Jul 17, 2014

Top 3 Uses for Young Living Copaiba

There are a few oils in my arsenal that I have had such amazing successes with that I have vowed to never be without them again.  One of these oils is Copaiba.  Remember how I said I carry it with me everywhere I go?

Copaiba as an oil is steam distilled from gum resin found in the Copal tree in Brazil.  The history of uses by Brazillian herbalists is fascinating and closely matches with our uses today as an Essential Oil.

Here are my top 3 uses for Young Living Copaiba and why I will never be without this oil:

1.  Anti-Inflammatory

I'm sure you have seen news articles cross your Facebook news feed lately about how inflammation plays a role in many diseases and health conditions.  It is a daily struggle that most American adults deal with due to our diet and our environment, but it can lead to a host of other issues.  On top of that, a growing number of individuals (like myself and many others in my family) deal with auto-immune diseases that can cause inflammation in the body to rise even more.  Inflammation normally tells us that our body is trying to rid itself of something harmful.  With auto-immune diseases, the things the body believes to be harmful and is trying to attack happen to be the body itself.  Many people I know feel they are stuck with over the counter anti-inflammatories or even prescriptions which mask the problem and end up ruining the lining of the stomach and even causing damage to the kidneys and liver.  Insert Young Living Copaiba and angels singing (I have a flare for the dramatic, have you noticed??).    Just a drop or two topically over the area that is inflamed or a few drops in a capsule have helped ME more than any little brown pill ever did.  I personally have been amazed at how fast and how effectively this oil has taken away my pain associated with inflammation over the past several months. *

2.  Allergy Relief

Copaiba is what is known as a "driver" oil.  When applied on top of other oils, Copaiba helps to drive the other oils in deeper, which helps them to work more effectively.   That, coupled with it's anti-inflammatory properties, mean that Copaiba is an excellent oil to add to your allergy arsenal.  I add Copaiba to my Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint trio and together, they help to quickly knock out allergy symptoms like stuffy nose, sneezing, cough and breathing issues.**

3.  Headaches

You know how Copaiba is an anti-inflammatory?  (Am I a broken record??)  Well, that means it is another oil that is excellent for headache use.  Simply rub a drop over your forehead to help reduce pain associated with the restriction of blood vessels that occurs during some headaches.***

Fun fact:  Did you know that Copaiba is approved as a food additive in the U.S.?  I can't wait to do a little more research on that one!

I love the warm, earthy scent of Copaiba, but if you don't have it on hand, you can find it in the following Young Living products:
- A.R.T. Beauty Masque
- Breathe Again Roll On
- Copaiba Vanilla moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
- Deep Relief Roll On
- Progressence Plus
- Stress Away

Ahh, Copaiba.  How do YOU use this awesome oil?

*Ok, ya'll... you know my heart here - I am not telling you to ditch the advise of your sage doctors.  I am simply telling you how these oils have changed MY life.  As always, use common sense and seek counsel from doctors and certified naturopaths. 

Jul 11, 2014

Why Every Mama Needs A Best Friend

Today, my best friend turns a year older (29, right Macy?).  In honor of her, I would like to spend a few minutes and give you a list of 5 reasons every Mama needs a Best Friend.

But first, back story:

I was 5 years old and walked into my Kindergarten class.  Mrs. Dunnam was my teacher and I was excited to be there.  Sitting at my table was a boy named Jonathan.  As it turns out, Jonathan was a twin and his twin is my BFF, Macy.  I didn't even know yet that she would be my BFF because I hadn't even met her yet!

Through the years, we have had fun and laughter, tears and sorrow, but we have gone through it all together.  We were pregnant together, we have been through terrible losses together, and through it all, no matter how long it has been since we have seen each other, we can pick up the phone and just BE.  I am so incredibly grateful to God for allowing this woman to be a part of my life.

Here are my top 5 reasons why having a Best Friend Forever is the GREATEST:

1.  You have someone to call when your baby's poop looks funny, and they will not think you are disgusting or creepy.  Mama's understand things that other women, or even your husband, can not.  When you are a Mama, it is SO important to have a close knit group of ladies to share those weird Mama things with.  Who else can you tell about your cycle, about your sex life, about your parents, etc without judgement?  Everyone needs someone to talk to!

2.  When those horrible moments in life happen (the death of your aunt, your father collapses in the kitchen, your dad has a stroke and passes away - all those things that make you loose your breath and want to run away and pretend you don't exist in this life), your BFF will be there.  Just typing this makes me want to cry.  Life is SO hard.  Everyone needs someone to call when those life shattering, world changing, defining moments happen.  I am so glad I have you, Macy.

3.  When the amazing moments in life happen, you have someone to share that with, too.  Macy and I have been there for each other during weddings, pregnancies and child births and so many other little joyous occasions along the way.  So great to be able to call someone to tell them about those funny little things that no one else cares about, and the big stuff, too!

4.  You have an encourager.  Someone who prays for you, who builds you up when you are running low, who fills your emotional cup.  AND you have someone who tells you where the best iced coffee in town is :)

5.  You have someone that knows your history.  You don't have to explain who people are or why you act the way you do around your family.  They know!  And more than likely, they are invited to those crazy family events, too!

I could really go on and on - I am truly a lucky girl.  I am blessed with several women who I deem worthy of the title of BFF (Rebecca, Nancy, etc), but Macy was the first.

So, this year on your birthday, Macy, I hope you know how loved you are, how special you are, and how thankful I am to have you!

Jun 30, 2014

Eight Everyday Essential Oils

I'm curious, friends.

If you could only keep EIGHT oils with you every single day while you are out and about, which ones would you want on you at all times?  I'm not talking about your arsenal at home for the times you are sick or when things happen, I'm talking about going to the grocery store, taking the kids to school, going to church, going to the park....

Which ones?

Let me tell you about the eight that I have chosen to carry with me and why:

1.  Peace and Calming - I chose this one for many reasons.  First and foremost, I chose it because I have two little girls, ages 2 and 3.  Have you ever tried to go grocery shopping with kids?  How about with two toddlers?  Peace and Calming is a MUST - for them and for me :)  Occasionally I will put a drop on the air vents in the car to help if tensions are high on road trips, too.  I also use this when I am feeling a little crowd anxiety.

2.  DiGize - When you get "nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea" - you just need a drop of DiGize.  Great to have with you when you are out and about.

3.  Purification - I love this oil as a bug repellant - perfect for spending the afternoon at the park!  Also great for yucky smells (hello, umm... did someone take their shoes off??).

4.  Valor - Don't leave home without this one :)  I use this oil for neck aches when I have been sitting at the computer too long (ahem), anxiety issues, aches and pains and before important meetings or classes for a little boost in confidence.  Still my favorite oil ever :)

5.  Peppermint - I love to use peppermint for headaches and a boost of energy.  Peppermint oil works far better for me than coffee (and that is saying something - remember my post about needing a little coffee and a whole lot of Jesus??).

6.  Lavender - This is our "booboo" oil - when my girls have scrapes and bruises, this is my go-to oil.  My three year old even asks for it by name!

7.  Copaiba - Copaiba has kind of changed my life.  Like my mom and several cousins, I have an autoimmune disease.  Occasionally, I have flares and they always seem to be at the most inopportune times (like, the day of my daughter's birthday party).  Copaiba is my life saver during those moments.  It is highly anti-inflammatory and I use it as someone with asthma might use a rescue inhaler by rubbing it where I am hurting or even taking a couple drops internally.  Daily lifestyle changes have helped keep the day to day things in check, copaiba helps with the rest.

8.  Frankincense - What oil would you pick that would help with basically ANYTHING else you might need it for?  Frankincense of course.  Highly valuable and highly versatile, Frankincense has come in handy on multiple occasions.

It's been a long time since I have done a giveaway!  How about I send you a super awesome case like mine with 8 bottles for you to fill with whatever YOUR eight oils are?  

If you want to win, simply comment here with your list of 8 sometime between now and noon on Thursday, July 3rd!

Love freebies?  While supplies last, if you join my team with a Premium Starter Kit, I will send you a goodie bag of essential oils products!  Want to learn more about what that means?  Click HERE.

As always, please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using oily remedies for health in our home and I am excited to share them with you, but please use your best judgement for your own home. 

Jun 25, 2014

Lunch Time!

So, it's summer here and with two teacher parents and two toddlers, we have officially done more dishes in the past 2 weeks than in the past 2 months combined ;)  Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist.  Eating at home is great - you can choose much more healthy options and really watch what you consume.  We do our BEST to eat whole foods with very little processing, but honestly, it gets hard when you are trying to cram fun stuff in the day, too.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to show you a lunch that I have fed my girls this week with natural options that are easily accessible at the grocery store, take less than 5 minutes to prepare and my girls totally clean their plates. 

1.  Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

There are TONS of options for nut butters (or seed butters if you have a nut allergy).  This particular butter is from Whole Foods, but you might also try Jiff's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (hydrogenated oil free) or Sunbutter, a Sunflower Seed spread.

For Jelly,  look for your favorite flavor that is organic and does not contain high fructose corn syrup.  Try a local jelly from the Farmer's Market :)

My favorite bread is this recipe from Wholesome Mommy, an awesome home made honey wheat bread.  Be sure to let it cool completely before you slice so that it doesn't smush for sandwiches.  (Confession, this is not home made bread in the photo - I am trying to clean house today for company this afternoon and haven't had time to bake).

Check out this awesome link for a list of Non-GMO condiments (including butters and jellies).

2.  Barbara's Baked White Cheddar Cheese Puffs

Try this cheeto-esque chip that even Daddy Drew approves of.  Non-GMO verified, baked products that are far more healthy than the alternative and tastes good, too!

3.  Fruit

This time it is an organic banana, sometimes it's strawberries, sometimes apple slices, sometimes orange slices... whatever you prefer, get those fruits and veggies into the diet!  We eat fruit with every meal AND for snacks!

4.  Kale Chips

I love anything from Trader Joe's, but you can find Kale Chips anywhere... even on Amazon!  You might try baking your own, too!  Wash and dry your kale, lay out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Bake at a low temp until dried!  So easy! 

I try hard to serve something green at both dinner and lunch.  Another thing my kids love is raw broccoli with a dip.  To save time, I clean and cut the broccoli when I bring it home from the grocery store and store it in a container in the fridge for easy access.

Lunch time is a great time to have the kids help in the kitchen, too.  Allow them to spread the peanut butter or choose what to put on their plate (with supervision of course).

I also highly recommend that you teach your children to clear their spot at the table when meal time is through.  This is an age appropriate chore that is simple to do and instills a confidence and work ethic in your kiddos from a young age. 

What is YOUR favorite thing to serve your kids for lunch?

Jun 20, 2014

Camping with Young Living Essential Oils

Tuesday on the blog, I shared with you 7 Tips for Camping with Kids.  While we are on the topic of camping, or summer fun in general, I'd love to share my favorite Young Living essential oils recipes to take along with you!

Sunscreen Using Young Living Carrot Seed Oil


I say this often, but Young Living essential oils have changed my life - If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be the "nut" in her kitchen whipping up her own cleaning products and even Sunscreen, I would probably have laughed at you - who has time for that???  Trust me, you do!  And when you examine what is in your store-bought sunscreen, it will be even more of a priority for you.  Plus, 15 minutes worth of work will last you and your family ALL summer!   While you are at it, make a double batch and give some to your mom or your BFF - spread the oily love!  

Click on the title to travel over to the original blog post for the recipe.  

Sunburn Spray


When you inevitably forget the sunscreen or go too long without reapplying, you might need a sunburn spray.  This is a super simple recipe (all of mine are!) and is incredibly effective!  A few applications before bedtime and when you wake up in the morning, no more sunburn.  Cooling, healing and smells good, too!

Bug Repellant

Another super simple recipe that is quite effective.  Keep this concoction handy and spray on often.  I love this spray, because you can use it on your whole family without worry of the chemicals in the spray (because there are none!).  Before I was "oily", it was a big concern to me during the summer to keep the bugs away from my baby without spraying them with bug repellant.  I would not worry using this one.  

Roll-Ons for Allergies, Pain, Etc.

My husband went on a big Backpacking trip last week.  Here are just a few examples of what I packed for him to use on the trip.  One blend I made for him was an Allergy blend - Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint and Copiaba to keep his allergies in check.  Be careful using this one and then being out in the sun as the Lemon component can be photosensitive.

I also made him a roll on with Raven for his snoring.  That's a post for another day! 

The third I made for him was a roll on for Pain with Panaway and Peppermint and a carrier oil (in this case I used olive oil).  

I'm curious to know which DIY blends are YOUR favorite!

Want to know how to purchase your own oils? Check out this info here


As always, please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using oily remedies for health in our home (or campsite!) and I am excited to share them with you, but please use your best judgement for your own home. 


Jun 17, 2014

7 Tips for Camping with Kids

Ah, Camping.... I have such fond memories of being outdoors at State Parks with my family when I was a kid.  About a month ago, we took our two toddlers camping for the first time. 

We learned a lot.

I should put that in bold, because the learning curve was steep.  So here in lies the motivation for this blog post.  Being outdoors is INCREDIBLY important, especially when you are young.  Camping shouldn't be a scary task to dread, it should be a fun family bonding experience.  I'd like to share with you 7 tips for Camping with Kids that will make your life much easier (and make the trip a ton of fun!).

7 Tips for Camping with Kids

1.  Prepare your Kiddos

When our babies are used to playing Legos inside or watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates at a certain time each day, camping can be quite a culture shock.  Prepare them and get them excited by talking about what camping is, watching videos, and reading books.  You might even think about a short day trip to a nearby nature preserve or State Park for a day hike to help them get a feel for what camping is like.  Get them excited by talking about the animals and birds you will see, or swimming holes you will visit.

2.  Involve your Kids in the Planning and Packing

Need a few pieces of gear?  Take your kiddos to the sporting goods store to let them help you pick out what you need.  When they are involved in the planning and packing, they take ownership of the trip and everything goes more smoothly.  This is even true for my 3 year old.  She was in charge of the outdoor toys - she had a bag full of buckets and shovels and bubbles and she made sure it got packed and put in the car.  She was proud of herself and it made playing with those toys even more fun!

3.  Pick a Great Campground

Ok, I have done a lot of camping in my life, but camping with kids is a whole different animal.  When we took our girls for their first camping trip, we chose an incredibly beautiful, privately owned campground without reading reviews at all.  When we selected our camp ground, we got our first red flag when our neighbors came over and said "oh, I see you have children.  Please let us know if our partying gets too loud tonight." (Cue the movie Neighbors...)  Needless to say, yes, they were too loud that night, but so was every camp ground in the area.  Rave like music until 2 am is not my idea of a good time, especially when I am in Mama Bear mode and trying to get my babies a good night's sleep.

State Parks are safe bets because they are patrolled by Park Rangers who enforce quiet times and take care of noise complaints. Read reviews on Trip Adviser and  Yelp, ask friends, follow facebook groups who know their stuff - do your research.  I truly believe that the camp ground you select plays a large part in the success of your trip.  Pick a place that has activities and swimming locations.  Check on burn bans before you go if you plan on having a fire.

4.  Bring Toys and/or Friends

During the day, we had no problems keeping our kids entertained with hiking and swimming.  They had a BLAST!  But once it was wind down time in the evening, the sun started to go down, but it wasn't quite bedtime yet, we got bored quickly.  I packed lots of flashlights and my girls truly enjoyed sitting in the tent (they thought the tent was SO cool) and looking at Look and Find books.  Be prepared for some down time at the camp ground with games, outdoor toys, bubbles, and a disposable camera for the kids to use.  If you can go camping with friends with kids the same age as yours, even better!  Camping with friends is the best!

5.  Stay Positive and Stay Flexible

Let me just tell you now - things will not be on a strict schedule, things will not go exactly how you plan them - no matter how many lists you make or how well you prepare, something will go bonkers.  Roll with the flow.  Take a deep breath, remember that you are away from the city, away from responsibility, and just let it go.  If the kids don't nap, it's not a big deal.  If they eat a little dirt, they will have a stronger immune system (so says my Grandma!).  Put a smile on your face (remember, this is supposed to be fun for THEM, too) and Stay Posi (one of my favorite quotes from my husband).

6.  Be a Kid Yourself

Have FUN!  See through the eyes of your child - explore, hop in puddles, get dirty.  Stop and look at the bug or the garden snake slithering along the trail.   Take the time to get on your kids' level and see things from their fresh perspective.  Not only will your kids love this, but you will have a much better time, too!  My girls and I were on our way back to the camp site after a potty break and Izzy spotted a tiny little frog hopping along the trail.  We followed it for a while, and then the rest of the day they hopped like frogs.  It was magical for them!

7.  Be Safe

Be prepared for situations that may arise.  Be sure to pack sunscreen, bug repellant, rain gear and dress for the weather.  Bring lots of water to avoid dehydration.  Also make sure you pack gear for water play - life jackets or puddle jumpers for the little ones.  Keep a balance of relaxation and watchfulness. 

Now tell me... where is your favorite place to go camping??

Jun 15, 2014

Traits of a Good Daddy (And Why My Girls Are So Blessed)

On this special day, Father's Day, I would like to take a second and tell you 5 very important traits of a daddy and why I feel so blessed that my girls have the daddy they have:

1.  Godly

 This is a photo of Drew, Myself, our Pastor and our Children's minister at Olivia's baby dedication.  I love that my husband finds this important - that we present ourselves as a family before our church, vow to raise our children in a Godly home, and ask for support from our church family.  He is a leader in our church, teaching Sunday school, volunteering for nursery duty every so often and even accompanying the youth group on a backpacking trip.  He shows our children by example what it is like to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.  Taking the girls and I to church is a priority for him, and we are so blessed to have a strong Spiritual leader in our home.

2.  Hardworking

In the nearly 9 years Drew and I have been married, I could count the number of days he has taken off work for personal reasons on one hand.  He is dedicated to his teaching job not for the money (obviously), but for the sheer fact that he has incredible work ethic.  He cares for those he comes in contact with each day (hence the Funniest Teacher Award hanging on his classroom wall) and then comes home and works some more.  He sets an excellent example for our daughters in his work ethic.  I love this photo because it is proof that the girls are watching and learning by his example.  He does it without grumbling, always pushing on even when he is tired or doesn't feel like it. 

3.  Fun

 One of the biggest reasons why I married Drew, and one of the biggest reasons my girls are so blessed to have him as a daddy is that he loves to have FUN!  Whether it be a simple fort in the living room with blankets and dining room chairs, a trip to the park, or a family vacation.  He is showing our daughters that it is important to have fun and what GOOD fun looks like.  I asked Izzy this morning what her favorite thing about her daddy was and she said "he likes to tickle me and then I laugh."  They love his fun loving side, too!  Who wouldn't?

4.  Cares About Education

I love the quote by Emilie Buchwald that says "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." This is certainly true in our home.  Drew makes it a priority to read to the girls before bed, whether it be one book or ten.  We love trips to the library and book stores, too.  Just part of ensuring that our girls find worth in being educated and being a child of God, not in being pretty (even though they are and he does make sure to tell them so).  He is such a great daddy to teach them this valuable truth.

5.   Encouraging and Protective

Our girls feel safe with daddy - they know he will protect them and he always encourages them to try new things, even when it is hard.  Being around daddy makes my oldest, Izzy, fearless.  If he isn't at home at night, she doesn't sleep as well.  He is kind enough to stop on a trail and empty her shoes of dirt, but still encourages her to keep going.  Such a great balance that my girls are lucky to have in their lives.

Drew, we are so blessed by you.  Thank you for your tireless hard work, your dedication to your family and your Heavenly Father and for making us feel safe and loved. 

And to you, reader, Happy Father's Day!  May we recognize the wonderful father's in our lives and help each other raise a generation of boys to be excellent Fathers in the future!