essentialoils

Where do I even begin.

Essential Oils.

These seem to be all the rage right now, am I right?

But friends, truthfully and honestly, from the bottom of my heart…they really should be.

Do you want to know why?

They are a perfectly natural way to boost your immune system, heal your body, and enhance your well being.

My goal for this series is to inform you of the benefits of essential oils. To introduce you to my favorites and to help you see the simple ways that you can use them to enhance your everyday.

There are a few different brands of essential oils, but the kind that I will be sharing my knowledge of, is Young Living. I know that there are other reputable companies out there, but Young Living is the company that I get my essential oils from, so that is where my personal knowledge and experience comes from.

A little background on essential oils… essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their health, cosmetic, and emotionally uplifting benefits. Young living essential oils are the purest and most potent form of the oil, which gives you quick and effective results.

I have experienced results simply by holding the vial of oil under my nose

and inhaling its aroma.

I think the part that has surprised me the most with these oils is the fact that they can really be used in a multitude of ways. I have diffused them allowing the fragrance and healing properties to enhance the air in my home, I have used them topically, applying a combination of oils to a sore tooth or muscle and experienced immediate relief, I have ingested them by adding the oils to my tea or water and experienced the benefits and immunity properties that way…and the list goes on and on.

I became interested in the oils after experiencing a large amount of stress related to our move and school and work. I reached out to a friend who I knew had great success with the oils and simply asked a few questions.

After being told about the way her life drastically improved from just introducing essential oils to her everyday I was sold.

I simply wanted what she had.

I felt the excitement and true satisfaction she had from the oils and I knew she was sincere. And friends, that is all I am doing here with you today. I have a genuine love and excitement for these oils, and I cannot wait to share with you.

Each week I will highlight a particular oil, I will share benefits from the use of this oil, and different and simple ways that I use it in my everyday. Some of the oils that I will highlight will be…

Lavender, Thieves, Stress Away, Panaway, Peppermint, Lemon, Frankincense, Purification, Peace and Calming, Joy, Valor, and more.

Please remember all of the information and uses that I share with you are related to Young Living. Young Living oils are made with the highest quality and standard allowing you to be confident that the potency and oil purity are safe for everyday use and consumption. Please know that I am sharing any and all information with the heart to help you all. My experiences with these oils are nothing short of amazing, and I have a genuine excitement to share with you and to help you make steps toward healthier living.

So friends, I will see you back here next week as we highlight, Lavender.

Lavender is known as the swiss army knife of essential oils, the oil is gentle and can be used for so many different reasons. I am so excited to share some of my favorite uses for Lavender next week.

If you have any questions, or would like information on how to order, please do not hesitate to email me at Ashley@crazysimplelove.com. I would love to give you any and all information that I have.

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I think as a stay at home mom, and being a mom in general, a tough struggle is taking care of myself. When the day is full of drop offs, pick ups, clean ups, diaper changes, homework, cooking, and cleaning some more, I don’t take the time to ever sit down and feed myself. A quick peanut butter sandwich as I am running out the door, or a protein bar as I am passing through the kitchen, is usually the way “meals” go during the day.

But, on the days when I am actually at home, the kids are both sleeping, and I still have an hour until school pick up, well on those days I make this spinach salad. Its quick because there isn’t much washing and chopping, and I can sit at the table with a glass of iced tea and pretend for just a moment that I am sitting down at a restaurant in something other than yoga pants.

Yes, the days I make this spinach salad are few and far between, but when I do friends, boy, do I enjoy it.

So, for the days when the heavens have parted and you have a quiet minute to make yourself a nice and quiet lunch, enjoy.

spinachSpinach Salad

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups Baby Spinach

1/3 of a Cucumber peeled and diced

1 Small Tomato diced

2 Green Onions diced

1/2 Apple chopped

1/4 Cup Feta Cheese

1/4 Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

spinach1Spinach Salad

Directions

Wash, dry, and prepare all of your ingredients. Once prepared add them all to a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together and drizzle on top of salad.

spinach3Mix well, and enjoy immediately. Salad serves one, and is best if enjoyed right away.

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//original recipe and photography

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It’s kind of funny. This weird thing called writers block. It’s like all these ideas are swirling around in my head but when my fingers tap the keys I just keep on backing up.

Erasing it.

Starting over.

Erasing it.

Over, and over, and over.

So much in life is going on, so much change, so many beautiful new seasons are starting, but I find myself wanting to hold them close, to keep them sacred, and inside of my heart, and my family, and my life.

I use this space as a way to work through my own thoughts, to put them down, read them back, learn from them, and save them. But what do I do when I want to hold them tight, keep those words inside, and sit on them for awhile? I do just that, I close up tight and my fingers don’t tap away with the ease they used to.

I heard once that our generation thinks things don’t happen unless they are online.

Isn’t that sad?

Those moments, the ones that are so special, such a part of us, we feel like unless the world knows about them they seize to exist.

Strange.

And something that I really hope that my children don’t ever feel.

So for that reason, I think this space and I need an emotional break. A break from sharing my life’s thoughts. I will continue to share recipes, and food photography because that has become a real love of mine, but my life, those sacred parts, I am going to keep those close, keep them where they belong, besides, I am pretty sure my recipes are the only real traffic this place gets…and to those that read my words, that keep up with my beings and doings here, oh how my heart is so happy to have you, and you know I share quirky little stories with the recipes, and you can always keep up with me on Instagram.

Thank you.

Thank you friends, you are all my favorite.

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Hi Friends, I am over at Dreambook Design today sharing the recipe for these delicious little handfuls of fall. Be sure to head over there to get the recipe and take a peek around. I am pinching myself that I am sharing a recipe on Adrianne’s beautiful space, I have been a forever reader of hers. Enjoy my loves!

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My boy.

My firstborn boy.

He is amazing, brilliant, smart, loving, honorable, and so hard working.

But we have yet to find his thing. The thing that sets his little heart on fire.

And this boy, he is so serious, seeing him smile hasn’t been an easy task lately.

So you better believe when we found his thing. The thing that set him ablaze. The thing that made him smile for days after he did it. Well, you better believe we were all about it. All about seeing that smile.

Kids need to experience things that they love, things that they are good at. They need to feel good about themselves. The need to find something that they can be confident in.

And this boy, he needed that.

And would you believe it was his bicycle that brought him that happiness.

We took him Monday night to the local BMX track.

We brought his helmet, rented his bike and gear, and with a nervous excited smile he laced up his shoes.

We were under the lights, getting eaten alive by bugs, but watching our boy shine. He smiled, again and again. He was fearless, and he was good. He was amazing, and more importantly he was happy.

And as parents, isn’t that all we want for our kids?

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It’s 9 am and I am still in my pajamas.

The baby is napping, I have two boys sick in bed, and my wild one is curled up on the couch in between a state of dreaming and watching television.

The house smells of pumpkin candles and bleach.

Dishes are washed, bathroom is scrubbed, laundry is going, but the pajamas are still on.

Life has been a roller coaster lately. So much do and go and not enough rest and refresh.

It’s kind of funny how God uses even the things that seem to be a nuisance, like kids that are sick, or bathrooms that are dirty, for his good.

I didn’t have to rush off to take kids to school today, didn’t have to make lunches and breakfasts, didn’t have to wake them as they were sleeping and rush them out the door.

I did get to rest, I got to read my bible and clean the house.

All the while taking my time.

No hurry up, no it’s time to go, no rushing, no yelling.

Just the smell of bleach and pumpkin candles, and something God commanded us all to do..

Rest.

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Currently I am sitting in a quiet house watching my favorite guilty pleasure burning my favorite pumpkin candle and enjoying my clean kitchen.

Well I guess that I shouldn’t call it my kitchen, because yes, we are still living at my mommas house. But you know what, it truly takes a village to raise some babies, am I right, and I am nothing but grateful for all of the help.

Anyone else totally slightly freaking out about the Ebola situation? I find myself googling like crazy. Which leads me to my next point, a lot of the time I can’t help but believe that google is from the devil? Yea? Maybe I am exaggerating slightly but start googling why your toe hurts and you’re going to go to bed thinking you are dying of cancer and west Nile virus mixed with a little Lyme Disease or something crazy like that. (By the way, if you can’t tell, I’m no doctor and I totally pulled all of that out of my back pocket.)

Can I just mention how excited I am for this movie?

Usually whenever I see previews for a movie that I am really excited about that is based on a book I give in and swoop up the book but then kick myself because the movie never keeps up with it. Like this book that I sobbed through. I have yet to see the movie though, but you better believe I will be driving around to all the different redbox locations until I find one that isn’t sold out.

Currently I am feeling a little like Olivia Pope because I love nothing more then to unwind with a small glass of red wine in the biggest glass possible (does that even make sense?)

Well friends, enjoy your weekend, I know that I will because I get a whole two uninterrupted days with my husband, sans kiddos, all of them, you better believe that I will be snapping as many pictures as possible so be sure to follow along if you would like.


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The breakfast sandwich.

During my third pregnancy I wanted to eat eggs and only eggs, specifically eggs in the form of a breakfast sandwich.

I think it helped that at that time we had backyard chickens and were inundated with eggs.

Backyard chickens are good for that, but bad for morning sickness (dirty little animals). But now, since I am not going to be experiencing that terrible pregnancy symptom anymore, I say bring to me all the chickens and all of the fresh eggs. There really isn’t anything better than a fresh egg friends.

But back to the story at hand, the breakfast sandwich (specifically this breakfast sandwich) quickly became my jam and I am pretty sure 30 of the 40 pounds were gained because of them.

This is a simple but indulgent morning staple and I challenge you to not want one every single morning.

Enjoy.

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Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients

1 Bagel of you choice

1 Egg

1/4 Cup Cream Cheese

butter

3 Green Onions diced

2 Slices Tomato

Salt

Pepper

Garlic Powder

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Breakfast Sandwich

Directions

Begin by toasting your bagel. While your bagel is toasting warm a small frying pan over medium heat with a small amount of butter. As the pan is heating up, because that is the trick to a good over easy egg, mix green onions and cream cheese together in a small bowl. Once pan is heated crack the egg into it. Sprinkle generously with pepper, salt, and garlic powder. While egg is cooking assemble bagel. Smear both sides with cream cheese and place two slices of tomato on it. Once egg is almost finished cooking flip over for just a second or two. Gently remove egg and place on bagel.

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Carefully place the top of the bagel on, you don’t want to break the yolk until you are ready to eat. Enjoy immediately, as this is best when still nice and warm.

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//original recipe and photography

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That is a title that I never thought I would write.

I would love to home school.

Like really.

But I was blessed with two boys born extremely close together with two extremely different learning styles. One who loves to learn, one who loves anything but learning. Therefore, even homeschooling for preschool didn’t seem like much of an option. Not to mention I was young and naive and didn’t really want to.

But my second set of babes are much slower paced. My daughter watches my older two and remembers nothing but seeing them do nightly homework, so to her, learning is something exciting, something that the big boys do, so of course, it’s something she wants to do as well.

We are still between homes, and we are using this time wisely and trying to pay off as much debt as possible, so finding a preschool is the last of our priorities. But, I see her yearning to learn and I see her ability to listen and to be taught. So I couldn’t dare push that aside.

As I mentioned, my oldest doesn’t like to learn. Although I should clarify that, he loves to learn but he doesn’t love to be taught. Give him something hands on and he will figure it out, he will take it apart, put it back together, and then take it apart again. He has more common sense than most people my age, and I am pretty sure he could survive in the wilderness if he had to. But book work isn’t his jam, so reading never came real naturally to him.

After working with his school and working with him at home I decided it was time to try and find something that could start him fresh and teach him the right way from the beginning. After much research and looking at a lot of home school blogs I found this
book. So on a whim and with nothing to lose I ordered it. I mean really, it’s crazy cheap so you don’t have much to lose. I got it and started it right away with my second grader, and while the lessons at the beginning are extremely simple for him, they are teaching him the right skills that he was lacking. We are moving along great in the book and he doesn’t mind doing his reading lessons as part of his nightly homework at all.

So, back to my preschooler. The one who is crazy eager to learn. Well, mixed in with our practice of scissors, colors, crafts, and drawing I decided to just try out doing lessons with her. I can’t even describe to you how amazed I was when I started. Each time she sits and does her lesson and actually looks forward to it. And because the book starts out with really simple lessons and builds upon those, she is understanding and keeping up. Now, do I think she will be reading before kindergarten, honestly, I don’t know. But I do know that it can’t hurt, and that young readers need to be immersed with early education in order to succeed. And I can already tell that this is a great resource, and I strongly recommend adding this to your home school curriculum, or even as an additional resource if you have a struggling reader.

//while there are affiliate links in this post, I was not compensated in any way. This is an honest opinion that I wanted to write because I truly love this resource.

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It’s almost October, that means it’s almost time for everything pumpkin.

Am I right?!

I have a confession.

I don’t count down the days for the Pumpkin Spice Latte to come to Starbucks like most people.

I love pumpkin.

Pumpkin smells, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies (be gentle with that one it was one of my first recipes) pumpkin candles, pumpkin soap, you get it right!?

But pumpkin spice lattes aren’t my jam.

I do however love Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffins. But you know what happened? They went and made them all healthy this year. Insert sad face emoji. I mean seriously, it’s like reinventing the wheel here, why make something delicious, different. Can you tell I was a little upset?

So I went for it.

I took my beloved pumpkin bread recipe and transformed it into these delicious pumpkin muffins with spiced cream cheese frosting.

Friends, they are divine. And if you enjoy pumpkin spice lattes go ahead and pair the two of these, I can only imagine.

Enjoy sweet friends.

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Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

1 Cup Coconut Oil

2 Cups Brown Sugar

4 Eggs

3 1/4 Cup Flour

2 Cups Pumpkin Puree

2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

for the frosting

2 Cups Cream Cheese

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

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Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Add in eggs, oil, and pumpkin pie puree and combine well. Spoon into prepared muffin pan or loaf pan if you prefer a quick bread.

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Place in preheated oven and bake until golden brown on top and toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center, about 40 minutes. Let muffins cool while you mix together frosting ingredients.

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Once muffins are cooled generously top with frosting.

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Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Recipe makes eight large muffins and one small loaf of bread, two loaves of bread, or eighteen muffins.

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//original recipe and photography