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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Editors Box

I was so excited to see the FabFitFun Editors box on my front porch. I love a good mail day, and a box full of goodies is like a serious reward after you spent the morning cruising down the aisles at Costco with a toddler. The Editors box came with a super soft, Modcloth Loch and Key scarf in the cutest plaid, which we used as a makeshift blanket to sit on that day. Cove really loves to be outside, so if we’re going to spend the morning in the car or running errands, I try to make sure he has some time to run around and play at the park or in the backyard. The blanket scarf was perfect and it’s also great for a little peek-a-boo fun. The box also came with a Created Co. To-Go Coffee Mug, FabFitFun Coloring Book & Colored Pencils, Manna Kadar Liplocked Priming Gloss Stain (which I am obsessed with), Marrakesh Argan & Hemp Hair Oil, O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel Face, and the cutest Jook & Nona Tag Necklace. I’ve tried a few subscription boxes and I have to…

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Snow Days | Rare Days

Snow days are rare days around here. When they do happen, our grocery stores are usually nightmares until the shelves are empty, no milk and no bread. Does anyone else ever wonder why those are the essentials? I’m thinking we really need chocolate, red meat (for Ian) and plenty of sweet tea since Chick-fil-a won’t be open. This is Cove’s second snow day. Last year I can’t say he enjoyed himself, but this year was a different story. He loved walking on it and had a great time laughing as we danced and made total fools of ourselves sliding around on the ice. I’ve always been a beach kind of girl, but I really love a good snow day when we’re iced in at home. There’s something about being cozied up in the house with a fire, hot chocolate and not being able to leave that I love. Although, by the next day, I’m ready for it to melt because I go stir crazy. In reality, days like this are not just rare because of the snow. The fact we…

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Happy New Years

Happy New Year! Thank you so much to everyone who has followed along with The Southern Trunk this past year. Your support and encouragement means more than you know. We are so excited to keep growing and introduce some new projects this year and we’re eager to see what 2017 has in store. This past New Years Eve was pretty much like the last two years. Ian and I cooked ourselves dinner and talked about all the things 2016 brought us, taught us and the goals we are setting for 2017. Our night also included being cozied up in our pajamas on the couch. I have always believed in setting goals for myself. Not for personal achievement or really even success. Setting short and long terms goals keeps me motivated and passionate. When you know what you’re working towards, it’s far less easy to get distracted, and easier to adapt to life changes the require you to alter certain plans.

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Christmas Recap | 2016

I can now say that there are few things sweeter than watching your child run with excitement to the tree filled with gifts, and then sitting on your lap as he opens each one with a sweet glimmer in his eyes. I feel like each year is going to get more excited as he learns what Christmas is all about. I think the best part for me was when he first saw all of his gifts, he went to his books first, grabbed one and brought it to us to read. We’re raising a book worm and I am totally okay with it! I hope you all had a beautiful holiday with your family and were able to relax and rest. Our prayer and wish for you is Romans 15:13 – “May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE in believing, that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may ABOUND in HOPE.”  Please enjoy a few highlights from our Christmas morning!

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Cooking with Hello Fresh

With Christmas quickly approaching and Ian’s business moving ahead full steam, things have been so busy around here. When Hello Fresh dropped off their box on my doorstep, I did a little happy dance knowing that I didn’t have to brave the grocery store or do any meal planning that week. Before this year, I was terrible at meal planning and cooking in general. But I was determined to change our eating habits and work to save some money in the process so I started, (which you can read about here). There are seasons of life where sometimes there is just no time to prep and I still want to make sure that we are eating healthy meals and not going out to eat all the time. With Hello Fresh, you get to pick out two to three different meal options for your family. Hello Fresh then has a box delivered to your door with just the right amount of fresh ingredients for each meal. Each meal takes around 30 minutes to complete. Last week we tried Winner Winner Chicken Orzo, Creamy Mushroom Pork chops…

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Gingerbread Baking

After a busy Saturday this past weekend, we put on our pajamas and decided to bake and decorate some gingerbread men together. Foodstirs had sent me this amazing kit with all organic and non GMO mixes. This helped me not feel quiet as guilty about indulging in all the deliciousness. Cove was definitely in the Christmas spirit. He was even pulling out the baking pans and giggled every time we turned on the KitchenAid Mixer. I have never been a phenomenal baker. I like to cook because you can experiment and don’t always have to be precise. But baking is a whole different playing field and you have to be super exact with all your ingredients. It helped to have the instructions so straight forward and there not be so many ingredients to work with. They turned out super delicious (no thanks to me), and the organic vanilla icing was my favorite. Decorating cookies is definitely a lot of fun as a family. I love to see personalities and creativity come out. These are the activities that make the holidays so much…

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Tava Travels

Adventure and traveling is something we hold dear in our hearts. It challenges us to think outside our comfort zone, to learn other cultures and capture the absolute beauty of creation through more than just a picture. Traveling is something that has created beautiful memories for our family that will last longer than any ‘thing.’ When I came across Tava, I fell in love with their adorable passports and mission to inspire children to always search for the next adventure. Tava makes adorable childrens passports with cards that explain and have games about where they are traveling. We picked up a San Diego passport and a USA Road trip passport for Cove. It was so fun to go through with him on all the places we visited like the San Diego Zoo, Torrey Pines and Balboa Park and read about all the fun facts about San Diego. The idea of teaching kids about where you are taking your adventures as well as giving them a fun keepsake is something I want to do for every trip. It would be so…

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Thoughts on Things | Christmas trees, Traditions and My Favorite Recipes Currently

Although last year was one of the best Christmases because we became a family of three, it also felt like we skipped over everything due to our newborn fatigue and the fact it was almost 80 degrees here. Now that we have a little boy walking around, I am so excited for this year’s festivities. Everything seems more magical when you are experiencing it for the first time with someone. Cove now points at the tree when we ask him where the ‘Christmas’ tree is, and whispers when we get close to the lights like he is experiencing something magical. It might be the fact I have an almost one year old, that I am curled up on the couch with the lights twinkling behind my coffee cup or that I’m watching the Gilmore Girls revival, but I am just so sentimental and nostalgic right now over the holidays. For the past five years Ian and I have been married, we’ve had some really great traditions just the two of us this time of year. We always talked about traditions we would…

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The Ultimate Shop Small Christmas List Guide

I am a huge believer in shopping local and shopping small businesses. The founders of these businesses have so much passion and love behind their work, you can trust you are getting quality pieces with meaning and intention behind them. If you are still shopping for Christmas gifts, I highly recommend shopping from these beautiful businesses and getting the ones in your life gifts that are made with a lot of love and care. I have a huge stamp of approval on all these items and have most of them in my own home.

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Victoria Schneider The Southern Trunk

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Smart and Secure

I have always loved technology and gadgets, but it’s a love / hate relationship. My fear of where technology CAN go and where I think it will, stops me from integrating it into our home most of the time. The high price of smart home products also plays a huge role into my decision. The smart home concept has matured over the past few years, and prices for these products has become more affordable. When a new smart gadget comes out, whether it be a smart security camera, wifi connected light switch or a smart lock, I like to wait a while for all the issues to be worked out. I also research a lot to evaluate whether it’s actually safe for my home. You can’t look at the internet without seeing some new privacy breach or hacker turning your car into a brick wall. To help give me peace of mind, I invested into a strong and secure Wi-Fi set up, to make sure we’re protected from the start. With the price of smart home products beginning to go down, I’ve been itching to…

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Framing Gold | Framebridge

I think if I could, I would have my whole home be one giant gallery wall full of all the photos, posters and art we love. EVERYWHERE. But in all seriousness, I do love to grace our home with those golden memories that you want to remember forever. When I came across Framebridge, I was so impressed with the company and all of it’s services. You can frame your Instagram photos in a wide array of gorgeous frames, send in/upload your images or posters to be put in frames, or you can have one of their designers pick out a frame for your piece or create a gallery wall for you. It’s genius. It’s beautiful quality without all the headache. I love the new Carson Gold frame we just got with our most recent family photo. We just got back from California and where we took Cove to Crystal Cove State Park for the first time after talking about it for over a year, and the sunset was gorgeous. Our friends snapped this one of us, and I will remember this moment forever. As a…

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First Halloween Part II | Baby Shark

I was so excited when I realized we would be celebrating Cove’s first Halloween in Laguna Beach! I am all about homemade costumes, which you can see from my previous post and Cove’s other Halloween costume, but I found this shark outfit and knew we had to let him be a little shark flapping around on the beach. When we tried it on at the store he was grinning from ear to ear. When we took him to the beach this time, he was so afraid of the sand. It was crazy because in Charleston he loved it. But hey – what shark isn’t afraid of being stranded on the sand?! Haha! After a while he got used to it and was giggling and throwing it up in the air. It was such a great memory for his first Halloween. I hope you guys have a great day dressing up and eating lots of candy. Happy Halloween!

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Technology Together | Kidloland

If I am being real with you guys, before having children, I told myself we would never have technology around our little ones. After having Cove, Ian and I talked a lot about it and we really feel that technology SHOULD have a place in our kids lives. For us, that does not mean putting it down in front of their faces to distract them or let them play mindlessly for hours, but we both have careers that are very technology driven, and there is something to be said for that. I think there is also an important point in teaching your children balance and understanding of how to use technology. Ian and I both shut off technology and step away from it frequently, and we want our kids to learn to balance and step away too. I am all for sending my kids to play outside and explore, but I want resources on rainy days/sick days too.

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Splendid Softie

Most of my closest friends know that I am a total softie. I am the queen of crying over just about anything – Publix commercials, surprises, when Ian or Cove do something sweet, when I see some random acts of kindness, or literally laughing until I cry. A dear friend of mine sent me this the other day, and I couldn’t help but think about how accurate it was for me, and how beautiful it can be to have a strong feelings.  – “I understand now that I’m not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world. I explain now, when someone asks me why I cry so often, I say, ‘For the same reason I laugh so often – because I’m paying attention’” – Glennon Doyle Melton I used to be embarrassed over how strong my emotions were for things, but Ian has gently reminded me that emotions are not always bad things. It just shows that were passionate.

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