Tag Archives: nature

Just Breathe®

22 Aug

Disclaimer: I am not an essential oil advocate. Below is my personal experience using dōTERRA products. This post is not sponsored and I did not receive products for free to review. 

Some mornings you wake up ready to tackle the day…other mornings, you wake and feel the day tackling you. I have had such a morning the past two days.

After a night of tossing and turning, coughing and hacking, it’s hard to muster the energy to open my eyes, let alone stand. Standing sets off the alarm bells in my head – something isn’t quite right. That’s when I notice the pressure and tightness that have inhabited my lungs during the night. As a former asthmatic, these symptoms used to send my anxiety into overdrive as it was never long before my airways began to close and breathing became too difficult. Back then, I had to rely on man-made medications administered through an inhaler or nebulizer to force my lugs open once more. But those days are long gone!

Now, as the weather starts to get cooler, and the pollens start to fly, there’s no reason to panic. About four years ago, I traded in my man-made medications in exchange for God’s all natural medication in the form of essential oils. As an individual with a history of severe allergic reactions to medications, I feel so blessed to have all natural alternatives.

This morning, when I felt that tightness grip my lungs, I headed straight for the refrigerator. That seems like an odd place to go at that particular moment, doesn’t it?! Within that chilly fortress lives my saving grace during moments of breathing difficulty – my dōTERRA Breathe® vapor stick.

This amazing product eases discomfort through a cooling and soothing vapor. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator for a few reasons: 1. During the heat of the summer, I noticed it began to “melt” while sitting out on the counter, and 2. For me personally, when I can’t breathe, I often feel overheated at the same time. The coolness applied to my skin aids in lowering my body temperature and allowing me to feel like me again.

With just a swipe or two over my chest, relief is moments away. And it couldn’t be any easier to use – it honestly looks like a giant chapstick! While I don’t have children of my own yet, I imagine it would be so easy to use on a sleeping little one during times of sickness or discomfort. Another time I love to use this product is right before I exercise – once again it keeps my lungs functioning properly and helps to keep me a bit cooler!

Have you tried dōTERRA’s Breathe® vapor stick? Share your experience with me in the comments below! Let me know if there are any other ways you use Breathe®!

If you are new to essential oils and interested in learning more about the dōTERRA company and its products, I invite you to join my boyfriend’s informative Facebook group! Periodically he will share live videos of his favorite oils and the ways to he likes to use them, along with information on how you can get your hands on a free sample.

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The Great American Eclipse

21 Aug

Every since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by all things space – the moon, stars, sun, I wanted to know about everything! I can remember many summer nights spent with my Papa in the field learning about the constellations and how to use a telescope. In elementary school, I even had this crazy idea that one day I’d become an astronaut (it was even my Halloween costume – my mom is crazy creative and talented!)

Sadly, math and science just weren’t my strong areas, and I let go of orbiting the Earth one day. However, my love for outer space has never waned, I have just found new ways to enjoy it – mostly through books and YouTube videos. 

As the country prepared for The Great American Eclipse of 2017, I too was excited. However, knowing I would be at work, and likely unable to be outside for the duration of the spectical, I decided not to waste money on glasses I wouldn’t get to use. But something amazing happened – I worked an event on Friday evening which meant I’ve have to use 4 hours of comp time this week. And what better day than TODAY to use that free time!

After a little investigative work online, I discovered our local library had Solar Eclipse glasses. After standing in a long line for almost an hour, I was lucky enough to get a pair for myself and to surprise Scott at work with his own pair. He’d been using a welders helmet one of his coworkers brought in. 

I Had the PERFECT viewing spot of the eclipse from our balcony. It was nice being under a bit of shade to protect my sensitive skin from burning. I also managed to capture one good shot of the eclipse by taping my glasses over my iPhone’s camera. 


What an amazing experience this was to see! I may not have been in the path of totality, but I did notice the birds stop singing and the temperature drop slightly. Our sun is so amazing! Experiences like this make me really appreciate the beauty and wonder all around us! 

Who’s ready for the next one on April 8, 2024?! I am – because when it’s time for that one, I WILL BE IN THE PATH OF TOTALITY! How cool is that?!

I’m a plant grandma!!

25 Aug

Back in April, one of my great-aunts brought aloe “pups” to our annual spring family scrap (scrapbooking event) as her giveaway for the table. Since I had to work an event that weekend, I was unable to go. However, my Aunt Nita knew her plant wouldn’t make the long journey home, and so she lovingly gave it to me! He was so tiny and frail in his little styrofoam cup – I couldn’t wait to plant him in a sturdy pot!

I wasn’t sure if he’d survive. During my lunch hour I researched “how to care for your aloe plant.” I watched YouTube tutorials and read gardening blogs. I discovered my little plant was pretty hardy and only needed to be watered every two weeks.

Each morning I would check on my little plant, talking to him and encouraging him to thrive in his new environment. Scott thought I was crazy talking to the plant, we even gave him a nickname, Al. I became a proud plant momma when he showed signs of new growth! Over the last few months he has tripled in size, with new little shoots growing every-couple-weeks.

And within the last month or so it finally happened – our aloe plant grew three “pups”! A pup is a new plant that grows from the roots of the mother plant. According to all of the research I’ve done, the pups need to be separated from the mom, because sooner or later they will start to compete with the bigger plant for nutrition and space.  I’ve been meaning to separate our three pups, but I just kept putting it off.

Tonight, I was at WalMart and on a whim decided to see if the gardening section was on Clarence yet. As luck would have it, I bought gardening gloves for $1, a small pot like the one our plant is currently in for $1.50 (I think the original price was $7) and two medium size pots for $2 each. And luckily we still had a few bags of potting soil left over.

I was confident that after watching countless videos and reading numerous blogs I could divide the pups from the mother with no problems.

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After a little bit of digging and fancy maneuvering, the mother and pups came free from the pot. I lost a few roots in the process, but I wasn’t overly concerned. From my research I learned aloe don’t need many roots to survive when transplanting. Thank goodness for that! Then it was just a matter of putting everyone back into his or her own pots. The big plant moved to a larger pot so he’ll have a chance to stretch and grow some more.

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From one plant to four – the story of how I became a plant grandma in a matter of minutes. It’s so exciting to have a new generation of young plants to watch. Once again I pray they each thrive and grow and enjoy their home in our hallway window garden. I love having so much green in the apartment – apparently aloe purifies the air and brightens one’s mood. Can’t get any better than that!

Are you an aloe parent, too? What are your plant tips and tricks?!

Wordless Wednesday- 8/24/16

24 Aug

There’s a storm rolling in…

More than just a photograph

25 Jun

There’s this beautiful, simple photo that hangs in my office conference room; it’s just a rock wall with the most lovely display of wildflowers growing behind. Adding to the atmosphere of the room, I love that the designer thought to paint the room in a calming orange.

While waiting for a meeting to start yesterday morning, I stared at this photo and found myself wondering about the story behind it and the photographer. How did the photographer find this beautiful spot – did they grow up with this scenery in their backyard? Go out walking and happen upon it? Find it during a romantic get-away with that special someone? Or was the photographer trying to focus their lens and this was a convenient spot?

What about this spot itself? How many people have walked by and never noticed the beauty? Never  stopped to smell the flowers or soak in the sun’s rays while sitting on the little wall? Is this anyone’s special place? What event’s has the wall and flowers seen – love? Heartache? Proposals? Photo shoots? Those feeling lost or helpless? Those who are weary and needed a safe place to sit?

And then I wondered about what’s behind the photographer, opposite the wall and wildflowers. A matching wall, maybe? A field with sheep and goats? A street filled with Mom and Pop shops? A rock cliff leading down to the ocean? A country cottage?

What if there photographer’s real purpose for being in this spot was what was behind him or her when this photo was taken, and they just happened to turn around to see the wildflowers dancing in the wind and enjoying the sunshine on their happy faces?

When I picture my happy place, my  sanctuary from my troubles and worries, it looks a lot like this photo. As crazy as it sounds, I wish I could jump into this photo and sit on the wall for a few hours. I want to have the aroma of the wildflowers fill my senses and have the sun warm my skin. I want to watch people watch or maybe lay down and read a book.

I’m curious to know, what do you think about when you see this photo? What emotions does it stir in your heart? Do you want to visit the wall with me?!

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Becoming a Butterfly

31 Mar

Spring is a time of change. The snow melts. The days start to get longer. The trees bloom and the flowers awaken. And in no time at all, there will be butterflies.

I’ve always been fascinated with butterflies, not because of their colors or their grace, but because of the amount of change they endure in such a short lifetime. Within the span of a-couple-months, a Monarch butterfly will hatch from an egg, spend its days consuming leaves as a larvae (caterpillar), attach itself to the stem of a plant or branch as the pupa (while it undergoes 10 days of change in the chrysalis), until it finally emerges as an adult butterfly with mere weeks left to lay an egg to ensure the survival of the species before passing away.

Change does not come easy to me – it never has, and it doesn’t matter how big or small a change may be, it causes me to over think, over analyze and over worry. I would be a terrible butterfly. I’ve hatched from an egg all alone in the world. Is this plant I’m on safe to eat? What if my chrysalis detaches during a storm? Will I be strong enough to break out of this thing when it’s time? How will my wings know how to fly without being taught? What if I fall? Now I have to produce the next generation – that’s a lot of pressure!

It’s a really good thing I’m not a butterfly – I may have never made it out of the egg!

Just like the butterfly, I find myself in a season of change. I am taking steps to return to school to further my education, a goal I set for myself when I watched my mom graduate with her Master’s degree, the first in her family and the best role model I could have ever asked for.

Scott and I are also apartment hunting. Together we’ve looked at two apartment layouts at one complex, he looked at a different complex today before work, and I’ll look it over on Saturday. I’m ready to have our own place, but I find myself on a rollercoaster of emotions from excitement  to totally terrified.

More often than not these days, I wake with knots in my stomach and a pounding headache after nights of stressful dreams. I know I’m worried about finances and finding an apartment that is clean and in a safe neighborhood. But I’m also worried about me. Living in Florida for a year while on the Disney College Program was one thing, I knew when it ended I would be returning home, to my room, to my safe haven. Now, that’s not an option.

I don’t know who I am outside of these blue bedroom walls – they have been my sanctuary since I was 10 years old (but I should mention that when we built this house I was all about the pink frilly life, so the walls were baby doll pink). This room has seen me change from pre-teen to an adult woman. I have slammed the door after arguments with my parents, shared my deepest, darkest secrets with friends, and cried my heart out in here when a boy carelessly broke my heart. This room has seen many late nights finishing homework or finishing a book that I just couldn’t put down. I do my best thinking and writing from this spot on my bed, staring out the window at the post office and the great void beyond.

My room has changed with me, always adapting to my needs. From pink to blue, from Barbie dolls to mountains of mystery and romance books, and my embarrassing love of Billy Gilman to my new love of running races.

But as I look around, I notice how the room doesn’t feel as big as it once did. Maybe that’s because I share it now. Most of Scott’s belongings aren’t even in here, they are sitting in our front room downstairs waiting for a place to call home. Or maybe it’s because, like the butterfly who knows when 10 days have past and it’s time to emerge, I know the time has come to move on.

I doubt the butterfly ever thinks about what happens to the chrysalis it left behind. I, on the other hand, think about a time when this room will no longer be “my room.” One of my sisters will move in here. They have always shared a room and have been chomping at the bit for me to pick up and leave already. I can’t blame them, it is nice having a space all your own in the house. Whomever moves in will change the walls, redecorate and add her own personal touch to the space. I will be erased. Just a memory of yesterday. My safe haven claimed by someone new.

It may be silly to feel so attached to a room, but we are each unique and have our own quirks. Maybe you are attached to a specific coffee mug, car or jacket. Called it an adult version of a security blanket, it’s that one thing you can count on being there to pick you up and warm your heart. And soon, I will be walking away from mine. I think I will feel lost for a while, unsure of my footing in my new room. But I hope with time I will feel comfortable there.

Change is never easy, but in order to progress through life it is a necessary evil. And so it is at these late hours of the night I find myself praying that my wings will know how to fly because whether I want to or not, I’m changing into a butterfly.

Do you live for change or does every cell in your body fight for things to remain as they always have like me? Tell me your best tips and advice for surviving a season of change! I don’t know how many more rough nights and anxiety starting mornings I can take.

Wordless Wednesday – 3/30/16

30 Mar

It smells like spring out here!