working on wellness

Monday, January 8, 2018

I'm feeling inspired to post some things I've been working on and need to work on with some definite wellness goals in mind!

Essential Oils have been a big part of my life for the last few years, as you know.  They have brought so much peace to our family.  When in doubt, try an oil.  And most times they fix what needs to be fixed!  Love that they are natural and we rely less and less on chemical-laden products.

Being a part of a bunch of oil groups I am inspired daily to make other changes to promote wellness and make changes for our family.  In 2004 I had Melanoma removed from my arm and I am reminded of how scary that was at every doctor's appointment when she checks my lymph nodes.  Every day I'm conscious that Cancer has lived in my body and could very well come back.  I don't live in fear of it but I know there are many better choices I could make to live a less toxic life.

Last summer wellness and diet came up often during our family beach weekends.  I participated in a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet group on FB, we watched What the Health, Food Inc. and debated best choices for diet often.  (Christian is on team Keto diet and we all learned that it's not worth even thinking of debating that with him!)

But something that made a huge impact on me was when my sister shared a link from 

Chris has a website and a series of videos of him telling about how his enormous lifestyle change cured him from Stage 3 Colon Cancer.  These videos are inspiring and informational and backed by research.  I did not have the opportunity to watch all of the videos but what I did see made a big impact on me. 

I've pretty much told everyone close to me about these life-changing videos. 

So with wellness being everywhere lately I thought I'd share some ways I am working on making better choices.  Please comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

Oils, of course have replaced candles to fragrance my house.  My diffusers are pretty much running all of the day and night!  And I do not miss candles at all!  I actually find most scented candles to be overwhelming when I'm around them.  Oils have also replaced all room freshening sprays! 

We take a lot less ibuprofen and tylenol now although I still am fine with medicine, just not unless it's totally necessary.

Lavender has replaced my prescription for meds to help me sleep (for the most part!)  I will occasionally take 1/4 of a pill if I had too much cold brew!

Switching to natural deodorant has been something I've tried unsuccessfully in the past, but I'm determined to find one that works for me (and doesn't give me a rash!)  I just started using Native this week.  I just read a whole post on detoxing from deodorant completely but I don't think I'm quite ready for that....yet.

I am loving some changes I've made in the shower.  I no longer buy body scrubs and instead make my own!  It's so cheap, easy, and smells good with no chemicals!  Organic Sugar, Organic Coconut oil, and a few drops of essential oils is all it takes and the whole shower smells so good and my skin is so moisturized!

I've switched from Dove body wash to Young Living body wash with no scent.  I add 10 drops of grapefruit and I love it!  It lathers great and only takes a little bit!  (I tried unscented castile soap but found that to be drying.)

If I take a bath I add 1/4 cup essential oil-infused epsom salts for a little detoxing.

For my face I still use Burt's Bees Sensitive face wash in the morning but I skip all of my previous R + F products now and use Young Living Satin Mint Facial Scrub at night.  I use Aveda Morning Renewing cream and Aveda Wedding Masque at night and I use Young Living Wolfberry Eye cream everyday. 

I recently started trying a few products from Savvy Minerals.  I was hesitant about the loose powders but absolutely love the blush, the brushes, and the lip glosses.  This month I'm getting the bronzer and a few eye shadows to try!  I also use It Cosmetics CC cream and really like it!

For cleaning products I mostly use Thieves cleaner but I still use a couple of not-so-natural bathroom cleaning products. 

For our laundry I'm making the switch to Thieves laundry detergent from All free & clear. 

We recently got rid of all of our calphalon pans and replaced them with greenpans that do not have the coating.  Because who wants that chemical coating in what you eat?

But that leads me to the area that I need to work on the most----food and water!  I am not a clean eater and although I feel like I know what I should be eating I have the hardest time making the good choices when it comes to food.  And drinking water?  I'm the worst.

True. The gym today was wonderful. I can leg press 240!! Idk if that impressive, but when we started going I was only at 190, so progress has been made. My legs actually haven't looked this wonderful in a long time.

So tell me, what suggestions do you have for wellness or what changes are you making?  I'd love to hear what works for you! 

*Affiliate links are included

Essential Oil Make & Takes

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hey Ladies!  It has been a while!  Lately I've been spending more time on Essential Oils and posting a bunch on my oils IG account @pagmina_essentials.  

Yesterday I had another make & take and a few girls messaged me wanting the details.  So here you go!  

I've done a bunch of make & takes this year.  So each one is a little different.  This time most of the people I invited had either been to another one already and were interested or I had previously talked to them about oils.

So I eliminated the "class" at the beginning.  In most of my previous m & t's I did a short basics of essential oils class explaining what they are, how to use them, and why Young Living.  I keep it brief because I think most of the girls want to a learn a little, but primarily talk and drink wine.  Just sayin!  I try not to blab on and on!

Also in the past I had 3 specific products for them to make, usually 2 rollers and a spray or a scrub.  But this time I decided to make it much more customizeable.  So I brought out a bunch of my oils and all the supplies to make up diffuser blends, rollers, and a scrub or carpet powder.  Then they chose what the wanted to try or I asked what needs they had and then helped them figure out what to make.

Yesterday was primarily drinking wine, catching up, and making some rollers, scrubs etc-just how we like it!  

Here are some pictures!  


I wish all of you could come over and drink some wine and mix up some oils because we always have so much fun!  If you are interested but don't live in PA let me know.  I can do a facebook class or talk to you about how amazing oils are and how they have helped our family in so many ways.  I am happy to send you a roller to try too!  Message me and we can figure it out!

If you want more info on essential oils you can click here.

And here are some links of things I used:

The Green Market wooden crate  (similar)

The Green Market taller box (similar)

Wire Basket- Target dollar spot

Clear Jars- Target dollar spot

The Bachelorette: Lashes and my skincare routine

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Why is it that I just can't stop with The Bachelorette?! 

 I barely watched this season but I felt compelled to watch the finale and I couldn't go to bed until I saw who she picked.  I wasn't invested in any of the guys but watching the short time that I did I was all TEAM PETER!!  

And my favorite part was during their goodbye and she was bawling so much that her eyelashes fell off.  Because I know it's TV but come on, she was soooo done up every time I saw her and I loved seeing her real lashes and what she really looks like.  And even through the tears I thought she looked so much better after she cried all her makeup and lashes off!  

I was thinking R & F girls must be shouting at their TVs trying to get her to use lash boost, because truth be told, her real lashes needed some help.  And I've heard many girls rave about it.

But since I'm trying to use fewer chemicals and don't want to spend $150 for my lashes I've been using an Eyelash Serum ($11.95 on amazon) and Lavender every night.  I brush on a little Majestic Pure eyelash serum oil on my lashes before bed and put a few drops of lavender (which helps with healthy hair growth) in my mascara.  

my camera battery was about to die so the blurry pic will have to do!

I finally love my skincare routine and totally recommend the products I'm using so I'm going to share with you in case you want a little change in your routine.  My skin is normal, not oily & not dry.

And this post is in no way sponsored by Aveda, although I would love it to be!  However I am using affiliate links, just FYI! 

My facial cleansers:

(keep watching on the price changes a lot it's usually cheaper than in the store!) 
 My Aveda facialist recommended it and I love it- not drying at all.

I used to use R & F Reverse scrub and I like it but wanted to try the YL scrub since it's half the price. 
It smells good and my skin is soft after using it.

Makeup Removing Cloths: Burt's Bees sensitive wipes 
(and today they are $2.99- the cheapest I've ever seen them!)

Now the products that I love and look forward to using every day!!! 

 It's kind of weird that I look forward to my skincare routine but they smell so good- a natural smell, not chemical smell.  I feel so much better not using all the chemicals that are in most skin care and instead using plant-based products.

It's so smooth and I love to apply it first after I was my face.  And the pure-fume oils that are in it smell so good. 

It's formulated to help even skintone and brighten your skin.  I definitely have freckles and sun spots so I chose this serum.  There is a Soothe Concentrate for sensitive skin and a Firm concentrate for aging skin (which I need too) but I have been using the Bright and love it!

In the morning I follow that with R & F Soothe SPF 30.  I still use this because a lot of SPF makes my face break out and this doesn't.  And who wants to experiment with that, not me.  

If my skin is feeling dry I'll apply Burt's Bees Sensitive day moisturizer.  

BUT Aveda just came out with a new Tulasara Morning Creme and I can't wait to get it!  My facialist said that since I love the Tulasara Wedding Masque (more about this in a minute) I will love this!

So I will be getting the morning creme ASAP!

But in the evening after I remove my makeup and use the YL satin mint facial scrub I use the 

I love it!  It's thick but not greasy at all.  It brightens and firms and I love the smell.

I had a sample of the AVEDA Tulasara Wedding Masque Eye Cream and loved that too!  But for now I'm just finishing up my R & F multi-function eye cream.

I am looking for a toner to add too.  I still have R & F Reverse but I feel like every time I use it I can taste it- weird right.  That can't be good...

What are your favorite skincare products?

WFPB diet, sunscreen, #Nsale , a little bit of everything

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A few things floating around my head this week...

my mom and me in our dresses inspired from designer bags and dirty diapers
Over the weekend we had family beach pictures.  2 two year-olds, 2 five year-olds and 6 adults.  Beach pictures always sound like a good idea, but our little two year-olds were super uncooperative and the wind!  Oh beach hair is never easy!  Hopefully we got a few good pictures because that sweet photographer was so patient as the boys took turns freaking out and being impossible!

One of my friends is finishing her graduate work to become a PA and she's having a week-long facebook group about Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet.  It's been interesting to follow along and learn about this life-style. It's similar to Vegan, no meat, or dairy, but also no refined carbs etc.  

I was talking about it with my sister who suggested I watch the Netflix documentary, What the Health.  And now I'm intrigued!  I know this is just one viewpoint, but it is definitely making me think twice about what I'm eating and what I'm giving to my children.

I've always hated cooking (and touching) meat so I'm totally game for eliminating meat.  However my husband, who is currently on a ketogenic diet (eats only meat and cheese etc) disagrees!  He started watching What the Health and the next day my phone was flooded with articles & podcasts disputing it!  But that did not surprise me in the least!

What are your thoughts?

I'm still loving Beauty by Earth sunless tanner and highly recommend it.  It gives me so much color with just one application.  But I do feel that I need to apply every 3-4 days.

I also finally found a sunscreen that I love too.  It was so confusing this summer with all the lists of what sunscreen to use and what not to use etc.  So I went to Trader Joe's to get their highly rated sunscreen spray, but it was sold out so I grabbed the lotion (can't find a link other than ebay!).  LOVE IT!  It is lightweight, rubs in super easily, and not greasy!  I have to stock up!

Are you soooooo over the Nordstrom Sale?!  I absolutely am tired of all the Instastories and blogs about it and I placed a few more orders but did not go crazy in the least...

But if you are interested in my thoughts, here are my hits and misses:

Lush side split tank (super cute and flattering!)
BP Striped long sleeve tee (on the fence- super long, but soft)

Zella top (totally sheer!)
Tory Burch sandals (my feet are too narrow)
Adidas tank (too long!)

Still WAITING to get:
Nikes (for Carter)
Converse (for Carter)
Zella Hoodie (do you know I don't own a hoodie?!)
Nike Tank (hoping this one is better than the Adidas!)

What are you keeping?

*Affiliate links used

Friday Faves: Nordstrom Sale (What I Ordered) and An Essential Oils class

Friday, July 14, 2017

I'm having a Facebook Essential Oils class on Monday 7.17.17 at 8pm EST.  If you are interested in essential oils but not sure where to start then message me or comment below with your e-mail address and I'll add you to the class.  I will post throughout the night on Monday but all of the posts will be available for you to view for 1 week.  Oils have helped my family in so many ways so I always love to share about them!

And now onto the Nordstrom sale:

I popped out of bed on Thursday morning to check out the sale and honestly, I was kind of disappointed.  I did however order a few basic things that I know I'll wear so here they are if you are interested.

Articles of Society Jeans have been my go-to for the last year or so.  They are so comfy and regular price of $59.  I've been super happy with my 2 pairs so I ordered 2 more!

Articles of Society Distressed denim

Articles of Society frayed hem

I also got this lush tank and this basic long sleeved tee that so many people have raved about.

And lastly I ordered this Zella racerback tank.

I just got new Nikes but I was tempted to get these.

And if you don't have a barefoot dreams blardigan then it's time you order one- you'll love it, I promise!

I guess it's good that I stayed away from any splurge deals, but the sale is young and I still have time to find a few new must- haves!

Prime day deals

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I remember a few years ago on the first Prime Day it was so disappointing but this year there seems to be such great deals!  Here are just a few things that I have and recommend!

I've been raving about this tanner for a few weeks.  Click here for My favorite sunless tanner ($19.49)  I paid $27.99 for it!

I have a set of wool dryer balls (reg. $24.95) that I use for every load of laundry.  They dry your clothes faster and don't leave any chemicals on your clothes.  You can add essential oils to them or just use them alone.  I do both!

Both of my boys used and loved this duck tub!

And I have a diffuser just like this one.  And it's $13.95 today so it's a perfect diffuser to try if you are just thinking of starting with oils.

So far today I bought these TKees and this oil for eye lashes (more on that soon!)

I'll keep adding as I see deals and as long as naptime lasts!

friday favorites: what I'm wearing this summer

Friday, June 30, 2017

Since it's July 4th weekend the summer sales are going strong so here are some of my faves that I've been wearing!  I'mLOVING  summer and soooo not ready for fall in the stores!  


I was staying away from anything off the shoulder for strapless bra reasons but I dug back in my bra drawer and found one that I had in the right size, who knew!  So bring on the one shoulders and off the shoulder tops and dresses!  (This is what happens when your bra sizes change enormously throughout the last 5 years)  


I posted about this top last time but I wore it on my birthday and got compliments from so many people.  It's so cute!  


I never have much luck at Loft but I ran in today when I was by myself and I got a few cute tops, on sale with an additional 50% off!

I tried on this top on months ago and wished I got it and there was one hanging on the sale rack in petite but I'm going to make it work! The one I bought isn't online anymore (it has red and blue embroidery) but this is the same just in a different pattern (that I may get too!) ($24.99)

I'm celebrating my strapless bra find with this one shoulder top ($10!)


A few old navy finds that I recently got and am loving:

running shorts (aka wear all day shorts)

And these one shoulder tops are so cute and like $7!  I got it in black and white.


I linked my Stella & dot bracelets above (tan & white) but thought they deserved their own bullet point!

I absolutely love both of these bracelets and I wear one of them almost every day.  They go with everything and make a boring shorts and t-shirt outfit feel a little cuter!  And they're so soft and comfortable.  I can hardly tell I'm even wearing them!


I am obsessed with my sunless tanner.  I put it on yesterday and Christian came home from work and commented on how tan I was (yet totally natural.)  I did learn that 2 days of application made me feel a little too dark- crazy!  So for now I'll apply every 3-4 days to keep up with a nice summer glow!  

I posted more about it here. Did you try it?  Let me know what you think!

What are you loving for the summer?  Tell me your summer staples before fall takes over all the stores!!