Thoughts from lately

posted on: Friday, September 19, 2014

We're smack dab in probably the busiest season of life that we've ever been in as a family.  A lovely busy.  One filled with new ventures and schedules.  We're almost a month into Emma being into school and I finally feel like I'm slowly figuring out what my new normal looks like.  I have found that the fuller my plate is the more productive I am.  It's a good feeling.  I'm learning to set some things aside to make time for more important things.  I've been learning that saying no is okay and it feels good :)  I've always loved change.  So this new season of life has been so refreshing and exciting!

Last weekend while I was in Atlanta some cool weather blew through our part of Texas.  And I missed it.  All of it.  I'm trying not to be too bitter about it… but I have been religiously checking the weather with the hopes of another cold front blowing through.  I've been pinning fall clothing and recipes like a mad woman over on Pinterest.  This outfit and this recipe yes. please.

I've been on the hunt for a new Bible study.  The other morning on Facebook a post popped up for a Bible study led by Proverbs 31 Ministries.  It's over the book called "The Best Yes" by Lysa Terkeurst, "Making Wise Decision in the Midst of Endless Demands."  It seems fitting for this stage of life I'm in, yes?!  Has anyone read it? The study is free and starts Sept. 22.

I am in the midst of re-stocking my children's wardrobes.  They all four had huge growth spurts over the summer. Which means that the majority (99%) of their clothing from last year doesn't fit.  And there are no handy me downs to be found since the boys pretty much wear the same size. And I had gotten rid of all of Emma's clothes from five years ago.  So, we're starting at square one. Which can be spendy.  I'll be back in the next week or so with a few ways that I'm stretching my clothing budget! Would love to hear your tips on stretching clothing budget!

Long ago I used to be a faithful blog reader.  And over the years while I continue to blog my time to read them has dwindled. And what I have also found is that the original blogs that I used to read years ago have slowly dwindled (sound familiar? ;) ).  I would love for you to leave in the comments some of your favorite blogs!  Who inspires you lately?

Off to bed… enjoy your weekend my friends!
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The Honest Company

posted on: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A few weeks ago I received a package from The Honest Company. I've been intrigued by their products for awhile…especially their selection of products for babies.  After having been on diaper duty for over six years I feel like I have built up a pretty good knowledge of diapers and wipes.
I have used every brand under the sun.  I know what I love and don't love.  So when The Honest Company asked me to review some of their products I thought why not?! But I was prepared to be honest;)

Let's talk about The Honest Company Diapers.  The verdict… we LOVED them!  They come in precious designs for both genders (Eloise had butterflies!), we had ZERO leaks, they were comfortable (some diapers can be a tad stiff in my opinion), they are hypoallergenic and they also free of chlorine processing and other additives.

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We also received some of The Honest Company's Organic Breathe Easy Rub.  What's funny is when I had ordered it I thought to myself, "I'll just set that aside until winter when we have stuffy noses."  The day before my package came Eloise came down with a nasty cold that had her all stuffed up.  That night she didn't sleep a wink because she was so congested.  The following night I rubbed the Breathe Easy Rub on her chest and back.  I could tell SUCH a difference in how she slept that night! It has the most wonderful and soothing smell to it.

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I have tried every diaper cream under the sun and I can honestly say that The Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream has quickly turned into one of my favorites!  It's the perfect consistency… not too thick and not too thin!
And let's talk about wipes super quick.  I am VERY particular about my wipes;)  I don't want them too thick and dry. And I don't want them too thin either.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE (can not say it enough) The Honest Company Wipes!  We will be definitely be going back for more once ours run out!

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Details about The Honest Company:
  • The Honest Company was started by a mom and a dad who, like many modern parents, were increasingly worried about products made with questionable chemical ingredients. But the alternatives they found were often expensive, inaccessible, bland, or ineffective. In response to this clear need for something better, they created The Honest Company to ensure that parents (or anyone for that matter!) could easily find natural and non-toxic eco-friendly products that are beautiful, effective, and affordable.
  • Honest is a one-stop-shop for the safest products, best service, and most useful tools and information for today’s modern families, with the ultimate goal of helping create healthier, happier homes. Honest Company's convenient bundles can be customized, personalized, and conveniently shipped whenever needed.
  • Honest is a Certified B (benefit) Corporation -- a new kind of company dedicated to making a profound social difference, safeguarding people and the planet, and making efforts to a be better business. With every purchase made, The Honest Company donates time, money, and products to their current charitable partner  

This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

Weekend Trip Recap

posted on: Monday, September 15, 2014

I left Thursday morning bright and early for a quick weekend trip to Atlanta for our Rodan and Fields Convention.  My mom was SO gracious and came to stay with the babies while Travis was at work.  Without her this trip wouldn't have been possible!  Thank you Mom:)

I'm sure most moms can relate… I don't get away very often.  But when I do I try to soak up as much of the time away as I can.  There's something about being away for even just the littlest bit that recharges and refreshens me in my role as a mom.  I got to the airport early enough that I was able to sit and eat breakfast and people watch for awhile.  You combine biscuits+gravy and people watching… it doesn't get much better than that in my world:)

The weekend was filled with quality time spent with some of my dearest friends, delicious food, late nights, fabulous training, new products and SLEEP!  One of the mornings my roommates and I skipped our morning training and ended up watching it in bed together via a Live Feed while we drank our coffee and ate our room service breakfast. Glorious :)

It never ceases to amaze me how many dear friends I have made through Rodan and Fields.  We all have the same story… it's not anything we EVER saw ourselves doing. And yet now, we can't imagine our lives without it.  It has blessed our families financially, we have made some life long friends and we get to share incredible skin care and an awesome business opportunity with others.

I was so excited to come home and share about the new product with y'all.  It's called Redefine Acute Care Patches.  Acute Care Patches fill wrinkles with liquid cones that melt into your expression lines while you sleep for visibly diminished wrinkles and smoother-looking skin that lasts.  In a nutshell.  Fill a wrinkle, while you sleep, no injection required:)

We were given samples of the new product while we were there this weekend.  Everyone tried it and I am DYING over the before and afters of my girlfriends!  The pictures I'm sharing below aren't random people. They're of women that I know:)  I'm always a bit hesitant when I see before and afters because it always makes me wonder if they're real. Well… these are real and pretty incredible! All the before and afters were after ONE night using our Acute Care Patches.  I'll be posting my husband's before and after tomorrow…he's got some pretty significant smile lines around his eyes.  I'm excited to see his results!

I would love to tell you more about the Acute Care Patches and how you can get your hands on them! They'll be available in October for my Preferred Customers only. After that they won't be available again until January!

If you have some smile lines/wrinkles that you're wanting to make disappear…then you need to try these patches!  Email me thevanillatulip (At) yahoo (dot) com and we'll get you signed up as a Preferred Customer and ready to purchase them in October! They would make great Christmas presents as well! Just a thought:)

And perhaps you're thinking… I would like to go on trips like this and make some extra money on the side.  Well then shoot me an email for some more info!  I would love to tell you more! thevanillatulip(at)yahoo(dot)com

Hope your weekend was a wonderful one!
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Guest Post: Ale & Tere

posted on: Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm so excited to introduce today's Guest Post Blogger to you…

They participated in my blog mentorship program a few weeks ago and it was SUCH a pleasure getting to know Tere!  Their blog is refreshing and has the loveliest pictures. 
I have a feeling you'll find that it becomes one of your favorites! 

You can find them here:


Hi!!! We’re Ale & Tere and we blog over at We met when we were 13 after our moms “encouraged” us to become friends.  We have memories  of  doodling  each  other’s  names  on  our  school  notebooks  and holding hands for the first time at an ice-skating rink.  Ten years later we got married and have seen the hand of God at work throughout our lives.  He has blessed  us  with  a  wonderful  story,  full  of  redemption  from sin  and  His undeserving grace.
We enjoy finding beauty in the mundane and are living our dreams in sunny south Florida. Two years ago, we welcomed our beautiful daughter  Grace Olivia, whose name is a reminder that our salvation is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). She has filled our life with more joy that we know what to do with and our days with  beautiful  and  wild  adventures.   She’s  the  reason  why  we  began blogging.  We wanted her to have a space that she could visit and witness love documented. Our hope is that she’d see Christ’s fingerprint through all of the photographs, love stories and recognize the faces of those who have graced our lives with theirs.
We’re now expecting our second babe Hadden Alexis, who is due January15th and who is already making his mark in this family.  Our hope is that we’d point others to Jesus and that all those who visit oursite would see that we are all in need of a savior (Romans 3:23) and that only through Him we have forgiveness of sin (Ephesians 1:7).Thank you for spending some time with us and to Ashley for giving us the opportunity to introduce our little family on her blog!

Ale & Tere


posted on: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bag packing is in full effect over here. I'll be heading by myself (with girlfriends...just no husband or kids) to Atlanta for a long weekend! We're headed to our Rodan and Fields Convention.  I still pinch myself that I get to do the job I love most… be a mom and wife.  But I also get to fit in something I am passionate about on the side. And weekends like this coming one are such a treat and great time to recharge. 

I am sure some of you get tired about me talking about it...but this business has truly changed our families financial future and the skincare has completely changed the appearance of my skin. It's two blessings that I love sharing with others. It's going to be an exciting Fall for our company.  We are going to be launching a new skincare product this week.  There is nothing like it on the market…I'll share it with you next week!  And we are also getting ready to launch into Canada.  

I will be on top of my email while I'm away… so if you're wanting more information about the business or the products I would love to fill you in!  thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com

We have products for every skin type… wrinkles, sagging skin, stretch marks, acne, scarring, black heads, large pores, sun spots, discoloration, redness, sensitivity and more.  All of our products have a 60 day return policy. So you can try them and if within those 60 days you aren't pleased…then send everything back for 100% of your money back.  Even if the bottles are empty!  It's more of a risk not to try them than it is to try! :)

If you're not already, follow me on Instagram for updates through my trip.  You can find me at @thevanillatulip. 

Have a great week my friends!

School Routine

posted on: Sunday, September 7, 2014

I am one of those people who loves routine.  And I also love being spontaneous and throwing that routine out the window.  Best of both worlds?!;)

As our new school year approached I knew being organized and having a fairly set routine was going to keep us running smoothly.  We're now entering our third week of school and I can honestly say that it has been SUCH a wonderful change for our family!

I thought I'd share a few of the things that we've done to get us out the door on time every morning.

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//I have Emma lay out her outfit, shoes, hair clip/bow and back pack the night before.

//I lay out the other kids clothes the night before as well.  After breakfast the boys can get themselves dressed while I get Eloise dressed and Emma's hair done. Having their clothes laid out cuts out a TON of time.

//Hair Basket.  Emma has some crazy hair in the morning. Knots and rats nests galore.  I was having visions of frantically searching for a hairbrush to get her out the door each morning.  So I created a basket with all of our hair supplies.  Brush, pony holders, hair clips and detangler spray. After she's dressed each morning she'll grab her hair basket and meet me on the couch to fix her hair.

//The night before I decide what we're having the next morning for breakfast.  Doing so helps me to know how much time I need to devote in the morning to breakfast prep.

//Rise and Shine…early wake up for me.  The first few days I set my alarm all over the place. Trying to figure out what time I needed to wake up in order to have a peaceful morning.  The consensus…. 5:15. This gives me time to get myself ready for the day, a few minutes for quiet time, breakfast prepped and time to sip my coffee for a few minutes quietly.  I had forgotten how much I loved early mornings!

I would love to hear what your mornings look like if you have school aged kids.  Do you have some tricks up your sleeve that help get you all out the door on time and in a peaceful fashion?  It was so important to me that our mornings weren't rushed.  That Emma felt at peace on her way out the door to school. Not heading off to school after a frantic and unorganized day. I wanted to help her set the tone for a great school day.  One thing that I want to research this week is some make ahead breakfasts.  Do you have any favorites?

Have a great Monday my friends!

Small Blessings

posted on: Thursday, September 4, 2014

Somehow September has snuck it's way in.  Not sure how it's already the 4th?!  I've been looking forward to this month.  We're in the full swing of school, there have been a few cooler (I say that lightly…cooler as in 79) mornings and there is the anticipation of my favorite season and holidays.
One of the things that the Lord has been impressing on my heart lately is to just be thankful in the small.   Last month was a hard month.  But through it all the Lord was so faithful to us.  To be able to see His goodness in the little things around me… it has done my heart so good.  I have been making a list in a notebook of things that have been blessing me this past month.  I thought I'd share a few of them…

// sunsets.  Something about them this past month has brought my heart such peace.  They're just a glimpse of how incredibly vast and majestic our Lord is.
  Psalm 65:8, "The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where mornings dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy."

// little ones who enjoy each others company.

// tiny giggles full of joy

// mums being available at the local greenhouse.  Our wedding was an October wedding and we had mums as part of our decoration.  Seeing them out reminds me of that sweet time!

// pumpkin spice lattes. Yes. I know. It's still 90 degrees outside. But I love to get them and turn my air-conditioner in the car really cold.  I just can't get enough! I've been on the hunt for a great recipe to make my own…any recommendations?

// early and quiet mornings to pray over our day.

// a home that is safe and comfortable.  Clean beds and comfortable beds to tuck my babies into at night.

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// the blessing of getting to be home with my littles ones. To see them explore and discover.

// fresh flowers from a generous sister

// a husband who is constant and loves me even when I'm not lovable.

// dirty laundry, messy rooms and windows covered in finger prints.  My heart is so thankful for the little ones who created all of it.

//  fall scented candles. Do you have a favorite one lately?
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// children who are healthy and strong. We are so SO blessed.

//  double strollers.  Every mom of 2 or more kids needs one.

//  squinty eyed baby smiles

//  Trader Joe's Pot Stickers. I just can't seem to get enough.  A few for lunch every day…tasty!

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What are some things that have been blessing you lately? Big or small!  I think some times it's so good for us to just sit back and relish in them.  To take the time to recognize the Lord's goodness in our lives. Even when life might be hard and it's easy to focus on the ugly.  Let's fight the good fight and give the Lord some credit for all the good He is doing in our lives!  I'm excited to hear :)