Friday, April 17, 2015

Cooking With The Littles // An Adventure In Lemonade.

Marli saw this cute little lemon shirt at Target and instantly fell in love with it. Every time we would walk by it she would say "I want to get that shirt and then make lemonade when I wear it, wouldn't that be awesome mom?".
To make a long story short, I ended up grabbing the shirt and all the ingredients to make lemonade from scratch when I was out and surprised Marli. She was so excited and couldn't wait to give it a go. I stayed totally hands off for this "Cooking With The Littles" and let Marli take over except for slicing with the "super sharp knife". Hunter was a wonderful assistant and took his assigned task of stirring quite seriously. We ended up with very delicious lemonade and two satisfied kiddos. Now Marli says shes ready for a lemonade stand, oh boy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Date Night // The Grove.

Jared's birthday is right around the corner so last night we went out to celebrate. We wouldn't usually plan a Tuesday night date but one of Jared's favorite bands were playing a small club in the city and we couldn't miss it. We drove into St. Louis a little early because this club in newer and in a fun "up and coming" district full of old school tattoo parlors and funky eateries called The Grove, I wanted to explore. We had such a good time stopping in record stores and checking out all of the murals painted on bars and businesses. Then it was show time! This was our sixth time seeing Between The Buried And Me and they were fabulous. I'm not really a "metal fan" like my husband but I really love BTBAM and never mind being dragged along to their shows with the guys. All in all I think we had a wonderful time, date night success.
If you're ever in St. Louis and looking for a fun area to explore make sure you head down to The Grove. Support our local businesses and help downtown flourish! 
(also we are getting our first IKEA in The Grove, woohooo!)

What do you like to do on date night? We are always looking for ideas!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Living Essentially // Q&A


You've heard me talk about them on the blog and have seen them all over my Instagram feed. Essential Oils. There are social media communities built around them, holistic moms, doulas, yoga fanatics, and natural living enthusiasts all swear by their magical qualities. They are the must have in your bag, medicine cabinet, and kitchen drawer. 
Like all things, I was skeptical before trying essential oils. Was this a fad? Some trendy money spending gimmick that will quickly pass? What are these oils?! I was so curious. After many of my blogging friends, mommy friends, and even one of my best friends suggested that I try them out I decided to start my journey. In my mind these oils weren't worth spending a pretty penny on so I decided against a kit and bought a few at my Whole Foods store. I accumulated a few more from my step mom and one of my girlfriends. Slowly I started using them everyday and then I decided to take the leap and buy a kit. I eased in before really being convinced that essential oils were a must have. Scents affect our mood everyday! The smell of lavender has a calming effect and lemon is a fresh and energizing smell. Aromatherapy is all around us and its therapeutic uses are endless, this is why I knew I would benefit from essential oils in my everyday life. Young living oils really helped me to truly make that possible and now even my toothpaste is made with essential oils. I'm obsessed.
I get a lot of questions from friends, family, and internet buddies about essential oils, how to use them, and how to get started with Young Living all the time so I decided to do a little Q&A in order to answer questions and help anyone who might be looking for a point in the right direction!

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are the oils extracted from plants that contain the plant's natural aromatic essence. They are created usually by distilling the plant, often by steam. These essential oils have been used through out history for cosmetic and health purposes.

CAN'T I JUST BUY ANY BRAND OF OILS?
Yes, you can. But not all essential oils are the same. They aren't regulated which means that anyone can sell pretty much anything and label it essential oil. Some companies dilute their oils, some don't even use plant based materials at all. You have to really do research on companies and the process their essential oils go though. I want the most pure plant essence when I purchase oils, that's why I ended up buying through Young Living.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE YOUNG LIVING OILS?
When I first started using essential oils I collected them one at a time as I discovered each of their uses and how I could incorporate them into my families life. This left me spending high dollar for oils that were diluted or impure. With Young Living oils you are getting the most pure essential oils for a great price. They source out the purest farms or farm themselves, they weed by hand, they control pest with their own oils, and they gently distill their oils without chemicals. They also heavily test their oils to meet therapeutic grade standards. Each bottle is filled with the plant’s “living energy” and in turn their essential oils are 100% therapeutic grade, effective, and safe.
HOW CAN I USE ESSENTIAL OILS IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE?
When you start your oil journey it can be an overwhelming process. What do I use these oils for? How do I get the most out of these little bottles of goodness? There are so many ways to easily and seamlessly make essential oils a part of your everyday routine. The easiest way is to diffuse your favorite scent with a Young Living diffuser. I diffuse oils to uplift spirits, provide focus, or help cranky little ones calm down for a good night sleep. You can also utilize accessories like roller balls for oil mixtures that you can apply to help with sinus issues, headaches, scratches and “boo boos”, aches and pains, mood lifting, and more. They are also wonderful to include in homemade cleaning products, beauty products, and some are even wonderful to use in your food or to flavor water. Think of them as natural helpers!
HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH YOUNG LIVING?
The most cost effective way to start your Young Living journey is to sign up as a distributor and purchase a YL premium starter kit with diffuser. By becoming a distributor you are not obligated to make sales or meet a monthly quota but it does give you a discounted wholesale price on all oils and kits which means you're saving money with no commitment necessary. The YL premium starter kit retails at $300 but as a wholesale member you receive a 50% discount! If you do want to share your love for essential oils and earn a little extra cash you can share these oils with your friends and family to earn commission or participate in promotions for free oils as a wholesale distributor.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN MY PREMIUM STARTER KIT?
With your starter kit you’ll receive everything you need to start your oils journey. It includes a YL booklet, a user guide, an in home diffuser, distributor resource guide for those of you who want to turn your passion for oils into a business, a Citrus Fresh 5ml, AromaGlide Roller,  two Lavender sample packets, two Peppermint sample packets, two Peace and Calming sample packets, two Lemon sample packets, two Thieves sample packets, two NingXia Red 2oz. samples, a product guide with price list, and the Everyday Oils Collection.
THE EVERYDAY OILS COLLECTION INCLUDES:
5ML Lavender // for relaxation and skin irritations
5ML Peppermint // for digestive support and muscle soreness
5ML Lemon // for uplifting and cleaning
5ML Frankincense // for youthful skin and spiritual connection
5ML PanAway // for occasional pain and discomfort
5ML Melaleuca // for cleaning, immune support, and skin irritations
5ML Thieves // for immunity and well-being
5ML Purification // for cleaning all those stinky places
5ML Stress Away // for relaxation and wellness
5ML Joy // for happiness and love


HERE’S HOW TO SIGN UP!
I recommend purchasing the Premium Starter Kit with diffuser to start off. It is by far the biggest bang for your buck and you can actually start using your oils the day you receive it. To get started follow these simple steps:


  1. Head over to the YL website and click over to the sign-up page.
  2. Select “Sign Up As:Young Living Wholesale Member”
  3. Locate the Enroller ID and Sponsor ID boxes and enter my ID “2558714”
  4. Fill in your name, billing information, shipping information, and your SSN for tax purposes. (This will only be used if you make over $600 a year selling young living products)
  5. Create a password and PIN number which you will use to log into your account and order more oils.
  6. Select your enrollment order. This is where you specify which starter kit you would like to order. You must order one of the kits listed to become a wholesale member.
  7. Set up your optional Essential Rewards Program. Buying one of the ER kits is not a requirement as a wholesale member. This rewards program helps you earn money back to help pay for your oils. If you are not interested you can select “No thank you, I plan on enrolling in the Essential Rewards Program later.”
  8. Agree to the terms and conditions.
  9. Confirm your order. Do not skip this step or your order will not process!


YOU ARE NOW ON YOUR WAY TO ESSENTIAL LIVING!

You have your oils, now what? I'll be blogging about different ways I use essential oils in this new series so stay tuned for a lot more information, tips, tricks, and more. Don't use Young Living oils? That's okay too! You can still use some of the great tips I have with other oil brands.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Marli's Room Makeover!

This post has been a long time coming. Marli's room was one of the main reasons that we bought our house. It has built in bookshelves and a window seat that spans an entire wall, such a great focal point for a room. I envisioned Marli growing up in there from the moment we walked in. It was such a dream. The room was painted a rusty orange, I knew immediately that it had to go. I'm not a fan of very dark or super rich colors in bedrooms, especially children's rooms. When it came time to paint the room I had a few colors in mind but ultimately I wanted to leave the decision up to Marli, it was her room after all. I showed her a few coral colors peachy pinks but she had something different in mind. She ended up choosing a really muddy reddish salmon color that I only ever describe as disgusting. I absolutely loathe the color and since the day we finished painting it I was NOT happy. But Marli had chosen the color and I was going to respect her choice. As parents we are supposed to let our children make their own mistakes so they can learn from them. This was one of those great lessons. For two years we lived with this color and several times Marli wanted to re-decorate but couldn't find any bedding that matched her crazy wall color. Everything clashed with it, it made her room look small and dark, it was an awful time. I know I sound so dramatic but nothing is more frustrating then a great room ruined by bad color choices. This room drove me nuts.
For Marli's sixth birthday she was finally ready, she wanted me to give her room a makeover as her gift. I was so happy and I immediately started collecting ideas for Marli to look at. I started a Pinterest board, which you can see here, and let her help in the process. We slowly started buying bedding and accessories and over the last couple of months put everything together. The last step was paint, this time Marli agreed that white was the way to go. Boy, did it make a difference! Her room feels so open and fresh now. It's everything I knew it could be. We have a few more little details to add, like a rug and a few pictures but all in all it's a great improvement.
We went with a sort of vintage whimsical theme. I've been collecting funky vintage dolls, barbie cases, and art her whole life and using it as decor. The flea market was my best friend for most of the redesign. We also got a lot of her stuff at Target. Her bedding, lamp, and storage are all pieces from Circo, and I found the fun floral garland by Threshold on clearance for $1.69! What a steal!
I am so happy that this project is basically done and now Marli has a cute little "big girl" room enjoy. She is so happy with how everything turned out and has been spending a lot of time in there playing and relaxing in her new space.
What do you think of her room transformation? Do you have a room in your house that you can't stand? I challenge you to tackle the project, it will make you feel so much better! Trust me!