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Friday, April 21, 2017

a week in the warmth // beach + lego vacay

Recently we got a much-needed dose of vitamin D and relaxation down in Florida.
We road-tripped down to my in-laws' condo in Treasure Island 
and it was so, so, so nice to get out of the drear that was our weather and into the warmth + rays.
I tried to post a few things on Instagram each day for those who follow along, but here are some more photos chronicling our seven day trip...
My pale children are not used to bright sunshine.  Don't worry - we got them sunglasses.
reading this for book club - and excited for an upcoming Savannah trip!

These kids in the Burley bike trailer.  A little too close for comfort most of the time.

This is Cormac's comfort zone at the beach.  

Paul out in the warm Gulf waves with Fin.

She loves being immersed, literally in nature.


we exfoliated a lot.

The belly even was treated to various spa treatments.
relaxing on the beach...sort of.
start of day two! apple eating!
After day one's sunburn, hubby invested in a shirt.
The waves freak him out, but being buried in sand is totally okay.
Another reapplication of sunscreen under our new beach umbrella.
Sometimes they play so nicely together.  It's like 60/40.
Sunset from the condo's lanai. 
my burnt feet.  ow. 
The only day I put on full makeup deserved a selfie!  We went into St. Pete's and had a family movie date to avoid the mid-day sun.  We are really into movie dates, even on vacation.  
Then later we ended the day hanging on the beach at sunset and getting ice cream.
Had to dress uber-comfy for my biggest craving all vacay - Waffle House!  Which is weird as I never crave waffles. 
everyone wore their pjs or comfies!  
Cormac humored me and wore his WH hat the whole meal.
Last day at the beach!  This girl was born for it.  Peace out, ya'll.
Daddy/Son walk up the beach.  #guytime

After four lovely days at the beach we departed for the second part of our adventure: Legoland. Cormac had suggested this months ago after he had seen an ad for it before a movie.   "We can 'Stay and Play!' Mom!!!!" he had told me excitedly.  (Advertising money well-spent.)  It was so sweet to see him pumped about it, since just this year he started getting really into Lego sets and being able to put them together completely by himself. (Praise Jesus!)

I'll be totally honest : I am sort of dreading ever having to go to Disney World (and Hubby is pretty much against spending the money and fighting the crazy crowds.)  I figured this would be a nice alternative that would hopefully be more laid-back and non-stressful.  It was!  Hardly a line, so the kids got to ride a bunch of rides both the days we were there.  We stayed at the Legoland Hotel, which was super-kid friendly (obviously) and the kids had a blast.   I loved that there were zero lines or crowds or chaos.  It's just not my bag, baby.  I wish I was a chill laid-back mama who just goes with the flow and thrived on chaos...but I'm not.  
the real beds were more comfy.
Fin's fave ride, besides the 3D Ninjago ride.
Cormac now wants bunkbeds, of course.
Blondies and Nya from Ninjago.
The road trip home from Atlanta, just me and the kids after dropping Paul off at ATL to fly to London for work, was ROUGH, ya'll.  Only seven hours, but I think we were all super ready to be home and out of the vehicle.

I love road trips, but this age with the kids is difficult to keep them entertained and not fighting with each other in such close quarters!

Seriously considering a mini-van.  Not gonna lie.  :D

All in all - it was a sweet spring break week.

Friday, April 14, 2017

essential oils : my 'why' story

A couple months ago I'd say I knew very little about essential oils.  

A few friends had mentioned them casually here and there, in passing.  But I had no one in my life that I would call "oil-obsessed."  How in the world did I have no "oily" friends????   Or at least none that were talking about it.

Since no one specifically shared with me, I kinda just had to get there on my own.  Or God led me to it at just the right time.  Very slowly...

My oil experience before being introduced to Young Living...
  • 2013 : Pregnant with Finola, I desired a natural, drug-free childbirth, so I hired a doula.  My amazing doula said she'd "bring oils to warm" for my delivery.  I was like, "Okay lady, whatever you say!" and kind of just trusted her on it.  I knew nothing about essential oils or how they would benefit me during childbirth.  Sure enough, my doula brought those oils, warmed them, and my midwife used them to massage the opening (sorry to get graphic) as I pushed baby's head out.  I had no tearing or need for episiotomy.   This, my friends, is a Godsend for post-partum recovery!!!
  • 2015 : Bought a bottle of lavender from Whole Foods in the hope of making a DIY yoga mat spray.  Never made the spray and the bottle sat on a shelf.  Doh.
  • 2016 : Went through a really rough year mentally.  Struggled with my depression.   Tried medication for several months and decided that it just wasn't for me.  Kept seeking God and praying for direction.  Developed some better habits and mindsets (read about that journey here.) 
  • 2017 : Found out I was pregnant with Baby #3!  Again started thinking about natural, med-free childbirth + hiring a doula, which reminded me about that oil experience.  Randomly saw a post on my Instagram feed about an online "Introduction to Essential Oils Class."  It was posted by a blogger I liked and had been following since I started blogging six years ago.  Cost was $10 which seemed reasonable to me.  I knew nothing after all.  So I jumped in and gave it a shot!  I was also told I would be sent three oil rollers.  I had no idea even what that meant but I was interested and wanted to go into it all with an open mind.  I received my rollers and started using them immediately.  One was lavender and several other oils -- for sleep.  One was a thieves roller -- to promote overall wellness.  The third was called "Happy" with various up-lifting oils that I could roll on during the day for a mood boost.
From what I learned in that online intro class I was beyond intrigued.  Excited even!   I was rolling those oils on my spine, wrists, heart, feet with wild abandon!  I was using them with my kiddos.  I wanted to know more about how to replace all our current household + beauty products with safer, natural, oil alternatives.

I immediately signed up for the premium starter kit, joined the community, and clicked "yes" to every class my FB community leaders were offering.  (I want to learn as much as I can -- so I am still doing that!)  

The oils are in my life now because they seem to fit there. Because of my interest in holistic health care (versus traditional medicine.)  Because of my desire to do something really good for our family.  Because of my need to naturally cope with depression/anxiety.  

So that is why I am posting about this.  I'm sure many of you reading already have oils in your life. If so - yay!  But if not, I want to encourage you to start your own "Oil Journey!"

Your "why" may look completely different than mine. Maybe you want to figure out how to use oils with your babies/kiddos for a variety of reasons (sleep! calm!) Maybe you want to learn how oils can affect hormonal imbalance and fertility.  Or soothe a skin issue.  Maybe you want to supplement your income while doing something healthy/positive for your fam.  Or perhaps switching to all non-toxic products in your home appeals most to you.
my current three favorites from the starter kit!
Whatever your "why" is - at the risk of sounding like a crazy woman - oils are amazing and I would be remiss if I didn't share my excitement and my experience so far!  As I said, I am just learning it all but am loving how positive + nourishing the whole endeavor has been.  I adore that Finola wants me to put "happy oils" on her each morning.  I love how excited Cormac gets about the "smoke machine" (uh, diffuser) and that he calls the oil bottles "special oils."  

Additionally, I've been slowly weeding out products in our home that contain tons of chemicals, and replacing with natural products infused with the oils - many that I am making myself!  (And saving money!!!!)  A couple examples: I've made lavender room sprays for our bathrooms (took about 2 minutes to make) a HUGE vat of laundry detergent, and a headache roller that has largely alleviated the frequent headaches I've been having during this pregnancy, eliminating my need to pop Tylenol on the daily. 

I was buying most of this stuff at Target anyway...why not earn points and freebies AND be using chemical-free products that I can feel good about?

If you want to join Young Living, have access to a pretty amazing community of oil lovers, and, of course, start using products that you will literally FEEL GOOD about...please call/text/email me or simply sign up using the link below.  I can walk you through the process of getting started and hooked up with everything you need to feel competent and prepared to live an "oily life."

I don't want you to say, like I did, that no one ever really told you about oils.  I am unabashedly encouraging you to seek the natural benefits of oils and clean products infused with them.  I wish I had done this years ago, ya'll.  All that said - 

I would L O V E for you to join my Young Living team and go on this journey with me!   

Right now I am offering $20 back on your Premium Starter Kit.  Investing this kit is all you need to do to join Young Living and get started with oils!  (Best purchase I've made all year!)
 Regular cost is $160, but if you purchase the kit through me this month I will personally refund you $20!
(Because I believe in you + this!)

So for $140 - you get 11 amazing oils (including: lavender, thieves, peppermint, Stress Away) a diffuser, 10 roller bottles, 2 packets of Ninxja Red (basically a delicious essential oil-infused 'juice pouch'), and various oil samples to share, as well as the product guide and starter lit.

To take advantage of this discount you need to use this link to sign up :   

Be sure to sign up as a "member" to get the wholesale discounts on all products and start earning points that can be used to get free products!  (There is no pressure/requirement to ever 'direct market/sell' to anyone - you still get the discount and perks!)

Email me if you have any questions at greta.r.ford@hotmail.com - or call/text/FB message.
Once you are signed up I can get you your $20 refund ASAP, and get you linked into our amazing private Facebook group where you will honestly have such fabulous support + be inspired by all the tips/recipes/advice!   There are regular online classes that will teach you about the oils and specific uses.  I will hold your hand through this!

The best part about Young Living - besides the oils, of course - is the support + encouragement you get from your community!

If you are still on the fence about oils I'd love to send you some samples and talk oils with you.
Let me know!

Happy Easter, friends!
He is risen!