Sunday, September 1

6 DIY's We Want To Try

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     Happy September my people:)
This is my favorite month of the year, and I am so excited to watch the seasons change from Summer to Fall here at our home in Utah. We've been visiting Utah for many years for work and to visit family and such, and the Fall was always the most magical time of year here. 

     Now that the older kiddies are in school, our family has settled into a pretty good routine and rhythm, and our favorite part of that is after the kids come home and we're able to jump into activities altogether once again. We like to write up a big list for each season of the things that we'd all love to do together, and then we either plan loosely what we'll do each week or we might pick an activity on the spot. 

     Lately, it's been hot enough that we have to wait till early evening to do any outdoor activities, so we've been exploring my pinterest to find random and fun DIY's that we can do, especially without having to go buy any supplies:) Here is a list of 6 fun projects that we want to try creating this week!

     Aren't those projects so cute?? I absolutely love seeing the focus and determination on my children's faces when they are creating, and that incredible gleam in their eyes when they excitedly call us over to admire their progress. My favorite part of the process though has might be when they announce their work and produce it from behind their backs with a grand flourish, then shyly grin and/or giggle as we express our surprise and gratitude for such priceless treasures:)

     That love of making and creating was instilled in me growing up, and nurturing it in my own kiddies has been a sweet experience. 

     I hope you can take some time to create this month in whatever way helps you feel most alive, and if you have kiddies than I hope you can pull them into that mindset with you! I'd also love for you to share any favorite hobbies or activities you like to do on your own or with your family to help inspire the rest of us, and I hope this post has maybe inspired you a little as well.

     Have a beautiful week ahead!


Thursday, August 1

Our favorite Family bonding activities at home

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      Hey gang, thanks for visiting!
I've been asked a lot lately about managing family time and how we handle big trips together, what we have left on our Summer bucket-list, etc, so today I've partnered with Pampers Pure to answer the questions about what we like to do as a family while we're at home!

      The weather has been SO very hot for us back home in Utah for the last month or so which has meant that between the hours of about 11 and 6 we rarely even go outside unless we have to. That being said, being subscribed on and having our favorite diapers and wipes delivered to our door before we realize how low we are has been a lifesaver! Also now that we have the Pick Your Prints option on the website too it's been fun to let the older kids pick their favorite prints for Alice and see them get excited.haha

     Also, if you want to check out the prints and sign up as a subscriber then you get $7 off your purchase! Ordering is super simple too, all you do is:
    1. click this link HERE to visit the page, 
      2. select your diaper size, 
      3. pick out your favorite print for each pack, (we're expecting tacos and the cute sloth next), 
      4. select your order frequency (every 2 weeks, 3 weeks, or 4 weeks), 
      5. and check out. 

That's it! Let me know if you have any more questions about how it all works, and now let's get into the family activity list:)

40 Family Bonding Ideas for Home
  1. Institute family journaling time
  2. Have a living room picnics
  3. Make homemade personal pizzas
  4. Look through family albums and tell family stories
  5. Color together
  6. Put on a mock cooking class
  7. Decorate and have a family dance
  8. Play family dress-up
  9. Fill an envelope with drawings and letters for a distant friend or family member
  10. Go on a walk
  11. Plan sardines or hide-and-go-seek
  12. Make a blanket fort
  13. Do a science experiment off Pinterest
  14. Make a home-movie of the day
  15. Learn a new song together
  16. Snuggle up together and have a 'quiet contest'
  17. Set up a relay race or a scavenger hunt in the house
  18. Get together to plan a dream vacation
  19. Write a short story, taking turns to decide the plot direction
  20. Each member of the family gets an hour to decide what activity the family does
  21. Take your bikes or scooters around the block
  22. If your kids are the right age, make a dessert ONLY giving them directions, no touching
  23. Play Disney song trivia 
  24. Have a BBQ complete with s'mores
  25. make banana splits or ice cream sundaes
  26. Collect old toys/clothes/books, etc to donate together
  27. Celebrate someone's half-birthday, or un-birthday
  28. Have a family talent show
  29. Let each child choose a story-book for you to read in succession
  30. Tell a choose-your-own-adventure story
  31. Decorate sugar cookies
  32. Plant a tree or flowers together
  33. Blow bubbles
  34. Make a family fun calendar, everyone picking somewhere local they'd like to go
  35. Play a movie in the back yard
  36. Video chat with distant friends or family
  37. Play in the sprinklers
  38. Have a staring contest tournament with prizes
  39. Have a karaoke night
  40. Wash the cars together

       Well, that's our collection for now, but let me know if you have any questions about any of the activities, and whether or not you'd like family road-trip tips or our Autumn bucket-list next! I'm so excited about this post though and I hope you found it useful, particularly since Summer is almost over and many of us will be having lots more time at home than we did during the vacation months.
      What are some of your favorite at-home activities for bad-weather days or lots-of-laundry-days, etc?
As always, take care!

Tuesday, July 30

A weekend that changed my life (& can change yours too)

               Hey loves!
       I can't believe we have just a few weeks until the first day of school. This year we'll have the older five kids in school with Lydia starting Kindergarten and Evie in preschool, and while I'm so super excited for them of course, I'm going to miss my babes being around me all day every day. *sniff sniff*

       Anyways, today I want to share some quick thoughts on one of the most life-changing experiences I've ever had (NOT sponsored:)), and details on how you can have the same opportunity! I'm talking about my time at the Radiant & Rooted Retreat and the incredible impact it's had on me. Considering that I attended the retreat that was last March, I feel bad that it's taken me so long to get this post written, but even now I don't feel equipt to write well enough to do it justice. There are emotions I felt that I can't quite put into words, and spiritual breakthroughs that I feel are too sacred to even try to share, but I'll start with a little break-down after these pictures:

Radiant & Rooted Women's Retreats
A 3 day retreat to renew your soul and ignite your life!

      The retreat I attended in St George last March was in a peaceful secluded spot with just a handful of other women (as opposed to a really large group) so I couldn't 'blend into the background' or be overlooked. They had comfy beds in an incredible house and truly AMAZING food all day long. There were tons of awesome 'swag'/gifts from awesome companies. The team included energy workers and healers to help guide and teach, and I was encouraged (not forced) to explore my doubts and fears, address my limiting beliefs, discover my inner power and the energy that holds me back and holds me up. There was morning yoga, guided meditation, gorgeous hikes, swimming, time to connect with the other attendees and find our commonalities, time to be on my own, but most of all I just had lots of fun, and lots of crying.haha

      Also, I just need to add that the incredible group of friends behind these retreats are some of the most caring and compassionate souls you'll ever meet. They have nothing but pure love and compassion in their hearts and truly just want to help empower women to be their best selves and to unlock their incredible power and potential. They've dedicated SO much time and ENDLESS effort to create what I consider to be a sacred environment and atmosphere that is dedicated to helping you feel safe and understood, valued, appreciated, and absolutely full of life and hope.

When and Where:
      Again, the retreat I attended was last March in St George, UT, but the next one is coming up THIS WEEKEND!!!! It's from Friday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 4th and it's in Island Park Idaho. The link to purchase is right HERE if you want to click over and snag one before the last sell out:) Please please please consider investing in yourself (and by extension everyone you come in contact with) and just I can't recommend it enough. And no once again, I don't get anything by anyone purchasing a ticket, I just believe in these retreats with all my heart and my guts.haha Okay moving on.

Why go:
      Because investing in yourself is a powerful and immensely rewarding course of action,
because you deserve to step away from all the hustle and comparison and laundry and noise and to find some clarity and connection with other like-minded souls who are searching for many of the same things you are,
because now is the perfect time to gain some amazing new friendships and perspective, and to find some answers and peace, because Radiant & Rooted is the catalyst you need to move into the next phase of your life, no matter where you're at right now, should I go on? haha
      That's what it ended up being for me at least. I honestly pulled up a little late and was hesitant to get out of the car to go inside. My insecurities were eating at me that I didn't have anything to bring to the group and that I was in too dark of a place to receive any sort of enlightenment, but I was so wrong. I was shocked at just how safe it felt there and how vulnerable I was able to be with women that I'd just met, but once people started opening up it was like a trickle turning into a flood of connection and understanding and all of us being reminded that we are all in this together. It was incredible.

What I Didn't Like:
      I can't think of a single thing that wasn't perfectly thought out or planned or beneficial, etc, but if I have to pick something I do wish that it could last longer.haha Mostly because I didn't want it to end! I knew that that amazing feeling would start to fade as soon as I got in my car to leave that group of women and I was so sad at the thought, but I also couldn't wait to see my family again and be able to start applying the things that'd I'd learned and watch the transformations happen in our life. Also, we started a little facebook group and have kept in touch pretty well which is great.

My Favorite Part:
      I was so happy and touched to see that Kallie caught a photo of me (directly above) during this moment right near the end of the retreat because this was during one of those unforgettable experiences that I wish absolutely everyone could have! It's hard to describe exactly what I was feeling, but this is me surrendering. This was during a sort of meditative exercise that involved connecting with our younger selves, and maybe you can't tell but I was just Sobbing. I don't want to spill too many details, but a part of the exercise was to face the sun with our eyes closed as other members of the group would take turns whispering special words to us, and before we were five seconds into it the walls just came down, and I was shaking and audibly sobbing after having kept my composure pretty well since the beginning of the retreat.
      I was just overcome with adoration for all the women out there in the sun with me and their amazing strength in adversity, I felt such tender love for that little Emily who once was consumed by worthlessness and loneliness, and my heart broke as I pictured so many young people just like I was who have no idea of their value and potential.
      I saw how many lives and precious time is wasted with comparison and jealousy, gossip and selfishness. All the pain in our lives and in my own life seemed to stack up then and I felt crushed under it all, but a whispered phrase of support from one of my new sisters and that weight quickly turned into immense pride at how far I've come and how much I've survived. I felt my angels surrounding me and an assurance of our divine nature, and I felt so much peace with my life, the choices I've made, and the purpose ahead of me and my little family.

     There were a couple other incredibly sacred moments that happened between then and when we had to actually leave, but I'll save those for later I think:)

Would you recommend?

✩ One Ba-jillion Percent. ✩

      I'll wrap up with a quick reminder that the next retreat is this weekend but you can still jump in at the last minute if you hurry my dear!! I would be so all over this but we had a family reunion planned for the same time since last year, so it was not in the stars.

Update: The next one is going to be in Costa Rica in March of 2020! And I'm definitely gonna be there:) So if you guys would like more info as they release details just let me know and I'll do my best to keep you updated, or you can also follow them on IG right here. 

      One last big massive uncomfortable hug to all the marvelous souls that shared their hearts with me that weekend, and to Amy and Bri and Rach, y'all are angels and I love you forever. Thank you thank you for the work you do.

      Have you ever been to a Radiant & Rooted or another similar retreat or conference before? Have you had some other type of moment that changed or impacted you in a hugely positive way? I'd love if you could share in the comments:)


Tuesday, July 23

5 Simple Ways to Simplify Your Day


     Hey there loves, I hope you're having a great week so far! We're about a month into our Summer break at this point and I'm happy to report that we're settling into a pretty smooth rhythm. Part of establishing that rhythm or schedule is giving ourselves space and the time we need to breathe, to really prioritize, and then to simplify everything down as much as possible.

     Today I partnered with Pampers Pure to share a few quick ideas for simplifying your day, and I hope that they offer a little inspiration for you!

1. Plan out the week's meals: 
We've all been to that point where it's 5:00 and it's too late to start the dinner we had planned, so we get frantic and have to toss something quick together or get takeout. That cycle can end when you plan out your week in advance, and then decide when you need to start prepping to have meals ready on time. You'll be amazed at how much having scheduled meals will add structure to your whole day, and mealtimes will become more intentional family time instead of a haphazard mess.

2. Prepare the night before:
The biggest thing that helps my day go smoothly is making a list of my to-dos the night before, but there are a lot of things when you think about it that may take little effort today but shave off lots of time tomorrow. Things like picking out your outfit, packing lunches, tossing smoothie ingredients into a bag ready to be blended, etc.

3. Create a morning routine: 
I used to think that a morning routine was unattainable with so many little ones and variables in our day, but as long as you can be okay with not achieving the routine perfectly every day, establishing goals for your morning and putting them somewhere you can see them will help you to focus and greatly increase your productivity! Checking off boxes in the morning will set the mood for the whole day, and instead of feeling like you're playing catch-up you'll feel ahead of the game from the get-go. I can share our routine later if you'd like, but it's just a list on the fridge of morning goals and it works great!

4. Limit TV time:
I don't want to discount how important some downtime is for the soul sometimes, but when you have a schedule to keep or a deadline to meet, you have to set some limits so the day doesn't get away from you. One trick that helped me a lot was committing to only watch shows while I was exercising or folding laundry, etc. Normally I don't think multitasking is a great idea, but in this case, it helps me get more exercise in and the menial tasks go by a lot faster too.

5. Automate as much as possible.
If you don't already have your bills set to autopay, that's the place to start. Getting those off your plate and out of your mind is a huge stress reliever and time saver. In addition to automating your bills you should be using the subscribe and save option on to have lots of your groceries and essentials sent every month, you can join co-ops to have fresh veggies and fruits delivered, and if you're mama you need to be a subscriber on to have your diapers and wipes delivered every month! Pampers Pure actually recently launched a new option called Pick Your Prints on their website as well as tons of new adorable prints to choose from! I'm showing just a few below. My favorite is the croissants and jam:) What's yours?

     And that's all for today! Thanks so much for visiting and I'd LOVE if you could add a tip or two of your own that you feel helps you simplify your day.

     Take care gang,