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 May members that get the Premium Starter Kit (PSK) 10 roller bottles WITH labels to get you started.  You’ll be all set to dilute when you get your kit!  And I will also send my favorite reference book AND an empty perfume spray bottle that I carry with me constantly.

a geat deal on your Young Living essential oils for the month of May!

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 to be able to refresh yourself with throughout the day.  I keep 2 in my purse.  One is filled with Joy (which comes in your PSK) and in the other I combine bergamot, lemon and ylang ylang.  Not only is the smell divine, but it helps my moods and my energy.  I call my homemade perfume “Lisa”, because I’m clever like that.

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 us from getting sick (seems like I heard something recently about people getting sick at Disney?).  ;P

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!

Some Essential Oils You May Not Have Tried AND a GREAT Giveaway!

Some Essential Oils You May Not Have Tried AND a GREAT Giveaway!

Y’all know I love me some Young Living essential oils.  To me it’s not just a substitute for OTC medications, but a lifestyle choice.  We need help and support in many areas besides being sick.

I use them to help us with attitude, stress, prayer, so many areas!

I start the diffuser each morning with oils that I feel led to use.  Sometimes it’s Thieves (if we’re coming down with something) or Purification (if we’re needing a good airing out), but most often I use oils that encourage a healthy attitude.

Many of you have asked me, “Is it new age-ish to say that the oils affect your mood?”  To that I say definitely NOT!  When you smell the oils, the airborne molecules interact almost immediately with the brain and the limbic system.  The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance.  That explains a lot about how they affect your moods and responses.

If we’ve been struggling with getting attitudes, I love these two oils, Motivation and Harmony, in the diffuser.  I have it going in the living room so everyone can get the benefits.  That’s what is so great about the diffuser…the whole family reaps the benefits!

Great ideas for what essential oils to use to support a healthy home environment

Speaking of harmony….occasionallywe do struggle with getting along.  The younger boys especially tend to get fussy with each other.  So I grab some Humility and Forgiveness and rub it on the back of their necks.  Then we pray together and work on learning to love one another.

Great uses for essential oils in the home

Another important way we use the oils is with our homeschool.  I adore Brain Power and Motivation for diffusing during school.  If we are really struggling I will also put it on the bottom of their feet or on their wrists.

Oils you may not have tried before!

The last common way we use the oils that I want to share is specifically for the girls.  With this many women in the house, we need a way to get through those, you know, certain times.  So we lean on our two favorites, Dragon Time and Clary Sage.  We use it topically both on the bottoms of our feet and wherever we are dealing with an issue (i.e. across the abdomen or lower back).

Some tips for using essential oils you might not have tried!

Because I want to help you increase your knowledge of the oils, I have teamed up with other bloggers and once a month for the next 3 months we will all share ways we use them.

Some interesting essential oils that you may not have tried!

AND we are pulling together to give away a Thieves Kit….you will LOVE it!!!  I only clean with Thieves anymore.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to pop over to the other blogs and check out how they use these amazing oils!

If you are interested in getting started with Young Living oils click HERE to sign up.  I have a GREAT incentive to join this month.  I am sending my favorite reference book, one of my essential oil shelves AND a $20 credit to your account after you sign up with a Premium Starter Kit by Jan 31, 2015.  My member # is already on the form (just in case, it’s 1386112).  Here’s a post where I share more about the oils in that kit.

A Burst of Creativity!

A Burst of Creativity!

Over the weekend I planned to get a lot of writing done, but my creative juices were about to burst after weeks and weeks of working hard on my book.  I needed a few hours of moving and creating and organizing.  Release!

So I decided to step away from the computer and do some small projects that I had been mulling over for a while.  You know the ones….easy and won’t take more than half an hour but it takes you 2 years to get to it….

In my bathroom I had been wanting to move my essential oil shelves because they were hanging over my bathtub and I was getting tired of having to climb into the tub every time I wanted something from the top shelf.  But the only other spot in my bathroom that would work had a towel bar which, frankly, I didn’t really use.  I mostly just kept a hand towel there for decoration.

But if I removed the bar, then there would be two gaping holes in the wall and I didn’t feel like taking the time to patch, paint, etc.  Lazy.

So here’s what I did….I pulled out an old map that was a gift from my sweet friend Angie at The Country Chic Cottage.   It had been hanging in the boys’ room, so I snuck in there while they were sleeping and stole it.  Or is it technically stealing if it is something that actually belongs to you but you’re too scared to move it when the kids can see so you do it in the cloak of darkness?

I hung the map on the wall, folding it around the corner and then hung the shelves unevenly over that.  I just love, LOVE how it looks (like I am an adventurer) and I now can reach my oils without stepping in the tub.  Win-Win.

Adorable essential oil shelves!

I could have unplugged all of my cords below the map for the photo.  I thought about it.  But then I decided to leave it because I want you to see the real me and not some unplugged version.

The second project I did, which I am so, SO thrilled with…is a new light in my living room.

When we put up the Christmas tree, I had to remove a lamp by the couch.  After the tree got put away I didn’t want to put the lamp back….I had a new idea. (it always scares James when I tell him I have an idea)

I had 3 strings of bulb lights that I purchased a couple of years ago for a project I never did (raise your hand if you have unfinished projects), so I wanted to use them.  Combine that with an old section of fence I got last summer that is hanging over my couch.

So I attached the string of lights to the fence and, oh.my.word, I LOVE it!!!

Fresh, new light fixture you can make yourself!

I just stapled each light in the gaps and wrapped the extra cord behind and stapled it back there so it would be hidden.

Here it is from the side….

lights02

I got the “love” sign at Hobby Lobby for half price.  Score!

an easy tomake fresh fun lught fixture!

And now that I have my creative outlet fix, I can get to the busyness of this week.  I’ve got to get my book edits wrapped up.  Plus the Summit starts on Friday and I will be working to get ready for that.  If you haven’t registered yet, you can still use my $10 off coupon code!  Code: pennington10

Have a great week!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook!

Last Minute Gifts

Last Minute Gifts

Well, here we are.  The shopping days are counting down and if we haven’t already ordered our gifts online it is too late.  We are left with whatever they have at Target or various gift cards.

While I love those things, I wanted to toss out a few other ideas to get you through the last minute gift purchases.

1. Pedicure – for only $25 you can give a friend the gift of beautiful feet and a papering after the holidays.
2. Kindle books – Kindle books are ready to download anytime…..and they are a great price.
3. Subscriptions – a magazine or maybe even fruit of the month club….how fun is it to get a gift all year long!
4. Lunch – take a basket of food for lunch one day that will help someone get through the hustle of the holidays.  Cold cuts (do people call them that anymore?), bread, fruit and Christmas cookies all bundled into a basket and delivered one day before Christmas would be lovely.
5. Essential oils – OK, it is too late to order now and get Young Living Oils before Christmas.  But it’s giving someone the gift of health and wellness for the whole year, so why not order something now and give a card with the promise of what’s coming their way?! (here’s a list of ideas for you)

And I made it easy for you by creating THIS PRINTABLE that you can give….I live to make your life easier.

Young Living Christmas Card

If you want to join Young Living you can click HERE and get yourself signed up.  You get better prices and you will LOVE having them for when the winter bugs hit.  Plus when you sign up order the Premium Starter Kit I will send you a great reference book to help you get started!

Have a great week!

Staying Warm in Winter

Staying Warm in Winter

Today I have a YouTube video for you with tips for dressing warmly while still wearing dresses.  There are tons of options for you if you prefer wearing dresses even in the cold temperatures.

Happy dressing!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook for more modesty ideas!