making frugal & simple beautiful

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my 2018 book bucket list (+help me add to it!)

my 2018 book bucket list (+help me add to it!)

I grew up being read to by my mother every night before bed. We would go to the library and pick out dozens of picture books, a huge stack, and bring them home. I would pick out what books I wanted to read that night, […]

energy balls

energy balls

I have a very hungry 4 year old who asks me 457 times a day “what can I eat now, Mama?”.  Most of the time I wish I had my act together and could say “go get an energy ball”, but I usually end up […]

life right now {february 2018}

life right now {february 2018}

We’ve been in the trenches of winter over here in the NC mountains. Gray, gloomy, wet, cold… Thankfully in the area we live, we tend to get a few reprieve days throughout the winter that are warmer and bit spring-like, that help us get through the dark days. I know they help, but sometimes I just feel like they are a cruel tease, as the cold and dark days come crashing back. But, we are now well into February which means that spring really isn’t that far off.

The winter months are focused inward, in the house, gathered around the kitchen table, reading, playing games, sorting and organizing the house, purging clutter, cooking and eating. It is the perfect time to rest, refuel and get excited about all the warm sunny days to come. Planning summer fun, prepping for the growing season, dreaming about hot weather and trips to the river and hiking in the woods.

The downside of being forced inside more is all the germs and bugs. We have fared pretty well so far, no colds or flu, but one nasty stomach bug. Everybody got it except the nursing baby, thank you antibodies! Hubby and I hadn’t had a stomach bug in over 10 years. Those are NOT fun whatsoever. Thankfully they come and go pretty quick but they sure do wipe you out for a bit.

Some days as a mother, I feel like “Man. I’m really killing this. The house looks cute and clean, the kids are happy and everything is great. I’ve got this down.” Like 1 or 2 days a weeks. Ha. And then some other days, I reckon if the kids are alive and the house is still standing at the end of the day, I guess I was successful.

Full days of changing diapers, cooking and cleaning up from cooking, playing and reading, trying to get various people to take naps at various times, mostly failing and falling asleep myself with the baby on my lap and Ace asking me “what can I eat now???!!!” Trying to savor these loooooong days. Some are really hard, and challenging and even lonely, but I know I will look back and know that these were some of the best days of my whole life.

 

 

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Plenty of books make the long days inside a lot cheerier! We try to go every week or other to the library and stock up. We get a ton of picture books to read out loud, then usually a few other things like movies, music, audio books, etc…A few of my faves right now:

Sarah, Plain and Tall This has been this first real read-aloud chapter book that my 4 1/2 year old has gotten into and enjoyed listening to me read. I adore this little tale, and have always loved the 3 Hallmark movies that were based on it starring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken. Classic 90’s prairie TV that is right up my ally!!

Paul & Antoinette is a picture book that is simply adorable! The illustrations are darling and the story is quite endearing…It’s about a brother who likes things clean and tidy and just so and a sister that is a free spirit.

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler is a great book about cooking, using odds and ends and simple methods that everyone can learn. The bits of leftovers, a nicely boiled vegetable, a poached egg, many thoughtful ways to make inexpensive foods into delicious meals. It’s wonderful knowledge for everyone, especially those interested in economizing and simplifying in the kitchen.

 

 

Postpartum hair loss has kicked my butt! Every time I shampoo my hair, it comes out in fist fulls. I had it with Ace too, but it’s way worse this time. I can even see spots along my hairline that are thinning. I know there’s not a whole lot I can do about it, it’s just a normal hormonal response, but I am so fed up with it! The fact that I have a slight phobia of loose hair doesn’t help. It’s all in the bed, the shower, on the floor, sticking to my clothes and it gets caught in the baby’s little hands and feet. Y.U.C.K. I’m about to go have somebody chop all the dern stuff off SHORT.

But in the meantime since I’m a chicken, I decided to cut a few inches off to freshen it up. It had been 2 yeeeaaars since I had a haircut. Isn’t that ridiculous? I watched this YouTube video for weeks before getting up the nerve to try it myself (and finding the time). It looked pretty simple! Well… it didn’t go very well and i gave up halfway through. I called my husband into the bathroom and said “cut it all off straight across.” And he did. And it looks fine. The end.

 

 

We enjoy frequenting the playground with all the things. A game, a snack, a ball (or 2), stroller, a book, water bottles, and all the Thieves hand purifier. Cause, you know… playgrounds. Our little fella just had his first swing the other day and it was just about too cute. Time, please slow down!!!

 

 

 

 

A simple and easy meal that I keep in my repertoire in the winter especially, are quiches. Whisk some eggs, a lot of milk or cream, salt and pepper and grated cheese. You can also throw in some leftovers you might have in the fridge… sausage, mushrooms, broccoli, whatever. Pour into a frozen pie crust and bake!

 

 

 

Whelp, if this is the last time these boots stand in the snow this winter, I would pretty OK with that. But if it’s not… well I guess I’d be ok with that too. Spring WILL come. It will.

Right? Ahem.

 

chicken lime avocado soup ~ aka magic soup

chicken lime avocado soup ~ aka magic soup

  I originally published this soup via my old blog My HomeSong. It was so delicious and such a hit with family and friends, I have made it many more times and thought I should share it over here as well! I have seen many […]

6 newborn must haves ~ besides the basics

6 newborn must haves ~ besides the basics

  There are some things you learn the first time around with having babies. The second time around is so much easier it is almost unbelievable. That was the case for me anyway. I’m not sure if it is because I was uptight and inexperienced […]

how to get rid of cradle cap naturally

how to get rid of cradle cap naturally

 

Our little fella is 2 months old now. He is such a laid back and content baby! I thought Ace was an easy baby for the most part, but this guy takes it to a whole other level. Have passy, will travel with this guy.

I noticed, the other day, that he was having some flaking on his scalp. Yuck! Upon closer inspection, I saw the whole top of his head was a bit crusty. Double yuck! Funny skin stuff is super common with newborns, their skin is so delicate and they are adjusting to life on the outside. But it is always upsetting to see your tiny, perfect little person with rashes or bumps or patches, oh my.

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Anyway, I immediately knew that the flakes on his head were what is called cradle cap. My daughter never had it, but already somehow, this guy is the stereotypical boy. He is stinkier and dirtier than his sister ever was. He requires a nightly bath.

 

 

I did a little reading on cradle cap and found all sorts of advice. A couple of the most appalling recommendations involved Dawn dish soap and TGel shampoo. Yes, the kind that contains coal tar. No. Thanks. Yous.

Thankfully I found some other ideas, and here is what I did.

I gathered up some coconut oil, a soft bristled baby brush, and his gentle baby shampoo. At bath time that night, while he soaked in the tub with me (we both love a good bath), I generously applied the coconut oil to his scalp, gently rubbing it in thoroughly. I let it sit there for 10 or 15 minutes. Then with the brush, I scrubbed his little head, using circular motions, and then the edge of the bristles against the hair growth to work the flakes off. Triple yuck. What is it about skin that grosses me out? Pfft. Finally, I shampooed the heck outta that hair! I wanted to get all the oil out so that there wasn’t more buildup. And when his hair was all dry… Not a flake in sight! Yay!

 

I also chose to add 1 drop of my favorite essential oil blend for my kids, Gentle Baby, in the coconut oil. It smells so amazing, and has healthy skin helpers like lavender, geranium and rose. Yummy baby smell with no synthetic fragrances!

 

 

essential oils 101, a crash course

essential oils 101, a crash course

  Plants have played an important role in the well-being of mankind since the beginning of time, as well as the balance of our planet. Our physical, and emotional wellness can be supported and linked to the plant kingdom in a million different ways.  Essential […]

there’s a baby in the house

there’s a baby in the house

There’s a baby in the house again! On September 12, a little darling boy joined our family! And in the middle of a hurricane no less! No, we didn’t name him Irma. Two days before his due date, in the the middle of the night […]

autumn bucket list

autumn bucket list

I adore living in a place that has distinct, changing seasons. It’s one of my favorite things… to feel the new season coming on. We’ve started a tradition of making a written-down bucket list of things we want to accomplish that season. But not like chores to accomplish, like a fun to-do list! I find that we make more of an effort to work fun experiences in if we have them written down like a plan! We did most of our summer bucket list and had a lot of fun times together.

 

what to do with your young living starter kit

what to do with your young living starter kit

So you have taken the leap into the wonderful world of pure essential oils? Welcome to the fun! I remember opening up my Premium Starter Kit and thinking how beautiful, how wonderful… What do I do with all of these?! And I closed the package […]