Friday, November 28, 2014

All-Natural Candy Cane Play Dough

Oh, I am so excited to welcome the Advent season this sunday. I really want to get an Advent wreath or make one so that we can talk about the significance with the girls each week and light the candles. Really looking forward to reading what the ladies have put together from She Read's Truth. Their Advent Journal is so lovely and Raechel's recipe for Peppermint Play-doh inspired this post.

"Oh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy."

I've been wanting to make our own play dough forever! I just loved this post from Katie and this one from Jen. I thought it would be so fun to create play dough specifically for the season and to use some of our favorite seasonal oils: Peppermint, Christmas spirit and/or Thieves. We made half "white" aka natural dough with "Christmas Spirit" and half "red" dyed with beet juice with the addition of "Peppermint." They smell amazing and you get the added benefit of the oils while you are working with the dough.

All-Natural Candy Cane Play Dough
makes red + white dough

You will need:

+ 2 cups flour
+ 1 cup salt (I used kosher sea salt)
+ 2 cups water
+ 2 T oil
+ 4 t cream of tartar

Put all of these ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir constantly until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the pan (about 10 min).

Divide the dough in half and put in two bowls. For the "red" dough take the juice from a can of beets and slowly work it into the dough. I used about 3 T at a time and kept working it in until the desired color was achieved. I then added 4 drops of Peppermint essential oil and worked that in. Make sure to work in well before little ones play with it. 

For the "white" dough I added 4 drops of Christmas Spirit. You could also use Thieves oil. Both smell incredible and support the immune + respiratory systems.

We used my Mama Lou's vintage cookie cutters and a pastry board and our imaginations to create all sorts of things. You could also use this to make salt dough ornaments. Such an amazing way to welcome the Christmas season and the little ones will love smelling the dough. This would make such a fun gift for friends.

To make the candy canes we made thin strips of dough and then twisted them together. Matilda thought this was pretty amazing. :)

If you are interested in getting your own oils or joining my facebook group for all things essential oils. Please join us! Would love it. We are working on a big health challenge for the New Year right now and I can't wait.

We stored them in these jars from Anthropologie. They are the perfect size. Merry Christmas!!

See last year's Advent with Lay Baby Lay right here.

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Weekend Notes 31

Hope you all had the happiest Thanksgiving. We had one of the best to date. The new kitties have made our hearts so happy. They have little colds so Sam took them to the vet this morning. I just want to spoil them. How cute is this?! I'm becoming a cat lady which I never dreamed was possible. This coffee table book might be on my wishlist. ;) So happy to introduce you all to our Christmas kittens: Frankie + Clementine.

We had planned on surprising the girls on Christmas morning with kitties but at the Humane Society kids under 5 have to come in to make sure there are no issues with them interacting with the animals or allergies so we had a slight change of plans. Nothing a little blindfold can't fix. They were so excited! Phoebe just kept waving at them... "hi kittty cats! hi!" Haha!!

This is the beginning of egg nog season and I'll be sharing my favorite dairy-free version next week. SO good! You will never miss the heavy cream. Promise.

Sweet kitties. This is their favorite spot right now. I promise this won't turn into a cat blog but I am so happy to have a little four-legged love under our roof, two in fact! We lost Guinness around this time last year and it just felt right to warm our hearts with these new sweet babies. We have never had cats but I just knew adding a puppy would be too crazy right now. Phoebe seems like a little puppy most days. ;)

A few notes:

+ I ordered the girls' Christmas pjs today! I have always adored Hanna Anderson's organic long johns and they are almost half off today.

+ Yes M'aam Paper + Goods has the CUTEST holiday collection. Get 10% off with GIVETHANKS.

+ Anthro, West Elm and Madewell are all having up to 25% off sitewide sales today.

+ I'm starting a "one mile a day" running streak with a few friends where we run a mile+ everyday until New Year's. I would love to buy myself this if I make it. Ho ho ho!

+ I love Maelu scarves and they are 30% off right now! These are amazing gifts! Code is MaeluMadness.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Sprinkles of Christmas

I'm getting so ready to start the Christmas decorating. I'm slooooowly adding a few hints here and there. Matilda isn't feeling great and we were holed up all weekend but we headed out today to our local nursery because I really wanted to plant some paper whites. Picked up some good tips from Martha a couple of weekends ago (did I mention I met MARTHA STEWART - ok so I really just stood next to her but STILL).

To me there is nothing more festive than natural elements around the holidays: swags, boughs, garlands, wreaths, rosemary topiaries... I love them all. Got a great tip about boxwood wreaths - Trader Joe's has 'em! I am so excited because this year my friend Megan from Victory Blooms is going to be decorating my front door. I can't wait.

So, Martha said to face the bulbs towards the center to keep the stems from falling to the side. We will see if it works! She also said to tie them with ribbon if they start to fall over. Oh, Martha. I'm kind of obsessed with this cedarwood incense greenery that I found at Pike's. So beautiful!

I am trying to be really "intentional" (most overused phrase ever) about my time during the advent season. I'm going to work really hard to fight busyness. Last year I was so depressed over losing Guinness that I just ran myself ragged and this year I just want to soak up the magic. I bought She Read's Truth Advent Book and can't wait to study along with everyone. Also, we are thinking of surprising the girls with kittens!! Can't decide if this is a terrible idea or not...

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What I'll Be Watching On Netflix Over Thanksgiving Break

Here's hoping you have lots of downtime next week in between casserole eating and traveling to visit family. This is a list of what I would absolutely love to watch underneath a fuzzy blanket by the fire.

This movie needs no explaining. Love Actually along with Elf, The Holiday and a few others are must watches each year during the holidays. Typically more than once! So excited to see this available for streaming because our DVD player is on the fritz.
There are so many of Audrey's movies on Netflix right now (see them all here) and I can think of nothing better than an Audrey Hepburn marathon. I confess I haven't seen all of her movies but that needs to change. I fully plan on lots of staying in this week.

I have never pretended to be super cool, so why pretend now. I love this movie! Baby Dakota Fanning is amazing and Brittany Murphy is pretty great too. So sad to think about her being gone. If you want just a light and fun movie with some tugging of the heart strings, this one's a keeper.

I'm a huge fan of Michelle Williams and can't wait to get a peek at a week spent with the iconic Marilyn Monroe. Michelle completely transforms into the baby voiced Marilyn and the costumes are so amazing. Have you seen it?

This is terrible to admit but I just watched White Christmas for the first time. Ahhh! The dancing and music are just incredible and I would love to dress like these two sisters every day. The makeup and hair and glitz. Loved it!

Also, my favorite movie ever.

See more Netflix picks here!
Guilty pleasures right here.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Paleo-Friendly Thanksgiving Sides

So without boring you all to tears with my food allergies I thought I would share some amazing paleo-friendly Thanksgiving sides! The eating situation has been tough lately. I am back to eating a pretty strict diet (no cheats even!). I need to come up with two sides to make so I decided to scour pinterest for some amazing (I want mouth-watering here) and healthy Thanksgiving recipes.

This paleo green bean casserole looks insanely awesome. I'm going to skip the mushrooms but keep the rest. Yum!

This sweet potato casserole is low on sugar which is something I'm also working on... cutting out sugar! Easier said than done, this time of year especially, but it makes me feel so much better. These scalloped sweet potatoes look drool-worthy too.

This recipe for honey maple roasted carrots is SO gorgeous! The pomogranate seeds are such a beautiful and thanksgiving-y addition.

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving: STUFFING. Like, I want to stuff my face with it. This grain-free recipe is for sure making the cut this year.

This roasted butternut squash recipe looks heavenly. I love roasted vegetables! It reminds me of a side that my friend Joni makes that I absolutely love.

Any great recipes you want to share? Excited to get in the kitchen and cook for my loved ones.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just Like That... She's Two!

Today our Phoebe Lynn turned two. Just like that and I got no say in the matter. It literally feels like just yesterday that she was born. The amount of joy that little blonde package brings to our lives is just unreal. I seriously can't believe that she was almost not in the picture. I'll never forget reluctantly telling God that if we were meant to have another little one, then let it be so and then literally I was pregnant within the month. Funny how prayer works, isn't it?! I can't for a single second imagine life any other way.

My mama came up today to give Phoebe some special things to which Phoebe cooed, "how cuteeee!" She especially has a thing for shoes and if these aren't just the cutest ever!! I also adore this polka dot top and these sweet pale pink cords. Oh, so adorable. She also picked up some darling things at seed factory (our favorite!!).

We don't have sweets in the house often so it's always a super big treat to bake something together. For today it was just Pamela's Brownie Mix (amazing btw!!) but the girls were clearly in heaven and they both got to help make them. We did just a really simple family celebration. My favorite kind of birthday. Love to you all tonight. Think I'm going to cry a few tears into my hot tea. There's just so much to be thankful for.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Intro Class at 200 Mill

Over the weekend I taught my first in-person class on essential oils at the gorgeous 200 Mill. Talk about a dream location for a workshop. When they aren't hosting a pop-up shop you can rent out the space for events, workshops, parties, etc.

I co-hosted the class with my dear friend Katie who came in town from Tennessee. We had the prettiest class and it ended up being a perfect sized group. We were worried we had overbooked but with the expected last minute cancellations it was a body per chair exactly. Amazing! We will be hosting many more classes in the new year so just let me know if you are local and interested in coming to one. We kept things really simple with a fruit and cheese plate and Katie's sweet friend brought some pound cake. Yum. After mingling for a few minutes, Katie and I shared our stories and taught the basics of essential oils as well as going over how to use all of the everyday oils that you get in your starter kit.

Aren't Ashley's prints just amazing?! Speaking of amazing, my super handy and talented husband made that collapsible chalkboard display to showcase the every day oils and some of our favorites. Pretty sure I won't be entering any hand-lettering competitions anytime soon... sigh. We diffused Christmas Spirit and Peppermint for our class and then Citrus Fresh at the end. Some of my favorite oils outside the everyday ones are Progessence Plus for balancing hormones, Dragon Time for that time of the month ;), Elemi for skincare, Breathe-again Roll-on for supporting the respiratory system and cedarwood for focus and relaxing.

We handed out gift bags with lavender and stress away infused epsom salts. They were a big hit!

Sam is actually participating in 200 Mill's December pop-up so stay tuned!! xx

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