Camping With Kids

Summer is almost here and I’m so excited for the activities and trips that come with it! We have always loved to go camping, but once we had kids our scheduled trips were few and far between. We made it a priority to put some trips in the calendar this summer and I cannot wait to make memories together as a family. We recently switched our camping set up from a trailer to a motor home and we are also starting to camp again for the first time since our youngest could sleep in a rock n’ play. Both of which makes it totally different for us! We’ve been twice since our change up and I’m gonna share what is working (and what didn’t) for us with a few tips.

Think about your traveling set up. | Both girls were in rear facing car seats regularly in my car.  Luckily we have seat belts in the dinette seats so we were able to place their seats facing the correct way while traveling.  We did decide to rotate Aubrey’s seat to face forward since she’s over 2, and she LOVED that! It was so fun for her to watch out the window and be able to see us, especially since we were in a new surrounding! One thing I’ll have to figure out next time is something to put up in the middle of them if its sleeping time.  It was so cute that they could see each other and touch hands…until they fell asleep, and then one woke up and woke up the other! Maybe I’ll put a poster board between their seats next time, haha! May sound silly, but if it works it will be worth it to get two napping kids!

Bring toys they haven’t seen in a while | I try to rotate their toys and books at home so they feel like they’re getting something new every now and again and don’t always see the same activities.  When I was packing things for camping, I choose from the stuff I had put away.  Once we had a moment to “play” with the things I brought, Aubrey was so excited to see the toys that she hasn’t played with in a while! Something I was sure to keep consistent was her bed time pals. The blankets she always has in her bed as well as the stuffed animals she loves were sure to be with us!

(loved using my adorable bags from my friend Kelli, you can check out her page here)

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Stick to your bedtime routine as much as possible | sleep was my biggest concern. Our toddler has a pretty good routine down now so obviously I didn’t want to disturb it if at all possible.  We were already worried about the fact that she normally sleeps in a crib and we would be putting her on the converted dinette bed.  Things were different (my husband had to lay with her to fall asleep because she could just climb out, she got up extra early because the windows let in SO MUCH LIGHT at super early hours and her naps were a bit shorter) but I think the fact that we kept her routine the same helped keep it a smooth process.  Just like at home, we did baths (super quick wash off no playing camping baths of course) and read books before bedtime.  I also was sure to bring the essential oils I use for the girls and (since we had hookups) I was able to run the diffuser as well! Clearly she slept well, look at that bed head!

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Prepare for lots of outside time | we spend time outside at home, but I’m definitely not used to entertaining two – 2 and under kids all day mostly outdoors! Hats, sunscreen, bubbles (so many bubbles), and ways to go for lots of walks. I carried Blake, our 10 month old, in the carrier a lot and we also have a compact/cheap umbrella stroller we brought that was perfect for when Aubrey got tired of walking.

Tagging along with the outdoor idea, think of the eating arrangement | Blake normally sits in her highchair and Aubrey is usually in a booster seat at the table.  We brought Aubrey’s booster but it wasn’t really safe on the picnic bench. So it was difficult to get her to sit and eat. We finally figured out it worked on one of our folding chairs. We use the Mamas & Papas Snug Seat as a traveling high chair for Blake. Works great on the floor, or in the middle of a table.  We call her our centerpiece! (you can see ours with the tray off in the background of the photos below)

Prepare for snacks | somehow everything takes longer to prepare while camping! I felt like we were eating breakfast later and the process of getting dinner ready was almost too much to bear for Aubrey since she didn’t have much to do on her own while we were cooking. Hungry kids = cranky kids! A banana in the morning while waiting for breakfast or grapes or crackers or something while waiting for dinner  would have been a great idea!

What are your favorite tips or hacks for traveling with kids, camping or otherwise? I’d love to hear! Hope you have a fun summer with your littles!

Whitney

Make + Take

One of the fun parts of using essential oils is being able to create your own products to use in your daily life.  When you turn any project in to a party, its so much more fun in my eyes! I love hosting events, and getting to share the benefits of Young Living essential oils is an added bonus! I shared some details on Instagram a while back (@whitneymichaels_essentials) but wanted to share more details with you here!

Have no idea what essential oils are? Start HERE 🙂

Of course we displayed the Premium Starter Kit and had a few resources we love for our guests to look at. The Pocket Reference, Gentle Babies, Hello Glow, Lucy Libido, and some information cards from Young Living. We made it a little more personal by having bags for the gals to take home their goodies and a survey for the end. We learned their information for follow ups plus they entered for a little prize by filling it out!

When choosing what to make we wanted simple (to show that ANYONE can utilize oils), but we also wanted a recipe that was a little more involved since we had the perfect small group. Here’s what we made:

Bath Salts are something that make you feel like you’re at a spa, but are so simple! We used lemon and lavender oils, but adding about 10 drops of any oils to the base recipe is perfect! Another favorite of mine is 5-6 Stress Away and 3-4 Lime.

1 cup of Epsom Salt

1/4 cup of baking soda (if I’m just mixing it quick before my bath I don’t add this. Only when its going to be stored in a bag or jar.)

8-10 drops of essential oils

Rollers are probably the quickest, most portable, and least messy way to utilize oils in my opinion! For beginners a roller is a no brainer. Just tell them how and where to apply and they can use it right away! We offered two options: Immunity support or Energy support.

Immunity: 20 Thieves, 10 lemon, top with FCO

Energy: 9 Lemon, 6 Peppermint, 2 Frankincense, top with FCO

Our lip scrub recipe we found in the book, Hello Glow and I love the citrus scent!

1 TBS sugar

1 TBS coconut oil

1 drop of lime essential oils

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Last was the Grapefruit + Mint body scrub, recipe courtesy of Jessica Garvin @grapefruitandgold.  (We did one big recipe and then just divided it into 6 containers.)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup sugar

zest of 1 grapefruit

10 drops of peppermint

30 drops of grapefruit

This scrub is a favorite of mine and all of our guests LOVED the fresh citrus scent!

We had a few snacks – chips and guac (with lime eo), taquitos (easy bake ahead), and fancied up some pre-made margaritas with a drop of orange eo in each glass…super yummy! They would have been even better if I remembered to make the Lime Salt I made for Cince de Mayo. Everyone was so intrigued by the fact that they were eating and drinking the oils as well! It’s a great way to teach about the different uses!

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We sent everyone home with their goodies they made in the personalized bag, plus a sheet spray as a thank you made by our host, Brooke @lovegraceandgoldenroots.

One guest signed up as a member that evening after I sent her the information email and another who had just signed up the week before wanted to pursue the business side! yay! So happy to spread the love of oils…

I hope you have so much fun planning your next oily event!

XOXO,

Whitney

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(I’ll have a link to all of my favorite oily supplies on the Essential Oils page at the top of the blog soon!)

Essential Oils {in our home}

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I have been using essential oils in our day to day lives for almost a year now. I started by just learning about oils from a dear friend, using them occasionally and now I use oils all throughout my day! I’d love to share just how I use them for our home in this post!

Being a SAHM with two babies, it shouldn’t be a surprise when I say there is always…I repeat ALWAYS…a mess happening in our house! I’m always cleaning up something sticky – whether I am wiping children, toys, high chairs, or counter tops. For this, Thieves comes to my rescue! With Thieves Household Cleaner I’ve made multiple spray bottles. One for everyday cleaning {high chairs, quick floor spills, general counter top cleaning, etc.} and one for de-greasing {stuck on counter top messes, the inside of my microwave, stove top, etc.}. I reach for these bottles at least 10 times a day and love that I don’t have to worry about leaving behind harsh chemical residue on the girls’ highchairs or their toys! I added lemon essential oil to the heavy duty bottle and cannot get enough of the fresh scent of my clean kitchen!

Another item I couldn’t live without now is a diffuser in the kitchen! The kitchen really is the heart of our home and I feel like I spend at least 60% of my day in there! The first thing I do when I come out in the morning, after coffee of course, is start diffusing essential oils. If anyone in our family seems to be feeling a little run down or on the verge of catching a bug, Thieves + Orange is my go to! If I am up early and expecting some quiet time before the zoo wakes up, Stress Away is the way to go! For the week of Valentine’s Day, Jessica over at grapefruitandgold shared a recipe for “Candy Hearts” and I couldn’t get enough! After dinner while the dishes get done, I am obsessed with diffusing Purification + Lemon. I love that it cleans the kitchen air, not just perfuming over it! If I do this in the day time, particularly if I’ve made a hot lunch with a lingering scent I like adding Grapefruit to the mix too!

Needless to say, I’m a bit oil crazed over here when it comes to keeping up with our messy home! Follow along with my Essentials Instagram to learn more about incorporating oils in your house. If you are interested in being apart of my amazing team, follow the link on the Essential Oils page at the top of the blog, or email me at whitneymichaelsessentials@gmail.com .

Favorites {battling the baby bug}

Favorites {battling the baby bug}
since Friday, Aubrey has been fighting her first cold…so so sad for my mama heart! she has been surprisingly happy but overall a little more tired and clingy. I’ve been trying to stay away from any medicines right off the bat and have found a few must haves to get her through these snotty days!
one. {humidifier} I’ve basically had this going in her room every time I put her in there to sleep. I definitely noticed a difference when we were out yesterday and she napped without it twice! I think it just overall helps with her congestion.
two. {essential oil diffuser} yup, I jumped on that train! I didn’t go all in, but I borrowed my sister’s diffuser to see what it was all about and I’m definitely going to invest in my own! she recommended the breathe and lavender oils and I really think they’re doing the trick!
three. {NoseFrida} definitely not Aubrey’s favorite item and maybe one of the grosser things I can add to the “things I do as a mom” list, but I swear this snotsucker is easily just as addictive as it is disgusting! the satisfaction that comes from clearing out that goop from her poor little nose is disturbing. it truly pulls out so much and helps her breathe so much better!
along with these few items, I’ve done a few other things to hopefully help.
four. we put a few magazines under one side of her crib to elevate it a bit to hopefully keep any fluid out of her ears!
five. {extra sleep} we are definitely not on any type of regimented schedule around here, but I have noticed she’s been wanting to sleep much more. some days more often and some days for longer periods of time, but its definitely taken a toll on her energy levels.
six. {mama time} just in case she wasn’t clingy enough, we’ve spent lots of time nursing, cuddling, standing in the steamy bathroom, and sleeping {well she is sleeping while I awkwardly try not to let my arms fall asleep}. I’m soaking in the extra squeezes and kisses but hope she get a little bit of independence back soon!
it has been so hard to see her not feeling well, but I’m also kind of glad to get our first germ session out of the way {I’ve been overly protective and worried about it since she was born!}.
do you have any tried and true products or tips to help heal a sick baby?

Home Design: Master Bedroom

happy Friday! this week has just flown by {when do they not?} and I’m so excited for a weekend with the hubby home! although I’ve primarily documented my pregnancy and little one on this blog, I wanted to expand a bit into the realm of home renovation and decor over the next few months since we will be starting a complete renovation of our house! with a project this big, the design and decor aspects are both exciting and intimidating! since the project is still in planning mode {we are about 4-6 weeks out}, I’m excited to take you with me through the process of brainstorming, construction and final design! I’m sure a lot of the decor will be a slow process transitioning from our current furniture to new pieces once the house is finished, but a girl can dream! Am I right?!
first up, is our master bedroom. I really want to create a unified feeling throughout the whole house using mostly neutrals but I’ve also been obsessing over blues lately, especially navy so I want to incorporate that! I found this article on Pinterest about how to create a “whole home color palette” so I’ve been exploring that idea and using these inspiration boards that I’m creating as my plan! Stephanie, over on Olive & Tate just went through a huge home project {with a one year old and an amazing sense of humor} and I’ve been so excited for her “after” reveals and cannot wait for our own!
Master Bedroom
although I haven’t purchased any of this new furniture, I’ll link it all below just in case you love it as much as I do! clearly I’m obsessed with Pottery Barn, who isn’t?!
hope everyone enjoys FRIYAY and your weekend is full of sunshine and laughter!

Newborn Favorites

now that Aubrey is past the newborn stage and we are finally getting into a groove, I wanted to share some of the things that we {mostly I} loved when she was a bitty {and still do}!

Newborn Favorites
nipple balm. it took me over a month to try this cream.  I had been using ‘boobease’, and lanolin in the beginning and they were no match for the not so good latch that Aubrey had. this stuff was a lifesaver!
maternity tank. I totally have a mom uniform, and these are apart of it! these Liz Lange tanks from Target are awesome! so soft, long and stretchy! perfect for nursing {I always like to pull the neck down instead of the whole shirt up}, can be worn on their own or under a sweater or button up.
leggings. also apart of the uniform! I’ve been wearing these Gap leggings throughout by pregnancy.  they’re super soft, don’t fall down and I just love them!
bassinet. up until last night, literally, Aubrey has slept in the Halo Bassinest.  I originally planned on using the rock n’ play for night time, but I was nervous about her preferring sleeping so cozy in there and on an incline. the bassinest has been great! I loved that I could roll over and see her right there, even reach over and touch her 100 times a night without getting up! #lazymomproblems one of the big things they advertise about this is the side that lowers so you can easily get out the baby from bed. I felt that it was a little awkward/difficult to push down, but I guess it helped out nonetheless! also, it has a wide base that sits on the floor. super stable, but for people with itty bitty bedrooms like me, it BARELY fit on the side of my bed!
nursing pillow. I have loved having the My Breast Friend pillow. I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted until I got a Boppy as a back up.  the MBF pillow latches on, so it doesn’t scoot away from your stomach when the baby is laying there and it is also ridiculous looking but awesome that I could walk around the house and it would just help support her enough that I didn’t have to put her full weight on my arms! again… #lazymomproblems I do wish it wasn’t so difficult to get the cover on and off and that the pillow itself could be washed, but its foam so you can’t. also, the pocket is super convenient…phone, nursing bra pads, etc.
rock n play. even though I didn’t use the rock n play for bedtime, in the early weeks Aubrey napped in this all the time with me out in the living room! now, we use it for her to play in while I’m in the kitchen, when we are eating dinner, when I’m doing laundry and want to move her around the house! basically anytime she is over being on the floor and I can’t hold her that moment, this will buy us some extra time! I’ve always wished it had an attaching bar so she could have toys overhead! then when I bought one for our friends for their baby shower, the one they registered for had it!! its a bit late now, but I wish they had sold it separately!
swaddle. after one of our prep classes at Kaiser where they talked about the Halo Sleepsack, I had it in my head that it was the only one we should use because it was ‘Kaiser approved’.  it ended up being great {even though I’ve tried other ones and am not so neurotic about it anymore}! she can still get her arms out sometimes, even when she was a few weeks she could, but I really like it!
water bottle. just like pregnancy, I am eating and drinking ALL. THE. TIME! a water bottle you love to carry around from room to room, or multiple to keep around the house, was essential. I noticed myself not having enough hands to carefully carry a cup, so a bottle has been perfect!
pacifier. even though Aubrey only used a pacifier correctly for like 2 weeks around 2.5 months, she still loves her Wubbanub pacifier! she chews on the side of it and cuddles geoffrey the giraffe all the time!
netflix. this is totally just for mom, but I’ve spent countless hours on the couch feeding, burping, and napping with the baby! I don’t think I could have made it through if I didn’t have 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy to get me to that 3 month mark!

I’m sure there are many more favorites, some being super obvious {what would I have done with out Scary Mommy and mom.me articles on Facebook at 1, 3 and 5 am}, but those are the ones that stood out in my forgetful mind! Aubrey is already approaching the 6 month mark and there are SO many new things about to happen and I’m so excited! eating, crawling, more interest in toys…anyone have any good recommendations for this stage? happy Monday friends!

{Mama} Confessions

I’m slowly getting back into this blog, hopefully in a more regular routine! This morning has been awesome! The babe slept for 8.5 hours straight, has been totally happy and taken 2 good naps! It’s still before noon {well it was when I started this…then baby life happened} and I’m thinking back to all of the things I’ve done this morning that {I really hope} I’m not alone in! I thought it would make for a silly/quick post that will reach all those mama’s at home!

one. I confess I desperately needed a shower this morning and instead of doing so during Aubrey’s awesome 1.5 hour nap, I caught up on the bachelorette and ate breakfast. {don’t worry, I did shower…just played ‘rush while baby is playing outside the bathroom door’ after I fed her}

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{just replace WINE with COFFEE because a. I can’t stay up late enough to watch it live b. it was like 8am and c. even if I would drink wine that early, I have a child at home}

two. speaking of breakfast, the hubby and I decided to start Whole 30 after his sister’s wedding this weekend. I confess it is my mission to eat all of the sugar, carbs and dairy in this house before Monday! {maybe I’ll attempt a check in series to keep me accountable…clearly I need something!}

three. I’m in my sister in law’s wedding this weekend and never realized how much work it is to be a girl {now that I’m about to type this, I realize I’m a bit excessive}! BB {before baby} I confess I would spend days primping…manicure & pedicure, hair appointment, waxing, eyebrows threaded and worked on a tan for weeks! Ridiculous!  Now, it’s all about the essentials! Pick and chose which areas of grooming are totally necessary and get a spray tan {a months work of relaxing sunshine in a bottle}! the other catch, make all of those “essential” appointments in a 2 hour period when you have a babysitter!

four. I confess, I cleaned the bathroom with wipes this morning! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a clever ecard about this… yup!

five. my cousin in law {totally a thing…even though I’ll just say cousin from now on} tagged me in this video on FB this week and I confess, I think I need to do this…maybe it will be apart of my sugar binge before Monday! 😉 #eatallthesugar


hope everyone has a great week! have you done any confession worthy things this week?