Mrs Crunchy here, Queen of Procrastination.  Here with a tip for you.

I hope I am not the only one with a long list of “I really should ______” when it comes to housework.  I have been very bad about putting things off with the “I’ll get to it” mindset.

Maybe I’m finally accepting the reality that adults have to clean up even when it’s boring or gross, or maybe it’s nesting, but I’ve figured out a way to conquer the Procrastination Beast:

I do one thing every day that I’ve been avoiding.

That’s it.  Just one.  One little thing (well, along with the meal management and other daily chores).

Yesterday, that meant climbing on a chair and wiping down the blades of the fan in the kitchen.  Today it meant scrubbing the inside and outside of the outer part of the crockpot (it experienced a nasty encounter with some beef broth awhile back).  Tomorrow, it will probably mean wiping out the microwave.

The point is, yes, I could do all these things all at once and just get it all over and done with today, but that misses the point.  I am a procrastinator.  And by procrastinating until I do everything in a whirlwind all at once, I only teach myself that accomplishing these tasks leaves my pregnant self tired and cranky.  I want to remind myself that in reality, cleaning is simple, easy to maintain, and I actually do enjoy it.

It might be silly, but it’s what works for me.

photo credit

Win-a-Vitamix-FB

Crystal at MoneySavingMom.com is working hard to promote the Ultimate Health Living Bundle - which, you guys, seriously, is the best deal ever. Over $1,000 worth of ebooks, information, online classes, etc for $29.97!  The sale ends in just 2 days so hurry to get yours! As a thank you for helping to promote this bundle, she is hosting a giveaway for a Vitamix AND a $500 Amazon gift card!

Btw, none of these links are my affiliate links.  I don’t get anything from promoting this other than an entry for that Vitamix! :)

Last year around this time, I purchased a Groupon for a lobster dinner for 6 – 6 lobsters, 6 crab cakes, and 4 lbs of mussels, all from Maine, which is basically the best place to eat any of those things.  And then I forgot about it.

Until I got a notification “your Groupon is about to expire!”

Our finances have been tight recently and so fun things like eating out and indulging endlessly on pumpkin spice lattes have been cut, so the thought of a huge lobster dinner that I already paid for a long time ago? What fun!

We invited another young, newly-ish married and expecting couple over for dinner.  They brought a salad and some delicious chocolate gelato and we prepared for quite the feast!

And then we realized that none of us had ever cooked lobster.  I just kept thinking of the “lobster killer” scene from “Julie and Julia.”

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And then we realized I was the only one to have ever successfully dismembered a lobster.  And we didn’t have the cracking tools.  Oh well, we made the best of it!

A peak into our adventures (sorry for the quality of the pictures, the phone was a lot less cumbersome than my big DSLR camera!):

Opening the box!

 

Two pots with lobsters, one skillet with white wine and LOTS of butter for the mussels!

Two pots with lobsters, one skillet with white wine and LOTS of butter for the mussels!

 

First course: crab cakes and caesar salad.  So delicious.

First course: crab cakes and caesar salad. So delicious.

Second course: Lobster.

Second course: Lobster.

It took awhile to figure out the best ways of cracking open the lobster without the proper lobster-cracking tools.  There may or may not have been moments where juices and meat flew across the kitchen in the midst of the struggle.

Mr Crunchy wasn't sure about this idea.

Mr Crunchy wasn’t sure about this idea.

By the time the mussels were ready I was far too excited (and my fingers were too messy) to take pictures of the rest of the meal.  But rest assured, the mussels were delicious as well.  And so was the gelato (thanks, friends!).

It was such a treat to be able to share an extravagant meal with friends, especially since we are all on tight budgets and Helen and I spend a lot of time talking about budgeting and swapping healthy frugal recipes.

Since we had 2 lobsters, 2 crab cakes, and a whole lot of mussels left over, I’ve been using the leftovers and making things like lobster salad, lobster pasta with a tomato-basil cream sauce (with a drop of Basil essential oil – OMG amazing!), seafood chowder (Mr Crunchy said it was the best he’s ever had- success!), macaroni and cheese with mussels and peas, and tonight we will have the crab cakes that have been frozen with some salad and corn muffins.

I contacted the company and told them how much we enjoyed our meal and asked if there were any specials I could tell you all about.  There are!  For a limited time (read: he didn’t tell me when this special is ending), you can get the lobster dinner for 6 for $199 (normally $310!).  Not ready to deal with lobster guts or the slightly emotionally traumatic event of boiling a live lobster? Check out their most popular seller, the 2 lbs of fresh picked lobster meat for $129 (normally $149).

Have you ever had a homemade lobster dinner?  Do you even like seafood?

Note: These links are NOT my affiliate links.  I don’t get anything back from this if you purchase. I just got really excited about seafood and I thought you might, too. :)

With the baby coming, I’m looking for ways to creatively stretch our budget to include money for fun splurges, like Starbucks or cute things from the Target dollar bin or the occasional super-expensive Paleo “treat” online (spiralizer, anyone? . It’s hard to justify those splurges when we have a budget that we stick to, so I’ve been enjoying practicing contentment and making the most of what we have.  It’s really been a great lesson, but it’s nice to be able to provide some extra fun into our week too!

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Have you ever heard of Swagbucks?  

I used it a lot several years ago, and then for whatever reason I stopped.  However, a few weeks ago when I was looking for ways to give us a bit more “fun” money, I resigned up for Swagbucks and am over halfway to earning my first gift card!

How do you earn points? 

– The most popular way to earn points is through using their search engine. When you search, you can earn several points (usually I earn 11 points).  This doesn’t happen every time you type something, but usually every 3-5 times.  I do a lot of searching during the day, so I can collect points that way.  Plus, if you install their toolbar, you get points daily just for having it exist on your computer.

– Answering the daily poll earns you 1 point a day.

– Watching videos earns you 3 points for every 10 videos you earn.  I usually open them in a separate tab, mute my computer, and have them going in the background while I work.  You can do this until you run out of videos.  Usually I earn 6 points a day.

– Daily deals are my favorite!  If you normally shop at Amazon, Walmart, Kohls, even Groupon and Living Social, you can purchase through Swagbucks and earn a certain amount of points back per dollar.

– By printing their coupons and using them, you earn points back.

– Referrals.  They changed their referral policy from what it was the last time I was a member and now when you refer someone you get 10% of their points for life! (used to be matched for the first 60 days and then nothing).

– Bonus points.  You have a “daily goal” to earn 30 points a day.  If you do, you get awarded with 3 extra Swagbucks.  Then they bump up the goal to 100 points. I have yet to do those (but I get the 30).

 

Maybe you want a little bonus money. Maybe you want to pay for Christmas gifts for free.  Maybe you need some wiggle room with your grocery budget.  Swagbucks is a great way to get you any of those!  So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and start earning those gift cards!

 

Note: These links are my referral links. If you choose to sign up through us, we thank you very much!  If that makes you uncomfortable, please sign up through here. 

 

 

The month-planning essentials!

The month-planning essentials!

I love the beginning of each month.  It’s a chance to sit down, see how far we’ve come since last month, what needs to be accomplished this month, and setting specific goals for how to get there.  It’s a chance to connect with my mentors and be re-energized by them, and to turn around and share that joy and passion with those I mentor.  Specifically this month, because this month is September and it’s my favorite month for a variety of reasons:

– the coming of FALL!

– pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING

– I will finally get to wear the super cute maternity tunic a friend gave me!

– the start of a new online Bible study I joined.  I’m looking forward to getting to know these women as we study Scripture together!

– the insane growth of our doTERRA team over the past few months, and the momentum we have going into this month. And the special doTERRA is running this month (and the specials MY team is running this month!).  (If you’re curious, send me an email at: amanda@crunchyhippielife{dot}com)

– the return of the season of butternut and acorn squash.  Mama loves her vitamin A-rich vegetables.

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Today I’m going to take you through our “medicine” cabinet.  Because, well, all the other bloggers were doing it, and I’m pretty proud of our stash.

 

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Here’s my stash:

Activated charcoal (I buy from here) – for detoxing or food poisoning

Witch hazel (I bought mine from Target) – an astringent, great for cooling and healing the skin.  I typically use this with any sprays that I would make with essential oils as it tends to evaporate faster than water.

Tallow (in the mason jar, I make my own but US Wellness Meats has some ready-made!) – High in vitamin A and E, this healing balm is what I use with a drop of melaleuca essential oil to keep my eczema away.  I’ve also mixed in frankincense, lavender, and peppermint to help soothe my skin after a bad sunburn.

Organic raw honey (in the rubbermaid jar, I buy mine from here) – also good for skin healing and antibacterial properties.  I usually use this for a face wash but I also use it for sun burns.

Echinacea tea (I buy mine from here) – For immune support, especially if I’m coming down with a cold.

Raw organic coconut oil (I love this brand)- For skin health, burns, and antibacterial protection.  I also add essential oils to this.

Magnesium oil (I buy mine from here)- nothing helped my first trimester food aversions like spritzing this oil on my stomach before meals!  It absorbs easily through the skin and works quickly.

Bentonite clay (I buy mine from here)- to remove toxins, either as a face mask (which is amazing!) or taken internally.  It attracts toxins to itself and is then easily excreted.

Cranberry capsules (I buy from here) – to treat UTIs or kidney infections

Essential oils (we use doTERRA)- I use all sorts of essential oils for just about everything.  From asthma issues, allergies, bug bites, colds/flu, kidney and bladder infections, ear infections, concussions, and pain killers.  I apply either directly to the skin (following precautions for safe dilution), diffuse aromatically (especially when sick we like to diffuse Breathe and On Guard!), and take internally. For ear infections, a drop of Basil and a drop of Lavender on a cotton ball and stuck in the ear for 20 minutes is a powerful pain killer and helps to sanitize and decrease inflammation.

Fractionated coconut oil (doTERRA)- to dilute essential oils.  It’s always liquid, it doesn’t have that coconut aroma to it so it doesn’t interfere with the aromatic benefits of the essential oils.  It absorbs quickly and doesn’t stain clothes (or microfiber couches – ask me how I know this).

Veggie caps (doTERRA) – for making our own capsules!  Since doTERRA is so pure that ingestion of most of the oils is safe, we use the capsules to make our own allergy capsules, “tummy capsules”, pain pills, sleeping potions, and antibiotics.  Especially for ingesting Oregano (a hot oil) and DigestZen (which doesn’t taste that great when you’re nauseous), this is the perfect way to get the benefits when we need them!

So that’s a peak into our medicine cabinet!  One thing we don’t have yet that I would like to get soon are epsom salts for detox baths.  Also great during pregnancy to help stop preterm labor!

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

25980-Its-Monday

Last Monday of the month!  Since we started our own business, I LOVE Mondays.  A time to hit the “refresh” button and make this week better than the week before.  A chance to get your week off to a positive start, make healthy choices (even though every day is a good day for that!) and focus your motivation and energy towards something big.  I woke up to a Voxer message from our Juice Plus leader this morning, and she kept saying how pumped up she is and even though it was 7:30 in the morning and I’m totally not a morning person, I’m STILL feeding off that energy at 2:30!

Our weekend was great!  Our roommate officially moved in (for the semester, she will move out before Baby Crunchy is born), and now Mr Crunchy and I are getting used to a very talkative, large, orange cat.  We celebrated her moving in with pizza and a Harry Potter movie last night.  Very relaxing.

We had an amazing class with one of our doTERRA business builders, too.  I love that we can help get our teams off to a good start, and genuinely help people!  There was a little girl there who had a cough and after we talked about the Breathe essential oil, her mom called her upstairs and had her try some.  She stopped coughing and everyone kept commenting about it throughout the night!  This job is the best!

Lastly, I love social media.  I saw that Aldi had some produce on sale (specifically, avocados for $0.39 each, and Mr Crunchy is quite the avocado fiend).  I didn’t have time to make it to Aldi before the sale ended, but on Saturday I was at WalMart so I grabbed the produce I wanted and pulled up the Aldi ad on my phone.  They price matched everything and I went from a total of $16.50 to $5.85!  I got 2 pounds of strawberries, 6 avocados, and a cantaloupe! So this morning I tweeted about it, and WalMart tweeted me back to tell me about their “Savings Catcher” feature on their free app. If I upload my WalMart receipts, they will price-match FOR me around other stores (if I haven’t myself).  If they find a better deal elsewhere, they will send me the difference back on an e-gift card.  I never would have heard of that if I hadn’t tweeted.  Social media for the win!

Off to diffuse something peppy and get back to work!

Happy Monday!

 

photo credit

 

One of the most common questions I get about essential oils is “how do you use them?” The concern is that at first glance, they look expensive, and people are understandably concerned that they would invest and, not knowing what to do with them, the oils would end up sitting in the closet.

So in effort to answer that question, today I chronicled every essential oil that I used, why, and how.  And there are pictures. :)

8:30am

Daily dose of the LifeLong Vitality Pack supplements (Peter and I split a full dose, so we take 2 capsules of each instead of 4).  Approved prenatal vitamins and a daily dose of Frankincense, which is not only good for me but good for Baby Crunchy’s developing brain.

LLV

 

9 am

After I got ready for the day, I put a few drops of Fractionated Coconut oil in my hand, along with a drop of Purify and a drop of Lemon. These are detoxing and deodorizing oils, and I’ve been using them this summer as an effective deodorant substitute.  In the winter I will switch back to my heavier coconut oil/baking soda/arrowroot deodorant and add in some essential oils, but I’ve found that it’s too heavy and a bit greasy for summer.

deodorant

9:02 am

Add a drop of lemon and a drop of lime into my stainless steel water bottle for a refreshing citrus flavor and gentle detox.

water

9:03 am

Take a big sip of water.  Yum.

9:04 am 

Consult my oil collection, decide what oils I need to be using this morning.  I decide on In Tune because I’ve been rather spazzy the past few days, and I really want to make the most of my day today! I apply a few swipes of In Tune to the back of my neck – and instantly feel more focused and “in the zone.”

InTune

 

I also decide that I should probably use some Balance, because the upstairs neighbors are loud and lately I’ve been lacking in an afternoon nap because they decide to play street hockey and yell about there being too much noise in their apartment (true story).

Balance

I applied this to my wrists like a perfume and a drop to the bottoms of my feet.

12:30 pm

Pregnancy hot flashes are no fun!  A quick swipe of peppermint to the back of my neck and the insides of my elbows and I’m back to normal!

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3:35 pm

My back is sore.  Time to do my stretches and rub some Deep Blue on my back!  Ahhhh…..

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10:57 pm

Time for sleep.  Tonight’s choice: Lavender.  Sometimes I use a mix of Serenity, Balance, and Vetiver in a roller bottle, but our wakeup time has been getting earlier so I don’t want to be *too* knocked out! Applied to big toes and bottoms of feet.

photo 1-3

 

I honestly don’t remember how I used to function without my oils!  I’ve been able to incorporate them into every facet of life, and I feel so much healthier!  Bonus: I haven’t been sick since we started using them (except on our honeymoon when I -gulp- didn’t bring them)!

If you are interested in learning to use essential oils in your life, I would love to have you on our team!  You can sign up as a Wellness Advocate (wholesale pricing for a year and great rewards programs!) here.  These links are our direct business links, so purchasing here helps to support our crunchy hippie lifestyle, and we really appreciate it!  If you have questions, please contact me via our essential oil team Facebook page

From Peter's sister's wedding in April

From Peter’s sister’s wedding in April

Woo! Time to resurrect this poor neglected blog!  I’ve definitely missed blogging, and it’s good to be back!  We’ve had a busy few weeks, so here’s a quick update:

– 22 weeks pregnant! Baby Crunchy is most definitely a soccer player and bedtime is the optimal practice. And so is 4am.  It’s awesome, really.  Actually it is – for as much as I am definitely not a 3-hours-of-sleep girl, I know that I will have to learn to function on this much sleep soon anyway and I am cherishing every little kick from my sweet babe.  I think it’s a boy, but I have a 50/50 chance of being right, so we’ll see. I’m just starting to show and a few weeks ago was blessed by a former coworker who gave me an entire fall maternity wardrobe! Including a hoodie.  Rebecca, you’re my new bff.

– We were in a car accident a few weeks back that basically totaled our car. We were able to purchase a new-to-us car, debt-free, and that was a huge blessing.  Mr. Crunchy is partial to cars anyway.

– I am fairly certain that I will be able to indoor garden some greens this fall.  I’m hoping to start those next week and supplement our windowsill with some grow lights.  I want to grow lettuce, kale, spinach, chard, and some herbs.  Living in an apartment with no access to a balcony, fire escape, or patio space for growing anything (even a Tower Garden)  is just depressing! But we have wide windowsills, so I will focus on what I can grow rather than what I can’t.

– We got promoted again with doTERRA! This was thrilling for us and our whole team.  It’s been great to reconnect with friends, make new friends, and to bless others with essential oils.  We get messages from our team frequently with their success stories, both physical and financial.  I’m so blessed to be in this business!

– I’m currently craving some Juice Plus Complete protein powder. Preferably chocolate, shaken in almond milk.  That is all.

This past weekend, we went on an adventure.

A good friend was getting married in Louisville, KY, so we planned to make a weekend out of it.  We drove down to the wedding on Saturday in time to arrive at the wedding, and just as it was ending Peter’s concussion symptoms started to come back, so we just went to our hotel room and relaxed.  I enjoyed some decaf coffee and oreos (first time for both in awhile!).  We drove around Bardstown street for what seemed like ages until we found a place for dinner that actually had some parking in front of it (at…9pm). We weren’t anticipating such limited parking and soooo many people still going out to eat at 8:30 at night!

After check out the next morning we headed out to Elizabethtown, KY, which was only 45 minutes south.  Mr Crunchy and I have loved that movie for a very long time and talked about it a lot before we even started dating, so we were very much looking forward to experiencing it and we were hoping to find a place to eat.

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Well….apparently most of Elizabethtown wasn’t actually filmed in Elizabethtown.  The town square was cute, but it was Sunday  in the South so everything was closed. We drove around for awhile before stopping for lunch at the cutest place in Elizabethtown called “Back Home.”  We agreed that the sweet tea was the best we had ever tasted, the chicken fried chicken was crispy and delicious, and the freshly homemade peach cobbler was just heavenly.  So if you’re ever on an adventure near there, do yourself a favor and stop in for lunch.  I’m sure we looked like typical “young’ins” to them because for the majority of the meal we were glued to the phone where we were watching the Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup game. #becausefutbol, that’s why. And yes, we did jump up and down and high-five and silent scream in the lobby when the Netherlands scored their second goal.

our first taste of fried green tomatoes!

our first taste of fried green tomatoes!

We had to travel to Tennessee for our class, so we decided to leave early to allow for “well that’s looks interesting!” side stops on the way down.  We stopped at a Civil War battlefield, drove to an Australian safari (but decided we didn’t have the time or money to go inside to see the koalas), and we stopped at the Mammoth Cave and learned about the origin of the Black Stone Cherry song “Ghost of Floyd Collins.”

On the highway, right after we said, “at the next exit we should use the bathroom,” we encountered a flashing sign that said “lanes closed MM 99-96.” No road barriers, no cones, no more informative signs.  Everyone else kept going and there were no signs of delay (and we couldn’t find a different route).  Well, there was a major delay and 2 hours later we had only traveled 7 miles further.  FINALLY, we saw an exit sign, and since no one else seemed to be moving, we took the shoulder all the way down.  A few drivers tried to go halfway in their lane and on the shoulder to stop us, but we have an SUV – we drove on the grass. It was an emergency.

Oh Nashville, how I now loathe all of your road systems.

Oh Nashville, how I now loathe all of your road systems.

We pulled out an old-fashioned map because my iPhone wouldn’t give me any reroute options and found a new way.  We made it to our class a half hour late, but thankfully the ladies were very understanding. The class went really well, and we experienced true Southern hospitality there.  Our new friend had brought some maternity clothes for me (that all fit perfectly!), and her mom insisted that we take some cash “for whatever you need.” We didn’t leave until 10:30pm and my phone said we would arrive home around 4am.

Around midnight we were so tired – I’m avoiding coffee and sodas during the pregnancy, and Peter was fading fast.  I pulled up my Expedia app and found a motel for $50 with 4 good reviews on it. It looked fine from the outside, so we booked it. Walked in once we got confirmation, turns out we were at the wrong one (the names are REALLY similar).  We found the right one and once we got to our room we looked at each other and just started laughing hysterically.  It smelled funny, the carpets used to be blue, and the towels were a discolored version of white. Mr Crunchy said it looked like a sketchy motel from an 80s movie where the main characters are a biker dude and a woman of the night. We sprayed the bed down with our On Guard spray (quilt, pillows, and sheets) and tried to get some sleep.  In the morning, we covered the floor with the towels so we didn’t have to touch the carpet.  We agreed that next time, we’re spending the extra $10 to stay at a place we trust – and preferably one that has breakfast.

It was quite the adventure, and we are so glad to be home!