Life With Boys

Some of you know. Some of you are there or have been there; life with boys. You will never hear so much non-stop noise in your life. While one is talking, two are arguing. Sometimes all three of them are just making random noises, either with their mouths or by using some other part of their body! They are dirty! Their feet always stink! They wrestle until someone is crying (and someone always ends up crying.) We have a running tab at the ER. They never hit the toilet and blame it on each other. And they have no earthly clue what a trash can or clothing hamper is for!

A few nights ago, the full moon was really taking its toll on our house. It was one of those nights where they were ALL jacked up and I was tired and cranky. At the announcement of bedtime, Sam says he is sleeping in the living room. I informed him he was not and then it started. The temper tantrum or as we southerners refer to it, a hissy fit. All of my children are stubborn but he is in a league of his own. He WILL outlast you if he so desires and no amount of spankings, reasoning or bribery will change his mind. His daddy took him to bed kicking and screaming and I laid down with him. And since he was crying so much, Jack gets back up because “he can’t sleep with all this noise”. I go along with this because I just want Sam to hush his mouth. He finally tones it down from full blown hissy fit to the “I’m tired but I’m going to cry for at least another hour just to get my point across” stage. Jack comes back in and lays down…playing a game on a tablet. Umm, no sir. He is fully aware that this is a major no, but doesn’t seem to care. After being asked to put it down several times, he continues to play…completely ignoring me!!! I take it away and then he starts crying!!! What is going on?!?

I laid in their room for what felt like forever waiting for them to give up and after being held hostage for over an hour, they finally gave up and passed out. After my escape, I walked out and saw this in the bathroom.

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I know it’s just a circle of dinosaurs having a meeting in the bathroom with two Batmen, but it immediately melted my heart with its innocence and all of my stress was lifted. You see, that’s what life with little boys is like. They will take you to the brink of insanity. They will make you think you are going to lose your mind and then, just like that, they bring you right back in one simple, sweet moment.

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Choosing A Bedroom Color

Hello, friends!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here and I know all of you (like all 5 of you) have been dying with anticipation wondering when I would return. Ha! Let me just start by asking if any of you ever needed a break? You know, like a serious break. Well, I did and I took one this summer. I stopped blogging, I stopped working out, I stopped counting calories, and I stopped doing any sort of planning. We didn’t even take a vaca or trip and it felt GREAT!! I focused (a little) on my school work, read some books and ate a lot of ice cream. Sometimes you just get burned out and I feel much better now. Refreshed and ready to slowly start focusing on some things again, like some house projects.

We have quite a few projects around here that need to be completed first but one thing I have had my eye on is our master bedroom. I’m always dreaming of new ideas, furniture and paint colors, but the other week one of my friends painted a navy accent wall in her bedroom and then my husband randomly said he was ready to paint something and asked about our bedroom. That was all I needed! He had no clue what he had just started! The wheels really began turning but I can’t decide exactly what I want.

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Our Bedroom-The color is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt.

Our bedroom has been basically the same since we moved in five years ago. We painted it Sea Salt which really is one of the BEST colors at Sherwin Williams. Typically, I’m a total light and white person and always thought I’d redo the bedroom to be all white, but lately I’m thinking about a little more drama.

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This is what I’ve always pictured when it was time to paint and give the bedroom a little refresh. I love that everything is a shade of white and the way the wood warms up the space.

One idea I’ve been tossing around is the idea of going a few shades darker of the color we already have. Something greenish-blue to give the room a little more depth.

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Love these SW colors, especially Drizzle.

However, I also think that I could easily go really, really dark with an accent wall behind the bed or maybe (dare I say it) even the entire room??

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Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor. I am LOVING this color!
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Here it is in a bedroom as an accent wall.

Here are a few other dark bedrooms that I love. What do y’all think? Should I go with a medium color like Sherwin Williams Drizzle, accent wall or go for the dramatic all dark?!?

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Safer Skin Care

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For years now I’ve been buying safe cleaning products. Since having kids , it just made me feel better to use products that were free of harsh chemicals. Especially when the boys were little and would lick the front door glass and the bathtub. (Ok, they probably still do these things…Boys.) I buy organic fruits and veggies about 75% of the time. I thought I was doing great. That is until about two months ago. I came across a website called ewg.org It stands for Environmental Working Group. They have tons of articles on all types of scary things but what I like is the fact that you can scan (from their app) or type in a product or the ingredients ¬†and it will tell you just how safe it really is. It’s great but it also caused me to have a massive freak out moment. I started scanning all my beauty and makeup products and the results weren’t good. I had never really gave much thought about myself and all of the things I put on my skin every day. My skin!! The largest organ of my body!! Soaking up potentially hazardous chemicals on a daily basis!! I seriously came close to having an anxiety attack. I can’t afford to replace everything, but I didn’t want to keep putting harmful, cancer causing products on!! What was I going to do?!?!? After a few days, I talked myself off of the ledge. I decided there was no need to freak out, but do some research. There are a lot of products that seem like they are safe, but may not necessarily be. I’ve been using a certain makeup for years. I was under the impression that this particular brand was good as far as chemicals. I started doing some research and even though these products don’t seem to be the worst, they aren’t the best either. According to the website, a good product is ewg certified or its scores a 1-3. My make up products were around a 5-6. (There are some out there that are. 7-9. Yikes!!)

I decided to just replace products as I ran out. I’ve read a lot of great reviews about Beauty Counter. They make safe makeup and skin care products. I think I have decided to give it a try. I recently ran out of my favorite night cream and I’m trying to decide which one of these Beauty Counter ones to try.

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All of these have great reviews on Beauty Counter website

I’ve also decided that if I can’t find anything that I like as much as one of my old products, then I’m just going to keep using it (as long as it’s not above a 5 on the ewg website). If you are using safe beauty products let me know what you’re using and why you love it!

Spring Wardrobe

Recently I cleaned out my closet. Like, really cleaned out my closet. I did this in hopes of fine tuning my wardrobe to pieces that I really love and that flow together. (More about that in a later post) Now that I’ve got room in my closet, it’s time to refresh my spring wardrobe. I decided to focus on relaxed pieces for work, since I plan on living in jeans and a tee for my weekends. I’ve picked out pieces that can easily be switched around to create numerous different outfits. I’ve also picked pieces that can be worn with jeans, other pieces in my closet and places other than work. Some of these items I have already purchased and others are budgeted for next month. Also, most are J. Crew because J. Crew is my favorite!

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(Left to Right) White Ruffle Front Shirt- J.Crew Factory, Who What Wear Black Gingham Blouse- Target, Black Rooster Eyelet Top- J.Crew, Central Stripe Ruffle Sleeve Shirt- Madewell, French Rose Tippi Merino Sweater- J.Crew, Striped Twist Back Tee- J.Crew
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Universal Thread White Denim Shirt- Target, Drapey Pull On Pant- J.Crew Factory, Mid-Rise White Skinny Jean- GAP, Wide Leg Crop Chambray Pants- J. Crew
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Roman Chandelier Earrings and Kalani Statement Necklace-My Stella & Dot, Me Too Bettina Espadrille Wedge- Nordstrom, Top Shop Bali Pom Straw Bag- Nordstrom

Spring Break Break

Here we are, Sunday night and spring break is coming to an end. I can’t say that I’m sad about it. We have had one of the worst, most stressful weeks ever!! It all started before spring break even began. The youngest monkey came down with a stomach bug- a really, really bad stomach bug. While I was at home with him, I got a call from the school about our oldest monkey. Apparently he was in the middle of an intense game of freeze tag and decided it would be a great idea to stop half way down the slide…and jump off. He seemed ok at the time and since I already had a sick kid and we were supposed to be headed out of town, we just decided to keep an eye on it. The next few days are a total blur and nothing I ever want to re-visit. We did not make it out of town. The stomach bug, which I’m not entirely sure wasn’t the flu, took us down one by one. One a day until it had all five of us! By the time we came out on the other side of that, it was Tuesday and the oldest monkey still couldn’t lift his arm at the shoulder, so off to the doctor we went early Wednesday morning. Which led to a trip to the ER, because guess what? It was broke!! Of course, I took him for ice cream because he made it through a stomach bug with a broken arm. That totally deserves ice cream!

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Thursday was spent trying to wash and clean everything in the house because I had not had the time or the energy to do much all week accept what was necessary.  Friday was the first time we made it out. We had lunch and then tried the park but oldest monkey still thought he was invincible, so we went to Hopeland Gardens to walk around and enjoy the sunshine.

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We spent Saturday celebrating my handsome and amazing grandfather. He turned 90!! Sunday, I was determined to celebrate Easter, even if it was a week late. So, we went to church, ate a ton of food and watched a little Masters. Now here we are at the end of spring break and I feel like I need a break from spring break! After all of this, I’ll gladly take on some HR nightmares at the office tomorrow morning!!

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Product Pusher: Confessions of a Stella & Dot Stylist

Get on social media and it seems everyone is selling something these days. Everyone. Go on your Facebook account right now and I bet at least ten of your “friends” are trying to convince you that you need something they have to sell you; jewelry, skin care products, lipstick, bags for everything with your monogram, makeup, essential oils, a healthy lifestyle along with a $100 per month powder, etc., etc. I have a love/hate relationship with all of this because, A- I, admittedly, have fallen for many of these things and, B- I AM one of these people. It can be so annoying and I annoy myself with it. Trust me. But I keep going and I would like to tell you why.

It was 2008 when I went to my first Stella & Dot party. I had never heard of it before but a girl from my office was having a party and I was a new mom who needed a night out. Decision made. What I wasn’t prepared for was how much I loved it! Like, seriously wanted it all!! However, I couldn’t afford it all, so I purchased a pair of amazing earrings and gave some serious thought to hosting my own party to score all the other goodies I wanted.

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My first Stella & Dot purchase was these Goa Earrings.

Before I could plan my own trunk show we made a decision to move back to my hometown . After we were settled, I still really wanted to have a party. I went to the Stella & Dot website and clicked to find a stylist. It didn’t take long to receive an email from a stylist in Columbia (closest one at the time). Together we locked in a date and time. I was so excited and then terrified. Who was I going to invite? Granted, I was living in the town I grew up in, but I had not lived there in a really long time. My social circle wasn’t very big. Thankfully the hosting packet had a “who do you know?” page in it. I started making a list and once I started thinking of friends, family, co-workers, and church friends, my list was bigger than I thought it would be. Also, to my surprise, people actually showed up!

After that, I was hooked. I wanted to wear and share this jewelry with others. I signed up to be a stylist and have loved it ever since. I did bow out completely for a short time but had to come back. I missed it! I have gone full force and taken time off. One of the things I like is there is no amount you have to sell each month. You can work as little or as much as you want to, whatever fits your life. There is a small (quarterly, I think) fee to keep your website up, but that’s all. I’ve also met some really awesome people through this experience. Every Stella & Dot stylist I’ve met is amazing. I’ve even walked up to strangers in public places and asked “Are you a S&D stylist?” because you just learn to spot “your people” in a crowd (it helps when you see them wearing the goods). I really love these accessories and this company. The company started in 2003 by Jessica Herrin. She wanted a way to stay home with her newborn and have a career so she started making jewelry in her living room. Fast forward to 2007 and she is joined by Blythe Harris, who becomes the creative director. They rename the company after their grandmothers and Stella & Dot was officially born. It has grown so much since then, adding in scarves, bags, high end diamond necklaces and most recently tops, dresses and hats. All the jewelry is hand crafted and lead and nickel free. It’s made from semi-precious stones, crystal, glass, sterling silver, brass, bronze, gold vermeil and hand painted enamel. It’s more beautiful in person than on the website or in the look book.

I’ve never really asked anyone to join me on this journey but if you are interested in a no pressure, fun “job” that you can work as a full time gig or just as a part time hobby, I would love to talk to you. Along with helping style other gorgeous ladies, you also get the following perks.

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This little card recently helped pay for our kitchen remodel. I love having trunk shows and the money is an extra perk!
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This month is such an AMAZING deal!!

So, if you’re still with me, I apologize for being one of those annoying people on social media. I try to not go overboard but sometimes it’s difficult. Please know that I am not a sales person. I’m just a chick that truly does love this company and I want others to feel confident and amazing in what they wear every day!

XO-

Lindsay,

Stylist, Stella & Dot

Essential Oils-Yes or No?

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Essential oils are everywhere right now. Are they a trend or something here to stat? I attended a party a few years ago, was totally skeptical and didn’t buy a thing. Eventually, I did buy a diffuser and some peppermint oil. I would turn it on every now and then, but that was about all I did with it for a year or so. Fast forward and now I’m using oils for all kinds of things. We have diffusers all over the house and I’m learning more all the time. My hubby calls my “voodoo witch craft”. He clearly is not on board.

I’m no expert, by any means but here are a few things I use my oils for regularly.

-I diffuse to make the house smell better. I like oils better than candles now and rarely buy them (candles) any more. Oils are cleaner. You don’t have to wonder about the chemicals burning from the candle. My favorite to just diffuse is peppermint and lemon. Sometimes I add in another citrus for fun.

-I diffuse a “cleaning” oil to get rid of smells in the house. I love frying bacon for my family on Sunday mornings, but I hate the way the house smells all day after. This oil helps get rid of it faster.

-I diffuse to lift or change the kids, mine, or my husbands mood. Citrus/peppermint to wake us up and get us alert. Lavender to calm the boys down at the end of the day.

– I swear by peppermint and eucalyptus by the boys bed if they are sick. This will stop their coughing 90% of the time and I don’t have to give them cough syrup. It also helps with a stuffy nose.

-I make my own cleaning solutions. I use recipes from one of my favorite bloggers and authors, A Bowl Full of Lemons. One of my favorites is so easy. I put baking soda in a mason jar with a few drops of peppermint oil. Stir it up and punch wholes in the top and you have the best carpet/rug freshener without chemicals.

-I put a few drops of lavender in a bath with epsom salt and baking soda for a relaxing bath that helps pull out toxins from your body.

-I diffuse an oil called “good sleep” in the boys rooms at night to help them relax and fall asleep.

I really want to learn more about using oils topically. You can roll them in for stress, alertness, and relaxation. You can use them for skin care. Oh, and PS, if you have a headache, diffuse peppermint oil and it will totally feel better. I’ve also yet to find a brand that I’m completely loyal too. I use a little bit of this and that. I’ve been researching Young Living and like the company, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Are any of you into oils? Do you have a brand you love? Or, are you like my husband and think it’s a bunch of craziness?? (I promise you won’t hurt my feelings.) : )

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