My Essentials: 3 of my favourite quick & easy DIYs

I want to share some of my absolute favourite recipes that are fast, easy and work really well & tell you a bit about which Essential Oils I use in them! If you missed it – I share a bit about how/why I got started with essential oils here.

Hand Soap

Combine Equal parts of water and unscented castile soap (Dr. Bronners is what I usually use), add approx. 1tsp of vitamin E oil (or Fractionated Coconut Oil, or avocado oil or another moisturizing oil of choice) to add some extra skin moisturization. Then add 15-25 drops of essential oils of your choice. Some suggestions: Protective Blend, Cleansing Blend, Wild Orange, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Lime, Lemon, Arborvitae, Basil, Lavender, Peppermint, Grapefruit. Two of my favourite combos so far are Peppermint & Rosemary – it is oh so fresh, and Lemongrass, Wild Orange & Basil – super invigorating! Super clean hands & a lovely aroma that actually comes right from the plant rather than toxic chemicals and synthetics – and don’t get me started on the dyes used to colour it… I put mine in a high quality plastic (number 1 or 2 is safe to use essential oils in, otherwise the oils will breakdown and leach toxins from the plastic – not leaving you much better off toxin wise) foaming soap pump and it goes a long way!

DIY Foaming Hand Soap - non toxic & with Essential Oils


Mouth Wash

I shared all about how we overhauled our oral health care routine and gave the boot to all the weird chemicals that can be found in conventional products in this post, but since this is truly the quickest and easiest of all DIYs I thought I would share once again. Find a glass bottle or jar – I recycled a kombucha bottle.

Fill jar/bottle with distilled or boiled then cooled water, or even just tap water – the oils will purify it anyways. Add approximately 8 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and 2 drops of Clove Bud essential Oil, you can use more or less drops depending on preference and size of container. Shake before use & you are all set for an all natural, economic, super effective mouth wash!

(not all essential oils are equal – ensure that yours are pure and of the highest quality before ingesting!)

Using Essential Oils for your Oral Health - Mouth Wash

Dry Shampoo

Forget diamonds – dry shampoo is truly a girls best friend! Aerosol products generally are filled with not so lovely chemicals that can disrupt proper hormone levels, irritate our lungs and eyes, as well as do awesome thing that make our hair look way fresher than it is, right? So if you can take away the negative effects and still freshen your hair – why not?

Light Hair: 1/4C Arrowroot Powder

Dark Hair: Combine 2 Tbsp each of Arrowroot Powder & Cocoa Powder

Add two drops each of Lavender, Peppermint & Rosemary or a combo of your preference for a total of 6 drops. My preference is 3 each of Peppermint and Rosemary! These three oils are great for your scalp, can help promote hair growth and smell ah-mazing! Also, the dark hair one does have a slight chocolatey smell to it which is rather appealing to a chocolate lover like myself!

To apply – if you are like me and you don’t have make up brushes for days – just sprinkle some on and massage it into the desired areas with your fingers. If you prefer a brush – a dense and largish brush will work best for you!

Non toxic Dry Shampoo with Essential Oils

 

I hope you enjoy these recipes & have caught a glimpse at how truly easy it can be to ‘clean up’ the products you use in your home with the added benefits of essential oils & feel free to contact me with any questions: eoswithtani@gmail.com & feel free to check out my EO Instagram (separate from my blog account) for daily tips, diffuser recipe suggestions & even cooking with essential oils! The link is right here :)

Please comment below if you try any of these recipes & share some of your favourite ways to use Essential Oils!

Confessions of a Serial “Fresh Starter”

Hi, my name is Tanitha and I am addicted to making life changing goals that I never follow through on. I have seriously lost count of how many times I have wanted to revamp my house, my body, my health, my filing system, my routine, my blog, my organization skills, how I run my business etc etc etc…

Anyone with me on this?  Here’s the problem though, I almost always bite off more than I can chew or try to do everything at once, which inevitably leads to ‘failure’, and me getting down on myself and then often reverting further away from where I wanted to be than before, it is a vicious cycle and has not served me thus far so I am re-assessing and looking for better ways to go about things.

The first thing that I know is a problem for me is a serious case of impatience, like I start working out and if three days in I haven’t lost 15 lbs I feel discouraged which I realize is insane (and a huge exaggeration), but I have a hard time focusing on the good (like how positive I feel after a work out regardless of any instant-success that doesn’t actually exist for anyone). Same thing with organization, last week I was super lucky to have Bryn’s Mom here for a day and a bit and she played with Hudson while I got some de cluttering done, but I only got half way through the miscellaneous papers everywhere so the mess just feels like it has increased and I haven’t touched them since even though I know if I just took 20 minutes a few times a week I could easily stay on top of it all.

What is 20 minutes though? That’s 1/3rd of an hour! It doesn’t seem like much but really, my one year old will rarely happily play by himself for that long and loves getting into whatever I am up to, especially neatly piled and organized papers and there aren’t enough sets of 20 minutes in my world where he is sleeping… so again, I must be looking at it all wrong…

All this being said I am working on shifting my overall mindset and I know as I make small changes in that, I will be honing the tools I need to be more successful in making other shifts in my life. Here are the best of the best things I have learned lately that I am working on integrating into my life (slowly and patiently of course haha)…

DO NOT MAKE A TO DO LIST… what?! Yes, you read that right. IF you are all about the lists and do well with that all the power to you, but when I write a to do list it is more like setting myself up for failure because I try to cram too many things into it and cannot possibly make a go of completing it. A great tip I just recently heard, and this could pertain more to working from home but I think blog and business aside just as a Mom at home this is a great tool…

Check-in with yourself on the hour and do the one thing that is most important thing for you to accomplish within that hour. This can be business related or not. So sometimes it might be taking your little one outside for a little walk or play before you both lose it. It could be as simple as filling your water bottle up and ensuring you finish all that water within the hour, it can be sending that email you have been putting off, emptying the dishwasher, doing your social media post. Simple, attainable, small tasks. Bam, all of a sudden you feel more successful! I will be continuing to implement this one, I have started with every two hours and will work my way to hourly – and this doesn’t need to be all waking hours it can be set hours like 9-5 or something – make it work for you!

Be both disciplined & gracious with yourself. I know, like really really KNOW that as much as I am generally a positive person and up beat I treat myself in a way I would never treat anyone else ever. Blech, I hate to even announce that but I know there are lots of us out there that need to be more kind to ourselves and it is a hard thing to change! First off being disciplined – a concept I have been trying to wrap my head around when it comes to my business is would I hire/fire myself? I have an amazing opportunity to work for myself but that being said WORK still needs to get done and so I have been working on ways to be working hard for myself and making the time I spend count! As far as being gracious towards myself – one thing – I have been trying to do that has helped is waking up and smiling at myself in the mirror – messy hair, dark circles, perfectly rested – however you roll out of bed in the morning give yourself a smile – even do a Joey “Hey, how you doin?” if you dare. Silly, uncomfortable, life changing. I admit I don’t always remember to do this depending on how my day starts but it helps me so much to start my day off by being kind to myself.

Those are my little simple things I am doing – and no my life is not suddenly going to be transformed top to bottom but I am learning patience and allowing myself to learn and grow and head steadily in the right direction even if it is in a one step forward and two steps back sort of way – that is still an improvement to a few steps forward followed by an about face and sprint in the opposite direction – right?!

Hiatus Over - some thoughts on blogging, priorities, blogger burnout and time management!

Peeking Out from Behind my Blogging Hiatus…

Since it has been a while I should begin with, Hello!

There are a few reasons I decided to take a break and to be honest it started accidentally and continued on purpose! Life is busy and full and stressful at times and I just didn’t make it a priority! I needed a break to re-assess. I’ve seen that quote on several instagram accounts lately floating around about (and I’m going to paraphrase here so don’t quote me) just saying something isn’t a priority right now rather than I don’t have time and see how that feels. So here I am admitting that I have the same 24 hours in the day as all the amazingly productive and consistent Mama Bloggers out there and I just haven’t been using those hours to spend on my blog. Is that okay? Yes.

Something I read a lot about when I was getting ready to launch my blog was “new blogger burnout” and also high stats on new blogs not making it past the three month mark and if you make it past three months, chances are you won’t make it past six – crazy! I can totally see why now – the truth is that blogging is really fun and a wonderful outlet but also that they can be a whole pile of work, the social media and numbers can be overwhelming and it all can be super time consuming depending on your style, subject and how often you post. I was finding even posts that flowed easily out of me would take me hours (like 4+ at least) until I was satisfied enough to post them between re-wording and figuring out photos (and photography is not a strength for me yet), and then spending an hour on even the most simple graphic, basically felt like a chore that is not my intention for this blog.

It’s been weird at times beginning blogging, some things feel a bit like high school and I will say that I have not had any negative experiences, just my own insecurities, not quite being as cool as the super awesome Vancouver blogger circle and silly issues spending way too much time checking my stats and page views rather than finding ways to offer value and connect. SO I am over all of that now – it is out of my system, I have been loving instagram even more lately and realized how much truth there is in that old quote about not comparing your first chapter to someone else’s 12th, or 200th for that matter – duh. Also realizing that I don’t love Twitter so maybe that means that I just don’t really use it – who cares? This is my blog and why not run it accordingly since I get to be my own boss in this scenario – I might as well be a cool boss that doesn’t make me do stuff I don’t want to… I admit this post is getting weird but I shall proceed anyway.

I just made it past the 6 month mark a few days ago (if the last month of not posting on the blo counts teehee) and the break I took made it clear that I do want to keep blogging, just that I need to adjust my expectations of what that looks like for me! So maybe that means not spending an hour (in the middle of the night often) being a weird finicky perfectionist because that is sooo not me in real life!

I am turning 30 this year and have spent a lot of time thinking about how I want my life to look going forward I have been spending a lot of time trying to work on myself and develop and figure out both my strengths and weaknesses. I have also been working on self-care and learning to let go of things that cause unnecessary stress and take away from quality time with my family because that is just plain the stage I am in and I want to be as present and healthy as possible in that!

So this is me, peeking out from behind my blog break, super happy to be back! I’m going to go set a 20 minute timer and not spend a second longer making  title graphic, cool? Cool! See you sooner next time & thanks for popping back in to check out my blog again!

xo Tani

Essential OilsAnd Oral Health

Essential Oils and Oral Health

Welcome to Friday Essentials! … Saturday Night Edition :D

Okay so I knew I needed a pretty graphic for such a random seeming post, because I know Oral Health is not exactly riveting and throw in the Essential Oils and it might seem really out there but I think this is an important topic and hey I get to run this little corner of the internet so here we go!

So I mentioned a few months ago that the dentist finally convinced me about the importance of flossing and taking better care of my teeth (they weren’t rotting out of my mouth or anything, I just wasn’t flossing very often, or really at all), and I was super excited to learn how helpful essential oils can be to help with this. (yes, I meant excited!!!)…

Here are a few things that your oral health can impact:

– Gum disease/inflammation
– Self-esteem (I feel wayyyy better after I clean my teeth!)
– Appearance
– People with pre-existing diabetes are more susceptible to complications.
– Respiratory Health
– Bad Breath
– Infections in the mouth & body
– Tooth loss (not the kind where another one is on it’s way heehee)
– Digestive health
– They are still exploring links between oral health & cardiovascular health

My Top Essential Oils for Oral Health (I would probably add Spearmint too but I don’t have it yet & want to share my own experiences):

Using Essential Oils for your Oral Health

*these oils have a ton of other uses, but these are how they apply to oral care*

***As always I am talking about essential oils that are organic and truly pure & if an EO advises on the bottle to not to use internally they shouldn’t be used as I am suggesting below***

Clove: This oil is an antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic, antiseptic, nervine, regenerative, immune stimulant. So everyone needs some clove in their lives, it has been used historically for toothaches & bad breath. It is a hot oil and so should always be used diluted on the skin so it does not cause irritation but is okay to use undiluted on a sore tooth in an adults mouth, I would always dilute for children.

Peppermint: Some relevant properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral. I would venture to say most people are familiar with peppermint in their toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, and floss because it is wonderful for freshening your breath & tastes so good! It is good for so much more than that though, kills germs and a whole lot more!

Melaleuca a.k.a. Tea Tree: Antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic. Helps with cavities and gum disease! To be honest I haven’t tried this one yet, I just came across this as I was firming up my research for this post but I like the taste & can’t wait to add it to our next mouth wash!

Here are some easy, all natural & inexpensive ways to re-vamp your Oral health regimen:

Mouthwash: I used a recycled glass kombucha bottle, filled it with previously boiled & then cooled water (leftover from the kettle) & added 8 drops of peppermint EO and 2 drops of clove. Oil & water don’t mix (duh) so you have to shake well before you take a swig & then swish and you have the choice to swallow or spit it out. It is also awesome to gargle with if you are feeling a sore throat coming on.

Using Essential Oils for your Oral Health - Mouth Wash

Breath Freshening Spray: A one or two oz little glass spray bottle is perfect for this, just add water and 2-4 drops of your EOs of choice, and just shake it up and spray when your breath needs a boost! Perfect when you are on the go, you can play around with what taste you prefer!

Teeth Whitening: Activated Charcoal!!! This works so well, I have done it twice now and there is a visible difference in how white my teeth are each time! This is recommended to do weekly, not more often. You can buy capsules at the health food store, they are pretty cheap so you are literally whitening your teeth for a teeny tiny fraction of the price of conventional whitening strips & without all the crazy chemicals, so a total win win! You can choose to bring essential oils into this if you want, it’s actually okay without but way better with.

Activated Charcoal - Essential Oils for Oral Health

Here’s what you do: wet your toothbrush, break open an activated charcoal capsule and dump it on your toothbrush (I find with the ones we buy are good for both me and my husband so we split one) add a drop of clove, peppermint, protective blend, or spearmint. Brush for 2-3 minutes, it is messy, your mouth will be black but once you rinse a few times you will have whiter teeth!

It’s this cute:

Activated Charcoal Brushing

Brushing with Clove: If you just want to give your mouth a little overhaul, add a drop of clove with your toothpaste, it is a bit of a shock but my mouth feels oh so clean after!

Natural Toothpaste: I have a lovely friend that sometimes brushes with just baking soda, but I just can’t hack it – it makes me gag… So do your own research about fluoride, I never had a problem with it before, but I have come to question if it is really necessary… SO we are using an all natural toothpaste that contains EOs and I am obsessed, I will never go back, if you want a suggestion shoot me a message! I also love that it is safe for little Huddy to use as well!

Clean your toothbrushes: I think everyone has heard the gross studies about what can lurk on our toothbrushes, so what I have begun to do is throw our toothbrushes in a glass with two drops of clove while I am cleaning the bathroom to give them a good cleaning as well! Doesn’t get any easier than that!

That wraps up my super awesome ideas on re-vamping your oral care & I promise it is all really easy and way cheaper than other oral health products out there! So now you know!

xo Tani

 

It’s All an Illusion: My First Video Blog

Hello & welcome to my first Video Blog!

I’m chatting about the illusion and misconception we can create whether it’s social media or the state of our home ;)

I’ve had lots on my mind that I’ve wanted to share but I just haven’t made time to write much lately so I thought I would integrate videos on my blog from time to time in order to be more efficient! Let me know what you think of this way of blogging & also your thoughts on the topic!

xo tani

Handprint painting - Valentine's Day Tradition

Our Valentine’s Day Family Tradition

I am so excited to share the Valentine’s Day tradition we started last year with you! Last year was our first Valentine’s Day as a family of three and with a four month old my hubby and I didn’t really get up to much, not that we went all out in years prior either, but last year felt much different anyways due to the babe.

If anything, adding to our family has made our love grow and change in ways we never could have prepared for, and it is a beautiful thing. Last year the contrast of being a family of more than two really resonated with me and although I am not usually super organized and we don’t have a ton of traditions per se, I started one that I think we will easily be able to stick with over the years!

Handprint painting - Valentine's Day Tradition

Obviously over the years Bryn’s and mine hand print probably won’t change a whole lot but I am so excited to even see how much bigger Hudson’s hand this year compared to last & I get goosebumps thinking about how there is a good chance Hudson’s hand will also be bigger than mine one day & maybe even bigger than his Dad’s too!

The thought of the hand prints we will add to this as our family grows really excites me too & since it is such a simple project I know this will be one of few projects I will actually keep up with!

Here’s what you’ll need:

A canvas or thick paper of your choosing – at least as big as the biggest hand involved :)

Acrylic paint

Paint brushes

I got all of the above from the dollar store, so not only is this cute but super affordable!

We did colour last year but I think this year I want to do black, white & grey or gold so I can put it up in the kitchen or living room without clashing with the other decor around, I will add a picture when we do it on Sunday!

Instructions:

I think this is pretty self explanatory, but just in case, start with the biggest hand, paint with colour of your choice and press it down well onto the paper or canvas.

Let dry for about half an hour and proceed with the next hand in size with a contrasting colour.

Continue through to the littlest hand, let dry and frame or mount as is!

Handprint painting - Valentine's Day Tradition

Let your heart over flow with joy, love and gratitude for the family you have!

If you already have those supplies and are feeling crafty, here are a couple other easy DIY ideas, here and here.

Happy Love day this weekend loves!

Friday Essentials- Lovely Lemon Essential Oil

Friday Essentials: Lovely Lemon

I wasn’t planning on featuring specific single oils for this series but Lemon came to the rescue a few times this week so I thought why not! I’m going to share a few ways to use it on it’s own and then also a couple ways it is extra awesome in combination with other oils.

A little about Lemon Essential Oil in general:

  • It is cold pressed from the lemon rind to preserve it’s potency and delicate nature.
  • It has powerful cleansing and and detoxifying properties but is gentle enough to use on little ones (if it is pure essential oil with no additives)
  • It has a fresh scent (okay I hope everyone here is familiar with what a lemon smells like), that is emotionally up lifting, bonus!
  • Some of the other amazing properties of lemon essential oil: antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral… and that is why you can make.

Here are my favourite ways to use lemon essential oil and how it saved my favourite end table this week:

So we recently began colouring with Hudson using crayons, but when I put the crayons away he took notice of a drawer that he’s technically been able to reach for a while but that had flown under his radar, and it is full of things like pens, felts, permanent markers, passports, you know just everything you don’t want your toddler to get in to. I’m sure you know exactly where this is going, he got his little hands on an extra thick black permanent marker and started colouring on the table, I knew that lemon EO could be used for things like this so I thought I’d give it a try and it worked really well! Quite a bit of elbow grease and some lemon EO and off it came!

Black Marker on Table - Friday Essentials with Imaginary Sails

Black Marker on Table cleaning with lemon essential oil - Friday Essentials with Imaginary Sails

Another thing you can do is make an all purpose cleaner with it, you can go to town with this as there a lots of EOs with powerful cleansing properties but it’s nice to keep it simple sometimes, mix equal parts water and white vinegar, you can add some baking soda as well if you’d like and add as many drops of EO as ounces of liquid, give or take depending on if you prefer a stronger smell. I love that a cleaner like this works really well but also, I don’t have to worry about it making Hudson sick if he gets his little paws on it! I have some pretty glass spray bottles on their way so when they get here I will do a full post on the different cleansers to make, for now I have just been mixing in a recycled glass jar, as the oils can breakdown and pull out the toxins in plastic bottles so they aren’t the best option.

Here’s another favourite, I love a drop or two in my water, it gently detoxifies your body ANNNND helps to balance the pH of your body without being hard on the enamel of your teeth like fresh lemon can be.

I also have started putting a small amount over the bridge of Hudson’s nose and the snot storm ceases! This means less snail trails across the shoulder of all of my clothes, a definite victory!!!

Combined with Lavender and Peppermint it is my new life saver for normalizing histamine levels, I put a few drops of each in 2tsp of carrier oil and apply around my eyes, it is amazing! You can also diffuse this trio daily to keep those itchy eyes at bay!

If you saw my Instagram today I am making dryer balls which are awesome to add a few drops of essential oils to to help freshen, deodorize and scent your laundry, in an all natural non toxic way. I love this idea because then you aren’t stuck with all of the crazy chemicals that come with dryer sheets, and you can switch up the scents as you wish! (read a little more about toxic load here). I will let you know how the dryer balls turn out once I felt them!

Lemon is also awesome for it’s immune function boosting ways! I have it in both Hudson’s and mine and my Hubby’s daily immune boosting rollers along with Frankincense, Protective Blend, and Tea Tree. You can also add Oregano if you need a power house boost. Let me know if you want to know about dilution ratios and where to apply these great little mixtures!

I love to diffuse it with any other citrus or minty things like peppermint, spearmint & eucalyptus, it’s just so good & you get the bonus of the air getting cleansed as well!

Friday Essentials: Lemon Essential Oil

As always, I encourage you to empower yourself and be sure that you are using Essential Oils that are truly just Essential Oils and aren’t full of scary and undisclosed additives!

Come check out my Essential Oil Instagram if you are curious about other ways to use essential oils! Contact me any time if I can help you out with anything oil related!

Introducing a New Series: Friday Essentials

A New Series: Introducing Friday Essentials

SO you know the kind of nervous you get when you are introducing your boyfriend to your crazy family, or your crazy boyfriend to your best friend, this is how I feel about starting this series but even more than that I am super excited! About two months ago I found a new love and fell hard and fast for Essential Oils. I have been researching, learning and using them as much as humanly possible (and reasonable while chasing my crazy 15 month old around) and while I can’t call myself an expert I am loving what I am learning! Some of you already know about this obsession because I have done a few posts on Facebook, or maybe you have come across my Essential Oil Instagram account (I just thought it would be better to have a separate one since it is so easy for me to post constantly about EOs and I didn’t want to spam or confuse my lovely blog followers) but if you are so inclined, you can find me @eoswithtani I share information and tips on how I am using my EOs on a daily basis.

I have mentioned in some previous posts that I have become more aware of the ingredients of the products we use in our home since having Hudson, and have stuck with mostly natural products for him (this is still a daily fave & goes perfectly with a drop of essential oil in the bath!) but the more I learn the more I realize that my hubby and I should step up our game too. It can be extreme and there are a lot of loony alarmists out there, but as I research about toxic load and the havoc it can wreak on our systems, throw off our hormones, cause emotional imbalance etc., and as I learn how seriously simple (and realllly cheap) it is to replace these toxic products with solutions I can make myself, I have run out of excuses not to. I will definitely be sharing these DIYs in upcoming Friday Essentials posts!

Oh and the smell! When you inhale Essential Oils, they have immediate effects, so amazing! I have started to turn to them for an energy boost, for motivation, for a little Mommy Zen moment when I am ready to pull my hair out and collapse on the floor in defeat ;), and they have helped to stave off a few bugs this cold and flu season too! They have also been saving this Mama’s booty when it comes to teething, sore muscles, and tummy troubles, seriously true love!!!

Aromatherapy - Friday Essentials

A few house keeping things just for good measure: I am not and will not tell you that they are a magical cure all, I will go more in depth with how they work in later posts, but basically they help to support the body’s systems to work how they are supposed to function and your body will just plain old work better and do amazing things itself with that support. When using Essential Oils it is super important to ensure they are pure as well as therapeutic grade and that is the grade of oils I will be referring to. Unfortunately there is no regulating body for essential oils and a bottle only needs to contain a small percentage of pure oil to be labelled 100% pure, a good thing to check is the ingredients, there should just be one if it is pure, another thing to look at is that if and essential oil is something that is normally edible such as lemon, peppermint, lavender and it says ‘do not ingest’, that should raise your eyebrow for sure. I feel perfectly safe ingesting small amounts of pure essential oils with a little bit of  research, common sense and proper guidelines it’s perfectly fine.

If you have any questions about any or all of this please don’t hesitate to contact me! There are regulations that keep me from sharing which oils in particular I use but you can see on my Instagram (@eoswithtani), contact me directly through my blog contact page or email me at imaginarysails@gmail.com, I would love to chat about them & if you are rolling your eyes because you have been using them for years and I am over here acting like I single handedly discovered them, I would love to hear how and what you use them for!

Here are a few of my current favourite diffuser blends:

Wild Orange & Peppermint: Great for a boost mentally and emotionally, amazing to help you focus & the Wild Orange also cleanses the air (bonus!)

Grapefruit & White Fir: Just yum! Also a great Happy blend (both uplifting and grounding), you can tell it’s winter because I am obsessed with citrus at the moment!

Lavender & Cedarwood: This is a great unwinding blend, super calming & kind of lets you just exhale!

Im Opting Out of Mommy Guilt

I’m Opting Out of Mommy Guilt

… And Guilt in General

Maybe it’s a cultural thing, being Canadian and apologetic or regretful, if you haven’t heard jokes to that effect you really haven’t lived… but it’s been kind of a problem for me.

Something I immediately noticed when I became a Mom was the term ‘Mom Guilt’ dun dun dun… and to be truthful I dove head first in to major guilt with having to supplement my son with formula (you can read about that here) and it took me almost the first year of his life to get past it. That guilt took away from a lot of joy I was feeling, and let me tell you it was just the first of just so many things to beat myself up about.

Love Yourself!

So I’ve decided to stop. Just like that. Who has time for guilt? Before you know it, you could be beneath a huge mountain of guilt & the guilt can turn to anxiety, fear of doing anything in case you do it “wrong” and it can kind of incapacitate you. Blah. No thank you. Not that anything is quite that simple when it comes to changing the way you think, but once I came to the realization that I was sick and tired of feeling badly about so many little things, I knew something needed to shift in the way I was thinking.

I am not saying that if something big and life altering happened I wouldn’t feel bad, I’ve just tried to shift my thinking  about the “little things”, and if I do feel bad about something, I have been making a concerted effort to change it. My son fell going up the stairs on the slide at swimming lessons, it was 100% my fault for not helping him all the way up and I felt awful, but he was okay so rather than dwelling on how badly I felt, I will just make sure to not put him or me in the position for it to happen again.

Don't look back

This seems to be such a common thing, for Mom’s especially – and I was doing it all the time myself, standing around talking about how bad we feel about so many things pertaining to our kids, and almost each and every thing discussed is something within our control to change. I was feeling guilty about all of the screen time our little guy got when he was sick a couple weeks ago, but now I see that as an option – 1) stop doing it or 2) accept that screen time is inevitable and let it go. Feeling bad about unhealthy food options for you or your kiddos? Same thing, either make a change or let it go because there is no point beating yourself up over something you aren’t willing to change, in fact feeling badly about it for me only causes me to eat even more unhealthy foods – it is a weird negative cycle.

How about this one? I see it all. the. time. Moms feeling badly for having time to themselves, whether it’s a night out with friends or…  even, wait for it, a hair appointment. (I’m not saying this can’t apply to Dads too by the way) I know I am a much better Mom when I have had some time to do things I enjoy with people that I enjoy. This one was really hard for me for a long time even when I knew he was being left in great hands I would want to hurry back. That isn’t even about my son though, that’s some weird need to be needed that I know most people feel but guess what, your child is fine without you while you are gone (9 times out of 10), and will still love and need you just as much when you get home. I know for me, 5 minutes back in the door and he is whining and trying to climb my leg and I wonder what the rush was to get home ;)…

Little Monkey

So the moral of my little rant is to go easy on yourself, or make a change. For me it has been, and will be, a work in progress but I knew that I needed to make a change and work on focusing on the positive, the things I am good at both as a Mom and as just me, and I have felt a huge shift in my thinking and the way I feel about myself.

I would love if you would comment below about some of things in life you have let go of, or are changing whether it is a parenting thing or just life thing!

DIY Play Kitchen - Imaginary Sails Blo

Up-Cycled Furniture: DIY Play Kitchen

I am so excited to share this DIY Play Kitchen with you guys! It is such a fun project and I just love how completely customizable it is! I did a relatively simple one without a back or back splash, but really the sky is the limit, I have seen ones that are quite big made out of whole entertainment units with back splash tile etc. to match their actual kitchen! I chose to do a small and simple one so 1) I would actually do it and not get overwhelmed with the scope of the project and 2) it was for my niece and my sister didn’t want or need a gargantuan one ;)

When I first started looking for ideas to make this, I got a little frustrated because there was nothing giving exact instructions unless you were buying a certain new night stand from Ikea. As I worked my way through this project I realized quickly that you really can’t make exact instructions for someone else because the way the hinges might work, etc. will vary a lot depending on the piece of furniture you start with. I really love the idea of up-cycling old furniture and it is a lot more cost effective, there is also the bonus of finding a piece to use with extra character like this one, I fell in love with the feet (and it only cost $15):

Side Table DIY Kitchen - raw

Once I found the night stand I knew next I would need to find paint and a reasonable sized bowl for the sink and had a few ideas for the tap (a few that I have seen used are upside down silver painted letters: “J” or “L”, an actual old tap from a used supply store which I wanted to do but the only one our local re-store had was rather hideous). I actually used an over the door hanger from the dollar store and it was perfect, I also got a small shallow bowl from the dollar store for the sink as well.

So from those supplies you can see this is shaping up to be a pretty inexpensive project, there was one item that I kind of splurged on though which brought the price up a little, which is FAT Paint Chalk paint, I chose it for a few reasons though and only used about 1/5th of the can so I have lots left for other projects which I am excited about!

I love the chalk paint because it goes on easily and covers well, the surface prep necessary is minimal, it is low VOC and comes in great colours, I picked “apple”. I also think it’s great to support local companies, I knew this company was Canadian but didn’t realize they were so close, in New Westminster! I also purchased the clear top coast for added durability. For the “burners” and “dials” I used the black and silver acrylic paint I had on hand, from the dollar store too.

DIY Play Kitchen - Chalk Paint

So the first thing I did before painting the Play Kitchen was cut out the hole for the sink, my hubby drilled the starter hole and I used the jig saw to cut the hole. It wasn’t perfect but the rim of the bowl/sink hides that.

DIY Play Kitchen - Cutting out the sink

DIY Play Kitchen - Bowl Sink

From there I painted two coats with the green chalk paint and then needed to figure out what exactly I needed or wanted to do from there… the fun part!

I painted a silver back ground with a black border for the “stove top” (the coffee table seemed like a reasonable work bench :D), and my hubby who has a much steadier hand than mine did the burners later, you can also do 3D burners with a round of wood or something if you prefer.

DIY Play Kitchen - Stove top

DIY Play Kitchen - Stove Top

I went to home hardware and got the rest of the components, a spring curtain rod kit for the little curtain $3.99 (it comes with the necessary hardware), for the tap handles I bought two of the basic “12 point handles” $4.49 each, a magnetic catch to keep the “oven” door closed $4.59, and little hinges $3.99. I had previously found stove knobs from the re-store and cleaned them so they looked like new, you could also buy them new from an appliance store if you have something very specific in mind and cannot find it used.

I had a mis-step in my planning (as usual) and forgot about the shelf so we had to get creative the night before our Christmas morning with our niece and improvised, using random items in our garage. I also bought some matching drawer liner to make the shelf pretty, and also to apply to the back of the Play Kitchen, so depending on where it is placed it is still pretty from all sides!

All in all, this project cost less than $80 CDN!

Magnetic Catch to keep the Oven closed:

DIY Play Kitchen - Magnetic Catch

DIY Play Kitchen - Magnetic Catch

Shelves:

DIY Play Kitchen - Shelf

DIY Play Kitchen - Shelf

Here are a few photos of the finished product, I hope this has been helpful and has given you some inspiration for a project of your own! Sorry the photo quality isn’t great, I had forgotten to get some finished product photos until my sister was ready to load the car up and head home with it – oops! If you love it, please pin and share :) if you have other questions, please feel free to contact me, my email is imaginarysails@gmail.com, or DM me on Instagram!

DIY Play Kitchen

DIY Play Kitchen

DIY Play Kitchen

DIY Play Kitchen - Back with drawer liner

DIY Play Kitchen

DIY Kids Play Kitchen - up-cycled bed side table from Imaginary Sails Blog

Some other DIY projects I have done are hereand here!