Inspire

the bridal shower...

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{My Ole Miss little brother and his dear Meghan.}

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 {My Granny's pound cake recipe that I turned gluten free.  Made 30 of these cute loaves for the party favors.}

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 {Some southern family recipes graced the table: our Granny's cream cheese mints + chipped beef cheese ball that my sister made.  Aren't the mints beautiful?  They go fast when family is in town.}

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{A flare of paper flowers.  I tried a few versions of these pom pom flowers.  I definitely prefer this tutorial because it makes fuller flowers.  Biggest complaint: the big flowers fall easily.}

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 {Team work with the "matrimonial" game that my mother-in-law, the game queen, created.}

IMG_3314 {Flowers, flowers, and more flowers.  I used Meghan's wedding invitation for my direction in choosing colors for the flowers.} IMG_3287

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{My twins picked wild flowers from the nearby meadow before the shower to go into little vases for tiny corners of the house and, yes, the bathroom.}

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 {My older girls and their older cousins were invited to be a part of the special shower.  Their first shower!  They loved experiencing every part of it!}

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{My baker sister-in-law's mini dessert cups.  I loved throwing this shower alongside my mother and sisters.}

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 {And it wouldn't be a southern Dirle bridal shower (although held in the north) without the traditional bow bouquet hat-- made to be worn during the rehearsal dinner by the bride.  And Meghan learned right away that for every ribbon broken while opening gifts meant that many kids to grace their family. ;) ) 

 

I loved having aunts come up to join us for the day.  Sisters working hard in the kitchen to prepare special foods.  Seeing many handmade gifts opened by the couple from both sides of their families.  And having my home overflowing with many people that love Travis and Meghan.

Such a good day.  And the remnants of hanging flowers remain on my walls for a bit longer just to keep the magic in our home longer.

 

the sleepy time gal

summer books

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 "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” 

Emilie Buchwald

When the heat and afternoon slows everyone down, we usually end up on the couch.  I want the break (from tidying/painting/etc.) and the kids all want a quiet time break from playing and creating.

Here are a few of our most recent book loves you've got to check out:

[amazon_image id="076365809X" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street[/amazon_image]

 One of the greatest truck books out there--and they have a large size boardbook version of it now.

[amazon_image id="0671667459" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup[/amazon_image]

 We LOVE this author and this book in particular.  And you have to read the Grandma's lines with a thick Italian accent.

[amazon_image id="0694006513" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]Jamberry[/amazon_image]

A summer favorite.  I donated the small board book version because it was well, too small.  And so we've been enjoying the nice size hardback version from the library.

[amazon_image id="0803734166" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]Ladybug Girl at the Beach[/amazon_image]

[amazon_image id="B00E40Z6OW" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]3-D Explorer Oceans A Journey From The Surface To The Seafloor (3D Explorer) 3-D Explorer Oceans[/amazon_image]

Reading these two ocean related books (both we own) reminds us of all the wonder--and fun--of the beach.  It's been particularly special to read these again and again this summer since we aren't making the trek to the Outer Banks this year.

The 3D Oceans book is one of the best book about oceans out there for children.  All of my children pour over this book and want me to read about every specific part of sea life within its pages over and over again.  It is very well made and stands up to lots of use.

 What books are leaving an imprint on this summer of yours?  Please share--I'd love your inspiration!

the sleepy time gal

my natural medicine cabinet

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my updated medicine cabinet (1) After some tossing and rearranging I have a colorful, easy-to-navigate medicine cabinet again.  And best of all my kids know exactly where everything is to help themselves when they have an ailment.

 

And all of my most important potions and oils, winter balms, and homemade sprays are all in one place now and I'm loving it.

 

Let me give you a brief tour of my most used items in our cabinet...

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Definitely the most used items in my medicine cabinet are my therapeutic-grade essential oils.  

And seriously I mainly only use a handful most of the time: my lavender, peppermint and Thieves blend.  

 

I use lavender for:

burns

cuts

bug bites

rashes

cold sores

dry skin

 

I use peppermint for:

tummy aches

indigestion

heartburn

to aid with fevers

bug bites

headaches

 

I use Thieves blend for:

sore throats

immune system boosting

protecting immune systems (usually diffusing)

gums/mouth health

household cleaning

 

 

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Other highly used essential oils in our cabinet (especially in the winter):

 

R.C blend or frankincense rubbed on the chest for:

congestion

croup

loosening phlegm

sinus infections

 

(I keep stock of many other essential oils for making blends and specific remedies for ailments but mostly rely on these few oils above for our year round health. I also keep this great V-6 enhanced vegetable oil carrier oil in the cabinet for diluting some oils for when I have babies.)

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Although most of our medicinal needs are taken care of with therapeutic-grade essential oils, we keep a few other items in our cabinet + use when needed:

dye-free children's ibuprofen

adult pain reliever

band-aids

hydrogen peroxide

Neosporin

Ricola cough drops

 

( I keep rarely used items like our thermometer and gauge upstairs in a basket in the linen closet.)

 

Our medicine cabinet is also a great place to store our homemade blends and potions to keep them all in one place when needed:

 

And that's the simple tour of our medicine cabinet!  I love that my kids know where things are in the cabinet and that these essential oils are safe enough for them to apply many of them on their own when needed.

 

I hope this inspires you to toss out the things you don't use in your cabinet and maybe replace an over-the-counter drug with something natural and test it out.  See if it works and brings joy to you and your family.

 

Go out + be healthy!

the sleepy time gal

important work

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 {My important work yesterday meant deciding to donate my digital alarm clock and other "non-joys" off of my bedroom dresser.}

 

This morning as I type I'm literally surrounded by "stuff".  After already bagging up things for donation early this morning now all of the random objects that need their fate decided upon surround me from yesterday's tidying.

 

My life right now is, well, full of some really important work.

On the one side, the mothering side, I'm busy feeding kids, laundering tights + leotards daily, and running around town for the four dancing girls.  My days are then filled in with reading picture books with Rowan + trying to keep life exciting for this child-in-tow. By the time 3pm comes (one of my favorite times of the day) I'm enjoying my one-on-two time with the twins on their beds reading the [amazon_link id="1562476750" target="_blank" ]Josefina series[/amazon_link] while Rowan sleeps and the older girls dance.  It is a much deserved break for all of us.

 

There's some other really important work going on as well.  A lot of work going on in my head with how I think of myself + how I let those thoughts dictate my future thoughts and actions on life.  (The post-it note on my microwave reads, "We carry the seeds of success + failure and plant them based on our actions + thoughts." Maxwell Maltz from [amazon_link id="0671700758" target="_blank" ]Psycho Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life-[/amazon_link]-more on what I've learned and how I'm changing my thinking based on this book for another post.)

And incredible work is going on in my home with this long but liberating experience of "tidying" taking place every single day.

My tidying has become so important because of how it's changing me, my kids, and our home that I've decided to put off other important personal work (super excited to share!) until the task of tidying is complete.

 

After shifting around my day's schedule and priorities yesterday and (bunkering down in my room when I had free moments), I ended my day looking around my bedroom before bed: for the first time it is completely happy, simplified, and only made up of the things that bring me joy.

 

What important work are you doing today?  

What are you sacrificing so you can focus all of your mental + physical energy on your work??

 

 

Happy Thursday friends.

 

 

the sleepy time gal

video: 3 steps to create a powerful morning routine

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It's Monday morning!

 

The holiday weekend is over and a new week awaits you.  Having reached the halfway mark for this year it's the perfect time to examine your mornings.  Your routine--whether you consciously choose your routine or not--your routine greatly determines how the rest of your day will play out.

 

If you've read my previous post about how my morning routine looks, this new video will teach you the 3 steps to take in creating YOUR own powerful morning.  

 

The 3 steps to a POWERFUL morning routine include:

1) Something that nourishes you

2) Something that motivates/excites you

3) Something that prepares you for the day

 

Watch the video to see how these steps can dramatically change your day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhywZ9v6Yi8

(Links can be found on Youtube here. )

What will you change/add to your morning routine to start your morning feeling invigorated and empowered?  I'd love to hear.

 

Go out + live boldly today folks!

 

the sleepy time gal

progress vs. perfectionism

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 "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."

Frederick Douglass

Good morning.

 

I won't lie--this week hasn't been easy.  Lots of new things I'm adjusting to, working through personal doubts, and feeling lots of resistance.

But I'm really, really trying to take my own advice.  I'm focusing my energy on learning from my mistakes/weaknesses and using them to my advantage to progress.  To continue to realign realistic goals for me and our family while still feeling the thrill of working towards things that intimate me just a little.

 

 Progress, not perfection is the mantra.

As I've been coming out of my discouragement hole-in-the-ground I've decided to carefully focus on the most essential aspects of my day.  My 5 Minute Journal helps me do that.  So does morning scripture study.  Taking notes on a big yellow legal pad about what isn't working and what I can change to makes things flow.  Writing out what it is that I really want--even if I already know--helps me remember the big picture if I've lost the enthusiasm to fight for it.

 

 

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

I've gone from inactivity from feeling overwhelmed to step-by-step action towards the things that renew me in deed and purpose.  It feels good.  I'm making progress day by day because I'm enjoying the slowness of my needed renewal instead of expecting total order + confidence in all things this second.

The whole process lets me get back into loving myself and all of the imperfections of life.

 How do you handle life's bumps in the road? And avoid the ever-tempting pursuit of perfectionism? Please share--I'd love to hear.

 

Go out + live boldly.

 

the sleepy time gal

 

first step, almost completed

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IMG_2873 After a little rearranging, my Annabelle +Ainsleigh are side by side again like they had been for months in my tummy.  The closer their beds they say, the better.  And so their bedroom has been the first bedroom I'm implementing my "konmarie" techniques to.  (More about my experience/implementing the [amazon_link id="1607747308" target="_blank" ]The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up[/amazon_link] by Marie Kondo on my Instagram here.)

 

I am almost finished with the very first step of tidying a home based on Marie's technique--"Tidy once using my technique and you never have to tidy again" method.  Clothing is the first step.  And so clothing from every floor of the house has been dumped in heaps and gone through, piece by piece.  We're talking my maternity clothes, baby clothes, seasonal kids clothes, etc.

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And as I hold up each item of clothing and ask myself if it "sparks joy" I continue to surprise myself by filling more and more donation bags and hanging up less and less in everyone's closets.

 

And so there is less to keep, more to enjoy/love/appreciate of what we choose to keep.  And ultimately, less to fumble over, put away, and "deal with".

 

What I love most from this whole family transitory experience is my girls interest and desire to own their rooms, personal items, and clothing in a more meaningful way.

Ainsleigh has been asking throughout the week to keep showing her how to properly fold her pants, shirts, underwear, etc.  She wants to keep her drawers functional.  And she feels the excitement that comes from order + essentialism.

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Despite the fact that company is coming this weekend, there's another ballet performance, and Father's Day on the radar, I'm feeling okay that piles of "stuff" have been lingering around many corners--some waiting to be bagged up and other piles still waiting to be decided up.

 

The progress is slow but boy, is it liberating.  Once clothing is "tidied" by the end of this week (my goal is by Saturday night) then books are next.

 

Have a great weekend and enjoy celebrating those daddies! ;)

 

the sleepy time gal

"down time" + what our subconscious minds are telling us

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IMG_2861 {My ballet performers this week take their down time very seriously.  Almost always with therapeutic creating + making.}

 

"Down time" looks different for my kids and myself from season to season as well as during the personal seasons of our lives.  I'm always drawn to different ways to replenish my soul, fill my bucket, or whatever one chooses to call it based on my physical/emotional/spiritual/ + intellectual needs of the moment...

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{Recently my down time has been fulfilling my desire to create + my desire to complete something .  By whipping up simple elastic skirts--two per daughter--the "instant gratification sewing" is exactly what my mind/body have craved.  Fulfilling something from start to finish in one sitting.}

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{Some days I have more down time than others--usually on my non-circuit training days away from home--where I like to bake a recently discovered new snack recipe for the kids and myself to make/eat around the island + a glass of milk.  Or use the extra time to plan + prep something new for dinner.  (Above is my smothered Mexican chicken.  I smothered chicken breasts with a cream cheese/tomato + green chili sauce before topping with all of my favorite toppings and then baking.)}

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{I love the down time that summer provides for more travel + more visitors.  Although the girls' schedule is busier with ballet, they've loved the excitement of company in our home + the friendships that can develop, no matter the age.}

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{It's no surprise that my daughters are drawn to filling their extended down time with the imaginative play of paper dolls.  They gather for hours, throughout the house, with hand-me-down paper dolls, homemade paper dolls, homemade doll clothing, magnetic clothes on dolls, velcro clothes on dolls, etc., to play/imagine/practice their innate mothering instincts through doll play.} 

 

Stop and pay attention to what you are drawn to for your personal "down time" this summer.  Right now.

Is it sitting outdoors under the sun with an anticipated book to gather ideas or get lost in a plot?

Is it organizing a space in your home?  Catching up + relaxing with the latest series on Netflix?  Doing that special activity with your child now that school's out?  Hitting the pavement for a leisurely stroll or for an intense workout??

 

How we choose to use our personal "down time" is telling of what our personal needs are that may not be fully met.

It's a way our incredible subconscious minds work + guide our actions to fulfill our mind/bodies/spirits.  Listen well + thoroughly enjoy those moments of "down time."  As your personal season of needs changes, so will your down time.  Make the most of each session of down time you are privileged to enjoy.

 

Go out + live boldly!

 

the sleepy time gal

right now...

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Right now we are...

  • cutting, hot glueing, and sewing purses + totes daily now that their art room has officially been turned into the "sewing + craft room"--tour coming soon!
  • beginning the life-changing magic of tidying our home (starting with all of the clothes throughout the house) since being completely changed from reading the book, [amazon_link id="1607747308" target="_blank" ]The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up[/amazon_link].  Caroline, who has listened to some of the audio with me, has taken the book's philosophy to heart and has been going through her own things--pretty amazing.
  • coming up with simpler, healthy summer desserts to make when company comes that only involve a few ingredients--like our weekend [amazon_link id="B004N5KUVC" target="_blank" ]Scharffen Berger bittersweet dark chocolate[/amazon_link] dipped strawberries (The youngest three loved rolling some in peanuts and unsweetened coconut.)
  • trying hard to regularly, daily, say no to more things to focus and give our best to the yeses in our schedule (which definitely can be challenging to be honest with yourself in deciphering what is most essential.)  Side note: if you haven't read my thoughts on the book [amazon_link id="0804137382" target="_blank" ]Essentialism: the Disciplined Pursuit of Less[/amazon_link] check it out here.)
  • replanting green beans, green onion, and other vegetables in the garden today that are either teasing us or our friendly rabbits have been eating
  • enjoying my Chromic app that lets me do simple video editing immediately on my phone
  • literally sleeping under the big dipper in sleeping bags on a tarp around back, or for as long as we can handle the chill through the night ;)
  • finishing [amazon_link id="0440409411" target="_blank" ]The Castle in the Attic[/amazon_link] audiobook in the car--a book I stumbled across + remembered enjoying when I was younger

 

Our June + July will definitely be our busiest months this summer because of ballet.  And so I'm carefully + intuitively planning our days now to only contain the most meaningful things beyond the scheduled things: a lot of outside biking time, inspired creativity inside, simple meals + snacks, my most exciting personal goals at the moment, and better flow of maintaining the house daily for them + me.  And most importantly, being flexible when we're all together so we can really say at the end of the day (and personally in my 5 Minute Journal at night) that our days + summer has been absolutely thrilling + successful for all of us.

 

 

Go out + live boldly!

 

the sleepy time gal