Friday, April 4, 2014

Aden + Anais Swaddle Review and Giveaway!

When I had my son 2 years ago, I had no idea these swaddle blankets existed. We asked for a set that matched his bedding for my baby shower. They were adorable, but I noticed the difference in size compared to the ones we brought home from the hospital. They were so small that we couldn't use them as swaddles for very long. My son was born 8 lbs 6 oz, so he was a decent sized newborn and only grew bigger pretty quickly. I attempted to use the swaddles (the ones from my baby shower and the hospital) for other things, such as nursing covers or a blanket to put over the car seat, but the size was an issue. After my son was over a year (and obviously past the point of swaddling) I saw people talking about the Aden + Anais brand. So I decided that I'd love to use them for baby two. So when I found out I was pregnant, I looked into Aden + Anais more. I'll be honest, at first the price tag really turned me off. I'm kind of cheap in the way that I don't want to spend a lot of money on something that isn't exactly necessary. However, I kept hearing amazing things about the brand, so I knew I just had to try them out.

So before first use (as with pretty much everything that touches baby) you'll have to wash the swaddles in cold water, with like colors and tumble dry on low heat. DO NOT add bleach and do not iron them, ever! The first thing I noticed was how incredibly soft they are! They have to be THE SOFTEST swaddle blankets I've ever felt. The swaddle blankets I used with my son are described as "swaddling your baby in extreme softness" but they are not nearly as soft as the A+A swaddles! The swaddles we used before are made of polyester while the Aden + Anais swaddles are made of 100% cotton muslin. I love that they are pre-washed so you don't have to worry about them shrinking. This happened with our other swaddle blankets. There are so many great features about the A+A swaddles that I love!

First is the generous size of the swaddles. They're giant compared to swaddle blankets I've used in the past. This means that swaddling your baby will be much easier than if you use smaller sized swaddles blankets. This also means less frustration when you're attempting to swaddle. Being a first time parent is hard, especially if you've never had much interaction with a newborn. When we brought our son home, we had no idea how to swaddle. So the small size of our swaddles made this extremely frustrating. The size of them also means that they are going to have multiple uses. They can be used as a nursing cover, a way to cover your car seat or stroller (and example would be carrying your infant seat in from the car and it's raining), a changing table cover (or wherever you change baby), a burp cloth, a tummy time blanket and so many more. You'll be able to use these long after you're past the point of swaddling. My toddler hates using covers during nap time, but sometimes it gets a little chilly for him. The Aden + Anais swaddles are big enough to cover him, but not too heavy that he'll get to warm and want to kick them off. 

Another important quality of the swaddles is that they are breathable. This is important because it helps prevent your little bundle of joy from overheating. Not only are they extremely soft right when you pull them out of the package, but they only get softer as you wash them. Which is hard for me to imagine because I'm already impressed with how soft they are! Aden + Anais have exclusive prints designed specifically by them. 
They have the most adorable prints! I reviewed the Jungle Jam swaddles which come with a monkey print, a giraffe print, a bird print and an elephant print. They have tons of great options to choose from on their site!

Aden + Anais have kindly offered to let me host a giveaway for their swaddles in winners choice of print! To enter, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below. (Open to the US only)


 a Rafflecopter giveaway



You can purchase the swaddles on their site in three different options: a 4 pack for $49.95, a 2 pack for $32.00 or a single swaddle for $32.00.

A little side note I wanted to add was how you pronounce the name because I know I struggled with it at first. They put it on their Facebook page in their "About" section so you know! It's pronounced AY-dun and uh-NAY.

Be sure to visit the Aden + Anais website here
, follow them on twitter here and check them out on Facebook here.


I received this product at no cost to me for reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated for this review.




Monday, March 17, 2014

Is It Spring Yet?!

Lately the weather has been teasing us. One day it'll be shorts and tank top weather, the next it's snowing! I know I'm not alone in saying that it's time for winter to be over and for spring to finally get here. Just Saturday we were having nice 60 degree weather. We took C to the park and he was able to comfortably wear shorts and a t-shirt. The next day it was back down to 40 degree weather and all we wanted to do was stay inside bundled up. Tuesday (I guess that would be today since it's 1 am now. Ha!) we're supposed to be back up in the 60 degree weather so we're absolutely going to be out at the park that day. It's so nice after being stuck inside all winter (because this winter has been unforgiving with the cold temps) to finally get outside and run around. Not only was I getting cabin fever bad, C was as well. It also helps us stay on a decent sleeping schedule because when we take him to the park, or even outside, he gets worn out from all the running around we do that he's ready for bed at a decent time. I'm not even going to start about what our sleeping schedule has been like recently because it's just been horrific. I will say that when he went to bed Saturday night at 10:30 and slept until 10:30 the next morning, it was better than waking up on Christmas morning!

Since I have the biggest pregnant belly that you can see from space, I didn't do much playing. I took my camera along to get some cute pictures of him having a blast. I think my camera is probably my absolute favorite accessory. (I love it even more than my cloth diapers, but shh! Don't tell them that.) We're headed back out to the park tomorrow today for the nice weather, so I'm sure I'll be taking more pictures. We actually found a park where we're comfortable enough letting C go up by himself to slide down the slides and whatnot. Call us helicopter parents, I just call us paranoid. I just always fear he'll get too close to the edge and fall. Obviously kids fall and get hurt, but I really would rather him not fall from that high up and end up with a broken bone. So having this park and not having to worry about him falling is pretty nice.
Not only am I looking forward to all the nice weather that spring and summer will bring, I'm looking forward to our baby's arrival. While I've been hoping for a May baby, I'm not entirely sure baby C will wait that long. I guess only time will tell. My Mom joked that I'm going to go into labor on Easter. That would be awful! I want to enjoy a nice delicious Easter dinner while pregnant. I mean, being pregnant eating great food is probably the best! Although, since I'll be tandem nursing, I think eating a lot of delicious food will be equally awesome and I'll be able to eat a ton and still lose the weight. (The best part about breastfeeding right? I'm kidding of course.) I'm really getting to the point of being anxious waiting for baby C to get here. There's still so much we have to get done though. We need to move, get a dresser for baby's clothes and reorganize basically everything to make things less crowded. This is a lot to attempt to do before our baby arrives, but I'm up for the challenge. I'd rather be all moved in to a new place before baby gets here than have to try to move everything after baby has already arrived. Even though I won't be able to move anything really, even the light stuff, I can direct people where I want things to go. That's pretty exciting. We had actually planned on being moved already, but it's been difficult trying to find a place with the right criteria. I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you how time consuming and difficult it is trying to find a new home.

So that's pretty much where I am at this point. Just trying to have patience and hope everything works out the way it's supposed to soon. I've also been trying to take it easy just because of the way I've been feeling. I get super exhausted and feel like baby could just fall right out. Yesterday (Monday) was 34 weeks so we still have a while to go before I'd be comfortable with baby being born. Like I said though, I'm crossing my fingers for a May baby. Maybe I should be crossing my legs for a May baby instead. Hehe.
Are there any other Mamas due soon? When is your due date and how are you feeling? Are you ready for baby's arrival or are you enjoying the last stretch of pregnancy. I've enjoyed it up to the point of not being able to move around very easily because I'm so huge!

Also, don't forget there's a giveaway that's ending. If you haven't entered, do it now. There are low entries so your chances of winning are pretty great! Be on the look out for another review coming up soon. I'm working on that now and I think you'll enjoy it a lot. As always, thanks for reading my little blog and hope you come back soon!





Monday, March 3, 2014

Easy Canvas Prints Review and Giveaway!

I've always had a thing for photography. In high school I took a photography class and also a photoshop class. I even entered a contest in my photoshop class and was one of the top three winners. I won a cash prize and had my photo displayed in a college. So it was no surprise that once my son was born I took tons and tons of pictures of him. Soon enough I had picture frames full of photos all over my walls and a couple photo albums filled with pictures of C! As he got older I scaled it back just a bit since I was running out of wall space. (Also, I'm pretty sure nobody cared to see twenty photos of him sleeping even though I did!) That is until I got my new camera, then the photos kept coming.

For Christmas C got a Radio Flyer Wagon with his name on the side from my dad and brother. A few days after, we had a decently warm day for it being winter. So I grabbed my camera, stuck C in his wagon and went out on a walk. I captured him at the perfect time with a giant smile on his face, his nameplate showing with a great tree in the background. It quickly became my favorite photo of him. I just had to get it printed. I figured what better way than to do a review and possibly an awesome giveaway. Everybody wins!

Easy Canvas Prints lets you turn your favorite photos into some amazing wall art. They have so many sizes you can choose from so you can add your favorite photo to that perfect place on your wall. The smallest size is an 8x8 and you can get all the way up to a 30x40!
Standard .75" wrap.
It all depends how big of a canvas you're in the market for. After choosing which size you need/want, you choose the wrap thickness or add a frame to your canvas if you'd like. (I just went with the standard wrap for mine.) Next you can either upload a photo from your computer, Instagram or Facebook. This is pretty convenient so you don't have to search through all the photos on your computer. I really like this feature because I have so many photos on my computer! Once your photo is uploaded it will let you know if the quality is poor, fair or good. This is another great feature so you know if you need to choose another photo with better quality so you're happy with your product.


Standard wall hanger.
Then you can choose whether or not you want a standard wall hanger of canvas stand. I personally love hanging it on the wall to keep it out of toddler hands! After that you choose one of three boarder options. You can choose a color boarder or just have the photograph wrap around. Next is color finishing and optional image retouching. Now all you do is add it to your cart and select if you want all mounts or not. Next you go to your cart for checkout, add all your information and select shipping which is free for the US! (Excluding Alaska and Hawaii)
The process was extremely easy to order my custom canvas print. It didn't take me long from start to finish to complete and order my canvas. It shipped to me via UPS and was actually shipped sooner than my original estimated shipping date, which is always nice to see. They are extremely fast at Easy Canvas Prints! It was processed and shipped in about 13 days (that includes weekend days) and I ordered it on a Friday. As soon as it arrived, I opened it up to check it out. I was extremely happy with how it turned out. The quality is absolutely amazing! They took my favorite photo of my son and turned it into an amazing piece of art for me to hang in my home. 

If you're looking for a quality product with great customer service, you should definitely check them out! Their website is so easy to navigate, so if you're looking to check your order or contact them, it's all right there easy to find! They have a great section for pricing and design options if you'd like to check that out before beginning the process of designing your canvas. They also have a section where you can get ideas of what to have printed on your canvas, which is nice because it gives you ideas of where you could hang your canvas. There is also a section for customer stories where you can read how they liked their canvas or who they ordered their canvas for. I would absolutely order from them again especially once my newest addition to the family gets here. I'm going to enjoy showing it off to any visitors we have in our home.


I'm not the best at making things even, but it looks amazing!
Last but certainly not least, Easy Canvas Prints has graciously offered one of my lovely readers their very own FREE 8x10 Canvas Print! This is such a great deal and an amazing giveaway. Not only are they offering one reader a free canvas print, they're also offering 50% off canvas prints with FREE shipping to the US (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Just click the link to take advantage of this wonderful offer. Be sure to enter the giveaway on the Rafflecopter form and good luck everyone! 

a Rafflecopter giveawayI will email a winner once the giveaway ends. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Thank you for entering and good luck!
**Note: I received the above mentioned product free for review for my blog. I was in no way compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.**

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Citrus Lane Box!


When I was browsing through my Facebook newsfeed, I saw a link with a code to try Citrus Lane for one month for free. I've been dying to get a Citrus Lane box, but wasn't really sure if I wanted to jump in and spend the money for a surprise box. I hate being disappointed, so this is why I didn't want to spend money on a surprise! What Citrus Lane does is send you a box each month with products specifically for your child's age and gender. So when you create a subscription, you enter in your little one's age and female or male. The best part is, you can pick your subscription. You can either go month to month with the option of cancelling after just one month or you can pick a 3 or 6-month subscription. Each plan will automatically renew, so if you don't want to continue your subscription, make sure you cancel! The prices are as follows: $29 for a monthly subscription (free shipping), $24 a month for a 3-month subscription (free shipping), $21 per month for a 6-month subscription or you can join the annual subscription plan and get each box for only $19 a month! They do have a great deal when you sign up under someone's referral link, you get your first box for 50% off! That's a pretty awesome deal if you're a little hesitant on whether or not this is for you.


So if you're wondering if it's worth spending the money each month on, I'm going to break down what came in my February box. Let me start by saying I love how they used tissue paper to make it seem like a nice little present. My little guy loved opening it to see what was inside. It was like Christmas to him! This was after I opened it to take pictures and put it all back together of course. He was sleeping though, so he didn't know. Shh, don't tell him.






First up is the Green Toys Stock Pot and Utensils. My son absolutely loves kitchen stuff, so this was a great product for him to get. While we already have a few things for his kitchen set we have, these were a great addition and he really enjoys playing with them. The lid is a bit hard for him (and even me) to get off, but it's a great product. I absolutely love Green Toys! They're made with 100% recycled milk jugs, which is probably the coolest thing ever! We have a bath toy from Green Toys that he loves as well. I couldn't find the exact retail value of this. I found a set with an extra piece for $16.99.


 The next item up is actually for moms which is really cool! This is Green Apple Age Defy Hand Cream. I love that they added a product in for moms. This cream has organic apple juice, organic white grape juice, organic lemon juice, organic aloe leaf juice, organic jojoba oil, organic shea butter, algae extract, green tea leaf extract and organic linseed seed oil. So basically this is a great organic hand cream! This retails for $12.












Next up is the Oogaa Silicone Divided Plate.
 This is such a cute little plate! It's great to keep all your toddlers food separated, which can be important since toddlers can be extremely picky. I know my little guy doesn't really like his food mixing because if he doesn't like the taste of something,
he doesn't want that on his other food. The plate is BPA free, has no harsh chemicals and is easy to clean. Like really easy. It's also dishwasher, microwave, freezer and oven safe. That's pretty impressive. I love that it's silicone because if he decides to throw or slam his plate, it's not going to break. This actually goes with his airplane spoon I won in a previous giveaway, so that's pretty awesome. (I just need to get him the train spoons, because I know he'll love those!) This plate retails for $10.99.


Last but not least is Starlight Sailor from Barefoot Books! This might actually be my favorite item in the box. The illustrations are beautiful in this book. C seems to be really interested every time I read it and loves pointing out what he sees. Especially the dog! These books are extremely well made. It's such a nice thick cardboard book, which is definitely a plus for us. My little guy is notorious for ripping pages in his books, so this book is going to be able to stand up to his destructive side. Starlight Sailor retails for $14.99.




I'm really impressed with this being my first box. The products were all great and really fit for what my toddler is interested in currently. The value of all the items in the box is roughly $50 which is a great deal for only spending $29 a month. (I got mine free with a promotion they were running.) Although, like I said in the beginning, your first box is 50% off when you sign up and you can always cancel after a month if you'd like. If you're interested in signing up, use my referral code here and get your first box half off. If you're interested in seeing what some of the previous months have been to see what kinds of products you might get, Jenny over at Cloth Diaper Revival writes up a great post each month with what she gets. I always enjoy reading her posts and they really made me want to try Citrus Lane!

Again, use my referral code so you can try out one month for 50% off! That's such a great deal for a box that is worth about $50 or more each month! 
https://www.citruslane.com/invitedby/Katie.Fender.2767822 


*This post has a referral link! By using my referral code I get a $20 credit to citrus lane. If you use my link I want to thank you in advance. Big hugs!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

30 Weeks Pregnant!

This week (on Monday, actually) I'm now 30 weeks into pregnancy number two. I think most women feel like pregnancy drags on and on, but I feel like it's speeding right by. Except for the first trimester, that's was awful! It was the most miserable I've been in my entire life. 
Even with my first pregnancy, the first trimester was not that horrible. Not only was I completely exhausted all the time (and couldn't exactly rest when I wanted like I did with the first pregnancy since I have a toddler to chase around) I couldn't eat anything. So I was just miserable and couldn't wait until the second trimester. Other than that, I've been enjoying pregnancy so much (Besides a few things like aching hips, but that comes with the territory.) and feel like it's going to be over before I know it.


My belly is huge and I find myself wondering how it could get any bigger. Then I remember back to when I was pregnant with C and my belly was ginormous! 
 Eventually I'll be so big it's going to take me an extra 30 minutes to do anything. I feel the baby move around so much and love watching my belly move just as much as I love feeling it. C is really loving the idea of a baby also. He will say love you to my belly and kiss it! Now he seems to be obsessed with babies. So I know he's going to make a great big brother. 

We still do not know the gender as of right now. It's pretty exciting. Although, we found out we'll have the option of finding out the gender on Thursday if we'd like. This is extremely tempting for us! On the one hand, we've made it 30 weeks now and only have 10 more to go. I feel like we could absolutely hold out and wait the last 10 weeks until he/she is born. On the other hand it would be so nice to know! We could start buying gender specific baby clothing, my friend could throw us a gender specific baby shower (before he/she is born) and we could just be prepared for the arrival in general. My suggestion if we don't find out is to just buy a few gender neutral outfits and wait to have a "Welcome To The World Baby" party. I also have a really cute idea planned for how to announce when the baby is born, what gender he/she is. My husband said we could still do all of that and still find out for ourselves, just not tell anyone else until after the baby is born. It's a really tough choice because I have really been aching to know. At the same time, I love the idea of having the ultimate surprise after labor. I really think it could be an extra boost of motivation for the natural birth I have planned. 

We're also planning on moving before the baby gets here, which will be such a huge task and I'm kind of dreading it. Though, we're really looking forward to getting out of our current place. It's going to be interesting moving while pregnant and with a toddler. I see it as the best possible way to nest. I can make sure everything is how I want it before I go into labor so there's nothing to change at the last minute. It's really all about seeing the bright side to things.

So I'm curious, did you find out the gender? Or did you wait until birth? What was the experience like if you decided to wait? 



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pregnancy and Nursing!

Late in 2010 my husband and I talked about and decided that we wanted to have a baby. We first met and started dating in 2007, were engaged in 2008 and married in 2009. I never really had a specific timeline set up like some do. They want to be engaged for a certain amount of time, then married, then have a baby. It just happened to work out this way for us. A friend of mine told me that the first year of marriage was the most important and that the rush to have kids wasn't a good idea. I pretty much agreed with that. (It's really whatever works best for you and yours though. This is just how things worked out for us.) So by 2010, we were pretty much as ready as we'd ever be to start expanding our family. We already had a dog and that's good enough practice, right? Ha! I decided that I wanted to wait until after my 21st birthday though. I wasn't big into partying, but I wanted to have that one night to go out before having 9 months of absolutely no alcohol. Two months later, I took a test and woke my husband up to let him know that we were I was pregnant.
Being that this was our first child, there was so much to learn and research. Luckily breastfeeding was not one of those topics I needed to do any research on. I already knew I was going to breastfeed. I never actually made the conscious decision to do so, I just knew that's what I had, what I wanted to do. I didn't need someone to tell me all the amazing benefits of breastfeeding, though I didn't know there were so many. I had no idea there were so many benefits for the nursing mother. I just knew that between a can of formula from the store and fresh milk from my breast, which would be better. It's almost like going to the Farmers' Market for fresh fruits and veggies vs getting a can of fruit. You can tell one tastes much better than the other. I guess you could also say it was because I'm cheap. Have you seen the price of formula?! That stuff is crazy expensive and breastfeeding is absolutely free!
While I knew I would breastfeed, I had no idea just how long I would go. That's when I started looking a bit into breastfeeding. I saw things about baby led weaning and how the benefits of breastfeeding never stop at a certain age. I decided then that I would let my son wean himself. So every time I made it to a breastfeeding goal I had set for myself, I felt more and more accomplished. One year was a big one because there were quite a few times I just wanted to quit. My nipples were sore and one was bruised. They would crack and bleed and every time I nursed, I would curl my toes and hope that this time, there would be no pain. I thought it was supposed to hurt. I thought I just had to get used to nursing. Two years later we found out our son had a tongue tie, which would explain a lot of the pain I was in while nursing. He still was amazing at it though. Even at two years old, boobs are his favorite food source. 
It took a while before we discussed when we wanted to add another baby to our family. A one year old is still very much a baby and at one, C was still using nursing as his food source 100% of the time. We didn't force foods on him, that would defeat the purpose of BLW. Instead we just offered what we ate and if he ate it, great! If he didn't, that was fine too. We knew he'd catch on eventually. Or maybe we just really hoped he would but thought he may just want to nurse until he was in college. 
In August when we found out I was pregnant with out second baby, C was eating solids here and there, but still nursing quite often. My biggest concern was that my milk was going to dry up due to the hormones of being pregnant and that C would just starve himself because he's stubborn and only wanted to nurse. Slowly my milk was drying up and slowly he was eating more foods. I found myself concerned less about what he was going to eat. Then I started worrying that he was going to wean already and wondered if he would be mad because my body pretty much forced him to wean. It was difficult at first. The main times he wanted to nurse was when he laid down for a nap and at night. He still like nursing throughout the night. He would wake up screaming because nothing was coming out and he was frustrated. There was nothing I could do except hold back my own tears. I didn't want him to wean yet. He was still very much my baby. The rough patch for him seemed to end rather quickly once he was used to nothing coming out. 
For me, it was just beginning. It hurt to nurse him because my nipples were sore and sensitive from being pregnant and trying to nurse. Then when I started showing and only have a couple sleeping positions that were comfortable, night nursing seemed impossible. I just had to find a comfortable position for me and have C arrange himself around me. Then the biggest issue was sleep. For whatever reason, it was hard for me to sleep during nursing. It didn't help that he liked to "twiddle" the other side he wasn't using to nurse on. While this didn't bother me before I got pregnant because it helped him fall asleep. Suddenly it was nails on a chalkboard for me. So at night I try to only offer him one side and one side only. When he's first trying to fall asleep, it's not a big deal. However, when he's nursing throughout the night, he gets that one side and doesn't get to sneak his hand in the other side of my tank top.


Besides the few issues we had in the beginning and being uncomfortable during night nursing, we've been doing really well with nursing through pregnancy. I'm quite curious to see how he's going to react once my milk comes back in. Because once it does, there is going to be more than enough of it to nurse both of them. Of course the newborn will be the priority, but I'm not worried. I always said when I was nursing C that I could feed at least another, maybe two more babies. Before I quit working to stay home with him, I pumped at worked twice a day. One day I pumped 10 ounces from each side in the morning! Then, I pumped about 5-7 ounces from each side that afternoon. So I'm not worried in the slightest about milk supply. I'm actually pretty grateful that C still wants to nurse because I won't have half of the freezer taken up by milk I've pumped. Had I known I was going to quit my job to be a SAHM, I would have donated much more than I did. If I have "extra" milk this time, I will definitely donate it!
The biggest issue I'm having while nursing while pregnant and planning on tandem nursing are the comments I'm getting from people. It's at the point where I just don't mention nursing C anymore. I'm always told he needs to be weaned before baby gets here because he doesn't need to be nursing anymore. I'm not sure when it became okay for someone to tell you what to do with your own body. If it's not effecting or harming you, why do you care? As long as my children are healthy, happy and taken care of, please let me do my thing. If anyone asks, I say, "Yes, C is still nursing. Yes, I plan on nursing the two of them together." I honestly have no idea at what point I will peacefully coax C off the breast. I'm hoping he does it all on his own so I don't have to. With having to adjust to a baby sibling in the house, I have no issues letting him nurse as he wants. Maybe being a big brother, he'll want to wean soon. Maybe not. I'm in no rush and it doesn't seem like he is either.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Keeping Ants Away With Essential Oils!

Ever since we moved into our apartment after returning from living in Georgia for two years we've always had an issue with bugs. It doesn't matter how sparkling clean we keep the place, we always have issues. The apartment usually send their pest control guy to spray, but it never seems to do the trick. We're convinced he's not really here to spray for bugs, but to check up on other things. Usually our issues are with Roly Poly bugs (or whatever you call the things), flying ants (Gross, I know!), spiders (which is the very worst bug EVER) and occasionally ants. The ants usually stick to our toy/computer room by the window, so while it's inconvenient, it's not super annoying. The other morning however, I woke up to a bazillion ants in my kitchen! Alright, so it wasn't like they were taking over, but there were a bunch of them. Of course I had to deal with my cranky toddler and feed him a banana because he refused to feed himself, so I had my husband get up to help. We don't really keep anything in our place to fight off or kill bugs, because that's our landlords problem, not ours. So he grabbed the 409 to clean the counters and kill the ants. That stuff smells awful, by the way! That worked at getting rid of the existing ants, but they were coming from somewhere trying to find whatever crumbs they could. About an hour later, we went out to run a few errands and grab some lunch. When we got home, there were more ants on the counter. Ugh, so obnoxious to deal with ants! After laying down to nap with our son, I decided to check out some natural ways to get rid of ants because I was just about to go out and buy whatever poison I could to get rid of them. I noticed a lot of people saying what would kill off and keep spiders away, but nothing much on ants. The two essential oils that kept popping up (or at least out of the ones I have) were peppermint and eucalyptus. I figured, eh, why not try them for ants since they work for spiders.
So I made up a little concoction of about 20-25 drops of water with about 15 drops of peppermint and 5 of eucalyptus. I don't mind the smell of eucalyptus, but I figured it'd be better if the main smell was peppermint since it was going to be in the kitchen. I took my concoction and sprayed the counter top where the ants like to hang out, around the sink and the area where we think they were probably coming from. This worked for maybe 4-5 hours. Which didn't surprise me because the blog I read said she had to reapply the peppermint a couple times after it dried. So I mixed up some more, but doubled the "recipe" this time so I could have extra. I sprayed the same spots as I did before but also sprayed the baseboards under the cabinets, around the dishwasher and the fridge. After that is when I called it a night and got ready for bed. When I woke up this morning there were a handful of ants in their usual place. This time I decided to use up the rest of the spray then take straight peppermint oil and put roughly 5-7 drops in a trail along where we think they're probably coming from. I think I did that around noon this afternoon, or maybe 11 am (whatever time we got up) and have not seen an ant since then. I'm going to go ahead and say it's safe to assume that ants hate peppermint essential oil. I know after putting a bunch of it in the kitchen, our place has been smelling like it all day long. Which is another reason to have more of a peppermint smell than eucalyptus. Heck, I might even start making it into some kind of air freshener because it really made the place smell yummy. 
Now of course I'll still be looking out for ants for the next few days, but I think it's pretty much cleared them out. I'm really glad I didn't have to go get some poison to kill them because the kitchen really isn't the place for that. There are so many different kids of essential oils out there that you can purchase. While I really love buying local as often as possible, the local store we have called Sahara Mart was just too pricey when I bought my essential oils. Especially because I had no idea which ones to start with and what I would use them for. I ended up finding a good deal on a 6 pack of them online so I could try them out and figure out what exactly I would be able to use them for. So far I'd say that my money was well spent, but I still haven't used them on much more than putting in the bath tub, colds and other things along those lines. So I'm still happy I didn't spend a large amount of money on them. I really love my essential oils and plan to get some more and actually have my eye on some of the same brand that I already have. 
Do you use essential oils? If so, what kinds of things do you use them for? I'm always interested to hear what others use them for so I can expand my use of them!

No disclaimer needed since I'm not trying to sell you on a specific brand. However, you should totally get some kind of oils, because they're amazing and I love them. ;)