Style | Fall 10 x 10 Capsule

I shared about the Fall 10x10 that I was doing with a few other homeschool mamas, but I didn't share my actual outfits.  I picked several tops and pants and simply swapped them out.  It was easy and so non-stressful, especially since this was my first capsule where I only picked 10 pieces.

This was so much fun and it was even better because I did it with friends.  I hope you enjoy seeing my pieces in action.

These are the outfits I managed to snag a photo of.  All of my pieces are casual, but make me feel pulled together.  They all fit well and are things I can wear all day long without fussing with them.  The rest of the days, I simply switched up my pants and tops differently.  So easy!  

If you want to see a few videos of me doing my "mom" thing in my capsule... check out the "CAPSULE" highlights on my Instagram feed. 

Gifting | Christmas Ideas for Kids

Christmas is one of my very favorite times of the year.  I love the sights and the smells, the music and the yummy treats. Basically, once October hits, I'm chomping at the bit to throw up some live garland and deck the halls. :)

I try to share a few gift ideas every year for those who are interested.  I always benefit from people sharing what their kiddos love, so I'm going to share a couple of toys that our kids play with regularly so you can get some ideas for your little ones.  I will do a follow-up post on things that I'm personally loving, in case you have a hubby that needs some ideas for you and you are all dried up on what to put on your list.

We try really hard to keep our kids' gifts to a minimum.  We usually fill a stocking for them with things they need like toothbrushes, toothpaste, a new movie, books, new markers, etc.  Other than that, we do 4 gifts (sometimes less) for each kid.  Not only does gift giving get expensive, but we are reductionists here in this home and prefer to reduce the amount of stuff shoved in every nook and cranny as much as possible. :) So, with that said, I'm happy to share a few ideas that my kids have loved and that were well worth the money.

1 | Felt Board 

I cannot even tell you how much this thing has been played with- by every kiddo in the house.  It is a quiet toy and there are enough boards for each kid to have one so they can all play together.  I also love that it comes with a bag and everything gets put back in and stowed away easily.  I keep it in a closet up high and bring it out every few weeks... it's like Christmas all over again.

2 | Woodzeez

They are adorable, my friends.  All three of my girls love these little animals.  My mom started giving these to my girls and now they anticipate with excitement which family they will get next every time it's their birthday.  There's something about the sweetness of the toy that makes them feel nostalgic to me.  I grabbed a vintage basket from the thrift store and they stay in there while they aren't being played with.  Those little houses in the pictures were also found at the thrift store.  The kids enjoy setting up towns and playing with their legos and woodzeez with them.

3 | Wooden Building Kits

This one if for the boys out there that love building and working with their hands.  Liam loves doing these kits and using his tools to put them together.  Afterwards, he will paint them and then display them in his room. And, if you want to go a different route, cut some small pieces of wood and let your little guy make his own creations.  Liam recently made the little girls a table and chair for their doll house and it is so cute.

4 | Wall Doll House

You can get (or make) several doll houses like this one, but I highly recommend the one we have.  It is sturdy and I love that we can mount it to the wall to help free up floor space.  It is big enough to play dolls (or woodzeez) in, but it's also perfect as a book shelf for older girls.

5 | Kid's Drill Set

I will be honest, I usually try my hardest to steer clear of plastic toys, but this one is so good.  We've had this drill set for years and both Liam and the girls enjoy it.  It helps with hand-eye coordination and gives the kids an activity that will take them some time, instead of them needing something else to keep their attention 5 minutes later.  Plus, they love using the drill. ;)

6 | Songbird Tea Set

This was a request from Ella last year and my mom snagged it for her for Christmas.  We have pulled it out many times and each time I think about how cute it is.  The girls each have a favorite songbird tea cup and we serve tea crackers and talk in poorly executed British accents during each and every tea party. :)

That is my gift guide round up for this year.  I hope it was helpful in some way as you whittle down your list for a little one you're buying for.  Let me know if there are any gifts you would definitely add to the list!

Homeschool | Fall Things

I am the least crafty person out there, so listen up non-crafty homeschool moms... your kids don't require a lot from you in the craft department.  All you need is a yard full of fall leaves, some glue, and a piece of paper.  

We have been reading some fall books the past few weeks, which I will link at the end if you are at all interested, that have helped enrich our enjoyment of this fall season.  Mark has raked leaves and the kids have jumped and plowed through them several times already this year, which has been so much fun, but these books have helped us really soak up how lovely autumn is.

A leaf activity is always a must during October.  We've done leaf garlands (which I'd like to do again, if we have time), leaf classifying projects, and leaf collages before- each that the kids have loved and none that are time consuming on the mama's part or expensive. Win, win!

This year, it was time for another leaf collage.  The kids each had some paper and they went outside to hunt for the leaves they thought would fit their collage picture.  Upon returning, they glued their leaves in their spots and layered them until they were happy with their picture.  We hung them and daddy came home and immediately had to guess what each collage was a picture of. :)

I hope this encourages you to just do something.  Kids find enjoyment in anything out of the ordinary.  My kids, literally, glued leaves on a piece of paper and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  It's all in the presentation. Light a candle.  Put some slices of apple and bread on the table.  Play some music or a book on tape.  They'll love it. 

If you're interested in the books, here are the links to the ones we enjoyed this year:

DIY | Rolled Beeswax Candles

This will be the third year for me to roll beeswax candles for our own enjoyment and to tie on top of packages for people we are giving gifts to.  It's amazing how festive they look atop a gift when they are tied with a bit of twine and have a sprig of greenery placed underneath them. :)

Now, you might be wondering why I'm publishing this post so far before Christmas.  Well, it's almost November and that's when we begin to make things for our Christmas season.  We dry oranges and make garlands to hang around our house.  We make cinnamon salt dough ornaments right before Thanksgiving so they are ready for our tree whenever we get one.  With that being said, I wanted to post this so you would have ample time to get your kit and start rolling.  ;)

I have yet to share the details of my rolled candles, and I get asked often enough about them that I wanted a post to lead people to that wanted to know more.  I buy a kit every year and the candles last me all season.  That's even when I use some for gifts.  

One thing I do to make them go further is to cut the sheets in half (down the width) so I have double the candles.  They are a bit smaller, but I don't mind and it actually fits my jars and candle holders better.  

Another thought... these are great for older kids to do.  I wouldn't let my 4 year old have at it, but my 8 and 10 year old certainly can do this on their own.  :) Again, it is something they can take ownership in and it makes them so excited to give the gifts to others.  These would be so cute in a sweet brown bag with some homemade Christmas cookies. They could be gifted to neighbors and friends.  So fun.  

These are the exact ones I use every year.  If you are more into a typical, dipped taper candle... try these. :)

Home | Living Room Update

Every once in awhile, whether by necessity or want, it's fun to change things up.  I used to love rearranging my room as a kid and I still love to make small changes now as an adult.  It makes things feel fresh and new, even if they aren't new at all.

Then, there are times where your family has outgrown your current sofa and you need more seating capacity in the living room.  Bodies are longer and heavier and don't fit on your lap anymore.  No rearranging was going to solve this problem.  This was the situation we were in when we decided to add another sofa to our living room.  While our old couch fit our family when the kids were babies and they all piled on top of us, that was not the case anymore.

I went searching for a sofa that would add some color and texture to our living room.  I knew I wanted velvet and in a rich, timeless color.  Late this summer, I stumbled upon Structube and their Emilie sofa.... and my jaw dropped.  It was exactly what I was wanting.

The velvet is soft and adds a bit of hygge to our space.  It's the perfect size to fit two to three bodies on it and still offer room to wrestle on the floor, or practice ballet spins.  We have it situated across from the linen sofa.  I love dueling sofas.  They make conversation easy and defines a boundary for the living space.  We will probably do some more tweaking, but for now, we are simply enjoying the new beauty in the room.

We also got this faux fur foot stool from Structube.  We like to prop our feet up and never have anything to prop them on... now we do. :) I loved the wire table because it gave me a place to put things, but also because it allowed light to travel through it.  It's an airy end table and fits perfectly next to the new sofa.  

Let me know your thoughts!  I know this is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but sometimes when you have had your eye on something for a long time (I.e. a velvet sofa), you just have to bite the bullet!

DIY | Beeswax Jar Candles

We (ahem, I) tend to fill our home with beeswax candles every fall and winter.  The soft yellow glow and sweet smell makes our early mornings and late evenings extra cozy.  Last year, I made some jarred beeswax candles as Christmas gifts and it was so fun to make them.  There's just something special about making something, instead of just buying.  :)

I will link the products I used both last year and this year for those who want to make some for yourself. :) It really is an easy process.  Tie the jar with some twine and a handmade label and you've got yourself a great gift for neighbors, teachers, or friends!

What you will need:

Rhythm | Afternoon Tea

Rhythms make such a difference for us, which is why I talk about them often.  We can be flexible, but there are things that create pillars in our days and as we transition from season to season.  

Afternoon Tea Time is something that gets lost when the warm months arrive and we spend all of our time outside, but at the first sign of fall, tea time comes back.  It's a simple ritual to have in that hard part of the day where the kids are working through being both tired and, maybe even, a bit bored.

Tea and cookies and chatter always makes the afternoon go better.  We usually talk about our morning and then about what the kiddos can do for the rest of the day as we slide into the evening hours.


I made a short video sharing how tea time gets prepped.  I hope you enjoy it. Oh, and make sure you turn up the sound... music is a very important part of tea time. :)

Seasons | Fall Diffuser Blends

I love that I can change how my home smells with just a few drops of essential oils.  I can take it from fresh and citrusy to pumpkin spice in no time... and leave all of the nasty candle chemicals behind.

When I started digging into the health benefits of oils I also noticed the bad effects of the chemical laden products I was using in my home.  Candles were the hardest thing for me to let go of.  I love how they smell and the flicker of the light was always so comforting and cozy.  :)

Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find that diffusing has tossed out all of my candle woes and beeswax candles have satisfied my need for the flicker.  As we roll into fall, I wanted to share a few of my favorite fall diffuser blends.

Fall Wreath | Eucalyptus + Rosemary + Balsam Fir

Fireside | Vetiver + Cinnamon Bark

Flannel Shirt | Northern Lights Black Spruce + Stress Away

Holiday Hustle | Thieves + Lemon + RC

Orchard Stroll | Bergamot + Orange + Cedarwood

Pumpkin Spice | Clove + Nutmeg + Cinnamon Bark

Mulled Cider | Orange + Ginger + Cinnamon Bark

Thanksgiving | Thieves + Idaho Blue Spruce

See... it's fall in a bottle!  I hope you enjoy these blends.  Not only do they smell incredible, but they have so many health benefits, too!

Style | Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Three years ago, Mark and I made our fourth move into a cute, little ranch home. Prior to that, we had ample closet space in each home.  When we moved into our ranch home, we both shared a quaint master closet.  We didn't have much room for any extras, so I decided to seriously downsize my wardrobe.  I took everything that I either couldn't fit in, or that I no longer wore, to the thrift store.  It was a bit scary... what if I needed that black sweater ten years from now??? :)

That little closet in our sweet ranch home was the beginning of my capsule wardrobe.  Our current home, once again, has plenty of space in our master closet, but I still embrace the capsule wardrobe because of so many other reasons.  What started out as an "I don't have room" problem ended up solving so many other problems for me.

The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to have pieces that you love and can wear without much thought.  It's about combining and mixing and matching pieces in fun, unique ways.  When you wake up in the morning, you don't have to stand and stare into a closet of clothes that you aren't wanting to put on because your closet will only be filled with clothes that you do love and feel good in.  

With that being said, I'm working on my fall capsule wardrobe and I'm going to be participating in a fun "10 in 10" challenge.  It doesn't start for a couple of weeks, but I wanted to mention it now so you can get your own 10 in 10 pieces ready.  :) It isn't anything serious, but I'm going to share it in hopes that you might want to join me.  I have two other mama friends that are going to be doing it and we are sharing our "looks" on our Instagram feeds.  I am not a "fashion" blogger, but I am a mama that wants to look pulled together and not sloppy all of the time.  The capsule has really helped me to do that.

Here's how the 10 in 10 works.  You pick out 10 items in your closet (this includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes) and wear only those ten items for ten days.  You will mix and match them and see how easy it is to live with less when it comes to clothes.  Now, this 10 item wardrobe does not include things like bags, jammies, camis, or things like gym clothes.  We are talking about "real" outfits. ;)

Not only does having a capsule make getting dressed easier, but it also makes me want to get dressed.    I can grab anything from my closet, because I love it all and I know it all fits well (this was very hard for me to do when my body was still changing a lot after having kids, so make sure to let this be a fun thing and not a stressful one).  This challenge starts on October 22, so let me know if you will be joining me!  Tag me on Instagram or send me a message telling me you are participating.  :)