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How to Use Powerful Oils to Release Stress

It’s not so easy to escape the stress of everyday life. It’s important to make time for yourself to put practice in place to release the stress that builds up each day so it doesn’t eat you up. One of my favorite ways to wind down and let go of the build up from the day is to diffuse essential oils. It’s something that doesn’t take a lot of extra effort yet the benefits from the aromatherapy does wonders for my mind, heart and soul.

Start with an easy-to-use diffuser:

Basic design and easy to use, the Dewdrop Home Diffuser is my daily go-to. Fill with water, add a few drops of oil and push the button. The diffuser will run for four hours before automatically shutting off.

Step it up a notch in design and function with the Aria Ultrasonic Diffuser. Beautifully designed, this diffuser also has capabilities to allow you to plug in your playlist or listen to relaxing sounds and soothing LED lights already programmed in the diffuser all that can be controlled with it’s matching remote.

For when you’re on the go, pick up this simple USB Diffuser. Use in the car or while at the office. It’s silent and has shorter interval settings for quick moments.

12 Essential Oils to Help You Release Stress

 Add your essential oils and get ready to relax. It only takes a few drops to release the powerful benefits of aromatherapy. *Please read instructions of your diffuser for specific steps.

Clary Sage

Cinnamon Bark

Frankincense

Lavender

Pine

Rose

Tangerine

Wintergreen

Thyme

Juniper

Idaho Blue Spruce

Vetiver

 

 

 

Safety & Tips for Using Essential Oils

Make sure to read all instructions before using any essential oils. While some may be safe for some uses, some may not, it’s important to educate yourself about each individual essential oil before using. Make sure to use pure essential oils and not fragrant oils – pure essential oils are natural and derived right from nature whereas fragrant oils are synthesized in factories or elsewhere. You can read more about the safety of using essential oils here.

Want to learn more? Check it out here. Ready to get started with essential oils? You can find out more details about getting started and great starter kit deals here. Or you can shoot me an email at Laura@dofivethingsaday.com with any questions!

 

 All opinions are my own. I am an independent sales representative for Young Living Essential Oils, which means I receive commissions on sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.

Laura Romberger, Young Living Essential Oils Independent Sales Representative, Member/Sponsor #13410273

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Hygge vs. Minimalism – What is best for me?

There’s so much buzz around Hygge and Minimalism. They both have beautiful qualities and benefits but which is best for me? What’s the difference between them?

Hygge

Hygge is a danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or a moment as cozy, charming and special. It’s the art of creating joy and comfort in one’s life. Embracing hygge is about creating a warm and cozy lifestyle. It promotes appreciation, a certain simplicity and about not only recognizing the present moment but also enjoying it. Think the quote, “Relish in the moment,” but up a few notches.

Minimalism

Minimalism is about living with less, living with the essentials, only the things that bring you joy. It teaches you to remove distractions from your life so that you can live your life with full intentions. Quoted from Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist “minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value most and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” Through minimalism you can discover clarity and freedom.

So which is best for me? I see value in both lifestyles. I see a sense of simplicity in both. I’ve been trying to work towards minimalism for a little over a year now and have really been struggling with it. Although I am able to embrace some of the thought patterns of minimalism I find that I struggle with limiting the amount of items that bring me joy. I find joy in so many things and in so many areas of my life. As an eclectic individual I have several hobbies and many interests creating a bit of a stock up sometimes. I do believe in removing the clutter and the chaos and I believe in utmost organization because I find I function better in a clearer, cleaner environment but as much as I respect the minimalistic lifestyle I’m not sure it fits who I am purely. I find myself at home looking toward hygge. Cozy is one of my top five favorite words. I am finding that I am falling in love with all things hygge. I don’t want to abandon all the values of minimalism but I think a more honest path to my true self is to build my home and my life with a hygge mindset. Looking back, I’m glad I took an attempt at minimalism and I grew as a person and learned a lot about how I work in the world during my journey but as we grow we also shift so here’s to 2018 learning all about hygge. <3 

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7 Super Reasons Parsnips Help You Get Healthier

I have always had a love for root vegetables – potatoes, carrots, fennel, and more – but over the past few years I have truly come to love parsnips. Not quite as common as their closely related cousin the carrot, parsnips are an easy vegetable to add to many recipes and are a perfect dish to enjoy during colder months.

7 Health Benefits of Parsnips

1.) High in dietary fiber. Parsnips are packed with soluble fiber which helps reduce cholesterol levels and helps maintain healthy digestive function.

2.) Is a great resource of folate which is needed for the formation of red and white blood cells in bone marrow, is important for the development stages, and aids in energy metabolism.

3.) Contains high level of potassium which is needed for skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle function. This nutrient is important for healthy heart function.

4.) Are high in Vitamin C which helps improve eye health, helps repair and regenerate connective tissues, protect against heart disease, and aids in the absorption of iron.

5.) Good resource of manganese and Vitamin K which helps with digestive health and wound healing.

6.) Due to high dietary fiber content, parsnips are great at helping you stay fuller longer.

7.) They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and organic compounds which helps fight against disease.

Some Delicious Recipes to Try

Oven Roasted Parsnips with Thyme from FoodnessGracious

Paleo Risotto with ‘Parsnip “Rice” from Empowered Sustenance

Baked Parsnip Fries from Sweet as Honey

Roasted Parsnip Salad from Girl Gone Gourmet

Roasted Parsnip & Garlic Soup from Sharing Our Food Adventures

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.
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10 Must Have Items for This Year’s Winter Weather

#1 – Hurraw! Black Cherry Lip Balm

Lip Balm for chapped lips. I always find that my lips get a bit chapped during the winter so I keep lip balm on hand at all times. Apply several times throughout the day. This Hurraw lip balm is 100% organic and has just a hint of tint to add some color.

#2 – Little Barn Apothecary Cocao + Chamomile Cream Cleanser 

It is so important to wash your face every day, especially during the winter when the cold winds are wreaking havoc on your face. Make sure to get all the makeup and oils off of your face every evening so that your face can breathe a little. This beautifully scented cleanser is all natural and is great for any skin type, include sensitive, and also removes eye makeup.

#3 – Moisturizers

The cold, dry winter air will quickly dry out your skin. Make sure to moisturize daily to help your skin stay smooth and quenched. S.W. Basics Cream is packed with organic extra-virgin coconut and olive oil with a shea butter base to sink into your skin and stay there keeping your thirsty skin happy all day long. Another great pick is Mullein & Sparrow Lavender Blossom Body Oil which is designed for the ultimate luxury and healing treatment.

#4 – Orglamix Illume Cream Luminizer

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your glow. This cream luminizer is vegan, cruelty-free and leaves a beautiful dewy finish.

 

 

#5 – Beanie & Scarf

A must have set for the below freezing days this year. Bundle up and do good with the Hayden Scarf and Adriana Beanie from Krochet Kids intl. whose mission is to empower people to rise above poverty by providing life-changing job opportunities to women in need. The Adriana Beanie is thoughtfully crafted in Peru from alpaca, acrylic and wool to keep your head nice and cozy during the cold months. The beautiful chic striped acrylic Hayden Scarf will keep you nice and warm while filling your heart with warm, fuzzy feelings.

#6 – Cupshe Somewhere Out There Lapel Coat

Every winter deserves a good coat. Hit the town in this fleece lined number with big lapel for an edgy look.

#7 – Cupshe Make It Real Solid Dress

One of my favorite looks for the cooler months is to pair a great fitting long sleeve dress with tights or leggings and some tall boots. Goes from the office to a night out with ease.

 

#8 – Cozy Sweaters

Must must must haves for Winter is a pile of cozy sweaters to grab and go. You can be both warm and chic this year with the Gray High Neck Knit Sweater and White Off Shoulder Knit Sweater from Cupshe.

 

 

#9 – Wine

There’s something sentimental about enjoying a cup of wine with friends and family over dinner during the Winter. A time to relish in old memories and moments while you sip on a rich glass of Magic Door Sauvignon BlancLot 138 Chardonnayor Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

#10 – Teatulia Black Tea

Besides all the wonderful health benefits that tea has, a good cup of hot tea can help warm you up on the extra chilly days. Curl up with a great book with a cup of yummy organic hot tea.

 

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.
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No New Clothes for 365 Days

I did a bit of Black Friday shopping this past November and I grabbed some awesome finds……it was this that helped spur me towards an ultimate challenge for myself – 365 Days with no new clothes. From November 24th, 2017 to November 23rd, 2018 I have put a rule in place that I cannot buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories. This limits me to only buying consignment, thrift, and finding new ways to style what’s already in my closet. This challenge has three big goals to come out of this challenge with: 1. Save money, 2. Unleash creativity, and 3. Build discipline. I’ll be sharing outfits that I build through my thrifty finds and some thoughts on how I’m recreating and defining my look from what’s already in my closet too. There’s only one little loophole – I can be gifted new items – so my classic heels came as Christmas gifts this year…could improve some bargaining skills through this too – wink.

I’m kicking off my challenge with some fabulous finds from Swap.com. This is one of my favorite places to shop consignment. Keep in fashion while pinching pennies. Swap.com has 2.5 Million unique items needing a home and adds thousands more every day. Use promo code DO5THINGS at checkout between 1/8 – 1/31 for 40% off orders for new customers, plus free shipping if order is over $10. Some exclusions may apply.

Winter Looks With Swap.com

Banana Republic ‘Rain or Shine’ Tee ($3.50) paired with distressed jeans, a cozy beanie, and wine-colored booties

Banana Republic Grey Pencil Skirt ($4.00) paired with a flowy white blouse and cobalt blue suede heels for a pop

Banana Republic Cashmere Blend Sweater ($4.50) paired with green jeggings, casual booties, a crystal necklace and a leopard print clutch

J. Crew Sequin Tank ($5.50) paired with fitted mini skirt, suede jacket, and strappy heels

 Banana Republic Asymmetrical Tube Top ($4.50) and Banana Republic Linen Blazer ($5.00) paired with bootcut jeans, chic black layered necklaces, and a vegan leather clutch

J. Crew Textured Pencil Skirt ($6.50) paired with fitted turtleneck, black pearls, and classic black pumps

Banana Republic Open Weave Sweater ($5.00) paired with white skinny jeans, an artsy bronze necklace, and brown equestrian boots

Black Arden B. Tube Top ($4.50) paired with striped pencil skirt, black cardigan, and classic nude pumps

Want more ideas? Check out my How to Build Your Fall Fashion For Less Than $20

Old Navy Mint Sweater ($4.00) and Faux Fur Scarf ($3.00) paired with bootcut jeans, leopard print belt, and wide brimmed hat

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.
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Looking Back at the Blog in 2017

As crazy as 2017 was it rounded up to be a huge year for me for growth and discovery. I learned a lot about blogging such as better promotions of my posts and my blog, ways to grow my followers and some ways to work towards monetize my blog. I went from having a blog for a hobby to focusing on starting to build a business from it.

Overall Stats from 2017

28,935 blog views

17,848 blog visitors

509 comments on blog posts

Referral Traffic

This was a lesson for me. When you decide you want to get serious about blogging, you’ll find yourself learning how to read your data. I learned a good a bit about where my blog traffic comes from and also several ways to help grow traffic from social channels.

28.5% of my blog traffic came from Pinterest. It did help that I had a pin go viral (Setting Healthy Boundaries:Simple Tips for a Happy Life) but there were other tips and tricks I picked up along the way to help increase traffic from Pinterest. My followers base grew from 192 followers to 901 followers in 2017.

1.) Join Group Boards – this is an awesome place to share your content with like-minded bloggers

2.) Learn how to create Pinnable images. Canva made this pretty easy using templates they had and I learned to create my own over time.

3.) Participate in Pinterest. Don’t just share your content only. Create boards of interest to you and your goals and mix your content posts in with others. This not only creates a better experience for your followers but it also motivates the folks of the pins that your sharing to return the favor.

StumbleUpon brought 14% of the traffic. This was a completely new channel to me. I had heard of it but had never used StumbleUpon until I came across a mention of it in a Blogging Facebook Group. This is an easy to use yet great driver for traffic.

Facebook brought 11% of the traffic to my blog. This I have seen grow over the year and I predict it will continue to grow in 2018. I have developed plans for more activity on my blog Facebook Page – which grew from 174 page likes to 1,701 during the year. My goal for this coming year is to double that and to drive more traffic to my blog from this page.

In October of 2017, I launched my blog Instagram account. This is a unique platform compared to the others lacking the opportunity for clickable links making it not a huge traffic driver however I believe this is a great opportunity to build followers, engagement and loyalty. I was at 146 followers at the end of the year and am looking to triple that in 2018 through engagement challenges such as my monthly art challenges and more behind the scenes posts.

Twitter only accounted for .3% of the traffic to my blog, which surprised me a little so I’ll be diving more into learning about the way Twitter works this year however I did obtain some great relationships through Twitter including sponsored posts opportunities and my Twitter followers grew from 394 to 861 in 2017.

Engaging with My Readers

My email subscribers grew from 19 at the beginning of the year to 181 subscribers. I didn’t put as much focus into this growth in 2017 as I hope to this coming year but I did find that promoting some giveaways was a great way to build your email list. Giveaways are pretty easy and quick and I was able to use Rafflecopter to set up the forms and manage the entries.

I also launched my Facebook Group ‘Journey to a Life You Love‘ which I have to be honest I fell off track a bit with during the year and it didn’t quite grow like I planned but I held on to who I had mostly and have big plans for it this year!

What’s to Come in 2018?

I’m really excited for this year. I spent some time thinking of what worked and what didn’t work in 2017 and how I wanted to proceed. This year I’ll be focusing a lot more on engaging with my followers and build my social media channels. You can look forward to healthy living posts, challenges and just some random thoughts about what’s happening in life. Let’s get happy and healthy and have fun doing it this year!

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“Bust Out the Bubbly” – My 2018 Goals & Intentions

I decided that this year I’m leaving 2017 in 2017. Don’t come knocking past because I’m looking forward. I’m using the lessons I learned from my challenges and set backs to help me grow and to propel me forward. This coming year is the year I’m going to let go and flourish. I’m going to open up and bloom for the world to see. I’m going to learn to love myself so fiercely that rays of light bust out of me like a feverish disco ball. I’m going to own 2018. I’m going to stop thinking about it and I’m going to do it. 2016 was about realization, 2017 was for planning, 2018 will be my debut – the beginning of a masterpiece. I’m leaving the mess behind and walking into a world of possibilities this year and I’m going to do it my way.

 Areas of Focus –

19 Things Before 2019

Level 10 Life

Commit30

By products of my goals: stronger and deeper relationships with my family and friends, better self-esteem, money and financial security, style and grace, a simpler and more comforting lifestyle, a more positive story to tell, a stronger body and mind, more artwork, and a better understanding of myself and the world around me.

 Now down to the meat and potatoes of my business goals for 2018…which is a huge part of who I am and what I want out of life.

Business in 2018 –

Blog & Coaching

Boutique

Young Living Essential Oils

I spent a lot of time the end of this year planning out what I wanted 2018 to look for me and set a loose timeline of how it will play out. This gave me the opportunity to see things in a manageable way and to envision my goals realistically playing out. The first half of the year I will be focusing on launching and starting the steps to build my dreams. The second half of the year will be focused on defining and growth.

Jan-Mar – Quarter 1 – Organization of blog, social media promotion schedules and routine, launch boutique, start Young Living Essential Oils business.

Apr-Jun – Quarter 2 – Launch Coaching, defining and developing boutique and essential oils business.

Jul-Sep – Quarter 3 – Focus on business growth across all areas.

Oct-Dec – Quarter 4 – Continue to focus on business growth, evaluate year and start building plan for 2019.

I am a super planner type but what I learned in 2017 is that I can get myself stuck in the planning and dreaming and become a bit overwhelmed in all that I set out in front of me to accomplish. There is no perfect time to start but if you never get started then you’ll never give yourself the chance to finish. This coming year, my focus is on starting – wherever and however that may be. I am going to focus on my year one quarter at a time and learn as I go…and I’m going to allow my beliefs, my values, and my intuition guide me in all that I do.

Cheers to a New Year!

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My List for the Year

19  Things To Do Before 2019

1.) Read 12 books.

2.) Run 5 races.

3.) Save $1,000, put it in my savings account and leave it there.

4.) Get my own place.

5.) Cross off 10 things off my bucket list.

6.) Create one new painting per month.

7.) Finish writing my novel.

8.) Try something new every month.

9.) Enroll 10 people with Young Living Essential Oils.

10.) Submit artwork to twenty shows.

11.) Pay off half of my debt.

12.) Lose 5-10 lbs. – lose fat, gain muscle.

13.) Post 10 blog posts monthly.

14.) Get LLC. for my businesses.

15.) Apply to be a ProSource ambassador.

16.) Quit smoking the e-cigg.

17.) Complete therapy.

18.) Take my son to Norfolk, VA (the city I was born in).

19.) Finish tree and fairy paintings.

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2017 Bucket List Recap & 2018 Bucket List Goals

Whew, what a year 2017 was. Lots of twists and turns came about this year but I’m still proud to say that I was able to get some items crossed off my bucket list!

  1. Visit New Orleans.
  2. Try absinthe (of course this happened in New Orleans in some super cool underground bar).
  3. Put Mentos in Diet Coke. Yes this was on my list, I never did this as a kid so I set out to knock this one off the list with my kiddo.
  4. Make a sun-melted candle.
  5. Go in a sensory deprivation tank.
  6. Bet on a horse race.
  7. Go on a Troeg’s Brewery Tour.
  8. Go to a St.Patrick’s Day Parade.
  9. Try Guinness.
  10. See a tornado. Okay the real bucket list item was to chase a tornado but having a front row (meaning standing at the door outside) seat to one in your office’s parking lot is pretty darn close!
  11. Grow a lemon tree. This one is still in the works, but hey I started it!
  12. Tour the Haines Shoe House in York.
  13. Run a 10 mile race.
  14. Go to a Wine and Paint Nite.
  15. See a broadway show in NYC.

Not too shabby for making some things happen this year! 

Bucket lists help us set a plan to add fulfillment and excitement into our lives. They give us a little structure and help us schedule in adventures that we dream of. I can’t wait to see what all 2018 will bring for me! Here’s some of the things on my list:

  • Ride a train to Philadelphia and NYC.
  • Try a spaghetti donut.
  • Finish my novel and publish it.
  • Go to a roller derby.
  • Go to a Murder-Mystery dinner.
  • Visit New Hope, PA.
  • Take my son to Dylan’s Candy Store in NYC. His name is Dylan so this one is a bit fun and sentimental.
  • Visit the Baltimore Zoo. Can you believe I live so close and have never been?!
  • Master my grandmother’s Sand Tart recipe.
  • Tell a story at Story Slam/Storytellers.
  • Allow myself to be flawed, embrace my flaws.
  • Sleep in a tree house.
  • Go fruit picking.
  • Learn to belly dance.
  • Go to the movies alone.
  • Make a time capsule.
  • Attend a Wanderlust.
  • Go to the Seawitch Festival in Rehoboth Beach, DE.
  • Try Ratatouille.
  • Stay at a bed and breakfast.

What’s on your bucket list for 2018?

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Year in Review – My Favorite Photos

A photo is so much more than just a photo. It’s a moment captured. Within one photo, so many memories and thoughts are held. 2017 was a tough year and it had several downs and many lessons learned but it also had many wonderful times. Times of strength, times of when love was discovered and joy was born.

This week I took some time to reflect on the year, sifting through photos that were taken throughout the year and just taking some time to sit and be grateful. Grateful for the people that stuck by my side throughout the year, grateful for the adventures I was able to attend and for the challenges I conquered.

My Year in Review: Photo Style

Photo Shoots & Art

Artistically, this was a big year of growth for me. I painted in more color, pushed boundaries and expanded topics, explored with varied mediums, and was in more art shows this year than ever before. I even painted a “party llama” for my best gal’s birthday! Super fun!

The same goes for my photo shoots. New angles, new styles, and new sides of me. Thank you to my photographer Anthony Machcinski, I was able to capture some of my favorite shots and discover a little bit about myself along the way. A little shout out to him – his photos are definitely worth checking out more @PhotosbyChinski on Facebook. Here’s a little sneak of one of my favorite photos from his collection (which I must note, it is so amazing to be able to have artwork next to his in the local art shows – gives me kind of that “look at us, we’re kind of like rock stars” warm and fuzzy feeling).

 

Food & Drink

Let’s just be honest here, food and drink is a pretty important category for every year. This year I really made a point to try new things though (which you’ll get to see a fun list in a later post “New Things I Tried in 2017). I tried new fish, fell in love with charcuterie boards, had champagne on my birthday, ate at a french restaurant, created amazing vegetarian pizzas for meatless Fridays during Lent, and had my first repin of a restaurant meal! It was kind of a fun foodie kind of year.

Adventures & Bucket List Items

I had one big grand adventure this year that I was able to cross off my bucket list – NOLA Trip!!! But I learned this year that it doesn’t have to be grand or far away to be an adventure. Adventures can happen anywhere, including right in your town or backyard! I crossed off touring the Haines Shoe House (yes it’s a house shaped like a shoe – an actual shoe – read more about it here: ‘What’s Up With That Huge Shoe by Route 30?’), I had a fun day being a big kid and eating lots of ice cream at the Turkey Hill Experience, I ran a 10 mile race in June (yeah, yeah, I know I talk about it all the time – but come on, this was a huge feat for me!), did squats by Inner Harbor in Baltimore for a fitness post, yoga in a bunny costume, bet on a horse race…no matter where you are, you can always find an adventure.

Little Moments & More Favorites

Coming home and seeing that your son made your mannequin dab, realizing that your dad’s old truck makes an awesome black and white photo, being rained out of a local charity race to find fun in grabbing grub at the local market, the beautiful flower in the garden you see in the morning that makes your day, Duck Donuts Mommy and Son Breakfast Dates, watching the pups always bantering on who has what, the cranky snapchat picture you send your BFF after a bad day……

 Finding out your dad has a brain tumor and that he’s going to need surgery but going out as a family and having a wonderful day anyways because you know that together you can make it through, the inspiration on your desk, the new puppy to the family, the moment you realize how much your son is like you, the funny things that happen at work, the beautiful sunrise you catch after an early morning gym appointment, the unconditional love from a pet……

The face you make when you know you have to go to the gym, you’re going to go to the gym, but you don’t want to go to the gym. The first time the puppy gets mail, the Subway lunch you’re having at 7:32 in the morning because you’re day started at 4am for Black Friday Shopping, and of course the SnapChat filters that make you feel pretty and laugh every darn time……

Life can have so many beautiful moments, big and small, sometimes silly, sometimes awakening. Celebrate them all, every day, every week, every month, every year. Celebrate you, your life, and everyone in it. <3 Onward to a new year ahead!