Backyard Bliss

Getting outdoors and being in nature has shown to have many positive health benefits.  So why not embrace and enjoy the warmth of the season while it is here?  Extend your home from the inside and utilize your outdoor space.  Why can’t it be beautiful too?!

When creating that oasis these are some things to consider….

Function

First deciding how you want to use your space and WHO will be using it is an important step.  Just as designing the interior of your home you need to consider the outside in the same way.  This will help you create zones and a layout just as you would a floor plan (taking into consideration any fixed or permanent structures).

 Lighting

YES! Vitamin SUNSHINE… but is it in the right location at the right time of day?  This can come into play when deciding the function of your space.  Perhaps - you have too much sun and need to incorporate a structure for some shade.  

Aside from natural light, consider some artificial lighting as well.  There are many great options available in both solar and electrical today and it will help with not only the practical aspect, it will enhance the beauty of your oasis.  Twinkle lights, sitting by the fire as the sun goes down with a glass of wine can be very relaxing!

 Color

Color is essential, seductive and pervasive. There is also an inescapable emotional aspect to color.  Wether you are planting flowers, a garden, trees, deciding on pillows and furniture, paint or stain colors, take into consideration what is already in place.  What color is the exterior of your home?  Is there a connection to what you have on in the interior of your home?  Now, I'm not saying your exterior needs to be identical to the interior, but creating a harmonic flow from one space to the next will have a much greater impact.  

 Smells

Aromatic trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs can make stepping out into your oasis that much more special.  Take some time and put a little thought into what smells evoke that feeling of relaxation or sense of wellbeing for you.  You can also use smells to keep pesky bugs away!  Lavender can be wonderful to plant in pots on your deck to keep the mosquito’s from buzzing around.

 Sound

Nature brings us many sounds on its own when enjoying the outdoors but we can expand from that.  The sound of flowing water trickling along can be soothing and calming, adding a water feature to your oasis brings relaxation and beauty.  

Do you love music?  I DO!  Outdoor speakers are a wonderful addition when dining or entertaining outdoors.  There are many available that can fit naturally into your landscape or decor - even speakers that look like stones!

Going beyond visual when designing your outdoor space and considering all your senses will enhance your oasis so you enjoy it even more and reap the benefits of the great outdoors!  Happy Designing:)

 

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Live Juicy!

Natural Skin Care Solutions

What goddess doesn’t want gorgeous looking skin?  I’m guessing we all do!  Your skin is the largest organ on your body, but it also absorbs what you are putting onto it and more quickly reaches your bloodstream.  It can also be one of the first parts of the body to show toxic overload!  This is because when there is a toxic overload your body temple diverts nutrients away from the skin and supplies them to more vital organs like the heart and lungs which in time can leave your skin more dull and less vibrant.

How do we get an overload of toxins?  There are many ways!  There are many products on the market that contain paraben preservatives, phthalate plasticizers, pesticide triclosan, petroleum, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives just to name a few.  Many studies have shown that these chemicals can disrupt the hormones in your body with prolonged use.   That doesn’t sound great does it? 

That’s not to say there aren't products available that are made with much safer ingredients.  The environmental working group, www.ewg.org/skindeep is a great resource that rates products and ingredients for safety.

Natural skin care has become something that is important to me.  Through research, trial and error I have found some great and beneficial natural ways to keep my skin glowing.  Luckily, our skin is also a way that our body’s release toxins.  How?  When we sweat!  Our skin however can get clogged and keep these toxins trapped inside, so dry brushing or exfoliating with a simple scrub can be a great way to unclog pores so the toxins can exit the body.

Dry brushing can be done prior to a shower by simply using a soft natural fiber brush.  In a circular motion you want to bush the skin on your body from the feet up.  This shouldn't hurt in any way.  You might feel a slight tingling sensation and may notice the skin look a bit white and chalky.  That’s ok!  Once you have finished dry brushing your skin simply have a shower and moisturize afterwards.

Exfoliating the skin with a simple DIY scrub using 1 cup of epson salts,  add coconut oil or mineral oil to moisten it, then add 2-3 drops of your choice of essential oils will have a similar effect.  This helps to increase blood flow and remove dead skin cells and clean your pores.   You will surely notice a difference of how soft your skin feels afterwards.  It can be a little messy so using the scrub right in the shower beforehand would be my best advice!

Both of these methods help to stimulate the lymphatic system which is where toxins get picked up and from the blood and held.  So by dry brushing or exfoliating your skin a few times per week can really help get things moving and will make your skin look vibrant!   Some studies even suggest it can help with the appearance of cellulite.  

Using a steam room, sauna and particularly an FAR infra-red sauna is an excellent way to get your body sweating in order to eliminate toxins and stimulate blood flow.  This can also help reduce stress levels,  which is great for your skin because stress can also effect our complexions.    FAR infra red saunas can also aid in weight loss because your body likes to store toxins in your fat cells to protect the body from them, so sweating is a great way to rid them out of the body.  That is always a bonus!  Of course drinking lots of water while doing so will help flush toxins out and keep you hydrated!

Juicing is something I do on a regular basis to keep my nutrient levels up in order to nourish my body temple.  Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C which is great for the skin.  Vitamin C is a precursor to collagen, which is a protein for the skin and helps prevent premature wrinkles.  There are also vitamin C serums that can be used, as well as essential oils mixed in with your skin cream or some coconut oil.  

When using essential oils on the skin, you want to be certain you are using certified therapeutic grade oils so that you are actually receiving the benefits.  There are many oils on the market that are used mostly for their aromatic scents and in the extraction process use chemicals, thus making the oils toxic.  Not what we want!   Frankincense helps to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections, I love adding a few drops with my moisturizer or carrier oil!  Bergamot can be purifying to the skin, grapefruit can improve appearance of blemishes, juniper berry acts as a natural skin toner, and melaleuca promotes a healthy complexion.  When using oils keep in mind they are very concentrated so you only need to add just 1-2 drops.

Vitamin E capsules are also great for the skin.  It is both a nutrient and antioxidant, helping to reduce wrinkles and leave skin looking youthful.  It can also help prevent and repair free radical damage, so applying it to any pesky brown spots will help to lighten them and promote cell regeneration.  Vitamin E is also great for dry cuticles.  Vitamin E capsules can be found in health food stores, I just clip off the top of the capsule and apply as I would a cream, it does however have a brown orange tone to it so use moderately when your applying to your face.  

 

If you would like to use a natural mask on your face avocados are very moisturizing.  The oil acts as an emollient and softens the skin.  All you need to do is pit an avocado, puree the fruit and spread on your face.  Let it sit 10-15 minutes and wash off just as you would any other type of mask.  It is a natural and cost effective way to hydrate the skin!

The sooner we start to look after our skin, supply the body with good nutrition and aid it in detoxification we will be looking youthful and vibrant for many years to come! 

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Yay!  Spring has finally arrived!!!  Well… sort of, for me there is still snow on the ground, however that itch to get some spring cleaning done has come!  Clearing out clutter, cleaning, and rearranging is a great way to move energy and freshen things up!  As soon as the weather warms up it's nice to get outdoors and enjoy, so it's a great time to get started.  

Although this can be a daunting task, taking one weekend to clear your schedule and GET IT DONE is the quickest way to knock that off your to do list!  Planning ahead and choosing a time and NOT committing to anything else will ensure you are able to accomplish the task.

Having three kids definitely contributes to extra things piling up.  I like to involve them in the process and when you can get everyone to pitch in it takes the load off yourself and makes “to stay or to go” decisions easier.  It's likely they have outgrown clothing so it's a great time with the seasons changing to clear out those extra’s that wont fit next fall/winter.  

Some suggestions to make the project more efficient:

  • Make a plan and determine what you want to get done.  Laying out your goals for the project will make it easier to assign tasks and to whom.  
  • Find out where your recyclable centres are located and hours of operation.
  • If you plan to donate any items select which organization you wish to donate to, their location and hours of operation.  Some organizations will come and pick up your items if you make those arrangements ahead of time.
  • Have your supplies on hand.  
  • Start from the top down so you don't have to clean things twice. e.g. ceiling fans, door mouldings, light fixtures, bathroom vents.  These tend collect dust over time so no sense in vacuuming the floors first and then dust your ceiling fans after.  
  • Meal plan and prepare ahead of time.

I like to use non toxic cleaners in my home for the safety of my kids and reducing the toxic load of what we put into our environment.  Commercial cleaners are composed primarily of water, chemicals and fragrances.  Some of these can aggravate allergies, cause skin sensitivity and pose poisoning risks to children (and pets).   A fantastic resource for determining the safety of products in your home is Environmental Working Group at www.ewg.org, they rate the safety of just about every over the counter brand and product.  

Natural cleaners are inexpensive and quite simple to make with ingredients you probably already have in your home.  You will find many of them use the same base ingredients.  You can purchase spray bottles from your local hardware store, wash and reuse. 

A simple all purpose cleaner can be made with 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, the juice of one lemon and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.  Lemon and vinegar have germ killing properties so it's great for sinks, tables, and appliances. (Note - Don’t use vinegar on granite or marble.)  Since this recipe has fresh lemon in it you will want to use within a few days of making it, or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.  

In general, homemade cleaners shouldn't be made in large quantities because the don’t have stabilizers or artificial ingredients to extend the shelf life.  It's always a good idea test cleaners in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it's good to use on the surface you wish.  You can also play around with different essential oils to enjoy the scents you love.

Once your home has been decluttered, refreshed, and cleaned you will be able to enjoy your time outside in the warm weather tha'ts just around the corner.  Happy spring cleaning!

 

Choosing A Juicer

If you are interested in juicing you might be wondering with all the different types of juicers on the market which type is the best?  My answer to that would be the one you will actually use!

There are two basic types of machines that extract juice.  Masticating juicers and Centrifugal juicers.  Masticating juicers are more expensive and start around $250 with the higher end models ranging about $500 - $600.  On the flip side, you can get a good quality centrifugal juicer for around $100 - $150.

Masticating juicers squeeze fruits and vegetables through gears, crush them up and force them through a fine stainless steel strainer separating the pulp and the juice.  This type generally extracts more juice the first time around leaving the pulp very dry.  You tend to get more nutrients from the juice with this type because it generates less heat and friction than centrifugal juicers, therefore more enzymes are preserved.  It is also great with leafy greens and things like wheat grass.  There is a bit more preparation because the chute is smaller and you will need to chop up your produce.  They are also quiet, so if you are up early before everyone it is a nice feature. 

Centrifugal juicers use a spinning basket that shreds the fruit and vegetables and forces the fruit through a fine stainless steel strainer.  Due to the fast spinning action they produce a little heat which can cause slight oxidation of the nutrients and may destroy some of the enzymes, leaving you with a less nutritious juice.  However for the most part you are still getting loads of benefits from the juice.  They are noisier but the chutes are much larger so there is less time in prepping your produce for juicing.  They also separate the pulp from the juice like masticating juicers.  Depending on the brand and quality of your juicer you might want to run the pulp through a second time to get all the yummy juice out.

I myself started with a Centrifugal juicer and then eventually upgraded to the masticating type.  I use an Omega and have been very happy with it, juicing is a part of my daily life so I was ready to make the larger investment.  

Juicing has so many benefits that no matter which juicer is right for you, getting started and using it is the best thing you can do!  

Live Juicy!

 

Family Living

The living room is that wonderful place that families spend time together.  Creating a space that is warm and inviting versus fancy and off limits can still be beautiful and designed for everyone to use.

Reflecting on your lifestyle and how you want to use that space is a great starting point to designing a room that can be enjoyed everyday.  Regardless if it’s a new build or you are wanting to freshen up and revamp what you already have, the function of the room will help in creating the overall design.

These are some things to consider…

  • Will there be a television?  
  • Fireplace -  either fixed or placed?
  • Specifically how much seating are you looking for?  Daily family use and social gatherings?
  • What type of storage do you require?  
  • Is what you are storing aesthetically pleasing or do the items need to be tucked away?
  • Where are your outlets and switches located?  
  • What is the lighting situation?  Is it sufficient?  Do you require more? 
  • Is the space directly connected to other rooms or is there division?  

Once you are able to make some decisions spend some time in your living room and pay attention to the lighting and how it changes throughout the day.  If you are choosing to repaint you will want to buy or make large paint samples and place them on the walls to see how the light reflects at different times of day.  Determine if that is the mood you are wanting to create with your selections. 

Next think of the larger items that you want to include within the space as a base to begin the layout.  Keep in mind how the traffic will flow, you want to make sure you have sufficient room to comfortably walk around furniture, coffee tables, and such. 

If your living room is larger, creating multiple seating spaces for different activities is a good way maximize the use of the space and gives you a different experience depending on where you sit.  Think tall when you are working with small.  Emphasizing the vertical proportions of the room will trick the eye and make the room look bigger than it is.

Only bring items that are necessary into the room to avoid clutter.  Be creative with storage solutions.  Personalizing your living room with family photos or older pieces helps create a story within the space.  Some rooms are gifted with character and others it is something you will have to create.  Don’t be afraid to add some glam!  Just because it is for a family to use doesn’t mean it can’t feel elegant.  Although there is structure to designing a room you can break rules and have some fun! 

Creating a living room that is aligned with your lifestyle and surrounded by your favourite things and the people that you love is surely something to be enjoyed for years to come! 

 

 

 

 

Bringing The Outdoors In

Interior Design is the art and craft of creating beautiful and functional environments.  It’s about finding harmony in a space, this comes from the fusion of all senses, smell, touch, hearing, and sight.

During the winter months many of us crave the fresh sights of warm weather, green leaves budding on trees, flowers blossoming and the scents that come along with it.  Bringing the outdoors in, (so to speak) is a great way to help us get through those last few colder months.  

Plants have scent characteristics that can invoke specific emotions and have wellness properties.  Walking into a home with some fresh cut flowers on the table not only brings in something beautiful to look at but also the aroma of the wonderful fragrance that the flowers give off.

Growing herbs in pots in your kitchen is a great way to bring some life into your space and can become part of your decor as well, many herbs have mood evoking properties.  The fusion of sight and smell into your home can make it feel more alive and it’s an easy way to play with color and change the look without a big decision or investment.  Have some fun with it!

Diffusing scents throughout your home is another great way for it to smell heavenly!  Think of the type of mood or feeling you are wanting in that particular space, then choose something appropriate to evoke that experience.  

  • In the kitchen you may want to choose something fresh and energizing.  
  • In the bedroom and bathroom a scent that is soothing and relaxing.  
  • In your home office space a scent that is invigorating and enhances a sense of focus.
  • Perhaps in a child’s play area something grounding and calming.

You can also use this concept when cleaning so your home smells fresh and cleansed.  Making home made cleaners with Essential Oils is easy and a great way to leave your house smelling amazing instead like a chemical cleaner.  

Of course there are always spice scents that can be used as well, there’s nothing like the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven, making your house feel warm and inviting.

So the next time you are out at the market don’t hesitate to pick up some beautiful flowers or some fresh herbs!  It is a great way to bring spring into your home while we wait for it to arrive.  Live Juicy!

Let Your Home Be Your Sanctuary

I’d be the first to jump and tell you I love adventure, to travel, and experience anything new.  However, that excitement might only last a few days, or a week or two.  Maybe you can get away several times a year, and that’s wonderful, but having one place that you look forward to being each and everyday is something that shouldn't be overlooked. 

Since becoming a mom with a designer deep in my bones, creating a space that is beautifully tranquil has always been a pleasure.  Although that’s nice in itself, without all the laughter, joy, the good and the not so good, what exactly does it all mean?  My children are my world and their lives, chatter, and laughter are what really makes a house a home.  Even if it were to be the ugliest one on the block before you get your hands on it!  LOL!

Since I love design, the trick is creating a space and making it work with all the chaos good or bad.  I believe making your home your sanctuary will give you and your family a space to enjoy each and everyday.  Not just occasionally throughout the year!  

Now at first maybe it just starts with a single space or room.  Maybe it’s a bedroom with the coziest sheets and fluffiest blanket that you can nestle into and read a book for a few moments before bed.

Maybe you focus on a spa like bathroom that you can retreat to once a day to take a moment out for yourself to relax with some lavender and epsom salts and reflect at the end of each day.  

Is it possibly that home theatre family room where you can gather and snuggle watching movies on occasion that bring you joy, laughter and heartfelt memories?

Or, maybe it’s creating that outdoor space with a playhouse, garden, place to dine outdoors or warm fire to sit by gazing at the stars.  I love my big comfy swing out back under the trees where I can enjoy a cup of tea and watch the kids play in the sunshine!

Perhaps it’s your eat in or dining space where you gather for meals, enjoy being together and talk about the highlights of your day. 

Wherever creating your sanctuary begins, over time your home can truly become that in form.  Create an atmosphere that is beautiful and practical where your family can spend time and be together.  It is completely amazing when you can design your home as a sanctuary, and you don’t need to travel far to find that place of bliss!

If you are just starting out, I encourage you to think of the one place you would like to transform into that sacred space.  How can you personalize it, make it practical and functional all the while absolutely stunning and a place to retreat?  Over time it can all come together.  No matter where your travels and ventures might take you, at the end of the day, there really is no place like home.

 

The Benefits of Meal Planning

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This is one of those tasks that can be easily overlooked, but by simply taking 15-20 minutes a week to plan out your meals can be a huge time saver in itself.  When you plan your meals ahead of time, it’s easier to make your shopping lists and meal preparations because you already have it laid out!  This way you are also less likely to cave and just grab some take-out!  

If you are creative like myself, you can make it fun and write it out!  Use different coloured pens or markers for each day of the week.  Take a snap shot of it with your phone so you have it on hand if you are heading out to the market.  I like to use a local organic food service for my groceries because I find it saves me time and is more efficient.

It’s a good practice to have your menu in sight so you stay on track and be mindful of what preparation needs to be done ahead of time.  I like to include my kids and ask what they would like see on the menu as well, it gets them involved and creates an awareness of the foods they are putting into their bodies.  So if you schedule a day to eat out you all have something to look forward to, but know they have had good nourishment the rest of the time and teaches them about that balance.  

Meal planning isn’t about having everything done perfect or creating strict timelines.  It’s simply using your time as efficiently as possible so us busy moms can focus on the things that matter the most!  

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Cooking with Essential Oils

I LOVE cooking with herbs and spices, it makes the difference between good tasting and great tasting dishes.  Herbs and spices also carry a huge list of health benefits as well.  For example, parsley and cilantro are great for removing heavy metals from the body aiding it in detoxification.   Cooking with Essential Oils can be a healthy alternative in flavouring foods and beverages.  They are quite cost effective and depending on where you live and your growing season fresh herbs aren't always available.  

Essential oils are so potent you only need a tiny amount compared to dried herbs and spices.  The oils are extremely concentrated, 50-70 times more therapeutically potent than the plants or herbs they are derived from.  Dry herbs lose 90% of their healing nutrients and oxygen molecules by the time they reach your plate, essential oils do not.  What this means is you are getting a huge benefit for a minimal cost and the flavour is amazing.  For example, just 2 drops of an Essential Oil is equivalent to a full 2oz bottle of dried herbs.    

You want to be sure you are only using high quality therapeutic grade Essential Oils and diluting the Essential Oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, this helps disperse it more evenly.  When cooking at higher temperatures it’s best to add the oil near the end of the cooking process so it doesn’t evaporate.

Did you know that Essential Oils have a chemical structure that is similar to human cells and tissues?  This makes essential oils compatible with human protein and enables them to be readily identified and accepted by the body.

If you are just starting out using Essential Oils in your cuisine, simply replace the herb or spice with the comparable oil.  Start with just a small amount, one drop and go from there.  Once you give it a try you'll soon be experiencing the delicious flavour and health benefits these natural plant extracts offer.  As a busy mom who likes to make delicious and healthy foods, Essential Oils make it simple, quick, and I love the benefits it offers for my family.

The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

The kitchen is the one room of the house that is used several times on a daily basis.  It is where you provide nourishment for your family, bake with your children, catch up for the day, and gather for family holidays and visits.  Food really does bring people together.

The kitchen holds an opportunity for us to get creative with ourselves and involve our children, all while teaching them what real food is, how it can nourish our body temples and which foods that don't.  

When we get busy, it sometimes seems much simpler to just order in some take out, (and yes we ALL do that on occasion).  However, on a constant basis creating a healthy relationship with food that involves some fun, experimentation, music and laughter can be a wonderful habit to create and enjoy!

Whether you are building a home, renovating an existing one, just moving in, or want to re-organize your kitchen, think about how you will use that space.  Your sink location and major appliances will help dictate what you want to store, and where.   Even if it takes some trial and error of using the space and rearranging - Thats ok!  

These are some simple strategies you can use to maximize your space so cooking can be done with less effort and ease.

First things first!  Declutter your kitchen!  It's the first step to organizing any room, and allows for a positive flow of energy.  If you are moving, do a purge beforehand so you aren't bringing any unnecessary things into your space.

Next, group like items together!  Cooking and baking items should be kept close together and near where you do your food preparation.  Cooking utensils should be close and near to your food prep area as well, along with oven mitts and such.

Glasses kept next to the refrigerator or sink/dishwasher so its quickly accessible.  Bowls and plates near your dishwasher so its easy when putting away, be mindful of where you tend to dish up your meals.

Keeping your pantry items in one location, using glass containers or mason jars to store your grains will make it simple to layout and see what you have.  

Find a space for larger appliances that's easily accessible to pull out and put away, keep harder to reach areas for things that you may use occasionally throughout the year.  

Clean out your refrigerator regularly!  When my food delivery comes once a week I like to wipe things down and organize any unused food keeping it aside from the new delivery so nothing goes to waste!  Again, any storage should be done in clear glass containers so it's easy to see what you have and prevents any plastics from leaching into your foods. 

When things are laid out and easy to see and use, you can focus your time on creation, cooking, and spending that quality time together that is cherished the most!  Creating these systems and teaching them to our children at a young age will only help to sustain long term healthy habits and form a foundation for them once they grow and leave the family nest.  

What are your favourite moments spent in the kitchen?

 

 

 

Local Organic Food Sourcing

Being a busy mom on the go, I have found using a local organic food delivery service to be the best, least time consuming option.  I like to get my food fresh and support local farming that engages in practices that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.  My kids and future grandkids need us to all do our part to ensure they have those options available to them.  Lets face it, our soil has become depleted of nutrients due to the chemicals, pesticides and toxins that are in our environment.  

Living up here in not the warmest part of Canada year round, our growing season isn’t as long as I would prefer.  Although I like to grow my own food in the summer, it isn’t long enough to produce a huge variety of produce not to mention the time involved - I am a busy mom and food preparation takes time. 

I love that I can just go right online and select my fresh fruits and vegetables, they have already taken the time to research the farmers and their farming practices.  It tells me how far my food has travelled, where it is from, and they only offer products that they feel meet their standards.  So that takes time off my plate in not having to do all that research!!  Best part is - it gets delivered right to my door!  No driving to more than one place to get the ingredients that I need, it allows me to plan my meals for the week easier.  I can plan my meals and shop seasonally to keep my costs down - bottom line, it saves this busy mom time that can be spent on more important things than running around.

My kids get totally excited when our organic box arrives... they love to help take out the food, touch it, see it, and help to put away.  I feel like when they get to do this they appreciate the knowledge of where their food has come from, and more easily engage in trying new foods.  To save time, I like to wash, chop, then store my veggies in glass dishes so its easier for me throughout the week when I want to make a juice or anything else I have planned!

Do you think this might save you some time?   

 

Essential Oils and Emotions...

Ever have one of those days where the kids are cranky, you have a huge headache and your husband is driving you crazy?!  I think as moms from time to time we all have those moments!  

Imagine if you had a magical solution to bring calm and joy back into your home that was really quick and simple... Well there is!  I have been using Essential Oils for several years now and have experienced the benefits that they have to offer.  

Now I will tell you in full transparency my husband was quite skeptical at first.  However, over time he himself witnessed the positive effect that Essential Oils have had on our children, myself, and well, now him too!  

I started more so using them when the kids were "wound up" and didn't want to go to bed.  I would simply choose an oil that was meant to help calm them down, I found within a short period of time they would settle down and fall asleep with ease.  

As I began to learn more and more about oils and use them on a regular basis, I found how essential they really were in our day to day life.  In a perfect world we would all get the proper amount of sleep and just be happy all the time.  For the most part I'd say we are, but there is so much more to the oils than just that.  As I write this post it's later in the evening, I'm using some InTune - Why?  It helps me stay focused!  Occasionally when I don't get enough sleep I'll put on or diffuse some Wild Orange mixed with Peppermint and it gives me a boost of uplifting energy!

It doesn't matter what the emotion is, my husband laughs and will tell you, "I have an oil for that!".  There's even an oil called "Forgive" on those occasional days when it might be needed!  LOL!  In all seriousness they are a wonderful natural way to enhance our emotions in a holistic and positive way that's safe and effective!

Have you tried Essential oils?

Designing a Family Friendly Home

Managing a home that is inviting and kid-friendly isn't always that easy.  Kids are full of energy and would more often than not prefer to play and have fun versus keeping things tidy!  I have experienced this first hand.  However, there are systems that can be put into place so that your space can still feel "grown up" and beautiful, while being kid-friendly!

Nowadays open floor plans are much more common.  This is where thought and planning of storage and the layout of your home becomes essential.  It doesn't need to be plain and boring, this is where you can be creative!

Define some designated places in your home that's simple and easy for kids to put their belongings.  Using a bench with some pull-out bins in the entry for kids to tuck away their mitts, toques, sun hats (etc) and some hooks for coats and backpacks at a child-friendly height makes it easier for them to get in the habit of putting away their belongings and accessing them when needed.

Having lots of seating so that kids have space to spread out and ensure there is enough room when friends come over to play and hang out is something to take into consideration.  Bean bag chairs can easily be moved to various locations, ottomans can be multi purposed as seating or to put your feet up and can also be used with a serving tray as a coffee table.   Sectionals take up less space and generally provide lots of seating and room for kids to spread out and be comfortable for naps, movies and such. 

Choose upholstery that will stand up to the abuse that kids can dish out, as well as accidental spills - IT HAPPENS!  Choose durable fabrics that are washable.  Slip covers that can easily be removed and cleaned.  Leather is simple to wipe up.  

When choosing carpet or area rugs within a home, look for one that can take on high traffic.  Outdoor area rugs should also be considered to use indoors, they are much easier to clean and there are plenty of stylish ones available in todays market, they are generally more cost effective as well. 

When designing your child's bedroom think outside the box!  What activities or interests does your child have?  Creating a space that is not only functional but is reflective of them will more likely want them to keep it neat and tidy!

Choose a separate room or space to designate for play and creativity.  Keeping toys with storage solutions in one space will help to keep extra things out of their rooms and prevent it from being scattered all over the house.  Framing their artwork to hang in the space is cost effective and gives them a sense of pride that their work and creativity is important.  Even places such as the dollar store has budget friendly options so the investment is minimal.  It's also easy to change as they grow!

When we take our children into consideration when designing a space it ensures that us mama's (and the family) will have a beautiful, organized environment and will help to keep OUT the chaos so we can enjoy the beauty and tranquility in a easier way than most might think.

What areas in your home could be addressed to be more functional?

 

Why does "Juice" love to Juice?

Because it's AWESOME!!!  So I'm going to select a few of my favourite reasons...  When I first learned of my health "hiccup", at the time I had only heard of juicing.  I was already on a wellness journey and juicing was something that kept coming up...  so my hubby went out and got me my first juicer.  I had no clue what to do...  I found a couple recipes, started to experiment and fell in LOVE...

Did you know that the beautiful green coloured "chlorophyll" is only found in plants?  It has a unique structure that allows it to enhance the body's ability to produce hemoglobin which in turn enhances the delivery of oxygen to cells..

Lets talk about detoxification!  We all know how many toxins are just floating around everywhere, so flooding our body temples with nutrients that are found in fruits and veggies stimulates the liver's detoxifying pathways to enhance the body's ability to remove those toxins.

It is alkalizing! Bamo! Alkalizing foods are important for us, the majority of people are acidic from things such stress, caffeine, sugar, meat, alcohol and poor food choices.  It's important to keep our PH levels alkalized and stay at a 7.5PH or higher.  Plant based foods are alkaline.  You can get test strips from your local health food store to check your own PH and stay on track!

What goddess doesn't want to look beautiful?  I'm guessing we all do!  Vitamin C is a precursor to collagen, a skin protein responsible for preventing premature wrinkles.  Hey - why not?  Best part is fruits and veggies are high in vitamin C!

Juicing can also refresh our minds and cleanse our taste bud palates.  All that beautiful living food gives power and vitality to our cells.  It hydrates us much quicker than water, and by removing the fiber, you can absorb all those nutrients within about 20 minutes.  You get a mega dose of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, some of which would get trapped in the fiber and exit out, well you know where that goes!  LOL!

Intrigued?  Let's face it, you are probably not going to love your first few juices depending on your current diet and taste bud preferences.  So if you don't love it at first, give yourself a chance to adapt and see how your goddess temple feels before you throw in the towel.  Give this a try...

1 Green Apple, 2 Carrots, 4 Celery Sticks, Handful of Spinach, 1 Peeled Lemon, 1 inch Piece of Ginger (optional)                                                                                                                                                                                              

Cheers to your health! Enjoy!

Let me know if you give it a try and what you think, what's your favourite juice?