Monday, October 16, 2017

{Local Gifting Guide} How to Give Locally Made Gifts

hello folks, are you ready for this upcoming season of giving? i can't believe that it is almost time for thinking about the holidays!

something i love to do for the holiday season is give my favorite locally made goods to my loved ones. often times family members get excited about specific brands and makers and ask tons of questions. it makes it fun for me and i think it is once again a great way to support the businesses in our own communities!

i thought this would be a perfect time to consider how to give locally made gifts. here are a few tips i have for you...

+ local foods
every place has their favorite foods! i am sure in every city there is a favorite bakery or even a few independent restaurants... we like to snag a few gift cards for our friends + family.

check out a local market that carries independent + local foods. we make at least one trip over to North Market each year in Columbus. even more locally we like to shop at the Second Street Market in Dayton a few times each season. sometimes the hours of operation can be tricky but make a fun outing - grab breakfast and holiday shop on a Saturday morning!

when considering local food one could also create a darling gift from canned goods. i'm talking pretty in the jar goods that either you or someone else thoughtfully put in the jar themselves. our local orchard carries tons of great jellies and jams and we've been known to gift Ohio maple syrup or my very own apple butter.

+ clothing or other handmade items
of course i am a huge fan of shopping {}. supporting makers from all over is very important to me. so i totally believe that if you are looking for something particular and you want a quality made item you could easily find someone on etsy making a wonderful product. that is an avenue worth pursuing. you might also want to find out if you have a local store that supports many makers in your area - many of the makers might even have their own etsy store as well. i've mentioned it before but i like shopping at celebrate local in the easton shopping center in columbus if we are in the area. Or the ever reliable urban handmade in yellow springs {they opened a new location over the summer and it looks super great - check it out!}. shops like these often have t-shirts, bags, winter gloves, gorgeous pottery and other usable goods that might make you think of someone on your list.

+ long time local favorites
you know the mom + pop store that everyone has loved for years. yes, you can make a gift of that... around my home state we have a serious love of potato chips and donuts... i'm sure we can create a cute gift basket out of such goodies.

okay, so this is where i need your help! i have loads of ideas for Ohio made gifts and will be telling you more about that next week. what other states would you like to see a Local Gift Giving Guide? or do you have a favorite way to support local while shopping for your holiday gifts? write in the comments and let me know!

what state do you want to see a Local Gift Giving Guide for?

::this post is an update from november 2015::

Monday, August 28, 2017

hello, lavender {a simple introduction}

let's take a moment for the wonder that is LAVENDER!! i thought now and again i might give a few facts or ways to use various essential oils. i'm learning so much these days as i dive deeper and deeper into my natural living quest. so i'm going to start with lavender, the calming-jack-of-all-trades oil! we use it ALL the time!

my favorite lavender uses:

+ 'owie' roller!! just a drop feels soothing on minor skin abrasions,  so i put  5 drops lavender with 5 drops of frankincense  in a 10 ml roller, topped it all off with fractionated coconut oil and - yes! its like traveling with my favorite first aid kit!

+ my 'breathe' roller - i put together lavender, lemon and peppermint to support my healthy respiratory function {aka seasonal enjoyment!!} 

+ sleep support- you knew this was coming!! so much sleep support over here!! i'm loving lavender with the gentle baby oil blend... in the diffuser, on my wrists, on my feet... oh yes!

my upcoming use:

+some of my girlfriends swear by putting a drop of lavender in a new tube of mascara that they have noticed longer, fuller eyelashes... can't wait for my next tube!

so, I was just about to offer a giveaway. but i realize that i have very few readers on the blog. so here's the deal, i want to pour some goodness into all of your lives.... if you are not already a member of Young Living (because you already know how awesome those products are...) just give me a comment or send me a message mentioning this post and i will hook you up with a roller. {let's talk and pick a roller for you - sleep support, owie, happy are my favorites right now and i bet they could support you} if this gets a lot of traffic, it may take awhile to get all the rollers, so be patient. but this is me saying 'thank you' for reading!! {all comments or messages must be sent by September 30th, 2017}

hope this makes for a good start to your week!!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

good morning people!

so i've been in the "mama at home" cloud all summer. soaking up the baby snuggles knowing i'm heading back to work... and it just struck me - i made some pretty loft goals this year and i'm not really putting any mind to them. so here's my update in hopes to get my butt in gear!

my goals...

+ grow produce in 2 {if not 3!!} of our raised beds - we planted all 3 beds! i'm not keeping up on them as i should, but we are grabbing tomatoes, garlic and lettuce now and again! so i'm pretty pleased with this. 

+ work on our general menu plan for the family so that two dinners a week are local, seasonal meals {right now we have one night a week as our "in season" night}- yes! i just recently made a 3 week menu to help streamline my kitchen time and this is totally happening! i'm not sure about the winter days when we are low on local goods in our pantry, but so far so good!

+ work on our general menu plan for the family so that either our main breakfast for the week, or our main lunch for the week are local, seasonal meals.- yes! our lunches are leftovers and our breakfast always consists of eggs from our chickens or a local chicken farmer's brood {it is becoming clear that our ladies are at the end of their prime laying and are not producing as much as they were. we have only purchased one dozen eggs so far this summer though, we have not had any extras to save for the winter}

that leaves me with the following two goals...
+ research raising our own meat and ways to extend our growing season at our home
+ consider renewable energy resources that might work for our home

i am very interested in both of these concepts so i am often thinking/researching these ideas. however, the plans we are considering are not in this year's budget. so i had hoped that maybe we could act on these *research and consider* goals, but i don't think we will this year. 

oh good, i'm not so far off! a little more research to round out the future plan and i'll call it done for the year!

 happy monday friends!

Monday, August 14, 2017

.:around these parts::summer is wrapping up:.

hey there kids!

i cannot believe that our summer is wrapping up so soon! these sunny days went by in a blink! i'm sure as with many of you... so much we didn't do, but so much that we did! i'm thankful for every moment i spent with my wee guy {who is rapidly growing!} and am excited for the last few weeks of our more relaxed routine.

some of my faves...

+ having slow days at home with my baby boy. every few days i would make sure we didn't have any plans for the day so we could just play at home.

+ reconnecting with some old friends - i went to a college friend's baby shower and hosted an oily class that some of my junior-high school girlfriends attended.  it was super fun to catch up and hear how everyone is doing. plus, whenever i see my ol' buds it reminds me to keep better tabs on them for several months to come. i think this is so valuable and needed as our current season is so busy, even just a quick text is so happy.

+ my baby's sleep roller and lullaby spray - ah, yes. we're teething. so i -L O V E- our sleepy roller {1 drop of Gentle Baby, 1 drop of Lavender and all the rest fractionated coconut oil in a 10 ml roller - not everyone is comfortable with babies + oils, so you'll have to decide if a little plant magic is okay for your younger babe} and we use a lullaby spray in the car for longer road trips back home in the dark - so refreshing for the car too!

+ our 6th wedding anniversary - oh yes, we had a date night and it was all the heart eyes! loved having a few hours to tuck away with a delicious drink and my adorable, sweet hearted husband.

how is life on your end? hope y'all are enjoying every August day to the fullest!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

hey there, july.

hello friends!

happy summer afternoon! just dropping in to share some of my excitement- my Young Living Premium Starter Kit is here!

for about a few years now i have been learning about the uses of essential oils... from reducing the chemicals in our home {by making cleaning products} to diffusing my favorite scents {one of my best stress relievers + labor coping strategies}. i am hooked. when it came time to invest in a full set of quality oils i knew i wanted to join the Young Living community. we are talking top notch oils. hands down.

here are some of my favorites that are in the premium starter kit...


- just yes! diffusing them at various times, wearing stress away and cleaning my rug and dishes with the support of purification. 

do you have questions? anything you want to know about getting started with essential oils? leave me a comment below or find me on instagram @farmhausessentialoils to learn more! {hint: i am sharing some oily love this week via a roller give away... so be sure to follow @farmhausessentials on IG}

are you already ready to buy a premium starter kit? click here to join my oily tribe and i will be there to support, {as well as learn along side} you in your quest to wellness!

happiest week to you!

Monday, June 12, 2017

{in the kitchen} baby's first foods

hello there!

some exciting stuff around here... our little one is trying out some tasty {solid} morsels!

we've been on our breastfeeding journey and starting around 5 months our guy showed so much interest in what was going on at the dinner table... since then he has tried a few bites too {did i mention my baby is 8 months old?!}!

we chose to feed our little j soft real foods that are cut in ways to be easily held. or can be served up on a spoon for him to feed himself. at the beginning - when he was six months old - his daily meal(s) were more about being at the family table and touching real food and less about what nutrients made it into his body. we were still breastfeeding around the clock and family dinner was when we chose to have his meal type experience. my husband and i have always been excited about being at the table as a family, talking and sharing about what happened in our days. this is why we've decided to make it j's social solid foods eating time.

now that we are two months in our guy is a pro and LOVES to eat! sometimes we serve up purees while most of the time we are making sure our foods are provided to him in safe ways to eat {soft, sometimes mashed, often on a spoon} he chats with us and his crazy babbles {plus the few words he says basically daily - mama, dada, and "Ebba" for our dog Etta}

how we knew we were ready...

+we were given the okay by our doctor - due to his head control and subsiding "tongue thrust" our pediatrician shared that she was more than comfortable with him starting to experience some foods. in fact, she was ready before we were! it was so nice to have that go-ahead. and it got this mama dreaming about messy hands and gummy sweet potato smiles!

+he couldn't help himself when mom and pop were eating - grabbing at all the things, staring at whatever was going in our mouths, we knew his interest was there.

+we researched - after throughly reading about 'baby led weaning' we found that we liked the real food, just keep it safe, eat what the family is type approach.

+we took baby steps - once we knew he was interested we had a few weeks where during dinner time he would sit in his high chair (this kid's core strength is unreal) and would touch and play with a little bowl, spoon and cup while we ate dinner and all talked together. he LOVED it from the first meal so we thought he would attend to food once we felt more prepared to start our route to solid foods.

what is working well for us...

+cutting up foods so he can hold it

+foods he likes - he can go with bananas in all the foods! but we also eat avocado, peas, sweet potato, pumpkin, prunes, blueberries, papaya and more...

+doing the 4 day rule - only trying one new food every 4 days or so. this way if a food allergy is present it will hopefully surface prior to introducing the next new food and we will know that we need to be careful around whatever food he ate just before symptoms arrived.

+peanut butter - check with your pediatrician on this one, but ours suggested moving forward with the current thinking that younger babies should try peanut butter (watered down, so no choking hazard); we waited until he had tried many solids and had no allergic reactions to anything.

+having our pup, Etta, take care of the dirty work - our little babe and pup are just such good friends already. and now our girl loves this baby boy even more because of all the snacks she sneaks from the floor under his spot at the table.

any mamas have real food/baby led weaning tips to share? or are you interested and want to learn more? check out this Real Food Mamas Podcast - Episode #49: BLW in the Kitchen

have a good one!!

Monday, June 5, 2017

feels like summer

summer break has begun and i am popping in for a quick hello. 

so far i am enjoying lots of extra time with my guys- grilling, shade sitting and some special to do's here and there. 

thankfully it just got started. 

here's to a beautiful morning for all!

Monday, May 1, 2017

hello, may.

good morning friends!

just popping in to send a happy springy greeting! i've decided with all the excitement of our final month of the school year that i'll take a few weeks away from this space. you know, balance...

much love + see you in june! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

winter + trying out our freezer-saved chicken eggs

this past fall i mentioned that i was saving up some of our fresh eggs for the winter. our chicken flock lays all summer, spring and fall. every so often when we have a stretch of lovely (spring-ish) winter days they will lay a couple of surprise eggs for us. it keeps us on our toes!

i'm happy to say that thru this past winter we've only purchased 3 dozen eggs! and it wasn't because i didn't save enough... well, let me explain. 

in the summer i was doing a major food prep for our little one's arrival, preserving some produce and considering how to put up some eggs. {read more about that with Fresh Eggs Daily} i made lots of dishes to freeze that contained eggs, but i also decided to try out freezing actual eggs.

by using a silicone baking mold i would freeze the eggs {as per instructed by Fresh Eggs Daily!} pop them out and then save them in freezer bags... 

our most used eggs were the whisked eggs that could be thawed and put into recipes. we didn't seem to use the eggs that were prepared for frying - just not quite right for us. {hence why we splurged and purchased the 3 dozen eggs - all for various brunches at home!} i think this upcoming summer i will freeze whisked eggs, freeze fewer mini breakfast bakes and more baked goods in order to save up some of our eggs. that seems to be what works best for our taste buds and general kitchen routine. 

do you have any favorite high protein -as in several eggs- baked good recipes to share? tell me in the comments!

Monday, April 17, 2017


hey there loves!

i've been thinking a lot about nourish {my word for the year} and self care. i'm learning about what it looks like for me to give myself some permission to pause, to take what i need.

what fills me up? right now i crave time with my little family in a low scheduled sort of way. a haircut? yes, i'm in dire need but the morning my husband said "go. go to Target and then run to the salon, we will be here when you get back." i was exhausted and hadn't slept well for several nights- an extra 30 minutes of sleep and an uninterrupted breakfast was all i wanted. if i sat for a haircut i would surely nod off and walking the dollar spot was the last thing i thought would make me feel rested that particular morning.

however i've found a few things that seem to really be worth my efforts right now...

i'm investing an evening a week to starting a yoga practice at a studio. this has immensely helped my muscles open up and i'm gaining some flexibility in the poses i practice at home during the rest of the week. honestly, just what i needed.

and i'm trying to phrase the little bits of time when i'm working on our home in a way that fills me up. it is true, some nights when my husband asks how he can help - all i want is a clean floor and an empty sink. i was very inspired by this essay and i'm using a similar thought while tidying up our home.

and of course - podcasts! - i took some time away from listening to the talking because i needed the quiet, but now i'm up for a little chat here and there while doing dishes, laundry or cleaning the kitchen. my little j loves music but doesn't seem to mind hearing talking voices when he plays and i start to make dinner.

what do you do for self care? how do you nourish yourself to stay well for your families?

need some inspiration? try out...

these words from jennifer, katie, stephanie and aglaee.

happy new week!

Monday, April 10, 2017

mama is heading to work...

it's true. my maternity leave has flown by - a blink of an eye and our little guy is six months old and i'm off to the races. we're trying out the whole 'two working parents' idea to see if it works for our family. 

i have very much enjoyed having these important days with my first son. often just us two, discovering new things together. i'm so very lucky to have support from family as we attempt this transition. our little guy will stay home with Grammie or head to the home of our close friends so that i can teach for the last two months of school and j will be with loved ones that he knows well. 

so it is with a heavy, but excited heart {we can be both at once, yes?} i'm off to work and will give my little boy the opportunity to have some adventures without me. 

i'm going to miss him like crazy. good thing summer break is rapidly approaching. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

big picture dreamin'

hey there!

so around here we've been doing some big time dreaming... thinking about our future and what that looks like. doing all our dreaming and then committing to some good ol' fashion work has always been the way that my guy and i go about things. the dreaming stage is a current fave. it is easy to do when a fresh start to a new month is only days away {spring too!} and we have our little boy in the house that gives us so much material to dream about.

how do you go about moving your dreams to real life achievements? 

i'm thinking and planning out a general weekly rhythm to dedicate times for some of the current ambitions we have {i.e. my husband's consulting work, yoga classes i'd like to attend and family hikes are already on the calendar}... maybe things will fall into place if our routine supports our big dreams.

i'm also loving some elise joy podcasts - she always pumps me up to get a goal in motion and i found this read from code of living super inspiring.

here's to a happy + productive week!

Monday, March 20, 2017

around these parts {+ my unscheduled break}

hey friends!

i've been missing my time around here. but spending my time doing all good things. here's what i've been getting into...

+lots of family time - daily life with my little guy in tow has been so great lately. lots of extended family visits, working on some homestead projects while keeping the baby entertained and even going outside {because end of winter in Ohio}

+getting active in issues that matter - not planning to get too political on this blog, but a lot of my screen time has been dedicated to researching bigger issues and supporting those who have less of a voice than i do.

+discovering an interest in yoga - i've always wanted to start a practice of yoga, doing a few DVDs and such, but recently i've been attending classes to learn poses and even took little j out for a Momma + Baby series! so fun! it was a good excuse to get out of the house and meet a few other moms in my area.

i hope you all are doing great and thanks for checking on me! happy start to the week!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Homesteading Goals for 2017

good morning there!

i was a bit inspired by this post from Homestead Honey and it made me want to consider some solid, obtainable goals for this year on our homestead...

first off, in 2016 we put in the start of our raised bed garden, set up a safe composting system, took care of our chickens {their home + eggs}, grew seedlings, and jarred up some goodness to save! i would file it as a successful year - as i also spent all of 2016 growing our first child!

this year {2017!!} I would like to work on these few obtainable goals...
+ grow produce in 2 {if not 3!!} of our raised beds
+ work on our general menu plan for the family so that two dinners a week are local, seasonal meals {right now we have one night a week as our "in season" night}
+ work on our general menu plan for the family so that either our main breakfast for the week, or our main lunch for the week are local, seasonal meals.
+ research raising our own meat and ways to extend our growing season at our home
+ consider renewable energy resources that might work for our home

how exciting! these goals definitely feel inline with my word of the year - "nourish" too... i think i feel some momentum gathering!
happy monday, friends.

Monday, February 6, 2017

{mama hood mondays} post partum meal prep reflection

you may remember that before our little guy was born i did a mega food prep. it has been very helpful for us in our beginning months of parenthood to have many meals in the freezer to pull out for dinner. and oh my, do i eat snacks during the day! i thought a little reflection might shine light on a few more postpartum meal prep tips and help incase i ever take on such work again {see my list of tips from while i was in the thick of it:: click here}

A few observations...

+ we really do prefer freshly made eggs... as it was summer time and our ladies were laying it down i made loads of mini egg bakes to freeze. these were the last things we are still eating. i don't think it is a problem, but maybe i wouldn't make so many next time.

+ make fewer gluten filled snacks... pre-pregnancy i wrestled with a gluten intolerance. breads, cookies, cakes, pizza all mess with my head and digestion. i would be able to get away with eating a little gluten treat maybe like once a week with very little problem. during pregnancy i could eat all the gluten filled gloriousness that i wanted - and i did!! this led me to believe that i could probably get away with it during breast feeding. this was only true for a couple weeks. now i am finding no gluten to be my best plan even though breastfeeding is going on.

+ make more 'whole 30 compliant' meals for the freezer... the first few weeks after delivery we had such wonderful people bringing us dinners and treats and snacks! it was beyond helpful! {for a few days after i had the baby i was either breastfeeding, pumping, sleeping, eating or exhausted. all of this meant that the cooking, house cleaning and pet care all fell to my husband who was getting less sleep than i was.} once i was out of bed and loved ones stopped bringing {basically} daily meals my husband wanted very nutrient dense food. he was depleted and many of the meals i had made were a little more comfort based than he was craving.

+ fully cook a few more meals... many of my meal prep plans included thawing a ziploc bag of a dinner for the crockpot. this required us to remember the night before to pull out a dinner. sometimes we remembered - but often we did not. having a few more "just reheat" types meal preps would have served us well.

+ i really liked these blueberry oat crumble bars but they didn't thaw as well as i would have liked. i probably would make them again, but maybe once i was back on my feet and not for the freezer. it is a very simple recipe and would work well for a naptime baking if you had the energy {they weren't listed as a freezer ready bar, i just tried it}

+ our favorites {linked to original source}:

sweet potato chili
beef roast and carrots {i will add more carrots the next time i make it}
italian sausage soup
chicken fajitas
lunch lady bars

i like the idea of a big meal prep during a busy season. or i'm considering it as a way to save more of our homegrown produce this summer... already portioned and used for a meal!

have a lovely week!

Monday, January 16, 2017

mama hood monday {the end of the fourth trimester}

hello there!

just feeling a bit sentimental today... our little j turned 3 months old recently and as i start to feel more like myself and see him grow in so many ways i'm stowing away the memories of that little nugget of a newborn that he was.

we have a bit of a rhythm to the day now. he eats every two and a half hours {somewhere a bouts} and is interested in a suggested nap about two and a half hours since he last awoke. he is tired for a long sleep around 9 o'clock at night so to avoid the overtired baby -that he will push himself to be- we start a calming bedtime ritual around 8:30 PM each night. we have noticed a true benefit of having him home at a certain time to enjoy some quiet family time and our simple bed routine {nurse on one side, diaper/massage/pajamas, stories, nurse the other side and sleep}. this is working for us right now and will be altered as needed.

our little j loves to see what is going on. he loves to be held and cuddled and he giggles like a wild baby when his daddy makes silly noises and tickles him. he likes to sit up in my lap and read books too.

what a honest treasure it is to see a baby grow! happy monday, all!

Monday, January 9, 2017

nourish in my 2017

this year i have a focus of 'nourish' to help me pursue my goals + passions.

in 2017 i will NOURISH

.: family :.

.: garden :.

.: home :.

.: health :.

.: family rituals + routines for simple living :.

.: family seasonal traditions :.

how about you, sitting on some pretty lofty 2017 goals?

Monday, January 2, 2017

{nourish} :: my word for 2017

happy new year, dear ones!

i hope there was plenty of joy in your holiday season - enough to carry you into the new year!

2016 was a year where "cultivate" was my focus. it was personally an exciting year too - a year of growth and welcoming our little one into the world!

in 2017 i've decided to continue with a specific word to help me see through goals and passions each day + season. 

i wanted a word that would inspire efforts, work, and thinking centered around...

caring for my home, family and self
being mindful of balance + health as we find ways that our family thrives
prioritizing growing foods + planning a seasonal menu with local foods to feed this family

2017 is a year for NOURISH

enjoy some slow as we start off this beautiful year! 
thanks for spending some of your precious time with me.
happy 2017!