Category Archives: reviews and giveaways

Essential Oil Review: My Life’s Essentials

A few months ago I was contacted by Julie at My Life’s Essentials in regards to checking out some essential oils and doing a review on them. I’ve been wanting to try essential oils for sometime now, so this review was meant to be.

After eagerly jumping on this, I gave Julie a rundown of the things I wanted to try the essential oils for:

  • something to help me (and Lilah) sleep better. I’m a horrible sleeper. I have a hard time falling asleep and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I have an even harder time falling back to sleep. I can function on very little sleep but I know it’s not healthy. Lilah sometimes has a hard time falling asleep and does wake up in the middle of the night often. She’s also our early riser of the family.
  • something for allergies. I have horrible allergies and get headaches that stem from my allergies all the time.
  • something to help calm Lilah. You all know that Lilah is our spitfire. I’ve read that there are essential oils to help calm and soothe, so of course I wanted to try. With that girl, I’d try just about anything.

The oils she sent me for all of these requests were:

  • Peppermint. For allergies.
  • Lavender. For sleep and allergies.
  • Lemon. For allergies.
  • Breathe. A blend of oils for allergies.
  • Serenity. For calming.

Julie also sent me a tip sheet on what to use each oil for (or what to blend together) and how to apply/use the oils. I loved this tip sheet because I wasn’t sure where to start.

Essential Oils

The first night I tried them, I used peppermint, lavender and lemon to help my allergies. I dropped a few drops of each in the palm of my hands, rubbed them together and then breathed in deep from cupped hands around my nose and mouth. I did this for a few minutes. I did this same routine each morning. What I love about this is that I can feel my sinuses opening up with each breath. There was a few times I also took the peppermint and dropped a few drops on my tongue and pressed it to the roof of my mouth. Hello! That will really wake you up but it works so good when you are really congested.

I tried the same thing with the breathe blend from time to time. It seemed to work about the same.

For Lilah, each night before bed I would rub the lavender on the bottoms of her feet and then rub the lavender and serenity behind her ears and on her chest. She would ask me every night for this routine. When we started this, her waking up in the middle of the night stopped. She still seems to rise a little earlier than we’d like and as far as the calming goes, I’m not so sure that works like I hoped it would. One thing is though, I probably need to carry the serenity around with me 24/7 and just douse her with it to make it work. Ha!

This is where I was sold on essential oils though.

The second week of summer, the kids had vacation bible school. I dropped them off on the first day and everyone was fine. I picked them up a few hours later and Tucker had a bit of a cough. By the time we got home the cough was worse and was starting to sound croupy. I’m not one to run to the doctor at the first sign of ailment (hence why I wanted to try essential oils in the first place) and knew this was where I wanted to test the oils and see what they could do for me.

I decided to try what I was using for my allergies on him. I put peppermint, lavender and lemon on his chest, neck and back. I also pulled out our cool mist humidifier and dropped a few drops of each in the water before turning it on at night. I had read that you can diffuse essential oils into the air, and I figured this would work similar to that. In less than three days I would say his cough cleared up almost 100%. Certainly faster than if I were to try just over the counter cough medicine and definitely a lot easier than if I had scheduled an appointment, gotten some sort of antibiotic or steroid, gone and filled the prescription and then had to remember to give it to him every day. And most times, doctors want you to give the medicine for 5-7 days. Essential oils? For us, worked in three. Bam.

A few other things I used the oils for:

  • Bloating and upset stomach. A few nights I felt super bloated after eating a big meal. I dropped a few drops of peppermint and lemon in my water and guzzled down the glass.
  • Anxiety. I’m a worrier by nature. There are times when I can just feel myself getting stressed or overwhelmed. I would put the serenity on my wrists and behind my ears and lay down for a few minutes. I could tell a difference in my mood when doing this. So maybe if it didn’t calm Lilah, it at least calmed me.

My overall feeling on essential oils? Yes, yes and yes. I can’t wait to stock our medicine cabinet with these new goodies and toss out some of the stuff that I know doesn’t work as well (or as naturally) as these do. If you haven’t tried essential oils yet or have been on the fence about them, do it! I’m so thank to Julie (go check out her awesome blog for more information!) for allowing me to do this review and finally starting me on my path to using essential oils for myself and my family!

While I was given a free sample set of essential oils to facilitate this review, all opinions are 100% my own.

wiww: French Toast School Uniform Review

This is a little different spin on my usual What I Wore Wednesday post, the kids are taking over and what they are wearing for back to school this year is what we’re serving up. School’s out for summer, but we all know how fast the summer can come to an end. I’ve got school supplies & uniform shopping on the brain because with three kids there is so much to have to do when it comes to the back-to-school to-do list.

French Toast is going to be my go-to this year when it comes to shopping for school uniforms for the kids. I shopped online last year for them, but hadn’t stumbled upon this uniform site. They have a lot to offer including girls’ school uniforms, boys’ school uniforms and even clearance items.

Besides the clearance items, they offer discount codes and special savings on things like shipping from time to time.

Want to know a little more about French Toast? I can’t say it better than they do:

French Toast Official School Wear™ is America’s leading brand of school uniform. Since 1958, our company has provided families with quality children’s wear and boys and girls school uniforms at great prices. Our selection of uniform styles and sizes is second to none, from toddler size uniforms through young adult, French Toast carries over 6,000 individual colors, styles and sizes in stock, all year round!

Tucker and Lilah loved being my models (even though they did ask, “is it time to go back to school already?!” Ha!) to try on the items I picked out. Tucker looks pretty strapping in this crisp white button down and he’s got such a tiny waist that I love the adjustable waist option in these shorts.

French Toast Review

& one can’t forget about my always willing model. I absolutely love this Short Sleeve Peter Pan Blouse with Lace Trim Collar, it is just too sweet. The pleated skirt is pretty darn cute, too. One thing I love about the kids wearing uniforms for school is that I don’t have to think when it comes to dressing them each morning. French Toast makes it even that much easier for uniform shopping for back to school because everything I need is in one quick stop.

French Toast school uniforms

pleated poppy

While I was sent uniform pieces for my kids to try on & keep for next school year as compensation, all opinions are 100% my own.

Seattle’s Best Coffee at Publix: a review.

Today is the first day, in two weeks, that we have nothing to do. Summer started and we were busy. The kids had two back-to-back weeks of VBS and I was cramming in as much work at Reach as I could during that time. So for two weeks straight, we got up every morning just like we would for school, headed out for the day, and didn’t return home until at least 1:30 or later each afternoon.

But today? Today I’m laying in bed, sipping coffee, while the kids watch cartoons. I think we might even stay in pjs all day. But better than that, the coffee I’m sipping on is Seattle’s Best Coffee. Thanks to Publix now carrying their house blend, I can have Seattle’s Best whenever I want.

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During my recent shopping trip to Publix, I was excited to see that there is a variety of Seattle’s Best Coffee products on the shelves. My favorite is the Breakfast Blend K-cups® because I’m all about my Keurig. & not to name names, but if you check out the picture below, you’ll notice that even though Seattle’s Best Coffee was on sale this week when I was shopping (score!) the original price for a box of K-cups® is $2 cheaper than one of its competitors. Always a win in my book.

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For those who use coffee grounds to brew their coffee (not me, I like quick & easy when it comes to my coffee) there is a wide selection to choose from. I think there were more choices in this section than the K-cup® section, but we also have that little accessory piece that let’s you use coffee grounds in the Keurig, so I might have to give it a try one of these days. Again, Seattle’s Best was on sale but even without saving $1 during this sale, it’s got a better price point than the competitors. From 6/14/14 to 7/4/14, House Blend is on special at Publix: Roast and Ground House Blend packaged coffee is just $4.99, and House Blend K-cup® Packs are $5.99. So hurry in!

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But then, as I was walking the frozen aisles I spotted something that I didn’t know even existed! Seattle’s Best Coffee frozen coffee blends! Say what!? I love the tagline on the sign “Happiness Blended at Home”…I completely agree.

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So once my cart was loaded with Seattle’s Best Coffee (& maybe a few other groceries to get us through the week) I headed home to try it out.

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My Keurig did it’s job brewing up some of Seattle’s Best, which originated in Seattle, Washington in 1970 in the heart of Pike Place Market (a place I’d love to visit one day!). I added a little of my go-to creamer and was good to go.

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Then, yesterday afternoon, after a day of church, cleaning the house and finishing up some yard work, I was hot & tired. I needed a pick-me-up & that was when I remembered my favorite purchase from my Publix shopping trip for coffee! I added half of the bag (one bag is two servings, so I’ll probably end up having that other half this afternoon!) and a little milk, blended it up, and done.

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I wish I had thought to get some whip cream to put on top, maybe next time. But it was still good none the less. You can also make an iced coffee version of Seattle’s Best Coffee in the comforts of your home using their easy-to-follow recipe. That is sure to come in handy this summer for many! You can also find more recipes here.

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I’m participating in a Seattle’s Best Coffee® blogger campaign and received compensation as part of the program. All opinions are 100% my own, ie. I love this coffee & Publix! 

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Scotties Care Package + Gift Card Winner!!!

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My new normal.

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Scotties ‘Like No Other Mom’ contest, review, and giveaway.

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Vote for us with Kodak PixPro SP1 & #momsmvp challenge!

I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a product review that my family was more excited about than this one. We were given a Kodak PixPro SP1 and asked to create a one minute video where the kids showed what mvp’s they could truly be. A full review of the this amazing product isContinue Reading

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