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Healthier after-school snacking.

I've said before that we are on a mission to use better products in our home; whether that means getting rid of the harsh chemicals and replacing them with safe DIY options, or we remove the awful junk food we used to purchase and replace them with healthier snack options, the past year has really transformed our home.

Now that school is back in session, I realized that the kids were grabbing the junk food that I normally snack on at bedtime like a total hypocrite, and eating it while doing their homework. While I don't mind the occasional unhealthy snack choice, something had to be done. And apparently telling them to grab a banana after school made me the meanest mom ever, so, enter: Annie's Organic.

The kids can make a small quick warm meal after school on their own with Annie's Microwavable Macaroni and Cheese. Even my four year old can do nearly every step on his own. I didn't realize how many Annie's products we owned until this post came to light, and we clearly love these products. Everything from fruit snacks to salad dressing- we all have a favorite.

What is your family snacking on? Please tell me that I'm not the only mom dealing with temper tantrums over snack options every afternoon! Seriously try Annie's. So good, and the after school drama has stopped! Oh, and the Goddess salad dressing is amazing on chicken breast with some brown rice. Okay, so that's not a snack, but it's a dinner that takes zero effort.

High five.

How I got started with essential oils.

I feel like I'm repeating myself since I have mentioned this in so many posts on social media, but I feel like I should go into detail a bit for anyone who has been curious about essential oils.

In July 2015, our fourth baby was diagnosed with an incurable disease called Tuberous Sclerosis. I spent the next few weeks in a really weird place- both trying to be strong for my family, and feeling the lowest possible low emotionally. I wasn't myself, and I didn't know what to do.

After a visit with our son's neurologist a few months after diagnosis, I had some things to Google after our appointment, and with smeared eye-makeup from crying with the neurologist, I came home and opened the laptop. Facebook was the first thing that opened, and a message popped up from my friend Casey. She asked if I had tried using essential oils for emotional support, and suggested a few for me to try.

Had I not trusted her and asked questions that I felt were stupid, I know that I would have never given oils a try. I would still assume that those little bottles were similar to the bottles "5 hour energy"; I truly thought that people were guzzling little glass bottles of oils or that they were mixing them or measuring them somehow. I thought math was involved. I thought they were complicated, and always had an excuse. I was always like, "Meh. I'm fine. No need to add extra cost to my lifestyle or add another stress. I'm good. No way."

You know how when you eat a salad you're like, "That actually wasn't so bad. And I'm probably considered healthy now. And I should definitely do this more often." Well, that's what I think about oils. Essential oils are the most concentrated essence of the plant; and we know that plants are packed with antivirals, antibacterials, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. When you apply an oil to your skin, you are adding the most potent part of the plant to your body. I still refrain from ingesting oils myself, but having them applied to my wrists, bottoms of my feet, and over my heart always makes me feel like I am doing something positive for my body. I can't publicly share my testimony so that people don't read this blog post and assume that I am a doctor of All The Things ready to diagnose and treat others, but I will happily share my heart if anyone wants to email me and hear more.

I know that oils can be super overwhelming, so this month I am going over one oil per day on my oil Instagram account HeartAndRoot. Just some simple explanations, decent prices, and personal favorites. If you are new to essential oils, there will also be an online Facebook class later this month going over everything you need to know. I'd love to help someone get their journey started!

No links. No sales pitch. No personal recommendations. I truly just want people to know that oils are easy to use, effective, and make me feel like I am bettering not only my life and home, but the lives and homes of others. For a very long time, I thought that working with my hands and offering my handmade work at a discount was the only way I could help others. I'm so thankful to have been proven wrong, and I finally feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

I just want to do good and spread kindness. And maybe smell like essential oils and reap their benefits while doing so.

Washing and reusing your essential oil bottles.

I love recycling my used essential oils bottles to be used for roller combos or diluted oils for the kids. Save those old bottles and grab a bottle of Goo Gone; it's that easy!

Remove old oil labels.

Spritz a little bit of Goo Gone onto each sticky bottle, and wipe down with an old cloth.

Remove bottle lids and attachments and put into a pot of water.

Bring to a boil for about 30 minutes.

Let air dry for 24 hours.

Yay! New bottles for new purposes!