Be You.

If you’re not feeling vibrant, energized, glowing, happy and healthy in every fiber of your being, something is wrong.

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Very wrong. Because we all deserve to feel our very best each and every day. We all should strive to be the very best-versions-of-ourselves every. single. day.

Furthermore–if you’re not feeling your best and you find yourself comparing yourself to others, stop. There is only one you–and YOU should be YOU. Not Jenny from the block. Nope. Just You.

Despite the fact that we all constantly feel some form of stress, fatigue, that we’re not the right weight, that we don’t do our jobs the best way, blah, blah, blah…they are not a normal feelings and we should never accept them as normal feelings.

Put your health first and get honest about what needs to change so that you can always feel amazing. So that you can always strive to be the best-version-of-yourself.

An easy way to start feeling amazing, is to eliminate products that have been exposing you to chemicals and toxins. In this article, studies have shown that those cleaning products that you buy off the shelf have been found to be just as impactful on your health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Those candles you love? Same thing.

But guess what? You can make a huge difference and feel your health soar simply by choosing to become a member to Young Living. YL provides alternatives to candles, cleaning products, bath and body products, makeup, supplements…you name it. And you can feel confident in using Young Living products because of the Seed to Seal guarantee.

So you do you–and you do what is necessary to feel amazing.

I’ll do me and what is necessary to feel amazing. AND, if you want to join me in ditching and switching to Young Living products, click here and select “Member.” Choose the starter kit you think is best for your household–contact me if you need help deciding which is best for you. I will in turn help you learn all the amazing things about Young Living products and introduce you to an amazing oil community. Win!

XOXO.

*That Famous Store* Volcano Candle Diffuser Blend

($170 at the store–the starter kit is $160)

3 drops Idaho Blue Spruce

3 drops Geranium

3 drops Grapefruit

3 drops Orange

 

You can also put Lemon Myrtle and Jasmine in the diffuser for a great, uplifting smell.

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If you’ve known me for any length of time, or if you don’t know me at all, for that matter, you may have figured out a little quirk about me. I love to keep those that have chosen to love me unconditionally on their toes. ALL THE TIME.

And that my friends, is no exaggeration. I’m spontaneous, but I am not. I have horrible habits. I make terrible decisions. But, at the same time, I have fantastic habits and make fantastic decisions. I love to help wherever I am needed, I love to donate time, talent and treasure to organizations that are dear to my heart. I am literally all over the place.

And for YEARS I battled with this. “Be the person you’re supposed to be.” “Set goals to accomplish success.” “Just behave.”

Oh those phrases drove me crazy. I went to school to become an advertising extraordinaire. Five years into my career, I was miserable and had an unbelievable calling to be in the classroom.

So, I went to get my Masters and I became a teacher.

And I was there for almost 8 years–but then found myself miserable again. I mean– a deep, dark misery that stemmed from events completely out of my control. But as each event occurred, I found myself spiraling out of control into a place I didn’t want to be.

When you get into your headspace, really get into it, you realize that there is really only one shot at this life, and it really isn’t necessary to be miserable in your choices. So I made a conscious decision to find my new happy. To follow my joy.

Is that path easy? Absolutely not. It has twists, turns, bumps and dark places. It includes learning to live in a way that you have never lived before. New habits, new schedules, new everything. And it is overwhelming at times.

Why do I write all this for the world to read? Because, I want you to know that you are not alone. EVER. There is somebody, somewhere going through a very similar journey as you.

And most importantly, maybe you’re approaching a crossroads that is frightening and you are terrified to choose the wrong path. Just know this:

“Other people’s opinions are none of your business.”

I recently read “Girl, Wash Your Face-Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Are Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis. It has been very eye opening to say the least. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Yep. IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what others think of you. Because YOU DO YOU, good/bad/everything in between.

I don’t strive to be perfect anymore. I own up to my mistakes, I own up to my successes. I own up to my life. I strive to be imperfect — I’m perfect.

The best decision I have made in this turbulent year or so has been to join the oil community. It’s so much more than products. It’s a group of individuals that have come from every walk of life and joined together under one common passion: essential oils.

Sleep. Wellness promotion. You name it, there’s an oil for that. And a community that is so happy to walk you through the journey. If you are the least bit interested in what these can do for you, I encourage you to visit The Oily Life and join us (links are provided to get started). If oils aren’t your thing–still check it out, you will be surprised how versatile oils are for EVERYONE.

And I’m finding my happy. I want the same for you. If all you get from reading this stream of thought is that you are not alone, then I will be happy for you. Because you are not.

Let’s be perfectly imperfect together.

 

40 Days – Day 39

How are YOU living?

So today is Good Friday.

Are you like me and sometimes think–what’s Good about this Friday? Why is it called that?

Because today is the day our Savior was taken to the cross, and put to death. What’s good about that?!? I’ll tell you what’s good. HIM. He knew what was to come and He did it anyway. He laid down His life for you and me–and y’all…That’s better than good. That’s AMAZING.

So today, on one of the most holy days available to us, reflect on yourself. What are you doing? How are you living? Lay it down and be JOYOUS. For, though the event was tragic, the results were miraculous.

Here is an amazing video I saw this morning–it brought tears to my eyes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

XOXO.

40 Days – Day 36

It NEVER fails to amaze me when I start to see a pattern of lessons, from different sources, all pointing to the same direction.

Today, in Best Lent Ever, they explore managing the PRESENT to create the future. And what is so crazy about that??? Well, in all of the literature I’m reading, in all of the IG and Facebook posts I’m following–there is a THEME.

What is that theme?

To embrace SILENCE, SOLITUDE and STILLNESS.

Set aside a time every day to reflect upon your life, your meaning, your purpose.

Great lives are made up of action AND rests.

Rests = silence, solitude and stillness.

You will truly find when you put yourself in good headspace, the rest of the day flows easily. Even on bad days. Head space is SO important.

What’s even more, Mercury is in retrograde, that even has the non-believers grasping for air. It’s just off. Have you noticed? Are you cranky for NO reason? Do you want to be all by yourself, when normally you’re a social junkie? It’s no joke. My very dear friend at ShopMyrrh.com explains it so very well. But what YOU need to take out of it all–is do not ignore your body’s natural pull to stay home or be suddenly introverted.

Because, to be the best-version-of-yourself in the future, you must be 100% in the present. And a lot of times, to do that, you must rest.

So, friends, rest.

SILENCE, SOLITUDE, STILLNESS.

If even for 10 minutes.

Then open your eyes, smile, and know that love and peace fill your heart.

XOXO.

40 Days – A Whole Lotta Days…

So, I’m back! I was very misguided in my belief that I could do things, like blog, while the boys were out on Spring Break. They are so full of energy and life–and demand every second of the day to be filled with some sort of activity. And when they are FINALLY resting–I found myself exhausted and resting with them. But we had fun and made a whole lotta memories. So-my blog could be set aside and I was ok with that. They’re only this little once and seeing the world through their eyes is a blessing in itself.

So–I’ve been keeping up with my Lenten study, just not posting it here. I’m going to give you a couple of snippets that are certainly worth a thought. Summary from Best Lent Ever, Days 28-35:

  1. Why do we complicate things in our lives? We ALL have a tendency to make things a lot more complicated than they have to be. But there IS a way to simplify things: LOVE. Love rearranges our priorities and helps us to get clear about what we want.
  2. Decision Making. Life is nothing but choices. All day, every day. Simplify your life–live it for an audience of one (Him). You’ll all of a sudden find that choices aren’t that hard to make. Look at your motives for your decisions (especially if you are struggling to make one).
  3. Give until it hurts. If you’re reading this thinking “I have nothing to give,” I want you to pinch yourself real quick. Because THAT IS NOT TRUE. We all have so much to give, be it treasure, time or talent. And what you have IS a gift from God–so there is a great joy in offering it back to Him. “Live simply so others may simply live.” -Teresa of Calcutta
  4. What is your mission? God made YOU for a mission. What is it? I’m personally getting there–being able to put my finger on exactly He wants me to do in this world. Great things happen when your talents and passions meet the world’s and other people’s needs. So I’m trying to be quiet, to listen to Him and to go to where He is calling me.
  5. Find Yourself. The surest way to find yourself is to stay exactly where you are. Weird, huh? But…you are exactly where you are right now for a reason. Take time to serve. Do small things and do them full of love. Great love. Be the difference that makes a difference in this world. My tea this morning said this, “Life is a flow of love; your participation is requested.”
  6. Focus on what you are here to give. What will your contribution be? In the circle of life, the fact is you must contribute or perish. It is that way with all species, big or small. Contribute or perish. Find your mission, find yourself, and then give it all as big, and as full of love as you can.
  7. Don’t worry. Worrying takes us out of the NOW and we’re supposed to be living in the NOW. Because that is where He is. He does not worry about yesterday or tomorrow. He is in the now–and wants you there with Him. Do yourself a favor and read Matthew 6:25-34.
  8. There are no problems. Just lessons and solutions. Every difficulty, no matter how great or small, is an opportunity to grow. To grow in virtue. To grow in character. To become a better-version-of-yourself. Every difficulty is actually a blessing to you–though you may not see it at the time. Problems are opportunities to build your character.

DAY 35: JOY and GRATITUDE

So–some of you may be reading this thinking–what is this blog all about? Well, to be honest, it is a mom blog. As soon as Easter hits, the posts will be about being a mom and a wife. And some posts about essential oils. And some will be about finding balance in this tipsy topsy world. And some of my posts will be teeny tiny short. Some will be long winded. Some will be silly. Some will be sad. I just know that they will all provide you a window in the our little world and maybe hopefully make you feel better about your own little world. Because THIS little world, we are raising little monsters. They are sweet sometimes, they are horrid other times. But they are ours and we love them, growls and all.

Here are the rest of the pictures from our Spring Break. It was sooooo much fun, but I seriously need a vacation from our vacation. (Because there is no such thing as a vacation with a five and two year old…let’s be real).

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Little man sat here for hours waiting for his “Rie Rie.” He was ready to read to her.
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Shooting pool with the guys.
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These little guys are ready to get in on all the big boy action. Hang on, little ones…your time will come.
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The fellas pre-parade.
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Two of my very favorite gals–I’m so glad I get to call them family.
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I think we wore him out. 
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Doing Aunt Amanda’s hair. She’s a good soul.
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Breakfast at Camellia Grill. Side note: if you want to go here, go at 10:30 on a Monday. We walked right in, were served in less than 3 minutes and out by 11. (If you’re unfamiliar with this place, it’s a famous breakfast dive in Uptown New Orleans, where people will wait in line for HOURS to get a seat)
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Tourist time! We visited the Aquarium!

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Hi penguin!
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Hurricane wind tunnel…
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Petting sting rays
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The White Gator…who apparently looks neon green in this light…
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I wish my bedroom looked like this. So serene and peaceful.
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We must find the shark. 

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Lunch in the French Market.
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Cheese!
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Mommy escaped for a quick dinner with her friend, Amanda.
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He looks like Key Boy. 
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Tourist Day #2 – The Audubon Zoo!
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“And they all axed for you!”
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Trying to capture pictures of these four can be a bit trying at times…

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You can’t go to NOLA without a Hansen’s Snoball stop 

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We’re home and …
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When your mantra is “Follow your Joy” it only makes sense that your #favoriteoil is Joy. I apply this over my heart every morning and repeat to myself “follow your joy.” It gives me a good, positive energy to start the day.
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We invited our cousin, Mac, over to spend the night. This was J Man’s first sleepover at his own house–so we had to go big. Movie baskets filled with treats.
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Decorating pillow cases.

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And we couldn’t leave out Beck, even though he is too little for sleepovers…
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Popcorn time!
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They’re in there somewhere. We put up the tent in the playroom so the boys could “camp” and watch movies at the same time!
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This guy is awesome. Just truly awesome. 
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Doing some reading on my gorgeous deck on a gorgeous Spring day.
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Clay thought that was a good idea, so he came to join me.

40 Days – Day 24

Self-control.

Eeek. The thought makes me cringe. This has always been one of my weakest points. What it is that is “controlling” me changes, but I have ALWAYS been weak in self-control and what I let run my life.

Do you struggle with something enslaving your life? Making you less authentic–more materialistic? It could be your phone. That little piece of technology rules the world. Think about it. When you go out in public (a restaurant, a park, Disney World…) everyone is walking with their heads down, staring at their phones. Or they have headphones on, drowning out any potential for a in person conversation.

Matthew Kelly says today: “You know, one of the ways that we are called as Christians to exercise this self-control is through our appetites. We are creatures of appetite. We have all types of appetites that come every day: appetite for food, appetite for drink, appetite for sleep. Many of these appetites are given to us by God as part of his design of us in order to keep us alive. They’re survival mechanisms, right? But even something very, very good can be twisted and turned into something very, very damaging or even diabolical.

The reality is that these appetites that we have, they’re not going away. There’s no making peace with them. We either control them, or they control us. They’re either our slaves, or we’re they’re slaves. There’s no middle ground. And so living an authentic life, living an integrated life, requires that we learn to control our appetites. You struggle with some, I struggle with others. I like food, I don’t know if you’ve noticed.

The reality is, we all struggle with something when it comes to the area of appetites. What is it that you’re struggling with, and how do you feel God calling you to exercise control over that in your daily life?” 

Today, put in your mind that self-control prevents you from becoming enslaved to something (whatever that something may be). Starting today, become a master of your appetites. Direct your appetites toward those things that are good for you and genuinely help you to become your best self.

Day 24: JOY and GRATITUDE

*Disclaimer: This is NOT ME. This is a stock photo. Though…this IS on my dream board, because one day, this WILL BE me.

yoga

I started my true yoga practice last summer. And I fell in love. It is challenging–yet relaxing and invigorating and allows me to get into my headspace. This morning I just really didn’t want to get out of bed (thanks Daylight Savings)…which means I REALLY didn’t want to go to yoga. But, I got out of bed. I got dressed and I went to yoga. And now I feel amazing.

So…this goes back to the lesson for the day. Self-control. The me a couple of months ago would have chosen sleep over yoga. But–my head wasn’t in the right place. These last few months I’ve been working really hard at getting my head in the right place, through various practices, and this morning, even though I didn’t want to, I got up and I went.

And I feel glorious.

Go do your thing. Set your mind a go. Don’t look back.

XOXO

The Raff Week in Review

Wild. Crazy. Busy. Fun. Chaotic. Frustrating. You know, the usual routine. Throw Springing Forward in there just for the fun of it…but silver lining–LONGER DAYS! Woo hoo!!!

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So, last Sunday I was down for the count. I pinched a nerve or pulled a muscle or something miserable in my back. I could hardly move. I fought it ALL week. THANK GOODNESS for Deep Relief, Panaway and Cool Azul. I could feel immediate release when I put it on. AHHHHH!!!
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Get you some Ningxia Red (and all those antibodies) you little man, you!
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When your working hard to hit big goals, you got to break out the big guns. Abundance, FulFill the Destiny, Highest Potential and Believe. All are amazing oils to get your mind in a state to accomplish and achieve and to have complete confidence that you can do what you set out to do.
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I had two buddies at Friday’s All School Mass. It makes my heart so happy to see them so excited to see me!
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SO…I did a thing. I showed you the starting point last week. On Friday, I blocked out the day and was determined to get it finished. I am absolutely IN LOVE with this space. Lots of meditating and book reading in my future while the weather is not sweltering hot. 
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Finally hung these lights. Have had them for nearly three years…
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Day time light–and Clay Clay checking out the finished look. He says “it’s pretty.” J Man told me it’s “epic.”
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THIS requires no caption.
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Dads doing their dad thing…in matching shirts.
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Soccer started back up. J Man did a much better job when he was told to sit out. (During the Fall he thought he needed to play ALWAYS. We did a lot of talking about teamwork and sharing play time). He scored three of the four goals that his team scored. He looked AWESOME on that field!
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Don’t let this fool you. This is him resting after he ran into the middle of not one but FOUR different soccer games because he “wanted to play.” Good thing this is kindy soccer and all the parents are really laid back.
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And we let this happen. It was a disaster. NEVER AGAIN. But…the boys had fun.
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My 9 month pregnant sister REALLY wanted a Strawberry Chocolate Mousse cake so…I made her one. It was GOOD. You can get the recipe here
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Clay wanted him to play Headbanz. Like really bad. Here, he’s telling me “No Facebook.” Ok, sweet hubby. No Facebook. I promise. (he never said anything about the blog…)
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Our very dear friend, Lilly, turned 6! We went to the zoo to celebrate her birthday. J Man was in heaven because he was with all his besties. Clay was in heaven because he was with the animals. 

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So, Saturday, March 17 is the New Moon. I don’t specialize in this–but am so very fascinated with numerology, astrology, and all things universal–and especially how you can spiritually interpret the cosmos. My dear, dear friend DOES specialize in it–so if you’re ever interested in diving deeper into these amazing things–you should check her out! I’ll do a post about the Pisces New Moon sometime this week–and what YOU can do to prepare for it. 
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Oils are about so much more than promoting wellness and supporting your physical systems. This is the year anniversary of when my life situations SNOWBALLED out of control, to the point I felt like I was drowning. I will go into more detail on this picture later this week–but just know–there is amazing emotional support when using essential oils. 

She’s just too cute not to share again. She will be with us in one month and four days. Not that anyone is counting or anything.

Leave with today’s gospel (it’s a famous one!): John 3:14-21. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

He LOVES us!!