Friday, December 19, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Ornaments


Oh my goodness!!!  I can not even begin to tell you how amazing my home has smells as I write this post.  There is Christmas floating through the air...the scent of apples, cinnamon, and wild orange are intoxicating.


We decided to make these ornaments for my girls' teachers this year.  It just might become an obsession to my daughter Rose.  She enjoyed mixing and rolling out the dough so much. I think that she would have played with it all night if I had let her. Thankfully it was way past bedtime and as soon as they went into the oven my girls were ushered off to bed.

They really are extremely easy to make and appropriate for any child 3 years old or older to help with. 
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Great Cookie Exchange!

There's only one more week until Christmas is upon us!  I can't wait!!!  There is so much to do, but the little girl inside of me still loves the magical feeling of Christmas and can't wait to watch my kiddles tear into their gifts...while I sip on some coffee and munch on a few cookies.  (Cookies are Christmas breakfast fare, right?)

 
Since there is only a week left and I still have TONS of cookies to bake and create, in the spirit of those of us who just can't have too many cookie options in our cookie jars, I decided that a blogger cookie recipe exchange would be fun.  Plus, I love getting new recipes that are tried-and-true to bake with my girls.
 
So, gather up your favorite cookie recipe and LET THE COOKIE EXCHANGE BEGIN!

 



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cinnamon Ornaments

Photos: dōTERRA International, LLC

doTERRA has come up with a very simple craft to trim your Christmas tree...or your office, or your car, or your closet...whatever.

 
Cinnamon ornaments scented with dōTERRA essential oils! I can't wait to make these tonight with my daughters.  They love to bake and they love doing crafts...and they LOVE Christmas. We're going to have so much fun and my home is going to smell amazing!
 

DYI Teacher, Co-worker or Just Plain Ole Friend Giftings

Every year I try to find some cute little gifts that I can make at home to share with my girls' teachers and our family friends. 
And every year I fail in getting everyone on our list covered. *boooo*  This year I am again making a valiant effort to accomplish one gift for everyone on my list.  *YAAAAY!*  Say a prayer for me because with my 8 month old son it's going to be quite a feat to accomplish this year.

Here are some of the wonderful homemade gifts that I have come across in my searching for the perfect gift...not to mention easy. I hope that this list inspires and perhaps takes care of your search at the same time.

Merry Christmas & Happy Gifting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Do You Know YOU? I mean, REALLY know YOU?

I started writing this post with the title: Why I Love Being A Mom.  I transitioned into something very different from my initial thoughts...and I am so happy that it did.  There is wisdom here that I pass along to young women whenever I can.

 
There are so many things that make being a mom one of the most rewarding titles in the world.  Honestly there is nothing that you will put so much time, tears, frustration, and love into (other than a marriage) which yields such enormous rewards.  Those rewards don't come wrapped up in pretty paper and bound in elegant bows...they come in priceless moments and the eyes of your child.  There is no price tag that can be placed on that nor is it possible to give an adequate comparison to it.

Yes, being a mom can be beyond exhausting and try your patience more than heavy traffic, but there are these little nuggets that make it all worth it.

Giveaway Link-Up ~ Beginning or Ending In December

I am getting back into the swing of things and just in time for you to win some goodies right before Christmas!  Months without giveaways is what happens when you have an 8 month old demanding your time.
You are not going to want to miss out on these great finds!
There's not time like the present to enter. Here We GO!


Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Do you LOVE entering giveaways? We have a nice little assortment for you to enjoy below! AND there is no limit to the number of giveaways you can access & enter!

OR

Do you have a giveaway beginning or ending in the month of December? 
Leave a comment with a link to your giveaway and I will add it to our ever growing list!
SO, why not link-up and share information for readers to find your great giveaways?! 

Giveaways in gray have ended, but the links remain active.
1. NutriBullet Pro 900 Series ~ Pawsitive Living (Ends 12/10)
2. Pearl Paradise Double Strand Freshwater Pearl Bracelet ~ Pawsitive Living (Ends 12/3)
3. Zipz Shoes ~ Mom Does Reviews (Ends 12/12)
4. Kindle Fire HD 7 ~ Mom Does Reviews (Ends 12/11)
5. COACH Phone Case ~ Giveaway Bandit (Ends 12/05)
6. Holiday For Her Gift Pack! ~ Giveaway Bandit (Ends 12/06)
7. The Ultimate Green Store $50 Gift Card Giveaway ~ Finding Sanity In Our Crazy Life (Ends 12/07) 
8.Holiday KitchenAid Artisan Mixer Giveaway ~  Finding Sanity In Our Crazy Life (Ends 12/15)
9. VTech InnoTab Max ~ Five Dollar Shake (Ends 12/03)
10. $25 Target E-Card ~ Five Dollar Shake (Ends 12/09)
11. 3 Months Netflix Streaming Giveaway  ~ Making of a Mom (Ends 12/08) 
12. ClickN Kids Tablet 2 ~ 2 Winners! ~  Tech Savvy Mama (Ends 12/14)
13. Le Creuset Prize Pack ~ The Rebel Chick (Ends 12/08) 
14. Sparkly Glitter Crafty Prize Pack ~ Sunshine and Sippy Cups (Ends 12/24) 

15. Girly Makeup $250+ Value Prize Package! ~ A Helicopter Mom (Ends 12/08) 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Diaper Bag Makeover


There are plenty of creams, ointments, and wipes that contain chemicals that aren't necessary especially when you have a natural alternative.  Here are some simple ways to makeover your diaper bag with essential oils.

1.  For Momma - Keep hydrated.  Dehydration can lead to exhaustion.  Add essential oils like Lemon or Wild Orange to your water throughout the day.
 
2.  Diaper Cream  -  This recipe is free of petroleum and artificial ingredients that can cause even more irritation to baby's skin.
 
3.  Peppermint Beadlet -  A burst of Peppermint will freshen breath and soothe tummy discomfort.
 
4.  Essential Oils -  Gentle oils like Lavender and Melaleuca are must haves.
 
5.  Coconut Oil -  Moisturize and protect skin without any oily residue.
 
6.  Baby Wipes -  Commercial wipes are made with ingredients that can actually irritate a baby's sensitive skin.  This easy recipe is good on the go, just place the wipes in a wet bag.

Read More...

Taking The Sting Out Of Diaper Rash Naturally

Babies definitely have my sympathy.  I can't imagine having to rely on someone to keep on top of when I've gone to the bathroom...even 5 minutes in a dirty diaper can wreak havoc on sensitive skin.  My poor little son's booty is extremely sensitive.  He tends to get diaper rashes very easily and much more frequently than his sisters did.

This week he developed an ear and throat infection, which I had no idea he had.  Unlike most babies he had not pulled on his ear or cried when laid down.  I was more concerned with the sound that his cough had developed into while he's been teething.  (which turned out to be no big deal)  With the news of the problem being an ear and throat infection, I gave into antibiotics to help clear them up before his scheduled immunizations, and along with the medication came the side-effect of strong diarrhea. His little booty did not stand a chance.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Day After "T" Day ~ 10 Leftovers To Tempt Your Tummy

Every year I try to think of ways to all of my Thanksgiving feast leftovers.  I have to say that I am tired of sandwiches and soups though.  So, this year I have hunted for some great alternatives to transform our leftovers from "eh" to "WAHOO!"


Here are some tasty offerings for the days that follow Turkey Day.

Photo:  J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Savory Stuffing Waffles - Serious Eats
This is such a great option to use up my stuffing...I'd just top it with my Homemade Cranberry Sauce to complete it!

Photo: Minimalist Baker

Pumpkin French Toast Bake - Minimalist Baker
I am definitely making this Saturday morning!

Photo: DailyWaffle.com

Cranberry Black Pepper Sweet Rolls - Daily Waffle
And these will have to grace our breakfast table Sunday before church.
 
 
Photo: bonAppetite.com
Turkey Ramen - bon appetite
 This is an unexpected change-up.  I can't wait to try it!!
 

Photo: Food Network

 Grilled Turkey, Brie, Apple Butter Sandwich with Arugula - Tyler Florence, Food Network
I love this grown up grilled cheese!  It's perfect for the kid in me and my hubby.
 
 

Photo: A Spicy Perspective
 
Poblano & Turkey Soup - A Spicy Perspective
There has to be a soup...but it's not your ordinary soup.

Photo: JustATaste.com
Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes - Just A Taste 

I make potato pancakes every year, but these just looked so good that I had to include them.


Photo: Ree Drummond, ThePioneerWoman.com

Leftover Turkey Spring Rolls - The Pioneer Woman
Ree Drummond is my hero.  Somehow she comes up with all sorts of great ideas to keep things fresh and un-boring.

Photo: CookingHawaiianStyle.com

Turkey-Potato Croquettes -  Cooking Hawaiian Style
Mmm, Mmm, Gooooood.

Photo: BakedByRachel.com

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pizza - Baked By Rachel
I have a feeling that this is going to become one of my all-time favorite pizzas. YUMMY!




 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

DYI Dryer Sheet - Static Free & Chemical Free!

 I love the smell in the air when I walk past dryer vents in my apartment complex.  They instantly lighten the air with wonderful smells...but all those chemicals are not doing the air any good really.  Yes, they smell good, but as you breath them in what is it that you're letting into your body under the disguise of lovely fragrances?

 
Fragranced dryer sheets do not do the skin of a person with sensitive skin any good at all.  Any time that I have given in and placed one of those sheets in my dryer to make my clothes smell "pretty" and kill static-cling I have paid the price with irritated skin, headaches, and sinus irritation. 

Read More...

'Tis The Season For Pies, Pies, Pies!

Pockets Of Love Cherry Pies - TheChattyMom

This week we walk smack-dab into the season of pies.  This is when there are pies aplenty adorning everyone's tables and hanging out in just about every fridge on the block. 

Now, I am not a master pie maker, there is still much for me to learn in the area of making pie crust. That being said, it doesn't keep me from trying my hand at a pie now and then.  That's how you get better at doing something, right?  You try over and over until you feel that you've got it mastered...or at least down to a reasonable outcome.
 
Well, in the interest of others who like to bake pies now and then, I have pulled together some wonderful pies from others who have more experience at baking them than I.

Diffuser Blends For The Holidays

I love diffusing different concoctions of essential oils in my home.  Not only do they make the air in the home smell lovely, they also clean it and my family receive benefits from the oils aromatically.  It's a win, win, win situation!

Here are some of the blends that I have been enjoying in my home lately.  Each blend also has a breakdown of the benefits that come from diffusing them.

 
I hope that you enjoy them as much in your home as I have in mine.



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Friday, November 21, 2014

PTSD Blend - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

 
My husband served in the Navy during the first Gulf War.  So many of our service men  & women have paid a high cost while serving our country. 

My husband was recently diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome...which is not the same as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but is still a price that was paid while in the service.  While the two differ from one another, we have a great deal of respect for all of our military servicemen and anything that I can pass along to help one will be shared.  There is something about being able to give back to those who have been willing to sign their lives away for our freedoms.  (It's the very least I can do.)

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Giveaways Ending Soon

I have been out of the giveaway scene since this time last year.  Pregnancy and a new baby will do that to you.


My apologies.  It's about time that I shared some great giveaways with you. 

Here we GO!

1)  The most beautiful WOK ever created by Le Creuset, enter to win today! US only, MSRP: $280 Click HERE to enter.

2) Win one of eight personalized Peppa Pig Book adventures! Click HERE to enter.

3) Firefly Clue and Yahtzee Board Game.  Click HERE to enter.

4) Plan Toys Sink & Fridge Set Kitchen Set.  Click HERE to enter.

5) $250 Cariloha Bamboo Fit Gift Certificate.  Click HERE to enter.

6)  Heat Storm Mojave Heater . Click HERE to enter.

7) $100 Bump Boxes Gift Certificate. Click HERE to enter.

8) Choice of a wall-mount or handheld Aroma Sense Vitamin C Shower Head. Cllick HERE to enter.

9) Win an iPad mini 3 16GB Wi-Fi, valued at $399.  Click HERE to enter.

10) win an Aden + Anais Adult Bamboo Daydream Blanket in Latticework (ARV $170) from Rock Pretty! Click HERE to enter.

11) Coach Handbag – Winner’s Choice . Click HERE to enter.

12) Nexia Smart Home System. Click HERE to enter.

13) Barbar Ionic Professional Hair Dryer $150 Value. Click HERE to enter.

14) Win a fabulous Tart Cherry Prize Pack ($550 ARV).  Click HERE to enter.

15) Win a $50 Walmart Gift Card.  Click HERE to enter.

16) Win a Barbie bike and $100 Toys R Us Gift Card! (2 winners).  Click HERE to enter.

17) Win a $500 Walmart Gift Card! Click HERE to enter.

18) Win a $75 Kmart Gift Card.  Click HERE to enter.


19) Acer C720 Chromebook Giveaway  to enter.
20)  Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.  to enter.
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy Wednesday - Really!

It may be overcast and very grey outside this morning.  However, this morning has been one very nice one I must say.

 
My son woke me up bright and early at 6AM, had a bottle and went right back to sleep. I love it when this happens!
 
My girls got up and ready for school without any fighting!!!  That is a miracle in and of itself...the fighting part.
 
My husband was sent off to work with a kiss and a smile.  (Nothing new there.)
 
With everyone off to do their daily "doings", I made a pot of Vanilla Biscotti coffee and settled down at my laptop to join a Twitter Party. (I love Twitter parties...you just have to keep up.)
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Magic Arrives March 2015

I have one little girl in our household that just can't wait until March comes. 

Why?

The magic of Disney is coming once again!  This time one of our absolute favorite movies is being brought to life...

Which one? 

Cinderella!

We just watched the official trailer and the little girl inside of me just might be just as excited as my daughter is.



 
Tonight is just the beginning of a very long waiting process in a 10-year-old's eyes.  How will I be able to handle the constant questions?
 
"How many more days?"
 
"Are we going?"
 
"When do we get to go see Cinderella?
 
"Do you have our movie tickets yet?"
 
"Is it EVER going to be March?!"
 
Hopefully March will come swiftly enough that I don't go completely out of my mind.  I'm going to be dreaming of glass slippers for weeks.  I mean, SHE's going to be dreaming about glass slippers.
 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Teething & Flu...Oh My!

Last week was a real drainer.  There's nothing like  a 7 month old teething and two little girls with the flu bug to get a week started.


It started with my little James and his teething.  I'm convinced that teething is parental  abuse.  It's horrible for the baby and I hate that they have to go through it, but it's also a terrible time for the parents.

Sunday it all started at around 9:00pm with a fever of 100.3F.  Fortunately I had my arsenal ready with Peppermint and Lavender oils.  Peppermint to bring down the fever and lavender to calm some of the pain his poor little gums were experiencing.  It was amazing how quickly the Peppermint worked to start bringing down his fever!  Literally .5-1.0 degree lower within 5-10 minutes! 

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thanksgiving Goodie Ideas ~ We All Need Them

Before I know it, Thanksgiving is going to be crashing through my door wanting to know where to land.  This is my way of being prepared and having plenty to occupy my kiddles as the holiday approaches.


In my search for all things Thanksgiving, I have come across some great blog sites.  Because I'm so nice, and I know that there are other mommies out there looking for activities and recipes too, I'm going to share them with you.  

Tummy Troubles Big and Small

James at 7 months

As all of us moms know, tummy trouble does not hit at the best of times.  It tends to rise up in the middle of making dinner, sleeping or while we're out and about.  Neither do they only attack the young, but us more matured as well.

 
This is my little James.  At 7 months old I have had countless battles with tummy trouble since the day he was born.  All of my children have had tummy troubles as babies, my oldest Grace and youngest James had it the worst.  They couldn't tolerate my milk...which is so frustrating as a new mommy.  Our milk is supposed to be the best thing for them and yet mine caused so much pain.  Was I watching what I ate?  Absolutely.  I was ridiculously careful about what I ate.
Read More...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wrap Yourself ~ Slim & Sassy Body Wrap

It seems like body wraps are featured at a booth during every festival or street fair I've been to in the past 2 years.  I recently came across a recipe for making your own body wrap using doTERRA's Essential Oils! 

I have never done a body wrap. Three babies later, I am willing to do just about anything to get rid of the baby weight I still have.  We're talking about the baby weight that has hung around from my first baby...who will be 10 years old this December.  Yes, it is shameful...well, more like frustrating.  Really frustrating. I've exercised, dieted and still am in a battle to lose the last 15 remaining pounds of baby weight.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Treats & Craft Ideas

My girls love to use any excuse to bake or create goodies...especially fun looking ones.  Here are some of the ideas we've come across while trying to decide what to do for Halloween parties at school and friends' houses.                                    

We've already hit one Trunk-or-Treat event and have a couple more planned on Halloween...PLUS Trick-or-Treating with some good friends. By that time my oldest daughter should have her Red Angry Bird costume. (we improvised and made her a Pop Star for this one)

With very little time on my hands now that I have a new baby demanding all of it, I am pulling on Pinterest like mad this week.  From sweet treats to crafts to drinks...these are the ones that caught my girls' eyes.  Which are your favorites?

To view other ideas, visit my Pinterest Board!

1. Personal Pumpkin Pizzas - TheChattyMom
   My girls absolutely LOVE building their own pizzas. This is just another fun way to enjoy a piece of pizza...err, a whole personal pizza.

2.  Crayon Melt Pumpkins  - BudgetSavvyDiva.com
 
    We will be making a couple of these pumpkins this year...just to be different from our neighbors.

Monday, October 27, 2014

DIY - Toxin-Free Household Cleaning Solution

Lemon and On Guard® Essential Oils ~ The One-Two Punch!

This weekend I decided to try something new.  My sister-in-law has been cleaning her house with a non-toxic solution and loves it.  I had to try it.  Let's face it, housework is no fun and I don't particularly enjoy breathing in all of the fumes and chemicals from the cleaning solutions.  A solution made with essential oils that could get everything clean and disinfected AND smell good?! I'm in!  Not to mention the fact that with the amount of coughing that had started the following Thursday, I really needed to attack things and get our surfaces free of any bacteria lurking about.  (I was already cleaning our air by diffusing Lemon & On Guard®)
 

Now I was desperate and had not ordered my container yet, and to be honest really didn't have much time to
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A New Season And The Return Of An Old Love

Alright, I know that it has been a long time since I've posted anything but it's because sometimes my life is a bit hectic.  It must be said that turning 40 has brought changes in my life...a new baby boy, girls entering 3rd and 4th grade, and a return of a long lost love of essential oils. I love my family and will do anything I can to help us all stay healthy and functioning at the top of our game.  Sometimes it's harder than it sounds...okay, it can be a downright battle.

I feel so blessed to have an old love of mine work it's way back into my life, at what I feel is the right season, for me to empower my family with knowledge that can help change our daily lives.  Enter ESSENTIAL OILS

I have loved EOs since I was introduced to them when I worked in a little shop adding fragrance grade oils into lotions, shampoo, conditioner, massage oils, and more.  I don't know how, but at some point I let them slip out of my life.  What a fool I was!!  I just did not have an understanding of what was being sown into my life or how powerful therapeutic grade oils really were on a daily basis. Right now, I am most excited to see the impact they will have on my family as we enter flu season once again. 

What are essential oils? 
Here is a quick 2 minute video to briefly explain ~


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Newest Love Of My Life

 

It's been quite a Summer. We've been extremely busy with the new addition to our family as well as the traditions we do every year... 


We've hit the shores of Lake Tahoe...



Celebrated the Fourth Of July down in Temecula, CA...


Had a water balloon fight at our church's birthday BBQ...


Viewed gorgeous cars during Hot August Nights...


Celebrated a birthday with some friends at a local park...


Grace, 4th Grade

Rose, 3rd Grade
And are now back into the swing of a new school year.

I have been on a break from the blogging world since last November.  (That's a long time!)  Honestly it's been the simple fact that I have lived a life of exhaustion because of my pregnancy and now precious new little son.  This little face has been the center of my world for the past 20 weeks...and I must say that I am madly in love with him.

 
Little James (I use my kiddles' middle names for blogging) has been such an amazing addition to our family.  My hubby has been over-the-moon since he learned that we would be having a son and he hasn't come back to earth yet.  Just when I thought that we wouldn't be able to have an addition to our family, God showed me that He had heard my cries for just one more...and how badly I wanted a son. 
 
 
On March 26th little James came into the world after two days of a whole lot of complications on my part.  Poor little guys was thrust into a whole new world 4 weeks early...and had he not come early I probably would have had a 10-11 pound not-so-little guy.  And of course my child would have to go against the norm and be the featherweight at 7 lb. 1 oz.. I have to say I wasn't too upset about that at all.

 
My husband now has his little football buddy and I have another little love to "Ooo" and "Ahh" over.  My world is still in the midst of Lalaloopsies, Barbies, pink & purple everything, and baubles galore, but change is happening.  I've now added the images of puppies, duckies, and dragons into the mix.  Having blues, browns and greys is a welcomed change.
 
 
Just look at the change that's happened in 5 months!
 
 
And let me just say that motherhood at 40 is a lot more taxing than it was when I started at 30.  Even though it's been 8 years since I dealt with all of a newborn's needs, I honestly don't remember being as exhausted as I am now.  Thank God that I have the Viking mentality of pressing through no matter what. (Although some days the pressing through is actually dragging through my day.)  Most nights are like the one above, up until around 4am or sometimes we watch the sun come up.


 
My girls are getting used to the huge change.  It's taken some time and they are learning to have patience during his fits of cries and screams.  The bonus is that I have two little helpers that argue about who gets to change his diapers and clothes.  (I'm still stuck with the poopey ones though.)
 
 
I'm excited to see this little personality grow and develop.  Everything is different this time around and I know that is going to be the case in almost every instance.  So far all three have been fine tuned to music, maybe that is the common ground my children will always carry with them.