Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Family, Home, and Me with Amelia

Sweet Amelia is next up for our FHandM series. Her blog, Bold Meets Basic, is definitely one of my go-to blogs for outfit inspiration. She has the most creative combos of, you guessed it, basic and bold pieces. And I love her view on fashion. "Our appearance empowers us. It is an expression and a form of art." Um, amen! 

all photos c/o Amelia

Family is the one subject I could go on for days and days about, but I don't want to bore all of you! Lets just start off with the fact that family is the most important factor in my life. I come from a huge Italian family who loves to talk loud, eat, and get together as much as possible!  I have twenty-four first cousins, and we're still growing! In my immediate family, I am the oldest of three kids. My parents have been together for twenty-six years, and still completely in love. I look up to both of them everyday, and I'm still so impressed with how they go about their lives. I couldn't have asked for a better set of parents. They're the best! My younger sister, Ali is my absolute best friend. I couldn't be more blessed to have a sister who is so completely understanding, trustworthy, kind, and simply beautiful! My younger brother, Vince, is just one of those kids that every parent would dream to have. Athletic, outgoing, funny, smart, and lovable are just a few words that come to mind when describing him. Like any younger brother, we struggle with getting along some days, but in reality, I don't know what I would do without that kid! When I was asked to do a portion on family, I couldn't think of just one memory or recipe to describe my family, because in reality, everyday that I spend with each and every member of my family is worth writing about!

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of my home would be organization! I strongly believe that organization is key to EVERYTHING! I am one of those crazy people that gets rid of a piece (or two) out of my wardrobe before adding a new one in. I hate keeping clothes that I never wear, I just never saw a point in it! My advice to all of you is to just keep your house and closet organized and your life will be SO much easier!

This one was a hard topic for me to extend on, but if I were to have to choose a topic to discuss about me it would have to be my love for fashion. At a young age I discovered I had a strong opinion on not only what looks good on me, but others as well. As the years have gone by, my love for fashion has remained. Just this past year I started my own personal fashion blog, Bold Meets Basic. It has become something that I am really proud of, and I have truly enjoyed every aspect of it! For those of you out there who have thought about writing your own blog, whether it is for fashion, food, or even just life, I strongly suggest you pursue it! It gives you a sense of accomplishment everyday, and for that I couldn't be more proud!

Thank you so much, Amelia! Be sure to check out Bold Meets Basic for some of THE best outfit inspiration ever! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Update: Homemade Body Wash

Since my post about Homemade Body Wash in February, I've continued to make and use it. I've developed some tips and tricks after making it a few more times that I thought I'd share with you. Heaven knows the first time I made it turned out to be kind of a disaster so hopefully some of these tips might answer some questions you might have or make the process a little easier.

1. Grate the soap using a food processor
Put the round multi-blade attachment so the smallest holes are facing up and push the soap down into it. Grating the soap as fine as you can makes the melting process much faster. Trying to break it up in the food processor with the normal blades around the bottom of the container doesn't work. The soap will just get stuck to the blades and won't break up. Trust me. Using the food processor dirties a few more dishes, but it's so much faster and it won't give your hand a cramp.

2. Use 3 cups of water per bar of soap
The original recipe I followed called for 2 and I accidentally added 3 the first time I made it which worked out great. I thought I'd give 2 cups a try this time to see how it turned out. Once it cooled, it was too solid. I could have poured it into molds while it was still hot and would have ended up back with bar soap again! It's supposed to thicken up. Really, it is. But there was no way that would break up in my blender (see #5). Maybe it's the type of soap I'm using. (My wonderful mommy bought me Caswell Massey Almond Cold Cream Bath Soaps. Yuuuummy!! I'm super spoiled.) If you're unsure of how much water to add, try making it with 2 cups and see how it turns out. If it's too thick once it cools, simply add another cup of water and put it back on the heat. It will melt in a matter of minutes at this point because it's already watered down.

3. Stir as you're waiting for the soap to melt in the water
In the past, I've always tossed in the grated soap and walked away. I'd come back every few minutes and very little progress would be made as far as melting is concerned. I'd stir it and walk away again. I'd do this for upwards of an hour and a half! Ain't nobody got time for that!! I tried stirring it today and, what do you know, it went so much faster. A matter of 15-20 minutes or so!

Bring the water to boil and then turn down the heat so no bubbles are surfacing
 before you put in the soap. The soap will burn to the bottom of the pan if you melt it at 
too hot a temperature. 

4. Wait for the soap to cool completely before putting it into your container
The soap will solidify a lot which leads me to my next tip...

5. Blend it
In a blender. Or if you happen to be one of the lucky ones, use your immersion blender. The blender will break it up so it's no longer solid and make it so nice and creamy and rich. And it will stay that way when you put it in your body wash container.

I hope this helps. Making body wash used to be stressful for me because I never knew how it was going to turn out. But now I know that by using these tricks, the process will be easier, faster and the end result will be so worth it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Family, Home, and Me with Kassidy

Next up in the FHandM series is one of my dearest friends, Kassidy. She's having a baby shower tonight for her third kid/first daughter and I'm so excited that I get to be in town for it! Even though she's my little (much taller) sister, she has always been an incredible example to me. If you had told me when I was a pre-teen that I would one day view her as one of my best friends, I wouldn't have believed you in a million years. There was a long time where we definitely did not get along (understatement of the century), but it's amazing what a similar situation and the Gospel can do to bring people together. I love her with all my heart and am so proud to be her sister. 

Living peacefully in a family isn’t always easy, but in God’s restored Church, marriage and families are the most important social unit now and in eternity.” 

I feel so very blessed to have the husband, and children that I have. I never thought a love so deep was so possible. Every day I thank my Heavenly Father for my blessings, and everyday I feel like he gives me more. 

When I walk by my three-year-old’s room and hear “Dear Heavenly Father, please bless that my toe will stop hurting. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen”, a joy fills my heart greater than I could have ever imagined. He will then rush to me exclaiming with glee “MOM! I prayed and because of my faith it worked!” This is pure joy.

When I watch my second try for minutes, hours, sometimes days to do something he’s seen his older brother do, and he finally “gets” it, the look on his face is pure joy.

When I watch my boys wait by the front door for their dad, that is pure joy. When I ask my kids what they want to do, and they ask to read the book of Mormon, that is pure joy. When my husband waits until I catch his eye just to blow me a kiss, that is pure joy. 

It’s during these times that it is easy for feel peace and the spirit with your family. It’s during the trying to cook dinner, the house is a mess, and the baby is crying times that it’s more difficult. So how do we live peacefully in a family all the time? We’ve been taught that we need to spend our time on the things that are most important to Heavenly Father and eternal salvation. If it is the most important social unit now and in eternity, then we should be spending our time WITH our families. While quality time is important, so it quantity. As mothers, it can be hard to appreciate the time we have with our children. For those of us that are able to stay home with them, we are with them all the time. For some, it’s hard to get over the monotony of the day-to-day happenings. For some it’s coping with the phase changes from the happy sweet stage to the tantrum-throwing fit, fight over everything stage. And for some, it’s trying to find peace in the crazy-never-having-a-moment-to-stop, endless responsibilities of life with kids. We must focus our attention on the precious spirits we get to spend time with. We must try, even when we’re tired, to teach our kids the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the importance and reverence of everything He did for us. We must show through example, how to keep our cool, and that happiness is a choice, not something someone or something has to give to us. We must show patience, even when everyone is crying, sweat is dripping off your face, the shopping cart has a broken wheel and your car door won’t open. We must focus ourselves on living as close to Christ as possible, including our kids in our spiritual moments, and inviting them to share their testimonies with us. We must show them unconditional love if we want them to stay close to us and to our Heavenly Father.

A critical part in feeling peace in our families is the way we treat our spouses. More and more research is showing that the most important thing you can give your kids is your love to your spouse. Spend time with them, make their favorite treat, stop what you’re doing to give them a hug and kiss when they get home from work. Show your children that your spouse is your #1. After all, they are the one you get to spend eternity with. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to go on a date every night and ignore your kids, but when you have kids, they are the activity you do with your spouse. Share stories, read books, laugh, play cars (or whatever your kids are interested in), go for a walk or bike ride, build a fort, clean the house, make a treat together, the possibilities are endless. In the last general conference, we were taught that dinnertime should be the main focus or center of our days. We must not turn the TV on every night until bedtime, too exhausted to move. We must find the energy needed to show our kids that we have fun together, all together.  Make sure to talk to your spouse.  Talk about their day, anything going on in their life, and ask them questions. It’s easy to become critical and find problems with our spouses. After all, no one is perfect. There are several couples I have observed over the years, and while I don’t see what happens behind closed doors, you can just tell they are each other’s soul mates, and they cherish every second they have with each other. One thing they all have in common is they are always thinking about each other. They are always finding small things they can do for the other one, without expecting anything in return. Most of the time, they do get something in return, but no one will find happiness and peace while thinking of themselves. Show your kids this. Be a good example of unconditional love to your spouse. Show them how much joy there is to experience through the eternal bonds of being sealed in the temple. Be the spouse you want your spouse to be, and it will happen, I promise.

So the way to have unconditional peace in your family? Have unconditional peace in your heart and it will pass on to the rest of your family. It may not happen overnight, but show them the love, and they too will show you the love, therefore bringing joy and peace to your family, home, and eternity.

A mere desire to become self-reliant is not enough. We must make a conscious, active effort to provide for our own needs and those of our families. Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop, reminds us that when we have done all we can to be self-reliant, “we can turn to the Lord in confidence to ask for what we might yet lack.” Being self-reliant allows us to bless others. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says, “Only when we are self-reliant can we truly emulate the Savior in serving and blessing others.” 

One goal my family has is to become self-reliant. We’ve started by raising chickens, rabbits, gardening (very, VERY beginner mind you), gathering food storage and preparedness materials, learning to make our own food, and learning household and car maintenance tasks. We still have a long way to go, and to be honest it’s completely intimidating. It is hard work to go outside when it’s 90 degrees outside, pretty pregnant and clean chicken poop while carrying at least one kid on my back, but you know what? It’s completely worth it. I love this quote about being “active”. I’m finding what it really means to be able to “rest” on the Sabbath, and my relationship with the Savior is able to grow as I catch a glimpse into what it was like to make the world knowing there was a rest day at the end.  I wonder though- do you think they just napped the whole day, or do you think they were a little excited, relieved, documented what they learned, what they might do differently next time, and think about what is next?

My piece of advice on this one…Do something to become more self-reliant. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but do something. Whether it’s storing a couple gallons of water, learning a new skill such as sewing or car repairs, or growing some herbs, anything is a good start. After all the warnings and counsel we’ve been given, we NEED to start somewhere. We need to turn to the Lord in earnest prayer to figure out “where we lack”, and know where to start. I’m probably the last person to be giving anyone advice on this. It’s just something I personally have felt is important to focus on with raising a young family.

As in all things, the Savior set the perfect example in the love He showed for His earthly mother. In the final, most pivotal moment of His mortal life—after the anguish of Gethsemane, the mock trial, the crown of thorns, the heavy cross to which He was brutally nailed—Jesus looked down from the cross and saw His mother, Mary, who had come to be with her Son. His final act of love before He died was to ensure that His mother would be cared for, saying to His disciple, “Behold thy mother!” And from that point on the disciple took her unto his home. As the scriptures say, then Jesus knew that “all things were now accomplished,” and He bowed His head and died” 
– Bradley D. Foster 
Second Quorum of the Seventy

The whole point of this life is to become like Christ with His love for others. I love the way Brother Foster described the Savior’s love for his mother. The last thing he did was make sure his mother would be cared for. I hope I show my children the love Mary must have shown the Savior for him to think of her while in so much pain. No one would question if his last thought was “wow, this really sucks”, or “It’s almost over, I can do this”. His last thought was for his mom.
I don’t think there should ever be “me time”. It may sound harsh, but it’s a skill we need to develop if we are ever able to become like the Savior. Did the Savior ever say “I need ten minutes to myself”, or did he ever need to veg on a treat while catching up on his favorite “show” to be able to continue on with his day. He faced much harder things than I, and he continued to show love and concern for others above himself, yet I find myself daily in the food closet needing 30 seconds of chocolate chip medicine so I don’t lose it.

My piece of advice for this “me” section would be to lose the “me”. Think of others. The more we think of others, the more we are like the Savior. The more we’re like the Savior, the closer we are to living with him again and the better “me” we are as an example for our influential kiddos. When we are lying on our deathbed, it won’t matter how we looked while out with our kids. It won’t matter how many miles we ran, and it won’t matter how cute our house was. What will matter is the “me” we were for our children to look up to, come to, and become like.

Thanks so much, Kass. What an incredible, motivating message. I'm so lucky to have a sister like her to be an example for me. 

If you are interested in contributing to my FHandM series, please email me at
gracefullykensie [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Family, Home, and Me with Jessie

My friend, Jessie, is up next for our FHandM series. Her blog, Adventures of a Pinner, documents the outcome of yummy recipes and crafts that she has found on Pinterest. Take it away, Jessie!

We are foodies around my house, we love to eat and trying new recipes is one of my favorite things to do with my family. My girls love to help me cook, well mostly bake so I take that time to spend some one on one time with them. I try and make one new recipe a week; it’s been great I have made some yummy stuff. I love sharing food with people because I feel food has so much love in it, having people come over for dinner and having them just really enjoy the food and to tell me its delish makes me happy to know that I could bring joy to someone else with food.  Here is one of our favorite recipes (sorry no pics but I promise it’s AMAZING):

Chicken Broccoli Casserole
1 to 2 pkgs stove top
1 to 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
2 cups cooked chicken (bite size)
1 pkg frozen broccoli (I use fresh)
1 cup cheese

Pre heat the oven to 350. Mix together soup, sour cream, chicken, broccoli, and cheese put in a baking dish. Prepare the stove top sprinkle on top of the soup mixture and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Enjoy!!! 

I’ll admit it I’m not a clean freak and I’m not very good at keeping things organized but I try. If you’re like me and have 6 people living in your two bedroom house, plus 3 dogs and one cat and you have a hard time keeping up with your house work, then I suggest you make a cleaning schedule. I try and do at least one room a day because I have so many people in my small two bed room house and it gets messy super-fast! I also have a hard time keeping up with all my laundry so I make a day for that too. I find that it’s just all around easier to keep my house clean when I stick to my schedule.

Monday- kitchen
Tuesday- living room
Wednesday- bathroom/laundry
Thursday- bedrooms
Friday- kitchen (again)
Saturday- I take the day off to spend time with the family
Sunday- living room/ bathroom. My girls love to help me cook (well, mostly bake) so I take that time to spend some one on one time with them.

I have two girls, a 5 year old and a 17 month old so I don’t get very much mommy time, but when I do I like to find new recipes on Pinterest. I love cooking and trying new recipes, I think that food helps the soul J or maybe I just say that so I don’t feel so guilty when I make cookies and eat 3. I also like to try DIY beauty products; I came across a blackhead remover that is super easy and amazing! It only has two ingredients, half of a lemon and 4 drops of honey rub it on your face and let it sit for 5 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water. It makes your skin soft and your pores look smaller and cleaner.  

Thank you so much, Jessie! Be sure to check out some of the yummy recipes on her blog, Adventures of a Pinner.

If you are interested in participated in our FHandM series, please email me at
gracefullykensie [at] gmail [dot] com.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cream of Tartar on Stainless Steel

I've tried quite a few different things to try to clean the outside of my dirty old toaster oven and nothing ever seemed to cut it. There were always streaks and finger prints left behind. So I found an idea on Pinterest for using Cream of Tartar to clean stainless steel claiming to make my appliances look brand new so I had to give it a try. 

All you have to do is mix 1 tbsp. of Cream of Tartar with a few drops of water. Rub the mixture onto your appliance with a sponge and wipe clean with a damp paper towel.  Easy as that. 

Here are some before and after shots for you to take a look at:

You can definitely tell a difference. I didn't have the "It looks brand new again!" experience that I was hoping for, but it is a whole heck of a lot better than it was before. Turns out Kim from Tales + Tips (where I got the idea) discovered that Bar Keepers Friend is an easier and cheaper solution than using Cream of Tartar. I have also read recently on The Manly Housekeeper that Mark used Bar Keepers Friend to clean the anti-slip grips on the bottom of his tub with amazing results. Sounds like I'm going to have to give this stuff a try and report back. Stay tuned!

Please disregard how dirty the INSIDE of my toaster oven is. 
That's up there on my list, don't worry.  :0)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Homemade Garbage Disposal Refreshers

Homemade Garbage Disposal Refreshers
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • 1 lemon or 2 limes
The original recipe called for lemon, but my family has this obsession with limes. We have to buy the bulk bag from Costco. Maybe it's weird, but we put lime juice on just about everything these days. Our friends laugh because anytime they stop by for dinner, more often than not they'll hear me say, "try it with a little lime juice. It's really good!" I have limes ready and waiting on my kitchen table... in a crystal bowl. They're just so pretty!

Mix the salt and baking soda together making sure there are no lumps. Then add the liquid dish soap and zest the lime peels into the mixture. Add the juice from the lime. Start with one and add as needed so the consistency looks like course sand. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper and, using a rounded teaspoon measuring spoon as a mold, pack the mixture tightly into the spoon and tap lightly on the pan to gently coax it out. Let them dry over night. Once they are dry, store them in a sealed container by your sink. Anytime your garbage disposal is smelling less than lovely, drop a few in and flip the switch. 

Honestly, I don't have much to say about these things. The idea is great, but I don't know that the effectiveness is worth the time and effort put into making them.  I haven't decided yet. I'll update you later on when I come to a solid conclusion.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Family, Home, and Me with Ashley

My friend Ashley is amazing. She is a successful business woman as well as a wonderful mommy. Her shop, The Awful Waffle, makes everything from Belgian waffles, crepes, and fries to pizza and gelato. Seriously, this place is YUMMMMY! If you happen to be in the Utah County area, you gotta stop by. 

Anyway, I've known Ashley for over 4 years now and I can't help but smile any time I talk to her. She has this amazing, happy energy that is unbelievably contagious. So of course I asked her to contribute to my FHandM series!

photo courtesy of Celeste Coslett

I was raised to know that if I make family the most important thing in life everything else will fall in to place. For me, the boundary of family was always elastic and all-encompassing. Of course, the strong bond my siblings and I have and the love and relationship I have with my parents were always at the core of everything we did, but there was always so much more than that. My mom is a true southern bell and loves to be social and host gatherings and to take the time to get to really know her guests. My dad is an incredible youth leader, always inspiring those around him by just being him, so naturally my friends wanted to always be where our family was. The amazing thing about my mom’s generous and loving hosting and my dad’s ability to connect with anyone is that it created this atmosphere of family to anyone who came to our home. It gave people a place to feel anchored. My best friend and her sister, to this very day, are very much considered siblings. My parents offered help and support to anyone who needed it (or didn’t even realize they needed it). The reason I am focusing so much on this for my “family” section of this post is because recently I’ve been reflecting on my values and the kind of family I have and the people I choose to surround myself with, including my employees; I know it’s because of this incredible base I was raised with.  That being said, I’ve found my own love of hosting gatherings. If there’s ever a reason to come together I channel my inner parents and I do a few things. First, I plan out a dinner. I’m on a budget, so I always try and find a really amazing meal that can feed a lot of people. There are two go-to meals I use. First is sort of a Utah classic - Hawaiian Haystacks. This one can feed in bulk with an awesome variety for a low cost, which is great for my pocket and any potentially picky guests. The second one, which is amazing in the fall and winter, is my sister Heather’s Taco Soup. She and her friend Ellen have this great blog The Recipe Recycler. It’s delicious, low in cost, and can feed a ton of people! Just include some french bread and a salad and bam, you’re done. 

photo courtesy of thereciperecycler.blogspot.com

The next thing I think of is how to set the table. I drool over Anthropologie kitchenwares, but that store is where I’ll go one day when I’m rich and famous. In the mean time, I’ve found some really amazing dishes that look like they came straight from Anthro’s shelves. The first place I look is DI or Goodwill. There are some incredible dishes that are crystal (or look like it!) and some really great vintage stained-glass cups. I’ve always sort of been an undercover grandma - which I’m totally okay with because the 30’s and 40’s were such a dreamy time. These dishes are usually what I like to think are surplus that Grandma got rid of. I’ve also found some gorgeous bowls from...get this...the dollar store. Seriously. I get compliments on them all the time. They are this incredible embossed glass and they’ve lasted me 4 years so far. Amazing. This is my favorite find, however. I found these beautiful bowls at Anthro and was trying to find a way in spending that much on bowls. I went to Ikea one day and found these. Almost the exact same ones! I almost passed out right there in the isle. So I bought 8, a standard amount for entertaining, I’ve discovered. 

To set the table, I have a few go-to tricks. Tablecloths are crazy expensive almost everywhere. Who said tablecloths have to have come with that label? My favorite thing to do is go to hobby lobby when they’re having awesome sales on their fabric and I’ll get 2-ish yards of cute fabric. I’ll sew up the ends then store it in a bin in my garage. The other thing is I use curtains. Yep, curtains! I’ve cycled through a few in my life, but I’ve always kept them. The different colors and textures really make an amazing and easy table covering. I also bought these lace curtains from Ikea. It comes in a pack of two and the lace is so pretty (and so cheap!). It could be the only thing you put on a table or you could layer it over said curtain/fabric pieces. The last thing I use are old duvet covers. These also help add texture and interesting patterns to a table setting. 
Another go-to trick I use are cake stands. Home goods and TJ Maxx always have really great deals on cake stands, so when I see one for less than $5 I buy it. These are great for putting a flower arrangement on or displaying food. 

The last thing I think of when I’m hosting is a fun game to play. Pictionary is one of my favorite games to play because it costs nothing if you do it this way: Everyone has 5-10 strips of paper. They write a person, place, thing, or movie on it. This helps keep the game relevant and also can by hysterical. You split in to even teams and bam! A game is born. 

One thing that’s usually required when my family hosts something or we have a dinner together is something that used to be a little awkward but we’ve embraced it and go with it. Depending on the occasion, this can go a few ways. It doesn’t really have a title, but basically each person at the table is says something they love about someone. If it’s someone’s birthday, each person has to say one thing they love or admire about the birthday guest. For Thanksgiving, we all have to say 3 things we’re thankful for. Another way to do it is to use dice. Say Joe is up first and rolls a three. You count over three people and whoever that third person is, Joe would have to say one thing he loves about that person. Then that person has to roll the dice and do the same process. Once you’ve been talked about, you then are out. Does that make sense? This is great because it forces you to get outside of yourself and to be verbally positive, and even give you a chance to express good things when maybe you’d never found the chance before. 

I have a million things I could say in the realm of family, but I’ll limit this post this time. 

I think it’s really important to have elements of actual nature inside my home. It brings in oxygen and a calming feeling to it. Since I live in Utah, I’m blessed with an abundance of beautiful nature literally outside my front door. It’s a very rare occasion that I will justify buying flowers when I can simply go outside and pick them. 

Springtime in Utah is obviously a glorious time for this. Yesterday I went into my (very unkempt) backyard and found wild daffodils! A lot of them! I got my super sharp scissors (you should use gardening shears) and clipped a handful, some shrubbery for filler and then stuck it in one of my (dollar store!) vases. If you live in Utah and don’t live somewhere with much land, that’s okay. I used to live in a house that had pretty much a patch of grass for a front yard. Finding wild flowers is pretty easy to do. Over by the Provo temple there are some fields where a lot of babies breath type flowers grow. Every now and then there’s a patch of tulips and iris's (for real!) randomly that grow. I’ll even just clip pretty wild grass or bushes that look interesting and put that in a vase. 

In the winter I love going up into the foothills where there are wild evergreens and I’ll clip some branches off and put them in a tall, cylinder, straight vase and wrap an ivory ribbon around the base. It’s not only beautiful and unexpected but also smells incredible.

I’m not particularly one to talk much about myself, but I would like to share a few things I do for myself. As a full time mom and a full time business owner, there’s very little room for “me” time. Something I noticed as a new mom was that I began feeling worn down and that I was sort of losing my identity. I realized that it was because I wasn’t doing things that made me happy like I used to. Of course, being a mom is so fulfilling and has changed me in so many wonderful ways, and I love my business and the people in it, but I recognized that to be the best mom and the best boss I needed to start finding ways to do things that rejuvenated me. I’ve always loved anything artistic, so I bought myself a cheap sketchpad and a high quality set of drawing pens. I promised myself I’d take the time at least twice a week to work on my hand lettering skills. While I’m still not amazing by any means, it’s been a great outlet for myself. 

Something else I’ve taken up is enjoying long baths. I’ve found this really incredible lavender Epsom salt that really is rejuvenating. Found here for less than $5! I picked mine up from Smith’s and it’s amazing. I try and take a bath once a week with a good book or my guilty pleasure show (currently the bachelorette), and I’ll soak for 30 minutes once Scout has gone to bed and the house is quiet. This quiet time has really provided me with a space to just shut my mind of, vegetate, and simply exist. Sometimes that’s all I need to feel revamped. This particular kind of bath salt is great because lavender, in its nature, is calming, relaxing and healing. Epsom salt is a multifunctional healer. When I was little I sat in a bed of ants, and since I am allergic to bug bites, this was pretty dangerous. A little soak in an Epsom salt bath did the trick - it sucked all the poison out of the wounds and I was just fine - not even itchy! Epsom salt also soothes sore muscles and naturally relaxes them. It’s supposed to help treat Eclampsia in pregnant women, treat asthma, and foot pain - just to name a few. 

Anyway, there are a few other things I do for “me” time, but the point here for me is the fact that I’ve found time to do that and that there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it’s quite necessary. 

photo courtesy of Heather Annette Photography [facebook / website]

Thank you so much, Ash! The Awful Waffle has a blog, but be sure to like The Awful Waffle Facebook page so you can be the first to know about great deals that they offer almost every night!

If you are interested in contributing to the FHandM series, please email me at
gracefullykensie [at] gmail [dot] com.