Uncategorized

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is coming up quickly!

I thought I’d round up some affordable (and a couple of splurges) gifts for the mamas in your life! Being a mom is an amazing job; and such a gift.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Hammered Disc Earrings – Poof Keychain – Essie Nail Polish – S’Well water bottle – Fossil Tab Wallet – Teething Necklace

 

Let’s just be honest though. This is what we all want.

NAP
I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend- and that it’s not storming where you are! 😉

 

 

***All links Amazon affiliate links. You can see my disclosure statement in my “referral” tab.***

 

 

Advertisements
recipes · Uncategorized

Gluten & Dairy Free Coffee House Overnight Oats

I love finding healthy and easy breakfast foods. I like it even more if I don’t have to work at it when I wake up. I am not a morning person. Add caffeine to my food, and I’m all in!!! I really like chia pudding AND oatmeal, so I feel like this is the perfect combination.

I adapted this from this recipe that I found on Pinterest. 
Overnight Oats

1/2 – 3/4 cup  Gluten Free Oats
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 teaspoon raw honey (If you want to make it vegan, use brown sugar, coconut sugar, etc.)
1/4 – 1/2 cup vanilla soy or almond milk
1/2 cup coffee
1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in a jar with a lid
Stir or shake to mix well.
Cover and put in the fridge overnight.

You want to eat this cold. If you heat it in the morning, it will turn to mush and be gross. You can add some extra liquid of your choice in the morning if it has thickened too much for your liking. You really can’t mess it up!

Have you tried overnight oats before? I’d love for you to share your favorite recipe!

Uncategorized

About A Monday

66845adb-8f36-431c-8c60-fa629b60353a

 

Here are ten things that I am really loving today.

one Harper has been fever free so far today!!

two It is double star day at Starbucks.

three We live down the street from Starbucks, so we loaded up and walked to get some. The older girls picked out chocolate milk and Harper got a fruit pouch.

four This overnight oats recipe. I tweaked it some, and hope to share it soon! So yummy!

five House hunting. We are around 9 months from our lease being up, and I am searching for THE perfect place for us to move at the perfect price.. and then praying it stays available. haha! Day dreaming, really.

six A friend went to be with Jesus. It makes me sad that she is not on this earth, do not get me wrong. She was incredible. She was older, had lived a full life, and her cancer had returned. The last time I saw her, she had tears streaming down her face as she told me how she just wanted God to call her home. Her prayers were answered, and that is beautiful.

seven Harper turns two in just a few months. I love looking at birthday party ideas on Pinterest. I am thinking a woodland theme?

eight Pretty Happy. I feel like a dork sharing this, but it’s true. I like the book so far.

nine This bike.  I want a bike so badly. I love the vintage vibe that they all have right now. Plus, a huge basket AND cup holder. Cup holders are pretty much a requirement with me. Maybe I should get this one instead. I mean, if you know my bike history (Let’s just say that I have met a lot of trees up close and personal), an adult tricycle could be safest for everyone.

ten Spring. Flowers are blooming all around us. There is this tree in the neighbors yard that rains pretty purple flowers all over the ground. They look so exotic and I like to pretend that I am on an island somewhere. Spring is pretty fabulous!

What are you loving on this Monday? Coffee?

***Edit to add #11: check out Brickyard Buffalo this week!! They have so many great summer finds at a discount.

holiday · home · kids · natural living · recommendations · Uncategorized

Favorite Things- Earth Day Edition

Happy Fri-YAY! Usually, Fridays are extra thrilling around here, because it is actually the start of our weekend. Scott typically has Friday off, which is his only FULL day off. He had to take Monday off for Harper’s eye appointment, so he is working today. Sad. Really sad, because I am T-I-R-E-D. But, I am so thankful for the flexibility of his work schedule (especially because the girls were CRAZY on Monday at the eye doctor).

hand-1030565_960_720

So, here are some awesome products and links to check out on this earth day!

If you have kids, you are probably overwhelmed with snack cups, sippy cups, plates, and on and on. Have you seen the brand Re-Play yet? They have EVERYTHING. It is all made from recycled milk jugs, AND is BPA, Phthalate, PVC and Melamine FREE!!!! How awesome is that?! We have to pack dinner every Wednesday for the girls to eat at church. I am really thinking about this three pack snack stack

Also for kids, I really Green Toys. They are also made from recycled milk jugs!! I really want to get this big pink dump truck for the girls to play with! They love cars, but we don’t really have any big ones.

I have become really interested in composting. I know that growing your own food is best, but if your soil is completely deprived of any nutrients, so will your food. I like how this chart breaks it down. However, if a cockroach comes crawling out of my compost pile one day, I’m out. (Kidding.. I think.)

I don’t wear a lot of makeup. In fact, I usually only wear makeup on Sundays. I love EcoTools line. I have their makeup brushes and LOVE them. They are so soft. Plus, I love the look of bamboo. Bamboo grows very quickly, so it’s a much more sustainable wood than other types.

IMG_1429

I really love Grove Co.  Above is my most recent order. Their products are amazing, and by shopping through them, you are helping save the planet!! Here is my referral link that you can use to get $10 off your first purchase. You aren’t obligated to buy something every month, and you can buy as little or as much, as you’d like. I love the Full Circle brand of cleaning tools! (Can you tell I am trying to pick which toothpaste I like?)

This book looks adorable to teach kids about recycling. There are actually a lot of cute books.

How are you “celebrating” Earth Day? I think it’s important to teach your kids about recycling and the importance of taking care of this beautiful planet that God created for us.

recycle-29227_960_720

**All Amazon links are affiliate links. You can see my disclosure statement in my “referral links” tab.**

 

family life · kids · story telling · Uncategorized

Glasses, Tissues, and a Wedding Dress

A couple of days ago, Scott was encouraging me to go write. I told him that I had nothing to write about. For days, I have been trying to think of what to write. You know what I realized, I have nothing to give right now. Nothing at all. I have no encouraging words. No cool lists to share. Some of my favorite bloggers just tell stories of their daily family life. I have none of those. Seriously, I am so worn.

For the last three months, we have been nothing more than a string of illnesses and various doctor’s appointments (and one awesome zoo trip). I have been to MAYBE 5 Sunday services since we moved here. We are still waiting for the ENT to call with Addi’s procedure appointment. I have called back and forth trying to get it set up. Mama bear is about to ROAR.

Monday, we took Harper to the eye doctor. Because of the way her eye was described to me, I was expecting them to say she had a “lazy eye” and we would get glasses and patches and hope that was enough to fix it. If it’s bad enough, surgery is needed, but I was sure we wouldn’t have to go down that path. It turns out, she is just far-sighted. Her left eye is extremely far-sighted, and she has an astigmatism in both eyes. Thankfully, the doctor said that she will most likely grow out of the far-sightedness other than her left eye. He said it probably won’t fully correct itself because it is so bad.

To me, that was awesome news. No possibility at all of surgery! Woohoo! We picked out some cute lavender glasses for her and are just waiting for them to come in. While I don’t want her to struggle with vision at all, I find baby glasses to be so darn adorable. The older girls are jealous because they want to wear glasses, too. haha!

Tuesday, she had a VERY low fever, so I began to assume that she was just getting her 2 year molars a little early. We blew bubbles to liven things up. I am watching another little girl (Harper’s age) once a week for about an hour. She is such a sweetheart, and Harper was so excited to have a friend. That evening, Harper started to run a 102 fever again. The little girl started to run a fever while she was here also, so I am really glad to know that I did not share sickness with her.

IMG_1396

Yesterday, her temperature was nearly 104 at one point. I should buy stock in the tissue companies with the amount that we have been going through here. Between allergies and illness, it is crazy!! We are feeling stir crazy. I dug out my wedding dress for the girls to see. They have been begging to see it in person because they’ve seen it in pictures for so long. Chloe was so excited! She is obsessed with pretty dresses. Addi didn’t really care too much, but Harper found it to be an awesome hiding place.

IMG_1411

IMG_1412

Scott went to church solo last night. He gets home around 4:45 from work, and has to leave again a little after 5 to get there in time for band practice. Addison asked me “Why does Daddy keep leaving again and again?” They were so sad when he wasn’t home to tell them goodnight…and I was so exhausted from doing it all alone. I collapsed on the couch when everyone was finally asleep and just sat in the dark watching Netflix. Scott got home after 9 and we finally ate dinner together, and then he fell asleep while I was talking to him. It was so romantic. 😉

Today, I am out of coffee creamer. I am pretty sure that life will end. We live just a few doors down from Starbucks. But, I don’t want to take a really sick kid into the store.. or drag her into the car. The big girls would probably scream in protest that we only drove for 5 seconds to go right back home. So, instead I put some soy milk in my coffee..and it’s gross. Just in case you wondered.

Chloe and I have still been working away through Homeschooling. It is tough to do with a sick baby crying at your feet or in your arms. I can hardly concentrate, and I feel terrible that Chloe has to work through it. (She WANTS to do school work.) Everyone keeps telling me “this, too, shall pass” and I may poke the next person to say it in the eye. You’ve been warned.

Aren’t you glad that I am story telling? Don’t worry, I won’t blog again until I have something of substance to share.

 

family life · kids · story telling

Our Weekend

Wow. We had such a great weekend.

Thursday, I took Addison to the dermatologist to have a couple of moles checked out. One didn’t really concern me, but the other did. The doctor agreed. She has a large mole that he said tends to go down the road towards cancer. So, we will be scheduling a procedure to remove it. It’s on her face near her hairline and ear. They’ll send it off for a biopsy to see what is going on with it. If it’s abnormal, we’ll be going back to the dermatologist fairly often to have her checked out. It’s scary, but I know that God is in control

After a long, exhausting week, our long weekend was so needed.

We broke in our new van and took a trip down to Tulsa and visited the zoo. I don’t know who was more excited- the girls or me! I love getting to see so many beautiful animals. We have a zoo membership that is going to get a lot of use!

It was warm and sunny- the perfect weather. The girls were smothered in sunscreen, and had big and floppy hats on. Safety first. It was a blast. Truly. Most of the animals were out. The river otters were playing and swimming, which is basically the most fun part. The girls said the penguins were stinky (they were) and the GIANT alligator snapping turtle was swimming like crazy. Chloe asked if she could get a turtle. Addi has decided that elephants are her favorite animal, which will make my Aunt Diane proud. 🙂 Harper wanted to take a piglet statue home, but just couldn’t get it up. Scott and I want a pet penguin, but I don’t see that happening.

We packed tons of snacks and water. The zoo has a huge park inside. Scott, Harper, and I sat and ate while the big girls played. They had eaten a massive bag of popcorn and said they weren’t hungry anymore. haha!

11248151_585373011990_9133854962066282046_nIMG_134412963861_585372812390_2313630287272896141_n12987058_585374064880_7640275360485852591_n12990847_585373321370_2513565055780626254_n13012645_585373675660_388769998213069074_n13015341_585374424160_3831673986766232939_n13015471_585374209590_3686881210356781464_n

Addi loved getting to go pet the goats! Chloe didn’t want to go in, so she hung out with Harper and I outside of the gate and ate some applesauce. In the petting zoo, they had brushes that you could get and brush the goats. Addi was too busy petting them all to brush any, but I thought it was a neat option.

After we had walked the whole zoo, we headed back home. We got home just in time for me to cook up some chicken and eat dinner. A shaved ice place opened up in the shopping center near us. We walked over for some dessert; and the girls’ first shaved ice experience. I love that Harper can actually enjoy dessert with us here!

12993455_585374848310_2409346863741259759_n

The girls shared a Ninja Turtle. They were big fans!!

Saturday we spent at home playing our Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel game and grocery shopping. We had a picnic lunch in the living room.  It was a pretty low-key day. In the evening, Harper spiked a fever. Bummer.

Sunday was also low-key. Harper and I stayed home from church so that she didn’t spread whatever germs she had. I made dairy free gyros for lunch. YUM. Harper enjoyed having the morning to carry Chloe’s bunny around the house. 😉

IMG_1384

After our late lunch, we hung out around the house some more. I checked out a Kids Fitness DVD from the library, so you can guess what we were doing (it was a downpour outside). Chloe had such a blast while Addi protested on the couch.. Chloe said that she was tired after exercising. Addi said “That’s why I’m tired from watching.” Not quite how it works, hon. It is supposed to be stormy EVER DAY this week, so we will be doing lots of workout videos to burn off that energy!

Today, is Harper’s eye doctor appointment. I am anxious to get some answers and be able to move on. Scott is taking the day off so that he can come to this appointment. Since it is down in Owasso, we are going to try to make a fun day of it! Indoors, of course, because they are calling for storms.

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Uncategorized

The Van Saga

Well, we own a new car! Yesterday, Scott went to check out a van that had JUST become available. It had already sold, but they  just happened to have another van traded in that day. They let him look at it and found out it only had one owner. They had taken REALLY good care of it, and only got rid of it to buy a brand new one. I am still in shock because it all happened so fast. Our van has leather seats. What the what?! I have never had leather seats in my life. Do I need to use a leather conditioner on them?! How do I take care of them? We are getting seat protectors to put under our car seats. I never worried about fabric before.

2009_chrysler_town_country_touring_columbus_ga_4410049441396847467

This is not OUR van, but exactly what it looks like.

We pick it up later today since they still needed to clean it and fix it up nicely for us. They ended up not totaling our other van. I am shocked!! I am grateful for it, because this gives us more options.

Gosh, I feel so uninspired. I am just sitting here writing about a van on my blog. L-A-M-E. Our lives have been consumed by doctor’s appointments, and now our van being hit by a drunk driver. My dry shampoo got lost yesterday, and I nearly had a nervous break down. I ordered new markers for my daughters and a game for all of us to play.. Yep, it’s super exciting around here.

What do you do for inspiration? I am in desperate need of some inspiration!!

home · Uncategorized

Small Space Organization

Organization has always been important to me. Now that I have three children, and the five of us live in a small space, it is even more important. Here are some tips that have helped me.

chaos-485493_960_720

  1. Clean Out  It is time to evaluate what you really NEED. Anything that you haven’t used in the last year- get rid of it. Those jeans that haven’t fit you since high school? Buh-bye. I know that sometimes it’s nice to hang on to smaller clothes in the hopes that you will get to wear them again. I have found that seeing those types of clothes causes me to get really down on myself. Get rid of them!! Don’t get caught in that trap. The one thing that I refuse to get rid of is clothes for the girls. I have SO many different sizes boxed up right now, but it is worth the lost closet space to save that money.
  2. Baskets Kids= little stuff. Little stuff makes me crazy when it is scattered all around the floor. I have baskets for EVERYTHING. Probably too many. I love baskets that fit on the cube shelves, or in our TV stand (which is a neat bookshelf from Ikea turned on it’s side). I have baskets for all of our toothpaste, deodorant, hair stuff, etc. in the bathroom. They are just so handy. We have baskets to hold chips, snacks, etc. since we don’t have much cabinet space. Plus, when you have specific places for things to go, clean up is a breeze.
  3. Simplify This goes back to cleaning out, I guess. Before we moved, we got rid of A LOT. I had two garage sales and donated a ton more. However, once we got settled in the apartment, I realized that the girls were STILL overwhelmed with toys. They would play with something and move on to something else without putting anything away. I think they just didn’t even know what to do with it all. I know that everyone means well buying toys for their grandchildren, etc. Their room was such a disaster, and they refused to clean. I ended up bagging up and taking away EVERY toy. Literally. They had to earn them back through obedience. Now, they have just their favorite things (legos, train tracks, blocks) and things go so much better. I love how much lighter I feel (and they feel) without all of the STUFF around.
  4. Under-the-bed Take advantage of the nooks and crannys that you have. We used to store our suitcases in our basement. Now, they are tucked underneath beds. There is a dress-up clothes box that fits under the bed. Our electric griddle is under the bed. Since our closets don’t store as much, we have just had to get creative. Sometimes these spaces slip our mind. Flat things can even be stored behind the couch or headboards (kids pop-up-tents, home school posters, etc.).
  5. Compromise Ultimately, I would rather not have my desk crammed up against the side of my bed. Would I rather deal with that, or have the girls messing with my pens, post-its, and tape in the living room? Sometimes you have to compromise and do what works best over what you really want. I would rather not have our homeschooling materials in the kitchen (in baskets), but we don’t have a good place for it anywhere else. Do what WORKS.
  6. Command Hooks hang up coats, pot holders, purses, etc. so that they don’t take up as much space in the closet or on shelves. I am a huge fan of these hooks because they don’t damage your walls and come in several styles, colors, and weight limits! Winning!

 

The media baskets on the left hold most of our movies. We don’t have cable, so we have a lot of kids’ shows and movies on DVD that we have collected over the last 6 years. The baskets on the right hold bathroom supplies. We have three of those small baskets, and the large one holds my hair drier (obviously), straightener, curling wand, and other hair things. I got them on clearance (like $5  a piece) with free shipping, so I was pretty excited!!!

 

What are your organization tips?

Uncategorized

I forgot to give this post a title. Winning.

IMG_1259

play matmaxi (I got this one on super sale after winter)

Happy, Monday! It is a typical Monday over here. I spilled a huge cup of iced coffee in my lap. My kids have made a huge mess, and Harper barely napped. We’re off to a great start. HAHA!

We still don’t have any answers on our vehicle. I’ve been getting at least one text every day asking. No answers. More frustration. Please stop asking because my brain may literally explode!!

We did have an enjoyable weekend. I had a bit of a breakdown, and Scott knew. We loaded up into the van and spent all day Saturday out of the house having fun. I needed it. I am trapped in this apartment all day every day; especially when kids are sick. We all needed out. We played at the church playground while Scott worked. Then, we headed out and checked out Sprouts after eating some Chick-Fil-A. There is a HUGE park that we drive by when we go down that direction. We finally were able to stop and let the girls play for a long time. It was so wonderful to enjoy the warm day.

Sunday, we had a great day at church. It was my first Sunday volunteering in the C3 Kids department. I am working with the 1st and 2nd grade small group. I had a blast getting to know the kids, and a bonus is that one of our teens is my helper. So, I got to spend some one-on-one time getting to know her. One person accepted Christ during the second service, so that is AMAZING!!

Sunday evening, we decided to have a picnic for dinner. It was really hot outside, and we were lazy.. So, we put our mat down in the living room and watched a movie. Harper was walking around stealing everyone’s food and stomping on all of the plates. If she had been our first, we would have been freaking out. Baby #3 and we just laughed hysterically.

We had some crazy storms blow through last night, but thankfully no tornadoes! Woohoo!!

I hope that we continue getting to enjoy the amazing weather each weekend; and that tornadoes stay away forever and ever. Amen.

 

How was your weekend?

Uncategorized

Links for the Weekend

12919840_10207358644381526_4991456862740382453_n

This picture is completely irrelevant, but I just got to see it, and it makes me smile! My BFF and I got to spend the day together last year. We picked up her pups and went to Starbuck’s drive-thru. I got to feed Scout a “puppiccino”. As you can tell, she liked it as much as I did.

Moving on.

Earth day is coming up. As a Christian, I feel that we need to care for this planet that God has given us to reside on. No, not worshiping trees and nature, but being a good steward of ALL of his gifts. I am excited to incorporate it into our homeschooling month. I am pinning ideas here and would love to hear more!

With Chloe’s decision to accept Jesus, I wanted to get a devotional for her. I have heard nothing but high praises about this one for YEARS, and decided to finally purchase it. They also have a version for boys, which I have also heard amazing things about.

The weather is warming up. I am ready to be outside more often!!!! I didn’t really get cabin fever this year since winter was mild in Michigan until after we moved, but I am still ready to play in the warm sunshine. I want to play Yard Yahtzee so badly!!

Also, how cute are these cooler bags?!?!? Perfect for taking on a picnic, to the zoo, or beach!

I watched the documentary Vegucated on Netflix. It was incredibly eye-opening. I have never really considered becoming a vegetarian or vegan. However, the footage of a baby cow being dragged away from it’s mama the second it was born has scarred me. That poor mama was trying to chase after her baby.. I don’t think I can ever drink milk again.

Every single one of these Mama Bear shirts are adorable. I love that they have daddy bear now, too.

Sookie is coming back to Gilmore Girls!!!!!

 

In other news: I FINALLY got my new Oklahoma license. The guy who hit us WAS, in fact, drunk. The car was not his, had a Texas plate, and I am scared to know how long he was behind the wheel while drunk. I am thankful he hit our empty van and didn’t kill himself or anyone else. I’d still like to give him a wet willie for ruining our van though. HA!

What are your weekend plans? Does anyone have anything fun planned?