homemade orange garland

this morning wes and i decided to get a little crafty. last year we made an orange garland and the kids loved the way it looked hanging above our fireplace. so, we decided to make it again, and this time i thought i’d share how we did it in case you’d like to give it a try! i needed a reminder myself on the recipe, so i’ll have it filed here forever.


here’s the recipe for ya:

• slice oranges thin

• dab with paper towels

• line them on parchment paper or a non-stick cookie sheet

• bake at 250 for 1 hour and flip orange slices, baking for 1 more hour (check every 15 minutes or so to make sure they’re not getting too brown around the edge’s)


i like using twine to hang ours, using a needle to string it through. i don’t let wes help with this part, but he watches and observes. i’ve found it to be quite therapeutic for me and calming activity for the kiddos!

B9D064B2-FAB9-4386-BB43-FE514861FCB6this is a nice way to brighten things up on the cold, and sometimes gray days this time of year.  i also like adding fresh pine throughout our home to bring some of the outside in! plus it smells SO good! eucalyptus is another lovely scent during the winter months (its one one of my favorite essential oils too, to help knock out and prevent excess congestion)

cinnamon, orange, and black spruce are my favorite combo of oils to diffuse in the winter to help promote a peaceful environment and beat winter blues. who couldn’t use that while we’re all stuffed up in the house?! it’s a great way to rid the air of germs too!!

i hope you’re all keeping warm and cozy and staying well this season!

best regards,


essential oils for emotional support



I was chatting with my littlest (we call him Wes, or Wessie if you’re new here) the other day when he asked, “what would happen if our toilet overflowed?” I went on to explain the large, YUCKY mess it would make along with the potential damage it could cause to our home. I began thinking how emotions can be quite comparable to an overflowing toilet.

Our feelings and emotions can get overwhelming at times, making life messy, causing damage to our bodies and minds if left unchecked. Emotions come and go, but often times we hold on to some emotions longer than we’d like to. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed about the never ending to do lists and become frustrated. If you’re a parent like me, these are all feelings you have likely encountered often.

Of course some amount of stress is not a bad thing as it gives motivation while helping us stay focused. With a large focus on productivity in today’s world though, it’s easy for emotions to pull us in many directions. It’s an absolute necessity to set priorities, make time to recharge and enjoy what matters most to us.

I love the way essential oils have helped our family to slow things down a bit and pull us closer together, giving the feeling of connection. Nature offers so many powerful benefits to us, always reminding us of the need to slow down. A simple massage or foot rub with the use of oils after a long day eases tension, letting each other know you care, giving a sense of belonging.

Touch is so often neglected in our hurried lives, yet a very basic human need. Without it we can become very disconnected and out of sync with one another. Little ones especially need to be held and feel loved. But big people do too and if we don’t take the time for it, then we end up pouring from an empty cup!

Motherhood can present a fluctuation of emotions due to everyday demands of caring for children, taking care of a home, trying to squeeze time in for self-care and everything in between. The use of essential oil’s have been an amazing way to support our emotions as family, both for my husband and myself along with our kiddos.

We don’t often understand the way children experience feelings, but little ones can experience big emotions. The way we express our emotions as adults has a strong impact on how children learn to express themselves and handle their problems and feelings. Teaching them to respond instead of react is so important. Of course, we’re all human and sometimes we stretch ourselves a little too thin. Carving out time for self care is a must if we want to give our best to our family and others. Try practicing one thing each day that you enjoy doing. Little by little it will become part of your daily rhythm, and you’ll find you’re able to give more of yourself with a more grateful spirit. Remember, a happier mama makes for happier kiddos.

The use of essential oils is an easy way to lift your mood, promote restful sleep, and overall sense of well-being. They can also help with balancing hormones, which more often than not gets disrupted through mothering. Since hormones are so closely related to emotions, using essential oils can offer many benefits in this regard by creating feelings of balance. Our family uses Young Living essential oils, which are safe and effective therapeutic grade oils. You can read more about their promise of purity at http://seedtoseal.com

  1. I love keeping roller blends nearby either in my purse, near my bed, or anywhere i often go in the house. I also love the wooden diffuser necklaces handmade by gardenia and grit, shown in the picture above. You can have one custom made for you at gardeniaandgrit.com! Below are blends I use for our kiddos, myself and a blend for my husband to take to work which he puts on his mustache.

hubby’s roller blend:

vetiver, frankincense, lavender, ylang ylang, patchouli  (this blend gives a grounding effect, while easing anxiety and promoting focus)

calm mama blend: 

patchouli, lavender, bergamot, frankincense, ylang ylang (i usually have patchouli and bergamot in my purse)

massage oil:

1/4 cup coconut oil, 8 drops wintergreen, 6 drops peppermint, 6 drops lavender, 5 drops copaiba (perfect for soothing sore muscles to promote deep relaxation, encouraging healing to happen)

nighttime diffuser blend: 

lavender, cedarwood, orange
oils for calming little ones:
gentle baby, frankincense, lavender, orange, peace and calming

I also like using a lavender linen spray to promote restful sleep with lavender, water and a dash of salt (to keep the oil from floating to the top) in a 4oz spray bottle

If you’re interested in purchasing oils, follow this link:

https://www.youngliving.com/vo/#/signup/new-start?sponsorid=3279914&enrollerid=3279914&isocountrycode=US&culture=en-US&type=member  and you will be directed to the Young Living website. Choose the WHOLESALE MEMBER option to receive the following:

  • PREMIUM STARTER KIT is $160 and gives you therapeutic-grade essential oils: Lavender Oil, Thieves Oil Blend, Peppermint Oil, Lemon Oil, Citrus Fresh Oil, Raven Oil, Digize Oil Blend, Stress Away Oil Blend, Copaiba Oil, Frankincense Oil, and PanAway Oil Blend.
  • Team membership with continuing education.
  • 24% discount off your oils!
  • No monthly fees, just a $50 yearly minimum purchase which is covered by your kit the first year
  • You never have to sell as a wholesale member, but it is an option if you would like to bring in income for your family or if you want to get your oils paid for.
  • Ability to be part of Young Living’s ESSENTIAL REWARDS program, as a way to get free products or if you want to stock up your holistic medicine cabinet

24% off of all Young Living products, only requiring that you spend $50 in a year to maintain membership status. Once a member, you will have access to support from other members to ask questions as you navigate your wellness journey!

If you would like to try one or two oils but are not interested in getting a discount or team membership, you can choose the RETAIL CUSTOMER option.  This enables you to get Young Living products shipped right to your door. However, wholesale membership opportunities are not provided to you through the retail membership.

How to Order?

CLICK HERE TO ORDER and get your Young Living account set up. My Sponsor & Enroller ID number should be there, but it does not show up, please enter: 3279914. If you have any questions, please contact me personally. I am happy to guide you along your wellness journey!

I hope you have found this helpful and I’m always glad to hear any input or questions. Wishing you a lovely day!

Best regards,


rooted in nature: spring stories & activities





ive always loved being in nature so incorporating it into our everyday learning just makes sense. living where the changing seasons are makes it so nice to see all that nature has to offer. the changes of the weather, the animals, plants, and the changes within our own home as i decorate with the season in mind. all of these changes intertwine, helping us to expand our thinking to the outside world. i believe this is so important to teach from a young age in order to give a sense of responsibility and nuture curiosity in the world around us.

i love showing my kiddos all the beauty and wonders of nature, along with the potential dangers to be aware of. the book “finding wild” is so helpful with this. i adore the illustrations too!

letting children spend hands on time in nature allows them to explore and soak in all kinds of information, giving them a growing appreciation of the many wonders and endless opportunities to learn. i like choosing books that go with each season and wanted to share some that we’ve been loving as we slowly shift into the lovely season of spring. i also keep in mind our “letter of the week” as i choose our books, helping to associate a picture with the letter for memorization and recognition.

here’s our spring reading list:

“i am a bunny” by richard scarry

“finding wild” by megan wagner lloyd

“puddle” by hyewon yum

“secret tree fort” by brianne farley

“bunnys many colors” by lisa mccue

“birds” by keith and jonathan west

“petunia” by roger duvoisin

“when spring comes” by kevin henkes

“the velveteen rabit” by margery williams

im sure there are lots and lots of other amazing spring books, and would love to hear of any that you’re reading to your little ones! we also enjoy doing seasonal crafts, and i wanted to share some that we’ve done so far/plan to do.

spring activities/crafts:

• birds nest: this is a quick and easy craft to do with all ages.  we cut the bottom of a brown bag and rolled it down to make the nest, then added pieces of brown paper, cut out a bird, and colored it (we also added some leaves)

• paint a picture of a puddle – little ones love making raindrops and it’s a good opportunity to talk about the weather and the importance of rain for plant growth

• nature walk – we took a guided nature walk over the weekend as a family. it was so refreshing and we always come back feeling rejuvenated after being in nature all together! (definitely bring snacks and water to keep everyone happy)

• make a bird bath/bird feeder – pinterest has lots of good ideas for this too!

i hope you have found this helpful and i would love to hear any spring activities you enjoy doing with your little ones!!

best regards,


communicating ~ calm and cozy🌿


in this fast-paced world, it can be hard to communicate everything we want to say. even when we make time it may not come out right. communication really is an art. it is something we learned from a young age and somehow gets wired into us. it always amazes me how much i can hear my mother speaking when I speak to my own children. mothering is always keeping me on my toes and gives so many opportunities for learning and growth. the way we speak to one another as adults, and to our children will stick with them throughout their lives. that is why i find it so important to think carefully about the way we speak to our kiddos, and the impression it’s making on their little minds. two books i’m reading that help in this area are “no drama discipline” and “the whole brained child.” must reads for all families!! communication

making time for meaningful communication has been essential to keeping our family connected. this is especially true since i’m an infj and i tend to take on the emotions of others. making time to understand one another really helps to sort it all out. something else that has helped me is journaling. after 10 years of marriage and two kids, journaling has been a great outlet for the overwhelming emotions that come with it.  as much as i love our family and feel so incredibly blessed, sometimes we can get caught in emotions that hold us back from being our best selves. and if there’s one thing that has rung true in motherhood, it is the fact that mothers tend to set the tone for the whole household. the tone of our voices, the vibes we give off through our body language.  it all has an intertwining effect on everyone. this is why i have made it a point to take time to self reflect. time to pause when emotions are high and things feel out of sync. it’s in these moments i know i need to take a couple steps back to breathe, pray, write, cuddle up with a book, take a walk outside, or something to hit the reset button.

i was reading over my notes from a talk at our congregation on communication. one thing i wrote down was “we cannot live in the past….only in the present, and plan for the future.” as a family i feel it is so important to make time to plan together, including the kiddos. when everyone is on the same page and can work together for a common goal, it’s like we are a team, all cheering one another on.  making time for meaningful communication is what gives us the reassurance that we’re rooting for each other.

whether you’re talking over dinner, snuggled up all together on the couch, or saying your last words before bed,  ive put together a little list of things that have helped our family have more meaningful communication to keep us in sync with each other and on the same page through this busy little life.

• first and foremost, always wait til tummys are full!! (“hangry” is a real thing)

• find a comfy/cozy spot

• try to make it when no one is too tired

• avoid criticism

• avoid interrupting

• acknowledge each other’s feelings

• show empathy

• be reasonable and flexible

• humbly acknowledge mistakes (sometimes a simple, yet genuine “sorry” makes a world of difference)

it really is the little things that hold us together. i hope you and your family can find unique ways to make communication more meaningful and positive. being together snuggled up and keeping cozy is one of my favorite parts of this lovely fall season! communication

best regards,




waldorf inspired learning





i’ve been researching waldorf education and find it to be such a peaceful and calming way of teaching children about their world, allowing them to approach life with mindfulness. it encourages a growth mentality, continued love of learning, and rhythm over rigid routine. i especially love the way nature is incorporated, giving them an appreciation for all of the delightful creation that surrounds us.

one way i’ve been incorporating waldorf ideas is through regular (weekly if possible) visits to local libraries. the library we visited this week had a lovely courtyard with a beautiful garden. we also visited the park, collected leaves, painted them and made leaf prints.

this year we decided to do homeschooling with my 3 year old and have been letting fall inspire our reading. i love the changing seasons so much, but fall may be my favorite (if i had to pick). i love sweater weather, vibrant colors of the changing leaves, hayrides, and the list goes on!

here’s a list of the books we’re reading for our fall inspired theme:

“Fall” by Moira Butterfield

“Red Panda’s Candy Apples” by Ruth Paul

“How do Apples Grow” by Betsy Maestro

“Leaves” by John Farndon

“Fall” by Ron Hirschi (my fav)

i enjoy having a weekly theme as a way to expand our knowledge and share things we’ve learned as a family. overall, i’m happy we’re building a foundation for a love of learning.

what are some of your favorite fall crafts?! hope you have a lovely rest of your week!

best regards,



staying rooted


we had family photos taken this time last year by one of our favorite spots during my favorite time of year. autumn! i love changing seasons, but something about crisp air and changing leaves makes me feel brand new. the old stone house in these photos gives me such a feeling of nostalgia. we all would have loved to go inside, but at least we got to peek into the windows. although it ended up raining, we just huddled under the umbrella all together, threw up the leaves, and danced in the rain. i may not have gotten my perfect family photo but it was magical. a memory i think we will all forever cherish.

this is one tradition i believe keeps us in sync with each other as a family. it’s a way to look back and see how we were a year ago, how we are now, what we can improve on and how we’ve made progress.

ive always loved imagining how people lived in simpler, slower times. this old stone house gives off such a calm feeling, being alongside a lake in the woods. i wonder what people did to pass the time before technology. although technology has its benefits, my husband and i both see the need for less distraction and more interaction.

the journey of motherhood has taught me to treasure these small moments. it all adds up and makes it all worthwhile. looking back on my childhood, my fondest memories are those times spent cooking with my nana, watching Anne of Green Gables over and over together, family camping trips, and spending lots of time in nature.

motherhood has taught me more than i thought possible. the interrupted and unexpected events of mothering came as real surprise to me. my idea of how it was “supposed to be” only took me away from enjoying the precious blessings right in front of me.

it took a while to accept, but i’ve learned that rigid routines just aren’t possible. motherhood requires the ability to be flexible and think on your toes. routines are wonderful and so is predictability, but i’ve embraces the truth that it’s a rarity in raising children. while routine is necessary, it is rythm that is the essence of mothering and parenting. i believe all families must work at this together and find what suites their unique needs. here are a few things that has helped with our rhythm as well as keep us in sync and rooted as a family.

• morning exercise (even if it’s just a little stretching)/quiet time/coffee

• meal planning/nightly meals together (i enjoy this so much as it gives us all time to reflect on the day and make meaningful connections as a family)

• weekly family worship (this has been especially helpful in assessing the needs of our children, having time to pray together, and meditate on scriptures)

• time spent in nature (always helps us to reset, feel rejuvenated and inspired)

• date night!! (absolute must for all couples !!!)

• play dates (aka mommy dates – a great way for children to learn social skills and for mamas to get a little adult interaction)

i hope you found this helpful and have a lovely rest of the week!

let me know if there’s anything you think  i could add to the list. what things help keep your family in sync?

best regards,





I’m happy to share this little space with you and give you a peek into our family of four. I hope to give some inspiration along the way about mothering, simple remedies we love to support our family’s wellness (essential oils being our fav!), recipes, crafts, and things that inspire me. motherhood is an incredible experience and I’m delighted to have you join me as i share little tidbits of our family’s journey. i believe the essence of what makes our house a home is finding what keeps us rooted. hence, the name “homerootedessence.” what do you think makes a house a home? i’d love to hear your thoughts!

best regards,