Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Favorite Uses for Essential Oils


I've been an essential oils (EO) fan for about two years now and I'm still constantly learning new ways to use them! I've been especially using them a lot the last few months... (stress, baby with reflux, cold/flu season, etc)... So I thought I'd share what some of my favorite oils are and some of the most common ways we use them everyday in our lives/home.

Disclaimer: I am not a distributor for EO. I just love the products! 

In the above photo is some of the most common oils I use for the babies. I don't know about you, but any chance I can get to use a "more natural" option in this toxic world we live in, I jump right to it. Especially when it comes to the babies!

I always have three mixtures in glass jars made up and right next to the diaper changing area. I use these mixtures on a daily basis!

1. Coconut oil (CO) + digize - Apply to stomach in clockwise circular motion and to the bottoms of feet. Every time I do this to ML, it helps him get rid of a gas bubble or he burps/spits up. I've also read that this is a great oil to use for reflux, which is ML's biggest problem... Although this oil doesn't 100% magically fix his reflux, I do think it helps relieve some of his symptoms and discomfort!

2. CO + lavender + melaluca (tea tree) + lemon - Apply directly to bug bite, scrape, or surrounding the area where a vaccine is given. There are many uses for these oils, but these are the things I use this mixture for on a regular basis.

3. CO + gentle baby - Apply to scalp for cradle cap, apply to chest or bottom of feet for calming or gas pains. Also great for all over body moisturizer as well as on stretch marks.

Every night in the diffuser I use one or more of the following oils for sleep aid/relaxation: peace & calming, gentle baby, or lavender. If it's cold and flu season or if someone in our house is in the beginning stages of not feeling well, I also add in some thieves.

Lavender is also great for a fever reducer for the kids.

Tea Tree + Lavender in the bathtub for a detox bath plus a relaxation aid.

Oh and teething... phew. Thank goodness for EO while the littles are teething! Copaiba, Thieves, or Frankincense to the rescue! I dilute a drop of one of the previous mentioned EO with CO and then apply to the gums with a qtip. I didn't have any luck with the over the counter meds such as oragel. I did try the hylands teething tablets but I haven't had to use them in a while, not to mention I read an article about how the FDA doesn't approve of them anymore.

Earaches: Purification, lemon + lavender. Apply 1 drop lavender and 1 drop purification to a cotton ball and lay over the ear canal (do NOT put oils directly in ear canal). You can also apply CO + lavender + purification + lemon to the outside of the ear and down the neck.

Thieves is great for an immune boost when your getting a cold or when you've been around germs. If any of us have a booger nose or we've been around someone whose sick, I immediately diffuse thieves (plus lemon sometimes) and I also rub a diluted mixture on the bottoms of our feet. If you don't nip it in the butt soon enough, you can add 1 drop lemon + peppermint + thieves + honey into tea or hot water. (for adults only). Thieves is also great for cleaning.

Bad odor?! You know... in that diaper genie... or the pantry where a smelly garbage can sat overfull for too many days... or maybe a closet with some smelly shoes... I take a cotton ball and add a few drops of purification + lemon and it absorbs that yucky odor leaving a clean fresh scent!

Speaking of bad odor, I also like to add purification to a load of laundry if it's really stinky!

Twice now recently, I've had really bad mastitis and I've put tea tree (melaleuca) directly on my nipples and almost instantly the pain stopped and within a day the mass was gone. If you've had mastitis you can agree that's a miracle worker!

There are SO many uses for EO, really the list goes on and on! I just mentioned a few of the ones that I use the most frequently!

Do you have any favorite uses/combinations for EO that I should know about?! 



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Oh, Two-dles! || Remington's 2nd Birthday Party

Just like that, we already have a two year old! Well, not officially until later this week... but close enough. Over the weekend we hosted a small birthday celebration for cake and ice cream. The theme was "Oh Two-dles" Minnie Mouse - her favorite!

As soon as people arrived with presents she said "I open it p'ease". Then when she saw the cake/cupcakes she wouldn't stop asking for a bite. She was much more into it than last year. We sang Happy Birthday and she attempted to blow the candles out. It was so cute.

Once the time came, she didn't have much interest in opening presents. Well, that's except for the two horse stuffed animals. She was quite excited about those!

It was a fun day celebrating our little girl! Here's a few snaps from the party...














Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Toddler Talk

Little Miss Remi Roo is learning new words by the minute these days and I have to say it's one of the cutest things I've ever heard. I just love her little voice and "accent". 😍  She also still speaks a lot of gibberish, which I find amusing to listen to her babble as well. Actually, most of the things she says appears to others to be gibberish and I often have to tell someone what she is trying to say. Since I spend every minute of every day with her, I have a better idea of what exactly she is saying.

Funny side note for bachelor nation fans: Remington says "eesss okay" like Juan Pablo. Too funny. 😂 😂

So here are a few daily babbles from Remington (typed as her little accent pronounces them)...

No, no, no Main, dat's mine! - Referring to Mason. Obviously sharing isn't her strong point quite yet.

T'anks Mum. - Anytime I give her something, kiss a boo boo, fill her sippy cup, serve her food, etc. Probably 20+ times a day. Melt my heart. 😍

Awww. Look doze cheeeeeeks (As she pinches ML's cheeks). Hmm... wonder where she got that from?! 😉 🙋

T'ree. Six. Eight. Seven. T'ree. Eight. Nine. - Her counting skills are on point, obviously.

Shhhh. Main's seep. - Referring to Mason sleeping as she holds her finger to her mouth. Side note: she says shhhh and knows she has to be quiet but then two seconds later she'll scream at the top of her lungs. Sigh.

Oh!!! Main's o-wate! - Referring to Mason waking up. She exclaims this sentence very happily and runs as fast as she can to his room and stands at his crib giggling. Often times wanting inside with him.

Oh, t'ere it is! or Oh, t'ere he/she is! - Referring to Mason, the dog, Daddy, toys, Mama, anything and everything.

A'ight Main, say Ah. - As she play feeds Mason with a spoon and empty bowl. Hilarious.

I do it. or I ho-de it (I hold it) - This refers to lots of things - every item I put in the grocery cart, a banana, her snack cup, toothbrush, spoon, etc. Little Miss Independent.

Uh oh, I pooped. I potty. - Refers to tooting and pooping. She refuses to go on the potty with her clothes off but she thinks she has to sit on the potty even when she toots. 😂

Pee-U. Dats yuccct. It 'tinks. (pee you that's yuck it stinks) - Refers to changing her diapers (poopy or not) or her stinky feet.

Pay Din-sairs (play downstairs) - At least 3 times a day she requests to play downstairs and throws an absolute fit if I say no.

Mum sit (as she pats chair) or Sit with Mum - If she wants me to sit down so she can have my food/drink or just to sit in my lap. Or when we go into the pickup she will nonstop say "sit with Mum" because she doesn't want to sit in her car seat.

Oh no, It's mess! - Between her snacks on the floor, spilling her cereal, or throwing her toys all over the living room, she clearly knows she's good at making a mess.

Shhhhew (as she swipes her forehead with the back of her hand) - She does this when she accomplishes something or when her hair is in her face. I'm not quite sure where she learned it but it's pretty cute.

Ninnie and Mehee Moushhh - Referring to Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

Awwww so tuuute! - Tute = Cute. Usually referring to babies, animals, or Mason.

Lastly, how could I turn down her excitement yesterday when she said "Esss snowing! Go ow-side?" 😏




Thursday, March 9, 2017

One Pot Southwest Chicken & Rice



I was searching for something to make for this weeks meal plans and I came across this one that is one of my long time favorites passed on from my Mama! It can be served alone, on tortilla shells, or with tortilla chips. It only has 6 ingredients, you only have to dirty one pan, and I love Mexican dishes! (I didn't count the water as one of the 6 ingredients because that's something we all have on hand)

Ingredients:

• 4 Chicken Breasts - Cut into bite size pieces or shredded, whichever  you prefer
• 1 pkg taco seasoning
• 1 C Salsa
• 2 C Rice (uncooked)
• 1 can Black beans (rinsed/drained)
• 1 C Mexican Shredded Cheese
• 2 C Water
• Optional - sour cream, green onions, and additional cheese or salsa

Preparation:

1. Cook chicken. (I cook mine in a little EVOO and water)

2. Drain any excess fluids from the pan from cooking the chicken

3. Add taco seasoning, salsa, and water to the pan of chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

4. Add rice, black beans, and cheese. Return to a boil.

5. Cover and cook on low for 5 minutes.

Serve on tortilla shells or with a side of tortilla chips and add some additional toppings such as sour cream, salsa, or green onions if desired.

What's your favorite and/or easy go to Mexican dish?!



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Remington's 2nd Birthday Wish List

It doesn't look like I'll be able to pause the clock much longer before we officially have a two year old! In less than 25 days to be exact.... I'm not quite sure how it is even possible. It seems like just yesterday Remington was born and then turned one in the blink of an eye. #babiesdontkeep

We definitely aren't having a big birthday bash like we did last year. Heck, it took me a ton of some convincing to even get Michael agree to have a small birthday party! So later this month, we'll be having cake and ice cream to celebrate our sweet girl with our families! As much as I'd love to be planning a big ol' adorable pinterest inspired party, I am happy to celebrate our sweet girl in any way we can!

I hesitated to gather some gift ideas for our soon to be two year old because truly - she doesn't need anything. You'd know that if you seen my toy filled living room, the play area in the basement, and her room. However, since everyone keeps asking what she wants, I decided I would gather some ideas of things that would be the most useful. Not to be confused with the fact that we are beyond thankful for any generous gifts she receives!



Learning activities - Such as ABC Blocks \\ Shapes Puzzle \\ Stroller Cards \\ Shape Sorting Cupcakes \\ Art Easel \\ Coloring Supplies \\ Books

Bath Toys - Boon Water Gears & Bath Pipes \\ Bathtub Crayons and Color Bath Drops

Outdoor ActivitiesSplash Pond Water Table or Waterpark Play Table \\ Gazillion Bubble Machine \\ Sand table such as this one or this one \\ Sand Toys \\ Mesh Sand Bag \\ Chalk

Misc -  Native Shoes \\ Play Doh Tools \\ Summer Clothes \\ Shoes \\ Mega Blocks \\ Gift Certificate to the Zoo

Is there anything else that would make for a great birthday gift for our soon to be two year old?! 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

February + Update on Breastfeeding

In true cliche fashion - I can't believe it's March already! At the end of the month, we will have a TWO year old! Say it isn't so! 😅 😢

February was a pretty busy month for me considering I've been a homebody since Mason was born while battling PPD and anxiety. Thankfully, I've been feeling better (most days) and having Michael home on layoff allowed me a little time to myself (much needed). As much as I dislike admitting that I need a break from the kids, it's definitely good for all of us. In addition to Michael and I's first weekend getaway, Mason turning 6 months old, and taking a day trip to Frankenmuth, here is a few other things that's been going on in our neck of the woods...

We had a few showings on the house (first in months). Had two offers. Accepted one offer. Only for it to fall through due to financing the day before the inspection was scheduled. Another huge bummer with our experience of selling this place. We're planning on starting some renovations soon that will hopefully help sell the house this year. Fingers crossed.

Today marks one month since I've nursed Mason. The little bugger wouldn't stop biting while nursing and I just couldn't deal with that. I feel bad that I "gave up" so easily, but I just couldn't find another string of patience in my bones. Since then, I've been pumping and bottle feeding. Which I said I wasn't going to do... but here I am doing it anyways. It wasn't so bad when Michael was home from work because he would help take care of the kids while I pumped. But now that he's back to work, I have to really plan around the kids schedules. Which means waking up at 5am to pump before they wake up and staying up after bedtime to pump after they're asleep. My afternoon session depends on the kids... either when they nap or while they are content playing. Often times is interrupted by a screaming child or someone doing something they shouldn't be. Needless to say, pumping isn't easy on top of taking care of two kids and I'm not sure how long I'll put forth the effort. Within the last week my supply has dropped so rather than dip into my freezer stash, I decided to supplement with formula rather than quit all together for now. (This article is so true - it doesn't have to be ALL or NOTHING with BF). I've been mixing a pitcher of formula and then adding an ounce to every bottle. For now, it's somewhat working out and I'll continue to try my best to provide BM for the baby. Just for clarification, I am not against formula - I just don't want to spend the money if I don't have to! As of now, I'm saving us roughly $200 a month which honestly we couldn't really afford. I sometimes wonder if I should go back to trying to nurse, but hot damn, the thought of being bit again (and again and again) just doesn't seem worth it!


Mason has graduated from the baby tub and now both babies get their bath together. Which is nice for me to only have to do one bath time and "kill two birds with one stone"!

Remington and I went to the farm to bake sugar cookies with Aunt Joann. She loved using the mini rolling pin and the cookie cutters. She also loved eating the dough and I had to stop her from shoving handfuls in her mouth!

Mason had his second haircut! This one was a little more in depth considering we went to my Mom's salon this time, plus we cut a lot more off overall. His first haircut was more like a bang/ear trim. He did good sitting still! Remington of course got jealous when I was holding him so Daddy had to finish holding him.


I confess... we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day in our house. However, we did wear red/pink and take a somewhat cute picture of the little ones. I have to admit, it amazes me how people treat this holiday like a mini Christmas morning for kids.

We've been trying to spend some time outside as much as possible when it's nice out. I've taken the kids on a run a few times which has been refreshing (contrary to my hips killing me afterwards). Remi loves being outside and definitely has no fear of getting dirty. Mason isn't a huge fan of the fresh air/wind blowing in his face. He gasps for air and snorts. It's so funny.
 



My Mom asked me to be the maid of honor in her wedding! She gave my sister and I some delicious cookies to pop the question. Her and Greg are getting married on August 18, 2018! I assumed I would be a bridesmaid but I definitely wasn't expecting to be her MOH! So I'm super excited for that!


I've been able to take a few hours to myself twice this month (thank you Michael!) and I was able to catch up with a couple girlfriends! One night a group of us went out for dinner and drinks. This group of us has been friends for nearly two decades!! Another day a group of gal's celebrated Meg's baby shower! It's always nice to catch up on some girl time.


Overall, it's been a pretty good month! Looking forward to what March brings us (hopefully warmer weather!) and celebrating Remington's 2nd Birthday!

💕 Julie