Monday, April 25, 2016

5 ways to help you start living a more Intentional Life

You may hear the term "Intentional Living" thrown around a lot, but what does it mean? I choose to live life with certain intentions and purpose because I find as a mom that living intentionally is a great model for my children and that is important to me. For example being intentional with my health; choosing whole foods and less processed foods, drinking plenty of water instead of sugary drinks, exercising frequently; so that I may live a longer life without the need for medical care because of poor choices. Laying a foundation is a great place to start so I came up with 5 ways to help you start living a more intentional life.

Intention: done on purpose; deliberate.
synonyms: deliberate, calculated, conscious, intended, planned, meant, on purpose, will-full. 

How to start Living Intentionally:

1. Examine Yourself: Self reflection is super important. What are your passions, talents, weaknesses, strengths, abilities, and goals? Give time and energy to this because it is the most significant thing you have to offer.

2. Be Honest: Because honesty is the building blocks for trust. And without it, there is no foundation for any type of relationship- be it romantic, friendship, family member, or co-worker. And no one can read your mind. It might lead to an awkward confrontation but in the end it's better to let someone know how you are feeling rather than make them guess. If you are open and honest, it leads to better communication all around.

3. Be YOU: In a world where we are swayed by advertisements, politics, blog posts and articles and social media,  just be you. Stop comparing yourself to others, stop trying to be someone else. Because at the end of the day, this is your life.

4. Focus: We live in world that is constantly stealing our attention. We are more "connected" than ever. It's easier said than done, but try and turn off the distraction and live your life instead.

5. Establish Boundaries: Once you establish boundaries for yourself, it seems life becomes a lot easier. It's easy to get burned out and overwhelmed and it's easy to overcommit yourself to things and later regret having done so. Once you are able to embrace being able to say "No" more often to things that may not line up with your beliefs and wants, it makes your "Yes's" to things more valuable. Your time is worth a lot!

Do you live life with purpose? What are some tips you have that might help others with living a more intentional life? What struggles do you have with this?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I'm your Mom, not your Maid

This past weekend was rough. We all visited the doctor over of the course of 4 days. We have never been on prescription medicine at the same time: double ear infections, bronchitis, influenza... they say it comes in threes right? With sickness comes irritation. No one feels well, no one wants to do anything but someone has to keep the house a float right?

I was picking up the living room that has been very neglected the past few days. In our house the living room is the room that collects the most random things. After I had finished cleaning and returning all the things I found to their appropriate place,  I watched my son eat a piece of candy and throw the wrapper on the table under our t.v. Really? At first I almost grabbed it to go throw it away out of irritation but then I stopped. I called him over to me and said "I'm your mom, not your maid." He looked at me confused. I told to him to go throw his wrapper away.  I explained that I had just cleaned the living room and that's not where is goes. He grabbed the wrapper and walked loudly into the kitchen sporting his 4 year old attitude.

This had me thinking: Do I include him in cleaning enough? Maybe he just assumes I would pick it up because it's what I have always done? Does he even notice all that I do to clean this house? I am known to just do it myself because it's faster and it will get done the way I want it done but it's time I let that go and delegate a little. How will my kids ever learn if I just always do it for them. Yes I make him help me pick up from time to time but he's old enough now to have a few chores on his own. I created a simple chores list for him. I included pictures because he can't read yet.

How do tackle chores with your kids? Do you have specific things they have to do daily/weekly? I would love to hear!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

What's in the Kids' Easter Baskets

I have had so much fun planting real grass baskets these past two years and will definitely continue on the tradition thru the years. Check out that post and with a link to the tutorial here. This year I went with a garden theme. I found the cutest candies at Walgreens.

  • Chocolate Tulips
  • Chocolate Bugs
  • Chocolate Chicks
  • Chocolate Carrots 
  • Chocolate Eggs

Anyone notice a theme? Chocolate.

I tried to stray away from toys. I mean seriously these boys have so many toys that they don't play with and it seems each time they get a new one, it gets played with for maybe a week and then it gets lost amongst all the other toys waiting to be noticed. Spoiled much? Yes. But they are very loved. This year, I got them both books from Usborne Books and they are awesome. For Oliver I got a My First Garden Book and for Benjamin, tiny cardboard books that will fit perfect in his little hands. I also found a Bug a Loop Teether for Benjamin and some kids Garden tools for Oliver. He loves helping me outside and I'm excited to have him old enough to understand.

I just love these so much. I hope the boys will too! What's in your kids' baskets? Did you do a theme? I want to hear! Leave me a comment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to plant a living Easter basket

Last year I started a new tradition for my children. One that I hope to continue on through their childhood. Giving them a living Easter basket. This is such a fun spin on the traditional basket filling. My friends over at Garden Answer have an awesome tutorial video on how to do it and with just a couple weeks from Easter, you still have plenty of time to do this. It was even fun to include my oldest in on the process of planting and watching the grass grow. Whatever your Easter tradition is, this was so much fun. Plus the fresh green grass was just a bonus to have in the house with Spring around the corner.

What you will need:
white plastic bag
potting soil
perennial rye seed
water bottle
cling wrap 

Follow the tutorial on Garden Answer's youtube here.

I had permission to share the final picture and it turned out so fun and festive. Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

DIY Industrial Shelves

I have been wanting to do this project for a few months now. I had the hardware sitting in the trunk of our car from a Home Depot trip back in January and finally on Sunday decided to get it done. This was a super easy project and required little knowledge in construction. I actually followed this fellow bloggers step by step instructions here. I made a few adjustments. My shelves are 43 inches. I made sure to sand down the edges and round the corners using an electric sander. I wanted these to look like they were made to be shelves, not just two boards that we cut. I skipped spray painting the pipe, I like that industrial look and made some curtain rods in my sons room (I will do a blog post on that another day). I also used the stain color honey. I absolutely love this stain color. I originally thought I had wanted to use a dark walnut color but this color is exactly how I pictured them. 

My husband and I are far from handy and lord help us if we ever decide to remodel a home one day in the future. Even though we aren't super handy, I love working on projects with him. My father is law is amazing with wood working. My in laws own 3 coffee shops and he is responsible for designing and or creating most of the decor and tables. His work is incredible and eclectic and all new customers that come in are in awe of the decor. Check out some photos of the coffee shop on their website here

These shelves are incredibly functional and could be used in any room. I definitely am planning to make more. I look forward to changing up the decor seasonally. I hope I inspire you to make some, you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Benjamin turns O N E

We Celebrated my sweet Benjamin's birthday this last weekend. Time really is a thief. I feel like we were just bringing him home yesterday. I wasn't blogging when he was born and I wanted to share a little of his birth story. We had both of our boys in the same birth center. The midwives are incredible. They care about you and your baby just as much as you do and I trusted them completely when it came to our birth.

It was a sunday morning, March 1st. I woke up about 8:30 am and laid in bed for a while longer. I had planned on making my grandma's carmel rolls that morning for breakfast. When I got out of bed, I felt my water break. I kinda giggled with excitement and yelled for Joe. He was a bit disappointed since he was looking forward to breakfast. HA! I called the midwives to let them know my water had broke but I wasn't having any contractions. I knew the routine this time around. It was a slow start. I hopped in the shower and finished packing my bag to take. I called my parents to come grab Oliver. The day dragged on. It was cold and windy and for several (8 plus) hours, I had zero contractions. I wasn't alarmed and I felt the baby moving and was completely comfortable. I bounced on the ball, went for a few walks and then I just decided to rest. Anyone that has had their water break first, knows the annoyance of the gushes that continue to happen. I actually ended up making the carmel rolls later on in the day. :)

Night time rolled around and my parents stopped by the house with Oliver. Everyone's idea of birth and how it should go is different and that is completely okay. I think my family thought it was so weird that we were just hanging out at home waiting for things to start. My plan was to labor at home as long as I could before we headed to the birth center. I called my midwife several times to check in throughout the day. I finally started having contractions about 8:00pm. I had downloaded an contraction timer on my phone which was super helpful in keeping track. My husband was able to get a little rest that night and around 1:30am, I let him know it was time to head over. We had about a 50 minute drive to the birth center.

We met our midwives around 2:30am and got settled into our room. Immediately things were starting to pick up and I was able to get in the tub. I labored most of the night in the water. Labor is such a beautiful thing. I was able to get in a zone and just allow it to happen. Yes it hurt but my mindset was just there. My husband was an amazing support to me.

Benjamin was born at 8:15 am (sleeping) like birth didn't faze him one bit. haha. He didn't cry. I got to see what he was first. We didn't know what we were having and that is just the best surprise. We got to love on our sweet boy, skin to skin, and he latched right away to nurse. He weighed 10 pounds 5 ounces and we were all shocked. Especially me.

Fast forward a year and Benjamin has brought so much joy to our family. He started walking about one week before his birthday. He says dada and mama, loves following his brother around, loves to play ball and his smile is just the best. I loved celebrating his birthday with friends and family and I knew I wanted to do a brunch theme. I just love brunch food. We had donuts, quiche, fresh fruit, granola and yogurt with berries, herb and cheddar potatoes and celebrated with mimosas :)


Saturday, February 20, 2016

A touch of Spring

Who else gets the itch to add green to their home mid February? When you box up all those decorations from the holidays, it leaves your home feeling empty and bare. I love adding Spring flair to my home to brighten it up and give the house a fresh feel. I also love to change up my mantel decor. Last summer we re-did our fireplace stone and tile and added a beautiful cedar mantel. It went from eye sore to a statement in our living room. I absolutely love the way it turned out!

I added boxwood plants in different containers to give it a fresh feel. I also added these copper balls in different sizes. I love them because you can see thru them and they are fun to look at. I put in some sentimental pieces as well. The two wooded houses are hand carved and gifted to me from my dads barber and the bicycle was given to us after my husbands grandfather passed away. The hydrangeas also add freshness and I painted the vase they are a matte white. The three owls (see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil) I got from my favorite nursery and the cute sheep from a craft store. I have slowly gathered different things I love over the years to rotate thru the seasons. Hope you are inspired to do the same.