Friday, August 15, 2014

Hidden Freckles

Many of you may have freckles you don't even know about....

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

My Love Life

In case anyone is wondering about my love life, this basically sums it up nicely...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Beginner's Trio

For the past 6 months, I have been doing quite a bit of research on essential oils.  I am not an expert at all, but I am getting calls from people I know asking about what oils they should use for various issues.  When it isn't something that I've had to deal with before, I usually end up referring to a website or a book I got from

Starting off with essential oils can be overwhelming.  Unless there is a specific health issue that can be researched on, it is good to start with the basics.  Fortunately, DoTERRA has a three pack of oils that they call the Beginner's Trio.  It contains Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint (LLP).  Everyone has heard of these plants, so it should not sound like a crazy or completely foreign idea.  The great thing about these oils is that individually they are used to treat numerous health and wellness issues. They can also be combined for a powerful allergy remedy.  

Lemon oil is made by cold pressing the rind.  It takes 3,000 lemons to produce 1 kilo of oil, so simply eating a lemon does not provide the kind of benefits that the oil does. This is the first oil I ever tried.  A friend gave it to me for my birthday last year.  It is great for the kidneys, which is why she wanted me to use it.  She was helping me to avoid another bout of kidney stones like I had right after my son was born (6 years ago).  

It is also used for the liver, detoxifying, lymphatics, and glutathione along with a long list of other things.  As for mood management, it helps with stress, overeating, postpartum depression, grief, fatigue, energy, anxiety, and anger.  

Lavender oil is made by steam distilling the flowering top.  I have written about its calming affects in this post: DoTERRA Calming Quest.  I have also been completely amazed by how well it treats burns, bruises, sleep, pimples and even wrinkles.  I have used it for all of those.  If you can manage to rub it on an area that has just been injured, it will practically stop a bruise from coming out.  If you get it on after the bruise has appeared, it heals it very quickly.  I have immediately applied it to my hands twice when I have been burned. I was astonished. In the past, I would have spent hours soaking my hand in ice water and not had nearly the relief that a dab of lavender did.  When it comes to mood management, lavender is great for tension, stress, postpartum depression, insomnia, hysteria, grief, anxiety, and agitation.  

Peppermint is made by steam distilling the leaves.  I have to confess that my love of peppermint goes back to my childhood.  My grandmother always had peppermint growing in her yard and garden.  She often picked it to make peppermint tea.  To this day, smelling it brings back fond memories of her.  I must admit that I have tried adding a drop to my peppermint tea.  I doubt I've had anything so powerful.  The steam from the cup cleared out my sinuses immediately and gave my lungs new life, which is funny because I wasn't even ill.  I later learned that one drop is like 28 cups of tea.  

So far, I've noticed that peppermint is amazing for asthma (my mom has horrible asthma), is an appetite suppressant, is a fever reducer, is great for perking a person up/making them alert, and relieves tension headaches.  I have read that is helps with digestion, hypothyroidism, and lots more.  As for mood management, it works on tension, overeating, mental fatigue, memory, indecision, fatigue, and energy.

Like I mentioned before, these oils can be combined for other treatments.  For summer, I created an after sun mix in a 1 ounce spray bottle.  I used 2 drops of lavender oil, 2 drops of peppermint oil, a squirt of fractionated (liquefied) coconut oil (FCO), and the rest is filled with distilled water.  The mix is great for spraying on after we've been in the sun.  It helps heal the sunburn and cool the skin.  

I also used all three oils to make an allergy nasal spray that I love.  I bought the bottle from Aroma Tools.  I added 2 drops of each oil listed above (LLP), added a squirt of fractionated coconut oil (FCO), and filled the rest with distilled water.  Everyone around us complained through the entire Spring season about how bad their allergies were.  Using this allergy concoction, it was actually not so bad for us.  

These oils can be bought through individually or as a pack.  The retail price of Lemon is $13.33 and the wholesale is $10.00.  The retail price of Lavender is $28 and the wholesale price is $21.  The retail price of the Peppermint is $27.33 and the wholesale is $20.50.  The pack can be purchased retail for $66.67 or wholesale for $50.  In order to get the wholesale price, there is a $35 sign-up/membership fee.  I would be happy to help anyone interested, just email me at  

Monday, May 19, 2014

5K Miracle

On Saturday, I ran a 5k.  I know lots of people do this and I have done it in the past, but I am in complete shock that I did.  I stopped running several years ago.  Every time I tried, I could push myself to 20 minutes and then I'd be hobbling around for the next few days.  My knees have been a huge problem.  I decided it was time to give up on running.  So how did this 5k happen?

There was a Blood Drive/Fun Run activity through a regional area at church (a.k.a. Stake).  My ex decided he wanted to take the kids for the day (VERY RARE OCCURRENCE).  Since I wasn't sure that he would actually come, I decided that we would go to the activity and run/walk the 1 mile if we felt like it.  I also planned to donate blood.  That morning, the kids went with their dad and I headed to the church.  I felt silly doing the 1 mile without the kids, so I decided just to give blood.  When I got there, I found out that they were not able to schedule the blood donation portion.  I basically had nothing to do and no real reason to be there.  Several different people told me that I had a few minutes to sign up for the 5k.  For no real reason, I just did.  I pinned the number on and went to the back of the group (about 250 people).  I had no strategy or plan other than realizing I'd be limping for the next few days.  I thought I'd regret it.

The race started and I had my phone in one hand and my car keys in the other.  That shows how unprepared I was. I just started running and weaving around all of the strollers/families with kids.  Right before the first mile was done, I heard someone I was passing say "Hi Stephanie."  I looked back and it was an acquaintance/friend from church.  I quickly decided that I liked her pace and would just start running next to her.  She is really into yoga and even teaches it, but has been running the last few weeks to prepare for this.  We chatted and stayed together.  I think running with her made both of us continue on without any breaks.  Our official time was 32 minutes and 11 seconds.  It isn't a great time, but I am happy about it.

I am most happy about my knees.  I haven't had one ounce of pain.  This is incredible!!!  I can't say the same about my thigh muscles though.  They are quite mad at me.....  I guess I can start doing this more often.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

DoTERRA Calming Quest

Last year, I posted about trying an essential oil from DoTERRA called Breathe.  A few months after that, I had a conversation with a close friend about how nervous I was to send my son, Jordan, to school.  He is more energetic, distracted, and attention loving than any other kids that I know.  Even though he is quite intelligent and catches on quickly, these behaviors aren't exactly celebrated in schools.  I knew it was going to be a rough year.  My friend's son, who was going into second grade, has some of the same struggles.  She told me that she has had some success with essential oils.  In fact, she said she is at the point when she is getting after her son for acting up that she suddenly realizes she forgot to apply oils on him.  Once she puts them on, he calms down.  Her favorite brand of essential oils is not DoTERRA. I think she has never tried others.  I did a little background research and decided that I wanted to stick with DoTERRA.

To understand oils for his issues, I read several sites including EverythingEssential.  There are quite a few oils that are used for ADHD.  Jordan has never been diagnosed with it and from what I've read, he only has about 1/2 of the identifying markers.  When it comes to essential oils, it is fine to try different things.  They are all beneficial.

For my first purchase, I bought a bottle of Lavender.  It was one of the cheapest calming oils and it is used for lots of other things as well including burns, wrinkles, and bruises. To be honest, the smell was quite overpowering.  I didn't like it at all.  However, I immediately noticed a change in him whenever I put it on.  I applied it neat (undiluted) in the mornings, at bedtime, and whenever his energy was over the top.  It really gave me hope.  I also decided to try it on my face for wrinkles.  The scent still bothered me so I put it one right before going to bed.  It only took a few weeks before the scent stopped bothering me.  I've heard others say that same thing about various oils.  It only takes a little while before the scent is fine.  (That NEVER happens with perfume for me).

From there, I added other oils for continued calming and focus.  I bought InTune, which is a roll-on blend of several oils.  I love the scent of this one.  Women often comment on how great he smells.  Even his pediatrician told him he smelled good.  He just smiled.  I started putting the lavender only on the inside of his wrist and temples.  The InTune goes on the back of his neck.

Next, I heard about Vetiver.  It is used for calming and focus.  I started putting it on the back of his neck instead of InTune to test it out.  I liked the results.  Unfortunately, it has an odd woodsy scent that a few of the little girls in his class complained about.  I don't want my son to be the stinky child, so I read about other places to put the oils.  I started putting vetiver on his big toes.  By the way, acupressure goes hand-in-hand with essential oils.

I also bought Balance, which is often used for hyperactivity.  It is used to help people feel balanced in all ways including hormones, emotions, energy, etc.  It put this on his spine just below his neck.

At that point, I felt like I had a great oil regimen and I noticed a huge change in his behavior for the better.  He went from being the toughest child to deal with in the class to being one of the tougher kids.  My goal was never to totally change him, just curb it enough for him to get by.  There are many great things about all his enthusiasm and energy.

After several months of using those oils, I wondered what would happen if I kicked it up one more notch.  I read this information on a study (ADHD Study Link):

In a two year case study (1999-2001), Dr. Terry Friedmann M. D. found significant results when children that had previously been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD were administered therapeutic essential oils by inhalation. The essential oils of Brain Power, Vetiver, Lavender and Cedarwood were used. The oils were administered in this fashion: one oil was administered by inhalation 3 times per day for 30 days. An inhalation device was also used at night to administer a continuous inhalation of oil. The inhalation of the oils proved to settle the children's brain waves back into normal patters and improved their scholastic performance and behavioral patterns. The final results were:

 Lavender increased performance by 53%
 Cedarwood increased performance by 83%
 Vetiver increased performance by 100%. 

When I read the part about the inhalation device being used at night, I decided that I wanted to try a diffuser.  I bought the Aroma Lite Diffuser about a month ago and have been really pleased.  I fill it with water add a few drops of different oils and put it in his room.  He still has all of his personality and lots of energy, but he is able to behave and can complete a lot more of the endless stacks of worksheets that this school district believes is important. It is nice to feel like I will not have to turn to pharmaceuticals. That is a path I'd rather not take.  

Through this journey, I came to the point where I realized that I was using enough of the oils to sign up for a wholesale membership ($35 for the year gets you 25% off and lots more).  My membership means I have a website where I can sale the products for retail ( or sign others up with wholesale memberships.  I don't want to be a sales person, but the oils are great and can help with lots of different things.  I am now using quite a few and not only on him.  I get more excited about them all the time. If you are interested in learning more or just trying them, I will be happy to answer any questions.  Email me:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Birthday Post

My mom has a Pinterest board that features people laughing or smiling really big.  She tells me that looking at these photos makes her happy.  There is an infectious cheery feeling that comes from seeing others elated.  I think it is a type of happiness that we need more of.  That is why I decided to post the picture above.  It isn't the kind of picture that I like to share.  My eyes are closed and I look pretty silly, but it is undoubtedly a special moment.  My kids are around me and I am talking to one of my best friends.  I think that is why my mom snapped the photo. It was taken 3 days ago at Lexi's birthday party.

My birthday is today.  I'm 41 now.  That age neither depresses nor excites me.  It is just a fun day with lots of people giving me well wishes.  I honestly believe that life goes better when people are sending positive thoughts your way.  It is a day when I truly love Facebook, which isn't something that I have felt lately.  FB has been a messenger of sadness for the past few weeks for many different friends.  Today, I choose to cherish the good times spent with the many people that have carved a place in my heart.  I feel loved and full of love.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Santa Thing

This year, quite a few people have told me that their kids, who are in 5th and 6th grades, still believe in Santa.  I don't know if that is happening all over the US, but it seems to be rather common here.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it is because Texans tend to get very festive.  There are quite a few homes here that rival Clark W. Griswold's.  Perhaps it has something to do with technology advances.  With online orders and overnight shipping, it doesn't seem that far fetched.  Kids can even track Santa's progress on a website. Movies have also gotten better, even though they all still raise questions and doubts when trying to convince the audience to believe.

Isn't it interesting how parents all handle Christmas and Santa differently?  One of my brothers decided long ago that absolute truth is vital in a parent/child relationship.  I've seen his children struggle a little because they would really like to believe in Santa.  However, I don't think his strategy hurts them at all.  I have friends who play up the Santa story.  My mom didn't ever go overboard, but she still likes to say something like you have to believe to get presents.

I tend to fall in the middle of extremes on many things.  When it comes to Santa, I just say we do not know all the details.  I tell the kids that people try to figure out the mystery all the time, but we wake up on Christmas morning and there are presents waiting for us.  It allows me a little room to be wishy washy.  I think this approach gives them room to believe and have a healthy amount of doubt.  Santa isn't all about the kids though.  It turns out, that I get to enjoy the element of fantasy that Santa brings to Christmas.