Monday, December 1, 2014

December 2014 Roundup




Hello everyone! Can you believe it's already December! WOW. Where has the time gone? Between moving, a new job and a future new baby things are super crazy around my house. How about yours? I finally got some time though to sit down and work on this December 2014 roundup so without further ado here are my favs.....

Printables 



Subway Art



Calendars

1. IMom


Kid's Activities



Monthly Meal Plans 



Thank you for visiting! Hope your holiday season is merry and bright! 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Geranium Diffuser Blends


Do you guys remember when I posted my ZAQ Mirage diffuser review? I was so excited to get it because not only is it amazing of course, but it gives me lots of reasons to try out new diffuser blends! YAY! I'm kind of a diffuser addict now and I'm not sorry at all about it. Diffusing makes the house smell great, uplifts or calms moods, fights germs, and simply makes me happy. I've been playing around with some blends and today I wanted to share with you blends that are focused on Geranium . Here are some common uses for Geranium :

1. It's a common perfuming agent, very well liked scent
2. It's a mood supporter, very calming
3. Historically used to help remove bad or negative memories
4. Diffusing it can help:
- relieve stress
- ease PMS symptoms
- calm anxiety
- fight depression
5. Helps clear acne and fade scars
6. Helps with firmer, more moisturized skin
7. Heal hemorrhoids
8. Fights off intestinal worms

I'm sure you can see why I love this beautifully scented oil. Here are a few of my favorite diffuser blends with Geranium, and a little further down I'll post some of my favorite recipes using the oil!

1. Va-va-voom blend or Cupid's Blend (couldn't make up my mind)
2 drops of Geranium
2 drops of Ylang Ylang
Diffuse this and let the magic happen. Very floral, feminine scent this would be GREAT to diffuse all day for Valentine's Day!

2. Romantic Cabin
1 drop of Geranium
2 drops of Shield Blend
Spicy, fall-ish scented with just a hint of floral. I'm thinking this is the perfect blend to use while you and your sweetheart snuggle up on the couch drinking hot cocoa together ( bonus...it also fights germs!)

3. I need a pick-me-up please! 
2 drops of Geranium
2 drops of Grapefruit
If you're feeling down, having a bad day or simply need some motivation to tackle those cleaning chores THIS is the blend for you!

4. Peace & Calm 
1 drop of Geranium
2-3 drops of Lavender
Peaceful, soothing lull of lavender with just a small undernote of anxiety relief from the geranium. This is a nice blend before bedtime or during bible study.

Ok, those are my absolute favorite blends so far, but there are lots of other ways you can use this oil too such as:

Hydrating Face Oil by Savory Lotus
Balancing Facial Wipes by Aura Cacia
DIY Bug spray by Scratch Mommy



If you'd like to purchase your essential oils 
at Spark Naturals you can use coupon 
code "Bubble" to save 10% off your whole order!











Monday, November 17, 2014

Let's talk about change.

Isn't it crazy to think about how you used to be? I mean really think back to the way you thought and acted five, ten, twenty years ago. It's a little bewildering right? I look back at how I thought and acted as a kid in high school and I'm kind of in disbelief and yea..slightly embarassed at times. I thought some crazy stuff, I acted in some crazy ways ( let's put it this way: my senior picture is me as a blonde..enough said). I used to think I had everything figured out, I thought I knew who I was and how I felt but my thoughts and opinions have changed repeatedly over the years. Don't get me wrong I still have my personal beliefs and morals that have remained solid...I'm mostly talking about thoughts and feelings you have while growing up, while finding yourself.

I remember being a lot more trusting of myself and others. I'm not sure if that's just simply the illusion of being bulletproof that all youth have or the fact that I really didn't know much about the world. I remember being more outgoing, confident and carefree. While some of those traits are still there, just slightly buried I think they've just been replaced by the more mature adult side of myself that I've grown into.

That's what it's about really...growing. I think the most you grow as a person is when you become a parent. You don't realize how much your thoughts and actions change until you start looking back at them. I think that's natural though, you suddenly find yourself in charge of this tiny, fragile, helpless human and it's not only your job to help them grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually but it's your responsibility. It's literally all on you to help this tiny little being adapt and grow in this ever-changing world. It can be so daunting and I think it's only natural that we find ourselves growing and changing right along with them.

I was holding my two-year old little munchkin on my lap last night, and I kissed the top of her little head as she played on my phone and I thought about how before I got pregnant I swore I'd never let her even touch a phone until she was six. That was before she hit terrible twos, teething, and tantrums. That was before balancing a grocery list, coupons, grocery cart, and a screaming toddler. Soothing her by letting her play on my phone so I could have just fifteen minutes of calm while we careened down the isles of Walmart trying to get everything done is one of the latest mommy sins I've adapted into my mommy arsenal. It works and hey...I don't knock it because sometimes that's what life is about.

Sometimes it's about going back on those things you used to think and feel to adapt to this fast-changing world. Sometimes it's giving in on a cell phone, sometimes it's having to ask someone for help, sometimes it's having to be the bad guy, sometimes it's admitting you were wrong. Life is all about change and I think if we go into it thinking with our hearts and minds open the easier it will be. Yes, we're going to make mistakes...LOTS of mistakes ( senior picture remember) but that's the beauty in life, you can learn from them. You can grow from them and while you might feel a little guilty about going back on a certain way you used to think try not to be so hard on yourself. You're doing your best, and look....you're only human. Life wouldn't be fun if we all stuck to a road map, life is all about getting stuck in ditches and finding out what works for someone else might not work for us and that's ok because we need to find our own paths and we need to accept that fact towards others too.

Whatever you're holding onto from your old self, whatever negative thoughts, feelings or mistakes you might have harbored from your old life and your old self just give them up. Recognize that you're a human and you're growing. Try to love yourself like you love that little human you're helping to grow and learn. Move on from mistakes and recognize that faults make us stronger. Changing our old thoughts and opinions means we're growing. Loving and accepting others' faults, mistakes and changes means you're a decent human being. We shouldn't be so embarassed about the way we once were or the thoughts we once held. We need to focus instead on our future and our now. Next time you think back to some of those old choices you made and feelings you had I hope you give yourself the grace to let them simply go, and let yourself instead be happy with the person you are now and not dissapointed in the person you once were. Life is about change and changing with it means we're alive and growing...it's a good thing.



Friday, November 7, 2014

ZAQ Mirage Diffuser Review


Well we finally did it. We survived the trip to another state, the moving process, and things are finally getting settled back into a routine. Thank you everyone for being so patient with the blog. Hubby loves his new job, and we love our new house. Things are finally getting back to normal, well...with the added bonus of a new baby on the way! Even when things are settling down it's still fairly crazy around here, I'm sure you can relate. Anywho....this move happened to fall literally two days after our anniversary ( 4 years married, 10 years together) and we had decided to wait until we got settled to celebrate. Hubby being the wonderful man he is though surprised me with a diffuser

I have been wanting a diffuser for AGES. Normally in the past if I wanted to distribute essential oils into the air I'd put some water on the stove on low and add a few drops but it just wasn't the same. For one the smell dissipates fairly quickly, and then you have the bulkiness of a pot on the stove constantly running, and that's not even mentioning the cleanup. Needless to say this wasn't my favorite method, but it did the job. At least I thought it was sufficient until I was introduced to this bad boy: The ZAQ Mirage. You guys...I have seen the light. Without going on much further let's hop into the review shall we? 


1. This machine is beautiful
There are LOTS of diffusers out there and to be honest most look, well...a little crazy. They look like something off an alien ship, they're not very appealing to the eye. If you have one of these odd shaped ones..sorry, don't mean to offend you or anything but they're just not my personal style. The mirage is gorgeous though. It has elegant lines and an overall smooth shape. It's really very pretty, especially when the lights are on and changing. 

2. Seamlessly fits into the decor
This is a little similar to my first point, but because the machine doesn't jut out or have an odd shape it really fits easily into the decor. It's closer to the ground more than most of the other models so it wont stick up and catch the eye and it's all white. You can opt to turn the color changing feature off while the machine is running if you prefer the Mirage to stay in that all-white state. White tends to blend in with most rooms and decor so this is a home run. 

3. Quiet while running
This thing is practically silent. No more covering your head to sleep at night over the sounds of a humidifier...this thing is quiet. I don't hear it at all, literally. I run it all the time when Munchkin is sleeping and you just simply wouldn't know it was running if not for the changing colors and mist. If your house is super quiet you might notice the small hum, but not if you have little munchkins running around and a washing machine going I promise you.  

4. Distributes the essential oils into the air quickly
I usually run mine in the open center of the house and within the hour you can smell it in both adjoining rooms. Granted it's not as strong as in the main room, but the scent does travel which means the oils are traveling which is exactly what you want. With the pot on the stove method the scent is only in the kitchen. 

5. The EO smells last the whole time
As I said before, with the pot on the stove the smell might last an hour..if you're lucky and you put a lot of oils in. It usually dissipates quicker than that though. That's not the case with the Mirage. I can smell whatever blend I put into the machine the whole time it runs. It of course gets fainter the more closer to the water running out it is, but throughout the process you continually smell the oils. 

6. The gentle changing of the colors
I didn't think I'd like this feature to be honest with you, but as soon as I turned it on I was in love. The colors aren't super bright and contrasting it's very gentle. It's very calming and therapeutic. Munchkin also loves the colors and I usually move the diffuser into her room at night so she can watch the "pretty" colors change while she drifts off to sleep. What's better than lulling colors while diffusing bliss blend for little ones? 

7. Long lasting 
My absolute favorite thing about this diffuser ( sorry I didn't list it on the pic..I blame the pregnancy brain) is how long the diffusing process lasts once you turn it on. I read some reviews of other diffusers and they mentioned shutting off after only 4 or 5 hours and I wasn't very interested. I chase after a Munchkin all day, I've got a house to maintain, and supper to be cooked I don't have time to keep refilling a diffuser. This baby is totally different though. I simply put the water in to the fill line, press the button and it runs for 10-12 hours. It's INCREDIBLE. Plus it has an automatic shut off so I don't even have to worry about catching it when the water runs out, it simply just shuts itself off. 

Those are my top favorite things about this baby. 
Now let's look at actually running it. 
Like I said before it's REALLY easy. 


You simply plug the Mirage in. Make sure you set it on a nice, solid, flat surface. You don't want the machine to be anywhere that it can get knocked over, fall, or be tipped. Then you simply take the top off. It sits on it, there's no twisting, pulling, etc. Then you add water to the fill line (as close to room temp as you can. Not too hot, not too cold), add your essential oils then replace the lid. 
When you're ready you simply press the power button. 

Pressing the power button once
 will begin the diffusing process and light changing 
Pressing the power button twice
 will stop the color changing and leave it on whatever color you'd like
Pressing the power button three times
 will turn the colors off while still diffusing 
Pressing the power button four times 
will turn the machine off. 

See? It's SO easy! 


Well that's about it. 
If you have any questions please feel free to message me and
 I'll do my best to answer. Like always, if you'd like to 
get one from Spark Naturals you can use 
coupon code "Bubble" to save 10% off your whole order 


Now the real fun begins: exploring new diffuser blends! 




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oils to avoid during pregnancy

Essential Oils That Should Be Avoided 
During Pregnancy 
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One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say things like "Oh it's naturally based so its got to be gentle" or "We use only natural ingredients so our stuff is 100% safe".  That statement just simply isn't true. Just because something comes from nature doesn't mean it's safe. Poison Ivy is found in nature, poisonous snakes are found in nature, there are countless poisonous herbs and berries that are highly toxic and yes....found in nature. God gave us oodles of healing herbs and tools, but he also put a lot of other really harmful stuff out there too and it's our job to educate ourselves on which is which. 

Now don't get me wrong..I get the statement that they're trying to make. I understand that they mean to say we're a safer alternative than those harmful chemical-laden companies and yes for the most part I agree. However sometimes even those "natural" products containing safe, natural ingredients should be avoided sometimes....such as when you're pregnant. Essential oils are not excluded from this.

Essential oils are a FANTASTIC way to naturally treat and heal a variety of things. Essential oils are amazing, however during pregnancy there are some that should be avoided. The jury is still out on a lot of the facts with essential oils and pregnancy mainly because there just isn't much research done on the topic however these are the most commonly known and warned against.

Let me also say, I only condone using essential oils that are 100% pure, tested, and safe. For that reason I recommend Spark Naturals. No, they are not the only pure EO company out there, but they are the only ones I trust during my pregnancy and know to be safe and pure. Also, like always you should consult your doctor if you ever have any questions or concerns with using essential oils. I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice, I'm simply a second time mommy who wanted to share my list of oils I avoid during pregnancy. Alright so...without further ado..here we go:



Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)
This oil is primarily trans-anethole which has been known to cause dermatitis in some individuals as well as producing estrogen-like reactions in the body. This oil is also not recommended for individuals with endometriosis or estrogen-dependant cancers.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Can irritate sensitive skin, also has emmenagogue properties which stimulate blood flow to the pelvic region.

Birch (Betula lenta)
This oil has high concentration of methyl salicylate, which should be avoided by both pregnant women and anyone with epilepsy.

Calamus (Acorus calamus)
Contains a compound called asorone which can cause convulsions and hallucinations. Asorone is considered to be carcinogenic.

Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
This oil is classed as a convulsant and neurotoxin. Overdosing can cause convulsions and vomiting. Individuals with epilepsy and asthma should not use this oil either.

Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
This oil is known for being a dermal irritant, dermal sensitizer and a mucus membrane irritant.

Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
This oil is both a strong sensitizer and an irritant. It should not be used in any skin care products or massage blends.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
This oil can in some cases induce uterine contractions and bleeding, is also an oestrogenic. Also avoid this oil while drinking as it can cause a narcotic affect when mixed with alcohol.

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata)
It may cause skin irritation and irritate mucus membranes.Individuals with kidney and liver conditions should avoid this oil as well.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Like Aniseed it contains high amounts of trans-anethole which has been known to cause dermatitis in some individuals as well as producing estrogen-like reactions in the body. This oil is also not recommended for individuals with endometriosis, estrogen-dependant cancers, or women breastfeeding.

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
This oil contains pinocamphone which gives off toxic affects. This oil should also be avoided by people suffering from epilepsy.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Has been known to cause skin irritations.

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
This oil is toxic, causes irritations, and produces narcotic effects on both the brain and the nervous system. Under no circumstances should this oil be used by a pregnant woman.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
This oil is a known as a skin and mucus membrane irritant.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
This is a highly toxic, poisonous, abortifacient oil. Under no circumstances should this oil be used during pregnancy.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Just like Basil, this oil has emmenagogue properties which stimulate blood flow to the pelvic region and act as a uterine stimulant.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)
This oil is classified as an oral toxin, and in large doses can cause convulsions. This oil should not be used by individuals suffering from epilepsy or high blood pressure.

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
This oil can cause convulsions and epileptic-like attacks, and even small doses can be lethal. Under no circumstances should be used by a pregnant woman.

Terragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
This oil can be moderately toxic due to the methyl chavicol in the oil, and should be avoided during pregnancy. This oil should not be given to young children.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Known skin and mucus membrane irritant. Breastfeeding women, and children should also avoid this oil.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Recommended to use cautiously during pregnancy.

White Fir (Abies alba)
Can cause skin irritation, use cautiously.

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Just like with Birch this oil has high concentration of methyl salicylate, which should be avoided by both pregnant women and anyone with epilepsy. Additionally, because this oil is an anti-coagulant it may increase the effect of pharmaceutical blood thinners.

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
This oil contains an extremely high amount of thujone which is a convulsant and neurotoxin. Under no circumstances should this oil be used by a pregnant woman.


Alright, well there it is. My list of essential oils to avoid during pregnancy. Since finding out I'm pregnant I'm having to look over all of my labels to make sure the face washes, masks, lotions, etc that I'm using contain none of these oils. I use Perfectly Posh products which although they are naturally based they still have products I have to avoid while pregnant..like their Wakey Wakey skin stick that has Rosemary essential oil in it. It's not hard you guys...I promise, just give your products a quick label check. After you've done that I think you've totally earned a nap, ooohh or maybe a foot massage, yes...opt for the foot massage. Feel free to message me with any questions and like I said earlier...this is a guide, consult your doctors. Good? Good. Love you guys!








Monday, October 13, 2014

Yep, it's official.

Hi guys! Do you remember a little while ago when I told you that I was super excited because Spark Naturals had Bliss calming blend on sale and that I really, really needed it but I couldn't say why at the moment? Yes..great, no..well you basically get the idea. 
Anywho, time has finally come to spill the beans....

I'm pregnant! 

Woo! I guess the fortune cookie of doom was finally right. That's not the only news however...oh no, things could not go that easily in this household. Here's a fun little rundown of what's been going on in my little bubble:

1. Hubby quits his side job on a Friday after much deliberating.
( it seemed smart in retrospect )
2. We find out we're pregnant on Saturday, literally the next day.
( who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?)
3. We find out Hubby got a fantastic new job we've been praying for.
( Woo!)
4. We begin the process of moving for this new job which is a whole new state away.
( During the first trimester mind you yyaaayyy )
5. We find the perfect house we like only to have it nabbed from under us a day before we finalize renting it.
( I told him we should have licked it )
6. The move is in less than two weeks and we don't "officially" have a place to rent yet.
( pfftt who needs a roof and solid walls am I right? totally nothing to stress over....)
7. New job means a switch in insurance while pregnant...
( yay...you can hear the sarcasm in this right? )

Needless to say things are a bit crazy. This pregnancy take two hasn't been the easiest, and combining it with a move to a whole other state has been quite the little adventure. Little Munchkin has been great so far and the family has been extremely supportive and helpful though. We're really, truly excited and feel blessed about all of this. 

Sometimes life just kind of happens all at once you know? I've found that it helps to laugh through the craziness, and smile through the stress. It will all work out, I'm certain of it so until it does I'll just keep the faith and write all about it to you, my loving friends who I swear I don't know what I'd do without sometimes. I hope life is treating you all well, and if you're having a crazy month like I am just think about how funny this will all be a few months from now! 




Monday, September 22, 2014

Bliss Calming Blend


I mentioned in an earlier post how much I loved Fall, and how typically Fall doesn't love me back. Alright so that might technically not be true, I mean Fall might love me every bit as much as I love it, it's just that darn life tends to be jealous of what we have and makes things all chaotic for us to be together. It's sort of like Romeo and Juliette but with pumpkin pie spice lattes instead of murder and whatnot.

Anyways, I wrote about ways to relax and re-focus during this sometimes stressful time and I kid you not...life was like " LOL give me one second...." and everything kinda got turned upside down on my end. Literally everything that could go wrong, and might go crazy did as if my blog post had been a challenge. It has literally been one of the most craziest weeks of my life, and that is saying something people. I can't go into specifics at the moment, but you just keep this post in the back of your mind and when I can share everything you're going to agree with me. 

So imagine all of that going on and then finding out that Spark Naturals is having a sale on Bliss Calming Blend. It's like a sign from Heaven you guys. I LOVE Bliss. It's my go-to oil when the Munchkin is fussy, when I can't sleep, when I can't calm down, when the dog is going crazy, basically anytime that things are getting to be a little too much. 

Bliss Calming Blend contains Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood and Vanilla. Bliss Calming Blend can be used aromatically or topically (dilute for younger skin).  What makes these oils so great? Let's check it out: 

1) Vanilla Essential Oil  
- Antioxidant: protects the body from free radicals, wear and tear. 
- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings. 
- Sedative: removes anger, annoyance and promotes a soothed, calm feeling.
- Relaxing: calming, fights off anger and anxiety. 
- Tranquilizing: helps the body and mind relax and calm down. 

- Sedative: calming affect on both the mind and the body
- Analgestic: pain killing properties that calm emotions


- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings. 
- Sedative: removes anger, annoyance and promotes a soothed, calm feeling.
- Analgestic: pain killing properties that calm emotions


4. Lavender
- Analgestic: pain killing properties that calm emotions
- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings.
- Sedative: calming affect on both the mind and the body
- Calmative: has a sedative, calming affect on mind and body.


5. Ylang Ylang
- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings.
- Hypotensive: lowers blood pressure, promotes calmness
- Nervine: calms nerves, eases anxiousness
- Sedative: calming affect on both the mind and the body

6. Sandalwood
- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings.
- Sedative: calming affect on both the mind and the body


As you can see there are a lot of calming, balancing, relaxing essential oils in this blend. Now you know why I like using this bottle of calm the heck down lol. Now you know why, here's the how:

My Top Favorite Ways To Use Bliss

1. Take 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and add 1 drop of Bliss Calming Blend then rub the mixture onto the bottom of Munchin's feet right before bedtime. A calm toddler is a happy toddler...and a happy house.

2. Add one drop of Bliss Calming Blend to Munchin's bath. This is the BEST when she's been super fussy and just having an overall bad day. The scent fills the bathtub and we all get to soak up the benefits.

3. Add 1-2 drops of Bliss Calming Blend in the diffuser (or a pot of warm water on the stove) to calm the whole down. This is especially useful when things are super chaotic and crazy. Start diffusing in the morning to avoid meltdowns in the afternoon.

4. Worried about a presentation at work? Put 1-2 drops of Bliss Calming Blend on a tissue or small piece of felt and attach it on or near your car vents. Your commute will be stress free!

5. Add a drop of Bliss Calming Blend to your pillow before bed, you'll sleep like a baby! I like doing this on laundry day, there's nothing better than knowing your sheets are clean, fresh, and have the added bonus of a blend ready to lull you into a deep slumber.

6. Add some water to a Spray Bottle and add a drop of Bliss Calming Blend to it. Shake it up and spray the mixture lightly onto the baby's car seat (check manufacture guidelines to see if yours can get wet). It dries quickly and leaves a light, calming scent. This little trick is also great for dog beds and dog carriers, your panicking pooch'll be a little more manageable.

7. Rub a drop of Bliss Calming Blend onto the bottoms of your own feet before bedtime for a peaceful, relaxing slumber or in the morning to start your day off stress-free.


So those are some of my favorite ways to use this awesome blend, what's yours? 

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Remember guys you can also use coupon code " Bubble
to save 10% off your whole order



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My fall five.



Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year (with winter being a close second because winter clothes hide some extra baggage you know what I'm saying?). There's just not much that can top crisp air, crunchy, jewel colored leaves on the ground, football season, and of course..pumpkin flavored everything!

When I always think of Fall I like to imagine myself sitting on my porch in the early hours of the morning, sipping coffee before the baby wakes up and finding my soul at peace with the world while little squirrels chase each other around the yard. Sadly however, that is not the case. Instead I usually wake up to an alarm clock that sounds like a banshee, then it's to the new puppy's crate to let him out asap, then it's a brief shower, and hustling to complete the huge to-do list I have. Any interaction with squirrels limited to me yelling at them to get out of the way while I'm driving of course.

Fall just seems to be SO busy for us. We've got birthdays, weddings, doctor appointments, work schedule issues, car maintenance due, car taxes due, insurance openings, two separate trips around the state (and counting) among everything with Perfectly Posh and Spark Naturals and this blog. Needless to say things can get a bit stressful.

SO I decided to come up with a list of things that I've found
 helps me relax, center myself, and truly
remind me why I love this season. Here we go:

1. Put on a centering Fall blend 
of essential oils in your diffuser
( or pot of water on the stove over low heat
 or in your crock pot...whatevs)

1 Drop of Cedarwood Essential Oil
2 Drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil

Cedarwood is known to help with anxiety and in the bible it was used as a spiritual oil to purify, and naturally lift the soul in prayer.
Wild Orange is known to help alleviate stress and used to promote good feelings and emotional balance.

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2. Treat yourself to an anti-aging, fall-tastic face mask 
( say THAT five times fast ) 

3 teaspoons of Organic Canned Pumpkin Puree
1/2 teaspoon of Honey
1/4 teaspoon of milk

Combine the mixture and apply to face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.
Did you know pumpkin has alpha hydroxy acids in it? AKA: the most common ingredient in anti-wrinkle cream. It removes dead skin cells while regenerating healthy skin underneath. Pumpkin is also loaded with Vitamins A and C which help with skin elasticity and elastin production.

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3. Treat yourself to a pumpkin pie spiced coffee! 
( No starbucks required!) 
Simply add 1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice seasoning with a dash of cinnamon and you're all set. Make sure to mix the seasonings after you brew the coffee and add it slowly so you don't reach the end and get a mouth full of chunky seasonings. Blech ( though there are worse things in life I suppose). 

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4. Cuddle up and make time for a Fall themed book.
There's something magical about reading about Fall
 while experiencing the first few tendrils of the season. 
Two quick recommendations from me: 

High Country Fall by Margaret Maron
This is a mystery book in a series and I promise you guys...you will fall in love with this author!
Sookie Stackhouse Books by Charlaine Harris
This might be a bit more Halloween (vampires, etc) but if you're anything like me there is never a bad time for one these books.

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5. Go jump in a lake
( Just kidding, I meant go take a bath...
just seeing if you were paying attention) 
Sometimes there's nothing that can do more for the soul 
like a nice warm bath. These are some of my bath time picks: 

Wanderlust Bubble Bar (Lavender, Ylang Ylang, and Cedar Wood essential oils in a bath bar)
Brazilian Bombshell Bath Salts ( Exotic jungle fruits and sugar cane)
Witch Be Gone Bath Salts ( A mix of Gardenia, Jasmine, Licorice,Wood, Vanilla, and Almond)

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Alright well those are some of my favorites, what are some of yours? Please post in the comments and pinning is love. Also if you're using Spark Naturals for your essential oil needs make sure to use coupon code " Bubble " to save 10% off your order! Woohoo!



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Halloween 2014 Roundup

HALLOWEEN 2014 ROUNDUP


Without any further ado...here are some of my favorite 
Halloween themed sheets and printables from around 
the internet...

PRINTABLES


SUBWAY ART


KID'S ACTIVITY SHEETS

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Hope you are all doing well! I've missed you so much 
and Fall got me thinking about you and I just wanted
to share some of my favorites that I've seen around. 
Fall and Halloween just makes me happy, can you relate?

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Making sense of business expenses


How I keep up with business expenses 

1. Keep every receipt from any expense that you incur for your business.
 Here are some examples:
- Gift bags for delivering products
- Items needed to make gift baskets
- Hostess gifts
- Lacons, sample containers, spatulas, etc.
Basically anything that you wouldn't have normally bought or could use for other purposes such as buying a skirt or fingernail polish..something like that. (Unless you're giving those items away as a hostessing gift, raffle, etc.)

2. Buy a notebook ( business expense..keep the receipt)
 and a small pouch or heck even a ziplock would work. 
 During the month stick all of your business expense receipts in the pouch. At the end of the month set aside a time to get them all out and put them in the notebook.

So if I started my business in June for example I would write " June 2014" on the top corner of the page and I typically tape them onto the page and write out the total amount I spent next to the receipt and what it was for.
then proceed to put all of my June receipts in order in the notebook.
 Ex:
Dollar Tree
$5.18
Basket Supplies

Then once that month is done you start over with the new month. I've found this usually keeps me on track and able to have everything in order for tax time. It also makes it easier to be able to know at a glance if you're in the good with expenses vs income.

A few other tips: 
- Whenever you're finished putting in all of the monthly expenses, total them up and write the total in parenthesis next to the month in the upper right hand corner, it'll make everything more streamlined during tax season.
- When a notebook is filled put it in your business binder ( more to come later on that one) or whatever safe spot you keep your other tax records
- If you've got questions over what is or isn't considered a business expense check out the official IRS business expense page

Like I said before, the notebook method works for me, but if you're more a fan of the digital life. You can always scan the receipts and keep track of them and any expenses on your computer using Excel or THIS awesome free tool.




Saturday, June 7, 2014

DIY Laundry Detergent



Alright so if you haven't tried THIS incredible soap from Perfectly Posh do yourself a favor and try it now. 
Like...right now...I'll wait. Here's why:

1. INCREDIBLE citrus scent 
2. Organic soap base
3. SLS and Phthalate free fragrance
4. Lathers well and moisturizes luxuriously 
5. It's less than $10 for a HUGE bar! 
6. You can make the most heavenly scented laundry detergent EVER!
How you ask? Well let me show you, it's a lot more easier than you might have thought. 

You'll Need:


* 1 1/2 Cups of Borax
* 1 1/2 Cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
* 1/2 Cup of Baking Soda ( not pictured..sorry, but I honestly just use store brand) 
* Ninja or other chopping/grating equipment

Step One:

Take out a grater and well...grate the soap. This is the "hardest" part of the whole recipe, it can get a little tiring but the bar grates fairly well. You should end up with about 3 cups ( using a fairly large grater as pictured) I wouldn't stress if yours ends up being slightly more or less. 

Step Two:

Take the shreds and put them into your Ninja or other chopping device and pulverize them until they are as close to a powder as you can get. I usually can get a pretty good almost powder quality using the ninja for a few seconds. The photo is obviously the before lol 

Step Three:

Put your now freshly pulverized bar in a bowl and then in another separate bowl mix together the Borax, Washing Soda, and Baking Soda. Combine the powders thoroughly. How AMAZING does your house smell right now??

Step Four:

Combine the mixtures together and begin stirring so everything is as mixed together as it can be. Then pour it into an air-sealed container and you're DONE! woohoo! Way to go! You now have your very own batch of homemade laundry detergent. You use 2 Tablespoons per laundry load. I stick an old measuring spoon right on top of the detergent so it's right there. 

Optional:
I always have some small little pieces of the soap stuck to my Ninja whenever I'm through and instead of just rinsing it down the drain I add water to the container and get loose as much of it as I can. I then add that water to another sealing container and use it as a fabric scent booster. I sometimes will also add 2-3 drops of Wild Orange essential oil to the watery mixture for even more citrus scent.
 I add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle or you can dip a towel in it and throw it in the dryer with the freshly laundered clothes.

These are the finished products:

Ps- Your house smells HEAVENLY when you use this detergent
Also if you decide to use the Wild Orange essential oil 
you can use coupon code "Bubble" to save 10% off your order! 

Linking up at 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Easing The Pain Of Canker Sores


A week or so ago Hubby developed a canker sore. This was something totally new to us. He gets ulcers fairly usual, and he's had his wisdom teeth coming in...needless to say he's got a high pain tolerance, but this was different. He began complaining that this was seriously hurting him, and that it was hard to eat or talk. The poor guy was rubbing Orajel and anbesol around in his mouth like it was candy and it still wasn't easing the pain. He wasn't happy, I wasn't happy...NOBODY was happy. Well we began talking about dragging him into the dentist when it hit me...Essential Oils!

I pulled out my hand dandy books and soon
 knew what to do...Melaleuca!
Why Melaleuca?
It's Antimicrobial, Antiseptic, and Antiviral!

Hubby is the biggest skeptic I know and honestly it took me a solid twelve minutes to convince him that putting an essential oil in his mouth wouldn't kill him. ( Oh but a stranger offers him a free food sample and he eats it no question...go figure...) So he clearly did not believe that a simple essential oil would work better than the commercially made crap he had been using but he decided to try it anyway.

I put just one drop on a Q-tip and had him put it directly on the sore. We then began watching one of our shows and about twenty minutes later I asked him how the pain was. I swear you guys...he paused and then his eyes widened and he said " Wow.....the pain is gone. I forgot I had a sore, that's CRAZY. Why didn't you give that to me sooner??" Well excuse me...

He began putting the Melaleuca on his mouth before lunch and dinner and right before bed, so about three times a day. Within a week the sore was gone and I was back to my happy Hubby. So if you've got a canker sore try it out...you will not be dissapointed.

Also.....because a possible cause of canker sores is due to stress I began rubbing Bliss ( calming blend ) on the bottoms of his feet before bed. It seems to help him sleep a little easier and wake up a little more relaxed. I've also diffused it with some lavender on particularly stressful days so everyone can get a little bit of a calming blend. If canker sores are a big problem and you find that you're stressed out a lot I would highly recommend LXR ( Anxiety Blend ) for diffusing, applying at night, and even applying it to your feet or wrist during the day as well.

As always you can find all of these
 high quality essential oils at Spark Naturals and
 you can use coupon code " Bubble " to 
save 10% off your whole order


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why do things like this always happen to me?

Well I'm back folks! It took a lot longer this time to get everything back in order from the trip. I remember before little Munchkin it took nothing to unpack, and get the house back in shape. Now my suitcase stays dumped on the floor open like a gutted fish for a week after we get back. It's crazy how they change your life. You go from two suitcases to seven, from nothing to juice and sippy cups and snacks and diapers. It's crazy. ANYWAY....I wanted to write this up before I forgot.

Literally the day before we left for our trip my sister and I decided to get our eyebrows waxed at my favorite little place at our local walmart. Despite the woman last time violating my nostril ( see post here )...I wish I was kidding...I love this place and have NEVER had anything horrible happen, and they always do a fantastic job. Well I don't know if she was having an off day or maybe they were just super busy or what but this time she messed up...badly. The wax was a little warmer than normal which didn't bother me, but she decided for some inexplicable reason to wax under my brow on one side TWICE. That is a HUGE no-no.

It hurt. Badly. When she was finished I looked in the little mirror and didn't see any burning just the natural redness so we paid and left the salon. However by the time I made it home my brow was blistered and red. It wasn't as bad as those horrific pictures you see where people get burned but it didn't look good and it was RIGHT before the trip. I was bummed to say the least.

So what did I do? Grabbed my Healer Skin Stick and began applying it. I applied it every hour on the hour and you guys I am not kidding the blisters and redness was almost completely gone in 24 hours! I was ecstatic!

I've used The Healer with success on Munchkin's diaper rash, baby acne, all of our cuts or minor  burns, but nothing like this before. I was SO happy to see the results guys. I of course took pictures and you can tell in the first one there's a lot of blistering and redness and then the second one which is literally the next day and is almost completely healed! This little skin stick is exactly what it claims to be..a healer! ha ha.



So if your favorite nail salon blistered your eyebrows I would 1,000% recommend this. Hope you all had a fantastic Easter and that you're all doing well. Hugs & love! 
-Nickie

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Louisiana here I come!



I've been meaning to get this up for a while now, and I've just been super, super busy. Remember last year around this time I told you guys that I was getting to travel to Lousiana for Easter? It was a big deal because I don't get to see my family who live there much and so it was a HUGE deal to get to fly down with Munchkin and Lily? No...well...now you're caught up on the back story. Well , we're going again! Woohoo!

The really great part about the trip this year is that we'll be driving down and my sister will be coming with us, plus my mom is coming down from Kansas to join the festivities. So this trip is going to be incredible, and I am SO happy and ready for it! We're leaving this Sunday and going to be gone until the next Tuesday (13-22) so I'll be off of here and off of Facebook during that time.

I won't have internet and honestly even if I did I wouldn't be on it. I rarely get to see these people that I love and I'm going to be spending as much time as possible with them. I love you all, and hope you have an incredible Easter.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Am I the only one?


Ok, so I finally got to watch Disney's Frozen movie and I have to admit, it was pretty good. I honestly didn't think it was as good as everyone was making it out to be ( The Princess And The Frog was much better) but the songs are super catchy and I love the characters.

 However, I do have some issues with this movie. I really felt like Disney spent all of their time and money creating awesome songs and these great characters and then they were just sort of like...hhhmmm we don't really have a story line so let's just kind of stick them here *smoosh characters together*  yep..that works.. Let me explain, and yes I do realize how debating a Disney movie might suggest I need a few therapy sessions, I totally agree but I'm poor so you all will just have to suffice for my therapy, good? Great. Let's move on.



1. Elsa randomly has powers and Anna does not?
Ok, so you're telling me in a land with NO magic at all whatsoever one daughter just randomly has magic and the other doesn't? Why? That makes no sense. Maybe if she had been cursed, but no....they said born that way with powers. Why not the other one? Did their mom eat sushi or something with one pregnancy...maybe stand in front of the microwave, I don't know it just doesn't make sense.


2. Crappy parenting.
I'm usually not one to judge other people's parenting styles ( at least not out loud ) but Disney really dropped the ball on these two. They force their daughter to keep these random powers contained to the point of her not being able to be around her sister. Whether the distance between the two was something the parents insisted on or not, if you see your kids are losing each other you step in....not encourage it.

3. Who ran the country? 
Ok, so you're telling me that when a KING and QUEEN of a country died the whole country was ran by a completely inexperienced young girl who was a shut-in and never left the castle? I call bull. There's no way a country could be ran like that. That place would be in turmoil in days much less years. Also...why did Anna never leave the castle? I get why Elsa didn't, but Anna was free to do and be around whoever she wanted. It just again...doesn't make sense.

( I'm just going to skip over the part where she makes a vow to be a queen and lead people then two frames later she abandons them. Yes they were calling her a sorceress, but c'mon man...crazyness is part of the job. Belle wouldn't have up and left...I'm just sayin')



4. Ice castle? 
Alright, so she has spent almost her whole entire life concealing and keeping her powers hidden and then suddenly overnight she can use them to build an ice mansion? Nope. She is running up the stairs as she is building them after using her powers for the first time in that capacity in years..possibly in forever...I again..call bull.



5. Olaf?
Speaking of random powers. Since when and why did she suddenly get the ability to create living things out of snow? That didn't happen when she was creating the snow people as a child, so why now? Again, makes no sense.

6. The Abominable Snowman
Alright, so her main concern is keeping her sister safe, and urging her to leave so she won't be hurt. Ok great I get that, but her way to solve that problem is to create a 200 ft mean, abominable snowman that chunks her sister and her beau off a cliff?? Yea...the whole safety thing...you're doing it wrong.

7. Trust me.,.she's dead. 
Some random dude who has barely been in the country for three days says that a monarch has died and everyone just takes his word on it? Really? No one makes sure that she's actually dead, and what about the castle staff who SAW her alive, did they not think to see what was up? Seems a little fishy to me.

8.  Anna's dying...
She's so frail that she cannot crawl three feet to the fireplace and light a match to keep herself alive, but she has no issues trekking down her iced over castle and crossing across a frozen tundra in the middle of a friggen blizzard. I mean...really.


9. Love?
I don't really get the ending. Soooo she figures out true love can thaw Anna's frozen heart and then suddenly she knows how to control her power? How would that apply to the frozen kingdom? A few days ago she was throwing ice around like crazy and now because she knows about true love she can master her powers? The next time she ices someone on accident they have to get kissed or try to save someone? I don't get it.

Ok, yea I might need some therapy, but c'mon you have to admit I bring up some valid points here. Like I said before, I liked the movie. I'll be buying it and yes..I already know all of the words to the songs, but the story just doesn't make sense to me. Sorry. So tell me...what are your opinions on the movie?