Monday, September 4, 2017

Hinoki Essential Oil


I discovered this oil a few months ago. I was looking for something to diffuse in the mornings when I did my devotions. I also love saying the name. Haha. This oil intrigued me because it was said to have calming potential. Young Living's website says

Hinoki’s woody aroma has been known to energize and uplift the mind and may help calm and relax during brief periods of agitation.

All good things, right?? Well, I used it a few times, it went back up on my shelf, and I kinda forgot about it. I ended up caving in and finally reordering some Frankincense (another post on that later!) and that has been my go-to for the last few months when I am extra stressed, or looking for better focus during church and bible study. 

However...I have been feeling like my Frank hasn't been having the same effects lately as it did when I first started using it. I decided to welcome back my old friend, Hinoki, and get to know more about it. I found out some very fun facts!

Hinoki is a Japanese cypress wood. It is a highly prized wood in Japan, and has been used for thousands of years to build shrines and spiritual buildings. Awesome, right?? It is a key wood because of its ability to resist rot.

Another fun fact: The wood is also used for wooden bath tubs! The daily bath is a valued act in Japan and is seen for a way for the body and mind to relax and be purified. 

What is it like??
Hinoki oil has a woodsy, citrusy aroma. If you like Cypress and Cedarwood, I highly recommend giving this one a try next!

Other uses
Besides grounding and spiritual awareness, Hinoki oil can also be helpful in supporting hair loss due to aging, digestive support, and odors.

How Do I use it??
My favorite way to use Hinoki is to inhale it. If you follow Jen O'Sullivan, she shows to put a drop in your left hand, rub it clockwise to activate it, and cup both hand over your nose and inhale deeply. 

You can also diffuse it, or mix with a carrier oil and apply to your temples, back of your neck, or behind your ears. 

Have you used Hinoki before??
Are you excited to try it?

Let me know! ♥


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cooking with Essential Oils - Lemon broccoli pasta with chicken

Hey y'all!!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you today! I posted a peek of it a few weeks ago on my Instagram feed, but it took me this long to get a chance to sit down and type it all up.

We have had such a busy summer. The kids made a bucket list of some things they wanted to do during their break, and we almost have it all crossed off! Just a few park visits this week and we are done! Between that, swim lessons, birthday parties, homecomings, school for me, business, and just doing life, it has been a little crazy. But we love it! What exciting things have you accomplished this summer so far?

I made this pasta dish based off THIS recipe I found on Pinterest. It's pretty standard - pasta, broccoli, & chicken (I added the chicken to ours) - but you can customize it to your liking in so many ways. I decided to use my Lemon Essential Oil instead of fresh lemons. I regularly forget to buy lemons when I need to cook with them, or I use them up before our planned meal, so I wanted to try another alternative for those meals.

Annndddd....Since I just started doing the Whole30, I can't have pasta right now, so I thought I would share with y'all so you could tell me how good it is! Haha!!

So...I started off by cooking the pasta. (We chose penne) While the water was heating, I cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and got it cooking in a pan.
Once the water was boiling, I added the pasta to the pot, and got some butter melting to saute garlic and red pepper flakes.

 I added a 1-2 drops of lemon to each of my pans so that I had a good lemon flavor throughout. This can be adjusted to your liking!

A few minutes before the pasta was done, I added the broccoli to the pasta water and cooked until the pasta was ready. It all got drained and put back into the pot with some more lemon. then I added spinach and some chopped kale since I had some on hand.

Once everything was dished, I added some fresh grated Parmesan cheese. My husband and kids devoured this dish! They kept asking why I had never made it before. I had mine with a glass of La Croix & Ningxia. Everyone had seconds, and there was even some left over for lunch the next day, which, by the way, was even tastier! We will definitely be having this again. After the Whole30, of course! :D

Have you cooked with lemon essential oil before? You should definitely try this one and let me know what you think!

* Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
* Pasta of your choice
* 2-3 fresh broccoli florets (removed from stems)
* 2 cups fresh spinach
* 1 1/2 cups fresh kale
* 2 cloves garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
* Young Living Lemon Essential Oil
* 4 Tablespoons butter
* 1 cup fresh Parmesan
* salt & pepper to taste
* Olive oil to garnish


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2tsp oil to pan & brown chicken. Add 1-2 drops lemon oil to chicken.
3. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. When 3 minutes remain, add broccoli to pot with pasta.
4. Drain pasta and broccoli, and return to pot. Stir in spinach and kale. Add 2-3 drops lemon oil to pot & stir to distribute.
5. Melt butter in saucepan. Once melted, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Turn off heat and add 1-2 drops lemon oil. Add mixture to pasta and stir.
6. Dish up! Stir in Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Leave me a comment and let me know if you try it!! :D


Thursday, June 1, 2017

I got my curls back!!! :D

I have gotten SO many messages about THIS picture/post!  I decided it would be easiest to write up a post about it so it is easier to find later!

**DISCLAIMER*** - The opinions in this post are 100% mine. I am not getting any type of compensation for anything I post about this product I'm sharing today! ♥

okay...Here is the photo. Yes, that is my hair. Yes, it looks amazing! No - it does not have any sulfates, parabens, SLS, SLES, MEA, DEA, TEA, petrochemicals, animal byproducts, dyes, phthalates, or other harsh chemicals!

I took this photo right after I woke up. I took a shower the night before, and fell asleep with wet hair. That is all! It was so soft (it still is!) Usually when I fall asleep with wet hair, there's more frizz than anything. Not this time! And it was CURLY! This may not look like a lot of curl to you, but compared to how not curly my hair has been lately, it totally is!

WHAT?!?! You heard right. All natural baby! My hair has not looked this good in years, especially since it has gotten so long. I always assumed that my curls were just pulled out from the weight of my hair. Even when I would put in curling products, it still just looked like a frizzy mess.
Now, you know, I am allll about my Young Living products. Always will be.
But - one night, I was up late browsing the interwebs, and came across this company called Puracy.

Let me tell you why I fell in love:
1. Developed by doctors. Always cool
2. None of the gross stuff that is in 99% of the other products on the market. Yay!

3. That artwork on the bottle?? Made by local artists. Awesome.

4. And - guess what?! It's made in Austin, Texas. I was born there! ;)

5. Bonus - pretty great price!

Check it out.

 I noticed a difference right away. Then - the detoxing process happened! I'll spare you those details, but you can Google hair detox and get a pretty good idea what happened over the next couple days!
I wasn't quite ready for that. It was pretty gross knowing that I had so many 'things' built up in my hair over the years. I have never been a huge product person, thankfully, so I can't imagine what it would have looked like if I were! My parents came to visit, and my mom got hooked on this shampoo, too! She ordered some as soon as she got home!

After my experience with this shampoo & conditioner, I ordered the baby wash & lotion, too! They should be here in the next couple days. I can't wait!

And - I will NOT be going back to any of those chemical-filled products! EVER!

Let me know if you try it! I would love to hear about your detox!! :D

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jerk Pork - Taste of Jamaica -Dinner Travels

Hey hey!!

Man, this semester of school has really got me swamped! I have had at least three papers due every week for the last five weeks!! Can you believe that?!?!
But - there is a light at the end of the starts the last full week before finals! Woohoo!

If you are on my Facebook Page or Instagram, you have been able to see some peeks into our daily life. This week, we are travelling the globe right from home! I have different dinners planned each night that are from different parts of the world. Monday night, we had a little taste of Jamaica with some jerk pork. Monday's are soccer days, so I wanted to have something that was ready when the kids got home from school, so I prepared this in the crock pot.

Let me tell you a little money-saving secret of mine... I shop for spices in the International Foods aisle! The Badia brand of seasonings and spices is my go to. They come in large containers and are priced SO amazing. I picked up some of this jerk seasoning for around $2! You just can't beat that!
For the pork, I used a 3-4lb. pork loin (not a tenderloin), jerk seasoning, garlic, lime, & orange juice. I put the pork into my crockpot, and added about 1/2 cup orange juice, 4 cloves of crushed garlic, the juice from one lime, and 3 tablespoons of the jerk seasoning. That's it. Easy peasy. Covered and cooked on low for about 8 hours.

About thirty minutes before we were ready to eat, I made some brown rice. I didn't add anything to this since I know I would be putting the meat on top.

This is where things get crazy...I originally planned on making a mango salsa to go with this since I saw it in this post. However, there are no mangoes in sight at my local grocery store, and my family doesn't love them enough for me to want to hunt some down. Also,the avocados were looking really sad the day I shopped. I originally thought I would just skip the fresh salsa part, and maybe have a salad or something. While I was finishing up the rice, I remembered that we had one lonely corn on the cob leftover from grilling over the weekend. I also had some red bell peppers on hand for Tuesday night's dinner! I threw some canola oil in a pan and got it hot. Then, I cut the corn off the cob right into the pan and added half of my red pepper, sprinkled on some salt & pepper, added some cilantro, and squeezed one more lime into the pan.

Let me just tell you...this meal was DELICIOUS!!!
It  is going down in my permanent files, and will be made again soon! The entire family loved it!

Here is the full recipe! Let me know if you try it!


* 3-4 lb. pork loin
* 3 Tablespoons jerk seasoning
* 4 cloves crushed garlic
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* juice of one lime

Cooked Brown Rice

Corn Salsa 

* One ear of corn, scraped from cob (frozen could work, also!)
* 1/2 red bell pepper
* Salt & pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* juice of one lime


* Place pork in slow cooker. Add crushed garlic, jerk seasoning, orange juice, and lime juice. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Shred in pot.
* About 30 minutes before serving time, cook rice.
* About 10 minutes before serving time, heat pan with 1 Tablespoon oil. Add corn and bell peppers. Season with sale and pepper. Cook until tender-crisp. Add juice from lime and cilantro.
* To serve: add rice to center of plate, top with pork and salsa.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Home Organization Challenge - Week 2

Woohoo! The pantry is in the spotlight this week! I think we have one of the smallest pantries ever, but I am 100% okay with that. It helps me make sure we don't have tons of food hanging around not being eaten. I also meal plan every week, so I can take a quick glance in and see what we have/what I need to stock up on.
The couple days before grocery day, the pantry always gets a little crazy looking. I love being able to quickly reorganize and get it clean again each week. And - this challenge is great for making sure all the little hidden crumbs are gotten rid of!

Here are my befores! I also included one of my cupboards this week since I store all my baking items and spices in there. :)

What a mess!! :/
Okay, so let's start with the pantry..
ONe of my favorite things for my pantry is my Tupperware Modular Mates. Seriously. They are AH. MA.ZING!! I have had a lot of them for over 10 years, and they still look as good as the ones I've only had for a few years. They are great for using up the vertical space that just gets wasted. Also, for keeping things like chips, pretzels, cookies fresh and from getting lost in the back of the pantry.
I got to work pulling out all of my open bags of chips and things, and putting them into my Tupperware.
All of these bags and containers are all organized, visible, and clean now!
I also grabbed a few sandwich bags for those almost empty bags of chips, and made some quick grab and go bags for lunches.
Let's take a shelf by shelf look at my organized pantry...
Top shelf...This is where I keep a bin with all my plastic wrap, aluminum foil, freezer bags, etc. I also have my rice and flours/other baking items that I don't use every day.
The next few shelves have my every day items that we reach for often - Breakfast items, snacks, & grab and go lunch items.

Down low, we have cans and extra items. I also keep a basket below with all of my oils/vinegars that I don't use often, as well as my giant Tupperware container with flour.
I love when things are clean and organized!! ♥

On to the spice cabinet...Did you see how messy it was in there?? haha I have just been putting things on where they will fit, and not where they belong. I'm so happy it's all back together!
Let me share one of my favorite organization tips with you! I have this awesome plastic coca cola container that my mom found for me a few years ago. It holds my spices and fits in my cabinet like it was made for this job! I can pull it right out and grab what I need. And - these little round labels are PERFECT for helping me find just what I need super fast. I keep a sheet of them in the container so when I get a new spice, I can label it right away.

All done!!♥♥
What do you think??
Did you work on your pantry this week? I would love to see!
Next up is the dining room! I can't wait to share! ♥

If you are interested in more information about the Tupperware Modular Mates, check out my friend Robin's site! ♥ ROBIN'S TUPPERWARE 

Come follow me on INSTAGRAM for daily updates!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Year Home Organization Challenge!!

If you have been here a while, you know that every year, I like to follow along with A Bowl Full of Lemons and their super awesome home organization challenge. It is a 14 week cleaning/purging/organizing challenge that always gets me excited for the new year. I secretly think I subconsciously refrain from throwing things out (old toys, clothes, etc) during the end of the year, just so I can feel more accomplished during the challenge!! Hahaha

The first week usually starts the second week in January, but you can catch up/join any time. She has everything posted on her blog.
Week one begins in the kitchen. This is where I spend 90% of my day, so I love this one so much. This past summer, we moved from Maryland to Virginia, so I have a new house to organize this year! I still sometimes find myself changing and rearranging things to find them the best home. 
Here is a before of what our counters looked like.  I had a bunch of fruit/vegetable bowls taking up space. (This really drove me crazy!) We still had some lingering holiday/snow items laying around that needed to be put away. 

I was able to give it a quick cleaning and put everything where it belongs, and find a new home for my oils. They fit perfect!! I also found a new basket to hold all the fruits and veggies and utilize some vertical space instead of all the bowls! (Except it's empty right now because I need to get to the grocery store! :D) 

I am so excited to finally have this area set up in a way that makes sense, and gives me a clean work space!! 

Part of this week's challenge also involves cleaning the appliances. When we moved into this house, the stove had SO.MUCH. baked on crud. I am still trying to get it all off, little by little, without damaging the surface. This week, I tried something new. I usually use baking soda and vinegar to gently scrub the surface, but this time I used baking soda and my Young Living Thieves cleaner. It worked SO great! You can see how it got to work picking up a lot of the grease and junk. I still have some work to do, but this mixture took off a lot more than I have been able to do so far!

I am ready for week 2!! It's the pantry! :D 

Are you participating in this challenge too? I would love to see your before and afters! Come share them on my Facebook Page
You can also see daily updates on my Instagram. If you follow me, leave me a comment and I'll follow you back! 

See you soon!