Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sharing Birthdays

Today is my birthday and like most of my birthdays since my daughter was born, I don't feel like mine is that big of a deal.  Her birthday was 2 days ago.  I am so busy making it a great week for her that I'm birthdayed out when it is my turn.

I started planning her party a few weeks ago.  She wants to have some friends over to eat dinner and watch a movie.  She chose the Book of Life, so we have a Mexican theme.  I created an invitation and emailed it out.  We'll be making enchiladas. I still need to make decorations and get stuff for the party. I bought a few gifts for her last Saturday.

On Monday, her birthday, I picked up donuts for her class.  For lunch, she requested Carrabbas.  I ordered that online and took it to the school to eat with her.  That night, I made lasagna and steamed carrots for dinner.  My son took the picture below that evening. We had a good time.  Now, I am preparing for her party this Friday.  I enjoy all the excitement for her, but I have very little left over to devote to my own birthday.

As a single mom, it is easy for mine to get swept under the rug.  My kids wanted to buy presents for me, but that would mean I would have to take them shopping and give them money.  I can't really afford to do that.  They make me sweet little cards and notes instead.

Don't feel sad for me.  I am also overwhelmed by the heart-felt messages on Facebook.  I love all of that positive energy.  Quite a few friends called and stopped by with gifts.  My work even sent cupcakes.  One dear friend gave my kids each a dollar to go to bed early.  They actually were down by 6:30 and asleep by 7pm.  --Best gift EVER!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

2015 New Years Resolutions

A strange thing happened last year.  I really started believing in the power of writing goals or desires of the heart down.  I have been doing it for years, so obviously I believed that there was merit in doing it.  Last year, I unexpectedly became a huge fan.

In the months following my divorce, I wrote a list of goals or desires that I wanted to happen in five years.  The list included 2 things that I didn't really know how to work on, so I didn't do anything about them. To be blunt, I hoped I could get the loans on my townhouse and vehicle in my name only (not with my ex).  I was working part-time and was making the payments all by myself often without child support, but I was sure I couldn't qualify for the loan by myself.  After writing it down, I went about life and didn't think about it again.

Last December, the transmission on my car went out.  I had just paid it off, but the title was in both of our names.  I pouted a few days, but then went to Car Max and got a cheaper used car, which I did qualify for ALL BY MYSELF.  I still didn't think about my goal until a month later, when I got a call from my mortgage company.  They told me that the government has a program to help people refinance.  I told them that I had gotten divorced and wasn't making very much money.  I didn't know if I could qualify.  They told me that I should try, so I went for it.  A few months later, the townhouse was only in my name.  I did nothing to seek those things out, but within 5 years they came to pass.  Coincidence?  Maybe...but I believe writing them sparked it all.

Now it is 2015, and I definitely want to document my resolutions.

1.  juice

I am going to juice more often (3 to 5 times a week).  Maybe even do a 3 day juice fast every month or two.  I love juicing, but I have gotten out of the habit.  Every time I need a little motivation, I am going to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead - 1 or 2 (  Love those documentaries!

2. de-clutter my house 

For my entire life, I have never lived the the same house for long.  I have always moved with-in a year or two.  I have never had to spring clean or purge the junk that tends to accumulate.  My de-cluttering was basically about throwing stuff out that isn't worth moving.  I have now lived in this house for 3 1/2 years.  It completely surprises me that we could have so much extra stuff when I am very thrifty.  My goal is to figure out how to de-clutter when the goal isn't moving.  

3. pay off credit cards

Now that I am working full-time and life has started getting financially easier, I plan to reduce my debts and save more.  That is pretty straight forward.

4. lift others

I can't even count how many people have gone out of their way to help me through these last few years.  I am often shocked and humbled by their generosity and kindness.  I want to do help others the way they've helped me.  I started donating blood on a regular basis.  It happened because I felt like I didn't have anything to give, but I am healthy and realized that is one thing I could do.  I want to keep looking for ways to spread kindness.

5. teach essential oil classes

I have learned so much and there are quite a few people calling me and approaching me to ask questions.  People are really starting to take an interest in essential oils.  Our blog, Essential Health Solutions, is blowing up.  In a little over 2 months, it has had over 2,000 hits and it is picking up more readers all the time.  I see more and more people turning to essential oils.  My local grocery store has more than doubled their shelf space for essential oils and those brands aren't even safe to take internally or use topically. I see more and more people getting excited and wanting to learn more.

I think that is a pretty good list.  I would like to think that sharing it makes me more accountable.  I have a few other more personal things listed in a notebook.  I guess those are more dreams/wishes.  For some reason, I feel like sharing those kinds of things that I have less control over will jinx them like a birthday wish.

Cheers to you all!  Happy New Year and may life take you where you need and want to go!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

We are spending the day with some friends that have a girl Lexi's age and a boy Jordan's age. I'm making rolls, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole.  We might head over to spend time with old friends this evening and eat more pie (like I need more dessert).

Hope this day is full of amazing memory making moments and love for everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving!   

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Better as an Old Friend

I have lived in this town several times in my life.  The first time my family moved here, I was only 16.  I had a whole year of high school here and made quite a few friends that I am still close to.  At least a handful of friends fit into this category. I love them dearly along with their spouses, kids and parents.  We go through phases where we see each other quite often and talk on the phone.  Then we'll go through phases where we don't communicate very much for a few weeks or months.  I have already put in the time and effort with my old friends so we can pick up right where we left off.  It is comfortable and we know each other's history.  I love sharing life with them.  I love knowing where they came from and seeing the progress and how well they handle the trials in life.  When we talk, they know that I am not that strange or only what I am right now.  They can see phases in life or why I am the way I am.

I also have other friends that I made during that time period that I am not really close with (mostly old church friends), but that I am thrilled to run into around town.  It is fun to catch up and even share an occasional activity.  Both types of these long term friends hold a special place in my heart and I feel like I am good at being their friend.  

On the other hand, we've lived here (this time) for the past 3 1/2 years and I've made quite a few new friends.  I think they are wonderful and I like them a lot, but I just don't feel like I am able to be a good friend to them.  At first, I wondered if it is because I feel so deeply for my old friends that it is strange to like the new ones.  It actually took a while for me to realize that some of the new people I spend time with are actually "friends." Now that I see that, I understand that relationships just take work.  

Sadly, I am stretched too thin as it is. In order to develop a friendship, it takes time and effort. The new friends want to talk more and hang out several times a week. I feel like I am being a little rude because I am just too busy.  Whenever we talk on a deeper level, it turns into a whole long conversation explaining the back story.  I don't mind sharing or listening, but it really isn't as easy as it is with my old friends.  Many of them are fairly new to this area and they are wanting to find people to do things with.  That is also difficult for me because I don't have money for extra things like going to lunch.  I also work full time and many of them are stay-at-home moms.  

I feel very fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life.  I just hope that I am not failing them or making them feel like I don't care.    

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Alex Boye - Shake It Off

Taylor Swift's song - Shake It Off is really catchy, but I like this version much better.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

Lexi and Jordan dressed up last weekend for a Trunk-or-Treat party.  This year, our theme is circus.  She is a 3-Ring Master and he is a Strong Man/Lion Tamer.  I had planned to be a Fortune Teller, but this has been a hectic month.  Plus, after sewing Lexi's skirt at the beginning of the month, I realized I was done with sewing for a while.  My plan was to make a black peasant top to match her skirt, but life marches on too quickly.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Separate Oil Blog

For the past 2 months, I have been thinking about creating a separate blog for essential oils.  There are a lot of reasons I have been wanting to do that.  I guess mostly because even though this is a public blog, perhaps I would feel a bit overwhelmed by higher traffic volume (from twitter and pinterest links).  That kind of attention, would definitely not make me feel like sharing as many personal things.  I also don't want this blog to be mostly about oils.  That is a topic that comes to mind a lot, so I would probably end up posting too much on just that.

On the other hand, the idea of a whole separate blog sounds like one more thing to deal with in life.  I'm not sure how well I can handle what is on my plate already.  This has all been on my mind lately.  Friday, a friend, who has also become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, expressed a desire for us to invest a little more into the whole oil thing.  There are quite a few of us in this boat, so I told them that we should share a blog.  They were quite interested. I am the only one that has been a blogger, so I set it up.  Here is the link:

I added quite a few oil posts that were from this blog to get it populated.  I also emailed them all invitations to be contributors.  Hopefully, it is completely up and running soon.  I know many of them will have much more interesting things to share than I do.

By the way, I am also signing us up to have a booth at a few of the little craft fairs around town.  The first one will be on Oct 18th at St Peters.  If you're local, please visit us!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Oil Pulling

The same friend that introduced me to doTERRA essential oils, is a huge fan of oil pulling.  She is actually planning to teach a demonstration on Monday and asked me to make a hand-out for her.  I made the graphic above.

You might have heard about oil pulling before.  It seems to be popping up everywhere, like here:

There are plenty of more places like blogs, fashion magazines, and holistic websites, but I thought I'd link some of the more mainstream websites.  I have read quite a few articles about it.  The most positive sites claim that oil pulling can rebuild cavities or completely improve your overall health.  The PubMed site refers to a study saying that oil pulling reduces Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities and is linked to heart disease.  

I am pretty sure my friend does it almost every day and she feels it is worth it.  My mom has a friend who lives near me that swears by it too.  Over a year ago, she was visiting her daughter overseas when she suddenly experienced a horrible toothache.  Not wanting to find a dentist, she googled holistic remedies.  Oil pulling came up and she gave it a try.  Her toothache stopped being painful and she has been hooked ever since.

Even though I've heard about their positive experiences, I have managed to do only it about 10 times over the last 5 months or so.  One week in May, I actually did it 3 times.  Oddly, I had several random people that week tell me that my teeth are very white.  How often to people notice things like that?  Apparently, more when you are oil pulling.  Now that it is on my mind again, I think I'll make it more of a priority.

Trying oil pulling is rather simple, you don't need anything special just one of these oils:

sesame oil
coconut oil

I happen to prefer coconut oil even though in the cooler months it has to melt in your mouth before you can swish.  I also like to add a drop of essential oils mostly for taste enhancement, but they have therapeutic benefits as well.  I like peppermint and On Guard. After swishing for 15 to 20 minutes, I spit it into a paper cup and throw it away.  Next, I brush my teeth and that's it.  My friend often does her oil pulling in the shower to knock it out while she is busy doing something else.  20 minutes of oil pulling does seem long if you aren't distracted.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Being a Single Mom

People often say to me, "it must be so difficult being a single mom" or something close to that.  I usually say that it is a lot easier than being married was.  Of course, I feel like my divorce was about kicking the frat boy out of the house.  To be fair, he did contribute financially and helped around the house.  He was great at organizing and cleaning the garage.  In fact, he has done it a hand-full of times in the last few years.  He just loves doing it and he doesn't have a garage of his own.

Like most women, I did most of the housework, child care, shopping, and errands.  None of that changed because of the divorce, which by the way was 5 years ago (can you believe it?).  There has been a few downsides though, including:

1. I guess the biggest impact has been financial.  I'm not getting a lot of child support. I chose to have the amount lowered because I knew he would struggle.  He tends to go through at least a couple of weeks of unemployment every year, so I don't always get it either.  At least, he has good intentions.  

2.The second biggest impact has been house repair things.  He is a fairly handy person and he knew a lot of people who can do some of the things he couldn't.  I never had to worry about those issues.  My house is only 8 years old, but little things tend to need repairs like the faucet on my kitchen sink or cheap light fixtures that had to be replaced.  My ex still helps me with some things, but sometimes I have to wait months until he gets around to it.  I have a home warranty so appliances and my a/c are covered.  My step-father and mom come for a month in the winter so they help with a few things.  When my brother visited, he also did quite a bit.  

3. The third thing I have noticed is the problems that come up that are a bit overwhelming.  It would be nice to share the impact with someone else.  Like last December, the transmission on my car was breaking down.  I had just paid off the car and was excited to keep it another 5 years.  Sadly, I didn't have $5k to fix it.  Those kinds of problems remind me that I am all alone in this, which isn't fun.

It isn't all bad though.  The last few weeks, I have heard quite a few comments that has me thinking that there are a lot of controlling spouses out there.  One friend said, "My husband would never let me buy that."  It was only a $30 item and they are not struggling at all.  A friend of a friend said, "My husband keeps the thermostat in our house at 78 degrees so I am used to being hot."  Both times I managed to politely smile while biting my tongue.  Another friend told me about her sister-in-law that seems like a nightmare of a wife.  Marriage is tough. 

Fortunately, I am an extremely independent person.  I think that makes being a single mom much easier.  I like making all the decisions on my own.  I can compromise, but isn't it nice when you don't have to? All the money, even though there isn't much, can be spent on things that I think are important.  Activities and vacations are all decided by me.  I don't have to watch a movie, tv show, sporting event, or even do something that doesn't seem worth it to me.  Most of what I do revolves around the kids, but that is what I choose.  I have realized that this is the perfect time to appreciate my independence.  So what if I haven't been on a date in years?  I can't afford a babysitter anyway.  ☺

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Healthy Toothpaste

Now that I've come to trust and LOVE doTERRA, I am trying other products they make.  Several months ago, I bought OnGuard toothpaste for my son.  Besides being healthier, I liked that it has a big cap that is stuck to the tube.  That means it will not disappear or fall down the drain and clog up the sink, which he has managed to do before.  A few days ago, a report came out about regular toothpastes that has convinced me that Lexi and I need to be using OnGuard toothpaste too.  I've tried his and it tastes great.

Check this out:
Polyethylene in Crest

If you want to order it, go to: