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10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

 

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a wonderful time, but it can also bring a lot of unpleasant side effects and symptoms along with it. Here are 10 Tips for a great pregnancy using natural ingredients. It is important to use natural ingredients when you are pregnancy so you won’t expose your developing baby to toxins and anything that could harm them.

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Magnesium

Magnesium is a vital mineral for your body (pregnant or not). It is important for blood sugar metabolism, handling stress, helping you sleep, preventing morning sickness, and controlling blood pressure. read more

How to get Out of a Funk

How To Get Out of a Funk
How To Get Out of a Funk

Most people think that working and reaching goals is only up, up and up… but what I have found is that every journey has it’s ups and downs. 

 

In my business, there certainly are seasons and every season has a purpose. 

 

Sometimes, we get bogged down or we set a goal and life just happens.

 

We didn’t decide to get in a funk… we just got distracted and it was hard to get back into our groove.

 

A really common time to get in a funk is around the holidays and summer… read more

Picking out the Perfect Gray

We are having a very exciting year! If you haven’t been following our story on Instagram, you may have missed some of our recent adventures.

In February, my nephew passed away unexpectedly and it really help me put things in perceptive. We decided that since we had the freedom to live anywhere since we worked from home, that we wanted to move closer to our family (we were living 17 hours away.) Since we work from home, we could honestly live anywhere we wanted!

So in April, we put our house in Virginia on the market to sell… and in 3 days we were under contract!!

Now… where are we going to live???

We set out on a road trip to find the perfect place for a new home.

Both of our families are in North Louisiana, so we wanted to be within a 6 hour drive from our parents (instead of 17 hours!). We drew a big circle with a 6 hour radius and then started researching and traveling to the different cities inside that circle.

After about 3 months on the road, we finally settled on Bentonville, Arkansas!! What was kind of a surprise to us too, haha!

What I loved was the natural beauty of the area, plus all the amenities for families and growth – and the charm of a small town.

So now we need a HOUSE! We looked at probably a dozen houses, but when we walked inside this one… we knew it was the one!

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work from home

Dream House

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We have lived in a “yellow” house for the past 12 years, so I knew I wanted to update the color to a more modern gray. I wasn’t ready to rip out the whole kitchen, so it would need to match the existing kitchen and fireplace tile…. this was going to be interesting!!

We went to Lowe’s and got a few samples to paint on the wall. From what I learned was that paint looks different on the walls than it does on that tiny swatch of paper. We painted Mindful Gray (SW), Repose (SW) and I thought they were going to be perfect because I knew how popular they were… but when I got them on the walls… They both were a little too blue.

I learned that Gray was an interesting color… that every one had different undertones and you have to be careful. One of the samples we painted went on the wall and looked purple!

 

So back to the drawing board… what gray was neutral with no strong blue, green, purple undertones???

 

We ended up with Revere Pewter!!! (another popular color for sure)

 

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(Revere Pewter on the right)

When I looked at the color swatch, I didn’t know if I was going to like it… but again paint on the walls is completely different. When the painters starting putting the color on the walls, we all knew it was PERFECT!

 

We are actually painting about 75% of the house this one color so it had to be neutral to go throughout the house: Kitchen, Dining Room, Great Room, Office, Loft. Because we were painting so much of the house, we did hire a painting crew to do the job – They were able to paint everything in about a week!

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My Tips for Picking out the perfect paint

  • Get lots of samples and paint them on the wall.
  • Hold up your color swatch next to white to see if it has any strong undertones.
  • Look on Pinterest to find different styles and colors that you are drawn to.
  • Go with a friend. It is never a bad thing to get a second opinion when picking out a paint color.
  • read more

    Farmhouse Lighting Finds

    As you may or may not know, Adam and I just bought our Dream House in North West Arkansas! Because we work from home, we had the chance to move closer to our family after my nephew passed away in February.

    work from home

    It has been a whirlwind ever since we listed our house in Virginia, but I’m happy to say that things are coming together! We pretty much repainted the whole house (it was a dark yellow when we bought it) to a cooler grey. After much debate, we decided on Revere Pewter and it looks amazing!!! I’ll be posting more updates on that as well.

    Dream House

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    (Revere Pewter Shown on Right)

    Since the painting is still in progress, we are currently working on getting the perfect lighting to really set the right mood. I love Chip and Joanna of Fixer Upper, and would say that my style is somewhat of a Modern Farmhouse. I didn’t want to break the bank and spend all my budget on lighting, so I was so excited to find these awesome deals!

    Don’t you just love how a new light fixture can change the whole room?!?

     

    Modern Lighting

    Here are  my Top Three Modern Farmhouse Lighting Picks

    CLAXY Ecopower Lighting Vintage Clear Glass shade Pendant Lighting

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    I chose these pendants for my kitchen. I have a kitchen island with two red pendants hanging over the stove range. What I loved was their simple shape and design. I love the clear glass and how classic they look. There were many different styles that I loved, but finding one under $50 was proving difficult. These were a great find!!

     

    Best Choice Products Industrial Vintage Lighting Ceiling Chandelier

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    I am just in LOVE with these globe chandeliers!! read more

    5 Ways to Start Using Essential Oils Today

    You may have just recently heard of essential oils or maybe you have been interested in them for a while and didn’t know where to start. I know for me, I started reading about essential oils about 10 years ago… but I didn’t really know how to use them or even when I should be using them.

     

    I was already pretty “crunchy” and avoided using chemicals in my house as much as possible, but there was another level of concern when you have a baby crawling around on the floors and putting everything in their mouths. That’s when I realized that I could actually start cleaning with essential oils.

    I remember one of the first things I made was a homemade shampoo with lavender and tea tree oil. 

    Then I started making more homemade cleaning recipes. It was comforting to know that what I was using as a scent was not a chemical, but a natural product! Plus, essential oils have amazing natural properties which make them a great addition to your healthy lifestyle.

    Here are some easy ways you can start using essential oils around your house:

     

    Scented Wool Dryer Balls

    What I love about essential oils is that you can use them for so many things! Laundry is one of my favorites.

    I LOVE my Wool Dryer Balls. I started using them when I was using cloth diapers with my first. They naturally freshen your clothes and help with the drying process. Plus they are all natural.

    When you use essential oils with your wool dryer balls, you can add your favorite scent to your clothes too! My favorite is Lavender 

    Just add 1-3 drops of your favorite essential oil directly to your wool dryer ball and let dry. You can even toss it in the dryer without clothes to dry if you are in a hurry.

    I usually add new drops 1-2x a week to freshen the scent depending on how many loads of clothes I’m washing and drying.

     

    DIY Linen Spray

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    To go along with keeping your clothes smelling fresh and clean straight from the dryer, use this DIY Linen Spray to keep your sheets and towels smelling fresh several days later! If you can find a dark, glass spray bottle that will be best to keep the essential oils at their best quality.

    Lemon and Lavender are my best picks for my Laundry too!

     

    Diffusing to Freshen the air

    This is probably the easiest way to start using essential oils in your home. If you are someone who enjoys a fresh scent in the air and loves aromatherapy, you should invest in a great diffuser.

    A diffuser is unique in that it diffuses the oil into the air so you can breathe it in without damaging the oil (or heating it up). I love using our BOOM essential oil to wake me up in the morning and CHILL to help calm me down at the end of the day.

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    The Beauty of Essential Oils

    I told you that one of the first things I made with essential oils was shampoo. I was reading so much about all the crazy things that are in our beauty products and skincare products and how there were healthier options. So at first, I tried to make some of my own homemade products.

    This recipe is super easy and a great one to start with if you like using Dry Shampoo 

    DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe using Red Clay

    You can make soap, shampoo, conditioner… there really are so many possibilities! Plus, it feels so good to know that you are feeling fresh naturally.

    I found a skincare line that I love that actually uses essential oils and botanicals to help me look my best, if you are looking for trying something new, check out my favorite products Here. 

     

    Essential Oils in your Bath

     

    I know that I love a relaxing bath! Nothing better than feeling that hot water help my muscles at the end of a long day.

    Have you ever thought about using essential oils in your bath to help you relax, and de-stress?  read more

    20 Healthy Snacks

    Making healthy choices throughout your day is just as important as the meals you cook in your kitchen. Sometimes it is that afternoon craving that sets you off on a series of not so great choices.

    I love meal planning and including two snack options to have in my back pocket if I’m hungrier one day or just need a little extra something to keep me going until the next meal.

    I personally like to eat every 3 hours to keep my blood sugar stable (no crashes) and honestly helps me avoid that hangry feeling (hungry-angry). The best snacks for me also include some protein. 

    Every month, I like to do a Cleanse and during those two days, it is important to eat clean. These snacks help me stay on track and help me feel my best too!

    Here are some snacks that I enjoy and hopefully will help you when you get the munchies:

  • Greek Yogurt with some chopped nuts mixed in
  • Thinly sliced Deli Meat and Cheese
  • Apple or Banana with Peanut Butter
  • Apple with sliced cheese
  • Protein Packed Smoothie 
  • Cottage Cheese with fruit
  • read more

    Do you need Probiotics?

    Did you know that you are only as healthy as your gut?!?

    When I started learning about health and nutrition 10 years ago, I realized that so much of our health is tied to our gut… and what is living in there o.O  One of the things I realized I was missing was Probiotics. 

     

    What are Probiotics?

    Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. They help keep your gut healthy! Just like there are different animals in our world… there are different strains of probiotics and each one is important for keeping you healthy.

    Did you know that taking antibiotics kills the good and bad bacteria in your body? Even taking birth control pills can disrupt the natural balance in your body of good and bad bacteria. Taking probiotics can help replace the good bacteria and help keep the balance of good and bad bacteria in check.

    Health.Harvard.Edu shares that probiotics may be beneficial for diarrhea, Crohn’s Disease, IBS, and vaginal health.

     

    What are Prebiotics?

    Prebiotics are natural food ingredients that help the probiotics grow and flourish in your gut. They are kind of like the food for the good bacteria in your digestive system.

     

    How to add Probiotics to your diet

    There are foods that you can add to your diet to add probiotics naturally such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir. But I was having trouble remembering to eat these everyday. I found my best option was to take a probiotic supplement.

    I learned that when shopping for a probiotic, you want to look for different strains – because they all do something different for your body.

    The probiotic I choose has 5 unique and different strains to target my digestive track:

    3 Lactobacillus strains work in the small intestine to metabolize carbohydrates in the foods you eat. This provides an energy source for the health of your digestive track.

    2 Bifidobacterium strains target your large intestine and feed off the prebiotics to help fuel them deep in your digestive system. One of these strains is an immune boosting specialist and can help with seasonal changes.

    These probiotics replenish good bacteria throughout your small and large intestines to counterbalance bad bacteria, restoring your system’s optimal microflora balance, lowering pH levels, and supporting your body’s immunity—70% of which is right in your digestive tract!

    What I also love about my probiotic is that it is paired with a prebiotic to give the probiotics the food they need to be strong and healthy throughout my whole digestive system.

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    Are you ready to love all your guts?

    This probiotic has 5 different strains and 10 Billion cultures.  Make the choice to take care of yourself today! Click Here to get Started

    Why Your Kids Should be Gardening

     

    Growing you own food is such an empowering process. To be able to say “I grew that!” can bring up so much pride and accomplishment in kids. Here are some more reasons why your kids should be gardening:

     

    Introduces New Foods

    When kids are able to see where their food comes from and had a part in the process, they are much more likely to try is as a new food. New foods can be scary to kids. When they are able to see and have a part in growing a new food, they are much more willing to try it at the dinner table.

     

     

    Fun ways to get them involved from the very beginning. 

    You can go to the library and look at some gardening books to get ideas of what to plant. Encourage your child to learn the best conditions needed for growing that food. You can even help your child make a map of your garden.

    My daughter loves watering plants. We bought her a kid sized gardening set with a water pitcher and shovel, so she can help us plant and take care of our little garden.

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    Use a Garden as a Teaching Tool

    As a mom with a background in speech therapy, I love using themes to encourage learning in various way on a single topic.

    Growing a garden can include lessons in: Math, Science, History, Geography, and Language Arts.

    From counting plants to sorting and organizing (even figuring out how much it cost) – you can bring math to life with a garden.

    From the life cycle of a plant, to pollination, to eco-systems, there is so much you can learn about science from growing a garden.

    I loved learning about Thomas Jefferson and his record keeping about growing his farm on Monticello when we visited last fall. You can find another historical figure who was known for their gardening. Or visit an active local farm for a field trip.

    Making a map of your garden is a way to learn about maps and using maps for finding your way in a space.

    Making list, keeping records, writing a short story about a bug or plant in your garden would be a very fun and creative Language Arts activity.

     

    In addition to learning about gardening, kids will also learn about responsibility. When kids are able to learn how to water and care of their plants which helps them understand some responsibility. Which is a powerful life lesson in itself.

    I hope this encourages you to plant a small garden with your kids to help them understand the value of sustainability and importance of growing our own food.

    Do you get your kids involved in gardening? What are your tips? 

     

    Image Credit: BigStockPhotos

     

     

    When God goes shopping for boxers, He picks out Scooby Doo.

    You may not have known my nephew, I wish you had the chance. He was born with a genetic disease called Pelizaeus–Merzbacher disease.

    “Pelizaeus Merzbacher disease (PMD) is a rare central nervous system disorder in which coordination, motor abilities, and intellectual function are delayed to variable extents.” – Wikipedia

    Josh passed away on February 14, 2016 from breathing complications. This was a story my sister, Aleecia, shared with me about her daughter Jayden and her son Josh. They had a very special relationship. I hope you enjoy this retelling : )

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    It was a holiday, so Aleecia and Jayden went shopping for gifts for everyone.

    Jayden was 7 at the time and really wanted to get her brother Josh a gift from her.

    Josh is our special boy who was born with a rare genetic disease: PMD.

    Jayden insisted that Josh needed a pair of Scooby Doo boxers. Nothing else would do!

    Aleecia decided… “Well, Josh wears diapers, but he could wear these as shorts over his diaper around the house… Sure. Why not!”

    They were a men’s small and HUGE on Josh at the time. But Jayden knew Josh needed these boxers and that’s what she had to give him.

    He wore these special boxers a handful of times, but it wasn’t something that he really needed…

    Until today.

    3 years have passed since Jayden went shopping for Josh.

    Aleecia and David are preparing for Josh’s funeral arrangements. The funeral home tells them that they need a full set of clothes, underwear, everything.

    Underwear?
    He doesn’t wear underwear…
    He wore diapers.

    But wait…

    He does have one pair of boxers.

    They fit him now.

    They were a gift… we didn’t know he would need or see the real value at the time.

    3 years ago, God knew that Josh would need a pair of boxers and whispered that to Jayden.

    They picked out Scooby Doo.

     

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    Here is Josh’s Celebration Service, and he is wearing Scooby Doo underwear 😛

    The boy who changed the World

    On February 14, 2016…. we had to say “See you later” to our special boy Josh, my nephew. Even though he had many limitations, he really did change so many lives during his 13 years on this earth.

    He was born with a rare genetic disease that impacted all his motor control.

    On the day he passed away, we were driving across the country to get to his side. It was the darkest day of my life. When I realized that I wouldn’t get to see him again, and it was his time to go… this is what I wrote. I hope you can see how much of a difference this little boy made in my life.

     

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    Today we celebrate your adventure, Joshua.

    When we first met you, we all gathered together to say ‘Hello, Welcome to our family!!’

    We celebrated big milestones like reaching 10 pounds!! That was such a huge goal and once you reached it, you never stopped growing.

    We celebrated birthdays together. 13 years, Josh!!

    We celebrated new siblings together!! You grew into the best big brother too. So patient when everyone wanted to crawl over you or hang on your wheelchair.

    We celebrated new houses together. You moved a lot!! You travelled all over the place in an RV for 9 months!?! What a story you have to tell!

    And today…

    I can’t imagine the adventure!!

    You get to leave your wheelchair behind, bud. You don’t need that anymore!

    All the hugs from everyone who have gone on before you! I know you are going to be quick to show off your new legs.

    I bet Paw Paw will throw a ball and Nonna will cheer you on the loudest when you run to catch it.

    The music, Josh… I’m sure your ears have never heard a sweeter tune. You love music so much.

    We miss you. We miss your smile. We miss your laugh.

    I know that we will see you soon. This is not goodbye. We gather together today to say ‘See you later.’

    Well done, Josh.

    You changed the world.

    Josh's empty wheelchair

    Josh’s empty wheelchair

    Josh's Celebration Service

    Josh’s Celebration Service

    It is well with my soul

    It is well with my soul