New Home Projects To Solve All the Storage Problems

Moving is never dull. With a local move, we were able to get most of our things moved ourselves, with the help of local family members. God bless them! The big stuff with big stairs from the other house required the help of amazing local movers.


Amazingly, 3 days after the movers left, we were socked in with snow surrounding us. We are ever grateful that we chose to move in the week we did. The little rain we endured during our move weekend was nothing compared to the week that followed. 


We are filling our days with projects around here in our new home. I am unpacking in fits and starts. We are loving our gorgeous new home. It is amazing in almost every way…..except for storage. We are just getting started with some great storage solutions and I’m sure they will evolve even more as we live in the space even longer.


My office/craft room is in the “formal dining room” of this home because we are just not those people right now. I am slowly adding storage pieces here because there is no closet or built in shelves to hide all my crap treasures for crafting. As I add more solutions, I can unpack more things into their forever home. It is beginning to fill out and I love it! I always dreamed of having my own space for all the things and I don’t even mind my hubby stealing my comfy chair to work on his laptop when I’m at my computer. 


We have “just enough” counter space in the kitchen for what we need, but that means that we need other places to put things like the coffee pot, electric kettle rice cooker and pressure cooker that we use daily or every other day. Enter this gorgeous hutch from Costco which was delivered yesterday. It is the extension of my kitchen cabinets and counter that I didn’t even know I needed. We are expecting a kitchen cart delivery in the next day or so to tuck between the hutch and our kitchen counter that will actually house the cooking electrics. We also added an over the door “spice rack” for the inside of our pantry door because this family of four is just not accustomed to a tiny pantry. It holds everything from spices to oils to syrup to ramen to sprinkles. 



We also added a cabinet from IKEA with glass doors on top for pretty glasses to go right next to my wine fridge in my office. Yes, I have a wine fridge in my office and I think it’s the perfect spot! I kind of feel like I’m in an old timey movie and I can offer a beverage while making a high powered deal. Ha! The bottom of the cabinet has solid doors that hide some overflow from the tiny pantry.


I honestly have not even tackled my closet yet. My clothing needs are quite simple right now, so I have out what I need and there is no need for much variety. I’ll get there eventually, but it’s not a priority. 


I’m hoping this week to dig into more boxes with decor items to give our space a little more of a personal touch. I have to say, I’ve loved the simplicity of things around here for a couple of weeks. 


I’m also working on a family command center and will share that with you soon. It has taken a few weeks to see just where my family drops their things when we come home. Now, I have a plan to make it more functional and fabulous. I’ll share the details soon!


I’m just ready for the box piles to dwindle down and not have as many projects looming. We are loving life over here and can’t wait to share pictures of it all. 


Share with me your favorite storage hacks for your spaces. I’m dying to know what works for you. 


I am using my Yearly Planner to keep track of all of the appointments and deliveries for all of our projects and it is saving me from having post-it notes all over the place. I can’t seem to remember what day of the week it is anymore. Grab your own download of the Yearly Planner here


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may make a small commission from any purchases using the link at NO cost to you. All opinions are always completely my own. 

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What Are You Creating?

According to Harvard Health, ”for something to be creative it has to be novel or original and be useful or adaptive to some portion of the population.”


When I create something, I am problem solving along the way. Through solving the problems that come along with creation, I am activating the reward center in my brain and getting a burst of dopamine in the process. Generally, I don’t even realize it at the time because I am so focused on the creative process, but science tells us that it is there. 


The tendency these days is to consume. We consume the social media feeds we scroll through. We consume the television programs or movies we watch. We consume take out food and package deliveries. 


What are you creating these days?


I love to craft things. I often see products online and think, “I could make that!” I am a sucker for a step by step tutorial. Do they all turn out fabulously? No way! I do, however, gain experience and skills along the way. The beauty of crafting is that I can take what I have learned and use it going forward into the next project. I can refine my technique or use smarter tools. Sometimes that experience tells me that, no, I cannot make that cool thing myself. LOL! 


I have been knitting a scarf lately that is almost finished. That is kind of a miracle because knitting is something that I do when I find myself sitting still with nothing to do with my hands. That doesn’t happen too often lately, but I’m making progress little by little. 


A newer form of creativity for me has been drawing/painting with an Apple Pencil on my iPad. I love being able to draw something and have the ability to push undo if it is not the stroke I was hoping for. There are so many layers I can add to my drawings to improve them too. There is just something about learning a new craft that gets me so excited to make more. 


I got a Cricut for Christmas from my amazing family and I am so excited to make all the things. I dabbled a little and made an ornament commemorating the year, a little sign with our names on it, the cover of my journal and turned a whiteboard into a perpetual calendar for my daughter. This is only the beginning! When we move into our new house, there will be a dedicated space for all my crafting and creating, so I can up my creating game. 


Now, I lean towards physical crafts that end up all around my home. You may be thinking, that’s totally not me. No worries there! You may create things and not even realize it. Check out this list:

  • Writing: This can take the form of journaling, letter writing, blogging, crafting emails or lesson plans or social media posts. 

  • Decorating: Rearranging things to improve the aesthetic is also creating.

  • Music: Singing or playing an instrument. 

  • Photography: You don’t even need fancy equipment these days with how technology has improved our phone cameras. 

  • Cooking or Baking: Using a recipe or not, you are creating something. 

  • Gardening: Indoor or outdoor, planting, tending, pruning is also creative.

  • Building: You are creating when you build towers or Legos with your kids.

All of that is creating! You are putting something out into the world that wasn’t there before. This is how we leave our mark on the world!


My goal each day is to create something new. That keeps my brain firing that dopamine and leads to a happier life. 


What is your favorite form of creative outlet? I’m not sure I could narrow it down to just one, so you can share as many as you like in the comments below.




Did you know I just launched a journal? It is a pdf download that you can get today to start my easy journaling system. Check out all the information here!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may make a small commission from any purchases using the link at NO cost to you. All opinions are always completely my own. 

Want to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss a thing? Click here and I'll shoot you an email whenever a new blog post lands. 

How to Add Some Zen to Your Bath

How to Add Some Zen to Your Bath

Are you a bath or a shower person? I am usually a shower person for the day to day, but I looooove me a good soak in the bath. Baths give me time to relax, recharge and just block out all the noise. (All the noise, noise, noise, NOISE! --for all my Grinch fans out there)


I used to fill my tub with all kinds of bubble bath and crazy concoctions to try and get that spa-like zen that I so desired. Now, I know that many of those concoctions were actually working against me with their artificial fragrances and yucky ingredients. So, I still take baths, but now my concoctions are homemade and actually have benefits for my whole body.



Setting the Stage:


The first key for me is setting the stage. When the kids were little, I would wait until I had them asleep or I would rely on my partner to be on point for all kid related issues. Bath time was not to be interrupted! In preparation for my bath, I would also give it a quick wipe down. I feel like this was kind of like tricking myself into cleaning that big ole tub, but whatever! I didn’t want to be soaking with all the dust and hair that had accumulated. I once lit candles, but now I start up my battery operated ones. I love to have a diffuser running on my bathroom counter with a little eucalyptus and lavender in it. Ahhhh, I’m almost to zen.



Epsom Salts:


Then I mix up my Epsom salts to put in the water. I had heard of Epsom salts before, but I never knew why people used them. Here’s the deal….Epsom is actually a magnesium sulfate that has a similar chemical structure to salt. When dissolved in warm water, the magnesium offers many benefits to the body. Magnesium helps your body produce melatonin which helps you get a better night’s rest. Magnesium has also helped improve moods with an increase of serotonin. Epsom salts help relax muscles, reduce muscle soreness and relieves muscle cramps. Whether it is for emotional or physical reasons, adding Epsom salts to your bath has inherent benefits. 



Essential Oils:


When I use Epsom salts, I like to kick things up a notch and include essential oils. By adding the oils to my Epsom salts, the oils have a chance to disperse throughout the bath water, rather than just float on top like an oil slick. (Nobody wants that!)  I take about a half cup of Epsom salts and add 4-8 drops of essential oil. After stirring or shaking in a jar, I pour the Epsom salt and oil mixture into my filling tub. Not only do I experience the benefits of the essential oils aromatically as the scent fills the room, I also get the topical benefits as well. 


Favorite Recipes:


I like to mix things up, kind of like a mad scientist, with my Epsom salts. I like to mix something that has great physical benefits with something that helps with my emotional needs. Afterall, my baths are to both relax my body and my mind. When I first started out, I would rely on recipes though, so I’m going to share two of my favorites with you. 


Chill Out Dude!

  • ½ cup Epsom salts

  • 3 drops of Peace and Calming essential oil

  • 3 drops of PanAway


Happy Mama

  • ½ cup Epsom salts

  • 2 drops Bergamot

  • 2 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce

  • 2 drops Frankincense


  1. Start your tub running warm water while you mix up your salts. 

  2. Put the Epsom salts into a small bowl or little mason jar. Add the essential oils from the recipe of your choice.

  3. Mix the oils into the Epsom salts by stirring or shaking in the jar.

  4. You want to pour the mixture in a tub that is about half way full.  This allows the flowing water to help with mixing the bath salts throughout the tub. 

  5. Let the tub finish filling and then enjoy your relaxing oasis.



Not all essential oils are created equally. If you want to know what I use, send me a message and I can fill you in on the only oils I trust for my family. 


Interested in increasing your overall wellness? I created a free guide to kickstarting a healthy school year. It is perfect whether you are a teacher, student or any kind of human. Check it out over here.


Want to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss a thing? Click here and I'll shoot you an email whenever a new blog post lands. 


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may make a small commission from any purchases using the link at NO cost to you. All opinions are always completely my own. 

Want to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss a thing? Click here and I'll shoot you an email whenever a new blog post lands. 

Do You Know What is in Your Eye Makeup Remover?

Do You Know What is in Your Eye Makeup Remover?

I don't know if you wear makeup daily or not. (Lately I'm more of a “not” kinda gal!) When I do wear makeup, my struggle is always how to remove that eye makeup. Waterproof mascara serves a purpose, but it's a devil to take off.


So, here's the deal...We put chemicals on our skin and eyelashes to get them to stay all day, but the only way to take them off is to add more chemicals for removal. That's nuts!


Your skin is the largest organ in your body. All of those pores absorb EVERYTHING that is rubbed in, sprayed or applied during your day. If it goes on you, it gets in your bloodstream. So, if your eye makeup remover has parabens, phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or even "fragrance" you are probably doing more harm than good.


I know you are not lining up to say, "Hey give me more chemicals in my body please!" So, what's the solution?


When taking off your makeup, you can use more natural options that you may actually have in your kitchen right now.


I love to put a little bit of coconut oil right on a cotton pad to remove my eye makeup. It works like a charm and I wash my face afterwards with my natural cleaner and all residue is washed away.


I hear other people try olive oil, but that tends to be a little thicker and leaves me feeling greasy. Sweet almond oil and Jojoba are also great at removing eye makeup. Basically, a fatty carrier oil like those mentioned above will do the trick.


Are you wanting something more? I found a great recipe in my research that really works well.



Makeup Remover Pads

From Dr. Lindsey Elmore


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel

  • 2 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil

  • 2 tablespoon distilled water

  • 4 drops lavender essential oil

  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil


Equipment

  • Cotton rounds 

  • 4 oz. glass jar


Instructions

  • Mix witch hazel, coconut oil, water, lavender essential oil, and frankincense essential oils in a small bowl.

  • Whisk to combine.

  • Place cotton rounds inside glass jar. Pour mixture over the top of the cotton rounds.

  • Screw on lid, and invert jar a couple of times to saturate the pads.

  • Store at room temperature for a few weeks. I recommend making small batches more often so the risk of bacterial contamination is lower.

 

**Added bonus: You can feel good about ALL of the ingredients you are putting on your face!


Have you tried a natural oil based makeup remover before?



Interested in increasing your overall wellness? I created a free guide to kickstarting a healthy school year. It is perfect whether you are a teacher, student or any kind of human. Check it out over here.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may make a small commission from any purchases using the link at NO cost to you. All opinions are always completely my own. 

Want to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss a thing? Click here and I'll shoot you an email whenever a new blog post lands.