the 12 emotions every new Roomba owner experiences

the-12-emotions-every-new-roomba-owner-experiencesA couple of months ago we bought a Roomba.  Yep, a robot vacuum cleaner.  Never thought I’d own one of those!  After having it for several months I thought I’d share my self proclaimed 12 Emotions Every New Roomba Owner Experiences.  Very important for all who might venture into the world of robotic house help.

1.  Refusal: A robot vacuum? No way am I getting one of those, surely it doesn’t work.
2.  Intrigue: *starts reading reviews on Amazon* Hmmmmmmm…interesting…
3.  Research: How do they work?  What’s the best deal?  Can I use here, there, with this, with that?  Pros?  Cons?
4.  Excitement: Yay!  We bought one!  I can’t wait to use it!
5.  Fascination: *follows Roomba around the house as it moves in a seemingly erratic pattern to see if it’ll hit that piece of furniture, get up on that rug, or get stuck behind that object*
6.  Shock: *empties full bin into trash can* It picked up HOW much dirt during that first run?!?
7.  Disgust: More!?  There was MORE?!
8. Horror: My house was a filthy dump and I had no idea!
9.  Vengeance: I will Roomba my house from top to bottom non stop until it finally quits picking up loads of yuck each time!
10.  Reality: This deep cleaning is taking WAY longer than I expected.  We are obviously animals.
11.  Maintenance: Now that we’ve cleaned up the years worth of build up now it’s time to run Roomba frequently so that we can continue to keep the house clean.  Maybe we should make a schedule.
12.  Schedule: Roomba becomes an integral part of your family.  Your very own house elf.  You give it a nickname.  Your child tells it “Good job!” Running Roomba becomes a regular part of your routine.  You seriously don’t know how you lived without it.

If you couldn’t tell from this post we lovvvvvvvve our Roomba.  I was totally skeptical but it has been amazing!  Our old vacuum was horrible and picked up almost nothing from our rug.  When we decided we were ready to get a new one Michael suggested a Roomba.  I didn’t think they actually worked but after doing some research we decided to give it a try.  Needless to say we were impressed (and shocked at how much it picked up).  Several months later I’m *still* shocked at how much it collects if we skip a couple of days of running it.

On our main level (where we use it the most) we have mostly hardwood and tile floors with a few area rugs.  It does fine with the rug in our bedroom but struggles (struggled, I should say) with the rug in our living room.  Our living room rug has large dark circles on a light background and the Roomba thinks that it’s on the edge of a stair or something so it won’t cross over from light to dark (good morals, that one).  Michael fixed that by taping some paper over the Roomba’s sensors so it doesn’t see that and now it runs fine on the rub.

It does a great job navigating around objects, under furniture, and not bumping in to walls.  Corners are hard since it is round and corners aren’t (obviously) so sometimes I do have to sweep up a little junk out from the corners but honestly for the most part I don’t use a broom or Swiffer anymore.  I just run the Roomba and somehow it magically gets everything up – dust, hair, dried food chunkies.  Amazing.

We have the the Roomba 860 model.  I’ve linked to it here on Amazon but we actually bought it from Bed Bath & Beyond because with the 20% off coupon it was about $100 cheaper than buying from Amazon.  It has been a great purchase!

What do you think, would you try a robot vacuum?12-emotions-every-new-roomba-owner-experiences

a peek inside my Erin Condren Life Planner

a peek inside my Erin Condren Life PlannerI love, love, LOVE Erin Condren Life Planners!  I’ve never found anything that I like better.  Last year I decided I didn’t want to pay for one (they’re $50 if you don’t get one on sale) and so I tried another planner – I thought it was going to be awesome but I ended up not loving it and instead bought a Life Planner several months in to finish out 2015.  After my brief break I now know this is THE planner and I might as well just budget to purchase one every year!  Using my planner increases my productivity big time and you can’t put a price on that.

I’ve blogged about how I use my planner in the past (when I was workingas a way to track baby milestones) but I wanted to show you how I’m using it now that I’m at stay at home mom and have a business.

IMG_1480The monthly calendar spread I use as my monthly overview.  I jot down appointments, birthdays, and activities.  I pick one color pen and use that to mark all of the oils classes that I teach each month so that I can see that at a glance and it stands out.

IMG_1481The weekly spread is where the magic happens.  This is basically my brain on paper in a to-do list form.  On the left hand side I keep a to-do list of things I want to get done at some point during the week.

Each day is broken into three boxes.  I don’t label my boxes on my calendar but I do have specific uses for each of them.  The top box is where I put appointments, classes, and sometimes random memories.  The middle box is my to-do list for the day unrelated to my business (cleaning, laundry, errands, etc.) as well as where I put blog post for that day.  The bottom box is my Young Living to-do list for the day.

The very bottom section changes occasionally.  In this picture I used it to write my daily Bible reading, what I had planned for dinner, if I exercised (which I obviously didn’t much that week…), check boxes for each glass of water I drank and for the various vitamins I needed to take.

IMG_1482It’s a pretty big planner so not super convenient to carry around all the time unless you carry a big bag.  I don’t mind the size because mine usually stays at home sitting on the counter (which is like my desk) open to my to-do list so I can glance at it many times a day.  Plus I like to have plenty of room to write.

(I use an app on my phone, aCal, also for when I’m out and about. I only track the bare bones appointments on it)IMG_1483I’m in some planner groups (seriously, what DOESN’T have a Facebook group these days?) and many of those ladies beautifully decorate their planners big time.  Almost like scrapbooking pages!  They use lots of stickers and washi tape.  That’s totally fine if that’s what you like but that’s not my thing so I just stick to (pun intended) occasionally using the stickers that come with the planner.
IMG_1484There are lots of notes pages that I use to jot stuff down.

IMG_1485Also some pockets in the back to hold all my random junk.

If you have never ordered from Erin Condren before you can use this link and get $10 off your first purchase.  (they will send you an email with a code that you can then use when you purchase)

Also, at the time of this post, 2016 Life Planners are 50% off and you can use the $10 off from the link above on top of that, making them roughly $15 plus shipping!  WHAT!?  That’s a crazy good deal.  There’s still lots of time left in 2016 so try one out and see if you like it!

Any Erin Condren fans out there?  How long have you been using the LP?

honey harvesting

We’ve had our hives for three summers but this is the first time we’ve really gotten to harvest any honey and it has been very exciting!  The first year you have a hive you aren’t supposed to rob it of much, if any, honey.  What the bees make the first year you leave in there for them to live off of in the winter then the second year they’ll have produced enough for you to get honey for yourself.  However our first year our queen bee died and our hive failed so we had to start over in year #2.  Now finally in year #3 we’ve gotten some honey!  Yay!

The type of hive we have is called a top bar hive.  They are different from the traditional hives that you’re probably used to that look like lots of square boxes stacked on top of each other.  Michael is the total mastermind behind all this beekeeping stuff so you’d have to ask him why he chose top bar because I really have no idea.

He built the hives himself and they look like this.  He even built some little windows into them so we can peek in and check without having to open them up and disturb them.

top bar beehive 1top bar beehive 2top bar beehive 3With a top bar have you don’t have the frames that other hives have.  You just have a bunch of these bars, basically slats of wood, and the bees build the whole entire frame and comb themselves down from the top of the bar.  When you pull a completed one out it looks like this.  Well actually, this one is almost complete.  You can see at the very bottom there where they built the comb but had not yet filled it with honey or capped it off before we removed it.
honey harvest - top bar combTo remove the honey from the comb we break it up into smaller chunks and strain it through a strainer.

honey harvest - honeycombStraining it is not hard at all but it’s super slow and time consuming.  Last summer even though we didn’t rob our hives we still got a little bit of honey – I think one of the bars was being formed unevenly so Michael had to remove it and we were able to get a small amount of honey from that one section.  It was tedious to hold the strainer over the bowl just to get that little bit out so this year when we knew we’d be doing quite a bit more we weren’t sure how to do it without someone having to stand there all day and strain the honey.

Fortunately Michael put his engineering mind to work and built this simple but brilliant stand that holds the strainer on it’s own.  All we had to do was occasionally use a spoon to crush up the comb, stir it around, or add more comb.  And keep an eye on the bowls to make sure they didn’t overflow of course!  But then the rest of the day we just let it sit and do it’s thing.

honey harvest - strainer stand 2

honey harvest - strainer stand 5Watching the honey run through the strainer and into the bowl is mesmerizing!

honey harvest - strainer stand 3When all was said and done we were left with several bowls of beautiful honey.  I believe we got five quarts out of four bars from the hive.  There are a lot more bars to do, we just haven’t had time to keep harvesting!  Hopefully this weekend we can get to it.

In fact, if you harvest early enough in the summer then you can actually get two full rounds in before time to close them up for the winter.  We didn’t do that in time this year but maybe next year we can and that’ll double the amount of honey we get!

Once you strain the honey there is the beeswax from the comb left.  I didn’t get a picture of that but Michael is going to clean it up for me and I’ll have that to use for my various DIY projects like making deodorant or lip balm.  I might even dabble with homemade candles.

We also saved out a bit of the comb with honey to give to people who like to chew on that.  That’s not my thing (in fact, I don’t actually like the taste of honey by itself *gasp*!) but I do think it’s very pretty!

honey harvest - comb

Love the look of the honey all bottle up!

honey harvest - bottled honeyWe need to come up with a cute name for our honey and make some labels.  We don’t have enough for selling this year but we might someday in the future! (suggestions for a name are welcome :) )

pregnancy #2 update – 15 weeks

As predicted I haven’t been nearly as diligent about posting pregnancy updates with Baby #2 as I was with Hudson.  This is only the second one so far and the first one was over a month ago – whoops!

How far along – 15 weeks

We had a check up at 13 weeks and got to hear the heartbeat for the first time.  Nice and strong, heart rate of 165.

Symptoms – Basically nothing.  I do feel some pains/twinges in my belly when I turn over at night or move in certain directions, but other than that I really can’t even tell I’m pregnant.  I feel pretty much just like my non-pregnant self.

Weight/belly – I have not gained any weight yet.  As far as my belly goes…I really can’t tell a difference.  Part of that is because I haven’t been taking pictures to compare but mostly it’s because I never lost the baby weight from Hudson so my stomach is quite a lot larger this time around than it was with Hudson and subtle changes aren’t nearly as noticeable.

I have been trying to be a lot more conscious about my health this time around.  With Hudson I used pregnancy as a ticket to eat as much of whatever I wanted.  Since I’m starting this pregnancy so much heavier than I was with Hudson I want to try to limit the amount of weight gain if at all possible (I know I’ll probably gain some, and I’m not starving myself or anything, just trying to be mindful).  During the few weeks of the first trimester when I felt nauseous I ate whatever sounded good but as soon as that passed (week 11 or 12?) I started making sure I was eating real, whole, healthy foods, very little junk or sugar, eating when hungry but not just eating to eat.  I’m pleased with my food choices and now need to work on exercising.  I’m not going to start anything crazy, but I’d like to do some things that will help strengthen my muscles and support my body as I get ready to deliver a baby (which is pretty much an athletic event in and of itself, and I’m in no way in shape for athletics).

Movement – Around week 11 I was really thinking I felt the baby move.  Like, a lot.  I knew that was wayyyy early and I asked at my doctor’s appointment at week 13 and they said they thought it was too early, too.  The feelings that I was having have since gone away so I’m guessing it was not the baby and was something else instead.  I haven’t felt that, or anything else, recently so I’m guessing I haven’t felt the baby moving yet.

Food cravings – I would drink gallons of Ningxia Red if I could but that stuff’s expensive so I limit myself!  Other than that, no particular cravings.

(Like I said, no belly pictures, and really I have very few pictures of me at all, but I feel like I must have a picture with each blog post so here’s one I had of me downing the last bit of Ningxia from a bottle – I usually pour it into a small glass each day but when it gets low I unleash my inner rebel and chug it straight from the bottle.  Ningxia Red is a high antioxidant nutrient juice from Young Living that I drink every day, for those who are unfamiliar with it.)

ningxia red

Food aversions – Nothing.  I’m not adverse to fruit right now but I haven’t wanted it nearly as much as I usually do so that has been a bit strange.

Sleep – Great

Thoughts – This pregnancy is so different!  With Hudson that was all I thought about – I was so attuned to every change and symptom.  Now I have a toddler who demands lots of attention and I feel very un-pregnant so it’s easy to forget that I actually am pregnant at the moment.  It’s so strange!  Of course I’m excited, I just don’t think about it as much as I did with Hudson.

We’ve started tossing around baby names.  We’ve had our girl name picked out for years so that’s ready to go but we’re having trouble deciding on a boy name.  So far nothing has just jumped out and grabbed us so we’re still thinking.  We should find out sometime next month if this baby will be a boy or a girl.

We sat down a few weeks ago and made a list of things we need for baby #2 so we can make sure and be saving in our budget – thankfully there isn’t much!  A double stroller, bigger diaper bag, newborn cloth diapers, maybe a new carrier.  Our biggest purchase that’s not technically a baby thing but will probably be used more than most baby things will be a king sized bed.  And of course if this baby is a girl then we’ll get some girly clothes.  It’s nice to not have a crazy, huge, overwhelming list like we did for Hudson!

This time around instead of worrying about a nursery and having all this “stuff”, I’m going to work more on practical things like having freezer meals cooked and getting the house cleaned and such.

my 2015 planner solution {plus a giveaway!}

my perfect planner from thepolkadotposie

Y’all, it took me almost TWO MONTHS into 2015 to decide on a planner for the year.  How pathetic is that?!  I’m picky but I finally found what I was looking for and of course now I have to share that with you!

If you’re a long time reader then you’ve read my past posts about my Erin Condren planners.  And while I still think those are great planners, it just wasn’t working for me this year.  Now that I’m a stay at home mom, obviously our budget has been reduced a bit and spending $50+ on a planner is not a high priority for me.  Plus, the EC planner is just really big and bulky and not at all practical for sticking in a diaper bag to take with me.

So I spent a really, really long time searching for another one.  I have all these different “wants” in mind for my planner and unfortunately a great majority of “generic” planners you can buy at Walmart, Staples, etc. do not have what I want.  I briefly considered designing my own (like I did with my teacher lesson plan book) but I don’t have the graphic design skills to make it pretty so it would be very boring and utilitarian.  And then, and I know this sounds so silly, there were others that were fine but the overall vibe of the graphics just weren’t me.  I know, I know…beggars can’t be choosers, but if I’m going to be looking at this multiple times a day, every day, I kind of want it to be pretty, you know?

Anyway…to make a very long story short, I finally came across ThePolkaDotPosie planners.  The planners have everything I loved from my Erin Condren planner but at a fraction of the price!

thepolkadotposie planner cover

They have an Etsy shop where you purchase the digital downloads for the planner you want and then print it yourself.  I was a bit hesitant about the printing and assembling part but they have great instructions on how to do that (and I recruited Michael for the task of printing it for me ;) )

I chose the small size (5.5″ x 8.5″) with seasonal designs (each month has a different color scheme).  There are also larger ones (8.5″ x 11″) and smaller ones (like the size of a pocket calender), academic year (August – August), teacher planners, homeschool planners, planners for direct sales businesses, event planners, budgets, and more.

thepolkadotposie seasonal plannerthepolkadotposie teacher plannerthepolkadotposie direct sales planner

Each month of the seasonal planner has a page for goals, to-dos, and projects

thepolkadotposie planner monthly goals

Then there is a monthly calendarthepolkadotposie planner calendar page

And then a layout for each week of the month.  You can choose to get a weekly spread without the dinner pots (if you’d rather not write your meals down and use that section for something else).thepolkadotposie planner weekly pages

On their blog, they also have lots of free printable downloads (how cute are these Tooth Fairy receipts??).  I printed off the Christmas organizer and put it at the end of my planner to use at Christmastime and the small planner test pages (that have to do lists, goals, contact information, important dates, etc.) to put at the front of my planner.

thepolkadotposie planner Christmas printablesthepolkadotposie planner Christmas presents

I used 24 lb weight paper (a little heavier than what we usually print on) and was SO impressed with the quality of the planner pages!  They looked and felt so professional!

I originally thought I was going to put my planner in a small 3-ring binder so I punched holes in them but then realized I didn’t like that (it was too hard for me to write on the left side because of the rings, it was bulky, and I couldn’t flip it back on itself).  I then took my stack of papers to Staples and had them bind it into a spiral notebook.  I like that much better!

And here’s how I use it.  On the monthly calendar pages I put appointments and events.  On the weekly/daily pages I use the 3 boxes for my daily to-dos.  In the first box I put the things that happen every day that need to get done (like my chore of the day, laundry, my Bible study, etc.).  In the second box I put other random to-do things that need to get done that are household-related.  And in the third box I put any Young Living things that need to get done that day.

how i use thepolkadotposie plannerI love the notes sections so I can jot down notes to myself and then on the right (cut out of the picture) I can put my to-do list of things that I want to get done sometime that week.

I am so thrilled with my planner!  Total cost was less than $15 so I was super excited about that!

And I’m also excited that one of YOU will be able to win a planner from ThePolkaDotPosie as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(I was not compensated for this review and purchased all planner materials and downloads myself; ThePolkaDotPosie did not ask me to write this review…I was going to write one anyway and then reached out to them to see if they’d like to do a giveaway in conjunction with my review – so these opinions are totally mine and not swayed by free stuff!)

mama cloth 101

Pink Lemonade Shop mama cloth pads

Something funny happens once you start cloth diapering…you begin to look at other items that you throw away and wonder if you can find a reusable option.  Like baby wipes.  Or paper towels.  Or cloth napkins.

Or *gasp* menstrual pads.

Yep.  I know it’s kind of weird.  It took me a while to get used to the idea too.

So.  Let’s talk mama cloth.  Cloth menstrual pads.  They are seriously awesome.

At some point along the way of my crunchy mommy journey I started to hear about mama cloth.  It kept coming up in the mommy groups I belong to and in conversation with other moms so I got curious and I began to look a little further.  They are super popular for postpartum (in lieu of those humongous diapers pads you probably used) but I didn’t learn about them until after I was past that point.  But by the time my first postpartum period arrived when Hudson was almost 10 months old I knew I wanted to give them a try.

I did my research and Pink Lemonade Shop seemed to be the #1 recommended brand of mama cloth.  I waited until they ran a sale after Thanksgiving and then bought an assortment of pads to try.

Pink Lemonade Shop mama cloth stash

I LOVE them!

They are so, SO soft and much more comfortable than the disposable ones.  The wings snap around your underwear so no sticky papers that get folded up under themselves or stick to your skin.  And they are super easy, much easier than I expected.

Here’s the run down:

Why might you want to use mama cloth?  Like with cloth diapers, getting a stash of mama cloth is expensive up front but will likely save you money on your feminine products since they are reusable.  I have not run the numbers on that though so feel free to do some number crunching on your own and report back.  For me it wasn’t the money savings this time (although that is a nice perk), it was for comfort.  Conventional menstrual pads are so uncomfortable.  I think I’m sensitive to the chemicals in those products and I just feel really yucky and almost diaper rash-y when I use them.

Minimizing waste and being environmentally friendly might be another big reason why you’d choose mama cloth.

I have not yet experienced this myself (I think it’s too soon to tell) or looked for any scientific evidence but I have heard many people say that after switching to mama cloth their periods became much lighter and their cramping decreased significantly.  I’m probably not explaining this correctly but the theory I’ve heard about this is that the chemicals in disposable pads and tampons pull the blood from your body (since absorbing liquid is what it is designed to do) and that actually makes your period worse.  Letting the body bleed at it’s own pace (by not using those chemicals) results in an easier period.

Like I said, that’s just what I’ve heard.  But it’s worth a try!

What about the gross factor?  Just about every time I used regular pads I would end up with some blood on my panties that I had to rinse and stain treat, so honestly I wasn’t concerned about that…I figured if I’m already dealing with blood it wouldn’t really matter.  And so far I’ve had no issues with it.  It’s much less gross than dealing with baby poop!

How do I wash them?  I include them with my diapers.  I run the diapers through a rinse cycle first on their own, and then add the mama cloth in for the wash cycle.  If you don’t have cloth diapers then you could just add them to a regular load of laundry that you will be washing with hot water.  Your mama cloth will come with more specific instructions, I’m sure, but it’s really not difficult at all.

What all do I need?  A stash of mama cloth, of course.  Plus a few wet bags.

mama cloth 101

Like I said, I chose to buy my mama cloth from Pink Lemonade Shop.  The prints are adorable (which is certainly not necessary but is a nice perk) and they were by far the most recommended brand.  She has some starter kits already put together and if you are unsure of what you want that’s a good way to try several sizes out.

PInk Lemonade Shop mama cloth setPink Lemonade Shop sets are usually coordinating colors like this one that came with a 9, 10, and 11 inch pad

Because it had been over a year and a half since I’d had a period (pregnancy and then breastfeeding) I really couldn’t remember how heavy my cycles were plus I wasn’t sure if that would change after having a baby.  Since I wasn’t totally sure what all I needed I got out some of my old disposable pads and panty liners, measured them and bought pads that were about that size.

What I started with:

– one 11 inch overnight pad
– two 10 inch heavy pads
– four 9 inch day pads
– two 7.5 inch pantyliners

pink lemonade mama cloth stash

This was a good amount to try but was not enough for what I would consider a full stash.  I was having to wash every day or day and a half and while it’s only for a week that is still a lot to keep up with.  I’d much prefer to be able to make it about two days so I’ll continue adding to my stash in the future.

There are different fabrics and materials.  I chose the ones that have a minky top with a windpro fleece back.  The minky is incredibly soft and the best part is that it does not stain.  I know!  So great!  In fact all the pictures that go along with this post are of my mama cloth that has been used several times – no blood stains!  You can read about the other fabric options here.  One of the other options is raw silk; I haven’t tried it but it’s supposed to be wonderful for anyone who deals with yeast infections because it is anti-fungal.

windro fleece backs of pink lemonade shop mama clothbacks of some of my mama cloth – all are fleece; the brown has pilled just a little but is still totally functional of course

You’ll also need a wetbag to use to store your used mama cloth in until you wash them.  My favorite wetbags are these Bummis bags.  The small one is the perfect size and has a little loop with a snap that you could hang over a door handle or even on a hook on the side of the toilet.

bummis small wet bag for mama cloth

What about on the go?  I use a Planetwise travel wet/dry bag for on the go.  I put a pad or two in the “dry” side (the dry side is for clean items) and then I’m out I put the dirty one in the “wet” side of the wet bag.  It’s no more difficult then with a disposable pad and actually it’s easier because you don’t have to hunt down a trash can.

9 inch day pad from pink lemonade shop fits perfectly in a planetwise wet dry bagone 9 inch pink lemonade shop day pad in a planetwise wet dry baga 9 inch day pad laid flat fits perfectly in the dry pocket

two 9 inch pink lemonade shop day pads rolled up in a planetwise wet dry bagtwo 9 inch day pads rolled up can also fit in the dry pocket

So what do you think?  Are you intrigued?  Totally disgusted?  Planning to try one or two?  Ready to make the switch completely?

P.S. If you are more of a tampon user then you might want to look into a reusable menstrual cup like the Diva Cup or Lunette.  I have not tried these and to be honest, while mama cloth doesn’t gross me out this kinda does, but I know tons of women who adore theirs so it’s definitely worth a look!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review.  I bought all these items with my very own hard earned dollars and these are my honest thoughts.  Some links are affiliate links.

a sopping wet New Year

The Date: New Year’s Day 2015

The Time: 9:15 pm

The Setting: Our house

The Background: After a whole day spent taking down Christmas decorations, giving the house a good clean, Hudson refusing to nap and being a general fuss bucket, I was wiped.  Usually Michael and I stay up ’til midnight or later but I was so exhausted that I took a shower and was already in bed reading, planning to go to sleep early.  Hudson was asleep in his bed next to ours.

The Story:   I’m laying there reading and I hear a “drip, drip, drip“.  I think to myself “Hmmm, I must have not turned the shower off completely.  I’ll ask Michael to turn it off when he comes into the room”.  Because I’m tired.  And I’m pooped.  And I don’t want to haul myself out of bed to check on the shower.

Michael is in our half bathroom in the living room and he also hears a “drip, drip, drip“.  He thinks to himself “What is Caitlin doing out there to make that sound?”.

And then.  Chaos.

Michael shouts “hey!!”…pause…”HEY!!!”

This is big cause for alarm, my friends.  Michael is not a shouter.  Like, ever.  I’m the loud one, not him.  Plus, Hudson was asleep.  Once he’s asleep we whisper.  Michael would never, EVER shout and risk waking Hudson up.

So obviously something terrible has happened and I just know an intruder is in our house or some similarly awful event.

I bolt out of the bed and run out the room, slamming my thigh into the corner of the bed as I run, and yell “What?!? What?!?”.  Thankfully Hudson stays asleep.

Michael is already running up the stairs and yells down at me to grab some towels.

No need to ask why because now I can clearly see the water pouring steadily out of the light fixture in our living room.

Oh no.

Michael gets upstairs and sees that the washing machine is full to the top but water is still spraying into the barrel.  Water has come out of the washing machine, flooded the laundry room and hallway (and part of the attic, we later found), and leaked through the ceiling, and come out through one of the light fixtures.

I grab towels and wipe up the puddle in the living room then put a large mixing bowl under the light to catch the water.  We start mopping up the water upstairs.  We used every.last.towel in our house.

Michael calls his dad to bring the shopvac over.  They pull up the carpet, run the shopvac, and set up fans everywhere.

Photo Jan 01, 10 42 16 PM

Around midnight we’ve done all we can do so we finally head to bed.

So much for an early night, huh?

(Hudson slept through all the commotion too.  Amazing since he’s a terrible sleeper even on a good day!)

Turns out, one little hose from our fancy-dancy, less than two year old washing machine had come loose and was spraying water everywhere.

The good news:  

– Nothing was seriously damaged.  There is only one tiny water spot on the living room ceiling and a larger (but not awful) one in the garage.  The pad under the carpet had to be replaced but the floors and the carpet were fine.

– Usually I have a tub of my Young Living stuff that I take to classes and vendor events that sits right directly under that light fixture.  It would have all been completely soaked but we had moved it when we mopped the floors during our huge cleaning spree and had not put it back yet

– For some reason, instead of putting all the Christmas stuff back in the attic that day like I normally would do I had just stacked it all in the guest room and planned to put it in the attic later.  Good thing because water leaked into the attic in the exact spot where the Christmas decorations would have been.  As it were, only a few empty cardboard boxes in the attic got wet.

– We have incredibly kind neighbors who let us use their washing machine the next day to wash all those towels and the clothes that had been in the washer when it broke.

– This happened while we were home and awake; I can’t tell you how many times we’ve started the washer right before we go to sleep or leave the house.  It would have been horrible if we hadn’t caught it as early as we did!

The bad news:

– We had to buy a new washing machine.  But it’s easier to use than our old one.  And it plays a pretty song when it’s done washing.  And we got our old one fixed so we should be able to sell it and get some of our money back.  So I guess it’s not all bad.

Photo Jan 20, 6 36 16 PM

What a way to start the New Year.  Let’s hope the rest of 2015 is much less eventful!

High Five for Friday

It’s sure been a while since I did one of these, huh?  Well here’s what I’m loving today:

1.  Homemade peppermint mocha with homemade whipped cream.  Best. Drink. Ever.

homemade mocha whipped

2.  I’ve been meaning to make us stockings for a few years now.  I’ve had the pattern picked out and purchased but just never got around to finding fabric and sewing it up.  I finally picked some fabric and am ready to get started on the stockings (and a matching tree skirt).  Fingers crossed I get it done by Christmas!

This is the pattern I’m using.

stocking pattern

I wanted something that wasn’t necessarily Christmas fabric but would have that same color scheme, that wasn’t too trendy but not old either.  Something that would look relatively timeless.

One of the first things I saw when I walked into the fabric store was this quilt.  I could not stop looking at it!  So gorgeous.  The colors and patterns were perfect and lucky me they had all the matching bolts of fabric right there with the quilt so I was able to get what I needed.

Love love love.
Christmas quilt

stocking fabric

3.  I also super lucked out while I was there with some curtain fabric.  If you follow my Facebook page you know I found some fabric that I loved a while back at a fabric store in my hometown.  Lo and behold the store I went to today had it…and it was on clearance for $2.50 a yard!!  I think it was $7something at the other store so I was thrilled!

curtain fabric

4.  Our Christmas decorations are almost all done.  We put most of them up Tuesday and then Michael went and got us a tree last night so tonight we plan to get that decorated and then we’ll be all set (well, besides the stockings and tree skirt that I need to sew….minor details ha!)

Christmas tree
We definitely had to modify some decorations and get creative with our placement thanks to Mr. Curious here who has to get into EVERYTHING.  That garland usually hangs to the ground – I looped it up to make it shorter but he still had to try to get it.

Decorating the tree should be interesting….reaching for the decorations

5.  I got a new headband.  And I like it.  That’s all.


Now for the LOW five part of the week….

gray screen of deathAngryflashinggrayfolderwithquestionmark of death.  Yep, that happened last night.  So we’ll be going to buy me a new laptop tomorrow.

The positive of that is Yay new laptop! but the negative is Well there goes my Chrismabirthaversary gifts for the rest of forever.

Computers are expensive, yo.

And that about sums it up!  Happy weekend to you all.

This post brought to you by one fussy baby who is finally asleep.

wrap nap

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, y’all.  Here’s what is making me happy today:

1.  Cloth Diapers hanging out to dry.

I usually don’t like doing laundry at all (well actually, I’m fine with everything but the folding and putting away part) but for whatever reason I really enjoy doing the cloth diaper laundry.  It’s not nearly as complicated as I expected.  I prefer to let them air dry outside if the weather is nice because the sun does a great job bleaching out stains.

cloth diapers

2.  Our garden.

Michael got our garden planted this week.  I’m looking forward to having fresh herbs and veggies!


3.  Babywearing.

I love wearing Hudson.  It gives us lots of nice snuggles, it allows my hands to be free to do other things, and it’s much more convenient than lugging his big carseat around or hauling out the stroller.  I have a Moby Wrap, and Ergo, and a Mei Tei and I love them each for different purposes.  I’m also part of a local babywearing group and each month we get together where everyone brings their carriers so you can try different things.  I’m giving Ring Slings a go this month and borrowing one to try out.  So far it’s not my favorite and I much prefer my other carriers, but I’m going to keep trying it and maybe it will grow on me (although in retrospect maybe that’s not such a good idea…if I start to love it then I’m going to want to buy one!)

ring sling

4.  My monthly YL essential oils order.

It’s like Christmas every month!  All kinds of goodies – oils, toothpaste, snack bars, cough drops, supplements, and more

Young Living essential rewards order


5.  This guy.

Really, could be be any cuter?  He has outgrown his smallest swaddles and is breaking out of them during his naps.  I keep coming in to find him waving his little arms around (kinda cute after a nap, not so cool at 4:00 in the morning when he wakes us all up…we will be finding a better swaddle before bed tonight, I’m just saying…)


Oh and don’t forget that today is the last day to enter my giveaway…so chop, chop!

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Linking up with Lauren

High Five for Friday

Hey everyone!  Did you have a good week?  We’re headed home from a week long trip to Gatlinburg.  Michael had a class/conference thing he had to go to for work (the same one we went to two years ago – crazy how time flies) so Hudson and I tagged along with him.  I was excited about a little family getaway but also apprehensive about traveling with a baby.  Overall Hudson did much better than I expected.  The trip down here, while long because we had to stop a lot to feed him, wasn’t too bad and he didn’t cry nearly as much as I expected.  During the day Hudson and I stayed in the hotel and relaxed, then after Michael got out of class we’d go eat and sightsee.  We had two good, easy days in the hotel and two days where he fussed a lot and didn’t want to nap much so that was a little challenging.  But he did pretty well considering and he slept great at night so I was very thankful for that!  Now if we can just have a smooth trip home today *fingers crossed*.

Any-who…here’s what I’m High Fiving today:

1.  This rocking camping chair.  One thing I was nervous about in regards from our trip was the fact that I’d be away from my rocking recliner where Hudson and I spend, oh, 23 hours out of the day.  Ok not that much, but that’s where I feed him and rock him to sleep so it gets a lot of use.  I was afraid that not having a rocker would be an issue and only half-jokingly asked Michael if we could pack the recliner.  I was very happy to find a camping chair that rocks and that folded up nice and small for traveling.  It’s not the smoothest rocking motion in the world but it’s good enough and has served us well this week.

2.  My Moby Wrap and Ergo.  We packed the stroller and have not used it once (we actually packed a lot of things that haven’t gotten used…I told you I was an over-packer!).  I’ve just been wearing Hudson everywhere and a lot of times I wear him while we eat because he will sleep much better being worn than he will in his carseat.  It’s been great and is much easier, I think, than lugging the stroller around.  We’ve gotten a lot of curious looks which I think is strange because I see people babywearing all the time but it must be odd to some.

It really tripped out the hostess at Bubba Gump’s one night.  She tried to seat us in this teeny-tiny little booth.  I was wearing Hudson and there was no way I could fit the both of us in the booth.  We asked her for a table (there was one literally three feet from the booth) and she said that there wasn’t anyone to serve the table (the restaurant was nearly empty).  She tried to get us to put Hudson (who she referred to as “her”) in a high chair but that doesn’t fly for obvious reasons (like, ummm, the fact that he’s way too little to sit up on his own).  It got to the point where I thought we were going to have to leave and find a different restaurant when another waitress overheard and offered to serve us at the table rather than the booth.  We sat there and then the hostess girl announced very loudly to the rest of the restaurant that “there are two people sitting at a table for six and I don’t know what to do about that!”.

I really had no idea wearing a baby was going to cause such fuss!

mobyJust snoozing away while we ate at The Old Mill

3.  I was a guest blogger over here this week sharing how to make homemade stretch mark cream.  You should go check it out!

4. I did not eat this slug for lunch last week.  I came close, but narrowly escaped.  I made my sandwich for lunch and realized I had forgotten mustard.  I lifted the bread off the top to add my mustard and saw something dark; I thought it was a piece of shrivelly lettuce…you know how it gets black and mushy?  Umm, no.  It was a slug, crawling on my sandwich.  I freaked out a little and needless to say lost my appetite for lunch.  Do you know how close I came to eating that?!?  Eww.  What if I hadn’t realized I needed mustard?!?  Horrors.

I’ll be washing my lettuce a little more carefully from here on out.

slugsorry for the poor picture quality…little booger was wiggling all over the place and I couldn’t get a good focus (it definitely wasn’t because I was shaking with relief…)

5.  Michael’s class this morning was super short, just long enough to pick up his certificate of completion, so we went to Cade’s Cove before we headed home. Hudson cried pretty much the whole ride from Gatlinburg to Cade’s Cove but once we got there he settled down and we were able to drive the loop in relative peace.

The detour was so worth it! We saw a group of three bears (a mama and two cubs we think), several deer, and another group of two bears. The second set of bears were really close to us and that was so neat.

Photo May 09, 12 08 47 PMbears at Cade's CoveCade's Covedeer at Cade's Coveblack bears at Cade's Cove

Oh and this.  Michael found this on Craigslist the other day.

fainting goatsThey.Faint.Well.

You’re welcome.

(can I admit that for half a second I wanted to buy these just to make them faint?)

Linking up with Lauren.