Category Archives: Favorites

Relax: Quick DIY Essential Oil Roller Bottle Tutorial

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

I just noticed I have run out of my favorite essential oil blend ever: Relax by Plant Therapy! This is a blend that I absolutely cannot be without.  I just love it and use it basically everyday. This is one I keep in my kit, keep in my purse and keep a couple other spots around the house as well as giving it away to others who need help relaxing! (Basically everyone, am I right?)

Click here to get the 10 ml bottle of Relax for only $9.95!

Relax is also KIDSAFE for children over 2 which is fantastic (my kids have their own bottles also). Plant Therapy’s Kidsafe line has been approved by Robert Tisserand, one of the world’s leading experts in aromatherapy. I feel so much better about using oils that are approved as Kidsafe! A 10 ml bottle of Relax is only $10 (or get a 30 ml bottle for only $15.95….now that’s a savings!) on Amazon and you can DIY your own roller bottles like I do to make them SO cheap. Here’s very simple directions on how to make the roller bottles at home, along with links to what you’ll need.

DIY Relax Roller Bottles

This is barely a tutorial, since the steps are so simple but I know that before I made them I was intimidated about filling up roller bottles, so hopefully this helps!

  1. First, open the roller bottle using the tool included in the set (it will just pop right off).
  2. Then add the amount of oil drops from the Relax bottle based on a dilution chart. I use this one: Plant Therapy Dilution Chart. I add 15 drops of Relax to each roller bottle.
  3. Then, I fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil. With the pump, you can just pump it right into the roller without needed a funnel or anything. SO easy!
  4. Put the roller top on the bottle, using the included tool. These bottles can be re-used also, so they are really a great value.
  5. Add a label or create your own label. I have tried doing this a few different ways and have had trouble with some of my labels sticking. For my last batch, I cut out a piece of scrapbook paper, added a written label or printed label from my label maker, and then secured it really well with packing tape onto the bottle. These labels have stayed on better than any others have!

That’s it! Apply this whenever you are feeling anxious or stressed. I use mine all throughout the day. Last night I used it when I woke up in the middle of the night and it helped me fall right back asleep. Relax Synergy by Plant Therapy is a mixture of: Lavender, Marjoram, Patchouli, Mandarin, Geranium and Chamomile. I’m just telling you, it smells AMAZING and calms me right down.

Want to get your hands on a roller bottle right away? You can buy it ready made for only $8.95! Don’t stress, just relax!

What’s your favorite essential oil blend? Maybe I’ll add it to my Christmas list!

 

 

Urban Chic Jewelry by Oana Design: Invisible Clip-on Earrings!

Does it seem like all I write about lately are products I love?  I do have other upcoming topics in the works but recently I’ve been lucky enough to test some amazing products and sharing awesome stuff is truly one of my favorite things: so keep reading for more product raves!

Why invisible clip-ons? 

I waited patiently until I was  almost 18 years old to get my ears pierced. I loved how a pair of earrings elevated an outfit and gave it a little extra “something”. Despite following all of the care instructions to a “T”, my ears turned out to be sensitive from the start. I was never able to wear cheap earrings and often couldn’t tolerate wearing them for long periods of time.

Years later, after I had my first pregnancy, it was harder and harder for me to find earrings that wouldn’t irritate my skin. Finally, I stopped wearing them altogether because even gold or titanium would cause redness and irritation and it just become more trouble than it was worth. At one point, I even tried wooden earrings with wooden posts but nothing helped!

So I sadly stopped wearing earrings altogether. Ever since that time, I have been searching for an improved clip-on earring that is comfortable and offers some of the same cute trendy styles you find in pierced earrings. Recently, I found some wonderful earrings that are perfect for my daughters! Click here to read about invisible Clip-ons from Smart Co Jewelry! My girls love them and the dainty, candy-colored choices are perfect for them at age 11. I was hoping to find something similar in more sophisticated styles for me!

Enter Urban Chic Jewelry by Oana Designs! I was browsing Etsy and found this store with the most amazing chic designs in the same easy-to-wear invisible clip-on styles. I was thrilled and I contacted Oana about reviewing her jewelry for the blog. She generously offered three beautiful sets of earrings for me to try.

Click here for the Honey Comb Earrings!
These are beautiful geometric gold colored dangle earrings! I received several compliments the first time I wore them. They reflect the light as you move and you get that wonderful “swing” just like pierced earrings. These are very light-weight and the soft plastic clasp is MUCH more comfortable than the traditional tight clip-ons. You can gently open the plastic clasp to allow a better fit. Each time I wore them, they seemed to fit better. This design is sophisticated and understated. I seriously love the look!

As you can see, the plastic clasp truly is nearly invisible. I actually positioned it a little bit to the side so it would show better for this photo. 

 

 

Click here for the Gold Dipped Feather Earrings! 
Feather earrings are totally “in” right now and I was specifically wanting to try something a little more dramatic than my usual under-stated jewelry. These lovely graceful, gold-dipped feathers are exactly what I had hoped. They are elegant and boho at the same time with a very pale pink/peach feather that’s gentle dipped in subtle gold. They are as lightweight as you would imagine and the resin clip is super comfy. You’ve got to try these!

 

 

Click here for similar 80’s acrylic earrings!
I think these may be my very favorite! These are chunky 80’s style cut-out acrylic earrings and the color on the linked pair is a little different than the ones I have, but the design is the same. These earrings are perfect for this time of year, as summer slips into fall. The fun floral design is reminiscent of palm trees and beach wear but the browns are perfect for autumn time.

I would love to hear what you think about Japanese inspired invisible clip-on earrings. Be sure to click over to Oana Designs to check out the styles and let me know what your favorite is. Maybe I’ll review those next!

I received free products for the purpose of my review, but I was not compensated for writing it and every word is my personal and original honest opinion. Thanks for reading!

My Ultimate Favorite Things Round-up!

I talk about favorite products a lot around here, but recently a few folks have been asking for more info on some of my favorites. So I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about some of my favorite items and why they are so amazing!

This post is in progress, so please pardon the lack of neatness! 

I’ll be using affiliate links throughout this post to take you right to my favorite products on Amazon. If you decide to buy something, it won’t cost you any extra but I’ll receive a small commission. It helps me keep my blog going and afford my next must-have items! Some of the posts might contain a coupon code so be sure to check!

*Instant Pot
Life-changing. I now have two. I can’t remember how I fed my family before I got them! Probably my top favorite invention and whoever is responsible has my undying, eternal gratitude. Yesterday returned from grocery store about 4:30 and had sweet potatoes and corned beef made in time for dinner with about 5 minutes of set up. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again and again.

Click here to check out the Instant Pot. 

*Marpac Sound Machines
We are super vigilant with guarding sleep in our family and this is a must-have. We own three and will not travel without them. In the past we’ve used box fans and other sounds machines but because the Marpac is an electronic fan, there is NO variation or “seam” in the sound making it far superior as a white noise generator. Plus it’s way smaller than a box fan and perfectly portable.

Click here for the Marpac Sound Machine.

*Sash Bag Purse

I never knew how much I hated a purse until I switched to a Sash Bag! I never felt this way about a purse before. Beautiful, light-weight. ergonomic, doesn’t hurt my neck, eliminates need for wallet, completely organized, impossible to lose, best customer service I have ever encountered. I’m such a huge fan I’ve become a brand ambassador and as of this date I believe I’m the top referrer for the brand. It’s because switching to a beautiful, comfortable, perfectly designed crossbody bag that hugs your body is a total no-brainer!

Click here to explore the Sash Bag. (You’ll even save 10% when you buy through my link). Don’t miss the new reversible leather and cloth options, they are to die for!

*Coaster Tray-now we don’t waste cups and glasses and the kids don’t leave them everywhere.

*Vitamix-Totally worth the investment. We use our Vitamix almost every day. It’s a powerhouse appliance that lasts for years!

*NYDJ– Not Your Daughter’s Jeans are the best ever. I love them and have mostly culled my non-NYDJ jeans. They fit great and really do make you look two sizes smaller. I have found must of mine at Nordstrom Rack or thrift stores but you can also get them on Amazon. 

*Zip-it Bedding

I’m so glad we found Zip-It bedding and I have to say they’ve held up so much better than I expected. My son has a loft bed (shown in pic) and my girls have a bunk bed and it is just plain a HUGE pain to make them up and change the sheets. With our allergies, we need to wash comforters+sheets at least every two weeks, which is a tall order. With our old bedding, even when a neat-freak of an adult made them, they never looked neat because bedding isn’t designed for bunks. Now I can wash and re-make all three beds within a few hours and they look amazing. I consider Zip-it Bedding a Mom-hack for sure!

*Simplified cleaning/bath body-I’m still working out my cleaning routine but I know for sure that a simplified cleaning and bath routine works GREAT for us. We use e-cloth for cleaning (basically a budget version of Norwex) and Force of Nature cleaner!

*Color-coded towels

I love having one color per kid. It has vastly simplified our laundry and next time I need to replace towels I will probably get a separate color for myself and my husband too! It makes a huge difference in laundry and you never have to ask “Who left this towel on the floor?”

*Ikea furniture
We specifically love the Kura junior loft bed and the Mydal bunk beds. We have recently gotten the Svalnas built-in desks and love them also!

*Tangle Teezer Brushes
These are something that literally saved my time and sanity when the girls were little. I tried SO many products and SO many brushes but these were ultimately the winners! They made combing out those crazy tangled curls do-able!

*Sashka Co Bracelets
I love sashka co bracelets as a unique little gift for friends or teachers. Click here and use code CHASINGSANTEE25 to save 25% on all purchases! SASHKA CO. GLASS BEADED BRACELETS ARE HANDMADE BY SKILLED ARTISANS IN THE KATHMANDU VALLEY OF NEPAL. PROCEEDS FROM YOUR PURCHASE EMPOWER WOMEN IN NEED TO RISE ABOVE POVERTY THROUGH FAIR TRADE. ROLL A BRACELET ON AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE. 

*Plant Therapy Essential Oils
The more I learn about them, the more I love essential oils. I use a few Young Living products and some Doterra and I love them, but in general they are very expensive and the cost is padded to cover the direct sales platform. Plant therapy essential oils is crazy affordable and exceptional quality. I have been so happy with their safety guidelines, customer support and products. My very favorite product is Relax!


*AlexaPure Water Filter
I had been wanting a Berkey Water filter for a loooong time, but I couldn’t justify the price. We need the filter to remove fluoride, chlorine, and toxins and the AlexaPure does it all for way less! I’m super happy with it!

This post contains affiliate links. 

Awesome Find: The Cutest Clip-ons!

I’m SUPER excited for ya’ll to hear about this new product! It’s the perfect solution for a problem I’ve become far too accustomed to. I’ve always had super sensitive skin and haven’t been able to wear earrings for probably 8 years. Against my better judgement, I let my sweet girls get their ears pierced for their tenth birthday and despite meticulous care, they both got terribly infected and had to give up earrings also.

It’s seriously such a drag. I’m a low-maintenance, light makeup kind of girl but I always loved wearing a pair of earrings. I felt like it elevated my look and helped me appear a bit more put together! So losing the chance to wear earrings was really disappointing. I also felt terrible whenever the girls couldn’t wear their own birthday presents. Of course, we all tried clip-ons but they are just plain uncomfortable. And when they annoy you, you take them off and they get lost anyway!

Every few months I google “Clip on” earrings to see if something new and awesome has developed. Finally, something did!

I discovered an Etsy shop that makes the most adorable invisible clip on earrings! They are comfortable, lightweight, and my girls love them! Smart Jewelry Co was generous enough to send us a couple pairs of earrings to try and I have to say, we love them! Here’s the quick review from my tweens:


They are CUTE. Clip on earrings just aren’t usually cute the way popular studs are, but these are adorable and trendy, perfect for kids and tweens! There are animals, stars, flowers, and, my favorite, druzy styles.

They are COMFORTABLE. According to my girls, you can’t feel these at all! In fact, my daughter kept asking if they were still on because she can’t tell.

They are LIGHTWEIGHT. The plastic clasp makes these super light, which is why they are so very comfortable. Also, of course, plastic is great for so many of us who have metal sensitivity, which brings me to the next point.

They are HYPOALLERGENIC. Tons of folks have metal sensitivity and some just can’t do metal at all. (That’s me). Plastic is safer by far!

They are INEXPENSIVE. These are a great price at less than $10 per pair. Plus, the money goes to a small business owner which is so much nicer than purchasing cheap jewelry at the mall.

Click here to check out Smart Jewelry Co….I hope you enjoy their products. I know we will be ordering some more earrings soon!

I received free products for the purpose of my review, but I was not compensated for writing it and every word is my personal and original honest opinion. Thanks for reading!

 

Inspired by Finn Review

I’m excited to share this review from a company I’ve followed for many years, Inspired by Finn! Keep reading to find a generous coupon code just for us.

Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for my honest and completely original review. All thoughts expressed are uniquely mine. 

First, a flash back to my early days as a mom:

When I first saw an amber necklace on a sweet chubby toddler I was instantly curious. It seemed a little odd for a baby to be wearing a necklace and I wondered if it were truly safe. I then began reading up on Amber Necklaces and discovered they were much more than a baby “fashion statement” but could help ease the discomfort associated with teething. At that point, I began shopping around for a necklace to try and found many references to a small online store called Inspired by Finn.

After I ordered three necklaces, one for each of my toddler girls and one for myself, I had a chance to check out the quality personally. After seeing them in person, I felt comfortable about the safety. In fact, after years of use we did have one necklace break and it did so when pressure was applied, without a single bead coming loose, just as it should. In other words, there was no risk of strangulation because it broke easily and there was no risk of choking because not a single bead came free from the necklace. I was really impressed!

A note about safety: I’m still not a fan of jewelry on sleeping babies because, let’s face it, I’m super paranoid. I like the idea of double wrapping the necklace around an ankle and covering it with footie pjs if you want the therapeutic benefits during sleeping time. 

Being sensitive to metal jewelry, I found the amber necklace wonderfully comfortable, light-weight and pretty. I enjoyed the soft natural glow but I didn’t really expect further benefits. But one day I realized that my neck was beginning to hurt and it occurred to me that I had forgotten to wear my necklace. It turned out that the succinic acid WAS taking the edge off my constant aching neck. Once I got it back on, the pain was dulled again. (Yes, I really need to see a chiropractor).

Here’s what the website has to say about the amber necklaces:

“This amazing substance is an all-natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory used for centuries as a remedy for many ailments.  Baltic amber (also known as succinite) has some of the highest concentrations of succinic acid found in nature, which is what makes Baltic amber so special and gives it its healing potential. “

Look how super cute my twins were with their necklaces! They wore them everywhere. Oh I can hardly believe how big they are now!

Recently, I was interested in trying a couple of other pieces from Inspired by Finn so I contacted them and they were super generous to send me this necklace. Thank you Inspired by Finn!

My 11 year old daughter has been dealing with stomach issues for nearly 6 months now. It started with what seemed like a stomach bug and evolved into daily discomfort. Her symptoms are bloating, pain, nausea and she also has a great deal of anxiety. She has been diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and is being treated by our holistic doctor with herbal treatments and diet change.  Although we have seen improvement, she still suffers from discomfort each day so I was so excited to give this a try. Click here to check out the features of this necklace that is designed to help with digestive issues. She put it right on and first of all, I have to say it is SO pretty. I love the natural, beachy look and  the necklace is light and comfortable.

She has worn it every day for a little over a week. It’s really hard to know for sure if it is working but I feel strongly that gut issues need to be treated with all the artillery you can find. For us, it made sense to combine herbal medicine, essential oils, diet change, chiropractic care, emotional support and lifestyle adjustments. We are hoping that this necklace will be another tool in our toolkit for treating her many symptoms. I know that she likes wearing the necklace, it’s cute and it certainly isn’t hurting her! I am thankful we gave it a try.

Finally, I’m happy to say I have a coupon code to share with my readers! Use code “CHASING” at Inspired by Finn for 25% off your entire purchase. I know I am going to be buying some other necklaces soon.

Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for my honest and completely original review. All thoughts expressed are uniquely mine. 

SoCal Curls Hairtie Review And Giveaway!

Welcome to ChasingSantee’s very first giveaway courtesy of SoCal Curls.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience!

I love unique, natural, and American made products and SoCal Curls Hairtie is one of my favorite hair discoveries, EVER! Why? It’s heat-free, takes about 90 seconds of effort, and is portable, light-weight & comfortable to wear (also, only $18.99, which is a steal!).  For those who know me, I really don’t want to spend time on my hair, makeup, clothing or general morning routine. But I want to look nice, is that too much to ask? NO IT ISN’T! Here’s how you can get simple beachy curls, without pulling out the damaging (and pricey!) hot styling tools! Woot!

Scroll down for a coupon code that will score you 20% off and FREE SHIPPING!

Step 1: Heat it (microwave: 30 seconds)

Step 2: Wrap it (click here for a video!)

Step 3: Unwrap it (I’m sure ya’ll can figure this out!)

Step 4: Do all the things you need to do in life! Who has time to waste getting ready with everything else you have on your plate!

Click here to see my tips for using SoCal Curls Hairtie with Short Hair!

How it works: I started with second day hair that was a little damp from the shower (not washed, just went along on my head for the ride).  I simply microwaved the band for 30 seconds, wrapped my hair around the tie using these instructions, gave it a light spritz of hair spray and left it in for about 30 minutes. Voila! Beachy waves!

Ready to buy? If you’d like to buy directly from SoCalcurls.com, I’ve got fantastic news! We have a special coupon code just for you that will give you 20% off and FREE SHIPPING! Click here and use code: chasingsantee to take advantage of this awesome offer!

How to customize your curls: Just like any styling tool, there’s a learning curve to using SoCal Curls and, obviously, everyone has a different head of hair. You can customize your results by tweaking the time (even 15 minutes gets some nice waves in my hair), wrapping your hair damp v. dry or using different products like gel, hair spray, or sea salt spray (here’s my favorite- Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray).  Also, you can never go wrong with a spritz of dry shampoo for extra grip (here’s my favorite- Aveeno Dry Shampoo). You will also get different results depending on if you wrap the hair straight up and over the hairtie, or twist as you wrap. Just give it a few tries to find out what works the best for your hair! It might take a bit of experimentation but imagine the time you will save in the long run.

Now, on to the giveaway! I can barely contain my excitement!

What are you giving away?
We are giving away one SoCal Curls Hairtie in Pinup Blue, valued at $18.99. Thank you so much SoCal Curls for making this giveaway possible!

Who Can Enter this sweepstakes?
You must be over 18 years of age and live in the US to be eligible for this giveaway

How do I enter?
Enter below starting on August 1, 2017! The contest will close at the end of the day on August 7, 2017!

How will the winner be chosen?
We will be selecting the winner via Rafflecopter.

How will the winner be notified?
Winner will be announced via Facebook, so be sure to like our page! We will ship your prize within 3-5 business days of receiving your shipping info. Good luck!

Anything else I should know?
Yep, the fine-print stuff: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning determined by eligible entries.

Disclaimer: I received a free product from SoCal Curls in exchange for my honest review. These are all my own thoughts just as if I were talking to a friend about the product. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Summer Shoes! FitFlops!

This post is going to be short & sweet, but I just wanted to quickly share these shoes that I LOVE.

Over the last year or so I’ve realized that I have plantar fasciitis and it’s so annoying! Shoes that I’ve loved in the past are totally not working any more. The strange thing about PF pain, is that even shoes that feel comfy when I’m wearing them, wind up causing pain later on. Even stranger, oftentimes my feet start hurting more when I am sitting or laying down then they did when I walked around all day. If you have pain in your heel, or pain that is worse when you are off your feet like I just described, you might have PF. Something easy you can do to alleviate the pain is to freeze a bottle of water and roll it under your foot. It works!

I have tried so many shoes lately and most of them have failed the test, but these FitFlops have quickly become my feet’s BFFs. I love how they feel when I walk, sit, stand and even later when I lay down to go to bed, my feet don’t hurt! It’s amazing!

Click here for the FitFlop Flare Slides!

There are so many styles to choose from and I can’t wait to replace more of my shoes with FitFlops! Click here for their entire collection on Amazon.

In case you didn’t realize, Fitflops makes more than just flip flops! There are some really cute flats and clogs also that I would love to get for Fall. Have you found shoes that help your Plantar Fasciitis? Please let me know what works for you!

This post contains affiliate links. 

Friday Favorites March Edition

It’s been a while since I have done a Friday Favorites, but I do a have a few new fun things that we are loving lately. Things have been super busy for work and homeschooling and my personal blogging has been put on the back burner, but I don’t want to leave it there! I only have a few minutes to create this post, so let’s get right to it. This post will contain affiliate links for your convenience! Don’t worry, it’s not all stuff!

Organic Mascara: I asked for this Organic Mascara (Endlessly Beautiful) for Christmas and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a bit pricey for me, but I have a really hard time with mascara irritating my eyes and have tried many brands. This is a nice, basic black mascara that is by far the gentlest I have found (better than Neutrogena, Almay, and Physician’s Formula). This doesn’t have some of the amazing features of drug-store brands (no extra crazy length or super waterproof coating) but it goes on nicely and stays well. Mostly, I am happy that I am not rubbing it off, so if you have sensitive eyes, I would recommend it.

The God-Centered Mom PodcastI’m ridiculously late to the Podcast Party, but I’ve recently been catching up and mostly choosing minimalist topics. But my friend recommended The God-Centered Mom Podcast and it’s been fantastic. The handful of episodes I have listened to have been incredibly thought-provoking and relevant to where I am right now as a Christian mom and wife! I am still processing the last episode I heard about “Smiling Depression”. If you have ever struggled with shame or perfectionism I think this will really interest you. Thanks Susan for letting me know about The God-Centered Mom!

A Streamlined wardrobe. I am loving my simplified wardrobe. I have not made the transition to a true capsule wardrobe. However, I am trying to move in that direction slowly, with practical steps. I have cleaned out my closet in phases so that after each purge my clothing becomes more “me”, more simple, and more functional. I’m loving it. I have been forcing myself to experiment with monochromatic choices and it has been surprisingly helpful. Just another way of cutting out decision fatigue in my life! Specifically, I purchased a couple of these soft and comfy tees in grey and black and have been wearing them weekly. 

Just one purse. I had no idea the bags I owned were really complicating my life until I got rid of them. I knew that I had neck and back issues so I decided to eliminate all of my heavy bags (even though they tend to be *nicer*: Goodbye to my lovely leather Michael Kors tote!). Also, I realized the patterned bags were just to difficult to match (Vera Bradley, I’m looking at you). Plus switching bags by mood or color was causing the clutter to build up and receipts to become lost. Guess what? I don’t miss those bags a bit! I received a lightweight Thirty-One hipster for my birthday last summer and have used it every day. Recently, I decided to make one more handbag purchase keeping in mind my vow for embracing neutrals: the Houndstooth print Kavu rope bag. The compartments of this bag have taken me a little time to get used to, but I LOVE how light and comfortable it is. It feels almost strangely light on my back compared to a shoulder bag with the same contents! It’s obviously a casual bag, but it was time for me to admit that 99.99% of my time I am dressing casually, and HELLO!? there is nothing wrong with that!

Our evening routine: For the first time as a mom, I feel like our evenings (and mornings for the most part) are truly productive and we have formed actual habits instead of forcing ourselves through painful routines that just never became second-nature. Although I can’t completely explain how this process has been crystallized I will tell you it has 100% been about simplicity and mindfulness and all began by eliminating excess in every room of our home. Just embracing the idea that motherhood does not have to be a series of complete failures and looking for actual solutions to the problems has been revolutionary for me! It has become blissfully simple to leave our house neat each morning and go to bed with everything (at least in the living areas) in their proper place. I will try to blog more about this later! Right now, I just really intend this to be an encouragement. As moms, sometimes we don’t need to hear over and over: “it’s normal, everyone struggles like this, don’t strive for perfection”. Sometimes we need to hear, “Being a mom is hard. Look for the best way to succeed as a mom and work for it”. That’s what I am telling myself from now on.

Ellie HolcombMusic used to be a huge part of my day…. when I had my days virtually to myself. Now there is so much NOISE that I often hesitate to add to the audible clutter by turning on anything. But I realized that I missed inspirational Christian music, so I was pulling out my old CDs from the 90’s. Then a friend on facebook suggested Ellie Holcomb (thank you Rebecca!) and I have got to tell you that I AM HOOKED. She has a beautiful voice and a wonderful message that I really relate to. Here is one of her music videos, but I have been listening to Ellie for free using Spotify! Click here for her Album Red Sea Road.

That’s it for now! Have a wonderful weekend!

Free Bullet Journal Hack!

My Bullet Journal is one of my favorite things and I love that I won’t be worrying about ordering an expensive planner for this school year. If you struggle with organization, don’t feel like most planners fit your lifestyle, or simply want to have more control over the options, Bullet Journaling could be your perfect planner-match! Keep reading for a super easy and free bullet journal hack that I’m excited to implement for this season!notebook flat lay

I have been thinking more about optimizing my bullet journal as I’m gearing up for Homeschooling the Prescott Kiddos for Fall 2016. (“Gearing up” in this case means looking for spare change in the couch cushions to buy curriculum that we probably don’t need anyway). If you are new to Bullet Journaling, check out my post for BargainBabe to get started. It’s an incredibly flexible and forgiving scheduling and list system. All you need is a notebook and a pen!

The one thing I was wishing for was a calendar option for the bullet journal, so I found a free printable and started adding it to my BuJo. That was just what I needed to take it to the next level! I just cut it out and pasted it in. Even though a “pretty” bullet journal hasn’t been on my radar, I did take some leftover washi tape and decorate the edges for a little extra glitz. That’s pretty much all you can expect from me in the artistic arena. bulletjournalcalendarhack

Have you used Bullet Journaling? Share your tips in the comments!

Friday Favorites: Travel Edition

Ya’ll know I LOVE Favorites. Coincidentally, I also love FRIDAYS so I hope to make Friday Favorites a repeat feature. I will be including Affiliate links for your convenience.

When I started this post, I was thinking of travel items, but we honestly use this every single night:

A Quality Sound Machine

My family is a group of finicky sleepers. We’ve tried lots of things, and one thing that we all can’t live without is a great white noise machine.

We own two of these, and love them: Marpac White Noise Machine

We own one of these, and it’s incredibly similar: Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner

From my fairly picky perspective the Sleep Easy sound seems slightly different from the Marpac, however it works great and the kids don’t know the difference. I would definitely recommend the Sleep Easy at only half the price of the Marpac.Marpac

We don’t travel that often but we would never, ever leave behind our sound machines. They have a gentle, even sound (no harsh “seams” in the noise like some of the machines I’ve had in the past. Yep, I’m picky) and they are small and portable. They have become an irreplaceable part of our sleep routine and really help every one settle down no matter where we are. It also helps to cover all those clumsy noises when we are tiptoeing around in a crowded hotel room. Totally worth it. 

Kidco PeaPod Plus Sleep Tent

When my son started climbing out of the pack ‘n play, I was pretty panicked until my friend gave us this awesome travel solution, the Kidco PeaPod Plus. You would be amazed to see how light this thing is and how easy the assembly is. The mattress is really pretty thick but we tend to place it on carpet or a sleeping bag for a little extra cushion.

kidcoMy 4 year old still fits inside and actually likes the enclosed space (for the most part). I tried to coax him onto a sleeping bag recently because I know he can’t have much longer in the PeaPod at his height, but he is pretty fond of the tent. (I recently saw the Original PeaPod at a thrift store, and my opinion is that it’s too small to bother with….go for the big one!)

Vera Bradley Duffel Bags

I asked my girls what to share as a travel Favorite and they mentioned Vera Bradley Duffel Bags. We own three (for me and each of my daughters) and use them for every single car trip.  I particularly love them because they are light-weight, machine washable, and they hold up really well. Also, if you are packing a car, you can seriously squash these together and maximize your packing space. We also have tons of other Vera bags, so the inside of my van looks like a crazy patchwork quilt when we travel. I know a lot of people aren’t a fan of traditional Vera patterns, but take a look at some of these chic new prints and solids:

Vera Bradley Ziggy Zags

Vera Bradley Fuschia

Vera Bradley Coastal Bluecoastal blue

Vera Bradley Classic Black

Vera Bradley Shower Vines

Favorite Treat: Kirkland Signature Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut Cashews

Ok, so this is not so much a travel item although I did buy them on a road trip. I shared about Kirkland Signature Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut Cashews (from Costco) on Facebook, but seriously these are unbelievably delicious! I can’t find them on their website, but here’s a pic before we devoured the whole container. Dark Choc Toasted Cashews

Kindles

Of course, we’ve talked about the Kindles before, but I have to give another shout out to Kindle Fires, which are an awesome price (especially if you go for a refurb from Amazon Warehouse deals). These have a lot of the functionality of an ipad but at these prices, I’m comfortable letting my kids carry them around. I don’t want my kids having free reign over apps, so they only have a few (no netflix, for sure). That way they actually utilize the kindles primarily as I had hoped by reading classic literature (so many amazing books are free!). Right now they are both reading Little Women! My husband and I both use our classic Kindle for library books constantly.

Notebook Journaling

I’ve talked about this before but this is still my very favorite method of organization and planning. It helps me so much to clear my mind and keep everything relatively organized. This goes DOUBLE when I am planning any kind of trip (I’m talking to-do lists, to-take lists, to-buy lists, to-remember lists). Tomorrow I will have a Notebook Journaling Hack that I use that’s really helped me, so please check back!

What are your Travel Favorites???

Continue reading Friday Favorites: Travel Edition

Back to the Basics Summer Outfit

I’m playing with Polyvore collages today. Just picked a few things I love from Amazon (affiliate links). I am always drawn to bold, bright patterns and as a result my closet is very lacking in classic solids. I have resolved not to buy any LOUD patterns this summer and only carefully choose a few basics. So here are a few I love that I would accessorize with a fun tassel necklace!

Summer Mom on the Go

 

I love long, drapey layers and the leggings and cardigan combo is my go-to for Fall. I’ve been looking for a comparable Spring and Summer look which led me to this light flowing grey vest. The black crops are my favorite brand, NYDJ and the plum Vera Bradley purse is my effort to limit the PATTERN mixing I am so prone to. Whatever you may say about Crocs, I can’t help but love the comfort and durability which is why I chose these cute wedges.

What’s your go-to easy summer look?

The perfect summer necklace: click it or DIY-it!

I know you have seen tassel necklaces all over pinterest just like I have. There is something about a long tassel necklace that is so flattering and can go with almost anything. I feel like they  simultaneously make me look taller and more sophisticated at the same time (maybe that’s just in my head though). I think these are the perfect summer accessory, so I wanted to share some affiliate links from Amazon. Of course, the one I always drool over is the Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace. But I really love some of these budget-friendly alternatives as well:

This is a really easy DIY project that includes two of my favorites: crafting and thrifting come together to make a gorgeous on-trend tassel necklace! My girls loved making these last summer.

5 Minute Fall Necklace

tassel necklace