Giving Back This Holiday Season!

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Hi Friends! Happy Thanksgiving week to you! We got our Christmas tree over the weekend and Everett is begging us to set up the train that roars around it ;) We are hosting family in our home for the holiday (and I'm making the turkey, eeek!! First time!!), so we have lottttts to prepare. As I'm sure everyone does! But even with all the busy-ness, it's truly my favorite time of the year! Today I want to share something with you that is on my heart, and... I want to ask for your help.

I've been thinking a lot about how to give back this season. It's been a big year in our country, with so much relief needed due to so many unprecedented natural disasters. I have found myself overwhelmed at times, wondering how to really make a difference. I am thrilled that my church is partnering with City of Refuge this season, an Atlanta organization that comes alongside individuals and families in crisis by meeting their immediate needs while also providing avenues for long-term education and self-sufficiency. You can read more about that here.

City of Refuge has a need right now for toiletry kits for mothers coming out of traumatic circumstances, including sex trafficking and abuse. Here's where you can help me - I want to partner with them by donating 25 kits!

Since becoming a mother myself, I have such a heart for single moms who are doing their best to raise their babies. My own mother was a single mom before she met my dad, and I am constantly baffled by her tales of how she made ends meet during that season of her life. Friends, I know that being a mom can be hard, and my experience of motherhood has been one rife with an uber-supportive network and a loving husband. I can't possibly imagine what these women have endured to make ends meet and support their families. It would be my absolute honor if you partnered with me in donating 25 toiletry kits to these women.

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Here's how we can do it! I've created a Target registry to make it easy to shop for the items needed in the kits. Once the items are delivered, I will compile them and deliver them to City of Refuge myself. Each kit contains 1 of each of the following: 2 in 1 shampoo + conditioner, deodorant, lotion, lip balm, tampons + pads, toothpaste and a toothbrush. The approximate cost of each kit is just under $25.


I know this upcoming week is a dizzying carousel of shopping, deals, and promotions galore. My hope is that in the midst of this busy-ness and holiday hoopla, we can band together and serve the Atlanta community in a way that showcases love first and foremost. Thank you so much for hearing my heart and for your considerate generosity, my friends! I can't wait to share about the outpouring of love that comes from this groups of readers! xx

P.S. - This is the first time I've ever asked my readers (you!!) to donate/contribute to something and it feels really, really exciting. I wanted to do this last year but I was so unbelievably pregnant I couldn't even walk without contracting. I am so excited about being ready and able to make a rippling effect of loving difference this year! Thanks again for joining in!

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".