Friday, September 19, 2014

4 Things I've Found When Decorating For Fall

Fall is my favorite season. 

It is inviting in every way. 

The weather gets cooler and beckons you to come inside for warm drinks but still "leaves" time (like how I did that?) for walks in the park or playing in those crisp fallen leaves. 

I remember last year when I went shopping for a few new decor pieces for fall and put up a new banner. This year I used what I had. 

I grabbed a little more glue to repair the sign and spent some time dusting, bringing things up from the basement and rearranging. It was more important to me this year to use what I had than to add more stuff into the mix. There are just so many things that I am trying to get rid of these makes me re-think the things that I think we "need."

Fall is a pretty beautiful season all on its own.

Can you tell that my kids have been playing with the decorations. :-)

I guess I did add one new item into the mix. I found a sign at Gordmans that is be.YOU.tiful.

Quite literally

I've had it in a closet to use in the girl's room but haven't gotten around to working on their room yet. So I snagged it to put on the piano for the time being. 

The kids have been trying to beat the squirrels to all of the nuts in our neighbor's yard. I told them to leave some for the poor squirrels and to grab me a few. 

Sam has mentioned numerous times to me before about my constant use of ellipses in my writing. I just couldn't resist. ;-)

I brought this vintage camera back from Sam's grandparent's house. They are truly the kindest people you will ever meet. 

We are ready for days of no a/c or furnace and just a warm cup of tea.

Even the kids are getting into this wonderful season.

Here are some things I've found I like to do when decorating for the fall:

1. Keep things simple and around the theme.
2. Use what I already have.
3. Bring as much of nature inside as possible.
4. Throw some eclectic or vintage things in there to spice things up.

It is going to be a glorious season...

Do you like to change out decorations for fall or other special occasions? What are some things you find helpful?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A "Date Night" Themed Bridal Shower

When it comes to getting organized for a party I try to take a few things into consideration.

What do we have? 

What do we need? 

How can we keep it simple?

Over the summer a few friends and I got together to throw a shower for our friend, Amanda. It was a bridal shower, however it took place after the wedding because of busy summer schedules. So would that make it a "wifey" shower? ;-) 

With the unique shower we came up with a unique and fun theme. What cuter theme than "date night?" I could totally picture this cute couple sipping shakes at a little bistro cafe...

The coffee was brewed.

We decided to serve ice cream sundaes. I'm telling ya, those mason versatile. (My list of reasons keeps growing and growing with each passing week.) ;-)

I picked up a few things from the party section at Target. 

A few pink straws...

this adorable paper ice cream cone...

I'm totally planning on reusing that some day!

We decorated with a few streamers and a festive paper garland. 

Mid-way through the night a version of the newlywed game was played. Four couples took part. It was so much fun watching. The husbands had all given their answers prior to the party since they weren't present. There was so much laughter, it was a hit!

Because of the theme we decided to shower Amanda & Karl with a bunch of fun date night options. Guests brought a gift card to a favorite restaurant, theater, or ice cream shop and we put them all together in a date night box filled with some extra goodies. 

I also grabbed some things from the kitchen to put out as decor and continue our theme. 

Popcorn anyone?

It was a precious time together and well worth the time spent getting prepared for the special night. 

What are some fun or unique showers that you have been to before? 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

An Allergy Shot For Adults That Isn't Painful At All

Sam deals with intense seasonal allergies. From witnessing first-hand his sneezing, coughing and itchy red eyes I can tell that they are no fun at all. Our medicine cabinet used to be filled with over the counter allergy medicine...lots of it. Then we decided to purchase a doTERRA essential oils family physician kit. 

It arrived and he began taking the "allergy shot" immediately.

2 drops Lemon, 2 drops Lavender & 2 drops Peppermint
in a shot glass with a small swallow of water.

He couldn't believe how quickly and effectively it cleared everything up. 

I kindly asked him if we could save the oils until a later time and use up the over the counter medicine that we had already bought first. He kindly obliged by taking the over the counter medicine the next day. He then came and asked me to mix him up an allergy shot to combine with the medicine because it wasn't working nearly as well.  

I guess you could say that he is a fan of the allergy shot. I also haven't purchased any over the counter allergy medicine since. (Added bonus that the essential oils don't leave you drowsy either.) 

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?

(photo credit Sarah Hardie Photography)

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Transformation You Don't Want To Miss!

Thank you all so much for your facebook comments and encouraging emails last week when I shared about my big announcement. I can't wait to see what happens next!

I love to share stories of transformations and miracles

I've noticed that I am a person that especially likes to witness transformations first hand. Can you relate? In fact, I think that is why I even like things like cutting the grass so much. And you know I enjoy seeing a good before and after (in even the smallest projects, paint can make such a difference!)

I simply like to watch things change and transform. 

Transformation is all around us. It happens when the tulips finally grow

And it even happens when your kids discover a caterpillar in the neighbor's yard and ask if they can borrow a mason jar. 

Sure kids, I'll grab the camera. 

Let's see what happens...

caterpillar turning to butterfly

and then we waited...


a cocoon

a new butterfly


Maybe on a Monday like today you need to see a transformation. Maybe all you've seen are the piles of dirty clothes, hours of work ahead of you, deadlines, phone calls, spilled milk, long to-do list, recently broken appliance, never ending sickness, numerous problems, relational disagreements, etc. 

The God of the universe sees it all!

And just like he created a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly he created you and I to be transformed when we put our hope and trust in him. When we say, "God I'm letting go...I'm letting you take control. I'm giving you my heart...I'm giving you my all." Well, the transformation begins to happen in ways that we could have never done on our own. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Storing Potatoes & Onions

A little over a week ago some friends moved in with us. They are looking to possibly buy a house in the area and we remember all too well how difficult (and exciting!) it can be to be looking for a house.  

We've told our friends that no matter what the time frame is...we are thrilled to have them in our home. It doesn't hurt that they also brought their adorable three month old baby along. 

I mean really, how are they ever going to say no to this little guy?!? :-)

We rearranged our basement family room again to make the space more comfortable for them. It went from this layout, back to this. Only instead of a brown chair there is now a pack 'n play for mr. adorable.

Along with changes like this came conversations on how to coordinate both of our families schedules and meal times. There is 1 kitchen and 10 people. Oh and 2 of our 4 burners are currently not working...easy, peasy.

With all factors considered, we decided to take turns preparing evening meals. Five nights a week I'll cook and then two nights a week they will cook for all of us. Indian food is their specialty and Lord have mercy, it is GOOD! (We might sabotage their whole house hunting experience if given the opportunity.) 

I cleared out a cupboard for them to use for food storage and we have two refrigerators available between the one in the kitchen and our retro one in the basement. (We are hoping to update the retro one to something more energy efficient soon.)

As I was sorting through things and clearing out cupboards it was obvious to me that I've never really had a good place to store potatoes & onions. Since we don't have a traditional pantry, they always seem to get shoved under a random cabinet and then I find them rotting weeks later, because, well...I forgot about them. 

Imagine my excitement to walk into World Market and see this. I was even more excited when I got home and saw that there was already a heavy duty hook hanging from the ceiling that the previous owner had installed.

Now we can have one community space for potatoes & onions.  

Not to mention that it is super cute and creates the illusion that I actually like to cook. Ha! Who knew a hanging basket could help me out so much? :-)

How do you store potatoes & onions? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Capri Sun Back to School Fun

When it came to gearing up for school, we were ready! We had the backpacks hung, homework station ready and I have our first day of school surveys filled out 90% of the way. (I still need to measure the kids and record their height before they grow some more!) Another thing a lot of moms are thinking about as kiddos have gone back to school is prepping for lunches. Today I'm going to talk about a refreshing item to add in. 

Our family enjoys the great taste of Capri Sun juice drinks. I've always been amazed at how many varieties they have and they recently did something really cool to their packaging. I'll tell you about it below.

All summer long we had been meeting up with friends for a weekly park play group and many times we brought a packed lunch along. Usually I'm running around at home beforehand, cleaning up from breakfast or making sure everyone has brushed their teeth and I want the task of packing lunch for five kiddos to be as simple as possible.

I'll whip up some PB&J sandwiches, grab some carrots and pretzels and toss in some Capri Sun juice drinks.

Here are a few of the varieties that we've used...

  • Capri Sun Juice Drink
  • Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters Flavored Water Beverage
  • Capri Sun 100% Juice
  • Capri Sun Super V Fruit and Vegetable Juice Drink

It makes life fun watching my kids get so excited about getting to drink these. I also enjoy the fact that they are so convenient, portable and contain no artificial colors or flavors. One change that they've recently made is using clear bottoms on their packaging so that you can see the goodness.

The boxes that they come in can also be conveniently stored right in the fridge. They open up just like a box of pop does so that you can easily grab a drink and go. 
In our fridge we have built in pop holders. Ever since removing pop from our regular grocery list I've found that the drinks fit great in the holders. In fact, the holders also work great for storing cheese sticks... who knew?!?

These come in so handy to have on hand for adventures to the park, school lunches, family outings, etc.

To check out more info about Capri Sun go to this site. You can also find their popular Facebook page here.

Are you getting back into the swing of things now that school has started?
I received some delicious Capri Sun juice drinks and compensation in exchange for writing this post.
As always, I only endorse products that we love, give opinions that are 100% my own 
and haven't figured out how to put fake smiles on my kids' faces. :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Essential Oils Tab & Ordering Info.

As I begin talking a few times each month about the many uses of essential oils, I will also be cataloging the info in a tab above to help others explore the various ways that they can be used.

Once I purchased doTERRA essential oils I realized just how important it was to spend a little bit of time learning how to use them. I'm also a busy mom of five and wanted to invest my time wisely. I hope that by passing along what I've learned, this section will help you explore some helpful uses. 

As you continue to hear more about essential oils, you may start asking the question, "How do I get started using these oils?" Or maybe you have already heard how great they are and you want to get started right away. All of the info for ordering can now be found in the tab above

I will also be listing monthly specials exclusively available through An Inviting Home so be sure to check it out! 

(photo credit Sarah Hardie Photography)
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