BBQ Chicken (or Turkey) Chili Recipe using True Made Foods Sauces

This post has been sponsored by True Made Foods in conjunction with NC Blogger Network. I received compensation in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

Since July, I've accepted very few campaigns or really have not done much writing in general on the HinesSightBlog. The why is simple. My husband told me that my priority was to get us moved to our new house, and get our other house ready to sale. 

We are living in our new house and I wish I could say that my home is picture perfect now, but that would be the biggest lie ever. I'm writing this post surrounded by boxes in my office, and at night, I watch TV on lawn chairs because we decided to purchase brand new living room furniture that may not even arrive til after the new year. We are in transition, to say the least. 

I am cooking, though, and I have a new recipe that incorporates some sauces with North Carolina ties. I still have lots to do around this house, but I accepted this campaign because the company believes in providing healthier choices for consumers. The day that my True Made Foods sauces arrived to try, it was cold enough here to enjoy chili. True Made Foods, a new D.C. start-up company, is making American food healthy, turning empty calorie foods into nutrient dense foods filled with fresh veggies. 

BBQ Chicken Chili w/True Made Foods sauces are filled with veggies. Half the sugar.

Let me tell you now that their sauces are finger-licking good. I loved each one and then I used all three when I cleaned out my pantry to make a BBQ chicken chili.  This company is reproducing America's favorite sauces - Ketchup, BBQ Sauce and Hot Sauce - but what is unique and appealing to people like me who want less sugar and artificial, is they are adding spinach, carrots and butternut squash to naturally sweeten these sauces which cut the added sugar in half. The carrots and butternut squash are from an Eastern North Carolina farm. 

The Ketchup tastes like the ketchup you expect but has half the sugar of top leading brands.. and tons of nutrition from the vegetables. True Made's Veracha is a 100% vegetable Sriracha - made from tomatoes, carrots, butternut squash, jalapenos, spinach and cayenne, it has all the flavor and no sugar. This stuff is fantastic. I've put it on everything lately. I'm addicted. I love these sauces and I love that I'm getting these vegetables even more. 

I don't even think I was supposed to review the BBQ sauce, but I love BBQ sauce and it's so hard to find a sauce without high fructose corn syrup on the market. True Made BBQ is delicious. It was the basis for my chili, but I look forward to baking BBQ chicken in the oven with it, too. 

These new healthier sauces can be found at Lowes Foods, Super Target and Whole Foods.

This recipe can be adjusted to what is in your pantry, but the secret is in the sauce.

I had never made a BBQ chicken chili before, and I found many recipes. I adapted several to fit what I had in the pantry so this is a Hines original without the Heinz ketchup that you know. Instead, this chili is certainly high fructose corn syrup free. 

With Thanksgiving approaching, you could use leftover turkey in place of chicken. I used chicken breasts that I had frozen in the freezer. You can use any beans you want. I chose white kidney beans and pinto beans because it was already in the pantry in addition to a green pepper, diced tomatoes, and an onion. If you are using leftover turkey or already cooked chicken, then you can reduce cooking time. I did my chili in the crock pot for eight hours on low. 

Enjoy. The secret to the goodness in this recipe is definitely the sauce. I highly recommend adding them to your pantry. 

Great weeknight meal on a cold day.  Quick and Easy BBQ Chicken Chili.

BBQ Chicken (Turkey ) Chili 

3 chicken breasts
28 ounces of diced tomatoes with juices
2 cups of chicken stock
1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed (black beans would have been even better)
1 can of white kidney beans, drain and rinsed
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
1/2 cup of True Made Foods BBQ sauce 
1/4 cup of True Made Foods Ketchup
1/4 cup of True Made Foods Veracha sauce (add more if you like spicier)
1 tsp of chili powder
some fresh chopped garlic
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Black Pepper to season

Cook on low for 8 hours. 

Serve with sour cream and cheddar cheese on top. I like to add a little True Mades Veracha sauce when serving. You could even add avocado. I now eat the Veracha sauce on plain avocados. So good. These new sauces have spiced up my house for the better. 

Learn more about True Made Foods and its sauces.

#FamilyTravel: Grab a Table at The Cheese Shop in Colonial Williamsburg

Say Cheese!

Deli and Market in Colonial Williamsburg
The Cheese Shop in Williamsburg via @Hinessightblog Instagram

The Cheese Shop is an adorable and delectable eatery in the Merchant's Square area of Colonial Williamsburg. This locally-owned restaurant is outside the main entrance to the historic area, which requires an admission ticket. Unlike some of the Williamsburg taverns, you can dine here without an admission ticket. The Cheese Shop has been a staple in Colonial Williamsburg for over 40 years. 

The Cheese Shop made an impression on me, and I will return. Next time, I want to spend more time in the wine area. 

The Cheese Shop is wine, beer, cheese, deli, gourmet foodie store, all in one. When it's busy, and it certainly was on the day we visited, it can be a little confusing on what to do because people are waiting everywhere for their food and space is limited. 

Since it resembles a market, you order sandwiches at the counter. You grab chips from the chip aisle and you grab a drink down the drink aisle, and you don't pay until you leave the store. 

Bread is made fresh daily. Cheeses and meats are of the highest qualities, and truthfully, the prices are extremely reasonable.  It's casual.   It's fresh.  It's good.  Depending on how busy it is, your wait may be long.  It took us about 25 minutes to get our sandwiches, and thank goodness, we arrived before 100 Boy Scouts walked in the door.  Your lunch is bagged, and then you head outside to a table on Duke of Gloucester Street. Seating is at a premium. 

Cheese Sandwich at The Cheese Shop in Colonial Williamsburg

The Cheese Shop is known for its homemade house dressing.  When in Williamsburg, give this local restaurant a try. 

Want to Go:
The Cheese Shop
410 W Duke of Gloucester Street
Williamsburg,  Va

The Cheese Shop is Colonial Williamsburg is in Merchant's Square and is great for a quick lunch or dinner with the kids

A look at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, VA

While in Colonial Williamsburg, my family stayed at the Williamsburg Lodge, and it is an official HinesSight Blog recommended property.  You may read about the hotel in my "Pack Your Bags" feature

Personal: Wonder Woman and the Scary Guy

Where do you begin after taking two months off from this blog? That has never happened before.  Unfortunately, I didn't come back today with a snazzy new design or rebrand. I'm just coming back to this writing space because I needed to get back to the HinesSightBlog. Life got in the way with buying a house, selling a house, moving, and serving as PTA President.  You know the drill. You have busy lifestyles, too.

It's not that I didn't have anything to say. It's just that I didn't have time to write it down. And my new house. Well, it's just a mess right now. But, that's OK.  I'm back now and I've got some stories to tell. Oh, so many stories and new ideas.

I'll be quick today and say that my kids are growing up. We had to get a creepy costume this year and he took to his role quite well. No more cuteness from him, I guess. And Wonder Woman?  Well, she knows  how to rock some Michael Kors gold boots and strike a pose.

In our new house, we gave out over 500 pieces of candy. It was quite a night.

During the past two months, I did write some freelance pieces for Skimbaco Lifestyle. Check out the fall edition of Autumn Spice.

Why the Hyatt House in Raleigh's Midtown is a Good Choice for Families

There is a new kid in town in the North Hills area of Raleigh. 

Hyatt House in North Hills Raleigh, NC
Hyatt House Instagram via @hinessightblog 

It's the Hyatt House. 

You may have seen on Instagram that I had the opportunity to stay in a two-bedroom suite with friend of mine, and her two daughters for a girl's weekend at this new hotel last month. The space was the perfect opportunity for us to chat, and let our girls play. We don't live in the same town any longer so we don't see each other often enough. For this visit, we spent a full 24-hours together under the same roof. which reminded us of the times we spent together before we had children. Our three girls are quickly becoming friends. 

The luxury of the two-bedroom suite was that we were able to retreat to our own bedrooms at night, but still be together most of the time. The suite had a queen bedroom, a bedroom with two double beds, and a pull-out sofa. It was extremely roomy and spacious. 

The Hyatt House location in North Hills is top-notch. Really, you can't beat the location. If I were visiting Raleigh, and wanted to stay where I could walk to restaurants then I would to want to stay in Downtown Raleigh or in North Hills.  I mention this in the article of Where to Stay 36 Hours in Raleigh, N.C. 

North Hills Shopping Center in Raleigh, NC 

Downtown Raleigh hosts our museums, performance venues, and historic sites. North Hills, in Raleigh's Midtown area, is our area's premiere shopping destination and it's a short distance from Downtown. It's also not a cookie-cutter mall, but rather an urban outdoor shopping venue with apartments, restaurants, boutiques and entertainment. When you go here, you feel like you've been to a destination.

Over 60% of the 135 businesses are locally-owned and operated. The restaurant selection is fantastic. Honestly, North Hills is an area that locals enjoy frequenting. It's a place where you can find something as high-end as Tory Burch or a boutique gem for under $100. Target and JCPenney anchor the shopping center along with a movie theatre. 

Each suite at the Hyatt House has a kitchen
Each Hyatt House suite is equipped with a full-kitchen

The Hyatt House is in the heart of Raleigh's North Hills, conveniently located near the Harris Teeter, which is great for an extended stay since all rooms have full-kitchens. 

The decor is modern. The beds are comfy and have triple-sheeting. Hyatt House is an upscale self-service hotel that offers a lot of value. 

Included in your room rate, is a complimentary breakfast.  I was impressed with the Hyatt House morning spread. Omelets are made to order. 

The coffee and tea bar is conveniently set up in a separate area from the food so there is not a lot of congestion in one area. The coffee was tasty. 

The Hyatt House has more of a communal set-up for dining. That's not really my cup of tea because I prefer to keep to myself in the morning. As a result, I like dining tables set up to accommodate two or four people, but communal dining does give the hotel more space, and it is just a matter of preference. 

The Hyatt House is great for those individuals seeking more space.  It has complimentary high-speed internet service, and grocery shopping for the kitchen. 

Hyatt House is located in Raleigh's North Hills

Rates vary depending on availability and season. 

Overall, I liked the Hyatt House concept and believe this hotel brands gives guests an affordable upscale option when traveling. It's definitely worth checking-out if you want to have more space for a girls weekend or for your family. After my stay, I feel comfortable recommending the brand. 

Hyatt House is a hotel that is a good choice for families staying in Raleigh, N.C. It is located in North Hills or Raleigh's Midtown.

Want to Stay:
Hyatt House
Raleigh North Hills
160 Park at North Hills Street
Raleigh, NC 

How to Decide What to Keep and What to Throw Away When Moving

I guess by now you have seen that the HinesSightBlog has been on a hiatus for posting. Summer has  a way of making that happen. I hope you are enjoying yours. Here's what is up with me.


Tips for Moving: Do you Take or Toss?

The Hines are decluttering this summer. We've lived in our current house for twelve years, and in exciting news, we have a new home closer to downtown Raleigh under contract. We will close in the fall.  In every spare moment, I'm going through drawers, closets and getting our current house ready to sale. It's not on the market yet, but as soon as it is, you'll be the first to know.  It will be listed with Raleigh Realty Mom.  I can't wait to share more about our new home, but I will wait until after closing. It's so hard to decide what to keep and what to toss, but Will is determined that we do not take the trash with us. It can be so hard deciding what to take and what to toss when moving. Wish us luck.


Beautycounter at Target

My partnership with Beautycounter is better than ever. I am meeting more and more people daily who want to look beautiful and use products that do not have health risks. Beautycounter bans 1500 ingredients from its products that are known to be unsafe and cause health risks such as hormone disruption, cancer and more. Beautycounter is about to have a special limited run in Target in September for nine weeks only.  It's an exciting time as we begin to reach 65 million new people with our brand. If you have a passion for the beauty industry and our message of #BetterBeauty, contact me. Beautycounter is looking for more consultants. I encourage each of you to also go to Target to learn more about the Beautycounter brand. I offer the full-size brand items on my website. Target will have smaller. limited-sizes and here is a preview.

#OutaboutNC: NC Theatre's Production of Mary Poppins is "Practically Perfect" in Every Way

You know a live theatre show makes a strong impression when you leave the theatre singing the songs, and you are still singing the same songs the next day. Supercalifragillisticexpialidocius is not only hard to spell, but it's hard to get out of your head, too.

Photo  Credit: NC Theatre/Curtis Brown Photography

North Carolina's Theatre's Broadway Production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins is a delight and you'll be singing for days.

The show opened last night in Raleigh for a six-day run through Sunday, July 31. I took Liza, and she knew nothing about Mary Poppins. She had never seen the movie.

I loved watching her eyes get as big as saucers as Mary Poppins flew across the stage with her umbrella.

Photo Credit: NC Theatre/Curtis Brown Photography 

Everyone's favorite magical nanny was played by Broadway Actress, Kara Lindsay. She charmed the audience in this role and I wish I could have hired her as my nanny on the spot.  I had the opportunity to see her facial expressions and her wonderful demeanor in this role. NC Theatre cast the perfect Mary "modern-day" Poppins.  Casting Lindsey in this role wasn't "practically-perfect", it was perfect Her sidekick, Bert, played by Nicolas Dromard, who perfected the same role in the Broadway version, dazzled and brought the house down with his "Step In Time" number. It was fantastic, and it's great to see a show incorporate classic tap.

Photo Credit: NC Theatre/Curtis Brown Photography 

The show is long (ended around 10:15 pm) so it may be late for some kids. An afternoon matinee may be their best option. Seeing performances like this in Raleigh make me feel so blessed that we can expose our children to the arts with performances rivaling the Broadway stage. Liza is six so this show is age appropriate. She is still singing today.

Mary Poppins is the last show of the season for the NC Theatre. The 2016-2017 new season will debut Monty Python's Spamalot in November. For more information on this show and next season, visit NC 

"A Spoon Full of Sugar Disclosure: #OutaboutNC is an in-kind media partner with NC Theatre due to my strong advocation of the Arts.  For this production, I coordinated blogger coverage on behalf of the NC Blogger Network. My tickets were complimentary, but my opinions of the show and that I like the Broadway show better than the movie is certainly my own. 

Beauty Product Spotlight: Nourishing Cleansing Balm by Beautycounter

I have a big confession. I had never ever used a cleansing balm before two months ago. It's important to note that contrary to what we might think, oil on the skin is a beautiful thing.  Honestly, I really didn't know that fact until three years ago when I visited a luxury spa and the esthetician said I need an oil. She then put a $189 oil on the counter for me to buy.  I admit, I've probably gone without a lot of clothes, shoes, purses (things most women splurge on) due to my hair and beauty expenses over the years.  It's just the one place I would never cut in a budget. Beauty products have been my "thing". We all have a thing. Some of you, it's shoes. My love affair with the cosmetic industry goes back to my childhood when all I wanted for Christmas when I was 13 was Lancôme's beauty gift basket. 

But, I do have my limits when it comes to money and that face oil product cost from the spa would probably end my marriage. However, I did exactly as she suggested. I started using oils on my skin and thus began my journey of learning more about oils.

I tried less expensive oil concoctions (Tarte brand and I even tried to make my own unsuccessfully) since that eye-opening spa visit. A couple of months ago, I started consistently using the Soothing Beautycounter oil on my skin along with two Young Living essential oils that I add. (I will talk about that in the future). Many of my friends make their own oils from scratch, which they love. They have the talent for DIY and know just the right ingredients and mixes to use. I've let Beautycounter do the work for me instead. I use my soothing oil alone after a day in the sun or I add one drop to my moisturizer when needed. The Hydrating oil is a little too much for my skin in the summer. The Balancing oil is great for combination skin and for redness. All are wonderful oils, but I prefer the Soothing for me. 

I thought I had the perfect routine until I learned more about the Nourishing Cleansing Balm. 

Thanks to my girlfriend who purchased the Beautycounter Cleansing Balm from my website, and texting me after one application, "O.M.G. the Nourishing Balm is amazing. I'm going to order another one for my Mom," I ordered it the next week.  

There are a lot of cleansing balms out there, at various price points. Shape magazine highlighted its favorites in this article, and Beautycounter made the list.  However, not all balms are good for your health.  If you check the EWG database, many products on the market contain natural ingredients, but also synthetic products with man-made fragrances, and other ingredients that Beautycounter puts on its "Never-List" of 1500 products it bans for health risks. After a lot of debate and concern, a lot of other beauty companies are doing better with safer products,  but there still are a lot of trade secrets where ingredients do not have to be revealed. Beautycounter, a transparent Corporation B company, lobbies often in Washington for the #BetterBeauty movement that calls for stricter personal care regulations.   In order to get safer hands in the products of everyone, Beautycounter has partnered with Target for a limited pop-up shop this fall. After that pop-up shop, the products will only be available through consultant websites or through a consultant directly.

Personal Care Safety Regulation Laws have not been changed since 1938. The U.S bans 11 ingredients known to cause health risks from personal care products while Europe bans 1400. 

At 47, I've put a lot of toxic stuff on my skin. That' done. I can only move forward. Studies show that removing toxic products can reverse endocrine and hormone charges. It's never too late to change so I'm not looking back at the past and am moving forward with safer ingredients. 

I still use a cleanser in the shower, but I'm finding myself using my cleansing balm more and more. It provides an outstanding hydration and feels so luxurious after a day at the pool with the kids. 

A little bit goes a very long way. A jar will last at least six months and could last even longer. As soon as you take it in your hands, it begins to soften. 

It has Vitamin C so I leave it for a few minutes and do other things like brushing my teeth so that it has time to penetrate my skin. I then remove it with the 100 % muslin cleansing cloth included with the balm in upward circular motions. I use the cleansing cloth with warm water. 

That's it. Any trace of makeup is entirely gone. I then follow up with my normal skincare routine.

This is a Beautycounter  Best-seller and I've sold many to clients. I really love this product and I think I've loved it even more during the hot summer. 

Shop my Beautycounter website. Your purchases help the #BetterBeauty movement and the costs of  running this blog.

Disclosure: My opinion on Beautycounter cannot be bought through a commission. I was a client for many months before choosing to partner with this company. As a partner with Beautycounter, I receive discounts on the products I use and I actively am part of the company's sales compensation plan. If you are passionate about health safety and no health risks for using beauty products, join us. I would love to be your mentor and supporter in educating others that all women can have beauty without health risks. 

That Raleigh, NC Feeling: The City I Love and One You Should Visit

Yesterday, I got a text that said: "be at our elementary school at 3 p.m. because one of our alums is making a video and he wants us in it."

Due to an appointment, we couldn't make it, but our Principal and other Washington friends danced away. I love it.

Our school is rich in history and is a historic landmark in downtown Raleigh. It was built in 1923.

No doubt. I love Raleigh. Here is the video courtesy of Triangle Traveler of Raleigh and  Co.

Raleigh, N.C is a great place to live and visit. 

Lifestyle: Practical and Classic Gift Ideas for Dad (From Travel to Accessories)

Will and I have known each other sixteen years now. Sometimes I think back to that summer where we met in 2000, and try to pinpoint the qualities that he possessed that drew me to him and why I stuck around. He's a perfect Dad and husband, but I didn't know that then.

It sounds silly when you write it out, but Will was and still is a very classy individual. Will thrives on planning for the future in a fiscally responsible way.  He knows the difference between his wants and his needs and thinks about every purchase he makes. 

Sometimes, people who are known to be frugal in life are not given the true accolades they deserve. My husband is not cheap by any means. He likes quality. He buys very little, but when he does, it is usually very good quality and then he wears until he gets his money worth. 

He's not into fads and trends. He's timeless. He's classic. He's like a classic, luxury hotel resort in many ways. No wonder I love him and hotels so much. 

He does not buy a product just to buy a name. He does not care to impress anyone. He buys something because he likes the quality and believes in the quality the item possesses. If he buys something and it doesn't live up to his expectations, he will probably never buy the brand again. 

Will has needed a new wallet for quite awhile now.  He has owned and used the same Hartmann wallet for the past twenty years. It's on his last leg. Seriously, the driver's license ID is about to pull away at the seam.

He has loved this wallet and the quality that Hartmann provides with its leather goods. Both he and I own Hartmann luggage and have been very happy with our purchases. This American-made company has been in business since 1877 and makes travel and leather accessories. Will has been so pleased with his wallet that he knew that he wanted to get the exact same wallet. He just had not bought it yet. Priorities like summer camps, two trips to Asheville (You know is not just run and up and drop off or pick-up. It's now a vacation with four nights at two different hotels) and probably a new air compressor on my Audi. 

The good news for Will is that he is getting this wallet as a  Father's Day as a surprise. I was contacted by the company last week asking if I was working on any Father Day's stories. I told them his current wallet story and together, we decided this was a story to share. His brand new wallet is here courtesy of Hartmann. Even if I had not done this public story, he would have replaced his wallet with the same one. 

Practical and Classic  Gift Ideas for Dad (Hartmann Wallet)

Will has been supportive of my blog, and quite honestly, I've spent a lot of time here in this space without a paycheck, dinner has been late on the table because of a deadline so I'm glad to be able to give him this gift instead of him buying it himself. 

I have put together a few other ideas for good gifts in addition to the wallet. You already know his wallet's back history. It retails for $185. Will used his Hartmann wallet for twenty years.  There is a good change on this model though. The ID section comes out so if you wanted to take your ID and a room key to the pool then that it all you would need to take. I think that is an upgrade that he will enjoy. 

Hartmann wallet for Father's Day

I also think the Hartmann travel kit would be nice for Dad.  It retails for $135.  If you wanted, you could fill it with some of the necessary items I've included on my list. 

Hartmann Travel Kit for Father's  Day

My other gift idea for Dad is very practical and that is a good sunscreen.  Whether  he is playing golf, on the beach, or mowing the lawn, sunscreen is important. Will was diagnosed with melanoma last year and we caught it early, but sunscreen is at the top of our list. I've got Beautycounter sunscreen ready to go for our trip to the beach. It's one of the best-rated sunscreens on the market according to the EWG database.  I have both the lotion and stick packed for our annual beach trip with Will's family. 

Beautycounter sunscreen

If  you have a Dad who uses a regular razor then Young Living's shaving cream is ultra luxe and conditions the skin. Made with pure essential oils and moisturizing botanicals, Shutran™ Shave Cream delivers an incredibly close, smooth shave. Combining hydrating palm, grape seed, and olive oils, naturally derived vitamin E complex, and mango and cocoa butter, this luxurious shave cream provides a frictionless glide to reduce razor burn and nicks. There is also the Shutran Essential oil, which acts a cologne for me. It is a clean scent designed for gender-neutral use, and more importantly, it is free of harmful synthetic fragrances. 

lux shaving cream by Young Living

My final gift idea is travel. Even Dad needs a night away in a luxury hotel.  I think Dad deserves a massage. Many men will never book their own appointments so I think it's up to the wife to do it. I have two ideas for North Carolina. 

Treat Dad to a Hotel Stay at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, N.C.

The first is in Cary, N.C at the Umstead Hotel and Spa.  If your Dad is over 50, then you can get the AARP rate which is $360 for the night. Will is now eligible for this. I think I will one day take advantage of it. But, the best deal is the Summer Escape Deal with $100 property credit to be used in the spa or restaurant. It is $449 for the night. Even if you don't spend the night, drinks or dinner at the Lobby Bar is a great night out. We did this recently with family and loved it. 

Charlotte Ballantyne Summer Savings Perks.

The Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. is located on a golf course so it Dad loves to golf then this is a perfect getaway, and it happens to have a great spa on site as well. The hotel has golf packages, but the Summer Getaway package is a bargain. Rates begin at $229 and include a $50 resort credit. I just returned from the Ballantyne and cannot speak highly enough about the resort. I think Dad and you would love it. They also have a great afternoon tea. Will loves afternoon tea, too.  But, he likes beer even better. The Ballantyne is hosting the Ballantyne Beer Garden  on  Sunday, July 3 from noon to 7 p.m. on the South lawn of the hotel.  This pop-up Ballantyne Beer Garden will feature live music, local beer, a cookout, and prizes. There will be no admission fee and is open to the public. Menu items will be available à la carte.

Happy Father's Day! 

Be sure to follow the #OutaboutNC community on Instagram to know more about North Carolina travel.  Also, shop my sidebar for your latest vacation or overnight via Marriott, Expedia, and Living Social. 

Disclosure: Per FTC guidelines so you can weigh a blogger's words and opinions, no monetary compensation was exchanged for this post, but there are affiliate links. Will's replacement wallet was a gift from Hartmann. 

Essential Oils 101: Why I Use Them and Supplements

Some people think the increased use of essential oils in the home by Americans is just a trend. Some people think that it will be eventually poured out with the bath water once something better comes along. Even my own husband thinks it is a fad. I disagree. I think there is power in essential oils and they help a person with many things, but people need to be educated on them.

Essential Oil Use 101

Just last week in Marshalls, I saw diffusers and essential oils labeled for sleep at deeply discounted prices. Essential oils are as mainstream now as boxed mac and cheese. The problem is that stores are now catering to this growing essential oil trend with synthetic junk manufactured in some chemist's lab. The oils may smell good to the user, but that is about it. It probably won't even help you sleep, and the smell is probably not even real. 

True essential oils have been around since Jesus, and they had medicinal purposes. Real essential oils do not have synthetic anything in it. A buyer needs to buy essential oils reputable companies that are in the essential oil and/or aromatherapy business, or spas. Ebay, Amazon, the drug store, health food stores or your local commercialized home good store is not the best place to buy true essential oils.

What are Essential Oils?

I have friends who make lice spray, bug spray, detangler, and DIY beauty regimens. Even I have made my own bug spray.  I have two diffusers and diffuse several blends. I use Young Living products and I use them because I trust its seed to seal guarantee.  Yes, I have my favorite oils now.  I love peppermint and lime together.  It smells like a mojito. I love the blend called Abundance, and R.C. when my nose is stopped up. When I'm cleaning, I like Citrus Fresh, Lemon, Thieves, and Grapefruit. Each one of these oils has specific uses. And one of the best places where you can learn more is on health/informational websites. Some of the oils came in my diffuser starter kit, and that is how I learned about them. 

Get Outdoors with Essential Oils

I have put Manuka on my skin with fabulous results. I've soaked in a tub with Purification with Epsom Salt when my muscles were sore.  I've used Tea Tree for mildew and skin itching. My dimpled thighs almost look swimsuit ready thanks to my most recent purchase called Cell-Lite Magic.,  And I love Young Living's Vitality line for cooking. 

I looked at my son's report card today and he had no absences this year.  He said, "Mom, I really wasn't sick this year.".  He's right. He had a slight bug in the fall and that was it. 

My daughter had strep throat and missed school a few days. Other than the strep visit, we went to the doctor for well visits aside from a few specialists where we are under their medical care. 

How fast do Esssential Oils work?

I have rid our lifestyle of toxins and am eating fresh foods. I try to cut out processed foods out of our diets as much as possible. I am diffusing oils in my home that are quality and are known to have health and wellness benefits. Has it made a difference in our lives? I think so. 

 I decided to stop using my cleaning people this past August and decided to clean my own home chemical-free. I now buy Norwex from a friend, and use Young Living products for my laundry, bathrooms, disinfectants, and mildew.  I use and recommend Beautycounter cosmetics and skincare.

I diffuse quality essential oils, and I've eliminated toxins in our personal care products.  Those are some of the steps I've taken in the past year.

I am by no means have 100 percent clean living in any way, but this is the lifestyle I have decided I want to live.  I do drink wine. I will indulge in a dessert, and I live life to the fullest. 

At the same time,  I also enjoy knowing that the products I am buying and using are safe with no toxic chemicals in them. 

Number of drops in Essential Oil Bottle

A lot of people aren't educated on essential oils and may even roll their eyes when someone says essential oils, but I stand by my decision to be a Young Living member with confidence. I have done my research and have taken this past year to learn. I have several friends who are members. I earn points back on the money I spend, and I buy essential oil infused products regularly more than I actually buy essential oils. After much research and cost comparisons, I use Young Living's Probiotic, and  Super B   tablets regularly and they think they are the best bargains out there, even at retail prices. 

Why do I use Young Living instead of another company? A friend introduced me to Young Living first and that is how I became familiar with their products. It's that simple. I didn't choose one over another. It's just what I started with first and have been a pleased customer. 

I also like being able to have an online store with an online support group. With the company's voluntary program,Essential Rewards perks, I am able to save money on my purchases. They have a blog and it gives me ideas on uses. 

This is why I am a Young Living Member and use essential oils. I save 24 percent on my purchases, and buy what I want and need whenever I want. I enrolled in Essential Rewards to get points back on my purchases. Joining as a member is also risk-free - you don't have to signup for any kind of shipments.

 I have energy and feel good. I'm a 47-year-old mom with two kids under the age of 10. I need all the energy I can get. Super B, I love you!

And here is a little bonus. Young Living rewards members who give referrals. It's an online store with an extensive catalog. The company passes the money they save on advertising to its consumer. It's not a special blogger perk. It is available to all customers who are members.  It can be available to you.

If join as my referral, you will receive a great essential oils reference book and the opportunity to be in a special Facebook group for the EnjoyLifeOils family.

Photos from Enjoy Life Oils, Young Living, and Oily Families. Disclosure: Affiliate links where income could possibly be generated.  Opinions about Young Living and Essential Oils are my own. 

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