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Although the media and drug companies make it seem like every little virus or illness will kill you, that's not true. As a matter of fact you shouldn't fear sickness at all.

Why You Shouldn’t Fear Sickness

Although the media and drug companies make it seem like every little virus or illness will kill you, that’s not true. As a matter of fact you shouldn’t fear sickness at all.Although the media and drug companies make it seem like every little virus or illness will kill you, that's not true. As a matter of fact you shouldn't fear sickness at all.

Growing up I don’t ever remember being scared of sickness. Sure, it felt rotten to throw up. No, it wasn’t fun to have the chicken pox on Easter. Yearly ear infections were definitely an annoyance for me.

But sickness was never something that caused fear. Everyone gets sick. You get through it and move on.

Sick Babies

Fast-forward to when I became a mom almost eleven years ago. I still didn’t have a fear of sickness. But when my oldest was about nine months old she got her first real illness. A bug that was going around.

She was so stuffy that she couldn’t nurse. She didn’t take bottles. I was scared.

Then after a few days she was lethargic and not very responsive. I panicked. We took her to the ER. They tried to do an IV, but couldn’t get it in. They did a chest x-ray.

Diagnosis…gas. She had a painful belly full of gas from mouth breathing and not eating much. It was scary in the moment. But once we knew the reason our fears subsided. And of course she got over it.

Ever since then I’ve had some anxiety related to sickness. Especially when I have a baby in the house. Any time an older child gets sick I immediately panic, worrying the baby will catch it.

For the past eleven years I have been scared of sickness.

Why You Shouldn’t Fear Sickness

Until this year.

This year the fear of sickness has disappeared.

We have had some viruses through the winter. And each time it hasn’t bothered me one bit, even though we do have a little one. And yes, he has caught some of the bugs too.

What’s the difference? My knowledge of the truth.

Last year the kids and I studied anatomy and physiology. Even an elementary-level science book can tell you how the body fights illness.

And as a Christian I believe God designed our bodies so perfectly that they can heal themselves and recover from illness. We are the problems. Not God’s creation.

  • We have covered our food in toxins like glyphosate.
  • We have raised our kids on a diet of processed, fake “food.”
  • We have polluted our waters and our homes with chemicals.
  • We have thought we know best by using more and more drugs to override our body’s natural defense mechanisms.
  • We have tried to sanitize our world and eliminate exposure to germs.
  • We have created genetically engineered “food” to try to make something superior to what God gave us.

We (humans) have messed up big time. And we don’t even know how things are supposed to work anymore.Although the media and drug companies make it seem like every little virus or illness will kill you, that's not true. As a matter of fact you shouldn't fear sickness at all.

How the Body Heals and Benefits From Sickness

When you are sick, you get a fever. That is a defense mechanism. The body generates heat to kill the virus, bacteria, foreign invader. But we are told to immediately medicate and stop a fever…because fevers are “scary.”

Sickness is like exercise for the immune system. It’s GOOD FOR YOU to get sick once in a while. But we are told to try to avoid sickness at all costs…because sickness is “scary.” In reality you should try to care for your body daily so that when you do get sick it is just a mild workout.

Have you ever taken note of how you feel after you have been sick? I just got over a weekend of mastitis. If you’ve ever dealt with it, you know it’s no walk in the park. But now that it is over I feel amazing! You never know if there are idle viruses or bacteria in your body causing a bit of irritation. Getting sick and having a fever can wipe them all out. You get a fresh start. God’s perfect design in action…if we don’t stop it.

If we try to avoid sickness as much as possible we’ll end up sicker than ever. Our immune systems won’t be maintained, and we won’t be able to fight when the inevitable sickness finally does hit.

Bottom line – It is HEALTHY to GET SICK.

Let that sink in. It is good for you to get sick. Not scary. Healthy.

What You Should “Fear”

What is not good for you?

  • Chemicals
  • Toxins
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Lack of fresh air and sunshine
  • Lack of movement/a sedentary life
  • Too much stress
  • EMF exposure
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • Feedlot animals
  • Genetically modified food

I’m sure the list could go on. But you get the idea. We have tried to manipulate God’s beautiful creation and this is where it has gotten us. Our children are sicker and more diseased than ever before. So why do people think we need MORE drugs and MORE manipulation?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. It’s not going to happen. If we want our children to get healthier we need to change our strategy.

We Need Truth

My kids and I were just studying the Renaissance in history. It was a beautiful description of an awakening…an awakening where people started thinking for themselves instead of blindly following the crowd.

Long-standing beliefs about the world and how it worked were challenged (think Galileo and Copernicus). The scientific method was created…to keep learning and adjusting our views. Not to claim that anything is settled. If science could be settled then we would have no more need for research and learning. We’d still be using leaches for medical treatment and prescribing cigarettes. But it doesn’t work that way. Science is NEVER settled. We always have more to learn. And sometimes it is the exact opposite of what we’ve been doing.

I truly believe we need another Renaissance.

Be Fearless

The idea for this post came to me while feeding and rocking my little guy in nursery at church yesterday. My mind was whirling with all of the insanity about taking away our freedoms – our freedom of speech, our freedom to parent how we choose, our freedom of religion, our freedom to choose medical treatment.

And as I was thinking about it and praying about it God laid it on my heart to write this. And I did as soon as I was home and my son was napping! I learned in a Bible study years ago that when the Holy Spirit nudges, you should act immediately. If not you’ll find excuses and get too busy to act on it. So I’m acting.

Over the last few years He has told me over and over to BE FEARLESS. And it dawned on me that fear is exactly what the devil is using to destroy our nation right now. Satan is sneaky. He will make you think you are doing the right thing while feeding you lies.

The past few weeks every time I get in the car I hear songs about fear and its (his) lies. Every time I open my email I see my daily devotional and it is about fear and worry.

Every time I get on social media or watch tv I see the drug companies using fear to manipulate people into making poor choices.

The devil is smart. Make no mistake. He knows exactly how strong fear is.

  • Fear is the opposite of trust.
  • Fear is the opposite of worship.
  • Fear is the opposite of peace.
  • Fear is the opposite of truth.
  • Fear is Satan’s tool to destroy God’s creation and create discourse between his people.

Don’t fall for it!

Look for Truth

When you hear that there are measles outbreaks and that measles is a deadly disease, don’t fear. Neither is true. Stop the panic and look for the truth. There are a few cases this year…just like every other year. HERE is data directly from the CDC with number of cases per year (please take a look). Facts. Does it look like there is a new measles epidemic to you? I personally don’t see the need for so much hysteria with fewer cases than last year.

And we use the term “outbreak” because it is a strong word. But an “outbreak” can mean as few as THREE cases. That’s like saying if three out of four of my kids has a cold there is an outbreak in my house. So when you hear that there is a “measles outbreak,” don’t start to panic. Look for the truth. According to a CDC data sheet from 2016, the “outbreaks” that year “ranged in size from 6 to 32 cases.” In a country with billions of people do you think 32 people with an illness is worth widespread panic?

Measles is not a deadly disease to be feared. In most people it is a very mild sickness. The percentage of deaths from measles is so low that is almost ZERO. In a country with millions of people, when ONE person dies of an illness in a year, should that incite panic for the entire population? You have a better chance of being killed by getting in your car and driving today. But you don’t panic about that, do you? It’s irrational fear. NOT truth. Based on the CDC and VAERS here are some statistics you should see (if you want actual facts and not just fear-based hype).

When I was growing up everyone got chicken pox. Nobody was scared of it. So why are you scared now? The illness has not changed. Just our perception of it.

Does everyone panic when kids get strep throat, pink eye or hand, foot, mouth disease? Do we say there are outbreaks? No. Yet there are far more cases of those illnesses than measles every year. Illogical fear. Not truth.

Let’s put an end to this madness! You shouldn’t fear sickness. That is a lie that Satan is spreading.

Satan is the Liar

But you know what? He’s scared too. He knows that God is so much bigger and more powerful than he is. The devil knows his schemes can’t change God’s plans.

Satan is so scared right now. He’s throwing everything he’s got at us. He’s trying to create a culture of panic and fear.

Let’s all tell him loud and clear, “NOT TODAY, SATAN!” Take your fear and get out of here.

I struggled with anxiety for many, many years. I worked with a psychologist for over ten years to work through it. The treatment is called cognitive behavioral therapy. It is basically combating fears with truth. Fear is another word for lie.

My doctor had me make two columns on a piece of paper. On one side I wrote my fears…the lies that were in my head. On the other side I wrote what was actually true. Then I read them over and over until the I started believing the truth instead of the lies. I used logical thinking to see what was reality and what was just irrational fear.

When we know the truth, the lies are powerless. The truth truly will set you free. Free from fears. Free from worry.

So when fear is the driving force behind decisions and actions take a step back. Search for truth (and quickly, before it is all censored). When you know the truth, the lies can’t control you.

Let’s put an end to Satan’s lies and the fears they generate.

I truly believe the devil didn’t even want me to write this post. Saturday my site totally broke. That has never happened before. Thankfully I know amazing people that can help (check out The Blog Fixer!). This morning I’ve been dealing with a fussy baby earlier than he usually wakes up. I’m supposed to be working right now. I have so many new projects and usually get started first thing Monday morning. But I’m spending my time here. I am not deterred.

God is good. God is all powerful. God’s creation is amazing. We don’t need more and more drugs to be healthy. We need better care for our environment and our bodies, our holy temples. We need to live the way God intended.

When we stop fearing sickness, we can get back to thinking clearly about how to support our bodies with real food, proper rest, an active life and time outside in God’s creation. We can support and love each other instead of spreading hatred.

Fear is a liar. Don’t fear sickness. The truth is that God created our bodies to handle sickness. It is a beautiful and amazing thing to witness. Feed on God’s truth and God’s Word. Not the fears of our sinful world.

Does fear play a part in how you view sickness? Could seeking more information and finding truth relieve those fears?

How I Gave My Daughter A New Start: Natural Remedies to Help Mouth Breathing

Does your child seem to sleep poorly or wake up grumpy? There are many causes, one of them being how your child breathes. There is natural help for mouth breathing to get a well-rested child.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Every parent does it. Every night.

Before you get in bed you check on your sleeping child.

You stand there for a minute watching them lay there so peacefully.

Unless your child is a mouth breather.

Then you see covers strewn about and a child tossing and turning. You hear snoring and snuffling.

Sleeping While Mouth Breathing Looks Anything but Peaceful

Not only does it look bad, it is bad. Mouth breathing has a big impact on health and behavior. Here are some of the effects of mouth breathing.

  • Restless sleep/change positions constantly.
  • Lack of clean oxygen to the body (that comes through the nose).
  • Bad breath and body odor.
  • Sensitive teeth/chewing problems/dental problems.
  • Adrenal fatigue/lack of sleep.
  • Sleeping problems/hard to settle down/inability to nap.
  • Lack of focus/symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Mood swings/tantrums/meltdowns.
  • Oral sensory processing disorder.
  • Narrow mouth/palette.

This list of symptoms should not describe any child. But it does. My daughter included. She had displayed every single symptom on this list at only seven years old.How do I stop mouth breathing in my kids? We are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion. #mouthbreathing #oralspd #kidshealth

Why do Kids Mouth Breathe?

Mouth breathing happens during the day and night and can have a variety of causes. For my daughter the root issue is environmental allergies.

Her first symptoms started at a very young age with chewing problems and sensitive teeth. She needed pureed foods until age two. But things really started to get worse around age three when she stopped napping and could no longer settle down during the day.

We played around with diet and removed gluten and anything artificial. We saw some improvement, but not enough.

How Allergies Impact Mouth Breathing

At five years old we had her tested for allergies and discovered severe dust mite and mold allergies. The allergist put her on a steroid nasal spray. Although hesitant we tried it for a while with no improvement. So we turned to more natural remedies.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Natural Treatment Options for Mouth Breathing

My daughter is now ten and breathing through her nose most of the time. It is quite amazing to see the difference in her health, mood and behavior. She has been given a new start after years of mouth breathing.

Every child is different and responds differently to treatments. But if your child is a mouth breather it is important to figure out what works for them and find a way for them to get quality oxygen and sleep. Here are the treatments we have used.

  1. Speech therapy – We saw a speech therapist for three years. It is great for calming the body, integrating reflexes and training the mouth. Being able to do exercises at home that open the nasal passage is also wonderful.
  2. Remove food allergies – Allergies to food can cause inflammation anywhere in the body, including the nose/airway. You can figure out allergies through formal testing, an elimination diet, muscle testing or trial and error. Cut the offending foods out completely while you work on healing.
  3. Clean the whole house and clear out the bedroom – Dust and mold allergies are some of the biggest offenders. Dust mites live in mattresses, pillow cases, couches and stuffed animals. Dust collects quickly on dressers, toy boxes and bookshelves. There are some simple solutions.
  • Use dust mite covers on the mattress and pillow case.
  • Change bedding weekly and wash it in hot water.
  • Remove stuffed animals from the bed.
  • Clean the floor regularly. Wood floors are ideal. If possible remove carpet.
  • Remove as much clutter from the bedroom as possible.
  • Dust regularly in the bedroom and the whole house.
  • Keep windows free of mold.
  • Diffuse essential oils – Essential oils can provide a tremendous improvement in breathing. A blend of lemon, lavender and peppermint diffused through the night is effective for clearing airways. Purification is great too.
  • Palette expansion.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Palate Expansion for Mouth Breathing

Palate expansion has had the biggest impact on my daughter’s health. Her mouth breathing has caused her palate to gradually become narrower and narrower. We found a naturally minded dentist that focuses on expansion plus reshaping the jaw. It is not just the typical expander for a few months and then move on to braces.

There are a few different methods of expansion. We are using Biobloc Orthotropics. It is a three year process with several phases. First the mouth is widened to allow room for all of the teeth and to open the nasal passage. Then the jaw is reshaped.

My daughter is breathing through her nose more in the night and getting better quality sleep. She is using mouth exercises to practice keeping her mouth closed during the day to retrain her jaw. No more sitting with her mouth wide open!

We also use tape over her mouth at night. I know it sounds strange, but our orthodontist suggested it…and it really works! You can buy special tape already cut in strips or use a hypoallergenic medical tape. Just avoid it if your child has a cold or is really stuffy. You can read more about mouth taping here!

Instead of bad breath daily it is only an occasional problem. She is also much more efficient at eating. Instead of a meal taking an hour she can finish in about ten minutes.

Looking for more ways to figure out why your child struggles with meal times? Check out Why Won’t My Child Eat?! Mouth breathing is just one of the many culprits.

How do I stop mouth breathing in my kids? We are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.Can you Eliminate Mouth Breathing?

We have many days now of greatly improved focus and attention and with less hyperactivity. She is able to quickly get herself ready for school in the morning and stay on task at school.

Her adrenal health is gradually improving as she gets more sleep and we continue with a nutrient dense, allergen free diet. Her hair and nails are stronger. She has not had severe skin problems this winter for the first time in years.

The mouth breathing is not 100% gone, but it is drastically decreased. We are still using tape at night and doing mouth exercises during the day.

Is Your Child a Mouth Breather?

Don’t let it go untreated. It will change the shape of the face and impact overall health. Find the root problem (i.e. allergies). Then seek appropriate treatment to eliminate it.

Finally consider palate expansion to undo the structural damage, keep the nasal passage open and create a beautiful smile with enough room for all of your child’s teeth. I’m so thankful we stopped the mouth breathing in its tracks and my daughter has been given a new start. Her smile says it all.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

The Parental Stress of a Child With Feeding Challenges

As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

I spend a lot of time on the couch nursing baby number four these days. And I can only look at my phone or stare at the wall for so long. Which means I’ve gotten back into reading! It’s been great to actually have time to read again. Even if it’s usually short intervals because I get sleepy or lose focus. Postpartum sleep deprivation will do that.

Recently my husband suggested a book he bought called “Boys Should Be Boys” by Meg Meeker, MD. Sure, I thought. I’ll give it a look. After all, we do have two sons! And a pediatrician should have some good advice.

I felt encouraged that a lot of it was right in line with how we raise our children – don’t overschedule, let them have plenty of free time, let them explore outside, give them attention. Great.

All About Mom

Then I got to the chapter specifically for moms. I found a few areas to work on and more encouragement that I’m doing an ok job at this parenting thing.

And then I read one line that made me pause for a moment.

“In my medical practice, the most stressed-out mothers I have encountered are often the mothers whose sons have growth issues. If a child fails to eat well and fails to grow, a mother subconsciously feels that she has failed.”

It wasn’t until about thirty minutes later that the weight of that statement really hit me and the tears started flowing.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

After four years of watching my youngest daughter struggle with eating and being undernourished and now having another baby that struggles to eat, it was the first time I didn’t feel alone.

I’m not just the crazy mom that worries too much about her kids. If a pediatrician sees the parents of children with feeding challenges as the most stressed out, then it’s not just me!

And it’s Not Just You, Either!

To the mom who couldn’t breastfeed despite her best efforts – you are not alone.

To the parents of a child with an undiagnosed tongue tie resulting in undernourishment – you are not alone.

To the mother of a kid going through feeding therapy – you are not alone.

To the parent of a child whose diet is limited to ten foods – you are not alone.

To the parents of kids who throw tantrums at every meal – you are not alone.

To the mom who gets anxious before every checkup, fearing that your child is still not growing – you are not alone.

To the mom of a kid with food allergies – you are not alone.

To the mom that puts her life on hold to make feeding her children well a priority – you are not alone.

And to the mom whose baby screams at every feed, whose day is consumed with feeding attempts and you can hardly leave the house – YOU are not alone. I am not alone.

In her book “Cold Tangerines” Shauna Niequist describes feeding others like this:

“[F]eeding the people I love is a hands-on way of loving them. When you nourish and sustain someone, essentially, you’re saying that you want them to thrive, to be happy and healthy and able to live well.”

That is exactly how I feel about feeding my children. And it’s a challenge when there is a road block in the way.

I see other moms of little ones going out on dates or out with friends, while I’m over here wondering if I can manage a trip to the grocery store between feeding attempts. I see other families going to the beach or the zoo for the day, and I can’t go anywhere for more than an hour without a private place to breastfeed. There is no such thing as being discrete with all the bouncing, back arching and screaming going on.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

The parental stress of a child with feeding challenges is very real, but hard to understand if you’ve never been through it. If you know a mom struggling with feeding issues give her some encouragement and maybe a helping hand. She is doing such important and demanding work!

Parental Stress

I focus a lot on health and nutrition for kids. But also for parents. It’s important for mom and dad to be healthy not only to set a good example, but also to be able to properly care for your kids.

I’ve been working on my own health for many years. And it’s always a challenge during pregnancy and breastfeeding when I am sharing nutrients and often on a limited diet for baby’s food intolerances.

But one of the biggest factors in health problems is not the food you eat but instead the amount of stress in your life.

Ask any doctor and they will tell you to reduce stress.

You can declutter your house, free up time in your schedule, simplify meals and try to get to bed earlier…but you can’t get rid of your child! The parental stress of a child with feeding challenges is a permanent fixture as long as the feeding troubles remain.

I often joke with my big kids that baby brother only wants to eat as soon as I sit down to eat. So I have to rush through every meal with a fussy baby. Eating too quickly, not chewing thoroughly and eating while stressed is a recipe for disastrous digestion. Yep, that’s me. You too? I pretty much have a constant stomach ache from the tension.

The stress impacts how I interact with my other children and my husband. If my little guy is having a bad day I am having a bad day and patience goes out the window. If my four year old refuses to eat my anxiety builds and it shows.

As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

Help for Feeding Challenges

I can’t make your stress go away, but I can offer assurance that you are not alone. And encouragement that you will get through this. As kids get older the feeding gets easier. And there are things you can do right now to at least ease the problems. I outline the details in my book “Why Won’t My Child Eat?!” I have tips for breastfeeding struggles here and feeding a child with sensory processing disorder here.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Dr. Meeker.

“Mothers love through sacrifice. They act. They will surrender whatever is necessary to keep their son alive. Whether it’s intuitive or not, that is what love does.”

Caring for a child with feeding challenges is stressful. It’s hard work. And it shows your deep, deep love for your child. Some days are more challenging than others. And some days you just need a good cry. But don’t give up. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up!

I wrote this post to encourage others. But also to encourage myself as I’m right there with you dealing with multiple children with feeding challenges at the same time. It is stressful. And it’s OK to admit it. Just know you are NOT a failure!

I hope that ten years from now when I’m not struggling with very young children this post can still offer encouragement to those in the midst of the challenge. And I will still be here to help you along the journey!

What has been the most stressful part of having a child with feeding challenges for you?

We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

How Much Do Your Kids Know About Their Food?

We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question…how much do your kids know about their food?We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

We have a little joke in our house about corn.

Whenever I serve corn with a meal my husband asks, “Why did you make two vegetables?” – referring to the corn and whatever vegetable I’m serving. To which the kids quickly reply, “Corn is NOT a vegetable, Daddy! It’s a grain!”

The sad thing is that far too many people don’t actually know that. My husband and I both grew up thinking that corn was a vegetable (now he says it just to tease the kids). It may be laughable at our table, but the reality is so many kids are so disconnected from where their food comes from that they don’t even know that corn is a grain. Or that an egg is not dairy (it comes from a chicken, not a cow!).

Kids today see food that comes in boxes and bags without any idea of its origin.We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

How Will They Learn?

We are blessed to live in the country, raise our own animals and grow our own produce. Every day is a lesson in agriculture for my kids! (Though I am curious if some of the neighbors that have large corn fields know they are growing grains??)

But not everyone has that opportunity. That is why I am thankful for resources like the book Where Does a Rainbow Grow? by Kathryn Kemp Guylay. In it she uses bright colors and easy-to-read text to explain to kids where their food comes from and what to eat to stay healthy.

Real Colors!

As a family we made a decision over five years ago to cut out food dyes 100%.

No exceptions. It has made a world of difference in the neurological health of our children. So when I opened this book and the first page talks about avoiding fake colors I was hooked.

My kids love to look at the pages with brightly colored produce. They also like to answer the questions and try to name every fruit and vegetable.We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

Ever since reading Guylay’s first book Give it a Go, Eat a Rainbow my kids and I have enjoyed pointing out how many colors we eat each day. Just the other day when I put some spinach on my son’s plate he asked, “What is green good for?” It makes me so happy to know at six years old he is already learning how his food impacts his health. Green is great for bones and teeth!

Try Something New

Seeing all of the pictures has reminded me that, although we eat a wide variety of and a large quantity of produce, we still have plenty of foods we haven’t tried. Maybe we’ll grab a few new items the next time we go to the store and experiment with them.

Where Does a Rainbow Grow? would make a great addition to a home school curriculum. Or it would be a wonderful gift to share with your child’s classroom.

I firmly believe that the more knowledge we have about our food, the better choices we make and the healthier we become.

Let’s raise a generation of kids that understand where their food comes from and how they can use food to feel good. Reading Where Does a Rainbow Grow? Is a great place to start!We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

If you want to get your kids more involved with their food and learn how to cook check out the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse.

I was compensated for my time to review this book; however I was not paid to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Believe it or not carrying a bottle and drinking water all day long could be sabotaging your health improvements. I'll tell you why!

Drinking Water Is Making Me Fat And Tired

Believe it or not carrying a bottle and drinking water all day long could be sabotaging your health improvements. I’ll tell you why!

Believe it or not carrying a bottle and drinking water all day long could be sabotaging your health improvements. I'll tell you why!

Get up. Shower. Get dressed. Put on makeup.

And fill my water bottle. That was me.

Then remind myself periodically throughout the day to take a drink. Refill and repeat. Keep track of how much I drink. Make sure I’m getting my eight glasses at a minimum.

Sound familiar?

At the same time I was getting up super early every day to have time to get things done, nursing a little one full time, exercising every day, running my own business and following the GAPS diet. All good things, right?

Not So Good.

A few years ago I learned that was not the case! I quickly became more and more fatigued. My weight started going up. And my body temperature (along with my metabolism) plummeted. As in I’m not even sure how I was functioning. At times my temperature was 92 or 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Some evenings I could barely walk up the stairs carrying my son because my muscles were so weak.

I thought I was doing all the “right” things. But my health was quickly declining. Something had to give. But what?

Believe it or not carrying a bottle and drinking water all day long could be sabotaging your health improvements. I'll tell you why!

I did two simple things to turn my health around.

  1. Stop eating grain free/ditch the GAPS diet.
  2. Stop drinking so much water.

Wait, what? Adding grains and drinking less water made me healthier? You bet! And I’ve never looked back.

Curious why you might be drinking too much water too?

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing my thoughts.

Then come back and share your thoughts with me! Do you try to drink a certain amount of water every day in the name of good health? Or do you listen to your body? I’d love to hear.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

I’m Slowing Down…

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

I’m slowing down.

Whether I want to or not. I am. My mind is. My body is.

Here’s the problem.

Life is not.

In fact life is going in the complete opposite direction.

I have three very active children that seem to keep growing…don’t they know they’re supposed to stay little forever?

With those growing kids come more and more activities like soccer, t-ball, piano, church activities, time with friends, etc. As each child starts the activities multiply.

Full Time Work.

Then there is work. I work from home. I started my blog shortly after my oldest was born as a hobby. But it has grown into more than just a hobby. I have to work on it daily. And it’s a LOT of work. But now instead of just my own blog I help with someone else’s blog and write for several other blogs and magazines. Those hours add up very quickly. And none of them include child care.

I also started home schooling this year. Which I absolutely love and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. But it does take work. I have to be more organized and I don’t have as much free time during the week.

Did I mention we are moving to a 10 acre farm by the end of the year? That means we’re in the process of packing and cleaning right now. Soon we’ll be selling our house and then doing the big move…during the holidays. Yeah, it’ll be busy.

No Big Deal?

This all sounds like normal stuff. Most people can handle it.

But I’m struggling.

It’s not something I like to admit. But I am.

I am the kind of person that likes to say yes to everything and everyone. I also don’t like to ask for help. Those two traits don’t go so well together.

I also don’t have any help aside from my husband. We don’t have close family in town. If life is feeling crazy and hectic I just have to deal with it. I can’t call Grandma to take the kids for a few hours so I can catch my breath. Instead I get a few minutes of nap time to scroll through Facebook or Pinterest before jumping back in.

What Happened?

The thing is I used to be able to handle more busyness. So what happened?

I didn’t listen to my body.

I wasn’t honest about my struggles. I never accepted help. I never asked for help. Not even from my husband!

I’ve had a lot of really big stressors in my life over the last fifteen years. Bigger than I realized. And they took a toll. Major colon surgery. Years of infertility and treatments. Years of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and working with a psychologist.

I thought I was over a lot of the major stuff after that. So I didn’t even realize until just now how stressful the last three years have been.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Three Years Of Worry.

In mid 2013 I went through my last (7th!!) round of IVF…which ended in a miscarriage. The miscarriage lasted over a month. And my adrenals and thyroid went haywire. My whole body was swelling. I was gaining weight every week. Things were out of whack. I was trying hard to make huge lifestyle changes.

And just when I was making some progress I got pregnant with my miracle baby…the thing I had been working towards.

I was so happy, and the pregnancy went smoothly.

But it caused me a lot of anxiety. I worried about the health of the baby every day. But I just dealt with it. As I did my adrenals continued to suffer.

Wait, It Gets Worse?

After my daughter was born things were good for a bit. Then she had multiple severe vaccine reactions. And I spent the next year and a half fighting for her life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone than I did during that time. I worried about her and cried about it almost daily.

Her malnutrition and fighting to keep her nourished through nursing impacted me so much that even now, at 2 years old, every time I nurse her I have heart palpitations. Even though she only nurses a couple times a day and is a great eater. It’s my body’s natural response…worrying she won’t get enough.

To add to the stress of the last three years we’ve dealt with health issues for my other two children. It started as allergies and general gut health and has now turned into neurological issues.

As I’m typing this I’m still trying to unwind from a morning of my five year old constantly screaming at me and responding to everything I say with an extreme negative. Sometimes to the point where he shuts himself in the closet and screams over and over that he wants to kill himself.

It’s exhausting, disheartening and just overwhelming at times. All I can do is keep praying.

Allergies.

It is also a lot of work to cook for my family. With so many varying allergies I always have to cook multiple meals and make just about everything from scratch…even if I don’t have time.

There is no such thing as ordering pizza or going out to eat when I just don’t have the energy. Or even pouring a bowl of cereal when I can’t even think about breakfast.

It is a huge responsibility on my shoulders. If I don’t do it my kids can’t eat.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Waiting For Our Dream.

Over the last year we have had some huge ups and downs in our house search too. We have had multiple offers accepted but then things not work out for one reason or another. It’s been very emotional and at times has felt very similar to our infertility journey. We are praying this house is really the one and we can move past this by year’s end.

Deeper Thoughts.

When I was growing up my mom dealt with anxiety and depression. At about the same age as I am right now she had a nervous breakdown and was in in-patient care at a mental health facility and was on lots of medication. We got to visit her once in a while and had to have my grandparents help take care of us. I was in third grade. My little brother was in kindergarten. Right now my daughter is in third grade and my son is in kindergarten. Yeah, it really makes me think about how things could go if something doesn’t change. I don’t want that to happen to my kids.

I’ve also always thought I’d have four kids (just like my family growing up…girl, boy, girl, boy. Right now we’ve got girl, boy, girl). From the time I was five all I wanted to do was be a mom…and have four kids. There were times during my infertility journey I wondered if I’d ever be a mom at all. But I still held on to that dream of having four kids.

Now here I am with three kids…and the desire is still there, stronger than ever. But I also know my body is not healthy enough right now for another baby. And I’m not getting any younger. And life isn’t getting any easier. It weighs heavily on my mind almost daily. Though I try my best to remember that God’s plans and timing are perfect. We’ll see what the future holds.

Taking Its Toll.

Through the last few years of pregnancy and breastfeeding and stress my body has become extremely depleted. Which really doesn’t do good things for you, trust me.

Over the last few months I’ve started having more and more heart palpitations (which freak me out). I have started to gain weight in my abdomen over the last nine months (something I’ve never dealt with).

I thought maybe my thyroid was getting worse. I had my levels checked…perfect. I still tried increasing my medication just to be sure. No luck. If anything it made me feel worse.

So I did a 24 hour saliva cortisol test. It’s really not bad. My levels are in the normal range most of the day. But I think they are working very hard to stay there.

My adrenals are really being taxed on a daily basis.

Adrenal Health.

So I’ve been doing some research on adrenals. A few of the things that always come up:

  1. Get more sleep and go to bed by 10 pm.
  2. Don’t skip breakfast and eat a good balance of protein and carbs.
  3. Reduce stress.

I always thought sleep was my biggest problem.

But I don’t really think it is. I go to bed at 10 every night. I have for many years. I’m not a night owl. And although I am an early riser I get about 7 hours of sleep a night. So I could improve, but it’s not horrible.

I never skip breakfast. I am ready to eat the minute I get out of bed. I’ve been that way for many, many years. And I eat a big breakfast.

I also don’t skimp on calories throughout the day. So I’m not restricting in any way when it comes to quantity…a huge bonus for adrenal health and your metabolism.

Oddly enough the things that are a hindrance to most people are the things I’ve been doing right for years.

Sleep and morning routines are great. It’s the rest of the day I have to figure out.

It comes down to two things – stress and a limited diet (due to a nursing toddler with allergies).

So…

So now what? I can’t just stop life. Can I?

Well, not exactly. But I can make some changes.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

My body is getting older and slowing down. Life is getting busier. I’m ready to switch that around.

So I’m making a few goals for myself. And if I share them with you it will help me stick to them.

Maybe you want to join me?

These are goals for my myself as an individual and for my family.

  1. Lay down during the day for 5 – 15 minutes. Resting isn’t always enough. Physically laying down can really help recharge your body.
  2. Eat a snack in the afternoon to help with blood sugar regulation (I can’t wait to learn more about this in the Fix Your Blood Sugar course!!)
  3. Eat less before bed to give my body time to rest and truly recharge at night instead of working on digestion.
  4. Change my exercise routine. Try more T-Tapp and yoga and do less cardio.
  5. Sleep in on the weekends (this is a HARD one for me…but I am really going to try)
  6. Take time off from work (another really hard one…I love sharing my stories and my food with you…but it’s a lot of work…I may be MIA here and there over the next few months/years…it’s because I’m heeding my own advice). Keep the weekends more open for family time.
  7. Use our move to get the house organized and more functional for us so we spend less time with chaos and cleaning.
  8. Start using some hormone-supporting essential oils (still researching these a bit).
  9. Start the big kids on some herbs that help with calming their nervous system and a cleanse to get rid of parasites.
  10. Continue to have my oldest work with the functional neurologist to also improve the nervous system. And possibly have my son start as well.
  11. Take time for my marriage and connecting with my husband (it’s been over 2 years since we’ve been on a date due to the above situations…I think it’s about time!!)
  12. When my toddler is done nursing I can add a few more to this list – hormone level testing and another hair tissue mineral analysis to see where I’m at. Then go from there with flooding my body with the nutrients it needs.
  13. Read as many of the books and take as many of the courses in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle as I can. After I download them I’ve got them for life. So I can take my time. But for once I am going to make the time. There is just such a wealth of knowledge contained in the bundle. It may take me a few years to get through it all. But I really hope to. I’m starting with the Perfect Periods course and the Heal Your Gut Summit. Then I think I’ll switch over to some of the books on kids’ health. Maybe I’ll even include it in our home school curriculum and read it with my kids!!

Life Is Still Crazy.

I know the next two months are still going to be pretty stressful with moving. But I know that up front and am going to take measures to deal with it as best as I can.

I also know that there is much more to the root issue than adrenals. I’ve got to work on hormone balancing and overall gut health.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Then once we get settled I’m ready to start a new lifestyle.

One that includes home schooling all of my kids, starting a farm and watching them learn about raising animals, getting away from the busy pace of life and just slowing down. Having that goal in mind keeps me going.

If I can remember I hope to do an update on this in a year. I love to look back and see how much has changed. See where God has led me and how He has directed my path.

God’s Plans.

Even this post was not one I had planned to write at all. I just sat down in front of the computer and started typing. Really. I wanted to share a piece of me with you today. And that is one last goal. To do more of that moving forward.

At the start of this year God really laid it on my heart that this would be a year of huge change. I had no idea what. But I knew stuff was coming. He also told me to be fearless. And I am trying my hardest (though it is REALLY hard for this natural worrier). So far He has been true his intentions. If you had told me at the start of the year I’d be nursing a healthy toddler, home schooling my oldest and getting ready to move to a 10 acre farm I would have said you were crazy. But God is good.

I feel more changes still to come.

Including even more change in focus in my writing. I’m not even sure what that means. But I trust God does. And He’ll guide me.

Do you have any goals you’d like to share? Did any of this resonate with you? I’d love to hear about it!!

There are so many components to good health and natural living. But some get in the way of others. Is is possible essential oils are detrimental to you natural lifestyle?

When Essentials Oils Are Detrimental To A Natural Lifestyle

There are so many components to good health and natural living. But some get in the way of others. Is it possible essential oils are detrimental to you natural lifestyle?

There are so many components to good health and natural living. But some get in the way of others. Is it possible essential oils are detrimental to you natural lifestyle?

What does a natural lifestyle mean to you?

That’s actually kind of tough to answer when you really think about it. There are so many components of a natural lifestyle. Sometimes so many that it’s overwhelming!

Essential Oil Boom

One aspect of natural living that has really grown in recent years is the use of essential oils.

When I first started this journey over six years ago that was not a term I had ever heard. Now it seems that every other friend is selling them.

I love seeing so many people feeling the pull towards a better way of living! It is so encouraging.

A Big Problem

There is just one glaring problem I see with essential oils.

THE USERS.

I see someone post a picture on Facebook of their current diffuser blend (usually some sort of stress relief for themselves or calming for their kids). The next post is of their hyper children with blue-stained faces from candy or neon-colored crackers.

Anybody else see the irony there??

There are so many components to good health and natural living. But some get in the way of others. Is it possible essential oils are detrimental to you natural lifestyle?

There’s more.

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing my thoughts on the down side of essential oils.

>>>READ THE REST HERE.

Then let me know what you think! Do you use essential oils? How large of a role do they play in your lifestyle?

 

 

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Does a Negative Allergy Test Put You In The Clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Allergy tests are great for pinpointing food reactions. All three of my kids have had multiple rounds of testing done.

Sometimes the test confirms a suspicion I have about a trigger food. Sometimes it helps me figure out a random allergy that I never would have guessed.

Not Always Accurate

But allergy tests are not 100% accurate. An IgE skin prick allergy test only checks for a reaction to the protein in the food. You could have a strong reaction to the sugar in a food (lactose intolerance is a great example) and test negative for an allergy.

An IgE blood test is even less accurate. It checks for antibodies in the blood to a specific food. It can help confirm a diagnosis after a skin prick test is positive. But it is not a very good diagnostic alone.

Food Sensitivities

IgG blood tests are a bit controversial. Some say they are great for detecting food “sensitivities”…actually called latent allergies. Others say this test can give different results every time. You could draw blood three times in the same day and get varying results.

I have done an IgG blood test for myself before. I had mixed feelings about its accuracy. So I’ve never done it for my kids.

All this to say that allergy tests absolutely have their place. And they are quite helpful for diagnosing allergies that range anywhere from mild to severe and life-threatening.

But just because an allergy test is negative does not mean you can throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want.

My Son

My son has been dealing with various degrees of allergies for many years. It started from birth with some reflux. Then at age two he developed bad eczema on his legs. Thus started our journey with allergy testing and food elimination.

Every time he is tested a slew of foods shows up. We cut them out, work on healing for a while and retest. 

But every time this has happened things have gotten a little more challenging. For example, rice showed up on his first allergy test. We cut it out. Six months later when he was retested the rice allergy was gone. Yet three years later he still can not eat rice without noticeable reactions.

Making Progress

In spite of some foods still causing problems we were making progress narrowing his list of reactive foods. Then in early 2016 after the onset of stomach aches and an inability to eat much he was retested.

To our shock he had a back full of welts. We were given a prescription for an epi-pen. And he was diagnosed with potentially anaphylactic allergies to nuts, dairy and a few other foods.

Wait, what happened over the last year that made his allergies go from mild and healing to life threatening??

Even though we didn’t have an answer to that question we moved forward, removing the necessary foods, always carrying an epi-pen, doing our best to keep him safe.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Not Fixxed

He had some reprieve for a bit. We were so happy to see him get an appetite back and really start growing.

But before too long he started having a lot of stomach aches again. Gradually they started to become more frequent. They prevented him from sleeping. They stopped him from eating well.

More Testing

It was back to the drawing board. We started by going to the pediatrician. We did a CBC and metabolic panel. We did urine and stool tests. All normal.

So it was back to the allergist for another round of testing, fearing another laundry list of foods to avoid.

And we got a huge shock!

Every single skin prick was negative. Not even a tiny bit of reaction. So we did the blood test. Again, all negative.

Nuts, dairy, wheat…everything…negative.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Although it was good news I was more confused than ever! The allergist (a new one) said his old test was likely inaccurate because foods were tested at the same time as airborne/environmental allergies.

Now what?

Do I just throw out his allergy list and let him eat whatever he wants? Do I trust the tests?

My husband and I both see glaring evidence of food reactions.

Digging Deeper

Well, I did what I do best. I observed, experimented and researched.

The thing is food reactions are a sign of a deeper issue.

Just because an allergy test is negative does NOT mean you can eat a particular food.

This is something I am very passionate about and believe so many parents could benefit from.

Behavior, digestion, skin, emotions…they are all impacted by the food you eat. Even healthy, nourishing food can create a negative reaction.

Case in point – my whole family (you can read more about it in my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!).

Experimenting

We gradually let my son try a few foods he’d been avoiding. His stomach aches increased in frequency. His mood declined. He started wetting the bed. He developed bad breath.

Then we let him try some goat’s milk. Wow.

The result was horrific meltdowns, almost as if he was a psychiatric patient. Anything and everything caused him to scream, cry, hit himself and berate himself. It’s a parent’s nightmare.

No amount of comforting him and trying to talk through his feelings helped. If his big sister wouldn’t play with him – meltdown. If I told him I was reading a book his little sister picked out before the book he picked out – meltdown. If he wasn’t crazy about some of the food on his plate – meltdown.

This list could go on and on.

After some charcoal and a few days off of dairy he returned to a more stable state.

Sadly it’s not just dairy that does this to him. There are quite a few foods, all with varying degrees of reactions.

I could also go through our entire family listing foods and reactions. Yet we all test negative for food allergies.

So now what?

What do you do if allergy tests are negative but food reactions are present?

You get help from others who have been there. You find doctors and practitioners who are willing to dig deeper and find a cure instead of simply avoiding certain foods.

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

Healthy Kids

In my book I teach you how to observe your child and not just accept the poor behavior. Find a root cause and fix it. Say goodbye to picky eating and temper tantrums.

Beyond Allergy Testing

If allergy testing isn’t giving you answers, here are some other conditions to consider.

  1. Overall gut dysfunction/leaky gut.
  2. Parasites – they are more common than you think. They tend to really act up around a full moon, so if your child is worse during that time it is something to consider.
  3. Slow metabolism.
  4. Thyroid disorders.
  5. Lack of sleep
  6. Mineral imbalance/nutritional deficiency

And here are some potential treatments.

  1. GAPS diet (Gut And Psychology Syndrome)
  2. Parasite cleanse
  3. Probiotics
  4. Digestive Enzymes
  5. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

 

You can also treat food reactions from a more neurological and physical perspective. This includes:

  1. Functional neurology
  2. Chiropractic care
  3. Craniosacral therapy
  4. Osteopathic manipulation therapy
  5. Energy healing
  6. Muscle response testing

Baby Steps

I don’t have all of the answers for you. We are still in the trenches with my son’s reactions, trying to find the correct path forward. 

I know we will keep digging until we find the problem and the solution. We will restore my son to full health. We will find health for our whole family!

A negative allergy test does not give you free reign on food.

You have to dig a little deeper. It’s more work, but so worth it! In the end you will be able to eat more of the nutritious food your body needs.

Have you or your children been tested for allergies? Was it helpful or confusing?

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

Learning To Embrace BOLD {With A Giveaway!}

Sometimes your true nature gets lost in the shuffle of daily life. After a career, marriage and three kids I’m finally learning to embrace bold again.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I am working with Stonyfield and prAna for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment but have not been paid to post positive reviews. All opinions are my own.

When I was younger everything about the way I dressed was bold.

I wore my big brother’s blue suspender’s with comfy shorts (that my mom made) and my favorite t-shirt (with a roller coaster on it…one of my favorite things!).

My big sister cringed at the outfits I created. It was like tom boy meets athlete meets comfort queen.

In junior high I had a favorite outfit that consisted of bright kelly green jeans and a green and white striped shirt (from the GAP no less! It really was in style).

In high school you’d find me in bright orange tanks with matching wedge flip-flops or red soccer jerseys with matching warm-up pants.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

You might think I was outgoing and outspoken. But, no. I was not confident in myself at all. I was quiet as a mouse and very insecure. But I knew what I liked. Without realizing it I was dressing for my energy type to a tee.

Once I started working full time and then having kids my style faded. At work I wore basic tan or black dress pants with a button down or sweater most days. At home I switched over to yoga pants, nursing tanks and old t-shirts. About the farthest thing from bold you can find. Lots of black and gray.

Bold but not brash.

A few months ago I heard about Dressing Your Truth and decided to check it out. These days I’m completely lost when it comes to my own style. I have none. And I don’t even know how to shop for myself anymore (my husband usually shops for me). I figured it couldn’t hurt to see what it was about (no I am not an affiliate…I haven’t even taken the course. It was just really cool to watch the videos and be reminded of my true nature).

It actually surprised me to realize I am a Type 4. The reason I was surprised is because Type 4 is BOLD. Me? Bold? Are you kidding?

I’m quiet, reserved, introverted. My clothing makes me fade into the background.

But the more I thought about it the more I realized I really am bold! I just haven’t been letting that boldness come through for many years now.

I am smart and strong-willed.

I am structured and organized.

I am determined and dependable.

But I don’t always let that show.

Time to get it back.

About the same time I was given the opportunity to try some new clothes from prAna. I was going to do my usual boring pants or top in a plain color. But I decided to be bold and go with yellow patterned pants.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I have never in my life worn pants like this! To be honest I was a little nervous to wear them for the first time. To my great delight instead of feeling self-conscious I felt confident. A great feeling I haven’t had in a while.

Feeling happy.

Then just a few weeks ago I ordered a new pair of boots. I’ve needed new boots for about three years now. I wear my winter boots almost year round for everything from grocery shopping in deep snow to walking through mud at the milk farm. They finally gave out and started letting water in. I never spend money on myself, so this was a splurge (even though I used birthday money that was intended to update my wardrobe!!)

I decided to get some all-purpose farm/rain/winter boots. Instead of getting black or gray I went with bright green.

Can I tell you how happy they made me feel?! I call them my happy boots. And I wear them even when I have no reason at all to be wearing boots. Just because. I think they make other people happy too. I’ve gotten lots of compliments. I love that instead of fading into the background I’m able to be bold. I love that my boots get me noticed. They are true to my nature…true to my youthful spirit of bold, fun expression through my clothing.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

What I’m craving.

I’ve been craving some direction in my style for quite some time now. This summer I’m finally getting it! I’m on the hunt for a new wardrobe that shows my boldness.

Want to know what else I crave? Yogurt. I haven’t eaten any in almost two years now. Yogurt is one of my favorite foods. Especially for breakfast on hot summer days.

When my little one with allergies is weaned I look forward to trying all of the Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt flavors (my husband and daughter sure love them!). Though to be honest I’m sure I’ll go for vanilla first. I am really craving that!! It’s always been my favorite.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I’m loving my new prAna pants. They are so fun. The only down side is that as my daughter gets older and nurses less my weight starts to go back up (a good thing for my health, not so great for my wardrobe). So the pants are tighter than I had hoped (they were the right size when I ordered them, but not by the time I got them). It’s a good thing they are stretchy! An added bonus.

But that is part of the process – accepting myself, accepting my body as it changes and still being true to myself and my bold personality.

I have yet to figure out a bold hair style. I’ve pretty much always had long straight hair. All suggestions are welcome.

In the mean time I’m ready to satisfy my summer craving for bright colors. No more hiding. You don’t have to be outgoing or loud to be bold. I am embracing my quiet boldness.

It’s your turn!

prAna and Stonyfield want to help you embrace your style and satisfy your summer cravings too!

One lucky reader gets a pear of the same Kara jeans I got, in your color of choice.

Are you a Type 4 that wants something bold? Or are you a type that needs a softer, more subtle color? Does your style reflect your personality and true nature? I’d love to hear!

What are you craving this summer? A new wardrobe? Delicious food? Long days at the beach? Working in the garden?

Share your summer cravings and enter for your chance to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Messy House Sanity Saver

Do you ever just want to escape the chaos of the messes and clutter in your house? I sure do! But I’ve found my messy house sanity saver that doesn’t require me to clean all day long.

This messy house sanity saver only takes minutes but could have a huge impact on the whole family.

My house is messy.

My house is dirty.

In other words, I’m a mom to three little people that can scatter toys, food and dirt across every square inch of floor in a matter of minutes.

Is there a bare counter top in sight? Not for long! They’ll find it and fill it.

Can you handle it?

Most days I’m ok with the mess. I know this is a phase. And I am fully embracing it! I am in no rush whatsoever for this phase of life to be over. It is amazingly beautiful and fun.

But sometimes the clutter just gets to me. When I can barely find a space on the kitchen counter to prepare dinner I lose it. When I look around and all I see is stuff on every surface.

Then I go from not caring to wanting to throw out every toy and scrub every floor. I’m sure my kids are not really fond of those days.

My happy place.

I had to find a solution to this problem. I had to find balance, a happy middle ground. I’m busy. I really can’t keep my house organized and clean at all times. I just can’t. Plain and simple.

I also don’t want to be a drill sergeant that never lets my kids make messes and have fun.

I recently discovered the answer to my problem.

My messy house sanity saver is my dining room table.

Say what? A table?

Yes, a table.

Our dining room is in the middle of the house. You walk through it no matter where you are going.

This messy house sanity saver only takes minutes but could have a huge impact on the whole family.

I have found that if I keep my dining room table cleared I feel so much better about how the rest of the house looks. I have my one space that is clutter free and clean. It is calming and inviting.

It is also the place that my family gathers. So it is both central to the house and central to our family. We always eat meals together. And always at the dining room table.

If there is random stuff on the table while we eat it gets in the way of our precious time together.

If there are books sitting on the table I might as well not even try to talk to my oldest. If there are toys my little one wants to play.

By keeping my dining room table clean I am creating a space that encourages fellowship and closeness. It’s the center of the house where my family comes together to share our joys and sorrows of the day. It’s where we gather for nourishing food and real conversation.

Even if the rest of the house has been turned upside down during the day I do my best to keep my dining room table neat. As soon as a meal is done I clear the table and wipe it clean. My kids know that the table is not a storage area for toys, homework, crafts, etc.

You can set your stuff on the floor. I don’t care. Just don’t put it on my table!

Sure there are times when the clutter creeps in. And I can simultaneously feel my stress build. Then the entire house feels chaotic.

So to preserve my sanity (and keep my children safe…) I take the extra two minutes after a meal or any time during the day to clear the table.

Do you have a central location in your house? What would happen if you made a point to keep it clean?

My messy house sanity saver got bumped up a notch with FREE cleaning products.

An added bonus.

One other benefit of this messy house trick is that it inspires me to keep other areas clean. I see how much peace I feel when standing in the dining room. Then I try to take five minutes here and there to straighten up other areas.

Or I take ten minutes to deep clean a spot that hasn’t been touched in a while. I can spare ten minutes instead of looking at social media.

What better way to clean than with FREE quality cleaning products!

Grove Collaborative is offering the Mrs. Meyer’s Everyday Luxury Set from today until May 1, 2016. There is a limited number of sets so be sure to grab yours quickly!

The Luxury Set for new customers includes:

  • Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s soy candle
  • Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges
  • Free shipping

Existing GC customers will receive a free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap. We love the hand soap! My kids get so excited when we try new scents. So far Apple is the winner. But there are plenty more to try.

What do you ALWAYS keep clean? What’s your thing that you can’t leave messy?

Find a focal point in your house whether it’s the dining room, the kitchen or even by the television. Make a point to keep it neat and clean and see everyone more at peace.

Then get some FREE cleaning products to inspire you even more. Let your kids join in. Make it a family project to bring calm to your chaos.