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Unstopables plus five home decorating tips for spring

For the past three years, I’ve been on a mission to make our house a home. We moved in three years ago next month and we’ve slowly turned our house into a bright, fresh, cheerful home that we love. Our kitchen and powder room are two of my favorite rooms in our home. I’m excited to share a look at both today since the powder room hasn’t been on the blog yet.

Unstopables plus five home decorating tips for spring

 

I love our white kitchen cabinets and white, grey and black granite. The subway tile backsplash was actually a last-minute change due to our original tile being out of stock. We went with subway tile because it’s incredibly inexpensive so we wouldn’t feel bad replacing it quickly, but since then, I’ve found that I LOVE it and have no intention of changing it at all.

Unstopables plus five home decorating tips for spring

Our kitchen is really bright thanks to a south facing window.

I’ve learned things along the way in decorating our home and while my aesthetic isn’t for everyone, I’m happy to share five tips for creating a bright cheerful home just in time for spring.

Unstopables plus five home decorating tips for spring

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Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair for winter skin

Winter in Minnesota has been incredibly cold this year. We haven’t had much snow at all compared to a typical winter, but the freezing temps and dry air have done a number on my skin and hair.

I love playing outside during every season. Whether it’s sledding, snow tubing or just going for a walk in the fresh air, winter doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside.

My top five favorite activities are:

1. Snow walks. Simply going for a walk in the snow all bundled up is so much fun.

2. Tubing. I’m a woman who loves a roller coaster and generally am a thrill seeker.

3. Sledding. So easy but so fun. Even just pulling the kids is fun.

4. Playing on the snow pile at the back of our driveway. We have a long driveway so we end up with a pretty fun little hill right in our own backyard.

5. Making snow cones out of real snow. But be sure you only use the fresh stuff. :)

Playing outside in winter

Temperatures might take a nosedive this time of year, but the moisture of your skin doesn’t have to.

Vaseline for freezing cold Minnesota winters

Before spending the day outside playing with my kiddos, I’ve started using Vaseline Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair lotion on my hands and sometimes cheeks. My hands are definitely the driest between the cold winter air, running in and out of preschool and washing them constantly.

Vaseline for winter skin protection

I keep a bottle right next to my sink so I remember to slather it on every chance I get.

Vaseline for freezing cold Minnesota winters

The first layer of protection for cold weather? Your skin. Before you head into the cold, give it the proper moisturizing, healing treatment it needs to weather the coldest days of the year.

Vaseline

About Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions
Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions contain healing micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly to deeply moisturize to heal dry skin and is clinically proven to heal dry skin in 5 days.

Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of Vaseline® and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

Outdoor photos by Melissa Oholendt Photography.


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Matching Brothers, boy fashion #OhBoyStyle
My boys have been matching lately and I LOVE it! I joke that I’ve waited Ezra’s entire life to do this! I bought these shoes at Nordstrom Rack before Ezra was born and we are now at the point when they fit both boys. And these beanies are a fave from Childhoods Clothing, an adorable shop!

Oh Boy Style Instagram Sale

I’ll be back to sharing boy fashion over on Oh Boy Style soon. But, if you are in the market for some adorable duds for your baby or toddler boy, be sure to follow our Oh Boy Style Instagram account. I’m putting on a huge sale next week featuring very gently used items from Mr. Ezra’s closet including the kicks in the photo above. Instagram shopping is such a fun and easy way to create a fabulous wardrobe for your little one without leaving home and without spending a fortune. Have you tried it yet?


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Monetizing your blog

Today’s post isn’t for everyone. It’s for those of you who want to blog and eventually make it an income source for you and your family. If this isn’t you, skip this post and swing by tomorrow. :)

If it is you, grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat.

I am 80 percent done writing  an ebook about blogging. I’ve had SO many people email me, text me, Facebook message me etc… for details on how I’ve made blogging into a part of my career. And while I don’t mind meeting with people, my time is precious right now. I have two little boys and an amazing husband. When I’m not working, I want to spend my time with them.

So, for a while I started jotting down notes and putting together my blogging journey to share with people via email when they asked. My journey has been very different from those of others and although a lot of the information I’ll share is probably out there somewhere, my story isn’t out there.

I met with one of my very close blogging friends (Ashley of Mama Brooks) who is also a real-life friend, a year or so ago and realized that while it was probably somewhat helpful for her to have me there explaining things, the information was what she really needed. I wanted to find a way to help my friends and others who want in on this space with the knowledge I have while also sharing my story.

I was late to monetizing my blog for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that I knew NOTHING about it. I didn’t know about these blogger groups that help each other out. I didn’t know how to do advertising or get sponsored posts. I had NO idea. But that didn’t stop me. And it doesn’t have to stop you. Read More »


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I'm back to work

Hello hello! After a seriously extended maternity leave, I am officially back to work. You may not have noticed since the blog and writing for Momtastic were things I still did. But now I get to go back to client work, more magazine writing and continue with my other work. It feels SO good.

After nearly eight months with my sweet baby, I’m ready to rock it. After searching casually for a nanny for a few months (Care.com is a bit overwhelming to me), we hired my mama to come to our house three days each week and it seems like the perfect fit. She started already today. She was lucky to be able to make her job a part-time job so she could work for us and get extra time with our kiddos. It’s a pretty sweet setup for all.

This means I’m working Monday through Wednesday, working during naps on Thursdays and I’m taking Fridays off completely. I’m so excited to use Fridays to simply enjoy time with my kids, especially with Spring and Summer right around the corner.

Plus I can do housework during naps on Fridays and not feel bad that I’m behind on deadlines. Throughout this maternity leave, I’ve been very torn. I always have deadlines and sponsored posts due, but I also really wanted to do the dishes and laundry during naps so I didn’t have to balance them with Ezra. I just stunk at it. I felt guilty when I was cleaning and I felt guilty when I was working. Lose-lose.

So, there will be a lot of new things happening here and in other spaces. I’ll be sharing them with you. For now, be sure you’re following us on Instagram. That’s where I share the behind-the-scenes goodness. ;)

Have a great week and happy President’s Day!

 

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Photographers I love

I recently posted our family photo session to Facebook and posted our newborn session this summer. Both times I received SO many questions about our wonderful photographers.

photographers

I want to start off by saying that I have found the investment in photography to be 100 percent worth it. I care a lot about capturing these times in our lives and paying for really amazing photographers is worth it to me. I’ve had friends who have used less expensive photographers and been very disappointed. By the time you pay the smaller fees twice, you have the money you need to invest in a rockstar photographer like the following people. I know that not everyone can make photography fit in their budgets, but if you can, I highly recommend you invest in someone who is a great fit for your family.

Photo by Melissa Oholendt

While this is pretty specific to our Minnesota readers, I wanted to share all of the photographers who have worked with our family. I can personally recommend each of these people and can guarantee you will be happy with your images if you hire them.

Baby Bodhi

While there are SO many fantastic photographers in the Twin Cities area that I love and want to work with, I’m going to focus on the ones who have actually photographed our family since I can attest to their ability to work with children, their quality etc… After doing so many sessions with my family, I’ve learned that Lifestyle sessions at home work best for us and the images are ones I treasure beyond anything. With that said, some people really prefer the perfectly posed smiling at the camera type of images. All of these photographers can handle both styles.  Read More »


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A casual, kid-friendly family room eat-in space

I wanted to share our family eat-in space with you for some time. I thought I’d do it after I get a wide-angle lens so I can get some great photos for you, but it’s going to be a while, I’m afraid. In case you’re wondering, this is the lens I’m considering. It seems to be the least expensive option for what I need to be able to do (photograph our tiny powder room from a doorway, for example).

A casual, kid-friendly family room eat-in space

So for today, I’ll share the photos Melissa Oholendt captured that show our eat-in space between the kitchen and the family room at least a bit, although the photos are really just of our family.

This space doesn’t get great natural light. It’s in the NE corner of the house. Brightening it up was my number one goal.

A casual, kid-friendly family room eat-in space

We focused on practicality with this space. The capiz chandelier was a big purchase for us two years ago and I still LOVE this light. It’s available now and there are often 20% off coupons you can use to purchase it. It is a showstopper, in my opinion.

A casual, kid-friendly family room eat-in space

 

The table is casual and I love the X style legs that make it look like a fancy picnic table. It comes in a whitewash finish which really brightens our space. It’s also $100 less in 2015 than it was when we bought it. I love the knotty pine finish too.

The chairs are from Target. They are simple, extremely washable and affordable. Dining chairs are ridiculously expensive normally. They also come in a bunch of great colors.

A casual, kid-friendly family room eat-in space

The white cabinet, while not styled at all on the inside yet, is a great storage addition and also brightens up the space.

The lamp is also from Target. We have two of them.

We are so happy with this comfortable room. Check out the rest of the room and view the photos of how the room used to look.

Affiliate links included. 


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Things I'm failing at as a mother

Happy Monday! What better way to start a new week than share all of my failings as a mother and a person. ;) No, seriously, these are things I’m failing at, but have completely accepted during this season of our lives. I thought I’d share so that I can remember but also just in case someone out there can relate. And don’t worry. I’m not down on myself or sad about any of this. No need to leave encouraging comments (although “me too” comments are always appreciated). Here goes.  Read More »


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A Coffee Date: Encouragement, Energy

Happy Friday! Ezra Jude is SEVEN months old today. How is that possible?

I’m wrapping up this week (filled with a sick baby, a coughing big boy, cloudy grey skies, lots of coffee, conversations with good friends and dreaming of spring) with my second Coffee Date. Before I share the topics, I have to say that I have Spring Fever already. We had some “warm” days in Minnesota these past two weeks (and by warm, I mean 30’s) and it seriously smelled like spring outside. Simple pleasures, friends.

Today’s topics: Encouragement and energy. What does this mean? I’m going to touch on the Sisterhood of Mothers sometimes referred to as “mommy wars” video that is going around, life with two kids and a few tips for gaining a bit more energy in a healthy natural way. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat. Read More »


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Valentine's Day finds for little ones

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. My husband and I don’t tend to celebrate much for this “holiday” but I think it’s fun with kids.

Like most things, there are WAY more “girly” Valentine’s Day things than choices for boys. I am planning to post some cute outfits for boys and girls soon and the options for boys are beyond limited while girls have a HUGE variety of styles, colors and fun choices. But, such is the life of a boy-mama.

Today I’m sharing a few fun and LOVE-ly finds for little ones for Valentine’s Day. My favorite is definitely the cute little card kit as Bodhi is currently sewing pretty regularly in preschool and would love this.

Valentine’s Day pajamas This is one of our favorite brands, but we rarely splurge on them. I love the Valentine’s prints.

Heart baseball cap This gender neutral option is one of the few things I found that I could definitely put on my boys with a cute baseball tee for Love day!

LOVE blanket This one comes in blue as well and I love the soft feel of everything from Little Giraffe.

Heart stocking cap This is so simple and so sweet.

Valentine’s Day “Sew Lovely” card set I already mentioned that this is the perfect little set for preschool aged children.

Heart pacifier clip A fun little accessory for Valentine’s Day and all through the year.

Affiliate links included.