DIY: laundry detergent

For the past couple months my Facebook feed had become full of Young Living Essential Oil posts. People loving them for their families and using them for all sorts of things.  A close friend of mine invited me to her place for an information 101 night and it really got me thinking that I would love to introduce these into my home.  Partly for the diffuser and lovely smells, as I don’t burn candles much anymore and because I was intrigued if they could really help support my families immune system and other areas in our life.


One thing I’ve been most excited about was being able to make laundry detergent! My friend had made some and has loved it.  Hubby looked up the ingredients that I was using and they are all found in current detergents (i.e.: tide) and from we have read and researched safe for our hE machines.

I also am so excited to have purchased wool dryer balls which will help decrease dryer time and I can add a couple drops do essential oils to make things smell nice too.


Laundry Detergent

1.5cup Baking Soda

1.5cup washing Soda

1cup Borax

1/2cup Epsom Salt

2tbsp Salt

10 drop Essential Oil ( I used purification and lemon)


 Blend in food processor until smooth. Store in glass airtight container. Use 1-2tbsp per load.

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#storyofmotherhood – LilyJade Giveaway

Head on over to my friend Jessica’s of Rugged Rooster Creations  blog for a chance to enter a giveaway for a Lily Jade bag!  They are awesome bags, and if you could win one, even better! I have had one for a few months now, and LOVE it! Plus I’ve already been eyeing up others if I ever were to win one 😉

So, here is my #storyofmotherhood

When you are young and fall in love, and get engaged, and get married, you start to think about how the other milestones in your life will unfold.  We discussed baby names, I collected small items for my hope chest for the day when we would welcome our first baby into our family, and eventually our second, after that we’d see if we’d have anymore.  After a year of marriage we decided it was time to start trying for a baby. We would hopefully be pregnant by the fall and have a spring baby, around our 2nd anniversary.

Except, we didn’t get pregnant.

For 5 long years we didn’t get pregnant.  Month after month. Cycle after cycle. We waited.  We prayed. We cried. We longed. We grieved. We wondered.

Finally, we were pregnant. It was amazing, and scary. Something we longed for, but after so long of it not happening, something I didn’t know how to rejoice in.  I felt a fear of saying it out loud for it might not be real.  But it was.

At our 7 week scan, we were in for our 2nd surprise – TWINS!  Not one, but two babies were growing.

I had a wonderful pregnancy, and all things considered did really well being pregnant with the twins.  No bed rest, no concerns, no preterm labour.  Just pregnant with two healthy babies.

We welcomed our sweet babies in December and 2014 and my journey of motherhood has continued.

I don’t think my story is just the past 16 months with the twins and the ups and downs that have come with that.  The story started when I longed for these babies, before I even knew who they were.  When I prayed for them, and prayed for my mothers heart to be prepared for their arrival.

I have felt more love and joy when playing and looking at these two beautiful babies and have been beyond blessed by them.  I have also had really hard days, when I wonder why we prayed for children so hard, when I’m exhausted, and emotional, and feel like i’m doing everything wrong.   I have loved the days when I see them learning and exploring, making friends, trying new things, becoming little people.  I have dreaded days of sickness, and late nights and early mornings when there isn’t enough coffee.

Motherhood is beautiful. Motherhood is hard.  Motherhood is such an individual experience, and one that is a journey that will be ever changing and ever growing.

I am lucky and blessed to have this beautiful #storyofmotherhood.

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Review: Soleil Handcrafted

Over the past 16 months, I have developed quite a collection of teething necklaces.  The thing is, I love to wear necklaces, and actually love fun bold jewelry, but that didn’t work so well with little hands and mouths, so I started investing in some great silicone and wood teething necklaces.

A couple months ago, I came across Soleil Handcrafted who is a local artisan who is making beautiful teething necklaces and delicious hand poured candles.  Y’all know my love of supporting small and local so I was excited to order my 1st necklace from her.  The 1st one I purchased was her Beachy Keen necklace, and it seriously reminded me of the beach – the wood beads combined with the turquoise (my favorite) and cream was so beautiful. It’s super long and goes with everything.

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I wanted to get a mommy & me set for me and the Little Miss, so choose this adorable set.

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Lastly, I couldn’t resist the blush and a new candle! The smells are amazing – the candles however are for local folks, as she doesn’t ship them.

I’ve really loved the style and how they have worn, the babies are have been teething heavily again, have really enjoyed chewing on them, and wearing them.  They have a safety clasp that comes undone if pulled on, but not so easily that you’ll worry about your necklace falling off.

She just recently has added new colors to old favorites, so there are even more options to choose from.  Be sure to check out her page,  she has some exciting things happening!!

 

*These opinions and thoughts are completely my own – I love to share things that I have found and loved*

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What’s in the Twin’s Easter Basket

The twins just turned 1 in December (note to self: time to blog about their birthday party – coming soon!), so they aren’t totally understanding the whole Easter thing yet, but I have some traditions that we want to keep up with them.

One tradition we always had growing up were Easter outfits – it was my mom’s clever way to make sure we looked nice for Easter Sunday, but also a good time to get us a new dress that would fit for the spring summer (we also got Christmas outfits, much for the same reason).  I’ll do another post on what the twins will be wearing – but its adorable, and I’m especially excited that Miss A is walking, as she’ll look extra cute toddling in her dress!

Now, back to Easter baskets — like I said, the twins are just 15 months now, so don’t really need much.  We’ll have an Easter egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, with plastic eggs filled with snacks – so they shake, but are toddler friendly (ie: fish crackers, puffs, etc).  For their Easter baskets, I have to restrain myself to not get everything, as it’s far to easy to get carried away, and before you know it, it’s Christmas at Easter.

So, these are their Easter Baskets this year:

twins easter baskets

And here is what is inside each one:

~Handmade Bunny from Cotton Fox Shop

~2 Books

~Box of Annie’s Bunnies & Cheese

~4 Plastic Easter Eggs filled with: Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies & Annie’s Graham Cookies

 

That’s it!  The snack and pasta are edible (and the extra’s are in the cupboard and restocked the snacks which is a bonus.  The bunny is a gorgeous handmade heirloom gift which I am in love with, and would highly recommend – she also makes gorgeous dolls, and foxes!).  Our kids love books, so adding to the library is always welcome!

 

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As they get bigger, I know we’ll use Easter as a time to stock up on great outdoor things – chalk, bubbles, jump ropes, etc.  but for now the twins are too little for much of that, so this is a perfect basket for them.

What are you traditions for Easter? What do you fill your kids Easter baskets with?

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Review: Rain People

I think that shoes and hat’s might be the things that I am most a sucker for.  They are so adorable, and add such character to outfits, and since you have to wear shoes and hats when the kids are outside, why not have super cute ones.

Enter, Rain People.

I was introduced to her bonnets from my friend Bailey at Little Feather’s, she makes the most adorable brimmed and brimless bonnets for littles.  She even offered a limited editon Bunny ear variety – and had I not just gotten bonnets, I would have SO gotten them, I wont lie, I’ve still been tempted, especially since we had crochet bunny hats for the twins last year – could be tradition.

The 1st set of hat’s I purchased were a grey cashmere brimmed bonnet with a black liner, and a brimmed red wool bonnet with a polka dot liner.  Christmas was coming, and it seemed like the perfect set.

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The best thing about these bonnets for me is that they tie on – hats are tricky to stay on little heads, especially when they first get them on and want to pull them off.  The fact that these can tie on means the hat will stay on.  I also found the bonnet style to be super practical for when we had the babies in the carrier.  It stayed where it should, and we weren’t fighting with hats and carriers, rather it was on, they were cozy and away we went. Plus they are adorable.

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This year, I wanted another set for the twins – plus they’ve gotten bigger and although the 1st bonnets still fit, they were getting a little snug.  So, this time around, Miss A got a black with white polka dot brimless bonnet, and Mr T has a tweed brimmed bonnet.  I’m in love. The vintage vibe, how when they are on, it shows off their adorable chubby cheeks, and the simple color choice goes with everything.  These are my go to hats when we are out – they stay on, keep them warm, aren’t too bulky…. win-win-win.

Plus, y’all know how I love local!  These little bonnets are handmade on Vancouver Island! Alison is the creator of the bonnets and she takes amazing care at each of her bonnets that she sends to customers.  You can find her on facebook and can also follow her on Instagram and stay up to date on her latest styles and fabrics — like the spring and summer liberty florals which are to die for.

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These are beautiful bonnets for your little ones, or if you are looking for a gift – these make the perfect gift too! I only wish I had them for the twins when they were teeny-tiny — soo very cute!

All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own – I just like to share what I find and love! xx – Keltie 

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Today was a Hard Day

Today was hard.

It stretched me.

Today was full of tears.

Mostly theirs, a few of mine.

Today I feel like a bad mom.

Today, I didn’t love the blessing I have to be home with my babies.  Today, I would have given anything to be out, to have time, space, a break.  Today was hard.  The fact that today was hard, the parts that I didn’t enjoy, the admittance that I didn’t have fun — those moments, they than play on my emotions and self doubt and make me feel like I’m a bad mama. Today, I don’t feel like I did great, today I struggled to get to bedtime.  On the verge of tears, running on caffeine.

Most days, I count my every blessing that I have been gifted these two most beautiful little beings.  These two who’ve been entrusted into my care, whom are my little besties, who I get to spend my days with.  Most days, I put them to bed, and would have loved time for more stories and cuddles.

Today wasn’t that day.

Today was the day where they pushed me to my limits, with tears and tantrums. Where I knew I wasn’t patient, which left me feeling weak and helpless.  Today, I longed for 5pm when Phil would come home, only to long for bedtime when they would drift off to sleep and I would have a few minutes to think, reflect.

Except, I don’t like what I’m feeling.  I don’t like that I sit here, broken, sad, feelings of failure, because today I didn’t feel lucky, blessed, happy.  Today I just survived.

In the days of Instagram and Facebook, we all put our best selves forward – the moments that are Pinterest worthy, that might make others jealous, picture perfect moments, smiles and happiness.  Today, didn’t feel that way. Today was hard.

However, right before we put the twins to bed, my mom showed up to help with the last 30 minutes, to love them (and to love me), she could tell by my earlier text that today was hard, so she came.  While she was here, our daughter showed off how she’s just learning to walk, and was so proud – she was happy.  And her little triumph today of steps, that was enough to make me want to try again tomorrow, hopefully tomorrow is better, and if not, the day after that.

Today, I am a worn-out mama. Not picture perfect.  Just real. Just me.

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Review: Goose Loves Lamb

Last May as we left a photoshoot with our beloved photographer Karen of Mckinnon Photography, the family that was next for her mini-sessions arrived and Karen was quick to introduce us, and couldn’t believe we didn’t know each other – she felt we’d have a lot in common!  We casually said our hello’s, I admired the adorable leggings and headbands her daughters were wearing and we went on our way.

A few weeks later in June, my mom and I went to an evening market that our downtown held over the summer months and again I met Mikhaila at her table full of adorable organic leggings/hats/headbands/hoodies! I was in love.  This was my 1st introduction to Goose Loves Lamb.  Having a hard time deciding what to get, I settled on 2 pairs of leggings.  They were adorable, soft and I knew I was going to be in love!  I was so grateful she was local, and we had such similar taste. IMG_4893 IMG_4899

 

These 2 pairs of legging just started the twins collection of Goose Loves Lamb in our life.  I was so happy with how adorable they were, how comfy for the twins they were, allowed movement and weren’t constricting, they are made from organic cotton and wash well.  (FYI: Organic cotton fabrics are printed with water-based dyes, and to reduce fading it is recommended to wash on delicate with phosphate-free detergent and tumble dry on low or hand to dry) … I’ll be honest, I am terrible at washing instructions – and although the leggings did fade a bit, it didn’t affect the integrity of the leggings.  Just now did I actually pack up those 1st pairs! The wore them for 8 months!! That’s a good bang for your buck in my mind.

A month later, when I knew I loved her stuff, I decided to order the twins hoodies & legging sets.  She offers custom orders, and I was able to choose which combo of fabrics I wanted! Which sounds lovely, except when I wanted them all!  Our order arrived and I was in love! They were adorable and so cozy!

Goose Loves Lamb

From this point on, Goose Loves Lamb has been added to the twins wardrobes with each size, and new styles.  Even almost a year later these are our go to outfits for them.  Comfy, cute, and practical!  And for this twin mama – I count that a win!

One thing that Goose Loves Lamb offers is seasonal prints and designs.  So for Halloween, Christmas, & Valentine’s day she released a set of limited edition prints!

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I can rave enough about how great her products are and how lovely she is to work with.  If you are looking for something for your own babies, or for a perfect baby gift, I couldn’t recommend this product more.  I love support local, small business, but I also love buying quality things that are going to work well for my family and kids.  Definitely check her out.

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I’m already getting excited for spring – rompers & shorts! Hello, sunshine & summer!

 

Please note: All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own, I just love sharing when I have found something that I love and has worked well for my family.  xx – Keltie 

 

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But First, Coffee

Coffee has always been a part of my life, it just looks different now.  Before the twins, coffee included quiet time at Starbucks or my one favorite local shops, sipping on a latte, enjoying the warmth, taste, ambiance – feeling it was worth the $5 that was spent.  Often with that coffee also came time with friends.  Talking about life. Celebrating life’s triumphs, and going through life’s sorrows.  It was something that brought us together.  Something that could bring a calm.

Now, coffee still has many of those same feelings.  But, since the twins arrival, it looks different. Now, I long for my 1st cup of coffee in the morning, it’s the start of the day.  But instead of having it right away, I usually wait until the morning chaos dies down – either the twins are playing, or they have gone for a nap, so I can sit and enjoy it.  Drinking my coffee is a time to think – prepare for the day maybe, reflect on the day past, catch up with friends over morning texts.  For Christmas, my family got me a Keurig and I love it – not because I was incapable of making a pot of coffee, but in those moments when I had time to sit down and enjoy one, I wanted it to be fresh & hot.

There are so many memes about coffee and motherhood, and I find many of them true.  Some day’s I really do need an IV drip of coffee, others just my one cup will do, and some I lie in bed regretting that cup I had too late in the day.  But every day, however it starts, there is comfort in my routine of a quiet hot cup of coffee to have time to reflect and ponder.

So, for today…. but first, coffee.

but first, coffee

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Nap Time Adventures

Yesterday marked that the twins are now 15 months.  Whoa, where has the time gone.  We were discussing with friends that I actually have a very foggy recollection of this time last year as I had 3 month old twins, was sleep deprived and finding my way.

Today I have 15 month old twins, still am sleep deprived (because I stay up too late, gah!) and am finding my way.

I’m learning, that I will always be learning.  We get into a good routine or schedule or for a fleeting moment think “We’ve got this figured out” only for things to change.  Someone gets sick, or we go away, or our day is mixed up for appointments, someone has a growth spurt… the list goes on.  But as soon as we find ourself in a routine, we are also changing that exact routine.

Enter: Naps.

It was a big deal to get the twins on a 3 nap schedule.

Then they transitioned to 2.  Drama, drama, drama!

Now, they are dipping their toes in the option of only having one nap! Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to this and the freedom it will bring, that I would actually be able to leave the house during the day without rushing back for naps, or I could enjoy the quiet of one long nap.  But for now, we are fighting the desire to be awake, the need to sleep and finding the balance in that.

For example, on Tuesday’s we go to a ladies bible study in the morning (the twins get to play with the other kids), which means Tuesday’s they don’t have their morning nap. It also means that the drive home, I am singing, making silly noises, passing back snacks and drinks, and trying to keep them away on the 15 minute drive home, so that when we arrive home, they can have a quick lunch and go to bed.  Should they fall asleep on that drive, they somehow believe they have napped, and no longer need it, which I disagree.  But, because Tuesday is a one nap day, on Wednesday, I find we stay home in the morning, so they can have 2 naps, they often need it.  So for every day that is successfully a one-nap day, a 2 nap day seems to follow.

However, yesterday was a one nap day, the last 2 hours of the day were rough.  Nothing could go right, and we just got through.  Thankfully there were breaks in the tears and meltdowns during bathtime and bedtime stories and bottles.  But by 6:30p.m we put them to bed, we were done and so were they. Normally the twins go to bed between 7-7:30.  Today we had church, so traditionally, I wake them up early, so I can get them down for a nap before we go.  But they slept till 8 (and I was too tired to wake up) and we thought we’d try 2 days in a row of 1 nap.  The morning went well, lunch was a little touch and go, but they were more than ready for their nap.  Again today, the afternoon was full of tears and meltdowns at various points for various reasons, but we made it to bedtime…. at 6:30p.m.

I sit here tonight thinking about our day tomorrow – we have friends visiting so we’ll get out for a hike or adventure, and I’m trying to plan with our new “unknown schedule” in mind.  For me, letting go and just going with the flow is hard, I like routine and control, so even this small changes can throw me off.  But instead of waking them early, or trying to control things, I’m trying to let tomorrow unfold as it will.  With one nap or two, with catnaps in the car, with naps in the stroller or the carrier.

This schedule is ever changing, always evolving, and every time it does I learn a little more about myself, my babies teach me a little more about them, and we adjust a little quicker together.  I’m learning it doesn’t have to be perfect, exact or right, it can just be what it is, and each day can be new and different.  So, even with our changing nap schedule,  I will find the joy in our adventures, and the laugher amongst the chaos.

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The Twins Birth: Why I hired a Doula

When I was pregnant, I only had about 3 weeks before we found it was twins and our pregnancy jumped into the high-risk category.  At the time I decided that I would stick with an OB for my care, we felt that was the best decision for us and the twins.  I had a great relationship with my OB and actually loved going to see her (to be honest, after the twins were born, I missed it even).  I never actually considered hiring a Doula until much later into my pregnancy.  With it being a twin pregnancy, I knew the birth would be full of lots of people, why would I need someone else.  Plus, for much of my pregnancy the only way out was via c-section due to their positions.

However, when my dear friend Andrea of In Bloom Births – Doula Services was training to become a doula, I learned a lot of the value of them and how much they could bring to a birth.  Since she was having her own baby just a few months before mine, we were unsure if she would be able to attend my birth or not, but left the door open, and she helped me with so much leading up to my birth.  Especially when at 34 weeks, it turned out a vaginal birth was an option since both babies were now head down.

Having a doula, isn’t having someone who will be telling you what to do, or making decisions for you.  But having a doula, is having someone support you, your partner and your birth.  Having a doula isn’t someone judging you, pushing you do to something you don’t want to do.  But having a doula is having someone help you and push you to accomplish something you desire to.  Having a doula, is someone who can help advocate for you and your partner, and help support you in whatever you need, whatever your birth plan might be.  It’s that extra person who can sit with you, help you, comfort your spouse, relieve your partner when they need a break, and can keep a calm in a room sometimes filled with chaos.

For me and my husband, having a doula meant everything.  Thankfully for us,  it worked out and Andrea was able to attend our birth.  For me, with her there, it meant that I had the support of my husband, and we had the support of Andrea, our doula.  Together they encouraged me, comforted me, and kept me focused.  When Phil needed to sit down between the birth of our son and our daughter, I wasn’t left without someone who knew me, without my support, but he could go and was taken care of, and I was too, by my doula.

Having a doula was empowering.  She believed in me even when I did not.  She believed that my body could, even when I doubted.  She encouraged me, even when I felt weak.  She supported us, even when we didn’t know what kind of support we needed.

Having a doula at our birth was the best decision we made.  If we decide to have any more children, Andrea will be one of the 1st calls I make, to hire her to be a part of our journey.

She is a friend, and it was an amazing moment to have her with us as we welcomed our children into the world, but that day, she became so much more to me.  The respect I hold for her increased as I saw what her calling truly is, what her gift is, and how amazing she is for her clients.  She is an incredible doula.

I couldn’t recommend it more.  For us, it was the right decision.  I know it isn’t for everyone, and that is ok too.  But I encourage you to look into it, because I to never thought I would need a doula, and looking back, I don’t know what we would have done without her.

In Bloom Births

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