the best posts from my favorite blogs this week
I’m taking a break from DIY projects and home renovations to share some other goodies from around the web! Every Friday morning, come back here for a round-up of the things I’ve discovered online this week! From DIY building, home decor, parenting and recipe ideas, these blog posts are all the best of the best! I don’t want you to miss them.
There are a lot of blogs in the universe. Here’s how I keep track of my favorite ones, without needing some fancy app: Bookmarks! That’s right. I go so old-school. I have a Bookmarks Tab in my web browser that I’ve dubbed “blogs I love”. The I find a new blog that has content I like, I add their home page to the list. Then when I’m bored or have a spare five minutes, I like to pull up this tab and browse through each of these bloggers’ most recent posts. Here’s a screenshot of what my bookmarks look like. I have a lot of blogs saved, so this is just a sampling:
Now that you know the secret to my sauce, let’s get to it! Here are my favorite posts from the Blogosphere this week:
Big Style, Tiny Space
You know those teeny spaces at the Ikea showroom that are all decked-out to inspire you to live in under 500 square feet? Yeah. I always see those and think Could anyone really do this? Turns out, the answer is an emphatic Yes!
Jess Bunge has a gorgeous living room reveal on Style By Emily Henderson that caught my eye and has had me dreaming about my own future small space all week. The entire space is only 363 square feet but it’s packed with a casual chicness that makes the space feel much bigger.
Here’s Jess’ full space: Small Space Living Room Reveal
You can read more about my family’s decision to live in a smaller home here: We Are Downsizing
Vacation Planning For Families Who Love Nature
Christine loves national and state parks. Hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and just generally being outdoors is her true passion. I’m down for camping because I love to build fires and play in creeks!
Unfortunately, after we had our daughter four years ago, we kind of stopped exploring nature because it became a little overwhelming to be in the woods with a cranky toddler. Actually, everything that wasn’t staying at home alone where no one could judge our parenting because our toddler was so cranky became overwhelming. So we’ve become pretty sedentary and neither one of us is happy about that.
We’ve made a family resolution to visit more state and national parks this year. So when I saw this blog post from Kristen on Busy Kids Happy Mom, with tips for exploring national parks with families, I knew I had to add it to my list.
Here’s the full post: Family Friendly Tips For National Parks
Easy Natural Mouthwash Recipe
You guys know I’m all about natural skincare and cleaning products because I’m allergic to like everything, right? Well I’ll be honest: While I found a natural toothpaste that I adore years ago, I’ve never been smitten on a natural mouthwash. I’ve tried every single one on the market and they all leave a pithy coating on my tongue that just grosses me out. So I’ve either skipped mouthwash (in favor of just a water gargle) or used Listerine that burns my tongue but doesn’t stay behind.
Recently it occurred to me that if I’m making my own skincare products, there’s a good probability that I could make my own mouthwash too. That’s when I found this recipe from Anya at Prepare & Nourish and decided to give it a go. I’ve been using the peppermint version for a few weeks now and, while I’m still not ready to commit to her “brushing only once a day” routine, I am loving the mouthwash for a quick refresh between brushings!
Here’s the full recipe and post: Herbal 2-Ingredient Mouthwash
One-Line Motivations To Get Your Head Back In The Game
Okay, you guys. Mercury is in retrograde and while I still don’t understand exactly what that means, I do know that it’s affecting the crap outta my girlfriends. It seems like everywhere I look, one of my pals is succumbing to fears, anxiety, and trepidation. It’s so hard to watch and, as a fixer, I want to just shout at them, LADIES! YOU ARE BIGGER THAN THIS!
Since shouting at people isn’t a generally accepted form of communication, I find myself steering them towards motivational books, podcasts, and blogs that might inspire them to take back their powers. Maybe it’s basic af, but I find that hearing the words I already know in my soul, coming from someone else’s perspective, can be the thing that solidifies them in my mind.
My favorite quick read for instant powerful mantras is a post from Nicole at Home On Poplar Creek in which she lays out 25 quotes that always make me feel instantly massive. Like, take-on-the-whole-universe massive. Need to feel massive today?
Here’s the full post: 25 Powerful Quotes for Women to Live By
A Heart-Wrenching Tale of A Woman’s Unhealthy Relationship With Her Scale
So, I don’t talk about my weight. Ever. To Anyone. Well, except maybe to Christine. But I make a very pointed attempt to never discuss my relationship with my body in a public forum. If I ever do discuss it in some way (like last year’s smoothie obsession which you can read here), I talk about my health. I talk about my energy. I talk about everything in my diet in relation to my Rheumatoid Arthritis and various other autoimmune issues but I never talk about my weight.
I grew up in a household full of women who all had struggles with their bodies. Meanwhile, I was thin. It was genuinely unfair to all of us that there was such a disparity among our genetic makeups. For them, I know jealousy crept in. For me, it was guilt. For all of us, it was mentally exhausting. Every new diet fad they tried and every new opportunity I had broke us further and further apart as a family. I spiraled into body dysmorphia as a teenager and don’t know that I’ve ever fully recovered.
As an adult, I have struggled with my weight. I’ve come to expect a general pattern every year - I lose weight in the Summer and gain it back each Winter (plus a little extra). I go through periods during which I love my body and I’m happy to show it off and then other times, I want to layer myself in baggy clothes and pretend I don’t hate the image in the mirror. It’s not healthy for me but it is what it is and I don’t talk about it because I don’t want my kid hearing these thoughts and relaying them to her own body image. I don’t want to acknowledge the extra 30 lbs I carry because my current weight - even at 30 lbs higher than I’d prefer - is someone else’s dream weight. So if I body-shame myself in a public forum, I am inadvertently body-shaming a whole pack of beautiful women who see my figure as their goal and that is just bullshit. Diet culture is bullshit, you guys.
Bullshit or not, it’s real. It’s a real struggle that almost every single woman I know has had or is currently working through. One of these women happens to be a lady I adore. Watching Monica of Monica Wants It struggle, through her blog and Instagram stories, has been a heartbreak for me. I want to fix it because I am a fixer. I want her to have the confidence that I can only pretend to have.
So this week, I was particularly excited to read her post about turning away from her scale. While it’s clear that she’s still in a struggle, I honestly think this is the best step forward for her. Below is an excerpt from her post but it’s not the full story. You should read it all, even if you have no personal weight challenges, so you can know how to be a better friend to those of us who do.
Here’s the full post: Why I’ve Given Up Weighing Myself For Lent
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