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Basement Kitchen Reveal!

Basement Kitchen Reveal!

OH FRIENDS.

The basement. It’s kind of a trigger word in our house and we are all still recovering from the 8 month process it’s been! We are grateful to have been able to finish it and now we know moving forward that timelines in renovation and construction are basically imaginary and you can just plan on your project being finished when the universe allows it 🙂

There are still so many little things to do so we will be doing these reveals over time but I am SO FREAKING STOKED to share with you THE KITCHEN!

I got a few comments asking why would I put a kitchen in my basement when I already have a beautiful one?! Good  question! We wanted to have a space where we could keep drinks and snacks for the downstairs theatre and playroom as well as a place where guests could feel like they could come to our home and have a space of their own! You know when your kids wake up at 5am at a friends house and you’re trying to keep them quiet and feed them cereal? It’s tough! So I wanted to have a space that accommodated our friends and family as well as gave me a second kitchen to utilize when we have large gatherings!

I am so totally obsessed with the kitchen and I hope you will be too!

I wanted to take some fun risks in the basement since I had gone so simple and white in the kitchen upstairs! Open shelving didn’t make sense to me in our main kitchen because I cook a lot and need a lot of closed storage for all our appliances so it was fun to do open shelving in the uppers!

The lower cabinets were custom by our friend Tadd Cox – aren’t they gorgeous? He doesn’t have a website but you can DM me if you’re in Utah and I can get you his contact information! The color of the cabinets are Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. I love how this color plays in the light and is sometimes lends to blue or green depending!

The open shelving is quartered oak which we also had custom made by Tadd. My husband Andrew stained them with this stain. We may add some more white in so you can see more grain in the future but for now I’m really loving them!

The backsplash tile is from Contempo Tile and is a simple crayon shape in Bright White. I LOVE it and would do it in other places in the house for sure! It’s fairly inexpensive but more interesting than a subway tile! The faucet is the same we have in our upstairs kitchen and I’m obsessed with it. The Champagne Gold is such a great unique color and somehow it doesn’t get TOO spotty from water and fingerprints which I appreciate!

Let’s talk about the waterfall island. DEFINITELY my favorite part of the kitchen! It makes such a statement without being over the top – it was totally worth the investment! We decided to go with Home Depot for our countertops and it was truly THE BEST experience. Work can be really hard to find in Utah right now. There is SO MUCH new construction that it can be difficult to get people out to finish jobs. Not with Home Depot! I took my dimensions in and worked with the BEST people who just know their job. I didn’t have time or energy to figure out depth or what would look best and they did it all for me. I also love that they sent actual templates and 3d drawings of how the counter tops would look in the space so I could adjust things. This counter is Calatta Gold Quartz.

The grain in it is is so soft but yet SO GORGEOUS. Do you think Andrew would be mad at me if I wanted to replace all the upstairs with this material? YES YES HE WOULD.

Gasp. Love it so much.

The appliances are all Whirlpool! We had done higher end appliances in our upstairs and couldn’t afford to go that route downstairs as well. I love the options we found for well made but budget friendly appliances and these are working great!! I especially love the option of having a double oven, dishwasher and fridge down here for hosting parties. They’ve already been put to good use. We decided not to do a stove top because FIRE and kids and I just didn’t want to not be able to keep an eye on it when they’re downstairs playing!

Fridge // Double Oven // Dishwasher

Baby Got Back.

The floor! Okay this has a lot of questions on it. I could do a whole blog post and maybe I will but I’ll keep talking more about these as we do more reveals. This is Natural Maple Engineered Vinyl Plank from Lumber Liquidators. What I’ve learned is it’s a newer manufactured tile and nicer, stronger and feels better than even Luxury Vinyl Tile. I was hesitant to use anything but wood but after my experience with maintenance with my wood (NIGHTMARE) I wanted to be able to have a breathe easy space in the basement where the kids can have a drink and I don’t have to panic! This stuff is INDESTRUCTIBLE. Andrew installed the entire floor himself. Technically guys it’s SO EASY but just freaking time consuming. It took him almost 4 days to lay the basement flooring we chose to do this in, which was about 1000 square feet. ANYONE can do it but just plan on some time and buying some knee pads 🙂  

Okay I think that’s all I have for you for now! Leave any questions and I can source everything below! I know this is a long post but hopefully helpful to you! Thanks for stopping by and for all the love and kindness!!

xo

Stools // Rug // Cutting Board //

 

 

 

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Redwood Planter DIY

Redwood Planter DIY

HI!! This is my blog. Did you know I had one? 😉 While I’m not the blogger I used to be I’ve been really enjoying popping on here occasionally to document the things I enjoy and the season of life our family is in. I’m so glad you’re here!

We are still settling in to our new home a year later and it seems every weekend is full of projects which we love doing! This project I’ve been promising to post about for a while is our DIY Redwood Garden Planters. When we had the yard landscaped we left the side of the house open for garden space and knew we wanted planter boxes that fit custom against the house so they wouldn’t be raised out of the ground but fit beautifully against the house.

Leave it to Andrew to get.it.done.!

And here’s how!

First he measured the base of the soil to the top of the siding where he wanted the planter to fit, ours are 12 inches high. And then around the entire garden space where he wanted the wood to border. He took his dimensions to Home Depot and purchased the appropriate amount of Redwood for it. He used Redwood because it’s a durable outdoor wood as it will be sitting year round on the ground, it’s a little more expensive so you could achieve this with Pine.       

Andrew did all the cuts himself with his saw but if you have the dimensions you need Home Depot can make the cuts for you making it an even easier project! If you are building them for a space like ours you can put them together before hand but Andrew had to do a little bit of the building in place for ours. You lap joint the corners and screw them together (this is me literally repeating what he says cause heaven knows I have ZERO CLUE), if you want to hide the screws you can use pocket screws.

K then things got crazy. This is completely unnecessary which is the story of our life so here goes.

Andrew decided he wanted to Shou Sugi Ban the wood. SAY WHAT? Basically this is a Japanese method of torching wood both for the appearance and for wood preservation. It helps to protect against harsh eliminates and creates a beautiful look. The torch Andrew used he just snagged at Home Depot and now we have one so yay 😉

Use a blow torch to blacken the wood on all sides, it doesn’t take long but don’t be afraid to burn it! 

After that’s done you’ll wire brush off the excess char and unveil the most GORGEOUS wood!! Isn’t it stunning?! Some people leave all the charred wood there and seal it but we did it this way and love it. After that’s done you’ll seal the wood with this but you can also use a Linseed Oil.

       

We have spent countless hours out herewith the kids taking care of the Garden and eating from it’s beauty!! We have snap peas, beets, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, squash and so much more growing! I can’t wait to have endless amounts of tomatoes for salsa and just to east with plain kosher salt – MY FAVORITE! What a joy it is to have a garden of our own in a home of our own, I am so grateful for the blessing of it every day.

 

 

 

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Thoughts on Marriage: 13 Years

Thoughts on Marriage: 13 Years

Today marks 13 years since I married Andrew Rammell. I posted these sentiments last year and they still ring true for me. I’ve added one and edited some. Marriage has been a place of great learning and love for the both of us. Here are 13 lessons we’ve learned on our 13th anniversary.

1. Find common interests that are simple so when it feels like you are agreeing on nothing, you have something easy to access that feels agreeable. Maybe it’s home projects, cooking together or finding the best gummy bear ever(Albanese duh.) Something simple that signifies an outward expression of, “look! we have something together.” 2. Laugh. Every day and never at the expense of others. I’ve never heard Andrew put down someone else.

3. Instead of looking at your partners flaws as setbacks – consider them as the strengths you do not yet possess. Honor their movement through the universe and they will honor yours. Different movement allows for different perspective.

4. Therapy is for any marriage. Even if yours is good – communication makes it better. I view therapy as saying to myself and to Andrew when times get rough – “I’m not giving up and neither are you.” I used to think therapy was for the weak and unhappy but I was wrong! Therapy is for the most brave and courageous souls who admit we cannot always do it alone and who seek to refine their relationships and live in more joy. Plus therapy is cool! @mindfulcounseling

5. You’re a power couple. Believe that. Work together and not against each other and the entire world is yours to take over. Recently Andrew and I could not seem to get on the same page about something and I simply started the conversation with “we both want the same thing for our family, so let’s work together towards it.” That message changed the entire energy and promoted a peaceful conversation.

6. Sex matters. 😎 Things can be hot, weird, non existent and a number of other emotions but never ignore what’s happening. Keep talking about it. so.much.talking.

7. Fill silence with truth. Don’t wait for your spouse to fulfill your imaginary needs. Take your power back and speak what you desire. No games, just the honest truth. (Contd in comments)

If you’re waiting for someone to read your mind, you’ll be pretty disappointed. I asked Andrew what he thought and he said this “Relationships are only as good as the effort we put into them. I’m not always great at putting forth enough effort all the time but I know the formula. Love is as much a decision as it is a feeling or state of being.”

8. Celebrate each other. The big wins, the little ones. Be each other’s biggest fan. What you speak becomes truth, so always speak light.

9. Show up. Be the person you know your partner can count on.

10. Believe in something. For us it’s God. Have a source of light and love that can help guide you.

11. Serve together. Loving others will help in loving each other.

12. Don’t give up. When it feels like you can’t understand your partners perspective, keep asking questions. In the answers you will find (even if you still disagree) better ways to love and show up for them.

13.This above all else. Believe you are worth loving. If things aren’t as you want them, remember you have the power to change it. Once you let down the walls you’ve put up against love, you will be open to receive it ❤️

Growing

Growing

A tiny seed of anxiety was planted a few days ago and yesterday it grew in to a gigantic tree with deep roots, knotted branches and falling leaves. Over and over again I kept hearing the story I wanted to hear, “You’re not good enough. You overthink everything. You aren’t pretty enough or skinny enough or kind enough or funny enough or smart enough.”

Isn’t our familiar messaging so cute? 🙄 Rearing its ugly head whenever it damn well pleases! “Disappear, make yourself quiet and unseen,” the voice said. “Let your branches shrink entirely, stop growing, stop reaching toward the sky. No one can hear you or see you, you’re one of millions in a forest. What could possibly make you special?”

Today, I’m telling the voice that I’ve met a thousand times before something different. Today, I’m saying, “Hello. I honor you because I know from your resistance is a birth of new strength. I won’t pretend you’re not there and instead I’m going to ask myself the question why you are. And we can sit together a moment but then I’m inviting you to leave. Because right now when the voice is telling me to shrink is when I MOST need to be brave. To show up. To grow. To close my eyes and crane my neck towards the sun and thank it for allowing me to be nurtured by it. To untangle the self doubt and allow the knowledge of my divinity force me to sprout new branches of self love and awareness so I can offer myself the grace that I extend others.”

A tiny seed was planted and when I do not stay aware it can grow rapidly and beyond my control until I have to work over time to nurture its dying leaves. Stay strong friends. Shield yourself and always come back to the knowing that YOU are divine and majestic. You are never alone because I am here doing this work alongside you and remember that there is always space and time to come back to life 🌳  

Baby Passports 101

Baby Passports 101

Kind of boring to discuss, but I WISH I would have had a post to walk me through this before we made the mistakes we did trying to get one! I’ll be quick:

1. Remember, for children under the age of 16 passports are ONLY valid for 5 years. For those age 16 and older, issued passports are valid for 10 years.

2. You can not travel internationally to many countries within 6 months of a passport expiring. You may be denied boarding your flight or even entry upon arriving, so check country restrictions beforehand.  

3. You must have BOTH parents present and the child at a government office where they issue a child’s passport. We went to our county building because they notarize and send off the application for you. You can also go to a post office and many locations have appointments you make ahead of time. If both parents aren’t able to be present, there is a form to fill out online and you can have it notarized yourself.

4. Be prepared with your photos there. We have used both a pharmacy and Costco in the past.

5. You will need the following documentation for your child: their original birth certificate with the proof of parental relationship, photocopy of both parents birth certificate (or valid passports), and a valid photo ID for both parents. You’ll also need the child’s social security, not the card just the number.

6. Allow yourself plenty of time to both be at the office and send in the passport. There are rushed options available but the sooner the better!

7. BRING A CHECK! They don’t take credit cards. (Bring your checkbook)

8. Travel safe!! We love being able to show our kids the world this is just one of those logistical things that has a lot of moving parts! ❤️ This girl did so so so awesome on her first international trip, she wins my easiest baby award. You can see some of our family’s trips here

Perioral Dermatitis & All Its Glory

Perioral Dermatitis & All Its Glory

If you follow me on my personal Instagram you know I’ve been having a journey with Perioral Dermatitis. It is aggressive and I’ve had it for 2.5 months now and it’s finally clearing up. I have a ways to go still and there is some scarring so I’ll be working on that next. For so long I thought it was simply a hormonal breakout but it’s a lot more than that and actually requires a lot of vigilance to get rid of!

If you know me well you might know I’m super in to skin care and holistically supporting it. In fact I recently taught a webinar all about detoxing your skin care to help avoid chemicals!! This time with dermatitis my skin was relentless though and wouldn’t budge.

What IS IT? Pimples around the mouth in adult women are often diagnosed as acne, but many times it’s actually perioral dermatitis. Perioral dermatitis is an acne-like eruption that presents as red bumps on the chin and mouth. Like dermatitis, the skin can be red, scaly and itchy; like acne, it can have pimples. Perioral dermatitis usually starts as pimples around the mouth; in more severe cases, the bumps appear around the nose and eyes as well. It has a characteristic circular pattern, surrounding the mouth while sparing a thin border of skin around the lips. Unlike acne, there are no clogged pores (comedones) in perioral dermatitis.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Get a diagnosis. This skin issue can look like zits and so you think they’ll go away and they often won’t without an antibiotic (although I’ll be sharing my natural products I’ve used thus far.) Just knowing I had it made me feel better, like I wasn’t shooting in the dark at treating what it was.
  2. STOP SCRUBBING. My initial feelings were ‘okay if I scrub with my normal sea salt I love or my favorite clay mask or anything it will get better.’ Honestly the MORE you do to your Perioral Dermatitis the worse it gets. It’s CRAZY. It gets red and inflamed so easily and is an angry little buddy. And do not even THINK about putting a steroid on it, that will make it so bad you’ll cry. Put it down, don’t do it.
  3. Stop using everything you currently own. Really. Even my essential oils I stopped once I knew I had it. It’s just a different kind of thing and you really do have to treat Dermatitis differently than you would any other acne break out.
  4. Avoid SLS and fluoride in your toothpaste. Sounds insane but this is A HUGE cause of Dermatitis. Most toothpastes contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate which is a chemical used in toothpaste to create the foaming action. SLS can cause or irritate existing allergies, canker sores and bad breath, which is why an SLS Free alternative is worth considering. Here is the one I found that I like.
  5. Go makeup free. Heavy foundations make dermatitis worse so plan on taking a break for a while. You need to disinfect and wash your brushes and any sponges that you use.
  6. Here has been my routine. For weeks I JUST used Apple Cider Vinegar as what I washed my face with. I dilute a cotton ball with water and put a few drops of ACV on it and just clean my face off. I did that for a few weeks with no other treatment and it helped. Hold it firmly to the spot for 1 minute too, it will sting but it showed improvement for me.
  7. I eventually started using this Black Clay Facial Soap and I think it’s been most instrumental in my skin repair. It’s made specifically for Dermatitis but if you have any kind of skin issue I highly recommend it. The results have been absolutely mind blowing. I’ll continue using this because I love it that much!
  8. I’ve been using this product made with coconut oil, aloe vera and manuka honey to heal and repair my skin. It’s well loved in the Dermatitis community (yep there is one) and for good reason. I’ve really found it nourishing to my skin which has aided in repair. You may think drying it out is the best thing but actually keeping it moisturized helps with healing. I’ve also been using this cream, I think it’s helping and a lot of people have recommended it but I’m not able to say totally if it’s what has worked.
  9. At this point if you’ve done this a few weeks and still haven’t seen results it’s time to get serious. You can either go the route of antibiotics (you’ll need to be on a low dose of them for 1-2 months in order to get rid of it.) And in that case you should always take a probiotic, supplements and bone broth along side with it to promote good gut flora while you’re breaking it down with the antibiotic. I take a probiotic and supplement from doTERRA and you can always sign up for our newsletter list to get more oily info. I get my bone broth at Thrive Market.
  10. You can attempt to use Structured Silver as an antibiotic in the body. It is hugely powerful and I am no expert on how it works but my friend Jennie teaches about it constantly. And you can find her here.

Wow this is seriously a lot of information and more than I ever would want to know about Dermatitis so if this doesn’t pertain to you, I’m sorry! I’ve had hundreds of woman reach out to me saying they’ve had it or have it currently! If you have your own suggestions to chime in, please DO in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

xo

J

Mother Goddess

Mother Goddess

The other day my sweet friend Kelly, who recently had a baby and was majorly doubting herself, said to me, “I am just not like you. You are a mother goddess.” (Side note: she IS absolutely one.) And I was struck because she must not know about the darkness, defeat and anxiety. The moments I cry and wish I could accomplish the things I used to. The nights where my marriage is tense solely because it’s my safe space to express my frustrations and we are both so busy meeting the needs of others.

This season is the wildest ride of my life. I am welcoming it more gracefully than before, however, no amount of deep abiding gratitude could ever protect me from the reality that babies.are.work! And it can feel like a solitary one. They need your every care for a really long time and it’s overwhelming. In many ways my life is not my own right now and I’m chasing after the things taking place before me and that’s not typically how I operate.

Four months post baby is always a rough transition for me as I am still not sleeping, yet expected to be business as usual; it leaves me feeling unseen at times! I have found myself scrolling through the beautiful images and the endless captions of positivity beaming in motherhood and I LOVE those and I feel it so much, but I DO want you to know that this is not easy for me. It takes all the effort I possess to not end my day beating myself up for the things I didn’t get done and choosing to celebrate the things I did.

And just now as I’m settling into a tub and some much needed me time, I hear the little cries of my little girl who needs me so much right now. And I need her so much right now too. To remind me of how strong I am. To remind me of the gift life really is, to see God in my every day and to snap me back in to the things that eternally matter. The world IS my oyster and I look forward to seizing it again one day and doing it alongside these children who have shaped me into the mother goddess that I am.

Do I really care about this?

Do I really care about this?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what you don’t actually care about? As I scroll social I find these questions creep in to mind as each person passes by. She cares about celery juice, should I? She cares about her instant pot, should I? (I do, by the way, care a lot about my instant pot.) He cares about making his pictures perfect, should I? She cares about driving the fanciest car and having a designer bag, should I? She is Marie Kondo-ing her entire existence, should I?

When you have these thoughts, stop. Let the dust settle. Go in to your OWN mind and ask yourself the question “Do I really care about this?” If someone were to ask me, “Who are you and what do you care about?” Would it be one of the things, ideas or attributes you just saw? More often than not I find that no, I don’t care about it at all. Don’t care to do it and don’t care to talk about it so in reality I don’t even care to make room for it but yet there I am wondering if I should. And I am SO relieved to remember the things I care for and the things I don’t and it feels like a big huge breath of fresh air to remember in the words of Cleo Wade, “To not care about the things you don’t actually care about.”

Remember you know more about yourself than you think.

(Some of) What I want my girls to know:

(Some of) What I want my girls to know:

1. You don’t have to see the worst in other women to fill your insecurities. Instead find the things you love about other women and you’ll see so much goodness in your own self.

2. You’ll make mistakes, judgements. You’ll be mean. You’ll regret it. Don’t live in that shame. Try again to be kinder, to be compassionate. Give yourself the grace to begin again. Ask for forgiveness.

3. You might not always see in yourself the good things, but I always will. Ask me and I’ll tell you why you’re so vital to the heartbeat of this world.

4. You don’t have to do everything to be important.

5. You’ll want to be sure everyone likes you, they won’t. And that’s okay. Seek people who like you just as you are and as you wish to become and when they seem to be nowhere, pray to the one who always sees your divinity.

6. You will find yourself over and over. In sickness, in the loss of a best friend, in the birth of your babies and in the relationships gone right and wrong. Do not stay stuck because there is always room and space and time to become who you want to be!

7. There isn’t anything you can’t do, but there are definitely things you should say no to.

8. I love you. I never saw myself here. Sisters, girls, friends – to be honest it was always hard for me. I wondered if I’d ever feel comfortable in my own skin. It has taken years for me be understood, to understand and I hope that my journey of seeking love for myself and love for others helps guides you in your own. My hope is that you can arrive at a place of wholeness much sooner than I did. I love you little women. So very much.

Organizing with Home Depot!

Organizing with Home Depot!

Since we had our big move middle of 2017 I began my commitment to living a more organized life. I am realizing it’s a really tough habit to break!! Now that I have all the closet space I need I still find myself stashing things and letting items pile up and then looking at myself and wondering “why do I do this!?” Old habits die hard I guess?!

Here is a recent before and after of my boy’s room:

But honestly in the last two months I’ve gained some serious speed on the organizing game and I promise you – it can be done! Here’s what I’ve learned about the game of organization so far – it doesn’t have to be daunting if you’re doing it in bite size pieces consistently.

Here are 3 things I’ve learned about setting a home and being better organized:

1-  Every time you do laundry (which for me is seriously once a week if I’m lucky so I do A LOT at once) grab a garbage sack and a box or bin. In the box you’ll put anything that your kids have outgrown to organize and in the garbage sack you’ll toss stuff that’s maybe too worn or isn’t something you’re wearing much anymore so you can donate it. While you’ve got things going in the dryer head over to every closet in the home and just start cleaning out. I am surprised that every time I do loads of laundry, I have something that ends up in a donation bin or a too small bin and then it’s one less thing my kids end up wearing and throwing in the laundry basket! This has been huge for me because I find that clothes can seriously BLOW up any room.

I am a huge fan of traditional (and cheap) laundry baskets. I’ve done the big cute ones in the past and I swear because they’re tall and I can’t see the clothes I let my laundry go on f o r e v e r (said like squints palladoris obviously)! These baskets allow me to carry too and from, don’t hold too much but hold just enough and are cheap so I can have a zillion around my house. Plus #lifehack, I love having these when I’m transporting anything to a party or dinner – they’re the BEST to carry dishes and odds and ends in! This one is $4 – can’t beat it.

2- Commit yourself to an area or organization a week. This has been huge for me! Every week I write in my notes an area of focus in my house I want to tackle. I can’t possible spend all day organizing and cleaning and on days when I try to do that I grow a strong aversion to it and then my house looks like a wreck. So one week – tackle your pantry. The next week, your mail area + junk drawer. Write a massive list of what you want to achieve functionally in your home and just start tackling it! In the past I wake up on a Tuesday and think “today I’m going to be organized!” Then am disappointed when I’ve worked my guts out and it’s 11pm and nothing looks done. Take your time and do it right. Plus when you love on a spot for an entire week you become super possessive about how it looks and it’s hard to let it go to waste like you used to!

3- Buy all the baskets and bins for your common areas. I don’t have a toy room or loft in our home yet (most the toys will go downstairs when it’s finished) so I had to find a way that was functional for toys to be organized but yet still pretty. I don’t like to permanently label anything in case kids interest or the flow of the organization needs to be changed! I like using gift tags to label so the kids can clearly see when it’s time for pick up where things go. I also like to buy smaller containers and pouches for the TINY pieces that don’t see to matter until a kid is freaking out wondering where the piece is 🙂

Here are some of the baskets I love below from Home Depot that are both functional but beautiful! Now go – be organized! I’ll be cheering you on!!

Copper Storage Baskets

Jute Decorative Storage Basket

Hyacinth Basket

Scoop Basket

Rope Basket

Copper + Marble Box

Navy Basket

*This post is in partnership with Home Depot! All opinions are my own – cause that’s how I roll! Thanks for reading!

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