Thursday, October 20, 2016

Essential Oils Make & Take

You all know we are obsessed with essential oils over here & it has been so fun connecting with so many of you who love the as well! I wanted to share a fun little make & take gathering we had over the weekend, it was fun dusting off the chalkboard again & I can't wait to put it to good use this holiday season! I had a few of my favorite girls over & we made a bunch of goodies to take home and share with friends & family. We did it over nap time so the little girls were sleeping, but Harper seriously had the best afternoon helping me host the party. It reminded me of when I was little and my mom used to have Home Interiors parties (does anyone else remember these?!) I loved getting to stay up late with all of my moms friends, eating cheese & crackers and watching some lady velcro brass wall sconces to a piece of fabric board! ;)

So here is what we made, three of my very favorite combos that we use daily in our house!
Thieves Roller // One of the main reasons I started using essential oils was for immune support. If you have toddlers in school or are pregnant and feeling like your immune system just can't hang, this is for you. Thieves is a blend of Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, Eucalyptus & Rosemary essential oils, I add 10 drops to a roller ball & top it off with a carrier oil. We roll this on the bottoms of our feet during the back to school & winter months!

Linen Spray // Sleep wouldn't exist around here if it weren't for oils, another one of the reasons why I started using them & can't live without them. We did 10 drops of Lavender + 10 drops of Cedar wood in a glass spray bottle & topped it off with distilled water. Amazing for misting onto sheets, pillows or pajamas before bed! I also add these oils to all of our diffusers at bed time each night which has been a total game changer!

Keep Calm Roller // For the frazzled mama during witching hour (or any hour), who just can't relax because your kids are bananas and your brain never shuts off.  This roller is AHH-MAZING. Made of one of my favorite oils ever Peace & Calming, along with Orange, Joy & Ylang Ylang. 10 Drops of each & topped off with a carrier oil, roll on wrists, over your heart or behind your ears. I try not to leave home without this one.

Here are the supplies that I used, the oils are all Young Living (you can get a starter kit here if you want to dive in). The wood crate is from a local shop, here is a similar one from H&M. We also used these Amber Glass Bottles, Glass Roller Balls & my favorite Fractionated Coconut Oil.

I can't wait to do this again, hopefully a holiday themed one or something after the new year! :) If you've been interested in oils, come follow us over on my @grapefruitandgold Instagram, we would love to have you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Farewell to our old house!

We closed on our old house yesterday! This is such a huge sigh of relief for us, although it is so very bittersweet. Buying another house before selling was a huge leap of faith for us (also read: risk). We found our new house last year, early Fall, when it was foreclosing. Our house was already on the market at the time and we had a few interested buyers, so we put an offer in on it, not fully understanding what we were getting ourselves into. By the grace of God, we actually lost the house to an investor. There wasn't a ton of other houses on the market at the time, and definitely none that we loved, so we took our house off the market and decided to stay. Early this spring, the house came back on the market, with most of the major repairs done (electrical, hvac, refinishing the hardwoods, roof & master bathroom). We knew we had outgrown our current house & needed to make a move, so we jumped at the chance! We really loved the house, it was just one of those houses that gave us good vibes, we loved the back yard, we loved the schools for our kids & loved how much character it had. So we bought it & were hopeful that our home would sell. We sorta just missed the peak of home buying, and really put our house on the market just a little too late. Over the course of the last four months, we showed our house nearly thirty times. THIRTY. Thirty times I swept, mopped, shoved shit in drawers, made beds & rushed three kids out the door for someone to walk through and tell me that the back yard wasn't what they were looking for. 

We had an offer in the first month, and the sellers ultimately backed out because another house they loved became available. We were devastated! We then had two offers contingent on the sale of the buyers houses (which we couldn't accept). After that we had about a month of no movement, a few showings here and there but we felt defeated. We lowered our price, spent the weekend moving out, and had seven showings on the first day our house was vacant. Those showings resulted in three offers (holy what?!), one being almost 10k over asking price. Of course we jumped at that offer, accepted it and did a happy dance. And what do you know, those buyers got cold feet and backed out three days later. ALL THE TEARS.
Our realtor reached back out to the other two buyers, and one came back immediately with a full price offer that afternoon. Funniest story, Brandon kept warning me that with each offer, buyers would ask to keep mirrors, the trampoline, our patio furniture, etc. and he kept telling me that I would have to learn to part with something in order to sell our house. With this offer, the buyer asked to keep his garage speakers that he loved so dearly and spent hours and hours wiring all around the walls. Sometimes ya just gotta part with things you love in order to sell your house. We accepted, again, but this time totally hesitant to ever get excited about it. Inspection came and went, repairs, appraisal, prayers and more prayers. And finally, 45 days later, we closed on the house, holding our breath until the very last minute.
We loved our first house, and it was home to most of the very best memories of my entire life. I will never forget the home that we brought two of our three babies home from the hospital to. The home that we celebrated all three of their first birthdays in, and both of us turned thirty in. We celebrated each of our babies first Halloweens, their first Thanksgivings & their first Christmases. 

The breakfast nook will always be my favorite room in that house, I loved how the light poured in during breakfast & the brick walls will always hold a special place in my heart. I will also never forget the ice storm that caused a tree to almost come through this window. I will never forget how the cupboard in the kitchen where we put our glasses always smelled like pickles to me & how our oven never looked clean again after I dumped that whole tray of cheesy potatoes over in it our first month we lived there.Or the creaky floorboards that were right in front of the pantry door that always got me caught sneaking snacks when the kids were around. And although the backyard drove me crazy by the end, I will never forget the way the string lights looked among the pine trees or the way the rain sounded when it hit all of the ivy.

Farewell, old house. We will love you forever!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall Bucket List

Fall is well under way & we are making our way through all of our favorite things to do this time of year.So far we have gone to three pumpkin patches, made pumpkin muffins & I have let two sets of mums die on my front porch (does that make them mummies?). I love making lists of our favorite things to do each season, especially now that the girls are old enough to chime in, Harper is anxiously awaiting carving pumpkins this year, each year their ages bring so much more fun & magic to every little thing we do. Sharing our Fall bucket list today, and would love to hear yours as well!!

 1. Carve pumpkins! 
2. Annual Halloween brunch, so fun to have friends over for breakfast instead of dinner every once in a while!
3. Make s'mores in the fire pit.
4. Jump in a giant leaf pile in our own backyard.
5. Make Halloween cookies & deliver to friends.
6. Scary movie night after the girls go to bed! This is our Halloween Eve tradition! What is your favorite scary movie, would love some new suggestions!!
7. Make caramel apples! I know the girls will love these, thinking a mini-caramel apple bar would be fun for our guests coming this weekend!!
8. Add cozy blankets & flannel sheets to the girls beds just in time for cold weather
9. Visit the mountains to see the foliage & take the girls for a hike.
10. Take a trip to the Apple Orchard! We didn't make it to one last year, so hoping we can pull this off. Immediately followed by making a homemade apple pie! 

Hopefully we can tackle all of these along with finishing Halloween costumes & watching the Cubs win the world series. Is that too much to ask?! :)

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." - L.M. Montgomery

Friday, October 14, 2016

That Minivan Life.

It wasn't long ago that we were car shopping, I was eight-ish months pregnant with Claire and we were pretty stressed out trying to figure out how we were going to comfortably fit three carseats in our vehicle. You can read more about how we came to the decision to buy our van in this post, and over the course of the sixteen months, I've learned that I not only love my van, but I couldn't live without it. We ended up buying a Toyota Sienna (not sponsored, I really just love my van like a member of the family), and although we kept our 4runner as our second vehicle at the time (assuming I would want to drive it on the weekends or when I didn't have the kids with me, I was dead wrong) Brandon ended up trading that in for a truck instead because I was so sure that my van was the only thing I wanted to drive from there on out. It's that good. I feel like I have conversations all the time with mom friends who are considering getting a van but have reservations, or are maybe under the impression that you can't listen to gangsta rap while driving it. Spoiler alert, you can, because you are one boss b.

A little breakdown to explain why minivans are life.

1.  Automatic sliding doors. The ultimate win. I don't think words can accurately express how amazing sliding doors are. It's like when you live somewhere with brutal winters, and then you move somewhere warm, and you look back thinking how can people live in that cold. Same with the sliding doors, I drove my husband's truck over the weekend with just one of the kids, and trying to hold open the door to put in groceries & get her in her carseat while holding my purse and coffee, all I could think was HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE LIKE THIS. You can park in any spot, no matter how close people are to you, and easily get your kids, carriers, strollers, etc. out, no worrying about your kids slamming the door into another car or on their fingers, it is a total game changer.

2. Comfort. The drivers seat is like an actual lazy boy, and the center console between the two seats is like a convenient little end table. Your van is essentially your living room.

3. Cup holders for days. I mean this both literally & figuratively. There are six cup holders just within reach from the drivers seat. SIX. One for your enormous cold coffee, one for yesterday's coffee that you haven't gotten around to throwing away yet, one for your water, two for each milkshake you just promised your kids as a treat if they stop effing around & one more to spare in case you have to grab another coffee. This is real life people, I laugh in the face of drink carriers at the drive thru window. 

4. Floor space. You can sit indian style in the middle of your van and nurse or change a baby. Enough said.

5. Trunk space. Even with that third row in use, you can still fit a double stroller, a pack-n-play, nine suitcases, three pillows and a yoga mat (for changing kids, not for yoga obviously). Because when you road trip with kids, there is no room for error, you must bring everything, including the kitchen sink. All your groceries (nothing falls out when you open the back), all your kids school crap, and maybe even a laundry basket full of extra things like jackets & toys. Someone tell me I'm not the only one who does this.

I thought it would be fun to include some testimonies from some of my mom friends that are also living that minivan life & aren't afraid to listen to gangsta rap while doing so.

"I don't like driving a minivan, I LOVE IT. Remote control doors give me life."
Favorite song to rap in her minivan: Anything by Sia
- Grace, 5 kids, Honda Odyssey

"Owning a minivan is like being part of this exclusive club... everyone on the outside hates on it and everyone on the inside just laughs it off, pushes that sexy little button and watches the door slide closed on their haters. Because once you own a minivan, you really can't imagine living without it. The convenience & functionality have no rival."
Favorite song to rap in her minivan: Shoop
- Kendra, 3 kids, Honda Odyssey

"I love my van because #automaticdoors. It seems like such a dumb thing but when you have arms full of babies and groceries, it is so incredible to have the door open for the big kids."
Favorite song to rap in her minivan: Shoop
- Jenna, 3 kids, Honda Odyssey

"We call her the mothership. She holds all 7 of us with comfort and ease, and provides ample room for the 93+ items that make their way into her arms throughout the week. The minivan is basically our second home."
Favorite song to rap in her minivan: Ghetto Superstar
- Anna, 5 kids, Honda Odyssey 

"The three things that instantly come to mind are 1. cashing in on a vehicle designed literally just for me, a woman with small children. I feel smart for driving a car that was made with my life in mind. 2. automatic doors and 3. being so far away from your kids that you can barely hear them and you certainly cannot reach them. Oh what's that, I'm sorry I'm driving and can't hear you or hand you the thing you want, guess I'll turn the radio up and you'll have to wait."
- Jenn, 3 kids, Honda Odyssey

That's how I feel when I get in my van too, Harps! ;)

So ladies, if you're on the fence, don't be afraid to just test drive it. Get your booty in that comfy seat, slide those doors closed with the touch of a button & live that mom van life for a hot second. I promise you, the only regret you'll ever have is that you didn't get one sooner.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October Around Here

October is my faaaaavorite month of the year. It's almost like when it gets here, I get so overwhelmed with all the things I want to do, that we end up not doing much at all. It's like the naptime of the calendar year. So maybe that's why I love it so much? :) We still have so many projects around the house that we are trying to finish, but have been able to sprinkle a little bit of Fall decor around to cozy the place up. We are working hard to get a few pictures hung in the living room, our floating shelves up in the kitchen & the rest of our bedroom put together so we can share a Fall home tour in the next few weeks! 
The girls have been loving school, they have their Fall festival coming up & we are hard at work on Halloween costumes. Harper has requested to be Monster's Inc. for their school trick or treat, so hoping we can pull that off on top of our family costume!! I cannot wait to share! October is just so good, you guys. Nothing makes us happier than a chilly Fall day, Hocus Pocus on in the background & a comfy pair of Halloween pajamas (similar here).

I also wanted to share two of the meals that have been on rotation around here since the weather has cooled down, both are SO easy & the kids are obsessed! 
The first is a simple one-pan chicken, potatoes & broccoli. I throw one bag of fresh broccoli (you can buy the steam in a bag stuff, just not frozen), a few handfuls of red potatoes cut into small pieces & 3-4 chicken breasts onto a baking sheet. I drizzle the entire thing in olive oil, and sprinkle on some salt, pepper & paprika (although you could really use any spices you love!). Bake at 425 for 25 min, pulling it out once about halfway through to toss around so everything will cook evenly. Add some fresh parmesan cheese & bake for five minutes, then serve! So easy!! :)
The next is lasagna pizza, which we sorta made up when we were seriously craving our favorite from Antico pizza here in ATL. I grabbed a pre-made pizza crust, I think ours was brooklyn bread brand from Target, browned a pound of italian sausage & made a small pan of pasta sauce. I drizzled some olive oil on the crust & pre-baked it for 4 minutes, then added the sauce, ground sausage & some freshly sliced mozzerella cheese. Bake according to the directions on the pizza crust & add fresh basil when you have about 4-5 minutes left. We don't eat a lot of pizza over here, my husband really isn't a big fan, but everyone loved this & we have already made it twice! I also highly recommend the real deal if you are ever near an Antico!! ;)

That's all we have today, back to the grind & my giant coffee. Hope you guys have all been enjoying the best month of the year so far!! XO

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Favorites

Hey friends!! Happy Friday! We have had a rainy, grey-skies kinda day and we are all loving it so much! There's something about cracking the door open and hearing the rain fall, so relaxing!! We have some fun projects to finish this weekend & are heading to the pumpkin patch with the kids on Sunday. So excited!! I wanted to share some Friday Favorites as well as a free chalkboard download for anyone who is in the Halloween decorating spirit!!! We need to put our black paper bats up asap!!

THE cutest black booties for Fall & on sale for only $30! 

Our current favorite Halloween book, it has been on repeat with the girls every night!

We tried this Butternut Squash Alfredo recipe earlier in the week, it will definitely be added to our Fall dinner rotation! 

I have been living in this Boo Halloween tee lately, so festive & comfy!! And tons of cute matching options for kids!

I also wanted to include this super simple Hocus Pocus chalkboard download, I plan to frame this in a small frame for our kitchen shelving and cover it in cobwebs! ;) I hope to add a dressed up version, I am playing around with chalk shadows & may add another version to the shop next week!

And finally, who is watching this season of The Voice & This Is Us?! Fall TV is so good!! 

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!!! XO

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bravery & Bedtime

Everyone is in bed here, early bedtimes were in order & I am sitting back thinking about how this ones one of those days where we did not thrive, but merely survived.
This morning, I took all three girls to the doctor for their flu shots, as well as Claire's fifteen month well visit. I promised the older girls a piece of gum when we were finished if they would cooperate and not try to crawl on the floor while I was talking to the doctor. Brandon made these appointments a few weeks ago for 8:00 am, assuming he could go with me and then head into work after, but as calendars tend to fill up, he was scheduled to be somewhere else this morning which left me solo for the dreaded task. I really don't mind taking the kids places by myself, in fact I would rather do it than stay home, but I really dread large parks, the post office & the doctors office most. 
I really hoped they could get the flu-mist, but turns out that isn't actually effective, so a round of shots for all the kids, and two extra for poor Claire as part of her immunizations. I made the mistake of letting Harper go first, bless her for wanting to be brave, but she might also be the most dramatic little thing on the planet. It was tears, and wailing, and every emotion of pain and sadness you could ever imagine, all while screaming "Don't do it to Ellie!" I mean, it was heartbreaking. I was holding Claire, while also trying to help keep Harper still, and Eloise was literally trying to climb me in fear of the nurse grabbing her next. As I laid Claire down on the table, all three kids are screaming bloody murder at this point, and a nurse opens the door and asks me if I can come sign paperwork real quick before they can administer my flu shot. No, no I cannot. 
Claire got her three shots quickly, and knowing it was going to take both of my arms and at least one of my legs to help hold Eloise down, I put Claire back in the stroller so she & Harper cried in sync in the corner. Eloise screamed and screamed, until they actually pricked her with the needle & she realized it was over. The sweet nurse handed out stickers, and then tucked out the door quickly (probably to go get her hearing checked after my kids made her ears bleed). 
I walked out of the office carrying both a sobbing four year old & two year old, while pushing a screaming one year old in a stroller, and feeling like maybe I should have also gotten a sticker for bravery.
Everyone was pretty darn grumpy the rest of the day, I had a babysitter for a bit to run some errands and decided to immediately skip errands and get a coffee and a pedicure instead. I got a little ambitious during naptime & decided to start painting the nightstands in our bedroom, immediately regretted it & double regretted it when I came in tonight and saw that the kids set their empty milk cups on one that was freshly painted. Yet somehow, everyone went to bed giggling and talking about what flavors they wished their toothpaste was, pancakes won of course.
All of this to say, motherhood is quite a gig. And I am so thankful for the reset button that comes with each new day.