Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Custom Essential Oil Bag Giveaway

When I think of my mom, so many pictures and memories that come to mind involve her sitting at her sewing machine.  From the time I was a little girl, I remember her getting out her sewing machine and setting her project out on the dining room table.  I can still hear the whirring of the sewing machine going as fast as possible.  She made me Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and clothes.  When I got married, she sewed curtains and pillows for our new first home.  Now that I have little girls, she sews sweet little dresses for them (and their dolls), but best of all, she spends time with them teaching them how to sew.  I'm likely not exaggerating when I say that my seven year old is better with a needle than I (smile).  

This year when my mom saw my essential oils were overflowing on my counter, she surprised me one day with a perfect bag she made to hold all of them.  Of course, she knows me so well, and the bag was made with the most perfectly beautiful fabric.  

Since then, her bags have become quite popular and I'm so excited to give away one of these beautiful bags here!  

The Essential Oil bag is padded and lined, and made with high quality fabric that washes and wears well.  There are little padded pockets that hold the oil bottles, ten attached to the inside of the bag, and then four removable inserts with three pockets each.  Two of the inserts fit in the bottom of the bag and the other two stack on top.  Even with all the pockets full, the bag still zips closed nicely.

These bags work great for traveling, as the padded pockets keep the oils safe, but I also keep my oils organized in this bag all the time.  They are easy for me to find and safely tucked away in the same place. 


Another fun little bag that my mom makes is something she refers to as a Lalaloopsy bag!  She made these sweet little bags for my girls for their little Lalaloopsy dolls (which they play with every day).  These would make a great gift for a child!  (You could fill it with any little toys for boys or girls.)  I absolutely love these bags, as they keep little toys safely tucked away at home and are also great for traveling. 

 For this giveaway, should you win, you can select your choice of either an Essential Oil bag or a Lalaloopsy bag.  The bag will be made custom with your color combination choice! 

(The essential oil bag measures 10" wide, 7" tall, and 4" deep.  The Lalaloopsy bag measures 5" wide, 6" tall,  and 2" deep.)

 If you are interested in placing an order for either bag, you can find all details here


To be entered, simply leave a comment!  Please make sure I have a way to contact you via email should you win! I will select a random winner one week from today, next Tuesday, December 8.  You will receive your bag before Christmas, in the event this would be a gift.  And remember, you can select your color combination and your choice of either the Essential Oil bag or Lalaloopsy bag!  I know you will absolutely LOVE these bags just as much as I do.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Around Here

 This is what you call a true "unstyled" photo.  That's because if you visited our house right now, you would see one big mess - screwdrivers, levels, tape measures, hammers, you name the tool, it's likely somewhere in the laundry room.  Ahh, the joys of renovating an old house.  Justus and I have been knee-deep in house projects this past month, especially poor Justus.  

It started with clearing out closets top to bottom, adding some additional storage, painting and even adding new flooring in our old closet under the stairs.  Then the laundry room project came with new trim and new shelves and it's finally finished!  (Well, except for that minor job of painting.)  And then the dreaded project came that could be put off no longer.  The downstairs bathroom floor was completely gutted, and oh, can I be honest?  It was every bit as terrible as it sounds.  It took Justus hours to remove the old floor, as there were five layers, and I felt so bad for him.  Once he got to the dirt (literally), he discovered that the floor joists were in very poor condition and he had to completely re-frame before even attempting to add a sub-floor.

 But we have an end in sight now.  We grouted the new tile floor last night, and a new vanity and faucet are on their way.  So hopefully everything will be installed early next week and then I can paint, paint, paint! 

 Here Justus is cutting the floor out.  I have several other photos I could share, but it's still a little too fresh in my mind to do that.  ;-) 

Honestly, I'm so anxious to start painting the laundry room and bathroom.  This will be two more rooms completely finished, and I told Justus just today that it feels like we are finally on the home stretch.  This was the last huge project we had looming indoors, and now it's just a matter of finishing three bedrooms and hiring somebody to refinish the hardwood floors upstairs.  (I laugh right now because it sounds so easy... this is still a good bit of work, but it sounds fairly painless comparatively speaking!)

I've learned during the past five years that renovating an old house, especially when you do everything yourself, requires a good bit of patience.  And time.  And money.  It's easy sometimes to let house projects overwhelm.  Yet, there's always reminders that this is not what is most important, and I try not to get too impatient and instead enjoy the things that do matter the most.  

The girls are older now and I no longer have much time during the week for projects, house or otherwise.  Yet I wouldn't trade these days for anything.  Just another needful reminder to myself that I want to savor every moment.

Hope you are having a wonderful week!  Maybe, hopefully, I'll be back soon with some "after" photos of some of our projects.  ;-)  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Meal Idea: Chili

 I don't know about you, but once October rolls around, I start craving all things fall in the kitchen... including lots and lots of chili!  I think we all probably have our favorite ways of making chili.  There are so many variations, and so many things you can add or take away.  I've been making this variation for a few years now and it still remains our favorite.  :-)  


 This recipe uses your typical chili spices, although lately I've been substituting ground chipotle for chili powder.  Either way it's delicious!  I think chili is probably one of the easiest meals to put together, and usually something that everybody loves.  Even my husband, who isn't a big fan of soup (so disappointing, I gotta tell you ;-) ), loves chili!  And our girls gobble this up so quickly, although I do go a little lighter on the spice because of them.

 This year I have two nights a week that require complete meal prep, as we arrive home right at dinner time with everyone hungry.  So I've been using my crock pot a ton!  I love making chili, because when I'm struggling to get everything done before we get out the door, I can always throw this chili together quickly in the crock pot.  You can also just simmer this on the stovetop though, if that works better for you, which I do a lot during the weekend.  And leftover chili?  It only gets better!

I typically bake a big skillet of cornbread too and have some type of veggie on the side.

 Chili Recipe

 2 pounds ground beef
3 ounces tomato paste (or half of a 6 ounce can)
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (including juice)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1-2 Tbsp chili powder or 1/2-1 Tbsp ground chipotle powder (I go on the light side because of my little girls - feel free to add more/less depending on your taste)
1 tsp salt

Place the ground beef in a skillet (I like to cook my ground beef in a cast iron skillet), season lightly with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until done.  Drain off excess fat and place the cooked ground beef in a pot or slow cooker crockpot.  Add the tomato paste, diced tomatos, water, oregano, cumin, chili powder or chipotle powder, and 1 tsp salt.  Stir together, cover, lower temperature, and simmer for at least 1 hour on the stovetop or cook on low in the crockpot for several hours.

Optional Add-In: Pinto beans are an obvious great choice!  You can so easily throw in a can of beans with everything else, but drain and rinse them first.

Toppings: Nothing makes this better than freshly grated monterey jack cheese and a big glob of sour cream!

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