Five on Friday | National Coffee Day

The last Friday in September…where has the time gone! I’m so excited to bring on the fall activities. I am joining April, Christina, and Natasha for their 5 on Friday link up!

one | As if being Friday wasn’t exciting enough, today is National Coffee Day! You know I will be celebrating ALL. DAY. LONG.

two | Speaking of coffee, I checked one thing off my bucket list! I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. Every year I have to be festive and every year I feel like its not my thing. But I ordered it with only half of the flavor pumps and it was way better!

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three | I got those olive leggings from target a couple weeks ago and I LOVE them! High waisted, stretchy, and perfect for fall. They had a few other styles and I think I’ve gotta head back. They were on sale at the time, I’m not sure if they still are.

four | Sharon (from MamaChitChat) and I got to have the most fun experience over the weekend and I cannot wait to tell you all about it! I love going to the Stonehaus!

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five|Next week, the first Thursday of the month Sharon and I will be hosting our third month of our color inspiration link up! We would love you to participate and share!! Can’t wait to share all things black for October. You can check out August and September.

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Hope you guys have a happy friYAY and a wonderful weekend welcoming October!

xoxo

Whitney

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!

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Fall Bucket List

It’s Fall you guys! The decor is coming out, the temperatures have been in the 70s-80s here in Southern California (which is a sad excuse for fall – I know) and I’ve got all the fall spice diffuser blends going! Autumn is in the air! Now that the girls are getting older, I am so excited to start incorporating some more seasonal traditions and to experience their joy! I put together a little Fall Bucket List and I thought I would share some memories from past Fall experiences to kick off the season!

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one| Last years fall photos were such a good memory. Aubrey was crazy, but Blake was just old enough to be aware of what was going on and they turned out really cute!

|if you missed it, I wrote a post about choosing outfits for family photos here|

two| Camping. Although we go camping throughout the whole year, we save some spots just for fall and we love it!

three| Visiting the Pumpkin Patch – Field trips, with friends, with family…basically any reason to go to the farm!

four| Annual walk to dinner with friends and trick or treat! Aubrey’s first Halloween we started a tradition with my Mom Squad where we walk to dinner close by our neighborhood and then trick or treat our way back home. Such a fun night!

five| Wear festive jammies. Who doesn’t love a cute set of jammies for the holiday?!

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I cannot wait for all of the memories to be made this year! Hope this first week of Fall has treated you well! Cheers to pumpkin spice lattes and boots!

xoxo

Whitney

p.s. Next Thursday join Sharon and I for our THIRD edition of our monthly link up! We’d love to have you!

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Five on Friday | Kicking the Cold Bug

Fall is officially on the horizon – our house was hit by our first cold. Poor Blake was the first to get it and my husband was the next. I’m usually so much better about prepping our immune systems but I got lazy – and here we are! You better bet I’m pulling out all the stops for Aubrey and I so we can avoid it and get the other two healthy ASAP!

In light of the coming seasons, my Five on Friday is dedicated to ways we are staying on top of our wellness using essential oils. I’ve mentioned here and there that our family uses oils in our home, but this is a little more in depth! If you’ve been curious about oils or have your starter kit and want to expand to more this will be great! You can also read a little more about oils by going to the “Essential Oils” tab in my top menu! There is a general overview and information about joining me also! You can also follow along with my oily Instagram for more tips and tricks!

one | I spent an afternoon this week refilling all of our roller ball bottles with immunity boosting blends that we put on the bottoms of our feet each morning (& night now that we need some extra help). Our most used oil this time of year is Thieves and I can’t tell you enough about its benefits!

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two | Ningxia Red is boost of antioxidant power! Just what out bodies need right now! If I was a quick boost I drink it straight, but lately I’ve been adding a bit of sparkling water and either a drop of Lime Vitality or Grapefruit Vitality! Such a yummy afternoon pick me up! Aubrey’s been having it this week too…I just water hers down a bit so it isn’t as full flavor for her and she loves it and calls it her “vitamin juice”, haha.

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three | Sleep! Sleep is what we all desire around here and when we are kicking a bug or trying to stay healthy I try to get myself and give the girls as much as possible! We start our bedtime routine a bit earlier and I diffuse at their naps too (sometime I don’t always do). Out of the bath, we use the Seedlings Baby Lotion and it has the most amazing calming scent for the girls! (We also put the Immunity roller on the bottoms of their feet or along Aubrey’s spine for an extra boost) Peace & Calming blended with orange helps us wind down while we read books and I’ll talk about their bedtime, diffuser blend next!

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four | At bedtime while dad reads books with the girls, I fill their humidifiers (if they do have the sniffles) and their diffusers. At the moment we are loving oils from the KidScents line! Snifflease is perfect help support their little noses! I’ll add a couple of drops of that with a drop of lavender for a great sleepy time blend! Or for Aubrey who is staying healthy, I’m using Sleepyize with a drop of Cedarwood. LOVE!

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five | Clean clean clean! Even at 2.5 and 13 months, my girls put EVERYTHING in their mouths still! Blake is still exploring and Aubrey uses her mouth as a tool if she needs an extra hand. I use my Thieves Cleaner on just about everything! If they’ve been playing with a few specific things for the majority of the day I try to clean those that night, and I do an all over toy wipe down every few days when they’re sick or every few weeks normally! Also laundry. I feel like Blake’s sheets get all sorts of snot on them, so I’ve been washing them every other day and adding a couple of drops of Thieves oil into the load!

Hope you guys have a happy and healthy friYAY and a wonderful weekend!

BONUS: If you’ve been interested in essential oils or this just intrigued you and you’re ready to jump in, email me and mention this blog post. I’ll get you all joined up on our team with exclusive access to our wonderful support system and a FREE bottle of Thieves  Household Cleaner!

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xoxo

Whitney

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!

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Life’s Essentials: Keeping a Routine

As a SAHM, its up to me to structure my day. As much as I love a list and filling my calender, I have to work really hard to not get in a rut. I find that I can let hours pass in the morning playing with the girls, attempting to do laundry or cleaning up the kitchen from the night before. By the time I’ve gotten us together enough to get out of the house, its time for lunch and naps! (for reals my life revolves around nap schedules right now!)

Now that our fall schedule is back in place, I’m trying to get myself into a routine to help our mornings run smoother and to help me feel successful at the end of the day! Whether you’re a CEO of a household or a CEO of a company – everyone wants to feel satisfied with their day, right?  Although the girls are just toddlers, we do have at least one out of the house class or activity everyday so that really helps motivate me to stick with some ground rules! These are some things that I know help our family be more calm and ready for the day and just help keep us all happy and organized!

Disclaimer: this is truly like one big pep talk to myself. By no means do I have it all figured out and this is just a way for me to organize my ideas for myself and feel accountable!

Preparation | “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin hit the nail on the head with that one. It is so simple, but it is the hardest thing for me to do. Procrastination has been the name of my game for years! Why would I pack our drinks/snacks/lunches the night before when I can do it in the morning when I’m rushing around with two kids at my feet?! Because. I want to feel ready for the day, and not frazzled first thing in the morning.

One load a day | Laundry is a task that I really don’t mind doing, but it can definitely turn into a lofty chore if it let it! Our hamper, the girls’ hampers, sheets, towels…I know everyone has to wash their clothes but why does it feel like we have enough laundry to cover the entire neighborhood for the week?! I’ve found that spending an entire day in the laundry room isn’t fun for me or the kids. So putting in a load in the morning that I can switch over at some point in the day and be done with by nap time is an easy way to eliminate the dread of tackling Mt. Everest once or twice a week!

Set an alarm |  Sleep is a hot commodity around here.  With a 2.5 and a 1 year old in the house, I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of “mombie” for the past few years. We have finally gotten into a good bedtime routine with the girls so that we get an hour or two to ourselves before we go to bed, but I’m still waking up once or twice at night with the little sis.  Even so, having 30-60 minutes to myself before the crazies wake up is a great way to start the day! Hot coffee, I can get ready if I want, empty the dishwasher in peace, or just relax on my phone or computer to blog. Do I still snooze?  Yes. But ultimately I try to remember how good I feel once I’ve had some time to myself first thing.

Keep a clean sink | Do you know how long it takes to put one coffee cup, one plate, and a couple of utensils in the dishwasher? Like 45 seconds. Do you know how long it takes to put an entire day’s worth of dishes in the dishwasher plus clean up from dinner?! It feels like an hour! Throughout the day I find it really easy to just set things in the sink and move on to the next thing. But you know what the bummer is? My mom isn’t coming behind me to wash them all! I am the mom…what?! At the end of the day after dinner, its better for all of us and our bedtime routine if dinner clean up is just that and not from the entire day!

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It has a place | We have a few areas of the house that can easily be considered a drop zone. Did I grab the mail? Set it by the phone. Did I just come in from running errands? Drop everything on the island. Do I have clean laundry? Leave it on the laundry room counter. This may be my worst habit. The kitchen can tend to become the ‘catch all’ area and soon feels like a cluttered disaster that seems like I can’t keep clean. By having a place for everything, it eliminates the clutter. By taking just a few minutes to put things away in their proper place I don’t feel like I have to overhaul the entire house to get it clean. I was watching InstaStories and Kate from The Small Things Blog (k8_smallthings) mentioned that she keeps her house within 10 minutes of clean. So at any point – for example if some company were to say they’re coming – you could get your house picked up within 10 minutes. Such a good rule.

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(In a dream world my kitchen would look like this all the time. It was short lived!)

These are some things I strive for but still have to work on each day.  When I take the time to prepare for my day I feel like the days run smoother and I enjoy my time with the girls more. Do you have any go-to tips for feeling prepped and ready for your day? I’d love to know!

xoxo

Whitney

Head over to Confessions of Parenting to find all sorts of home and family posts that linked up for the first #WanderingWednesday!

Wandering Wednesday

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Summer Weekend Recap

A full weekend brings with it so many memories – friends, laughs, and the occasional tired kid meltdown. Last weekend we had two birthday parties for the girls’ friends, one birthday BBQ for my dad, ran some errands, and got to spend Sunday afternoon swimming and having dinner with family.

Before all of the festivities, I started off on Friday afternoon with my amazingly talented friend Meadow (@MeadowStarLA) getting the prettiest set of lash extensions.  I don’t often wear a full face of makeup, but it is rare that I leave the house without mascara. It just makes me feel like I look alive and awake! No need anymore! I literally woke up Saturday morning feeling like I was ready for the day. I literally cannot feel anything different on my eyes, but I look in the mirror and have so much volume and curl. Honestly amazing!!

We got to experience a fun kids place on Friday night for a friends’ birthday. Scooters Jungle was so fun and SO exhausting! My kids LOVED to jump, climb, and go down the incredibly fast slide! We were out a bit late but they slept soooo good that night! Despite Aubrey’s pouty face in this photo she literally had the time of her life!

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Saturday morning was spent at Underwood Farms celebrating another toddler friend.  The farm is a place that we love on any day, but add in a horse drawn wagon ride and some barnyard animal cake pops and we got ourselves a winning destination!

Saturday afternoon we had my parents over to celebrate my dad’s birthday. The girls looked adorable in their new June & January outfits…I cannot wait for their fall line to come out!

Now that Aubrey’s been doing swimming lessons, afternoons in the pool are so much fun! She loves to show us the new things she is learning and practice her new skills! This is how Blake spent the majority of her Sunday. Double fisting sweet watermelon and making a juicy mess!

Hope you all had a fun filled weekend. For those being affected by Hurricane Harvey we are thinking about you all.

Happy Monday! Have a great week!

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

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