Hallmark Summer Movies

So, if you know me at all, you know that Summer is my least favorite season.  Living in Texas might factor into my hatred of heat.  That said, the Hallmark Summer series also happens to be my least favorite catalog of movies every year.  In order from favorite to least, I like Christmas (duh!), Fall, Winter, Spring, Valentines, & finally summer.

However, doing the Lord’s work I did watch most of the Summer movies.  Let’s do a little dissection shall we?

Starting with the Countdown to Summer movies: Countdown to Summer

  1. Love in the Sand: Didn’t watch & had no interest.
  2. From Friend to Fiance: I thought this one was pretty cute.  This was my first introduction to Jocelyn Hudon (she’s so cute!), & I usually always like Ryan Paevey movies.
  3. Sailing into Love: I liked this one more than I thought I would.  I’m not typically a Chris McNally fan, but I really like Leah Renee.
  4. A Feeling of Home: I had zero interest in this movie & didn’t watch.

My favorite from Countdown to Summer was…Paris, Wine, & Romance!  Paris, Wine & Romance

I always love a Jen Lilley movie, & this was not a let down.  Cute guy – check.  Pinot Noir – check.  Paris – check.  Jen Lilley – check.  Doesn’t take much to make me watch a Hallmark movie, but this checked all the nonexistent boxes.

Moving on to June Weddings: June Weddings

  1. Sister of the Bride: I love Becca Tobin, but I thought this movie was just ehhh.  Getting married in Palm Springs over July 4th sounds like a nightmare.
  2. The Last Bridesmaid: I loved this one!  It had my girl Rachel Boston in it, ya’ll know she is my favorite!  I also really like Paul Campbell, but always forget about him.
  3. Love, Take Two: It was okay…I was kinda bored throughout.
  4. Wedding at Graceland: Probably the cheesiest of them all.
  5. My Boyfriend’s Back: Wedding: I really like Cindy Busby, but I am not a fan of the Jack Wagner/Josie Bisset movies.  Not really sure why, but I find them so annoying.  I was bored during this one.My Boyfriend's Back

Next up, we had the Summer Nights series:

Out of these 5 movies, I loved 3 of them, liked 1 okay, & totally did not like 1 at all.

  1. My One & Only: The was very Bachelor adjacent & I loved it!  Sam Page & Pascale Hutton can do no wrong together.
  2. All Summer Long: I hated this movie.   I’d rather have watched an episode of Below Deck on Bravo.
  3. A Summer Romance: I loved this one!  Another Ryan Paevey movie, so it had good chances.  Erin Krakow can sometimes annoy me, I can’t put my finger on what it is about her, but luckily I loved this movie!
  4. Love & Sunshine: This was unexpectedly my favorite!  I can go either way on Danica McKellar, but this movie unexpectedly made my heart smile so much.
  5. Taste of Summer: These two leads are married in real life I believe.  I liked this one, but I also did other things while it was on, so take that for what you will.

I believe Forever in my Heart will close out the Summer movies next week, & then we get into Fall!  Forever in My Heart

I quite enjoy Merritt Patterson, but I haven’t seen any previews for this yet.  Looks like we’ll get a prince falling for the beautiful commoner.

What Summer movies did you like?  Did I miss any good ones?

With the Fall movies, I’ll recap them each week instead of doing a long list like this.  Maybe I’ll do a list at the end of the season too…thoughts?

Kiss Hug,

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Hallmark Movie Favorites

Hi friends!  I’ve decided to try something new here…Hallmark movie recaps!  I mean, I’m watching them every weekend anyway, right?  Right.

First things first, I don’t know about you but I definitely have favorite Hallmark stars, some that I could take or leave, & some that I will not watch the movie if they are in it.  Let’s dive in a little deeper, shall we?

My Favorites are: Favorites

If any of these folks are in the movie, I am watching it with my full attention.  Most likely it will be on my list of favorites for the season as well.

Rachel Boston is my absolute favorite!  Emilie Ullerup & Brendan Penny are not far behind.  I love all of their movies.

My Take It or Leave Its are: Take It or Leave It

So with these leading ladies, chances are I’ll watch the movie but also be scrolling on Instagram or something.

Autumn Reeser should only be allowed to do the Fall movies because her eye & hair color are perfectly suited for Fall foliage…and her name is Autumn.  I know Danica McKellar & Lacey Chabert are fan favorites, & I like them too, but I’m a little tired of them.

My Nopes are: Nope

Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these women.  I just personally don’t enjoy most of their movies.  Candace Cameron Bure seems to own Hallmark or something, & quite frankly I’m ready to relegate her to her mystery channel permanently.

My Honorable Mentions are: Honorable Mentions

I wish Hallmark would cast these ladies more; I’ve really enjoyed all of their movies.  I’m pretty sure at least half have been in movies with Luke Macfarlane from my Favorites List.  Your move Hallmark.

Who are your hallmark favorites?  Who did I forget?

Kiss Hug,

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RHOD – My Thoughts on the Cast

Okay y’all, I’m resurrecting my recaps for this season of Real Housewives of Dallas.  Season 4 starts tonight!  Cast photo

Let me first start by saying I do not know anything about the new cast member, not even her name, so she will be left out of this post.  I also hear that Cary asked to be a “friend of” this season to concentrate on her new show.  I’m not sure if this one will be Bravo affiliated.

Let me also preface this by letting you know that I do not know anything of these ladies outside of the Bravosphere, & don’t follow any of them on socials.  My opinions are strictly based on editing the show.

Let’s start with Brandi Redmond.  Brandi Redmond

I kinda like Brandi, though most days I could go either way with her.  I think she’s funny, a bit conniving but in a ‘give LeeAnne a run for her money’ kind of way.  The baby voice has got to go.

Next up is LeeAnne Locken. leeanne-lockena

Okay, I know I’ll get skewered for this, but I can’t stand LeeAnne.  To be fair, I hate her “role” in every city of the franchise.  You know the woman who treats people exceptionally bad, then apologizes “if she hurt your feelings,” with her fingers crossed behind her back.  Then in her next confessional she is explaining how she didn’t mean a word of it, & it was all the other person’s fault.  That’s LeeAnne.  It’s also Vicki, Vanderpump, Nene, Karen Huger, Teresa Gudice, & Ramona.  I can’t stand any of them!

Stephanie Hollman is sweet as apple pie y’all.  Her husband is awful, but over all she is your typical good time gal.  I like her a lot, I feel like she is actually a good person in real life.  Stephanie Hollman

Okay, we are to my least favorite HW in Dallas…Kameron Wescott.  Kameron Prescott

First off, I hate the way she spells her name; I blame her parents for that.  Kam is basically a robot, but not the AI robot that’s going to take over your job at Amazon.  She is more like the cardboard robot I built in 4th grade for a school project.  Kameron wants to be Elle Woods (she has literally compared herself to my beloved Reese), and she might be smart-ish enough to be Elle Woods, but she will never be clever enough.  At most Kameron is a Stepford Wife, with a side of bitchy. Stepford Wife

Last up is D’Andra Simmons. D'Andra Simmons

I know LeeAnne’s fan club hate D’Andra, & I have heard that she has questionable political affiliations, but like I said above I know nothing of these women outside of the show.  I kinda have a love/hate relationship with D’Andra.  I think she is a tragic product of her environment from Mama Dee.  Her relationship with her mom is hard to watch & cringe worthy most of the time, in the Dynasty/Knots Landing kind of way.  I like the friendship she formed with Brandi last season, & I hear that she & LeeAnne fail try to mend their friendship this season.  We shall see…

What do you think of the cast?  Who’s your favorite?

My recap of the first episode will be up by the end of the week.

Kiss Hug,

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My First #OOTD

Hi friends!  Long time, no post.  I have decided to created a blog series dedicated to Outfits Of The Day (#OOTD).  Yes, I am aware there are already tons of these on all the socials; however, I am feeling under-represented as a petite plus sized woman.

First off – I’m 5’4″ tall, it seems to me that the market is geared more towards tall, curvy women – hey, they need cute clothes too!

Secondly – more often than not, I can wear a top from the Women’s section, not plus size.  Obviously, this means I’m not well-endowed with the boobs.  Lucky me…

Third – I have a fat ass & thighs for days, thus making me VERY pear shaped.

I want all the extra fat on my body to fall of & turn into cash! HAHA!

Okay, so my first #OOTD is a “casual Friday” look I wore to the office last week.  I usually keep my accessories somewhat minimal at the office, mostly due to annoying jangles & bangles while typing at my computer.  Ahem, bracelets…sometimes rings.  08.16.19

Spotted Mixed Media Sweater from Loft – $54.50 (wait for a sale)

Wit & Wisdom Jeans from Nordstrom – $88.00 (an inch too long, but not bothersome)

Velma Slip On Mules from Target – $22.99 (go up a half size)

Olivia Burton Watch from Nordtrom – $145.00 (in silver & rose gold)

Madewell Droplet Post Earrings from Nordstrom – $28.00 (vintage gold)

Going forward I’ll probably be doing a mix of me in the outfit & also like the picture above.  Please give me feedback & let me know if this is a YEA! series or a NAY 😦 series.

Until next time…

Kiss Hug,

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Park City, UT Vacation – Summer 2018

Hey friends!  So, this post has been a long time coming, but not near as long as some other vacation posts.  Ahem…ahem…my 2017 East Coast Road Trip post.  SMH.

This last summer, I was invited to visit my friends – the Ackermans – at their home in Deer Valley.  A chance to get out of Houston in August?  SIGN. ME. UP.  Maureen, Jeff, Jadyn, & Hudson spend their summers in Deer Valley, & then visit a few other times a year.  Lucky them, right!  Our plan was for me to fly up to SLC, spend a week vacationing, & then drive back to Houston with Maureen while Jeff was in Europe for work.

Day One

I arrived around lunchtime in Salt Lake City, UT, Maureen picked me up & we headed up the mountain to her home in Deer Valley.  We dropped off my stuff, grabbed Jeff, & headed back down to Park City (proper) to pick up Jadyn from Drama Camp.  Park City was setting up for the annual Kimball Arts Festival, so we walked around & grabbed a snack & a beer.

Day Two

Maureen, Jadyn, & I headed to Mona, UT to the Young Living Lavender Farm!  This was the one thing I asked Maureen to do.  At this point I was about 3 months in to my YL journey, so I was super excited to go here.  The drive was stunning through Midway, UT.

Funnily enough, when we made it to the Young Living Lavender Farm in Mona, UT Maureen said she’d seen this place several times and always wanted to stop.  We are so simpatico that we both wanted to go to the same place & didn’t know it!

We got to take a tour of the distillery to see how the oils are made; Young Living is known for their Seed to Seal practice.  I didn’t take any pictures of this part, I was too busy learning.  However, after the distillery tour were we able to go on a self guided tour of the grounds.  They hold a few events here throughout the year, so it was more than what I thought a lavender farm would be…

Sunflowers will be a theme throughout this trip.

I wish I had taken a picture of the YL gift shop.  For you oily lovers out there, it is all the praise hands & fist bump emojis.  This farm convinced Maureen to sign up for her Premium Starter Kit!  Now she’s almost as obsessed as me!

We got back to Deer Valley mid afternoon.  Full disclosure, we were pretty shaken up when we got home.  En route back to Deer Valley we witnessed a really scary car accident.  We did call 911, but we quickly learned that lots of people had called it in.  Just thinking about it now still gives me the heebie jeebies.

We rested for a bit & then headed to Deer Valley Ampitheater to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy!  If you like big band music or jazz, they are a must!  This was such a blast!

Day Three

The next day was the last day of the Kimball Arts Festival, so we headed back into town.  You know we had to do & see all the things.  We all bought a couple pieces.

Another day, another sunflower…

Later that afternoon, we met up with one of Maureen’s long time friend, also named Casey, & her family.  It’s a good name.  They took us out on the Jordanelle Reservoir for some tubing.  I happily waved the flag when someone fell off the tube.

Day Four

We took a day to relax.  Jeff taught me how to make Matzo Ball Soup!  He makes the. best. soup.  I tried to make this when I got home & it was terrible.  Sad face.

This was our view while cooking. view

If only I could have this view all the time!

Day Five

While Jadyn was at Drama Camp, Maureen & I want on a chill 3.8 mile hike up the mountain.  No biggie.  Y’all, I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful this place is.

Our view from the top was spectacular.  The photos are a bit hazy because of the wildfires around SLC & the smoke blowing in from the California wildfires.

We rewarded ourselves by taking the chairlift back down the mountain, and with a beer, herb & Parmesan fries, & street corn guacamole at Royal Street Cafe.  Don’t mind if I do. hike 19

Day Six

The next day was another low key day.  We spent our time toodling around town while Jadyn was at Camp.  We stopped by the Farmer’s Market & a few other shops.

Can you guess my favorite flower?

Hudson enjoyed a day sunbathing. hudson

That evening we hung out with Maureen’s amazing neighbors, Rida & Sterling!

Day Seven

The next morning Maureen & I dropped Jadyn off at camp & headed to Ulinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest for a beautiful hike.  We were on a mission – To. See. A. Moose.  Y’all know that I am OBSESSED with moose.  Saying I love them is an understatement.

What do I spy in the distance…moose

I’m getting closer…moose 7

The park ranger informed us that this was Martha, the grandma moose of the Moose Family that lives in the park.  Y’all, Martha was a boss.  She swam across the lake & walked along the path with all the people, Northern Exposure style.

This was the best day EVER!

And, it only got better!  That night we headed back to Deer Valley Ampitheater to see Phil Phillips & Gavin DeGraw.  I was totally unfamiliar with Phil, but he did a great cover of Wicked Game.  Gavin DeGraw was awesome!  Jeff is a huge fan of Gavin’s, so he got there early to reserve us the best spot on the hillside!  After the concert, I took Jadyn up to the stage & she got a picture with Gavin DeGraw.  She’s 12, so I thought it was time she learned how to “meet the band.”  I basically shoved her through space, where light shown through, to get closer to the front.  He sang all his classics, my personal favorites are Follow Through and In Love With a Girl.

Day Eight

We spent the majority of Friday morning packing up the house.  Around lunch time we headed to Jadyn’s play, what she had been working towards all week!  There were several scenes from several plays, with kiddos of all ages.  Jadyn’s showcase, Peter Pan, was obviously the best – she is such a great singer.  One group of kids made Hamlet hilarious.  How Hamlet is funny I don’t know, but we were dying. Jadyn got an award for her hard work for the week!  Way to go Jadyn!

Day Nine

We packed up the car and Maureen, Jadyn, Hudson, & I drove back to Texas.  Meanwhile, Jeff jetted off to The Netherlands.

It did get a little scary between Salt Lake City and Moab; there was a lot of smoke and warnings about the wildfires.  For long stretches, we were the only car going South…it made us nervous.  But, we made it to Moab. wilson arch

We stopped for lunch & did a little shopping.  Hudson especially liked the shopping.

After driving through beautiful Moab, rain, & really ugly parts of Colorado & New Mexico, we made it to Albuquerque, NM where we spent the night in a converted hospital.  Not to worry, if our room was haunted we slept through it.

The next day, we had a quick breakfast, loaded up the car, & headed off to Texas.  It was a long drive of not much to look at.

We determined that if we kept following the railroad tracks, we’d never get lost.  Once in Texas, it pretty much rained on us the whole way home.  We were so wishing that rain would make it’s way West to help out the wildfires.  We pulled into my driveway at midnight.  You forget how big Texas is, until you have to drive across it.  Needless to say, I went into work around 10a, instead of my usual 7a.

I can’t wait to get back to Park City!  My next goal is to go during a different season – I hear that the Fall foliage is stunning.  Maureen – maybe we go for your birthday this year???  Thanks so much for a fantastic trip!

Have any of you been to Park City?

Until next time…  traveling

Kiss Hug,

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There’s Thieves Among Us…

Hi Friends!  Can you finish the lyric in the title of this blog?  Bonus points if you can!

Okay, so I wanted to do a quick post about Young Living essential oils & illnesses.  Obviously, oils do not replace all medicine, but I do think they help a multitude of things that medicine cannot.

Any hoo, same as 2017, I woke up the day after Christmas in 2018 feeling under the weather.  I attribute this to traveling for the holidays, being around friends & family that I don’t see often, & being exposed to different germs elements.  I also think that things slow down at work around this time of year, & my body just breaks down; maybe it’s exhaustion, maybe it’s catching up to me, who really knows.  And, y’all, I made the biggest mistake ever…I forgot my diffuser at home when I went to Mama J’s house.  Thank God for the Thieves spray that I leave in my toiletry kit.

So, Wednesday, December 26th I woke up with a tickle in my throat & a side of stuffy nose.  I still had to go into the office, & since I didn’t have a fever, I grabbed my oils & headed in.  Raven & Thieves were my go to daytime diffuser blend.  illness blend

Let me tell you about these oils.  Thieves has been around since the 15th century, & grave robbers used to douse themselves in this oil so they wouldn’t catch the diseases of the deceased that they were robbing.  Obviously good for immunity, right?  Thieves is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, & rosemary oils.  thievesbekillingit3

Raven is a blend of ravinstara, lemon, wintergreen, peppermint, & eucalyptus.  Raven is a particularly great oil for coughs, chest congestion, nasal congestion, sore throat, allergies, & asthma.

I truly feel, that because I have religiously been using Thieves each night before bed & each morning before leaving the house for the last year, the tickle in my throat never progressed beyond that.  If this had been 2017, I would have been deep in the throws of the worst flu I’ve ever had.

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Texas (specifically Austin – where I was) is notorious for super-awful allergies.  I didn’t realize this until a few years ago, but if allergies go untreated they can progress into colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, the flu, etc.

Luckily for me, and because of Young Living, I haven’t been truly sick since 2017!  Can you imagine not being sick or getting allergies?

For good measure, at night I’ve been diffusing my favorite allergy blend: lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, & peppermint. allergy blend

If you are experiencing anything like this, or are interested in learning more about oils, please reach out to me.

essential oils

Kiss Hug,

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My So-Called Oily Life

For the last couple years I’ve been dabbling in essential oils, but went hardcore into Young Living after being introduced to Thieves (my gateway drug) last winter by my friend Keely. Thieves 2

When I lived in Austin, pretty much the majority of my life, I suffered every fall & spring with allergies, so much so that I would get steroid shots in my tush to knock the allergies out of my system.  Austin is a great outdoor lifestyle city, but it is a huge hub for allergies.  Ugh.  About seven years ago I moved to the Houston area, & low and behold, my allergies disappeared!  Y’all, I thought I won the lottery…until about two years ago.  I was lucky enough (eyes rolling all the way back inside my head) to develop new allergies. allergies

So, while babysitting Keely’s boys I had the sniffles, but told her not worry that it was just allergies.  She quickly suggested diffusing a concoction of oils while I sleep to help get rid of them.  I just as quickly thanked her & promptly blew her off…until I stopped being able to sleep due to said allergies.

I ordered an oil diffuser from Amazon & some essential oils.  The oils I ordered were not anything special and helped maybe only slightly.  I was also “guilty” of buying oils from the grocery store.  cheap oilsAt this point I was not fully onboard with the whole essential oil trend, but ordered Young Living lavender & peppermint from Keely.  Side note: with quality oils, lavender + peppermint + lemon + eucalyptus is the magic blend for allergy sufferers.  I encourage everyone with generic lavender to get a bottle of YL lavender & just smell the difference…it is a game changer.

Last winter I got really sick with the flu, like I was down for two weeks.  I had chills, aches, the fever tears (you know when your eyes leak hot tears).  Keely came by my house & dropped off a 3-pack of Thieves spray – it is THE oil to use for immunity.  At this point, I was already too sick for anything but antibiotics to help me.  Yes, you read that right, medicine still has it’s time & place.  Once I was better, I used Thieves every night on the bottoms of my feet.  Y’all, I haven’t even had drainage, a cough, a sniffle, nothing since New Years.  We are now at November 20th, let that sink in.

To this day, my nightly routine is:

  1. Wash face, put on glow serum (made from oils).
  2. Diffuse lavender + cedarwood + frankincense – best combo to sleep like the dead.
  3. Spray Thieves on the bottom of my feet.
  4. Lights out, sweet dreams.

Okay, let me tell you a little about what oils are, etc. YL

What are they?
Essential Oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plants.  The oil can be obtained from the roots, seeds, shrub, flowers, leaves, & trees and bring health & healing to the body.  The chemistry is extremely complex & may consist of hundreds of different & unique chemical compounds.  They are able to reach every part of our bodies on a cellular level.

Ways to use them:
Topically: apply to your skin or use a carrier oil.
Aromatically: diffuse using a Young Living ultrasonic diffuser or inhale directly from the bottle.
Internally: place oils in a vegetable capsule, fill with a carrier oil, & take like a supplement, add oils to food or drinks, or place directly in your mouth.

Fun facts:
Oils reach the brain within 22 seconds.
Within 2 minutes, they are found in your bloodstream.
And within 20 minutes, they will affect every cell in the body.

Are essential Oils safe?
Essential oils have been used to support our bodies for thousands of years across the world; therefore, we have thousands of years of history & research behind what they can do.  Although is may that essential oils are trendy, rest assured that they have been used for a long time.  In the spirit of the Holiday Season, two of the three Wisemen brought  Frankincense & Myrrh to the manger.

With that said, it’s important to get your oils from the right place to ensure you are only getting the pure oil & no other additives such as fragrance & fillers.  Unfortunately, there is no FDA regulation for essential oils; so many companies are claiming to have pure, therapeutic grade oils but testing shows they are not.  These can actually be dangerous, & many times when you hear stories about pets or people being harmed, it’s usually not the oil, but the additive.  how to

Scary Information About Everyday Products:
There is no federal regulation on chemicals in household products.  In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.

The average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals, per environmental experts.  We’re exposed to the routinely, from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners.  Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption, & neurotoxicity.  Chronic exposure adds to the body’s “toxic burden,” the number of chemicals stored in its issues at a given time.

Words to Know:
Phthalates:
Found in: many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper.  Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their scents, so you won’t find phthalates on a label.  If you see “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present.

Perchloroethylene:
Found in: Dry-cleaning solutions, stain removers, & carpet and upholstery cleaners.

Health risks: Perc is a neurotoxin, according to the chief scientist of environmental protection for New York Attorney General’s office.  And, the EPA classifies Perc as a “possible carcinogen” as well.

Triclosan:
Found in: Most liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial.”

Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.  Other studies have now found dangerous concentrations of triclosan in rivers & streams, where it is toxic to algae.  the EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function.  It is a probable carcinogen.

Quats (Quarternary Ammonium Compounds):
Found in: Fabric softener liquids & sheets, most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial.”  Quats are another type of antimicrobial, & thus pose the same problem as triclosan by helping breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

They’re also a skin irritant & are suspected as a culprit for respiratory disorders.

2-Butoxyetanol:
Found in: Window, kitchen, & multipurpose cleaners.

Health risks: 2-Butoxyethanol is the key ingredient in many window cleaners & gives them their characteristic sweet smell.  It belongs in the category of “glycol ethers,” a set of powerful solvents that don’t mess around.  Law does not require 2-Butoxyethanol to be listed on a product’s label.  According to the EPA’s website, in addition to causing sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, & severe liver & kidney damage.

Ammonia:
Found in: Polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks, & jewelry; also in glass cleaner.  Because ammonia evaporates & doesn’t leave streaks, it’s another common ingredient in commercial window cleaners.  Ammonia is very dangerous to elderly people with lung issues & breathing problems & people who get a lot of ammonia exposure, like housekeepers, will often develop chronic bronchitis & asthma.  Ammoinia can also create poisonous gas if it’s mixed with bleach.

Candles:
Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene & toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens).  In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes. safe

So, why did I choose Young Living?

  1. It is the only company that has FDA approved oils for ingestion.  That’s right, you can cook with these oils, or spray Thieves in the back of your throat to suppress a cold.
  2. Over the next 5 years, YL will take their global operations to zero waste status.  I love this so much!
  3. I am now basically my own apothecary.  I’ve made the following so far: glow serum for my face, body butter, “soft scrub,” household cleaner, hair detangler, bug spray, spider spray for the house, under eye serum…that’s all I can recall at the moment.

Some of my Young Living favorites:
NingXia Red: NingXia provides natural energy support, promotes glowing skin, powerful antioxidant, supports healthy blood sugar levels, contributes to overall wellness, & provides an immune boost.

One serving of NingXia Red has the antioxidant equivalent of: 73 strawberries, 100 oranges, 85 pounds of spinach, 22 carrots, 34 onions, 59 heads of broccoli, 93 apples, 33 pounds of almonds, & 814 blueberries.

Super B vitamins: B vitamins are the only vitamins that the body doesn’t naturally reproduce, so we have to replenish them daily.  Two of these a day gets the job done!  Full disclosure, take them with food or a flavored beverage if you are sensitive to smell.

Thieves household cleaner, foaming hand soap (I hated foaming soap before), & laundry detergent.  I’m trying to use up all my dishwasher detergent & dish soap before switching to Thieves.

Pretty much everything else I make with the oils I get.  My next endeavor will be in the laundry room: stain remover & EO “bleach.”  I also have some fun treats coming up for the gals coming to my birthday wine weekend in December!

I’ve thrown out all of my candles & now exclusively use my diffuser.  I’m not crazy, or a hippie – this is an investment.  It is not inexpensive.  I recommend slowly easing your way into getting rid of the toxins in your home.  replace the bad with the good.  Figure out what your gateway drug will be.

If you are interested in Young Living or ahve any questions, you are welcome to get in touch with me.  If you get nothing else out of this, I hope you now have some food oils for thought…

Kiss Hug,

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East Coast Road Trip – October 2017

Okay y’all, I am so fired!  My intention was always to post my East Coast Road Trip!  I mean it was on my Bucket List after all.  I’ve always wanted to see New England in the Fall…I blame Gilmore Girls.  Fall in TX

So, when I started getting Facebook “Memories” from this trip, I realized I never did an actual blog post!  I’m the worst.  So fired!  But, as they say, better late than never!  Right?  RIGHT?

This trip was with my friends Brigitte & Jessica, and we met up with our friend Norma – we all used to work together.  You’ll see how this all works out as you read down.  After many, many phone calls & emails to plan this trip, Brigitte & I flew to Fayetteville, NC to meet up with Jessica.  From there, our adventure began.  Keep in mind, until New Hampshire, we spent >24 hours in each city.

Here is a picture of our planned itinerary. Planned Calendar

Someone (me) over planned, so this is what we actually ended up doing.  Actual Calendar

Once we landed in Fayetteville, we basically hit the ground running.  We took off for Washington DC.  Map 1We really tried to stay at inns instead of big box chain hotels, & the Tabard Inn fit the bill perfectly.  It was old & historical, there was no elevator, our room had antique furniture, the floors creaked…it was so quaint.  Hotel Tabard Inn

Our view from the room.

After we hauled our luggage up to the 4th floor, we had a light dinner & a bottle of wine at the Inn’s restaurant.  They also had a wedding reception in progress while we were there.

The next morning we got up early & went to the Smithsonian museum.  Y’all, this was easily my favorite museum from our trip.  EASILY.   We each chose at least 1 museum/educational venture on this trip that we really wanted to see.  The Smithsonian was my pick & it did not disappoint!

Full disclosure, I’m much more of a history & art buff than science, so the Smithsonian was right up my alley.  There was so much to see & I didn’t take a ton of pictures here…I was learning.

My take away from DC, was that I’d like to go back (maybe in the spring), & go on a National monuments tour.   Also, the traffic round-a-bouts are nuts.

We left Washington DC mid-afternoon & headed north to New York City!  Map 2

IMG_0243

Here we stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Upper East Side.  It was the most affordable option & had parking, which was a must for us being on a road trip & all.  It was clean, it was nice, & we felt safe.Courtyard Marriott

See the red building in picture?  We had a super inexpensive, but tasty, sushi dinner there.  It was just a neighborhood sushi joint.  Not going to lie, having never been to NYC, I was super underwhelmed.  I thought it was really dirty.  That being said, there were lots of cute dogs, as Brigitte pointed out.  HA!

The next morning we got up, packed the car, & headed to the National Science & History Museum (Brigitte’s pick).  This place was massive.  It was also a school holiday, so LOTS of kids.

After awhile, I was kinda like “you’ve seen one dinosaur, you’ve seen them all.”  Then, I happened upon this view.

Those trees are Central Park!  This museum took us all day, & I know we didn’t see all of it, but we needed to get on the road to Mystic, CT.

I need to go back to NYC, that should be a trip on it’s own, not a stop over.  Note to self for your future road trip!

During our drive to Connecticut, it was the first time we thought it looked like Fall.  Map 3It became a running joke that every time we saw Fall colored leaves, we’d say something along the lines of “Oh look, there’s Fall.”  Over and over.  IMG_0276

One of my favorite movies is Mystic Pizza, so I asked Brigitte & Jessica if we could eat there.  I had heard that the pizza wasn’t great, but I personally thought it was really good.  What does a Texan know about good pizza though?

We stayed at the Inn at Mystic.  The Inn at Mystic

The next morning we got up early & headed to the Mystic Aquarium (Jessica’s pick).  The beluga whales were a big hit!

Mystic was quintessential New England.  I could have stayed in Mystic the rest of the time.  Definitely going back & exploring the town some more.

But, we had places to be in Boston, so off we went…to our Air BnB.  Map 4Y’all, this place was a fun house.  It was an old walk-up on the edge of Chinatown.  Obviously our apartment was on the top floor, because we never do things easy.  Every surface was slanted one way or another.  I slept on a futon & kept rolling off because the floors were so wonky.  Boston lodging is very, very expensive, but I recommend paying for an actual hotel.

We quickly dropped our bags & headed to Cheers!  Oddly enough, no one knew our names.  Sad day.  However, we did meet up with Samantha & Amanda, my now step-sisters.  I feel too old to say that.

They gave us a great walking tour of Boston from Cheers to the North End (aka Little Italy).   On our walk, we came upon the New England Holocaust Memorial, which you can walk through.  To say it was stunning is an understatement.  The noise of the city fell away.  Holocaust Memorial

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These six columns represent the six million Jews killed in concentration camps & the six main camps (there were more than 6); you walk along a path that looks like grates over embers, which periodically release steam to mimic the gas chambers.  Each victim’s tattooed number is etched in the glass.  Just writing about this is making me tear up.  This little spot in the middle of Boston was more meaningful & educational to me than anything I saw in a museum on this whole trip.  You can learn more about it here: NEHM

Once in Little Italy, we waited, along with everyone else, to eat at cute Italian restaurant that held maybe 40 people.  Samantha’s boyfriend Jay met up with us…he was the token guy.  While we waited Samantha took us to Mike’s Pastry for a cannoli, my first!  I got almond…I’m not a huge fan of anything with a cream filling, but this was amazing!

After Boston, we headed to Kennebunkport, Maine & made a pit stop in Salem, Massachusetts on the way.  Map 5We didn’t really have any agenda in Salem.  We were going to take a tour of the Witch Trials museum, but there was a long wait.  We accidentally (maybe fortuitously) saw that there was a psychic convention going on, I use that term VERY loosely.  By convention, I mean that there were three psychics in the weird arts & crafts mall.  One for each of us!  During this time Jessica lost her iPhone, funnily enough the psychic couldn’t tell us where it was.  Hmmm.

We asked a local for a good place to eat lunch, after searching for an hour or so for the phone.  We were ready for a cocktail.  I mostly remember that B & I shared really good nachos, & Jessica had a really good Fall mimosa…

You could probably skip Salem.  It was fun…until it wasn’t.

Next up, we got back on the road to Kennebunkport, Maine.  Map 6Y’all, I literally looked into how I could move here before we even got checked in at our Inn.  We all agreed that KBP was our FAVORITE stop.  We stayed at the cutest inn, The Lodge on the Cove, & it was amazing!!!  I’d like to move in permanently.

We arrived around dinner time, & we were hangry so we headed to the Clam Shack, which was closed.  We ended up eating a mediocre dinner at a place behind the Clam Shack that was less than memorable.  Sorry!  We also found one store in town that was still open, & we stocked up on Christmas ornaments!

The next morning, we had breakfast at the inn before heading into town for some shopping.  We were barely starting to feel some Fall weather here.  This town was sooooo cute!  Everyone told us to eat lunch at Alison’s, so we promptly put ourselves on the list.  Y’all, one word…LAHBSTER.  Each of us orders a dish with lobster, plus lobster poutine as an appetizer.  I’m pretty sure we ate everything, licked our fingers & the plates clean.  Run, don’t walk, to Alison’s.  You will not be sorry.

Somehow, we managed to squeeze in ice cream too from Rococo Ice Cream.  IMG_0312

After eating our way through Kennebunkport, we opted to take the scenic route to Lincoln, New Hampshire to Norma’s House!  To know me is to know that I love a scenic route.  Map 7

We stopped along the way to take pictures of pretty rocks, or shale as Brigitte, the geologist, informed us.  This was somewhere in the White Mountains.

We continued on to Norma’s house in Lincoln, a perfectly quaint New Hampshire town.

Since, it’s been over a year I can’t remember exactly what order we did things, so here’s a list:

  1. We ate our weight in pancakes at Poll’y Pancake Parlor Polly's Pankcake Parlor
  2. We hiked up a mountain.
  3. We shopped in town.
  4. We hiked near a river.
  5. We went Moose Calling.  We were looking for this: IMG_0332 (1)Norma’s friends had seen these beauties the evening we got into town.  We went looking too, but instead we learned that Brigitte doesn’t know the difference between a deer, a donkey & a llama, nor a goat & a cat.  Jessica is also the best at animal calls.  We laughed so hard in Norma’s car, I think we all left a little pee behind.  Hahaha!
  6. We did a quick little hike from Norma’s house…2 miles later…  Guess who didn’t bring tennis shoes or hiking boots?  I’m raising my hand.
  7. I collected a lot of leaves.
  8. Jessica cooked us an authentic Italian dinner.
  9. We learned that pork rinds with lime juice is pretty good. IMG_0333
  10. We found a covered bridge!

Before leaving New Hampshire, we had a few discussions about going back to some of our favorite places, instead of going back to DC.  We nixed all of that, & on the recommendation of one of Norma’s friends, we drove to Tom’s River, NJ.  He said it was one of the most beautiful places he’d been – that was a direct quote.  Now, I’m not sure I fully agree with that, but we did stalk Bon Jovi & saw some really fancy houses.

Less than 24 hours later, we were back on the road to Jessica’s house in North Carolina.  We picked up her dog Waffles from the kennel, order Thai food, & gave ourselves facials.  It was exactly the way a long trip should end.

Lessons learned from our trip:

  1. Maybe just start in Connecticut.
  2. You can pay tolls with pennies.
  3. Don’t attempt to move heavy furniture by yourself.

Next time I go to the East Coast, I will be making my way around Connecticut for a Gilmore Girls experience…I’ll probably be on that trip alone.

Once again, I apologize that this is soooooooooooo late.  If you have great places I should see the next time I go to the East Coast, please share!

Kiss Hug,

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What’s Up Wednesday: July Edition

WUW

Questions

What I’m eating this week…

I’m literally eating my breakfast: peach non-fat Greek yogurt, roasted pistachios, & mini dark chocolate chips. This is hands down my favorite breakfast on a weekday.  I know a lot of people aren’t into yogurt, but it helps keep my gut balanced.  I can tell a difference within 3 days if I don’t eat yogurt.

I’m also drinking a NingXia Red, by far one of my very favorite Young Living products.  NingXia

What I’m reminiscing about…

All these Hallmark movies are making me wish for a vacation, a prince, or Christmas.

What I’m loving…

I just had microdermabrasion for the first time a couple weeks ago.  I wish I could do it every week!  I loved it.  My facialist also gives the best facial massages.  Microderm

What I’ve been up to…

This summer has been crazy busy!  I need a summer to relax from my summer.

June 10: car wreck – I wasn’t hurt, but my car sure was
June 15 – 24: dog/house sat
June 28 – July 8: overnight babysat for a 2yo & 4 yo, they were so good but I don’t know how single parents do it!  I’m in awe of you.
July 10 -12: dog/house sat
July 17: FINALLY got my car back from being fixed
July 25 – 28: dog/house sit
August 2: dog/house sit
August 3 – 12: vacation!

Needless to say, there hasn’t been a lot of nights sleeping in my own bed.

What I’m dreading…

I’m dreading the school traffic coming back in a few weeks.  It easily adds 20 minutes to my commute in the morning.  😦

What I’m working on…

I’ve recently been getting into essential oils, I think I mentioned that in May.  With that said, I follow the hashtags, #YoungLiving & #essentialoils, on Instagram & I get TONS of oil ideas for diffuser blends, perfume blends, household cleaners, body butters, stain removers, body wash…you name it.  So, I’m creating a recipe book so I can just keep them all in one place instead of taking a screenshot with my phone & having to scroll through 87,000 pictures to get to a recipe.

I’m also slowly switching over from toxic household items to non-toxic.  I’ve already gotten rid of all my candles, they are SOOOOOO bad for you…full of carcinogens. I’ve switched to Young Living’s Thieves laundry detergent – LOVE!  I’ll also never buy bug spray, roach killer, or Goo-Gone again…there’s an oil for that!

What I’m excited about…

I’m so excited about going to visit my friend Maureen in Park City, Utah!  I can’t wait to be in 70-80 degree weather!  I’m flying up, & then we are driving back together.  Y’all, I splurged & upgraded myself to first class!  Who am I?

Do you think it will be like this?First Class

What I’m watching/reading…

I’ve obviously been watching Hallmark’s Christmas in July movies, duh.

Is anyone watching The Bachelorette?  I am not loving it, so much so that I’m not even blogging this season.  This is a case where we know more than the Lead at this point.  I hate that I know that ABC allowed a convicted sexual predator on Becca’s season & a guy, who is the favorite, that is clearly a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, gross guy.  It’s really bumming me out.  I feel like they are making a fool of Becca once again.  They already did her dirty in Arie’s season by filming the worst breakup of all time.  Okay – off my soap box.

I’ve been reading here & there, not as much as I normally do.  I’ve been studying for my Project Management certification, so the last thing I want to do is pick up another book.  But I did read a couple of quick, easy, & cheesy romance novels recently.

The Love by Numbers series from Sarah McLean was fantastic!  I also really enjoyed Finding Mr. Wrong by AM Madden & Joanne Schwehm – it was very Bachelor-esqe.

What I’m listening to…

I’ve moved on from Kacey Musgraves & am now obsessed with Lucie Silvas.

Download these 3 songs:
Place to Hide
Villain
Find A Way
You can thank me later.

What I’m wearing…

I have been living in my BP & Caslon tees from Nordstrom.

What I’m doing this weekend…

This weekend I’m going to the Astros game!  Astros

What I’m looking forward to next month…

Did I mention I was going on vacation???

What else is new…

Work has been crazy busy, I’m spear heading a new initiative that is supposed to officially kick-off tomorrow.

Bonus: What is my favorite thing I’ve done this summer…

My favorite thing about this summer has been the rain.  Yes, it is still hot in Houston, but it has really helped keep things to a manageable heat.  Knock on wood.  I’m sure my answer will be different in a couple weeks.

Until next time.

Kiss Hug,

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The Bachelorette: Karma is Karma

So, I made the tragic mistake of watching Episode 2 right before Episode 3, & they are running together in my head!  I can’t remember what happened on which date, so hang in there with me.

First Date: Wills, Jason, Jordan, David, Jean Blanc, Colton

The guys gave Becca & her girlfriends some pampering at the least spa-like spa I’ve ever seen.  Do you think the real spa was going through a renovation & so they filmed in the holding room for all the chairs?  Did they spend this episode’s budget on Richard Mark & the rights to Right Here Waiting?

So, Tia & Colton know each other & it’s super awkward.  Becca, clearly uncomfortable, addressed the issue with Tia almost immediately.  I loved that TinkerBekah asked if Colton though Tia was going to be The Bachelorette.  Ouch.  Becca basically wanted to know if they slept together, & according to both parties they did not.  Colton is back in Becca’s top 4 now.  Too bad she forgot Jason, I mean Joel Maisel, I mean Jason’s name.

Tell me these aren’t the same guy.

I’m betting some of these people will once again get the chance to paint each other’s nails in Paradise.

At the evening portion of the date, Jordan had some real quotable gems.

“He’s a dried up chicken.” – talking about David (the Chicken).

“You’re a skeleton of a man.” – speaking to David.  Jordan, I think you meant shell.

“Karma is Karma.” – referring to David tattling (cardinal sin) to Becca about Jordan’s 4,000 Tinder matches.

Let’s discuss the Tinder thing for a sec…
4,000 Tinder matches / 365 days per year = 10.958 matches per day
4,000 Tinder matches / 52 weeks per year = 76.923 matches per week
That’s a lot of time spent swiping right.  “Modeling” might be his career, but Jordan Tinders like it is his job.

Back to the quotes…

“You are something I would like to see myself next to.” – talking to Becca.  Jordan, that’s not how you speak to women.

“Attached to me is professionality.  It’s in the way I walk; it’s in the way I talk.  Okay?  If you want to try and wreck my image, you’ll never succeed.  And, you want to know why? Because my image is me.  Hey — cheers to you being a bitch.” – once again fighting with David.

Wills is all of us.
Wills

The best part of this entire group date was the reactions to the various Jordan/David arguments from Jason & Wills. Wills & Jason

Colton reconfirmed that he is here for Becca & didn’t sleep with Tia, so naturally they madeout a few times & he got the group date rose.

Second Date: Chris

They go to Capitol Records where Richard Marx was right there waiting for them.  Y’all they totally didn’t know who he was, right?  Also, has Richard had some work done???  Richard Marx

PS – what is Becca wearing?  That look is not cute, girl.

This date was kinda lame.  They had to write a song.  Chris’ daddy issues bubbled to the surface.  I don’t think Becca is that into him, I just can’t get past his similarity to Chandler Bing’s roommate with the goldfish.

Chris got the sympathy rose.

Meanwhile back at the house, we are greeted with lots of blood…David’s blood to be exact.  We see him being gurney’d out of the house.  Chris Harrison informs us all, including Becca, that David fell off the top bunk, face first on the tile floor, & that he is in ICU.  To be fair, top bunks suck & face wounds always bleed a lot.  Bunk beds

Third Date: Clay, Leo, Christon, Ryan, John, Garrett, Mike, Lincoln, Connor, & Blake

Football.  Lincoln sucks at drills & kinda cheats his way through them just like he did on the obstacle course from last week.  Clay, being the only player on his team, injures his wrist tying up the game.  I don’t quite understand how he did this, but he too had to be taken to the hospital  in an ambulance.

Two ambulances in one episode?  Mike Fleiss must have had such a hard-on.

Clay managed to get his wrist in a sling & headed back to the group date, which ultimately got him the rose.

Cocktail Party: Clay told Becca that he needs to have surgery on his wrist, & has to leave because his football “career” takes care of him & his entire family.  Que the convulsing ovaries heard ’round Bachelor Nation.  I suspect we’ll see this gentle giant again.

Favorite Tweets from the night: BSE3.1BSE3.2BSE3.3

My favorite part from the previews for next week is when David returns, just in the nick of time for the Rose Ceremony, with his face blurred out.  Jordan eloquently points out that David “looks like a chicken that crossed the road & got hit by a bus.”

What did y’all think of the episode?  Are we tired of Jordan yet?  I still enjoy laughing at him.  I suspect David & Jordan will e on the 2-on-1 date in two-ish weeks.

Until next time…

Kiss Hug,

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