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Dresses from Shabby Apple

#FreeToBe a Busy Mom: My Laundry Woes

It seems that the busier I become, the more my daily chores fall apart at the helms. My once, extremely regimented, cleaning schedule is now sadly neglected (as are my second floor bathrooms.) I feel like my day is full of building block towers, putting out small fires (aka: sibling fights) and spending every single “free” moment at the computer working on either photography, or Daily Mom. Weekends are full of activities, birthday parties, and family outings.

But honestly, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love being busy. But my laundry? Well, as much as I try to stay on top of it, sometimes it just piles up. Vivien and I have super sensitive skin. Neither of us can use very many brands of laundry detergent. But we do love all free clear!

My goal (and tip!) is to do one load of laundry every single day. To be quite honest, sometimes there isn’t a full load every single time (and by “full” I mean nearly overflowing and probably way too much clothes than my washer can actually handle.)

I actually started using all free clear when I was cloth diapering Vivien, and usually have a bottle around for when I need to pull out the big laundry soap guns. I especially love the all free clear with oxi stainlifters, and it handles the dirty kiddo stains with ease!

all free clear is the #1 recommended detergent brand by Dermatologists, Allergists, and Pediatricians for sensitive skin. It’s tough on stains yet gentle enough for the whole family. Plus, it’s safe for use in standard and HE machines. It rinses clean and has a gentle, hypoallergenic formula. Powerful Clean. Gentle on Skin.

all free clear is also 100% hypoallergenic.

NEW From the #1 Detergent Brand Recommended by Dermatologists Allergists and Pediatricians comes all® free clear liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets. Use together to make fabrics cleaner, softer, and more comfortable against your family’s sensitive skin. 100% free of dyes and perfumes. Gentle on skin. Safe for all washing machines. Find it in your fabric conditioner aisle!

Other detergents don’t measure up to all free clear:

  • all® free clear detergent (liquid and mighty pacs), fabric softener and dryer sheets have received the National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance™.
  • Products with the NEA Seal of Acceptance™ are those that avoid certain chemicals, dyes, perfumes and residues that are known to be unsuitable for use by persons with eczema or a sensitive skin condition.
  • all free clear has only 9 ingredients, that’s less than half the ingredients of Tide Free & Gentle

 So tell me- what’s your biggest and best laundry tip? 

Many thanks to all free clear for sponsoring today’s story, and encouraging me to try all free clear!

Photo Copyright, Memoirs Photography

Spring Home Makeover

Hey everyone! I’m super excited to finally reveal some of my recent home decor renovations and upgrades that kept Eli and I busy during the end of February and beginning of March.

To read details about the items, please check out this post on Daily Mom: Updating Your Home Decor for Spring.

Our first step was painting the main floor. When we moved in to this house in 2012, we inherited paint color. It wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t me. The main floor was 3 different colors of brown and beige, and I always dreamed about updating the color palette to a “cool” one of greys and bright whites.

Most of the walls were painted with Sherwin Williams Morning Fog and we did the accent color with Ice Cube. The bright white really opens up the hallway area by the front door, leading into the kitchen, and honestly, I’m a sucker for white.

I’m also a sucker for this awesome wide angle lens that I rented from Mike’s Camera. Swoon. I love me some distorted edges. It makes me seriously want to go into real estate photography. I loved it!

Brand new Fiesta Dishes in bright colors were also added, as well as new placemats. Please don’t judge me, but sometimes I stare inside my cabinets at my new pretty dishes. I’m not even joking. I love them so, so much.

I also got some new curtains from Ikea for my front room and dining room back in November of last year, and I love how the white looks against the grey walls. We plan on painting all the windowsills and trim in the Ice Cube color during the summer time, because the frog tape pulled off the trim paint pretty badly (but it DID prevent paint drips, unlike blue tape. So frog tape is the clear and obvious winner.)

And finally. On to one of my favorite parts. The back family room and kitchen had red valances, and a boring white curtain on a rod that was literally falling out of the wall. I knew I wanted all three of the window curtains in the back to match, and that I wanted yellow to be the main color. I contacted a lady from my Mom’s Club that I’m a part of, regarding custom making the valances and curtains. After ordering about 30 swatches of yellow fabric from, I finally found the perfect one: Dena Designs Sunshine Linen Blend. I loved how it wasn’t a mustard yellow hue, and it wasn’t baby-pastel either. It’s a beautiful mixture of bright and light and airy.

We also got new couches back in November as well, as a Christmas gift. (Hampton Sofa and Loveseat from Sofa Mart.) I love love LOVE them. I also painted our toy storage bin with some Annie Sloan paint in Greek Blue, and added some fun accessories that I found for super cheap from Ikea.

If you’re local in the Denver/Aurora area, I highly recommend Michelle Hoge Crafts for anything that you need that’s crafty, like custom curtains! I picked out my fabric, and she pretty much handled everything else. It was way easier and way cheaper than combing through a billion websites for the perfect fabric, not to mention that most curtain panels go for at least $75 for a pair- and that’s not even including valances, which they typically don’t stock in matching.

So there it is! My main floor has pretty much been made-over completely since moving in almost 3 years ago. It’s 100% us, and our style, and I can’t wait to raise my little family in this beautiful home that I’m so blessed to have.

 What do you think? What color scheme is your home decorated in?

Easter Traditions and Outfits

In the weeks leading up to Easter, my Grandma took a turn for the worse, and I ended up packing up both of the kids and the car and driving (alone!) with them to Michigan. We ended up being gone 15 days during March, so the month really flew by in a tizzy.

Easter kind of seems to be an understated holiday in my house, for some reason. It may possibly be because it usually happens close to my birthday (not that my birthday is anything special, but you get the jist.) We spent the Saturday prior dying Easter eggs after Vivien got out of gymnastics class (hence the leotard) and writing notes to the Easter Bunny and coloring him pictures. Vivien went to bed that night excited for the Easter experience, and told me, “The Easter Bunny can leave me candy, but tell him not to hop into my room when I’m asleep.”

Check, kid.

We pacified William during the egg dying process with about 2 lbs of blueberries.

Vivien was super stoked for all her Frozen things that she got in her basket, and then proceeded to post up at the table and eat all the candy out of her basket. And Williams. #bigsisproblems

After their nap, I got them dressed in their fancy Easter duds, and went out front for a little photo shoot. The super sunny midday weather was rough. I should really time our memories to happen during golden hour.

For more details on the kid’s outfits, check out this post on Daily Mom: Kids Easter Fashion Guide

It’s also next to impossible to get a photo of Vivien and William together. Im.Poss.Ible.

Peace out, sister. I got places to go.

Then I captured about 400 photos of William looking at me, skeptically, through his awesome furrowed eyebrows. This kid has about 4 million faces, and it’s HYSTERICAL to see them change every 2 seconds based on his mood at the time. He’s turning into such a funny kid, lately. He’s super expressive, and crazy loud. He knows what he wants (and it’s usually naughty) and hollers if he doesn’t get his way. But he’s legit the sweetest little boy ever. He adores giving his Mommy kisses and hugs, and loves snuggling. He hates strangers (he’s not a trusting kid. He gets it from his Daddy.)

I ran across a timehop from Easter last year a couple days ago, and it stated how much I adore little boy’s Easter Clothing. And honestly, it’s my absolute favorite. Picking out adorable dresses for Vivien is super fun, but how freaking cute is William’s vintage inspired sailor short set?! I want to dig it out for another shoot a little later later this Spring, because it’s the best. Theeeeee beeeeeest. 

Oh, and one more, because I’m a glutton for punishment and tiny toddler temper tantrums:

How was your Easter?

Both feet in the 30′s door.

With two hours left, I feel accomplished to note that TODAY is my birthday. I have officially fully entered my 30′s with both feet in the door. No longer am I “on the cusp” of the decade.


Nothing spectacular happens at 31, except that you (kind of) remember what a big deal of a birthday this was 10 years ago. So instead, I’ve decided to do a post on 10 things that 31 year old me, wish I could tell 21 year old me.

  1. You’re going to get divorced. He’s a tool anyways, and your next husband is way cooler.
  2. You’ll be SUPER SKINNY because of said divorce. Dry your weepy eyes and enjoy your perky self.
  3. Smoking is ugly. Quit immediately. You’ll be embarrassed you used to do it, one day.
  4. While on the topic of cancer, WEAR SUNSCREEN WHEN YOU LIFEGUARD. Being tan is totes over-rated.
  5. Abbreviating words will be cool, soon. Totes. Adorbs. Presh. Cray. Start saying them now, and you’ll be totes rad, and ahead of the curve.
  6. Everything, and I mean everything happens for a reason.
  7. One day, you’ll have two hysterical and goofy kids that make you laugh daily. Until then, live your life and be free.
  8. Go visit the ocean daily. You’ll miss it like crazy when you move to a landlocked state.
  9. Cherish your friends, but know that they, like you, will grow. Some grow closer, and some grow apart. That’s life.
  10. Don’t ever go to Carlsbad with Regina. You’ll never, ever, live that night down. In fact, Carlsbad is kind of janky anyways. I’d just skip that bar scene all together, if I were you. Which I am.

Here’s to being 31!

From “busy” to “balanced” in 2015 (hopefully)

Yesterday was one of those days. During the course of the day I vacuumed the house, cleaned 4 bathrooms, did 3 loads of laundry and meal planned for the week. I also cooked dinner, and went grocery shopping. The word busy sums it up, and that’s how I feel about life lately. Our weekends are booked for next month and a half, and evenings are spent hectically cooking dinner and then starting the bath & bedtime routine.

But tonight, as I finished up Vivien’s bath and was about to tuck her into bed, I heard her squeaky voice ask me, “Mommy, are you too busy to read me a story?”

I thought of how exhausted I was, and how I longed to sit down and possibly pour myself a glass of champagne before I started my “working hours” of photo editing, Daily Mom, or (sometimes, usually not) writing. Truthfully, I was busy. But in that moment, everything came to a screeching halt and I stopped to read Vivien her Berenstain Bear book while she nuzzled her wet head that smelled like soap into the crook of my arm and recited most of the book by memory to me before I even got the chance to turn the pages. That. I should never be too busy for that.

While I was mentally giving myself props all day for kicking ass at being a housewife, I failed at being a stay at home mom. I was too preoccupied to spend the day helping William do somersaults like the day before. (It’s his favorite pastime. He’ll do them for hours.) I didn’t take Vivien down to the playroom and watch her “grocery shop” and then come up with something “deeeeelishush” to pretend-feed Will.

Sometimes I need to work on balance. My mom has always said that I have the world’s worst case of “tunnel vision.” If I want/need something done, it must be done NOW, and there’s no rest or downtime until it is. I enjoy immediate gratification, and hate the process of waiting. However, what’s happening daily (and, dare I say, immediately?) is my kids are growing up. Quickly. They won’t always want me to read them stories, or carry them around all day, every day (::ahem::Will.)

So maybe I’m late to the proverbial blogger punch bowl, but this year, I am striving to work on balance. Hence, my word of 2015 (Two months late.) Including finally taking some time for yours truly in the mix. My kids should never ever have to question if I’m too busy for them.

Look, I’m only 5 days late to posting Vivien’s Valentine’s Day photo. That’s a record here, as of late.