Monday, February 20, 2017

doTERRA Deal Days: BOGO

This week doTERRA has been offering a daily Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) deal with different oils/products--a great way to build up your essential oils supply!

If you are interested, please visit my doTERRA site:

Saturday's BOGO:

Peace promotes feelings of peace, reassurance, and contentment. It counteracts anxious and fearful emotions. 
Cheer promotes feelings of optimism, cheerfulness, and happiness. It counteracts negative emotions.
Let the good times roll...on your temples, back of neck, or bottom of feet!

To take advantage of today's deal, select Shop on my site, search Peace Touch and select Add to Cart. Once you have finished shopping, click Proceed to Checkout. The free Cheer Touch will automatically be added to your cart!

Friday's BOGO: 

This is a great time to get a second diffuser for work/home, or to give as a gift!
Breathe is an awesome blend of oils such as Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, and Lemon that promotes feelings of clear airways & easy breathing, as well minimizes the threat of seasonal illnesses. If you suffer from allergies and frequent colds, Breathe is the best blend to have!
Wild Orange has an energizing aroma, and when added to your water, it can promote overall health and antioxidant support. It smells lovely and is one of my favorite oils to diffuse!

To take advantage of today's deal, select Shop on my site, search Petal Diffuser and select Add to Cart. Once you have finished shopping, click Proceed to Checkout. The free Breathe and Wild Orange will automatically be added to your cart!

Thursday's BOGO:
Douglas Fir can be used to purify your skin and the air. You can use it to clean and to promote positive feelings, especially when used with a citrus oil like Lime.
Speaking of Lime, not only does this lovely oil purify the air and promote positivity like Douglas Fir does, it's also great in the kitchen! You can use it in guacamole, drink recipes, desserts, and more!
I like to think of this deal as "Christmas in Margaritaville"!

To take advantage of today's deal, select Shop on my site, search Douglas Fir 15mL and select Add to Cart. Once you have finished shopping, click Proceed to Checkout. The free Lime will automatically be added to your cart!

Wednesday's BOGO:

DigestZen is terrific for treating an upset stomach. I also like to put it on my forehead to break up sinus pressure, which comes in handy since I live in the allergy capital of the world.
Marjoram has an array of benefits: it promotes cardiovascular and immune health, it's great to cook with, and to calm feelings of stress. 
This duo is a wealth of health!

To take advantage of today's deal, select Shop on my site, search DigestZen 15mL and select Add to Cart. Once you have finished shopping, click Proceed to Checkout. The free Marjoram will automatically be added to your cart!

Tuesday's BOGO:
I heart the way Spearmint smells! It's one of my favorites to diffuse. Spearmint is a great go-to for an upset stomach, and it is a good alternative to Peppermint on younger children's sensitive skin. It increases focus & has an uplifting effect on mood.
Peppermint is right up there with Lavender & Lemon as one of my most-used oils. Not only does it work well for allergies, Peppermint both calms anxious feelings and focuses attention. It's a great oil to fight feelings of nausea. I like to use Peppermint when the afternoon food coma kicks in as an energy boost! Basically, you'll be in "mint condition" with this duo.

To take advantage of today's deal, select Shop on my site, search Spearmint 15mL and select Add to Cart. Once you have finished shopping, click Proceed to Checkout. The free Peppermint will automatically be added to your cart!

Monday's BOGO:

These are two of my favorite doTERRA products! I like to diffuse On Guard, take it orally (2-3 drops in a veggie capsule), and put it on the bottom of my feet to boost my immune system. I find it especially soothing when my throat feels sore. With its blend of such oils as Wild Orange, Clove, and Cinnamon, it smells like the holidays! 
And meanwhile my love for Lavender knows no bounds! In other words, this first deal is downright dreamy.

To take advantage of Monday's deal, select Shop on my site, search On Guard 15mL and select Add to Cart. Once you have finished shopping, click Proceed to Checkout. The free Lavender will automatically be added to your cart!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

An Ode to Lavender

In the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How do I love [lavender]? Let me count the ways.”

 I’ve always had an affinity for the scent of lavender (and the color). But since being introduced to the power of lavender essential oil, I’ve fallen for this flower even more. If I were only allowed to purchase one essential oil, I would choose lavender. It’s the most versatile essential oil—I use it everyday!

Lavender is known for it’s calming properties, and thus, I use it each night to wind down. I put a few drops on my pillow & sheets, as well as on the bottom of my feet. I also diffuse it while I sleep. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can put a few drops on your air filter (which I also do from time to time).

 In addition, I put several drops of lavender with water in a spray bottle to create a natural spider repellant. I sprayed the carpet around my doorways and windows, as well as the curtains. Not only has it made my house smell pleasant, I’m happy to report that I’ve seen a lot less arachnids around these parts.

I’ve been using Norwex dryer balls instead of dryer sheets for nearly two years now. I like to put a few drops of lavender on each dryer ball, which leaves my laundry smelling lovely!

I’ve also stopped using perfumes & body sprays in favor of essential oils. Naturally, lavender is one of my favorites to use.

For a girl like me who suffers from environmental allergies, lavender is a lifesaver. When ingested with lemon & peppermint essential oil, lavender helps me to breathe easier. The doTERRA TriEase Softgels are part of my morning routine. Diffusing these three oils together can also help promote a healthy respiratory system. The Introduction to Essential OilsKit includes one 5mL bottle of lavender, lemon, and peppermint, and is an inexpensive way to begin using these fabulous oils. 

I could go on and on about my love of lavender! For more information on this wonderful essential oil, please visit the doTERRA website.

If you would like to order your own bottle of lavender essential oil, please contact me or visit my webpage

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

I’m pretty sure that the worldwide consensus is that the past 365 days have been the worst, and I’m not here to dispute that by any means. On a personal level, this has been the toughest year I’ve ever experienced.

Normally, when I blog on the last day of the year, I reflect on all the blessings bestowed upon me. But I’m not going to do that this time. I’m ready to move on from 2016 and look ahead to 2017.

Please don’t interpret this as me saying that nothing positive happened this year, because there were still plenty of things that occurred for which I’m grateful; namely that I was reminded yet again what a phenomenal support system of family and friends that I have. I tried to write about the good stuff, you guys, I really did. But I just kept thinking about the struggles and ended up staring at a blank computer screen.

So this time around, I’m dedicating my energy on the last day of the year to the next 365 days. There’s a lot to look forward to…

Improved Health: Thanks to the Weight Watchers app, I lost 50 pounds this year! I’m planning to keep this train rolling while also increasing my physical fitness (my new job comes with a free gym membership-woo hoo!). Cheers to buying smaller clothes and feeling great!

A New Career Path (emphasis on the word, Career): It was always my dream to be back at my alma mater one day, and the highlight of the year was definitely making that dream come true. After two weeks as the Assistant Director of Career Development at my beloved university, I’m happy to say it has truly felt like coming home. I’m looking forward to being the primary Career Advisor for students, as well as teaching an internship preparation course, and collaborating with other departments on campus. It’s amazing to me that on this day last year I was at the lowest point on my career path, and just 365 days later, I am elated about the direction my professional life is headed.

A New Business Venture: I must say, I never saw myself as the type of person to be involved with sales of any kind, but after using doTERRA essential oils & products for the past two years, I decided in November to become a Wellness Advocate. I’m excited to educate others about the health benefits of essential oils and how to use them in their daily lives. I have MUCH more to say about this, so stay tuned for future blog posts. In the meantime, please visit my website to learn more.

Volunteering: I haven’t quite decided where or how, but I know that I want to give back to my community. I’ve spent the past three years mentoring college students at my alma mater, (which is what ultimately led me to discover my passion for career advising), but I’m ready to donate my time in another way. I’ve considered being a Big Sister for years, and I’ve also looked at the Metro United Way volunteer site for tutoring/mentoring opportunities. What is something you’ve done as a volunteer that you loved? Any recommendations are welcome!

More Time With Family: After the health scares our family experienced this year, I’m beyond grateful that we make it a priority to get together every week. If you’ve visited my blog before, you probably know that being an aunt to my sweet niece and nephew is my favorite thing in the world. I’m looking forward to watching them grow and learn, and I’m going to soak up as many minutes laughing with my family as possible.

More Doing What I Love: A lot of my energy was focused on my career this past year, and I let the things that I love to do fall to the wayside. I used to be the queen of leisure time, but I swear I forgot how to relax. This year I’m looking forward to reading & writing more, traveling more (I need a beach vacation like yesterday), and spending more time with my friends (in other words: restaurant visits, concerts, and hosting get-togethers). These are the things that make my heart happy and these are the things of which I need much more in the coming year.

I feel like if I asked the Magic 8-Ball how 2017 was going to go, it would say, “Outlook Is Good”. And speaking of good, it’s officially time to say GOODbye (and GOOD riddance) to 2016, and hello to Twenty-Seventeen. Cheers to the year ahead!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

LCM is O-N-E

Happiest 1st Birthday to the happiest boy I know! I can't believe it has already been a year since he came into our lives.

My precious nephew loves to eat, go on wagon rides, and play peekaboo. He adores his sister! He likes to roar like a lion, but there is no better sound than his giggle. When he blows me a kiss or waves his little hand bye-bye, it melts my heart every time. 

In a year that has been particularly challenging for our family, he has been a constant ray of sunshine. He is truly a blessing!

No matter what we call him-Lucas, Hamcat, Hammy, Luker, or Bubski-he answers to each name with a smile that lights up the room. He's the best nephew an aunt could ever hope to have. I've loved getting to see him grow over the past year and I look forward to many, many birthdays to come. Happy 1st Birthday, sweet boy!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Happy 40th Anniversary, Mom & Dad

I’m a hopeless romantic, and it’s all my parents’ fault.

In July of 1976, at the age of 18, my dad and his friend went on vacation to Daytona Beach. They weren’t happy with the location of their original hotel, so they checked into a different hotel closer to the pier, a move that would prove to change my parents' lives forever.

My dad walked out on the balcony of his new room, and noticed my mom in the pool. As the story goes, they met shortly thereafter in the hotel elevator, and were inseparable the rest of the week. 

As Dad tells it, he no sooner left Daytona, and Mom wrote him a letter to send to his home in Louisville, Kentucky. He wrote one back and sent it to her home in LaSalle, Illinois. That was just the beginning of the several letters, long-distance phone calls, and road trips to come over the next few months, a courtship I find especially impressive considering it was in an age without cell phones or the Internet; an early sign of their dedication to one another.

Dad proposed to Mom on Valentine’s Day in 1977, and they were married a few months later in LaSalle on August 7, 1977--40 years ago today!

This morning, they were back in LaSalle, having breakfast with my sister, her husband, and me as we were all in town to visit my grandma. A lot has happened for my parents in 40 years—a home in Louisville, job changes, Dad’s heart attack, Mom’s kidney cancer, 3 children, 2 grandchildren—and through it all they’ve remained dedicated to one another.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize just how rare a relationship like theirs is. My siblings and I are extremely blessed to have been born to these two individuals who have always put family first. I’m incredibly grateful for their fateful meeting in Daytona so many years ago. My parents are two imperfect people who have been a perfect model of devotion, hard work, and love. Happy 40th Anniversary, Mom & Dad!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Change Will Do You Great

So, what are you supposed to do when you realize that you need a new career?  I had wanted to be a teacher since the days when I played school with my stuffed animals. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, a Master’s degree in Elementary Education, and I am a National Board Certified teacher. I won Teacher of the Year at my school 4 years ago. And yet, by September of my 13th year of teaching, the thought of stepping foot into a classroom made me physically ill. How did this happen?

When I had once spent my time scouring Pinterest for classroom resources, I found myself searching for ways to make money at home. I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with work. But this year it became clear that I had lost the desire for my work to involve grading papers, lesson plans, faculty meetings, parent conferences, and classroom management. I was beyond burnt out. And worse than that, I didn’t know what I wanted to do instead, which is a foreign feeling for me.

I am the type of person who has always known what I wanted. I knew from an early age that I was going to be a teacher. As I said above, I used to play school with my stuffed animals, reading to them, and putting stickers on their “work”. If only it were really that simple.

I had a vision for myself: I would go to college, get my degree in education, teach for a few years, and end up getting my doctorate so that I could finish my teaching career in higher education. I was right on track, too. I started my career teaching second grade at the grade school I attended as a child. I then got hired at one of the top public schools in the state, where I had been teaching for the past 11 years. During that time I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Sciences degree in Elementary Education, and obtained my National Board Certification. As I said before, my colleagues elected me Teacher of the Year, and two years ago, Educational Horizons Magazine published an article I wrote and asked me to lead a webinar for them. It’s been a teaching career to be proud of. But pride doesn’t mean anything if you’re not happy.

The unhappiness didn’t just happen one day; it’s been building over the years. It started with the seemingly impossible demands of new standards and state testing. Then I had a particularly difficult year with students’ parents, in which I felt nothing I did was good enough. Last year was the tipping point. Despite having a wonderful class, supportive parents, a team I loved, and getting to teach alongside my best friend, I still wasn’t happy. I thought what I needed was to move on from the classroom. I applied for several teacher coaching jobs and Reading Recovery positions, disheartened to not even get an interview. I began to wonder why I had worked so hard to build a glowing resume. Then a special education job opened up at my school, and although I had never taught it before, my principal gave me the opportunity to interview for it.

When she called to offer me the job, I felt like I had a chance to start a new chapter in my career. I romanticized what it would be like to work with small groups of learners and collaborate with them in their classrooms. But the reality was nothing like I thought it would be. I had never dreaded going to work before this job. I had never cried about work before, but I was crying all the time. I had never pulled into the parking lot and felt nauseous about entering the school building, but that is how I felt everyday this past school year. I didn’t see my students progressing the way I hoped they would and it felt like I was failing them. The severity and unpredictability of some of their behaviors scared me, and the legality of their Individual Education Plans was weighing on me. On top of it all, I felt guilty for feeling these feelings. I was a mess.

I kept looking for other jobs. I went to visit other schools that had openings I thought I might be interested in. But the whole time I was touring these schools, I felt uneasy and couldn’t wait to leave. Not a good sign. The truth is, it wasn’t my school that I needed to leave; I loved my school and the people in it. It took me a while to realize it, but somewhere along the way, I lost my passion. And you simply cannot be an effective teacher without passion. Moreover, I am not a person who can just go through the motions and collect a paycheck. So what was I supposed to do now?

First, I had to accept the fact that my time as an elementary educator was over. I had to mourn the loss of my identity as a teacher. It was sad and scary. Was everything I had accomplished over the years a waste? What about my retirement? Would I be considered a failure? With so many questions and not many answers, I felt lost. But at the same time, I began to also feel a bit of relief. As daunting as it was to say goodbye to teaching elementary students, in doing so, it felt like I had opened myself up to a world of possibilities. I don’t regret becoming a special education teacher; it gave me a newfound respect for special educators, and ultimately gave me the motivation to move on.

It was time for a revision of my vision. As I said before, I always saw myself getting my doctorate and teaching at the college level. I knew I wasn’t ready for all of that just yet, but being back on a college campus sounded wonderful.

I had been volunteering as a career mentor to students majoring in Education at my undergraduate alma mater for the past three years, and I really enjoyed it. I met with my friend, who is also the director of the mentoring program, and he helped me brainstorm some next steps for getting a position in higher education. With my sights set on working in admissions, alumni relations, or academic advising, I began scouring the employment opportunity web pages of all the local colleges.

After three applications that failed to result in interviews, I found it: my new career. My graduate alma mater was looking to fill three academic advisor positions, and the second I saw that, it was like a heavenly choir started singing and a ray of light was shining down on my phone. As cliché as it may sound, I really felt that it was meant to be. Every step of the way, from the application, to the interview, I just had a notion that this is where I was supposed to be. When I got the call that they wanted to offer me the academic advisor position in the School of Business, an immediate feeling of euphoria washed over me.

But as thrilled as I was to begin this new career, it wasn’t easy to leave my students and colleagues, especially in the middle of a school year. I felt incredibly guilty, like I was abandoning my students and teammates. I was sad to leave my friends, and scared to leave the only job I had known for over a decade. Nevertheless, I knew I really wasn’t good to any of them if I wasn’t happy.

And I am very HAPPY to say that after three months as an academic advisor, I absolutely made the right move. I love what I do. I look forward to going to work each day. I enjoy helping college students map out their journeys to graduation. I have wonderful, supportive colleagues, and I am especially fortunate to have made good friends with the other two advisors that were hired at the same time I was. Also, I love my office (that’s right, MY OFFICE with a big, beautiful window). Additionally, this position will afford me the opportunity to work on my doctorate and to teach at the college level. I will note that I did take a pay cut with my new job, but I don’t believe you can put a price on happiness. And I feel happier and healthier than I have in a long time.

I’m so grateful to my family and friends who supported me along the way; without them, I don’t think I would have had the courage to make this change that I so desperately needed.

I wrote this post in an effort to explain why I left the classroom, to reflect on how my life transformed this year, and to encourage anyone who is considering a career change. Do it. The majority of your time each week is spent at work, and you deserve to spend that time being happy. Yes, change can be scary, but spending any second of your precious life being miserable is even scarier. In my experience, change isn’t just good; change is great.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Louisville Restaurant Resolution List (Update 1)

A few months ago, I posted about my resolution to try as many Louisville restaurants as I could. I've managed to make some more progress on my list, and I'm going to go ahead and advise you to get a pen so you can add these excellent eateries to yours...

1. The Post 

2. Joella's Hot Chicken
3. Feast
4. Over the Nine
5. Harvest 
6. Zeggz 
7. Nord's Bakery
8. Against the Grain Brewery
9. Hi Five Donuts
10. Blaze
11. Ghyslain 
12. Wild Rita's
13. Jeff Ruby's
14. Fontleroy's 
15. Please & Thank You
17. Big Four Burgers
18. Stout Burgers
19. Sidebar 
20. El Camino
21. The Hub 
22. Royals
23. Monnik

Basically this update should be named "The Search for the Best Burger" because I ordered cheeseburgers at five of the six restaurants. And you know what? I'd do it all over again.

Back in February, my friend Melissa and I visited Fontleroy's in The Highlands and oh. My. Macaroni. We shared the macaroni and cheese to start and I could probably just eat that for my meal and be blissfully content. Then again, the chicken and waffles on their menu might have to be eaten on my next visit. I got the burger at my brother's recommendation (sans egg 'cause I keep it simple y'all)  and it was delicious! The service was excellent and the modern decor made for a wonderful dining experience. See you again soon, Macaroni, I mean, Fontleroy's. 

Monnik wasn't originally on my list, but thanks to a great suggestion from my friend Emily, this Germantown gem definitely earned its place. From the pretzel bun, to the beer cheese, to the onion ring, this burger had a lot to be happy about. I suggest you grab your friends, gather around their large tables (made from old bowling alley lanes), and get your grub on as soon as possible. Tara, Deanna, and Emily, when are we going back? 

To celebrate my new job, Melissa and I hit up the one non-burger joint on this post, Royals Hot Chicken. The math is simple, people: hot chicken + potato wedges + chocolate milkshake = YUM. A cool vibe + friendly service + delicious food = I will be back soon.

I have been wanting to try Big Four Burgers + Beer for quite some time. Though it's technically not located in Louisville, this New Albany eatery is worth the trip over the bridge. With so many different burgers to choose from, you're sure to find one that pleases your palate. 

Between concerts & Louisville basketball games, I've been to the Yum! Center more times than I can count. And yet for some unknown reason, I had never visited its next door neighbor, Sidebar, until last Thursday. As a self-proclaimed cheeseburger aficionado, you can trust me when I say that this is the best cheeseburger I've ever eaten in this city (or anywhere else). A soft pretzel bun, beer cheese, juicy beef, and a side of crispy sweet potato fries are the things my dreams are made of. I'm seriously ready to go back right now. 

Thank you, Melissa, Jenny, Deanna, Tara, Emily, and Jill for joining me on my food journey! It's safe to say that my Louisville restaurant resolution is already my favorite New Year's resolution ever. With plans to visit Feast and The Hub already on my calendar, I'm looking forward to crossing more delicious diners off my list. Do you have any others that you think I should add?