Learn to love mornings

I wasn't a morning person. I remember sleeping in until 11am on weekends, having a hard time getting out of bed, feeling unmotivated to do anything but eat breakfast and then plop down on the couch. By the time I felt like I could get out and do something, it was already early afternoon, a decent part of my day was just gone

We all need a day off here and there, a day to just relax, to do nothing.  My old habits were much different than that. They were lazy. This was before I worked night shift for two years, and that made things much worse. To "prep" for my next shift I would stay up until about 3 or 4am and then wake up in the afternoon.  I felt terrible any time that I was up in the morning, I never enjoyed that time. I missed out.

The other day I was thinking about life, how quickly our days pass, and how those days are numbered. I have a choice, to get up and live, or to lay around watching tv and sitting on my couch. The thought of looking back when you are nearing your end, and seeing a life lived after 12pm every day.. honestly it scares me. What a sad waste of time. 

I am so grateful that I have switched things around, I have broken old habits, and I have been steady with it for over a year now. I love my mornings. I love the dreamy light peeking over the hills, and then pouring through my windows. I love my warm coffee, I love diffusing oils that wake me up and make me happy. I love reading my daily devotional book alone. I love the quiet, calm energy before everyone rushes off to work. I love going places because mornings can turn any place (even in the Bay Area!) into a ghost town. I love seeing who else is out, running, riding their bikes, breathing that cool air. I love seeing those that love their mornings as much as I do. 

Photographers often refer to the time around the sunrise as the "golden hour." They are definitely referring to the lighting, but I call it the golden hour for many other reasons. It is the best time of the day! 

If waking up early is something that is hard for you, but you want to be a morning person, I understand. Here are a few tips for you to improve your morning game, to wake up and live.

  • Sleep training. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at at the same time in the morning. This takes discipline, but I promise it works. When I am not able to do this, I wake up so much more tired.
  • A warm drink. Whatever it is, hot lemon water, tea, coffee. Make it special, use your favorite mug, set it all up the night before so all you have to do is heat your water and enjoy. Life's little pleasures are what it is all about.
  • Peppermint oil. This is a go to almost every morning for me. I smell it straight from the bottle, or put some on my neck, or a drop on my thumb pressed to the roof of my mouth. Peppermint is a great wake up oil!
  • Be grateful. If you think about life in a positive way, if you are grateful to be given the gift of another day, you'll be more willing to launch yourself out of bed when you wake up in the am. I say in my head or out loud "thank you" several times. I just woke up, I am alive. What a gift! 
  • Dream. I don't mean while you are sleeping. Do you have dreams for you life? Or did you, and life has buried them?  Don't be afraid to dream. I think of the life that I want for my husband and future children, and I have to work for that. That dream, that image in my head instantly fuels me with the motivation to peel the covers back and get up. 
  • Make it comfy. We don't want to leave our beds because we are soo comfortable. I get that, so when I am reading, or having coffee, I am wrapped up in an oversized robe. And if I head out into that amazing but chilly morning air, I am bundled up in sweats and a hat. The thought of leaving your bed becomes less daunting when you are headed for warm clothes or blankets with your cozy drink of choice.
  • Watch your productivity. Nothing makes me more excited than seeing how productive I am when I enjoy my early mornings. I am able to relax, read, have grateful thoughts, and then start working. Without the rush of flying off to work or feeling stressed, I get so much more done. Try it for a week or two and watch how much more you are able to accomplish, and all before 12pm! 

Here are a few pictures of my favorite golden hours, that time that I have learned to love so much. 

IMG_1283-1.jpg
IMG_2592-1.jpg
IMG_2962-1.jpg
IMG_9903-1.jpg
IMG_2702-1.jpg
IMG_3209-1.jpg
IMG_8962-1.jpg

Food for thought

I get so many questions about what we eat, how we eat, and where to even begin for someone who wants to start a healthier lifestyle. 

I want to start by saying this took me years. Not years to transition, but years of saying "I want to eat healthier" and not actually doing it. Changing what you eat regularly is 100% an act of the will, I can't convince you to do that, only you can set your mind to it, and choose to stick with it. 

I know how hard it is, It was hard for me to kick fast food, processed food, and refined sugar out of my life. I have also seen countless patients who would rather take a pill or some extra insulin than change how they eat. I know from enough experience that I can't make you want it, that part is up to you. 

I also want to say we are not 100% perfectly healthy, nor do I want to be. I am not going to live and never eat pizza, or a cookie, but for the most part I will consider what I am putting in my body to be fuel, and think consciously about what I am using to fuel my body. My body that is a total gift from God. 

When I think that way, and never about counting calories, loosing weight, or some fad diet, I am able to stick to it. I am SO happy when I know I am putting good things in, to allow me to live my life in a healthy, strong, and happy way. 

So first of all, here's how you can enjoy those indulgences that you can't imagine giving up: find options that are made out of real ingredients! Meaning not processed, or refined, or completely synthetic garbage for your body to filter. For instance, I had pizza last weekend while I was in Las Vegas. When I travel, I find myself eating things that I normally wouldn't at home. My brother and husband found a pizza place with the coolest menu. All of the ingredients were real, the tomato sauce was just that, Italian tomatoes and some seasoning... my body still didn't love me for eating gluten and dairy (that's another story) but with this non processed, thin crust Italian style pizza, I was able to enjoy the moment and know I am not eating all of the pesticides and chemicals that use to be in my every day life. If I am craving sweets, I have a piece of dark chocolate, fruit, or I'll make a paleo version of lemon bars, or brownies. Yes, this will still spike your blood sugar, but with ingredients like almond flour, coconut sugar, eggs, cacao, there is some type of benefit, actual nutrients, and your body will feel something like, hey I know what to do with this ;) My favorite account on Instagram for ideas and recipes when I need something sweet is @bakeritablog. She is so creative with real food ingredients and I don't think you could ever get sick of those recipes! 

The most shocking thing about making huge dietary changes was realizing the food was better on the other side. If you can't eat a pile of cookies, or fill your belly with bread before the entree even shows up (my old ways) you're going to be more creative with what you do eat. We make sure our meals are delicious, flavorful, and packed with nutrition. 

Cutting out processed food is an amazing place to start. I will list some things that we totally threw out of our home, and never bought again. It feels weird at first, like how will I get by without these ingredients but I promise you'll use your creativity, and the real food ingredients here on earth for us, and you will thrive! I sleep better, am in better moods, and I am never bloated ..even during that time of the month. Cramps are also a breeze too, requiring no Motrin. I don't get heartburn anymore, something I use to take tums or Zantac for. Sometimes we are suffering and not getting to the root cause, rather covering it up with a pill. If you have health complaints, and have not looked into changing your diet (completely different from going on a diet), I really encourage you to do some research. 

We are not trapped, although it may seem like a dark alley of fast food options everywhere you turn in the beginning.. we have SO many options these days. Thrive market (online) is a great place to get real food, organic ingredients and products shipped right to your doorstep. Shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store will give you all of the produce and none of the processed junk. Farmers markets are a wonderful place to shop for fresh food, more recently harvested than your grocery store produce which means more nutrients! And obviously, growing your own food would be the best possible scenario. I DREAM of owning a home and having a garden some day. I want to get back to the good stuff, the way it use to be. If you need fast food, because we are all busy and on the go, chipotle is a decent option offering non GMO ingredients. You just have to order wisely at any place that you go to ;) Panera bread is another decent-ish stop as long as you're not getting cheddar broccoli soup in a bread bowl and a diet coke (seriously, my old order, every time I went there. No wonder I had digestive issues). 

Ok here is the list I promised, before I write a book because I could talk about this all day. Bottom line, ask yourself is this real? Will it benefit my body? And go from there. 

Thrown out, and never bought again. This list is an awesome place to start! We are going on over a year of this lifestyle and I absolutely love it! First is what we have thrown out, and next is what we use instead. 

  • Refined sugar//Coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup 
  • Flour//coconut flour & almond flour (there are others but these are our favorites)
  • Pop (midwest talk for "soda")// La croix, kombucha
  • Juice// freshly juiced veggies & fruit with no additives ever
  • Processed food especially snacks, cereal, and energy bar type things// coconut oil potato chips, chips and salsa or guac for a "junk food" fix, gf granola, Lara bars, we love to snack on veggies and hummus or carrot dip! 
  • Those jugs of country fresh milk that I (sadly) drank my entire life// coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, there are so many options, with a lot of calcium and benefits for your body 
  • canola oil// olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil are our go to oils. We also use ghee as well.
  • Processed meats// rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken breasts as "lunchmeat," find words like grass fed, free range, organic etc. If they were fed hormones/antibiotics/GMO grains, then you will be too when you eat meat. 

I hope this list is helpful for you. I don't feel like there has been much sacrifice involved. It is the new normal and I love eating like this. It really, truly makes me happy and allows me to live well and be the best version of myself. My list is a great place for you to start, if you are feeling like you want to change your health habits.  Another thing I would encourage you to do is become a good label reader. I won't buy something if it has any of these ingredients hiding in it.  I was shopping for hummus the other day and there were loads of options, plenty of organic ones. I read the labels and one had only veggies, sea salt, and olive oil in it. The other, sugar and canola oil were added. There are often unnecessary hidden ingredients that we have to be aware of. I feel empowered when I know exactly what is going into my body and will be used as fuel for a great life! 

I do also believe that everyone is different. This isn't set in stone, not everyone can feel great eating the same, you have to tailor your list to you and how you feel! Always listen to your body! 

And just know that you never, ever have to suffer. We love what we cook, and thoroughly enjoy our meals. Cooking and creating beautiful, nutrient packed food is something that I know you can enjoy too. 

I wish you wellness! 

IMG_9797-1.jpg
IMG_8410-1.jpg
IMG_6090-1.jpg
IMG_2136-1.jpg
IMG_8996.jpg
IMG_0172.jpg
IMG_9814.jpg
IMG_1865.jpg
IMG_1556.jpg
IMG_9989-1.jpg

 

 

 

 

Network marketing FAQs

I get so many messages asking what I am doing, why I left nursing, how I left etc. I went to my chiropractor appointment this morning and got a whole slew of these questions, which is why I am sitting down to answer them, this time for everyone. 

I worked as a nurse for 7 years. I became a RN so that I could help people and have a steady income. But what I didn't like was my schedule was still in someone else's control. My raises were hardly keeping up with the increase in the cost of living, I realized that there was an income ceiling. The 12 hour shifts get exhausting and I was feeling burnt out. It was even taking a toll on my health at times. I started to wonder what my life would be like with kids in the picture. Would I really see them as much as I would like to? Or would I stay home with them and cut our family's income in half? This isn't how I imagined raising a family would be like. 

Last year I was introduced to the Network marketing business model. It is so different than what we are use to because instead of trading our time for money, we work once, and get payed for that many times. It sounds great but I had some hang ups. I didn't want to be salesy. I am an introvert, so I would rather not be public speaking. I also thought I didn't have the time when working, and wanting to spend quality time with my husband. But I realized If I didn't make the time now, I may never have the time that I truly want in the bigger picture. 

Bottom line, getting involved in network marketing is one of the best decisions I have ever made! 

Here are some FAQs about this whole thing that might help you. It is different than what you are use to. My dream is that someone struggling, drowning in debt, wanting to spend more time with their family sees this and finds hope. Network marketing can change the course of your life. 

What exactly do you do? Find people who you think would benefit from the products you are passionate about and share with them. Teach them, guide them, plug them into what your company/team has already created (like resources and materials for learning). 

How many hours a week do you work and how much do you make?  This one will vary for everyone but some weeks I put in 40 hours, some more like 20. I am in the beginning stages of building. I am going to be putting a lot of hours in for very little money for a bit. This consists of personal growth, reading books, contacting people, teaching classes etc. You get to different ranks (read: promotions) based off of your team size and structure. I received three promotions in my first three months because I take it seriously.  I am currently an executive closing in on silver. See the income disclosure here.  I am very proud of this because I have worked hard for it. I understand the bigger picture, that the big money is not happening now, it will come later for the investment of my time. Someday that relationship of time for money is going to flip, and I will put in very few hours for a large paycheck. It is called the power of a team and it is worth fighting for.  I can't stress this enough. Patience and consistency will get you there, not one class, not one "oils have changed my life" post. Patience and consistency.  

Is it easy? I have two answers for this. Yes, the tasks are so easy. Reading, connecting with others, sending emails, teaching classes from a script, hanging out with friends. Comparing that to a 12 hour nursing shift, I mean, I don't think I even need to go there. But it is also hard for two reasons and I truly believe these two reasons are why people quit. 1) Self motivation. You don't have a boss (dreamy right??), you are accountable for your business hours, you have to wake up and get to work. Self motivation is hard at times.  2) The "no's" for some reason this really gets to people. When they share with their friends and don't get the result they want. My only advice for this is harsh. You just have to get over that. Why would it matter if the whole world doesn't join you?? Every brand, saint, celebrity, and organization has critics. Does that take away from them? No. Does someone else's opinion of what I do take a toll on my happiness? Absolutely not. Your job as a network marketer is to continue, with patience and consistency. When you are on an eternal vacation in a few years, the "no's" might change their mind ;) 

Isn't it a pyramid scheme? Ahh my favorite.. No. Nothing I am doing is illegal. You know what does look like a pyramid? A lot of the companies that you work for. With the CEO at the very top, and with no chance for others to make their way to that position. Network marketing is the exact opposite. Everyone willing to work for it can get that top position. And the income? There is no ceiling, it can keep growing... forever.  

Network marketing doesn't work right? I am sure you know a handful of people that have tried to sell you something, who have said they were going to make a lot of $$ doing this, who said they would never quit. And then they quit. They realized it is not an immediate return on their investment and they stopped doing what they said they were going to do. 

So network marketing doesn't work right?

Well, people don't work at it and that is what makes it fail, and gives us all the bad opinion of it. The network marketing business model is actually, in a word: amazing. You put in the work, invest your time for a few years, grow a team, and build residual income. (examples of residual income include a 401k, income property, royalties, social security).  If you treat it like a business from the beginning, you'll be retiring yourself and your significant other in a few years. Don't believe me? I can connect you with friends who have done this, who's footsteps and systems I am following. It is a 4 year career vs. a 40 year career. I know exactly what I want out of this life and which length of time I would rather work. 

I know that it is "weird." But I have never wanted to be normal :P

You are just trying to make a percentage of these orders right? Hmmm.  I was making way more as a nurse in California. So if I cared the most about my paycheck..I'd be doing that. This is so much greater than a percentage of your order. I am trying to show you something that changed my life, my health, my hopes and dreams.. to see if it could do the same for you.  Yes of course I make some money when you place an order with me. But check this out: most companies pay big bucks for shelf space, marketing and advertising. So in turn, you are paying for that. Network marketing companies take that money and make a compensation plan for people to work their way to where they want to go. They rely on word of mouth for advertising and give people like us a chance at a better life.

On the flip side: you know when you eat at an awesome restaurant and you tell people about it? That business does not give you a referral fee... so why did you do it? because you thought that friends and family would really enjoy the service and food you received. Network marketing is similar to that..telling others about the products you love, BUT you also get a referral fee. So when you buy from your network marketing friend you are supporting his/her small business. The alternative is paying for some CEO's third lake house. Or a multi million dollar crappy commercial during the super bowl. 

Do I have to get up and speak in front of people? Nope, you can do whatever you are comfortable with. Sharing with others should definitely be done in your style, with you personal touch. Snail mail, parties or gatherings, calls, or teaching classes. You can do it any which way you want. That is the beauty of this "job."

I should wait until I am an expert on the product right? This is a huge mistake. The beauty of network marketing is that you are plugging people into what is already there as far as educational materials. We can learn together. Network marketers have what's called an "upline" meaning if I don't know something, I can connect you with someone that does. We have so many resources for learning it is incredible. No one will ever know it all, so you will just end up waiting forever to begin. 

I don't know enough people so I won't be successful #1 excuse right here! I have definitely used this one in the past. But the average person actually knows about 2,000 people. There are over 7 billion people in the world. I sit in California traffic all the time. There are enough people and if you don't feel like you know enough of them, get out there and introduce yourself. You only have to know a few, who know a few, who know a few....the power of a team. It is one of the coolest things I have ever done. I have enrolled 29 people, and my team is going to cross over 100 this month. See how this works? Network marketing is amazing. 

I hope you know that my dream is to work hard and play hard. To bring others with me with this opportunity. To bless my friends and family, and the people that I come into contact with. To raise good people with my husband helping me at home. To help others and make a difference, to do missionary work without asking for time off. To help people and donate to organizations that really truly make a difference. To connect with people and live a good life. That is my intention when I am sharing about oils. I just can't put all of that into my captions ;)

If this, in any way, moved you- if you want time with your kids, that debt off of your plate, the hope of health, purpose, and change, then I really encourage you to stop watching from the sidelines, you are missing out! 

Your life can be anything you want it to be. But you can't want something without working for it.

If you are willing to work, to invest your time, and change the course of your life then we can do it together. I don't want you to miss out, or wait until I've "made it." I want you to come with me! 

If you need info on Young Living or why I chose this network marketing company above them all, go to my "oils" page and read all about that. When you are ready to do this, to jump in and make a difference - click here. This is a sign up page for you to get a "starter kit" ( I recommend the premium starter kit) and become a wholesale member. I will be reaching out to you shortly after and teaching you at any pace you would like. 

Are you ready to do this? 

 Photo via Casey Wiegand. I try to always use my own in my blog and instagram but that is another excuse someone gave me: well you will get people because of your "pretty pictures". This actually made me laugh!  No one has joined my team for that reason ..and our upline, they are pretty amazing. They give us these photos (and scripts) to use freely. Cool huh?

Photo via Casey Wiegand. I try to always use my own in my blog and instagram but that is another excuse someone gave me: well you will get people because of your "pretty pictures". This actually made me laugh!  No one has joined my team for that reason ..and our upline, they are pretty amazing. They give us these photos (and scripts) to use freely. Cool huh?

 Natural living combined with the opportunity of a lifetime. I am so grateful. 

Natural living combined with the opportunity of a lifetime. I am so grateful. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinnacles

Riley had some downtime at work last week so he did a quick search of all of the national parks. He told me there were nine in California alone and we had just been to Yosemite at the start of 2018. 

"You want to go to all of them this year?"

This is just one reason why I love my husband. I get so caught up in the routine sometimes that I forget to plan stuff like this. We also have a lot of weddings that we are traveling to this year so we are unable to take a big trip, Riley always finds a way to see new places no matter the budget or time constraint. 

The closest park (that I had never heard of) was Pinnacles. It is a "baby" of a park, just established in 2013. The truth is, I wasn't very excited to go since it was not a place I knew of and when I looked up pictures they were less than impressive. Well, I am glad they were because we were pleasantly surprised. Our easy, 2.5 mile hike was beautiful and had us crawling through caves, marveling at rock formations, and listening to the sweet sound of the wind in the trees. This was so peaceful, one of those hikes that you didn't know you needed. There was one section that wound up and around a valley, sheer rock cliffs towered above us, and there was no one around. The weather was so mild, the sun warmed our backs and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. I couldn't stop thinking how grateful I felt for this day, for my husband, and for our life together. 

I did something new, I brought a special oil called gratitude that I was given for Christmas. I smelled it, and rubbed some on my wrists periodically throughout the hike. I wanted a beautiful, simple memory of that day whenever I uncapped "gratitude" in the future. I hope it reminds me of the weather, and the happiness, and the peace that Pinnacles national park gave us that day. 

We drove home and Riley made some chicken tom kha soup for us (his specialty). We looked through our pictures and talked about the day, I just had one question.

"Which park is next?"

IMG_9472.jpg
IMG_9382.jpg
IMG_8647.jpg
IMG_9420.jpg
IMG_9424.jpg
IMG_9349.jpg
IMG_9366.jpg
IMG_9293.jpg
IMG_9428.jpg
IMG_9284.jpg
IMG_9402.jpg
IMG_9332.jpg
IMG_9333.jpg
IMG_9467.jpg
IMG_9443.jpg
IMG_9369.jpg
IMG_9470.jpg
IMG_9455.jpg
IMG_9457.jpg

How to Sleep Better

Tossing and turning. Watching the clock. Counting down the hours of rest that you could be getting if you fell asleep RIGHT NOW. Flipping around to different positions for hours. Feeling jealous of the person sleeping right next to you. Feeling tired allll the time, even after an entire night's rest. Dragging all day, feeling exhausted at work. Does any of this sound familiar?

If you are having trouble sleeping then I feel for you! I remember how terrible it was. Unfortunately it was my "normal" for a long time, until I made some changes. The worst was my husband asking how I could possibly feel tired when I got 10 hours of sleep?!  My answer was always an exasperated "but I didn't sleep!!"

Luckily things have changed. Once I am in bed, I am out in about ten minutes, which is a small miracle! I wake up maybe once or twice during the night, and fall right back to sleep. I wake up early, every day, and feel rested. I work 12 hour shifts as a RN and I have so much energy, no matter how busy the day is! This is my new normal. Do you need help in this area? Here are my seven ways to a better night's rest. 

1. Stop taking naps and make an effort to go to bed around the same time every night. I try for about 10 or 11 pm, then set my alarm for 7-8 hours after that. This is perfect for me, to feel rested and my energy levels throughout the day are great! 

2. Have a routine. This shouldn't just be thought of for kids, we respond to evening routines as well. Do whatever relaxes you, a hot bath, a cup of tea, reading a book.. I love to take a shower then sit with a cup of tea on the couch. I keep it quiet at that time and dim the lights, I set up a glass of water by my bedside out of habit and start diffusing essential oils. My go to oils for sleep are cedarwood, lavender, sleepyize (a kids blend for sleep that I love!) and peace & calming!! P&C is seriously so good! You can apply them to your skin, the bottoms of your feet, your spine, etc. But I love to diffuse them. My entire room is full of these beautiful scents and those are a reminder to wind down, especially when you use them for that purpose specifically. 

3. Keep TV out of the bedroom. This is huge for me. When I lived alone I would watch TV until all hours of the night and it caused serious insomnia. My husband and I made the choice to only have a TV in the living room, and I will forever keep it that way. 

4. Find a mattress that works for you and gives you the support you need. We bought one of those foam ones that come in a box all rolled up and puff up when you lay it out, it is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on! I didn't realize how much the mattress alone was helping me until we went on a vacation and both of us woke up a few times more than normal. 

5. Try eating healthier. This might sound crazy but foods that cause inflammation can hurt us in a lot of different ways. Sugar spikes and crashes don't help either. Try clean eating, cut back on sugar and processed foods, you'll feel better in a lot of different ways. You will most likely sleep better. Proper nutrition is essential!

6. White noise. There are so many white noise machines out there, some of them are wonderful. Think waves on a beach, rain, or simple spa tunes, find one that you prefer.. or use a good old fan, turned on the high setting. 

7. No caffeine in the evenings. The other day I made this mistake and had a cup of coffee at about 4:30pm. I could NOT fall asleep, it reminded me of my old ways, of always feeling frustrated and tired. It reminded me to write this post actually. From now on I'll just have my cup in the morning :)

I hope this is helpful for you! You deserve to sleep through the night and wake up rested. Our lives are demanding and we need sleep to function. We need to take care of ourselves to stay healthy. Try a bedtime routine and I promise you will feel like a different person! 

I wish you wellness.