April Favorites

April has been full of the things we have to do vs. the things we want to - an ever-present struggle in my neck of the woods. I hope you enjoy this month's favorites and they give you a little fun, a little help and some tips for the kids. Nail Polish, To-Do lists, and tea parties... oh my!

My love affair with nail polish started when I was seven years old at the beach with family friends. Mr. Steve took his daughter and me to the drugstore to pick out our very own colors. I felt so special to have a bottle of my very own, and though I don’t remember the name, it was the most beautiful coral pink. Fast forward about twenty-seven years (yikes I’m getting old!), and I’m as in love with nail polish as I ever was. There are a lot of options out there, but the Rooted Woman line is polish with a purpose - "made in the U.S.A. and is '5 free,' meaning it is as close to organic as possible.” My favorite color “Cloaked In Peace” (bottom right) is beautiful and it glides on to look flawless. The company is “rooted” (see what I did there) in faith and has a little scripture on every bottle “…rooted and built up in him…” (COL 2:6-7).

Recently, at a conference, I was lucky enough to hear one of the creators of A Beautiful Mess, a women’s lifestyle home-base, if you will. For years I’ve loved following these sisters, and I was thrilled to listen to her keynote address. In it, she shared a lot of what has helped get her to where she is now, and, also, that one of her biggest tools is writing a daily to-do list. I took that tidbit to heart, and, even if all else fails, I make a to-do list each and every morning. Some days it’s chock full of everything under the sun and other days it says “read each kid a book.” And some days I get to check off every box, and some days I don’t… but the exercise has become immensely helpful - get it down on paper, not my head. Karen Adams has beautiful paper products, and I love this to-do list. If you’re not a planner girl, you could, of course, use an index card or post-it note, but this one is awfully pretty.

There’s no getting around it. If you’re in our house for any length of time, you’re going to have a tea party. Now you could be served by an over-eager toddler who wants to shove the teapot into your face, or you could be asked to sit down and have a civilized high tea with our little miss - either way, it’s happening. The best advice I have for a successful tea party is to not get a metal tea set for anyone under the age of twenty-five. Inevitably, the entire set is going to come crashing down at hurricane force torrents, and the sound of all that metal clanging to the ground (one teapot, four cups, four saucers, four dessert plates, and one tray) is enough to wake the dead. So… do yourself a favor and go for the Green Toys Tea Set. It’s made of 100% recycled material, and there’s absolutely no metal. Yes, it will fall to the ground, but you’ll be spared the heart attack that comes with every crash. 

I’ve never been much of a makeup girl. When I was younger, my Mom encouraged me to protect the skin I have, rather than cover it up - thank you, Mama! I am so grateful for that life lesson, but I’m a girly girl, and I still like makeup - it’s fun. Now that I’ve switched all of my personal products to safer options, I use Beautycounter exclusively, and every morning I put on my “naked face.” I start with tinted moisturizer, then throw on some mattifying powder, use an eyebrow gel (I have curly eyebrows… it’s weird), and then finish it off with Lip Shine - done! The whole routine takes me less than three minutes, and I feel so much more presentable. At the end (and you’ve seen my pictures) I’ve gotten some SPF on, and just look ever-so-slightly more refined. The products work great and “I’m a believer!”

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
— Pablo Picasso

This week was the “Art Gala” at our five-year old’s Preschool. Throughout the year, they study legitimate methods of creating art as well as famous artists, and they come up with the most beautiful creations to put on display for all of the parents. Mike and I look forward to it because we get to learn something new about our son and the way he sees the world. Last year his art was all about color. He had so much fun experimenting with different tones, but this year we saw a lot more about shapes, which highlighted his fine motor skills. For months, Parker has been borderline obsessed with being a mechanical engineer when he grows up, until Tuesday when he decided that he wanted to be an artist. It seems like our sweet little man is already conflicted with Picasso’s dilemma, but it reminds me that I’m working through the same struggle he is. How do we keep our childlike enthusiasm even when we’re all grown up? I don’t have the answer for that quite yet, but I’m pretty sure it involves taking a break for tea with a two-year-old. After all, there’s always tomorrow for a to-do list.