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8 Things I Will Be Doing in 2018

Why would I decide to say "no" this year?!

Ah, a new year. A breath of fresh air! A new beginning!
Don’t you love it?

I don’t do resolutions.
They have never made sense to me. Why wait until January 1st to stop your nasty smoking habit or start going to the gym only to end up disappointed in yourself by February?

Don’t get me wrong, life changes are great! But why not change your life as soon as you decide to instead of waiting until the New Year?

SO, let me make one thing clear....
this is NOT a list of resolutions! This is a list of things I will be doing purposefully in 2018.

2018 will be a year of firsts for me!
First year married.
First year as a mother.
First year away from my baby sister.

I look at this as more of a reflection on the new year rather than some resolutions or something. So, let’s reflect!

Journaling My Year

For Christmas, my husband and my stepson both got me journals. I love journals! I usually end up filling them with poems and prose throughout the day, and I will always do that.

But I had a new thought… what if I journal my year?

It’ll give me something to look back on and when I’m gone, it’ll give my kids and grandkids something to get to know me by. I’m not putting pressure on myself to journal daily - just went thoughts arise. And it’s not so much about writing a play-by-play of my day. It’s more about taking time to put my daily reflections on paper.

Eating “Better”

I say “better” because my family already eats very good. We RARELY (like, maybe once every two or three months) go out to eat. We eat pretty wholesome for being on a budget. I stay away from feeding us canned things and processed foods are completely out of the question.

So what do I mean by “better?”

Well… the thing I’m really bad at is eating a “real” lunch. Sometimes, I’ll put some cheese and grapes in a baggie along with some crackers and call it lunch. I used to meal prep my own lunch and I really want to start that up again.

Keeping The Date Night Promise

My husband and I made a promise when we got married.

Every other Friday is date night no matter what. NO. MATTER. WHAT!

And we’ve kept that promise so far! Even when we’ve been sick, we stay home and have an on the couch movie night. It doesn’t always mean going out or breaking the bank. Sometimes we even just go somewhere that is free, like a park.

It’s just a matter of having that one-on-one time with no kids or other family members, no “double dates,” and no one else but us! I plan on keeping that promise throughout 2018 - our first year of marriage!


A recent date night selfie

Spending Time With My Sisters

Marriage has also brought me another thing - time away from the rest of my family.

It’s a good and bad thing.

Good because independence is always nice.
Bad because one of my sisters is only 14 and it’s tough to suddenly not be such an integral part of her daily life!! I don’t want to be the absent big sister, so I have decided to spend this year - my first year away from her - making an effort to be present for her.

My other sister is 22, so it’s a little easier to “hang out” with her and do grown-up stuff! Plus, it’s a tad bit easier that she is of driving age!


My sisters and I

Saying “No”

I have a problem. I say “yes” to everything. I overcommit.

And it makes me SO tired, y’all!

I am learning that it is ok to say “no” sometimes, and I’m finding out that people actually respect me for it! I’m spending more time this year watching out for my health, and saying “yes” to everything was proving to be very detrimental to my health.

So while I’ll always say “yes” to a very select few people (because they are my special people), I have welcomed the practice of saying “no.”

Working On The House

My husband and I started on this one last year. We gave his little house, which is now my little house, a bit of a facelift!!

While we have had a lot done on the interior, I’d like to have some stuff done on the exterior. In the Spring, I’d like to have some flowers planted! And maybe we could finally get to our bedroom with design stuff! Photos to come :)

Jesus Time

For a while, I was really good at reading a daily devotional every morning. Recently, with my new lifestyle of “momming” in the morning, it’s become difficult!! I’ve found that the afternoons, right when I get home, are the best time for this now. The child hasn’t come home yet, the husband is busy, and the Skyler could use some Jesus at the end of the day!
So, I have my favorite devotional, “Jesus Calling,” ready!

Reading

Other than daily devotional time, I’d love to take some time to read! I have always loved reading, and I actually prefer it as my method of learning. My mother-in-law has loaned me her copy of “Miracles From Heaven” to start with!

What are your 2018 plans? Let me know! I’d love to hear!

This Is What Happened When We Started Using Natural Soap

Have you looked at your ingredients labels lately?

I got back from my honeymoon in late September. While we were away, we noticed something. Our hands weren’t dry and the skin on my knuckles wasn’t constantly cracked like it usually was. Then we got home and used our normal household hand soap…

“Ew, this feels weird,” my husband said.
“Yeah, and it smells strange even though it is unscented,” I agreed.

We noticed that our normal store-brand soap, although unscented, left a nasty film on our hands and a disgusting smell that lingered all day. It was also drying our skin. It had dried my skin so severely that my knuckles were constantly cracked. We didn’t notice a lot of this prior to using the soap at our honeymoon spot, so what was going on here?

We realized that the soap we were using in the honeymoon cabin at the lovely Baron’s Creekside Resort in Fredericksburg, TX was natural soap , and we knew we had to get some!

Mrs. Meyers Lavender Hand Soap is our jam now. (We’ve also started using their cleaning products, along with doTERRA’s OnGuard products!)

So, why natural soap? What was going on here?

After some investigation, I decided we will never again be using “normal” soap again.

Let me tell you why…

Fragrance

Or should I say, “fragrance.”

Sorry, but if the soap won’t tell me what the fragrance is in the ingredients, I’d rather not put it on my skin.
After looking at the Mrs. Meyers website, they clearly state what is in their fragrance. In fact, they have an ingredients glossary and tell you what each ingredient is, what it does, and why they use it.

doTERRA states that their OnGuard hand soap is made with essential oils, and after checking the ingredients in my Modern Essentials book , their claim matches their ingredients list.

Dr. Bonner’s is another favorite of mine. I love their liquid castile soap - remember to dilute!! They are so proud of their natural ingredients that they post a photo of their label spread out for each product for all to see. Their products are so real that they don’t even have the word “fragrance” on the ingredients panel. They simply have the oils used listed.

Dryness

I’ve always suffered from extremely dry hands, until our switch to natural soap. Why?
After looking at the bottle of, let’s call it “yucky,” soap, we were using prior to our awakening, I realized there are NO REAL moisturizing ingredients , despite the container’s claim that this was a moisturizing soap that is gentle on hands!

Let’s compare the natural soaps…

All of the natural soaps I looked at had some kind of moisturizing ingredient. Aloe vera was a popular one, along with various carrier oils, primarily coconut oil. Coconut oil is known for its moisturizing properties on the skin and hair.

But why do I want a moisturizer in my hand soap?

Think about it…
Your skin is your largest organ, and it is also the most vulnerable. Skin takes the dirt for us - sometimes literally.
You know those tiny cuts in my knuckles that I was talking about earlier? Those are a doorway for germs. Any cut in your skin (your body’s protector) allows for invasion, infection, and illness to happen. I’m sure you know that dry skin cuts pretty easily while moisturized skin just kind of “goes with the flow” when it comes in contact with an abrasive surface.

With this in mind, I would do all I can to protect my body’s best defender!

Chemicals

So, what else is in nasty soaps? Unfortunately, chemicals.

Take a look at this and tell me what ingredients you recognize.

I don’t know about you but the only ingredients that I recognized (and the only ones I can pronounce) are water, fragrance, sodium chloride and citric acid. So what is all that other junk?
It is, you guessed it, junk.

Let’s start with sodium laureth sulfate, also known as SLS. There are many people sensitive to SLS that don’t even know they have a sensitivity. This has been found to be the cause of many “mystery” skin conditions people have, and it is known to be toxic in even a small amount!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to be putting anything that toxic on my body.

Another scary one is Cocamidopropyl betaine. This is found in many hand soaps, as well as household cleaners, and is known to cause eye irritation and skin blistering. The purpose of it is to make products produce more foam.

These are the 2nd and 3rd ingredients on the soap my family was previously using. The first ingredient was water, like most other products.

Check out this list of ingredients in Dr. Bonner’s Castille Soap - Hemp Almond:
Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Organic Palm Kernel Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Lavandin Extract, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Lavender Extract, Citric Acid, Tocopherol

I bet you know what all of those are, except for tocopherol. After some research, it is pretty much Vitamin E - a moisturizer!

How about this great statement on the Mrs. Meyers website:

“Ingredients are at least 98% naturally dervied.”

Check out “ingredients” on that web page as well. Anything considered “questionable” is explained and usually turns out to be pretty safe!

The Moral of the Story

Know what is in the products you put in your body or on your body. Some things considered “safe” could do some serious damage in the long run, or could even be doing damage that you are unaware of while using the products!

Do your research and take note of how your body is reacting to things - our bodies are much smarter than we think ;)

How I Learned To Surf

It's not what you think...

About a year ago, I was in Jacksonville, FL at Mayo Clinic for multiple health concerns that I still battle today. My mom and I took a break from the doctor visits and went to the beach one day. The beach was a wreck, and most parts were closed. This was after one of the big hurricanes tore through Florida in 2016. But surfers were still surfing, shop owners were still running shop, and the doctors at Mayo Clinic seemed unaffected despite all of the destruction around them. Some told me about the destruction in their own home while I was getting blood drawn, tests run, and x-rays taken. The resiliency of the town left me in awe.

I watched this particular surfer for a very long time. And I can honestly tell you that it was this moment that my outlook on chronic illness changed drastically.

The surfer stood still and waited. He trusted the waves. He waited for the perfect one. He waited with patience and didn’t rush the process. After all, it was not a process that could be rushed. And when the moment was right, he took the first step and everything fell in to place. Sometimes he fell, but he let the ocean catch him. He would float for a bit, then get back up and start over. Never frustrated. Never angry with the waves. Always patient.

Patience. That’s what I was lacking. And I’m sure this surfer didn’t always have patience. He practiced it.

You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.
I can’t stop this particular illness. So I “learned to surf.” I’ve learned patience with my body and with my mind. Patience with doctors when they can’t quite help me as quickly as I would hope. Patience with others as they learn how to understand my illness.

I’ve learned to just sit and watch the ocean rather than catching every wave. It hasn’t been easy. But it’s been worth it and honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Thanksgiving Diffuser Blends

Plus personal stories behind why I came up with these blends

Ahh, Thanksgiving. One of my favorite times of year. I love to break out the clove oil at all times of year honestly, but it’s especially seasonal during Thanksgiving.

Spiced Cider

I remember my great grandma boiling orange juice, cinnamon, and clove on the stove while she was cooking for Thanksgiving and I try to replicate that smell on my own stove every year. I’ve found that the Wild Orange, Cinnamon, and Clove oils do the trick!

Wild Orange is a great purifier and can aid in uplifting your mood! This oil can actually be mixed with Cinnamon and/or Clove and make a great household cleanser. You can also take Wild Orange and Clove in a veggie cap or a few drops in water for immune support!

Grandma’s House

Funny story behind the Grandma’s House blend… when my mom and I first smelled Melaleuca oil, we looked at each other and said, “Bibi’s house!” I don’t know what it is because my grandma (who we lovingly named “Bibi”) is in her heavenly home now, but her house always smelled like Melaleuca , or Tea Tree oil! As soon as I discovered this, I started diffusing it with Balance (my personal favorite) and Citrus Bliss. It creates a comforting and clean smelling atmosphere in my home.

Balance is the oil I cannot live without. I put it on my wrists, neck, and feet every morning and evening to support the brain and body connection that is vital to maintaining a low-stress mood!

Warm & Well

OnGuard is another one I diffuse very often during the day. I always diffuse it right when my child gets home from school to aid in killing germs he might bring home! I’ve found that OnGuard blends beautifully with Wild Orange !

Cozy Blanket

This is a more manly blend, but still very comforting and of course cozy. Lavender and Sandalwood are favorites for bedtime around my house, so I added Frankincense to make it a bit more seasonal and it was an immediate favorite!

I also put lavender on my feet right before bedtime. Feet are one of the best ways to absorb all the goodness oils can offer!

What are your favorite Fall blends?

8 Things I Learned In October

From the world of step mothering to the world of business - October 2017 was a life changer!

This month was pretty huge for me. There were a lot of firsts and many learning curves! I’d like to share a few of the things I have learned this month, some big and personal and others small “thought provoking nuggets.” I hope that my lessons from October benefit you in some way!

Being A Stepmother Is, Well, Hard

October 22 marked my first full month as a stepmother. And it isn’t an easy job! All my step mamas out there - I love you.
I know how hard you are trying and how fabulous you are and I want you to know that it does not go unnoticed, no matter how invisible you feel sometimes. This is also a very rewarding experience, though. Any opportunity to pour into and influence a young person is one worth having!

You Don’t Have To Be Superwoman

This goes along with the “Lessons In Stepmothering” that I am learning. I found that I was becoming so exhausted this past month, and I figured out that it was because I was trying to be Superwoman. I was trying to be “the best” wife and “the best” stepmom. And I was killing myself doing it.

My husband had to remind me that he asked to marry me before I was a wife and stepmom, meaning I should not be putting pressure on myself to be “the best” when he already asked to marry “the best.” Moral of the story: You’re always “the best” in your husband’s eyes, and most likely in your child’s eyes. So don’t kill yourself trying to be extra best!

You Can Cook With Essential Oils

But not always the ones from the grocery store health section. Many of these actually say “do not consume.” My most recent find was a bottle of peppermint oil from a local grocer that had the warning. So how is that even peppermint oil? You can cook with most doTERRA oils, and if you cannot, it tells you on the bottle. If you cannot consume a doTERRA oil, it is usually because it’s a blend meant for something like topical application for pain.

Your Husband (or Wife) Will Surprise You Sometimes

I found out my husband was a bit of an oiler in the past before he even met me, and now he’s a big time oiler! He’s learning alongside me and managing this website. We’re both having a lot of fun with this and I am very blessed in that.

I’ve met several oil ladies whose husbands remain skeptical about oils. I feel so excited that my husband shares this passion with me. To each their own, but these things work and I know that’s something worth sharing with your loved ones! I’ve found my husband and stepson going through my oils and reading books to find the best oil for them and it warms my heart to see their healing!

You’re Never Too Old To Need Your Momma

My lessons in stepmothering have led me to turn to the best mother that I know - my own mom! I’ve spent this past month turning to her for advice, encouragement, and respite brunches (because that’s a thing, right?). You’re never too old to need your mom, and you’re never too cool to go to her for anything and everything!


My sisters, myself, and my mom

Multilevel Marketing is NOT a Scam…

…If you’re willing to work smart, that is. Notice I said “smart” and not “hard.” It’s hard work, but it takes an active and engaged brain!
My upline peeps (the folks that are higher ranking than me, but still on my team) have been fabulous in coaching and mentoring me. I’ve realized that 80% of the reason people fail at MLM is because there is no one leading and mentoring them. The other 20% is because people are working harder, not smarter. They are killing themselves with expensive marketing plans, lavish parties, and pricy startup costs. Find a company that is smart with their money and with yours, and find an upline that will be supportive!

I got a check in the mail after my first WEEK with doTERRA. My first week, y’all! This is real, and this is possible, but you’ve got to be willing to work at it! (Fun fact: doTERRA is a debt free company and WANTS you to be the same!)

I’m always looking to coach newbies and have awesome folks on my team.

You Cannot Be Afraid To Share Your Healing With Others

This includes your story, your oils, and your opportunities.
I’m a bit introverted naturally, but my doTERRA sponsor is extraverted and so graceful in the way she shares the nitty gritty bits of her healing story, her oils, and her business opportunities. You can’t help but want to be her friend even if you’ve only known her for 10 seconds! I’m learning from her, and from many others above me.

When sharing your story, be sure you are speaking from scars and not wounds. Sometimes, the wound hasn’t healed yet and talking about it can open it up again. Before sharing your story, ask yourself what parts you are open to sharing right now. Don’t be afraid to continue healing, whether you are sharing your story throughout the healing or not!


These ladies have been my Mom Squad! They’re a group of mothers in my community and they’re teaching me how to be a wonderful stepmom. I shared oils with them this week and I am helping them heal, just as they have helped me grow

If You Want Things To Be Different, Make A Difference

YOU have the power to change your life. Need I say more?

What did you learn this October? Share with me! I’d love to hear :)

Essential Oils 101

If you missed my live webinar, here is a recording of it!

Natural Cold & Flu Remedies (Plus Prevention Tips!)

It's that time of year... are you preparing your body for it?

Before I discovered wellness through essential oils, a common cold would have me sitting in the waiting room of an urgent care office feeling like I was about to die. Over the counter cold medicine made my chronic illness symptoms ten time worse, so I just wouldn’t take it, choosing to suffer through it.

I didn’t know how to seek natural remedies at the time, and I honestly had no interest in trying anything like that. It was a foreign idea and as a young science student, I felt like it lacked credibility. Little did I know that there is a large amount of credible scientific research happening for natural and homeopathic remedies! In fact, oregano is being used to combat antibiotic-resistant superbugs! I talk more about this below.

After conducting my own research, and having a friend introduce me to doTERRA’s OnGuard, I decided that this essential oil stuff was legit - and I was right. So the next time a cold came around, I knew exactly what to do. I found that I was spending less time sick and I was recovering from illness faster than ever. All it took was a few simple steps to aid my body in recovery and wellness.

AID!

When your body is sick, it does strange things to protect itself. Fevers, sneezing, coughing, and all of that unpleasantness is actually the body’s attempt at trying to get better!

These reactions make us feel very uncomfortable though. So how can we help ourselves feel comfortable while the body is doing it’s biological magic?

FEVER

I use peppermint oil diluted with a carrier oil (my favorite is fractionated coconut oil) on the forehead, neck, and bottoms of the feet. Peppermint has a cooling and soothing effect, and it can also help clear sinuses! All it takes is one drop of peppermint oil in about 2 drops of carrier oil. You can use peppermint neat (straight out of the bottle) but for sensitive skin, or if you’ve never tried peppermint before, it’s great to dilute. Peppermint is very strong in a very good way!

Remember, if your fever is high and not coming down, it may be time to visit the doctor. Your fever could have a cause other than a common cold.

COUGH & SORE THROAT

I love doTERRA’s OnGuard Protecting Throat Drops. These are made with a protecting blend of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Myrrh essential oils. The clove has a very mild numbing effect, which can help you feel more comfortable when you have that annoying little tickle in the back of your throat.

doTERRA’s Breathe Respiratory Drops are also a great aid in sore throat recovery. These have lemon, eucalyptus, and peppermint - also great oils to diffuse when recovering from respiratory struggles! Breathe also comes as an oil, so you can diffuse when you’re feeling a little stuffy. My husband loves to diffuse Breathe even when he’s not stuffy. It’s very refreshing!

In addition to the throat drops, never underestimate the power of a good ol’ cup of hot tea with honey! A few drops of lemon oil in the tea will aid in throat recovery!

DEFEND!

A huge problem for me was that a simple cold would snowball into something awful, like a sinus infection. So I’ve learned to aid my immune system in defending itself by using oils for immune support. Oregano oil is phenomenal at protecting the immune system. In fact, it is currently being used to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs! Simply place 1-2 drops of oregano oil under the tongue. It tastes a bit like Italian food, but in a good way. :)

Frankincense is another favorite of mine. This oil can also be used to enhance other oils - so just add a drop in the diffuser with just about anything to enhance healing qualities. I add this to OnGuard in the diffuser. Frankincense is also safe to take in the mouth. A drop of this along with a drop of OnGuard are wonderful helpers during cold and flu season!

PROTECT!

Now that you’ve helped your body get better, how do you help it stay better? Something that I do daily to help support my immune system is have a glass of water with a drop of Wild Orange in it. Not only does it taste great, but orange has been used historically to cleanse the body. When I started this practice, I noticed an immediate difference in how clear my skin was becoming!

Something else I do daily is take OnGuard Beadlets everywhere with me. As soon as I hear that someone near me is sick, I take a few beadlets and offer some to that person as well. The OnGuard blend is phenomenal at helping your immune system fight off nasty bugs! Right before my wedding, I had my husband and step-son take these daily! I didn’t want to risk anyone getting sick before the big day!

What are some of your cold and flu remedies? How do you help your body stay well? Check out the “Contact Me” section to let me know!

Lemon Lavender Cookies - Made With Essential Oils!

Say "hello" to your new addiction!

This has become my go-to recipe for a dessert to share. These cookies are absolutely delicious , not overly sweet, and they bring a smile to everyone’s face! And when I tell people I made them with essential oils, they are thoroughly surprised!

Lemon Lavender Cookies

Ingredients

1 c. butter (room temp)
2/3 c. powdered sugar
Zest of 2 lemons – divided
7 drops of doTERRA lemon oil
3 drops of doTERRA lavender oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. flour
2 tbsp. raw sugar

Lemon Glaze

1 ¾ c. powdered sugar
¼ c. lemon juice
2 drops of foTERRA lemon oil
Zest of one lemon
1tsp salted butter (melted)
Combine all ingredients, whisk, and drizzle!

Instructions

  1. Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, zest of one lemon, and essential oils until blended well.
  2. Add flour and combine until dough comes together.
  3. Form into disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and remove dough from fridge.
  5. In a small bowl, combine zest of last lemon with raw sugar.
  6. Roll out dough to about ¼ inch thick and sprinkle with lemon zest/sugar mix.
  7. Use a cookie cutter to cut cookies. Transfer to baking sheet.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies are set.
  9. After cookies cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.

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