Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spring Cleaning

I officially got the itch to start my spring cleaning a few weeks ago. We currently have beautiful weather which makes for the perfect excuse to open the windows and let the fresh spring air fill our house. I always love the beginning of a new season as it not only makes me excited for all things new, but it sparks the motivation deep down inside me and each season is different. Summer makes me excited for water balloon fights, homemade ice cream, toes in the sand and late nights with Mike; autumn always gives me all the feels with pumpkin spice, crunchy leaves under my feet, cozy blankets and cool nights by the fire pit; winter sparks my baking addiction, arts and crafts for the cold days, layers of warm clothes and hot bowls of soup. Spring is making all things new again, like a fresh start for the year. I love decluttering and doing a deep clean throughout each room in the house. For me it’s a time to simplify.

One thing I’ve really come to simplify in our home over the last few years is our cleaning product stash. I enjoy using natural ingredients for my cleaning products rather than harsh chemicals for a couple different reasons. First of all, it’s much safer for my kids if they so happen to stumble into something. I know they’re going to be okay if they get into the white vinegar or the baking soda as opposed to bleach or a multi-purpose harsh chemical spray.  Natural ingredients are also much better for the health of our home and our family. I hate spraying chemicals and then find myself coughing because it has filled the air and I’m now inhaling it. How can that possibly be good for anyone? Instead, I mix up my own cleaners using household ingredients and essential oils. Not only is it a healthier option, but they smell good as well.

For our showers and tubs I’ve tried everything over the years and I always get the best results using our simple shower spray with blue dish soap and vinegar. For me, it makes cleaning a breeze! We have removable shower heads in all our showers which makes it even easier for rinsing everything down in one easy step!

Shower + Tub Spray
1 part Dawn Blue Dish Soap
1 part White Vinegar
20 drops Lemon essential oil

Pour soap and vinegar into 16 oz spray bottle and shake gently to mix. Spray on bathtub and shower walls + floors. Lightly scrub and let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. This makes quite a bit so don’t feel you have to use all of it to clean one shower.

I usually always have my Thieves cleaner on hand, but when I don’t this is the next best thing! Simple and definitely gets the job done!

All-Purpose Spray
2 cups water
1/2 White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
20 drops Essential Oil (lemon, purification, lemongrass OR thieves)

Pour water + vinegar into spray bottle. Add baking soda + essential oil and shake to mix. 

This little concoction is our little miracle worker. We have a glass stovetop which easily gets dirty every time we cook. Mixing our Thieves Household cleaner with a little baking soda removes all the burnt over spill from our pots and pans. It’s also great for cleaning inside the oven. I use my Norwex cloth to help scrub and wipe away all the mess.

Countertop Scrub
1 capful Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner
1/4 cup Baking Soda
4 drops Essential Oil

In a small bowl add baking soda, thieves cleaner and essential oil. Mix into a paste and scrub on countertops, stovetop and sink to clean. Wipe away with a warm damp cloth. 

When mixing homemade cleaners, be sure to label all the bottles. Using a handy label maker like this or this works well and the labels seem to stand up well to water. I also love making our bottles look pretty with Washi Tape! There are so many colors + patterns the possibilities are endless. Plus it’s always fun to swap them out for new seasons. A few of our other favorite products include...

Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner
This is a concentrate of 30:1 and lasts for a long time. I use these glass bottles and add half a capful to my bottle and fill the rest with warm water. I keep this on hand and use it to clean my kitchen countertops, high chairs, floors, and bathrooms. It’s also an awesome stain remover for carpet!!!

Norwex Mop + Cloth + Window Cloth
I purchased these three items last spring when getting ready for my deep clean and they’ve become absolute necessities and a game changer in our home. I love the double sided mop system and it’s replaced my all my Swiffer products. The mop has a dry side for collecting crumbs and a wet side for hard core mopping.  Not only does it make cleaning easy, it makes it fast. I can clean my house in record time without ever feeling like I’m cutting corners.
The Norwex Envior-cloth only needs hot water and I use it to clean my appliances, doors and base boards. I even use it to get stains out of my white sofas and velvet pillows. You can find the mop, cloth and window cloth here.

If interested in any Young Living products I use and mentioned, please email me and I’d be happy to help you get started with using essential oils products! Also, follow my Wild + Grape page on Instagram and Facebook Page for recipes and ideas of using natural products to create a healthier home!

Happy Cleaning!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mini Swim Style

Beach season is nearly here and the pool is officially open! We spent much of our weekend outside and playing in the water and today it’s raining nonstop. My kids are so bummed and Finn even put on his swim trunks. I guess it’s his own little way of boycotting the rain.
My kids are ecstatic about spending our summer mornings playing in the sand and water. We vowed to take advantage of living at the beach this year since last year being pregnant was definitely not happening. I’ve been shopping around for each of the kids to have a couple different swim suits on hand since they’ll be living in them most of the summer. I’m obsessed with finding Kensi and Olivia matching patterns whereas Finn gets to ride out his own style. 

I’m usually one to be all about pink for the girls, but lately I’ve been feeling all the shades of blue, especially in florals. We recently got a pair of the Babiators for Finn because he loves to stretch and pull sunglasses. These are nearly indestructible and if you register them within the first 30 days the company will replace them up to one year if they break or get the beach, backyard or even in my van. 

We also love Saltwaters by Hoy sandals. We bought our first pair for Kensi a few years ago and they wear really well! They have a few different styles and lots of colors options. Our kids always do well them and can wear them dressed up or down. The best part...they’re water-proof!

Now it’s onto replacing a few of those sand toys that were lost and never found and hoping you have sunny skies and warm weather for a weekend of fun in the sun!



Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favorites

We’ve had a great week which has completely made up for the last five we were drowning in toddler tantrums, late night dinners and pure exhaustion. Mike and I finally feel back to our normal selves and just in time for some gorgeous spring weather here in coastal Carolina. Aside from the biting sand flies that seem to come around every spring (some call them noseeems, because you almost can’t see them, hahaha....they’re the devil’s bug, literally) we’ve enjoyed so much outside time with the kids running through the sprinklers, planting our garden and drawing up plans for our backyard patio. 

We getting everything we need ready for our herb garden we’re re-building and I’m so excited to use so many of the herbs in recipes I’ve been saving. This year I’m planting twice as much lavender to keep the mosquitoes away, but I also plant oodles of basil for cooking. I’m especially excited to use some of it this weekend to make this beautiful looking blackberry basil smash! One of my all time favorite mocktails is this grapefruit + rosemary one I made last spring. Both of these drinks will be perfect for sipping by the fire pit with my love.

While Mike and I have been busy planting, the kids have been having an absolute ball playing in their new water table. We quickly realized we had very little in terms of outdoor play and decided to purchase a heavy duty table that would last. I love the table design, but we quickly learned sand can scratch the coating off the surface.

I’ve been trying with all my might to organize the kids’ clothes and sort everything they’ve outgrown. It’s been a mountain in my bedroom for far too long, but the kids have outgrown so much in the last six months. Kensi loves wearing dresses which makes me so excited because I love them on her. A few of our favorites are from Alice & Ames and I’m totally crushing on Remi Girl's Sprinkle collection right now along with the new spring rompers from Childhoods Clothing for all three kiddos.

We are ready to kick our weekend off early this morning, so here’s to you, the weekend and sunshine!
Happy Friday friends!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Outdoor Living Inspiration

Mike and I are excited to show a little more love to our backyard this year. If you’ve been following us you may remember when we moved in our back yard was only dirt. Since then, we’ve added sod, a privacy fence, garden, fire pit and a playset for kids. We love spending time outside and we’re happiest when at home and want to create an outdoor space we love to be in. 

Right now we’re in the brainstorming stages of this project. We’ve discussed adding a screened in porch which could be used all year round, a pergola, or a deck. Whatever we decide to do we want a space for lounging and entertaining and a space for the kids to play. I’ve been pinning several different ideas on Pinterest and you can follow my outdoor living board HERE. I’m really crushing on these covered spaces to protect us from the hot summer sun and loving the black/white/natural wood color combos.

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I love all the modern vertical lines mixed with warmer elements such as the brick and soft wood tones. It’s a perfect combination for us and what we’re hoping to achieve. One must have is string lights! We need lighting in the back and string lights add the coziest touch to an outdoor space. I can’t wait for Mike and I to begin creating a beautiful outdoor space. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter 2017

This was our first full weekend together in over a month and it was such a relief to just be together!  We recently got a new children’s Bible for the kids and have been reading it nearly every day. Kensi loves retelling us the stories and asks the best questions about each story and illustration. After reading about the crucifixion she asked about the two thieves alongside Jesus and why they were being punished. So much information for a little four year to understand, but we are in awe of her love for Jesus and her thirst for learning about Him and trying to become more like Him each day.

Our Easter was definitely one for the books this year as Finn and the girls were up at 3:30 and 4:30am. Our day started early and it was filled with coffee, church, coffee, good food, coffee, cranky children and outdoor water play. Our kids loved their Easter baskets and doll house. Finn especially loves playing with the double swinging door. Kensi has added all her Calico Critters to the house and  plays with them as Finn adds dinosaurs, Legos, and literally anything that will fit through the door and accompanies each door swing with the cutest little ‘ah-llo!” (Hello).

Kensi and Finn very much enjoyed their marshmallows, the only candy-ish thing we put in their baskets and ate all day!!! Such a big parent win for us since we ate way too much candy while my mom was visiting. Their bubble wands were a HUGE hit. We must have been born in a barn because this is the first year we’ve added those and they make the best bubbles! Finn’s boats have already been added to the bath toy stash and Kensi made it very clear she wasn’t excited to see new socks in her basket, but excited to have a new doll. Olivia was disappointed she couldn’t eat a marshmallow with her sibs, but she settled for a handmade wooden & silicone teether I picked up at a local boutique and lots of mama snuggles during her nap in the afternoon.

Our day had a lot of highs and a lot of lows, but it was ours.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Favorites

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some of favorites lately and I thought today would be a great day to start it back up. Today is the last day of the outage and we are all singing praises!!!! We spent the week with my mom and the kids had so much fun taking her to our local berry farm, making strawberry pie and eating way to much candy. We are so excited for the weekend and have plans of just enjoying each other’s company, getting some fresh air and of course celebrating one of our favorite holidays...Easter! 

This week I’ve also been busy grabbing last minute basket fillers for the kids with late night Amazon orders and Target stops like Yoobi Chalk Roller for Finn, Colors by Orla Kiely for Livie and a couple handmade bows for Kensi. In all of this I’ve realized how forgetful I am and completely forgot about a few things we’ve had stashed away, unfortunately it happens all the time. Regardless of what makes it or doesn’t make it into their baskets they’re going to be excited no matter what, so my worry level is happily low. 

A few weeks ago I was browsing through the PB Kids website and stumbled across the Ellington Doll Townhouse marked down 50%. Mike and I debated getting one for Kensi at Christmas,  but she didn’t show a ton of interest and ultimately decided to wait. I’m so glad we did! I was able to stack a coupon code and just so happened to find a gift card in my purse that brought my total for the dollhouse to $34. To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement. We thought it would be a great Easter surprise for the kiddos since they both enjoy playing with our current vintage one. We put it together already and it’s the cutest doll house!!! 

Kensi is currently into anything and everything that has to do with rainbows and I picked up this adorable swimsuit for her. She’s already madly excited for summer and can’t wait for the pool to open. 

Our weather has been so nice and warm the last few weeks. I love finding casual, comfortable clothing pieces I can wear at home with the kids that doesn’t include sweats and a t-shirt (as I’m sure Mike is fond of too). I found this super soft everyday black dress from Target about a month ago and I’m finding myself wearing it all the time!

Lastly, I’m snagging some gorgeous outdoor serveware for our patio. I’m totally in love with these beautiful melamine canape plates from Anthropologie. The colors and prints are giving me all the heart eyes and I love the smaller size. Plus, they’re 20% off right now!!! 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Date 10: Late Night Date

My mom is here visiting for  a week during our outage schedule and Mike and I were able to sneak away for a little bit last night. We needed to catch up on our marriage devotional we're currently doing with our church life group and planned to work on it over a coffee date for a couple hours. As we were driving over the bridge and into downtown I asked Mike he if he would rather have coffee or  grab drinks by the river. Needless to say this was a no brainer because having a sporadic date like such was rare, so to the river we went. For a Friday night it was eerily quiet in our particular restaurant, but just a couple blocks away the streets were bustling with vendors for our local festival.

We decided to grab a couple appetizers and sips on the back patio. We sipped on gin + tonics, our go to cocktail, and enjoyed crab dip and oysters. Our waiter was chatty since we were one of the few parties in his section and shared he grew up in Maryland. Of course that sparked conversation and we mostly discussed how crab cakes are only tasty made the Maryland way, with very minimal filler. While recommending a few of his favorite items on the menu he said the crab cakes were okay and had some filler....that means you don’t order them. 

As we finished our meal and headed outside we quickly realized we have become southerners. It was 60 degrees F outside and by any measure of a true midwesterner this is considered beautiful weather, but we were freezing! We felt so shameful as we ran to our car and quickly turned up the heat and the seat warmers. Our only defense is the type of cold here is very different, it’s a wet cold due to the being so close to the water compared to Nebraska. You may or may not find that a reasonable excuse, but that’s what we’re sticking with, ha!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Date Night: 8, 9, 10, 11

I haven’t been good about posting the last few weeks, but our dates are still taking place although they’ve looked a little different since we only have one day off together as a family and more often than not most of our time is spent with the kids. We’ve settled in for more movies on the couch, but we’re still keeping it fun. 

Date 8: Twister
Mike and I had the itch to pull out some of our games, but knew if we tried to play Monopoly or something of the sort we’d probably fall asleep. Instead we picked up Twister. Neither one of us had played the game since high school and trying to maneuver our limbs to the different colors was much less romantic as it was challenging, uncomfortable and funny. We had stretched our bodies in ways we forgot or knew how and woke up the next morning sore. 

Date 9: Color Me Beautiful
We had heard good reviews about Passengers and knew it would be a great movie that would hit all our wants: adventure, suspense and romance. The movie was everything we had hoped for and in while watching we made some popcorn and pulled out Kensi’s colored pencils and our coloring books we had bought each other a year ago for Christmas. We love low key nights like this and coloring was so relaxing and good for our minds and souls. Here are a few of our favorite coloring books...
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Date 10: Bowling with the Fam
This weekend we knew was going to be one of our busiest we’ve had in awhile. I ended up taking Kensi to see Beauty and the Beast (it’s amazing!!!) and we had been invited to go bowling for our friend’s birthday. We used bowling as a family day date and took the opportunity to introduce Finn. This was his first time and we knew he would either be thrilled or it would be a disaster. Finn is still little and he just couldn’t understand the concept of waiting for his turn and grew irritated each time he needed to wait for the pins to reset. Needless to say Mike, Kensi and I had so much fun letting loose with our friends, but Finn ended up hanging watching a movie instead. 

Date 11: Last Minute Dinner Out
This past week felt like one of our longest. With Mike working six days it makes everything seen longer and we’ve been growing exhausted quicker with each passing day as we move through this outage. Going to bed is happening earlier and earlier. In need of just getting out of the house Friday we packed the kids into the car even though it was nearly their bedtime and headed out to dinner for chips and margs. Our kids were so well behaved and I think it was mostly due to just being tired of being at home all week long. 

I cannot wait to settle back into our normal schedule in the next couple weeks, I’m really starting to go insane! Luckily my mom is coming this week and I will finally have some solid adult interaction again and Mike and I can sneak out of the house for a night of our own!!! 
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