Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday's Thriving Thought - Live the Dream


Life is what you make it. All the things you dream, manifest and embrace are yours to enjoy. I can honestly say my long dreamt up fairy tale has come true in every way possible and I couldn't be more grateful. All that is left is for me to go live the dream in which I created.

With another beautiful summer upon us, I am so exited to be able to create more magical memories with my guys before we welcome our last little man. So, raise your mock/cocktails and let's cheers to creating AND living the fairy tales we dream of.  Hey, if Ariel can do it, so can we!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

5 Ingredient DIY Lavender Sunscreen


**This recipe has NOT been tested by a regulatory organization and therefore cannot with certainty make any claims to the SPF content***

*Use caution when using zinc oxide and do NOT inhale powder*

As a Thriving eco-mommy I am always looking for healthier ways to live. From cloth diapering, to making my own cleaning products and even getting into making my own beauty products I love trying to make more natural choices for my family. 

Thankfully, my girl Wellness Mama is an endless resource for all things natural and DIY. As usual she came through again with a natural alternative a product we use multiple times a day... sunscreen!

With little ones playing outside most of the day I am quite serious about sunscreen and the constant reapplication of said sun protection. However, I want to make sure that what I am continually covering my littles skin in is safe and as non toxic as possible. Katie, aka, Wellness Mama shares a ton of research on the harmful effects of most sunscreens and smart ways to stay sun safe.


I was amazed to learn about the suggested SPF of individual ingredients and how when combined they could provide just the sun protection we needed for playing outside...before I applied more an hour later...

This simple 5 ingredient recipe is natural, cost effective, easy to make, feels good on skin, smells amazing and keeps the bugs away (did you know lavender is a natural repellant to moths, flies, mosquitos and fleas?!)



Once you have your ingredients (if you aren't into lavender, just make sure to not go with a citrus essential oil as they increase sensitive to the sun) it is time to get cooking!


Combine all ingredients BUT the zinc oxide in a pint size mason jar (or larger).  I have one on hand that I reuse for making other natural beauty products too...that wax is tricky to clean...


Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the lid loosely on the jar and put it in the water.


As the water heats the ingredients in the jar will begin to melt; stir occasionally. 


Once the ingredients are completely melted (carefully) add the zinc oxide powder and stir well.


Pour sunscreen into a jar or tin for storage...I obviously went with my go-to, the all mighty Mason.


Stir a few times as it cools to make sure the zinc oxide is evenly distributed and store at room temperature. 

Hit it with a Washi label and you are ready for some safe fun in the sun!


I absolutely love how this sunscreen feels and smells. The way it leaves a thick white lather on the boys' skin makes me feel great that they are super sun safe...some may not like that, but I do!

Most of all, I love knowing EXACTLY what I am slathering alllllll over my babies bodies! Thank you Wellness Mama for always providing me with great natural alternatives for well...everything!

What is your favorite sunscreen?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

10 Minute Tushy Toner - Preggo Approved


Since my days of teaching fitness classes (for more than myself) are on hold for a bit, I really try to mix up my workouts.

I tend to find comfort in intense cardio (well, as intense as can be when you are growing a human), so I make a point to include weight training 3-4 times a week.  One of my favorite zones to target? My tush. 

My body goes through quite a transition when pregnant. I expand early on and while I stay consistent with my healthy lifestyle, I still seem to struggle embracing the changes my glorious body goes through to create life.  I remind myself this is all temporary, rub my big belly and get back to doing what I love most (well right up there with organizing/cleaning)...sweating.

Now that the intensity of my workouts has slowed (no more squat jumps for now) I love to pull out some of my low impact, burn until you cry, fast and furious exercises. This FOR SHO is one I never tire of...I love to hate it.

This PopSugar, 10 Minute Booty Burner requires only a mat, 5 pound weight (or less) a timer and a ten minute commitment to yearn for that burn. 


Each exercise is only 30 seconds, I repeat, only 30 seconds. Easy enough right? I mean you can do ANYTHING for 30 seconds...ha. Talk to me after.

I love this booty blaster and incorporate it into my weekly weight routine regularly.  I feel my tush and hamstrings getting tighter and only pray this dedication pays off...especially once I shed my pregnancy suit this Fall!

Do you have any good workouts for your backside?  PLEASE share!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Recipe Rave Review: Sweet Crock-Pot Cherry Delight


Summer always brings out my sweeeeeeet cherry pie tooth. While I love a good slice of ooey, gooey pie, when I was flipping through my trusty Crock-Pot cookbook and saw this easy recipe that was sure to meet all my cherry needs!



All I did was melt the butter, mixed it with the cake mix, put it on top of the cherry filling and BAM... pressed start.  It was just too easy. Perhaps not the most healthiest of choices, but come on, every once in awhile is just fine!


I let it cook on low for four hours and kept checking to see when that cake had cooked. As the cherry delight finished up, I whipped up a batch of vanilla ice cream maker. Obviously it needed to be eaten à la mode!  Soon it was time!!

I grabbed myself a sweet schoop and topped with two fresh dollops of ice cream.



Ooooooohhhhhhh yeah. Now that, that was on point. I strongly suggest if you want to fulfill that cherry craving on the fly and without the pie, give this quick and easy recipe a try! I had to hide it to keep from everyone scarfing it down in one sitting!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Earth Mama Knows Best - Mother's Day Shopping!


It is nearly Mother's Day. The one day when it is required by the calendar to overly appreciate and openly adore your mommy. A day when your husband/partner and children should go above and beyond to ensure you know, without a doubt, that THEY know, you are the glue that holds the family together. The one day when you should be showered with homemade gifts, delicious treats...and my personal favorite...mommy, just me time. No that is not a typo. It is NOT mommy and me.  It's mommy, just me.

Get it straight. (Gasp) I know, I am a horrible person.


Well, now that my dark secret is out, let's get real about what we, as mommies, really need to be doing this weekend - treating ourselves and our bodies as the miraculous beings that they are. It's so easy to forget that our needs even matter when dealing with gaggles of children who require our unyielding attention. It's simple to deny ourselves in an effort to make sure they get only the best.

I get it. I am all about putting my little men above myself...well, unless it interferes with my monthly maintenance, I don't bend on that.

It seems as though each time I get pregnant, I again become hyper aware of what is going on and in my body. I feel an immense amount of pressure to provide only the best for the little human inside me. Now is just about the only time I can deny them crap and not get screamed at. I try to use the most natural products as I know what goes ON my body also goes IN my body.

I have been so honored to be a included in Earth Mama's Bump Squad during my final pregnancy and get to really explore ALL their amazing products. It has felt like a on going, upcoming retirement party for my uterus.

While I have been using their natural goodies for the past five years (I fell in love with their nipple butter after the twins and of course pounded milkmaid tea as I am a dedicated milk hoarder) and have always been more than willing to purchase their line of "grounded in nature, powered by love" products. I mean NOTHING spells out Mother's Day than a regular pampering session that makes you feel great and puts your mind at total ease knowing everything you are touching is the best it can be. Am I right or am I right? Bring on the belly butter!


Each sip of tea, soapy scrub, belly lather and daily does of  deodorant has been such a treat. I mean, the only thing I want more of is eevveerryytthhiinnngg. Please, Earth Mama, produce everything this mommy needs! I mean, bring on the self tanner, makeup line, hair care selections, sunscreen...you make it, I'll buy it!

Not only are the products natural, organic and absolutely amazing but they are also are committed to protecting the Earth and appreciating her resources. How could you not love that? From pregnancy and beyond Earth Mama really does know best and I am happy to listen!

To help you prepare for Mother's Day this weekend, you need to load up a shopping cart. Even if you aren't pregnant or nursing, you still deserve only the best! Here are my suggestions on not to miss items.

 

1. (ALL THE ) Deodorant(s). As someone who has battled with stank for years and finally found relief when making my own deodorant, this Earth Mama magic takes it to a whole new level. No irritation with this baking soda concoction! Made for super sensitive skin, you can slap this on after a fresh shave and have nothing to worry about but smelling like a dreeeaam. Don't feel any pressure to choose just one...I suggest the mini pack  -- try them all! I'm a lavender girl myself...one sniff and I'm as calm as a cucumber.


2. (ALL THE) Tea(s).  Who doesn't love a hot (or cold) cup of delicious herbal tea. Whether you are drinking to promote wellness, keep heartburn away, or remain calm/anxiety free, Earth Mama has got you covered. Perfectly blended, each organic herb combo will have you begging for another cup...so help yourself! I have been basically hooked to an IV of my Morning Wellness Tea and look forward to it each day.


3. (ALL THE) Balm(s). I love me a good balm and these are da bomb. Smooth and so natural you don't mind biting your lip a bit and kinda eating them...hey, it happens...but now you can feel GOOD about it! Coconut Smoothie has me island bound and I love a second long vacation!

I mean I could really keep going, but I am going to stop there as you should check out their products on your own and shop away. It is your weekend after all so get on over to Earth Mama and see for yourself!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thursday's Thriving Thought - What You Say


As a mommy I think it is fair to say we all do our best not to judge other moms. But I think we can also honestly say that we often compare/contrast/analyze and question what we are doing versus those "other moms". I know having a brood of my own has made me more aware of other parents and their interactions with their own children.

We all flip out. We can pretend that we don't, but I am pretty confident you are lying. Sometimes it is too much and the nonstop screaming can break a mommy in mere seconds. But I also know (from experience) that after it happens, I often end up hating myself more than anything...I mean they are kids for goodness sake.

So, I make a great effort to always "keep my cool" under pressure. Amongst the fighting and unrelenting hysterics; I constantly strive to stay calm and speak to my boys in a way I want them to speak to others.

When I overhear parents speak down to their children or be flat out rude, my heart breaks. Newsflash, they are kids. They are supposed to be crazy, not listen and make constant mistakes. It is how they learn. Granted, we may be overtired, under-appreciated and often running on fumes, but that surely isn't our kids fault.

Everything we say and how we say it sticks in those sweet innocent minds and shapes who they become.

I strive to always speak politely as I in turn expect them to speak politely to others. I choose language that teaches them while also making them feel empowered, intelligent, kind, responsible and most of all loved. I want my children to truly feel the weight of my words and know that behind every redirection, questioned behavior and disciplinary action that their mommy loves them, knows they can do better and believes in them. Always.

Take a minute to reflect on how you speak to your little people - remember what you say matters. Notice how they speak to you and to others. How you shape their world is how they will see their world. So let's all strive to make their worlds kinder, brighter and full of more love than they can handle.

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

{Guest Post} Oily Spring Cleaners for the Thriving Home

  
Spring is here which means it is time to GET CLEANING! Last week we were getting organized...now let's get brewing some natural, sweet smelling supplies!  My Oily SIL is back sharing her favorite recipes to help you get started.  Let's do it!

Hello again, Thriving readers! I'm excited to be back and share more tips on how to bring essential oils into your home. This time, let's start with your cleaning routine!

Last time, I shared my favorite all purpose cleaner made with only water, vinegar and the fabulous essential oil, Thieves. I only hope you remember how all those "natural" commercial cleaners, weren't all that "natural at all. Today, I am going to share my favorite, homemade cleaning products for around the home. Not only are these products safer, work better, smell better and more cost effective but they also make cleaning simple! 

ALL PURPOSE For instance, this all-purpose cleaner...I use it on everything! Kitchen counters, bathroom counters, sinks, tables, toilets, showers, the floors when I mop, you name it. My kids love to help me clean (hooray!) and I don't have to worry about the chemicals they're being exposed to when handling the cleaner or touching the freshly sprayed surfaces.  Double win for this Thriving Mommy! 
     
      
GLASS
Now, my go to glass and mirror cleaner. I always suggest starting with glass spray bottles (especially if you're using any citrus oils as they can leech the plastic).  If you aren't in the mood for investing in a collection, you can just go to the store and buy a glass bottle of club soda (with a standard size mouth), make yourself a drink...(or dump it out), and screw on a nozzle from an old bottle of cleaner. Works like a charm! Then whip up the recipe below and you are set! Y
ou'll have sparkling clean, streak free glass... and best of all, it smells great!
     

CARPET

Next up, carpets. Have you looked at what's in that commercial carpet deodorizer you buy?  Be prepared to be horrified. Here's an easy replacement to keep your carpets fresh and not stress over what your family is breathing. Some oils I like to add are Lavender or Purification. Simply store in an airtight container (mason jars work great!), shake well before each use and sprinkle over carpets before vacuuming.  You can even poke holes in another lid and swap it out when you use your cleaner to make sprinkling easy!


     
BATHROOMS - SOAP SCUM
Hard soap scum driving you crazy? Here is a great, quick, one use scrub recipe. This is intended to be used right away, so whip it up, scrub it down and watch your shower sparkle! If you want to store some for next time, make it the same as the carpet cleaner and then add the water to the specific amount listed. Don't forget to test a small spot for possible scratching before using. Once tested, use a soft brush or cloth to clean any desired scummy surface.


     
Who needs Goo Gone when you have Lemon oil?! I always get so frustrated when price tags and stickers leave that residue behind. Not anymore,  just put a drop on a q-tip or cotton ball and rub that goo right off!

AIR FRESHENING     
Not sure if you've seen, but there's some pretty scary information about air fresheners and candles out there. Previously, I was an avid candle burner but now, my diffuser is constantly freshening up our home with wonderful, safe scents. Purification smells like citrus heaven and is great for neutralizing odors. My favorite? To diffuse it in the kitchen. Another great trick to freshening up your garbage cans, is to put a couple of drops on a cotton ball and set in the bottom. You can even place these cotton balls in the vents of your car, smelly shoes, really, anywhere you want to freshen up the air!
     

As you can see, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to transforming your home with essential oils and getting ready for that Spring Cleaning...ok, all cleaning!  I can't tell you how much they have changed my family's life. I have such peace of mind knowing that I'm on my way to creating a healthy environment for my family to thrive in!

I'd love to help you get started on your new and improved cleaning routine! Getting started with basics is my speciality! Plus, I promise I won't be creepy and sales-like...Em can vouch for me!

Email me at happyoilerlife@gmail.com and I would love to help you get started.

Thank you Nat!!! Let me say, I use ALL of these, love them and ask Nat about 1 million questions a day regarding oil usage...she is the best! 


Strive to thrive, 
Em