Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Polishing Wood With The Help Of Wild Orange Essential Oil

Recently I've been getting a few questions about how I polish wooden pieces with essential oils and coconut oil and also about how well it actually works so I decided to do a post about it. I have been adding Lemon (Antibacterial, Antimicrobial, Antiseptic) essential oil, but recently I've been adding one of my new favorites: Wild Orange ( Antiseptic) essential oil. It keeps bacteria at bay..maybe not as well as lemon, but the smell is AMAZING! we go:

1. Get about a tablespoon or so of coconut oil and put it inside a small bowl or container. You may need to
add more coconut oil if you have a lot of wooden furniture that needs polishing.

2. Put 1-2 drops of Wild Orange essential oil onto the mixture and stir it with a fork

3. Wipe your fork off with whatever rag you're going to use and then dip the rag into the mixture and boom, you're ready to go! I've learned that a little goes a long way with this stuff and depending on your surface you can usually spread out a tiny bit to polish a large area.

This is a before and after with one of my end tables:

The picture doesn't do it justice, it looked horrible. It looked really dull and yucky, but thankfully after the polish it's good enough to show off to Grandma ( which is saying something, am I right?!?). I also showed it compared to Walmart's store brand polish and although you can't really see in the pic ( kind of visible on the lower part of the table)....the Walmart side does have a few blotchy, dullish areas that the coconut oil doesn't have.

Well there you have it! Proof that a cleaner full of safe all natural ingredients can work just as well, if not better than one of those harsh chemical filled aerosol ones. Plus the smell of wild orange kicks ANY synthetic smell's butt!

 If you're looking for essential oils I recommend the Wild Orange from Spark Naturals, plus if you use coupon code " Bubble" you get 10% off your whole order! Awesome!

Well, there is it! Let me know if you have any questions or comments I would be happy to answer them, happy cleaning!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

And this is how you know you're officially a mom.

Yesterday was mine and Hubby's three year wedding anniversary, though we've been together for a whopping ten years.TEN...crazy right? was a nice day, he got me six more essential oils I've been wanting, and a new wallet, and I got him an assortment of hunting paraphernalia. My lovely sister watched Munchkin while we went out to dinner, and later we decided to stop at Target.

I realized when we walked in that it was actually the first time we had went shopping together in a store without our little angel. It was crazy how excited I was. We were taking our time looking at everything and spending time just standing and comparing things which I know to people who don't have kids might seem really weird, but to those of you who totally know what I'm talking about.

Usually our shopping trip goes like this:

3:00 - At the house
Me: " Alright, I've packed everything in her diaper bag that we could need...are you ready? I have a's only a few things, we shouldn't be long."
Hubby: " Yep I'm ready, I'll get Munchkin in the car....she'll be fine."

3:15 - Arrive at store
Me: " Ok sweetie...let's sit you in the cart."
Munch: "UUUHHHH UUHHHHH" * kicks feet, cries* MOOOMMMMAAAAA
Hubby: " big deal, I'll hold her."
Me: * brave smile * " harm done...happy girl ok?"
Munch: * claps hands and acts happy *

3:25 - Shopping for a grand total of ten minutes
Munch: * cries and rolls in Hubby's arms like an alligator demanding to be put down *
Hubby: " No sweetheart, it's a snack." * bribes with Lucky Charms*
Munch: * eats a bite and resolves to sit still for the moment* 
Me: * getting a little worried *  " Hey babe...which one of these did we like last time? "
* picks up two, trying to compare labels*

3:27 - Same isle
Munch: * starts screaming and throwing snacks *
Me: " Let me hold her...look want some juice?" * grab munchkin who is still fussing*
Hubby: " I don't know...I don't care....just grab something"
Me: " Maybe she wants a toy...hand me a toy"
Hubby: " There is no toy"
Me: " oh crap...I forgot them on the counter"
Munchkin: * fussing and irritated we're standing in one place for too long*
Me: " I just can't decide between this one and this one"
Hubby: " Then we'll come back to the isle in a minute, we need to keep moving...what's next?"
Me: " I don't know..where is the list?"
Munchkin: * suspiciously quiet*
Me: " I think she pooped..."
Hubby: "ok...I'll change her you grab whatever is left"

3:31 - Checking out and trying to distract Munchkin with everything in the arsenal
Me: "We're almost done sweetheart..almost going home."
Munchkin:  * crying and throwing whatever she can get her hands on*
Hubby: " I'll pay for everything, take her outside..see if that helps."

3:32 - Taking outside does not help

3:34 - On the way back home, Munchkin still fussing 
Me: " We forgot the tea bags"
Hubby: " screw it"

Yep...that's basically how it goes now. I longingly remember the days where she used to sit in her car seat and was perfectly content with watching people quietly. I've been told it gets better, but I remain skeptical. All I can say is that you know you're a mom when shopping at Target with your Hubby is the highlight of your anniversary. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

15 great ways to begin exploring Spark Natural's Essential 4 pack kit

As you guys know, I recently bought the Essential 4 Pack Oil Kit from Spark Naturals which contains four of the most popular essential oils: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Melaleuca (Tea Tree). I've fallen in love these past few weeks trying the oils and discovering the world of EOs. This is a small list of my favorite uses so far with the kit. Enjoy!

 - Vacuuming -
1. Add 1-2 drops of Lavender to your vacuum's air vent and spread the scent throughout your home. I LOVE smelling the calming aroma while doing a chore that I hate. Plus the scent lingers and it's SO nice to smell after the vacuuming is done and you can kick your feet up on the couch and relax. It usually lasts for three vacuuming sessions. I've also tried Lemon (1 drop) and it was SUCH a nice pick-me-up, I found myself actually smiling while vacuuming.

- Stinky Shoes -
2. Add 1-2 drops of Melaleuca to stinky sneakers. Hubby's shoes are the WORST, and I mean WORST. I usually ban his sneakers outside...I wish I was kidding. Recently however at night I'll put the drops of Melaleuca on his sneakers and put them into a plastic grocery bag ( one shoe into one bag) then seal it up and in the morning they smell awesome. I've started doing that routine once a week.

 - Boost Cleaning - 
3. Add 3-4 drops of Peppermint to your all-purpose cleaner ( I use Parsley Plus it's an AWESOME green cleaner that you can get at Walmart for about $4.00). Peppermint is antiseptic so it helps with the cleaning and also the smell of Peppermint keeps spiders and ants away!

 - Uplift -
4. Munchkin's sleep schedule has been WAY off and lately I've found myself stressing over getting it back on track, and on those days when I feel so irritated I just take a whiff of Lemon and I feel instantly happier and that things are just going to be ok, it just makes me smile.

- Sanitizing -
5. Speaking of Lemon, fill up a small spray bottle (you can find a 1oz glass spray bottle for only $1.75 at Spark Naturals! ) with water and add 2 drops of Lemon ( Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Microbial, Antiseptic ) and 2 drops of Melaleuca (Antimicrobial, Antiseptic, Antiviral, ) then spray the mixture on shopping cart handles, baby changing stations, door knobs or any other surface that needs sanitizing.

- Removing Weird Smell From Glasses -
6. Recently I've noticed that our drinking glasses have come out of the dishwasher with a weird smell to them, no matter how deeply I clean the washer and no matter which cleaner we use so I've started putting one drop of Lemon on a cotton ball and leaving it in the cabinet. The Lemon cotton ball absorbs the weird smell and leaves everything smelling wonderfully clean and happy.

- Travel Help - 
7. I also used the cotton ball trick when we were traveling with Munchkin last week and it was our first time staying in a hotel with her. I put two cotton balls with 1 drop of Lavender on each of them and stuck them in our suitcases, the scent was so calming and wonderful when we opened them back up. It was exactly what we needed to smell after a crazy, stressful day and I think it also helped relax her as well.

- Headache Help -
8. I've told you guys before about how I usually get headaches 4-5 times a week and a migraine 1-2 days a week. Recently I've filled up a glass roller ball ( only $1.25 from Spark Naturals! ) with coconut oil and added 8 drops of Peppermint and 8 drops of Lavender and rubbed it on my temples and right in the middle of my forehead. I found that it worked best when I put it on right when I was barely beginning to notice a headache coming on. That got me thinking and I started putting the mixture on right when I woke up and in the middle of the day, headache or not. So far I have only had one bad migraine that needed Excedrin ( that's in two weeks people which is AMAZING).

- Baby Acne - 
9. Munchkin has really bad baby acne and I mixed up 1Tbs. of coconut oil with 2 drop of Lavender and I have been dabbing her cheeks with the mixture every morning and right before bed. The difference is awesome, pictures to follow soon!

 - Musty Smell Remover -
10. My Mother-in-law gave us some amazingly beautiful quilts that unfortunately have a slight musty smell to them that refused to leave, no matter how many times I tried washing them. I had almost given up when I read that Melaleuca is a fungicide, and so I mixed up some water, a dash of white distilled vinegar, and about 8 drops of Melaleuca oil in a spray bottle and sprayed them down then hung them to dry. I am happy to report that the smell is completely gone and the awesome tea tree smell is in it's place. Yay!

- Lavender Soap - 
11. Make Homemade Lavender Soap by A Pumpkin And A Princess . Although I haven't tried this yet ( I haven't had time to go to the natural foods store to look for the soap base )I just know it's going to be amazing because you can't go wrong with soothing ingredients and Lavender oil. I CANNOT wait to get started on this, and I'm even thinking of making a whole bunch for some Christmas gifts.

- Kitchen Wipes -
12. I told you guys a few weeks ago about this awesome idea to make your own Reusable Peppermint Kitchen Wipes by One Good Thing By Jillee and I decided to try it out, but I couldn't find castille soap anywhere ( plus I read that it leaves a residue behind unless you wipe it up with water after which I just don't have time for) so I used distilled white vinegar instead and they turned out pretty great, the peppermint smell lingers after the vinegar smell disappears. I think next time I'm going to make some Melaleuca ones for super, extra germ fighting power, especially since cold and flu season is coming!

- Oily Hair Helper - 
13. I've always had oily hair, you can tell when I skip a day shampooing which happens more often than I'd like to admit. I've been using Suave's dry shampoo spray, but since getting my oils I've been dabbing my fingers with a drop of Lemon oil and running them through my hair (focusing on the roots) before I spray it with the dry shampoo. I've noticed that my hair looks a lot better than with the spray alone, the essential oil soaks up the oil in my hair plus my hair sort of diffuses the lemon scent and gives off an uplifting happy smell all through the day!

- Wake Up Call -
14. I mentioned earlier about munchkin's sleep schedule being out of whack which means that some days I barely get five hours of sleep and I need some energizing....STAT. In those days that I need a quick boost I take a shower first thing. I dial the temperature pretty hot, and add 1 drop of Peppermint directly to the side of the shower wall so the steam and heat disperses it. It's almost like a Vick's shower soother, but the smell is pure minty and gives instant energizing power, I LOVE it. It wakes me up and makes me feel so much better.

- Boosting Your All Natural Wood Polish -
15. I've always used coconut oil to polish wood, I just get a rag and scoop a tiny bit out and spread it over the pieces to polish them, but  recently I've started adding a few drops of Lemon on my rag. The coconut oil is a carrier oil so the scent is distributed as you wax. The pure Lemon smell is SO much nicer than the fake one that you buy in stores. I've also seen where people have added essential oils with olive oil to polish wood, but I haven't tried that one yet.

This is only beginning to scratch the surface, and these are just FOUR oils!! There are so many more out there, and a ga-zillion uses. These are just the ones that I've found immediate use for with the kit and wanted to share.

The Essential Four Pack Kit can be found HERE at Spark Naturals  for only $19.99 plus if you use coupon code " Bubble" you will receive 10% off your whole order! You cannot find oils of this high quality for this low a price anywhere else! AH-MAZING!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Freebie Tuesday

A friend of mine showed me a link to a coupon for a free piece of kid's clothing at the Sear's Outlet and I really wanted to share it with you guys because I know most of y'all are mommies and could use every bit of free clothing! That got me to digging around and finding MORE free stuff for you lovelies. I'd like to make this a weekly thing every Tuesday, but we'll see...until then..enjoy!

1.Free piece of kid's clothing at the Sear's Outlet.Valid only on 10/22/13 so print and run to go get it! It's through Facebook and you can find it HERE

2. Free sample of Eucerin lotion, just click the link and take the "pledge". It is HERE

3.Free pet safety pack from the ASPCA, find it HERE

4. Free cup of Denny's new bold coffee, find it HERE

5. Free sample of Gevalia K-Cup coffee, make a short card and then claim your sample HERE

6. Free sample of Green Mountain K-Cup coffee, link is through Facebook and it can be found HERE

7. Score three free tea samples from Twining's of London, find the link HERE

8. Free sample of Bodycology lotion, link can be found HERE, it's through Facebook and you will need to like the page, hurry because I tried to do this sample last week and it ran out FAST.

9. Free Origins mini-facial plus free sample of their night cream and face oil, just click "claim the offer", print it out, and take it to your nearest store! Find it HERE, also through Facebook.

10. Get a free trial kit from Tena pads( plus lots of coupons) it can be found HERE

11. Score a free sample of NECTRESSE sweetener, find it HERE

12. Free sample of Poise Pads, it can be found HERE

13. Sample of Arm & Hammer sensitive toothpaste, find it HERE

14. Free sample of Depend pads or underwear, found HERE

15. Free sample of Emergen-C vitamin drink, find it HERE

Monday, October 21, 2013

Limits: sometimes you find yours the hard way.

Well if you've been reading my blog at all this past month you know I've embarked on a journey of "going green" in all the ways that I possibly can, especially when it comes to the food we eat and the chemicals, and medicines we use. Actually, I take that back...I hate the term " going green" it makes me think of the flu or little aliens capturing my body. Maybe Modern Hippie? Pioneer-ing? Modern Old-World-ing? Wellness Cleaning? Danggit...I need a term for this.

Anyway, I digress. 

It was Sunday afternoon when I came upon the term "Oil Pulling". Have you heard of it? It's suppose to cleanse your mouth, pull toxins, and even whiten teeth naturally using oil, like my beloved coconut oil. Basically you wake up in the morning, put some in your mouth, swish it around for about fifteen minutes,
spit it out, then brush your teeth and walla! Healthier, cleaner mouth! I read some reviews, looked it up on tons of websites and resolved to try it in the morning.

So I woke up today, opened my jar of coconut oil, scooped a little out and then put it into my mouth. The minute I had it in my mouth ( still in a fairly solid chunk) my gag reflex kicked up, but no..that was not going to deter me. I rationalized that I was gagging because it was still solid so I began trying to melt it with my tongue and move it around...big mistake. I began dry heaving all over the bathroom, I gripped the sink and tried to let it pass, but no...this was not going to happen.

I leaned over the sink and the second before spitting it all out I remembered reading something about it clogging sinks ( because it goes back to a solid form) and so I lunged for the trash can and tripped over Rhett ( our new kitten) who apparently had been watching this whole debacle, and when I tripped some of the oil when down my throat which made me cough and gag it all up over the floor.

So there I sat this morning, trying to soothe a freaked out kitten ( who had an odd look on his face like...good Lord, why did I have to get adopted by the weirdos?), and cleaning up half solidified, puked up coconut oil. I am all for natural healing, but know your limits people.

( If you want more info on this you can check it out HERE at Wellness Mama or  HERE at Swanson Vitamins )

Friday, October 18, 2013

Oh just a small rant

Did you know they're making another Romeo and Juliet movie? I cannot say how much I detest this horrible Shakespeare "tragedy" as well as any movie, show, or any other variance of it and will glare at anyone who insinuates that it is a "beautiful love story". GAG. If you pay attention and actually read the story instead of blindly hailing as a beautiful romance you know what I'm talking about. It's about a sixteen-year-old boy and a thirteen-year-old girl falling into a  "love" so strong that within FIVE DAYS they not only take their own lives but the lives of four other people. I don't know about you guys but that makes them big, selfish, jerkholes in my opinion...not star-crossed lovers

The girl is thirteen for heaven's sake! Do you know how many times I had deeply "fallen in love" by that age? Just ask Johnathan Taylor Thomas, Michelangelo (the orange ninja turtle...don't judge me), Garth Brooks, or anyone from The Outsiders movie. The parents of those two should have joined forces over the mutual stupidity of their children and ended all the crazyness. You met him once and you're in love? PLEASE come talk to me after your Romeo has kept you up all night snoring, drags you to every dumb car show in a fifty mile radius, and leaves the toiled seat up. Talk to me then about how infatuated you are there Juliet....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beginner's Guide To Essential Oils

Ok so I wrote here about my journey into essential oils and I got a lot of feedback, mostly from friends and family members asking me questions you really think essential oils work, and how in the world do you use them? Well, I am here to tell you that YES they do work.  As for how to use them, I've decided to make a post giving some basic information. Here we go:

1. Picking a brand
Alright so I shared earlier why I liked Spark Naturals. I felt that their prices could not be beat for such high quality oils, and especially when compared with DoTerra and Young Living, but that doesn't mean that those are the only places to get good oils  (though I would avoid your big chain store brands...just my thoughts). I've read a good bit about how to pick an oil and most sites agree on a few things:

 - If purchasing from a website make sure the site has the plant's Latin name listed ( look for country of origin and distilling method too for extra points)
 - Oils should be stored in dark bottles and out of direct sunlight or heat. Dark amber and cobalt blue is the most common. Avoid clear. 
 - Opt for the bottles with the plastic drip cover rather than the long dropper built in because the oil can eat at the dropper and contaminate it.
 - Look for 100% essential oil, and read the label. Some companies dilute the oil to drop the price down. 
 - If really unsure about the quality of the oil ask for a sample and test for yourself....smell the oil and be wary of any chemical fragrance note and use this little trick mentioned in the first link at the bottom of this paragraph: 
" If you are unsure then an easy way to test for yourself is to place a drop of the oil on absorbent paper. A pure essential oil will evaporate leaving little or no mark on the paper. A diluted oil will leave a greasy oil mark and will not evaporate"

Bottom line is to do your research before you commit to buy and be smart about it. Some more great tips when picking essential oils at your local markets can be found HERE and  HERE. 

OK..I've decided who I'm going to what?

2. Figure out your need
There are LOTS of ways to use essential oils. Here are just a few:

  - Cleaning/Sanitizing 
 You can add essential oils to your cleaning routine to amp it up a bit, and sanitize safely. For example:

*Polishing Wood With Wild Orange Essential Oil
   by Life Inside Nickie's Little Bubble
* Peppermint Kitchen Wipes   by One Good Thing by Jillee
* 5 Lemon Oil Cleaning Ideas by My Chemical Breakup
* Safe All Purpose Cleaner  by Rubies & Radishes
* Add a few drops of peppermint or lemon to this
   Lean Green Floor Cleaning Machine Recipe by A lovely Mess 

 - Internally
OK, there is a lot of back and forth over this one. Most websites say that you can ingest them but only in small amounts and only the ones that specifically say you can. Other websites say no, and not under any circumstances. My stance is this: the oil that you are using is a HIGHLY concentrated amount of a plant, it's not like chewing on a sprig of mint in fact it takes roughly 100 lbs of plant to make 1 pound of essential oil, that's some highly concentrated stuff. Yes, it is natural but the effects of using such a highly concentrated oil internally in the body have not been studied enough for me to warrant it as safe. Plus there is no guarantee that it won't interact with any medicines you are taking so honestly I'm personally not a fan of internally but if you want more info...check it out HERE and HERE

- Topically 
There are SO many uses for essential oils in healing and mood boosting, here are just a few ideas:

How Frankincense Gave Me Peace by Life Inside
   Nickie's Little Bubble
Beating The Flu With Shield Blend by Life Inside
   Nickie's Little Bubble
 * Headache Buster Blend by Riches to Rags by Dori
 * ADD/ADHD Treatment by  Riches to Rags by Dori
 * All Purpose Healing Salve by Camp Wander
 * Top 10 Essential Oils To Relieve Anxiety by Mary Crimmins
Easing The Pain Of Canker Sores With EOs by Life Inside
Nickie's Little Bubble

Just remember:

* Sometimes recipes allow for something they call  "neat" placement which means topical placement undiluted on the skin. If you're uncomfortable with that the first few times you use an oil simply dilute the mixture with a carrier oil ( Almond Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, etc) I typically use this fractionated coconut oil but you can find it almost everywhere online and in natural stores.

You have to use fractionated because the fractionated remains in liquid form so you can use it in a spray or roller bottle.

* When using on young skin ( babies, kids, etc) always cut the recipe in half and use more carrier oil
* Placement ideas are on the bottoms of feet, inside of the wrist, back of the neck, or wherever it hurts.
* Each mixture calls for a different amount of drops so there isn't a drops ratio or anything, it all depends on the oil you're using and what you're using it for.


An awesome way to get a scent out and dispensed through your home for mood boosting or even germ fighting is by using a diffuser. There are a gazillion types of diffusers out there so you'd just need to figure out which one works with your budget and style. If you can't shell out the bucks for a diffuser quite yet you can simply put a pot of water on the stove set on LOW and add the oils to that. I've also heard of ladies using their crock pots! If you'd like to try some aromatic recipes, check out these great ideas:

Wild Orange Diffuser Blends by Life Inside Nickie's Little Bubble
Diffusing Bliss Calming Blend by Life Inside Nickie's Little Bubble
* DIY Reed Diffuser  by One Good Thing by Jillee <<<make your own
* 10 Must Try Essential Oil Diffuser Recipes by The Prairie Homestead
* Essential Oil Sleep Remedies  by Experience Essential Oils 
10 Holiday Diffuser Blend Recipes by DoTerra Everyday
Fight S.A.D. With This Citrus Blend by Aromatherapy Contessa

Alright, so I have my shop, I have my use in mind, is there anything else? Well...yea....there's still a few things to keep in mind....

3.Oils To Avoid
Not all oils are safe for use if you're pregnant such as Cinnamon and Rosemary for example. Read THIS POST for more information. There are also oils out there that can be toxic to pets so make sure you read up on them before you go spraying mixtures around your furry friends, read up HERE from the ASPCA. Bottom Line: If you have any questions or concerns ask your doctor before any use ( or vet ).

A few extras:

- There are "blends" of essential oils already added and balanced together on the market. Each of the major brands have a few blends that are all their own, but most are the same( or relatively the same) blends under different names. Check out this awesome comparison chart by Created2Fly.

- Recently Fox News did a report on the powers of essential oils, check it out HERE. Also, Vanderbilt Hospital used essential oils to boost productivity and balance moods, the results were pretty incredible, see more  HERE.

Remember...if you're 
planning on using Spark Naturals use promo code
 " Bubble " to get 10% off your order! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oh Hubby.....

First off, I need to say this: my Hubby is a very smart man, VERY smart. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE him. HOWEVER.....sometimes he says things that just make me stare in wonderment. Without further ado:

Hubby: * while reading about something in his Outdoor Life magazine*
" I would love to wake up tomorrow and find out that the internet has gone down forever...for good. It would be a joyous day for me...I mean, I would hate to miss out on all that knowledge but..." 
Me: * while reading ( Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia)...and not even looking up from my page*
Hubby: * rolls his eyes*
" You can't get all that knowledge from books" 
Me: * looks up from book and raises eyebrow* 
" What? You can't. Books don't hold all those little things that have been passed down from generation to generation or maybe something that only one person has tried or figured out and has put on a forum or something" 
" HAHAHAHAHAHA.....oh I'm blogging this..."
" Why? Don't you dare!" 

And here we are. The internet: apparently the only way information can or will ever spread from one person to another. Bless him....

Friday, October 11, 2013


Ok, is it just me or is that comment really weird? The person at the bottom tagged someone for a food that looks like an eyeball and said "This is so you!!". Does her friend enjoy eating eyeball-looking things or maybe eyeballs themselves? Did she just switch her glasses to green contacts? Is she perhaps a voo-doo woman or a very enthusiastic optometrist? I could see if the woman had said " you might enjoy making these" or " these are perfect for the Halloween party" but  " This is so you" ?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You guys...I might be turning into a hippie.

I think this all started when I had munchkin because before her I never gave much thought about what I was eating, breathing or putting into my body. It seems really crazy to type that out, but it's totally true. I would roll my eyes at anyone who began talking about organic or going green. I would literally snicker, in fact I was borderline rude, but I didn't mean to was just that my mind automatically conjured images of seaweed, veggie burgers, judgey yoga types, and un-shaved armpits. I know...I know....ridiculous. That was me though, well at least it was until Munchkin came along.

Then after she was born I found myself not only reading labels like it was my job, but also making my own baby food so I KNEW what was going in it. I began questioning what we were giving her, and soon taking notice of what we were putting in us. That led to taking a hard look at the cleaners and air fresheners we were using and breathing in along with the food. There's some scary stuff out there guys when you start paying attention.

So we've started buying produce at our local farmer's markets, recycling, comparing labels ( sometimes the organic stuff has more crap in it then the generic store brand stuff so read labels y'all), and switching to all-natural, chemical-free products,and the search for that switch led me to essential oils.

I'm one of those people who gets a mild headache at least once every two days and a migraine once a week, and when they strike the only think I've found that helps even a little is Excedrin Migraine. Obviously this is a huge concern when it comes to taking that much medicine. So you can imagine how happily surprised I was to hear multiple sources swearing by the use of these natural oils to cure headaches, and guessed it....migraines.

Also it seems like everyone and their brother wants us to give Munchkin a flu shot or "urge" us to get one, and to be honest with you I don't know one person who has decided to get the shot ( and previously had never gotten the flu) to suddenly get the flu when given the shot, or having to take it every single year or they get the flu guaranteed. I'm just not comfortable with that, sorry. I do however want to protect her and when I began reading about essential oils there are SO many blends and remedies that are suppose to protect and heal when it comes to colds and flues. I was immediately intrigued.

So of course that meant re-search and I am here to tell you ( two weeks and countless websites, books, and articles later) that apparently there's something pretty amazing in essential oils. Everywhere I read there were stories from people who swear by essential oils like I mentioned above for banishing migraines, warding off and easing the flu, and also things from healing sores, baby acne, sanitizing, sleeping better, boosting their moods, cleaning, and much...much....much....more.That wasn't enough for me though, I also polled all of my friends and relatives asking them about their experiences with essential oils. I was surprised at how many people that I personally know use them everyday and swear by them.

Well that was enough for me to begin my search on ordering some and by the way that process turned into a whole debacle. It's so confusing to figure out where to purchase, what's worth the money, who you can trust, and this company hates that company and also did you know there were multi-level salesman companies? Think Mary Kay and Avon....but for essential oils, I wasn't a fan. So I did a whole lot more digging and I've landed on Spark Naturals as my favorite.

They are HIGHLY recommended and offer some great prices. So I ordered my "beginners" kit from them that has four of the most popular oils ( Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca ( tea tree) and Peppermint) for only $19.99 ( plus if you type in " Bubble " for a coupon code you get 10% off your whole order!). Awesome. You just wont find a better deal than that people, and I also ordered a roller-ball bottle to make up a concoction for headaches. I am just SUPER excited about trying these out, I can't wait for my kit to arrive!

So there it is, I am about 80% sure I'm turning into a hippie. Ok, maybe not a hippie, but a naturalist. No...I don't like makes me sound like a nudist which I most definitely am not ( you're welcome world). Purists? No..I like cheeseburgers and SUVs too much. Ok...let's go with hippie for now...

p.s.- If you want a little more information on essential oils I would check out One Good Thing By Jillee and I also have a few informational pins on my Organization & Cleaning  board on Pinterest and of course I will keep you guys updated on my experiences, uses and opinions on the oils...fingers crossed

Also...this post is all me, I am not sponsored and I was not given anything free ( I am not that popular nor that big, but thanks for the thought, were wondering that...) I did however enter a banner contest with Spark and I made THIS ONE ( with the leaves) so if you like it please vote for me!

Friday, October 4, 2013

10 AWESOME fall printables including calendars, a meal plan and subway art.

1.Colorful Chevron Fall Subway Art by Mama Miss
I love how pretty these chevron colors look with the alternating fonts. SO cute!

2. Fall Subway Art by Thirty Handmade Days
My favorite part about this design is the different colored and patterned pennants. Though if that isn't your style she has one without the patterns.

3. Trick or Treat Printable by The Three Sweet Peas
This isn't your typical "subway art" but I LOVE it! It's just so gorgeous, I love the different patterns and Halloween colors.

4. Boo Halloween Subway Art by It Works for Bobbi
If you're like me, and you have a mantle for two matching sets I would put this one and the one above it together. I think they look ADORABLE!

5. Chevron Halloween Colored Subway Art by Eye Candy Event Details
I normally opt out when it comes to the subway art in this color scheme, but when I saw this I fell in love. It just works together and looks really elegant with the chevron in the background.

6. Give Thanks Fall Printable by Aka Design
How beautiful is this? I love the verse and the pattern is just too adorable.

7. October Wall Calendar by Plumlexie ( at Photobucket)
I stumbled onto this design and was so happy that I did! She did an amazing job on this calendar. It's so elegant and fun. 

8. October Printable Calendar by The Elli Blog
I love how pretty this calendar looks and that nifty little part on the side for notes and thoughts.

9.October Calendar Print by Is Daddy Home Yet?
Ok, I am mildly obsessed with the cute stripes on this one, but I love it even more because of the faux glitter around the edges. It's perfect! 

10. October Slow Cooker Menu Plan by The Sassy Slow Cooker
I adore these easy and delicious sounding meal ideas. I am a HUGE fan of using the crock pot during busy holiday times so I will definitely be printing this one out!

Pinterest Power Party

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My views on Mary Kay

First, I would like to start this all off by saying that I sold Mary Kay for a year and a half and then again a few years after that for about five months. No, I do not sell it now. I do not hate the company or in any way mean to make this a "bashing" post. I just wanted to write my honest opinion and a review about the company for anyone out there who is considering selling it.

 I'm sure that most of you (especially if you are from the south) have heard about, sold, knows someone who sold, thought about selling, hates, loves, has tried, swears by it, swears against it or just in general has an opinion on Mary Kay and maybe you have some questions. I plan on being honest and completely direct here. When I first started thinking about selling it I remember looking online for any type of information or experiences and finding that the internet was split in half. One side desperately hated it, and the other desperately loved it which really didn't answer any questions.So, without further are my qualms, suggestions, and questions all answered.

I got into it because a friend of mine sold it and when I attended her party I fell in love with the idea of throwing parties and having girl time and of course making money. Her director was a very fast talker and I do mean slick...I am 100% confident she could sell a snowball to an eskimo. I would put money on that. I remember thinking that she looked so happy and so excited and I wanted that plus you couldn't beat the discount on the product.

I will give them this: they have awesome products. My mother and I both swear by their miracle set and I would probably still use it as my exclusive face cleaning/moisturizing routine if it wasn't that I've had to start using Proactiv. I honestly think the makeup is way over-priced and so is most of the body care (excluding the hand scrub which I LOVE) but the face care is awesome. I also love the roll-up bag, I still use mine to this day and it's still holding together.

So I joined up and received many hugs, cheers of congratulations, and smiles. You would have thought I had said I was donating all of my money to the homeless with how happy they were for me. They had ordered the kit and sent me on my merry little way with the promises of things like this:

1. We're not a pyramid scheme
Well...yea you sort of are. They actually call it a multi-level organization but the fact is that the top lady is making a percentage (though not directly from YOUR sales) of every sale you make (if you signed up under her)and she'll also make money from anyone you get to sign up under you and so on and so on. If you draw  that out to an illustration it looks an awful lot like a pyramid, but hey call it what you want, I don't care.

2. There are NO minimum orders
Except your first one, which has to be a a minimum of $200.00 wholesale ($400.00 retail) ( that was the amount when I was selling) or you don't get the 50% off discount. So yes there is a minimum if you want the 50% off discount that allows you to make money off their products. That $200.00 minimum needs to be met EVERY three month or you do not get the discount and you are also considered inactive, which is kind of ridiculous when you have already paid $100.00 to join.

3. You do not have to have inventory to start up
I will be the first to say that you will sell more and make more money if you have the product right there for the customer to buy. The problem is that most people don't have the kind of cash to dole out $1,000.00 or more for something they aren't even sure will sell. I did not invest in inventory and was "urged" repeatedly to do so. When I again refused I was told that maybe I could ask a rich relative for a loan or....and I kid you not....take out a loan with the bank.That really put me off. Someone is just starting out in a business to make some extra money ( because obviously they need it or want it) and your suggestion is to get them to borrow money and put themselves in debt?!?! Gag. Please don't fall for this one.

4. ______ made $1,200.00 in sales last weekend at one party!!!!
Yes, but what they don't tell you is that ______ invested in about $5,000 in product for inventory and even with that $1,200.00 she still hasn't made her money back yet. I am a firm believer that you have to spend money to make the money in this business, sorry but that is how I feel. The ones who are truly making the money are the ones with LOTS of women under them getting that percentage.

5. We don't like pushy people
Yes, yes they do. I was told that and when I went out with my friend to make some sales on the go I was asked and encouraged to go up to " at least" five women to get their number and offer them a free facial. When I only got two because the whole thing was WAY out of my comfort zone I was pushed again, and again, and again until " my challenge" was complete. They like that word: challenge. You'll hear it a lot.
My director challenged me to give twenty women facials
I challenged myself to have a $200.00 party
We were challenged to do fifty faces in fifty days. 
You could make a drinking game with that word at one of their meetings and you would be TOASTED my friend.

They will ask you to go up to strangers, call strangers (minimum of five times before you move on to the next person), go to stranger's homes, invite strangers to your home, push the sale, and of course push the pitch. In my experiences they are all pushy. Sorry. I quickly learned that it wasn't for me and in my first year I had lost money at the end of tax time. I just realized that it wasn't the way to make money, at least not for me.

 I honestly did do my best, I offered the giveaways, free facials, pedicure parties and raffles. I gave away my fair share of free stuff, wasted the gas driving, wasted money buying supplies, buying food, buying samples and throughout it all I lost money. People want to try it, people like ANYTHING free, and people want to have a fun time with their friends, but honestly most are not going to buy. I had a schedule booked,  and I really mean booked ( usually 18 parties a month) plus orders from family members and friends. I worked my butt off and didn't see the money coming in. It was then that I threw in the pink towel.

Hubby and I moved, got married, lost all contact with anyone from the Mary Kay world and a few years went by. I was away from my friends, bored at work, and bored at home when I brought up the idea of selling again. Hubby wasn't thrilled ( read the previous paragraph about that losing money thing) but I told him this: I wasn't going in it to "make money" and I wasn't going to waste all that money on gimmicky giveaways. I strictly wanted to get the discount, sell to family or whoever else that wanted it and have some girl time. That's what I missed the most. The weekly meetings, encouragement and fun.

They're good about making you feel special (as long as you keep that active status up of course). I loved being around positive women who knew how to have fun and uplift one another, I really missed being around that, heck I still do. I'm a big time Type-A person and so needing to have things cataloged, scheduled and organized was just right up my alley. So I contacted my friend who I sold with before and I joined up again. She of course was thrilled and said it was funny because she had just been ready to write me a note asking how I was (yeah..ok). So I joined up and she found a director down here where we had moved who "adopted" me and invited me to their meeting.

I was excited and went with eagerness. I met all the ladies and told them that I was just in it for fun, nothing serious and I didn't even care if I made money or not. They all said words of encouragement and I was on my way. Then I visited again the following week and was ushered into being the one that collected money..ok, not a problem. I didn't mind helping out. Then I was soon pushed into signing up to bring food, bringing guests, teaching the guests about our hand scrub,the girl solely in charge of collecting and hassling people about their due money, and I was even pushed into giving a lecture about blush ( which I am no "expert" on and was NOT comfortable doing this) and yet I did it all with a smile on my face.

I thought it would end and that maybe they just needed my help, but no that was not the case. I also started getting the fourth degree about selling more, getting inventory, and I began having to explain why I wasn't doing as many parties or trying to make money, I found myself explaining over and over again that I was in this for me and fun time, and then I soon realized I wasn't having fun. I felt used and that I was just another notch on the list to help them make money, and so it was yet again time to throw in the pink towel.

I found out I was pregnant and life went on like normal, then it was about six months or so after I had quit (went inactive) and (after not having heard from my friend at all in that time) I got a message from her out of the blue asking how I was. I informed her that I was excited with the news that I was pregnant and I asked how she was. The very next email she asked me to sign up again because " I'm only two people away from a red jacket!!!!" My reply: " No thank you". I told Hubby how irritated I was that my once good friend would only care about asking how I was so she could have an opening for her own agenda.

Many moons passed...Munchkin was born, and around her third month on this earth I received yet again an  email from my "friend".  It asked how I was, that she had been thinking of me and how cute the baby was, and I did not reply. The very next email ( despite my not replying) said " Hey..I don't know if you're interested but right now you can join back up for only $25.00 since you've sold before and I only need one more person on my team!!"

That was the day I un-friended her.

I'm just a very straightforward, honest person and I don't like it when people are mislead and sometimes even blatantly lied to. I don't like it when people only care about you for what you can do for them. I'm sure there are nice, genuine, caring Mary Kay ladies out there but in my experience with three different counties and two different areas...they were all the same. Like I said, Mary Kay has some AWESOME products, and for the most part it is really fun. I think the possibility to make money with them is there, but you are going to have to put A LOT of your money in and you are going to have to get a lot of girls to sign up under you if you don't want to keep having to waste a ton of money on parties that you will ( in all likelihood) lose money on ( gas, wasting products, party supplies, etc...).

Alright, well sorry it's so long but there it is. I don't hate the company, I think that they have great products and are one of the VERY BEST companies out there when it comes to donating money for women's shelters and causes. I just think that a lot of the ladies out there don't mind telling only half the truth if it means getting another girl under their belt and earning their bonuses and I don't like that. I think if it's something you are considering doing then you should have every question answered honestly, openly, and then allowed to decide for yourself if it's right for you. If you're not honest with someone in the beginning how can they trust you to lead them to a better future?

Anyways, I hope I didn't offend anyone and like I said, I'm sure there are some sweet, easy going, caring Mary Kay ladies out there, and really hope you scold and discourage all the pushy ones because trust me...they outnumber you. I just wanted to give some answers to those who have questions.