Life in January and February

As iPhone cameras have gotten better, the amount of photos I take in every day life with my real camera has severely declined.  I’m not sure how I feel about this yet.  Part of me says that my everyday life photos don’t really need to be taken with such a powerful camera.  I especially tell myself this when I don’t want to carry that powerful camera.  Which let’s be real, is most days.  But part of me wonders if I’ll regret it having so few ‘real camera’ photos.  It’s really hard to say, but the phone camera is really winning out these days!  Here however are some actual camera efforts from the first two months of 2015.  Literally these are the only times photos have been taken on my real camera for personal use this year.

First up was my 30th birthday.  It was such a great day and such a great party!  I felt so loved and celebrated and supported.  I’m so excited about my thirties!  Many thanks to Andy Murphy (who doesn’t have a website to my knowledge!) for grabbing my camera and snapping photos that night.
Isn’t Ashley fabulous?

Then one day I decided to snap a few photos of Handsome Ransom outside and on my bed.  Because his first year is drawing to a close, and I gotta make sure I capture as much of it as I can.  So I can look back and cry about how big he is later.

His sad face is the cutest!!!!  Those lashes!


And lastly I set up the tripod to capture our little family Valentine’s dinner.  Please note the outfits the boys put together for themselves, and the the tie they clipped onto Ransom’s pjs.  The first shot is just funny because everyone looks grouchy even though they actually weren’t at all.  And the second shot is just sweet.  Love my boys!

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Horning Family | Dallas Outdoor Family Photography

These posts are so woefully overdue.  This sweet family has now welcomed their second baby boy, Marshall, and he is just as cute as cute can be.  The Hornings hold a special place in my heart.  When they were engaged, Chuck lived at our house, and Sasha lived at Ashley’s house!  They were like our first children to leave the nest :-).  Now they have two babies of their own!  Their wedding was one of the last that I ever photographed, and then this past fall I had a chance to photograph them as a family of pre-four.  Enjoy!

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Everyday Oils: A Day in the Life With the Premium Starter Kit

So you went to a class about essential oils.  You sniffed, you smelled, you sampled.  But perhaps only two or three of the oils you tried especially caught your fancy while the rest went over your head.  Or perhaps you dove in and ordered your Premium Starter Kit, but now that you have it, you aren’t sure what to do with all of the oils anymore.  That’s ok.  I’ve taught classes after which someone thought that they only wanted lavender and lemon.  I’ve had people sign up and then get home and forget how to use all but the lavender and lemon.  If you fall into one of these two categories, fear not.  The Everyday Oils in the Premium Starter Kit are just that – for every day.  They can truly all be used in a typical day, which is why the PSK is SUCH a good deal.  You’re getting all these oils, plus your membership, plus a diffuser, plus some great Ningxia Red samples and more!  And by the time you buy just two or three full-sized oils, you’re going to spend about 3/4 of the cost (or more) of the PSK and not even end up with a diffuser.  And trust me, you want the diffuser.  So I thought I’d run through what a typical oily day in our house looks like using those blessed Everyday Oils.


My alarm goes off at 6.  I turn it off and roll over for a few minutes before getting out of bed.  When I do, I sit on the edge of the bed and wonder exactly how I was positioned in my sleep to create the current ache in my right neck/shoulder area.  I reach for some coconut oil and PanAway and massage my right shoulder with my left hand.

After I stumble all the way out of bed, I the diffuser with water and a combination of Joy + Citrus Fresh (4-5 drops of each for a full tank).  This combination rocks my world, it smells sooo good.  I walk into the kitchen and pour myself a little Ningxia Red with a drop or two of lemon as my morning treat and waker upper (I’m showing you my bottle of Ningxia Red in the photo below, but the PSK comes with two sample packets).  Go back to my room and do a little yoga to wake up my body, while pausing for sips of Ningxia.  My kids aren’t allowed to come out of their rooms until 7:15 and miraculously, Ransom is still sleeping, so I soak in the Joy and Citrus Fresh and even apply some Joy to my heart, wrists and neck (one drop goes a long way) while I’m having my quiet time and Jake is getting ready for work.

When the big kids come out of their room, I go out to the kitchen to eat the breakfast my husband has made for us (he’s a keeper).  The trash really stinks because we forgot to take it out last night so I add a drop of Purification to the bottom of the empty trash can and spray some of my homemade Purification spray (water with 20 drops of Purification) in the air.  Much better.  We kiss Daddy goodbye and start our day.


Someone gets a boo-boo after trying a really cool Ninja Warrior move, so I pull out the Melalueca and bandaids.  I add a drop to a bandaid and apply it to the battle wound.  My Ninja Warrior’s nose seems to be running a bit as well, so while I have him, I apply a couple of drops of Thieves to the bottoms of his feet, along with some of the Melaleuca.

Later, Ransom Handsome needs a little convincing that it’s time for a nap, so after we nurse I put a drop of Lavender in my hand, rub my hands together and run them all over him.  I may even put some Lavender in his diffuser.


After finally getting everyone down for naptime and ‘quiet time’ (I’m running fast and loose with the word ‘quiet’ here), it’s time for Mommy to sit down and work.  Stress Away is my favorite favorite oil, both for times of stress and times of peace, because when I smell it I feel like I’m sitting on the beach.  The beach I tell you!  It’s beautiful.  I apply two or three drops neat to my wrists and rub them together and then across my neck.  Aaahhhh.

I bring my diffuser into my office and fill it about half way with water and add 2 drops of Peppermint and 3 drops of Citrus Fresh.  Mmmm.  This combo helps me to stay alert and on task.

Work time goes by oh so fast and soon, all three boys are running around again.  After changing a diaper, I reach for the Purification again.  A drop in the can and some spritz in the air.  Then I’m trying to wrap up my work, get Ransom fed and happy and start dinner before Jake gets home.  Have I mentioned that Stress Away is my favorite?



After dinner when it’s time to wind it down, we bring the Lavender back out.  It goes in the diffuser in the big boys’ room and I repeat the drop in the hands routine for Ransom.  Everyone goes to bed and falls asleep pretty quickly.

I notice that I’m having a scratchy throat.  Mama don’t mess around with scratchy throat, ain’t nobody got time for that.  I fill a capsule with 5 drops of Thieves and top it off with some melted coconut oil.  I have a small jar of coconut oil in my bathroom that I melt by setting it on top of my bedside lamp.  If I think my scratchy throat is allergies, I may also diffuse or make a capsule with 2-3 drops each of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint.

It’s been a good day.  After we watch a couple of episodes of ‘Friends’ on Netflix, we Lavender ourselves, crawl into bed and call it a day.


What do you think?
Does this help to give you some ideas on how to use those oils?  How are you using your Everday Oils?

For more information about how to sign up with Young Living and receive your own Premium Starter Kit with the Everyday Oils, click here.

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Moore Family 2014 | Dallas Family Photography

So this past November/December I decided that I was just going to enjoy the holidays and not push myself to post all of my fall sessions before the end of the year.  It was a good decision.  And it also means that I have a nice little back log of family photos to share with you now!  Win-win!

First up is the Moore family.  Mom Christina always picks out the most adorable clothes for her kids.  Are you seeing that little dress?  How cute is that?  With the cardigan?  Precious.


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Three Young Living Products that Have Boosted My Energy Naturally

Y’all.  I’m completely and undeniably obssessed with essential oils.  More specifically with Young Living Essential Oils and all of their products in general.  I realize it doesn’t make sense to start a sentence with the phrase ‘more specifically’ and end it with ‘in general’ but go with me here.  Y’all know I’m a health nut.  That crazy lady who doesn’t let her kids eat processed food, washes her hair with baking soda, and made her own dessicated liver pills to take on vacataion.  Well I’ve had my eye on essential oils as something that I wanted to implement in our lives for almost three years now, and in fact I even got my feet wet using oils by another company a couple of years ago.  But about six months ago after doing some research, I switched over to Young Living (I’m not interested in controversy about oil companies, but I’m happy to talk privately about my research) and I’m in LOVE.  When I first tried to get started with oils, we were in the middle of the season where we weren’t sure if we were going to be lose our house or not, so purchasing oils wasn’t high on the priority list #ifyaknowwhatimean.  But this time, I really felt God pushing me to trust Him to provide and start USING the oils in our every day lives.  And what do you know, He’s provided, and our lives are changed!

I’ve used my oils for first aid, sickness, tummy trouble (that’s how Jake became a believer), sleep issues, stress, allergies, teething and more with fantastic results.  But my main testimony after really using oils and other Young Living products every day is that I have more energy than I’ve had in at least three years.  Moms can I get an amen??  I ordered my starter kit with the Every Day Oils, which I do in fact use every day, but there have been a few key additions that have really made a difference for me in addition to that kit.  In fact, I’d say that I’ve noticed three different levels of energy improvement in the last six months.  And y’all.  I’m a mom of a baby and two young boys, who homeschools and works from home, who also suffered from pretty debilitating adrenal fatigue just a couple of years ago.  Energy is a big deal for me!!!  And I’m sure it’s a big deal for you too, so I’m going to share the three products that have really helped my energy levels.


First, my chiropractor recommended that I start using EndoFlex daily, applying it over my thyroid and adrenals twice a day.  So I did.  It’s nice to work with health care providers who prescribe oils.  Both my chiropractor and my pediatrician use oils in their practice which I think is just dandy.  Anyway, about EndoFlex.  I combined some EndoFlex with some melted coconut oil in this handy dandy roll-on bottle for easy application, and I was all set.  At first I didn’t really notice the steady improvement in my energy until one day I couldn’t figure out why I was lagging and I realized I’d forgotten to use it.  It wasn’t hard to remember to apply it after that!  Plus, I think it smells wonderful!  It has this nice spearmint scent that’s lovely.  Almost all of us need a little extra adrenal/thyroid support.  I love being able to support my adrenals with a little swipe of oil that smells yummy!


The second boost in energy I felt came when I started drinking Ningxia Red.  Oooooh sweet Ningxia Red.  I hesitated to try Ningxia for several reasons.  First, I’ve always been skeptical of drinks pushed by MLM companies.  I really get turned off by anything that suggests that you can have energy with JUST this (usually synthetic) product.  I believe in a balanced lifestyle, good sleep, and real food.  So if someone’s talking about a drink that is supposed to fix all your problems without addressing your diet, I ignore it.  I also assumed that Ningxia Red had to be full of sugar because it was full of fruit.  And sugar is sugar whether it’s from fruit or is processed from the sugar cane plant – both elevate your blood sugar.  And finally, I’ll be real with you, Ningxia Red is not cheap, and I was already walking in faith just to be ordering oils monthly.  However, when I actually read up on Ningxia Red, discovered that it only had 2g of sugar per serving, heard people I respected singing its praises (my midwife for example goes on and on about the beauty of the placentas of moms who drink Ningxia Red during their pregnancies, ha!), and started hearing fabulous testimonies about it, I decided to give it a try.  I eat really great food, consume very little sugar and get good sleep.  But let’s be real, I’m a homeschooling, work at home, mother of three.  I can still use a boost!  And y’all Ningxia Red did not disappoint.  Sometimes when I drink it I feel an instant boost.  Other times, I just notice that it’s 3 in the afternoon and I’m not tired like I usually am.  This is another one that I notice if I forget to drink it.  It really tastes like a concentrated (yummy!) juice to me, so we pour our 2-ounce shot over ice and then fill up our glasses with water to drink.  Sometimes I’ll add a drop of lemon or orange to mine for a special treat.  It’s so good that it’s become the reward I give to my boys for drinking their cod liver oil!  For the win!!  I could give you all the facts about Ningxia Red (if you want them anyway, click here), but suffice it to say, it’s natural, it’s making me feel better, it’s FULL of fabulous nutrients taken from actual real food (which is why it makes you feel so good), and it tates great.  And it’s wildly antioxidant.  Like on the ORAC scale, blueberries are around a 5000, and Ningxia Red is around 30,000.  So it’s also keeping me young and beautiful.  Just sayin.  And again, God has totally provided, and I’ve been able to continue ordering it.  Boom!


Finally, I recently had a Zyto scan, which told me that I would benefit from taking Young Living’s supplement called Multi Greens.  If you aren’t familiar with Zyto scanning, the non-scientific explanation is that a Zyto is a little machine shaped like a hand and connected to a computer.  You set your hand on the hand-cradle and it reads you in the much the same manner that a lie-detector machine would read you.  It does not diagnose you, but it does suggest products which would be of benefit to you.  I really nerd-out about this kind of stuff.  TELL ME HOW TO FIX ME!!!  Well it told me that I had 16 markers out of alignment and that 10 of them would be corrected by Multi Greens.  So I thought ‘Well if I can hit 10 out 16 things wrong with me, let’s give this a shot.’  I ordered some Multi Greens with my points (another great thing about ordering monthly – earning points!), and what do you know?  Again it’s not that I felt some major change, I just realized that it was the middle of the afternoon on a day when I should’ve been really tired and I wasn’t!  MOMS – CAN I GET AN AMEN?!


Now let me say that none of these products will make up for a lack of quality sleep, an out of balance lifestyle, zero exercise or terrible diet.  It’s important to be balanced all the way around!  But as I have pursued that balance, I have found these products to be a wonderful addition to my healthy, natural way of life.  I think they are a great way to take baby steps towards a more balanced and healthy lifestyle, or are a great addition to an already balanced and healthy lifestyle.  I’M IN LOVE I TELL YOU!


So there you have three Young Living products that have rocked my world.
Next week I’ll be sharing about how we use the Everyday Oils from the Premium Starter Kit ~ahem~ every day.  Cheers!

If you would like to know how to get your own Young Living products, click here.

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