baked

Organic - not Gluten Free. MTHFR.

12:37:00 PM

I didn't want to be that person that had to read every ingredient and pay attention to every piece of bread or baked good I may potentially eat. I like bread. Bread is life. It is awesome. Warm baked awesome goodness.
Up until now I never cared. I ate what I wanted. I scoffed at those that paid four to five times as much for "organic" flour - because that was a hipster thing - hipster food. "Organic" is more of a status than a needed element. Unless someone had a serious gluten sensitivity or Celiac - there was no need for them to make a fuss about "no bun" in a restaurant, or passing on the bread at the dinner table. I'm not going to lie, I would get borderline annoyed when out with people who I KNEW had no such dietary requirements and made the staff at restaurants go to such lengths to appease their "trendy" eating habits. I was kind of a jerk. Because in reality - eating habits or dietary requirements - people should eat what they want and what makes them happy. Who cares about what society says. I should have remembered that.
According to United States Law passed somewhere around 1998 - all cereal and bread flours MUST be fortified with Folic Acid and other b vitamins in order to limit the birth defects found in live births in the US. It worked. In fact, birth defects and issues with pregnancy reduced by nearly 35% after the implementation of this program.
Recently I found out, though, that one of the basic building blocks in my body doesn't work. And, because of that - my body can't process certain vitamins - specifically the B group vitamins - including Folic Acid. Basically, I've got a genetic mutation - I'm a mutant. Specifically, MTHFR.
Not bread I made, mind you.  But still bread.  Tasty, Tasty bread.
And I love to bake. And crackers. And to make gravies. I use A LOT of flour. The readily available ingredient is so versatile - and cheap. Heaven knows I've used my fair share of all purpose flour as I raise a family of 7 in order to save money on sandwich bread.
And now I find out I can't have anything that isn't organic - non-enriched. And to buy that, I might as well take out a second mortgage on my house. What doesn't make sense is that flour that is untouched - simply ground wheat - costs FOUR TIMES as much as flour that has to go through additional processes to add vitamins and remove part of the wheat germ to fit the standards.
Because - THAT makes sense. (But we won't go into that)
So here I sit, in my new found ingredient-reading label-watching screaming-and-running-from-the-donut-shop life, wondering how in the heck I became THAT person.
Genetics. Genetics made me that girl.
But the truth is - I'm doing so much better. I'm taking specialty supplements designed to bypass the liver process (that doesn't work), I've cut out enriched flour (even my beloved graham crackers), and I've eaten recently my first protein-style burger (wrapped in lettuce, no bun) - and liked it.
I still don't plan to be the one that makes a big deal out of the menu at parties. I'm certainly not going gluten free. I'll probably find myself a nice grain mill and start milling some of this food storage wheat that I have stored up and make my own flour. It would be really nice if I could buy organic flour without the trendy price tag - but, until then - I'll just find ways around it.
But, my health is improving. My hands aren't shaking like they used to. I have more energy. And I get to tell my kids I'm a mutant - and they tell their friends. That makes me freaking cool...just hopefully they don't ask me what my super powers are.

Cleaning

So my kid had head lice...

11:33:00 AM

I can think of two very valid reasons to home school my children.

1) The ability to sleep past 6AM on the weekdays.  I'd be happy with 7AM.
2) Head lice.

The the second reason is by far the biggest and most important.

Unfortunately, I've had enough experience with the dastardly little creatures, that I am seriously considering a life of complete and total seclusion from society.  I am a firm believer that the only way to easily and quickly rid your household of these unwanted visitors that always overstay their welcome is to burn all your belongings, destroy the house, move to another city, and start new.  Sadly, that's not something most normal earthlings can afford to do.  It may not be practical, but as you are stripping every bed in your house and combing out the fourth head of waist-length hair...a flame thrower seems quite appropriate, and a viable solution.

I know most of you know that I'm one of those people that tries natural solutions first - partly because I like the idea of nature and homeostasis and all that jazz - but mostly because it saves a lot of money to do things naturally - and with five kids,,,I need to find ways to save all the pennies I can.

Not an actual portrayal.  Accurate, but not actual.
In the case of our first lice episode a few years ago - kids were in a school play, everyone shared costumes, recipe for complete and total chaos - I threw the natural thinking right out the window.  I noticed them in my youngest's hair as we were sitting in church.  We'd just arrived, and I looked over and I swear I saw it run from her ear to below her hair line. Without even thinking, and in one swoop I grabbed her and the remaining four kids and swiftly walked out of the building before the opening prayer was even said.  With a look of crazy in my eye that I'm sure my husband would never like to see again, I headed straight to the local Walgreens (yes, this was definitely and Ox in the Mire moment) and spent as much money as humanly possible on every single brightly colored box that promised immediate and complete annihilation of the buggers.  I'm serious, we spent hundreds of dollars.  Sprays, creams, shampoos, special buzzing combs, vacuums...you name it, I threw the entire lot into my cart and bought it all.  I don't remember much from that day, I'm pretty sure I've lost most of my memory from chemical inhalation - but what I do remember is the look of fear and terror on my kids' faces as I raced through the house tearing every blanket, sheet, pillow, stuffed animal away from their surfaces, shoving them into plastic bags, dunking them into chemicals, and hoping for the best.  I'm sure there's things I could have done differently.  Flame throwers, for instance...still an option.

After days of repeating the same processes over and over again, and continually still finding the unwelcome house guests - and after spending probably close to 300 dollars on just product alone... (Yes, THREE HUNDRED and that doesn't include the cost of water or electricity or laundry soap for the multiple loads of laundry each day...or the flowers my husband had to buy me and the dinners we ate out because...well, head lice.)  After about two weeks, I decided that the guests were fully and completely eradicated.

And they were.

Until the next school year, and another school play - and ... There they were again.  Bearing their ugly little wiggly heads and itchy feet.

At this point I could have sat in a corner and balled up and cried.

Not saying I didn't.

This time, though, I had more experience, and perhaps a little more knowledge - or maybe it was just the fact that I had simply ran out of ideas and had been defeated completely and totally by something smaller than the head of my pen...either way - we went a different route.

I've determined that the only way to completely get rid of these vile little monsters is not creams, solutions, special shampoos, or sprays - but rather good old fashioned patience and persistence.  The only way to keep them gone - is a little bit of ingenuity and prevention. And good old vigilantism.

Upon discovering unwelcome head guests - here's what I did...and so far - knock on the closest non-particle board piece of furniture available - it's worked.

Step One:

Image result for magnifying glass eyeUpon discovery, immediately pull your own hair up into the sexiest messy top knot you can muster.  Put on an apron (those awesome plastic disposable ones are best), gloves, and lay down one of those cheap dollar store table cloths.  These may seem like drastic measures - but - these suckers are fast little climbers, beyond fast - they can scale your entire freaking arm in a matter of seconds - I can't help but think of the movie "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" and the scene where they are riding the ant through the back yard for some odd reason.... anyway - these measures will help you in cleanup later. Put the infected child on a stool and brush through their hair - preferably with a plastic brush or comb that can later be washed in super hot skin removing water...I run mine through the dishwasher or boil them on the stove.  Section the hair into 1/2 inch sections - and use one of those nifty lice combs starting at the scalp - and clean EVERY section, every STRAND of hair until you see no more nits or live creatures.  To aid in this, I spray a solution of rubbing alcohol and melaleuca oil  (40 drops melaleuca to 4 oz of alcohol) on the scalp and first few inches of hair.  It does sting a little - especially if they've been working there for a while.  This mixture seems to be the best way to unstick the gorilla glue that the bugs use to attach the nits to the hair strands. It dissolves it seemingly, and those little suckers don't have a chance.  If you need to use a magnifying glass - do that too. You need to make sure you get them all.  I like to also keep a bowl nearby with hot water in it to rinse out the comb between each section - eventually the bowl does fill up with a ton of dead floaters - which is both equally cool and disgusting at the same time.

Step Two:
Once you get the entire head combed through (and depending on how long your child's hair is - this could take several hours...my girls all have hair down to their butts....so....) wash your child's hair with shampoo and melaleuca oil.  You will want to take your regular shampoo and mix it in your hand - so a quarter sized dollop of shampoo and 4 drops melaeleuca.  Scrub their hair.  You can condition as well if you like, just make sure you again add the melaleuca to it.

Once their hair is clean, brush through with a NEW CLEAN BRUSH - don't use the one you used at the beginning of step one - "experts" will tell you that they may or may not transfer through brushes...they don't like to leave the head...blah blah blah ... I can tell you from horrible horrible experience, yes, they will crawl on brushes, and towels...and...well since I've supplied enough fodder for your nightmares, I'll move on...

BLOW DRY the hair.  Pay special attention to the scalp  because that is where they live.  Don't burn your precious child's head (this is the closest thing we are going to get to a flame thrower - sorry) but do make sure that the head and scalp are heated.  Move it around, please I beg of you - if your child says "OW! That's HOT!" move it - common sense, people - common sense.  These bugs do not like heat though, and this step is vital.  There are some "experts" that even say that the heat dehydrates them, I haven't quite seen that - but I like the thought.

Step Three:
Take all the plastic items - apron, floor covering gloves - and THROW THEM OUT - burn them - whatever makes you happy - and then change your clothing and immediately wash everything that you've used in the hottest water possible.  (In my first go round of the head lice game, I put the towel in a basket along with my clothes and then went to bed...exhausted from the emotional combing game.  When I woke up and went to wash - well - let's just say fumigating the laundry room was not fun - and I was one more basket short of a full set because I threw it away along with the creepy crawly living towels inside it.)  Mop the floors. Vacuum the carpet.  Clean the floorboards.  Spray and vacuum all the couches and chairs in your house.  Pretend your mother in law just called and said she's on her way...whatever it takes...but scrub every surface.

This is also the time for you to wash every sheet, pillow, stuffed animal - whatever.  Spray with alcohol and Melaleuca - put non-washables into the dryer with a wash rag sprayed with Melaleuca and run on high heat.  I will usually run through two cycles, just to be safe.

Add meleleuca to all of your shampoo bottles and conditioner bottles for extra measure.  Additionally, I spray my daughter's (and son)'s hair every morning with a peppermint/melaleuca spray as a preventative measure.

Step Four:
Repeat steps one and two EVERY DAY for 10 days to two weeks.  You are going to be an expert in bug and nit identification and removal.  You'll be able to spot those things from 10 feet away.  You'll know how to grab and remove in one swift motion without anyone noticing.  You'll become a lice-removing-ninja with some super sweet skills.  Also, you'll have some sweet upper body/arm strength and muscles show up.  Really.

Other advised steps:
1. Take a bubble bath - you deserve it.  Favorite book and beverage optional.

2. Find yourself some really cute shower caps and head wraps.  You'll never want your hair exposed to the public air ever again.

3. Stop scratching.  It's psycho-sematic, I swear.  If somehow you do notice that you've been invaded - find a best friend to help you through your pain.  Husbands are not helpful.  Some might be - most aren't.  If he can't find the laundry hamper sitting four feet from his pile of dirty socks - he won't see a 1/16" bug that took up residence in your hair.

4. Tell your child's school.  I know, it's embarrassing and it sucks - but, honestly, someone else came to school under invasion and that's why you are where you are today - don't wish that on any other PTA Mom - no matter how many bake sales they've required you to buy stale cookies from.

5. Most importantly - don't feel guilty, or embarrassed, or like you've been a bad mom.  Kids get colds.  They get the flu.  They get lice.  It happens.

Good luck.  God speed.  May the Force be With You.  Thank you, and Good night.



(obviously if you'd like more information on how to get some Meleleuca or peppermint, or any other essential oils, let me know  - contact me or click here.)




Healthy Eating

JOTD - Strawberry Beet

9:46:00 AM

Strawberry Beet Juice - and a somewhat clean kitchen.
I learned two things this morning - if you strain beet juice through a piece of cheesecloth, there's none of that icky gritty-grainy texture I'm not fond of with root vegetable juice.  (Same goes for sweet potatoes).  Coffee filters do not do the same job, and are quite messy when they fall into the juice and you have to fish them out.  The second thing...beet juice turns your hands a delightful shade of magenta.

I'm actually considering using beet juice to color my hair - although, I do have a calling (job) in my church right now that doesn't prohibit but really encourages not coloring your hair in strange hues. I love my calling - so for now, I'll just keep this idea in the back of my idea folder.  (But honestly, wouldn't that be cool?  I wonder if purple fingerling potatoes would do the same thing...another post for another day.)

Strawberry Beet
1 medium beet (washed and greens removed)
5 large strawberries
1 medium orange without the peel
1 medium granny smith apple

Again, I put all these things in completely whole - after being washed of course.  Even the strawberry leaves (Crowns) came through like a champ. Before you do this, make sure your juicer can handle the whole fruit or vegetable. This is the one I use (for full disclosure this does lead to an amazon affiliate link.) I love it because of the easy cleanup, and the easy preparation.  Seriously, if I had to cut up vegetables...yea, not happening.

I'm a Mormon

POFIFOTO - Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

9:14:00 AM

Phoenix, Arizona LDS Temple.
Three years ago, before there was any major talk of women's marches or protesting in Washington - a small but determined group of women set out on a physical journey of over 24 miles on foot which was meant to be a symbolic journey of faith.

Over a period of 8-ish hours, we walked from our church building in Tolleson, Arizona to our nearly completed new Temple in Phoenix, Arizona. For those of you who don't know much about LDS temples or church buildings, or their differences - From Mormon.org:

"The temple is a beautiful, serene place, and it is unique among buildings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church members gather in meetinghouses for weekly worship services. There, they enrich their lives by studying the gospel; they minister and serve among each other. But they attend the temple in part to bless and serve those who’ve gone before them. Every person who has lived on the earth is entitled to the opportunity to receive the blessings of eternal life and eternal family relations. Performing temple work by proxy for those who have gone on before allows God’s blessings to extend to all of His children."

This walk was hard.  It was painful.  It was emotional.  It was many things.  What it was not was lonely, unsupported, or scary.

Even now, three years later, I still reflect on the experiences of that day - and the lessons I took away from it.  

learned that the body is capable of much more than I have ever thought it was.
I learned that through simple acts of service from those around me, I am capable of almost anything.
I learned that when I was ready to give up and be done - when I felt I could not go one more step - that through gentle encouragement and love from those around me, one more step was indeed possible.
I learned that serving and encouraging others as they struggle on a journey can bolster your own faith in completing a task.
I learned all those things as I walked today. But like I said, the journey did not end, nor did the lessons.
The actual physical journey is over, the lessons of love and service and friendship have been learned. The spiritual lessons linger and are constant reminders of His love.
1) We never walk alone. Trials of faith are never experienced without a helping hand, whether it be a friend with words of encouragement, or a kind-hearted neighbor or stranger who is willing to serve you and your family. He always provides a way to overcome anything. You just have to be willing to recognize His hand when he offers it.
2) True faith and spiritual strength come when we are at our most vulnerable. We cannot start to build ourselves back up if we have not yet been completely knocked down. The feeling of completing the walk was amazing. The absolute humility I felt as my husband helped me to walk because the pain was too great, is comforting and overwhelming. At the beginning I felt accomplished for a task completed, now I am humbled for a lesson well learned.
3) The lesson isn't always in the journey, but in the moments afterward. Sometimes you can be so focused on the current task, journey, or trial, that reflection is the only way to truly learn what you need to know.
4) Every day, we put one foot in front of the other moving forward in faith. Just when you think the journey is over, another starts. I was so grateful to be done walking and to be home with my children and loving husband. There was pain, but I was still standing. Once I was home long enough to let my body relax enough, I realized the full extent of the pain and recovery there would be to come.
Moving forward and continuing to put one foot in front of the other while you are facing the trial is important. Remembering to continue on the path once it is over is vital. The lessons you learn in each step need to be carried to the next. They build on one another.
Put One Foot In Front Of The Other.
Our Amazing group of strong, spiritual, women.


baked

BAGELS!

10:00:00 AM

I've always wanted to try to make these small, circular, non-doughnut bread treats but have always feared their complexity.

Man was I ever WRONG.

Of course, I prefer my bagel to be soft and fluffy on the inside and chewy on the outside - like an Einsten's Asiago Bagel... so that really is the texture I'm going for here.

Before you start, know this - you cannot mix these by hand.  I'm not sure how they did it in the beginning, you know, before KA and Bosch, but I am pretty sure I would not have wanted to get into a fight with a bagel maker back in the day.  Kneading the dough definitely takes a piece of really good machinery, or an army of good looking muscle champs.  Since I didn't have the latter available to me, I went ahead and just put good old Speedy, my Kitchen Aid to work.

Ingredients:
3 cups Allpurpose flour
1 cup of vital wheat gluten.
2 teaspoons of salt
3 teaspoons of yeast
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water

In one cup of lukewarm water, grow the 3 teaspoons of yeast.  Set aside while gathering/combining the other ingredients.

Put the flour (and gluten) and salt into the bowl of your mixer and fit the blade with a dough hook.  Turn the mixer on the SLOWEST SPEED possible, and combine the ingredients (about 30 seconds). 

Add the yeast and one cup of water.  Keep the mixer on the lowest speed until the dough forms and is all one one rough ball.  You may need to add a little more water, but do it one tablespoon at the time. You want the dough to clear the sides of the bowl, and form a consistency much like playdough - the store bought kind.

Once all the dough incorporates, turn the mixer on to SLOW.  (On a Kitchen Aid, this would be one dot above "mix" or 2)

Beat the dough on slow for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Separate the dough into 12 equally sized balls - much like making rolls.  I use two sheet pans lined with silpat and put six on each pan.  Cover with saran wrap and let sit until double in size.  Don't touch.  Walk away...slowly...

Once doubled, return to the balls of dough, and shape each one into about a 10" roll (or snake, whatever makes you happy).  I do this by squeezing them until they form long ropes. Don't pull or roll, just ... squeeze.

Bring the ends of the snake together  around your four fingers to form a ring and then press together...then slide it off of your hand like you would a stretchy bracelet.

Place dough rings back on the silpat (or parchment), cover again with plastic wrap, and in a deep skillet pan boil 2" of water.  Bagels will start to rise at this point - you do NOT want them to over rise.  If they get too fluffy they deflate when you boil them  When they are at about 1 1/2 their size, they are perfect to boil.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Put each bagel in the water one at a time until they puff up a little.  (Boil them for about 30-45 seconds) and remove to a wire rack to drain.  I use a deep skillet, and can do about 3 at a time.  I also do flip them over, although I've been told this isn't totally required.  The longer you boil them, the thicker their "chewy" skin is, and the less they will rise in the oven.

If you want to add toppings - cheese, poppyseed, onion, cheese, cinnamon sugar... - etc - do this right after you remove them from the boiling water, and before you drain them and bake them. It makes the toppings stick a lot better.

Put drained bagels on prepared baking sheet (again, no PAM, just flour or cornmeal or parchment, or our good friend SILPAT, or a baking stone...you get the picture) and bake until crisp and golden brown (about 12-15 minutes.)

Allow to cool enough that you won't burn yourself while eating, and ENJOY!

Variations:

CINNAMON RAISIN -
If you want to make your bagels Cinnamon Raisin... in the mixing stage add 1/4 cup of cinnamon to the flour, and knead in 1 cup of raisins before separating into dough balls. It will take a little more water - so increase potentially by 1/4 cup.

CHEESE -
Top each bagel with 1/8 to 1/4 cup shredded cheese.  We use Parmasean/Romano blend, or Parmesean and cheddar.  I've also topped with a slice of Muenster to hold all the shredded cheese down during baking :)

PRETZEL -
Add 2 tbsp of baking soda to the boiling water and boil the bagels as normal. Coat each with an egg wash of 1 egg and 1 tbsp milk and dust with kosher salt before baking. Bake as usual




Family

Ask.

7:47:00 AM


This weekend my daughter had her first track meet invite of her senior year.  She did truly awesome - bringing home four medals and achieving one Personal Record, so of course we are very proud parents :)

By the way, she hates this picture, but it's one of my favorites....
Yesterday, on the way to church, I was asking about her meet - it was one of the few I couldn't go to, so I wanted the run-down.  Turns out, she had a major issue with seasonal discomfort - at one point, she was crying. Apparently, she was sneezing and eyes were itching, and...it was horrible for her.   She has a full arsenal of essential oils and tools at her disposal in her track bag, but just didn't know which ones to use. She was truly uncomfortable, at one point in pain...and she couldn't figure out how to help herself. So, instead of asking for help - calling me or sending a message to see what she could do to find some comfort or relief...she suffered instead.

As I reflected on her experience, I began to think about my own life, and the number of times I've done the same thing. There have been times where I have been terrified, depressed, spiritually dark, or questioned something of importance...there have been times when I faced a choice, had a big decision to make, or needed strength and guidance.  Even though, in those times, I had all the tools available to me - my scriptures, priesthood leaders, prayer...I did not use them.  I suffered instead.

The mutual theme this year is such a sweet blessing and a tender mercy.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."  (James 1:5)

It seems such a simple concept - and at the same time such a hard one to implement.

The reason my daughter didn't call me is she worried I'd make fun of her, or get angry that she hadn't listened to my instructions on how to use her tools.

The reason I often don't go to the Lord in prayer to help with our basic questions or needs is that I fear that He may not want to listen to something so trivial - or He'd be angry at something more serious.

Both assumptions are equally false - both assumptions are given to us by Satan.

Ask of God. Upbraideth Not. It shall be given.

It's that simple.

"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." (James 1:6)

Just ask.  Don't fear.  Don't waver.  Don't let anyone elses' view affect your faith.  If you go to the Lord with a humble heart and faith that you will receive comfort and peace...you will.

Ask in Faith. Don't give up.

The mutual theme this year is one small pure and simple truth that helps build testimony and strengthen the youth. The amazing thing is - it's not just for the youth.  It's for me. For you.  For anyone, of any age.

Choose not to suffer. Choose to find peace.  Ask and it shall be given.


blessings

Pigtails and Overalls.

12:18:00 PM


 She's probably going to hate me for this.  But, being that I'm her mother, and I've been here her whole life - I think that gives me a little bit of freedom in which pictures I post.

She's headed to college this year.

She's made a decision on where she wants to go.

I'm having a hard time reconciling with the fact that she's not my little curly-haired-overall-wearing-tiny-tot that depends on me for everything.  (She's still got the curly hair, and let's face it, she's still pretty tiny too...but, the other stuff...long gone.)

Have you seen those commercials where the dad is talking to his little toddler daughter about not driving on the freeway, and then he blinks and the toddler is replaced with a young woman?  That's where I am right now - my little girl has grown up.

Here's the thing...She's always going to be little to me. So there.  I refuse to blink and let her be grown up.

Whatever.

Anyway, she's going to college. She's narrowed down her choices.  And now we are looking for every possible scholarship available -because dang, college is expensive. Did I mention she wants to be a doctor?  Yes, I'm super proud of her. Equally terrified.

I wish I could write a post about how to get your toddler to eat their vegetables or what you can do to entice them to learning. But we're past that aren't we?

I'm working on posts like funding your child's college education and how to pick a safe vehicle on a college student salary...Yea.  That's where we are now. We're old.

So, excuse me while I step away for a few minutes to go feel sorry for my old self in the corner and throw a pity party for myself with some ice cream refreshment. I think instead of feeling sad that this era is closing, perhaps I'll talk my 9 year old into building a blanket fort and telling ghost stories.  Because right now, that's what I need. Return to simpler, easier times when they wore overalls and needed me to tuck them in at night.

That is all.

discomfort relief

True BLUE! (and other goodies for March)

8:53:00 AM

In this house, we are True Blue - and that doesn't just mean our choice of college football teams.  (Which may change when my daughter goes to college this fall..or not...I can root for two schools if they are in difference conferences, right????   Right...moving on.)

Anyway - This month - deep blue is FREE with any 200 PV Purchase.  That  INCLUDES enrollments!  

And for any existing customers - get a FREE Melaleuca Touch with any 125 PV purchase and 10% off OnGuard foaming hand soap.

On a side note - I went to the doTERRA product center this summer and had to take a little child to use the bathroom -okay, it was me.  I had to use the bathroom....anyway...they have OnGuard foaming hand soap in the soap dispensers there!  I mean, I don't know why I was surprised, but I was - it was truly awesome! Yes, I'm easily amused.

ahem.

back to business.

If you have questions on these products or want to know more about doTERRA - or if you would simply like to order - contact me or go to the website http://mydoterra.com/tamarajhancock - see you there!


Deep Blue® Rub
doTERRA Deep Blue Rub is a topical cream formulated with Deep Blue Soothing Blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®  essential oils, natural plant extracts, and additional helpful ingredients that provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas.
dōTERRA Deep Blue® Touch
doTERRA Deep Blue Touch delivers the soothing benefits of Deep Blue essential oil blend in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil—perfect for those with sensitive skin. Packaged in a convenient roll-on, doTERRA Deep Blue Touch can be used as a soothing massage and to provide a soothing effect when needed.
Rules & Terms
  • All orders must be placed and processed before March 31, at 11:59 pm MT to receive the free product.
  • Orders, once placed and processed, cannot be changed, adjusted, or combined to qualify for the promotion.
  • Orders placed outside the qualifying time period (March 1 – March 31, 2017) do not count toward the promotion.
  • PV is not equal to the cost of an order. Before completing an order, the individual ordering must verify that the order is at least 200 PV.
  • A single 200 PV order can only qualify for one promotional item. If an individual would like to earn the product up to four times, they must place four separate 200 PV orders.
  • Retail Customers, Wholesale Customers, and Preferred Members can qualify for the promotion by ensuring their order is at least 200 PV.
  • Any orders or items returned that result in the order going below the 200 PV requirement will have to return the free product or the product will be charged on the members account.

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Item Number: 38070001 
Normal pricing: Wholesale: $22.50 Retail: $30.00 PV: 18.50
10% off pricing: Wholesale: $20.25 Retail: $27.00 PV: 16.65

doterra

These Health Conscious Parents feel at Home with dōTERRA

8:28:00 AM


Brad and Dawna Toews were forced to become health-conscious parents when their six year-old son was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that attacked his kidneys. Not only were they forced to think about the health of their child, but they also became more aware of their own health, and the wellbeing of their other children. There are over 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, some of the most common being Lupus, Type 1 diabetes, and MS [1]. Though this experience was frightening, their son overcame his autoimmune disease, and Brad and Dawna remained committed to protecting their family’s health.

As a health-conscious couple, doTERRA® grabbed the Toewses attention from the get-go. They had used essential oils before, but when they were first introduced to doTERRA, they noticed a level of quality in the products that they hadn’t seen before. As Dawna learned about the science behind essential oils, she became more intrigued. At the time, she was a health coach so the transition into the doTERRA business came naturally to her, and she was very enthusiastic from the beginning.

Brad was hesitant at first, but once he started to see the progress and money that Dawna was making after only a few months, he started coming around to the idea. Dawna says that Diamond was her goal from day one, and this thought drove her to work hard. She tries to remind others that doTERRA is not a “get rich quick” business and that it’s necessary to work hard, especially in the beginning. “You won’t get that residual income and time freedom in the very first month. You have to work hard for what you want, and the rewards will meet you.”

With Dawna’s experience as a health coach and their focus on family health, she and Brad try to take an educational approach to their business, rather than straight selling. Dawna points out that selling is deeply embedded in Western culture, so it is hard for people to imagine just sharing rather than selling. She says, “This is about educating people and helping them to step out of that small little box that our culture has created for us.”

Along with educating people, the Teowses believe that sharing their personal doTERRA journey with others makes a big difference when it comes to making connections. Sharing their story (and the stories of others) is a powerful tool that Dawna and Brad recommend to other Wellness Advocates who are looking to make connections with potential clients.

Their desire to maintain a healthy family made Brad and Dawna prime candidates for succeeding with doTERRA. Brad says, “doTERRA has become a platform for us to move forward in the things that we were already passionate about. It was a natural fit, since we wanted to help, educate, and really empower people. doTERRA certainly endorses a foundation of good health—something that was close to our heart.”


[1]“Understanding Autoimmunity” http://www.everydayhealth.com/autoimmune-disorders/index.aspx

JOTD

JOTD - Tropical Sweet Potato

1:21:00 PM


My daughter asked me this morning - "Mom,where are you taking the photos of your juice that you post on Instagram?" and I laughed, because it's in our kitchen...those are my outdated 90's Formica counter-tops, and the backdrop...well, it's scrapbook paper.  I *would* take a photo of my kitchen without the paper backdrop, but, well - nobody wants to see my kitchen, or my office that is connected to it.  I like to maintain a little bit of mystery (we are going with that...we don't need to mention the laundry that is unfolded or the floors that need swept that this paper back drop covers quite nicely...)

Anyway, today we went a little tropical.  Pineapple, sweet potato, and apple.  The juice was mostly pineapple....I had some that needed used pretty quickly. Plus, I haven't been feeling well, and did you know that Pineapple is an awesome natural cough remedy?  Really, it contains an enzyme called Bromelain which helps reduce the production of phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract...so, gross, but cool, right?  Sweet potato and Pineapple are both known for their anti-inflammatory properties...and, apples, well - an apple a day, right?

So, there you have it.  

  
Tropical Pineapple Sweet Potato
1 medium sweet potato
1 cup pineapple (fresh)
2 medium Gala apples




doterra

BOGO! Lavender and OnGuard

12:49:00 PM

At least once a year, sometimes twice, doTERRA does a fun BuyOneGetOne promotion.  And guess what?  It's starting THIS WEEK!  So I'm going to use this opportunity to educate on the oils that are being promoted!  And...If any of these deals sound good to you - then please, contact me so we can get them ordered for you!  No need to have a doTERRA account, but if you do - then great!  And if you want more information on how to get one of your own - click here or contact me!



Lavender is widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities.  (That's approved fancy-talk for saying it smells good and makes you calm down in situations when you aren't calm.)  We use lavender in our house ALL THE TIME for things from reducing tension (between siblings mostly) to calming down the dog when there are fireworks outside.  Each one of my kids carries a lavender touch with them  (super cool product made by doTERRA that is already mixed with Fractionated coconut oil for easy application.) for any times they have minor skin irritations, or even just to sniff during school. My oldest carries it with her while she is shopping for colleges to help her ease anxious feelings about flying and about making major life choices - like which college to go to. (Come to think of it, I'm carrying it for that very same reason right now...)  Finally, I add it to my shampoo to help keep my scalp looking clean and healthy - but try to shampoo at night, because we already mentioned the sleep thing...just sayin'.

Now for my favorite -ON GUARD.

I cannot tell you how much I love this blend.  First of all, it smells like Christmas.  You know that scent of walking into a craft store right after Thanksgiving and smelling cinnamon and orange and happiness?  Yes, that smell.  It's. In. The. Bottle.  And I can sniff it year round.  We diffuse this constantly around our house - we clean with it - we apply it to our feet every day during those seasons where perhaps your immune system could use a little support.   Why do we do this? OnGuard supports the body's natural antioxidant defenses, and is an effective alternative to synthetic options for immune support.  My husband even diffuses this one at work...because he's around tons of people all the time sharing all sorts of environmental threats...because they are nice like that.

So - if you buy one On Guard, you get one Lavender - FREE.  Plus shipping.  If you have an account, awesome, login and add OnGuard to your basket and buy it - that easy!  If you don't have an account, contact me today, and we'll get it ordered.  And remember, if you have a wholesale account, this will count toward your points for free product!



Healthy Eating

JOTD - Tomato Vegetable

1:32:00 PM

Admittedly, my kids won't touch this one.  Which is fine with me, because I loved it.  Also, it was quite filling - which is good. I need to maintain my girlish figure (and save room for cheesecake calories, amiright? Of course I am...ahem...)

This exact amount yeilded about 16 oz of juice...which was really two servings...so BONUS!  When "juicing" greens, I've found that it's easier to ball them up into a tight wad (technical term here...don't judge)...and wedge it between two harder slices of something.  In this case, I wedged it between two pieces of sweet potato.  It seems to have worked well.  For this amount of spinach, I got about 1 tsp of juice. Maybe a little more. Not even sure if I get the healthy benefits from that - but it does turn the juice a nice color of brownish green - which grosses out my kids, so, there's that.

Tomato Vegetable

1 Large Beefsteak Tomato
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 small red bell pepper
3 mint leaves
1/2 large sweet potato
2 med. stalks celery

Again, I do not peel, slice, or remove the seeds from any of these vegetables. I'm far too efficient (read lazy) for that. My juicer has the capacity to do so - one of it's biggest selling points. :)  I use a Breville Juice Fountain Multi-speed 900 W juicer, and I do love it so! If you'd like one for your very own, you can check them out here on Amazon.

*Full disclosure, the amazon link is my affiliate link and I am compensated if you purchase through them.  I am not affiliated with Breville, nor do they compensate me in any way directly or indirectly.*

doterra

Q&A With doTERRA's Dr. David Hill

10:35:00 AM

Essential oils became much less confusing and more useable as soon as I learned more about their chemistry. I really enjoyed reading this article because, in my own experience, I knew the essential oils were working for me, but I wasn’t sure why or how. I am the sort of person that needs to know the ‘why’. Learning more about the chemistry can seem daunting which is why I love how Dr. Hill breaks it down for us. He gives an easy to understand explanation of the science behind how and why these drops can do so much for our wellness.  What other resources have you found that help you understand the ‘why’ behind your favorite oils?

If someone is allergic to a certain plant, can they still use the essential oils that come from those plants?
An allergy is the result of the immune system mistaking a substance as harmful and producing antibodies to fight it, resulting in various adverse side effects. An allergic reaction to a plant is caused by a plant’s protein-containing materials (i.e. the actual seed, leaf, or fruit). Pure essential oils do not contain these complex molecules, which are the primary cause of allergies. While an allergic response is unlikely, this does not mean one can use essential oils irresponsibly without risk. Understanding the proper use of an essential oil is always recommended, regardless of the circumstances. If you have concerns about sensitivities or interactions with other treatment plans, please consult your physician or health-care professional for additional guidance.

How do chemical constituents in essential oils affect us?
The chemical constituents of an essential oil are analogous to the macronutrients in food. Just as the fructose (sugar) composition of a banana provides instant energy and has specific metabolic effects, essential oils rich in Limonene can provide a powerful boost to your immune system. The chemical constituents in an oil determine its potential benefits, what metabolites it will produce, and best practices for application. Chemists have to date identified over 3,000 different molecules present in essential oils. Each of these amalgamations of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms have their own unique properties. These compounds are categorized based on their chemical makeup, which hints at their function and physiological activity. Oils high in terpene compounds (ending in "-ene") have different properties than those high in hydroxyl alcohols (ending in "-ol") or phenols or esters, and are therefore suitable for different purposes. Familiarity with the chemical building blocks of essential oils enables any user to practice aromatherapy more safely and effectively.

What’s the difference between Cinnamon Bark and Cassia essential oils? Is one better than the other?
While often thought to be the same, Cinnamon Bark and Cassia essential oils have distinct differences along with some similarities. Although extracted from different species (Cinnamon Bark from Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and Cassia from Cinnamomum cassia) they are both widely referred to as cinnamon and often used for similar purposes. Cinnamon is distilled from the bark of the cinnamon tree while Cassia is distilled from the stems and bark of the cassia shrub. Trans-cinnamaldehyde is the primary constituent in both, though the concentration is the primary chemical difference. Neither oil is better; however, the variance in aldehyde composition results in different ranges of benefits. I recommend Cinnamon Bark to support oral health and to purify the air, while Cassia elevates mood and promotes healthy digestive function.*

The Doctor Recommends
Cassia for elevating mood and promoting healthy digestive function*
Cinnamon Bark for supporting oral health and purifying the air*
Veggie Caps for your custom essential oil dietary supplement program


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

For more information on the oils, or how to purchase them, click here.

Healthy Eating

JOTD - Cucumber Berry Lemonade

10:06:00 AM

I suppose I should talk about the health benefits of the ingredients...honestly, I would if I could. I'm sure it is full of vitamin C and maybe some antioxidants.  I tend to just put things together that I think will taste good - and so far, it's been a good strategy.  I figure if I am at least getting a few servings of fruit/veggies this way each day, it's far better than what I had been eating (or not eating....).  So today's recipe - Cucumber Berry Lemonade.  And honestly, the lemon was an afterthought - like, an ... uh, I guess I better put something through the juicer that will hopefully remove the blueberry stains from the plastic.

And you know what?  It did.

Cucumber Berry Lemonade
1/2 large cucumber
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 medium lemon peeled
1 tbsp of Honey



Family

Mommy Blog - The Teen Years

1:21:00 PM

Do you know what I'm doing right now?  I mean, right this very minute?

I'm searching the internet for a wise sage with advice on how to raise teenagers - you know, a mommy blog for those of us that are past the diapers and formula and snacks that don't have artificial colors in them.

I'm past that.

I've been trying to keep this blog up under the pretense of it being just like all the others - advice on raising normal human children, focusing on the toddler variety.   There's a huge problem with that...

None of my kids are toddlers anymore.  Plus, I was never really a typical mommy blogger- I just desperately wanted to fit in.  I know - reeks of desperation, doesn't it.  I hate myself for it too, honestly.

So, here it is - far from perfect.  No - we don't do workbooks over the summer (and the ones we did buy in the past - we got like four pages into before we (I) got bored with the whole thing.)... No, we don't eat perfectly balanced amazing meals for dinner each night - heck, tonight we'll be lucky if we get some frozen vegetables on the table.

What I can promise you is no more of this froo froo stuff.  This is me.  We are real.  The best I can hope to do is let you learn from my mistakes as we guide ourselves through this abyss of raising teenagers. And running a business.  And being a wife. And....

Yes, occasional recipes and other things will come - because sometimes I do get crafty and pieces of inspiration do strike and are fruitful.

Excuse me now, I'm going to try and find out what we have in the freezer that is still recognizable as possible dinner.


Healthy Eating

JOTD - Sweet Orange Apple

1:09:00 PM

Before you say anything...hear me out.  I would ever, ever, ever eat or drink anything that made my tastebuds retreat in fear.  I like food.  Good food.  Cakes, pies, cookies...all my favorites.  I have a firm belief that food that is good for you should TASTE good too. If it doesn't, I'm not going to eat it...so there really is no point in trying.  Eating healthy should be fun, not a punishment.

There I've said my peace.

So today's Juice of the Day - is:

1 medium Sweet Potato 
2 clementine oranges (I used Cuties)
1 Gala Apple
1/2 drop doTERRA ginger.

And of course I used doTERRA Ginger essential oil because, well - the grocery store was out of Ginger...and secondly, WHY NOT?

To add the ginger, I put applied 1/2 drop to my finger and rubbed it onto the sweet potato before juicing. This way the oil did not sit on top of the juice, and blended in nicely with the other flavors.

I did not peel, slice, dice, or chop any ingredients.  Make sure your juicer can handle such laziness before you go ahead and us it without peeling or chopping.  Mine can.  In fact, it was the number one selling point.  The biggest difficulty with this recipe was finding a glass I could photograph that didn't have a picture of a cartoon character on it, or was a bright shade of "Walmart" plastic.  Look, you know I have kids...we aren't going to all pretend that any of our houses look like Martha Stewart magazine...right?  Right.

*Full disclaimer disclosure - clicking on links will take you to an Amazon affiliate link where you can purchase your very own product just like mine.  You don't have to do so, but it is greatly appreciated when you do!*


Food

The new Juicer - and JOTD (Juice of the Day)

12:57:00 PM




I recently found myself a new obsession - I know, I'm pretty late to the party, but, I just found myself the proud new owner of a juicer...and I've turned into a total giddy school girl about it.  The kids are excited too - in fact I have to watch them closely because it's starting to turn into a David Letterman style game of will it juice or will it not...and while most things will, let's just say I'm not up for replacing it right now due to the creativity and inquisitive nature of my offspring.

That all being said, I really am making a strong effort at eating healthier.  (Pay no attention to the half-eaten slice of cheesecake sitting next to me as I type...) and part of this healthier eating plan is to incorporate more fruit and veggies.  BUT since I also have this thing about taking on more than I can handle at any given time, speed and efficiency usually win out and I end up eating a hamburger or a bowl of cereal (depending on my proximity to said hamburger).

So this new juicer is actually pretty amazing.  I don't have to peel or cut anything. A whole apple - no problem.  Orange with the rind. Absolutely (be prepared for a little more of a bitter/sour taste though...).  Whole cucumber? You Better Believe it.  Cleanup?  Not too big of a deal, honestly.  (If it were I'd have returned the whole dang thing one day after using it.)

Anywho...I've been juicing.  A lot.  And I figured since there were others out there who might also like quick, easy, efficient, and tasty ways to eat their required servings of fruits and veggies I'd start posting the Juice of The Day. Probably not daily...because, well...I may also have a commitment problem.

*Full disclosure, if you click the link it will take you to my Amazon affiliate link where you can buy a juice just like mine for your very own. It is one of the ways I do support myself and my habit of shopping on Amazon.  Thank you!*