Monday, September 30, 2013

Camper/RV Air Quality


Worst title for a post ever? Yep. Honestly, there is no way to write a post that will draw those who REALLY NEED to read this otherwise.

It's not something I ever really thought I would be writing about, but when you blog you spend your days thinking about what you "need" to be sharing.  The fact is, there are folks who need this information.

We love our family time spent in our camper, traveling from State Park to State Park.  I'm not here to sell you on owning a camper....either you like camping or you don't, but if camping is your thing then you really need to know about improving the air quality in your camper - for the sake of your health!

Regardless of whether you are the camping "type" or not, all I have to do is say "camper air quality" and chances are you are all immediately thinking YUCK!

We bought our camper used so there was the obvious immediate need to "air it out". Since purchasing we have truthfully used it heavily.  It seems rare that it needs airing out anymore.  The fact is a little research on air quality in an rv and you might feel as though it needs airing out all the time!  A simple search online had me choking!  I read multiple articles and if you need to research it more for yourself I suggest starting with this summary HERE .

If you follow my blog regularly then you know that we also live in a 75-year old house.  My son has really struggled with allergies his entire life, but I have felt like since we moved in the old house that indoor allergens have been largely to do with his flair ups.  All of his allergy struggles had me searching for homeopathic remedies....which ultimately led me to Young Living Essential Oils.  Treating the air quality in our home is what led me to the lightbulb moment about using Essential Oils in the camper when we travel to improve the air quality there also!

The diffuser that Young Living sells is a very convenient size to use in an rv/camper.... it is super compact and having tried it now, I'm convinced I want it running in there frequently! 



What can you diffuse to truly improve air quality?  Young Living Essential Oils offers a blend called Purification that is specifically designed to purify and cleanse the air.  ((Yes, Purification is in the Premium Starter Kit with the diffuser!))





What other oils do I use in the camper?  Thieves of course!  Thieves is also a blend offered by Young Living that is an immune booster.  Diffusing it with my kiddos is a MUST!  It is working beautifully at keeping us all well! I'm excited to try the Thieves Household Cleaner for cleaning on the interior of the camper also.  If you are working on improving air quality then eliminating toxic cleaners is crucial, so this it's exciting to me to know that there is a great alternative cleaner available!
 
If you love to travel in an rv/camper and have anyone in your family who you feel is sensitive to air quality and are concerned about the possible toxins in an rv, I urge you to please read my Essential Oils Journey page to see how easy it is to order Young Living Essential Oils for your family at WHOLESALE!  Trust me, when you see what all you can treat with the Everyday Essential Oils you are going to realize the value of the entire collection on a camping trip...let's start with bee stings, for example - you're going to need purification for those also! 
 
May you have many SAFE & HEALTHY travels ahead!   -Katy
 
 
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. I am an independent distributor for Young Living.

Monday, September 23, 2013

For Sale, The Family Farm

It's best I keep this short & sweet.

I moved to this farm at age ten.  I loaded it full of memories through junior high and high school, left it for college and then returned there to marry my Lifetime Love.  After several years of living in other cities, this is where my Dad gave us a few acres to build our dream farmhouse at the edge of the property.  I brought my babies home from the hospital there and filled it with more memories. We sold our farmhouse due to a corporate move earlier this year, and now my parents have decided it is time to hit the road and enjoy some traveling!  I fully support this decision, but this beautiful place is just HOME to my heart! 

I'm a firm believer that a patch of grass shouldn't tie somebody down though!  I love to travel and I can understand that desire...there is beauty far & wide and now we can only pray that someone will love this place as we have for so many years.

Join me in finding the perfect owners!  Please share this post!  I'm including a few photos below, but you can view the entire listing HERE.  It is a horse lovers paradise!



 


Mugswap Prize Package Goodness

What?! I just could not believe it when I was rushing around the day of Rooney's birthday party and I got a message on my phone from my mugswap partner telling me that I needed to head over to Acuppakim's blog because I had won one of the prize packages from #mugswap2013.  Me? Reallllly, ME????

I'm just not the "winner" type.  I never win anything (well, unless my Lifetime Love counts - definitely glad I won him).

So for the past few weeks goodness has been filling my mailbox.  It has felt like Christmas and certainly been better than any birthday I have ever had!

Anxious to see all the goodness?  I thought so.


This is from PenAndPaint . I "might" have done a happy dance when I read that I was going to get a print from Pen And Paint.  I've been itching to get one for over a year, following Lindsay closely on Instagram.  If you like mixers, cameras, mugs and quote goodness, run, don't walk, to her Etsy shop.  Just like I "might" have danced in excitement, I "might" have bought a few more of her prints already to add to the old house.  Pen And Paint has a great blog as well, click here to drop by...I trust you will find it inspiring!
 
 
Raising Up Rubies sent me one of her adorable mason jar garlands.  Mine says "sunshine" and was packaged with such detail I almost didn't want to open it!  I genuinely love the garland, but most of all I love that when I look at it I think of what a kind heart its maker has.  I also have been following Raising Up Rubies on Instagram and she is such a kindhearted encourager to so many!  She's genuine and it shows!
 
 

 
Then there was this print from Recipe For Crazy. The quote, "All I need today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus" is from the Kisses From Katie book  ((which is great by the way)).  I was shocked when the print arrived because the kitchen in the old house is a really unusual color and the orange tones in the print were just PERFECT with the kitchen wallpaper!  It was meant to be ;)  If you don't already follow Recipe For Crazy then let me tell you - she blows my creativity out of the water.  She's pretty much Hollywood status in my book.
 
 
There was jewelry too!  Beautiful handmade jewelry!  I picked these black earrings because lets be honest...black isn't a staple in my wardrobe, black IS my wardrobe!  You can grab yourself a pair at Wifey Singer's Etsy shop, and while you're there go ahead and order me those stellar mustard glass hoop earrings she recently posted.  Oh my word, they are amazing!
 
 
This sweet necklace is by Lovely Little Whimsy.  I stopped by her Etsy store and she has a variety of necklaces and beautiful infinity scarves as well!
 
The Etsy Shop Knitty Bitties sent me an adorable mug rug!  You need to click the link to the shop and see the "coffee coats" they currently have in stock (as of 9/23/13) - cutest ever!  What a sweet gift for a coffee loving friend!
 
The Paperie by Life Made Lovely sent themed stickers that are cauuute!  I've been following Heather on Instagram for quite some time now and she always provides such inspiration!  Getting something from her was a real treat!  Her shop has a variety of prints as well, I'm confident you will find something you love!
 
 
I love everything about this print from KatyGirl Designs. ((Her name rocks too.)) Katy has an excellent collection of prints!  What talent she has!  The colors in the print she sent me are so good with both my master bed/bath & my dining room...it might have to "float" around a bit!
 
 
 
I saw the announcement about this mug ((start every morning with God)) on Instagram several weeks before the mugswap...I was instantly IN LOVE, so I just couldn't believe it when I found out it was included in the prize package!  Chrissie Grace Designs has everything.  She's one of those crafty friends who you watch & wonder if there is anything that they can't do.  Not only does she "do everything," it is all beautiful.  Hand painted globes mounted...yep, they take my breathe away.  Pillows, various hand painted items, prints - such a talented artist! Only take a look at her shop if you're ready to add some more items to your wish list, I'm sure you will fall in love too!
 
The Etsy shop Jenze sent "Thank You A Latte" coffee themed notecards.  The shop features several notecard sets and lovely calendars.
 
So, as if Kim didn't do more than enough already by organizing this swap ((for the masses, honestly!)), her kind heart sent me a package with lots of little goodies...teas, a starbucks giftcard, and fun stuff - ya know, like Sharpies!
 
Can you believe all the awesome sponsors?  Goodness!
 
What fun.  It made my month.  August was awesome y'all.  Mark your calendars for August 2014 and keep an eye on Acuppakim's blog.  The mugswap is something you will not want to miss.
 
 
 
 
 

 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day #1 and a little backstory...

I feel like I need to post a "warning, we will now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming..."

Let me be 110% truthful.  I would rather be posting photos of the chalkboard in our playroom or sharing my excitement about peanut puffs & pumpkins at Aldi for that matter, but I have this "thing" in me.  Whenever I find something REALLY GOOD, I just can't hush --- I gather all this goodness and I just have to share it.  So, nope, not my usual post ahead, but it is goodness.

((I shall also preface this by saying that some of you will think this confirms I am crazy. You might strongly disagree with a little or a lot I'm going to say.  I'm ok with that.  These are my opinions.))

The Backstory.

I read on a blog that cells were taken from aborted babies to create several vaccines. This tugged at my heart & my gut told me to research it more because I couldn't have read that and continued to vaccinate my children, ignoring that knowledge.  A reader had commented that essentially they weren't recent abortions so we were so far removed from that sin that we couldn't be held responsible.  Well, that just seems like a slippery slope and I refuse to give my stamp of approval (or even just an "eh ok") to abortion. During this same time I was also aware that Julianne was having HUGE speech delays. She had been hitting every target, saying ten words clearly last summer, months before turning one year old.  She then had her one year vaccines and it was as if she forgot how to talk. Not just moved past it to learn to walk or anything, but literally slurred her words & physically struggled with it. In my research on this moral dilemma I found LOADS of info on developmental delays, especially speech, linked to vaccines. I read plenty to decide that we, as a family would no longer vaccinate. I by no means think everyone is effected in this manner. I do feel as though some people are more sensitive to vaccines than others, just like foods. This left me thinking what in the world do we do when flu season arrives?

At the same time I was diligently reading about ways to treat Rooney's allergies holistically. I read about the use of essential oils to treat allergies on multiple websites and family blogs. I was also researching about homeschooling and the amount of homeschooling families discussing the use of essential oils kinda shocked me!  Next, a blogger friend posted an essential oil they personally use instead of the flu vaccine! Lightbulb moment!!  It didn't take much more reading to convince myself that I was not going into the "sick season" without this stuff in my hands!

Flash forward a short bit.  I buy a distributorship.



My blogger friend is actually here in town so I had the ability to buy direct from her, but the distributorship is soooo much more cost effective. ((Like herbs, and all other holistic treatments, they aren't "cheap" per se, but they are much easier to administer to children of all ages & many are safe for use during pregnancy.))  This friend, who is now my upline, graciously brought me a reference guide and while I waited on my "kit" to arrive, I read and read and read.  I loved running across this thought: "Essential Oils vs Candles. Large Yankee Candles cost 27.99. A bottle of Essential Oil costs about 25.00 with tax and shipping at wholesale price. Why not scent your house with something that has health benefits as well as smells amazing?"

Day One...
So the essential oils arrived on my doorstep early this morning.  We headed out the door quickly for storytime, a picnic and playdate at the park, so it was late this afternoon before I could even crack the box open.  Since that point TODAY I have lovingly applied an immune booster & flu preventative essential oil to all of my family members, treated a skin irritation, a spider bite, started to treat Rooney's laundry list of allergies and rid myself of a nasty tension headache.  There was a side effect.  The headache left quickly and I was hit with this completely unexpected burst of energy.  I'm a third child people.  Burst of energy is just something that doesn't really exist in my vocabulary.

Do I know everything after day one?  Nope.  Am I a salesperson who is ready to push this on all of my friends? Nope.  Am I excited about this adventure and looking forward to sharing my story as it continues with you all - yes.  I'm starting a notebook at home...I'm documenting the oils I use each day and what ailments I'm attempting to treat. 

I don't share things I "think" will work.  I'm confident friends.  Super confident.  Is there a compensation plan for me if you sign up "under" me?  Yes.  I haven't the slightest clue about it friends.  I'm sharing this because I genuinely want ALL of us, ALL of you, to feel good and love life.

Want more info?  E-mail me at GoodnessGathering at Gmail dot com .  Here's to feeling good, friends!

No fear, back to chalkboards & such soon!


----> If by chance the mention of aborted baby cells being linked with the creation of vaccines bothers you, I recommend you start your further research here: K.N.O.W. Vaccines

Friday, September 13, 2013

Four. Years. Old.

It's no secret.  I struggle with this sweet little man getting older.  I'm trying to treasure every day, but he was pretty much the best baby in the world ya know... and I can't help but want to hold on to that!  I'm pretty proud of all that he is-


 
(he could swing on his belly like this all day, it's his favorite)


 
He fills my days with talks about John Deere tractors, elephants, diggers & dozers, camping, and Jimmie Johnson.  He loves the outdoors and would spend everyday at the playground if he could.  He begs to take the Jeep everywhere and tells me he likes it when I pack a picnic best.  We've called him our Cruise Director since he was our "Little," and that still holds true...always saying "let's make a plan for tomorrow."  He prays for his friends and sings ALL.DAY.LONG.  He loves to cook and wash dishes by hand like his Momma. Maps & flashlights are a constant in his world.  His memory seriously blows my mind.  He's great with phonics but hates handwriting. He spends most of his days in costume (he has quite the collection now), and although he's a pretty knowledgeable foodie he would live off sandwiches if I would allow.  He makes me want to be a better person...everyday.

 
 
He's a clone of my Lifetime Love...no wonder I love him so!
 
 


Friday, September 6, 2013

Peanut Butter & Apple Crumble

This post is brought to you by the fact that I'm craving fall like a pregnant lady craves pickles ;)  Oh, and my sincere love of baking!  I have always loved to bake (and cook for that matter), but I suppose I am just now really getting in a comfortable routine baking in the kitchen of the old house.  Since working on a homeschool routine with Rooney, I find we do phonics, numbers & letters and read in the mornings, then when Sister-girl naps we BAKE!  The early learning lessons in baking are numerous!  I have him count everything, learn measurements, and see the example of following step by step instructions.  We sing too.  May break into some serious dancing from time to time.  You know, the good stuff.

So despite my love of baking, I have always considered myself zero good at writing recipes....I struggle with truly following the recipe on anything.  I do everything by sight & feel.  I experiment, never write anything down, and then my Lifetime Love begs me to replicate the GOODNESS later, and then I play around yet again to only create something different!

But follow along this time friends.  I took notes. 

Goodness.  This was just GOODNESS, friends.

I was inspired by multiple recipes I had read for Peanut Butter & Apple "bars"....these strayyyed wayyy far off and really created something totally different.



Peanut Butter & Apple Crumble!

Peel & chop 3 small to medium size apples.  Yielding 3 1/2-4 cups of apples. (I highly recommend Gala apples)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine in a small saucepan:
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. natural peanut butter

Stir slowly over low to medium heat, just enough to melt butter and thoroughly combine all ingredients, being sure to remove any clumps from the brown sugar  ((you could also microwave in a small glass dish as well)).

Allow mixture to cool enough to safely add eggs without them scrambling!

In a mixing bowl combine these wet & dry ingredients:
Mixture from saucepan, slightly cooled
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 c. milk ((I prefer almond milk))
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 c. flour ((you may use all purpose but I used bread flour))

It's a crumble folks.  No stress.  The order of the ingredients is really not so super important.  Seriously, don't stress.

Fold in chopped apples.

It will not pour like a cake!  The entirety of the combined ingredients will be thick!  With a spatula, dump & press the mixture with a spatula into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.  It should turn a golden brown, but don't allow it to become too brown at the edges....it will firm to the touch ((not hard...got it?)).

While the oven is baking all that goodness, combine the ingredients to create a glaze in a small bowl:

1/4 c. milk  ((I prefer almond))
1/4 c. natural peanut butter  ((if warmed slightly in microwave it will essentially "pour" and mix more thoroughly))
1 c. powdered sugar

Alternate Glaze!!:  use this if you prefer to use honey as a sweetener!!
3/4 c.  peanut butter
3/4 c. local honey  (store bought is much sweeter than local/farmers market honey generally)

Allow the baked portion to cool for 5-10 minutes and then generously pour over the glaze you prepared.

I allowed the crumble to cool thoroughly before serving, but if you really just can't wait....well, I don't blame you ;)

 
 
I've got a really good reason to visit the apple orchard this fall!
 
 
**Be super cautious carrying this crumble to gatherings as some people are highly allergic to peanuts!





Thursday, September 5, 2013

Camp Rooney


My "Little," as he was referred to for the longest, has turned F-O-U-R. It seems like we celebrated his third birthday, I blinked, and boom - here we are. Mercy.

Many of you know that we became camper owners earlier this year. Yes, I'm aware there are those who camp & those who don't. Well, we camp. We love it. Rooney really loves it.  It came as no surprise he requested a "camp" themed party this year.

   
 
 
The anticipation had built up for weeks and his excitement went to a whole new level when his Aunt Weezer called from out of town that morning and told him to look for the UPS truck - of course they ran later that day than they ever do!
 

 
The book "Dragons Love Tacos" and a dragon costume were perfect for this child who spends his days in costume!
 
While he read his new book with his NaNa it gave me some time to prepare his "cake".  While I'm capable of making bakery-like beautiful cakes, I just have refused to do it so far on my kids birthdays.  Tasty & easy is all I look for when throwing parties at this age!
 
I saw this AWESOME idea on Pinterest...of course.  There are so many variations pinned that I really can't credit an original author.  You can search "ice cream sandwich cake" for additional ideas, but basically you stack ice cream sandwiches with Magic Shell between the layers, "frost" it in cool whip, and allow to setup in the freezer.  Some variations also used caramel, but my Rooney requested strawberry, so I added strawberry syrup in the layers too.  You will see a final pic later, but it is the result of the sun setting & the camera settings being all wrong because I was totally in the moment with my child ;) Boo to not having a super great finished product picture - thumbs up for enjoying myself! 
 
 
 
I really felt like the cake was for his candles really, because we all know smores are to be the highlight of a Camp Party!
 

 
My Lifetime Love made me the "rustic branch markers" nearly a year ago and they were perfect for labeling the food table!

 
More party prep meant Rooney hand delivering his "campfire".  We used the fire bowl for smores, but this $10 inflatable campfire from Oriental Trading has provided HOURS of fun for him.  Like best $10 ever spent.
 
 

 
 
 



 
 
 
Disclaimer: I try to make parties for my kiddos truly be a celebration of them.  Not a party just for their little friends to come - granted that is important, but I want my kids to know they have love & support from SO MANY special people in their lives.  I try to include lots of photos so that all the guests at the party can reflect & see all the reasons we have to celebrate this sweet kiddo!
 
 
 
It was hott.

 
But there were smiles....
 
 
and sweet waves,
 
 
and friends.

 
Oh, and there were hot dogs....apparently very good hot dogs  ((he is my child afterall)).
 
 
 
 
After presents the icecream sandwich cake was a big hit for beating the heat.
 
 
He's already asking if he can have a camp party again next year.  I'm asking if we can slow down time......






 


Monday, September 2, 2013

Mugswap 2013, Sending & Receiving - Happy Times

Mug Swap!



If you read my earlier post then you have heard mention made of the recent MugSwap held by ACuppaKim (#mugswap2013).  This was my second year participating and as much as I love being on the receiving end of the swap and anxiously awaiting a surprise in the mailbox, I find it just as much fun ((if not more)) to gain a new friend and search for what I "hope" is the perfect little surprise for them.

My assignment was Melissa from http://melissacamarawilkins.com/blog/ .  I instantly fell in love with Melissa's style on Pinterest and adored so much about her blog.  The e-mail from ACuppaKim said Melissa would call her style "preppy boho," and she preferred a tea cup - honestly, I feel like I failed miserably at finding preppy boho!  I am a coffee drinker myself, so searching out any teacup was new territory to me.  Really, what a fun assignment to have....it opened my eyes - there were indeed so many beautiful teacups at the antique stores I visited.  I thought I might never be able to choose! 

I opted for a classic look...simple elegance I suppose you could say.  I liked that it was timeless. I included a little journal and one of my favorite pencils.

 
 
I was N E R V O U S until Melissa confirmed the sweet teacup had arrived safely!  Thank you bubble wrap and thank you flirty mailman who laughed at me and added "exceptionally fragile" to the side of this box with his Sharpie ;)  I'm thankful that the swap introduced me to Melissa and look forward to reading her blog from time to time.  She's a busy Mom, but in the good busy-kinda way....busy loving and appreciating, listening and teaching - she's already inspired me and I look forward to more of that goodness.
 
I have always loved coffee mugs.  My parents will tell you that I had a thing for buying them from an early age....long before I had ever tasted coffee!  I adore a good collection and looking at the photos on Instagram from the mugswap will certainly want to make you have a mug collection!  What a treat it was for a "secret swapper" to receive my name and find a mug that is so perfect - I'm thinking it just might provoke me to take this "mug collecting" a little more serious!  ((I need some sort of display for all this goodness, people!))  Pollyanna, over at http://sewfatty.com/, read of my love for vintage and my recent move.....she really hit it out of the park with this mug!
 
 
Pollyanna loves Instagram as I do and it is great seeing her comments and sweet photos while knowing what thought she put into selecting my mug ((and some other coffee & tea goodies she shipped as well)).
 
Another year that the MugSwap has come and gone......more sweet memories added and inspiration given.  I think it not only spurred my interest in collecting more mugs, but it reminded me of how good it feels to give.  
 
Oh, and if you're wondering about the prize package I won - lots of that goodness has been showing up in my mailbox!  Pictures of it all forthcoming!  Feel free to checkout the sponsors over at http://www.acuppakim.com/ and mark your calendars for August 1, 2014 for #mugswap2014 !
 
-K.