3.26.2015

homestead // shared nursery + master bedroom tour



it's hard to believe that in just a few short months i'll be over there in that cozy little nook of our bedroom, nursing and cuddling our new baby.  sounds of tiny squeaks and hiccups and coos will fill the air, making the sweetest song.  we are so excited to share our bedroom again with our littlest come late spring and throughout the warm summer months.  in fact, it is one of the things we love talking about before bedtime together.  andrew will say to my belly, "over there you will get to sleep, right next to mommy and daddy" in the softest tone as he talks to and feels baby kick at night.  because we are planning to nurse this baby too, it works well to have him or her close by.  i anticipate falling asleep in that old brown chair most evenings, my feet propped up on soft sheepskin.  i remember those nights, or early mornings rather, when it feels like the rest of the world is asleep except for myself and our hungry piglet snorting away ready for mama's milk.  nothing in the world can compare to that precious alone time and i seriously crave it right now.  what beautiful moments to look forward to!  and we may even stretch his or her stay with us into autumn as the leaves start turning, because sharing a room with an itty bub is pretty much heaven.

furniture:

our bed // cb2
tv console // cb2
small baby crib // family heirloom, it was andrew's great grandma's!
brown chair // hand me down
dresser // my mama's old one growing up
stacked natural fiber ottomans // ikea
moses basket // craigslist

linens:

grey ruffle bedding // pottery barn
organic white sheets // pottery barn
small floral pillow cases // target
mint & ivory knit baby blanket // handmade by my mother in law
small blue floral crib sheet (it's a blanket tucked in) // sture & folke

decor:

hexagon wall shelves // axel & co. a local kansas city company
bronze wall reading lights // urban outfitters
white arch light // target
sun hat // h&m
sheepskins // ikea
ivory herringbone throw on chair // target
stuffed plush lamb // mouin roty
hanging pottery vase above bed // the object enthusiast a midwest company
white pillow in chair // ikea
baskets // thrifted & gifted & collected along the way
white rug under crib // thrifted
basket for fig tree // ikea
ivory table lamp // target
vase & bowl on dresser // anthropologie
sweet baby things // coming soon in future post...

other:

wall color // ski slope by sherwin williams

let me know if there is something here i have forgotten to mention, i will get you that resource!

3.23.2015

essential oils // all natural bees wax & essential oil balm


ever since our theodore has been itty bitty he has had eczema.  upon bringing him home from the hospital, we could tell his skin was different than his sisters being that it was much more sensitive and delicate.  we've treated his dry, chapped, and sore skin on and off for well over a year now with a variety of over the counter creams and medicines, and even resorting to steroid creams when it got really bad.  we've done all things one is supposed to do, such as dietary changes and no harsh chemicals etc. etc. etc. alas, he still has eczema flare ups here and there.

just a few weeks ago, his skin was very clear thanks to this recipe, his eczema quite mild and hardly noticeable.  he had some dry skin here and there when we went without applying everyday, but no irritation or itching which was what we always try to avoid.  however that changed when i sadly forgot to pack our balm when we went to florida for two weeks and things went south for him, no pun intended, in a matter of hours.  apparently humidity makes eczema worse?  i had no idea.  it got so bad he itched during his naps and it bled and bled.  i am sparing you the photos of that because it was horrible.  talk about mama heart ache.  as soon as we got home we slathered it all over his tiny body.  this stuff is pretty thick and within hours, no joke, it started looking better.   we put it on his scratches and sore patches and in all the chubby little creases.  we then put our sweet little curly haired babe in a onesie and let his body heal.  all i can say is thank goodness for this balm.  thank goodness.

i made this recipe using the reference guide gentle babies that suggests using two essential oils, lavender and melrose.  lavender is a single oil but melrose is a blend specifically made by young living, both safe for little ones, according to research.

i ended up tweaking this recipe to fit our needs, because we wanted more of a thick balm than a cream to help the oils really stay on his skin longer.  you can always adjust the ingredient amounts below if you find that this recipe is too thick to apply.  it is also worth mentioning that we sometimes run warm water over the glass container to loosen the balm before digging in and slathering on.  you can also swap out the essential oils i used for others if you are wanting to make a healing balm for other ailments.  i like using this recipe (with peppermint oil in lieu of lavender and melrose) for homemade chapstick, too.

ingredients:

3/4 cup unrefined bees wax pellets (try amazon)
1/2 cup unrefined shea butter (amazon, too)
1 cup unrefined organic coconut oil (i get mine at trader joes)
1/8 cup organic jojoba oil OR vitamin E oil (TJ's, too)
25 drops lavender oil (young living)
25 drops melrose oil (young living)

to prepare, add the first four ingredients to a small sauce pan or double boiler over medium heat.  each oil melts at different temperatures, so your mixture will look a little odd until everything is incorporated.  with an old spoon, stir your mixture until it turns clear and everything is melted.  it is at this point that you should add your essential oils and mix well.  i suggest using a pan you really do not care much about or an old glass bowl in a pot of warm water.  the bees wax is very hard to get off once dried and this way you will not ruin any of your good cookware.  you can spoon or pour into glass jars and let harden on the counter at room temperature.

*because everyone has different skin, you may need to tailor this recipe to fit your needs.  this is what helps us out, but know that it may not work on everyone.  :)  and if you are wanting to know more about how and why our family uses essential oils or order some young living products for yourself, head here.

3.21.2015

away we go // the beach & in coming home




we just got back from a sweet little holiday spent in florida where andrew's parents live for part of the year.  we got to play in the sand, splash in the cool ocean water, ride camels at the zoo, and eat our weight in sea food.  i think i had fish tacos everywhere i went and boy was it ever yummy.  give me all the tacos!

it was such a great trip.  it came at that point in the year, smack in the middle of the lull and drag of march that can sometimes be rather gloomy after having spent so much time indoors throughout the winter months.  as the snow snowed on here in the midwest we eagerly awaited tasting the salty sea breeze on our lips and long afternoons spent in the sunshine with no agenda.  we found that sort of respite on this little getaway of ours.  theo dug in the sand for hours and hours with his little straw hat on and stella chased sea gulls and collected shells.  we went through heaps of sun screen and took long naps in the middle of the day.  it was so much fun watching our babies experience so many new things for the first time.  thinking about the joy on their faces brought on by this adventure makes me smile right now as i lay in bed listening to robins chirp in our backyard.

as beautiful as this holiday was, i think the thing i loved most about going away was actually in the coming home part, as silly as that might sound.  i relish in peeling back the covers of our bed after having been gone for more than a week.  rocking theo in his nursery early in the morning, the sun still somewhere over the atlantic.  waking to familiarity and comfort, and having strong coffee in my favorite mug.  listening to our little ones pitter patter across the hardwood floors in the morning as they make their way from room to room.  the parts of home that you just can't get when traveling.

the first few days spent somewhere new is exciting and refreshing and hopeful.  but coming home after a long bout away is a whole other level of wonderful.  home compared to anything else always wins.  going away, as always, puts things in perspective and really makes us appreciate what we have, even if the nearest beach is miles and miles from where we sleep.

3.10.2015

essential oils // our natural first aid kit + roller bottle recipes


ever since andrew and i have started incorporating essential oils into our everyday lives as means of natural healing,  we have looked for simple yet effective ways of using them.  oils can be a bit intimidating at first, i think i left ours on the counter top for a few weeks before even opening them.  since taking intentional steps to become more educated on what we put in our bodies, we now use oils in lieu of many over the counter medicines and have found them to help greatly.  depending on what we are treating, we’ll grab the bottle of oil itself and apply the oil neat, meaning without a carrier oil.  other times we will go for a spray i’ve made using oils and water.  but most times, we use our oils in roller bottles. 

we both prefer the roller bottle method for many of reasons: they are premade, thus saving us steps when we need multiple oils to remedy when applying, they are easy to apply, and they stretch our oils and make them last much longer.  sometimes it is really best to apply the oil neat depending on what you are healing or balancing out, but it is good to know that by using a carrier oil in a roller bottle you are not diluting the effectiveness of the oil, you are just giving your oil more coverage with help of something to carry it where you want it to go. 

these eleven blends are a part of our natural first aid kit and i rarely leave the house without them.  they accompany us on outings to ballet, trips to the zoo, and even when we travel outside our the city.  i keep mine in a cute little knit case i got back in college, making it simple to toss in our diaper bag when we are heading out, or to grab and take upstairs when getting ready for afternoon naps.  these roller bottles are small yet powerful little guys, each with their own healing purpose.  i have put together a few recipes below that have worked well for our family.

each bottle contains both essential oils by young living and a carrier oil.  my favorite carriers are: almond oil, fractioned coconut oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower seed oil.  i get all of my glass roller bottles here; however, when my 15ml bottles are empty i save them, boil them, and then make blends with them, popping a roller fitment on top.  i typically use around 50-60 drops of essential oils and fill the rest of the way with a carrier.  each of these recipes contains the drop amounts listed and are filled the rest of the way with your carrier oil of choice.  we roll the oil on the back of our necks, bottoms of feet, spine, a cut/burn/sore, wrists, crown of the head, temples, stomach, and toes.  

anxiety & stress away blend for mama:
10 drops stress away
10 drops valor
5 drops lavender
5 drops orange or grapefruit

upset tummy blend for adults:
10 drops peppermint
10 drops ginger
10 drops spearmint

sleep blend for kiddos:
15 drops lavender
10 drops peace & calming
5 drops roman chamomile

sleep blend for adults:
15 drops lavender
15 drops cedarwood

eczema blend for theodore:
15 drops lavender
15 drops melrose

owies blend for cuts & scrape for kiddos:
10 drops lavender
5 drops copaiba
5 drops balsam fir
5 drops melaleuca

sickness & cold prevention blend for adults:
10 drops thieves (hot oil)
10 drops oregano (hot oil)
10 drops lemon

seasonal discomfort blend for adults:
10 drops lavender
10 drops lemon
10 drops purification
5 drops copaiba

cough & congestion blend for adults:
10 drops eucalyptus blue
10 drops eucalyptus
5 drops myrtle
5 drops peppermint

headache & body ache blend for adults:
10 drops peppermint
10 drops panaway
10 drops valor

earache blend:
10 drops purification
10 drops lavender
10 drops melrose

if you have little ones or are pregnant, i highly recommend you get the book called gentle babies by debra raybern to help guide you in practicing safety with essential oils.  these are recipes i've made doing my own research and am so happy to share them with you all, but please make sure to do your own research as well.  it's also very important to note that since every one's body is different, it can respond differently to oils as well.  if you find that an oil or a blend is not effective for you, there are many others that you can look up and use in its place to find comfort and relief


and if you are wanting to know more about how and why our family uses essential oils, head here

3.08.2015

motherhood // reminders to myself


slow down.  put away distractions.  make a cup of morning tea and sip it while sitting.  watch your babies prance on the couch.  put a couple drops of lavender oil in their bath and make them giggle.  have a day where you only let him wear diapers and sun hats.  take lunch to the library or park.  watch them smile.  feel yourself smile back.  hold them close when they ask for snuggles.  hold them closer when they don't.  teach them how to read by flipping the pages one by one.  sit back, and watch them try.  get carry out for supper.  show them how to really eat chips and salsa.  hoist them up on your hips and belly and back, they are only so little for so long.  let her put your make up on.  let her wear your heels.  take time to show them little things like peeling a carrot or folding a towel.  let them run barefoot everywhere and wear snow boots on sunny days.  if she sees a puddle, tell her to go for it, laundry takes all but a minute.  slow down.  savor life.  hold onto these moments tightly.