life of charmings

Monday, September 26, 2016

i don't think we're in florida anymore... [and semi-related items of interest!]

[i just can't help but extra-love that you can see the ocean moving... bring me back that sea breeze!]

oh, hey monday!! and okay, it's not even just a monday for us. it's a rainy, fall, monday re-entry into real life after a fantastic week sunning ourselves to the crashing lullabies of the atlantic!!

but really, i'm so not complaining. actually, arriving home on saturday evening gave us a whole entire sunday yesterday to enjoy what was left of 90-something degree sunshine in nashville... ending with sunsetty wine, just how i like it. :) so. good thing we love home!

aaaand obviously now i have like, 9 million photos and videos to sift through from our beachy vacay! which is definitely a good thing, if you ask me. i mean, good thing... chya, it's my fav thing!

so, la la la, backing up, backing up! to a random topic that's not fall, home decor, the dripping kitchen faucet steven's in the process of fixing [thankfully], the vet appointment i neeeeed to make for minnie, or how maddalena woke me up this morning to warn me that daddy left chip crumbs on the coffee table [!!!!!]... 

yes! right, so let me just mention that my husband loooves watching youtube clips from any kind of america/whatever country's got talent, the voice, american idol, all those. so, that little hobby paired with the fact that there's next to nothing on tv in the evening that is appropriate for kiddos [which is just SAD!] we've all kinda gotten into these shows as a little pre-bedtime deal when we feel like winding down that way!

while we were down at the beach, we all sat around snuggled in the family room and started this season of the voice... which is the first time we've really done that! ever since show streaming took over, i feel like it's rare that we sit down to watch a premier as it's premiering, ha, so that in itself was fun. plus, i haven't gotten to be a dedicated watcher of anything specific in some time now... so, the voice!! i. am. totally. obsessed! and after two nights in a row of episodes, i was completely bummed that it's only on monday and tuesday nights because i was ready to watch every night!

SO! in preparation for tonight, i'll just go about making a few little relevant points, iiiif ya don't mind...

1. at first i was not so down with miley as a new judge, given the weird life-crisis types of decisions she's making these days in her post-disney star fame. but!!! i love her so far. maybe they've edited her well, but she's funny. and she's a nashville girl! plus, i'm totally okay with the giant flowers

2. sidenote: alicia keys as the other new judge? she's basically magical. loved her reaction to the girl singing her song. and i'm pretty much in awe of anyone who can look so beautiful in a turban and no eye makeup.

3. remember billy gilman??? anybody? anybody?? because i for sure had a billy gilman christmas album when i was little. haha. i'm glad he's back and his audition blewww me awaaaay. like, CHILLS AND TEARS! i wish it was the whole song!!

4. i've proceeded to re-watch/listen to that adele's version for days and nights and daaaays.

5. also, i know candace cameron bure's [aka. dj tanner fuller ;)] daughter is going to be on this season... i am such a fan of that family! i can't wait to see! also, they are seriously the cutest mother/daughter.

6. related! maddalena is so adorably obsessed with grace vanderwaal, who rightfully won AGT this last season! she is unreal... 12 years old! she could not be any cuter or more talented.

7. also, we are so entertained by sal valentinetti, also from AGT. can we hug him, please???? and drink wine and eat pizza and have him sing to us? i even just love the intro to this one.

...aaaand i feel i've come to a stopping point 'cause now all i want to do is go back and forth between adele and billy singing that one and only song to me and my ears on this monday! see also, 3rd cup of coffee and body on eastern time so hoping for a big energy jolt here soon. ;)


[and hey fall, i see you trying to poke some sunshine out. do it, please! i want to love you, i do.]

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

essential oils for little ones!

so, my long-time faaaavorite makers of essential oils, rocky mountain oils, have come out with a kids line!!! ever since my last post on our three favorite oils for summer, i've been anxiously awaiting a chance to try out a few of these little roll-on bottles of goodness for my little babes!

let's be honest, i spend sooo much time fretting over my family members. i mean, you should see my google history... [um, or not!!] but truly, since any issue in our family is first treated with natural remedies, my first thought is always, "what oils can we slather on this?!?!?" although, once you have young ones in the mix, you have to pay extra-close attention to what oils are appropriate for their tiny bodies! which means more research and special little concoctions of whatever you have on hand whipped up just for them.

i've done all of that so much in the past, and that's why i was sooooo excited when RMO filled me in on their upcoming plans to release a line of safe, pre-blended oils for children!! already in roller bottles and everything! haaaallelujah. best idea ever.

anyway, those bunniebuns of mine, they have loved using these oils!! and i love not freaking out about which bottle they've gotten their little hands on when they want to hold them or do it themselves. so, about two weeks ago, on an average little tuesday, we decided to document each time we used the kids oils that day...

first!! we used ouchie on rocco's booboos. because having a little boy means constant scrapes, bonks, and bruises!! no, really. it's all the time. i figure it must be pure instinct for men to walk around with battle wounds, yes? as i type this he fell over on the floor, looked up at me, and laughed. haha!

then!! later that day, we rolled on immunity before heading to maddalena's dance class! we were cracking up letting rocco roll the oils on maddalena's back and he was SO proud of himself for doing it so well!! and he was quite thorough! this moment completely made my day. they were so happily laughing together and those are just the very, very best moments. also, i love that this blend is completely safe for them to use and handle! immunity blends are my go-to for so many things, but there just aren't very many that are safe for the little ones to mess with. it's such a relief to have this on hand!

aaand, that night we rolled the counting sheep blend onto those babes... heaven knows they need it!  and oh look at my sweeties. they melt me!! anyway, we all love the way it smells. so relaxing! and a fun part of the bedtime routine when they can learn to do it themselves, too!

so basically... we love these! anything to bring relief to a parent's constantly worrying mind, right? you can bet we haven't even been leaving the house without them in my bag! thank you, rocky mountain oils

[and just for total disclosure: RMO sent me these oils because they are awesome. :) but i was not paid, and i surely wouldn't share if this wasn't 1,000% one of my favorite topics for the last umm, nearly 15 years. wow. haha!]


Monday, September 19, 2016

house peeks: our interesting entryway!

[cage pendant light // wild horses console table // favorite safavieh rug // cross from our wedding!]

the very first time we walked into this housey of ours, looking to buy a new home for our growing fam... i think we were initially a bit surprised at the setup of the entryway! this house is a split level, built into a hillside... which we love! it feels cozy and safe. :) but let me just say we have no shortage of stairs going on in this place! so, our entryway is actually a landing in between the first and second stories. it's interesting!

the walls were previously all very dark in the house, which affected the entry a lot, it felt like... so, the first thing we wanted to do was lighten them a whole, whole lot [like, all the way!] and open up the space visually. then, we had the flooring refinished [just the entry and stairs] and brand new balusters and railings put in. aaand then, the painter came back and finished up all the trim in that area. and eventually, we replaced the light fixture! yay!

i have really wanted this area in our house to feel open and light and airy... and welcoming, of course!! and at the same time i've wanted to cozy up the the lower staircase a bit in a way that feels homey for my loves and i as we go up and down. honestly, i really couldn't decide the next step in going about that while still contributing to the flow of the house and the light, open entryway feeling... until!!!

...until a few of my little silhouette dreams came so so so flawlessly true thanks to a sweet and talented fellow nashvillian, meiska, of miss thistle shop silhouettes!! oh my goodness. i followed meiska on instagram for quite a while before getting in touch with her about doing some silhouettes of my babies. all of her stuff is just so beautiful!! so, i knew i needed to capture my babes' precious profiles before they grew up too much more... and since meiska is not only local to our area but a mama, herself, it just felt so right for her to do them! and oh, when i got them in the mail... gosh, in love doesn't even cover it!! i could seriously stare at them all day long. :) 

it wasn't even until i got those beauties framed that i just knew the perfect place for them would be right there in the staircase. they brought exactly the vibe i was searching for... an elegant yet homey touch of tradition warming up our stairway! and yes, i totally bought 4 of those frames [from michael's] so we can add silhouettes in the future as needed! haha!

...i cannot even tell you how happy this sight makes me every day!! 

AND!!! a little something for my friends of charmings! you can get 30% off at miss thistle shop through the end of october by entering the code CHARMED! so take a look over there!! [and seriously, every time december gets crazy, i always swear up and down that i'm going to start my christmas shopping in september the next year, so really! there's no better time to get started than right now!!]

aaand for the most fun part... the before and after!

[first photo taken from the house's listing; the rest taken from my iphone as we first toured the house // now! baby gate and all... which i'm sure will be there a while!]

sooo! here's what we've done...
-painted the walls! they're benjamin moore's gentle cream in sherwin williams super paint
-painted the trim! in sherwin williams medici ivory
-refinished the entry & stair hardwoods
-replaced & painted all the balusters [can you see?! we practically doubled the amount! they were so far apart and not very strong before... we knew rocco would literally go straight through once he was mobile!]
-replaced & stained the railings
-painted the inside of the front door [trim color]
-hung a new light fixture

still on the list...
-i want to find something to go on the big hallway wall that's at the top of the stairs! i'm hoping for something either mirrored so it doesn't close off the space, or some sort of white architectural decor.
-repaint the outside of the front door
-that huge window up above the door could reeeeally use a good scrubbing!

it's an endless journey, right? but oh, i still kinda just love house stuff! :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

chasing the weekend! [and some links from lately!]

...and rocco. ALWAYS!! he keeps me on my toes and thinks it's absolutely hilarious. :) anyway, we are so ready for a big, fun weekend, yaaaay! and i know a lot of people like some clicky things on a friday!! so, i thought i'd gather some of the things i've been clicking on and loving lately...

my favorite home decor instagram to follow these days is 100% randi garrett design. everything in every room... gooooorgeous!!!!

we're all programmed to think that sleep should occur one way and one way only... but have you heard of second sleep?! apparently, our ancestors did sleep a little differently!

i'd never seen this grammar rule explained before!!! but ahhh, it makes total much sense, doesn't it!!

when we're in the sun, depending on sensitivity, i like 15-30 minutes of straight sun exposure for the health benefits, and then really prefer covering up in clothing to baking sunscreen ingredients into our skin... although, we do also use the healthiest ones we can find, when necessary! but!!! there's another fascinating approach... how to eat your sunscreen!

my mom sent me this recenty: 10 independently owned organic companies worth supporting! LOVE this kind of info!! especially since i already love a lot of these brands. :)

also, maddalena, my mom, and i have fallen so in love with the bucket list family!!! i'll be honest: at first i was like... a family that sold everything to travel around the world? cool, buuut i can't handle that! home base is like, my EVERYTHING! but, they are just dreamy as far as sweet, growing families go... i love their sense of humor... and they visit and share some amazing places and experiences! also, they have great teeth and that's always been a thing for me.

and finally, wow... this incredible video from our alma mater was shared virally this past week, even featured on good morning america! every single time i have clicked on it, i've been completely in tears. like, straight up weep status. i mean, i was already proud to have come out of such a place... in 13 years, i rarely wanted to miss a day of school. i always felt cared for and knew my teachers were praying for me. it's definitely where i found my love of painting. and of course, i eventually met my husband there!! but out of all the successes that school can boast... it makes me the proudest to have spent so much of my life at a place that would make headlines for how they worship and lift up loved ones in a time of need. how many schools would drop their day to do that? what a testament! [and on a personal note, i think especially because schooling for our little ones in the not-so-distant future has become such a topic of stress for me recently, it just hit home what a special place i was able to be a part of!] [additional note, mr. ellis is now healed as he went home to jesus today, so please send up a prayer for his family if you are so inclined!]

on a cheery note, a baby kangaroo hopping into a pillowcase pouch!!!!! oh my gosh, i would snuggle that joey all day and all night. when my babies grow up and get all busy, will someone please bring me an orphaned joey?!?!

and lastly, i'm just throwing it out there ooone more time for obsession's sake... i'm moving on up from my snuggie this fall! ;) ;) and nope, you're not the only one who'd never heard of a ruana! it's not a poncho? not a scarf? it's amazing, is what it is.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

notes from august! | 2016

...oh, just a feeeew more little bits of our august!! and what a perfect end of summer month it was for us.

we went to the zoo. madd became a little roller skating pro! we had a big family dinner in franklin. we picked wildflowers! we played at home and at the farm and with friends. we shopped and tried out a new favorite coffee spot. steven played soccer on saturdays. maddalena started her little dance class! rocco loooved his first bouncy house experience at a sweet friend's birthday party. we went to the park and to church. the bunnies survived me heading off to my bff's baby shower for a few hours. ;) we took walks! rocco even put on a good ole show one afternoon for a whole pediatric PT class at belmont, which was absolutely hilarious. and as always, we snuggled!

our babies have really become quite the little pair, and it could not make me any happier!! i remember maddalena getting to a certain age, just needing sooo much constant play and interaction from us, and we were just like... "wow, she really needs a sibling!" it takes a while to get that going in full force, you know? ;) [just look at last august!! oh, that itty bitty boy of mine!!] but now that these babes are so often playing together, it's my favorite. it's the best. iiiiii love it. also, maddalena just takes such great care of her baby rocco, and it's the sweetest thing!! <3

OH! ps!! so, after our excursion to the zoo, i asked on my instagram if anyone could suggest a great double stroller. we still hadn't gotten one [i'd debated whether we even needed to or not], but every time we'd go anywhere where we walked for a while, maddalena would eventually want a turn in the stroller and i'd end up carrying rocco. which, don't get me wrong, i love! but it sure doesn't make the nashville summer heat any more pleasant, let me just say. plus, it really helps to have babies happily strapped in sometimes, right! anyway, literally the first 4 friends that answered said in full confidence to get the city select. [sidenote: the web version of the post doesn't show all the comments.] i was surprised, because i just assumed i'd get a simple side-by-side stroller! but see, what do i know? i mean, i will research the heck out of things, but when it comes to stuff like strollers, it all just depends on how you want to use them. so, then, when i had to take m to the bathroom at the splash pad pushing rocco in our single stroller... well, no side-by-side would have fit very well in that bathroom! okay, wow. what a stroller journey. SO! as fate would have it, the kindest, sweetest blog-friend-of-a-real-life-friend [love when blog life has real life connections, you know?!] helped me snag a last minute deal on the whole city select double shebang, and thank goodness for her!!! so far we are obsessed with that thing. obsessed! it's basically pure brilliance. :) so, thanks for all the help, friends!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

a summer of growth

tiny baby boy hands! // a favorite breakfast // little lady playing on the stairs // my mommy's beautiful roses // our 8th anniversary // her lashes!!! // little siblings playing under the table // a little farm time // the face of a boy loving pasta! // eating grapes in her favorite headband // crepe myrtle pop of pink! // setting the coffee table for a tiny luncheon // family candy land in the sunroom // daddy and his little man // a birthday cake pop to start her birthday week! // waking up after a farmhome sleepover // making muffins with gaga // entering maddalena's salon ;) // babies brushing teeth!! // home life, as usual :)

...i feel like it's been said now about 1 million times, but goodness, this summer really came and went, didn't it! and oh, as much as i'll be jumping on board the pumpkin train at the first hint of chill, i just have sooo many little moments from life around here with my people all stacked up on my hard drive... i can't possibly enter a new season without officially documenting a few more favs from the past summer months!

this summer, i think, has definitely been one of growth for each of us. at least... i hope it has been? haha. i mean, clearly the babies are growing like weeds! they both had birthdays. steven and i celebrated 8 [million ;)] years of marriage. and well, whatever season of life i'm in, i have to say... there've been some growing pains on my end! anxiety. realizations. stupid adult-realm thoughts and concerns that keep me up and googling at 4am. all this grownup crap is hard! why do i feel so flipping ill-equipped so much of the time?? and to think... regardless of anything else that happens in life, my favorite humans are completely depending on me to keep their lives in order, which happens to be my favorite job! but still... some days? oh my!

i have to say, though, i'm learning a lot! constantly re-calibrating. i have a much thicker skin now than i ever thought i could. i also realize my limits and am trying to just let it be okay... and, most importantly, i'm figuring out the whole reason for faith. life is too big and too much for me to take it all on my own! and i can't say i'm at all good at the whole let go and let God thing... oh, i'm actually terrible at it!!! but like i said, it's all about growth, right? i'm getting there. :)

aaand in the meantime, i'm completely soaking in these sweet babies that grow another inch every time i turn around! i love love love my every day with them, from start to finish... and oh, looking back on how much i enjoyed each of my loves this summer just makes me the happiest! i sure am one lucky lady. <3