The Body Oil I'm Using Everyday (+ a Giveaway for you!)

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As many of you know, I've been on a green beauty journey over the past 6 months or so. I've been testing everything from mascara and shampoo to serums and toners. It's a lot to take on at once! But I've just gotten to the point where I want to decrease the toxic load in my home (and on my body!), so the research and trial-and-error is all worth it. While I've found some face oils that I am loving lately (which I will include in a separate post, because I didn't want to overwhelm with too much information here), I kept striking out when I was looking for a premium body oil. I wanted it to smell good (duh), be super moisturizing but not greasy, free of toxic ingredients and instead made with safe botanicals and essential oils. You all know how much I love my Doterra oils... so, the bar for a stellar-performing body oil was set rather high.

Which brings me to Little Barn Apothecary.

The Discovery.
I discovered Little Barn when I was celebrating my 30th birthday at Serenbe this past September. They have locations at Serenbe, Westside Provisions in Atlanta and down in Watersound, Florida at The Hub on 30A. Shannon took great care of me in the store, explaining the LBA philosophy (which totally resounds with me) and proceeded to load me up with some incredible samples. I went home to try the body oil and I was honestly overwhelmed. I had found the one! I ran out of this remarkable sample oil in like 3 days because I couldn't stop basically bathing in it. Even Stevie came home from work and said, "Whoa, you smell really good. Like really, really good... what is that?" I tried to pass it off as my naturally alluring scent, but we've known each other far too long for that to work on him. He was like, "no for real - what is that??"

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So let me just tell you a little about this heavenly Honeysuckle + Grapefruit Body Oil. Formulated for all skin types, this oil is best used just after you get out of the shower, when your skin is still damp. It is a daily moisturizer that is non-greasy and quickly absorbs into the skin to give you an all-day glow. It also smells super indulgent, like you've been bathing inside the nectar of a flower and then spritzed with a squeeze of citrus juice. Which is #lifegoals, am I right? I imagine this is what Tinker Bell smelled like, that lucky lass.

I love that Little Barn Apothecary believes in the power and healing of all-natural ingredients, centering each of their products around the simple focus of being a safe, pure alternative to the chemical-laden self care products in today’s market. This has been my mission with my Green Beauty Trials, to find companies just like this one! Score!

The Story Behind the Brand.
Little Barn Apothecary founders Joshua and Brad started the brand in their kitchen after realizing there was a void in the market for handmade, uncomplicated self-care products. The beauty market is flooded with chemical-laden products that wreak havoc on the body, and they were passionate about creating alternatives. After sharing some of the items with friends and family, they were met with enthusiastic requests for more and decided to expand their line. In 2015, Little Barn Apothecary was debuted to the public with the promise that the product line is “simply simple”, meaning that the botanical ingredients in each product is 100% natural and selected by hand. All products are hand crafted in small-batch apothecary tradition and sold in recycled glass bottles with minimal packaging. Every product is 100% vegan and organic, containing wild-harvested ingredients whenever possible. All the products are free of synthetic ingredients, artificial colors, parabens or any sort of “fillers”. Little Barn takes inspiration from the earth to provide hand made formulations designed to evoke a simple feeling of well-being.

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Discount for YOU!
Well, whatever they're doing, it's working. Stevie keeps trying to steal my body oil, that rascal. If you want to snag your own, you can shop here and receive 15% off any purchase by using the code KRISTENH at checkout. Stock up on Christmas gifts, my friends! I am also a huge fan of the Ginger + Rosemary Hand and Body Wash and the Lavender + Frankincense Original Oil (amazing essential oils for supporting overall skin health!) I love dropping an extra drop or two of my Doterra essential oils in these products for added potency. Hurray for all the oils!

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Giveaway!
I'm super excited to partner with LBA to give away a "Glow For It" kit to one of you! This amazing set contains contains my beloved Honeysuckle + Grapefruit Body Oil, the Sweetgrass + Lavender soap and the Jasmine + Geranium Polishing Scrub. Jump over to my Instagram (@oykristen) for your chance to enter! Winner will be selected and notified on 11/22, Thanksgiving eve!

More about the Kit:
The “Glow For It” Body Kit comes in a limited edition box, complete with three items to help you achieve a natural, healthy glow, even in the dead of winter. First, cleanse skin with the Sweetgrass + Lavender Soap Bar, an organic, gentle soap made for all over body cleansing with essential oils to create the perfect aroma in your shower. Next, exfoliate with the Jasmine + Geranium Polishing Body Scrub, perfect for dry skin. This scrub uses pure, organic cane sugar and organic, skin loving oils to scrub away dead skin and reveal a softer, more youthful glow. After stepping out of the shower, pump a small amount of the Honeysuckle + Grapefruit Body Oil, and massage over still damp skin. This luxurious daily moisturizer is non-greasy and formulated for all skin types. It quickly absorbs deep into the skin to give you an all-day, glistening glow while sending you on an indulgent journey of sun-drenched blossoms, lightly kissed by delicate pink citrus. The “Glow For It” Body Kit is priced at $70 with a retail value of $80 and is available online at littlebarnapothecary.com and at select retailers.

7 Natural Tools that Helped Me Overcome Anxiety.

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Last week I shared with you a very personal journey that I've taken with postpartum anxiety. Whether you're a new parent like me or not, anxiety is a very real thing and is not to be pushed down or ignored. One of the healthiest, most therapeutic measures that I took in getting help with my anxiety is actually talking out loud to someone about it. Once I spoke the truth out loud, it felt like I wasn't harboring a big secret anymore. I was free to talk to anyone and everyone and get the appropriate help.

As I mentioned in the last post, taking a prescription medication made a huge difference for me, and truly worked as a bridge in bringing me back to my best self. However, that wasn't "the fix". For me, there were many natural solutions involved in helping diminish my anxiety completely and getting to a place where I no longer felt like I was coping, but thriving. Today I want to share these with you!

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1. Exercising.
Getting into an exercise routine was essential for me to get out my stress and focus on "me" for a dedicated time every day. It was really hard to find the time with a nursing newborn and busy toddler (and my husband's crazy travel schedule for work!), but each workout felt like a victory for my own personal health. Feeling my body heal and strengthen with each workout was absolute therapy. I'm so grateful to Pure Barre, and my sister-in-law Lauren, for keeping me accountable and motivated in my workouts, especially those dreaded 6am-ers!

2. Journaling.
I kept a log in my journal of everything I was feeling. This really helped me track my personal progression, especially the shifts in my emotions and the situations that triggered them. Then I could go back and see the differences as I was coming out of the anxiety. It's super helpful to look back on it now and see how far I've come!

3. Counseling.
Seeing a counselor and talking through my feelings helped me identify that I needed more help at home than I had. This was a hard reality to swallow. I often feel like I have so much support and help, and I feel guilty when I feel like I need more, especially because I know others who have much less immediate support than I have. But counseling has helped me realize that I can't compare my needs to other's needs. I just have to get my needs met, whatever that looks like.

4. Blogging.
I kept doing all the things I loved, like writing this blog! This place is such a healthy practice for me, and a space to exert my creativity and discipline into something that is my own. I also love the community that gathers here, making comments, sharing their stories and connecting. Instagram has become an active extension of that, and all of you who read here and interact have truly been a huge part of my recovery! Thank you for reading and sharing your heart here, it means the world to me and keeps me motivated and inspired to dream up new content to share!

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5. Essential Oils.
It was around the time of my son Daxton's birth that I really dove into the world of essential oils. Learning about the power of these oils and how they can aid in everything from headaches to digestion to anxiety and everything in between has truly been a game changer for me and my family. Implementing a series of routines with the oils has helped keep me in a place of calm and peace and I am so grateful that I have found a natural line of defense in these precious plants. Because of my overwhelmingly amazing experience with these precious oils, I shared here this week that I have decided to join Doterra as an essential oils advocate + educator! Hurray for hidden opportunities that emerge out of a dark season!

6. Unplugging and playing.
I started taking intentional time away from my phone and computer, and instead focusing on my kids. That probably sounds like such a line - but I really did! I realized that the constant scroll was keeping me in a place of always feeling like I needed to brainstorm new blog content or immediately respond to an email when it came in. But then I remembered - no, my first and most important job is raising my kids. I don't want them to always see mommy with a phone in her hand. So I started leaving my phone in my bedroom for certain parts of the day. This allowed me to take intentional time to actually play (this gets harder with two kids versus one, because there is always *something else* I should be doing, like folding laundry or cleaning up in the kitchen.) But there is nothing like getting on the floor and playing with blocks or pretending to be super heroes. It really did give me more energy and helped burn off the constant need to be plugged in.

7. Dating my Husband.
Who needs to go on a date? Probably everyone reading this! Stevie and I aren't amazing when it comes to frequency of dates, but we really have been making an effort to go on a date outside of the house at least 1-2 times per month. That connection is just so necessary. Just the other night we went to have fish tacos at this little restaurant around the corner from us, and it was just so good to get out and not cook dinner. It was nothing fancy, we were both wearing sweats and I was wrapped up in his windbreaker, and we sat outside and drank red wine and laughed. If the whole world were to fall away, I know I could count on the good, loving heart of that man, and that makes me the happiest, luckiest girl in this world.

So there you have it, friends. My two cents on the matter. Anxiety is a bear, but its not unstoppable. If you are dealing with anxiety, please please talk to someone close to you and get some help in your life. Ain't so shame in airing your pain! Whatever is going to bring you back to your best self is absolutely worth the effort it takes to get there. All my love to you, friends. xx

My 3 Favorite Autumn Diffuser Recipes.

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This is an exciting week for me! I've launched my own Doterra business and I am so thrilled to share my ecstatic passion for essential oils with everyone! Once upon a time, I rolled my eyes at "those crazy oil people" who claimed that oils could fix anything and everything. It just goes to show that you should neverrrrr judge people, because you might become just like them! #currentlycrazyforoils

This journey has been such a wonderful one as I have come to experience the incredible healing properties of these essential oils in my own personal life. I will continue to share on this blog about the different ways that oils have been implemented into my family's routine, but today I want to share a few fun diffuser recipes that will make you want to bake 10 pies and body slam into a pile of leaves ;)


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My diffuser is cranking every day. It's a sad day when I forget to do things like take my vitamins or get my diffuser going with something that will set the tone for my day. Sometimes I choose to diffuse something because it smells really good, and sometimes I have a specific reason why I am diffusing a certain blend. If someone in my family is under the weather, or if I'm feeling really tired that day, I will diffuse something specific for those reasons. But when it comes to diffusing a blend just for fun, autumn scents are just my favorite! Here are a few that I love and have had going in my house for the past several weeks.

Recipe 1 - Bake me a Pie.
- 3 drops Clove bud
- 3 drops Ginger
- 3 drops Wild Orange

Recipe 2 - No Sneezing Up in Here!
- 4 drops On Guard
- 4 drops Citrus Bliss

Recipe 3 - Living that Leaf Life.
- 2 drops Frankincense
- 2 drops Wild Orange
- 2 drops Cedarwood

I love trying out different blends and it is honestly one of the many ways I love being creative with my oils. Do you have a favorite seasonal blend? If so, I'd love to hear about it and try it out!


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If you're If you're interested in learning more about Doterra's essential oils, I would love to introduce you to them! I am hosting a few in-person educational classes this month and next month, along with several Facebook classes. I would be honored if you joined in! Please email me - oykristen AT gmail DOT COM - and I will make sure to get you on the invite list!

For those of you who are interested in purchasing some essential oils, this month Doterra is offering 20% off several enrollment kits. And for anyone who chooses to become a Wholesale Member (it's basically a Costco membership for oils), I am giving an extra-fanciful welcome gift including: a 5ml bottle of Wild Orange, a luxe roller ball of my own custom calming blend, a premium sample pack from Doterra's personal care line and some of my favorite oil resources. If you would like to go ahead and learn more or make a purchase, click here and hit "JOIN AND SAVE".


Introducing My New Business!

Drumroll please... I have an announcement! Today I'm excited to shed some background about my new business venture!

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I have something to tell you. But let me first tell you why.

I grew up in a household that was health-conscious and active. My mom was having home births before they were trendy, she was buying organic groceries back when it was just plain weird and she was pouring over skincare ingredient labels before anyone else even knew that was a thing. She was always ahead of the curve, so far ahead that my immediate family often rolled our eyes at her crunchy-granola ways. Except for when we were sick - then we would let her anoint us with those hocus pocus essential oils, pray for our boo boos to be healed and cart us over to the chiropractor to get "re-set". She has always been a proponent of preventative healthcare measures, and even though I still like to tease her for being a quadruple-filtered water snob, I have to admit - my mom was right. That woman is always right! (We call her Mary Poppins - practically perfect in every way.)

It's no surprise that since becoming a mother myself, I have gravitated towards taking those same holistic measures with my own family. Last November (exactly a year ago this month!), I purchased this Family Essentials kit from Doterra and I began my own journey into the world of essential oils. I was mystified at the difference these particular oils made in my family and myself - and the more I learned about Doterra's amazing commitment to purity in its products and transparency in its testing, the more passionate I became about these precious oils and sharing their profound impact on my life.

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Over the course of the past year, I have been using and loving my oils, while simultaneously learning about the science behind why they are so powerful. Over the past six months, I have found myself mixing up oil concoctions for my friends and family as they have mentioned ailments that they struggle with. It has simply been a joy to easily share these goodies with my loved ones and see their lives touched by a natural solution.

Last week I shared about my own postpartum journey as I have navigated the murky path of dealing with Postpartum Anxiety. I honestly believe that these oils came into my life just in the nick of time, as they have been a major player in keeping my physical and emotional state supported while I have walked an unsure postpartum road. The truth is that I have fallen absolutely in love with these fascinating little bottles of life-changing elixirs. Since we have implemented a daily household routine with our oils, they have supported my family's immunity, aided in my skin's recovery from having a c-section, supported and uplifted my emotional health, and met a myriad of my family's needs. Everything from bug bites, scrapes and stretch marks to headaches, anxiety and non-toxic household cleaning has been addressed by our essential oils collection.

Because of all of this, I am so excited to be launching my own Doterra essential oils business! This is my official launch week (!!!) and I am sharing all of this with you first because this blog community is where my heart is at! Every day this week on the blog I will be sharing snippets of my favorite uses for essential oils, so if you're interested in learning more, make sure to check back here often!

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THANK YOU!!!
I want to say an extra big thank all of you for following along this blog and being such kind, loyal readers. I wish I could hug every single one of you, truly. I really love this space and I feel grateful that this community has grown so richly in the 5 years since I started writing this blog. The content and direction of this blog will remain the same, although I will be sharing more wellness and essential oil-related content as I discover new uses for these products that I love. I just want you to know that the direction of this blog will continue to grow and evolve with me just as it has done in my previous adventures from Boston to New York to Atlanta, punctuated with motherhood & family shenanigans and peppered with fashion & beauty content. All the good stuff, along with an extra helping of my favorite wellness super heroes.
 

Want to Learn More?
And now for the good stuff! If you're interested in learning more about Doterra's essential oils, I would love to introduce you to them! I am hosting a few in-person educational classes this month and next month, along with several Facebook classes (for those of you who live far away or just love sitting in your jammies and learning the techy way!) I would be honored if you tuned in! Please email me - oykristen AT gmail DOT COM - and I will make sure to get you on the invite list! And for those of you who are interested in purchasing some essential oils, this month Doterra is offering 20% off several enrollment kits (I've never seen a promo this good - I like to think it's because this is the month I'm joining the company!!!) Along with that promo, this month I'm offering anyone who enrolls with me as a Wholesale Member an extra-fanciful welcome gift designed by yours truly, including: a 5ml bottle of Wild Orange, a luxe roller ball of my own custom calming blend, a premium sample pack from Doterra's personal care line and some of my favorite oil resources. If you would like to go ahead and learn more or make a purchase, click here and hit "JOIN AND SAVE".

Thanks again for all your support, friends!

P.S. - If you want to read up a bit more, check out the posts 3 Ways I Use Essential Oils Everyday and 5 Ways to Use Essential Oils in Your Home.