Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Birthday Girl

As I am planning for my sweet girl's third birthday next weekend it dawned on me that I never posted anything about Mila's first and second birthdays.  I guess it is one of the many reminders of how busy you become when you have a baby.  In order to right this wrong I decided I would post them now.

Mila's First Birthday

Mila's first birthday party was monkey themed (which is very appropriate for Miss Mila to this day).  Sorry for the bad quality pictures - those windows made it difficult to get the correct balance for this DSLR novice.

The banners I made by the light of college football on TV after Mila would go to sleep.




Banana Chips favors... get it?

My weekly belly picture chalkboard put to good use.

Monkey favors for the kiddos.

Mila's birthday sign from daycare.

Hard to see, but Mila's monthly pictures.


Mila's Second Birthday

We had a My Neighbor Totoro themed party.  Unfortunately Mila was so busy Matt and I didn't get a picture together with the birthday girl.  :(

My goal this year is to get a family picture!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

1 Year Down

Wow, where did this past year go?  Here's to 1 year in the new house which most definitely feels like home.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Homemade Deodorant

This is actually a post I started years ago.  Over time I forgot about how much I love this little secret because I use it everyday, it just became a normal ritual.   But after a friend reminded me about this topic (thanks Sana!) I figured it was time to post it, especially since we are in the dog days of summer and I was just about to make a new batch.  

My whole life I was an excessive sweater.  I was even known to wear button down shirts and sweatshirts over t-shirts in the summer just to cover my sweat marks.  When I was 27 I finally went to the dermatologist and was diagnosed with hyperhidrosis.  In the past I had always used prescription strength deodorant but when I found out my insurance covered Botox for hyperhidrosis (if they would only cover it for wrinkles... I kid, I kid) I was all for it.  I had the Botox applied twice, it felt like being stung by bees over and over again and each application lasted about 6 months.  I won't lie, it did work wonders.  But I soon found out my hyperhidrosis problem was caused by an underlying thyroid issue that I'm now managing so I wanted to avoid the Botox if possible.  

I started looking for a natural deodorant when we decided to start a family, I wanted as few chemicals in my system as possible.  Tom's of Maine makes a natural deodorant but it never really seemed to work well.  Then I stumbled upon making my own deodorant.  This couldn't be easier and it works, even my CrossFit addicted husband swears by it. ;)

You'll need:

6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
4 Tablespoons Baking Soda
4 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder (or Cornstarch)

In the microwave melt 6 tablespoons of coconut oil in a measuring cup, or any bowl, but the measuring cup is good for pouring the deodorant into your storage jar. 

Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda and mix.

Add 4 tablespoons of Arrowroot Powder (or Cornstarch) and mix.

If your mixture is too runny add more baking soda and arrowroot starch or if it is too dry, add more coconut oil.  It is that easy.

Pour into your storage containers, for us I find this recipe makes 2 half pint mason jars that my husband and I keep in our medicine cabinets.  Depending on the temperature, it can take until the next morning for them to firm up, you may want to give them a stir every so often until they firm so the oil doesn't rise to the top.

To use, scoop a pea to marble size of deodorant out using your fingers and rub into your underarm.  Some people can be a little sensitive to the baking soda so if you find this stings make sure you don't apply right after shaving or use less baking soda.  You can even add some essential oils of your choice for a pleasant scent.  If not, this is completely odorless and will keep your pits that way too!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mila's Nursery Reveal

But Natalie, you just posted about moving day, how could you just now be posting Mila's nursery reveal?  Because a) I just realized this draft was sitting in my posts, b) things get crazy busy after you have the baby who resides in the nursery; but most likely c) it felt really private until now since we no longer are living in this space.  I know I want the documentation of it so I'm happy to post it now.  It wasn't anything fancy but it holds many of my most favorite memories and makes me well up just thinking about how I'll never (physically) be in this space again.  My only child's very first bedroom.

When Matt and I found out I was pregnant we decided to wait to find out the gender of the baby.  It goes against the crazy type-A organizer/planner in me but we both agreed it is one of life's last happy surprises.  I totally understand why people find out in advance, but for us this was the way to go.  We also decided early on we didn't want to do a traditional green or yellow gender neutral nursery.  One of my favorite colors is a deep navy blue and I loved navy, pink and white as well as navy, green and white combinations so navy and white is what we chose to paint the nursery.  When the baby arrived we would then add pink or green touches (we both knew instinctively we'd be adding pink).  

I did all the painting (no-VOC with a mask and windows open) and cut and installed the chair rail.  That nesting phase of pregnancy is amazing, I wish I could get just a hit of it every now and again when I need to get something done. 

There was a lot of furniture in this room so it feels cramped when you look at the pictures but it didn't feel that way in reality.  I'm actually thankful for every piece we had in there because they were all useful, I spent more then a handful of nights on that futon and we needed two dressers since the closets held Matt's clothing (see, we really did need a bigger home).

This room is very hard to photograph so I apologize for the weird angles, lighting, etc.

View from the door.  The lighting fixture was actual the initial source of my inspiration for the room.

Reverse view

View from the attached guest bathroom.

The crib with her name and custom monkey mobile.
(Can you tell it took me a while to photograph the room? The crib already has rail covers to keep Mila from unleashing her teething habits onto the crib and the mattress is on the lowest level!)

We included one of my favorite phrases along with photos of me and Matt as babies, word art, maternity photos and hospital and baptism shadow boxes.

Random items along with my baby shower invite and the cutest little card that came with an Etsy order that shows a bird with a rainbow with the saying "follow your heart".

Our first and 20 week sonogram picture and bow holder from my Aunt.

Changing table with giraffe figurine from Nonna's trip to Africa.

Lots of time spent in the Ikea Poang chair alongside the monkey frame from my Aunt and Mila's first bible from her Auntie.  A basket full of wonderful books from my baby shower with special messages to Mila inside.

This framed picture of Mila cracks me up every time, it was from her newborn shoot and she looks like shes pointing and winking at the camera as if to say "ya got me!"

More storage.

It hurts a little to know this room only exists in my memory now but it makes me smile since Mila has a new room now with new memories being made every day.

Moving Day!

Sorry I've been MIA!  This move has really overwhelmed me more than I could have imagined.  We are all in and settled now but let's go back, way back to the first weekend in March...

Our house closing was very dramatic.  Closing company fighting with the lender, the person who is usually in charge called out, it was the last day of the month, and a Friday, etc.  It was an all day fire drill that I never want to go through again but in the end we got our keys, stopped by the house for 10 minutes and drove back to Montgomery County to pick up Mila at daycare 5 minutes before they closed.  Phew.

 I guess two feet (!) of snow on moving day would overwhelm most people.  Our move went relatively well considering we were dealing with the worst winter storm this year had to offer.  It took two days instead of one but at least we were doing a "local" move even if it was to a different state.  Matt was really the MVP of the move, directing the movers and going back and forth between Loudoun and Montgomery county countless times all while running out of wiper fluid and having to throw water on his windshield during the trek.

The only good thing about snow on moving day... beautiful pictures of your new house.

First night in the new house (with all the furniture at the condo).

Nothing keeps Mila from eating her guacamole, not even a lack of furniture.


Not happy (either one of them).

Waiting for the movers...

The only damage done was a quarter sized nick in the basement stairwell wall from a sofa so I would call it a very successful move overall (snow aside).  Now the fun part, making our new house a home!

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