Minimalist Kitchen- Amazon Style

Kitchen Minimalist

 

Dutch Oven // Mixing Bowls // Wire Basket // Rug // Gather Sign // Kitchen Aid Mixer // Wooden Spoons // Marble Cutting Board

 

Here are some drool worthy pieces for you to add to your kitchen!! I love the minimalist style. It is so soothing to the eye, and truly classic. That white dutch oven gets all the heart eyes from me. The mixing bowls add a little bit of whimsy without ruining the minimalist style. What better to mix with than some beautiful wooden spoons?!

Which is your favorite? Are you into the minimalist style, or do you like lots of color and pattern?

Have a happy weekend, friends!!

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On Being Worn

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Our homeschooling year started off in utter chaos. We moved during the week that I had originally planned to start, so our start date obviously had to be pushed back a little. When we got started, my father-in-law was ill. The week that he passed away, we took off to help with the arrangements. We went right back to schooling and then the girls got sick. They didn’t get some little illness that passed quickly. They got hand, foot, and mouth.. which lasts for all of eternity. At least it felt that way.

We are still not completely settled in this house. I am still trying to figure out the organization and where things need to go to best work for our family. Plus, the usual cleaning, cooking, and usual mom/wife duties.

I am overwhelmed. I’ve been completely worn out. My body and mind are completely tired. I’ve had the worst allergies and even lost my voice for over a week.

I reached out to a homeschool group that I am a part of. I asked them what they do to keep going during difficult times and explained how our year has gone. Do you want to know what the resounding answer was?

TAKE A BREAK!

Every single mom told me to put the books away and catch my breath. I am not bound to follow the public school schedule. I can school year round and take breaks at different times. Can I tell you what a freeing feeling it is to give yourself permission to breath? We have had to take days off due to sickness and death in the family, but those are certainly not BREAKS for mama. They are more exhausting than lesson planning and doing school work every day.

My kids deserve a mom who loves homeschooling them again. And I do love homeschooling. I love seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new. I love seeing them grow. I love not missing a moment. I love the freedom that homeschooling offers to be sick and not go back to school drowning in missed work.

 

If you are tired and worn, your kids see that. They know that you are unhappy and struggling. IT IS OK TO TAKE A BREAK. Breathe, mama. There is no shame in admitting you are worn and need a moment to catch your breath.  You CANNOT pour from an empty vessel.

Bone Broth in the Crock Pot

One of the staples that I try to always have in my freezer is bone broth. I use this in recipes or just warm it up and drink it from a mug. It’s so delicious and SO good for you.

 

First, you need chicken bones. I have used the bones from a store bought rotisserie chicken, and I’ve also used them from a whole chicken that I cooked at home. (You could use beef, lamb, turkey, etc. bones as well.)

Then, you will need various vegetables. I like to use the celery tops/bottoms that usually get thrown away. Any veggies that you’ve had in your fridge too long and won’t eat are great in this. No waste! Just think about the flavor you want your broth to have. Jalapenos probably aren’t a good choice unless you want spicy broth. I usually use carrots, celery, and onion.

Fresh herbs are best, but you can use dried as well. Rosemary, oregano, and basil are my favorites.

See how versatile it is?

Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! Add a tablespoon or so to your crock pot. This will draw calcium from the bones and make your broth more nutrient packed!

Fill the crock pot to the top with water and put it on low. I let it cook for around 24 hours if possible; at least 10 hours.

Strain your broth after it is done cooking and store it. I have used glass jars, freezer bags, and tupperware to freeze mine in. Make sure you don’t overfill your glass jars or they will burst!

 

There are so many reasons that I love bone broth. I first started making it because it has much less sodium than canned broth. Then, I learned about its health benefits, and I am hooked!  Here is a great article on the benefits of bone broth.

**You can boil the ingredients in a large pot on your stove top for a few hours as well.

Let me know if you give this a try!

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Spooktakular

I’ve used our sick days to pull out the Halloween decorations, and it’s been a lot of fun! I have been slowly putting one thing up at a time, because that’s all I’ve had time for. The girls have been loving seeing what is new since I try to do it when they are watching a movie or playing with magnetic tiles.

Yesterday, the girls were all playing in the back yard after we ate dinner. I asked Scott if he would mind if I went in the front yard and put up fake cobwebs. While I was walking to this tree, I walked through a REAL spider web and had a real spider on me. My hoarse voice yelling and freaking out probably entertained the neighbor kids reaaaal good.

I want to get some of the glow-in-the-dark cobwebs to put all over the play house. (Play fort? what is this thing called?!) These cobwebs are the cheapest Halloween decoration, and they have a huge effect.

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love crafts. My kids love crafts, too, so it’s always really fun. Jo-Ann Fabrics had all of their kids craft kids for 40% off when I went looking for fabric. I snagged this three pack of spiders for maybe $1.50. I’m kicking myself for not picking up more. I usually have loads of crafts in my back pocket for rainy/snowy days and sick days. All of the moves and financial strain have caused my craft closet to be depleted. Womp. These happy spiders are really fun to look at with the sun shining through their colorful webs.

These windows are finally open today with a cool breeze blowing in. It finally feels like fall. Maybe it will be here to stay!

Do you decorate for Halloween? Am I just weird for loving the spooky fun?

Mom Confessions

Here we go. These are some of my mom confessions…


-This phase of life.. it’s hard. I felt like a pro at being a baby/toddler mom; or at least like I knew what to do. This “school-age” mom thing is a struggle. I constantly feel like I’m failing. Harper isn’t technically a toddler anymore, and I feel so stretched that I can’t fully soak up her goodness.

– Harper never eats her breakfast all at once. I just leave it on the table and she comes back to nibble on it until lunch.. unless it’s cereal with milk.

– I wake up before the kids do, but I lay in bed until I hear one of their doors open because I am NOT a morning person.

– I do not even want to potty train Harper. I despise everything about it.

– I really miss the days of setting up endless crafts for the girls and I to do all day!

-A breaker popped that powers the outlets in our kitchen; no coffee maker. I could have moved all of the boxes and fixed it. Instead, I asked my sister to get me a coffee if she was out today- and she delivered! (Don’t worry, I paid for it.. unless she didn’t tell me the full cost.)

– I will delay bedtime if one of the girls asks to brush my hair.

– I regret teaching Chloe and Addi how to tell time because they now tell me “it’s not bedtime yet!” when I try to put them to bed early.

Hopefully these make you feel a little better about your parenting skills. haha!! What is your mom confession?

Friday Favorites

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1- My tribe. I don’t know what I would have done without family and friends over the last month. My parents took the girls each time Jim was admitted into the ICU. The second time, he was 45 minutes away from us. My mom said they could spend the night so that we didn’t have to worry about rushing home. Once things got really bad, my sister (who has three kids of her own and babysits up to 4 kids each day) kept taking the girls for us. The night that Jim was taking off of life support, she had all three of them. I had been texting her worried about leaving, etc. She said that she would watch them overnight and as long as we needed. My parents went to our house to gather supplies for them. My sister was sending me pictures of these smiling faces the whole time. Friends took over the class at church that I was supposed to be teaching. The prayers and love.. Y’all. I can’t even put words to it. I’m grateful.

Lighter favorites now..

2- This diaper bag. So cute and practical.. and comes with a free bonus item (a skirt?) right now!

3-  Hiking. We love taking the girls out for hour long hikes. That’s about all they can handle right now. This would be a cool project to do together.. even though it’s hard to get lost and need these supplies where we hike at.

4- FALL!! I have loved fall ever since we moved to Michigan and got to experience the beautiful fall. The colors. The crunchy leaves. The crisp air. It doesn’t get better!! I am pretty annoyed with Illinois for still being so stinking hot and humid! Get it together!

5- Moms Meet  I am so obsessed with this program. I have received so many awesome products to try, and love being a part of a community like this.

6- This post that Jessica did is perfect!

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7. My gathre mat is one of my favorite items!! It’s bonded leather and is completely waterproof. I left this one out in the RAIN in Oklahoma, and it’s still perfect. I have the Maxi and it’s perfect for our family!

I hope you have a happy weekend! We are fighting off the nasty sick bugs over here. Harper is being treated for strep throat and I am praying that I can keep everyone else from getting it!

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October Eves

OCTOBERS

Happy October!!!

This is my favorite month of the year. The weather is perfect. The holiday season starts (in my mind). Halloween has been every one of my daughters’ first holiday, so it’s super fun to me!

Here is our bucket list for October:

-decorate for fall
-pumpkin patch
-carve pumpkins
-jump in leaf piles
-bake pumpkin cupcakes
-Boo at the Zoo
-celebrate Addison’s 6th Birthday
-Light in the Night
-Trick or Treat

Do you see that first one? I still haven’t decorated for fall!! I usually have had my decorations out for at least a  month by now. I have a couple of pumpkins out that were bought at a craft fair. I just haven’t had a chance to get the boxes out, put everything up, and clean up the mess. I’m so ashamed. haha!

I hope you have a great Monday.

Let us continue praying for all of those affected by this tragedy in Las Vegas. My heart is so heavy for our world.

A New Normal

How do you return to “normal” after something so heavy? I wanted to sit down and write yesterday, but was feeling in a funk. I supposed that there will be many days like that for a while.

We have been getting back into our normal routine. We took last week off of homeschooling. I was feeling guilty, when a post from a facebook group popped up. Someone asked the question about homeschooling in crisis and what that looked like for other families. The overwhelming response was that it was ok to take a pause.

Part of educating our kids is teaching them empathy and compassion. This IS real life- more than math problems and matching games. I am really glad that we took a short break to grieve our loss and deal with those emotions and questions. It also freed Scott and I up to be with family and help out where we could.

I still feel like I have writers block. Perhaps it is the sinus junk that I seem to have woke up with. You know when you breathe and your nose whistles? Yep. I know, I know. Scott is a lucky man to have this glamorous woman for a wife. HA! Don’t be jealous. Harper sounds yucky also. I’m praying it’s just the sudden shift from 90 degrees to 70. Thieves will be my best friend either way!

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We have less than a month until Addi turns SIX! What?! I am trying to figure out her birthday party plans. She wants a unicorn party, of course. She decided she wants her cake to be purple for her Papa. We are going to look for ways to incorporate his memory into her birthday. I know he would be thrilled to be remembered in a unicorn. HAHA!

I promise I’ll quit rambling on here soon!! Ugh.

 

I want to give a quick shoutout to my college bestie. She is ridiculously talented and has opened up an etsy shop. You should go check it out and support her! I can’t wait to wear my necklace. She’s a rockstar.

We have almost made it through the week!! Come on, Fri-yay!

 

Two Weeks of Silence

It has been two weeks since the last time I sat down to write a blog post. A lot has happened. I wish that I could say that it has been a lot of exciting things, but it hasn’t.

The last time I was here, we had just visited the apple orchard. We had also gone to see my father-in-law while he was in the hospital. He had been in the hospital for quite a while, and was transitioned to one closer to home. He was supposed to be doing some physical therapy to get stronger and be back at home.

To make a long story short, he had to be transferred to a different hospital because he was getting worse. Then, very suddenly, things got really bad.  He passed away 25 minutes after his 80th birthday had ended.

There is some beauty in something so heartbreaking. We got the opportunity to say goodbye. Because he was in the hospital, his condition could be seen. It was obvious when the end was nearing and we got the chance to tell him how much we loved him. Chloe, Addi, and Harper sang him happy birthday for a video I took. I was able to play it in his ear so he could hear Chloe’s “I love you, Papa. You’re the best papa ever!!” at the end.

Most people have asked how the girls are handling it, so I will answer that they are doing pretty well. They still aren’t old enough to fully grasp it all. Is anyone? Addi is having the hardest time, because Papa was her buddy. She had plans to save her chocolate candy from Halloween for him, because Papa loved his sweets. She realized that he won’t be there to celebrate her birthday with her next month.

Something that some of Jim’s grandsons and I were talking about after the funeral was the way that Jim lived. If you could see all of the pictures from throughout his life, you would get a good picture of the man we loved. He lived fearlessly. He didn’t care at all what anyone thought about him. He wasn’t afraid to do silly things. He just put his whole self into whatever he was doing. He made sure to pull you in and make sure that you were having a good time also.

 

There was a trip that Scott and I were gifted when Chloe was a baby. It was a stay in a condo on Myrtle Beach. We were still fairly young. You had to be 25 to rent a condo like this. So, we called up Jim and Denise and asked if they wanted to come along. Denise had to work, but Jim was free (ah, retirement).  We got to spend a week with him making memories. We knew it was a blessing to get that time, but never realized just how much.

I have learned something over the past week. It may be silly, but it seems to be significant to so many people. Take the picture!!! I was usually sneaking around taking pictures of Jim with the girls. He was always playing with them. Always. He didn’t like to pose for pictures- most people don’t. I remember taking the picture of Scott and his dad on the beach. Neither of them wanted to do it, but I made them anyway. haha! There are so many people saying that they wished they had more pictures. More important is the just make the memories in the first place. Pictures will eventually fade and can be destroyed. The memories can’t. Tell people how much they mean to you while they are still here.

Jim had 80 full years of life. He has certainly left a large hole here on earth. We all appreciate the prayers and love that we have already been shown. Please continue praying as everyone continues to grieve this loss.