Yoga Time

Yoga Time

We have reached the later parts of the summer and the kids are getting a bit unruly.  They start bickering with each other and (in my house at least) kicking each other.  It is impossible to entertain the children every second of the day and I get it, they’re bored.  Especially here in Phoenix where it really isn’t much fun to play outside when you don’t have a swimming pool.

 

To combat this phenomenon we decided to take a little time to do some yoga practice.  Yoga is great for strength and flexibility but it is also really good at slowing the mind.  Connecting your breath with your body and being intentional with what your focus is takes practice and concentration. I find it to be a great supplement to any sport, especially one that requires flexibility and focus like taekwondo.  Kids are fascinated by their bodies and naturally proud of all of the things they are able to do.  I find yoga to be a phenominal thing to practice with kids as they can challenge themselves in a way that other play doesn’t do.

Penelope prefers to follow along with a video and her favorite is Julia Jarvis.  Julia has a ton of free videos on instant streaming through Amazon as long as you have Prime, and who doesn’t 😀  Even if you don’t care for Julia’s style, there are so many free options that you can try from the comfort of your own home.  While they do have special videos with kids in mind, you might be surprised at how well a child can follow a regular practice video.

   

Hope everyone is well!! XOXO -Amber

Food Inspiration

Hey guys!

Tell me, where do you get your food inspiration??  Do you ever get in a rut where you are making the same five dinners just in a different order, I do.  When this happens I have my favorite cookbooks I turn to.  They are like dear old friends of mine and as you can see by the tattered edges of poor Gwyneth, she is one of my favorites.  She gets lambasted on the internet all the time for being out of touch but honestly her food is Awesome!! Healthy and interesting but not soo bizarre that it’s unapproachable. Love and Lemons is another goodie.  All of the recipes are organized by the main produce ingredient so basically it is a fruit and veg cookbook that is full of goodness!!  Sometimes when I read cookbooks I don’t even cook anything from them, but the recipes and words are enough to inspire me to make something new!

We have been trying out the Whole 30 diet around here just to re-kickstart some healthier habits and it is pretty tough.  To be totally honest we are cheating a bit in that we aren’t 100% committed.  We plan all of our actual meals to be Whole 30 approved, but if we want a glass of wine or a peanut butter cup then we don’t kill ourselves over it!  So far the best menu item has been a quick dinner based on something I found on Pinterest, a one skillet – sausage, shrimp, and veggie dish.  The dish uses the aidells chicken sausage which is pretty clean for a sausage.

  • 1 package aidells chicken sausage – cut the sausage on the diagonal into bite size pieces
  • 1 lb shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 1 large onion – sliced thinly
  • 2 peppers (not green obviously) – seeded and cut into strips
  • 2 zucchini – halved lengthwise and cut into bite size pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken stock

First saute the shrimp in olive oil until cooked through – remove from pan.  Add a little more olive oil and saute the onions and peppers until pretty soft. Add the sausage and zucchini and cook for a few minutes until the sausage is browned a little and the zucchini has softened a bit.  Add the shrimp back into the pan and pour in enough chicken stock to just make the dish cohesive without being soupy.  Let stew for just a few minutes. Salt and pepper as you go for more depth of flavor.  Josh really likes to add curry powder to this dish which is also very good!!

I forgot to photograph, ugh!! So I’ll leave you with a photo of the most beautiful meal I’ve been served in a while!

Hope all is well!!

XOXO -Amber

Overdue Convention Recap

Hello!  I’ve taken a little while getting to you because we’ve been engaged in what my favorite part of the Young Living convention was, Relationships!!!

It goes without saying that relationships are important in a network marketing company, but the entire Young Living company culture is so heavily seated in strong relationships and building relationships and I love that!!!  Since we’ve gotten back we’ve had company and gone on a much needed trip with some great friends of ours, both opportunities to grow our friendships.  Several speakers at convention spoke about reaching out to people and listening to them.  Making yourself available and really looking outside of your own circle to help others, not just with oils but with life.  I generally don’t have the tendancy to just call someone out of the blue, but it’s a goal of mine to get better at connecting with people.

One other thing that I absolutely loved was the Mona, Utah farm we visited.  It is amazing there!!!  As far as the eye can see is nature; mountains, a lake, and 250,000 acres of farm land!! We had the opportunity to help plant lavender, walk through the farm to see lots of varieties of plants, go through the distillery, etc.  They also served us a healthy and delicious lunch!!  We asked a lot of questions about the processes they use and everything is completely organic.  They use no bug spray or fertilizers.  Everything is planted on virgin soil so we know it is clean.  It is all harvested at the peak time and tested for quality multiple times throughout the process.  Young Living takes the “Seed to Seal” process very seriously and it shows at the farm!!

Lastly, they announced a LOT of new products.  There is a new Seedlings line of baby care products.  I ordered the baby wipes as an alternative to chemical laden face wipes, they smell so so good!!  They now have toxin free sunscreen, insect repellant, and an after sun spray that is a sprayable lotion.  They have a few new supplements, one of which might be my favorite new product, Aminowise.  It is “a synergistic complex of amino acids and antioxidants that helps with fatigue and enhances muscle recovery during and after exercise”  and I’ve been using it at taekwondo ever since we got back and it’s GREAT!!! They also have a whole new line of make up called Savvy Minerals!! I ordered several of the items and they are a great quality and price point!!! Lastly, there is a new diffuser called the Desert Mist which is beautiful.  It has a lot of different lighting settings and can go for TEN hours!! We love it!

Hope all is well with you!! XOXO,

-Amber

Bee Happy

BEE HAPPY

Amber, Gelsey and I have returned from the Young Living Convention with  pages of notes about all the goodness that Young Living has to offer.  We learned TONS!!!!
The first thing to talk about is our favorite part.  My favorite part was the keynote speaker on Friday night, Shawn Achor.  He talked about happiness.  Really, who doesn’t want to be happy and find ways to be happier.  I know I’m an optimist and have a generally happy attitude but he showed us ways to be happier.
1.  Find specific things in your life to be grateful for everyday.
      I think this sounds simple but finding something new everyday isn’t always easy.
2.  Be specific about why you are grateful.
      You need to be more aware of why you are grateful for a friend or family member.
3. Exercise at least 15 minutes a day.
     I work out at taekwondo but this reminds me to do a little something every day.
4. Meditation- just sit still, be quiet and calm for 2 minutes
     Are you kidding?? I’m supposed to be still and quiet???  😜
5. Spend 2 minutes a day consciously doing something kind- a note or text is all it takes.
      It’s the conscious part of kindness that matters here.  I know that the  idea of writing a text or note to someone is not an area of strength for me but I’m going to give it a try.
When I was still teaching, I would sign student’s yearbooks with-
” Bee Happy.”  🐝🐝🐝.
I hope you will JOIN ME and take a few minutes each day to work on your happiness.
-Cathy

Citrus Oils

We are rapidly approaching the end of the school year here and things are a wee bit chaotic. I actually secretly love this time of the year because the kids are soo excited for summer break and even though our schedule gets a bit crazy with art shows, awards ceremonies and graduation events, all of those things are the culmination of their hard work and it is fun to celebrate!!

Like any busy time in life, it is easy to get bogged down and not be able to eat as well as we’d like, or drink as much water as we know we should.  There are a lot of things that kind of fall by the wayside but that is okay, I think it is super important to give yourself grace and take care of yourself in the ways that you can.  I just bought a new stainless steel water bottle so that I can up the amount of citrus water that I am drinking.  In my mind this makes up for all of the take-out Mexican food I’ve been eating, it really is super tasty though!! I’ve had lemon water, orange water and most recently bergamot water which was new.  All of those oils (and any citrus oil) are really good at breaking down petrochemicals and detoxing our body, but they happen to also be really tasty!!  You can also add citrus oil to your teas or juices.  I sometimes make a mocktail with Ningxia, grapefruit oil and La Croix or Perrier which is delish!!!  I would encourage you to incorporate citrus into your lifestyle, there is a reason so many articles and professionals suggest drinking lemon water everyday, it’s a great detoxer, just imagine the power of the concentrated form you get in the oil!!!

I can’t write a post without including a second suggestion, diffusing citrus oils.  Orange and tangerine oils are some of my absolute favorite to diffuse!!! They are PERFECT for the start of summer because they smell so bright and I think they are really powerful in the diffuser and help to elevate your mood.  In the month of May with the purchase of a premium starter kit you receive a FREE bonus 15 mL of tangerine!!! If you haven’t ordered your kit yet, this is a great time to do it 🙂

Hope all is well! XOXO  ~Amber

Passionate Past Times

Passionate Past Times

I decided to give an update on three things that are part of my life that contribute to my health, wellness and happiness.
1.  I got the nod on Wednesday that I will be testing for my next belt in TKD.  I’m getting stronger and have passed the goal of getting a yellow belt someday.  Orange belt test is May 20th.
2. We are harvesting lettuce,spinach, radishes and green onions from the garden.  I love the first salads from the garden.  What better way to feel good about what you eat than to go outside, pick the veggies and have salad for dinner.  Gives a whole new meaning to picking up a salad.
3.  Sewing is a passion that keeps me busy, joyfully.  Two years of retirement has  included lots of sewing projects- grandkids projects, quilt for the hubby and lots of aprons.  I even made a quilted case for Amber and I to carry our essential oils in our purse or on a trip.  These can carry 8 oils or 4 if you want to fold it over.  I’m thinking about making a few smaller ones too.
They say you’re more busy in retirement. I’m busy doing all the things I love.  Sure hope you can make time for something you really enjoy.
– Cathy

Kids and Oils

I think it is clear that the subject of this post is FAR TOO SIMPLE.  There could be hundreds of posts on how to use oils with children.  This is simply a starting point for what I have had great success with so far.

THIEVES

This was the first oil I introduced to my kids for its immune boosting properties.  I started with simply rubbing it on their feet before bedtime and before school to help ward of the crud.  Since then I have also used it in their diffuser at bedtime as well as daytime if there is something going around.  It has been unbelievable at keeping my kids going during seasons of illness at school!! This was my “AHA” oil that made me a true believer because when I looked back over time my kids hadn’t missed any school and I was getting texts from their doctor saying “We miss you”.  Hate to say it doc, but the feeling is not mutual!

Inner Child

I am going to say this is a favorite of mine to use with my children but in all honesty it is a favorite to use on myself as well!! Inner Child smells incredible!! I wear it almost every day just as my perfume.  It is amazing with the kids though.  Whenever we start having a bit of a meltdown for whatever reason I use this on them.  I just rub it on their wrists and the back of their neck and rub their back for a few minutes and voila, our mood has been lifted.  I have had so much success with this that I am planning on making a rollerball with it to keep in my purse for when we are out of the house and start feeling out of sorts!!

Clarity

This oil has a really interesting smell.  I wasn’t a huge fan of it at first but it has completely grown on me! We use this mostly in the afternoon at homework time.  I made a rollerball with it and labelled it “Focus” which is very fitting because it really does help them to chill out with the distractions and just get going on their homework.  We’ve had so much success that sometimes they ask for it themselves just to get going in the right direction!!  I also like to diffuse this in my office when I have a lot of work to get done!

These are just the tip of the iceberg but they are a good place to get started! With summer right around the corner we will have some DIY recipes coming to help with your kids and yourself in the summer elements.

Hope all is well!!

Amber

Hot Oil Surprise

Recently, Paul and I went to see our son and his wife in Texas.
I know that Ryan and Jess have some basic oils so  I just packed the supplements we use and roller balls for  cold sores (that I get often) and  sleepy time.  I put everything in a pouch so I could get to them easily.  About half way there I realized I had LEFT EVERYTHING AT HOME!!  Almost immediately a little core sore popped up  probably because of the stress.  We arrived without any other incident. (Did I say I forgot my pouch and was stressed out?) After visiting a bit, I asked to use some oregano because of the anti-virus properties.  I tried putting some on my lip with my finger but that didn’t go well. It was just too hot.  After a nice evening, I put on some of their  Stress Away and went to bed.
The next morning I tried again but this time I put a Q-tip on the opening of the  oregano and turned the bottle over quickly.  I touched the Q-tip to the bump on my lip.  I knew the oil was there because I could smell it but there was no sting or discomfort at all.  I reapplied every few hours. The best part is that the oregano and Q-tip worked great.  The cold sore didn’t get bigger and dried up almost  immediately. I don’t know if I invented this method or just discovered it out of necessity but I will use this Q-tip method again.
You know the old saying,” When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” but in this case use oregano and a Q-tip.
-Cathy

Fun Blends

Hello,

Happy April to you!! This post is the result of a happy accident/surprise.  I picked up these glass spray bottles a while back with the intention of making linen sprays, bug spray, etc… I hadn’t yet made them because life can be a little hectic sometimes but this week I had a real reason.  My littlest munchkin wasn’t feeling well and got sick on my bed 🙁  After stripping the bed and getting the sheets in the wash I was trying to think of the best way to proceed without introducing any moisture to my mattress.  I decided to try Thieves in one of the spray bottles because obviously it would help with any actual germs, and I added lavender because it’s a bed I guess (not really sure what compelled that move).  What a happy accident!! They work great together, and not only did it solve my mattress problem but my whole bedroom smelled amazing for HOURS!! I added 10 drops of each oil and topped it with tap water.  I gave the mattress a good spritzing but I didn’t go crazy because I didn’t want it to actually get wet.  That is something I would do again for more than just linen spray! I’ve never really been big on room spray or anything like that but I think these make a great one 🙂

This is completely unrelated but these two oils, rosemary and tangerine, are like heaven in the diffuser.  I read somewhere years ago that if you want your house to smell like a Williams Sonoma to boil rosemary and lemon peels in water.  I’ve tried that and it’s okay but this is much better, simpler too!!  Honestly, the rosemary goes great with all of the citruses that I’ve tried.

Hope all is well!!!

-Amber

Bath Time

Bath Time

When I was a young mom, taking a bath was my retreat from a long day.   I remember Amber sticking her fingers under the bathroom door when she was little.  Amber also learned the joys of a hot bath as she got older.  It’s my son who takes hot baths for a different reason.  He has trouble with his bum that includes swelling, oozing and pain.  His wife has used essential oils to help him find real comfort.  She makes bath bombs using a basic bath bomb recipe but adds lavender, PanAway, lemon  and oregano essential oils.  He only uses one bomb in his bath and it gives him some noticeable relief.  Lavender for relaxation, pan away for pain, oregano for anti-inflammatory properties and lemon because it smells good.
Jess’ recipe:
Dry ingredients
8 oz baking soda     .
4 oz epsom salt
4 oz citric acid
4 oz corn starch
1-2 T lavender buds ( optional )
Wet ingredients
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops pan away essential oil
5 drops oregano essential
5 drops lemon essential oil
1 T water
3 T coconut oil
A little bit of gel food coloring (optional)
Mix all the dry ingredients first.  Mix the wet ingredients separately. It is important to add the wet ingredients a little at a time to the dry mixture stirring constantly. If the mixture starts to fizz, stop adding wet and stir vigorously. When fizzing stops, continue adding wet to dry.  Pack firmly in ice cube trays or a silicone mold.  Flip the trays on wax paper.  You might need to tap the tray firmly to remove bath bombs.  Let dry 48 before using.
The essential oils can be adjusted to fit your personal needs.  Just add about 25 drops of your favorite oil. Jess used gel food coloring to keep the amount of liquid to a minimum or you can just leave it out.
Enjoy,
Cathy