Monday, August 21, 2017

nursery inspirations for a third babe.

I have only four weeks until my due date...which is pretty crazy.  Even crazier is the fact, as of writing this, our nursery for Baby Three is no where near being done.   Eek!

Eventually it will get finished, I know.  Even if baby has to sleep in a pack-n-play for a few weeks (not ideal, but we would survive.)

Here is what I am dreaming of for this babe's nursery....
source : @paigejonesphoto (instagram) 
I love the white walls, and minimal decor in this inspiration pic.  Our nursery is tiny, so bright, white and simple is ideal!  Baby's new nursery is our former 'master bath' - so it is conveniently located next to our room for night feedings.  However, the furnishings will have to be different than our former two nurseries (see Cormac's in this post and Finola's in this one) due to the size.  Um, and my style!

My style has completely changed in the past six years!  What you'll see in this nursery is more of a minimalist,  boho-style, rather than traditional.   We are selling our white sleigh crib and instead using the very simple IKEA Sniglar crib (in the picture above) which we bought four years ago after second-guessing Cormac's big boy bed after Finola was born.  I am glad it will get some additional use!

I can no longer fit my HUGE IKEA white chair + ottoman in the baby space, so we will most likely be seeking other, smaller options for my nursing chair.
source : domino
Other items we already have for the room :  the existing changing table dresser (kinda huge, but with three spacious drawers will serve as basically ALL of baby's storage - as there is no closet in this room.)   Also, I have a piece of art that I for sure want to hang over the crib, as well as a new light fixture that I am in love with!
source: project nursery
Other desires...
+ Plants!  A fiddle leaf fig in a cute basket would be ideal.  And various hanging in front of the window in some white macrame hangers.

+ A bold rug!  The walls will be white, so I'd love some big personality on the floor.
source : project nursery

Here is what we started out with...
Baby's room six years ago...a little drab and dark!  Um, and a bathroom.
Since this pic all the bathroom fixtures are gone, and we have painted the walls bright white and installed new wide-plank flooring.  Still so much to do, but so exciting to start completely over, with a fresh space.

I'll be sure to post some before + afters when all is complete!

Happy Monday! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

six years.

his first selfie.
The thirteenth marked six years since Cormac was born, and I became a mama.

As I reflect on his birth and motherhood, I realize how much both of these things changed me so much as a person...and I thank God for that.  I often refer to Cormac as my "lifesaver baby" as, while I won't go into specific reasons, his arrival in the womb has always represented grace for me.  Grace that God gave me to forgive myself and to move forward and make changes in my life.  I don't believe having a baby is a "fix all" for anything, but having this baby certainly changed me for the better.
golden hour.

Cormac is smart (sometimes smarter than me), logical, joyful, analytical, highly sensitive to stimulus, thoughtful, and perceptive.

Lately he is obsessed with math and Legos and Power Rangers.

He is learning chess from Daddy and seems to love the strategy of it all. {insert blank-face emoji from me}

He likes time to himself more now, or time one-on-one with me or Hubby.  While he loves time with friends (it has been so fun to see actual friendships blossom in the last year!) he seems to take after me in that large groups and over-stimulating atmospheres are not his jam and can stress him out. Totally get it, dude.

He is literally my biggest fan when it comes to essential oils and being supportive of my business venture in that.  He asks me questions daily, always want to help me practice teaching, smells the oils and has me guess which one it is, and -- the best part -- tells me how he prays for my business. What?!?!?  Yes, he seriously tells me that.  Since I know how God values the prayers of little children, I feel like this is the most precious thing my son could do for me.
The past year has contained some awesome milestones for little Mac...
  • He learned the fine art of sarcasm.
  • Overcame extreme fear of water and getting water in his eyes.  Now swims like a fish!
  • Figured out how to tell a (funny) joke.  Like, actually having a punchline.  "Was that funny, Mom?  I made it up."  
  • Proficient at 3rd grade level math. Okay, well, at least he can do reasoning and computation that I didn't remember doing until 3rd grade.  (Learned mostly from dad.) 
  • Can read and sound out words. (Does not initiate reading books by himself, though.)
  • Can articulate that he is overstimulated and needs personal space.  (Learned mostly from mom.)
I'll close this birthday post with a slideshow.  (I know these are out-of-fashion but my kids LOVE them.)  I put some of our favorite pics from past year to Cormac's favorite song of the moment.


I'm glad you are so happy, Mac!  You make me happy to be a mama.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

roomie reunion : savannah, ga!

I am very fortunate that nearly every year for the past six years I have been able to spend a long weekend with two of my best friends from my college years.  
No, we weren't sorority sisters.
(None of us were the sorority type.)

We didn't even ever attend the same college.

We were randomly placed together 
God-appointed into each others lives
for so many reasons, I believe!

Anyway, our friendships have survived over the years, I have shared our adventures here on this blog. Here is yet another...

Savannah, Georgia!

With me in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy, this was one of our tamest girlfriend trips yet...
and I think we were all kind of fine with that.

No "crazy first night" this time, I didn't harass any celebrities, and no one got kicked out of any pools.  The only tears were only briefly shed mid-day by the least expected one of us all.
I'm proud of us, ladies!  (No promises next year, though.) 

I found Savannah to be dreamy, low-key, laid-back.  So, so Southern and charming.

We rented the CUTEST cottage on Tybee Island, only a tiny walk from the beach.   We made some homemade meals, sipped some handmade cocktails and mocktails, relaxed on the beach for a day,  spent another day exploring the city by on-and-off trolley, and even did a pizza + movie night.
my sweet friends shared this adorable room...so the preggo lady could have the big bed.  LOVE YOU GUYS!
homemade guacamole and fish tacos.
spanish moss covered the trees of Savannah.
I'm sorry.  I could not keep a straight face pretending to be Forrest, Forrest Gump.  (The bench scene was filmed at one of the parks.)
Someone had the bright idea to put a pregnant lady in a tree. 😳 It took both my sweet friends to hoist me up here.
Due to my recent read of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I was a COMPLETE geek over the Mercer Williams house.  We took the tour and I loooooved it! 
I couldn't partake in the wine-drinking this year, but Beth bought this bottle for the appropriate label. 
our little rental.  
I adored that our address was Cedarwood - one of my favorite oils!!!!!!!
this made me want to paint every wall in my house white.  
My bedroom. So perfect.  I want to come back to this sweet, artsy cottage with my little fam!
Could she be any prettier?
views on Tybee.
My virgin pina colada. 

Me and my beach bump.
more shots of our rental...just 'cause I thought it was so adorable.

If I love you I make you guacamole.
Whose is real?  
Yummy watermelon 'cocktails + mocktails' on our sun porch.  Hmmm...bar franchise idea?
some adorable succulents at our brunch stop.
There were literally posted warnings about the dangers of these historic steps.  #yolo 
Forsyth Park!
open-air trolley we rode around all day, hopping on and off.
In the beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery on our last day.
a farewell airport selfie. 
I loved that we got a little beach/totally chill relaxing time, 
as well as some city sight-seeing.

Perfect combo and, as always, great company.

Who knows where this next year will take us all, but I love that we continue to take these trips and make memories all over the country.

(Next up, the world?) 

Our 40th birthdays are happening in just a few year...
Let's do it right, ladies!!!! 😉 

+ + + + + + +

Reader, I hope you never stop adventuring with your best friends.

Friday, June 30, 2017

"essential oils are a luxury" - and other myths.

The other day someone said to me that they didn't have time to learn about essential oils because they were too busy "in survival mode" and oils were just something that seemed like a "luxury."

That made me do a weird side-eye, as my oil journey has been WAY more practical as a mommy than luxurious.
  • I don't consider cleaning my house in a non-toxic way a luxury.
  • I don't consider skin care for my aging, thirty-something skin a luxury.
  • I don't consider supporting my kids overall emotional and physical wellness a luxury.
Luxuries for me are: designer clothes, shopping at Restoration Hardware, Botox, an entire day all to myself (or even 30 minutes of quiet), and fancy vacations.

Rolling my kids spines with a Thieves roller every morning so they aren't coughing and having runny noses every day  -- necessary + practical. 
TRUTH : Since beginning oil use in April neither of my kids have been sick save for a weird 24 hour stomach virus.  No runny noses, no strep throat.  For MONTHS.  I just keep rolling those spines with Thieves, taking our multivitamins and all of us have been remaining healthy! Could be a fluke, a coincidence, whatever...or...consistency with oils pays off!  If you don't have two seconds at breakfast to roll your kids with Thieves...you have the busiest life and need to slow it down!

Supporting my aging adult skin?  Necessary!  We all buy beauty products. Some of us even buy expensive beauty products for one reason -- our face is the first thing people see!  We want it to look nice.  
TRUTH : I have struggled with skin issues since puberty. Acne, oiliness, and now wrinkles and sun damage.  Ugh.  Since ditching all chemical products in April and switching to only oils on my face...guess what.  My skin has IMPROVED.  I did this because of my pregnancy, and because I wanted a more minimalist beauty regimen.  So now I cleanse with carrier oil, then moisturize with carrier oil mixed with a couple drops of whatever skin-supporting essential oil I feel I need at the time.  Carrot Seed oil for evening out skin-tone, Lemon for acne and lightening sun damage, Frankincese for wrinkles...whatever I feel I need at the time.  Or - ALL the oils!  You can layer if you have multiple needs you want to address. Young Living has a line of skin care you can feel good about because it is toxin-free!  (Now we have a beautiful makeup line, too!) 

Not a whole bunch of ingredients with crazy names I haven't heard of.  Nothing chemical.  All-natural.  And all of this actually cheaper than the chemical-laden stuff.  

(NOTE: When you stop using chemicals on your skin, it will take a few weeks to detox.  Your skin might get worse before it gets better.  Be patient.  Soon you will be glowing and way more healthy!) 

Cleaning my house? Necessary!  I would be buying cleaning products whether I was doing oils or not.  Why not switch to something non-toxic and GOOD.  I'm confused.  Cleaning is not a luxury.  I hate cleaning.  I also hate having to lug a bunch of scary, toxic products around my house that if my kids spray it in their faces I'll have to freak out about!!!!  Now I just carry rags and my All-Purpose Thieves household cleaner.  If I need to clean my floors?  Thieves cleaner mixed with water.  Windows?  Oh yeah, Thieves Cleaner.  If my kids spray it in their face???? They smell like Christmas.  (Not recommending that...just saying...you won't have to call poison control.)

Doing my laundry?  Sigh.  Necessary!  Either make a HUGE vat of clean detergent on the cheap using this recipe (for WAY cheaper than Tide...and no chemicals) or simply order Thieves Laundry Detergent from Young Living.  Easy.  Necessary.  Nothing luxurious.
Other myths...
Myth #2 :  "I just don't think I'll use the oils once I have them."   Wah??????  Okay, see everything above.  

Myth #3 : "I can't afford it right now." Okay...I get this one.  I am a major cheapskate with an uber-frugal husband.  We are Dave Ramsey cash budgeters.  I LITERALLY carry around envelopes with cash in my purse (please don't mug me if you see me on the street).  So I get this one.

BUT -  can you afford detergent?  Skin care?  Taking your kids to urgent care?  Vitamins?  Cleaning products?  Dietary supplements?  If you can afford these things you can afford to join Young Living and switch to Essential Rewards, where you will earn FREE products, and immediately start earning 10% back (hello...this is better than Target Red Card!) 

Ditch and Switch, ya'll! Stop making excuses as to why you need to keep chemicals in your home and on your skin!  

Your wellness is not luxury.  It is necessity.  If you don't have the five minutes it takes to log onto Young Living, invest in your health and that of your family, then how do you have hours to wander Target, filling up your cart with toxic products, and probably at least 100 bucks worth of cute office supplies, dollar bin goodies, and throw pillows????

How did you have time to read this blog post?  I mean, I'm glad you did, obviously. :D  But... 

Let's be real.  You do have time.  You do want the best for your family.   You will be spending money on household products no matter what.  AMIRIGHT?  So why not buy what is SAFE?  

Are you practicing clean eating, but not clean cleaning or beauty product-wearing?  Then what is the point?

I am not judging...I was the same way!  I spent thirty five years not caring what I put in or on my body, or what products I used around my kids.  But now I know better.  I choose better.  To invest in oils is not a luxury, but a smart decision for your wellness and that of your family.

If I am blessed enough to be able to spend on those other products to fill up my household, I am smart enough and blessed enough to spend on safe products infused with plant oils that will not harm my family.

That is my hard sell, folks. 

Which brings us to...  

Myth #4 : "UUUUUUUUGH Direct marketing is SO ANNOYING!!!!!!"  Wait - you are annoyed by normal people, probably your friends or family, doing a lot of work to market awesome products so they can fund adoptions, pay their bills, become debt-free, bless others, stay home with their kids, do something that excites and fulfills them, etc????  Hmmm... 
Yes, this is direct-marketing.  You've probably noticed, we are living in a direct-marketing era. You're either buying clothes, beauty products, kitchen gadgets, cleaning cloths, etc. from a friend who benefits some from your purchase, or buying from strangers at a major corporation!  You're either helping your friends in their business endeavors by buying things you would/should anyway, or your helping a CEO buy his yacht.  Just sayin'.

If you are ready to ditch-and-switch the toxic products and start getting your Seed-to-Seal approved essential oil products through Young Living, follow the steps below, and start your journey to chemical-free wellness...


2) Choose a premium kit!  I recommend the Premium Starter Kit with diffuser, pictured above, as it comes with a diffuser of your choice and you get the 11 oils that will be useful to you EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Other options are the Thieves Premium Cleaning Kit (for all things CLEAN!) or the Ningxia Premium Kit.  Any kit will get you the 24% off wholesale discount for life!

3) Sign up for Essential Rewards.  Not required, but this is how you earn points and get free products!  It costs nothing to enroll and you can cancel anytime.  Minimum of $50 order each month...but you probably spend that at Target/Walmart/Costco every month anyway on cleaning products, beauty products, makeup, sunscreen, etc. etc. and you can just order that all from Young Living.  

4) Congratulate yourself for doing something smart for yourself and your family, and enjoy getting to know your starter kit and the amazing, safe practical products every month!!!!!


PS : You never have to sell, so don't worry.  (For all you "Uuuuuuuugh - directing marketing!" people out there.  I still love you, guys!)   Just enjoy the products!  :D

Oh, and if you really crave luxury...order some Lavender or Stress Away bath bombs to put in your tub.  Light some candles, lock the door...there you go.  ;) 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

renovation diary : master bath // before + after

Once there was a really, really dark bedroom.  
Dark walls, dark trim, and dark tile on the dark, empty fireplace.
  
Six years ago, when we purchased our 1859 Greek Revival fixer-upper, we saw this room attached to our bedroom as a temporary spot for our firstborn (then a one-year-old) while we renovated the rest of the house.

So it became Cormac's toddler room. All we did at the time was paint the walls a medium gray, then insert kid stuff.  Done.  I didn't hang anything on the walls or buy anything fancy.
Cormac's toddler room for several years.      
Finally, last October we decided we were ready to begin transforming this room into an en suite master bathroom with closet.  So Cormac, now a five year old, moved to his new "big kid room" and we started turning our master bath dreams into a reality.

I knew the kind of bathroom I wanted:  Victorian, yet updated.  Marble.  Black + white.  Simple, yet glam.  Vintage vibes.  (I posted our inspiration photos here.)

That was early November of 2016.
Fast forward (wait, maybe not fast) eight months.
Yes.  Eight whole months.

We are finally done!

At long last, here is the transformation.  We are pretty excited to have a shower, a real closet instead of just clothing racks in our bedroom, and even a separate toilet room.  Honestly, it is missing the necessary art + plants needed to make it truly feel like home to me...but you can sense the general vibe in the before + after photos below!
Kept the original tile, fireplace mantle and heart pine floors.  Painted all the trim and picture rails white.
Yeah, the steam shower is a bit over-the-top...but we love it!
We widened the doorway into our bedroom and added pocket doors.  The other door leads to toilet room.
light fixtures from overstock.com
Black vanity was a cheap antique find that I painted black.  Furry stool from Target!
All hardware in room is from Signature Hardware.  Countertop is quartz.  Giant gold mirror was a random vintage find I purchased three years ago -- one of my favorite parts of the bathroom!
terribly lit photo...but our closet is from EasyClosets.com - installed by Hubby!

View looking out from closet.  We kept the closet open on top to let in more natural light.

One more look back at how far we've come...

If it seems completely unrecognizable...well, good! :)

We still need : shutters, plants, art...but, as with all things in our home, it will happen in time.  I find my style evolves over time anyway, so it is best for us not to do everything all at once.

We are glad to be done with this really drawn-out project.
Happy to have cash-flowed the entire thing (our most expensive home reno project so far.) 

Now, onto turning our former bathroom into a cozy little nursery for the baby!