DIY Essential Oil Bug Spray.

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It's that time of year - when the mosquitoes love to FEAST in the sunset glow. I love spending time outside with my boys, but we do seem to have some enemies out there with us, especially right around twilight. My poor little Daxton boy seems to be anointed with my blood type and we get especially bitten up in the summer months if we forget to apply bug spray. I really hate conventional bug spray because most are loaded with toxic ingredients and with our skin being like a sponge, I just can't in good conscience put that garbage on my children. But I have a great, easy bug spray DIY that I've been using since last summer which is completely natural, non-toxic and safe for kiddos - and it works! My boys have gotten used to having this sprayed on as soon as we get outside, and I do re-spray if we've been outside for more than an hour. This DIY is based on DoTERRA's pest-repellent oil blend, TerraShield which is so awesome and smells much, much better than regular bug spray. So it's a win-win! So without further adieu, enjoy this essential oil DIY!

Supplies:
- 2 oz. glass bottle (I got my ombre bottle here)
- Quinn's Witch Hazel
- DoTERRA TerraShield oil blend

Method:
1. Measure out 1/3 cup of water and pour it into the 2 oz. bottle.
2. Add 25 drops of Terrashield essential oil to the glass bottle.
3. Top off the bottle with Quinn's unscented witch hazel (this should be between 1/3 - 1/2 cup).
4. Shake bottle to distribute and voila, you're ready to say, "Shoo mosquitoes!"

Notes:
-  I prefer to use unscented Witch Hazel so that the only scent is from the oil itself.
- When making any kind of blend with essential oils, you want to make sure that you are using a glass contained. Plastic or other material can "pull" on the essential oils and release toxins, etc. into the mixture, whereas glass, aluminum and stainless steel don't have that effect with the EO's.
- I like to make several of these bug spray mixtures and keep on in the car, one in the stroller, one at home, and anywhere else you would find yourself reaching for bug spray! Like the Boy Scouts say, always be prepared!

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Interested in learning more about DoTERRA essential oils? I would love to share more about why I love them, how I use them, and how you can get some in your home, too! You can shop for them here, or leave a comment and I can invite you to one of my online classes where you can learn more! xx

Who Wants to Join a Book Club?!

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I announced this on Friday to everyone who tuned into this Facebook Live, and now I want to extend the fun to you - I'm starting a book club and you're all invited!

How Will It Work?

This will be an online book club where we read one book each month, then come together to discuss the book in a Facebook Live-esque forum, that way we can chat and interact. Make sure you like my Facebook page so that you can get the updates! At the end of each month, I will announce 2 new options for the following month and you all can vote on which one you would like to read! Over the weekend, many of you voted between The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, and The Miracle Morning won!
 

What Is The First Book?

I'm super excited about The Miracle Morning because a dear friend of mine recommended it when I shared with her how I've been struggling to get all my work done AND feel like a present and engaged mom during the day. It seems like this book will give some really helpful strategies and tools for creating a peaceful and productive early morning. I know a few people mentioned in the comments that their kids wake up super early, so they don't know how to possibly cram more into their morning - I get it! I'm very interested to see how this book can lend some insights on that. Make sure to snag your copy here or find it at your local library!

I shared more in my FB Live (you can watch it below) about why I want to start this book club. I've been toying around with the idea for a few months and I was going to wait until the Fall when people were getting back into a normal routine, but I just decided to go for it in July!

Why A Book Club?

To be totally honest, I've been feeling like I've been kind of living on the surface for a while now. Being a stay at home mom, I do a lot of cooking, cleaning, wiping, washing - all "doing" activities that keep me busy and on my feet. Like, I wear tennis shoes everyday to keep up. But I've been feeling like the person underneath all the doing is feeling neglected - the person with a mind and a heart and opinions and feelings. I realized I haven't been doing a great job exercising my mind and taking time to really think. I want to be able to get bored and let my mind wander, but I'm just not in a boring season of life. Since I've always loved reading I've MISSED it, and probably like many of you, I haven't made time for this thing that I love. I thought that maybe a few of you might feel the same way so why don't we embark on a group project together? Book club! Plus, every time someone says, "We talked about this in my book club", I've always been jealous. Ha. Time to start one.


Final Thoughts.

There's no commitment! Join in and read the book one month and take a month off if you like! I think I will do some giveaways for those who participate, because why not? I love giving presents. Also, I'm re-posting the video in case you missed it and you want to catch up on the announcement! This is the format where our book discussions will take place, so this should give you a feel for it!


Tell me! Do you have book recommendations for what we should read in the coming months? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Rollerblading in Blue.

This post is sponsored by Pinkblush. All opinions are my own.

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Details:

Pinkblush Blue Leaf Print Maxi Dress, Stella & Dot Cuff (sold out, similar here), Stella & Dot Covet Letter Necklace, K2 Women's Kinetic 80 Inline Skate


Summertime, Summertime!

So here's the deal. I loved rollerblading as a kid - I used to turn on the radio and blade in circles in my parents garage. Sometimes I threw in a wild figure 8. And those hours logged in the garage listening to the Backstreet Boys is how I learned to blade backwards and do spins and whatnot. Now that summer is in full effect over here, our little family has been spending a considerable amount of time outside in the evenings when the sun isn't quite so blazing hot (seriously Georgia give it a rest.) Everett is adamant that I teach him how to roller blade, but I think I will just let him focus on learning to ride a bike at this point ;) But there is something about rollerblading that is intrinsic to my childhood, and it connect me to my young self in a way that nothing else does. It's physical, it's hard, it's sweaty - it's fun! And that has been our summer so far - all of those things!

In continuation of the summer dress up series, I wanted to share this adorable Blue Leaf Print Maxi Dress from Pinkblush because it's truly such a good summer time option when the heat almost too much to bear. I discovered Pinkblush when I was pregnant because of all their maternity dresses, but I've continued loving their women's clothing since my body has changed so much over the years between being pregnant, postpartum, getting back to a somewhat "normal", and then doing the whole thing over again with baby #2. These clothes just seem to "get" the motherhood bod and the site's variety of prints and cuts helps me feel fresh without breaking the bank, which obviously - I love.

My favorite part about this dress is the cut out and the slit because - hello, air pockets! Plus, the slit really let me be free whilst blading to my heart's merriment. And you don't have to pair this dress with rollerblades - a regular pair of sandals will do just fine, you just might not win as many bonus points from your kids ;)

What dresses are helping you stay cool in this summer heat?



Why I'm Taking a Weekly Social Media Sabbath.

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Two weeks ago Stevie and I attended his 5-year class reunion at HBS. We absolutely LOVED our time living in Boston (I can't believe it's been 5 years since we left!) and we had a mondo blast reuniting with so many dear friends over the course of the weekend. While we were there, we had the pleasure of attending a lecture about parenting in the digital age by Dr. Michael Rich (aka "the mediatrician"), and it was incredibly enlightening. I shared a quick Instagram Story snap about this and so many of you reached out and ask for me to share what I learned. So without further adieu, here are some of my takeaways, since many of you are parents like me, and navigating all the media access can sometimes feel like a minefield.


The Dilemma:

We have all heard some kind of scary statistics about raising our children in the digital age. Every generation of parenting has had it's challenges and opportunities, and this is one of ours. The use of smart phones, iPads, Kindles, computers and TV by both parents and children is at an all-time high - we are the first generation with this unlimited access to media and technology and we use it ALL.DAY.LONG. It's an incredible advantage and gift, but it can also be destructive and debilitating in our parenting game. Have you ever been scrolling on your phone while you push your kid on the swing? Have you ever sat down to a meal with your family and your phone is right there, on the table with you? I don't bring this up to make you feel bad - I'm guilty of all these scenarios! Attending this lecture was incredibly convicting to me and Stevie and we came away from this with a newfound sense of "we need to do better."


Detriments of Parenting in the Digital Age:

 

  • Less sit-down family meals. Because we're all busy, right? But if we DO all sit down together, where are the screens? Is the TV on, is your smart phone nearby or even in your hand?
     
  • Increased "babysitting" by handing children a device while parents do other things (cook, clean, get ready, eat, work, etc.)
     
  • Increased teen access to "the dark side" of the web, including pornography and cyber-bullying. 42% of 10-17 year-olds have ended up on porn sites and 42% of 4th-8th graders have been victims of cyber-bullying.
     
  • Heavy users of media showed (heavy users > 16 hours per day, light users < 3 hours per day), showed an increase in poor grades, getting into more trouble and low personal contentment.
     
  • Increase in media-related disorders, including procrastination, apathy, disconnect with others.


What We Can Do:

Some of these stats and information can feel really heavy. But there is hope! As we tweak our approach to media access for ourselves and with our kids, it can actually be an awesome tool for everyone. Here are a few of tactics to consider:

1. Consider taking a Smart Phone Sabbath.
This is my favorite because we can do this now! You can do this once a week or for a set period of time every day. I know lots of people who incorporate a "phone break" into their schedule everyday. I've been doing my best to put my phone away during meal times, at night after the kids go to bed and also staying off social media entirely on Sundays. I will still use my phone here and there on Sundays, but I only use it for that purpose - a phone! Usually to call my mom because my kids adore her. But taking this break from media has been super refreshing and doesn't feel like punishment! I am appreciative for this boundary of discipline for myself and I highly recommend it for anyone.

2. Bring back boredom!
The best ideas come when our minds can empty out and wander a bit. I have found this in my own self - if I am constantly filling the voids in my day by scrolling on social media, I can end up feeling fried and mindless at the end of the day. And this is true for kids, too! Instead of allowing excessive TV, video games, and other screen time to fill their breaks in the day, letting them get bored can actually be good for them! And yes, they will whine and cry a bit, but who else remembers being bored as a kid? A little bit of boredom is good for them and doesn't make us bad parents!

3. Use Media WITH your kids.
This was one of the strongest recommendations that Dr. Rich shared. He stressed the importance of engaging with your children while they use media, and making sure it's not a solitary experience. If your child loves a video game, play it with them! If they have a certain show that they love, snuggle up on the couch and watch it together. It's important to form these bonds and show them you value what they value. This also gives us as parents the opportunity to teach them boundaries with that particular media and ask them questions about what they learned.

4. Have a sit-down meal with your family every single day. WITHOUT DEVICES.
This was another recommendation that was convicting. With Stevie's work commute and travel schedule, during the week it's nearly impossible for all of us to have a sit-down family meal together. On the weekends our little family is inseparable but the weekly schedule is tough. But since we've made it more of a priority, we are starting to have them a few times a week during the week days, which is a huge deal and I'm already seeing the positive impact on my boys, which makes me so very happy.


I didn't come away from this lecture feeling badly about how much my kids use media. I actually felt a personal conviction of how much they must see me using media, and therefore will probably continue to place value on it because I do. And gosh, that's such a heavy responsibility. I just want to do the right things by my kids and it first starts with me. So I am working on incorporating some of these tactics and I hope they are helpful to you as you navigate this journey for your family, as well!

This is an enormous subject matter and I am merely sharing the briefest of takeaways from this lecture. Thankfully, Dr. Michael Rich has an entire site dedicated to "Ask the Mediatrician", with tons of resources, articles and even an opportunity to ask him specific questions about parenting in the digital age.

Tell me, do you feel like you could take a social media sabbath or digital sabbath? What would that look like for you? I'm interested in hearing from you, friends! xx