february favorites

february favorites

Every month I love to share my favorite food, products, and moments both to share with my readers and because it's fun to look back on every few months to see what we were doing. February truly flew by, but it was a really fun month! I'm sharing a few of the things that made it a great month. Feel free to share your favorites from February in the comments!

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january favorites

january favorites

It was a full and exciting month with fresh starts, fun day trips, and lots of snuggles. There were a few rough moments, like sickness, a canceled trip to Phoenix for Lewis and me, and a day or two where I was feeling really down about my core and back pain. Overall, though, I think I can count this as a wonderful start to 2018. My word of the year is FUN, so I'm continuing to focus on finding the playful and joyful side of work, family, and downtime. It was a full and exciting month with fresh starts, fun day trips, and lots of snuggles. There were a few rough moments, like sickness, a canceled trip to Phoenix for Lewis and me, and a day or two where I was feeling really down about my core and back pain. Overall, though, I think I can count this as a wonderful start to 2018. My word of the year is FUN, so I'm continuing to focus on finding the playful and joyful side of work, family, and downtime. 

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friday favorites #3

Happy Friday! I don't know about any of you, but this week has been packed to the brim for our family. With lots going on at our church and school, trying to get ahead on lesson planning, and catching up after a weekend away, I feel like I've been sprinting all week long. I'm definitely ready for the weekend - and Sunday's Packer game! Despite the fast pace of our week, it was wonderful getting back into a routine with these two stinkers and getting some extra snuggles. They've been making me smile all week!

Well let's dive right in, shall we? Grab a cup of coffee and kick up your feet - here's what I'm loving this week!

Friday Favorites

lavender essential oil

lavender essential oil

I know I already professed my love for diffusing essential oils last week, but there's a new kid on the scene that everyone's talking about. And by everyone, I mean my husband and me after trying it one time. We diffused a bit of lavender essential oil in our room in the hour leading up to bedtime, and both of us felt like we got the most relaxing night of rest. Honestly, I didn't even think I liked the scent of lavender until I diffused it. I was immediately smitten. It was love at first sniff. 

Mac eyebrow pen

Where my fair haired ladies at? When one of the Mac makeup ladies suggested I fill in my eyebrows a few years ago, I felt confused and afraid to say the least. Would I look permanently surprised? Would it look so fake? Would my eyebrows be black in contrast to my blonde hair? She suggested filing them in with a very light-colored eyeshadow, gave me a tutorial, and sent me on my way. I had been implementing her strategies faithfully, when my Mac Omega eyeshadow began to run out. While Christmas shopping on the Mac website for my sister, I decided to add the eyeshadow to my cart. But lo and behold, when I typed Omega into the search bar, an eyebrow pen appeared in the very same shade! As if by magic! I decided to give it a go, and I am in love. It's so natural, and one less makeup brush I have to clean each week (month? Let's be real). 

binder organization

I simply could not find a planner this year that had all the things I wanted out of it, so in a state of exasperation, I purchased a cute binder and dividers from Target and decided to experiment with free printables. I love being able to add whatever I want to my weekly plans, and dividing it by category. I'm planning on doing a more in-depth post at the end of January on how I use my binder/planner system. 

5:30 a.m.

My word for 2017 is consistency. I knew if I was going to implement consistency with my blog, I would need to find a time to work on it every single day. My first thought was to write after the kids go to bed, but I found bed times to be too sporadic with all the church and school activities we have going on in the evenings. And to be honest, the more I thought about it, I knew I would be too tired in the evening to come up with good content or to put forth my best writing. I also wanted to spend a little bit of time with my husband when neither of us was working on our computers.

So it was decided. If I was going to write consistently, it would have to be in the morning. Pippa wakes up at a different time each day, but I thought I would be pretty safe getting up at 5:30. I usually get a solid hour of Bible study and writing time before she joins me. She gets to watch a show in the morning, so I can even sneak another 30 minutes of work in while she does that. I feel most creative first thing in the morning when the whole house is quiet. The hardest part is making sure I'm in bed by 9:45 or 10 each night!

autobiographies

When I was in 8th grade, our teacher had us do an autobiography project. It was a lot of work, and mine ended up filling a 1.5 inch binder, but it is so cool to look back on now almost 15 years later. Lo and behold, I happen to teach 8th grade writing this year, so I decided to have them do the same thing! We just started the project in January, and I think the kids are enjoying it. I broke it down into 12 chapters, and we're going to walk through it together step by step. In preparation, I read them excerpts from one of my favorite autobiographies Boy by Roald Dahl.  I think it's such a good exercise for them to get to know themselves and where they came from. Asking questions about your family history is so beneficial and interesting, and I know they'll be glad to have that information written down someday.

 

Well that's all I've got for this Friday. What's making you smile this week?

Linking up with Carolina Charm and Hello Happiness for Five on Friday, and Andrea from Momfessionals for Friday Favorites!

friday favorites #2

We made it to Friday! It's been quite the packed week in our household - we went out for my birthday dinner on Tuesday, had an event at church on Wednesday night, and I'm currently typing this up from the airport on Thursday evening. So much work goes into a weekend trip when you're a parent, even when the kids are staying at home with Dad. I wanted to help Justin out a bit by laying out their outfits for the weekend, planning meals, and making sure all the laundry was folded, not to mention putting in the extra work that goes into planning for a substitute teacher! But I made it, and I'm incredibly spoiled rotten to have a husband who is willing to pull single parent duty for 3 days while I invest in myself at a conference for my health and wellness business. Let's consider this my birthday gift - a weekend of adult conversation and personal development. 

But enough about adulting - on to the good stuff! Here's what's making my week awesome:

Blue Bloods

After Justin and I put the kids to bed, we finish tidying up the house, then we pull out our laptops to correct papers, finish planning for school, do some blog work, or work with my health and wellness business. When we're ready to wind down for the night (or sometimes while we're working) we like to watch one or two episodes of a Netflix series, but we felt like we were in a rut for awhile. We've watched 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, and Parks & Rec about 17 times each, so it was time for something new we could both agree on. 

On a recommendation from Justin's sister, we decided to give Blue Bloods a try. We were not disappointed! I feel like I'm part of the Reagan family Sunday night dinners by now. (This is right up my alley, as I love a good crime show. If there were a channel dedicated to SVU marathons all day every day, I would probably never leave the house.)

Essential Oils

So I'm quite late to the party on this one, but I've been interested in trying essential oils for awhile now, as I've heard such rave reviews about them from multiple sources. In addition, because we have 2 young kids and a dog, I'm paranoid that our house will smell bad and I won't realize it! I know candles aren't the best option - especially the cheap ones I buy - so I was looking for a clean way to make our house smell fresh. I put a few essential oils on my Christmas list that I had read were safe to diffuse during pregnancy. Well, ask and you shall receive! My mom got me a starter pack of oils and this adorable diffuser, and my mother-in-law rounded out my new collection of oils! 

So far we've been diffusing different combinations of thieves, peppermint, lemon, and orange. I love the clean smell, and how invigorating the citrus scents are! We're even thinking of ordering another diffuser for our bedroom. I'm sticking to just diffusing the oils for now, since I'm pregnant, but once I'm done nursing, I'm excited to dive in a little more and figure out other ways to use them!

FitBit

At the beginning of the school year, Justin and I decided to invest in early Christmas presents. We each bought a FitBit when they were on sale at Target (you better believe I also stacked a Cartwheel deal and my Redcard, baby). Now, I actually really dislike the idea of wearing a watch, as I prefer not to worry about what time it is. However, this year I supervise lunch (outside) and recess, and would prefer not to carry my iPhone around with me to know what time we have to go inside. I decided to go with the Alta because it's small and sleek, and it came in my favorite color - teal! 

The biggest benefit to me personally has been the ability to track my daily walks - how far and how quickly I'm going. Walking has been my primary form of exercise during this pregnancy, so I'm loving the ability to see improvement and consistency. It also forces me to do extra chores at the end of the day to get my 10,000 steps.

Ebates

Am I the last one to actually make use of this site? I've known about it for years, but always forgot to go through Ebates before making a purchase online. However, for some reason I was really intentional about it when I was doing my Christmas shopping online this year, and earned a nice little check in the mail for clicking one extra button each time I purchased a gift. Not too shabby! Here's my link - easy way to get $10 back if you're planning on shopping online anytime soon. (Amazon, anyone?)

The Library

I recently posted on Instagram that Teddy has been impossible at the library. Who can blame him? He's a busy one-year-old who loves to play, run, and yell. However, it's not ideal when I'm leisurely browsing the shelves, waiting for the perfect book to jump out at me. 

Aside from realizing I'm going to have to put my books on hold from now on if I want to borrow books for myself, the library has been a godsend since moving to Florida 18 months ago. The kids love library story time (when we can get out of the house on time), and there's even a cute little playroom for them to get their wiggles out before picking out their books! Pippa has been obsessed with Mo Willems books, like Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, as well as the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney. 

I would love for you to share - what can you currently not live without?

Linking up with Carolina Charm and Hello Happiness for Five on Friday!