0 In Essential Oils/ Just For Fun

Essential Oil update and Infinity Jars review

Essential Oils

As everyone knows by now, we are really getting into the swing of things with essential oils around here. I’ve been updating you about the progress with sleeping and emotions for Harper and Declan here on the blog and in my free Facebook group. While I own quite a few essential oils, I hadn’t taken much time to research blends, best ways to use, what jars to store them in, etc. And I figured if I was going to go through all that trouble, I should share what is working for us and what isn’t!

For the most part, we’ve seen some really good improvements. Is it an overnight cure? No, not really. But for a quick recap of my most recent update, click here.

Experimenting with oils, blends and rollers to find which ones work best for my kids has been so fun! I’ve been making roller bottles for everything under the sun, handing them out to family and friends to try and I am really enjoying it. It’s such a fantastic feeling knowing that I can make things in my own home that can hopefully provide relief and relaxation for other people.

When Infinity Jars reached out to me to see if I’d like a sample of their glass cosmetic bottles, I was pretty excited. If you’ve never heard of this great company, they make airtight, light proof, ultra violet glass bottles. They have so many different kinds – you can use them for essential oils, spices, homemade cosmetics, cooking oils, etc. If you know me well, you know how I feel about junky plastics or other products with chemicals and toxins that can leach into foods and personal care products so I am in LOVE with these gorgeous jars and bottles.

Essential Oils

For essential oils, the best way to store them long term is in dark colored or amber bottles with glass that can withstand the occasional, accidental mishap. I love how thick and durable the Infinity Jars bottles and jars are. Also, did I mention we are moving to the beach in a couple weeks? I’ll DEFINITELY need these great, dark bottles to keep my oils safe from all the beautiful, beachy sunshine! 😉

Declan has various food sensitivities and sometimes he does get a few patches of very dry skin or eczema that pop up, especially in the winter. While most of this is controlled fairly well through his diet, I have a couple go to oils that I grab when I see him start to scratch his skin. There’s always improvement within a day or two.

Infinity Jars 50ml roller bottle is on the larger side, especially if you’re used to using the 10ml ones but I actually think it’s perfect for using essential oils on larger areas. If you’re making a smaller amount, they have rollers as small as 5ml as well!

In this recipe I’m using:

25 drops of frankincense oil

35 drops of lavender oil

Fill the rest with your choice of carrier oil. I love the Young Living V6 oil that comes in the pump bottle. So quick and easy to use, but fractionated coconut oil, jojoba, almond oil, etc would all be great choices as well. There are so many oils to choose from, and some really great blends to try.

Just fill it up, pop on the glass or stainless steel roller top and get to rolling! And I love knowing that the quality of my oils remains uncompromised in this beautiful dark violet bottle.

Infinity Jars is offering a coupon code to my readers (yay!) so grab some for yourself and check them out.

Use coupon code ENWT082IEA2U for 20% off your order! This code is only good until February 17th, so snag yours quickly!
Do you use roller bottles? What are your favorite blends?

Essential Oils

Want to connect with Infinity Jars?

 Also, don’t forget to join my free Facebook groups: Clean + Conscious (for safer product info!) and She Has Balance (for health/wellness/food/lifestyle info)

Curious about oils? I’m happy to share with you what I’ve learned and how we use them in our house. Just fill out the contact info below!

I received Infinity Jars for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the company, and/or affiliates in any way. As always, I only post on this blog about things that I personally love and use. 

0 In Family/ Just For Fun

Our YOLO announcement

The Hahns have a super duper fun announcement to make.

But first, a little background.

When we sold our house in Charlotte a year and a half ago, we went from about 3300 sq feet to 1900ish sq feet. Obviously before that kind of downsize could happen, we had to get rid of a LOT of stuff.

 

I’m talking countless trips to the dump, Goodwill, selling stuff on garage sale sites and Craigslist and then paying someone to haul off half a garage full of crap. I was approximately 57 million weeks pregnant during this and to be honest, near the end of it all I think I just didn’t even care anymore. I wanted everything gone.

All of us were, truthfully, excited about having closer quarters – being all on one level (except Logan, who’s in the loft/bonus room area upstairs) and having WAY less stuff to clean/organize/trip over.

18 months later, here is what we’ve learned. We don’t miss a single thing we got rid of. There hasn’t been one moment where we’ve looked at each other and said, DANG IT, sure wish we hadn’t gotten rid of XYZ. In fact, since we’ve been here we’ve done a couple big toy purges, and I just went through all of our closets and got rid of clothes that we don’t use anymore.

HOWEVER – I do, really, really miss the space of our old house. A lot. With 6 of us and 3 small, energetic, always moving/climbing/sprinting children…I miss having a playroom for them and I wish the boys shared bedroom was big enough for furniture and play space, but it really isn’t.

Our lease for our current home is up the first week of February. I was SO READY to find a big, sprawling house in a neighborhood where everyone has 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. We looked. And looked. And looked. And nothing was really coming up that fit what we needed. Or at least, what *I* thought *I* needed. I felt panicked. And mad. This is what I NEEDED TO BE HAPPIER.

Then, on a random whim I checked listings in an area that happens to be a Hahn favorite. A place we’ve spent many days and nights, have often joked about moving to but never really thinking of it as an option. And lo and behold, a couple options popped up. Todd was on a business trip when I came across the first listing and in typical Miranda fashion, I piled all 4 of my kids in the Pilot and we took off for an overnight trip to see the house. What can I say, I’m not one for patience or waiting.

While we didn’t end up in that particular house, it led us to another house in the same area…actually, an even better area.

An area that is, say, a 4 minute walk to the ocean.  2 blocks exactly.

We went back 2 more times to look at the house. We measured. We stared at the ocean. We laughed at ourselves – who picks up and moves a family of 6 to the beach?

I thought about what I thought I’d wanted – a suburban house in a neighborhood. A house that sprawls and has levels so everyone can be out of my hair. I thought about a big fenced in backyard. I thought about proximity to a Target. (totally was on my original wish list, y’all) Not that any of those are bad things. It’s just that none of the items on my wishlist were easy to find.

Then we talked about this new possibility. Living like we were on vacation. Waking up every morning, walking onto our balcony and seeing the ocean. I imagined coffee on the deck, breathing in the salt air. We thought about afternoons spent playing in the sand and dipping our toes in the water.

Yes, we even talked about the days that will feel like anything BUT vacation. Where everyone is underfoot, when it’s raining outside, when I’m cranky because we’re in a small, quirky beach house and not a house set up for big family bliss…

Every time we talked about it, it seemed kind of silly. I kept thinking – people don’t do this. People can’t do this. But seemingly, we could. Todd has a job that offers incredible flexibility as far as where we live. And never knowing what the future holds, we kept saying – when will we ever have this opportunity again? To move to a place we have always loved and spent many summers at together as a family, joking about moving there someday. If we don’t do this, will we always wonder what it would have been like?

For me, personally, I have always felt drawn to the ocean. It’s been an incredible place of relaxation for me – a place of peace and calm. The last several years have brought a lot of ups and downs for our family, and we see this as an opportunity for continued healing for all of us.

So after talking it over until we were blue in the face, after telling each other yes, then changing our minds, saying yes again, then second guessing…after mentioning it to family and friends for input and thoughts…we took the plunge and signed on the dotted line.

This is our one beautiful precious life, and we have the most amazing opportunity to begin a really fun and quirky adventure as a family. YOLO, right?

Checking out the view from our new living room. It was cloudy on this day, but that’s the ocean right there where the road ends.

Our family is incredibly excited to hit up the beaches of Oak Island next month, to explore the little communities nearby, to become locals at the little Southport shops and walk the adorable waterfront. If you’ve never been to Southport, by the way – make the trip. Oak Island is, in my opinion, a beautiful little gem of the North Carolina coast. Even in the peak of the Summer season, the beaches are still fairly quiet and not overly congested.

I’m not really much closer to a Target than we are here, but we are not too far from Wilmington so I can get my fix in occasionally. And honestly, the last 18 months has been a good starting point for me – the more we purge, the more I realize how little we actually NEED.

With the ocean at our fingertips, I’m excited to see how our life continues to shift and mellow out. We feel incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity and I can’t wait to clutter my social media feed with pictures of my kids ankle deep in the sand.

 

0 In Declan/ Essential Oils/ Family/ Harper

Sleep Update

I promised to keep y’all updated on the sleep situation here in our home, so I wanted to pop on and share what we’ve been doing!

We had THREE amazing nights…bedtime was easy, Harper slept – like, actually slept and although she woke up about twice each night, she never made that strangled cat sound and she was easy to settle back to sleep. I was pretty ecstatic…but you know I have to keep it real and stay honest so I will let you know that the last 2 nights have not been as effortless. Declan has stayed in bed all night (holla!), but Harper has woken up a little more and been pretty cranky.

I still am feeling pretty hopeful though, because we had 3 great nights (and honestly we hadn’t had a single good night in MONTHS…and I mean MONTHS)

Ok, so what have we been doing?
2 big additions to our evening routine: Magnesium and Essential Oils.

About an hour before bed, I’ve been giving all 3 of our littles their ‘special drink’ (that’s what they dubbed it!) They get a tiny bit of Natural Calm in a glass of water. They love this flavor. I use slightly less than 1/8 of a teaspoon for Harper, a little under a 1/4 tsp for Declan and a 1/4 tsp for Beckett. It tastes like watered down lemonade, and they love it.

“Magnesium is well known for its ability to relieve insomnia. One study found that it helps decrease cortisol, the “stress hormone” that can keep you up at night. It also helps muscles relax, to give you that calm “sleepy” feeling and help you unwind after a long day. On top of helping you get a good night of sleep, it also shows potential as a therapy for depression and other mood disorders.” (source)

In addition to that we’ve been using Young Living Tranquil blend at night before bed. My kiddos get a swipe up their spine and a tiny bit on the chest so they can inhale deeply all night long. Tranquil is a blend of Cedarwood, Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils and it smells amazing –  and Cedarwood and Lavender is another fantastic combination. I used it on Declan way back in the day with good results. If you’re interested, email me and I’m happy to place an order for you. 

 

Cedarwood benefits: You’ll want to use it for its fresh, earthy aroma, in addition to its ability to smooth the look of skin and shine hair. You can also create a calming yet powerful environment when you diffuse this oil or add it to massage oil blends.

Lavender benefits: Lavender has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. Lavender oil is a great beginner oil and a must for every home.

I’m going to keep up this routine and give it time before I tweak it! Fingers are crossed for more peaceful nights in our future…

And if you’d like even more information, I’d love to have you join my free Facebook group Clean + Conscious!

(this blog contains an affiliate link)

0 In Declan/ Essential Oils/ Harper/ Just For Fun/ Parenting

Clean + Conscious

We have been diligently working here to keep our little people growing and thriving – no small feat some days, it feels like! Declan’s health had been making great strides, but around the beginning of November we began noticed a few things that I felt needed addressing, so we pulled him out of preschool through the holidays and kept him home for about 6 weeks. He’s now grain, dairy and corn free and it seems to be serving him well, so we are breathing a collective sigh of relief about that and he went back to preschool yesterday. (3 cheers for school, amiright?! Teachers are EVERYTHING)

Now that we’ve gotten his gut mostly under control, I’m getting ready to tackle the emotional side of things for him. I joke a lot about his cranky old man personality, but some days it really is all consuming and exhausting for both he and I to manage. Tantrums, meltdowns and just overly unhappy behavior from 5am to bedtime is a lot for us all. I realize a lot of people chalk this type of stuff up to age or kids being kids, and I agree with that to a point. But when my child is miserable more than he isn’t, I am ready to roll up my sleeves and do what I can to change things. For him AND me!

Harper is growing like a weed – to be with her is such a joy. She is the perfect, perfect child from 7am to about 8pm and then she turns into a restless, sleepless, disruptive cat. HA. We joke that she wakes up sounding like a cat who has been stepped on – but she really does. She also does it about 8-10 times a night. Coming off the last several years of Declan’s sleeplessness, I’m at my wit’s end. Mama’s tired. Real tired. And at almost 16 months, it’s time for a change. I know that good sleep is critical to everyone’s health, children included.

Most of you know I do health coaching, and I’ve decided to spend the first part of this year focusing on the needs of my family and myself. I’ve hit some dead ends with my own goals, and know that sleep and stress are playing the leading role in that area.

SO. What does all this mean?
I’m super excited to roll out a new blog series focused on addressing both of these issues with my 2 youngest kiddos. I’ve been dabbling in essential oils for about a year now, but never been overly consistent with routines. We saw really good success using Cedarwood oil back when Declan was struggling so much with sleep, and I’ve been researching my tail off to begin a routine for Harper and sleep and Declan’s anger/emotions.

I thought it would be so fun to share this journey in a real time kind of format as I figure out what works and what doesn’t. I know some people give oils the skeptical side eye, but I fully believe in their ability to offer wellness support to those who use them consistently. I’ve seen enough of the benefit in our lives to feel confident that there will be a pay off for an every day routine.

I hope you’ll follow along! I hope to offer information and education along my journey because I know there are lots of super tired, frazzled and stressed out mamas (and daddies!) out there who have tried all the things. I’ve been there. I AM THERE. I don’t believe life is meant to be endured, I believe strongly in creating an atmosphere in my home of joy and love and if I’m honest, it’s been a struggle to do that this past year.

If you’d like even more information about products that I believe can be a great starting point or support through your own health and wellness journey, please feel free to join my Facebook group Clean + Conscious. I’d love to have you!

0 In Just For Fun

Nutrition as a form of self-care

I want to get personal with you for a few minutes – hope you don’t mind if I imagine we’re cozy in my living room together, hands cupped around warm mugs of coffee or tea.

Self-care is something I really struggle with. I spent 10 years as a single mother, and then I got married in 2010 to a wonderful man who very quickly slid down the slippery slope of alcoholism. Between his addiction and the stress of a blended family, plus the addition of our own babies, I almost lost myself completely. (He’s sober now, by the way – about a year and a half – but it’s been a very hard journey)

In 2011, when my son was 3 mos old, I saw a dermatologist for my skin. I have always struggled with acne prone skin, but it was out of control then. I was having a hard time wanting to leave my house because I felt so embarrassed. He advised me to quit breastfeeding so he could put me on a drug similar to Accutane and that was that. I left the office in tears, unsure of what to do.

Once I was home, I knew there had to be a better way. I started doing some research and began learning how our food affects our bodies, and our skin! That very day I ditched refined sugars and flours, and after a few weeks, I was sold. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt – I had energy for days, I was happier, more clear headed, my skin cleared up and I ended up dropping 15 lbs without exercising. I knew I had figured out something really important.

Because my personal life was so hard and chaotic, making time for the typical kinds of self care just wasn’t going to work. Most days I couldn’t even get 15 minutes alone, much less use that time on myself. So I began to focus on what I could change, and that was how I fueled my body. I credit good nutrition for so many things. When my 3rd child was born with several issues and didn’t sleep through the night for 2 years, I did my very best to continue to fuel my body well so I was better equipped to handle the stress.

Experiencing how good, healthy foods changed my life led me down my current career path of health coaching.

In fact, I think nutrition is one of the most critical components of self-care. If you aren’t fueling yourself well, the other things will only get you so far. But a good diet will offer you clearer thinking, better sleep, more stamina for exercise, better skin just to name a few. The mantra I use all the time with my clients is: Progress, not perfection. It can be so tempting to throw in the towel after a bad day or even one bad meal. No one is perfect, and one bad meal will not ruin your life. Just get back up, dust yourself off and make the best decisions you can make. Every choice you make is either moving you closer to your goals or further away.

So, here are my top 3 tips for upping your nutrition game:

—–> DRINK WATER – I know, I know. Everyone talks about this. But it truly is so important. You should be aiming for half your body weight in ounces every single day. This is the hardest one for me, y’all! Ugh, drinking water is not fun for me – if I could I’d be hitting up the coffee pot all day long, but I make an effort every day to drink all my water. Our bodies NEED water, so get to chugging!

—–> EAT MORE PLANTS – No, I’m not asking you to be a vegetarian! (Unless you want to be!) But a good rule of thumb is to eat more plants. Smoothies are a fantastic way of getting a lot of fruits and veggies in, first thing in the morning. If you are not a fan of the idea of cutting certain foods out of your life, try adding MORE fruits and veggies. You’ll be surprised at the difference it will make.

—–> EAT MORE FAT – Yep, I want you to eat MORE fat. It might go against everything you’ve ever heard about being healthy but kick the low-fat, low-cal processed foods to the curb. If you’re filling up on whole foods, and lots of plants, adding in some good healthy fats to your day is so beneficial. Avocados, nuts, coconut oil, pasture raised eggs – fat is so important for our bodies to function well. In fact, a few months ago I hit a weight loss plateau (working on losing baby weight from baby #4!) and I increased my fat intake and lost 7 lbs in 2 weeks. Don’t be afraid of eating the right kind of fat.

Nutrition doesn’t have to be scary. Try new foods, experiment with what you like and don’t like and make food fun! Give yourself 21 days of incorporating more water, plants and healthy fat into your diet and I guarantee you’ll be feeling great!

Thanks for having me here today! Find out more about what I do + grab my free smoothie eBook and my meal planning sheet on my website. Just click the FREEBIES tab :: https://www.healthbymiranda.com

Like me on Facebook :: www.facebook.com/healthbymiranda
Follow me on Instagram :: www.instagram.com/pathwys2wellness
Join my FREE Whole Food Family Facebook group ::www.facebook.com/groups/WholeFoodFamily/

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0 In Beckett/ Declan/ Family

Our 5 Day No TV experiment

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On Monday, I decided to try eliminating the TV from our daily routine.

I know, some of you are already there – with no cable or TV, or super limited screen time. We had been there once upon a time, but little by little bad habits grew and grew and pretty soon I realized I was relying on the TV for way too much. And on top of that, my kids were throwing such a royal fit when I would turn the TV off that sometimes I let them watch for too long to avoid the battle.

YES I KNOW THIS IS BAD PARENTING.

I knew that I was using the TV as a crutch and to avoid arguments and just to get some peace and quiet but ultimately it would end every time in an epic battle of the wills and I. Was. Over. It.

Not to mention, a certain little 5 year old who shall not be named was demonstrating some really obstinate, mouthy and at times downright disrespectful behavior. Little brother was quickly following suit so I knew I had to make some adjustments to our daily schedule. I suspected TV was at the root of a lot of issues.

Even when the TV was off, they seemed almost incapable of playing independently and were horrified at the idea of being outside – to the point that there would be great weeping and wailing and screaming if I shoved them out the door to play in our beautifully landscaped, fenced in and flat backyard. SERIOUSLY y’all. I’m kind of surprised my neighbors haven’t called DSS to complain about the little boys who screamed like they were being tortured.

You see my point…I know there are children who can use screen time moderately and don’t put up a huge fight when screen time is done. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, so I know those kids are out there. But those are not my kids. My children (one in particular) absolutely cannot be moderate with screens and will not turn them off without a huge huge HUGE battle.

I wanted my kids to be KIDS again. I wanted them to enjoy the feeling of dirt under their feet, to experience the joy of collecting treasures from the backyard. I wanted them to pick up the trains they love so much and use the train table that has gotten dusty, to find their little imaginations and use them.

5 days of no TV and we have survived it. And you know what, for the most part it hasn’t been too bad. The biggest struggle (for me) was what to do with them when I needed to shower or put Harper down for a nap during the day. I used to plunk them on my bed and turn on the TV so I knew they’d stay put and not get in trouble.

On Monday we went to Target and picked up supplies for activity boxes. These boxes ONLY come out when I need to be doing something else in another room or during quiet time (1pm-3pm) We picked up dry erase flash cards for writing practice, a travel sized dry erase board with washable dry erase markers, a matching game, washable crayons and a big pad of paper, a sticker book with reusable stickers. Then I filled 2 boxes with cars and trains to pull out as needed. It’s been so helpful when I need to shower to pull out those boxes and know they’ll stay occupied while I can’t keep an eye on them.

And the attitudes? Have VASTLY improved. They’ve been playing relatively well together, and pulling out their cars and trains. I found Beckett the other night on the couch with a book and a snack and the biggest shock of all? Once their little brains weren’t constantly being bombarded with the flashy television, they have BOTH voluntarily laid down during quiet time and FALLEN ASLEEP.

You know how many times my boys generally nap? Basically never. I actually thought they might be getting sick, but nope. Just CALM.

Calm. They were calm. We went for a walk the other night as a family and my normally wild man Beckett was thoughtful and quiet as we walked. So thoughtful and quiet that I asked him several times if he was ok. He said yep, just wanted to be quiet.

I was like WTH IS GOING ON AND WHERE IS BECKETT.

And it’s been a great motivator for me to get up and out the door with them before 9am so we can have the playground to ourselves for awhile before it gets busy and too hot.

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It has been a huge eye opener to me just how much television affects MY kids and how much better we are without it around. I told the boys we’d try to reintroduce a little bit of it this weekend, because I’d like to use it OCCASIONALLY but I’m a little worried about being able to actually use it moderately so I came up with a summer schedule to hang on the fridge! This way they know that TV will start and end by a certain time. Fingers crossed it helps. If not, we plan to say bye bye permanently!

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Beckett is really into reading and telling time lately so I think this will be a hit around here. It’s good for him to be able to see what time he can do certain activities and he is already loving being able to help move the magnets around depending on the day.

I am probably the least likely mama to ever create a daily schedule for my kids – I hate rules, I hate routine, I hate having to follow schedules but even I recognized the need to get a little stability in our lives. I guess by the time child #4 comes around you kind of have to accept a new way of things.

If you want to use our summer schedule, you can find the printable here! I printed mine on magnet paper that I found at Michaels and just cut out each magnet. Easy! I even left some blank so you can write in your own. We laminated a few, which makes them dry erase friendly! 

0 In Healthy/ Nutrition/ Pathways to Wellness

My 21 Day Program

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On June 20th, I’m starting a 21 Day Health RESET program for those interested in improving their overall health. I thought it would be helpful to answer some of the most commonly asked questions I’ve been getting before we get started!

Will I lose weight? Probably, although the intention of this program is not specifically geared towards weight loss. There are so many other factors to being healthy that don’t start and end with the number on your scale or the size of your jeans. Things like feeling tired all the time, being foggy headed, struggling with acne, headaches, migraines, eczema or rashes, having digestion or tummy problems, weird and unexplained aches and joint pains – all of these things are very often directly related to the way we nourish our bodies. That said, there is a good probability you’ll lose weight during these 21 days.

How much does this cost? Just $25!

Will I need to be a millionaire to pay for the foods required? NO. I just sent out an email to everyone who has already signed up to address this fear. While there are some instances where organic is best, this is not allowed to exclude ANYONE from this group. I’d rather you eat conventional produce than no produce at all. We are going to be talking about this more as we move forward. Please do not let this idea keep you from making changes to your health.

21 DAY (3)

Can I do this if I’m pregnant and/or breastfeeding? Health coaching services should NEVER override the advice of your physician so always check with he or she first. You will not be restricting calories on this program, and additional snacks or portions can be added to help those who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding but always check with the doc first. This program only uses real, whole foods and will not use processed foods, shakes, pills or supplements so in that way it is perfectly safe.

So…are you sure there is nothing special I will have to buy after I enroll? You may have to look for foods at the grocery store that you’ve never purchased before – but I am absolutely not going to ask you to purchase anything from me. Sometimes I may suggest something like a probiotic or multivitamin but I am not selling anything or working with a company. You are free to pick and choose what/who you buy from and I’m happy to offer guidance on how to read labels but the only money I’m making is from the $25 you pay when you register. I PROMISE.

Am I going to have to join a gym? Nah 😉 We will be incorporating some movement into this 21 days – but it’s really your choice what you want to do. I recommend 20-30 minutes a day of activity at least, whether it’s a walk or jog or a video in your living room. We’ll also have some fun little challenges each week but you don’t need to worry about unrealistic fitness goals. Right now we are focusing on how we feel and making changes to feel better by the end of the 21 days.

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I want to join, but I can’t this month. Will you be doing this again? Yes, that’s the plan! This is the only round that I can guarantee the $25 registration fee, but I will always work to keep the cost low so as many people as possible have access to education and information about their health.

I want to learn more about nutrition, but it’s so overwhelming to me.  Hey, I get it. The field of nutrition is always changing. In my eyes, that’s a GOOD thing. Our bodies are complex and miraculous in so many ways. I love that there are experts in the field of nutrition who are continually learning and adjusting. My job for these 21 days is to help you through this process and offer up my coaching services at a fraction of the cost. I’ve told the current participants to take advantage of that!

What is Pathways to Wellness KIDS? When I became a certified health coach, I went through training specific to helping families with children eliminate processed foods and make better choices. My kids and I have started a YouTube channel where we share some kid-friendly and healthy recipes, and I thought it would be fun to include your kids for this 21 days. I created a program for them that incorporates L.E.A.N. principles (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition) and includes 21 days of ‘challenges’, a sticker chart and a sticker printable for only $5. It’s a great way to give them small and healthy goals for a few weeks this summer! My kids are going to be joining me!

Please join us! It’s going to be fun and I can’t wait!

For more information please visit my website or click here to find the program download.

 

 

0 In Just For Fun

Snapchat Tutorial

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I promised my sister I would make her a snapchat tutorial since you know, I am somewhat of an expert these days on Snapchat.

Kidding, kidding.

I have to credit my friend Shaunna for getting me hooked on it – I didn’t get it for a long time. I couldn’t understand why anyone would prefer making 10 second long videos instead of texting? I mean, huh? And the app itself is not at all user friendly so it (seriously) took me playing around with it off and on for like 6 months before it finally clicked. I even mentioned it recently in my favorite things post. So what is Snapchat? It’s an app that allows you to post or send pictures and videos in 10 second long increments. Once they’re viewed, they disappear forever. (Supposedly) You can replay a few times if you miss something, but then Snapchat will ask you to pay for replays.

Here’s why I love it now:

  • it’s a real life look at what your friends are doing. There’s no perfectly staged and edited pictures like on other social media channels
  • I have 4 kids. Which means, it can sometimes be hard for me to text. But a 10 second video to get a thought out there and sent off to a friend? Yeah, I can do that
  • Ok I know that Snapchat is super popular with the young folk but us mamas have a need for it too. Some days we are stuck inside with kids and it is REALLY FREAKING NICE to hear other adult voices, even if it’s through a phone. Yeah, real life coffee dates and playdates are waaaaay better but that’s not always doable.
  • I follow a few celebrities on Snapchat that are REALLY funny. I mean really funny. And it’s been fascinating to me to see that hey, even celebs waste time on social media like us normal folk. Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon use the funny face filters too, which makes me feel basically like I’m practically famous.
  • The filters ARE fun and even my kids get in on it from time to time

Ok, now that I’ve rambled on long enough about why I’m a fan, here is a quick and hopefully helpful tutorial!

Step 1

Head over to the app store and download this bad boy.FullSizeRender (14)Step 2

Click Sign Up and enter your email address. It’ll then prompt you to enter your password and date of birth. Once that’s done, you’ll enter a username. Your actual username cannot be changed EVER (at least for now!), so make sure it’s something you will feel ok with for the long haul. You can change the name that people see on their screens, but the name people use to find you stays as is. (Mine is mirandahahn1 – come follow me!)

I used an old email address for the purpose of this tutorial. Don’t send me an email there, I never check it!

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Step 3

Snapchat will now ask you to verify your phone number. You can skip this, it’ll just ask you to verify that you’re a real live person by choosing images that contain a ghost.

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Step 4

You can find your friends who are currently using Snapchat by allowing the app to access your contacts. Then you can add the people you want to by tapping the +Add button to the right of their names.

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Step 5

Here is the ‘home screen’ so to speak. Don’t be scared, you’ll soon understand what each icon does. Ready?

SnapTutorial

  1. This is easy, just the flash icon. You can use this to…turn on your phone’s flash. You’re welcome. That little moon icon next to it is supposed to make it easier to snap in the dark.
  2. That’s the icon that helps you flip your camera forward facing if you want to selfie the day away. You can also double tap your phone screen to flip the camera. I find myself trying this when I’m not snapchatting, just using my iPhone camera and yeah…it doesn’t work for the iPhone. haha. Get on that, will ya Apple?
  3. The ghost icon. You can tap here to add friends, see who has added you, check out your trophy case (we’ll get to that another day), update your settings, etc.
  4. This is your record button. Press once to snap a pic, press and hold continuously to record a 10 second video. When you let go, it will stop recording
  5. This is the notifications of how many messages you have from friends
  6. This icon takes you to your friends “stories” – we’ll get to that in a second!

Step 6

 Send your first snap to a friend!snapchattutorial

Ok, don’t be overwhelmed. It’ll get easier 😉

  1. This is pretty self explanatory. Deletes or closes your current screen/pic/video
  2. Tap here to get access to all of Snapchat’s emoji’s and stickers
  3. Tap here to add text. Tap a second and a third time to change size, center, etc. Play around with it!
  4. Tap here to use your finger/stylus as a pen to draw on the screen. You can adjust color here too.
  5. This is where you can set how many seconds you want your still pictures to be up on the screen. Choose from 1-10 seconds
  6. This downloads/saves whatever is on the screen to your phone’s camera roll. It comes in handy when you snap a good picture and don’t want to lose it into the black hole of Snapchat
  7. Tap this to add your current picture/video to the “My Story” function (still going to get to that!)
  8. Tap this arrow to send to a friend. This will bring you to your list of friends and you can choose here who you want to send it to.

Step 7

Add a picture/video to the “My Story” function

What is “My Story”?

This is one of my favorite features of Snapchat. All of the people you follow can add videos and pictures to their Stories throughout the day. It’s like watching a mini video of your favorite people! Stories are up for 24 hours and then they disappear.

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  1. That’s where all your video clips/pictures will go if you tap the + sign to add them to your story
  2. This is where all your friend’s stories are!

And finally, if you want to use filters – you can swipe to the left/right on your screen AFTER you’ve taken a picture but BEFORE you’ve sent it along to a friend or uploaded it to your story. There are some different colored filters, a filter for the time, the temperature, maybe your location if you’re special, a fast forward and a slow motion (My boys really love that one) and a reverse.

To utilize the face filters (not sure if that’s the technical term…pretty sure not) you’ll want to tap the screen and hold your finger down on the image of your face for a few seconds. Once it focuses on your face, you’ll see a row of face filters to choose from at the bottom of the screen. (You’ll do this BEFORE you take a picture or video, which is a little different than the filters you swipe to access)

This one is maybe my current favorite. Look at that fantastic highlighting and contouring job! Nice one, Snapchat.

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This one is pretty good too though. Haha. My kids looooove these.

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There are a few other features Snapchat offers, but this tutorial is getting long and should be enough to get you up and running! Are you on Snapchat? Did I forget anything major?

0 In Dairy Free/ Nutrition/ Recipe

Homemade Cashew Milk

 

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I have always hated cows milk – even as a child. This is going to sound crazy, but it just always reminded me of…cows.

Ha.

But seriously, it has always grossed me out! Now, knowing what I know about dairy’s inflammatory properties we are a mostly non dairy home. I do like to have something on hand to throw into smoothies or give the kids if they’re bored with water. I generally purchase an almond milk brand that I know has decent ingredients because it’s quick and convenient but making non dairy milk is actually pretty easy.

It has been awhile since I’ve made my own and these days our favorite non dairy milk is cashew milk. When I saw a couple of cashew milk recipes online I knew I wanted to give it a try because it’s much simpler than making almond milk.

In truth, making milk from nuts is not complicated really, but cashews get soft enough that you don’t need to strain the pulp – which makes it even faster and easier and right up my alley. And I get to see exactly what I’m putting into this milk which ALWAYS makes me happy. #foodnerd

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Cashews are one of my favorite nuts to snack on, and cashew milk is really yummy. It’s creamy and flavorful and full of good nutrients like iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and good healthy fat. Give it a try – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you don’t have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, and can’t get the cashews blended well enough, you can strain with cheesecloth to get the small pieces out.

Homemade Cashew Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 c. raw, organic cashews
  • 3-4 c. filtered water
  • 1 T organic maple syrup or raw honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Start by soaking your cashews in a bowl of water. I use just enough water to cover the cashews, cover with a clean dish towel and let sit in the refrigerator over night. You'll want to soak them for at least 4 hours but overnight is best.
  2. After soaking, strain cashews with mesh strainer and rinse with cool water until the water runs clear
  3. Place cashews in blender with 2 cups of filtered water
  4. Blend slowly and increase speed until cashews are blended well (Takes around 2 min in a high powered blendered)
  5. Add 1-2 more cups of water (Less water will result in creamier consistency)
  6. Add sweetener, vanilla, salt + cinnamon
  7. Store in glass container in fridge for up to 4 days
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Enjoy!

3 In Just For Fun

Friday Favorites

I thought it would be fun to share a few things I have been loving lately. FridayFaves

 

  1. Snapchat: Ok, I was late to the party on this one. When my friend Shaunna suggested I get it, I tried it out for 3.7 seconds before deciding I hated it. It wasn’t user friendly at all and I didn’t understand why anyone would choose video over text. Thankfully, I persisted (I’m stubborn like that) and it’s quickly becoming one of the most used apps on my phone. Instagram is my favorite social media because I love beautifully curated accounts BUT Snapchat provides the most real and up to date look at people’s lives. It’s in the moment, as you are, messy house and crying kids and all. So if you’re on the fence, try it out. And follow me! (mirandahahn1)
  2. Burts Bees Citrus + Ginger body wash: It smells so good, y’all.
  3. Frankincense oil: I am not recommending YL or any other brand of oil here, as I don’t understand fully the ins and outs of the oil world and I do my own research and make decisions based on my own levels of comfort BUT I personally use YL brand of Frankincense on my face. It’s pricey, I’m not going to lie – but I use just a drop or two of it mixed with a pump of Acure argan oil every night before bed. I love it. I ran out of it for a few months, and finally got around to replacing it and I realized pretty quickly how much it helps my skin.
  4. The new Oh She Glows app: also kind of pricey for an app (4.99) but Angela’s food photography is gorgeous and her recipes are on point. I’ve been following her blog for years, and have her first cookbook so the app was a no brainer. And if you’re like me, you’re not lugging out cookbooks for cooking anyway – you’re squinting at recipes on your phone. That can’t be just me, right?
  5. The Good Wife: I’ve just been so taken with this show. I binge watched it last year to catch up, because people have been talking about it for so long. This isn’t a show for little ears or eyes, but the development of Julianna Marguiles’ character Alicia has been so fascinating to watch. She starts out as this mousy little housewife thrust into the spotlight by her husband’s scandal and emerges as a tough, powerful and respected attorney and political figure.

Happy Friday! What things have you been loving lately?