Friday, December 5, 2014

Five on FRIDAY! {December Edition}

It's FRIDAY!  & it's December!  YAYYY!
My favorite month of the year.  And I'm extra pumped this year because the kids are at such a fun age for traditions and special Christmas activities.  The kindergarten teacher in me is giddy.

Cocoa the Elf has made his debut at our house this Christmas season.  We put a little twist on "Elf on the Shelf" and make the focus more on Cocoa bringing the message of Jesus' birth to the kids...kind of like an advent calendar.  Anya loves waking up in the morning to find out where Cocoa is hiding.  Today Cocoa was on the kitchen table with a box of candy canes and the book "The Legend of the Candy Cane."  (I'm pretty sure I found it at Goodwill).  
I love how it is about Jesus and teaches the message to children in a creative way.   

Anya and Oliver met Santa for the first time last night.  We had a dinner night at Papa & Gigi's church and Santa made an appearance!  Oliver was terrified of him and Anya was curious and cautious of Santa.  She started to warm up to him as the night went on, and even colored a picture for him in the craft corner.  Maybe next year we'll get a lap picture...if Oliver isn't still scared.  

After Thanksgiving we decorated our humble tiny home for Christmas.  For those of you who don't know, we are renting out my parent's basement a.k.a. Our Studio Suite.  Best decision we've ever made.  I love how the lights on the mantle (yes we have a fireplace!) and our Christmas tree makes the space feel so relaxing and warm.  When we moved in we didn't think we'd do much decorating for Christmas, but I'm so glad we did!  I don't think I'm going to want to take it down in January.
My Grandma's beautiful Christmas carolers

Josh gave me my Christmas gift early this year, and it's been life-changing!   He bought us the Premium Starter Kit of Essential Oils from Young Living...amazing value for literally a medicine cabinet make-over. Ever since having babies I've always wanted to have natural remedies for treating fevers, colds, bedtime battles, headaches, teething, tummy aches, skin rashes, etc.
 The kit comes with 11 essential oils, plus a home diffuser...and I'm continually blown away with the millions of uses for the oils.  We laugh at how much we say "there's an oil for that!"  When I first opened the kit I remember thinking, I probably won't end up using all of these oils.  Frankincense?  Really, people use that these days???  Little did I know it works wonders on wrinkles & sunspots, scrapes, swelling, stress, breathing issues, stomach ulcers, and stretch marks.  Healing in a bottle. Within the first two days...I had tried ALL of the oils. 
THIEVES is my favorite.

Everyone needs this oil.  This {Christmas smelling} oil kills airborne bacteria and works as a natural way to boost your immune system and fight infection!!!  And sickness at this time of year, ain't nobody got time for that!!  I diffuse it ALL THE TIME and my kids ask for me to spray my homemade thieves hand- sanitizer on their hands. We are all obsessed.
 I can't wait to start making creams, detergents, and soaps and get lost on pinning ideas.
It's been very exciting trying out the different oils for all sorts of reasons and having success with them.  Josh is sleeping snore-free thanks to Valor, and I'm actually getting sleep now!  The kids are easy to put down at night thanks to Lavender in the bath and Peace & Calming at bedtime.  PanAway is working miracles on my mom who has joint pain from lupus and arthritis.  The list goes on and on. It is changing our lives. I am SO blessed to be a part of the Lemon Droppers group and now distribute Young Living Essential Oils! 

Puppy Chow, oh how I love you!  Cocoa and Jingle (Thanks Aunt Cindy!) wanted us to make Puppy Chow the other day.  Anya had fun shaking the bag  to cover all of the chex in powered sugar.  Fun baking for the kids and so addicting!
Yummy gluten-free desserts for the holidays (click through for the recipe!) #glutenfree

Have a wonderful weekend!
Happy Friday!

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