thinking lately…

Jake and I own a small business, we help people with health and wellness through Young Living Essential oils.   We love what we do, we love educating people.  We also know that we operate under a network marketing, and we do rely on social media in addition to word of mouth to grow our business.

We would not have a team of over 1000 men and women if we and our team wasn’t doing some things right.   We follow a lot of the network marketing “rules” that some of our Diamond leaders within Young Living put out.  They are so simple to follow, and in reality most networking businesses should follow the same rules.   There is the 1-4 rule.  That is for every 1 thing you post on facebook (twitter or instagram) about your business, you need to post 4 times about something unrelated.  Your kids, your pets, silly stuff, life in general.  And on those posts – do NOT tag your business or anything.   I have in the last 2 months “muted” people on facebook because of this (side note, the mute feature on facebook is amazing).   I want to see your kids, your pets, your yard and house, your trips and hell, I would even love to see what you cooked for dinner last night – I (and most people I know) do not want to see your business 24/7 shoved in our faces.

Other things not to do, that we experienced recently – facebook friend people you do not know!   Now, I am friends on facebook with friends of my husbands, that I have never met in real life.  We are simply friends because we have my husband in common (and he has made friends with my people too).   We recently had someone who is a connection of ours (and also runs a small business), go in and facebook friend request all sorts of people – from my former coworkers in athletics, to our daughter, to friends of Jake’s from Michigan.  Umm, nope.  We later found out about it, and it was handled (mostly because people hit that deny button).  Grow your business organically, not by these tactics.

Ok, off my soapbox!

Ham & Cheese Sliders!

You know on Facebook, there are those sped up video of someone making a recipe?  Jake and I both love those, and even Katie has sent us one a time or two.   Sometimes we make them, sometimes we forget about it (whoops!).

One of the videos we watched was for ham & cheese sliders, and they are so, so yummy, in addition to being a super quick meal.


Pack of Kings Hawaiian Rolls (we use a 18 pack or 2 9 packs).
Ham (we get this from the deli, because what isn’t used in this recipe is used for lunches).
Sliced Cheese (we always use some variation of cheddar, but have also used mozzarella & provolone)
Butter (real butter, NOT margarine)
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt
Mustard (we use stone ground spicy)

Start by carefully cutting the rolls in half, leaving them all connected (see photo of left).   Place the bottom half into a baking dish or foil lined pan.   Top with your cheese (see pic).  Then top with ham.  Top with more cheese & place the top portion of the rolls on top.

Melt the butter in a microwave safe container.  Add italian seasoning, garlic salt & mustard and stir.  This does require some experimenting to get the measurements right.  I don’t measure them at all, but usually use at least 3/4 of a stick of butter (but more often a whole stick).   Brush the mixture on top of the rolls until you have used it up.  I also will brush it on the sides.

Bake for 15-25 minutes at 375.  We like them a little crisp, so we often go longer than 15 minutes.  It also takes some trial & error depending on the pan and how much meat/cheese you actually use.

I wish I had an after photo, but I have hungry kids and a hungry husband.  We typically serve this with steamed broccoli and maybe a starch (couscous, mashed potatoes).


Swag IQ

Want to earn money while answering fun trivia questions? SwagIQ (available for iPhone and. Android) is a live, multiplayer trivia game show you play from your phone! 

Each weekday, Swag IQ broadcasts a live game. Simply tune-in at the appointed time by launching the SwagIQ app and log-in with your Swagbucks account credentials. If you don’t have a Swagbucks account, you can sign up for one here and then download the app!

Our game show host will then ask a series of multiple-choice trivia questions. You’ll have 10 seconds to answer each one. Get it right; you get SB and move on. Answer them all correctly and you can win a grand prize! If more than one player wins, the winners split the grand prize.

Get it wrong; still play along. Some questions have an SB award attached to them. If you answer those questions correctly, you get those SB, even if you’re out of the running for the big money. And, if you’re in a groove but miss a question, you’ll have the option to rejoin a game by redeeming a few SB.

The first public game is today at 4PM Eastern Time/1PM Pacific Time. So, tune-in then win up to $1000 playing SwagIQ. The host will review how to play before the game starts!

TTC? Try a fertility diet

Are you ready to have a baby?

That is great and before you jump in, there are steps you need to take. At the same time, if you and your partner have been trying for a baby for over six months and no pregnancy has been achieved, then you need to make some changes before you jump into asking your doctor for referrals to fertility clinics. There may be a reason that you are struggling and it may not have anything to do with a serious problem that is causing you to be infertile. You may be able to fix the issue yourself if you take the doctor’s advice and stick with it.

The first thing that couples need to do before trying for a baby is to make sure their overall health is good. If they are overweight, then they need to slim down to get to a weight that is acceptable for conception (5-10 lbs just might do it!). They can still be somewhat overweight and be healthy enough to conceive. Being extremely overweight or obese is not acceptable. If they are underweight, they also need to gain a healthy amount of weight, but by eating certain foods, which will be discussed in a bit. 

They will also have their blood taken to see how their blood sugar levels are, and their blood pressure will be taken as well. If there are adjustments that need to be made for that, then that has to be focused on before trying to conceive. 

Research conducted has indicated that if you are trying to conceive, then you need to stick with a fertility diet which can help increase the chances of ovulation so pregnancy can happen.  Especially if women who have ovulation disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome, this fertility diet can help them ovulate.

 The fertility diet includes:

●     Increasing vegetable protein such as getting protein from lentils instead of steak.
●     Increasing consumption of unsaturated vegetable oils such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can actually help improve blood cholesterol, and olive and canola oil are a great option. Healthy fats are found in foods like fish, nuts, and avocados which are part of the fertility diet.
●     Have whole fat dairy such as whole fat milk, cheese or even a little bit of ice cream (don’t eat too much due to the sugar content), and whole fat yogurt. Whole fat dairy will help increase chances for ovulation.
●     Only stick to complex carbs such as oatmeal, whole grains, and vegetables. Refined carbs such as white bread and pasta can cause insulin resistance, and as a result, ovulation will not happen. Stay away from anything refined.
●     Increase iron intake but not from red meat. Vegetables such as spinach are high in iron, and even consider taking a supplement.
●     Drink water and skip the soda, as soda is not good for you.
●     Don’t drink any more alcohol and limit coffee and chocolate. For instance, one cup of coffee a day is acceptable. Two or more, not so much.
●     Take at least 400mcg of Folic acid before you try to get pregnant and continue on while you are pregnant. Vitamin B’s are essential as B6 can help ease morning sickness as well. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects and even reduce the chances of autism.
●     Avoid trans fats which are found in fast food, baked goods like pastries and cookies, and avoid anything too sugary. Don’t eat sugary candies and limit the amount of ice cream you eat if you want to get your whole fats from that source. Trans fats and too much sugar consumption can get in the way of ovulation due to insulin resistance and increase the bad cholesterol which also has a negative impact on fertility.
●     Be active. If you don’t care for exercise, you need to start taking brisk walks 30 minutes a day for 5 days because that can help with fertility. However, don’t exercise too much as being overly active and having too little body fat will prevent ovulation from happening. Talk about a double-edged sword!

If you are unsure of getting the right variation of foods together or you have other concerns, you can always ask your doctor to be referred to a nutritionist or dietician that focuses heavily on fertility.

By the way, this list, for the most part, applies to men as well to help boost their fertility and to improve their sperm count as well as quality. Men and women also need zinc in their diets and foods such as fish, lentils, nuts, poultry and green leafy vegetables also have plenty of zinc. Your man will need to avoid taking hot baths and will have to start wearing boxers instead of briefs so their fertility is not affected by heat getting into these areas. 

Eggs are also a great source for women trying to conceive and to be eaten during pregnancy since eggs have the fats to help with ovulation, and choline to help with the baby’s brain development.

 Here is an example of  fertility meals for a day:

 Breakfast: For breakfast, have two slices of whole grain toast, and scrambled eggs. Have some full-fat yogurt as well and some fruit.
Snack: For a snack, have some nuts. 

Lunch: For lunch, have a chicken sandwich (by using whole grain bread), a piece of cheddar, marble or mozzarella cheese, and lentil soup. If you want another snack, have some veggies and dip. 

Dinner: Then for dinner, have salmon with brown rice and a spinach salad. Then for dessert, treat yourself to a little bit of ice cream but don’t do this daily because of the sugar content. Your dietitian or nutritionist will be able to give you tasty and healthy snack suggestions that will support your fertility. 

Be sure to chart your cycles as well, and your doctor will give you instructions on how to do that. However, if you have been eating foods that are meant to support your fertility for a year, and you have been charting your cycles successfully knowing when you ovulate so you can time intercourse, and still not pregnant after 1 year – then it is time to see your doctor and have your partner assessed as well. You may need fertility help at that point.

I am a ridiculous work in progress.

There I said it – I am a ridiculous work in progress.   What do I mean by that?  Well, lets just say that things that have happened to me in the past still have a hold on my psyche and I am working on changing that.

Let me explain a little more.  My 1st husband had an affair, not just one affair – but 3, with 3 different women.   The guy I dated for 3 years before I met Jake, remarried his ex-wife about 3 months after we broke up – but maintains that they were never an item while we were together (I am not stupid, I don’t believe that for a minute).    Those 2 instances y’all – shook me to my core and left something inside my broken.   I am super candid about both instances – but I cannot let them continue to impact my mind going forward.   I have a jealous streak a mile wide, and its not pretty.

Case in point, the other night I had tagged Jake in something on facebook, and someone I didn’t know liked it.  I asked him “who is this”, thinking his response was going to be “someone from high school” or “someone I used to work with at DHL”.  NOPE – it was “someone I met on match long before you, and never went out with”.  Y’all, I instantly started to shut down – to my HUSBAND.  This is the man that I married, that vowed to love me for the rest of my life and I vowed to love him.   He picked ME, not her – ME.  He was laying in bed next to ME.  I rolled over and put my phone back on the nightstand, and snugged down into the covers.  He asked me what was wrong and I said “nothing”, and quickly shut my eyes.    I didn’t want to talk about how bad it bothered me.

Let me explain why this is absolutely absurd.  I have a friend on facebook that I met on long before Jake.  This guy had a crazy situation, and it wouldn’t have worked out between us – we never went out.  He ended up DJ’ing our wedding – he is a super nice guy, an awesome dad to his kids – but that’s it.   Why is it OK for me to be friends with him but not for Jake to be friends with this chick?  Y’all, it is totally fine – she is no threat to me.  However, in my mixed up (messed up) brain, I was petrified and made her a threat to me.

Ever heard the saying that you are your own worst enemy?  Yep, that’s me.  I can make up ridiculous situations with the best of them, because I am scared.  Do I have ANY reason to be?  NOT. AT. ALL.

Can I change the fact that I am being ridiculous?

I can – I’m just a ridiculous work in progress.

looking forward

Now that I wrote a post about looking backwards at 2017, I am going to look forward to what is to come in 2017.   Some things that are coming up in January!

I am hosting a couple essential oils classes online – from Detoxing your Home, Earning an Accidental Paycheck and then an Oils in the Bedroom class.  If you want in on these classes (all free & from the comfort of your couch), let me know and I will get you the details.  The 1st is tonight and that is the Earning an Accidental Paycheck.  So excited, as this is the 1st time I am doing this class.  I am also completely stoked for the Oils in the Bedroom class, because I am going to get Jake to help me with that one (talk about oils for the men!).

I got an Insta-Pot for Christmas, so I plan on writing some about that!  I had a few friends that added me to their InstaPot facebook groups, and I am a mix of terrified and excited to use it.   I think I will do the water test and maybe make something simple like ribs on Saturday.  My friend CJ did this last night and posted about it on her InstaStory, and it seems simple enough!

I am also letting the teenager take over the blog, to do a review of some makeup products.  Look out world!  I am excited for her, because she loves makeup, so this is good fit for her!

Hope everyone’s holidays were wonderful – stay warm!


looking forward by looking back

Hey y’all.  I have contemplated this post for quite some time.  I want to give my blog attention, I want to give my business attention and well – I have a husband and kids that also need attention.   I have poor time management skills, and I am not afraid to admit it.  I sometimes would rather mindlessly scroll instagram than to write out my thoughts.  Then my head gets all jumbled, and the thoughts fade and I wish I had written them down.

So, looking forward to 2018 while taking a glimpse back at 2017….

January 2017 – I did pretty good, 6 posts but mostly wedding stuff.  I feel like I can top that this month!

February 2017 – 6 posts again in February, but its a short month, so I have an excuse right?  The weather outside is downright rude, so enjoy this post from February 2017 where I talk about Disney!  

March 2017 – 8 posts.  I got a little deep on one, where I had to get out some things and direct them at my husbands ex-wife.  Bonus was, she read it and actually responded to me (via email).  Did I feel better – heck yes!  Was she pissed – a little.     This was also the month that we put in an offer on a house, we went to fire our realtor but he quit (apparently, I am not a nice person), and we hired our realtor Lisa who was amazing and became a great friend!

April 2017 – 8 posts again, clearly I did better at blogging last year than I thought I did.  My goal is seriously 10 posts a month, which to me is a solid goal.   April was a little crazy for us, and I talk about it a lot in this post:  Calming the Crazy and then we got a short break to spend Easter in NC at my parents house.  We tried a few new places and thoroughly enjoyed our time there;  A weekend away…..

May 2018 – at this point, I’m seriously impressed with myself – 8 posts again.   This was the month my sweet friend Sarah started guest blogging and talks about their adventures with the “Hardin’s Cook at Home” series.   I also took a moment to implore you to say their names on Memorial Day.

June 2018 – 9 posts, but mostly because Sarah was doing some awesome write ups about the home meal delivery programs.  Seriously, she is amazing ya’ll.  From Terra’s Kitchen to Blue Apron to Plated, she did a fabulous job detailing all the different options, along with some photos that make you want to lick the screen (because food…).

July 2017 life was CRAZY– I feel like when I went to look back at this month, it was going to be empty – this was the month we got married and with a capital C – but nope 14 posts.  I think I wrote probably half of these in advance, and most were about the wedding.   We did have one sad moment in July that simply could not be ignored which I talk about here in a story about Newnan.

August 2017 – Yay!  We are married, and preparing for football season and our honeymoon to Texas!  10 posts down and here I was thinking that I had slowed down that month!    I did a fun post (in the myspace list style) all about me and then of course wrote about life lately (not once, but twice)

September 2017 – 8 posts, and a few I pre-wrote.  I did pre-write the one about the Gameday in Dallas and then later in the month I wrote about a transition point in our lives that we were facing.

October 2017 – here is where the slack begins to the end of the year.  Only 5 posts in October and none of them are worth reposting.

November 2017 – Did I say slack until the end of the year, nope – 11 posts this month.  I poured my heart out in “the one about the BFN” and then did a bunch of posts for Swagbucks.

December 2017 – 2 posts – December was hard y’all, so hard.  We did battle with the home warranty people over our dishwasher, the washing machine decided to go on the fritz around Christmas.  It was rough.  But I did watch 1 whole season of The Crown in like 3 days, so it wasn’t too terrible.


dinner plans…

Howdy-Ho friends!   So glad you were able to pop-in to my little slice of the web.   Let’s talk about dinner plans for a second shall we?  And by a second, I mean like 5 minutes, so sit back and relax for a bit.   Why does meal planning have to be so hard?   Like, can I just set a plate in front of my kids and they eat whatever is on it?   I feel like I am the president of the Parents of Picky Eaters Club (PPEC for short).

We find something my kids like, and they want it again.  So we make it again a week or so later, and then the 3rd time you make it they don’t really want it again – say what?  you loved this last time, you said it was your favorite!   I read somewhere once that most families have a rotation of 21 meals that they serve on a regular basis – but I had a hard time coming up with the list below, so I’m not sure 21 is correct!

Here is a list of our “go-to” meals for our dinner meal plans.

Sloppy Joes
Chicken & Rice Bake
Chili & Noodles (childhood favorite of mine)
Cowboy Casserole (introduced to my kids by their Auntie Lyns)
OMG Chicken (pretty sure I have blogged about this before)
Simple Chicken
Grilled chicken with marinade (Hawaiian marinade is a personal favorite)
BBQ Beef & Bow Ties
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Chicken Alfredo
Ravioli Bake

An Insta-Pot is definitely on my Christmas/Birthday wishlist for this year — because baseball season is almost upon us and we will be super busy!   My friend Kathleen has so many wonderful recipes that she has shared with me, I am looking forward to getting to try them myself!

What are some of your favorite recipes for busy week nights?   Please share them!



reading:   Once in a Great City.  I had to return it to the library and then check it back out a few weeks later after someone else was done with it.  I think I’ll be able to finish it over break.

writing:  this post, but earlier this weekend I wrote out all the envelopes for our Christmas cards.

listening:  to Jake watch The Walking Dead, and let’s be real – I’m also half watching it and half intrigued and half grossed out.

  about everything I have to do at work this week.

smelling:  dinner cooking.

wishing:  that is was closer to Christmas break – I’m ready for 2 weeks off.

hoping: that tonight I get some sleep.

wearing:  my favorite sweatpants of Jake’s, and a tshirt.

wanting:  a sweet tea from Cook-Out!

loving:  the additions we made to our Christmas village and the tree lighting up the room.

needing:  to vacuum, to blog, to finish sealing the Christmas card envelopes….