Just Sharing Some Tools for Success!

Most anyone reading this knows that we recently became parents. Well, I guess we’re still considered recent, right? The girls are almost a year old – does that count us as “new” parents still? Golly, it sure does feel like it some days!

As sweet and cute and wonderful as our 11-month-old twin girls are – I mean, seriously – aren’t they the cutest?!

Twin girls 11 months old

(Let me explain the expressions here: Bug (left) was OVER the photo shoot. She was tired of being made to jump through hoops. That’s about it. Boo (right) was hot. And a little tired. But mostly just hot. Lots of sighing coming from her. Don’t worry. This was the last picture we took before I took off their headbands and popped them into their shady stroller with bottles of water. They lived to laugh at this photo. As they laugh at all photos of themselves.)

Anyhow…slight rabbit trail…

As sweet and cute and wonderful as they are, I’m still constantly looking for answers about them. Answers about what makes them tick. Answers about what foods are best for them right now. Answers about their behavior. Answers about their milestones.

And I happen to be pretty picky as to who I take my advice from. I’m just sayin’! There are a LOT of answers out there, but are they the RIGHT answers?!

In the end, there’s one thing I already know.

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Preparing Your Garden for Spring

I love Spring! Well, other than the incredibly high pollen count that sends my allergies into a frenzy, that is.

This young woman sneezing into a tissue either has a cold or really bad allergies.

This year I’m still a bit preoccupied with two tiny humans, so I won’t be doing a Spring Garden, but when Morgan from Craig Manor sent over this infographic, it was almost enough to make me reconsider! I think by the time I have everything ready it would probably be Summer, which isn’t at all helpful!

All the same, I figured I’d share it with all of you! I’ll just have to follow it myself next year!

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The Essentials of Backyard Sun Protection

Before his 30th birthday, my husband had three skin cancer surgeries. THREE. Now, we’re both pretty fair-skinned and pretty sensitive to the sun, but mercy, that’s a little bit of an overkill eh?

As a result of those skin cancers, he’s awful cautious about anything having to do with the sun. He’s religious about sun protection for himself, and we both have now focused in on making sure the twins are well-protected from the sun, as well. 

But what we’ve run into is: the twins LOVE to be outside! Which is great! But we have NO shade in our yard. Which is not great. So we’ve been looking at ways to change that.

In the midst of our search, Lillian Connors sent me over the PERFECT guest post! She sure did! Essentials of Backyard Sun Protection! It’s a nice follow-up to last week’s “6 Beautiful and Family-Friendly Backyard Ideas”!

Perhaps the greatest perk of owning a house is having a backyard. It makes a perfect chill out zone, especially during the summer. Relaxing after a hard day at work, having a party with your friends, or grilling a Sunday lunch for your family – a backyard has multiple purposes. However, you’ll need something to protect yourself from the sun and the harmful UV rays. Of course, sunscreen is a must, but creating a shade is even better so here are the essentials of protecting your backyard from the sun.

Go creative

If you’re into the interior and exterior design, you’ll probably see your backyard as an extension of your home and you’ll want it to be just as trendy as your living room and kitchen are. Do you practice yoga and meditate? You can make your own meditation pavilion as a getaway from the everyday buzz. All you need is a wood or steel construction and some colourful sheer fabric to provide protection from the sun. Vertical gardening is a major hit lately and flowerpots hanged around your backyard can provide you with some shade, too. The simplest version of this is to purchase a pergola and train vines to grow over it. Decorate with string lights or lanterns and your backyard will look amazing even when the sun goes down.

Play it safe with permanent structures

For a good, old sun protection, purchase a patio umbrella, an awning or any other protective structure. Look for dense materials since they block more UV rays and provide a better protection. Hard materials like metal or timber provide 100 percent protection, but various kinds of textiles will do just fine, too. Permanently installed structures are more durable and can withstand outdoor elements. Besides, if you opt for an awning, it will provide shade not only for your backyard but also for some parts of your house and help control the temperatures in the dog days of summer.

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Making Memories: 6 Beautiful and Family-Friendly Backyard Ideas!

The twins are now 7 months old, and I FINALLY feel like I’m getting control of my house again! I mean, MERCY! I knew I’d be off my game for a while, but I didn’t realize it would be for THIS LONG! Don’t get me wrong – they are SO worth being off my game for! Nonetheless, I’m thrilled to be back on track.

Inside, that is. I’m back on track on the INSIDE of the house.

Every time I drive up to our house I see a million things I need to handle. Does anyone else do that, or is it just me? And that’s just in the front!

When I look at the back yard, I’m completely overwhelmed. 

We have a very large back yard, for which I am so grateful. It’s nicely fenced with a pretty white privacy fence, and we even have a few things like a pineapple bed, a garden, and several different spots in which to sit – a picnic table by the garden, a screened-in porch and a brick patio. 

But my mind has been turning with ways we can make it kid-friendly, since, before I know it, the girls will be running around out there! (Already one of their most favorite activities is to be outside rolling around on a blanket!)

So when blogger Chloe Taylor contacted me with just that, a post of family-friendly backyard ideas, I knew it was fate! And when it comes to ideas, Chloe has some awesome ones!

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Kids absolutely love spending time outdoors; running around and exploring the world. But what if you simply can’t find the time to organize family walks or visits to the playground? Well, what better way to satisfy your kids’ curiosity and adventurous spirit than your own backyard? Of course, the key is in creating a fun and an enticing place for your family, so that kids can play to their heart’s content and stay safe. Play at a young age is a child’s process of learning, which is why you should seriously consider the following ideas for your own family-friendly backyard.

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On the Road in 2016

Y’all know I normally do a “Top 5 Posts” post at the beginning of each month, looking back at the previous month to see what was most popular around here! Well, I figured I’d stop and see what the top 5 posts were for all of 2016! Are you ready?!

February

1. The Top 10 Creative Ways to Use Concrete in Your House – This was a fantastic post on a variety of creative ways concrete can be used in home decor! 

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