1. Wearing an apron
I think it was Edie Wadsworth that first opened my eyes to the happy homemaking power that comes with putting on an apron. I haven’t worn one in a long time and this fall I finally donned my cheery red and yellow ladybug apron and immediately felt like the world had instantly improved and all the domestic kitchen chores that we do over and over again to keep our people fed and our homes in order were a good deal more enjoyable. I’m not sure what it is. This mystery of the apron’s powers, but I am a fan! So let the homey holiday feelings come and try wearing one.
2. Chocolate in my coffee
Oh my goodness. This totally takes my coffee to the next level. I need my coffee sweet and milky and I’m a back and forth coffee drinker, so sometimes I just cut it out altogether instead of settling for just ok tasting coffee.
Right now though, it’s fall and I just want fun drinks! So this is my “recipe”:
-Put about a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder in the bottom of my mug.
-Pour coffee over the chocolate.
-Add your sweetener of choice.
-Pour in a nice glug of half & half ( or heavy whipping cream if you’re feeling really indulgent)
-Find a quiet place and SAVOR.
For me, this is making it so much better than just regular coffee. More of a hot chocolate with a shot of coffee. =) And since budget constraints rule out a Starbucks run, this has become my treat to myself.
3. The Holiday Instrumentals station on Pandora
I am highly sensitive to noise and music, even good stuff can quickly become noise to me, especially if I am trying to do or concentrate on something else. This channel lets me have my Christmas music in the background without getting twitchy and irritable.
4. Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God”
I LOVE this album! Take my advice and go listen to it. It’s broad and encompassing and fun and folksy in places but totally brings me to tears in others. And it is such a unique perspective.
I wasn’t sure about this show at first. It’s set in Cornwall England post Revolutionary War (which isn’t traditionally my favorite time period) But it is such a great series! We watched Season 1 on Amazon Prime and Season 2 is currently airing on PBS.
It’s based on books by Winston Graham which I started reading and was amazed to find how closely the show follows the book. There are some minor characters and scenes left out but nothing is really changed. I think it’s probably the first time where I am enjoying the book and the show equally.
It’s a fascinating look at this time period in this particular area and there’s lots of galloping around horseback and amazing views of the sea. I totally want to go live in Cornwall now. And then I’ll go stand on the cliff overlooking the ocean while the wind whips my hair and dress….
6. Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
This is a great recipe! Chock full of healthy ingredients, lightly sweetened with honey and perfectly filling. The kids and I both love them and I made two or three batches before getting wise and tripling the recipe and freezing a bunch of them. It was awesome.
It’s pretty flexible too. I didn’t have quick oats so I ground up regular oats in my blender instead. I also ran out of pumpkin seeds so I used sunflower seeds. And I left the flax seeds whole instead of ground. All the variations were great!
I take them to the park for snacks, or use them as a special treat for tea time.
7. Tea Time
I was inspired by Sally Clarkson to start doing tea time with my three year old son. He has his own special Peter Rabbit tea cup and plate and we use the aforementioned Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies as our tea time treat.
He LOVES it. He gets to help put the tea bags in and pour the water and take the bags out and he gets milk and a couple ice cubes in his tea and we sit at the kitchen table and read something while we sip our tea and eat our cookies. It’s been great. I don’t always get to it everyday, but the times we do we totally enjoy it. Of course, he’s a three year old boy, so attention span is short (the food helps with this a bit) and inevitably tea gets spilled and sometimes there’s fussing but overall it’s been a great little resting place routine for us.
8. Target Dollar Spot Paper Chains
I don’t think I’m alone in my love/weakness for the Target Dollar Spot. A few weeks ago, I found packs of paper chain kits (in pretty shiny paper) and bought a couple. Last night we put them together with my son and it was so EASY and added instant pretty fullness to the tree. If you want to have a long enough one to put around the whole tree, I would get at least 5 or 6.
In this season, I am all about simple and knowing what to do yourself and what’s not worth the hassle. I could probably have cut the strips and stapled/taped them without too much trouble and I still might, but I like the pretty glittery paper and Joseph had fun. So I’m calling it a win.
9. Minimal Christmas Decor
Last year I read Kendra’s post over at the Lazy Genius Collective about decorating without wanting to punch something and it was awesome! I went through my box of Christmas decorations and got rid of everything I didn’t like or that was in colors I hated. It didn’t leave me with a lot of stuff you guys. (I’d only been married for a few years so we hadn’t amassed a huge collection yet)
So this year, I pulled out my one large Christmas tote, and put a few things out. Just a few. And those few things have been MAKING MY DAYS! I’m telling you, it’s amazing what a frosty garland, a centerpiece, and a couple TINY Christmas trees (one with lights, and one for $3 at Target) do for my downstairs/kitchen. I’m loving it. Over the last couple days I have pulled out a couple more pieces as I’ve felt like it. But it was super easy, simple and not overwhelming. Again, I’m calling a win!
10. My new Young Living Starter Kit
Last year, I had a c-section with my daughter and my immune system tanked. Two days after we left the hospital, I ended up with a blood clot and we had to load up everyone and go to the ER, which led to spending another night in the hospital (on my birthday no less!) Then a few days after that my body went crazy with hives EVERYWHERE, I caught hand foot mouth disease from my son (which let me just tell you is NOT FUN as an adult!), and I was pretty much sick on and off for the entire fall/winter season.
This year, heading into September it felt really important to focus on building my immune system and being proactive about our health and wellness heading into fall.
I had already been using a few essential oils from Sprouts for about four years or so and knew about their benefits, but my use of them was spotty at best and mostly they just cluttered up my drawer.
I took a class at the library on essential oils for kids and got to try some of the Young Living oils. I knew that I wanted to get their Thieves blend which is excellent for boosting the immune system and their Stress Away blend which smelled divine!
That’s when I saw an Instagram post by Edie and she was telling her Young Living story so I decided to go ahead and get the Starter Kit.
It is the BEST investment I have made for my health and wellness and I am totally LOVING it! Along with a great variety of 11 oils, you get a couple on the go packs of their super antioxidant drink Ningxia Red (which deserves it’s own “I’m Loving It” for the energy it’s given me from Day ONE!), AND a diffuser.
I can totally tell the difference of quality in these oils from the ones I had been using. It took me by surprise at how well they are working and what a difference they are making in how I feel. And having such a variety means that I can use them in so many different ways all the time.
I have been diffusing Thieves and their Christmas blend pretty much 24/7 since I got it and it makes me sooo happy and my house smell sooo good AND as a bonus, I get to boot out a bunch of toxins in the candles and cleaners I would have been using!
Right now, they are giving a FREE bottle of Christmas Spirit to everyone who orders a Premium Starter Kit!
If you would like to order a Premium Starter Kit and get wholesale pricing of 24% off all future orders, click here. It will automatically fill in my ID #10338448 for Sponsor and Enroller. Then you just choose which Starter Kit you want (I HIGHLY recommend the Premium Kit!) and you will be on your way to reaping the benefits of essential oils!
If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And that is what I’m loving right now!
Let us know what you are loving in the comments. Or hop over to my Facebook page and tell me! =)
Have lovely Advent season!