Friday, November 9, 2018

Six Simple Switches to a Healthier Home

Y'all this post has been on my heart for a while and I'm so happy that I have finally collected my thoughts to be able to share with you.  We only have one Earth and we only have one life.  We all want to make the most of it, to cherish it, and to make the world a better place.  Sometimes the items we bring in our home are doing more harm than good, so lets change that!

While attending University I began to learn about conservation (recycling, composting, multi-use products) and creating a healthy environment to live in.  I'm not gonna lie, old habits die hard and I am still fighting them nearly 15 years later.  There have been a handful of switches I've made that have been easy and seamless and I'm here to share them with you today!

So without getting too deep or on my Soapbox here are 
Six Simple Switches you can make to have a Healthier Home!!

As a wife and mama, I am given the job as the gatekeeper to our home.  Sure it's self appointed but since I like to be in control of things...I gladly accept.  This isn't an easy position by any means and I have made my fair share of mistakes.  That's okay, the important thing is, I'm learning and trying to create a home that is healthy for my family and reducing their chemical and toxic exposure to the best of my abilities.



1. Glass Food Storage is one of the best switches you can make in your kitchen.  I don't think you need me to tell you how bad plastic can be and that it can leach into your food, especially if you're heating your food up in the microwave in plastic containers.  While making the switch initially can be an investment you're doing something so much better for the health of your family and these glass products are going to last so much longer they end up being cheaper in the long run.  I got mine at Costco nearly 6 years ago and they are still going strong!   Now that our girls are older and eating leftovers I can rest easy knowing that no gross plastics are leaching into their food. I also use old jam jars and mason jars to store our food in the fridge and freezer.  I decant our cereals and dried goods into glass and stainless steel containers as well in our pantry, so not only does it look nicer it's healthier for us too!

2. Wool Dryer Balls have made all the difference in our laundry room.  I switched over to these a few years ago after I read a couple articles about how toxic dryer sheets are.  Aside from our bed we spend a majority of our lives in our clothes (or at least I hope so 😉) which means that what ever is on our clothes gets absorbed by our skin, Eww.  With the wool dryer balls you're reducing your drying time because the balls are bouncing around making better air pockets for your clothes and help to take in some of the excess moisture.  They also help to soften your clothes so you don't have to use the yucky fabric softeners in your washing machine.  If static is an issue you can attach a safety pin to one (or all) of your dryer balls.  If your missing out on the fresh clean scent your accustomed to, use a couple drops of Young Living Essential Oil (lemongrass is a favorite) on your dryer balls and enjoy a fresh scent that is only benefiting your health!! (not to mention they are reusable and you'll no longer be trashing those dryer sheets every load, thus reducing your amount of waste that goes into our landfills.)

3. Thieves Line is probably my favorite switch I have made.  I started making the switch this summer and it is the best thing I have done.  There is a whole set of cleaning products that are plant based, chemical and toxin free, and they are infused with the powerful Thieves essential oil blend.  Just one bottle of the Thieve Household Cleaner will replace all of your cleaning products underneath your sink (or your cleaning tote - wherever that is stored), it is a magical cleaner that I use to clean all the surfaces in my house from my countertops, windows, antique wooden dining room table, tv screens, bathroom sinks, showers, and the toilets!  It's safe for my kids to use and I don't have to hold my breath when using it (or wear rubber gloves).  Also in the Thieves Line is laundry detergent, dish soap, foaming hand soap, and waterless hand purifier.  All of these products are free of toxins and chemicals and are infused with the Thieves essential oil blend!!  Plus these products are super concentrated so you can dilute them and really get your money's worth out of them.

4. Stainless Steel Cookware makes a huge difference in the food that you're preparing.  The non-stick coating on pots and pans releases harmful chemicals that affect both your air quality (you're breathing it into your lungs) and the food you're preparing.  Switching over to stainless steel takes a bit of an adjustment (and I still have a few non-stick pans I need to get rid of) since they tend to get hotter faster and do require a bit more elbow grease when cleaning if you let them sit too long.  I don't really enjoy hand washing my dishes but giving an extra scrub in the sink before putting them into the dishwasher is totally worth it when I think about how I am supporting the health of my family.

5. Cast Iron Cookware is another option.  I have one skillet, the hoarder in me wants more but the minimalist says one is enough.  I have to say though, that this is my favorite pan to cook in.  I love that it can go from stove top to the oven, that it is seasoned enough now that I don't have to use an obscene amount of oil/butter to make it nonstick, and I just love how my food cooks in it. It doesn't give off any toxins or chemicals when you heat it up and once you learn how to care for cast iron, it becomes the easiest pans to have and clean!!  We use it for searing steaks, baking cornbread, and frying eggs.  This pan does it all and they come in multiple sizes which is why I want another.

6. Thieves Aromabright Toothpaste is by far the best toothpaste I have ever used.  Three years ago, when I was deep in my war against Infertility, I read about the awful affects of flouride.  Thankfully our water company does not supplement our water with flouride so I didn't have to worry about getting any excess that way.  Toothpaste was another story, I went on a mission to get that out of my home and was so disappointed because my local grocery store only had ONE option!! One, just one.  So since that was all I could get that is what I got and let me tell you...I was not impressed.  I didn't care for the flavor (and three years later it still never grew on me) and didn't get that bright toothed clean mouth feeling.  Then I gave Thieves Toothpaste a try and instantly felt a difference.  This toothpaste is so good that even Ellie enjoys it!!  My teeth look brighter and whiter than ever, my mouth feels clean, and I know that my overall wellness is being supported with extra Thieves!!

If you want to get in on the Thieves I would love to help a Mama out!! Young Living actually has a Thieves Starter Kit where you get most of the Thieves goodies for  chemical and toxin free home cleaning! You'll get all the benefits of a regular Premium Starter Kit: access to our online community, wholesale membership, access to Essential Rewards, Me to hold your hand, and free stuff.  There is no obligation to sell, EVER!! You don't have to unless you want to.  Bringing these products into your home is going to be life changing.  Ready to get started? use my referral link here and begin your journey above the wellness line!!

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Séamus Weekly - week 15

Hold the door, Séamus is 15 weeks!! How did that happen?!! He is growing and changing and becoming quite the little love in our house. 

Eats: he must be going through a growth spurt because all he wants to do is eat and sleep eat.  We are nursing multiple times a day and what feels like All. Night. Long.  I absolutely love nursing and it is so much better than I ever imagined it would be.  I have been having some head tension lately so I've been using some Peppermint Essential Oil...which can reduce your supply so I'm trying to offset that by using some Fennel Essential Oil.  Little man seems satisfied so whatever I'm doing is working!

Sleeps: Séamus has been sleeping in his crib, the floor, his car seat, our arms, swaddled and not and has had a pretty good attitude about it all!!  He gets little smiles while he is sleeping and it is just the sweetest thing ever.

Goes: we celebrated our niece's 3rd birthday at a bouncy house place, the girls had a blast and  Séamus and I dipped out early to head to a baby shower.  We were so busy enjoying living in the moment that I failed big time at getting any photos.  Séamus didn't participate on any of bounce houses, he just got held by the gparents and nursed while we were there.  We also made a trip to Costco, and then just the regular outings.

Wears: I have put a couple of t shirts on him and he is so freakin cute.  I am making a point to try and get every single one of his 0-3 month clothing item on him.  He really is just so much fun to dress and he is still wearing size 1 diapers.

Does: Séamus still is a huge fan of tummy time.  He can roll over from belly to back and also from back onto his side.  He has been bringing his knees up under his belly and wiggles all around, he no longer stays in one spot! He laughs, smiles, and coos, and I am convinced he said "Mama" the other there you go 😉

Mama: Oh My GOSH!!! Y'all, I can fit into my pre-pregnancy pants!!!! I don't like to brag but I can't tell you how awesome that is to have pants that actually fit again!!  I am losing hair like crazy (pretty sure I could stuff a pillow or two) and while that makes me so sad, it is all worth it to have our sweet baby boy in our family!!  Business is booming and I absolutely love the team that I am on and bringing oils into the homes of my friends!!  I love that they get to reap the benefits for their overall Wellness from the oils and cleaning products from Young Living.  I love that they are supporting their emotions, their kids emotions, their body systems, their immune systems, and the air quality inside their homes.  If ever there was something I was passionate about...THIS...this is it!!

Sisters: Finnley is a total rockstar this week.  We've had some serious emotions (thank you White Angelica in the diffuser) and she comes around and is so freakin hilarious.  I cleaned out their closet and put all the too small clothes in a bin to donate and she keeps grabbing out all the bathing suits and insists on putting them on over her clothes.
Ellie is absolutely fantastic.  We're working on her listening to her body while at school and using the restroom...she just doesn't want to miss out on anything. (Sometimes when she gets home I feel like we're having the conversation from Talladega Nights when  they're around the dinner table..)  Regardless, she is rocking it at school, loves her siblings something fierce, and says the funniest things.

previous weeks

Finnley at 15 weeks
Ellie at 15 weeks

♥ Ashley

Monday, November 5, 2018

Essential Oils - My Story

Essential Oils.  What are they? Why would you want them? Is there a difference between the oils?

Essential Oils are the life blood or essence of a plant.  They are power packed with all sorts of wellness boosting properties; from emotional support, to seasonal support, to immune and digestion support!!

We use Essential Oils in our home to help keep us above the wellness line and to support our body systems for when there is an imbalance.  Since bringing Essential Oils into our home we have taken on a more holistic approach to our wellness and focus on preventing rather than treating.  Additionally the section of our pantry that has been devoted to OTC has greatly reduced allowing us more space and better organization!!

There is a huge difference between all the Essential Oils available on the market.  I switched to Young Living because of their Seed to Seal promise, the efficacy of their oils, the education and support that is provided, and because I wouldn't trust any other oil with my sweet kiddos.

How I got Started 

I started using Essential Oils about 5 years ago.  We were on a vacation in Vancouver, Canada and I happened upon a holistic, crunchy looking storefront that was just calling to me.  Turns out they were an Essential Oils store and full of all sorts of fascinating information.  I began speaking with one of the employees about my head tension and she let me know "There is an Oil for that!!" I was hooked and bought their head tension set.  I loved their holistic approach to wellness and knew deep down that I wanted to do something similar.  On each of our subsequent trips to Vancouver we had to pop in so I could get more! But traveling to another country to get my oils was not very cost effective.

A year later, I learned about another company and purchased their "starter kit".  When it arrived I was so excited for the opportunity for holistic wellness (and the potential business side), unfortunately I was not given any support or help with using my oils.  They mostly sat in my bathroom closet and were used minimally: Tea Tree for blemishes, Lemon in my water, and Peppermint for head/muscle tension.  The rest of the oils just sat because I didn't know what to do with them...same thing with the business opportunity.  It was equally frustrating because about 1 month after making this investment I learned about Young Living and had this regretful feeling that I made a mistake.
It took several years of watching, reading and learning to confirm that I wanted to switch.

So when one of my friends started posting about their Young Living Essential Oils and what they were using them for.  My interest was piqued. Honestly, I had no idea how much of an impact they could have on our emotions and I am so glad they do! Then when she shared about being a distributor I knew I had to jump on board with her.  I knew that by joining her team I would have the ability to get totally serious about the oils and use them for all sorts of support. And I would have a friend in the business to hold my hand and to run with.  It was the opportunity I was holding out for.  While in the back of my mind I wish I would have switched earlier, I wouldn't get to do this with the amazing team I'm on.  It was meant to be.

Why I chose Young Living

  As I mentioned above, I have tried out a few different companies for my oils and the quality of the Essential Oils from Young Living are extremely apparent.  I love their Seed to Seal promise, where basically they are a part of the entire process from testing the soil and seeds, to planting and growing organically (hand picking weeds!!), to harvesting at the peak time to their low steam distillation process.  You can learn more at about this amazing promise.  I was pretty much sold on Young Living at that point and that I could join my friend in the journey!! So, I started like most everyone else in Young Living,  I got myself the Premium Starter Kit with the Desert Mist diffuser.

Additionally the support, knowledge, education, and variety of products that I have received with Young Living has made such a difference for me that I just knew right away that I wanted share that with everyone I know.  Essential Oils can be daunting and overwhelming when you're first starting out (that's why I wasn't using mine to their fullest potential for the past 4 years) BUT they don't have to be.  When you sign up with the right person you will get all the information you need so that you will feel empowered to use your oils!!  I am forever grateful for the community I get to be a part of with this journey...and really it is a journey because the information out there for all of the oils is so vast no one can ever know it all them self.

How We Use our Oils

 I know what you're thinking...that's great Ashley but what do YOU use your Essential Oils for?  I use them for pretty much everything and it's amazing.  The Starter Kit comes with 11 oils and I have used 10 of them practically every day in one way or another, (Lavender, Lemon, Copaiba, Peppermint, Frankinsence, Digize, Panaway, Stress Away, Thieves, and Citrus Fresh) as well as additional Oils and products I've added to my Essential Rewards order each month.

I use Essential Oils to support sleep in my house for all of us.  The girls have a small diffuser in their room and let me tell you that it was life changing for their transition into sharing a room and actually getting to sleep.  We have a diffuser in our room and when you share with a newborn, sleep is paramount!!

I use Essential Oils to clean our home! It's nontoxic and smells amazing.

I use Essential Oils to support our moods and emotions.  The diffuser in our living room is running practically all day, every day.  And we were utilizing all of calming and stress reducing oils while Finnley was healing from a broken collarbone and learning how to live life with one arm in a sling for 3 solid weeks.

I use Essential Oils to support our immune systems as we are knee deep in Fall and Winter...nobody has time to be below the wellness line!

I use Essential Oils to support tummy troubles and muscle/head tension.

I use vitality Essential Oils to boost flavor in the kitchen, whether it's for beverages or in my cooking.

I also use Essential Oils to support our skin.  

I use Essential Oils to purify the air, eliminate odors and make our home smell amazing.  I honestly haven't really been one to burn candles in my home (I did on rare occasions) but now that I am diffusing all the Fall Blends: everyone comments on how nice my home smells.  That makes me feel so giddy and happy that not only does it smell great but we're all benefiting from the oils!!

More about Young Living

Young Living is so much more than Essential Oils, they have a whole line of cleaning products, the Thieves line that is plant based and free of chemicals and toxins.  They have skincare and makeup products, a Kids line, a Baby line, an Animal line, as well as supplements and Essential Oil infused food and drinks!  All of them free of chemicals and toxins, you don't have to worry about what the ingredients are.

I really love all of the things that Young Living has to offer and I don't want to keep it a secret and to myself.  I want to share it with all of you!! I want to help support you and your family to live your best life.  That is why I am so excited about being a part of the Young Living team and I want you to join me!  I want to help guide you on this journey and join me at Life, Kids and Oils!!  
Let's do this together.

♥ Ashley

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Favorites - it's November! (recap of pumpkins and Halloween)

OMG!! Can you believe that we're into November already?  This year has just flown by and we have done so many things! Starting a new business, multiple trips to Disneyland, a semi-solo trip with Finnley and my Dad to the Carolinas, Ellie started Kindergarten, pregnancy and birthing a baby! Phew, that is a lot and the year isn't over!!


This week was pretty monumental for the memories sake.  7 years ago (this week) we had our first "successful" round of fertility intervention - unfortunately it resulted in an ectopic rupture requiring emergency surgery.  Then last year we decided to go all in with our last ditch effort, to check off the box, and gave IVF a go.  We were convinced that it wasn't going to work, but guarding our hearts while remaining hopeful, we forged on.  At each appointment, blood draw, and ultrasound, we were greeted with positive news, the hormone injections were working, my ovaries were producing (not many), and we could continue on.  Then on October 27th, 2017 we went in for our egg retrieval procedure and they were inseminated via ICSI.  Our little embryos were growing and multiplying as expected and we were set to go in on November 1st, 2017 for our 5 day transfer.  It was nearly 7 years to the day for another successful round of fertility intervention.  Here were are 1 year later and that little embryo who started life in a Petri dish is here!!  
He is 14 weeks old and so happy to be alive, our sweet little Séamus.  Our pipe dream to reality.


We celebrated Halloween this week.  It was fantastic, full of fun and chaos, and lots of candy!  Ellie kept changing her mind of what she was going to be, thankfully she chose to be a Fairy (the costume we bought for this year).  Finnley picked out an Ariel costume and much to our surprise she rocked it the entire night (because every other costume she insists on wearing must be removed from her body exactly 1 minute after we've put it on).  Séamus stayed true to all of our announcements and went as Mickey Mouse, he spent practically the whole experience asleep in the Ergo.  The girls got to go with their cousins and had the best time going up to all of the houses.  Despite constant reminding Ellie ran everywhere, Finnley was brave and bold and went up to all of the houses without any help from me, both girls got more than enough candy.


The ending of one month and beginning of another used to be bittersweet.  Since I joined Young Living I get so excited to see what the new Promos are going to be each month for Essential Rewards!!  Essential Rewards is a monthly wellness box that is completely customizable from how much you spend, what you order, to the day it ships!  You can alter your order every day until it processes to ship and just to say Thank You, Young Living will throw in these awesome FREEBIES!

The Promos for November are insane!! 

+ Nutmeg is so great for Adrenal Support.
+ A 15ml of Christmas Spirit (it’s normally only available in a 5ml bottle)
+ Northern Lights Black Spruce is exceptional for emotional support
+ Myrrh is for all the things (known as a raindrop oil)
+ Sacred Frankincense was once only available to the royalty in Oman, but our founder Gary Young did amazing things and now it’s available to all Young Living members!!
+ A beautiful Glass Diffuser Ornament
+ Higher Unity an exclusive blend just for this months Promos!! 🙌

All of those are FREE with your Essential Rewards orders depending on which PV tier your order qualifies for.

In order to take advantage of these awesome freebies you need to become a member with Young Living.  You can do that by purchasing a Premium Starter Kit here (that's how I got started) where you get 11 of our favorite and most used oils (including gems like Frankincense, Lavender, and Stress Away), a Diffuser of your choice,  samples of Ningxia Red (a super antioxidant rich wolfberry/blueberry juice) and Thieves Household Cleaner sample that makes two 16oz glass bottles (this cleans all the the things and is plant based, chemical and toxin free, and safe to use around your kiddos).  PLUS you will get your wholesale membership earning you 24% off all of your future purchases forever, the chance to sign up for Essential Rewards to snag all the freebies, access to our awesome community (full of all the essential oils knowledge), and me to be your go to Oily Gal to answer all your questions.  I would love to have you join my community and team!!

Once you get your kit you can start diffusing, cleaning, and applying your oils to support all your body systems.  If you want to learn more about each of the oils in the kit my team is doing a PSK series on IG, you can check out my oils page @lifekidsandoils or follow our hashtag #YourPSK101 to see why we love these oils and how we love to use them.  When you sign up with me you will never be alone!

** and NO you do NOT have to sell or do the business if you don't want to, 94% of our members are just in it for the discount and FREE oils** 

** if you are interested in the business, you just need the PSK and to be on Essential Rewards, let me know and I'll help you get started!! I would love to run with you!**


We also carved our pumpkins this year.  Thomas was a rockstar and cleaned out all the pumpkins, unfortunately the one Ellie picked out was already rotten when we cut it open (which made is super easy to carve 😉 while also really disgusting😝) We got these punches to make the shapes and it was so much fun!! Ellie picked out all of hers and was able to hammer them in mostly on her own.  Finnley agreed to each of the punches I picked out and where to place them but had absolutely no interest in participating at all.  Séamus was completely unaware of anything that was going on and Thomas carved his pumpkin for him.  When it was time to take our pumpkin pictures, Ellie was exhausted, Finnley was frightened, and Séamus was along for the ride.  

So I attempted some pictures on Halloween.  Séamus and Ellie were totally willing participants.  Finnley once again was scared of the pumpkins and cried and cried.  After much convincing, bribing, and tickling I managed to get a couple of good shots of her with her pumpkin...but there was no convincing her to get near the pumpkins again for a sibling picture.  It'll be a story I'm sure she'll dislike when she gets older, but being the good mom that I am I will be sure to remind her every year!


I haven't been too good at my chalk art this year, no worries though because the girls are constantly grabbing the chalk out of the drawer and decorating our pantry.  I got my act together "enough" to get a Halloween theme up on the doors with a sweet little ghost.  Ellie's drawing and artistic skill has vastly improved since last spring and we are able to make out way more than just some scribbles.  She wanted to make our pantry doors more festive and she copied my ghost and also added in a spider (which looks like a flower) additionally she copied the BOO and was able to read it to me!!  If that isn't one for the baby books I'm not sure what is!!

Happy November my friends!  May your month be full of gratitude, family, and fun!!  
Have a great weekend!

In case you missed it:
I recapped Ellie's Harvest Fest at her school
I participated in What's Up Wednesday
I shared Séamus 14 week update

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Séamus Weekly - week 14

This is a pretty big week for sweet Séamus.  He turned 3 months old and he is celebrating Halloween for the first time!!
I am in disbelief that on this day, just one short year ago, our little man was just a tiny 4 day old embryo chillin in a petri dish!!  Thomas took the girls out for Trick or Treating while I stayed home and just relaxed awaiting our very very big day.  
We had our five day transfer done on November 1st, 2017.  Séamus was our top embryo, earning a nearly perfect rating!!  and that has continued on because I have to say...he is still perfectly perfect.

Eats: little man is still exclusively on the boob.  He has gotten a bit distracted this past week during his nursing sessions, he'll nurse a little bit then pull off and give me the biggest grin...I adore it while also just want him to eat!!  My let down is much heavier in the middle of the night, maybe that's why he is still waking up twice in the middle of the night for it??

Sleeps: when he gets to be swaddled an in his SnuggleMe (after I've sprayed it with sleep spray) in his room, with the sound machine going he will take a solid nap.  He still sleeps in the car seat - which is great but I'm hoping to switch him into a convertible car seat this week, so it's time to work on the transfers.  Nighttime sleep is hit or miss.  The past several days he has been extra fussy right before bedtime so what I have been doing is putting a couple of drops of Peace and Calming II on my hands and rub on his swaddle and my shoulder.

Goes: I don't think that Séamus has ventured to anywhere new this week.  We did attend the Harvest Fest at Ellie's school this weekend and he slept his way through it.  We've also just been to the usual suspects: grocery store, school, home, and the car.

Wears: we busted out the Halloween clothes this week and he is filling out the 0-3 month clothes very well.  I'm thinking it's almost time to start putting him into some 3-6 clothes.  I am not even sure if we managed to get through our entire 0-3 stockpile!!  He is still wearing size 1 diapers.

Does: Séa is a total tummy time champ.  He's even started bringing his knees up under his belly so we might have ourselves and early crawler 🙏.  He has amazing head control, loves to look around and observe and we have been working hard on his core muscles getting him to sit up.  I just know that it's a whole new world once they can do that and they really are so much happier once they can sit!  We also carved our pumpkins this week, I sprayed the inside with Thieves household cleaner to preserve them longer and we used these punches to make the faces!!

Mama: I hit a new rank in my business this week, which is so incredibly exciting!  It's given me more motivation to keep on going and has really validated my desire to help bring wellness into the homes of friends, family, and acquaintances.  The more I learn about oils and toxin free products the more thankful I am to have them and the more I want to share them with everyone!!  I have also been trying to be super mindful of all the stages that Séamus and the girls are in because I know that these moments are fleeting and Séamus is the last.  His giggles and coos give me life, Finnley's obsession and desire to be next to him bring me great joy, and Ellie's willingness to help and desire to love on both of them is everything to me.  I am also just really remembering back to this time last year, when life was full of hormone injections, follicle studies, ultrasounds, and desire that our pipedream would become a reality.  I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, I was so hopeful yet still so very guarded.  I prepared myself for the worst and tried to not get too attached, to any of it.  Thankfully, our last ditch effort of IVF worked!! And here he is in all of his 3 month glory!!

Sisters: Finnley's vocabulary is blossoming.  She loves to grab the Boppy, climb up onto the couch and announce that she is ready to hold the baby.  She calls him Séa Baby, has picked him up and carried him on several occasions (including dropping him on his face when she got caught....), she plays with him, squeals in his face, laughs so hard, and just wants to poke his eyeballs out...the classic 2 year old.
Ellie is totally rocking it at school.  We got her school photos back this week and she absolutely nailed it.  She is constantly kissing Séa's head, wanting to hold him and has yet to pick him up.  She makes silly faces and really cannot control herself when she is overwhelmed with love for him, she will hug him no matter what!  She still wants to include Finnley in all the things and is truly the best big sister I could have ever dreamed of having.  It's because of her that I love 5 year olds!

previous weeks:

Finnley at 14 weeks
Ellie at 14 weeks

♥ Ashley