29/ 03/ 17
DIY. It’s such a refreshing sound to some and daunting to others. Whichever person you are, this new series is for you. 20 Minute DIYs has been born and nothing is more festive for Easter than bunny ears.
You will need the following:
Trace your ears, cut and hot glue the felt pieces to the front.
Cut your elastic to desired length. Use another headband for reference if you’re not sure. Take your flower, pull off the parts that stick out in the back and glue on a small circle to the back. (This will help everything hold together.)
After you have the circle placed, glue your elastic to the back of the flower in overlapping fashion.
Glue the burlap ears the flower as desired. I place one ear in the middle of the flower an the other off to the side. Glue to the elastic to back of the other ear so it’s not showing when you flip it around.
Cut a small rectangle from the felt and glue it to the back of the ears for stability.
Chic Easter Bunny Ears!
Click for EzPz Coupon!!
19/ 03/ 17
It’s your sink.
My house is a huge joy in my life. It’s not the structure necessarily but all of the memories that it holds. We built our house right before we got married, it’s the metaphorical and literal foundation to so many things for me. I love getting to work from home a few days a week, there’s no stress and I have complete control on my environment. I love the feel of coming home after being gone for the day and getting to sit on the front porch and rock. I love to watch the chickens and cows. Home really is the beat that keeps me going.
Now, the pleasant vision I gave you above isn’t how it is every day. Some weeks feel like a revolving door. I constantly fight dust and dog hair. I have a husband and a 6 month old. Maybe this is what makes the simplicity balance so perfect?
I was recently reading the Magnolia Journal about simplicity. Joanna was discussing what helped simplify things in her life. Clean closets, etc. This inspired me to, yes, clean out closets and donate. I even cleaned out from under the beds.
After this euphoric feeling of organized and clean, I was on a roll. I finished off with whole house and realized the one focal point of my simplicity. The kitchen sink. I truly cringe writing this thinking about anything laying in my sink. I honestly can’t remember a time growing up that my mom left anything in the sink over night.
Now, this internal drive to keep my sink clean causes some conflict between Joel and I. It’s mostly a battle he doesn’t know he’s participating in. However, at the end of the day, regardless of how tired I am or what went on I try to make sure that sink is empty and clean.
White, empty and a clean slate. It makes me happy, less stressed and ready to start the next day. So, I challenge you in the midst of everything that goes on in your life to clean your sink each day. See how it makes you feel and if it adds some simplicity.
27/ 02/ 17
Kids were always in my future. The future…back of my mind…distant thought future. However, GI Joel and I started the “Let’s just start trying ” conversation and two months later I had a positive test.
I am a very prepared person. I was thankful, excited and joyful for that positive test, but I don’t think anyone is truly ready if they’re honest. I wasn’t expecting to have little jeans on my clothesline so soon. I didn’t have a checklist prepared and my Type A self hadn’t meticulously organized everything.
It didn’t matter though. We we’re having a baby and it was the role I never knew I wanted to play so badly.
We publicly announced we were expecting a year ago and this tiny bit is 6 months old on Wednesday. We love watching her personality blossom everyday.
…to this in the blink on an eye. From wife to mom in what felt like a blink of an eye.
19/ 02/ 17
I’m dreaming of Spring. Starting up the garden again, sunshine and just getting to go outside without bringing half the closet with us. Who knew a 5 month old required so much baggage? Ok, anyone who has had a 5 month old. Got it.
The beauty of living in Southwest Missouri is experiencing all 4 seasons, sometimes all in one day. Right now we are experiencing the gloom of winter. I feel like I’m at the slump of the Bell Curve and climbing that mountain back to Spring is going to take an eternity. Probably being a little dramatic, shocker. So, today I’m thinking of some dreamy places to enjoy this Spring in the 417. If you’re not a local reader, 417 encompasses the area of SW MO from Springfield to Branson and everything in between.
Here are my 4 in 417 to try this Spring:
You haven’t lived if you haven’t had a Thunder Muffin. Persimmon Hill’s specialty, blueberries straight from the farm go into a ginormous muffin for your pleasure. My mom brings them home each summer after she picks up my brother from Kamp. They are fantastic and I am embarrassed to say I haven’t been there myself. Blueberry farms are the sweetest photo opt and berries are even sweeter if you pick them yourself. Of course, they have them ready to buy if picking isn’t your thing. Full disclosure, blueberry season is typically in June/July but they have a restaurant and store too. Blueberry sauce, syrup, mushrooms, etc. Now I need a blueberry scone.
Located across from Sequitoa Park, my sister and I spent several hours walking the trails here in college. They have an open eating area for sandwiches, soup, salads and slushes. A perfect combination of words that begin with “s”. They also have a bar with craft beers and offer dog friendly dining. Of course there are bike rentals for families including tandem bikes. We have a terribly unsafe place to ride bikes at our house so this would be a nice alternative.
Sycamore Creek Family Ranch
I had no idea this place existed until a friend posted her wedding photos here. It’s beautiful and located in Branson. I loved their winter events… petting zoo, Christmas tree farm and lately they’ve been having monthly barn dances. 2-stepping people! I can’t wait to see the fun Spring events they come up with.
Located in Purdy, MO this Creamery focuses on craft cheeses and old fashioned cream-line milk. They are getting their product everywhere in the area but I fell in love with their store last Spring. The drive out there gives you your farm fix and the store is clean, rustic and offers their products as well as some meat. My husband loved the jalapeño cheese curds and the pork products they sell are crazy good. Best bacon ever. Visit for a dairy farm tour (call ahead) or look for some special events coming up. Last year they had an event with grilled cheese and I missed it, adding it to our list!
Any other suggestions from locals?
18/ 01/ 17
A lot has been happening in our household. A new year brought a new part time job for me and a new name for the blog.
As far as the name goes, Miss Morgan Aliana seemed to fit the style of the blog. You can continue to locate the blog in both locations www.slpcaravan.com and www.missmorganaliana.com. I wanted all my social media to be cohesive to make things easier for my readers so now my Facebook page missmorganaliana and my Instagram handle is @morganaliana. All together now!
Ok, enough on the PSA. I started a new part-time job as a Teletherapist this year with DotCom Therapy. I am loving it and wanted to give you a glimpse into my day. What’s a Teletherapist you ask? A Teletherapist simply provides therapy via a licensed therapist using a video chat platform.
7:30am: Make breakfast, start laundry then send GI Joel and Waverlee off to start their days.
8:00am: Make my morning commute to the office a.k.a. my living room. Set up for the day. I compile all electronic materials, apps and tracking sheets on my desktop to be ready for sessions. Check e-mail and correspond with school personal as needed. I have 2 baskets of materials/papers and that’s it. The computer is actually sandwiched between my kitchen and living room so being minimalistic is key. (Most therapists use an extra room as an office, but no room in this tiny house.)
8:30am-11am: Complete morning sessions with students ranging from Kindergarten-High School. Same articulation and language sessions you are thinking of, just using a different platform to present them. I use my desktop and the iPad, iPad apps are very engaging and work cohesively with my video chat software. I also use a whiteboard feature or can share my screen with my students.
11am-11:30am: Take a lunch, let out the dog and throw dinner in the crock pot. Switch over laundry and return to the “office”.
11:30am-2:30pm: Continue with afternoon sessions and plan for the next week. Begin making a visual schedule for a student.
2:30pm Rush off to my other gig to finish out the day.
The beauty of working from home is that I don’t have to leave. I am cutting out the stress of a commute and have complete control of my environment. I can work from my tiny town and service kids across the country. I love the flexibility and working with students again. I love being part of a company that allows me to grow independently as well as grow with their team. Most importantly, I am providing a solution as a speech therapist, not a last resort. For more information about DotCom, their mission and job openings visit their website www.dotcomtherapy.com.
09/ 01/ 17
It was everything I imagined it would be! Detailed from the cloth napkins, to cast iron skillets and beautiful floral packaging…Ree Drummond is a visionary! I spent my Saturday at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK with my mom, sister and Wave. We left early in the morning to make the 3 hour drive and we were not disappointed.
After easily spotting the black and white Mercantile sign, we found a parking spot with relative ease and were greeted at the door with an immediate feeling of euphoria. All the right colors, the excessive small trinkets, perfectly selected objects that reflect that Pioneer Woman style and her family…right in front of you.
After a bathroom stop, we headed to the line for the dining area. We got in line at 10:15 and were seated for lunch by 11. We would’ve been seated earlier, however we didn’t want breakfast this trip. Full disclosure, a woman behind us in line said she wait 6 hours the last time she was there and the line was out the door and down the street by the time we were leaving.
Lunch did not disappoint. The spinach dip was great but the chili con queso dip was out of this world. After appetizers, our lunch consisted of fancy grilled cheese, fried chicken sandwiches and homemade potato chips. Visually pleasing and delicious. Go ahead and splurge on the tea, it’s 25 cents! If you don’t want to sit down and eat, you can grab a sandwich, meatloaf, meatballs, fancy mac and cheese and so on from the deli. We brought the Rancher Sandwich home and it was GI Joel approved.
Across the deli is the coffee bar and you may be lucky enough to spot one of Ree’s daughters behind the counter. Upstairs is the bakery where they offer a variety of sweets. My recommendation is the blueberry scone. I personally enjoyed the upstairs area because there was comfy lounge seating. It’s beautiful with open brick and large windows looking over the downtown area. This area is also where Ree does book signings, not while we were there though. (Missed her by about three hours.)
Back down the stairs we finished off the day shopping in the general store. Tons of her own line but also items she uses on the show were available. Charlie themed items, all of her books, her own clothing line and stuff for your kiddos and your Marlboro Man. I scored a box of the fancy plastic wrap she uses too.
It was overall an excellent day! Bring people you love and plan to spend the whole day. I will say, it’s not the most kid friendly place. Waverlee was great but it was hard to maneuver a stroller and we didn’t know until leaving that there was a separate room with a changing table because it wasn’t marked. Now I wish I would have snooped behind that mystery door.
02/ 01/ 17
Our diaper bag is a bottomless pit of fun and functional baby products that make our lives easier. I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of my favorite things to keep in the diaper bag here on the blog!
Our diaper bag is the Skip Hop Forma. You can purchase it here. I love using a backpack because it leaves my hands free and it’s easier to position Waverlee. This diaper bag includes a changing pad, mesh removable storage pocket as well as an insulated one. There are plenty of pockets to keep us organized and it’s easy to clean. Check Amazon often for a good deal.
1. Swaddle blanket: The one pictured above is from Flamingo Baby Co. A Canada based shop, all swaddles are handmade from the softest organic cotton. Surprisingly warm for being so thin, they roll up easily into our diaper bag.
2. Sophie the Giraffe rattles: Waverlee got these for Christmas and she loves them. The rattle part is pretty subtle as far as volume, and as an added bonus she enjoys chewing on them. They’re hard plastic with bright colors.
3.Skip Hop Hedgehog Rattle: The upper portion has a rattle and the belly area is really soft silicone similar to O-balls. We love all things Skip Hop! It’s easy for her to hold and shake.
4.Covered Goods Cover: These are fantastic (the black and white stripe item rolled up) not only for nursing in public but as a car seat or high chair cover. Made from jersey cotton, they are easy roll up and store. Check out their store here.
5. Boogie Wipes: These grape scented (or unscented depending on your preference) wipes have saline in them helping with stuffy noses. The saline is the same stuff in nose drops to help loosen up mucous. They are really big so you can also use them to clean a pacifier, wipe off your phone, etc. Visit the website for a coupon.
6. Busy book: Why do babies love t hat crinkle sound so much? This “Guess How I Love You” busy book is a life saver for us during church service.
7. Teether & holder: Love the wooden teethers from Bannor Toys.
8. Reusable wipes/burp rags: I really love the reusable wipes we have (also from Flamingo Baby Co.) because they’re small and absorbent.
9. Wet bag: Great for dirty clothes or diapers when you don’t a have a trash can near you. I found this one on Zulily.
30/ 12/ 16
New Year Resolutions aren’t something I usually set in stone. They change, I change…but isn’t that the point anyways?
“I never think about myself as an icon…I just do my thing” ~Audrey Hepburn. I’m not sure when my love for Audrey Hepburn was born. Probably around the time girls my age were putting boy band posters on their walls. It was framed Audrey prints for me.
I was fixated on her style and class. I spent hours watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Roman Holiday. I read books about her and tried to incorporate 60’s culture into my life.
When I found out I was having a little girl I immediately bought the children’s book “Just Being Audrey”. So many things I want my child to know and learn were encompassed in the lifestyle of Audrey Hepburn. They also make great New Year Resolutions, one’s to keep and reflect upon throughout the entire year.
1. There’s more to life than just you.
Audrey Hepburn was humble about her philanthropy work. She was raised during WWII, child of a baroness. Her family was forced to hide in a farm house with several other families during the war after German invasion. Growing up with that experience, she vowed to help others in similar situations. She was most know for her work with UNICEF.
2. Class and modesty go a long way.
While other actresses in her time were wearing very revealing attire, Audrey wore what she was comfortable in and what was best for her body. The girl loved solids and black. Who wouldn’t love her?
3. Just be you.
Sometimes being myself is a struggle, at least while growing up. Then you get older and it doesn’t really phase you…you just be your weird self. I once had a teacher tell me that “You’re the only reason that what someone else does/says affects you”. It’s a good motto to live by.
4. It’s ok to fail, you’re not perfect.
Audrey dreamed on being a ballerina as a child. She practiced for years. She was told she was too tall and her neck was too long. She didn’t become a dancer. She did however try acting because she didn’t want to give up on something and the rest is history. If one door closes…
5. Be kind.
This. Kindness goes a long way. It’s a goal for me this year. I want to be better at actually investing kindness in the people I love and strangers.
6. Be punctual.
Audrey Hepburn was know in the business as punctual. She was on time and even make spaghetti dinners for the crew. Kindness, punctuality and spaghetti dinners. It’s the trifecta.
Here are my resolutions for the New Year… what are yours?
18/ 12/ 16
Those of you who follow my Instagram feed (@morganaliana) have inevitably seen all my brand rep search posts by now. I stumbled across the world of brand repping on maternity leave and fell deep into the addictive repping universe. (Disclaimer: If you’re just here for cute pictures of my kid then don’t read…just view 🙂
For those wondering, brand repping is a way for kiddos, adults and even pets to represent items from small shops in exchange for discounted or items given to you. I don’t want to say “free items” because you do work for them.
Most searches are looking for well lit photos that highlight a shop’s products. It’s fairly simple and can be accomplished with your camera phone with the right lighting.
I’ve learned a few tips as a beginner rep and thought I would share if this interests you.
1. Only enter searches if you actually like their stuff. Really, you’re going to have a “they really like us” beauty queen moment when a shop picks you. It’s exciting, however if you don’t like their product and you sign a contract you may be obligated to buy items you don’t want.
2. Learn the lingo. Enthusiast is more “B” team status. They enjoy your feed, want to give you a nice discount. Reps are “A” team status where you typically are given items or a better discount. Both are good, Wave does both.
Terms usually last for 3 months or so. If you agree to rep you are to follow that shops rules during that time. Repost sales, sent pictures to them by a certain date, take so many pictures with the product, etc.
Loops are giveaways that followers like and follow an account making a full circle or “loop” to be entered for a drawing. A brand rep can pay a small fee to be part of the loop to boost followers. More followers helps in a rep search but be warned, some people will unfollow you quickly because they just wanted the prize. ? Dont be upset.
Hashtags bring people to your page but also group similar photos together or help you find things. #brandrepsearch is a great way to find searches and shops. It also lets you find other accounts for inspiration.
A lot of times you will see features. This is when a shop shares a photo a brand rep or customer took. Features are what you are shooting for. It shows that the shop owner likes the way you styles their product and increases your chance of staying on for future terms.
3. Look at the shops whole newsfeed and store before diving in. How many followers do they have? What kind/style of photos do they post? How much do the items cost? Are they made by hand or retail? Are the terms of the search resonable?
4.There is a community for brand reps. We are part of @igbrandreprefferal. They offer features on their page that a ton of small shops follow so it’s an easy way to be noticed. You’re also placed into a group where you can swap ideas, learn about searches and grow as a rep. Very very helpful and knowledgeable.
We didn’t magically get a ton of new shops right away signing up, however I’ve learned from the community, my photos are better and it helps shop know you’re professional. Think of your feature as a digital resume where people can go and state how great you are, strengths, etc. Check out their feed.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Isn’t this just modeling?” I don’t see it that way. Some accounts do use backdrops and lighting and have more of a studio feel. I personally am taking the photos anyways so getting to dress Wave in cute outfits and support small businesses is a win win. I try to keep my Instagram feed clean and lifestyle themed. Some photos are a little staged but we live in the moment and I want to capture that.
Ready to dive in yet? Follow us on Instagram @morganaliana for more info!
16/ 12/ 16
It’s nap time here. So I’m trying something new. Below is a product review video on two of my favorite products, the EZPZ Mini Mat and the Lil’ Sidekick. The review focuses on why I like them for transitioning to eating solid foods. Lets not make fun of how many times I say “super easy” and focusing on these amazing products. If you want a discount on an EZPZ mat, click the link under the video!
Click the link for the video (It’s on the SLP Caravan Facebook Page)