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Dance Camp and Growing Up

Yesterday, the big girls had dance camp. Their Mimi P saw that the dance studio in her town was doing a dance camp a couple of days this summer and asked if the girls would like to do it. Since I don’t have a car during the day, and Scott goes in at 5 AM (NO way am I waking the kids at 4 to take him) she said they could spend the night with her and she’d bring them home. They always love having slumber parties with Mimi. I always enjoy it, also, because I get some one on one time with Harper.

I bought a huge slip n slide at Aldi last weekend, and finally set it up in the morning yesterday. She had a blast. It’s not very easy to actually slide down, but she loved scooting around and getting sprayed with the water.

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She really loved sitting in the little pool at the end.

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Mimi sent me some pictures and videos while the girls were at dance camp. They ended up being the only two in camp that day. Crazy! I appreciated feeling included. I was beaming with pride because Addi was REALLY nervous about whether she would like it or not. She really wants to do gymnastics. Chloe was also following instructions so well.

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When they came home, Addi was going on and on about dance class. She was showing me all of the moves they learned, telling me all about their snack, and showing me her art work. I had to drag the information out of Chloe. haha! When Scott got home from work, Chloe blabbed his ear off about camp. #favoriteparent Addi had us do some dance moves and stretches with her. Ladies, find yourself a husband who is willing to do ballet moves with his daughters.

I know that Chloe had a blast, she is just more quiet about it. I keep finding Addi wearing her ballet slippers. They are hand-me-downs from Chloe. This morning, she finally took them off and I found this.IMG_6800

Ignore how dirty they are (Chloe used to start dance class in tap shoes and then change into ballet half-way through. Dirty dance floors.)  If you can’t tell, she crossed out Chloe’s name and wrote her name (in cursive) and age. I love seeing them so excited about trying new things! The next camp day is a month away. I’m sure we’ll have a count down going soon. 😉 It is crazy to think that my little girls are growing up so much.

Parenthood is funny like that. We can’t wait for our kids to grow up because we are exhausted or frustrated or struggling. Then, they do and we are heartbroken. I was just reading through old posts from my Blogspot blog. I’m so thankful to have documented their childhood- good days and bad. The memories are so fun.

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What’s in my Bag?

I LOVE posts where people share the contents of the purse, pantry, fridge, etc. I’m not sure what it is, but I am obsessed. I didn’t think I was a nosey person, but now I am rethinking that.. I’ll be sure to link everything that I can in case you want something you see for yourself. This isn’t sponsored in any way. I am just sharing what I love and use every day.

In case you are wondering- I have 7, 6, and 3 year olds and this is what I carry most days.

Here it is– dinosaur erasers and all. I usually have my sunglasses in a case, but it must have been left in the car. I have my house keys and all of the discount cards. I keep a roller bottle of insect repellent because mosquitos are out of control this year. A little calendar is necessary when you have three kids with doctor, eye doctor, dentist appointments and other activities to coordinate. My Ju-Ju-Be coin purse may make me the happiest. I love the Sanrio characters, and found this on a BST page.

This bag is my snack bag, obviously. Right now, it just has snacks for me that fit a paleo lifestyle. I had started out strictly doing AIP. I kept falling off the wagon when we’d be out and about because the options are SO limited. I decided to do paleo in place, because I can snack on things like almond butter when I know I’ll be gone all day. I’m still mostly AIP in the home. I can also fit snacks in it for the girls when we are going to be out and about.

I love the pretty subtle blue of this wallet. I’ve had it for quite some time, and it’s not dirty. I know a lot of people worry about lite colors getting dirty. This wallet was snagged for a really good deal! When I do buy a wallet, which is RARE, I buy a nice one. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I had bought a wallet before I bought this one. To me, quality matters. I’d rather spend more money on a purse/wallet and have it last forever than spend little money and have them fall apart right away. I don’t get to change what I use very often, but I feel much better about my choice.

I snagged this bag when it was on super sale a while ago. It holds my lip gloss, deodorant, pens, lip balm, a pen, mascara, my inhaler, hair ties, bobby pins.. all of the junk that I don’t want floating around inside of my purse. I also have an extra strap for Harper’s glasses that the doctor gave me that I’ve been to lazy to take out. All of the junk has a home.

In this bag, I keep our medical supplies– including an unwrapped cough drop and safety pin, I guess. There are sunscreen and bug balm sticks. I have a roller bottle of lavender to roll on bumps, bruises, and burns. I also have a thieves roller bottle because I never leave home without it. I also carry cold calm tablets, children’s benadryl, and children’s tylenol in case they are needed.  The tylenol was expired.. that’s how often I use it. ha!

 

Sources: Purse // wallet (similar) // coin purse // jellyfish bag (similar– size medium) // carrying case // sunglasses // lip gloss // deodorant // medicine bag // sunscreen and bug sticks // glass roller bottles // cold calm

 

If you have a blog, I’d love for you to join me in sharing “What’s in my Bag?”! Drop your link in the comments if you do share!

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Harvest and Organization

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This is our second year of having a garden, and it never gets old bringing in the harvest. Scott’s mom got us a blueberry bush, and it started producing right away. Harper is obsessed with blueberries, and usually picks them off before I get to them. I beat her this time. My herbs have gone bananas, and I constantly am trimming them. It’s glorious.

We had such a wonderful weekend with family, and I didn’t take a single picture. It was really good to just soak it in. Scott’s side of the family gathered at Jim’s grave site on Saturday for Father’s Day. His brother and his wife recited their vows by where Jim is buried. They got married in Korea, and none of the family was present, so it was really special. We spent the whole day hanging out and eating food.

Sunday, we went out to lunch with all of the dads after church. Our crew of 14 made a lot of noise at the Mexican restaurant, so I’m sure they cheered when we left. haha! Then, we went home and just relaxed.

Kidding. I spent hours cleaning the girls’ rooms. I threw away so much junk, and it always feels really good. For two minutes, both rooms were very clean. I am going to be joining Nesting with Grace and her organization challenge. I believe this week is clothing, which is stupendous since we STILL had the mix of winter/spring clothing in the drawers. Once I get everything cleaned, we will see exactly what we have and what we may need to fill in. With three girls, you’d think we wouldn’t ever need to buy clothes except for the oldest. I have found that Harper ends up needing some because toddlers are HARD on clothes, and there were many that we got rid of because of excessive holes and stains.

I also feel the extreme need to share that Young Living is launching a ton of new products at 10 AM MST. So, if you are in the central time zone like me, it is at 11 AM. You can see the new products here on my wellness Instagram page. There are food products, new oils, tons of new makeup, SPF 50 sunscreen, ACNE SPOT TREATMENT, cleansing oil, etc. If you want to order any of this goodness, don’t wait! They are anticipating selling out pretty quickly. You can go here to order.

We have a really exciting week coming up. The big girls start dance camp tomorrow! Scott and I are going on a one-night get away to celebrate our anniversary on Thursday/Friday. I am hosting a jam making party on Saturday. Lots of fun coming up! Maybe I’ll remember to snap some pictures this time.

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Friday Favorites- product edition

Friday Favorites Oils

I usually do a Friday Favorites post every Friday. This week I decided to share my favorite products from Young Living.

I have been ditching old cleaners and products and switching them for concentrated Young Living products. The up-front cost is more, but it saves money in the long run.

1. Thieves household cleaner– this is my go-to cleaner. I don’t have window cleaner, de-greaser, multi-purpose cleaner, and germ killing spray anymore. I have thieves cleaner. One bottle of the concentrated cleaner lasted me for a year. ONE WHOLE YEAR cleaning windows, tables, stove tops, ovens, refrigerators, and spraying as a germ killer. It’s incredible. It smells great and doesn’t give me a headache like the other products did. That year includes moving TWICE, which you know is a LOT of scrubbing.

2. Thieves Aromabright Toothpaste– there are several “flavors” of toothpaste offered, but this is our favorite. Once, we ran out and Scott was begging me to order more. Our teeth and mouth get really cleaned without our mouths being on fire. It is free from all the yucky stuff and gets the job done well.

3. Savvy Minerals lipgloss– I have this in Embrace and Abundant. I love that there is a hint of peppermint oil in it, so your lips get that nice tingly feeling and plumping effect. They glide on so smoothly and have a touch of shimmer to them. I am a lipgloss girl no matter how much I try to love lipstick. (I haven’t tried our lipstick yet, but am trying to decide on a color to try.)*

4. Thieves Dish Soap– I have a dishwasher, so this is rarely used. But, I love it. It smells so good, and I know it’s going to get my dishes really clean.

5. Thieves Fruit and Veggie Soak– I have done the traditional vinegar method. With all of the salmonella scares lately, I feel much better knowing that there is thieves in there fighting the germs that may be present. I am always amazed at how gross the water is when I am done soaking my produce. Dirt and hazy grossness in the water instead of on my food! Win.

6. Desert Mist Diffuser– This is my FAVORITE diffuser. I don’t burn candles in my home anymore. This diffuser has a candle flicker setting, so you can get the calming/romatic feel of candlelight without the toxic chemicals that are let off. There are so many diffuser blends out there– just search on Pinterest. Plus, this one runs for up to 10 hours.

7. Deep Relief Roll On– This bottle is magic. I have a lot of knee problems. They get really inflammed and swollen frequently, and it hurts so bad. I roll some of this on the sore areas and it helps ease that pain.

8. Progessence Plus Serum– This oil blend is so great for balancing hormones. My hormone levels hit rock bottom and I was told that I was going through pre-menopause. Not. Fun. I am only 30, and there is no way that I am going to start hormone replacement therapy at my age.. or ever. I feel like it is way too risky. I bought this oil in desperation, and am so happy with the results. I started feeling like myself again. Even women who are not going through menopause use this oil and love it. As women, our hormones are always up and down. This helps to regulate the crazy that we feel.

9. Grapefruit Oil– I love this oil. It is so bright and cheery. I diffuse it to give me an energy boost. I have also made a sugar scrub with it and peppermint.

10. Savvy Minerals eyeliner– As a personal preference, I prefer a powder eyeliner over a pencil. I like a smokey look more than precise lines. If you wet your eyeliner brush, you can get more precise lines. *

We are launching new products in TWO DAYS!! I am so excited about clean mascara that a lot of people were able to test out at convention. They have raved about it, and I can’t wait to try it!

*Savvy Minerals does not test their products on animals. They are cruelty free and free from phthalates, parabens, synthetic colors and fragrances, and chemicals.

The best deal is 100% to purchase a premium starter kit. The value is well over $300 for half of that cost. When you buy a PSK, you get all of your products at wholesale prices. This is HUGE savings. There are so many perks to signing up, and you don’t have to sell anything ever. I don’t pay anything to keep a website going.

Plus, you can sign up for the monthly subscription box called Essential Rewards. YOU pick what goes into your box each month. If you know you will need toothpaste and laundry soap soon, you can put that in your order. You set up which day it ships on. You pick your shipping speed. PLUS, you get rewards. What?! The first three months, you get 10% of your order in points. (Spend $100, get 10 points) After that, it jumps up to 20%!! This so so great to use for products that you want to try out, but maybe don’t want to spend the money on. Just save up your points to try out a new oil or treat yourself to a fancy diffuser.

The more I use oils and all of these great products, the more passionate I get. I’ve seen our lives change for the better as a direct result of using oils and removing toxins from our home. I want that for everyone. I want you to know that it IS possible to take control of your health. It is possible to take care of your family’s health.

When I bought my starter kit, I was added to a phenomenal facebook group where I can ask questions. When my father-in-law passed away, I asked what oils I could use to help us work through the heavy emotions. Not only was I given suggestions, but I was also covered in prayers from these incredible people. I love this company. I love my “team”. I would love to help you take control of your health!

 

Happy, happy Friday!! We are almost to the weekend!

 

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Surprise Celebrations

Yesterday was Scott and I’s tenth anniversary. We didn’t actually plan anything. I didn’t even get him a card. What a failure I am! I grabbed some construction paper and made one for him while hew as at work. (Are you feeling better about yourself?)

Wednesdays are CSA pickup day. I knew Scott would be later coming home. When he came home with our basket of goodies, there was a book tucked inside. I pulled it out and it was Magnolia Table! He knows how much I have been wanting this cookbook. I am such a big fan of Chip and Jo. Obviously, I really loved Fixer Upper and seeing these two interact. Then I read Magnolia Story and was obsessed. I cried through a lot of the book because I read it during this incredibly difficult season. Knowing how much they struggled to make ends meet and how it felt like things were falling apart for them– and seeing where they are now– I felt like there was hope for us. Anyway, huge fan. Love them and their story. I was super surprised and excited.

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Then, I checked my voicemail and got a message that Harper’s glasses were ready for pickup. We have been waiting for over a month! I told Scott and we rushed to get up there before they closed. While we were rushing, my dad called and asked if we had plans for our anniversary. I said no. We hadn’t asked anyone to watch the kids, blah blah blah. He told me that he would ask my mom if it was ok for them to watch the girls. I was really excited. Even though we live near most of our family, we don’t go on dates very often. I hate inconveniencing people, so I rarely ask.

Anyway, look at Harper with her cute glasses. She went up a size (and a TON of strength) and picked out this purple color.

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When we got back from getting her glasses, we rushed home again to change. We were not prepared for a date night. Scott was still in his work clothes because of the frenzy of rushing. We couldn’t decide where to go, and suddenly Scott knew. He wouldn’t tell me though. ha!

I was surprised (again) when we pulled into a local Italian restaurant, which he reminded me was where we had our rehearsal dinner. Major points for Scott.

It was so nice to have a day full of surprises. It felt like the perfect way to celebrate 10 years. We are in a crazy and hectic phase of life right now, so a chaotic day of celebrating was fitting. We realized we forgot to take our traditional date-night selfie, so we pulled off near the lake and snapped a blurry picture.

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Maybe next time we’ll get a clear picture. haha! I love being married to this man. He still makes my heart skip a beat.

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10 Things I Love About You

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10 years of marriage. 10 years of ups and downs; the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. 10 years that I wouldn’t trade for the whole world.

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1. Your laugh is the best; the way that it is so carefree and full of joy. I love seeing you smile.

2. You are up to any adventure and ready to try new things. Hiking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, fishing.. all of it.

3.  You love me so well. No one else would ever put up with me.. let alone love me the way you do. You support me and my dreams.

4. You are the hardest worker I know. You are willing to get your hands dirty and do what needs to be done. You don’t stop until a job is done. But, you also keep your priorities and don’t sacrifice your family for your work.

5. You jump in and help anyone in need; no questions asked. You never meet a stranger and are kind to everyone.

6. You are THE BEST daddy to our girls. Your football playing/ wrestling/ jock self learned to paint nails and braid hair. You teach them to never give up and to try with all of their might.

7. You are willing to give up cookies and your favorite desserts to help ME take control of my health. You are even psyched about the garden.

8. You never complain about moving furniture around with me. You just take the other end of the couch and move it. You get upset when I rearrange without you because you don’t want me to hurt myself.

9. Your shoulder is the perfect shape for my head to fit. It’s magic.

10. You are the best part of me. You are the calm to my chaos. I feel like 10 things is far too few.

 

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I am so thankful for our ten years of marriage. I could not have asked for a better man by my side. I love you. I love us.

 

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Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday! I am so glad this week is almost over. It hasn’t been awful.. I’ve just been in a funk that I can’t shake. Scott actually has Saturday off, so we get to go do fun things as a family! Hooray.

1. Our first CSA (community-supported agriculture) basket! Our CSA is BYOB. My basket is this one, and I really love it. Our farm does one dozen eggs each month along with the 4-5 pounds of produce each week, which saves me a bundle. I already cooked up the Swiss chard with some bacon and garlic. It was so good. The radishes have more flavor than any other I’ve tasted. If you haven’t heard of CSA, you can go here and check it out.

2. She Reads Truth Bible. I promised I would update my opinion on it. I love it. The only downside is that the pages are thin. Most Bible pages are thin. The devotions inside are so good,  and written to ME- a woman. Not me- a mom. or me- a wife. Just me, Ashley. Ashley, the child of God, is who I’ve been trying to find again, and this Bible is helping tremendously. (It’s important for us to know who WE are apart from our titles of wife, mother, ministry wife, etc.) At the beginning of each book, there is a key verse made into art. They are all so beautiful. There’s a lot of information about each book, who wrote it, etc. I love it.

3. This mascara. I cannot find a clean mascara that I love. I hate when mascara crumbles and falls in my eyes, which is what they all do so far. This L’oreal mascara doesn’t do that! Even if I fall asleep with my mascara on, I wake up and it’s still on and NOT crumbling at all. Plus, when you do remove it, it comes off in tubes that just slide off your lash. I love it, and will buy it until I find a clean one that I love.

4. Our garden. Everything is growing so nicely. I’ve been sharing videos on my Insta-stories lately. We have a couple of blueberries that will be ready to pick today or tomorrow. Chloe and Addi came out with me last night to pick weeds. They love learning about seeds and how plants grow. It’s such a great educational activity. If only the gnats would go away. If you have a good remedy for that, I’m all ears!

5. I love Jordan Page’s envelop method. Dave Ramsey’s makes my head spin and I would absolutely just borrow from other envelopes. This simplifies it, and has worked really well for us so far.

 

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

WHY is Father’s Day so hard to shop for? I asked Scott what he would put on a list. Do you know what his answer was? “I don’t know. I guess I’d put a life vest on there since I’m planning to get one.” Ugh. Thanks for the help, babe.

Is anyone on the market for a life vest? This one looks nice. Not to bulky.. perfect for kayaking. Most men probably didn’t just get a kayak, so I’ll make up a list with zero help from the father.

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Healthy Human Water Bottle (15% off with this link!)

vitality oils for flavor   Plain water is sometimes really boring. Adding lemon, peppermint, or another flavor really helps give it some oomf.

Shave Essentials Set I imagine the extra products for shaving would be very  nice.

drill Everyone needs a drill. It is our most-used tool around here.

diffuser A masculine looking diffuser so you can take care of the dads in your life.

sneaks Comfy and cool.

Capital Gaines   Chip Gaines is hilarious. Their story is so inspiring.

T-shirt     What man doesn’t like t-shirts? Whether it be his favorite team, state, or just a funny saying, you can’t go wrong with a t-shirt.

 

The important thing is to make sure that the dad in your life feels loved and celebrated.

This Father’s Day is going to be different. It’s going to be difficult. This is the first day that we won’t be able to celebrate with my father-in-law. Going to his grave site is vastly different than hugging him and celebrating him. If you, too, are grieving this year, you are not alone. You are prayed for. If your dad is still here to celebrate, like mine and like my incredible husband, celebrate. Call him. Make him a card if that’s all you can do. Just do something.

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8 Instagram Accounts to Follow

You can follow me on Instagram here. I really love Instagram. It is such a positive and uplifting space; so much better than the cesspool that Facebook is becoming! I thought I would share some of my favorite accounts to follow, and you can share yours in the comments!

If you need some motivation and inspiration to work towards your dreams – Rachel Hollis and Alison are where it’s at! They are both so inspiring. If you just want to laugh your head off and dance like a crazy person, you definitely want to go follow Alison.

If you want some really wonderful parenting advice and family ideas, I love Ralphie at Simply on Purpose. She started sharing on Instagram, and now also does parenting workshops. I love seeing glimpses into how her family operates, because all of the advice I have tried has been wildly successful.

If you want some budgeting tips, Jordan Page is where you need to be. Fun, cheap, or free is what I love! She has a lot of kids, and still sticks to a budget. Her and her husband’s story of overcoming crippling debt is so inspiring. In fact, I have been watching her YouTube videos in my free time and gleaning all that I can from them. She has such a big personality and loads of great money saving ideas.

If you are looking for design inspiration, Nesting with Grace is my favorite. Brooke lives in a small home in New England and shares a lot of great tips. She moves existing pieces in her home around if she is tired of her current look. Plus, she shares small space living and organization tips. Everything is so cozy.

If you just want pretty pictures and a fun mother to follow– Jessica Garvin. They just moved into a beautiful home in KC, and I’m loving her Insta stories showing the renovations. She is a mom of three girls close in age to my daughters. I have followed her for quite some time and just love her. I also really love Amber. These moms have the cutest families.

If you want some makeup tips from a girl who is honest about her zits and eye bags, you NEED to follow Kayti. She is so hilarious and 100% honest. She shares makeup dupes so you don’t spend an arm and a leg on good makeup. She makes me a nervous wreck driving and doing hands free stories, but she is so fun.

 

Who are your favorites to follow? I want to know!

Honorable mentions:
Janssen (also a mom to all girls and fellow bookworm)
Merrick (boy mom and fashion inspiration)
Landen (She just had twin boys, so she isn’t as active right now. She shares delicious recipes and real life.)
Kilee (mom to FIVE boys, awesome fashion inspiration and so down to earth)
Tara (She is just so fun and it feels like I’m chatting with my BFF {even if it is one sided})
Bridget (I feel like we’d be friends in real life. She’s just so much cooler. ha!)

 

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Sweet Summertime

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It is adventure season again.

We have a bike trail near our house, so we decided to walk to it on Sunday. We walked part of it, and then went back through downtown and home. It ended up being over 3 miles, which was really refreshing. My shoes are too big on my feet, and I got a blister, but that’s ok.

 

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Chloe loved photobombing Scott and I. We were smart and brought our wagon and stroller so that the girls could ride instead of whining that their feet hurt the whole way. They did some riding and walking, and went to sleep easier than usual that night.

You guys! Sunshine is so good for the soul!! (With this sunscreen.. cuz SPF!) Some days it is just so miserably hot and humid that I only enjoy the sun through our sky lights. My mood is 100% better after some sun and fresh air.

I got Scott a kayak for his birthday yesterday. I was so giddy and couldn’t wait to get it for him. He was so in shock that I was worried he hated it. HAHA! He said, “I can’t believe you actually got me a kayak” before bed. I can’t wait to see the adventures he goes on. He works ten hours a day– a lot of times 6 days a week. He needs a way to unwind and clear his head.

We always used to go hiking when we first got married. Then, we moved to Michigan and had a baby. We stopped going and doing things that we loved, because a lot of them are much more difficult with little kids. For the past few years, we’ve started taking the kids out for hikes, and it has been so fun. I keep meaning to take a garbage bag so that we can “leave it better” during our hike.

Do you go on adventures with your family? If you are in a phase where your kids are just too little, don’t worry. It won’t last forever. ❤ At least get out and go for a walk. It is the best kind of medicine.

 

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