Laundry & Motherhood & mountains to climb

This post brought to you by Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator. All opinions are 100% mine.

Kids, Laundry, cooking, running around and RAISING a family is quite the demanding everyday schedule - and that doesn't even really cover anything on the TO DO list right? There is ALWAYS someone that is hungry and wants a snack, someone who is having a meltdown or a problem, someone who is putting up a fight about homework, someone that needs ran somewhere and someone who needs laundry done.   As a mom I have learned to pick my battles through the years.
I recently had the chance to try Biz stain fighting liquid. It's been around for years and just recently got a new makeover! Biz contains more stain fighting ingredients than many others out there. Honestly, I don't like having to worry about the laundry. My boys are messy, dirty, adventerous....typical boys!! Half of the time I don't see all the food, grass, dirt, etc that may be on their clothes. I just know that is their laundry basket is full and the clothes need cleaned ASAP!
Laundry and picking my battles goes hand in a hand as a mom. Just like we have "mountains to climb" in life there are weekly mountains of laundry to do as well. Do I want to spend my time working on my laundry stains or do I want to spend my time working on my family relationships, teaching and playing with my kids? I'm leaving the stain fighting to Biz and making my life easier - one less battle.
I love that Biz allows me to pretreat stains or simply just add it to my wash with my laundry detergent. Great for those stains or ground in dirt that maybe I didn't catch. I gave Biz a test by tackling the SOCKS! Here's our before shot - do you have the same dirty bottoms of socks in your household? Seems like they don't get quite as white or clean when I've washed them before.

I tried out the pretreat method on some of them. Gave it a little rub and let them site or a few minutes. Then into the wash they went.

Results? They actually LOOKED brighter to me! and I love the nice, clean smell that Biz gave the socks and the rest of the clothes that were in the load of laundry too.

So I tried it again. I ran more loads of laundry. Some pretreating and some just pouring the Biz in and letting it do it's thing. I have been happy with the results from all angles. Laundry battles? Bring them on - they just aren't that big of a battle anymore! Now, folding it all and putting it away is another story. LOL!
One of the things we say at our house when someone is really dirty is, "looks the sign of a good time!" So let them be dirty. Let them have fun and let Biz tackle those battles for you!

Want to try some? save $1 on Biz with this coupon and find out where to buy Biz that is close and convenient for you! Of course they are on Facebook too sharing tips, tricks and more.

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Fun with PAINT - Family fun ideas #1

It's almost that time of year when the Summer Bucket List posts start popping up. When Moms are scouring blogs and Pinterest for ideas to keep the kids entertained and having fun in the Summer. How about some lists of ideas that maybe Moms could use whenever? After all there are rainy days, winter days, parts of the world with different seasons as different times and sometimes Moms just need some ideas! That is what I am going to give you. So PIN each of the FUN LISTS that get posted so you can reference them whenever you are in need of an idea!

Today's list of fun ideas is all about PAINT! 
(ps - It's ok to let them get dirty and messy.  The other fun part could be spraying them down with a hose to get clean!)

- Have an old chair that needs a makeover? Maybe one you are getting rid of or you could even pick one up 2nd hand. Let the kids have at it one day with some paint!

Washable markers and crayons are perfect for getting creative with! 

 - Fill empty eggs shell with paint and throw them as a canvas. See what you can create! 

Use an old or 2nd hand bed sheet as a large canvas. Hang it up outside or lay it flat on the ground. 

Good ol' game of twister has gone up a notch!

Take the game to a bigger scale - its less messy but you are using paint to create the game board. 

- This fun option could keep them busy for hours. I  love the spin on painting using the slide and FROZEN colors! 

- A Salad spinner was never so cool! 

And since it's always fun to out with a "BANG"....how about some

So which one are you excited to try??!!!
Don't forget to pin this post so you can use it later when Summer boredom hits!

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In loss there can still be happiness - family tradition

 As I pondered what Motherhood or real life moment I wanted to share today it seems only fitting to share a part of our forever story. And I'm not talking marriage....I'm talking about forever families. With Easter weekend just wrapping up I can't help but reflect and be grateful for my Savior. Because of Him I get to live again and so do my loved ones. I get the chance to be with and raise our baby daughter who passed away at 2 weeks old. 

 A few months ago we recognized her 11 year anniversary of coming to our family and blessing it for even a short time. I get choked up even now as I think about all the blessings that came to our life during this time even though it was the hardest thing I have ever done. 
I let it teach me, not harden me.
I took in all the moments instead of wishing them away or that I had more. 
Life is gift. 
Life is a blessing. 
And Life isn't easy. 
It's the load that gives us traction to keep going. 
And keep going we do. 
We are happy now. We aren't waiting for a "someday". There is too much joy to be had, seen, experienced and given TODAY. We are living our happily ever after knowing that this life isn't the end. We were honored to travel to be with family and overwhelmed by those that traveled to be with us (also a heartfelt thank you to a friend who took the time to capture this moment for us through her camera). Our ceremony was simple and quick. We passed out balloons to each of the families that were in attendance and the balloons were let go one by one. 

My hope is that you can find comfort in your trials. That you can see these type of hardships and experiences as opportunities. I like to see them as one of two things - an anchor that is going to weigh me down or as an arrow that will launch me forward. I get to choose how I allow the experience to change me. 
I used to say, "We have 4 in our home and 1 in our heart." That was our number. Now that we are foster parents it's a little tricky since our number is always changing. So what is your "number?" Do you have certain rituals or traditions your family does to honor someone who has passed?

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DIY Felt Lollipops - for kids!

 Hey everyone!  I hope you are enjoying the first part of Spring!  I have a happy project for you all to make today that requires no sewing!  At our house we have a variety of felt food for my girls' kitchen: cupcakes, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies; and as of today - Felt Lollipops!

I thought I would add Felt Lollipops to their collection because my daughter, Olivia, is obsessed with suckers and lollipops!  She literally asks me if she can have one at least 5 times a day!  I thought I would start handing her these felt ones instead to save us trips to the dentist!  Haha!

Here is what you need to make them:
(per 1 lollipop)
One lollipop stick
2 sheets of felt (different colors)
Good fabric scissors
Hot glue
Stabilizer (if desired)

First you will need to trace 2 circles onto your base lollipop color.  I traced a drinking glass.
 You will have two circles.  
Now is the time to decided whether or not you want to put stabilizer onto your felt.  The benefit of doing this is that it makes the lollipop a little more stiff so that it holds its form better.  If you choose not to, it won't make a huge difference.  (I did only because I already had it on hand)
Next, you will want to trace two more circles on the "swirly" color of your lollipop.  Once you have the circles cut out, start cutting into them and swirl all the way around.
After that you will simply hot glue the swirl onto your bases.  *note:  you will not use the whole swirl.  You will cut most of the larger part off into a point.
Take your stick and sandwich the end between the two sides and hot glue around the edge of the circle.
That's it!  You're done!
How cute would it be if the Easter Bunny put these Felt Lollipops in Easter Baskets this year?


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Easy ways to Accessorize a Swimsuit + a GIVEAWAY

Giveaway for a free Beverly Swimwear Swimsuit at the end of the post. Don't miss entering!

You either look forward to Swimsuit season or you dread it. Or maybe you do both!? Either way it's coming upon us fast. Or me I look forward to the warmer weather and getting in the pool with my kiddos, but some days I just want to be poolside mom. There are opportunities to be at the pool without being in the pool right? If you want to enjoy these times BUT don't want to necessarily "bare all" let me share some tips for looking appropriate for the occasion, still being able to enjoy the warm weather and get some sun on you but feel pulled together, stylish and covered. 

(ps - I'm going to "bare all" in this post and share some pictures of ME in a swimsuit - not tanned, not toned - just real life me. It's not as a bad as you think. Maybe I can give you courage to do the same this Summer!) 

1. Covered up but still getting sun - Maxi skirts and wraps are your new best friend! If the lower half is what you are wanting to mask or disguise (and I think most women do) then try one of these options.

Swimsuit - Beverly Swimwear
Maxi Skirt - DownEast Basics

2. Sandals or Flip Flops - I know that may sound funny but shoes can dress up an outfit anyday! A great pair of Summer Sandals can help you feel more chic in your swimsuit (and skirt or wrap). If Flips Flops are more your style or more appropriate for where you are going think about a pair that is "umpf'd" up a bit. They make Flip Flops with a wedge, blinged out and in all sort of colors. Don't be afraid to buy a fun pair this Summer! 

 Colorful Sandals
 Gold Sandals

3. Accessories! - Now that we have the bottom half taken care of with the skirt and sandals let's shift our focus to your upper half. There's no reason why you can't wear a pair of statement earrings or a necklace if you are going to be poolside. Again, we are going for feeling chic and confident in swimsuit which makes us feel not so confident (wink). Statement pieces or ones that shimmer and shine just may draw more attention to themselves distracting others from areas you don't want to them looking or seeing (smart right?!). Think Silver and Gold OR a fun color that compliments or contrasts the color of your swimsuit.

Along with Accessories, Sunglasses are always a must! Again, pick a fun color if you want, shape, pattern, aviators, or the classic black or brown. You always look cool with sunglasses on. 

So we've talked accessorizing your swimsuit but what if you are wanting or needing a new SWIMSUIT!! You are in luck! Beverly Swimwear wants to give 1 lucky reader a NEW SwimSuit!

ENTER and check out the more pics of my awesome swimsuit below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I chose the Vintage Vixen cut and also the Green and Navy color combo. Beverly Swimwear has lots of options, colors and fun cuts!

Good luck in the giveaway! 
Don't forget to pin this post so you can reference the accessorizing ideas!

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Best GO TO fashion tips from Flats to Flip Flops

I can't believe my time on Brassy Apple has come to and end! Serious single tear. I have loved popping over once a month to share a little something with you and hope that you have had fun too! So to go out with a bang I have to decided to compile my best of the best styling/shopping tips! My top 10, never fail, go-to, help you when you are staring aimlessly at your closet or helplessly at the store tips!

fashion tips    
#10 Think it Through Before you jump right in to a trend, think it through. Make sure it makes sense for your wardrobe. Don't do a trend just for trends sake.

#9 Check your Undergarments. I can't even tell you how much this will make a difference! If there is anywhere you can splurge in your wardrobe this is one of those places. If you have never gone and got a bra fitting...go and treat yourself! A good bra can seriously take 5-10 pounds off. You can also invest in some slimming underwear(like Spanx) for those special occasion outfits.

#8 Use the rule of 3's. When you buy something make sure it can go with at least 3 other pieces in your wardrobe. Especially if it is a spendy item. Make sure you can get the best bang for your buck!
polka dot skirt 3 ways
#7 Find new inspiration. Inspiration is every where. From Pinterest to blogs to magazines, there is an endless supply. Look around and find something that speaks to you.
#6 Check out the accessories. Accessories are a great way to add a little piece of you to an outfit. Earrings, necklaces, watches and scarves(just to name a few) are a great way to add something special to an outfit! Look for pieces that are unique to you and your sense of style!
#5 Wait a day. Not sure about that purchase? Sleep on it! My rule is if I can't get it off my mind in 24 hours, than it's a solid purchase.
#4 Go through your closet every 6 months. This is one of my favorite things to do. Get rid of any item you haven't worn at all the previous season. You won't be wearing it again, I promise! And for extra brownie points, donate your old clothes to your local Goodwill shop.

#3 Mis-Match It!
No need to be matchy matchy. Try pulling a few things from your closet that you love, even if they don't "go together" and see if it works! Most likely it will!

#2 Love your body(or at least like it). I know that this is a hard one. But it is super important. Dress for your body type and don't compare yourself to others.
#1 Don't be afraid to be you. Are you the crazy cat lady? Are you skull obsessed(like me) then add pieces to wardrobe that reflect you and your personality. Don't be afraid to let you shine through your clothes!
flatstoflipflops.com Basics and Pencil Skirts #koshercasual

You guys! Don't be a stranger! If you haven't already you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter! And make sure you stop by flats to flip flops and say hi!
ash sig color correct

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