I went to Target the other day and saw the cutest little face potters for plants that I wanted to get for this windowsill, but then I saw the price tag & said ope, nevermind, and placed it back.
I headed down to Menards and picked up a small stack of these Terra cotta planters for $0.78 each & asked my husband to decorate them for me instead. These first two he made for me are awesome! I can’t wait to see what the rest will turn out like. I want to go back and get a bunch more for the kids & I to decorate also! We have plenty of empty windowsill space to fill with our purposeful art, herbs, & houseplants.
Instead of blowing a bunch of money at Target to get what everyone else has, I was able to save a ton of money & get custom planters instead. You can do ANYTHING with these. Decorate them ANY way you want. Let your imagination run wild. They’ll end up looking way cuter than anything you can find at Target, plus no one else in the world will have the same one as you!
We had our parents (minus my mom ☹️) & Kaden over tonight to celebrate Moses’ birthday. We were supposed to last weekend, but most of our family had a cough and/or runny nose, so we postponed to tonight, but unfortunately my mom tested positive for covid today so she stayed home.
My original plan was supposed to be a grill-out, but since it rained on & off all day, we moved it inside instead so I just threw something small together.
I used our tree stump cake stand from our fall forest wedding for a homemade chocolate cake. I made little “s’mores cups” out of garden seed starter cups & filled a fall mini loaf pan with gummy bears. I grabbed a stuffed squirrel we had & had the kids find me some sticks to place in a vase for decor.
I found these cute little cake toppers on Amazon and just stuck them in cute. My dad commented that it looked better than the ones I get from a bakery which made me sooooo happy to hear & really proud of my hardwork.
We ordered a variety tray of Subway sandwiches since our food menu changed on us. I also put out Pretzel twig sticks, wild berry mix my dad brought, and some babybel cheeses that I drew spots on to look like ladybugs.
I found this cute woodland theme party set on Amazon. They were adorable.
I made the garland finding photos on Pinterest that looked similar to the plates. I printed them out, glued them to construction paper, them laminated them & cut into individual pieces. I used a hole puncher to make holes and tried some yarn through to hang up. It barely took any time at all and looked really cute.
Moses was pretty nervous by the candle. He took a few bites of his piece before throwing it on the floor.
The handsome guest of honor with his super adorable “I’m Ukrainian, what’s your superpower?” Shirt.
It was really small, but it was only his first so realistically he had no idea what that whole shindig was for. It was still cute though and I hope everyone had a nice evening celebrating my Mosie Man.
Niko told me that I am “the best mom in the world” when he came home from work which really meant so much to me. He knows how hard I am on myself about being a mom & always thinking I’m not good enough/not doing enough so that really meant the world to me. I just hope the kids think it, that’s what really matters.
Happy Mothers Day to all the mama’s out there! I hope that today was wonderful for you.
I started Mothers Day weekend off at my parents house. My dad made a French toast, fresh fruit, and potatoes breakfast for my mom & I on Saturday.
After breakfast, my mom & I went to our favorite local flower farmer annual plant sale. I am so happy about my picks. We got them planted today (Sunday) and I cannot wait to see them grow! I swear her flowers just take root so much better than anything I’ve gotten anywhere else around town!
After the plant sale, Niko & I took the kids out to the annual Chili Cook Off & Dessert Auction at church. I REALLY enjoyed the vegetarian chili. My mother in law told me that she would ask the woman who made it for the recipe for me.
The dessert auction was fun. I couldn’t believe how much some of these families paid for these homemade desserts! One cake went for over $1000! It was to raise money for the Youth Mission Trip. (My father in law let us know today that the entire trip is paid in full thanks to the auction!) Next year I really want to enter a dessert or two into the auction. I wonder how much mine would go for?! 🤔
My father in law made & entered a “Strawberry Fields Forever” strawberry shortcake filled with real strawberries 🍓 and topped with a homemade strawberry glaze. He bid on & won that for us all to share. It was SO yummy! My mother in law bid on chocolate chip cookies for us to share. We also ended up bringing home a red velvet & cream cheese frosting cake.
We bought plain white photo frames. I wrote Happy Mothers Day in the center & the girls signed all of their names and colored with Sharpies. After they were finished, we printed out photos of Moses & the girls and put them inside of the frames.
Mia & I had gone to Trader Joe’s the afternoon beforehand to buy several bouquets of flower arrangements. I took the arrangements apart and I laid all of the flowers on the table for the girls to make new bouquets for the Babas (Ukrainian word for grandma 👵🏼) except for the roses (since they had thorns) which I split 3 ways evenly.
They ended up turning out really cute! I thought this was a super fun way for the girls to be involved. I loved doing this with Mia at Findlay Market last year and really wanted to be able to make it possible for all of the girls to create real bouquets together to gift to their Babas for Mothers Day and thought this would be the easiest and less stressful way to accomplish that.
We assembled all of our gifts together and packed them up for each Baba.
I wish I would have gotten a picture of all of the completed bouquets. They were really pretty. Both my mom & Ali were really impressed with the girls work. I really hope that we made them feel special today.
Mia & Ella each made me a few things. Mia made me a cupcake 🧁 at The Mad Potter & a really cute card. Ella made me a mushroom 🍄 at The Mad Potter, a clay bowl in art class, a bouquet of paper flowers each listing different reasons why she loves me, & a box of “coupons” for me to cash in for various things like hugs, a walk around the block, or helping me out around the house.
We went to church, then out to lunch with my husband’s parents, sister, & her two children: Noah & Milana.
The cousin crew! Ella, Sasha & Moses, Athena, Mia & Milana, Noah. I can’t believe how big they are all getting.
One of my favorite gifts I received (from Kaden) was my Ukrainian mosaic butterfly 🦋 to add to my garden.
Of course I have my Ukrainian flag flying proudly. Then I added the sunflowers for the bad-ass Ukrainian woman who was giving out sunflower seeds to the occupiers so when they die sunflowers will grow. I moved the blue & yellow flower over to this space to go along with the Ukrainian tribute to my people.
I love love love the way that it looks! The butterfly really pulls it together. I got my new plants into the ground and I can’t wait to watch them grow through the season.
Well, after this busy weekend, I’m so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open to finish writing this so I’m going to call it a night. 5 am will be here in the blink of an eye.
As Teacher Appreciation Week comes to an end I just wanted to share with you our small DIY gifts the girls made for their teachers.
Ella made a clipboard for her teacher, Mr. Vample. Mia made a clipboard for her teacher Mrs. Mcgahan.
They also made a clipboard for our “bus mom,” Mrs. Mace, because she is just the sweetest and has helped our girls (and many other kiddos) get safely to & from the bus stop each day which we certainly appreciate.
We bought each clipboard at the Dollar Tree for $1.25 each, and the rest of the materials we had at home already.
Getting teacher gifts doesn’t have to be pricey. It doesn’t have to out-do any of the other parents. You don’t have to break your budget. It isn’t a competition to be the “favorite” student, or parent. Your kid can color on a rock, or put nature together to form a portrait of their teacher. They can color a card. Kids are so creative- the possibilities are endless if you let them take the lead.
Your child just showing their teacher they care and appreciate them enough to take the time out of their busy play to make them a small gift is ENOUGH. Gifts are meant to be from the heart & that’s exactly where a homemade gift comes from ❤.
I went to the Oakley Kroger the other night with Moses. That place is HUGE! As we were walking (aka me walking & wearing all 23+ pounds of him) inside we decided to check out the outside floral section and I ended up buying a cherry tomato starter plant & a strawberry starter plant.
When we got home it was too late to start a gardening project, so I set them aside for the next morning.
When I went to plant them, I came to the conclusion that I really didn’t want to plant food that we plan to eat near our trash cans, even with a fence separating them. So I figured out a new solution!
I moved the raised bed into this space along the fence.
I thought that it looked a little out of place by itself, so I built a little rock pathway with rocks out of the stockpile I already had.
Once I had all the rock placement laid out, I began collecting these mosaic tiles around my back yard. I had originally had them in the gravel patio area, but I think that they will be much more appreciated over here.
I’ve got a pretty good start going, but I definitely need to continue picking more out to make sure the spaces in between are really full.
I also moved this little red bird bath from a different garden space in my yard. It makes more sense over here since the hose can reach here, but not where it was previously.
I planted the cherry tomatoes in the middle container and strawberries to the right. I am going to plant lettuce in the container to the left when it isn’t raining.
To be completed:
• Finish filling in mosaic pieces between rock spaces.
• Plant a creeping flower in the tower growing up the sides.
• Weed and prepare the right side near the fence to sculpt out a garden bed + plant some flowers.
• Trim bush to the left side and sculpt out garden bed + plant some flowers.
• Create fun garden stakes with the kids for each container.
• Find and/or make more garden decor to personalize it more!
Just a small, spur of the moment project I wanted to document on here. I hope you like it and it Inspires you to do some gardening yourself! Gardening can be really, really therapeutic as well as a great work out & way to connect with nature.
Are you big into gardening, or a beginner? Have you tried raised garden beds or container gardens? What kind of things do you like to grow?
When Ella was a baby, we went through ALL of the brands of baby wipes available on the market. No matter what brand we tried, her “diaper rashes” got worse and worse. Huggies were by far the most harmful brand to her skin.
We eventually learned that diaper rashes are NOT normal, and are in fact chemical burns caused by the wipes. So I began making my own baby wipes, which completely stopped the rashes. The only time new rashes appeared were when she went to family members houses that still used store-bought wipes.
I have been making my own baby wipes ever since for all of my babies born after her, and have since switched to cloth diapering after learning how dangerous disposable diapers are for babies health as well.
Making your own wipes is inexpensive, easy to do, and SAFE for your babies.
Phenoxyethanol – harmful to children’s health including adverse effects to the central and peripheral nervous system, skin irritation, lung irritation, toxic to kidneys and liver,
Benzyl Alcohol – causes irritations and rashes and inflammation on the skin of young children including: irritation, severe itching, reddening of skin, loss of sensation, eye irritations, vision problems, pain, peeling skin, heat burn.
Formaldehyde – carcinogenic to humans. Causes cancer and contact dermatitis including blisters, scales, thickening of skin, leathery skin, asthma, respiratory problems, eye, nose, and throat irritations, conjunctival irritation, allergies, low blood pressure, headaches, irregular breathing, abnormalities of heart rhythm, unconsciousness, restlessness, loss of red blood cells.
Polypropylene – can cause dizziness, drowsiness, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, lung disease.
Viscose – Derived from wood pulp, the process to make viscose involves many harsh chemicals. Those chemicals cause coronary heart failure, birth defects, skin conditions, and cancer. Viscose is highly pollutable to our planet and has a devastating impact on forests, people, and animals.
Polyester – Polyester is absolutely detrimental to our environment. More than 70 million barrels of oil are used to make polyester each year. It is the biggest source of microplastic pollution in the oceans. Each time you wash polyester, up to 1900 fibres are washed off back into our water systems and oceans. It takes up to 200 ywars to biodegrade- that is more than 2 lifetimes. The production of polyester uses very harsh chemicals including carcinogens. Carcinogens generate skin problems and lung and heart cancer. Polyester causes chronic and severe respiratory infections. Causes rashes, itching, redness, eczema, and dermatitis. Causes allergies, chemical sensitivity, and other serious health problems. Lowers sperm count in men. Toxic to babies immune systems. Not breathable material.
Petrochemicals – Ethylene Oxide, 1,4-Dioxane, Polysorbate 20, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Potassium Laureth Phosphate, PEG-75 Lanolin, Ceteareth-20. These cause cancer, birth defects, headaches, respiratory irritation, and both female and male reproductive harm. They cause leukemia, lung cancer, nose, throat, and sinus cancer, blood and lymphatic cancer. Affect development of children including brain development, learning and behavioral problems. Using while pregnant will affect both you and your unborn baby.
Phthalates – usually found under the name “fragrance,” “perfume,” or “perfum.” This causes allergies, hormone disruptions, infertility, dermatitis, and respiratory distress. Causes damage to liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system. Lowers sperm count and quality and lowers testosterone levels. Has a lasting impact on neurodevelopment including lower IQ, problems with attention and hyperactivity as well as poor social communication, depression, and aggression. Changes hormone levels, alters development of genitals. Causes breast cancer, obesity, thyroid problems, asthma, and metabolic issues.
These are just a few of the chemicals that are found in store-bought baby wipes including the brands you have put your trust into. As you can see, these are NOT safe for anyone, especially babies, yet they are marketed for mothers to use on their babies. The FDA is a scam, and should NEVER be trusted. Always do your own research before using anything, especially on the tiny humans you are responsible to take care of and keep safe.
Note: The “natural” wipes do not mean they are safe. There are few rules, regulations, or guidelines when it comes to a “natural” product. “Natural” does not make a product vegan, organic, non-toxic, cruelty or chemical free. Remember, crude oil is natural.
Water wipes would SEEM safe, but they contain grapefruit seed extract which may contain harmful contaminants meant to act as preservatives. Grapefruit seed extract is a general lable to hide: Benzetheonium Chloride, Methylparaben, and Triclosan. Water without a broad-spectrum preservation system cannot prevent the growth of mold and bacteria which can cause seriously infections. No cleansing agents, means that when babies poop it does not properly disinfect babies genitals. The poop residue left behind can cause skin irritation and leaves bacteria behind which can cause urinary tract infections, meningitis, septicaemia, and purulent conjunctivitis. Meningitis and septicaemia have been known to cause death in infants.
The ONLY way to know that the wipes that you are using on your baby are safe is to make them yourself. It sounds hard, but it is not at all!
How to Make Baby Wipes (Step by Step)
● Start by putting your dry wipes into your wipes container. You can also make reusable cloth ones which is a better option for our environmental waste and I hope to get to that point, however I currently use disposable wipes.
● Measure 2 cups of warm to hot water.
● Add 2 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Oil.
● Add 1 Tablespoon of a non-toxic soap such as Young Living’s KidScents like I use, or Dr. Bronners Castile soap.
● Add 5 drops of Young Living’s Lavender Essential Oil (or any of their Seedling oils specifically for babies). Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT, use grocery store essential oils including those purchased on Amazon, Target, or Walmart- they are NOT pure and NOT safe to use especially on an infant or child.
Young Living is the ONLY essential oil company in the WORLD that has a Seed to Seal promise and conducts intensive testing to ensure that they are 100% safe to use.
● Mix together using your tablespoon to make sure you get all of the residue from the coconut oil and soap and don’t waste any.
● Pour mixture evenly over wipes container and leave upright for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip container over to sit for another 20 minutes. This spreads the mixture to absorb evenly.
It looks soapy when first poured, but it soaks into the wipes as it disperses over the setting time.
It is as easy as that! Takes a minute to mix up and pour, and a total of 40 minutes to settle. I suggest making them during nap times, or at night once baby has fallen asleep so you don’t find yourself needing wipes before they have set.
Happy Valentines Day! 💘 Can you believe we are already halfway through February? I feel like we just finished our Christmas shopping!
At our house I make a big deal about the holidays. It really sets the tone for the home and family, and the kids love it so much! I always get so many ideas of all the things I want to do, but then end up running out of time, so I try to squeeze in as many things as I can leading up to the holiday itself.
We have been having a fun time celebrating & learning about Valentines Day over here! Turns out, the holiday is much deeper than the made-up “Hallmark Holiday” I always saw it as.
Now that we know more about what and where Valentines Day came from, let’s get on with the festivities!
To be honest, I never pictured myself being a mom that decorates for Valentines Day. Romance has never been a big interest or fantasy of mine. However I have one little girl, Mia, whose very favorite holiday is Valentines Day, so I like to decorate for her because it is something small I can do that makes her very happy.
I found this adorable table runner at Target this year for $10. Ever since getting this storage cabinet for our living room, I have been obsessed with incorporating table runners into my seasonal decor. They are an inexpensive & subtle way to minimally decorate and don’t take up extra space for storing.
I am a firm believer of “less is more,” especially when it comes to decorating for “minor” holidays.
I made this heart garland last Valentines Day using yarn to hang across my changing table turned hutch.
The plates I found at the thrift store for Mia’s tea party over the summer which worked perfectly here!
I always see people with these beautifully crafted tiered trays, and I just can’t seem to get it down. I gave it a shot though and added these cute little wooden valentines signs and a small heart potted piece.
I also got 2 cake stands in the Target (mostly not actually a) “dollar” spot. The large size I used as a stand for my Desert Mist diffuser, the small one I got for my tiered tray, but still haven’t found anything that fits well on top of it.
I’m not sure I can exactly count this one under “decor,” but I painted this heart mug a few years ago at The Mad Potter that I’ve been using as my go-to nightly tea mug to keep the theme going all the way up to bed.
❤ Our first Valentine-themed treat this year was Snow Ice Cream.
Growing up this was a favorite winter time tradition. As soon as the first big snow hit, I would rush outside with a bowl and measuring cup carefully scraping off the top layer of snow knowing pretty soon I would have a big, giant bowl of homemade “ice cream” for breakfast. I loved this so much that I couldn’t wait to pass it on to my own children.
How to Make Snow Ice Cream:
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together:
1 cup Milk (regular or non-dairy) of choice
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of Sea Salt
Put aside in freezer while you collect a medium to large bowl full of snow. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of snow and gently stir together. Add more snow if needed to form an ice cream consistency. Enjoy!
❤ Easy Valentines Waffles
Eggo Waffles are a staple in our house, mostly because they are a total steal at Costco- a 72 count box can be purchased for only $6.99! It’s a quick & easy breakfast that is versatile for serving.
I tried my best to cut each waffle into a heart shape, then drizzled homemade vanilla sauce on top, and added some heart sprinkles to be extra festive. The kids definitely gobbled them up!
❤ Cupid’s Choice donuts from Dunkin Donuts
Saw an ad for these adorable heart-shaped donuts and decided to swing by the drive-thru and pick up a box for the kids.
❤ Mini Valentines Cupcakes
Mia picked these mini vanilla cupcakes out for her sisters & her to share from the grocery store. These were a very cute & inexpensive treat to go along with our Valentines theme.
❤ Valentines Cookie Decorating
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this should go under “Treats” or “Activities,” so I decided to put it as the last treat before activities.
Sasha picked out this cookie decorating kit while we ran into the grocery store for a few things.
Everyone got to decorate 2 cookies each.
❤ Chocolate Strawberries
❤ We had a great time coloring & cutting our own Valentines Puzzles.
We found these heart-shaped puzzles online and printed them out to color.
Once they were colored, I laminated them then we followed the lines and cut them out into individual pieces so that they were able to put their puzzles back together without them getting destroyed.
❤ Mia was the only one who was allowed to bring Valentines to school this year. Ella’s 1st grade class will be making everything in class.
I wrote her classmates names in fancy heart-lettering on these pink goody bags that we already had at home. Mia wrote her name on each Scooby-Doo Valentine card and filled it with goodies for each of her friends.
I think that they turned out really, really cute & we had a very nice time working on them together.
Mia went to her class party decked out in all her heart attire. Her Grandma Colleen got her the cute kitty shirt which is her “most favorite shirt ever” because she kitties are her favorite animal and valentines day is her favorite holiday.
❤ At her class party, she made this adorable Valentines Day Hat using paper, stickers, pipe cleaners, and markers.
❤ We made Valentines Day Windsocks using toilet paper rolls, markers, heart stickers, hole punch, and yarn- all materials that we already had on hand.
After we finished them, we hung them from our porch. Sasha & Athena were a little too small for this activity, but they had fun working beside us on their own toilet paper rolls even if they didn’t complete them.
❤ We made some cute Valentines Bookmarks.
We printed the template out and colored them.
My flowers from The Flower Lady OTR were so beautiful! I adore fresh flowers from small flower farmers.
Small shops always offer way more beautiful selections than large corporations. Plus it supports a person or family rather than a CEO. Always choose people over profits.
The girls were so excited for their gifts! Sasha thought that Santa had brought them.
I found these manly valentines by Jack Links which were perfect for Niko. Both the cup and the furry box were filled with beef Jerky 🤢 and I got a box of his favorite chocolates as well.
We made this adorable photo for my parents. I loved that it was an activity that we could all do together. I wrote; Sasha and Athena tore the paper; Ella, Mia, and I glued and mod podged the pieces in the heart. I think it turned out really cute!
On holidays we bring out our “fancy” salad bowls which I think makes it extra special.
Even when I am not pregnant I don’t drink alcohol, so I always love to add a bottle or two of sparkling juice to our holiday meals for the girls and I to have our own special tradition together.
These heart ravioli from Costco were SO cute!
Well that puts an end to our valentines celebration! I hope you enjoyed seeing how our family celebrated this year! Happy Valentines Day! ❤