Preparing Your Home for Summer Guests

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #tastehydration #CollectiveBias #CB

VITAMINWATER

Once you move to Hawaii, people seem to line up to come visit you. This year, we have had visitors from the mainland at least once per month, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Our current set up allows us a spare bedroom that we use for guests which is so great because we love hosting family and friends in our home.   

This week, we have had the pleasure of hosting our good friends Lisa and Kyle. They flew in from Georgia last weekend and we have been having a blast showing them around the island. 

lisakyle

When preparing for guests, I like to go beyond the basic sheet-changing and room-tidying by putting together small welcome packages. These small gifts make their arrival a little more special and really help the tone for their vacation. 

These welcome gifts are fun and easy to put together. I like to include… 

A coffee mug for each guest. Because we are in Hawaii, I like to give each guest a Hawaiian-themed mug. Something that they probably can’t get where they live. They can use it throughout the duration of their trip if they don’t feel comfortable going through your cupboards in the morning or just take it home with them as a fun souvenir. 

Postcards, pre-stamped. love getting snail mail – especially postcards from people on vacation! Make sure you throw a stamp on them so that they are ready to be dropped in the mailbox without any extra effort from your guests. 

Fresh towels. I always loved using the big, fluffy towels on vacation and don’t want to rob my guests of that feeling just because they are staying at our house instead of a hotel 😉 Pick up a new towel and washcloth for each guest to use during their stay (I try to get two different colors so they are easy to keep track of). Your guests can either take the towels home with them or leave them for you to add to your collection when they are done. 

Passwords. Share with them any information about the wifi connection in your home, or other important passwords they may need. I printed out this info and put it in a pretty frame to make it more appealing. 

vitaminwater Zero. There is a lot to see on this beautiful island so our guests are usually hit the ground running and don’t stop. It is so important that they stay hydrated when out in the hot Hawaiian sun so I like to include a few bottles of vitaminwater Zero. Vitamins. Electrolytes. Delicious. Zero blah. 

WELCOME GIFT SETUP

I leave a few bottles on top of the desk in the bedroom and let our guests know where in the house that they can find more. Sam’s Club sells large packages of vitaminwater Zero (20 in a pack) which is great because it makes it easy to have more on hand to ensure our guests are staying hydrated while on the go without having to stop and pick up more while they are out adventuring. 

SAMS CLUB VITAMIN WATER

Between now and April 30th, you can save $3.50 on the large packs of vitaminwater Zero at Sam’s Club with their in-store offer. It’s really a great deal! Click here to find them at the Sam’s Club nearest you. 

What would you want to find in a welcome package?

 

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Back to Ewa

The Byrds are on the move (again)

Last year, we did some major downsizing and left our little blue house in Ewa Beach for a charming little studio (in my Auntie and Uncle’s backyard) in Kahala. The move came at the perfect time for our family and we could not be more thankful that we have had to opportunity to be here for as long as we have. 

aloha, little blue house

^old house

Our current space is cozy and totally gets the job done, but as we get ready to bring another little Byrd home we need to move on to a bigger nest (I know, I’m sorry. I can’t help myself)

We have spent so much time looking at places and weighing our options. Should we buy or should we rent? Should we stay in town or go back to the west side? What about Kailua?! I have made about a zillion pros/cons lists and probably made Alex crazy with my indecisiveness (sorry, babe) all to decide that we are going to go back to the neighborhood in Ewa that we fell in love with when we first moved here.

sunrise ewa beach sunset ewa beach

^ can’t be mad at views like that!

I hate moving. All the packing and junk-sorting and unpacking is the worst but, I am excited to get into our new space and try to make it a home before little boy Byrd makes his appearance!

P.S. we are going to have an extra bedroom so book your tickets now!

 

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Mom’s Best Friend

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NaturallyClean #CollectiveBias

green-works

Keeping the house clean with a toddler running around brings a whole new meaning to the word “chore”. I could easily spend my entire day chasing Lyla around picking up after her, wiping up sticky handprints and putting things back in their place but that would leave me with no time for anything else. Instead, I try to do a quick tidy up during her naps and right before bed. 

lyla-dirty

^ typical look for Lyla

Of course, a tidy house isn’t really a clean house and I try to keep up with the deep cleaning as much as I can. When Lyla became mobile, I avoided things like mopping the floors and deep cleaning baseboards for as long as I could because I was paranoid about what was going into her mouth. Sure, if I didn’t clean she would be exposed to more dirt and things but I figured that between a little dirt and harsh chemicals, the dirt would be the least harmful. [sounds kind of silly now that I’ve typed that out – I swear I’m a good mom]

Silly or not I’m thankful that I don’t have to make those choices anymore because I was introduced to Green Works by Clorox – a line of cleaning products that get the job done using natural ingredients that clean powerfully and don’t leave behind any strong smells or residue.

In other words, it’s every mom’s best friend. 
green-works-shopping

Another reason it’s every mom’s best friend? It’s only sold at Target (and this week there is a 3 for $8 deal) No need to add another stop to your errand running, adding another round of unloading and loading the kids again. (woohoo!) Last time I was at Target I picked up four of the Green Works products – the All Purpose Cleaner, Cleaning Wipes, Dishwashing Liquid and Laundry Detergent. 

I didn’t even make it home before I broke into the cleaning wipes. When I was getting everything put into the trunk, Lyla spilt a little bit of her milk so I used one of the wipes to clean it up. No more mess, no residue and no strong chemical order in the small interior of the car. I’m telling you – mom’s best friend. 

lyla-laundry

I’m also really happy with the laundry detergent. Sometimes Lyla’s skin is a little sensitive to our ‘normal’ detergent leaving her with a light rash on her tummy and back but since switching to the Green Works detergent, making that our new ‘normal’, we haven’t had any trouble with that. Again, mom’s best friend. 

GREEN-WORKS-PRODUCTS

I think it’s great that the people at Clorox realized that there are a lot of mamas out there that are looking for ways to live a more natural lifestyle and responded with these products that are safe, affordable and effective. Thanks for introducing my to my new best friend 😉

What are your secrets to keeping the house clean? I would love to hear about them below!

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easy peach cobbler

Mmmm cobbler. One of my favorite summer desserts. It’s fresh, light and always a crowd pleaser. 

EASY-PEACH-COBBLER

I woke up yesterday with a hankering for some homemade cobbler so I made my way to the grocery store for some fresh fruit. Originally I was going to go with the mixed berry route but when I saw the display of fresh, ripe peaches in front of me my inner wannabe-Southern-Belle spoke up and my mind was changed! 

easy peach cobbler

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is so easy and versatile – I bet you already have everything you need sitting in your pantry. Clean up is minimal too (major plus) so I don’t really see a reason for you not to have this sitting on your kitchen table tonight. What kind are you going to make?

Easy Peach Cobbler
A delicious, easy peach cobbler recipe
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium-sized peaches
  2. 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup flour
  5. 1 egg
  6. 6 Tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Slice peaches and add to lightly greased 8x8 square baking dish
  3. Drizzle lemon juice over peaches
  4. In separate bowl, combine egg, sugar and flour with a fork until it resembles a course meal
  5. Sprinkle flour mixture onto peaches
  6. Melt butter in small dish and pour over peach and flour mixture
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes
Notes
  1. This recipe is very versatile - substitute berries or other fresh fruit for peaches
  2. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/

 

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clutter free homes for you and for me

“No more shit”

It’s a running joke in our household. When I was pregnant with Lyla, and in full nesting mode, our house suddenly seemed like it was filled with shit stuff. I was constantly organizing, re-organizing and then re-re-organizing our belongings. I must have made seventeen billion trips to Goodwill before I felt like I even made a dent.

“No more shit” had become my motto. And it was working for awhile.

When we moved to our new place, we downsized a lot and it felt oh so good. Pretty much everything had a place, we were organized and mama was happy. Nothing feels better than a clean, organized living space – amirightpeople?!

 

william morris quote

{via – side note, how awesome is that Tumblr?!}

As it always seems to do, life kept happening. And when life happens, clutter happens.

We all have the clutter. I bet even my girl Martha has a kitchen drawer that is in some serious need of organizing.

Clutter sucks, so let’s all start off the new year getting rid of it!

I’ve created a de-clutter calendar for myself (and you) to follow through the first month of 2015. Each day has a task that will help you get your house in tip-top shape for 2015. Most days, the tasks are simple and shouldn’t take more than thirty minutes.

download it here: De-clutter calendar

Since chores are always more fun with a friend, you can follow along and share your progress using #clutterisforthebyrds

Print out the calendar, hang it on your fridge, and get to cleaning, people!

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colorful christmas crib garland

felt christmas tree garland for baby

As I was pulling out more of our Christmas decorations this morning Lyla gave me a look that said “Mommy, which of these awesome things get to go in my room?”

I looked at what I had, and realized that our stash didn’t really have anything that was baby friendly so I broke the news to Lyla and immediately her tears started flowing. Ok, maybe she was crying because her bottom teeth are still trying to come through, but still.

From start to finish this project took me about 45 minutes, so for all you mamas out there, this is the perfect nap time craft.

I know, I know nap time is your time to brush your teeth, pay the bills, fold a basket of laundry, prep for dinner, make the bed, and finally get to drink that cup of coffee that you have reheated seventeen times this morning. Nap time is precious – but so is this garland.

crib garland materials

Materials

felt (assorted colors)

bakers twine

scissors

hot glue gun

glue stick

crib garland stencil

Step one: To ensure all of your trees are (relatively) the same size, make yourself a stencil. I freehanded my tree but if you aren’t confident in your tree-drawing abilities then I would suggest using a cookie cutter or printing a silhouette to use as your guide.

felt christmas trees

Step two: Place your stencil on a piece of colored felt and simply cut around. Repeat this step for each color of felt you are using. (At this point I turned on my hot glue gun so that it would be ready when I was)

felt christmas trees for garland

Step three: Arrange your trees in the order that you wish to hang them. Aren’t they cute?

christmas tree garland

Step four: Using your hot glue gun, place a pearl of glue onto the back of each tree. Push bakers twine into glue and allow to dry.

felt christmas tree garland on crib

Step five: hang garland on baby’s crib, step back and enjoy. And go finish that cup of coffee before baby wakes up 😉

** Please don’t leave your baby unattended with this hanging on their crib as shown. After taking these photos, we did move the garland below the mattress level so that Lyla will not be able to grab it and put the string/trees in her mouth **

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today

Today, we woke up feeling refreshed after Lyla slept a full six-hour stretch.

Today, we took a nice walk around our new neighborhood with Rocco.

Today, we sipped fancy strawberry white chocolate coffee and facetimed with a cousin doing God’s work in Haiti.

Today, we made one last trip to the little blue house.

Today, we loaded up the truck with a big load of shit stuff for the dump.

Today, we (ok, just me) shed a few more tears as we did our final walkthrough.

Today, we turned in our keys.

aloha, little blue house

Today, we did a happy dance because we are finally done making trips between Ewa and Kahala.

Today, we came home to a sweet, smiley little girl.

Today, we are unpacking and turning our new place into a home.

Today, we are grateful for the blessings in our life.

Today, we start our new adventure.

the byrds

 

 

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