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.

Opinions

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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 37

Enter your day slowly.

Do something just for you. Maybe it’s sitting in the quiet with a cup of coffee. Maybe it’s working out. Maybe it’s prayer or meditation. Whatever it is, do it.

Don’t let the day start without good head space. Get your mind in the right place, and the day will follow.

My favorite thing to do –before anyone else gets up and about is to go sit on my back deck with a cup of coffee. Admittedly, I am guilty of checking my phone during that time, but it’s just kind of my thing first thing in the morning. I sit outside while my dog goes to do his thing and I just zone out into phone land. Because as soon as I start to rouse the little monsters, there is no more me time.

Another thing I love to do each morning is to turn the radio off while driving J Man to school. I reflect and pray for the day and talk with J about what the day has to offer. We pray together and then we decide that we’re going to rock the day! And it’s amazing. To hear that sweet little voice say the Our Father with me makes my heart swell every single morning.

Each new day is a new opportunity to become the best-version-of-yourself. What better way to start a new opportunity than to reflect in silence, solitude and stillness.

Today’s challenge is to brainstorm ways to start your day. So, I challenge you to sit down and really think about a way to get you going, to be ready to “rock this day.” And then go do it.

IMG_1435I can’t stop staring at this picture. If this doesn’t radiate JOY and GRATITUDE, I don’t know what does.

I am choosing to surrender to love every day–and be joyous and grateful for the abundance of blessings that are in my life.

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 – Day 26

Are you free? Maybe more important than that, what aren’t you free from? Because we’re all not free from something. And you know what? It might just be your morning cup of coffee. That might be your thing—that you’re not free from your morning cup of coffee. But God wants you free, he wants you completely free, he wants you totally free so that you can live life to the fullest.” –Best Lent Ever, Matthew Kelly

Yesterday, I made up my mind that starting next week, I am making a lot of changes. I’ve been there physically, it’s been a mental block that has been getting me to take that final step into a complete transformation. But yesterday, as sure as anything, the thought came, “I’m going to do it.”

I bet you’re asking why next week? Why not start now? Well, I’ll be PERFECTLY honest. I’m going to a family gathering (and we don’t have a small family) for the next week and I want to truly enjoy my time with them, rather than constantly focusing on denying myself. I want to be completely in the moment with them, no distractions. So, I made the decision to wait until I return home and am able to focus completely on that.

Fasting or denying yourself something (time, food, drink, whatever it may be), is the best way to become free. To squash those appetites that are controlling you. Fasting in small ways every day is a simple, sure path to self-mastery. So, I will do this–because I truly WANT to do this. I’m going to establish a habit of fasting. I’m going to deny myself in small ways throughout the day, fasting from certain types of foods, certain activities, and certain behaviors. Will you join me?

Day 26: JOY and GRATITUDEnew beginningsOh what a beautiful, joyous day it is!! This morning, my baby sister welcomed her son into this big, bright, beautiful world. And my heart is singing! I love new beginnings. I love watching life blossom into beautiful, strong people. I love loving on my nieces and nephews and I love watching my boys love on their cousins.

I will post a picture of our beautiful baby Beck later down the road. I want to give my sister her privacy and let her share him with the world first.

But know that today I am full to the brim of JOY and GRATITUDE. Today, I became an aunt to an amazing little soul and I can’t wait to watch him grow to be an amazing, kind and loving man.

XOXO.

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!!