Capturing Our Family at Home
We’re a couple months into our Year in the Life documentary photography package with Heather Gallagher and I’m in love with the most recent images. The package started with maternity photos, then birth photos and will culminate with Harvey’s 1st birthday. I just know this year is going to fly by (as they tend to do) and I’m so excited to have so many memories captured by Heather.
This most recent session was a more intentional family session with a few posed shots (kind of necessary to get all five of us in one frame!) but we were still in the comfort of our home where our kids were free to be themselves (for better or worse ha!). I’m not a fan of props or background setups for family photos and I NEVER buy the school photos because they just don’t truly capture my children.
Heather has such a great eye (and timing!) for snapping photographs that I will always cherish. Here are a few of my favorites from our most recent session. Contact her via her website or Instagram for all the details!
It’s amazing how many new products and innovative baby solutions have come onto the market since we had our first baby seven years ago.
5 S’s Soothing Smart Bassinet
When parents ask me what book to read to prepare for taking care of a newborn, I always recommend Happiest Baby on the Block (or even the dvd if you are too sleep deprived to read a book!). We used the 5 S’s (swaddle, side or stomach position, shush, swing, and suck) technique with both of our kids and it was a life saver when they had an inconsolable evening! So when I saw the SNOO bassinet from Dr. Knapp who wrote the Happiest Baby on the Block at a baby show a couple of years ago (before we were ever expecting), I was intrigued. Yes at first glance, the straight jacket in a cradle was a little odd looking but learning more about the product and it’s intuitive design and then remembering how badly my arms and neck would hurt after doing the swinging/side position myself for hours on end, I was sold. This is a high ticket item but if you consider the price of a night nanny or you know, your sanity, it might be worth it. Some stores are also piloting a program for renting the SNOO for a monthly fee which I think is genius!
Swaddles with Different Positioning Options
I am all about swaddling and with our first two babies, we swaddles as long as humanly possible! I was excited to learn about a few new designs that give babies a little more freedom of movement while still leaving them feeling super secure. We’re excited to try these from Love2Dream.
Handy Changing Station Products
Skip Hop has this genius diaper caddy that has a touch light so you can see your supplies at night without turning on a bright light. I’m also super excited to use their changing pad that doesn’t require covers and can just be wiped clean. I remember going through like 5 covers a day sometimes and even just giving up and laying a towel down!
We are also using a diaper pail for the first time ever and I’m so excited. I love that this one can hold cloth or disposable diapers and can use regular trash bags or the handy tear-off refills that Dekor makes.
Eco-Friendly Teething Toys that Won’t Mold
We had the infamous giraffe toy with our first two but after seeing one too many of those cut open to reveal mold, I threw that thing away. I was excited to discover Oli & Carol Natural Rubber Toys which are not only non-toxic, handmade from natural rubber but there are no holes whatsoever so they won’t get bacteria build up in them even when using them as bath toys!
I remember teething necklaces for moms being very new on the scene when I had my first two kids. Mostly handmade shops on Etsy and such and most weren’t really my style. I’m loving how some of the new designs look like jewelry I’d actually wear and this is one fun little item for me that I’m excited about! This brand also makes adorable teethers like this taco (every Austinite baby needs one) and this bubble tea!
This hands free and cord free wearable breast pump is another product that I remember seeing the first announcements about and being so excited that innovations around breastpumps were finally being taken into consideration. I will be working from home and won’t be pumping very often but when the Willow team reached out about sending me a pump to try, I knew I wanted to give it a go and can’t wait to report back to all of you!
Our whole house is wood flooring so I knew I wanted a rug to soften up the nursery both for sound control and coziness. We’ve had so many rugs get destroyed by our kids that I was hesitant about it though. I was super excited to try a rug that can be thrown in the washing machine from Lorena Canals AND I also found a small faux sheepskin rug that is also washable! Cozy but still super practical for a baby/toddler? Sign me up!
We also found a really cozy faux sheepskin run to layer on top of this rug that is also washable!! I’ve wanted to add a sheepskin accent rug to the room but couldn’t figure out how it would stay clean in a nursery that would eventually belong to a toddler! I was so excited to find these on Instagram and at a really affordable price point and with different size options/colors.
Breathable Crib Mattress
This is actually our first time owning a crib so I wasn’t really sure what the benefits were of the different mattress. I knew I wanted non-toxic and waterproof and this breathable mattress from Newton fit the bill with the added benefit of being super safe for baby. Even if they are sleeping face down (obviously not recommended), they can breathe easily. Read more on their website.
Diaper Bag with a Mission
These custom made diaper bags are so beautiful and I love the mission behind the company to hire women who have various barriers to employment to make each bag by hand. Read more about the company and design your own bag!
How I got started with Young Living
I honestly never take on things like this (The Birth Hour keeps me plenty busy!) but the YL team that I had the opportunity to join (and that you can join too!) is so fun & full of knowledge that I couldn’t resist joining them after watching so many friends move up through the ranks all while having a blast!
I’ve been actively using the oils in my daily life so much (especially during my pregnancy) that it only made sense to get on board and start sharing my experience. And to be totally frank, working solo on the podcast was getting a little isolating and I am loving having a group of friends both online and locally to share mutual goals with.
I’m a terrible salesperson and had no desire to become one but through our team’s free mentorship program I learned that it’s really all about sharing rather than selling. That I could do! I was using the essential oils and products so much throughout the day that I simply started sharing more of my day with friends in my daily life and on Instagram.
The other cool thing is that you don’t have to pay anything up front or keep any stock of products, all you are doing is sharing your referral link and helping people get their starter kit so they can experience all of the most popular oils while also getting their own access to the wholesale prices of 24% off everything Young Living makes!
My first new members were my friends and family that would come over to my house and ask what that amazing smell was or where I got the awesome hand soap in the bathroom etc. Everything I had learned in the mentorship was pretty spot on—the people that love you and already trust your taste will be interested in the things your are using and loving! I was hooked!
With a Young Living business you can:
- Get your products paid for
- Be your own boss and have more time with your family
- Work alongside an amazing community of women leaders and entrepreneurs
- Earn an income that is a direct result of your own efforts
- Grow real wealth and residual income through the well established business model of network marketing (I know this is the part people struggle with and I did too but I haven’t experienced anything sketchy or salesy since joining!)
Our team has all the resources and tools you need to start growing your very own Young Living Essential Oil business including graphics and photos free for you to use, pre-made oils classes for you to teach, ebooks, ongoing trainings and education, and best of all, a vast community of support and friendship. Honestly, my favorite part—it’s truly so much fun to work alongside these women and celebrate each others successes no matter how big or small!
The Business Opportunity with Young Living
If you have you fallen in love with Essential Oils and now you want to share with others, Young Living allows you to turn that passion into a real income! Our team’s primary mission is to give you the tools and education you need to succeed.
We equip each of our new members with resources and tools including an online mentorship, and tons of guidance. The beauty of a Young Living business is that it’s designed to foster a community of support. That means that when you decide to grow your business with Young Living and enroll as a brand partner, you get free and unlimited access to all of our team resources and community support groups and anyone that you enroll will get the same!
What makes Young Living different than other MLMs?
OK, yes I was turned off by the idea of joining a network marketing or multi level marketing business because of all of the horror stories I’d heard. At the same time, I had friends in my real life that were seeing huge successes with their Young Living Businesses! A couple of people on my upline showed me their actual paychecks so at least I knew the money was real right off the bat. Even though I trusted them, I wanted to make sure and do some research of my own.
So the big concern with MLMs is that they are a scam or a pyramid scheme, right? Since the only startup cost was to get my $165 starter kit, which I already had (and loved!), I wasn’t too worried about being scammed. I already knew the products were high quality and worked for me and my family, so again I wasn’t worried about scamming people with crappy products!
In order to earn full commissions you do need to be on the Essential Rewards program spending but I was already doing that, because, again, I loved the products and loved all of the perks of this monthly autoship program (free stuff, points back, etc!). We were switching out conventional products for non-toxic, plant based products in our home and loving the changes we were seeing so this was also a no brainer for me. We started getting our cleaning products, supplements, shampoo, etc. all from Young Living. Plus, how many startup businesses can you think of that can get off the ground spending only around $50 to $100/month?!
Ok, so the pyramid scheme thing. All MLMs are designed in a way that when you look at your team it does resemble a pyramid and Young Living is no different. However, I don’t view this as a scheme because our team is all working together to help one another succeed. One thing unique to Young Living is that they allow you to strategically place your members in different areas of your organization so your upline can actually help YOUR team grow by placing people that enroll with them into your team. So, when those above you are doing well, it actually helps your business and of course every person who joins your team also helps those above you.
We all grow together and supporting each other is definitely the vibe I saw immediately once I joined our private team groups on Facebook. It’s actually pretty remarkable how supportive those groups are and how inspiring the members are. It’s so rare to come across a big online community of women with ZERO cattiness or mommy wars behavior. Of course I can’t speak for every Young Living team out there but the team I joined has become a group of lifelong friendships.
So how much are people actually earning with a Young Living Business?
How much you earn in your Young Living business is entirely up to you. Some members are content to earn a few extra hundred dollars a month, while others are looking to earn six-figure incomes and beyond. Again, my favorite part is that when those above and below you succeed, you succeed too! It’s definitely a team effort and you never feel like a salesperson out there alone.
Below you’ll see the average monthly income earned by the nearly 1.75 million Young Living members worldwide. Last updated in 2018. Our team is all about helping you reach your goals, however big.
I’m currently a Gold leader with Young Living and I’ve been doing the business for 3 years.
Thanks to Bestow, a life insurance company, for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Before having kids I never thought about life insurance because it’s one of those things that just isn’t on your radar until you hear some horrible story about a devastated family or you start having those mom panic moments when you’re in a close call on the highway. You know the ones I’m talking about!
Kids change everything about how we plan for the future and we start to consider important things like buying a house or saving for college but for some reason life insurance still seems to take a back seat even though it’s so important. I think this is because it is so complicated! Many of us may have a group life insurance plan through our employer but that might not be sufficient (read more here). And for me, I became a stay-at-home-mom and all of a sudden, only my husband was covered with life insurance which I was not okay with. I contribute to our family not only as the main caretaker for our kids but also with The Birth Hour as a significant portion of our income.
Life insurance is one of those things that we all know we should have but many of us don’t actually take the steps needed to get on board! I was so excited to learn about Bestow because they are a young start-up that has made it their mission to take the guesswork and annoying aspects of getting life insurance out of the equation.
You can get signed up in about 3 minutes online and there are no phone interviews, physicals or lab tests involved. Bestow has modernized the process by allowing you to sign up for life insurance coverage, if approved, from your phone or computer. (No invasive medical exams or pushy sales agents).
Lucky me, the first place that they launched is Texas so I signed up right away! They will be rolling out in other states in the near future and you can sign up to be notified on their website. Bestow allows people to not only get protection for their family but also help other families who don’t have coverage.
Some quick facts that make Bestow unique are:
- They use an easy online questionnaire and health databases rather than medical exams to determine your medical history allowing you to get coverage in minutes instead of weeks.
- It’s affordable. Being young and healthy is definitely to your advantage when it comes to life insurance. I was able to get VERY affordable coverage for a small monthly fee that gives me so much peace of mind for the future of my family.
- They are able to avoid a lot of overhead by using technology, and the cost savings is passed to the consumer. You can get a plan for as little as $2.50/month for the most basic policy, price goes up depending on coverage and term length. Max coverage is up to $500,000 for 20 years and even that is still very reasonably priced!
- Instead of commissioned agents they use licensed customer care representatives so even though it’s all online, it’s not impersonal. If you have questions, you can get them easily answered. AKA: it’s a better experience.
- They are backed by two huge insurance companies that are both A+ rated which means that you are getting the same quality life insurance policy as the biggest carriers, without having to deal with all of that bureaucracy.
This isn’t the most exciting part of having babies but it is so important and I feel really passionate about sharing it with you! You can learn more here and listen to my chat with their founder at the end of this podcast episode (Ep. 240) as well. I also love this article about buying life insurance while pregnant, where Bestow addresses some misconceptions!
Comprehensive & Evidence-Based Childbirth Course from The Birth Hour
I’m so excited to announce The Birth Hour’s signature online childbirth course. Know Your Options is THE most comprehensive online childbirth course in existence! In this course, we will take you from the final weeks of pregnancy through postpartum and newborn care covering all of the evidence-based information for all types of birth, no matter what you are planning!
If you are worried about navigating today’s birth system have maybe had a bad birth experience where your power was taken away from you in the past, we want to help!
But, despite doing your research, you’re still feeling overwhelmed and unprepared and that’s OK. We have totally been there too. There is still time to prepare and we are confident that we can help you achieve an empowering birth. This is our expertise and passion!
IMAGINE WHAT YOUR BIRTH WOULD LOOK LIKE IF…
- You didn’t have to choose between an unmedicated birth and a hospital birth.
- You’re informed in every single decision you and your partner make.
You feel empowered to speak up when it comes to how you labor and birth your baby.
Because THAT is exactly what this course will do: It gives you options so you can choose where and how to give birth based on all of the most up-to-date evidence based information available coupled with learning to trust your instincts and make decisions based on what is right for YOU.
What exactly do we cover? 12 Incredible Evidence-Based Modules
Module 1: Pre-Labor
- Intro to decision-making & advocacy in birth.
- What is evidence-based care, intro into increasing your odds of getting family centered care.
- Last Weeks of Pregnancy.
- Cervical exams: what they are, what they do/don’t tell us, when they are useful and when they are not.
- How to tell the difference between labor and false alarms.
Module 2: Planned Cesarean
- Gentle or Family Centered Cesarean. What is it?
- Questions to ask your doctor to make sure you’re on the same page (includes free download).
- Video of Gentle Cesarean.
Module 3: Early Labor
- Overview of labor, divided into stages and phases. Normal variations of length of each stage.
- Early Labor Coping Strategies.
- Spontaneous labor: When to call your provider
Module 4: Induction
- Why might your labor be induced?
- How is labor induced?
- What are some risks of induction, and how can you improve your odds of your induction ending in a vaginal birth?
- Risks of induction/cascade of intervention.
Module 5: Active Labor
- How can you cope with active labor?
- When should you leave for your birth location (or ask the midwife to come)?
- What should you pack, whom should you invite to be there, and how will you make your wishes known in labor?
- Typical interventions upon arrival at birth location.
- Coping strategies.
Module 6: Transition
- How will you cope with the most intense phase of labor?
- What pain medication options do you have?
- Why might you need a cesarean during labor, and how can you reduce your risk of needing one?
Module 7: Pushing
- How can you reduce your risk of tearing?
- What breathing techniques and positioning are helpful in pushing?
- What happens if your baby needs help getting out?
- How can you best advocate for your preferences during labor?
Module 8: Baby’s First Day
- What interventions might be offered to your baby in the first hours of life?
- Immediate newborn procedures.
- Hep B & Circumcision.
- What is going on with the mother before and after the birth of the placenta?
- How can you get off to the best start with breastfeeding?
Module 9: Postpartum Recovery For Mom
- What are the signs that a parent may be experiencing mood & anxiety disorders?
- What are the essentials to have on hand for recovery after birth?
How can you plan ahead and make those first few weeks after birth easier on yourself?
- Giving yourself time to heal and knowing when to call for help.
Module 10: Establishing Breastfeeding
- How to establish a robust milk supply.
- Positioning and latching theory.
- What tips and tricks can you try to make breastfeeding as comfortable as possible?
- What signs can you look for to know when things are going well or when you need to call for help?
Module 11: Bottle Feeding
- What if breastfeeding doesn’t work, or you don’t want to do it at all?
- Choosing a formula and Safe formula preparation.
- What is the best way to bottle feed?
- How do you choose which bottles to use?
- How and how much to feed.
- What is paced bottle feeding?
Module 12: Newborn Care Basics
- Why might your baby cry, and how can you calm them?
- How do you decide where your baby will sleep?
- How do you get your baby to sleep?!?
- Newborn hygiene: diapering, bathing, dressing, nail trimming, snot sucking, etc.
PLUS Bigger-than-a-Bonus: Back-2-Work Breastfeeding Course
Then, we’ve got you covered when you’re going back to work with an additional six module Back-2-Work Breastfeeding Course that you will get completely free as part of enrollment in the Know Your Options Childbirth Course!
This is an additional 6 Module Course designed to take the guesswork, worry, and stress out of maintaining your breastfeeding relationship with your baby when you return to paid work.
We will help you:
- Identify specific strategies for pumping, storing, thawing, and feeding breastmilk.
- Troubleshoot ways to boost milk production.
- Guide you in making plans with your employer, your baby’s caregiver, and your family.
- Get organized with sample schedules and checklists.
Lifetime Access + MORE Bonuses!
Oh, and you get lifetime access to everything! I’ve actually already had a few mamas who are still in the trying to conceive phase sign up because they wanted to be sure to get in on the course while they can!
You’ll also get a thirty page Course Planner and Note-Taking Guide that you can print out to keep you and your partner on track throughout the course. All of the key takeaways from each lesson are included with space to jot down any questions you have along the way and make note of any essential info you want to remember down the road!
More than a dozen bonus downloads to help save you time along the way and get organized before going into labor—with everything from a hospital bag checklist to printouts for your fridge of who/when to call when in labor! After baby arrives, you’ll have even more invaluable bonuses as you prepare to soak up the 4th trimester with your new baby.
Go Here For All The Details and Sign Up Today!
Why I’m Sharing Essential Oils
Once I realized how much I was using essential oils in my daily life, it really just made sense to share them with you guys. I really want to help more mamas find all of the amazing ways to incorporate oils into their every day that I’ve grown to love over the last few years. I share more info at the bottom of this page about joining YoungLiving as a “member” which basically just means you purchase a starter kit (which is the perfect intro to all of their oils!) and then you get wholesale prices! Here’s some more info on how we use essential oils with our family and why I now only use Young Living (after many years of buying the random bottles at the grocery store).
You can also stay in touch by following my Instagram account: @overlandhomestead!
What do we use oils for?
For just about everything!! Whether you are looking for oils to help you sleep, for natural immune system support, for energy, for focus, for relaxation, for your kids, for natural alternatives to cleaning products, the list is endless!! And you will learn along the way, there aren’t hard set rules, but part of joining our oils team is that you get access to the most amazing resources & our private facebook community where literally any question you have will get answered.
Why Young Living?
Did you know that approximately 96% of essential oils are diluted or chemically manufactured?! This means that the essential oils sold in most stores (online and offline) are being diluted or manufactured using synthetic chemicals! Yes, even the ones at your health food store. When it comes to the health of me and my family, I go straight to a source I can trust to make a product that is 100% pure, undiluted, and intended for therapeutic use. Oils will not serve their purpose if they are not made from the actual plants that carry the properties that are so beneficial! YL has an unmatched Seed to Seal process to guarantee the purity & potency of every oil. Each batch of oils is rigorously tested in house for therapeutic viability & they are so confident in their products that you can actually visit the farms & participate in the harvest/distillation process. Many of their oils (designated with white labels) are so safe they can even be ingested! I definitely would not recommend any other brand for use essential oils during pregnancy or with children!
How do you use oils?
You can diffuse them (you get a diffuser in your starter kit!) which is great for making your house smell great, helping your babies or kids relax at night for bed, helping you breathe during seasonal changes or when your kids bring home crud from school & more. You can apply topically (some require a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil, you’ll learn all about that later!), you can make rollerball combos (my favorite thing!), creams, sprays, and just about anything!! I keep 3 of my favorite rollerballs in my purse at all times and use them every day throughout the day for relief from head/neck tension, emotional support and more! My kids are huge fans now too and it’s become an amazing tool in my mama tool box when one of them is having a meltdown, tummy ache, boo boo etc!
How will I learn how to use my kit?
You’ll get plenty of reading material with your kit and you’ll also get access to our exclusive facebook community full of amazing resources like how to use each oil in your kit, which oils to avoid around kids or while pregnant/nursing, and all of the dilution ratios for individual oils. We have classes, books, live facebook hangouts & search functionality that will help you navigate through any questions you might have. I use the search bar in our groups every single day to get questions answered because I’m always learning too and there is SO much knowledge there! It really does matter who you sign up with and the FB groups are a huge perk!
What should I get?
A premium starter kit, which comes with 12 of the most commonly used oils + your diffuser (I recommend the Desert Mist which has an amazing candlelight flicker). The premium starter kit is the best value & provides you with everything you need to get started. You’ll get over $400 worth of product for only $165.
Do you have to order more oils monthly or sell them?
Nope! Your kit can be a one time purchase, but along with it comes a wholesale membership, which just means that should you decide to purchase oils in the future, you would get a 24% discount! You will also get a personal referral link should you ever decide that you want to share them, but neither is required. Many people start sharing to cover the costs of their oils obsession and then an accidental business grows from there. Another thing I love about our team is that we are all about just sharing how we are using the oils ourselves and never pushy. We want new members to discover their love of oils organically just like we did so it’s always a positive experience.
To enroll with our team, ORDER HERE and make sure the number 15023809 appears in both the “Enroller” and “Sponsor ID” fields. Sign up as a Member, this does not mean you have to sell oils, it just means you are getting a starter kit & will therefore get 24% off retail prices. Next you can choose to set up your Essential Rewards monthly autoship. Being on Essential Rewards also means you’ll get points back, free products and bonus gifts! It’s fully customizable every month (you can skips months whenever) and basically feels like your birthday each month when the box arrives!
When you sign up as a member, I will invite you to our private groups on facebook, which is where you can learn everything you need to know about using your oils & connect with an amazing, inspiring community. If you are interested in selling the oils and sharing about the company, this is my newest passion! I want to be a part of helping you earn income to help support their families! You will get access to online courses, videos, FB groups, e-books and more to help you if that’s the direction you want to go! You can see the compensation plan here to get an idea of the possibilities and learn more about the business opportunity from my perspective here! And, of course I’m here to help you along the way!
Where do you order your rollerballs, glass bottles & carrier oils?
You can find all of those goodies here!
A few more FAQs:
Do I have to sell oils?
Most people who join YL don’t do it to sell oils! You can learn more about the optional income potential with Young Living HERE. We have everything you need to get started including a free mentorship.
Are there any monthly, yearly, or hidden fees?
Nope! No tricks or gimmicks or automatic charges to your credit card whatsoever. Do be aware that in order to keep your membership with Young Living you will need to purchase at least $50 worth of products every 12 calendar months. If you don’t, you can always buy another Starter Kit to get your wholesale pass back but honestly spending $50/year will be no problem once you fall in love with your favorite oils! Your starter kit takes the place of this requirement for year one!
If I don’t like it can I return it?
Yes. You have 30 days to receive a full refund if you do not like your products.
Why should I buy from Young Living instead of other essential oils companies?
I can’t speak to the quality of other companies, but I can say that Young Living was the only company in my research of essential oil companies that could answer all of my questions about purity in a way that was satisfactory to me. So why I chose Young Living over the other brands? I’ve used a ton, including DoTerra, and in my opinion Young Living is by far the best therapeutic grade on the market. You can read more about it here (click through to explore!), but after trying so many different types, the quality, potency, everything just is so much better with YL. The first time I smelled their lemon and lavender oils from the starter kit I could immediately tell a difference from everything else I’d tried.
Additionally, Young Living is the only company that has their own farms (in the regions where the plants should be grown), could absolutely guarantee that no pesticides or herbicides were used in the growing of any of their oils (they use essential oils for pest control and they do all of the weeding by hand), has their own testing equipment (they do both in-house and 3rd party testing, and use many different testing methods not just GC/MS which only tests for certain chemicals, not whether those chemicals are synthetic or not), and only uses the first distillation of oils instead of adding chemicals to get more out of the plant.
Does Young Living only sell essential oils?
Young Living actually has an entire line of personal care products, supplements, meal replacements, energy drinks, and more! Almost every product incorporates essential oils (for example, frankincense is absolutely wonderful in facial products), but there’s a wide variety of products available.
My favorite products (outside of the essential oils offered through Young Living) are:
- Seedlings Baby Products (including diaper cream and linen spray)
- Thieves household cleaner
- Thieves Hand Purifier
- Nontoxic sunscreen!
- Nontoxic eye cream
- Thieves toothpaste (Dentra Ultra is my fave)
- Children’s toothpaste
- Savvy Minerals Makeup
- Ningxia Red (antioxidant super drink)
The list seriously goes on and on!
Join me today (be sure to use this link and that you see my member number 15023809 listed when you sign up so that you get access to me and all of our team resources (private groups, online classes, e-books, mentorships—all FREE!)
*Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website 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 suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please do not stop.