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.

Hang On Mama

This morning was a doozie. It started off somewhat calm, and normal, but quickly escalated into something that made me turn into Mama Monster, which then made me have extreme Mama Guilt for the rest of the morning.

I got hit with Mickey Mouse because no jackets fit (mind you, he was WEARING a fleece-so, yeah kid, your jackets aren’t going to fit over that). A temper tantrum then pursued–and all threats of discipline fell on deaf ears.

Of course, I’m thinking the entire time I’m throwing these threats around that this will actually punish ME more than HIM because I will be at home alone with him this afternoon and evening. Insert the beginning of Mama Guilt.

But the doozie wasn’t any of those things. The doozie was, when my little five year old was getting out of the car, I told him I loved him, as I do every morning. And you know what he did? He looked at me and said nothing. He said nothing! The door closed behind him and tears welled up in my eyes.

He didn’t say I love you back.

Talk about a Mama feeling like a failure moment.

When I was in my twenties and even when the hubby and I decided it was time to grow our family, no one could have told me how to prepare for these kinds of moments. No advice, no opinions, no experience could have prepared my heart for the hurt that moments like this fill in your mind, body and soul.

There are lots of moments like this–and I know there will be many more. I mean, I’m only just beginning.

So, here’s the thing.

I’ve been that mama that has left a cart in the store and carried a screaming child out. I have been that mama that has sat at iHop (because my little boy loves iHop and I was trying to treat him) crying into my pancakes, putting all the food (untouched) in to-go boxes and carrying two (TWO) screaming children out. I have stood in our church vestibule with two children crawling over my feet, misbehaving — at CHURCH–with no words to say to them. Only tears would come and only tears streamed down my cheeks. I have packed up literally EVERY SINGLE TOY in the play room and locked them in the attic.

I have felt like a failure.

Why do I write all of this?

Well, because I KNOW I am not alone. Because in all of those moments – something has occurred to show me I’m not alone. And I write this because, these words might just be what some Mama needs to read today. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I have had a store employee walk quietly behind me and tell me not to worry about the cart–to take a deep breath and do whatever I needed to do to calm the crazy monster. I have had a family at the next table attempt to entertain my crazy monsters while a waitress helps me to box up the untouched food. I have had women walk up to me and simply HUG me–no words, just a hug–while tears are streaming down my face. I have had people walk calmly behind me and help me to pack up all the toys and place them in the attic.

And I KNOW why they do it. Because they’ve been there. They KNOW no words are going to help at that moment. They KNOW no advice, no opinions, nothing–but quiet action–are going to help settle your heart in that moment.

So hang on Mama. Tomorrow is a new day. And the little monsters may have decided to be tyrants this morning, and maybe into the evening…but the little monsters will also give you BIG KISSES, lay heads on your shoulder, tell you sweet dreams, because YOU are their Mama. And, no matter what they say or do, they LOVE YOU.

XOXO.

Mama Daze
When your mama spirit needs a lift

Diffuser Blend:

2 Drops Geranium, 3 Drops Grapefruit, 1 Drop Lime.

According to Reference Guide for EOs:

Geranium Properties can be antidepressant and a relaxant.

Grapefruit Properties can be antidepressant and a stimulant.

Lime can be restorative (and come on, just smells oh so good).

Lift your spirits with essential oils and find the rest of the day fall into place. I also apply topically to my heart, Joy – when inhaled brings back memories of being loved and cherished. I apply topically to my wrists and neck, Stress Away -which is a blend formulated to help relieve everyday stresses and tensions so you can live a healthier and happier life, and finally, I apply Progessence Plus to my upper arms because, let’s be honest, maybe sometimes the fault of tension does not lie on the Little Monsters, but instead, on Mama’s hormones.

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 17

Find your passion.

If you could do ANYTHING, what would you do? Would you sell your house, by an RV and travel to all the sporting events you wanted to attend (because that is certainly what my husband would say). Would you sell your house, load up all your belongings in a storage unit and live the nomad lifestyle–traveling from place to place, living, learning, loving? Would you dedicate all your time to that non-profit that pulls on your heart strings?

A lot of us never REALLY think about what we would do, because we believe it is simple not possible to achieve. But guess what? This great big, awesome universe has great plans for you. He has great plans for you.

So start with this:

  1. Give yourself 5-10 minutes and really think about what you want to do. Make a list about things you’re passionate about. FIND YOUR PASSION.
  2. Ask yourself questions like this:
    1. What energizes you?
    2. If you could do anything with the rest of your life, what would that look like?
    3. What do you do that time passes by very quickly?

Matthew Kelly tells us to find our passion today. Become a better-version-of-yourself. MANIFEST what you want.

FOCUS: Who is God calling you to become? The secret is finding what you are well suited for.

ACT: Take a few minutes and make a list of your passions. Write everything down—anything that excites you, anything that energizes you. Just write it all down.

An added side note to you today. You have found yourself on my blog and you’re thinking, I’m not interested in all that spiritual stuff. Or…I’m not Catholic…or I’m not Christian…or I don’t believe in any of that. Guess what? That’s OK. One of my challenges during this Lent is to post every day about becoming the best-version-of-myself, and I truly believe, that whether you have the same faith as me or not, that you can certainly benefit from these lessons as well. Most of the time, this blog will truly be about kids, oils–and then repeat. Because THAT is what I am passionate about.

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I want to stand from the mountain tops and share with the world my kids and my love for Young Living essential oils.

Because, you know what? This world out here in internet land can lead you to believe that EVERYONE else has it perfect. That EVERYONE else has it figured out. And guess what? EVERYONE else does NOT have it figured out nor are they perfect.

And I’m here to show you just THAT. I’m raising Little Monsters. There is definitely never a dull moment here in RaffsLittleWorld, but there are definitely frustrating times and there are definitely joy filled times. And I’m okay with that. Do I have tips to save the world? Absolutely not. But can I show you that you are not alone in your frustrations, your slip ups, your not so perfect moments? Absolutely.

I can also show you how incorporating essential oils in your routine can improve your lifestyle.

So I hope you are enjoying these posts. It’s been awfully quiet, so I am really ready to get some feedback about what you think. Let today be the day you comment! Tell me about yourself.

Til tomorrow–

XOXO

A Week in Review

At times we don’t invite God into an area of our life because it’s too human. This Sunday’s Gospel gives us the reassurance that Jesus is right there. He’s right there. He gets it. And now is the time to invite him in. This week’s gospel (John 2:13–25) reveals distrust, anger, completely human emotions. THAT reveals traits of us all. And Jesus is there, waiting for us to bring him into an area(s) of our life(ves).

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Bowling Fun!
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See my “phone!” (This is what he’d rather do than bowl)
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Some amazing Spring inspired diffuser blends with Spring coming just around the corner.
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Love your body. Greens, Ningxia Red, Thieves and Kombucha are great places to start.
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So…when you have two small boys, Stain Remover is a must. This recipe calls for 1/4 c. Castile Soap, 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 capful of Thieves Cleaner, 5 drops of Lemon essential oil and 5 drops of Thieves essential oil.
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When everything starts to blossom, we also welcome sniffles. This trio helps keep those sniffles at bay (20 drops each of Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, top with carrier oil of your choice)
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Puffy eyes? Grab some cotton rounds, a few drops of Witch Hazel, a few drops of Lavender and about 1/8 cup of distilled water. Dip the rounds in the water mixture, wring them out and place flat in the freezer for about five minutes. Take them out of the freezer, lay over eyes and keep them there for about 10-15 minutes. This would be a great time to do your meditation, too!
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The moon sends all kinds of energy to us. Here are some great diffuser recipes to embrace the power of the moon and get our heads in the right place to accept the energy it sends our way.
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My house can be clean ALL day and he can undo all of that in a matter of SECONDS.
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…SECONDS.
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Results of Stain Remover. I never have understood why they give little boys white uniform shirts?!?!?
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Young Living isn’t just oils. It offers a full line of skin care and makeup. And I LOVE the way it feels on my skin!
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Because I’m raising Little Monsters…this Mama needs all the Stress Away, all the time.
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Because I couldn’t make him fly.
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Gift basket I’m donating to my son’s school auction night. It’s called the “Mama Bear Basket.”  All the Ningxia products (because all mamas need energy), Stress Away, Joy, and Gratitude essential oils (because, well, being a mama is full of stress, joy and gratitude–am I right?). Two Mama Bear cups (great for poolside beverages that need to remain inconspicuous ;)…) and a package of Seedlings baby wipes (for all the messes).
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The Young Living Vitality line is deemed GRAS (generally regarded as safe) for consumption. Add a drop or two of Lime to your guacamole and be ready for all the YUMMY.
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Just another night in Raffsworld.
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There is never a dull moment…
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Thursday night’s full moon. Perfect view from my living room.
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Spring Cleaning — Deck gets a makeover. This is after being power washed. After pics to come next Sunday.
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Got the boys early from school on Friday because it was a GORGEOUS day. We called it our Mommy/Sons Date Day. We went to a local park called Two Rivers and walked all over the forest looking for bears and opossums.
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And…watching the boats on the Arkansas river. And throwing things, like Mommy’s sunglasses, into the river…
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Looking for 4 leaf clovers…
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Needed a break I guess…

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That face.
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and that one.
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The laughter did this mama heart good.
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After looking at this picture, I immediately went out to order Boswellia Wrinkle Cream. I didn’t pay a penny for it–used my Essential Rewards points and some account credit. Because–where did those wrinkles come from?!?!

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My life. It has its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade these particular moments (like this picture) for anything.
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Next stop–frozen yogurt!

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This is Clay’s version of Charlie Brown’s Pig Pen

The All New Young Living Premium Starter Kit

Moms need oils. Dads need oils. Kids need oils. Even our furbabies need oils. So, stop delaying. This brand new Premium Starter Kit is worth every penny.

Let’s break this down:

Lavender: This is the most versatile oil out there. Use it for relaxation, seasonal support, all things skin, all things sleep. You will fall in love.

Lemon: Amazing for cleaning (stains, Sharpies, you know…whatever shows up in your house because you’re Raising Little Monsters), uplifting your spirit when it is feeling down, detoxing your body from things you put in your body.

Copaiba: This gem is soothing and amazing to help soothe aches and pains. This oil can also be used to enhance other oils and their effects on your system.

Peppermint: This can cool off an overheated body, supports your tummy, and is amazing at opening airways when those seasonal sniffles have gotten you.

Frankincense: you know the old adage “it was good enough for Baby Jesus.” Because yep, it’s amazing. Liquid gold. Provides grounding, wrinkles hate it, and promotes overall wellbeing. Who wouldn’t want Frank in their lives?!?!

Panaway: Supports your muscles and joints (for those days that you take your boys to the park and wind up carrying the two year old for over a mile and a half…), tames tension and provides soothing.

Thieves: Immunity booster, cleansing for your systems, promotes overall wellness. WIN. WIN. WIN.

Stress Away: just like the label says. Every mama/daddy needs this oil in their arsenal. Every teacher needs this oil in their arsenal. This is a must have. And it comes in the Premium Starter Kit! (it also comes in the Ningxia Red Starter Kit and the Basic Starter Kit).

Citrus Fresh: *NEW* Use for purifying, promoting happy emotions and support your immunity. I’m diffusing this as a type with Blue Tansy and it smells heavenly.

Raven: *NEW* all things respiratory. ALL THINGS.

Thieves Cleaner Packet: *NEW* THIS IS THE BEST CLEANER EVER. And…it’s toxic free. You don’t get a headache or dried skin when using this baby. It’s amazing.

Ningxia Red 2 ounce Packets (2): Every mama needs all the energy. This will do it. Full of antioxidants it also boosts immunity and provides overall support to all the systems.

NOW AVAILABLE AS A DIFFUSER OPTION: The Desert Mist Diffuser. This guy can run up to 10 hours. Has different light options and is oh so beautiful. I hoard this gem in my bedroom. Because you know, I was noticing that I would wake up when my DewDrop shut off after four hours. Now I don’t wake up. Because the Desert Mist is still running when I wake up. Cue angels rejoicing: AHHHHHHH!

The time is now to get started. You won’t regret it. Message me or comment here and we’ll get you rocking and rolling!

Hope you’re having an amazing Saturday!

XOXO.

40 Days – Day 16

Find meaning in your everyday living.

Work. We all work A LOT. If you start right out of college and work 40 hour weeks until you retire at 65, you will have worked apx. 86,400 hours. That’s a lot of your time. But like Matthew Kelly talked about yesterday, we have to work. And we have to find fulfillment in our work.

Today, he talks about find meaning in your work. So you’re going to work. Human nature demands that you do work. That you find fulfillment in your life. How do you make your work meaningful? Well easy answers would be become a teacher and help someone become the best version of themselves. Become a doctor and help someone heal. But what about all those other jobs in between? Not all of us can be teachers or doctors. So, if you are a fast food worker, smile and wish everyone a happy day. You could literally be saving a life by just smiling at a stranger. As a financial adviser, sit down and truly work with your clients. Show them you truly care about them and their situation.

Bring meaning to your work. Turn it into prayer. Say, “I will work this hour in prayers for my mother and her joy.” The next hour, say “I will work this hour in prayer for my children, that they remain safe, healthy and free from disease.” So on…

Life is prayer.

Transform your everyday moments to prayer. I will clean and put away these dishes in prayer of gratitude for having a roof over my head.

Find intention. Be purposeful. You will find very quickly that intention and purpose can elevate your work.

Today’s focus is this: Find something that you consider worthy of your talent and character, and give yourself to it.

Today’s call to action is: Let God guide you in the pursuit of your dreams. Ask him, “God, what do you think I should do?”

If you’d like, I’d love to hear what you have done today. Come back and comment here and let’s open up a chat. Because community is so important, too.

Day 16: JOY and GRATITUDE

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Kids. Oils. Repeat. This is my life and I love every minute of it.

For 8 years I was a teacher. And for many of those years, I loved being there. But at the end of last year, I started getting a pull at my heart that I wasn’t in the right place. I wasn’t where God wanted me anymore. So, I slowed down and started listening.

Then my husband and I started talking. I wasn’t present in the lives of my children because I was struggling to keep the work separate and failing miserably. So, we decided that it was time for me to leave teaching and to bring my focus to my children, my husband, my home. And you know what happened? I grew in faith. I grew in character. And I grew in Young Living.

I am a proud independent distributor of Young Living, and I took my passion for teaching and applied it to essential oils. I love to connect and teach people how to use and then fall in love with Young Living products.

So–you’ll notice the theme of this blog–kids, oils, repeat. Because that is my intention and purpose. To be the best mother I can be to my little monsters and to bring safe, natural products to every home I possibly can.

And my little monsters bring me so much JOY and are truly my inspiration to wake up every single morning. I am so thankful God put my friend’s posts in front of me that cold December 2016 night that my kid was REFUSING to go to bed for like the 10th day in a row. Because He brought me Young Living with those posts on social media. Young Living brought me purpose in my work.

MOMMY. OILER. I’ve found meaning. And it’s glorious.