Thursday, December 18, 2014

christmas card pictures. hipster style.

every year, i theme up our pictures like the nerd mom i am. this year, as an ode to the city from which we moved, i decided we should be hipsters. 
we will begin by documenting the one hour ever in his life that Pruett decided to NOT smile. i almost spanked him for that but then i looked at his fatness and decided he will probably never in his years see the back end of a paddle. also, old man cardigans for president. 

here is my teenager son, layne. wait, he's 8. but he just looks so old. he let me make him wear an itchy scarf indoors (hipsters are ALWAYS wearing scarfs inside) and for that, i told him i would overlook one future sneaking out when he's 16. 

lila wore a fur hat because. i don't know. it just seemed right/she cut her hair and it's growing out awful. and penelope is just a cute little mouse and that goes with any style. i love giving her tiny cappuccinos (pronounced, kap-uh-keen-ohs) to make sure she is ready for the day of making my life a living hell with her current addiction to tantrums. don't tell anyone i said that. 

 here we all are enjoying our coffee together with mostly not-super-happy-faces. which honestly, is so hipster. a touch emo...but in all the right ways. and then plaid. if you're not wearing plaid, GET.OUT. OF. THIS. COFFEE. SHOP.  i don't wear glasses, but then again, most hipsters don't either. they've all had lasik surgery, but they saw a cute pair of frames at madewell. and...end of story.
have you been to oddly correct in kansas city? well, then get outta m'face. you would love it. the people  and the atmosphere are fantastic. not to mention the coffee is from the Lord. so i hear-- from everyone who has a mouth. i don't drink coffee but i admire those that do. 


this last picture just makes me laugh. sucker bribes(what? i do not bribe my kids with candy!) and lila doing a super hero pose. "mah. look. i supuh lady." 
 thanks audrey at BAKERBAKERphoto for capturing this goodness. 

as much as this year has kicked my ass, it has also been very rich. somehow as december drags on, and i think i can't do one more day because i'm afraid of the sadness that it will bring, i remember that God came down down in all the grief and promises to make everything new and right and just as it should be. for that, i am able to look through the misty eyes that freeze in the bitter,biting wind and say, He has not forsaken me. 
on that super emo thought, i do hope for peace and joy for you and your families. merry christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

being poor at christmas time.

growing up, we were poor. this was before the government made the dignity inducing debit cards they give now. it was the time of monopolymoney-esque paper money, and stamps for milk, more like badges of shame. and you would wear your sunglasses in the store at the checkout lane so no one would know you were a mother trying to do your best but your best was not good enough.



we were poor, but it didn't stop my mother from giving. she was in the kitchen making martha washington bon bons, because that's how you can give. and if she was anything like me this year, and some years past, it doesn't feel like christmas when it's hard. when life is fast and drags you along. it doesn't feel festive when it is difficult to scrounge up change for milk. when there is loss and grief. when the grief you thought was behind you surprises you in the worst way.

but you make the martha's.

i remember my mother in the kitchen rolling the balls for the filling. she was making rum cakes too. i can hear her whipping the glaze with the whisk-- whisk whisking against the glass bowl and her yelling at someone to settle down. i'm 6 or 7 years old sitting at the counter watching the frantic joy of my mother in an apron. she was giving when she had very little. you've heard the parable where the poor woman gives her last couple of pennies and Jesus says, YES! there's the heart of my father. she has given the most. 

these were skinny years for us. there were not many gifts under our tree, but there were always gift baskets for others full of toffee, brittle, martha's, and rum cakes sitting on the counter ready for delivery. perhaps they were a little kiss on the cheek from God, through the hands of a poor woman,  to others who were also experiencing hardship.

of course God uses the rich to help others. but we forget he uses the poor too. 

and so it is in that spirit that i continue through the difficult. i find great joy in the mixing and the dipping and the glazing and the pretty packaging. to some it looks like posed and styled photos, but for me it is the remembering where i have come from. i remember the goodness of being poor in spirit. the goodness of my father in the skinny times and the goodness of a recipe passed down from my mema to my mom and then to me from a worn out, chocolate splattered cookbook page.

this year has dragged me around. it has been too hard and too fast and too much. it has made me tired and grey-haired. and i want to be out of 2014 so bad. but it feels like christmas when penelope sits at the counter and watches me roll and dip and holler at pruett that i'm going to pick him up as soon as i wash the sticky dough and messy of this year off my hands.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

the last minute gift giver's guide. for gals, guys, moms and dads, boyfriends, girlfriends.

is it just me or did i not do any christmas gift shopping until last night. my word.

so here's what i'm loving for the last minute gift givers. i salute you, procrastinators.

subscription boxes. these are so great because you are giving a gift that quite literally keeps giving. plus it super thoughtful, as opposed to throwing cash at someone. i've seen a lot of subscription boxes  for the ladies, but did you know there are some for the fellas too? and for kids?

for instance, birch box. this is awesome for guys or gals. dudes, if you're reading this and your wife likes makeup and skin care, and isn't a huge hippie, she will love this. i say "not a hippie" because i know all their products aren't all-natural. but whatever. i'm a hippie and still have some chemical laden makeup. you will win with this gift.

if you want to win even harder. sign your wife up for stitch fix. or just get her a gift card. i'm totally obsessed. they send you a box of clothes each month...of course after you've filled out a style profile. i jump for joy when my box comes. i also don't shop for clothes anymore because i know my fix is coming. you are actually saving money with this one. LOL. or something. basically, a stylist styles you and you they start to really get to know you month after month. you keep what you like, and send back what you don't...free shipping. just pay for what you keep. SHE WILL LOVE YOU.




ok then more for the dudes. have you heard of bespokepost.com? ummmm, so great. there's something for everyone here. so you sign up for a one time only box for $55 or do the monthly subscription where they send you something awesome every month and each box is $45. i love this gift for dads that would never do this for themselves but would enjoy being cared for each month.


say you know of a family in need and they have kids. you want to help, but know that you're a terrible gift giver because people cry when you give gifts at baby showers. do an honest.com subscription for them. each month they can get a cleaning bundle or if you're feeling generous, you could get them a diaper bundle for their kids.  first of all, in your december bundles, they are giving away organic sugar cookie mix with a cookie cutter. and second, use a coupon code! save 25% off your first bundle with code HONESTLYFAB
$35/month

$79/month


if you're a grandparent, you know that kids get SOOOO MUCCCHHHH at christmas time. why not spread the love and get them something that arrives every month. i love citrus lane for this reason!

basically you enter the kids birthday and they send the best, mother approved and kid tested toys, books, gear right to their door. magical, i say to ye. 



and lastly, because i am obsessed, if someone in your life loves natural stuff, you could get here an oils starter kit. the gift of health is no joke. we have absolutely loved our kit. you can read more about it here and see how to order it. but make sure you order by december 15th to receive by christmas!! otherwise, the $5 for rush shipping is totally worth it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

white lady, suburb mom.

i'm a white lady. i live in probably what would be considered the affluent suburbs. i drive an SUV and my kids eat organic things. i like pinterest and i like styled photos. i stay at home with my kids.

i shop at whole foods and i take pictures of my feet sometimes with a drink in my hand and post it to instagram. i paint my walls white and i grew up in a family with both parents heavily involved in my life. growing up, i went to a 99% white church and a 99% white school and lived in a 99% white neighborhood.

am i fitting into the white lady, suburb mold? do i sort of sound like you? give or take?

i learned in (again, mostly white) school that slavery was abolished and that there is no more racism. i totally believed it. i wanted to believe it. this is america, after all.
and then i moved to the city. for a couple of years with my family, i lived in the city with much more diversity. my black friends said, this is real. and i didn't believe them. because i'm not a racist and c'mon. no one says the n word anymore, right? 

well, wrong.

for those years i learned and i saw. a broken school system. city lines drawn by streets and subdivisions and churches and people. it wasn't what i had learned in my textbooks.
it became real. in those years, it wasn't a predominant, in my face issue on the news like it is right now, but it was an issue in my heart. i began to see the ways were I, (yes me) was racist. where i had formed opinions and ideas about people different than me and acted on those ideas.

it was shameful and hard. i didn't want to think that i could be a part of the problem. but here's the deal: i was. unknowingly, that was true about me. the more i faced it, the more i saw.

we have a law in this country that people are equal, not ranked according to their skin color. do you know why there's a law? because our natural bend is to make ourselves better than others. white people did a lot of horrendous things and so we needed a law. here's something on paper so you will know it's not right.

now here's where it gets tricky. just because there is a law, doesn't mean people's hearts were changed. the law is there to expose and guide. we need the law because we are naturally wayward.

in the bible the concept of law is the same. it is there to show us wayward hearts, but it has no power to actually change us. white lady, suburb mom's: it is silly to believe that just because a law says something is wrong, means that people's hearts have changed or that people abide by that law. you know this because you make rules in your house all day long and your children do them begrudgingly and only because you're watching. (or is that only in my house?)

i know the speed limit says, 30MPH on my street. but i go 45 because the police officer isn't watching me. when i get caught, i feel bad because i got caught and have to pay money, not because i have grieved my government and made the streets unsafe.

are you following me here?
black people you know racism exists, you lived it your whole life. i'm not addressing you. i'm talking to white women, probably 90% of my readership(that's a guess, but i bet i'm right) who think that this is all over-talked about. over news-ed, blown out of proportion. to those women who think racism doesn't exist because you don't ever see it, and because people told you it doesn't exist. sure racism exists on both black and white sides.  of course it does. but right now, we're focusing on being a white person and acknowledging our own wrongdoings.

when i watch Ferguson on the news, when i watch the choke hold over and over on Facebook. when i watch a little boy get shot at a park, i am appalled.

i'm a typical white lady from the suburbs and these things do not sit well with my soul. i don't even have fully formed ideas about all of these issues but i want to vomit when i watch a man say, i can't breathe over and over again. and then dies as i watch it.

as i white woman i read on Facebook that it's time for white people to just listen. then i read that it's a shame that white people just sit around and do nothing. i read that my black friends are hurt from the white friend's response or lack of response. it's very confusing. and can sometimes feel paralyzing. i totally get that.

so how about you just start with you.

and i'm just going to start here. i'm going to use my voice where it is heard.
because one time i heard God whisper, i'm going to use your voice. and i thought he meant singing. (laugh). which is funny.... because i'm not a great singer...put me in a choir with 30 people around me and i'm ok. but i think he probably meant, like this. he gave me eyes to see when i was in the city, and then he brought us to the suburbs. why? maybe just so i would have this perspective for this unique time.  a perspective to take what i saw and turn it into a mouthpiece to the suburbs. to help whoever i influence see that something is not right here.

notice, i'm not offering a solution. i have none. this is only the start to a conversation in my world. i may do it wrong, i may incite a bit of anger. surely i offended many people by using the words black and white. but, that is not my intention and honestly, internet fights don't change anything. but starting where you are with your voice does.

i believe the gospel has something to say about all this and i believe that it calls us to reconciliation. if you've ever had a hard conversation with a friend over coffee about hurt feelings, you know how completely awkward it is. this is no different. awkward. clumsy. hurt feelings on both sides. we're going there.

if you want to change the world, start small and start right where you're at. i may not be on the picket lines in st.louis and new york, but my influence is here and that's where i'll start. where can you start?

stay tuned for an interview on race in the coming weeks or so. nothing formal. just a conversation.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

$900 bundle GIVEAWAY!

once a year, i like to go big or go home. so, we're giving away over 900$ worth of prizes and WINNER TAKES ALL. here's what you could win. 
a $20 credit for a sweet print from mary dean draws. like, are you kidding me. this little creature is the best.



are you having trouble seeing that print? maybe you need a free pair of glasses of our friends at firmoo. this includes the frames and the prescription lens!



after all that using your eyes, you'll need a nap. 
and a weighted blanket from cotton and laden that we are obsessed with. it is perfect for a tiny squirming babe to help them feel grounded and secure. 


and then there's this drool worthy bag from better life bags. DROOL WORTHY. 


do you know about this company? "We hire women, who otherwise could not work, to work for us.  We pay them a living wage (20-25% of the total retail price) and watch them gain dignity, honor, and respect."
incredible. and adorable. 

and you'll need a couple of downloads from this create4good shop. these are sooooo cute. 



and when you have a few prints, you need more prints to go with them. now, everything from jones design company is the cutest. actually everything she crafts, decorates, and wears is way too cute. just go look. she's giving a $50 credit to her shop. the advent prints are m'fave!



now how about you go clean your house. jay kay. but seriously. here's an honest.com gift card $50!

ok, speaking of getting clean. how cute is this puj snug spout cover? it keeps your kiddos from bumping their little noggin on the spout!

what about a sweet little outfit from kissy kissy? this is literally the softest fabric i have ever put on little pruett. like i want this to be full size for me. and the quality is so great. please never grow out of this, my child. 



since we're discussing a baby on a sheepskin rug...would you like one? 
the good people at handmade in podhale are giving one away!! you can find them on Facebook as well. 
we are obsessed with sheepskin. i bet you are too... sheepskin for president.


and have you jumped on the essential oils train? well if you have and just want an extra kit, or haven't and want to test them out, here's your chance. the oil collective is giving a whole PREMIUM STARTER KIT away!
the retail value of this is $280, people!!




how about your choice of a super cute pillow cover from PoppyMae?
check out her cute prints as well!




have you seen these amazing banners from sharp tooth studio? i want every single one she makes. enjoy a $60 credit to her shop!




would you like some of the happiest jewelry on the planet? then wifeysinger is your gal. choose 2 in stock items!

also, there's a coupon code out for her shop: holiday15 for 15%off

after all this getting, you're going to need to re center yourself. come back to earth. spend some time with the Lord. so how about a set of she reads truth 8X10 scripture memory cards! this is basically like getting a million amazing prints in the mail. who can even resist these designs? i adore them. and are you following their advent devotional....amaze.




while you're getting your read on, enjoy this magical book bundle from author jessica thompson! 
1)exploring grace together
2)answering your kids toughest questions 
3)give them grace
4) good news for weary women, 

these books will change your life by they way. 
read them.


ok, friends. here is the giveaway pic to repost for a couple of entries below. i can not wait to see who gets this awesome stuff!
use #900bundle
and enter in the little grey box below, not with comments on this blog.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

my new oily insta

hey frands,

essential oils don't have to be intimidating. i know it seems like there is so much information out there and it's all overwhelming. i have so much i want to share about them and how they are changing our family in lots of little and simple (and sometimes big) ways, but...

i know not everyone is into the oils, so i want to keep my regular insta (@jaminato) for just the fam. but if you want to learn something new about using essential oils in your daily routine, follow me over at the oil collective on instagram. @oilcollective

i'll usually post daily. it will be quick and simple...one little fact. one little recipe. one little thought on getting yourself into a healthier lifestyle.

i'll focus mostly on the starter kit from young living because i think this is the best bang for your buck. i like this because every BODY is different. who knows what will work for you. maybe this oil worked for someone else but something works so much better for you.  with the starter kit, you get the chance to discover what works because you have 11 of the most commonly used everyday oils, a diffuser(which puts the oils into the air), and lots of freebies to test out.


if you want to learn more about the oils and see some before and after pics, or how to order the starter kit, GO HERE.  or you can see all my oily posts if you type in "oils" in the search box to the right.

and if nothing else, i'll see you over at the @oilcollective on instagram!

xoxo,
jami