Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sister Style: Little Black Cats

It feels like fall has arrived earlier than usual around here.  The temps have dropped, the leaves have slightly started to change colors + the girls have their first colds of the season.  If there's anything worse than seeing your baby sick, it's seeing both of your babies sick.  Seriously, so heartbreaking!

While we're busy drowning under a sea of tissues, I'm trying my best to be optimistic about the change in seasons (although I am definitely still on team long live summer over here)!  While dressing one little girl is lots of fun, there might not be anything more fun than getting to dress two little girls, and one of my favorite things about fall is seeing all the kitty-themed clothes hit the shelves!  It's no secret that we are big feline fans over here.  We have three of our own (which often feels like a zoo), including one handsome, fluffy black boy. ;)  I'm sure this season will involve a little bit of coordinating sister kitty gear, and today I've rounded up a few of my favorite finds this fall!

There are tons of sales going on for the holiday weekend, a perfect opportunity to grab some festive finds! 

 Here are a couple throwback pictures to our resident cat lady in training over the years!  I can't wait to see my TWO girls wearing cat ears in the very near future.


Hope you all enjoy your unofficial kick off to all things fall this Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Enjoying August

I feel like I start so many of my posts saying how time is flying, but how are we already in the last full week of August?!  Having a new baby has definitely made this summer be a little bit of  blur.  We are hoping to spend the next couple weeks enjoying what's left of it before pumpkin-flavored everything starts to bombard us... of course, that's not saying that I'm not excited about fall this year!  I've been busy planning Halloween costumes, doing a little fall shopping for the girls (mostly for Ellie, because hand-me-downs) and reading all the Halloween books five hundred times over (per the toddlers request).  Ellie also starts dance class in just a few short weeks and I can't wait to see what she thinks! :) She doesn't get to play with kids her own age too often so I'm excited for her that she will have an opportunity to interact with some other little girlies.

We've also been working on a little fireplace/mantle renovation (well, Tyler has been) that I've been looking forward to for awhile!  Hopefully it'll be done in time to decorate for fall, but what I'm really excited about is decorating it for Christmas!! Yes, I know it's only August but I know I can't be the only one who's already brainstorming presents from Santa. ;)

In the meantime, we have been enjoying August and doing some summery things - busy visiting family, going to birthday parties + Lo's very first beach trip!

These girlies have definitely kept me on my toes this summer, but we always manage to have a little fun and I'm so looking forward to what the next season will bring for us! :)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Essential Oils for Everyday Living

I mentioned a few posts back that I had ordered my essential oils starter kit and have had it for about a month now.  I will admit that both Tyler and I were a little bit skeptical about oils, but we were pretty desperate to find something to help Ellie sleep better at night and willing to try just about anything.  Turns out, we are using and loving them more than we had anticipated so I wanted to share a few of the ways we've incorporated oils into our everyday lives in such a short period of time!

1.) To wake up. // Putting oils in the diffuser first thing in the morning is one of my favorite things to do, especially on weekdays when I'm home just with the girls.  My favorite pick-me-up blend is Peppermint + Lemon!

2.) To keep sick germs away. // Thieves is the mother of all immune system boosters!  I've added it to my coffee (so good on cooler mornings!), diffused it with Lemon and made a roller with coconut oil to apply to our feet.  When Tyler came home from work not feeling so well one night, I made added a drop to a hot cup of water for him to drink before bed and it totally did the trick!  If you have kids who are going back to school, attend daycare or even ever come in contact with the outside world, I can't recommend this enough. I know we're going to benefit so much from Thieves all cold season long!

3.) To keep calm. // I love Stress Away on my wrists, and I also made a roller of Peace + Calming and Lavender for myself.  Any and all oils to help when my little monkeys are starting to drive me a little bonkers! ;)

4.) To cook with. // Yes, you can cook with oils too!! The Vitality oils (white labels) and their corresponding "regular" bottles are safe to ingest (as well as diffuse and apply topically). This is perfect for someone like me who tends to forget to buy fresh ingredients or forgets about them in the fridge for a little too long.  Lemon + Peppermint come with the Premium Starter Kit (and taste great in iced water too!), but there are tons of other oils available to use in the kitchen. I have Orange + Grapefruit coming my way soon, and hope to add a few additional ones (like Cloves + Cinnamon) for the fall months!

5.). To do laundry. // There's a big "ditch and switch" mentality when it comes to incorporating oils into your everyday lives. What I mean by that is using oils (or other natural products) in place of many store bought products that might include some not-so-pretty ingredients.  As Tyler tells me, I am a definite realist, so I will say that we're not about to switch out all of the products that we use, but we hope to take some baby steps with this process. One of the easiest things I could think to do was switch out dryer sheets for wool balls.  I already had the wool balls from before Ellie was born and I was afraid to wash any of her clothes with dryer sheets in case they irritated her skin. I just dug them back out this weekend (from Ellie's toy bin, she had been borrowing them), added a few drops of oils and popped them into the dryer! So easy and our laundry smells great.

6.) To tame our manes. // I am working on perfecting my hair detangler recipe for Ellie's crazy snarls, but have been using our Beach Waves spray on both of us already! It's super easy to make and smells great too.

7.) To replace traditional beauty products. // I bought jojoba oil to use as a carrier oil, but have been loving using it as an eye makeup remover! I've also added a bit of Frankincense to it and used it as a moisturizer.  Copaiba works well on blemishes too.

8.) To make all the boo-boos better. // I've made rollers for all the things and LOVE them!  An owie roller for the girl who's always getting bumps + bruises, sniffles for allergy relief, soothe for sore muscles + tummy for those days of unsettled bellies - just to name a few! Rollers are my favorite way to use oils so far, we are seriously always reaching for them!!

 9.) To make our house smell good + clean. // Our house is usually not the cleanest (or atleast not the most organized), but a few drops in the diffuser make it feel so much cleaner even when it's not. ;)  A drop of Purification on a paper towel helps keep the smelly diapers or food from taking over the trash can too!

10.) To get a better night's sleep. // Last but certainly not least!! The reason we invested in our kit and are so glad we did.  The more you use oils, the more they will benefit you and we've seen some pretty big improvements in Ellie's sleep patterns already. She still has trouble calming down some nights, but once she's asleep, she does so much better than she was doing before. We roll her feet with Lavender and use a linen spray on her pillows + stuffed puppy every night before bed.  Ells loves this new bedtime routine and we do too!

These are just a handful of the ways we've used oils so far, you can follow along our oily Instagram account (@lullabiesandlavender) to see more.  If you're interested in getting started with oils yourself, you can find out how here! :)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mini Style // Little Monsters

Ellie seems to have developed an infatuation with all things monsters lately, which seems a little ironic + very fitting for her. ;) I had the bright idea of doing a three-day rental of Monsters Inc. since she had never seen it, and I'm honestly not sure who was sadder to see it end.  Let's just say, we definitely got our money's worth! I'm guessing there are so many monster-y things out right now because Halloween is coming up soon (kind of), but these styles are so cute for any little monster to wear all year-round! Today I've rounded up a few of my favorites to share, all of which I know Ells would love.

Who would have thought monsters could be so cute?!  Speaking of, this is Ellie's monster face - scary cute, right? :)

Happy shopping, friends!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

From One to Two.

Everyone asks me lately how it is with two kids and my first reaction is always to say that "it's busy".  We're not busy doing crazy, fun activities all day long, we're just busy living our lives.  I'm busy being a mom.  I'm busy making sure my babies are happy(ish, usually), fed + healthy.  I'm busy getting snacks, wiping away tears + wiping little bums.  Busy cleaning up spilt drinks + spit-up.  Busy trying to keep up with laundry + keep our house from looking like a complete disaster.  I'm busy watching my baby girl learn how to really smile + my big girl learn how to use the potty.

Since Ellie gave up naps back in February, we are going, going, going from morning until night. Lo wakes up between 5-6 and Ells between 6-7.  Ells goes to bed around 8 and Lo around 10.  Between the hours of 10pm and 5am there are usually 2-3 wake up calls - 1 from Ellie and 1-2 from Lo.  Not a lot can get done during the day since Ells doesn't nap and Lo prefers to be held while she does.  We scramble to get things done as time permits (and hands are free) - I cook dinner every night with both girls as my sous chefs and Tyler and I tag team the bathtime/bedtime routine, usually trying to keep our eyes open ourselves by the time both girls are asleep.  I have to tell myself every day that it's okay if I don't get everything on my to-do list done, if every single toy is still out on the playroom floor when I go to bed or there's still piles of clothes to put away (things that would normally drive me crazy, and usually still do). We feel like we don't really do anything, but at the same time are doing all the things.

I've heard so many people say that going from one to two kids was the hardest transition, and I guess I can understand why.  I think it depends a lot on the age gap between kids, their personalities, abilities + dependency levels too.  We've always wanted to have our babies pretty close in age and love that Ellie and Willow will be so close growing up.  Ellie loves her sister but she's also two years old.  She still wants or needs us to do pretty much everything with her.  She will kindly instruct me to put Lo in her swing so that she and I can do something alone together.  She's a typical two year old and does get a little bit jealous and impatient sometimes.  I know it will get easier as the girls get a little bit older and can play with each other, and while it can be tough sometimes, I have absolutely no regrets about having them close in age. My mom has told me that being a mom is "the hardest job I will ever love" and I don't think that could be any more true these days.  The days are long but the years are short and I know I will look back and miss this (somewhat chaotic) time before I know it.  These little girls are my everything and I'm so lucky to call them mine.

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