Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Blair's Big Girl Room!

I can't believe I'm finally posting this after hoarding having all this big girl furniture for her since she was a little baby. As you may know, Blair didn't once use or sleep in her nursery for a year and a half as we nursed and co-slept for forever. So I've been excited about her 'big girl' room because I knew that she would actually be in it and it would truly become hers, forever. Almost all of the furniture we received from some very generous friends of ours, whose daughter had outgrown. It is all solid wood and painted by hand and I absolutely adore the ethereal, unique, & natural feel to it. I scored the Jenny Lind bed on Craigslist for $200, in great condition and in the off-white color that had been discontinued(!) All sources for everything else are linked up at the bottom of the post.

Paint: Sherwin Williams 'Antique White'
Rug: RugsUSA
Bed: The Land of Nod
Basket: Tuesday Morning
Bed Sheets: Tuesday Morning
Quilt: Handed down 
Woven Wall Hanging: Fernwen Supply Co
Couch: Pottery Barn Kids
The Sweet Life wall hanging/hook: (no longer available) but Pottery Barn
Dream Catcher: Boho Nest
Happy Cloud Pillows: OhNoRachio
Elephant print: Oana Befort
Heart shelf: Handed down
Knit Mermaid: Bla Bla Kids
Curtains: Target
Curtain Rods: The Home Depot
Anything I didn't list you are interested in? Shoot me an email at :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Small Shop Feature, Grace Sarris of Fernweh Supply Co!

I'm so excited to share my new favorite small shop with you guys today, Fernweh Suppy Co. I first came across her etsy shop while looking for the perfect wall hanging for Blair's room and this beautiful soft coral toned one completely captured my heart at first site:
After chatting with her I learned that her shop actually originated with her handmade falsa blankets and then reclaimed wood d├ęcor. Gah! I am now completely in love with this hexagon shelf and can see this fitting just perfectly on our blank wall in our living room:

also really enjoy this mountain shelf for a boys' nursery or bedroom:
I am actually in love with about every single reclaimed wood item in her shop and her instagram account just gives me ALL the heart eyes.
But besides her creative gifts and natural talent of making all these gorgeous items by hand, she started her company from nothing and is such an inspiration to me and my own etsy shop, as she truly actualized her life dream through dedication and hard work. She is such a wonderful person that I am so happy I got to know, and I am SO happy to talk shop with here on the blog today!

Lisa: One thing I really loved hearing about you is your story about how you came to be to where you are in your business today. Do you mind sharing that again for me?
Grace: Of course. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to own a brick and mortar shop, but right out of college this wasn't the easiest thing to do. After graduating with a Graphic Design Degree I spent almost 6 months doing odd jobs and feeling totally lost and unfulfilled. I loved the creative aspect of my degree (and now also do freelance design for other small businesses) but couldn't figure out where I'd fit in a corporate work environment. I reached a point where I had literally $3 in my bank account and no direction. I felt completely hopeless and like I'd reached rock bottom. Sitting at my kitchen table I decided to take a chance and resurrect a long time dream. Thanks to the support of my amazing family I was able to launch a simple website selling 15 different Falsa Blankets...and the rest is history!

Lisa: I love it, thanks. I am also in love with all your reclaimed wood products. I feel like it's such a 'stereotypical male' hobby -- How did you start a business in it?
Grace:  All the reclaimed wood items are 100% handcrafted from start to finish by my dad and I in Terre Haute, Indiana. My dad and I have always been close and I grew this business together with him, which has been a wonderful experience. I've always been very creative but NEVER would have thought I'd one day be a "woodworker" and I've loved learning this new skill. My grandfather was also a carpenter and built furniture so I guess you'd say I'm carrying on the family tradition!

Lisa: That's awesome - being able to work with people you love and carry on the tradition of your family's work. A question I always wondered about is how do you get 'reclaimed' wood, and get it to achieve that perfect 'reclaimed' look?
Grace: We collect reclaimed wood and pallets from friends, local businesses, old barns, etc. rip apart the wood, wash it down, sand it and repurpose into something new and beautiful! The wood is not treated in any way but rather earns it's unique look through a variety of factors like environment and weathering, so each piece is truly original and literally one of a kind!

Lisa: Very cool. And that is why I love supporting handmade small shops:) Besides your businesses, what are some of your other passions and what do you enjoy in your spare time?
Grace: I'm also a Midwest photographer, graphic designer and I'd say I'm an explorer with big dreams! I end up spending a lot of time behind the camera and the computer for both my business and contract work... but I also enjoy watercolor painting, drinking all the coffee, injecting Gilmore Girls quotes into daily life (I've watched the series no less that 12 times) and stalking Joanna Gaines on Instagram -- She's Queen!! I'm also equally obsessed with morning yoga or a good hike...and just laying on the couch with my pups. It's all about balance right?!

Lisa: Totally! Balance is still something I struggle with everyday ;) Okay so last question: what advice would you give to someone who wants to start or grow a business making things by hand?
GraceTruly above all else I would love to just sit down to coffee with anyone contemplating launching a handmade business and encourage them to be brave and just START. I don't mean that as a cop out answer, but because I honestly think that is the biggest obstacle! It breaks my heart how many people I talk to who have a killer idea or an amazing talent who allow fear to keep them from presenting that part of themselves. So often I'll be having a conversation with someone and after I explain what I do for a living their whole face will light up and they'll say something like "That's so cool! I wish I was creative" Or "I wish I could do something like that". I hate that because what that says to me is maybe they don't feel worthy of taking a chance on their dreams or like what they have to offer the world isn't quite good enough....and nothing could be farther from the truth!! It's such a myth and such a lie we believe that everyone is so much more competent and smart and creative and confident then we are. I really think SO much of success is just seeing something in your life you don't like, having the bravery to actually take action and make change...and then literally faking it till you make it. I never want people to look at my story or journey and think it's unattainable or impressive. Last October I decided to start a business while sitting at my kitchen table...and now my dad is actually working for me and I'm in the process of hiring additional employees. And you know what? 95% of the time I have NO IDEA what I'm doing because there isn't a blueprint to this thing. I didn't go to business school. I don't have an off the charts IQ. I'm just a normal chick who who said YES to a dream and an opportunity. And the best part is that at some point the fake it till you make it confidence actually starts to become real confidence. The point is that if you wait till you're "ready" you'll be waiting for the rest of your life. If you are looking to start or grow a handmade business my advice to you would just be to really learn to value your own work and truly believe that you have something to offer the world....and then be brave enough to share that part of yourself. If you can learn to do that you will be amazed how many people will authentically connect with your brand or product, and ultimately you as a person. If you need more hands on tips or want to share a new idea, or even just a little pep talk please feel free to email me at I'd love to meet you!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fall Fun @ Dave's Pumpkin Patch

Every year we venture to Dave's Pumpkin Patch in Huntley IL & the kids have so much fun, and it's super cheap so it's really very enjoyable for everyone. (See our previous years' pictures here & here). The pumpkins are all only $6 for all sizes, and they also have great prices on mums, gourds, squash, & corn stalks. The kids have so much fun picking out their own pumpkins, going through the corn maze, popping ghost bubbles, riding tractors, & their haunted hayride. What I really love best about this place is that its really a 'no frills' type place, super low key and no crazy crowds or add on costs for anything. Everything is pay by the honor system in a little bucket on your way out. Would totally recommend this place if you're looking to have a fun, festive afternoon with the kids. They're guaranteed to have a great time, and your wallet will be happy too.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Acid Reflux Disease in Babies

Today I'm excited to share with you guys something I just recently learned a lot about, infant acid reflux disease, or otherwise known as infant GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease). I previously didn't know much about it at all because none of my babies ever had any severe issues with acid reflux that they didn't outgrow, but when I came to know Kira, a mom-preneur who works in this field, I was totally floored with the severity and commonality of this disease. It was all so interesting, and very sad to think that this is a subject that many parents (and parents-to-be) really don't know much, if anything about. I personally can't imagine actually having a baby with this type of sickness and being completely in the dark about it. So the purpose of this blog post is to really inform you guys about acid reflux in infants, how severe it can be and the type of impact it can have on a baby, and how to treat it should your precious little one suffer from it. I thought the best way to get all this information to you guys is to hear it straight from the experts mouth, so Kira and I put together a Q & A to help you get all the important information about it and hopefully answer some questions you might have had about it.
What is Infant Acid Reflux Disease?
All babies reflux or spit up food into the esophagus and out of the mouth. Medical literature suggests that almost all babies will do this in the first year of life. However one in three of these babies will develop significant symptoms from the infant acid reflux events. When there are specific other symptoms present this changes the infant acid reflux into infant acid reflux disease (also called Infant GERD; GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease). This is important so that you can speak the same language as your physician. Since it is normal for infants to have some reflux, the physician may suggest that, "they will outgrow it". We can’t tell you how many times we hear this from Moms and we realize how frustrating this can be. Especially when you’re watching your baby suffer and cry non-stop, refuses to eat or worse. It should not be acceptable to allow an infant to suffer in pain as it can affect everything from their development to their ability to gain weight and even the possibility of changes in the esophagus that may lead to the future likelihood of GERD throughout their lives.

What are the symptoms of Infant Acid Reflux Disease?
Some of the most common symptoms include:

1. Spitting up with related crying. The crying is often from the acid in the spit up (refluxate). The spit up can be from small to large amounts of a projectile nature. Sometimes a parent will call this vomiting, however, vomiting involves retching. Certainly, babies can vomit but often times it is projectile reflux.

2. Back arching. This is also typically related to feeding. As the acid comes up the esophagus, the infant arches the back instinctively to try and relieve the pain. They will often arch away from the bottle.

3. Hiccups (wet hiccups or wet burps). Hiccups are due to the effect of acid and/or pressure affecting the nerves near the esophagus affecting the diaphragm. Infants with GERD have recurrent hiccups. Wet hiccups occur when there is refluxate coming up when hiccupping.

4. Irritability during feeding. This occurs when infants start screaming or crying suddenly while feeding. This is usually due to acid causing esophageal irritation and then causing pain.

5. Refusal to eat, difficulty swallowing. This is due to the pain caused by acid coming back into the esophagus

6. Gagging or choking. These symptoms can be related to the acid refluxate coming into the esophagus and moving up into the upper esophagus (proximal). It helps to keep the baby more upright for about ½ hr after feeding. Larger volumes of formula or milk can also create more reflux as the volume exceeds what can be held in the stomach.

7. Difficulty sleeping or nighttime awakening. As the infant is lying down for extended periods during the night, gravity works against them. Acid moves into the esophagus and is painful. In adults this is also common and is called nighttime acid reflux.

8. Not gaining weight. Obviously when the above symptoms are occurring, it can be an expected that the infant won’t want to eat. In fact, an aversion to feeding can be learned as a result of the above symptoms. Once learned, it can be challenging to unlearn. A feeding specialist can be helpful. Moms (and dads) spend most of the day (and night) trying to get enough ounces into their infants including feeding during sleeping (sleep feeding). This is very good for the infant, however, oftentimes it can be normal for a physician to observe that the baby is seemingly gaining weight just fine and will then think that the reflux must not be that bad.

More severe symptoms
1. Purple baby syndrome. This can be frightening and is very serious. Obviously, the infant has trouble breathing such that they stop breathing and the lips and face turn purple or blue. Since the oxygen is not moving throughout the blood, the color change occurs. This can lead to what is known as an Apparent Life Threatening Event (ALTE). This often involves an emergency room visit. Then there can be an extensive work-up searching for a cause (but many times, by the time the infant arrives at the ER, they have begun breathing again).

2. SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Consider an ALTE (see directly above #1) in which the infant does not spontaneously start breathing on their own. Then you have SIDS. There are a number of reasons that infant may develop SIDS but certainly acid reflux is one of them.

3. Asthma Like symptoms. If an infant has asthma like symptoms and has infant acid reflux disease, then one of the first things to consider is that acid is the cause. The acid may not even have to reach the lungs (although it certainly can). Even acid vapor can move up from the esophagus and cause sufficient inflammation to lead the apnea and asthma like symptoms.

4. Recurrent ear infections. The acid is refluxed up to the level where the eustachian tube drains into the esophagus. This acid then inflames the tissue and with the resultant swelling the normal flow of secretions from the middle ear can’t occur. Bacteria can then overgrow and cause infection in the middle ear. Treating with antibiotics (without treating the reflux) leads to bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

5. Laryngomalacia. Laryngomalacia can be congenital (at birth) and it can develop soon after birth. Either way, acid refluxate plays an important role. Significant control of infant acid reflux can lead to a reduction of inflammations, which can improve symptoms.

6. Coughing without a cold, noisy breathing, wheezing. These symptoms occur when the acid affects the upper esophagus (proximal esophagus) and airways. Often times these symptoms, along with recurrent ear infection and sinusitis are known as Extra Esophageal manifestations of reflux, or ENT-related manifestations, or LPR (LaryngoPharyngeal Reflux). These symptoms can be more difficult to control as very few reflux events are required to keep this symptoms continuing.

7. Sandifer’s Syndrome. While the Sandifer’s syndrome in and of itself is not dangerous, the problem is that it is sometimes mistaken for a seizure or a neurological disease. Therefore, extensive neurological studies may be undertaken and seizure medicine may be unnecessarily started. 
There are a large number of other signs and symptoms related to infant acid reflux disease.  You can view some of these on this symptoms page.
 This is why it is important to have a list of symptoms to report to your physician. The Infant Acid Reflux Questionnaire is very useful in this regard. It also allows you to follow the progress of your infant when you make changes to diet, formula, medicine, etc. (A reflux diary of sorts).

What is the treatment for infant acid reflux disease?
There is a great deal of controversy related to the treatment of Infant Acid Reflux Disease (Infant GERD). There are several mainstay treatments that have been in use for more than 20 years. These include H2 blockers (histamine type 2 blockers) such as Zantac® (ranitidine), Pepcid® (famotidine) and Axid® (nizatidine). The primary difficulty with the use of H2 blockers is that infants rapidly develop tolerance to the effects (also called tachyphylaxis) and the H2 blocker, which was working, just seems to stop working. Increasing the dose or changing to another H2 blocker is not useful. When an H2 blocker is used and the symptoms return (due to tolerance), some physicians may be puzzled (if they do not already know how common tolerance to H2 blockers occurs) and therefore may have the thought that perhaps acid reflux isn’t the problem. The physician may think to himself or herself that they are giving a medicine, an H2 blocker, that (in their way of thinking) should work, however, it isn’t helping. It is helpful to mention that you have read about tolerance developing to H2 blockers and you wonder if this is happening in your infant.

Proton Pump Inhibitors or (PPIs). PPI medicines are very potent inhibitors of acid secretion. PPI’s are medicines such as omeprazole (Prilosec®), lansoprazole (Prevacid®), esomeprazole (Nexium®). They work by blocking the final pathway for the production of acid. Tolerance cannot develop with PPI medicines. However, it is important to use the correct amount of the PPI medicine. This is the most common shortcoming of using PPI’s. You can read several studies that were performed at the University of Missouri and many studies and papers that explore infant dosing of PPI’s. In general, after approximately 4 weeks of age, the infant’s metabolism of many medicines is at the best it will be in their life. It is well studied and found that infants have a rapid metabolism of many medicines (as we age the metabolism of medicines slows down). So, as we found in our studies, the half-life of PPI medicines (note that the half-life is the time required for the amount of medicine in the body to be reduced by half) was much shorter (up to 3 times faster than adults). Meaning that infants metabolize the PPI medicines 3 times faster than adults.

A: Infants Have Shorter Half Life for PPI’s.

 C. PPI Dosing Information for Your Doctor.

It was found in the study above (C.) that, in general, infants/toddlers benefit from two or more doses per day of a PPI. The younger the infant (after 4 weeks) the more likely they will benefit from three doses per day. Studies using single small doses of PPIs per day showed that the single small dose per day were no different than placebo, yet this small dose is often used in infants with Infant Acid Reflux Disease (Infant GERD). If an insufficient dose is used, then symptoms will persist or worsen and can create the long-term symptoms as mentioned previously as well as losing out on those precious times you could be sharing with your little one. When reflux is well controlled, parents will often remark that their infant’s personality is finally shining through.

It takes approximately 10 to 14 days for sufficient healing to occur after starting the correct dose of a PPI medicine but that effective dose is pertinent to getting your baby feeling better and back on track. Infant acid reflux can cause a lot of stress on you and your home life as well. Sure, I know what you're thinking. "I don't want to give my baby medication." It's a hard pill to swallow, literally. The parent may be thinking, my infant has to be medicated so early in life and this can be disheartening. But it may be necessary. Consider this, "Do you provide breathing treatments to a baby that has asthma?" The answer is "Yes, of course!" Then why wouldn't you give a treatment to a baby with reflux disease if it works effectively with a good safety profile? It's not a life style choice. It is a treatment to help that baby overcome a temporary situation and keep them out of pain. It is true that most babies outgrow infant reflux or GERD in the first year of life. But why wait and lose those precious years of life?

Of course, it is crucial to discuss these issues with your physician / health care team. Often times it is not prudent to wait to treat your baby. Don’t wait to enjoy this time with your baby and most importantly, don’t wait to get your baby out of pain! Explain the list of symptoms your baby is suffering from, discuss the many hours a day you try to feed them. It is good to be informed and to be the advocate for your infant or toddler with reflux disease. Finally, you can connect with other Moms on Facebook. This can be helpful in understanding what other parents are facing and to see what they are doing to treat their baby’s reflux successfully. It also provides support. You are not the only one going through this difficult time for you and your infant. 


Monday, September 19, 2016

Homemade Blemish Spot Treatment Rollers with Essential Oils

Wanted to highlight a new item up in my etsy shop and teach you how to DIY too! These are awesome blemish spot treatment roller bottles made with the best essential oils for acne with the highest anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, soothing and healing properties. I use this all the time when I start to feel a pimple coming on and usually it won't even surface. (It's that amazing!) If one does surface, I apply this afterwards and the problem area is completely reduced in appearance and redness in a matter of a day. The small little roller bottle can conveniently travel with you anywhere -- I even keep one in my purse in addition to the my make up bag in my bathroom. And best of all, it's completely chemical-free and 100% plant-based and natural.
(If you ever have any questions about essential oils or starting your own membership, please contact me at and I'd be so thrilled to talk to you about it more!)
What You Need:
- 5 ml amber glass roller bottle
- 6 drops tea tree essential oil
- 2 drops frankincense essential oil
- 1 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 drops bergamot essential oil
- 1 drops clary sage essential oil
- even amounts of witch hazel and jojoba to fill
1. Drop out specified amounts of essential oils into your dropper
2. Fill to top with equal amounts of witch hazel and jojoba oil
3. Shake well before use. Apply as often as necessary to problem areas, before or after they arrive!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A thankful heart

Words can't express how full and grateful my heart has been the past 4 weeks. 
My mom and dad each flew in from Boston separately for a combined 4 weeks to be here to help as our new baby arrived and with Landon and Blair. Having my parents here for the first time while I was in labor and immediately postpartum has been a time with them that I will never forget. To bringing me flowers in the hospital the morning after Havana was born and tying 'it's a girl' baby balloons around our mailbox for us to come home to, to ALL the cooking, cleaning, house work, yard work, errands, homework, bus stops, mounds of laundry, bed making, grocery shopping, meal prepping, and having an extra set of hands and eyes and ears to love on me & my kiddos.
And Chris. On top of being the sole provider for our now family of 5, he's made sure Landon and Blair have been getting special one-on-one (deeply coveted) 'papa time' and has taken them for all sorts of fun little outings when I've been tied up at home cluster nursing and so that I can enjoy some quiet cuddle time with our last newborn. 
I'm so grateful for everything he does for us and for how much and how well he loves me and these kids. It is 100% selfless, bold, thoughtful, patient, pure Love.
And I will never forget the village of women and mothers who have stepped in and dropped off meals and took Landon and Blair over their homes for play dates. In all three kids, this is the first time ever bringing a newborn home within a church community and neighborhood community that I actually feel woven into and a part of and cared for by people who aren't expecting anything at all in return. I have been so deeply touched by all the people around me who have graced me in some way with their presence, prayers, sweet gifts, and thoughtful gestures. 
& I'm especially thankful to God, for giving us this sweet baby girl, for this life and especially this season of it right now. Best one yet. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dealspotr - The BEST new site for online shopping deals!

I'm so excited to share with you guys today about a new online deal sharing company called Dealspotr. This site is the only deal site out there with current, up to date, and valid coupon codes for thousands of online retailers. And on top of getting a coupon code that actually works, you can make money for sharing that deal with others. The added great and unique thing about their cash-back program is that you don't need to purchase anything in order to receive your cash back, literally all you have to do is share the savings! It's extremely simple, you earn rewards (which you can cash out via Paypal), if you are successful in helping other people save with sharing a Dealspotr deal.
With Dealspotr, there are over 30,000 live people working on the accuracy and workability of their copon codes. Before Dealspotr, I used to just google in the store name + coupon/promo code and search for online codes, only to find out that the codes expired or were no longer valid. Dealspot's accuracy saves you an average of 17 minutes and an average of $14 with an active and successful coupon code. You can read their accuracy study here. -- Overall, Dealspotr has more discount codes, more valid / working codes, and the lowest incidence of invalid codes on a percentage basis compared to all leading coupon sites. And one more amazing thing about it is that it is one site that contains all the online stores' coupons -- so you don't need to click around and open different browsers for different stores, or subscribe to a million emails anymore. Everything -- all the savings from all different retailers, are all right there in your Dealspotr feed.
I hope you guys try this site out for yourselves, especially with the change of seasons and needing some new post Labor Day sales for the beautiful fall weather for you and your family. And with a new baby, you better believe I've already starting on my Christmas shopping (& now SAVING!) with Dealspotr!
If you sign up for Dealspotr right now you can use access code LISAB3 to receive a FREE $5.00 just to get you started! You must register with Dealspotr by clicking on my personal regiastration link, or by entering access code LISAB3 to claim this bonus.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Basic Invite for Invitations, Announcements, Cards, & More

Today I'm so excited to share with you guys a new card company, that is totally not your basic invite, Basic Invite :) I absolutely love their large sweeping custom calligraphy wedding invitations, but since that time has come and gone for me, I'm a little bit more focused on their birth announcements right now - and my goodness is it hard to choose a favorite. I love this beautiful boho wreath one and for a girl and this watercolor ombre one is my favorite design for a boy. Right now you can save 40% off any birth announcement with promo code BIRTH40!
Thankfully you can order samples to see and compare cards in person before placing a final large order. The samples help so much to see exactly how the colors will appear and to compare different textures and finishes. This was super helpful as I would have probably just gone with the signature matte but after comparing with the extra thick matte, I would definitely go with the thick card stock and the rounded corners.
Besides their amazing designs and layouts to choose from, another thing I really love about them is that you are allowed every single option to change colors, placement of text, font, font size, card stock, edging, and texture, allowing you to truly personalize every aspect of it, which I am really grateful for as I am super type-a about these sorts of things. Their personalization functionality is really top notch -- They have an extremely user-friendly platform and a very well designed interface making editing almost every aspect of your stationery text and text colors super easy. When you apply changes, a preview of your wording will automatically appear on screen which is extremely helpful to see as you are making changes. The ability to edit every line of text (font size, color, alignment, placement or the font itself) is an even bigger bonus when working with photo cards, as you can keep experimenting with different looks to find one that 'goes' well with the photo you're using.  
 They also feature over 40 different colors of envelopes (personal favorite is the gold lined) and their envelopes are peel-and-seal so you don't have to lick and seal 500 envelopes.
I hope you guys go and check out Basic Invite for your next big occasion! & aside from the 40% off birth announcements (code BIRTH40), right now you can also get 15% off anything site-wide with code 15FF51
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