Housewarming Gifts

Since we moved into our house earlier this summer, lots of friends have stopped by to see our new digs, and so many of them have been incredibly thoughtful and given us beautiful housewarming gifts, ranging from indulgent chocolate chip cookies to fabulous lotion and soap to stunning white orchids. One of our charming and darling new neighbors who I had the pleasure of having lunch with yesterday, dropped off the most gorgeous arrangement of flowers when she came to introduce herself – oh how I love southern hospitality! On the flip side, we have had several friends move into new homes as well, and so I’ve had fun choosing presents for them too. I surprised one friend with a box of delicious and decadent blueberry muffins, and another with an Ina cookbook and another with my favorite Charlotte Moss book.

Since we tend to keep a mental list of go-to gifts, I thought I would make it that much easier for you by sharing my favorite housewarming gifts. These are all tried and true, and work with any budget. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Housewarming Gift Ideas

How to Cancel Plans at the Last Minute

 

It’s wonderful to make plans with friends, be it for a double date, girls lunch or playdate with the kids. You mark it on your calendar with a star, and look forward to it all week-long. And then life happens and someone has to cancel. You might feel like Larry David, and thrilled to have one less social obligation (his motto is, “if someone cancels on me, it’s a celebration!” ha!) or you may feel a pang of disappointment. We’ve all been there! However, what if you are the one who has to cancel at the last-minute? Guilt washes over you as you pick up your phone, and yet you know its best to cancel. Again, we’ve all been there! I’m a big believer in upholding commitments, however there are times when we just can’t do it all, and have to cancel.

Several years ago, we had dinner plans with another couple and we had been looking forward to getting together for weeks. They are darling and hilarious, and it was going to be a treat to have a fun night out. I woke up that morning not feeling very well, however I wanted to put on a smile and brave face, and still meet up with our friends. The day rolled on, and I tried to rest, however as we were getting dressed to go out, I felt incredibly dizzy and nauseous and decided to sit down for a minute. I could barely peel myself off the sofa to finish my makeup, and despite my desire to uphold our commitment, my husband and agreed it was best for us to stay home and reschedule dinner for a time when I was better and we could all enjoy ourselves. I felt absolutely awful for canceling the plans – let alone at the eleventh hour – however, we needed to do what was right for my health. Moral of the story, sometimes you just have to cancel at the last-minute, and its ok.

And so, if you find yourself in a similar situation, below are my tips to handle it with grace. Enjoy!

Quick Tips

Social Etiquette: How to Cancel Plans at the Last Minute

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Only cancel if there is a good reason (i.e., you’re sick, your children or spouse are sick, you have an unexpected work conflict, family emergency, your babysitter cancels, etc.) Don’t cancel because of a better offer (aka “better dealing” or because you just don’t feel like going out.

Ideally, call the person to cancel. However if you are unable to (i.e., you have a sick and screaming baby in your arms), then sending a text is ok. And no need to go overboard with details, keep it simple and sincere.

Whether calling or texting, be sure to apologize for canceling.

If you do wish to see them again, suggest another day/time when you can get together and make a point to follow through with the commitment.

My Top 5 Favorite Natural Cleaning Products

 

I love a clean house – who doesn’t? – and my desire for sparkling countertops and fresh laundry seems magnified since we moved into our new home. Ha, or it might be that our days are so chaotic (life with two spirited little boys!) that keeping the house pristine is a way for me to find some inner peace! Until a few years ago, I didn’t bat an eyelash when purchasing big brand detergent, soap and cleaning sprays, and was blissfully unaware of the toxic ingredients in these popular products. They kept their promises  – while filling the air with delicate scents of linen and lavender – and that seemed to be all that mattered. Fast forward to 2014 when I became pregnant with C, and suddenly, I had a thirst for knowledge about how to live as cleanly as possible. I took inventory of my makeup, body lotion, face wash, and of course all of the products that we used to clean our home.

Thanks to the EWG (if you haven’t yet discovered this website, you need to visit it ASAP!) and a better understanding of safe ingredients, we’ve traded many of the old products for new and safer ones. In reality, we didn’t toss every single spray, gel, and dishwasher pod – however we made major changes with as many as we could. I’ve rounded up five of my favorite cleaning products, including a hand soap, dishwashing soap, detergent, dryer sheets and cleaning spray. I hope you’ll give these a try, and enjoy them as much as we have!

 

Mrs. Meyers Hand soap 

Seventh Generation Dish soap

 

Biokleen Laundry Detergent or Mrs. Meyers Baby Laundry Detergent 

Better Life Dryer sheets

Method All Purpose Cleaning spray