Let me show you guys a picture. Just a little picture of a storm…
You see that?
That is the forecast track for the CAT 5 Hurricane Irma, as of 11:00 this morning!
And do you see where it says Tampa down there in good ol’ Florida? Yeah. We live in a suburb of Tampa, so if you look REALLY close, you might see me waving…
In short, we appreciate any prayers you feel led to send towards us as this imposing storm heads our way! There is still time for things to change and the track to shift, however, we are BIG on being prepared around here, NOT waiting until the last minute, so we are ready for whatever Irma has for us. We are Florida natives, we know the drill, we’ve lived through this stuff before and we are ready…but we are also feeling pretty cautious…because this is a HUGE storm, folks. We’re talking breaking records HUGE. As of now, we are planning on riding it out. Our home is strong and in excellent repair. Concrete block, double-pane windows, and not covered with trees that could take out the roof. However, as we monitor the path of the storm, we may decide to evacuate. We have places to go, and babies and animals to care for.
I’m the type of gal who loves to host events “from scratch”.
Know what I mean? If it’s a birthday party, I like to make the cake, snacks and drinks from scratch. I like to craft all the decor. I like to think up and put all the favors together myself. I’m that kind of “from scratch”.
Buuuuut…I have twin 1-year-old girls. ‘Nuff said, right?! Sometimes “from scratch” is simply not possible! And, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that time is FLYING. And it’s really hard to enjoy yourself at an event that you really want to enjoy yourself at if you’re worried about the things that you still need to finish crafting.
So, sometimes I have to make events easier.
A couple of weeks back, we celebrated the birthdays of our twin girls. Y’all, I CANNOT BELIEVE they are already an entire year old!
(Clearly they can’t believe it, either! HA!)
So, for their first birthday party, I kicked in three simplicity factors:
As you’ve heard me mention of late, we recently purchased a new home. One of the reasons why we love this house is that it’s great for entertaining! Wide open spaces, lots of natural light, great places to set up a hearty buffet, and plenty of room for our friends and family! We’ve had two gatherings here so far in the two-and-a-half months that we’ve lived here…and I’m about to have another one this coming weekend. Still loving how the house works so seamlessly for entertaining!
Besides the space, light and room, I, like you, have my own favorite elements to add to any gathering I host.
- Fresh towels in the guest bathroom. You know…the GOOD towels that people are afraid to use?! I LOVE having my bathroom stocked with those! it’s like bringing out the good china!
- A good variety of foods in the kitchen. I normally want something sweet, something healthy, something crunchy, something salty…you get the idea. As long as anyone who comes in my home has SOMETHING to eat, I’m good.
- A wonderful smell throughout the home. Sometimes that comes from whatever I’ve had baking in the kitchen. Sometimes from diffusing essential oils or burning candles. And sometimes…from fresh flowers!
In fact, fresh flowers will add to almost any gathering, wouldn’t you agree? I love my local grocery store, because they have a small “florist” section, and I can always pick up what I might need for any gathering. Or even grab a nice assortment of blooms if I feel like fresh flowers on the table for dinner!
But, you know what? I’ve gotten SO used to ordering just about anything online and having it shipped to the house. I mean, come on – anytime I have to go somewhere, I have to prep 2 one-year-olds and their diaper bag to go with me. Once I arrive wherever I’m going, I either have to get them all situated in their stroller or in a shopping cart…and if it’s a shopping cart, is there a double shopping cart? Do I have wipes to clean it off with? Do I have the shopping cart covers with me? It’s always an event for us to go anywhere!
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?!
(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.
I’ve been on a big lavender kick these days. You ever do that? Get hooked on a particular smell? Even now, I can smell my lavender essential oils diffusing across the house, and I LOVE it! What if everything around this house could smell so good? Even the bathrooms! A girl can dream, right?!
I mean, I do the best I can, but it’s no secret that cleaning the bathroom isn’t my favorite task. That’s okay – I’ve found something that makes it much easier to clean my least-favorite-to-clean area of my home, and it’s name is Mrs. Meyers!
In fact, one of my favorite things to do is scrub down my bathroom sinks with Mrs. Meyer’s Tub & Tile (the lavender scent, of course!) and then wash my hands with the Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap in lavender, as well! These products have really made me WANT to clean our bathrooms, if you can believe that. And there’s a few other ways I can talk myself into cleaning the bathrooms:
Make it a game: Cleaning the bathroom always feels like it takes forever, but you’d be surprised how little time tasks actually take. I like to set a timer like my mom used to do and see how quickly I can complete each task. For example, it only takes one minute to wipe down the counters and sink — and makes a huge difference in how clean our bathroom feels. Who knew?