Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Puppy Boy!

Our sweet nine year old made good on his word. Last year he debated on a puppy party but chose hunting/camo instead. He just kept pushing the puppy theme out and I thought for sure it would never happen. Or that maybe he would pick dogs instead of puppies. I wasn't sure if puppies were too babyish or if his love of puppies (his puppy) would win out. It did. He is so sweet! He loves tiny things, baby puppies, small versions of big stuffed animals he already has. 
So I went for it! We were short on time when he finally decided on his theme. So the dollar store had to come through for me. I have never really minded buying table clothes, plates, napkins or silverware from the dollar store, but much other than that is pretty much crap in my eyes.
But low and behold their picture frames aren't too bad and they even have a pet aisle! I was floored!
I spent a total of $20 on decorations. The signs I designed and printed out myself. I even found a little All Star puppy sweatshirt for his new stuffed animal. 
Parker woke up to puppy paw prints all over the floor of the house leading him to his breakfast...his own bowl of Kibbles and Bits. Cocoa Puffs look amazingly like dog food when served in a dog dish!
I had the table all set up for the party. Including dog dishes of napkins--Wipe Your Paws, silverware--Fetch!, Bone Appetit (just may be my favorite), and a big ol' bowl of puppy chow!

When the time came he did what he typically does ONLY on his birthday when being sung to...he got shy. His face is so adorable and sweet when this is happening. Melts my heart!
 He did manage to blow out all nine of his candles but it took a good couple of breaths to get them out. He's getting old enough that the girlfriend comments truly embarrass him
 I usually go all out on the cupcakes. Or pupcakes this year. But I was able to just frost and use a Scooby Snack bone shaped graham cracker for decoration. I had quite a few people ask me if it was a real bone! It may say more about me than I want to know. I also used an oreo for the paw pad and three milk duds for the toe pads. It looked like a tiny puppy paw.
The puppy chow was a hit for the kids and the adults! I don't think I have ever made it but somehow had the recipe for it. It turned out great and was super easy!
 And one of the funniest stations of the night was the "toilet water." The kids got a huge kick out of this! The adults thought it was pretty funny too.  
 The party was a success, the theme was adored and the birthday boy totally approved. I wish I could freeze time at this age because it totally fun! It's crazy, busy, fun but I love it!
The boy and his puppy. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Homemade Toilet Cleaner

So I've been on a bit of a kick lately to make my own products. One by one I've been replacing the cleaning products in my house with oily made products.
Today I made fizzing toilet cleaner bombs! SO COOL!
What you'll need:
1 1/3 c. Baking Soda
1/2 c. Citric Acid
30 drops Lemon Essential Oil
30 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
30 drops Lavender Essential Oil
1 tsp. water
Spray bottle that produces a fine mist
Silicone mold (found on Amazon, yeah for Prime!)

First mix the baking soda and citric acid together.
Then mix the oils and water in the spray bottle.
Then spray the dry mix with the spray bottle. The spray bottle is crucial because the baking soda and citric acid mixture will start fizzing if you add too fast.
 Then mix until you can make a firm mold in your hand. If the mixture still crumbles spray with more water until it sticks.
 Press the mix into your mold. Press firmly and go over a couple of times.
 
 This batch made 24 one-inch squares. 
After a couple of hours you may pop out your squares.
 Store in an air tight container.
When you are ready to use, just drop in the toilet until it stops fizzing. Scrub and flush!
I will do just about anything to keep that "boy" smell out of my bathroom!

Merry Christmas from the Olson's!

Merry Christmas from the Olson's!
Complete with footie jammie's, Santa hats, puppy kisses and smiles!
I chose to scale back on not stress out about sending out Christmas cards this year. I just couldn't do it. The amount of time and money that goes into the card was just too overwhelming for me this year. I did however still get my family together for a picture in our jammie's under the tree. Just being us and enjoying the season together. It was one of our favorite years yet.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Scented Playdough!

So I'll be the first to admit I'm not a huge fan of Pinterest. I'm the best case scenario of the Pinterest fails. I have avoided that site for years because I have a tendency to try everything and I really don't have the time!! 

But I got suckered in with the Playdough that you can scent with oils! The recipe said peace and calming but I switched it up. I made one of our advent calendar activities Christmas scented Playdough. I let the boys pick the "flavors" and colors. I had mixed emotions about food coloring the dough so I at least had them wear rubber gloves when mixing!

Here is the recipe: (I quadrupled this to make 4 different options)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1/2 cup flour
1/4 salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Oils of your choice 
Food coloring (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan or stockpot until the batter is smooth. No lumps.

Place on the stove on medium heat and stir CONTINUOUSLY! (Like put your fitbit on this wrist and stir!). Your batter will start to form one big ball.


Remove from heat and let it cool enough to the touch. Form one ball and divide if you want to make multiple colors or scents.

Place each ball into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Drop your food coloring and oils in the well and then knead with your hands. (Wear rubber gloves if you add the dye!).

I let them pick the oils and colors. 
Red = Christmas Spirit
Blue = Believe
Black = Valor (Parker picked because of the black spruce)
Green = pine and peppermint
Yellow = Joy

Once mixed you are all ready to play! I busted out the Christmas cookie cutters for the boys and they loved it! It's been a couple of days and they are still making things for me! And the playdough smells amazing!! I wanted to take the Valor one to work with me!









Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lefse, Lutefisk and Love!

Lutefisk! Lefse! Love!
We attended our third Lutefisk feed with Grandpa, Grandma and Auntie Tolle. We drove 50 mph through freezing rain and slippery roads for gloppy fish. Yep, we are true Minnesotans. Or Norwegians. Parker referred to it a couple of years ago as "lunafish" and the name has stuck. He also didn't care for it and stick sticks to the meatball platter. But Emmitt gobbles it right up like his dad and Grandpa. Yep, he just pours the butter all over it and scrapes his plate clean. I manage to get down one spoonful and call it good.
Now Lefse! Parker pounds the Lefse! He's mastered the art of making it and knows the hard work and hours that go into it. He's quick to judge the thinness too. But he's the master butterer and sugar spreader for the table. Lefse is by far one of my favorite Christmas goodies!
And this guy. Yeah the dude in the middle. It's his fault we all love this food! Papa Milo has started this tradition! He is the ring leader in our Lefse making day and Lutefisk seeking adventures. It's something I love about him. He's a traditional guy like me. Loves doing the same activity year after year and creating layers of memories.
The little desserts that follow the plate of Lutefisk, Lefse, cranberries, pickles, coleslaw, buns, pickled beets, mashed potatoes, rutabagas, green beans and meatballs are amazing! They are these little bits of sugared air dusted in more sugar! Sooo yummy!
Dad fits right in and glops it right on his plate and slurps it down! You may not know it but this guy loves tradition as me! Love that he dives right in next to me making memories.
Me and the little dude. As you can see from the background of the pic we are one of the younger tables that attend. We did however have young waitstaff and Emmitt claims he wants to work at Littlefork Lutheran church next year at the feast!
Auntie Tolle getting her fill of meatballs and lovings from the Emmitt.
Until next year Lutefisk! We'll miss you. Sort of.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

This the season!


These handsome little men are all dressed up for their Christmas concerts at school. 
I had sent a picture from the store to Parker asking him to choose which color sweater vest. Red or Black. I attempted the Love and Logic reasoning and figured I would let him pick the color of vest but I still got a vest. 
Yeah well he wore it for the picture and agreed to Christmas church but other than that no way. He tossed it on the floor and said "I'm not wearing that in public." What ev. I was not going to fight about it and I still get to show the world how cute they both are in their sweater vests! Mom wins.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Everything is AWESOME--Everything is cool when we're part of a TEAM!

Everything is AWESOME--Everything is cool when we're part of a TEAM!

Meet team LEGO. One of the BEST and hardest Halloween costume set I have ever made!And I think by hour two we were already on our way home with frozen fingers and tired boys who complained the entire time! Our costumes were just too big to ride around in the car and frankly these two have been spoiled for the last however many years of trick-or-treating!


Meet Good Cop-Bad Cop. The boys brought it to my attention that we always seem to make dad the bad guy or villain. I have NO idea why I do this. But I'm guessing it's subconscious. But I truly don't mean to. I mean the year we were all werewolves, so that doesn't count. And the one time he was the Scarecrow in our Oz Family. He was nice. But yeah, all the other years...bad guy. But this so called bad guy is a trooper. He helps me make LEGO heads on a nice Sunday during bird season. He taped the heads for me with his amazing hockey taping skills! He puts on the suit and owns his costume every.single.year.
 Meet Abe Lincoln. Parker sooooo wanted to be the Abe character. His favorite part of the movie is where Emmet shouts "Wait! Abe Lincoln, don't go!" He actually wanted me to make him a duct tape rocket chair! Um...yeah. I wish I could bud, I wish I could. I need to do a whole post about how to make these costumes! I compiled multiple tips and came up with what worked for us. But this head was HUGE and kinda heavy for an 8 year old and he LOVED it!
 Emmitt. My Emmitt started this whole idea! He wanted to be Emmet from the LEGO Movie. I quickly started looking for costumes online. I could have bought the soft sided ones with a foamy type head. Or I could have spent hundreds of dollars on each head on Etsy. But they never had Abe Lincoln. I quickly realized I was going to have to make these! Emmitt was so stoked once he saw his body! I knew I had to make him a new name tag and change the spelling of the name. The shiny tape and the name tag totally brought this outfit together! His little happy LEGO face was just too cute!
 What's better than a LEGO high five?! Seeing the Good Cop side of daddy's head in the picture! It's crazy that it looks like happy little LEGOs just hanging out! Pretty sure they were singing "Everything is Awesome" in this pic!
 And last but not least is Wildstyl. Basically the only girl in the whole movie. But, yeah that's me. Just a mom chilling in $200+ in duct tape and cardboard boxes. We had a great time with these costumes and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. My hair and Abe's beard proved to be the most challenging pieces to make. But newspaper can be willed to just about any shape you choose. I loved getting ready and heading out with my kids. I loved being part of a team because everything is awesome with my crew!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Those Essential Oils I Keep Talking About | Young Living's Premium Starter Kit


So! I'm jumping on here to tell you that (if you haven't already) you have GOT to just try these oils. You might be tired of reading this stuff. Well, "too bad, so sad" as my mom used to say. I can't stop using them and so I won't stop talking about them until you try them and then you can talk about them with me! Haha. See how I work?
I'm part of this amazing group called the Lemon Droppers- we're all distributors of Young Living Essential Oils. We have an amazing Facebook group that I can add you too also, just so you can read testimonies and ask questions. Anyhow, the essential oils are amazing to help with all sorts of things from stuffy noses, poor sleeping, skin issues, headaches, bug bites, sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy aches, energy and the list goes on and on. The essential oils from Young Living are all therapeutic grade oils you can diffuse, apply topically, and ingest.  Basically things that you'd typically run to the medicine cabinet and pop a pill for.  


For me it started with my cleaning products. I was sick of spraying chemicals all over my house for my family to inhale, touch, and taste from surface transfer. So I started using Thieves cleaner. Just one bottle that I could dilute and mix in a spray bottle. It cleaned everything, windows, toilets, surfaces, floors and it smelled like Christmas in my house! So I got a little hooked.

My first bottles of oil that I bought were deep relief, panaway, lavender and peppermint. I may to this day still have to pick those as my faves. I NEEDED to try something different for my allergies and my sinuses. I was taking Sudafed, Claritin, and Flonase every.single.day. And I was still busting through all of those and getting repeat sinus infections. I even had a CT-scan done on my head and totally qualify for that surgery where they router rooter out your face to open up your nasal passages. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Like.ever. Lavender and peppermint were my life savers! I started using local honey and applying lavender on my face and I was hooked! I went off all of the OTC meds and just successfully am heading into my fifth summer with the oils for my allergies. Don’t get me started on lavender mixed in the Neti-pot. Mind.blown. Panaway and deep relief have been my go-to’s for five years for pain. Mainly for me it is my shoulder blades and my neck. I carry ALL of my tension in my neck and shoulders and headaches usually follow. I love the convenience of the deep relief roll on. It’s ah-mazing! And panaway with peppermint on top to drive it all home! Yeah…I almost always have a bottle of deep relief in my purse.

In July of 2013, my good friend Gina posted on Facebook about dropping $150 on a kit of oils. She asked if everyone thought she was crazy. I was one of the first to chime in and say no and that I loved them. It took less than one month for me to finally buy my own kit after year and years of purchasing “loose oils” from my sister who had an account. I was seriously against creating an account and feeling like I needed to buy something every month. Now I realize how silly I was and that it’s not scary at all!

I got my kit and quickly wanted to tackle our sleeping issues. Whether it was a kid crawling in bed with us at night, Barrett having restless nights due to stress. My falling asleep only to wake up later. In came lavender, peace and calming. I applied it to the bottoms of our feet, diffused it in the air before bedtime and swiped a drop under our noses. My kids have had their bedrooms turned upside down with the remodel and are adjusting just fine sleeping on a different floor than us, through the night. Hallelujah! They have come to ask for their oils before bed. It has become routine and we are all more rested because of it. Barrett waited all summer to watch Sons of Anarchy that fall, only to fall asleep before the first episode was over!

I started to believe in the oils. Barrett was more skeptical. He wouldn’t let me put them on him in the beginning. Now he lines up with the kids.
Then came the 10 mile obstacle Tough Mudder race. I seriously had to take the elevator at work for 2 days following the race. I was so S.O.R.E! I literally crawled up the stairs the first morning after and had to lift my own legs into the shower. I quickly researched our Facebook group for “sore muscles” and “bruising.” To come up with a layered technique of panaway, valor, lemongrass and peppermint. It saved me. I had fingermark shaped bruises from teammates all over my legs! Valor cleared them up quickly. The other oils helped dissipate the pain and get me walking normal again. By day 4 post race, I was back working out. If you had asked me on day two, I would have laughed my “it hurts so good laugh” at you.

We don't have a ton of "issues" in our family but here is what we've used, with success, so far:
-Purification: on mosquito bites and zits (why do I still get zits at my age?!)
-Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint: allergies (a must have in our house!!!)
-Panaway or Peppermint: headaches and pain
-Frankincense: acne and warts, and anti-aging!
-Lavender: butt rash, scrapes and cuts, sleeeeeeep
-Thieves: fighting illness, sore throat, germ buster
-Peppermint: tummy aches, poop issues, energy
I'm totally amazed at how versatile these oils are. And they work.  I really wanted to try to find more natural, healthier alternatives for my family. I was silently using them for years and just not shouting it from the rooftops like I am now.

So, my biggest recommendation for someone new would be the Everyday Essential Oils kit... it has SO many awesome oils in it that can be used for a multitude of ailments. It is $150, and comes with 10 oils (one being Frankincense which is one of the most expensive oils out there), 2 sample packets of each of the top 5 oils, PLUS a diffuser! The diffuser alone is $95-159! The kit also makes you a "member" which would give you the 24% off any reorders/future purchases you might want to make. Think of it like a Sam’s Club membership...you pay your member fee (which is ordering the kit) and you get the special member pricing. (This does NOT mean you have to be a distributor like me, but if wanted to in the future you can make a great commission, but it is by no means necessary.)


Some of my FAVORITE combos to diffuse are here! They tend to be my go to's!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Birthday

Easter Sunday just happened to be my birthday. My boys and family spoiled me too! Mom made an awesome meal and topped it off with homemade lemon meringue pie. My favorite! She even used Grandma Braulicks recipe. The weather was  gorgeous and my boys were all willing to participate in a little photo shoot for me. I enlisted Shelby in taking the family picture and she did a great job!
We had spent Saturday at the shack with the Olson side of the family. We dyed our eggs and ate an Easter meal. Uncles Bart and Cyrus were up for the weekend too and taught the boys the new 2048 game on the iPhone! We are all addicted now! We were able to cut and stack fire wood for the fall deer season. We even got to check on a cow and she had a calf on Saturday. The boys were pretty impressed that daddy and papa could get them in the barn! The new calf was just another sign that spring is really here!