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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!