Stop Comparing Yourself

As a mama, it’s easy to compare yourself to the other moms in the pick up line at school. It’s easy to think the mom who wears designer clothes must have the easy life and she’s got it all together. It’s easy to think we are failing because we don’t stack up to the unreasonable expectation we have set for ourselves. Stop it! You ARE enough.

You were chosen for so many things in this life and whether or not you see it, you are amazing! You are beautiful, even if  you don’t look like the skinny model on whatever magazine you’re reading. You’re smart even if you don’t understand your son’s Common Core Math homework. You’re a raging success even if you burned dinner.

Look around you. Every single person in your life, every one of them, chooses to be there. They choose to love you. They choose YOU.

And to the ones who don’t choose you, well, they’re just stupid. We love you anyways 😉

#keepbeingamazing #beingamomisnteasy #yourebeautiful


Why Are Essential Oils So Expensive?

They’re really not. Hang with me a moment while I explain…..

I know what its like to struggle financially, that’s why I wrote a book about how to shop for a family of four on a budget of $50/week. I’ve been there and periodically I find myself back in the struggle boat. It’s something my family knows very well. We also know how to “game the system” to save money. Do I have your attention now?

So, why don’t I think a small bottle of oil that costs $25+ is expensive? Because that little bottle has 85-250 uses inside of it. That little bottle has helped my family heal our immune systems to the point that we don’t live in the waiting room of the doctor’s office anymore. We haven’t had to pick up a prescription for ANYTHING in over a year. We sleep well, breathe well and feel emotionally well. That alone is worth more than it’s weight in gold to me.


So, if a $25 investment into my family’s health will save me missed time off work, a doctor’s co-pay and the cost of a prescription even for one illness, I’ll do it. Wouldn’t you?

There are plenty of oils that cost less than the one I mentioned and each one is like a Swiss Army Knife, they cover many different uses. If you’d like to learn more, follow me here by subscribing to my blog or request to join my Facebook Group where I offer regular educational classes for those interested in wellness. We’d love to have you 🙂

If you’d like to purchase your wholesale membership with Young Living, use this link. A Premium Starter Kit includes Young Living’s most popular collection of oils, “The Everyday Collection” plus a bottle of Stress Away (Heaven in a bottle) and a diffuser as well as starting reference materials. Purchased separately, it would all be over $250. Huge savings! Of course, you can become a member without a kit for just $45.00 if you want, but the real bonus value is in the kit.


Members save 24% on their purchases. Prices reflected above are wholesale, not retail. It is possible to purchase without a membership, but who would want to pay MORE than they have to? When you live paycheck to paycheck, purchasing a wholesale membership is a no-brainer.

In addition, there’s this Essential Reward Program that offers freebies every month in addition to points that can be used like frequent flier miles. Also a smart move if you find yourself ordering every 4-6 weeks.


So let’s recap here… how do you “game the system” and save money on your YL purchases?

  • Purchase a wholesale membership.
    • membership will save you 24% on every purchase.
    • you don’t have to sell anything, I promise.
    • only need to make 1 purchase of $50/year to stay active
      • no penalties if you don’t
  • Essential Rewards Program
    • When you’ve decided you’re in love with the oils and you order regularly, this program may be for you.
    • Purchase at least 50PV per month to stay on the program
      • Reduced shipping costs
      • Earn 10-20% of your order PV back in points that can be used towards future purchases. (FREEBIES)
      • Get more FREEBIES every month when your order is at least 100PV, 190PV, 250PV or 300PV – great way to try new stuff!
      • Earn commission with at least 100PV/mo when your friends join! (Another great way to get your oils PAID for!)
    • Can skip 1 month a year and still stay active
    • No penalties for cancelling

What are you waiting for?

12 Thanksgiving Crock-Pot Recipes

Whaaaat?!?!?! Dare you say “crock-pot” and “Thanksgiving” in the same sentence? Yes, yes I did……We do it the hard way or just accept that cooking the T-Day meal is downright challenging in and of itself. I opt for the latter.

It’s totally acceptable and really, kinda smart if you ask me, since everyone else is doing things the hard way. Break that bad boy out and ease the pain of preparing food for the small army that is about to descend upon your house!

  1. Mashed Potatoes
  2. Sweet Potatoes
  3. Pecan Pie
  4. Candied Yams
  5. Apple Crumble Dessert
  6. Apple Cider
  7. Pumpkin Cobbler
  8. Green bean casserole
  9. Sausage and apple stuffing
  10. Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding
  11. Cranberry Sauce
  12. Apple Butter Yeast Rolls

Is there anything a crock-pot can’t do? I mean, seriously! We own two of these bad-boy cooking machines and you had better bet I plan to use them this year….

What will you be crock-potting this Thanksgiving?

Random Acts of Kindness | Week 1

What it’s all about: awakening the capacity to love and the ability to give within our community. This can be a global act if we take the time to share our good deeds – let’s inspire others to do the same!

  • Spread the word by sharing the daily posts for the next 30 days.
  • Post a picture of what you’ve done that day to bless others
  • Tag your friends, fellow bloggers or pages admins; we want to magnify the message to the furthest reaches of the planet! We’ve been given the chance to heal through love – now that’s grace if I’ve ever seen it 🙂

If there’s one song to sum it all up, it’s this one: “Come Alive” by Lauren Daigle

In the spirit of the challenge, I am also offering up some alternative ideas. To take part, you don’t have to do what is posted, it’s just an idea for the day to get the creative juices started. Here’s a few more ideas to carry you through the week:

  1. Offer to help an elderly neighbor with housekeeping duties or carry in the groceries
  2. Pick up the tab for the mom in line at the grocery store
  3. Pay it forward at Starbucks
  4. Leave a little post-it note on the mirror in the bathroom that says “You’re beautiful”
  5. Give a police officer a Visa gift card and a thank you note
  6. Surprise the office with donuts in the morning
  7. Bring the neighbor some cookies

Disappointment and Kindness

There are many times in this life where things don’t go the way we planned and it’s okay to feel let down or to be sad about it. In the midst of all that is going on in the world today, many of us are feeling raw but today I am going to give you a reason to carry on. An no, this is not another political post, this post is about life in general.

Love – it’s the reason we are here. We aren’t here to be famous or to get rich, we are here to learn how to love one another and currently, as a species, we are failing miserably.

In a world of social media and information overload, we often feel alone even when in a room full of people. I think it’s normal to feel the frustration of not truly being understood or even known; now is the time to put down the devices that cause the divide. It is time to look people in the eye and let them know you care.

I decided that, as a response to current events, I would not partake in the hate and divisive propaganda. I choose to show love as fiercely as others show hate, even to complete strangers.

For example, we went to dinner the other night and our waiter was clearly struggling. The others in my party were complaining about how terrible the service was and I think he overheard the conversation because he distanced himself for a bit and had someone else bring us stuff.  When he came back, before he made any eye contact or could take our order, I asked how his night was going. You could see his shoulders relax and his face lit up, he was excited that someone actually cared enough to ask.  As it turns out, it was his third day on the job and his first shift solo. If you’ve ever waited tables before, you know it’s a challenging thing, especially in the beginning. I asked everyone in the party to leave an unusually good tip and I wrote out a note and left it for our waiter, reading simply:

“You’re doing great! Keep up the good work!”

As we walked out to the car, I could see the waiter collecting the tab receipts and reading the note. His face lit up like Christmas day and he excitedly ran over to a co-worker to show off the note; he was beaming! All it took was one simple act of kindness from a stranger to let him know that he would survive the new job and that he wasn’t a complete failure. One simple note changed the outcome of his evening and who knows what else.


We often get too wrapped up in our own world to notice what is happening with anyone else around us. Now is the time to start a revolution, the kind that can truly change the world for the better. Stop protesting in the streets, stop hurting people, stop whining about what hasn’t even happened yet and start leading by example.

Amidst all my efforts to do nice things for others, it seems the world is getting tougher on me. I choose not to let my disappointment stand in the way of making peaceful progress.

It is truly hard to stay this path when I am personally mourning the loss of what I thought was a sure bet, but I choose to be the storm.


I am going to issue a challenge to each and every one of you:

  • share this post
  • share how you’re showing love to others.

My personal goal is to share one Random Act of Kindness with a truly random person each day for the next 30 days. Let’s be the change we wish to see.


This Just Feels Dirty | 2016 Election

The one thing I can say with complete confidence about this election is that it will be talked about for years to come; history has been made. The American People are tired of the establishment…… But will it be the end of the Two-Party System? I doubt it.

Collectively, as a people, we voted between two known criminals to lead the new world. Living in America feels a bit less like a functioning Democracy and bit more like living in The Republic from Star Wars. Where is Queen Amidala when you need her?

I sat silently on the couch last night, eyes transfixed on the TV screen as election results rolled in, praying the People would make a good decision. It was the first time in forever that I’ve denied my kids access to their beloved Netflix as I watched the news roll in.  My kids, 4 and 6, watched as they passed through the room and only sat next to me near bedtime as they wondered what all the fuss was about.

I explained to them that history was being made tonight, that we were voting between a hot-headed business man and the first potentially viable female President of the United States who was also a terrifying choice. I also explained that Mommy and Daddy had both cast our votes alongside most of the other Americans and that we would have a new leader for our county soon. They marveled at the idea of being able to witness something so big.

Near 10pm, my husband switched off the TV and said he was tired of watching this crap. It’s easy to get caught up in it and forget that the popular vote isn’t always a match for the electoral college vote, so we switched it back over to Netflix to take our mind off of things.

I woke up to my Facebook Newsfeed for election results: Trump won.


Now what?

I knew my candidate wasn’t going to get the popular vote, but a small part of me wished a miracle would occur and that Gary Johnson would win. It’d be the ultimate message to The Establishment, but I knew deep down that we are only in the infancy of this fight. I cast my vote for him anyways, though. I don’t tell you this to incite further debate because frankly, I’m tired of the arguing. Can’t we all just get along and appreciate the fact that we all have Freedom of Speech?

So, this morning has been a roller coaster of emotions. I wasn’t going to be happy either way, but now I am living in fear, just like the other half of America who didn’t vote for Trump.

The last thing the American people should fear is their future under the President Elect, but a lot of us do. Some have already drawn parallels between movie character bullies and Hitler.

The rest of the world just collectively did a face palm.

This all just feels dirty. We feel raw emotionally. I kinda want to just cry and I know I’m not alone in this.

The good news, though?

The good news is that although he’s been elected, he cannot act alone. Our forefathers had the presence of mind to build in fail-safes into our Constitution and government workings that do not allow the errant lunatic to run stark raving mad unchecked.


The bad news is that we now have to place our faith in the hands of career politicians who are responsible for the mess we are already in…. you know, the whole reason the American People thought it as a good idea to elect this guy? It boggles my mind that almost all of the politicians in my state up for re-election won their seat back while the populace is raving about how bad they’ve been representing our interests. Change starts locally and it cannot happen if you keep the status quo in office locally.

I think it all boils down to how we, as a whole, handle the future. How do we move forward? The same way we always have: with our heads held high, always remembering our values, hard work and above all else, remembering to be kind to each other.

We cannot move forward if we are constantly pushing each other back based on opposing view points.  Appreciate, creatively disagree if you want, but always value each other and be kind. It’s going to be okay…….

Don’t forget to teach your kids its okay to have your candidate not win; it’s not a reason to give up. Teach persistence.


Bug Bites and How I Deal

My regular everyday full time job, in addition to being a sarcastic mommy-blogger, is a senior portrait photographer. My primary place to photograph clients is at a well-known outdoor garden which was recently voted the most beautiful place in the state but due to the large ponds and acreage of plants, it also harbors a large number of mosquitoes, therefore bug bites are a regular part of my on-the-job life.

I’m not a fan of spraying myself down with pesticides and chemicals known to cause cancer, so I have explored just about every other option out there.

You all know that I have a love affair with essential oils, so my first attempt to stave off the flying and biting bugs was to try Purification Blend from Young Living; while I have had pretty good results from this one in the past, but the bugs in this garden seemed resistant to it’s “charms.” Purification Blend is made up of Citronella oil, Lavandin oil, Lemongrass oil, Rosemary oil, Myrtle oil, and Tea Tree oil. I tried it as a roller top and a spray to cover more area. Verdict: Works against normal bugs but not the insanely blood hungry beasts flying around the outdoor garden I work in.

Purification Oil

Next, I tried Melaleuca’s Natural Insect Repellent, which boasts 99% effectiveness against mosquitoes and other biting insects (ants, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes mentioned on label). While using this bottle (over a period of 3 weeks at work plus a camping trip with the family), I saw no reduction in mosquito bites and my son came home with a tick after our camping trip. Active ingredients listed on the label: sodium laurel sulfate, citric acid, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, thyme oil and geranium oil. Verdict: Not impressed, no change in frequency of bites. It may actually attract them.

Melaleuca Insect Repellent

At this point, I was feeling a bit disappointed because I knew my options were dwindling for ways to keep the bugs off of me without being covered in poison.

While shopping at Wally World recently, I found Repel Natural. Skeptical at first, I read the label over and over thinking I’d see something terrible on the ingredient list, but there wasn’t (it’s not the best line up for healthy stuff).  Contains: Geraniol, Soybean oil, water, isopropyl alcohol, carbon dioxide, vanillin, sodium benzoate and polyglyceryl oleate. Verdict: It works and it works well!

repel natural

Conclusion: While there are plenty of options on the market that may work for small stints in the open, sometimes there are stubborn bugs that just DGAF about what EOs you’re wearing. Repel Natural was the best non-pesticide option I’ve been able to find on the market and it smells nice. Side perk: it was also the cheapest of the three options.

Stay tuned for Part Deux: Bug Bite Remedies


Da Bomb | Old Farmer’s Hack

For as long as I can remember, the Arizona desert, where I grew up, was better at keeping plants alive that I was. To say I had a “black thumb” was an understatement. I’m pretty sure I actually killed a potted cactus when I was 14.

This began to change in my mid 20’s. By the time I was 25, I was able to keep an established pothos alive. You’ve seen a pothos even if you don’t know what it’s called….every house has at least one because they’re really hard to kill.


I was so proud of this milestone! Next, I bought an orchid at the grocery store and somehow kept it alive for a few years…..I was SHOCKED when I started hearing stories about how hard they are to keep alive! I officially had a “Grey thumb” at this point:

grey thumb

I’ve tried planting seeds many times over the past few years but every time they reach about an inch tall, they die. I’m not sure why or how, maybe I’m still having issues with my “grey thumb.”

Recently, I heard about a “guerrilla farming technique” called seed bombs and it’s been used by farmers for a very long time. You can imagine my excitement when I found out that it basically takes all of the hard work out of establishing a seedling! Foolproof farming? A girl can only hope 😉

What is a seed bomb?:

According to the infinitely wise Wikipedia:Seed bombing or aerial reforestation[1] is a technique of introducing vegetation to land by throwing or dropping compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation (seed balls). Often, seed bombing projects are done with arid or off-limits (for example, privately owned) land.”

How seed bombs work:

The mixture of compost and clay keep the seeds protected from birds and constantly moist as the plant germinates.  Some will sprout within a few weeks some will sprout next year, so be patient.

How to make a seed bomb:

There’s a lot of recipes out there…… but based on comments around the interwebs (from people who do this regularly and have shown great results), the secret is in the clay to compost mixture!

“We’ve found the ratio that works best for us is 4 parts compost to 1 part powdered clay by weight(very important to do it by weight). The compost needs to be somewhat moist, but not wet by any means). Also, the quantity of seed depends on the type, a cup of poppy seeds can contain over 100,000 seeds, whereas a cup of sunflower seeds may only be 500-1000.”


Seed bombs work fantastic if you use them to plant your own garden (Vegetable & flowers) and I have yet to even attempt to bury them. Just lightly water each day and then once sprouted – as you would for any seedlings you’ve hand planted.

You should read this article
He is the original creator of clay seed balls – creating edible vegetation in areas that were bare and void, using only nature.

seed bomb

Step 1: blend 4 parts moist compost to 1 part dry clay powder

Step 2: Mix in 1 part seeds (use judgement here based on seed size to be careful not to overpopulate the seed bomb). Realize that probably 10-20% of the seeds will be duds but the rest will likely sprout and you don’t want to overpopulate the small space of earth they will grown in.

Step 3: Roll into a ball roughly 1.5″ in size.

Step 4: Let dry in the sun or in a window

Step 5: Store in an empty egg carton until ready to use

Step 6: Lightly moisten and lay on top of the soil where you intend for it to grow.

Let’s just think about the “cheap eating” potential here….. Should you have a good rate of success by planting this way, you could have an entire garden furnishing fruits and veggies all season long, saving you on groceries! The best part is that you can control the growing practices; you know definitively if it’s GMO, organic and it’s pesticide status.

Fancy Egg Sammich (as my 3 year old calls it)

As I stared into the fully-stocked refrigerator with hunger pains, my lazy side began to curse my husband for being so proactive on getting the grocery shopping done. I was starving but I just couldn’t muster the energy to summon my inner Betty Crocker and really didn’t have much of an excuse not to – This rainy weather is killin’ my mojo!

I quickly started naming off what our lunch options were and luckily my three year old locked onto one of the easiest to make: Egg, cheese, salami and avocado sandwich – or as she calls it, the fancy egg sammich. We often make a simpler version around here for breakfast, but this one, all dressed up in it’s layers of salami and avocado, was perfect for brunch or breakfast all day!

I certainly didn’t want a boring lunch meat sandwich so I was cool with this decision because it required minimal cooking skills and it was quick. Double win!


  • Bread, sliced
  • Cheese, we used Gouda….because its “good-ah”<—cheesy humor!
  • Eggs, 1-2 per sandwich depending on your hunger level, cooked over-medium
  • Salami slices, 2-4 depending on your taste
  • Avocado, we used 1/4-1/2 of an avocado per sandwich
  • Salt, to taste

What to do:

  1. Heat frying pan over low to medium heat with 1 tsp of butter. Add eggs. Cook for a few minutes. Flip and cook a few more to desired doneness. Add cheese and remove from heat while you prepare the other ingredients. I prefer to cook my eggs to over-medium in this recipe because it’s not overly messy when you eat it.
  2. Toast your bread slices in the toaster and butter while hot.
  3. Slice your avocado in half. Remove seed. Slice.
  4. Start with one slice of buttered toast, add eggs and cheese, top with salami and avocado as desired. Sprinkle a little salt on top and finish it off with the other slice of bread.
  5. Enjoy!

Easy, right? Easy, quick and yummy…. that’s the tired mom’s trifecta right there 😉

Sorry, there’s no picture this time – we ate them too quickly to photograph, LOL!

The beauty of this recipe is that you can feed the entire family for less than $10!

If you’d like to see more money-saving recipes and life hacks, just follow our Facebook page, subscribe to our blog feed or sign up for our newsletter.

Coming soon: monthly budget-friendly meal plans complete with recipes!

Essential Oils: The Debate as old as Ford vs Chevy

I LOVE EOs! Yeah, I said it. I am a skeptic when it comes to most things considered “hippy dippy” but essential oils completely won me over a few years ago…..

**Cue the flashback track**

Almost 4 years ago, I was a sleep deprived but happy stay-at-home mom with an energetic two year old boy and a colicky breastfeeding infant. Life was pretty good except for a nagging tooth infection following a root canal that was going to require a 30 day dose of heavy antibiotics and would end my breastfeeding experience with my daughter. My heart was breaking at the thought of switching her to formula, especially with all the formula recalls, articles about allergies being linked to formula usage and her already existing soy allergy… the road ahead looked bleak.

Out of desperation, I turned to essential oils to heal my tooth and get my health back in order. I started oil pulling with unrefined unprocessed organic coconut oil before brushing and my dentist saw a difference in as little as a week! My gums and teeth were improving, but I still needed to reach the infection at the base of the tooth root. I needed a miracle…..

I’d heard about the wonders of oregano oil, so my first purchase, I knew, would include this oil.

I threw a call out on Facebook to all of my friends to see which company I should purchase from and my peers would steer me towards Young Living…so I checked them out. The prices were a bit of a turn off, but I liked what I saw when it came to purity and long-term reputation.  “If I’m gonna do this, I should do this right.”

From where I was standing, after all the dust had settled from my fast and furious Google “research”, my only two real options were DoTerra or Young Living.

  • Both offered Oregano Oil that could be used in the mouth.  Check!
  • Both were pricey. Ugh!
  • Both were MLMs… double Yuck but whatever, I’m not getting into the business end, its just personal use for me!
  • Both had good reputations. Check.
  • Both boasted the highest quality oils, suitable for ingestion. Check.
  • Both offered a similar cold and flu blend (Thieves vs On Guard)

The factors that helped me make my decision:

  • Trusted friends & family spoke up in favor of YL
  • YL had a 20+ year track record – the oldest by far
  • YL Seed to Seal Guarantee
    • First press vs 2nd or 3rd press: If you own the distillery, why wouldn’t you keep the first press when you’re producing it anyways but first press is more highly prized? It’s a “Duh” business move….of course you would!
    • 2nd, 3rd and other presses are sold off to competitor companies who adulterate the mixture by diluting and mixing with additives or preservatives for more mileage.
    • I love that they’re willing to scrap an entire batch/harvest because it doesn’t meet their standards.  Most companies are unwilling to do that…. if they even own the fields the crop was grown in!

About a year into my love affair with essential oils, the curiosity started to get to me again. At that point, I was taking part in little vendor shows at neighborhood kid resale stores and there would usually be another oil lady there from either DT or YL (depending on the month). After a couple of months, I finally mustered up the courage to ask the Do Terra rep if I could smell her oils and compare side by side with my own kit of YL oils. All the drama talk of “Us vs Them” was getting under my skin and I just HAD TO KNOW once and for all. The results were more surprising than I ever thought they would be….

I always carry Lavender and Peppermint with me in my purse; I don’t leave home without it. I’d overheard her talking about how their lavender and peppermint were so superior to YL because of the smell difference so I honestly expected the DoTerra oils to put up more of a fight….

  • Lavender: I started with lavender because I knew it would be the most obvious one for me. Up until I started YL, I thought lavender smelled like crusty old ladies, attics and bad perfume. Young Living lavender smells like a real flower would, it doesn’t give me a headache and I rather enjoy the smell of YL’s oil.  One sniff of the DoTerra oil and BAM! My nose wrinkled up and I reeled away….. it was better than those cheap lavender air fresheners but it still smelled terrible to me and now I was starting to get a headache.
  • Peppermint: I’ve used peppermint for many things and have grown accustomed to the smell of YL peppermint oil – its in constant stock around my house! The sniff test revealed to me that DoTerra peppermint oil includes some additives or perfumes because it smelled like a candy cane to me. Having cut most of the sugar from my diet and knowing how to make candies and sweets, it makes no sense to me why a natural plant (aside from licorice) would smell sugary sweet unless it was not as pure as it claims.

Here’s another troubling thought directly from DoTerra’s website: CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade is a registered trademark of dōTERRA Holdings, LLC representing internal standards of quality assessment and material control. The CPTG protocol is not administered by government or industry regulatory agencies and does not imply regulatory approval of dōTERRA products.


The more you dig, the more you’ll find on the cat fight between the two companies especially since DoTerra was the lovechild of past YL corporate officers who thought they could “do it better.” If you chase this one down the rabbit hole, you’re just going to feel dirty. I try to just ignore the drama because, frankly, I don’t care. I just want oils that are consistently good and I’ve found that in Young Living.

I am not going to tell you which brand to choose because like me, you’re just going to have to do a little research and make your own decision on which path is right for you and your family.  I always advocate listening to your gut when it comes to making decisions that affect your family and trust me…. you’ll end up using oils for just about everything on just about everyone, so it should be a family decision.

I achieved what I wanted to with essential oils and no smear campaign is going to change the story about how I avoided additional dental surgery and potentially irreversible internal damage from antibiotics by using essential oils. I continued to breastfeed my daughter up until her 2nd birthday and that is irreplaceable to me. That’s memory gold.

I have many, many more life-changing stores about how essential oils have worked for me, but I’m going to save them for another time. My goal here was just to help others understand why I chose Young Living in the beginning and continue to choose YL, the rest is up to you.

Oh, and by the way, for all those naysayers who say it’s dangerous or illegal to use essential oils internally…. Young Living, in case you hadn’t heard, has actually been cleared by the FDA for internal usage as a dietary supplement. Last I checked, it was the only one cleared to do so. The Vitality Line – check it out.

If you’d like to see more stories about how people have used essential oils in their lives, check out

Got questions? Want to learn more? Drop me a line! I love to talk oils and I can even arrange an Intro to EOs class for you either in person or online!

Shop or sign up for your distributor discount at Young Living here