My dogs are basically furry toddlers with old souls and huge hearts! So it comes to no surprise that I’m invested in their wellness and overall happiness. I can facilitate that in a more natural way with essential oils!
The first time I used essential oils for my dogs I made a spray mixture to keep bugs away when the dogs are enjoying the outdoors with us. It smelled great to me (not the bugs!) and worked well so I became curious of additional uses. I did some research, and wouldn’t you know that OF COURSE they’re good for our pets, just as they are for us!
Young Living essential oils are the ONLY oils I trust. This infographic is a great place to start, giving general guidelines when using oils for your pets.
I look forward to sharing the many ways I’ve incorporated essential oils into my pet’s lives for their wellness and happiness. Feel free to comment if you have additional tips!
Happy Hump Day! Monday is behind us, and the weekend is just in sight. Today I’ll be trying my hand at pyrography, also known as wood burning! I’ve had an instruction booklet, wood burning kit and wood for a while now. Initially, I wanted to carve me and my husband’s name into the large piece of wood and later carve our initials into our oak tree outside because it was our fifth wedding anniversary! Well, after I started reading up on it I realized wood burning may not be as easy as I had anticipated. It’s okay, hubby said we could still celebrate “wood” on EVERY anniversary, ha!
Woodburning With Style: This is a contemporary, instructional guide book to teach you the basics and set you on your way to making beautiful pieces of wooden art.
Walnut Hollow Creative Versa-Tool: This multi-use tool has all kinds of options and functions that can not only be used for wood burning, but also for leather crafting, stamping, paper crafting and more!
Even the most vigilant person can occasionally comes across back strain. Young, old, sedentary, athletic…doesn’t matter. Sometimes your back is just going to tell you when enough is enough! Below are the Top 5 items or tips I use to soothe my back without medication.
1. EPSOM SALT & BAKING SODA BATH SOAK: Relieve aches and pains by raising the magnesium levels in your body naturally! My personal recipe is to use 1 cup epsom salt, 1 cup baking soda (it increases absorption of minerals & helps neutralize chemicals like chlorine) and 6-8 drops of my favorite Young Living essential oils. Why not reap the benefits of essential oils while soaking up relief? Here’s a bonus recipe for you!
2. BALANCE BALL CHAIR: They may look and feel funny at first, but these chairs can improve posture and work your core muscles! That’s a whole lot better than weakening your core muscles by constantly sitting isn’t it? I use Gaiam Custom Fit Adjustable Balance Ball Chair. And because I like things pretty, I also purchased a Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Cover to match the room decor!
3. SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE a.k.a. a FOAM ROLLER: Foam rollers are a fantastic alternative to a deep tissue massage when you’re short on time or funds. It will also assist to smooth out trigger points (knots) in your muscles and increase circulation/blood flow to the soft tissue areas. See the one I use here.
4. TENS UNIT: If you don’t know what a TENS Unit is and suffer from pain, your life is about to change! Honestly, this is one of my favorite ways to alleviate pain and discomfort. The unit provides electric stimulation to targeted areas for pain relief. I use the Omron Electrotherapy Max Power Relief and WiTouch Wireless TENS on the regular!
5. SULFURZYME: Sulfurzyme powder is a mix of wolfberry and MSM, an organic dietary sulfur that helps protect cells and connective tissue. All I’m going to say is THIS STUFF WORKS for me! Sulfurzyme is a product of Young Living. If you’re interested in essential oils, please visit the Essential Oils section here on A Plot Twist Life!
LEGS UP THE WALL POSE (VIPARITA KARANI): This inversion is a deeply nourishing and restorative yoga pose for mind and body. Place a bolster or roll up a blanket and rest it under your bottom to elevate the pelvis, then slide your legs up the wall, lay back and rest in place for 5-15 minutes.
I hope these items and tips help you as much as they’ve helped me! Please keep in mind that I am speaking from personal experience and this should in no way be used to diagnose, treat or cure abnormal conditions of the body.
Did any of your favorite Top 5 make the list? Let me know in the comments below!
I have been practicing yoga since 2007, teaching yoga since 2010 and will gladly be a student of yoga forever!
My first class was hot yoga, 98.6 degrees, hard as all get out, and I. was. hooked. !!!
The benefits I received from a regular yoga practice changed my life in such an incredible way that I wanted to share it with everyone around me. I kicked that 9-5 job to the curb and haven’t looked back! Actually it wasn’t quite that simple, but that’s for another blog post someday.
Below are my TOP 5 reasons to practice yoga:
1. It makes me happy! We all know exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make us happy! <- Channeling my inner Elle from Legally Blonde 😉 I have never been a huge fan of the gym or high impact cardio. I get winded just running to the mailbox to see if my Amazon orders have arrived! Teehee. Seriously though, pretty much ANYONE can do yoga. It’s not about being bendy. Even on the most basic level, western yoga is about moving your body. Do you have back pain, arthritis, or other conditions you think are holding you back? Me too. It’s okay. Get on your mat! (Check with your doctor first of course for ANY medical issues. This is simply my experience.)
2. It gets me out of my head. That’s right. The hamster wheel upstairs is always spinning. The hamster wheel spins from the moment these peepers gratefully open each morning til I lay my head to rest at night. But for however long I practice yoga, the wheel stops. The wheel ceases to exist for that short amount of time b/c I’m so focused on the postures and listening to what my body is saying to me. Getting out of my own head is seriously EVERYTHING! I call my practice ‘my moving meditation.’
3. Yoga makes me taller! It’s true, I pinky promise!! When practiced correctly, certain poses can decompress the spine and discs causing pain reduction and elongation…which means yep, taller! Better posture, added height and decreased back pain giving me an all-around more pleasant presence? Yes, please.
See my forearms pressed to the road as my toes reach towards the sky? That’s elongating my spine AND decompressing…upside down! See that deep bend in my back though? That means I need to reach higher!! 😀 No worries, there are many postures that will give the same benefits without being on your head!
4. It reduces pain. (As previously mentioned in #3 above.) Over time, the mind-body connection can become quite strong. When you know which parts of your body are weak and which parts are overworked, you can tailor your practice to bring the body back into balance. Balance makes for a happy and healthy yogi!
5. Yoga calms me down. Hello! My name is Kelli, and I have a lot of feelings. 🙂 I tend to carry those feelings in my body. Whether it’s flutters in my tummy, that sinking feeling in my gut, an ache in my heart or joy in my soul…I can be still and simply feel or process my emotions one pose at a time, one breath at a time and just be.
I wasn’t really levitating you silly geese! Yoga does make me feel light as air though!!
There are SO many more than 5 reasons as to why I love yoga, and I look forward to sharing my yoga journey with you here on A Plot Twist Life!
Do you yoga? I’d love to know about your TOP reasons! Please feel free to share in the comments below.
I am SO in love with air plants right now! My thumb isn’t exactly green, and unfortunately some of my houseplants have bit the dust…err dirt. 😉
Bringing the outside in can certainly brighten up a home! Plants have now become a huge MUST for me when decorating. Air plants are so simple and lovely! You can put them just about anywhere and care is minimal.
Air plants or Tillandsia are plants that do not require soil for growth. They absorb nutrients through their leaves.
TIPS FOR AIR PLANT CARE:
Soak the leaves in rain water, filtered water, or let your tap water sit out overnight (to avoid as much chlorine as possible). Do this once per week for approximately an hour. I’ve read variances from thirty minutes to an hour and a half. Play around with your air plants to see what works best. For me, it’s an hour or less. Over-soaking will lead to the death of your plant. Once you’ve soaked them, place them in an area with good circulation to dry. I set mine out under the fan for about two hours.
Air plants need bright, but indirect light so place a few feet away from windows facing E/W and fluorescent lights.
Use a water soluble fertilizer in small doses if you want to stimulate growth.
Now that you know how to care for your air plants, let’s get to the fun part:
DECORATING WITH THEM! WHOO!!!
Since these plants are rootless there are more options for decor and placement!
Use a vase for a traditional look as shown above and below.
Find interesting nooks and crannies in your existing decor to let these little plants pop out of, like this wood carving above!
Feeling the boho vibe? Hang your air plants from a N/S window sill with string or cord.
Or place them on your wall in creative ways! Above, I placed two plants on top of the wooden piece which not only looks great, but camouflages the hardware. I placed one on a wooden coaster and simply secured it with gold string I had on hand. Lastly, I wrapped a faux leather headband around the root of the long plant and hooked it to the wall! 😀
I would love to hear about your experiences and decor ideas with air plants. Let me know in the comments below!
The kids are back in school for the new year! We got in the spirit yesterday by watching the movie Grease! Now, another summer in the books and a new year of growing, learning and making memories for all. I’m just so dang proud of our kids as I see them becoming unique, intelligent and kind little adults. ❤
Now, we all know that back to school does not really mean back to You as this blog title suggests. Even by tonight we might find ourselves shopping for new, class specific supplies or a different pair of gym shorts. You know I’m right!
But hey, who says back to school can’t be about you a little bit? Take some time today to do something kind for yourself. Appreciate all that you do day in and day out! INDULGE in one thing or many things you adore!!
Here’s what I did for myself today:
Woke up an hour earlier. You’re probably thinking, “Umm…not fun!” I have a good reason though, promise. First day back to school is exciting but can also be a bit hectic in the morning. Ahh…I remember how everything seemed life or death and how I always wanted the first day to be perfect. It seems like it was just yesterday…
Ha! I guess it wasn’t judging by that computer on the desk!!
Anywho, I wanted to wake up, have a nice cup of coffee and a little “me time” before the rest of the house arose. I specifically chose this mug from our honeymoon in Costa Rica b/c it instantly made me smile and think of that beautiful time. It’s the little things that make life so lovely to me. ❤
Took a luxurious bath! Yes, I’m totally serious. Really. On a week day. On the kid’s first day of school…before they woke up. It was awesome. Young Living’s Lavender Bath & Shower gel is luscious and oh, so soothing!
As I sipped my coffee, I diffused Young Living’s Clarity to help keep me on task for the morning ahead. I also picked up “instant Happy” by Karen Salmansohn.
This book is filled with “10 second attitude makeovers” for a brighter and more fabulous you! It’s one of my handy positivity books. I flipped open the book and the pages read:
“Every day is a new opportunity to change your life. You have the power to say ‘This is not how my story ends.’ You have the power to rewrite your destiny.”
I immediately related this to today…not the “how my story ends” part, but how EVERY day is a new opportunity to change your life. Each school year is a new opportunity for kids to reinvent themselves, make new friends, find new interests. It’s a fresh start! And heck, why do kids get all the good stuff? 😀 We adults can do the very same thing. In fact, anyone can have this opportunity any day if they choose to! It took me a loooong time to figure that out, and I often forget. Today, I chose to take care of me as well, and that’s okay! Taking care of ourselves allows us to be our best selves. I didn’t change my life in any drastic way today, but I intentionally set out on a positive note which will certainly keep me more centered and positive throughout the day. If I keep setting this intention then my life will certainly be happier because practice makes perfect! We all affect the people around us, so these positive intentions will ripple through life and relationships.
That’s some serious Monday Magic!
Even if you don’t have kids, PAMPER YO SELF! YOU DESERVE IT. You might need it if you didn’t account for all the school zones on the way to work this morning. 😉
I’d love to hear about the different ways you take care of you! Let me know in the comments below. Whatever it is, MAKE IT MAGICAL, teehee!
I couldn’t wait another minute to share the amazing Mid Century Modern finds we stumbled upon right here in the neighborhood last weekend! I love how life gives you what you need when you stop looking. Okay, I never REALLY stopped looking. I’m always perusing Craigslist and estate sales for great pieces. But alas, they are mostly too pricey for my budget. However, the fates smiled upon us last week when my husband left the house early to pick up dog food. It’s a minor emergency when the doggies don’t have breakfast. We don’t want a K-9 riot, or better yet…the stare!
Let me tell you, no one gives “the stare” better than a rescue dog! And ahem, all of our dogs are rescues!
Before I get off track on my fur kids, let’s get back to the fantastic furniture! Fortunately, Chuck and I both have a love for Mid Century Modern so we agree MOST of the time on home decor. 🙂
Hubby inherited his father’s coveted George Nelson Herman Miller Walnut Executive Desk. The large, yet beautiful desk demands attention and has been the perfect item to build our home design around.
Several years ago we also purchased a sideboard and Eames inspired lounge chair.
Since then, we had not been able to add to our collection…until now y’all!!
There was a garage sale right around the corner as you leave our neighborhood. It was maybe 8am so the sale was just underway. I won’t say exactly how much we spent, but I will say it was quite a bit less than an iPhone6!!! <Yes, it requires that many explanation points b/c this girl right here is over the moon excited, grateful and still in disbelief at the bargain we received!
Check it out:
This beautiful bedroom suite, including the box spring and rarely before used Thera-Pedic, temperature sensitive, memory touch mattress is in near perfect condition. This mattress has already helped my back pain. Plus, I’m just in love with the knotty wood and warm color. It brightened up our room and has me re-thinking the entire bedroom decor. More DIY and decorating? Happy to do it! 😉
Next, this Drexel side table and TEAC reel to reel audio tape recorder (which is OLD b/c I had to look it up, ha!) Here’s where I start getting supper giddy! :-p
Here we have the Barzilay stereo cabinet with three components: Fisher receiver, Gerrard turntable and a Columbia eight track deck. I’m still squealing!!
Here is a close up of one of the speakers. Please excuse the dust. This was before I cleaned these beauties up!
I can’t believe everything was in such great shape after so many decades, AND the record player works to boot! WOOT!!
Here are the side tables and stools we bought as well.
Last but not least, we also now have an amazing Danish Modern American of Martinsville Hutch. Currently, my dining room has a dining set…and curtains. Now I will have space for my china and it will be visible for all to see and admire (I’ll probably be the one doing most of the admiring, lol!). Oh, and I adore the “x” inlays on the corners of the table top!
Sorry about the reflection. Our dining room windows are shaded by trees so the light was a necessity.
I’m still researching the brands of the other pieces and will update when I find the information. Feel free to chime in on the comments section if you know! 🙂
Ahhh…continuously making a house homier is just the best. Don’t you agree?
Happy, happy day y’all! The weekend is just in sight. One of my favorite things to do on the weekend (or whenever I can squeeze it in really) is to go antiquing!
Today I’d like to shine a light on how ah-maze-balls antique stores can be! My favorite super local one is High Street Antique Mall, http://highstreetdfw.com. If I were to venture farther out into Dallas, my favorite of all time is hands down Lula B’s, http://lulabsdallas.com. I’ve literally been shopping there since I was nineteen years old. Trust me, that’s a long time! If you’re ever out in the Big D, check these places out! You’ll be happy you did. 🙂
Full disclosure, I am a Mid-Century Modern gal with bohemian flair…IF you had to box me into one category. However, I love other eras and you’ll often see various influences in my crafts and design choices.
Speaking of bohemian flare, check out these GORGEOUS agate rings I found just the other day at my local antique store! These rings are unique, gorgeous and fantastic conversation starters!
Also, I LOVE taking pictures! I want to capture every memory to look back fondly on one day. ❤ This is what sparked my interest in vintage cameras. My collection is quite small right now, but I found these gems at my local antique store.
Despite my love for antique/vintage, I certainly do enjoy keeping up with the newest in technology, especially when it reminds me of the old just like this Kodak Instax Mini!
…and it’s adorable case.
The older cameras will look fabulous with my new MCM furniture! This table is just a peak at the over the moon deal my husband found at a garage sale right around the corner!
I mean seriously, I squealed with delight while doing a little hop-jiggy dance and clapping my hands! 😍 It was just like one of those myths you hear about…just happening upon a garage sale as it’s opening to find MCM furniture in beautiful shape at a knock your socks off, blow your mind price! I mean, those things only happen to other people right?!
Well, keep antiquing, thrifting and garage sale hunting peeps b/c there are diamonds in the rough all around. We just have to be willing to put that extra effort in! I can not wait to show you our amazing MCM finds in a future post.
Welcome to our second edition of Magic Mondays. I hope you had a lovely weekend filled with love, fun and maybe some plot twists along the way. 😉
How did Monday get here again so quickly? Friday takes forever, but Monday? Nope, it’s always there lurking in the shadows..shudder.
It’s okay though because I’m here to provide five tips that might make today run smoother! These tips work for any day really, but come on…we all know Monday’s are the poo!
Get to bed early on Sunday night. For many, Sunday night still feels like an extension of the weekend so we continue to occupy ourselves later than usual with anything other than winding down. Turn the lights down about two hours prior to bedtime and do your best to let those electronics rest up to an hour before shut eye. Take a cue from my foster puppy Radar here. Curl up & sweet dreams!
Get up 20-30 minutes earlier than normal. Honestly, I have done this for years (not by any means perfect of course) because I need that quiet time before everyone else wakes up and the (loving) mayhem begins! TIP If you have children, now is a good time to start waking them up early in preparation for the new school year.
Make that extra time count! Don’t work or make lunches or “all those errands that will never get done otherwise.” Make this time your’s! You deserve it by golly! Preset your coffeemaker so it’s ready when you wake up. Sip your coffee or morning beverage of choice slowly and quietly on the patio while enjoying the beautiful sunrise, journaling, meditating or even doing a little yoga. Heck, grab your coffee, hop back in bed and catch up on your DVR shows if that makes you happy!
Here are a few of the ways I enjoy spending my sweet alone time upon waking. From left to right, ‘Instant Happy’ by Karen Salmansohn. This is a wonderful little book that will pick you up after reading just one page! Next, my beloved Snoopy journal..to not only write about the blegh stuff in my life but the good as well. Next, my T-Rex mug. Reminds me of my ROAR!! ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler. I have not had the opportunity to finish this book, but so far it’s relatable, enjoyable and funny! Last but not least, ‘Tangle Art Pack.’ This is a meditative drawing book. IT’S SO MUCH MORE THOUGH! I have so enjoyed the abstract drawings I’ve created with this book. 🙂
Begin your week with a fresh, glowing face! Have you read your baking soda box lately? A lot of them say that mixing baking soda with water makes a great face wash. Well, I’m going to take that one step further and let you know that mixing a dab of coconut oil with about a 1/2-1 teaspoon of baking soda makes an exfoliating, mild scrub that will leave your face feeling so soft you won’t even want to put make-up on! If you’re into essential oils, take this one more step further and add one drop of Frankincense (Young Living is the only brand I trust) to your mixture. I started doing this once a week, and now I’m up to three times a week. It’s gentle, makes my face uber happy and kissably soft!
The summer break is almost over. Make it count! Create some time in your schedule to play games or hang out by the pool with the kids. They’ll be back to the grind before you know it. That might sound awesome right now, but you might miss them. I know I will! 🙂
I have a lot more tips up my sleeve, but Magic Mondays is a series I hope to cultivate joy and inspiration over time that can easily be applied to every day life!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Please feel free to comment below about this post or leave a comment in the Guestbook, located in the top menu.
When I was younger, I did not appreciate DIY or homemade gifts the way I do now. The young me internally thought, “Umm…you could’ve just gotten me the gift card I asked for.” Ha! I was a little high maintenance (My husband might say I still am). crickets chirping. I blame ‘only child syndrome’. 😉 Well anyway, with age comes wisdom. With age also comes times in life when funds are tight. I am so grateful now for those times because it forced me to be creative! And yes, I do mean forced because I was a self proclaimed “un-creative.”
Now that I’ve given gifts I’ve made, I understand the thought, time and love those gifts represent. That person cared enough to create something for me that took time and effort away from other people or tasks in their life. Now don’t worry, I still LOVE gift cards and receiving gifts that I’ve asked for! 😀 In tough times (or not) though, it’s nice to give and receive a thoughtful, homemade gift to show that special someone just how much you care!
Below are my top five fantastic DIY gifts for him…
1. Favorite Song Wall Art: Maybe it’s your wedding song, a song that is a private joke between the two of you (Like Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ for me and Chuck) or just a song that you know he loves! Whatever it is, write out the lyrics in your own handwriting (I think handwriting as opposed to stencils is much more personal for this project) on canvas to create a great piece of wall art that reminds the recipient of that wonderful memory you shared together.
Stretched canvas – size and color of your choice (I used 15×30 Artist’s Loft black canvas)
Metallic Chalk Markers (I used Craft Smart)
Song Lyrics of your choice (check online to make sure you have the correct song lyrics before you get started) Better to be safe than sorry!
Okay, so I did a little bit of a cheat with how I spaced out my lyrics. I wrote them out as they were shown on the lyrics site. I did this a while go and unfortunately can not remember the name of the site. There are a lot of websites out there to look up song lyrics though so you should be able to find one without difficulty. This saved me a lot of time trying to figuring out measurements. Numbers…Yuck!
I measured out the number of lines needed for the song and drew the FAINTEST lines possible with my pencil. I wrote the name of the song at the top in the light blue metallic marker shade. Next, I wrote the lyrics in silver. At the bottom, I wrote a special note for the recipient, i.e. My hubby. 🙂
Unfortunately, you can see a bit of the pencil lines in this well lit photo. However, you can not see them at all in our bedroom. Also, I did not seal this upon completion which is now evident in a few places where the paint has possibly gotten wet and run a bit. Boo! SO…my tip as a newbie DIYer: ALWAYS seal your artwork. 🙂
Regardless, the hubby absolutely loved this gift and it’s meaning. Beauty is in the imperfections riiiight??
2. Handwritten Card or Note: This seems like, duh right?! BUT if you’re more the funny card kinda gal then this will be a welcomed and appreciated card for your loved one. By gone are the days of a written love letter or telegram. Purchase a thoughtful card and continue the notion with your own words or use a blank card or even a handmade card! Spilling your heart out on paper may seem daunting, but my bet is the recipient will keep that card and read it again occasionally for a smile. 🙂 If not, lose him. You don’t need unsentimental people that don’t hoard Hallmark cards and look back on them occasionally for nostalgia in your life! 😉
3. DIY Massage Oil: Essential oils are not just for women. Men certainly benefit from the therapeutic uses, and there are many scents he’ll enjoy! I created this blend especially for Chuck (hubby) for it’s earthy, masculine aroma and benefits each oil brings to him.
Dark glass bottle (I used a leftover glass, massage oil bottle from a bath and beauty store)
Carrier oil of choice (I used Now Solutions Almond Oil)
30 drops Idaho Blue Spruce – Relaxing, can be emotionally balancing and a wonderful aphrodisiac (wink, wink…it works!!) 🙂
25 drops Cedarwood – Calming, anti-spasmodic (great for Restless Legs Syndrome) with a woodsy, pleasant scent
25 drops Stress Away – a blend to help wind down
25 drops Copaiba – Relaxing to aches and pains. Also amplifies the benefits of all other oils combined with it!
15 drops Cypress – Can benefit circulation, herniated discs, arthritis, etc.
15 drops Lavender – Overall calming and soothing
Combine carrier oil and essential oils into a dark glass container. Essential oils are heat sensitive so it’s best to keep in a dark container if possible. If not, please keep in a cool, dark place. You could also paint the outside of your bottle or wrap it in Washi Tape!
I only trust Young Living Essential Oils. Please do your research on oils before purchasing and using. Stay tuned for a post about why Young Living is how I choose to care for my family in SO MANY ways!
Not only will your beloved appreciate this homemade massage oil, but he’ll LOVE the future massages in store. 🙂
4. Frame an Old Family Photo: My husband had this ADORABLE and large baby photo. Professional matting was outrageous in my humble opinion so I did it myself…mostly.
Because of the picture’s size, it was difficult to find a frame. Therefore, I purchased a frame that held two 5×7 portraits and removed the matting that came with it. I gave it a good go with the matting, but umm…NO. It was a jagged mess. Luckily, I was able to choose a matting and have the framing department cut it to my specifications for less than $10!
The result? Something that made my husband and kids smile and stimulated conversations of childhood nostalgia. My in-laws loved it as well. sky punch!
5. Picture Collage for Men:
I absolutely love capturing our lives in photographs. It’s like getting to revisit wonderful moments in time whenever you’d like! I chose a large, rustic frame with chicken wire and small laundry clips at Michael’s Craft Store for 50% off. I proceeded to print out pictures of us in wallet size along with many, many Instagram photos! It was great to look through all the years of photos and reminisce about the time we’ve shared together.
I MAY have gone a little photo crazy on this project. 🙂
I hope these five awesome, homemade gifts inspire you to create something personal for HIM! And of course, these projects can be tailored for anyone you love. That’s the great part about Doing It Yo Self!!
BEWARE: Upon opening gifts expect conversation, laughing, maybe a little crying and definitely cuddling! ❤
Remember, it’s not the size or price of the gift that matters. It’s the massive and priceless love and joy you share together that counts!