Oh Where, Oh Where Have We Been?

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Fall is upon us and we are sure you will all agree that it’s a hustle. Back to school routines, homework demands, fall sports seasons, busy work loads, and getting the abode ready for cold weather. The days are getting shorter and we are grasping onto every minute we are able to spend outside.

We, like many of you, are struggling with trying to find time to get to all of our demands. If there only was one more day in the week! With school, homes, kids, businesses there is little time left for hobbies these days.

Add Meraki is a passion hobby for both of us. We love sharing beautiful images, yummy recipes and ways you can add a little creativity in your life. But right now, we are struggling to find time to share that with you because we are so over our head with our own responsibilities. When we began Add Meraki we agreed that this would be an outlet to express our creativity and passion, connect with similar souls and most importantly an outlet to have fun and enjoy our posts. Much to our dismay, there just hasn’t been enough hours in the day lately to share with you the quality of posts we want to produce.

We want to sincerely apologize and hope you will understand. We want to explain to you why we have been MIA lately and we hope that many of you can relate. We also want to ask for your help. As we wait for this crazy season of fall to slow down, we are eager to give Add Meraki more structure so we can share more of what we (and you) love. We’re asking for your help through sharing some topics that you would like to read/see more of. Do you like photo shoot inspiration? Design? Family/Lifestyle? Share with us your thoughts so we know you are out there! We promise to be sharing a lot more goodness with you in the future, so stay tuned!

XO,

Amanda & Danielle

This Balance Beam Called Life

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

I never truly know what I am going to blog about. I try to stick to the schedule that my meticulously  organized partner and I have created. I really want to do so but then I get inspired….my inspiration is usually off course but so strong that I can’t turn back. I think that this piece of myself is really why I decided to blog in the first place. Its the piece that I felt the urge to share with others~ the real stuff, the heartfelt, my truth.

 

 

A.Fogarty Photography

 

Truth is life can be overwhelming. It can be really hard, really messy, and really chaotic. You see, its 10:15 pm and Im in the middle of tackling a sink full of dishes that have been waiting for me since dinner. Dinnertime has been squeezed into a small window of opportunity after football practice and bedtime. Football players require scrubbing, teething babies require consoling, and clients require return emails.  Im determined to have the house completely tidy before I go to bed when I feel this sudden urge to write.

As summer slowly fades into fall, life is suddenly traveling at a much faster pace. Sometimes I feel like I am living on an amusement ride. Spinning, and spinning until all my surroundings have fuzzy edges, and are seemingly unfamiliar. If I had a dollar for every time I have spoken or heard another mother speak the words, “Im trying to find the balance” I would be so very wealthy!

The balance can be between self care and caring for others. The balance could be running your own business and running a household. It can be between a a successful partnership and successful roles in parenthood. It might be finding balance between an organized plan and spontaneity. The balance could simply be between what feels like work, and the joy of play.

As I navigate through the many roles that I want to do so well and perfect I am endlessly searching out strategies and tools to get to a place of satisfaction. This ultimate goal of satisfaction being a state of happiness, content, and accomplishment united. It is to take all of my scattered puzzle pieces and find a way to fit them together one by one until they make a beautiful picture.

Life should be messy, but it should be so very beautiful too. It should be challenging, but not so that your weak and tired. When you start to spin so fast that you no longer recognize the details of your surroundings is when you stop the ride. Ground your feet, breathe deep, gather your bearings, center your heart, and decide which direction to start to fearlessly walk straight towards.

There are so many woman who work this balance beam of life so very well, I look to these powerful woman for endless inspiration and use them as my mentors on this course.  I share with you links to these wonderful resources and hope you all find their work as powerful and life altering as I do. Please share in the comments some of the resources that help you to find balance in your life.

x Danielle

Louise Hay

 

Danielle Laporte 

 

 

 

Gabrielle Bernstein

 

Marie Forleo 

 

Family Photos – Why They Matter

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

A.Fogarty PhotographySeptember? Where did you come from. It feels like just yesterday we had the whole summer ahead of us with bucket lists, endless vacation days and sunshine for months to come. Slowly but surely (it always does) September crept up on us. School’s starting, fall is coming and we all are wishing for a pause button to put our life on hold. Unfortunately, there is no pause button in life and we have to cherish and capture memories before they slip away. With that being said, today we are sharing a sweet end of summer photo session with Co-Editor Danielle and her boys captured by me, our other Co-Editor, A.Fogarty Photography.

A.Fogarty Photography

Have you ever heard the saying that “you’re never going to be younger than you are right now.” I know it’s a silly concept to think about but it couldn’t be more true. As I get older I realize how fast time really goes. I no longer have moments of boredom – only moments of rushing to meet deadlines and cramming in activities that I know I won’t have time for later. Sometimes we get so busy living that we forget to create a life.

A.Fogarty Photography

As a photographer I’m partial to this idea that photographs are one of the only ways to stop time and relive memories. Sure we have our typical newborn session, senior photos and then maybe the next time you encounter a photographer is on your wedding day. Ya, maybe you’re getting all the “big” moments captured, but what about all the little ones in between? Those are the ones that really capture the best memories.

A.Fogarty Photography

So take time out of your busy life and schedule a photo shoot with your family. Capture your personalities, your growth, your love and the essence of being together. Because before you know it, your baby is going off to college then right after that – they’re going to have a family of their own. You are never younger than you are right now. Capture it. Relive it. Embrace it. And have it to look back on for years to come.

A.Fogarty Photography

And a little advice: The best photos are not the ones where you are all yelling “cheese” at me with fake smiles on your face or the posed portrait of you all in jeans and a white t-shirt matching like one big happy family. The best photos are the candid ones. The spontaneous ones. The uncontrollable laughter. The tenderness of a big brother helping his little one. The ones where you get in the water in your clothes, even though your mother told you not to. The ones where your clothing represents your style which in turn represents your personality. Your family photography session should not be like pulling teeth. It should be fun, one that you look back on and remember and love the experience just as much as you cherish the photos themselves. Make the investment in your family photos. You will be thankful that you did.

A.Fogarty Photography

Want more help? Maybe you’re just not the creative type but want photos that really tell the story of your family. Want help with outfit coordination? Set-style? Hire us as a team. Amanda from A.Fogarty photography will team up with Danielle from Daniella, Inc. to help you create the most epic family session that will capture the true essence of your bond. Contact us directly through addmeraki@gmail.com or visit A.Fogarty Photography’s website.

To Shop This Post click on links below:

Mom~   Denim Tunic        Bikini         Straw Fedora    Beaded Cuff    Stone Beads

Big Boys~    Linen Shorts

Baby~       Diaper Cover

Edit Your Lifestyle

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

The word lifestyle has many different meanings. It could mean the things you choose to do with your free time, your hobbies and activities you enjoy. It could also mean the way you interact with people, or raise your children. It could be the way you keep your home and your decorating styles. For me the definition of lifestyle is the way that you edit your life. How do you translate fashion and edit your daily appearance into a style you want to represent you? How do you prepare your meals and present your daily food intake? In what ways do you bring creativity and individuality to your daily activities? Its important that we personalize and add intent to each and every thing we do throughout the day. It makes everyday perhaps monotonous routines feel special and unique. It’s a shift in perception that will bring joy, happiness and more soulful experiences. I’ts a presence in each and every minute of your day. It’s blessing your soul, mind, and body.

I edit my life to reflect the beauty that I want to surround me. I prepare a variety of fun and colorful food presentations for my family. Pouring a pinch of soul, a dash of art, and a dusting of love allows your food to be blessed and nourish your body better. When I get dressed each day I allow my clothing decisions to reflect the mood that I want to surround me. Do I want to feel energized? Or be wrapped in comfort? Do I want to feel powerful? Or do I want have more peace? If you mindfully select items that honor your current mindset you will be amazed at what a powerful effect it can have on the productivity of your day.

The power of the mind is the most amazing power that we have as human beings. We can literally shift our entire lives through our perceptions alone. Try this, It’s easy and life altering. When you get up tomorrow take a few moments before you get dressed. Whether you are in the shower or still lying in bed, ask yourself what you want or need out of the day? Do you need to be super productive and meet a deadline at work? Or perhaps do you need a sense of belonging within your community? Do you want to beat a personal record at the gym? Or get the confidence to say hello to a love interest? Once you have determined what your personal needs are try and think about what colors, patterns, textures, or metals are brought to mind when you think of the behavior you have chosen.

For example, red is an energetic and powerful color. When coupled with a lively pattern and smooth tactile texture it can be have a dominating effect. The color family of blue and neutrals provide us with a feeling of peaceful serenity. When paired with a soft surface of cashmere, or a high end cotton it can provide a feeling of comfort, or belonging. A statement necklace in a silver metal can provide a woman with a feeling of empowerment. An old pair of worn in jeans and a button down can provide a sense of belonging.

Edit your morning tomorrow with clothing and accessories that reflect you on a soulful level and share with me how it transforms your day. I would love to hear it! If you need some guidance comment below and I will style your week for you!

Here are 5 rocking styled outfits, hand selected and curated by Moi with a little love, a pinch of passion, and an ounce of intent! Get these items all under $50.00 while they are available. There are so many great quality staple pieces that will work with many of your mindful, lifestyle decisions! Links below outfits for direct shopping.

Wishing you all a beautiful week!
X Danielle

1. Denim Shirt  Textured weave shorts  Open-toe Wedge Booty

2. Frilled Neck Blouse Faded Denim Skirt

 

3. Embroidered Blouse Pleated Trouser Pants

4. Sleeveless Blouse Embroidered Shorts Leather bomber

5. Floral Openwork Blouse  Leather Pencil Skirt  Open Ankle Booties 

 

Breakfast in Bed Series, Part Two

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography

If you have been keeping up with us on social media or following my personal Instagram (@afogartyphoto) you’ve probably seen my styled session with Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography called “Breakfast in Bed” – if not, you can check it out here. You wouldn’t believe all the comments I got about our “part one” which involved a lazy Sunday morning of me and my boyfriend hanging around in our Calvins and cooking some yummy omelets with a coffee in hand. But most of the comments ended with them asking, “when do I get to see part two!?” Well ladies and gents, here it is. The highly anticipated – part two of our Breakfast in Bed Series where my boyfriend, Cole, and I enjoy sweet mimosas and a delicious crepes (my favorite!) – consider it breakfast dessert or the after party after breakfast in bed!

 

Crepes have always been my favorite breakfast indulgence – but lately I’ve been switching up the recipe to make myself feel a tad-bit less guilty. I’ve been using whole wheat flour and almond milk which you can find right at your local grocery. But I can’t resist the perfect combination of nutella & raspberries. In reality, you can add anything you want! My mom loves brown sugar and butter – where some just like a little syrup! If you find a combination you really love, share it with us on social media by tagging us in your post or using #addmeraki.

 

So we hope you enjoy our styled Breakfast in Bed Series, Part Two – keep scrolling for gorgeous images captured by my talented best friend, Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography, and a complete style guide and recipe!
Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux PhotographyMackenzie Lamoureux Photographybreakfast in bed part two style guide

 

1. H&M Men’s V Neck | 2. H&M Men’s Pajama Pants | 3. Aerie Women’s Lace Racerback Bralette | 4. Forever21 Women’s Basic Romper | 5. Ray Ban Prescription Glasses | 6. Forever21 Floral Kimono    

*click the name/number of the item to redirect you to the product site for purchase

 

 

CREPES RECEIPE

Ingredients:

1.5 cups milk (we used almond milk)

1 cup flour (we used whole-wheat)

2 eggs

1 tablespoon of cooking oil

Directions:

In a bowl combine milk, flour, eggs & oil. Beat until well mixed. Heat a lightly greased skillet. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the batter; evenly spread throughout the pan. Brown one side only – flip other side to lightly cook. Repeat with remaining batter. Makes 18.

Add fresh fruit, brown sugar, nutella or whatever you fancy for a nice breakfast treat!

Note: I always screw up the first one I make. It takes a little practice to learn how to evenly spread the batter. It should be thinner than a pancake so you can roll it up. 

 

 

NY State of Mind

Monday, July 20th, 2015

I am currently still swooning over a beautiful NYC weekend with my family. Sometimes the best vacations are last minute, spontaneous decisions where you throw together essentials and hope for an adventure. This last weekend was one of those. We have coined them “runaways” and our children think they are just the best. They might be short stays but the memories made will  be engrained forever.
New York City is such a fun city at any season. There are endless things to do and see for any and all ages. The energy of this city is unparalleled by any other in our country, you simply cannot help but leave feeling energized. We typically take this trip a few times a year, as a designer I love the constant source of inspiration and sourcing I can find, as a mother I love the experiences it allows my children. We have experienced lots of different places and still have a long list of things to do for our next time. I highly recommend a “runaway” vacation to NYC for any family.

The New York Palace located along Madison in Midtown Manhattan offers one of the finest accommodations that the city has to offer.  The spectacular room views of the famous St.Patricks Cathedral are magnificent to awake to. Our go to for hotel bookings is hotwire.com last minute specials offer 5 star accommodations at amazing savings.



Centrally located in the heart of the city this location is short walks to Fifth, Times Square, and Central Park. Our favorite way to travel to Central Park is by the adorable red bicycles that the hotel offers as first come, first serve to their guests. Citi bikes are available throughout the city as well, I highly recommend it!

Central Park, the plushest landscape in the city is always on our list for a place for the kids to get out all that beautiful pent up energy they have after the long ride. After a road trip, several hours of running through the park will get them prepared for any lines or waiting at our next destination. Central Park is bustling with joggers, bicycles, and canoes this time of year. You cant help but feel good when you are surrounded by such activity.

My second favorite form of transportation in the city is Uber. This genius platform enables you to have clean, cost effective transportation to all five boroughs. When you sign up you receive a $20 credit and you get credits for all of your friends that download the app as well. Lyft.com also offers you three free rides and additional credits for sharing. We spent the entire weekends travel on credits. Pretty Darn Savvy!

 

The best way to fully grasp the depth of NYC is from the top of the Empire State Building. My children loved the simulated journey through its history and the “fast pass” trek to the top. Short wait times= Happy Parents & Children. The investment in this pass this well worth it.


My children are avid sports fans & Yankees Stadium breaths their language. Each trip to NYC is not complete without catching a home game (we actually only go when we know they are playing). An hour and a half before game time they arrive to run through the bleachers, watch players at batting practice, and hope to snag an autograph from one of their idols. Our go to ticket agent is vivid seats. Often times players sell their seats through the use of the agents here. You can get incredible seats at great price points.

 

Summer Trips to the city can get hot really quick. The place to be when the temperatures rise is at the Piers. Located on The Hudson River the piers offer food, outdoor water play, air & space museum and boat trips to the landmarks. The best eat at the Piers is at North River Lobster Co. on P
ier 86. This boat restaurant is sightseeing, sun, & seafood all wrapped into one. The quality of the food is great and there is no additional fee for the boat ride.

 

 

Ending a vacation is never fun. My kids just hate when they know it is time to start the trek for home. We have found a way to perfect our NYC trip endings. Serendipity 3is the ultimate luxury in desserts. World Renowned for their chocolate perfection they hold the Guiness Book of World Records for the most expensive sundae in the world. Its eclectic decor, fun wait staff, and incomparable treats make this place the perfect sweet cherry on top of our NYC “runaways”. 


 

 

Every memory deserves to be documented, my boys have a tradition that I love. During the ride or flight home from vacations they write about their travels. I hope when they get older they will have these pages that hold our memories created.

X Danielle

 

 

Summer Sale Style Guide

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

I have just finally completed my yearly closet purge. I do promise to share some closet makeover tips in the near future. I removed and donated all of my “no longer loved” pieces. Last summer I was expecting so I didn’t invest in many summer pieces. I was  just so excited to fill in the new gaps with some new fresh summer pieces. This summer I am channeling boho vibes. I’m loving breezy, lightweight pieces that can easily transition from day to night. I have curated a lovely list of sale pieces that fit this style. I love a sale (who doesn’t love a sale). The guilt is always lifted when I’m sale shopping! So here is your guilt free summer shop guide. I’ve included staple accessories that can be worn with any and all outfits. There are lots of incredible pieces at incredible pricing! This curated shop guide must be shopped quick as many of these items are final sale with limited quantities remaining. To shop directly CLICK on PRODUCT TITLES BELOW, and you will be redirected to items!

OB-Summer Sale Guide

1. Boho Embroidered Off The Shoulder Tunic     This piece embodies a classic color, style, and print. It can be worn as beach cover and flats or dressed up with a wedge or heel.

2. Patterned Black Tie Dye Swing Dress    I love the contrast and pattern of this tie dye dress.

3. Japanese Raffia  Top  J.Crew Collection has really made perfection in this top. This multi-seasonal piece will look as lovely with a pair of distressed shorts as it will with tailored suit pants and a blazer!

4. Sleeveless Eyelet Top This is a wardrobe staple. Gap always seems to hit the mark with perfectly tailored classic pieces.

5. Henley Tribal  Tank Dress This dress is reminiscent of all the lovely tribal ethnic inspired fabrics that have entered my design studio lately.

6. Perforated Wedge Sandal  The tried and true espadrille wedge with the modern perforation! Thank you Nordstrom!

7. Studded Fringe Cross Body   I just love this bag. The stud pattern detail, the fringe, the ombre fading of the leather. Its so fun.

8. JBrand Low Rise Crop Jean  These jeans are on a price match at Nordstroms. If you don’t own a pair of J Brands you must make the investment. They are my absolute favorite.

9. Tie Waist Drape Shorts  I’ve always been a lover of drapey shorts, add the military khaki look and you have a winner!

10. Tassel Fringe Sandals I bought these last week and they went on sale this week! Hate it when that happens…get them while they last.

11. Round Alabaster Sunnies The Shape. The Color. The Material. The Price. Done….oh and check out all the other colors too!

12. Mixed Media Statement Necklace  This is a closet must have. There are so many materials in this piece that it will compliment and get compliments with any given outfit.

 

If you liked this shop guide, let us know. We would love to hear your feedback and learn how we can help you live an inspired lifestyle.

X Danielle

 

Breakfast in Bed Series, Part One

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography

Today we’re here to share with you part one of our Breakfast in Bed series shot by Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography and styled by me, Amanda – oh, and I can’t forget to add a huge thank you to my handsome boyfriend for putting up with my crazy creative ideas (you’re the real MVP).

But, anyway, back to the blog.

Are you anxiously awaiting the weekend and maybe feeling a bit of the mid-week blues? This post hopefully will color up your day with some pretty pictures and inspiration for your weekend to come.

So, we all see “date night in” ideas on Pinterest, they’re composed of chinese food & a movie or card games & a few drinks… and, don’t get me wrong those can be fun, but how about spicing up your “date night in” with a little breakfast in bed? Now, as Kenzie pointed out in her blog post, we did not “wake up like this” however, many mornings of ours are spent together cooking omelets and drinking coffee. It’s our quiet time before our busy day begins. We both live a crazy hectic life so we embrace the little quiet time in the morning we get to spend together.

With that being said, we hope you enjoy the photos and have a wonderful rest of the week and an even better weekend! Continue scrolling to see a full style guide & recipe.

Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography

 

Recipe for 1 omelet: 

eggs – beat 2 eggs in side bowl and pour over skillet on medium heat

spinach – add a handful spinach and break into smaller pieces – add as the egg begins to cook

ham – I use two slices of ham (but you could use any sort of meat/protein) and again break them into smaller pieces and add into the cooking omelet

turkey bacon – a healthier alternative to bacon that will add a nice flavor to your omelet. before cooking the egg, pop two slices in the microwave or on a skillet so they’re already cooked and ready to throw into the egg once it’s partially cooked

cheese – top with a handful of cheese & fold the omelet over and make sure the egg is fully cooked!

top with salt & pepper to taste!

Style Guide: 

breakfast in bed part one style guide | addmeraki.com

 

 

Shop the Look: click the item name to direct to product webpage 

Him: 

Calvin Klein White Briefs 

H&M sweat shorts 

Her: 

Calvin Klein Underwear & Bra Set 

Aerie Robe

Calvin Men’s Dress Shirt

Makeup by Amanda, inspired by: Marianna Hewitt – Makeup Tutorial

 

Make sure to follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep up with latest posts and Breakfast in Bed Part Two: Mimosas & Crepes 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding and Pursuing Your Passions

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

 

If you are anything like me you have this yearning inside you to accomplish great things. Maybe it’s the fulfillment of being able to travel, create beautiful art, or time to help others. If you know this feeling then you know it has nothing to do with money, but has everything to do with following your dream and pursuing your passion(s). So the first step to following your passion is finding out what exactly those passions are.

Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography

For me, I always had an inkling of what I liked to do. In high school I was an all-state athlete in two varsity sports which left little time to do anything else so when I was deciding on what college to go to I knew it was time to put sports behind me. Not because I didn’t love it, but because I knew there were other avenues I wanted to explore. I picked up photography, took a few art classes and spent a lot of time working hard in my classes. I always knew I loved working with people and that’s why as soon as I took one Communications course, I was hooked. This worked well with my emerging photography business and still today I can’t decide which one I like more.

The two most common questions I get asked are – “What are you going to do with your major” (aka what job do you want) and/or “Are you going to do photography full-time.” And to be completely honest, I don’t know the answer to either of those questions. I believe the reason that I’ve been able to succeed is because I’m not ready to commit myself to any one thing. But to dive in and surround myself with everything I’m passionate about. I’m constantly reading articles and blogs about anything and everything. I follow brands and entrepreneurs that inspire me and have what I see as a dream job. I’m constantly reaching out to industry leaders asking to grab a coffee just so I can pick their brain. I attend networking events whenever I can and give my business card to anyone I have a connection with. Entering my senior year of college I’ve done two internships and am on track to do one more. So my biggest words of advice to anyone trying to find your passion –

 Put yourself out there. Never stop learning. Ask for help. You will be rewarded.

Want some more inspiration? Here are a few of my favorite things.

I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones

Eat,_Pray,_Love_–_Elizabeth_Gilbert,_2007

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 4.44.42 PM

The EveryGirl Blog

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Marie Forelo and Marie TV

I hope this sparked your brain and heart to start follow your passions – because really, life is too damn short.

The best way to begin is to write it down. What are you passions? What’s your dream life look like? What does success mean to you? When it’s time to look back on your life, what do you want to have accomplished? Start there and see where it takes you.

XX,

Amanda

 

 

“Clean” Cleaning Toolbox

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Spring oh sweet Spring! I couldn’t run up in the attic to store our winter necessities fast enough. We have been housebound and vitamin D deprived for far too long. Our spring getaway vacation simply couldn’t come fast enough. So after packing the boots as far away as I could, I grabbed the suitcases to start preparing for a long awaited travel to tropical climate and bronzed skin. Then it started… Coughing, oh no not coughing! Runny noses…oh please not now! Belly aches…which led to frequent bathroom trips…than we paired it with a bucket…I know-It’s always the worst from both ends at once! I literally was blaming myself for bragging at basketball last week that we had missed out on flu & cold season. Note to self- Don’t ever boast!

What I do know is that during the winter months I was religiously ramping up their immune systems with my drawer of tricks. As the winter weather started to break, I lessoned up our routine and hence- SICKNESS! SICKNESS! SICKNESS! I was determined that nothing was going to stop me from taking that cute new two piece out of that luggage. We would be going and they would be healthy by the end of week! (fingers, toes, and hands in prayer position)

Well bags are packed and we are ready to go! After a very long week I am sharing with you my tricks and tips for fighting flu bugs, and spring cleaning the germs of winter away naturally! My very french housekeeper always makes the weirdest faces when she sees my concoctions all over the house. She thinks Im a witch…;) Well I’ve decided to share this mommas favorite no fail potions. These little magic bottles are ensuring that we get a memorable healthy vacation this week! I hope that you find them helpful and lovely as well!

MY ESSENTIAL KICK ASS CLEAN TOOL BOX: 

Pure Lavender Oil

Pure Tangerine Oil

Pure Tea Tree Oil

Four Thieves Synergy Blend

Basil (Fresh or in EO Form)

Lemon (Fresh or in EO Form)

Distilled Water

White Vinegar

Glass Bottles

Spray Nozzle

share_tempory-3 copy 2

There are so many formulas and recipes that I really love when it comes to natural cleaning and essential oils. Im going to start by sharing some very easy, affordable combinations to start. I will add to this over time but in an effort of keeping it simple this is a good beginning.

KICK ASS FLU BUSTER: 

Four Thieves Blend: ingredients are clove, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus

I purchased on Amazon for under $10.00. Here is the link. http://www.amazon.com/Thieves-Synergy-Essential-Comparable-DoTerras/dp/B008B9Y0EY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1429236847&sr=8-2&keywords=four+thieves

There is a very interesting story to this formula. Thieves oil is an essential oil blend based on a story from around the 15th century, when the bubonic plague was running rampid through Europe and Asia. Four thieves from Europe, who were notoriously robbing the infectious dead bodies of all their possessions. They, miraculously, never contracted the highly infectious plague and this led to deep inquiry in court after they were caught and charged. The magistrate offered them a deal, their secret for a reduced sentence. Taking the deal, they told stories of their herbal knowledge and their powerful medicinal properties when combined in certain ways. This specific herbal blend that they had created, concocted from aromatic herbs, was HIGHLY EFFECTIVE in killing all of the airborne bacteria. Some of the stories told speak of it in a vinegar form, while others talk about a blend that was in a mask over their faces. In 1997, Weber State University did a study that found the Thieves essential oil blend to have a 99.96% success rate at killing airborne bacteria. We don’t know whether or not thieves story is true, but the essential oils are truly antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-infectious. They will stimulate the immune system, circulation and respiratory system, and help protect against the flu, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts, and more. (source)

I use this oil in a few ways:

1. Rub

For the boys I use a few drops in hand mixed with coconut oil, this is considered a carrier oil. If you don’t have coconut you can use oil, jojoba, or grape seed. Use this combination to rub your little ones feet before bed, after baths, or even when they are off to school in the morning.

2. Diffuser

We have 2 diffusers, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. Since this blend has been found to kill 99% of airborne bacteria when diffused its a no brainer. (Buy mine here)

3. Hand Sanitizer

I absolutely hate the smell and effect of all store bought sanitizers. My hands are raw from the long winter and the last thing I need is alcohol to burn in every crack and tear on my hands. I have been making my own moisturizing hand sanitizer. I use empty baby food jars are the containers but you could really use any tupperware container or old face cream jar. You can adjust the fragrance to your fancy, just buy a different essential oil. I love citrus, and lavender so I have one of each.

Recipe: (using small baby food jar)

4 table spoonsCoconut Oil

2 table spoons Pure Aloe Vera Gel

Four Thieves Blend (approximately 6-10 drops depending on size of your container)

Tee Tree Oil (5 drops)

Lavender Essential Oil or Tangerine Essential Oil (10 drops)

 

 

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TOXIC FREE  ALL PURPOSE SPRING CLEANING SPRAY

This is the easiest, safest, most effective all purpose cleaner I have tried. If you have ever researched what is put into our cleaning solutions (even those labeled organic and all natural) you know the importance of making your own products. Its a crime what they are allowed to put on our grocery shelves. Be your own chemist, learn what you like, and what combination is most effective for you but please don’t spray down  your children’s toys and toilet seats with commercial cleaning products. The toxins are far worse than the germs that were there before it!

Heres my go to:

Fresh Basil, Lemons, White Vinegar

Fill a Ball Mason Jar with 4 Basil Leaves and a sliced lemon (squeeze some juices out as you drop them in) Fill the rest of the jar with the pure vinegar. Cover and allow this to sit for a few days. The Basil and Lemon will overpower the scent of the vinegar as the solution sits. You can also use Basil & Lemon Essential Oil if you would like. Fill Glass Jars with your solution, insert spray nozzle and start your spring cleaning! I got my blue jars at the natural food store but you can really use any old glass jar (i.e..vinegar container) that has a threaded top and will accept the nozzle. The essential oils can break down plastic containers and potentially leach chemicals into the spray so it’s important to use glass.

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SLEEP TIGHT DONT LET THE BED BUGS BITE SPRAY

Who doesn’t love the scent of lavender spritzed on their bedding? Its just the loveliest scent and helps to ensure a good nights rest. (what is a good nights rest again) Im preaching to the choir! In addition to lavender I add tea tree oil as a natural antimicrobial and antiseptic. So this blend is not only soothing and yummy smelling but it is a cleanser. Tea Tree Oil can be used to clear acne, asthma, and even lice! Its always at the root of my cleaning arsenal.

Lavender Essential Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Tangerine Oil

I use my glass bottle and add 10-15 drops lavender essential oil, 10-15 drops tee tree oil, and six drops tangerine oil. Fill the remainder with distilled water. Spritz bedding, pillows, rugs, and any other soft goods needing a freshening.

 

If you are new to homemade cleaning products this is certainly a nice easy start. Its really quite easy and feels so good knowing that you are not introducing more chemicals and toxins into your household. My boys are obsessed with their nightly foot rubs with our blended rubs…note….put a timer on because night time routines can get rather lengthy! I am not a doctor or a healer but I believe in the power of the earth and the history of uses. I also believe that my magic potions are the reason why this beautiful boy is smiling. Heres to a fabulous week with my three rascals!

Xdanielle

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