Favorite Holiday Scents for the Home

December 11, 2015
links i love, lovely

Favorite Holiday Scents for the Home - Joy of Mom


Relaxing in our living room next to the fireplace, soaking in all of the scents of the holidays is one of our favorite things to do this time of year. There are so many amazing aromas that remind us of the holidays, and there are lots of ways to use those scents in your home to give it an extra special warmth.

We love to shop small and support fresh indie mom based businesses, so we’ve rounded up six amazing products from Etsy sellers who use our favorite holiday scents!

One. This whipped peppermint sugar scrub from IV and Co. makes your shower, and your body, smell like a Christmas treat! The scrub includes crushed candy canes and peppermint essential oils, so it’s a peppermint lover’s dream!

Two. We love lighting candles during the holidays—they give such a warm feel! For this time of year, we love the mint berry soy candle from Hensley Asher Co. They’re also adorably displayed in mason jars, which we love even more.

Three. This colder weather makes us crave a warm, delicious cup of tea. Brewing up tea can also make your house smell amazing! There are so many holiday teas out there, but we specifically love this winter tea set from RosieLea Tea UK. This package includes three packs of tea: winter warmer, Christmas spiced, and white Christmas.

Four. Gingerbread definitely makes us think of Christmas! This set of Gingerbread Bath Bombs from PureGRACESoap is a fun way to use this holiday scent!

Five. Vanilla evokes the warm smell of a freshly-baked batch of holiday cookies! Because of this, we love to put a few drops of vanilla essential oil in our diffusers so the fragrance spreads throughout our homes! This vanilla oil from Alexandria’s Soap Opera is a great choice!

Six. This candy cane soap from Seaside Soap Kitchen isn’t just adorable, it also smells amazing! This would make a great stocking stuffer, gift for a friend, or treat for you! This soap is also handcrafted with an all-natural premium detergent and sulfate-free glycerin soap base, so it’s great for your skin!

We love making our home feel warm, welcoming, and cozy during the holidays, and being creative with holiday scents is a fabulous way to evoke that comfy feeling.

Sweet and Safe Shoes for Kids

October 28, 2015
links i love, lovely


Our babies ‘firsts’ will always be with us. Their first coo, their first smile, their first steps. We love when our babies and toddlers start discovering how to crawl and walk. Here’s some brands we are crushing on – not just because they are simply adorable – but they are committed to being gentle on our little ones’ feet and on the environment!

OneLivie & Luca makes gorgeous children’s shoes that utilize lead-free leather and non-toxic glues. We love Livie & Luca’s motto: “Spreading joy, growing community, making a difference – this is Livie & Luca.” They are also committed to giving back through charitable efforts. Love!

Two. You may recognize Freshly Picked from Shark Tank or Ellen! The founder, Susan Petersen, started making baby moccasins back in 2009 after feeling first-hand frustration by the absence of well-designed baby shoes. She had a personal baby moccasin tester on hand, and a bag of yard sale scrap leather. After several design changes, Susan came up with moccasins that are adorable, durable, and actually stayed on her child’s feet!

ThreeBear Feet carry artisan-made shoes, so each shoe has been specially made! Bear Feet is committed to producing no chemical waste and they donate their extras and scrap leather. Since their products are made to order, they keep a low stock, which makes each individual item unique! The soles of their precious shoes are made from the sap of the Hevea tree, which actually helps preserve the life of the tree. They also only use leather that is a byproduct of animals that have been raised for the meat—no animals have been hunted or raised for skin.

Four. Woolby & Co. is an Etsy shop based out of Maryland. The owner, Voneen, decided to hand-craft shoes from recycled wool sweaters, cashmere, and leather apparel when she noticed her toddler having a difficult time walking and running in toddler shoes or sneakers that were on the market. These shoes promote comfort, movement, and no constrictions. They’re also slip resistant, so your child can have fun exploring without you having to worry too much! Voneen has also pledged to donate $2.00 of each sale to Autism Speaks, a national advocacy organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and conducting research studies to prevent and treat individuals impacted by autism. We love to see someone doing well by doing good!

Five. Soft star makes soft leather baby shoes. These gorgeous shoes are made with non-toxic dyes and undergo formaldehyde-free tanning processes. The goal of Soft Star is to provide comfortable and durable shoes for new walkers. Soft Stars also offers many vegan-friendly styles for the mamas who want to stay away from leather!

Six. Green Line Kids make all of their shoes from organic, sustainable, and natural fibers. They use organic hemp and cotton jersey knit in a lot of their styles, which ensures optimum comfort! All of their shoes are eco-friendly and gentle on babies’ skin.

Getting to see our children explore for the first time is something we’ll never forget. We love that there are brands out there committed to making our baby’s first steps and explorations as safe and as comfortable as possible!

This is not a sponsored post. I am sharing these products because I adore them and I think you will, too! Sponsored material will always be disclosed.

Perfectly Autumn Teas We Love

October 19, 2015
links i love, lovely



Whether you need to wake up in the morning, or wind down at night, tea is the perfect drink. These teas are soothing, warming, and tasty for those crisp autumn days! So put on the kettle, take out the honey, and grab your favorite mug from the shelf.

One. This Apple Cinnamon Chamomile tea from Teamotions is caffeine free and meant to foster relaxation and rest. Made with ashwagandha, green rooibos, warm cinnamon, and tasty apple, this tea is a perfect drink to sip on while reading a book and snuggling by the fire. Its tagline is “Enjoy Rest,” so if you need a little help getting a deep sleep, this is the tea for you.

Two. Mighty Leaf Tea’s Organic Spring Jasmine is a new take on a classic. The loose leaf green tea leaves are wrapped in a lovely, hand-crafted silken pouch. Arabian jasmine buds deliver a delicious aroma that will be sure to soothe your soul.

Three. The Pumpkin Spice Brulee Oolong Tea from Teavana is the ideal tea for a chilly autumn day. It’s warming oolong body is a mix of sweetness and spice. With a blend consisting of rich pumpkin, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and creamy vanilla, the Pumpkin Spice Brulee is a delicious indulgence for any part of the day.

Four. Tea Forte’s Sweet Orange Spice Tea is for our cinnamon lovers. Rich with cinnamon flavor and a hint of mandarin orange, this black tea will wake you up and get you moving.

Five. Two Leaves and Bud’s Organic Earl Grey Tea brings its flavor all the way from a citrus fruit in Bergamo, Italy. The full black tea leaves, wrapped in adorable sachets, mix with the natural bergamot oil to create a luxurious flavor that will put a warm smile on your face.

Six. This Organic African Nectar Tea from Mighty Leaf is caffeine free and made with Organic African rooibos. Also known as red tea, it has a wonderful mix of tropic fruit and blossoms. The jewel red color houses a rich and full body that will give a boost to both your energy and immune system.

We hope you get to steal a quiet moment for yourself and watch the beautiful leaves turn colors as you warm up with one of these tasty teas!


This is not a sponsored post. I am sharing these products because I adore them and I think you will, too! Sponsored material will always be disclosed.

Yellow: The Color of Joy

June 18, 2015
by vicki, family, lovely

Yellow: The Color of Joy! #joyofmom

My friends were having a backyard wedding and on their intimate list they included Daisy, their 84-year-old widowed neighbor from across the street. She arrived in her spry way holding a big box with a note on top. The bride and groom opened the presents later that night and smiled at their new yellow dishes, bowls and coffee mugs. The note read: “For those days when you need a little yellow in your life.”

Daisy was absolutely right. Yellow has been called a “joy ray” which appealed to me at Joy of Mom! It has also been dubbed “the color of being happy and blissful.” And, since I can remember, yellow has alway been my fave color.

Just the other day, I was in the Container Store and needed a little yellow in my life on a rainy and cold Chicago {almost} summer day. Thunderstorms were looming and the sky was a greenish-black. I just love these cozy days and was excited to bring a little yellow home with me. I bought 18 bright yellow hangers for $5.76 cents and I was quite excited to get home and sprinkle a little sunshine in my closet. (Plus I always love me a little organizing!)

What is it about yellow that warms or brightens us? First, it’s not just in our imaginations. According to studies done in Amsterdam, adults reported feeling happier around both green and yellow, which are natural mood boosters because they remind us of green grass and life empowering sunshine. A report in Psychology Today said that the color yellow naturally brightens spirits.

Now that we know yellow is something sanctioned by science, in addition to how we know it can stir our soul, how can we add more of this fab color and feeling into our lives?

Here are a few ways:

~ Paint your child’s playroom your or their favorite shade of yellow to bring the sunshine in, especially if you live in a colder climate. Or be on the lookout at sales or even garage sales for a giant yellow throw rug to put into a child’s room, basement or family room.

~ Treat yourself to a bunch of daffodils or yellow tulips. It’s a great way to bring that pop of yellow into your kitchen where you can look at them all the time. Or if you prefer a strong flower why not buy some large yellow sunflowers and keep them in your bedroom, so you can wake up to yellow even on gloomy days?

~ Use yellow strategically. Hard getting up in the morning? Why not try a yellow soap or scrubbing puff in the shower? Or buy a piece of pottery painted yellow to put next to your alarm clock? Have that big pot of daisies as the view while you eat breakfast.

~ Buy a bag of lemons and keep them in a bowl in the kitchen or even a few in the bathroom. By the way, scientists also have proven that the scent of citrus wakes us up and sparks our creative juices!

~ Buy a favorite article(s) of clothing in yellow including a T-shirt or soft, comfy sweat jacket as your go-to grab after the gym.

~ Plant a garden with your favorite yellows including sunflowers, yellow peppers, or even try a small lemon tree, which will last for years of all that good lemon mood boosting!

As for me, I’m yellowing up my closet tonight. It’s the perfect way to bring a pop of happy each time I open the door. (And, I’ll be pulling together a bag of clothes although I really like, I haven’t worn in a while. I do this regularly… Even tho I don’t have a lot of clothes, I love going through what I have and passing them on to other moms and women who would love or need, like business clothes I rarely wear, etc. {Will share more on the gift of giving, recycling, and passing it on in another blog!}

Fab plates, cups and bowls courtesy of: Anthropology

Love My New Laundry Routine

March 3, 2015
by vicki, links i love, lovely

Love My New Laundry Routine! #joyofmom


Love My New Laundry Routine

I recently discovered a shop near my home that changed the way I clean my house, forever.

The shop is a soap dispensary that refills laundry soaps, household cleaners, bath products, and DIY ingredients. The best part about this store is that all the products they carry are biodegradable, gentle for children, hypoallergenic, organic and free of harsh chemicals. Customers can use plastic or glass containers to be refilled at their store, or you can do what I do – buy a one gallon glass growler and refill it with laundry soap at a fraction of the cost.

The benefits to refilling your laundry soap into a glass growler are twofold: You save a significant amount of money each month on laundry soap, and this method keeps single-use plastic packaging out of landfills and watersheds. Not to mention, it looks quite nice in your pantry or laundry space.

It’s no secret that popular brand laundry soaps are packed with harsh chemicals. I opt to refill my growler with Live For Tomorrow laundry detergent, because it is made with plant and mineral based ingredients, it’s biodegradable, not tested on animals, and is phosphate and chlorine free. Unlike products like Tide and Downey, this brand does not contain fragrances, 1,4 dioxane or optical brighteners, which can irritate the skin among other issues. And honestly, it cleans just as well if not better. {We also love Nature Clean and Eco Nuts Organic Soap. Both fantastic options.}

Instead of using dryer sheets, I now use PurEcoSheets. These reusable cloth dryer sheets have all the advantages of traditional dryer sheets, but none of the chemicals. PurEcoSheets eliminate static and keep fabrics fresh and soft minus the unwanted chemical residue that we all so eagerly try to avoid. These sheets last for hundreds of loads, are safe for the entire family, and are void of any added perfumes, dyes, soaps and chemicals.

To add a fresh scent to my laundry, I pop in a little satchel of dried lavender into the dryer with the PurEcoSheets and our clothes and linens come out smelling amazing. You can buy these satchels pre-made here or here, or make your own. {Remember this post?}

I also use a glass container to refill my kitchen dish soap. I am partial to Sapadilla, which is comprised of naturally potent ingredients and essential oils. Plus, the scents are irresistible – especially the sweet lavender + lime. I actually use an old Savon de Marseille hand soap bottle for my dish soap at the sink, and keep the extra soap for refilling in a larger glass jar underneath the sink. I think it looks nice, plus the pump is really helpful when washing dishes! We previous wrote about our love affair with Savon de Marseille in this post – talk about a fantastic soap!

The smallest changes in your daily routine can amount to such significant benefits for the environment and the health & safety of your family. The less chemical-based products you use, the healthier you and your planet will be. Cleaning products are released into the environment during normal use through evaporation of volatile components as well as being rinsed down the drain. Choosing less hazardous products reduce packaging waste, avoid harmful exposure for the user (being you), improve indoor air quality, and reduce water and ambient air pollution while still ensuring effective cleaning of the home.

The less bleach you expose yourself to, the less phthalates you breathe in, the more triclosan you can avoid, and so on, the healthier you and your family will be. Plus, the less you throw away, the less your husband will have to take out the trash. We highly encourage you to do a little research and find a shop like this in your town!

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