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!

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 🙂


Reviving Aloe Vera

I have never had a green thumb…but yet I haven’t tried too much in the past either.  With being a new home owner and my love of herbs, spices, and healthy foods I really want to have a garden.  My sister has been gardening for a while now.  When we would talk about different plants, I told her that one plant I definitely wanted was an aloe vera plant. She had a plantvalready and gave me a piece of one.  She told me it only needs to be watered maybe once a week and that it doesn’t need much.

She gave it to me in a small tall mason jar and I think I may have over watered it but wasn’t sure.  There were only 2 and a half leaves and they started to dry up and turn brown.  I was so bummed and started looking anything I could up on Pinterest.  Pinterest gave me hope.  I read that aloe vera plants don’t have very deep roots and they like to grow in wider than deeper containers, and you are able to pull them right up and just shake off the dirt to replant.  So I did just that.  I still used a mason jar but used a short wide one.  The roots did not look very promising, they didn’t even look like roots at all to me.

I didn’t give up, I put it in the window, tried to put dirt around it to help support it because it was also very limp.  Whenever I saw that the dirt looked semi dry, I would water it.  I don’t know how many times a week but went by sight.  I’ve tried pulling off of the dry spots like some succulents require, but they wouldn’t come off and the plant was SO small I just left them.  Then I started to notice that the base of the brown leaves were a lil thicker and had a hint of green.  HOPE!!  And look at it NOW!!  My sister gave me this plant back in April.  I have been very patient with it haha and it has even survived a toddler, picking it up and pulling it out a few times.

Now – why aloe vera?  One of my first few Thanksgivings with my now husbands family, I had a few drinks before dinner and went to pull something out of the oven to help and burned the top of my hand.  It wasn’t my house or my stove and I didn’t realize that the burners on the roof of the stove were on as well as the bottom.  As soon as I pulled my hand away, my husbands great aunt grabbed a piece of her aloe vera plant and put the gel directly on my burn.  It worked incredibly!!  From that day, I realized that having a plant like that in the kitchen is really helpful and that’s what I wanted in my future kitchen.

Over the years I have learned how good aloe vera is for your skin.  I am hoping to make a future face cream of aloe vera, coconut oil and essential oils.  Once my plant is big enough because now I want to use my own 🙂

Here is a link to some of the great benefits:

My sister has a blog as well and wrote a post about why she chose to have these plants in her house.  I didn’t realize how good they are for the air in your home!  Check it out here:

Best Way To Start A Day

I am so thankful that A loves going for walks! Being outside makes me happy but sometimes I get to caught up with what needs to be done inside that I don’t stop and smell the roses!! Having a child has completely changed that and I truely appreciate it. I love going for walks and running but need to make more time for it.

When we are rushing out the door to head to daycare and work, A will go over to her stroller and ask to go for a walk. She started this earlier in the winter where it wasn’t too cold and we would go for a quick lap and then jump into the car afterwards. She had fun, I got in a little bit of exercise before going to work where I sit all day, and it helps clear my head to prepare me for the day. What better way to start a day!! I’m so happy I see Spring in our future so we can start this up again. This morning she didn’t want the stroller but wanted to walk with me and of course Goofy tagged along 😊 Its the perfect time to talk about shadows and who’s is bigger/smaller.

It makes a difference in my life and teaching my daughter to go on walks and be outside even if it’s for a quick moment is important to me.

Whenever I try to work out I plan on carving out time. That’s stressful in itself some days!! But I’m learning that it doesn’t always have to be that difficult especially when I’m just starting up a routine, which is the hardest typically for me.

Cleaning, Organizing, And Forts Of Course!

We are starting to wind down from a very productive weekend. It has been fantastic!! We have been non stop doing something and it doesn’t feel like too much because we are getting lots done. My husband is finishing up our mudroom renovations, we have been organizing anything and everything, and keeping our toddler busy.

The flu hit A again last week starting over the weekend so we didn’t get to all of our weekend chores then. This weekend was about catching up but we took it to the next level! We tackled loads upon loads of laundry, organized the pantry, went through boxes of things that haven’t been touched since moving in together and then moving to our house, cleaned, moved everything in our entire basement and organized it, and I prepped tea!!

Last weekend I went to two of my favorite stores: The Mustard Seed and Misty Meadows. I bought herbs and tea for my sister and I. I wanted to buy everything but limited myself to the most necessary at the moment. I prefer purchasing my cooking herbs, spices, and certain teas there than anywhere else. When I came home it felt like Christmas!

So this weekend I needed to store and prep tea for home and work. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to do this but doing it saves a bunch of time! The weather was back to being cold and a snow rain mix and I needed a little bit of time to get things done so….time to make a fort with A! She gave me about a half hour which was huge! Especially considering since being sick she has only wanted to be held and still has a cough.

She colored and read books in the fort and then when she was done she really wanted to help me and for me to hold her. I decided to go out on a limb and have her help me even though it would probably end up messy. Well, I’m so glad I did! She had SO much fun and ended up doing a GREAT job!!

A told me she was working and then when we had to leave the counter and go get a tissue she was like, ok back to work! Haha! She called daddy to come look at her working and told our dog she was cooking. It was so much fun doing it with her and she made a mess but then I spilled a little bit of tea and made a bigger mess than her! I had her help me with my raspberry leaf, apple mint, and peppermint teas while I did my store bought blended teas that are a little more expensive. We made it through the whole batch and she was busy and had fun😄. I was really impressed with her work. She seems to never stop amazing me!

Homemade Playdough

I remember playing with play-doh growing up and know it’s a fun activity for kids. As I have gotten older I can’t stand it! It’s mainly the smell that I can’t stand and the smell stays on my hands. A has some play-doh and she hasn’t played with it yet. She still puts things in her mouth and store bought play-doh definitely has ingredients that I’d prefer her not to eat.

Her daycare makes their own and uses Young Living Thieves in it. They posted some pictures for parents of the kids playing with it. I asked them for the recipe and her teacher told me she found it on Pinterest.

Today was the day! I looked up the recipe and it’s now our all morning fun!

A was SO excited. I had her help me dump and mix the ingredients (which are all edible and safe in case she does put them in her mouth). When I needed to grab a spoon for her to help me mix it up, she ran so fast into the kitchen to grab one I thought she was going to take a hard wipe out!

Once we finished mixing it in the bowl we took it out to knead and squeeze. After that it was play time! I’m not sure who had more fun…her playing or me watching her play.

One thing I was surprised at and made me laugh was that she kept putting the playdough back into the bowl and kept telling me she was mixing it! Looks like we need more weekends of baking and mixing, which is fine by me!!

I highly recommend this activity and recipe. It is VERY easy to make and takes maybe 5 minutes to whip up. Another great thing about this recipe is typically you have all the ingredients in the house already and don’t have to make a special trip to the store. The toys she was using to play with were also toys she already had. At times she asked for “other spoons” from the kitchen to play with.

Here is where I found it with the website at the bottom of the picture.

The highlight of this whole experience, no word of a lie, was while she was playing she randomly said “thank you mommy”. It made my heart melt!! Whether it was a delayed reaction from me handing her something or not I’ll take it!!