It’s everywhere; BACK TO SCHOOL everything. And while kiddos everywhere are itching to get back (or moms, but who’s keeping track anyway?), the new school year brings new routines. No more rushing or feeling at a loss for what to pack. Conquer packing lunches with these super simple & eco-friendly suggestions!
Most kids are picky eaters to begin with, so by portioning out their favorites, you can ensure they’re getting a good balance. Check out these bento lunch boxes, which make portion control a breeze! I usually stick silicone muffin liners in the 3 compartments. That way, my guy can set it all out without having to eat straight from the bento! Want to seem like mom of the year ? Change up the colors of the liners for holidays to make it fun for the kids! Red and green for Christmas, orange and yellow around Halloween, red & pink in February, etc. You get the picture!
Place 2 of the exact same sandwiches in front of a toddler, only cut one into a fun shape. Guess which one will obviously taste better. These cookie cutters are great for jazzing up any boring sammy! It’s a fun way to spice up their lunches, especially if they get to decide what shape to use for their sandwich. Heart shapes are adorable for the little ladies, stars for the little men. The smaller cutters are fun for watermelon ( & obviously cookies too)!
Raise your hand if you live to be a toddlers snack lady? *Raises hand* In an effort to reduce waste, especially plastic, we phased out all plastic snack bags for these adorable snack packs. I had each of the boys pick their own pattern, too, so I could fill with their individual favorites. They come in a 3 pack and are machine washable.
And let’s not forget about hydration. Reusable water bottles, to me, are the very best option (& greener for Mother Earth!) I can honestly say we have tried almost every style out there and by far have found hydroflask water bottles work best for us. There is even a size for everyone! The little silicone boot keeps the condensation at bay, which is a plus for those little hands. I strive to make my hydration goals each day (hello supple skin!) and feel like I always drink more water when I have a straw. This one is perfect giving the little ones access for a quick sip!
I hope you found this short list of our lunch necessities helpful! What are some of your school lunch must haves?!
If you're anything like me, you set out on the weekends with a mile long to do list with a little bit of everything on there.
We had some family time at the orchard followed by a Lowe's trip (because who doesn't go to Lowe's on the weekend?), outdoor work, intense cleaning, never ending laundry, and continuing to purge one room at a time. As I look around, I am realizing we apparently have alot that "sparks joy," still. We even had some time to spare for an impromptu cook out with some neighbors. While we certainly chipped away at the list, one of the exciting moments was seeing our fall garden start to bloom!
So as I sit here on a Monday, I can't help but feel like we're set up for a good week. Monday always feels like a good fresh start, don't you think? There is something renewing in returning to weeklong habits after 2 days of rest.
It's also hard to even believe we're talking about fall already. However, as I sit on the patio writing this, hot cup of coffee in hand, there is a crisp morning breeze, which is exciting me for fall. It's encouraging me to pop a transitional summer/fall blend in the diffuser even of Thieves, Eucalyptus and lemon! Last weekend we laid out and planted our fall garden seeds. This weekend they popped through! We're officially on our way to homegrown fall veggies, which will be a first for us.
This year, we are trying out this Survival Garden set of seeds we found on amazon. You can check them out for yourself here! They come in an awesome variety pack and are giving us a little bit of everything to try out. So far, we're super impressed with the quality and everything has sprouted on time.
- Buttercrunch lettuce: Germinates in 5-10 days; ready to pick 60-70 days.
- Kale: Germinates 6-8 days; ready to pick 55-70 days.
- Beets: ready to pick in 45-60 days.
- Turnips: ready to pick 30-60 days.
- Peas: Germinates in 7-14 days; ready to pick 21-30 days.
- Beans: Germinates in 7-10 days; ready to pick 50-55 days.
- Butternut squash: Germinates in 7-10 days; ready to pick in 90-110 days.
Like I said, this is a fall gardening is a first for us, so any pointers are greatly appreciated!
What are your favorite fall veggies?
Ya'll know how crazy passionate I am about my oils & natural lifestyle. BUT what you may not know is why Young Living?
Okay guys, listen up...
The vast majority of essential oils on the market today are only suitable for cosmetics and perfumes. The reason Young Living’s oils are so different is their unmatched commitment to producing a pure, unadulterated oil. Young Living’s devotion to creating a highly therapeutic product means they’ve invested in their OWN farms, care for and nurture their OWN plants, trees, and shrubs, and finally distill, test, and bottle the oils that arrive on your doorstep.
Anyone can go visit a YL farm! If you’re in an area- DO IT. It will blow your mind.
If at any point in that production process something doesn’t meet their standards, they get rid of it and start again. Because of this, our favorite oils sometimes go out of stock… and we are happy about it! Because we love getting our oils from a company that doesn’t crank them out quickly in a lab to make a buck, but waits on the plants to grow (no synthetics) and until the batch is perfect. They accept nothing less.
No other company owns farms or distilleries. Repeat. NONE. Let me give you an example of how important it is for a company to know the right time of day to harvest the plant and exactly how long to distill the plant to produce the chemical compounds the plant contains that is therapeutic to our bodies.
Let's take CYPRESS ESSENTIAL OIL, which has 280 known chemical constituents. If it is distilled for 20 hours you only get 20 of the 280 properties. If distilled for 26 hours you get none of the properties.
Most market cypress is distilled for 3.5 hours. The correct length of time for distilling cypress is 24 hours to get the full 280 properties!
If you want Cypress to do the job it is intended to do, you MUST get ALL 280 constituents, no more, no less. Most people just do not realize essential oils have chemical properties in them and in order to get the full benefit out of that particular oil it has to be grown, harvested, and distilled the correct way or the oil has no benefit to us.
This is called Young Living’s Seed to Seal® process. And it is unmatched. Every step from planting to bottling is detailed and controlled.
I chose Young Living because of this process, after weeks of research & so much trial and error. I started cleaning with oils when my son was about 6 months old.
As time went on, I wanted to do better. I took a lot of time choosing what I put into my body & environment for my kids. It only made sense to take the same care with the brand of essential oils I chose to use to support our health and wellness.
You’re probably thinking, “But Young Living is more expensive, right? “You’re right to some degree- sometimes it is. BUT “you get what you pay for” has never been more true. Sure, Young Living is more expensive than the discount brands you find at Home Goods and sometimes the ones you see at Whole Foods or on Amazon because of its GUARANTEED therapeutic grade. Compare YL's Lavender oil to any other brand and you will be blown away.
I was skeptical to say the least. I had my amazon.com oils and was liking my diffuser blends until I would add lavender, which by the way, has always been a favorite scent of mine. I would diffuse no name brand and instantly get a banging headache. I couldn't figure out why something so "natural" would make me feel so ill.... that is until I learned it actually was NOT natural. You can imagine my relief/surprise when I received my starter kit from Young Living and was not only able to diffuse Lavender, but also use it on my skin and in my hair products!
An ever-growing number of marketers have jumped on the essential oils bandwagon looking for an easy way to make a lot of money. Most of these oils are cheap imitations, purchased wholesale in large quantities, diluted with synthetic additives, and rebottled before being sold to you. AHA! My headache inducing knock off lavender oil all makes sense.
That’s not okay for YL. This company truly wanted the best for our families.
Some of the other companies may claim that their oils are organic or therapeutic. Unfortunately, the term “organic” is not regulated by the FDA in regards to essential oils. They do not certify or grade essential oils so any oil you see making those claims is simply using the word. They did not have to do anything to earn it.
If you cannot walk onto your oil company's farms and watch them distill their oils at their very own distilleries, then don't use it.
There’s a reason Young Living has been the world leader in essential oils for 22 years!
Take for example YL's batch of the ever popular Peppermint oil. I'll spare the details but somewhere along the distillation process, standards were not met. Imagine an olympic size swimming pool of Peppermint oil.... trashed. The cost to the company was NOT a factor in the decision. The fact that it had the potential to throw a very crucial and popular oil out of stock did NOT factor into the decision. If it doesn't meet the standards, it doesn't get sold as a YL product. Period.
Wonder what company bought that rejected oil?.....
Did you know that when you buy ANY other brand of essential oils that they are buying their oils from any farmer that is the lowest bidder? That NO ONE besides Young Living has control of the plant from the time it’s a seed to the time it’s bottled?
By employing our Seed to Seal standards on our corporate owned farms, partner farms, and seed to seal suppliers, we ensure that NO ONE has more potent or more pure oils.
So next time you see a grocery store product Essential oil, or any other knock off brand company... please understand, you get what you pay for.
If you're using no name brands, & have had enough of the synthetics, you let me know when you're ready to make the change :) I will be here to welcome you with arms wide open!
On Sunday’s we skincare.
My perfectly tanned, smooth, wrinkle-free young 20 something skin is in the rearview. Life is so crazy these days it is hard to keep up with the latest. The few spare minutes I have to read blogs, I often just browse headlines before I am tending to a bruised knee, or a life-altering spilled bowl of goldfish. I am most certainly not complaining but the small part of me that still gets priority wants to keep myself looking as youthful as possible, despite thriving on little sleep & 4 cups of coffee per day.... I know I am not alone in this either!
Cue my main man, Frank. That's Frankincense essential oil. Every night I dab a bit of Frank on my forehead, cheeks and chin then rub in with my nighttime moisturizer. My skin has never felt so soft or looked so healthy despite being a mom of 3 babies. I am telling you, it is a GAME CHANGER.
So much so, I even had someone comment on how supple my skin looked while I was still in the delivery room, at 2:00am after being awake for 22 hours after delivering my 3rd baby.
In addition to my main squeeze, Frank, one ritual my husband and I follow is what we term " Skin care Sunday." I'll let you guess what it means. We either use a fun mask or under eye patches then I finish with my jade roller. It's also the time I experiment with any new products or oil blends.
Recently, I made us a "glow serum" using my fav skin benefiting oils and we take time to hydrate our money makers, while bonding over the fact we cannot get enough of our oils. YES, even my macho, anti-oily husband has come around to this natural living thing!
Grab yourself a cute little bottle dropper & get making this serum!
Glow, Baby, Glow! Serum Recipe:
+ 10 drops Lavender
+ 10 drops Frankincense
+ 10 drops Copiaba
+ carrier oil (I like to use rose hip seed oil on my face)
= ENJOY the softest, supple skin :)
What are some of your absolute favorite go -to skin oils?
We have all been there. The start of the baby registry. Ugh. It's exciting and emotional because this is the start of planning the best life for your little one to be. You have all the feels then it hits you, this is real life. It's overwhelming & suddenly it's terrifying. Fortunately, many registry providers give you a suggested or "must have" list for baby. *eye roll* Because more than half of it is bogus. Fear not, I am not here to misguide you.
With that said, here are the honest to goodness no frills must have for baby!
1. A Cool Mist Humidifier
Without a doubt, next to diapers and wipes, I use the cool mist humidifier the most of any gift I received at my shower years ago. It is one of those not so glamorous gifts but is seriously a life saver the moment a cold or even just a runny nose hits. Do yourself (or a friend/sister/etc) a solid and ensure they receive a cool mist humidifier for baby.
2. A carrier/wrap of some sort.
The concept of baby wearing was one I was very keen on. I may be a tad on the extreme side but I didn't want to let my new babe out of my sight or even my arms at times. The novelty of the wrap wore off as my son got bigger and more interested in his environment so I tucked it away BUT the second time around, the wrap was a game changer. I was fortunate to have two babies fairly close in age. They both needed so much of me simultaneously and it was difficult at times to give myself to meet both of their needs at the same time. The wrap was great because no matter how much I stretched or wrapped it, the shape remained unchanged and had the same give and stretch time and time again. I love my Boba wrap. My Ergo is great for more adventurous outings but also came in great demand when I would wrap my newborn and wear my toddler if he was feeling like he needed extra mommy time. Trust me, I looked like #momgoals when I was double wearing! Do yourself a favor and invest in a decent carrier/wrap. Your arms and back will thank you for it.
I think it goes without saying babies need diapers. Again, not a super glamorous gift but one that is so practical any mom will thank you for. Diapers cost SO much money for how short a period they wear them. You will be snapping the onesie closed when BOOM you hear another explosion. I won't belabor the importance of diapers to a newborn. Just have common sense and help a momma out. Should you receive too many of one size, they can easily be exchanged for the next size up.
4. Baby Swing and/or Rocker
For the sake of space, I initially opted to forego a swing. My pre-baby self didn't want my cute decorated house to seem overtaken by baby lambs. HAH - little did my pre-baby self know, a sleeping baby is worth more than the obscure puppy dog themed monstrosity in the corner. I swore I didn't need a swing, then one day my son slept 2.5 hours at a friends in her swing. You bet I stopped on the way home and had that end table moved and swing set up all before dinner.
5. Baby Backseat Car Mirror
This one is a close second to the most boring baby gift on this list (& there is some pretty stiff competition here) but in terms of practicality it's at the top. Once you decide you have yourself together enough to get yourself and your dashing new babe out the door, you will find yourself checking on him (or her) constantly in the car. This is an item that will outlast the initial newborn/infant stages too. You will get some serious bang for your buck with how often you refer to your backseat car mirror with you little one in tow.
Now that you have a solid understanding of the most boring yet insanely practical baby products, go out and spoil yourself, your new baby, or an expecting loved one. The perk is that the majority of the boring stuff isn't too pricey so you can still splurge on the cutesy baby stuff we all go GAWWW over.
*Disclaimer, I am by no means a baby whisperer nor am I a pro on selecting baby items. BUT I am someone who likes to research and understand a product before I decide if it is truly for me. I have found through my motherhood journey thus far, these 5 items have truly saved the day more times than I can count.
What other practical baby items have you found are MUST HAVES?
the most basic suburban .....
For starters..... Basic. The term can be perceived to mean many different things. To me, it's; Simple. At the core, I am the same as many of you tuning in (major thank you for being here)!
I've become a natural living & wellness advocate working to do better everyday for my family & would love to help you do the same!
I take advantage of the perfect imperfections each day brings, while trying to raise good, kind babies.
So, if you ever catch yourself wondering what a simple suburban life is like, you can find me, The Basic Suburban, chasing my tiny humans & pup, while getting oily doing house projects (because, DIY life), slowly browsing every aisle at Target Starbucks in hand, sipping wine promptly at 5pm (maybe even before), & trying to smile & laugh my way through the day.
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