Friday, February 26, 2016

High Five for Friday!

Welcome to another week of High Five for Friday with KatieDellaTif and I! We're so glad you're here.

And here's this week's 5!

1. We are finally on the mend! It only took 3 weeks, but Juliet is finally having a normal tummy and we all couldn't be more excited. I'm so thankful that she isn't so miserable anymore.

2. If you follow me on Instagram, I shared that I did something pretty fun on Monday night. I got a tattoo! It's something that I've wanted since I was 20, and with everything that has happened in the last year, it's even more meaningful. Check out my Instagram post and this blog post about this quote and why it's so important to me.

3. I stopped by my local Half Price Books the other day in search of a few different books. I nearly laughed out loud when I saw the cashier's face. Yep, my interests are broad. :) But! I'm super excited to start reading more about the things that have been on my mind lately, especially bees. I am hoping to have some hives up and going soon after getting our new house.

4. I've slowly been trying to get caught up with some of the wonderful bloggers that I always used to follow before our miscarriages and all the upheaval of the last year. I'm excited to be catching up with both bloggers that I admire and others that I consider friends. I've especially been excited to catch up with Maggie Whitley's blog, because it makes me feel that even during times where your life isn't predictable, that's okay and you can give yourself grace. I'm also excited about a newer blogger friend, Cait over at Cait's Cozy Corner. I'm going to try to keep up with her March Book Club.

5. So I didn't know that $10 at Target link up was this week, so my post will be coming out tomorrow! But I've really loved reading Tif and Becky's posts so far! Come back tomorrow to see what I found :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

5 Ways to Start Living More Naturally

If you've been around the blog for the last year or so, you know that my push to go more natural has sprung from both wanting to be healthy for my family, but also because of the miscarriages that we have had this past year.

When I started researching about living more naturally, it really seemed completely overwhelming. Like I sat and read a bunch of Pinterest articles from various blogs for hours and almost wanted to cry, kind of overwhelming. I  felt like I was doing so much wrong! How was I ever going to change my life so drastically that it would actually make a difference?

The best way to really start using more natural products and food is to just start slowly, and know that everyone has to start somewhere. Here's the 5 ways you can start living a more natural life today:

1. Swap out produce that has skin or an outside that you eat for their organic version.

This really helps in not only not seeing sticker shock from the higher prices, but also allows you not to have to change everything at once.

So apples, pears, lettuce? You eat the outside of those fruits and veggies where pesticides are residing. Switch those to organic.

Bananas, avocados, oranges? Go ahead and still buy conventional since you won't be eating their skins. Make sense?

2. Buy a couple glass water bottles.

BPA is so bad for your body. I truly never knew just how much that stuff messes with your hormones! Now, it's great that manufacturers are starting to make most things BPA free, but the chemicals that are replacing BPA haven't really been researched that well on the long term effects on us. Not to mention that BPA is still in nearly all store bought bottled water. For roughly $20, you can buy a few reusable glass bottles and know that you will be safe.

3. Replace a personal care product once a month (or as they run out)

There is so much crap that the US doesnt regulate within our personal care products and beauty products. It's really sad actually. But there are also some really great brands out there that are trying to change that. I love Trader Joe's for affordable and healthy personal care products. I've loved some of the natural products I've both bought and made, like my homemade simple lotion, and it's made my skin so much healthier!

Curious how your products rate? Check out Skin Deep by the EWG. I use their app when I'm shopping for main stream brands.

4. Try to use less processed food products.

This does mean cooking more. (Or freezer cooking, check out my Pinterest board with ideas here.) But the plus side is that the food tastes so much better and you know you're giving your body what it needs. Try adding one or two more meals that are full of fresh ingredients per week to get used to it.

Don't want to be a slave to the kitchen? I've had such wonderful luck with Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals, prep to table in 30 minutes is definitely more doable than an hour or more in the kitchen for the weekdays.

Another great trick is to utilize your leftovers! I either take them for lunch or use them a couple days later for dinner again.

5. Start taking a good multivitamin daily.

This is another small change that can have huge impact! I have been taking a prenatal blend regularly now for about 6 months, and let me tell you my energy levels have been so much better and I can just tell that my body feels better. I'm getting the extra minerals I need without having to worry that every single meal I eat is completely balanced. That seriously exhausts me.

I am using Prothera that I have gotten through my naturopath, but any brand that doesn't have extra ingredients in them are fine to use.

Friday, February 19, 2016

High Five for Friday!

Welcome to another week of High Five for Friday with KatieDellaTif and I! We're so glad you're here.

Our featured blogger this week is Meg from My Monochromatic Life. She's got some great fashion posts and reviews. I love her Birchbox review! Go give her some H54F love :) 

So can I admit something? I've gotten a a lot of photographing for the blog done this week, but with Juliet still this stomach bug and not sleeping, I've barely taken any photos over the week! So this week's H54F is all about the DIYs I'm looking forward to getting my hands on. 

1. DIY Blush! 
I've recently started getting facials to help with some skin issues I've been having, and we found out that my BareMinerals blush has been clogging my pores. So sad because I love it! But the prospect of making my own seems like a great alternative and super fun! I'm excited about this recipe from Thriving on Paleo

2. DIY Console Table
I'm super excited for our new house! We've been out there a few times lately going over exactly where we want to start our work when we officially close and one thing we do know is we aren't going to have nearly enough furniture for the open concept we are going for. I'm so excited to get a little dirty and build this myself! Shanty 2 Chic is so awesome because it's two sisters, wood, and power tools! I think it's so awesome. Check out their other plans if you are interested. 

3. Ballet Dress 
Juliet has an obsession with tutus and I think this is just too adorable not to try! I'm definitely no pro seamstress, but I think I can pull this one off. 

4. Wreath
Love this baby's breath wreath! So pretty and soft and perfect for our new front door. 

5. Bunny Towels
These little towels are a perfect way to bring a little spring into the kitchen. Plus how adorable?!

What DIYs are on your list? How was your week? Let me know below!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

Before we officially knew that we were going to buy our new home, I knew I needed a face lift in my home office. It has become the house catch-all and was desperately in need of some inspiration for my writing and other work. I shared my mood board for what I wanted here.

I had a nice bulletin board that I had originally painted in college, but it really needed updated for my new tastes, plus the paint was chipping and looking a little worse for the wear. Enter Joann's coupons, some gold spray paint, and cheap thumb tacks! This is seriously one of the easiest DIYs I have done.

Tools Needed:
1 1/2 yard fabric of choice
thumb tacks
hot glue gun

1. Cut the fabric to fit the front of the bulletin board and about an inch of overlap in the back.

2. If you material has a pattern, line the patterns up with the edge of the bulletin board, and use the thumb tacks to hold the pattern in place.

3. Pull the material taut around the back and hot glue to the back of the bulletin board. Do this for all 4 sides.

4. Trim material if necessary.

5. Hang and add your own pieces of inspiration!
Linking up with Waiting on.. Wednesday

Monday, February 15, 2016

Stitch Fix Review

I shared on Friday about getting my first Stitch Fix! I've been toying with the idea of getting a Stitch Fix box, but I knew the pieces were a little more expensive than I usually spend. When I was a stay at home mom, I was worried about falling in love with something that was just out of my price range. But can I just tell you that I wish I had done this sooner!

If you haven't heard of Stitch Fix before, let me fill you in on this wonderful subscription box. For $20, a stylist will send you 5 pieces of clothing based on your style profile that you fill out on stitch This profile includes the basics like sizing, the fit you prefer to wear your clothes, and then you rate what styles you like best. You can even let them know if there's certain styles or pieces that you are hoping to incorporate more into your wardrobe. You can also let them know if there's certain things you don't want, colors, accessories, or certain pieces.

If you don't like something that your stylist sends you, you simply leave feedback on the piece and send it back in the prepaid mailer that is included in your box. Then, based on what you would like to keep, you check out on the website. The $20 that you pay for the box goes towards any purchases that you make.

You can even let them know whether you need an outfit for a date night or special occasion, and they will deliver. The great thing about Stitch Fix is that you  can schedule your fix and much or as little as you would like!

I let my stylist know that I was hoping for more clothes that were casual chic or boho in my wardrobe. I also let them know that I am a mom to a toddler and only work part time so pieces that are versatile and comfortable were high priority for me.

Here's what I got:

Just Black High Rise Distressed Straight Leg Jean $88

These jeans fit me so well! I was really surprised because I really figured if anyone else bought pants for me there was no way they could pick out something that actually fits, and fits well. The price is out of my usual price range on jeans, mostly because I'm cheap. I'm on the fence merely because the price, but I do like the fit!
(Side note: photographing yourself really makes me realize that I need to get back into shape again)

LoveAppella Long Sleeve Lace Keyhole Back Knit Top  $58.00

This is my absolute favorite piece! It's so comfortable but way nicer than just wearing a t-shirt, especially on my days off. This one is for sure a keeper. My hubby loves it too, which is definitely another reason to keep.

MTLA Georgia Shawl Collar Cardigan  $78

This was my second favorite piece from the fix. Again, it's definitely more than what I would usually pay for a sweater. But, it's super comfy and a lot higher quality than a lot of the stuff that I normally buy. Honestly, it's between the jeans and this sweater to keep! (Hopefully I will keep myself reined in and not keep all three :)

Octavia Tina Checkered Infinity Scarf  $34

I loved this scarf, so soft and perfect for the ice cold Ohio winters. But, since I loved the other pieces so much, this one will be sent back for the sake of my bank account. Sad to part with it!

Papermoon Woven Back Knit Top  $58

This was the only piece that I really wasn't over the moon about in my fix. I love the idea of it, and I really like the high/low aspect of the top, but I think the flowers are just a little overwhelming and I don't really like the length of where the front of the shirt hits me. It has grown on me, but for $58, if I don't love it then I don't want to spend the money.
So, all together, I was super happy and excited about my first Stitch Fix! It will definitely be something that I will do again.

Linking up with Tuesday Talk | WIWW

Have you ever done Stitch Fix or another fashion subscription? How did yours go? 

Friday, February 12, 2016

High Five for Friday!

Welcome to another week of High Five for Friday with KatieDellaTif and I! We're so glad you're here.

Today's featured blogger Kristy from Seven Graces. I love her post about what to get a girl turning 3, and I think it's awesome that she's going to write a bible study. Go check out her blog and show her some love!

1. We had our monthly Google hangout with the H54F ladies and sadly I had to miss out this time. Luckily Whitney from Come Home for Comfort stepped in. If you weren't able to catch it last night, click here to see the recorded version, and feel free to leave comments for us to answer!

2. Tonight I'm co-hosting my first ever Intro to Essential Oils class at 7 PM EST and would love to have you if you are interested! Just leave your email in my comments below and I'll get you hooked up. It will be super laid back and informational about some of the basic questions you may have about trying essential oils. I recommend even if you are skeptical, after I tried them, I've been hooked!

3. Oh the illnesses this year. I talked about it a little in my post earlier this week, but man, we just can't seem to catch a break this year. Juliet and I have both had really bad colds for a few weeks at a time, then she caught the stomach bug, and then I caught it this past weekend and into the beginning of the week. I am still trying to get back to feeling 100% healthy. I'm really hoping that this is the end of all the illness and you can bet that we will be loading up on vitamin C and other healthy deterrents like these.

4. I had so much fun heading out to happy hour with my friend and co-worker Holly the other day after work. It's so nice to just have some girl time, and I love that it's become a fairly regular thing in the past few months!

5. I got my first Stitch Fix this past week! For those of you that don't know, they give you your own personal stylist, you fill out a profile, and then they send you 5 pieces based on your profile. It's pretty awesome!  I was hoping to share it with you before now, but stomach bug and sleeping=no fun pictures to show you. I really loved my first style, though, and I'm so excited to show you all the fun pieces on Monday!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

H54F Google Hangout: Valentine Stories

Tonight is the night! This month's Google Hangout with yours truly and the rest of the High Five for Friday ladies is live tonight! Katie, Della, Tif, and I are looking forward to chatting with you all and sharing some about our Valentine's stories.

Join us live at 9:30 PM EST!

You can watch right here from the blog:

Or you can also watch on Google+ or YouTube!
You don’t need a Google+ account to watch. BUT you will need one if you want to ask us questions live. But if you don’t have one, no worries! You can still watch LIVE! You can also tweet us questions or comments using #H54FHangout. We’ll do our best to scan!
If you can’t make it, don’t worry about that either! We will be recording, and it will be available to watch later, whenever you want.

We are so excited to have you join us at 9:30PM EST tonight!