Monday, September 22, 2014

Better Late Than Never

Peaches!!



I so missed the big window here.  But, I did get some peaches at the Farmer's Market for my jam.
We had a "cooler" day and I made jam.  Such a wonderful smell and even with it looking like Fall out and smelling like Fall, it was perfect.  I use allspice in my jam and I think that helped.  It was a perfect blend.


Oh and it tastes great too.  Yum!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Essential Oils and cleaning

You've heard me speak before about greener cleaning.  I like to find healthier options since most of our cleaning products can actually kill you basically just by breathing them.

You've seen me talk about the vinegar/water, baking soda way I've cleaned for a bit now.  Let me tell you.  I recently switched to a "natural" cleanser and it did nothing for actually cleaning my bathroom.  My tub is the worst.  It's one of the only things they did NOT upgrade in my house.  It feels rough, not smooth and slick.  It inverts in the middle.  Yes, the floor is like a slight "v".  ??  Why??  I suppose for the best water drainage?  But who likes to stand knock kneed in the shower?  I have no idea.  And, I barely notice anymore since my feet are used to it.  It had the four knob bath and shower thing until recently when we upgraded some plumbing.  We just covered some up with metal things.  Let's just say that my bathtub could be blown up and started again.  They remodeled the entire bathroom except for the tub.  Grr…

Anyway, it has some grime on it that I've always just assumed will never come off.  I scrub and scrub but nothing.  Used to I would have Stephen come in and scrub the bottom every so often just to get the muscle in there which made it cleaner than I could alone.  But, I have found the vinegar/water and baking soda method to be the best way to get it clean.  None of the other powerful chemicals I've used (comet, soft scrub, clr) have really worked, so why not?  It is simple, removes grime, etc.  I occasionally have to put some horrible mildew killer on the stalls still and I'm not joking, it makes my throat hurt for two days after inhaling it.  How is that good?

It's not.

But, my hubby hates the smell of vinegar.  So, the other day I thought I would try to add a smell to it.  I've done it before with store bought orange oil, etc.  And I didn't notice a real difference of any kind but it made it smell a bit nicer.  But, I then added "Purify" oil from doTerra essential oils to see what it would do because it is known to clean or purify the air.  It is great for cleaning anything.  As a cleanser, the air, hand sanitizer, etc.  I already use it in water for a hand sanitizer for me and the kids.  I have a spray bottle in the bathroom because it will get rid of odors immediately without long lasting smells, or irritants.  I spray it on the toilet and sink and wipe off instead of a clorox wipe for a daily/once a week freshen up and it removes all soap scum in the sink with one spray and a wipe.  I use it on bug bites and minor scratches/burns where it gets the sting out, never to return.  Madi has scraped her knee a few times, came in screaming and in one spray says "it's all gone".  Even before she knew what I was doing or how it would help.  In the store when she walks by a rack of clothes or a shelf and gets that slight cut, but mostly red burning and tears.  One spray and it stops hurting.  Period.  But, I've gone off the deep end.  Back to what I did.

There are many IMPORTANT ways to dilute these things.  All of them depending upon your age, the use, etc.  But, I didn't follow any of those for this.  I put 20 drops in my 32 oz. bottle of vinegar water and cleaned the bathroom.  The bottom of the tub, I always use a brush (like it helps).  But, this time it did!  These pics are not so great because I wasn't expecting miracles.  But, do you see the permanent grime?


Then do you see how much less there is after I scrubbed?


The water was turning brown even.  Now, we are not as gross as it may look.  We seriously have an acient tub and it looked like that when we moved in.  I have tried everything to get it white.  I can tell you that it gets better and better every time I use it.  In the second picture you can see at the top a little soap ledge.  This was also coated with whatever and the other day I got in and actually dropped some Purify on it and scrubbed with a wash cloth.  It all came off and is shiny white.  Whatever industrial cleansers they used in preparing the house didn't even get this tub THIS clean.

Anyway, I am so happy because there are no toxic fumes and if anything it is cleaning the air even more than before.  The vinegar smell is still slight but I don't care.  This is the cleanest my bathroom has been.

There is more to come on this but if you have any questions, please contact me below.  OR, if you wanna grab some for yourself, check out my site here.
OH, and if you wanna buy some and live in Nashville, leave a comment with an email address.  Maybe I can get some to you.


Or at the tab at the top of the blog.
Happy (Healthy) Cleaning!



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Preschool Diaries


My baby has finally gone and done it.  Bye bye baby girl!  Hello Pre-K madness.

Well, it's not officially a "pre-k" program.  It's more of a "parent's day out" or in for that matter.  At a church, in walking distance only two days a week.  It was a struggle to get here.  A struggle of deciding.  Should we or shouldn't we?  What is preschool?  What is Parent's Day out?  My little girl is so bright, what will she really LEARN?

Let me tell you we have worked through this for a few years now.  And, her schooling in general.  More recently I decided to look into where she will attend kindergarten.  Because unless you've been living under a rock, you will know that THAT must be decided upon almost a year ahead of time or you are out of luck, sister!  What?  It's insane.  Kid is born.  Kid is zoned.  Kid goes to school, right?

No, sir!  That is not the world we live in.  I have looked at public and charter schools.  WHAT IS A CHARTER SCHOOL?  I had to learn that one too.  There are lotteries, waiting lists, etc.  Well, preschool is almost the same.  I registered for this one right under the wire last year.  I had intended to send her the year before when Sam was first born so we could have some good baby time.  But, I missed the spot since these things are also signed up for WAY earlier than you think they should be.  What is the deal?  What is the race to get in school about?  It is truly crazy to stress over the madness of my child's education and progress when she is 3.  But, you have to.  So weird.

Here is where we landed.  Even up until the last minute I had thought I might back out.  I think we've decided to homeschool.  At least that is where my heart is pointing at the moment.  So then I debated on even putting her in PDO (parent's day out for the hip and trendy).  Since my daughter can read and everything else any good 2nd grader can do, what will she learn?  Walk in a line, wait her turn and raise her hand so she can in school?  So?  What if I'm not sending her to school?

Eventually we decided it would be good for her.  Get out, meet people.  Have fun, do crafts.  Eat with other folks.  So far it is.  She loves it.  Loves it all.  Gets upset on days we don't go.  And loves her "friends" though she doesn't know their names and she had to tell on them because they "weren't being nice".  Oy!

Happy Back to School to us all!!!

(by the way, for those who wanna know, I cried!  Cried when we dropped her off.  Cried when writing the check to Ms. Lisa.  Cried a month ago when a cute little girl was dancing in church with her tutu on like Madi used to.  I cried.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Reading with my girl

It has been crazy busy.  I apologize for my absence but for the three of you reading, I'm sure you will forgive me.

Last summer we read Charlotte's Web.  It was our first attempt at a "big girl" book and Madi LOVED every minute of it.  We attempted The Borrowers but I soon realized that it was hard for her to follow.  And honestly I had forgotten the "big" words in it and even the language is much more sophisticated.  Her little brain lost interest quickly and I opted to put it away for a bit.

Well, this Summer we got it out and I think we finished it in about a week.  She wanted it at every nap and bedtime until it was done.  Soaking in every word, asking me what they meant.  I'd ask before we started what had happened last and she easily recounted the events for me.  Love this.


She is such a big girl and I appreciate her love of fanciful stories. I only hope to nurture this more and more.  With amazing older stories.  Great literature for her to learn from but also to get lost in.

We had to read Charlotte's Web one more time.  Which she loved rediscovering.

We get new books this week.  Can't wait to share them and tell you how we did.

School might be starting soon for most but Summer is still here.  Pick up something and read.

Write below.  Tell me what you've read this Summer.  Either on your own (I'm always up for a recommendation).  Or with your little ones.

See ya soon.
(I promise)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Oh How a Year Goes By

It has been a year already.  Samuel is 1 year old today.  I can't believe it's happening.  My baby is no longer a "baby".

 He came into this world pretty simply and has been pretty simple to deal with ever since.  He is so laid back and easy going MOST of the time.  I mean, he has his moments.  But, what a good, happy baby.

He is always laughing and now talking.  Of course we don't have any idea what is so funny or what he is saying but he is busy doing it anyway.  He adores his big sister and of course thinks anything she says is hilarious.  Even when it's not.

He completes our family in a way I didn't think could happen.  He is full of love and snuggles all the time and I am so grateful for that.  He is always curious and always busy.  He doesn't sit in one place for very long.  No sir.  He has important things to do.  He plays with anything.  Doesn't have to be a toy, in fact, he'd prefer it not be.  He loves knit things as much as I do and likes to do things on his own without help.  He gets incredibly frustrated with himself when he can't figure something out (again like me) and he'd just rather not do it then.

He has a sweet tooth like his dad (none).  He'd rather Cheerios to strawberries.  He'd rather cake to icing.  He does love frozen custard and toasted ravioli so he will be allowed back into our hometown with ease.

He is a boy.  Full on.  He loves me and I love him more than I thought I could.  Never thought I'd enjoy raising a stinky boy.  But I do.  I love everything about it.  Him, his laugh, his smile, his teeth, his cry, his playing, his talking, his dancing (boy does he love to dance).  Everything.  He is my love and I'm so proud of him already.

Happy Birthday Samuel.  We are so glad you came to us.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Slow down my heart

Lazy mornings. Playing outside. Grilling good food. Watching baseball. Blowing bubbles. Planting herbs. All these things and more are reminding me to slow down and look around. I've felt a lot of stress lately. I say there is no reason because I have nothing important to do. Like a work deadline. Important meeting to prepare for. People waiting for me to do something. Making some huge decision affecting others lives. You know "important stuff" that normal people stress about every day. I have none of that so I should just chill right?  

Of course I do have two little lives that demand my attention 24/7 and rely on me for all their daily needs. Every decision I make affects every aspect of their current and possibly future lives. I have to plan menus and shopping trips. Maintain vehicle maintenance on both cars and fix most things that break in the house and around it on a daily basis. No important stress right?  Ha. 

But the reality is I can do this!  I need to occasionally reorganize how I manage and deal with the demands. I have to worry about writing blogs and finally trying to write a serious one while my daughter constantly interrupts to tell me about her current adventure with Flynn Ryder and the fishies in the creek!  That never happens!  (Hint:  it's happening NOW)

I love my life. I don't regret anything. But sometimes I find myself overwhelmed. This happens for several reasons every time. 1- I'm not talking to God about it. Or them. Yep. Easy enough. I need his help. I should ask his help. I have a lot of responsibility and let's face the truth:  I don't want to screw it up for any of us!  2-  I'm not spending real time with my babies because I'm focusing too much on tasks and chores. Yep. I get in my own way most of the time. 3-  I'm not taking care of myself. Seriously not eating right or sleeping well or working out. Nothing. I say this is because I don't have time and must put them first. The truth is it's just easier. Until I find myself in a fuzzy tunnel of madness. 

So these days I'm trying to eat better. Sam might be a bit fussy because I'm not feeding him at this second but he will have to wait patiently. I'm taking tasks one at a time. For now that is gonna be me creating a list and choosing one extra something to be done a week. "Extra" as in not normal household chores. I've been focusing for a bit on this as a daily thing. That's not gonna happen. I'm being there for my babies. This means putting my phone down a lot more than I already do. And trying to see the ways my daughter is exactly like me. Then I can see why she is behaving like she is. Oh and breathing.   For times when it gets too much I have essential oils to calm me down. Ha. 

I don't want to miss them. Sam is almost a year!  Wow!  
Life goes by too fast for stress. 

 



Friday, April 11, 2014

Dancing Queen

The other day we had Madison's final dance class of the year.  Insane how cute this is.  It's similar to watching little league ball.  You know where you find yourself yelling "run!  you hit the ball!  You run to the base!  Don't stop!"  Just the simple things except here, you're thinking "um, not one person is skipping".  It's awesome.

But, they're learning the basics.  Positions, pointing and flexing toes, raising arms, leaping, following others, it's all necessary and good to practice now in the hopes it'll just be part of the future dancer they'll become.  That is if they stick with it.

 Madison is an individual, let me tell you.  I'm discovering so much.  I think because I have actor, dancer, film, stage on my resume, everyone assumes that Madison gets her unique personality from me.  She might, but it's not like I'm a stage mom pushing her on to entertain.  AND, so far there are some huge differences.  The biggest is what I see in dance.  I was (and still am) a people pleaser.  I've always approached my live performance stuff as performing.  Meaning I do what I'm supposed to do to the best of my ability to impress or take this chance to show what I can do.  If I'm supposed to be "on", I'm on.  100%.  Madison sees the camera (or audience) and takes the chance to make a joke.  "oops!  I fell!"  That sort of thing.  That sadly would've devastated a 4 year old me.  She wants to make sure in all things that she is getting a laugh.  I was a performer.  She seems to think she's a comedienne.


Another difference is her individuality.  Like in the picture below.  She refuses to dance with a scarf.  She used to love it.  I think she had some trouble getting the color she wanted, maybe doesn't like the manual labor of folding it before returning, I don't know.  Either way, she chooses not to use one.  For over a year now.  She refuses.  Doesn't care.  Has no reason except "because I don't want to" and she moves on with her life.  We are blessed that her teacher doesn't care.  Somewhere inside I'm mortified.  But, I'm learning to just go with it.  It's her world.


Heaven help us.  We will need it.
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