July Favorites

I always feel like July is a month of just simple summertime, June is when summer starts, and even though summer doesn't technically end until September, I feel like it always ends in August. July so far has been filled with so many adventures for our family, a trip to Pittsburgh to tour PNC Park (where the Pirates MLB Baseball team play), a visit to Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh (such a beautiful botanical gardens, I'll share more on that soon), so many delicious s'mores, tending to our garden,afternoons spent at the lake, it's been a sweet month so far, spending time time with family and not taking a moment for granted. I've got a BBQ pork roast in the slow cooker and I foresee either Squeaky Pops popsicles or s'mores after dinner tonight, and I already can't wait for the weekend to start. What are you up to today? Below I'm sharing some of our favorites so far from this month, read all about them below! 

Bella has really been into puzzles lately and this pretty wooden modern birds one from Petit Collage has been on my wishlist for awhile so we were really excited when it arrived in the mail this past week along with a couple other goodies from Petit Collage. I'm planning on homeschooling Bella this autumn so we needed some flash cards for sure, this set is perfect and we can get a head start on that. This wooden puzzle is so perfectly beautiful, so classic and old fashioned yet with a modern feel as well, I imagine we'll get so many years of play our of this sweet puzzle that's perfect for children of so many ages. Petit Collage was also so kind to send this adorable "giddy-up" pop-out toy, we've previously owned the woodlands pop-out and play set and loved it so we're really excited for this one and all the hours of play that I'm sure it will bring.

We just love Sophia and Rose Collective and all the beautiful paper flowers she creates, I featured some of her wall flowers in Bella's room reveal last summer and since we decided to re-do her bedroom again we of course needed more paper flowers. I spied this dried seeded eucalyptus and paper flower garland in her shop earlier this year and it was simply just love at first sight, such exquisite detail in these garlands. Plus they smell amazing since it's real preserved eucalyptus. My mom had a wreath made from preserved dried eucalyptus when I was little so the smell of this garland immediately brings me back to when I was around the same age as Bella is now, I just love that smell, and I especially love how this garland looks draped over Bella's pretty sign from Hunt & Gather Goods!

The quote "wherever life plants you, bloom with grace" has been one of my favorites since I fund it on Pinterest a couple years ago. It just speaks volumes to me. There are times when I'd love to own our own home instead of renting and put down roots somewhere for good, but everything comes in God's timing, so while we are waiting, we will just bloom where we are planted, bloom with grace, where we are planted. When Maggie from Hunt & Gather Goods reached out to me with the idea to work together on a piece and create something, this quote immediately came to mind, I haven't seen many farmhouse signs with a black background so I also mentioned to her how pretty I thought white writing on a lack background would be. She went above and beyond to create the piece exactly how I had in mind and it turned out even more beautifully than I imagined! It fits so perfectly into Bella's room and with her new room theme and we just love it, definitely one of our favorite art pieces in our home. Hunt & Gather Goods has some other super adorable signs too so make sure to check them all out!

I always try to make sure our products are as natural as possible since there are so many chemicals and toxins present in the products typically offered in most stores, so whenever I find a good natural brand that we love is a happy day. We tried out some products from Crunchy Mamas a couple years back and recently received some more (thanks ladies) to give a try and we are loving these products just as much as the other ones we tried! My husband is a lip balm addict, he's always "caking it on" as I call it haha, especially at night, so this all natural lip balm is perfect for him! I just love how smooth it is, plus it works really great and smells amazing (just like peppermint). I also chose the muscle love since it's perfect for sore muscles (I just started working out again so I need it haha) among so many other things, and the toasted spray  for sunburns and bug off natural bug repellent, we spend so much time outdoors in the summer that I felt those would be perfect products to try out, we just love them!

We recently received these cozy adult swaddle blankets from Goosebumps Shop and they are absolutely perfect, they're made of a super soft and light fabric so they're really great for the warmer months of the year that you want a throw blanket but don't necessarily want to reach for the super heavy throw blankets that you use in the cool months, but don't want to just use a sheet either, they're the perfect in between. I've been using them a lot during the mornings before Bella wakes up, while drinking my coffee and reading a little, and I love them in the evenings too if we watch a movie. They have so many pretty styles but of course  chose the simplicity blanket since I'm such a neutrals lover, it has a charcoal back and the top is white with thin black stripes, so pretty. Since autumn will be here before we know it, I also have autumn colors on the mind, so I couldn't pass up this lovely "goldie" mustard and white stripe blanket, perfect for wrapping up in while sitting around a campfire toasting s'mores.

It's no secret that we love hairbows around here, I had no idea of all the fun that awaited me when we found out we were having a little girl... give me allllllll the hairbows. I think mine and Bella's enthusiasm for hairbows is about a level 98 out of 100 right now, we are both a little obsessed for sure. These ones from Little Lady A Shop arrived recently and we are just loving them and have added them to our favorites list. The mustard hand tied bow is Bella's favorite and I think it may just be my favorite too, with the rifle paper peach rosa and oatmeal bows coming in at a close second. These bows are great quality, stay in my girl's hair great (which is sometimes hard to find), and look super adorable.

If there's one thing my girl loves, it's twirly dressing made for spinning and dancing the days away, so I was super excited to come across this new brand, Jellabee, recently on Instagram! I immediately fell in love with the navy stripe spin dress because you know I can never resist stripes, and Bella can never resist a good spin dress. You would not believe that happy squeals of excitement that ensued when I let her open the package that it and the peach stripe spin dresses came in, so much happiness, and of course she had to wear it right then and there! She's been wearing them almost constantly ever since they arrived last week and I don't blame her. The fabric is stretchy and oh so soft, perfect for everyday wear around home, play at the park, attire for church... you name it, these are everyday dresses perfect for every occasion. Make sure to grab one for your little girl, they come in several more pretty colors and come in sizes 12 months to 8 years!


Toxin Free Home with Naturepedic

I received free product from Naturepedic in exchange for this honest review. I was not paid for the opinions or reviews expressed in this blog post.

One of the things I've become passionate about since becoming a mama, is removing toxins from our home, and making sure we have as safe an environment with as little chemicals as possible to call our home. I shudder at the thought that I use to religiously buy those scented air fresheners that plugged in. I'd buy soooo many of them and I made sure to have one is every single room of the house, little did newly-wed me know what kind of garbage I was bringing into our home. So. Many. Awful. Toxins.

Not long after Bella was born I started doing a little research, finding out that even though some of these items may smell good, they were seriously bad for our health, and especially the health of our precious little babe.

The thing that was even more surprising to me as I started researching even more, is that it wasn't just the scented things and air fresheners that are full of toxins. Shampoos, body washes and conditioners, dish soaps, flooring, furniture (we found this out last year after a couple furniture purchases made us sick for weeks), candles, bedding, plastics, and mattresses among so many other countless items.

Wait, what? Mattresses? Unfortunately I'm not joking. Most mattresses are filled with toxins and chemicals that off-gas constantly, so while you (or your little one) is sleeping and trying to rest from the busy day, you're actually absorbing chemicals through the skin and breathing in toxic off-gassing from everything inside the mattress. Considering how much time we spend in our beds each night, the statistics say that the average person spends around one third of their lives sleeping, and how much of our time is spent just relaxing in bed, that's something we should definitely be concerned about.

Due to all of the health issues that seem to be on the rise such as environmental and food allergies, asthma, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, eczema as well as other cognitive disorders, infertility and very early puberty in girls, thyroid problems, cancers and more, health officials and even the general public are starting to take notice and stand up against all of the chemicals that are filling our every day lives. Which we should do, especially considering that some of these chemicals are known links to some health problems such as the ones I mentioned above, and others, well, we really don't know what some of them cause yet, but do we really want to find out? I've taken a stand in our home against these things, weeding out the bad things from our cleaning supplies. Sadly even some companies that claim to be "natural" are not, so that is why I've started making our own household cleaners (I'll be sharing some recipes here on the blog soon for some of my non-toxic homemade cleaners), reading labels to see what things contain and researching nearly every purchase as if I'm an FBI agent.

Until recently, I had no idea that most mattresses (and even a lot of furniture) are full of formaldehyde, synthetic polyurethane, phthalates,  flame retardants... all the things that you want to avoid as much as possible. So after muuuuuch searching, we finally came across Naturepedic mattresses, and their brand felt like such a breath of fresh air.

We immediately loved their products and brand transparency, the fact that instead of all of the bad things filling heir mattresses, they choose to fill their mattresses with non-GMO, 100% certified organic, United States grown cotton. Such a healthier option. Naturepedic mattresses also contain organic wool, organic latex, steel inner spring, organic cotton encased coils for support and comfort. What I love about Naturepedic is that they will not use anything in their products that is a known or even suspected carcinogen, endoctrine disruptor, or that is not aligned with safe, healthy, and toxin free sleep. Which means no flame retardants (did you know that organic cotton is much less flammable than most "flame retardants"?, plus it's completely safe), no polyurethane foam, no soybean or bio-based foams, no harmful glues or adhesives, no synthetic latex, and no GMO cotton or GMO fibers of any kind?

Using a mattress that is free of toxins is especially important for children, as their fragile and young bodies and minds are rapidly developing, and they, even more than we adults spend more time in bed. Babies and toddlers average between 10 and 12 hours a day in sleeping and playing on their mattresses, so with it being such a prominent item in the home, as soon as we found out everything about what most mattresses contain, we knew it was of the upmost importance that we make the switch to a safe, and organic mattress for Bella's room with Naturepedic.

We chose the 2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra/Quilted Mattress (in regular twin size). It was the perfect fit for our home, not only for the safe qualities, but also since one side is quilted, and he other side is waterproof (perfect for kids at this young age). The waterproof side also serves as a dustmite barrier which is another reason we love and chose it, since Bella has tested positive for dust mite allergies in the past. Everything about this non-toxic bed is absolute perfection. From the feel and size of it to the soft comfortable-ness (that's a word, right?) of it. Bella has never slept better than she does now that she's sleeping on this mattress, and she isn't constantly congested every night anymore either.

Bella's new Naturepedic mattress is so soft (yet super supportive) and comfortable, and it's the perfect addition to her room and to our home. As well as safety and no toxins, Naturepedic also prides themselves in the quality of their products, that's why each Naturepedic product is handcrafted with the finest materials by highly skilled Amish craftsmen and are also backed by a lifetime limited warranty.

Naturepedic offers mattresses for the entire family as well! From crib mattresses, twin mattresses all the way up to any adult sized mattress you may want or need, and they have firmer or softer mattress options as well, depending on what you need and love. Make sure to visit Naturepedic to learn more about the company and to shop their awesome pieces! What ways do you keep toxins out of your home? What do you love most about Naturepedic products?


Farmhouse Living Room Reveal

I have partnered with Raymour & Flanigan and received product in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.

A few months back, I mentioned we were partnering with Raymour & Flanigan to makeover our living room and I'm so thrilled to share the full room reveal with you today! It's been a work in progress for what feels like practically forever and I'm so excited to finally have it finished.

Farmhouse style is something that I have just fallen head over heels in love with, I love watching the show Fixer Upper and I can still remember finding the show for the first time. It was a summer day and we had just moved into an apartment and were waiting for the dish TV provider to come and hook the cable up, once it was installed the service guy left and left the TV on the HGTV channel, a channel I had never really paid much attention to before. I started watching it and goodness was I hooked. After I laid our sweet 6 month old Bella down for a nap, I sat down to watch some more Fixer Upper! I was enthralled by Joanna Gaines simple yet beyond lovely style and I clicked "record" for the rest of the day, and as soon as my husband walked through the door I said "You've got to check out this new show I discovered", and from there on not only was I hooked on the show, but my hubby was as well! We're definitely farmhouse style fans so we were excited at the chance to redo our living room with Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, especially when we spied some of the pretty furniture they had to offer!

We'd been going back and forth for awhile whether our dream sofa was a white one or a grey one, and after we purchased a grey one last year, we were excited to try out a white one, partly because we loved the color since it was so farmhouse-y and partly because we don't have much natural light in our living room so we love anything that lightens the room up a little more. The Lakeside Sofa was pretty much love at first sight, and even more so in person when we visited the showroom in Jamestown, New York and got to try it out in person! It's one of the most comfortable sofas I've ever sat on, it's soft but not too soft, just the perfect amount  of everything and the color is absolute perfection. It's more of a cream rather than a true white-white, and I simply love that it has a slipcover: not only does it look pretty but it's a great fabric and seems to clean really easily when little fingers accidentally get snacks on it. One thing besides the look of the sofa that drew me to it were the reviews. It had great reviews and one reviewer mentioned it being a more eco friendly sofa which is super important to us, which was a big factor in us choosing this sofa. The cushions are made with Preserve HR, which basically soybeans and means the foam isn't made from petroleum and also reduced oil dependency and takes 60% less nonrenewable energy than tradition cushions, plus Preserve HR technology is also known for retaining its shape and properties longer, ergo, furniture looking new for longer, win-win.

Probably the most important factor is that it's made without flame retardant materials, which means no formaldehyde (Yay!), something that is super hard to find these days (and if you're read some of my posts last year you'll know we've had some health issues with formaldehyde), this was definitely one of the most important factors for us when choosing this sofa. The back cushions (which are super cozy by the way) are made partly from recycled plastic bottles as well as virgin polyester fibers. The wire springs are made from 50% (or more) recycled steel (how cool is that?) and the wooden frame is made from wood from a verified sustainable Appalachian hardwood trees harvested  from replanted forests. I love this sofa even more now that I know all of this. Though the Lakeside sofa is unfortunately not available anymore, here is a very similar option (the Willowick collection) if you're in the market for a new sofa!

As I also mentioned in my room inspiration blog post, we almost chose the matching chair-and-a-half and ottoman from the Lakeside furniture collection that Raymour & Flanigan offered, but since the chair was stationary, we decided to go with the Avery Glider (in Sand) from Raymour & Flanigan. Having a little one, I couldn't imagine not having a rocker or glider, I love being able to rock her when she's not feeling well or if she's having a bad day or just wants extra snuggles, and it's especially great for when she wakes in the middle of the night and needs held. Rocking her back to sleep is always my go-to when she needs a little comfort in the wee hours of the night and always soothes her right back to dreamland. This glider chair is absolutely perfect for that and is so comfortable, and it matches (almost) perfectly with the new sofa! Though this pretty glider isn't available through Raymour & Flanigan at the moment, this lovely loveseat and chair from the Willowick Collection are both absolutely perfect options if you need extra seating in your space!

When it comes to throw pillows, give them alllll to me. I love throw pillows. I chose a couple different ones for our living room and these "Family" throw pillows might just be my absolute favorite. I simply love the look of jute fabric (even better that these don't shed like jute fabric normally does) and the word "family" across the front takes the cake. Family is pretty much everything to me, not that I have a little family of my own, it's become even more important to me than ever and I love that these pillows show my love for the ones most important to me.

Last time we made the trip and visited the Raymour & Flanigan showroom in Jamestown, New York I actually had a different set of throw pillows picked out that I found on their website, but when I spied these throw pillows (that are not currently available) I loved them (and hubby and Bella did too)! I love the mint color (which is my most favorite color) and the greige is also lovely, the design overall is just so pretty so I was excited to add these to our home. Here are some that are really similar if you love the look of these. These are absolutely perfection for Sunday afternoon naps (they're my husband's favorite for that) and I just love cuddling up with them on a cool day and staying cozy.

So let's talk lighting. I've been in LOVE with these Menlo Lane floor lamps for practically forever, I've shown them to Frank probably a million times and he loved them also, so when we seen that Raymour & Flanigan offered them, we were both really excited! Edison light bulbs are my favorite and since I introduced Frank to them also, he loves the look of them as well. These lamps are beyond gorgeous and the quality of them (and all of the products in this post) are absolutely impeccable! The seeded glass globes are a work of art which off the intricate Edison bulbs so nicely, and they're heavy duty lamps that add the perfect amount of "industrial" to the space while keeping that farmhouse look we love so much. Such a unique addition to the room and they add such an ambient glow.

All in all, I think the room came together so beautifully and we're so thrilled about it! What are your favorite features and pieces in the room? Thanks Raymour & Flanigan!