5/15/17

a beautiful DIY all natural air freshener for your home

 
i love a good natural way to freshen up our home while giving our guests a warm welcome with beautiful + calming scents as they come through our front door. i've found dried florals blended with essential oils makes a lovely diffuser + air freshener while also adding a touch of pretty to your space.


- how to make a natural air freshener for your home - 

simply gather dried phalaris grass  + sweet annie  + celosia cockscomb flowers. these types of flowers and grasses tend to soak up the oils best, which make their use and aroma last for a long time. depending on where you live you may find them foraging or you can simply ask your local florist if they carry them. farmer's markets are good places to find these too or you can also order them online. i've been lucky enough to find mine at our local farmer's market. 

once you have gathered your goods you're all ready to create your bouquet. make however you want or like, just make sure to leave some stem for hanging. you can use floral wire to tie the stems together as well as to hang your bouquet. 

after your bouquet is made it's ready for those yummy oils. we use young living essential oils you can find here or order here but you're certainly welcome to use whatever you have on hand. simply add a few drops to your dried florals and it's all set and ready to be hung and welcome you home. 



5/8/17

where we gather // a family's room

what once was a dreary family room filled with bulky furniture and an entertainment center much too big, is now a bright much more functional space for us to gather in. our family room is the ultimate cozy hub in our home. it's where we gather most evenings to wind down after a long day of play or where we cuddle up when we're not feeling well or for rainy day movie marathons or where we tend to scatter our toys and crafts about. we spend a lot of time here and because of that i wanted to make it into something better than it was.


a while back i had an idea to give this space a better feel and look from the dark not so functional space it once was. i wanted the space to feel bright. clean. bigger. and more functional than what it had going on. once i had Aaron on board, we drafted up the plans and worked with my step-dad to help us carry it out. it took us a little over three weeks from start to completion.


the built in saves space but offers us all the storage we need for movies, books, blankets to cozy up with, or the like.  


i'm still playing around with things but for the most part it's complete and ready to be lived in. i think my favorite thing about this room though is the poster size photos of the girls. i loved putting them together and coming up with the images to frame. it was super easy to do too, which is always a bonus! 

a source list for all the things :
- chocolat leather sofa from article 
- rug from rugsUSA
- throw pillows a blend of pottery barn here + here and ikea 
- lamp is target 
- poster size picture frames frame bridge // i use them for anything that needs to be framed. seriously, they are amazing! 
- little clock is from target
- gray pot for plant anthropologie 


* beautiful photography by Melissa Oholendt for when our home was featured on The Glitter Guide. You can see more images of our home on The Glitter Guide, here 


5/2/17

keeping your business + self organized





it's been nearly a year since the soft launch of my bloom business. in june of twenty sixteen i took a leap of faith to start my dream business. i have been dreaming of bloom for a long time. what once was this idea spinning around in my head for years, i finally took the rumbling storm head on. i put aside perfectionism, invested in some fabric, and told myself 'you're never going to know, unless you try' over and over again. my quest became 'think less + just do'. stop talking. start making. in just a few short weeks my mother and i sewed 150+ sets of pillow cases and sold out faster than we ever imagined. i had no idea what i was doing, really. and i had absolutely no idea where all this would lead. but what i did know is that i wanted to share my designs and creations with all of you, and i'm glad that i have.

since this time last year, i've learned and gained a better understanding of how to run a small shop online. while i'm certainly no expert, and have a ways to go, the one thing i do know for sure is keeping myself and my business organized, regardless big or small.

after months of trying to manage things simply by memory or sending out ridiculous, and quite possibly embarrassing invoices, i subscribed to a program specifically for those that are self-employed to help me out. the QuickBooks Self-Employed + Turbo Tax Self-Employed program has literally put my old system to shame. by not only providing efficiency, this program breaks things down categorically and the best part is, it's simple. the thing i have found most helpful is the use of their app to track my mileage. i was terrible at remembering to write my miles down. now with the help of their program, my phone simply tracks how far i've traveled and the reason of my travel. easy, right? you can also manually add miles or forgotten trips too, which is nice. i've learned that every mile counts towards those end of the year savings, so this is such an important thing to remember for any business owner.

the other thing i love about the program is how easy it is for me to track my expenses. there is no need to fret over making sure all my receipts are accounted for at the end of the year. this program has made the process so much easier for me and decreased some anxiety too. i simply add my expenses and it tracks is all for me. i also like having that visual of seeing my expenses in one place. it helps not only keep me accountable and in check, but it helps when it comes to prioritizing as well.

i can honestly say i'm managing my business much better now having this program in place. i was lost before, but i've found a much better way.

with all this said, i am more than happy to answer any questions that you may have about bloom, my process or even how i started. again, i'm no expert and have a lot to learn yet, but i would be more than happy to share what i do know.



* this post is brought to you by a partnership between living life's moments and QuickBooks + Turbo Tax Self-Employed business program. all opinions are my own. thank you for supporting posts like this that help support and build content for this space. the photography is my own with the help of my three year old daughter. she took the images of me. 

4/24/17

a whimsical fort for little ones


over the weekend we took down the crib. after seven years of having one stand in our home, being a home for sleep for all three of our babies, was slowly taken down piece by piece and packed away in our attic. the crib stood in this little nook in my and aaron's bedroom for a little over a year. where we used to greet our smily babe each morning, has now been replaced with a whimsical peaceful fort for all three of my girls to share and enjoy.

drenched in ambiance lighting, clothed in cozy blankets, draped with my grandmother's old lace and croqueted table cloths and stacked high with plush pillows, this is a new magical spot in our home. i mentioned to the girls that this would be temporary as mama had plans to make this a "working space" for herself… little did i know how much i, too, would fall hard in love with this whimsy little nook. it just may stay up for awhile.


how to create a whimsical peaceful tent/fort for little ones 

this could easily be done in anyone's place of living. it took me about all about a half hour to put together.

what you need: 
lace or croquet table cloths. lace tend to be better because they don't weigh as much as the croquet cloths do. you can also use light weighted sheets for this.
- a string of white ambiance lights
- stapler or small nails. i used a stapler because they leave behind tiny holes compared to nails.
- painters tape or any kind of safe tape to put on walls
* i crafted a banner with scraps of fabric a while back for a photo shoot and hung it on the wall to add a little more whimsy. you can certainly craft one up but it's certainly not necessary.

once you have your supplies gathered and the corner or nook you have picked out to build your tent/fort, simply start draping those beautiful lace cloths. you really can't do wrong with this. i hung the lights first by using tape and a few staples. just be sure to be very careful when using staples with your string of lights. we don't want anyone to get hurt or your string of lights to get wrecked in the process. once your lights are hung the way you want them, start hanging your lace table cloths or fabric or sheets until it looks the way you like.

final steps: 
- add pillows and cozy blankets and a basket of good books to read with your little ones
- climb in, get cozy, relax and enjoy!

4/20/17

another b l o o m release + a GIVEAWAY


I'm realizing I'm sandwiching my last post about sleepy time with pillows cases and blankets. I can assure you it wasn't planned this way, but I can't think of a better way to welcome both.

I am so happy to release these beauties into the wild today. This beautiful set of pillow cases is as lovely as they come. The floral print is simple and the fabric is so smooth and soft. The color is neutral which can easily be paired with many things. I think it might be my favorite print thus far.





Our heirloom blanket is a lovely earthy mint green color and is made with high quality triple gauze. I love LOVE this blanket and I guarantee your little ones will love it too.

You can shop our newest collection here!

As a special offering for this release, leave a comment here telling me what your favorite spring BLOOM flower is and why. One lucky winner will be able to pick a set of pillow cases from our new collection!



4/18/17

one mama's guide for sleepy time

a few weeks ago our littlest bird, klo viola, decided that her crib was too cool for sleep. at just sixteen months, she discovered that all the climbing skills she has acquired since she was nine months old could get her out of the crib. yep. you read that right. our sweet bird has officially fled the nest.

at first i was surprised. but knowing her, like we do, i had to chuckle because of course she would figure this out. i mean she is, in fact, the queen at climbing. and she is, in fact, the queen of growing up beyond her years. she is sixteen months going on three years old and while i wish i could hit the pause button on time reality is, babies don't keep.


despite this change and the fact that she has grown out of her 'nest', her sleepy time routine has and will remain the same until there is a need to switch things up. aaron and i have been doing this sleepy time routine with her since she was just a wee bub, give or take a couple changes along the way. we have found that this routine is what works best for her. and ultimately for us. i have outlined what we do below.

one mama's guide for sleepy time : 

we try our best to set the tone about 10 minutes before we start the routine. we do this by eliminating any extra stimulation. we start by putting away toys, making sure if music is playing that is is calming and soothing. during this time we also make sure to replace a wet diaper with a fresh one. no one likes to fall asleep with wet pants!

- pick out a book to be read: now that klo is a old enough to understand simple direction, i ask that she pick out a book for sleepy time. she usually goes for her one of the books she is favoring at the moment or if not, i simply pick something from something that is not too long, but not too short either.

- spray linens + tickle feet with a calming blend of essential oil: while klo gets cozy in her spot with her book in hand, i will lightly spray her blanket and pillow with a calming blend of essential oil. lavender, orange, cedar wood, gentle baby, bergamot, roman chamomile to name a few, are all good and safe choices for little ones. i love how klo participates in this process too by using the roller bottle on her feet and toes.

story time: after the linens have been sprayed and her feet and toes have been tickled with calming oils, we read one short story together.

- listen to soft music + turn on white noise + rock or dance or hold until sleep: following story time, we set the final tone with white noise and music by bon iver. we have been playing this album for klo since the day she was born. in fact, we play bon iver anytime she is upset and she instantly melts and becomes calm. we usually hold or lay next to her until she is asleep, which usually takes five minutes maybe. once she is asleep we gently lay her down, turn off the music but keep the white noise on to fill the space for the remainder of sleep.

aaron and i are fully aware that some may say we are doing wrong by not letting her fall asleep on her own by having a routine such as this, but this is what works best for her. and if it works for her, it works for us. we have tried a variety of methods and routines along the way and have come to find that she sleeps best this way.

what about you, what special rituals do you share with your little ones during sleepy time?

4/17/17

b l o o m

"a family heirloom is a thread that connects us to our past, and a piece of history in the making" 


we are a few weeks away from bloom handmade making it's full debut. what has literally been months and months of planning and designing and sourcing and sewing, bloom will officially launch oh so soon!

in just a few weeks, bloom will have a new website, logo, and be stocked with quality heirloom pieces for your family to cherish and love for years to come. bloom will feature a small collection of children's wear in addition to household pieces for you + your family to love for always. 




while i anxiously await to release everything to you, i thought i would offer a few items for preorder only. to shop these specific items of our spring + summer collection you can visit our shop here. i cannot wait to share the rest of this collection with you!