Making our home safe + economical.

December 12, 2017

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive Home. The opinions and text are all mine.

Anna: I have heard about smart home systems for a while, and thought it would be too complicated to work. However, with our electric and heating bills lately, Gabe and I decided it was time to commit! We started using Hive smart products, and I don’t think either of us were expecting to love it as much as we do. It has made converting our home to an economical safe haven simple.


Easy affordable stocking stuffers.

December 8, 2017


We are snowed in today here in Atlanta, which basically means the cow jumped over the moon! It is so rare to ever snow, let alone 5-6 inches. My children were so excited that it might as well have been Christmas morning. Snowmen were built, snow angels were made, and hot cocoa was had by all;) It was one of those days that reminded me what a gift it is to experience this season through their eyes.

I wanted to share some of the stocking stuffers and small gift ideas I am doing this year in the self care category. I love giving sisters and friends things that they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves, but remind them that they are valued! (These are all clean ingredients, which means they aren’t toxic for our bodies. Most of the ingredients are plant and essential oil based.)





Shimmer and Shine gift bundle – Update- this set already sold out, but there is a body butter/body scrub set that is the same price with larger amounts. I ordered a few to divide up for gifts for teachers and sisters since they are some of my favorite body care items. The citrus scent smells heavenly, and they have helped my dry skin so much thanks to the essential oil/shea butter base.


The charcoal duo is another gift bundle that can be split up or given as a set. Charcoal is an activating ingredient that is known for targeting breakouts, oily skin, and blackheads without harsh surfactants. The charcoal bar cleared up my breakouts around my chin! It lasts forever too. The Charcoal mask is super smooth and I use it once a week. I apply it 5 minutes before my shower and just rinse it off that way. It absorbs excess oils and unclogs pores, so this is such a nice gift for anyone wanting to improve their skin.

Here are a few other favorites I wrapped up to give this year (If split up are under $25! All my secrets are blown now.):

Smoky Eye Trio – I am all about a simple 1,2,3 step makeup routine so the eye trio sets are really fun. I wear the nude eye trio most, but love the smokey trio for a nicer occasion. (And no chemicals in any of the products!)
Nude Lip Gloss Trio – This is another one to break up and stick in stockings. They are full size in beautiful hues that moisturize the lips. It comes out to about $15 each, and includes my favorite color Bare Shimmer.
Peppermint or Calendula Lip Balm – I am addicted. I get such dry lips in the winter, and this balm is so soothing and healing.
Baby Protective Balm – I actually use this for both me and my babies! It is helpful for rosacea, scars, dry skin, and even an intense overnight moisturizing mask!
Citrus Mimosa Hand Duo – This hand wash and hand cream duo is another awesome value to split up and gift for under $20 each:) They smell and feels divine!


I hope these ideas are helpful! If you are curious as to why clean ingredients became so important to me over the past few years, you can check it out here. (It’s a new wellness handle I just started on instagram.)

Have a happy December weekend!

Our Advent Traditions.

December 3, 2017

I love how many of you who visit each day are from different countries and different faiths! I appreciate that from time to time you graciously allow me to share tidbits of mine. This season of Advent (meaning “coming”) before Christmas is one I look forward to all year because it is filled with traditions, preparation, hope, and the chance to start anew. I wanted to share a few of these advent traditions with you in case you were also hoping to find renewal in this season on your own or with your family.

Training round four.

December 1, 2017


I swear my son Gabriel was just two, and I was asking every wise mother I knew for advice on how to graduate him from diapers. Four more kids later, and suddenly I’ve got another 2 year old on my hands! How?!  We’ve tried all of the tricks and experienced most of the horror stories, but I finally figured out at the end of the day every child’s personality is so different. There is no magic age to start training or no fool-proof trick that is going to work across the board. It’s made it a little easier this time around keeping this in mind. I’m following Rocco’s lead, and waiting for those signs that tell me he is ready.

Easy Eucalyptus Wreaths.

November 30, 2017


I made a wreath for our front door a few years ago because I saw one I loved that was just too pricey. It lasted us 3 years! So re-made another for the next few years. All you really need is a green wire (you can find in the garden/floral section of craft stores), scissors, an old wreath or wreath base, and your greenery! There are different types of eucalyptus so when calling around to your local grocery stores or floral markets, make sure to see if they carry seeded or silver dollar eucalyptus. They are easy to work with, dry out well, and smell really good too!


Love in Action Week: Day 5 – One warm coat.

November 30, 2017

This is something that we may often think about, but don’t know where to turn to help the homeless in our cities. In Atlanta alone there are 7,000 homeless men, women, and children. That is a heartbreaking number! In the U.S. (which is considered a wealthy country) over a half a million people were reported homeless.

Children have such big hearts, and are always so eager to serve. When I mentioned I was trying to find coats to bring to people who don’t have a home to keep warm in, my kids started offering their currant coats to give. So of course it made me think I should probably go through my own stack. I love a good coat, and have collected a stash that I don’t actually NEED. I went through all of our coats and realized we had two bags worth of children’s and adult coats. I admit it was a little hard to part with some of my favorites, but I would rather them be put to use to keep someone warm this season.

If you are not sure where to start, organizations like One Warm Coat help you find local places to donate gently used or new coats to distribute to the local shelters. Some places offer ways to even schedule a pick up of items like Salvation Army. J.Crew and Madewell were offering discounts if you brought in a coat to donate. Any other ideas? Leave them below!

I hope these posts have been helpful for you as you figure out ways to give back this year!

Put a bow on it. (Easy holiday look!)

November 29, 2017


I haven’t done much holiday anything yet, as my head is still spinning from Thanksgiving….BUT! I have a really easy idea if you are short on attire (or funds)! I wanted to snatch up this shirt from J.Crew, but then I thought, oh wait. It’s just ribbon around the sleeve cuff.  I already had this bell sleeve sweater. So grab any solid sweater from your closet, and a little ribbon of any color, and you’ve got yourself a festive shirt for your next Christmas party;) You can find some really good velvet ribbon prices on etsy. Here’s another look you could do with ribbon.


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