Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The End of September

A few leftover pictures from last month:
Fall decorating has commenced at Chateaux Bauman
My little fish. He loves swimming lessons so much that we're continuing year round.. Already back floatin' & doggie paddlin'!
& my little Picasso at 'Messy Monet' library class... Seeing art classes in her future 
My homegrown eggplants .. So good!
Her kisses come pretty cheap
Mornin' walks to the stop. I swear the sky is always prettier here ☁️
Kindergarten life
Always sad to see him go

Apple Picking!

My parents cane out to visit this past week and had such a great, action-filled time....Went up to Apple Holler in Wisconsin on Saturday for some apple picking, pony rides, and of course apple donuts & cider. Was our first time going to Apple Holler and was definitely an amazing orchard - over 30,000 apple trees and 30+ different kinds of apples, and tons of beautiful ripe honey crisp for my picking ;)  They also had a farm area where you could feed goats, ride horses, as well as several playgrounds, a play climb-on train, corn maze, and a big giant 'sandbox' filled with corn kernels that I couldn't get my kids out of. They had a gift shop filled with beautiful and delicious homemade items, a restaurant, an outdoor eating area with live music, and the infamous bakery filled with amazing baked apple goods galore. Would definitely recommend if you are in the Chicagoland looking for a fun filled fall day with the kids :) 
(My favorite pictures from of last year's apple picking here)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sponsor Feature: Maple Holistics

recently had the chance to try a new holistic skincare line called Maple Holistics. Maple Holistics offers safe, effective products made from naturally derived ingredients and free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehyde-releasers, peanuts, dairy, soy, fragrance and dyes. Maple Holistics is most well known for their line of natural hair care, but they also carry some other amazing natural products such as eye cream, facial masks, foot scrub, and bath washes all made from gentle yet effective ingredients. 
We started using their Lavender Hybrid Bubble Bath last week and we absolutely love this product! It is made with a 100% pure essential oil formula consisting of Bulgarian Lavender, Clary Sage, and Palmarosa which give an amazing aroma while providing a host of natural skin benefits to deliver a relaxing, cleansing, nourishing, therapeutic bubble bath. What I love most about this product is the crazy amount of bubbles it produces with using just a very small amount -- makes bath time so much more fun and generally just a better experience overall. I just went ahead and ordered a second bottle in Eucalyptus for the start of cold season, as I am a full believer in aromatherapy and essential oil benefits and healing. This product is definitely the most cost-effective bubble bath we've found because of how little you can get away with, and it has quickly become a staple in our home now. 
If you want to stay up to date with more of their amazing products and promotions you can follow Maple Holisitcs on facebook, instagram, twitter, & pinterest!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Few Random Announcements

I know you don't see much of my writing on here lately (since who would have known that multiple young children need complete undivided attention, at all times!) BUT this space is not being forsaken, even though my posts have been a bit 'picture happy' for the past year or so -- I'm fully intending to start writing more now that I actually have Blair taking 2 hour naps every day, and sleeping 12 hours through the night. I am really excited for the 'revival' of my blog, and I hope you enjoy the new, wiser, enlightened me :)

In the second line of business, I wanted to share with you all an exciting new role I will be playing in my church. We attend Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, and next week starts our launch of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). It is a place where we will gather together to support each other in this amazing yet so challenging, season of life. Our themes this semester are noticing goodness, embracing rest, and celebrating lavishly -- all part of our greater theme: Fiercely Flourishing. I am going to be serving as a leader in our biweekly gatherings and I am so, so excited for it and the work I know God is going to do through my table. If you are local and feel like maybe you'd like to join a session -- COME! There is free childcare provided for your little ones, and coffee and breakfast and crafting and some really amazing speakers you will hear from. Feel free to email me with any questions you might have about it! And if you aren't local and don't know anything about MOPS, you can head on over to the official MOPS website to read more about them and type in your zip code to find a MOPS near you!!

Third line of business on this evening is the fact that Mumma's Corner is now ranked #12 in Top Baby Blogs!! You guys this is so huge for me and I appreciate each and every one of you ever clicking on that little icon on my right sidebar to throw me a vote. And if you've never voted before - I would so so very much appreciate your support if you wouldn't mind taking (literally) 3 seconds by clicking here and then clicking on the owl on your left to vote for us. You can vote once every 24 hours... so if you really love me, by all means. This is not because I want to boast as a title holder, but I've truly met so many amazing women, companies, and other bloggers through this site, and the closer to #1 that I get, the more and more amazing women, companies, and other bloggers I connect with, and grow this little space into something bigger! Aka my dream. Basically just help support my dream.

Fourth and final note - Extract Skincare has been receiving some incredible reviews which just makes me so, so happy. And I am so thrilled to announce that I will be a vendor at my very first craft fair!! Here in beautiful Barrington, Illinois on November 7 and 8 at the Showcase of Arts & Crafts. I will be showcasing some new items in addition to my facial oil cleanser -- I now carry a body scrub, bath salts, body oil, blemish spot treatment, and handmade soy candles. If you are local, please stop by and say hi! If you aren't local, check out my new items in my etsy shop! You can use code CRAFTFAIR at checkout to receive 10% off your order now through the end of September. I will not be offering any more coupon codes after this, so click on over there this month to take advantage!

Thank you guys so much for everything!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Zucchini Muffins

Had a huge zucchini from the garden I wanted to use up so tweaked my favorite Mom's Zucchini Bread Recipe to make a bit healthier and I also wanted to make muffins for some super quick breakfasts and snacks because I decided even cutting a slice of bread and eating from a plate feels like just too much work sometimes. This recipe can make about 6 dozen small muffins, or it can make two (maybe 3 depending on your pan size) loaves of bread. I made 27 muffins and one loaf of bread. My kids love picking veggies from our garden and find it absolutely thrilling to actually eat or help cook with the very thing they've watched grow outside and picked themselves. But if it's a battle to get your kids to eat their veggies, this is a great way to sneak them in because these are sweet and tasty enough that they won't even know they are in there. I think a crunchy brown sugar crumb topping would also taste really good on these, but I opted to leave out the extra calories on this batch.
What You Will Need:
- 3 cups grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini or 3 small) Do not drain the zucchini! The natural water in the zucchini will add to the moisture of the bread
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup oil (to make the 'healthier' version, substitute 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce).
- 3 eggs (healthier substitution - 2 egg whites and 2 mashed bananas)
- Preheat oven to 325 and line your muffin pans with cups or grease & flour your bread pan.
- Sift all your dry ingredients together in a large bowl - your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon.
- Beat eggs, vanilla extract, and sugar in a separate bowl.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well.
- Mix in your walnuts and grated zucchini, then pour batter into your prepared pans.
- Bake at 325 for 15 minutes if doing muffins or 55 minutes for bread. Definitely watch a few minutes before time, every few minutes I'd take out and test until the toothpick came out clean.
- Let cool, remove from pan, and enjoy!

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard

What I had hanging iny kitchen "Before":
And our new Magnetic Chalkboard "After":
With my son starting kindergarten (I know...what!) this week and the past few days in the 60s, I am all in super amped up back-to-school and organization mode. Just completed this DIY project (that was kind of hanging over my head for a while) to help bring a little more aesthetically pleasing organization to my kitchen slash life....I love the idea of a magnetic chalkboard because it serves the double purpose of being able to hang all.the.things that clutter my life kitchen - invitations, calendars, pictures, Landon's beautiful art work, school notices/reminders with magnets, as well as give you the ability to write your own notes, to-do's, quotes, lists, reminders, or even full fledge calendar with easily erasable chalk. With a stainless steel fridge, I had no place to hang all these things, and looking to buy my own in the large size I wanted was hundreds of dollars! SO I made my own and it was really easy enough for anyone to do. Other ideas of places to hang other than your kitchen: above a child's desk, in a home office, or play room.  Total cost of making this in this large size was about $45
Here's What You Need:
- a Frame. I bought my frame from Hobby Lobby (their backless frames are 50% off every week, so this one was normally $70 that I got for $35). Mine is a 24x 36":
- Sheet Metal. I bought mine from Home Depot. They actually carried sheet metal in exactly my frame's size so it worked out, but they will cut for free if you ask them to nicely in their tool rental section :)
- Chalkboard Paint. Because the magnets will work great against the metal you don't need a magnetic primer. Chalkboard paint can be found right in the paint section at Home Depot or Lowes.
- Roller/pan. I used the small one, any size will really do. Just don't use a paintbrush. The roller allows for the most even-tone coverage.
- Optional wood backing. If you buy a backless frame like I did you might want to get some additional wood backing for more support. You can put the painted sheet metal in without it, but the guys at Home Depot helped cut me down an additional thin wood backing to provide a little more support/baking, which I am really happy with. If you buy a frame that already had a backing you can use that. You will also need Bracket clips or nails to nail in the backing.
- Mount. Any mounting hardware will work.
1. Paint your sheet metal. Wait for each coat to dry completely before painting another coat. I did a total of 4-5 coats.
This picture above is what it looked like after the first coat- even after the second it will still have some metal showing through, make sure you let dry completely before you start your next coat and do a good 4-5 coats.
2. Cut down sheet metal to size (can have them do this for you at Home Depot), and insert into frame.
3. If using a backless frame, cut down wood backing to size and nail in to secure into frame.
4. Hang mount according to package directions.
5. Hang up your new magnetic chalkboard and de-clutter your life and get organized for the school year!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bits of Life Lately

proof that they really do love each other
garden picked tomatoes and basil, and my hand painted ceramic from Thrown Elements Pottery
Black Tie Wedding attire
& you guys ... my dress - Target
Date Night Nature Walk in beautiful Barrington
A grainy, blurry family movie night selfie
I know.
Blair's first ball game ... Made it to about the second inning
Shameless celebrity selfie with the talented Jordin Sparks ... love her new album!

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