Birthday Favorites Part 5

On Friday, life happened but a blog post didn’t, so I’ll sneak one in today, and finish up my birthday favorites!

Favorite Essential Oils

I’ve dabbled in the wonderful world of essential oils for a couple of years now, but this last year is when I realized it was time to get serious! Last summer, I got an insane infection, and was able to avoid antibiotics by using garlic cloves and essential oils. I was blown away by how effective essential oils were in treating the pain and infection.

It can be a bit overwhelming to learn about essential oils, because there is a ton of information, but a wise lady once told me to start with one, and add on as I felt comfortable. That was the perfect advice, and now I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore – it’s fun to find out how to use all of these oils to treat pretty much everything!

My absolute favorite will always be the Stress Away blend from Young Living, but a new favorite is a blend from Rocky Mountain Oils called Balance. Although I have a membership with Young Living, I still don’t order enough oils to benefit from their rewards program. I prefer to order from Rocky Mountain Oils, because the cost and shipping is much lower, but the quality is still great, some would say even better. I like the simplicity of not having to worry about points and passwords, and there are so many great blends.

Favorite Form of Stress Relief

Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty tired of hearing how moms need to take time for bubble baths, and that will somehow be the perfect escape. I really, really dislike baths. I know that sounds weird, but I just don’t take baths. What does that leave for me to enjoy when I’m stuck at home with my kids, and needing an escape?!

Fortunately, someone told me about adult colouring books last summer, and I am saved from bubble baths. Once I start colouring, it is so hard to stop! I love it.

Favorite Song

This song kept popping up all over the place for me this last year, and every time, I would get that big lump in my throat from trying not to cry. It gets me every time – “To tell you my story is to tell of Him.” Isn’t that amazing?! God is so good, and comes after us with love and mercy – how can we keep quiet about all He’s done for us? It’s why I love writing and speaking, why I love talking with people and hearing their stories, and why I believe every hard and horrible experience can be redeemed. There is so much to learn from each other about God’s goodness to all of us. I’m teaching a class this fall about the power of sharing our stories, and I’m getting so excited!

That’s the last bunch of favorites! I’d love to hear what’s brought joy into your life recently – I need to find some new favorites for this next year!


Around Our House Right Now

I was fully intending to write something deep and meaningful today.

But it became clear to me that today is not the day for deep and meaningful, so we’ll go with comfy. This is my comfy post about what we’re doing and enjoying at our house right now:

1) We are colouring pictures like mad women. Or maybe of mad women. I’m not sure. It’s hard to tell.

Either way, Kaylia is cranking these babies out, and I’m loving the puffed sleeves.

2) I got a horrible haircut. It was so bad, I thought I’d have to get it re-cut right away. But then I started using the tips from this tutorial for doing my hair, and now I can face the world with a smile once more. The haircut has been redeemed.

“It’s the Small Things” blog is amazing. I often use the different hair tutorials on it. Basically, if you ever see me with hair that looks somewhat good, it’s because of her blog.

3) Anika is learning to do the laundry all by herself. I have no idea at what age most kids learn to do the laundry, but around here, it’s happening strictly because of chocolate.

Anika was complaining, because Kaylia was getting chocolates every time she used her little princess potty, and Anika thought it was unfair that she wasn’t getting any chocolate. I explained to her that Kaylia was getting chocolate for learning to do something new and difficult for her, and if Anika wanted to learn how to do something new and difficult, I would gladly give her chocolate, as well.

Since it was Laundry Day, I told her she could get a chocolate for every complete load of laundry she did for me.

It was a wonderful day. Chocolates all around for everybody, and much less work for me. 🙂 I think there’s a lesson in there for us all – laundry would always be more enjoyable if it meant a chocolate per load!

4) I’ve been listening to this fantastic online class about hormones, energy, and moods. So eye-opening! I learned all kinds of things I never knew before. Like why I crave something sweet in the afternoons, and then feel gross after eating it.

I really like listening to or reading anything by Lisa Byrne. She explains how the body functions in an interesting way, and is all about providing people with practical tips for improving health, and life in general. I especially liked her thoughts on listening to the rhythms of the body in this class. Sometimes we feel tired, but we push ourselves instead of resting. Sometimes we feel energetic and outgoing, and sometimes we don’t, but we feel forced to get out and be social anyway, instead of allowing ourselves the space to be a little quiet and laid back.

Sometimes I do need to force myself to do things I’d rather not, but I think there is much room for learning how to go a little easier on myself, and listen to what my body is trying to tell me.

Sometimes. Right now my body is telling me to go eat rice cakes with almond butter, but I’ve already had eight of them today, so I’m guessing this would not be the best message to listen to.

5) I’ve been hanging up more pictures.

It’s taken me forever to get around to ordering prints for frames I wanted to put up, but I finally did it. Then I was going to sit around some more, waiting for Ben to hang up those pictures for me, but after all of the inspiring comments on my post about doing stuff by myself, I suddenly realized I should just get my butt in gear and get it done.

And really, with the incredible velcro available for hanging pictures, ANYONE can do it. It takes hardly any time. No more excuses. And your frames are safe. That stuff sticks so well, I have trouble getting the frames off the wall to put new photos in. Detailed instructions are available here.

6) Ben is reading The Hobbit to Anika.

I think he’s pretty excited about introducing the world of J.R.R. Tolkien to his girls. When we got married, he brought all three Lord of the Rings books along on our honeymoon for me to read. They’re kinda his favorite.

Fortunately, Anika is loving The Hobbit, and apparently even Kaylia is taking in more than we thought. Last night at supper, she was looking at her distorted reflection in a shiny pot on the table, and suddenly announced, “Look at me! I look like a hobbit!!”


And that’s what’s going on at our house right now.

What have you been up to? Anything you’ve been enjoying recently that you’d like to pass on to the rest of us?