They Are All the Reason I Need...


"All Natural" "Organic" "Chemical Free" are just a few of the crazy buzz words that are being thrown around these days with absolutely no weight behind them, or facts to back them up. Just about anything these days can claim "all natural" on their packaging and people will buy that stuff up without even batting an eye. But when you really sit down and do your research, you start to realize that these companies are selling you lies, wrapped in beautiful slogans and packaging. 

So let's break this down. In 2014, I was seven months pregnant, suffering from a nasty chest cold. I was looking for anything safe to use while pregnant, to take away the nasty symptoms of my cold. A friend recommended essential oils, so I bought a premium starter kit, a few months later I had a baby, got busy and there it sat. The most expensive paperweight I ever bought. It wasn't until Jonathan was 10 months old, where I started to see the benefits of these magic little bottles. 

After being plagued with a few ailments (hello ears, head, rash), and taking a few rounds of antibiotics, Jonathan developed what I thought was the worst diaper rash I've ever seen. After some digging, I realized that antibiotics (although wonderful) can cause yeast infections in babies, and no amount of rash cream or wipe was going to cure it. I vowed that the next time he got sick, I would try a more natural approach first, because the side effects of antibiotics are frustrating! And suddenly my obsession with essential oils was born. 


I got lucky & started with a wonderful & reputable company right off the bat. Young Living offers a Seed to Seal Promise, that is their set of standards that helps ensure that with every pure essential oil and Young Living product our family uses, we're enjoying the benefits of global resources, industry leadership, and over two decades of innovation. Young Living will never knowingly compromise by adding synthetics, contaminants, or cheap fillers, or by using unethical production practices.  Can Johnson & Johnson say that? Even with their "130 years of Caring" slogan, it doesn't excuse the fact that they were putting harmful, cancer-causing, fertility destroying chemicals into their products for YEARS. 

So let's fast forward to now. Almost 60% of my household and personal hygeniene products have been swapped out for healthy, safer alternatives. I'm making smarter choices when it comes to my diet, skincare, & overall wellness. The products I use on my children are safe. The products I use to clean my home are plant-based and safe. And I'm sleeping better knowing I'm making better choices for our family.

This isn’t just an expensive hobby, it’s a change of lifestyle!
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By making these smarter choices NOW, we are giving our children a chance at a healthier future! And that right there is all the reason I needed to start this journey. Don't be fooled by cheaper companies who offer "The Same" products at a WAY WAY cheaper price. NOT ALL OILS ARE CREATED EQUAL. But I will get into that in another post! If you have any questions, PLEASE PLEASE leave me a comment or message me! Or Click the link below and get a membership!! 

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Verona Marie: A Birth Story

I have sat down to write this blog post so many times over the past 3 months, and I just knew that I needed a video to help better express our excitement and joy for this new addition. She was the promise that God told me about late at night, as tears soaked my pillow. She is worth every second of those 20 months of waiting, every second of heart ache and pain. She is a sign of redemption. She is my rainbow after the flood. “Rona” means “my joy” in Hebrew and “covenant or oath” in Gaelic. And that is exactly what she is to us. Our sweet rainbow baby.

If you want to hear the most laid-back, stress-free birth story, well I have one for you! Friday, June 30th, I went in for a prenatal massage, told the masseuse to do her worst and send me into labor. Contractions started as soon as I left the room. I began timing them, and for the next 5 hours, I had 30 second contractions every 2 minutes. It was bizarre, but consistent. After a quick call to the on-call doctor, they had me come in to be monitored. We walked around the maternity floor for about an hour, with just a little progress in dilation, they decided to admit me. 

I had a decent night sleep, with the contractions slowly intensifying. But when they checked me at 10:30am, I was still only around 3.5 cm. The doctor called an audible and without a minute to think about it, she broke my water and BOOM. We were moving. My contractions stayed at about 2 minutes apart, but quickly became extremely intense. I labored for almost 2 hours, and then received my epidural. 

After the epidural, I expected my labor to slow down, like it did when I had Jonathan. I washed my face, brushed my teeth and then took a nap. Thirty minutes later, I woke up with the urge to push. The nurse checked my progress and with wide eyes told me, “don’t push, your baby’s head is right there.” At that point my mom and sister in law arrived. I asked if I could quickly put some makeup on because I wasn’t prepared to do this just yet. I got my foundation on, the doctor walked in at 1pm, the lights came on and with 3 contractions, 7 minutes and a few pushes, Verona Marie was here. 

“Wait, did that really just happen?! That was so easy” i couldn’t believe she was here! So fast! So easily! It all felt like a dream. There was this moment that I will never forget though, as she was crowning and the doctor said “oh she’s going to be blonde.” I felt this instant flood of emotion, and couldn’t contain my joy, my excitement, the culmination of all my prayers & dreams, she was going to be blonde, just like God told me she would be. This was HIS story of Rescue and Redemption. His plans for our family, He knew them all along, He just needed me to surrender and allow Him to work. And man did He deliver. She is more perfect than anything I could have imagined for us. She truly is our joy. 

She feels like the piece that was missing, and Ryan, Jonathan and I couldn’t be happier. Welcome Verona Marie, we are so glad to have you here! 

All photos taken by Alyssa Fallon of Grace & Goodness Photo

Teach-It Tuesday : Thankful Pennant Banner


"Thankful" Banner

I am so excited to teach you guys how to make an adorable banner just in time for the holiday season!! And with easy to find supplies!

The Supplies:

4 Coordinating colors of cardstock (cut down to 6x10)
2 sheets of white cardstock (cut down to 8.5x5)
Tombow Dual Brush Pens (& blender) (Any colors you like)
Tombow Twin Permanent Marker 
Tombow Mono Drawing Pen 01
Bakers Twin
Gold Glitter (I used Martha Stewarts brand from Michaels)
Tombow Extreme Adhesive Roller
Mono Multi XL Liquid Glue
Two safety pins (to hang it)


First off, cut the white card stock at a diagonal, from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Then putting it back together and repeating it, cutting from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. 

This will give you two perfect triangles that should measure 5 inches on each side, and then two long triangles (that you will discard). You will want to cut as many white triangles as you will need. I wrote out "Thankful" so I made 8 white triangles.

You will repeat this step with the colored cardstock as well. 

Once all your cardstock is cute to size, you should have 8 triangles of various colors, and 8 triangles that are white.


Next, poke to holes at the top of the colored paper, and start string the bakers twine through. Before you cut the twine, make sure that you have spaced out all your triangles to their desired distance. 


Now, take your white triangles and start writing your letters. You can do whatever style you prefer. I start with the lighter color, then add in the darker marker at the top and bottom of the letter. Then using the Tombow blending marker, I just simply blend the two colors together. 

Using the Tombow Permanent marker, I create a border around the letter, and then add a shadow. And using the Mono drawing pen 01, I create some small hash marks inside the shadow box giving it dimension. 


Next, using the extreme adhesive, attach the white triangles to the colored triangles, making sure they are centered with the white edge at the top of the triangle. Then, using the liquid glue, run a thin line all the way around the white triangle. Sprinkle on the gold glitter, and shake off the excess, using a small paint brush if needed after it dries. Then using the two safety pins, make a loop on both ends of the twine, & attach with the safety pins! Enjoy! 


I believe that a project isn't fun unless you end up covered in glitter some how, so make sure to have fun!! Also, I was lucky enough to get chose to be a finalist for the 2018 Tombow Design Team, and we were asked to create something using their products. With fall in full force, it was a no-brainer for me to create something to go along with all my fall themed decor in the house!! Hope you guys have fun creating! <3 

Can I Bite You? Please...

I often get this crazy urge to bite my children. I just want to nibble on their cheeks, bite their toes or just completely consume them whole. Apparently, this is scientifically deemed a normal reaction. Here I was thinking I was crazy, and it turns out that scientists have actually done studies on people where this is extremely common. Not to be confused with the biological primal urge to eat your young, the term "cute aggression" coined in 2013 by a research team at Yale, refers to the almost-overwhelming urge to do violence to an object that we find incredibly adorable. 


I know I'm extremely biased when it comes to my kids, but has anyone else ever felt cute aggression? It could be when looking at pictures of puppies, kittens, babies, really anything we find adorable! Mine really only comes out when I'm looking at adorable babies. 

I can't help but want to squeeze these sweet chubby cheeks. I found these pictures a few weeks ago, from back when Jonathan turned one and I wish I could jump in this photo and squeeze him tight! 


Obviously, I try to resist the urge to bite my kids, because that would only teach them bad habits and then make them an undesirable play date, friend, human... because let's be real, who wants to be around someone who bites! (full disclosure, Jonathan has done this once or twice out of anger, obviously, we are working on it)