busy moms and social media .

Why Social Media is not the Devil

busy moms and social media .

keeping up with friends and seeing what others create is good for us. more on the blog OilWellness



Here is a little confession: I need social media. There I said it. I run into people who do weird things, like go on Facebook fasts or talk about it like it is the devil incarnate. Okay, so sitting in front of your computer days on end might make you wear black socks with leather sandals or order seven too many pairs of Kendra Scott earrings, but for someone like me who barely has time to remove last night’s makeup, Facebook and Instagram and other social media outlets allow me to feel like a real live human.

They are not real relationships they say. You won’t know how to talk to a real person they say. It is just a projected persona they say. You will grow envious they say. Your real relationships will suffer they say.

Who are these people? I want to know who raised them right now? Apparently no one with any social grace, manners, or discipline. Those are not social media problems; those are personal problems. We all have things to work on, areas to grow. Facebook is not the devil. Just saying.


photo credit Forever by Melissa


Facebook is how I stay sane. When you spend most of your time surrounded, and outnumbered I might add, by Littles catching up on your trip to Homegoods or the terrible Atlanta traffic you are mad about or seeing the darling photos of your son’s school play- they all rock my day.

Being a parent and or an adult can be hard. It is hard. You get caught up in your own little world and your tasks and to do list. Busy busy busy. Sitting down for a little break to troll my friends feed is soul soothing. I feel like I am out of my Dallas bubble. You went on a mission trip and I prayed for you. Your mom and dad celebrated another anniversary and it made me smile and think of my hot husband. Your brother lost his job and I was bummed for him and am thinking about contacts I might have in his field. These are moments of connection.

After changing my fourth diaper of the day, finding banana peel stuck to the under cushion of the couch, sticking my hand in what I sure hope is butter all over the counter top, and tripping over the Barbie car I totally saw right in front of me, the gorgeous images of Instagram remind me that there is plenty of beauty in the world. That post you had with your newborn melted me and made me appreciate how fast my Crazies are growing up. Your picture of that book you want to read pushed me to get on Amazon and order a novel, too. I needed that reminder to do something for myself. Thanks! And to the lady who shared that scrumptious plate of brussel sprouts and chicken I ending up making for dinner, I kinda want to make out. My family loved dinner that night.  You are a peach.


photo credit Cooking LSL


And Facebook, I did not forget about you. That week my kids were sick and I felt like I was on house arrest, you really helped get me through it. That Bible verse my friend posted was just what I needed to hear. Oh and let’s not forget that season of life when the baby was really not doing well and it seemed like we were living between doctors appointments and office visits. It was most unpleasant. But I made it through in part due to all the encouraging posts from friends and family. And some of those memes were so hilarious. I really needed some laughs.


So to those who fie upon social media, please keep your judgments and snark to yourself. I happen to like those outlets. They connect me with people, ideas and motivation. I learn about my people and how to love on them and let them love on me. They make me aware of my limitations and why we all, therefore, need each other to do life, but they also challenge me to go somewhere further or try something more adventurous or to just sit right where I am and be content. That is the gift of social media for people like me.


photo credit Magic Moments




Makeup My Kids Can Steal


Makeup safe for the whole family


Who doesn’t want to look radiant? If you said no we cannot be friends. There is something attractive about someone who just glows. And I do not mean with a radioactive sheen or a fake two inch layer of mineral powder, although as a mother of four there are days my white eyeliner keeps me from looking like a zombie. No judging here.

There is beauty in joy. You may have your own opinion, but I like a more natural look that brings out a person’s best features. I am not into the whole pancake face, Tammy Faye tarantula eyelashes, dark lipstick kind of person. I prefer to eat my pancakes and keep the Texas tarantulas out of doors, thank you very much.


DIY cosmetics and organic makeup lines


Lately I have been on a quest to find a more organic based beauty line. Quest might be a bit dramatic but with four daughters what do you expect from me? Those same four daughters love to borrow steal use up hide destroy my cosmetics, which got me thinking about what was in those little tubes.

Let’s just say it isn’t pretty. (Please excuse my pun problem). Many lipsticks contain lead, powered foundations can contain carcinogens, some creams are chock full of petroleum based ingredients… all bad things. Here is a link to Safe Cosmetics, an advocacy group for removing a long list of harmful chemicals from our makeup.


Harmful ingredients Graphic from Fix.com



My new cosmetic obsessions are much safer. Delicious. You could probably eat a lot of it if you wanted and be okay. Not that I suggest it. Not that my two year old has a lipstick chewing problem. Geez. These are wonderful for mama, teens and tweens who are in the learning process, and younger kids when they want to play tea party or something.


Root Pretty natural makeup


Root Pretty is drool worthy. This is what I use for myself. I made my kids a little play set but if they happened to get into this I would be upset mine mine mine but not concerned for their health. Root Pretty even has a monthly subscription called Pretty Club where you get samples of several products. Perfect!


A friend recently told me about Juice Beauty, which is another organic skin care line. I love that more and more people are caring what is going into their skin. And their kids skin. Juice is available at Ulta and I am sure a few other stores.

So go and be beautiful. And you might also decide to wear make up.


Low Fat Meals


If you are joining my family on its real food quest, there are a few things you need to know. One is this– fat is your friend. I do not mean being fat, although, it is totally cool to have fat friends. We like all kinds here. But to what I am referring is good fats: rich, dense, monounsaturated kinds.

In essence, steer clear of most things labeled “low fat, reduced fat” and the like. I say most things because refried beans, for instance, are NATURALLY low fat. So we can like them. But milk, not NATURALLY low fat. So we pour that nasty bidness down da drain. Sorry, I felt the need to break into pseudo-gangster rap for a second.

Okay, so if our  goal is to be a healthy family why oh why would we avoid low fat items? Great question. You get a gold star. Here’s the skinny on fat. Gosh I am funny. I know you are laughing. Come on. When a product naturally contains fat but is reworked to remove or reduce the fat, there is usually a lot of processing done. The more our food sticks to its Godly design the better.


Processing food removes a lot of its natural vitamins, nutrients and goodness through heat or chemicals. Puke emogi. The balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fats gets out of balance as well. Insert grump emogi.  Depending on what you are looking at— canola oil, margarine, cottonseed oil– dangerous pesticides, gases, and GMO’s are involved which deplete any goodness from your body and also leaves it confused about how to handle these unnatural substances.


Your body stores toxins in fat cells as an effort to keep them out of the mainstream, if you will. So if you are eating a lot of food with cheap fats, you might be encouraging fat STORAGE with all your LOW FAT food. Annoying huh?

Additionally, food robbed of its natural fat also loses its rich flavor. So guess what the darling food factories do? Yep, they doctor it with added salt, sugar, and flavoring. Where is the emogi for “oh holy biscuits you companies make me want to scream????????” Thankfully we can make our own educated choices.

Okay lady, you have shredded all the fats and oils I have been using so now what am I to do? No worries. There are wonderful options for us. Now I need a happy emogi for once.


Look for organic butter– grass fed like Kerrygold– is even better. Ghee is great but does taste a little different so you may want to test it first. Ghee is clarified butter, in which all proteins, milk solids and lactose have been removed, thus making it a great option for those with dairy insensitivities and allergies.

High quality, organic oils such as 100% coconut oil and 100% olive oil are delicious for cooking (and for carrier oils if you are an essential oil junkie such as myself…I won’t judge). Other fan favorites are sesame oil, hemp oil and red palm oil. I have used sesame for rice and zoodle dressing and red palm for homemade waffles. Each has its own qualities. See what works for you. Just make sure they are high quality and organic. Others will have cheap oils cut in. That is bad news bears.


What is your homework? Start looking at labels. If that cottage cheese or sour cream boasts a low fat label, I would laugh a little and put it back. Just don’t laugh loud enough that you look like a crazy person who hears jokes from her dairy. Just saying. Opt for the organic, full fat options. And if your recipe calls for canola or vegetable oil– vomit all over it — replace it with coconut oil or olive oil or organic grass fed butter. Pure bliss.




Be a Label Snob


My mom will laugh at this. When I was in elementary school she told me not to worry about labels. I HAD to have Guess jeans with that perfect triangle right on my booty. Keds were the ONLY shoe that could be worn. And the more Esprit I owned the closer  I was to Jesus. Or so it felt. Did I mention that not owning a Swatch watch meant my parents did not love my and that I would be a failure in life? Those were all true. I swear.

Fast forward — well, let’s not tabulate how many years— and now I am changing my tune. I want you to be a label snob. Tap into your middle school self and start turning up your nose. Only this time not at knock-off Under Armour or whatever the current trend but rather at chemical additives and laboratory created ingredients that are doing your body zero good.


Real food is just that. Real. You should recognize the names.  Tomatoes. Garlic. Cane Sugar. Peas. You get how this works. Things like yellow-6 and maltodextrin do not pass the test. I don’t know about you, but once I started learning what all those ingredients actually were and how they affected my body (and my kids bodies!!!!) I was angry. Like stepping out of the spirit wanting to gut punch the makers of Cheetos and Cheerios. I felt duped. Hoodwinked. Somehow I felt like if it was offered to me in a grocery store…where you buy food…then it must be food???????? #idiot #stupid #ignorant #overthat

The good news is that once you break away from all the fake stuff and start making your own food, eating becomes pure joy. I long for delicious recipes from sauces and seasonings I easily threw together myself. Rich flavors. Savory bites. If I tried to eat a lunchable now I am pretty sure I would vomit it up. Take a moment to enjoy that visual. So if you are investigating changing your diet and taking on a more real approach, you are in for some good stuff. Begin by purging your pantry and fridge. All at once is a bit overwhelming. Just do it as things run out.  Instead of replacing it kind for kind, make the switch to a real version. If it is just junk, do not replace it.


There are great resources already out there for stocking your real food pantry. Print one off and use it to rebuild your stash. I love that other people have done the dirty work for me. I am not big on reinventing wheels. Unless they are wheels made by Kate Spade. Then they will make me skinny/popular/successful/amazing. Right??????????


Healthy Eating 101

When we first decided to look at changing our diet I thought I was going to lose my mind. Fine, I had lost my mind after two kids, but you get my point. It was overwhelming. Like going to IKEA for the first time or popping into Costco on a Saturday. I shudder just thinking about it.


To spare you the diarrhea of the mind I experienced, allow me to make a few suggestions. Pick one or two blogs or cookbooks at a time and no more. My personal favorite is 100 Days of Real Food. Lisa Leake does a great job of keeping things simple and realistic. She has all sorts of meal plans (weekly) so you can get a feel for what eating real food is all about but you do not feel like you have to buy weird ingredients and feed your  family tofu. Bleh!

Another health food hack I appreciated was Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules. Short, clear and logical. My kinda deal. There are all sorts of books and documentaries on the American food industry that will make you scream at your tv and want to throat punch Monsanto, but it is all about baby steps.  Oh, and if you want to terrify your children or husband sit them down to watch Supersize Me. It is like a fast food horror film PG-13.


Here is your homework assignment: Yes you have homework. Time to nerd up. Take this week to build an awareness of WHAT is in your food. Read a few ingredient labels. Heck, look up some of the items that you are unsure of. Snoop around Lisa’s blog. You creep on Facebook, so why not creep on her page and learn a little something, right?

A final thought: If you have ever dieted before, a little heads up. This is a lifestyle change. If you think real food tastes like cardboard and will leave you starving till you just want to shove an entire pizza in your face to stop the grumbling, you are in for a treat! These recipes are delicious, rich, and full of flavor. I will never go back to eating processed disgusta food ( it is a word, I swear). Give it a month and then try to eat a McDonald’s hamburger without puking.



On Eating Well


Clean eating. Real food. Call it what you like. I just call it eating! A few of my neighbors wanted to learn about what the heck it is all about, so we have been doing a 30 day challenge. Since I have all the posts and pictures, I thought I might expand on those convos here.

First let me tell you how we even came to eat clean. My husband and I were both active people. He played college baseball and I was a company dancer. Even after our glory days (ha ha) we both went to the gym to get our fitness on and ate what we thought was good food. Insert basketball buzzer. ERRRRRRRR!

The eye opener was his annual physicals. His numbers just kept creeping up. They were not to a danger zone level yet, but he was not about just letting the trend continue and have to take some pill or anything. So I started doing what I do…reading. Researching. Trying to figure out how two fit people were having to work so hard to not  get fat and keep our medical numbers in the safety range. Frustrating!

What we found out was that the modern day offerings at the grocery store are chock full of hidden sugars that were adding up to extra pounds. Add to that we bought a lot of prepackaged crackers, chips, and shredded  cheese that was also harboring some nasty not-doing-our-bodies-any-good ingredients.


Did I mention that we were not huge on veggies and barely knew what organic or local was all about? It was a process. It took us about a year to really get to a good place. We went through the stages of healthy. 1. Hmmmm that is interesting. 2. Wow, industrial food is kinda gross.  3. OMG!!!!!!!! WE CANNOT EAT ANYTHING!!!! WE ARE GOING TO STARVE 4. Okay, simple swaps are not that big a deal 5. How did we ever NOT eat like this?

For the next 30 days, give or take because I have 4 kids and a life, I want to share the key things we have learned. There is so much misinformation out it that really chaps my cheeks. I am not about the hard core foodies who eat like birds. This is for an average family who wants to fuel their bodies with easy, delicious food. No measuring, no calorie counting, and no weird ingredients.

Clean eating is actually pretty simple. And delicious. And family friendly. For reals.