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Giveaway // Goats in the Meadow


Goats in the Meadow is a handmade shop that specializes in goat milk soap.  I can't rave enough about how much I love goat milk soap.  I have been using it exclusively for six months now and will never go back to body wash, or regular old soap.  If you are looking for a natural way to cleanse your skin- check out 

Goats in the Meadow offers a variety of scents and sizes and your skin will never feel better!
My kids each have their own bar of GITM soap (even Guinnyth) and they love lathering their skin up in the tub.


I love that this soap leaves no residue, and it doesn't dry out my skin.  It has been a lifesaver for this long, cold winter and for my expanding baby belly.  

This would be a great gift for yourself, or for someone you love!
Baby shower... birthday... housewarming... anything!
But, the reason I am showcasing it today, is that this is a perfect gift for all the mothers out there!

Any momma or grandma would love unwrapping a beautiful bar of goat milk soap this Mother's Day!
I promise!!!

Today you have a chance to win and experience Goats in the Meadow for yourself!!!

To Enter use the Rafflecopter below:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mother's Day Showcase


Mother's Day is fast approaching.
It is nice as a momma to get a sweet gift on Mother's Day.
I thought I would help you all out and showcase some handmade shops through the month of April to
help give you some ideas of unique gifts to share with the ladies in your life this Mother's Day.

Each of these shops creates special, one-of-a-kind items
that will not only bless your family, but will bless theirs as well.
There will even be giveaways... Bonus!

Make sure you check back each Wednesday as I feature a new shop for the month of April.
You can also click the Mother's Day Showcase button at the top of my sidebar
to check out the giveaways when they are posted.
The first showcase begins tomorrow!!!

Motherhood Mondays // Playtime



I write a lot about loving what I do.
I love staying at home and bumping shoulders with these little people all day long.
I do my best to not allow myself to get so busy at home that I don't
spend intentional time with my kids.

That is what I want to chat about... intentional time with my kids.
This is where it gets sticky for me.
I love snuggling with my kids.
I (most of the time) devour the time I spend in the kitchen with them.
I sit and smile as I listen to them tell me stories and hear their imagination.
Ring-around-the-rosie... I could watch them all day long. Hand in hand- spinning about.

This is where I fall short- playing.
I am not a "sit on the floor and play farmer and ponies" kind of mom.
That doesn't mean I don't carve out time to do so, 
but it isn't my preference.


I don't fill my "intentional time" with my kids with a bunch of child's play.
There are, at times, pounds of mommy guilt that I place on my back from my lack of
interest in this type of "quality time" with them.
When the guilt gets too heavy, I try to put in perspective my purpose for being with them.

I know spending hours on the floor with them will not make me "mother of the year."
It is the time I put into their hearts.
Digging deep to bury words of wisdom that they can extract later when they need them.
Teaching them life skills that they can put into use when they are in the trenches with their own families.
Loving them so fiercely that they can feel it.

I know spending hours on the floor with ponies and tractors is good,
but I know- without a doubt- that my time spent on the floor praying for their hearts
is what makes the true difference.
So, with that, I spend a few minutes with my deep, farmer voice plowing the carpeted fields
and then move forward knowing that my kisses and hugs make up for 
my shortcomings in the imaginative play department.

Thank the Lord for grace... once again.

Pregnancy // Baby Update {24 Weeks}

 

We are headed toward our last trimester, and I cannot believe it!
This baby has been moving like crazy and growing like crazy, too.
I am on the verge of having to sport my maternity clothes,
but they are still a little too big for me right now.
That means I either suffer pants that are a tad too tight,
or I use the handy-dandy rubberband trick.

For the most part, I am feeling really good.
I am tired from waking in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep for several hours,
but other than that...
things are looking up for this pregnancy.

Next month, there will be a major belly change.
Here is my {20 Week} Update.

DIY // Spring Wreath


I had mentioned last week that I threw together a Frugal Spring Wreath with only supplies I had on hand.
I will admit, I am not a stellar floral arranger, or wreath maker, so be gentle with your judgements. :)

I love adding pops of color to our porch when springtime starts to creep in.
It makes me happy when I drive down our drive and see bright flowers against our black door.


I had random flowers and greenery sitting around from past Memorial weekends and such,
so I decided to make do with what I had, instead of spending $30+ on a new wreath from a store.


I took what I had, heated up my glue gun, and went to town.
I do trim my stems and do a little "mock-arranging" prior to gluing everything down permanently.
I know there are wreaths in stores I would love so much more, but this one was free to me,
so that beats buying a new one.

Motherhood Mondays // Morning Quiet Time

  

I love my time alone with the Word before I turn in for the night.
It helps me to cleanse my heart and offer myself grace for all the ways I fell short that day.
But, there is something so peaceful and refreshing about 
meeting with Him before my day begins.

This time has changed a bit since becoming pregnant with our #4.
My morning time is cut short since I am so exhausted 
and struggle to peel myself out from underneath the covers.
I do manage to get in at least a small window of time to read some scripture
and set the tone for my day.
When I don't do this... my day is usually a flop as far as my attitude is concerned.

It is really one of the best times of my day.
I sit and read and get excited to welcome my crew.
It's amazing how the quiet mornings have simple movements to them
that you wouldn't otherwise notice.

They are all simple things:

+ How as the sun rises, you can tell the wind picks up just a bit.

+ How my Guinnyth, my baby for only a few more short months,
wakes on cue and babbles in her crib as she waits for me. 
I can tell she is having a conversation in there all by herself.
It's like she's chatting with Him, too.

+ How the train, which is a mile or two away, rumbles through and blows it's horn. 
You can hear the rhythm of the wheels filter through the river valley and it is so soothing.
I grew up listening to those trains, but there is something calming 
when you are reflecting upon them while you read about His creation.

My quiet time is simple.
I don't have a list of to-dos that I want to accomplish before the kids wake.
I simply want to gain perspective on why I am here in this place,
and what my daily purpose is.
Even if I get five minutes, instead of thirty, I am humbled by the Word and my focus is set.

Weekend Links // Printables, Photography, and Spring Wreaths

 
I am in love with these "sketched" letter printables from Shanty 2 Chic.
I printed a "Q" off for our laundry room,
and an "L" for Liam's room.  

Printables are such an easy way to add some color and flair 
to your home without breaking the bank.
I find cheap frames at thrift stores or estate sales (or, the side of the road)
and spray paint them to freshen them up a bit.
Then, I put in the printables and call it a day!
*****

If you have ever wondered about what equipment you would need to have to be a professional (or semi-professional) photographer, or how much to charge... this post is for you!

Drea, a professional photographer in Atlanta, recaps her photography journey- including the good and bad choices she made along the way.
Interesting read...
*****

 I am in the process of making my own "fast & frugal wreath" to share here on The Quick Journey.
This tutorial really is easy and cheap.
I plan to use only what I have on hand around the house so my wreath will be- FREE!
I will share it next week.

Be sure to share any good reads you have stumbled across in the comments!!!

Details // Eclectic School Room


Last week, I formally introduced our Eclectic School Room.
I wanted to answer some reader questions about how I pulled it all together.


//Map Wall//
I got my maps from paper-source.com.
They are sheets of wrapping paper that I hammered on the wall.
I overlapped the edges ever so slightly and tacked all four corners of the maps.
Then, in the areas that gaped open still,
I used double-sided sticky tape and taped the edges of the maps together 
(since they were overlapping, the tape didn't touch the wall).

//Chalkboard Wall//
We did two coats of chalkboard paint for the wall.
Truly, it wasn't the most fun to work with,
and next time I will make my own to save on cost.


//Wall Color//
The walls were previously a burnt orange color and I was in dire need of lightening it up.
I was introduced to QuietHomePaints.com and their eco-friendly paints.
The paint is a soft grey, blue and meshes so well with the color scheme.
The actual color is Shutter.

Some major pros to this paint:
+it didn't have any odor at all while wet, unlike conventional paints.
+100% VOC free
+organic and safe for even kids to paint with
+it covered very nicely

There you have it!
Everything you wanted to know about our Eclectic School Room!

Motherhood Mondays // Help a Momma Out!

  
 I mentioned last Monday that life seems to be taking over our home.
I get the house in working order, 
only to find it crumbling five minutes later.
Even though it can be disheartening sometimes,
I love that the crumbling means we are sharing moments together.
I wanted to share a few things that the kids and I implemented quite awhile ago
when I began to feel like I couldn't "do it all."
They are all simple tasks for the kids to take ownership in,
but it does take some training in the beginning,
so be prepared to spend time teaching them how to do things right.

+ Making beds
 Now, Ella does a very nice job of this.  
Liam, ummm, well... let's just say he's a typical boy and 
I offer him a lot of grace when it comes to bed-making. :)
Even so, they make their beds in the mornings and get themselves dressed.
We always tidy rooms at night, so when they come up for breakfast, 
their spaces are clean and neat for the start of the day.

+ Brushing Teeth
I used to brush everyone's teeth in the mornings and before bedtime,
and even though it is a simple task,
it took time and I was happy to give them freedom to do it themselves.
They both do a great job and the dentist says their teeth are great!
(Mark and I do scrub around on their teeth a few times a week just to ensure quality control.)

+ Washing/wiping down surfaces
Once a day, the kids take time to scrub their sinks and rid them of the residue left behind from washing hands and brushing teeth.
They also wipe down the kitchen table and dust bust underneath.

+ Emptying dish washer
There are times I do this on my own,
but if we are drowning in tasks,
they do this for me.
I empty sharp objects and breakables that go in the top shelves and leave everything else.
I have most of my utensils at a level that is perfect for them to put away.

+ Laundry
I was so picky about how clothes were folded.
Why? I ask myself, why?
It doesn't matter if my (almost) 4 year old has wrinkled underwear. Does it?
Now, we fold the shirts, pants, and jammies together.  
The rest just get placed, or thrown, in the correct drawer.
Both of my older kiddos love picking out their own clothes, 
so they usually get messed up in the drawers anyway.
This saves me being frustrated when I look and see shirts "smooshed" in the drawers.
They always put their own clothes away as well.

+Toys
This has been a long time rule of mine that goes way back to when Ella
was still a little 1 year old.
I do not pick up toys for my kids.
There are times when we have guests and the mess is a little too much for two kiddos to tackle
that I will step in and help,
but for every day tidying... it's all on them!
This is done before lunch, after naptime, and before bedtime.
I am in the process of working with Guinnyth on this
 even though she doesn't seem to play with many toys.
She usually just waddles around following people through the house.

*****

My kids are still young so I am limited as to what jobs I assign to them,
but I will say that these simple tasks make a big difference in my work load.
I love being able to count on them to help out,
even if it is in the simplest of ways.

When we clean house, you can bet that I have a kid begging to use the toilet bowl scrub brush!
Hey, I will take whatever I can get! :)

I would love to know how your kiddos help out in your home!!!

InstaFriday

Today I am sharing a snippet from my Instagram account.  
I love IG!  It is quick and so easy to connect with other bloggers, mommas, handmade shop owners...
If you aren't following me on IG,
you can follow @thequickjourney.

****************
My baby for only a few more, short months...
Guinnyth loves giving kisses.  She walks around the house smacking her gums, waiting for someone to come and smack their lips right back.  It is possibly the cutest thing ever.


 When this one was just a newborn, I promised her that I wouldn't let the little moments
be ignored simply because she was the third babe and I had already experienced those same moments with her older siblings.  I want her to have a whole slew of memories to look through when she's older.  I want to freeze this moment, and remember how she always begs to see the "baby" in the mirror after bathtime. 


We celebrated Mark's birthday this week.  I love how excited the kids get to share his special day with him. 
I am fairly certain they get more excited than he does.  We started the morning with blueberry, pancake muffins... followed by creating works of art for daddy... and a chocolate chip sundae dessert.


I hope you had a great week!
We are going to soak up the nice temperatures that are supposed to be here this weekend.
Enjoy your weekend!

Fresh // Our Eclectic Homeschool Room

I should have written this post nine months ago since the room has been broken in
for at least that long.
When we decided to really take the homeschooling thing
seriously and do it long-term,
we knew we would be needing a permanent place to get those said tasks completed.

We have an office in the basement,
but I didn't want to be that far from the kitchen,
or from Guinnyth's bedroom since she plays in her crib during much of our school time.

 I love our schoolroom.
It isn't perfectly functional for a full herd of kiddos learning,
but for now I have enough room for Ella's minimal supplies and Liam's few activity books.
Most of our "extras" are stored in the white buffet or the coat closet in the foyer.

 This room is right off the foyer and our front door,
so it is one of the first things guests see when they walk into our home.
My goal was to have a tasteful room that wouldn't be an eyesore
when we walked past and peeked in.

It is actually one of my favorite rooms.
It is simple, yet has some of my personal flair built in.
It has color, but the palette is subtle enough to not be distracting.
It is a lovely place to learn in.

I know that as the rest of our kids fill this room during schooltime,
I will need to make adjustments:
+add leaves to the table
+add more storage

But, those are easy adjustments to make.

UPDATE: This post gives all the details for our school room!!!
 ******
And now, just for fun, a BEFORE picture of our dining room turned school room...



Root Pretty Make-up // Giveaway

Part of getting ready every day is getting your face ready, too.
For "every day," I like a natural, polished look that doesn't take oodles of time.
I want to look pulled together, but not overdone.

I received some mineral foundation from a new company, Root.
I love the lightweight, natural wear of the minerals.
I have written a full review over on She {hearts} It...
and, Root is giving away a mineral mini set {foundation, bronzer, setting silk}!!!
 

Go enter to win!!!

PS.  In these pics I am wearing the Root mineral set.  I have a ton of redness and scarring on my skin, particularly my chin area, and to have it covered is amazing.  These photos were not edited in any way!

Motherhood Mondays // Changes


I am beginning to notice a shift in my productivity lately.
It's not that I am not doing things,
but things seem to pile up more quickly the bigger your family becomes (duh!).
I didn't notice too big of a difference when we added in Liam,
but adding Guinnyth seemed like it added quite a bit more housework.

Laundry... picking up after each other... cooking... snack crumbs... and the list continues.

The biggest change is in the laundry.
I feel like it is never ending sometimes.
The feeling of never being caught up is daunting.
It's like the entire house is a wreck, 
simply because the laundry isn't all washed, folded, and placed neatly in drawers. 

As I am preparing for another little blessing to come swaddled through our door,
I am working on changing my mindset about how my house is going to look and function.
I will probably never be completely caught up on laundry- for years.
I will probably always have crumbs under the table for a portion of the day.
I will probably always have a sink stained with kiddie toothpaste or hand soap.

I am preparing myself to know that it will all be okay.
I don't like days when I am laboring away and spend little time engaging with my kids.
I don't like days when I allow guilt to creep in for not having it all together.
It will all be okay.

I am learning to allow some imperfections in order to keep life simple.
We are implementing simple resolutions to help us flow better through the day.
Even though the laundry is rarely, if ever, completely done...
it isn't a mark as to what kind of mom I am.
It just shows that we have a lot of love and living going on within these walls.

I will share next time a few things that we have been doing for awhile to help keep the house tidy... :)