An Uncomplicated Life Blog: April 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Why My Children Share A Bedroom

In a world where everyone has their own phone, own car, own toys and independent everything, I'm making my children share a bedroom. 

I was hanging out at my yoga studio recently, talking mom talk with the other ladies who take the 9:30am class (seriously, there isn't a man in sight at that time). One of the moms I chat with regularly was complaining about how her 5 year old now wants her own cell phone for her birthday, since her sister, who was just slightly older at 7 years old, recently had gotten one. The mom was actually going to ATT after class to pick it up for her young child. I was shocked. Not only is that insanely young to "own" such an expensive piece of technology (iPhones are nearly a grand!) but that the mom felt like what the older one had, the younger one "needed" too, just to keep jealousy at bay. This, my friends, is part of the reason my children are sharing a bedroom.

In an indenpendednt-contered culture, my kids will be sharing a bedroom to learn some old fashioned lessons

Doesn't make sense yet? Hold on. It will.

We have a decent sized home in Dallas. This is Texas, after all - we do things big here! We've got plenty of bedrooms to have each of our kids have their own. But when we found out we were having another boy, I knew instantly that I wanted my kids to share their nursery. My husband thought I was crazy. "We have plenty of bedrooms! Why wouldn't they have their own rooms?!" He asked.

Call me crazy. But I remembered when my sister and I shared a room growing up. We had bunk beds and made a fort out of it, regularly playing that we were lost at sea and the bunks were our ship. I had the bottom bunk, and we'd drape a large blanket around it so it was like a private room. Or, sauna. The bunks were up against a heat vent, and wrapping a blanket around my bunk created a sweat-lodge-like effect.

I don't think I've shared a single pic of our boys' double nursery! Here it is :)

There was a time when we didn't have to share a room, too. I was really young - in first and second grade. My sister had a double sized bed in her room. Every night, I mean every. single. night, I would cry and beg her to let me sleep with her! I wanted nothing to do with sleeping in a dark, scary room by myself. Every night, she would tell me no. Nope. No way! And when I hung my head in defeat, she'd change her mind at the last minute and scoot over for me to join her in bed. I think she just liked having all the power. It was cool. I got much bigger much more quickly than she did, so I took that power back reeeeeal quick!

I could reminisce all day, but what I'm trying to say is that by sharing a room, my sister and I learned how to have a relationship together. We learned how to play. We learned how to fight (I'm still sorry about the time I punched her in her face for the remote control, catapulting her into instant, pitiful tears!) We learned how to share, and we learned how to take turns. One of the biggest treats growing up was who got to ride in the front seat of the car. My sister and I had that down! We simply took turns. Every other trip the other sister got it. There was never a single fight about it - we had worked out our system! How many parents can say that of their children these days?!

*I realize 7 year olds no longer sit in the front, but are regaled to car seats and boosters until they're about 18 years old*

Only one changing station necessary in a shared bedroom!

I don't want my children thinking that whatever the other one has, he can - nay, SHOULD - have too. That sense of entitlement disgusts me, and it's very much learned as opposed to part of one's nature. Guess what Otto, you're younger than Henry, so Henry will get to do things and have things before you. That's how it goes. That's life. I don't care if you don't think it's fair. What's fair has nothing to do with who "deserves" what, and who deserves what has nothing to do with who's earned what. The earlier my kids learn this, the better off they'll be.

Will having my children share a room make them great people? Will it teach them every life lesson they need to learn so they can be wonderful adults? Will it mean that they'll fight less and love more? No. But it will help them to learn to share. It will teach them that just because we have a house big enough for everyone to have their own room, it's still nice to be together. It might teach them that just because something CAN happen doesn't mean that it WILL. Just because I CAN buy them their own iPhones doesn't mean that I WILL. Because I wont. I want to foster a sense of togetherness that's inclusive, not separate exclusiveness. That's why my children share a bedroom.

Monday, April 25, 2016

How To Build A Successful And Profitable Blog

Mistakes made, lessons learned and tips and tricks of a full time blogger who has run a successful blog for over two years

April 2016 marks two years of me running this little corner of the internet! It's been a hoot. And as I sit to write this post sharing what I've learned, things that contributed to my success and things that definitely did NOT, I find myself laughing and wishing that I had either read one of these posts in my first year of blogging or actually took the advice of that blogger. So here it is, in all it's glory: How to build a successful and profitable blog. Or, you know, at least how I did it. There's always more than one way to do anything! Happy anniversary, An Uncomplicated Life Blog.

Want to start a great blog and earn an income but don't know where to start? This post outlines some key things to get your blog profitable and successful!

Mistakes I made:
My whole first year of blogging, my posts were TERRIBLE. I utilized zero SEO, my images sucked, nothing was pinnable from my site and I think I got a whopping 200-300 page views a day. I wrote posts in exchange for free product and took (almost) whatever was sent my way. I didn't have a defined niche and wrote about all the things (all of them!) in addition to parenting and wellness.

Fast forward to May of 2015 and I got my Pinterest act together (here's how I did it). I started to make sure the images on here were pin-ready, and thus saw a massive increase in traffic from that site.

In July of 2015, I accepted my first sponsored post. It didn't pay amazingly, and I was a little concerned about the topic, but I wrote a story that told my truth and it was one of my most viewed posts of 2015 (25k views and counting, on one post!). I got so excited about it, I started to accept all kinds of sponsored posts. I at least angled them to fit my blog's niche, but looking back, some of it was super tacky. The money was nice but I wouldn't accept those posts now, and I'd go back and un-do them if I could.

Moral of this story?

Personal lessons learned:
Without fail, every single time I was scared to hit "publish", that post did amazingly. It turns out, when you write passionately about things you care about, people like to read it. Don't be scared to be yourself! Tell your stories. Show your personality. Yes, "list posts" and "be the expert" posts were a trend in 2015, but I can tell you from my own page views and from what me and my blog friends are actually clicking on, that trend is OVER for 2016. People are sick of pseudo internet experts (check this post out on why). My story telling and thought sharing/op-ed's have done amazingly well this year. It's a trend I'm thrilled about. If you're starting a blog just for money, you likely wont do well. But if you're writing because you love to write, have something to say, and want to build a community, your passion will come through and you'll do well.

Advice I have for new bloggers:

What I did well with my blog from the beginning:
Mark Zuckerburg and I are the same age, and he launched Facebook when I was a Freshman or Sophomore in college. Back when you could only friend people who went to your university, and had to have an "edu" email address to join (who else remembers those good old days?!) I also went to the largest university in the US (oooook, it's always a tossup between my alma mater, the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University. Whatevs. Ski-u-mah!) so we were one of the first schools to actually get our own network. What's taking me forever to say is, I got in on the ground level with Facebook, and learned early the significance of social media. So when I launched this blog, I knew social media would be key in growing my audience and marketing myself, my brand and my content.

I know how to WORK Facebook. I'm probably one of the few who absolutely loves the algorithms. I have a decent following (2400+) but my weekly post reach ranges from 15,000-40,000+ people. It's always in my top 3 for traffic referrals to my site. I now get paid almost 4 figures just to write one post for a brand, my reach is so strong! My longstanding love affair with Facebook has made me savvy, and I employed a solid Facebook strategy from day one of my blog launch.

Facebook aside, I employed a solid marketing strategy from day one of my blog. Prior to becoming a blogger, I worked in marketing strategy for 11 years and even got a Master's degree in it, so I was able to take my professional expertise and use it to grow this blog quickly.

Here's what's what with marketing strategy and blogging:
  • You can be the most eloquent writer, the most beautiful photographer and have only original ideas to share, but if you don't market them and drive traffic to your blog, nobody will know it's out there. "Build it and they will come" is total bull$hit. "Market it and they will come" is more like it
  • Be consistent with it. Just like you can't lose 20 pounds in a week, you're not going to get 1000 few followers (in whatever social media channel) overnight. Develop your strategy, set your direction, and stay your course for at least 3 months. Then evaluate and tweak (or outright change) as necessary
  • Read tips from other bloggers. Kinda like this post. Except, take it with a grain of salt. What they're doing (including me!) works for THEIR AUDIENCE and you need to do what works for YOUR AUDIENCE. But you can certainly get ideas from them
  • If you have little to no business experience, marketing knowledge or negotiation skills, go to a library and get legitimate sources and read up on it. DON'T take business advice from other bloggers, and I sure as hell wouldn't pay for a blogger's "e course" on how they're making an income blogging. Why? Because a self-made, self-taught online entrepreneur doesn't have all the answers. Just because they got lucky with their blog doesn't mean they have the knowledge to share with you on how you can do it. Get a REAL education in business and develop REAL skills - don't just take another blogger's word for it (although, like I said, you should totally be reading their advice on social media tips, blogging schedules, photography lighting and all the other fluffy parts of blogging - just not business. But hey, that's just my fluffy advice!)
Those are my key takeaways for how I've built a successful and profitable blog in under two years! I'll leave you with one final thought: You know those posts and articles telling you that your blog is not a business - it's only a way for you to market your business? The ones encouraging you to sell something and blog about that something? I'm here to tell you, and this post is here to prove to you, that's a bunch of crap. Your blog can certainly be your business! Your brand is your blog, your story telling, your experiences and the community you build. You too can have a successful and profitable blog!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Flex Your Eye Muscles

This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my review

Physical fitness is easy to remember (hit up that gym, get that yoga class in, etc) but are you flexing your eye muscles by remembering your eye health and annual exam?

I've worn glasses since I was in the third grade. I'm now so near sighted that I almost reach the textbook definition of legally blind. But even for me, a woman who depends on her glasses and contacts, it's hard to remember to schedule my annual eye exam! I'd cut off a toe before I missed my favorite yoga class, but flexing my eye muscles and heading to get these big browns checked out? That's challenging.

I always forget to schedule this yearly exam, but I had no idea it was THAT important!

Think About Your Eyes, a national public awareness campaign, is trying to urge slackers like me to focus more on our eye health. Heck, they're trying to raise awareness for everyone, even if you're diligent about your annual exam! The group surveyed people like me, gym rats members of a national gym chain and found that despite being on point with our physical fitness, we're all very likely to not flex our eye muscles and skip our annual eye exam. Even health conscious people are bad about this! At least I'm in good company... ? Just check out these stats:

Here's the thing though. In early April, I ran out of contacts. I even stretched out my "monthlies" to be more like "6 weeks-lies" and then tried to call for more contacts. No way, the office told me, you haven't been seen in two years! Get in here and get checked. So I went in and found a whole new set of technology was available! I was able to get special images done of my eyes and learned that I'm so nearsighted and my eyeball is so long, I'm at an increased risk for a retinal tear. I also learned that me extending my contact "expiration date" was aging my eyes and contributing to my retinal tear risk! Not even kidding, she took one look at my eyes through some fancy machine (I'm really well read on all those fancy medical terms, huh?), and before I could even confess that I wear my contacts far past the point that I should, my doctor was able to guess it! And then scolded me, like she should have.

Because of that appointment, my doctor was able to discuss with me the warning signs of the tear and when I should make an appointment vs. when I need to go to the emergency room immediately. I had no idea about any of this! I'm 31 years old, why would I even consider something like that, right? That right there friends demonstrates the importance of your annual exam. Even if you have perfect vision (like my sister, who got all the good eye genes), they might find something that you need to monitor, or discover something in your family history that puts you in a different risk group.

Your eye sight is a big deal. You lose it, and your life will NEVER be the same! So why are people (and by people, I mean me too) so bad about making that appointment? Don't have an optometrist? Think About Your Eyes created a handy Doctor Locator tool to make it easy for you! Please make sure you're flexing those eye muscles and getting your annual eye exam done. Your eyes will thank you for it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Preparing For The Long Texas Summer Season

How I'm preparing to weather the long and hot Texas summers

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Schick, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pmgschick #7dayshavechallenge #ad

Most {normal} people are thrilled about summer. Warm weather, sunny days, cabins, lake/beach life, vacations, school's out, lionsandtigersandbearsohmy! And when I lived in Minneapolis, even when I lived in Savannah, GA, I was excited about them too. But Texas? Texas summers take it to a whole other level. I'm talking 110 degrees by 8am level. Like, can't-go-outside-at-all-cabin-fever level. Wear as minimal clothing as possible level. You know how when you open an oven door, your hair blows back from the hot air meeting the room temperature? That's what happens when you open a door to the outside in the summer here in Texas. I could go on and on about this, but instead, I'll tell you how I'm preparing for it!

Warm weather (ok, hot hot hot!) is coming! Are you ready for summer? Here's how I'm getting summer-ready

I mentioned wearing minimal clothing. That's mandatory - even maxi dresses/skirts are too much for our Texas summers! I'm talking shorts, skirts and breathable fabric. You know what's necessary with all those things? Shaved legs! If you want to be comfortable {kinda} down here in the summer, you need to show a little leg, and if you want to be confident doing it, you need a good razor and solid shaving tips.

That's why when Schick asked me to partner with them in spreading the word on their 7 day shave challenge, I was like, yup. Given my climate and the temps we'll be climbing to (even by the end of April), I would gladly spread the word! Now y'all have heard me talk on here and on social media about my... errrrrr... Lack of ability to shower regularly. Well that's fine and dandy for winter, but now that we're headed into summer, I've got to up the ante and shower more regularly. A) because it's hot and I'm sweaty and B) because when you shave everyday, it's so much faster and becomes a breeze! And in the Texas summers, shaving everyday is a must. Remember those shorts I mentioned? There's nowhere to hide {leg hair} in those!

Ok, so we know that Texas is hot and that you {and by you, I mean me. Or you too! Especially if you're also a Texan} can prepare for it by competing the Schick 7 Day Shave Challenge. But what does that mean? Start with the Schick Hydro Silk razor. This badboy is amazing! It hydrates skin like no other razor. Ever had dry, flaky skin after shaving? Not a problem with this razor! But wait - there's more.

Use the razor with the New Skintimate Island Berry Breeze Shave Gel. This stuff not only smells great and helps moisturize your legs, the gel foams into a rich lather. This makes it super easy to see where you've shaved and where you haven't. Ever had an "oopsies" moment where you realized you missed the whole back of your calf? Yeah, me too. I also always seem to miss my shin bone - probably because I've nicked myself there so many times...

Wanna know how you avoid nicks?! By replacing your razor blades often! There's nothing like a dull blade to slice through your skin, right? OUCH. Schick makes it super easy with these hanging shower refills. Ever gone to shower and after you've gotten in thought, "Dang, I should have changed my blade! Oh well. I'm in here now." Then you nick your knee and swear you'll change it next time. No need to worry about that with these in-shower storage blades! You can do it after you've gotten in and don't need to track water all over your floor looking for a new blade.

Finally, you can moisturize with Skintimate Silky Skin. This stuff is great, and has Moroccan Oil and Vitamin E to help replenish your skins natural moisture. And it smells great.

You do that for seven days and see for yourself how smooth, silky and gorgeous your legs look! I promise you you'll be ready for shorts-season. Which, if you live in Texas like me, is extra extra long. I might not be able to escape the long Texas summer season, but I sure can be prepared for it, right?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The World Is Built For Short People

The struggle is real if you're tall, because the world is built for short people

There are few things that annoy me more in this world than the fact that it was built for (and potentially by) short people. I mean, first world problems right? But guess what folks. I (and probably you, too) live in the first world, so therefore it is a real problem. At 5'10 I'm no where near the tallest person or even the tallest woman to roam this earth. The REAL tall people must really struggle! Short people, are you reading this and thinking I'm crazy? Yes? Well, let's just examine the ways the world was built for you, shall we? Here's exactly how the world is built for short people:

Ever noticed how short people have it easy - like the whole world was built for and by them?!
*affiliate links present*

Shorties, have you ever tried to take a shower in a standard shower and have to bend your knees down and lean your head wayyyyyyy back just to get your hair washed under the (too short) shower head nozzle? Doesn't seem like that big of a deal to bend those knees and engage those abs. Unless you're pregnant. Or just had a c section. Or are aging. Or have knee problems.

You know what you would have to do if we raised the standard height of the nozzle? Nothing. You would have to stand there, like you currently do. Have you ever not realized you were standing in a standard shower and WHACKED your head on one of those things?! It's painful! And an unpleasant shock. I bet a short person created the standard height of those things, and snickers every time they see a tall(er-ish) person heading unsuspectingly into one of them.

If you read this post about my bathroom renovation, you know that extra long tubs (read: for tall people) cost far more. Short people, have you ever (even once!) had to pay extra for you to fit into something? No, you haven't, because the world is built for you. You don't need a special size to accommodate any extra limbs you {don't} have. I now just expect to pay more for things to accommodate me and my limbs. I used to get mad; now I just roll my eyes and say, "of course it is..." when dealing with the higher price tag.

I need this shirt. Source

Like jeans. Short people, you get to shop at regular stores and pay regular prices for jeans. Even if they're too long for you, all you have to do is get them hemmed. Hemming costs less than $10 at a tailor. Me? I can't create length where none exists. I have to spend hundreds on a single pair to get at least a 36" inseam. The standard 32" is capris-length on me. If I want to look like I'm not walking in a flood with my high waters on, I need to shell out the cash.

I also need to dish out the bucks for my car. Shorties, I bet you have no idea what it's like when you try to fit your toddler's car seat behind the driver's side because your infant's rear facing seat is far too large to fit in the back with you in the front, and you can't scoot your seat any further back so you drive with your knees in the dash. I have a mid-sized SUV and STILL can't drive comfortably. Who designed these cars?

Short people, that's who. AND they're in cahoots with the car seat manufacturers. I can just see those short people, with their evil short-people design plans, saying, "Three inches of leg room should be sufficient, based on our calculations." Ugh, yeah. If you're like 5'5, jerks. A compact car was just out of the question, and a full sized SUV is like $70k. Short people, do you need to spend $70k on a car juuuuuuuuust to fit in it comfortably? No. You don't.

I'm sure all of use have gotten a drink at the drinking fountain at one point in our lives. Short people, you get to bend over comfortably and take your sips. Us tall people? I've squatted, I've tilted my head upside down and I've even gone to my knees to attempt to get a drink. Just a ridiculous amount of acrobatics to get a friggin' drink of water! Straight up giraffe moves, I tell you. Why can't these things be a few inches taller? Heaven forbid you have to stand on your toes so us tall people don't have to drink upside down.

Short people, I hope you're happy. You've clearly built the developed world and made it all about you! You *could* build in some height for us tall people, and make it a bit easier (and less expensive!) for us, but no. You continue to rule the world with your short ways.

Monday, April 11, 2016

When Blogger IS Better Than Wordpress

Wordpress is the site of choice for most bloggers, and for good reason. But sometimes, Blogger IS the better choice!

I might be one of the only bloggers, or at least one of the very few, to write a post favoring the Blogger platform. You see endless reasons to "switch to Wordpress" and why it's better, and why that particular blogger made the switch. I don't read those posts anymore. I get it. We all get it. Wordpress (self hosted) is indeed better - for the most part. You own your site, own your content, better image quality, blah blah blah. Got it. Kthanxbai. But I'll tell you what: There IS a time when Blogger is better than Wordpress.

Everyone raves about Wordpress, so is Blogger ever the best blogging platform?!

I don't have any formal HTML coding education or experience. I'm all self taught. When I started this blog two years ago, I had no idea what I was doing! I started on Blogger because I had a gmail account so it was easy to open a Blogger one, too. In case you didn't know, Gmail, Google and Blogger are all one big happy family on the internets.

Additionally, when I opened said account, I could figure out how to use it. I fumbled through some of my first posts, and certainly had a terrible site design until I got a professional to do a custom one for me. But it was manageable for someone who was a writer by trade and dumb as an ox with technology. I should mention, I also opened a Wordpress account. I stared at that screen for about 10 minutes before I gave up. It wasn't inherent to me; I had no idea how to even post on that platform the way I wanted to!

Are you on Wordpress, Blogger or some other platform?

So when is Blogger better than Wordpress? Simple: when you're not tech-savvy and furthermore, when you don't have capacity to sit and google or youtube hundreds of how-to videos/tutorials. And that's just for a basic post! Never mind the fact that self-hosted Wordpress sites crash, need to be backed up and regularly are down for maintenance. Kate from The Small Things Blog says making the switch was the worst decision she's ever made. Her site hasn't worked consistently since switching because of all the tech problems! She's also an enormously popular blogger who has a following large enough to crash a site #goals.

Blogger is user friendly. My site is ALWAYS up. That means that when I actually get 25 minutes of both kids napping, I can actually create a post. I don't need to fumble through tech problems or update the latest plugin. Blogger is better for us busy moms, or work outside the home moms, or just busy career gals who don't want to futz with tech problems - we just want to BLOG! I have juuuuuuuust enough time to crank out two posts a week, take the photos for them, edit them, insert them in my post, and schedule it. Just enough. I do not have time for site crashes, plugin installs and updates, hosting issues and heck - even figuring out how to get a dang post to look the way I want it to!

Blogger is the most realistic choice for me, right now

Look, Wordpress delivers better quality. You have more choices and control over your blog. Have you ever noticed how my images sometimes aren't quite the same size? I size them all in editing software to 950x1400. But when I upload them in Blogger, I can only select "small medium large xlarge" for the sizes, and for whatever reason, they don't always line up. That annoys me to no end. But it's not nearly as annoying as having your site down when you only have 15 minutes to crank out content! It's not nearly as annoying as having friends text you that your comment plugin isn't working, and you have to spend the next two hours troubleshooting why.

Blogger is turnkey. I never worry about any of those issues. Yes, I can't reply to people who are still "no-reply" bloggers, which some of my favorite bloggers and regular commenters are (that's why you haven't heard from me!). It's true, I have limited control over image size, and even though I have high res photos, I feel like the quality is always a bit blurry after uploading them to Blogger. But this platform is so user friendly! Since I stay home with kids and blog (I officially call myself a work from home mom now) I need my blogging platform to be as quick, turnkey, functional and easy to use as possible. My time needs to be spent on content, not technology.

Don't get me wrong. The second I have more capacity, I'll make the switch! But currently, my reality is that I have two kids under two that rarely nap at the same time. I have super limited time to spend that isn't with a baby or toddler on my lap. Blogger is conducive for that kind of blogger. And for folks like me, Blogger IS better than Wordpress.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Things I Don't Understand About Bloggers

I'm a blogger, right? I've been taking up this little corner of the internet for nearly two years now. I have blogging friends, some of whom I've met in person. So I think I'm fairly submerged in this culture. But there are some things I just don't understand about bloggers and/or blogging! For real. This is kinda a confessional post - things I don't understand about bloggers.

I was going to scratch this entire post because I feared it was way too snarky, but my girl Jaelan read a draft and told me it was hilarious. Alas, it's published! Dear bloggers, please chime in and help me understand some of the quirky things about you that I just don't get. Such as:

I don't understand why bloggers put "free printables" on their site. In fact, I don't understand printables at all. Unless you're a home school blog, and you're putting your curriculum out there, I get that. But why do I want to take your file and print it? Especially for things like cards. I don't keep card stock on file. I don't even know if our home printer would print on card stock! Heck, I don't even know if our printer currently has toner in it, because everything is done electronically these days... Can someone explain the value of a printable to me? Real question.

I don't understand the free advertising bloggers give Starbucks . Especially in the fall when PSL's come out or that dang red cup design (or lack of it). If Starbucks isn't paying me, I'm not putting that 'ish on my Instagram. Plus, their coffee isn't my favorite (sorry, Starbucks). So, you know, they'd have to pay me a lot for some advertising. Bloggers, why do you give it for free?

I don't understand why bloggers use the word "obsessed" excessively. Nine times out of ten, when a blogger is doing a product review, especially one they were given free product for, they're "so obsessed!" with it. Do you know what the definition of obsession is? It's a mental disorder. Basically, you're telling everyone you're mentally deranged over a lipstick. And a shirt. And probably also over a pair of wedges. All in the same week. I'd be pretty scared to meet you in person if you're one of the bloggers who uses the word "obsess"! Like, maybe you'd become "obsessed" with me and kill me - it's hard to tell... I mean, you're confessing your mental disorder so who can be sure?!

I don't understand bloggers deep love affair with Target. It's true, they have some nice things there. But I find most of it is really over priced! Some of the clothes (which fit poorly and fall apart after a few washes) are near J Crew prices, I can find better quality shoes for cheaper at DSW or the sale rack at Nordstrom, and Walmart beats the heck out of their prices for things like laundry detergent /toothpaste /etc. Plus, it's a figgin zoo on the weekends, so it's not like "a luxurious shopping experience" or anything. Bloggers, why the extreme love for Target?

Bloggers are a funny people. They band together and do/say some things that I just don't understand! At the end of the day, I supposed I'm one of them. And I'm sure someone could write an equally snarky post about the things I'm into ;)

Monday, April 4, 2016

5 Essential Oil Blends You Need In Your Diffuser This Spring

Use these essential oil diffuser blends to get your home fresh and ready for spring!

Have you gotten on board with essential oils yet? Ok, good. Whether you're an oil newbie or a seasoned pro, it's always helpful to have a list of blends to have diffusing in your home. Here's a round up of some great blends specifically for spring, when you're just starting to open up and air out all the stale air from winter. Unless you're down here with me in Texas, in which case we had those windows open all winter and are getting ready to shut them up to blast the AC. I digress... Back to the oil blends and diffuser ideas!

Check out these essential oil diffuser blends for allergies, in home air purification, motivation and energy for spring cleaning and more!
First, the essential oils! Revive oils are my new go-to. Yup, I used to be with Young Living, but the expense of those oils were insane. I asked some of my oily gurus who they got their oils from and learned about Revive. They're therapeutic grade, indigestible essential oils that are NOT a multi-level-marketing structure. You can go on their website and buy them like you'd buy something on Amazon - no need to sign up for some membership! They have packages with diffusers and single essential oils, plus roller bottles and other lifestyle items. Use code Paige10 for 10% off your order and experience the same quality of Young Living or doTERRA without the obnoxious price (and minus the sales people always trying to get you to buy things...)

A blend to promote allergy relief:
Spring allergies got you down? I know my car is covered in a yellowish-green layer of something (you know, like pollen) and hubs said his allergies are driving him nuts! A great blend for your diffuser is lemon + lavender + peppermint to help with those allergy symptoms. You can read in detail about it in this post. It wont cure your allergies, but it's certainly helped us in our home.

A blend to clear out that stale winter air:
Have you ever walked into your home and thought, "What in the world is that smell?" Well when your home is shut up and recycling air all winter long, your home can most certainly take on a funk. Even if you don't smell it. That's the worst isn't it?! When there definitely IS a smell in your home but you've become immune to it. Young Living makes a blend called Purification, and it works to purify the air in your home of any "funk"! I like to put 3-4 drops in my diffuser and run it in the room the dogs like to hang out in. It takes that wet dog smell right out (why must it rain so much in the spring and make my dogs extra stinky?!) This is a great blend for any room that might need a little extra help in the "freshening up" department.

A blend to calm nerves of upcoming summer break (aka your kids are home all day):
Look, I get it. I'm right there with you. Spring is beautiful, but it also means that summer is coming... And with that, summer break. And that means extra work for mom (or any care giver)! Henry has a 6 week summer session at school, but other than that, he'll be home from the end of May to the beginning of September and the thought of an energetic toddler around alllllllllll day is enough to get me stressed out. I'm a HUGE fan of Peace and Calming (actually, this is my favorite oil of all time). I diffuse this as I work in the mornings to keep me grounded and calm. It happens to be out of stock (one of the plants in the blend is out of it's growing season) so Young Living created Peace and Calming II. It's more floral than the original blend, so I'd recommend adding a drop or two of patchouli to add the earthiness back into it.

Sidenote: If you would have told the Paige of 3 years ago that I'd be recommending you add patchouli to ANYTHING, I'd have laughed you out of the room. Now it's a personal fav to add to other blends! Oils are life changing, y'all ;)

An energizing blend to motivate spring cleaning:
If you're dragging your feet to get the windows washed, clean out the HVAC filters, trim the hedges and all the other activities that go with "spring cleaning" because you just don't have the energy for it, you need a boost from an energizing blend in your diffuser! YL makes one for you called En-R-Gee that you can add a few drops of and diffuse to get a boost. Or you can make your own using lemon + peppermint, or use one of the woodsy smells of Idaho Blue Spruce, Idaho Balsam Fir (loooooooooove this one) or pine. Those crisp smells promote a sense of energy and help provide motivation to get that spring cleaning done!

Want to learn more about how to use essential oils? Check out these posts:

All of these are great options to run in your essential oil diffuser this spring! Whether you need allergy help, energy, motivation, or calming to get you through that big spring clean up, these oils will provide you some aromatherapy for help. Need help getting your hands on these oils? Click here for my website or email me directly to hook you up!