Cozy favorites

CozyLiving in Wisconsin, I’d like to think I know a thing or 2 about staying cozy, and keeping warm. As for relaxing, that I need to work on. Although I don’t have a whole lot of extra time to relax anyway, well more like never, it is something that I am really bad at. My husband and I are opposites in this way, and I am fully aware of juuusst how much it irritates him that I can never sit still. When I do get a chance to kick my feet up, I always feel like there is something else that I should be doing. Oh I dunno like ALL of the to-do lists. I am working on it though! Especially now that the Christmas season is in full swing, and our calendar is jam packed, momma needs to de-stress. These are some of the things I run, not walk to, when I want to cozy up and [try to] relax.

Cozy (3)

A good book: Reading has always been my go-to way to relax and a favorite hobby of mine. Right now I’m reading Where’d You Go Bernadette (I know, I know, I’m the last person on earth to read it), and on deck is Longbourn, then a million Emily Giffin novels.

My Netflix favorites: Seriously (every time I say seriously I think of my dad because he mocks me saying it all the time. Apparently I say it a lot? Who can be sure? Seriously) my favorite part of the day is climbing under the covers and catching up on my shows, with Ralph and snacks of course. I look forward to it from the moment I get up in the morning. Does that make me a bad mom? I love my kids and my time with them during the day, but I also love when the house is quiet and I can have something to entertain me besides block towers, and lego cities. Some days this is the only time Ralph and I have together, alone, well sort of…there is usually a baby crawling all over us but still. Some of my our favorite things to watch are Gilmore Girls, House of Cards, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn 99, Parenthood, Call the Midwife. Right now they have all kinds of crazy good movies on Netflix too.  Youve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, An Affair to Remember to name a few. And you can never go wrong with classics like Scrubs or The Office. We laugh harder every time we watch those shows over even though we’ve seen them all 20 times.cozy (4)

A cozy pair of slippers: I have tried many a slippers in my day, and these Uggs are the best. As soon as the kids are off to school I slip back into these babies. What’s great about them is they have a hard rubber sole on the bottom, so they are supportive enough for us high arched ladies to wear all day long.

A warm cup of tea: My husband is into looseleaf tea and he always makes a big pot in the afternoon for us. Our favoite place to get loosleaf tea from is Adagio, and right now we are loving masala chai.

My oils: I know I talk about them a lot, but they are a huge part of my daily life. I keep the diffuser running throughout the day, but particularly when I am trying to relax. My favorites to diffuse for a calming atmosphere are lavender, peace and calming, and ylang ylang.

Pinterest: Planning is relaxing to me. Does that make me weird? Probably. Definitely. My happy place is my laptop open to Pinterest, my house planning binder open on my lap, and my favorite pen (nerds unite!) ready to do some list making. Its probably ironic that making lists is relaxing to me, because when I am done searching around Pinterest,  I have made my to do list even more giant with things I probs don’t need to do. The Pinterst curse. But so many good things!

Snacks: I try to eat healthy snacks all day long to keep me going, so at night I like to treat myself with some real good junk food. Obviously not the greatest time to indulge but HEY, I’m still breastfeeding and eating for two…errr….yeah. Dreading the day I can’t say that anymore. My favorite snack at night is my trusty box of Candy Cane Joe Joes from Trader Joes, and a very large glass of cold milk.

An oversized knit sweater: Like this one I’m wearing from Gap, which is unfortunately not available anymore. It was from their Made in America line back in the fall, which was AHHmazing. Here is a similar one from AE that looks super cozy and adorable. Poncho sweaters are another comfy option I love this winter. I love them because they are easy to lift up and nurse Lucy, plus they hide my extra baby weight. These are the two I have and wear a lot. This poncho from H&M. This poncho from Old Navy.

A comfy bed spread: I have bought so many darn bedspreads, comforters, and duvets its insane. I have yet to come across the perfect one, but I am simply swooning over this bedding from Parachute Home right now. This might be it! I want to jump in that fluffiness right now. This is what I am saving all of my monies for right now, for real.

Cozy (2) Cozy (1)Thanks Ralph for taking these silly photos of me and making me laugh, as always. Next stop: ANTM LOLS.

 

Wishing that you all take some time to cozy up and relax with your family this Christmas season. Thanks for reading!

signature

Essential oil scented play doh (no cream of tartar)

essential oil homemade play dough

I don’t know about you but I straight up loathe store-bought Play Doh. It’s a combination of the smell, the crumbly-ness, and the glorious mess it leaves behind. And I know it says that it’s non-toxic, and safe, and all that jazz, but I don’t buy it. There is no way that plasticy smell is “safe” for anyone, especially for kids, who will probably eat it, or at the very least, stick it up their noses. I honestly stopped buying play doh a long time ago because of this, but lately the kids have been asking to play with it. We tried out moon dough a couple years ago too and they loved that, but the moon dough mess is INSANE. Just when you think you have it all cleaned up you will find little pieces of it EVERYWHERE. The nice thing about moon dough is that it’s so light that it vacuums right up, but it travels so far throughout the house. I remember my grandma Kay making us homemade play doh as kids when we would go visit her like it was yesterday. My brothers and I had so much fun picking out the colors we wanted her to make, and helping her knead the dough. I really can’t believe that I haven’t done this activity with my kids yet. Plus if my kids do decide to eat this stuff, (they will), I wont have to wonder or worry about any unknown ingredients. essential oil homemade play dough (1)

Now there are so many homemade play dough recipes out there, this I know, but it seems like they all require cream of tartar in the recipe?? I am almost positive my grandmas recipe had cream of tartar in it. That is so not something I just happen to have on hand…ever. Question. Does anyone ever just happen to have cream of tartar on hand? Question 2. What does one use cream of tartar for? Tartar sauce? Tuna Tar Tar? I imagine that cream of tartar is pronouced real fancy like, taar tarrr. But seriously, these are things I would like to know.

After looking up some ideas of what I could substitute for tar tar, this is the recipe I came up with for homemade play dough. Of course we just happen to be out of red food coloring, so the colors that we could make were limited. I tried to make 3 different shades of green sound really enticing to Remy, who just wanted red so badly, to make a nose for Rudolph of course. “What do you mean you don’t want a special, Grinch green…it’s a limited edition color, Remy!” “You could make Rudy’s nose yellow because it sometimes looks yellow when it’s all shiny and glowing! Like a lightbulb!” He didn’t buy it. Tears were shed. But I digress.

essential oil homemade play dough (2)If you haven’t read my post from a couple weeks back about essential oils, or you don’t follow me on instagram , you may not know that we are big essential oil freaks over here. I have been using them for everything, so I figured why not use them to make our play-dough smell ridiculously yummy? We used Thieves, Wintergreen, Citrus Fresh, and Peppermint oils. They still smell just as delicious everytime we pull them out of the fridge. Also. I decided to make a new account on instagram just to post about all things essential oils if you are into that. I realize not everyone who follows my personal insta account is interested in learning about essential oils so I thought this was best. If you are interested, go ahead and follow @essentiallysimple over on instagram for lots ideas and tips on how to use your Young Living oils.

Homemade Play Dough Recipe Using Essential Oils (no cream of tartar)
Print
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ water
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-10 drops essential oils
  • food coloring as desired
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan on medium heat.
  2. When it starts to get crumbly (3ish minutes), transfer to flour coated counter.
  3. Knead it all together and divide if you want more than one color, or scent.
  4. Add drops of food coloring and essential oils as desired and knead in your hands until incorporated.
  5. If the dough is too sticky add a bit more flour.
  6. Store in the fridge for best lasting results...ours is going on 2 months.

 

signature

DIY Flocked Christmas Tree

flocked christmas tree (6) flocked christmas tree (1)

Decorating for Christmas is a passion of mine…errrr more like an obsession. And it seems every year I start earlier and earlier, much to Ralphs’s dismay. He keeps saying “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet!” Thanksgiving is super late this year…so yeah…well go with that. I put so much time into decorating for Christmas that I want to enjoy it for as long as I can, mmmmkay? And I am totally the day-after-Christmas-all-the-decorations-come-down lady.

When we moved into our new house and realized how much space we had, I had dreams of lighted garlands everywhere, a Christmas tree in every room, and basically just Christmas lights everywhere.  Ahhhh, that glorious glow. We never had room for more than one tree in our other house, and honestly, we barley had room for that one. But it was cozy and pretty, and I wont go down that sappy road because somedays I miss our humble abode so. Anywho…back to all the space we are blessed to have! I also dreamed of having a flocked tree in our new house, because, durrr. Flocking is just wonderful and so beautiful, I am a huge sucker for that sparkly, snowy, white goodness. Everything is better with a little fake snow on it I say. After looking around, I found some flocked trees that I loved, but I decided I was never going to pay 400 dolla dolla bills for a fake Christmas tree. I am way too cheap for that. Then I remembered we had a hand-me-down-tree in the basement from my mom. I searched around online and found “bonding flocking snow” on Ebay. From there it was all trial and error, because I had no idea whatIi was doing.

flocked christmas tree (3) flocked christmas tree

 

The results were amazing though, and the tree turned out even more fabulous than the ones I saw in the stores! We turned our plain, artificial tree, into a flocked beauty for $20! The tree was free, and the 2 lb bag of flocking snow was $20 shipped. I have seen a ton of trees thrifting that are $20-30 which would still be a huge savings, compared to the $400 flocked trees in the stores. I promise you it’s really easy to do, just a tad bit messy.

So I don’t really even want to call this a tutorial because I had no idea what I was doing you guys. This is what worked for me and I hope it works for you! One thing you should know is that you probably will want to store the tree as is until you use it again. And by that I mean, I don’t think you could take it apart after flocking it… unless you want a huge, powdery mess. We are going to put a huge plastic bag over it and store it in the basement until next year.

flocked christmas tree (2) flocked christmas tree (5)

Here is what I did to flock my tree:

DIY Flocked Christmas Tree
Print
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 lb back of bonding flocking snow
  • spray bottle
  • water
  • white spray paint (optional)
  • tarp
Instructions
  1. Start by putting down a tarp underneath your tree.
  2. You'll want to wear gloves and a mask while using the flocking powder so you don't breath it in.
  3. I sprayed a light layer of white spray paint over my tree first because I wanted it to turn out really white. This step is optional and not necessary. It all depends on how much green you want showing.
  4. If you choose the spray paint..wait until it dries and then you can start the flocking process.
  5. Start by spraying one small area of the tree at a time with water.I started at the top and worked my way around and down.
  6. Throw flocking powder onto the wet areas gently. You will want to throw it from the top down, so it looks like real snow would, falling down from the sky. It will clump and thats a good thing!
  7. Then spray water onto the branches that you just threw the powder on, to set them.
  8. Once the water connects with the flocking powder, it creates a bond, and will stick to the tree for about 5 years(thats what my package said)
  9. Continue to to do the rest of the tree and let it dry overnight.

 

signature

Getting started with essential oils

Header2-586

First let me start out by saying that I stand behind Young Living’s oils exclusively. Here are a few reasons why: Young Living owns their own farms and allows anyone to visit and participate in the harvest process, they have a Seed to Seal guarentee, all pest control is done with essential oils, all weed control is done by hand, and the oils are first distillation oils only.

77fd4d7817bf970ec0940985dce0a377

 I would not suggest using any “perfume” grade oils, as they are not safe to ingest. 

 

We started getting into essential oils about a year ago per the suggestion of my massage therapist, and quickly fell in love with them. I don’t speak lightly when I say that they have completely changed our life. I feel so called to share them with everyone I meet and I have been getting a lot of inquires from people in the last few months about them, so I thought, why not start sharing them with you all on here?

We started out really only using the diffuser that came with out starter kit only because we didn’t know any better, and because it made our house smell awesome, but we had no idea how good these oils were for us and that we could use them topically, and orally  for so many other things. Now we use them for EVERYTHING. When someone in our house starts feeling sick they are the first thing we turn to. I use them for almost exclusively for cleaning my entire house, and we run the diffusers in our room, and the kids rooms every night. The kids get so excited to choose an oil to diffuse at night. Any ailment you could possibly have, I believe there is an oil to help it!

essential oils (3)

Here is a list of things we have been able to treat or improve with essential oils in our home:

mastitis- by taking oregano oil in capsules

warts- by applying lemon oil

anxiety- by using a roll-on blend of oils. also diffusing lavender and applying to bottoms of feet. (wondering why so many oils should be applied to the bottom of your feet? My brother-in-law wrote a fantastic post about this here.)

colds- thieves oil on the bottoms of feet and diffused

coughs- thieves on bottoms of feet and diffused

burns- 2nd degree burn completely healed by applying lavender directly

scars- applying lavender directly

strep throat- throat & foot spray made of lavender, thieves, and witch hazel.

nail growth & fungus -thieves to kill fungus, lavender to promote new nail growth, both applied directly

migraines-peppermint on temples and neck

labor pains-pan away oil on back, lavender diffused

stress- lavender

diaper rash- lavender mixed with coconut oil

I make bug spray, pillow and sheet spray, sunscreen, disinfectant spray, cleaning spray, and floor cleaner using the oils as well. My brother-in-law has a killer deodorant recipe that he makes. I also recently started using them in baking and cooking. Keep an eye out for a post coming soon that will go more in depth about all my oil recipes and the exact instructions on how to treat the ailments listed above. I just wanted to get the word out sooner rather than later, as the cold and flu season is upon us.essential oils

Keep in mind these are only the things we have used them for just in this short year, but I am convinced that essential oils can help literally anything!

My brother-in-law writes over on www.oiledupman.com and goes a lot more in depth about why we should all be using essential oils, please check it out, he is so much better at explaining all this than I.

Also please e-mail me with ANY questions at all … hannahholzmann [at] gmail [dot] com // there are NO dumb questions. When I first started using oils I had no clue what I was doing and I understand it’s a lot to take in and it doesn’t all make sense right away. If you are interested in getting set up with some oils at home but don’t know where to start, please reach out. I am so happy to help and promote these wonderful oils.

essential oils (2)If you already know you want to start using them for a number of things, I always suggest you sign up to be a Young Living wholesale member. You save 24% on everything all the time, and you will never have to sell a darn thing. The initial investment seems steep (from 40$-150$), but I promise you it will be a savings in the end… without doctors trips, medicines, and cleaners. You really can’t put a price on good health either.

Here are the instructions to become a wholesale member:

  • Go to https://www.youngliving.com/signup/
  • Check Young Living Wholesale member to get the discount
  • Enter 1699701 into both the sponsor ID and Enroller ID boxes
  • Choose a starter kit (you must start with a kit to become a wholesale member) I would suggest the premium starter kit as it is by far the best value // retail price is 225$ and you can get it for 150$
  • You can then check out, or sign up for Essential Rewards which is a monthly commitment of 50$  in products but then you get reduced shipping ON TOP of your wholesale discount. Plus you rack up rewards cash to use towards oils. This is a no brainer for our family. You can also add anything else beyond the starter kit to your cart if you’d like before you check out.essential oils (1)

If you cant afford to become a wholesale member or don’t want to at this time, but you would still like to order an oil or two, email me. I would be more than happy to let you use my wholesaler discount. I would suggest starting out with lavender, thieves, peppermint, and/or lemon oil as they are the most versatile oils, and the ones we use the most often.

Disclaimer // I am NOT a doctor, nor am I permitted to prescribe treatments to anyone. Please use at your own discretion.

signature

Lucille’s Nursery Tour

Lucille's nursery

When decorating a room, starting from scratch is so exciting but it also can be quite daunting and overwhelming when you are unsure of what direction you want for the room. It’s hard to picture the finished product when all you have to start with is a big, empty space. The process doesn’t have to be stressful though! Putting a room together should be fun and finding all the perfect little details that make the room work shouldn’t happen overnight. It takes time to shop around, especially with little ones at home. Shopping online is also helpful, but just make sure the place you order from has free return shipping.Things you may like online, might look completely different once you get them in your space. Places like West Elm, Overstock, and Wayfair always have really great sales and free shipping. I can’t tell you how many times a week I am running places to return things and dropping off packages at the post office. It is a process! Even when I think a room is finished I find myself constantly rearranging and adding new pieces. It’s a disease you guys. Our house will never be complete, much to my husbands dismay. Bless his heart!

For me, a room always starts from one piece and evolves from there. The hardest part of designing a room is finding that one defining piece. When I designed my son Jack’s room I really had no idea what I wanted for the space besides the fact that I wanted to incorporate the color navy, which is his favorite. One day I was browsing in a thrift shop and came across this brilliant, old, pirate ship that could hang on the wall. After bringing home that piece, I knew exactly what I wanted the rest of the room to look like. Jack and I had so much fun spending time searching for all the nautical details that really made his room special.

Lucille's nursery (7)As a mother of three boys you can only imagine how excited (and surprised) we were when we had our darling little girl, Lucille. As soon as Lucille was born I started dreaming of what her nursery would look like. After designing boy rooms for the last 6 years, I was pretty thrilled to finally get to design a room for a sweet little girl. I quickly found out, after doing some hardcore Pintersting, that I was not drawn to the typical girly, pink, glitzy nursery. You would think after all the boys I would want to go all pink everywhere…but that was not the case! I am not quite sure why this surprised me so much, as I am not a girly girl myself. My inspiration for this space ran dry after much searching online, so I decided to go back to basics. I needed to find my one piece. As soon as I found my piece, hopefully I would know the direction I wanted the room to take.
Lucille's nursery (17) Lucille's nursery (16) Lucille's nursery (13)

I had seen a shop on Etsy that makes tassel garlands for over cribs, which, seriously how genius is that? I am always weary of hanging anything too heavy over the crib just in case it would fall, so this was a perfect idea. As I was looking through all the color schemes in the shop, I came across one that I loved. Just like that I had my piece. A gorgeous pastel mint, peach, and bold navy. Let’s not forget the gold. Everything in life needs to be gold is what I think. In fact I keep a bottle of gold spray paint in the basement juuusst in case of emergencies. So there it was, I found my perfect piece!

We have a local artist, Missy, that is helping us with all of our painting projects and she’s been here for so many weeks that we are total BFFs now. She is so creative and knows exactly what I like. I knew I wanted neutral walls in this room for a clean look, and also so the garland would pop, but I did choose a white color with a touch of pink in it to soften it up a bit. For a fun pop of color we did mint on the ceiling, and brought the mint down with a scallop edge. I love a clean, crisp room, but I also really love to incorporate vintage pieces into every room. The scallop around the top of the walls was inspired by a vintage wooden tray table I picked up a flea market. Missy cut a stencil for the scallop edge and took it all the way around the top of the walls. The challenge for this room was to keep it clean and feminine, while still giving it the vintage flair I wanted it to have. Sometimes I find that it’s hard to throw vintage pieces into a room without making it look junky. I bought a few vintage items that I ended up not even using in Lucy’s room because they just took away from the clean look I was going for.


Lucille's nursery (12) Lucille's nursery (5)

I wanted her name above her crib and I really wanted to do some kind of wooden letters but again, I was afraid to hang anything too heavy above my sweet baby girl. I asked Missy if she could paint her name above her crib with a few florals and a wee little blue bird. Didn’t she do an awesome job? Just as I envisioned it.

The crib and glider are the only pieces of furniture in the room I purchased new. The glider was my splurge, but honestly it is THE most comfortable chair in our entire house. I love rocking Lucy in it ever so much. I adored the earthy element of the fabric which has a burlap feel to it—plus it really tied in with the whimsical little animals I have going on in the nursery. The crib makes my heart flutter! Those beautiful spindles reminded me of antique furniture and I fell in love at first glance. I will take those little details over a modern design any day!Lucille's nursery (18)

The maternity canvas print I ordered from Shutterfly, and I just love it. I posted more maternity of my photos in this post here if you are interested. But seriously… Shutterfly has the best deals ever. If you are not already on their email list go sign up because I get coupons all the time, you guys. Also, I have ordered many canvas prints and they always produce by far the best quality. Lucille just had 6 month pictures this weekend wearing the same flower crown I wore in my maternity photos, and I will be ordering another canvas to hang next to the maternity one. So excited to add that to her room!

Lucille's nursery (11) Lucille's nursery (8) Lucille's nursery (6) Lucille's nursery (3)

The dresser was an incredibleCraigslist (think virtual garage sale that you don’t have to bid on) find, from a woman who donated all of her belongings to her church after she passed. The church was then selling them all to help a local couple pay for an adoption, a cause we were more than excited to support. Plus, isn’t that dresser just a beaut? Find of a lifetime and in mint condition! The little nightstand next to the glider was a rummage sale find that also came with a twin bed frame for when Lucy is a little older. Five dollars for the pair, score! I love everything about finding pieces from thrift stores. I love the hunt, the uniqueness of each piece, and most of all the price. This girl loves a good deal. For some people it may work best to go in with a set budget when you are decorating a room but I can’t really say that I go into a room makeover with a specific dollar amount I want to stay within. I will say though that most of the things I find come from second hand stores, so I do decorate on a budget, although I will splurge when it comes to a staple piece of furniture.


Lucille's nursery (1) Lucille's nursery (9)

The floral water color pillow is by Jenna Kutcher. I bought it some time ago without even having a place for it because, are you kidding me? It’s perfection. I think it was a gorgeous addition to Lucille’s room. The “I’ll love you forever” watercolor print is also from Jenna’s collection. The girl knows her way around water colors. All of the photos on the gallery wall are thrift store finds, some of them vintage, except the two pretty ones with Lucille’s name on them, those were gifts. After Missy painted the little bluebird on the wall I was inspired to add a little more whimsical animals into the nursery. The canvas bunny and fox prints were in the perfect color hues and I think they are quite adorable. Lucille's nursery (4) Lucille's nursery (10) Lucille's nursery (15) Lucille's nursery (17)Lucille's nursery (2)

I originally had pale pink curtains up and they looked pretty darn cute, but I just couldn’t do the pink. It was too much for me. I returned them and got these airy, white, ruffled ones that I like much better. We used a curved shower rod for the curtain rod for something a little different and more feminine. I am still contemplating that pink ruffle pillow I have sitting on the glider. What is my deal with pink? I think it just has to be the exact right shade or its no good. Who knows maybe I’m just a weirdo. And that beautiful Saint Lucille statue was given to Lucy by her great grandmother Marjean Estelle. Lucille’s middle name is Estelle which is after her great grandmother as well. Lucille's nursery (19)

So the room is “done” for now. I would eventually like to add a little reading nook in the area to the left of her crib. Maybe put some shelving on a toddler level, down low, and some comfy pillows for bedtime stories. I am on the hunt for a mobile for above the crib right now. I am thinking dream catcher esque, maybe with some feathers. I also like the idea of having little birdies having over the crib. We shall see. We are also going to be replacing the carpet in her room (eventually…because…so much dollas$), to something a little more neutral and soft. I also just ordered her the most adorable little stuffed fawn rocker! It will be a sweet little addition to her space. But we are so done for the time being, as we have many other projects to finish around the rest of our home. Also, our sweet little diva doesn’t even sleep in her crib yet, therefore no more time will be spent on her room until she gets it together. You hear that Lucy!!?? Hopefully that happens before she grows out of her crib…

 

 

Crib: Amazon, Crib skirt: Amazon, Teal throw pillow: TJ Maxx, Floral throw pillow: Society 6 by Jenna Kutcher, Bunny & Fox canvases: Target, Tassel Garland: HomemadexoJules, Kids rocking chair: rummage sale find (gifted), Glider: Target online in Elle Pearl, Saint Lucille statue: gifted, Mirror: thrifted, Shelves: thrifted, Ballerina framed photo: flea market find, Custom photo canvas: Shutterfly, Curtains: Target, Dresser: Craigslist find, Lamps: hand me downs

Paint colors: Ceiling: Reflection by Benjamin Moore #850 Walls: Alabaster by Benjamin Moore #876

All paining done by Melissa Norenberg of Artistic Designz

signature