deep love for this 102 year old lady(home).


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Grass green, pale pink, sky blue, flowered wall paper, linear “Roberts” flowers, those are the layers we’ve discovered under our white paint in the office. They are all so beautiful, and sitting here, thinking about all the people and families who poured their style, taste and love, into our 102 year old home. . . I’m awed and don’t want to cover it all up (now that each chipping layer is exposed on one portion, of one small wall).

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Chipping away these flies on the wall of our homes history, wondering about all the previous owners, and thinking about the decades… century (!) of love and memories  etched into each layer.

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The deepest layer of wall paper is paper bag brown with beautiful botanical book style flowers on it, and I am imagining it was once a sweet nursery full of golden books read by a darling chubby cheeked little baby girl, and a spindly white cradle rocking next to to the beautifully framed window where my gangly girls now hang out their bob haired heads to yell for they neighbor boys to come over.

And, the newest layers. The chalk walls, first words written and sounded out, serious stares of sleepy shuttered eyes. And of two sisters. Who are leaving big love and memories and marks.

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I have fallen deeply for this home. Over, and over, and over again.

And am proud to hang a bit of it’s history in on my walls.

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Weekend Projects; Open Shelving!

I’ve been seeing open shelving all over and really loving the clean look and how quickly it lightens up a kitchen. But instead of going all demo and ripping out a cabinet we decided to try a lesser commitment and see if we can even do open shelving, because, I mean, in practice it kinda seems like a lot of work. Only beautiful things on those shelves, dusted or used often, and no clutter. The nice thing is that if this doesn’t work, we can always pop the doors back on and we aren’t out anything.

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We started by taking the doors off, ripping out  the previous owners contact paper, and then painting the whole shebang. Upon looking at it done I am doubting my choice in black and considering re-doing it in a bright white, but I chose black because the old cabs are all an off white and I thought it might just draw further attention to that. But, I mean, I have to change that at some point anyway so maybe nows the time? Who knows. We’ve got some other (big!) projects percolating now, and this is working cute for now!

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{also, there is a little peek at our mudroom ceiling! Bright blue! I adore it.}

We also found some stellar deals on lights at our local ReStore so the mudroom got a new cute globe light ($7!!) and we found a super fun 70’s chandelier for above our dining room table for $25! I want to paint the outer wood a bright white, Charlie wants to keep it as is. We hung it up there (not in it’s final resting spot) to see if we like it, and are going to live with if a couple days before we bust out the paint or not.)

10504862_10100949834960180_2806723189425276707_oWhat do you think? Paint it white (or? a bright color?) or leave it be and just get it in its rightful spot? We’re torn!

5 tips for decorating a small home

{1} Pick your colors!

My knee jerk is to paint each room as sounds good to me in the moment, or as pintrest inspires me in the moment…ahem. BUT, Because we have a small home we need all the rooms to work together, flow well, and have some continuity to make the whole space feel larger and more fluid. The house seems larger because each space isn’t jarring. Our colors are black, white, grey, and different variations of blue. I am sure we will deviate here and there (hey yellow! I adore you!) but keeping the bulk of our big pieces and paint in those families is helping SO much. For example, I was worried that bringing a grey rug into our already pretty monotone living room would make the space feel a little blah, wrong! The rug wholly pulled the room together.

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{2} Keep your furniture Low

Keeping furniture to scale is important. Large pieces can help fill a space, so a couch that fits well across a whole wall is important, and will help you not have dead space, but keep them low profile and legs visible so that you still have nice bright site lines. For us that meant that we needed a lower coffee table (ours was about mid thigh height and it felt a little invasive since it sat higher than the seat of our couch). I found one with nice bones at a local thrift shop for $15, a coat of bright paint on the bottom and some sanding and clear coat on the top made it a great and easy couple hour DIY project that added some great punch to our space.

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{3} Draw the Eyes UP!

Drawing the eye up is important in opening up a small space, so having a bright or interest filled ceiling (coffered ceilings are in my dreams) helps loads, but if your budget is a bit lower then adding a large mirror to an empty wall or some lights strung well and high can do wonders. We have little pink twinkles in our girls room to have as evening reading light, but they also draw attention to the gorgeous tall ceilings. But in our kitchen the top felt a little empty, soon we will install some open shelving and that will do the trick. But this little decoration is bringing some whimsy to our space as well as fun light in the evenings. Eyes up, and it’s starry bright. 10271536_10100905858534290_3111675366007054655_n

{4} Make the functional pieces fun pieces.

Our kitchen cabinets are TALL. So we needed a step stool desperately. My knee jerk was to buy the cheapest plastic one from Ikea (like we have in the bathroom… out of necessity thanks to a certain two year old pee monster) since it’s so functional. But because our home is little the stool can’t be hidden away. So we picked up a wooden one (also from ikea) and painted it (the same bright blue as the bottom of the coffee table and our entry room, see? continuity! It’s fun, not boring! and saves you money ;) ). I love how it turned out and that it isn’t an eye sore in the kitchen but instead another cute moment. And, for only $15 it’s a pretty nice deal too.

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{5} Don’t follow the rules too closely.

My bedroom is small, it shouldn’t have a four poster huge bed. But? I adore it, so it does. The entry room would look bigger if it had bright walls, but I wanted a saturated jewel tone, so? I did it anyway. If you love it in your home, it’s worth it to have in your home!

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Super strict black/white/grey in the office… except when it’s not.

Office Space

We have been in the house for a little over a month and are just starting to figure out the best ways to get each space working. We ended up switching our bedroom and the office this past weekend, and while that was a bummer because it meant my pretty giant midcentury school desk had to go (no room, sob sob) it also meant that we got a MUCH bigger bedroom and I could start to really remiagine the office into a space that could easily work for all of us.

There is still a lot of work (and BIG HUGE WHITE WALL SPACE… what do I do???)  left to happen. A little couch is being delivered this week, a new light fixture at the end of the month, and I need to paint the girl’s art chairs. But for now, from my iPhone, here’s what we have done with the space!

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And my side is still a work in progress, but here it is at the moment. I am in love, and this space feels SO much closer to what I was envisioning.

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I’ve got about a hundred (more?) inspiration pictures of office ideas on pintrest going, and am still dreaming and scheming up some cool wall treatments, and some dip dyed stools for the girls’ desk (down the line). And maybe some big polka dots? So many ideas! But for now, this space is really functioning just how we want, and feels calm and bright when we walk in.

Do you have a sweet office? Or an office play room? or an office/guest room? Share some pictures, I need inspiration!

spring fling.

The sun has been out in full force and with it I’ve felt the settling into this home. Hanging some photos, getting some personality into the nooks and crannies, hosting friends and so many kids for all day playdates, and getting down to business on back yard planning. But in all of it I can get so swirled up in ideaplanmoneytodorepeat that I don’t get anything done and instead end up pinning for days and stream of conscious planning with Charlie but never pulling the trigger on even the small projects. So, I need a few goals. A couple of bullet points to get going for the upcoming spring; Happy Spring Year? Happy New Weather? Happy Midmarch? I’m not sure. Whatever it is, I’ve got the fresh bug and want to get while the gettings good!

First Off! FOOD. We’ve been packing in the fancy pizza, amazing mead, endless pudding and pie, and… obviously… pounds. So some smoothies, clean eating, and fresh foods are first on the list. And, WATER.

1977237_10100813944166420_485947768_n{Charlie got me a Ninja as a housewarming gift, not the biggest fancy set but the sweet $100 one from Target. It still felt like a big pill to swallow $$$ but OH MY  has she been earning her keep. I’m going to post some of my favorite things I’ve been making in there. But let me just say; If you aren’t making pancake batter in a blender, you’re doing it wrong.}

Two: Get in the sun, every chance I get!

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I am a rain lover, a cozy upper, and a hot drink connosouir. But lately? I’m a sun cat. I want to be in it, around it, soaking it in, and keeping all those rays in my pocket for the harder days. Our new back yard is super different (wrap around, say whaaa?) and has some work to be done. We need to fence a portion of it, make the whole space a little more entertain friendly and get some playspaces set up. And the planning phases are SO fun. But the execution is going to need to really get started! Brings me to my next one…

Three: Put my  hands in the dirt at every chance. Need to till up the garden beds, get my seeds going ASAP, and make all my big long seed lists!

Four: Run. I’ve been sorely neglecting the gym and the pavement and my body/heart/mind are all suffering. I feel lost about trying to shore up the motivation (again again again) but I know how worth it the fight is. Here’s to starting anew tomorrow. If I put it here, it’ll happen, right?

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Do you have any new goals? How are you carrying them out? Forehead tattoos? I’m thinking thats my next step.

So fresh and so clean! My home/body/laundry master list of recipes!

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I heard, about five years ago, someone say “if you wouldn’t put it in your body, don’t put it on your body.” it hit home, stuck in my head, but didn’t bring about much change. Till we had a baby… after having Nolie I started to really consider what I was using on her/me and around our house. I knew she would crawl/get into stuff and put her mouth on every single thing… and I felt like it was really time to change. I started with homemade laundry detergent, that quickly led me to home made spray cleaners, and finally into no-poo hair care, body scrubs, and lotions. We kind of jumped ship quick! And haven’t looked back! Since then we’ve gotten even deeper and don’t do no-poo anymore, but just use hot hot water and scrub well daily. All of our hair has never been healthier! I want to quickly share our go-to family recipes for around our home.

A bottle of Dr.Bronners still finds it’s way in (it seems to be the only way to really get extra virgin coconut oil out of hair, or greek yogurt for that matter ;) ) and brings us many bubble baths, and I buy Mrs.Meyer house cleaner spray here and there because the marketing has won me over. But about 90% of the time we are using wholly homemade cleaners for our home, clothes, and bodies. And loving it! And? LOVING the  money we save!

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For Home:

I use a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water for nearly everything! I have a few bottles and add different essential oils to each one depending on where I use it most. For the kitchen I typically make satsuma vinegar (I put orange peels/satsuma peels into a glass jar filled with vinegar, I let it sit for about ten days. Don’t worry! It won’t mold! and then strain out the peels and use that as my kitchen vinegar.) and mix it with half water and use that for my countertops/kitchen table/stove/highchair/sink. When my sink gets extra rank I do a sprinkle of baking soda all over it and then spray my vinegar (Nolie and Evie LOVE to watch it bubble up!) and give it a quick scrub and then lots of water to wash/rinse it off. It will shine after!

For the bathroom, I mix half vinegar and half water with a few drops of tea tree oil (available at most natural food store, or for pretty cheap even at Trader Joe’s!). That helps keep bugs away, is a natural way of making your bathroom smell stellar, and is a natural antimicrobial. But keep it up and away because when drank straight (as opposed to diluted a few drops in water/vinegar) it is unsafe.

For the Tub/Toilet, I have found the BEST mix is one cup white vinegar, one cup hot (from the tap) water, and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap. Shake it up, spray into tub/toilet and give it a little scrub. It works wonders!

For Laundry I mix equal parts borax and baking (or washing) soda and then half that amount of biokleen or oxyclean. (for example, one cup baking soda, one cup borax, 1/2cup bio/oxy) and then use one Tbs. per load in my washing machine. I’ve been using that recipe for four years and it has never gone wrong! It is SO CHEAP.

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For Exterior doors/windows I keep a spray bottle of water with lemon oil in it. Evidently spiders don’t like lemon. And I REALLY don’t like spiders. So I spray around all opening windows and doors a few times a week during the summer. It also brings a really nice fresh scent to our house.

Window Washing, we go old school here with straight vinegar and newspaper! Just like your Mom and Grandma did ;) I will say though, I do love and miss windex. It’s possibly my one holdover with the whole natural home stuff, I miss it like whoa.

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For Body:

For Hair, we used to be “no-poo” and use a mixture of baking soda/water for washing and then a dilution of Apple Cider Viengar (ACV) and water for conditioning. I still use ACV here and here if my hair feels a little coarse, but not often at all (maybe once every two months?). Otherwise I am going on two years of nothing and Charlie just broke over six months. Both of us had fairly long “adjustment” periods where our hairs oils balanced back out, and looked pretty ugly for a bit. For me it was just a couple weeks, for Charlie it was almost a month. He works a hard labor job, gets sweaty often, and struggled with not great skin. Since moving to just hot water washing his skin has cleared up considerably and his hair is healthier and less greasy than before! So, for hair, the recipe is hot hot water (as hot as you can stand is what I do, Charlie and the girl do theirs considerably less) and scrub it pretty hard (to redistribute the oils that are there) and that’s all. I do a little rub of tea tree oil along the nape and behind the ears when I think of it just so that we all smell a little extra fresh and because I am a bug worried freak, but that’s just preference and totally not necessary.

For Body Cleaning, Charlie is a big fan of the Dr.Bronner bar soap. The girls love bubbles so we put Dr.Bronners liquid soap into their baths pretty often too. I use baking soda and salt scrubs. My go-to, everyday, scrub is equal parts sugar and salt, a big drizzle of honey, and some eucalyptus oil (a drop or so). I use that to scrub my whole body and it leaves me smelling amazing and being super smooth. Nolie and Ever also love scrubs and epsom salts too so those get a lot of use. On a day when I know I am going to be cleaning my tub anyhow I will also use my coffee grounds as a body scrub too, evidently it’s great for circulation and can help lessen the look of cellulite even, crazy! I mix them (coffee grounds) with either a little melted coconut oil or olive oil and use them on my legs before I shave.

Shaving! I do shave, despite all the other hippie sounding tendencies ;) I use a tiny bit of coconut oil on my legs in the shower (we keep a jar in the kitchen, bathroom, shower, and bedroom) and then shave and rinse the razor very well (EVCO can kinda build up if you don’t!).

Body Lotion, I use plain coconut oil on my whole body as a lotion/moisturizer. It smells amazing, melts on contact, and absorbs into your skin really quickly. I put only a tiny bit on my face/mainly just lips because I have naturally pretty oily skin on my face. But I lather it on the rest of me! You could melt it ahead of time and add an essential oil to if it you wanted more of a scent (almond or lavender would be amazing!) but I never get around to doing that.

Face, I use one tbs baking soda and two tbs milk on my face really often as a wash/scrub and it cleans really well. I also use an egg white all whisked together and applied to my nose like a mask for black heads. Another frequent one around here is oatmeal/honey/sugar as a scrub/mask for long baths or “beauty parlor” with the girls. They especially love that one because it tastes good too!

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For the Girls:

Here’s the beauty… nothing any different that what I use on anyone else. We all just do hot water scrubs for hair, use coconut oil for lotion, and it also works great for diaper rashes too ;)

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section or on my Facebook page! I’ll try to respond promptly!

Little Dream Home- Entry Room

This sweet little house has more rooms than we have ever had before. It’s a small house (hovering just above 1100sq feet) but boasts three rooms that I have had on my ‘forever home’ dream list. An entry room, a mud room, and a laundry room. The entry room is the tiniest of the three, but is kinda darling. It has a square, high, stain glass window, and once we buy a door filled with windows too, I think this itty bitty triangular room will actually have some substantial light to it.

I am more of a bright-white-walls kinda girl (I like to add color everywhere else! and switch my my decor and are all.the.time.) but am planning on bringing some funk to these smaller spaces as a means of adding character to the house without compromising the main flow aesthetic I am looking for (keeping to a similar pallet throughout the house, for continuity sake, and since down the line we are going to do a renovation that will give it a more ‘open concept’ and having colors that work together will make that easier). That said. . . here are a few of the crazy colors I am entertaining.

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That blue tops my list. It goes well with the rest of our paint pallet for the main rooms (white, black, grey and some yellows) but is still super fun and unexpected.

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I love green but haven’t found a shade that really works. It seems a fine line between starbucks green and lime…

I love the look of jewel tones and in a bright small space I think it might be fun. There is really no danger of ‘making it feel smaller’ because it’s already just a little entry, postage stamp sized room. So bringing bright color and then more cohesive storage is really appealing to me.

For storage and hooks we are going to be pretty plain and minimal. 39c2bde1c5fac619501658e21ff89d9a

Likely two row of hooks, one up high for adults, and one down low for our kiddo visitors. It’s important to us that our house not look like kid junk exploded all over it, but that it also function well for our whole family. And half our family is under 3.5 feet tall, so… some low hooks and easy crates for shoes to be tossed into are  paramount. My guess is also that Nolie and Ever will play a big roll in deciding what colors we choose for this room/the inside of the door (toying with chalk paint for that, it seems SO practical!).

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That style of clean line/not rustic storage and bench also really appeals to me. I like low benches for kids and shoes and for adults to pop a foot onto for tying up laces. It seems like it could work well, but I won’t really know till I can live in the space a bit and do some measuring.

We know that one of the first things on our ‘hunt for’ list is a craftsman style, windowed, wooden, front door. We plan to sand and refinish it a bright color and hope that it will bring some light to the entry room.

We aren’t sure what color to paint it yet, but likely the inside of it will match the outside, or be chalk inside. Here are two that are looking bright and fun to me today, and would go well with  the jewel toned blue.

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Any little storage solutions you’ve seen? Any good advice on what kind of paint will REALLY hold up on a front door? And… is it too trendy to paint my door a bright color? I’ll probably do it anyway but, still. This is the smallest room in the house, but I am so excited to have it! Currently we have a little faux entry area we’ve created with hooks and shoe crates, and it functions SO well, and is pretty cute to look at! But it bleeds into our living space so much (shoes/coats/abandoned preschool art projects/everything) kind of pour out and full up the living room spaces, especially during playdates. So I am really looking forward to having an area to confine all those rogue boots and scarves to!

Little Dream Home- Girls Room

So, we’re still in the midst of “maybe we got it?” and “maybe it will all fall through. . . ” with this little dream home of ours. So instead of being radio silent, not letting it out, and keeping all the dreams in my composition notebook. I’m just going to let my dreams go wild and post it all on here. I’ll be heartbroken if we lose this house, but trust that it’s this or something better. I truly do. But I also feel so heartpullovestrong that this little home will be ours one day.

So, in typical me fashion, I’m designing each room and making endless lists with itemized budgets and where to buy each and every light fixture of my dreams. OMG. I love light fixtures.

So I am going to go through and post some of my inspiration for each room, I think it will be so exciting to look back (in, like, ten years when we actually finish this stuff!) and see where the vision ended up.

The girls room is currently a big open space, no closet yet, and two huge windows with gorgeous moulding. The whole house has amazing tall ceilings and their room is especially bright and welcoming. Right now it’s a deep red wine color that is pretty but a little dark for a shared space that needs to feel bright and airy for play.

Here’s some of what I”m scheming. . .

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I’m loving this rug and colors from Cost Plus World Market!hensvik-wardrobe__65574_PE177068_S4A couple of these would be 1. DARLING and 2. So convenient. Nolie and Ever would both love (love love) to have their own little wardrobes and these are a steal at Ikea.

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I mean. Right? Romantic, so darling, cottage’y, and doesn’t every little kid want an instafort for their bed?


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One wall is PERFECT as an accent wall. I haven’t decided yet between bold stripes or a chair rail with a color (or chalk?) under and polka dots up top. In fact, I’m kinda toying with polka dots as a theme across the board. and if so. . .

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That rug and those curtains would both be cute ‘wink and a nod’ to polkadots without going all the way.

I’m in love. Send me all your kid room pins. Cause I’m in deep.

party on. a few baby shower tips from me to you.

A few weekends back I threw a baby shower for a dear mama friend of mine. She was having her third baby, and her first shower. I vacillated over what ‘kind’ of shower to throw. Formal? No kids, only women? GAME SHOWER! Lots of “don’t say baby!” and smelling candy in a diaper? Or some hybrid new age BBQ with Dad’s and beer (Uh, I am a fan of that kind of shower, FYI)? Or something else. . .

Well, procrastination won out (shocking?), and the shower was a low key success. But while planning it and stressing over not having enough details and games, I let it go and  planned the kind of shower I would want. And learned a few things that I think make for a really nice friend baby shower.

1. Don’t over plan. If this is a group of friends then chances are the time will be filled with lots of gabbing, laughing, crying (if your like me), and eating. You won’t need stuff to “fill” the time.

2. At least one cheesy fun thing. For us it was a “spoon” test to predict the baby gender! Super quick, fun, full of funny lore, and exciting.

3. Good food! I went the easy way out and hosted a potluck, my friends? THEY CAN COOK! Lots of other mamas brought stellar snacks and I made mini bacon fat peach pies and got some donuts from a tasty local shop.

4. Serve booze. Just because she’s pregnant doesn’t mean you have to hold the mimosas. In my opinion? never hold the mimosas.

5. Make it kid friendly in some capacity, not everyone can/wants to leave their kiddos behind on the weekend. What we did was had Charlie and the Dad to be (third time over) hang out in the back yard with pizza, snacks, and whatever kiddos came. They had their own daddy daycare going with the benefit of Mama’s inside to help out whenever things got hairy. Just be sure to stock them up with snacks!

6. Henna. Just do it. The results are so beautiful, meaningful, and fun! Our Mama of honor got a beautiful belly design and then each attendee also got a small henna design (matching) that they could look on and have to remember to pray and think on our friend while she labors.

7. Accept help. A friend to bring favors? sure! Wants to pick up a coffee service? yup! You happen to have some darling bunting? I’ll take it! It takes a village guys!

8. Enjoy it! If you, the host, are having fun; Chances are your guests are too.

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And, also, beware. Having a gorgeous pregnant belly getting hennaed feet from you? It WILL make your baby fever burn with the heat of a thousand suns. You’ve been warned.

Weekend Laundry List

This weekend I vowed to get ahead. Since Charlie started his new job our little home has seen some changes, the two most notable are NO PAPA ALL DAY and A bigger pay check! The end result of those? Exhausted Mama, and Papa who wants to treat us all.the.time. So, the eating out commenced. And it felt good! And it tasted good! For a bit… but after a bit? The pants are tight(er), the changes aren’t getting really accustomed to or grown into and instead they are getting a big (greasy, cheesy, local, delish) bandaid put on them. So this weekend it came time for Big Talks, bandaids pulled, and healthy choices again.

On Friday I went for a great run with new friends and we killed it! Okay, okay, it was slow and we walked a bit. But we got out there and did it! Even though it was friday and we easily could have played our ‘mom card!’ and phoned in dinner and ate some chocolate while whining about our weeks… but instead we Ran! And then I went to town on prepping for the coming week. I made a meal plan (relying heavily on two books, Feeding the Whole Family and Whole Life Nutrition), and planned for Dairy Free dinners (and gluten light) all week. We grocery shopped. We made breakfasts ahead of time (Overnight oats! Do it!) and grab-able lunches (Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and homemade bean and chèvre burritos), and a big batch of refried beans (well, really they are just mashed beans but they taste the same!) for dinners and quick lunches for the little ladies and I at home. Then I made a tasty concoction that is a perfect “creamer” for my morning coffee and then pulled the trigger…

Ten days of yoga. Yes, again. Last time I did it I felt incredible by the end. Stronger, more nimble, more able to be quiet and still without that beast on my back telling me ‘not enough’, ‘fat’, ‘you can’t do it’. But then I came to the end of the ten days…and one day off turned into a week, and the beast got bigger again. So I am back on the wagon, this time some friends are going to play along to! Check it out on my facebook page, and on Instagram with the #tendaysofyoga and #yogaformama I would love to have more buddies doing this. The accountability is SO good and motivating! I’ll be writing more about where I’ve gotten to with this beast and those words, but it’s all a little too tender for now. I’m hoping to come at it with a renewed confidence after some good hard sweaty yoga.

Anyhow! I wanted to share two of my meal prep recipes and I’ll post another one for you tomorrow!

1003049_397197070380039_2074574728_n-1The rundown: Yogurt Containers; filled with homemade slow cooked beans, yellow bottomed jars are overnight oats, big jars are quinoa salad, bag underneath are grab-n-go burritos, crisp for dessert last night, and then some snacks to get through the week! And sparkling water, because topping fresh made ABC juice with that is SO good (apple, beet, carrot.)!

Over Night Oats:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup milk (I use almond, but any kind would work, or you could use yogurt)

Flavors! In this batch I used a big spoon full of homemade apple sauce and black berry jam. But some other favorites around these parts are frozen fruit and honey, sliced banana and peanut butter, mango and coconut flakes (great with coconut cream or milk in it too), and good old brown sugar and cinnamon.

Mix it all together, seal, and let it sit over night (but will keep for about five days in the fridge). It’s an easy one to take on the go, eat in the car, or a morning walk. YUM

Dairy Free/ Soy Free Creamer:

One can Coconut Cream (or, full fat coconut milk without the water on the bottom)

Two Tbs coconut oil

1 (or more if you like it sweet!) Tbs Honey

1 Tsp Vanilla

(and I put in a few big shakes of cinnamon too)

Puree it all together (blender works best, or immersion blender) and refrigerate it over night. YUM. Scoop into your coffee and enjoy!