Monday, December 15, 2014


I know it's been forever since I've posted! I have a super simple essential oil giveaway happening on my FACEBOOK PAGE! All you need to do is stop by and let me know your favorite essential oil. That's it! You can earn an extra entry by tagging a friend in a second comment if you'd like... Hurry over giveaway ends 12/19!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thank You Lord

Ever since I saw pictures my co-worker brought back from her Missions trip to Africa I've been thinking about how thankful I am for what God has blessed me with. And I've been wondering if I am thankful enough… I am so very VERY blessed. There’s not a single thing in my life I could legitimately complain about.  Yet, by reading blogs and surfing the internet I get a small glance into other people’s lives. And then despite all the blessings I've been given and should be oh so grateful for, instead I become ungrateful and perhaps a little bit covetous because they have something I want. And I’ll admit one of the biggest things I struggle with is watching stay at home Mom’s or work from home Mom’s interacting with their kids. To be at home with my kid is the one true dream I've always had. And I get jealous when I see other people living that dream.  I haven’t given up on the dream coming true at some point, I just need to be patient until it does.

I think of the pictures of the people in Africa – they don’t have the most stylish clothes, you see them cooking on outdoor fires, they have simple homes and simple furniture in their homes. They work hard, I doubt they take vacations like we do. Yet the one consistent thing you see is the smiles on their faces. And I’m not saying they are always happy – it doesn't matter who you are or where you live we are all human and all experience the same emotions – sadness, disappointment, jealousy. But I just have to wonder if you took away our large homes, stylish clothes, washing machines and stoves would we still smile at all? Or would we just grumble and complain about life not being fair?

I don’t think it’s wrong to want nice things or to have nice things. But when our happiness relies on having those things then our priorities are out of order. I want to be content in every area of my life. Because all the things in the picture above are true for me. My essential needs in life are met. And I am grateful!      

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Just Hatched 4 Babies "No Yucky Stuff Inside"

The Just Hatched products were sent to me at no cost to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

I've always cared about the products I use in my home and on my body. But somehow having a baby makes you think about it even more. I want to make sure what I’m using on my baby is safe. It seems that now more than ever people are paying attention to toxins that are in so many products we use on a daily basis – and these things are even in baby shampoos & body washes. So I was excited to learn about the company Just Hatched who uses the phrase “No Yucky Stuff Inside!”. They have a great line of baby body products that are Hypoallergenic, Sulfate/Paraben/Phthalate Free and most importantly - affordable! 

Bright Baby Shampoo – I love this shampoo! And here’s why… I have a sweaty little boy. Maybe he’s hot blooded like his Dad, I have no idea. But I felt that after washing his hair with the “natural” shampoo products I've been using there was always this left behind sweaty smell that I just couldn't seem to get rid of. But after using Bright Baby Shampoo now his hair actually smells fresh and clean and the sweaty smell is gone! That makes this Momma pretty happy. 

Sleepy Baby Wash – We all want our kids to get a good night’s sleep, right? Sure, it’s partly because as Mom we want a good night’s sleep too because we need the energy to keep up with our families. But also because we have growing children and sleep is an important of keeping them healthy and growing! Cue the Sleepy Baby wash. It has a relaxing scent of lavender, chamomile and orange and is designed to be calming, soothing and promote sleep. Not only does it help your baby relax but it's relaxing for Mom too! The baby wash is creamy, lathers nicely and is perfect for that just before bedtime bath!

Soft Baby Body Lotion – So this was my least favorite of all the products. Not because I didn't like the lotion but because I wasn't a fan of the scent. The lotion has a thinner consistency than most lotion I'm used to. But the light consistency of this lotion allows it to absorb quickly into your kiddo’s skin plus it isn't greasy so I like that. My only hang up is it does have a strong sweet scent. And while some people are going to love it, it’s just too sweet smelling for me. I do consider my nose sensitive to smells so if you love having the scent of your lotion linger for a while then then might be the perfect lotion for you and your family! 

Butter My Bottom Tushy Cream – Because I use cloth diapers I was a little nervous about using this. I want to make sure I don’t use anything that affects the absorbency of my diapers. But I read on both Facebook and Twitter that this cream is safe for cloth diapers so I went ahead and gave it a try. The cream has a nice light scent that I like and I also like that it isn't as thick as some of the well-known mainstream diaper rash brands that you may have maybe used. I prefer the consistency of the Just Hatched product and it covers the rash on your babies bum just fine! Levi doesn't have any major problems with rashes so I can’t vouch for the product helping to clear up a rash but I do know that it helps product your baby’s skin from the dampness that comes from being in diapers 24/7 and prevents those rashes from happening. And now some TMI for everyone(save it for last). I hate to say it but for all you ladies that are well endowed you’ll hear me on the boob sweat that comes hand in hand with summer time. And sometimes on really bad days the sweat is followed by a heat type rash and it’s just so uncomfortable!! I hate hate hate it! If you don't get what I'm talking about just be thankful! So as embarrassing as it may be the last couple days I've tried this cream as a protective layer under my breasts and it’s been working wonderfully! It's not thick and gross and it doesn't smell bad and it helps protect against that nasty rash. I may love this product even more than my son! ;-)

Overall, I'm quite pleased with these products and have/will enjoy using them on my son(and me!). 

Connect: Find out more or buy Just Hatched products by visiting their websiteYou can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Pinterest

This Is Levi - Summer Fun

No summer is right without drinking water from a Starbucks cup or eating as much watermelon as one little belly can hold! I think right now Levi would eat watermelon for breakfast, lunch and supper if let him! He LOVES it!!! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Photo Booth Fun

Just some picture fun! The photo booth pictures on the left are from when we went to the beach the first week of May. I saw the photo booth and though about the picture my Mom did with my brother and I when we were little. I'm not sure how old I was in the pictures on the right but Levi was 13 months when he got to experience his first photo booth! The quality however has gone down-hill badly. Or maybe we just got in a bad photo booth... 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Losing Weight After Baby

Oh my goodness, how has it already been over a month since I’ve had an honest moment about my weight loss journey??!! Seriously it’s going SO SLOWLY!! I can’t blame that on anyone except myself. I keep telling myself I don’t eat all that badly and I should be losing weight. Although I probably don't eat quite as good as I think I do. Yeah, I know it don't.  Maybe it’s time for a picture food journal again. I’ve also debated giving up food altogether (if you know me well, you’ll know that’s not going to happen!).
Weight loss is a two part journey. You need to eat healthy and you need to exercise. Finding time to exercise is where I’m really having trouble. I cannot exercise in the morning. It just isn’t going to happen. So this is what I have to work with. I leave the house at 7:15/20 every morning and I get home about 4:15 and have to figure out/make supper. From there we have a waiting game to play because my hubby never gets home at a consistent time. Supper is normally around 5:45/6:00pm. Between cooking and eating I have a cranky clingy (teething??) 1 year old to contend with. I like to pretend he just missed me during the day and can’t live another minute without being glued to some part of my body. And I only have between 3 and 4 hours with my son every day and I not willing to sacrifice for exercise. Only exception is when we go for an evening walk together. 
This brings me to 8:30/8:45 at night. Levi is in bed(probably playing because the child just doesn't like to sleep) and I have the option to start winding down for the evening or to go exercise(if I have any energy left). There’s probably still laundry or cloth diapers to deal with, lunches to pack, budgets to balance, so on and so forth. I never imagined how much trouble I’d have finding time to exercise.
Excuses, excuses, excuses, right? I must find a way. I don’t want to be stuck here in the low 160’s forever. I’m so close to my cute clothes fitting and can’t give up now… Maybe next week things will suddenly click. A girl can hope anyway...
Pregnancy Weight: 205
July 23rd Weight: 162.8
Lost: 42.2
Pounds to Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 12.8
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 150
**Goal Weight:  140**

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

When summer comes I'm always on the look out for ways to use up zucchini. I don't have a garden but it seems like everyone always has an extra zucchini to give away. When I found a recipe that uses 2 cups of shredded zucchini I knew it would be perfect to use up lots of zucchini fast! And who doesn't want to hide their veggies in a chocolate cake that is delicious? After I made the cake I wasn't quite sure about the brown sugar topping. I thought that it would melt while baking but instead it creates a light crunchy topping that is incredibly yummy and mixed with the chocolate chips is perfect in place of icing. 

Admittedly I've had this for breakfast several times(because it's full of veggies and we should all have veggies for breakfast!!) and as a late a night snack. Yes, I have an out of control sweet tooth. With the exception of the little bit my Husband and Mom had I think I ate most of this cake myself. Here in lies the reason I'm still working on getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight over a year after the kiddo was born. Make this cake. Now if you can! 
ChocolatE ZUCCHINI CAKE with Brown Sugar Topping
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional - I didn't use them)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), cream together the butter, oil and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk; mix. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining buttermilk and mix followed by the last of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
  3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the almonds and chocolate chips. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of everything.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (don't overbake!).
  5. Let cool completely before serving. 

Recipe Source: adapted slightly(used a little less sugar) from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Athlete's Foot (Fungus-Be-Gone) Fighter

No one likes the discomfort that comes with Athlete's Foot. Scaling, flaking and peeling of the skin between the toes, intense itching, heat, redness, cracking, dryness, blisters and even possible infection if left untreated. All treatments for athlete's foot should be applied continuously over a period of several weeks to several months until the condition has completely cleared up and you don't have re-occurrences. 

This essential oil spray helps eliminate athlete's foot and also fights nail fungus. It calms, and soothes redness and itching, helps heal infection and conditions the skin. 

1/4 cup jojoba base oil
2 ounce spray bottle 

Add the lavender, tea tree, thyme, lemon, clove, essential oils directly into your 2 ounce spray bottle. Add the jojoba base oil. screw the top on the bottle and shake for 2 minutes to blend. 

Shake well before each use. Spray into hand or directly onto foot/feet. Massage the oil into both feet thoroughly. Allow the oil to sink in for a few minutes before putting on socks. Don't forget to continue this treatment for several weeks to several months depending on the severity of the athlete's foot. 

NOTE: Save 10% off your entire order at when you use coupon code: simplyhealth

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kitchenaid Artisan Design Collection Stand Mixer Giveaway Summerdreams

#SummerDreams KitchenAid Decision Sweepstakes

Hosted by Mom to Bed by 8 and Iowa Mom

I'm so excited to share this giveaway with you! Now through July 14th you have a change to win a KitchenAid mixer in electric blue!! Don't forget to head over to for your chance to win a mixer in Raspberry as well!! 

High performance meets designer style with the KitchenAid Artisan Design Collection 5qt 325 Watt Stand Mixer. Finished in a smart, jewel-toned color, this tilt-head Artisan Stand Mixer boasts 10 speeds and a 325-watt motor that keeps up with you in the kitchen. Whip up everything from homemade cookies to mashed potatoes in the mixer's glass bowl, which includes a spout and measurement markings for convenient pouring and prep. Features:
  • Includes stand mixer, glass bowl, burnished flat beater, burnished dough hook, six-wire whip, and use-and-care guide
  • 325W motor
  • 10-speed slide control
  • 5-qt bowl with comfort handle
  • 59-point planetary mixing action allows for quicker, more thorough mixing
  • Power hub for additional attachments
  • Non-hinged hub cover
  • Yields up to 4-1/2 bread loaves, nine dozen cookies, or seven lbs of mashed potatoes
  • Embossed trim band
  • Two-coat color finish
  • All-metal construction
  • Measures 13-15/16"H x 14-1/8"D x 8-3/4"W; weighs 29 lb; 5-qt capacity
Want a second chance to win KitchenAid Artisan Design Stand Mixer in Raspberry? Visit for more information.

One reader will receive a KitchenAid Artisan Design Collection 5qt 325 Watt Stand Mixer in Electric Blue.

Giveaway ends July 14th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. Excludes Quebec. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact if you have any additional questions or comments.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Every Man Jack Review

Every Man Jack Products: So a few months back we decided to try a new deodorant for my husband because we wanted something with more natural ingredients and aluminum free. He's normally a Old Spice deodorant user but I decided to pick up some Every Man Jack Cedarwood deodorant that I ran across at Giant. A few days later his armpits were red rimmed and looking kinda awful. Obviously he and the new deodorant were not meant to be. I chatted with Customer Service about the reaction he had and several days later a box shows up with not one but three Every Man Jack products for my husband to try out(seriously the BEST Customer Service!). Cedarwood body wash, and fragrance free face scrub and face lotion. After being disappointed with the deodorant these three products got a thumbs up from my hubby. Especially the face scrub and post shave face lotion. 

The body wash smelled great, the face scrub helps remove dry, dead skin and the lotion keeps his face moisturized. Important to him since shaving daily can take a toll on his face. Another reason to like Every Man Jack products is because they are naturally derived ingredients with no parabens, phthalates, no dyes and no sodium lauryl. Instead they contain great ingredients for your skin like essential oils, shea butter, aloe, jojoba and vitamin e. If you've never tried this brand before and you have a special man in your life - pick some up for him! 

Connect: Visit the Every Man Jack website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

Buy It: You can buy these products at and retailers like Target, Giant Eagle, Whole Foods, Wegman's & more... 

Disclosure: I was provided the items mentioned(minus the deodorant) at no cost. However, Every Man Jack didn't know I'd be doing a blog review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First Child Eats Dirt...

I'm not sure who created this picture but it made me chuckle. Levi's Dr who has several children said something along the same line about pacifiers. Levi's had fallen on the floor during a visit and the Dr said for the first child when the pacifier falls on the floor the parents take it home and disinfect it. For the second child you pick it up and wipe it off before giving it back to the child. For the third child you just pick it up and put it back in the babies mouth! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day Mike

In honor of Father's Day I wanted to share some pictures of Mike and Levi. I love these two guys with all my heart. And all the pictures of Mike holding Levi make me feel all mushy inside! Mike was(is) very adamant that he has no idea what to do with babies. But he put that aside and did such a great job with Levi this past year and a few months! Especially in those first weeks when I was recovering from the c-section. I love all the pictures of the two of them sleeping. The ones of Levi looking adoringly at his Daddy. And all of the memories that goes with these pictures!! As first time parents the last year has been an adventure but I can't wait to watch all the adventures these two will have together as Father and Son!! <3 

Walk With Me, Daddy
by Helen Bush

Walk alongside me Daddy,
and hold my little hand. 
I have so many things to learn
that I don't understand. 

Teach me things to keep me safe
from dangers every day. 
Show me how to do my best
at home, at school, at play.

Every child needs a gentle hand 
to guide them as they grow. 
So walk alongside me, Daddy,
We have along way to go. 

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!
Love, Levi (and Momma)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Weight Loss Week Two

Well, Operation Weight Loss Week Two is over. I’ll admit I’ve been a little lax over the last week. I’ve had chocolate chip cookies, lemon pound cake and a few nibbles of banana bread and ice cream. I’m not on a “diet” but I’m trying to pay attention to portion sizes and eat more veggies. I’ve continued to do big salads for lunch with some sort of protein (eggs mostly) in it. Yesterday was an acceptation because I ran out of lettuce. So I just had carrots, broccoli and egg salad (that I somehow messed up but waste not want not) which wasn’t quite as filling as my big ol’ salad. Sadly I stlill don't have any lettuce today so not sure what lunch will be...

I’m all about weight loss not being about restricting yourself to only eat certain foods. Or to only drink meal replacement shakes and cut out all carbs and sweets. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with doing any of those things. I drink a meal replacement shake every once in awhile. But I feel there’s room in your life for all kinds of foods if your eating healthy portions of those foods. During this new weight loss journey I haven’t counted calories and I’ve only measured my foods out a few times. I just don’t have the time or energy for it. I want to be able to have a healthy relationship with food and trust my body to tell me how much I need. To only eat when I’m hungry and not because it’s fun. And to only eat until I’m full and not over-stuff myself because something is yummy and I don’t want to stop eating it. I’ve had unhealthy relationships with food and I’m not going back there.

So with all that being said - are you wondering how things worked out for me?

Goal ONE: So excited to see 165 on the scales this morning! Makes me feel like 160 is easier to reach now! 

Pregnancy Weight: 205

Week 1 Weight: 168

Week 2 Weight: 165 (down 3 pounds)

Lost: 40 pounds

Pounds to Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 15

Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 150

**Goal Weight: 140**

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Weight Loss Journey Week One

Ah, the dreaded scales. If you’re like me then you probably hate to face the number looking back up at you when you’re standing on them. The first 6 months after Levi was born I pretty much could have cared less about my weight. All I cared about as a first time Mom was taking care my son the best that could. Babies cute and cuddly but boy do they come with a lot of work attached to them (don’t worry – it’s worth the extra work!)!  After that it seemed like we zoomed right into cold weather and the holiday season. I did my best to find time to walk on the treadmill but extra time is not something that I have a lot of. Then in January when Levi was 10 months old I committed to lose the baby weight HERE. Well, guess what?! Since then, 5 months later I’m down 5 pounds. Sigh! Obviously I haven’t been working very hard on this. So the time has come for me to do a weekly “Weigh In” on how things are going and to keep me focused on my goals.

Losing weight is never easy for me. It’s always a frustrating journey. The last time I lost A LOT of weight I was still living at home, had little responsibility, was exercising 2 hours a day and eating like a bird. In other words I wasn’t doing it the healthy way. Now that I’m married, have a baby and work a full time job it hasn’t gotten any easier. I just look at unhealthy food and I gain weight – forget about what happens when I actually eat it. But I still know that I am capable of losing weight IF it’s what I really want to do. And it is.

What is driving me to lose weight?

#1 – I want to be healthy. And at my current weight I’m above the recommended weight for my height and frame.

#2 – Heart problems run in my family. I want to run faster do my best to stay healthy and keep my heart healthy! Despite the fact that I already eat a pretty healthy diet at 31 years old my Cholesterol is borderline to being high. It drives me CRAZY that my husband and I eat almost the same foods and he has great Cholesterol and mine is a little less than stellar.

#3 – I want to be able to keep up with my one year old. I want to be a healthy example for him to look up to!

#4 – I want to be able to hike with Husband without sounding like I’m going to die. LOL!

#5 – I like to be able to run 5 miles. This is a lofty goal seeing as how I hate running and can only do maybe a mile if I really put my mind to it.

#6 – I have all these cute summer clothes that don’t fit and I was really hoping to be back in them by now.

So I have my eye on the prize and now I need to set small goals to reach until I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and then I can focus on my goal weight.

Goal ONE: Get to 165 pounds. I’ve been so close several times but I haven’t been able to get there!

Pregnancy Weight: 205

Week 1 Weight: 167.4

Lost: 37.6 pounds

Pounds to Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 17.4

Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 150

**Goal Weight: 140**

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is by far my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Maybe because it tastes so good or maybe because people can't stop eating them and always say how delicious they taste(everyone likes a compliment none and then, right?). There's no doubt that it's incredibly hard to stop at just one of these unless you have a lot of will power. However, tonight I proved it can be done! This jar is on it's way to work with my husband tomorrow. The first homemade treat I've made since he's started this job. I'm hoping they are a hit!!

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 - 3.4 ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a small bowl, combine flour and baking soda
  • In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, sugar, butter, vanilla pudding mix, and vanilla. Mix until well blended
  • Add eggs and mix well
  • Beat in the flour mixture
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • Use a cookie scoop to drop rounded teaspoons onto cookie trays
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Let cool and enjoy!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Essential Oil Varicose Vein Relief

What are Varicose Veins? Varicose Veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin. They are most common in the legs and ankles. The veins are caused by weakened valves and veins in your legs. When the valves do not work as they should, blood collects in your legs and pressure builds up. Although not dangerous, varicose veins can cause a great deal of discomfort when you are on your feet for long periods of time. 

Garlic capsules and Vitamin E supplements are a helpful aid in the treatment of varicose veins. Walking is the best form of exercise for anyone with this condition, but any gentle exercise is better than none. After long periods of standing, sit with your feet elevated to the same height as your head. 

This recipes uses a combination of essential oils that promote blood flow and may help get rid of of the blood clots causing the varicose veins. 

Varicose Veins Essential Oil Spray

Mix your ingredients together in a 2 ounce spray bottle. Spray into your hand or strait onto your legs. Stoke the legs very gently from ankle to thigh.

Here is a list of essential oils that promote circulation and blood flow. 

In addition to promoting circulation there are also oils that will help with the inflammation that often occurs with varicose veins. 

You can mix and match any of the essential oils that promote circulation and help with inflammation in your essential oil spray. Just make sure to choose at least 2 oils from the circulation list. 

Always enjoy 10% off your entire order with 
coupon code: simplyhealth

***The information contained in this post is for information purposes only. It should not be used to replace professional medical advice or prescriptions from your physician or other health care professionals.