Jul 30, 2012

{diy wicker basket makeover}


this really isn't even a diy. absolutely anyone could do this, its more of an idea, really.

you know those wicker baskets that were probably all over your house growing up?
well they are in just about every single yard sale/thrift shop you can imagine now.

so you can take them from junky & dull to beautiful in about 10 minutes. all you need is a can of spray paint. i think metallic colors are especially beautiful, personally.

we use ours to store little supplies for isaac in our room, now. way nicer than leaving them all over our dresser!

{you will need}
spray paint
primer (optional)

before you start painting, be sure there isn't any dust or cobwebs or it will show up when you spray paint. you may want to pull out your vacuum hose for that one.

then prime, if you so choose. i didn't with mine, but if i did it again, i think i would just because the wicker was so dark on my baskets to begin with.

these were done with a valspar metallic silver spray paint from lowes.

have fun!

Jul 21, 2012

{our sick week at the lake + giveaway winner!}


sorry for the quietness around here. we've had quite an eventful week.
isaac & i have both been a little sick - him for the first time. i did the typical mommy thing & panicked. i didn't know how to take care of a sick baby, & with isaac, it seemed especially ambiguous. i didn't know if he had a simple cold or something more serious. it is seeming as though it was all just a cold & he is feeling a bit better today.
all week has been lots of movies & snuggling for us. we had made plans to be at the lake. a bit of a vacation not far from home, & the week obviously didn't go as planned. isaac cried for half of it & we both slept the other half, but even so, it was still a nice time away with family, even though it was different than we originally thought.

so all of that to say, we are back home today & it is very nice to be :)
some of this week was spent working on another blurb book & editing old photos. i found these from back in february. i had forgotten all about them. i love finding wonderful photos that i had completely forgotten about again.

ALSO we have a winner for the Tropical Traditions giveaway!
Jennifer A! please email me & i'll get you in touch with TT!

Jul 13, 2012

{coconut oil giveaway & review via tropical traditions}

you guys...we are giving away one of my favorite things EVER today...


i actually started writing a post on coconut oil over two years ago & there was just too much wonderful stuff that i wanted to say about it, & i never could finish.

so today i am finally doing a post on coconut oil & am lucky enough to be reviewing some of it, also!
i'll try to keep this as neat & tidy as possible, but bear with me, it might get long!

Tropical Traditions sent me a quart of their gold label extra virgin coconut oil, & i have to say - completely, 100% honestly, i've used coconut oil in the past that is good, but this is my favorite. coming from someone that has tried multiple brands of coconut oils over the past several years.
you can taste the coconut when you're cooking in some more than others - daniel & i both prefer to not taste it - & with this i really can't!

you all really should know why i love coconut oil so much. its probably the greatest, & one of the first things i learned about when we started eating healthier.

it is one of only two oils that we keep in our home. the other is extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings & dipping sauces & things.

you can also look into more info & health benefits of it here.

a few ways we use coconut oil:
1. as a substitute for canola or vegetable oil in all baked goods
2. when i'm baking or frying anything. i use it just like any other oil or butter in the pan or tossed/coated & i don't feel bad about cooking with, or even lightly frying things with it because coconut oil has a much higher 'smoke point' {the temperate that a heated oil begins to break down & the oil begins to smoke & become rancid, if you really wanted to know} than a lot of other oils, so the oil doesn't go bad during the course of cooking with it, which we love.
3. as apart of my makeup remover/facial cleanser {oil cleansing method}
4. in my face scrub {recipe coming soon}
5. in our lotion bars, or you can apply straight to your skin as a moisturizer
6. for a deep conditioning hair mask {coat hair & put in a bun. let sit for an hour or more & rinse rinse rinse}
7. in homemade deodorant
8. to condition our wood cutting boards
9. in place of shaving cream
10. as a bath soak. {add a spoonful to a bath with a few drops of peppermint or lavender essential oil}
11. as a massage oil
12. in place of wd-40 - seriously guys. it works.

you can find even more ways to use coconut oil here & because this post is already getting too long, TT's website actually has a really great section that explains more of the health benefits & differences between different types of coconut oil. if you're researchy like me, you can check that out here.

make a switch, maybe?
so maybe maybe i've convinced you that you should make the switch over from vegetable & canola oil? i think that this is something easy to incorporate towards healthier eating. so now that you are on board, what next?

first, i would say don't let the cost be the reason you don't make the switch, although i totally understand that that could be an issue. if you're looking at the gold label coconut oil, then yes. you will probably have sticker shock if you're comparing it to vegetable oil. it is more expensive, although if you keep checking back at their website, they actually have really great sales a lot of the time!

let me say, too, that we go thru a little less than a gallon of coconut oil each year - including all of the lotion bars & cleansers & everything else i use it for. so a gallon would be between $45-$65 depending on the kind you get. that is our cooking oil {& sometimes butter substitute} all year long, plus you can subtract any amounts for makeup remover, cleaners, face scrubs & a lot of the other things i listed above - maybe you won't use it for all of those things, but for us, that definitely justifies the price!

 i would also say that another option - buying a less expensive 'grade', even like this one is still AWESOME & way better for you.

you could also start a coop with friends & buy 5 gallon tubs to divide out {make it a party & it could be fun!} & it is quite a bit cheaper that way, too! thats something i've been talking about for awhile but still haven't gotten around to.

so now about that giveaway:

Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

the winner will recieve 1 quart of  Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

a little bit about it: the coconut oil you will receive is hand crafted in small batches by family producers {awesome} and it is the highest quality coconut oil TT's offers & one lucky lady {or man} can win it!

i thought i would mix things up this time & give you all some options for entering below either by:

-subscribing to tropical traditions mailing list {you would receive their sale ads each week this way}
-following @troptraditions on twitter
-or subscribe to colemans in love via bloglovin, blogger, google etc....

or all three! you get one entry for each.

please also leave a comment & let me know which ways you entered!

thats it!

i'll pick a winner next friday & post it up on the blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ALSO: if you use any of the links in this post, you will receive a free copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil book {totally something i would love. maybe it's just me} if you decide to purchase anything on TT's website & i'll get a coupon of some sort for referring you - i would totally do this though, even if i didn't. i'm not just trying to sell you guys stuff, i promise.

best of luck!

{Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review. I was under no obligation to review it, write a positive review, or do a product giveaway in exchange for the product recieved.}

Jul 7, 2012

{the kind of salad dressing that makes you want to eat salad}

the best salad dressing.

there is this salad dressing that my friend kat introduced me to a few months ago.
we ate salads before, but i think our leafy green intake has about DOUBLED since then.

it is amazing & light & goes with everything, which is why it is our 'everything' salad dressing.

& it takes me literally a minute to whip up with ingredients that i had in my kitchen already.

i'm finding that we change up this dressing quite a bit. adding a few herbs or spices, or leaving out a few others - so feel free to change it up a little bit!

here is the original recipe:

*1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
*3 tbs of red wine vinegar
*1 1/2 tsp of mustard

3-4 drops of stevia/1 1/2 tsp of honey

1 garlic clove, minced
*a dash of salt & pepper

*these are the ingredients i add every time & lately i've omitted the others & added 1/4 tsp of turmeric, 1/4 tsp of cumin & a squeeze of lemon juice.

on a side note, turmeric is incredibly good for you, & we've been trying to add it into dressing & rice & grilled veggies & just about anything we can think of lately. it doesn't have a strong taste, which means you can add even MORE of it to things without really even tasting it.

turmeric has a lot of health benefits, a very very few being:
-it is a natural antiseptic & antibacterial agent
-it is thought to prevent or slow the progression of alzheimer's
-reduces the risks of childhood leukemia
-boosts the effects of a chemo drug {paclitaxel, if you wanted to know} & helps reduce side effects of chemo
-reduces inflammation
-can improve liver function

you can probably see why we are adding turmeric like crazy. isaac will be getting masses of this stuff.
we've been researching a lot of different foods & spices that are immune boosting & supposedly cancer fighting. his case is unique, & maybe it wouldn't work the same for him, but we can't say at the end of the day that we didn't try, this way…

you can find info all over the internet supporting this, but here are just two sources here & here.

Jul 5, 2012

{happy 4th}



happy independence day to you all!
was i the only one that felt strange celebrating in the middle of the week? it made yesterday feel like a weekend day - but we were definitely glad for a little extra family time :)

we spent the day at the lake with family & friends.
& playing blokus.

& isaac LOVED the fireworks - much to my surprise.
he's a brave little boy...

hope you all had a nice 4th!