Hello, 31

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

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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 super talented store product team 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.

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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.

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… 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.}

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

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

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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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The Best Christmas Present 2014

I might have gotten the best Christmas present ever, this year. I know, I know… that’s a pretty tall claim. But take a look:

DIY Toddler Sticker Book

2 gorgeous sticker books crafted with care by Olivia. My mom watches Olivia during the week and one of their favorite activities is crafting sticker books. The concept is super simple: grab an empty photo album and fill it with stickers! Love that it’s simple, cheap, and FULL of amazing learning opportunities.  All of the designs provide endless prompts for talking about colors, shapes, and so much more. Olivia also gets to practice her fine motor skills (and motor planning/sequencing) as she peels and places the stickers on a page. It’s also a great way to reinforce the process of cleaning up- picking up all the little pieces and taking care of her supplies.

Toddler Sticker Books

Our sticker box is filled with goodies from the dollar bin at Target and old address labels.

Sticker-Book-Detail

My mom wrapped up 2 completed editions as a present for me, along with a homemade card from my sweet girl. Every time I look at these, I’m amazed at Olivia’s effort, determination, creativity. Thanks, Mom for putting together this keepsake that’s equal parts love and learning.

Sticker-Book-Details3 Sticker-Book-Details2

Guess what Olivia got for Christmas? 2 new photo albums to fill up!

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Christmas Accordion Album 2015

Over the Holidays, I put together a darling little accordion album from Carina Gardner. This mini scrapbook was the perfect keepsake to hold cherished Christmas pics of Olivia.

Christmas-Accordion-Album

I cut out the digital files using my silhouette machine and added a few design elements: rounded photo corners, red polka dot washi tape borders, sprigs of paper holly, golden stars, and Holiday stickers.

Christmas-Accordion-Detail

My favorite element? The back cover hands down. Love the photo and the framing!

Christmas-Accordion-Cover

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Hello 2015: Welcoming Grace

Brave-2015

It’s been a little quiet around here with the whirlwind of celebrations and chaos commonly known as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Olivia’s Second Birthday. More to come on each of these topics, but for now, I’m savoring the sunshine. It was nearly 60 degrees today- in January!

Did you pick a new One Little Word for 2015? I’m keeping my word from last year, Light. I’m going to continue creating “Light” in my daily life by pursuing my passions, removing unwanted stress, staying in the present moment, and building healthy routines. BUT, I’m also adding another word: Grace. The pairing of Light + Grace together just feels right. 2014 was quite frankly a doozy- an incredible avalanche of deadlines, commitments, and uncertainties. By adding “Grace” to my yearly mantra, I’m going to give myself permission to embrace imperfection in the pursuit of Light.

OLW-2015-Grace

Emily Ley couldn’t have said it better: “I will hold myself to a standard of Grace not perfection.” This beautiful saying is now on my home screen as a daily reminder- it’s #16 on her collection of gorgeous FREE phone wallpapers.

I’m dreaming big for 2015- here are a few glimpses of my vision board for this year:

2015-Vision-Board

I couldn’t resist adding a few aqua and gold paper butterflies. Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year!

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Snowflake DIY Gift Tags

Snowflake Holiday Gift Tags

Tis the season… for creating cute gift tags, that is! These darling tags were actually made from paper scraps left behind by my Silhouette machine. All you need to do is punch out the shape outline left behind!

Then, punch an identical tag to pair beneath it and clip them together with ribbon. The negative space from the original silhouette cut-out provides a little window, which beautifully showcases a decorative paper underneath! I’ve seen this technique before on Pinterest but have never tried it myself using paper scraps!

Snowflake Gift Tag Tutorial

The creative possibilities with this format are endless! On the second tag, you could use your favorite scrapbook paper, design a background out of watercolors, or even add some washi tape! The Thinking Closet posted this amazing tutorial for a gorgeous washi tape background. I used a snowflake embossing folder to add a little extra dimension to the top tag.

I adorned these tags with a festive medallion embellishment from the Winter Wishes collection. (Note: I adjusted the hue to match my aqua color palette using the “saturation” layer in Photoshop Elements.)

Snowflake Gift Tag Detail

Edging the border with glitter gave this element a little extra sparkle!

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