It’s been awhile…all things fall!

I’m not exactly sure the last time I posted a story, recipe or how-to on here but I’ve definitely been thinking about this little blog space. It’s been awhile because, life! The kiddos are almost 3 and 1 and change. As my tagline says, chaos is a friend of mine. The dogs, kids and husband are a million moving parts. Things that always happen in the fall: pumpkin spice lattes, fall scented candles, pumpkins and layers.

The weather here in WAshington is 100% changing. For awhile there into September it was pretty warm and delightful, but now here late October is and it’s chilly and rainy. Hopefully Halloween won’t be too chilly and the rain will hold off a few days.

Olivia has decided to be Jasmine for Halloween, she wants her little brother to be Rajah, Daddy to be Aladdin and me to Abu… it was very nice of her to decide for the whole family. Luckily I’ve found costumes for her and Jack but have yet to find an adult Aladdin  and an adult Abu costume! For a kid who doesn’t like candy she sure is getting into the spirit of Halloween. Below I have the kids costumes linked, I can’t wait to see how cute they turn out!  I’ve seen quite a few AWESOME family costume ideas but never have seen a whole Aladdin family costume. Whats your favorite family costume? We’re going to attempt to carve pumpkins tonight!

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Hair Products

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I am a big fan of  my’pregnancy hair’. My girlfriend who is also pregnant texted me a few days ago saying how great her hair is these days, that she even doesn’t have to wash it everyday which is something she’s NEVER been able to do before.

In the past unless my hair is professionally blown out I too used to wash it every day – out of necessity  not desire. Whether it’s hormones, the weather, lack of humidity, age, water…or all of above I too love my hair right now.

My new routine consists of an awesome blow dryer and two products.

Step 1: Kerastase Nectar Theremique

Apply a quarter sized amount to towel dried hair.

BENEFITS

1. Protects dry hair from blow-dry and styling tool damages
2. Makes hair easier to style
3. Polishes the hair surface for a double anti-roughness/anti-dullness action
4. Hair fiber is deeply nourished
5. Hair is left shiny with a perfect glazed-like finish

Step 2: Blow dry normally

I fell in love with this insanely powerful blow dryer about a year ago, BeLissPRO Titanium Italian Dryer it has really cut my blowdrying time in half.

Step 3: HerStyler Argan Oil Hair Serum I’m pretty sure I got this for free from a mall kiosk salesperson… but I love it and would happily pay for it when I run out. A penny size will do, a little bit truly goes a long way. This serum repels moisture and prevents frizziness in humidity. Argan Oil Hair Serum can be applied to soaking wet hair before styling, or sparingly on newly styled hair as well.

 

Liv’s ‘Big Girl’ Room

When I thought about my daughters bedroom I always knew I wanted Pottery Barn furniture and minimal pink. To me, Pottery Barn is quality furniture that is worth every dollar. Liv’s dresser is PB and was actually my dresser growing up – purchased in 1998! It has been in my parents house, my first apartment, first, second, third homes and is now in the fourth home – in my daughters room! The rocking horse was mine from when I was Olivia’s age that my mom had repainted to match Olivia’s furniture – she LOVES it.

Shelving: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/classic-shelving/?pkey=cdecor-shelving&&cdecor-shelving

Mirrors: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/moroccan-tile-mirror-white/

Lamp: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/ceramic-animal-bases/?pkey=e%7Celephant%2Blamp%7C100%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH

Bedding: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/monique-lhuillier-sateen-garden-floral-nursery-bedding/?pkey=e%7Crose%2Bmonique%2Bl%7C27%7Cbest%7C4294967258%7C1%7C24%7C%252Frose-monique-l%252Fbedding%7C18&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH

Bed Skirt: NOW 50% off! http://www.serenaandlily.com/fiona-crib-skirt/cornflower/37374.html

Diaper Caddy: No longer available but here are some similar choices http://www.potterybarnkids.com/shop/storage/nursery-storage/?cm_type=lnav

Bed: (NOW ON SALE) http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/larkin-4-in-1-crib/?pkey=bcribs&&bcribs

I’ve always been my ‘mother’s daughter’ but didn’t start to notice it until I became a mother, myself. I find peace in organization (thank you, Mom). Olivia’s room looks like this 99% of the time. (The 1% occurred today while taking these pictures when she pulled every diaper out of the bins in her closet and rearranged them… tried to put them back in but on top of each other.) While some Moms might read this and roll their eyes, roll away. Liv may only be 20 months old but she puts her stuffed animals in her bed or her basket every day, she puts her clothes in her laundry basket and loves to throw her diapers in the diaper genie. TEACH THEM YOUNG!  Thanks, Mom!

Pretty Happy

At all different stages in life people go through changes. Good, bad, ugly, emotional, exciting … you name it, we’ve all gone through it. At this current moment in my life my closest friends are all going through very different situations but we’re all currently going through a tough time.

Right before a whirlwind trip to Miami last weekend I picked up Kate Hudson’s new book, Pretty Happy.kate-hudson-435

While I’ve only just begun the book I found a few paragraphs that I thought to send to my friends in a group email. I then decided instead to write it here because if I felt that if this could apply to 3 of my friends in entirely different situations, I feel like it could apply to many more.

Take this in whatever context serves you:

“…I’ve learned I have to embrace all the ups and downs, false starts, and backward slides in my life. I’ve gotten over heartache. I’ve also had to be honest and admit that my tendencies towards extremes either backfired or failed completely. These decisions and my past way of dealing with challenges and crises are part of my history, part of me- but I no longer let them hold me back. I’ve learned how to see that baggage for what it is – a part of my past that no longer works for me. But that doesn’t mean those old feelings, old reactions to situations and, more important, old behaviors don’t surface – they do.

If you’ve gone through heartbreak and lost your confidence, you know what I am talking about. You may have found a new relationship or embraced your independence, but the wound might still hurt. Part of growth is taking the hurt and using it for something positive. This is part of happiness, but I also believe it is part of wellness.

Sure, it can be scary starting anything new- there is a fear of moving forward. Sometimes, it’s a fear of leaving what’s familiar. Sometimes it’s a fear of what lies ahead or the unknown. All change can be difficult, so it’s important that you make big changes gradually.

All things will and do change. What’s important is to be clear as you pass through the process of change so that you don’t stop or get stuck in a fear or blame cycle that throws you off course.”

In the words of Joe Dirt, keep on keepin on.

Thai Lettuce Wraps

After my husband got back from Thailand he could NOT stop raving about the food.  I never thought much about Thai food but he insisted that it was delicious and that I should A. Learn how to make his favorites and B. Find an authentic Thai restaurant to go to. We went to a Thai restaurant and I very much enjoyed it!

In high school I used to enjoy lettuce wraps so I figured I’d recreate them!

Ingredients for wraps:

  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Cucumber
  • Lime
  • Carrots
  • 1 package Ground Chicken
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
  • Rice paper

Directions:

  • Chop scallions, chop mint, chop cilantro, chop cucumbers and carrots into small pieces.
  • Add a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder to the ground chicken, sauté.
  • Towards the end of the sauté, zest the lime over the chicken.
  • Soak each sheet of rice paper in a shallow container of water for a minute or two, I used a 9×9 baking dish. It is ok if they are still wet after taking out of the water as the water is absorbed quickly as the roll is made and becomes easier to fold.
  • Fill the rice paper with the ingredients and wrap it like a burrito! My rice paper wrapping skills are NOT stellar… but it was delicious nonetheless. You can dip it into the peanut sauce or line the wrap with peanut sauce before you add the ingredients to it…or do both because its yummy.

Ingredients for peanut sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 drops of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Directions: Mix all together thoroughly until there is a creamy consistency.

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Summer Salad

If you’re looking for a DELICIOUS, refreshing, light salad  — see below!! This salad is full of color and full of flavor.

(Image is a different variation of this salad)

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INGREDIENTS:

FOR DRESSING:

1 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves

1 clove Fresh Garlic

1/4 cup Mayonnaise

1/4 cup Sour Cream

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil

FOR THE SALAD:

Spinach

a handful of grape tomatoes, quartered

Any color bell pepper, diced

2 cups grilled yellow Corn (about 2 ears)

2 Avocados, diced

1 medium Red Onion, diced

1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

Smoky Adobo Chicken Tacos

Smoky Adobo Chicken Tacos with Mango Slaw & Lime Crema

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This meal is delicious — it is not something I would’ve ever thought to make for myself because I’m generally very picky but I have to say this pleasantly surprised me!

Time: 40 minutes

Recipe makes enough for 2

*Nut Free & Spicy*

Ingredients:

– 2 chicken breast

– flour tortillas

– 1 lime

– 2 Tablespoons of sour cream

– 1 bunch cilantro

– 1 mango

– 1 avocado

-1 red onion

– jar of Chipotles in Adobo

Let’s do this:

Chop the cilantro, zest and halve the lime. Halve, peel and finely chop 1/2 of the red onion. Peel the mango, cut around the flat seed, then into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the slices into thin strips to create matchsticks.

Make the lime creme: in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the mango slaw: in a medium bowl, toss the mango, red onion,  cilantro, juice of remaining lime and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Halve, pit and scoop out the avocado flesh into a small bowl, mash with fork and season with salt and pepper.

Salt & pepper the chicken on both sides.

Rub or brush both sides of the chicken with 1 tablespoon of adobo (the sauce in the jar of chipotle peppers).

Heat olive oil in large pan, add chicken – cook until slightly charred.

Heat tortillas in the oven or microwave.

Thinly slice the chicken. Spread the mashed avocado onto tortillas and top with chicken, mango slaw and lime creme.

Serve tacos with the remaining mango slaw to the side. If you make it, let me know what you think. Enjoy! 

doTERRA Essential Oils for babies!

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Essential Oils for Newborns and Babies ~ doTERRA

It’s important to use nothing but the most pure and safe, therapeutic-grade essential oils because store-bought oils can have solvents, pesticides, synthetics and other chemicals. You cannot tell by looking at the label. Remember everything we put onto our skin also goes into our body. The doTERRA oils are thoroughly tested to be free of pesticides, fillers and contaminants. (I took this section from the following blog site: http://healinginourhomes.com/2014/08/essential-oils-for-newborns-and-babies.html)

Essential oils should be used minimally and only as needed for the first 3 months.

When using with newborns and babies, it is important to dilute the oils to avoid irritation or sensitization, to aid in absorption and also to expose the babies to a lower amount of the oils. While doTERRA’s oils are very safe, the liver can only process so much at a time, so there’s no reason to overdo or waste money by using them undiluted. For newborns/infants/babies dilute 1 drop of essential oil per 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, olive, sweet almond, jojoba, etc.

So what are the most gentle oils for your newborn or infant? (*Many other oils can be used safely. These are the oils blogging moms have found to be most gentle. Use all essential oils at your own discretion.)
 
Appropriately diluted these oils can be used from birth:
 
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Serenity blend
  • Melaleuca (Tea Tree oil)
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon
  • Orange

Single oils to avoid until they are older :  Cassia, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Oregano, Thyme. These oils can all be extremely irritating to the skin and/or irritating for new and tiny respiratory systems. These oils are less of an issue as part of a blend but typically can be substituted with a more gentle oil from the list above. Always use your own discretion, experience and resources in making these choices for your child.

Common Baby Issues and Solutions: 

1. Calming: Dilute Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Serenity and apply the the feet and on your chest if you are holding them to promote relaxation. You can wipe extra on their blanket/clothes  (doTERRA oils and their Fractionated Coconut oil do not stain! yay!). Diffusing with an AromaLite is also very helpful as well as daily infant massage.

2. Digestive support : Dilute 1 drop each of lavender and orange in 2 TB carrier oil and rub baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction for at least 30 seconds for digestive support. Apply every 15-30 mins until their tummy is settled.

3. For owie’s and boo-boo’s: Frankincense promotes a healthy inflammatory response so its a great choice. 

4. Skin: Dilute 1 drop of each of Lavender and Melaleuca in unrefined or fractionated coconut oil or Lanolin (I love lanolin for rashes and dry skin!) to soothe the skin. Apply each time you change their diaper. I like to use a glass spray bottle for this. Use damp, soft paper towels to wipe or rinse your wipes well before using to avoid any further irritating the rash with chemicals.

5. Teething: Use diluted Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Serenity along the jawline as often as every 15-30 minutes to soothe. 

6. Ears: Dilute lavender and melaleuca and apply around the ear (never put oils IN the ear) frequently, massaging down towards the lymph nodes to encourage drainage.

7. Respiratory support: Dilute Melaleuca and Lemon and apply the chest, back and feet several times an hour. A combo of Frankincense and Lavender can be very helpful when the chest is tight and loud.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these oils visit my online shop! http://www.mydoterra.com/manleywellness/#/