Nursery for Two

Note: We completed this way before we knew the gender of our baby, so don’t think that had an effect, or should have an effect on our decision. Also, excuse the laundry and non-vacuumed floors in the photo. This is true life y’all. 
Hey Loves!
 

So, this may not be your cup of tea-but when we found out we were expecting another, we decided to make the nursery for both of them. Yes, sharing a room. Here’s the thing, our kids only sleep and get dressed or changed in there. They have a play/learning room, a play area downstairs and outside activities. They don’t need much in the actual bedroom quarters.

 

So, in my true fashion, I stalked Facebook FSOT sites and craigslist for a toddler bed for James. We were blessed because a friend was selling her’s that was put together and was never used!!!! Score!!!!

 

We put the crib by the window (James needs zero distractions or items to break) and the toddler bed on the opposing wall. We also purchased a changing table (no, we didn’t have one before) that was in excellent used condition, with great storage, and that shares the wall with the crib. We separated the room with the glider I re-did for nursery in 2014. We kept the dressers that were in there (still waiting on my wall mounts, IKEA) just consolidated items for both kids. Above the dresser, will be an accent wall of photos of the kids.

 

For the closet, we decided to get this organizational system and add another shelf so each kid will have two hanging sections. Viola, $80 and very little time later, we’ve got a nursery for 2.

 

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DIY Halloween Costumes Tips

Hey loves!
 

It’s that time of year! Pumpkins, parties and treats GALORE! For those of you who maybe wanted to make your own costumes, that’s great! You can save money, customize them to your family and improve your crafting skills. However, there is a steep rabbit hole that’s very easy to fall in. I want to help you avoid that.

 

First, research. You know me, I always start with a recon mission. For example, I knew I would be very pregnant and probably huge so I looked up pregnancy costume ideas. You research what appeals to you and what will fit your family. Maybe your kids are into a certain show or movie and you could start there?

 

Then, I found it! Eureka! I’m not in love but it works, ya know. Well then, I ran it by the primary stakeholder-the hubs. This is serious. I don’t like irritated character portrayal on Halloween. Everyone must be all-in or a really good sport.

 

Lastly, and this is very crucial, the feasibility of it all. Are we going to wear these again? How much time will have? Do I really want to be that detailed? How much will this cost? What props will I need? Will I use those again? Seriously people, if you are gonna make a costume, make it worth not buying one. Got it? Ok. Great.

 

For the drama factor, I can’t share the costumes we chose but, it is limited sewing (again I’ll be very pregnant and huge, works well with my big belly, James will be super cute and my husband is excited about it. That’s a WIN-WIN-WIN in my book.

 

You can win too. Just don’t go down the rabbit hole.

 

Happy crafting and Happy Halloween!

DIY Days: Mom Edition

Hey Loves!
So, my son doesn’t handle drastic weather change well. And since he was born, that’s all that happens where I live except the 4 months out of the year where it is too hot to move. I digress. 
Anywho, he gets really congested and snotty and it’s hard for him to sleep and it’s kinda gross. Well, really gross. 
So, when I was pregnant I bought boogie wipes with one of the gift cards I got and was going to buy some more when I googled to see what other people did and that led me to many recipes. I chose this one. I doubled it, I can’t remember why now but unless your wiping 20 noses a day, I would say doubling it is unnecessary. 
So far, I’m really pleased. And they aren’t just for my son-we all use them. I know all the ingredients in it and I can wash the wipes and re-use them. That’s what I call #winning!

It’s Christmas Time in The City!

Feliz Navidad, amigos!

I love Christmas. I mean, who doesn’t? Well, at one time, me. We traveled everywhere and it was just a pain. Now, in our home with my little family and our traditions, I’m dancing my socks off I’m so happy.

I got the ball rolling a little early this year thanks to this blog. It really helped me plan and take the stress out of the season. Before Thanksgiving we: had our Christmas Card printed, made a card-recipient list, made and wrapped grandparent gifts, planned gifts for nursery workers, gift exchanges, planned our holiday treats with recipes and made all sorts of lists. Can you say #winning?!?!?!?!

Do you all celebrate Advent? We are getting better about it. It’s important to us to teach our kids the meaning of Christmas and to be reminded ourselves, so we do some scripture reading and bible based activities and some secular ones. I found this great printable to list out our activities and verses.

Need activity Ideas? I GOT YOU! Merry Christmas!

ADVENT ACTIVITY IDEAS

Service project-Someone somewhere very near to you needs some type of help. They are easy to find and willing to accept.

Prayer Day-Because our world needs it

Christmas Music Dance Party- Need I say more?

Library Trip for Christmas Books

Pajama Movie with Friends

Make Christmas Cards

Community Events- Living Nativity’s, Breakfast with Santa and Parades, oh my!

Decorating the tree

The norms-Holiday baking, family movie nights, Christmas Eve service

Christmas Light Hunt-Go around town and see what you can see

Top 5 Ways To Save Money on a Nursery

Hey Loves!

So, I have quite a few friends that are expecting as well and I get asked a bunch of questions so I thought I would share some thoughts. This post is how not spend a bizarre amount of money on a nursery.

Nursery’s can be tricky-you have to consider space, theme, budget and all of the super-cute stuff you can buy!!! Don’t fall into the trap! It’s hard but, so far, I’ve managed not to by sticking by the following:

1. Make a List- If you don’t remember one thing about me, remember I. Love. List. They keep you focused and organized. This list should include your need/must have furniture items, decor needs and maybe some wants at the end. I suggest registering for these items but big furniture is something you normally don’t get as a gift.

2. Make a budget- Have an idea of what you want to spend per item, and thus a total for the nursery. This will help you shop deals, use coupons and focus on your needs.

3. Buy used and save the difference- Some are really against this but I’ve found it well worth it. You can get great items at garage sales, online yard sales, friends, and craigslist (be careful!). Most babies rarely use so many items or not use them at all so you’re getting a needed item at a great price. Things to remember:
-all used items are not created equally so inspect and bargain.
-compare prices. If the used item your looking is the same price as a new one, it’s not worth it.

4. What you can’t buy used, by smart- The furniture items we needed and couldn’t find used we purchased from Ikea. The items from Ikea were cheaper than target and Amazon and gave us more for our buck.

5. Make what you can- Curtains, chairs, design items, etc. There are thousands of super easy tutorials out there for any skill level and if you can’t someone you know can or knows someone who can, so use your networks.

All if these tips can be applied to all baby items. We’ve so incredibly blessed and fortunate. We have spent very little of of our own money on baby items because we shopped smart, stayed organized, stayed on budget, bought used and graciously accepted hand-me-downs. Join some mom-groups and get the skinny on consignment sales!

Stupid Feelings…

You ever just do something very plainly and clearly stupid but you didn’t realize how plainly and clearly stupid it was until after you did it? (Well, for me, it was after the second time I did it-Sad, I know.)

Then, after you realize this was quite possibly the dumbest thing you’ve ever done, the Four Horsemen of the Self-Depravity Apocalypse come charging in.

Horseman 1: The act committed being stupid to YOU being stupid, like a senseless-buffoon.

Horseman 2: Doubting every other decision you’ve made or act you’ve committed, no matter how smart you thought they were at the time… Not to mention how all the other dumb decisions you’ve made just start making back-to-back cameo appearances in your mind.

Horseman 3: The guilt of it all just piles and piles and piles on top of you until…

Horseman 4: We’ll call him ‘Dawn of The Drama’. The pity parties, the water-works that start slow and steady and end with colicky moans and body spasms commence and never seem to end.

So besides curling up in a ball and letting the Horsemen above pummel you into a slow agonizing restless death-I mean sleep- although (thanks to Horseman 4) you thinking you’re dying isn’t that far off- what can we really do?

Rectify the situation? Honestly, that’s not possible many times BUT if it is take full advantage of the opportunity of possible reprieve!

Can’t rectify it? Well, I guess we have to let it go…another problem. For however many hours, the horsemen are stalking your every move and all you can think and feel is that stupidity so ‘letting it go’ seems way above your power limits at the moment. Well, if that’s how you feel, I’ve been there, and I’m there now but are we gonna give our power to 4 proverbial horsemen in our head? I mean, we invited them in so surely we can kick them out! It’s already been decided we’ve done some dumb things so how about changing that pattern?

Let’s give the Horsemen, the real senseless buffoons, the boot and get on with our lives. We already recognized our wrongs, let’s focus on what we do that’s right.

Until next time… Keep those horsemen out of your head.

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Ginger Tea=HIT

Hey Loves!

I’m not sure about the weather where you live, but it sure is frosty where I am. With the crazy weather changes, I noticed my body trying to catch a cold so I thought it wise to be proactive.

I am trying to stay away from Western medicine as much as I can and make natural remedies my first resort. I knew, through research, that ginger is known for combating sinus issues, sore throats, upset tummies and headaches. I also knew I wanted to get warm so I thought up a recipe for ginger tea.

Now, it may be the old southern woman in me but I didn’t use exact measurements. (Sorry!) Here are the supplies and method as exact as I could get them.

Let me know how your’s turns out!

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Supplies:
1 medium saucepan
Water
Fresh ginger
1 medium orange
Honey

Method:
Fill the sauce pan 3/4 full

Chop 2 small-to-medium pieces of ginger about a 1/4 inch thick and add to water

Bring water and ginger to a soft boil for about ten minutes or until water has absorbed the ginger and turned light brown

Remove from heat and add the juice of one medium orange

Finally add honey to your liking and serve warm.

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New Traditions!

Hey Loves!

One of my wife friends and I were talking and we both agreed that it can be difficult for families to ‘let-go’ and allow married couples to form and continue their own traditions for the holidays. When I was growing up, we always traveled for the holidays. When I was in undergrad, all of our family came to my dad’s house and that turned into hosting and running errands.

Now that my husband and I are on our own, have a home and successfully hosting both families for Thanksgiving, our families are kind-of starting the ‘let-go’ process and we can explore things that work and that we want to share with our kids (whenever they get here… *taps foot impatiently*)

With that, we are trying Advent this year and I am so excited! I am always looking for ways to incorporate focusing on and learning about the word of God into every Holiday as well as our daily lives so it seemed right up our alley.

We (meaning me) researched all types of ideas for daily activities. This was harder than I thought because so many of the ideas were for children or married couples with children. Pickings were slim for the young, married and child-less. So, we brainstormed and successfully came up with 24 that we both enjoy. I then found quite a few free printable Advent Calendars and a list of bible verses to read each day (plus a Christmas banner) via Pintrest.

Here are our ideas. If you have any, I would love to hear them!

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1. Hang Christmas lights outside
2. Assemble tree and let settle
3. Decorate tree with lights and ornaments
4. Hang Christmas stockings and place other Christmas decor
5. Attend a holiday party
6. Do a random act of kindness for someone
7. Attend a holiday festival and discuss what you learned from this weeks bible readings
8. See a local Christmas production
9. Write each other a letter about what Christmas means with them and put it in their stocking
10. Go for a run in our Jingle Bell Run t-shirts
11. Prepare and send Christmas e-cards
12. Wife picks a Christmas movie to watch
13. Make Christmas Cookies and treats together
14. Discuss what we have learned from this week’s bible readings
15. Go see the Christmas Lights at Dorothy B. Oven park (a park local to us but I am sure there is one near you!)
16. Deliver Christmas cookies and treats!
17. The hubs picks a Christmas movie
18. Go to the gym wearing red or green
19. Watch a holiday special on TV
20. Wrap each other’s presents
21. Discuss what we have learned from this week’s bible readings
22. Share a Christmas devotional with each other (We are both avid users of the Youversion bible app bible plans and we plan on doing one for Christmas)
23. Go look at Christmas lights in our neighborhood
24. Read the story of Jesus’ birth.

Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks

Hey Loves!

I am so excited about Thanksgiving this year because my in-laws are finally spending a holiday with us. Ok- I will be honest, at first I was a little stir-crazy, and if you ask my husband I still am. Nonetheless hosting anyone for the holidays can be a big to- do, especially when you add a vegetarian who is gluten-free to a couple of true meat and wheat eating southerners.

Any-who, here are some tips that will have you hostess-ready in no time!

1. Make a schedule (FOR EVERYTHING)- Seriously, breaking down the cooking, shopping and cleaning by separate days and time give you time to get everything done and allow you to catch your breath at the same time. A schedule also allows for a margin of error. I would also advise to do your best scheduling activities. As a host(ess), your guest will look to you for guidance so I have a few ice breakers or games on hand, just in case the air gets stale or WWIII erupts over football. If you’re guest are coming to you for a few days, have some activities lined up that everyone can enjoy over their visit like going to the movies, hitting Black Friday sales or going to community festival(s). I suggest having all the food prepared and in oven-safe storage at least the day before Thanksgiving. This enables you to actually enjoy the holiday, decrease stress and only leaving warming and plating for the day of.

2. Make your list and check it…more than twice- After you and have made the final decisions on your menu, make a grocery list by first going through each recipe for each item. Then make another list combing totals (4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, 2 packages of gluten-free flour mix, etc). Finally seperate your list by department (a link can be found here) so you aren’t making multiple laps around the grocery store. Make sure you triple- check it. You don’t want to forget anything. (If you do, know ahead if time what grocery stores are open and what time they close. Above I suggested to cook everything but the rolls by at least the Wednesday before but if you can’t, start early on Thanksgiving day!)

3. Make it Festive- This can be achieved in a myriad of ways. I racked up at my local Coton Colors tent sale, getting some super-nice Thanksgiving decor for 75% off. If you don’t have a Coton Colors near you and out of time to order online, don’t forget about Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and craft stores for holiday themed or everyday serving trays and dinnerware. I also got some awesome printables and DIY decor ideas from Pintrest. Don’t forget to compile a list of craft items for diy projects so you have all of your supplies.

Hope this helps you pull of your holiday without a hitch and design on a dime. I will post my decor pics to my Facebook and Instagram pages. Happy thanksgiving!

Warming up to Fall Decor

Hey Loves!

Well, it’s Autumn and the weather is cooling down. It feels lovely outside –but what about inside? While it is colder outside, you still want the inside of your home to be warm and welcoming. I know Martha Stewart and the crafting-geniuses on Pintrest may be a bit intimidating, but I am here with some easy and inexpensive tips.

Use Fall Fruit- Yes, you read correctly, decorate with fall fruit. Apples, pears, pumpkins and grapes go a long way AND they promote you to eat healthier snacks. You can have a full fruit bowl on your kitchen table or counter and use apples instead of votives in candle holders. (Hint: for cleaning and preservation use this vegetable wash)

Burlap- Go Burlap crazy! Make a new table cloth, a runner for your coffee table, placemats, napkin rings, bows for the banister… the possibilities are endless. The plus, burlap is super cheap! I got mine for $2.97/yard at Wally World and 3 yards goes a long way. (Hint: iron the wrong side with heavy starch to avoid fraying) You can also get burlap in ribbon form which leads me to…

Mason Jars- I know they are normally used for preservation but they can be used for household décor. You can wrap then in different size burlap ribbon and place a tea light candle inside. For a different touch, you fill the jars half way with coffee beans before adding the tea light candle. Oh! Different size jars also add a great element to centerpieces.

Bring out the Blankets- What makes you feel warmer than a blanket? You can bring out comfortable throws that are complimentary to your décor with accent colors on the ends of couches and ottomans.

Hope this helps!

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