I’m having a love affair with essential oils and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

standard January 15, 2018 Leave a response

My love affair with essential oils all started with a book club meeting.

Wait, that’s not entirely true. It all started with the lice situation years ago.

That’s when I first bought an essential oil. Considering the fact that the lice thing happened 5 years ago, I think I should get some serious kudos for resisting the lure until now.

Because, yes, I’m done resisting. As I said earlier, it all started with a book club meeting that was held at a friend’s house. When I walked in, book in hand, a full day’s stress and worries resting on my shoulders, a delightful smell greeted me. Five minutes later I realized that I was completely relaxed. I turned to my friend and raised a questioning eyebrow. She gestured to the diffuser quietly working on the kitchen counter.

It wasn’t until the next time we met at her house for another book club event that I finally started asking questions about what she was diffusing. With a bit of a glimmer in her eye, she told me and invited me to take a couple samples home. The samples wooed me. I spent much of my winter break researching essential oils, Young Living, and everything related to it.

You see, I’ve spent years thinking that essential oils are all about the smells and the act of believing in them. Basically, thinking that if you believe something enough, it’ll work to a certain extent. I’m not too proud to admit that I affectionately, possibly a little condescendingly, rolled my eyes at the friends who were all in.

But one of the samples that my friend sent me home with was Thieves, the Young Living blend designed to help keep the user healthy. C, my oldest, lives in fear of getting sick and was starting to ask for hand sanitizer to take to school with her. That’s a road I really didn’t want to go down, but I figured it couldn’t hurt for her to take a little Thieves to school.

Long story short, her sister and I caught a nasty bug flying to Chicago for Christmas. She, didn’t even get a sniffle. So I dove in.

And now I’m all in.

I’m loving learning about the different oils and their various properties. It’s fun to research healthy alternatives to things we currently use. I’m using Frankincense to try to reduce some nasty scars that are the result of a surgery I had a couple years ago. I’m diffusing some Stress Away at night to help M and I sleep better. I’m using Lemon to make the house smell fresh and clean and to boost my motivation in the morning. And, of course, I’m diffusing Thieves to keep this house as germ free as possible.

Oh, and clearly, I’m all over the business aspect of this. Because, have you met me? I love starting new businesses, especially when it’s about something I find fascinating and it gives me the opportunity to learn. And I’m SO getting a kick out all of the people who are reaching out to me via messenger or text to ask if I can recommend an oil or a blend for this or that.

So, of course, I now have a new website and a Facebook page.

But, don’t worry. I’m not turning this blog into an essential oil blog. I’ll be posting oil related things on the new website and doing my usual sporadic posting around here.

That said, if you’re interested in joining me on my exploration journey, you can

  • Like the Facebook page. I do some Facebook lives, share information as I discover it,
  • Sign up for my essential oils newsletter.
  • Check out my website. It’s chock full of helpful info and is where the oils blog will live!
  • Email me with any essential oils questions you might have! Whatever is ailing you or worrying you, there’s probably an essential oil that can help. It would be my joy to research it for you!

Young Living Essential Oils

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2018: Your word is Intention

standard January 2, 2018 Leave a response

Intention is my word for 2018

Two years ago, still reeling from my father’s death and trying to put my life back together, I opted to give myself a break from choosing a single word to strive for during the year. That break stretched into the next year without me even noticing.

This year my word came to me as I was flying home from visiting my terminally ill mother. The trip to and from her house is pretty much endless. First you have to get to the airport. Then you take a first flight to somewhere in Europe. (My personal preference is to fly into Iceland. Because WOW is incredibly affordable.) Then you take a second flight to Paris. There you rent a car and drive the 2.5/3 hours to my mother’s house in the middle of nowhere France. It takes about a day and a half to go from door to door. The trip back is even worse because, thanks to the 9 hour time difference, you cram the whole trip into one simply endless day.

In short, all of that traveling leaves ample time for some deep, deep reflection. And watching a LOT of movies. Like a lot. Do you know how many movies you can watch in a 9 hour flight? It’s a lot.

So there I was, on my way home after spending a very peaceful five days with my mother and her husband, trying to pinpoint what had made that trip so much more pleasant than the last two I had taken to visit them. The location was the same. Her health was no better than it had been the last time I’d been to visit. If anything, it was way worse. Her mental decline over the last 6 months has been devastating, to say the least. I had no sisters or husband or kids to help buffer and distract from the illness that is rapidly stealing my mother away. And yet, I was flying home feeling oddly at peace.

In between movies, I came to a startling conclusion.

The difference? Intent.

I headed to France with the sole intent to spend a few quality moments with my mother. I didn’t go with the hope of fixing anything, or having a wonderful week, or even having deep meaningful conversations with anyone. Instead, I went with a totally open heart, intent on noticing the little good moments amongst the big sad scary stuff.

And I was rewarded. My mother and I spent long afternoons in the car, driving around neighboring towns. Her speech is confused and usually makes little to no sense, but I followed her instructions without worrying about the destination. Each day I was rewarded. One day she navigated me to a butcher. Another to a grocery store. The last to a yarn store because she had noticed me knitting the night before. We had a couple laughs and just enjoyed being together.

I didn’t try to hold on to the moments or control them. I just let myself enjoy them as had been my intent upon arrival.

As the miles between my mother and I stretched further and further apart, I thought about how I can’t actually control anything in my life. I can’t control other people’s health, my daughter’s anxiety, what jobs I get offered, or how my life generally flows.  What I can control is the intention that I bring into situations.

I can be intentional about the jobs and invitations I accept or reject. I can be intentional about doing things that make me happy. And I can be intentional about how go into challenging situations.

For years I’ve needed to just go with the flow and let the river of life take me where it wanted to meander. I’m excited to see how bringing a little intent to the mix changes things for me this year.

What's your word for 2018

*****

Did you get everything you wanted this holiday season?

No? Well, then, maybe it’s time to treat yourself to something special.

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Change Up Your Grocery Habits

standard September 19, 2017 Leave a response

Disclaimer: This is a post written on behalf of my client, PantryPerks. The opinions contained within are mine and mine alone. 

*********

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you’re pretty set in your grocery shopping ways. You probably go on the same day every week, buy mostly the same things, and rarely try a new store.

I mean, I know I am. I hit the same two stores, usually on Sunday evening, and despite my sporadic attempts to vary up our usual menu, I usually bring home some variation of the same stuff every week.

And if I need something from that expensive wholesome place? Well, I put it off as long as I possibly can and then drag myself across town to wander the aisles that always make me feel guilty for not consistently making better food choices for my family. Guilt, not pleasant, which is why I try hard to go as rarely as possible.

But what if I told you that there was a new organic/wholesome grocery player on the scene? And that you don’t have to get into your car to get there? Or feel shamed as you wander the aisles wondering what you even do with sprouted wheatgerm? PantryPerksThis past month, I got the chance to try out PantryPerks.com for the first time. All that wholesome goodness and you don’t even have to get off your couch!

Even better, you get rewarded for shopping, in CASH.

That’s right, pajama shopping you get paid for. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

First things first. What can you find at PantryPerks?

PantryPerks sells all the non-perishable natural or organic goods that you can find at most natural, organic stores.

Think gluten free, kosher, or Non-GMO snacks and baking supplies, as well as tons of great certified organic pantry staples.

You can also get some awesome diapers and wipes, cleaning supplies, and, of course, all of your essential oils.

And more, so much more!

Many of the items are sold in bulk, so you can stock up and rest easy for a while. And since it’s all delivered right to your door, no need to schlep it all home from the store any more!

How do the prices compare?

I’m not the greatest of deal shoppers (don’t tell my husband), but even I can tell when something is cheaper than usual. Other, more savvy deal shoppers than I, have reported that the prices are pretty darn good. Add to that the fact that there are always new deals to be snagged and, well, even I can tell you that you can save some serious cash by shopping at PantryPerks.

For instance, today, a 12 pack of the yummy chocolate brownie Cliff bars is $7.99 instead of $23.14. And a case of 8 Svelte protein shakes is $13.99 instead of $23.26. Take a look and see how your favorite products stack up!

Now, what’s that about earning cash back?

Here’s how it works: When you shop at PantryPerks, you get cash back. Then, when you share your personal referral link (everyone gets one!) and your friends shop at PantryPerks you get cash back too! Guess what, when their friends shop using their referral link, you get cash back AGAIN. (Check out the handy infographic below to see the details.)

(Sooooooo…. if you shop at PantryPerks after clicking any of the links in this post, I might earn some cash back. So, go, shop! Yes, you!!)

There’s a coolio calculator that allows you to figure out just how much money you could be earning just by telling people about PantryPerks.  (Click on the ‘Cheat Sheet’ button hovering on the left side of the PantryPerks screen.)

How much cash back can you earn with PantryPerks?

So, the verdict?

Well, sadly, I still have to get off my couch on Sunday evening to go get chicken, beef, dairy products and fruit as well as all the other perishable stuff that consists of the bulk of my grocery haul. My poor family couldn’t survive without 14 different types of yogurt and assorted cheese sticks in the fridge, tragedy would ensue.

But I might never ever have to go to the place that makes me feel like a terribly inadequate mother ever again. SO YAY!

Get started here, and please come by to let me know what you think! PantryPerks is brand new and they love feedback!

How does PantryPerks work?

 

Please note: PantryPerks is one of my clients, and, as such I was compensated to help them spread the word about their company and find bloggers to help me do so. That said, this post features just my opinions and facts about how PantryPerks works. All links contained in this post are referral links. If you shop at PantryPerks after clicking on any link I might earn some cash back. 

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All the reasons why I hate the end of summer

standard August 15, 2017 Leave a response

All over the web you can find stories and pictures of moms celebrating the return to school or moms lamenting that their kids don’t go back until after Labor Day. Meanwhile I’m over here just as upset as my kids that school is starting the day after tomorrow. Really, I just hate the end of summer.

Of course, I’m not letting on that I hate this time of year as much as they do. That wouldn’t be seemly. No, I’m being all upbeat for them about how great it is! New friends! New teachers! Cool learning! Wheeeee!

Meanwhile, inside I’m all scroogey and sad.

Why, you ask?

Ah, well so many reasons. (And interestingly not the same ones as the ones I wrote about 5 years ago.)

I hate the end of summer

1. I’m going to miss having the kids around.

One of them mastered making mac and cheese in the Instant pot this summer. And she keeps baking us treats. And they’re chilling with their friends and sharing jokes and stories. And they’re just kinda fun to have around all the time.

2. I’m going to miss the flexibility of being able to just go do something fun if we want. 
Ice cream. Day trips to the beach. Target. The pool. Just chilling downtown. Lunches at Chipotle. All on a whim or at a moment’s notice. I mean, duh, I can still do these things, but it’s less fun without the kids. Turns out, the people at Baskin Robbins look at you funny if you order all the candy toppings when you’re on your own.
3.  I loathe the increased anxiety for the older kid and everything that comes with it.
Social Anxiety is a bitch. And in the summer it takes a bit of a break. Then in the fall it comes back with a vengeance. School is HARD for a kid who finds crowds stressful. Like, really, really hard. Especially when those crowds are stuck in a classroom for prescribed amounts of time and you can’t really escape. The emotional upheaval has to get dealt with at home and it’s a strain on the whole family.
4. I looooooathe homework.
There. I said it. I’m one of the moms who thinks that there should never, ever be any homework. Because it gets in the way of our afternoon ice cream outings. And also because it’s a dumb waste of time, energy and stress. Especially for moms.
5. I despise packing lunches.
Oh, the bliss of not having to pack lunches for the last 9 weeks. It’s been amazing.
No, my kids won’t eat sandwiches or anything else that can be prepped ahead of time.
Yes, they’ll eat the same. exact. lunch I’ve been packing for them since they started elementary school.
No, I don’t think I’ll ever stop hating this chore. Nor will I ever feel wealthy enough to just throw in the towel and get them hot lunch.
Please don’t suggest I make them pack their own lunches. The stress mentioned in #3 is already enough for me to deal with.
6.  I struggle with a mix of feelings about having my workload pretty much doubles with volunteer stuff
Because I LIKE the volunteer stuff I do, but there’s rather a lot of it and it’s quite overwhelming at the start of the year. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. Because it’s not PC for me to hate volunteering and also it’s an important part of my kids’ education.
7. It’s kinda the start of a new year and that comes with its own baggage.
Like the kind that makes you take stock of personal achievements and come up lacking. I mean, what have you accomplished lately? Huh? Well, probably more than me. But that’s ok, I still love you.
8. It’s almost the end of the year and that comes with its own baggage.
The start of school seems to be the international signal for the start of the race to the finish. The race to win the whole year. From a business perspective. A frenzy to MEET ALL THE GOALS! MAKE ALL THE SALES! PROMOTE ALL THE THINGS!
Dude, I’m exhausted just thinking about it and so far I’m only just getting wind of the increased work-load on my end.
But it’s not all bad. At least I get to go school supply shopping and soon, really, really soon, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes will be back. Hush now, a mom has to take her joy where she can find it.

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