#oilofthedayvideo Myrrh Essential Oil!

Today Lottie makes an appearance as we talk about Myrrh Essential Oil in our #oilofthedayvideo series! MYRRH IS AMAZING!!

If you would like to know how to get Young Living Essential Oils for yourself, go read this post! If you have any questions you can always send me an email.

Qeepsake - A New Kind of Baby Book and Why I Love It!

Among the most popular phrases said to new parents, "You'll miss this someday," "It goes by so fast," and "You need to write all this stuff down!" are among the most popular. ALL ARE TRUE!

I can't really do anything about the fact that babies don't stay babies forever and seem to grow up at warp speed. I also can't really do anything about the fact that my mind used to be a steel trap of details and memories, and now, thanks to the small human who resided in my body for 10 months and stole part of my brain, I can't remember anything anymore, (She also stole my whole heart, so it's okay, I tell myself.)

I know every mom wants to find a way to bottle up all the precious things and sweet moments and memories that happen, but let's face it. About the last thing a new mom has time to do these days is sit down and write stuff down. Plus, by the time a mom gets a hot second to herself, she literally can't remember anything that happened to her that day. Her brain is mush. Writing is therapeutic to me, and I still don't seem to make the time to journal and store memories like I want to.

Shortly after Lottie was born, my mom (who is brilliant) gave me the idea to do a baby-book calendar and hang it in our kitchen so I could quickly jot down milestones and events throughout Lottie's first year. I have LOVED doing that and I got this one on Amazon. It has cute stickers for monthly birthdays and milestones for baby. And because of it's convenient spot in the kitchen, I see it often and have actually been pretty faithful at filling it out!

A couple weeks ago, I saw a Facebook ad for Qeepsake. I had heard about it before, but never really looked into it. This time it caught my eye and I saw it came with a 2-week free trial, so I signed up! Every night shortly after Lottie goes to bed, Qeepsake texts me a question about her, and I text back an answer. Qeepsake stores my answers as dated journal entries and compiles them into an online baby book! I can text in pictures and also random things that happen that I want to remember and Qeepsake stores it all.  Even cooler - whenever you're ready, you can order a Qeepsake book that prints out all your journal entries to date!

I absolutely have fallen in love with storing memories this way!! In my business, I use my phone a LOT, so I love the convenience of texting in journal entries. I have found that I really look forward to the nightly text from Qeepsake to reflect on the day.  When my free trial was over, I opted for the Qeepsake Plus plan ($35/year) which allows me to text Qeepsake whenever Lottie does something adorable (so, always) or something special happens, and I can text in pictures that I want to keep, too!! I LOVE this feature!

One thing I really appreciate is that the Qeepsake questions are often things that I wouldn't normally think to write down about her. Questions like - What are 2 things about Lottie's personality that you love? What was your favorite moment with Lottie today? What does Lottie do when she recognizes someone? What is a piece of wisdom you want Lottie to know? The questions get me thinking and reflecting and I love that I am building a journal of more than just milestones, but things about her unique self that I know I would forget eventually.

You can add more children to your Qeepsake account, so you can make journals for each of them! The Qeepsake Books are expandable so you can always get more pages to keep on storing unique memories for your children. I love that we have our sweet baby calendar to remember Lottie's first year, but I am so thrilled that I have found Qeepsake to keep storing memories throughout her childhood. I know I will look back and treasure these so much one day.

If you'd like to use Qeepsake for yourself, I'd love it if you would use my unique referral link! I am not being compensated by Qeepsake in any way and all of the opinions in these post are mine. I just wanted to share something awesome with you, my awesome readers, that is super convenient and I have fallen in love with!!!

Lottie is 10 Months!

I'm not sure how or when it happened, but my little baby girl has turned into a curious little pre-toddler monkey! She is 10 months old today! She weighed in yesterday at 22.1 lbs and 30 3/4 inches long! She is wearing anywhere from 12mo to 24m clothing, and pretty much refuses to wear shoes.

This girl is so fun and so ornery. Her favorite thing these days is to make a huge mess with her food, or her toys, or even better - by emptying drawers, baskets, tables, and shelves of all of their contents. She is squirmy and wriggly and always on the go searching for new and exciting things to explore. She pulls herself up to standing on anything and everything and has taken a few steps along furniture. She learned to climb the stairs a few weeks ago, so now her favorite thing to do is climb our entire staircase several times per day. We are pretty sure she can stand on her own, but she hasn't realized it yet!

Lottie is an observer, and so inquisitive. I can constantly see her little wheels turning as she explores her world. She gets bored easily and moves on quickly. She knows all the things in the house she's not supposed to touch, and prefers to go after those things instead of her toys. She loves going new places because there's tons of new stuff and people to look at! She loves watching Super Why and Baby Signing Time, and the Royals. She is starting to like looking at books and being read to. She babbles and sings and chatters constantly and likes to mimic blowing raspberries and bubbles and says "Da," "Ba," and "Ma." I have a feeling she waits until she really knows how to do something before she tries it.

She gets frustrated if she isn't able to figure something out quickly, but before we know it she has totally mastered it. She has quite a strong will already, which I'm sure will be a means of sanctification for both her and her parents!

Lottie takes awhile to warm up to new people, but once she decides she likes you, she really likes you. She is a huge mama's girl, but she is finally coming around to loving Daddy and her grandparents. Verdict is still out on everyone else. She thinks Daddy is tons of fun and loves when he teases her. They make each other laugh and she loves to be chased and tossed around and pestered! We cannot believe how fast she is growing up and we are constantly amazed at the little girl she is becoming! She is such a gift to us. We love you so much, Charlotte Jean!

#oilofthedayvideo Oregano Essential Oil

Today's #oilofthedayvideo is for Oregano Essential Oil! Check out the way we use Oregano oil from Young Living to support our immune systems regularly! We love having a 100% pure and highly effective Oregano oil in our essential oil arsenal so we can enjoy it's therapeutic benefits! 

If you are interested in getting started with Young Living Essential Oils, check out this post for all the details! If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email. 

#oilofthedayvideo Cedarwood Essential Oil

Today we are talkin' about Cedarwood essential oil from Young Living!

If you would like to get some Young Living Essential Oils for yourself, go read this post! And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to send me an email. 

#oilofthedayvideo Joy Essential Oil Blend

5 Reasons You Need Lavender Oil if You Have a Baby

Sometimes, babies lose their mind. If you have been a parent for longer than 2 days, you know what I'm talking about. The little sweet helpless cries based on simple needs eventually turn into shrill, demanding, "What in the world do you WANT?" shrieks, (just my kid? oh...) and - the worst - loud wails when they bump into (insert sharp furniture corner that you didn't even realize you had) for the 18th time that day. 

Sometimes my kid gets in a bad mood where nothing makes her happy. Her level of satisfaction with life plummets occasionally and the smallest infraction on my part or a piece of furniture's edge can totally set her off. Thankfully, I have a secret that's about to not be a secret because I'm going to share it with you. 

Lavender oil. Yep. Lavender essential oil (we use Young Living and here's why!) is an absolutely amazing gift from God that we can't live without in my house. Here are FIVE reasons why, starting with my favorite:

1. Lavender oil can take hysterical crying baby to calm and quiet in just a matter of seconds!! Since my baby girl is crawling and pulling up on everything these days, I am getting lots of chances to test this theory out, and I've consistently been amazed at how it calms a screaming kid down and makes everyone feel better. 
Here is what I do: 
*cue high pitched screaming fit*
Go get bottle of Lavender oil. Put 1 drop in the palm of my hand. Rub my hands together to absorb oil. Then gently rub baby's head and neck and back until she calms down. Within a minute I have always noticed a huge difference in both of our stress levels. The reason? Lavender is extremely calming and balancing to the body and the brain. Even the simple act of inhaling lavender can have profound effects!!

2. Lavender oil helps everyone get a good night's sleep. Again with the calming effects. Just one drop of lavender in the diffuser in Lottie's room makes it a totally peaceful environment. Now granted, my kid loves sleep (partly because we did Babywise with her, but that's for another post!), but like any baby, sometimes she fights it, and when she does, I'm always thankful we keep a bottle of Lavender and a diffuser in both our bedroom and hers!

3. Lavender is the perfect gentle scent for babies. When a baby is teeny tiny and fresh, you suddenly start second-guessing everything that they come in contact with and whether it's safe and sanitized. Their systems are itty bitty so you don't want to use anything that's too strong. All of a sudden, you realize that all kinds of thing have a strong fragrance that doesn't exactly smell natural. This is one of the main reasons we love essential oils so much at our house - they are totally pure and natural and safe alternatives to synthetic fragrances, so we use our diffusers or homemade room sprays to scent our house instead of candles / air fresheners / #otherrandomthingswithfragrance 
Even some essential oils are a little too strong for itty bitty lungs, so we used Lavender constantly the first 3-4 months because it is a very gentle scent. Perfect for babies! I knew it was safe so I used it in our room sprays, diffused it all the time, added it to coconut oil for lotion, wore it as perfume, and put it on our dryer balls. Now to this day, the smell of Lavender reminds me of a newborn baby! Awww. ;-)

4. Lavender supports happy baby skin. Anytime Lottie gets any kind of bump, scrape, bite, etc. - we put Lavender on it! Lavender is gentle and balancing and baby skin loves it! We use Lavender oil in our homemade baby wipes, and we add a few drops into coconut oil for baby booty cream and/or baby lotion! Lavender is super soothing to sun-exposed skin as well, so we always keep some in our beach bag for outdoor/pool days. 

5. Lavender is the "swiss army knife" of essential oils. I don't know if you've noticed....but my kid cannot tell me what she needs yet. For some reason this caught me by surprise as a new mom. I expected that it would always be obvious whenever something was bothering her so I could come to the rescue. Um, nope. It's always a huge guessing game. I've always taught in oils classes that "When in doubt, put Lavender on it!" Well, my friends, that theory has been put to the test in my home the last 9 months, and I totally stand by it now more than ever! When in doubt, we use Lavender. Calming, relaxing, balancing, skin-loving, gentle, and it supports just about everything in the body. I find myself reaching for it all. the time. I'm so glad we have it because a LOT of the time, it helps a lot! 

So there you have it! Five reasons you NEED Lavender essential oil in your life, especially if you have or are expecting a baby! If you are a member of Young Living - high five! If you aren't yet a member of Young Living - you are missing out on the best essential oils in the world! Send me an email if you'd like access to an online Intro To Essential Oils class, or a video class so you can learn all the basic info you need to get started using essential oils. Here is more information about the ways to get started and what you'll get from us as a gift for joining our community!

*I have to let you know that the information & statements in this post are not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease. Legally, only drugs can make those kind of claims. This is not medical advice. Please consult your health care provider if you are pregnant, nursing, or being treated for a health condition. You are an empowered parent! Do your research and make the best decision for you. 

Why I'm Grateful for a Dinner Disaster

So yesterday was one of those days.

One of those days where I had to remind myself that someday I will miss this older-baby stage we're in with Lottie. 

On a usual day, I would probably tear up and give a hug to anyone who said "I remember/miss those days!" or "One of these days, you'll miss this!" because I know so deep in my heart how true it is. I find myself often thinking about how quickly the days are passing with her as a baby and sometimes I already miss when she was a teeny tiny baby!

Yesterday, however - I feel like I said "No No" a million times. There was a short nap in the car on the way home from our morning activity followed by a refusal to sleep any more. There was a short stint in a pack & play while I desperately tried to get 2 simple things done for a few Young Living members and fix dinner for some friends who just had a baby. That pack & play ordeal resulted in huge crocodile tears and loud wails. There was a very independent girl who wanted to play in the dog dish, open all the cabinets, pull herself up in all kinds of precarious places, touch all the things she's not supposed to (lamps, cell phones, keyboards, remotes, hot stoves and ovens...you know the drill), and also wanted Mama to hold her (and would wail if I set her down).

On top of all that going on, dinner ended up taking 3x as long as I had planned for it to bake. I had told our friends we would be there with dinner at 4:30, and at 4:45 there was still-pink chicken and hard potatoes. so we changed plans on a dime and ran to get pizza to take to our friends. Good grief. Never a dull moment around here!

While we ran to grab pizza, I was grateful for a few quiet moments in the car. I watched her in the rearview mirror suck her little thumb and babble at what she was seeing outside the window. Frustration and stress melted away from both of us. Sometimes my girl and I are a lot alike and we just need a few minutes to reset. The quiet moments allowed me to change my perspective, repent of my bad attitude, recognize her needs for extra rest and quality time, and keep pressing in to be patient and compassionate with her. And I reminded myself that this day was precious and I only get to live it once (and that yes - one day I'll miss this).

So, I actually ended up being grateful that dinner was a disaster, because it allowed me a few quiet minutes to settle my heart and refocus on what is most important. To choose gratitude instead of focusing on everything that was wrong. It's hard to be grateful for those kinds of days, because I could list off a laundry list of things that were making me grumpy and feel sorry for myself. But it's on the challenging days that our character is shaped and molded to look more like Christ - and that is what I'm after!

Fresh Start!

Hello friends!

You might notice a few changes around here! 
For one, we have a new name and a new web address! We wanted to be able to have a blog name that was unique and memorable that could also be a unique URL. So, welcome to ShanksaLatte.com!

My beautiful friend Erika Zane came up with a fresh, new design to update this blog and make it reflect my personality better (coffee, anyone?), as well as easier to navigate and read.  I absolutely love it! I cannot wait to share more reflections on motherhood, yummy (& healthy) things we are eating, and more about essential oils and our Young Living business! I have always been blown away by the fact that people even care to read what I write, but I love doing it and I'm excited to share about what we are up to!

For a long time I have had it on my wishlist to make this blog a more intentional place where I share about our life and adventures. Of course, our life has had quite the overhaul this year with the addition of a new family member! Learning how to balance and live intentionally as a wife, new mom, and business owner has been quite the challenge! Over the last year full of change, I have noticed that a lot of things don't quite "fit" anymore (more than just pants - ha!!), so I am ready to be out with the old and in with the new. Sometimes a fresh start is just what we need to get fresh energy and inspiration!

Along with a fresh new look, we also have a new Facebook Page! Come find us and Like the Page "Hannah Shanks: Shanks a Latte" to stay connected with us, and please share with your friends! 
We will share on the Page whenever there's a new post here, and also when we do exclusive giveaways for blog readers, host & share essential oils classes and events, do LIVE videos, and lots of other fun stuff!