Q & A Post: A Homemaker Tag

A dear friend of mine who blogs over at Courtney Faith recently tagged me in a “homemaker tag” post where tagged stay-at-home mom bloggers answer twenty questions and then tag two more friends when they’re done (read her answers here).

This will be my very first Q&A on the blog so I’m looking forward to it!

1. Have you ever had anyone say anything negative to you about staying at home or working from home? Not really, actually. Anyone who knew me before getting married/having kids knew this is what I wanted to do, so no one was surprised. I do get a lot of comments on “how young I am to be married with two kids”. Well, alrighty then.  Ha!

2. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of staying home? My absolutely favorite thing is knowing that I am doing God’s will in my life. Being a Titus 2 woman is very important to me…obviously, it’s the mandate to Christian women. But I love being home with my babies. My least favorite? How isolating it can be…and sometimes overwhelming by the amount of work that it entails. Y’all…the Lord gives grace.

3. What are your favorite and least favorite chores? My favorite chore currently is washing the dishes/cleaning the kitchen. I put on a good podcast during naptime and get to work!! My least favorite by far is folding & putting away laundry. Like, how does it multiple on the couch? Ahem. And the bathroom? Yeah, mobile home bathrooms are 1,000x harder to clean than normal ones. Not even kidding.

4. What time do you wake up/go to bed? Currently I have a baby that nurses 1-5 times in the night and we’re sleeping on a blow-up mattress in the living room (long story…tell you later) so my sleep is not the greatest. Luke & I both have lots of online/paperwork to do, and it seems to get done later & later in the evenings, so we’ve been going to bed around 10:30 or 11pm. I wake up between 6:30 (if Silas wakes up then to nurse), or 7 when Luke is walking out the door. The boys don’t get up until 8:15/8:30, so I have an hr to an hr and a half for quick online work, a workout, my devotions, a shower and tidying.

5. Do you put anything on in the background while you clean/cook/etc.? If the boys are asleep, I do a podcast (or 3!), but if they’re awake, Caleb’s usually helping me and he’s a chatter box. The boys keep the background noise rather loud themselves. Ha!

6. Do you get dressed most days or stay in your PJs? I get dressed. It may just be jeans & a tee, but I always shower and get dressed. Make-up? Not always, but I’m working on that for my husband! ❤

7. How often do you do your hair and makeup? Besides Sunday? Occasionally. Ha! I’m trying to do it more often, though. And since getting glasses, I’ve been working on keeping my hair back but down since I look like a librarian with it up! Lol.

8. What is your “trouble zone” or area in your home that needs the most help? …we just need more space! Nothing is really “junked up” or unoragnized. Just crammed because of the tight quarters. But it’s getting better since adapting to a more minimalist lifestyle the beginning of the year. Over 25 large boxes have been donated this year and the mindless spending has been cut down on a ton!

9. How often do you find yourself getting distracted? Lots…all the time.

10. Do you enjoy staying home or do you miss going to a job everyday? Since I do work from home…I get the joy of that along with staying home. But I don’t miss working for an employer. At all.

11. What is your “never ending” chore? I said it earlier…but laundry. Seriously. It multiplies once it’s washed before it’s folded in our household.

12. What is your favorite way to relax or have “me time”? try to go to the gym 2-3 times a week at night after the boys go to sleep…but that can be hard. I also try to read a couple chapters in a book with some coffee a few afternoons a week if I get caught up with chores & work. And soaks….ahhhh, my weekly soaks rejuvenate me.

13. How often does your husband chip in? He handles outside stuff, I handle the inside stuff. He’ll help put the food away after supper, but that’s usually because I’m nursing the baby. He always makes breakfast and has recently taken over making supper one night a week, so that’s been a blessing!

14. If you have children, when do you find time to do chores? Caleb helps with a LOT of it, but dishes and “getting caught up” gets done during naptime.

15. How do you balance being a homemaker and creating blog content? Lately…not very well. After Silas was born, my poor blog was put on the back burner, but I’m slowly getting back to it and I’m so excited!

16. What is your favorite room in your home and why? Does our backyard count? Lol. Well, we have one living area and then the bedrooms. The kitchen/living room is definitely my favorite in our little home and I love it. It’s where we live and enjoy life with each other!

17. What is your least favorite room in your home and why? …the bathroom. Only because I hate cleaning it.

18. Do you feel that your home reflects your personal style? Why or why not? Yes, but my style is evolving into a more mature/simple look I feel like. We’re currently working on building our forever home soon, so I’m looking forward to starting fresh in a few years!

19. What does your home smell like? Essential oils. And baked goods a couple days a week!

20. What are your strong points and weak points when it comes to homemaking?  This is the toughest one for me. lol. Like said earlier…this is what I always wanted to do, so I prepared for it. Honestly, keeping up with the changes of seasons of my growing little boys are harder for me than homemaking. So I would say just being flexible and showing grace when I don’t do things perfectly is my weak point.

If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading! Now I’ll tag my friends at Surviving Toddlerhood and Joyful Adorations, in case they want to have a turn at this fun questionnaire.

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Changes are coming!!

Hey, hey my lovely readers! I hope since I’ve been a little MIA here on the blog, you follow me on Insta & Facebook where I’m more active….but that’s about to change!

I’ve really been lacking in the inspiration department after having Silas, but I’ve gotten my passion for photography and blogging back! Part of that is rebranding and changing the name of my blog. Here very soon Through the Lens (which has been around since ’14!) is going to become Mindful Mama! I couldn’t be more thrilled!

On top of that, I’ve got some new content, and some fun giveaways coming up here, over on Insta and Facebook, so make sure you follow me!

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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How to Cloth Diaper {Frugally}

I’ve been part-time cloth diapering for over a year now….and I’m fixing to begin a journey of cloth diapering 2 boys (ages 2 & newborn)! Believe me, when I saw the prices of some of the brand-new diapers, I knew we could never afford that, especially when they say you need around 24-36 diapers (depending on age) to wash every 2-3 days instead of every day!

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I started my cloth diaper journey by getting 10 $5/$6 pocket diapers off of Zulily. I instantly loved cloth diapers, and I could use cloth for 2 days, then use disposable diapers while I washed & dried the cloth. And like I’ve said before- I only clothed very part time. Then, my then 15mo son developed a chemical burn from the disposable diapers- and we tried every brand….it wouldn’t go away. So I knew I had to cloth full-time, at least until it healed.

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I have never spent more than $8 for a diaper, and have gotten them as low as $3 for one. How do I do that?

Cloth Diaper Auctions

I’m in an awesome Facebook group where you can bid on diapers. That’s where I’ve scored some of my cheapest- and most favorite!- diapers!

Friends/Family

You might actually know someone, or a friend knows someone, who is de-stashing and can usually get diapers for a steal! Ask around!

Consignment Sales

Our twice-annual kids’ consignment sale has had cloth before…although you might have to look hard for good ones or a good price. I won’t pay over $10 for a diaper. That’s just me, though.

Alva Pocket Brand

For someone new to cloth diapers, getting a “starter pack” from the Alva brand is usually the best way to go- although on Amazon, they only have plain colors, not cute patterns. I’ve gotten a OS and newborn size packs before and love them!

Do you cloth diaper? Where do you get your cloth diapers and what’s your favorite brand?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Why We Keep Houseplants

Keeping plants in the house is definitely not a new thing, but it has become a very popular trend lately. I’m always seeing some beautiful green plants in lots of different kinds of decorating styles on Pinterest. I never really was a fan of it for myself…I would rather spend every waking minute outside if I could.

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So what got me on board? Why do I have multiple different kinds of plants scattered throughout my house now? Because I stumbled upon an article on how amazing plants are for ridding your home of toxic chemicals & poisons in the air. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know I am all about ridding my home of toxins. Actually, compared to most people, we have a very toxin-free home. But, we don’t live in a bubble. There are nasty toxins that we come in contact daily outside of our home, and bring in on our shoes, clothes, and things we buy. Gross.

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The three main types of plants I keep are relatively easy keepers (I do remember to water them & care for them- I don’t have a brown thumb) and quite beautiful. But the amazing thing is- they’re all known for their air-purifying abilities. They can rid your home of formaldehyde, benzene and other air pollutants. Who doesn’t need that in their home? If you want more information on what these plants can do, or the best plants to get, check out this article.

 

Do you keep houseplants? If so, is it for their health benefits, or for the beautiful look it gives to your home?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Why We’re Happy with 2 under 2

Surprise!!!!! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw around Christmas we announced that we are adding to our little family! ❤ The beginning of March, we had an ultrasound to see what Baby #2 is, and found out, to our surprise, that we’re having another boy! (My husband was thrilled- he doesn’t have to build another room onto the house! Lol)

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Of course we were congratulated, but a lot of people asked us why we were pregnant again, if this baby was a “surprise” or even if it was planned. What in the world makes people ask such nosy and intimate questions?

We actually were surprised that I was pregnant because of some health issues I had been having. We actually thought I was pregnant about 3 months beforehand but turned out I had a huge ovarian cyst. Hence, we were told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant for a while. The Lord had other plans.

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There are lots of reasons we’re happy with the boys’ age gap (#2’s due date is 1 month before Caleb’s 2nd birthday). Lots of them are personal preference…. And my very wise sister-in-law had always told me that the 2 year age gap is her favorite. I also noticed Caleb got along well with those around 2 years older than him and those children played well with him.

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How often or even how many children people have is their business and their business only. If they’re not taking handouts from the government, and especially if the people are married- let them choose their own path. For us, we believe that children are a blessing from the Lord and should be wanted & celebrated.

We’re so excited to be welcoming this baby in about 20 weeks!!

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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DIY Rainbow Rice

Happy Wednesday, people! I know it’s been wayyyyyy too long since I had a “real” post up. Oh well. I’m really, really going to try to do better! Today I want to share with you this super easy project to put together for your toddler!

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I was needing a new, “big boy” activity for my son to play with while I cook supper in the afternoons. He’s pretty much given up his afternoon nap, so I have to get pretty creative to keep him out under foot. Up until recently I was letting him watch a movie (Thomas, Bible stories, ect), but I don’t like him having screen-time everyday, so I knew I had to come up with something.

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I wanted some kind of sensory play, so I decided on rainbow rice. Before having a child, I always thought it looked fun, so we took a quick trip to Dollar General (we took Grandmomma along with us!) to get the stuff I didn’t have on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

-white rice (I got 3 bags for $.80 each)
– plastic box with locking lid
-food coloring
-plastic zipper bags
– small things to play in the rice with

All I did was put the rice in 4 different plastic bags and added food color to them. Then I just mixed and combined the rice with the color. I did a green, red, blue and a purple{ish}. Then I put them on paper plates to dry. Once it was dry, I poured it into the tub for Caleb to mix up and play with! 🙂

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I ended up getting some measuring spoons, a wooden spoon and some small party cups at DG plus I had some popsicle sticks on hand for Caleb to use for the activity. Let me tell ya, it kept him occupied for over an hour!!!! Momma score! Everytime some rice came out of the box I just told him, “oh no! Keep the rice in the box so you don’t run out!”, and he did his very best at keeping it in. After he was done, I just swept the floor in 5 minutes and was all cleaned up. 🙂

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Tell me, how do you keep your toddler occupied while cooking? Do you think rainbow rice would be a hit for your little one?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Top 5 Posts of 2016

Okay, y’all…I know we’re almost done with January (where has the time gone?!?), but here are the top 5 posts of 2016 for Through the Lens!

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Even though it’s one of my oldest posts, this post on how to use essential oils with horses is one of my most popular!

4) Detox Naturally

These 3 Ways to Naturally Detox {even while pregnant} helped keep me feeling good through my pregnancy!

 

3) wdding-reception

My post on How to Have a Simple, Tasteful & Inexpensive Wedding Reception was a favorite of mine to do. I loved putting our reception together and then the post gave me all the feels. ❤

2) Strawberry Lemonade

This Good Girl Moonshine is STILL our favorite…we make it weekly!

1) Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Muffins

These Healthy Chocolate Muffins were #1 on the list again for this year! I think I’m going to have to make them again soon….

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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