I was very pleased when Ecostore USA contacted me and asked if I would be willing to try a couple of their products and write a review about them. Ecostore is a company that makes plant and mineral-based household cleaning, baby and personal care products. Their trademarked slogan is that the items they produce contain No Nasty Chemicals™, making them safe for you to use and better for our environment.
After returning from a wonderful week of family vacation, I can definitely say I learned some things! Maybe you can relate to some of these.
This week I learned that…..
- starting the day at a theme park with your first-ever roller coaster ride as a family and getting off the ride with both daughters crying can be overcome
- there is a valid reason I normally don’t ride water rides at theme parks
- I actually can get tired of eating out
- seeing a picture of your daughter’s face taken at the height of a large roller coaster ride is unbelievably priceless
- riding the swings five times in a row is one child’s notion of pure pleasure
- watching your husband being a great dad and having fun with his kids is one of the best feelings ever
- there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed
- I thank God for my family whom I love so much and enjoy spending time with
- I’m already looking forward to our next vacation!
- Anticipation. Thinking about and planning for our vacation is lots of fun in and of itself.
- Watching the girls play in the hotel pool. Finding a hotel with an indoor pool is pretty much top priority for any trip these days. That way we know that they can be entertained no matter what the weather. They don’t have a lot of opportunities to swim in a pool here at home, so they thoroughly enjoy all-day access to a pool.
- Spending time together as a family.
- No cooking (although I am definitely ready for a home-cooked meal by the time we get back)
- No cleaning
- Being in the mountains. For whatever reason, I seem to feel more calm and peaceful when I see mountains around me.
- Reading. Without laundry to do and meals to prepare, I have more time for reading books and magazines.
- Amusement parks. The girls are at the age where they’re able to ride more rides (and want to ride the same ones over and over again!)
- Relaxing. No schedule or bedtimes to keep…..
- Water. I love seeing waterfalls or even just the little streams that run alongside the road.
- Pictures. I like taking pictures of the girls in the different places we visit, to record the fun times we have together.
- Getting home. As much fun as it is to go away, it’s also pretty sweet to sleep in your own bed after several nights away!
A couple of weeks ago I asked for ideas regarding limiting time on the computer. Several commenters suggested setting a timer, which is an excellent idea. As I mentioned previously, we use timers in our house a lot!
Last year I began my gardening career. Years ago, when we were in our first house, my husband had a good-sized garden for a couple of years. However, that was his project and I had little, if anything, to do with it.
For some reason, last spring I decided I wanted to try growing some herbs. I bought basil and oregano seedlings at a home improvement store and planted them in pots that I put out on our patio. The basil flourished; I’m not sure what happened to the oregano, but it didn’t fare as well. It turned out that I was okay with not having a huge harvest of it as I decided I was much more fond of using the basil in recipes than the oregano.
This year I have decided to grow basil again and to try some cherry tomatoes. I have been wanting to get them going, but didn’t want to start too early. While at a farmers market on Thursday, I found a vendor selling all kinds of herbs, so I bought my basil from him. (The garlic chives smelled wonderful; may have to add that to my repertoire!)
Someone else at the market was selling small cherry tomato plants, so I went ahead and grabbed one of those.
As you can see, I have gotten them planted in the pots and am so excited to begin watching them grow!
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We have lived in our current home for just under two years. It is not our dream house, but is perfect for what we need now and was available for a reasonable price at the time we bought it. Today I wanted to share with you thirteen things that I love in this house.
- Windows. The living area in this house has lots of windows which allows for an abundance of natural light. That is one of my prerequisites for purchasing a home; it must have many windows.
- Print of Rainbow Row by Emerson. This was a present from my husband the first Christmas we were married and hangs in our dining room.
- Books. Our family loves books and I enjoy having them throughout our home.
- Bookcases. When we moved into this house, we actually had enough bookcases to hold all of our books. Alas, that is no longer the case. We have three bookcases in our bedroom, one in the living area, one in the front hallway and two in the girls’ playroom, yet still have some books that are packed away.
- Pictures of the girls. I try to only display my favorites, but there are so many!!
- Fireplace. Our first home had a wood burning fireplace, which I loved. However, when we had a gas fireplace in our second home, I decided that was the way to go – no wood to drag in, no ashes to clean up. Having a gas fireplace is another prerequisite for me in buying a house.
- Plants. I don’t have a very green thumb, but I do have a few houseplants that manage to survive and I enjoy having that bit of nature indoors.
- Buffet table. In our dining room is a buffet table that my husband built several years ago. It has drawers for storing extra linens and is great to use as an extra space for serving dishes.
- Toaster oven. My toaster oven is perfect for heating up small portions of food that I don’t want to microwave or for toasting and broiling everything from toast to bagels to garlic bread. I especially love it in the summer when I don’t have to heat up the big oven for a small task.
- Floral chair. I’m a very fond of neutrals when it comes to furniture and accessories, so choosing a chair with a floral pattern was a big jump for me. However, it matches the rest of the furniture perfectly and is very comfortable.
- Pantry. This is the first house I’ve lived in that has a pantry and I like the feeling of being able to easily see the items I have and what I need to purchase.
- Piano. This was a birthday present from my husband years ago. While I don’t play it often, it’s perfect for our older daughter who’s taking lessons.
- Charleston gate prints. These prints were given to us by friends, which makes them special in their own right. I am not crafty, but switched out the mats and frames to make them match our current decor and was very pleased with the results.
Just a little more about me………I am in my late thirties (for a little bit longer!) and am married to a wonderful, supportive husband named John. We have two daughters, ages eight and six. I grew up in a truly Christian home; my dad has been a pastor for over thirty years and I have two brothers and a sister, all of whom I love dearly. I was saved at a young age and am so thankful for the privilege of having many years of seeking to know and serve God more.
I have a college degree in early childhood education and taught in an elementary school for six years. I have also worked as an executive secretary in a hospital system and briefly as an office manager for a design firm. The last eight years of my life have been primarily spent being a stay-at-home wife and mother.
One of the greatest desires of my heart is to have our girls grow up loving and serving God. Through this blog, I hope to find others with the same goal so that we might share ideas and inspirations, trials and triumphs through the coming years. I hope you’ll join me!