Life is hard: AKA the reason I haven’t written much in a long while

standard February 19, 2019 Leave a response

The other day I came across a Facebook post meme that said “Life is hard? Compared to what?” and I’ve been mulling that over ever since.

Because life is hard. No one will contest that. Life is relentless. Which, I guess is a good thing? Maybe? In some ways?

But also, utterly exhausting. You get up and a million little details instantly demand your attention. Mental notes start crowding your brain before you even have a chance to open your eyes.

I should remember to wash the sheets today.

Where did those curtains I meant to put up end up getting put away.

The cat’s breath stinks. I should brush his teeth more often.

Did I remember to buy milk for the teen who literally won’t eat anything and gets the bulk of her nutrition from it? I should really figure out other acceptable foods.

Then you get up and your brain keeps trucking along, racking up a to do list that will never ever get done. And then the outside world starts to weigh in.

Toothpaste is almost empty.

Bathroom could really use a good scrub.

It’s raining. Again. Grraaaaaaa.

And then the family chimes in. Questions ranging from the asinine to the life changing. All being fired at you as you’re still trying to sort through the crap your brain is vomiting.

Exhausting and that’s before any of the really challenging stuff starts to take a toll.

In the last year we decided (on a whim) to sell our house where we had lived for 6 years and move to the beach. In four days we had packed up our lives and moved out of our home. We settled temporarily in my in-laws’ vacation home and waited more or less patiently for our home to sell so we could buy our next forever home and start the arduous task of getting settled. Just for funzies, we also decided to homeschool our children for at least a year so, theoretically, we could travel.

To say that this has all been a Big F*ing Deal for everyone in our family is putting it lightly. This move literally rocked our collective worlds. We took our kids out of the only community they’ve ever known and turned their lives completely upside down.

Do I regret it?

Not in the least. We love our new home (only took 3 months for our house to sell and another month until we could move into the house we finally found). We adore our new town. The kids have taken to homeschooling like ducks to water.

But I am Ex.Haus.Ted. Mentally and physically. And not just because of the move. Also, because while all of this has been happening, my mother has been steadily losing more and more of herself to dementia and more and more of her body to metastatic breast cancer. (Yes, for those following along at home, I went from dealing with my father being terminally ill to my mother being terminally ill and on the other side of the world.)

All that to say, there’s always a lot going on in my head.

And where does that leave me? Other than making mental lists about what to get at the store? It leaves me hungering for more. Something more than the endless mental litany. Something greater than the endless grief and stress.

I keep trying to launch new things, explore new avenues, but the mental drain makes it feel like I’m walking uphill through sludge.

Life, man. It’s just hard.

But life is also amazing and rewarding. And I’ve decided to challenge myself to embrace the journey instead of waiting for things to get easier. Because we all know now that they won’t. Another situation will come replace the current one as soon as it is resolved. Waiting hasn’t gotten me anywhere, so I might as well get a move on despite it all.

Some of you might have noticed that I haven’t blogged much here in the last year. It’s true, I’ve been busy writing here and here instead. But I’m coming back.

Full disclosure: things are going to be a little different around here. I think I’m mostly done writing posts about myself and my thoughts on life. Instead, I’m going to be posting recipes and Essential Oil DIY posts. If that’s not your thing, I totally get it. Feel free to unsubscribe. No feelings hurt. But if you like good food, stick around, it’s about to get tasty all up in here.

Funky Beach Home

The new home that took 4 months to find.

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

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.

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 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.