Health, Love & Fire: September 2016

Friday Catch Up

Friday, September 30, 2016

Somewhere the last few months, I got it stuck in my head that I should only publish a blog post if I had a tutorial or a trip recap or was doing some sort of sponsored post. And not only did that lead to a lack of regular posts on this blog, but it got me away from why I started writing in this space to begin with, and I miss being here more often. So since it's Friday and I've been counting down the minutes to the weekend since before I got to work on Tuesday, I figured I'd throw it back to a post I would have written in the earlier days of this blog and share a few life updates as of late.

Haper is growing every day and I am constantly amazed at the new things she learns! She started going to daycare this month just for some time around other kids and the socialization. So far she's loving it and getting to spend more time with one of my good friend's daughters who we've always referred to as her best friend.

I'm excited for all things fall. One of my favorite things about this time of year is all of the vintage and antique shows that occur close to our house. We went to one last weekend and another this weekend and it's making me all sorts of excited to decorate for fall and to finish up a few corners of our home that we've been working on. One of the spots is in our living room and I am so excited to share it with all of you. My husband built the perfect console table for a space I've been trying to decide what to do with since we've moved in. He finished it last weekend and I have all sorts of ideas on how to decorate it.
Don't you love it too?

This week I registered to check something off my bucket list. My mom and I registered to run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland next spring. I have always wanted to run a Disney race and especially the Tinkerbell. Growing up my mom used to call me Tinkerbell, so I think it's so special to get to run this race together, and even better that it falls on Mother's Day! If you've run a disney race before or have any suggestions on bringing a toddler to Disney, please send any tips or advice my way!

Speaking of completing that run, I am trying to get back in to running and working out more. I joined a group called Baby Boot Camp. I love that I can bring Harper with me to class and I get to workout with other moms. The workouts are awesome and the friendships and relationships I've made have been so great! Baby Boot Camp is a franchise, so I definitely recommend looking for one close to you!

Lastly I thought I would share some of my favorite small shops to shop at for your fall and holiday decor. Elle & Lu is one of my favorite local shops that I turn to every time I need some new decor for my front porch! She always creates the most amazing final products and every time I see a new wreath or bouquet I want another! Just see the awesome wreath she made to match my front porch for fall!

I hope everyone has a wonderful end to their week and great weekend ahead! Anyone have any fun plans?

Celebrating Fall with Fall Favorites

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hey Friends! It's officially Fall, and how are we celebrating? By teaming up with Angie of My So-Called Chaos to bring you a fantastic Keurig giveaway! Enter the September Keurig Giveaway at My So-Called Chaos! Each month, Angie likes to ask the Giveaway sponsors a question so you can get to know us all better. This month, she wanted us to share our favorite Fall drinks with you. Here's what we said:

Favorite Fall Drinks

"I am obsessed with the caramel apple spice from Starbucks! There is nothing like sitting on the back porch with a cup of apple cider in my hand. Fall is such a magical time of the year." - Olya from The Siberian American "Definitely my homemade crock pot pumpkin maple lattes. They are so rich, creamy, and delicious! But much better for you and perfect for having friends over!" - Alexis from Chemistry Cachet "Fresh Apple Cinder - It reminds me of my childhood growing up in upstate New York surrounded by apple orchards and farm stands. I used to love to visit one of our local farm stands where you could watch them make fresh doughnuts and fresh press the cider. It always tasted better from there, or maybe I just convinced myself it did!" - Me :)  "I love eggnog lattes. I pick them up at Starbucks, but always ask for them to do half eggnog, half soy since eggnog can be too sweet. If I make one at home I use soy milk. During the holiday season they have eggnog flavor available." - Andi from Misadventures with Andi "Since I'm not a coffee drinker (I know, I know...) I tend to stick to tried and true Earl Grey Tea. That may sound a little boring, but I consider it to be a classic staple in my home during the Fall. It's definitely my go to drink." - Kimi from The Blog Dept "Normally the answer would be coffee, but that's like, our favorite drink every season haha. Specifically for fall we love drinking spiced ciders. We made our own Dulche De Leche Cider last fall and it turned out AMMAZZZINNGG. We'll definitely be making it a lot again this year." - Hannah & Sara from The Perfect Storm September Keurig Giveaway Sponsors "Last fall I was OBSESSED with the Toasted Graham Latte from Starbucks and was extremely upset when they stopped making it after the season was over! Just sweet enough without being overwhelming - it was such a good fall drink!" - LaceyBean from Perks of Being a JAP (Jewish American Princess) "There's nothing better than warm apple cider and a cinnamon stick on a chilly fall day - except maybe a pumpkin spice latte or a hot cup of cocoa! Anything warm and soothing is my jam during the fall!" - Jessica from Living La Vida Holoka "My favorite fall drink is chai tea. It's so easy to make at home with just a few simple spices. Here's a fun twist on a Chai Tea with these Easy scented sachets!" - Brittany of Pop Shop America "Apple Cider! (I really love to make Apple Cider Slushies!)" - Destiny from Suburban Wife City Life "I love drinking apple cider in the fall. We go apple picking every year, and it makes me think of all those great family memories! Plus, it's delicious!" - Krystal from Healthy Happy Thrifty Family "Spiced Apple Cider! We always get our cider from on of the local apple orchards and I make my own mulling spice blend. It's like Apple Pie in a mug!" - Lauren from Our Little Everything

Enter the Keurig Giveaway

So are you ready? 1 lucky winner will win a Keurig Prize Pack including* a Keurig K55 Coffee Maker, a K-Cup Drawer, a Seasonal K-Cup Sampler (pumpkin spice coffee, apple cider, chai, etc.), and a super cute Fall coffee mug. Giveaway is open worldwide** and ends on Tuesday, October  11th at 12AM MST. Entering below agrees to all terms and conditions within the Rafflecopter widget.
*Prize pack shown/listed is subject to availability and substitutions may be made if items become unavailable/sold out. **International winners will receive a cash prize of $150 via Paypal instead of the prize due to mailing issues.

September Stitch Fix

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

For this latest fix, I requested items that could transition into fall. The mornings have been cool and since it's already September, I have all things fall on my mind!

Since starting to add more items that I liked to my Pinterest board, it has really helped my stylist when picking out items I'll love! I highly suggest making a Pinterest board just for your Stitch Fix items! Plus be sure to follow my board for some fun ideas for your next Stitch Fix box!

Before I share what was in my latest box, here's a little bit more about Stitch Fix if you've never heard of it before.

To start, you head to Stitch Fix and fill out a style profile. This helps your stylist figure out what size, styles and items would work best for you. It's also great if you link your Stitch Fix profile to your pinterest board so that your stylist can see exactly what kinds of pieces you'd love to see in your fix!

Once you've completed your profile, it's time to schedule your first fix. It costs $20 to schedule, and that $20 goes straight towards one of the items in your box that you decide to keep. If you end up loving every piece and decide to keep all 5 items, you get 25% off the entire box. So basically it's best if you keep at least one item, so you're not throwing away your $20.

Once your fix arrives, you try on all of the pieces and decide what to keep and what to send back. The box comes with a prepaid mailing bag that you put everything you're returning back in and just drop it off at the post office. You have three business days from the time you receive your fix to get it back to the post office. It's as easy as that!

So here's my fourth fix!

Liverpool Jeans - Verdick: Sent Back
These jeans were both really comfortable and a great length. In the end, I just didn't really need another pair of jeans in this wash and cut so I decided to send them back. 

Dee Elle Cardigan - Verdict: Sent Back

This cardigan was both beautiful in color and super super soft. It almost made me want to take a nap in it. But once I put it on, I just didn't love the way the fabric laid so I decided to send it back. 

Paradigma Blouse - Verdict: Sent Back

Dan actually liked this top more than I did. I thought the print was a little more summer than fall. And when I put it on, it just felt a little too big on me. Overall I just didn't love it and couldn't see myself wearing it much. 

Market & Spruce Tee: Verdict: Sent Back

I liked this top, but it felt really basic to me and a little too thin for me to wear very often. In the end I have quite a few basic shirts to wear under sweaters and jackets so I decided to send this one back, but it was super soft and comfortable! 

Loveappella Top - Verdict: Kept

I absolutely loved this top as soon as I saw it and fell even more in love when I put it on! I've been totally eying the somewhat casual/dressy sweatshirt trend I'm seeing in all the stores and this one was perfect! I wore it even before I took the photos for this post, so clearly I'm keeping it! 

So that's it for my September Stitch Fix. Which items would you have kept? 

Family Friendly Waterfall Hikes - Central Oregon

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to go hiking. So when planning our summer vacation, finding family friendly hikes was at the top of our to do list. Before we headed out on our trip, I did lots of research on which hikes would be the best to take our daughter along with us. She just turned one and does great in the hiking pack, but its always important for us to remember that she's going to get hungry or might not handle the heat as well as we do. As we researched, we narrowed it down to three waterfall hikes that would be perfect stops on our trip. And even though we only made three stops, we actually saw more than 6 waterfalls on our hikes. So today I am sharing three great hikes in Central Oregon to do with or without kids.

Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls
You can actually see both of these falls in one stop on your trip. The two falls are about a mile apart, and theres a path you can follow that takes you on a three mile loop where you pass each falls twice. The path follows the Mackenzie River, where you walk just feet from the water and even on a hot day, it provides a cool climate for the hike. We parked at the Sahalie Falls trailhead and hiked past both falls to the reservoir where you cross a bridge to the other side of the river and hike a trail back towards the falls. You can access both of these falls right off highway 126 west of Sisters. The parking area was extremely full and we had to wait a few minutes for a spot to park. I would probably try to park at the Koosah Falls parking area if we went again as we heard this was less crowded. Overall it was a fairly easy hike with some gorgeous views.
Tumalo Falls
You can view the falls just a short walk from the parking area, and after about a 1/4mile hike with some elevation climb the trail takes you right up next to the top of the waterfall. You can continue up the trail where you pass several smaller waterfalls. We saw many other hikers and quite a few mountain bikers during our hike. This trail is outside of Bend, and only took us about 25 minutes to get there. The parking area does fill up rather quickly, but there are spots to park along the road as well. We really liked this hike because of the gorgeous waterfalls and the fact that you could choose your own distance. It is an out and back hike, so you can hike as long as you want and then turn around to head back to the car.
  • The Forest Service provides great information on getting to the trail head, parking and the trail itself.

Proxy Falls 
Proxy Falls is one of the prettiest waterfalls we've seen this summer. It's just a 1.25 mile loop that has two additional paths that take you to the upper or lower part of the falls. With a hiking pack on, some of the trails down to the lower falls were a little tricky, but still managable. This hike is definitely a little more off the beaten path, just east of the Mackenzie River in the middle of the Cascades. We took the highway from Sisters, which provided a gorgeous scenic route to the hike, but I would recommend researching a quicker route if you're interested in doing this hike. It is definitely worth the drive though, because it's easy to see why it's one of Oregon's most photographed waterfalls.
  • This falls can be a little difficult to find, as we hoped we weren't completely lost on our way there. So make sure to check out the Eugene, Cascades and Coast website for location information before you head out! 

Each one of these hikes made for absolutely gorgeous views. I think Proxy falls was probably our favorite of all of them, but it took the longest to get to. Sahalie and Koosah Falls were nice because you got to see two falls in a short loop. But we loved how large Tumalo falls was and that the trail followed the river upstream so that you could see several other waterfalls along the trail and choose the length of hike that you were up for that day. I honestly would go back and visit each of these trails and found them perfect to do with a child. Oregon is such a gorgeous state, make sure to get out and enjoy it if you get the opportunity! 

What are your favorite hikes to do with kids? 

Finding Comfort in a Crazy Schedule in LuLaRoe

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My schedule can be pretty busy on any given day. Today, for example, I was out the door dropping Harper off for her first day of day care at 7 and then headed to work. I work till 5 and then I'll head home and pick her up. We'll eat dinner and I'll be out the door again at 6:45 for my Baby Boot Camp workout class till about 8:30 when I'll head home, shower and get everything ready for the next day before bed. I try to cram a lot into each day during the week, especially since becoming a mom. It's pretty much non stop from the time my alarm goes off in the morning till the time I hit the pillow at night. And I know I'm not alone. There are tons of other moms out there in the same boat as I am! 

One of the things that has always taken the most time out of my morning routine is picking out what to wear. I'll stand in my closet trying on multiple tops and bottoms before I'm finally set on my outfit for the day. Even if I pick it out the night before, I still find myself changing my mind and standing there staring at all the different options in front of me. I want items that I'm comfortable in, but make me still look put together. In comes my new favorite line, LuLaRoe. 
LuLaRoe is sold by independent consultants, and with a bunch of them out there, where do you start. I tried on my first LuLaRoe piece at a home party a few months ago and fell in love. But I'm not always able to make it to weekday or even weekend evening parties with our busy schedule, so I found LuLaRoe Busy Blessing Boutique Facebook group and started shopping their online sales. In the above photos I am wearing a LuLaRoe Irma top and a Maxi skirt. The thing I love most about these clothes is that I can pair them several different ways. The outfit above is perfect for wearing to work. But then when I get home, I can throw on some of their buttery soft leggings along with the top I was already wearing for the perfect evening outfit, like I'm wearing below. 
I love the ability to shop from home and find comfortable pieces that work for any occasion or day of the week. LuLaRoe Busy Blessing Boutique has been such an awesome group to be a part of. The consultants are amazing and went above and beyond to look for a specific size and pattern I was interested in. They checked in to make sure I loved every piece they sent me and are always offering fun giveaways and checking in with their shoppers to get their input. And if you're interested in trying out LuLaRoe for the first time or just want to add to your collection, just join LuLaRoe Busy Blessing Boutique Facebook group and comment SOLD BB Blogger on the item you want in their next sale and they will give you $5 off your first purchase any time before the end of October! Plus they are also giving my readers a chance to win a free pair of leggings. All you have to do is enter the giveaway below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you tried LuLaRoe before? What are your favorite styles? 

LuLaRoe Busy Blessing Boutique provided these outfits for me to try. All opinions are my own. 

Life Update - The End of Summer

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Between the end of summer, Harper's first birthday, a family vacation, friend's birthdays and work . . . life has been crazy. I'm still a bit in denial that summer is over, although I'm just as excited for fall! As I fill up my calendar and try to fit everything in, I'm already feeling like it's going to be Christmas before we know it! Thankfully I've started a little of my shopping here and there to get it done slowly. We have a few short trips planned in the next few weeks mixed in with trips to pumpkin patches, making Harper's halloween costume, decorating for fall, working and just living life. I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like lately, and I'm feeling that pull from my creative side to use this outlet more! I have some fun posts in the works so hopefully I'll be showing up around here a bit more!

The last few weeks I feel like my mind is all over the place trying to pin down what I want to be doing and how I want to be filling my time. I'm also just having a hard time with the fact that my little girl is growing up and isn't a baby anymore! To celebrate her birthday, or commemorate or just so mom (me) can get more photos, we decided to have family photos taken the week after her birthday. It was one of the hottest days of the year and we had them taken at one of the hottest parts of the day, but they still turned out amazing!
If you're in the Portland, Oregon area I highly recommend Nanci Imagery! She did such a great job capturing our family! I love every single image! Now I'm just struggling with which ones to print and hang on our walls! I can see some redecorating in our future! Please send any and all suggestions for your favorites my way so I can begin to narrow down my choices!

I'm so excited to see the cooler mornings and leaves starting to change. If for no other reason than a change in season evokes an opportunity for us to reevaluate. I've been wanting to be more present on this blog and more creative at home so I'm jumping back in to post planning, blogging and making more decor! I'm still trying to pin down exactly what that looks like, but I'm on my way there!

What are your favorite things to do as the seasons change?