Happy 2 Years to My Daughter!

Happy Birthday to our little monkey Lillian!
Words cannot express our love for you.
You are such an imaginative child. You love to play with your baby dolls. You dress them, hold them, feed them, and put them to sleep. You cook make-believe soups and help momma clean with your little broom and rags. I love watching you work and play!
I am so blessed to have you in my life. You probably do not realize how much you do for my soul. You are such a beauty inside and out. Your smile is filled with joy and excitement and raw happiness for the world. I love that you just want to be outside all the time in the great outdoors. You love the park, the museum, Curious George, and Rapunzel. We love watching you sing “Let It Go” with your heart and soul. 
Kiddo, you literally put smiles on people’s faces who have never met you. You’ve got a gift of joy that is contagious. Your unhinged and free smile radiates an “I don’t give a crap what people think of me I am HAPPY!!!” vibe that is contagious. 
Two years down. I cannot wait to see what is to come with you! 
With all our love, 
Mom and Dad

My 5 Top Running Faves (+ Yogaoutlet.com Review)

Are you a current or aspiring runner? Looking for some great products, apps, and advice to help make the most of your training? I am no professional runner, but I have my personal favorites that have helped me go from running a couple miles to over thirteen miles comfortably. Read ahead for my top five favorite running gear products and apps! 
I could live in yoga pants, and I own too many technical jackets. Maybe it is the demographic I live in or the fact that I love comfortable clothes. Whatever the case, when I stumbled upon YogaOutlet.com, I was excited. I finally got a North Face Fuel Tool Belt, something I have been wanting to add to my running gear for a while. 
I will be running my second half marathon this May. I have come to find that running is a pretty simple sport and that you don’t need a ton of items to start, but it is good to invest in a few quality products if you plan to train comfortably. 
Here is my list of my top 5 favorite running favorites:
I highly recommend having your foot fitted at a running specialty store to find the shoe that will best support your foot. Every foot is different so you need to make sure your shoes will keep you going for as long as you need without damaging your body. I can run 13 miles in my running shoes, while only maybe 3 at the most in any other athletic shoe. 
A great play list really helps me run better. One of my favorite stations on Pandora is Discovery. Try it- you won’t be disappointed! Choose songs that have a great beat and get you moving. 
Prepared running is better running. I love my app Run Training Pro. This app is on my phone and tracks my distance and speed using GPS. It also allows me to save every run, see how many calories I burn, and take notes on every individual run. I also recommend finding a great trail or park that has good visibility, plenty of people around, and has a distance of three miles or more that can be utilized. Running through neighborhoods is alright if that is all you have, but it can get boring quick. 
This was the product I selected from Yogaoutlet.com, and I love it! I have been wanting a fuel tool belt for a while for longer runs where I may not have access to drinking fountains. I love this belt. It is really comfortable and high quality made by North Face. I will be glad to have this handy for runs longer than five miles. Plus I can now fit my phone in it so I don’t have to hold it while running, and even my keys! 
I highly recommend investing in a few quality pieces of clothing that will feel comfortable while running. I love running leggings like these pictured above because they reduce chafing. I love to choose cute, versatile clothing that works for running as well as other sports, too. Yoga tops are a fun choice because they are typically made well in cute and flattering styles and work great for running. I love this one from Yogaoutlet.com pictured below! Cute and crocheted, I would even wear this with a pair of jeans! 
My husband and I usually have a running list of outdoor items and equipment we would like for our family adventures. Right now we have a half marathon planned for May. I CANNOT WAIT! I have been eyeing a waist pack for a while for longer runs to keep me hydrated so I don’t have to carry around a big water bottle or stop somewhere. This pack is great because it also enables me to put my ID, credit cards, iPod, and an electrolyte packet in case I get low on sugar or electrolytes.
I was very impressed with the selections at  YogaOutlet.com. There is a fabulous variety of sport gear and clothing for any athlete. I really loved the women’s jacket and sweater selections. There were gorgeous, stylish, and functional sweaters that I really wanted to order! Yogaoutlet.com also has tons of awesome yoga pants that look extremely comfortable and versatile. The prices were very good and I love that for orders $49 and above there is free shipping. 
I was impressed by how quick I recieved my North Face Fuel Tool Belt and would use yogaoutlet.com again in the future! There are a few yoga tops I really love and once I save up some money I would love to get them! 
Disclosure: I recieve a sample product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was provided. 

Spring Cleaning

I am so excited to introduce you all to Steph from A Time For Seasons! She wrote this amazing spring cleaning post which I love! I am totally going to use this list to get my house in order. Thanks Steph!!

Her blog is great and she is such an amazing gal! Go follow her and say hello!

Spring is in the air, that means it’s almost time for Spring cleaning. Every year I look forward to shaking off the winter blues by sprucing up the house both inside and out. I love using a spring cleaning list like this one. But I have noticed a few chores that seam to be missing from most lists. Make sure you list is complete this year:

1. Clean Laundry Baskets and Hampers
All year we’re tossing dirty laundry with mud, dirt, snot, and who knows what else into our laundry hampers. If you use cloth hampers go ahead and toss them in the wash to help freshen them. With plastic hampers and laundry baskets a disinfecting wipe may be all you need. I have a couple of wicker baskets I use, and the disinfecting spray adds a nice fresh scent.

2. Freshen the Mattresses
If you have kids, then you know how dirty the bed mattresses can get. From the night time accidents, to the midnight snacks that were snuck into bed. I have a two fold method of cleaning our mattresses: Our son is notorious for having a bloody nose at night if I forget to refill his humidifier, so I use hydrogen peroxide to first spot clean any blood off the mattress. After that is FULLY dried, I sprinkle the whole mattress with baking soda and let it sit for a full hour (For a nice fragrance, you can also use a scented baking soda based carpet powder). Then just vacuum it all up using the hose and brush attachment of your vacuum.

3. Electronics
No, I’m not talking about dusting the TV. Having a neatly organized contact and e-mail list can really help you save time. Take time to clean out and organize your Phone messages, Contact numbers, E-mail inbox, Social media followings, Internet bookmarks and Digital photos.




 

4. Replace and Toss Health and Beauty Items
Start with the medicine cabinet. SAFELY dispose of any unused or outdated medicines. Replace any outdated OTC medicines. Now is a perfect time to make sure you’re ready for spring allergies. Next go through your beauty products. Most products that have sun protection need to be replaced each year. Even your make-up has an ‘expiration date’. Be sure to replace any out dated supplies. 

5. De-lent the Dryer
This is a pretty serious task and one that should realistically be done every 3-6 months. An average of 15,000 house fires a year are caused by clothes dryers. WikiHow has an amazing illustrated guide on how to clean dryer vents, so I’m not going to rehash it here 😉

6. Walk Around the House
One side of our house is hard to access due to the wooded terrain and edge of the property line. We NEVER go on that side of the house unless there’s something wrong with the AC unit. However it’s a good idea to just do a full walk around your house and do a visual inspection. Look for any vines growing on the house which can weaken the structure. Check for any damages to the roof or gutters from the harsh winter weather. Look for any washed out spots near the foundation. Winter weather can do some crazy things to a house.

7. Shrink Your Wardrobe
As you getting the spring and summer clothes out, consider down sizing and organizing your closet. My favorite trick to this is to hang everything up with the hangers going one way. As you wear, wash and hang an item back up, just hang it up the other direction. After a month it’s easy to see what you do not wear. Consider donating these items to a good home and enjoy the freedom you have gained from a clutter free closet.

 

8. YOU!
After getting the house freshened and spruced up. Consider doing the same for yourself. If you can indulge in a massage, by all means: get a baby-sitter, and go enjoy a little pampering. If a massage isn’t in the budget, then enjoy an at home spa day with a nice bath and good book. What ever you enjoy, be sure to pamper yourself a little. If you don’t stop and take care of you, you’ll have a hard time managing a household.

So as the days start to get longer and you start to emerge from your winter cocoon, enjoy the freshness that comes with spring cleaning and don’t forget these 8 forgotten areas. What’s on your spring cleaning list this year?

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Steph Seibert is the WAH, homeschooling, mother of 3. After several years of missing seasonal activities, her family started making seasonal ‘bucket lists’. She posts about these adventures, crafts, DIYs, recipes and more at A Time for Seasons in hopes of helping other families get the most out of each season.