Essential Oils For Mamas //

Hey sweet friends! My name is Nicole, wife to my blonde California husband, mama to little Emmett + Gideon!  We live in Los Angeles where we love spending family afternoons at the beach. In the cracks of time throughout my days, I am building a wellness community with women around the world with the focused on health + natural living through essential oils.
Right after Gideon was born, a friend shared a bottle of Young Living lavender + thieves essential oils with us + it didn't take long for me to fall in love with these little bottles of plant goodness.  What a gift to use God-given nature to support the health + wellness in our family!  We have gone on to learn ways to use oils to clear the toxins from our home in cleaning, body + beauty products + it feels so good knowing that our home isn't a chemical landmine for bodies of our littlest guys!!  I couldn't be more grateful for how they have simplified our living in so many ways.

I am really excited to share three simple tips on ways we love using oils in our home each day.
1 // Diffuse Diffuse Diffuse // Diffusing essential oils is on the simplest + safe ways to use around your little ones.  Be sure you are only using the highest quality essential oils // we have found Young Living to be the best brand because of this amazing promise of purity // in a cool mist diffuser to be sure the oils aren't damaged by heat.

I love diffusing calming oils in the nursery during naptime to help the babies rest well, immune supporting oils to keep us healthy + strong throughout the year + of course cleansing oils to keep all the stinky baby boys smells at bay. haha

I also have found many essential oils to be supportive for my postpartum emotions as well as creating an uplifting environment in our home.

2 // Thieves Household Cleaner // I need simple when it comes to cleaning my house because let's be honest.  I don't have time for intense scrubbing + degreasing SO I'm really thankful for a one stop shop with the Thieves Household Cleaner. This is a plant based cleaner that is infused with the proprietary blend, Thieves. Not only does this cleaner smell like Christmas but I love how I don't have to worry about using it on high chairs, counter tops + other areas the babies play everyday. I can also use it as a teaching tool for our three year old in learning how to clean messes without worrying about toxic chemical overspray.
3 // Fresh Laundry // I love my laundry to smell fresh + clean but freshening products from the store have so many chemicals that can affect the respiratory health of our family.  I cannot believe I waited so long to get some unscented wool dryer balls // like these // because once I did, I fell in love! I simply add a few drops of my essential oil choice to two dryer balls + throw them in with the laundry. 

Not only do the clothes dry faster, but they smell amazing + I can rest assured my babies aren't breathing anything harmful afterwards!

I know essential oils can be overwhelming so like I said, I have created a space where other families can learn + grow with us on this wellness journey!! You can check out our website here // www.thevillagegathering.net to learn a bit more.

I will also be hosting a free online class on Thursday, March 31 at 8PM CDT. We will be covering some of the basics of essentials oils + ways we love using them in our home for cleaning, wellness + on the little ones. Simply leave your email in the comments below if you would like to join us!


Good Friday //

Our house is all a flurry of Easter excitement, too much candy + an explosion of colored grass from the massive fun box my mom sent the boys today. And today, then just before nap time, Emmett happened upon my target bags of goodies for their Easter basket.

When informed him that the Rescue Bot transformer was actually for Gideon + not for him, oh the torrential river of tears that ensued.  He just couldn't understand why he didn't have one too + why Gibbies gets Blades + a dinotrux + I ONLY have Chase!

Little does he know that deeper in the bag where he didn't look is his own Rescue Bot transformer + a whole lot of other wonderful Easter surprises. If only he KNEW all these tears will be for nothing come Sunday morning. . . 
Then it kind of smacks me in the face. It reminds me of some disciples from not that long ago. . .

Why did Jesus have to die?! 
Was he not the saving, conquering hero of the day?!  
Wasn't he the answer?!

We have the gift of years past that puts the story into perspective.  They simply had to hang on because Sunday was coming!! If only they had the eyes to see beyond their present pain + a vision for what was coming.
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Of course I find myself in the same boat.  The frustration over my questions of today.  My wonder how everyone else seems to have a little better slice of life than me.  The angst of waiting for the full + complete understanding of how this present suffering will be NOTHING compared to the glory that is going to be revealed in us!!

Tears.  But now just tears of joy.  Because like Emmett, like the disciples, we can hold on because Sunday is coming. . .


'Twas Four Nights Before Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve eve eve eve, friends. haha!

I am popping in this early morning from our new home city of Los Angeles . . . . what what?!?!!!??  In just a short bit I will loading up the boys + driving down to the San Diego airport to meet my family who is flying in from Iowa to spend the Christmas week with our sister in Mexico.  What a crazy fun time that will be.  Remember that you can always see little peeks of our life over on my favorite social media crush, Instagram.
It's really no secret to anyone who has known me for any amount of time that I'm really quite an incredible procrastinator.  I get so caught up in the moment + what is happening from day to day that it's hard for me to get ahead of the game.

Tiny Prints was kind enough to send us our amazing Christmas cards + that custom little wrapping paper this year. . . but to be honest, I only sent out a handful of cards during our big cross country move right before the best holiday of the year.  The rest of these little treasures will go out right after New Years + I have chosen to not let the stress + hectic days drag down my Christmas spirit.
If you are like me, we procrastinators are in luck!! Tiny Prints actually has an amazing 25% sale going on right now // code 25swdec //  free shipping on orders over $50 // code freeship49 // AND if you super-duper-christmas-candy-sugar-rush your shipping, you can still have your cards + gorgeous photo gifts by Christmas Eve!!!

So if you are up early this morning or late tonight, be sure to check out some of their very wonderful gift + card options right here.  Then all ye merry Christmas procrastinators, unite!!! xoxo


On Mothering Wild + Free Children

so apparently all the cool kids are now raising their babies 'wild + free'.  search the hashtag wildandfreechildhood on instagram + a whole host of amazing, gorgeous, inspiring, beautiful places pop up, with little ones dressed in cooler clothes than i could ever hope to own.  <-- insert awkward-out-of-place-toothy-grin-emoji here <---
so of course like any good mama, the goal is wild + free children. . . i mean we all know too much screen time just veggies our brains, right?! yes yes + yes. but if i'm honest, it's really hard for me to stop the vortex of my mom/wife/business brain each day + just B.E. with these sweet boys out in nature.  it's hard for me to choose to deal with the messy clothes + muddy shoes + missed naps.

then something happened this fall. i was catching up on a bunch of writings via facebook by the gorgeous, inspiring, humble mother of eight, alyssa welch. she was talking about how everyone looks at her photos of river days + hiking trips + just thinks it comes easy for them. she proceeded to say how despite the poison ivy, the crying babies, the wet clothes, she just decided from the early years that she would make it a point to be outside with her little ones.
that hit home for me so so much. how many areas of our life simply take a choice.

a choice of walking outside instead of one more netflix
a choice of tenderness instead of impatience
a choice of adventure over predictable safely
a choice kind words over anger
a choice serving instead of waiting to be served
a choice of giving when i would rather take

day after day, hour after hour, moment moment we are given these choices + so much more.
so i just decided this fall that i would say yes to more nature. yes to the dirt + the mud + the inconvenience of chasing babies in the great outdoors.

and to be honest, we didn't spend every waking moment at the river. it was really just a handful of afternoons MORE than what i would have done before and for that, i felt grateful.  if you watched my recent vlog from last month, you will remember the lesson i am learning on not allowing perfection to become the enemy of good.  

i will always look back on the fall of 2015 + our special outdoor adventures with fondness. i will remember emmett sinking down with his shoes into mud along the creek. he couldn't have been happier playing trucks in the water.  i will remember gideon crawling crawling crawling towards the water. i will remember all the jumping photos i tried to take with my little sister aubrey + our freaking out at the snake that came slithering onto the rocks just as we were leaving.

this is the good stuff that makes the inconveniences all worthwhile.  so here's to all the amazing mamas,  that are most days stumbling through life, yet striving to raise adventurous wild + free children. you are doing a wonderful job no matter how your days look. xoxoxo
^^ using our little snack cups from nuby were so perfect for our outdoor adventures. all the snacks for grubby little fingers to grab + a spot to keep gideon's baby food. win win win! ^^ 

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This post is one of a small series I am doing in collaboration with Nuby Parent Blogger.  I am excited to be a on a small team of bloggers that get to share fun ways to use their baby and toddler products.  Even though Nuby supplied the baby food containers + stackable bowls, everything I said is my own opinion of course. 

You can get your own set of Garden Fresh Storage Pots from Buy Buy Baby here and the Wash or Toss Stackable Bowls at Meijers grocery stores. 

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