5 Ways to Bring Spring Into Your Home

Spring is pretty amazing, isn't it? Green is everywhere, warm breezes are flowing and the flowers are like little pieces of artwork in every corner. Yeah, that's cheesy. But it's so true! As soon as the warm weather hits, I start itching to bring hints of spring into my home. I've got a few tried and true tips to make my house feel like spring, so without further ado, here are five ways to bring spring into your home!

1. Is it green? Use it! By incorporating the color green into your home, you will instantly feel like you're bringing the spring outdoors inside.

2. Bring in textures that mimic the textures of nature. Wood, straw, linen, burlap. All of these textures create variety and substance in your decor, just like in Mother Nature!

3. Let's get obvious- use florals. When spring arrives, so do the flowers! Whether you've got access to real flowers or not, fill the vases with pretty blooms. Also use floral patterns around your space to liven up things on items like pillows, blankets and curtains. And if you're lucky enough to have your own garden, check out Wayfair's Lawn & Garden section for tools and fun items you can use in your outdoor space!

4. Keep it light and bright. Whites. Yellows. Blues. Pretty and refreshing is definitely the color palette of the spring and using it in your decor will remind you of an airy spring day... in your living room!

5. Clean and simplify everything. They don't call it "spring cleaning" for no reason. Get rid of the junk and tidy up your space to really welcome spring to your front door. To keep yourself organized as you're spring cleaning, check out Wayfair's Storage & Organization section.

What are your favorite ways to bring spring into your home?!

This post is sponsored by Wayfair.

Deconstructing Dinner: A Trick to Non-Picky Eaters

Is your toddler or kid a picky eater? Man, that can be tough. David and I are fortunate that God blessed us with two very easy eaters. We've obviously got to be picky when it comes to HDawg's food allergies, but, allergies aside, they'll eat pretty much anything you put in front of them.

I think a lot of that is what you feed them- don't give them options, just give them what you're eating. Whether it's a got a heavy flavor or it's green or it's different... that's their dinner, too. We don't cook H and L their own dishes nor do we cater to their preferences (usually). David and I certainly love to surprise them with typical kid friendly meals they love- mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc- but also want them to eat and be excited about the same "regular people" food we enjoy.

Also, I find that it's almost as important to pay attention to how you feed them. One of our favorite meals around our house is Mexican rice bowls. We layer our bowls with romaine lettuce, Mexican flavored brown rice, ground turkey cooked in Mexican seasonings, black or refried beans, salsa, shredded cheese, avocado slices, corn, sliced tomato, diced onions, sour cream, chopped jalepenos (for the adults)... the list of toppings is endless. (and now we're having that for dinner because my mouth is watering! insert taco emoji here!) But I'll bet that if we just handed the kids a bowl full of these delicious ingredients, they'd be less excited to eat it. Instead, we deconstruct the kids' dinner for them- separate the ingredients into little piles on their plates so they can not only see what they're eating item by item, but they feel like they have a choice about which items they are eating and what they eat first.  It's all about control when it comes to the little ones, right? Have you ever seen the "muffin tin snack tray" craze? Same theory! For us, deconstructing dinner is really win win! They're happy they have a lot of choices (in their mind) about dinner, we're happy they're eating the same thing as us.

A huge helper in deconstructing your dinner for the kids is a divided plate. Our favorites are these platters from Boon. Instead of just a divided plate with two sections for the food to go, this platter has FOUR little sections for us to fill up with the different dinner ingredients. But don't you get annoyed at having to hand wash specialty kids plates? Mmm yeah, whose got time for that?! These Boon platters (and most other Boon products) are top-rack dishwasher safe! SCORE. And Boon recently released a new product- the Span dishwasher net- that covers your tiny kid products on the top rack of the dishwasher so that the cups or lids don't flip and fill with gross water. Such a game changer, am I right?

And if you're like me and you have to basically pre-wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher (we have such a crappy dishwasher... the dishwasher in our next house will be like a top of the line $20,000 dishwasher if that's even a thing, mark my word!) or for those dishes that must be hand washed, Boon also just released the Forb Mini, a soap releasing dish brush. Convenient and cute, that's my kind of thing.

We are such a fan of Boon products- we've been using their grass drying rack for years now, it's a daily staple at our house! These are really good quality products that are designed with kids in mind and, just as importantly, with parents in mind, too. I'm glad someone out there realized that a) specialty plates with little sections and fun features are important to my kids' eating habits but b) I don't have time (or energy!) to handwash those speciality plates! Now thanks to the Span and the Forb (which you can pick up at your local Target or online, here and here for $9.99 each!), the cleaning process is made even easier. Thanks, Boon, someone's been paying attention!

Thanks to Boon for partnering with me on this post!

Psst! Like my white subway tile you see in the background of some of these photos? That's not real tile! It's peel and stick! No joke. Find out more in this post.

Our First Edible Garden: Prepping the Ground & Garden Space

As you guys know, one of our first big projects at the farm is our vegetable and fruit garden. I shared with you guys last week how we planned our first edible garden. This week, I want to share what we did to prep our space- basically how we took an empty pasture space and turned it into a garden area! Apologies in advance for the crappy iPhone photos... it's hard to snap beauty shots with a DSLR when you're covered in dirt!

To start, we measured and then staked off the space where we wanted the garden to go. We included the beds as sketched out in our plan and put a foot wide border between the beds and around the entire garden space. Truth be told, we're learning quickly that's not enough border space, especially around the perimeter of the garden- go at least two feet or wider.

Next, we dug a trench around the entire perimeter of the garden. The main purpose of this is for animal-proof fencing (more on that next week!) but it also helped anchor the space. We did some heavy weeding within the garden space, pulling out (with roots!) any major weeds, discarding rocks or any other debris. Then it came time to till. David picked up this tiller, which is actually just an attachment to his weed eater. We had planned to rent a tiller but for the same price, we got to keep this one! He really liked this piece but I will say that after many hours of hard use, it broke the handle of his weed eater about 2/3 of the way through. Not sure if that was user error or machine error. But it did a really good job of roughing up the grass and dirt underneath.

Basically, David went around and tilled up about six inches of dirt with the machine. Then he went back and dumped a bit of organic garden soil (potting soil with organic matter in it- manure) on top of the dirt and roughly tilled it all together. Then we went around with a shovel and manually turned the dirt over another few inches (and again added more organic garden soil) and along the way, pulled out grass, weeds and seeds.

After we generally tilled the ground, we went back and staked off each garden bed. I poured some mulch along the areas we wanted to use as walking paths between the beds. We then used a trowel and garden rake to dig in and till another few inches down into the soil in each bed. I found it pretty helpful to do a "rough" till of the big garden space and then focus specifically on each bed. Since we had our planting plan, we knew which beds would have vegetables with deep roots, so we tilled those in a little deeper but dug the beds with shorter root systems more shallow. Make sense?

At this point in the game, it was time to plant! Since the danger of frost is officially over here in Georgia, we went ahead and put most of our vegetables and fruit plants in the ground last weekend- with a few exceptions, like tomatoes, herbs, eggplant and peppers. For each bed, we followed the instructions on the seed packets in terms of how far apart to plant each seed/how many seeds to plant but always dug each hole a little deeper, filled with more organic garden soil and then put the seeds and soil/dirt mixture back on top. Hopefully that gives each seed a really good, solid starting system!

I will say that after about two weeks, we do have some small amounts of grass coming up, particularly along the borders and in the areas outside of each bed that we did not "double dig." I'm not sure there's much more we could have done to prevent that- it may just take time and a season or two of gardening in this space to get rid of that grass forever. Until then, we'll just pull it up as it comes and hopefully it won't interrupt our edible plant growth!

So that sort of seems like a whole bunch of info, but hopefully that gives you some insight as to our system this year. And if you're looking to start a new garden, these steps will definitely start you in the right direction! So, those of you out there who are old pros at gardening- what did we miss? Did we do anything wrong?! Share your green thumb advice, please!

Natural Based Outdoor Beauty Essentials for Spring

Y'all, this weekend was a banner weekend. Between the farmers market, grilling out and playing in our yard, working on the garden at our farm, hanging with friends and running at the park, we were outside every minute. The sky was blue, the pollen count was down... it was perfect. But it quickly reminded me that it's time to step up my outdoor essentials gear! It's that time of the year that I fill a bucket by the back door with sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses and all of the other stuff that we need to keep us healthy and happy while we enjoy the great outdoors. So I thought I'd share some of my favorite natural based outdoor beauty essentials for spring!

First stop? Sunscreen. I love Alba brand for my face wash and that love has translated over to their sunscreen: adult facial sunscreen and adult lotion sunscreen. For the kids, I'm obsessed with BabyGanics sunscreen (it smells good! it comes in different types so I can use the stick for faces, the spray for Lu's blonde hair and the lotion for the rest! it doesn't have any of the "bad stuff" in it!) and use all of these on a daily basis: kids spray sunscreenkids lotion sunscreen and kids stick sunscreen. We have used this SPF chapstick before, but most of the time I just use the stick sunscreen on the lips and then follow up to moisturize with this chapstick.

Also, you've got to keep the bugs away with some good insect repellent. Again, back to being obsessed with BabyGanics, I swear by this insect repellent. I am a mosquito magnet (and I'm pretty sure I'm allergic because every bite I get swells up to freaky proportions and everyone around me starts worrying I'm going to swell into a balloon) so I also play it safe by wearing these insect bands. I may wear one on each wrist and one on each ankle, don't judge.

For after-sun care, I have a bunch of favorite things, but that's probably a whole different post! Some of my favorites, though, are this kids lotion, and for me, this restorative, thick face lotion
and amazing hair detangler/leave in conditioner. I always feel like I've treated and restored myself after I use those products.

What are your favorite outdoor beauty product essentials?!
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