Sunday, March 18, 2018

5 Steps to Wellness in your Home

My word for 2018 is WELLNESS, so I'm trying to bring this into every avenue of my life. Including inside my home! When I shared a poll on Instagram Stories asking if you'd like to learn how we're incorporating wellness into our home - 100% of you said "yes"! So here ya have it, 5 steps that helped me get started on bringing "Wellness" in your home. 

First and foremost (and no this is NOT sponsored, but this is my referral link)...


This is hands down the service that kicked off my wellness in the home journey and quite honestly the #1 way I stayed on track and was introduced to new products. Their goal is literally to bring safe, sustainable products to every family. 

They email and/or text you each month to remind you to order and you can order nothing (no limit on how much you can skip), order what you did last month or add things. Even better, almost all the products are discounted - I did a comparison to the same products at Target and they were cheaper on Grove. They also give you exclusive access to products that you can't find at big stores (like the coveted peppermint Meyers soap!). 

Secondly, download the Think Dirty app on your phone and scan or search cleaning products before buying them so you know what products aren't harmful or toxic. It's absolutely crazy how many products are masked as "clean" but score a 7 or higher on the app. 

{ONE} Wool Dryer Balls + Essential Oils

This is my favorite wellness in the home hack. Where do I even begin on these 3 magic wool balls that I add lavender essential oils to every single dry? Here's everything they do or are:
  • Reduce your drying time by 25%
  • Soften your clothes 
  • All-natural and chemical-free
  • Hypoallergenic so even if you're allergic to wool, they work
  • Last 1,000 loads
  • Save you LOADS (see what I did there ;)) of money by not buying dryer sheets that leave a chemical residue on your clothes + save you energy/money with the reduced drying time
  • Naturally, scent your clothes 
Just search "dryer balls" in Grove once you join. They're the Grove brand and only $16!

{TWO} Essential Oil Diffuser

Speaking of essential oils, I'm completely hooked. A lot of the time we diffuse them instead of candles. Why?
  • Chemical free - a lot of candles produce benzene and toluene which are carcinogens!
  • No flame around dogs or babies
  • The smell lasts longer because it's dispensed slowly over a period of time
  • Aromatherapy - it's amazing what a little lavender can do to calm us down, what a little lemongrass can do to make my home feel like a spa and what energizing blends can do to pep up our morning

We just use this $25 diffuser off Amazon. I even wrote a whole post on essential oils for productivity over on my business's blog. 

{THREE} Towels (not napkins or paper towels)

Ok, so we made it maybe a week straight with purely towels if I'm being honest. That said, I no longer buy napkins and I only reach for paper towels if it's something truly grimy. It was just crazy to me how many paper towels and napkins filled our trash. This has at least brought us awareness so we cut down on our usage. 

Funny enough, my favorite kitchen towels are the free ones Grove sends me. I have three now and they're so absorbent, sturdy and large. You can also find them on their site by searching "kitchen towels" once you join


Speaking of reducing waste to make your home "well". I normally drink at least 3 cups of tea a day (just can't do coffee y'all) - that's over 1,000 tea bags thrown in the trash in a year! Enter the ManaTEA that I found at Target. Now I buy loose leaf tea, pop it into my tea diffuser and compost the leaves (see #5 on that topic). BOOM - no waste! 

True, you can compost some tea bags, but most of them aren't hemp or ingredients that are compostable so be careful and see #5 below for more info. 

{FIVE} Composting

Is it ok for me to share one thing that we've completely failed at when it comes to wellness for our home? Because we totally failed at composting. 

First off, I thought you literally compost ANY type of food - including meat. Ew, WRONG. So, so wrong. I like this article on 100 things you can compost. Here are some things you CAN'T compost:
  • Meat! (including fish)
  • Dog and Cat Poop (or any carnivores for that matter)
  • Citrus Peels
  • Onions - this and the above can kill worms and other things that help everything thing down
  • Paper (ok, paper bags sure, but no glossy/coated paper)
  • Take the sticky labels off your fruits and veggies!
  • Ash and sawdust (from treated wood)
Secondly, the bag leaked on us one time and then another we didn't compost the bag well enough and our dogs got into it and got sick. I'm for sure not giving up here though! I'm determined to make this work y'all. 

I do love our little compost bin. Not to sound like a broken record, but it's from Grove which you can find by searching "compost" once you join. See, I wasn't kidding when I said I really do love Grove and you should join :).  Our bin is only $20 and the bags are $6 for 25, but honestly, I haven't shopped around on those yet to know if that's good or bad for compost bags. 

Any tips for me on this one?

Ok - so that's it! What other things do you do around your home to keep it "well"? I'll be asking this question on Instagram, so pop over to see the answers from others and share your own!

PS: Did you check out my new #CoolMom backpack earlier this week?! Under $100 and it has pockets for days! See it here. Plus, this blush stripe cabana top (as I like to call it) is 40% off!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Blush & White Striped Cabana Top

The moment I saw this blush and white striped top on JCrew, I knew it was going to be a fun Spring staple. It made me feel like I should be lounging under a cabana sipping a mojito with perfectly pedicured toes kicked up to a blue sky. Even better, right now get 40% off when you purchase 4 items from JCrew with code NEWNEW.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Meaning if you click on or buy things I've linked, I will receive some change thrown my way. Thank you for supporting my blog. 
Shirt // Jeans // Shoes (similar) // Earrings (similar) // Bag (similar)
I first got to wear this fun top to breakfast in downtown Charleston with Nana and Papa when they came to town. Paired with my new fav button fly, wide-leg crop jeans and leopard mules it was such an easy and cute outfit. 
We parked on Archdale and walked to Queen Street Grocery for crepes. I had never stopped in the Unitarian church's graveyard before so we wandered through there. I was BLOWN AWAY! The Spanish moss, the history in the tombstones and the azaleas all were just so beautiful. Not going to lie, it made me think, "Why am I leaving Charleston again?". 
Of course, I found a Charleston home that matched my stripes perfectly too! Right across from Queen Street. It was actually under construction and this green door was wide open. Well, it was too pretty not to get in the photo so I reached in and closed it just a smidge ;). 
What are some of your favorite items coming up for Spring? 

I also purchased this pink raincoat, this leopard sweater and this LOL shirt (Let's Share A Laugh Day is coming up on the 19th!). Those are coming soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Girl, I've Got Your Back(pack)!

For years I've carried around a very, very large tote bag and while I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon, I started getting a hankering for a backpack that was more shoulder-friendly. Enter the Calpak Kaya Travel Backpack in Stone (square version here) that I am officially obsessed with, especially when running (literally) to meetings throughout downtown Charleston. 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Meaning if you click on or buy things I've linked, I will receive some change thrown my way. Thank you for supporting my blog. This is in no way sponsored by Calpak or other affiliates. I just really LOVE this bag y'all!
I first saw this bag when I had coffee with my friend Brette. When I did a google search after we met I couldn't believe that it was under $90! The perfect price point for a stylish backpack to try out vs. some of the designer brands that are $200+. Although I will say, I do still love this pink backpack (I ordered the mini for Sully), this pebbled leather one, and this one seen on Gal Meets Glam is just backpack goals!
Now it's my go-to for everything from toting around my laptop (it fit up to a 15" laptop) to all the snacks Sully's little heart could desire! I have a feeling it's going to be my main bag in London and all our travels too.
What I love the most besides the style and price? There are SO many pockets! I mean, I feel like I find a new pocket every day y'all. First, there's the front zip pocket where I keep my cell and keys and things I need to quickly access.
Then in the main compartment, there are two open pockets and one small zip against the front flap. There's also a large open pocket against the back as well.
The pocket fun just doesn't stop! :) There's also a back padded compartment with an open pocket and snap closure for your laptop.
Finally, there's a strap that sits flush up against the bag that you can use to connect the backpack to your suitcase in the airport.
Awesome, right?! I seriously don't think I've ever gotten more compliments on any bag before! I already know two friends who've ordered it themselves. #twinsies 

Order yours here or here

Friday, March 2, 2018

5 on Friday: Oh Hey March!

It's the first Friday in March y'all! How did that happen?! I'm ready for a fun 5 on Friday, how about you?!

Frankly, before we get started, I'm pretty pumped March is here because in my world right now, March equals decisions being made! Like renting the "flat" where we'll be living in London, solidifying our house being rented out in Charleston, getting a UK bank account (the hardest thing in the world believe it or not!) firming up Sully's part-time daycare and oh so much more. 

This is going to sound like a total diva moment, but I don't know that I would have survived February without my close friends (you know who you are!) and my acupuncturist. Cupping and the hour lying on that table with zen music and those perfectly placed needles was my saving grace. Not to mention Lisa's calming and insightful presence!

This month I have a great mix of 5 on Friday items, no matter how you're feeling at the beginning of this month!

{ONE} Travel_InHerShoes

Do you ever come across someone on Instagram and literally can't get enough? That's what happened when I found Aggie and her 426K followers. Her adventures are amazing, her photo editing stunning (and she sells her presets!) and her Highlights are my go-to when looking at where we're going to travel when we move abroad!

{TWO} Article - What Those Words on Beauty Products Really Mean

The Free People blog kills it y'all, I love it and this article was short and sweet enough that I actually got it. This is particularly scary: 

"... a lack of regulation makes it incredibly easy to slap the term ‘natural’ on a label without anything to back it up. Many products that claim to be natural are likely just jumping on a marketing trend."
I'll be looking more for this label:

"Three cheers for regulation! To be “organic,” a product needs to pass a test of sorts put forth by the USDA: it has to contain at least 95% organic ingredients that have been grown and processed under a strict code of guidelines, and be free of additives."
Y'all need to school me on this topic, what else do I need to know about ingredients? Which ones do you stay away from when you look at ingredients? That's what I want to know next!

{THREE} Shopbop Buy More, Save More Sale (Ends Tomorrow!)

Oh the big Shopbop sale... gets me every time! This round though I'm very conscious of the fact that anything I buy I will also have to haul on suitcases on the plane (yep, we're bringing everything on the plane with us!) when we move. So here are the two things I did buy:
Free People Midi Dress
(full disclosure - I returned this dress because it is so not made for busty girls!)

Now, here's a few other things I really wanted:

{FOUR} Perfectly Pink Raincoat

Last clothing thing on the docket today and how perfect is it?! London is going to be all black everything, but the preppy pink loving American in me is swooning over this coat! 

This Instagram post by @bymariandrew really struck home for me this week y'all. I am really contemplating printing it and hanging it up in my office, fridge and bathroom mirror! What are other inspirational accounts you love?

That's it for this week y'all! Stay tuned to see my favorite new work backpack and more info on our big move. Make sure you don't miss my Instagram-worthy London Bucket List too!
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