Forever Keeps

I know I am generally a sappy person, but kids will do that to you. I find myself going through pictures while Cove is asleep wandering how time slipped by us so quickly. Now that it’s summer, I honestly feel like he and I have grown even closer. It might sound silly because we’ve been together since he was in my womb, but we’ve connected and laughed together, cried together and he’s so much more cognitive. It hasn’t come without its challenges though… We’ve experienced the terrible twos so much earlier than I anticipated. I guess that’s the thing about parenting – once you think you’ve got one thing figured out, you get thrown a curve ball and you’re learning how to deal with something new. I’ve really been trying to write down quick notes on my phone of things going on, happy or sad, that I want to remember. I may start a little series on here like Thoughts On Things. We’ll see… But for now, here are 10 things I want to forever keep and remember. Every morning…

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Capture Your Heart | Parabo Press + Free Square Prints for Everyone

  Ian is usually a pretty easy guy to buy for. He has a wishlist he adds things to every time he sees something he likes. Every now and then, I love to surprise him with something different and more personal. Until Cove gets old enough to pick out his own gifts for us, Ian and I help him a bit. I went for printed photography because Ian loves to take pictures of our family and always says that it’s his version of a journal to keep track of the good and bad days. We may not post them all on the blog, but we capture a lot, even the really hard moments when Cove’s throwing a fit or we’re in our lounge clothes just hanging around the house. I received about 50 square prints for Ian to refill his wood block frames with, a gorgeous glass print from his favorite trip with Cove to California at sunset and a large engineered print of sunset at Aliso Beach for our kitchen to go above the table he’s building me for Mother’s Day.…

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Mini Me Cleaning & The Safe Way to Clean Your Hardwoods

  About three years ago, We decided to rip up almost all the flooring in our home and replace it all with hardwoods. Because I love the real deal, we decided to stick with hardwoods like the ones we had in the kitchen and entry way. We had every room downstairs, minus the master bath, done, and it has been the best decision we made in renovating our home. I love not having to vacuum and knowing that my floors are clean. Part of our decision to put hardwoods throughout the house had to do with expecting Cove later that year. I knew with a little one crawling around that I would want to have floors I could maintain easier. The previous owners had two large husky dogs in the house, so we never felt our carpets were actually clean. When it came to cleaning hardwoods though, I wasn’t completely sure how to maintain and clean appropriately. I knew they could be swept instead of vacuumed, but I heard certain products would strip the finish and warp the floors. I recently discovered Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaning…

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Let’s Be Honest Mamas | All About Sleep | Giveaway to aden + anais

  Sleep is a hot topic among young mamas, and we’re all desperately seeking it. I am so excited to be teaming up with the lovely Hannah Renee and the Let’s Be Honest Mamas to share a little about sleep, or the lack thereof, we’ve experienced with Cove. We are also hosting a fun giveaway for two mama’s to receive a $100 gift card to aden + anais on Instagram, so be sure to check it out. We just recently got this silky soft shibori dream blanket, and I am obsessed. It is SO SOFT. I have actually contemplated stealing it from Cove’s room so I can curl up with it. Anyways… back to sleep… Here are my answers. How well does your babe sleep? Sleeping through the night? Taking good naps? None of the above? I almost feel a little bad sharing because I don’t want to jinx myself with our next kid, but Cove started sleeping through the night at about two months. We had a harder time with naps, but once we got in a good routine, he…

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Take A Pizza My Heart Now Baby

I am all about easy meals we can enjoy together as a family that are still fresh and not processed. Last week we were in need of a fun family date, but instead of going out, we stayed home and made pizzas together. We made two different kinds all with fresh ingredients. I didn’t make the dough, but you can find the recipe to do so here. Sometimes time isn’t always on our side, so I’ll usually pick some up from the bakery section at Publix. They have great dough, made fresh every day. We decided to do a traditional margherita style pizza and a pepperoni pizza with fresh pepperoni from the deli (let me tell ya, it totally makes a difference). I used to buy the prepackaged pepperonis, but buying them sliced from the deli is so much better. Cove had a great time helping me make the pizzas. I thought he would really love smashing the dough, but he preferred to eat and spread the cheese way more. This Complete Grate & Slice Set from OXO was so helpful for shredding our…

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Adventures Aren’t Just For Dreams

Do you remember when you were a kid and little things seemed so much bigger and more exciting then they do now? I remember how big my grandparents basement felt when we were down there playing or how fiber optic lamps from the seventies felt like make-believe aliens (random I know). I often wish the creative part of my mind would still work that way. Ian and I always talk about how much imagination and letting your mind wonder can bring innovation, and in careers / opportunities that really stretch your creative limits, how it would be so helpful to have those grand adventures like you did when you were a kid. I really hope we can help Cove embrace imagination and help bring his dreams to life. I believe as parents, it can be easy to get in ruts, or stick to reality all the time, but sometimes you have to feed those creative minds by taking it beyond their toys. Maybe it’s building forts in the living room, going on grand adventures in your own neighborhood or building things out of…

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The Wild Way | Tuscan Tuna Sandwich

I’ve always loved a good sandwich. We ate them a lot growing up. It was probably because we were a huge bread household. Good bread makes every meal better. Since it’s officially picnic weather, we decided to cook up some Tuscan Tuna Sandwiches for a quick and easy meal. Sometimes you just need to upgrade your standard sandwiches. I prefer canned Tuna in olive oil because it honestly has more flavor than tuna in water. Wild Selections is my favorite, and that is partly due to the fact that it also gives back to the World Wildlife Fund marine conservation and fishery improvement projects with every purchase you make. And the fact that there are only three ingredients: White tuna, olive oil and salt. Plus, they tell you exactly where your fish comes from on the can by searching here. These sandwiches are packed full of flavor and taste so fresh. If you are looking to wow a crowd with an easy recipe, these sandwiches will definitely do the trick. Now for the recipe… Ingredients 1/2 Mayo (I use the kind with olive oil)…

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Colorful Meals | Mixed Berry Salad and Fresh Shrimp and Steak Skewers

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.  Dinner time in the kitchen is my jam. (I really can’t believe I just said “jam”… I guess I’m proving that I am a nineties baby…) It’s that time of the day I get to work on something delicious to feed my boys so we can share a meal together. Since we have had Cove, I really appreciate a home-cooked meal with them. I used to love eating out, but I’ve become so much more of an “at-home” eater. It’s helped us become healthier and it creates a time of the day where we have cut-out conversation and family time. In case you missed it, I shared here how I meal plan for our week and here how I shop for fresh produce. When I go shopping, I’m really conscious of where I’m buying my produce from and whether it’s local and in season. There is something to be said for eating foods that were grown close…

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Let’s Be Honest Mamas: Living Simply & Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year where we start packaging up loads of trash bags with items we’ve managed to collect in our house but never use and dust out every nook and corner in our home to make it squeaky clean. Spring Cleaning. You may remember, when the beautiful Hannah Renee asked me to join the Let’s Be Honest Mamas panel. This time around, I was so excited to team up with her and a handful of other beautiful mamas (all at the bottom of this post) to share about living simply and our spring cleaning routine. You can read our previous Let’s Be Honest Mamas panel here. For full disclosure, I can’t really say that cleaning is something I get excited about, but I am very passionate about living simply. And I guess those two things can somewhat go hand in hand. Read my answers below regarding Spring Cleaning and Living Simply.

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It’s Spring: Time To Clean

I can’t say I’m a fan of cleaning… But there is something about spring that really get’s me in the mood to clean out every nook and cranny. Ian has walked in on me multiple times pulling everything out of the bathroom cabinets, closets and our pantry, before asking me why I decided to start cleaning at 9 o’clock at night. I never really have a good answer for it, but it’s just some weird urge that overtakes me, and it always seems to hit me late at night. I am trying to be more proactive by starting earlier in the day and prioritizing so I don’t get distracted. I put together a quick list of things I am doing this spring as well as some of my favorite products I’m using to help declutter and deep clean.

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Life Lately | Spring 17 Edition

It’s been some time since I’ve filled you in on our life. We’ve been busy getting ready to launch some new things here on TST and Ian’s been working away at his company, which has some big things coming. This means it’s been a lot of late nights and working through the weekends or us. But we are so grateful for where we are, even if there is little to no down time. God has blessed us both and we know it’s all part of where we are right now. The busyness has helped us be really intentional in our time with each other, and we’ve felt the freedom to say no to things. Even if those no’s are for really great things, having too much going on leaves us not doing anything well. I was reading about Johnny Cash the other weekend while we were in Nashville, and I came across this quote when he was asked what his idea of paradise is, “This morning, having coffee, with her.” (talking about June Carter). I can’t get over how much I resonate with that. Saturday mornings…

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Two Things To Ask Before You Buy Produce and What Our Favorites Are Right Now

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.  If you have read TST for any length of time, you know how important it is to me to shop local. But that doesn’t just apply to goods for me, it applies to food also. When it comes to grocery shopping, and food in general, there are two important factors I like to consider before purchasing. Is it local? When products are from local farms, they are usually fresher and have better nutrition due to them not having to travel as far. Is it in season or not? Buying in season keeps my grocery bill down because the food is cheaper and it helps ensure all my meals have the most flavor in them. You can read in this post how I meal plan and how I make sure to plan my meals around what is in season. Even though it’s winter, that doesn’t mean I have to compromise on eating fresh food and produce. Florida has some great…

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Oily Life with REM Sleep, Bruschetta, and Airplanes | Be Well Do Well

Happy weekend loves!! Last week we looked at better ways to think. I shared a little about my husband and I’s oily life, and why we love using essential oils to help our thought life. When it comes to healthy practices, the big hurdle is implementing them into the daily routine. This Huffington Post article explains the study done by a health psychology team who examined the habits of 96 people over 12 weeks. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behavior and how automatic the behavior felt. Some people chose simple habits like “drinking a bottle of water with lunch.” Others chose more difficult tasks like “running for 15 minutes before dinner.” At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analyzed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behavior to automatically doing it.

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Let’s Be Honest Mamas

Before I had a baby, I was really unsure of whether I would stay home with him / her or not. I’m a big advocate for encouraging mothers, no matter what they decide to do, because being a mama is already hard enough without all the unnecessary guilt others like to impose. We all have different circumstances, challenges and struggles. When we had Cove, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to decide for myself whether I wanted to stay at home or not, and after returning from maternity leave (to the most amazing job, which I loved), I felt like God had another plan for my life. There was a little guy at home who I wanted to spend every second with and a husband who was all in with their startup. More than my boys needing me, I needed them. I was so excited when the beautiful Hannah Rennee asked me to be a part of the “Let’s Be Honest Mama’s” interview group to share some insight into my life as a stay at home mom. Motherhood itself…

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The Oily Life | Be Well Do Well

There is real estate in your brain just like there is real estate in a city. Think of your brain as a city. When a city’s community is wrought with discord, crime, and a lack of care, that community becomes difficult to live in and its population suffers. When your brain is anxious, dwells on the negative, and is not taken care of, it will become a difficult place to live in. The brain is the unsung hero of the body. We are so familiar with our limbs, our faces, our hair, our skin, and how they are doing, but are we familiar with the beauty of our brains? Maybe your next thought is why should I think about the beauty of my brain? Because it is where you are living. The brain is the seat for our mind. Last week we said our mind is our very soul. Our brain captures what our mind dictates. Why is that a big deal? It is because our brain is constantly changing according to what we think on.

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A Little Book Goes A Long Way

In my mind, every year is a year for the books. Whether it is the best year of our lives or we’ve been to hell and back, each year is one of growing, shaping and celebration. After all, we aren’t promised tomorrow. Every day we have here counts. With that in mind, Ian and I have always done yearly photo books. We love to take pictures. We are so grateful we enjoy documenting things all the time because it is so great to look back and remember seasons and specific memories we shared with each other. In the past it has taken us days to sort through and edit photo books just the way we want them, but I was so excited when Shutterfly reached out to us to try their new Make My Book Service. For an additional $9.99, Shutterfly will edit and compile your book for you. I chose the theme and color scheme I wanted and uploaded all my pics (I think there were over 400). There team then sifts through all the images and places them perfectly…

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