Waiting for Empty Laundry Baskets

Waiting for Empty Laundry BasketsDoing laundry drives me a little bit crazy.

Tell me you get this. I mean, we wash, we wear, we wash, we wear. Over. And over. And over again.

The monotony of household chores, in general, bores me to tears. More than once, I’ve raised my hands to God to say, “Why? Why the same thing over and over?”

My family members, especially, are not good stewards of their dirty laundry. They do not alert me to stubborn stains. They do not separate whites and colors as they stack dirty clothes in piles. My daughter often wears layers and pulls everything off at once, leaving me a tangled mess to unravel at the washer—socks and inside-out pants, underwear, tanks, and tees. And my husband rolls up all his dirty clothes at once into a ball. I have often found a surprise black sock in a load of whites because it was tucked into an undershirt.

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The Beauty of the Butterfly


Guest Post Today at Blonde Mom Blog

Blonde Mom Blog guest post | 5 Easy Changes to a Better You

I’m thrilled to let you know that I have a guest post today at Blonde Mom Blog! Jamie is a longtime friend of mine and now a colleague as we’ve worked together for a couple of years.

I love her blog, her wit, and her writing. If you’ve not checked out Blonde Mom Blog, you must!

And while you’re there, check out my post, too, in her 15 Minutes to Fabulous summer series (intro below):

5 Easy Changes for a Better You

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” No matter what’s going on, what task you’re facing, or for which goals you are reaching, you must take baby steps to get there.

Little bites of elephant one at a time.

That’s why I love the idea of 15 minutes to becoming fabulous. Those 15 minutes here and there add up. You start nibbling at the elephant and before you know it, you’ve cleaned your plate!

And so, I’m challenging you with these small bites you can take today, this week, or this weekend for all-around life improvement. Generally, they are so easy to incorporate into your routine that you’ll probably find they become healthy habits before you know it.

Read the entire blog post here.

What I Learned While Mowing the Yard

What I Learned While Mowing the Yard - 4 principles for reaching goals

A few weeks ago, I decided to surprise my husband when he came home from work.

No, no. It was nothing romantic and didn’t even involve his favorite meal.

What brings a smile to my man’s face and a “Wow, honey!” to his lips?

Our yard—freshly cut.

That’s right. I mowed the yard.

Now, I’m no stranger to mowing the yard. I grew up on a farm where our yard was three huge grassy areas. I have mowed my share of yards. I have logged my time on mowers—both riding and push.

But it’s been oh, several years now that I’ve done yard work. And it’s sort of an understatement to say that I’m out of shape.

These realities did nothing, however, to quell my zest for getting work done! For surprising my hubby! For feeling productive!

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Words Are Fun Friday: Sun

words are fun friday sun sunflower

I love words!

That’s why I started a Words Are Fun Friday meme a few months back. Just something to celebrate our beautiful gift of language.

How many words, phrases, song lyrics, brand names, etc. can you think of that include the word, “Sun”? I think this word is appropriate for today because it’s so doggone hot here!

I’ll start. You add more to my list by leaving a comment.

Let’s go!

  1. Sunday
  2. sunshine
  3. suntan
  4. sunflower
  5. sundae
  6. sunlight
  7. sunscreen
  8. sun shade
  9. sunglasses
  10. sun spots

Your turn! Give me your best words and phrases containing the word, “Sun”!




Migraine Headaches? Maybe It’s Your Gall Bladder

migraine headaches | migraine headache relief

For much of my adult life, I’ve suffered with headaches.

I’ve had tension and stress headaches brought on by a variety of things, including changes in the weather, hormonal shifts, second-hand cigarette smoke, and obnoxious perfumes and potpourris.

Within the last few years, however, I have suffered from almost debilitating migraine headaches. My doctor and I have tried to trouble-shoot the headaches every which way. I stopped taking hormonal forms of birth control and watched if common food triggers might be a problem.

Nothing seemed to shed any light on my headache issues. They would come and go at will with no rhyme or reason.

I had just sort of resigned myself to being at the mercy of a migraine headache (when and if it decided to appear) and hoped I could get the Imitrex or Maxalt (prescription pain relievers) into my system as soon as possible after noticing that first pain.

But everything started to change for me earlier this year.

Pain, Pain, Go Away!

After feeling that I had been putting myself in last place for too, too long, I decided in January to invest in my health and well-being.

Our family began using essential oils and enjoyed immediate success in many areas of health and well-being.

I decided also to see a chiropractor and nutritionist. The headaches were still a pain (pun intended) and I was having issues with my under-functioning thyroid, lethargy, achy joints, and my weight.

At the first consultation, I told him about my headaches. My headaches are usually always above my right eye with pain going across the top of my head and down into my ear.

He immediately said, “Gall bladder. Headaches on the right side of the head are usually gall bladder-related.”

What? I thought.

Soon thereafter, he did muscle testing that recommended I avoid gluten.

So, for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been avoiding gluten and processed foods, taking supplements, and using oils. I’ve been feeling better and best of all—no headaches!

But this last week, I wheeled into the chiropractor’s office with a raging headache. I explained to him—once again—how the pain had settled behind my right eye and down into my ear. He immediately started addressing my gall bladder with adjustments and massage. At the end of my session, I felt much better.

Confession: I had been way off my gluten-free, non-processed diet for the week or so leading up to the headache. My chiropractor confirmed that the Chinese food and cheeseburger I had eaten last week were probably to blame for the gall bladder congestion. In addition to gluten, he added I need to avoid fatty fried and spicy foods, too.

I am not a medical doctor nor a licensed anything. But I am a woman who has suffered from migraine headaches. I can now look at my diet and notice a correlation between eating junk and having painful headaches. I’m in a learning process, for sure. That’s why I’m sharing this post today. If you’re looking for answers for your headaches, maybe this will help.

5 Tips For Migraine Headache Relief

If you, too, suffer from headaches—especially on the right side of your head—consider that it may be that your diet is aggravating and congesting your gall bladder. Try these natural interventions to see if your headaches become less frequent, less painful, or—hopefully—disappear altogether:

1. Avoid foods made with gluten. (You may also want to avoid other known foods that cause sensitivities, though I have not. These may include dairy, eggs, soy, alcohol, caffeine, etc.)

2. Drink 3-4 drops of lemon, orange, grapefruit, and/or peppermint essential oils in water or herbal tea daily. (I only use and recommend Young Living essential oils for ingestion. And only drink beverages with essential oils from a glass container. You can find my favorite glass water bottle here.)

3. Rub 2-3 drops Citrus Fresh and peppermint essential oils (layer the oils, using peppermint last) onto your gall bladder after a heavy meal and/or when you feel a headache coming on. Repeat on the bottoms of your feet.

4. Take a detox bath made with Epsom salts and your favorite essential oil. If you’re battling a headache, I’d probably recommend peppermint. If you need relaxation and sleep, use lavender or Peace & Calming. Here’s a great recipe for detox bath salts.

5. Try other supplements. Young Living offers many products that can help offer support for your gall bladder. I haven’t used all of these myself, simply because I’m trying to address my problems more on the prevention and nutrition angle. But I know they have helped many people with similar issues:

  • M-Grain™ – a blend of basil, marjoram, lavender, peppermint, Roman chamomile, and helichrysum essential oils
  • Aroma Siez™ – a relaxing blend of basil, marjoram, lavender, peppermint, and cypress essential oils
  • Deep Relief – specially formulated with peppermint, wintergreen, copal, and palo santo essential oils
  • PanAway – a blend of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint essential oils
  • GLF™ – a blend of powerful oils including helichrysum, spearmint, and celery

For more answers to your questions about using essential oils for headache relief and/or gall bladder issues, check out Oil-Testimonials.com. And many of the oils mentioned above are included in the Premium Starter Kit from Young Living. Find out more here.

If you, too, are a headache sufferer, I do pray you find relief. Leave me a comment and let me know how you deal with migraine headaches.

Photo Credit: mislav-m via Compfight cc

Chosen By God

chosen by God | Mary Bernard | WritingMomof3.com

“Chosen By God” Photo Credit: ?ethan via Compfight cc

We Need Reminders of God’s Faithfulness

Reminders of God's Faithfulness | Ebenezer

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shenand called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” —1 Samuel 7:12

Lately, I’ve felt far from God. Just disconnected and removed. I can’t pinpoint an actual event that sparked it, but I will say in the “departments” of money, budget, job growth/security, church life, and family members, etc., I haven’t known what God’s been up to for many years.

In 2010, our church closed, which was devastating to us. To this day, we mourn its loss. In 2012, my mother died—a painful absence which I feel every single day. I hate thinking I’ll be having to do life without her for 40ish more years.

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Making Perfect Iced Tea: Things My Mama Taught Me (and a few I learned from HGTV)

Making Perfect Iced Tea| How To Make a Perfect Glass of Iced TeaToday I’m resurrecting a series of posts called, “Things My Mama Taught Me.”

I wouldn’t really call myself a domestic diva, but I am a good Southern cook, who routinely OD’s on information. I love all things about hearth and home, I am always on a quest for finding the most efficient way of doing the most mundane thing.

Thus, this series. I’ve got a lot of odds and ends of info rattling about my head, and I figured some of you might find them helpful and/or interesting.

In this series, you will find tips, tricks, recipes, favorite resources, and the like.

Today, I’m going to tell you how to make delicious and perfectly brewed iced tea.

When I was in college and living with three roommates in a two-bedroom apartment, I was the tea maker. My roommates—Southern girls though they were—had no clue how to make iced tea. They thought tea came in a brown powder form in a can.

Sacrilege, I tell you. Absolute sacrilege.

Since then, I’ve been perfecting my iced tea skills, and we always have a gallon in the fridge. I can’t go more than a few hours without a cold glass of tea. Alone, I probably drink 1 gallon every 2 days or so.

Making perfect iced tea is simple. Follow my tips below.

Iced Tea

makes one gallon

In a small saucepan, boil about 3 cups of water. I never measure; just fill up the saucepan.

When the water boils, add 3 family size tea bags. I actually use decaf tea now and have never been able to make any distinction in flavor.

Remove the pot from the heat. Cover the pot with a lid and allow to steep. I think it should steep at least 10-15 minutes, but 30-45 minutes will give you a deeper flavor.

Next comes the controversial part: sugar. I am not a big fan of super-sweet tea. When it is super-sweet, the flavor of the tea is obliterated by the syrupy flavor. If I want syrup, I’ll drink Coke. So, I typically only add about 1/2 cup sugar to the warm liquid and stir to dissolve. (Obviously, add more sugar to adjust to your taste.)

Pour the tea mixture into a one gallon jug. Fill the jug with cold water to make one gallon.

In my ideal world, my iced tea is served over a glass FULL of ice, with fresh-squeezed lemon, and sprigs of mint.

Absolutely, positively perfect refreshment. Ahhhh.

For sweetness/more flavor without the sugar:

  • Try using Stevia instead of sugar.
  • I also use 1-2 drops Lemon, Orange, and/or Bergamot essential oils per glass. The oils give a delicious flavor. You may find you don’t miss the sugar when flavoring with essential oils. *Note: Never add the oils to iced tea unless it is in a glass container. I only consume and recommend consuming 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oils by Young Living.
  • I periodically experiment with brewing a herbal or flavored tea along with the original teabags. Just replace one tea bag with about 3 smaller bags. I like to use orange spice, green citrus, and raspberry leaf.
  • I also use an Iced Tea Maker frequently now to make iced tea. I do love it, and I think it does a fine job. I bought some bulk cut herbs (raspberry leaf ), and brew them in my iced tea maker with my tea bags.
    Directions: Follow machine’s directions for making tea. Place 3 large bags into the maker. Put 3 heaping T of raspberry leaf herb (or herb of your choice) into a plain coffee filter. Fold the corners of the coffee filter like wrapping a gift. Staple together to close. Place herb pouch on top of tea bags and brew as normal.

Some good fast iced tea options when you’re out:

  • Sonic Route 66 iced tea, half sweet and half unsweet with extra lemon
  • McDonald’s large tea, half sweet and half unsweet with extra lemon

What about you? What’s your favorite iced beverage? What’s your favorite hot beverage? Do you have any tips for making the perfect glass or cup of whatever?

photo: dreamstime.com

Mother’s Day Specials for Unique Gifts

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

What in the world will you do this year for Mother’s Day?

Every year, I am plagued with this quandary. My mother-in-law is fairly easy to buy for (my mother passed away two years ago), but sometimes for Mother’s Day I want to give a present that’s more sentimental or meaningful. Something that’s unique or unexpected. Something that’s practical and useful but also beautiful.

Maybe, just maybe this year, I’ll actually do that.

I wanted to let y’all know about a few gift ideas that would be perfect for a mom of any age. These are three of my favorite products—at terrific discounts—so I think the mom on your list would appreciate them, too.

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