10 of My Favorite Summer Oils!

10 of My Favorite Summer Oils!

This past Tuesday I taught a local class about using essential oils for the summer.  Since we aren’t all geographically connected, I wanted to share here too.  I’d hate for you all to miss this great information!  It must be set free!

These are the oils and products that I focused on for the class….my favorite summer products.  There are a ton more.  OK, basically ALL of them on the product list are great.  I love my oils.

10 great ways to make your summer better with essential oils!

1. Lavender.  Lavender is great all seasons of the year, but is especially for summer because it promotes both healthy skin and relaxing.  So when my kids have been swimming all day I can kill 2 birds with one stone by putting some diluted lavender (or there’s a lavender lotion that’s wonderful!) on their skin which also settles them down from the excitement of the day.  Then they go to sleep.  Sweet sleep….you are our friend.

2. Citrus Oils….all of them!  Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Lime, Citrus Fresh….they are all so summery and refreshing!  I put one of these in my diffuser almost every morning to wake us all UP and get us going (sometimes I mix a few together!).  Even though we do have a slower pace in the summer, we prob’ly need to wake up at some point.  (Be careful putting citrus oils on your skin if you are going in the sun.  I like to keep them in the diffuser for a pick-me-up but I keep them off of my skin in the summer).

3. Peppermint.  Yep, this is my GO-TO travel oil.  I need to make a label for my bottle that says, “Don’t leave home without me!”  It’s great for digestive health and mental alertness.  With so much traveling all summer….get yourself an extra bottle of peppermint for the road!

4. Valor II.  Yes, I said it!  Young Living heard my cries and made a new Valor that will be more readily available.  I love Valor so much that I am chomping at the bit to get the new Valor II into my anxious little hands.  I ordered it on Monday and you can be sure I will be telling you all about it.  I’m pretty sure Valor is a gift of the angels. Go order Valor II NOW!  You’ll thank me later.

(Look all the way to the bottom of this post to see how you can WIN a bottle of this new oil!!!)

5. Bergamot + Fun.  These 2 oils have become my 2015 fave summer combo.  I always need to chill out and remember to enjoy my time with my family after a long, hard year.  Bergamot helps with lots of things, but I’ve used it to deal with grief (it can be any loss…we grieve lots of things) and Fun is from the new Infused 7 Kit (but you can also get it separately) and I put it on my wrist every morning to help remind me to have a little FUN amidst the work of life.  Try them….you’ll like them!

A great summer essential oil combination!  Diffuse, wear, bathe....it's fab!

6. Purification.  What Thieves is to winter, Purification is to summer.  If you learn anything from me today, let it be to get yourself a bottle of Purification!  Put it in the diffuser outside when you’re sitting around after the sun starts to set.  Put in in the diffuser inside when the kids get stinky.  Dab it on yourself and anyone else who is standing near you if you’re going outside.  I keep it in a spray bottle with some water and just s-p-r-i-t-z everyone.  The main ingredient: Citronella.

7. PanAway. I don’t know about you, but we tend to be extra active in the summer.  We run a lot and play outdoor games and even a game of ping pong played with passion can make your muscles wonder what’s going on.  I keep PanAway nearby so we can keep our active muscles happy.   (by the way, PanAway, along with 10 other oils comes with the Premium Starter Kit!)

3 great oils in the Premium Starter Kit that you NEED for summer!

8. K&B.  This is not an essential oil, but one of Young Living’s other A-MAZing support products.  I generally struggle to stay hydrated in the summer and my bladder and kidneys need support through the heat and it enhances your body’s efforts to maintain fluid balance.  So I keep this amazing little tincture on hand at all times.  Just add a dropperful to your water.  It’s not delicious, but isn’t so bad that it’s hard to get down.  I’m a weenie when it comes to bad tasting stuff and I don’t mind it.

A great way to keep your kidneys and bladder healthy! #summer #essentialoils

9. Melaleuca (aka Tea Tree).  Again….it’s multi-purpose.  Keep the counters clean, deodorize the bathroom and dab around areas on the skin that you need to keep extra clean.  If you’re not sure what oils to use, you can’t go wrong with Melaleuca.

10.  Finally, my gentle giant, Envision.  I discovered this oil when Valor went out of stock and it has turned out to be so helpful!  I often need a little nudge in the clear-head-be-inspired department and this baby has blessed me.  I like it so much that I got a second bottle to keep in my car or purse.  When I am out and about during the day I put a drop in my hand and rub it on my neck like a perfume.  It has a lighter scent than many oils and it is what I’ll be diffusing later in the summer while we make plans for the next school year.

If you're looking for a new oil to try....make it this one!

Well I hope this list gave you some new ideas for ways to use your Young Living oils for the summer!  If you have a favorite that I didn’t list, be sure to tell us all about it in the comments.  We can all learn from each other!

And if you’re ready to get started using Young Living oils I would LOVE to be your support!  I have a whole team that I work with and we will help you along so you’re not lost.  When you join with the purchase of a Premium Starter Kit I will send you a great reference book and some extra goodies to get you going.  You will LOVE your oils!!!

 

By the way, I am not a doctor or an expert in anything but raising my family and share these tips using only my personal experience.  If you have a medical need, please see your own medical professional for advice. 

Come win Young Living's newest fantastic product!  Valor II!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
All of the images in this post are there for you to Pin and share on social media!  I’d love for you to use them to help spread the word about these great products but please keep them intact, including my watermark!

That Day I Made My Own Laundry Pods

That Day I Made My Own Laundry Pods

This post contains affiliate links.

A couple of months ago my friend Susan shared a recipe for laundry pods.  I thought, “Hey!  I should make those!”

So after reading her recipe I immediately opened my Amazon app and ordered some Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda and it arrived on my doorstep a few days later.  I carried it to a shelf in my bathroom where it stayed, next to a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, for 2 months where it eventually needed to be dusted.  Thus proving what I already knew….that I am a master procrastinator.

I should make myself a “Master Procrastinator” cape.  And wouldn’t it be great if it rolled up into a pillow like those snuggy blankets so I could use it at naptime?

OK, where were we?  Oh right.  Laundry pods.  I’m starting to see why it took me so long to make them.

You can see Susan’s recipe HERE and I’ll just share with you what I did differently.

laundy01

First let me say, I was drawn to trying this because of two things.  1. It has essential oils in it and y’all know how I am crazy about those!  2. It includes the Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar which I am a HUGE fan of.  If you have never tried one…run to get it now before you have your next laundry stain.  It’s amazing.  Then, just for fun, have your kids study why it works….simply fascinating.

OK, back to the recipe.  I decided to use Citrus Fresh and Tea Tree.  Susan used Citrus Fresh and StressAway.  Once I saw how hard it was to get those little balls to stick together I realize why she was so brilliant.  I was wishing for some StressAway about 2 minutes into the balling process.  I could NOT get those suckers to hold together.  So I added more vinegar and voila!  It worked.  Each time it got too dry to stay in a ball I added about a tablespoon of vinegar and kept going.  In this Texas heat it still only took a day to firm up enough to put them into the canister.

An easy to make "recipe" for making your own laundry pods that make you clothes so soft and great smelling!

If I decide to make them again, I will switch to the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda because it is less than half the cost of the one I used.  And I’ll definitely try other oils.  I mean, what’s the fun of making your own if you can’t play with the scent?!

I will admit, I cheated and tossed a fresh one into my laundry as I was making them.  I was dying to see if all this effort was really worth it.  And it was!  My laundry smelled divine and the towels were so soft that if I ever do make that cape I will use one of those soft towels.

On second thought, I can simply clothespin the towel to my shirt and be done with it.  Procrastinators unite!

Happy laundering!

If you are interested in getting started using Young Living essential oils, I’d love to be a part of your journey!  You can join HERE and when you order the Premium Starter Kit at the same time as joining (it’s a great kit….11 oils and a fabulous diffuser!) I will send you a book to get you started and some other goodies! 

A Not-So-Scientific Experiment

A Not-So-Scientific Experiment

I have been performing a very scientific study lately.  On myself.

It is all about SUGAR.

Now, normally they say that you need to study many different people in order to come to a true, scientific conclusion.  But I didn’t feel free to experiment on other people, that seemed, oh I don’t know, creepy.  So I will only testify as to my personal results.

You see, for the past 2 weeks I have stopped eating sugar (again).  That includes refined sugar, honey, fruit, corn syrup, etc.  Also no artificial sugars.  I only allow myself to have stevia or berries when I want something sweet and even then only occasionally.

I’ve done this many times before, quit sugar.  Then a holiday or celebration comes along and I let myself have a “treat” and within 2 weeks I am full on back to eating anything sweet I can get my hands on.

“Hi.  My name is Lisa and I’m a sugar-aholic.”

I wish it were a joke.  If I allow myself to have any sugar then I want it constantly and dream of popsicles and chocolate bars, and I don’t even like popsicles.  I’m not an expert on addictions, but I watched “The Andy Griffith Show”.  I know how Otis struggled.  I am pretty sure, based on that knowledge, that I have an addiction.

I stopped eating sugar 2 months ago because I noticed I was feeling “off”, puffy and grumpy.  Which I didn’t think much of at first because we have been having a lot of stress, but then I got a rash on both thighs that quickly turned into the stuff of nightmares.   I don’t want to spoil your next meal, so I won’t describe it.  But I knew immediately what it was.  This wasn’t my first rodeo, I’d seen this rash before.  It was candida (a fancy word for yeast).  Then it hit me….those other symptoms I’d been having recently….sluggishness, bloated feeling, memory problems, etc. were all from the candida too!  Duh! (picture me hitting myself on the head)

So I immediately jumped on it….making diet changes (misery can give you strength you didn’t know you had!).  And the FIRST thing to do is completely eliminate any sugars.  I also went crazy with supplements and essential oils to speed the process and get my body back where it needed to be.  After 3 days of diligence the rash was almost gone and I felt the fog brain start to lift.  Halleluyer!

But you have to stick with it for weeks (sometimes months) to get the candida to completely die and I was going to Disney in just 10 days.  My goal, selfishly, was to get rid of the rash before I left for my trip and deal with the rest when I got home.  Since the rash was gone, I went a little sugar crazy at Disney, eating pretty much everything my fat little heart desired.  (just keepin’ it real friends)

Yes, I gained weight, but I knew I could get it off again when I got home.  Which I did, within a week.  I came home and jumped back on my no sugar-low carb diet.  And now I am about to start week 3 of no sugar.

And here’s what happened….after only 5-6 days I started to notice changes.  Not just in my weight, but my moods, my energy level, my sleep, my skin…basically everything….changed.  I hadn’t even realized how much I was struggling until it lifted.  I found it easier to be joyful, I was less picky, felt less bloated and itchy.  I slept better and the constant craving for sugar subsided.  (not went away completely….I will probably always have that a little)

So here’s my not-so-scientific conclusion: sugar is bad for you!

What?!  We knew that already?  Oh, well then let me be another voice of truth amongst the many.  In fact, here’s a documentary that has a lot of great info (it’s long, watch it at your leisure)!

I tell you friends, while I may always crave sugar at a cellular level, my desire to eat it is getting less and less each time I go through this.  When I am eating sugar I am quick to anger, slow in thought, tired, sickly…..I don’t want that!!!  I want health and sunshine and rainbows and sugar-free lollipops!  And I don’t even like lollipops.

So this may be my turning point.  I hope, with God’s grace and mercy, I can get off of this cycle of eating sugar.  It turns out that it only took 50 years of gluttony and suffering for me to finally decide to stop doing something damaging to my body.

How much sugar do you eat?  Stop eating suggar and you won't believe how much better you feel!!!

So I’m a little slow….but I am dedicated to not eating sugar anymore.  How about you?  Is there something you need to change for your health?  I want to pray for you to find the strength!

——————————————–

Here is a list of what I did in addition to a clean diet (including LOTS of yogurt!) and drinking plenty of water when I realized I was dealing with candida.  I am not a doctor and this is not in any way a treatment, prevention or cure.  It is just my own experience and effort to be healthy. 

These are all Young Living products:

*Life 5 (2 capsules, 3X/day until the rash was gone then 2 caps once a day)
*Essentialzyme (1 tablet 3x/day between meals)
*Inner Defense (1 capsule 4x/day)
*Sacred Mountain (3 drops) & Ocetea (1 drop in a capsule 3x/day with V6)
*Thyromin (as directed on bottle)
*Lemongrass (1 drop) & Sacred Mountain (1 drop) mixed in my hand with a squirt of V6 then applied directly over the rash as often as needed but at least 4x/day
*2-3 drops of Lemon oil added to each glass of water

This may seem like a lot, but I was desperate and it really, really helped!  All of these supplements are wonderful whether you are dealing with a crisis or not.  I will continue to take the recommended amounts of the supplements for the rest of my life, Lord willing!

If you are interested in learning more about Young Living products, here is a list of other ways I have used them!  And I am sending all of my new May members who join with the Premium Starter Kit a great reference book and 10 roller bottles ready to use!  Come get healthy with me!

A Few Fun Projects!

A Few Fun Projects!

Hey, did you know that my door/house number sign was featured in Country Living online last week?!  Well it surely was and I pretty much did a back flip when I heard.  (if that were true I would be in traction right now, I just said that to emphasize how excited I was).

Here’s the post they shared….

And I thought I’d show a few more of my projects to you today, in case you missed any of the messes I make around here.  Like the deck furniture that I made almost entirely out of scraps!

That picture is from the year we built it, but the burlap didn’t hold up in the weather, so I replaced or recovered all of the pillows and cushions.  It’s not as colorful now, but still my favorite place to hang out in the summer!

This next one I want to show you is a  cabinet I built for my bathroom.  It solved three problems I had…no door on the water heater closet, no full mirror and no place to put my necklaces.  I love when décor meets function.

And here’s the last post I want to show you….I love a budget makeover and this one of my boys’ bathroom turned out great!

It’s fun to live in an old house that I can just play with….like a giant dollhouse.

Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for more fun project ideas!

More Tips on Stretching Your Oils

More Tips on Stretching Your Oils

OK, so, y’all know I love my Young Living essential oils and I have a hard time not talking about them constantly.  In fact, around the house anytime one of the kids mentions a problem to me I reply with, “Well you know what you need?”  “Yes Mom.  I need oils.”  Doesn’t matter if it’s a sunburn or a math question….I’ve got an oil for that!

Ain’t it great?!

In fact, I get a wagonload of questions everyday from you all asking me what I would recommend for this and how you would use them for that and I try to help as much as I can.  I am, however, a one man operation so I get sidetracked occasionally by things like washing dishes and going for walks with my 12 years old.

So I want to address here the answer to the number one question I get, “Where do you buy those little roller bottles and what’s the ratio of carrier to essential oil that you use in them?”  No kidding….someone asks me that almost everyday!

The reason I use the roller bottles is so that I can have diluted oils ready when I need them, which as you can assume, is daily.  Not only is it handy, but it also saves money.  When it comes to something this pure, you get what you pay for and Young Living products cost money (although, if you want I can also help you find ways to get them for free, but that’s another post).  So I like to dilute them immediately when I get them in the mail.  That way they are ready for me to use and I don’t hesitate to use the diluted oils on my kids.

We all use those unless we are dealing with something dramatic that needs a full strength help (and you can’t put the diluted oils in you diffuser!).

a great way to dilute your essential oils!

I buy my roller bottles at Abundant Health.  And I use my handy dandy label maker so they’re easy to grab.  And for the carrier, my top choice is Young Living’s V6, but you can also use jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil.

As for the ratio, I am not very scientific about it.  I just fill the roller bottle about 2/3 full then add a total of about 25 drops of essential oil.  So if I am putting several oils together I do 12/13 or 10/10/5, etc.  I really don’t worry about it.  I just play mad scientist and enjoy the results!  You can always add more!

But, here’s the great news, I am going to make it really easy for you to get started if you are ready to start using them!  I am sending all of my new June members that get the Premium Starter Kit (PSK) 4 empty roller bottles. You’ll be all set to dilute when you get your kit!  And I will also send my favorite reference book AND an empty spray bottle for making a summer spray.

 

The spray bottle gives a little spritz of your favorite oil whenever you need it!  For that, you’ll need filtered water and a few drops of the essential oil that you want (I recommend Purification and peppermint together!).

In the PSK you get 11 oils, a diffuser and various samples.  It’s a great deal by itself and then I send the stuff from me in addition to that…..yessirree!  That’s something to get excited about.

So if this is the deal you’ve been waiting for….click HERE to get started and I’ll send your extras package to you within a couple of weeks.

It’s Video Time Baby!

It’s Video Time Baby!

Last week when I featured my freshened up kitchen wall, I promised to show you the rest this week.

Instead of lots of photos and written words, I made you a little video.  I intended to make it about 2 minutes long since I know you’re busy and who wants to just watch a person who can’t cook walking around their kitchen?  But I got all lost in the moment and it ended up being almost 7 minutes long.

Take it as a compliment.  I’m expressing my love for you with my brevity.  And my lack of self-control.

Enjoy!

 

Here’s a list of some of the products I used:

Everyday Grain-Free Baking by my real life gorgeous friend Kelly Smith!
Black Lime Wax by Maison Blanche  (it’s expensive, but a little goes a long way)
Bluetooth Speaker for the kids to listen to their music while they work!
Cabinet over the fridge (and all of the other cabinets too!) are from Home Depot and I added trim
Tintable chalkboard paint for the list-wall (sorry I don’t know the color….it was a long time ago and I matched it to something)
My gorgeous shutters are from Blinds.com.  They are FABULOUS to work with!
Stainless Tea Kettle that we love for hot water that the kids can easily make
EAT letters are by Heidi Swapp.  You can get them HERE at Amazon or Michael’s has them (and you can use a coupon!)

If there are any other products you wan to know about, head over to my Facebook page to ask and I’ll try to help!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to go subscribe to my YouTube channel!

(this post contains affiliate links)

 

My Small Budget Kitchen Makeover

My Small Budget Kitchen Makeover

I’m doing the happy kitchen dance over here!  After more than 6 weeks of chipping away at it (with long intervals of doing nothing) we finally finished the kitchen makeover.

It really kind of took on a life of its own.  It started with me innocently wanting to repaint the cabinets and replace the electric range.  Well, I wasn’t able to replace the range (hopefully in the fall) but I did repaint and a few other goodies too!

As I was planning I got inspired by watching a marathon of Fixer Upper.  Her style makes my heart soar.  So I decided to shoot for a modified version of the gorgeous barnwood shelves in her kitchen.

gaines02

I mean, why not?  James and I are pretty much just like Chip and Joanna….except without all of the talent and charm.

This is another kitchen that inspired me, which I found listed under kitchens she has designed.  I also added it to my “inspiration and drool-worthy” file.

gaines03

Another thing my friend Joanna has that I don’t have is access to old barnwood.  (by the way, I use the term friend loosely here, it may be more like crazed fan/unsuspecting designer)  I decided to experiment by making my own.  I got NEW wood at the hardwork store and played around with it.

First I brushed it with apple cider vinegar that had been soaking with steelwool in it overnight (thank you Pinterest).  It grayed the wood and made it look aged in about 10 minutes.  Then I stained it with Minwax’s “Colonial Maple”.  You might go with a bit lighter stain color, but since my kitchen island countertop was already dark I didn’t want my other wood to be a lot lighter.

In this picture you can see a new cedar piece.  Above it has been washed with the vinegar and below is after I stained it.  When I tried only staining the wood it was very new looking….the gray added flaws and a dark aged look.

gaines09
Without further ado, here is my kitchen before I made any changes:

gaines04

I was ready to ditch the punched tin cabinet doors and open it up.  Plus I hated the spot over the fridge.  Useless and messy.  HOWEVER, when I looked into the cost of tearing all of those cabinets down and adding open shelves, it was too much.  I’d have to replace the backsplash and re-sheetrock the walls (old house=no sheetrock behind the cabinets).  So I put my thinking cap on and decided to make it work WITH the cabinets.

Here’s how it looks today:

IMG_4445

I removed all of the doors, caulked the holes from the hinge screws and sanded my little heart out so you can’t tell they were ever there.  I knocked out those upper shelves and removed every bit of trim (I was going to replace the swirls in front of the sink, but then decided to make it my goal to replace the whole countertop and sink in the next 6 months, so I left it).

After I did all of that, and here’s where the magic comes in, I wrapped the existing shelves with my experimental “old” barnwood.  Now my shelves look like 2 1/2″ thick pieces of old wood.  Cool, huh?

IMG_4463

I ripped down cedar 1x4s for the front and cheap white wood for the top and bottom.  Even up close it really does look like one whole piece.

gaines06

I added a new cabinet over the fridge and I like that so much better!  It holds some of the junk I had in the tops of the cabinets before I took the doors off and it looks SO tidy!

IMG_4448
The only things I bought to put on the shelves were the EAT letters (which I bought at Michaels, Heidi Swapp….adorable!) and the old shutter, which I got at Round Top a couple of weeks ago.

The letters are made of cardboard!  But I spray painted the sides with a metallic bronzish spray paint and they look like vintage marquee letters now.  They come with the lights and everything.  Plus they use batteries so they’re super easy!

gaines08

I love seeing the kitchen looking all spiffy and ready for action….

IMG_4472
What’s cuter than a kid doing dishes?

IMG_4498
I’ve got a few more changes to show you next week in the rest of the kitchen, but this wall is where the biggest difference is.  Most of the rest is paint.  Although we did repaint everything, they’re still white so it’s nothing you would notice. Unless, of course, you’d seen the horror of the ugliness which I did not take pictures of beforehand.  You have a good imagination.  Picture worn off paint and grime around every knob in my kitchen and you’ll get the idea.

I’m so happy it’s clean and pretty again!

IMG_4446

Thanks for stopping by and come back next week to see the other side!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook!

And check out my Kitchen Board on Pinterest!

A great kitchen makepver inspired by Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines and her brilliant farmhouse style

Staring at My Kitchen Walls

Staring at My Kitchen Walls

It’s been a while since I blogged because I’ve been busy coughing and running a fever.  Don’t be jealous.  It hasn’t been as pleasant as it sounds.

The bug the kids had last week, I got, and was basically in bed for a week.  I don’t remember ever being so sick and it’s a slow recovery.  The cough is kind of hanging on and I get tired easily, but the worst is behind me.

Today I am taking my four younger boys out for some much needed fresh air and exercise.  Last week all of the older kids were gone to a film festival and I was sick, so the four yung’uns were left pretty much to themselves which basically means lots of wii and eating nachos.  After an early ortho appointment we will do what every red-blooded American boy wants to do on his first day out of the house in week…. see Cinderella and eat froyo.

And we’ll definitely blast some music in the van and rock ’til we drop.  Maybe some show tunes….let the good times roll.

I do have a few reflections on being sick and in bed for a week.  There’s always something good to find no matter what you’re going through.  First, I got my entire DVR cleaned off and watched every show I ever recorded, including The Wizard of Oz, which I don’t remember recording.  But I watched it anyway.

Second, I am pretty sure I caught up on all of the rest & relaxation that I have missed for the past couple of years.  I can check that off my to-do list.

Third, we don’t have to figure out if we are going to take a spring break this year.  That was decided for us.  No school for a week.  Bam.  Done.

In other news, my kitchen makeover got pushed back a few weeks since we have been sick.  Also, in rethinking the project, I feel like I need to drastically reduce the budget for it.  So I have been sitting on the bench in the kitchen and staring at the walls.  I did buy the paint already, but I am undecided as to how to proceed because I originally planned some new cabinets but they’re not in my new budget.  The puzzle I am trying to solve is how to get a well done look for basically, well, no money.

It is kind of my favorite problem to have because it forces me to come up with some of my best ideas by being restricted with a tight budget.  The summer before last I made a great towel holder in the boys’ bathroom out of scraps and I would never have come up with it if I had been able to just go buy something.

great towel bar made with scraps!

I built this cabinet last year that solved three problems in my bathroom for very little money….

A great bathroom cabinet that solves three problems!

While I stare at my kitchen and watch a princess movie with 4 superhero fans, I hope you have a great day.

See ya!

What’s More Important than Balloons?

What’s More Important than Balloons?

Before I talk about important things like the unusual number of balloons floating around my house or how my hands are cracking from washing excessive washing, I want to stop and have a moment of silence for the hour we will lose this weekend.

moment of silence

Time changes are my nemesis.  Superman has Kryptonite, I have Daylight Savings Time.

Poor adjustment to time changes is one reason I would not make a good world traveler.  That and I basically only like to eat southern cooking or TexMex.

Now, back to balloons.  For some reason the people around me thought it must be the way to celebrate turning 50.  I got balloons from my kids that they drew fun pictures on, balloons from several friends and last night my besties took me to dinner in the city and what waited for me at the restaurant….a dozen helium balloons.  Plus there were another dozen in the party van that we got to fight with all the way to the restaurant.  I feel balloon nightmares in my future.

One friend left a weighted down bouquet of helium-filled mylar balloons on my front porch on my birthday, which I did not realize were there when I got home after dark and tangled myself in them.  I was carrying a few shopping bags, my purse and a water bottle as I made my way to the front door.  I felt something hit me in the face at the same moment strings started wrapping around my ankles and in seconds I was being taken hostage by this mystery jungle, slapping me left then right and taking me down.

Because I am so good in a crisis, my instinct was to save the bottle of water at any cost.  So I dropped all of the other packages and my purse (which held my phone and other breakable objects) and clutched the water to my chest like my life depended on it.  Brilliant.

Today my sickies are still feeling pretty cruddy.  For the past 4 days I prepare a pot of soup each morning, making it easy to feed anyone who asks for food.  Anytime I have even remote contact with each person, I wash my hands.  If I could boil them I would.  I have also become obsessed with giving every dish in the house a good scrubbing.  You see, our dishwasher AND water softener are both on the blink and our dishes all have a white film over them.  I discovered on Tuesday that if I scrub them with an SOS pad I can get the white film off so I have set my mind to de-filming every dish in the house.

And if you remember, SOS pads quickly rust, so I have to use a whole pad up as soon as I start it.  I don’t want to waste them, so I make a pile of dishes that need de-filming and set about scouring the whole pile as I wash the regular dishes at the same time.  This happens at least 3 times a day.

What does all of this mean to you?

Probably nothing, except that if you ever have a white film issue you will know where to turn for help.

SOS

My hands are not, however, enjoying the process so I have been keeping them coated in lavender lotion and sometimes I rub on a little coconut oil with a drop of frankincense in it.

I wonder if there’s an oil for having trouble adjusting to time changes.

Have a great weekend!

 

9 Things You MUST Have at Disney!

9 Things You MUST Have at Disney!

This post contains affiliate links.

Last November our family took a dream trip to Disneyworld.  It was just as magical as they say…except for the part where James and I had to keep up with 9 young people with varied levels of energy and interest.  He and I were like ships in the night….I knew he was in the vicinity but we rarely saw each other.

So we decided that since we never do anything for our anniversaries or take romantic trips, we would go back together…just the two of us.  And believe it or not, we have actually made plans and put down a deposit to go this spring!

I learned some things while we were there last time that will definitely help us have a great time this next trip and I thought I’d share some of my best tips with you!

Planning a Disney trip?  This is a must have list from a mom of 9!

1. Camelbak – I tend to get dehydrated very easily.  And I am a little bit (OK a lot) picky about my water.  I like bottled.  No tap water.  No drinking fountains.  And I am ultimately lazy and don’t want to carry a water bottle around with me.  So I got myself a Camelbak and I LOVED it!  I would fill it with a few water bottles and some ice, then I had cold water for hours.  PLUS it held my other needs…money, lip balm, tissues, etc.

2. Pockets! – Since I only wear skirts and dresses, I don’t often have pockets.  But I found some great tops that have big pockets and MAN did I use them!  It was so great to slip my sunglasses into my pocket when I needed to take them off and hold something for my kids.  I came home with pockets full of smashed pennies.

3. Comfy shoes – according to my UP band, I walked an average of 17,000 steps a day.  We were on.the.move!  So I wore my OTZ Shoes every day and seriously, my feet never hurt at all.  Whatever shoes you are comfortable in…WEAR THEM!

4. Smart Phone – well, I never go anywhere without it anyway, and of course we took all of our photos with it, but I was doubly glad to have it with me because the app, My Disney Experience, was a lifesaver!  It kept up with our fast passes, dinner reservations, maps, wait times on rides, everything we needed!

5. Ziploc bags – speaking of phones, I kept a Ziploc Snack Bags in my pack to stick my phone in when we went on water rides.  I never worried about it getting wet!  And I carried a few extra that came in handy many times.  Someone didn’t have their retainer case (although that probably won’t happen when it’s just James and I), leftover food from dinner, a kid wanted to keep something they found…over and over it was nifty to have a few small Ziplocs with me.

6. Dining Plan – no, seriously, I will never go there again without getting the dining plan!  We had a fancy dinner reservation each day and ate places we would never have gotten into, much less been wiling to spend the money while we were there.  We got a second, quick meal each day which was amazing and then one snack, which I mostly ate frozen lemonade and plan to eat lots more of it when we go back.  It was so great for the kids because they had their meals on their Magic Bands and could just get food when they wanted without asking permission.  Brilliant Disney.  Brilliant.

7. No jewelry – Yes, I love my jewelry.  But this is not the place to wear it; I only wore my UP Band (which I don’t think of as jewelry).  I didn’t even wear a wedding ring.  You really want to be as free of extras as possible, especially anything that would be upsetting to lose!  Sure, carry a Ziploc bag, but leave the earrings at home.

8. Free time – on our last trip it was go-go-go from sunup to sundown.  James and I, being old and all, plan to slow it down significantly.  Yes, we may miss a ride or two but the slower pace will undoubtedly help us enjoy it more.  You can’t see it all anyway, believe me.  We tried.

9. Thieves Mints – I kept these in my pack and handed them out often, to whoever I was with (we were split up a lot).  It not only kept our breath fresh, but the Thieves helped keep our immune systems strong.

That’s my simple list of how I plan to make my future trip to Disney as magical (and easy) as I possibly can!

Do you have any Disney tips to share?

By the way, all of our Disney arrangements were made by my friend Amy at Polka Dots & Wishes and she was incredible!  I didn’t hesitate to ask her to plan our next trip for James and I….if you reach out to her to plan your trip, be sure to tell her I sent you!