live a little

while simplifying my life and getting rid of stuff, i found an entire cupboard full of candles. of course jared says, hey why don’t we get rid of a bunch of these? i say, no! they don’t go bad and we’ll need them for the next y2k or the zombie apocalypse or whatever. plus he doesn’t help with the hoarding because pretty much every trip we go on we find a cute little boutique and buy a beautifully scented soy candle. then we get home and say, why did we buy another candle?! now it’s a running joke and whenever we’re at the store asking what we need, one of us will say, candles!

as silly as it is, the discovery that we hoard candles got me to thinking. what are we saving them for? special occasions? but then i forget to light one. i remember to put out the holiday ones every part of the year but  never light them. i used to be this way as a kid. i’ve been a saver for as long as i can remember and while that’s a good thing most of the time, sometimes it makes you forget to live a little. i remember saving my halloween candy so it would last and i could still be eating it long after my brothers. but at least once or twice i saved it so long i forgot about it and found it once it was questionable. over the years i’ve tried to be better about this habit and enjoy things when i have them but it’s tough!

so i’m going to try to be in better practice of burning candles. so even if you have taken travel by the reigns and been all over the world, sometimes you have to be brave about different things and live a little. what does that look like to you? that looks like a lot of things for me,

but today that means lighting a candle

and enjoying it.

sleeping through the night

10/33

hahahaha.

oh, you want to know why i’m laughing? i’m laughing because i’ve been duped, we all have! we think that there’s a time when kids start sleeping through the night, and then always do!

oh, your kids always do sleep through the night? ok then i’m not talking to you…go have fun with your unicorn 😉

for everyone else, what the heck right? i mean that is THE number one question i have gotten since my daughter was 2 weeks old, is she sleeping through the night yet? not the question i expected. i expected the when do you want more kids question but no, this is by far the most asked question.

i seriously still don’t know how to answer that question. ye…well, i mean, kind of. i mean she can, and she does, but not all the time. i know everyone in our parents’ generation has forgotten history and thinks we were all sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old and that was that. so then when people asked when she was little there was all this pressure to give excuses as to why she wasn’t all the time. it’s so silly! who cares if your kid isn’t sleeping through the night all the time but when everyone and their mom is asking you, you start to get paranoid that there’s something wrong with your situation…should i be letting her cry more, should i give her more food, should i make her warmer, colder, but she’s teething and i can’t do anything about that and and and what should i do to get my kid to sleep?

luckily all my friends are going through this right now and none of their kids sleep through the night all the time. so that made me feel, well, normal! no need to be paranoid but seriously why is that THE question?

i think the next time someone asks, i’ll just send them to this website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/claire-zulkey/baby-acting-crazy-its-probably-a-case-of-jbbb_b_4337821.html

JBBB it will set you free…

living cleanly

7/33

oh my gosh, i can’t believe i just discovered this!!

after cleaning up our eating habits, we started looking into lots of other things in our life that could be toxifying our life. we just went through all the cupboards and just got rid of a ton of lotions, shampoos, cleansers, etc… because they are full of terrible chemicals. some of the chemicals are known carcinogens, there is food coloring, formaldehyde, and chemicals that change your hormones! these ingredients are in so many items, ones that are even advertised as ‘natural’. but why am i surprised, all the food is falsely advertised…

so i was googling to find what are good ingredients in soap and i came across this website, goodguide. you can search any product, and if you have the app, you can even scan products, and they rate them based on health, environment, and social and you can see how it measures up! i ended up looking up everything we owned, threw 95% of it out, and searched for products that rated 10 for health. we were able to find a lot of products at target and amazon, some i’m still on the hunt for but i’m so happy to say that my cupboards are cleaned out and simplified.

i feel safer with less toxins for our bodies and less risk if kids ever get their hands on cleaning products. as with everything healthy, the ones we went with are a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it…it’s worth it…it’s worth it!!! ask me and i will tell you how clean eating and clean living is worth it!!

project simplify

3/33

a few months ago a friend was encouraging other people to join in their spring cleaning event of getting rid of 40 bags in 40 days.

the first thing i said was, i don’t have 40 bags of stuff to get rid of but…

they give you a .pdf with 40 spaces to write down areas in your house that you can go through. then you print a blank one and write down what you actually went through that day and how many bags you actually got rid of. you know because you might have written down an area you just don’t feel like getting to yet and need to go out of order 🙂

it was certainly a challenge but i did it! it really made me question everything i have an ask myself if i really need it. it is so easy to get bombarded with STUFF and feel overwhelmed by it. we have so much here and yet we feel our houses are small because we have no room for it all. i was especially motivated to get rid of stuff because living in our home for 4 years before having kids really allowed us to overflow into the future kid rooms. but we don’t want our poor kids to have to deal with our stuff in their closets.

it got really addicting when i got going and i just wanted to purge everything! what is this, a shirt i’ve had since i lived overseas ten years ago? cans of food that expired in 2008 which means we moved them to our new house in 09?!?! lotions as gifts from students that i don’t even like the smell but felt bad throwing away, decorations i don’t really love, outdated paperwork, the list goes on. i think just going through my closet i got through seven bags and to be completely honest with you i was in shock because i don’t buy a lot of clothes and don’t care about fashion as much as i probably should. so it was a little embarrassing to think how long i hold on to stuff.

i did it this year and i plan to do it again!

join in next time! it’s fun!

Project Play Room

 

one of the more unique features of this house we bought was a small room we like to call the bonus room. it’s too small for a bedroom, but has a teeny tiny closet like maybe it was meant to be one. but then there were these sliding glass doors which would not be ideal for a room. when we first bought the house, we used the room for the piano and books and very few people used the room. we maybe only used the sliding glass door once because as you can see, we already have one in the living room which made that one totally unnecessary. we long ago decided we’d use the ‘bonus room’ as a play room when we had kids, and so we finally finished this project!!!

here’s the view from the living room to the giant hole after the doors were removed.

we are huge proponents of hiring professionals to do things right. we hired professionals to do our backyard a couple of years ago because we knew we can only do so much diy. so getting the door out, a window put in and walling everything back up we hired out. everything else we did ourselves 🙂

my painter man!

starting in on my magnetic chalkboard wall!

my dad helped me frame it up.

and here’s the finished (ish) product! i have a new picture going in the middle and i’m sure i’ll make some minor adjustments as time goes on, but overall, this is what we were going for!

teepee made by little braves

shelf and rug from ikea (shelf bought used, rug eventually returned because it was super cheap and bunched up and made the baby trip)

pouf from target (totally recommend!!! we love that thing)

curtains made by me and fabric from joann’s 

project nursery

well, baby kate is here! we welcomed her into the world on saturday and we are thrilled! she is so cute and parenthood is just as amazing and exhausting as everyone says. i’m so glad it finally happened for us and we pray for our friends who want the same thing to be blessed with their very own babies.

we had a really fun time working on her nursery over the months before she came. i really didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money on the nursery and wanted to make it as personal as possible. we also didn’t want to make it too girly since we were sure she’d get plenty of girly clothes!!

so we started with my old furniture from growing up! this antique dresser, the bureau that matches my old crib and a toy box my dad made me!

ditched the old knobs

used gray and white chalk paint since  we didn’t know the gender before we started and figured these were great colors to go with either!

yep, painted indoors…

then my friend dez and i worked on putting everything together! she is so good at design, check out their personal blog to see their fun projects!!

we used a bunch of scrap fabric i had lying around

and here’s the final product!!

items for decoration from here and there. found the bunny bookends at a flea market but they were too expensive for my taste, but jared surprised me for mother’s day with them 🙂 good husband!

lamp from ikea

new knobs from world market

found the rocker/glider for $40 and then had someone recover it for me. much better than buying a brand new one with an ugly cover! and i sewed the pillows…something i can do with sewing!

mobile made by my talented dad

dad also made the valence and then we covered it

the blanket was from ikea which gave us the idea for the woodland animal theme.

dez and i spent some time on this wall and she finished the kate sign for me!

found this cute greeting card at trader joe’s and put it to good use since it worked with the theme!

my dad drew this tree and people put their prints and signed it at my showers. we have it hanging over the changing table and i get to be reminded of all the people who love little kate every time i change her.

rug made by my talented friend timmery.

these cute knobs also from world market

the whole thing!

and now all my old things are hers for a new generation 🙂