Oiling… One Week In

It’s been about a week since I received my complete Premium Starter Kit (affectionately called PSK from here on out) from Young Living.  Since then I’ve started dipping my toes into the world of Essential Oils, and I’m learning a lot.

One of the things I love most about being part of Young Living (and maybe it’s just the team of folks above me?  But I’d like to think this is reflective of the company as a whole) is the mantra of education over sales.  Sure, there are people who are part of Young Living to make money (it’s a business- why wouldn’t money making be part of the equation?), and that’s not a bad thing… but I love that there are always an abundance of free classes and workshops available, as well as no shortage of people willing to chime in and provide insight on ways to safely use your oils.  It really is a community of people just looking to help out others and there is no pressure to buy anything.  If you simply want to attend a million Facebook classes about oils, and never buy a single thing, you can.  If you want to go to a make-and-take (which generally does have a small fee) and experiment with the products in a low cost/low risk setting, you can.  And if you do eventually decide to make a purchase (whether that’s something retail through a Young Living member/distributor or by signing up for the PSK), you’ll be met with enthusiastic teammates ready to take your hand and lead you along on your oiling journey.  It is a pretty amazing environment, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.

As I mentioned on the blog previously, there were a lot of reasons why I decided to take the plunge and sign up with Young Living.  And now that I have my PSK, how have I been using my oils?  A lot of ways, actually, but one of the first things I did when I got my kit was put my Young Living diffuser to work in an attempt to support Ian’s respiratory system at night to help promote restful sleep.

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Young Living diffuser in the PSK

I actually really like the Young Living diffuser that came in the PSK- it’s small, lightweight, and super easy to use (plus, it’s attractive).  I set it up in Ian’s bedroom and added 3 drops of Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil, 3 drops of Frankincense, and 2 drops of Lavender.  The Melaleuca and Frankincense were to help support his respiratory system, and the Lavender was to help promote restful sleep.  Ian didn’t seem to notice or mind the scent coming from the diffuser (or if he did, he didn’t complain about it).  I can’t say that I found it to be an extremely pleasant smell, although I certainly didn’t find it unpleasant, but if it had the chance of helping Ian, I was all for it- and since it didn’t bother him, I was OK with it.  I’ve since gotten used to the scent and hardly even notice it when I turn on the diffuser.  It really is quite subtle (or at least, I think it is).  My husband, on the other hand, found the scent to be pretty overwhelming and he was not at all a fan- and even now he still doesn’t like it.  I chalk some of this up to personal preference and some to the fact that he’s even more of an essential oil skeptic than I am.  I’m at least willing to give them a shot (I mean, what do I have to lose? Nothing else has helped this cough).  My husband, on the other hand, is pretty staunchly against oils.  He sees them as just another scheme or a pricey placebo, so we’ll have to see some definite and concrete results before his mindset changes (if it ever does).  But, that’s ok… he’s not stopping me from using them; he’s just not convinced they’ll make a difference.  I can live with that.

Anyway, so far it certainly seems like the diffuser is helping.  The only problem- the diffuser only runs for about 6-8 hours max.  So that means that sometime in the night (generally around 3am), the diffuser would stop and, inevitably, Ian would wake up.  After a few nights of this, I finally decided to just go into his bedroom overnight and refill the diffuser.  But that was really starting to be a pain.  So I set about looking for a longer-running diffuser hoping this might solve the issue.  After endless research and comparing, I decided on this one by Welledia.

Welledia Diffuser

Welledia Effusion Diffuser

It has a 700mL tank and overall the reviews are very positive.  With my Amazon gift cards (and free Prime shipping), it ended up being hardly any out of pocket cost to me… can’t argue with that!  The new diffuser arrived on Saturday, and I used it that night.  I definitely like the look of the Young Living diffuser better, but MAN this one really does run ALL NIGHT LONG (I’m still trying to get the right amount of water in it so I don’t have a ton left over to dump in the morning).  Since using the new diffuser, Ian has slept all night for most nights!  We are definitely seeing an improvement for him.  Last night, for the first time, I tried Thieves and Lavender in the diffuser, and I also loved that combination.  It’s nice to have options so that I can change things up every now and then if I want (or if an oil is running low). This is another nice thing about Essential Oils- there are generally a number of combinations and choices available.  I’ll definitely be using the new diffuser in his room every night from now on, and in a few weeks, I’ll do another update.  I was just pretty excited about our initial results (and my new long lasting diffuser) that I felt compelled to share.  After all, this was one of my main drivers for taking the Essential Oil plunge, and so far I’m not sorry.

Do you use Essential Oils?  How do you use them?  If you haven’t used them, have you ever given it any thought?  Want to learn more?  We always have Essential Oil Facebook classes going on- and they are open to everyone!

You can reach out to me through a blog comment or email, and I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned so far and any other information about Young Living and Essential Oils. I have a ton of resources at my disposal, and I can always find out the answer to your question if I don’t know it myself.  You can also like my team’s Facebook page (Healthier Oil the Thyme) or visit our team’s website to get more information (as well as tips and recipes for your oils).  Happy oiling!

Nursery Update

It’s been a few weeks since I mentioned that I am in the process of refreshing the nursery in preparation for this baby girl (May 9 no longer seems all that far away!).

In that time, I’ve been busy working on a few projects for the room, and I finally have one successfully crossed off my list- baby girl’s crib skirt!! This was a BIG one, and it took me quite a while since I really took my time and wanted it to look nice, but I absolutely love how it turned out.

I knew I wanted to do a ruffled crib skirt this time around (last time, for Ian, I did a box pleat crib skirt, which I really liked and was SUPER easy). There’s just something so fun and girly about ruffles; I knew I had to at least try it.

Finding just the right color of fabric was a bit of a challenge, but I did finally manage to locate just the right shade of deep purple. Thank you, Hobby Lobby!

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I turned to Pinterest for guidance/advice on how to go about creating the crib skirt, and found some really good resources, which I pinned to my Nursery Refresh board. I ended up using Ian’s old box pleat crib skirt as my “base” crib skirt (since I needed something to sew the ruffles onto, and I didn’t feel like spending money on fabric that no one was going to see anyway), and it worked beautifully!

To keep me from getting overwhelmed, I broke the project into manageable steps spread over a few weeks, and tried to limit myself to working on it no more than 2 hours at a time. I find that if I work on something longer than that I get tired or frustrated and start making mistakes.

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I HATE ironing...but unfortunately it is a necessity to get nice, crisp hems and seams

Of course, even with that self-imposed limit, I still made mistakes (what’s a project if you don’t use the seam ripper at least once, right??), but they were much smaller in scale and easier to fix.

And in the end, taking my time definitely paid off. The crib skirt is now on the crib and it looks fantastic. I especially love all the colors together- they look so fresh!

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Now I just have a few projects remaining: changing pad cover (which is actually underway), name art (which I started but put on hold to focus on the crib skirt), rocking chair cushions (not yet started), and print outs of book covers for the wall art (also not yet started). I can’t wait until this whole nursery comes together (and of course, we have a baby in it)!

Read Together Tuesdays {Series}

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Today’s featured book is…
“Bear About Town”

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Ian loves the Bear books, and this one is no exception.  It all started with “Bear Takes a Trip” (another fantastic story we read frequently, as evidenced by the fact it goes with us EVERYWHERE and is much abused loved).  Ian and I were so enamored with the story (and the bright, colorful, PACKED pages) that we slowly started growing our Bear collection.  “Bear About Town” is great because it follows Bear on his adventures on each day of the week.  We love learning what Bear did on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.  It also lets us talk about what day it is TODAY and TOMORROW, and what we do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.  This is great for open discussion with your child!

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Like most (nearly all?) of the Bear books, this one also comes in a Spanish version.  Super cool if you have a kid who is a native Spanish speaker, already bilingual, or is learning Spanish as another language.

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You can purchase “Bear About Town” in English here for just $6.99 (paperback or board book). If you want the Spanish version, you can get it here, also $6.99 (paperback only).

Happy reading!!

An Oily Mail Day!

At the beginning of March I mentioned that I decided to venture into the world of Essential Oils and join Young Living as a Distributor.

Well, my Premium Starter Kit finally arrived!!

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I am still trying everything out and familiarizing myself with the various oils, but so far I’m loving everything!  And I’m really enjoying researching various oils and how they can help my family.  My favorite reference source (besides my other “oilers”) is the Reference Guide app I have on my phone (which I got for free from my team, Healthier Oil the Thyme).  It’s awesome!

I’ve only had the chance to work with my oils for a few days, so I want to wait a little before sharing any feedback about the oils and how I’ve been using everything, but one thing I have learned… a LITTLE bit of oil goes a LONG way.  The bottles look tiny, and you find yourself thinking that there is no way that one tiny drop of oil will really make a bit of difference- but oh my!  As my husband remarked when I opened a bottle “wow, that’s strong!”… yes, before I had even poured a drop, we could smell the oil.  So I’ve learned to start with just 1 or 2 drops and then add more if necessary.  Definitely a good lesson!

I can’t wait to share with all of you some of the ways I’m using my oils and what results I’ve seen.  It’s definitely going to be a fun adventure!

Two new releases from Barefoot Books, a spring SALE, and a giveaway!

I love it when I get to share awesome new Barefoot Books news and information! We have 2 new releases that I absolutely LOVE- you will definitely want to get your hands on them.

Millie’s Chickens

hardcover, $16.99 / paperback, $8.99

Tend Millie’s backyard chickens from day to night in this rhyming picture book, which is right on trend and packed with STEM-friendly science info. (Ages 5-9)

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TJ270-8-14 P01-40 175L CTP.indd

Why buy it?
– FARM-TO-TABLE: Locavore theme focuses on where food comes from and gives an appreciation for the hard work behind it
– URBAN FARMING: Backyard setting reflects urban farming trend and makes this agricultural experience accessible to most readers
– BIOLOGY: Includes eight pages of educational endnotes about chickens, from breeding to preparing eggs for eating
– RESPONSIBILITY: Depicts both the effort and rewards of caring for animals yourself

You can also buy a Millie’s chicken gift set for $15.99 (retail price $17.98), which includes the paperback edition of Millie’s Chickens and the Chick Finger Puppet:

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Daddy Island

paperback, $7.99

This gentle, lyrical picture book will inspire parent-child play from playtime to bedtime.

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Why buy it?
– PHYSICAL PLAY: This gentle story guides fun physical partner-play between parent and child
– FAMILIAL BONDS: Celebrates the special bond between parent and child
– LYRICAL TEXT: Stimulates language building through vivid vocabulary and imagery

And we’re also in the middle of our spring sale, so don’t delay- head on over to Barefoot now to check out all we have to offer AND save!

“Millie’s Chickens” is such a hit that I’m giving away ONE copy! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nursery Refresh for Baby Girl

Now that Ian has moved out of the nursery and into his “big boy room”, I have been making my plans for turning Ian’s previously “boyish” nursery into something suitable for baby girl.  Ian’s walls were a sage green (they were already that color when we moved in, and I really loved it), and his nursery accent colors were Navy Blue and White.  It was a striking pairing, and I loved the deep, rich Navy paired with the soft sage.  I also loved the Winnie the Pooh mural that was on the wall when we bought the house- something I definitely wanted to keep and even incorporate in the finished nursery design.

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As you can see, his crib skirt, curtains, and changing pad were all Navy blue. His furniture was white (including the fan and the baseboard molding in the room), and the shelves and picture frames I added to the walls were white, too.  His sheets were mostly white, with either sage green patterns or blue patterns.  The “theme” for his nursery was storybook (see the Winnie the Pooh tie in??)- so the artwork on the walls were covers of favorite children’s books (Babar, Curious George, Peter Rabbit, and Paddington Bear), and he had an ABC lamp on his dresser/changing table.

All in all, I loved the look of Ian’s nursery.  It was calming and relaxing, and definitely for a boy, without being over the top.  The only downside to my nursery choices were finding decorations and things to fill it.  For some reason, “storybook” isn’t a particularly common nursery theme, so I had to improvise a bit (hence the printed book covers on the walls).  And, finding baby things in Navy blue was equally challenging.  This led me to make some of the things myself (the crib skirt and curtain tie-backs), but I didn’t mind- I liked putting my own personal touch on his room.

But, now that he’s moved on to his new room (which I wrote about last week), and baby girl will be moving in, it’s time for a refresh.  Time to make this baby boy room into something a bit more tailored to my baby girl.

I have no desire to paint the walls, so baby girl will also have a sage green nursery as her background color and the same Winnie the Pooh mural.  With this in mind, I’ll also be keeping the storybook theme (it’s just so lovely), but I’ll be swapping out the book covers for more traditional girl covers (keeping Babar, but thinking of adding Madeline, Olivia, and Charlotte’s Web). Next was picking an accent color, and it didn’t take me very long to decide.  I knew I wanted a rich, deep purple- like a plum.  I’ll also probably sprinkle grey here and there, but the main color will be the purple.  So here’s my color palatte:

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Of course, finding baby stuff in this deep purple shade is more challenging even than finding it in Navy blue (which, annoyingly, is EVERYWHERE now), so I’m again making the crib skit.  I’m also expecting I’ll have to make the changing pad cover since I’m having zero luck finding the right purple for that.  The only other major project for the nursery will be baby girl’s name art.  I’ve already got it planned out- I just need to execute.

More posts to come as the room comes together- and then there will be the big reveal.  I simply cannot wait!!

Shopping for a Cause

On December 27, 2014 a family in my local area was headed home from a holiday visit in Tennessee when they were involved in a tragic car accident. Mom Missy Meade, Gage (12), and Hannah (5) were all involved.  Missy died a few days after the accident and Gage was ejected from the car sustaining severe injuries.  Obviously the family (and community) is reeling in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy.

Wanting to help, a local group of moms banded together and began organizing a fundraiser to support the family.  After months of planning, that fundraiser is going to take place this weekend… Saturday from 4-8pm at Echo Church: 3187 Western Row, Maineville, OH.  There will be raffle baskets, food, entertainment, free childcare, and 70+ local vendors and businesses in attendance (for more information, check out the facebook event page).

The amount of work that has gone into organizing this event has been absolutely amazing, and I am extremely honored to be one of the vendors participating, representing Barefoot Books.  One of the things I love most about being a Barefoot Books Ambassador is that I have the ability to be active in the community and support local organizations and fundraisers, like this one.  It’s such a special and rewarding thing, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening.

In addition to the items I donated for the raffle baskets and my table fee, I’m also going to be donating 10% of my sales.  I can’t even begin to imagine what this family must be going through, and I feel compelled to help however I can.  If you’re in the local Cincinnati area, I urge you to come on out to the fundraiser.  Whether you buy from me or not, whether you stay long or not, I hope you’ll be there- every person who attends is one more person showing support for this family and their struggle.

If you’re not local, or you have other obligations tomorrow night, you can shop online via my Barefoot Books marketplace and still support this cause.  I’ve set up a special event link that will flag online orders made through this URL (http://bit.ly/meade-family) and tag them as part of the fundraiser effort.  10% of sales from online orders placed via the URL will also be donated to the Meade family.

Please help me spread the word, and let’s see what difference we can make for this family at this difficult time.