Friday, September 23, 2016

This Journey is Only Beginning

When I first jumped into essential oils two years ago I didn't go with Young Living. I went with a competing company and honestly after a few short months quickly became overloaded with pressure to sell and I didn't feel right not knowing exactly where my oils were coming from. I really became unsatisfied with them and honestly felt all their oils smelled the same or too sweet or just not how an organic 100% pure essential oil should smell.

So I gradually stepped away from them and their oils sat in a drawer never finished.

I've always had a passion for women's health and educating other mamas on overall wellness and support. This past summer when I noticed an IG friend post about joining her community with Young Living and how much it has helped support her emotions, immune system, school with the kiddos and more- I knew this was something I could do.

I've always said on my blog and even to friends - do what your passionate about. Do something you love. Make time for it! This looked like my way to combine my passion for women's health but still be able to be at home with my boys.

You can read the reasons WHY I chose Young Living over here.

Since jumping in this past summer I've noticed a HUGE difference with using Young Living. I've noticed an amazing support for our immune systems, focus when doing school, emotions, cleaning with no chemicals and more! I am sharing daily bits over on IG and how we use them each day.

I wanted to hop over here and let you guys know - these oils have really been a life changer. I love our oily station in our kitchen, I love hearing the boys ask for oils on their feet each night and I love seeing them use rollers on their wrists! Makes this mama heart happy to see.

I'd love to share more with you and that's why I would LOVE to host an online FB class/party for you and your friends. A simple and cozy night sharing my story and I have a slew of topics to choose from! As the host you'll receive a FREE oil from me AND $25 for every friend that signs up at the class. It's the best way to dip your toes in and see what you think of the oils for health & wellness in your home!

If you're interested send me a message in the contact form on this blog or through my FB page! I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

When God works (buying our house) vol. 3

You can catch vol. 1 and vol. 2 if this is your first time here or if you missed them!

We moved to our in laws end of June and our goal was to hopefully by the end of the summer have a job lined up in Raleigh. Even though we didn't have rent to pay anymore there is still the cost of the cell phone bill, credit card debt, car insurance bill and food. We knew we could maybe last two months with no income coming in.

We made so many sweet memories with my in laws last summer while staying with them. The boys had a blast swimming, planting flowers with Grandma and playing countless games with Pop-Pop. I recently went and scrolled through the photos and videos from that time and I'm so so grateful we were able to make it an enjoyable and fun experience for the boys even with all the stress and unknown!

Josh and I tried to "earn our keep" each day while living there. We would start the morning with helping in the kitchen and then find our way outside and try to trim bushes, trees and even power wash the side of the house. While doing the yard work the boys would roam and had such a blast exploring! The second day we were at their house we found quite a few bee hives in the ground so we made even more memories. Late at night we would head out to the bee hive we found during the day and terminate them -- oh if only these moments were caught on video!!

Each day, Josh would also head out and for most of the afternoon and try to make connections online with recruiters and companies in Raleigh. Just a few days after moving in he was contacted by a recruiter looking to hire down in Raleigh. Josh didn't think much of it but sent him his resume and the recruiter immediately contacted him back and set him up for a phone screen.

Long story short- He landed a job 9 days after moving into my in-laws! We were ecstatic. We knew God has His hand in it all and couldn't believe this was really happening.

We stayed at my in laws for exactly a month and from one of the day trips down to Raleigh that month we found a cute apartment in a little small town near Raleigh that reminded us so much of Warrenton- which we adored in Northern VA.

Our first rent payment was due for the following month a week before Josh's first paycheck from his new job. We knew if God made a way for us to move this quickly he would make a way for us to make our payment. Josh had recently launched a side coaching gig on his blog to help others land tech jobs since that is exactly what he did a few short years before. (You can read more about it on his blog).

When he launched it soon after he landed TWO coaching clients and we were able to make our rental payment with no late fees! It was another huge blessing and testimony that Raleigh is where He wanted us to be....

Next up our house searching begins!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why You Should Clean Your Dishwasher

The beautiful machine in our kitchen that magically cleans dishes also needs to be cleaned on its own. Yes, it's true and if this isn't part of your regimen- let's do it today all together!!

Over time grease, grime, soap scum and food debris build up in the dishwasher. It suddenly becomes a breeding ground for germs and yucky other unmentionables and it REDUCES the efficiency of your appliance.

According to experts you should clean your dishwasher once a month. Let's just say this was not happening in our home....yep, we will leave it at that. Honestly, it's not something that crossed my mind but it makes sense!

So over the past weekend this is what I did, it's simple, smells SO clean and the first load I did afterwards was extremely shiny and smelled heavenly.

  • Clear the drain 
Remove the bottom dish rack, inspect the dishwasher drain, remove any food or gunk caught in there. If your dishwasher has a drain button (mine does) let it run 1-2 times. This will improve drainage, increase cleaning efficiency & prevent damage.

  • Grab supplies 
The following is what I grabbed to clean with. Vinegar (white), baking soda, 3 lemon peels, Purification essential oil, a tiny bowl. Pour & mix about 1 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of vinegar, 3 lemon peels and 8 drops of Purification oil in the bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda across bottom of dishwasher and place bowl on upper rack of dishwasher. Run a hot water cycle or normal cycle.

  • Ta-Da! 
Open up, check out your fresh smelling and brightened stain-free interior and repeat about once a month.

A little about the Purification essential oil:

It is an air purifier, it helps eliminate airborne microbes, it has Lemongrass which is an anti-fungal/parasitical and it has Melaleuca which is an anti-bacterial. It is a refreshing, bright scent that is safe for the whole family and so so helpful to have around with cleaning too! You can find out more here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Top 4 Podcasts for Homeschool Moms

A few months ago I wrote a post about the 4 podcasts to inspire moms. We all need inspiration to do what we love. It also is encouraging to listen to a podcast while folding laundry or scrubbing dishes.

So! I've narrowed it down to 4 podcasts JUST for homeschool moms. These have all been instrumental for encouragement as a homeschool mama. The days can sometimes run together and seem long or too short or too many all together. I've heard so many helpful tips for everyday homeschool learning and also for teaching!

So grab the Overcast app (waaayyy better than the podcast app by Apple) and go check these out:

A collection of conversations about mothering, home life & education. 

This one is literally my favorite! It is six mamas sitting around a table and talking about all things like: homeschooling difficulties, the early years, homeschooling multiple ages (this one is SO good), children + chores, kids & politics and more! I love the well rounded discussions they have and it truly is like listening in to a dinner conversation amongst mamas who are friends!

Home is a place where the whispers of God's love are heard regularly, the touch of His hand is given intentionally throughout the day, the words of His encouragement and affirmation pointed to lay the foundation of loving relationships where a woman conducts the beauty of this life within its walls. 

Sally has the most calm, sweet voice and she shares so much wisdom and truth through her podcasts! A few of her recent topics are: harvesting godly character, engaging in heart & soul training, overcoming chaos and expressing love to our children through appreciation and honor. SO much good lessons to be learned and listened to in these. I sometimes will split them up over two days so I can absorb what she is talking about. 

podcasting nourishing food for thought to help support you in roles as mama, teacher, homemaker & life-giver. 

Emily & Toni are two mamas who bring a unique perspective to life at home and the roles you fill each day. Their talks are so interesting to listen to and so pleasant to listen in. Recent topics are: encouraging your young entrepreneur, the art of staying flexible and routines & letting the wind catch your sail. I love their thought behind the name of their podcast: it's satisfying, nourishing, approachable, sustaining and humble. Yes, I would totally agree! 

We don't have it all figured out, but one thing we know for sure is that homeschooling is a lot easier when you have a sister by your side. 

I haven't officially listened to this one but it is in my queue and I have heard great things about it! From a peek on their page and following their IG they seem so down to earth and keep the discussions lighthearted, fun and enjoyable. Something to listen to while out on a walk or in the car with kiddos! A few of their topics recently are: fall haul: homeschool resources we're loving, my big picture planning page, getting started with homeschooling and worry is like a car alarm: homeschool worriers. Don't those sound so inviting and amusing? 

I hope you can go grab a few minutes and find some encouragement, helpful tips or even something to giggle about in these podcasts! If you have trouble finding time to read, podcasts are the next best thing to stay updated, educated and find joy in the simple things. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Revitalizing my Marriage with One Small Change

When you are adopted at 10 after being in foster care for almost five years, your perspective on home life, family and marriage are suddenly heightened and have that much more importance to you.

My adoptive parents truly showed me a God centered marriage. I saw them have healthy “marriage therapy” (another name for strong discussions or fights) and make up afterwards. I saw them frequently hold hands in the car or out running errands. As if it was second nature. I saw how sweet my mom was to send my dad emails during his work day just to say I’m thinking of you.
Once I was married, at the fresh baby face age of barely 19, I thought I knew it all. I was prepared because I had watched my parents marriage and others close to me. Hmmm, how young and naive, right? Our first fight came on our honeymoon on day two. What’s funny is I can hardly remember what it was about? I know I had a problem with being sarcastic and disrespectful. He thought I wouldn’t love him anymore or show it physically. So instantly we had put up guards, boundaries and fights broke out continuously our first six months.

Close to our six month mark I went to the library and decided it was time to read some marriage books, I knew we needed to figure out a way to communicate better and truly have a happy marriage. I grabbed two books off the bookshelf in the Christian section and one of those truly changed my life and our marriage.

It was called Love and Respect. It was as if a lightbulb went off and I suddenly realized what was missing! So slowly I began to show respect, it wasn’t always easy since I had already made it habit from how I used to talk to him. Then I would leave the book out in the open, just so he could see. Since his job had him on the road a lot I mentioned to him the book and his first response was, “Good you need to read that, I don’t.” But later I found out he bought the audio version and also listened to it.

It was one small change. It made a difference. Communication grew, our love grew and soon the fights were few and far between. We have been married for 8 years now and he truly is my best friend. God knew what he was doing when he put him in my path as a teenager and I wouldn’t choose anyone else to journey through life with and raise two wild little men!

I wanted to share just a few tips on marriage:

Pick one habit for your marriage. Pick one thing you will do to better your marriage each day. Yes, each day. It’s been my lasting marriage goal for life now.

Read a marriage book. Since I read Love and Respect I regularly pick up a marriage book at the library or bookstore to read. Either monthly or each season.

Initiate Sex. Yep, what better way to surprise him than popping the kids into bed and telling him to meet you in the bedroom?

Ask “How can I pray for you?” Make it a weekly habit before you start your week. You’ll be surprised.

Kiss & Touch often. Even if you are all touched out for the day being at home wrangling the kiddos, he hasn’t seen you all day, he hasn’t touched you. Another good habit to form.

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