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Monday, October 21, 2019

My Top 10 Young Living Products Outside of the Starter Kit

My favorite thing about using Young Living is how easy it has been to switch from toxin in our home and personal care products to safer options! Young Living has much more than just essential oils. There are 600 products available, and everything for our home we would normal buy at Walmart, target, and amazon!

Essential Rewards, Young Living's monthly wellness box shipped straight to our door, has been amazing. Instead of adding an expense to our budget, we just use the money we normally spend on things like household cleaners, make up, personal care products, and baby products.

There are so many products we have seen a huge difference with, that work better than what we were using before. If you are starting your journey with cleaner living, but don't know where to begin, this is for you! I made a list of my 10 favorite products outside the starter kit.

1. Thieves Household Cleaner   |   Item #20830

This is my number one favorite. Thieves household cleaner is perfectly safe for kids and pets. Young Living is completely open about the ingredients in their products.

Thieves cleaner is not only safe, it is also EFFECTIVE! It has been tested to kill 99.9% of bacteria! When tested against other popular brands, thieves cleaner killed much more bacteria. See the results below!

The thieves household cleaner comes as a concentrate that lasts MONTHS! It makes 30+ spray bottles of cleaner and comes out to about $.88 each. We use this one cleaner on ever single surface of the house! Instead of buying a different cleaner for each area like counters, bathrooms, mirrors, toilets, and floors, we just buy the one bottle of Thieves Cleaner!

2. Diaper Rash Cream   |   Item #20398

This Diaper Rash Cream has been awesome for my babies! It helps them heal from rashes quickly and soothes at the same time. Joslynne has always cried with every other cream we've tried, but she asks for this one!

This is also amazing for postpartum! ;)

One of the coolest uses for the diaper rash cream is as a concealer! Trust me, it's incredible. I just mix a tiny bit of the diaper rash cream with my mineral foundation. It is perfect to put on blemishes/acne because it's healing spots under your make up instead of clogging pores!

3. Seedlings Baby Wipes   |   Item #20428

Seedlings Wipes smell amazing! They are also soothing and alcohol free. They are perfect for all things baby and toddler. But, they also make awesome make up remover wipes!

4. Saavy Minerals Foundation    |   Item #20776

I love this foundation. The color is a perfect match and I love how it feels. I know it's not clogging my skin up and it lasts forever. ;)

5. Thieves Wipes   |   Item #3756

We never leave the house without these. I wipe all the surfaces in public places that the girls will touch. They smell like Christmas, so we always get asked what smells so good. I like how safe these are for me kids while still killing germs! Especially since I've seen my girls lick things like the seat on planes!

6. Charcoal Bar Soap   |   Item #23799

This has been a game changer for my face! I have struggled with acne quite a bit as an adult, but my skin has been so different in the last couple weeks. Activated charcoal acts like a magnet to pull dirt from your pores. I felt a difference in my face after one wash.

7. Thieves Laundry Soap   |   Item #5349

Laundry Soap was one of the first things I wanted to switch in our home to a cleaner option. I wanted something that works well, but is free of toxins and fragrances. I love how this smells. The awesome thing about scents with Young Living products is that instead of smelling "like" citrus and cinnamon, these products actually have citrus and cinnamon oils in them. No synthetic chemicals here! I love how clean our clothes turn out too!

The Laundry Soap is a concentrate as well, so it can be diluted to last longer! We use one bottle of it for 2.5-3 months! The instructions for diluting it is HERE.

8. Thieves Foaming Hand Soap   |   Item #3674

This soap is awesome! It smells so perfect for fall and winter. It is also actually antibacterial! It lasts a long time, and can be doubled by diluting it with water and baking soda! I like having the thieves blend in our hand soap because it is effective against germs, but also boosts are immune systems.

9. Ningxia NITRO   |   Item #3064

NITRO is similar to a preworkout or 5 hour energy drink without the crash! It supports alertness, cognitive, and overall fitness. It is perfect to drink after a night of little sleep, before a workout, if you need to stay up late studying or working, or before a day of walking and sightseeing. I love drinking it during my afternoon slump when I normally reach for sugar!

10. Thieves Toothpaste   |   Item #3039

Thieves toothpaste leaves my mouth, teeth, and gums feeling super clean. It has helped with sore gums for me as well! I know natural toothpaste usually doesn't have a minty flavor/taste and some people miss that. Young Living's Thieves Whitening Toothpaste is more minty! I am hoping to try that one soon!

I am planning to share my top 10 favorite Essential Oils outside the starter kit later this week! If you need help becoming a member of Young Living, let me know and I'll walk you through it! If you are already a member and need help signing up for Essential Rewards, I'm happy to help with that too. ;)

Other posts that might help:
How Our Family Affords Clean Living
7 Ways to Save Up for You Young Living Starter Kit

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

How to Stop Spending Time on Laundry

Our Laundry Routine

I've spent a lot of the past couple years trying to figure out how to stop drowning in laundry. The constant piles that just get bigger and bigger are so overwhelming to me. I hate passing them knowing they won't go away until I can block out a chunk of time to fold. I've tried scheduling in time regularly, having a laundry day, or folding the clothes straight out of the dryer. However, it always is the last priority when life gets busy. I think because we can technically live straight from our piles of clean clothes, it just always if the first chore to be tossed to the side.

This cycle drives me crazy, so I have been trying all the laundry tips I can find. I finally found a method that has been a game changer.

Everyday, we wash the clothes we wore the day before.

It's so simple, why have I not been doing this sooner?! It seriously makes the time spent on laundry pretty much nonexistent.

We do 3 loads a day.
1. Our clothes
2. Kids' clothes
3. Whites
About every other day, we wash towels.

It's so easy! The loads are so small. We just take them straight out of the dryer and put them away. It cuts out the "sit and fold into piles" stage.

I know it seems like more loads would be more work when you can just wait until you have more to wash at once. But, staying on top of it before there it piles up keeps me from having to fit it into the week.


Doesn't that take a ton of laundry detergent?

We use Thieves Laundry Detergent which is highly concentrated. It that requires a very small amount per load! One bottle of it lasts 2-3 months.

Isn't that a waste of water?

We do run the water 3x a day, but I don't wash the clothes on the longest cycle. Especially because I'm washing them so soon after we dirty them, they haven't been sitting long. ;)

What if you skip a day?

I'm not going to lie, it can be easy to get behind on this method, and let everything pile up again. Especially after trips or vacation! I try to remember that even if it feels like I don't have time to throw my 3 loads in, it will take even more time if I don't get it done.

When we get behind and the laundry piles up, I just try to push through and get back to empty laundry baskets in one day. That way we can start over on track!

To dry clothes faster

Dryer sheets are some of the worst toxin and harsh chemical laden supplies in our homes. They can have more than 25 volatile air pollutants including carcinogens and benzene.

You also have to keep buying them over and over again. But, they speed up drying time, and make our clothes smell great.

Our replacement solution is wool dryer balls. It blows my mind how much faster our clothes dry with them! We also just drop of few drops of essential oil on them and throw them in with our clothes. This helps our clothes smell great without toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrances!

To Prevent shrinking

I used to air dry almost all my clothes. If I put them in the dryer, they seemed to shrink every single time! :( This is the most simple tip ever, but someone told me about drying on low heat, and it has been life changing! ;) Our dryer's low heat is perfect to still get the clothes dry without shrinking them!

To Get rid of Odor

Who doesn't leave a load in the washer a little too long now and again? #momlife ;) I hate when I do that, and the moldy smell is so hard to get rid of. I recently started adding a few drops of Purification oil to the fabric softener compartment with white vinegar when I rewash the load, and IT WORKS! The clothes come out smelling so good!

Purification is also amazing for stinky work out clothes too! Some of my other favorites to use to make my clothes smell great naturally, are Orange, Citrus Fresh, and Lemon. :)

To make it easy, I put about 20 drops of the oils I want in little 10 ml dropper bottles and keep them in the laundry room. Then, I just squeeze a dropper full into the fabric softener compartment, and top with white vinegar!

To Remove Stains

I got this recipe from my friend Cheryl! It's a perfect way to fight stains without harsh chemicals! The photo below is just in a 10 ml bottle, because that's all I had. I just cut the recipe into 3 bottles! ;)

Stain Stick:
30ml roller bottle
1. 1 capful Thieves Cleaner
2. 1 capful Thieves Laundry Soap (or Thieves dish soap in a pinch)
3. Fill rest with water

To save money on toxin free laundry detergent

This little bottle of laundry detergent is enough for 128 loads and lasts us 3 months! Many products from Young Living's Thieves line are highly concentrated and can be diluted to last a long time! It's pretty awesome that we don't get charged for water.  
Here are the instructions to dilute the detergent to make it last for months! 

1. Pour entire Bottle of Theives Detergent into glass drink dispenser. (mine is $12 at Walmart) 
2. Fill up empty detergent bottle with water and pour into dispenser 
3. Add 3-4 capfuls of Thieves Cleaner to dispenser 
4. Stir!

These are just the tips I've gathered that have been helpful for us! I know there are tons of laundry hacks and schedules out there, but I thought I'd share incase you're on the hunt for some fresh ideas like I was! ;)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

7 Ways to Save Up for Your Young Living Starter Kit

It's no secret that we use and love Young Living for all our personal care, beauty, baby, and cleaning products! The best way to get your hands on Young Living is to become a member. The amazing thing is that there are no membership fees! All you have to do is purchase one of Young Living's starter kits, and you automatically get 24% off every order, forever. Many companies require you to pay a membership fee upfront, and yearly just to maintain it, and you haven't even purchased anything to use yet!

So, the starter kit. It's an upfront investment, but it's priced at over 50% off it's value, and includes 12 Young Living's favorite and most versatile oils and more. We seriously use the starter kit daily. It is the single most life changing purchase I've ever made. So, you get the point, it is well worth the $165.

I saved up for my starter kit, and I know many of my friends are doing the same right now! I just wanted to share some ideas to save up! I did a few of these to earn enough for my starter kit, and others I have done or am doing to pay for our Essential Rewards box each month!

1. Sell stuff that is collecting dust on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist

It's so nice that you can sell used items locally on Facebook! It's such an easy way to earn back some of what you paid for high quality or gently used items you just aren't using anymore! Especially baby items! I have found so many pieces of furniture, baby carriers, and more online that were like new. I have sold some things as well, and it's just such an easy way to make some cash! If you live in the West, and have access to KSL, that's my favorite!

2. Marie Kondo your garage and have a yard sale

I have been going through each section of our house regularly over the last year and a half to purge when we don't use. It frees us up so much to make sure we aren't accumulating clutter. Some stuff may seem like junk, but you never know if someone might want it for the right price. We had a yard sale in the early summer, and made quite a bit. Especially for stuff we were just going to throw away.

We added a lemonade stand with cookies, to lure customers in! ;)

3. Download the Ibotta app and earn cash back on grocery trips and online purchases

Ibotta has been such a huge help for us. I've yearned enough for a starter kit 3 times over on this app alone.

For grocery trips, all we do is check the available offers before heading to the store. We also check for bonuses! We get cash back on several items we are buying anyways, and when you hit a bonus, it is more cash on top of that!

BONUS TIP: You can now pay with Ibotta at places like Walmart and Home Depot for 1% back on every purchase. That's earning money just for opening an app and having the cashier scan it!

We also use Ibotta for online purchases! I just open Ibotta to direct me to places like Amazon or Old Navy and earn cash back just for opening an app when I shop!

4. Sell handmade products or services

Have a special talent? Make a stash of products and sell them on Etsy. Etsy is so easy to use and it's nice because the perfect audience looking for what you have sell comes to the site on their own, so no advertising necessary! :) So if you draw, paint, craft, sew, knit, crochet, make jewelry, woodwork, etc, Etsy may be worth a try!

Or, you can offer babysitting, cleaning, or tutoring services to friends and neighbors!

5. Lower Your Food Bill

Pocket cash you normally spend on food by buying in bulk, shopping your pantry, or giving up drink stops for coffee or soda for the month.  I recently wrote a blog post with 14 simple ways we've saved money on food, you can find that here.

6. Host a Class

One of the best ways to learn more about Young Living and natural living is to host a make and take class. We have a class at your house, I teach it, you invite your friends and family, and earn money towards Young Living! This would also allow you to see, feel, smell, and try some of the products. If you are local to me, (or in the Raleigh, North Carolina area) ;) and would like to host a class, let me know! They also just a great excuse for a girl's night! :)

7. Earn a $50 dollar paycheck from Young Living for EACH friend you share with and help grab a kit. 

This is obviously an idea for after you've purchased the kit, but a pretty awesome perk! You can earn a $50 paycheck for each friend you share Young Living with and who buy a kit! You don't have to send spammy messages to everyone you've ever met, or even have a social media presence. Just share what you love, and would share with friends anyways!

What's in the Premium Starter Kit?

12 Essential Oils
2 Packets of Ningxia Red
1 Hand Purifier
1 Bottle Thieves Spray
2 Roller Ball Attachments

Let me know if you have any other ideas! I'd also love to talk with you more if you have any questions about these ideas, or what we've tried.

Other Blog Posts on Similar Topics:

Monday, August 26, 2019

4 Reasons You Should Try Dry Brushing

About 6 months ago I heard of dry brushing, and decided to give it a try. It is pretty much the quickest, cheapest, self care habit ever! It takes like 3 minutes, with just a brush, and it's so good for you! I have loved it, it has quickly become one of my favorite parts of my routine.

What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a quick and easy health and beauty practice with multiple health benefits both internally, and for your skin. It is exactly what it sounds like. It is massaging a dry soft bristle brush on dry skin all over your body. It is best done daily!

Benefits of Dry Brushing?

Promotes Glowing Skin
The most obvious benefit to Dry Brushing is exfoliation. It exfoliates the skin by removing dead skin cells. It also removes dirt from your pores.  It's great for bringing your skin to life!

Internal Detox
Dry brushing increases blood circulation, which does more than make your skin look great. It stimulates or "wakes up" your lymphatic system and promotes lymphatic drainage. I know, what's that right? Basically, this helps your body detox internally and get rid of the accumulation of toxins in it! This is amazing to me! The detoxing process is also a great aid in weight loss, because while you eat healthy and exercise, detoxing helps your body do what it's supposed to do and work correctly.

Fights Bloat and Cellulite
The increase in blood circulation and lymphatic drainage helps reduce inflammation and strengthen your connective tissue. This, in turn works to reduce the appearance of cellulite, fight that annoying bloating!

Stimulates Nervous System
Dry Brushing stimulates your nervous system as well. This is one of my favorite parts, because it wakes me up and energizes me instantly. I love have a healthy, natural way to wake up and feel ready for the day!

When to Dry Brush?

Dry brushing is best done right before a shower. It exfoliates your skin, then the warm water from the shower will open up your pores. The key is to do it dry though, so no brushing in the actual shower! The hot water can remove moisture from your skin, so brushing first and dry exfoliates and gets the blood circulating, while keeping your skin moisturized.

You can still do Dry Brushing on days you don't shower. I just still follow up with a body oil to moisturize.

How to Dry Brush?

Choose a dry brush. These are super inexpensive on Amazon or at Target! I have this one from Target, and it has worked great, but I'd like to try a natural bristled one soon.

The actual process is so easy! Just do short, gentle, brush strokes! Start at the feet, and work towards the core. For your arms, start at your finger tips and work towards your heart! For you actual core, brush in a circular motion clockwise with the flow of your intestines. I try to pay special attention to places where my lymph nodes are such as armpits, jaw line, and near the groin. Just make sure to be gentle, the goal is not to break the skin!

The last step is to finish with a moisturizing body oil! When I take a shower, I apply the oil after the shower. This feels amazing to moisturize after exfoliating and getting that blood pumping. It makes your skin look awesome too!

My Favorite Body Oil

I've been using a simply body oil I made with a couple simple carrier oils from Amazon along with favorite Essential oils .

Fractionated Coconut Oil- Fractionated coconut oil absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated without feeling greasy.

Vitamin E Oil- Vitamin E Oil has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. It helps with itching and irritation. It is amazing for skin appearance. It helps skin look healthy and young.

Body Oil:
1 Cup Fractionated Coconut oil
2 Tbs Vitamin E Oil
20 Drops Essential Oil (See favorite suggestions below.)

Go To Essential Oil Combos for Body Oil
This smells AMAZING! Just like a spa!
Rosemary- Improves circulation, helps digestion, has anti-aging properties. 
Lemongrass- Acts as an astringent, tightens skin, reduces pores
Grapefruit- Helps boost weight loss, aids digestion, natural mood booster, anti inflammatory, evens skin care, naturally antibacterial
Valor or Blue Tansy- Valor is one of my favorite oil blends and it also includes blue tansy, which is one of the most powerful anti inflammatory oils on Earth. It helps reduce redness and settle irritation. 
Reduces stretch marks and scar tissue, rejuvenates skin, improves elasticity, and reduces wrinkles

Let me know if you need to order essential oils, and I'll walk you through it! Let me know if you have any questions about Dry Brushing or body oil. I've been so excited to share about this for a while! It has been so fun to research and try!

Friday, August 23, 2019

How Our Family Affords Clean Living

This year, we started the process of switching over from toxins and chemicals in our home to a clean and natural life style. I know, so often it feels overwhelming to make the switch, and so expensive. We have found it to be completely doable with our budget, and there a few things that have helped along the way. I just wanted to share how we do it, because it doesn't have to cost a fortune! And, it so worth it to be intentional about what kinds of things are in your home!

If you want to chat more about our natural lifestyle, have questions, or want to know how to grab your Young Living Starter kit, just send me a message and I'll walk you through it!

Having  a Membership
All you have to do to become a member of Young Living is buy a starter kit. That's literally it. There are not membership fees, or requirements. You get your starter kit which has 12 of their most loved and versatile oils and is priced at over 50%, then you automatically get 24% off every order, always.

If you think about it, many memberships like Costco charge you a fee to sign up, and you didn't even get any products yet. There's also a yearly fee to stay a member. With Young Living, you only have to order once a year to keep that membership, and no additional fees! The 24% off discount is definitely the way to go!

Once you're a member, many things, like the household cleaner are comparable, or cheaper than places like Target! The cleaner comes out to about $0.88 a spray bottle. So, we have saved so much we used to spend on getting multiple types of cleaners for each area of the house.

Essential Rewards 
The most affordable way to get clean products in your home is to subscribe to Essential Rewards. Essential Rewards is Young Living's monthly wellness box where you can choose what is sent each month. You can also choose which day the box comes as well! The great thing about about Young Living is that you can get all the products you need for your home, cleaning, beauty, supplements, and personal care from one place! We have replaced everything we used to buy at Target, Walmart, and Amazon with one box that comes right to our door.

What makes Essential Rewards so affordable is the points back you earn each month. For your first 3 months, you get 10% back in points on top of your already 24% off discount. Then, from months 4-24, you get 20% back in points, and after that you get 24% back! It's like getting cash back on things you need to buy anyways. We use our points each month to get more products for free!

Essential Rewards also has promos each month to get free products. They have loyalty rewards as well! You get a free bottle of essential oil after being on Essential Rewards, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months!

Replacing Already Budgeted Items
Rather than clean, non toxic products being an added expense to our budget, we just replaced items we were already buying with better options. Essential Rewards is a $50 per month monthly minimum, but that's not an additional 50 we are spending. We just get whatever we are out of that month from makeup and shampoo, to laundry detergent or all purpose cleaner. It's all money we were already spending at multiple different places. Now it actually just easier to get everything from one place that we trust!

Using Concentrated Products
It's super nice that Young Living doesn't charge you to ship water. Many of their products are highly concentrated and can be diluted. So, our cleaning supplies last for months! It's also so convenient and easy that Thieves cleaner works for everything! Just buying one bottle of cleaner every six months is so easy. We use the Thieves Household cleaner for all surfaces, toilets, tubs, floors, windows and mirrors, carpet spot cleaner, stain treatment, etc.

One thing to keep in mind too, is that with many natural products, they last longer and you don't have to use as much! There are so many hacks to dilute your products and make them last longer. Things like dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, even shampoo and conditioner! There is an awesome community and home facebook page where people share ideas, recipes, hacks, and experiences to make it so easy!

I know not everyone is a DIY person, but I'm all about simple DIY's that save money.  I have found so many super easy DIY's to use for natural products that work better than anything I've used before. I love sharing them on my Instagram, and here on the blog! Follow along to find them. My friend and I also love hosting private classes for natural living on Facebook. We share lot's recipes that anyone can do on different categories from home to kiddos! Keep an eye out for the next class on September 10 at 8pm CST and just message me to reserve a spot!

Sharing with Friends
Another way we can afford natural living is by doing the business side of Young Living. Hear me out, it's much different from many companies.

You don't have to have a social media following, blog, host facebook parties, reach out to friends you haven't talked to in years with a sales pitch. You don't have to be pushy, salesy, or spammy. All you do is share what you love and what works for you with friends! There's also no investment to the business. You just become a member and use your products!

When you love something and it's working for you, you end up telling your friends about it anyways.  You earn a bonus everytime your friends ask you how to get the things in your home and try it themselves! It's as easy as that!

Young Living is not a pyramid scheme, or a get rich quick ploy, the company is just rewarding people who are loving their lifestyle and sharing already instead of a marketing department.

It's also so fun with talk with friends everyday who are doing it too!

Investing in our Health
Investing in our health has also brought down other expenses like doctor visits. During Joslynne's first year, we spent so much time at the doctor, especially in the winter. For a while, every single time we travelled, and got on a plane, we ended up sick and in an urgent care while we were away. Doing things to keep us as healthy as possible, has saved us money, in the long run!

Getting Plugged into the Community
When you become a member of Young Living, you get access to a community of friends who are on the same journey and share their experiences, what has worked for them, advice, and love to answer questions! I really like hearing how a product works for someone else before spending money on it myself!

We have also done a few things to save money this year! You can read how we've been saving money on food here, and other simple ways we save money here.

Don't hesitate to contact me at anytime with questions, or for help ordering Young Living!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Third Trimester Practices I Wish I Knew Sooner

Third trimesters last forever. It's so uncomfortable, sleep is impossible, and your organs are shoved in areas they shouldn't be. Fatigue returns after the beloved second trimester felt so good, plus you can no longer reach anything that falls on the ground , and you just want to hold that baby. I haven't been pregnant since last summer, but now that I've been through 2 pregnancies, I've been meaning to write down for a while now, things that helped me. Now that my sister is in her 3rd trimester and we talk about tricks to try, I figured it was a good time to share!

My summer 3rd trimester went so much smoother with Elaina's pregnancy than my first one! I know each pregnancy is different, but there were a few things I changed the second time around that made a huge difference.

I am not a medical professional in anyway, and each person is very different. This is just what worked for me. But, definitely do your own research and talk to your doctor before making any changes that could affect your pregnancy.

When I was 28 and 29 weeks pregnant with Joslynne, I kept having contractions. Not Braxton Hicks, but painful, can't-talk-through-them contractions. It was obviously way too early, and the heat didn't help. I started eating a TON of watermelon, like 1/4 of one a day! I just loved it and it was so refreshing during blistering hot July and August. My contractions stopped! I think so much watermelon was helping me get the extra hydration I needed! ;)

Elevate your feet the right way
I had such a problem with foot and ankle swelling the first time around. I was miserable. I kept hearing to elevate my feet. Apparently I was living under a rock, and thought just laying down was enough elevation. This is probably the most obvious thing ever, but the key is to have you legs elevated higher than your heart to make blood circulate better. Doing it the right way helped tremendously! ;)

Swollen ankle roller
Massaging my legs and ankles helped a ton as well! It works best to massage towards the heart to help circulation. Sometimes it's hard to reach your ankles at this point of pregnancy, so I'd ask Wes for help.

This roller was the best for swelling and water retention discomfort!

Water Retention Massage Oil Blend:
2 Drops Tangerine Essential Oil
1 Drop Lemon Essential Oil
4 Drops Cypress Essential Oil
4 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
3 Drops Geranium Essential Oil
Drop into 10 ml Roller bottle and top with Jojoba Oil (or carrier oil of choice)

Iron rich food matters
I had heard the recommended servings of iron rich foods during pregnancy, but didn't take it seriously at first. I was anemic during pregnancy and could definitely feel it. I had such low energy and would feel weak, shaky, and sick in the middle of the day. My first reaction was to want sugar, but I needed iron. The food that was the most effective was elk! Haha

Obviously elk meat is not the easiest to come by, but there are a lot of iron rich foods that would be great to intentionally add to your diet! This graphic was really helpful since it shows which foods have the most iron!

Belly roller
That bloated tight feeling, like you might actually explode any second, is just another third trimester struggle. I noticed a big difference when I rubbed Young Living's Gentle Baby essential oil blend on my bump!

Belly Roller
Fractionated coconut oil
15 drops Gentle Baby
15 drops Frankincense

I also experienced dry itchy skin as my bump grew, so next time I would try this magic cream! I hear amazing things about it! Gentle baby and Frankincense are awesome for stretch marks too! :)

Magic Cream
2 oz Raw Shea butter 
5 Drops Frankincense Essential Oil
5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil5 Drop Gentle Baby Essential Oil

Mix well together and store in 2 oz jar

Just stop wearing pants
During my second pregnancy, I was already so uncomfortable as is typical for third trimesters. I just felt so grumpy when I wore jeans as I got bigger, hotter and less flexible. I stopped wearing jeans at all as soon as the 3rd trimester started, and it was the best thing ever! I bought some cute dresses from  PinkBlush and H&M and Zella leggings. You might think chasing around your kiddos in dresses would be hard, but it was easier for me than dealing with jeans all day!

Take a Pepcid AC before bed
I got terrible heartburn during both pregnancies. During one of my visits with a midwife when my doctor was out of town, she said I could take a Pepcid AC before bed. This was LIFE CHANGING! My doctor is so amazing, but sometimes different people have different tips and tricks based on experience. :)

Activia Yogurt
This is just a small thing, but I realized it helped so much when my digestive system was working at its best. Activia yogurt helped a ton because of the probiotics. Next time, I'd love to try some other things and be intentional about supporting my digestive system!

Perineum Care
So, the most awkward topic ever, but I have to mention it. If this is TMI, feel free to skip this part. ;)

***Like I said, though, I am not a medical professional and some things can induce labor. I also had a low risk pregnancy and was not Group B positive, etc. Do not try anything without asking your doctor, assessing your situation and what you're comfortable with, and waiting until you are full term.

 I had a terrible tear during labor with Joslynne. I did some research on preparing your cervix for labor and decided to give it a try. Everyone is different, but it most definitely paid off for me.

Three weeks before delivery:
8 drops Geranium Essential Oil
5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
Top with carrier oil and apply three times a day

One week before delivery:
8 drops Geranium Essential Oil
5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
5 Drops Fennel Essential Oil (Keep in mind, Fennel can cause contractions!)
Top with carrier oil and apply 1-3 times a day

I'd love to hear any other 3rd trimester tips you have! The last trimester is so uncomfortable and can feel so long, but it's so worth it when we get to hold our babies!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

10 Simple Ways to Save Money

At the beginning of the year, Wes and I looked at our budget, and realized we have been spending a lot more since having a second baby. Some of the expense is formula we didn't initially plan on having to buy. We also had been spending more just because of lack of time and energy since adjusting to life with 2 littles.

We wanted to get back on track and stay within our budget. We also would like to save. We have a list of things that are important for us to save up for by the end of the year. We need a new vehicle-- I'm gonna be honest, a minivan is on my wish list. Yes, we are to that point in life. ;) We would like to move closer to the places we go daily and weekly (work, church, preschool, friends). We live a ways out of the city, and everything we do is either in or just outside of it. Also, now we have to buy Joslynne her own plane ticket when we travel. And, since the girls have a baby cousin on the way, traveling is just going to have to happen. Often. ;) We've been wanting to make some changes to safer, healthier products in our home for a while now too!

Last week I shared all the ways we've been working to save money on food. You can find that post here! There have been a few changes we've made to get more than just our grocery bill down. 

We started doing simple things that don't disrupt out lives or take too much time! :)

Use EveryDollar
We use the EveryDollar website to look at our budget every month. There is an app too! You can input your income, then break down how much you've spent by category. We set a budget for each category and the site will show how much more you can spend in each as you enter purchases or how much over budget you went in that area. It helped us so much to have an amount in mind for each area of our lives and be conscious of how much we can spend. You can look back at other months and see how you're comparing from month to month. I think it's a fun thing to do and it's kind of become a game for me each month to see how much better I can do than last month.

It's encouraging to the see the progress. We also can see where to prioritize, and you find out how much you can live without when you intentionally focus on each category. :)

Use a Credit Card with a Incentive Program
We use American Express for groceries, gas and big purchases. We pay it off at the end of the month. So we still only spend what we have, but the points back for using the card are worth it. We get points  to spend on traveling, which we do often to visit my family. This American Express card also allows me and everyone traveling with me to check free bags. It's really nice that our everyday purchases that don't take any extra time or effort, are funding our trips home! You can get 70,000 miles (about 1 ticket across the country) when you sign up!

Decrease Use of Paper Products
We stopped buying as many paper goods and try to use dishes, containers, and baby food pouches we can reuse. We also use microfiber cloths to wipe things down and less paper towels. :) I honestly still have a stash of paper plates and paper towels, but they last forever when we save them for when we are in a Time crunch.

Cut Hair at Home
I started cutting Wes's hair at home years ago. This kit of razor and scissors was less than $40 and it paid for itself after 2 haircuts! I don't do it every time especially when we have a newborn, but it has saved us a lot! It's also much easier to learn than I expected. ;) Wes's dad just told us that he calculated he saved about $8000 by cutting his and his boys' own hair over the years! 

Amazon Subscribe & Save
We love using Amazon Subscribe & Save for things we purchase regularly. Items on Amazon are discounted with Subscribe & Save and you can unlock even more discounts when you order 5 items. You can choose how often each product comes to you, skip months, and add or cancel items anytime. Amazon sends an email a few days before your items ship to give you a heads up to make any changes you'd like.

Our girls do best with Huggies diapers, and this has been the cheapest way to order them. Diapers and wipes are discounted even further than other products through Subscribe and Save!

Rewards Program for Formula
I haven't checked other brands, but I would think most have some sort of rewards program! We use Enfamil and joined their Family Beginnings program. You just create a free account and include your email. We get multiple $5 and $10 coupons in the mail every month!

Ordering from the website is the cheapest option a lot of the time! They have sales often. They also offer free shipping over $50 and you can buy in bulk. You earn points back with each order that can be redeemed for free cans of formula as well!

When we have to grab formula in the store, I assumed Walmart would be the cheapest option. I was surprised how much the prices vary between grocery stores. We have found the cheapest prices at Costco (when they carry our brand) and Lucky (a local grocery store). So, it's worth comparing prices. A couple dollars makes a huge difference with something we have to buy so much of!

Use More Concentrated Products
We have saved quite a bit by using concentrated products for cleaning. We use Young Living's Thieves Cleaner which comes as a concentrate. We add capfuls of the concentrate to a reusable glass bottle with water and the concentrate lasts for months! The nice thing is that Young Living doesn't charge to ship water. Many of their products are concentrated and we add our own water and use glass containers and bottles.

We do this with All Purpose Cleaner (Counters, sink, bathrooms, toilet bowl, floors, everything!), Dish soap, Laundry Detergent, and Hand Soap.

I used to have a swiffer mop and kept buying the disposable pads for it. Last year I bought a spray mop and just wash the pads and refill the mop(similar to ours)! I fill it with water, white vinegar, and Thieves Cleaner. :)

Health Incentives
We found out that Wes's employer not only reimburses us for 50% of what we spend on health/fitness memberships like the gym, but there is also an incentive program to take dollars off our insurance premium. We get $3 off the premium for every 30 minutes of physical activity up to a certain amount per quarter. We just enter our minutes for anything from skiing to walking or even rigorous housework! It's worth checking what your company offers!

Since Wes works downtown, he also found out that his company will pay for a bus pass. Our city is pushing for less vehicles to improve the air quality. Other big cities might do the same. ;)  He started taking the bus in to work as much as possible and it saves a ton on gas and parking. It's also less miles on our car. ;)

Boost Immune System
When Joslynne was a baby, we were sick all the time. We had multiple visits to the doctor that year. She and I were sick everytime we traveled. We caught everything. That was even more expensive since the only option while traveling is an urgent care.

Since being intentional about our health, we have seen SUCH a difference. We haven't been to the doctor at all for sick visits this year!

Here's what we've been doing:
Thieves is an essential oil blend that is amazing for boosting immune systems. Wes and I put a drop of thieves vitality in water to help keep us from getting sick. We also diffuse thieves in our home almost everyday.
  • Wellness Rollers
We roll a blend of essential oils on the bottom of our kids' feet and down their spines everyday. We use wellness rollers on ourselves too.

Baby Wellness Roller

Kid's Wellness Roller

Adult Wellness Roller
  • Antioxidants
We drink an antioxidant drink called NingXia Red made from Gogi Berries. It is packed full of antioxidants and is powerful to keep our immune systems up.

FUN FACT: The name comes from the thieves who used these same elements on their bodies before going to rob homes and bodies during the Plague. The blend of cinnamon bark, clove, eucalyptus, and citrus is naturally antibacterial and helped keep them from getting the Plague themselves.

Let me know if you have any other tips that have helped you! We are on the hunt for all the ideas!