Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hunting Season

As many know, my husband and I are avid hunters. The time and work put into hunting makes it one of the most rewarding gifts when harvesting a deer. Like we hunted growing up, we use the venison meat harvested to feed our family. It's not a sport, but a way of life.

Nick often reads up on the latest and greatest hunting skills, techniques, best times to hunt and so on. The list could literally go on and on. He recently read an article by Jeff Sturgis called "The Rut Revised". Jeff is from Whitetail Habitat Solutions. This article lead Nick to go about his hunting night in a particular way on September 19, 2015. 

Below is an article written by Gerry Bethge on regarding Nick's exciting journey leading to his 216 Wisconsin Whitetail. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Laundry Soap

What about the Laundry Soap? It's pretty spectacular if you ask me. I love the fresh scent and the clothes are nice and clean... oh and it's natural! A whopping 60+ loads come out of this bottle that is smaller than your typical laundry soap bottle. Why not go all natural? #YL #thieveslaundrysoap #allnatural

Dish Soap

Have you tried the new Young Living Dish Soap? 

Check it out!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Aromatherapy- What's it all about?

The good & bad

What is Aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is known as the use of pure, organic essential oils, derived from plans and trees; for healing. The word ‘aroma’ gives the illusion of inhaling, but that is false, or only half true. Essential oils can be inhaled, massaged and on occasion taken orally; with specific instructions by a trained professional. Essential Oils are gaining more and more attention as the general public has become more educated about harmful ingredients in several other over-the-counter products. Essential oils have become an alternative ‘solution’ or treatment for infections, stress and other health related problems. Scientific evidence has lacked in all areas of essential oils due to lack of consumer education and the deficiency of government funding- as these are not regulated by any form of government agency (FDA, OSHA, etc.)

What are Essential Oils? “Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes, as well as for their spiritually and emotionally uplifting properties.” Young Living is a pure, organic Essential Oil company that has pride in their exclusive seed-to-seal process- guaranteeing nature’s purest essential oils. “Young Living has always been at the forefront of bringing this ancient tradition to modern users, introducing millions to a total mind/body wellness they may never have dreamed possible. Primarily extracted through careful steam distillation but also though cold pressing, the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they were extracted. Any time you hold a bottle of our powerful essential oils, you are holding nature’s pure essence.” Essential oils are highly concentrated, as they are extracted from roots, leaves, seeds, and flower (blossoms) of plants and trees. Each individual organism contains its own unique mixture of active ingredients- responsible for defining the proper use of that oil.

History- Essential oils have been thought of as a 'fad' by many, but in all honesty the facts don’t lie. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, actually dating back approximately 6,000 years. Ancient Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks and Indians are all known to have used and continue using them in cosmetics, perfumes, and drugs. They are used for spiritual ceremonies along with everyday spiritual ‘relief’ and relaxation. Hygienically, essential oils are commonly used as a ‘perfume’ itself along with adding to organic lotions and soaps. Therapeutic use is one of the most common uses for essential oils in modern day society.

How’s it work? Many researchers are not completely certain how aromatherapy works. Some experts believe the human sense of smell as the receptors in the human nose communicate with various parts of the brain, serving as a ‘stockroom’ for emotions and memories. This is why particular essential oils are known for aiding in the prevention or treatment of headaches, sores, etc. When someone breaths essential oils in, it is known to stimulate particular parts of the brain- ultimately having an influence physically, emotionally and mental health related. Researches also think the some molecules from essential oils have the capabilities to interact in the blood; with hormones or enzymes.

The Good: Many clinical studies have indicated aromatherapy to be helpful with Alopecia areata (hair loss), Agitation (possibly including agitation related to dementia), Anxiety, Constipation, Insomnia, Pain, Itching and Psoriasis. There are just a few of the common uses studied. As mentioned previously, essential oils have been used for thousands of years, before technology thought for us. They used what they had available and what worked for them. Scientific research is an ongoing process and continues to grow supporting evidence on the power of pure essential oils. 

The Bad:Pregnant women, people with severe asthma, and people with a history of allergies should only use essential oils under the guidance of a trained professional and with full knowledge of your physician. Pregnant women and people with a history of seizures should avoid hyssop oil. People with high blood pressure should avoid stimulating essential oils, such as rosemary and spike lavender. People with estrogen dependent tumors (such as breast or ovarian cancer) should not use oils with estrogen like compounds such as fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary-sage. People receiving chemotherapy should talk to their doctor before trying aromatherapy.” There are just a few examples of what can go ‘bad’ if not used properly.

My Opinion: I am an independent distributor of Young Living, a pure, organic essential oil company that produces hundreds of products world-wide. I truly believe in the power of these oils, as I have seen them used as well as personally ‘used’ them. I say ‘used’ as a general term because I USE them on a daily basis. It is prohibited to advertise, promote, or simply educate on essential oils as a “cure” or “diagnosis” for anything because essential oils have not been regulated by the government (FDA, OSHA, etc.) That being said, you’ll have to see to believe! If you have any specific questions for how I use these oils in my personal life, contact me via email or by using the Contact Form on the home page.

Unknown. “About Essential Oils.” Young Living Essential Oils. Web. 4 Aug. 2015.

Ehrlich, Steven D. “Aromatherapy.” University of Maryland Medical Center. VeriMed Healthcare Network, 9 Aug. 2011. Web. 4 Aug. 2015.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Light the Fire

Light the Fire

Sound familiar? It's new! Light the Fire is one of the many 'new' Young Living products right now. This essential oils has a striking combination of rich, earthy, and peaceful aromas. D. Gary Young, the founder of Young Living, has specially formulated Light the Fire to have a spicy fragrance that includes several essential oils combined into one. Northern Lights Black Spruce is one of them, which is the first oil to be distilled at the Northern Lights farm in Canada, a new facility. Mastrante and Ocotea are from the Young Living Ecuador farm while Hinoki and Jade Lemon (a personal favorite of mine) are from the Taiwan farm. Nutmeg, Cassia, Canadian Fleabane and Black Pepper are also included in this one of a kind blend. Light the Fire has naturally occurring constitutes just as several other pure, organic Young Living essential oils.

How to Use: Dilute with V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex (1:4 ratio) and apply morning and night over the heart and legs.

Enjoying Light the Fire: Inhale directly from the bottle, dilute and apply to wrists (inspiring aroma), massage on your feet before bed (dilute with V-6), or diffuse for a room of aroma.

Have you used Light the Fire? Let me know how in the comments below!

Want to win a FREE bottle? Use the Contact Form on the homepage, type “Light the Fire” in the message and click send to enter now! Contest ends September 19 at midnight (12:00 AM CST)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Life Insurance- Things to Know

Life Insurance
It doesn't have to be difficult

As many people who have sought to find life insurance, it is a touchy, difficult, confusing, stressful subject. Life insurance has multiple elements that honestly don’t come to attract interest for many people, such as; the plain boring content, expense, and the many conflicts of interest that ‘could’ arise. That is not to mention the complicated process many people think tags along with shopping for insurance.

Purchasing the ‘correct’ amount of life insurance is one of the most crucial mistakes people make when purchasing life insurance, let along auto, dental or health insurance. It’s not necessary to get the most expensive, best coverage or highest amount possible. It’s crucial to get the best plan that works for you and your family.

“According to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association, more than 30 million Generation X and Y households surveyed reported that they needed more life insurance in 012. One-third of wives own no life insurance at all.” That’s scary! Insurance is a touchy subject for all, and it’s no argument that it should be. If you are interested in insurance, great! If you aren’t, that's fine too. I personally suggest you consider when the time is right for you and your family; because unfortunately accidents do happen and we will never know when and where those will happen. Leaving family without the reassurance can be devastating.

The figures of 1/3 of all wives (surveyed) not having insurance is bewildering. Within that same survey, people confirmed the 'peace of mind' life insurance gave them. As I mentioned before, it is no secret that life insurance can leave a family devastated beyond the death of a loved one. The reassurance plays an acute role in the future of loved one’s after death.

Insurance is no doubt stressful, but confusing to say the least. “LIMRA found that the main reason people don’t buy insurance is because they believe they can’t afford it and they have other financial priorities. However, the survey also showed that consumers seriously overestimate the cost of life insurance by as much as threefold.”

YES, YES, YES! I couldn’t agree more. I had the opportunity to continue my education and learn about insurance, as well as have a 'crazy' mother. I mean that with much love. I love her more than I could ever express, but she is by far more informed that I could ever have dreamed about what life throws at you. As I became a young adult, she explained how much insurance cost and why we had to budget from month to month. I can’t lie, I dreaded the day I had to go out on my own with insurance, taxes, and etcetera. In the meantime, she emphasized the importance of having insurance. Yes, you have to budget but no, it won’t break you. You don’t need to have the biggest, best, and most expensive of everything (I think that was a hint outside of our then insurance based conversation too, if you know what I mean). I get it, I really do now! She instilled that it is not as much money as you think as long as you live within your means and shop around. We all know although we don't all admit, living 'within your means' is widely disoriented in today's society; as teenagers 'cannot' live without hairspray or their cell phones as well as much of society cannot find peace within themselves; but that is when we need to really dig deep and look at what is best for ourselves and our families- now and in the future. That’s right, it’s a little work on your end. It’s okay to make the wrong decision when choosing insurance too. It’s one of those ‘live and learn’ experiences sometimes. “10 percent of consumers were concerned about making the wrong decision and 8 percent simply gave up because of a lack of knowledge about insurance.” If you believe, you will achieve.

Take a look at a few basic steps that may help you find insurance, even through tough times:

-          Do you need insurance?
o   As I mentioned previously, life insurance isn’t right for everyone. It just isn’t. Some people will argue it is, but it’s a personal life choice of each individual. Many young adults without dependents opt to go without life insurance. In the meantime, some young adults that plan to have children dependent on them someday opt to buy insurance young to help guarantee them and their dependents future. (Just make sure you are paying your premiums or it is defrauding the entire concept.) It’s not always true that “you should buy insurance young to lock in your premiums.” As a general rule, insurance premiums are determined by your age, gender and risk classification.
-          There are a couple of way to estimate how much insurance you need.
o   Income Replacement: “This approach considers your age and earnings. It generally produces a higher number than a needs-based approach. You start with your age and determine how many years of income you would need to replace in the event of your death. For example, if you are 40 years old, you might decide to buy insurance that would pay 15 to 20 times your yearly income.” This method can be extremely vague, not modifying to your exact circumstances but works well for many people. 
o   Needs-based: “This approach considers your particular situation and assesses the impact of your death on your dependents. Factors to consider include whether your spouse or partner would continue or start to work, the number of children you have, whether there is a mortgage you want to pay off and the cost of educating your children.” It all depends on your circumstances and your needs. I prefer to look at insurance on a 'needs-based' method, but it does take more time and reflection on your life to get it correct. There are several websites that can aide in calculating the amount of insurance that would benefit you too.
-          Determine the type of insurance you need.
o   Term and Cash value insurance are the two 'most basic' types of insurance. Cash value insurance can also be referred to as 'permanent insurance'. Term has no 'investment component', meaning you basically decide how much coverage you want and the period of time you want to be protected. Term insurance generally has lower premiums than permanent insurance; meaning your monthly payment is less. Just because it’s 'cheaper' up front, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best plan for you. In most cases, people spend the difference in what they pay in premiums and what they would be paying for a different plan on non-necessities (shopping, pleasure, etc.). Meanwhile, those with younger children or those in financial binds, term insurance will provide the most coverage for the lowest premium. “By the end of the term, your need for the insurance may be reduced or eliminated.” Remember, don’t settle; you can shop for insurance on custom insurance company websites to find the best option for you.
o   Permanent insurance (Cash-value) is a bit more confusing, but we can work through it! Personal finance plays a big role when looking into a permanent insurance policy. It can be difficult to understand, but be of excellence at the same time! Be sure to find an insurance 'salesperson' that is willing to explain in detail your policy and all your options. You read that right, you have options! “Some insurance salespeople use its complexity to their advantage and attempt to sell high-commission policies when other policies would be more suitable.” Don’t be alarmed, it’s part of life. There will always be people who only look out for themselves and only themselves as the number 1. Doing a bit of research on insurance companies and their history is a great start to knowing where to start. It doesn’t have to be hours of research; simply google a few companies and look into ratings, history, etcetera. You can narrow it down as you go. Be sure to know what 'you want'. I say that vaguely because you don’t necessarily know what 'you want', but more the simple fact of " I want coverage."“If your annual premium for insurance will be $10,000 a year or more, consider retaining a fee-only insurance advisor, one who doesn’t have any financial stake in your decision.” I personally use Thrivent Financial for my life insurance needs because it works for ME. I personally feel my agent works for me, rather than the other way around. “These advisors can save you far more than their fee, and you can feel more assured their advice is objective and in your best interest.”

Again, shop around! Take a few minutes out of your day to look into what your future may and may not hold. Make goals for yourself, both short and long term. This will help you consider what is best for you and your family as well as what truly molds your personal well-being.

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Article Reference:

Dolin, Daniel. “3 Things You Should Know About Life Insurance” US News Money. US News & World Report LP, 18 February 2014. Web. 02 September 2015.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What's New?

Life has been crazy in Wisconsin! Summer throws us rain after rain, hot dry days until the grass is crisp and of course those beautiful summer nights around a campfire. I am still catching up on my blog after a crazy couple of months. I've gotten married, bought a house, made an addition to our family (a puppy), been blessed to stand by one of my best friends as she wed her best friend last weekend, blessed beyond words again to stand by another bestie this weekend and reaching out to October for my brother's wedding! It's been CRAZY to say the least. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and remembering all the little things in life!

Don't forget to make some bug spray for those crisp nights when the mosquitoes come out! See my homemade recipe below!

Nicole's All Natural Insect Repellent

1/2 c. Witch Hazel
8 Drops Young Living Citronella Essential Oil
8 Drops Young Living Lemongrass Essential Oil
6 Drops Young Living Lavender Essential Oil
1 Drop Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients and disperse into small spray bottles using a funnel. Gently shake before each use to ensure contents are mixed thoroughly. 

*This product is DEET free but not government regulated. Please use at your own risk. 

2015 Starter Kit Pricing