Jen Lin Designs

Happy Monday!  I have to admit, I was a little bummed out that our snow melted so quickly yesterday. I could have used a day off after losing that hour of sleep. Does anyone else feel a little thrown off for a few weeks after the clocks spring forward?

Today, my post spotlights a friend of mine who is making the cutest little flour sack dishtowels, towels, and wine wraps. You can order from her on Etsy and create a custom order. Jenny started Jen Lin Designs last year, and she continues to create gorgeous work!

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I always struggle when I have to think of a special little gift for someone, and Jenny's creations are perfect for wrapping up a bottle of wine for the hostess, welcoming a baby into a family, commemorating an event, and I am sure any teacher would love a Jen Lyn Design towel on the last day of school (wink, wink.) 

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I can't wait to use these precious towels around the house! Check out her Instagram  page to see more of her work. Keep your eyes and ears open, because we may be doing a giveaway in the near future!

A Peek Into My Closet

Ever since I laid eyes Carrie Bradshaw's blue walk-in closet, lined with gorgeous gowns and rows of Manolos, I have dreamt of having an organizational clothing oasis of my own. When James Lynn Builders sat down with me to design the layout of our new addition, I asked them to keep stretching the square footage of what would be the closet area. Sure it made for a smaller bathroom, but it is so nice to have space for all of my shoes, clothes, and accessories. 

After checking out different closet units, we decided to do it ourselves. Nate checked out online plans and Youtube videos and figured out how to build all of the shelves by hand. Handy husband? Check.

We decided to keep the shelving a bright white to let the clothing and accessories stand out. To give the closet some contrast we used Target's Devine Color peel and stick wallpaper on the back wall.

Have a Happy Monday!

Cheers!

DIY Detox Bath

Hi Friends!  I have some good stuff for you coming in the next few weeks, but I'm still trying to get organized!  I was in Florida for my beautiful cousin's wedding on New Year's and last week, we surprised my daughter with a trip to Disney!  Will and I needed a vacation from that vacation, but we are finally getting back into the groove of life.  Like most people, I started a new workout routine this year (it's actually a bigger commitment to my old routine) and I am SO sore!  I thought I would share this Detox Bath, I posted last year, because it is what I have been doing every night to get my muscles ready for the next days workout!

I love a bath!  I especially love a bath with benefits.  Have you every perused the aisles in the bath section at a Whole Foods?  The smell of lavender, grapefruit, patchouli and eucalyptus, along with several others, is so refreshing and calming, but the price is not.

Did you know it is super easy to make your own bath with benefits?  You only need a few ingredients (you probably already have on hand) and you can make an amazing detox bath for a fraction of the price.  Let's start with a little history...

I'm not saying that I am a detox bath expert, but I started doing homemade detox baths right after my daughter was born.  I used Epsom salt and essential oils to aid in the healing process.  As my daughter grew and attended day school, play dates, and toddler time at the library, she would occasionally pick up some unwelcome germs and catch a cold.  I don't like to medicate her, if I can avoid it (mostly because it's as if someone is strangling her when it comes time to take the medicine and she usually spits it up), so we started using detox baths to help lessen cold symptoms and shorten their duration. We've been doing them ever since.

Now, before we get into the how to, let's talk about benefits:

Epsom Salt:

  • Magnesium rich, which helps produce serotonin, which makes you calm.
  • Relieves pain and inflammation, which is great for post-workout.
  • Helps regulates electrolytes and hydrates.
  • Eliminates toxins and heavy metals from cells. 

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt:

  • It's the purest salt on Earth, so it contains no artificial anything.
  • Has 80+ minerals to help hydrate the and detoxify the body of heavy metals.
  • May help reduce blood pressure.
  • May help improve circulation.  

Baking Soda:

  • Softens hard water.
  • Smooths skin.
  • Relieves irritation from bites and burns.

Lavender:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Improves circulation.
  • Treats insomnia.
  • Relieves joint and muscle pain.
  • Strengthens immune system.

Ok, now that you know the benefits of a Detox Bath, let's make one!

What you'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups Epsom Salt
  • 1/2 cup Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda

 Optional:

  • 1 Tablespoon crushed dried Lavender (like this)
  • 5-10 drops Essential Oil (I am using this one)

Mix Epsom, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, and Baking Soda together. 

Add crushed lavender and essential oil and mix again until well incorporated.

Put in lidded glass jar.

So easy, my four year old helped.  

Now, for the detox bath, you'll want to use it all.  Pour salts into the tub while the water is running.  You will want it has warm as you can tolerate and fill it up!  Soak for at least 20 minutes, but up to 40 fully submerged.  Have a tall glass of ice water with you to drink throughout your soak.  

Relax and enjoy!

xoxo, Alicia

Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

Happy Sunday edition!!

I love giving gifts!  I love to watch the recipient open them and seeing the look on their face when they see what they get....especially my daughter.  I love buying Christmas present for all the kids in my life.  I always try to be thoughtful in my gift giving.  I love retro toys, toys that inspire a sense of adventure and imagination, books, and educational toys.  Here are some of the gifts I will be giving to the littles in my life.

 

0-24 months

Amazon, $6.97

I like to buy books for the really littles.  This retro board book is super fun and educational.  BabyLit books are my absolute favorite for babies and toddlers, but they also have an amazing coloring book, notebooks, and puzzles for older kids.  When I'm not buying books, I turn to Fisher Price retro toys for kids.  They remind me of my childhood!  My favorites are the record player and camera.  I also love the Night Night Turtle by Palermo.  My daughter received a ladybug for Christmas a few years ago and she still sleeps with it. For clothes, I love the adventurous digs from Alpine Baby Co.  They have everything from rompers and dresses, to leggings and t-shirts in fun adventurous prints!

L to R: Fisher Price Retro Camera,  $15.50/ Night Night Turtle, $35.97/ Leggings, $36.00

5 Year Olds

I cannot wait to give this Daredevil outfit to E!!  I have been lusting over it for a while and I think she is at the perfect age for it.  I got this in pink, but it comes in blue as well as an array of other colors and designs for your daredevil, super hero, weightlifter, or princess.  My daughter is also really big into Calico Critters, so we will be adding to her growing collection.  I love Calico Critters!  I had them when I was young and I would spend hours playing with them and it's really special to see E spend hours playing in her own world.  We even decorate her houses for Christmas!  This year, I will be giving my youngest nephew (who is also 5) and Chatbook filled with pictures of him and E.  They are in the same class at school and live just a few blocks away (they are also two months apart), so they spend lots of time together and we have lots of pictures of the two of them.  Chatbooks has a cute holiday book where you can add words and drawings after you receive the book.  These books are so cute that pretty much everyone on my list will be getting one!  Legos are also high on the list this year.  Especially for my nephew, who can spend hours playing and building. I will be adding to his collection of City Legos.

L to R: Calico Critter House, $97.46/ Chatbooks, $14 and up/ Lego City, $30.99

8 year olds

My niece is a budding artist and I love it!  So I usually try to get her gifts to feed her creative side.  Last year I gave her a subscription to Doodle Crate where she received a new creative activity every month.  It was a hit!  This year, I have found some other creative ideas for the budding artists (boy or girl) in your life.  Everything from Seedling is designed to nurture children's imagination and creativity.  They offer a wide range of DIY kits for kids of all ages in a wide range of categories, such as dress-up, outdoors, space and flight, and many more.  I like the doll making kit for my niece.  Since I'm partial to photography, I love the Fujifilm Instax 8 as an introduction to retro photography.  These cameras are the perfect size for little hands and they still get the instant gratification of seeing the image (while we adults feel the nostalgia of shaking it like a polaroid picture).  These cameras are affordable and come in a wide range of fun colors!  For the creative, but messy kid, I love Wreck this Journal.  It's a journal, filled with creative prompts such as "Wipe this page on a dirty car" and "Collect dead bugs on this page".  It will keep kids busy and maybe inspire a whole series on smushed dead bugs!

L to R: Seedling Doll DIY, $39.99/ Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, $59.99/ Wreck this Journal, $10.78

10 year olds

Amazon, $19.50

As my oldest nephew gets older, it's getting harder to find things to stimulate and challenge his brain that aren't electronic.  He loves board games, so we got him Machi Koro.  I've never played it before, but it looks like fun, they have expansion packs, and the reviews were really good!  I also like Tinker Crate for this age group.  I did this last year for him and he really liked "the gift that keeps on giving", plus he was able to build some really cool things.  Outdoor activities are great too!  I really love the Slackers Slack Line and accessories.  This is actually good for all ages and promotes strength, balance, and physical activity!  And when they are tired from all the ninja-ing, they can rest with the new "old" nintendo (I know, I said I try to avoid electronics, but this reminds me of my childhood).  It's preloaded with 30 of the classic games and ready for play, but they are hard to find this season.

L to R: TinkerCrate, $19.95/ Slackers, Slack Line. $59.99/ Nintendo NES, $59.99

Hope I made shopping for the kiddos in your life a little easier!

xoxo, Alicia

My Target Holiday Picks

I don't know about you, but I am glad last week is over. The final fall leaves are falling off the trees and as Thanksgiving approaches, I am getting inspiration for my Christmas decor. This year, Target does not disappoint. They have grouped together their items with a winter/ holiday theme, and it makes online browsing a lot easier. Here are my picks for this Christmas season.

Have a fabulous week AOT readers!