Tag Archives: Healthy Living

January is the time of the year when folks think about the year ahead and what they want to accomplish.goal setting In the past I have written down a few goals for the year ahead but I don’t keep them in the forefront and therefore don’t actually do much to accomplish those goals. So this year I decided to spend some time goal setting for 2018. Then every week I will re-visit my goals and keep track of the progress I am making. My goal setting is not just for me personally but for my blog as well.


So in the spirit of goal setting I have come up with ten goals for 2018.


  1. Find a new hosting site for my blog and make the site secure.
  2. Monetize my blog. Right now I have no ads running on my blog. I would like to start earning something on my blog instead of it just being a hobby.goal setting
  3. Create a cookbook! I have been writing my blog for over six year and have accumulated many recipes online. Time to make them available in a cookbook form, either as a downloadable PDF or in a hardcopy or both!
  4. Be diligent about getting 10 K steps in 5 out of 7 days each week.. I wear a FitBit and so often come close to this goal but with a little effort I plan to reach this goal at least 5 out of the 7 days each week.goal setting
  5. As we continue to prepare for an eventual house sale continue to de-clutter. Get rid of at least 250 items from the house this year!
  6. Read more books this year! I love to read and have a bad habit of having several books going at once. I would like to read and finish 26 books this year. I’ll let you know what books I’m reading. Be prepared for an assortment, as I like to read various topics!
  7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead! I’m still adjusting to going from cooking for a large family to cooking for just my husband and I. I’m pretty good about planning our meals but I need to do better. I want to create a menu of healthy meals each week and not spend so much time in the kitchen!goal setting
  8. Finish 4 knitting projects. What is it with me? Like reading several books at once I also like to have several knitting projects going at once. The problem is I have a hard time getting them done! So in preparation of an eventual move I want to finish these random projects. First up on the list is a hat! Yes I know hats are easy and I have some patterns that I can whip up in no time. However this hat is a double knit pattern that for some reason I just can’t seem to finish! It was supposed to be a Christmas present for my daughter last year and that didn’t happen. I am so close and it will be the first project to complete. Then I will look at the other projects I have on hand and keep working until I have completed 4 projects.
  9. Clean out our freezer. I have two small freezer spaces; I no longer have our chest freezer as we sold it recently. I need to use up the various frozen fruits from the garden. Before we start harvesting more fruits and vegetables I want to use up what is in the freezer. First step will be to take an inventory and go from there.
  10. Take a few road trips and visit family and friends on the east coast that we will not see so often once we make a move to the west coast.goal setting


So there we go, goal setting for 2018 has commenced. Each week I will re-visit these goals and if I manage to complete any of them before the year is out I will set some new goals. The key is to keep looking forward and accomplish what you can!

The holidays are a joyful time, full of traditions, special time with loved ones, and that special feeling in the air. However, for most of us it can also be a time of incredible stress and worry. We might not be in a financial situation to give our family the holiday that we wish we could. We might feel overwhelmed by the pressure to look perfect during family-photo season. We might find ourselves getting into arguments over petty things with people that we love, simply because we feel inadequate during the expected question sessions about how our life is going and what we plan to do next.


I’ve found that during the holiday season, it’s more important than ever to practice self-love and self-care. Why?Self Care during Holidays


It Enables Better Connections with Others


Hopefully, your holiday season is full of quality time with loved ones. However, even if it’s not, self-love is important to cultivate because it helps you become able to nurture connections with others. Once you are able to acknowledge and own your own worth, others are more likely to recognize and appreciate it themselves. This frees us from the bravado or people-pleasing behavior that comes when we’re not sure what value we bring to the table. It’s the best prevention for unhealthy codependent relationships. Instead, we can actually establish healthy, loving bonds with others.Self Care during Holidays


It Prevents Self-Punishment


The holidays are a great time to fall into the trap of self-punishment. We all know the feeling of indulging too much. For example, we might find ourselves stress eating way too much because we feel that we don’t deserve to get out of our old patterns and come closer to our ideal selves. This can come in many forms, from drinking too much to buying too much.


It Fosters Long-Term Goals


Along the same line, self-love can help us to look beyond immediate self-gratification and instead look ahead to long-term goals. You can have faith both that (1) you deserve to reach your personal goals and plans, and (2) you have the capability to reach those goals. This can help you turn aside from unhealthy behaviors, whether that’s falling into a romantic relationship that you know isn’t what you really want, or further procrastinating taking a professional risk, like asking for a promotion.


4 Steps to Self Love Over the Holidays


Alright, so you recognize the benefits of self-love. But putting it into action can feel like a different story. “Self-Love” sounds great, but it’s also so vague! Most of the time, it seems that it only has as much power to change our lives as a coin tossed into a fountain; it’s a mere wish. Well, I beg to differ. Here are three things to do this holiday season to practice self-love.Self Care during Holidays


  1. Practice gratitude in this moment: We’re wired to look ahead and behind. For the most part, this is good! It’s what makes us human. However, it can sometimes also be the reason that on January 2, we look back and wonder what ever happened to December? You don’t remember having any fun at all. This year, instead of constantly stressing about what else is on your to-do list, take a moment here and there throughout the day to be grateful for that moment. Even if that moment consists of a long stretch of work that you wish would just end, or if you’re waiting in line at the store, or if your children are whining… there’s always something to feel grateful for. Stop waiting to be happy when this or that is done. Appreciate right now! Smile at the person next to you in line. Remember that you’re grateful for your family. Appreciate the fact that in your office, you are comfortable and well in a heated building. In order to practice this more, you might want to set an alarm on your watch or phone once or twice a day. When the alarm goes off, take three quiet breaths and then say a prayer of gratitude.
  2. Avoid arbitrary, materialistic expectations: It’s so easy to play the comparison game during the holidays. Are your children getting as nice of gifts as their friends are? Is your holiday bonus as good as last year? Are your holiday decorations as good as your neighbors’? Is your family Christmas card and accompanying progress report something to be proud of? Well, maybe it’s time to stop worrying about all that. In fact, you’ll find yourself amazingly free once you realize that this Christmas, you don’t HAVE to bake cinnamon bread for everyone who comes to visit. You don’t NEED to host a party, or attend each one that you’re invited to. You won’t really lose much if you miss that sale. Re-evaluate your holiday goals; those things that are the most important to you. These things might be quality time with your family, a walk in the snow, kind words to a stranger. Your holiday doesn’t have to look like all those commercials!
  3. Indulge in moderation: One mistake we make when trying to avoid unhealthy decisions over the holidays is to deprive ourselves. We forbid ourselves to eat any sweets, or to buy anything new for ourselves. And then we feel so guilty and ashamed when we break one of those harsh rules. Often, that shame and disappointment in ourselves leads to the MOST unhealthy behavior. Instead, come to terms with the idea that you should be able to treat yourself this holiday season, as well as others. Give yourself permission to buy one thing for yourself when you go out to do holiday shopping. Allow yourself your favorite dessert at a holiday party. Just set goals for moderation!






What exactly is an essential oil? An essential oil is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.

Essential oils are nothing new – in fact they have been around for thousands of years, offering a variety of benefits from cosmetic and dietary purposes to spiritual and religious use. The oils are extracted through careful steam distillation, resin tapping and cold pressing; the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they come.essential oils


How do you use essential oils? The three most common practices include aromatic diffusion, topical application and dietary consumption. These three methods bring the purest essence of healthy promoting botanicals to your home, family and life. You could say I’ve dabbled in essential oils, I haven’t used them so much in dietary consumption, but I have used them often in making products for topical application. Recently I was approached by a small company called Aroma Foundry and was asked to review some of their essential oils. At Aroma Foundry, they take the adage “My Body is My Temple” seriously. they work really hard to deliver an incredible oil you can trust, only sourced from their native locales which are famous for each respective crop. They’ve put together a collection of oils with quality, purity, transparency and consistency you can trust.essential oils


The quality of their oils is impressive. They are hand bottled in California, in small batches to maintain quality control. You’ll never find synthetic additives in Aroma Foundry essential oils; all the oils are 100% pure and all -natural. When you smell the Aroma Foundry oils, you can be sure you are experience the essence of mother nature.essential oils


I was so impressed by their packaging. Each bottle was contained in a small box and well protected for shipping.


One of my favorite uses for lavender essential oil is making a hand lotion. Living in Vermont my hands get very dried out in the winter. I am constantly looking for a decent hand lotion. With only three basic ingredients plus water I can make a wonderful hand lotion that not only smells nice but also keeps my hands soft. It’s too thick to use as a body lotion but works perfectly for my hands. When you first put it on your hands it seems a little greasy but it soaks in in no time. My favorite essential oil to use is lavender, but you could use whatever you want. I had the olive oil on hand and purchased the emulsifying wax from Mountain Rose Herbs. I used the bottle of lavender I received from Aroma Foundry to make the most recent batch of hand lotion.

essential oils

Hand lotion cooling


Next time I’ll have to find a recipe for making a homemade beeswax lotion as we have our own beeswax. I poured the lotion into a wide mouth pint jar, which I now keep by the sink.


Homemade Hand Lotion



1 ¼ cup hot water
¼ cup emulsifying wax
¼ cup olive oil
15-36 drops of essential oil



In a Pyrex measuring cup I combined the olive oil and emulsifying wax and microwaved it on high for 1 minute or until the wax is melted. The temperature is about 155 degrees.


I then removed the wax – olive oil mixture from the microwave and heated up the water in another Pyrex measuring cup for one minute. While the water was heating up I added the essential oil into my melted wax-olive oil mixture. I only used 15 drops of lavender essential oil.


Then pour the hot water slowly into the wax-olive oil mixture and watch it turn milky white. At this point the temperature is about 125 degrees. I then poured the hot lotion into my wide mouth pint jar and let it cool over night.


I was a bit skeptical that it would thicken, however the next morning the lotion was a nice thick consistency.


I could have used more essential oil but I really like the gentle fragrance of the lavender, it is not overpowering at all.essential oils


I have also used essential oils to create a bug spray that works quite well! We have an abundance of biting insects here in Vermont and this bug spray works every time!essential oils


Making my own lip balm is another way I have used essential oils in the past. I make this lip balm almost every year and give it away as a gift, keeping enough for myself of course!


There are many ways to incorporate essential oils in your everyday life. You can use a diffuser to enjoy the medicinal fragrance of the various oils. Essential oils should never be applied directly to your skin but can be diluted with coconut oil.


Popular Uses of Grapefruit Essential Oil


  • Diffuse to sharpen focus while studying or reading..
  • Diffuse or apply topically to help clear congested areas.
  • For performance Stress, add to bath water, drop several drops in your water.
  • Add 2-3 drops to a glass of water after a night drinking to support the detoxification systems of the body.

Popular Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil


  • Diffuse Rosemary to help reduce tension, stress, and fatigue.
  • Add a single drop to the hands, rub together, and cup over the mouth and nose to flood the senses for up to a minute to assist with transitioning.
  • Add a single drop of rosemary essential oil to the hands, rub together, and cup over the mouth and nose to flood the senses for up to a minute, in order to help alleviate the nerves.


Popular Uses of Bergamot Essential Oil


  • Diffuse in the classroom, at work, or at home when stress levels or tension is high.
  • Use with Fractionated Coconut Oil for a calming and relaxing massage.
  • Add one to two drops to your favorite skin care product for added cleansing properties.
  • For SELF (worth, love, acceptance), inhale directly from a pendant or diffuser.
  • .essential oils

Caution: Keep essential oils out of reach of children. Eye irritant, avoid contact with eyes. Possible skin sensitivity, do not use undiluted on skin. If pregnant or lactating, consult your healthcare practitioner before using. Not for internal use.


Aroma Foundry sent me four bottles of essential oil to write a review. The thoughts and comments are mine. I was not paid for this review.

10 Easy Healthy Habits You Can Start Right Away


Let’s face it, we all tell ourselves we are going to be healthier, but then a few weeks (or even days) later, we simply cave into temptation and utter the phrase “I’ll start next week”. You might be oddly comforted in how not alone you are in this feeling.


That’s why, I wanted to share with you guys some of the absolute easiest ways to be healthy, all of which are habits that you can start adding to your daily routine right now.



  • Carry a water bottle around with you everywhere you go


It’s no secret that water is amazing for your health. It clears your skin, gives you energy, regulates your bowel movements, and the list goes on. So, while you may already know that you should be drinking more water, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually are drinking more water.


By carrying around a water bottle (filled, of course) with you everywhere you go, you are constantly reminding yourself to drink water, effectively increasing your likelihood of drinking it. If you are sitting on the computer, scrolling through Facebook when you notice that water bottle right beside you, the chances of you turning down a gulp are a lot slimmer, then if you had to actually get up and go to the kitchen for a glass. Try it!



  • Eat breakfast every morning


This may sound like a given, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to skip breakfast when you’re running late and have somewhere to be. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and kick-starts your entire metabolism.


It’s so incredibly important that you set yourself enough time in the morning to eat a fulfilling breakfast before heading out the door. If time is of the essence (aka you love to sleep in), try preparing your breakfast the night before, that way all you have to do is eat the food – no preparing required.Poached Eggs with Creamy Brussels Sprouts



  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.



This habit requires little instruction beyond me saying DO IT! Sleep is when your body repairs itself, fights sickness, grows, and countless other things that simply need to be done for your survival.


7-8 hours is how many hours a night a teenager/adult is recommended to receive.



  • Stretch at least once a day



Stretching your body after a long day or even before what you anticipate will be a long day, is extremely great for your body and muscles.


Not only will you increase your flexibility in no time, but stretching will elongate your muscles, making them more elastic and less prone to strain. If you sit at a desk all day, get up every hour and stretch your back, arms, and legs for at least 1 minute. You will feel so much better at night, and you’re also helping your body in the long run.



  • Workout 3 times a week



Okay, so this habit doesn’t seem quite as easy as the previous ones, but I assure you it is one of the best for your health. Whether you go to the gym or workout at home, getting your blood pumping and your muscles working at least 3 times a week is a necessity for good health and a long life.


If you plan to work out in the comfort of your own home (no judgment here) and want to spice things up with some actual gym equipment, some gym equipment names that are great for beginners are upright bike, treadmill and elliptical.exercise



  • Get some fresh air



By far the easiest on the list is simply going outside and getting some fresh air in your lungs. Take a break and get outside! Not only will the fresh air clear your lungs and get you feeling fresh and awake, but it’s also refreshing to leave the confinements of the indoors and remember what else exists in the world.


Some simple ways to get outside is to eat your lunch outdoors, go for a walk after work, take your kids/pets to the park, or even simply just take 5 minutes and stand outside of your home and breath!exercise



  • Read



Before bed, pull out a good book, magazine, newspaper, or anything other than an electronic device, and read. Reading before bed will relax your mind and put your body to ease, essentially granting you a deeper sleep.

Even if you hate reading, even just 5 minutes of it before bed will do the trick.



  • Call your friend or a parent on the phone



Silly in theory, but talking to someone you’re close to on the phone and hearing their familiar voice will grant you much ease and relaxation. This is great for your mental health since humans are meant to interact with other humans!


Simply pick up the phone right now, and call your mom or dad or a friend and have a chat with them. You’ll feel better, guaranteed.



  • Take a daily vitamin



Takes less than 30 seconds a day, and you will be giving yourself better health for the rest of your life. Taking a daily vitamin or supplement gives your body those extra nutrients that it needs to feel great and work at its best.



  • Finally, laugh



Ah yes, laughing, the best medicine out there! Laughing is great for your body in countless ways, and I needn’t say more other than: go laugh. Watch a comedy show, talk to your friends, whatever it takes to get your giggling.


There it is! Our 10 easy healthy habits you can start right now! Hopefully, you got something out of this that you can incorporate into your own life.


Guest post by Evelyn Kail.

BestEssentialOilsforSkinEssential oils are beneficial for your skin but more than beneficial; you can say that they are necessary for the skin to look beautiful and younger. There are some of the best essential oils that can be used for different purposes as they are being applied on the skin. When we come to counting the benefits of essential oils, there are unlimited benefits of them and especially when they are extracted from the natural resources that make them super beneficial for any skin type. 10 best essential oils along with their uses are being explained in the following infographic that can be very helpful when looking for answers to serious skin problems.

Skin is the most sensitive part of your body that is prone to all the allergies and other skin problems like acne, stretch marks etc. Whenever you come across any skin problem, or even before the cause of any problem, instead of using chemical containing creams and oils, try using some of the best essential oils that are also natural and do not cause any harm to the skin. The best part about these essential oils is that they do not have any side effects and also, they suit every skin type as they are being extracted from all the natural resources.

Essential oils have a lot of benefits like; they are antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. These oils are extracted from different parts of plants and each one of them performs an entirely different function in making the skin better than before. They work as natural therapeutics that work perfectly on your skin and provide instant as well as visible effects that can be seen clearly in a little while. If you want to look prettier and younger, then you should be using some of these best essential oils and you would definitely be surprised after witnessing the results.

Other than gaining beauty and attaining younger looks, these essential oil reviews can be used for medicinal purposes as well. Some of the dermatologists use the best essential oils in different therapies like aromatherapy. Dermatologists recommend using these essential oils in order to cure any skin problem and to get a glowing younger looking skin.

Who wouldn’t want to use these magical best essential oils after knowing their unlimited benefits? Probably not you! So, start using these essential oils today if you want to look prettier and get rid of every skin problem.
Best Essential Oils for Skin

This Infographic – 10 Best Essential Oils For Skin – Was Created By Fixyourskin.com


This is a guest post written by  Sarah Smith, here from FixYourSkin.com! Sarah has a lot of experience with skin health and has written several articles that have been published. FixYourSkin has a lot of tips, health advice and DIY recipes which can give you great looking skin without any side effects!


During the winter, a lot of things change. People crave more soups and roasts, and less smoothies. You might find yourself favoring a different path to work to avoid bad road conditions. And of course, there’s the winter fashion. But few of us think to change up our beauty regime to suit the changing weather.The Wintertime Beauty Routine Shift


Here are some ways that your routine can adapt to winter for better health and a more beautiful glow.


Incorporate Some Easy Exercises


Even if you’re not a big gym buff, consider incorporating more exercises and stretches into your daily routine in the winter. Winter is a dangerous time for injuries at any age. The cold weather makes us all stiff and brittle, which increases our chances of falling, straining muscles, and spraining joints. Additionally, the more sedentary lifestyle of winter usually makes us add on a few unwelcome pounds. Consider adding simple exercises to your morning or evening routine in order to keep muscle tone and to stay healthy and agile in the winter. This could be as simple as sun salutations in the morning, or a few reps of situps, lunges, and pushups while you’re watching tv in the evening.


Pamper Your SkinThe Wintertime Beauty Routine Shift


Skin takes a beating in the winter. If it’s not the general dryness, there’s also windburn and sunburn to worry about. And as we all know, healthy skin is the most important part of any makeup routine.


So, make sure that you take note of the most common problem in the winter for your skin, and treat it. For most, the primary problem is dry winter weather. Running the heater indoors saps moisture from the air, and the cold weather strips us of the usual natural defenses that we have against dryness. Counter the dryness by exfoliating once a week in the shower, and treating your skin at night to extra moisture with some soothing face lotion.


Don’t forget to wear SPF lotion during the day. Although winter often seems like the least likely time to get a sunburn, the sun’s rays can be reflected and magnified by cloud cover and the snowy ground. For more information about common winter skin problems and their solutions, check out this helpful post.


Find Creative Solutions for Your HairThe Wintertime Beauty Routine Shift


Hair is another beauty trial in the winter that can be hard to deal with. Again, there’s increased dryness. But then you add the challenges of hat hair, wind, and sleet, and you have a month full of bad hair days. Unless you start getting a little creative. Here are some ways to roll with the punches that winter throws at you.


  • Emphasize your curls. Find a hair treatment that will emphasize and define your natural curls or waves instead of overdoing the flatiron to try to shame your frizzy hair into submission. After all, even if you get your hair properly straight, a little bit of drizzle could ruin it before you even make it into the office.
  • Use moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. This can make or break your winter hair health.
  • Don’t let the water get too hot. When the weather is cold, it’s tempting to turn the water as hot as you can get it, but resist! Hot water can strip your hair’s outer lipid layer that makes it glossy and smooth. Instead, use warm water.
  • If a dry scalp and frizzy hair is a frustrating and constant complaint of yours, look into investing in an oil treatment. There are lots of at-home options that will leave your hair smooth and glossy for weeks afterward.
  • The good news about winter is that when worst comes to worst, you DO have the option of just donning a hat for the day. Get yourself a loose-fitting beanie that looks fashionable and comfortable indoors.


Embrace Bold Colors


Winter is a season where most of us hibernate our fashion. After all, if your ensemble is covered under the same three sweaters or jackets every day, it stops getting interesting. However, winter is also a time when bright pops of color are more fashionable – whether that’s in your clothing choice, or in your makeup. Sure, stick to somber neutrals for the most part, but don’t forget to embrace some fun adventures with color. Get yourself a dramatic scarf, a bright berry lipstick, or try those smoky eyes out for a daring look.


Guest post by Christine H.

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