

But at least I know first hand that it is easy to grow chives and even easier to start growing them with scrapes.  Can’t wait to take another shot at it!

What have you tried growing from scraps or in your kitchen?

Goodbye Summer

My biggest challenge this summer was finding something for two kids to do, who are at very different stages in terms of play. We had some hot weather and the baby couldn’t really go outside for as long as my toddler, they were on different feeding schedules, nap schedules etc.  I also wanted to find things to do, not just get wrapped up with cleaning the house and doing things on the inside while my daughter should be outside being a kid!

Here are some summer tips that helped me:

Getting out early – My daughter just learned how to ride her bike and loves it 🙂  If my husband wasn’t working, I would go out with her while he entertained the baby.  If he was busy or working, I would take the baby in the stroller as she rode beside us.  I’m sure you’re asking why I wouldn’t just take the stroller every time.  We have some hills in our neighborhood and I would find that she doesn’t really know how to steer or stop while going down the hill.  It would get a little tricky trying to catch and stop her/steer for her while pushing the stroller at the same time. I will get better at that, just may take a little more time 😉

Children’s Museum – we spent some of the hottest days/afternoons at the children’s museum.  The kids had a ball and we were able to get some energy out as well as stay cool.

Mini Pool – We had this in our backyard and we would use it for a short time.   I could stick my feet in, I could push the baby in his swing while she played in the pool, and put the baby’s feet in every once in a while.

Daytime Baths – If the kids needed a bath and it was way too hot outside and inside for that matter, we took a bath and they got to play for an extended time.

Target – my home away from home.  My son’s formula was from Target and he went through it often.  Typically we went to Target every weekend, I would choose to go in the late morning when there weren’t lots of people in the store and when it was already getting pretty hot.  Target cooled us down while we were productive and getting things we needed.

Diaper bag to diaper backpack – I love totes!  I have 3 totes that I would use for the kids but this summer with the baby more on the move and going to the museum by myself with the kids, I needed all my hands.  Esp, needing to at times carry both of them.  So I switched to a backpack and never looked back.  I remember my sister doing this and her recommending it early on in my first pregnancy but I always wanted my tote.  The backpack is a life saver.  I can keep enough in it with out hurting my shoulders and can carry the kids when needed.

Sun screen – so far my kids are blessed with not getting burnt as soon as the sun touches them.  Since vitamin D is so important, I usually have my kids soak some up before putting sunscreen on them.  The one I have learned about, love, and trust is from Young Living.  I used it on my trip to Mexico and I didn’t burn once when I was there.  It also didn’t take long for it to rub into my skin.  I fell in love with it.  I switched my entire family to this sunscreen and it is for the most part, always in the diaper bag.

Homemade bug repellent – mosquitoes love my daughter.  I couldn’t find a bug spray that wasn’t crazy greasy and I trusted.  So I made my own.  I used water with lemongrass, lavender, tea tree, citronella, and peppermint.  It really seemed to work.

Lavender essential oil and peppermint essential oil – I would use these on bug bites.  Peppermint for me – it would stop the itch.  Lavender for my kids – peppermint is too strong and is a hot oil so could burn the kids, so the lavender would help heal their bites.

I hope these tips help someone next year like they did for me!

Creating The Mornings YOU Want

For the most part I have always been a morning person.  I would wake up early to workout, shower before work, eat breakfast, do dishes or laundry and just start my day off relaxed.  Clearly those mornings were before kids!

Now I shower at night after they go to bed. I only get maybe 5-6 hours of sleep a night, which sounds like a decent amount but when those 5-6 hours are possibly a combined amount it doesn’t feel like a whole lot.  After the early morning feeding, I try to get an additional hour of sleep but that only screws me up and I always wonder why I do that knowing it’s going to make me more tired or have a headache??  When I try to “get up early” to work out, I swear my son KNOWS exactly when my eyes open and I sit up in bed.

Once we are all up it’s the morning routine of getting all 3 of us dressed, packed, and ready to go off to daycare and work.  Breakfast is usually a great thing to squeeze in there as well!

Mornings are now a work in progress for me.  It must sound like I’m complaining, but I’m really not, I swear! It’s just an adjustment and I’m still adjusting. I’m slowly learning from trial and error. Somethings that I have found help me in the morning are:

  • meal prepping on the weekend
  • packing as much of the diaper bag, my toddlers lunch bag, and my lunch bag that I can the night before
  • when the baby needs a bottle early in the morning, I feed him downstairs and not in bed – this way I’m already down stairs and I start getting everything I couldn’t pack the night before done
  • AND if I find myself with 2 extra minutes, I start some dishes so I feel a little more household accomplished

The work in progress piece – creating a morning routine that has all of the things I need to do  AND a piece JUST for me.  I want and believe I need to mix in working out, even if just for 10 minutes, meditation, and a cup of tea.  I CRAVE activities like this in the morning and I “think” I found the sweet wake up time this morning ;).

Mornings where you set your mind and intentions right, truly set your ENTIRE day and set it up for success. There’s a podcast that I listen to called Women Inspiring Women by Melanie Mitro where a guest spoke about the importance of a morning routine and how it effects your day, your work, and your mental state.  I’ve always felt this way but hearing it, validated my feelings.  (who doesn’t love when that happens!!)  I also was noticing at the same time (tell me this isn’t a sign?!) that a woman I enjoy following on Instagram, was showing HER morning routine.  It’s my morning routine goal.  So relaxing, calming, and positive.  Her name is Katrina and I reached out to her asking about her routine.  Here’s what she had to say:

“I have been doing this routine for about 3 years.  It’s about an hour 15 min or hour and a half.  I know.  It’s long.  But I LOVE not being rushed and overall, not rushing, is what makes it so magical.  I have noticed a change and it also ties in with my reason for why my morning routine began.  I started when I was teaching.  I went to work rushed, frustrated and full of angst.  At the end of the day, I would be exhausted and my evening was spent prepping for the next day or falling asleep on the couch.  I kept thinking, when is it ‘my time?’.  That’s when I realistically decided that the only time I could possibly have energy and a chance to do some things for myself would be before work.  and this was when I had to be at work by 7am.  

I made a plan.  I thought of what I wanted to fit in.  I knew I wanted to ideally meditate or journal, workout and walk.  I was going to get in my bed by 8:30 and wake up at 5.  I would not allow myself to hit snooze and see how it went.  It hurt at first haha but after a couple of weeks the early rising was easy and I LOVED getting up before the rest of the world.  There is a peace during that time that doesn’t exist during the rest of the day.

Now my morning routine makes me feel like I pampered myself and had a chance for me during the day.  I went to work and had more patience with my second graders and I felt like I could breathe.  At the end of the day, I was okay with being exhausted because I felt like I didn’t miss out on anything.”

Katrina described exactly what I was feeling and how I want to feel in the morning.  She laid it out and took pictures that I saw as gentle reminders that I can start my morning that way too!  When I reached out to her she also provided me with some advice.

1.) Plan out what you’d ideally like in your routine and tweak it as you go.  It’ll take a few days to find your groove.  2.) Set things out/pick a workout the night before so it’s not stressful.  3.) Add a buffer of about 10 min so you don’t rush it.  The whole point is that it shouldn’t feel like a ‘to do’. 4.)  Pick something to do first thing that you’ll look forward to and want to get out of bed for!  For me, it was expresso!  Or it could be tea.”

Katrina is SO nice and if you want to follow her or check out her routine on her stories you can find her @tiptoptink on Instagram. Check out her website as well https://www.tiptoptink.com

I hope her words inspire others the way they have inspired me and truly are helping me.

Won’t Be Able To Fight Bergens Forever

With the warmer weather finally starting to come around, we are loving being outside!!  There’s bubbles, sidewalk chalk, walks, feeding the birds, raking, and fighting Bergens happening at our house.  Yes, that’s right..fighting Bergens.  Watching my daughter grow up is amazing and so much fun.  Her imagination right now is awesome!  She’s just starting to play with dolls and action figures independently as well as make pretend throughout the house.

One day we were outside drawing with chalk and she looked up and goes “Oh no!  There’s a Bergen!!!” She started running around and using her chalk almost like a sword or a wand.  She really hasn’t watched anything with those things and I don’t think she even knows what those are, but that’s the best way I can explain the gesture she was doing.  She came to me and asked for help getting the Bergens.  (And for those of you who aren’t aware of Bergens, they are creatures that like to eat Trolls to be happy.)  So I got up, (slowly because I was recovering from the stomach bug) and we went around the yard spotting Bergens and pointing our chalk at them telling them to shoo and go away.

Well, the silly Bergens ended up being in our tree!!  So we drew on the tree and told them to go away.  My daughter, A, had SO much fun!  I was carrying her little brother around with us and he was smiling as well.  Daddy (who’s renovating our bathroom – post to come) would walk by and get a kick out of us.

A knew I still wasn’t feeling well so she ran slow and had patience with me since I couldn’t run and was holding her brother who is getting heavy!  We had fun and kept taking breaks and picnic’d outside for the first time.  There was so much to talk about.  All the bugs were out crawling and birds singing, it was a great day.  Yes, that was one afternoon haha

Fighting Bergens is exhausting and unfortunately they won’t be around forever.  I’m a full time working mom and weekends are so precious to me.  Kids grow up so fast and I feel like they lose their innocence even faster lately.  I’m holding on to anything that I possibly can and doing the best I can.  Just because I was sick with no energy or strength, didn’t mean that she didn’t have any.  Let me tell you, she has an endless supply of energy!  In the end though, she didn’t care that I couldn’t run, she just wanted to play in any way possible and to play with me.  I was able to learn so much about her and the little girl she is becoming through experiences like this and it’s amazing.

I hope all of you get to fight Bergens or chase alligators or pretend like your birds flying all over the world whenever you can.

Community Of All Shapes And Sizes

Growing up, my community was my town where many people knew each other and my school.  Everything was ten minutes away and going to the market or mall, you were bound to run into at least 5 people you knew.  When my husband and I started dating he hated “running to do a quick errand” or making a “quick stop” because it was usually the opposite.

Once we were married, I not only moved out of town, but I moved out of state.  It was a little bit of a shock for me.  I had two friends up here that I met through my husband and other than that….I knew no one, saw no one, everything was more than a hop, jump, skip away compared to what I was used to.  It was hard and at times is still hard.  I don’t regret moving and wouldn’t change it for the world but doesn’t mean it’s not a struggle at times.  I can’t run down the street to a friends house or grab a drink with a friend that knew a huge part of my life or that I have known since middle school.  Like I said, hard concept to get used to.

I still believe community is the town you live in, your school, and where you work or a team you are on.  But my sense of community has recently changed.  I have joined communities that I would’ve never thought of doing and absolutely love it – Social media communities.  The concept to me is funny, I comment and “like” posts of complete strangers!! No one I will EVER run into at the market or anywhere for that matter.  It fills a void and I’m 100% me, I don’t know these people, there’s no stress of trying to impress them or wondering if they like me or not.  I would recommend finding a community that fits for you.  I use Instagram mainly and find people mainly from hashtags.  The hashtags are usually something I would have in common with them.  For instance, health, fitness and essential oils.  I have started following more and more people and it’s fun finding something that you can relate to or spreading positivity to others.  I believe positivity is a very powerful thing. The news is so negative and can make me feel horrible so I choose not to watch it. Being part of online communities that are positive, helps keep me positive and happy.  Life is too short.

One of the communities I have joined on Instagram is the Tone It Up Community.  Something I started just for me and have started branching out to other people from there.  There are lots of women in that group that are new moms, working moms, and essential oil lovers like me!  It has become a such a spider web lol I’ve even started taking screen shots of books I see people post as recommendations.  I actually created a separate Instagram account for this so I could keep it separate from my personal one.  This way I wasn’t bombarding family and friends feeds with pictures of food or workouts or little things that they probably don’t want to see.  And if they did, they could follow my other account.

I’ve started to do the same exact thing with essential oils. Created a separate Instagram account and have that dedicated to oil lovers that I can connect and learn from. Just starting out and would like examples? A great hashtag to follow is #tiucommunity or even #oilcommunity. This would be a starting point until you play around more.  Many of the women on there are women who empower other women, lift them up and relate to the hard times as well.  They share tips and tricks and different product recommendations at times in a natural way.

If you find a great community on Instagram (I know there are some on Facebook too, I just don’t have much experience with them), please feel free to share with me!! I find myself following and continuing to add more and more communities to my feeds 🙂

 

Since Forever

Holy Moly Happy 2019 everyone!!  It has been such a long, long time since I have been on here and written a post.  I’ve been back to work since we had our little guy and it’s just been a whirl wind.  We now have a new norm and have been spending this time adjusting to our new life…… AKA feeling like complete nut cases hahaha

Let’s get caught up!!

I started the year like I typically do by looking at past years goals and creating new ones.  Right before I sat down on my lunch break to do this (no one I could’ve done it at home lol) I told myself, do NOT write too many.  2019 I want to practice not giving myself too many to do’s.  Whenever I write down a to do list for the weekend or before someone comes to stay with us, it’s a MILE LONG!!  This year I am trying to give myself manageable lists, not a list of everything I hope to get done.  Well…my goal list still had about 17 items on it, BUT I let that one slide 😉 since I wrote down exactly what I wanted and put that out to the universe but I am also hoping to accomplish it all in a 12 month time frame.

We are now basically 3 months in and writing down a manageable, achievable to do list is HARD.  Although, I have found that when I erase some items, my stress levels go down a little and on Monday, I feel like I accomplished something.  My husband always tells me that when I am taking care of the kids, that’s an accomplishment and so important all in it’s own.  I absolutely love him for saying that and need that.  I know that taking care of my kids is top priority and extremely important.  I also LOVE being with them.  But when I see everything that needs to get done or that I want to do, I get stressed and am very hard on myself.  PLEASE tell me that I am not the only mama out there that gets this way haha!

I will have to keep you updated on this topic because it’s a struggle, I’m assuming I am not the only one out there struggling with this and will share any tips that I have found to help.

Next..

We are starting up renovations again…I know, I know we are NUTS.  We are trying so hard to just chip away at it.  And when I say we, I mean my husband for all the actual work outside of decorating and helping choose tile, paint colors etc.  I am on kid duty while he works.  It is cute though, our little girl A wants to help daddy out and will do anything that is “working” with daddy.  It’s amazing how much my heart is continuing to explode and have even more love than I thought it could hold. My heart felt so full during each pregnancy with all the love I already had for both of them, then it became fuller once I held them, and now it continues to explode with love for them.

Next…

Once I delivered our little man, I went a little over board with carbs and sugar.  I am back in action with taking care of myself and continuing my journey of nutrition and fitness.  I have started meal prepping again and trying to sneak in mini 10 minute work outs.  The weather has also been giving us some sneak peeks into spring so I’ve been trying to go for walks again at work and on the weekends with the kids.

Wow, I’ve already mentioned a lot that I will probably go into more detail in later posts.  It feels like I could type forever and everything is spilling out haha.  Boy, I have I missed this!  It feels like so much more has happened but that is also probably because of all the holidays that have passed since I have written last.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and are kicking butt in the new year already.  I will try not to go quite as long this time around.  Please always feel free to share comments and even let me know that I’m not a crazy person 😉

Gestational Diabetes

Towards the end of my second trimester I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  I was bummed, surprised and nervous.  My blood sugar levels were fine for my first pregnancy and I was eating more unhealthy.  This time around I was eating healthier and more protein, it just didn’t make sense to me and was such an adjustment.  I could no longer stop for something quick on the road and couldn’t have any dessert at all the summer birthday parties/get togethers.  It was hard to find a good amount of variety and I had to test my levels 4x a day.  It was all in the way my body and my placenta reacted to the carbs.  I couldn’t count specific grams, it was more of the amount of protein and the type of carbs I was eating.

Meal prepping was the MOST important part of my weekend.  I had to prep for myself and my daughters lunches for the week.  I would make hard boiled eggs, protein muffins, cut up cucumbers and apples, make almond cookies, and put everything into individual containers to just grab and throw into lunch bags in the morning.  This would take a good amount of time and I would have my daughter help me.  It was definitely a weekend activity that I could not skip.  This routine was awesome to start before the baby came because it helped save time in the morning and I want to continue it once I go back to work.

My go to snacks/meals for the work week were:

  • Fage 2% greek yogurt with blueberries/strawberries and nuts
  • Nuts/seeds I would eat and mix into muffins or yogurt – pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and peanuts.  Pumpkin seeds and nuts have an even amount of protein and carbs.
  • Apples with peanut butter and cinnamon
  • Protein muffins from Toneitup.com
  • Almond cookie recipe from The Beyond Diet
  • Protein smoothies from Toneitup.com
  • Boiled eggs with fruit
  • Rotissorie chicken from the store that I would add to salads or make lunches with this and veges
  • Turkey burgers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ezikiel bread
  • Cheese sticks

Gestational diabetes was SO nerve wracking and I found comfort following certain hashtags or people on Instagram that would post pictures of meals with the recipe of something that I could eat.  Many people go through this and thankfully gestational diabetes is temporary.  I still need to be checked every year and be aware of a healthy diet but no matter what, as of right now, it’s temporary.  Pregnancy in itself can be so nerve wracking that I kept just trying to look at the bright side.  I learned a lot about balancing my meals and eating healthier foods.

After I delivered, I needed to have my blood sugars checked until I had at least 3 good readings in a row.  Once I was given the complete ok, I have started indulging in foods that we have around the house like cereal for breakfast, brownies my sister made, sandwiches, and anything I wanted. Let’s just say, I am giving myself a little bit of a food free pass while on leave haha

Hopefully this post will help someone the way others have helped me. Whether it’s with some good examples or just the simple fact that you are not alone! Please reach out with any questions and have a great weekend 😊

Benefits Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a popular scent and spice during the Fall and Christmas…however, I prefer it year round!  I add cinnamon to many teas, desserts, and snacks because of the taste and benefits.  One of the benefits of cinnamon that became important to me during my second pregnancy was that it lowers your blood sugar.  I had gestational diabetes with my son.  It was a HUGE adjustment for me. I ate more snacks and even more tea with cinnamon mixed in. I wanted to try anything that could help.

Some of the other benefits that I have learned about are:  anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antimicrobial properties, antioxidant benefits, and neurodegenerative disease benefits.  The history of cinnamon is incredible.  I’ve learned, that cinnamon at one point was more valuable than gold and was used as a form of medicine for certain things.

From reading my previous posts, you have learned that I am a chai fanatic.  Chai has lots of cinnamon in it.  I have bought cinnamon sticks, chips, and powder to put into tea.  Some great homemade teas are:

  • almond milk simmering on the stove with cinnamon and just black tea.  You can also add in nutmeg, ginger, all spice, and clove to make more of a pumpkin spice tea
  • hot water, lemon, and cinnamon chips or powder
  • green tea and cinnamon

I will add cinnamon to truly any tea that I may have, even if it’s just a pinch.  My go to snacks with cinnamon are:

  • apples and cinnamon or apples with cinnamon and peanut/almond butter
  • sweet potatoes sliced with olive oil and cinnamon baked in the oven
  • bananas, peanut butter, and cinnamon on toast
  • cinnamon mixed in yogurt
  • any muffin recipe with cinnamon mixed in

What are your favorite snacks or drinks with cinnamon?

Etsy Labor Day Sale

Happy Labor Day everyone!!  Lots of shops on Etsy are offering a Labor Day sale, including mine.  I have updated the shop with some new items and will continue to add a few more today and tomorrow.  Below is a link to my shop with earrings and notecards.  The sale is active from today until Tuesday 9/4.

SavvieDesigns Etsy Labor Day Sale

Please reach out with any questions or requests.  I hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend 🙂