Big Girl Room Design

How my first baby is ready for a big girl room is beyond me! Time is a thief but as much as I’d like to keep her little forever, I think she is ready for this step.  She is creating her own opinions and growing up to be such a strong, loving, yet stubborn girl.  Daily I find myself treading between “cultivate her leadership skills” and “this girl is going to drive me to the crazy house” – but that is whole other blog post!

(A photo collage is necessary, obviously because this milestone calls for some serious reminiscing!)

For now, let’s stick to the easy stuff! Designing a space is so much fun! We are keeping the overall feel of her room the same – neutrals with pink accents and lots of unicorns – just updating! We got a rocking unicorn from Pottery Barn as well as a couple matching stuffed animals from her baby shower and she has grown to LOVE her “uni’s”.

We love the Jenny Lind crib that both of the girls have and I was so excited to see that there was a matching twin bed. I wasn’t so excited about the price though! After a little searching, I found a Jenny Lind option from Walmart. How exciting, right?! And a much better price point.

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After the bed, I was searching for bedding and ultimately Target was the place! The Pillowfort collection was perfect for style and price and even outside of the Pillowfort collection, the comforter was very reasonable! I know the pillows and comforter will end up on the floor or touched with sticky hands and I couldn’t bring myself to make the investment from Pottery Barn or Land of Nod, unfortunately! The best part is that they have had a unicorn head to mount to the wall that I’ve had my eye on for months! This flower is the perfect shade of pink and I just know Aubrey will be obsessed with the ballerina doll! The crown pillow is the perfect princess accent and I cannot wait to create a little reading/hang out nook with the canopy! The ruffly comforter is the perfect girly touch along with the metallic heart sheets that match the canopy!

We’ve had some wall decor waiting to hang since we’ve remodeled, so I cannot wait to get it all situated! I’ll definitely share the ‘after’ pictures once we’ve got it set up!

That was the easy part – now I just have to figure out how to make the transition to a bed from her crib! Any tips?

Happy humpday! May the rest of your week be a good one!

xoxo

Whitney

 

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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Potty Training Essentials

I’m not sure if there is any task more daunting than teaching a toddler how to use the toilet.  As yucky as it may seem, diapers are pretty darn convenient – expensive, but convenient! Car rides, lines at the grocery store, restaurants without bathrooms – all of these situations are stressful enough even without the added pressure of a possible accident! It never fails though. There comes a time when the thought of potty training creeps into your head. Someone at preschool, a great aunt, or that crunchy mama who is still breastfeeding and used cloth diapers who now has a 16-month-old using the potty, all have an opinion about why your child should be potty trained NOW.  The holiday weekend before Aubrey’s second birthday I thought we were ready. I thought I was gonna “keep her naked for three days and she would be potty trained by Monday!” HA! We tried this method for about 8 hours, and after the 10th time cleaning up pee off the floor I was over it.

Fast forward a few months and I was as ready as I would ever be to try again. That was the best decision. Tip #1: You just can’t force something on a toddler until they’re ready! Tip #2: I don’t think there is any “magic method”. We had the basic idea of having on just underwear for easy on/off and so she could feel herself if she was wet, and setting a timer to try going in intervals. We lucked out with our timing and it clicked after a couple of days. Do we still have accidents? Now and again. Does she battle sitting on the potty to poop? Yup. Or when shes in the middle of playing or watching her favorite show? You bet. But she’s getting better and I just think that is the way it goes with a strong willed two year old!

After spending hours sitting next to the potty and a few months of practice, I’ve rounded up some of the essentials for a pleasant potty experience!

(disclaimer: by no means is all of the “necessary”, it has just made life with a potty training toddler and little sister always in tow a bit more convenient. *contains affiliate links)

 

Potty Training Essentials
So much stuff, right? Well let me tell you – its worth it! We started off with just the mini potty at home. I loved that it wasn’t too much of an eye sore and she loved that it was “just her size!” It makes a little flush noise when you pull the handle and the lid comes off the back so you can store wipes or, like Aubrey, hide toys in. Soon after came the step stool and faucet extender because this mama was tired of lifting her up to wash her hands a million times a day! Once she got the hang of the potty, we changed out the seat on the closest bathroom to our living area. This may seem a bit dramatic, but let me tell you, its so nice to not have to deal with one of those little cushion seats and having to hang or store it somewhere. The kid seat just magnets to the lid and when Aubrey is going to use it, she just has to open the whole lid and then pull it down for the “perfect size seat!”
I’m pretty sure I avoided leaving the house for over a week once we started this! The thought of traveling or being caught somewhere without easy access to a restroom was scary! That’s where the OXO travel potty comes in! You guys – its genius! We’ve used this at the park, in the back of my car, and I’m not even ashamed to say, on the patio of a restaurant that didn’t have a bathroom! (I swear she was blocked by the walls and the stroller – you gotta do what you gotta do!) Even when we go in a public restroom, you can either lay the legs flat to use on top of the toilet, or just use it on its own. The bags that come with it are also amazing! I cannot even count how many times this thing has saved us over the past few months! Also, the hand purifier and spray are perfect for those potty breaks in the trunk or when I’ve got too much going on with a toddler and a baby and washing hands in a sink just isn’t going to happen! My faves are the Thieves line from Young Living! If you haven’t heard me rave about it, you can read up here and here!
Unfortunately for me, I do not own this car seat protector, but you better bet when searching for this stuff to link on Amazon I ordered it! Nothing is worse than hearing, “Mommy I pee-pee’d!” from the back seat! This would have saved so much time!
I hope this post was helpful! If you have a potty trained toddler, YAY YOU! If you’re thinking about starting this milestone, I hope for a smooth transition!
Do you have any potty training essentials that you couldn’t live without?! I’d love to hear about them!
xoxo
Whitney
| This blog post may contain affiliate links that I receive a small commission on.  Every product I review or recommend is something I would use or purchase myself.  I am grateful for your support and love for the brands and companies that support the Whitney Michaels blog.   |
* Whitney Michaels is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Miss Blake Annebelle

In the early days of this blog, I spent the majority of my time documenting my pregnancy with my first daughter, Aubrey.  Its like life was in hyper drive during the newborn stage and then we jumped into a home renovation and moved out of our house – all the while I fell off the blogging schedule. So much has happened in the last two and a half years including another baby! Our little Blake is ONE and I am just in disbelief. The days and nights may have sometimes felt like they’d never end but the weeks just flew by! Since so much was dedicated to Aubrey, I wanted to post a bit about Blake too!

We announced to our family on Christmas Eve 2015 that Aubrey would be a BIG SISTER (she was 10 months old)!

 

Being pregnant with a young baby was so much different than the first go around! With Aubrey, I worked at an office and spent most of my days sitting. This pregnancy required so much more energy that I didn’t have.  I was still getting up at night with Aubrey and rarely spent time just sitting.  It didn’t seem ideal at the time, but I was so grateful to be living at my mother in laws.  It was amazing to have an extra set of hands when dealing with that crazy little girl! I was grateful to have had a healthy pregnancy again, and a busy one! Aubrey turned ONE in February, we moved back into our newly renovated home in March, and spent the last weeks getting our house in order (as much as possible anyway – does this process ever end?!). I was due July 24, and three days later (just like her sissy) Blake was born on July 27, 2016 at 3:15PM. There has never been a more overwhelming yet joyful moment than when Aubrey (who was 17 months) came to meet her little sister the next morning!

 

In one year, our family has grown so much! Blake is the perfect addition to our lives and we couldn’t be more thankful for two healthy, smart, and beautiful girls!

Happy Birthday to our sweet, yet tough and determined little girl. We love you so so much!

| all of our photos were taken by Alex of Alexandra Kayy Photography |

I cannot wait to share all about her birthday celebrations!

xoxo

Whitney