Shop Small for Mother’s Day

It’s day 3 in our Mother’s Day series! And just to recap, this little series is meant to give you plenty of ideas to celebrate Mother’s Day in a unique way. Thoughtfulness always counts the most, so be sure to make your mama’s special day a meaningful one. Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite handmade (most are mama-made) shops! As you know, I’m now a small business owner myself, and I can’t help but support the good work of others who are hustlin’ just the same. If you are still looking for a unique gift for mom, here are a few of my favorite handmade gifts…

handmade gifts for moms

ebee2 Lucky for you, we’ve got a little giveaway from E & Bee! E & Bee is a local-to-me business run by a mama and daughter duo. (They are just the sweetest, by the way!) E & Bee uses 100% certified therapeutic grade essential oils to make natural body products that are safe and effective. I’ve been lucky enough to try out several of their goodies, and I can’t get enough! E & Bee is giving 1 lucky reader a Mother’s Day Gift Set from their shop! (The winner can pick which set they’d like!) To enter, use the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Handmade Gifts for Mama

Today is part 2 of our series on HOW TO ROCK MOTHER’S DAY! As you know, I’m a sucker for all things handmade. Gifts that someone else took the time to sew, bake, glue, etc. always make my day. Not only are handmade gifts super thoughtful and sweet, they’re usually way more budget-friendly for the maker! Meaning, if you don’t have the funds to BUY your mama something, choose one of these handmade gifts instead! She’ll be thrilled, I know it. And guys – all of these could be made with the help of little ones!

Handmade Gifts for Mother's Day Thumbprint raspberry cookies – a sweet and thoughtful gift that kiddos can easily help with!

Coconut lime sugar scrub – a relaxing handmade gift for a mama who loves a hot bath!

Tissue paper corsages – a sweet gift that little ones can make for their mamacita to wear!

Handmade Gifts for Moms Handmade wooden brooch – Perfect for mama’s little artists to make!

Lemon lavender scones – Fancy and delicious, a special treat for Mother’s Day!

Abstract painted scarf – Paint with toy cars! Yes, really! Little ones will love this project!

Handmade Gifts for Mom Painted flower pots – Adorable little pots with houseplants that make you smarter!

Handmade washer necklace – Using daddy’s toolbox and mama’s fingernail polish collection, here’s a great handmade gift for mom.

Divine coconut macaroons – The easiest and most decadent treat you can make!

 

Cute, right?! So many great ways to make Mother’s Day a special one! Don’t forget to enter yesterday’s giveaway! xoxo, L

 

 

 

 

 

Uncommon Gifts for Mama

Good morning! So excited because this week, I’m sharing a 4-part series on HOW TO ROCK MOTHER’S DAY! If you haven’t put it on your calendar, Mother’s Day is in NEXT Sunday, May 10! So you’ve still got plenty of time to do some THOUGHTFUL planning to honor and celebrate the mamas in your life that make the world go round. (Ladies, feel free to send this to your man as a *subtle* hint.)

First up, let’s talk about buying gifts. Macaroni necklaces and handmade scrapbooks are great, but there’s no shame in buying a gift for mama. Like anything else, it’s the thought that counts! Instead of picking up something last minute from the mall or heaven forbid, the drug store, do a little online shopping to find something truly unique for mom. And is there really anything easier than shopping from your couch and having a gift arrive on your doorstep? Easy peasy.

One of my favorite online shops to find unique and creative gifts is Uncommon Goods. They have so many neat things and can satisfy every price range, too. Lots of the uncommon goods they sell are handmade by creative artisans from all over the world, giving you easy access to one-of-a-kind pieces you wouldn’t find elsewhere. Art. Jewelry. Books. Kitchen Gear. Gardening Stuff. Something for every kind of mama! Not only that, they are just a real legit good company. They treat their employees right. They are a certified B Corp, which means they do good things and abide by good practices, etc. Many of their artisans are not-for-profits, too, which I love. Here are a few of my favorites, perfect for Mother’s Day gifts this year…

Custom State Pillow - Missouri Uncommon Goods sent me this AMAZING Missouri embroidered pillow and I just love it to pieces! I’ve been to nearly all of the landmarks listed and think it’s just the coolest way to celebrate my state. I bet mama would love one of HER state, too!

Lucky you, Uncommon Goods is offering 1 lucky Living on Love reader a $50 shop credit! Go and browse around, then enter using the Rafflecopter below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I wasn’t compensated for this post. Uncommon Goods sent me that gorgeous pillow and the reviews and recommendations are all my own!

Learning Toys for Preschoolers

One of my favorite things about spending the day with my girls is getting to see them learn and figure stuff out about the world. It’s pretty incredible! Most of the time, they totally surprise me with the things they know and say and do. In the craziness of everyday life, I forget that Addie is growing up. I forget that she’s now telling stories and doing math and telling her daddy everything she knows about Frida Kahlo. I forget that Ingrid isn’t a toddler anymore. I forget that she loves to problem solve and use her imagination.

IMG_7184 A new-to-me brand, Discovery Toys, sent us some of their exclusive learning toys and we have been having so much fun! One of our favorite new activities is our Busy Farm. The girls go crazy for it and somehow stay engaged for nearly an hour each time we “play.” (Of course, they love anything farm related!) I really love it because there are so many ways to use it and because both of my girls can learn from it.

The Busy Farm comes with 6 sets of farm animals, all organized by color. One of Ingrid’s favorite things to do is to first sort them all by color, then sort them by animal. (All the pigs together, all the horses together, etc.) The Busy Farm isn’t just a sorting activity though. It comes with a set of activity cards, with all kinds of games and activities to do. From pattern making, word recognition, and phonics, to math, problem solving, and story telling, there are so many ways to learn! (I’ve got a cute little video on Instagram today. Go check it out!)

IMG_7180 IMG_7181 IMG_7183 Discovery Toys has so many awesome learning toys for kids of all ages and they are giving one to one of YOU! Go visit the site, then come back here and let me know what you’ve got your eyes on!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was not compensated for this post. I received 2 Discovery Toys learning toys to review. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

All The Things

FRIENDS! Hello! How are you? No really, HOW ARE YOU?!!

I am so sorry for being such a slacker lately. It turns out that I actually can’t do all the things all the time. The past couple of months have been quite busy, and as a result, I’ve neglected this beautiful space. I apologize for that.

What have I been up to?

Well, we MOVED. Yes, we moved away from the farm and back into the city. We bought a house and moved in at the end of February. As you know, moving time is CRAZY time. Since this is our very first house, I’ve been busy painting and decorating and such. It’s mostly fun and really exhausting! We have done a lot since we moved in, but we still have a long way to go. Le sigh… Our front door looks pretty cute though, don’t ya think?

IMG_7009 Right after we moved, I OPENED A SHOP! (Crazy person, I know.) You’ve most likely heard about Madre Beads by now. Thanks so much for cheering me on and sharing the love with your friends. If you aren’t yet familiar, I make eco-friendly, non toxic jewelry for mamas and littles. Using some really neat products, I came up with a design that’s ideal for moms (because babes can pull, tug, suck, chew, etc.) but doesn’t SCREAM “mama jewelry.” I’ve actually sold out of almost everything (WHICH IS AMAZING! YOU ROCK!) but I’ll be restocking soon! On April 27, my shop will be full again with your favorites and some brand new styles! I’m so excited! Mark your calendars so you don’t miss out!

IMG_6659 IMG_6790 I wish I could tell you that I’m back and that Living on Love will be lively and updated on the regular, but I just don’t know. I do have some exciting giveaways coming up and a few other ideas up my sleeve, so I won’t be completely absent. For now, I’m just trying to survive and figure out how to do it all. (How’s that for honesty, eh?!) You can certainly stay in touch via Instagram. It’s my favorite and I can’t seem to let it go.

Love y’all! Thanks for checking in and keeping up! xoxo, L

Homemade Caramel Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Many thanks to Nestle Toll House for sponsoring today’s story and encouraging me to use new DelightFulls Filled Baking Morsels in my recipes!  

Spring weather is here, my friends! And with the warmer temps, I feel a little burst of happiness, too. I’m a little more energetic, a little more apt to say “yes” when the girls ask to do something fun, and I’m in the mood for warm weather eats!

A few years ago, I bought an old ice cream maker off of Craigslist and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. I perfected my basic vanilla ice cream recipe (no eggs!) and have been playing around with fun flavors to create some amazing homemade ice cream for me and the family.

IMG_6535 When I first found out about Nestle Toll House DelightFulls (ahem, filled chocolate chips!) I knew I had to eat them by the handful make some ice cream. (When life gives you lemons, ya know?!) Just LOOK at all of the amazing flavors they have!

I grabbed a couple of bags of the caramel-filled DelightFulls and went home on a mission to create a delicious homemade caramel chocolate chip ice cream to enjoy after our dinner on the grill. I LOVE SPRING. IMG_6539 As usual, my homemade ice cream turned out fabulous! With only a handful of ingredients and the delicious Nestle Toll House DelightFulls, you can make it, too!

Ingredients:

1 C Whole Milk
3/4 C Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
2 C Heavy Cream
1 bag of Milk Chocolate Caramel Filled Nestle Toll House DelightFulls

In a large bowl, (I used my electric mixer) whisk together the milk, sugar, and salt, until frothy. Then, stir in the vanilla and heavy cream to just combine. Pour the mixture into a large container with a lid and set it in the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill.

IMG_6537 Once cold, set up your ice cream maker. Pour the chilled mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and turn it on. Let it spin for 15-20 minutes, until it reaches soft-serve consistency. Slowly add the Nestle Toll House DelightFulls, and let the ice cream spin a few minutes more. Once the filled chocolate chips are evenly dispersed in your ice cream, transfer the mixture into a large container with a lid. Freeze for 3-4 hours, or until it resembles the ice cream consistency you enjoy most.

Not only is this homemade ice cream completely delicious, it’s easy, too!

IMG_6536 *Nestle Toll House DelightFulls Filled Baking Morsels bring you delicious and exciting way to bake! Our innovative technology provides the same great Nestle Toll House Chocolate you know and love, now filled with 4 delicious flavors. Slightly larger than a regular morsel, these morsels allow you to put a special twist on traditional recipes like a cookie or a brownie, or open up a variety of new fun recipes to try! The DelightFulls filled morsels hold their shape when they bake, and can be used whole, cut in half, or coarsely chopped for a surprising delight of flavor and color in a baked good (not to mention popping them in your mouth right out of the bag!)

HELLO Naturally Friendly Toothpaste

Thank you to hello toothpaste for sponsoring this post!

IMG_6380 You guys know I love a great product. Anything that is healthy, safe, and effective gets an A+ in my book. If it tastes amazing, well then that’s great, too! hello sent me a package full of their amazing products – toothpastes in outrageous flavors, both for me and the kids! Their bright packaging and creative flavors had me at once! I couldn’t wait to try them out. My personal favorites were the mojito mint (my fav drink!) and the pink grapefruit mint! The girls loved the bubble gum and blue raspberry!  IMG_6383 For those of you with little ones at home, hello is also introducing a kid’s line, featuring the same great formulas but in mint-free flavors kids will love, like bubble gum, green apple, and blue raspberry. My girls don’t like mint at all – they say it’s “too SPICY!” Leaving out the mint means kids will brush longer, for healthy, sparkling smiles! Boom.

hello® is clinically proven to strengthen enamel and protect against cavities, these awesomely delicious pastes polish teeth and freshen breath in flavors like supermint, mojito mint, pink grapefruit mint, and the newest — peach mango mint. Formulated WITHOUT artificial sweeteners, dyes, or preservatives (not to mention things like triclosan or polyethylene microbeads – look ‘em up!), hello products are never tested on animals – in fact they’re leaping bunny certified – and made in the USA.

IMG_6382 You can find hello’s line of new toothpastes at various retailers across the USA, with the new Peach Mango Mint and kid’s lines found exclusively at select Target stores and Target.com.

xoxo, L

 

Our Favorite Meatless Meals

One of my goals for the year is to share more FOOD with you. We love food and have learned the benefits of cooking, striving for from-scratch whole foods as often as possible. With that, we try to balance our meals so that we aren’t having meat every single night. I know Lent is a popular time to give up meat, so I thought I’d share with you our very favorite meatless meals. If you are trying to cut back on meat protein, here are some amazing recipes for you to try. (Even my caveman husband can vouch for how delicious these meatless meals are!) vegetarian meals

  1. Smokey Lentil Tacos – This recipe is just inspiration for the ones I make. I usually cook lentils in water or broth, then season them like I would taco meat. We top our tacos with avocado, cilantro, cojita cheese, and salsa verde. You can make them however you like!
  2. Tortellini, Bean, Tomato & Spinach Salad – This is really a great summer meal, but you could easily make it now, too. Great to eat for lunch all week long. The pepperocinis make it!
  3. Shakshuka (African Baked Eggs) – You might feel adventurous just by the name of this one, but really, it’s just eggs, poached in tomatoes and peppers. So delicious!
  4. Fettuccine Alfredo Ok, so this is NOT healthy, but a really great special-occasion meatless meal. We always make it Christmas Eve. We usually have it with a green veg or kale salad.
  5. Curry Grilled Veggies with Chickpeas & Polenta – Here’s one that I was hesitant to make the very first time, but keep coming back to because it’s SO DAMN GOOD. If you like curry, this is a keeper. If chickpeas aren’t your thing, switch them out for a different bean.
  6. Black Bean Soup – So much flavor in this soup! Great with a cheese quesadillas or tortilla chips.
  7. Veggie Frittata – Frittatas are a quick and easy weeknight meal, and extra delicious in a cast iron.
  8. Chunky Vegetable Soup – Nothing beats a hearty winter soup. This one is delicious and perfect with a nice salad and some crusty bread. 
  9. Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers – There are some steps to this recipe, but they are worth the time! The garlicky cream is to die for.
  10. One Pot Pasta – If you’re on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen this lurking around. It’s a good one! Add whatever veggies you like for a tasty meal and easy clean-up!

Now who’s hungry?! xoxo, L

 

Days for Girls

Do you believe that you can change the world? Do you think that you can make a difference? Do you think you can inspire your kiddos to go and do the same?

I’ll be honest, “changing the world” often feels overwhelming and unattainable. I feel small and incapable compared to the hugeness of the world and the depth of all its problems. But then I remember that teeny, tiny things can make a difference. And teeny tiny things add up. And other people see those teeny tiny things and then they start to make teeny tiny changes too. And all of a sudden, those teeny tiny things become HUGE and you realize YOU ARE ABLE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

days-for-girls

My friend Jillian (who lives in ITALY, OMG!) has started working with Days for Girls, a non-profit that has caught my attention! Days for Girls has an amazing network of volunteers all over the world who sew and put together reusable menstruation kits to disperse to women and girls in over 60 countries who are in need. Amazing, right?! Jillian has been making kits for over a year, and recently had the chance to go to India to deliver them. You can read all about her experience here.

It’s easy to think about people needing food or water or shelter, but we forget some of these other basic necessities that make it possible to live our lives. Can you imagine not being able to go to work or school because of your period? Even worse, can you imagine losing your job because you had to stay home while you were menstruating? I certainly cannot.

The Days for Girls menstruation kits last approximately 3 years and allow girls and women to go on with their lives while dealing with their period. No more missing school. No more missing work. Life goes on. So much good done through such a small thing. I love it.

Feel incapable no longer, my friends. You can change the world by supporting Days for Girls. You can donate, sew kits, start a team, spread the word, and more.

Click here to learn more about how you can change the world through Days for Girls