Making Vision Boards with Kids

I have been a firm believer in making a vision board for almost a decade now. There’s just something about putting images to your goals, and keeping those images in front of you that helps keep them on the forefront of your mind, and therefore exponentially more likely to happen!

When my oldest daughter Anna Claire was seven, she noticed me working on my vision board at New Year’s and asked to make one too. I’ve been making vision boards WITH my kids ever since!

It was exciting for Anna Claire to see how quickly things she posted on her board actually became reality. Then when little sister Madeline joined in on the fun last year, how even more quickly her simple and small wishes were granted. Anna Claire was tempted to think smaller so more of hers came true. We talked about how awesome it was for her to have such big and bold goals, but then also to make the vision board for THE YEAR.

I would encourage you to start working on these with your kiddos a few days before New Years, and have them think specifically about what they hope to accomplish and come into their experience THAT YEAR. I suggest to my girls to think of places they want to go, things they hope to learn, things they want to do, and some things that they would like to have.

We love everything about making vision boards! Planning what we will put on them, actually making them, and especially watching their dreams become reality.

Here are my girls’ visions boards. Hopefully they inspire you and your children.

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Anna Claire’s 2019 Vision Board – over half of hers have manifested
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Madeline’s 2019 Vision Board – all have manifested. Time for a new board!
kids · Uncategorized

Barbie Pool Party: Granting Madeline’s Wishes

I laughed when Madeline asked me to put “fill Barbie pool with water” on her vision board several months ago. It’s the only thing left on her board that hasn’t come to reality so we made that happen today. .


The things she asks for are so simple and easy to make happen that we all have fun helping pull them off. This included ordering Barbie swimsuits once the girls realized we only had one doll who had a swimsuit! Adults and ten-year-olds have bigger visions, so ours take more time to come to fruition. ❤️



What do you do once everything on your vision board comes to pass? You make a new vision board. That will be happening for Madeline soon. Stay tuned! .


If you’re curious to see the girls’ vision boards, I share them here. And be sure to watch the short video in this post for a good laugh. The dialogues Madeline makes up for her Barbies are hil-ar-i-ous! 🤣

essential oils · natural lifestyle

Our Wellness Story: Why Chemical Free Matters

Here I am with my baby girl, stopping by to get her shot record for kindergarten.

I was a little uneasy coming here because I didn’t know which entrance to use. I’ve only been here once since pediatrics moved to this location, and that was for her well-checkup.

Let me repeat that in appreciation: I’VE ONLY BEEN HERE ONCE AND IT WAS FOR A WELL-CHECKUP.

I truly believe there are two reasons for this.

One: a wellness MENTALITY. We see our children as well, we don’t speak of sickness, we visualize them as thriving and healthy.

Two: we support their bodies naturally. We view health through the lens of prevention vs treat.

Did you know that many meds like antibiotics that are used to “treat” actually weaken the immune system and increase the likelihood of children getting the very illness they are being treated for? That the more often a child takes antibiotics the less effective they are? Read more here and here.

I have no judgment for anyone using medications, including antibiotics, because we do too, when we have something bacterial like strep, and that is the best course of action to take.

Anything I’m sharing here, I’ve only learned myself in the last few years. But too often, I see it so much, kids are given antibiotics for ear infections and other illnesses where their bodies could be supported naturally and safely.

Then lo and behold, these children are right back at the doctor’s office weeks later. The sickness momentum keeps on going.

I am sharing this because I want to help the maximum number of families possible get out of this circle of sickness.

With my first child, we were in that loop! Ear infections, and just about every illness that came along. We were in and out of the doctor’s office like a revolving door. I didn’t know any better.

But we were sick and tired of being sick and tired. Then one day, it was as if someone flipped a switch.

I became determined to find the best for my family: foods, essential oils, household products. I researched. I read a ton. We started paying attention to what we were putting in and using on our bodies. We eliminated items that contributed to sickness (yes, many popular products marketed to humans are legally advertised as safe and sold to us 😡 -but that’s another post for another day. Read my “Ditch and Switch” series to learn more.) We went chemical free.

We diffused immune boosting essential oils and applied them to our bodies daily and consistently, especially during cold and flu season.

We became the discriminating guardians of our home and scrutinized what products we would allow in it. We ditched products containing harmful chemicals and replaced them with natural. These included cleaning, beauty, bath, and fragrance products.

We supported our bodies with oils for emotions, sinuses, soothing the skin and muscles. We used them for focus, healthy hair, and so much more.

And here we are. No longer stuck in that revolving door, and not a regular at the pharmacy drive through. It took time to replace everything, but this lifestyle doesn’t cost more or require more effort, contrary to some of the push back I’ve read and heard. It’s freeing. We are healthy and whole and we are not looking back, and hoping more and more will join us on the wagon.

adventures with kids · kids · nashville

American Girl Doll Hair Salon Spectacular

Back in May, when friends were talking about signing their kids up for camps for the summer, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a hairstyling camp?”

I did a quick Google search and found out our American Girl store was having a Doll Hair Salon Spectacular over the summer. Sold!

I took AC today and she LOVED IT. She clocked in an hour with one of the stylists and there were only three girls, including her, in the class. Anna Claire can already do almost every braid so I was a little worried she would be bored or might not learn anything.

Not to worry! She learned a LOT! She learned several tricks she didn’t know on how to use her topsy tail tool, how to incorporate a headband into a hairstyle, and how to be more neat and methodical in parting small strands of hair.

She was the most excited about learning more tricks for how to smooth and detangle. They use several tools that we didn’t have at home so we shall be procuring those. If you have a hairstyle loving girl check out my post on our favorite hair tools.

It’s so fun to find ways to support your kids in their talents. ❤️

Madeline didn’t meet the age requirement for the class, but she had a ball watching her doll get hair and nails done and trying out the toys on display. Needless to say Madeline’s birthday wishlist grew a lot today!

adventures with kids · Anna Claire · birthday · kids · nashville

Birthday Twins: Double Digits!

These two hit it off as best friends in Kindergarten, then Cassidy moved at the end of that year. Her mom and I recognized the friendship as something as something special and have stayed connected the past five years, making the effort to get the girls together. We have had some fun times!

I took Anna Claire to Restoration Hardware Cafe a few weeks ago, and had since begged me, “Oh Mommy, it would be perfect if we could come here with Cassidy and Miss Grace for our birthday. Then we could go shopping after!”

Cassidy and Anna Claire share a birthday, both born on June 25. I remember hearing that Michael Jackson had died that day on tv shortly after having her. She just ran in the room and told me George Michael and Anthony Bourdain share their birthday too – she asked Alexa on her new Echo Dot.

We have all been excited about this day, us moms as much as the girls. We had so much fun exploring Restoration Hardware, enjoying the beautiful cafe, having lunch and dessert at Cheesecake Factory, shopping til we almost dropped, and Starbucks to end the day perfectly. We love these friends and sharing this special day with them each year.

One of my former students made these shirts for the girls. We have had so much kindness shown to both girls this entire birthday experience!
essential oils · natural lifestyle

Trauma Life Essential Oil Blend by Young Living

T R A U M A L I F E | This oil has been such a great one for me. It’s one of those that for you to be able to talk about it, you have to acknowledge that you’ve been through some stuff, but then we all have.

I use this oil to move past emotional road blocks and to put my past behind me so I can look forward to the future. And using it in Epsom salts detox baths is an excellent way to expel all the things you no longer want in your life and body, physical and emotional.

“Many of the oils in this blend are powerfully calming and grounding, helping purge the stress and uproot the traumas that are often at the heart of our physical fatigue and overburdened immune systems.

Others of the oils in this blend are spiritually uplifting, bringing us closer to our Creator and helping us to see our trials from the proper perspective.

Sometimes, physical and mental difficulties are a result of unreleased trauma… this blend of oils may help promote the calming and balancing effect that is necessary in overcoming trauma.” Source: Ref Guide for EOs app.

You can find Trauma Life here. If you are just beginning to learn about oils and hesitant as to where to start, you might enjoy my posts on how we started and why.

hairstyles · product reviews

Best Products for Girls Who Love Styling Hair

Do you have a girl in your life who loves doing hairstyles? These are some of the best products out there for learning to style hair.

Crave Naturals Glide Through Detangling Brush

This is the best detangling brush. I bought one at the request of my daughter for her dollhead and with three girls living in our house, we all three have one. Best ever!

Hair Styling Tips and Tricks for Girls

This was one of the first books we bought tried. We actually checked it out from the public library and my daughter loved it so much that we renewed it the maximum number of times we were allowed, then finally bought it. This whole series of hobby books from American Girl are great.

Mannequin Dollhead

If you’re serious about wanting to learn different hairstyles, especially different types of braids, you need a mannequin dollhead. This one by MYSWEETY got our attention because of the beautiful colors, but gets our nod here because of its great quality. My daughter has had hers for two years now.

Dollhead Tripod

If you get the MYSWEETY dollhead, you’ll want their tripod to go with it. The dollhead comes with a clamp that you can clamp onto a table or countertop, but the tripod was a big game changer around here for easy transport and encourages more frequent use. My daughter could literally use her dollhead anywhere once we invested in the tripod.

Scunci Hair Elastics

These are our favorite because they don’t damage the hair, they stay put and they color match.

The New Braiding Handbook: 60 Modern Twists on the Classic Hairstyle

This book by Abby Smith is perfect for your girl learning to braid. My daughter was already a fan of Abby’s YouTube videos so when she realized there was a book, she was beyond excited. I still see her refer back to this book months later after buying it.

Blonde Hair Bun Makers

This set of four bun makers makes bun making easier and fewer steps. My daughter prefers this to a donut bun form.

Conair Topsy Tail

This tool is a must for many hairstyles your girl will see in YouTube videos and in books. Ours has held up really well.

Flairosol Misting Spray Bottle

This misting bottles deliver a fine mist and even distribution. We add a few drops of lavender and cedarwood essential oil to promote hair growth and tea tree to protect them from anything itchy. It’s been fun thinking of all the applications you could use these for other than hair. If you want to know more about essential oils you can read some of my other posts or follow me on Instagram. I have a personal and natural living Insta.

essential oils · natural lifestyle

The Premium Starter Kit from Young Living

This was my jumping off point four years ago, where it all started – my oil journey.

That’s not entirely true. I could argue it started with expecting my first child. Something shifted in me that I wanted the BEST of everything for that child. The highest quality foods. The best health. The best quality air. The best quality life. And I was so willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary for that to happen.

One of the things I noticed before joining Young Living was that my friends who used YL seemed to be my friends who used oils exclusively, not needing to go to the doctor or pharmacy because their bodies were being supported by the oils. Oils were more for them than just a “nice to have” item that makes their home smell good. Almost five years later, I do still see that to be the pattern.

If you’re looking for the highest quality oils for your family (which is the secret to finding oils that really work) here they are. The Premium Starter Kit has everything you need to support your family’s health and still to this day are the oils that I use the most: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Frankincense, Thieves, Raven, Citrus Fresh, Panaway, Digize, Stress Away, Valor, and Peace & Calming. The Desert Mist diffuser that you see pictured is still my favorite diffuser.

If you tried oils and they didn’t seem to work for you, maybe the quality was the issue? Maybe getting a higher quality oil would be a game changer for you like it was for me?

If you were a YL member and your membership has lapsed, getting another kit would be the perfect way to get back on the wagon and reactivate your membership.

It was true when I started with Young Living five years ago and still true today: the Premium Starter Kit is the best bang for your buck!

You can begin your essential oils journey here.

essential oils · natural lifestyle · product reviews

TOP 8 Essential Oil Supplies for Beginners

Do you want to try essential oils, but feel overwhelmed with how much there is to learn? Good news! There is so much to learn, you’ll never learn it all. That means there’s no need to wait.

I love the quote that says you don’t need to see the whole staircase. All you need to do is take the first step. And if you’re just beginning with oils, your first step is getting what you’ll need to get started.

This top 8 list will take you through the 8 supplies I order most often from Amazon. I’ve also been using and ordering these items since the very beginning.

1. This 24 pack of 10ml rollers:

You’ll find that many roller recipes call for 10ml bottles. I love that this set comes with two small funnels and droppers. The little funnels and droppers make filling your rollers so much easier and mess-free. The metal roller glides smoothly on these and dispenses just the right amount.

2. Best grapeseed oil. This grapeseed is expeller-pressed, hexane free, and comes in a BPA free container that makes pouring easy. You WILL want grapeseed to dilute many of the oils. It helps them stretch to cover a larger area of skin and last longer. Also some “hot” oils used neat are too strong and can burn the skin. I really like this brand, and the can is pretty.

3. True Essence 1 ml rollers. These little rollers are perfect for sharing oils with others or for travel. They’re handy and adorable.

4. Leven Rose Jojoba Oil. This is a great carrier to have on hand for using on the face. It is the closest to the skin’s natural pH so it won’t cause breakouts. Be sure to grab this oil if you plan on making any face rollers.

5. Witch hazel. I always think of this brand as “the good witch hazel.” It’s a great natural astringent, and is handy to add to sprays and perfumes to help the essential oils and water to incorporate (since water and oil don’t mix).

6. Essential Oils Pocket Reference book. This is such a handy book to help you learn how to use your oils. Having a reference book like this one is a game changer!

7. Gentle Babies book. When I started using oils, I was the most anxious and unsure about using oils with my girls. This book takes all the guesswork and anxiety out of using oils for babies and children. I will say, be sure to read the testimonials, and not just the reference pages. My favorite protocols are hidden in those testimonials!

8. Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap. I almost didn’t include this on the list, but I opted to because several years into this essential oil lifestyle, I use this soap all the time. Castille is great for foaming handsoap and also for the best ever DIY shave cream. It’s not easy finding unscented, which is why I like this particular 2 pack, plus buying in bulk saves money and this is the best price I’ve found. It’s fun to add your own essential oils to customize your scent and to meet your body’s needs. I prefer calming lavender, while my husband likes Thieves to kill germs.

If you’re just starting with oils, you definitely need high quality essential oils and a diffuser. I chose Young Living for my family after doing tons of research, and share our story here.

Learn more or if you’re ready you can get started with essential oils here.

clarksville · foodie

The Mad Herbalist: Clarksville’s Unique Tea House and Dining Experience

The Mad Herbalist. (as experienced by Anna Claire, age 10)

“The Mad Herbalist reminded me of a log cabin and had a unique feel to it. It was clean and well-decorated.

There isn’t anything else like it in Clarksville. I loved smelling the different tea blends from the test tubes. Nobody else has tiers – the presentation is really pretty.

The teas.

The Ember Chai. When I first got it, it looked weird to me. There was a piece of smoking rosemary in it, like incense and I didn’t know what it was. I did not like the Ember with the savory tiers. It was smoky and really bitter. Make sure to try it with the dessert – it almost tastes like coffee with it.

I liked the Vanilla Honeycomb. The sugar that they rimmed the glass with gave it extra sweetness and made it really good.

The Mango Daze. I liked it. I think the hibiscus and the blood orange in it gave it the pretty red color. I ate the garnish – the blood orange (laughs).

The tiers.

I loved the stuffed shell. The pancetta in it was good and especially the sauce. I wished there was more.

The roasted vegetables and the hummus. I recommend dipping the pita bread and the carrots in the hummus AND the stuffed shell sauce. So good!

The dessert. It reminded me of like Reese’s peanut butter cup cheesecake. The ember tea, again, was good with the dessert. The sweetness compliments the bitterness.

Miss Kennedy was really friendly and knows a lot and gives really good descriptions of everything which makes you want to try it all.”

-Anna Claire