I posted a bit about this earlier, but Puritan’s Pride is celebrating Black Friday with a HUGE site-wide sale, including up to 85% off select products and free shipping! The reason I’m sharing this with you is that the diffuser we use is on sale from $29.99 to just $17.99 for Black Friday!

While I don’t recommend purchasing essential oils from this site because I can’t be certain of the quality, I would recommend most of the other products, including supplements like turmeric, activated charcoal, carrier oils, oils for oil cleansing method (sweet apricot kernel oil is my favorite), and tubs of coconut oil. Most, if not all, of these products are included in this sale! If you are wanting to dabble in some natural products or it’s time to stock up, now would be the time.

I want this site to be a resource for you for  frugal natural living (like a hippie blend of MoneySavingMom.com and WellnessMama.com, so when I see deals for great products I will be sharing the love!


In the spirit of cultivating a heart of thankfulness, and with tomorrow basically being National Count Your Blessings Day, I wanted to take a minute and share 10 things I’m grateful for this year (in no particular order, except the last 4):

10. A Warm, Dry Place to Live. 

In our area there are many homeless people. I’m so thankful that we have a home that is not only warm and dry, but comfortable and has what a former patient of mine used to say “simple creature comforts.”

9. My Current Job

I love my job. I’m growing as a person, encountering difficult situations and working through them on my own, and I have excellent mentors who coach me through new situations and brainstorm solutions with me. I’m learning to be comfortable in a role with a lot of responsibility and taking responsibility on myself to fix solutions that include the people I manage. It’s such a dynamic position and in the three months I’ve been there I have really changed a lot. I just presented my goals and vision for 2016 to my boss and I’m so excited for the new year!

8. Good Friends

Peter and I are so thankful for our strong support system. The past year especially would have been so much more difficult without them!  Our friends and family have been so generous to our family, making sure Tristan had everything he could ever need, want, or wish for. They have encouraged us, cheered us on, and given advice in key times.

7. Challenges

I was talking to a friend who was recently engaged and she commented that I am very different now than I was when I was single – in a good way!. I am not who I was when I married Peter 23 months ago. I was sweetly innocent and pretty naive. Now I’m more confident in myself and my decisions, and more comfortable defending them (again with the growing as a person thing). I’m thankful for the challenges we have faced, even though I wish most of them didn’t exist. They helped mold me into the person I am now, and will help spur me on to continued maturity in the years to come.

6. Resources to Care for My Family Well

Everything from essential oils, to homemade kombucha, to freshly baked bread, I’m thankful I have everything I need at my disposal to help my family feel their best.

5. Black Sabbath

Because nothing calms my child down faster than Iron Man or War Pigs. Seriously.

4. Inspirational People

Right now, I have two mom friends (who I used to babysit for!) and a resident where I work pursuing their own health goals and all three are completely rocking it. The center where I work has even noted the resident’s progress and started including more fruits and vegetables into all the meals they serve. Two friends have earned cars through their network marketing companies and another friend is about to earn her Mary Kay pink cadillac after just one year. I am so inspired by all of these amazing women to never stop improving, always push forward, and what is possible when you find your passion.


3. Tristan

Oh this child. I never knew I could hug a child with such gentleness and such fierce love in one motion. I never expected to be so excited when he waved hello to me for the first time. I never knew that something could keep me awake literally all night and I could still do anything for it in the morning with alertness and joy.

2. Peter

In truth, no man could have handled me like Peter. I’m so thankful for his strong will that is so much stronger than mine. I’m thankful that I can trust him to be logical to balance out all my emotions. I can trust him to be steady. I’m learning to appreciate him and his strengths a lot more, knowing that in our differences there can be strength and unity. I read an article on marriage by Michael Hyatt a few weeks ago and he was talking about the Myers-Briggs personality test. Peter and I are total opposites, as are Michael and his wife. He said they look at it as they have eight strengths instead of just four, and that makes them better. It was a wonderful illustration for me.


1.   Family Time

This weekend, I am thankful for time dedicated specifically to spending time with my little family! In typical “us” fashion, we are celebrating differently than most, opting for quiet time with very few dishes so there won’t be a big turkey and multiple courses – but there will be pumpkin pie! There will also be pajamas, good coffee, some Pinterest-y pumpkin breakfast, and a fire in the fireplace. There will be a Charlie Brown movie and I don’t even know what else, but I’m just looking forward to being with my favorite guys! I will also be taking the weekend off of blogging and will return to it on Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace, Love, and Gratitude,



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It’s no secret that my family loves essential oils. Today I wanted to talk a bit about the accessories that we use with our essential oils to get the maximum benefit from these oils while maintaining safe practice.

1. Dilute essential oils in a carrier oil

Essentail oils are very potent, and many can cause skin sensitivity (clove, for example, is a “hot” oil that you ALWAYS want to dilute before applying topically as it can burn. Water will not dilute an essential oil. Using a carrier oil (a pure vegetable based oil) will dilute the oil safely. Our company sells a fractionated coconut oil, which is a non-fragrant coconut oil that stays liquid and absorbs quickly.

For babies, the standard safe dilution is 1-3 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. For children 2-6, it’s 1-3 drops in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.  For adults, it will depend on skin sensitivity, and especially skin integrity (for elderly adults with delicate skin, for example, I would prepare a dilution for babies).

While I typically use the coconut oil I get from the company we use, you can also use olive oil, regular coconut oil (though that doesn’t usually work well with roller bottles), avocado oil, or jojoba oil. Keep in mind that these oils will leave you with varying levels of a “greasy” feeling after you apply.

2. Roller bottles

Roller bottles make application a breeze! He can squirm and fuss and all I have to do is swipe one of his feet with the roller bottle and I know he got the proper amount for his little body. Even he knows this now and will actually take a break from fussing when he’s uncomfortable when he sees me heading for his roller bottle bag. In the past, I have purchased roller bottles from AromaTools and MyOilBusiness, but I know friends who have ordered from Amazon as well. Just be sure to label your blends or you will have to do the sniff test to figure out what is what (go ahead, ask me how I know this…).

3. Diffuser

This is something we wish we had gotten right away! Our little diffuser is small but works very well and we use it All. The. Time. There are many brands out there but we use a GreenAir Spa Vapor. You can usually buy it online for $24.99 and free shipping, but I received an email that Puritan’s Pride is having a HUGE Black Friday sale and these little work horses will be on sale for $17.99! If you’re in the market for a diffuser, you definitely won’t want to miss this sale!

I hope these tips are helpful!  If you are interested in starting to use essential oils, please leave a comment or email me at amanda@crunchyhippielife.com!

Happy oiling!

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budget, bills

We are coming up on our third winter in this apartment. The first year, we kept the heater on as much as we wanted, despite the costs (which were almost double). But last year we were barely scraping by financially after multiple job changes, so we avoided turning on the heat in the apartment for as long as we could. Basically, we didn’t turn the heater on until Tristan was born on December 19th.

This year, while technically we can afford to run the heater as much as we want again, we are also about to go into 2016 having met our 2015 savings goal by 150%, so we want to maximize our savings! Here are 5 tips we learned last year that will help us this year:

1. Wear layers

It might seem like common sense, but wearing layers doesn’t come naturally to this happily barefoot hippie. Wearing house shoes is a new habit I’m getting used to, but I don’t like socks.  However, it’s winter, and my toes don’t like winter. So socks and house shoes it is.

2. Get a reliable space heater

Rather than turn on the heater for the whole apartment, use a portable heater for wherever you are. Some portable heaters can be fire hazards, so be careful when choosing one. We have two electric fireplaces for this winter that are quite warm and add such a homey feel to our home. Opt for an energy-efficient heater if you can find one.

3. Curl up with a good book and a blanket

People with Seasonal Affective Disorder, great news! I was just reading about a Danish practice called “hyggye,” which basically is intentional relaxation and “in-the-momentness.”  It’s a time to mindfully indulge in something that makes you feel good, which can be anything from a long soak in the tub to a cozy homemade meal with friends. Apparently this is how the Danish combat long winters.

4. Drink coffee/hot cocoa/tea

Going along with the good book and blanket, drinking a hot drink is a great way to warm up. It’s common knowledge that I love coffee, but I recognize that there are other options.

5. Bake something

This morning the apartment was the kind of cold where you don’t want to get out of bed. So rather than turn on the heater, I turned on the oven instead. Sunday is typically my baking day, so I enjoyed the warmth of the oven – and the delicious aroma of bran muffins (I use this recipe, but I use almond milk and coconut oil instead of buttermilk and vegetable oil).

6. Winter-proof your home

Approximately 11% of heat escapes through your front door.  Last year Peter noticed a large draft coming through our front door, so our maintenance man installed some new weatherstrips on the inside.  It was a simple fix and now there isn’t a draft! We also have blackout thermal curtains that help cut the draft around the windows with an A/C unit.

By implementing these 6 simple steps, we estimate that we will only need to turn on the heater on the coldest of cold days, and then only for a few hours as our home is appropriately weather-proofed. I hope they help you save too!

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We did it! We finished all 14 days of the program! How did the last two weeks go for you?

For me, I have noticed our mornings are much calmer and more organized. I actually enjoy mornings now!

I would encourage anyone to do this 14 day course. Whether you’re awesome at mornings, you’re just trying to survive them, or you just know you can do better, this course can benefit you if you apply the principles presented.

And now…I’m off to do the dishes for the evening and read a book to Tristan. Happy Saturday!


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That’s what I felt like this morning. Day 13 of the 14 day course on making over my mornings and how I woke looked like anything but success.

Our evening routine was messed up last night, and I neglected the dishes. Peter was in significant shoulder pain last night (long story, I’ll have to fill you in soon!), so we were up until 1am trying to find ways to relieve the pain. Tristan is getting more teeth so he’s been clingier than a koala (read: up all night convinced that if he closes his eyes I will abandon him forever). So after hitting the snooze on my alarm for an hour, I dragged myself out of bed and went out to a dirty kitchen. To be completely honest, I spent an honest 10 minutes puttering around the kitchen, trying to figure out how I could justify leaving the dishes even longer.

Finally I realized that I might have woken up failing, but that didn’t mean I needed to continue to fail. I put my Mozart pandora station and within 20 minutes the dishes were done, coffee was made, and I had done 25 squats.

And then my hubby took me out to lunch at Cracker Barrel and all was totally right with the world once more.

I appreciate that Crystal added this day in for re-evaluation. Are you doing something that could be done differently, more efficiently, better, or not at all? Is what you do in your evening and morning routines bringing you energy or do you feel burdened by trying to do too much? Now is the time to make those changes!

Tomorrow is the last day!  I’ll be blogging on Saturday just to finish up this challenge.

I’m off to enjoy my evening with my favorite healthy comfort food and a cup of tea. :)



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The 19th is a big day for our family.

I started my new job on August 19th.

Peter and I met at a soccer game on November 19th, 2011.

Tristan was born on December 19th.


Happy 11 months to our precious baby boy!! Tristan is such a fun baby. He loves laughter and wrestling with daddy. He can say “mama,” “dada,” and he says “ga!” with consistency, but it doesn’t seem to have any meaning behind it. Just about 5 minutes ago he learned how to open the door to the entertainment center, so that will be fun. He’s opened it before but by accident. Now when I put things back and close it he opens it again. He has 4 teeth and still no progress on likings foods besides biting apple slices and carrot sticks.


Happy 4 years of knowing you, Peter. We both may be stubborn and I may be an emotional mess sometimes but my life wouldn’t be anywhere near as great as it is now that I’m with you. You make me strong, you soften me, and you make me thankful to know you. Thank you for being with me!

i just realized that Peter and I don’t have any recent pictures of just the two of us! This must be remedied.

Happy 19th of the month!


I can’t believe we are almost finished with this course! I have learned so much and been so inspired and motivated again. In fact, this morning I did the unthinkable – while watching the daily video from Crystal for today’s lesson, I decided to Eat That Frog and do a quick workout! It’s sad that 25 squats gets my blood pumping. But I’m now halfway to my exercise goal for the day and I haven’t had my coffee yet, so please excuse me while I’m proud of myself.

Today’s lesson is about eliminating decision fatigue. As a new Director of Nursing, there are MANY decisions I have to make each day at work, and I’ve already experienced decision fatigue there. At home, sometimes I do the “pantry stare” trying to decide what to make for dinner.

Taking steps to eliminate decision fatigue is so helpful for daily life. Things like “Saturday is pancakes for breakfast day” might seem just like a fun family thing, but it’s also so helpful just to know what to expect each day. For work, I have a small business casual wardrobe and my normal clothes, and I usually blend the two somehow.  Currently, my favorite look is oversized sweaters and skinny jeans with boots, so that really narrows down my decision-making process in the morning, which saves brain power for when I’m holed away in the office working on billing or lots of phone calls.

For today’s challenge, I think my two areas to really start to hone in on would be dinner menus and a clothes organizational system. Right now, I have basically 3 wardrobes: a summer wardrobe, winter wardrobe, and a maternity wardrobe. There is very little organization and I really only have space for one to be out at a time. Decision fatigue would be gone if I could only see the clothes that are actual possibilities – and they would look so much neater when put away!

What areas will you be focusing on today?


It’s diet and exercise day. As a holistic health enthusiast (and future coach sometime down the road) this should absolutely be my favorite topic. But it’s cold, it’s dark, I’m tired, and I don’t want to.

Just being real.

My diet at the moment is fine. Yes, I should eat more fruits and vegetables and so I can make the goal to drink a glass of TerraGreens daily for the next 10 days. Right now I’m almost dangerously underweight and can’t seem to gain any, even though I eat around 3,000 calories a day.

When it comes to exercise, I tell myself that I just don’t want to risk burning more calories and potentially losing more weight. But as my muscles aren’t exactly getting stronger just because I wish them to, and my son is getting heavier, I really should take control of my fitness and create a simple routine.

So, for the next 14 days (along with my TerraGreens), I will commit to either doing 50 sit ups, 50 lunges/squats, or 50 kettle bell swings each day. 50 is a manageable number that I know I can do.

A strong diet and a fitness routine, however simple, are huge investments in my health for the future. And just like doing the dishes, I’m excited to see how this small task, when accomplished consistently, is a gift to my future self.


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Much of the media and culture has long attacked women, and many women have suffered from the expectation to be Superwoman. Some of us handle it by driving ourselves crazy trying to be enough. Some of us, like me, get so flustered and frustrated by the idea and we believe the lie that we somehow are broken. Since we can’t do everything right, like other wives and moms have been able to before us (so says Facebook), that something must be wrong with us. We “can’t.” We shouldn’t even try because we will inevitably fail.

I work outside the home. Based on the very traditional, conservative group I grew up in, I’ve already failed as a mom because I don’t stay at home with him. I hate doing most cleaning, so I have failed as a housewife. We can’t afford to buy most of Whole Foods right now so since I am somewhat limited in my food choices I make boring meals and have failed as a cook.

I could continue, but why? What good does it do anyone to focus on ways they think they failed? What would happen if we push past the beliefs that actually did things we didn’t think?

If you had told me last year that not only would I be adamant about going to sleep with a clean kitchen and joyful about waking up around 6am (most mornings…unlike this one…), I would have thought you were especially silly. But once I pushed past the belief that I can’t, I actually got things done!  Who would have thought???

It’s funny, but just doing the dishes at night has empowered me to pick other things that I “can’t” do – which has renewed my zest for life and passion for pushing past limiting beliefs to be the best woman I can be.

What’s holding you back from chasing your dream you?