A Few of My Favorite Things

I know I’m not Oprah…but this seems the perfect time of year to list all of my favorites from 2016. Whether they’re places I’ve been, apps I can’t live without, or favorite items, I want to share them with you! (And just in time for Christmas). If you want to know more about any of the following favorites, find me on Facebook 🙂

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Curious About Oils

Getting a kit through Young Living not only saves you $300+ in the long run, but it equips you with the MOST easily used oils to start your journey. Covering everything from digestive support to immune booster, the “everyday oils” are accessible, powerful, and versatile. What often happens, though, is that we don’t know where to go after that. When I got my membership and kit, it took  me WEEKS to start using those oils every day. But I got curious about what they could do, I started using them often and reaching for them daily, and then I had used up my favorites! We often just restock our go-to’s and forget about the other 99% of Young Living’s products.

One day I flipped open the product guide that came in my kit and I started circling things I wanted, just like I used to do with a JC Penney catalog at Christmas! Perhaps one the of greatest tools in anyone’s essential oil arsenal is their curiosity. I firmly believe that no matter what the research says (and it says LOTS of good things!) that personal experience with oils is the key way to own your journey. 

One of the things that keeps me inspired to try new things is Young Living’s Essential Rewards program. I get points back on my monthly orders, and the only commitment is spending about $50 per month. I budget it into my grocery or home budget, and then I use that $50 (sometimes more, hehe) to explore new things!! That’s how I fell in LOVE with their probiotic, Life5 (newly reformulated as Life9!), the NingXia line for whole body wellness and energy boosts, and their Thieves household cleaning products! It would have taken me months (if ever) to stumble upon these now staple products if I hadn’t been using my essential rewards. And to think, I would’ve missed out on the best pre-workout snack I’ve found yet! Or the most delightful smelling, all-natural, all purpose household cleaner that cleans EVERY surface in my home without harsh chemical agents. 

While some products work better with my body than others, I’ve loved trying them all. And I have barely scratched the surface! One of the biggest comments I get about Young Living is that it’s catalog is HUGE! Though it may look overwhelming at first glance, this is a good thing. It means that I can keep exploring without ever getting bored. And YL keeps unveiling new products, seasonal kits, and reformulations. It’s growing and changing, and I want to grow with it! There’s so much to try, I can hardly choose when it’s time for next monthly order 🙂 So push past the overwhelming feeling and just pick a category (oils, blends, supplements, weight management, household cleaning, etc) and pick a few products to try. Then next month, go to your second most important category. The following month, flip to the other page you’ve been curious about. Taking this approach can help you feel empowered to try things that YOU need while breaking it down into easy pieces. 

A whole wide world awaits, and I encourage you to think about your “why.” Why did you want to start using oils? Why are you curious about getting the MOST out of these products? In what ways are you looking to enhance your life? Then go and pursue that. I’ll be here cheering you on 🙂 

Tips for a Successful NaNoWriMo

If you stumbled over that last word, don’t worry. You’re in good company. It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s every writers favorite and least favorite month all rolled into one! Over the next 30 days, I’ll be challenging myself to crank out a 50,000 word novel. Or the first draft of it at least. My writing community and I will have from November 1-30… that’s it. In case you’re doing the math, that’s 1,667 words per day. No pressure, right?! So this year, I thought I’d make a short list of all the things one can do to help be successful. Lehgo.

1. Get out of Your Head

It may sound simple, but it can be the most difficult thing to overcome when staring at a blank computer screen. I’m not talking about the self-doubt and the cold sweats. That might come later. This is about the novel you’re writing in your head. We’ve all been there–day dreaming into this fantasy world we’ve created, only to freeze when it counts. So here’s my advice. Keep a journal or notepad with you at ALL times! Got an idea? Jot it down. Heard a funny line from that conversation you were creeping on in the coffee shop? Write that down do. Let the paper hold your plot points and scene ideas, so your head is free. If you try to keep it all in your head, it might get scrambled up there and no one wants that on Nov 1. 

2. Prepare Your Space

Ohmmmmm anyone? Whether it’s organizing your desk, having your aforementioned journal ready to pull from, or doing a quick stretch before sitting down, make your prep your own! I’ve been getting my writing desk juuuusssttt right so it feels like a cool, fun space by Nov 1. By my side will be my favorite essential oils for focus: cedarwood, frankincense, peppermint, and lemon. I’ll also be using some motivation essential oil for those tough days 😉 I’m also still working on crafting the perfect playlist to keep my ideas flowing and fingers moving. Don’t wait until November to start exploring Spotify. NO TIME! Also, notice I’m writing this blog on October 31st…

3. Enlist Help

Tell someone! Seriously, tell your friends and family that you’ll be AWOL for 30 days so a) they don’t get mad when you don’t text them back, or b) they don’t worry you’ve disappeared or been abducted. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Enlist the help of a friend who can bring you take-out when you’re on a roll. Or do what I do. There’s these people called a spouse. They’re like super supportive roommates (with some benefits) and they’re really great at helping cook dinner, putting kids to bed, and making you feel like a champ at the end of a ragged day of writing. If you have one, enlist their help! If not, no worries. There are plenty others than can help support your journey to being the next great NaNo novelist 🙂

4. Fret = Regret

Panicking about your novel helps no one–especially not you. Write when you can and as much as you can. If you go wild and knock out 2,000 words on day 1, awesome. If Thanksgiving dinner isn’t the best time to pull out the old laptop and start writing, that’s okay too. You’ll have days of feast and famine, but not to worry. As long as you make it up somewhere, that’s all that matters. This is also where the journal from #1 comes in handy. If you’ve got a basic idea of your plot (pantsers and planners alike), then you can always get back on track. Some days, a trip down the rabbit hole is just what you need to get the imagination going and take your story to the next level. Other days, you’ll want a reminder of what your book is even about and who that new character is and how the heck did they end up in Florida? Don’t fret. It’ll only derail you and lead to time wasted on worry. Keep. on. trucking.

5. Compete…but only if you’re competitive 

NaNo is technically a competition. But one with many winners. As long as you hit 50K words, you win!! You also have the option of adding “writing buddies” to your profile. These people can help support you, give you ideas and tips through the forums, and they can also provide MAJOR motivation. If you look at your buddies’ profiles, and see they’re 10,000 words ahead of you? It may light a fire. But only do this if it leads to encouragement. If you’re they type to spiral out a la #4, then don’t do this! There are enough winner badges to go around, I swear. So compete if you want to, race a writing buddy to who can write the most words that day… or not. It’s up to you!

May the NaNo gods be with you, and here’s to 50,000 words in 30 days! You got this!!

 

ONE NIGHT ONLY!

It’s Halloween and what better way to treat yourself than by making a healthy choice this season?? Unfortunately, this sweet deal doesn’t include chocolate, but it does include 11 versatile oils, a diffuser, 24% off ALL future orders, and all the tips and info to help you get started using these oils every single day! Don’t be scared, click here to make the magic happen!

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Young Living SALE!!

UPDATE: Through MIDNIGHT tonight (10/19) you get 10% off from Young Living AND $25 from me!! That’s a $41 discount!! Click here to join the oily tribe 🙂

 

Just this weekend, I had the chance to tell my story about how and why I got started with Young Living. In short, it was an investment in my health and wellness, and one I’m SO glad I made! I feel more in control of my body, my weight management, my moods, even how I clean my home. I literally smiled at 7am (if you know me, there’s no smiling that early in the morning), but I was THRILLED and so proud of myself because I realized my shower/morning routine is ALL Young Living. My shampoo, bar soap, mint scrub (helps wake me up!), moisturizer… it’s all from Young Living, and it’s all free of harsh chemicals, parabens (which we too often see in beauty products), dyes, fake scents and fragrances, etc. It’s only the purest, most natural stuff on the earth because it IS of the earth. 

Essential oils are the oils extracted from plants, herbs, and plant-based resins. They’re incredibly powerful and have endless health benefits. When I took the big step of getting my Premium Starter Kit, it was a little scary. The world of essential oils was SO overwhelming for me- I didn’t even know where to start. Young Living’s starter kit made it easy 🙂 With all the amazing oils and accessories, you also get 24% off ALL future YL orders, AND a chance to enroll in their rewards program which has already earned me over 20 YL products for FREE. That’s right $0. Those daily health and beauty items I use each morning went into my monthly rewards purchase, and that lead to FREE oils!! It’s stuff I’d usually buy at the grocery store, except I earn points SO fast and get free stuff along the way 🙂 

There is no better way to get started with oils, because there’s so much to explore within this kit. They last forever, and cover so many areas of need for each person: digestion, immune support, restful sleep, de-stress, overall wellness and antioxidant boost, pure home cleaning, DIY health and beauty prodcuts… ALL of that is in the kit!

NOW THROUGH WEDNESDAY, Young Living is offering 10% off*!! That saves you 16 bucks! You know what else I can get for $16?? Foaming hand soap, lavender oatmeal bar soap, hand sanitizer that’s free of harsh chemicals and fragrances… You could turn right around and get ANY of those products with that $16 you saved! But YL is also throwing in a FREE oregano oil which is great for internal support and bone health! Also great in spaghetti sauces 😉 For $144, your kit includes:

  • 5ml Lavender
  • 5ml Stress Away
  • 5ml Frankincense
  • 5ml Peppermint
  • 5ml Lemon
  • 5ml Thieves, a natural purifier and cleanser
  • 5ml DiGize for aid in digestion
  • 5ml Purification, perfect for neutralizing odors in the home
  • 5ml Copaiba, aids the body in its natural response to inflammation
  • 5ml R.C., perfect for opening airways to help you get a good night’s sleep
  • 5ml PanAway, a blend of wintergreen and other oils to help ease minor aches and pains
  • A diffuser of your choice (dewdrop or rose diffuser)
  • 1 roller top attachment to run any oil into an easy-application roll on
  • 2 2oz sample packets of NingXia Red, a delicious antioxidant blend using wolfberries and EOs an overall energy boost
  • 10 sample packets of variety EOs for stashing in your bag or sharing with friends!
  • 10 sample bottles for sharing oils with loved ones, or for traveling 
  • How-to guide to help you get started using each oil. Shows recommended uses and ideas
  • 24% off ALL future Young Living orders
  • EO Magazine
  • Access to Essential Rewards program that helps you earn points to use for FREE oils
  • Access to The Droppery private Facebook group
  • Access to team support and leadership guidance!

These kit/membership fee is NOT recurring. So it’s like a Costco membership… except you only pay it once in your life and it comes with a WHOLE box full of goodies. I’d love to help you get started the way someone helped ME get started. I jumped on the oily train and never looked back! Taking this next step on your health journey is easy, and now more affordable than ever. Visit https://tinyurl.com/haleyreedYL to get started and SAVE 10%*!

 

*10% deal applies to kits purchased with a rose diffuser option*

Keto Update!

 

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Last year on my 27th birthday, I promised myself this would be my year. I would do good things, pursue dreams, eat well, and be healthy mind, body and soul. My birthday is October 24th so we’re in the home stretch folks. So far, I’ve got a few of those things checked off the list, but eating right and staying physically healthy has been a challenge for me every since graduate school which is where the stress began. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED grad school, and if I could just do that forever with my amazing cohort, I totally would. But that’s also when college kids become adults, and bills start coming in, and job hunts begin, and some of us get a permanent roommate (i.e. a spouse). Read more

New Publication: The Rebel Boy

boat-1I’m SO excited to share this piece with y’all!! It went live on September 19th, and has received some great reviews from readers, friends, and family. This is my first non-fiction piece and WAY outside my comfort zone, so your encouragement and readership has meant so much to me this week. 

This short story recounts an experience I had in college when I learned a dear friend of mine had been seriously injured in a boating accident. I’d always known him to be the kid who bucked authority and the person who didn’t care much for rules- he just wanted to be adventurous and have fun. When I learned he was in the hospital, it brought all my previous beliefs about youth and invincibility to a halt. Suddenly very bad things could happen to very good people, and it was a jarring thought.

It inspired this piece and it actually appeared in a chapbook my creative writing class made in college (it was very unofficial and only the class got a copy haha). It’s now an officially published piece with Six Hens Literary Journal, and I cannot thank their Editor in Chief enough for putting in SO much time and effort in making this piece the best it can be! I’m thrilled to be a part of Six Hens, and join the family of strong, female writers telling true stories. 

You can find a link to The Rebel Boy and my other publications here

Keto Diet Update: All The Fails

You know that phrase “all the feels”? Well I’ve adapted it to all the fails because that’s where we are in Keto Week 2… I haven’t measured my keto status, but I’m pretty sure I’m out of ketosis. I don’t know, maybe it’s all those fries I ate last night. 

ANYWAY! I promised honesty so here we are, confessing for all the world to see. However, I’m not going to let this tiny slip up (okay, major slip up) get me down. Instead, I’m going to re-envision my goal, boost my motivation, and use what I learned those first five days to get me through the next two months. I lost 4.5 pounds in 5 days y’all! That’s really exciting. And more than that, my entire health routine was just better. We were eating home-cooked meals all day every day, and it just felt good.

So I’m going to get back there… on Monday. It’s a holiday weekend and I’m going to the beach so who even knows what kind of food will be had. BUT I did get low-carb beer, so does that count?

Keto Update: Day 4

That cat is me right now, and I’m really craving a cheeseburger and fries. At the end of Day 3, I was getting over some of the excitement. By Day 7 or 8 I’m sure it will feel habitual, but I’m in that limbo phase right now where I just want a cheeseburger.

BUT it’s the beginning of Day 4, and there’s already lots of good things to share! The most exciting of which is… I LOST 3 POUNDS! Based off my recent research, I’m pretty sure this is just water weight, but hey. Pounds are pounds! And I’m super excited my body is responding to the Keto way of life. There are lots of things that have been helping me along the way: Read more