Creating A Morning Routine

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc® and it’s advertiser but all my opinions are my own. #NatureMadeGummies #CollectiveBias

Morning Routines help to set our days up to succeed.
I can honestly say that without a morning routine I am left feeling a little all over the place, frazzled, and lacking some direction. Maybe it’s just because i’m the type of person who thrives on structure – but all of the articles I read about successful and happy people start with how they schedule their mornings.
Let me also say that while these are some of the steps I take to walk into my mornings this doesn’t mean that I follow them every single day – some times I make times for those beautifully slow mornings. The ones where you don’t even realize that the mornings have bled into the afternoons – those are glorious too.


Stretch

One of the first things I try to remember to do when I wake up is to stretch; I practice a few different moves while still laying in bed. I have found that stretching is one of the most crucial ways to start your mornings. It helps your blood to start flowing, loosens your joints, jump-starts your mind, and brings some energy to help face your day. I always make sure to stretch my arms, legs, and back – limbering up the whole body helps me to not feel like a slug when I finally do roll out of bed.

Have some quiet time

This is an area where I have done great for many months, and then I struggle for many months, and then I go back to being great again. I love spending time reading my Bible in the mornings; it helps my mind to start the day focusing on the good things and the beautifully challenging things vs the struggle/frustration/anger/bitterness/drama/etc that could have followed me from the day before. Be intentional with your time and make sure you do carve out some precious moments of quiet time. Whether that’s reading your Bible, praying, meditating, finishing a chapter in a book, take at least 15 minutes to be intentional with moving into your day.

Drink a big glass of water

I’m not sure if I’m the only one but there are many mornings where I wake up dry mouthed and so thirsty. I always keep a cup of water next to my bed that I drink throughout the night but I am attempting to be more intentional about drinking a big glass after I get out of bed. Not only is it a great way to re-hydrate your body after a night of sleep but it will help with flushing out toxins. It also is supposed to jump start your metabolism, help your brain become more alert, and help with any of those “i’m starving” feelings from waking up on an empty stomach. ((Also, I read that it can help with constipation if you’re struggling with that – I’ve read one of the main reasons for constipation is dehydration.))

Tell yourself 3 positive things

Ooffpph.
I’m not sure if I’m the only one who struggles with talking negative to themselves, but sometimes I’m a downright bully to myself. The mind has a lot of power over how we view ourselves, our bodies, and our days. Instead of starting my day feeling like I’m already defeated by a looming to-do list, pants that I know will be too tight, and a possible challenging situation; I’m going to think more positive. I’m going to try to begin listing three positive things every day, big or small, just positive! If you don’t know where to start, start with “I’m alive”. Seriously, you ARE alive and that is something to be thankful for!

Take your vitamins

Make your health a priority.
Truth y’all – getting the right vitamins and nutrients into your body at the start of your day is a great habit to form. I’ve found that I feel more alert, perform quicker, and overall feel better when I’m consciously making the effort to take the vitamins my body needs.
Lately I’ve focusing on my hair, skin and nails. One of the best things I’ve found: Biotin. Did you know that Nature Made makes a Biotin gummy and that it may help support healthy hair, skin and nails?* I pop two of these chewy (& tasty!) gummies into my mouth in the morning and know that the 2000mg of Biotin is going to get to work. These are seriously gummies that you can trust – they are USP verified for potency, unity and quality. Nature Made® has the first gummies certified by the USP for purity and potency.
Also, it’s great to just feel like a kid again having a fruit snack.
Anyone else get really excited when you eat gummies again, or am I the only one?

PS
You can pick up these Nature Made Adult Gummies (so many different kinds: Multi For Her plus Omega-3s, Melatonin, Vitamin D) at your local Walmart!
Just head on over to the vitamin section and select the ones you’re looking to add to your daily routine!


Are you a morning routine person?
If so, what are some of your tried and true things that jump-start your day?
AND out of curiosity vitamins are you currently loving that help your body feel better?

 

* Biotin may help support healthy hair, skin and nails in those that are biotin deficient.
* † These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treats cure or prevent any disease. 

Healthy Living With Essential Oils

This post contains affiliate links. You can see full my disclosure here

This past week I posted some of my new roller balls on instagram and got a few questions about where I got the rollers and what types of oils I use. So today is the day I share with y’all the nitty gritty of my journey with essential oils.

For the longest time I have always tried to find a holistic approach to whatever problem I’m having first before turning to western medicine. Whether I’m having a really bad headache or menstrual cramps; If I’m exhausted but can’t sleep or feeling incredibly overwhelmed and stressed – I try to look for stretches, foods to eat, pressure points, and essential oils to help. A few years back one of my good friends was telling me about how she used essential oils to help combat her anxiety and I was intrigued. Thinking back to all of the early medicines our ancestors used to use, and even that peppermint water you would drink in the nurses office when you had a tummy ache – it got me thinking; could these little liquid drops really do anything?

I must tell you, I was incredibly skeptical.
I didn’t start with doing a lot of the research myself (because I didn’t know what to research) but instead trusted good friends who I knew did their research. (ha!) I started off with the ‘essential’ oils everyone says that you should start with: peppermint, lavender, and lemon. Peppermint helps with stomach aches, sore joints, muscle pain, antibacterial, fever, focus, nausea, vertigo, headaches, etc. Lavender is great for acne, depression, stress, migraines, insect bites, burns, muddler pain, etc. Lemon is excellent for it’s antibacterial properties, canker sores, closed, sore throats, mental alertness, headaches, fevers, etc. You can see why they are great choices to start with oils if you’re looking but not ready to make a financial investment. I bought a diffuser because I wasn’t sure about topical treatments (applying oil to your body) and spent a few weeks just using the diffuser. I honestly slept better, felt more alert, and wasn’t as “down” as I had been. When it came to that time of the month I got desperate and started to rub the peppermint on my abdomen and y’all, it was a game changer. It helped SO MUCH with my cramps I was able to rely less on medication and more on essential oils, heating pads, and staying hydrated.

I then branched out into using essential oils for sickness prevention and treatment.
When everyone around me was getting colds, the flu, and feeling overall sluggish – I found that I was fairing better. Did I still get sick? Yes sometimes I did, but it never lasted long or as severe as it used to. I started learning more about what oils to apply and where to apply them…it became really fun for me honestly.

So here I am today – still on my oil journey and constantly looking at my resources for “what oil does this” or “what can this oil do” so that I really am learning and getting the most out of the items I buy. I’m researching different (and new!) brands of oils to try out and blends to use and it’s all really interesting for me.

My Essential Oil Necessities:

+ Essential Oils Natural Remedies – This book is the best one I’ve found so far. I found it to be the best because not only does it give you an introduction to essential oils, how to apply and store them, where to buy them, etc; it also gives you natural remedies for common ailments (acne, bloating, headache, nausea, etc) but it also has a directory of essential oils (not all of them, but a lot of the most used) and it gives a brief description of the oil, application methods, what it blends with, precautions, and medicinal uses.

+ Diffuser – We currently have 3 (yes!) in our house; these guys are troopers and I use them for hours on end each and every day and I have yet to have any issues with them. I don’t really use the light feature but they would be great to use at night for a nightlight.

+ Wooden Oil Organizer – This isn’t the exact one that I have (I can’t find it!) but I LOVE having a wooden box for most of my oils! My box doesn’t fit the oils larger than 15ml but I just keep those in a separate area.

+ Travel Bag – This bag has been a lifesaver! Every time I go on a trip I take my pre-made (or bought) roller balls or small bottles of pure essential oils. I don’t have to worry about them getting lost or busted. Sometimes I shove some tissue paper in there to give a little extra cushion, but I haven’t had any problems! ((I just found this one and may be ordering it too! I like that its as a hard shell on the outside))

+ Amber Roller Balls with Gold Lids – These are the ones from the picture up top; I love these because they are functional roller balls but also so dang gorgeous.

+ Bottle Openers – These are great for when you want to re-fill your roller bottles!

+ Bottle Decals – I recently got these from Jenny Highsmith and I legit love them! You can also create custom labels!

Some of the Essential Oil Companies I Use:

+ Edens Garden – I love this company and their prices. Not only are they quality (you can read more about their oils here) but they give 10% of their profits back to faith-based ministries; which makes my heart so happy! Edens Garden is great for diffusing and I also use them topically.

+ Rocky Mountain Oils – This oil company is truly one of the best ones for medicinal purposes. I LOVE their defend capsules, feminine aid, and true blue.

+ Plant Therapy – This 6 oil starter pack is a great one! Eddied ordered it off of amazon when we were engaged so I could have oils when I visited.

+ Now Essential Oils – These are easily purchased at most health food stores. Sometimes if I forgot an oil or forgot my rollers while on vacation I run into a store and grab one of these. They also have pre-blended oils and my current favorite is “mental focus” – I diffuse it a lot while working.

+ Saje – I stumbled across this Canadian brand on instagram and have been so impressed with their quality. Their marketing is just phenomenal – their website is SO HELPFUL – and they are actually in a lot pocket pharmacy of stores as well las having their own stores (I would love to visit one) I purchased their and have used it almost every single day; the peppermint halo is a game changer.

I personally do not own any Young Living or Doterra oils (I do own these Doterra On Guard Capsules that I take if I’m feeling especially sickly and I got them off of amazon). I think they are amazing oils, some of the highest quality, but they are also highly priced and I’m a cheapskate so I often try to find just as amazing oils (if not higher quality) and go with that. I will 100% admit that I will probably be buying Young Living’s Thieves laundry soap as well as their hand soap because I used it at a friends house and loved it! I could make my own (and probably will), but man, their branding gets me every time.

Some of my favorite blends to diffuse / put in rollers:

+ FALL: Orange, Patchouli, Clove

+ SLEEP: Lavender, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang,

+ FOCUS: Lime, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange

+ IMMUNITY (Thieves Oil): 10 drops Clove, 9 drops Lemon, 5 drops Cinnamon Bark, 4 drops Eucalyptus, 3 drops Rosemary

+ STRESS: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Cinnamon, Bergamot

+ I also diffuse A LOT of Lemon + Eucalyptus; it smells so fresh.

Favorite Oils / Blends / Rollers:

+ Spearmint

+ Solace (roller)

+ Digest Ease

+ Peppermint Halo (roller)

+ Fighting Five (roller)

+ Love

If you’re applying topically you definitely need to look into essential oil to carrier oil ratios.
Some oils ‘burn’ so you must dilute them before putting them on your skin unless you want to feel like your skin is on fire hah (I learned this the hard way with Oregano). Also there are differing opinions on ingesting oils and if it’s safe for you to do and the ratios in which you ingest. Personally I have only ingested peppermint when I was REALLY sick (put a drop or two in a huge glass of water), and the doterra capsules I mentioned above. I’m still cautious of ingesting the oils, even though yes, your body obviously absorbs oils as you apply it topically and breath it in.

Whew, that was a lot of information thrown y’alls way.
If you’re an essential oil user I would love to hear more about your journey with them and what blends/companies/etc you use.
If you’re not an EO user have you ever been curious?
OOOOOO tell me all the things please!

Wellness Favorites

Pique tea did send me this tea to test out and review for y’all all images and opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure here

I’ve been posting here and there on the blog and on instagram about making time for ourselves.
Being intentional with slow mornings, getting out there and finding adventure in the small moments, and just being present.
I can also fully admit that life is hard sometimes, it can be too busy, unfulfilling and overwhelming.
It can also be beautiful and full of love, new experiences, great relationships, and bright moments.
I think it’s important to remember that each day is not set up to fail.

Two things that have been getting me through my day are pique tea and the saje pocket farmacy.
I can pop the tea crystals in a mug and not worry about removing the tea bag. It is easy to prepare, easy to enjoy, easy to benefit from and easy to replace unhealthy options with (aka super surgery coffee syrups). Honestly I’m a huge fan of herbal tea and I’ve been trying to get more green tea into my daily routine and this makes it literally 10x easier.

Next I roll some peppermint halo or fortify on my forehead, temples, and neck to help boost my brain
I take a few deep breaths and let my day start to unfold.
I love that I am able to take some warm tea with me to run errands and roll on some oils to help pick me up.

What are some of your current wellness favorites?

Slow Mornings

Lately I’ve been learning that slow mornings are so important.
Taking time to pray, crack open my Bible, and make a healthy breakfast literally sets my day.
On mornings where I don’t plan well I feel rushed, frazzled, and under a crunch i realize that even during slow moments throughout the rest of my day I feel like I’m always catching up. The last few days I’ve been making my protein pancakes on my (new!) griddle and drizzling some almond butter & honey over them with some blueberries stacked in. While I’m cooking I rack my brain figuring out what I’m going to wear for the day and I actually now sit down and eat instead of standing and shoving it in my face. HA!

That’s been a hard lesson for me to learn.
I’m always been GOING GOING GOING throughout my life. Working, spending time with friends after work or going to an event, a meeting, a workout class, a ______. I mean seriously my schedule was always FULL and my brain was always spazzing out about what was coming next. There was hardly any time for slow moments to unwind and actually think about what was happening let alone process all of the big changes going on in my life. Now that I’m at a place where I’m able to be intentional with my time and carve out those slow morning moments It’s making a world of difference. It’s all about making the time for what is important, and if that means cushioning in 15 minutes before or after you wake up or go to bed, I challenge you to try it out. You’re worth it.

I know it’s weird to talk about taking slow mornings first thing on a Monday morning, but I wanted to give a little reminder.
Take some time to unwind today.
Whatever that looks like – praying, reading scripture, getting a workout in, watching a TV show, reading a book….just be intentional for YOU today.
If you’re not taking care of yourself, pouring into yourself as the amazing person that you are, you won’t be able to connect well with others.

Ellie Fitness Box – May

This post contains an affiliate links; all opinions and images are my own. 

Y’all I love myself some subscription boxes.
If I could afford (and justify) having ALL the boxes I totally would – but alas, that’s kind of ridiculous. 😉
Ellie sent me their May box to try out & give you an honest opinion and I’ve got to admit, I was so pumped to open it up & dig in!

Each Ellie box comes with 5 curated fitness items for $49.95!
Every month you get a new sports bra, top, leggings, and two fitness accessories (so basically a whole new outfit and 2 fitness items).
When you’re filling out the details for your box you select a size for your top and a size for your bottom.
This step made me a little nervous because there weren’t size guides. As we all know, we are all different; and our sizes are vastly different. Sometimes I wear a large shirt other times its a medium – same with a sports bra, and don’t get me started on pants! So I selected the sizes I thought would be the best fit and waited patiently (ha) for my box to arrive.
If you’re not at work (hey you!) and have about 15 minutes you can watch the youtube video to see my unboxing reaction as well as a first try-on thought process!


 

My first thoughts in a stream of consciousness: ohhhh yessss rose gold box! Man oh man, this is super cute packaging, I love the invoice holder, OOOOO pretty, that’s functional, I’m all about some strap-style bras, YES TO MESH, and then the dreaded will this actually fit. Once I collected myself I looked at the fitness accessories first which were an arm wallet and hand therapy kit. My first thoughts if I’m honest were kind of womb wompppp but let me actually explain that. Personally I’m not the biggest fan of arm wallets; I feel like they always slip off or just are too bulky for my liking (or don’t fit my phone in its case!). I actually put this to the test and put my phone (with its case still on) inside and it does fit (win) and when I put it on my arm it did feel like it fit really securely…soooo maybe I will give this a try on my next gym visit. The hand therapy balls are basically stress relievers, after my initial meh I realized how great these little guys actually are. While I’m watching TV I can also strengthen the muscles in my hands an forearms, not too shabby.


Now onto the clothes.
The outfit as a whole is super super cute so let’s break it down by item.
The bra: Man, the concept is great. I love the straps on the front that do a little peek-a-boo through a tank top and the fact that you can CHOOSE if you want to wear it as a normal sports bra or hook the back straps to be a halter is great! A+ for design. I got a size Large and that was probably my mistake, I should have gotten a size Medium because it just didn’t fit properly! I did not feel secure at all (and even went for a long walk in in to test it out) because my boobs were almost sliding out of the bottom. NOT GOOD. This will definitely be one of my around the house bras though.

The top: I love the design, the little keyhole at the back and the long stripe are really cute. I also like that it has a flare to the bottom so it should be more flattering on bigger-hip-girls like myself. Once I actually tried it on though? I didn’t like the way it fit me, due to my own insecurities, it just hugged a little bit too much on my hips – and with the pants being a tighter fit (i’ll explain in a minute) it just made me feel bleh. I think once I get a little more toned I will be able to wear this top.

The pants: The material and design is amazing; they are ridiculously soft and the colors are right up my ally, and we’ve already discussed the mesh! There were a few concerns for me with the pants: They were super see-through when you help them up and kind of stretched them against the light, so definitely not squat proof, and with the softer cotton-ish material it kind of makes other materials hug to your frame. Which is why I don’t think the top worked as well for me, it didn’t really glide off the pants more like stuck to them a little bit. I’ve worn the pants to do light cardio and they held up great. I was worried that with them being so soft they wouldn’t stay UP, but they did. Overall I think the pants were a big win out of this box for me, and it doesn’t hurt that they are so comfortable I could sleep in them.


Overall thoughts: Would I actually purchase the Ellie box for $49.95 a month? I think I would just to see how the next month went and if I had better luck with the clothes (I just fixed my bra size on their website so that should be better next time!). Since I am always looking at workout clothes (seriously, its a problem) actually limiting myself to a box would be really nice so I KNEW I was getting fitness goodies once a month and I didn’t feel the want to go look around at all of the other places. I really like the concept and am looking forward to seeing what their June box has in store.

PS – taking a shirtless selfie *calllmmmmmm down I’m wearing a bra* was SO WEIRD.
I am completely not comfortable where my body is right now so that was a HUGE step out of my comfort zone guys. HUGE.

PPS – Tobi love the box. <3


Head on over to www.ellie.com to sign up for your own box! <3

Morning Toast

Breakfast.
It is seriously one of my FAVORITE meals of the day.
Ok, if we are being real – all food is my favorite meal of the day; I just really love eating.
Which is my problem, the girl likes to to eat.
A long time ago I realized I had a really bad relationship with food, an addiction really.
Learning how to look at food as fuel instead of happiness or any other emotion filler is a struggle. Reminding myself that just because I’m bored doesn’t mean I have to snack, or that hey I literally just ate 30 minutes ago, so no I am NOT hungry – girl just drink that  glass of water is not the easiest thing to do.
Food is fuel.
It won’t make me happy, it won’t calm my fears, it won’t keep me company.
It can fuel me to move more, to strive for better, and to enjoy the life the Lord has given me – or it can hinder me and hold me back and make me feel insecure. I don’t want to give something as needed as food that much power over my emotions. So I have been working on having a healthier relationship with it.

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been sporadically picking days where I instagram story my food intake for the day – it really helps me with accountability. You may have also noticed that this toast has truly been on the docket all the time (this and smoothies). It’s super simple to make – and really requires zero instructions but here is a run down of how I make my breakfast toast:

+ Pull toast out of freezer and put into toaster
+ Make my scrambled eggs adding in my current favorite spices
+ Slather on some guac – because it makes everything betteR
+ Top it with a crack or two of pepper and himalayan pink sea salt
+ Eat that sucker
+ ….maybe make more for lunch

What are some of your favorite healthy meals you love to make?