10 Ways To Detox Daily

These detox ideas will really come in handy especially after a Holiday weekend!

Your environment has huge impact on your health. Everything from the products you put on your body to the food you eat, the quality of the air you breathe, and the water you drink can contribute to toxin and chemical overload. How do you combat the toxin overload? Detoxing and cleansing! Cleansing your body of toxins periodically can help counteract some of this onslaught of damage, but what makes the biggest difference in your health is the healthy, detoxing practices you can do every day. Cleansing a few times year won’t make as much of an impact on your health if you fall back into an unhealthy lifestyle each time.

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1. Drink water.

When you drink enough water throughout the day, you are feeding the tissues and cells in your body, which gets the enzymatic system moving and actually releases fat toxins from the body.

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body. It helps you regularly flush out toxins, keep your skin healthy, and sleep better; and you might even notice that headaches, muscle cramping, and digestive issues improve as well! Staying hydrated also encourages proper metabolic function. Your body is up to 60 percent water and needs water to function at its best. Being dehydrated prevents your metabolism from running at peak capacity. That’s definitely not good when you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy one.

You should aim to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces each day. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should aim to drink about 80 ounces (10 cups) of water each day at minimum.

If you just can’t bring yourself to drink plain water all day long, try some Vitality™ essential oil-infused water to make it easier. Check out what some of these popular Vitality oils offer.

Lemon Vitality
• Immune support
• Circulatory support
• Cleansing properties
• Antioxidant properties

Grapefruit Vitality
• Weight management
• Lymphatic and circulatory system support
• Cleansing

Lemongrass Vitality
• Overall wellness support
• Healthy circulatory system maintenance
• Cleansing

Frankincense Vitality
• Healthy immune function
• Oral health and hygiene support
• Overall well-being support

2. Drink morning smoothies.

Do you want to eat a lot of fruits and veggies, but don’t have the time? Smoothies are one of the best ways to pack a large amount of nutrients into a delicious drink. Unlike juicing, you retain the fiber from the produce that you use. Note: Be careful not to add too many fruits to your smoothie; although fruits are full of vitamins, they do contain natural sugars. Try to get 3:1 ratio of veggies to fruit.

3. Get sweaty!

Your skin is your largest organ and is another major mode of elimination. Sweating can actually release toxins from the body! Most people do not sweat on a regular basis.

Repeated use of a sauna slowly restores skin elimination, which can help reduce your toxic load quite significantly. Infrared saunas are another great detox tool. They heat your tissues several inches deep, which can enhance your natural metabolic processes. They also enhance circulation and help oxygenate your tissues.

Exercise is a fun way to sweat and release toxins from the body. Regular exercise gets the blood flowing and is essential for a healthy metabolism. Exercise also naturally detoxes your lymphatic system. Moving and jumping releases toxins as you force the lymph to pump the toxins out.
People who exercise tend to have better moods and more energy than people who don't. Regular exercise will also lower your risks for many health problems! AminoWise™, PowerGize™, and NingXia Nitro® are our favorite workout companions.

4. Poop more.

Yes. I said it. People are ideally supposed to have one or two bowel movements a day, but many people go two or three days between eliminations. The normal pathway for toxins to move out of the body is through the liver, which converts harmful chemicals into water-soluble molecules that can be flushed out in the urine or feces. If there's a delay in elimination, those toxins remain in your system longer.

Americans tend to have bad diets that lead to constipation. One of the easiest ways to eliminate toxins more efficiently is to change your diet! Eat more organic fruit and vegetables and unhybridized grains like einkorn, and eliminate or decrease your intake of processed and inflammatory foods.

5. Dry brush.

Dry skin brushing helps detoxify by helping to improve circulation and promote lymphatic drainage. It helps to exfoliate the skin and unclog dry pores. Gently brush in a circular motion, starting with your feet, and brush toward the heart. This will improve blood flow to the heart and stimulate the nervous system. Try dry brushing before you get in the shower and massage some Cel-Lite Magic™ massage oil on after!

6. Increase your antioxidant intake.

Toxins can cause free radical damage in your body—this means cellular damage, premature aging, and illness. Antioxidants help combat the negative effects of free radicals! Antioxidants are found in high amounts in blueberries, cherries, spinach, wolfberries, and other produce. 

If you remember nothing else, just remember to eat more fresh produce! Another way to help fortify, replenish, and revitalize your body is with NingXia Red®!

One cup of NXR contains the equivalent antioxidants of approximately the following (based on antioxidant value and juice concentrate reconstitution):

•4 cups of purple grapes
•1 cup of wolfberries
•5 whole cherries
•½ cup of blueberries
•75 pomegranate arils
•½ plum
•¼ cup aronia berries

7. Sleep like you mean it.

Sleep is essential to a healthy, functioning body. It’s when we reset our brain, repair cells, and flush out toxins from our liver and kidneys. There’s a reason you have to pee first thing in the morning! Waking up well-rested will also encourage you to eat healthier, be more active, and have a better mood. The amygdala, the emotional center of the brain, is 60 percent more reactive without quality sleep, so you are more likely to have mood swings or volatile responses to daily interactions with inadequate sleep. Try creating a bedtime routine to encourage deeper sleep. Essential oils like Valerian, Peace & Calming, Lavender, Cedarwood, and RutaVaLa™ are great to apply before bedtime, diffuse, or add to your bath to help you relax and unwind.

8. Take probiotics.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that regulate and restore your intestines’ natural balance. Over 70 percent of your immune system is in your gut! Studies have shown that probiotics can help rid the body of heavy metals, free radicals, and dangerous bacteria. Probiotics promote healthy digestion, support gut health and a healthy immune system, and help maintain normal intestinal function. Young Living’s Life 9 has over 9 billion cultures to help infuse the gut with healthy bacteria.

9. Unwind in an Epsom salt bath.

Epsom salt detoxifies the liver and provides your body with magnesium and sulfate, which are both essential minerals for detoxification. Magnesium is also absorbed very well through the skin. Soaking for 30 minutes in an epsom salt bath is a wonderful way to detoxify the body and relax the soul. Add 1/4 cup of Epsom salt and a few drops of your favorite calming essential oil to a warm bath.

10. Swish some oil.

Oil pulling has been a common detoxification practice for centuries! Oil pulling is the practice of swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes on a regular basis. Studies have shown that oil pulling can prevent plaque, gingivitis, and bacteria that can cause bad breath, among many other things.

How does oil pulling work? It is pretty simple! Most microorganisms in your mouth have cells that are covered with a fatty membrane. When these cells come into contact with the coconut oil, which is also a fat, they naturally stick to it. When you swish the coconut oil around in your mouth, it draws the microorganisms from all the corners, between your teeth, and under your tongue. The bacteria then get swept away when you spit out the coconut oil!

You may think that oil pulling is a new trend, but it has been used for more than 3,000 years!

Try adding a drop of Clove or Orange Vitality for additional benefits!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/

What are your favorite ways to detox daily?

How To Start And Monetize A Blog

First off, congrats on your big decision to start a blog!  I went back and forth over this decision for years.  And now that I finally have one, I just love it and wish I had started blogging sooner!  This little guide is the step by step process I went through in designing my blog and monetizing it.  

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Blogging is hard work, but it can be rewarding both financially and professionally.

Even if you are completely new to this blogging world, you can start your blog TODAY.  Blogging is flexible and a great side hustle (or full-time job) you can totally do at home or while traveling.  

So let’s dive right in.  The first thing you will need to do is decide on your niche.

1.  Decide on your blog niche.

What are you interested in?  What field are you an expert in?  What are you passionate about?  This task may take some deep reflection, but take your time to start asking yourself these tough questions.  It will come to you.


The important thing is that you really do need to narrow your focus.  Choose a topic you are passionate about, even if you don’t feel like an expert at it just yet.


Some popular blogging niches are health & fitness, beauty, fashion, travel & lifestyle, food & recipes, photography and small business.  Get as specific as you possibly can with your niche.  

If you are talking to everyone, you are really aren’t talking to anyone.


Who is your audience?  When writing you want to be able to talk to a specific person, your ideal customer or reader.  I’ll discuss this topic in depth in another post soon, but think of blogging as talking for hours to your best friend about a subject you both love.

 

2. Choose A Domain Name

Now that you’ve decided on your niche, you will need a domain name for your blog.  This is the web address where people can find you online.  You can grab one for free at Bluehost.


Don’t overthink this part!  I know.  I know.  I did it too.  It took me quite a while before I decided on Simply Successful Creative.  Just make a decision and go with it!  

A few things to consider when choosing a domain name:

  • It needs to be something that is easy to spell and pronounce.

  • It should be short and simple. Mine is borderline. I admit it.

  • Stay away from anything hyphenated.

  • Try to go with a .com instead of .net or .org if at all possible.

  • It should relate to your niche, but not be too limiting. Think long term here. (If you are blogging about all things Florida and then move across country you are going to have a tough time transitioning your blog.)

  • For a personal brand there is no greater domain than your own name. This is what I did for my photography business.

  • A play on words can be fun too (“Road Trippin With Robin” for a travel blog or maybe “In the Kitchen with Kim” for a foodie blog.)

After you have a few contenders for your blog name, it’s important to check across all social media platforms (Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc) to see if your name is available.  If it is, grab it!  For a cohesive brand it is so nice to be recognized across all social media with the same name.

3. Host Your Blog


There are several options out there and a very popular one to go with is Bluehost because you can host for as little as $2.65 a month!!  They have been around forever.  Bluehost is reputable and extremely affordable.  This is a great option if you want a Wordpress blog.  I am not a web designer and not a very tech savvy person, so I went a different route.

I chose to host and create a site with SquareSpace.  Pricing is tiered so you only pay for what you need.  I love this.  I currently pay $18 a month for my blog.

What I love most about Squarespace is how easy it is to customize my site with multiple blog pages, a store, landing pages, etc.  It is perfect for bloggers, etsy shop owners and small businesses.  It is powerful and user friendly!

You can get a 14 day FREE TRIAL to Squarespace just to try it out.  Students are also eligible for a 50% discount!  

A few more reasons I chose Squarespace:

  • Simplicity and a small learning curve. Like I said, I’m not tech savvy.

  • Drag & drop design. I love how easy designing a page is and that it auto updates so that I can see exactly what it will look like.

  • Customer Support. OMGosh! Squarespace is amazing for their customer support. Because everything is in house and I am not dealing with a theme creator and the plug-in developer (like you have to do with Wordpress), it is so easy to get help when I need it most.

  • No Site Maintenance. Spacespace is a closed source platform. There are no other developers updating plug-ins (or NOT updating them) that cause my site to not perform properly.

4. Design Your Blog

  • You want to think about your brand colors carefully. Colors evoke emotions and have different meanings. (Yellow = happy. Purple = royalty.) Do some research here. There are some amazing companies out there who will create an entire brand, logo, SEO and custom site for you. Here is a great one with absolutely beautiful designs.

  • Find one or two fonts that you like and are easy to read. I love Open Sans. I use it throughout my entire site.

  • Design your logo (it can just be your domain name in your chosen font for now) or you can pay to have one designed from companies like this one.

  • Choose your website theme. There are several excellent ones from Squarespace. A few of my favorites for blogging (because of the sidebar feature) are: Avenue, Five and Galapagos. You could also opt for a custom design offered by a designer.

  • Choose your blog categories. Just a few to start out with it totally fine.

  • Now it’s time to start adding your content and writing your little heart out!

PRO-TIP:  

Set up a scheduler like SmarterQueue to put posting your blog posts to social media on auto-pilot.


Essential Pages For Your Blog

  • About

  • Contact

  • Affiliate Disclaimer

  • Privacy Policy

5. Monetize Your Blog


You can start making money from your blog in your first month.  The easiest way to do this is through affiliate marketing.  This is blogging about and promoting products and services you love to use on your blog.  When someone makes a purchase through your link, you receive a commission from the sale. 

I learned so much from How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours ebook.  It's only $25 and I made that investment right back!

Another course that has been a tremendous help is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.  It has really opened my eyes to all the possible ways to earn affiliate income.  I'm implementing some of Michelle's ideas now and already seeing benefits. I can't say enough about this course!

  
I am working on another blog post now with tons of Affiliate Marketing Programs you can join.  Look for it next week and I will update this post here when that blog post is published.  Or just join my newsletter list for sweet updates and words of encouragement for your creative business journey.


Amazon is the absolute easiest one out there to join and promote products from.  We all know that Amazon has everything!  Haha!


Besides affiliate marketing, there are a few other ways to monetize your blog:

  • Advertise in your sidebar (you will need a good bit of traffic for this!)

  • Create a digital product to sell (ebook, course, etc.)

  • Write sponsored posts for different brands

  • Offer design, freelance or other services on your blog

Blogging takes a lot of work and the learning curve is steep.  But anyone can do it!  If you are willing to put in the hours, take it seriously and run it like a business you can make it profitable too! 

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If you need help or just some encouragement, be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter where I share tips and tricks along the way of my blogging adventure :)

5 Ways To Avoid Burnout

Let's Talk About Burnout . . .

It happens, whether you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom or a 9 to 5 mom (insert dad into any one of those please) or maybe you're a young adult still trying to figure out life and this whole creative business thing.  I've been there.  I've thrown my hands up after having a tough week, sometimes weeks, and wanted to quit.  The running joke around here is that when mom has one of "those" episodes is that we are moving to Montana to raise goats.  Don't be surprised if you see that post here one of these days folks!  Haha!  But inevitably once I stop running around complaining like a crazy woman, I realize that my meltdown could have easily been avoided.  

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Let me explain.  Here are 5 ways that I've learned to help avoid burnout:

1. Set Goals

If you don't know what your goals are for your business, your home, your family or personal life, then you are just running in circles.  Know what your goals are.  Write them down.  An awesome tool to do this in is PowerSheets by Lara Casey.  You HAVE to have a target to aim for.  By not having one, you are more apt to say yes to everything that comes your way & will overwhelm yourself real quick like!  In case you missed it I focused on setting 90 day goals here

2. Set Boundaries

I admit that I was terrible at this early in my career.  I would answer the phone late at night, answer emails and texts too.  I would take weekend sessions or evening ordering appointments.  You name it, I did it.  Yes, I was popular with my clients.  But this took a toll on our family.  I now have very strict boundaries.  Yes, I have to make exceptions from time to time, but these get run by the family first.  Work texts, phone calls & emails get handled the next business day during business hours.  I only take a certain number of clients on each month because I know what I can and can't handle.  This goes for our family life too.  We only allow a certain number of sleepovers and don't make it to every big family outing.  And we have to say no to cool activities for the kids sometimes because we just really need dinner around the table together.  Know what your priorities are and sit down to set some boundaries that will keep them on the top of your list.    

3.  Don't Blur Personal & Work Life

This is related to the boundaries issue too.  You have to be able to shut down.  This means your mind and your electronics.  Some examples: dinner out at a restaurant with your family but answering work emails on your phone (or lets maybe call it what it is . . . scrolling Facebook haha). Or at the park with your kids but taking a "quick" call.  We all know how those go!  Work time is work time.  Family time is family time.  By combining the two, neither get your full attention.  And they both deserve it, just at separate times :)

4. Schedule Time To Unplug

Do you remember the time before the iPhone or Blackberry?  The time when you had to physically be at your computer to deal with work.  It can still be that way!  I purposely don't have notifications on for my email (or social media) because I seriously don't want to be distracted by it all day long.  Ok, that was off topic, but still . . . We do not have to be connected to the outside world 24-7!  Schedule time to just walk away, put your phone on silent or do not disturb and just enjoy life around you.  Go for a walk.  Play in the yard with your kids.  Finish a project in the house you've been meaning to get around to.  We need that time.  It's still there, just like it used to be.  We just have to be willing to unplug. For real, schedule it!  Make yourself unavailable on your calendar & just do it. 

A fun activity that we are really enjoying lately is our Box of Challenge

It's a monthly subscription box full of challenges, brainteasers, puzzles, instructions and tons of inspiration. It is perfect for spending quality time with your family and for just hanging out with friends. Whether you’re 8 or 88, you’re gonna really love it!

5. Exercise & Eat Well  

I can tell when I haven't been eating right or when I've gone a few days without a good workout or run.  I feel sluggish & beat down.  And that's just about the time for another meltdown.  When I take care of myself, I get so much more accomplished, and I'm in such a better mood.  Take 30 minutes a day to do something for yourself!  It doesn't have to be all work or all raising the kiddos.  You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of the rest of it :)

So, there you go.  Definitely some things that we can do to avoid feeling burnout.  I had to take a step back this week and reevaluate some things myself after having a little "moment".  Hope this helps you avoid one this week!  I'm not the only that has them, right??? :)

What are some ways you avoid burnout in your life?  I'd love to hear some of your tips too!

Winter Wellness Must Haves

Winter is right here on us guys. And you know what that means, right? Germs galore! I dread this season. It is so not my favorite. I’m more of a flip flops, shorts and a tank top kinda girl, and that doesn’t go too well with this freezing cold weather!

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Here’s a few things we keep on hand during the winter months to keep our immune systems as strong as we can to fight off the germs.

NINGXIA: First off, it tastes amazing and gives you a boost over energy. But why does your body need its Ningxia?

Ningxia Red is derived from the organic puree of the Wolfberry (aka the goji berry). This nutrient-dense fruit has been cherished for centuries for its health, energy and longevity benefits. The Ningxia Red formula also uses essential oils -- Orange, Tangerine, Lemon, and Yuzu -- which act as catalysts, to help deliver nutrients through the cell membranes of our bodies, while assisting in the removal of cellular wastes. These essential oils give our bodies the best possible chance for prime absorption of nutrients!

And speaking of nutrients, did you know that one ounce of Ningxia Red has the antioxidant power of :

  • 4 POUNDS CARROTS

  • 8 ORANGES

  • 2 POUNDS BEETS

  • 3 CUPS RASPBERRIES

  • 2 CUPS BLUEBERRIES

The benefits of NingXia Red range far and wide -- aging support, bone/joint health, brain health, energy, immunity - whole-body health and overall wellness, and so much more! Give it a try!

IMMUPOWER ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND
Do you guys know what this oil does?!! Ok so the name pretty much says it but let’s break it down. This blends includes, Hyssop, Mountain Savory, Cistus, Camphor, Frankincense, Oregano, Clove, Cumin, and Dorado Azul.  That’s Like half the oils in the Oils of Ancient Scripture Kit (and remember those oils are like raindrop oils - they do all the things) plus some power houses like Dorado Azul, Oregano and Cumin Seed oil. Use this daily. Your cells and DNA will thank you this cold season!!

INNER DEFENSE
We call this supplement the first responder in our house. When someone needs some immune support and ALWAYS when we travel, we take this. This supplement contains Oregano, Clove, Thyme, Lemon, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus Radiata, Rosemary and Cinnamon. It’s basically like Thieves but with Oregano and Lemongrass added in. So The power of thieves and then some. Pretty much this: 💥👊= Inner Defense. I also suggest taking with food! Lots of hot oils in there to keep you warm these upcoming months!

SUPER C
The chewable, is one of the few (if not the only) vitamin C chewables in the world that combines citrus essential oils, citrus biofalonovids, and whole food, natural vitamin C in on one tablet. This, my friends, is a fabulous way to get your daily dose without having to gulp down a pill with a bitter residual impact. These have a citrusy flavor that is more than palatable--my adolescents love them--and are just what you need to get your C in bioavailable form. Oh yeah!

THIEVES ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND
A cold weather (any weather really…) MUST HAVE!! Thieves® essential oil is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils for an aromatic blend that fills any space with a rich, spicy aroma. Inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals used while robbing the dead and dying to protect them from disease ... so yeah, it is quite the wellness warrior!!

Do you have any tips and tricks for staying well during the winter months? I’d love to know your secrets too!

Our Favorite Ningxia Red Recipes

We love mixing our NingXia up with other incredible products!! Try these out + save for later!!

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What’s Ningxia? I’m glad you asked!

To put it simply, Ningxia Red is a powerhouse drink full of antioxidants that fight off free radicals! It tastes amazing and gives you a boost over energy.

But what’s so special about Ningxia?

Ningxia Red is derived from the organic puree of the Wolfberry (aka the goji berry). This nutrient-dense fruit has been cherished for centuries for its health, energy and longevity benefits. The Ningxia Red formula also uses essential oils -- Orange, Tangerine, Lemon, and Yuzu -- which act as catalysts, to help deliver nutrients through the cell membranes of our bodies, while assisting in the removal of cellular wastes. These essential oils give our bodies the best possible chance for prime absorption of nutrients!

And speaking of nutrients, did you know that one ounce of Ningxia Red has the antioxidant power of :

  • 4 POUNDS CARROTS

  • 8 ORANGES

  • 2 POUNDS BEETS

  • 3 CUPS RASPBERRIES

  • 2 CUPS BLUEBERRIES

The benefits of NingXia Red range far and wide -- aging support, bone/joint health, brain health, energy, immunity - whole-body health and overall wellness, and so much more! Give it a try!

On to our favorite Ningxia Recipes:

NingXia Spritzer
2 oz of NingXia Red
2 oz of Club Soda (or sparkling drink like Bubly from Target, or La Croix)
1 drop Orange Vitality Oil

Hot Flash
2 oz of NingXia Red
1 drop Cinnamon Bark Vitality Oil
1 drop Peppermint Vitality Oil

Summer Dreamin
2 oz of NingXia Red
1 drop each of Vitality Oils, Orange, Lemon, and Lime

Mix up a Smoothie Bowl!
½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
¼ Cup Strawberries
¼ Cup Blueberries
1 ¼ TSP Honey
2 oz NingXia Red
Stir together! Add granola to the top!

NingXia Bomb
2 oz NingXia Red
1 NingXia Nitro
1 NingXia Zyng
Over ice, delicious! And a MAJOR pick-me-up!

More reasons to love NingXia?? Look at what’s inside!!!

100g of Fresh NingXia Wolfberry contains:
19 amino acids (5.8g protein)
22 trace minerals
5 unsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides
7mg beta carotene (=180% Vitamin A)
Vitamins B1, B6
100% Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
300% Vitamin C
90% Vitamin E
10% Calcium
24% Potassium
100% Iron
91% Selenium
18% Zinc

Random cool fact of the day: The Premium Starter Kit comes with 2 samples of Ningxia Red. Yep. It sure does! That’s when I fell in love with it, and I’ve ordered it monthly ever since. I can tell a HUGE difference if I don’t drink it for a few days.

Glowy Skin Roller Blend

When you need a little more support for your skin and you’re just craving that glowy summer look, give this roller blend a try. It’s full of some wonderful essential oils to help us tired mamas out!

As most of you already know I only trust Young Living Essential Oils for their purity (here’s why).

This roller blend is so easy to make. Add 7 drops of each of the following essential oils and top your roller (I like these amber ones) off with organic jojoba oil (here’s a great one).

  • Lemon. Helps reduce the appearance of aging. Umm yes!

  • Purification. Soothing and purifying. The name says it all.

  • Tea Tree. Skin cleansing and reduces the appearance of blemishes.

  • Frankincense. Reduces the appearance of uneven skin tones.

Be careful to only use this roller blend at night. There could be some photosensitivity with the lemon essential oil and you do not want to be in the sun after applying it.

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DIY Tinted Moisturizer

Some days I need the whole shabang. Other days a little tint will do. I used to buy tinted moisturizers and tinted sunscreens at the big box make-up stores. Not anymore. Not after learning how many horrible chemicals are in those pretty tubes meant to make us feel better about ourselves. I don’t need that in my life anymore!!

After diving in deep to essential oils and now Young Living’s Savvy Minerals line, I learned the very easy hack to making my own tinted moisturizer - all without cancer causing toxins :)

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You’ll want to play with the ratio a bit to see what works best for you, but a 1:1 ratio worked well for me.

I use the ART Light Moisturizer and Savvy Minerals Warm 2, both by Young Living Essential Oils.

Adding the two together in my hand (moisturizer first and then foundation) I just applied with my fingers. Easy, see!

If you aren’t quite familiar with why you even need chemical-free makeup or the dangers of the makeup on the big store shelves, read more here. It’s eye opening for sure!

Winter Wellness Toolkit

Winter is here. And we all know what that means. Colds! Flu! Germs! Ugh.

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Staying well is on the top of my list this season! Here’s a few essential oils and essential oil blends we keep on hand at home in our “Winter Wellness Toolkit”:

  • R.C. for all things "Respiratory Congestion." I like to pair it with Lemon or Thieves in the diffuser and to make roller balls for everyone's chests during the fall/winter.

  • Ravinstara is the main ingredient in Vick's Vapor rub also known as Camphor. We use this with coconut oil and make our own natural version - no chemicals for the win! 

  • Snifflease. This blend is pre-diluted and ready to use on little ones. I love diffusing this or applying on their little chests, backs and throats when needed.

  • Thieves, the sacred blend around here. Don't be caught without it. It is THE immune booster of all immune boosters.

  • Eucalyptus Radiata. This oil is perfect diffusing in a steamy bathroom for almost instant relief. Breathe it in y’all!

  • Raven. This is a blend of support oils for some powerful respiratory support. This one is great in the diffuser as well.

  • Breathe Again Roll On. One of our most used and traveled with oils for our family.

  • Inner Defense. Start taking this immediately when you feel something coming on. (this is for you mama)

Be sure to get in plenty of your organic veggies and fruits too! Cut out those processed foods and sugars to keep your energy levels consistent and your digestive system working well too!

Not sure how to where to get started with essential oils? Have a look here :)

The #1 Productivity Tool I Cannot Live Without

If you haven’t heard of this online productivity tool yet, I’m about to blow your minds!  It has changed the way I do EVERYTHING in business and at home.

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Please allow me to introduce you to Trello.  I’ve been using this tool for a few years now, and I’m not sure what I would do without it at this point.

What I Love About Trello

  • It’s free!  The thing that baffles me most is that Trello is FREE to use.  There is so much value in this tool!  I don’t know that I’ll be able to praise it enough in this post!

  • Accessibility - It’s accessible on my desktop, phone and ipad.  Plus it synced automatically.  Can I get a heck yeah?!

  • Everything is in one place - It allows me to manage our home & my business(es) in one location - seriously every area of my life is on my Trello boards.

  • Keeping up with the details - It allows me to stay focused and on track with my projects and goals, down to the little details I usually forget.

  • Works well with others - It works great with other platforms (google drive, dropbox, evernote, twitter, etc).

  • Team collaboration!  With tagging and commenting functionality I can easily make notes or assign items to members of my team or family.

How Trello Works

The main things you need to know about Trello are boards, lists and cards.

Boards:

Think of a board as an area of your life or business.  Here’s a snapshot of my boards.  A little crazy, huh?  I have boards for my week, my home, my photography business, this blog and our styled stock shop that is coming so very soon :)

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Lists:

A list is created inside of a board.  Think of these as subcategories for the main areas.  

So my week board would have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. . . .

A to-do board could be broken down into calls, computer, errands, home, office, on hold, etc. . . .

A family board could have lists for each member of the family.

You get the idea.  Here's a peek at my weekly queue I have set up for posting to my blogs.

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Cards:

This is where it gets really good.  Cards are the action items in your lists.  The cool thing about cards is that they can be moved around from board to board and from list to list.  

Some other things you can add to or do with cards:

  • Add a due date

  • Add a label

  • Add a checklist

  • Assign to a team member

  • Upload a photo or a file

  • Add links to resources

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Are you starting to see the beauty in all of this?  EVERYTHING is literally in one place.  When you are finished with a card it can be archived.  Don’t worry.  It’s not gone forever.  If you ever need to find it again, there is great search functionality within Trello too.

How I personally use Trello 

Blogging

  • Editorial calendar - Trello is perfect for keeping up with my editorial calendar.  I can see a blog post move from idea to outline to writing and editing it and then on to publishing and promoting that blog post.  And because it works with Google Drive I can attach that blog post draft to the card and always have it handy.  

  • Content management - As bloggers we produce a lot of content, right?  And we are always coming up with a new idea for a blog post, social media or newsletter.  I have found no better way to manage all of that content than with Trello.  I keep lists of different types of content ideas for the categories of my blog (business, home and heart).  And other lists for the type of styled stock I want to create as well.  This method keeps my mind clear and my business and blog organized.

  • Promotion management / workflow - Ever published a blog post and wondered if you promoted it in all of the places you were supposed to?  Ever lose a piece of paper with your little checklist?  With Trello that just doesn’t happen.  I keep track of all of the places I have promoted blog posts right inside the card.  And when my mind fails me (way too often the older I get) I can reference back to my handy dandy Trello card to see exactly what I did to promote that blog post.

  • Affiliate info - If you work with affiliates (and I bet you probably do) you know just how difficult it is to keep up with all of the links, passwords, program info, graphics, html code . . . The list goes on and on.  With Trello all of that information goes into one easily accessible card.  Yes!!!

  • Passwords - OMGoodness!  All of the password rules now, right?!  It’s a blessing and a curse.  I don’t save passwords to my computer.  There are way too many horror stories about that.  But I do have them tucked away in Trello.  I love that my team has access to them there as well instead of saving them to their own computers or jotting them down on post-it notes all over the place!

Clients

  • Project Workflow - I think of each client as a project.  And I say that in the nicest way possible!  But I really do have to manage them like a project to be efficient, get our tasks completed and provide the best product or service possible.  With Trello client and project management is so simple.  Checklists within cards makes this very easy.  Being able to tag and communicate with a teammate makes a world of difference too!   

  • Task Management - I keep all of my little tasks that pop up throughout the day in an “inbox” list.  And then I divide them out into separate lists for the places I would be when handling those particular tasks - calls, computer, errands, home, office, etc.  Having tasks in separate categories like this is crazy simple in Trello and it makes me so much more productive in the long run!

  • Automation - Automation is my love language y’all.  If I could automate the kids’ baths I would do that!  Haha!  There are amazing products like Zapier and IFTTT (if this then that) that act as a go between.  If something happens “here” makes this other thing happen “there”.  There are so many options.  You will just have to play around with them to see what works for you, but the possibilities are endless.  One of my favorite things to set up are recurring tasks.  I have an automation set up to post a new card on the 1st of each month to remind me to run payroll and payment plans for clients and another card to create a huge batch of social media images for the next month.  I don’t have to remember to do that.  A card just pops up in Trello to remind me!  How amazing is that?! 

Meal Planning

  • Favorite Recipes - I create lists of different types of meals (crockpot, skillet, grill, mexican, casseroles, etc).  Within those lists are the recipe cards.  I attach the Pinterest link to it because OMGosh I can never seem to find that one particular recipe that I wanted to make!  A checklist of ingredients is pretty awesome to include as well.  

  • Schedule - On Sundays I look at what we have going on that week and plan meals accordingly.  I have an Order Pizza Night card too, just in case.  When I make it to the kitchen I can go straight to Trello and find my recipe.  I love this method.  It makes life so much easier.  

  • Shopping list - It’s simple to create a grocery shopping list in Trello as well.  You can have a list for each category or grocery aisle.  Create a checklist of your staples and add to it as you think of items you need.  When it’s time to go to the store just check off the items on your card as you shop.  Uncheck them for the next trip.  Easy!  No more forgetting that one thing you needed, right?

Kids / Family

  • Chores - My boys are 16, 13 and 8.  They do their fair share of chores around the house.  I love that they take ownership of the things they are responsible for.  It’s not always easy and no, they don’t love it.  But with Trello they can at least see what they need to get done each day and checking off a list gives them a sense of accomplishment.  Mom isn’t nagging them and that is one thing they do appreciate :)

  • Goals - Each year we do list out our goals and try to revisit them quarterly.  It’s fun to look back on them to see what we’ve accomplished and if we haven’t, seeing them right there in front of us is a good motivator to be more serious about getting to them.

  • Bucket Lists - I love bucket lists!  So do the boys.  We try to make them for each season.  Their favorites are summer and Christmas time.  If we find specific things we’d like to do around town we add links too.  I love this because it’s so easy to reference back to.

  • Current sizes / likes - With multiple kiddos who are constantly growing and changing it is nearly impossible to remember all of their shoe sizes, clothes sizes and wish lists.  You know those phone calls that you get, right?  The ones where you have no idea how to answer what your kid wants his birthday.  This is a total game changer!

Home

  • Christmas - Ahhh.  The most frantic (I mean, wonderful) time of the year!  Insert the Christmas Trello Board.  Everybody we buy for gets a card.  I list the gift ideas on the card and when they are purchased it gets moved down my other lists: ordered / purchased, wrapped, delivered.  Hallelujah!  I can keep receipts and tracking info in each card also.  Other useful lists in our Christmas board are wish lists for each child, budget, Christmas card list and our seasonal bucket list too.

  • Maintenance - Oh the joys of home ownership!  Change the air filters, clean the windows, pressure wash, flip the mattresses, declutter the closets.  You know what I’m talking about for sure!  Trello makes it easier to keep up with our seasonal maintenance on the house.  If we have a particular contractor that handles an item their contact info goes on that card too.  

  • Cleaning schedule - If you haven’t outsourced your cleaning yet, Trello can really help with staying on track to keeping a tiny home.  I do wish you would consider outsourcing it though.  I talk about that here in this blog post.  But if you haven’t just yet a Trello list for each day of the week with a list of chores underneath is a great way to manage your household cleaning schedule.  It does make life easier to do a few small things a day than to let it pile up for the weekends.

  • To Do’s - I talked about this earlier with the business, but the same holds true for the house.  I use the same sorts of categories for our personal tasks and it is easier for my husband and I to communicate about what needs to be done when.  This also keeps the “I thought you were handling that” arguments at bay.

  • Finances - I admit that we are not the best budget keepers.  So while I would love to keep a budget in Trello, I just don’t.  But it sure is a good idea, right?!  We do, however, keep track of the vendors, account numbers, websites and passwords for all of our bills in Trello though.  This has really come in handy when their is an issue with an account.  Like that time my purse was stolen, and I had to call EVERY one of them to update our credit card info.  Ugh.  It happens, and Trello did not disappoint that day either.

  • Vacation Planning - There’s always a family trip or cruise we want to take someday.  In Trello we can keep track of our ideas, links to hotels, digital tickets, places we want to eat and other travel arrangements.  Travel is difficult enough as it is.  Being organized with Trello helps the trips go so much smoother.

  • Home Improvement Projects - Trello is a great for managing big projects around your home.  We just finished a remodel and it was so helpful to have everything in one place for contractors, wish lists, inspiration, purchased items, and timelines.  

  • The “In Case Something Happens” Board - Some people have this in a notebook.  I prefer Trello because it is easy to update, and it is always on hand.  We keep a copy of our will, insurance documents and emergency plans here.  It’s something you don’t ever want to talk about, but it is smart to have for every family.

Wow!  That was a whole lot of reasons to start using Trello, huh?  If I haven’t convinced you by now, I’m not quite sure that I can!  Give it a try though.  I promise you life will be a little calmer and you will be much more productive at home and in your business.  

What are you waiting for?  You gotta try it.  Seriously, it’s life-changing girls.

Download Trello for free right here.  

Be sure to pin this post so that when you do start getting life organized with this amazing tool then you can come back to tell me all about it!

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90 Day Goals. Why?

Goals . . . We’ve all set them.  We’ve all failed miserably at achieving them too!  So, let’s get real about why they aren’t working and what we can do to fix that.

Here’s how it usually goes, on January 1st we sit down with a blank piece of paper and write down all of those big picture goals we want to accomplish in the coming year.  And by January 6th the list is nowhere to be found.  Right?

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So, first off, let’s don’t even worry about January, okay?  You can start making and crushing goals any day of the year!  I do like to break mine down into quarterly goals because of business, but we can ease into that later.  

I keep my goals list (and so many other things) in a Trello board so that I can easily reference back to them.  Have you tried Trello?  It’s a life-saver!

But for the hard work, what I do to actually get to my goals is use PowerSheets.  This is an amazing system by Lara Casey.  I have gotten so much accomplished by using her "Make It Happen" mentality. 

I love these action-inspiring worksheets!!!

You have to dig a little deeper to build that goals list.  They need to be well-defined and measurable.  They need to be achievable in a relatively short time frame too.  

Before you even consider your goals, let’s talk about a few other big picture items: values and priorities.

Values

Values will always* be the same.  These are our do or dies.  The things we stand beside, stand on, our back bone, nothing crosses this line kinda stuff.  When setting your goals be sure you aren’t misaligned with your value system.  

Priorities

You may not think these would change, but yes, over time priorities shift.  As we go through different seasons in life, areas of our lives will become more important than others.  

As an example, when our middle son was born he had some severe health issues.  We almost lost him.  He is as strong as can be today!  But guess what changed in that moment?  Our priorities!  In the blink of an eye work didn’t matter, salaries didn’t matter, the number on the scale didn’t matter.  Nothing mattered except taking care of this little boy.  

There will be times when the family life is a little crazier (hopefully not as dramatic as what we experienced), the kids are involved in several activities that take up alot of time, maybe a parent becomes sick . . . when we may not be able to thrive at our next big plan we had for our business.  And that’s okay. That’s life, and we adjust our priorities and do the best we can in that season.

Re-evaluate

Every few months I like to evaluate where I am with my priorities.  Sometimes life will just do this for me though!  How sweet?!  Haha!  But I sit down and think about how I am doing in the main areas of my life:  relationships, health, finances, personal growth, my business, etc.  If I find myself lacking in an area or two that truly is a priority to me, I know it’s time to refocus.  

I figure out what I’d like to “fix”, get back on track or really accomplish over the next 90 days.

Why 90 days?  

Because it’s doable.  Because it’s just enough time to really make a big push, to form a new habit and to crush a goal I’ve been wanting to hit for a long time.  

90 Day Goals

Once I know those areas I want to focus on, I brainstorm what I’d like to accomplish in the next 90 days.  I make a list of 4 - 6 goals I want to crush in the next 90 days.  Let’s say I wanted to work on my relationships and profitability in my business over the next 3 months.  

So those goals I jotted down might look something like this . . .

  1. Have one date night each month.  

  2. Turn off my phone at 9:00pm each night.

  3. Family dinner together 3 times a week.

  4. Bring on 6 new clients.

  5. Cut cost of goods sold by 2%.

  6. Team up with another like-minded business to cross market.  

You get the idea.  These goals will be the 6 things you really focus on over these next 90 days to keep moving forward.

Post these 6 goals somewhere you can see them every day.  And look at them each morning!  I'll plug my obsession with Trello again right here :)

Next steps

Schedule in your goals.  So, if my goal is to have one date night each month I am going to go ahead and mark that date in my calendar.  I also jot the dates down on my goals list beside that goal as a little reminder.  What are the very next steps I need to do to make that happen?  Hire a babysitter?  Make a reservation?  Brainstorm ideas?  These go to the top of my to do list!

You should always know what the next step is toward accomplishing a goal.  If not, it just kinda keeps floating out there with no action taken towards it.  Keep writing down your next steps towards each goal every day, every week.  And keep these next steps towards the top of your to-do list.  These should be ten minute little tasks to keep moving your closer to your goal.  If you know you need a big chunk of time a few days a month, schedule that into your calendar.  And don’t let anything get in the way of that time you’ve devoted to accomplishing your goal.  You will be amazed at how much you can get done in just a few months!

I’m so excited to hear about your next 90 day goals.  What’s on your list?

Farmhouse Kitchen Wall Decor

The best conversations happen around the kitchen table.

I’ve always loved the clean, fresh farmhouse look. And quotes have always been my thing, so naturally they had to come together in the new kitchen at the lake house. The boys laugh at me for it, but I secretly think they like it. That’s what I tell myself anyway.

Hobby Lobby to the rescue with words of wisdom, a little encouragement, a little scripture and a little sarcasm to boot, of course!

I mean, we all need cake for breakfast every now and then, right?!

Kitchen Farmhouse Decor.jpg

I fell in love with this farmhouse table from Ashley Furniture a few years ago. You can still find it in their stores! I do wish we ate more meals together here, but we do the best we can with our crazy busy sports schedules. Learning to slow down is a constant goal of mine.

This paint color is called Agreeable Gray from Sherwin Williams. It’s the perfect neutral and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

The custom sliding barn door was hand built by a wonderful company we found at Lakewood 400 Antiques Market in Forsyth County, GA called European Antique Pine. They were great to work with! We actually ordered 3 of them when we remodeled the lake house. I love the quality and how they turned out.

So there ya have it. A little life and lake house update.

I’ll share more soon :)

What’s next on the project list at your home? I’d love to know!

Crossfit FOUR: Kettlebell Squats and Kettlebell Swings

Adjust this one as needed.  If you can't handle the added weight of the kettlebell on the squats then just do air squats for now.  Or maybe even do a lighter dumbbell.  

You'll start with 20 each of kettlebell squats and then kettlebell swings.  Your next round will be 16, then 12, then 8, then 4.  

I love this workout because it is truly a whole body workout: arms, legs and core.  It's a great one!

Remember to track your time!

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Essential Oils For Beginners

With so many questions asked of me daily about essential oils I thought I would write a beginner’s guide to essential oils post. There is a bit of confusion about how to use essential oils, what they are best used for and why the price points from different essential oil companies are so different.

Let’s start with some essential oil basics.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the “lifeblood” of the plant. Do you remember breaking a plant in elementary school to see what happened? I’ll refresh your memory just in case you don’t. Haha! The oil from the plant will rush to the part that is injured to support it. Essential Oils have protective properties, which are the plant’s natural defense mechanism that gives them their therapeutic properties.

Essential oils do the very same thing for the human body. They support the part that needs it most. They oxygenate our cells and detox our bodies. Essential oils support every system in the human body, from healthy brain function, to healthy weight management and they are used extensively for emotional support.

I’m not sure about you, but this mama is in desperate need of some emotional support!!

Who should use them?

Everyone! Every essential oil we use is a chemical we are not using. Essential oils are safe for adults as well as children. Oils are wonderful for our general wellness, emotional and spiritual support. They are a fantastic alternative to toxic cleaning products too! We have replaced all of our poisonous, chemical laden cleaning products with 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil infused cleaners and are living a healthier, all-natural lifestyle while saving money at the same time!

A few drops of lavender essential oil in a diffuser can soothe a child who has had a tough day at school, calm the kids (and you) before bedtime, or relax you after a long day at work. On the flip side, peppermint essential oil can be invigorating, uplifting, and energizing. There are so many different essential oils to use to support us emotionally and to support our immune systems. This is why I love them so much!

How do I use them?

AROMATICALLY

This is the quickest way to get oils into your system!

  • Rub 2-3 drops of essential oil between your palms, cup over your nose and inhale deeply.

  • Use 5 drops or so of your favorite essential oils in your diffuser.

  • Rub some of your favorite oils onto leather or porous stone jewelry to turn your accessories into a diffuser.

TOPICALLY

Be sure to read labels for dilution suggestions. Most can be applied directly to the skin, but a few need a carrier oil.

  • Massage 2-3 drops of essential oil onto your skin with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, jojoba oil or YL's V6 blend.

  • Add a few drops to epsom salts for an amazing nighttime bath.

  • Apply to the bottom of feet to efficiently get oils into your system or wear on wrists or behind ears as perfume.

INTERNALLY

I only trust Young Living’s essential oils for internal use because I completely trust the purity of the oils. The Vitality Line is clearly labeled for internal use. Look for the white labels :)

  • Place 2-3 drops of essential oil into a veggie capsule and swallow with water.

  • Add a couple drops of oil to your food or drink. I love Lemon Vitality in my water! Peppermint brownies are a big hit too :)

  • Add 1-2 drops of essential oil to your NingXia Red antioxidant drink for a flavor and immune system boost.

How To Start Your Wellness Journey With Essential Oils

The absolute best way to get started with essential oils is by purchasing a Premium Starter Kit with Young Living.

In addition to the 11 essential oils included you’ll receive a whole bunch of other goodies too!

Bonus! It comes with a diffuser!!

This is sort of like a candle, just as pretty but without the horrible toxins filling your home. You fill it with water and whatever oil you want, then let it run! Your home will smell amazing plus you get all the health benefits from the essential oils as well. This is my favorite way to use oils and I have them all over our home!

Thieves Cleaner Sample - This is enough to make an entire bottle of our favorite plant-bases and toxin-free cleaner! We have replaced every single cleaner in our home with Thieves! You will love it!
 
Ningxia Red Packets - Young Living’s powerhouse antioxidant drink. It is perfect for boosting your immune system and fighting off free radicals that make us look and feel older than we really are.

A Roller Top - This may sound like a simple thing, but it is a big help! Just pop it on any oil that you would love to roll on pretty frequently. Mine went directly on Stress Away!

Sample Drams - Sharing is caring! If your friend is having trouble sleeping, give her some lavender! You could even use them to make your own blends to take to work or use when you are traveling. I love these little bottles!

A 24% DISCOUNT - HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!

Plus, access to our amazing community. Incredible education and resources, giveaways, friends to support you and do this wellness thing together with! This is my favorite part of Young Living, hands down.

My Favorite Essential Oil Immunity Roller Blend

When it comes to the cold fall and winter months I do my best around here to keep our immune systems as supported as I possibly can with pure essential oils. The flu is already rapidly spreading in Georgia, and my hope is that we can avoid it at all costs.

Enter our immunity roller blend.

I roll these down our forearms, feet or spine every morning and night to support our immune systems. So far so good at our house.

Immunity Roller Blend:

10 drops Immupower Essential Oil Blend

10 drops Thieves Essential Oil Blend

10 drops Lemon Essential Oil

10 drops Frankincense Essential Oil

10 drops Oregano Essential Oil

Add essential oils to a 10ml roller bottle. Swirl around. Top off with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil to dilute.

That beautiful amber roller bottle and the gold vinyl label came from Amazon! I was so happy to find them there!

Have you been interested in getting into essential oils but just don’t know where to start? I wrote about that here in this blog post. Everyone begins with Premium Starter Kit because it comes with 10 everyday essential oils, a bonus oil blend called Stress Away (this mama’s favorite) and a gorgeous diffuser!

A starter kit is so much more though. You receive a lifetime wholesale membership to Young Living as well and 24% off any products you might purchase in the future FOREVER! We have slowly but surely been changing over our everyday products (which are full of nasty chemicals) to pure, natural, plant-based products from Young Living. I love changing the future of my family just by making these baby step changes each month. I’d love to help you do the same thing for your family too. Have questions? Just ask :)

I Don't Have It All Together: Confessions Of A Not So Supermom

I’m 42 years old. It’s the new 30, right?

I have wrinkles (umm, laugh lines), cellulite, stretch marks, gray hair, bags under my eyes, a little extra “baby weight” and at times, hormonal acne.

I’m a mom of 3 very active boys: 17, 14 and 9 years old. They are all so different. And yes, it’s exhausting, especially the teenage years. I thought the toddlers years were tough. Oh my gosh! Whatever!

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I own and run a custom photography studio where we specialize in photographing high school senior portraits. It’s my dream job.

I am a planner, an organizer by nature. I do love a good adventure, as long as it’s on the calendar ;)

Clutter drives me crazy. So clean counters are my thing. The dishwasher gets run every night so I can at least wake up to a clean kitchen.

Did I mention the 3 dogs?

Yep. 2 miniature labradoodles and one little rescue who basically runs the house now.

So, between the 3 boys, 3 dogs and 2 businesses, oh . . . and a husband who works out of town a lot, I am one frazzled mess most of the time.

But somehow, I’m holding down the fort!

This little story isn’t to make me sound like a supermom by any means.

I do not have it all together.

Things fall through the cracks all the time! Just know that I’m a lot like you, just trying to make it through the day raising healthy kids the best way I know how.

I’ve learned so much over the years and spend a lot of my time now researching natural living and non-toxic living. That’s what a good bit of this blog is about. I’m on a mission to create a chemical free home and raise the kids with as little toxic overload as we possibly can.

My body has been wrecked over the years from mistreating it, not always on purpose now, but because I didn’t know any better. Well, after a few health scares I am wide awake to the dangers of chemicals in our home, in our food and on our skin. I hope you’ll find some help along the way in these blog posts as I continue to share what I’m learning. And if not, maybe you’ll just stick around for my sarcasm and odd sense of humor ;)

My Favorite Podcasts For Creative Entrepreneurs

I confess.   I am a podcast junkie and admittedly, I'd love to have one myself one of these days. 

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As a creative entrepreneur here are a few of my all time favorite podcasts:

The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher

Creative Empire Podcast with Reina and Christina

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

The BossMom Podcast with Dana Malstaff

The Ellechat Podcast with Lauren Hooker

The Influencer Podcast with Julie Soloman

The Purposeful Home Podcast with Allie Casazza & Kelsey Van Kirk

The Strategy Hour with Abagail Pumphrey and Emylee Williams

 

Because I like so many different podcasts I have to be creative about how and where I get to listen to them.  Here's a few places I fill my idle time:

  1. In the car (obviously).  This is my favorite place because it fills the time and really makes me feel like I'm being productive with my time.

  2. On the elliptical or when I'm just doing some low key workout like stretching or weight resistant exercises.

  3. In the shower (haha).  I bought myself this handy little waterproof bluetooth speaker and it's so awesome!  

  4. In the laundry room.  This one needs no explanation I'm sure ladies :)

 

So there ya go.  I hope you find some of these podcasts helpful.  Am I missing out on some great ones?  I'd love to know what you're listening to lately.  Leave a comment below and tell me which podcasts you love!

Essential Oils 101: Lavender

Oh the amazing nights of sleep I've gotten because of this one!  Lavender is my new best friend.  It's in the diffuser at night, rolled on the bottoms of my feet and then lights out!! 💜

It's on our wool dryer balls replacing the scratchy chemical dryer sheets.  And it's in my new face serum along with frankincense and tea tree too.  I use jojoba oil as the carrier oil. 🌿

Lavender is literally like my everything essential oil 💖

BONUS:  It smells great too!! 💜

Lavender essential oil’s smell is very similar to that of the fresh herb—clean, fresh, relaxing, and floral—which is why lavender has always been such a favorite of gardeners and perfume makers. That relaxing smell makes Lavender a bubble bath’s best friend! Just add a few drops to hot bath water at the end of a long day to unwind and let it all go. It’s also great to diffuse while buried in a great book and maybe drinking a cup of herbal tea. 💜

Ready to freshen up your home and clean out the chemicals from under your kitchen sink?  The best way to get start your ditch and switch process is by purchasing a Premium Starter Kit.  Find out more below and come learn from an amazing group of moms on our wellness journeys too!

Why You Should Just Ditch The Candles This Fall

Here’s a not so fun fact that we all have to face.

The air INSIDE our homes is generally far worse for our health than the air outside.

Wanna know why?

It is largely because we are buying toxins like formaldehyde in the things we use in our homes everyday like candles and household products!

We are buying illness y’all!

Friends, I used to burn the Yankee candles, the Bath & Body Works candles and even those Glade plug-ins. I got them from Hobby Lobby, Cracker Barrel, Walmart, Target, Ikea . . . you name it, I had them. So please know that I have ZERO judgment here!

BUT, I have faith that mamas like us will make CHANGES once we know that we are making an AWFUL MISTAKE. And I mean SERIOUSLY AWFUL y’all.

As soon as I switched from burning toxic candles to diffusing pure essential oils, we saw significant changes. My brain fog was gone. I wasn’t coughing. That little catch in my throat was gone too. And so were my headaches.

Those candles and air fresheners that smell like pumpkin pie, snickerdoodles, a crisp fall breeze? Toxic.

The household cleaners so many of us use? Toxic.

Scented candles are just pretty cigarettes in our homes, poisoning our families.


Also, once you stop sniffing those toxic chemicals for a while, you'll find they give you a raging headache instantly! That speaks volumes to me.  I can’t even walk down that aisle in the grocery store anymore.

We are seriously spending our money to bring illness into our home, mamas! It's insanity! We are buying illness like:

  • Asthma

  • Respiratory Infections

  • Skin allergies

  • Reproductive problems

  • Developmental problems 

  • Cancer

This list is not exhaustive at all. The health problems go on and on.

With 70,000 and 100,000 new chemicals in the market over the last 50 years, it's nearly impossible to avoid but every baby step toward TOXIN-FREE LIVING give our children a better chance at health and their future!

If you're still buying illness and burning candles, time to rise up and do your family a big, huge favor. Our children deserve our best! Time to know better and do better, mama!

WE CAN DO THIS.

I'm gonna throw you an EASY BUTTON to swap our ALL your air fresheners and scented candles.

OILS & A DIFFUSER.
SMALL STEP. HUGE IMPACT.

Know better. Do better. Feel better.

And since you still want those awesome fall scents in your home, try this wonderful fall go-to in our home. Pumpkin Spice y’all!


Pumpkin Spice blend:
+ 3 drops cinnamon bark
+ 3 drops clove
+ 2 drops nutmeg
+ 2 drops ginger
+ 2 drops orange

Ready to ditch the candles and get started down your own wellness journey. I sure would love to help you. I started mine by purchasing the Premium Starter Kit. It was the best $160 I have ever spent. That beautiful diffuser and those 11 pure essential oils changed my life.

You can get yours here.

Or I am always open for a chat if you have any questions before you do. Send me a message and we’ll set up a video chat :)

My Current Favorites

I’m constantly finding new loves. And what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t tell you what they are?!

So friends, in my first ever CURRENT FAVORITES, here are my top 5 right now:

Walden Farms Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Seriously, it’s my all time favorite. I love this salad dressing so much! Like so much that I will by multiple bottles at the store when I find it. It’s perfect with a spinach salad!!! No sugar. No carbs. Ahhhhh.

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My Current Favorites

Heel & Foot Cream

I found this recipe from one of my favorite books - Essential Oil Make & Takes by Jen O’Sullivan - which could have easily been a 6th favorite this Friday. This cream has made it’s way onto my weary feet every night this week and has done wonders for them! After a long flip flop season, my feet surely need some pampering. And this has been doing the trick. What I love about this DIY Cream is that all of these essential oils come in the Premium Starter Kit. I find so many uses for them every day. I imagine this cream will come in handy for sure during the cold winter season too! I shared the DIY recipe on the blog here if you want to give it a go!

American Eagle Joggers

These are so comfortable! There aren’t enough words to describe how heavenly these feel. I wear them way too often honestly :)

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I actually listened to this one on Audible and could hardly wait for my next trip to the grocery store or carpool line to get to listen to it again. Sometimes I would just sit in the driveway when I got home to finish up a chapter. It’s one of those “can’t put it down” type books, even if you’re listening! Every woman should have this one in her library.

Have you tried Audible? If you are an on the go mom, you will love it! You can try it for free here and get two audio books to boot! Sweet deal, huh?

Joy Essential Oil Blend

I’ve fallen in love with this oil blend recently. A friend shared it with me and how it is so amazing for emotional support. It smells so good it’s easy to wear as perfume, but the added benefit is how I feel when I simple use a drop. Whether I’ve been down in the dumps or simply overwhelmed this week, this blend of essential oils (Bergamont, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lemon, Coriander, Tangerine, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa & Rose) has really brought me back to where I need to be emotionally. The power of essential oils continues to amaze me. Instead of reaching for a chocolate fix I find myself reaching for a favorite bottle of pure essential oils. Right now, it’s Joy. I’ll let you guess how it makes me feel :)

A Day In The Life Of A Creative Entrepreneur Mom

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5:00am The dreaded alarm goes off.  

Confession:  I keep a 2nd one set at 5:30am in case I fall back asleep.

I spend all of 30 - 45 minutes getting myself ready for the day.  And the next few hours getting the kids up and to school.  They’re involved in sports so 6:00am practices are not out of the ordinary.  

The good thing is that they begrudging let me listen to my favorite podcasts on the way.  I turn it up as loud as I want on the way back home though!  Oh yes I do!

7:00am I post to Instagram for my 2 accounts (photography business and this blog).    Everything is preplanned with this amazing tool.  It saves me so much time.  

I try to check my calendar to refresh my mind and understand how my day will go.  I do this while the kids are eating breakfast and getting ready for school. 

I then update my Trello Boards with my Top 3 Tasks for the day and any ideas that are lingering in my head.  See how I use Trello here in this blog post.

Workout (not as often as I should) & sometimes I just waiting until the afternoon.  It depends on whether I have deadlines or not.

I skim email first thing.  Notice I said “skim”.  I try very hard not to get bogged down in email at this time.  This is just to handle any urgent issues that may have popped up overnight.

Next thing, I eat that frog (do the thing I don’t want to do first) - Client work, design work, processing orders.  The Eat That Frog theory came from Brian Tracy’s book named just that.  Basically do the thing that you are least looking forward to first thing in the morning because after that everything else will seem easy.  Don't take that the wrong way now!  I love my client work, but it's tough sometimes.  Haha!

Play with dogs.  Because I need the break probably more than they do!

Midmorning:  I try to get dinner in crockpot at least a few days a week.  Or at least figure out a plan.  Bacon and eggs anyone???

 

Now, after this time of day, my days are all different.  

I batch everything!  So each day is usually focused on one or maybe two different areas of business / life.

 

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Some of my batch work days:

  • Outlining blog posts

  • Writing blog posts

  • Editing & graphics

  • Styled stock shooting 

  • Social media planning / marketing

  • Client days (photo shoot, consults or design / order appointments)

  • Podcasting days to come soon too :)

  • Personal errands

After I work a few hours on my main task for the day I will update Tailwind & Board Booster for Pinterest.  I am amazed at the results I’ve gotten with just working 30 minutes a day with these 2 tools.  It's crazy!  And I'm so happy to not be on social media all day long anymore.  

Play with dogs again.  This is basically all day.  They are relentless.

Email & calls are handled shortly after lunch each day.

Mid-afternoon:  Engage with other bloggers and professionals in the industry - Facebook groups, blog & Pinterest commenting.  I love this part because it feels like I’m just playing instead of working :)

Evenings:  These consist of all the normal mom duties:  picking up kids, sports practices & games, dinner . . .

Mama Time!  After the kids are settled I try to read or catch up on a course I am taking.  Continuing Education is so important. Right now I’m going through Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing & I’m learning so much!!

9:00 I crash.  Hence, my shirt.  It's from Saturday Morning Pancakes btw.  They're pretty cool ;)