Monday, May 29, 2017

Simple Homemaking | Master Bedroom

Lets talk about our bedrooms today, a room that may be overlooked at times in the hustle and bustle of the day.  It is not the first room that company sees, so it may not rise to the top of the priority list in regards to importance.

I think that these bedrooms of ours can be a sanctuary of sorts from the rest of the hustle and bustle of life.  Especially as my life gets busier and louder, I'll find myself headed every once in awhile to my room to have a quiet place to sit, though how long before I'm interrupted from one of my delightful crew is never certain.  My routines of an afternoon nap or some quiet reading happens a few times throughout the week.  Also my evening routine, I love heading to bed after a full day of work and fun. Last night when I climbed into bed I thought how thankful I am for clean sheets and a comfy bed, such a wonderful place to end my day and wake to a new one.

Is it perfect, no.  Is it always perfectly clean, rarely, but it stays fairly tidy and by doing a few simple things it is one of my favorite rooms in our home.  As you know we are still planning our upcoming remodel, so this bedroom of ours will see a lot of changes in the next few months, but there is so much you can do with your space, even when you are in transition.  This is how it has looked for the last year plus.

Below are a few things I do to make my bedroom special.  As the homemakers we are (aka domestic goddesses) we can create this special space in our homes for ourselves, for our spouses, and for our children to visit.

||  Make your bed. I like to make my bed in the morning so I can enjoy it all day.  Especially with a king size bed, making the bed will make a huge difference in the room.  Does it always happen, no not always, but when it does it makes the whole room look tidy.

||  Wash your sheets.  Going along with bed making, having a schedule for washing our sheets is so helpful.  I wash my sheets once a week and my comforters 1-2 times a month.  My decorative pillow covers need a good wash, I need to add those cleaning routine.

|| Create a sanctuary.  Linen sprays, candles, diffusers, anything that smells pretty.  I always choose relaxing fragrances in my bedroom. Soft lamplight or a speaker to stream music would also be a lovely touch.

||  Books.  Good books are a must in our bedroom.  Since I love to read in my bed, I have to have favorites stashed close by.

|| Functional items.  Only include items on this list that really need to be used in this space.  A few books, a candle, a reading light, some moisturizer, a pen and post its all can be tucked away in a bedside table.  Keep it simple.  If your not using it, get rid of it or store it somewhere else.  It is always easier to keep things tidy when you are working with less stuff.

||  Something intimate.  Try adding something personal, something special, something you may not want to display in the rest of the house in this space.  In our bedroom I have some engagement photos and a couple childhood photos of Steve and I, they make the place special, a space that is shared by the two of us.  I also have a photo of myself with Beckett shortly after giving birth to him.  I love this photo of the two of us, it represents my love of motherhood and the joy it brings.  It sits on my bedside table.

Our bedrooms can be a place that we love, a peaceful place to rest from the cares of the world.  Its funny that all my kiddos love to spend time in our bedroom.  I think they can feel the calm, the joy that a quiet, tidy, comfy place brings.  What do you do to make your bedroom your sanctuary?  What items do you bring in to make it feel like a special place?

Find all the post on our series here.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Reviving the Homemaking Series

So this is a series I started back in January of 2016.  I was so excited to share and I had so many ideas and inspiration in regards to homemaking.  Shortly after I started the series we moved into our country home and life became a whirlwind this last year with so much more then was expected.  Lately though I have been wanting to revisit this topic here on the blog and so I'm starting over again.

Here soon I will be sharing a variety of post about homemaking, something I'm passionate about.  I hope to share corners of my home, daily routines, inspiration, and interviews on all topics of domestic life.  I adore home, I love being responsible for creating a home for my little family, and for others that may come stop by or come for a visit.  I'll have the first post up tomorrow.  Get ready to chat about our bedrooms, what we can do to make them delightful, and so much more.

Here is a link to my post on homemaking.

Also, here is a link to my home tour of our old home.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Essential Oils Starter Kit

If your interested in getting a starter kit through Young Living essential oils I would love to get you signed up!  This is an amazing company, selling the best essential oils on the market, and their starter kit is an incredible value.  Sign up here.

It is absolutely amazing and just an incredible value, 11 oils and a diffuser for $160.00.  You receive oils that you will use everyday like peppermint, lemon, and lavender.  You also can try their amazing RC oil to promote respiratory wellness, panaway for any pain or for bruises, purification for all those yucky smells and to get rid of bugs.  You will also receive frankincense, an absolutely incredible oil that is used for skin and grounding.  Here is a link to where you can sign up and this month you get a free big bottle of tangerine oil!  Usually there aren't freebies given with the starter kit because it is already such a good deal, but this month they are super generous and giving away one of the big bottles of tangerine, one of my favorite oils. After May 2017 the tangerine will not be available with the kit.   Also, if you sign up with me I will give you a free little kit I put together for joining.  See the information below.

After you order your starter kit let me know which little kit works best for you and I will send it your way!

Personal Kit
No Bug Spray
Orange Mint Scrub
Chest Rub
Orange Vitality 5 ml Essential Oils
Starter Kit Printout 

2 10 ml roller bottles
1 blue glass container
1 4 oz amber glass spray bottle
Witch Hazel
plastic spray bottle
labels, cloth, and dropper
Starter Kit Printout

Let me know if you are interested or if you have any questions.  Thanks so much!  

Also, if you want to browse my past posts on essential oils you can find them here.  

Monthly Book Report January & February 2017

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Really Liked It. 

What's It About ||  The story of three women, in three different countries, during WWII and how their lives intertwined.  Some parts were hard to read.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook from the library

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  So So

What's It About ||  A mindbending, relentlessly surprising thriller.  A science fiction novel.  Some language throughout.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook from the library

Still Life by Louise Penny
Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Really Liked It

What's It About ||  A mystery set in a small Canadian town.  Some language throughout.

How Did You Read It || Book on CD from the library

Quiet:  The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Really Liked It

What's It About ||  In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook from the library

Women and the Priesthood by Sheri Dew
Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Loved It

What's It About ||  Discussing the relationship between women and the priesthood in the LDS church.  
How Did You Read It || Hardbound book that I own

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Really Liked It

What's It About ||  In this gripping novel, a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate at a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook from the library

Sense and Sensiblilty by Jane Austen
Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Loved It

What's It About ||  The story of two sisters. Elinor is reasonable beyond her nineteen years; Marianne’s feelings are as ungovernable as the wind. But both girls are about to learn how powerful and devastating true love can be.

How Did You Read It || Listened on Librovox app

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Really Liked It

What's It About ||  Jayber becomes the barber of the small community of Port William, Kentucky. From behind that barber chair he lives out the questions that drove him from seminary and begins to accept the gifts of community that enclose his answers. 

How Did You Read It || Paperback from library

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Loved It, Really Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Really Liked It

What's It About || Shauna writes about how she went from her busy life to slowing down and enjoying what is most important.

How Did You Read It || Hardbound I own it

Monday, May 15, 2017

100 Day Challenge Health and Wellness

Okay, so I'm late to the game with this.  This year I've been late to the game with everything and that is okay, some years are like that, but I'm embracing it all and moving forward.

So, I've been so incredibly inspired by this 100 day challenge and have wanted to participate, but knew that I had too much on my plate to really take on another activity.  Well I figured out a way to make it happen.  I'm going to use this challenge to creatively work on something I'm already spending a lot of my time and energy on.  So I will be spending the next 100 days focusing on health and wellness.

I've been trying to follow a pretty strict exercise and eating plan the last couple months and doing alright with it, but having way to many "cheats" and "free days," which I think has been okay for where I've been at these last few months, but something I have to overcome if I want to see accelerated change.  I feel stronger and healthier since I've started but I've only been doing enough to maintain, but to see real improvement I have to put forth a lot of effort.  So I'm making this the goal for the next 100 days.

The plan is to focus on eating well and exercising each day for the next 100 days.  I'm not planning to share my eating or exercise plan here on the blog, it is mainly just eating healthy meals, limiting treats and unhealthy foods, and lots of exercise.  In addition I'll be working on sleeping, drinking lots of water, and having less stress in my life.  I'll also be focusing on using essential oils and other supplements to help with weight loss and increased energy and wellness support.

So that is the plan.  I'll be documenting this using Instagram and also in an art journal of sorts.  My plan is to take a photo a day of something associated with this goal and to write a bit about the process.  Each week I want to set a new goal, something extra to focus on for the week.   My 100 days starts today.  I'm starting late but I'm just planning to end late.  We also have some travel plans this summer, and instead of stopping the 100 day challenge, or trying to super strict on out vacation, I will be adjusting it to our travels.  I've already made a plan for that, so I won't be tempted to go to easy on myself when we are on the road.

I'll post my weekly goal later tomorrow with my finished journaling page for my first day so you can see the progress.  Then I hope to post a couple times a day on Instagram and do a blog update once a week.  Hoping the creative side of this project will inspire me to work through the tough days when I don't want to exercise or when I want to have an extra treat.  The next 100 days will pass regardless and focusing on health and wellness is definitely something I'm passionate about right now.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thoughts on Mother's Day

On this Mother's Day I celebrate almost 14 years of being a mama. I can't begin to describe the gratitude that I feel to be the mother to these four kiddos that call me mama and to my sweet baby girl London Ann that I was blessed to meet and say goodbye to earlier this year. I feel so incredibly privileged to be her mother. 

I've always had a great desire to be a mother and feel amazingly blessed for all of these kiddos that I get to raise in this life, but I also feel a space where I wish for more children. I know that may sound crazy to some people, 4 is a lot of kids, but the funny thing is, I feel that there is room for more in our family. 

As I look back on having each of my children, it's interesting to see the struggles that we have faced from bedrest to spacing farther apart then we would have liked and so many other factors. I'm at this place now where we're coming to the end, if not the end, of our childbearing years, and it's hard not to feel this desire for more children. It's funny, because I truly believe that London's life was what it was supposed to be, and for whatever reason that was the plan for her life, but the loss of her is still very real. Is this space I feel the loss of her or is it a desire for more children, I'm still trying to sort that all out. I've heard it shared that this desire for more children in some women never leaves. 

I do feel like I need to focus on my blessings, having grace with my own situation, whatever they may be. I know there are people who have tried for years to have children and have never had the opportunity, and then there are also people that have welcomed more babies than they thought they could handle, and every situation in between. I know my situation falls somewhere in the middle of all this. 

I also know that God honors our desire to be mothers. That through Christ he will fix the losses and the longings. So I will hug my babies tonight and feel grateful for all my incredible blessings. I'll trust as I move forward through life that with Heavenly Father's help I will make the right decisions for myself and my family, knowing that this life is not the end, and that in the end all will be made right.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Springtime Musings



Just sharing a lot of photos today of the last few months.    So many thoughts and feelings I've wrestled with lately, but I know that I am so blessed and that my family is thriving.  I've been keeping busy with my husband and kiddos, house projects, cub scouts, and essential oils classes and workshops.  

We have been slowly, ever so slowly, moving towards our home remodel.  Plans are still being drawn up with the architect and after we finish those, we will move onto meeting with contractors.   Kids are keeping busy as we come to the end of another school year.  Our plans for summer are solidifying.   A cousin's bunny needed a new home, so we have welcomed Bandit to our homestead.  We lost our sweet cat Edmund a couple weeks ago.  We found him in the garage lying on a shelf and we think he ate a mouse that had been poisoned.  It was so sad to find him gone, just a little over a year and a half old.  He was such a great mouse catcher, such a sweet kitty, so affectionate and patient with the kids. We have found comfort thinking of him with our sweet London, that now she is taking care of him for us.  

The sun has only peaked out of the clouds this spring, so much rain and so many cloudy days.  Our few sunny days have been savored by my all.  I usually don't mind the rain, growing up here in Oregon you just get use to it, but lately I've been craving the sunshine.  I'm hoping we will see a lot more of it in the next few months.  

I would love to continue to go through the house for the next few weeks before summer, getting rid of and organizing our belongings.  I know everything will be turned upside down when we start the remodel, so I'm moving forward hoping that the more I can get through, the more prepared we will be. I'm hoping to take the summer off of projects and just spend time with my family, we have such fun adventures in store for us this summer!  I'll share all about that here soon. but for now we will enjoy the last of spring, plant our garden, keep up with the daily schedule of work and play, joy and heartache, the mundane and the spectacular.  Life is busy, life moves forward, life is good.