Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Electrolyte Water

We all know that electrolyte sports drinks are very popular.  They are found in most vending machines and are quick and convenient.  But many of us don't think about how they are full of high-fructose corn syrup and dyes.  These harsh things on the body make me not want to drink these sports drinks, despite their containing good electrolytes like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.  

But aren't there just electrolyte waters that you can buy?  What about them?  Another reason why I don't do store bought drinks, even electrolyte enhanced water is because they always come in plastic bottles, which can contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals.  I know there is debate on this, but in my book, I would rather be safe than sorry!  So I drink out of stainless steel and glass as much as possible.  My kids take Life Factory water bottles, which come in fun kids colors, to school for their lunches and love them.

Another reason I don't drink out of plastic is because I love making my own drinks, like this electrolyte water, with essential oils.  And essential oils can break down chemicals in the plastic, especially if they are quality pure oils.  And since I know I use high quality oils, I don't want to have a bunch of leaking, melting plastic cups on my hands! :)

We use this drink whenever our kids are sick, for when we have felt de-hydrated, after workouts, and just whenever we feel like it because it makes us feel so good!  Our kids need extra help in the hydration department because kids from trauma are prone to inflammation and dehydration- so this recipe gets frequent use in our home.

It's important to use a high quality sea salt for this because that is where we get these amazing electrolytes and trace minerals that our body craves.

From the Celtic Sea Salt(R) site:  "Sea water contains minerals such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, plus many trace elements such as iron, zinc, and manganese. The human body uses the many minerals and trace elements in sea salt to create electrolytes, maintaining the “internal ocean” which is vital to the proper functioning of every system in the body."

Healthy Electrolyte Water with sea salt:


  • 4 cups water
  • 1-2 Tbsp local raw honey
  • 3/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt(R)**
  • Lemon, Lime, or any other citrus juice to taste
  • 2-3 drops of Young Living essential oil, my fav combos:
    • Grapefruit & Lemon
    • Lemon & Lime
    • Tangerine & Orange
    • All the citrus oils help to support the bodies ability to detox, too*!
**Celtic Sea Salt (R) is more nutrient dense and salty-tasting than other salts, so you may increase to 1 full teaspoon if using another brand


  • Heat the water, salt and honey on low heat in a pot on low, stirring frequently.  This is just to incorporate the honey and dissolve the salt and should only take 2-3 minutes.  Be careful to not over-heat!
  • Add desired essential oils, stir, and pour into a glass or stainless steel container and enjoy!  (remember, no plastic straws!)

*All recipes using essential oils on this blog are specific to Young Living essential oils only.  I cannot give recommendations and suggestions on any oils but Young Living's essential oils.  The statements made on this blog about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Anyone pregnant, nursing, or suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.  If you are currently on medication, please do not stop.  It's always good to do your own research.  I have done mine for my family and we chose to incorporate YL essential oils into our lives.  If you are wanting to follow and do the same, please visit here for more information. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Taking Care

I awoke this morning to the blessing of my sweet husband taking all the kids to school and watching over the sick one and the young one while I got some much needed rest.  Sometimes rest isn't just sleep.  Although the importance of sleep for us mammas is up there!

For me, a relative introvert, rest is alone time.  I get energy from a few hours of alone time here and there.  And it's been a while since I was last alone.

As I'm sitting and reflecting this morning, I have been thinking about self-care.  What exactly does it mean, and why do we do so little of it?

I talk to mothers all the time about taking care of themselves, treating themselves, making sure they are getting rest and community time in so that they can in turn, be better with their children.  But I came across an idea recently that struck a cord.

"...taking care of yourself matters, of course.  But you shouldn’t take care of yourself just so you can take care of someone else. You shouldn’t fill your cup just so you can pour it out.  You should take care of yourself because YOU MATTER.  You are worthy of taking care of your body and nourishing your soul, even if not one person depends on you for a blessed thing." [quote from In Others' Words]

So. So. True.

And what is even better is that we have Someone in Jesus who fills us up just because WE MATTER.  We aren't just vessels or workers in the kingdom, taking care of little ones, supporting our family, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  We are women who matter just because We Are.  He is I Am; therefore, simply We Are.  We are worthy and we matter.

Some questions for thought:

  • Do you feel like you matter because others say you do or don't?
  • Do you feel like you matter when you accomplish your to-do list, getting all the things done, or getting them done perfectly?
  • Do you feel like you matter when your kids respond well to your parenting?
  • Do you feel like you matter when your friends, spouse, or partner treat you with love and respect?
All these above are ways that we cope or how we "make it" sometimes.  But these aren't reasons WHY we matter.  We matter because We Are [His/chosen/trusted/loved/created.....]!

What if our rest overflowed from our worth, and was not just done to help us survive the days to come? 

Here is what I'm doing right now for rest [because I matter]:

  • Reading good books, like Bruce Perry's and Maia Szalavitz' Born to Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered.  Parents of kids from hard places, be sure to check out my resource page for helpful books.
  • Making sure I get some alone time.
  • Going through an online study like this one: Watch Trailer HERE
  • Letting the house go a bit...or a lot ;)

Tea and this chia pudding.  Breakfast alone is divine!
This is my office, where I like to hide out for alone time :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DIY Diffuser Necklace and a GIVEAWAY

I actually made these!  Make sure to see below how you can win a free one!
I'm so excited to share this with you!  One of my favorite things to help parents with is ways they can connect with their kids.

Recently, I gave up homeschooling and sent the girls to a hybrid four-day-a-week school.  It was one of the hardest decisions we have made.  No one ever told me that school would be one of the hardest parts of parenting- whether home, public, private, hybrid!  There is no one perfect place, one place for kids to learn that will be just as safe as home.  And full disclosure, home may not have stayed safe if I kept trying to homeschool! 

So with a heavy heart I sent them back to school knowing that it was the best thing for my family in this season.  I have been thinking of ways for them to still feel connected to our little family while they are being brave in a new place.  Today I was inspired by a 10 year old entrepreneur who was making these beautiful diffuser necklaces and her mother was posting them on Facebook.  I thought, I might could make them too!

These were quite simple to make.  All products can be purchased at a Michaels or Hobby Lobby near you.  My daughter enjoyed the process, too- such a fun activity for older children to do with you.

Three things I love about having diffuser jewelry for the family:
  • These are a wonderful way for your kids to have the sensory, the calming, all the benefits of the oils throughout their day.  This is great for a family outing or if they are having to be away from mom and dad.
  • They double as fidgets- for sensory challenged kids.  They snap open, close, open, close.  Should not be something that they will get in trouble fiddling with, especially if you have a talk with the teacher and explain how this could benefit you both.
  • The best part, though, is that they connect my children back to me, reminding them that I am thinking about them and will equip them the best I can.  And my sweet Mia said this, and I knew it was all worth my day of gathering supplies and crafting: "Mom, this necklace means that I'm so very special!  It will help me remember!"  I can't believe that she said that.  Her journey has been long and slow, and I will make her 1,000 diffuser necklaces if that is what helps her feel more connected and special.  Because she is, and I want her to know it.

How to Make Your Own:

What you need: 

(all besides the YL oils can be found at local craft supply store jewelry isle, for oil ordering info, read here)
  • A locket type pendant, open air or closed
  • Charms if desired
  • A chain, 18" or longer for women and 14" for children
  • Rings to attach the pendants to the necklace
  • 1" Felt pads, also found in jewelry isle, can be cut to size 
  • Lobster clasps or other closures (only needed if you buy just a chain- the girls' chains came ready with a simple clasp)
  • Young Living Essential Oil of your choice, just 1-2 drops (change the felt pad out whenever you like for a new scent!)
These are some oils I will be talking about in an upcoming class for Struggling Children

Simply cut the felt pad to size.  Bigger pendants won't need cutting.  Add a drop of YL essential oil.  Close.  And wear!


If you follow me, @pumpkinspantry on Instagram you will be entered to win your own Diffuser Necklace!  Just comment on this photo on Instagram and tag two friends to be entered!  Giveaway ends 11:00 PM EST January 23, Winner will be announced on Saturday morning!

*All above information is specific to Young Living essential oils only.  I cannot give recommendations and suggestions on any oils but Young Living's essential oils.  The statements made on this blog about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Anyone pregnant, nursing, or suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.  If you are currently on medication, please do not stop.  It's always good to do your own research.  I have done mine for my family and we chose to incorporate YL essential oils into our lives.  If you are wanting to follow and do the same, please visit here for more information. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Being With

[Repost from Here]

Being with someone, doesn't necessarily mean being with someone.

I have been struck by something recently that is beginning to change things for me as a parent.

Obviously, we know that there is a difference between sitting at the dinner table and engaging with your family vs. sitting and texting and checking World Cup updates (ahem! David!) or the latest cute friend's family beach pics on Instagram (ahem! Me!).  And we know that there is a big difference in being together in the same room vs. talking and engaging one another in conversation or play in that same room.

That is not what I'm talking about here.  You thought this might be another put-away-your-iPhone-and-look-at-your-kid type post, didn't you?

When I say Being With vs. Being With, the thing that has been on my mind lately, is more about attunement and a kind of presence, a paradigm if you will.

I give you a scenario:
Little girl draws on walls, cuts her own hair (repeatedly, or better yet- goads her brother to cut it for her!), breaks things, tears things, you get the idea.
This is her struggle.
You have provided for her.  You have taken care of her sensory needs- making sure she has a tearing-appropriate-things outlet- you give her Pop-Beads in the car so she can break and re-snap all she wants to.  You make sure she is drinking water, because she is prone to dehydration.  You hold her, you rock her, you sing to her.
This is your struggle- because nothing is "working".

You are Being With her but somehow the Being With is getting lost in translation.  You are trying, or hustling as a recent blog I read excellently names it, but do you feel like you are With her?  Does she feel like she is desirable to Be With?  Probably not on both counts.  Probably, you feel like NOT being with in these moments if you are anything like me.

We say something around our home called, "getting in the weeds".  I have been thinking a lot about what this really means.  And I think there is more to Being With than simply presence of body AND also more than engaging, trying, or simply putting down the iPhone.

Really Being With, getting into the thick of the weeds with, requires seeing the child beyond the immediate needs and concerns, seeing beyond addressing the behavior.  Really Being With requires attunement to what the child is doing IN you- what buttons are being pushed in you.  Really Being With requires stepping outside of those buttons, outside of our triggers being sprung by our children.  Really Being With requires seeing our child for Who They Are.  And if we don't know who they really are yet, maybe because they have not given us glimpses of their true selves, then seeing them for who they could be.  Then when we are Really Being With them, we can simply just BE, together, cranky mood and wall-drawings and all.

When I think about this kind of Being With, I think about Jesus, Imanuel.  God with us.  Maybe that doesn't just mean that he physically came near, or came to experience all that we experience so that we have a far off idea that he can empathize with us.  Maybe it's much more. Maybe Immanuel means he wants to still be with, no expectations, no pressure, letting us have our emotional freak outs and anger, not wanting to change us but wanting to be With us and knowing the Change will soon follow.  He is secure in that it seems.  He is secure with us when we are insecure with Him.  So thankful for that!

I hope as a parent, I can Be With my kids FIRST.  Then all the other stuff comes later.  You know, like addressing a consequence for dismantling small, expensive electronics into several pieces.  Usual parenting stuff!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chia Pudding

This morning, amidst calls to customer service, having my 5 year take a urine test, playing games with said 5 year old to distract her from the idea of peeing in a cup, and finally finishing the putting away of Christmas decorations, I had no mental energy left for fixing the most important meal of the day!

I'm not a huge fan of cooking breakfast.  My good friend and neighbor cooks most breakfast for her children, and I admire her for her commitment and love for her family.  

But I am no such person ;).

I am a fan of the quick healthy, nutritious breakfast.  The kind where my kids get excited, and I get to feel good about filling them up.

This was our breakfast this morning:

Don't worry, my plating always gets re-done kid-style!  They stir it all together and call it "strawberry ice cream breakfast" :)

So a great breakfast, even for the kiddos, does not need take a lot of elbow grease.  There.  You have permission to give your kids "pudding" for breakfast, or as my kids say "Strawberry Ice Cream!".

Chia Pudding Recipe


  • 1 can organic full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup organic chia seeds, white or black
  • 1 whole vanilla bean's seeds
  • maple syrup, grade B to taste, I omit this, but just 1-2Tbsp would be plenty!


  • Mix them all together in a jar or big bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or the night before you want to eat!  That's it.  Sometimes, I stir it up after 30 minutes if the chia seeds seem to have settled on the bottom.

Topping Ideas:

  • strawberries, it's winter so I buy bags of frozen and just throw them in a pan for 3-5 minutes on the stovetop at medium- organic fresh ones are even better
  • blueberries
  • raspberries with orange zest
  • banana slices
  • nuts
  • raisins with a dash of cinnamon
  •  coconut flakes

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Struggling Children and Essential Oils

I'm hosting an online class, and as I type, the number of attendees is steadily rising!  When I set up this class, I had no idea the response that it would have.  There is a hunger out there for more information, more that can be done for our kids who are hurting, struggling, challenging, striving.

For me and my family, and particularly my own struggling children, there were many pieces that helped our family on our journey.  Diet, trust-based parenting, myself and my husband going on our own emotional healing journeys, flexibility, and being sensory-smart were some pieces of our healing puzzle, and our family was healing and doing well.  But I feel like we began to thrive when we added in essential oils.  We had our final piece.  Our kids have gone from doing fine to blossoming, from making it to being fully equipped.

We have new ways to connect with our sweet three that are impactful and bonding.  

This is why I'm so excited to share with you how essential oils have fit into our family!

I will be hosting an online class- just click on the link and listen in.  I will be covering many tools for healing as well as specific oils that help.  The class is online, so you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.  I will post a link on the Facebook event page (below) when the class starts January 25 at 8:30 pm, EST.  I would love to have you listen in!

 CLICK HERE for the Event on Facebook

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Year to Run!

As I mentioned, this year is already off to a good start for my clan!  I see many fellow bloggers and face-book posters claiming words for this new year: Thankfulness.  Health and Wellness.  Abundance.

This has had my wheels spinning about what our word could be.  As I was talking tonight with David, the kids long asleep, we went over all the things that have been hindering us.  We have experienced major illnesses and surgeries, the death of a parent, starting a business from scratch, hurting children who struggle with things we never dreamed we would encounter, and so many more smaller trials over our last nine years together.  Yet, in all of those times, those desert times of intense struggling, we were also held back by something else.  Something we haven't been able to name until recently.

For myself, I am beginning to see that there have been struggles, yes.  But it hasn't just been the struggles that have held me down, hindering me from running loose.  I chose a lot of the hindering.  

I didn't chose it willingly.  But my eyes have slowly been opened to the things I have agreed with the enemy on for the last 32 years, deep things.  Things about who I am.

It has been as if I was working for a boss who kept me guessing about exactly what it was I was supposed to be doing as the worker.  I would work, and please, and work, and please- but none of it ever seemed to feel like enough.  Then one day, I realized I don't have to work at this place anymore!

That is a cheap analogy for what God has done in me over the past couple of years, but it's the best words can do.  At times, words are too simple to express the fullness of an experience. 

Conversely, at times, a single word can sum up so much more than pages of written experience.  And that is why, I am choosing a word for 2015.  I'm claiming it, and it is good.


Running free/ long/ wild/ light/ unburdened/ unhindered.

So there you have it, 2015.  The year for Running!

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