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Orchard Girls

Friday, January 31, 2014

DIY: Oil Drip Pan Magnet Board for Kids

Good Morning! Earlier this week I finished this pinterest project that I've really excited about doing! This project was super easy and pretty inexpensive. 
Keep reading to see what you'll need and where you can find it.

What you'll need:
-Oil Drip Pan 
These can be found at any automotive store. I found mine at Walmart for $12, in the automotive section on the bottom shelf.

-Fun magnet shapes
I bought a pack of foam alphabet letters for $4 in the kids section 
I also purchased the animal/color puzzles $3 for all three.
-Roll Strip of Magnet
Found this in the craft section at Walmart. I just cut tiny strips and put one on the back of each letter/puzzle (this was the most tedious part) You could just as easily purchase letter with magnets already on the back of them. (I just couldn't find them at the store and didn't want to wait. Lol.)
-4 Sticky Velcro Strips
I found these by the picture hanging section. I put one in each corner and stuck it on the wall. (that way you don't have to worry about damaging your wall. The pan itself is actually pretty light, so I'm not worried about it falling.
And here is how it turned out! 
 
 Thank you for stopping by to check this fun project out! Adeline loved knocking the letters off the most, but even just the next day she has already mastered sticking them back on the board. As she gets older, I think this will be a great tool for learning letters/numbers. Let us know what you think! Do you know any other fun projects like this I should try? Have a wonderful weekend - Enjoy the superbowl, oh and of course, GO SEAHAWKS!! :)






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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Living With Migraines

Hey everyone! If you follow our blog relatively closely, you may have noticed that I missed posting on Tuesday. We like to post Tuesday through Friday, alternating days. I had planned on coming home from work and writing up a post, but a migraine had been building all day and by that point I was pretty debilitated. That's where the idea came to write a post about my experience with migraines and what I've found that helps. Hopefully someone out there finds this helpful in dealing with their own disease.

You will notice that I called this a disease. That's because it is a legitimate neurological disease. Many people who have never had a migraine think that it's just a headache. Those of us who have experienced migraines know that's just not true. I would feel so blessed to live my life having headaches and not migraines. If you are not quite sure what a migraine is, but are curious, here is a helpful link from the Migraine Research Foundation.

I started getting migraines when I was about 12, if not younger. My parents knew what they were because they run in my Dad's side of the family. I don't believe they were bad enough to take me to the doctor, because my first experience with migraine medication was in high school. My migraines were becoming more frequent and I was getting sick while in school. I remember laying my head down on my desk, and running to the bathroom to throw up. Not something a teenage girl wants to deal with. By the time I'd get home, I'd be throwing up constantly. So, my Mom took me to the doctor and he prescribed propranolol. After messing with the dosage, we decided it just wasn't working. So, I went off of it and didn't go back to the doctor for them until I was in college. All the while, I was depending on Excedrin Migraine to help me out.

In college, the doctor prescribed me an anti-anxiety medication, as well as a medication to take at the onset of a migraine. To be quite honest, the migraine medication didn't work, but the anti-anxiety medication helped during that time. I believe that's because I was under quite a bit of stress, and it was making my migraines worse. I did not stay on it long, though, because I didn't like the way it made me feel and I was forgetting things I used to be able to remember without a problem. I went back to using Excedrin Migraine. 

I became dependent on Excedrin Migraine. I was taking it every morning to try to ward off whatever might come that day. I had things to do, and places to be. I couldn't risk not being able to go to work or classes. I was getting marked down because I was missing days. I believe this is when I developed chronic/daily migraines. Often times, this comes from overuse of medication. But, really, what else are we to do? I couldn't be tied to my bed all the time. I also tried supplements, like St. John's Wort (for anxiety). They helped a little. 

It wasn't until there was an Excedrin recall, I believe in 2011, that I stopped taking it. I took it as a sign. Also, Adam and I were trying to get pregnant. I knew once I was pregnant that I couldn't take aspirin. So, I slowly stopped taking Excedrin and switched to tylenol. It was horrible. I had super bad migraines for weeks. But, you know what? They started to become less frequent. I had them pretty constantly still, but they weren't nearly as bad. And life was livable.

Something they always say to do is to try to find your triggers. It could be chocolate, wine, cheese... any mix of things. The weather changing. It could also be stress/anxiety. I discovered my biggest trigger is stress/anxiety. So, I try to do things that help me calm down, like go for walks, read a book, play music, snuggle with my puppies. I also try to avoid situations that give me anxiety, like large social gatherings. You can help figure out your triggers by making a migraine log. Write down how long your migraine was for, how much it hurt on a scale of 1-10, what symptoms you had (aura? nausea? sensitivity to light or sound?), and what you ate or if you were particularly stressed. You can keep this for yourself, or you can take it to your doctor and they can help you find treatment. My doctor prescribed me massage therapy, and it has been amazing.

Also, it helps having people around you who understand migraines. My immediate family has always been very supportive, and understood that when I wasn't feeling well, I needed to get home and get to bed. Kayla (who you all know!), lived with me for 4 years and became my own little "caretaker" when I wasn't feeling well. She would remind me to take medicine when I mentioned my head hurting, or would bring me the things I needed while I was working. Adam does the same things for me now. 

There are little things that can help, too. I like to keep a damp rag in the freezer. I will pull it out and put it on my head when things are starting to get bad. I will close myself in a dark room and lay down. I've changed my pillow a few times to help with neck tension in the morning. Keeping relatively active helps, but don't exercise when you have a developing migraine- it will only make things worse. Try to figure out if you have any symptoms before a migraine. Sometimes I get an aura. Mine comes in the form of blind spots in my vision, and I know I will be having a migraine later in the day. Then you can better prepare. 

Obviously I still get migraines, and I probably will continue to for quite a while. It breaks my heart that there will be times when I will not be able to tend to my baby because I will be incapacitated. That's why I've been trying so hard to figure it all out and make things more manageable. With the help of the massage, I feel like I am moving forward. I would like to try acupuncture next, as medications are off the table because I am pregnant and will be breastfeeding. 

I encourage you to try to get a handle on your migraines to increase the overall quality of your life. If you're in a rut right now, start logging again and make an appointment with your doctor. You can only get better if you try.

I'm sorry I wrote a whole novel today. I just know there are so many people out there who suffer from this same thing, I hope that I can help someone. 

Have a great day! And I will talk to you all soon.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Top 5 Toddler Valentine's Day Treats

Good morning everyone! I noticed our Top 5 Toddler Valentine's Day Crafts post was a big hit! I wanted to give you something similar, but with Toddler Treats. These are all fun treats/food/desserts that you can make and enjoy with your toddler or older child. Enjoy :) Also, keep reading below for an exciting announcement from Kenzie, myself, and our friend Alexis (from Laugh. Eat. Learn.)

1. Toddler Valentine Snack Mix
 2. Heart Shaped Pancakes with Strawberries
 4. Heart Shaped Cherry Pies
 5. Valentine's Pretzel Hugs

I don't know about you, but these are making me crave some delicious pink and red scrumptious treats! :) let me know if you're gonna give any of these a try. Enjoy your day!
ALSO--We have an exciting announcement, next Wednesday we will be starting our OWN linky party. "What We Eat Wednesdays-Link Party". Where you all can come and join in on the fun and share your own  delicious recipes! Getting YOUR blog even more exposure with clickable links, back to your site. Be sure to add this Party to your calendar and join us next week!
P.S-Check out the parties we link to by looking at our Link Party Directory!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Nursery Moodboards


Happy Friday, everyone! I've been really wanting to start on our baby's nursery, but we don't know the gender yet, so that makes it a little difficult. I already have a few pieces that are gender neutral, but the fabric and accessories kind of depend. I decided to make a couple of mood boards to help sort my ideas, and to see if everything actually looks cute together. I made one for a boy and a girl.

Here's the boy:
I'm going for more of a rustic log cabin feel. Here is a breakdown of the items, in case you're looking for anything like this.
From top left corner:
1. A painting I found on pinterest that does not have a link back to anywhere. I don't intend to buy this, but I do intend to make my own artwork similar to this.
2. Be Brave printable. I love finding cute printables like this!
3. Hand made quilt. So sweet! I want to make my own blankets and such, but this is great inspiration.
4. Green recliner chair. We actually already have a lazyboy recliner/rocker chair that is similar to this. We bought is a couple of years ago in hopes of using it in a nursery. We found it used (but practically new) and had to swipe it up for the price. 
5. Cool Breeze paint by Benjamin Moore. We have already painted the walls of the room white, but I plan on adding this color to the ceiling.
6. Faux Sheepskin Rug from Ikea. At $10 a pop, I plan on getting a few of these to cozy up our tile floor.
7. Round Basket from Target. I want to get a couple of these for books and blankets.
8. White Dresser from Ikea. This is another piece that we already own. It isn't identical, but it's similar.
9. Rug from Urban Outfitters. I think this rug adds the perfect amount of color and "rustic-ness" to the room. And you can't beat the price. It doesn't look super comfy, but that's what the sheepskins are for.

And here is what I came up with for a girl:
You'll notice a lot of the same pieces. I really want to incorporate what we already have. For a little girl,  I want to add a whole bunch of floral fabric. I didn't picture much here, but my plan is to mismatch florals. Here's the breakdown:
1. Another hand made quilt. I just love the fabric on this.
2. Hand made "E" sign. This was another pinterest find that I could not find a link to. Basically it looks like burlap covered canvas with the initial made out of buttons. Easy enough, right? Here is a link to a tutorial very similar to this, though!
5. I would like to change out the knobs on the dresser for these ones from Target.
6. The same paint on the ceiling.
7. The same baskets for storage.
8. The same green chair for rocking my baby to sleep.
9. The same white crib.
10. The same faux sheepskin rugs.
11. Another rug from Urban Outfitters. This one is so cute! 

Also, here are a couple of mobiles that I'm looking at for inspiration. They are kind of pricey to buy, so I might give making these a go. Here is one for a boy:
And a girl:
Here is the link to the boy, and the link to the girl.

I am itching to get started on this! We don't find out the gender until the middle of February. Thankfully I have several pieces I can pick up now. I will keep you all updated on how the nursery is coming, and I'm sure I will have lots of tutorials for homemade artwork and sewing projects. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We have been out of town for most of the week and I'm thankful we are going home today. We've been in downtown Portland, and I'm not much of a city girl. I'm aching to be home to get some peace & quiet!

Talk to you all soon,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Superbowl Snacks and Treats

That's right, today I wanted to share with you 10 fun superbowl snacks and treats from around the web. I can't wait til the the big game! I am so excited that our Seattle Seahawks made it to the Superbowl!!! Are you going to be hosting a party, or attending one? Well, either way, you can bet these snacks and treats will be a hit! 
5. Game face and Stadium Cookies (MY FAVORITE!!)
Whatever you end up making or doing for the big game, I hope you have fun! And if anything else, enjoy all the delicious snacks and treats! :) Who are you rooting for, SEAHAWKS or Bronco's??? There is a right and wrong answer to that question, by the way ;)
ALSO - We will be having a fun surprise soon - be sure your signed up to receive occasional emails from us, so you're up to date on all the happenings here at Orchard Girls!
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WWEW: Lentil Tacos

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you all are doing well. Today I'm going to share one of our favorite recipes. Lentil Tacos! Really, the recipe is for the lentil filling that you can use in tacos, burritos and salads. It's super yummy and we like to substitute it regularly for ground beef or turkey.
Ingredients:
-1 cup dried lentils, sifted through and rinsed.
-1 Tbs olive oil
-1 clove minced garlic
-1 Tbs chili powder
-2 tsp cumin
-1 tsp oregano
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 cup salsa

Directions:
*You can either soak the lentils overnight, or use them dry. They take longer if you start with them dry.
1. Add oil to skillet and bring to medium heat, add the garlic. Once the garlic is cooked, add the lentils, seasonings, and chicken broth. 
2. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes (45 to an hour if dry)- until all the liquid is dissolved.
3. Stir in the salsa and serve!

I hope you give this recipe a try! We really love it.

Have a great day and I will be back on Friday! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Words of Encouragement

    Hi guys! Well, it's been a long week/end. I like to keep my posts positive and not be a downer, but if you think about it..how realistic is that? We're all human, we all struggle, and we all, at some point, can't do things on our own. Daniel, Addie, and I ended up traveling to where my parents live last Wednesday, because my Mom had to go to the ER. Once I heard she was in the hospital it wasn't really an option for me, I knew I wanted to go. She's been pretty sick the past few months, and it has been getting worse. She was finally admitted to the ER and is getting the care she needs. She is still in the hospital right now, and probably will be for the next few days, as they try and figure out what is causing all of these health issues. We reluctantly came back home yesterday, but when I was visiting with her she seemed to be doing a bit better, so that made me feel a tiny bit better about leaving her. I know I need to trust in God, and know that she is in the best care and he will never leave her side. 
    With that being said, I know I can't be the only one going through a rough time. I found myself the past few days studying the bible and searching for words of encouragement online. I thought I would share a roundup of quotes with you guys a few that I found inspiring or helpful. 
Words of Encouragement #quotes
Words of Encouragement #quotes

Words of Encouragement #quotes

Words of Encouragement #quotes

Words of Encouragement #quotes

Words of Encouragement #quotes

Words of Encouragement #quotes

Words of Encouragement #quotes

Words of Encouragement #quotes

Words of Encouragement #quotes

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you you found some inspiration here today. I hope you all have a wonderful week :)
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