Saturday, April 4, 2015

But First, Love

I ask my husband all the time, "Why did you marry me?" He always says, "Because I love you!" And that makes me so warm and happy inside. Despite all of my faults, obnoxiousness and a face like mine, he loves me and chose to marry me and love me forever. Happy sigh.


So as I'm reflecting on the Easter season and pondering my Savior's death and Resurrection, I am realizing more and more that Jesus didn't have to die a horrific death. He didn't have to go through the pain, the abuse, the torture. But He did it anyway, and He did it willingly. For one reason.

Because He loves me.

Plain and simple, it was purely love for me.

Interestingly, it's becoming popular to preach GRACE. In my interactions with several different denominations, I am seeing that it is quite the trend. But you know what came first? Love came first. Love always comes first.

Yes, yes, of course grace must be preached! Of course,"...it is by grace that you have been saved", but friend, it was because of His great love with which He loved us (even when we were dead in our transgressions), made us alive together with Christ! We must not lose sight of the precious love of Christ in our attempts to elevate grace.

I experienced first hand "GRACE" being "shown" to me...you know....like Christ. But there was not one shred of love shown when the "GRACE" of God was shown hurled in my direction. Grace and love go hand in hand. Correction, LOVE then GRACE go hand in hand. It was hard to accept the 'gift' of grace when love was not anywhere in sight.

Love must always be shown first. Grace happens next. Think about this: grace is a gift. Love is the very nature/characteristic of God. He IS love; He gives grace. We are admonished to be like Christ and emulate Him, first by loving others (hard? oh, yes!) and second, by showing grace (also hard!).

It would be awful difficult for my husband to give me grace in all of my shortcomings if he didn't love me first, don't you think?

Praise God that Jesus loves me and you so very much, such pure and simple love, that He died in our place.



This is a picture of five pink roses Mr. B gave me when he was dating me. He wanted me to know that he saw God's grace in my life and the number 5 represents grace.

























This is a picture of my wedding bouquet, also with five pink roses, symbolizing God's grace in bringing the two of us together.


"For God SO LOVED THE WORLD, that He gave His only Son..."

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Candlelight Vigil

Listen to my name-twin sing. I love her voice.


I am holding a candlelight vigil . . . for my candles. And my beloved Scentsy bars. May they rest in peace. God bless their waxy hearts.

The reason being is that the majority of candles and wax bars are made with paraffin or soy wax and scented with chemicals. And that means . . . TOXIC RED FLAG.

Paraffin candles are petroleum derived and release chemicals like benzene, toluene, soot, etc. These types of candles are harmful for indoor air quality and should be avoided, especially if you have asthma or allergies.

Soy candles, while a better choice than paraffin, are really just as bad: the soy candles can have as much as 50% paraffin wax mixed in AND even if it's 100% soy wax, the chemical fragrances are far from natural.

And the same thing applies to 100% beeswax candles: while it may be 100% beeswax, artificial color and fragrances are usually added. 100% pure beeswax candles require no added fragrances or dyes, because the pollen and honey content of the wax offer a natural yellow-gold color and a light, sweet fragrance.

Beeswax candles also burn with almost no smoke or scent and clean the air by releasing negative ions into the air. Just like my salt lamp, remember?


So I collected all of my candles and checked the labels: all were paraffin wax and all used artificial fragrance.













The same went for my Scentsy bars. 

Tragedy. 

This is going to be so hard because you know what, I kid you not, I'm about to become a Scentsy Independent Consultant. 

Because I love it that much. 

I'll update you on whether or not I can justify burning beeswax in my own home and selling posion bars to everyone else. 

I still need some time to think about that one.




I have delayed this post for a while because I've been waiting on these little guys to show up.































I came across a great Esty shop based in Australia called AromaBee.

Beeswax can be very pricey and these are the cheapest I have found. They are scented with essential oils and are 100% therapeutic grade beeswax. They have candles, melts and solid perfume.

I ordered three melts and they threw in a solid perfume! Great marketing!



I ordered Bee Relaxed, Bee Energized and Bee Uplifted. The free solid perfume was scented with lemongrass.

Now, I will say I expected these to be much larger. As you can see, it is much smaller than a Scentsy bar.






































The AromaBee melts were $2.15 each, cheaper than Scentsy bars, but again smaller. I think it averages out being about the same price considering beeswax is more expensive.

Also, I'm afraid I'll only get a few uses out each melt, but I might add a few EO drops of my own when the fragrance wears off.




There is another Etsy shop that I have my eye on for candles. Noble & Co. from Canada looks to have some great high quality, no fragrance added candles.

I think the number one thing I will miss is the fragrance. You know . . . the fresh baked banana bread, the cinnamon apple and the tropical citrus.

Maybe I can convince Scentsy to start making less toxic fragrances so I won't feel guilty about selling it. Fingers crossed!



Friday, February 27, 2015

hashtag hippie status

This post is brought to you by the song the won't leave my head by Taylor Swift (oh yes). Sing with me.

The day I became a hippie was the day of Sweet Freedom, a.k.a. the day I was able to leave the house after a week of being completely snowed in.

Maybe it was the cabin fever, but I reached hippie status when I walked into Wholi Moli and saw an orange chunk of glowing salt. #gimmie

Or maybe (yes) it was already on my list of Things to Help Eliminate the Toxins in my House, but it's whatever.

So what am I talking about? 

Salt Lamps! Salt lamps are exactly what it sounds like: a big rock of salt with a light bulb inside of it, mounted to a platform.









































Before I tell you the benefits of a salt lamp, I'm going to tell you why you need one.

It is because sometimes indoor air can contain more toxins than outdoor air. 
Think about it. Carpet. Paint. Furniture. Household cleaners and supplies. Beauty products. Air fresheners. Pets, smoke and whatever else the cat may drag in. This chemical concoction is swirling around within the four walls of our house and we are breathing it in. It is especially bad in the winter when we stay inside the most and the toxins just cycle through the air day after day. Gross.

Chemical exposure can lead to so many health risks from lagging headaches and restless nights of sleep to major disorders of all kinds.

My warpath to a healthier home  has led me to creating a list of things to remove as many toxins as I can from my life, concentrating on my home.

Here's the (easiest) best way you can purify the air in your home.

OPEN YOUR WINDOWS.

Fresh air does wonders at circulating the stale, toxin laden air in your home with the oxygenating clean air of the great outdoors. We love to open our windows at night and breathe in a full 8ish hours of fresh air while we sleep. During the day, I will crack open a few windows in the kitchen while I bake or in the living room while I fold laundry. It makes my home smell fresh and clean!

BUT. What if it's the dead of winter and freezing cold outside? I mean it's time to seal the windows not open them, right? Right.

That's where other forms of air purifiers come in when you can't throw those windows wide open; using plants, candles and salt lamps to naturally remove toxins in your home are affordable and easy to integrate!

Here are the amazing benefits of salt lamps and why it brought me over to hippie-land.

When the bulb in the lamp warms the salt, it attracts moisture to the lamp. When it evaporates, they emit negative ions into the air. It basically pulls the toxins from the air, neutralizes them, then releases the negative ions.

This is where you need to know how important negative ions are. Have you ever walked outside right after a storm? Or walked into a greenhouse, through the mountains or around a waterfall? That heavy, clean, full of oxygen, sweet smelling air is FULL and RICH with negative ions! God's all-natural way of purifying air!

Negative ions do two things: one, increase the flow of oxygen to the brain (making you more alert and focused!) and two, increase serotonin (making you more happy and uplifted!) once it reaches our bloodstream.

Your TV, computer, microwave and other electrical appliances produce positive ions when used and have the complete opposite affect on your bodies. Limited use is encouraged :)

It is recommended that you place a salt lamp in places that you find yourself the most, for example an office would be a fabulous place; all the electrical equipment that you are most likely surrounded by in prime breeding ground for positive ions. A bedroom is another ideal location. Warm, yellow-orange-red light is so good to fall asleep to; unlike the blue-green lighting, it does not interrupt our sleep hormones, making for an awesome night's sleep.

I placed mine in the kitchen for the time being.
































You should know that there are imitation Himalayan Salt Lamps out there. This crystal is literally a hunk of salt; you could crush it up and flavor food with it if you want. If your lamp isn't salty (lick it! Do it, hippie!) then it may be an imitation lamp. I found mine at a local health food store (medium size, under $40)

Shop small and buy through an Etsy shop if you can't find one locally!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

G I V E A W A Y

In honor of introducing my newest scarf to the shop, I have partnered up with Elizabeth from the All Kinds of Things blog to host a giveaway!
Up for grabs is the T E N D U Infinity Scarf in 100% kettle dyed merino wool.





Small scarf (red/green/purple) can be wrapped twice




Large scarf (blue/black/pink) can be wrapped three times.


Good luck!