For more than four years, I have used essential oils in my home. I have a wonderful collection that helps me solve tummy aches, cold symptoms, anxiety, and sleeplessness. The list goes on but I’ll share my top favorites here.

  1. Peppermint: this is a wonderful digestive aid. I add one drop to a large glass of water if my stomach is upset. It’s also used in a number of my diffuser recipes to help with allergy and cold symptoms.
  2. Thieves: this is our go-to during the winter months. I swear it helps keep the germ bugs at bay from my kids. I rub it on their feet at night and diffuse it in the air at breakfast each morning. When I feel the tickle of a sore throat, I make a Thieves tea for myself.
  3. Lemon: an all-around mood brightening oil! I diffuse this for a fresh scent in our home, add it to water (kid’s too!) and also add it to homemade bath scrubs.
  4. Purification: if I cook fish, this is diffused to remove the smell. Works every time!
  5. Tea Tree Oil: I use this on my skin if I see a sign of a blemish. It’s a great way to treat healing wounds to avoid infection. I’ll also add this to my DIY foaming hand scrub.

essential oil everyday uses

You can discover your own favorites by order a Starter Kit from Young Living.

 

I love that it includes a diffuser as I find it really useful to get started in the room you use the most.

Become a member today and you can get wholesale pricing, and reduced shipping costs going forward. Click here for all the details or email me with questions.

Once you are a member, you will also be invited into our private Facebook Group where we share with other moms how we use the oils. This is led by another essential oil educator who hosts online workshops, answers questions, and there is a searchable database to help you answer the questions you have.

Starter Kit Unboxing from Young Living Essential Oils on Vimeo.

Welcome!

essential oils starter kit Emily Roach

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and time to pick out some healthy holiday gifts to kick off the new year in style. I pulled together a list of my favorite wellness items that will appeal to a wide variety of people on your gift list. I love gift giving, especially when it’s something that’s going to support your overall health. You will see a trend that I picked out gifts that are practical, with some extra beautiful ones just for fun.

Some of these sites offer affiliate marketing programs, which means if you make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission which helps pay for all the behind the scenes blog expenses. 

healthy holiday gifts for everyone on your list

Healthy Holiday Gifts for Women

Aroma Globe Diffuser– I’m a huge fan of diffusing our essential oils to help support our everyday routines. Some oils are immunity boosting and others help my kids settle down to do homework. My diffusers are all plastic and I’m looking to switch to the  Aroma Globe option that is made with glass. Young Living also carries the Aria diffuser which is beautiful, but a little more expensive. Order  a starter set of oils to get someone covered from head to toe!

Dry Brush Set– adding dry brushing to your wellness routine helps your body naturally detox. Dry brushing helps stimulate the lymph in the body and get it moving. Toxins can get stuck in the lymph so we want to get it moving and clearing out of the system. I recommend doing this before your shower. You will be amazed at how much better your skin looks once you start a regular routine!

Emily Ley Recipe Binder-collecting your recipes in one place is the first tip I give people when they start meal planning. I like Emily’s planners and the Recipe book is a great match to anyone who is a fan of the Simplicity Planner. {Note-this is currently 40% off at publication}

Plan to Eat– if someone you know doesn’t want “stuff” this is a great alternative! Plan to Eat is a meal planning program. It’s a digital product that allows you to save magazines you read about online (or in my meal plans) and save them to a private database. You then create a weekly meal plan and select the recipes that work for you. Plan to Eat automatically creates a grocery list for you. My favorite part is being able to print the list so I can bring it to the store without getting distracted by my phone. {Currently 50% off Black Friday subscriptions happening!}

Himalayan Salt Lamp-turn these on at night to help quiet the world. The thought is the salt lamps help buffer the EMF (electro magnetic frequencies from wireless signals.) I like to keep these on while we fall asleep, and then also get a wireless shut off timer for our routers. 

Instant Pot-I totally recommend the 8 quart option. I’m using it to cook sweet potatoes, hard boiled eggs, and bone broth super fast. {note: this is currently an Amazon deal of the day}

Healthy Holidays Gifts for Men

Clean Slate Charcoal Duo– did you know our skin detoxes about two pounds of toxins per day?! Isn’t that wild? You can help support your skin with the charcoal soap and mask. Use on a weekly basis. This is a wonderful gift for a husband or a friend.

S’well Tumblers-a fabulous upgrade for your coffee/tea/water to-go!

Air Purifier– this one is actually on my own list. We have a beautiful wood burning fireplace, but I don’t love how the smoke seems to remain in the air. I’m getting one to help clean up the air in our family room.

Healthy Holidays Gifts for the Family

Blue Blocking Glasses-grab a pair of these for your spouse or a friend. The new styles are so much better than the original! This brand even has kid sizes too.

EMF Blocking Blanket– if your kids are getting some form of wireless device for the holidays, I urge you to get one of these EMF blocking blankets. The newest research is showing damaging effects of the EMF. I like this style that’s gender neutral and is perfect if you have a kid that likes to curl up with their device to watch something. (Also, if they are just playing a game, switch it to airplane mode.)

Personal Meal Plan Gift Certificate– I recently sold my personal meal plans as gift certificates at our local marketplace. I thought I would offer you the same opportunity. One customer purchased it to give to her husband as a gift so he can get a personalized meal plan. I’m excited to work on this in the new year. Gift certificates need to be redeemed by March 2018. Click here to purchase one!

Hanna Andersson pajamas– as I learn more about protecting our body from chemicals, I’ve realized our choice of pajamas is very important. I’ve learned to look for GOTS certified clothes, or OEKO-TEX® certification. Both of these mean the clothing is not treated with flame retardants. You can find adorable chemical-free pajamas over at Hanna Andersson.  They have sizes for all ages so you can be coordinated on Christmas morning!

Mini Trampoline– we had grandparents get one for our kids last Christmas and it was a huge hit. I love that there is somewhere for the kids to burn off energy all winter long. We got the Pure Fun version with the handrail so the littlest one had a safety bar. After our move they took it off and it’s even better!

Healthy Holiday Gifts for Bakers

Beautiful measuring cups-having two sets is super helpful for holiday baking. These make a great hostess gift too.

Marble Cookbook Stand-this elevates the home cook’s work space just a bit. This works great for tablets and magazines best.

Healthy Holiday Gifts for Gardeners

Heirloom seed kit-this one from Williams Sonoma is ideal for small spaces. Start some seeds in the winter to help keep spirits up during the dark, cold days.

Garden jar Kitchen Herb kit-mason jars just call to me! This is one of the Oprah healthy holiday gift selections. It’s cute and functional. Modern Sprouts also has a grow house that is one of the prettiest greenhouses I’ve seen on the market.

 

Alright, that was a lot. Tell me which is your favorite healthy holiday gift? Happy shopping.

 

What I'm into: February 2016

Today is a bonus day. One extra day we don’t see for another four years. I thought I would use this day to share what inspired me, delighted me and encouraged me this past month. Spring is around the corner and I’m excited to flip the calendar page tomorrow.

What inspired you this month?

IMG_3342

  1. What started as a fun Instagram idea for #waterwednesday has turned into a fun beverage to fill the gap between coffee and wine.

IMG_34352. Trying to learn a new skill is hard, but worth it. I decided to sign up for the Modern Calligraphy Summit this month. I have enjoyed seeing people create wonderful businesses through the gift of lettering. Call me curious so I’m giving lettering a whirl. It’s a lot harder than it looks…

IMG_3436

3. The bullet journal is working for me. My way. It’s not the real way, but it’s a tidy place for me to categorize all the random information I learn from magazines, blogs, conversations with friends and such. (I use the Kate Spade spiral notebook.)

at-mine-home-design-shopping

4. At Mine is like Pinterest of old…pretty pictures without screaming headlines. Take a peek if you like to look at pretty interior design pictures. It’s also another way to shop directly from a picture.

Home-office-inspiration-organization

 

5. Aqua is my happy color. I cleaned out my Martha Stewart office supplies and when I get a glimpse of this color it remind me of summer. I did the same thing under my kitchen sink with fun baskets. Who knew throwing out the trash could spark joy? (image source)

To round out what I’m into this month:

Reading: Station Eleven and listening to Daring Greatly

Listening: Finally switched to Spotify since Pandora doesn’t work in Canado (boo!). Love the Peace playlist when the kids are rowdy. Also loving the What Should I Read Next Podcast.

Watching: Billions. Great show so far. Also loved the movie Burnt.

See what’s inspiring others over at Leigh Kramer this week.

Ready for March?

After last February’s epic snowfall, I can’t say I was very excited for the return of winter. When we learned we were moving to Toronto, we had no idea what to expect. Most people said it isn’t too bad, yet others said the last two winter’s were really cold. So far it’s been quite bearable, but I know we are far from through the woods.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite things this winter that are helping me stay warm and cozy when the temps do dip below freezing. The only thing missing from this list is my husband lighting a fire in the family room.

How to Survive Winter with Cozy Favorites

  • Reading has become a favorite pastime again. All the Light We Cannot See is a must read. (amazon affiliate link)
  • North Face Mittens (shop)
  • Essential oils-I use the Young Living line and use Thieves daily. (if you need someone to place your order with, I can connect you with someone in the US or Canada) There are another 4 oils I use regularly as well and so far we are all staying healthy this season!
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter- using this on everyone’s hands and face. Amazing. (shop)
  • Tea is key, and so are cute mugs.
  • Lole Emmy jacket (shop). I have the blue one!
  • Cozy boots are a must for our slushy mornings. I love these ones from Merrell.
  • Audible books, which is Amazon’s audiobook shop- get 2 free audiobooks when you try it out this month. (amazon shop) I find it easier to listen to non-fiction books on my reading list in the car. My two favorite ones as of late are Big Magic and Make it Happen.
  • Tennis is my favorite sport these days. It’s social and aerobic at the same time and makes me feel less of an outsider in my new town. I use the Babolat Aerodrive racket.

Share some of your winter favorites in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear what’s on your list.

It’s officially fall and time to embrace the change in seasons. Cooler days and darker nights are not my favorite part of fall, but it does give us an excuse to settle in and get cozy. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite things that get me excited about the fall season. Add to this all the pumpkin things, like my pumpkin pie smoothie, and I’m ready for falling leaves and cooler temps.
Fall uniform, check. (which is a vest, jeans and tall boots. Thank you Joanna for solidifying the uniform name!) Happy rain boots, check. New kitchenware for cozy stews, check.
Fall Fashion Favorites
 Sources…

What’s on your must have list for Fall?

The hot weather has finally arrived in our little neck of the woods. Snow pants and wool hats were quickly replaced with sunscreen and sun hats. Getting the kids off to school layered up in sunscreen is a new part of our routine, one they need to get used to for the summer ahead. But what about other ways to protection our skin from the sun’s harsh rays? May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and it has certainly touched many people’s lives. Today I want to share some ways to protect your skin beyond reaching for the bottle of sunscreen.

Sun Protection Beyond the Bottle

Umbrellas

  • Find yourself a fabulous umbrella for the beach. Make sure it has an UPF rating of 50+. (UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor)
  • The Coolibar Umbrella here is our family favorite. You can see at least 4 of them lined up at our beach spot all summer long with multiple families sharing the cool shade. It’s worth the price.

UPF Clothing

  • There is now a wide variety of choices in clothing with built-inUPF ratings of 50+.
    • Coolibar has womens, mens, kids and babies
    • Athleta and Title Nine also have options now for working out and some beach cover-ups.
    • Mott50 has fashion forward choices, including this awesome infinity scarf accessory.

Mott50 Infinity scarf

 

Hats

  • There are so many choices in fabrics…straw, canvas, and so on.
  • The key is to find one that will cover your ears, one of the top spots for skin cancer to form.
  • Find one with a brim large enough to give you lots of coverage, but not so much that it’s droopy and impedes your peripheral vision. (I had that issue once and it was so annoying while watching the kids at the beach.)

Kids Surf Suits

Kids UPF Surf Suit

  • The adorable surf suits make playing outside all day so much easier for both kids and parents. Less sunscreen is needed and some cover from the neck all the way to the ankles. (both suits at Coolibar.com)
  • These suits are generally good for one season and not great as hand-me-downs. The fabric often gets stretched out from sand, salt and the sun and you can’t rely on the same level of sun protection.

Hydration

  • A friendly reminder to stay hydrated while hanging out in the sun. Treat yourself and the kids to new water bottles this summer to encourage lots of water intake. Flavor the water with fresh fruit or cucumbers and keep it chilled.

Stay safe as you enjoy the warm summer months! Sunscreen will always be helpful but I love that there are all these other options now to help us protect our skin from the sun.

Disclosure: Coolibar provided our family product in exchange for this post. We have been loyal shoppers of Coolibar for years and all opinions shared here are my own. Throughout May, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Coolibar is giving the American Cancer Society $1 for every order placed. As an added incentive, they are also offering 15% off the entire order using the code ACS15.

8 Ways to Make Stitch Fix Work Better for You

Over the past year, Stitch Fix has become part of the busy woman’s vocabulary. No time to shop? Stitch Fix will do it for you. Looking to update your wardrobe post baby? Stitch Fix can do that too. Yet despite how amazing the program is, many women are still struggling to make it work for them. When I’m wearing a fun novelty sweater, my friends will now say, “That’s a Stitch Fix isn’t it? Why don’t I get stuff like that?” Everyone loves the idea of it, but some need to guidance of how to work for them.

Stitch Fix has given me a closet I love. I walk in and it takes me very little time to get dressed. I have options for dressier gatherings, but also chic everyday clothes. I truly enjoy each piece I have decided to keep and they bring me joy. (yes, I have read this book, and now reading her second.)

Today I’m going to share some tips on how to make Stitch Fix work better for you. It’s still a fairly new company so things continue to be updated and allow for more communication with the stylists. There are lots of different places where you can make your opinions known, loud and clear.

Take the time to fully update your StitchFix Profile to make it work for you.

Take some time to fill out your Style Profile, but remember to come back to it occasionally to see if it still makes sense.

 

1. Style Profile: spend some time filling this out. I think it should take no less than 10 minutes to fill it out for the first time. This is where you fill out the info for your size, style preference (based on image collages) and needs.

2. Style Profile: for returning customers, continue to go back into your Profile. New questions get added by the company, including ones regarding Petite sizing and are you are Pregnant.

3. If you really want more clothes to choose from, select the jewelry from the list of items you do not want them to send you. I have never received any bracelets/earrings/necklaces and instead get a lot more clothing items to choose from. (my accessory exceptions are handbags and scarves)

The note to Stylist is the best place to give specific feedback for your next StitchFix box.

4. Note for your Stylist. This is a fun place to be specific about what you want to see in your next Fix. You can always get to this by signing in to your account if you have a fix scheduled. Go to your Home tab and enter details of what you need in the note. This is the place to remind the stylist that you don’t want sleeveless, have a long torso, looking for cardigans, hate cardigans, etc. I am specific here about what is appropriate seasonally. Living in the Boston area and still looking at snow, I don’t need anything too summery yet. I share that I need transitional items that lend themselves to layering. Living down South, you may be ready for sleeveless tops and cute dresses.

Create a Pinterest board to help your StitchFix stylist

5. Creating a Pinterest board to help guide your Stylist. I had one started long before Stitch Fix arrived at my doorstep and had hundreds of pins to help share my style with my stylist. (Thank you Michelle!) Start your own and see what outfits make you smile. You can search Pinterest for ideas, head to the women’s fashion section, or pin directly from J. Crew or other shopping site. You can follow my Pinterest board below and scroll through to take a peek at what I’m saving to share with my stylist.

 

Use the StitchFix checkout area to give specific feedback about your box.

6. When you checkout your box, be very specific in the feedback. This is your chance to say if you have a long torso and need longer length tops. Same for bottoms. Got something you really didn’t like? Tell them what it is? The shape, the print, the feel of the fabric, the color, the length? There are so many things that make a piece of clothing work for someone, but it may not work for you. Let your stylist know.

7. Share Stitch Fix with your friends and if they purchase a box, you get $25 in free clothes. Lovely, right. This is my affiliate link and I have been able to get a few credits to help update my closet the past 18 months of using Stitch Fix. It’s no cost to you either and is easy to share online with friends and family once you have a profile.

8. Stick with the same stylist once you find one that gets your style. I’ve had the same one for 7 of my 10 fixes. She knows I’m partial to navy and green and novelty printed tops. Is it always 100% keep? No, but I’ve had at least 4 100% keep boxes, which is great because you get an additional 25% off. I have friends that will keep item #5 and then barter with friends to trade! This may not always be accommodated, but it’s great when you find a match.

Declutter your closet with Stitch Fix

Are you ready to streamline your closet so you only see items you love? Head here.

Stitch Fix has been great for this busy mom. Not only do I save time by not having to shop around for clothes, but I can try them on at home and then drop anything I don’t want to keep on my doorstep for the mailman to return. So easy. I also recommend keeping the styling cards that come with each item. Over time, it is helpful to go back and relook at how an item can be repurposed for different occasions.

Head over to Stitch Fix and schedule your box today! This month I coordinated my delivery with a friend so we can trade items if something doesn’t work for us. It’s a Stitch Fix Swap!

p.s. Have you seen my favorite picks for fun Fall Fashion? Head over here to check it out. And now the Winter Survival Guide is live too!

If you have already finished your holiday shopping, lucky you. For everyone else, here’s some great gift ideas for kids if you are still on the holiday hunt for the perfect present. After a recent trip to Magic Beans, at Linden Square in Wellesley, I got a sneak peek some of the bestselling toys this year.

Top Holiday Toy Picks

 

 

1. Sands Alive!: made of crushed seashells and mineral oil. It doesn’t dry out and doesn’t make a mess. Plus I love that it’s antibacterial.

2.Goldie Blox  Starring the lovely inventor Goldie, these sets build on spatial skills, basic engineering principles and problem solving confidence.

3.MindWare Contraptions 50 Plank Set: for ages 7+. Perfect for the tinkerers in your life.

4.MindWare Q-BA-MAZE 2.0  Great for ages 6+. Lots of fine motor skill development. I look forward to the day when marbles are acceptable in our house!

5.Battle Sheep Game: the board game is new every time you play. Reminds me a little of our favorite grown up game Carcassonne .

6. Two games that encourage working together:Feed the Woozle and The Great Cheese Chase. No more sibling squabbles.

7.SmartMax Set : I can picture all three of my kids playing with this. It grows with your child and offers a bunch of different building ideas. 

The top bestseller according to Magic Beans is….Super Stadium Baseball Game
super stadium baseball game

 

One last shout out for some PBS Kids toys on the shelves this season. PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market announced a partnership that will bring PBS KIDS’ line of educational and earth-friendly toys exclusively to the supermarket’s customers this holiday season. PBS KIDS’ new line of products is designed to inspire creative curiosity, while supporting the development of healthy, happy kids. 100% of PBS KIDS’ net proceeds will benefit the media brand’s mission of empowering children through knowledge, critical thinking and imagination, while Whole Foods Market will donate one percent of total sales, up to $25,000, to Whole Kids Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving children’s nutrition and wellness.

Scoots

 

Disclosure: You can find a number of these toys at your local Magic Beans or online at mbeans.com or via Amazon. Links in this post are to Amazon, if you purchase through them you help support this website at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!

 

 

The magic of the holiday season can get lost when we stress about buying gifts. As we get caught up in the frenzy of generosity, it can be a challenge to slow down and find meaningful gifts. This week I had the opportunity to stroll through the variety of shops in Wellesley’s Linden Square. What a delight it was to talk to shop owners, get some personal attention and NOT fight for parking. Plus there is even a holiday gift guide to help figure out those holes on your list.

I had shopped Linden Square before, but usually it was due to a trip to Roche Brothers or The Cottage Restaurant. (best birthday brunch ever there!) On the shopping stroll, I got to check out a bunch of stores I had never been into, plus some old favorites.

Roosters: Upscale men’s grooming center. I could see my husband visiting here and really appreciate that Roosters is open on Sundays. For the holidays, check out their father and son package. They are also located in MA on Tremont Street in Boston and also in Lynnfield.
Shop Linden Square

Salon Maleah: a salon that focuses on hair only, with some excellent colorists. I loved getting my hair done into the “holiday twist.” The stylist taught us the bobby pins should be positioned so the bumpy side is against the scalp. Turns out I’ve been using them wrong my whole life! Salon Maleah is offering a holiday blow dry bundle special for the holidays!
Magic Beans shopping Linen Square
Magic Beans: toy store and so much more. I used to shop Magic Beans when I was first having babies and relied on some of their stroller experts to help me find the right ones. I really thought of it as a store for infants and toddler needs. I was happy to discover Magic Beans has a huge assortment of games for kids up to age 14!  They have GoldieBlox for ages 4-12, depending on the kit. Board games, building sets, arts and crafts and classic Brio trains. I got a crash course on the holiday hot list and hope to share some ideas if you are still in shopping mode! Don’t forget they offer gift wrap year round too.
 Shop Linden Square Shop Linden Square
Kenzie: the place to shop when your daughter doesn’t want to shop a “kids” store. They offer a tween line, but now added a women’s line due to popular demand. What started as baby and kids clothing 28 yrs ago in Coolidge Corner has turned into a focused assortment for girls ages 7-14. I really enjoyed this store and look forward to bringing Madison there when she is a little older. The holiday dress assortment was just lovely, and the sportswear was full of pop colors and fun silhouettes. (p.s. Kenzie is carrying the skiwear line Bogner if you are in the market!)
Shop Linden Square
Step to the next store over and you will find yourself in Tiny Hanger. Clothes, adorable shoes (oh, the shoes) and select toys for kids, infant through 6x. For the special little ones on your holiday shopping list, you can find some unique gift items that both mom and kids will enjoy.
Shop Linden Square
Sara Campbell: my surprise favorite shop. I always love a good assortment of cashmere for the holidays in a rainbow of colors and Sara Campbell delivered. From their versatile ruanas, to a beautiful pullover, there are plenty of gift options for that wow factor under the tree. Aside from the cashmere, my favorite item there was the charcoal grey scarf trimmed with rabbit fur. Just gorgeous.
Shop Linden Square at Bonsoir
Bonsoir: time to make your home shine for the holidays. There was a lot of beautiful, and delicate items in the store. Thankfully the staff at Bonsoir showed me some kid-proof ideas for holiday decorating. Two new fabrics for dressing the table are coated cloth and the French Green Sweet. Spilled drinks will be your enemy no more. Dress it up with a rhinestone runner and your table is good to go.
Bella Sante: Lovely spa for all your relaxation needs. Need to give your husband a gift idea? Try the 5 Elements Treatment. Two hours of bliss. Sign me up. Plus you can get $25 spa dollars to spend on products for every $200 gift card.
Shop Linden Square
Tobey Grey: 13 denim lines for your shopping pleasure. They even have denim for your guy! Tobey Grey had some fun holiday tops too if you haven’t picked on out for parties this month.
Have you shopped Wellesley’s Linden Square? Happy holiday shopping!
Disclosure: I attended a media shopping event to help facilitate this story. All opinions shared here are my own. 

Kiwi Crate Family Brands >>
Our kids are long time fans of Kiwi Crates since they first came to market a couple years ago. The novelty of craft kits arriving in the mail for them was so fun. It’s the same feeling I get when my blue Stitch Fix box arrives on the doorstep. In case you haven’t visited them in awhile, their assortment of crates has broadened to meet a growing demand from both younger and older children. {Plus they have a great Black Friday deal happening too! Tell those grandparents and extended family about the deal!}

Koala Crate

New group of crafts geared for children ages 3-4. This is great for when you have a wider age range of kids and the second sibling crate won’t work for both kids.

Kiwi Crate

The original is for kids ages 4-8. Hands on fun, right at your doorstep. We still have our Penguin bowling set in our Christmas decoration box. It was too cute to recycle!

Tinker Crate

This is one of the new ones for older kids, ages 9-14+. As your kids are exposed to STEAM at school, the Tinker Crate will be a fun compliment. It’s a blend of creativity plus utilizing problem solving skills.

Doodle Crate

I can’t wait to get this for Madison when she gets a little older. It’s such a cool crafting kit…I see it as encouraging a whole new generation of Etsy sellers. This one is also for ages 9-16+.

 

For any of the Crates, you can get or give a 3 month, 6 month or 12 month subscription.

Shop Black Friday Sale For 60% off your first month of any Kiwi Crate, use code: MERRYSUB

 

Disclosure~ some links are affiliate links. I only share products I use (and love!) with my readers. Happy shopping!