Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Our doTERRA Story and Giveaway

Since we're talking about dōTERRA and the good things that have come from this years Convention I wanted to go back just a little bit to Our dōTERRA Story. If you don't know where this all started from you should check it out.

You may or may not have seen this article or others like it circulating on social media talking about the fact that there is plastic in some major brands of toothpaste. The manufacturer is claiming the product is totally safe and has committed to remove the plastic from their product by 2016. Honestly I get it takes time to remove something like that from your product and then of course there's the issue of what do you do with all your existing stock but seriously, plastic... Plastic bits that could get stuck between your teeth and in your gums causing problems long term for you and your health. I'm kind of over seeing these big companies think they can get away with putting stuff like this in our products that we think are safe and good for us but that can cause long term health issues. I for one am making the switch to more natural products in our home. That being said I want to introduce you to the amazing OnGuard Natural Whitening Toothpaste.

OnGuard Toothpaste now comes in convenient samples!
dōTERRA’s fluoride-free Natural Whitening Toothpaste combines the protective benefits of dōTERRA’s proprietary On Guard® blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils with other natural ingredients that help strengthen teeth, reduce plaque and whiten teeth with gentle polishing agents. The On Guard blend of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils provides an extra cleaning boost. Additional essential oils of Peppermint and Wintergreen, and the natural sweetener xylitol, give On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste a refreshingly unique cinnamon-mint flavor that leaves your breath—and toothbrush!—fresh and clean throughout the day. (For all the details click here and scroll to the second page of the PDF.)

I completely understand that sometimes it's hard to know what's really good for you and your family. I also know that with a larger movement toward natural products that there are SO many options out there competing for your families hard earned money. I know that many of those options out there are great and want you to be able to choose for yourself what works for you and your families needs. So, in order to help you make an informed and educated decision I wanted to offer a free sample so you can compare the dōTERRA product to what you're currently using to see if you like it. I will say it's different in that it doesn't foam up like most toothpaste but from what I understand those toothpastes foam up because of the different chemicals in them...

We got these amazing little samples of the OnGuard Natural Whitening Toothpaste at Convention and we want to share them with you! Each little packet has 2-3 uses though I'm sure some of you could squeeze out more uses and some will knock it out faster. Joe and I have been using the OnGuard toothpaste for a while now and like it. It's different than traditional toothpaste but it's still good. I like that it also has the benefits of the OnGuard essential oils too.

So, to get yourself a free sample just comment below and let me know why you want to try a natural toothpaste. I'd also be interested in knowing if this is your first foray into the world of natural products or if you're already an all natural guru. First five people to comment  answering the two points above will get a free sample. Make sure you include your email address so I can contact you and get shipping information. I love this toothpaste and I think you will too!

If you've already got yourself hooked up with a fabulous dōTERRA consultant I'd encourage you to call them and let them know you'd like a sample so they can follow up with you and answer any questions you have. Not that I wouldn't love to work with you, but I believe in honoring the work others have done and blessing you back to the person who has taken the time to share dōTERRA's amazing products with you.

If you're looking for other natural options to clean and freshen your home, check out the whole line of dōTERRA OnGuard products. Everything from laundry detergent, cleaner, hand soap, and throat drops. Perfect now that the kids are back in school and cold/flu season is coming up.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motovated Monday - Your Future Self

I thing it's interesting that I saw this and saved it and then came across it again at the dōTERRA convention this past weekend. I'll be sharing more about the conference later this week but for now remember it's never to late to make changes. It's never too small of an action to get started. Your life is created in your daily habits. The little things you do each and every day are what adds up to the live you are living now. If you don't love what you see there are ways you can change that. One step at a time, one day at a time, and one moment at a time. 

This weekend affirmed for me that my vision to help people live healthy, happy, and balanced lives is what I'm meant to do and whatever form that takes I will continue to strive to be the best person I can each day so I can be a positive example for my friends and family. I feel so blessed to be able to share this journey with anyone who comes across my blog and hope that you will find something here today that is meaningful to you. I feel things do happen for a reason. When you're ready and open to receive, you'll connect with the people, places, and opportunities that take you to where you are meant to go. Tune in to your mind and body and see where you're meant to go. Anything is possible in this life if you're willing to try and never give up!

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Family Friday - Day of Caring

Oh yes! Another amazing Day of Caring is in the books! I looked back and found a post I wrote about my first Day of Caring and it's so interesting to see how far things have come. If you missed it I posted a bunch of photos on Facebook so you can see a few shots from the Breakfast and the two projects I was able to go to.

I'm totally posting this under Family Friday because if you think about it, depending on your job, sometimes you spend more time with the people you work with than your own family at home. I am always so excited when I have the opportunity to work with people I would gladly call family. Right now I feel I have the best team ever and am proud to work next to them on a daily basis. 

I love my team!!! Alison and Amy are the BEST!
My job on Day of Caring is not to run a project but to make sure things are going well at all of our projects as well as manage media that shows up on site. This year we were super organized with media and I knew exactly where they were going to show up. To my knowledge no one else showed up at any of our other sites so my job was pretty easy. I did end up having to make a mid day run for some extra paint for our mural project but that's exactly what I'm there for. Solving problems and making sure things run well.

Brian and Angel of FM 100 were wonderful to work with.
I also wanted to share some of the media coverage we got (see the list below). I was interviewed in the KSL video and in the background of the Good4Utah - Day of Caring video. I also had the opportunity to do some live radio spots on X96, FM 100.3, and 103.5.

Salt Lake Tribune
Deseret News
Good4Utah - Stuff the Bus
Good4Utah - Day of Caring
I can say in some ways this year was easier and in others it was harder. We continue to expand our work which means more schools and projects to manage but we're continuously working on ways to make our processes better and more efficient for everyone involved.

I loved being a part of the mural project with American Express and Granger Elementary

I felt the day went really well and I can't wait to see pictures of the projects I couldn't get to. The highlight of my day was hearing some of the stories from students at Kearns High as well as the Kearns High botany teacher when he said this might be the best day in his entire teaching career. WOW! When he said that I was completely speechless. To know something you played a small part in facilitating was that impactful for someone seems like such a rare opportunity and I feel blessed to have been a part of that great work.

Before: Kearns High community garden space - weeds, concrete, rebar, and other yucky things.

In Progress: framing garden beds, adding drip irrigation, and completely cleaned out!
And, for those of you who are interested in learning more and getting involved you can visit our newly re-designed website at Seriously it's AWESOME and looks great on any device. Please let me know if you find any typos or links that don't work. It just launched so there is definitely the possibility for bugs or things that got missed.

Amazing volunteers from GE helping build these incredible tables for the inside of the greenhouse.

If you still can't get enough of this amazing goodness check out our pics and video on Facebook and Instagram. You can also search under the hash tags #doc2014, #liveunited, and #volunteer or @uwsl.

P.S. if you need an amazing muralist you must check out Aniko Doman. I've worked with her for years both in Las Vegas and here in Utah and she is amazing. She can provide a mural project like ours for volunteers to complete or she can work the entire process herself from start to finish. 

I also had the privilege of working with Greenside Landscaping and Lowe's. I have to say Brian at the West Valley location at the Pro Desk is tops! He can help you with all your project needs and is very knowledgeable. Kelly in the paint department at the Murray location is great to work with too, as are the guys at the Pro Desk there too. I know retail can be brutal so when I find people who are reliable and provide solid customer service I am all about giving them a little shout out. Greenside Landscaping even helped me get 3 trees within a 18 hour time frame when I realized I hadn't ordered all that I needed. Now that's good customer service.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Making a Difference

After hearing some amazing stories of gratitude on Day of Caring I decided that today I wanted to throwback to a post I wrote thanking the amazing staff and people that were there to support me when Russell was born.

The sweet little sign on Russell's bed in the NICU.

In my Day of Caring post I mentioned being speechless when the Kearns High botany teacher told me that that day was probably the best day in his entire teaching career. I commented that I felt that was rare but I'm sure in some professions it's more common to actually have a lasting life long impact on someone.

Alison and I after a long day at work for Day of Caring. I had to plug in my phone to snap this pic.
In reflecting I also realized that all of us really have the opportunity to make that kind of a mark on the people we come across every day. I realized through all I did on Day of Caring the things that stick out the most were the moments of friendship and kindness that I gave to others or that others gave to me. I don't think you have to literally save a life to really brighten someones day and even if you never know the impact you had I think it's worth trying to be the person you'd hope to encounter that makes your day a little better.

The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that outlasts it. - William James
I personally am looking inside to how I can be a better person each day. Not just in the big moments but in the little things I say and do. I know it won't be easy because I'm human and we all make mistakes and have a wide range of emotions and circumstances to deal with but in the end I want to know that overall I did my best to be the person I hope to meet every day.

Has anyone ever done something for you that you won't ever forget? Were you ever that person who was able to give something to someone that made a difference in their life. Share your stories and let's get inspired by some happy goodness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - 100 Days of Yoga

Everyone get excited! Now that I'm past the biggest work event of my year I am so happy to get back on track with my personal yoga practice. My goal is to have a daily practice so I can build my strength and flexibility to be prepared for my Yoga Teacher Training next spring. I'm definitely the type of person who needs a little accountability so I'm accepting the 100 Days of Doing Challenge.

Bookmark To Blog
I love this challenge because you can pick what you want to do. 100 days of doing something. Trying new recipes, taking pictures, reading books, learning something new, or whatever your heart desires!!! I also love this challenge because my friend Kim is so real about how she's doing and her struggles. I know that committing to anything for 100 days is hard to think about but I love knowing that Kim is willing to share her challenges and let us know that missing a day or two (or a week) is no reason to give up.

Get over to Bookmark To Blog today then make sure you link up when you accept the 100 Days of Doing challenge.

Do You Yoga
I will do my best to take a photo every day I practice and post them online but without my phone I know that will be hard. I may resort to putting a sticker on my calendar every day I get my yoga in until my new phone gets here.

Make sure you use #BTB100DaysOfDoing and #motovated when you post your pics so we can see what you're up to.

Will you accept the 100 Days of Doing challenge? If so, what are you picking for your challenge? Let's make Fall 2014 simply fabulous!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motovated Monday - Embrace Your Body

Happy Monday! (Yes, Monday can be a happy day too...) I wanted to share this great piece I saw on the Do You Yoga Facebook page. Lately I've been reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and it talks about loving your body and yourself in order to help heal yourself. I know, some of you will think it's a bunch of hippie-affirmation-loving junk but I am being open to different possibilities at this point in my life so I'm giving it a read. I actually started reading it a long time ago on recommendation from my friend Kim but just picked it back up recently. I think it's true that when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Anyway, regardless of what you believe about your body and how you can/can't heal yourself I feel this thought is worth considering.

Embrace and love your body. It's the most amazing thing you will ever own.
Do you feel you really love your body and yourself? Do you feel it's hard to keep up with society's view of what's "beautiful" and "good" or have you found ways to live for yourself and your family? Share any tips you have on how you have learned to embrace and love all that is uniquely you.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Jam Thumbprints

Well, one might say the blog has taken a holiday turn lately and you may be right. I have been thinking of these cookies lately and judging by the last time I wrote about these the seem to match the holiday season. Let's get baking folks!

Jam Thumbprints

Make some jam now while summer fruit is still in season and you'll thank me when you can make these during the holidays. MMMM!!!

Does anyone else go nuts baking or making homemade treats around the holidays? Some of my favorite memories are of my mom making homemade chocolates or cookies for the neighbors. Now my Mom makes this delish caramel popcorn that is a whole lot easier in bulk but I still LOVE those memories of making holiday treats growing up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Snail Mail

Hopefully you caught my last Wellness Wednesday post about my Cell Free Detox. In honor of going back to more traditional ways of communication I wanted to put it out there that it's about time for Christmas card season! Oh yes! Don't deny it. I get we're only in September but if I don't get going now cards won't get out until it's almost Christmas. HA HA HA!!!

Seriously, who doesn't love a baby in a snow suit?!?
It's funny because I never really thought I cared about getting cards but I actually enjoy getting paper mail. (As long as it's not junk mail.) I love getting something in the mail knowing that the sender had to at least take the time to think of you long enough to get your address on an envelope, put a stamp on it, and get it to the mail box. It's so fun to see how your friends families have grown through the years and I am totally the person who keeps my cards year after year.

Russell's first Christmas. He was a tiny little guy!
So, because I have been looking at what design to pick for our families Christmas card this year I wanted to see how many people out there still send cards. If you do, here's what I want to know.
  1. What type of card do you send? (Photo card, family letter, regular cards, etc.)
  2. Who do you send cards to? (Just family, family and friends, professional/networking connections, etc.)
  3. How many cards do you send?
We have typically done a photo card because it's easy and I personally like seeing pictures of my friends and relatives around the holidays. We usually just send to family and a few close friends and I think in the past few years we've only sent around 20 cards.

Russell loves shiny things. HA HA HA!
I love getting cards so if you'd like to send a card my way I'd be delighted and it would hang in our house until after Christmas. I'm also thinking about some sort of fun holiday exchange we could do if people were interested.

Maybe Russell will like Temple Square more this year than in the past.
Share with me your favorite holiday traditions! As Russell's gotten older I'm getting more excited about the holidays and the fun we'll have together as a family.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Motovated Monday - PTSD Project Video

My husband isn't the type to share inspirational quotes or ra-ra type videos so when he said he'd recently seen the most inspiring video ever I had to check it out. As he prefaced it, it's got a military focus but regardless of your thoughts or experience with the military the message is solid.

These are some of the things that spoke to me:
  • You have to create the perfect time. The perfect opportunity.
  • When you're not pursuing your goal. You are committing spiritual suicide.
  • Make that dream a reality or else you will be working for someone else making their dream a reality.
  • If it was easy, everybody would do it.
  • Start saying yes to your life, your dreams, your unfolding future, your potential...
  • Leave no opportunity behind.
I have tremendous respect for the men and women who serve in our military. Who put their lives on the line so that I can pursue my dreams, my hopes, and my vision for the future. The little girl at the end of the video gets me every time. Yes, I've watched this video in its entirety more than once.

If you want to do more, check out the Wounded Warrior Project or Soldiers' Angels. They are both great programs that support both active duty soldiers and veterans. I have personally supported Soldiers' Angels and I know my husband would like to see us support the Wounded Warrior Project in the future.

I hope that no matter who you are that you don't give up on yourself or your dreams. I don't think you're ever too anything (insert that downer thought you tell yourself too often - too fat, too tall, too short, too stupid, too old, too young, too xxx...) to start changing your life to make it what you want it to be. Start today, take baby steps, and one day you may find yourself living the life of your dreams.

What's your dream? What's holding you back? Is there a simple step you can take in the next week that could bring you a baby step closer to reaching your goal? Maybe it's checking out a book at your local library, taking a friend for lunch to pick their brain and get advice, or maybe it's just starting something like a blog, a class, or picking back up a hobby. Whatever you choose, please don't give up.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Family Friday - Russell Fun

Today I wanted to share a few fun pictures of Russell. For whatever reason I don't think they ever made it into a blog post on their own so I'm sharing them now.  If I've already shared them on well. Bring on the cuteness!!! :)

Look at those sweet little feet!!! (Actually he has pretty big feet.)
Russell and Joe went to Mars.
This guy LOVES tiny tomatoes. YUM!
Ready to go outside and ride his bike!
Russell and the ark!
Is anyone ready for Christmas yet? Russell is!!!
Seriously, is anyone ready for Christmas yet? Part of me is enjoying summer and having fun with Russell outside but part of me is ready to bring on fall, cooler weather, sweaters, soups, and preparation for the holidays.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Turkey Noodle Soup

Ah with many cool days feeling like fall lately I found this delightful recipe from back in the day. I LOVE soup during the fall and winter months. They're so easy to make and you can really customize them to fit what you and your family likes. If you're feeling the fall weather I highly recommend whipping up a batch of Turkey Noodle Soup. YUM!

What are your favorite fall recipes? If you have a family favorite you'd like to share feel free to post a link in the comments. I'm always looking for new recipes to try.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Cell Free Detox

For the last little while I've been in an accidental technology detox. There was a day I came home exhausted, dehydrated, and clearly distracted when I tossed my laundry into the wash before realizing my phone was in my pocket. Yep. By the time I remembered where the phone was it was too late. We tried different things to dry out my phone but without any luck.

We decided with the imminent launch of the new iPhone why not just hold out until that comes out. I might have opted to completely wait to get a phone but being in the midst of the busiest time of the year for my job I had to have something. That something is a lovely burn phone that costs us under $30 total. It's far from glamorous and really something I'll use for emergency and to communicate with a few select people at work to ensure we can get our jobs done.

As I've been without a phone I've thought about this video I saw on my friend Amy's blog.

I didn't realize until being forced to not have a phone just how much one small device could take over my life and the lives of those around me. At first I felt left out. Like somehow my friends would think I don't like them if I wasn't liking their posts or leaving them comments. I felt disconnected like I was somehow missing the most exciting and important things that were going on in their lives. I felt like somehow I'd be so far out of the loop that I'd be some sort of social leper that people might shun because I haven't read the latest thing from Buzzfeed or Huff Post.

Of course none of this came true. I haven't had friends tell me I'm a horrible person for not liking the picture of their kids on the first day of school. No one has called to tell me they feel something is wrong with our friendship because I somehow didn't comment on something they did last weekend. I haven't felt like I've missed anything noteworthy by not reading every article to come through my news feed on Facebook. Either my 'friends' haven't noticed or it doesn't mean enough for them to reach out to talk to me about it.

I have realized not having a smart phone has been a good thing.  These are my top 3 perks in my time without a smart phone.
I actually think I sleep better because I have a mandatory buffer between the last time I'm looking at a TV or computer screen before I go to bed. I typically head up about an hour before I want to go to sleep and read a book. When my body tells me I'm tired I put my book down and go to sleep. I don't have to think about the last thing I read on Facebook or the email I opened up from someone at work.

Getting ready in the morning is a lot easier too. I don't spend a ton of time laying in bed looking at Facebook so I get up and start getting ready. Without any distractions it's easy to be efficient in getting ready and getting out the door. I thought I'd have anxiety about not seeing what's in my inbox before getting to work but honestly I have yet to have a day (knock on wood) where I got to work and wished I had seen what was in my inbox before leaving my house. There hasn't been a single thing that couldn't wait until I got to work.

I am completely present for those around me. I don't feel the need to check my phone every minute to see if I've got a new email or check social media because I don't get those things on my burn phone. I don't worry that I'm missing something huge because honestly if something huge happened I figure someone will let me know or else I'm probably not that important to them or the event in the first place. I can happily play with my son, read a book, or get in a workout and have it be just that.
And because I know there are ups and downs to most things, these are my top 3 downers for my time without a smart phone.
I miss taking pictures. My cell phone was my camera and I loved capturing the beautiful things around me including my sweet little Russell man. I'm the person who snaps dozens of pictures each day of the little things Russell does while my husband is the kind of person I have to remind to take pictures and send them to me while I'm at work. Now that I can't even receive pictures on my phone it seems like we just aren't taking that many and that makes me a little sad. Sure I could pull out our camera and take pictures but the ease of taking photos and sharing them with family from a smart phone is something I do miss.

I miss texting my friends and seeing what they're doing on social media. Sure a text isn't the same as a conversation or meeting up in person but we all lead busy lives and sometimes a quick text to say hello, a funny picture, or sharing something interesting that happened that day can be fun. I know a lot of social media can be a serious time suck but there are some very positive people I know and some long time friends that I enjoy being able to passively see what's going on in their lives. Yes, this defeats the purpose of actually having personal connections but I have learned a lot about people through social media and have received help and information quickly in a way that can't be replicated by calling people one by one.

I miss my alarm. Yep, seriously, I miss my alarm. My burn phone decided one morning that it was 2:20 a.m. on January 1, 2006. Yeah. WRONG. At the time it was 5:50 a.m. and definitely not 2006. Luckily for me Russell chose that day to wake up early so I didn't sleep in and miss work. I have a clock radio that works too but my phone alarm was always reliable and I had gotten used to the sound I chose to wake up to.
So, what does all this mean? If you've managed to stick with me to this point first I want to say bravo to you. Second I want to challenge you to a cell free detox. I'm not asking you to quit social media, email, or the internet in general. I'm asking you to do 3 simple things for at least a week (2 or more would be better) because they have made a difference for me.
  1. Put down your phone and don't look at it again starting at least 1 hour before your anticipated bed time. I'm serious, set your alarm early, get your social media fix in, and make sure you know what's on your calendar for work so you know what to wear tomorrow morning. One hour before bed PUT IT DOWN. You can read a book, talk to your spouse/friend/partner/child, get a workout in, meditate, paint, whatever you want but you can not be on your phone. Bonus points if you can shut down your TV and computer too. (For me the combination of no computer/tv/phone is what I feel makes the difference in my quality of sleep.)
  2. Don't look at your phone during a meal. It shouldn't matter if you're alone or with others. You should be able to eat in peace without distraction or to eat and be present for those around you. How in the world do you expect to feel full, realize you're eating something bad, or decide that you don't really need that cupcake if your mind is occupied by what's on your phone. Mindless eating can contribute to obesity and unhealthy habits so stop and smell the veggies and really enjoy what you're eating. Nourish your body and your mind. 
  3. Don't check your email or look at social media until you're completely ready for your day to begin. I don't know that I know a single person who feels they have a morning routine that brings them peace or prepares them for their day. Most of the people I know feel like crap when they get up, they feel rushed, or feel stressed out right from moment one. I challenge you to create a morning routine that sets you up for success. My morning isn't perfect but I have realized not checking email should become part of an ideal morning for me.
Whew! This is so much to take in but I felt like I needed to share this. I have read so much lately that strongly correlates overall happiness and life satisfaction with having strong social ties and connections to others. I'm making the choice to try and be a better friend and be open to connecting with others and I hope you will too. I know I'll have a smart phone again in the next couple of weeks but I know some of these new habits are ones I'm not willing to let go of.

Give my challenge a try and let me know how it goes. I'm also interested in how long you can continue to make these challenges a part of your daily routine. Share what changes for you as you go through the process. Don't be afraid if you honestly experience something like withdrawals for the first few days/weeks. I did, but I am still here and ok and you will be too.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Motovated Monday - Life

I have always loved creating things from scratch. Whether it was a card, a scrapbook, a cross stitch project, or something else crafty it's something I've always enjoyed. Even now I love baking and cooking recipes that I make up as I go along. I felt this quote was worth sharing this week.

The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that outlasts it. ~ William James
What are you spending your life doing? If you knew you wouldn't fail, what would you pursue? Share your thoughts in the comments.