The grandparents you never met.

Anna Claire and Madeline,

I’m not sure how old you are now if you’re reading this, but I can’t stop thinking lately about how you never got to know your Meme and Granddaddy, and the amazing grandparents I know they would have been to you if they only had the chance.

Your Meme would have visited every Sunday. She would have begged to babysit you and spoiled you rotten. She would not have been able to get enough of you. She also would have made sure you minded. She would always know if you were up to something and leave you feeling like it was her superhuman power. Meme would have made sure you knew Jesus loved you. And somehow when she hugged you, you would feel the warmest tingle of the purest love you’ve ever known.

Your Granddaddy would have treasured you. He would have showered you with hugs, the best advice ever, and quarters for the gumball machine. He would have taught you the value of generosity, honesty, hard work and responsibility, not just through his words, but through his actions. He would have given you both nicknames that made you feel special and cherished. He would have been the best listener and told you the best stories.

You may never know them, but anything I do right as a parent was a direct reflection of their love and influence. And I know with every fiber of my being that they are proud of who you girls are becoming and watching over us every day.


Back to School Essential Oils and Natural Product Shopping List


As we gear up for back to school, I’m no different than many parents. I find myself planning ahead to stock up on all of the things we will need. School supplies. School clothes. New shoes. And of course this oily mama made a list of the oils and natural products we need during the school year.

Essential oils:

Thieves (immune support)

Raven (immune and respiratory support)

RC (respiratory support)

Immupower (immune support)

Lemon/Lavender/Peppermint (seasonal trio)

Vetiver/Cedarwood (focus)


Peace & Calming

Kids oil blends:





Rollers to make/refill:

Kids’ Throat Roller

Kids’ Ears Roller

Kids’ Cough Roller

Kids’ Immunity rub

Focus roller (both girls)

“Normal temp” roller

Kid products to make/refill:

Natural inhaler

Detangler (Tea Tree, Vanilla Copaiba Conditioner)

Products to get/make for teachers:

Hand Sanitizer

Thieves Cleaner


Thieves (immunity)

Lavender (nap time for my youngest’s daycare)

Peppermint (concentration)

Orange (mood boosting)

Products/oils for my classroom:

Citrus oils (focus/mood boosting)


Purification (gets rid of bad smells/cleans air)


Thieves Cleaner

Thieves Hand Sanitizer

Whether you love oils like I do, or you’re just curious, I hope this list paints a picture of possibility. Things you can make and use to support your babies’ bodies as they return to “the germ farm” (AKA school).

If you are new to oils, beyond curious and ready to dive in, the Premium Starter Kit is where to start. It has the 12 oils you will use the most often (including peppermint, lemon, lavender, Thieves, Digize, Peace & Calming, Valor, Citrus Fresh, Panaway, Stress Away, Raven and frankincense) plus a diffuser. Grab yours here.


Stop saying back to school means summer is over.


I have seen so many posts, articles, and commercials in the past week mourning “the end of summer” or dreading the start of school.

But school starting doesn’t mean summer is over. It really isn’t.

And I don’t just mean that according to the calendar, summer isn’t over until September 22.

I would liken the “school starting/summer is over mindset”  to the “TGIF mentality” where folks seem to live for the weekends. But does it really have to be summer, or the weekend for us to enjoy life?

I propose a different way of thinking, a different perspective:

Why can’t every day be great? And why can’t a school day be a day full of fun?

As a parent, my girls and I pack in fun as much as we can after school hours. We plan to swim, hike, explore and play outdoors through at least mid-October. The last two years we’ve done what I call “Monday Funday.’ It’s where I intentionally take the kids somewhere fun and it gives us something to look forward to, while others may choose to wear their “I hate Mondays” faces.

Or, challenging myself here, as teachers, what if we these weeks left of summer as days we can take our students outdoors for activities and hands-on learning?

I hope you’ll join me this school year and soak up every bit of summer. And make every day a joyful one, even Mondays.




Healthy Snacks for Kids (even picky eaters)


Since the day I found out we were expecting our first child, my view of food and nutrition shifted, and my perspective on food that we brought into our home became this:

“Is this the best thing that we can provide for our family and the best for their growth and development?”

I researched brain growth and development of babies and children extensively, and the foods that supported these the most.

It’s why I tackled the physical hurdle of breastfeeding, some of the most trying months of my life, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I”m a teacher and many, many days I spent my lunch time and planning time pumping. I was determined to do it no matter what. I realize some aren’t able to despite their best efforts and I truly sympathize with that. I am very thankful that it was something I could provide both of my children the first two years of their lives.

We do our best do buy non-GMO, organic and gluten free when we can. We also try to seek out wild-caught seafood and cage-free chicken and eggs as much as possible.

I felt led to share a very clear list of healthy toddler snacks. I know many who feed their children name brand chips, cookies, cakes, candies and they thrive as adults and turn out just fine! So I am in no way condemning anyone’s choices in writing this.

However, I also know that 80% of the immune system is located in the gut and the foods we choose to eat greatly impact our digestion, and therefore our immune system function and overall health.  If you share my goal of avoiding the doctor’s office and pharmacy line as much as possible, this shift to eating for wellness has served our family well. My girls have only been to the doctor for well checkups, a broken bone and for my oldest’s migraines which we are now getting a handle on by limiting her sugar and food coloring intake and preventing anxiety.

It may feel like an impossibility at first because may of the companies who produce the popular name brand package foods are a) so heavily advertised and geared toward children and b) have chemicals added to them that not only are harmful to the body, but cause you to crave more of them! You can google search this and find a wealth of evidence to support this. I so wish I was wrong about it.

The good news: You crave whatever you are given. If you are fed healthy food, your body will crave healthy food. The more water you drink, the more water you crave. As your children shift to eating REAL food, they will begin to PREFER IT. Real foods don’t have ingredients, they actually ARE ingredients. Or the ingredients they do have are only real foods. Jamie Oliver, the famous chef, is a huge proponent of this movement. He has done a great deal in his home country to make people more aware of this and to encourage it.


Fruits :

Honeycrisp apples






Prunes (my kids actually ask for them!)



Cherries (fresh)


Applesauce (Organic squeeze from Aldi – lots of flavors!)

Honest Kids Juice

Organic fruit snacks from Aldi



Cherry tomatoes



Kettle Chips (love the sea salt ones cooked in avocado oil)


Seaweed snacks





String cheese

Stonyfield organic yogurt squeezers

Blue cheese crumbles

Chobani yogurt

Dark chocolate


Bagels + cream cheese

Whole grain Cheerios

Cascadian Farms organic cereal

Popcorn (Newman’s own)


Whole grain toast and butter

Kind bars


Virginia ham

Hard-boiled eggs


Beef jerky

Scrambled eggs

Some of our favorite snacks right now:

banana + peanut butter wraps

salami and cheese roll-ups

carrots and hummus

tortilla chips + guacamole

gluten-free pretzel sticks (Snyder’s of Hanover)

Whole grain cheerios

Lindt  – Sea Salt Dark Chocolate (one square) + dried mixed berries


Kids puffs from Aldi (no artificial colors/flavors)

Mozzarella + basil + tomatoes + balsalmic/olive oil (caprese salad)

Disclaimer: You you follow me on any social media, you WILL see that I post pics of my girls eating ice cream, donuts, and enjoying Icees. This is because I also believe in moderation. I believe that if I completely deprive them of all of what they perceive to be “life’s pleasures” based on what they see others consuming in their real life and advertised, that they will resent our lifestyle. They are great kids and I see the joy that occasionally allowing these foods brings them. But rest assured, this will always be followed by a detox bath and days of healthy foods before we have them again. 🙂











B’s Cheesecakes 

Going to B’s has been on our summer bucket list all summer and today to decided to do something about it.

The cheesecakes are outstanding, plain and simple. I had New York cheesecake (I’m a purest) and Anna Claire had triple chocolate. Both of them were so, so good! Anna Claire put it best, “This is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth!”