Getting Busy with Essential Oils.

This is a mature blog post so if you are young go ahead and skip over this one - I am not responsible for apologizing to your parents. And if you’re my parents, mayyyyybe don’t read this either.

This is a mature blog post so if you are young go ahead and skip over this one - I am not responsible for apologizing to your parents. And if you’re my parents, mayyyyybe don’t read this either.

There’s no need to be shy about it. It’s Valentines Day tomorrow and I feel like I would be doing a disservice by NOT sharing a few playful DIYs with you. You have an arsenal of essential oils at your fingertips, so why not incorporate them in a new way? Ain’t nothing wrong with it, people! Let’s put these plant powers to work for us!

For those of you who don’t know, EOs have been used throughout history to support libido, balance hormones and increase passion and desire. These oils can help create ambiance, relieve stress and promote whole-body relaxation (yes please, YES.) I have been on a journey over the past several years, getting educated on the maaany ways to incorporate essential oils in different parts of my life. From mom brain to allergies, boosting the immune system to alleviating stress, I have found so much solace in these precious oils. So naturally, using them to create an atmosphere of intimacy was kind of inevitable. And no one over here is mad about it soooo. Let’s talk about how you can do that, too, shall we?

Actually let’s not talk (because one of us is blushing here and I actually don’t think it’s me), let’s just get down to business (that’s what she said! I know I know - I’m awful.) Here are some DIYs for helping you create an aphrodisiac atmosphere of love, acceptance and passion. Just consider this the crunchy granola version of “that” scene from Friends (“7, 7… 7!” anyone??) ;)

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“Get Busy” Bedroom Mist:
Combine the following essential oils in a 2-ounce glass spray bottle:

- 15 drops Sandalwood
- 15 drops Bergamot
- 7 drops Ginger
- 7 drops Lime
- 5 drops Ylang Ylang
- 3 drops Frankincense

Fill up the rest of the bottle with distilled water. Add dried florals if you’re feeling like it. Shake bottle and spray throughout bedroom and onto sheets to freshen aroma. This smells SO good and sets the tone for a romantic environment.

*Shop these oils here, glass bottles here


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“Baby, Lemme Light Your Fire” Massage Blend:
Combine the following essential oils in 1/4 cup fractionated coconut oil or unscented lotion and massage onto skin:

- 1 drop Rose
- 1 drop Jasmine
- 1 drop Neroli
- 3 drops Sandalwood
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang

*Shop these oils here
**My fave Fractionated Coconut Oil and Unscented Lotion here.

Note 1: Fractionated Coconut Oil is simply coconut oil that stays in liquid form and doesn’t have that coconut-y scent. It’s a great carrier oil to use with essential oils to dilute them for sensitive skin, but you can also use sweet almond oil or even olive oil.

Note 2: When making essential oil DIYs, it’s important to always use glass or stainless steel containers. The essential oils will cause anything plastic to break down and leach.


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“Crash Into You” Diffuser Blend:
Combine the following oils in an ultrasonic diffuser and diffuse in the bedroom:

- 2 Siberian Fir
- 2 Patchouli
- 2 Sandalwood
- 2 Clary Sage
- 2 Wild Orange

”You’re My Fantasy” Diffuser Blend:
Combine the following oils in an ultrasonic diffuser and diffuse in the bedroom:

- 2 drops Ylang Ylang
- 2 drops Sandalwood
- 2 drops Tangerine

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Bonus Tips:

  • For fresh breath, apply 1-2 drops of Peppermint essential oil on the tongue before your inevitable makeout sesh. Fresh breath goes a long way, people!

  • For a personal fragrance for her, I highly recommend DoTERRA’s Whisper blend - it’s full of incredibly romantic essential oils and creates a unique aroma on each person because of the way it interacts with your personal body chemistry. The scent ranges from sweet & spicy to powdery & sexy.

  • Dry Brush using 1 drop Black Pepper + 1 drop Grapefruit before taking a shower or bath. Brush the skin lightly in the direction of your heart - this will cleanse the lymphatic system and stimulate blood flow.

  • Add 1-2 drops of 1 of these oils to a romantic bath (do this while the water is running in the stream coming from the faucet to ensure even dilution): Frankincense, Rose, Sandalwood or Ylang Ylang

  • Other oils blends that do the right job accompanying sexy time: Motivate, Clary Calm and Passion. Apply to pulse points and if you’re feeling like a QUEEN, to the inner thighs.

  • Apply Ylang Ylang to your belly about 10 minutes before business time.

  • For “His & Hers” (libido-boosting) rollerball blends, check out my friend Savannah’s post here.

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Okay now you have a head full of ideas. Let me know if you have any questions! The most important part of this is for you to be completely comfortable and have fun trying something a little new! Wishing you a memorable Valentines Day, friends!

Want to chat with me about how to get these oils in your life for 25% off? Girl, send a message at oykristen@gmail.com and we can get you set UP.


P.S. - Coming from a Christian background, the topic of intimacy isn’t often addressed in an effort to promote purity. However, I believe sex is a gift from God, and we Christians shouldn’t be on the boring side of the narrative - we should really enjoy it and be the ones having euphoric, ah-mazing sex. So this post is my way of talking about it in a way that I hope is received as tasteful and helpful! xx

10 Years.

10 years with this man.

I remember when I was getting married at the ripe old age of 19, I was asked by a lot of my friends - "How do you know that he's the one you will want forever? What if you both change?" It was a good question, since I was obviously so young and he was, too (he was 23). The question made me think, but it didn't scare me. I knew in my gut Stevie was the right one for me, and always would be.

I am wrong about a lot of things (don't tell my kids), but I was right about him.

After having spent the past decade together, I can honestly say it's been the best season of my life. Our marriage is far from perfect - we've experienced highs and lows in our connection with each other - but I am more convinced than ever that he is the one I want to work through issues with, celebrate victories with, and share my life with. He's absolutely amazing.

I've been thinking a lot about that question, though. How can you choose to be with someone forever when you don't know how you (and they) will change through the years? I think this is one of the big reasons why people don't get married - they want to be so sure about the choice.

But you can't be so sure.

Because you will absolutely change. And so will they.

I don't know how other people do marriage, and I don't claim to be any kind of expert, but I have definitely learned my fair share of love lessons over the past ten years. Choosing to marry someone isn't about remaining the same together. It's about choosing to grow together. Choosing to allow each other to grow, and choosing to let your spouse have the freedom and independence to continue to evolve. You have to trust that they will evolve in a way that continues to put your marriage first - that's the kicker. And the only way to ensure that they will put you first is when you model it by putting them first. It's counter-culture in so many ways. Our society tells us to put ourselves first, especially in this age of women coming into their own power. I love female empowerment and I am so grateful to be living in this time when I can dream and achieve anything in my heart, but the thing is - that's not the way it works in marriage. The best thing I can do in my marriage is sacrifice, and put Stevie first. Trusting that he's doing the exact same thing for me. When we are both sacrificing for each other, both of our dreams have the freedom and support to flourish. It's like this spectacularly fragile and balanced dance of giving.

An example: When Stevie and I got engaged, he was dreaming of going to get his MBA at a top school. I knew that it was something in his heart, and that if we got married, at some point he was going to want to pursue that path. I loved that about him - his drive and brains and heart to actually want to take tests. I thought he was a dork, but a good-looking one. His journey of applying and getting into Harvard was one of the most exciting experiences for us - and those two years we spent in Boston were phenomenal. They were hard, fantastic, sometimes awful, almost always freezing cold, and completely wonderfully bonding. And I am so proud of him, that he really went for it. I did everything in my power, changing around my college schedule, taking classes in Boston, adjusting my job at Chick-fil-A, finding a new job downtown, everything I could, to make his dream possible. And it was totally, totally worth it. Not only was it an amazing experience for us as a couple, but we made some of the best friends of our life. We are forever changed by that path.

He's done the same for me. When we were living in Atlanta and I was in college, I was spending my weekends and week night margins acting. I was taking late-night classes, practicing scenes with my partners, making short films and commercials, performing at showcases and conventions - wherever I could get experience and resume-builders. Stevie was always supportive, making me dinner so that I could eat at midnight when I got home. He was front row with flowers when I was performing. He was the one giving me constructive criticism when I asked for it (even though I didn't really want to hear it). We moved to New York City after he graduated with his MBA so that I could pursue my dream of acting as a profession. I spent so much time on the subway, going to and from auditions, classes, networking events, more auditions. Stevie was my biggest fan, running lines with me, whole-heartedly investing in gear and headshots and classes and whatever else I needed to go for it. He has put me first throughout our 10 years together, and I am so thankful that he put my dreams first, too. I would always regret it if I hadn't really given it my all in that season of life, when I had those opportunities before me.

Now that we have kids, we are living another dream. I am so grateful to be raising my two little boys with this man that I so respect and love. I know we have a lot more dreams that have yet to come into fruition, a lot of seasons ahead of us and so much more to learn in our journey together. I am so excited to pursue those things with him, because I trust his heart for me is good. He's safe and yet wildly adventurous. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

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Marriage is a choice of faith - having faith in that person. Faith that they will make the best choices for themselves and for you. I am so grateful to share this life with him. It's not easy (marriage counseling, y'all - everyone should get some!), but it's one of the things I am most proud of. Thank you for loving me so well, Stevie! You're a keeper! There is no one else I would rather travel with, cook for, make babies with, laugh at or dream with! I loooooooove you.

P.S. Tonight we are going OUT. #parentsgonewild

My Funny Valentine, My Sweet Valentine, My Best Valentine.

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This little guy makes me laugh so hard. He went to the store with his dad to pick out these flowers for me - and what a great choice! I love hydrangeas! Of course, this was all after his nap, which is why he is wearing pajamas bottoms. I just love him to pieces. He's seriously the funniest person and the things that come out of his mouth these days astound us. "You're my valentine, mom. And my teacher. " - what he told me when I picked him up from school yesterday.

What are you up to for Valentines Day? We aren't doing anything particularly special - I got Everett some stickers and a color book pack, which he lovvvvves. Target Dollar section is the jam! And pancakes are on the breakfast menu :) True story - Stevie and I busted into our Valentine chocolate last night because we both wanted some and I knew he had probably bought it. I was like, hey, can we have some of that chocolate you probably bought me? And he was like, yeah, let's. And then we watched re-runs of White Collar. Does anyone else re-watch old episodes of shows that aren't cool anymore? I can't help it - I love that Neal Caffrey.

I hope your Valentines is relaxed and cozy and a sweet reminder of the gorgeous souls in your life. Happy Day to you!

P.S. - We snuck into our neighbors yard to take these pics because they have all sorts of beautiful blooms happening. And also - these are my old jeans! I finally squeezed them over my hips! But I'll be honest -  they aren't zipped here at all :)

The Motherload.

I woke up on Mother's Day with a bad attitude.

I just had a bad attitude. Just because. I don't really, actually know why. Well I do, but it was like a million little mundane things that were making me crazed. Nothing of real substance. And I just about chewed Stevie's head off before I even rose from the bed, and as soon as the flurry of emotional words escaped my lips, I wished I could scoop them out of the air and cup them back into my mouth, swallowing their poisonous power.

But I couldn't.

That's the thing about words - they are absolutely forever. I have learned to bite my tongue over the years, holding back my venom when it won't serve a positive purpose (because really, when does venom serve a positive purpose??) Sometimes I fall short, though, and resort to my childhood, childish ways. I have quite a knack for hurting with my words. I'm good at it. And I hate that I'm good at it.

Stevie and I reconciled, dealt with the reasons why I was feeling frustrated about, you know, everything, but my outburst had me thinking the rest of the day about my immature behavior.

Happy Mother's Day to me. Womp womp.

Being a mom has illuminated so many truths. But this thing of attitude affecting action - it's something that I watch my son emulate every day. My words are so powerful in his little life. And based on what I say, and therefore do, is exactly what that little guy will say and do. For example, when he burps, he says, "Excuse you!", because he's heard me say it to him so often. He doesn't say, "Excuse me", he says "excuse you". Because that's what he heard me say. It's kind of funny, but it's also really interesting. My words remain with him - the big and the very small.

Being Everett's mom (and Stevie's wife!) has taught me so much about the flaws in my character, the places where I am below measure in grace, patience, and selflessness. But days like Mother's Day really puts it in perspective for me - it raises the questions. What am I building in my family? What kind of mother do I want to be remembered as? One with a sharp, critical tongue? Or one with a calm, generous, listening heart. ( <-- that one.) One who doesn't jump to conclusions. One who loves loves loves and then loves some more. And then even more.

And then MORE.

My little boy is getting unbelievably big. He is smothered by my love, but I wonder what else he is soaking up by spending time with me. Those little behaviors that I don't realize I say or do, that he is keenly aware of and emulating day by day. Because even though he looks like a little Stevie Mini-Me (I know, I know), he actually talks and acts a lot like me. I hope that I'm doing a good job with him, helping mold him into the best version of himself. (This isn't a self-deprecating thing, I know he is learning positive things from me.) But what I mean is the little things, the ones that could slip through the cracks in case I catch them and fix them. I hope that next Mother's Day, I can say with some confidence that I've grown up a little bit and learned to keep my cool and extend my heart a bit more kindly. To all the boys in my life. It's such an honor to be Everett's mom. I am the luckiest.

I hope your Mother's Day was restful and fun and full of love and celebration. Ours was wonderful (after my wrong side of the bed wake up call), and we spent time lounging around my parents pool and eating take out. No clean up! Thanks to my sis Rachel for taking pictures. Much love to all of you :)

P.S. - My thoughts about my glorious mom last year on Mother's Day and the year before, too.

 

When Two of Your Favorite People Meet.

When Two of Your Favorite People Meet.

This happened a few weeks ago. Technically there are three of my favorite people in this picture, but Stevie and my dear Aunt Shirley know each other well. But it was the greatest privilege for me to witness my son meeting the snazzy, savvy, sweetheart that is my Aunt. Somehow my heart managed to melt a bit more. I thought it had done all the melting it could possibly do.

My Aunt Shirley has been a life-long inspiration. Not only is she overly-accomplished with an impressively long resume and all the accolades of the world, she is a woman of endless compassion and unparalleled conviction. She's basically Mother Theresa, serving all her extra time for others, and encouraging her students to join her many efforts. If I could emulate her character a tiny little bit at the end of my life, I would gladly call myself blessed and be done. And her joy! I don't know anyone who is more positive! Well, she and my mother-in-law can duke it out, because they are the two most positive people I know. FYI It's a really beautiful thing to be surrounded by practically blind positivity, by the way. Makes you feel like the world is your oyster. And why wouldn't I want my darling boy to be surrounded and influenced to believe that (because it's true!) But her kind of positivity isn't blind. It's fierce, statuesque, absolute in it's hope for what is the best kind of good. I am so lucky to have this woman as my guidepost, looking out for me, correcting me, smiling her big gorgeous, mischievous smile at me. Oh that Italian broad.

I hope your holiday weekend is filled with family time that makes you feel uplifted, full of hope, and encouraged beyond measure. Because that is a treasure not to be diminished. And if you don't have family like that? Well, then BE the family that does that. We have such a few precious days on this Earth. If you have the opportunity to be a person like Aunt Shirley to a little person like Everett, DO IT. The impact will be a pulsating, rippling, life-changing kind, and really, what else matters? Not career. Not money. But a little person being shaken by absolute love, acceptance and sheer hope for the future? Well, you could say that's kind of what this holiday weekend is all about.

Happy Easter, friends.