Top Travel Tips For a Enjoyable Journey


Heart shaped cloud in the sky

I have a hidden secret I have only shared a few times here on the blog, and today I am going to use this hidden gem of mine to help you mama’s out!!!  In my previous career I was a Flight Attendant – yep – for 20 years I traveled those “not so friendly skies” and learned a lot in the journey.

As I get ready to hop on a plane tomorrow with my family to go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, I thought it was time for me to share the digs on some of my known secrets of making flying a little more enjoyable.

A Dependable Suitcase is a MUSTTravel-Pro

First and foremost, if you want to travel easier on your own or with kids you MUST have a reliable and sturdy suitcase.   Travelpro suitcases are the Flight Attendants best friend and I have had mine for over 15 years and it is still going strong.  This is my favorite one – you can seriously pack so much in it!  I went to a Convention earlier this summer and was gone just over a week and managed to pack all I needed in this suitcase – including outfits for each day, a computer, books, a formal gown, shoes, purse, exercise clothes and more.  Do yourself a favor and get a good suitcase.  Plus, it fits in the overhead – no checked baggage fees!

Water Bottles for ALL

Our family brings our own water bottles, empty through security and fills up at the drinking fountain.  We are a frugal family and buying expensive bottles of water at the airport just doesn’t fit in with our desire to spend our vacation money.  I love this bottle, my all time favorite because it is padded with silicone and is glass, so I can add my Lemon essential oil to it without any issues.  The flip top lid seals well and I love the handle, so you can attach it on the outside of your bag too.


Lots of snacks, especially when traveling with little ones. Bring way more snacks than you think you will need. My snack of choice…almonds and individual bars (love these for me and the Zbars for my four year old – I buy them on subscribe and save from Amazon).  I also find the individual applesauce perfect for little hands.  I also will throw in some fresh fruit if I have time.



I LOVE my small travel pack of oils, these stay in my purse at all times and I love that I have just enough of several varieties to meet almost any need that might arise.  Main staples like Lavender (boo-boos & relaxation), Lemon (for my water), Peppermint (for refreshment) DiGize (for tummy troubles) Joy (for uplifting my mood) Peace and Calming (because who doesn’t need some Peace and Calming on an airplane?) Frankincense (for boosting my immune system) Stress Away (for the lady with the crying baby in front of you) and more.  I am prepared for almost everything that could happen, small, compact and ready to go.

Thieves Spray and Hand Sanitizer 

MUST have for everyone traveling – I even offer it to my seat mates.  Germs are everywhere, and especially now with all the ICK floating around with no sure tell way that is known to catch it or not catch it….. I will be spraying the arms on my seat, plastic folding tray, and more – UGH!!  Between the Thieves spray, which I actually use to spray directly in my mouth and the waterless hand sanitizer, I feel very well covered and protected.  My husband who travels for a living 3 days a week, is never without his Thieves spray.  Perfect for fighting germs and supporting your immune system when you need it most.

Ear Plugsear

I never leave home without ear plugs. I hate the loud noise of the airplane cabin so always have these simple foam earplugs with me – we get them by the bag!  Economical and I love that they are individually wrapped too.  I use them when I’m traveling for sleeping at night too, as I am getting older it is harder for me to adjust to strange places, and having the ear plugs helps me drift off to a good night sleep.

NingXia Red and NingXia Nitro

My body needs to have some immune boosting support when I am on the airplane.  With the dry cabin air that is recirculated in and out of 147 peoples noses….. ugh!!  I love that NingXia Red will keep my energy level and it’s full of antioxidants and essential oils to give my body an extra boost to fight off anything that may enter it “uninvited”!

NingXia Nitro gives me that extra boost of energy, I down that little shot just before I need to get my game on – like deplaning with a four year old or waiting for our luggage and I am running after a four year old in the terminal.  Or after an 8 hour flight…. we all need a boost of energy with out the crash!! 

Pack Activities

Now this one only applies if I am traveling with my kids.  If I am on my own, I typically read, listen to some music or take a nap.  {Yep, those ear plugs are great!!}  But with my four year along, it means bringing books, some paper, colored pencils (hate crayons on the airplane and so do flight attendants – they can make a real mess!)  Oh, and don’t ever think that Play-doh is a good idea on an airplane – NOT!  I try to keep things simple and easy….. I tend to play I Spy games, look out the window with my little guy and look at books.

What is your favorite travel tip you can pass along?

My 5 Favorite Things RIGHT Now!



When I come across a great find or something that I truly adore, you know I want to let you know about it too!!  That is what community is all about.  So today, I am going to share with you my Five Favorite Things that have caught my eye and helped me with managing my home, being a mom or just taking care of myself a bit better!

1.  Lavender Buckwheat Pillow

I think I may have mentioned this Lavender filled pillow a few years back, well – we still have it and it is going strong.  I love it!  We recently found another use for it and it involves my four year old.  He is now sleeping with this little pillow!  He asked to borrow it one night and it has never come back in our bed!!

My son loves the firmness of the pillow and the size, but most of all – he loves the smell of Lavender and that we re-new the scent using Young Living Lavender essential oil.  Since we began using essential oils almost two years ago, sleep has not been an issue in our house for anyone, but with this pillow, even more so.  I love that he gets to choose between the diffuser {this is our favorite diffuser for bedrooms!} running in his room or using the pillow.  {Sometimes he does get to use both!}

2.  Alaffia Everyday Coconut Super Hydrating Body Wash

I ran across this body wash when I was at our local co-op last week and I picked it up after reading the ingredients – I was impressed.  Even more so that it was on sale for only $7.99 – seriously!  When I looked it up on amazon {my favorite go-to place to ship direct to my home, I saw it sold for $15.99}.  Still not incredibly horrible for the type of body wash it is – no synthetic fragrance, Paraben Free, Vegan, Gluten Free and No animal testing, plus it is made local to my area, just south of Seattle in Olympia.    When I don’t have time to make my own DIY Homemade Body Wash, this is the perfect fit for me!


3.  Real Food Planning Challenge

This incredible ebook by Kristin over at one of my ALL TIME favorite blogs, Live Simply is a MUST have for any busy mom who is really trying to feed her family better.  {Raises hand high!}  That is me, and it can be so challenging.  This resource is packed full of custom-designed printables to make the planning and prep just a bit easier.  You get daily step-by-step instructions, recipe cards, a season shopping guide, time saving tips and much more.  I just have cooking for dinner tonight on of the recipes included in her October recipe selections – Beef & Barley Stew, which is available to you for FREE as a subscriber to her blog!  I can’t wait, it smells fabulous and it was easy to do.  Grab your copy now, it’s only $8.99 and is available immediately. 

4.  The Best Yes

I bought the book, but decided to also get it on Kindle AND Audio!!  Yep, cover all my bases so I could let it all sink into my soul in different ways.  This is the next book for our book study and I hope to announce our schedule next week. If you want to get a head start, grab your copy now.  Being able to listen to a book out loud is to refreshing for me, it brings another element into absorbing the material.  Do you find audio books good for your soul?   This book is a major keeper – so pick it up in at least one form – you don’t have to do all three like me!

5.  The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

Okay, so this one is really for those of you who have little ones in the house.  It is a hardcover book, but mainly for little kids – but let me tell you – I love reading this to my four year old.  It is an adorable story and I love when an author makes rhymes – and this one is full of them.  Cut story about a Gingerbread Man who runs all over school looking for the classmates who made him, believe me you will love it.  Grab a copy on amazon for a gift, or on Kindle or see if your local library has as copy you can check out.

That’s what is bringing a smile to my face these days – how about you?  

What can you share as a favorite in your home right now?

Dream Dinner Challenge Wrap Up



Earlier this month I partnered with Dream Dinners  with the 30 Days of Dinner Challenge.  I was blessed with a fabulous way to provide great meals to my family by using the simple and easy meals you pre-make in their store locations.  We have had a very busy month and it was such  treat to just pull something from the freezer and not have to worry about grocery shopping or coming up with an idea and prep time.

We took care of that when we went into Dream Dinners and made our dinners in just under 1 1/2 hours!

We exceeded the challenge I took by two meals.  Our schedule is tricky – but this month I had challenged myself to 15 family meals together – we actually had 17 (and that is not including several breakfasts and lunches!)

What we ate

This is our spread from Dream Dinners – remember I am not a food photographer, but this will give you some ideas of the yummy meals we had.  We also of course had leftovers and a few other family favorites mixed in.










Wasn’t all that looking very good??

What I loved

Going to a location where we made our meals all in advanced was FAB-U-LOUS!  They cleaned it all up and I came home with 12 meals.

The best meals in my opinion were the two steak dinners – I was absolutely amazed at the quality of beef we had.  Remember here, I am rather spoiled as we buy direct from a farmer, grass-fed beef – and it is incredible.  I was very surprised at the tenderness of this meat and the sauces used were very tasty.

Going to the freezer and just pulling a meal out was incredibly easy and saved a ton of time.  We have never been real big on just heading out the door to a restaurant for dinner when I end up empty handed in the evening – we always find something.  But this made that idea of ‘going out’ because we didn’t anything an excuse we couldn’t use.

What I found difficult

To be honest, there was one thing that was a bit hard for me, since I have unique dietary challenges, mostly being gluten free.  It was hard to determine exactly what I could eat when choosing the menu items off the website, so we ended up arriving to make meals that did in fact have gluten in them.  If there had been a better description or list of ingredients I could have chosen more wisely or even brought different ingredients to substitute.  

For example, the meatloaf has bread crumbs, I could have brought my almond flour to use instead or these corn flake crumbs and substituted those.  So, for me it was a bit more challenging to eat this month and stay on track.

All in all it was a great success!  I loved making all the meals ahead of time and also finding new things to share at our dinner table.  We were extremely blessed!

Did you commit to the challenge too?  I would love to hear how it went – leave a comment.

9 Musts for Marvelous Mornings


More manageable mornings

I was running frazzled, raising my voice and my four year old because we were going to be late to preschool AGAIN this week.  WHY?

Then it occurred to me, I had chosen to bypass my routine for the morning and everything was tubing down.

Sound familiar?

There are certain aspects of our lives that need to be in check – and for me and I feel for most moms – we need routine for ourselves and for our family.  Managing our homes does not come by chance and we need to be intentional to make things run smoothly.

I want a great morning and thought these tips might help you have a Marvelous Morning too!

Regular Wake Up Times

This is for everyone – you and your kids.  The particular morning I shared about earlier was one where I got up a few minutes later than my normal time and then I let my four year old sleep in a bit later because I wasn’t finished with my regular morning routine.  Big mistake.

Why I do this I will never know – but it has now been proven to me multiple times – I cannot expect everything to go smoothly when I change the routine.

Wake Up Oily Routine

I have a routine…..oh yes I do!!  It gets me off to a great start – so thankful for my Young Living essential oils instead of popping pills.  I love my Progessence Plus, Harmony over my heart, EndoFlex and some En-R-Gee – it’s what I do first thing in the morning.  Oh, and then I also love some Citrus Fresh in the diffuser!   {You can check this post out for more of my routines using oils during the day too!}

Your Favorite Beverage

For me, it’s coffee – yep – COFFEE!!  I especially love that I switched about two years ago to brewing only one cup at a time with a Keurig and it is fabulous. Fresh, hot, rich….. perfect to snuggle down with to spend some quiet time in the morning.  {This is my favorite coffee to brew in the morning!}  If you are not a coffee drinker – no worries – grab a beverage that you enjoy!


Me Time

In order for me to be the best I can be, I have to get some quiet time to myself when I first wake up.  I have a spot on my sofa, I curl up with my iPad (which holds my kindle and also YouVersion Bible APP) a journal and headphones so I can listen to some praise music to start my day.  There is nothing better to fill my tank – nothing!

Check the Schedule

If I haven’t looked at our day the night before (which I often have) I will quickly check the calendar and outline my list of errands, to-do items and what is for dinner.  This gets my mind focused on the day ahead.


We all know this one and I even resist and tell myself, “Oh, I will do that later.”  Well, guess what – it doesn’t end up happening.  If I end up taking two showers a day because I work out later in the day, so be it.  I know that I can focus better and am in a better state of mind when my body is fresh and clean.

Simple Breakfast

Scrambled eggs, cereal, toast with apple butter – simple choices.  Do not have too many choices either or you will be battling little ones who can make decisions!  I love that I can add on a breakfast menu option to my eMeals plan – making simple and easy breakfasts even easier!   You can save 20% with code SCHOOL on any eMeals Meal Plan until September 30th.

Have Buffer Time

It seems like the mornings can tend to be scheduled to the second.  Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, fix some buffer time in your morning so you don’t have to beginning raising your voice to get everyone out the door.  If I do my part and keep things moving in the morning and do not let people sleep late, including me – tasks get done easier and with less fuss.


This is almost the most important part of any morning routine – you need to get to bed at a time that allows your body to get enough sleep.  Your body needs sleep to re-set and restore itself, and if you are compromising your time in bed, your body will fight back.  Make sure you are getting to bed at a descent hour to get the sleep you need.

What is your favorite tip?

30 Days of Dinner Challenge



I am a big fan of family dinners – it is not secret if you’ve been here long.  Dinner together is a relationship building experience of bonding and memory making.  We are a blended family – meaning everyone is scattered in different homes at different times plus my husband travels – so it makes our time together even more valuable.

I am pleased to announce I am partnering with Dream Dinners in a 30 Day Challenge to have dinner together as a family.  You know, September is a crazy busy month with adjusting schedules and everyone back to fall sports and after school activities.  If you are not careful and plan – dinner can easily be forgotten.  

For me, planning is key:

1. I grab a blank monthly calendar and mark the days my husband is out of town and then mark the days the kids are home.  If it’s just me and my 4 year old, dinners tend to me a little more low key.

2. I  plan out what meals I have on hand and what I want to make through the month.


3.  This month I was blessed to go to Dream Dinners and make ahead dinners to use during the month.  Dream Dinners is the originator and leader of the meal assembly industry – and the menu changes each month, so you’ll never get bored!  We picked our dinner choices online and then showed up to assemble them as a family affair.  It was great for everyone, and even the older kids were excited!

Here are some photos of us making our dinners – it was great.  My two oldest kids came along – and my hubby!  It was a fun evening and I loved all my helpers.


I had done this before with my kids when they were much younger and I was a single mom.  It was such positive experience and a fun way to build memories, so this was great for bringing those back – my kids were thrilled to go again!

We broke into teams and made dinners and it took a little less than 1 1/2 hours to make 12 dinners for the month.  The total cost was $262.72 for 8 meals that served 6, and one meal that served 3; equaling $5.15 per serving.  All the prep was done ahead of time, meals are in the freezer and ready to be taken out!   

You travel to stations set up with all the ingredients you need for the recipe and the best part – they clean up after you AND they have treats!!  We had a special preview appetizer of a menu item that will be available next month as well as freshly baked cookies.


We made:

Meatloaf Milano with Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Soft Tacos with Key Lime Corn

Cranberry Buttermilk Chicken

Steak Provence with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Kentucky Pork Chops

Outlaw Chicken Marinar

Monte Cristo Chicken

Cola and Lime Tender Pork Roast

Bueno Steak Tacos with Spanish Rice

I absolutely loved the experience and overall ease of prepping dinners.  The only thing I would love to see is allergen information posted when you go online to sign up for the dinners you will prepare on your set time.  Being Gluten Free, I can easily make adjustments to recipes at home,  but when you are prepping things away from home, there is less opportunity to change up items or know for sure that the meal can be made gluten free.  

Will you join me?  

To Join the Challenge:

1.  Decide on the number of meals you’d like to share with your family each week during September.  Whether you plan on pledging to share 30 homemade meals this month or are looking forward to sitting down as a family for three dinners a week, you’ll reap the benefits of family meals all month long.

2.  I will be sharing my dinners on my Facebook page and Instagram using the hashtag #30DaysofDinner.  You can also share original pictures of your family’s meals on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter – either homemade or a family dinner at your favorite restaurant – they all count!

3.  Tag Dream Dinners in your photo and use #3oDaysofDinner to enter the contest.  Dream Dinners will be giving away a $200 gift card each week during September – so the more photos you share, the more chances you’ll have of winning!

I am looking forward to this fun challenge!  I have committed to 15 dinners together as a family this month – that may seem a bit slim, but with a hubby that travels and kids at different homes….that is a great number for us!  

What’s your number?

I was gifted with a $200 gift card as compensation for my partnership in this challenge from Dream Dinners and all opinions are my own and were not influenced by the compensation.