Searching for an All Natural Toothpaste

Great All Natural Toothpaste

When I was pregnant with Olivia, I started looking for an all natural toothpaste. Why? Because I started reading articles like these:

Scary stuff! The good news? Largely because of public outcry, Crest agreed to remove plastic microbeads from its products. However, these changes won’t be complete until 2016! My search to find a more natural product, in the meantime, took me to the Whole Body Department at my local Whole Foods. I settled on testing out Tom’s Peppermint toothpaste and ….well…. ugh… I just wasn’t satisfied. It didn’t foam… it didn’t leave my mouth feeling exceptionally clean… and, I hated the chalky after-taste. I went back to the drawing board of searching for a better alternative.

Fast forward about a year: I decided to try doTERRA’s On Guard Toothpaste. I never thought I would be singing the praises of a toothpaste…. but, this product is so, so good! Not only does it have a delightful cinnamon-y taste, but it is free from the ingredients listed above {no fluoride, no polyethylene, no parabens, no triclosan}.

Why is this important? Just pause for a moment and consider how many times you brush your teeth per day… 2x/day = 730 times you are exposing your body to whatever is in your toothpaste at a minimum.

Want to learn more about this product? See this INFO SHEET for the scoop on how various ingredients promote dental health.

You can purchase this product HERE through my retail shop. Better yet, contact me today about setting up a wholesale membership- this all natural toothpaste is one product that you will be using on a regular basis! It even comes in a convenient pack of 10, which is perfect for handing out samples OR traveling.

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Virginia Bluebells in Bloom

I want to let you in on a secret…

Blooming Virginia Bluebells

… there’s an area at Shaw Nature Reserve that erupts into a sea of gorgeous blooms near the Meramac River.

Shaw Nature Reserve Blooming Bluebells

A carpet of delicate Virginia Bluebells layers the ground– it’s quite unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Virginia Bluebells Shaw Nature Reserve

This beautiful display is only around for a very short window of time. Just the cherry blossom season, its beauty shines brightly and quickly fades as nature reinvents itself.

We went in search of this beautiful display on Easter Sunday. It is quite a trek to get to their location. James checked his phone after our excursion and our hike clocked in at roughly 6 miles… over the bridge, across the prairie, along the wildflower path, and down a steep hill.

Shaw Nature Reserve Trail

When we arrived this year, the blooms were just about to burst open. The blossoms were a hit with Olivia since they are purple (her favorite color right now). It was just a bit too early to see them in their full glory. I bet that this weekend (April 11 & 12th) would probably be ideal if the area isn’t under water due to recent thunderstorms.

Spring Adventures 2015

I love discovering local, unique gems like this one. There’s just something magical about this place and event. It almost reminds me of an ephemeral secret garden since it’s off the beaten path and not many people know about it.

Another perk of visiting this time of year? Thousands of daffodil bulbs are in bloom!

Shaw Nature Daffodils

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Springtime in Paris Contest

Earlier this month, I saw that Michaels was having a fun contest centered on the theme: Paris in the Springtime. I’ve wanted to go to France and this gorgeous city for as long as I remember. I’ll never forget seeing the iconic Eiffel tower erupt in a dazzling display of golden light on New Year’s Eve 1999. For this project, I decided to create a DIY travel journal.

Paris DIY Journal

When I saw this Recollections Keepsake Book at Michaels, I immediately thought of the Eiffel tower’s beautiful sparkles! It was also the perfect size to throw in my purse or suitcase to document beautiful memories of the City of Light.

Paris DIY Journal Embellishments

I embellished the front with elements from the Trinkets Collection by Project Life, a die-cut image of The Eiffel Tower created by my silhouette machine, and punched flowers. In terms of design, I opted to almost everything flat and avoid additions that might “catch” as this journal was shuffled between suitcases/bags {no double-sided foam tape, no rhinestones, & no ribbon}.

Paris DIY Journal Supplies

James and I have been so fortunate to travel to a number of amazing places in the past: Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Aruba, Barbados, Hawaii, and the list continues… A common theme I’ve noticed: If I don’t write down a snapshot of our day while we are on the trip, it is 10x harder to remember an accurate timeline that captures daily adventures after the fact. In the past, I’ve taken a small little notebook with me and scratched down details I didn’t want to forget. The problem? I haven’t had time to do anything with them! What a messy collection of memories!

Travel Journals

This beautiful on-the-go journal solves my issue! It will allow me to capture all those candid moments and effectively start the documenting process immediately.

To prep this little book for journaling, I sprinkled decorative elements throughout its pages. Here’s a sample:

Paris DIY Journal Pages

Why the “keys”? …No, it isn’t in honor of The Pont des Arts {although I would have loved to have seen this tourist spot before glass panels were installed}. Instead, it symbolizes getting off the beaten path and discovering Paris through the lens of a local. I look forward to not only visiting the top 10 list of iconic attractions/museums, but also seeing fun landmarks that might not necessarily show up in a guidebook.

Paris DIY Journal Cover

My goal with this project was to create something worthy of capturing the ever-evolving beauty and grace of the city. I can’t wait to fill in the pages someday.

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Monday Musings

Happy Monday!

State of Mind

How are you greeting this week? Optimistic for all the wonderful adventures ahead? ….Or, are you already feeling pulled down as you consider everything on your enormous growing to-do list?

If so, shake things up and listen to this 4 min meditation by Terri Cole. Wishing you a week where everything falls into place!

 

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Hello, 31

Once you’ve hit your 30s, you’re not a day over 29, right?!

birthday31

When I think about this past year, I’m overwhelmed by how much our little family has grown! Olivia is running these days and talking up a storm. I feel so fortunate to have James by my side as we’ve learned new lessons in parenthood {ahem, new levels of patience!}.  When I think about this year, these thoughts come to mind:

…growing as a family… meeting an insane amount of work deadlines… striving to find balance… developing new skills in dealing with toddler tantrums… learning lessons on taking care of my health… attempting to juggle it all and feeling like I’m always short… laughing with family and friends… working with a talented team managing store products at The Dating Divas blog… being fascinated by the current scope of research on essential oils…

I came across this article recently: Tips to Help Millennials Find Meaningful Work. I agree with so many points of this article, especially their focus on how our generation wants/needs to make an impact. Have you found your purpose-driven career? For me, finding doTERRA’s opportunity has been a true gift! When I teach an essential oil class and help connect families to tools that will help them on their health journey, I feel like I’m giving back. I’ve gone from being completely skeptical to actively teaching about these natural health solutions because I’ve seen firsthand the difference that they can make in my own family, as well as countless others.

doTerra offers so much more than just a set of products to enhance your health- the company’s sourcing practices, commitment to education, focus on philanthropy, and generous compensation plan are all visible pieces of their integrity and heart. I’m really excited to see where this journey takes me throughout the rest of the year.

birthday31-2

So what’s next? I’m still chipping away at my 30 During 30 List… So many of these items relate to a lifestyle I’m trying to create– savoring the present moment {however beautiful, chaotic, and messy it might be!}, being a good mama, carving out time with family & friends, and focusing on my own health goals.

I saw this video and thought it was a powerful reminder of the impact our words have in creating our self image.

I’m going to work on being kinder to myself this year. We are all works in progress.

…and that’s ok.

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Essential Oil 101: The Soothing Blend

The Deep Blue line of dōTERRA products is one of my personal favorites. What makes this collection so great?

Deep-Blue-Products

Here’s a video that I ran across where Dr. Hill explains how the individual constituents of this blend work together synergistically to help soothe occasional sore muscles and joints:

If you don’t have time to listen, here are my cliff notes:

Love this quote from Dr. Hill {min: 8:08}: “With health, we are either doing 1 of 2 things. There’s no such thing as being stationary. Either we’re acting in this model of prevention or we’re acting in a model of progression…. There’s no such thing as standing still.” … this statement is so true! dōTERRA’s wellness products can help you move toward stability and vitality– the concept of “progression” doesn’t have to be negative.

Properties of The Soothing Blend:

  • Analgesic: Wintergreen, Camphor, and Peppermint are going to give an immediate cooling sensation to the area and assist with pain relief.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Blue Tansy and Blue Chamomile helps soothe inflammation. Blue Chamomile contains a compound called chamazulene, which is a natural muscle relaxer that will help relieve occasional muscle spasms and tension.
  • Restorative: Helichrysum promotes circulation. According to dōTERRA’s blog, this delicate oil “is best known for its restorative properties to the skin, liver, and nervous system.”

I frequently find myself reaching for the Deep Blue Rub when my back starts aching at the end of the day {…especially after lugging around a nearly 30-pound toddler on my hip!}. The roll-on essential oil has been a lifesaver for the times when my head won’t stop pounding. I simply apply a few swipes across the top of my forehead and around my temples. Love that immediate cooling sensation!

For the month of March, dōTERRA is running a special promotion:

deep blue promotion march 2015

Yep, you read that correctly… the company will gift you a FREE Deep 5mL bottle of The Soothing Blend AND Deep Blue Rub on qualifying orders. If you have any questions about the impact that these products can make in your life, please email me today:

cjmeyerdesigns [at] gmail [dot] com

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Essential Oils Travel Kit

Are you looking for a way to incorporate essential oils into your daily routine? I highly recommend getting a key chain to clip to your purse. It’s so handy to have while you are traveling or simply out and about running errands.

Essential-Oil-Travel-Kit

You can purchase these key chains directly from dōTERRA at a very reasonable price. Each one contains 8 sample vials that hold approximately 40 drops each {size= 5/8th dram}, which is the perfect amount for on-the-go wellness support.

What’s in my Key Chain?

  • Lavender or “The Swiss Army Knife of Oils”: a go-to for minor cuts, scrapes, burns, bug bites, and so much more!
  • Balance + Serenity: perfect for stressful moments with my toddler. I simply rub a little bit on her feet.
  • Breathe: helps maintain open airways and provides respiratory relief.
  • Peppermint + Wild Orange: otherwise known as my natural energy booster! This pairing helps wake up my senses and lift my mood. {I reach for these 2 oils instead of an extra coffee at 3pm.}
  • DigestZen: soothing for any type of tummy trouble.
  • Deep Blue: ideal for soothing sore muscles. This oil works wonders when my head is pounding.

You might also consider these oils:

  • On Guard: works as an effective hand sanitizer when you don’t have access to a bathroom.
  • TerraShield: perfect for helping to keep the bugs away. With the spring/summer months approaching, we are spending more time outdoors. I will be adding this to my key chain so I won’t ever be caught unprepared for an outdoor activity!

Want to put together your own little essential oils travel kit? Check out this video for the complete scoop:

For more travel ideas and tips, check out THIS POST from doTERRA’s blog. I love their suggestion of adding throat lozenges to your essential oils travel kit!

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St. Patrick’s Day Printable Placemats

Top of the Morning to You!

Here’s a fun tradition to start in honor of St. Patty’s Day:

Candice-Placemats-Pin

All you need to do is download the placemats, print, and set your breakfast table. It’s the perfect way to add a little charm to your morning! See my post on The Dating Divas for the full scoop:

Top of the Morning to You Printable Placemats

Candice-Placemats-Table

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Valentine Gifts & Activities 2015

This year, February 14th was filled with:

… Hearts galore.

Valentine-Gift-Detail-2015

… Quick and easy Valentine gifts. {Don’t you just love this free “Eyes on You” printable from Lil’ Luna? I also dressed up a white picture frame with a pink bow and sparkles.}

Valentine-Gift-2015

Valentines-Gift-Bag-2015

… 5 Sweethearts sporting cute heart glasses. {Olivia’s cousins were in town.}

Valentines-Day-2015

… and impromptu tea parties. {Plum tea and pie are Olivia’s fav!}

Valentines-Day-2015-1

All in all, pretty perfect!

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A Special Valentine Arrival

It seems as though an entire season of laughter, tears, and gratitude has elapsed between February 1 and today. It’s hard to believe that it’s already the middle of March. Last month, our dear friends welcomed a precious little boy into their lives. He was born at 33 weeks exactly. This type of news is always a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, you are thrilled for the new parents and their growing family. At the same time, your heart sinks because you are all too familiar with some of the challenges that come with prematurity… the uncertainty, the waiting, the back-steps, and so much more. Life is just so darn fragile!

Despite feeling overwhelmed and scared, I remember being in awe of Olivia’s tenacity to get better each day she was in the hospital. Her courage gave me strength- the human body and spirit are incredibly resilient, strong, and brave. As we celebrated each tiny milestone along Olivia’s journey, moments of heartache were slowly replaced with joy and gratitude.

Olivia made this Valentine card for her fellow 33-Week buddy, Owen:

Valentines-Card

I’m sure that Owen will continue teaching his parents life lessons as they all grow together. Right now, he is snuggled safely in his mama’s arms and thriving at home!

To all the mama’s of sweet preemies, I think YOU are amazing. You have been asked to find new depths of strength inside yourself and to search for the thread of love in even the most impossible situations. This Valentine’s Day, I am celebrating the fierce and unfailing love that we {as mama’s} have for our precious children.

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