mom lessons from Darth

You know how Legos have a reputation for inflicting excruciating pain when you step on them?  Not to take anything away from legos, I mean, next to being impossibly messy, causing outbursts of profanity from normally mild-mannered parents is their claim to fame.  You. Guys.  I have never heard my husband let out a high-pitched womanesque scream quite like when he stomped down on a lego piece the other night.  But you know what’s even worse? Monopoly pieces.  Don’t believe me?  Step on that cannon, or whatever it is.

Curses, I tell you.

And just now, I was nearly killed by Darth Vader.  No, not the real one (because HE’S REAL MOM!)  This one:photo

Apparently Darth is exempt from “clean up” time which resulted in my ending up in a position only comfortable to individuals who wear spandex for a living.  Because, I’m not sure if you knew this, but Darth, when stepped on, acts exactly like an ice skate.

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Which got me to thinking.  Why is the floor the obvious place for my kids to put E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G??

For the same reason that I drop things on countertops, instead of where they belong I guess.  The floor is my kids’ countertop.  It’s right there, on their level.  It’s not hard for them to retrieve it as they can just pop down there and right back up again like a Freshman at the club on spring break.

So anyway, maybe me asking my kids to keep their stuff off the floor is like asking myself to never leave stuff on the counter tops.  I don’t know, but I do know that at this moment, my kitchen looks worse than my kids’ playroom, which tells me something.  Chill mom, childhood is short. And get back to doing yoga, because, well, that stretcy-fall was not pretty.

One day I’ll miss seeing these cute little creatures all over the floor.  I may even miss their toys too.

Oh, and my husband comes home today!  So now comes the question: All 3 of my kids are napping (what, the what?!!!)  Should I clean up so that my husband recognizes me as the domestic goddess that I pretend to be, or should I go take a nap so that I have a better attitude about doing the 6 loads of laundry that are coming my way once he unpacks?

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a boy and his baby doll & a renovation update

So, Miles, our big, loud, daring, adventurous 2 year old boy has fallen in love with a baby doll.

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He calls her “baby” or “Etta” and lovingly cares for her during the day.  I love watching him wrap her in blankets, give her “rides” on our stuffed chicken toy, snuggle her, read her books, and put her “night, night.”  He sometimes brings her to me for milk, or “nurses” her himself.  I even found him singing “Happy {birthday} to you!” to her.

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It is unexpected behavior from a boy who so often is instigating wrestling matches, pirate attacks, sword fights, and loudly and proudly announcing every bodily function.

It’s so precious and I will miss it when he moves on.

In renovation news, the 2nd floor got stained today!  I recently posted about this amazing zero VOC floor stain/sealer called Rubio Monocoat that I found, and I absolutely LOVE the way it looks.  The crew started yesterday, so you can imagine my surprise when I got to the house today at 10:30am and they were already done staining it.  They have done an amazing job and I am so happy that we found them!

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The floor boards themselves are imperfect with knots, and saw marks, and little holes here and there, but they are perfect for us.  I’ll do a post soon about the type of wood we used (we got it for a steal!) and why. photo 2-109

Once the trim carpenters are finished Friday the first floor can be prepped and stained.  Then, cabinets, vanities, appliances, etc.!  I can’t believe we are so close.  I am shooting for a May 10 move-in. Hank, isn’t so optimistic.  But I’m not going to let the fact that he is right 99.9% of the time with stuff like this get me down.  I’m determined!

Plus, if I have to make one more decision about anything my head may spin around.

Oh, and here’s the boys’ shower.  What do you think?!

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I’m in love with it so don’t tell me if you don’t like it.  Ok you can.  No, nevermind, don’t.  

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the coolest diaper pail ever and cheeeeeeeap chlorine free diapers

I know, how boring.  A diaper pail & diapers. BUT…hear me out.  I am a super practical person.  My Myers Briggs says that I opt for the “Old fashioned, simple, standard option without a lot of gadgets or extras…” which pins me perfectly.  We recently got a big-ole vehicle since we now have 3 kiddos and I was adamant that it be the most basic model, but with leather.  I wanted the leather for cleanability but no other fancy options.  The salesman kept trying to sell me an Escalade, and I was like “dude, seriously, I really am that boring….”

What were we talking about again?  Oh, yes, the diaper pail.

So, in the interest of being practical, I had always just used a simple flip lid can, that was ridiculously small.  I bought it small because, ahem, I use cloth so I didn’t need for it to fit more than 3 or 4 diapers.  Or I did until this renovation took over my life.

Ya’ll my new one fits 60 of them nasties in there.  And all without a trace of stink anywhere.

I realized it was time to throw the old tiny ridiculous one out when my own sweet mother requested that we not bring it along when we move to the new house.   Point taken.

So, I was at this awesome discount place in Nashville called Bargain Hunt, looking for (and finding) a new carseat for Miles who had barfed all over his in such a way that even the uber-practical me decided that it was better to toss it immediately and buy a new one.  Yes, it was that horrific.

If you have ever personally cleaned one out, you know the sheer grotesque nature of the innards of a toddler’s carseat.  Mix in some chocolate-chip vomit and it was too. much.

Anyhow, I found this guy and snatched it up for 1/2 price.  It’s Dekor brand, and they have a few different color options.

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You can find one HERE on Amazon.

You. Guys.  I had no idea the thrill that I would get from a properly designed diaper pail.  It’s simple as pie (am I the only one who is always frustrated and slightly confused by the Diaper Genie???)

The liners just sit in the rim.  When it’s full, you open the side (easy), pull out the bag of nasty nappys, cut the top off with the built-in little cutter thing (easier), and tie the new bottom and close the door (easiest!)  The only thing I don’t love about it is that the liners are scented, and you know how I feel about that stuff…however, it’s designed to keep all the odors inside, which it does, and that includes the perfum-y liners.

It’s also amazing because you can buy a cloth diaper lier for it instead of the plastic ones.

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{I’m sorry, can we take a moment to address how gorgeous she is???}

It’s also not bad looking…another reason I had never bought the other pails out there.  It’s super simple, sleek and clean, and can be used as a regular trash pail once we are diaper free (can I get an amen for the diaper-free??)

Oh, and on the topic of disposables. I really don’t like using them, but there are times when I do: 1. the first 3-4 weeks after having a baby, 2. church nursery, 3. travel, 4. crazy busy times of life.  I’ve also recently found the absolute cheapest ones at Kroger. However, you won’t find them in the “healthy” section…they are in with all the regular diapers.

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They are their “Comforts for Baby, Touch of Nature” line and they are HALF the price of any other chlorine free I’ve found.  Like $6.50 for 30 or so of em.  I wish they sold them on Amazon!

Even so, Win!

So, there it is.  Inspiring post, eh?

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the cutest thing to ever happen to my front door

I was going to do a better post than this tonight but I’m just too tired.  So. Dang. Tired.

So, instead I wanted to show you one of the cutest things ever to happen on my front porch.

A dove laid her eggs in a nest that she made in my Christmas wreath!  First one, then the next day, another.

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Yes, I KNOW!  It’s April…(it is April, right???)  Seriously, Y’all the other day it took me a full 10 seconds to remember what month it is.  But who would have known that something so sweet would come from my STILL not having taken down the Christmas wreath?

An-y-way.  She’s adorable.  We now also have notes posted to the front and back of the door to remind people to use the garage door so she can tend to her babies in peace. Poor thing, we’ve already scared her half to death a few times.  The first time we opened the door with her on it she just stared at my husband for a few seconds like “Um, what are you looking at, and don’t even touch my eggs…”

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Since we are moving in a month I may have to sacrifice my wreath to the new renters.  There’s something about being a mom that makes you want to support other moms.  Even the feathered ones.

Alright loves, sleep well.

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healthy home reno: zero VOC stain & polyurethane alternative for our hardwood floors

I am thrilled to introduce you all to an amazing product that I didn’t even know existed until about 6 months ago!

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It’s called Rubio Monocoat and it’s been used in Europe for something like 8 years, as a healthy alternative to stain and polyurethane.

{did you know Polyurethane can off-gass for 5 (FIVE!!!) years?}

I’ve got at least three reasons that I don’t want something that toxic our home:

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On top of having a really cool product, their customer service is one of the best I’ve dealt with throughout this entire 7 month renovation process.

After a hiccup with our previous installer, we were thrilled to find another guy with a crew, here in Nashville, on short notice, who is starting the sanding process on our floors tomorrow! I am so excited to keep you updated on the progress!

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Here is what I love about it so far:

1. Customer Service!  Again, I can’t say enough about how great they have been to work with.  It seems that Europe has got this kind of stuff figured out and so I’m really excited to spread the word about it here!

2. Zero VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) – none.  nada.  it’s basically just vegetable oil.

3. Ease of use – while I don’t have the skill or time to apply it to a whole house myself, touch-ups of small areas in the future will be something that I will easily be able to do.  With polyurethane you have to have a professional do the entire room because of overlapping.  With 3 kids, 2 big dogs, and tons of friends and family who visit frequently, I needed something low-maintenance and easy to touch up.  Plus, true to it’s name it requires only ONE coat.  Yep.  Uno…errr…mono.

4. The finish – we worked up a few samples and I am in love with the natural, aged, matte look.  I think it will go well with the imperfect flooring we bought and the style of our home.

5. Versatility – not only can it be used on floors, but also furniture, in high-traffic commercial buildings, stairways, etc.  Pretty much anywhere you would want a stain, you can use it.  But without the toxic effects of traditional stain and sealer.

You can find out more from their website:

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Here are some gorgeous photos of it in action on houzz:

Yay!

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big changes and the best almond milk ever. ever.

Change is coming…in every area of life it seems right now.  Well, almost every area.  My marriage is still awesome.  My kids are still awesome.  I have loving friends and the best family anyone could ask for.

But this blog is changing.  It’s interesting how I started this blog to help people, to share my thoughts, and to pass on the things that I am learning about living a healthier life.

But I became so focused on the food side of things that I forgot severeral vital areas that greatly impact our health.

Rest.

Stress.

In the interest of keeping it fresh and new I was posting heavy content nearly every day.  It took hours; generally from around 10pm-1am.  And it meant that I wasn’t getting enough sleep.

that’s not healthy.

In the interest of unveiling some truths about food, the food industry, and companies that I feel are misleading us and making us sick I brought upon myself a wave of controversy and comments that made my blood pressure rise so rapidly that I could feel it; hot and thick in my ears every time a new one came in.  It preoccupied my thoughts and stole time from my children. It made me anxious to read my emails.

that’s not healthy.

So, I’m making some changes.  And it’s scary.  Because I may lose some of you.  But I have decided to leave the hard digging, the world-changing, the corporate fighting to those folks who can handle it better than I can…or who have employees ;)

I also have a competitive nature about me and I found myself feeling threatened by other bloggers doing the “same” thing.  It’s so embarrassing to admit that, but I’ve found immense freedom in releasing myself from all of it.  This blog has forced me to take a look into my own soul and consider who I truly am, at the very core of me.  It’s been a slow process, but the freedom in truth is all worth it.

Of course, I will continue to read, learn, and pass on their information.  But I’m not looking for this blog to become a full-time job.

I already have one of those:

IMG_6474So, in the interest of health, I am going to start posting simpler, shorter little excerpts from my life, hopefully on a daily basis.  Every once in a while I’ll do some massive research and come up with something that may be ground-breaking information.  But usually, I’ll be sharing snippets of my day.  Sure, there will always be health tips in there, because natural living is a huge part of my life.  Like today, when my precious friend whom I haven’t seen in far too long dropped by completely out of nowhere to bring me some homemade almond milk and these amazing brownies (made from the almond pulp) sweetened with dates that are to die for…which I am eating as I type.

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Perhaps God told her that I needed to see a friend today.  Perhaps she’s just that thoughtful.

Either way, her thoughtfulness reminded me of what we are all to be about.  Love. 

I want to pursue love more than I want to pursue health.  There. I said it.  No, I won’t be changing my lifestyle.  But I don’t want any of my dearest to feel that I am ever judging them for making different choices than I make with regard to what I feed my family.  I also don’t want to feel the pressure to do it all perfectly so that I’m not exposed as a hypocrite.  I can’t do it all right, and I had put the pressure on myself to do so.  I don’t want to have to feel that I have to be “right” all the time.  Because I’m not.

We are all just doing the best that we can and it makes me anxious to take on the world in the way that I have tried to do in the past.

So, I hope you will stick around.  There is so much beauty that I am discovering in the letting go.  In the peace.  In the calm.

There are some amazing people that I can’t wait to introduce you to that have nothing to do with natural living.  They are just incredible and I want you to know them.

I’m going to be partnering with this incredible food blogger who creates amazing recipes, I have an interview with an Olympic athlete that will change the way you think about fitness…there’s so much that is coming, I can’t wait!!!

Because while I believe that avoiding GMO’s and eating local organic foods is really important, what’s more important is the pursuit of Love.  Because love brings about peace.  And peace washes away anxiety and stress.

And that, my friends, is where true health is found.

I’ve begun reading this blog, called becoming minimalist, which is so inspiring.  We are soooo close to moving into our dream home, and before then, I am determined to toss, sell or give away 1/3 of all of our belongings.

As I am writing this I realize that this isn’t what I sat down to write about at all.  I don’t know where this came from but I’m going with it.  It’s often the posts that come from my gut, out of nowhere that end up having the most impact.  They are also the ones that I enjoy writing the most.

So there it is.  I’m so excited.

Oh…and ps: that new blog design that I’ve been hinting at?  It’s coming!  I’ve had some designs come back that are just amazing.  I can’t wait to get all the wrinkles worked out and show you the final result…and FINALLY do a giveaway amiright?!!

live well. be well.

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