Gingerbread Sugar Scrub (DIYoiler Videos)

Make your own all-natural Gingerbread Sugar Scrub. Quick, easy and make a great Holiday gift!

Gingerbread Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup DoTERRA fractionated coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

4 drops DoTERRA Cinnamon Bark essential oil

2 drops DoTERRA Ginger essential oil

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a 4-ounce jar. Top with an extra splash of fractionated coconut oil before sealing.

And you’re done!

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Recipe: Lemon Hibiscus Kooler (Kool-Aid alternative!)

The sun is shining! Kids and moms alike are looking for an icy drink to quench their thirst. This recipe is a mom must-have! And so easy too! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 Hibiscus Tea bags (we like Bigelow Cranberry Hibiscus)
  • 5 drops DoTERRA Lemon Essential Oil
  • 40 drops liquid Stevia
  • Water
  • Ice

Begin by steeping tea bags in 2 cups hot water. I just boil water in a mason jar in my microwave for 2 minutes. Let tea steep for about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile add Lemon Essential Oil & Stevia to a pitcher half full of ice water. The Lemon EO gives another depth of flavor to the kooler and adds a healthy boost too!

After 2 minutes, remove tea bags from tea concentrate. I give them a quick dunk into my ice water so I can squeeze all the goodness out of them without getting burned!

Finally, pour concentrate into pitcher and you’re done! I told you it was easy! 😉

Serve to your sweaty eight-year-old and watch him SMILE! Tastes so delicious that he doesn’t even mind that this sweet drink is sugar-free, dye-free AND healthy! Mom win!

*This recipe is adapted from here.

Recipe: Banana Blueberry Almond Flour Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Bake time: 18-20 minutes

Ingredients:

• 2 cups almond flour

• 4 eggs

• 1 banana, mashed

• 2 packets stevia

• 1/2 tsp baking soda

• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

• 2 drops DoTERRA Wild Orange Essential Oil (you can purchase here)

• 1 1/2 cups blueberries

• Coconut oil, for greasing pan

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl mix together all ingredients except blueberries.

3. After stirring well until combined, fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease muffin pan with coconut oil.

5. Scoop muffin batter into pan, filling each slot about 1/2 full.

6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until slightly browned.

Adapted from this recipe at simplytaralynn.com.

Consider this

Sometimes we get so busy just trying to keep our heads above water that we don’t take to just stop and consider.

Consider a simpler way of doing things

Consider our gifts
Consider why a child might be cranky
Consider how to do make something work better

Consider where we want to be in 5 years

I am an answers kind of girl. Nothing grates me more than being told “that’s just how things are” or “you’re a mom, you’re supposed to be tired” or better yet “you have children, your house is going to be messy”. I’ve always refused to accept being stuck in a less-than-ideal situation because of any of those excuses. Offer me some advice! Make a helpful suggestion! Tell me how you do things! Pray for me! Something! Anything!

This summer has been a very enjoyable one for me personally. I’ve been taking a good bit of time aside to read, pray and consider how things are going in my life. I’ve been journaling my thoughts and challenging my old ways of doing things.

My first revelations have come through reading the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The book encourages us to take a closer look at all the things we fill our lives with. Not just worldly possessions (but those too!) but also the ways we fill our time, the things we say yes to.  McKeown argues that we can’t do everything and give everything our full attention at one time. We can either attempt to do too many things and do them not-so-well or we can pick and choose our “greatest contribution” and do those few things exceptionally. This totally makes sense to me and has me questioning just about everything.

I am now reading through Lara Casey’s book Make It Happen. Practical title, huh? But, all joking aside, it’s what I need to learn. I need to discover how to think things through, re-evaluate, set realistic expectations for myself and then… make it happen.

Something Casey wrote about was the unhealthy aspect of going to extremes in life. While her intent was to discourage us from doing so– or at least make us aware of our tendency to be extreme– something clicked with me. I actually think I do really well if I can focus on one thing for a shorter period of time than if I try to do too many things for a long period of time. (I more struggle with consistency… but that’s for later improvement!) For instance, today, I decided to focus on laundry. I spent the entire day– in between my other motherly duties and a little work time– catching up on laundry. I used to do this but got away from it. I thought it made “more sense” to just do one load a day. But considering how I am bent and my tendency to be all or nothing, Monday as laundry day actually makes a whole lot of sense for me. And I think Casey would be okay with this sort of extreme. 😉

So, my point here being, instead of just staying stuck and saying, “I’ll never have this laundry thing figured out,” I can stop and evaluate the unique way that God made me and how I might be able to set myself up for success in this area. And, of course, other areas as well.

Though I hadn’t realize it, I am already applying similar principles in our homeschooling. When we start a subject or begin learning about a certain topic, we do best when we are all in– no interruptions! We’d rather blow through our entire History book in three months than stretch it out the entire school year. We’d rather learn all we can about the ocean than just study fish for a chapter in our Science book. This is what works for us. And when learning begins to just work and become sort of effortless, beautiful things happen.

It’s that same effortless approach that I am now trying to apply to other areas of my life. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent far too long stammering around trying to get a handle on things that are fairly simple– cooking, cleaning, laundry. I’m ready for these things to be second-nature so that I can better focus my attention on other very important things that God has called me to.

What about you? Have you taken some time to just quiet yourself, remove the distractions around you, remove the preconceived ideas in your head and consider how to better your life? Stop fighting against the tide and go with the flow. Stop making things harder on yourself than they have to be. It’s liberating and I can’t wait for you experience it!

On this journey with you,

Jenny
for Eco-friendly Destinations

Living intentionally with a summer schedule

Copy of beauty review (1)

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited that summer is upon us! Last year I established a summer schedule and it was very helpful in structuring our weeks and limiting the chaos. I decided that it was a good idea to continue the tradition this year.

In addition to a weekly schedule, we like to keep a routine going. Our routine hasn’t changed that much from last year. Our day generally goes in this order:

  • breakfast & morning devotional
  • AM choretime
  • free play
  • lesson or discussion
  • lunch
  • PM choretime
  • quiet time/silent reading
  • snack
  • afternoon nature walk
  • quick house tidy
  • bathtime/dinner prep
  • dinner
  • reading with Dad
  • bed

We like for our summer schedule to be theme-based. Here’s what we’ve come up with for Summer 2017:
Summer Schedule

At our house, Mondays must be mellow! We seem to have so much catching up (and calming down!) to do. Today’s the day to do some laundry, straighten up the kitchen, bake bread, plan our week and menu plan.

Tuesdays we like to go to Panera Bread for the Baker’s Dozen deal. It also happens to be our allotted day to take our trash to the local dump, so we’re in the car already! This summer we are going to focus on reading and going to the bookstore this day too.

We’ve decided to open our house to friends on Wednesdays. If the weather is nice, our friends know that they are welcome to come over and play outside with us.

There’s so much science to learn in the summer! Tinkering Thursday is set aside to do just that– science experiments, gardening, scavenger hunts, bird watching. Today’s the day we will also work on large creative projects like building, drawing & crafting.

Field Trip Friday is the day we will venture out the playground, zoo or creek. We might also go hiking or for a walk in the park. On special occasions we’ll check out a local museum or wildlife preserve.

How about your family? Do you like to structure your summer? What do your days look like?

With excitement,
Jenny

Stitch Fix review

Well, friends, I took a leap of faith and signed up for Stitch Fix! If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a little bit about them straight from their website:

“Stitch Fix is an online styling service that delivers a truly personalized shopping experience, just for you. Fill out your Style Profile and a personal stylist will hand pick pieces to fit your tastes, needs and budget—and mail them directly to your door. Each box contains five items of clothing, shoes and accessories for you to try on at home. Keep what you love, send the rest back in a prepaid USPS envelope. Shipping and returns are free—even for exchanges!”

I found out about Stitch Fix a few years ago from a fellow blogger, scheduled my first Fix and then chickened out. I cancelled! I figured I’d just do my best to keep picking out clothing pieces from Kohl’s, ThredUp and Goodwill (no shame!). However, I am in love with my first Fix! And here are a few reasons why:

1. The stuff is just super good quality and will last for a long time.
2. My stylist did an awesome job at listening to my wants/needs and hit my style to a T. She clearly visited my Pinterest board that I linked in the initial questionnaire.
3. Everything fits! This was my biggest concern– that stuff would arrive, I’d love it but it wouldn’t fit. Each piece fits even the pants!
4. I am confident that with just 1 or 2 more Fixes I will have a nice, capsule wardrobe. I’m happy that I will finally have a few quality pieces instead of lots of cheap pieces that I don’t love and are of lesser quality.

Without further ado, here’s my Fix! Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures, I summoned my 8-year-old to help me out! 😉

Top left: Glenview Crew Neck Blouse by Kaileigh and Adorra Skinny Jean by Just Black
Top right: same paired with Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan by Pixley
Bottom left: Judie Knit Dress by Le Lis
Bottom middle: samepaired with Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan by Pixley
Bottom right: Poppyton Crochet Bib Top by Collective Concepts (Gap jeans not included in Fix!)

My items varied in retail value from $34 to $88. Because I will be keeping items, the $20 styling fee that I initially paid will be credited back to me and because I will be keeping everything (all 5 pieces), I get the 25% discount. So, overall I am getting each piece for under $40/each.

If you feel like giving Stitch Fix a try, I highly recommend it and if you use my referral link, I’d be so appreciative! Go here and let the fashion fun begin! 

Recipe: simple banana bread (allergy friendly!)

Our family loves banana bread! And in the off moment that we have extra, ripe bananas lying around, I make this recipe:

– 3 bananas (brown, mashed)
– 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
– 1/2 cup sugar or your favorite sugar substitute
– 1 chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– pinch of salt
– 1 1/2 cups sprouted wheat flour
-optional: chocolate chips or chopped nuts
IMG_8310
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour batter into greased bread/loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Top with a bit of coconut oil or butter!

This recipe only takes about 10 minutes to mix together and is so yummy. I often double the recipe because one loaf doesn’t last very long…

I’ve also made this recipe in my bread maker on the “quick/sweet bread” setting and it turns out great as well.

Eat something yummy today!
Jenny

DIY facial cleansing rounds {recipe}

These simple yet functional rounds make freshening up a breeze. They are made with therapeutic grade essential oils and natural ingredients. Yay! What are you waiting for?

IMG_8403Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how to make:

Gently whisk together fractionated coconut oil, Lavender, Melaleuca, witch hazel & water in a glass dish. Take your 4-ounce glass jar and fill with about 15 cotton rounds. Pour mixture over cotton rounds and seal. Now, whenever you need to refresh or clean up your face in a hurry, these gentle rounds will be ready!

Isn’t it great to D-I-Y?