Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween 2015 and Why We Love Curious George

"What kind of family did I get myself into?"  --Goldie  :)   

Leo loves Curious George.  Like a lot.  And we have to admit...we love him, too.  George on PBS has become a staple in the morning as we're trying to get showered and dressed.  And we watch George in the evening to wind down before bedtime.  We love the whole cast of city characters and country characters.  A luxury apartment downtown NYC and then a country house just a short jaunt away? What a life!  George is well...curious, but a problem solver!  The Man with the Hat is oh-so-ever patient.  There is math, science, diversity, cause and effect.  There's an occasional random song by Belinda Carlisle. No one ever yells or whines. There are no bad attitudes. No scary villains. GEORGE FOR PRESIDENT!

This is our third year doing a family theme for Halloween and I will keep it up until one or both kids is too embarrassed or has a strong opinion about what to wear.  haha.  The easy choice for Leo would have been a monkey costume.  There are adult "Man with the Yellow Hat" costumes readily available online.  I decided to go the less traveled route of making Leo the Man with the Hat.  Because I have lots of free time on my hands.  How hard could it be to make a felt hat?  Extremely, stupid hard I found out.

After a month of stretching wet felt, carving styrofoam molds, experimenting with fabric stiffeners, pins, and YouTube tutorials...I gave up.

Halloween was ruined forever.

Until...Billy had the brilliant idea to use one of his once ever-so-hip fedora hats.  We took off the ribbon, stretched out the creases in the top and sprayed fabric stiffener to help it hold it's shape. Then a coat of matte yellow spray paint and a black ribbon hot glued on, and voila!  Perfection.  Or close enough.  :)

Leo thought it was a riot that Daddy was Chef Pisghetti and Mommy was Professor Wiseman.  Goldie was Gnocchi the Kitty.  Gnocchi is not a perfectly white kitty, but this costume was the next best thing.  I added her signature blue ribbon to the front.  Leo was ALL about dressing up.  Goldie...a normally very happy, smiley girl...would not crack a smile the entire night!  She was not happy about Halloween or costumes, or Mommy in a wig.  She wanted no part of these shenanigans.  haha.  But she was still a cute little kitty!

Here are pics of Leo's first time Trick or Treating!  We love our sweet neighbor across the street!

I hope all of your Halloween costume dreams came true this year.  Stay curious!  XO

The Man With the Yellow Hat:
Hat:  Recycled from Daddy
Black Ribbon:  Hobby Lobby
Shirt:  Amazon
Tie:  Amazon  (Black Fabric Paint for Polka Dots)
Belt:  Amazon
Pants:  eBay
Boots:  Secondhand from a friend

Baby Kitty (Gnocchi):
Costume:  Pottery Barn Kids
Tights & White Onesie:  H&M
Blue Ribbon:  Hobby Lobby

Professor Wiseman:
Shirt:  Men's Blue Button-Up - Borrowed from Billy (Forever 21)
Lab Coat:  Goodwill
Glasses:  Amazon

Chef Pisghetti:
Chef Coat:  Amazon
Chef Hat:  Amazon
Chef Scarf:  Amazon

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Goldie Girl's Nursery

Our boring beige guest room has now been transformed! It's now a cozy place for both out-of-town guests and Goldie to sleep.  At least for the time being.  We'll see how it works out as she grows.  The room started with this vintage coral dresser that I found on a a local Buy, Sell, Trade group on Facebook.  I didn't think I would go with so much pink…but when I was picking out paint, I just couldn't resist going full-out girlie!  I was also really inspired by florals from Rifle Paper Co.  And of course, we had to have some golden touches for our Goldie Gene.  

(Check out all the links below if you're interested to know where I found some of these pieces.)

Lindsay Letters Print from Hobby Lobby.  
Land of Nod Gold Dot Crib Sheet
Paint Color:  Angellic from Sherwin Williams 

Handmade feather mobile by my dear friend Erin Sparks at Vintage Sparkle.  

Rifle Paper Co. papers from Paper Source 
Poster Frames from Michaels

My ballet shoes from my dancing days.  :)

Shelf:  Ikea
Ivory Bedding:  2nd hand from local Buy, Sell, Trade site on FB
Pillows:  Nate Berkus for Target
Kitty Pillow:  Babies R Us 

Glittered Feather Banner from Buffies Babies Shop on Etsy.
Bible Verse Prints from She Reads Truth
Rifle Paper Co. for Penguin Books

Gold Mirror is a vintage find from Vintage Sparkle

Ikea RASKOG Utility Cart
Rifle Paper Co. Papers

Custom Name Banner from LittleLoveLane on Etsy
Ivory Curtains from Zulily
Jellycat Bashful Grey Bunny

Gold leaf headband from NoheaLaBelle Shop Etsy

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DIY: Talc-Free Baby Powder

Lots of mamas ask me about using essential oils for diaper rash.  I love sharing this DIY recipe because this stuff is seriously magical!  My friend Mary gave away shaker bottles of this powder at an essential oils class I attended when Leo was a baby.  I pulled it out whenever he had anything red going on under his diaper and it always cleared it up immediately!

Why talc-free?

I don't use anything with talc in it such as baby powder or make-up because it's highly likely you will breathe in some of the particles.  It may seem harmless enough…but talc has been linked to lung irritation and some other pretty scary stuff.  So let's all avoid it, shall we?

Why essential oils?

Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are a safe way to add aroma to the powder without adding any phthalates or synthetic chemicals that can cause funky side effects or skin irritations.  Roman Chamomile and Lavender are 2 oils that are both soothing to the skin and calming scents as well.  And who doesn't love a calm baby?

Why DIY?
OK.  I admit.  It's a messy project and and takes a little legwork to get all the ingredients.  But once you make it, you'll have a supply for years!  Or you'll have extra to give away. And you can be sure of all the ingredients you're putting on your baby's skin are safe and non-toxic.

Talc-Free Baby Powder Recipe
Use organic, gluten-free, GMO free ingredients if possible.  
Click on links to see where I purchased.
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 drop Roman Camomile
2 drops Lavender
Cute Labels (optional)   

Use a blender or food processor to grind up oats.  Then mix with arrowroot powder and cornstarch.  Then add essential oils last.  *I only trust Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils. Email me at to order and learn where to buy them.  

After mixing, distribute into shaker bottles. 

Want to see more about how I use essential oils in everyday real life?  Follow me on Instagram @essentially_allie.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Steps of Faith Foundation Update

Did you know that there are hundreds of leg jokes/idioms?  

"That costs an arm and a leg!"
"I feel like we've gotten off on the wrong foot."
"Break a leg!"
"You've got a leg up on the competition."

Cheesy sayings we say all the time become really hilarious when someone says them around an amputee like Billy.  And then their eyes get really big as they realize what they just said.  And then Billy acts like he's offended…for one second.  And then laughs and lets the person off the hook.  haha. 

Billy lost his leg to cancer in 2005 and now is the executive director for a non-profit called Steps of Faith Foundation.  Next month, Steps of Faith will turn 2 years old!  I'm bursting with pride for as he uses his story, testimony, skills, and faith to help build this charity from the ground up and help other amputees in need receive the gift of mobility.  There's nothing better than telling someone they are going to get help.  "We can help you.  We're giving you a new leg.  And you don't owe us a thing."  And then seeing that person walk with their new prosthesis for the first time.

Many people we meet are surprised when they find out Billy is missing a leg. His prosthetic limb (C-Leg) is such a miraculous gift.  He would be so limited with out it.  We are so passionate about giving other amputees that same gift.  To walk instead of being on crutches.  To move around their house and job easily instead of relying on a wheelchair.  To pick something up a robotic hand instead of adapting to live without one.  To work and take care of their families without feeling handicapped.  All of these things are possible with the help of an organization like Steps of Faith.  

Click the video below to see our mission and the need for this cause.
Consider becoming a monthly donor to this cause and helping change the lives of others. 
Spread the word.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Twelve Things You Can Stop Posting on Facebook

I'm the first to admit it.  I'm on Facebook way too much.  I'm kind of an addict.  I love to see my friend's lives, kids, jokes, dinner plates, cat videos, etc. each day.  I like to share my life on Facebook as well.  Warning:  don't follow me if you don't want to read about cute toddlers, gluten-free cupcakes, essential oils, kale smoothies or Justin Timberlake.  
Selfie Alert!!!

But some of ya'll.  (Long pause…picture me shaking my head)  You're about to get "unfollowed!" (picture me doing the Donald Trump fired hand).  Did you know that can happen to you?  Someone doesn't have to "unfriend" you…they just "unfollow you" so they don't have to put up with your annoying posts.  Sounds harsh??!  Well, it's true!

Here are my Twelve Things You Can Stop Posting On Facebook…and not get unfollowed.
(P.S.  I say all this in fun.  Kind of…)

1.  Anything that remotely involves vomit.  You vomiting.  Your kids vomiting.  How often.  How you had to clean it up.  No one wants to know.  Absolutely NO ONE.

2.  Disgusting photos and videos.  Your ingrown toenail, swollen tonsils, pink eye, infected chain saw wound.  Ew.  Just.  Ew.  And don't get me started on videos of white heads being popped.  Who films those things and who wants to watch it?

3.  Blog articles about vaccines, the republican/democratic party, pro-life/abortion, gun control, or how Obama is the Anti-Christ.  Please face it.  You're not going to change anyone's mind on either side of serious issues on Facebook.  Read and research all you want about such issues.  Consider the sources from which you are reading and researching.  Then talk amongst your friends or join a Facebook Group to vent your frustrations with the rest of the idiots in the world who don't share your same beliefs.  But some of the discussion on these issues is just ugly and divides people.  And really gets in the way of the cat video postings.

4. Passive-agressive posts.  "Don't you just hate it when SOME people are passive-agressive on Facebook and try to complain about someone without mentioning their name and it's like so junior high?"

5.  Jesus-Jukes.  A term coined by Jon Acuff.  In Acuff's words, "Nobody was ever juked to Jesus."   If you're a Christian and don't know about this…read his explanation.  And stop it.

6.  Game Requests.  STOP.  No one wants to play Candy Crush Saga Plus 5 or Gangsta Ninja Warrior with you.  (Or at least they don't want everyone on Facebook to know.)

7.  Quiz Results to what "Game of Thrones Character" or which "Disney Princess" you are.  Really?!  Who makes these things?

8.  Things that really belong on Pinterest.  That recipe you found for Bacon Encrusted Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls Baked in Mason Jars can be beautifully pinned, saved on a Pinterest board with all the other recipes you'll probably never make.  Next to your board of craft projects you'll never do.  Pinterest is incredible for these types of things.  Not Facebook.

9.  "Sexy" Selifies.  Don't get me wrong.  I for one…am a fan of the selfie.  Get in a pic once in a while! Document your life and your friends and kids.  But some selfies cross the line.  You know what I'm talking about.  Someone trying to be sexy but they actually come across as creepy or hilarious.  CC:  Kim Kardashian.

10.  Hateful commentary during award shows.  There's nothing more ironic than someone sitting at home eating pizza in their sweatpants and posting on Facebook how "dreadful" Keira Knightley looks on the red carpet.   Seriously?  My suggestion:  Reserve this hate for Twitter.  Be mean all ya want over on Twitter in real time as the show is going on. Then I'll just scroll on by and not have to read that ridiculousness for days on Facebook.  Hey... if you're really gutsy, tag the celebrity just to bring them down to earth and remind them how "ugly" and "untalented" they are.  Geez!

10.  Saying the word "GO!!!!" after a request.  For example:   "Best restaurants in Chicago.  Ready...GO!!"

I don't know why this bothers me so much.  But it does!  The rebellious brat in me just wants to fold my arms and not respond when you're demanding I answer your question right NOW!  Maybe rephrase to something similar like…"Best restaurants to eat in Chicago?" or   "Hey!  Going to Chicago.  Where should I eat?"  Ahhhh.  So much better.

11.  Debbie Downer Posts.  Everyone has a bad day.  And it's ok to be real.  But if every single one of your posts is about being sick, depressed, hating your job, Ebola, ISIS, etc. maybe it's time to change some things!  You're bumming everyone out.  You also might the kind of person who likes to comment on someone's post about their baby sleeping through the night…" Well, don't get used to it!  Haha!".

12.  The 1998 Email Forward Equivalent.   Such as "Repost this picture or 100 angels will die."  or "If you really love God, you'll send this to 5 friends."  BARF.  No thanks.

So.  What did I leave out?  Ready…GO!!!!  (hee hee)
(See #10 if you skimmed)
(Why did you skim? These are hilarious and life-changing!)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Leo is Two

Our Leo is two!  It's like overnight my little baby became a toddler.  I'm exhausted most of the time trying to keep up with him, but absolutely love this age.  He's makes us laugh so hard on a daily basis with his new words, faces, dances, and big personality.  He takes it all in and doesn't miss a thing.  Just before age two…he started having more opinions about things.  What he ate for meals, what socks he wants to wear…and of course the word "no" became the main staple in his vocabulary.  He's become extra snuggly lately and loves to cozy up on the couch with mommy on these cold days. He's Daddy's number one fan and belly laughs at all of Daddy's silly faces and songs. He loves people, fun, life, laughing and learning which is such a blessing.

After months of not sleeping as a baby…he's now a champion sleeper with a 3 hour nap from 1-4 and sleeps 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM on most nights.  I'm praying fervently this sleep situation continues and his baby sister (due next month) will magically be a much better sleeper from the start.  That will happen, right?

Most recently, Leo learned the word "Cheers!" and loves to toast anyone who has a drink at the same time he does, or really any food at the same time or even toys may get a "Chuus!" as well.  Hi-larious. He's a big song lover and will say and sign "more" if a song on a commercial catches his ear.  It's tough to explain that songs on the radio can't be rewound like the DVR or a CD and tears may ensue.  

Leo's Favorites
Activities:  Flushing the toilet, pushing buttons, baths, wearing daddy's shoes, hiding behind clothes in closets, cooking with mommy, playing drums, dancing to the rhythm of the washing machine, unloading the dishwasher

Things:  Balloons, Balls, Tents, Dogs, Drums, Olaf from Frozen

Books:  Goodnight Gorilla, B is for Bear, Goodnight I Love You

Foods:  Annie's Organic Gummy Bunnies, Chick-Fil-A Fries, Green Smoothies & Juices, Beans and Rice, Chili, Strawberries

Songs:  "Get Up Offa that Thing" by James Brown, "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift, "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson, "Stars" by Coldplay, "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors, "Speak Life" by Toby Mac, and all songs on the Frozen Soundtrack

Lovies:  Tiddliwinks knit white blankie and green paci - "beedee and wassi"

TV:  Curious George

Movie:  Frozen

Places:  The carousel at Opry Mills Mall ("neigh neighs"), the slide at any park, Fountains 

Restaurants:  Chipotle, The Juice Bar, Pie Five Pizza

We love you sweet Leo, and the little man you're becoming.  We are so thankful for you!  XO



Fun Fact:  This little horse was Billy's when he was little!  His Aunt Angie saved it and gave it to us as a shower gift before Leo was born.  It still "neighs" when you pull the handle!