Monday, July 17, 2017

Kitchen remodel reveal + a $5,000 countertop makeover giveaway!





We did it. We're on the other side of our rental remodel in Fort Collins, CO and living in the heart of the Bull River Valley, Montana! Life has changed a ton for us in two months. We went from a 3 bedroom 2 bath, 1700 square foot home to a room in my moms house for all four of us. Moving was a lesson in letting go of unnecessary clutter, saving ONLY the things we love and finding very clever ways to store the things we use on a daily basis. It's been a MAJOR adjustment, but not a bad one! 


$5,000 countertop makeover giveaway by Wilsonart X The Market Beautiful!


To recap the last year of our life, we moved from a rental in Loveland, CO to another rental in Fort Collins, CO to remodel it for our awesome landlords! We lived in a construction zone for a few months while parenting and planning markets in between. It's been busy!




Our landlords wanted something light, airy, trendy and updated...on a budget. The kitchen was really closed in...so many weird walls and cabinets! We knew opening the whole thing up would update the space SO much! Tanner installed base cabinets from Lowes for the island and then trimmed out the front. We painted the cabinets with a Behr paint called Grey Squirrel that I had matched from one of my old mirrors and then installed matte black cup pulls.



We knew adding marble countertops would be the icing on the cake, but it's SO darn expensive!!!! I searched for an alternative and found a LAMINATE from Wilsonart!! Laminate!? The same thing the existing countertops were made of? YES. Guys, it's a game changer! Their new styles and patterns look INCREDIBLE!!! It's about $33 per square foot installed which is so cheap for something that looks nearly identical to real marble!



Fabrication and installation was super easy and quick. We had someone come out and measure the countertops with a laser and then about 10 days later, they were out and installing the countertop. Installation only took about 2 hours!! I'll be using this in the next home we do and I highly recommend it for our clients and friends!



Wilsonart was a dream to work with, AND they want to provide someone with an amazing opportunity to win a countertop makeover!! They'll provide materials, fabrication and installation up to $5,000. We're honored to work with companies like Wilsonart and we're so thankful to them for providing such a generous giveaway! We'll announce a winner in ONE WEEK (July 24th) via email and will announce on our Facebook page, so make sure to follow us!

SOURCES FOR THE KITCHEN:

Countertops: Wilsonart Calcutta Marble
Shelving: World Market
Pourover stand: The Coffee Registry
Lighting: Kichler
Paint on cabinets: Behr Grey Squirrel
Sink and faucet: Kohler 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, April 28, 2017

Essential Oils 101



So excited to kick off our first educational post on essential oils and what they are! We'll be doing a lot more of these and incorporating DIYs, recipes, tips and tricks and a general guide on how to go harsh chemical free in your homes. I started using essential oils about 2 years ago in an effort to find an alternative to the products we were using for our kids. My mindset was focused on treating illness rather than getting ahead of it by staying above the wellness line. Since then, I've used essential oils to completely replace my cleaners, candles, skincare regimen, and I focus on prevention by supporting my immune system. 

So first, what are oils?

They're the most vital and powerful part of plants. They're distilled from shrubs, bushes, flowers, trees, rinds, resins and herbs. Oils consist of over 100 different natural, organic compounds. In humans, they provide support for every system in the body: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, endocrine, hormones, respiratory and immune system. They support brain health and a healthy weight. They're used extensively for emotions and for spiritual support. An oil in a diffuser can soothe a child's tough day at school and provide a calming effect after a crazy stressful day at work. Oils in sea salt make an incredible salt scrub. They can be used as an alternative to toxic cleaning chemicals (I've done this and it's amazing!) -- you can literally start swapping out every single chemical cleaning toxin in your home to live a purer lifestyle and you can do it without spending a ton of money!






HOW do you use them??

In most cases, you just rub it topically into the skin. There are three main ways to get oils into your system: topically, diffusing them, and then ingesting/cooking with them! 

Topically - you can put a drop right on your skin OR use a carrier oil which basically just slows down the absorption rate and spreads out the oil to make it go further. (I always dilute oils before using them on the boys because their bodies are more permeable and absorb the oils faster). Some oils are phototoxic (citrus oils), so don't put them on your skin if you plan to be out in the sun for a while. The compounds react with the UV rays from the sun!

Diffusing - You'll need an oil diffuser which looks a lot like a humidifier. The oils sit on top of the water and the diffuser emits a cool mist through ultrasonic vibrations and the oil particles ride on those water molecules through the air. You can also just straight up inhale an oil from the bottle haha. It's one of the most effective ways to get oils into your system because it doesn't have to pass through the digestive system.

Ingestion - some people do, some people don't. I put a drop of lemon in an entire pitcher of water and it lasts me all day. I put a drop of peppermint under my tongue when my digestive system needs help. I put a drop of lavender in a pitcher of lemonade! You can get veggie capsules from the health food store and put a drop or two of an oil in, fill it with carrier oil and take it as a dietary supplement. Young Living also sells a ton of really awesome supplements that we take. 

They reach your heart, liver and thyroid in three seconds when inhaled, they were found in the bloodstream in 26 seconds when applied topically. It takes 3-6 hours in a normal healthy body for oils to be expelled. 




There are 4 different oil grades available:
GRADE A- therapeutic, made from organically grown plants and distilled at low temps
GRADE B- food grade, but may contain synthetics, pesticides, fertilizers, chemical extenders or carrier oils
GRADE C- perfume oils that often contain adulterating chemicals. They usually use solvents like hexane to gain a higher yield of oil per harvest. Solvents can be carcinogenic and are in many store-bought oils. They may also be diluted 80-95% with alcohol
GRADE D- called "floral water" which is aromatic only and is usually a byproduct of Grade A distillation. After all the oil is pulled out, the leftover trash water is sold to companies which fill 5% of the bottle with this leftover floral water, fill the rest with carrier oil and synthetics, and label it "pure" because the FDA allows for that.


Grade A is the only true pure oil. Grade D would be like walking to the fridge, taking a glass of orange juice and diluting it 95% before you drank it! You wouldn't have the full benefits of the orange juice. That's why you want Grade A oils. Before you purchase, check to see if the company grows their own plants,owns their own fields, and controls the entire process from seed to seal - from the fam to the sealed bottle. Pesticides, pollution, previously farmed land...all of it can affect the quality of an oil. Young Living's oils are Grade A. I never understand why people go the extra mile to use oils to get AWAY from chemicals and then use an oil laden with chemicals haha.

I went with Young Living because of those things above. The company has been around forever, they own all of their own farms, they don't use pesticides (Everything is weeded by hand...!), no chemicals or weed killers are used. The plants are harvested at their peak and then put through a vigorous testing process. Then they go from the farm directly to your home. So great! Look at www.seedtoseal.com

It's kind of crazy how much work it takes to product a bottle of oils haha. 60 thousand rose blossoms provide an ounce of rose oil! Lavender is abundant - 220 pounds will provide 7 pounds of oil. Jasmine flowers must be picked by hand before the sun becomes hot on the very first day they open, which makes it one of the most expensive oils in the world. It takes 8 million hand-picked blossoms to produce 2.2 pounds of oil. A sandalwood tree has to be 30 years old and 30 feet high before it can be used for distillation. SO crazy.

But a little goes a long way. Most oils are $10-$30 a bottle. A 5 ml bottle contains about 90 drops and a 15 ml bottle contains about 250 drops. Each application is 1 to 3 drops, meaning even a small bottle will get you 45 to 90 applications. Young Living makes a cleaner that's made of plants (Thieves cleaner) and costs you about $1.50 a bottle to make. You can't even get that in the organic section of the grocery store. It replaces multipurpose cleaner, glass cleaner, etc. The organic versions of the ones you find in stores can run like $4 to $5 a bottle so it's awesome! 



So what’s the best way to start using oils?
Rather than picking an oil here and there, Young Living has made it easy and bundled the most-loved oils and blends for you to start off with. You get 11 oils, a diffuser, wholesale pricing and support from me and a community called Floral & Pine. We will support and encourage you when you get started with oils and answer any questions you have! The starter kit is the only thing on the Young Living website that is half off! $160 for all of that wellness & if you break it down, the cost of oils alone is just $70, cheaper than you can get them in the grocery store!!

Here are the oils that come in the kit:
FRANKINCENSE - one of the top skin oils, great for immune support
PEPPERMINT - great digestive support and for gastrointestinal discomfort
LAVENDER - GREAT for sleep! Love it in lemonade and my bath!
PURIFICATION - perfect odor eliminator! It's great for skin too and for repelling bugs THIEVES - helps support healthy immune/overall system. SO good in hot water with honey STRESS AWAY - one of the top emotion oils. CALMING!

LEMON - enhances water, great immune system support
PANAWAY - apply after exercise for sore muscles or inflammation/sore neck or back COPAIBA - promotes overall wellness. Supports nearly every body system!
DIGIZE - Top oil for digestive support! So great when you aren't feeling well.
R.C. - BEST respiratory oil. Diffuse or rub on chest!!!


It's not about treating disease it's about staying ahead of it by educating yourself and switching out what you have in your home. We're slathering hundreds of chemicals on our face even before breakfast! And we wonder why we are tired, have hormone issues and breathing issues...constant chemical exhaustion.

Can you live a completely toxic-free life? No, but you can limit your exposure starting today. Take control of your laundry soap, your dish soap, your cleaning supplies. The starter kit literally has 10,000 uses from cleaning your home to emotional support to personal care products like toothpaste and shampoo.

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Go home and look at the products that you're using! If you can't pronounce the ingredients you don't need to be slathering it on your skin, putting it in your food, washing your hair with it or cleaning your clothes with it! You control your home and your health. To get a starter kit, go to HTTP://TINYURL.COM/ZC7DA9X

1. Pick your diffuser!

2. enroll in essential rewards (optional but it's how we replaced all of our chemical cleaners and SAVED money). 

3. Fill out the info

4. I'll get an email and then add you to our private Facebook group, Floral and Pine!

Thank you so much for giving me your time and listening to me talk about oils! I'm here to educate you and support you, but you have to make the decision to change your lifestyle. So excited for you guys to get started because in a years time you're going to look back and see so many changes in your health and your wellness....and in your home!! 



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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Birch Lane is coming to The Vintage Whites Market!

Denver, Colorado - You need to be at the National Western Complex from 5-8 PM on Friday, March 31st and 10-5 PM on April 1st!! We'll have over 200 vendors selling true vintage and trendy handmade. We jury all of our vendors to make sure they're brands WE love and brands we know YOU'LL love. Vanessa and I have been at this for 7 years now, and we've learned a thing or two :)




We're so excited to announce that Birch Lane will be sponsoring a gorgeous lounge for our shoppers and vendors. All are welcome to meet the Birch Lane team at their lounge space on both Friday and Saturday! On Friday, Birch Lane will be joined by Lauren Bushnell, alumna of The Bachelor, to chat with shoppers about interior design and home d├ęcor styling. On Saturday, Birch Lane will be hosting an interactive Instagram contest at their lounge space. Shoppers and vendors can stop by to style an outdoor tabletop setting for a chance to win a $500 Birch Lane gift card. Simply snap a photo and tag @BirchLane and #EntertainWithBirchLane for a chance to win!”
















Our markets not only host the BEST vendors from around the US, we bring in tons of entertainment too! Check out the lineup coming to Denver next weekend:

Piper's Parlor will be giving haircuts and shaves for the guys!
Glamour Bar Denver will be doing complimentary glitter parts, lip/eye refresh, and custom lip gloss!
- LIVE music Friday and Saturday by Brady Parks of The National Parks!
- Fresh cut flowers at the Conservatrice booth!
Birch Lane will have a beautiful lounge with special guest Lauren Bushnell (Friday only!)
Rayna's Art & All-Natural Henna Designs will be doing henna!
- Cari Cucksey will be there! Meet her on Saturday!
- FOOD trucks and good drinks!
- FREE info on essential oils! 101 classes & an info station!

- A free ballet workshop from The Nomad Movement for kids 3-8!
- Sweet treats!
- Kids activities
- PRIZES for the first 50 in line on Saturday!
- A fashion show by Meek Vintage
- TONS more....don't miss it!!!!


Here's a recap video from our 2016 market





If you're looking for early shopping passes, you can purchase those HERE
Kids 12 and under are always free!

Are you coming? What are you shopping for? Let us know in the comments! 

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Friday, March 17, 2017

One Day in New Orleans!



Raise your hand if you've never been to New Orleans. Now, raise your hand if you have a desire to go. A few months ago, I would've raised my hand to the first thing but not to the second! I lived in Louisiana for a very short time when I was 8 or 9, but all I remember is that it was hot and we lived in a camper. haha...no desire to return!

We are hosting a market in Laurel, Mississippi (it is the quintessential small town) on June 9th & 10th (home of HGTV's Home Town and we'll have Ben & Erin Napier as our special guests) and our scouting trip had us flying into New Orleans. I didn't really have high expectations until I started looking at photos of the city and places to go since we had an entire day there. We flew in at night and drove straight to Laurel, so all we saw were lights and a random neighborhood that our GPS took us through.

After our trip to Laurel, we headed to New Orleans on Sunday morning to explore! Vanessa and I headed to Hotel Monteleone first, where we'd be staying for the night. Tucked away on one of the narrow New Orleans streets, we pulled around to the parking garage...decorated with gorgeous plants, a beautiful neon sign and the nicest guy ever who helped us get situated and off to the lobby to check in.



I don't think I've ever been in a more beautiful and welcoming hotel! The lobby is absolutely breathtaking with huge chandeliers, ceiling detail, antique furniture...and everything sparkles with New Orleans charm! Our room wasn't ready until 4, so we decided to check our luggage and grab a bite to eat (the first of MANY bites haha).



Nolan, the super nice guy who checked our luggage asked us where we were going to eat, but we had no clue! He put a sign on the counter, grabbed his sunglasses and took us on a 4 or 5 block walk just to make sure we got to our lunch spot which he highly recommended. We ate at Cafe Nola (Emeril's restaurant) and it was DELIGHTFUL. I had a duck gumbo that was out of this world. After lunch, we set out for the French Market and a glimpse at the famous Cafe Du Monde.



The line was all the way outside of the building once we got there, and we had way too much to see. We didn't want to waste time in line! We actually didn't even eat a beignet the entire time we were there! Remedying this in June.





The French market was amazing. It was bustling with people, smells of food, people shucking raw oysters, live bands walking through the streets playing music...it was certainly a culture that I haven't experienced and it set me on fire. I LOVED it. The fact that it was cool and quiet helped, I'm sure. I don't know that I'm cut out for New Orleans in June....but we'll find out soon enough!








Vanessa and I grabbed coffee and made our way through streets and alleys, avoiding the craziness of Bourbon Street (yes, even at 3 PM on a Sunday!). We stopped to snap photos every 10 steps or so...it was just SO beautiful. The architecture blew my mind...closest I've ever come to feeling like I was in France! Our last stop before we went to our room was the historic Bienville House, sister to Hotel Monteleone. 





The courtyard is like something straight out of a movie. Gorgeous live plants growing and hanging from every balcony, a pool with a fountain, and little nooks with conversation areas and romantic lighting. When I dream about our wedding venue, it has this courtyard. 









For decades, it was a manufacturing plant and then after becoming apartments, the Monteleone family bought it in 1972 to make it into the hotel it is today.





We walked a few blocks back to our hotel and set out to explore our room and all of the amenities. Blair helped us find a room with a great view of the Hotel Monteleone sign and showed us where the pool was.  The staff at Hotel Monteleone are so welcoming and helpful! Our room was SO cozy. It overlooked the French Quarter and the Mississippi river. We were greeted by a box of macarons from Sucre & a sweet note.







We decided on snacks and drinks at the Carousel Bar (it actually rotates, guys) before dinner and walked away with a new favorite drink -- the Fleur De Lis. Dinner was at Kingfish and dessert was at Mr. B's Bistro. We went to as many places as we could and we were SO full by the end of it! We stopped at the Carousel bar again before bed to plan our markets...and ended the night by looking over the Mississippi River from the window in our room. So peaceful! I really didn't want to leave! There's definitely something magical about the city. I'm excited to bring Tanner in June so he can experience it too! The last time he was there was right after Hurricane Katrina!





If you're planning a trip to New Orleans, I highly recommend the Hotel Monteleone. We've stayed in a lot of places, but none compare to the customer service we received while we stayed with them. The rooms are beautiful, its in a very convenient and safe location, and we can not WAIT to go back. If you're flying into New Orleans for our market, this is where you want to stay. It's only 2 hours from Laurel! Counting the days!!

What are your must-stop places in New Orleans?


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