February 8, 2017

my FAVORITE way to use OILS

One of my goals for the month is to cook dinner at least four times a week.  For those of you who cook dinner every night, this goal may seem super simple.  But, for me, it's a challenge.

I absolutely love Indian food, specially chicken tikka masala.  I would love to make it from scratch, but I rarely have all of the ingredients at home.

I managed to find a decent sauce in a jar.  Blasphemy, I know.  Ina would be so disappointed in me.  Regardless, it's a family favorite and easy to prepare.

The only thing I don't like about Indian food is that it leaves a lasting smell in my house.  As great as it tastes, I don't want to smell it for the rest of the evening.

{I may have a slight obsession with how my house smells.}

Insert:  essential oils.  

I realize everyone knows someone who uses essential oils.  Please don't mistake this post for some ringing endorsement for doTERRA or essential oils in general.  I like oils, and I use them daily.  But, to be honest, I use them mostly to help my house smell awesome.

My go-to blend is Purify, Lemon, Lime and Wild Orange.  I could diffuse those oils together all day long.  And, I usually do, especially after eating a dinner like chicken tikka masala.

I also use Lemon and Wild Orange to wipe down my countertops.

And, I make my own air fresheners by blending Wild Orange and Peppermint. 



Let me tell you, my house smells AHH-MAA-ZING.

And, as a side note, someone once asked me why my house doesn't smell like I have dogs.  I honestly don't know why my house doesn't smell like dogs because we have two little fluffys who are usually always inside.  It could be the breed.  Or, it could be that the main living area of our house is pretty open.  Like I said, I don't know.  But, it's possible the oils help eliminate the smell.

So, if you're in the market for make-my-house-smell-good products, give oils a try!  Everyone will have an opinion about what brand of oils to use, and I'm not here to convince you of one brand over the other.  But, I am a satisfied doTERRA user.

If you use oils, please pass along your favorites.  I also enjoy trying out new blends.

February 2, 2017

FEBRUARY goals

January is over!

Here's a recap of the goals I set for myself:

Read Attachments and Room
Write four blog posts

I easily read Attachments and Room.  Attachments was cute, but a tad cheesy even by my standards.  If you're into RomCom novels, I would recommend it.  It has a unique plot and is entertaining.

Room I was a bit disappointed with.  Let me start by saying it wasn't nearly as difficult to read as I planned.  Yes, the plot is disturbing, but since it is written from the perspective of the little boy, the difficult situations seem to be softened a bit given his innocent point of view.

I would have enjoyed the book more had the author chosen to write from Ma's point of view as well.  I think it would've thickened the book, if that makes any sense, and added a depth to the storyline that I felt was lacking.

As for my blog posts.  I technically wrote three, if you count the one that I wrote about my January goals.  I was hoping to write 4 posts after that, but only go around to writing 3.  One notable thing happened in January (the 20th to be exact) that sort of sucked the life out of me, and, in fact, inspired one of my goals for February.

Speaking of February...


This month promises to be exciting.  And here are the goals I have set for myself:

READ
The Book Thief


Crossing to Safety


WRITE
Four blog posts

AVOID
Facebook
Because Facebook sucks.  Big time.

PREPARE
Dinner 4 times a week

Since I am a little behind, I'm officially starting my goals as of February 6th.  If you have any ideas for me as far as posts go, please send them my way.

Happy February!

January 30, 2017

MUSIC mondays: the SOUNDS of SILENCE

This week's version of Music Mondays is a little different.  Usually I like to use this time to talk about a new song or artist I've discovered, but this week I'm sharing an oldie, but a goodie.

I was listening to a cover of The Sounds of Silence the other day, and was struck by these lyrics:

"People talking without speaking.  People hearing without listening."

Holy crap!  These lyrics resonate with me SO much right now.

This last week I have been bombarded with the opinions of others by way of articles, memes and quotes.  And, I've done my fair share of reading and listening to what other people have had to say.

But, at the end of the day, I don't really feel like much is being said.  And there's definitely a whole lot of selective hearing going on.

I guess I just wish that when I logged into Facebook, instead of a plethora of never ending "shares", my feed would be full of actual statuses written by my friends who are writing about whatever floats their boat that day.

Our country is so divided right now, and I'm genuinely curious how people feel.  But, instead of telling me how you feel via the New York Times, how about just tell me in your own words. 

Of course, there are going to be exceptions to this.

But, in general, I think if we start to talk using our own words, we'd really start to speak.  I think we'd notice a difference in our conversations with each other, and I think we'd feel much more understood.

Likewise, if we're going to find common ground, we need to start listening to each other.  I'd be willing to bet if we engaged in more meaningful conversations, ones where we're actually listening to each other, we'd find that we have so much more in common with each other than we ever thought possible.

But, I'm just one person, and my opinion doesn't matter all that much.  But, I'm glad I'm expressing it in my own words rather than letting some article express it for me.

Now, please enjoy this AMAZING video of Simon and Garfunkel singing The Sounds of Silence.  It's breathtaking.

January 15, 2017

INITIAL reactions

Several months ago, I read an article that had been shared by a friend on Facebook about what traits parents of successful kids all have in common.  According to the article, the traits ranged from having a college degree to learning math at an early age.

One trait in particular stood out to me:  a working mother.

After reading the article, I went back to Facebook and reviewed the comments.  Everyone loved all of the traits, and agreed with them, with the exception of the working mom.

I didn't know any of the women that made comments.  I barely knew the friend that posted the article to begin with.  But, because of their comments, I allowed myself to make all sorts of assumptions about them.  And what I assumed was not too great.

I consider myself a working mother.  While I am in no way the bread winner of our family, I work five days a week and contribute to our family's income.  I work to make money, of course, but also because I enjoy the satisfaction I get from completing a task that is separate from my motherhood responsibilities.

I took my anger and frustration to my blog and wrote a post criticizing these women for their comments about working moms.  But, before I published my thoughts, my mind was suddenly filled with doubt.  I started to wonder if the assumptions I had made about these women had any merit at all.

What I heard these women say was, "Successful children are not raised by working moms."  

But, maybe they meant, "Stay-at-home moms raise successful children, too."

I had a variety of different thoughts race through my mind.  I wish I could articulate how my perspective on this article, on the comments changed within a short period of time.  It really was a remarkable experience.  

And, basically, what I learned is this:

My reaction to something is not necessarily a reflection of intent.

I can think whatever I want, but that doesn't mean that I'm right.

Living in a world where it is so simple to respond to virtually anything within a matter of seconds, it's easy not to get caught up in our initial reaction.  

And sometimes our initial reactions are spot on.  

And sometimes they're not.

And so long as we're all aware of that, I think we'll all be okay.

January 1, 2017

JANUARY goals

I love Mondays.  Seriously, Monday is my favorite day of the week.  It's possible my love for the day stems from the fact that it is my day off from work, and even though that is a definite bonus, I'm pretty sure it's more than that.

You see, Monday is the day that we get to start fresh.  Typically, my Monday includes a renewed commitment to cook dinner.  Unfortunately, I never succeed.

But, that's besides the point.

Given my love for Mondays, it's probably no surprise that I love beginning a new year.  I've lived through enough new years to know that I'm pretty pathetic when it comes to resolving my new year's resolutions.  I'm awesome at making such resolutions, but the awesomeness stops there.

Given my track record, I have decided to make monthly resolutions in an effort to be more successful. For now, my resolutions will be simple and small.

Here are my January goals:

READ two books
The two books I have chosen to read are "Room" by Emma Donoghue and "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell

WRITE four blog posts
I already have two posts in mind, and I think you will like them!

Those are my only two goals for January.  Small and simple and, given that I love to read and write, hopefully easy and enjoyable.  

Welcome, 2017!

November 14, 2016

a NOTE from me, a supposed SORE LOSER

"And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams."
-Hillary Clinton

As it became more and more obvious that Donald Trump was going to win the 2016 Presidential Election, feelings of shock overwhelmed me.  Complete and utter shock.  And as soon as the shock set in, so did my grief.

And my grief resulted in tears.  Lots and lots and lots of tears.

It's important to me that you know that I was completely surprised by my reaction.  I never expected to feel such pain when the person who I felt was so obviously qualified to be our next president was defeated by such a sorry excuse for a candidate.

I couldn't sleep Tuesday night, and I walked around in a daze on Wednesday.  I sat at my desk at work and watched Hillary Clinton's concession speech in tears, amazed that the people around me appeared to be functioning as usual.

As the days wore on, I decided I wasn't going to deny myself the experience of just being sad.  And I reminded myself that my feelings matter and that I have the right to feel them regardless of how that makes me appear to others.

It's important to me that you know that my sadness was not because Donald Trump won.

  My sadness was because I felt like I had let America down by not campaigning more.  I should've called people out on their inaccurate and outright lies about Hillary Clinton.  I should've canvassed more.  I should've made more phone calls.  

I simply should've done more in support of my candidate.

I grieved because, as Americans, we were so close to showing the world that we value female leadership by electing our first female president, but instead we elected a washed-up reality TV star that is the epitome of sexism.  I felt my value as a woman plummet in the sight of my country.

I've since began to feel better.  And, I've decided I'm not going to sit back and let the next four years pass by as if this colossal of a mistake never happened.  I've resolved to say more, to do more and to be more.  How can I not when I have two daughters to raise?



And if there must be a silver lining, I suppose that would be it.

I don't expect anyone to be feeling as I do.  And I don't want to be feeling this pessimistic about the next four years.  Let me say that again:  I don't want to be feeling this way.

But, I do.  

And I'm not going to apologize for my feelings.

And if that makes me a sore loser who simply needs to "get over it," so be it.

#StillWithHer

September 8, 2015

we GLAMPED on LABOR DAY

Over Labor Day weekend, my family and I went to Conestoga Ranch in Garden City, Utah.  We had an absolutely fabulous time, and if you're into the idea of "Glamping" you'd enjoy it, too!  Plus, it's just a short drive to Bear Lake, other restaurants, raspberry stands, etc.

We stayed in deluxe tents.  Our tent had a queen size bed and two twin beds with plenty of room to spare.  Each tent has it's own picnic table, fire pit and chairs.  The employees will even make a fire for you!

 

All of our bedding and towels were provided.



This building housed a convenience type store and about a dozen or more bathrooms, some of which included showers.  Soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc., was all included.


We embraced the glamping lifestyle and did not bring any of our own food because there was a restaurant just a stones throw away from our tent.  The food was fabulous, and is actually open to the public even if you aren't spending the night at the ranch.  I loved how open it was.


The ranch also has a few other sleeping options.  One is the a grand tent.  We would've stayed in one of these had there been availability when we booked.  I heard these have electricity.


You can also stay in one of these wagons.  
 

We had a lovely time, and may have found a new Labor Day family tradition.
 
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