Be Mine For Longer: Women’s Heart Health

February is the month of love. Women and moms everywhere give so much love to others that we often forget to love on ourselves. Taking a shower and running errands alone, while great, isn’t self care. 

When we think of Women’s health most of us assume that we’ve got it covered, because we have our yearly paps, breast exams/mammograms, and take a multi-vitamin. Most of us are so consumed with everyday life that we fail to stop and listen to our bodies, if we did stop, there’s so much we can learn.

2 years ago I noticed my body changing, I went to my doctors and at first they all said the same things. It’s normal for a mom to be tired, depression can cause these symptoms you’re having. I was prescribed anti-depression medicines and sent on my way, however as my symptoms progressed I had to learn how to be my own advocate and take control over my health.

My surgeon told me that I was very in-tune with my body, listening to my instincts and not giving up when doctors dismissed me had saved my life. At 29 years old I discovered I had a bicuspid aortic valve and a 4.9cm aneurysm, I was in complete heart failure. – Check out my Open Heart Surgery Post if you want a more detailed story – 

Cardiovascular Diseases continue to be a deadly threat for women, The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women is a platform to bring awareness to Womens heart health.  As a heart patient myself I am passionate about bringing not only awareness to Womens heart health but, also showing how we can incorporate healthy habits plus natural options to better care for our hearts.

If you’re building a house, one of the first things you do is build a foundation which will hold up your house. The same is true for our bodies, we need a proper foundation to build our way to a healthier you. ( I say “you” as in, collective you, I’m speaking to myself too.) To help build a strong foundation for our health, high quality supplements are a good place to start.

Meet doTerra’s number one selling product, Life Long Vitality Supplements. Backed by a 30 day money back guarantee these supplements are the building blocks for our foundation and the start of healthier habits.

These essential oils may also be beneficial:

Cinnamon Bark and Cassia essential oils can promote healthy circulatory and cardiovascular function, as well as Marjoram and Copaiba. Take 1-2 drops of oil into a veggie capsule and take internally, if heart health is a concern for you. And it should concern you, especially as a woman. You can learn more about heart health and essential oils here.

Learn more here.

doTerra’s wellness pyramid is the basis for everyday health, including your heart health. Reducing toxic load. rest and managing stress can be achieved with the Life Long Vitality supplements and essential oils.

Informed self care is so important, like I mentioned earlier you have to become your own health advocate especially if you feel like something is off in your body. Proactive medical care is important for catching things sooner rather than later, like getting your yearly physical, Pap smear, Mammogram, Colonoscopies, etc can hopefully catch things before they become an even bigger issue.

When I first started to get sick I felt like a fraud to be preaching a healthy lifestyle with essential oils while my own health was spiraling out of control. I still have the same feelings and insecurities pop up but, I know that my healthcare is better when I incorporate natural alternatives along with traditional medicine. It doesn’t have to be a this or that, but we can mesh them together to take control over our health and our lives.

This February I challenge you to start building your foundation to a healthy lifestyle and schedule those check-up appointments. I have to remind myself often that I can’t pour from an empty cup.

Ready for a complete overhaul of your health? Doterra has released a new enrollment kit for just that- The Foundational Habits Enrollment Kit. This kit includes:

  • Chocolate protein powder
  • Doterra fiber
  • Doterra greens
  • Doterra On Guard 5ml- protects against environmental and seasonal threats
  • Doterra Balance 5ml- Creates a sense of calm and tranquility
  • Frankincense 5ml- Supports healthy cellular, immune, nervous, and digestive function when taken internally. When diffused or inhaled it promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction and overall wellness.
  • Lemon 5ml- Provides cleansing and digestive benefits and supports healthy respiratory function.
  • Lavender 5ml- Swiss army knife of oils, calms and relaxes when taken internally, use in a bath, massage or inhale/diffuse to ease stress and help sleep.
  • Deep Blue Rub- This is one of my most used products. This rub helps soothe tired and achy muscles.
  • Doterra Lifelong Vitality Pack
  • TerraZyme and PB Assist- Supports digestion and optimizes your gastrointestinal tract.

There are TONS of enrollment kits so if this one doesn’t work, please reach out. I’d love to help you find the perfect products for your unique needs.

Hello February: What’s Happening This Month

doTERRA has added some amazing new products this month. doTERRA Nutrition line helps us reimagine our nutrition with the introduction of dōTERRA Protein, doTERRA Greens and doTERRA Fiber. These items come together to support the immune system, energy levels, and digestive health with pure, natural ingredients.

Want to start February off with a lifestyle change? This is the kit you need!

doTERRA is loving on all of it’s customers with this months amazing promos. Free products, free oils, and if your new to doterra you’ll get a $50 credit this month to spend on more oils.

On Guard is here to defend your family from germs and helps boost the immune system. You can get all of this FREE this month with any order over 200pv. Learn more about On Guard below:

As always anyone who is in doTERRA’s optional loyalty rewards program will get Lemon Eucalyptus with any LRP order of 125pv before the 15th of the month.

I love all the citrus oils but Green Mandarin is one of my favorites. It’s 10% off all month long!

Peppermint Snacking Chocolate

If you’re not a fan of mint-flavored stuff then this post isn’t for you. While not my top favorite I do love the occasional mint chocolate chip ice cream, Andes Mints, Peppermint drizzled over brownies or these Peppermint snacking chocolates.

If your not familiar with the amazing benefits of Peppermint essential oil head over to this post to learn more. I’ll wait.

These snacking chocolates are quick and easy to make. Try sugar-free chocolate chips for a tasty but, healthy snack.

Click here for instructions

Making your own Peppermint drizzle is super easy too. You can use whatever brownie recipe you love and do your thing. You can make from scratch icing or use store-bought, there isn’t any judging here. After baking, mix 1 drop of Peppermint oil into your icing and mix well, top your brownies and eat up.

Do you use Peppermint essential oil in your cooking? What’s your favorite recipe?

Need to get your hands on some essential oils of your own? You can get more information here

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My Morning Routine

First off I’d like to say that I’m not the mom in the drop off line who has her shit together. My kids are now scrambling around for masks as I’m pushing them out of the van. I’m not literally pushing my kids out of the van, Karen but, after all the virtual learning we’ve done momma needs a break.

Every mom should have sort of system in place to make her life easier ie; Picking out clothes the night before, packing backpacks/lunch’s at night too. As a mom with a chronic illness I never know when a flare is going to strike and of course I have to use my spoons wisely. One less thing to worry about in the morning, or fight about- girl moms know what I’m talking about.

My morning starts by getting up at 5am and working out, just kidding, I hit snooze till 6:45 where I drag myself into the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. I will admit I used honest brand toothpaste until dōTERRA reformulated their toothpaste which I got in this years convention kit and It’s love.

2 years ago I never took any daily medications besides birth control and forgot all the time, and your girl here couldn’t even swallow pills until 29. face palm. Now I have a pill organizer to store my prescribed medications plus my Life Long Vitality Supplements. I keep my pills in the cabinet over my coffee pot so I take them while I’m brewing my mornings coffee.

The key to remembering to take your vitamins is to have them easily accessible and in a place where they are easily seen. Same goes for your oils, consistency is key but, if you have your oils hidden away then chances are you aren’t going to use them.

These are all my “extra oils”, I just snagged this adorable shelf for my office/craft room.

My hubby built me an oil cabinet for my kitchen that holds my oils, it’s in a central location and easy to get. I also have citrus oils by our water purifier, in the bathroom, in the bedroom, basically everywhere in our home you’ll find some kind of essential oil.

My oil shelf, plus oils on the side table and the LTO Cuisine blends by the stove.
My bedside diffuser and oils

Up next is prying cranky kids out of the bed and off to school- I offer no advice on this matter, it seems my children are sloths in the morning then it’s like they both turn into Donnie from The Wild Thornberries when they come home from school.

What’s your morning routine look like? If you are also a mom with a chronic illness how do you manage during your flares?

Book Review: This Close To Okay

During this global pandemic I’ve found solace and comfort in my hobbies such as reading, sewing and crafting. Reading is always a good thing and I want my children to see me reading, which I truly believe has helped inspire, especially my oldest, the love of reading.

I have never been part of an actual book club, unless Book Of The Month counts. I was in a local Facebook group for a virtual book club but, sadly there was little engagement on the posts. Im hoping writing reviews of the books that Im reading will spark some good conversations with others, and provide you with some new books to read!

Speaking of Book Of The Month its a book lovers dream, each month you get to choose a book from 5 options or easily skip a month. It also offers a chance to read books I might not normally choose plus early access to some debut novels. – highlighted links above are affiliate links-

This Close To Okay by: Leesa Cross- Smith

Synopsis:

On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing at the edge of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.

Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe place for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. What she doesn’t realize is that Emmett isn’t the only one who needs healing-and they both are harboring secrets.

Alternating between Tallie’s and Emmett’s perspectives as they inch closer to the truth of what brought Emmett to the bridge’s edge- as well as the hard truths Tallie has been grappling with since her marriage ended- This Close To Okay is an uplifting, cathartic story about chance encounters, hope found in unlikely moments, and the subtle magic of the human connection.

Amazon Affilate Link

Sometimes a book can take me a while to finish, especially if it’s a heavy read. However, I couldn’t but this book down. I finished it within 2 days- I could have read it quicker if my family didn’t need feeding or if I could function on little sleep.

A wild weekend filled with so many emotions it’s almost difficult to take in, this novel shines a bright light on mental health issues in such a way that anyone could resonate with the characters. I liked that the story was told from both vantage points, I easily connected with both characters in their each unique way.

This was a weekend that both main characters and the reader will never forget. The action doesn’t take long and before you know it your sucked into the difficulties that each characters are enduring and there are plenty of twist and turns to keep you engaged.

If you’ve read this book I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions!

Oil Spotlight: Tea Tree Touch

For January’s free product of the month is Tea Tree from Doterra’s touch line, the touch line is a collection of essential oils pre-diluted for safety for the young, elderly or those with sensitive skin. Doterra has mastered the art and science of striking the perfect balance between protecting sensitive skin while still delivering the amazing benefits found in essential oils.

The Touch Collection includes 10ml roller bottles of 9 of Doterra’s top selling oils including: Breathe, Deep Blue, Digestion, Frankincense, Lavender, Tea Tree, On Guard, Oregano, and Peppermint.

Doterra also offers a Touch Collection just for kids! The Kids Oil Collection includes: Thinker, Calmer, Stronger, Brave, Tamer, Rescuer, and Steady.

Doterra offers a Loyalty Rewards Program which is beyond anything I’ve seen in other businesses, Doterra spoils their customers with Free Products, product credits that can be redeemed as cash for even more free stuff. If you want to learn more about this program check out this post. If you are already an LRP customer, you will get the Tea Tree Touch free with any LRP order of 125pv by the 15th.

Doterras website offers a wealth of information on the benefits and how to use Tea Tree essential oil, check out the posts:

If you haven’t jumped on the Essential Oil train then all aboard!

There are SO many intro kits available here are two of the most popular:

The Healthy Start kit offers 5ml bottles of the top 10 oils plus a diffuser, The Healthy Essentials kit offers 10ml bottles of the top 10 oils plus a diffuser.

Hello January

Like most people I’ve been more than ready to kiss 2020 goodbye. For the past few days though, I couldn’t help but wonder if parts of last year we’re actually answers to some of my prayers.

After having my open heart surgery in 2019, having many prayers answered I was afraid I had run out of blessings but, I continued to pray for guidance on being a better mother and wife.

While this pandemic has raveged our worlds, I’m thankful that this year I got to spend so much time with my kids and husband. – I haven’t turned a blind eye to the many struggling either though, but after a rough 2 years this slower pace has allowed me to become closer to my family and to God.

The New Year often means resolutions that we fail to keep. This year I’m saying f*ck it (I have a big heart and love Jesus, but I cuss a little) – This year I’m choosing to set small realistic goals for myself.

* Find a way to move my body more and build up my stamina again. Turns out with a pacemaker a lot is off limits. I’ll be speaking with my doctor to come up with a plan.

* I’m not going to set any diet or weight loss goals. Instead I’m going to be more mindful of what I fuel my body with, I’m already using supplements but, want to get into my oils more to help with my daily symptoms.

* Read 12 books this year. Ideally I’d like to read more but one a month for now seems like a reachable goal for me, especially since I am usually a fast reader.

What are your goals for 2021?

Doterra Promotions and Exciting News!

Show your skin some love this month with Tea Tree Touch. Easy to use and pre-diluted for sensitive skin. You get this FREE if you place your LRP order of 125pv by the 15th of the month.

You can learn more about Tea Tree Touch Here.

Not sure what pv means or wondering how to get more free stuff? Check out these posts:

Looking for relief from digestive discomfort? (🙋🏼‍♀️) Peppermint softgels have you covered. Learn more here.

Can someone say new products? DōTERRA has big news to share. This virtual event will be held on January 7th at 7:00pm ET. You can learn more here.

Cheers to a new year of, growth, love, compassion, kindness, and empathy towards ourselves and others.

But, You Don’t Look Sick?

My next favorite ”Get better soon!”, well meaning maybe but, that’s not how chronic illness works.

I’ve seen blog posts on this topic, I’ve seen peoples thoughts on social media, and now have first-hand experience on how many judge-y assholes there are in the world.

Last year before Covid turned the world upside down, I was sitting at the dollar general – waiting for it to open after dropping the kids off at school. I was in my minivan waiting, parked in a handicap spot close to the door. There were a few others in their cars and some standing by the door.

As I watched the worker prepare to unlock the doors, I got out of my van and was greeted with ”Looking healthy today” with his head cocked to the side as if he was scorning me for using that parking place. He quickly apologized when I informed him I was a mere 3 months post op from open heart surgery and was still having issues.

The sorry wasn’t sincere, he got caught being a judgmental ass. This wasn’t my last encounter with peoples whispers and side glances and Im completely confident it will happen again.

If you’re not familiar with invisible illness, it includes an array of illnesses and diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, CIDP, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Connective Tissue Disorders, Dysautonomia, and many others. A quick google search can give you even more information on the different types of invisible illnesses.

Life is chaotic bills need paid, laundry is piling up, the kids have school work, the dog needs food, medicine needs picked up, there’s doctors appointments all time. As mom’s, as parents we know this is all hard. Add in a chronic illness and it becomes even harder, I say this not in comparaion but to remind everyone – even myself that everyone is fighting some sort of battle we know nothing about.

A new year is coming and with it I wish with my entire broken heart that we could all stop the sudden judgements and just be kind to one another.

My Top 5 Thrifting Tips

Thrifting may be different for everyone but, for me thrifting is yard sales, garage sales, peddlers malls, flea markets, Facebook marketplace, road side finds and since COVID getting goodies from my favorite local thrifters. (Two Thrifty Hippies & Dane Thrifty, look them up on Instagram, they do offer shipping on most items.)

Vintage canisters from my most recent thrift trip. They fit right in with my boho farmhouse decor.

1.) If your planning a thrift trip, especially to yard sales plan your route the night before. Look on Facebook market place or your newspaper classifieds, and leave early. When thrifting the early bird gets the worm is a true statement, this is even more true for yard sales.

2.) If you find something you love, buy it. Chances are when you go back it will be gone, probably. I follow this advice for TJ Maxx too, which if you know me well then you know my love for that store.

3.) At yard sales or on Facebook marketplace it doesn’t hurt to negotiate a lower price. Most of the time the seller is just wanting to get rid of items and will let them go cheaper. At yard sales if your buying quite a few items sellers will knock off a few bucks, it’s less they have to pack back up. All that can happen is they say no, then you can decide weather you want the item bad enough.

4.) Don’t be afraid to dig. Some of my best treasures were found hiding in unpacked boxes or in small booths that remind me of a hoarders episode.

5.) Be forewarned not every thrift trip will be successful and you’ll most likely become one of those people who stop the car when they see furniture sitting on the side of the road.

Yard sale score. Old wooden table, metal stool, metal basket, old windows, old 70’s license plates all for $25 bucks. The spiders were free with purchase.

Do you love thrifting? I’d love to see your favorite finds and hear your tips.

The Bissell Cross Wave: A Love Story

Okay, the title of this post is corny. However, this new vacuum/mop combo from Bissell I bought myself for Christmas has been among the top of my “good things that have happened in 2020” list.

Im going to share my pros and cons with you from an honest, kid mom and dog mom perspective. This post plus my views/opinions are all my own and are in no way sponsored by Bissell. Although if Bissell sees this, Hey!

All parents are busy. Life is busy, even during a pandemic. Work, school, errands, doctors appointments, and the list goes on forever, until we die.

Morbid humor aside, I’m a mom with 2 kids at home doing virtual learning. A dog that’s constantly in some kind of mischief, all the stuff to do plus sprinkle in some chronic illness.

Certain chores such as sweeping/vacuuming/mopping etc use up quite a bit of my energy or spoons, for my fellow chronic illness warriors. Doing each of these things all in one day is just a recipe for an increase in pain but, if I vacuum today and mop another day the floors already need to be vacuumed again. It’s an evil vicious cycle.

When my Facebook feed was flooded with videos of the Bissell Cross Wave in action I knew right then I had to have it.

So, I’ve had my Bissell for 2 weeks now and I love it. Below is a list of my pro’s and Con’s. As you can see I’m super happy with my purchase.

Side note: The self cleaning function works good but, after use/being put away its best to empty the dirty container and clean it along with the brush and brush cover to keep the mildew smell away.