Color Inspiration | August 2017

One of my good friends Sharon is also a lifestyle blogger over at Mama Chit Chat. We met in a mommy and me class for my oldest and her youngest and have stuck with our friendship beyond class since then! We both participate in other link ups we love and decided, “Hey…why don’t we host one?”. And here we are! Our first monthly link up sharing things that inspire us in a pretty way – by color. We would love to have you join us! This month – Red!

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RED| There is still over a month left of summer and we are taking advantage of the sweet berries right now! My dad brought us a flat fresh from Oxnard the other day and I’m pretty sure my girls would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if they could! I love using my Thieves Fruit & Veggie Spray to make sure they’re squeaky clean for the girls!

(strawberry close up and raspberry images via Google)

RED| If ya’ll know me, you’d know I’m not a lipstick gal.  I’ve always been chapstick obsessed but never made the effort to wear lipstick.  Between having to re apply it all the time, worrying about it on my teeth, or smudging when I ate…I just decided it wasn’t worth it. Enter LipSense – the lipcolor taking the mom groups by storm.  I swiped on this everlasting, smudge-proof lip color at a friends house for the first time and knew I could get on board. All the things I disliked about traditional lipstick were a non issue! Now I’m not saying I wear it all the time (heck, my daily routine is a layer of mascara if I’m lucky) but if I’m making the effort to put on a full face of makeup and get dressed, I love adding it to complete my look! The most daring color of all…RED! Try it. You won’t regret it. My girl Melanie can answer all of your burning questions and get it in your hands ASAP!

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RED| I can’t have a post all about red without bringing up Ningxia Red! If you follow me on any other social media platforms, you’ll know that we are a Young Living family! I love to incorporate essential oils into our daily routines and have made a few changes with our household products (nothing crazy…I still shop at Target and wear deodorant – don’t worry!).  One of my favorite additions to enhance my health has been drinking Ningxia Red, Young Living’s antioxidant rich drink. I love the support for my energy levels, and knowing it’s benefiting my body down to the cellular level!

That’s my RED inspiration for the month! What is inspiring you? Are you seeing red everywhere reminding you of back to school? Or that infamous bullseye that we can’t stay away from and love to give all of our money to? (side note: I’ve heard Target is changing brands/layout and so much more! I’ve been steering clear if I don’t truly “need” anything but I’m excited to see the changes!)

I cannot wait to come together next month with all the BLUE things! Want to link up? Look below!

Add this graphic to your post and link up below! We would love to share your post with others!

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LINK UP!

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…its a great way to find new blogs and be found!

xoxo

Whitney

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How to Plan: Family Photo Outfits

I love to take family photos.  Something about documenting a certain stage in life with beautiful photos brings me joy! Although I can't always predict how it will go with two kids – (I leave it up to our amazing photographer to capture the magic that she does), I can make sure we look put together! I may spend a bit more time than some on deciding our outfits, but I've got a good system down and I love having something to shop for-whether its in a store or our closets!  Here's some tips on choosing outfits for your family's photo session:

one. Decide on a time frame/special occasion for your photos. Are you taking pictures for Christmas cards or a special birthday? Will you be taking them in the spring or the fall? Obviously if you're taking photos in the summer you don't want to be wearing sweaters and jeans and if its fall photos you're doing, you may want the overall look to be more cozy!

 

You can also add to this with accessories. Here in Southern California, there was really no need to a blanket scarf in the fall, but it looked super cute on our Christmas Cards! For Aubrey's first birthday photos, I added a party hat and a fun accessory to bring in her party theme just for a few photos.

two. Choose a location.  Your photographer may be able to help you with this – but once you have a time frame, location is a big factor in deciding our look.  Typically if I mention the beach or something rustic, our photographer Alex will have a few options up her sleeve for us.  I love light and bright colors on the beach. Keep in mind if you're going somewhere that has specific colors or decor, you don't want to clash or blend in. I've noticed browns and olive greens may not work in a more rustic location with lots of trees and long grass.

 

three. Once you know when and where your session is taking place, the coordinating begins! Choose your starting outfit. For me, it's typically mine (mama's gotta look good, haha). I know my girls look cute in anything and it's easy to find a shirt for my husband to go with anything. Sometimes my outfit is neutral, and sometimes it has a pattern or makes a statement. Once I've found something for me that goes with the overall feel I'm going for, I move on to the girls, and then my husband.

 

burgundy dress is LuLaRoe | floral and green ombre were both LC by Lauren Conrad at Kohls | white dress is Knox Rose at Target | sequin dress was from Rent the Runway

four. The kids. As cute as matching outfits are for two sisters, I like them to be different so they don't just look like one blob. Since my girls are young, we tend to hold them often so I like some contrast. I usually do one in a pattern and one in a solid. Or two solids with different textures. Just some difference to make it interesting! Depending on your preference, you can choose a color from the pallet of your starting outfit, or an opposite yet complimenting color. One way I like to keep a bold look more simple is to keep something consistent like denim pants.

 

The girls' white outfit details are in a recent post.

five. My husband. For men, and especially those who don't like to play dress up, simple is key. Family photos are not his idea of a great day, so I try to make his outfit as painless as possible! His go to look: pants and a button up. If I want a more dressed up look I find a long sleeve and he wears nicer shoes. If I want a more relaxed look, I go for a short sleeve and boots. I want to be sure we all look cohesive in this way.  If I have on a floor length dress, it only seems fitting that his shirt is a bit dressier and on the contrary, if the girls look more relaxed, I want us to also feel casual! His shirt is usually simple (unless our overall look needs a pattern or something) and compliments my outfit alone and the girls clothes. I always like to sneak in a photo of just us, so I want the two of us to look complimentary on our own.

 

The last tip is find a photographer whose style you love and would want to see in your home. I found Alex from Alexandra Kayy Photography while I was pregnant with Aubrey and she has been capturing the special moments in our lives ever since! I love knowing that our memories are in good hands! She's been at the hospital the day after my babies were born and documented our girls as they've grown. I cannot thank her enough for the gifts she has given us through photographs!

Check her out here: Facebook | Instagram | Website

I hope you enjoy coordinating your family's outfits for your next family photo session! Do you have any tried and true tips for good family photos? I'd love to hear!


Here's a quick version of these tips:

one. Time frame/Season/Occasion

two. Location

three. Inspiration Outfit

four. Compliment with texture, pattern, solid, colors

five. Cohesive as a whole – bring in elements for consistency (i.e. denim)

Love your photographer!


xoxo

Whitney

 

These are the days…

These are the days.

The days you should “cherish every moment”. The days that “are going to fly by”. The days that “you’ll look back on one day and miss”.  We’ve all been told by our moms, our friends, and that old lady at the grocery store that says “you’ve got your hands full!”.

This may be true. But these are also the hard days. The days that never seem to end. The days that turn into nights (you know – the time most people in the world are sleeping but you’re still awake with a baby). The days that you clean up the damage left by one tornado, only to turn around and find another devastation in the next room. These are the days that you notice at 3 pm that you’re still in your pajamas. Or you’re reaching for the dry shampoo for the third day in a row. These days you have every intention of doing “a load a day so you can keep up” with the laundry, but just remembered it’s been sitting in the wash since yesterday morning.  These days, dinner ranges from home made enchiladas on a good day, to cheese quesadillas and beans the next because cooking is hard.

These are also the days that we need to give ourselves grace.  We need to know that as long as your kids are fed, clean, and loved – they think you’re perfect.  They don’t mind cheese quesadillas for the 3rd day in a row for lunch or the occasional baby wipes bath. They don’t care if you put on a bra today, or if you’re rocking the mom bun – again.  In fact, my daughters newest request is “a big bun just like you!” Their innocent eyes don’t see those thoughts in your head comparing yourself to that “perfect Instagram mom”, or the guilt you are feeling for giving them noddles covered in powdered cheese. They see their perfect mom.  Their perfect mom sings that special song she made up, does the hot dog dance with them in her pajamas at 3pm, and let’s them stand at the counter to stir in the powdered cheese and cook together!

We don’t have to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, the perfect employee…

We should be their perfect mom,  a version of his perfect wife that this season of life allows, and the homemaker that makes us feel good! We may be that woman in the grocery store who thinks back on these long days and realizes they did fly by. For now, we must find joy in the little successes and know that its okay if you want to forget about those few moments when you felt crazy instead of cherishing them.

Photos by Alexandra Kayy Photography

Here’s to giving ourselves grace, and knowing that those pics on Instagram are a highlight reel (as are the photos above). I’m currently drinking cold coffee at 11am in pajamas.

xoxo

Whitney

Just Push Publish

I am a planner and can tend to be a perfectionist. I’ve found that the biggest thing that comes from this combo is procrastination! Between the list making, drafting, preparing, and making sure everything is going to be just right, there’s never time to get anything accomplished. 


As a mom, I’ve found perfection does not exist. I have to ignore the fact that my kitchen isn’t hardly ever clean, the laundry hampers are never empty, the dinner isn’t always ready on time (or made at all…thank goodness for takeout!), and we aren’t always going to look put together. I’ve also learned as a mom that life passes anyway. The days go on whether the house is cleaned or not. The girls grow one day older each night whether they get a bath or not. So I must do the things. Have a play date – even when it looks like a school bus of toddlers already destroyed your house, meet with a friend – even when you should be doing laundry instead, let them take the photo – even if you didn’t do your hair that day, and go after your goals – even when you feel like you need more time to prepare. I have realized I need to just jump in, not dip my toes and chicken out. Should I make a plan – yes. But should I use my fear of something not being perfect hold me back from making progress – definitely no! Baby steps are still steps forward. And that’s what I’m taking! 


So here’s to opening up, connecting with others, and just pushing publish. Our lives aren’t perfect, but it’s the perfect life for us! 

Xoxo

Whitney

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!)