Young Living Essential Oils

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for these statements. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If there are any incorrect statements, I will edit them as soon as I am made aware.


A week ago, I had an online Essential Oils (EO) 101 Party/Class with Angela Livingston, a fellow MOM. I had been talking with her about oils for months, and I was finally ready to bite the bullet and get my Young Living Kit.

What is Young Living?

Young Living is a company that has been in business for many, many years, harvesting and selling essential oils for personal use. One reason that I was drawn to them is their Seed to Seal process (they grow the plants, harvest, and then bottle and sell the oils). I like that it is all with one company without working with middlemen along the way. It is very controlled and YL is extremely careful with their process. Fun fact: 2% of essential oils sold in the US are suitable for medicinal purposes, and YL sells 98% of them! You can find out more about the Seed to Seal process here.

Without bashing other oil companies, here is a problem with some others. Most EO are extracted from the plants using high heat and high pressure with some chemicals. The final product will still have the smell, but it won’t carry the same therapeutic qualities of the oils. There also aren’t any standards in labeling essential oils. It can actually be a diluted oil, but can still (legally) be called 100% Pure Essential Oil. Yikes! Usually, you can spot these by looking at the price. Essential Oils should be more expensive ($15-$150 a bottle) because of the process and rarity in extracting the oils from the plants. While the FDA doesn’t have standards, they have asked Gary Young (the founder of Young Living) to help create standards for essential oil labeling.

How do I use essential oils?

There are 4 main ways to use essential oils: inhale, diffuse, topical application, or ingest. You will want to be careful with each of these options, as some should only be used a certain way. For instance, some oils are considered “hot” oils and should be diluted before applying topically. Some are not safe to ingest. Some can be used in all four ways safely (as long as you have a good, trustworthy oil company). Before using any oils, it is always best to do your research, especially if you take any medications (as some oils react with medications).

How To Use

How can I purchase oils?

You have a few options. You can purchase individual oils at the retail rate. If you have a smaller budget or only want to try an oil or two, this is a good option. Occasionally, some distributors may offer sales, but for the most part, assume that you will be spending the retail rate plus tax and shipping. You can see the products here.

If you just can’t make up your mind about which oils you want, I would HIGHLY encourage you to get one of the kits. There are some options here with the amount and size of the kits, but it will give you the most bang for your buck, because you will also get a wholesale membership as well. As a wholesale member, you will save 24% off of the retail rate of future purchases.

What is the kit?

You have some options here. You can get the starter kits that vary in size and price ($40-$150). The Basic Starter Kit ($40) has mostly sample sizes, as well as some business literature for you (in case you want to sell YL). The Basic Plus Starter Kit ($75) is similar to the Basic Starer Kit, but it also includes a diffuser. The next level (and the one that I chose) is the Premium Starter Kit ($150), because it comes with the samples, literature, and diffuser, but it also includes the Everyday Oils collection, which is 10 different 5 mL of oils (Joy™, Frankincense, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Purification, PanAway, Peace & Calming®, Thieves®, and Valor®) . Remember, with these kits, you also can purchase anything you want at the 24% discount.

If you get the kit, do you need to sell it?

The short answer is “no,” but you can become a distributor if you want, simply because you have bought the kit. After purchasing the kit, there are no requirements to sell anything. To retain your wholesale rate, you just have to spend $50 (at that wholesale rate, remember) within a year.

If you do decide to sell it to make a commission and bonuses, you don’t have to do anything extra to “sign up.” There are some minimums to meet in order to make a commission in a month, however. I am still learning this, so I won’t write too much. I’m actually not interested in this end of it, but I have a great enroller/sponsor (Angela Bickford) who would be more than willing to fill you in on the details. Let me know if you want more information and her contact information.

What oils should I start with?

Obviously, there is a reason why the Everyday Oils collection comes in the Premium Starter Kit. It has 10 of the best, most-used oils (and some of my favorites). You can read about them in the online guide.

Benefits and Uses of Lavender Oil

We originally started with lavender oil, because it has so many uses. We used it for teething and calming the babies, but it is really considered the jack-of-all-trades of oils. I wrote a post about using lavender oil that you may find helpful.
Benefits and Uses of Thieves Oil
There are pure oils and then oil blends (a mixture of pure oils). Young Living also sells a blend of oils called Thieves, which is another one that I have been DYING to get my hands on. I am able to get it in my kit, which is awesome. It is to help with all kinds of cleaning and disinfection and heading off of germs.
Benefits and Uses of Purification
Another blend that I’m excited about is Purification (also in the kit), because it is supposed to be great for keeping mosquitos away. It is also something that I want to try for clogged milk ducts.
Another great all-purpose oil is Tea Tree Oil (also called Melaleuca). We have used this in different ways for acne-prone skin (as a spot treatment, face and body wash, and as a daily face mist). We are also going to start using this for all-purpose cleaning as well. You can read about different uses for tea tree/melaleuca oil on this post.
A lot of these are safe for kids as well, which is why we are getting into it- less chemicals around them. There is also a set of KidScent Oil Collection that has sadly been sold out since it was first introduced. These are pre-mixed and diluted and ready for your little ones! As soon as they become available again, I am going to pounce.
Here are some snapshots from ADropAtAThyme.com about the others oils that come in the premium kit, just so you can see all that these basic oils (and blends) can do:
Benefits and Uses of Valor Benefits and Uses of Peppermint OIl Benefits and Uses of Peace and Calming Benefits and Uses of Pan Away Benefits and Uses of Lemon Oil Benefits and Uses of Joy Benefits and Uses of Frankincense
That’s it for the oils that are included in the premium kit. Here are some other snapshots of oils that are not in the premium kit:
Benefits of Melaleuca Benefits of Basil Benefits of Balsam Fir Benefits of Di-Gize

Other Questions

Do you have any other questions? Write them in the comments, and I will add them here and answer them (to the best of my ability).

 

 

Review: Mandala Yoga Massage Balls

Disclaimer: I received the following product for review. This post contains affiliate links.

Mandala Logo

Ever since I became pregnant with the twins, I started having shoulder blade and back pain. After a year of off-and-on physical therapy, we discovered that it was probably due to the changes in my body due to the pregnancy (something with my spine slipping out of alignment), and it just keeps getting irritated because of the leaning over, bending, holding, and breastfeeding. An exercise or stretch will help for a time, but sooner or later the pain will come back.

When I had the opportunity to try out the Mandala Yoga Massage Balls, I was excited to give them a test.

Mandala Massage Balls

They came quickly through the mail in a regular package without many directions, so I went to their website to get some information about usage. On the care page, it recommended that you wash them in warm soapy water and then towel dry (a good practice for anything new that comes into your home).

They remind me of lacrosse balls in size, but because they are all rubber, they have a bit more give and squishiness to them, which feels much better for massaging sore muscles.

Unlike other massagers or techniques, you are meant to put the massagers on the pressure point and then let your body weight and gravity take over. You don’t have to roll around (although you certainly can) to have them work effectively. You would ideally stay on the ball for 2-3 minutes to let them really work out the muscle before moving off.

They work because of myofascial release, which is a soft tissue therapy, meant to treat of skeletal muscle pain and immobility. It is also called myofascial trigger point therapy, which is very similar to the massage that I get through physical therapy. As part of my treatment, I was instructed to use a tennis ball to help pinpoint the painful area and put pressure on it. Let me tell you, however, that these work so much better! The flexibility that they have, mixed with the firmness helps to put the right amount of pressure on the pain.

Mandala Tight Hip Flexor

Mandala Foot Pain Release

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Mandala-Myofascial-Release-Lower-Leg-1

 

 

For more information, check out the following:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theyogamassageball

 

Website: http://www.theyogamassageball.com

 

Tips: http://www.theyogamassageball.com/tips/

 

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MANDALA YOGA MASSAGE BALLS

Thanks again for ordering from Mandala the Yoga Massage Ball.

Upon receiving your new set of Mandala Yoga Massage Balls, we recommend taking a moment to give them a quick wash in warm soapy water and towel dry.

Made of solid vulcanized rubber, Mandala balls are ready to use right of the box.  Giving them a wash, though, will ensure 100% hygiene for personal use. As you continue to use and enjoy your Mandala balls, repeat this easy cleaning process to maintain the highest level of hygiene…another great benefit to using Mandala balls.

If you have any questions about care, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Mandala.

 

 

Guest Post: Redoing a Vanity for Under $50

I am so excited to share a post written by my sister-in-law, Lauryn. She and her husband (Tim’s brother, Kevin) just bought their first house and have been amazing with their home renovations. I really hope that she will do some more guest posts, as they have done a great job!

Vanity Before-After (1)

Hello fellow blog readers! Dory (my sister-in-law) asked I write a post on my husband’s and my recent DIY of my vanity. We moved into our first home just a couple months ago and I finally have room to have a vanity again! My mom picked this one up at an antique shop in Warrenton, VA, and brought it down once we moved in.

Vanity Before - DoyleDispatch.com

The vanity is in great shape including the huge mirror attached! It sat in our garage for about a month until we decided to try our hand at painting furniture.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • vanity : a gift but was $230
  • two orbital sanders (if you have a helper): borrowed for free
  • medium grit sandpaper: borrowed for free
  • paint: $30 (we overestimated and only used ~$15 worth)
  • brushes: already had
  • stencil of your choice: $12 (but came in a packet with others)
  • paint of your choice (for stenciling): $2
  • painter’s tape: already had
  • foam paint brush: $5
  • drawer pulls (to jazz it up): $67 for 6 pulls

Total for project with vanity: $346

Total for project without vanity (using a piece of furniture on hand): $116

Kevin borrowed his dad’s two orbital sanders and we went to work on the vanity first, turning it over on its sides to make sure we sanded underneath and any hard-to-reach crevices. Several times, for the more intricate or thin parts of the vanity, we went ahead and just used a piece of sand paper (medium for the entire piece).
 Next up came the drawers: these we whizzed through as the finish was only on the front. We went ahead and sanded the sides and the inside lip of the drawers. Once completely sanded we broke out the paint (Saffron Strands by Behr) and went to town. We skipped the primer (it’s included in the paint) and applied two coats. Continuing with the drawers we painted the front, inside lip and sides again with two coats.

Vanity Painted - DoyleDispatch.com

Then I realized just how mustardy yellow it really was and DID NOT like it. (The fluorescent light in the garage didn’t help either). I didn’t think the whole “just-one-color” thing through and found it to be just wayyy to grandma-y (yes, that’s a word) looking with the shape of the vanity and the mustard yellow.

I spoke with my mom that night and explained we sanded and painted the vanity but the color was just too bold and how I was going to sand it again the next day to re-paint it. She suggested white washing the vanity with a cloth just to subdue the color which gave me an idea! I headed to Michael’s the next day to pick out a stencil for the front. I really like the moroccan print lately so I found a stencil with this pattern then headed to Home Depot and picked up a jar of Martha Stewarts Metallic Paint in Thundercloud. I headed home and out to the garage. Kevin and I decided to try something new again, stenciling furniture.

Vanity Supplies - DoyleDispatch.com

Kevin wanted to be very precise with the stenciling so he measured out the center for each drawer then placed one of the shapes in the middle (so the middle of the drawer would have a centered shape). Once all the centers were found, I went ahead and taped the stencil down with some blue painter’s tape and was sure none of the stencil was lifting up off the curved shape of the drawer. Once the area was covered using Martha Stewart’s foam brush, I quickly lifted the stencil and let it dry for a couple seconds while I grabbed the next drawer. This went on for six drawers. Once I was through I grabbed the first drawer I worked on and placed the stencil over just two or three of the stenciling I had done prior in order to line up the shapes and proceeded to cover the remainder of the drawer (which involved repeating this last part 3 times).

DIY Vanity Stencil - DoyleDispatch.com

We moved everything up to our master bedroom once it was fully dry. I still wanted to get pulls for the drawers but hadn’t picked them up yet. A couple weeks and an Anthropologie 20% off sale later, we now have some pretty snazzy drawer pulls on the vanity! It was really easy to install the pulls because we had already found the center of the drawer, all we had to do was find the middle shape and drill away! This removed the risk of not having the pulls lined up once the drawers were stacked, too.

Vanity Completed - DoyleDispatch.com

I hope this encourages anyone who is putting off either painting furniture or stenciling furniture! All you need is a couple afternoons (and an extra pair of hands certainly helps the process go a bit faster)!

Tips:

  • Do not skip the sanding step. It’s time-intensive but worth not having a “gunky/thick” feeling/look to the furniture
  • Skip the primer step since you’re sanding, more than likely you’ll need two coats of paint regardless
  • If possible, use two sets of hands :)
  • Remove the stencil once painted after a couple seconds and move onto the next one drawer. By the time you’re through with each set of stenciling move back to the first drawer as the thin coat of paint dries quickly!
  • Be sure to center the stencil by measuring each drawer so the stencils line up

 

Isn’t the “after” just amazing?! I love how it turned out! Thanks so much, Lauryn, for this great tutorial! Make sure to check out her new blog From NOVA to SWVA! Yay! My blogginess is rubbing off on more family members!

The End of Nursing?

I made it 9 months breastfeeding twins. I think that that is an amazing statement. It wasn’t without its road bumps, tears, pain, and desire to give up. But I made it 9 months. Occasionally we throw in a bottle of formula, but my babies were almost exclusively breastfed (or drinking pumped breast milk) for 9 months. As I write that, I need to let that sink in.

I wonder, sadly, if I am nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey. Lately, I have been dealing with many bites, pulls, pinches, kicks, hits, clogged ducts, and milk blisters. I enter each nursing session with apprehension. Will this be the time that they bite me until I bleed? Those 4 baby teeth are sharp! I feel like they can sense this hesitancy and it is effecting our session. Instead of cuddling and bonding, I am fighting flailing legs and arms, the twinkle in their eyes right before a chomp, the quick push away when they have finished after only 30 seconds, and the pain of engorged breasts because I wasn’t emptied.

Oh, and no, I can’t pump to empty myself after each nursing session. I have two mobile twins to chase after and play with.

So part of me wants to be done. I made it 9 months.

But it’s not my 12 month goal. There’s something satisfying about making it a full year, right? I mean, I am stubborn, and it would be great to make it 12 months with twins! Plus, not all of the sessions are that bad. Some are still sweet and full of cuddles. I now get that one-on-one attention with each baby. We have developed our own nursing language, full of eye flirts and sounds and Audrey patting me on the back when she’s done (“Good job, Mommy”) and David blowing raspberries to signal his completion. Am I really ready to give this up? Plus, sometimes they will come and attack me and grasp at my chest while we are playing, and then I know that they want to nurse. Can I deny them that?

So I don’t know. I’m ready but I’m not. I’m excited to get back to my normal bras and my wardrobe that hasn’t fit me because of my over-enlarged breasts. I’m ready to feel like I could escape for a full day and not have to pump to relieve myself. I’m ready for this next step in our relationship as mommy and babies. But I’m also loving those last few sweetnesses that we are finding with nursing. I’m so conflicted.

#CampTucker2014

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Each year, my family (the Tucker side) gets together for our annual reunion in Lake Guntersville, Alabama, for “Camp Tucker.” With our ever-growing family, we never know who is going to make an appearance, but we always manage to have lots and lots of fun on the water and with “camp activities.” Enjoy the rundown of this year’s festivities!

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The Trip to Alabama

Most of the time, we have no problem taking the 10-hour drive in one day. With two 8-month-olds, however, we planned on stopping after about 6 or 7 hours to stay the night in a hotel. Once we were about 5 hours in, however, we decided that we wanted to try and make it the whole way, in order to save on money and effort when you have all that baby gear to cart inside a hotel.

We left our house right at the first nap time, which worked out great for our morning last-minute packing. We decided to stop off at our brother- and sister-in-law’s house in Christiansburg for a play/food break, which was about 3 hours into the trip. The last 30 minutes were a little dicey, as Audrey really wanted to get out of the car seat at that point, but we made it. With red eyes, the moment I pulled Audy Bug out of the seat, she immediately started laughing and flirting with us all. David didn’t understand why she was so unhappy in the first place, but he flirted with everyone too.

After that break and family time (along with lunch for all of us), we hit the road again and later stopped at a rest stop about 3 hours later. We climbed a hill to a pavilion where I could nurse in private, the babies could play in the shade in their new pack-and-play (Summer Infant’s Pop n Play), and we could also go to the bathroom.

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We packed our own food, so we didn’t have to stop for ourselves, and that saved us some time. We stopped just once more, when it was close to the normal bedtime. We fed the babies with solids and nursing, and then we put them back in their car seats. As we drove down the road, we recited their bedtime books (that we know by heart), and after a couple tears (“We aren’t really supposed to fall asleep here are we?”), they were out.

We arrived at the lake at about 9:30 PM Lake Time (10:30 Eastern), and we let the babies stay up until my uncle (Uncle Steven/Stinky) and my cousins arrived. They got to meet the twins briefly, and then it was time for bed.

Sleeping Arrangements

For most of the trip, we slept in the same room as the twins, and we realized that that was HARD. We put them to bed and then had to be really quiet when it was our time to go to sleep. Plus, during naps, we couldn’t go into our room at all. This meant that we were really spread out. We had their gear and our clothes in their room, our toiletries in my parents’ bathroom, our shower things in a downstairs bathroom, and my pumping supplies in my parents’ bedroom. For the last two days, once the house quieted down a bit (and some of our campers left), we all moved downstairs to our normal room when we stay there, and we let the babies sleep in the empty room across the hall. This was much better for all 4 of us to sleep.

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The Meals

Camp Tucker is all about eating, and this year was no different.

We went to Huddle House for breakfast 3 different times (only 2 days we didn’t have breakfast there). While there, the twins tried grits for the first time! They weren’t crazy about the texture, but they kept asking for more, despite making “yucky” faces.

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My brother Josh was a rockstar and became our designated highchair holder and carrier, because we brought these chairs with us to all of the restaurants. We loved our new Ciao Baby high chairs!

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While the babies didn’t enjoy this, we also got Char Burgers at least twice (although I could have eaten them for every meal). They are delicious burgers, hot dogs, fries, and milkshakes!

On a trip to Huntsville one day to go to Costco and visit the cemetery where my grandparents are burried, we also stopped at Gibson’s BBQ, where we used to always go with my family growing up. It hasn’t changed much, but the food is great! Here is where David and Audrey got their first taste of BBQ. They loved it, and we had to stop them eventually!

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Many more meals were eaten on our back screened in porch. The weather was perfect!

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Everywhere we went, we had our travel Ciao Baby high chairs, and we got so much positive feedback about them. They really were the perfect travel high chairs to bring along!

The Activities

When we are at the lake, we are always busy moving from activity to activity. Usually it is food, then a trip to Mike’s, then a trip to Lowe’s, then more food, then out on the water, then food, then hanging out on the back porch. This Camp Tucker was similar, except we chose to stay on land because of the babies.

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One of the nights, we always have an “Awards Ceremony” that centers around someone, where they get all kinds of gifts. We don’t know who will be the recipient(s) until we arrive, but then it just make sense. This year, my Aunt Liz was the lucky “winner,” as it was her birthday. Check out the toilet glasses that we found at Mike’s for her!

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As I mentioned before, we took our annual trip to the cemetery where my grandfather and grandmother Papa Bill (William Daniel Tucker, Jr) and Gran Chloe are buried. We visit them each time we come to Alabama, and this was a special trip because we were able to bring the entire next generation. The picture below has 3 William Daniel Tuckers (#2, #4, and #5… We should have taken a picture of my dad as well to get 4 of the WDTs!).

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If you know my dad, you know that he has a thing for flamingos (Does anyone remember this post from last year?). One of the Camp Tucker jobs was to set out all of the metal flamingos (and other birds) and display them. Tim and I had fun finishing this to surprise him.

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Each year, we add to our picture wall. I have had so much fun over the years being the official camp “photographer” and adding a couple of pictures to the wall. Pretty soon we will have to extend it to another wall entirely!

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The big event of Camp Tucker 2014 was decorating the big lure that my dad procured from a local artist. It was previously decorated, but we painted over it and made our own creation. We are pretty fond of it!

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The Other Fun

My dad has a list for each of us when we are at the lake. I was able to complete mine, even though things constantly got added to it!

After everyone left, we were able to take the babies out on the boats, and they actually enjoyed themselves!

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I was also able to sneak away for a jet ski trip with my brother, since I couldn’t go out last year (being pregnant with twins and all). We took a “tour” of the lake like we used to do on the first day that we arrived. Of course, that was when he couldn’t drive a boat by himself and I got to control the speed. It’s a little different when he is 19 and a lot more adventurous than I am!

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Baby Playtime

We were lucky to have very mild weather for an Alabama summer. This meant that we could be outside ALL THE TIME on our back screened-in porch.


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I made these Camp Tucker onesies for the twins, complete with our official logo and motto. They sat in Papa’s chair to take these pictures!

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Right at about the time we went on our trip, Audrey and David really started talking and laughing with each other. While their play may look like it hurts the other one, they don’t mind at all. They laugh and laugh at each other all day long.
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In their 2nd bedroom, the ceiling fan cord hung down, so that when Tim picked up A and D, they loved looking at it. This was about the time that Audrey started saying “va va va” for anything shiny and jewelry-like. This cord was definitely a “va va va va!”

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While at a trip to Walmart, I found this $10 Cabbage Patch Kid dressed up like a dog (looking very much like our Lucy). I quickly got it for Audrey, and once it was cleaned, she proceeded to give it many many kisses. We have now named it Desi (you know, like Lucy and Desi?).

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On our last morning there, we dressed up Audrey and David in the same Snoopy life jackets that all of us had worn as babies. No wonder all of the babies screamed bloody murder when they put them on. They were so tight that we didn’t even bother zipping them up. Thank goodness we had bought our own for this year!

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We also entered the world of the Squiggle Monster during the trip. This was one bedtime where they just would not stay still. Notice how Audrey has thrown herself over David to get to the book.

 

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The Family

We had the largest gathering of campers than in many past years. Although not everyone could make it, we had a lot of people come! I’m sorry I don’t have pictures with everyone in this section. I wasn’t the best Camp Tucker photographer this year!

My under Steven and my Dad (along with his dogs Max and Winston):

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My younger brother Josh (with David and The Lure):

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My nephew Liam:

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And my dad again with the babies. Lots of walking, cuddles, and even a bit of pine needle for David. He’s such a great grandfather!!!

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My Aunty Julie was there (pictured with Audrey) with her husband Erica and son Ethan:
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Sadly not pictured: my cousins Ashley or Ryan, my brother Tee and his girlfriend Megan, or Uncle Lee and Aunt Liz and their two kids.

The Views

There is nothing more relaxing than this lake! 
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The Drive Home

On the way home, we stopped at Kevin and Lauryn’s house again and stayed overnight. The next day, after a leisurely wakeup, we stopped at Virginia Tech for a quick view and to pick up some outfits for football season!
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Top 10 Mom of Multiples Blog!

Thank you thank you thank you! I have been voted as #8 of the Top 10 Moms of Multiples Blog by Voiceboks. You can see the voting results here and their announcement post here!

Thanks for all of your support!

 

Liebster Award 2.0

Liebster Award

Yay! I am so thrilled that I have received the Liebster Award for a second time by a new-to-me blogger (you can read about my winning it the first time here). Jane from My Squeaky Sneakers is someone that I have recently started following, and I love her blog. It is different than the crafty and twin blogs that I usually follow, but her content and writing style is so wonderful and easy to read. I highly encourage you to check her out!

To quote Jane’s award post[The Liebster] is an award that has become quite well-known in the blogging community that helps blogs with great content but lower numbers of followers to get their names out there and pay it forward to some of their favorite bloggers. It is awarded by one blogger to another along with a series of questions to answer so your followers can get to know you better.

The award post from the recipient (me) starts with the questions (and my answers) that the awarder (Jane) has posed to her recipients:

1. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

Technically, I have been blogging since 2004, when I started some blog my freshman year of college. I wrote 3 posts, and I can’t even tell you what the web address of that is. Sorry. After a long absence, I started blogging with my wedding planning blog in 2007 with BrideSaver. I then started this blog at www.timanddory.wordpress.com in 2009 and moved it to www.doyledispatch.com in 2013.

2. What is your favorite kind of workout?

I looooooove yoga and Body Flow, but I haven’t been able to do them too much lately due to an injury to my shoulder blade. It is (hopefully) on the mend, however, so I hope to get back to a scheduled workout time to finish losing the pregnancy jelly belly.

3. If you could go anywhere on earth for a vacation, where would you go?

Europe. I know that is broad, but I would want to do the touristy history of England, the cheese tasting in France, the history and art of Italy, the culture of the Vatican, and the beaches of Greece. To top it off, I would want to take a boat to get over there, since I’m terrified of flying. That’s not too much to ask for, right?

4.What is your favorite song to run to?

Although I am NOT a runner, I have always been motivated to a high-speed workout on the eliptical to “American Idiot” by Green Day. It always pushes me to go a little harder.

5. What was the last movie you saw in theaters? Did you like it?

Now, before I answer, please remember what my last year and a half has entailed… twin pregnancy and raising twin infants….

“Les Miserables” and “Lincoln” (I saw them within days of each other). You can read my loooooong review of Les Miserables here.

6. What is your favorite healthy recipe?

My lentil soup recipe. Hands down. Amazing!

7. What is one of your blogging goals for 2014?

I have a couple: #1: I want to write content that is helpful and seen by others. You have no idea how amazing it is to get a comment by someone I have never met to tell me “thank you” for what I wrote because it helped them in their lives. I love that. #2 More comments. I want to see more people respond to what I write. #3 A consistent number of high views. I had 14,000 views in January and 11,000 in February and then again in March. I want to get it back up and keep it there. How it got that high is a mystery, but I’m working at more exposure (just because I’m competitive with myself and I like a challenge).

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

In 5 years, I hope that I am still writing and crafting, but doing more with my twins (who will be close to entering kindergarten… yikes!). I am really excited for us to do things out and about Richmond once they are a bit more mobile, and I can’t wait for that phase (although I love each phase they’ve been in so far too). I really love being a SAHM, and I don’t want that to change. In 10 years, I hope that we have moved to our forever country house and that I have it mostly decorated and filled with meaningful items. I want a big huge craft room and playroom for our family and a pool and land for Lucy and the kids to run around. As for a “job” at that point, maybe I will have returned to work in some capacity, or maybe I am still working from the home. Either way, as long as I’m happy with what I’m doing and doing my part to support our family, that is what I want to do.

9. If you could choose one life lesson to tell your children one day, what would it be?

No matter what, do your best to stay positive and let others see that positivity. It’s ok if you have a bad day. It’s ok to wear your emotions on your sleeve. Just be careful with what you show. If you are always complaining or negative, that is how others will view you. Is that really what you want to be seen to the world? Probably not. Yes, you can be real and true to your feelings, but be smart about what you put out there.

10. Who’s side are you on, Peeta’s or Gale’s? Why?

I love this question. Gale! Peeta, while I really really want to root for him, is just too complain-y and weak. Plus, Gale reminds me of Tim, and I do love my husband!

11. What is your favorite thing about having a blog?

The feeling of being able to reach out to people, whether they are “real” people that I meet around town or online in the blog world. By being willing to put my life out there (and have people read it), it has given me the confidence to approach people and tell them about my blog (and even hand out my card to complete strangers). Hey, I’m already a semi-celebrity when I’m out with the twins. Why not use it to promote myself a little bit?

 

Now it is my turn to pass it on! The blogs that I have selected are:

2 Bears and Counting

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Being Frankenfield

Loose Shoelaces

Snappy Casual

That Mama Jama

The Nest Effect

The Triple(t) Threat

Twin Trials and Triumphs

What’s Up Fagans?

And my questions for these bloggers to answer:

1. What is your biggest frustration with other people’s grammar?

2. Germophobe or germophile?

3. Glue gun or sewing?

4. What was your favorite grade in school and why?

5. If you could do anything other than your current job, what would it be?

6. If money were no object, where would you live?

7. Describe your dream house.

8. What is one thing on Pinterest that you would absolutely love to make/own/do?

9. Where is your favorite local place to shop?

10. What is your worst habit?

11. What book, TV,  or movie character fits you to a T?

 

Now you can pass the Liebster Award to some of your favorite bloggers.

I can’t wait to see your posts! When you post it, would you please copy the link in the comments here?

Another note from Jane: There are many variations of the rules that I have found out there, so as long as you pay it forward and keep this awesome award going, you should be fine! For some variations of the rules and to learn more, check out this post on WordingWell.com that I found very helpful.

Congrats to the new Liebster Award recipients! Thank you, Jane, for passing it on to me!

Sponsored: Huggies Costco Promotional Coupon

Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

If you are a member of Costco and a mom to a diaper-wearing baby, I would highly encourage you to visit your local Costco Warehouse sometime between August 7-31, 2014. They are running a promotion where you can get $6 off of Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and $5 off of Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. These are the diapers and wipes that we use, and you can bet that we will be going there in the next couple of weeks to stock up! Please note that the $6 and $5 savings are available to any Costco member, not just to those reading this post.

As a mom and especially as a MOM, we look for coupons wherever we can. I was never big on couponing before the babies were born, but having two little ones (at once) is quite expensive! Between double the diapers, wipes, cribs, play pens, toys, food, formula, bottles, etc., having twins is expensive! Whoever said “two for the price of one” did NOT mean that for multiples! We hardly ever buy anything at full-price, and it has helped us save hundreds (if not close to a thousand dollars already) because of these savings. So, for the disposable items that we know we will need to use, we have no problem getting lots of extra and storing them in our garage, if the sale is good enough. If for some reason the twins outgrow the diaper size before we can open the box and use them, we can return the box and exchange it for a larger size, and we still have saved so much money!!!

For more information on the Huggies products, check out the Huggies website or their Twitter account @Huggies. You can shop the line of Huggies products at Costco here.

Costco Members – Click HERE to register for a FREE sample of the Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day while supplies lasts, so try back tomorrow if you aren¹t able get a sample today! You must be a Costco member to get a sample and limit 1 sample per household. 

#SnugandDryPlus   #MC     #Sponsored

Uses for Tea Tree Oil


This post contains affiliate links.

I absolutely have fallen in love with essential oils. I love how well they work (at least the few that I’ve tried) and the multitude of uses. Plus, I feel comfortable using them with and around the babies. That is HUGE for me to say that (being the germiphobe and chemical-phobe that I am). I documented our uses of lavender essential oils in this post, if you want to read about how we got started.

Tea Tree Oil Review

When I had the opportunity to receive some tea tree oil (also called melaleuca) as a part of a promotion with Tomoson, I jumped on the opportunity. We have been using it (both as a diluted oil and in other body products) for about a year to help with problematic (acne-prone) skin. Here are sometea tree oil uses:

  • acne
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • dry scalp
  • eczema
  • sunburn
  • skin infection
  • itchy skin
  • lice prevention (when added to normal shampoo)
  • flea prevention in crates
  • tick remover
  • mouthwash
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • aromatherapy
  • bath soaks
  • air mist
  • household cleaner
  • toenail fungus
  • Athlete’s foot
  • skin tags
  • warts
  • insect bites

I received a giant (4 fl oz) bottle of tea tree oil from Apothecary Extracts. It retails on Amazon for $19.99 and free shipping. It is 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil (pharmaceutical grade), and it is bottled right here in the USA (Ohio to be exact). When you purchase this, you will also have access to a free recipe book, which is full of amazing uses and ideas for using tea tree oil. I will say that the recipe book alone is worth the $19.99!!!

Tea Tree Oil Ebook

I will say that I am amazed at the price and amount of oil that you get for that price. It makes me think that the quality of it is not as high as some other tea tree oils. I will use this oil carefully (as you should with any oil), but I wanted to list some of my favorite recipes for tea tree/melaleuca oil:

  • Acne Spot Treatment: mix 3 drops with honey (2 drops) and aloe vera gel (1 oz) and dab on the acne spot.
  • Facial Toner: mix 1/4 cup witch hazel, 7 drops tea tree oil, 1 cup of room-temperature green tea, and 3 drops of jasmine essential oil. Dab on a cotton ball and apply to face.
  • Eczema Scrub: mix 1/2 cup sea salt (med coarse), 1 tsp lemon zest, 10 drops tea tree oil, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1/2 juiced lemon. Rub the mixture onto the eczema areas and wash off.
  • Cradle Cap Treatment: 5 drops of tea tree oil and 1/2 cup almond oil. Massage the mixture onto scalp and leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse out with a dye- and scent-free shampoo.
  • Topical Use: Mix 10-15 drops of tea tree oil and 1 tbsp coconut/grape seed/jojoba oil in a glass container. Use to treat acne, toenail fungus, sciatica and rheumatism pain, psoriasis, gout, jock itch, yeast infections, corns, and bunions.
  • Household Cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with 1-2 tsp tea tree oil and the rest with water.
  • Earache Relief: 1 drop tea tree oil and 1 tsp olive oil. Drop mixture in eat and remove by tilting head.
  • Clean Mold: Mix apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil and scrub mold. Put in sun to dry.

Tea Tree Oil Info

Tea tree oil has the “big 3″ properties: anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. Because of that, there are so many countless uses for this essential oil. Please note, however, that it is for EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Some oils can be digested, but tea tree oil is not one of them.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Halloween Costumes for Boy/Girl Twins

Halloween Costumes for Twins

Last Halloween, I wrote a post on How Do You Do It? about DIY costumes for twins and preggers. Of course, now that we are approaching the twins’ first Halloween, we are starting to think about potential costumes for them. Of course, we know that we only have a certain number of years until they will dictate what they want to be, so we had better get in our ideas soon!

Here are some of my favorites:

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

A ladybug and a bumblebee (or a monkey)

Raggedy Ann and Andy

Mary Poppins, Burt, Jane, and Michael

Luke and Leia

Under the Sea: mermaid/seahorse/flamingo and octopus/lobster/shark/starfish/pirate/stingray

Woody and Jessie

Charlie Brown/Snoopy/Linus and Lucy/Sally/Woodstock

A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and April

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet

The Flintstones: Fred and Wilma, Pebbles and Bambam, Barney and Betty

Mario and Princess Peach

So what do you think? Any of these jump out at you? Any guesses as to what we are going to go with? You’ll find out in a couple of months!