Changing Direction

changing direction

It’s funny how life goes sometimes.

There are seasons of the slow and mundane.

There are seasons of the hectic and fast-paced.

Ups and downs. Big things and little things. Life keeps moving forward.

And sometimes the paths you go on bring you to places you didn’t think you’d go. Looking back at the past year, the past five years, the past ten years, who would’ve thought I’d be where I am now?

It seems that my season of avidly writing for this blog have come to halt. Don’t get me wrong..I love writing and thoroughly enjoy this form of creativity!

But with a toddler that takes short naps. And a growing business with Jamberry. Writing is going on the shelf for the moment. I will definitely pop in here and there when I have something to share. I need an outlet for words sometimes, even though I’m not a wordy person.

I feel like the direction of my blog will also move away from the health and wellness realm. Unfortunately my views of the truth about health and wellness are too controversial.  There’s enough debate and finger pointing online and I don’t want to be a part of that.

I do want to write about living a simple natural life, the joys and woes of raising a toddler, and matters of the heart.

As you’ve probably noticed, the title of this blog is Never Lacking Zeal. It comes from Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

My understanding of that verse is to be passionate about the things you do because ultimately it’s all for God. If I’m not writing in a way that glorifies God, then I’m not living to my true purpose.

With that being said, keep your eyes open for what may come next! I am here to share with you the things that God lays upon my heart. The topics may vary, but the words will be valuable. My goal is to encourage and empower families to live a simple natural life that honors God.

Enjoy!


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30 Day Clean Eating Challenge Wrap Up

30 day challenge wrap up

You know how some things go to plan and others don’t?

Yeah. This past month was one of those that didn’t really go to plan.

I want to share a quick wrap up on our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge. I’m not going to say we failed, but we didn’t succeed the way I envisioned it.

If you read in the beginning of June, we started a 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge. My goal was to get back on track with meal planning and cutting out the processed foods and added sugar. I wanted to get my energy back and hubby wanted to lose a few pounds.

Well, I DID succeed at getting our meal planning on track again. It is so much better getting to the store with a list in hand! During the week I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner and know that what I planned out is good and delicious.

With the meal planning comes the better food choices. I plan out delicious from scratch meals that are easy and full of nutrient dense foods. Creating the meal plan gives me the shopping list which helps me avoid the processed foods at the grocery store. When I wander the store without a list I come home with some really random items.

Hubby declared we were eating like “rich people”, which I will take as a compliment even though we spent the same or less than the previous months. It isn’t very difficult to cook real food on a budget. Be frugal with the meat and use lots of veggies seasoned with herbs and spices. It’s all about the spices people! Don’t skip over the seasoning!

We definitely succeeded in cutting some of the processed foods and eating more nutrient dense options. Simply by planning our meals and shopping with a list makes it so much easier for me to keep the junk out of the cart and pantry. If we don’t have the options of junk at home then I won’t be tempted to eat it!

I did not do so well making sure Hubby had lunch every day. For some reason this is my biggest failing in wifely duties (it’s my duty in our home, it may be different for others!). I honestly forget or get up too late to make it before he leaves for work.

Our Little Man is a late sleeping baby and I usually sleep until he wakes up. It’s kinda nice, but I really want to work on getting up earlier so I can get my day started. It’s hard to be a morning person when you stay at home and are naturally wired to be a night person.

I did not do so well with removing added sugar either. It’s not that I sit at home making dessert all day, but a spoonful of sugar in my iced coffee or leftover dessert brought over by friends are difficult for me to resist. I really struggle with the sweets issue and want to get a handle on it, but can’t seem to at the moment. I know what to do, I’m just not doing it.

The main goal of getting on the meal planning wagon again has been met. The other things fall into place as I continue to plan and shop accordingly. The real food lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. It’s not something you do just for a time or a season. It’s for life. I love how I feel when my diet consists highly of vegetables and quality meats.

I’m planning to continue to work on the lunch thing and getting up earlier. I’ve said that for months now, but it’s gotta happen. Little Man is finally sleeping through the night like a big boy so I have no excuse for sleeping in late! And then I can get Hubby’s lunch made.

And those are the things I struggle with and go through. If that’s the worst of my worries I think I have a pretty blessed life. I am so thankful for the options of good food readily available. I won’t ever forget to be grateful for that.

What were your successes in last month’s Real Food Journey?


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Happy Father’s Day!

happy father's day title

Father’s Day is this weekend!!

I hope you are ready to honor the dads in your life. Dads are great and an important part of the family unit!

We are celebrating this Father’s Day by going camping. One of my favorite things about my hubby being a dad is his excitement to share the great outdoors with our son.

He’s always talking about the camping, fishing, hunting, knot-tying, fire building, shelter making, and other manly outdoor activities he wants to teach our Little Man. It just melts my heart when he starts envisioning their adventures!

Our Little Man is still a little young for most of those activities but we can go camping as a family. It might be considered “glamping” this weekend since we have a rustic cabin with A/C. (It might hit 100 degrees this weekend so I’m not complaining.) BUT we are all excited.

It has been such a wonderful thing to watch my husband become a dad. Even though he hasn’t changed more than two diapers in the last 16 months… ahem! His care and concern for everything regarding our Little Man is valuable.

I know without a doubt that my hubby will do all he can to take the best care of our son no matter what. His love overflows in the way he plays and talks and walks with Little Man. It’s a wonderful thing!

As our toddler gets bigger and more in tune with the world, I know my hubby will be there to teach and guide him to be a man of integrity, ambition, and adventure. And I know that through being a dad, my hubby is learning things too. Patience is a virtue!

I’m excited to see my hubby and my son grow in a relationship together that will build up and strengthen them both in different ways. As a wife and mother, the greatest joy is observing a thriving love and respect between your husband and son!

What do you have planned to honor your Dad, husband, or father figure??

My Jamberry Story (and a giveaway!)

My WAHM Story

Have you ever found something that seemed too good to be true turn out better than you hoped?? I did!

I want to share my Jamberry story with you. I haven’t been a consultant for long but this has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Even though I love Jamberry nails, I was VERY hesitant to join as a consultant. I have been part of several different direct sales companies and they never panned out as a business. You hear the success stories and think it’s too good to be true and a lot of the time it is very hard to reach that kind of success.

There’s also the whole Multi-Level-Marketing Pyramid-Scheme stigma that goes with direct sales. What kind of gimmick are they selling? Will I end up just buying products that I don’t use or sell?

I did not want to get into something that was just going to hit the check book and not become anything greater. After a lot of personal debate and my husband’s encouragement I decided to give Jamberry a try. The initial investment was small and I felt that I could at least try to earn that back if nothing else.

Sweet Whimsy and Lotus

To my surprise, I almost immediately started making real money! Getting paid, small amount that it was, that first Friday after joining was totally exciting! I’m not claiming that I’ve paid any big bills with my Jam income yet, but having a little extra cash and money to help build this business (without pulling from our tight budget!) is so wonderful!

Not only is it great to start bringing in some money, but I feel like I’ve found an amazing group of girls that I could be best friends with. The encouragement and insights from my team are OUTSTANDING.

Again, I’ve been parts of other direct sales teams, but this one has surpassed them all. I feel like I get great business support but also I could go to anyone of these girls for encouragement in any area of life. THAT makes this more than just a business team.

I’m finding success and friendships through Jamberry. It’s hard to find those things sometimes as a stay at home mom! I want to continue to stay at home with my little boy and I finally found a way to make that possible. I am so blessed to have Jamberry!

Gray Matters

You may be wondering now, why I’m telling you this story. How does Jamberry fit into a simple natural living blog?

Honestly, I’m not even sure how it really fits, although, it does line up with my ideals of ditching chemicals and keeping life simple. And part of this blog is me sharing my life with you. Jamberry is becoming a big part of it.

I am extremely impressed with the product Jamberry offers. Jamberry nail wraps are made in the USA, non-toxic, and cruelty free. They are quick and easy to apply and come in a wide variety of colors and designs.

As strange as it may seem for an outdoor loving, homesteader wanna-be to have fancy nails, it really is my one vanity. I never do anything with my hair, and I generally throw on a little make-up if I go out, but I really, really love having my nails done.

My favorite part of Jamberry nails is no dry time! I can stop and start application as needed with an unpredictable toddler. This has been my fancy nail loving life saver. It also doesn’t take very long to apply Jamberry nail wraps which is great because I don’t have much time to spare!

Every mama needs a few minutes to herself for sanity sake. And if I can steal 15 minutes to do my nails, I will. Some mama’s may choose a bath or mini facial, but I’m going for the nails!

Feb Host Exclusive

Now that I’ve told you how Jamberry has made an incredible difference in my life, I want to give YOU a chance to try Jamberry nail wraps!

There’s a few options for you here:

  • Place a Buy 3 Get 1 Free order and get exclusive accent nails from me! Go here > http://neverlackingjams.jamberrynails.net to browse and place your order.
  • Book an online Facebook Party and earn free wraps! Hosting is free, fun, and the rewards are fabulous! Go here for more details and to book your party > http://neverlackingjams.jamberrynails.net/host/
  • Join as a consultant and start earning your own income for wearing fancy nails! You read my story. This job is FANTASTIC! Go here to find out more and join > http://neverlackingjams.jamberrynails.net/join/
  • Enter the GIVEAWAY! Yep, I’m giving away a mini mani kit! Enter below for your chance to win and try Jamberry nails!

** UPDATE** The giveaway is now over BUT I’d love to send you a sample if you want to give Jamberry a try! Email me at the address below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions about Jamberry I’m more than happy to answer them! Email me at hrobertson09 @ gmail (dot) com.

Are you a WAHM? What is your success story?


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Find Your Why

Find Your Why

Why do you do the things that you do?

That question is harder than it seems. It encompasses a lot. What area of life are we talking about? All of it? Part of it? Are we looking for a deep and meaningful answer? Or something just matter of fact?

In the courses and training I have pursued in blogging and my direct sales businesses (doTERRA and Jamberry), one of the main elements of success that is always taught is to “Find your Why.” Your Why drives your blog or business and helps you get through the hard parts and focus on what you truly want to share or accomplish.

As I’ve contemplated this for my various endeavors, I’ve wondered if it would be a good idea to have a Why for my role as homemaker.

Because, you know, it isn’t always easy. There are elements to being a wife and mother that aren’t so glamorous or easy. Having specific, single sentence of Why gives you a push through the hard days and into enjoying the little things.

  • Why do you scrub the toilets?
  • Why do you change that dirty diaper?
  • Why do you fold yet another load of laundry?
  • Why do you continually pick up the stray items that get strewn about the house? (again)

Not only are the Why’s of keeping the house in order important, but there are other aspects of homemaking that are worth questioning too.

  • Why real food?
  • Why natural health?
  • Why simple living?
  • Why green products?
  • Why shop local?

This seems like a lot of different things with various purposes. How can you tie it all into one sentence? Very carefully! It may take some time and thought to define your Why. But once you do it can create in you a more definite purpose.

I think it is a common struggle for people to wonder what their purpose is. Why do they need to do the things they do? What is the ultimate goal? And it is very easy to get lost in the mundane tasks of homemaking. How can sweeping the floor have a higher purpose?!

Somehow it does.

Prayerfully considering your why helps you define your identity. Ultimately your identity is in Christ. God has placed you in your role for a purpose and a reason. Ask Him to help you understand and define your Why!

Similar to creating a family mission statement, your Why drives you forward and is more personal than a family statement. Your Why can be light and simple: to create a clean and loving home in order to empower my family to go forth and be awesome.

Or it can be deep and profound: to glorify God in all I say and do in order to set a Christ-like example to my family and others. It could easily develop and change over time as well. Pick something simple to start and then as you dwell on it and find more meaning to your daily duties, adjust and redefine Why.

If you really need to you could write more than one Why. But I highly recommend keeping just one. Let that statement be your driving force to keep being the homemaker you were created to be. Once you find your Why, you will find more joy and peace in your day to day.

What is your Why?

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5 Fresh Spring Essential Oil Blends

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5 Spring Essential Oil Blends

 

The best part about Spring is the fresh breeze flowing through open windows in the house. Hearing the birds chirp and the trees sway in the wind is soothing and brings with it all kinds of joy!

With the freshness of the air, I like to add a little extra something to enhance the scent of my home. I have five essential oil blends to lighten the mood, wake you up, or soothe the soul. The blends can be put in a diffuser or used in a spray bottle to spritz around the house. (Recipe below!)

Citrus Woods:

  • 5 drops Wild Orange
  • 3 drops Lime
  • 2 drops White Fir

Fresh Mint:

Sleepy Hippy:

  • 4 drops Patchouli
  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Vetiver

Flower Patch:

  • 5 drops Clary Sage
  • 3 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Geranium

Into the Forest:

  • 5 drops White Fir
  • 4 drops Cedarwood
  • 1 drop Rosemary

5 fresh blends final

To use these blends in your diffuser: follow the directions in your particular model. I like this one here.

To make this into an air freshener spray:

Fill a small glass spray bottle almost to the top with water. Add in 1 tsp of witch hazel or vodka (to keep the pump working smoothly). Add your essential oil blend. Spray around the room to freshen the air!

The strength of your spray will be determined by the size of your spray bottle and how much water it holds. If you have a larger bottle and want a stronger scent, just double or triple the essential oil blend recipe.

blend bottles stacked

It’s very easy to make! I like to rotate the essential oil blends to add different scents to the air. I also like to keep one spray bottle in the bathroom and one in the living room. That way I have my spray easy to reach.

What essential oil scents make you think of Spring??

 

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3 Simple Steps to Spring Cleaning your Kitchen


3 Simple Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

Spring cleaning time! Yay or nay?

I’ve got some cleaning to do…

If you caught my post on Friday, I talked about putting a stop to the overwhelm and choosing the more important things.

I must confess; I’m still overwhelmed!

I cannot seem to get my kitchen in order. There are pots and pans and random appliances sitting out on the counter and on top of the freezer. I don’t like surface clutter! But I can’t put these items away just yet.

We recently had mice. Again. I don’t know what the deal is but we keep getting the little critters despite the traps and cat and other preventative measures. And they love to cruise around in all the cabinets and drawers leaving me little presents.

Yeah…not my favorite kind of present.

Once we were sure we had caught and disposed of the intruders I started working on cleaning the drawers out. That was three weeks ago. I still have cabinets that need cleaning!

Now this might sound like I’m being lazy. But it’s so hard for me to find the time to clean it up! It’s not something I can do while little man is running around at my ankles. I can’t do it while he naps since our home is tiny and dishes always wake him up. And by night when Hubby can keep an eye on the little man I’m just too tired to get it done.

Excuses. I’ve got to focus and get this cleaned up. It’s stressing me out!

Long story short, any time this happens, I’m ready to get rid of half the items in my kitchen. I usually end up with a box or two of things to donate. It might be more this time around. I mean really…I only need two cookie sheets.

Because I have this “issue” to clean up, and it’s spring, I’m going to make this a big spring cleaning adventure in my kitchen (and other areas of my house). It’s time to de-clutter.

There are 3 simple steps to take when it comes to Spring Cleaning your Kitchen.

3 simple steps graphic

Pretty simple, right? Well, this could be a little more involved.

Keep those steps in mind and break it down just a little bit more and you can succeed at finally straightening up your kitchen! Or desk! Or laundry room!

Evaluating your clutter. For example, I have way too many coffee mugs. Yes I love coffee and I have a soft spot for cute mugs. But do I really need them all? No. I need a limit.

Get rid of the excess. I figure I only need one or two favorites that I use daily for coffee or tea. One or two big mugs for my hubby because he prefers a manly cup. And a few spare for when we have guests. Wow! I can get rid of about 15 mugs! Yikes!

Some of them I can list on eBay to see if I can get a little kick back from the original investment. (I have a lot of Starbucks mugs!) And the rest can be donated since I don’t see them to be of much value.

Organize the rest. Now I have a small number of mugs that will easily fit in my cabinet without stacking and causing a potential fall hazard. I might think of an old favorite mug from time to time, but ultimately I have what I need and life moves on.

Now, to do this with all the rest of the items in the cabinets as I clean everything. By hand. Again. That’s why I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately and it has taken me so long to get my kitchen cleaned.

But you see? It can be done. Just break it down a step at a time, cabinet at a time, and de-clutter your kitchen. There’s probably a lot that you can do without.

When was the last time you spent Spring Cleaning your Kitchen?

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