Tuesday, December 22, 2015

holiday comfort for the home





I may be crap at cooking, but baking and stovetop scents are something I am thrilled about! If you are hosting any holiday gatherings this will be right up your alley. I have used this countertop recipe for some time, and this year my oldest, Rowan, has been a big fan. He can sniff this up the moment I begin cutting the tangerines. With him loving it so much, I thought it would be fun to share it with you guys, your kiddos might love the idea of a home scent that brings them comfort!

Now, if you are like me, and you think that the grocery store is overwhelming, try a smaller grocer like Trader Joe's, they carry {nearly} everything you will need - most everything can be spotted in the produce and Spice sections - yes, I am that pathetic at my grocery shopping that I need guidance!

Also, I am not a major Essential Oil user during cooking, but I do love diffusing them! My friend Sara is so passionate about oils, and I love learning from her, so I have added Elevation by DoTerra into this scrummy blend - I really think it adds a subtle touch, and I know you can't go wrong with the joyful blend naturally diffused!



You can definitely improvise and change things up, as you like. It is always good to experiment and find what suits you best. I have found that some people over complicate ingredients. I try to stay with more natural scents that are true to our climate. So, if you are in a warmer climate try adding  pomegranate versus the tangerine. There is a vast variety of scents you could mix and get a fun result, this is just a good starting base! 




Add all the ingredients into a sauce pan, top off with additional water if necessary. The important thing is to be sure and bring the ingredients to a boil for 20/40 minutes that way the scent releases as the ingredients soften. If you want the full benefits of the essential oil, it is best to add it after you have boiled the other ingredients together. After if has boiled for some time, you can lower it to a simmer and continue to add water to the mixture over next few hours. As it continues to fill up your home with warmth, and comfort.




Hope that you find a way to make it yours! Would love to hear if you try it out! xx
(ps sorry it took so long to actually post this, I know a few of you were asking about it!)



Thursday, December 10, 2015

affordable style in the home for the holidays!



Have you guys seen Walmart.com 's new #affordablestyle lines? I have teamed up with them to share some of my favorite bits from their revamped home line. I was thrilled when they approached me, because one of the biggest things you guys ask for is affordable decor ideas. There is nothing I love more than adding some new goodies into our space around the holidays, and I was SHOCKED to see how much I loved in their home selections!! I found everything I needed on their website(no lie!) to help warm up each and every room - which is important when you are expecting guests!!

Amongst all the garland that I wanted to get my hands on (I ended up with the frosted bristle pine, I felt it looks more nordic!), I found the cutest wreath ever it has a fun frosted look it is the National Tree Frosted Arctic Spruce!  I also discovered the Walmart exclusive Better Homes and Gardens line -- which got me a bit excited about vanilla LED candles, who knew! I love the BHG tin bucket with a pine branch in it, seemed to be subtle and add a simple warmth to the corner, now if only I could convince my neighbors/husband/mom I am not a weirdo outside sawing mangily tree branches off in my front yard -- hehe!


Trust me, nobody is going to complain about a twinkling kissing ball! The curtain rod was to help bring the kissing ball to life. Kind of got a bit greedy with the outdoor touches,  you just can't stop me! Also, true story, that is the only window that has a window treatment in our home!


I loved the color pop of this "I hope something good happens to you today" 9 by Novogratz print, (here) because we all could use some well wishes to start our day! Also, is it illegal to mix different kinds of pine in one space?? Don't even care, I clearly am not the matchy-matchy type.

So... why did I really buy up all this new cozy decor? Well, for starters I am hosting Christmas this year which is a HUGE DEAL! You can't host and not have every inch of your home welcoming your guests! I also had a little filming done in our home with Camila Alves (YES! HER!) for her FB show! And well, I am not the most traditional, so I loved adding all these final soft touches to blend into my already existing home without taking over. Probably the coziest and most "me" feeling Christmas style I have ever had in my home!

I also started a new tradition where I had some friends over to wrap Christmas gifts - because HECK! Who needs a reason to have friends over really? I wanted it to be a chill night where we just caught up and packaged our pretty goods for the kiddos, before time got away from us!

I wanted the decor to be subtle but still really festive, because that is what suits me and my lifestyle. I am in the process of purging a lot of unwanted things, so I love the bright and clean look of the table settings without all the clutter. We had really light snacks, because nights with friends shouldn't be about all the fuss, it should be about good times and memories. I think we tend to overthink when having guests over, I really have become laid back when it comes to hosting. It is about the company and that is what creates the environment. I like it to feel really normal and stress free - I also want everyone to feel at home when they are with me.


The Pioneer Woman collection had the perfect tableware! I loved the bright colors and vintage style prints. I was so happy with how it looked when it arrived that I stocked up on everything in the line I could get my hands on! Everyone got to take their place settings home along with some The Pioneer Woman goodies :) And don't mind me and my bits of nature incorporated into every room -- sprigs on the napkins, so simple!


 I love these BHG hyacinth baskets, I have already found a million uses for them! During my little gathering I used them for holding the little toppings for our gift wrapping station. They will definitely be great for holding treasures beyond the holidays! I seriously couldn't stop buying all the baskets! ALL THE BASKETS! Seriously, I bought a lot! Thank you Better Homes and Gardens x Walmart for feeding into my obsession. (see more baskets below, because DUH!)

         More Better Homes & Gardens bins,  faux fur throw, and throw pillow all from Walmart.com


I really think that decorating your home for the holidays shouldn't be stressful. Just think of how you can add to each room versus completely transforming it. Everything I found at Walmart really blended into my already existing space and almost all of it can be used for occasions outside of the holidays. I really think that is the most successful way that you can bring the holidays is by keeping it warm and natural! I really do love that most everything can be for more than just Christmas, because your home should always be warm and fresh!

I dare you to visit their site and not be shocked by their new goods - I already am pining over a basket for my bike that I spotted!

Remember you don't have to spend a fortune at a boutique to make your home welcoming! Here is a list of everything I bought, so you can see that not all holiday decor has to be traditional! I hope you love their exclusive collections by Pioneer Woman, Better Homes and Gardens and 9 by Novogratz as much as I do!



And one more photo for good measure, because I am guilty of all things non-traditional. I love this blue recycled glass jar I also picked up on their site! Because, well, who knew! ps I clearly was too busy chatting that I didn't get much of my wrapping done at our little gathering :)

World's longest post everrrrrr just for fun, because this is the first Christmas where I have brought the house to life! Over and out. xx


This post was in partnership with Walmart.com - we are always happy to share new products with you guys and so thankful for your support, hope to continue bringing great things your way


Friday, November 27, 2015

christmas tree farm | memories over time




When I was young I was thrown in the backseat of the car last minute to see the Northern Lights - in the dead of winter, groggy and in our pjs, with our fuzzy eyes we drove an hour in the dark. When we arrived my sisters and I weren't sure exactly what it was, and I still don't remember it other than I was happy we got ice cream afterwards. We talk about that story all the time - I didn't have a clue back then, but it is one of my favorite memories. After that, it never ended -- staying up late to see an eclipse,  last minute drive to a desolate area to see a meteor shower, motorcycle trips out of the state via the major scenic route, passing by herds of buffalo on a motorcycle - the list never ended. Some days I was happy to just be out of the house and other days I just went along because, well, I had no choice. I didn't know it at the time, but later in life some of those things my father did for me were the ones that meant the world. Now I finally get it. I understand the beauty my dad wanted me to see all around. The moments he shared with me, weren't just for his enjoyment, they were for me, because one day they would be part of me in a new way. I don't remember when it was, but one day I woke up and I finally figured out how to appreciate everything he taught me long ago. How I wished I understood it all when it was happening. I wish I had known to take in the air when we were up early with the sun. Or to sit quietly in the dark night to look up at the star swishing across the sky, instead of trying to will myself back to sleep in the bed of the truck. I wish I had imagined the lives of those who lived in those far off places we visited. I wish I had thought to ask more questions. I wish I had understood what he wanted me to see at the time. 

It took time, but I am so thankful for the process of learning about the world I live in. Even if I didn't see it at that moment. I see it now, and the memories are still with me, and I am thankful for them. I hoped my kids would learn to love nature at an earlier age than I did... like I somehow expected them to have this insane love for learning about their surroundings and share that with me before they grow up. I know that is part of why I love getting a real Christmas tree, to have the full experience of the day. The smell of the trees, the hot cocoa, the sleigh rides, the campfire with local strangers. The cheer of finding the perfect tree! I love being the ones to pick out the tree that will share our home during the special moments of the holidays. I know my kids don't understand all of that now, and they might not share the exact excitement that I have over it, but one day, one day they will wake up and realize how happy they are for all those warm memories filled with nature. Those moments that secretly seep into their soul and stay with them forever and I hope it changes how they raise their own children. 

I am taking this time to remind myself that my kids might never hold all the same interests as I do, but I am ok with that. I am grateful for all the things they teach me about myself, and one day when they are grown up, they will look back and find these pieces that we have instilled in them and be grateful -- just as I woke up one day with parts my father instilled in me {finally} coming alive in me! 

I just want to encourage you, stay with it. You are doing a great job even if it isn't all roses. One day these might be the memories that bring them the greatest pleasures in life, or lead them down a path that ignites them. Not every memory is meant for right now. It takes time, it is a process. Continue to share the best parts of yourself with them, and I promise it won't be wasted. 


So ,whether you purchase a real tree or use an artificial, I pray that you and your family make many memories together at this time - even if your kids aren't prancing around the tree while you dress it, there will be a day when they look back and you will all be grateful for those times you spent making memories together. xo


A very special thank you to my friends over at APPAMAN for creating gorgeous outerwear for kids. I love their Pratt Down Parka is worn by both Brinley here and Rowan here (c/o appaman). If you have kids, you must check out their amazing range - we have a few suits and hats from them and love everything they make!



**insert** don't get me wrong, my kids enjoy going to choose our tree, but the process is lost on them. I would love to take a long time walking the rows and drifting through the tree farm slowly, but for them cold sets in. They lose interest in me pretty quick when there is so much else to do. Some days, we all just enjoy the moments very differently (I know I can often romanticize how these things should be done)... xx