Federal Fixer+Upper

We’re headed in to town (more on that in a second) and thought I should write while I have service. If you ever wonder why you haven’t got a text back right away I can honestly say I haven’t been ignoring you-promise. We will have a house phone soon😉

I think I mentioned (☝🏼) by the title above that we bought a fixer+upper and so our trips to the hardware store have begun-and not for little things 🤪. Our priorities kinda changed this morning from putting our bedroom together to shopping for an entire kitchen package, bathroom package and things in between. I think demoday is on the horizon. Oh and none of things can really be installed until we really tear some things up.

The kiddos learned how good cold pizza is last night. We tried to warm some pizza in the microwave and let’s just say there were sparks a flying… the night before we found a puddle in the kitchen😬. Things we knew would need done, a little sooner than expected.

While some may totally have a freak out over all of this, we’re handling it in stride. The kids are are really having fun, they love their imperfect but perfect cozy bedroom and I love how they don’t “expect” fancy. They’re excited to be a part of fixing up our new old home. So my hopes of good quality family time and lessons in how to fix things have already begun….so while it’s a big ol’ mess right now, it is our dream come true (I know we’re crazy 🤪).

We’re at Lowe’s!

Let the fun begin!

Xo

Danielle

Are you PRESENT this Christmas?

Hi guys! Before this week…ugh, I hate admitting this… I wasn’t really feeling Christmas. We’ve got a lot swirling around and for some reason I just wasn’t in the mindset this year…which I completely hate.  In effort to pause and really focus on the reason for the season, I decided to close my Etsy shop for the holidays with my family and friends as well as stop packing for our big move next year.

I have to say, so far I’ve stuck with my promise..I’ve been  focused on the kiddos and we have done fun things like make and deliver reindeer food to our neighbors,  take a drive to look at Christmas lights complete with a peppermint milkshake from Chick-fil-a, and we did some homemade ornament making and baking.  I can’t tell you how nice it has been to mentally put everything else on hold to really enjoy this time.

Have you been present or have you been trying to find a way to connect and enjoy the season? Below are some ways you can get in spirit of Christmas-yes, even when it’s TWO days away! 

Right now I’m in the middle of breaking out those boxes of hidden gifts and I’m going to

Santa-Special-Delivery-Gift-Tags

GET THEM HERE

get them under the tree ready! I wanted to share with you these adorable tags I have been using since the twins were born. They are just precious and the detail just makes them realistic and certainly convincing that the gifts are in fact from the North Pole.

 

Having fun and making memories DOESN’T have to cost a dime!  Take a drive to look at Christmas lights in neighborhoods around you. If there is a downtown near you-small or large- you’re sure to get a glimpse of some beautiful window displays and lights through the city.

At a meal time when you’re altogether,  ask a question about the season and have everyone share their answer. Questions like, if you were Santa what would you travel in. What is your favorite Christmas song? What is your favorite Christmas movie? If you could only get one gift this year, what would it be? If you were an elf where would you work in Santa’s shop?  What is your favorite Christmas past time? What is a symbol or word that reminds you of Christmas? What is your favorite Christmas cookie or treat?

I’m sure you get the idea…

Want to make a last minute gift that will be loved? Handmade ornaments are always a treasured piece by family and friends. You can grab a box of candy canes,

wiggly eyes and pipe cleaners to make that classic reindeer, break out some simple ingredients you likely have in your pantry to make homemade hand print ornaments.     While you certainly can, but probably don’t have time for running to the store to buy supplies just start looking at things you have around your home-you’ll be surprised what kind of gems you can make out of things that are buried in that junk drawer or space where you keep all the kids art and drawing things.

Have you had the chance to bake? I found a great recipe that was approved by 20 some kindergartners this week…and that’s saying

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough 222wm

Get Katrina’s Recipe HERE!

something!  With having a little one, I have to make the most of nap time and I didn’t have time to deal with dough that needed to chill. Here is a fantastic recipe for some delicious sugar cookies that are perfect for throwing a little icing on (Pillsbury has red and green already mixed for you at the store along with sprinkles attached to the lid!) and sharing with your family and friends.

 

When it comes down to it,  keep things simple. Conversations around this special time of year can be the best way to get into the spirit of Christmas.  There is no need to stress yourself out with buying this or buying that or trying to make Christmas just like that Hallmark movie (oh to live in a Hallmark Christmas world…).  All we need to be is PRESENT and everything else will fall into place.  Now hit the pause button on all the things that can wait for the next 72 hours and just enjoy the spirit of Christmas!

Merriest Wishes to you!

xo

Danielle

P.S. As a former kindergarten teacher, please do a snow dance for me-if ya know one! We’re hoping for snow here in Ohio on Christmas! Maybe this Christmas will be like those Hallmark movies after all 😉

 

Why Hello Trello: How Trello is helping this Momma stay sane!

Guys.  I’m at the point where I’m starting to feel that anxious, chest tightening sensation when I start thinking about our move that is LESS than a month away and in reality we are busy many of the days in the month that follows which has that anxious feel coming and going on a daily basis.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m pumped about this life change-even if it means we are struggling to find those lovely conveniences of suburbia like internet and phone service.  Getting out into a life I NEVER thought I would live hasn’t ever felt so good, but packing things up in suburbia has got this momma at a stand still.

Have you moved your family before? How in the heck did you tackle it? So many people say, ” Oh all the kids stuff. It’s worse moving when you have kids.” For my husband and I, I think we are our worst problem.  Like I know so many people do, we have held on to high school memories, college memories (we’re now down to 1 box of my husband’s college books which used to take up  2 (!!!) book cases), wedding memories (including the trendy sand unity vase), and then every other little thing we “may need” somewhere down the road.

I have now vowed to myself to make sure my kids learn from an early age to live with a little less that way they don’t end up spending so many hours of their life dragging around “stuff” from here to here to only one day just get rid of it.

My current problem is where to go from here…here being we’ve pretty much cleaned out our basement-okay it’s not empty but we’re down to just a little, but I don’t know where to start packing next. There are so many places I want to tackle and just get done, but we are still living here and for us the kids are only making it tricky, because they need their things to really function throughout the week with school and sports.

Yes, I have decluttered. Yes, I continue to look for places to declutter (I follow those Pinterest boards :)-I even got rid of our sand from our unity vase from our wedding. I asked my husband if our love was more than sand and he replied with, “Well of course.” So in the trash it went.  The things that once were so meaningful have just started to suffocate me and I rather live knowing in my heart that my husband loves me instead of staring at a vase of sand that is old and really just a burden in a way.

This week I learned about Trello. Have you heard of it?  “Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.”

Since I have Mom brain and  so many fleeting thoughts swirling in my mind for this big move to the country, I thought I would check it out and see if it would be something helpful.  I have to say I’m an old soul and when it comes to planning and keeping a calendar. I prefer pen to paper when keeping track of tasks and to-do-lists and a planner in my bag that I can refer too. But after giving this online tool a try, I have to say Trello took everything that was causing me stress and organized it in a way that both my husband and I can use to tackle this up coming move as well as future projects with our fixer+upper.

trello

Had I known about Trello when I was a working mom, I think things would have been a lot easier for keeping track of work, family, events, and everything else we encounter during our busy days as  working parents. For those of you who work and don’t receive a paycheck (lovely stay-at-home moms and dads), you may like it too. Staying home has been hard for me because I haven’t figured out a schedule or how to stay organized so that I accomplish tasks quickly so I have time for myself-okay I know that probably isn’t likely to get…but IF I did get a free moment to myself I wouldn’t want to be folding laundry!  If you get a moment check out Trello. The desktop interface is very easy and the mobile app is great for on the go.

Let me know if you try Trello and if you have any wise thoughts or advice on tackling moving!

 

xo

Danielle

Suburbia to Country Living: A new adventure for our family of five

If you know my husband and I personally, you know we’re pretty straight laced but if you’re one of our closest friends you would know how laid back we can be and that both my husband and I like to dream. While my husband is less likely to act on his dreams, I’m the one who typically ventures out to try new things and often times tries to nudge my hubby down some crazy road.

Typically my hubby is pretty good at saying “no” and telling me how crazy some of my wildest dreams are, but recently we both decided to take a jump into our latest adventure and while we’re a little bit nervous, we’re totally excited to take our family on a wild ride none of us will forget.

How often do you sit around dreaming about how neat it would be to do something or do you ever say “when the kids are older” or “when we retire..” My hubby is always mentioning wanting to have land and a pond. My dream has been to get away to some peace and to have an old home like I grew up in -even though I swore to my mother I would NEVER live in an old Farm house.

Now that I stay home, I’ve gained perspective on how quickly time is flying and how much time is spent on things that I wish could be replaced with more meaningful moments. I spent the summer looking for a home where maybe we could fulfill both my dream and my hubby’s. When the summer came to an end, I vowed to end the hunt. But one day, just a few weeks ago, I just so happened to feel the urge to look to see what was out there on the Market.

To my surprise a property popped up, it needs a little TLC, but it was literally everything my hubby and I have spent endless weekends dreaming about. I called Aaron to talk to him about the property and the next day we went to see it in person. Things quickly snowballed into making an offer and now we have not only signed a contract to buy, but we’ve also sold our home. All credit going to the big guy in the sky because literally the craziest things have come of it-like we know the kiddos teacher they will have when they transfer and we just so happen to know who is buying our home! In addition to this, we’ve learned that three of our friends live only minutes away from us-out in the middle of no where none the less! All by chance-maybe, but I think God has had his hand on this for some time now.

My reason for sharing this is really quiet simple. If you have dreams you spend time thinking about, I encourage you to look closer at those dreams and see if maybe it’s something you shouldn’t wait on. Maybe now is the time to start living those dreams. As my dad has always said, ” Don’t wish you would have.” We have this one life to live and we all get to make our own choices in the path that we take. Take a path that will fulfill the dream you’ve always had. Don’t wait for it to just happen to you…

Come this January, our family life in suburbia will end and we are moving out to the country onto a little farm (no animals yet 😉). Yes it will be a complete 360 for us. But the need for us to get back to the basics in life and to raise our children in a home that is centered around hard work and family time is something we are really looking forward to. We’re striving to live with less physical “stuff” so that we can have more of the memorable moments as well as time to do the things we love.

My hope is that while it’s a little ways out, that we can have a home that our family and friends will come to get away from the noise and just have some quiet time to themselves fishing or some quality family time along with us. We hope we can provide a place of solace, that we have personally been searching for.

What’s your craziest dream or adventure you’d like to take? What can you do to make it happen?

Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any updates on the Farm!

Xo

Danielle

CLIFTON+PARK FEATURED ON MAMAVA

Today’s “#MamavaMonday comes to us via Danielle Foulk who met Mamava team member Sam Hart in an airport! Her perspective is a great reminder this busy travel season that mamas need choices and spaces, not judgement and “porcelain thrones.”

“Nursing. I have to admit, I nursed my twins (now 5 years old) and now Parker (8 months) because it’s free food, easier, and because they say it’s not a bad thing for your babe 😉. This summer I traveled without my son, Parker, which meant I had to pump-I was lucky to have discovered the Mamava at the Northern KY/Cincinnati airport. I was SO relieved to have that clean space for my luggage, myself, and more importantly my pump!

Unfortunately, on that same trip with my hubby (at a different airport)as well as a trip I took this past weekend, I couldn’t find a Mamava. I can now say I’ve stayed dedicated to breastfeeding by both nursing in a bathroom stall and pumping on top of a sink in front of every woman who was boarding the same flight I was because I had forgotten my battery pack for my pump.

My experience without the Mamava was stressful, uncomfortable, and frustrating. I was just trying to do a good thing for my baby and I didn’t have what I needed-a Mamava. While many women are confident enough to nurse in public, there are so many of us who need a place to retreat and do what is best for our babies without all those judgy eyes or cheers of praise. Thank you Mamava for working hard to get more Mamavas out in the world so we don’t have to hang out with the porcelain throne!”

Are you a #breastfeeding mama? We’d love to share your story in our #MamavaMonday series! DM us for details.