Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Stylin' Pt. II

For my second spring style post I picked up some amazing accessories and bags that are practical and perfect for spring and beyond. Zappos has so many incredible brands and items to choose from and I went a little crazy (in the best way) picking out some faves.

Backpacks are a moms best friend and I previously had a really large one that was annoying to lug around. I found this one from Roxy and it's petite and the perfect size, big enough to carry diapers, snacks and my wallet but not so big you lose everything inside. I also got this gorgeous Prana tote and an amazing woven cosmetic bag for my upcoming trip to NYC in 2 weeks! For the tote, I needed something that was big enough for my plane carry-on but cute enough to carry around the city all during my stay. Bingo!

Spring style pt. II
Spring style pt. II
Spring style pt. II
Spring style pt. II

I've been on the hunt forevvverr for the perfect black hat... I'm super picky and had yet to find the one that matched all the criteria. Zappos has sooo many to choose from and the perfect one was in there! I ended up with the brixton wesley and Josh liked it so he got one too! I also got (and am now obsessed with) these round john lennon sunnies too but I forgot to bring them along when we were taking photos (wahhh).

Spring style pt. II
Spring style pt. II

And last but not least, I wanted to pick out something "springy" to wear that was a little outside my comfort zone (aka all black clothes) so I got this woven free people poncho and it is amazing!! Super comfy and versatile. It'll also be good for a beach cover-up this summer.
Poncho

Thanks zappos for always having the best selection of clothes and accessories for my choosy self to choose from and of course, the best customer service on the planet. Any time I've ever had to make a return its the most simple, straight-forward process.. no questions asked and the new things are on my doorstep before I've even sent back the thing I'm returning. Customer service that good is a rare thing these days.



And hello, I'm the most indecisive person in the world so I'm back to red and cut a bunch of hair off. Both of which I'll probably regret tomorrow. :)
Spring style pt. II
This post was created in partnership with Zappos. As always, all opinions and words are entirely my own and I'm super grateful to have the opportunity to work with a company I love. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Allergies and spider repellent, oh my!

Just popping in to share a couple essential oil stories! I started an account for all of my essential oil talk and other health things awhile back that you can follow if thats your thing or you're wanting to just learn more about them. Its instagram.com/vanillaandlace.essentials :)

Peppermint essential oil spider spray


Anyway: Here's an all-natural Spider repellent that has worked amazing for us! 



I've been meaning to share this tip... Because it's crazy. I have a very very large fear of spiders...any size, anywhere. And lately we were seeing/killing 1-2 A DAY (!!) in our house, little nasty white sac spiders. Then I read spiders hate peppermint and won't go anywhere near it. Neat! So I made a spray bottle with 5 drops of peppermint and 8oz water and sprayed it in every room around the windows and where the walls meet the ceiling. I do this once a week now. And lo and behold: over a month later and we haven't seen a single spider. So when I say buying this oil kit was worth every cent... I mean it! And more! And since what you're spraying you could also be inhaling, I would suggest using super high quality essential oil, not the health food store kind. I use Young living exclusively and they are the bomb.


Essential oils for allergies



Also, allergy season is hitting hard this year! And these three little beauties work WONDERS for allergy symptoms. I have a little roller bottle made up for easy application (10 drops of each plus 30 drops of almond oil), apply to temples, wrists and back of neck. Or for more severe allergies, you can put a drop of each on a teaspoon of honey and take it internally (or put in a capsule). Josh's allergies have been out of control this year and a drop of each of these in a capsule knocked them out quick. Peace out Claritin.


You can read more of posts about essentials here and here! Or if you're wanting more info on what you can use them for, how we use them, how much they costs, ect... you can leave your email and I'll shoot you a lengthy email including all that jazz.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Make it: Cashew Milk!

Homemade Cashew Milk

So, making cashew milk is my latest obsession. Now, I've never been one to drink a glass of milk... I just can't do it (even soy or almond milk) so when I made this and couldn't stop gulping it down I knew I hit the jackpot of milks (weird phrase..). It's over the top creamy but not thick in a gross way, it tastes like heaven and is amazing added into oatmeal or on top of cereal.
Mine and Beck's favorite breakfast lately is bran flakes with this on top. We're a simple folk I suppose but it's like dessert or something!

It's super easy to make and is loaded with protein and healthy fats. Have you ever tried cashew milk? If you haven't, try this!

Homemade cashew milk

Cashew Milk

1.5 cups raw, unsalted cashews, soaked and rinsed (soak the cashews in water for 2-4 hours before)
3 cups filtered water
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1. Combine all of the ingredients in the order listed into a high-speed blender 
2. Starting on the lowest setting and working all the way to the highest setting blend the ingredients for 2 minutes. 
*If you're not using a vitamix or something similar, you'll want to add a minute to the blending time and strain through a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth. 

I usually stick in in the fridge right away and drink within a couple a days. You can also heat it up and drink it warm. 

Homemade Cashew Milk

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring stylin'

Spring is here! Which for Portland usually means lots and lots of rain (though we've been having plenty of sunny days too). Shopping for clothes when spring comes is like hitting the jackpot for me. I feel so stifled by huge jackets all winter and in spring I feel like I'm finally wearing clothes again... maybe thats just me ;)

I cleaned out my closet (hello spring cleaning) then picked out some springy staples from Zappos a couple weeks ago and here's what I ended up with. Of course, some might not consider an all-black ensemble very springy but its totally "in" and I love it so I'm going with it. You'll find me in all-black most days of the week, its how I roll!

High-waisted jeans // Free People - I've been eyeing some like this for ages and I love these ones! They come in petite too which is perfect for my shrimpy self!
Crop-ish Top // Free People - I love a good swingy top and I wanted one that shows of the high-waisted jeans!
Nude D'orsay flats // Chinese Laundry - These are my favorite flats in the world (I own them in two colors). They literally go with everything!
I also got these no-show socks to wear with booties. Must-have for sure!

And for Beck I snagged a pair of baby hunter boots because they are SO stinkin adorable and extremely practical for the wet weather round here.

Zappos strikes again! Seriously, I love this company, especially how much thought and care they put into customer service. I hopped on their live chat service a couple weeks ago to ask a question and the guy I talked to was a rockstar. So helpful and nice and talked to me like a real person (not the overly formal, robotic crap).

And yes... I changed my hair big time. More on that later...
Spring Style
Spring Style
Spring Style
Spring Style
Spring Style
Spring Style
Spring Style
This post was created in partnership with Zappos. As always, all opinions and words are entirely my own and I'm super grateful to have the opportunity to work with a company I love. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A few of my favorite things: Munchkin Diaper Pail

Babies + stinky diapers. It's a thing and it happens every day (or multiple times a day if you're Beck) and the older they get, the worse it gets you know? So if I had to pick the most practical and best baby gear item in Beck's room right now the Munchkin arm & hammer diaper pail would always win.
I am forever amazed that this thing can be full of diapers and even when you're standing directly over it there is no smell wafting out. It self-seals, sprinkles baking soda on top each time it closes and it actually works like its supposed to, which makes my life as a mom incredibly easier. 15+ months later and I'm still impressed with this thing!

I also love that its super plain and sleek, because lets be real, baby stuff can be pretty hideous and the more you have in the room it can feel crowded and cluttered. The simple design fits perfectly into any room and I've never felt like it needed to be hidden or something.

If you've got kiddos in diapers or one on the way, get yourself one! They are da best!

Our favorite things: Munchkin diaper pail
Our favorite things: Munchkin diaper pail
Our favorite things: Munchkin diaper pail
Our favorite things: Munchkin diaper pail
Our favorite things: Munchkin diaper pail
This post is created in partnership with Munchkin. As always, opinions are entirely my own. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mama Style 01

Mama Style // 1
Mama Style // 1
Mama Style // 1

I thought it'd be fun to document some daily wears of mine. Nothing fancy, no dressing up or buying things just to post... just the day to day stuff that is mama friendly (ie: you can easily chase a kiddo, stay comfortable, not expensive ect). As you can see, we're not talking high fashion here :) And hopefully Beck will make some appearances, since his outfits are way cooler than mine anyway.

This is one my go-tos for everyday: Skinny jeans, tee, cardigan and booties.


Beck was getting impatient so I did my best to keep him entertained... so much awkward but thats real life.

Mama Style // 1
Mama Style // 1

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January photo dump

End of january

End of january
End of january

I've been working on making our room feel nicer and more "done". I've put it off because its tiny and odd shaped and I just don't like it very much but I tried to do a few small things to help it along. New plant, new wall light, new chalkboard. Meanwhile, I've been stalking zillow for a house to buy. I can dream right??

End of january
End of january
End of january
End of january

This kid is going through major food aversion lately. He used to eat anything... and it was great. Now most of the time he won't even touch his favorites. Except soup or fruit or green smoothies... he'll eat those all day long. Hoping this phase doesn't last forever!

dada + baby
^^ but hoping this phase DOES last forever. He wants to walk hand in hand everywhere we go!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Essential oils // My favorite ones and how I use them

young living essential oils

So the question I get the most when I talk about using essential oils now is what my favorite ones are and how I use them (and if they work...). So here's my long answer!

I bought the premium starter kit when I first started because it has all of the most popular oils and includes a diffuser (which is like a spa at home), and a bunch of other goodies like samples packets and more. You save a ton of money by going this route and get your hands on 11 different oils to start out with, it was like christmas morning when my package arrived in the mail! So I'll start by talking about those ones that are included because thats all I had to begin with and they are the bees-knees!

Thieves: This is a powerhouse oil and definitely one of my very very favorites! It is like emergen-C X 100 for helping ward off sickness. We've used this one over and over during cold and flu season to help keep us from getting sick or getting over sickness quickly. My favorite story (and the one that had me totally sold on it) is my entire family (parents, sisters, spouses, kids) stayed in a small house for a vacation recently and right in the middle of it my nephew got a stomach virus so we were all pretty much doomed to get it. I remembered that I had brought thieves so I started applying it to my feet and anyone in the house who would let me. Here's the kicker: everyone that let me apply the thieves to them didn't get the virus. The stubborn people who didn't want "the oils" on their feet, they got the nasty little virus. That CANNOT be a coincidence. Ever since then, we've been using it diligently if we find out we were around someone sick or start to feel the beginnings of a sickness and it has always nipped it in the bud. Other ways we use it: cleaning! All-natural anti-bacterial!

Peppermint: I get headaches pretty frequently (it runs in the family) and I hate hate hate using pain relievers so when I read about peppermint relieving headaches I was super excited to try it. A drop of oil swiped across the temples and forehead (or back of neck, depending on where your head hurts) and gone. Sometimes I'll have to do it twice for it to go away completely but for the most part just once. It is also fantastic for stomach problems, we usually put a drop in a little bit of water and shoot it down. This is HUGE for me since I used to live off pepto (before I got pregnant) and it was the only thing that would take away my frequent stomach aches. If there was one oil I probably couldn't live without now, it'd be peppermint. Other uses: congestion, indigestion, muscle soreness, gas and fever reducer. 

Purification: This one can neutralize odors that nothing else can! We tried using febreze in the past but its soooo chemically I felt like I was going to start having brain loss if I kept using it, that crap is crazy (and didn't even work good). But anyway, two cats in our small apartment... not ideal for a fresh smelling house... but diffusing this (or making a spray with this+water for a natural febreze) neutralizes the odors in minutes. I also always put one drop in my kitchen towel/rag load of laundry and they come out smelling brand new. It's also great for using on breakouts, bug bites or as a natural insect repellent. It's very multi-functional if you can't tell ;)

Frankincense: This one is like gold to me! It has super restorative properties so I've been using it on my face to help with breakouts, heal old acne scars and keep wrinkles at bay. I actually just started using it on a couple stretch marks that I got while pregnant, and I know you won't believe me until I have photographic evidence but they are almost completely invisible. Pictures to come (when I feel like being vulnerable). This is a super expensive oil so that fact that it comes in this kit is incredible!

Joy: This one smells incredible and has been super helpful for when I have anxiety or when I'm in a funk. I was super skeptical of essential oils helping out with emotional issues because the results aren't as black and white as a headache going away or a rash clearing up but they have worked for me in tangible ways. I have friends that have been able to get off of anxiety/depression medications because these work so well for them. And THAT is truly amazing! Plus, this one smells like the best perfume so its a win/win.

Lemon: This one might be one of the most multi-purpose oils out there. Josh and I add a drop to our water bottle every day for its cleansing properties. I also use it to clean with, to cook and bake with (lemon cookies!)  and if you get sick it is great with honey to help a sore throat! So many other uses too.

Lavender: If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know how obsessed with lavender I am :) I loooove this one. I use it for relaxation and sleep (for myself and Beck!), on burns and skin irritations, diaper rash, dry skin and lips (darn winter!), to clear up a runny nose and I even add a drop to my coffee every now and then. It's also great for stress and anxiety and to use in laundry or homemade cleaning products to make everything smell so fresh.

Panaway: This is the icy-hot of the essential oil world but so much better. I use it for tension headaches (a drop spread across back of my neck, behind my ears and across my shoulders), for sore muscles from working out, and the best of all, for stomach cramps around that time of the month. I would always have to take at least one ibuprofen for my cramps but haven't taken a single one since september. A few drops to my lower stomach where you feel cramps and it eases the pain and feels tingly and minty.

Citrus fresh: This one is often used for weight loss but I've yet to try it for that so I mostly use it for cleaning, as an air spray (it smells SO refreshing), or in my water for an energy boost. This one is still new to me (its actually new to the kit) so I'm still learning about what to use it for.

Stress away: This is the bees-knees for stress (obviously). I use it (applied to my wrists and behind my ears) when I start to feel tense and overwhelmed. It has a really calming effect. I've been known to sneak this one on Josh when he's a little cranky :)

Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea tree): I started using tea tree oil a loooong time ago because I always heard it helped with skin issues and such but it honestly never worked for me so I gave up. Looking back I can see it probably didn't work because I bought a $3 bottle at walmart or some place equally as shady and it probably didn't even have any actual Melaleuca(thats the real stuff) in it. Now that I use the real deal stuff it actually works like its supposed to. It is so amazing for a plethora of skin conditions, cuts and bug bites (and preventing bug bites!), cleaning and preventing mold growth, relief from athletes foot, getting rid of warts, and even helping an earache.  Maybe this one wins for most multi-purpose?! I had ring worm on my arm about a month ago (so gross I know!) and I wanted to get rid of it asap but without using a fungal cream so I used Mel-A a few times a day and it was gone within a week. Which is good because I was so creeped out by it!


Wow. That was long and I only briefly touched on each one that I started out with! I have so many more specific stories (or testimonials if you will) to tell but I'll save it for later this week or next week so this doesn't turn into the longest post ever. If you're curious and need to know more.. like now! about any of these that I talked about, feel free to email me!!
I'll be also posting more about which ones I feel comfortable using on Beck for sleeping, teething, fussiness, rashes, ect. soon but if you need to know right away (I feel your pain!) email me too, I'll tell you what has worked for us!

If you're wanting to order the same thing I started off with you can do so here: https://www.youngliving.com/signup/?site=US&sponsorid=2043894&enrollerid=2043894

As you are ordering:
1. Be sure to check Wholesale Member to earn 24% off any future orders (you can't get the kit as a "retail customer" plus you save money by being a wholesale member, its like costco... except free!)
2. Then choose the Premium Starter Kit
3. Go ahead and just say No Thanks for Step 3 about Essential Rewards. No need to worry about that right now.
Follow the process all the way through to the end, where you will receive TWO confirmation emails! One confirming that you signed up, and another confirming your order.
Be sure to let me know if you're ordering and I can send you a helpful handbook thingy I have that has toooons of information about the oils, usage ideas, and recipes for cleaners and lotions and lots of other exciting things. 

young living essential oils
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