Friday, March 20, 2015

You've got this, mama.

There is nothing like holding your baby as she sleeps or snuggling with your toddler during a movie. That warm little body cuddles up next to yours as you pull them closer and thank God for their precious selves. I always love watching my little ones as they sleep, tracing their noses and chins, listening to them breathe. Children look so innocent as they rest.

There is also nothing like holding your screaming baby trying to comfort them or hauling your toddler to his millionth time out for the day as he yells at you. It's in those moments that I want to scream to, or maybe just curl up in a ball and cry.

Motherhood is the most beautiful and exhausting job I have ever held. I had no idea my days would be so full of everything, yet so difficult to describe. I fall into bed each night exhausted even if we never left the house. Sometimes, I feel indescribably grateful for the gift of my children. Other times I want to loan them out and go on vacation.

But you know what? It's ok. It's ok to be so frustrated with your children that you don't want to see them for a few hours. It's ok to hide in the bathroom for another minute. Mamas, allow yourself the freedom to recognize how hard and how wonderful this season is. Eat that extra piece of chocolate, cry over those sleeping babies, and find a minute to share with your husband or best friend. More than anything, let yourself off the hook. This season of littles is as hard as it is great, and you will get through it. Mamas of older kids have promised me you and I will! So let's keep getting up in the night together. You've got this, mama.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's Been Awhile...

Hello again! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Life has gotten away from me, but here we are again! For those of your still reading, life has changed a bit in our home. We welcome a new baby girl, T, in December and are adjusting to life with two littles. I had no idea it was this exhausting! Or this wonderful. 

I’m working on a few new posts in hopes of re-opening the blog and beginning anew. Look for something soon!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Woolzies Dryer Balls {Review and Giveaway}

Hello! It's been a long time since I have posted- we've been in a season of change here at The Domestic Engineer. But more on that soon. For today, I am delighted to share with you a new product that I have discovered!

Woolzies Dryer Balls has given me the opportunity to review their product. I am enchanted! I was sent a set of six balls to test out. Each ball is a little larger than a tennis ball, and made entirely of New Zealand wool. Each ball is also hand made and chemical free.

My son and I have quite a few allergies, so I am always on the lookout for new laundry products that are allergy-free. Although made of wool, these dryer balls are safe for people (like me!) with wool sensitivites. I have used them 10+ times now with no allergies!

What else can you expect from these little wool balls? One set of six is guaranteed to last up to 1,000 loads, reduce static, cut drying time by 25%, eliminate wrinkles, and leave clothes softer.

My family and I currently live in an apartment with a coin-operated laundry down in the basement. As you might imagine, clothes that are dry and static-free in one cycle is of the utmost importance to me. I have been so impressed by these dryer balls- my clothes and linens are dryer (even big loads of towels) and so much softer. No more damp clothes here!

We've also found another fun use for our Woolzies when they're not busy in the dryer. My little man decided to make a game out of throwing them in and out of the laundry basket. It kept him entertained for a half hour the other day! So thanks, Woolzies, for keeping us busy and making our clothes dry!

Overall, Woolzies have truly lived up to their promise. I am quite impressed! As we move into a home with our own laundry next week (hooray!) I am excited for quicker dry-time, softer clothes, and the knowledge that I'm reducing waste in my home.

And now, to share the magic of Woolzies with you! Enter below for a chance to win your own set of six dryer balls.

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Have you discovered Swagbucks? It's a great way to earn a little extra cash! Find out how by clicking here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

February Cara Box

Cara Box

Boxes seem to be all the rage right now! You've seen my posts about Birchbox and SwatchBox, but I think this may be my favorite box of them all. Cara Box is more than just a box of items you receive. Each month, you're paired with another blogger so you have a chance to get to know them. Then in the middle of the month, you mail your parter a box full of things chosen with them in mind. It's a package and a new friend all in one! It really doesn't get much better.

This month was my first time to try Cara Box, and it was particularly fun because I got paired with girls from Colorado! I got the privilege of sending Jami of The Lulu Mom a box, and Darlene of Young Mama Tales sent one to me. You can head on over to The Lulu Mom to see what I sent to Jami. I had so much fun going shopping to find a few things just for her!

Darlene and I discovered we live about 30 minutes apart so we were able to meet with babies in tow. It proved to be quite the adventure with three little ones under 1. A lot of puffs were eaten and toys played with! But we made it long enough to get to know each other and begin what I hope will be a great friendship. We both completely forgot to take a picture, but I do have pictures of my box.

I opened a brown paper package tied up with string (do you hear Julie Andrews singing?) to find:

I love that Darlene wrapped everything individually! She wrote me really sweet note, telling me that as a mom, I deserve time off to rest and recharge. It's always so encouraging to meet other moms and get wisdom from them!

Inside the box was Ghirardelli chocolate, a mandarin berry candle, a bath bomb, body scrub, and a lavender facial mask. What a perfect gift! I am always in need of a little quiet and relaxation. That same night I took a bath with the candle lit. It was perfect.

Thanks, Darlene, for such a thoughtful box! You were so sweet!

Interested in joining for March? Click on the "Cara Box" image at the top of this post for more info!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Marmalade Baby Quilt

I have a soft spot for fabric. Honestly, it's more of a lifelong love affair. That's where SwatchBox came from and well, let's just say I have a pretty large bin of fabric that lives in my house.

Ben and I were up in the mountains over a weekend in January with some friends and we came across the most darling little quilt shop. It was filled with all kinds of beautiful fabrics and the walls were covered in quilts. When we walked in, this sweet old lady served us tea. Seriously girls, she served us tea in china tea cups. I decided right then and there I wanted to live in that quilt shop. Miraculously, I made it out without spending my entire life savings. I did, however, buy a darling little charm pack that turned into this quilt.

What's a charm pack you might be wondering? Well, Moda Fabrics sells packages of fabric pre-cut into 5 inch squares (and lots of others sizes too!). All the fabrics coordinate, but they're all different. That makes for a perfect quilt! I bought the Marmalade charm pack and turned it into this quilt I found through Pinterest.

You might have noticed a quilt in my post about the baby shower earlier this week, and that's the same quilt! My friend loved it and I had such a fun time making it.

The pattern I used can be found here and was quite simple. You just match up your squares, sew them together, and add sashing around them. All the fabrics in the center are from the Marmalade charm pack. The white was something I had left over from another project, and I bought the pink sashing and the polka dot backing at Joann's. 

I decided to try a new technique with this quilt and did a diagonal straight line quilt. I absolutely love the way it turned out! For the spacing, I moved my needle as far to the left as possible and used the right side of the presser foot as a guide. It ended up being around 1/2 inch spacing. I'm planning to do a tutorial soon, so stay tuned!

Of course, Eli had to help by trying out the quilt. He seemed to give it his stamp of approval.

I absolutely love the way the colors worked together! Another great bonus was that the quilt only used 25 of the 42 squares in the charm pack. I realized that means that if I buy 2 identical charm packs, I can make 3 quilts. I'm planning to buy another Marmalade one and pick out one for boys as well. Maybe this one?