Buying Local – Farm to Table

There are so many reasons I could tell you why you should buy local but there are already so many resources explaining why that you really don’t need me to state the obvious. So, I just wanted to share with you this little gem of a farm I recently found!

As my family continues on our journey of aspiring wholeness, we keep taking baby steps along the way to improve the quality of items we both eat and use. While I try to always buy grass fed and organic meats from one of our local grocery stores, there isn’t much I know about that meat. I don’t know where it came from, how old it is, or how long it took to get to the store. I also do not know the farm’s meat processing standards and I know I am not getting pastured eggs. Free range, yes…but I am still not sure exactly what that means for those eggs. There is a difference, as I am sure you know. But, in case you do not, check out this article for more information.

So, I started doing a little Google search…not surprising to those who know me, for sure! My first discovery was this wonderful website that contained all the information I was looking for and made my search so much easier! Eat Wild is a wonderful website that “has been providing information about the benefits of choosing meat, eggs, and dairy products from pastured animals since 2001.” Well, they also provide all the farms in your area that meet Eat Wild’s standards. Since I live in Maryland, I found there we plenty of places locally to choose from that would allow me to support farmers in my community while buying the freshest meat and eggs available!

After reviewing all my options, I decided that Grand View Farm met my expectations and personal needs. Little did I know that when one of my daughters and I visited last Saturday afternoon that we would just fall in love with the family and the farm!

Upon arrival, the sweetest young lady who happened to be the daughter of the farmer greeted us. As I told her it was our first time at the farm, she immediately offered to give us a guided tour. The baby chicks and baby pigs were just the cutest! It was still a little too cold for the animals so they were all just hanging out together. She was so well educated about the farm and their practices and standards. Not to be overlooked in any way was her love for the animals and her concern for their well-being, which was extremely evident. I didn’t have too many questions as I had already viewed their website and had done enough research to know that this farm was exactly what I was looking for when it came to putting quality food on our table. However, she was still able to provide so much more information and had such a desire to answer questions and provide the transparency that they speak about on their website. It truly was a refreshing experience.

Two weeks later and we have had the eggs, chicken roaster, chicken breasts, pork chops, bacon, maple sausage, and pork shoulder. The quality and taste are exceptional. It is   unlike anything you will ever find in the grocery store. This is definitely where I will continue to buy our meats.

There is a special feeling when you know that you are providing the best quality of food to your family while supporting your local farmer. I can’t wait to go back next week. I hope it is warmer and all the little pigs are out running around and playing in the fields! Check them out if you are in the area! You won’t be disappointed!

A Season of Change

It’s been a while since I have written a blog post but it certainly hasn’t been due to a lack of inspiration. I have come across so many things I want to share and write about but I am still trying to learn how to navigate this whole blog thing.

However, this has also been a season of change for us in our home. So many things are happening simultaneously that my efforts have been focused on learning to how to be a master juggler! Multitasking isn’t an option because each event/person/thing requires and deserves my full attention. The best part is that all the change has been good. Really good! It’s actually quite exciting!

At the same time, when so much is going on simultaneously, it can begin to take a toll on our health because we push our limits trying to juggle everything at once. Something is bound to take a back seat to everything else. And, in my family, that is usually our nutrition because eating out at restaurants or ordering take out is a very old habit that I struggle daily to break.

That reality set in a few weeks ago while I sat in church one Sunday morning. My ear started hurting. Not just a little pain but the whole side of my face kind of pain. As I sat there thinking about the pain, I became acutely aware of how the rest of my body was feeling. Tired. Achy. Sore. Sick. The sudden awareness of how I bad I felt, and remembering the cough I had the night before, had me ready to just throw in the towel and succumb to my developing illness. When it was time to leave church, I went back to my house while the family went shopping.

At this point, the pain in my ear was so severe I was having a hard time putting together a complete thought so I did the first thing I could think of and pulled out my Helichrysum. I put one drop on a cotton ball, rubbed it around the outside of my ear, then rested the cotton ball at the opening of my ear, being very careful not to push it into the ear canal. I also took my full dose of Lifelong Vitality Pack, had a glass of tea with a special essential oil honey mixture I make which helped soothe the itch in my throat, and ate a very clean menu the remainder of the day, incorporating extra fruits and veggies.

Honey Recipe (Good straight or add 1 tsp. to a cup of tea after tea is removed)
2 tbsp. of local raw, organic honey
1 drop Frankincense
1 drop Wild Orange
1 drop Peppermint
1 drop Lemon
1 drop On Guard

Like I said, a lot has been going on and it wasn’t stopping that day. Sundays are my husband’s only day off from work and we had some furniture moving and rearranging to do to start preparing for some projects that needed to be started. While the pain had subsided within 2 hours, I was still feeling tired and sluggish but knew I needed to get up and get some stuff done. I went back to my little arsenal of oils to see what I had available and came across Elevation, our Joyful Blend. Well, that was exactly what I needed, a little joy. It gave my body the little extra boost it needed, invigorating my senses, to keep on keepin’ on. I am not sure what was going on with my ear that day or what my body was fighting but I was able to be as productive as I needed to be that day. The best part was the pain and the yucky crud feeling did not return, that day or after.

Everyday, I feel so blessed that I get to use to my oils to help support my family’s wholeness journey. I guess that is why I enjoy sharing our experiences so much. As a wife and mother, it is so empowering to know that I am supporting my family’s needs using things that God has provided through His perfect design.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Federal Drug Administration. This blog and products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

DIY: Ultra Moisturizing Natural Sunscreen

I don’t know about you but I am super excited because warmer weather is on the way!  The feeling of the warm sun on my face instantly makes me happy!  However, I tend to burn easily at the beginning of the season.  So, I am super excited to make this homemade sunscreen which has an SPF of about 20 and the ingredients are nourishing to the skin!  No more crazy chemicals for this girl!

Interested in learning more about essential oils, check out my website!

March dōTERRA® Specials

It is March and we are getting closer to Spring! You wouldn’t know that by all the snow on the ground and the ice storm we had last night but, this weekend clocks spring forward! I don’t know about you but I can already feel the sun shining down on my face!

With a new month comes new dōTERRA® specials! I cannot help but get excited because I love a good sale and free stuff! Yes, FREE! So, let me tell you about the March specials!

Deep Blue®. Earn a FREE 5 mL Deep Blue and Deep Blue Rub ($81.67 retail value) by placing ANY single 200 PV order from March 1 through March 31, 2015, at 11:59 PM MT. This is one of our family’s favorite oil blends because someone is always sore or injured for one reason or another and it is great at soothing tired and sore muscles. Watch this video to learn a little more about it!

On Guard® Foaming Hand Wash.  The OnGuard® protective blend is formulated to support healthy immune function. So, having the 16 oz. Foaming Hand Wash with 2 dispensers 10% off this month got me a little excited…so I bought two! Watch this video to learn more about it!

The Oil of the Month for March is…Wild Orange!  If you are as tired of the cold weather as I am, you should be as excited as I am about this being the oil of the month! I am even more excited because I will get this oil for FREE with a qualifying 125PV order now through March 15, 2015, at 11:59 PM MT.  I cannot wait to smell this diffusing in my home and to add it to my water!

If you are interested in learning more about dōTERRA® Essential Oils, send me an email!  I would be more than happy to answer any questions via email, meet with you so you can smell and try some of the oils, or we could even schedule an Introduction to Essential Oils Class in your home with a few of your family & friends! I look forward to hearing from you!

How and why did I start using dōTERRA® Essentials Oils?

Someone asked me this after seeing my post on Instagram about using dōTERRA®. So, I figure if one person is asking this question, most likely someone else might be wondering as well.

It all started when I found out my daughter was sick and that, among many things, we needed to remove gluten and dairy from our diets. For a family that dines out often because Momma doesn’t like to cook, it required a lot of research on my part for new recipes. I learned quickly that I could just use Paleo friendly recipes and I would be safe. So, I started following a few Paleo bloggers for their recipes and quickly learned that many of them used essential oils. They often shared oils and blend recipes they would use to manage minor illnesses or injuries to promote healing and to support their immune systems. I was very intrigued by this as my daughter was no longer allowed to take certain medications and needed to stay away from others to support a healthy gut environment, protecting her healthy gut bacteria. Many of them spoke about the empowerment of being a home healer and that excited me!

I learned about a variety of essential oil brands through each of the bloggers. However, I decided to begin my own research to determine what I believed was the best option for my family. I started researching the various oil companies that had been recommended by them and also reviewed all sorts of research they provided as to why they chose that company. This research took place for the better part of about 2 years. After all my research, I decided on dōTERRA® for many reasons.

I chose dōTERRA® because it sets the bar for the highest standards of testing. Currently, there are no regulatory standards for essential oils. Additionally, organic certification guidelines vary by country. Sourcing its ingredients from all around the world, dōTERRA® is unable to receive an organic certification that would mean the same thing in every country. Therefore, dōTERRA® developed an internal testing standard going far beyond an organic certification which requires verification by a 3rd party testing laboratory called Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). This protocol includes testing every batch 7 different ways to ensure oils are pure and free from synthetic fillers that can alter their purity. This ensures the highest quantity of active beneficial constituents and the oils are free of contaminants and adulterations. The CPTG protocol sets the bar for quality, purity, efficacy, and consistency.

I chose dōTERRA®  because of their growing and harvesting methods. An optimal soil environment, proper plant care, and timely harvesting are necessary for oil potency. Using dōTERRA® essential oils are a catalyst to impacting many lives beyond my own through their Co-Impact Sourcing and the dōTERRA® Healing Hands Foundation. Giving back is important to me and what dōTERRA® does for communities around the world speaks volumes about them.

I chose dōTERRA® because of their business model and their extremely generous compensation plan. In addition to financial compensation, each month there is an oil of the month that can be earned for free. And, to sweeten the pot a little more, whatever you pay in shipping is earned back in points that can be used to purchase more oils. I like free stuff!

I chose dōTERRA® because of the importance the Founding Executives place on educating their Wellness Advocates. Their commitment to safe and knowledgeable use of essential oils is unmistakable and clear in every piece of communication. Not only is there a plethora of online resources to learn more about each oil and how to safely use them, Wellness Advocates all over the country provide classes everyday sharing how to use oils to help promote healthy homes. My team and upline offer many online, in-person, and telephone trainings every week.

For me, it was clear. Not one company came close to dōTERRA® in all of my research. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made for my family and am so grateful to be a home healer!

If you have any questions about dōTERRA® or are interested in becoming a home healer as well, send me an email! I would be more than happy to answer your questions and assist you on what promises to be an empowering journey!

Being Love…

It is Valentine’s Day…the day of love. Many look forward to special dates or quality time with their significant others.  Some may even give and/or receive special gifts as a token of affection. Some, on the other hand, may consider it a Hallmark holiday and choose not to participate, or give into, the commercialization of the holiday.

What is love? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT) says, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

How can we be love? Well, replace the word love in the definition of love with the word I. “I am patient and kind. I am not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. I do not demand my own way. I am not irritable, and I keep no record of being wronged. I do not rejoice about injustice but rejoice whenever the truth wins out. I never give up, never lose faith, am always hopeful, and endure through every circumstance.”

As this day comes to an end, I cannot help but reflect on what has been a very special Valentine’s Day.  It has been a day of…being love. My husband is away on a retreat this weekend leading a bunch of middle school kids as they learn about God’s unfailing love. I have spent the weekend with some special friends who are going through some very difficult health journeys. We have laughed. We have cried. We have cried because we were laughing so hard. We were serious. We were silly. I even had the opportunity to teach them about and share some of my dōTERRA® Essential Oils, making some of their struggles just a little easier. This evening, I spent time with my family celebrating our family’s newest homeowners and this new season in their lives. Then, after driving home through snow and crazy winds, I shoveled the neighbor’s sidewalks for church tomorrow, even though, I am sure the crazy winds will destroy my efforts.

As I settle down for the evening, I am in awe of how God orchestrated the events over the past two days. My plans were thwarted as He had His own!  I am so grateful for opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus, a weekend of being love instead of celebrating love. I am grateful for another friend who, at the spur of the moment, came alongside me to be love as well. It has given this holiday new meaning and brought a depth to it that brings me to my knees. God’s presence has been irrefutably evident throughout this weekend. So, as I reflect and thank Him for using my husband and I for His Glory this Valentine’s Day, this is my prayer for my very special friends and for all of you tonight.

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21 (NLT)

I have an oil for that!

About 2 weeks ago, I made the unfortunate decision to clean my house! I know. What was I thinking? And not just any ole clean but on my hands and knees wiping baseboards and such clean.   Well, needless to say, by the time I was ready for bed that night, my back was quite sore. The next day, it was much, much worse. On and off for 2 weeks now, I have been suffering with this pain.

In comes the issue when you begin to change how you do things, at least for me anyway…you forget to do things the new way! Well, after a day of putting together Ikea furniture, guess who just remembered she has an oil for her back? This girl!

I tried something new to me called the layering method. Here is how it works and what I used. So, dōTERRA® has a proprietary blend, Deep Blue®, that is good for easing achy joints and sore muscles. The first step is to apply a drop of Deep Blue on the area that is bothersome and rub it into the skin. (Some people are sensitive to Deep Blue®, so you should do a spot test first to see if you are sensitive or just go ahead and dilute it with a carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, or Olive Oil.) Once the Deep Blue was rubbed in and the area dry, I added a drop of Frankincense, which is an enhancer oil. In this case, the Frankincense enhances the soothing effects of the Deep Blue®. Once the Frankincense was rubbed in and the area dry, I added Peppermint, which is a driver oil. The Peppermint drives the Deep Blue® and Frankincense into the problem area.

I cannot tell you how much pain I have been in recently. I have not been able to move without moaning, especially after my Ikea adventures today. Well, I had AMAZING relief…IMMEDIATELY! There was no waiting for the meds to enter the body, dissolve, and work their way through to the area. The relief was immediate. Sure, I can still feel where I am tender but I can walk and bend over with no problem…or moaning!

Well, my daughter hurt her knee the other day and has been complaining all weekend! (This has been an ongoing issue for a while now!) Unfortunately, she cannot take NSAIDs due to her health issues as they increase inflammation. And, well, Tylenol never seems to work. Our go to is this amazing cream, Penetrex, but that wasn’t even working! And the Chiropractor and therapy seemed to agitate it even more. Needless to say, I immediately took my oils into her room and put it on her knee using the layering method. Immediate relief! WHAT?

I seriously need someone running behind me all day whispering…YOU HAVE AN OIL FOR THAT!!!! And this, my friends, is why I LOVE dōTERRA® Essential Oils!