Browsing Category

Lifestyle

0 In holidays/ Lifestyle

My winter bucket list

Happy Friday and Happy December 1st!  Only 24 more sleeps til Christmas!

Today I’m feeling like baking some cookies, watching Christmas movies all day and drinking hot cocoa.  So in spirit of all things holidays I have put together a Winter Bucket List of things I’m looking forward to doing this year.

1.) Put up our tree
2.) Drive around and look at Christmas lights
3.) Take Maxwell to see Santa
4.) Bake Christmas cookies
5.) Play in the snow with Maxwell
6.) Drink homemade Baileys
7.) Make handprint ornaments
8.) Have a picnic on the living room floor by the fire
9.) Wear comfy pjs and watch Christmas movies all day
10.) Do something for a family in need
11.) Go skating
12.) Feed the reindeer
13.) Make a big comfy blanket
14.) Go snow tubing
15) Make gingerbread pancakes
16.) Read a book for fun
17.) Plan a fancy dinner to cook at home
18.) Organize all of my photos and make a photo album
19.) Do some meditation
20.) Have a wine night with friends

What are some things on your winter bucket list this year?

2 In Gift Guides/ holidays/ Lifestyle/ minimalism

Minimalist Christmas Gifts for Kids of Every Age

 

As the holidays are quickly approaching, I am excited to release the first edition of my Minimalist Christmas gift guides.  One of the main reasons my husband and I decided to adopt this idea of minimalism this Christmas is to help cut down on clutter. (If you didn’t see my original post on a minimalist Christmas you can read it here). In the one short year since we’ve brought home our baby dude man, our house has accumulated an unfathomable amount of toys and clothes, half of the things have gone unused.  It’s no secret that staring at the piles and piles of stuff has contributed to my anxiety.  So in an attempt to help keep our home organized and be more intentional, this year when it comes to gifts we’re abiding by the Rule of 4 – something wants, something needs, something to wear, and something to read.

Now I in no way want to be a fun-sucker or offend anyone, and I realize this may not be for everyone.  But in addition to helping cut down on “stuff”, it’s also important to my husband and I that we teach our son how to be more mindful and the real meaning of the holidays – getting together with family and friends, being grateful, and giving back.

So here are some great gift ideas for the kids, all available on Amazon (because let’s be real, I’m no Pinterest mom, I’m more of an Amazon Prime mom).

(Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com)

 

 

something they want - christmas gift guide for kids

1.) Gears Gears Gears – I love this toy because it helps build fine motor skills as well as helping foster STEM.

2.) Mega blocks and table set– very easy to pack up and take on the go so your little one can create anything, anywhere.

3.) Water and Sand Table  -helps encourage outdoor play during the nicer weather months.

4.) Art set -because every kid needs colored pencils, watercolors, and crayons.

 

something they need - christmas gift guide for kids

1.) Art easel – Inspire creativity in your budding artist

2.) Ezpz mat – It’s a placemat and a plate that is super easy to clean and suctions to the table

3.) Montessori animal match -teaches kids their animals and allows them to compare similarities and differences.

4.) Melissa & Doug basic skills board -Let your little one explore how to dress this smiley bear with zippers, buttons and ties.

something to wear - christmas gift giude for kids

1.) Freshly Picked -ok so these are a little pricey but they’re 100% leather, super soft, durable and will stay on your little one’s feet.

2.) Northface fleece -lightweight and great for that in-between weather, and I love that the fabric doesn’t pill.

3.) Skip hop backpack – let your kids carry their books and supplies in style with many cute creatures to choose from.

4.) Flannel pajamas – everyone needs a pair of flannel jammies and I love these from Burt’s Bees. They’re so soft and 100% organic.

something to read - christmas gift guide for kids

1.) Melissa and Doug water wow – ok so it’s not exactly a book but it teaches letters, numbers, and there’s no clean-up.

2.) National Geographic Book of Why – very interactive and answers all those pressing questions inspiring conversation with your kiddos

3.) The Day the Crayons Quit – such a cute little story, you will never color the same way again.

4.) I Wish You More – this book brings tears to my eyes every time and it’s one of my favorite books to read to my little Maxwell, everything you could wish for your child.

If you enjoyed this post and want to save this list for your future reference you can pin the image below. And be on the lookout for gift guides for her and him coming in the next few weeks!

 

christmas gift guide for kids

13 In holidays/ Lifestyle/ minimalism

A minimalist Christmas – how you can be more intentional this holiday season

I love the holidays, they are my most favorite time of year.  Some of my best childhood memories are from the holidays. Making cookies with my mom and the smell as they bake in the oven.  All of the family going to cut down our tree together. Listening to Christmas carols while we hang our ornaments on the tree. And of course Christmas shopping and wrapping all those gifts.

However, the holidays can also be stressful.  There’s pressure to find the “perfect” gift for all your loved ones, keep up with family obligations and attend all those parties that sometimes it begins to feel more like a hassle than enjoyable.

This year I’m approaching the holidays with a new attitude. We’re having a minimalist Christmas. You may have heard of the term “minimalism” – it means focusing on things that you value and getting rid of all the other “stuff”.  And for me, this has become even more important as a mother and we start our own traditions with our son. When I think of the holidays, there’s a lot of stuff – we stuff our faces and waistlines, we drop lots of dollars on stuff (decor, gifts, cards,) that sometimes we lose the true meaning.

Now I’m not saying we’re going to go all “Christmas with the Kranks” and be Scrooge-like.  We’re just going to be more mindful and intentional.

Here are some simple ways you can practice minimalism and enjoy the most this season has to offer:

1.) Mindful gift giving – The thought of inundating every room of my house with even more toys gives me so much anxiety, I’d rather step on a lego. This year we’re going by the rule of 4 – something you want, something you need, something you can wear and something you can read.  Not only does this help avoid excess clutter but it also helps to be more mindful of the person we are buying for.  (Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some gift guides for your friends and family following this “Rule of 4” guideline)

2.) Focus on experiences – One of my favorite Christmas memories was when my parents, sisters and I went on a cruise for the holidays.  All of our friends thought we were crazy foregoing gifts and going on vacation during Christmas, but to be honest, we had the best time with each other as a family and we still talk about it to this day.  For us, the experience will last a lifetime and that is a true gift.  Find ways that you can have meaningful encounters with each other whether it be a Friendsgiving, getting the kids dressed in their jammies and driving around to look at Christmas lights or skipping gifts with your sisters and spending the day at the spa.

3.) If it stresses you out, nix it –  Dread sending out all those holiday cards? Procrastinating on baking cookies because you don’t feel like doing a cookie swap this year? Don’t feel like going to that annual Christmas Eve party? Skip it. No one says you have to do those things. Talk to your partner and your kids about the traditions you enjoy and you want to keep and those new things you want to do this year. Make a holiday bucket list.

4.) Give back – use the holidays as an opportunity to teach your kids the true meaning of the holidays – being grateful for all you have and giving back.  Volunteer at a local food pantry, help sponsor a family in need. These are experiences that will leave a lasting impression and show that this season is more than receiving gifts.

 I hope you enjoyed some of these ideas.  What are some ways your family is intentional this time of year?

Also stay tuned for my minimalist gift guides over the next few weeks!




2 In chemical free/ Lifestyle

6 Easy Ways to a Chemical Free Home

I’m not ashamed to admit that becoming a mom brought out the nervous, worry-wart in myself. Naturally, I want what’s best for my baby, our family and our home.  So like most moms I really started scrutinizing many of the household products we were using in our home.  As I read all of the labels I found many contained ingredients I didn’t even know what they were let alone couldn’t even pronounce. After some research, I learned that almost all of the household products we were using contained many toxic chemicals that are known hormone disruptors and carcinogens.  After suffering from PCOS and infertility this was even more of a reason for me to start looking for healthier options.  From cleaning products to personal products, one by one I’ve slowly been switching to products that are safer for my family.  We are not 100% chemical free yet but have made a commitment and it is a work in progress.

Here are 6 easy ways you can make your own home cleaner and more “chemical-free.”

1.) Say no to candles, air fresheners and plug-ins -I have always been a huge smell person. In the fall, I would break out all my pumpkin spiced candles, and I always had a clean cotton scented plug-in in every room to keep the house smelling homey. However more and more research is becoming available stating that burning candles, scented air fresheners and plug-ins are actually a health risk as they have been known to cause cancer, asthma and allergies.  So instead to get my fragrance fix, I switched to essential oils.  In addition to making my home smell fresh, our family has also enjoyed the many other benefits such as sleep support, immune and emotional support to name a few. 

2.) Get rid of that traditional deodorant -If there is one thing that you implement from this post I hope this is it! According to the National Cancer Institute, there is a link between traditional antiperspirants and breast cancer.  In fact, a family friend of ours has a history of breast cancer and one of the things her oncologist advised her was to switch to a safer deoderant. Most antiperspirants contain aluminum which can mimic the effects of estrogen, thereby stimulating the growth of cancerous cells. In addition, deodorants and antiperspirants plug up our sweat glands and prevent our body from trying to get rid of unwanted toxins which has been shown to cause hormonal and autoimmune disorders. There are many aluminum free deodorants on the market but I love Schmidt’s! It keeps me dry, they have a variety of fragrances (I personally love the geranium flower and bergamot and lime), and you can get it on Amazon! (Sounds like a no-brainer to me!)

3.) Throw away those dryer sheets -This is probably one of the easiest and quickest switches.  Dryer sheets contain several harmful chemicals including camphor and chloroform.  After drying our clothes with these chemicals we then put on our clothes, exposing our skin, our biggest organ to these harmful neurotoxins.  Instead use wool dryer balls. I got a 4-pack on Amazon real cheap, I dab a couple drops of essential oils on and throw them in the dryer with our clothes. 

4.) Get a houseplant – Not only is it more visually appealing but they are a natural way to purify the air and boost your mood. Hello all the pretty succulents and greenery!!!!

5.) Nix those kcups – This switch was one of the hardest for me. Me and my coffee have quite the love affair but the research is scary.  Kcups are made with plastic which many times contains BPA which is a synthetic form of estrogen, therefore disrupting our hormones and autoimmune system. Quite the mouthful but if that isn’t enough BPA has been linked to infertility, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and behavioral problems to name a few.  Yes, they do make those filters where you can add your own coffee grounds, but the keurig also harbors mold and other bacteria. While I do miss the convenience of being able to wake up in the morning and simply have my hot cup of French Roast with the touch of a button I have switched to french press coffee which not only tastes better but is safer.

6.) Switch to nontoxic cleaning products -Many of the cleaning products that are on the market are known to contain “harsh chemicals” and be irritants.  If you think about it we wear gloves many times when we clean our homes with these products so why would you clean your floors and then let your kids crawl around exposing themselves? Furthermore non toxic products are better for our environment and many times more cost effective. Vinegar and baking soda can be found in most homes and make great cleaners. I also swear by the Thieves household cleaner through Young Living. A little goes a long way, you can use it on almost any surface and it smells like Christmas in a bottle!  

I hope you all found this post informative.   If you’d like more information about how to get started with essential oils or any of the Young Living products, I’m your girl just send me a message or an email ourtinynestblog@gmail.com