Allergy Relief

If you’re like me you struggle with annoying seasonal allergies. They are such a pain in the you know what. The constant sniffling and stuffy nose, those red itchy eyes, and the irritating cough are enough to drive you insane.

I always end up looking like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer from blowing my nose too much and my husband complains about the used tissue piles that seem to follow me around the house. (Soooo sexy, I know!)

Thankfully essential oils can provides some much wanted relief. (Personally I prefer this natural remedy over any other allergy medication.) 

So what are these wonderful allergy relieving oils? Here are my top three:

  1. Lavender – has both anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, which can sooth swollen sinuses and nasal passages. It can also ease the pain and pressure that comes with seasonal allergies.
  2. Lemon –  helps inhibit the growth of bacteria and can boost the immune system. It can help to relieve congestion and any mucus build-up as well as  help eliminate allergy triggers in the air.
  3. Peppermint – works as an expectorant, having the power to discharge phlegm and reduce inflammation. It can relieve congestion, coughs, sinusitis, asthma and even bronchitis.

Some additional oils that also work great on allergies include: eucalyptus, basil, tea tree, RC, and copabia.

While these oils work great on their own they work wonders when used together. These oils can be used in a diffuser, made into a roller bottle and applied topically, or ingested. You can find all kinds of recipes for diffuser and roller blends on Pinterest.

However you decide to use these oils is up to you, but make sure to use a high quality brand and follow the safety guidelines.

I use Young Living essential oils. You can check out the safety information here.

Let me know how you use oils to help battle your seasonal allergies! Hopefully these can bring you some relief.

-L

 

 

 

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Emotional Spring Cleaning

Finally, after what seemed like an endless winter, spring is in full bloom. No more long grey days and no more snow! (At least for a few months)

I don’ t know about anyone else, but when spring comes I always feel the need to clean out the clutter. Out with the old, in with the new!

While I was thinking about my spring cleaning plans and all the organization I was going to be doing, I thought this is the perfect time to do some personal spring cleaning! A personal reflection, if you will.

As I was reflecting on my own emotional health and thinking about the stressors in my life, I was reminded about this article I read a little while back on toxic family members. You check this article out here.

Personally, I found this article a little comforting because I have some strained relationships with certain family members in my life and often would feel guilty for distancing myself. It made me realize that just because they are family doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my own mental or emotional health. Sometimes keeping a good amount of distance is the best thing you can do. Does anyone else struggle with this?

Now that I have my mental health in check, it’s time for me to get back to cleaning out closets. I should also probably get to work on my yard or those dandelions are going to be taller than me soon!

Here’s to good mental health!

-L

Eastern Medicine or Human Pin Cushion

This year I have been focusing more on self-care; healthy eating, plenty of exercise, lots of water, and good sleep. I am also trying to be as natural as possible when it comes to the things that I put in or on my body. Before I reach for any over-the-counter or prescription meds I try to solve any aches, pains, or ailments I may have with a more natural approach. I love my young living oils and I swear by my chiropractor. And honestly I don’t think I could live without my acupuncturist.

Holy hell acupuncture is AMAZING! I was having some additional back pain and some other pesky physical ailments and my sister suggested I go see an eastern medicine doctor. She swore that acupuncture fixed her back. I will say that I am a serious wuss when it comes to needles, but I did like the natural aspect to this treatment and what was the harm in trying, right?

OMG I was hooked after the first appointment! The sense of calm that washes over you when they put the needles in and the flow of energy you feel is so relaxing. During my first appointment my doctor did an Acugraph Scan with me to tell him where my body was out of balance and developed a treatment plan for me based on those results. I spent the next 40 minutes, 20 on my back and 20 on my front, laying in a spa like room while the needles worked their magic.

My biggest fear of course was how much it was going to hurt, but other than a few points I couldn’t even feel the needles. Who knew?!

I have been going for a few weeks now, but I felt results after my first visit. I sleep better, my back and neck pain is almost completely gone, and I can tell my anxiety has decreased. Additionally, my acupuncturist gave me some herbal supplements and made some small tweaks in my diet, which has lead to increase energy through out the day.

I am completely obsessed and I highly recommend acupuncture. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

 

What’s Cooking? Some of my Fav Keto Cookbooks

Last time I posted I started talking about the keto diet and how well it has worked for me. When I first decided to start keto I have to admit I was a little lost. I knew I needed more fat and less carbs, but how did I put food together to get a keto friendly and tasty meal. So naturally I went to amazon and Pinterest for answers.

While searching I found a ton of information and a large selection of keto cookbooks. Here are my three of my favorite keto cookbooks at the moment:

  1. The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High-Fat Diet” by Leanne Vogel
    • This was the first book I bought when I decided to start the keto diet and I found it extremely helpful. When I started this diet I didn’t really know what I was doing, which is why I really enjoyed how Leanne spent the first half of this book explaining what keto is all about and included many tools and guides. This books also includes five 28-day meal plans a ton of tasty recipes.
  2. Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking” by Maria Emmerich
    •  I love this book because these recipes are simple and fast, which is a good thing for those who don’t have a ton of time to cook full meals every night. The last thing I want to do after a long day of work is stand over the stove for an hour. If Mushroom Ragu, Chicken Alfredo, Skillet Lasagna or keto friendly desserts sound good to you then this is a book you want to add to your collection.
  3. Keto Restaurant Favorites” by Maria Emmerich
    • One thing I tend to miss on this diet is eat out a certain restaurants. I especially love Italian and Mexican food. So when I started Keto I was a little sad to be giving up pasta, enchiladas, burritos and chips. This book is awesome because it shows you how to make those dishes keto friendly!

These are only three of the many amazing keto cookbooks out there so I encourage you to explore and find one you love! Let me your favorites.

-L

Gallery

Houston Strong

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a 6 day missions trip to Houston, TX to help with hurricane relief after hurricane Harvey. A group of about 60 people, from my church and surrounding churches, packed up our tools and headed down to Houston to lend a hand where ever we were needed. I have done plenty of volunteer work, but this was my first missions trip so I wasn’t really sure what I was in for.

On the first day I laced up my pink work boots, threw on my tool belt and headed out to our worksite eager to jump in.I was shocked to see how much work is still needed in Houston and how bad things still are in some areas after 6 months having gone by. While I can swing a hammer, I really have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to helping rebuild houses so I wasn’t sure what I would be doing. But hey anyone can learn right?

In fact, I learned A LOT. We hung dry wall, corner bead, mudded, and taped. We loaded and unloaded trucks packed with donated items. We threw out old drywall, fixed house siding, hung doors, rewired houses and made many trips to Homedepot. We did it all and I have to say it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only was I able to help those in need, but I met some really amazing people. Some of whom I will continue to stay in touch back now that we are back home.

This trip made me realize how truly blessed I really am. Even when things are going wrong and I am having a bad day it could always be worse.

Check out some of my pics from the trip!

 

If you get a chance to go on a missions trip I highly recommend it. I can’t wait for my next one!

-L

A 2017 Christmas

Another Christmas has come and gone and now it’s time to prepare for a new year. As my husband and I put away the Christmas decorations I found myself feeling a little sad. No more tree, no more twinkling lights wrapped around the bannister, and no more presents waiting to be unwrapped. This also means it’s almost time for me to head back into the office… (Early mornings, blah).

We had a pretty low key, but enjoyable Christmas. My parents and sister stayed in Kansas so it was just myself, the hubs, and pups on Christmas morning. The dogs were very excited that Santa Paws brought them new Rae Dunn food/water bowls and of course lots of treats. After opening our presents we enjoyed some cinnamon roll french toast casserole by the fire. (The casserole was amazing and super easy to make. Check it out!)

Later in the afternoon we heading to the Hub’s parents house to exchange gifts with the rest of the family and stuff our faces with prime rib. We spent the rest of the evening playing games.

While I am sad to see another great Christmas come to an end I am excited to see what 2018 has in store. Wish us luck as we are heading out in the bitter cold tomorrow night for dinner out with friends. I will never get used to this cold weather!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

-L

 

 

Cold Beer and Hot Dogs

Holy sh#@t where did summer go??! Last thing I remember we were getting ready for our big Fourth of July Party, decorating our house with so much patriotic flare it looked like America threw up on it and now I’m pulling out the sweaters and planting mums. I’m also trying to determine if September is way too early to decorate for Halloween.. (I blame Pinterest for my enthusiasm. So many good ideas!)

While summer seemed so short, it sure was a great one! Lots of family adventures, many new friends, and the good news is I only had to squeeze my busted can of biscuits body into a swimsuit a few times. (Hello wine and cheese..)

In June my husband’s oldest sister got married, so most of the month was spent preparing and then celebrating the new couple. Shortly after recovering from all the weeding activities we attended a Red Hot Chili peppers concert. It was def one of the better concerts I’ve been too although don’t be alarmed if you wake up the next morning smelling like skunk.

Our house is on the parade route for the city 4th of July parade so we had our first huge party since moving in a year ago. We had way too much food and beer, but it was so much fun. The funny thing is it had been so long since we had gotten a keg that it took about 5 people to remember how to properly tap it and this is the first time I recall not finishing the entire thing. (I guess this means we are getting old.)

Later in July we celebrated my husband’s birthday going downtown to Wriggly Rooftops for a Cubs game. With unlimited food and drinks and a cubs win in the 9th it was a great day.

In between all of these activities, plus countless others we still managed to fix up our yard, plant lots of flowers and even install a pond. I also managed to get in a quick trip to Charlotte, NC to visit one of my besties. I’m not excited to see summer go and I am for sure not ready for the cold winter weather to arrive, but I know we have lots of fall activities to look forward to.

How was your summer?

L