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Ode to Idaho or something like that

1930023_16138954212_4791_n Oh dear Idaho. Who would have known you’d be so good to me in so many unpredictable ways?

Though your butt cold bitter winters have made me dread being here for oh so many days.

Ok…so I was trying to make this a cool rhyming poem/song thing, but my brain doesn’t think super well in rhymes. But I still have a great deal of thoughts running in my head as we bid our farewells to this place we’ve called home for many years.

So here is some of the many ways this blessed state of Idaho has touched my (or my family’s) life these past 8 years:

1. In the beginning of my years here you introduced me to roommates who have been great friends, and helped me get through some hard trials with my mom’s then fairly recent death, and many things relating to it. Even though I am not the best at keeping in touch with many of these ladies, I will always cherish their influences on me.

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Just a handful of some amazing woman who have touched my life here in Idaho. I wish I had a picture with everyone that has touched my life!

2. You provided me an opportunity to learn the value of work, independence and learning to be on my own, 2-states-away-from-my-normal-out on my own, and not leaning on financial and physical support of family anymore.

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Pasty’s Porch: one of my favorite places in Rexburg, ID

3. You taught me the value of warm clothes, REALLY warm clothes, and blankets, and boots (especially ones with good traction ), flannel, and lots of layers !!

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Brrrr!!!! I will not miss the cold, bitter, bitter cold!!

4. You taught me the value and blessing of living close to an LDS temple, and attending as regularly as I possibly can.

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Rexburg temple: I was able to help in the open house process, and to attend weekly in the baptistery. After we were married we had an amazing and unique opportunity to be temple workers before our oldest was born.

5. You taught me the value of visiting teaching, and making friends with people in the wards you live in, because they become your family away from family.

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Though I didn’t meet this amazing lady in Idaho (her sister and my brother got married many years ago, and we’ve been friends since), she and her lovely growing family has practically been a family away from family, we will really miss them!!

6. You allowed me my first ice skating experience.

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Our first date after having our first child, it was a much needed date night after embarking into the roller coaster world of parenthood!

7. You’ve helped me appreciate the value of quality time as I long distance dated and was engaged to my now wonderful husband. Those months have become a foundation for our 5 & 1/2 years of marriage.

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My graduation in 2010, just before we had our first child.

8. You’ve allowed me to earn my associate degree in Preschool Education, and Bachelors in Child Development. As well as my husband’s Bachelors in Computer Information Technology and Masters in Business Administration and all the countless life lessons learned through the whole process of earning those degrees.

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Michael graduated with his Bachelors in 2013 at BYU-I, and his Masters at ISU in 2014 with now three children!

9. You’ve allowed us to enjoy your wonderful natural beauty from Yellowstone National Park, to Mesa Falls, Bear World, Bear lake and all the beauties in between with wide open fields of farmland.

10. Being here I have meet inspiring people to help me on my journey in the joy of real food and all its goodness.

11. Being here I’ve been introduced to the incalculable effects of essential oils and have loved its blessings on my growing family’s health and well being.

12. You’ve become the birthplace for all three of my greatest blessings and joys; my precious children. (We can officially use the phrase ‘way to go Idaho!’ on them, either sarcastically or genuinely, depending on the circumstances.)

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Each child of ours have been real special gifts!

13. You’ve allowed us opportunities to strengthen our marriage in ways we could have never imagined. Being far away from family we have learned to rely on each other more.

14. You’ve allowed us many opportunities to learn to trust God more, and look to Him in hope that He is there guiding our lives, and has a plan just for us even when it seems really hard, or that things might not work, they always do!

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Making our two paths into one. We’re in it together for the long haul wherever life takes us!

15. Being so far away from family, you’ve helped us to really value and appreciate any opportunity to be with family as often we are allowed it. We feel blessed to have been able to build relationships with our parents, siblings, and their children. They will be friendships for a lifetime.

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Pasty’s Porch: where Michael proposed to me, and it has been an inspirational place throughout our marriage.

Even though I’ve only listed 15 there are so many things, so many lessons we’ve learned and they have been a great start, a foundation for the rest of wherever we go and whatever we do. Sure, we could have learned many, if not all, of these lessons anywhere, but it has been an honor and privilege to learn these lessons, been introduced to wonderful people and been blessed with these opportunities in the good ol’ state of Idaho!

I first came to Idaho almost eight years ago with just me and a car full of stuff, and now I can finally return to Arizona with van full of stuff, a wonderful husband and three awesome kids. Merry Christmas, God bless, and thanks for the memories. And so we turn the page to new adventures ahead.

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Arizona here we come, ready or not!

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Candy Free Halloween

 

Halloween is just around the corner, and time to start planning and thinking of how the night will officially unfold. As I have mentioned in my previous post, I really love this holiday. At least the part of dressing up and being creative. But as in major changes we’ve made this year, this holiday will come with some new major adjustments. These changes I am referring to goes very hand in hand with my new “earthy” side as I shared in this post. You see, starting to go a more natural route with our medicine has really launched our desires to change our eating habits to more natural as well.

In the last few months we have really shifted our eating habits to not buying and especially EATING junk anymore. There is so much garbage in all this processed food out there we decided to not be part of it anymore (well as much as we can control with a little 80/20 variance). But I will definitely have more posts relating to all that later. Because that isn’t why you came here, right?

So to hold our grounds as much as possible on our new lifestyle, we are venturing out in a candy free Halloween. I know it will be inevitable to be exposed to candy (which will be part of 80/20 rule) at parties we attend, but we can at least do OUR part to add one less amount of junk to the mix, and

it might surprise how effective it can be too when it comes to your wallet.

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This is a brief view of the stash of goodies we will be handing out this year both at our church party and at our house for any trick or treaters brave enough to venture this candy free way 🙂

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To give you a little break down of the costs for this all:

We got most of these items at the dollar store, so that right there will give a good idea right off how much this will cost.

Bag of Army men (which boy or girl too, wouldn’t love these?): $1 per bag

Assorted bag of Spooky toys: $1 per 10-20 toys

Sheet of Spooky stickers (or non spooky you could get a lot more for a $1): $1

Pack of 8 Bubbles (in the wedding section): $1

Pack of Glow Sticks (sometimes Walmart has a good deal on these, depending on the time of year): $1-4

Then as small addition of “sweet tooth” we are doing some boxes of raisin that we made look like Frankenstein: $1.50-2.00 for 6 boxes

DSCN2811Then, our bulk of treats, we are going to make and fill clear plastic gloves with some yummy stove popped organic popcorn (like the picture below, but without the candy corn). I know there might be some towns that won’t allow homemade treats, but just do what you can, it can go a long way!

The gloves are $8.30 for 500 gloves ( and since these are non perishable, you can use these for YEARS of Halloweens!)

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So you add all that up and it comes to about $25, more or less on how much you actually buy. Depending on the kind of candy you buy you could easily spend that same amount of money, but the candy will only last you that one Halloween. When you buy the gloves, or any of the non-perishable stuff, anything left over can be used for future Halloween’s which in return becomes cheaper in years to come.

Plus, one fun final note, last year we were slowly starting some eating changes, and did about half candy, half toys, and to be honest, most of the kids we had visit us, LOVED the toys more, and they were long gone before the candy was, these toys can be a fun treat for them much longer than a candy that will loose it’s hype minutes after being consumed.

Hope that you have a delightful Halloween this year!

 

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Frugal pumpkin fun!

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Halloween time is probably one of my all time favorite holidays. But being an adult and realizing the real kick in the bank butt this holiday can be with decorations and costumes and trick or treat goods and all, I need to crank up the frugal notch to still make this fun without totally braking the bank too.
As a kid I loved carving pumpkins and all that good fun stuff, but as an adult I don’t care for the mess as much. But even more than that I also hate to see good food go to decoration waste. So now every year we get a pumpkin that we can paint or like this year put stickers on (that we got from the dollar store), as to still maintain all that pumpkin yumminess inside to be eaten later as a pie or cookies for thanksgiving (because if taken care of, they can last another month, or if it seems like it is going bad too soon, you can cook and freeze the pumpkin puree for thanksgiving time, sure beats canned pumpkin!!).
But putting stickers on a pumpkin or painting it takes away from the fun of having a fun glowing decoration on your porch to greet trick or treaters. So when I saw this on pinterest I felt all porch-glowing-decoration-giddy inside, especially because it didn’t cost another dime.
Just get your old empty milk cartons and decorate them however you want. We used some leftover stickers and also just permanent markers to draw different faces. Then for a fun and safe glowing look you can snap some glow sticks and throw them in the hole, set to be a fun glowing greeting all night long. Now I don’t have to feel bad about wasting good food, getting messy or missing out on making a fun glowing porch decoration.
So there you have it for this lovely Monday morning. Keep in touch as I will soon share our fun frugal costumes and also yummy, creative trick or treat goods that you won’t have to divulge into buying candy and all its crap to handout.

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Happy Chocolate!

Yes chocolate is, well pretty much amazing. But in our new “earthy” lifestyle, we are also trying to eat better. We have been trying really hard to not eat processed food, not eat food that has more than 5 ingredients (especially ones that have ingredients that we can’t pronounce), eating more organic, and more fresh, raw, or cooked at home and from scratch. So despite this I have come to terms that I still need my chocolate, who doesn’t? But have you read the ingredients on the back? I have, especially all my old favorites, it is all time heart breaking. Seeing all those long listed, unknown ingredients makes my heart get sad and sink because I still want to stay committed to my new lifestyle all while REALLY wanting some chocolate.

Well long story short, I have found it is really easy to make, and tastes just as amazing, or even better because I know there isn’t any extra garbage. And then upon recent discovery I have found it is even better with doTERRA’s essential oils (because they are safe for internal use) for an extra boost and flavor. I basically used this recipe from Homemade Mommy, but I also just kind of throw in the combination of coconut oil, cocoa powder, raw sugar/honey/maple syrup, dash of salt and vanilla till it all has a nice consistency. Then for the extra boost of awesome, I added about 5-10 drops of wild orange. You know what that means? HAPPY CHOCOLATE!! (refer to my post about how I learned about doTERRA oils and how wild orange makes me happy!)

 

In my new recent discovery I have also experimented with adding peppermint oil, the slim and sassy oil blend, and even combining them all. Can I just say A-MAZ-ING! My love for chocolate, and my love for doTERRA has just reached a whole new level. happy chocolate

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All things: “Earthy”

I have mentioned in previous posts that I have an “earthy” side, as well as it being part of the title of my blog. I promised a few posts ago I would explain, so here I finally am, going to explain. . I grew up with some “earthy” sort of stuff, and home remedies, but I haven’t really incorporated it as much into my older adult life until recently.

And the term “earthy” started with my sister when she said that she know essential oil uses, and they always smelled…earthy as she called it. So when I started using oils myself, my husband can’t help but call my “earthy” now too.

But it all started when I went to my first intro class to doTERRA essential oils. I just immediately felt excited and anxious to try them out. The girl that taught the class said that she had been on anti-depressants for most of her life and never really felt better from them. Then she started using “Wild Orange” and she has never felt happier, and has even completely been off the meds since.

I have never been diagnosed with depression, but I know it runs in my family, and definitely in my blood. So when I heard about how it has blessed her I knew I wanted to jump on board. I am not entirely sure where I would define my level of depression, and maybe it is just more of an overall sadness. There are just many days of my life that I feel like there are these nasty dark clouds that hang over me, and that no matter how hard I would try to “Choose to be happy” I couldn’t grasp it. My poor family has had to suffer to be around such a pest. Well I got my own “Wild Orange” (and as a disclaimer, I know there are many other oils that work for depression, and though this one worked great for me, it might not work in the same way for others, but that maybe a different oil would work too, we are all chemically built different, but everyone has a oil that can fit their needs). I haven’t felt so happy, since I don’t really know when. It is so much easier for me to “choose” to be happy! If I have my moments in the day when I want to explode at my children (just remember I am still human, and well sometimes little kids just drive you crazy!), I can snap back to my normal MUCH faster, where before the oils, if I had a bad run with them, my whole day was thrown under the bus, and I would turn into a grouchy bug under a rug. My poor hubby would have to come home to a crazy lady. There are days I forget to add a few drops to my water, and I can definitely tell a difference in my attitude and overall being those days I forget, verses days I remember (my husband can attest to it too. Sometimes he will ask me if I forgot when he comes home because I am a little more extra crazy, and he’s usually right. Now he helps make sure I get some in my morning drink of water to play things on the safe side).

Being introduced to these oils has been a huge blessing in my life, and also my children. Other blessings I love about them are: They have a immune booster blend of oils called OnGuard, I love this stuff! Since I got my first stash of it I have been putting it on my girls feet in the morning or at night, almost every day, but sometimes will miss a few days. Since then my children and I have not been sick at all (update: we got sick one weekend, but it only lasted about a day, verse a week like it used to be before the oils. And if I wake up with a sore throat feeling, I will rub a drop of this stuff on my throat and with mins up to an hour it is all gone, and no more sickness progress!)! I have many friends and acquaintances that have been sick along with their kids. Addie goes to nursery at church every week (with who knows what kind of germs going on there), we go to the store with all those goodie germs too. We haven’t turned into hermits, we go to the park almost daily, definitely being exposed to handful of germs, and we haven’t been affected at all. In fact when I first went to the intro class, Ruth was sick, and I got a small sample to take home for her, and it saved me having to take her to the doc, because she was getting worse, until I started using it on her.

Then since being a member I have also got a blend called Balance (which can also be another good one for depression), it is a nice grounding, calming kind of blend, it just gives you balance again, wherever you might need it. This one has been amazing for Addie. There are times she will FREAK out, like a crazy mad child, I don’t even know what to do because she is so screamy, crazy, and irrational. But when she gets like this I will just hold her feet down, put it on, and just gently rub her feet, and it is INSTANT! She will calm down, give me a hug, and be so much better. I don’t always remember to do this since I am kind of a space at times, but when I remember it is amazing. These are just a few small tidbits of how these goods have blessed my life. They have a book on everything you can do with the hundreds of different oils they offer, and there are endless cures for endless problems, it is amazing. You have a problem, there is an oil for it!

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And well, what is so neat about them, is that they actually don’t really “cure” you, they are giving you the extra boost or whatever it is your body needs, so that your body actually can heal itself. I have found this intro video that I have found to be pretty amazing in introducing the greatness of it all, especially if you aren’t local and wouldn’t be able to attend a class that I will put on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY1_lBGczPY, This presentation is given by Kalli Wilson.

And then if you want to overlook the website and all that doTERRA has to offer, you can check out this link here: www.mydoterra.com/happylife

This is just the beginning, you will definitely being hearing more from me about these wonderful goodnesses. I hope you have a wonderful day, and don’t be afraid to take a step on the “earthy” side 😉

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DoTERRA 2013 Convention Notes

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This last few weeks have been jam packed with awesome information. If you don’t already know I am a member and independent consultant of doTERRA essential oils. I absolutely love the oils, and the products that I have been able to try so far. And after having opportunity to listen/watch/take notes on their annual convention this last few weeks I am even more in love with the company and their leadership.

I hope this doesn’t fall under in copyright breaking laws, anyone please stop me if I am. But I just wanted share my notes from the convention since I just loved everything I got out of it, and some of the PowerPoint slides are so valuable to see if you didn’t get a chance to watch. So I am sharing. And again, please anyone inform me if I am overstepping my bounds sharing this. I hope you enjoy as much as I did, although a bunch (I mean a BUNCH) of notes however will never do the justice of actually getting to watch, or even be at the convention (hopefully some day I will actually get to be there in person). So in the future, if you can, I would defiantly recommending seeing the live feed at home, or even better be there in person. It was a great event. And now I will stop rambling. And one more thing, please let me know if you are unable to view any of the links. Happy Wednesday!

Wed Morning: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PWiDT5SjzIS3hocnVpUHZRSGs/edit?usp=sharing

Wed Afternoon: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PWiDT5SjzIT28xUjJDYXdlblE/edit?usp=sharing

Thurs Morning: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PWiDT5SjzIUGlDZktncjlnOFk/edit?usp=sharing

Thurs Afternoon Part 1:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PWiDT5SjzITl9uc3JOd0twRTQ/edit?usp=sharing

Thurs Afternoon Part 2: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PWiDT5SjzIME4tVFhoTzQwbFk/edit?usp=sharing

Friday Morning: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PWiDT5SjzISTdJY3lVcHZzQjg/edit?usp=sharing

Friday Afternoon: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PWiDT5SjzIbHBXSFhyTmZXM2M/edit?usp=sharing

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Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

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I have random spurts of inspiring thoughts, ideas, or projects to pursue. I get so excited thinking and feeling like I am being so cool and  original, because in a world like this it is hard to have an original idea. And then I get on pinterest…And it all dashes my originality to pieces. At least I can still summon some sort of originality before realizing how very much not original it is. In all its beauty and amazingness, I guess that is one discouraging thing about pinterest, is it sure knows how to steal feelings of original creativity….

Oh well. Such is life. And here is a new gem in my life that I feel thrilled to share, even if you’ve already run across it, since it a new popular concoction.

I love me a good salad, mmm! But sometimes the ranch dressing can make it feel like a big bowl of guilt. So then I try to eat it sometimes without dressing, thinking I am being so cool and healthier, but most times that just makes me feel like a cow, eating bland grass.

Then I meet Greek Yogurt. What a dear friend, a blessing in my life (it’s like the dairy/condiment magic fix all, anything white and pastey and not so healthy it can jump in and save the day, so I am discovering). I have already enjoyed its amazingness in replacing mayo (which was one glorious day. I don’t know if it’s true  but ever since I was little and someone told me mayo had formaldehyde in it, the same stuff they pump in dead people, I have had a deep disgust for it, and only eat in very drier circumstances like pasta salad. But thanks to Greek Yogurt I don’t have to anymore, oh happy day!) So I had the brilliant idea to use it for ranch too.

All I did was scoop some of the goods in a jar, added some milk (to a consistency that I like) , and added some seasoning from the dry ranch mix you can get for making ranch dip. Put a lid on and shake, (“gotta shake, shake, shake those sillies out, wiggle my waggles away…” these lovely kid songs are another constant in my brain these days…). In my recent awareness of not being original with this idea, I noticed some people added the whole dry mix packet, which for me personally is way over kill, and the ranch flavor is over powering. For the smaller canning size jar, like pictured above, a small, tsp. or so size amount was plenty enough flavor for my liking, but everyone is different, so just play with it till it meets your tastebud’s liking. This homemade dressing is packed with an extra dosing of protein, and much lower on the fat and calories, if  you’re into counting those suckers (although I am no expert at actually punching out the numbers for what exactly those calorie numbers come out to, it’s just apparent that it’s lower).
Then if you want it more for a dip and less for a salad then just lessen or completely ignore the milk adding part. There you have it, a bottle of yummy goodness.

Sorry for not having exact measuring instructions, I am more of a little of this, little of that, experimenting kind of girl, with little realization of using real measurements, till after I am done and think I should have. But since this idea is pinterest loaded, I am sure you could easily find exact measuring if that is your way about doing things.

One last side note, my favorite all time Greek Yogurt brand is ZOI. Especially if you want one of the less costly containers, without it being a not so yummy store brand. I have tried a good number of the cheaper brands and this one always wins my heart.

I hope you have a super, happy tummy full of goodness sort of day! 🙂