Dec 30, 2013

One Word

Ahh - a new year. I don't know about you, but the idea of a new year is refreshing to me. A clean slate, a fresh start, a chance to change, to grow, to do something differently.

Because of this, it love to choose a few New Year's Resolutions. And also because of this, I generally set such lofty goals that I am almost never able to keep them up for longer than a month. Organize my whole house? Awesome idea! But where do I start?? Lose weight! Great! Oh look, my mom made a pie! Better eat it! The spirit is usually willing, but the flesh is oh so weak.

This year, however, I am going to do things a bit differently. This year, I am joining many in choosing one word to be the theme of the year.

It is important to reflect and to look ahead. The Bible says "where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). Drew and I have thought a lot lately that we are on the precipice of something. Change is all around us - choices for schools for the girls, where to live, how to make work, marriage and raising a family work together... So this year, my word is VISION.

I love the idea of one word. As an artist, I know how I can start a painting with one idea, and as I work, the painting morphs into something completely different, yet totally awesome. I expect the same with my one word as God works in me, sharpens me and teaches me. Perhaps vision could be plans for the future, how I view my home or my body, how I view my marriage.... So many ways I can be molded.

So, here is what you do. Grab a journal - a moleskin, a composition book - whatever you prefer. Write on the front the word that you choose. Then through the new year, collect quotes, verses, prayers, ideas, conversations... Anything that helps to point you back to your word.

Need more inspiration? My friend Susan over at Confident Mom shares 5 Tips to Achieve New Year's Resolutions

Also check out OneWord365. Look up your word and join a community with people who have also chosen your word.

As I finish up this post, I pray that you find something to help you be meaningful and purposeful throughout 2014, however you can achieve that.

Have a happy new year, friends!

Dec 13, 2013

DIY Christmas Gifts - Orange Honey Sugar Scrub

Another awesome and SUPER easy Christmas gift you can make in less than 10 minutes!  I scoured the internet and read about 20 different recipes and decided to combine several together and make my own.  Here it is!

You will need:
  • Containers for your scrub
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup liquid oils (melted coconut oil, olive oil, or others)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 20 drops Young Living Orange oil (or Essential Oils of you choice)
Mix everything in a bowl and scoop into containers.  I used half pint sized, wide mouth mason jars.  Tie a little raffia around the jar and there you go!  A beautiful, useful gift.

You might also check out this awesome recipe from a fellow Young Living blogger, Amy at Amy Loves It!  I do like that her recipe uses white sugar since that seems to be all over my house during the holidays :)

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

Please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using homeopathic 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

Dec 8, 2013

DIY Christmas Gifts - Bath Fizzies Using Young Living Essential Oils

Here is another idea for Christmas gifts that I am super excited about - DIY Bath Fizzies using Young Living Essential Oils!

My house still smells awesome from making these wonderful little treats! 


Here is what you will need:
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 3/4 cup Corn Starch
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • A spray bottle with water and 5-6 drops food coloring (food coloring optional, you might also try natural ways to dye the bath fizzies)
  • 20 drops of Young Living Essential Oils
  • Ice cube trays, molds, or something to give your fizzies shape
And here is what you do:
  •  Using a fine sifter, sift together the citric acid, baking soda and corn starch. Then stir in the sugar.

  •  Using your spray bottle, spray colored water onto dry mixture, stirring constantly.  If your mixture starts to fizz, you are spraying too quickly.  This was one of the most difficult steps, but you can do it!  Spray until dampened enough that you can squeeze it with your hand and it will hold it's shape.  Add your essential oils at this point and use your hands to make sure the mixture is properly mixed.


  • When your mixture is moldable, press firmly into silicone ice cube trays.  Make sure you press into the corners so that the fizzies do not break when you remove them. 


  • Ok, I change my mind, THIS is the hardest part.  Wait overnight before you take your fizzies out of the trays.  If you are even half as impatient as I am, you have already tried removing one, haha.  I successfully got a few out a couple hours after making this recipe, but when I took the rest out this morning, I was shocked at how much easier it was to remove the hardened fizzies.


Package your fizzies in fun containers.  The one above I found at World Market.  I also used Mason jars and other containers. Tied with some pretty baker's twine, this is a wonderful gift!

I used Young Living Peppermint oil because it would be wonderful for sore muscles to soak in a bath with peppermint.  There are hundreds of other combinations you could use!  Lavender for a soothing bath, RC, Peace and Calming, Joy... try this recipe with your favorite Young Living essential oil!

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

Please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using homeopathic 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

Dec 7, 2013

DIY Christmas Gifts - Body Butter with Young Living Essential Oils

Let's just put it out there.  Money is tight.  But that doesn't mean that that I don't want to give amazing, thoughtful gifts to the people I love.  Over the next week or so, I am going to share with you a few of the DIY gifts I have been making that I am totally in love with.  I would be so thrilled to get these myself, so I know they will be a hit.  If you are on my gift list, please forget you saw this post ;)

So, tonight, I will share with you how to make amazing body butter with coconut oil and Young Living essential oils.

Here's what you need:

  •  2 cups organic coconut oil - I used Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut oil.  It is a good price, and good quality.
  • 1/2 cup fractionated coconut oil (coconut oil in it's liquid state)
  • 20 drops Young Living Essential Oils (I used Melrose and Lavender)
  • Container for finished product
Let's talk about the container for a minute.  I put mine in a few different containers, but aren't these cute:

(click the image to see the item on Amazon)

I think they would be perfect because of the wide mouth to dig out the body butter when you are getting low.

Here's what you do:
  • Melt together your solid oil and your liquid oil (coconut oil was the easiest for me to use, but you can choose other oils as long as you have a solid and a liquid)
  • This is the perfect project to do on the icy days we are having in Dallas because you need to bring the oils back to a semi-solid state once they are combined.  I melted mine in a Pyrex measuring bowl then placed them outside, covered with a dish towel, while I worked on another project.  Don't rush this step.  If the oils are liquid, they will not whip.
  • Put the semi-solid oils in your stand mixer (or use a hand mixer in a pinch) and whip the oils until they are the proper consistency.
  • Add Young Living essential oils and continue mixing.
  • Spoon body butter into your containers.  Mine made 18-20 ounces in case you were wondering for planning purposes.
  • Tie on a pretty bow and give as gifts!

I wrote a little note that reminded the user to store in a cool place - when coconut oil is warmed, it will turn liquid again.

Just from making this, my hands are super soft!  I am keeping one for myself and can't wait to add these to gifts for my kids teachers, friends and family.

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

Please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using homeopathic 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.

Dec 5, 2013

Welcome Winter

In north Texas this weekend, we are expecting a thrust into winter with ice and sleet.  Ice is not my favorite - if we are going to have winter precipitation, I would much rather have light, fluffy snowflakes.  Doesn't the thought of snow make you feel nostalgic, happy, excited, and childlike?  I'm not talking about the months of snow that my brother and sister in law experience in Iowa- I'm talking first snow.  Let's welcome winter and make a cute craft all at the same time!

All you need is newspaper, masking tape and scissors.  Get your kids to help you and teach them how to make smaller versions as well!

Step 1 - lay out newspapers and tape together using masking tape.  I used three sheets of newspaper high and three wide.  I found it worked well to take the three in a row together, then tape my three completed rows together.  When you have your newspaper taped together, fold in half on the diagonal and trim to square.

Step 2 - Fold in half on the center line again (see photo above).  It should now be folded in quarters.

Step 3 - Fold in half on the center line again (see photo above).  It should be folded in eighths now.

Step 4 - This is a photo showing what your snowflake should look like now - folded in eighths.

Step 5 - Draw where you want to cut your snowflake.  Make sure you do not cut the entire length of either of the folded sides.  You can easily cut things OUT of the sides to make a cool design.  Check out Pinterest for awesome templates you can use, or draw your own!

Step 6 - Cut out your snow flake.  This step will probably require adult scissors, though feel free to welcome your kids to try on their own with safety scissors if they are old enough.

And there you have it, a giant paper snowflake!  So many possibilities!  This one is going in the display case at the school where I teach along with student artwork.  Looking for festive ways to bring some Christmas spirit to school.  I'd love to see your snowflakes!  Feel free to post your photos on the Mama Marcie facebook page :)

20 more days until Christmas!

Dec 1, 2013

The Best Pumpkin Pie You Will Ever Eat

Ok, I know Thanksgiving was last week, but people, this recipe needs to be shared!!  Besides, surely you will have more holiday gatherings in the coming weeks - you should definitely make this recipe!

The best ever Pumpkin Pie using Young Living Essential Oils

I adapted my recipe using a Paula Deen recipe - she knows her desserts, right?  Here's what you do:


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 can of pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
1 cup half-and-half or whipping cream (I used whipping cream)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
2 drops Young Living Cinnamon Bark oil
2 drops Young Living Clove oil
2 drops Young Living Nutmeg oil
1 piece pre-made pie dough
Whipped cream, for topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Prick the bottom and the sides with a fork and place in the oven until slightly golden brown.  Feel free to use pie weights if you are fancy, haha.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, and Essential Oils and mix until combined.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Hey Y'all, try this pie!!  (said in my very best southern drawl)  You will not regret it!

Nov 29, 2013

Inexpensive Fun for Dallas Kids

I've lived in Dallas for all my life. Now that I have kids, I am excited to explore some of the places where I made wonderful memories when I was a little girl. Some things have stayed the same, but most have changed. The Children's Aquarium at Fair park is one that has improved drastically. We took the girls today for some wonderful family time - it was quality fun on a budget!

One of the best improvements the Children's Aquarium has made is to lower their tanks so that littles AND big kids can all enjoy the view. Isabel loved being able to see the exhibits and run from tank to tank finding new fish to examine.

In the back, in a warmed area that is outside, you can pet a sting ray. All four of us really enjoyed this part of the aquarium. They are safe and playful - they want to be touched and swim right up to you when you put your hand in the warm water. It took Izzy a few minutes to get up the courage to touch a ray, but once she did, she never wanted to leave!

While Izzy was petting the rays for the hundredth time, Olivia checked out the shark tank. There was also a rescued sea turtle that she was partial to. The sea turtle was a relatively young turtle (10 years old) who was stranded in South Padre island. The turtle is, unfortunately, not able to be released back into the wild, so she is living the sweet life in Dallas now.
One of the best things for this mama is the price!

A day ticket for adults is $8 and for children ages 3-11 it is $6. Dallas Zoo members get $2 off daily admission tickets. You can also get a yearly membership. Instead of a price per family, they sell memberships for each person. Adults are $20 each for the year and each kid (ages 3-11) is $15 a year. But again, if you are a Dallas Zoo member, you get $5 off each membership! So, our family of 4 with 2 adults, a 3 year old and a 1 year old only cost $40 for an entire year! Talk about inexpensive entertainment!!

Check out their website at and go check it out for yourself soon! I can't wait to hear what you think!

Nov 19, 2013

Lego Birthday Party

Saturday was Izzy's THIRD birthday!  I can not believe that my little baby is growing up so fast.  She is such a delight to us all, and our family went above and beyond to make sure that her birthday was special.  Legos are her favorite, so we went with a Lego themed birthday party.  Here is how I did it:

Being a working mom of two toddlers does not allow for much extra time to plan a party.  Thankfully, Legos were a fun, easy thing to incorporate into many different areas of the day.  The dining room table became the building area.  We had 7 sets of Legos constructed for the kids who all joined in, sharing the pieces, building new things and having a blast. 

Here are a few of the Disney Lego Duplo sets we had at the party: 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates - Bucky the Pirate Ship
Jake and the Neverland Pirates - Neverland Hideout
Planes - Skipper's Flight School

The cake was one of my favorite parts!  Three cake mixes (modified) later, and I had a giant Lego cake!  I made 2 sheet cakes and 6 cupcakes, cut the cupcakes in half and turned the bottom part upside down and iced the entire thing.  Instead of "LEGO" on the tops, I put Izzy's name. 

Thanks to House Party, I had some awesome Lego stickers and coupons to pass out, and for our part of the party favors, I went to Central Market's bulk section and found Lego shaped candies.  How fun is this!  I built a Lego shape in my Cricut and cut them out and glued them on for the top portion which I stapled to individual baggies.

We also had a Jake and the Neverland Pirates episode playing in the den for anyone who wanted to have a seat and watch.  Since it went along with the Lego sets, it sort of fit with the theme :)

The kids had an absolutely fantastic time and I loved getting to throw a party for my very favorite 3 year old girl.  Izzy, here's hoping your year is the best.  Mommy loves you!!

Nov 10, 2013

Toddler Sleep Tips

Over the past several weeks, my oldest daughter, Isabel, who will be 3 this week, has given us a total challenge at bedtime. She learned to open her door and would sneak around the house, pull up a chair in the dining room, and come find us every 10 minutes or so until well after 9:30pm. She was so tired, but her new found freedom was far more exciting than sleep. It was affecting her days at school, her evenings at home, and everyone was noticing that we were not dealing with our normal, sweet curly headed girl.

I'd like to share with you what I have learned over the past few weeks. In no way do I consider myself an expert. In fact, after 3 weeks of frustrating nights, I reached out to the experienced Mamas I know who gave me lots of good ideas. I'd like to pass along some of these ideas to you.

1. Make sure you have a time at night to relax.

Do not rush to sleep, have time with no tv, no iPad... Just wind down time. Perhaps a warm bath with a handful of Epsom salts. Maybe you read a book each night. Set aside a few minutes between wrangling kids into their pjs and putting them in their bed to have a special routine that helps your toddler know that sleep is coming soon.

2. Grandma knows best.

Certain things do, in fact, make you feel relaxed. Diffusing Lavender Oil at night can give a soothing effect. A glass of milk (warm is good) can help fill the tummy and relax you (dentists and pediatricians recommend not giving babies milk or juice in bed - save those teethies!)

3. Assess the reason why your toddler is not wanting to sleep.

For mine, it was just because she thought we were having more fun than she was, but for some of the littles I know, there was fear or discomfort involved in their sleep issues. Too hot or too cold in their room? A light shining in the window? A fear of something like monsters or robots? (Yes, that is Isabel's go to thing she is afraid of.) Give your baby a sense of courage by making monster spray (just water in a spray bottle, though you could add some lavender for added benefit). Or you could do what we do every night and pray - we thank God for his blessings and we pray that He would watch over the girls and protect them through the night. When we skip this step, Isabel always reminds me.

4. No talking.

Once the night time routine is done, the lights are off and your toddler is in bed, that is the end of communication (obviously there are exceptions to this rule). This was the game changer for us - when Isabel would get up, I could hear her door open and I would meet her at the door, pick her up, kiss her head and put her back in her bed without saying a word. She did not like this one bit. On the first night of doing this, she said, "Mommy, why are you doing this to me!?" It just about broke my heart! But I was not doing this to be mean, I was ensuring that she was getting enough rest. I was not having a discussion with her about whether Darth Vader was a good guy or a bad guy - even though that might be an important discussion (yes, we are nerds), it was not important right then. I only had to do that 2 nights before the waking and walking around then house stopped.

5. Stand your ground.

Remember, you are the parent. What you say goes. When you BELIEVE this, your children will get that. Our kids test us - not to be disrespectful, but to see how far they can go. It is so important for us to empower them, but to also set boundaries and to help them grow up to be respectful adults. Believe it. Do it.

Nov 1, 2013

Thankful, Day 1

It is so easy to get bogged down in the daily grind - the dishes, the laundry, the carpool - seems to be never ending!

I propose we take 1 month - just one (though maybe it will be contagious and sneak into the other months, too) - and just be thankful.  Look for something good in every single day.  Seek our our blessings, not our curses.  And in return, possibly see a change in ourselves, in the way our home runs, and in our attitudes.  *fingers crossed*

When we were little, my mom was a crafty genius (still is), and always had some fun ideas to get us kiddos involved.  One of the things that sticks in my mind the most is the Thankful Turkey on the pantry door.

This is ours so far this year.  Every day, make it a routine to write down one thing per person that you are thankful for.  You can do it at dinner time or maybe at night as part of the bedtime routine...

Now is the time to break out that construction paper!!  Let your inner 7 year old out and have FUN creating a memory for your kiddos.  For the center shape (the turkey body), I used butcher paper because I had it laying around.  You can also use a sheet of poster board.  I made it easy on myself and folded all my shapes in half so that they were symmetrical. 

Here are the shapes you need:

Be creative!  Use whatever colors you want.

For the beak, I folded the triangle in half, then cut a tiny slit on the side opposite the point and folded about a quarter of an inch down so that I would have a way to glue it to the body.

My girls are totally into this already.  Izzy wanted to do all of them tonight - she is already looking forward to tomorrow night's feather!  Even daddy got in on the action!

Oct 26, 2013

Tips for Tantrums

Whether it is time to leave the park, time to go to bed, or because a favorite toy was taken, inevitably all of our children throw a few good tantrums in their toddler years. As a parent, this can be incredibly frustrating and can easily escalate into a shouting match or display of dominance where everyone leaves with their feelings hurt and nothing real is accomplished.

I would like to give you a few tips on how to tame a tantrum. Please know that I write this as a parent that has been there - today even! I am not perfect, but sometimes we all need a little reminder or a new idea.

1. Slow Down

Understandably, life is busy. Imagine how stressed you feel when you are running late to work, your daughter won't put her shoes on and your other daughter is sitting on the floor crying because you can't pick her up. Our children sense our stress. Make sure that you have enough time to allow little ones to contribute by putting on their shoes, walk down the stairs by themselves and jump into the car seat. Simply slowing down can stop tantrums before they even start.

2. Be Consistent

Make sure there are clear, easy to follow rules that are consistently communicated. When small children (any children really) know what to expect, they are more well equipped to handle the situation.

3. Be Present

Be present with your kiddos. When you get down on the floor with them, play, listen to their stories, sing songs and giggle, there is a stronger bond between you and your child for when those tough times do come. I know that load of laundry needs to be started. Trust me, mama, I understand. But when you come in the house from a day at school, take a moment to play and get them started with an activity. Then it is easier to slip away to start a load of laundry or put something in the oven.

4. Get Down on Their Level and Talk Softly

When the inevitable tantrum does ensue, yelling across the house will not solve anything. Get down on their level, look them in the eyes and speak to them clearly and in a soft voice. You might even try whispering so they have to quiet their cries to hear you.

5. Time Out/Time In

Even as adults, sometimes we just need to separate ourselves from a situation in order to calm down. When my daughter is crying for what seems to me to be no reason, she knows that she has a chair where she can sit, or she can go sit on her bed and "take a breath." It is not necessarily a time out (we do not call it that) because she is not being punished. She knows once she calms down, she is free to get up and play again. It is just a separation from the event that caused the meltdown.

6. Redirect

Did a tantrum begin because of a particular event (ie: a toy being taken)? A good way to approach this issue is to simply redirect to another activity. I have seen tears stop in an instant by just suggesting a different toy or giving the opportunity to color instead.

7. Go Outside

When tempers are short in our house, one of our tricks is to go outside. It is amazing what a little fresh air can do for your perspective.

8. Speak Kindly and Lovingly

Remember that these are children. They process differently, they need guidance for how to act, and their environment does affect them greatly. Your words now dictate their words in the future to their friends at school, to their siblings, etc. As a mom, I have had many, many "check yourself" moments when I have heard Izzy say something like "stop that RIGHT NOW" to her baby sister. Is that what I sound like? Yes, on occasion it is. Sometimes these reflections through our children are good teaching tools for us parents

9. Give Affirmation

Do not focus solely on the negative. Find things that your children are doing right and give them a high five for those awesome things! "I saw that you shared with your sister. That is so awesome!" Or "Wow, you are such a big kid when you take your plate to the sink all by yourself!" Children will beam with pride hearing your words. Give them positive things to live up to.

10. Give Oils a Try

When it seems that my girls are having melt down after melt down and nothing specific seems to be triggering them, I love the option of turning to my shelf of essential oils. A drop of Young Living Peace and Calming on the back of the neck, or a drop of Joy over the heart, or a drop of Frankincense over the liver.... Calm, promote a sense of togetherness and joy. I have seen some pretty rough days turn into peaceful nights by using essential oils.

Always remember, as hard as it is sometimes to believe this, that this too shall pass. The days go by, bedtime comes for a little breather, and soon, this stage will be over.

Oct 22, 2013

Get Those Babies Outside!

How often do you and your children stop the errands, slow down, go outdoors and take a deep breath? This is one of my goals - as often as possible, whenever the weather is good, whenever our patience is thin - stop and go outside. When we were driving home one day down a street with a few trees and Isabel, my 2 year old proudly proclaimed, "Mama! We are in a forest!", I knew it was time to reconnect with nature and get outside!

Simply being outside has many benefits for mind body and spirit.

Running, climbing and playing is good for the body - it develops muscle, helps to strengthen the bones, develops coordination and even can help your child's eyesight!

Being outdoors exposes us to vitamin D, a crucial nutrient that so many of us are lacking that can be preventative for heart disease, diabetes and so may other health concerns.

With my children, even from a very early age, if they were cranky, overtired, or even unhappy, going outside was the easiest, quickest fix.

There is something about being outdoors that uplifts our moods and calms our spirits. One of the biggest reasons behind our lack of outdoor play is a busy, hurried lifestyle. This go, go, go pace can contribute to anxiety and depression in adults and in children. Giving our children time to play, specifically outdoors, reduces these feelings of anxiety and promotes creativity.

And this is not a mommy opinion! A recent study shows that being in green space outdoors "reduced symptoms significantly" of ADHD. "Notably, 1 study revealed direct evidence of superior performance on objective tests of impulse control in a sample of urban public housing children" exposed to nature. (A Potential Natural Treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence From a National Study, Frances E. Kuo, PhD and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD)

Going outside promotes a sense of curiosity in our children. Even something as seemingly mundane as a squirrel with a nut is immensely fascinating for a child - and those ants climbing over that rock! And birds! And counting the petals on this purple flower!

I also believe that spending time outdoors gives us the opportunity to connect with something that is greater than ourselves. How better to get a sense of the Creator than to be in His creation?

My children are collectors - we have to schedule an hour to walk around the block because we will stop a thousand times to pick up rocks, sticks, and look at flowers, tree stumps and cacti. They have an empty pot by our front door to empty their hands and pockets before going in the house. Doing this routine has lead Isabel and I to some wonderful conversations. When they see new things, they become inquisitive - and isn't that a trait we should encourage?

So, mama (or daddy, aunt, grandma, big brother, etc), your mission is to slow down, get yourself and those you care about outside and spend a little time seeing things you don't normally have time to notice. Literally stop and smell the roses.

Go outside. Smile. Relax.

Oct 18, 2013

The Supportive, Oily Husband

Meet Drew.

Isn't he cute?  Yeah, well, he's taken, ladies, so back off ;)

Drew is an incredibly supportive husband.  Even from the beginning of my oily journey, he was down with letting me experiment on him, diffuse oils in our room at night, and invest in oils.

One of the questions I hear discussed a LOT is how to get your husband to be supportive of Oily Homeopathy.  So, I went straight to the source and talked to Drew about it.  He told me that he was supportive of it because it made me happy (aww), but let me read between the lines and offer you a few suggestions if your husband/significant other isn't quite so quick to jump on the oily bandwagon.

1.  Offer Research and Testimonials

Men are logical creatures.  Do you have the Essential Oils Desk Reference?  The Pocket Reference?  Gentle Babies?  The Animal Desk Reference?  All of these books are specifically for Young Living oils and offer a host of information regarding the oils.  There are also amazing sites available with scientific studies showing the effectiveness of Essential oils.  I also love searching on with the keyword Essential Oils.

2.  Talk to Him

Frustrated that your significant other isn't on board?  Talk to him!  Tell him about all your successes.   As with any major decision, communication is key.

3.  Discuss the Finances

Even though it is tempting to jump in with both feet and buy $32049809458098 worth of oils, choose to build your collection more slowly.  Discuss how much you spend on medical expenses, cleaning supplies, air fresheners and candles, etc in a given month, then show him how effective these products are and price compare.  One bottle of Thieves cleaner can make nearly 20 bottles of store bought equivalent cleaner.  That is just over a dollar per bottle for an all natural, non-toxic, effective cleaning solution.  That is a huge savings compared to store bought!  The Premium Starter Kit is a huge savings over buying all the oils and diffuser separately, and a Wholesale Account can save you 24% on future orders.  Financially, it just makes sense.

4.  Look for Opportunities to Bless Your Husband Using EOs

Look for ways to HELP your husband using these oils.  There is nothing like actually experiencing the effectiveness to convince someone :)

5.  Pray

Still not convinced?  Pray about it!  I am of the thought that these oils are a blessing - if it is right for your family, pray about it.  See if God softens your husband's heart.

The wonderful men in our life can be pretty quick to reach for the bottle of Tums, but they are not unreasonable (mostly, haha).  Here's hoping that your husband is as supportive as mine, but if not, try out a few of my ideas and see what happens!

I can tell you that it still excites me to hear Drew ask "is there an oil for that?"  The answer:  "YES!" as I run to my shelf :)

Want to know how to purchase your own oils? Check out my informational page here!

Oct 13, 2013

Setting Goals on Sunday

Ok friends, starting a new thing tonight and I hope you will join me.

Each Sunday night, I plan to set goals for myself in four categories:


I am hoping this will be a way to keep me motivated, better myself, and truly get things done. Next Sunday, I hope to update you with what I accomplished over the week. We can keep each other accountable for our goals! Please feel free to list your goals in the comments :)


Keep kitchen clean all week
Wash all rugs and hang outside to dry
Sell, donate or trash at least 5 things in order to simplify
Get house spic and span for a party on Tuesday night


Tv free time with the girls everyday
Plan a date night with Drew for this weekend
Take the girls on a walk or to the playground at least 3 times this week


Update grades at school
Plan Homecoming Pep Rally for Friday
Host Intro to Essential Oils class on Tuesday night
Complete graphic design project for client


Paint my toenails
Eat breakfast each morning with my girls
Pray alone each morning and with both girls each evening
Keep my temper - especially when I am tired or busy

Oct 11, 2013

Save Money on Natural Living

This week on the Mama Marcie facebook page, I asked the question "What is your biggest obstacle in living a more natural lifestyle?"  The majority of the responses had to do with finances.  I can completely relate to this feeling - we barely squeak by at the end of the month, but we do make natural living a priority, and I would like to give you a few tips on how we do this.

-Store Reward Cards-

In the neighborhood where we live, there is one grocery shopping option.  With two kids in tow, I rarely want to drive the 15 miles to get to an organic grocery store, nor do I have the money to shop at such places.  We shop at Tom Thumb, and recently I discovered the benefit of using their store reward card and the online coupon service that goes along with it.  Kroger offers this benefit as well, but I have less experience with it since there is not a Kroger close to us.  I spend a few minutes before I go into the store to scan the app and choose the coupons I will use.  Last week, the organic strawberries were actually cheaper than the "traditional" strawberries.  I have gotten organic cereal bars for 50 cents a piece, buy one get the 4th free.  The produce coupons are the best, and on top of that, there are often gas reward coupons too... I can earn 50 cents off per gallon of gas simply by doing my normal grocery shopping.  Last week, not including our produce co-op pick up, I only spent $80 on groceries for a family of 4 - breakfasts, lunches and dinners for 6 days.  I can't always spend that little, but with planning, we make it work.

-Buy Local and Buy In Season-

 The cost of produce is greatly inflated due to the cost of shipping the merchandise to your local store.  When you buy local, you are cutting the middle man, saving on shipping costs and getting a better product.  Like I mentioned before, we are a part of a local produce co-op.  Every other week, we pick up a bin with  15-30 lbs of local, organic produce for $30.  For great quality produce, this is a great price.  If you live in Dallas, there are LOTS of options for local produce co-ops, milk, cheese, and meats.  When you buy local, it is a benefit for you, and you are also supporting your local economy - win, win!

-Buy in Bulk-

Let's talk Grass-Fed beef for a moment.  When you go to Whole Foods and purchase a pound of grass fed beef, you are easily looking at spending $10 or maybe more depending on the cut.  Find a local farmer that you trust (Know your farmer!!) and ask about bulk discounts.  Most ranchers will cut the price on large amounts of beef.  A friend of mine recently got grass fed beef for $3.50 a pound this way.  Near me, it is closer to $5 a pound, but it is still a discount.  It is a bigger cost up front, but then you have a stocked freezer and have saved money in the long run.


$5 for a bottle of foaming hand soap?  $5 for a bottle of 409? $8 for fabric softener?  Do it yourself and save money.  You can find my recipe for Thieves Foaming Hand Soap here.  You can see where I have discussed the benefits of Theives Cleaner here.  We no longer use fabric softener for laundry at all.  I simply put a small amount of vinegar in a Downy ball and throw it in the wash - removes odors and softens fabrics, naturally and cheaply!  There are TONS of household items that you can change or make yourself to save money.  And surprisingly, they do not take as long to make as you would think.  The hand soap I make - roughly 1 minute to make!

-Subsribe and Save-

Have you ever scanned through Amazon's Subscribe and Save department?  A LOT of the products they have available for you to save money on are organic, natural products.   We save money using this program on Diapers, Wipes, Laundry detergent, and other household items.  Diapers are significantly cheaper this way if you are also a part of Amazon Mom. 

-Discount Grocery Stores-

If you are in Dallas, have you been to the Grocery Clearance Center?  I was amazed at the wonderful finds.  Well known brands nearing their expiration date at a fraction of the cost at a normal retail store.  There is another well known clearance center in Fort Worth that I have heard great things about as well.  Check google for something similar to this where you live!

-Meal Planning and Cooking at Home-

When we eat out, we blow through our budget in no time.  To find good, quality food at a restaurant, you have to spend more money.  So, choose instead to cook and eat at home.  We have vowed to ourselves to eat at least 5 dinners at home each week, but we usually eat 6+ times at home.  I pack lunches every night, and the girls and I eat breakfast at home before going to school every morning (mm, smoothies!).  Before I head to the grocery store and buy everything that looks tasty, I sit down and plan my meals.  I plan around the veggies that are available in our bin, I plan around the meat that is available in our freezer, and I am able to look at my list and "shop from my pantry" before spending more money at the store.  This has been one of my biggest money savers.  I can easily go to the store and blow through money, but when I go with a plan, I spend less and get more quality items.

 -Start Your Own Garden-

Ok, I admit, this is not a step I have taken.  To me, gardening is frustrating work.  Whatever the opposite of a green thumb is, that is what I have.  But, if you love to be outside, if you love to dig in the dirt, and if you are passionate about knowing where your food comes from, why not start a garden!?  Can you imagine going outside and picking veggies for your dinner that night?  Sounds amazing to me!  Don't have space?  Think about container gardening.  Even if you only grow your own herbs, it's still a financial savings - that is my goal for next spring - starting small with herbs.

My main goal with this post is to encourage you that you CAN live a more natural lifestyle - it is not out of reach.  Like I said in my entry about Simple Things You Can Do To Green Your Home, start small.  Choose one thing at a time to "green" and stick to it.  You can do this!

Oct 7, 2013

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Is it starting to get chilly where you live?  Here in Texas, we had a wonderfully cool weekend that has everyone wearing sweaters and dreaming of fireplaces, even though it is supposed to get up to 83 degrees today.

I have been dreaming of my favorite things about fall, and one of my favorite things is warm beverages.  My husband loves the hot chocolate that I make, and I thought I could share my recipe with you!

What you will need:

2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Real vanilla
1 cup raw milk
1 drop Young Living Peppermint Oil
Whipped Cream to Top

How to make it:

Heat the milk in a small saucepan on the stove.  Do not bring to a boil.  In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and sugar and stir into the hot milk.  Add vanilla and Young Living Peppermint Oil.  Top with Whipped Cream and Enjoy!

Want to make your own whipped cream?

You will need:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar (or more to taste)

How to make it:

In a cold glass or metal bowl, add whipping cream and begin to whip using a hand mixer - start slow and as it begins to form a creamy texture, increase the speed.  Slowly beat in the sugar until your whipped cream feels smooth between your fingers and forms soft peaks.  Store extra in the refrigerator.

Want to know how to purchase your own oils?  Check out my informational page here

Oct 6, 2013

DIY Thieves Foaming Hand Soap

Ah, foaming hand soap.  I love this stuff.  But not as much as my potty-training two and a half year old daughter.  Since she started potty practicing, we have gone through 2 bottles of foaming hand soap in the bathroom.  I have 2 problems with this:  1. It's expensive!  and 2. What you put on your skin goes in your body.  Have you looked at the ingredients in your soap lately?  Wouldn't you rather know exactly what you are slathering all over your hands?  I know I would :)

So, here is an awesome recipe for a Do It Yourself Foaming hand soap using Young Living Essential Oils.

What you will need:

- A foaming hand soap dispenser.  You can reuse one that you already have or you can purchase a new one.
- Liquid Castile Soap (I used Dr. Bronners)
- Vegetable Glycerine or Vitamin E oil
- Young Living Essential Oils

Here's how you do it:

1.  Add 2-3 Tablespoons of Liquid Castile Soap to your soap dispenser.
2.  Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine or a few drops of vitamin E oil.  This step is not necessary, but I believe you will find the soap drying without this ingredient.
3.  Add 5-6 drops of Thieves oil or any oil combo of your choice.  More on this in a second.
4.  Slowly fill your container with water.  Be sure to leave enough room for the large pump (ie:  don't do what I did the first time and fill it to the top and then have a huge puddle on your kitchen counter)
5.  Gently shake to combine all ingredients.

Why I chose Thieves:

Thieves Essential Oil has been highly tested for it's cleansing abilities.  All this, plus it smells awesome! 

Wonderful Smelling Options:


Lemon and Lavender

Lemon and Peppermint

Peppermint and Lavender


Cinnamon Bark

Happy Hand Washing!

Want to know how to purchase your own oils?  Check out my informational page here!

Oct 5, 2013

My Favorite Things About Fall

The Dodd Squad lives in the great state of Texas. Our state has one true flaw (wink) - it's really stinkin' hot! Yesterday, in the first week of October, it was 90+ degrees. This morning, a cold front came through and it dropped into the 50s. The excitement was palpable. My kids were happy, my neighborhood gathered at a wonderful pumpkin patch with smiles on our faces, Isabel and I did some snuggling... These things get me excited about the coming months full of family and friends, wonderful food, and gift giving. Here are some of my favorite things about fall:

1. That first day in hot Texas when the temperature dips low enough to wear a jacket and every single person you know spends all day outside enjoying it.

2. Cool weather clothes - jeans, hoodies, sweaters, cardigans and boots.
3. Pumpkins, Pumpkin Patches, carving pumpkins, pumpkin decor... There is just something about a pumpkin that makes me feel like a kid again.
4. Warm beverages like homemade hot chocolate, hot tea, and apple cider. My mom and sister love Hot Dr. Pepper, have you tried it?
5. Sitting around a fire pit with friends. There is absolutely no better way to spend a grown up fall evening.

6. Snuggling under lots of awesome blankets.
7. Soup. And the thousands of varieties warm, wholesome ingredients you can combine.

8. The smell of fall - cinnamon, clove, nutmeg - this year I am diffusing Young Living Essential Oils in my home for this amazing smell PLUS benefits for our health.
9. Being outside. Pumpkin patches, trick or treating, football games, walks around the block to collect rocks with my girls...

10. Not sweating - can I get an amen?

Oct 2, 2013

Be Still

Today, I have been feeling a little defeated.


Life is hard.  I mean, yes, I am blessed, and I have amazing things to be thankful for, but life is still pretty rough sometimes.

I find great comfort in this verse:

Thank you to the lovely artist who drew this and to whomever helped it find it's way onto Pinterest and into my computer.

I hope that you are comforted by this verse as well - praying tonight that I can BE STILL and let God work through me.

Ya'll have a wonderful night!

Sep 30, 2013

Why Art

I am a woman who wears many hats - wife, mom, sister, daughter, artist, teacher....

Artist is the hat for which I have received the most training and get the least recognition, haha. But I can not help myself, I love it.

Several times, I have had people ask me if I hope my children become artists when the grow up. My answer is always the same - I hope my children become whatever they WANT to become. However, I do hope that I raise my children with an appreciation for the arts.

Here are 5 reasons I believe it is of the upmost importance to expose our children to art:

1. Imagination

Albert Einstein said it well - "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Why would it be that one of the greatest minds in history would say this? Without imagination, how would we think up new, innovative ideas? How would we dream up the next iPhone or solve hard moral conundrums. I have been a teacher for 8 years now, and I can tell you that some of my favorite students, and some of the students that I have seen succeed since graduating are not the students who can memorize chapters in the math book and they are not the ones who necessarily outperformed others on tests and quizzes - they are the students who know how to think outside the box, who look for unusual ways to solve problems. This is what our current generation is lacking. Our children need time to be creative - outside playtime, art classes, dance and kinestetic learning opportunities.

The imagination of a child is an incredible thing. This afternoon, we were painting pictures to send to our loved ones and Isabel put one single dot on a piece of paper and said in all seriousness, "This is one dot. It is for Grandpa." I asked if she wanted to add anything to the image, and she said no, it was finished. What an imagination! If not fostered, this kind of thinking is crushed out of too many people. Imagine if every adult had the confidence and imagination of a 2 year old.
2. Global Thinking

When was the last time you stepped into the Art museum? Bathed in that experience? When you looked around, what did you see? More than likely, you saw lots of different kinds of people, art from throughout history, art from other cultures... Exposing our kids to art is one of the most valuable ways to teach them history from everyday people's experiences and from a wide range of perspectives. We are extremely lucky in Dallas to be surrounded by world class museums (art, history, science, etc). I relish in the fact that I can take my kids to 10 different museums and show them so many beautiful things and let them jump into the images and imagine themselves in another culture, even if only for a moment.

3. Escape

When we were children, life wasn't as hard as it is for today's children. They are faced with alarmingly difficult situations on a daily basis - ever changing technology, sex drugs and rock n' roll in their face 24/7, divorce at an all time high, financial issues of their parents... When do our children get the chance to be children? Even for my high school students, I pray that my art class is a chance for them to escape the fear of the grade they got on that test, or the demands of sports and drama and clubs on top of classes, or the drama that is going on at home and just BE in the moment. Being absorbed into an art project is one of the most freeing, soul soothing activities I can imagine. As Twyla Tharp said, "Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." I find this to be an incredibly poignant idea.

4. Gives Us A Voice

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. " - Thomas Merton
As I said earlier, the youth of today has it rough. They are being forced to grow up quickly, to face real, hard truths. Some of them rise to this expectation, and some turn and act out - seeking acceptance in negative ways. As a teen, one thing that art gave me was a voice when I thought no one was listening (whether this be true or not, it was how I felt at times, and I imagine nothing has changed in today's kids). I was able to escape into my painting and, I believe, turned into a much stronger adult than if I did not have that voice to discover.
On a lighter note, art also gives voice to the voiceless. This is a truly amazing thing. My 18 month old, Olivia, can color something and be absolutely ecstatic to show me her creation. This is HER voice. I do not think that she is simply scribbling lines on a paper.

5. Encourages Independence

Art was one of the first activities that Isabel was able to do by herself. We have an art table in our dining room, supplies on a shelf, and a place for her to display her work. She learned to peel stickers from pages, to choose colors, and even to clean up after herself. This inspired confidence in her. She learned all her letters with ABC stickers, she learned animals and the sounds animals make with a Discovery coloring book... For her, art has been a way to grow.

Without art, we become bland, single-minded individuals with no connection. Art is a bridge to a life we would not otherwise experience.

Sep 27, 2013

Why I Started Using Essential Oils

Within the past 6 months, my family has discovered and adopted essential oils for a myriad of uses from home cleaning to health. This has been an absolutely fascinating journey and I feel compelled to share with you what I have learned.

Over the next few weeks, I will be showcasing some of my favorite oils.

My family uses Young Living Essential Oils. There are lots of reasons for that decision, but that is a post for another day.

My sweet Isabel is nearly 3 years old. Up until the beginning of the summer, she has woken 1-2 times every night. This mama was beyond exhausted - I never got a full night's sleep and Izzy was often cranky and hard to get along with because her sleep was being interrupted, too.

And then, my friend Jilian, introduced me to Peace and Calming.

This was the game changer.

We started diffusing this in the girls' room at night and like magic, both girls are sleeping through the night, often 12+ hours. I did not believe it at first - born skeptic. So, we ran out... again with the waking. Seriously, this stuff is for real.

Peace and calming is good for calming tantrums, promoting a peaceful environment, getting to sleep and staying to sleep. This is one thing that I plan to never be without again.

Stay tuned for more awesome oily information!

Want to know how to purchase your own oils?  Check out my informational page here