Thursday, May 7, 2015

Loads of love - #FreeToBe one busy mama

Thank you to all free clear for sponsoring this post and inspiring me to try all free clear!

Wouldn't life be so much easier if it were all in black and white? I mean, what's a little fading. A bit of shmoots or discoloration, if it were simply black and white.

Oh, y'all.

As a family of 6 my day starts and ends with laundry. I am overflowing with bits {lots} and bits {lots more} of laundry. I simply cannot wrap my brain around how we produce SO MUCH in the way of dirty clothes? I continually keep up with laundry every other day. Yet it explodes to the size of Mt. Rushmore. Yes, you even see the faces of our 4 fathers if you look close enough. I counted one day...9 loads of laundry. Oh. But I wasn't done!!

My world is full of color and I have loads of love. For real. Wanna come over and fold some towels?? I will pay you in quarters. Good, done deal then! I need a simple go to solution for my loads of plenty. 6 people = 6 different skin types. One with eczema, one with sensitivity and well...the rest of us! In waltzes all free clear like a knight riding in on a studly white horse!

all free clear is the #1 recommended detergent brand by Dermatologists, Allergists, and Pediatricians for sensitive skin. It's tough on stains yet gentle enough for the whole family. Plus, it's safe for use in standard and HE machines. It rinses clean and has a gentle, hypoallergenic formula. Powerful Clean. Gentle on Skin.

all free clear is also 100% hypoallergenic. UM, helloooo. I need this in my life!

NEW From the #1 Detergent Brand Recommended by Dermatologists Allergists and Pediatricians comes all® free clear liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets. Use together to make fabrics cleaner, softer, and more comfortable against your family’s sensitive skin. 100% free of dyes and perfumes. Gentle on skin. Safe for all washing machines. Find it in your fabric conditioner aisle! <---- could it get any more rad?!

Other detergents don’t measure up to all free clear.

all® free clear detergent (liquid and mighty pacs), fabric softener and dryer sheets have received the National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance™. Products with the NEA Seal of Acceptance™ are those that avoid certain chemicals, dyes, perfumes and residues that are known to be unsuitable for use by persons with eczema or a sensitive skin condition.  all free clear has only 9 ingredients, that’s less than half the ingredients of Tide Free & Gentle!!

I love the simplicity. The fact that it is fighting stains (did I tell you I have 4 kids?!) at the same time as washing my most precious' delicates. I feel like it is a win win for me! My children are free to be...FREE! I can let them spill ice cream on their shirts and no longer stress if it will come out. Run around the farm wearing only their socks while they chase the chickens. My kids are able to stay little and I can forget about the small stuff like cleaning my laundry!

A few tips I have learned along the way of this thing we so lovingly call motherhood:
  • Wash 1 load a day.
  • Dry 1 load a day.
  • Fold 1 load a day
  • Put away 1 load a day.
For real, when I continually keep up with this life doesn't pile up. Instead of jumping into the clothing piles my kids will go out and jump in the leaves!! I mean. We would NEVER I am lying through my teeth do such a thing! You can learn more, get money saving coupons, fun tips and even learn about sweepstakes by following all free clear on facebook! Now go out, and get messy! I dare you!


Friday, May 1, 2015

Because THEY make a difference...

Teachers are one of the most influential people in our children's lives. The right ones will help your children to bloom into something amazing. We have been very blessed over the years. In fact, 3 of my 4 have all had the SAME teachers in preschool. They go to a private Christian school and I LOVE it! When they tell my child that they love them, they actually mean it! They have watched 2 of my babes grow from the moment my belly started to show. This has been incredibly special. We love them and we are thankful for them!

I had NO idea what I wanted to do this year for the teachers, until. We were playing around in Michael's! We were grabbing random art supplies here and there...took them home and we were SO happy with what we put together! I LOVE letting my babes get involved! I think it makes it 10x sweeter!

{not pictured - coffee gift cards} We found these amazing signs at Kohl's and I bought all that was left!! When Valentines is over I always stock up on the Dove hearts as I think they are so sweet and a great touch to almost any gift. Fill a mason jar with hearts perhaps?! Give a jar of luuuuurve!

The earrings are from my shop and will be relisted soon! I have a ton in the works to post so check back! I also enlisted the help of my best gillie! She wrote out the names of the teachers in her beautimus handwriting! She has an amazing Etsy shop as well!

I added basket filled to each berry basket (found at Michael's!) and then my baby filled the inside with all of our goodies (earrings, candles, coffee cards and chocolates!). Be sure you stick a glue dot to the back of the doily before attaching to the berry basket. The large clip helped to hold the fun twine in place as well as the tag (also found at Michael's in one of the seasonal sections.)

Simple, yet made a very big impression! There was lots of oooooh's and aaaaaah's and I had a few messages asking where I found xy or z! Don't forget to seal the deal by including a hug! Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bring her in, for an #UltraHug

A huge thank you to Huggies for sponsoring today's post and inspiring me to try the NEW Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra diapers! Can I just say...sometimes you just need a hug! An #UltraHug selfie, perhaps! Whenever I get a chance to work with Huggies I am ALL over it! For real, they are such an amazing company. Quality products, amazing customer service and they care about the community. OH but get's better!!

Not only do they care about the quality of their products (take the Huggies Ultra diapers for instance) we are trying them out in a size 5 (size larger than normal)...and I did this for completely selfish reasons. You see...they claim to be "snug fit". Being the pessimist I was like. We will SEE about that! Also, they are super thin and my babe...well. She soaks through diapers like you wouldn't believe!

UM, these dipes are FAB-U-LOUS!! For real!! And they are adorably flush up to her skin!! AND!! They work!! These Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra Diapers offer long-lasting leakage protection you can count on, so you can focus on all of your baby’s daily adventures. The range of sizes fit babies from newborn to 35 lbs. Only Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers have a new, unique quilted liner to lock away wetness better.

They have a conforming, gap-free fit to keep your active baby dry throughout the day The trusted Leak Lock® System has quick-absorbing layers for up to 12 hours of protection.

Liv's favorite part of course was that her favorite characters are on them! She proudly pointed out Mickey! Mommy's favorite part? No matter how what we are doing whether it's playing in the park or planting flowers in our garden, my babe will be comfortable and happy.

I am grateful that we are able to afford diapers for my baby's bum. That we don't worry when we are down to the last few diapers. My heart hurts when I think of the mama's out there that are struggling. That are not only worrying if they can pay their rent but also if they can afford diapers, clothing and food. Huggies strives to spread love wherever they go. They are diving into our communities and asking for YOU (and me) to nominate a community project that can benefit from a $2000 grant. This can be anything from a local park, playground or even animal reserve! WHO do YOU believe could benefit from winning a grant?

For me, I chose NW Children's Outreach. Northwest Children's Outreach is a faith-based, non profit organization helping families in the Portland area and surrounding communities. They do this because they don't like seeing children, by no fault of their own going without everyday necessities that you or I are accustomed to on a daily basis.

Imagining a child, just like my own going without socks, jackets, toothpaste or even diapers is mind boggling. My family has had the honor of volunteering packing bags that will be going out to a child. Their favorite part of course...bagging up the diapers! Not even kidding!

Now I want to know who YOU will nominate! It's easy and here's how:

From April 20th until June 25th, Huggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag #UltraHug, and featuring them in a collage on the campaign landing page. On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.

How to Enter the #UltraHug Selfie Contest

• First, take a selfie of you and your baby and upload that selfie to Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag #UltraHug
• In your same post, make sure to include a text nomination (approximately 100 – 120 characters) including a name and/or identifying description of a community project in the US, which you would like to nominate. Make sure the community project is something near and dear to your heart.

Can we say AMAZING!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Let it be Jesus...

My motto...I need a little bit of coffee, and a WHOLE lotta Jesus! The moment I step back inside after dropping my bigs to school. I slip into slippers or fluffy socks (I have a collection that could put anyone to shame!!) Seriously I dunno if I should actually be bragging about it! If I haven't stopped in to say HI to my Dutch crew, I turn on the Kuerig, pick a mug (I also have a mug collection with everything from mugs friends have bought me because it reminded them of me, Anthropology mugs or ones that make me giggle or smile! It's kinda like "pick your mood") brew a cup of java. Dump in a whole lotta creamer. Stir with a baby spoon and then turn on some worship music.

THIS is "Mommy's power hour". That usually lasts until I need to be somewhere! Flooding my heart, my mind and my soul with worship get's my blood flowing. Brings my mood up to a level which makes me bubble over with joy. Dance parties usually break out. My wee ones join in. Singing along, sippy cups dribbling over. Messes are made and nothing else matter but living IN that very moment. God speaks to me through the words in the music. The beat is like a hug. I literally see His blessings more clearly.

I am a worship junky!

There! I admitted it! I will say it again. My name is Aleisha and I am addicted to worship music. PHEW. I feel so much better now!!

Along comes Christy Nockel's and her NEW album Let it be Jesus. And you will shed tears my friends. NO not the "OH MY WORD. WHAT IS THAT." but the kind that are emotional. The feelings that settle deep within you. If I could pick my faves from her new album, My Anchor...listen to the words "Jesus, I hold onto YOU and YOU hold onto ME". UM. Thank you Lord!! AMEN!! You ARE my anchor!!! I may have become one of THOSE people and started following Christy on Instagram! And Twitter! No but, seriously Christy, if you are reading this. I think we should totally be BFF's...! I would settle for just being friends. But let's get mani's and pedi's together and laugh at each other's jokes!

The title song, Let it be Jesus is my anthem song. This song is WHAT I strive to live by! YOU must listen for yourself!! You can find her album NOW on iTunes!!

Christy has seen first hand how God can sweep His presence into a room like a gust of wind. She was raised as a pastor's kid and her love for Christ resounds in her music. I am super excited that one of YOU will get to have her album by entering HERE! ON MY BLOG! Yep, I told you Christy and I were friends. Like. Duh. And stuff!

I cannot wait to hear what you all think! Hurry, go enter! Tell your friends! Don't be stingy now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 20, 2015

So you want to be a blogger? Just be you...

A letter, to a future blogger. Oh, how I wish that I would read this one myself, 4 years ago. Its amazing what you learn on your own journey in the big, crazy, AMAZING world of blogging. My name is Aleisha, but my friends call me Leish. I am first and foremost, the daughter of the one true King. I am wife to one amazing guy and mama to 4 blessings ages 8, 6, 4 and recently turned 2. In my spare time I am a Lead Executive for Jamberry Nails,  blogger, and small business owner for a made by me company called Bliss Baby Designs.

I started into this journey, naive.

I wanted so badly to dive in FULL throttle and be like "Hello world. Here I am." I tried to come up with cool little themes each day of the week like I had seen other before me do...but it fizzled like a flame doused with water. I tried to ask questions of big bloggers I thought would like me and...never heard a response back. And if I did, it was "Pay $50 for an hour online "face to face" chat with me and 4 other bloggers just like you.

It made me feel unwanted. Lonely. Sad.

I almost gave up. But then after much praying it "clicked". WHY am I trying to be like everyone else? What was the real reason I was blogging?

Before you take the time to create a blog, sit down and make a list of reasons WHY you are starting one. Is it so you can get lots of free stuff and become super popular? If so, you might want to rethink that. Is it so you can become the next Ree Drummond {who is seriously the most insanely nice women you will ever meet! NO joke! I love her!} Or is Martha more your cup of tea? My suggestion is...

Wait for it...

Just be you. Beautifully amazing. You.

I am the biggest nerd you will ever meet. I try not to take myself too seriously. But I am incredibly sensitive. I like to roll in packs as it makes me feel more confident. Because of this, I got linked up with local blogging groups {for Oregon/Washington its PNW Bloggers} which has helped me to grow more confidence and come out of my shell. Nobody wants to read about HOW perfect you are. They want to see YOU and hear you through your writing. Nobody cares about what you drive or that you rock gauchos and rarely come face to face with an actual brush. They want to see your heart.

One of the biggest let downs I have ever had was thinking I knew someone through following their blog religiously. Only to meet them in person and they were completely faking it. This person I thought I knew through following them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or even on their Google+ accounts...was not who they led me to believe. I had seen the inside of their homes and thought " do they keep it so perfect, have 5 kids that they all home school and still look so completely put together as they make a gourmet meal while sewing a quilt at the same time?" truth is...we document the moments we ACTUALLY got dressed. In something other than yoga pants. We have learned that the higher the bun...the closer to God {I am only kidding...or am I?!} and that you take a picture of what you are working on in the cleanest corner of your house. This was why the hashtag #messymonday was created or #momlife. So we can laugh at the woes that comes with this world of blogging.

When people see the real YOU behind the blog. They connect more. They read more. And they follow more.

Some of my best friends I have made through blogging. One of them, isn't even a blogger! She joined in my first ever Holiday swap I had hosted and we hit it off through email. We text each other regularly and I was the first (besides her dear husband) to find out she was expecting for the second time. These connections were made AFTER I let down the veil of "I want to be liked" and showed my real self. Take me or leave me world...cause here I am.

You are unique. You are clever. You are kind and you are brilliant. So please, if you are sarcastic and funny in real life. Show us. If you are intelligent and sophisticated...let us see. But my #1 piece of advice I wish I had learn in the beginning was to be myself.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Opinions are like belly buttons...everybody has one.

Guess what? I am a Jamberry Nails consultant. I have been since May 26th of this last year...but in the almost year that I have been selling Jamberry, unless you were to follow me on Instagram and see my weekly Jamicure, are a friend whom I speak to on a regular basis or physically bring it up to me, you probably wouldn't know it. You know why? I am not a spammer. You see, recently all of us multi-Level marketing men and women were lumped together in a post that went viral. While it hurt mine and many other's feelings (including men and women who are not MLM-related), I will not stoop to the same level and bash. The reason? I am happy. I am so incredibly happy for what GOD has placed before me. And I really have no need to! The world can be such a negative place that I do not feel the need to add to it! Is it for everyone? No. Should everyone be doing it? I think it takes a certain type of person, so no. Not everyone is cut out for it. But I kindly ask you do not lump us all together. It is rude, unkind and just not ladylike.

I lead a team of almost 700 women (and 1 guy!). They all joined on their own and were not pressured into joining. We did not perform a "Jamberry chant" and seduce them into our "nail cult". I teach my team to work their business with kindness, integrity and we work very hard at not "spamming" our friends and family. We are proud to wear our "nail stickers," and even before Jamberry many of us were childlike and used ones made by Sally Hansen and other store brands. The only difference being now our nails stay pretty for a heck of a whole lot longer.

I am a mom of 4. My husband works extremely hard for us, but a family of 6 is a big undertaking. Unfortunately, we have had moments of "new shoes or veggies for dinner". We couldn't afford to pay for sports and extracurricular activities for our children...unless I was working too. I taught Music and Movement classes for a few years 1 night a week in the evenings. This made it so I could help with our necessities. The only problem? I was an emotional train wreck and completely exhausted from creating lesson plans and having to leave my babies behind. Yep, I am one of THOSE who despite having dreams of owning my own business, I wanted to be a wife and mommy. I want to be there for each and every tear that falls. To celebrate the triumphs and to watch these incredible tiny humans grow -- grow in confidence and grow in love. I wanted them to see ME working hard for THEM.

I know...this sounds REALLY old school, right? I mean...didn't women burn their bras in honor of women's rights? Are THEY really worth it?

To me they are.

I have this friend (OK, there you go jumpin' to conclusions! Let me finish my sentence!) I have known her for a while. She did not friend me to immediately regurgitate down my throat. Instead, she simply had posted a picture saying she was looking for 3 hostesses for the month of April. Being a FRIEND, I said "Sure! I will! But I am not going to join." She laughed and told me, NO worries. I also warned her I would probably hate the products as I had tried similar ones that came out in my hair. She laughed at that and sent me some for my daughters and me to try.

I fell in love. I mean. I LOVE to do something that is EASY and makes me feel pretty, makes me feel spoiled, and that I can do from home. I have probably 50 bottles of nail polish, and every single type of "drying drops" or spray you can find. But it always ended with nails that were globby or had sheet marks. I was sold. But then...when I had people COMMENTING when THEY saw me saying, "OH my gosh! Do you sell these? I want some," that I decided to take the plunge. A whole 6 weeks later I drank the Jam juice and plunged head first into what naysayers have dubbed a pyramid scheme. (more on this later).  I work very hard at not spamming my friends. I try to keep my Facebook page my personal life. Jamberry has become a part of that, but I don't cram it down their throats. Have I added anyone to a group without asking them first. Sure, but in the same sense I am added to a book club for a bunch of us rowdy Portland Blogger's who like to have a good ol' time of reading books, drinking coffee and spending some time together. As friends. As in everything it is called moderation, and when I am added to another birthday party, baby shower or housewarming party, I know that if I want to leave, I can press "leave group" and quietly be on my way. Same goes with the wonderful world of MLM.

How many friends do I have that sell for an MLM? I dunno. A bunch. A few started to help bring in funds for their adoptions. A few to snag stuff they wanted at a discount. Then there are some like me who did it to be home with the ones they love. But you know what?  I don't judge them, ridicule them or boldly jump down their throats when I am asked if I could host a Noonday party. If I can't do it, I kindly let them know I am not interested. Or I can say yes. This is called being a big girl. Using your words and doing as mama always taught us when we were little -- "If you don't have nothing nice to say. You simply say nothing at all."

Jamberry has been life-changing for my family. I have gained confidence in myself and am less stressed out as I get to CHOOSE what I want to do with my day. I can work for myself whenever I want. We can take trips, and we have been working towards living completely debt-free. Our company doesn't want us to share how much we make. You know why? Because  it's rude. It's called being a show-off and we don't need to toss that in your face. I can tell you, I make more than I ever have even when working in law. I no longer get the "after Target" talk from my Mr. If my children want to buy frozen yogurt after the game, I no longer have to worry if it will come from the envelope marked groceries or the one marked electricity. We can live freely. We donate and we support others. To see what Jamberry has done for others like me, simply search the hashtag #BecauseofJamberry on Instagram and other social media outlets. Some will make you cry. Extreme poverty, abusive relationships -- they are now thriving.

Jamberry has taken my husband and I on a much needed FIRST TIME AWAY from the kids ever on an all expense paid trip to Cancun. I got really tan, made some incredible friends, slept in and rekindled the relationship I have with my husband. It was divine. OH, and the best part? They didn't stick hot coals in my shoes and force me to do anything I didn't want to. Nope, instead they cheered me on and mailed me all kinds of cool stuff when I made my own personal goals. And they ask me about my kids because the ones that started the company are moms. Moms with the same mindset as me.

Will everyone be successful? No. You get what you put into it.

Do you need to spam your friends? Nope. If they want it, they know where to find you.

Will I pressure you to join my team? Nope, cause if you want to join my team you will. And if you don't, I am OK with that too.

OH here is a good one...

All MLM's are a pyramid scheme. UM. First off, how OLD are you? The government would take us down and serve us our tookus' on a platter. I do not have excessive amounts of inventory. OH WAIT. I don't have ANY inventory! That is because I don't need to! I have the products I use personally...but if you want something and you're not my mom, daughters, sisters, nieces or bff? Get your hands off my jams cause I ain't sharing! I suggest you look up articles and actually do research on Pyramid and Ponzi schemes. Just like every company, you always have someone above you and below you with a different title who makes money off of what YOU bring in/do. That is called work. Workin' for the man. Workin' 9-5 (anyone else picture Dolly Parton there?!). The difference with MLM's? The support. The mocked "sisterhood". I can only speak for Jamberry when I say we work hard at supporting one another. If a "sister" is down...we do everything we can to lift her back up again. When a bride of a consultant fell in love with the shoes in the know what Jamberry did? They gave them to her. Yep. We are so awful, aren't we?

I don't care if you don't like my "nail stickers". I don't care if you don't want to have tarantula lashes (Yep, I was added to a party. I bought and guess what? I love it! I will take another tube of tarantula please!). I care about treating others with integrity and kindness and having a heart. I wish you luck in your new book that you were NOT spamming out to us, and also wanted to say good luck with your chipped polish. Because after are a grown woman who stopped playing with stickers in Kindergarten. I guess it must be the art major in me, cause my love for stickers never faded. And I guess that is why I am such a good mom. I can unwind, let loose and have fun.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Nourished - book review and giveaway

I picked up the book 'Nourished A search for health, happiness, and a full night's sleep' because of the name really. I mean, could a book start out anymore perfect? I cannot tell you the last time I have had a full nights sleep. And unfortunately I feel as though its like bigfoot. Heard of but rarely seen {if at all, see what I did there?! Huh, huh?! COME ON. You know I am right!}

Rachel is a lot like me in the book and in all honesty Becky is a whole lot like my mom! We are complete and utter opposites striving for the same path. The same solid foundation that fills our cup and makes us feel revitalized. Rejuvenated. Whole.

When reading this book you will laugh. You will nod your head and mutter at the pages. Truly it is though they tapped into my own in home reality T.V. show...except my reality T.V. show isn't making the big bucks and have a built in laugh machine. Maybe I should install one to lighten the mood a bit? They tackle the top 10 stressors for women (here are just a few!):

Cluttered Surroundings (can I get an AMEN)
Time-starved Marriages (no comment)
Crowded Schedules (I need to reread this section...don't even ask to see my calendar!)
Exhaustion of Parenting (and now we know why my barista's know me by the sound of my voice!)
Feeling like a Spiritual Slacker (let it go, girls!)
Negative Body Image (it starts way too young)

Any of these sounds like something YOU think about? The word nourish means- 1. Provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition. 2. Keep (a feeling or belief) in one's mind, typically for a long time. Rachel and Becky have come up with practical tips to design a nourished life that fits each one of your personalities. Yours, hers, my friends, your neighbor. We will learn to embrace "nourishing compromises" and never put happiness on hold again. 

OK loves, you excited?? One of you gets to win a copy of your very own! Bust out your highlighters, fold over them pages and go to town on embracing the "nourishing compromises". To enter you must be a U.S. or Canada resident. Winner will be drawn on Valentine's Day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
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