preparing for fall

As the new season of the year is on the horizon, I have begun thinking about the goals and plans for myself, our family and our home for this fall season. Not just things like pick a pumpkin or go on a hay ride, but things with more meat. Things that will enrich our lives and out home during this season. To help us be intentional, simple and real. I was to enjoy and savor every moment of the next few months because this year has been moving faster than any other year in my life so far. Normally, about this time each year I would pull out my big box of fall decor and I would fill every open space with fake pumpkins, flowers, leaves and everything fall. This year, I am saying no to all of that. 

Last fall and especially last winter(christmas) I spent more time than I care to think about decorating our home, and then I didn't even get to enjoy it for very long. I was miserable, tired and just over all the Christmas festivities. I feel like I missed out on the joys that fall and winter bring. And sadly, I feel like I didn't even get to enjoy Christmas because I was ready to take down the Christmas tree before Christmas was even over. 

I don't want to force fall into our home. I want to bring in fresh flowers, pumpkins, pinecones and leaves as they cross our path and feel like they need to be brought in. I don't want to fill out home with fake flowers and pumpkins just so that I can post pictures of fall decor. I have bought in to the notion that I have to go overboard just because its fall. but then I end up unhappy because our home feels cluttered and my bank account is a little light because I went out and bought so much fall decor.

We already have more than we need to live a comfortable and beautiful life in our home. Our need for more decor doesn't suddenly happen just because the colors of the world around us are changing. God created a perfect world, and He has given us so many beautiful leaves, flowers, gourds for us to enjoy. I want to bring those things into our home and celebrate the amazing world God created. I want to less time at Michaels shopping for fall decor and more time with my family taking in every moment of this season.

This new season to me, is a season of warmth. A time to cuddle, and snuggle. a time to break out the flannel and wool, to eat good food and to enjoy one anothers company. That is what I want to remember when I look back at fall twenty sixteen. Not how many photos I posted or how many likes I got. I have spent a good portion of the last few months trying to remove and pair down things in our home that we don't use or don't like anymore. I don't want to undo all of that will decor overcrowding.

A new season is near, and I cannot wait!

first thoughts on oils

So, I decided to jump in and try essential oils. I had 1 main reasons for trying them, to try to kick using candles. 

I burn candles all the time, and as I started to take notice of what our air filters looked like after burning so many candles I knew something had to change. KJ was having some trouble with some a stuffy nose and a hard time breathing because of all the black smoke.

Yup that meant a change needed to happen. Big time. 

I didn't want to spend too terribly much on the oils since I wasn't quite sure how I was going to like them. Thank you Amazon Prime! I ordered this starter pack of oils. It came with 14 oils, 5ml each, for less than $30, and so far I am very impressed with the quality of these oils.

After I got the oils, I also picked up a diffuser that had good reviews on Amazon. Once I get the hang of it, I might upgrade to a better one. And I definitely want to get a few other ones for other rooms in the house. 

In addition to the oils that came with the kit, I have also added Cedarwood, Birch, Balsam Fir, Clove Bud, Ylang Ylang and Deep Forrest. But there are many others on my list! Fall and Christmas time are when I tend to burn the most candles, so I am trying to stock up on oils that can be mixed to make fall and winter scents. 

I know there are many more ways to use essential oils, and I am looking forward to learning more about those. making natural home cleaning products using essential oils are next on my list of things to learn.

Other than using these oils in the diffuser, I have also made a linen spray. It is seriously my favorite!! We got new bedding this past week and when I took it out of the package it smelled a little funny. This linen spray was great to spray on the bed, but I also spray it on our couch and other upholstered furniture. Since I use lavender oil, it also drifts us away to a peaceful sleep.

Linen Spray: add a pinch of fine sea salt to a small amber bottle. (the oil needs something to bind to) then add 20 drops of your favorite oil combos. I've used 10 drops of lavender with 10 drops of Ceaderwood or 10 drops of lavender with 10 drops of Balsam Fir. Swirl the oils and salt around so they combine. fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water and shake. Then just spray on any of your linens.

I have some new storage/dropper bottles that are coming this weekend(again, thank you Amazon Prime) to transfer the oils into for better storage and easier use.

Please let me know if y'all have any questions. I will try to answer them as best I can. 

homemade bread

making bread has always been on my "domestic bucket list," but I always thought that it was something that I needed some fancy bread machine or special skills to make. thankfully with the invention of Pinterest, I was able to find a super simple recipe for a very yummy bread.

I made this bread so that I could use it for some breakfast sandwiches, but the bread almost didn't last long enough to see Saturday breakfast. I am no master at cooking, baking or bread making. however, I do want to get better and make as much as I can from scratch. seems like, most things homemade taste way better than store bought. plus I can monitor and control what goes into these items. 

you can easily fancy this bread up by adding herbs or spices based on what you are serving it with. Rosemary, oregano, Italian spices there are so many other possibilities!

I hope y'all will give it a try, even if you don't think you are the best cook. 

the laundress

It Monday, which means its laundry day here, plus I will be cleaning up a few lingering messes from this weekend. Thankfully I have The Laundress products on my side! To make your Monday messes a little easier, I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.

I have mentioned my love for all things from The Laundress many times here and over on Instagram before, but I wanted to share a little bit more on the products I have and use pretty much daily. This is not a sponsored post, this is truly my thoughts and rave review of their products.

The first products that I ever tried from The Laundress was their signature, darks and whites detergents along with the stain bar and brush. From that moment on, I was hooked. Our laundry came out much softer from just the first wash. I have been using these products for over a year now, and our clothes have not lost their shape or color. The scent is not overpowering either. So, people don't smell your laundry detergent on you before they see you!

For our bedding, blankets and towels, I like to use their rose scented detergent. I have found that the scent lasts longer on these which is good for items that you don't wash as often! The scent is a little more on the feminine side, but I have yet to hear one complaint from my hubby about it so I call that a win!!

I was gifted their cashmere and wool shampoo, but since its so hot here I don't really get as much use out of it most of the year. But I recently I learned that you can use it to clean your make up brushes! It is powerful enough to cut and oils left behind by the make up but it is gentle enough not to ruin the brushes. It left my brushes feeling better than the day I purchased them.

After using the laundry products for a while, I branched out and tried the all purpose cleaning concentrate, dish soap, scented vinegar and all purpose bleach alternative. These products have simplified my cleaning routine and minimized the number of products I have to use to clean the house. Especially when the dish soap can also be used in the dishwasher!

Can you see the amount of liquid that is missing from the bottle on the right? That is all the concentrate that I have used since I got it about a month or so ago. I add some to my spray bottle with some hot water and then its ready to use all over the house. I use it on the counters, the windows, mirrors, floors, wall, pretty much any hard surface that needs to be clean. You can also mix it with hot water in a bucket and mop your tile or hardwoods with it. Bye bye, swiffer.

Scented vinegar and all purpose bleach alternative, now this is a powerful duo right here!! And since it is a bleach alternative and not bleach it can be safely mixed with vinegar and is safe for your whites, colors and even stains on your carpets. I like to sprinkle a capful into the kitchen sink and scrub with a wet hot towel. It's amazing how clean the sink looks, even when I didn't think it was that dirty. 

You can find more tips on laundering and home cleaning on their blog. You can search by task or product to get all of tier tips and tricks for you home. They even share 54 uses for the all purpose bleach alternative.

If you would like to try The Laundress, you can get $10 off your first purchase by going here. BONUS! Once you get your amazing new products, post a picture of them on social media and let the  ladies know by going here. They will send you a $25 voucher to use on your next purchase of Laundress goodies. Trust me, you will be back!

If you have any questions on these products that I didn't cover, please let me know and I would be happy to answer them! Happy Homekeeping!