How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe Like A Mother

Below is a post I wrote almost a year ago exactly. I’m reposting it because a) it’s that time of year when I start to once again reassess my wardrobe to see what stays and what goes and b) I’ve had some renewed interest and questions from readers.

As I was re-reading the post, I was excited to see that this past capsule wardrobe has been not only successful in terms of giving me clothes that I love to wear, works for my lifestyle, and fits well, but also, this capsule has really freed me from my clothes. I find that I love my clothes for what they are – no more, no less. No more drama over what to wear. No more feeling like I constantly need to add more just because I stumble upon a good deal or see a trend I like. Honestly, I think about clothes so much less and the freeing feeling that this capsule has left me with can only be described as something akin to coming home after a long day, letting your hair down, taking your bra off, and sitting on the sofa in a pair of pants without a waistband.

That kind of freeing.

But there has also been this other result from my capsule that I didn’t expect – when I buy clothes that I genuinely like and that fit well, I choose, like, really awesome stuff. If you saw last week’s post about Four Things I Can’t Stop Wearing, then you saw a few pieces that I purchased recently that are just crazy beautiful/cool/functional/fun. All the words. I’m just appreciating my clothing so much more, mostly because I’m choosing better.

And that’s really what it’s all about, anyway. Better, more deliberate choices.

So anyways. Here is the post about how I created a capsule wardrobe that really, honestly works for me. I’m still using this same one. I’m stilling rocking my “uniform.” I still have some purging and letting go to do. But It’s becoming more and more second nature. Oh, and Bea is still in our closet and I still love it and I’m still using the stand alone wardrobe as my “closet” and I love that too. (Link for that is below). It’s all good.

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So I know I’ve talked about creating a capsule wardrobe in the past, but things have taken a serious and exciting turn in the wardrobe department. Namely, I gave up my glorious, walk-in closet with the built in shoe rack and shelves to house something much more precious than clothing – my little girl.

So my closet is now Bea’s room, which meant it was time to get down to business on this whole capsule wardrobe thing. In the past, I would just pack up whatever didn’t make it into the current season’s capsule and store it in my closet. That, is no longer an option. Not to mention the fact that I was starting to feel physically oppressed by the shear volume of stuff. I had all these things that were still in great shape but belonged to a different me who did different things. A me that no longer exists. Their daily presence in my life just stressed me out. It was time to go. Continue reading “How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe Like A Mother”

The Problem With Goals

I attended this two day yoga workshop this weekend and received some tough love/much needed real talk that led to a light bulb moment that I’m still mulling over. This is not a post about yoga. This is a post about the problem with goals, or rather, how we set our goals. It just so happens that yoga was the vehicle that drove this point home for me. You don’t have to love or even care about yoga to relate to this post. My guess is, we’ve all experienced the downside of poor goal setting and could use the kind of real talk I experienced over the weekend. Or not. Your call. Either way, here goes!

So I have all these goals for my life, right? And sometimes, ok, most of the time, I get really frustrated with myself and my life and my lack of current progress in said goals. I get down right sour. Why am I not accomplishing these things? I say to myself. Why can’t I move forward in this area? I bemoan. Why do I suuuuuck? I cry and cry and cry.

I am very critical of myself. I get that. But also, I realized over the past weekend that I am a very poor goal setter. I’m unrealistic. I set the bar too high, expecting to jump from point A to Z without B-Y. Then, when I can’t leap the chasm between where I’m at and where I want to be immediately and with very little effort applied, I cry. I get angry. I beat myself up. I assume that I’m the worst ever and get really down in the dumps. And then, for the coup de grâce, I stay down in the dumps because I also happen to have a very strong will. This means that I won’t give up on said impossible goal, I simply run myself repeatedly into the proverbial brick wall and wonder why I’m so pathetic to not be able to tear down the wall. (Never mind you with your, “Haven’t you ever heard the definition of insanity?” Yes. Yes I have. And so have you but I bet there are things that youuu do over and over while expecting a different result each time so just step off, ok? We are in this together.)

Take yoga for example.

I have all these goals. Big goals. Little goals. But mostly just big goals.

This weekend at a yoga workshop, the instructor said something that blew my mind. She was walking around the room as we were working on some basic drills – like super basic – and said the following to everyone in the room:  Continue reading “The Problem With Goals”

How I Use Essential Oils

I want to thank my friend Ali for suggesting the topic for today’s post. Thanks Ali!

I also wanted to say, by way of a disclaimer, that I don’t sell essential oils, I’m not an expert by any means, and I’m new to using them within the past year. With that being said, I know oil brands are hotly contested and people tend to defend them like family. So please, if you have a brand that you love like a brother, just remember that I don’t, and I’m not trying to step on any toes. Ok, now…on to essential oils!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in healing the body naturally. I believe our bodies are incredible and there are quite a few things we can do naturally to keep them healthy and heal them when they are sick. I’ve talked about my natural methods of keeping sinus infections at bay in the past, feeling better when the cold and flu strikes, and how I was able to get a negative Group B result during my last pregnancy. I believe medicine has it’s time and place, but I generally feel that modern medicine doesn’t always do a good job of valuing preventative measures, of which there are plenty of natural methods. I always want to understand the why behind my sickness, and then heal that. Too often, I feel that my symptoms are just masked and the root caused never discovered, which to me, isn’t true healing. But I digress…

Wow, how did I get on this topic? Oh yes. Essential oils.

So I started with essential oils like everyone else: I bought a diffuser. I bought the one that Amazon told me to buy, and ordered a pack of oils from a company that offered the perfect blend of affordability and reliable (as far as I can tell) information on their product’s quality.

And this brings me to my main point about oils.

Even if I could afford to make a one time purchase from the top two essential oil brands, I could never, ever afford to maintain future purchases. As it currently stands, all my essential oil purchases come out of my grocery budget, so no, I can’t spend $30 a bottle because that is equal to like an entire aisle at Aldi. You could tell me every possible benefit of purchasing from the most popular companies, and it wouldn’t matter. The budget is, what it is.

But also…

I’m always leery of companies that claim you have to purchase from them because they are THE best and you simply can’t trust anyone else or you will basically be making the worst mistake of your life. I view essential oils the same way I do vitamins:

a) the FDA doesn’t approve of them so you already know that you are on to a good thing. (I TOLD you I’m contrary.)

b) Just because something isn’t top of the line doesn’t mean it can’t add value to your life. Could I be convinced that the top two companies are more pure than others? Absolutely. But I have also done quite a bit of reading on other companies that are trying to provide great products at great prices, with lots of information at consumer’s fingertips so they can verify claims. I’m not going to buy the Dollar Tree essential oils that are supposed to be for a reed diffuser and put them on my face. But I have found some great, moderately priced brands, that I do use and love.

(Also, side note, I read that it is INCREDIBLY expensive to get the little label on bottles that says the oils are safe for ingestion. Most brands don’t have the funds to pay for this kind of labeling, so they just leave it off and say that it’s not intended for ingestion. I’ve found in my research of vitamins and oils that often times, the big main gatekeepers of all these labeling laws keep natural players at bay by these pricey requirements. So, it’s not always that they “aren’t safe,” so much as the companies can’t afford the same kind of requirements as say, Kraft. I know Kraft isn’t in the essential oil game, I’m just trying to make a point that just because it’s certifiable in it’s field doesn’t mean it’s good for you, and vice versa.)

So, to summarize, I don’t buy the most expensive brands of oils just like I don’t buy the most expensive brands of vitamins. I can’t. But there are other solid brands out there and I think that anything you can do to take care of your health in a more natrual way is always a step in the right direction.

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So, what brand do I use? I love Rocky Mountain Oils. I love how much information about their products is on their site. I love that each bottle comes with little indicators that show you how they can be used (topically, diffuse, etc.). I love their price point. They aren’t the least expensive, but they are far from the most. I’ve ready a lot of other blog posts where the blogger will order one oil from 10 different brands, and time and time again Rocky Mountain came out on top.

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How do I use essential oils?

-It started when I began making my own deodorant. I bought all my ingredients for the deodorant, including my oils, from Mountain Rose Herbs. I read that palmarosa is antiviral, aids in skin regeneration, and can balance your oil production. I love making my own deodorant so much, and I’ve enjoyed blending in essential oils for both the great effects they have on my body and their fantastic smells.

– I do a lot of diffusing. I’ve always been a big fan of burning incense, but I love that diffusing oils is not only a great way to absorb the benefits, but it is also a safer because nothing needs to be lit.

-I use several oils in my neti pot. I use a neti pot, no joke, two times a day at least. You guys, my sinus issues are severe, and they make my life miserable some times. Oh well. But oils…I always use 1/4 tsp of sea salt and baking soda in every rinse, and sometimes I add a drop each of lavender and peppermint. If things are really stuffy, I’ll use Rocky Mountain’s Breath oil instead. This feels a little weird admitting, but I have put a TON of things up my sinuses in the hopes of kicking/preventing a sinus infection. So far, the only thing that both helps AND doesn’t burn like a mother is – you guessed it – essential oils.

-I bought myrtle oil recently from RM and I’ve LOVED this oil so much. I diffuse it for it’s soothing effects on your nerves (hellllllow myrtle, please be my best friend). I add a few drops of myrtle oil to my 1 C of epsom salts and 1/4 C baking soda to creating a soothing bath mix that is great for lady problems. I also plan to start adding it to my skincare routine because this oil is ALSO great for the skin? Is there nothing myrtle can’t do? I tell ya…(I plan to add it to my next batch of homemade deodorant, too.)

-I went to a take-and-make party at my friend’s house and she had all kinds of wonderful skin and body care recipes available to us, along with all the ingredients we would need, including all her Young Living oils. I had SO much fun at her party, and came away with rollers full of fractioned coconut oil and YL oils for a variety of issues : a tummy roller for the kids, a wellness roller, and my favorite, a “happy momma” roller. We also used unrefined coconut oil to make other blends that could be massaged on skin. I made a “happy baby” blend for Bea and a “breath cream” for the kids. Those recipes are all over pinterest if you are interested!

-This winter, I took my friend Sara’s advice and started mixing oregano oil with coconut oil and rubbing it on my feet before bedtime when I feel like I’m coming down with something. I honestly believe it has helped me fight off illness and bounce back quicker!

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So, these are just a few of the ways I use essential oils. Like I said, I’m still relatively new to this whole world, but I’ve really enjoyed using them and I believe in their benefits. I’ll link to a few articles that I’ve read on my oil journey.

What about you? Do you use essential oils? How do you use them? Feel free to link up to recipes you use and enjoy to share with the rest of us! And again, I  hope this was a fun and informative post for you, regardless of where you are on the oil spectrum. I love that people have brands they love, and it’s fun when they share their love with others. I think there is room for everyone to share their tips and preferences with everyone without dogging on someone else’s opinion or favorite brand.

What’s that the kids are saying these days? Positive vibes only! (wink)

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a few (possibly) helpful link:

a great list of what carrier oils are and how to choose one: here

my favorite detox bath recipe: here

a great list of oils for sinus infections (at the bottom): here

a helpful graphic to explain how and where to use oils topically: here

recipe for a Whipped Sleepy Time Rub that is great for kids (and you too!): here

an important dilution guide to read before you use oils on your skin: here

The Fall Event That Has Us Most Excited!

If you’ve hung around His Girl Friday for awhile, then you know one place our family loves to go for outdoor family friendly fun is The Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio.img_7236

One of TWC’s biggest annual events is The Enchanted Forest (and one we are SO excited to attend this year). Recently, my oldest son – Theo – and I were able to sit in on dress rehearsals to bring you a little preview of this special event which runs Friday, October 7 through Saturday, October 8! Continue reading “The Fall Event That Has Us Most Excited!”

The Best New Place For Kids In Northeastern Ohio: Jump n Shout

Families in the Northeastern Ohio area are in for a treat. Recently, Neil and Natasha Wood of Wooster, Ohio, opened the doors to their new business – Jump n Shout – a one stop fun and entertainment area for kids of all ages. I got the chance to sit down with the couple recently to hear more about their story and to check out their new facility. I left so excited to come back with my kids and my friend’s kids. This place, is awesome.

Neil and Natasha have two kids of their own – an eight year old son and a four year old daughter. They noticed that it was difficult to find places that both their children enjoyed.

“All of the places we visited cater to children of the same age, which means someone is always missing out,” Neil noted.

The couple also struggled to find fun things to do with the kids in the winter. The couple is originally from South Africa where it is sunny all the time and as a result, most activities are outdoors.

“But then we moved to Ohio for work,” said Natasha, “and we needed to find something to do when the weather turned cold. Continue reading “The Best New Place For Kids In Northeastern Ohio: Jump n Shout”

Five Things

1. I keep telling my husband that maybe we just need to sell our house and our belongings, buy an RV, and take this show on the road. He could sell his beautiful woodworking from city to city across the US and it would be one heck of a way to see the country. Imagine the sights! Imagine what the kids would learn! (He says we already have one too-few bedrooms, but still…It would be an adventure!) This couple actually quit their jobs and traveled by VW bus from Alaska to Argentina. Hashtag inspiration!

2. My oldest son had his first night of testing and orientation for kindergarden this week. Whew. Talk about feeling all the feelings and thinking all the thoughts! My friend sent me this fascinating article that talks about how “Young children today continue to learn best by watching the everyday things that grown-ups do, from cleaning the house to fixing a car.” It’s a great read, especially for parents! Continue reading “Five Things”

Thursday Things I Love: Splash Pads, Paddle Boats, and Fresh Herbs

This week was full of essential summer activities and I’ve loved it. It’s been hot. We’ve been near the water a ton. I took an awesome yoga class. I’ve made and eaten a ton of great food. We’ve spent some great time together as a family. And I even cleaned my house. Wait. That’s a lie. My house is a totally disaster. But the rest of the things are true! Who needs a clean house when you have a summer bucket list of actives that you are scrambling to accomplish before everyone goes back to school? Not this girl. Cleaning can wait. Take a look at some of the things I loved from the week: Continue reading “Thursday Things I Love: Splash Pads, Paddle Boats, and Fresh Herbs”

A DIY Outdoor Play Space For Our Kids

We’ve been wanting to create a fort/treehouse/playhouse for the kids for awhile now. Recently, Mike and I put our heads together to create a space that would grow with the kids; a space where they could play, create, imagine, and even camp out. I wanted it to be part club house, part stage for little productions, part cabin in the woods. I wanted it to be kind of an a-frame structure, with a deck.

Mike executed my vision to perfection. Better, even.

I can’t wait to see the boys use this space, and one day – Beatrice. We are calling it the Adventure Cottage, because this bad boy is built for adventure.

I can’t wait to hang a few hammocks for them to lounge in and read. I can’t wait for them to roll out a few sleeping bags and tell stories with a campfire perfect for roasting marshmallows near by. I can’t wait for them to put on silly little products on the deck, with us watching and laughing in our camp chairs.

This is going to be fun. This, is going to be an adventure. Continue reading “A DIY Outdoor Play Space For Our Kids”

Five Things

1. This week, I went to the movie theatre for a girls night with my good friend Sheila. I haven’t seen a movie in the theatre for yeeeeears! It was kind of the best thing ever. Date nights with your bestie are just the best, aren’t they?

2. Next week I’m going to make these delicious looking lavender cupcakes…using my home grown lavender! hashtag, excited.

3. My aunt is having  little get together tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing some family who is coming in from out of town. I plan on making this Roasted Butternut, Kale, and Cranberry Couscous salad. My friend made it for us last weekend and it’s delicious!  Continue reading “Five Things”