Saturday, February 10, 2018

Getting Rid of Toxins Made Me Stinky, Until Purification

Most of us have heard about the studies that show the harmful effects of aluminum in antiperspirants/deodorants on our health. So we have been ditching the commercial products to use more natural alternatives. I tried SO MANY KINDS! But, I kept getting a rash under my arms. (Too much information? This is a post about deodorant and stinky armpits, so... expect more). It was awful. I would be fine for a few days, then start getting some irritation/redness/itching. My clothing would make it worse, I would scratch it when I was sleeping... Again - awful. So I would stop using the many, many, many different kinds of natural deodorants and go au natural. This meant I smelled. I'm not too shy to say I get an odor going. But it was manageable. I started using a salt stick and noticed my odor wasn't as strong when I ate "cleaner."

Then I had a baby. And it got SO MUCH WORSE!! Those post partum hormones are no joke. I was losing my hair, not getting sleep, figuring out and experiencing all the joys and craziness of nursing with pumping and nursing pads, and smelled so bad. Showers were not even helping me. I would get out and still had body odor. And my rash was back and not getting better when I went au natural. It just stayed and stayed. After fighting it for 2 weeks, I couldn't do it anymore.

Secret Weapon for Smells!

I started reading things and found this blog post. I tried the pit detox - but added Purification essential oil to it. And it worked. 3 days and my rash was gone. GONE. it was awesome. I whipped up the deodorant spray and now use that every morning and it is awesome. Recently, I heard about someone using ACV on pads like toner and swipping that on in the morning, followed by a deodorant spray. I believe that may be an additional tool I pull out when Texas heat returns. I am so thankful for essential oils and how they are helping me stay healthy and stop stinking!

If you are interested in starting your EO journey with the highest quality oils, purchase a premium starter kit here - the best bang for your buck - and joining a community of people committed to natural living and education!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hexagon Shelving - Nursery Organization & Decor

A baby enters the world weighing so very little (on average - we won't discuss these outliers that make pregnant women cringe) but has so much stuff. I read about and prepped to be a minimalist parent. But baby still needs stuff. And that stuff needs to go somewhere.

We didn't know if baby was a boy or a girl - which was super exciting. Maybe I will write about what made us decide to keep the gender a surprise one day. but that is not the point of today's post. Today, I am sharing one of the ways The Mister and I decided to organize baby's things. Keeping a nursery gender neutral, minimalist-ish, match the rest of my house, but still fit for a baby was a puzzle. Match the rest of your house? you ask... Yes - that is one of the major ways I decorate. I want to be able to shuffle decor and furniture (for the most part) from room to room and have it make sense. 

But the nursery. My baby's first bedroom. I had fun designing it. The place that my little one would play and dream dreams, where we read and giggle and cuddle together. It felt like a holy task - something I was entrusted to take part in.

So I wanted a fun shelving system to hang about the dresser. Something white and a bit whimsical. Before baby was born, Chris cratfted these beautiful hexagon shelves. The math worked out to 33 degree cuts for the shapes. Then we worked together to come up with a grouping that made the shelves just the right amount of spread out on the wall.

We painted them white because it is me and I like white paint. The white matches the moldings in the room, and what we decided to paint the baby's dresser we bought off of Craigslist. That dresser was taken completely apart and rebuilt with better hardware and put together more securely. It is solid. Add a changing pad, a basket for diapers, a few practical things and a few fun things. Ready for baby!

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Season of Holy Nights

Christmas. "Jesus is the reason for the season." I have seen this sentiment thrown around more and more each year, often in the same breath someone is rattling off their to-do or have-done list. Christmas has become exhausting. But this year, I needed it to be different. I needed to be on my knees, in that manger, adoring the King who put on flesh to be among us. My soul was weary and my heart heavy. I really needed Jesus to be the reason this season.
I love lists. The joy I get from crossing things off is sad. The whole holiday season (Thanksgiving to the new year) carries so many "have to get dones" that I make a list as second nature as I take a breathe. But this year, the Lord has been teaching me to embrace the present and be present and to pour out myself as an offering in my daily life, serving Him and those around me as best I can.
I came in to December with high hopes. Being in a major metropolitan area, there are tons of options to see beautiful lighting displays. I wanted to soak a few in. I also had high hopes to make a ton of baked goods and pass them out to everyone I knew. I wanted to make each weekend memorable, with hot chocolate and Christmas movies and cookies. Our gingerbread house decorating adventure this year would be homemade and beautiful and delicious. My list just grew and grew. We had to do Christmas right. So I started with studying the scriptures, observing Advent. Then, He spoke in to my heart.
What would this season look like if I looked to Him instead of at this list? What if my primary objective this year was to be thankful for His promises instead of trying to do it all- all the things we feel like make up Christmas time. Those things are not BAD. Lights, cocoa, bows- small pieces of His grace and goodness evidenced here on the earth that we can share together. Things that can lead our minds to Him, His hand in creation, becoming creation. They can lead us to Him if we focus on Him instead of focusing on the many shiny things. 

So, I let those ideas go of what a "perfect" Christmas looked like. Instead, I embraced taking a few extra minutes on our drives to and from the house to see the lights in our own neighborhood. I enjoyed decorating a prebuilt gingerbread house. We have watched our favorite Christmas movies when we have a moment to. But mostly, I've dug in to His promises. I've spent moments praying that the Lord would change my heart to be like those Magi who followed a star for a King they heard about, a King swaddled in an animals feeding trough that they gave luxurious gifts to.

Christmas parties and presents and stockings are fun and happy and joyous. But all things should ultimately lead us to that humble place where Jesus came to live among us and ultimately die by our hands. Light the candles and sings the carols. Read the story of truth and hope. These are the things that have filled my soul this season. No lists. 

I have experienced more joy this year than any other year. A husband who embraces these same thoughts has been an enormous portion of that. Someone to reflect and give thanks with has made the difference. The availability of books that go along with scriptures have also been a blessing. The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, a daily devotional to work through during the month of December, has been challenging and eye opening. Our church also has an Advent guide to work through weekly as a family that corresponds with lighting the Advent candles and it has made for a sweet time between The Mister and me. There are numerous other daily advent readings available that are wonderful and truth filled.
Now my prayer is that I carry this desire to know Christ more instead of follow what the world says should be done through every other season. May we be people who rest on His promises daily. May we remember that Immanuel came- our Savior God among us. All the wrappings and ribbons and holly cannot compare to the beauty of a baby in a manger. Let us be like Mary, treasuring all the truths of God coming in her heart.

 "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29