Journey To Peace

Who feels like they’re constantly chasing after a fast moving train? A good friend of mine used that analogy for her life right now and it’s been hovering in my mind ever since. This IS my life. Go, go, go. What am I even chasing? What’s the goal of life here? I have been feeling all sorts of “Groundhog Day” around here. Wake up, mom life, bedtime. Do it all again the next day. Never feeling overly accomplished or at peace. Yes, laying on an ocean beach for a week can bring momentary peace but where is it throughout my whole life? Something always needs to be worked on and all my chores are never ending. Spoiler Alert: THEY NEVER WILL END. For the past few years I’ve been working on a new priority of my life. Self care and PEACE. My ultimate goal is Heaven but this isn’t a religious blog platform. So, faith aside, you all deserve peace in your every day. It doesn’t matter your ultimate goal. Retirement at the cabin? RV trip through the continental USA? Or even eternal life. We need as much peace now as we can get. Right Now. Today.

It’s almost impossible not to feel peace in a Hammock at the cabin

I’ve always been a “reactor” as my husband calls it. Highly emotional and charged by events that don’t fall the way I would like. My late Father would see me in a frazzled mood and say calm and lovingly,  “Hilary, life is a progression.” This is one of those drops of wisdom that I think of often. Now, here I am. Working on myself. Are all my chores going to be finished every day? No. There will always be another project to work on, closet to clean, or towel to fold (if you’re anything like me). If I spent all my energy trying to complete every task, every day, I’d surely lose my peace. So after years or even arguably a lifetime of unrest, I decided to take action. Here are some things I have implemented into my daily life on my Journey To Peace. It’s not as radical as you may guess. Take from it what works for you, leave what doesn’t. Every person has their own life goals. I pray you all get just what you’re looking for. In this lifetime, and the next.

With Peach as an infant

-Say “No” More: How many things are you being invited to daily? How many days a week are you scheduled out to do stuff? It’s overwhelming and totally exhausting. It’s truly no way to live. There have been several events in my life I said “yes” to because I thought I should. I hate to disappoint people, blah blah blah. Almost immediately it added stress to my life. I said, “enough is enough.” Cancel it. Now. I can’t tell you the relief that came over me. So much relief! You just can’t please everyone. Spreading yourself too thin is a sure way to lose your peace. Before you can please anyone else. Work on yourself. So now, I say “no” to things I don’t truly want to do. It’s LIBERATING.

-Say “Yes” More: Hold on, you just said “Say no more”. Well, this is the part where you say “yes” more often to the things that fuel your soul and your peace. If folding 4 loads of laundry feeding my soul? No. Is playing with my innocent, fun loving children? YES. 100% YES. Trust me, of all the regrets to be had in the world I most certainly am not going to have it be where I went to an event or cleaned some clutter over quality time with family or friends. Taking time to read an uplifting book, chat with a friend on the phone, tea time, manicures, arts and crafts, bullet journaling, walks to the park… FEED YOUR SOUL.

-Fresh Flowers in the House: I live in Minnesota. Hello, seemingly endless winter. Insert Gloom and Doom. I have always entered grocery stores and admire the fresh cuts. Too many times I pass thinking they’re a frivolous splurge reserved as gifts from my sweetie on special occasions. Guess what? No. It’s almost mind blowing what fresh flowers does for added peace and joy in my life. Like crazy 180 style mood boosting! Maybe it is the beautiful colors? Maybe the scents? Maybe a small reminder of new life and beauty in the world? I don’t know and I don’t care why this helps, but it does. I personally like them in my kitchen (the center of the household) and my main floor bathroom. Some on my bedside table is an added bonus. Luckily this time of year many can be clipped from my home gardens. #grateful

-Exercise: This is something I’ve always struggled with making a priority. Again, so many things to do, so little time. Trust me, you never regret a work out. It really isn’t possible. Unless, you break a toe on a dumbbell, perhaps. It’s truly so uplifting, amazing for your bodies and also a great example to set for my children. The beach body is just an added bonus. Plus, I’m a big fan of snacks…

-Clean 2 Minutes in Every Room: Yes, I’m an advocate of spending quality time with my kids over a pristine home. Yet, disorderly rooms and cluttered chaos leads to less peace for me. I read somewhere about taking 2 minutes to tidy up and clean in every room you enter at home. This can be as simple as making the bed, opening the blinds and putting books away. For something that doesn’t feel like it takes too much out of your day the peace amplifying result is 100% worth implementing in your daily life. It’s helped my immensely.

-Candles, String Lights and Essential Oils (ETC): More aesthetic peace multiplying additions. These are just a few of my favorite, happy and easy ways to bring more peace to my day. This is not the same for everyone of course. Lots of things could fall into this category. Personalize it, if you will. Make your house your sanctuary. I specifically don’t let my kids in my bedroom. I like my bed nice and made, my string lights, candles, diffusers, books, etc. Kids are chaotic. At the end of the night I want to enter my bedroom and feel that sense of peace and order in a wild world. It’s nice to have a separate area that isn’t disrupted by kids toys or leftover destruction.

-Prayer/Meditation/Goal Setting: In a particularly unsettling moment, feeling impatient, frustrated, overwhelmed I have learned to stop and slow down. For me this is a time of prayer. It can be as small as a proclamation of gratefulness. If you aren’t one to pray this could be a time to meditate and slow down. Even just setting goals for the future or even later that day. Accomplishing small things is uplifting! I take the time to go over what went well and what I have to be thankful for. There is so much… It’s a time to re-start, re-focus and re-fresh who I want to be and how I can stay on my Journey To Peace. No wasted days. Beauty in every day. LIVE IT.

Happy, peace filled moment from my 30th Birthday. (March 2018)

How do you add peace to your lives? What feeds your soul? How are you making the most of this mysterious journey of life? World Peace may be the ultimate goal but I believe it starts within ourselves. I can only hope and pray my children get a fighting chance too.

💜-TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Spring Break Flight Part 2

As my first story ended we arrived (barely) in sunny Texas, headed for South Padre Island. If you missed Part 1 or want a refresher you can read it right here. Oh, how nice it is that a little salty sea breeze can instantly remove all airport frustrations from a gal.  Before I could really take a load off we needed a few supplies. I’d like to note that our first stop after landing at the airport was Wal-Mart. Now, I’m a Target shopper (shoutout to Minnesota) so, this was already out of my comfort zone. Add a little Texas spin to it and “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” 4 bottles of sunscreen, pack and play crib, a case of Lime-A-Ritas and $500 later, we leave Wal-Mart. Unscathed? The jury is still out on that one.

After a week of sun, seafood and quality family time we headed back to the dreaded Delta airplane hanger…

Before we left, I went online to check us in. I thought something might be fishy when only my husband and daughters name popped up but I ignored it. Surprise, I know. Once we’re at the departure check-in counter things take a nasty turn. They cannot find my ticket or my sons. No exaggeration, an hour later we make our way to security. During the wait, I’ve got a kid who pooped, one who is running around like a dog that needs to hit the doggy-park for a 5 mile jog and a missing husband who is supposed to be returning the SUV rental. Guardian Angel, I need you now.

We arrive at security and they let us through ahead of the line since we have young children. Yahoo! Just kidding, they need to take my kids water bottles and do an intensive examination, X-rays, explosive tests, drug analysis and a strip search. Guess what? We were clean…

Off to the gate! Run!

Turns out since Delta “lost” my tickets and check ins, I was LAST to check in.  My husband and daughter got accepted. Not little Chief and I. The clerk informs us that the flight is overbooked, I have no seat assignment and I’m “at risk” of not getting on the plane. Don’t worry though, I’d get an Amazon gift card for my troubles. Ha. Ha.

At this rate, I’m feeling a little weak. The whole entire flight of passengers walk by us, one by one. Staring us down like “ugh, 2 toddlers…that’d be cool if you didn’t let them on”. Sorry, peeps. Here comes the circus. Some sweetie agreed to take another flight and they let us on.

Shall I set the scene? Everyone is boarded and buckled. Then here come Poulsen Tornado Party of 4. #walkofshame much? Have the kids napped? Yeah, right. Ha! Are the parents in a good mental state? Yeah, right. Ha!

There is a small glimmer of joy. There’s a open seat next to me!!! Hallelujah, mama needs some more room (for free- Ain’t nobody got time to pay for an infant seat, me anyway)

Up we go, headed for the clouds. Peach is screaming. She’s exhausted, hot and sweaty, hungry. Super fun combo for an almost 3 year old. My husband starts feeding her chocolate. (He’s always full of the best ideas *winks*)  If you thought she looked like she hadn’t bathed in weeks, add melted chocolate around her face. #parentoftheyear

The kids are naturally thirsty so I go and grab the water bottles. *Pop*. Gushing, spraying water is pouring and flying everywhere. AGAIN. Remember Niagara Falls from a week ago? It’s literally all over some crabby dude in front of me and the whole row he’s in, and the 2 women across the aisle from me. Cool. This is going well. AGAIN. How did I forget what happened on our first flight? Must have been cocktails on the ocean…

I finally get Chief to fall asleep. Ahhhh, peace. Not really, I hear Peach screaming. I look at my husband and gesture “paci”? (Yep, my almost 3 year old still loves her Paci for nap and bedtime). I never let her have it in public but drastic times… you know the saying. I toss the pacifier to him. She happily grabs it and starts sucking and biting on it all the while smearing more chocolate around her mouth. Toddler for sale… (I kid!) Peach decides now would be a perfect time to be a cat. She pounces out of her seat and starts crawling down the aisle meowing at passengers along the way. My hub and I exchange “shrug-type” glances because we’re just happy she’s not screaming or peeing. Can’t win ’em all…

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Peach is also shoeless.
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I love my husbands face here. Like, “sorry, she’s living her best life.”

The plane starts to descend, I can almost taste victory. Home! I love you, so!

All in all, the flights were worth it. Whatever gets you to the beach, amiright?! My main tip would be, fly direct whenever you can! Cocktails are nice too.

🛩💺😼- TBHM Hilary

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Summer Bucket List (join me!)

We’re in the final countdown to the last day of school! I’m starting to think of all the stuff I want to do with my kids over the break. We need to make the most of our summer. Especially in Minnesota, where the warm days are limited. I refuse to wake up one late August day and wish we had experienced more.

One of my friends did a Summer Bucket List with her kids last year and I thought it was such a fun idea! Now that my son is officially a toddler there’s more we can do. I went a got a display board so we can cross things off our list and stay motivated picking out things to do all summer long. Fun for the kids to decorate too or if you like getting artsy (I do! I had a lot of fun working on it)

Here’s the full list of what I have picked. Keep in mind my daughter just turned 3 and my son is 15 months old.

-Play Outside in the Rain   -Sparklers   -Outdoor Concert

-5 New Playgrounds   -Science Museum   -Blow Dandelion Seeds

-Weekend Getaway   -Plant Flowers   -Walk to Local Ice Cream Shop

-Fly a Kite   -Donate Toys/Clothes   -Make Homemade Lemonade

-State fair   -Pasta jewelery

-Beach Picnic   -Fishing with Dad   -Sculpture Garden

-Strawberry Picking   -Make Sun Tea   -Llama Farm

-Fro-yo Date   -Smores on a Bonfire   -County Fair

-Tie Dye   -Plant Veggies   -Splash Pad

-Rainy Day Fort   -Water Balloons   -Go Thrifting

-Family Game Night   -Make a Bird House   -Farmers Market

-Dog Park   -Family Movie Night   -Hammock Cuddle Session

-Make Banana “Ice Cream”   -Silly String Fight   -Run Through Sprinklers

-Pick Flowers   -Catch A Butterfly   -Car Show

-Make A Fairy Garden   -Hopscotch   -Find Tadpoles

-Homemade Pizza Party   -Garage Sale Shopping   -Volunteer

-Zoo (MN & Como)   -Rainy Day Pajama Party   -Boat Ride

-Feed Ducks   -Bird Watching   -Childrens Museum

-Petting Zoo   -Cook A Family Meal With Our Homegrown Veggies

-Family Game Night   -Amusement Park

I’m going to shoot for doing 4-5 things on our list every week.

I encourage you to make a summer bucket list! If you have kids or not! (I definitely took a moment to day dream a no-kid summer bucket list- wow it looks fun 😜) I might even make a separate bucket list just for myself. Join me in making the most of your summer! If you want to participate in the fun, post your bucket list pics on Instagram and tag @totallyblessedhotmess! I’d love to follow along in your journey too! I’ll be posting as we cross of things through these sunny months!

Beauty in every day, guys!

☀️🍦⛱- TBHM Hilary

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Chunky Weaving Class!

Take a walk down memory lane with me. Imagine teenage Hilary, fresh homemade bleached bob, sitting on the floor making hemp necklace after hemp necklace… I since had retired my knotting skills. I figured those days were behind me.

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Minnetonka High School Yearbook 2004?

Not so fast!

After seeing a local Minneapolis radio hosts instagram pic of her weaving I fell in love! I immediately recognized the shop she took the class at. I only drive by it 4 times a day!  How convenient for me?! Bring back the 70’s, baby. Or the early 2000’s… Side note- my grandfather had/has some mad macrame skills. I wonder if he has a spare loom collecting dust?

I invited my 2 sisters to join me. (I’m hoping this may turn into a tradition of sorts) Not only did I love everything about the class, it was special time spent with my family.

Ok here are the deets!

Where: Gathered Goods Company    Located in beautiful (I’m probably super biased) Excelsior, Minnesota.

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The class was set for 3 hours. It’s designed to teach you the basics of making a woven wall hanging. At the end you’ll leave with a 6″ wall hanging and a loom and supplies if you choose.

100% authentic chunky wool roving to pick from. The instructor orders most of hers from Etsy. The looms are handmade in St. Paul, MN. The loom maker has continued in the family tradition where they originally sold them out of a van in the 70’s. Groovy.

The instructor, Katie, was super friendly, approachable and helpful. She’s basically a triple threat too. Artist, Social Worker and Mother! I’m not sure she ever sleeps. Check out some of her amazing work on her Etsy page.

There are a variety of tools, knots and materials you can use. Once you learn the basics the sky’s the limit!

Not only does Gathered Goods Company host a variety of classes, they are a shop that offers products from over 40 different Minnesota based artisans. If you’re not interested in a class, PLEASE stop in and see all the amazing goodies they do have. Perfect for gifts and something for everyone. I even left with kitty slippers for my daughter, a T shirt, a pallet sign and a handmade bow. #sendhelp or don’t…

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Here is their calendar of events. Offering weaving, watercolor, succulent bar, macrame and more! I think watercolor is calling my name next time.

I was lucky to meet, Nicole, one of the owners. Her and I both have a daughter and son the same age. We live in the same town also! It was meant to be!

I purchased the loom at the end of class. I have so much inspiration now! I’m not totally sure I needed to add another hobby to my life. I’ll just think of it as returning to my roots.

✌🏼, TBHM Hilary

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Toddler Easter Basket Ideas

Here are some of my favorite ideas for toddler Easter baskets that won’t give them a sugar high. Peace be with you all this Easter!

INDOOR TOYS

-Board books

-Puzzles

-Stuffed Animals

-Coloring books/ arts and craft supplies

APPAREL (etc)

-Rainboots or Sandals

-Sun hats

-Warm weather jammies

-Sunglasses

-Spring outfit

-Water Bottles

-Fun toothbrushes

OUTDOOR TOYS

-Bubbles

-Balls

-Sidewalk chalk

-Sand Toys

I highly recommend the dollar section at Target for some adorable Easter basket goodies. I plan to add a few more items to our baskets once the personalized ones I ordered arrive!

How cute are these?! Made by Sticky Momma Designs!

What fun surprises are you putting in your children’s baskets this year?

🐇🐣-TBHM Hilary

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Favorite Kid Item of the Week- Reusable Pouches

Pouch addicted toddlers anyone?! I admit, I’m as big of a fan as they are. Convenient snacks that are something other than crackers? Sign me up. Our go-to pouches are greek yogurt and applesauce. Much to my daughters dismay, I limit her to 1 yogurt and 1 applesauce a day. Trust me, I’m all about as easy clean up as possible. Yet, the price of the daily pouch fix plus waste, started to eat at me. So, after some sweet talking to my hubby (aka bickering that I’d actually clean the pouches) I convinced him to Amazon Prime me an order of Squooshi reusable pouches to try.

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I can prepare 9 pouches for the same price that I was buying 4 greek yogurt pouches for. Just look for the deals. Psst, Target and Costco. Easy to fill. I just spooned it in. Squooshi does make a filling station which I’m thinking about trying.

Pro Tip- don’t over fill. Leave enough room to close the pouch.

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Chief (13 months) and Peach (2) enjoying a post-nap pouch

I’m writing this post to tell you that even me, Hot Mess Hilary, can handle cleaning reusable pouches. It’s not even bad. I brought some on a day trip and managed to bring them home and clean them before they were beyond saving. Can you say “win”?! It’s hard to believe considering how many moldy snacks I find in my bag…

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Hand wash and I recommend a dish drying rack to hook them on. I got mine at Dollar Tree. You can use a bottle brush to get in the curves if you find it necessary. I’ve taken to “pouch prepping” to get set for the week.

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Chief approves.

Squooshi makes a variety of pouch sizes and designs. I have the large size which holds up to 6oz. I’m sold, guys! I’m already scoping out the other sizes to try.

Do you use reusable pouches? What’s your favorite brand? Any tips, tricks or recipes you’d recommend?

👍🏼👩‍👧‍👦- TBHMHilary

Nickelodeon Universe

Cabin fever, freezing temps, rainy day, boredom, layover at MSP? Get the kids to Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe! MOA has so much to offer for family fun but this is a highlight that’s worth a trip.

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Nick Universe has 27 different rides to enjoy. 11 of which are considered “Junior” and 5 that are “family”. So no worries, there are plenty for the toddler variety to take delight in!

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Even Chief (12 months old) got to enjoy a ride on the “black stallion”

Purchase tickets online or in person at one of the kiosks. You can make a day out of it or buy as little as a “3 Point Pass” which will get you on 1 ride. I went with my sister, brother-in-law and both my kids. Between us we bought two 18-point passes which you can use amongst everyone. We went on about 8 different rides taking turns who rode with Peach.

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Peach and Uncle Troy on Azul, the blue train

Toddler meltdown but still have points left? The point passes don’t expire so save them for next time or pay it forward and hand them off to an eager kid. I still have a few points waiting for next time.

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Peach (2.5) and I on Blue’s Skidoo

Seriously guys, look how much fun Peach and Auntie Mimi are having on “Swipers Sweeper”!

Being it’s the Mall of America, there are tons of food options to choose from. We made the day extra special and dined at the Rainforest Cafe! If your kids love animals this is such a fun place to eat. There is something for everyone on the menu. I was impressed with the kids meals too! Or you can check out the new food court complete with our fave, Chick Fil A!

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Peach sipping on her beverage at Rainforest Cafe

DEALS ALERT! MOA hosts “Toddler Tuesdays” which offer Toddler Wristbands from Nickelodeon Universe. $12.99 for 5 hours of unlimited toddler rides. Tons of restaurants have kids eat free. Plus, many other attractions have discounts. For a full list of T.T. events click here.

Have you taken your kids to Nickelodeon Universe? Planning a trip to Minnesota soon? Let me know what you think!

🎠🎡-TBHM Hilary

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