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Lunch on the Patio

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
I wish I liked to cook. 
I really do. But I really just don't. I think I used to? I really think its the mess afterwards that I'm not real fond of.  That mean's, I pretty much leave all the cooking up to my husband. Thankfully, he loves to cook and he's really quite good at it so we don't starve! 
But every now and again I will, and when I do, its this....Chicken Lime Soup. Its is the soup of all soups! 
It has just about everything wonderful in it and I could eat it every single day. Its also the thing I know I can serve to my guests and not worry that its going to be a major fail. So when my friend said she was coming for lunch last week I thought perfect...I will make soup. Seriously, it was 90 degrees outside and I still was all about it! 
Not to mention I had just received these adorable dishes from Trend Addictions and I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to use them! 
The fact that they are all white and grey with the tiniest bit of red trim around the edge....ahhhh! 
And this pitcher....it's darling! My husband hates it when I say. "darling" but I can't help myself, it just really is! This day it was for water (did I mention, it was so hot and I served soup) but I'm thinking of all the other fun drinks that I could serve in it...Margaritas anyone?!!
I first came across the shop Trend Addictions on Instagram and now I'm hooked! This is my place for great gift idea's and I always seem to find something I want too...go figure! 
It was such a beautiful day, lunch was amazing, if I do say so myself and we had so much fun eating, drinking and chatting that we decided that this needs to happen every month! I agreed to bring the cute dishes next time and she agreed to make the food. Otherwise, you can pretty much guess whats on the menu.  
Because I know there might be a few of you that read my little blog and might actually like to cook and want to make this too...because you really should. I am including the recipe HERE! 
And because I know there are a few of you who would really rather look at pretty things and shop. I am happy to say that Trend Addictions has partnered up with me to sponsor an amazing giveaway on my Instagram!! 
Just pop on over to my Instagram HERE and find this picture below and enter to win a $50 gift card to their shop!! 
But seriously why wait when you can use the coupon code HOUSESEVEN and receive 20%off your order today!
Oh my goodness you can eat Chicken Lime Soup while you shop!!

{This coupon code will last all week long so tell your friends and enjoy!}

My cleaning obsession with Murchison Hume

Friday, July 24, 2015
I get asked this question all the time..."Do you clean all day?"  In a house that is mostly white with 3 kids a husband and a dog...YES, YES, I DO!
That is why when Murchison-Hume asked me if I would be interested in trying out some of their 100% natural cleaning products, my response...Oh, yes please!

When they arrived I was pleasantly surprised and I hadn't even used them yet! It was the cute packaging. I'm a complete sucker for packaging! Not only did the products look pretty enough to actually leave sitting on my counters but they also came with the cutest wood carrying caddy. I was sold and I hadn't even cleaned with them yet! Oh my goodness I'm a terrible reviewer. Put a pretty product in front of my face and I'm in! But then I actually cleaned with them and guess what....they are wonderful! Oh and the smell...Original Fig and its with out a doubt the best smelling cleaner I have ever used. It smells so good its made me want to clean even more then I normally do...thats quite a lot.
I will say that I have tried a lot of cleaners in my time and this is by far my favorite. Its pretty. It smells amazing and its safe for our home. Oh and most importantly it works!
I can tell you with all honesty that I will continue to use Murchison-Hume products in my home from now on. I believe in what this company is doing by creating products that are environmentally safe. The more I have researched how our day to day products are made, I realized that I have a choice as to what I bring in to my home and what kind of companies I want to support. I know some may say...but its just cleaning products. But to me its more than that. Its about supporting the companies that are making efforts to be better. Better for our earth, our animals, and our families. Oh and did I mention yet, they are probably the only cleaner you won't mind keeping out for your guests to ask you about.
Guilty, right here.
If you are interested in trying Murchison-Hume for yourself (which I highly recommend) use the discount code HSB20 and receive 20% off your purchase!!
How can you say no to that! 

Family Room Refresh

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
I needed a little change around here and I didn't want to spend a dime to do it! I've struggled with our family room set up for awhile now because of this short wall...it drives me bananas!
I also was getting tired of my three windows being blocked by our sofa. I love this sofa. Its probably one of the largest investments we have ever made for a piece of furniture but what I failed to realize when we purchased it was that I love to change things up and you can't change a lot when you have such a massive piece in the middle of the room.
The sofa really couldn't go anywhere else but where it was. That is until we remodeled our kitchen and removed the part of the island that hung over the walkway in to the family room from the hallway. Best decision ever because it opened up the walkway and allowed me some freedom in the placement of the furniture. Two more feet of freedom. It has only take me about 6 months to figure it out though!
Here is a picture of the island after the overhang on the end was removed. This end of the island hung directly out in to the walkway and it didn't work at all and no one was ever going to sit there so we got rid of it!


I also love how the room flows from the kitchen right in to the living room area now. I was starting to really dislike the wall the sofa created between the two sides of the room. 
It also gave me the motivation to clean up the kitchen...fresh and clean!



One Wild and Precious Life

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Yes, that is what it is and so very precious.
This is going to be a long and wordy post. One filled up with all my raw emotions and thoughts. Deep sorrow followed by overwhelming joy all rolled in to one powerful moment in my life. I promise you, it all comes from a deep place down in my core. Thoughts that have been trying to get out, so here goes nothing.
This is where it began......
My cousin died. He died and it wrecked me. He wasn't just my cousin. He was my friend, my big brother. He loved me so much and I loved him and then one day he died. Its only been a few months. It makes my heart feel like its breaking a part just to type these words. I have been crushed to my core by his passing. But it doesn't end here. Actually, this is where it started. He helped me. He helped me when he died because he showed me something I had been hiding from myself. That I have a gift and its shouldn't be wasted. He gave me courage to move forward. His death didn't hold me back, it pushed me forward. It shoved me!
He was 47. He was young and alive and then he wasn't. The cancer took him away quickly. It crept in like a thief and stole his life. His one wild and precious life.
It happened way too fast. There wasn't enough time. Not even to say goodbye. It's changed everything about the way I look at life. It doesn't scare me to die but it does scare me to think that I could die and never have tried. Never had even tried to do what I could feel pulling at me all these years.
Why? Why not try? Why not allow myself to do what it is that I can do and that I know I can do well. I look back over the past year. I think of all the prayers I prayed to please lead me down the right path. The one that will make me a better wife, mother, friend, sister, but also where my soul can sing out loud!
I had no idea in saying those prayers how I would be lead.
I was scared. I was so scared of the what if's. I didn't want to burden my family in anyway at all. Things were good. Money was good and we had everything we wanted. How could I jeopardize all that just because I had an empty spot down deep? Was I being selfish?
I knew and still know to this day that if this giant leap in my career, in my life doesn't end up being all that I intend it to be. I will stop. I will find something else because my family comes first. But the thing is, I don't think thats going to happen. Instead of that pulling feeling in my gut its now this drive leading me to a better place.
The weeks before he left us, he was all I thought about. I could feel something stirring in me.
But I kept telling myself it will all work itself out and in a year we will look back and say
"hey remember when you were sick, thank goodness that's over."
In all of this chaos I had my little Instagram account. Keeping me busy and creative. I love IG but I have to say, I wasn't so crazy about the #WIDN.
In case you aren't familiar, its this little thing where you tag one another and ask them, What Are You Doing Know? I didn't ever really play along until a dear friend of mine tagged me, and because I didn't want to be a complete jerk, I played along, tagging the next person I thought of, it was Aedriel.
It gives me serious goosebumps when I think about it.
She played along because well, she also, is not a jerk. and this was her post...

Oh my goodness! My heart stopped for a second. This is what I needed. I needed to see this right then! I messaged her immediately..."I want to buy this print from you!!" "Will you sell it to me?!?"
She said, they would start to sell them soon.  I wasn't the only one that wanted it after she had posted this beautiful image of her lettering on a simple piece of paper. 
Her response...."I would be flattered to make something for you."
 What? For me? Flattered? I didn't know what to say.
We started messaging back in forth over the next few weeks. So much so that all of a sudden she wasn't just an acquaintance on social media, we were becoming friends.  We not only talked about the project but also about our lives, our families. How are husbands are sweet and kind and put up with our antics! We talked about God's grace and how we are lead if we truly want to be.
 If you don't know her, you are missing out. She is truly beautiful inside and out. 
She was there to lift me up with her words and her spirit when I really needed it. A perfect stranger reaching out. Not for any personal gain, just purely for the sake of kindness. 
The project was in the works and I was going to receive the first piece as a gift! 
 Oh my heart, it feels like it could burst with love and gratitude when I think about it all. 
It wasn't too long after this that my cousin passed away. It was a pain I had never felt and it brought me down to my knees. I loved him so much. I went back home to New York and spent a week with my family. It was healing and heart wrenching all at the same time. Anyone who has lost a loved one so suddenly knows what I'm talking about. Its tears that lead in to laughter. It's love. I could feel him there. We all could. I was able to talk to his wife, whom I love dearly and means the world to me. We were all alone and she sat on their bed with me and she told me he was so proud of me. I will never forget that moment, ever. 
Not too long after I came back home from my trip to New York and after I had said all my goodbyes this canvas was delivered to my doorstep from the House of Belonging.
It's amazing and beautiful and it was made just for me out of Aedriel's love and kindness for another. It is more then just a canvas hanging on my wall. It is in these words that I now live and love by.
I have gained a great deal of perspective over the past months. I have lost so much but I have also gained so much along the way. I'm no longer holding myself back from challenges. 
I won't allow myself to be afraid because I know deep in my core that this is my 
One and Only Wild and Precious Life!
A gift that I refuse to waste. It hangs in my office just above my desk to remind me very early, every morning, as I conquer the new day ahead... I've got this! 








Pehr Designs Giveaway

Friday, July 10, 2015
Its Friday y'all lets give something away!

This week I have partnered up with Pehr Designs to bring you the sweetest little giveaway from their adorable Petit Pehr line!
Its cuteness overload!
 Some lucky gal or guy will be chosen this Monday to win one of each of these super sweet Storage Bins and little pint!



TO ENTER 
Pop on over to my House Seven Blog Instagram feed, find the picture above, follow the contest rules and you're in! 
Good Luck! 

WASH, WASH, WASH

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
We are a family of hand washers.
Because Im a freak about the hand washing in our home. Seriously!
After the longest winter in all of history and multiple bouts of sickness that have swept through our home with a fury, I am now the mom that is asking my kids every 20 minutes…”DID YOU WASH YOUR HANDS?”
I'm serious, when I say, I cant take another season like that one so I am on them constantly about good hygiene and its all WASH, WASH, WASH.
The only problem with all this continuous hand washing is the sensitivity that soon follows. We are a sensitive family…..not really...well, when it comes to our skin anyway. My skin is like the sierra and not much can combat the dryness and lucky for my kids…they now have it too. Sorry guys! I am all about trying new products to see if anything and I mean anything will work but until recently I hadn't found much that was working for us.
But then this great thing happened....we found Revive bath + body and things got a whole lot better.
The thing is when I find a product that I truly love I want to shout about it from the roof tops and this is that for us!
I mean it. When I find something that I think is truly worth the money I want to talk about it...so if you've been around me lately you will know Revive products are my new must have obsession.
So I will tell you that this bar soap is my absolute favorite! When it came in the mail on the first day, I opened the box but then I got distracted, (that never happens...eyes rolling) so it sat there on my desk until the next day and when I opened the door and walked in to my office that next morning the smell was amazing! This is the Peppermint+Rosemary+Lemon and ahhhhh it is so good!
The bar soap is handmade from vegetable oil and doesn't contain any of the chemicals you would normally find in other soaps. Its so gentle on my kiddos skin and because they also enjoy the smell and all the swirls (as they say)  they are washing their hands more then ever and I'm not complaining about that one single bit!
I love it so much that I had to include it in the house warming basket that I just made up for a dear friend of mine. She has 4 kiddos and I know her family is going to love it just as much as we have! 

 
Revive bath+body isn't just good for your skin. This company is doing amazing things for their community. Started by the owner Caitlin in 2010 they have gone on to partner with Haven ATL to help revive women who have been slaves in the the sex trafficking industry which is unfortunately, extremely prevalent in Atlanta and all over this country. Revive bath+body is helping to equip them with the skills that they need to pull themselves out and giving them some much needed hope in a hopeless place.  I'm a mother of three daughters..how can I not talk about how much I love what they are doing! So much that Revive bath+body has decided to partner up with me and offer you all the discount code HOUSESEVEN10 to shop their store with 10% off your purchase today through the 7th!

{The perfect house warming basket}
Cutting board
Dusting broom brush
House plant or herb...I prefer Basil 
Wooden Spoons
Tea Towels
Candle
Paper Straws
Hand Soap
Bar Soap
Lotion
all wrapped up in a beautiful basket!