Category Archives: random


Its been a stay home and bundle up kinda week. No? :)



If I don’t blog before Thanksgiving, you all have a great one! I do hope to share some special news on some new oils I got and a new coupon monday though. So keep an eye out for that ;-)

Good for the Gut

waterkefirI thought I would write up a really quick blog post linking to a new favorite etsy shop I found. I ordered about two weeks ago from this shop a new shipment of KEFIR grains. My Water Kefir grains sadly died many months ago after I forgot about them :( – was so sad… I got busy with school, photography and everything else… that I just kinda put off buying any more. Well… my kids kept asking for it. Esp. Taite – he loves that stuff! Reed also has been constipated and I too have been having some gut issues (TMI I know). So, I knew I had to get some grains back.

So I hopped on etsy and just ordered from a shop that looked “safe” :) – and placed an order. The order took about a week to get to me due to my ordering it around veterans day… so that delayed the shipment… but even with the delay in the shipping, the grains were totally fine and healthy when I got them.

I ordered them from THIS ETSY Shop called CulinaryCultures

The lady who runs it was super sweet. She even includes some instructions for first time kefir users in the shipment. The Grains I got were nice and plump and after just one cycle using them, they look even nicer and stronger.

Here is a quick copy/paste adaption from THIS BLOG, explaining the benefits of water kefir…

Water kefir is a fermented beverage made with water kefir grains and sugar water. If you are anti-sweet drinks. Don’t worry, this drink is not overly sweet. You can make it sweeter though if you prefer that. The “grains” (aka the booger looking things you see in the above image) feed on the sugar leaving it with an extremely mild sweetness. So the taste is not “pure sugar” – so dont worry about your calories on this one. It is not something you even need to worry about as long as you don’t sweeten it with soda after the fact :)

Water Kefir (or milk kefir – I dont like milk, so thats not an option for me)… is a PROBIOTIC

Probiotics are good bacteria that help you keep a healthy gut. While it is thought to be not as strong it contains a greater number of bacterial strains than are found in kombucha. These good bacteria help us to digest our food, prevent allergies, boost our immune system, and overall keep our body healthy. Getting your probiotics from fermented foods is the way to go.

Water kefir also helps to Increased Immunity!

Probiotics help boost your natural immune system. So with winter months upon us, I am all for keeping my kiddos well. Filling your body with good probiotics from things like kefir is one way to do this. This means that you will get sick less often.

Its easy and frugal to make. It’s very versatile allowing you to customize the flavors to better suit your families needs. The end result is a soda like drink that your kids will like, that is good for you.

For those who may want to learn more about Kefir and its benefits, check out this post I wrote a while back about how I make my water kefir.

water kefir

… and to end. A new recipe for your kefir:

1. Juice a Fresh Lemon (organic) – pour all the lemon water into your water kefir. Make sure you strain out any seeds. You could also use lime.
2. Add it to one bottle of your water kefir (so about 3 cups of water kefir, maybe more)

and thats it! store it in an air tight bottle and you will have a fizzy lemonade. :)

Prepping ahead – Share your recipes

ED9A5656Well, besides staying busy working :) – schooling. You know. The Norm.
We have been planning for our upcoming Holiday Season. Travis of course has to work on Thanksgiving this year. So, alas we are moving Thanksgiving to Tuesday instead of Thursday. Totally fine… its one of those holidays I believe can be flexible :) and having it early has its advantages too. Travis I thought would have off Christmas this year too… but turns out he more than likely wont. Booo. Moving Christmas for me is a hard one to move… but we probably will. That one is harder to move since our church has Christmas Eve Service… and its just always been nice to go to church on Christmas Eve, then do Christmas the next morning… it’ll be fine tho. I am hoping and praying this will be our last year as a “COP” family… and next year we wont have that worry about “off days” like we have the last few years.

This week we will spend prepping for next week though. My parents will come into town and hopefully my brother too… hes in school again tho, so that may not work out for him… but I am hoping it will.


We also have begun some preparations for decluttering :) – fall and winter brings this on me like a wave. Not sure why. I guess because you are inside more? I have been selling stuff on facebook yard sale pages like crazy… and Travis today I hope will finally go through his closet and weed out what he no longer wears.

I am now off to burn 3 client disc :) – then plan for the rest of the rainy day… Hope everyone had a great weekend.


Reed btw has nothing to do with the post :) – just thought these photos were cute.



He was playing my iPhone one night late this week while I edited a portrait session. He is so good with the ABC came on it… I am in awe at his iPad skills every time :) – crazy how fast they learn!

For fun, if you want. Leave me a comment letting me know your “Thanksgiving Menu!” – I asked this on facebook yesterday and had a great response. Many of what you all said I plan to make for Thanksgiving now. So share your family favorites in the comments. Id love to hear.

Monthly Favs?

ED9A5557Hope everyone had a great weekend… Not much to report here. Our weekend felt sorta busy but at the same time not. Had to work Fri and Saturday… requiring a sitter since Travis worked both days. So it was busy yet at the same time sorta restful since I had a big 3-4 hour gap inbetween my day while off working.

Its been a weekend so far some working, but Id say mostly relaxing (as much as you can relax with four boys), watching the boys play, camp fires, movies and grocery shopping thrown in as well. Travis is off today, so our weekend is not over just yet ;-)

I thought I would leave you with some “monthly favorites…” I see a lot of youtubers do this, a video showing the favorites would be way more entertaining, but if you all saw my hair right now, you’d prob be so distracted it be hard to concentrate on what I was even showing you, haha…

SO here goes. Via lovely links. & Yes, I list a lot of things “I MAKE” as my favorites. I’m not trying to puff myself up, they truly are favorites of mine right now, so figured Id give them a shout out again :)

1. I am loving Vetiver Essential Oil. So many uses. One being to help relax you at night. Travis this morning said “I had the most weird and vivid dream, EVER!” For him to actually remember a dream and sleep well enough to have a dream, is huge. So thumbs up to Vetiver. It is also great for ADHD in boys and depression. Check it out. ****Today Nov 10th there is free shipping on all their oils too btw, so shop today to save, also use 15loveoils for 15% off your first oil oroder****


2. Also really loving Cinnamon Bark Oil! I diffuse this blended with Orange. Such a great smell for fall. It also is used in my homemade Immune strength I make up now (since I have almost all the oils in that blend, I just mix it up myself). It smells lovely and my kids “knock on wood” have not gotten sick all fall!

3. With cooler weather in full bloom :) – I am in dire need of lathering myself in lotions and creams constantly. I have such dry skin, it is a must. One of my favorites is still my Homemade Whipped Butter… however, I am finding I cannot apply this around my shoulders or face on days I want to wear my hair down or bangs down. It is oil based, so it makes my hair look so greasy. So warning to those with long locks, this butter may not be great for wearing them down ;-) – however, if you plan to sport a high bun and no bangs, lather up, this stuff is amazing and feels so good.

4. My homemade lip balm. Love it. I use it multiple times a day. Also I have been using it on Owen our 4 year olds face… he has a habit of licking his face under his bottom lip (you moms know what I am speaking of)… it gets so red and raw… this chapstick does wonders for it!!

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5. RUE 21 Tunics – I found these tunics at our local RUE21 store. I mentioned them on my instagram all weekend. I love them! I think I wore the gray one 3 days in a row, haha… so comfortable and cute (imo). They were $12.99 for one, buy 2 you get the 2nd for $5.00. I think someone mentioned they had them BOGO this weekend too. So check your local RUE 21 for these, you will love them! I got mine in gray and a navy/purple color, in large. Im typically a medium but wanted mine to be extra slouchy and cozy. So I went up a size.

6. Found a new mineral make up that I am loving! It is called Root Pretty. I plan to do a detailed blog post on this make up later on. I just got it, so Im still in the realm of playing with it… however I have been a mineral make up user for over 7 years now and Ive tried MANY brands. This one has def. got a good running for being my fav. Look forward to sharing more. I am wearing their make up in the above image with the blue tunic on.

10475207_719254721494108_806759062_n7. My new thrifted Relic Bag. So cute! I am not 100% sure if its real leather, but if its not, it sure feels real. Relic I know is a brand sold at JC Penny? They may be sold in other mall dept. stores too tho. From what Ive seen they can run from $25-75.00 easily new. I found this one thrifting with the boys for $2.00 – its in perfect shape and is the perfect size!! The photo posted here it looks pink, its not tho, it is red in color, perfect for fall. I posted another photo of it on instagram here (shows the color better)

8. Travis and I are enjoying the TV show Revolution right now. Its hard to find shows we BOTH like. So thumbs up to this one. Its pretty good, although like most shows a bit far fetched and unrealistic in some ways. Althought it does get you thinking and wondering what would happen if we lost power (completely). Kinda makes you want to be like those DOOMS day prepper peeps on that National Geographic show, haha. Although not to the extreme they take it ;-) Both of those shows are on Netflix. Not a huge fan of “dooms day preppers tho” – – but Revolution gets a thumbs up so far. We are only on like episode 9 Season 1.

…. and I think that is it for my favorites this month :)

Comment and let me know if you like this sorta post. It was fairly easy to come up with this list… I am sure there are lots more favorites I can share every month.

They will remember mom.

Thought Id type up a really fast post this morning inbetween the boys unloading the dish washer, getting dressed, teeth brushed and all the other small things that hopefully put them into a semi presentable manner haha… although more than likely their shirts are inside out and they are sporting a commando style below (why can’t they just wear underwear without being told?). Caleb never, the other dudes, absolutely haha. Funny how once they hit like age 9 they become aware of things better. Caleb now at 10 is very put together IMO. He does well to present himself for the most part :) – he has even learned how to wash his hair in the tub quickly if he has major bed head going on. I taught him well… Yes, admittedly I maybe only shower 3 times a week?? if that… so in-between days I will just toss my head into my tub (that sounded weird) and wash my hair so it looks halfway normal. Then again many days I just pin it all back and put my hair in a pony. Showering daily for me just isn’t on a high priority right now. Some days I don’t even leave the house.

That brings me to, today’ subject.

Being gross. I mean, being a mom. Who may just some times ever so slightly seem a bit or may actually be a bit gross in appearance haha… but gross in who’s eyes?

Tuesday this week I sat in our school room, prepping a science lesson… and as I sat there I caught a glimpse of myself. I seriously looked terrible. My bangs were pinned back but a few hairs got out and so I had pieces sticking straight up… (yes I took a pic, enjoy, its beautiful) I had fuzzy lil fly aways all around my forehead. The rest of my hair was so greasy the pony tail looked as if I had dipped it in some oil… and my face felt like I had rubbed it in some flour mixed with some sort of thin non sticky honey, yet almost sticky honey. Does that make any sense? It felt gross. You know, grimy? Not a pleasant feeling.

sleepyI sat there in that moment and began to think things such as…

…. man I am so sick of schooling my children.

…. I just wish I could shower right now and someone else could take the ropes.

…. I look so gross.

…. why can’t I look like her (as I looked at someone’s instagram photo, a mom of 1 looking amazing, with her full face of make up already on, hair done and skinny jeans on… I was in major envy mode at that moment).

…. why cant my kids just do it on their own.

…. really. just 1 shower… and robot children who don’t need me for a few days, that’s all I need right now.

I just sat there sulking in my weird hair sticking up, honey flour face… and wanted so badly to sulk… and for a few moments, I did… in fact I txted my friend Candra, with my sulking… and she sweetly listens and always makes me feel better in those moments.

After a few pouts… and pity thoughts…. I began to speak truth into myself, as scripture encourages us to…. “take every thought captive

I really still wanted a shower…. and later on the next day haha, I got that shower… but as I sat there I began to speak truth into myself to get me through my moment of weakness…

Schooling these sweet boys is hard some days, but man what a privilege!! I get to see my boys grow up every moment of every day. I don’t have to let them leave for many hours, 5 days a week, year after year. I am the one who teaches them… I am the one who gets to see them have those “ah-hah” moments… and I am the one who gets to push them through those walls when they just don’t get it and cry.

Some moms sitting at work would dream of that… some maybe not haha, I realize its not for everyone ;-) – trust me. I do know some tho, esp. single mothers, who do not have the option to home school and they so wish they could.

I am blessed to be able to do it and on the bad days I need to just remind myself of that.

The mom I saw that morning on instagram, all beautified and put together… man shes stunning, but shes only got 1 kid right now. Shes in a different place.

This is my mom and II then began to think of my mom.

How many of you remember thinking your mom looked weird without make up? Or that she looked SO much better with it… How many of you remember if your mom wore her hair nice most days, or just tossed it in a pony tail?

I don’t.

I have no memory at all of my mom “put together” or “not put together.”

I just remember my mom.

Beautiful always.

When my boys grow up… they are going to remember the many many MANY mornings we sat working in our school room. They are going to remember all the fun crafts we did and all the silly games we played. They will remember being together… and growing up together….

They will remember their mom….

… and not her make up.

Or her skinny jeans.

Or her hair, done or undone.

They will remember me. Not what I put on me.

I’m thankful for those moments of struggle that ultimately teach and refine me. Man tues. was a rough day…. we had some news come through on monday that sort of put me in a funk for the beginning of the week…. and I know that really did set the tone for tues morning more than anything… but God has a plan and He is refining each of us through our struggle….

So to the moms out there sporting the bobby pinned bangs with some escaping.

To the mom with the crusty-ish face in dire need of exfoliation.

Or the mom who really cannot recall the last time she showered.

Press on and know those babies love you. Regardless… and will remember you, for you.