Conversation Starters & High Fives

  • Red Rage

    Treats. Fun. Celebrations. NOPE… these pics make me think of Rage. Anxiety. Meltdowns. Crisis.

    I’m on a mission to tell part of our story to help other families… shared with C’s permission… (You may only know her as Sweet Caroline so this might be shocking)

    Y’all we were grasping at straws… C was having wild, seemingly erratic and often scary outbursts. Now we know the culprit is all ARTIFICIAL DYE, especially Red 40… here’s our story…

    We saw specialists, explored all kinds of diagnosis, cried, prayed, researched…

    In the end Luke helped us solve the mystery… as his sister was having another epic meltdown, truly unable to function flailing on the ground, he said, “Mama, did you know she just had red Gatorade?”

    We’d started keeping a food journal and thought sugar was the RAGE trigger… now we know it is artificial dyes and flavors.

    I’ve been a label reader for 5+ years and we ate decently healthy… but I still wanted to be a “cool mom” so occasionally we had iced donuts, slushes, candy, chips, peppermints, frosted cupcakes…

    RAGE.

    Unbelievable rage, not just upset… a switch would flip within an hour as the neurotoxin chemicals took over her brain… eyes glazed over, throwing books, lamps, destroying things, hitting, biting, screaming, overwhelm, bladder issues, banging on glass, primal fight or flight… y’all, it was TERRIBLE… I had several panic attacks last year because it was so triggering for me to be threatened by my own daughter when she’d been fine moments before.

    She couldn’t help it. She was unknowingly being poisoned by artificial dyes – petroleum / crude oil based toxins. “In fact, consumption of food dyes has increased 5-fold since 1955 (up from 3 million to 15 million pounds per year) – 90% of which is from Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40.” They are BANNED in many other countries. Why not here? 🤷🏼‍♀️

    We’ve been dye free since June 2019 and I feel like we have our daughter back. Anxiety is manageable, she can function when something doesn’t go her way, focus has improved, her mood has stabilized and her personality is starting to SHINE. She feels like herself again. ☀️

    Unreal.

    Be an advocate for your kids and yourself. People will think you’re crazy or “it can’t be that big of a deal to have a tootsie roll or M&Ms…” Until you live the HORROR of “Red Rage” you can’t understand it. I’m grateful that in this whole process I’ve become much more compassionate and aware.

    🍭🎂🍧😡😤😠

    So what has helped:

    🔄 Reading labels – all foods not just desserts – it’s in SOOOO much… plus medicine, toothpaste, personal care, etc. Our doctor said, “Can you imagine if you hadn’t already ditched and switched so many things?” I truly can’t imagine the rage and anxiety overload if she’d had more exposure. Terrifying.

    🛑 Her files/charts are marked as allergic to artificial dyes & flavors… communicate with your school, dentist, doctor, pharmacist, friends, etc.

    🛒 We politely decline many treats & foods and do a “switcheroo” – organic items are safe and only naturally colored and flavored and many other things are if you hunt. We still have dessert and lots of choices. I joined an advocacy group for ideas…. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1858758967487715/?ref=share

    ❤️ Counseling- learning how to handle emotions and unlearn bad habits. I’m a big fan of counseling for all families- crisis or not.

    🥗 Nutrition & vitamin deficiencies- now we are working on adding more of what her body needs with the help of a functional medicine doctor. She was literally addicted to the artificial dyes and not absorbing what her body needed. This has helped reset sleep patterns too.

    🛁 Detox – Epsom salt baths, essential oils and gut health are huge – especially if she accidentally eats something with artificial dyes. We use non-toxic cleaners and support whole body health now more than ever – many favorites are from Young Living.

    ⚠️ Y’all… it’s been a journey. When something does seem right, keep digging.

    Whew. Thanks for reading my novel.

    I’m happy to answer questions. Watch this Ted Talk too…. {Trigger warning> https://youtu.be/nQzOHAwCfXs} I’ll share some articles below.

    Signed,

    A Mama Bear

    aka Mama Llama Jess

    #magnifyJOY in the messy & magnificent

     

    p.s. We have been 100% dye free for over a year and it is THE BEST thing we have ever done. We religiously read labels and avoid all colors, dyes AND “artificial flavors.” Your health is worth it. We have found plenty of alternatives that are easy switches. 

    Want to learn more?

    https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/2015-2016/october-2015/food-colorings.html

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelhennessey/2012/08/27/living-in-color-the-potential-dangers-of-artificial-dyes/

    https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/real-food-tips-7-reasons-i-hate-artificial-food-dyes/

    http://www.eatingwell.com/article/16442/the-hidden-health-risks-of-food-dyes/

    Share your resources too!

  • Happy Cleaning! (Seriously)

    We love Thieves Household Cleaner! We use it on pretty much everything. I love that it’s safe around kiddos and pets AND smells amazing.

    This is about learning about healthier options- NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. Seriously, scroll down and see all that we ditched and switched out of our home. Over the last 5 year’s we’ve discovered new ways to have a clean and healthy home.
    ● This journey has really opened my eyes to see where we can improve in making
    healthy choices for our families – every day – and Young Living makes it so easy. A monthly “healthier home” box ships to our house to help me stay on track!
    ● I didn’t realize that many of the things that we cleaned with every day weren’t very good for us at all.  Have you ever head of “Greenwashing” – I’ve learned that it’s a term when companies try to make you think a product is healthier and nautural by adding green and “natural looking” labels. Tricky, right? Now that I know, I MUST share with other families.
    ● Thieves Household Cleaner is so much better than other traditional cleaners – for
    example, Thieves is made with naturally derived ingredients that are safe to be around
    while cleaning. I don’t want my kiddos taking a bath in a tub that was soaked in chemicals or eating off the table (right, moms?) that was slathered in toxic junk.
    ● It’s highly concentrated and lasts so long – seriously, one capful of concentrate to a full spray bottle of water!

    So, grab yours today and get ready to clean AND breathe easy!

    The best way to order Thieves Household Cleaner is to get the wholesale discount by starting with a kit!  You can order the Thieves Premium Starter Kit or the oils Premium Starter Kit – a sample of the concentrate is included or feel free to add a full size concentrate too! If you order as a retail customer without the kit then you miss out on the 24% wholesale discount! Starting with a kit is definitely the best value.

    Let’s chat and I’ll help you get the best deal. magnifyJOY (at) gmail (dot) com

    Learn more about the Essential Oils Premium Starter Kit here > www.magnifyJOY.com/YL 

    Check out our “great laundry room purge”

    Laundry Room Purge Declutter to Spark Joy Thieves Household Cleaner Young Living

    Thieves Household Cleaner is AMAZING. It works!

    Did you know?

    The average person applies 300 chemicals to their body every single day, and 80 of those chemicals before breakfast! Most are from 5 things – soaps, makeup, shampoo, hair care and cleaners! By using Thieves Household Cleaner to clean our counters, stove, floors, and windows we have dramatically cleaned up our daily routine! Without chemicals, in one swoop, it eradicated our harsh multipurpose counter spray, stinky glass cleaner and toxic floor cleaner. If you need a small step to start using oils in your home – use them to clean! #gameplan to a healthier home. Our son STRUGGLED with respiratory issues when he was younger. We had to make a switch – do you gag with your current cleaner? Not healthy for your lungs! Simple switches make an impact.

    Thieves Household Cleaner Plant Based Healthier Non-Toxic Young Living MagnifyJOY

    How to order as a wholesale member (RECOMMENDED):

    1. Pick your kit to become a wholesale member – www.magnifyJOY.com/oils 

    Pick which starter kit matches your goals! Text the word CLEAN at me at 817-753-9595 and I can help you decide which one is the best value for your needs. The Thieves Premium Starter Kit is perfect to replace harmful chemicals in your home with powerful, natural alternatives.

    2. Add an additional bottle of Thieves Household Cleaner at $22 – wholesale pricing for the concentrate if you start with the oils or NingXia Starter Kit (two bottles are already included in the Thieves Premium Starter Kit!)

    3. Anxiously wait for your awesome new cleaner and other favorites to arrive!
    ———-

    How to order as a retail customer

    If you aren’t already a wholesale member and don’t want to start with a kit then you can order as a retail customer – note – you’ll miss out on the 24% discount! (this isn’t the best value – a kit is the way to go!)

    1. Go to www.magnifyJOY.com/oils and select retail customer – add the Thieves Household Cleaner ($28) to your cart and follow the checkout info.

    2. Anxiously wait for your awesome new cleaner to arrive!
    Thieves has an amazing line including laundry soap, fruit and veggie spray, toothpaste, mouthwash, foaming soap and more! Welcome to a chemical free lifestyle. I’m so thankful for these simple switches that have made our family (especially our kiddos) healthier!

    Thieves chemical free non toxic cleaning YLEO Team oils

    Ready to place your Young Living Essential Oils order? Click here to sign up. It’s super easy and possibly life changing! {Detailed directions at www.magnifyJOY.com/shop – Remember that a wholesale membership is the best value to get started!}

    Become a Young Living Member with YLEO Team 1658529

    Download this free PDF with uses + Thieves Cleaner scrub recipe!
    Thieves Household Cleaner Info Sheet Non toxic cleaning YLEO Team

  • Favorites we LOVE ❤️

    Stock up for a month of LOVE – self care, romance and loving your family well!

    What are your wellness goals?

    Fill up your wellness box! What’s on your Essential Rewards order this month? I’m ordering NingXia Red ER kit and a few other favorites like RC, Thieves, Stress Away or Valor, Lip Balm, White Angelica and Inner Defense – I also love Thieves COUGH drops, Cool Azul PAIN RELIEF cream, lavender shampoo, lotion.  Thieves Household Cleaner is a MUST!  Remember to remember to reorder any favorites so you don’t run out!

    February Freebies

    FALL IN LOVE WITH FEBRUARY’S PV PROMO! 😍😍😍

    Show some love to your mind, body, and soul by improving your whole-life wellness with our PV promo.

    With your qualifying order, you’ll receive a 5 ml bottle of Purification® and a 15 ml bottle of Ylang Ylang. Use Purification to help freshen your favorite date-night frocks and complete the look with glowing skin by adding a drop or two of Ylang Ylang to your face lotion.

    Dilute drops from your 5 ml bottles of Palo Santo and Marjoram with carrier oil to give tired muscles some TLC. After massage, meditate while diffusing Cypress and surround yourself with the grounding aroma. You’ll also receive Super Cal™ Plus and Clove Vitality™—products that help you care for yourself from the inside out.

    Check out this month’s products!

    400 PV

    Retail Value: $212.83

    • 15 ml Ylang Ylang

    • 5 ml Purification®

    • 5 ml Palo Santo

    • 15 ml Cypress

    • 60-count Super Cal Plus

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Marjoram

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Clove Vitality

    300 PV

    Retail Value: $157.57

    • 5 ml Purification

    • 5 ml Palo Santo

    • 15 ml Cypress

    • 60-count Super Cal Plus

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Marjoram

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Clove Vitality

    250 PV

    Retail Value: $90.14

    • 15 ml Cypress

    • 60-count Super Cal Plus

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Marjoram

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Clove Vitality

    190 PV

    Retail Value: $64.15

    • 60-count Super Cal Plus

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Marjoram

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Clove Vitality

    100 PV

    Retail Value: $9.87

    • Bonus Essential Rewards 5 ml Clove Vitality

    What are you most excited to see?? 🌸🌸🌸

    Don’t have your starter kit yet?

    Grab it and add some must haves to your order to qualify for these promos! www.magnifyJOY.com/oils

  • Big Bend

    Home! Texas is BIG! 1602 mile road trip! 🚙

    We made a big loop around west Texas! DFW > Big Bend > Fort Davis > Midland > DFW


    Fabulous adventure. Here are some tips if ever go that way! I’m thankful for safe travels and awesome people along the way. Good to be home too.

    It was totally worth the drive! Our first #TeamSmith visit to Big Bend National Park. From Fort Worth we drove to San Angelo for the night then through Fort Stockton and Marathon to Big Bend National Park!


    The park spans 1,252 square miles and is bigger than Rhode Island!

    75 different species of mammals, 450 different species of birds, 56 different species of reptiles and 1200 species of plants. Plus evidence of 90 dinosaur species dating from 100 million years ago.

    “This is the best history lesson ever!” – C

    Fossils, hiking, sunsets, stars!

    We stayed at the Chisos Mountain Lodge – super convenient- make sure to book early or call for cancellations and have a back up plan! I’ve heard lots of recommendations for Far Flung Lodges just outside the park too.

    Day 1: Panther Junction Visitor Center then Fossil Exhibit (awesome and easy access from the parking lot – no hiking required) Then we took a 2.5 mile hike to Grapevine Hills at sunset – Balancing Rock was neat! If you go near sunset bring flashlights – it gets dark VERY quickly. Most of the path is pretty easy, but the last 1/4 mile you scramble up rocks to get to the top to see Balancing Rock. * Getting to the trail head is a drive down a rough gravel road. Worth it!

    Day 2: Today was MAJESTIC. You can pack a lot into a day when you wake up before sunrise! Sunrise at Santa Elena Canyon – INCREDIBLE- don’t be late or you’ll miss the spectacular colors! The dessert overlook on that side of the park is beautiful too – it’s a short walk from the road.

    Afternoon – Lost Mine Trail hike! 5.2 miles and over 1400 feet of elevation. The kids were rockstars!

    Evening – Sunset at the Rio Grande Overlook off the Hot Springs Canyon trail (the trail starts on the far end of the Rio Grande RV park) Moderate hike, pretty rocky, but our elementary age kids did great.

    My pics look fake, nope, God’s glorious creation.

    I love it when friends share what they love – thanks Spencer for the awesome tips!

    Day 3: Today the kids earned their Big Bend National Park Junior Ranger Badges (awesome free activities & workbooks at all parks)

     

    Big Bend National Park Junior RangerAND we met up with my parents – hooray for west Texas adventures – we celebrated with a dab (ha) and some more awesome views.

    Window Trail Big Bend National Park Dab magnifyJOY

    We stayed around the Chisos Mountain Lodge and did several smaller loops near that visitor center and enjoyed lunch at the lodge. Then we drove out towards Terlingua and through Big Bend State Ranch and Park (stop at the visitors center near Lajitas) and onward through Presido, TX to Fort Davis Texas. Another gorgeous sunset, this time in the rear view mirror as we headed to Fort Davis. We will definitely be back.

    I’ll share our Fort Davis favorites separately. Enjoy your west Texas adventure!

    Fresh air, incredible views and the best sunrises and sunsets!

    Y’all – add Big Bend to your travel list, or start with a National Park closest to you. Incredible.

  • Word of the Year

    I’ve picked a Word of the Year instead of a resolution for the last several years… my words have been…

    2015 – Simply

    2016 – Connect

    2017- Intentional

    2018 – Growth

    2019 – Grateful

    Pick a word with me!

    Word of the Year friends… this is a neat free resource to put it into action! 🌱🌺

    Action Plan Download

    It goes with a great little book “One Word that will change your life” – I listened to it on Audible again this year.

    Here’s a link to the whole book – it’s on Audible, Kindle & Hardcover – One Word That Will Change Your Life, Expanded Edition https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FZMSCDU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_KqdtAbFEJR0DH It’s only 44 minutes long. Good way to start the new year! Definitely checkout the free worksheet!

    2019- GRATEFUL

    2018 has been a good year of adventures and #growth, but not in ways I thought. I truly feel like I am growing into the woman that God created me to be – in the messy AND magnificent. ☀️ #magnifyJOY

    So, on New Year’s Eve I am excited about 2019 – I feel like my foundation is stronger and I know WHO and WHOSE I am.

    My Word of the Year for 2019 is GRATEFUL.

    I had a few other words in mind and then my perspective changed in an instant. Over the holidays we were driving back from a family celebration and drove by a HORRIBLE car accident that had happened just minutes before… the kids were complaining about being in traffic when we decided to pray for the families and first responders, I’m thankful we had them close their eyes and pray…. because in the middle of the 6 lane highway a man lay dead from the accident. Someone’s son and friend – he may have been a father or brother. 💔 Zach and I will never forget. It was awful and tragic and in the same instant made me overwhelming grateful for life and our family and convicted to soak it all in.

    Don’t take a minute for granted. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. Don’t get caught in the small things. Look up and capture the big picture and make changes every day to become the best version of who God created you to be. When you get stuck, MOVE, shake it up, have a dance party. This year I will focus on living a FULL life of thanksgiving EVERY DAY.

    “This is the day the LORD has made;

    let us rejoice in it and be glad.” Psalm 118:24

    I am intentionally focusing on being grateful – appreciating and celebrating everything and everyone in our lives – in the messy and magnificent.

    We have SOOOO much to be thankful for (and also take for granted) I want to pause and truly soak in the blessings and struggles, appreciate them AND be open to receive and grow.

    I truly believe that when we are grateful for the things in our lives, big and small, we find more things to be grateful for and appreciate…. therefore can receive more.

    Abundance will flow and overflow into our life when gratitude pours out of our hearts.

    🐢 The last many years I have often felt like a turtle that shrinks back into it’s shell when things get chaotic. My quota of handling “extra” things was very low. My 2018 year of #growth has helped me add more “yes” and also be ok with intentionally saying “no.” Putting up boundaries doesn’t mean shrinking and living small. Whoa.

    I have been good at living on the surface and putting up walls so I don’t get hurt or feel too much, but I’m slowly working on deeper connection and sharing my journey. I’m learning not to be so serious – plan some fun and dance parties! 💃

    A shift to growth and abundance mindset has been the greatest gift instead of fear, lack, scarcity mentality and anxiety of “what ifs, worry and indecisiveness.” I’m determined not to go back to the overwhelm and “just keep swimming” theme of years ago and I am confident that I won’t now that I continue to focus on being intentional and #selfcare.

    I’m ready to fully receive and GROW.

    “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.”

    “Gratitude is the open door to abundance.”

    “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

    “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates vision for tomorrow.”

    “It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.”

    “When we live this way we become a gratitude magnet and experience more joy, love, peace, and happiness.”

    #TeamSmith is focusing being grateful for everything, but specifically an “attitude of gratitude” by valuing what we have, not being wasteful or caught in the complaining or complacency trap and allowing blessings and generosity to overflow. Onward to emotional freedom & financial freedom plus fully using my God given gifts and not giving in to doubt, fear or overwhelm. I’d love to know how you focus on gratitude!

    I took this picture of the sunset in Big Bend National Park overlooking the Rio Grande River… I love the juxtaposition of beauty and the spines of the cactus. Life can be messy and magnificent at the same time. Let us all #magnifyJOY in 2019 and be grateful for the gift of today.

    What are you grateful for today?

    I carry past words forward with me and they evolve and have truly changed who I am. ❤️

    2015 – Simply

    2016 – Connect

    2017 – Intentional

    2018 – Growth

    2019 – Grateful

    Do you have a Word of the Year?

    Written New Years 2018 – GROWTH

    Do you have a Word of the Year? 🌱🌺

    I’ve picked a “motto” or focus word the last several years instead of a resolution. My word serves as a guide for decisions, a focus during prayer and quiet time and a “vibe” for the year. I’m always amazed at how the meaning morphs by the end of the year.

    2017 was INTENTIONAL- it was life changing – I said NO to a lot of things and YES to the basics that were core values. We decluttered (always will be) and simplified our rhythms and routines. It’s felt amazing and was necessary… prior to this year of pruning I felt very frantic, like life was happening to me and I often repeated in my head, “just keep swimming”… now I’m ready to grow.

    My 2018 word is GROWTH… intentional growth.

    For me, GROWTH has many layers!

    GROWTH MINDSET – Do you know about growth/abundance mindset instead of fixed/scarcity/limited mindset. It’s fascinating. In 2017, I read more books than the last 10 years combined – personal development was a big focus – the mind and words are so powerful – so important for business, parenting and all relationships. So I’m choosing to focus on learning more conscious language that welcomes opportunities, positive outcomes, gratitude, problem solving and GROWTH.

    RELATIONSHIPS- during my “season of no” I really clamped down on who I spent time with and mainly focused on family – I’m ready to dive into deeper relationships with new and old friends. Wanna have tea? Meet at the park? Let’s be friends! (Small talk is not my thing, so help me out!) I’ve learned that I need mentors and encouragers to spur me on. Also, intentional family time including dates, #marriagehigh5 and our new #familyhigh5 will be big relationship builders for #TeamSmith this year.

    FAITH – I’m excited to jumpstart the year with a CRHP church retreat and work on dedicating set time to prayer and intentional growth with my new Mother’s Prayer Companion.

    JOY – #magnifyJOY will be a big part of 2018, gratitude that magnifies JOY. I know if I need to hear positive encouragement someone else does too. I’ll continuing sharing inspirational quotes and messages. I love these verses, Luke 1:46-47 – ““My soul MAGNIFIES the Lord and my spirit REJOICES in God my Savior..” I also want to have more JOY filled dance parties with the kids. I tend to be too serious. Cheers to more fun and JOY!

    WELLNESS – Health and wellness has been a journey – a lot of puzzle pieces came together last year. I’m committed to becoming healthier this year – more veggies, less eating out plus continued workouts and self care! I’m going to learn to enjoy cooking more simple family meals. I am also excited to continue sharing with other families the power of a wellness routine vs scrambling in sickness and simple switches like non-toxic cleaning with my essential oils business @YLEOTeam.

    PURPOSE- Last year I had a “1/3 of life epiphany” some may say mid-life crisis… but I’m much more clear on my purpose and what truly matters… now it’s time to take action. I want to focus and waste less time making things “perfect.”

    ABUNDANCE – Yes, the traditional financial freedom and business growth will be a focus, but so will time freedom and abundance of other things like love, inspiration and opportunities.

    *****

    Whew! Who knew one word could reveal so many deep thoughts… I love this exercise because it gets thoughts out of my head and now I’m ready to tackle goals and dreams, plus all of Facebook can hold me accountable!

    What does intentional GROWTH make you think of?

    What’s your word? What do you do with it?

    Written New Years 2017

    My 2017 word of the year is INTENTIONAL!

    Lots of reason, but this is part of what inspired me > http://alliecasazza.com/she-is-intentional-challenge/

    As well as Day 5 of the 21 Days of Prayer 50K To Pray

    What’s your word of the year? Or motto?

    Written New Years 2016

    2016 is going to be awesome, I’ve already decided. I’ve being thinking and praying about this year and marinating about my WORD.

    I like to pick a word or motto for the year instead of a resolution. Do you have a WORD?

    My 2016 word will be CONNECT.

    This has lots of levels. I think the meaning will evolve over the year…

    CONNECT – true self, marriage, kiddos, family, circle of friends, square of friends, community, strangers, nature, faith…

    I feel like we are entering a new season. Life has many seasons. For the past 4 years, I’ve often been in “just keep swimming” phase with 2 little ones under 5. Last year my motto was “Live Simply” and we focused a lot on getting back to basics by being more intentional with our choices, time and habits. Onward joyfully to more weeding out and pouring in the good.

    – I look back on the people that God has woven into our lives and it is really amazing. Whether I’ve know you for days or years, there is a reason. Here’s to connecting on a deeper level or reconnecting.

    – We live in a busy world and it will PASS US BY if we do not nurture the relationships that matter most. Here’s to focusing on what matters and saying no when it doesn’t. #magnifyjoy

    – The #marriagehigh5 is one of the best things Zach and I have ever done to help us stay connected – we are definitely continuing this year. We celebrate 10 years of marriage in May! Hooray! It’s a pretty amazing feeling to be married to your best friend. My prayer every week is to protect and grow our marriage.

    – 4 and 6 are big years for building a solid foundation for our kiddos. Parenting is HARD. It’s a big job. We are raising humans! I want to be intentional by slowing down, giving my TIME and being present. #TeamSmith

    – Introvert or extrovert? I would have argued both, but I’m realizing more and more that I’m an introvert. So I’m embracing that and working on deeper meaningful connections. Maybe I’ll even call you on the phone *GASP* Personal development is going to be a big one this year and ME TIME. Have you read the #oola book? I’m working on these 7 areas – Fitness, Finance, Family, Field, Faith, Friends, Fun.

    – We’ve changed a lot in the last 2 years – from reading labels on food we eat to focusing on wellness instead of scrambling with sickness to asking WHY and “does this make my life better?” I feel like a lot of what we / people do is because someone else told them to or a commercial was cool, but really WHY? Knowledge is power and it’s pretty neat to connect with others on that journey. #oilyfamilies A few small changes have led to so much more. Exciting!

    – Social media and technology have their place, but you know what’s better… BEING PRESENT AND REAL. Tonight our neighbor had an impromptu dessert get together to meet new neighbors – so fun! Zach and I had a date night this weekend and loved being silly and taking time for us. The waitress said – “Date nights keep you from turning in to co-workers.” TRUTH.

    So here’s to connecting in 2016! You can help hold me accountable. Cheers!

    My 2015 Word(s): Live Simply

    I am on a MISSION – balance and grow by focusing on what is important and letting go of STUFF that isn’t. Continuing to fill trash bags, the recycle bin and donation stack. Earlier this year I got rid of a box of expired medicine and chemically cleaners too (thanks essential oils and motto for 2015.) Live simply!

    Want to get started on your oily journey?

    http://www.magnifyJOY.com/yl

    Pick a word!

  • Legacy Planning

    This might be the most important thing I ever share. Please read and share. 🌳

    When my mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly a few years ago we were shocked and also panicked. We didn’t know where any documents were. On top of grief we also waded through legal steps to help settle her estate. This is a hard journey to walk and it is harder and more expensive if planning and documents aren’t done ahead of time. It’s worth the awkward conversation now.

    Reach out to your loved ones. ❤️

    More than 50% of Americans don’t have a will. Let’s change that.

    AWKWARD & IMPORTANT CONVERSATION STARTER

    “Hopefully we won’t need this for a long time…. but do you have a will or have you thought about estate planning? <

    will save A LOT of time, money and extra heartache if we create a few legacy documents now. Let’s ask a lawyer (or even start with Google) to get this done.”

    Share this with parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, neighbors & do it yourself too.

    🌳🌳🌳 ☀️

    A few months ago, I sat chatting on the porch with a dear friend that is going through health struggles. We talked about a lot of things especially the importance of hard conversations.

    Death and estate planning can be such a taboo topic, but we want to change that mentality. Instead think of planning as a GIFT and blessing for your loved ones.

    Have some difficult conversations TOGETHER while you can.

    Here are some helpful starting points – BUT the most important is a will designating someone as the executor of the account – it is so critical.

    5 Wishes (Living Will): https://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes

    http://thelastvisit.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/5-Wishes-Advanced-Planning-Guide1.pdf

    Power of Attorney forms: https://powerofattorney.com/

    Dave Ramsey –

    Legacy Drawer https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/legacy-drawer-keep-your-family-prepared

    Love Drawer – https://www.daveramsey.com/askdave/estate-planning/8113

    Please make sure these documents are kept in a fireproof location and filed with your state if applicable.

    When a loved one passes away….

    Contact your church and a local funeral home. They will help you through decisions for the service.

    And many people have asked ideas on how to help when a loved one passes away…. prayer, be there, don’t say “I’ll help with whatever you need” because honestly we don’t know what that is on our grief – offer to come to laundry or watch the kids or run an errand or just sit together.

    Also, in lieu of flowers consider donating to a local charity or give meal gift cards to the family. Flowers were an added stress after the funeral – they all had to come home with us… we ended up giving them to a nursing home. Coordinate with a group if you want to provide a couple of special arrangements or a plant. The sentiment is so sweet, I learned the practical side when we were juggling all the logistics.

    And if someone sets up a meal train consider setting out a cooler for items to be dropped off on your porch if you don’t feel like visiting. Paper goods are helpful so you don’t have to do dishes.

    After all the initial paperwork and decisions you’ll need to make a plan for their personal belongings. Recruit some help… maybe a friend that wasn’t as close to the loved one… sort items to be given to family members first, the donations and other items. Consider an estate sale company if needed.

    As you go through all the motions give yourself time to breathe and rest. Over the coming months and years it will be so important to process emotions perhaps including counseling, journaling, Emotional Release with essential oils, visiting with friends, prayer and quiet time. I’m happy to share more of our journey, just ask.

    Community is so important. Grief is a journey.

    🌳

    #legacy #magnifyJOY #conversationstarter #estateplanning

  • Wellness Routine

    ‘Tis the season! Are you prepared!?!

    I didn’t even know what a wellness routine was…. 🤔 instead I would just wait and worry and feel blah…. now I feel empowered and have some SIMPLE tools to help give us a boost!

    Guess what, sometimes we still get sick with a wellness routine…. BUT we bounce back quicker and feel better along the way.   Everyone needs oils. Mamas – you ESPECIALLY need them.

    Stock up! Oils on your shelf or in the Young Living warehouse won’t help you! I’ll help you learn! Our lives are so much better since we have a wellness routine!

    Here’s our typical daily oils routine:

    Essential oils and NingXia Red are daily MUSTS for our family year-round.

    I had an epiphany and mindset shift a few years ago… a 365 day a year wellness routine helps the body feel well all year round! Then when it dips you don’t have as far to fall and then climb to feel 100%. Stop scrambling in sickness all the time. Work on giving your body what it needs BEFORE you need it.

    Like I said, sometimes we still feel blah, but FAR LESS OFTEN.

    This is my “mom mode” feel better routine:

    • Cut out all sugar and dairy (they feed bacteria and create mucus!)
    • Add more good nutrition like bone broth & green smoothies
    • Extra supplements & probiotics (gut health is KEY!)
    • We love soaking in baths – detox with Epsom salt (and oils – lavender is so relaxing)
    • We up our Vitamin C and D3 significantly (did you know they drop?)
    • Extra NingXia Red – powerhouse antioxidants
    • Lymphatic massage and chiropractic adjustments help the immune system
    • Thieves Cough Drops offer comfort by relieving coughs, soothing sore throats, and cooling nasal passages
    • Elderberry Syrup – my neighbor makes it!
    • Clean everything with Thieves Household Cleaner (ditch the toxic cleaners that are hard on your lungs!)
    • Consider additional natural remedies or other needs (and obviously consult a medical professional if needed!)
    • Oils* – immune favorites AND emotional oils – we always feel better with JOY and Stress Away for mood!

    *we continue to use our daily oils and add some extras, but remember they aren’t labeled to treat and cure symptoms, but wow we use them for extra goodness! We set the timer and oil our feet ever 30 minutes and diffuse 24/7!  Check out this immune boost capsule!

     

    Start with your Premium Starter Kit and then build your wellness arsenal! 

     

    You can’t use what you don’t have!  Pick your kit today! 

    Join our community and create 365 day a year wellness routine for your family.

  • Mindset

    Question: What do you see first, the flower or the barbed wire? Hmmmmm…. 🌻🤔

    It got me thinking….

    #growthmindset is REALLY interesting to me. Did you know you can retrain the brain and reroute your default reactions? #neuroplasticity

    I’ve always been an “optimistic” person, but I didn’t know about mindset – I was surprised that I had way more fixed/scarcity mindset defaults. I’ve been working on it for a couple of years and it’s such a shift with lightbulb moments. I almost got back in the quicksand this week – parenting/#momlife stuff was throwing me for a loop. But I am back and CHOOSING to be intentional with our approach instead of getting swept by the current or go into “just keep swimming mode.”

    Have you ever thought about #mindset? I put a couple favorite quotes in the comments too!

    From Big Life Journal and Raising Kids with a Growth Mindset. ⬇️

    “Everyone in the world has a way of seeing things.

    We can choose to look at the world in a way that makes us feel strong 💪 and happy ☺️, or in a way that makes us feel frustrated and we can’t improve. 🙄

    People with a growth mindset KNOW they can get better by working hard. They tend to keep trying even when things are tough and they say things such as, ‘I can’t do this…YET’ or ‘Mistakes help me learn.’ {and try another approach}

    Others feel differently, like they are STUCK with the way things are. This is a fixed mindset and it happens to everyone sometimes. But we can choose to have a #growth mindset when we stick with challenges and keep trying.” (And try something new too!) 🌱

    So whatever you have going on, put on your growth mindset glasses and see the BIG PICTURE and MOOOOOVE toward that goal and vision you want for your life – parenting, marriage, self love, relationships (where do you want to be at the end of the year? 5 years? 26 years from now?) Head in the sand, stuck in quicksand focusing on barbed wire isn’t where I am going to be. 🌻

    Grab a piece of paper and write 3 things you are thankful for and 3 things you are going to do to mooooove forward. Share! Oh and I’ve learned to focus on what I CAN control, instead of what other people aren’t doing. YOU do YOU and be amazing, others will see your hope, JOY and growth.

    So shine on, watch for barbed wire, grow anyway and #magnifyJOY.

    “Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. It’s about seeing things in a new way. When people… change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth takes plenty of time, effort, and mutual support.”

    – Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

    #personaldevelopment #growth

    Grab a BIG LIFE JOURNAL FOR CHILDREN and get to work!

    This guided journal incorporates reading, expressive writing, and critical thinking while teaching Social and Emotional Learning and growth mindset skills.

    “Growth mindset activities help children recognize their ability to learn and motivates them to harness the power of their own mind.

    It can help children (and adults!) learn to embrace challenges, to persevere, and how to grow from mistakes and failures.

    Through stories, kids will get inspired by failures and successes of people like Elon Musk, J.K. Rowling, Walt Disney, and others.”

    I love that the journal is broken down into 26 weeks with each week covering a new theme or topic including:

    Make a Difference in the World

    Dream Big

    Follow Your Heart

    You Are Not What You Have

    Believe in Yourself

    Take Action

    Be Persistent

    Effort is Key

    Love Learning

    Be Mindful

    Be Grateful

    Failure is Learning

    Be Positive

    I’m proud to recommend and be an affiliate. Order yours today:

    http://biglifejournal.com?aff=438

  • Liver

    TEN years ago I had 2/3 of my LIVER and a large benign tumor REMOVED!! Interesting fact of the day- your liver can regenerate (similar to a lizard’s tail!) 🦎

    I have a challenge for YOU at the end, so stick with me…. 👍

    10 years ago this week I had a large benign tumor and 2/3 of my liver removed. The tumor was likely a side effect of prescription birth control that I was taking to control large (bigger than oranges) ovarian cysts. Y’all it was awful…

    And now I know it was all connected…

    * I missed my own bachelorette party in 2006 and spent a lot of days starting in high school curled up on my couch – I was in so much pain from cysts.

    * I struggled with cysts and (unknowingly) liver issues for years…

    * I had a miscarriage (that no one knew about) the spring before I found out about my liver tumor (it ended up being a blessing – because there could have been a lot of complications, but still really really really hard – the 1 in 4 statistic is real – talk about it, don’t hide away)

    * 2008, after being sick for months they finally discovered my tumor and removed it along with 2/3 of my liver. The final straw for me to get a ton of extra tests was when I was having chest pain and had to pull over to an urgent care on the way to work. They dismissed it as reflux, but I knew it was something bigger so kept going to appointments and different specialists. They finally found the big tumor and scheduled my liver resection surgery. Recovery was rough, but ok and I thought I was back on track… but the root cause and hormone issues causing my ovarian cysts and liver issues was never addressed – I didn’t know what to keep asking, I just thought it was “something I had to deal with” and cysts continued…

    * I had an emergency c-section in 2009 with Caroline after 12 hours of labor because I went into shock after an ovarian cyst the size of an orange ruptured – I had to be completely SEDATED and didn’t meet her for hours and I was on so much medicine I barely remember. Traumatic entry into motherhood. One ovary was removed and I was “fine” and am still fine, but I just found out last year that I am Estrogen Dominant — if that had been dealt with YEARS ago I may not have had liver problems or cyst issues or a traumatic birth and so many other things…

    I can’t change the past…. my faith has grown and I see some of the purpose in the struggle… and now I can be an advocate for YOU and the future by telling my story.

    An eye opening piece of my puzzle that finally helps everything in this struggle make sense….

    “The central cause of ovarian cysts is estrogen dominance. This means your body holds too much estrogen and not enough progesterone to create balance. The estrogen your body is creating is not being processed and eliminated correctly. 😡 Plus you are taking in excess estrogens from outside of your body via synthetic estrogen-filled shampoos, cosmetics, nail polishes, household cleaners, femcare products, plastics and pesticides. This creates an estrogen overload situation.” (We’ve ditched and switched so much from our bathroom, kitchen and laundry room cabinets!)

    My liver tumor was Focal Nodular Hyperplasia- estrogen wasn’t filtering correctly through my liver and built up into a tumor. Now I also know that gut health has a significant link to hormone production. Each puzzle piece is connected.

    And I’ve also been eating 100% gluten free since May 2018 and I feel so much better – NO issue with cysts – did you know there is a HUGE hormone and inflammation link to gluten?!?

    😱 Scary! CHALLENGE- know what you are putting in your body, weigh the options, consider an alternative and be your own patient advocate! 🔁 Switch to as many chemical free options as possible – we love Young Living’s products. THIS is why I’m so passionate about using non-toxic cleaners and products in our home. I didn’t know any better… but now that I do I can’t sit idle. A friend of mine had a heart attack caused by birth control. The fine print is REAL.

    Thanks to a wonderful functional medicine doctor and personal research, I’ve finally put most of the pieces together in the last couple of years… do me a favor and when you have an issue please research (or at least start with Google) “Root cause of….” and keep digging. Many traditional doctors are trained in one area – they operate in a silo and don’t connect the dots. Now I have a plan.

    In 2008, I had been sick and very tired for months, I would fall asleep sitting up and felt awful when I ate certain things (once I threw up in the bushes of the State Fair, classy right?!) but no one knew why… when something doesn’t seem right, KEEP DIGGING, then dig more, I finally asked enough questions to the right people to get some clarity. We’ve made many simple lifestyle changes and cut so many chemicals that were creeping into our daily routine from cleaners to soaps and more… I am so thankful for skilled doctors and advocates and a now full grown liver AND recently the addition of a whole body approach to healing AND the knowledge to make empowered decisions focused on WELLNESS.

    It feels good to have some answers and a plan, 10 years later.

    YOU WERE DESIGNED FOR GREATNESS and to feel WELL.

    ‼️ What a journey. I hope this inspires YOU to make some positive changes and keep digging.

    I still dressed up in my bunny ears for Halloween in the hospital, gotta find some JOY in the chaos.

    #mystory #magnifyJOY

  • Joy Jar

    A friend asked me about my JOY JAR today so I thought I’d share with you too! 🌺 ✨

    My SIL gave me this for my birthday in January. I love it! Now it’s getting full with scraps of paper (and fun gel pen memories) of things that bring me JOY. I try to write big and small things…. especially as a mom it’s easy to get stuck in the daily ordinary… so be on the lookout for moments that bring you JOY and write them down! Then reread them when you need a boost! The kids add to it too!

    p.s. Yesterday was a blah day, this helped change my perspective! And making origami is a stress reliever!

    #magnifyJOY