Monday, September 29, 2014

Celebrate the Good Times

The past couple of weeks have been tough as we said goodbye to my Grandpa Dale.
This was my first real experience with loss and while it has been hard and really sad, it has also made me feel grateful for the wonderful life that I have and the wonderful family and friends I have in it.

This September has really been a month filled with celebrations. I am definitely at the age where pretty much every-single-one of my friends is getting engaged, pregnant, married or giving birth and it seems like they are all doing it back-to-back-to-back! No matter how crazy life gets or how busy we are, celebrating exciting times in my life, my family's lives and my friend's lives is what makes me absolute happiest - so missing a celebration is rare for us. 

In these past few weeks we have celebrated....

...Weston's first birthday! My Beeb hosted an adorable Monster Birthday Bash which was the most perfect way to celebrate this big milestone for this special little boy. of my high school bestie's bridal shower! I love any excuse to get together with my high school girlfriends and we had a lovely time showering Abby.

...Abby's Bachelorette Party! Our adorable little bride-to-be requested a prom themed bach party in which we all ran around downtown Minneapolis in our prom that is what we did! It was without a doubt the most fun bach party I've been to {besides my own of course}. Plus, fitting in my prom dress from 2003 was a major victory!

...Megan's Baby Shower! Another one of my high school besties is due with a baby girl in November - so naturally we had to spoil her rotten!

...Baby Lauren! One of my closest, best and most special friends gave birth to her perfect baby girl the day after that bump picture from above was taken! Little Lauren is so beautiful and snuggling with her over the past three weeks has put my baby fever in to over drive!

...Kelly + Scott's Couples Shower! Kenley and I are SO excited to be a part of my college roomie's big day in November and had a great time celebrating this awesome couple! besties engagement!!! My bestest friend got engaged the end of August and I am SO.DAMN.EXCITED! She is of course hiring my friend Sara Jayne as her photographer so naturally the three of us had to tour the venue, go to lunch, and talk about all things wedding! It was the BEST afternoon!

...a new house! This past weekend Jason helped his best friend, Colin, move in to a beautiful new home! Then, of course, we had to celebrate and break in the new digs! It was bittersweet saying goodbye to the home Colin & Sharisse had been in for 10 years that was filled with so many amazing memories and fun times, but we could not be more excited for them and can't wait to make more memories in their great new house!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Why doTerra

I mentioned a week or so ago {anyone else feel like September was one big blob? I swear I have no idea where time is going} that I have hopped on the essential oil bandwagon. I had heard of them of course, and read some posts {like this one and this one} from some of my favorite bloggers but I didn't really get it until my friend {and awesome health coach} Danielle gave me a couple samples. I was hooked instantly and now I can't get enough. 
If I'm being completely honest, doTerra is the only brand of oil I have tried because, well, that is what Danielle gave me. But, now that I have spent quite a bit of time researching essential oils and doTerra as a company, I know that there is no other brand that I would use. I'm not going to speak ill of other oil companies because frankly, I don't know enough to plead a case as to why one brand is better than the other. One thing I will say for sure is to be very wary of oils you purchase at health food or beauty stores! The FDA doesn't have regulations on the purity of oils so much of what you find on the shelves {and at a cheaper price point} is diluted and it's hard to say diluted by what because ingredient lists aren't required. The oils you find in stores may be nice for aromatherapy or to use in a bath {but who wants to breath and bath in fake junk?}, but for any kind of medicinal benefit you want to be sure you are buying PURE oil...and that is what doTerra works tirelessly to achieve. 

I was going to try and explain doTerra's quality control in my own words, but really, doTerra does a great job of explaining their standards, so I am taking the lazy road and sharing with you the information from their website. 

Essential Oil Quality Grades

There are a growing number of products claiming to be or to that contain essential oils. They range in price and quality and are found in skin care, cosmetics, aromatherapy, and other products. However, many of these products do not use pure essential oils and often use fragrant synthetic chemical substitutes to dilute or replace more expensive essential oil extracts. Furthermore, there are no current regulatory standards for the descriptive use of the "therapeutic grade" for products labeled as essential oils. 

The CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®* mark represents dōTERRA's own internal standards for sourcing and testing pure aromatic botanical extracts using independent testing laboratories. The dōTERRA brand and registered CPTG mark represent dōTERRA's guarantee of pure essential oil extracts that meet high standards for both purity and material composition and accurate product labeling.

dōTERRA's therapeutic-grade essential oils are pure natural aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants. They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities. Proper extraction and quality control methods also ensure that dōTERRA's essential oils are free of any contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues. In addition to being pure and natural, dōTERRA's Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are subjected to further quality testing that ensures the correct composition of the active natural compounds found in each oil. Even though an essential oil may be pure, if the right species or part of a plant has not been used, or if the plant has not been grown in the right environment or harvested at the right time, or if it has not been distilled under the right conditions, the natural chemical makeup of the extraction will not provide as predictable and powerful a benefit. In some cases, the wrong plant harvested at the wrong time may result in an extract that contains harmful levels of some constituents.
dōTERRA's Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are guaranteed to be pure and natural and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. They are subjected to rigorous mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing to ensure extract composition and activity. dōTERRA's pure essential oils represent the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.

The amount of testing these oils go through really gives me piece of mind when using them on myself and my family and I particularly love that the oils are extracted from plants grown in their ingenious region...I'm sure I could grow an orange in Minnesota but I'd be willing to bet an orange grown in Florida is going to look better, smell better and taste better!

If you have any questions feel free to email me any time! Otherwise, hit the button to browse, shop & learn more! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

{little} Fall Fashion Favorites

I think all of us mamas have our favorite place to shop for our kiddos and for me that place is 100% Gap Kids. They are not paying me to say this, but I really wish they would because I could spend a small fortune at that place. Kenley's style is not overly girly {no bows, flowers, smocking, ruffles, etc.} but of course I want her to look like a girl while being comfy for optimum playing - which is why I LOVE The Gap. For the most part Kenley is covered head-to-toe in Gap because they have everything from jammies to sherpa boots and it's ALL adorable. These are a couple of items we have picked up this fall along with a couple still on our list of things to buy.

Where is your favorite place to find little fashion?

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Best Big Sister

Nope, this isn't announcement. Sorry to disappoint. 
Recently, Kenley and I have had the pleasure of spending time with Sebastian, the six-month-old adorable son of my buddy Sara. This time with two kiddos has given me much hope that eventually life with another little one will be fantastic. 
Kenley is so sweet with Bas. She watches his every move, gets concerned when he cries and makes sure he always has a toy. The thing that really surprised me is how patient she is. She lets me give Bas his bottle, put him down for a nap or change his diaper without needing attention. She watches and even helps but never asks me for a thing.
Of course, we are only with Bas for a few hours at a time and things will probably be quite a but different when there is a babe around 24 hours a day, but watching her with him has really made me realize that Kenley will be the best big sister!

I'm not quite ready to give up Kenley being my only baby, but when the time is right, I think Kenley is ready.
what is wrong with this picture???

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Two Degrees to Martha Stewart

So you know that whole 7 degrees to Kevin Bacon thing? What if I told you I could be 2 degrees to Martha-frickin-Stewart?!

Here's how...

My amazingly talented girlfriend Hannah created {and makes in her lab} her very own cosmetic line called Aromi, I actually told you all about it in this post last year! 
So not only is Aromi amazing {not kidding, I am obsessed with ALL the lip products and the solid perfumes} but Hannah is a FINALIST in the  Martha Stewart American Made Awards!!!!

American Made

Winning this award would be SO huge for my sweet friend and her business {not to mention she'd get to MEET Martha!} and she totally deserves it! So I am kindly asking, ok BEGGING, all of you to pleeeeeeeease vote for Hannah & Aromi!

It's so easy, just click the link and then hit VOTE on the right hand side!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Postpartum Hair Loss

Hooray! What a fun topic...NOT!

Approximately 6 months after Kenley was born {also when I stopped breastfeeding} my luscious pregnancy hair started to come out in massive clumps. I have always had a ton of hair and have always been a big time shedder, so while it was gross and annoying I wasn't overly alarmed. Plus, I'd heard of this sort of thing happening, so I just went with it.

And then my sweet little nugget got to the hair grabbing stage and unintentionally ripped out what felt like large amount of hair from the front of my head.

Then at about 11 months postpartum, all these lost hairs started to regrow giving me these fun little fly-aways that just
I loved getting feedback that I wasn't alone and reading your ideas for how to expedite the regrowth process but I'm going to honest, I didn't do a dang thing. And now I really, really regret that.

Here I am today, 22 months postpartum and my cute little regrowth looks like this:
{also, black bra + white tank = super classy}

I have pretty much been self conscious and insecure about my hair for the past year and a half. I have to very masterfully style it to cover up the crazy regrowth and prevent myself from looking like a mushroom head since the top half of my hair is now twice as thick as the bottom. I also have to wear a thick headband every time I pull my hair in to a pony tail because this regrowth doesn't yet fit all the way back but is long enough that it sticks out weird from my headband.

I feel really shallow even talking about this as I know so many people deal with serious diseases that cause hair loss and this is such a minor problem in the scheme of the world. But, I also know there are a lot of mamas out there who are feeling insecure about A LOT of different things postpartum and hair loss is definitely one of them.

You are not alone mama!

So what do we do? Well, I talked to my Auntie Tina who has been a hair stylist for 36 years and has owned her own premier salon in Arkansas for 15 years. She told me that on average, adults lose 100 hairs a day. Boys included! So next time your man gives you grief for hair in the drain let him know he sheds just as much but his hair is so much shorter it's way less noticeable. Anyways, when we are pregnant, as all us mamas know, the babe sucks every single ounce of everything from us to grow big and strong. Once those hormones level out and you are no longer pregnant {or breastfeeding} all those 100 hairs a day you didn't lose feel the need to make up for lost time and therefore we shed BIG TIME. Unfortunately, there isn't a TON you can do to prevent or help it. You can try supplements, vitamins and products to help speed up hair growth and some may work and help but for the most part you can count on your hair growing 1/2 inch each month.

After consulting with my go-to hair professional, I booked myself an appointment to get a fresh trim to keep my hair healthy and growing and also a new style to help cover up some of this nonsense.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Almost 2

As of today, Kenley is 22 months old, or as I have been referring to it for the past couple months..."almost 2." How this little love muffin will be turning TWO is so far beyond me.
This child is so full of personality, I am fearful of what the teenage years will be like in our house. She is also a chatty little thing - she learns to say a new word pretty much every day and it's SO fun {and hilarious}. For example, she has learned to say "sit" but it doesn't quite sound like "sit":   

Here's a little more on what this almost 2 year old has been up to lately...

Weight: 27 pounds also known as getting too heavy to carry
Teeth: 13 - we are waiting on three more of the pointy guys then we're done! Until they all fall out, I guess. 
Words: At this point, there's too many to count. But our favorites are "sit", "Bays" {which is what she calls Bailey}, and "Sa-sawwy" {sorry} 
Sleep: Bedtime is usually between 7pm and 8pm and she will wake up any time between 7am and 8am then usually takes a 2ish hour nap late morning.
Eating: K is still a good little eater and there really isn't anything she doesn't like but she definitely has her favorites like "smoothies"{fruit & veggie pouches, "hop hops" {Annie's bunny graham crackers}, Cheese and "Allgins" {olives}
Diaper Size: She's wearing 2T Pampers Pull Ups
Clothes: 18 - 24 months
Hair Color: Blondie.
Eye Color: Same as her daddy - greenish, blueish, grayish with flecks of gold.
Nicknames: Nen {which is what she calls herself}, Kenny, Mou, KenKen, Buddy, Squeezie, KennyPop
Milestones: Yesterday {when I of course was not home} Kenley looked at Jason and said "pee", so they went to the potty AND SHE WENT PEE! Huge, huge, huge step in the potty training journey! Kenley is also getting so good at her ABCs and is able to pick out letters when she sees them...O, M, T, A and S are the ones she always knows. And, we've started learning colors, so far she knows "pupu" or purple, "booooooo" or blue, "wed" or red, "beeeeen" or green and my favorite "welwoah" or yellow. 
Interests: Dancing {this kid loves to cut a rug}, being outside, watching her shows {Wallykazaam, Doc McStuffins, Paw Patrol & Bubble Guppies are her faves}, coloring.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Am Bad at Baby Steps

Instant gratification is my middle name. I don't know if it's my Type-A personality, my "dream big" philosophy or just the time we live in but when I have an idea or a goal I want it planned, finished,  and accomplished like NOW. 

Take, for example, my weight loss. I've made huge strides over the past year but these last 15 pounds are stuck here and have been for months. Instead of continuing to make small changes I think that I need to workout 4 hours a day, 7 days a week and eat nothing but vegetables for the rest of my life to attain it...and do you think I am going to work out 4 hours a day, 7 days a week and eat only vegetables for the rest of my life? Heck, NO! So, here those 15 pounds sit. 

Or, look at my blog. I love it, I miss it and I have big plans for it. Instead of sitting down to write ONE post for tomorrow, I think that I need to plan the entire month and write every single post before I can get even one up. 

Or even something as lame as laundry. I could do one load a day which from start to finish would take me not even 20 minutes. But instead it piles up and piles up and I get so overwhelmed about doing 15 loads of laundry, I just leave it and wash only what I need to get by. 

Instead of thinking I need to do it ALL right this second, I need to learn a way to take baby steps. Do a little at a time. Reach a goal bit by bit instead of getting overwhelmed and throwing in the towel. 
But that's easier said than done, right? Because, after-all, the results are what motivate me. I'm not going to lose these last 15 pounds after 3 workouts but losing weight after 3 workouts is going to fuel me to keep going. Ya know?

I'm kind of rambling. I guess I just want to do you stay motivated in all you do? How do you accomplish your goals and stick to your plans....long term?

I am reading the book The Slight Edge right now and the whole concept of the book is essentially to take baby steps. Let's hope this book is the secret to getting me to stick to it. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oil Bandwagon

It's official. I am obsessed with oil.

I have read all sorts of blog posts and articles over the past year or so but it wasn't until my health coach, Danielle, hooked me up with a couple of samples that I really bought in to it. 
My favorites so far are Lemon & Lavender and I seriously want to buy and try! It is so fascinating learning about the different oils and all the benefits. Fun Fact: I didn't use a DROP of bug spray this whole summer! That is huge considering the big joke is that the Minnesota state bird is a mosquito. Instead, I used a couple drops of lavender and those pesky blood suckers didn't touch us!

If you are new to oils, like I was, here's a little who, what, where breakdown of why I decided to hop on the bandwagon. 

WHO: Everyone. Seriously. No matter what your lifestyle, ailment, passion or body type there is an oil {and most likely lots of oils} for you!

WHAT: doTerra Essential Oils {I'll share more on why I chose doTerra over other brands another time} are a Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade of aromatic compounds gently and skillfully distilled from the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers and other parts of plants used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. 

WHERE: Everywhere. Seriously. Use oils for cooking, cleaning, use them topically, drink them. I start every day with a glass of water with one drop of Lemon Oil in it, it starts my day off nice and fresh while getting my organs all woken up and cleaned and this is just one teeny tiny example!

WHEN: All day, every day. Whether you need to get rid of a killer headache or you incorporate oils in to your daily beauty regimen there is no limit to the time and place for oils. 

WHY: More like why not? Oils are completely natural and found from nature. I don't know about you but the thought of modern medicine wigs me out. If there is a chance I can cure an ailment naturally, you better believe I am going to go that route first! 

HOW: You just order them online and they show up on your doorstep! 
Check out to research and shop! 

I am so excited to share more posts with you about what I've learned and how I am using oils in my daily life! In the meantime, if you have any questions or are interested in learning more - don't hesitate to leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Look Back at August

I learned something about myself while attempting to accomplish my long list of August goals....I have NO problem accomplishing the "Fun" category.

Here's a look at how I did {pink means big fat fail, btw}...

  • Take advantage of my super cute blog planner from Breezy Organization to plan/brainstorm posts 
  • Post EVERY week day in August {woah!}
  • Clean out mama and mou inbox {currently 506 emails - yikes!} I was able to get my inbox from 506 to 55! I consider this a big win! 
  • Catch up on blog reading! 

  • Attend/plan an Essential Oils event I'll be sharing more about this next week, but I hosted and Intro to Oils event and am officially hooked! 
  • Meal Plan & Grocery Shop EVERY week
  • Run a 5k
  • Train for the 5k {3 runs a week?}
  • Find time for at least 4 yoga classes
  • Do a 2-day Zula Juice Cleanse 

  • Update Budget & Create a financial plan This needed to be done SO bad! Hopefully this will get us back on track with saving & paying off debt!
  • Organize photos!!!
  • Create a cleaning schedule {and stick to it!}
  • Create a work schedule {and stick to it!}
  • Set up new laptop for optimum organization {whatever that means} My laptop is up and running. It seemed to take FOREVER to get everything transfered and organized but I did it and it's been a HUGE help. I stole this idea from Pinterest and have loved how effective it's been for keeping my desktop organized.

  • Celebrate Scott & Kelly's Shower in Okaboji Done! So fun! It was my THIRD roadtrip to Iowa of the summer {so random} but it was SO.MUCH.FUN. Cannot wait for this wedding in November!

  • Celebrate Sarah's Bridal Shower Done! I had such a fun day hanging by the pool with some of my best college girlfriends and celebrating our beautiful bride-to-be {who isn't even in this picture - whoops!}.

  • Celebrate Aaron's 30th Birthday Done! It was a beautiful night on the lake celebrating Aaron turning the BIG THREE-OH!

  • Celebrate Jason's Birthday Done! There were family dinners, presents, a giant pot pie and mint chocolate chip cupcakes - not to mention he was gone his entire birthday weekend on a wine/golf trip he qualified for through work. Lucky ducky!
  • Start a Book Club! Done! I am SO excited about this! My high school girlfriends and I have officially started a book club! We got together to plan/decide all the details of our club and picked our first book - The Woman Who Wasn't There! I am so pumped about this!
  • State FairDone! So fun!
  • Tim McGraw Concert Done! So fun!
  • Kick off Gopher Football!  Done! So fun!
  • Start brainstorming ideas/Planning Kenley's 2nd Birthday!!! Not only did I start brainstorming ideas, I got the entire thing planned! I can't wait it's going to be so much fun! 

As for my September goals - I think I am going to just focus on accomplishing all the things I didn't accomplish in August - then get excited for some fresh October goals.

What your September goals?