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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Is Amazon Prints Good for Photos? PLUS $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

I love taking gorgeous pictures of special moments,  but I often get all in my head when it comes time to print them -- where should I print them? What's the best deal? What's most convenient? Is it even worth it?

I've got the details on Amazon Prints for you today.

Amazon has launched a photo printing service that allows all customers to print their memories. Prime members can upload images to their Prime Photos account, print the product of their choice, and receive FREE delivery (I just love free). If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your favorite photos.  Prints start as low as $0.09. That's a good deal - I mean, I used to use Walmart because I thought they're the cheapest, but they're the same price. Amazon is just more convenient for printing pictures.

Plus - check out this awesome giveaway where there are literally $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be won!! Whoop! Whoop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wellness 101: Simple Strategies That Promote Healthy Living

Wellness 101: Simple Strategies That Promote Healthy Living 

If leading a healthier life is one of your goals for 2017, know that you can hit that goal! One great way to make it happen is by coming up with a plan and setting smaller goals to help you hit the larger goal. Below you'll find just four of many strategies you can use to promote healthy living starting already today. 

1. Make Meditation A Must. Meditation is beneficial for numerous reasons, including the fact that it can counteract the anxiety you experience due to the pressures of work or complications in personal relationships. Some of the other benefits of meditation include clearer thinking, better sleep, and enhanced immunity. Note that you can begin receiving these health benefits by meditating for just 10 minutes each day. I personally love the Calm app, which I use as often as possible to help with everyday stress.

2. Hire A Personal Trainer. At this time, roughly 80% of Americans fail to get in the recommended amount of exercise. Yet you need to get in regular physical activity if you want to look and feel your best. Some of the great benefits you'll attain from leading an active lifestyle include a slimmer physique, more energy, better memory, more youthful looking skin, and a better metabolism. With these realities in mind, be sure to consider the value of hiring a personal trainer. She or he will be able to develop a customized fitness plan that enables you to get fitter and stronger. Also note that the personal trainer will be able to offer you external motivation on days when you don't feel like working out.

 3. Develop A Meal Plan. If you're serious about getting healthy, get serious about eating well. Many health coaches and wellness professionals argue that diet is the single most important factor in contributing to or detracting from an individual's mental and physical equilibrium. As such, you want to focus on eating nutritious, delicious food around the clock. Developing a meal plan is one of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure that you do so. If you're not familiar with the world of nutrition, you can hire a nutritionist to put a plan together for you. You can also use free online resources like to log in your food and then determine whether you're attaining all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally.

 4. Purchase Your Health Products Online. Oftentimes, people complain that getting healthy takes too much time and/or energy. If this is one of your issues, note that purchasing high quality health products via internet can make the process of wellness optimization much smoother and simpler. Companies like Health365 are pleased to offer clients a wide range of wonderful supplements and wellness products that will contribute to mental and physical well-being. Visit their website now if you want to buy glucosamine online or simply browse through their selection!  

Start Your Wellness Journey Today! You can do anything you set your mind to. This includes getting healthy. If you're ready to get on the road to wellness now, start implementing the health strategies outlined for you above!

You can do it!

*This is a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting our blog.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

5 Delicious Cinco de Mayo Recipes You Can't Pass Up

Oh are you all in for a treat today! I have master chef Erica Rogers here today sharing 5 Recipes for a tasty Cinco de Mayo using essential oils. 

Hola!  I'm Erica, your guest blogger today, and I'm honored and excited to be here!! 
As you all know, it's MAY!!  And you know what that means... CINCO DE MAYO!!  I love theme parties (and I really love tacos and essential oils!), and what are theme parties without food?!  So today - all Mexican dishes that I have created are using Young Living oils!  Go ahead and throw together a little fiesta and show your friends what all you can do with oils in the kitchen!!  

On the Menu (and YL oils used):
Horchata-- cinnamon bark
Guacamole-- lime, lemon
Fresh Salsa-- lime
Pork Carnitas-- oregano, orange, lime
Mexican Hot Fudge Sundaes-- cinnamon bark

First, Horchata!!-- If you haven't tried it, you should!!  It's super easy to make and you will impress your friends with something other than Coronas.  Speaking of Corona... if you like to party like I do, add a shot of rum to your glass of Horchata!!

Guacamole--  fan favorite in our house!  The best part is, you can tweek it to your liking!!  There's no wrong way to make guacamole.  If a waiter can do it table-side, you can do it, too!!

Salsa--  seriously, y'all, it takes less than 5 minutes to make, but scores high when impressing your friends!  This batch makes quite a bit....I hand out little mason jars of salsa to mi amigas to take home!

Pork Carnitas-- worried about ruining the meat?  I've been there!  Don't run away can't mess up this one, I promise!!  Crockpot and then broil- you got this!!

Hot Fudge Sundaes-- I decided to ditch the churros (over used!!) and the flan (who really likes it anyway??), and go with something simple yet delicious!! 

A couple other things to try:
•add a drop of lime to your favorite Mexican beer!!
•add a drop of lime in with the water and rice when cooking.  When finished cooking, top with red pepper flakes and queso fresco!!

Cinco de Mayo parties are way fun and easy-- lots of drinks for adults, a little mariachi music, tasty food, and a piñata for the little ones....a fiesta!!  
Fun fact:  Did you know Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day?  It celebrates the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  Yes, Mexico unexpectedly won that battle, but lost the war, so Cinco de Mayo is more celebrated in the United States than Mexico.  


Mouth watering yet? Holy yum!!!! Go - make these now! And if you have no clue where to get these essential oils, you can find them here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Is the Art of Letter Writing Dead?

I remember the days of writing my pen pals letters and waiting hopefully by the mailbox for a possible letter from a dear friend. These days I mostly get junk in my mailbox. It's on essential oil delivery day that I get most excited to get the mail.☺ To be honest, I don't even remember the last time I received a hand written letter.

Personally, I am not that great at setting aside the time to send hand written letters either. However, in the last year or so I have tried to resurrect the art of letter writing, and I try to send out a couple of items of "happy mail" each month. I have received multiple blessings from this - friendships strengthened, business growth, encouragement received at the perfect time, and I know my friends and family smile every time they get to open and read a hand-written note. It makes you feel special to know someone took the time out of their busy lift to sit down, think of you, and write you a letter.

While yes, it does take a bit more time than shooting off a text or email, I think it means a lot to the receivers of the mail, and it has been fun to pick out cute cards, thank yous, and invitations to send and teach my kids how to send and address real mail.

What about you? Do you send snail mail or do you think the art of the hand-written letter is dying or dead?

*This is a sponsored post. Thank you to Paperless Post for inspiring these thoughts.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Great Debate - To Coffee or Not to Coffee

Is Coffee Healthy? That is the question of the day lately in my circle of friends. I wrote an article Is Your Coffee Healthy a few years ago, but I thought it was time to approach this topic again, because I feel like coffee drinking is the American thing to do these days, and I wonder how this is affecting all of us.

Personally, I am not a coffee drinker. I would rather feel tired if my body is tired, so I can give my body what it really needs - more TLC and rest. BUT - I just got back from another trip to Costa Rica several weeks ago, and I had a wonderful time staying on an organic coffee plantation. I took the entire tour of the plantation, learned a ton of great info about coffee, and had an eye-opening coffee tasting experience.

I must be converted to a coffee drinker now, right? Actually no. I mean, I won't turn down an amazing cup of joe, but my husband, on the other hand, has now taken his coffee drinking to another level. He immediately bought a french press, hand coffee bean grinder, and the best organic whole beans to drink every day. It's pretty awesome to research your food and drink to this level, so I am proud of him for not settling for mediocre coffee after we learned and tasted the best of the best.

Back to the questions at hand. My super-smart researcher friend Katie Mulinix had a great answer and much insight to share on this topic, and I'm thankful she allowed me to share it with all of you.

Is Coffee good for us?

Short answer:  Quality coffee brewed well is generally an okay thing to enjoy. It depends on how much you NEED coffee, as well as the state of certain aspects of your health. If you NEED coffee, your health is less than optimal. The easier it is for you to drop coffee, the better your health is. Also, it can be too hard on the body if you have certain health issues.

Long answer:  The NEED for coffee likely stems from a circadian rhythm issue and a lack of melatonin recycling that slows your electron chain transport--which drives your mitochondria's ability to produce energy to fuel your day--and coffee is the crutch many use to fix that doesn't fix the cellular level melatonin issue, but is a crutch to overcome that. If it's one off day, this is easily recovered from. But daily NEED means you should address those issues, because downstream repercussions are also potentially looming (like hormone issues, as melatonin signaling is an aspect of sulfating cholesterol to make Vitamin D and the more common hormones like progesterone). Coffee NEED is an indicator of brewing other issues, not the cause of them, except in the case of adrenal issues or potentially in high blood pressure. [Steps to reduce one's NEED for coffee--besides reducing your intake--aren't hard but take diligence, assuming you don't have bigger issues like adrenal fatigue or high blood pressure...though those steps also help those issues too...if anyone is interested, let me know, I am not going to go on about that here, now.]

If you don't have high blood pressure or adrenal fatigue, generally speaking it's fine to have a cup. But coffee has the ability to turn into a crutch, whether it's coffee itself or life changes (like not minding your circadian rhythm) that drive the need for a crutch.

As for the coffee itself, it has a lot of nice health benefits....but it can be hard on the body too. Even seemingly healthier coffees like bulletproof can cause issues.... bulletproof coffee can cause glucose to rise in those prone to issues (also depends on the ingredients used and their affect on one's body) and upregulate other pathways in the body  that aren't beneficial; if you add cream and sugar, those need to be quality too (no need to put extra chemicals or inflammation-promoting conventional dairy into your coffee).

The hardest part about coffee is the way it can be both a WANT and a NEED but the want feeds the need until the need for the crutch grows and grows and then you have downstream implications. It can be good for you, until it's not. And then it can be tough to extract yourself from needing it AND you have bigger issues to deal with, issues that often can drive you to wanting more coffee.

However, stressing too much about anything can have worse affects on the body, so there is that aspect, too. Making an educated decision is almost always a great thing, but just keep listening to your body and paying attention to the feedback it gives you let's you know if it's a good thing or not. Stressing about whether or not it's a good decision adds cloudiness to everything you are trying to figure out. 

Katie's personal experience:
I used to drink shots and shots of espresso in massive flavored/sweetened lattes. No surprise, my health was tanking and I had adrenal fatigue, among a laundry list of other issues. I don't think coffee was the key driver (though the loads of milk and sugar were contributing factors, among many other things like endless hours at a stressful job and brewing health issues), as my other issues were major, but in retrospect it was a huge indicator of my tanking health.

I have taken major breaks from coffee for various reasons over the past few years, to heal adrenal fatigue and to do the intro to AIP [the Autoimmune Protocol], which was a key piece in turning off my immune system overdrive that was attacking my thyroid and I have healed a lot of my Hashimoto's hypothyroidism as a be clear, it wasn't just giving up coffee that did this, but was part of a broader plan. 

I have settled into a place where I have a coconut milk latte sweetened with maple syrup 3-6 times a week. And it's a small, personal size French press that yields 6-8 oz of coffee, not 12 oz, per cup.
I found that, personally, I missed the ritual and comfort of a cup of something warm (or cold in summer!), but tea has never cut it for me in the same way. I also need the fat from the coconut milk and the fullness in my belly for better functioning. I rarely ever NEED coffee at this point but it's a really nice to have. I NEED the fat and the belly fullness, but those stem from those health issues I hinted at. I am definitely at the WANT stage and sometimes after a tough night, the NEED stage, but that's a short lived thing now that I have dialed in my health, and that's an indication of my greatly improved health, and a solid place to be in regards to coffee.  

So - friends - those are our two cents. Take them or leave them. The bottom line is listen to your body and make educated decisions. :-)
Your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mixing It Up in the Kitchen in 2017

I don't know if it is just me or what, but I like to mix things up. I like variety in my life. I can't eat my eggs the same way every day. I can't do the same workout every day. I love trying new things.

If you feel the same, you are going to love these ideas on how to mix it up (in a healthy way) in your kitchen.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to take inventory of your kitchen. Do you have dressings that expired 3 years ago? Yes, it is time to toss them. Kimchi that you've had stuffed in the back of your refrigerator since who knows when? Frozen veggies that have a layer of frost around them that is more than the actual veggies inside? (those may or may not be examples from my own home) 😼You get the idea. Toss them.

Now that you have space in your cupboards, freezer and fridge, try out some new goodies.

For those of you who don't live in Alaska and can get fresh Alaskan fish whenever you'd like, there is
Wild Planet. I love Wild Planet. It is safe to say we eat some kind of Wild Planet in our house every single day. Whether it is skinless and boneless sardines, wild mackerel fillets or Alaskan salmon, we love their fish.

Yes, we eat fish out of a can, which I normally don't recommend. But Wild Planet has NO BPA in their cans, which is one of the main reasons we choose them. They are also super picky about what is inside the cans, which is the other reason we choose them. And now they just added organic roasted chicken breast, which is so easy to add to veggies and have a quick meal! All of these products are sustainably-sourced and contain zero added preservatives. The Organic Roasted Chicken Breast, for example, contains only two ingredients: chicken and sea salt. A great source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and Omega-3s, you've got to try them out soon.

Now we don't eat many grains in our family. We love our popcorn on Sunday nights as a family, but we eat mostly Paleo. However, sometimes we like to mix it up with breakfast. We always and only choose sprouted grains, and I love how easy Ezekiel 4:9 Food for Life makes finding sprouted grain products. I used to only think they had bread, but no! I was just recently introduced to their Sprouted Grain Flax English Muffins and Sprouted Grain Waffles.

These are some tasty sprouted grains! They have the perfect crunch, do not fall apart as you spread them with Kerrygold or ghee, and they are full of their own flavor. I kid you not, my kids didn't even ask for syrup. Oh, and make sure you try out their Cinnamon Raisin bread. Delish!

Now for the sweets. I don't often eat ice cream. But my hubby - that's another story. I mean, we live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, and he still wants ice cream all winter long. Weird, but true. So I try to turn his head towards Halo Top Creamery, because they are a more natural, better-for-you ice cream that still comes in mouth-watering varieties like Red Velvet, Oatmeal Cookie, Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter Cup, and more. Believe it or not, these only have between 240 and 360 calories per PINT! I like that they are Non-GMO and made with zero artificial preservatives. They're also low in sugar and high in both protein and fiber. Win-win.
Change it up in your kitchen. Throw gross stale food away. Try something new. And fuel your body with the best. 

Big thanks for the products I was sent to review. No other compensation was given.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Essential Oils and FREE Diffuser Necklace for Christmas

If you're like me, you definitely don't have your Christmas shopping done, you are desperately trying to get any discount, coupon and offer out there, but you also don't ever compromise on quality when it comes to health and wellness.

It's with you in mind that I am offering this gift when you grab your Young Living starter kit of awesomeness and give yourself and your family a gift you will NEVER regret.

I always recommend getting started with the premium starter kit for $160 because it is the best deal and comes with 11 bottles of oil and a diffuser. The diffuser retails at almost $100 - so it's a fabulous deal! BONUS - this month, you also get the Christmas Spirit blend for FREE with the kit!

Not a day has gone by since I got my kit years ago that I haven't been over-the-moon thankful for my oils. Just a few of my favorites from the kit:
  • Thieves - we use Thieves daily for boosting our immune system and I love that I can use it topically OR in my diffuser. The diffuser is really helpful to have because I can fight airborne germies that way too! Love it! 
  • Lavender - we use Lavender for calming, supporting skin, in our owie roller, and in our Sweet Dreams bedtime spray - it's my most reached for oil! 
  • Peppermint -  we love this one for when your head starts pounding, your tummy starts feeling funky, and as a great energy boost in the diffuser. 
I use my oils from the starter kit each and every day, and you can see more in this graphic from my December newsletter below.
When you buy your kit before December 31st, I will also send you a diffuser necklace for you to enjoy with your oils.

Whether you are brand new to oils or have been learning little bits at a time, I am here to help you learn (because you know I can't turn the teacher-in-me off) and walk with you on your journey toward health and wellness. Here we go!

 You can order here
Hurry - my offer ends Dec. 31st!

Check out these other posts to get more ideas on how you will be using your oils: