Help Your Dog Enjoy the Outdoors Annoyance Free

28
Apr
2016

Help Your Dog Enjoy the Outdoors Annoyance Free

Raise your hand if you are a dog family? {HAND UP!!}

Now that spring has sprung in most parts of the country, managing outdoor annoyances on our pets can be tricky. Typically you handle this by hanging a chemical-filled collar around your dog’s neck, which gets smothered into the faces of our kiddos as they love on our dogs. UM…ICK! Or you put a dab of a chemical concoction on their back once a month, with warnings to not touch that area for at least 24 hours. YIKES!

These ways of managing annoyances on our dogs really concerned me, as I discovered how damaging chemicals are to not only our bodies but to our pets as well.

After doing some research on alternatives for helping my dog enjoy the outdoors without having to be infested with such toxic ingredients, I was amazed to find some essential oils that work just as well or even better with less risk.

I also had the pleasure of discovering a mom in my community who has a cottage business selling homemade dog collars which are 100% cotton and great for using essential oils with.

RepelAroma A great essential oil to try is RepelAroma™ from Young Living which is an exclusive blend of purifying and invigorating Citronella, Idaho Tansy, Palo Santo, and Tea Tree essential oils. Your pet will love being outside! You can easily apply a few drops on the cotton collar and send your pup outdoors and feel safe.

A portion of all proceeds from Animal Scents products goes to support Vital Ground, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the habitat of grizzly bears and other wide-roaming wildlife. Isn’t that amazing? The wholesale price for RepelAroma is $12.75 for 15ml. That is fabulously economical! If you are not a wholesale member with Young Living be sure to check that out here.

If you want to learn more on how you can incorporate essential oils into your pet’s life, this is a great animal resource that I use.

Now I want to share with you a bit about my friend, Kathryn Maxson, who I had the great pleasure to run across and hear about her heart for Cimarron Valley Humane Society.

1. Tell me how you began your business of making items for dogs.

A little background of me: I have always been an animal lover. My bedroom growing up was decorated in the 101 Dalmatians theme. My grandfather built me a barn, and I always had a dog. I have also always had a sympathetic heart, crying over the simplest things. But it wasn’t until college that these two parts of my life came crashing together.

I really don’t know what was the trigger towards the collision, but I got involved with a promotional company my junior year and we were each asked to organize an event that called to our heart strings. And my first adoption event was planned. After that I became heavily involved with rescue, specifically Cimarron Valley Humane Society.

There are times when being a foster parent is hard. Most of our weekends are full with adoption events, transportation, or training. But the knowing that you are saving a life keeps you going.

2. Tell me a little about yourself and your heart for animals.

I have been an avid sewer for years. I learned how to sew as soon as I could reach the pedal of the machine. Like my mother, I do not broadcast this too much so that I don’t get inundated with people asking me to do little projects for them.

However, in 2013, I had a friend call me wanting me to give her a basic sewing lesson. I love teaching people how to sew. I think that it is a skill that is very useful for someone to know. So she wanted me to teach her how to sew so that she could start a side business of making collars for her pups and other people.

After teaching her how to do it I had to go out and buy the essentials to make some custom collars for my own dogs. Of course then one of my friends through the rescue wanted one (or four). At that point it occurred to me, maybe I could sell these to raise money for the rescue. That way we could be constantly getting money in without begging for it. And so began CVHS’ Creative Collars and Things.

It didn’t take long for some of my other crafty friends to start introducing me to craft shows where I could sell the collars to raise the money. Then it was – well, we need more items to sell than just collars – so Pinterest gave me ideas to add leashes, bowties, flowers, poofs, etched treat jars, leash/treat holders, poopy bag holders, and toy mice to the stock of items I make. This “business” was born out of a way to help the rescue beyond fostering and asking people for donations.

3. What is your favorite way to incorporate essential oils and your all natural collars to help your pet in natural wellness protection and enjoying the outdoors annoyance free?

Last year in February I finally won the discussion with my husband over trying essential oils. I had originally been introduced to them the previous year and had learned that they can help support our immune system in the changing of seasons that happens this time of year. But to convince him was a bit harder, but I succeeded.

Then it was a matter of realizing that the company that I chose, Young Living, supported my love of animals by having items that were specifically geared towards them. I use the animal line with my pets in two ways – one is simply putting one drop of the blend RepelAroma on their collars once a week or so, and knowing that the collars that I have on my pets are ones that I have made and I know the makeup of the fabric and that means I know the oils won’t harm or deteriorate the collar.

The other way is I have made a mix of grapeseed oil, Infect Away, Mendwell, and Puriclean and this gets sprayed on when there is a need to support healthy skin. The blend is just different enough that the dogs don’t try to lick it off.

I have stopped using conventional means for my dogs to enjoy the outdoors annoyance free since using oils.

4. Tell me about how you donate profits to the shelter and what impact it has made.

I wish I could say it was as easy as the profit goes to Cimarron Valley Humane Society, but I can’t. It is actually easier. I give all of it to the rescue. When you purchase a collar through CVHSCC that money goes straight to CVHS for the dogs’ use. All of the purchases of supplies comes out of my pockets as part of my donation to the rescue. The money, which is much more needed, goes to them.

The craft shows that I participate in on average bring in $150 and though at the moment I only do four a year, that is still money that is desperately needed. Often times the money raised during these event has already been earmarked for a use, whether that be paying our bills at the vet hospital, sending dogs on transport, or paying for training for the needy.

5. How can dog lovers order items from you?

Orders are usually custom orders so they take some time because I am making the collar to your exact specifications. They can be received at a craft show, through the Facebook page associated with the business, through our website, one on one conversations, or through our Etsy store.

The easiest method is to either message the page on Facebook or email me through my personal email address – Kathryn.s.maxson@okstate.edu. I do work full-time and this is all out of my pocket so sometimes I am a bit delayed in updating shops or websites. Please work with me to get you the best collar for your animal.

So, go grab your pup a new collar and try some essential oils this summer! You will not only be thankful you did, but you will be supporting a great cause as well.

Summer Survival Calendar: Get a Grip on Summer!

25
Apr
2016

Summer Survival Calendar: Get a Grip on Summer!

Hooray! It’s here! The 2016 Summer Survival Calendar!

If you are anything like me, I was always a bit overwhelmed and exhausted with finding fun memory making activities for my family during the summer months. Even with Pinterest, it took hours to come up with ideas, plans, and lists of supplies.

Well, I’ve got you covered!

Grab a copy of The Confident Mom Summer Survival Calendar – all new for 2016! 

Fun Summer Activities and Supply Lists for Kids!

You will get four complete months of activities – ranging from making unicorn poop slime, butterfinger banana splits, charades, and paper magic tricks – to ice chalk, catching fireflies, glow and seek, and squirt gun painting. There is no shortage of ideas to keep your child’s mind engaged and the fun flowing.

It’s easy to prepare what you need for each activity because I’ve created a handy supply list!

Included are a list of all the supplies or ingredients you will need to complete the daily activities or recipes on the Summer Survival Calendar. Organized by week and by day, you can refer to the list of supplies, checking off items as you gather them so you don’t get caught empty-handed when you are ready to play!

If you are looking to be a bit more intentional with your summer, you will want to check out the Summer Survival Calendar with Action Guide and Audio Workshop Bundle. You will get access to an audio workshop where I share ten tips on creating a summer where you thrive rather than just survive. The Action Guide is packed full of more printables to keep you organized and on track – including a goals sheet for your kids, calendars, activity sheets, and more.

See what all the fuss is about and why you need to grab a copy today!

You can go HERE to grab your copy. You can choose from just the 2016 Summer Survival Calendar OR 2016 Summer Survival Calendar with Action Guide and Audio workshop OR you can grab the MEGA Bundle and get all the calendars and the Action Guide with the Audio Workshop. The choice is yours!

Tips on Becoming An Intentional Mom

12
Apr
2016

Tips on Becoming An Intentional Mom

Over the past month, I have had to take some time to really evaluate my time management – especially with regard to my role as a mother.

I am in this very strange season of life (or maybe they are all really strange and unique!). I have grown kids – one who is out of the home and one who is in college – and a step-son who lives with us part-time and then a six year old. There are days of the week I am not sure who will show up for dinner, let alone what my schedule and focus needs to be.

As a work at home mom of two businesses, I found myself using this as an excuse to avoid and often brush off my responsibilities as a mother and a homemaker. Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but it is the truth. I have the type of personality which loves having a purpose – and I had focused my purpose in the wrong direction. I was focusing most of my energy on others outside my home.

Maybe you don’t have a home business or work outside the home or even have more than one child, but I can tell you that being intentional with our time or tasks and especially our hearts is critical in our role at home.

Here are some things I’ve incorporated in the last month which has helped me re-focus and be more intentional.

Taking a Sabbath

I had heard a lot about this concept, but it wasn’t until I was really focusing on some personal development in some key areas in my business, that I discovered how out of balance my life was. I had a wake-up call in my personal life and this FREE book was a game changer for me. I realized that not only my body but my mind must have a break from the every day life that I was living.

The Bible talks about taking a Sabbath weekly. I encourage you to look into this if you are experiencing a lack of joy, peace, feeling overworked, and your spirit is dry. I also read this short book – Do No Work: Beat Burnout, Find Inner Peace, and Strengthen Your Faith by Studying the Most Overlooked of the Ten Commandments by Andrew Gilmore. It was inspiring and helped me grab hold of this concept.

Keeping a Planner

Okay, so I have to admit – I am only on my first week of this system, but it has changed the flow of my days for the better! I love my Weekly Household Planner for home tasks, but I needed something to help me focus and schedule my time as a mom, wife, business owner, friend, and create space for self-care. This Passion Planner has done it! Here is a snapshot of my planner for this week.

My Passion Planner

I have structured my time in a way that I get many tasks completed, but there is also white space and dedicated time for the things that matter: family, marriage, kids, self-care, and work. Loved using my erasable pens and Washi tape – I will get more creative as I proceed!

We all need routine and structure to our day. I thought I could house this “routine” all inside my head – but I was wrong. This method is so helpful for me – to see it visually.

Daily Quiet Time

I speak of this often and it is critical to the success of my day. I am getting up regularly between 5:30 – 6:00 AM in order to read my Bible and do some journaling. I just got this amazing book, Quieting Your Heart: 6-Month Bible-Study Journal. Have you seen it? I will be sharing more on this in a separate blog post. I love using my YouVersion Bible App as well as the First 5 App, and I am currently reading, The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I work through a different devotional each year and I love this one.

Having Fun

This one is a hard one for me, but I am slowly breaking out of my shell! I can often be too serious, too engrossed in my “busy tasks”, to take time to have fun. So, even though I am not much of a game lover, I am trying to set aside that time to play silly games with my six year old. I also have a hard time reading books that my little guy enjoys, but I am being intentional in taking that time to sit and be with him and connecting in a way that he will enjoy.

We went on our first family hike two weeks ago, on one of our Sabbath days, and my six year old loved it. As I plan my days in the upcoming weeks I will be putting some hikes on our Fridays. Fridays are a no-school day for us and can get a bit boring. I was typically trying to work on Friday, but I think it will be better to schedule my work on the others days and have a space open for fun. It’s a win for everyone.

What are areas you struggle with? Can you think of one thing you can focus on during the next few weeks to help you push into an intentional mindset? I realize we are all busy and we all have “things” that keep us busy, but we can also use a lot of excuses to avoid what we need to focus on. That was me, using a lot of excuses. It was time to throw them out and live the life God has set before me in the best way I can.

Here’s to cheering you on to being more intentional today!

Dinner Planning Made Easy with eMeals

24
Mar
2016

eMeals: Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Flank Steak

Dinner – dreaded dinner. It comes every single day and if we aren’t careful and have it planned it can truly mess with our budget and our evening mood.

I have been using eMeals now for over 5 years. Can you believe it? One of my family’s favorite recipes actually came from eMeals many years ago!

A lot has changed with how they deliver their fabulous menus. Now you can even get it all on an APP on your phone. It is quite simple and gives you no excuse for not planning your menu (which we all know saves you money too).

If you haven’t tried eMeals, this is your chance. You can get a 14-day trial for free and see if it fits your family style. They have a lot of menu plans to choose from (making it easy for a variety of dietary needs).

Here’s a great recipe that is on our menu for this weekend.

Paleo Perfection: Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Flank Steak

Want an impressive entrée that’s surprisingly simple to make? Our Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Flank Steak is just what you need, and it’s featured in this week's meal plans such as Paleo, Low Calorie, Low Carb, Mediterranean and Gluten Free. The vibrant-colored filling is a robust combination of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, fresh spinach, and bacon. Better still, you can prep most of it ahead.

Posted by eMeals on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Give eMeals a try and see how they can take the stress out of your meal planning. They have sure helped me!

Image Credit: eMeals

Easy DIY Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

29
Feb
2016

Easy DIY Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Over the years I have made changes in what I eat, cleaners I use, and what I put on my skin – all in an effort to bring complete health into our home. When we are intentional about the choices of products we use, it is amazing how the body can thrive!

One of the things I have been unable to switch over to was a homemade dishwasher detergent – until now! Finally, I have a simple recipe that is cost effective and truly does the job.  

Young Living Essential Oils Dishwasher Detergent

This recipe was shared on the Young Living Facebook page, so I thought I would give it a try. I did make a batch using Purification, but from now on I will be adding citrus oils instead. I love the fresh scents of Orange and Tangerine!

Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

This is the recipe and the links to the ingredients. I love using Amazon Prime for my household needs!

Mix the ingredients all up – super simple! Add 2 T per dishwashing cycle. I am experimenting to see if I can get away with less. I will let you know.

By using the Purification essential oil you are making a batch that will cost you $3.54 for about 12 loads. By using a citrus essential oil, like Orange, I can reduce the cost to $2.74 or $.23 per load. It certainly is not the cheapest detergent around, however, I love knowing exactly what I am using and to be honest, it was simple to keep on hand.  

I store it in a glass jar under my sink with a cute little scoop.

Still waiting to get on board with essential oils? You’ll get a bottle of Purification in your Premium Starter Kit – so you can easily try out this recipe with it or your Lemon essential oil.

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