6.27.2018

The Ultimate Top 10 Essential Oils for Travel

Travel has become much more common in my life lately.  I've caught a lot of planes over the last few years - some to other countries but most were planes home.  I've also taken a ton of road trips and short weekend getaways.  Most of those trips, though, were with out my trusty essential oils!  It wasn't until about a year & a half ago that I started to use essential oils and now I can't imagine a lot of daily things with out these guys!
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

Essential oils can offer a natural emotional & physical support system for us.  For the most part I like to focus on the way essential oils affect my emotional wellness but when I travel I also need some physical wellness support.  We're coming in contact with a lot of germs, we eat things that might not sit well with us, and we're under stress especially if we're on a tight travel schedule - and there are essential oils to counteract all the emotional stuff that goes a long with these physical things!  Here are my top 10 essential oils for travel

The Balance blend is a proprietary blend of spruce, ho wood, frankincense, blue tansy, blue chamomile flower, & osmanthus.  Known as the Grounding Blend, Balance truly does bring me back to balance.  This is one of the first oils I started to work with before joining doTERRA and it brings me into a meditative head space.  I think Zach picked this up at a health food store near us and I started to use it in my daily meditation practice.  Since scent is such a powerful connector to emotion, now when I inhale the scent of this oil I am immediately reminded of calm.
I use this oil in a travel diffuser but I also will just add a drop or two to my hands, rub them together, and inhale.  A few drops on your pillow with some lavender is a great way to drift into a calm sleep.

This blend is great to help boost your immunity while traveling since we're running into a lot of new to us germs & we're under a lot of travel stress.  I'm pretty sure half the reason we get sick sometimes is that we're just plain exhausted - so we need both physical & emotional support during travel to stay on top!  So I need to grab some of the On Guard sanitizing mist but right now I travel with both the On Guard beadlets (included in the Family Essentials + Beadlets enrollment kit!) and the On Guard touch roller.  
I'll use the beadlets as a daily boost while I'm traveling but I'll also apply the touch roller to my chest if I'm feeling a little tickle coming on.  This oil is a proprietary blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils so it's going to open your airways and it can help with a sore throat.  Now that it is summer time though, I'm thinking of just throwing a 5 ml bottle in my travel kit - since this blend contains a citrus oil I need to be careful not to apply it and then go in the sun.  Citrus oils are photoreactive and can cause serious burns if treated skin is exposed to UV rays.

Known as the Purification blend, this blend is great for year round travel.  Firstly, I use this guy to clear out yucky smells.  You can diffuse it to purify the air - like if where you're staying has a musky smell - or you can use this to get rid of odors on clothes.  I usually mix a spray bottle of water, Lavender, & Purify and spray on clothes as a fabric refresher.
Secondly, this guy is great - again with Lavender - to sooth irritations from bug bites!  It does have lemon & lime peel in it though so be sure be careful about sun exposure, might be best to apply this at night after a day of outdoor fun.

This is an oil I use for both emotional & physical support.  So Lavender can calm anxious feelings which I totally get before a flight.  Its not that I feel like something horrible is going to happen I just feel stressed about finding my seat, making sure my stuff fits in the over head bin, what if I'm in the wrong seat, what if I have to get back up, what if someone is in my seat....... I just get myself psyched out and that's not good for the nerves.
I travel with the touch roller of Lavender nearly everywhere (I use it on the daily) because of the ease of application.  The prediluted touch rollers make using oils on the go super easy.

The use of this one is many, many fold!  Firstly, I use this guy in my skin care.  I'll put a few drops in my toner, moisturizer, or even make up remover to sooth my skin.  It has cleansing properties so it's great to use to fight blemishes.  Skin care is the main reason I pack this guy each time I travel.
Secondly, it is also good to treat minor skin irritations - bug bites & small scratches.  This makes it a great replacement for the photoreactive elements of the Purify blend.  Add Melaleuca and Lavender together to sooth and calm any bug bite and treat those small scratches you may get from hiking or having fun in the sun.  

Thirdly, this essential oil is also great to purify the air and remove the stink from clothes.  I don't like how minty this oil smells sometimes, though, so I often choose Purify for this.


Citrus Bliss

This is my happy oil!  Citrus Bliss is the Invigorating blend - meaning its going to boost your mood and just give you the confidence to get going.  If ever I feel a bit down or I want to just get the heck up and actually go, I diffuse this plus a little bit of Peppermint.  Citrus bliss is a blend of all the happy citrus oils so it turns my mood around real quick.  

I use this oil on the daily as well.  Past Tense is in a roller bottle as well, however it isn't diluted with fractionated coconut oil like the Touch rollers are.  I don't separate mine into another roller bottle and dilute because I'm #lazy but you may want to do this especially since there are oils like Wintergreen, Peppermint, and Cilantro in this blend.  These 'hot' oils may cause skin sensitivity so they should be diluted especially on skin that is delicate - children or elderly.  So do as I say and not as I do...
But I use this oil to relieve tension in my neck and shoulders & to help with my headaches. The cooling sensation also makes it great for hot days.  PastTense is a blend of Wintergreen, Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Cilantro, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Basil, and Rosemary so it's a good blend for all around wellness!

If ever I want to add pep to a diffuser blend I add a drop of Peppermint.  This oil just brightens any blend you add it to.  Need to get up & go? Citrus + Peppermint.  Need to relieve the stress of a long day? Floral + Peppermint.  Want to relieve tense muscles?  Tree/wood oil + Peppermint.  Digestive issues?  Herb oils + Peppermint.  Is it hot outside and you're hot too? Peppermint.
It's just an all around great oil to have in your arsenal.  Peppermint is one of the top THREE essential oils - along with lavender & lemon - that everyone needs to have!

Remember when I said that I get super nervous before a flight?  Well often that manifests as a tummy that is not very happy!  So I use a blend of Lavender and Digestzen to sooth my nervous stomach.  The Lavender helps me emotionally & the Digestzen helps me physically since a lot of the upset is all in my head!
When I eat something that may or may not sit well - like when we travel places with amazing food but I'm unsure my stomach will agree - I apply Digestzen topically to my stomach.  This blend contains Ginger which is a good way to combat nausea.  The other oils - Anise, Peppermint, Caraway Seed, Coriander Seed, Tarragon, and Fennel aid in digestion.

In a pinch, like if you don't have Lavender, the scent of Digestzen can be calming as well...it's not a great scent but the chemical properties of this blend can promote relaxation.

Last but not least I use Frankincense.  The oils is an amazing oil!  If I need an uplift - Frank.  If I need some emotional support - Frank.  If I'm gonna put on my face moisturizer - Frank.  I have been packing the 5 or 15ml bottles that I have but I'm thinking of adding in the Touch roller for ease of application.
This oil can help with skin irritations, muscle soreness, sleep, and so much more.  It is such a versatile oil!


Grab the Free Ebook!

* indicates required


Travel is an important & necessary part of my life and I plan to keep on keeping on so it's great to have a support system to bring with me.  When I travel by car, I usually just pack all of these guys together but when I'm flying I sort out the oils I may need while I'm at the terminal or on the plane - Lavender, Digestzen, On Guard, Peppermint or PastTense - and put those in a small plastic bag to comply with the TSA requirements.  The rest I'll pack in a make up bag in my checked luggage.  (ps I always check a bag because I don't want to have to lug it all around in the terminal! That relieves some stress for me!)

Want to learn more about essential oils?  Check out my Top 10 Essential Oils video here & find more oily posts on the blog here.

Ready to get started on your journey with essential oils? Click here to learn how to place your order.

What are your top oils for travel?

xoxo, Moe

6.25.2018

Boost your Blog // Why Should I Open a Digital Etsy Shop?

If you're a blogger looking to make a little bit of income on the side, opening a digital shop might be for you.  You can sell digital prints, stock photos, worksheets, workbooks, planner printables, etc. especially if it is relevant to your content.  Opening a digital shop will add another revenue stream from your blog!  There are a ton of eCommerce sites where you can open this type of shop, but I want to tell you about why Etsy is the best place.
this post may contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

Etsy is the leading handmade marketplace.  It's been around for 13 years.  I remember when I first heard about Etsy and it was then that I decided to open up shop selling earrings and crocheted items.  I didn't have much success with physical items - plus I did not like to go to the post office!  When I moved up to Indiana in the Fall of 2012, I'd been selling digital items in my Etsy shop for about a year.  At that time I sold blog templates & custom Blogger designs.  It was when I started selling digital items that I found the most success.  It was a balance between being creative and not having to go to the post office!

I've shuttered my online doors a couple of times in the past but I've kept my current shop open for a few years now.  Currently I sell digital planner printables as well as stickers designed to cut with your Cricut Explore.  But I'm thinking about branching out to selling more digital supplies for creative businesses - graphics & templates, social media stuff, etc.  Check out the shop here.

But why Etsy Especially since they just announced a plan to increase the transaction fee from 3.5% on the sale price only to 5% on the sale price + shipping starting July 16, 2018.  I've written a post here on why I keep turning back to Etsy, by why should you consider Etsy in the first place?  In the age where eCommerce shops can be made quickly & easily, why start with Etsy?

Low Start Up Cost

Etsy has the eCommerce platform down for you.  You don't have to build or pay someone to build the website for you.  While there are a lot of drag & drop options and most eCommerce platforms are easy to use, with Etsy you don't have to invest much time or money into getting your shop up & running.  It is free create a shop, you can use free software to create a shop graphic & even edit/create your shop listings.  At a cost of .20 cents a listing you can list 100 items for about $20.  Each listing lasts for 4 months.  You're only charged the transaction fee (3.5% prior to July 16, 2018) once a sale is made and if you're not finding success, delete and item before it renews and you won't be charged another .20 cents to relist it after the 4 months expires.  You're not investing the time or the money you don't have!  Plus if you're selling digital items you're not going to be shipping anything.  So this increased transaction fee won't impact you as much.

Digital Fulfillment Service Built In to the Platform

Selling digital items means you'll need to actually get that file to the customer.  With Etsy there is a fulfillment service built right in at no extra cost.  You list the item and you're done.  You don't have to monitor sales and deliver the files to a customers email.  Etsy does this for you after the payment has cleared.  Other eCommerce platforms often require the use of either their app or a third party app to execute this fulfillment process.  While that's not too bad, Etsy makes it very easy to run a digital shop without any extra work.


Name Recognition & Search Optimization 

Etsy allows you to tag your listings with relevant search tags.  You're also given ample space in the product title to include relevant search terms.  The description area is a thrid place to create a through product description.  All of these allow you to show up in Etsy's search.  Because Etsy is the leading place for handmade & creative products, people come to Etsy to search for what they need.  If they are coming to Etsy to search they will find your shop as long as you tag your products properly.  This is the most work that you'll need to put into your listings (well, this and your photos).  The more work you put in to properly tagging your products the better you'll show up in the search.  It's as if the advertising is being done for you.  Of course you'll need to share that you actually have a shop on your various platforms but you're not going to need to pay for advertising space.  While Etsy does offer the option to advertise in search results, my unscientific studies have proven to me that this type of advertisement really has no bearing on sales.

Ease of Use

All points above add to the fact that Etsy is just easy to use.  You don't have to manage security certificates, cookie notices, or any changes to internet use laws because Etsy will do it for you.  I feel, you're getting a great convenience for a very low price and peace of mind.  If you want to take it upon yourself to manage your own website and eCommerce and fulfillment, good on you.  I just place big importance on ease of use.  You're getting the advertising & the digital fulfillment covered, your partnering with a big name in the game and you're not having to create & maintain your own stand alone site.  The overall design of the Etsy platform is aesthetically pleasing as well and you're not having to make all these design decisions that cost moolah on your own site!


So, while there are some restrictions Etsy is a great place to start selling.  I am of the set it & forget it mindset.  I am also not going to fix something that isn't broken!  What I am going to do though, is change with the times.  I plan to raise my prices in my shop in July.  Why do that?  Why not move to another platform?  Because I like this platform, I find value in this platform, and I think my community finds value in my product.  When we partner with businesses that are in the business of doing business, we must realize that things will change - these partners want to make money just like we want to make money.  This is also the first increase in 13 years of the platform so I find this site rather trustworthy and believe they aren't ripping us off!  Etsy does a lot of the managing for you - fees, fulfillment, security, advertising, etc - and I find value in their service.  

If you're thinking about expanding your blog income by starting a digital shop, forget the headache & start with Etsy!  Want to read more about running an Etsy shop? Check out these posts.

Do you have an Etsy shop?  Why do you use Etsy?

xoxo, Moe

6.21.2018

Boost your Blog // Apps I use to Run my Blog

I've been blogging for over 10 years now and the landscape of blogging has changed so much since I first started.  I've also become more streamlined in my own blogging - only doing what I feel is worth my time, using the camera that I have, and working from my phone a lot of the time.  If it isn't simple for me to do...then I don't do it!
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
I'm not the type of blogger who likes to follow the rules.  I find the 'proper way to blog' to be overwhelming & time wasting for me.  Examples - I don't have a self hosted blog, I use my iPhone to take photos, I never research keywords for post titles, I'm bad at newsletters, and the list goes on.  However, I still consider myself a successful blogger.  Part of this is because I'm authentic.  Another part is that I share relevant info.  And the final part is that I use apps & tools to streamline my process.

As someone who works a lot from my phone, you'll find apps & programs that have both a desktop and a mobile version.  This is the number one reason why I'm considering getting my next iPhone in the Plus model for the bigger screen!  Anyway, here are the apps & tools I use to run my blog:

A Color Story

This is literally the best mobile photo editing app, ever.  I have a full blog post on this app here and will constantly recommend it to anyone editing photos on their phone.  What I love about this app is that the FREE pack included in the download is all you really need to create bright, crisp photos perfect for Instagram, Facebook, and your blog.

Not only can you edit photos but you can also edit short videos.  So if you want your Instagram stories or videos to fit your pages aesthetic you totally can!  The controls are just the same whether your' editing a photo or video so it's super easy.  Plus you can save a series of edits to use on other photos later to get that consistent feel.

Finally, you can plan your Instagram grid using this app!  This is a feature I've recently started using for both my Connected Chakras feed & the Feel the Inhale essential oil feed.  If you're wanting to create a cohesive grid with a certain theme, you can preview how your images will look next to each other.  I use this to see how my images will look next to each other & to plan which images I'll use each week.  Unfortunately there's no auto post option - you'll still have to manually import your photos to Instagram but you can at least plan the aesthetic and the caption.

Phonto

This is the app I use to create any blog image with text over them. Like the image at the top of this post, Phonto is the way I create my pinnable blog images.  I love this app because I can import my own branded fonts right into the app and use them.  The app does come with a TON of fonts already but it is great to be able to use your own fonts!  I love that I can save preset text - like my blog URL or a text watermark for Instagram - to add to each new photo.

A companion app that I've just recently found myself using is Vont.  Designed by the same creators as Phonto, this app allows you to put text over video.  You can even import your own branded fonts as well!

You can read another full blog post on Phonto here.

Mailchimp

I suck at sending emails but I love the automated system offered by Mailchimp.  If you've ever signed up for an email opt in - like the Tarot eBook or the Blogging eBook - then Mailchimp has automated the sending for me.

This is the main thing I use Mailchimp for.  The automation takes the pressure off of creating unique emails every week for my email list.  I automate sending new blog posts to subscribers as well.  So it appears like I'm actively doing a newsletter....but I'm totally not!  I plan on doing a post on how to use the automation feature of Mailchimp soon!

Canva

Like the graphic in this post, I use Canva for my other design needs.  I love that the templates are easy to use and that my brand colors & fonts are easily stored.  When I need to change the size of a graphic I can also auto resize it super simply!

Canva allows me to create ebooks, infographics, and other digital downloads to make my blog look amazing.  I also use this to create my Instagram stories highlights and other templates I share over there.  The template options in both the desktop version and the app are amazing!  While you can use your branded text on the desktop site the app doesn't allow you too.  Which is why I choose Phonto for mobile.

Canva also allows you to create templates to sell or share with others which is a cool way to monetize your content!

Google Drive

This is my choice for a cloud storage service.  While you get 15GB free with your gmail account, I pay for 100GB of storage.  This makes it easy to transfer files between my phone & my computer.  Since I take and edit my photos on my phone I need a convenient way to transfer the files to my computer so I can compose the blog post.  On my computer I have a Google Drive back up so I can choose anything that's been uploaded as if it were on a drive on my computer.  It makes the whole process super streamlined.

I also use Google Drive to host any freebies that I share on the blog.  Because I need a way to get the freebies to you I need a hosting service.  Google Drive allows me to share specific files and set specific permissions for each file.


PicFrame

This is an app I've been using for a thousand years it feels like.  This is your basic photo collage app and I love it because it is simple.  Change the size, add photos, save.  Easy. Peasy.  Recently this app add the ability to save templates to use later.  I find this helpful when I want to make a collage or create a nice graphic for my Instagram stories.  You can change the ration to 9:16 so that your creation fits perfectly.

I just found out recently that you can add video into the collage!  What I usually do is add one video to the collage then save it so that there's white space around the video to add text.  Then I'll use Vont to add the branded text I like!  Read a full review of the app here.

All of these apps make blogging super easy for me.  I don't have to stress about my content or my design because I've got these tools right at my finger tips.  If blogging isn't something I can easily do, I don't want to do it.  Since I've started to take my blog a little bit more seriously I've been trying to find ways to create a space that is successful but still fun for me!



I'm constantly on the look out for new and fun apps to add to my arsenal.  If you've like to read more about the apps I love & use check out all the App Reviews right here on the blog.  And if you've got an app suggestion you'd love for me to review, shoot me an email here.


6.19.2018

My Top 10 Natural & Non Toxic Cleaning Supplies

This year when deciding to go cruelty free I had to take a good hard look at what that exactly meant.  My first intention was to just go cruelty free with my make up collection...it would be easy and it would be a good thing.  But like a lot of different things in life, this decision turned into something deeper.  This cruelty free journey pushed me to re-examine a lot of things in my life and my cleaning routine was one of these areas.
In my search to be authentic this year, I came to realize that there were a lot of things in my cleaning routine that were unhealthy (products, cleaners, etc) and not cruelty free.  A big realization for me was that just because it's not make up doesn't mean it's cruelty free.  Arm & Hammer, for example, tests on animals.  So if I'm making safe, home cleaners to use...shouldn't that align more wholly with my values?  Using a non-cruelty free brand of baking soda doesn't align with my goals.

So, I decided to make more conscious choices - less waste, cruelty free where I could, and more mindfulness in my cleaning routine.  Here are my top 10 favorite natural & non-toxic cleaning supplies.

Microfiber Towels

One of the first, biggest choices I made was to reduce my paper towel and disinfectant wipe reliance.  (That was a big sentence right there!)  I purchased these microfiber towels on Amazon after a recommendation from A Beautiful Mess.  While we still buy paper towels, I've consciously made a decision not to go for these guys first.  When I wash my hands I reach for the dish towels.  When I clean the counters, the mirrors, the toilets, etc I reach for the spray cleaner and the microfiber towels.  My dependence on single use wipes is dwindling!  I've realized there't not much more a paper towel can offer me than a microfiber towel can.  Since this pack comes with different colors I've assigned a certain color to a certain room - kitchen is yellow, upstairs bathroom/laundry room is green, downstairs is blue, downstairs bathroom is orange.  That way it's easier to know which cloth goes where and I'm never short!

DoTERRA Laundry Detergent

I like this for multiple reasons - it's not made from petrochemicals, the overall scent isn't overpowering, and when I forget the laundry in the washer it doesn't get stinky.  Ever since discovering essential oils, I've been on a battle with fragrance.  This laundry detergent, while scented in the bottle doesn't lay too much scent onto the clothes.  While I'm fine with this, Zach really isn't.  If it's not scented, it's not clean I guess!  That's why I picked up the dryer balls (mentioned below in this list).  I have noticed that with Zach's work clothes, stink can linger a bit so I am on the hunt for a stronger, natural detergent to supplement.
The detergent is ultra concentrated and it can go up to 64 washes.  It also works great in high efficiency washers.  With a wholesale membership this bottle will make each load about .43 cents.

Wool Dryer Balls

I never used dryer sheets prior to getting my dryer balls so I didn't have much to change except remember to throw something in the dryer.  My big goal here was two fold - enhance the scent of the laundry when it comes out of the dryer and reduce static.  I have been lazy on the dryer sheets since forever because I don't think that they are necessary and I'd rather not spend the money on them.  Laundry detergent did just fine with the scent and I don't care about the static.  But, Zach doesn't like that his laundry smells like....... nothing. So I want to make it smell fresher when it comes out of the dryer. 

DoTERA Cleaner Concentrate

This is another doterra product that packs a punch.  I use this to clean nearly every surface.  You only need a few tablespoons in a spray bottle and you have an all purpose cleaner for every room in your house.  You can even use this to mop with this solution or do dishes with the cleaner.  I don't buy any spray cleaners any more, this covers everything.  I use it in every room of the house!  You may remember this post about creating a cleaning caddy for various rooms in my house .... I've replaced those harsh cleaners with a spray bottle of this concentrate and microfiber cloths!

Vinegar + Water (and Lemon Essential Oil)

The absolute best window & mirror cleaner is vinegar and water.  A lot of these recipes will tell you to use distilled water but I find plain old tap water works fine and we have hard, well water.  If you add in a bit of lemon essential oil - a de-greaser - it works great to cut any residue on the surface of the glass.  I have a spray bottle of this in each of my cleaning kits as well.  I can't tell you how impressed I was the first time used this concoction...I never thought of going back.  


Castile Soap

This is going to replace any and all soapy stuff I need in my house.  For cleaning I have in a scrub brush in my shower to clean the shower and I've got it on my sink for dishes.  We're still using up some regular dish soap and I think it's going to take some convincing for Zach to realize that the soap in the hand soap thing is also the soap to use to wash the dishes.  

I plan to use castile soap for body wash & my shampoo in the coming months.  I just need to discover something for conditioner.  But seriously if you need soapy lather this stuff is the bomb!

Baking Soda + Citric Acid

So baking soda makes a great scrubbing agent (so does salt!) and when you add citric acid to it and throw it in some water you get a great fizz.  I'm not sure if there is science behind the fizz actually lifting anything but I totally think it does.  I use baking soda & citric acid in my toilet cleaner so I think the citric acid actually does something!
Here's where I want to share another idea - just because you're making it yourself, doesn't mean it's cruelty free.  I've been using other brands of baking soda in previous DIY's but cruelty free is something I'm attempting to think about in many areas of my life including my cleaning supplies.  With that being said, Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda is the baking soda that I've found to be cruelty free.  I haven't come up on much research or information about citric acid brands, however.  But when I know better I will do better.

Essential Oils

I have a whole cleaning video on my YouTube channel as well as another post with the top essential oils for cleaningThese guys are versatile because I use them in my glass cleaner, in my laundry, as a fabric refresher, and to plain ol' diffuse.  These guys are just the greatest for a lot of things around the home.

Pure Haven Dish Washer Detergent

My cousin is a Pure Haven rep and when I can't find something from doTERRA that I love I generally go over to Pure Haven to purchase.  Of the DIY dishwasher tab recipes I've found, none of them have really worked.  Since I'm not in the habit of reinventing the wheel I went with something I know will work.  I've repurchased this once already and plan to continue to do so.

Glass Spray Bottles

In my Cleaning with Essential Oils video I mention that you can use either PET plastic or dark amber/blue glass bottles to store your DIY cleaning supplies.  I love using these amber bottles from Amazon to store all my cleaning solutions.  The mist can be fine - for like cleaning glass - or more targeted for cleaning your counters or other surfaces.  They feel well made and the weight of the glass bottle isn't too heaving.  The sprayer doesn't seem to clog as long as you close it after your done with it.
Transitioning into a non-toxic, more green cleaning routine doesn't have to be intimidatingIn this post I shared tips about transitioning to cruelty free and you can use the same guidelines when making over your cleaning routine.  It is all a learning process.....I'm still figuring things out as I go.

But the biggest thing is to partner with someone & with a company that you know, love, and trust.  For me DoTERRA and my own Wellness Advocate helped me learn a lot of stuff about natural, non-toxic, and green cleaning...and that is what I'd love to do for you.  I want to be your personal Wellness Advocate.

Grab the Free Ebook!

* indicates required

If you're looking to get started using essential oils everyday in your own home, there is a perfect starter kit available for you.  When you purchase a starter kit & become a wholesale member you'll have access to me + a whole community dedicated education!  Shoot me an email if you're ready to learn more, or click here to browse the kit options!  Once you've chosen a kit, add it to your cart and proceed to check out.  Click the Become a Wholesale Member in the upper right to join me on your essential oil journey!

How have you made over your cleaning routine?  What supplies do you recommend?

xoxo, Moe

6.13.2018

How to Combine Tarot, Oracle, and Affirmation Cards in a Reading

A few weeks ago I shared my favorite tarot and oracle card decks.  My collection has significantly grown over the last year or so but my purchasing of decks as slowed in the recent months.  I credit this to getting to know the decks I have.  Now, I'm not going to discourage you from buying all the decks (because it can be fun to collect and learn from different decks) but I want you to connect with the decks you have and find where new decks can fit into your journey.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
I use tarot, oracle, and affirmation cards for personal growth and development.  My persona belief is that these cards don't tell me the future.  These cards reveal to me things I may not consciously know or things that I know...but have chosen to ignore.  Those that are able to use the cards to tell the future have a gift I do not and the cards are mere tools for their gift.  But this belief in revealing subtleties is why I think everyone and anyone can benefit from using tarot & oracle cards.

It can be difficult to figure out how to use these decks just by themselves let alone pair these decks together.  Here are the three ways I suggest to start using multiple decks and card styles into one reading:

Pair Cards in the Same Position

When you're doing a certain spread, use two cards one position to get a more expanded yet direct message.  I find this most successful when I designate one of the pairs as the first or main card in that position.  For me this main card is often a tarot card.  So during the reading, I'll place down the tarot cards first in the spaces I've designated as for tarot cards.  Then I'll choose my oracle deck, shuffle, and place the oracle cards on to the tarot cards in the positions I've chosen to be expanded.  

Getting to know the decks you're using can help in this, too.  Pairing an oracle card with a tarot card on the same space can often explain or build on the message of the first card so when you know the energy of different decks you'll get the most from this pairing.  Often I'll use multiple decks (3 at max) because I know what each will give me in a reading especially when I'm putting them in a specific space.  


Create Specific Spreads 

When you know you're cards & your decks you can begin to work with them in a way that really works with you.  We form a certain relationship with our cards and I truly feel the universe will deliver what you need, in the way you need, if you just ask!  So, work with your cards.  If you know certain cards work great to form mantras, use those cards in a spread or specific position that deals with mantras.  In the weekly spread I usually do, I choose a card from the Sprit de la Lune deck as well as a card from the Sacred Soul Searching deck and a tarot card for the position of weekly theme.  I sort of created this spread around using those three cards because I find the most complete message comes from pairing these cards together.

When I do the Midweek Mantra spreads on the Connected Chakras Instagram, I also intentionally created a pairing between the Connected Chakras deck and the Pagan Cats Tarot.  I find that this mini tarot deck is very playful due to the cat imagery but offers a good compliment to the Chakras deck.  When you intentionally and repeatedly assign certain spreads as designated for affirmation cards or oracle cards, you'll find a better connection to your messages. 

Choose a Significator

This is one thing that really like to do when I'm attempting to work with a certain energy.  Choose a tarot, oracle, or affirmation card as the main theme of your reading.  For example - the Strength card.  So then you can pull and pair cards on how to embody the strength card.  

Perhaps you can ask "What mantra will help me embody the energy of this card?"  Then pull a card or cards that you know usually create wonderful mantras for you.  For me, I may choose to pull a card from the Connected Chakras deck & the Soul Searching Deck.  These always pair well for me. Again, knowing your cards and the messages they give can help you out here.

After working with my favorite decks and really connecting to them, I know which cards deliver the best messages when paired.  You'll find these great pairings by repeatedly using your cards.  Some decks may offer great messages on their own, some decks pair well because of their imagery, some decks might work well because they are both action oriented...the possibilities are endless.  You can also get to know your decks through a Get to Know Your Deck spread and keep note of what that deck will most likely tell you.

If you're looking for an easy way to learn the 78 tarot card meanings, I have a free tarot guide available for download!  You'll get a little ebook style download + a printable booklet to store in your tarot journal.  Sign up for the newsletter below to grab your free copy.
Lunar Newsletter

Grab your FREE Tarot Study Guide Below

* indicates required


After you enter your email check your inbox for your confirmation.  Then keep a look out for a second email (it might land in your spam or promotions tab).  If you're already signed up for the newsletter, you should get a separate email anyway!

Tarot is a great self reflective tool that can help hone your own intuition and help to develop a healthy relationship with yourself.  It is a key part of my self care routine, my goal setting strategy, and developing my self confidence.

If you'd like to read more about Tarot on the blog, click here.  You can also get weekly Tarot advice over on the Connected Chakras instagram.  If you're looking for another affirmation deck to add to your collection, check out my self published deck Connected Chakras or print your own here.

How do you use the tarot in your life?  How does it speak to you?

xoxo, Moe

6.11.2018

How to Use the Moon Phases for Self Development

You may have been seeing a lot around right now about witchy & woo woo women setting intentions & goals with the lunar cycles.  This has become a really popular topic right now, I feel like, in a lot of circles.  I'm not as consistent with this practice as I used to be but I still think it is important to focus on especially when it comes to self development.

At the beginning of this year I asked the question 'what does my be self look like?'  We can't come to be our best selves unless we understand our best selves.  And there are a bunch of different layers that come into play here.  If you're not into woo woo stuff, then this may not be your cup of tea...but hey, it might just be a fun way to get to know yourself.  
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

First off I think it is important to know two things about ourselves to set these intentions: we need to know our sun, moon, & rising signs and we need to have our basic natal chart.  If you're not sure what these are and you'd like to learn more about your natal chart, I have a complete newbies guide to reading a natal chart right here.  There is even a free download to fill in your chart to use later in this post so be sure head over & sign up for the newsletter.

If you know you're sun, moon, & rising signs, you'll know some core things about yourself.  Your sun sign represents how you see yourself, your moon sign represents your passions & your emotional state, and your rising sign represents how the world sees you.  Once you have your natal chart done, you'll begin to see which signs you have in which houses.  These houses correspond to different aspects of your life - the first house is self, the fourth house is home, the seventh house is relationships, and so on.

Once you have these figured out (again, see this post) you can begin to set intentions with the moon cycles. 

Moon Phases

If you peruse pinterest & woo woo blogs long enough you'll find that there are two takes on the lunar phases - one says the new moon is great for manifesting while the other says the full moon is the energy you should use to manifest.  I subscribe to the following belief - as the moon grows, so too should our work on our goals.  So I don't think that on the new moon we should set our intentions...I think on the new moon we should start to set our intentions.  We're working with the growth of the moon.  So between the new moon and the waxing crescent we should focus our energy on what we'd like to manifest.  The moon is starting to grow, and thus the energy for manifesting is beginning to grow.  I focus my energy on the time between phases, if that makes sense.  The growing energy between the phases is where the manifesting power lies.

So, between the New Moon and the Waxing Crescent we are setting intentions.  We're holding our new moon rituals and focusing our energy on our intentions.  Between the Waxing Crescent and the First Quarter we're planning & outlining the action we're going to take.  We can do some journaling & some brainstorming on what routine we'll develop, etc.

Then, between the First Quarter and the Waxing Gibbous we'll start to take action.  We'll begin to implement the plan daily, sticking with the plan if it's working and even if it isn't working.  Then between the Waxing Gibbous and the Full Moon we'll refine and edit our actions.  What can we add that will better serve us?  What can we eliminate?  Where do we need to change?

Between the Full Moon & the Waning Gibbous we should be at our realization.  We'll do our full moon rituals, begin our gratitude, and celebrate what we've realized between the New Moon and now.  Now we move on to the waning phase where the energy is dissipating and we're moving more into reflection.  Between the Waning Gibbous and the Last Quarter we need to get devoted.  Keep up those actions & that routine through this time to cement in these beliefs we've realized.  Between the Last Quarter & the Waning Crescent we should release.  Get rid of anything that isn't serving you & continue the steps of gratitude.

Finally, between the Waning Crescent and the next New Moon we should be focusing on self care.  We did a lot of development so it is time to focus back on us, take care of ourselves, and work with what we've learned.  Then the cycle starts again.

You can see that I'm working with the spaces between phases rather than the actual phase itself....I hope that makes a little sense.  I like doing this because as the energy rises so too should our actions towards manifesting our intentions and as the energy wanes we should slow down and reflect to prepare for the next wave.  It's a lot to go through in a month!  But it is worth it.

New Moon - set intention
Waxing Crescent - plan & outline
First Quarter - take action
Waxing Gibbous - refine & edit
Full Moon - realization
Waning Gibbous - devotion
Last Quarter - release
Waning Crescent - self care


Astrological Signs in the Houses


Once you've done your natal chart you should see that there are certain signs assigned to each house.  Everyone, for the most part, will have different signs in different houses. The Wheel of houses in your birth chart is based on the earths rotation on it's axis in a 24 hour period. Your personal Wheel of Houses is determined by your birth time and location. It is a map of the sky at the time and area of your birth and the energies of these signs can play a roll in your relationship with the themes of each of these houses.  In the natal chart post I have a very broad list of the houses.  It is this list we are going to use to set our intentions.  

For example, Aquarius is in my Fifth House of Creativity.  So when the new moon rises in Aquarius I should use Aquarius energy to focus on that house.  Aquarius energy is innovative and community driven, philanthropic and imaginative.  Aquarius energy isn't limited to the conventional, it is objective & innovative.  So during the new moon in this sign I should focus on using my creativity for something greater than myself.  Creativity can be relative - maybe it is an actual, physical thing you make or maybe it is simply creative problem solving.  All of these intentions are going to be specific & personal.  Here's a breakdown of the energies of each sign:
Aries - The starter.  This energy helps us begin, pushes us into our own power, and helps us fiercely put ourselves out there.

Taurus - Persistent, secure, stable. Taurus energy is supportive & organized, it helps us to develop, to sit, and to grow.

Gemini - Open, talkative, vibrant.  Gemini energy is outgoing, adventurous, and unique.  It helps us to realize our uniqueness, to communicate, and to express ourselves authentically.

Cancer - The nurturer.  Cancer energy allows us to get in touch with our feelings, helps us identify our core desires, and is compassionate.  Cancer energy can romanticize situations and become nostalgic, seeking security & comfort from family and home.

Leo - Pride. Leo energy helps us express ourselves openly.  It is protective and prideful.  This energy can help boost our confidence and often will allow us to seek leadership.

Virgo - Helpful & dedicated.  Virgo energy is a nurturer, soft, resourceful, and serving.  This energy helps us to take a step back, focus on ourselves & loved ones, and remember efficiency in our actions.

Libra - Seeker of balance & harmony.  Libra energy is harmonizing, thoughtful, and organized.  This airy energy helps us to prioritize.

Scorpio - Focused & driven.  The intense energy of Scorpio inspires us to hunker down & get straight with our deep emotions, with complex situations, and to reinvent ourselves.  This energy asks us if we're really in alignment with who we think we are.  We dive deep inside with Scorpio energy.

Sagittarius - The adventurer.  Sagittarius energy is creative, exploratory, and optimistic.  This energy is encouraging & enthusiastic.  It asks us to push our boundaries and see just what happens if we move just a little bit farther.

Capricorn - The disciplinarian.  Capricorn energy asks us to get right & get structured, to incorporate discipline and to get rid of the rest.  The honest teacher of Capricorn asks us to be persistent, dedicated, and resilient.

Aquarius - The innovative humanitarian.  Literally the water bearer, Aquarius energy focuses on the collective and our place in it.  This energy is creative and philanthropic.  This sign rules groups and teams making collaboration an important part of this energy.

Pisces - The Dreamer.  Pisces energy is dreamy, flowy, emotional.  It can help us work through hidden emotions, explore compassion, and dive deep into our inner waters.

How to set intetions

After all of this info, we're going to pair the two subjects above - the moon phases + the signs in our houses - to create our intentions for the lunar cycle.

Firstly, determine what sign the next new moon will rise in.  For this you can use an app (there are a ton out there) or a planner/datebook that has the signs listed.  The Witches Datebook is a good resource for this.  Once you determine the sign the new moon will be in, cross this info with where that specific sign is in your chart.  

So if the next new moon is in Cancer and Cancer falls in your tenth house of Career then it is time to focus on your feelings and desires when it comes to your career.  How can you align your core desired feelings with your career?
At the New Moon start to think of an action, routine, or step you'd like to take in this direction.  Then begin to outline & plan what you'll do as we move from the Waxing Crescent to the First Quarter.  At the First Quarter, start to implement this plan.  As we move from the Waxing Gibbous to the Full Moon, start to refine the actions.  At the Full Moon celebrate what you've come to realize, then as the energy wanes begin to reflect.  Once you've completed the cycle, it is time to start again.

Your intention can be as simple as incorporating a certain thought or mantra into your life or implementing a new routine in your day.  Once you have that outlined, follow the phases of the moon and the actions associated with each phase.  You can journal about your experiences if you'd like but mainly just make the conscious effort & take note of how you're growing over the cycle.  At the end of the cycle you should find that you've improved & grown - even if you've learned that something doesn't really serve you!

Living by the moon and setting goals/intentions in this manner is a way to live more intuitively.  Becoming more mindful of nature & mother earth.  You don't necessarily have to assign any spiritual significance to this - it can just be a fun thing for personal development!  Isn't it always fun to try something new?
Lunar Newsletter

Get on the List!

* indicates required


I use the moon as a guide to align my personal development goals as often as I can.  Because life can often get in the way I'm a fan of incorporating things you find important to you any way that you can.  Sometimes it can be a simple minute to acknowledge a certain mantra each day or change something small in your life.  When we make these small changes a whole new world can open up to us!

If you want to keep up with the lunar cycles join the Five Sixteenths | Live Creative group on Facebook.  We talk about productivity, creative planning, and intuitive goal setting over there so I'd love to have you join!

Have you used the moon for your personal growth?

xoxo, Moe

6.07.2018

Three Ways to use Pocket Pages in your Planner

As a creative person, adding visual elements to my planner is super important to me.  I need the inspiration that creative planning offers to me.  Not only is the act of planning a creative outlet for me, the habit of looking at my planner keeps me inspired!  One of my favorite ways to get creative in my planner is with the page protectors.  Tons of planner companies make these page protectors or pocket pages for various planners (check this post here) but right now we'll be getting creative using the Happy Planner line of page protectors
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
As you know, the Mini Happy Planner is 100% my go to planner for everything.  I've got one functional planner and one memory planner...both are from the Happy Planner line.  You may be thinking we'll be getting creative in my memory planner today but you're wrong! We're gonna make some amazing pocket page projects perfect for your functional planner which in my case is the Mini Happy Planner!  But of course you can translate these into any planner system you use.

Photo Dashboard with Sticky Notes

When you open you're planner, it is best to feel inspired!  Adding some photos of your family or other images that inspire you will make you super happy each time you open your planner.  To make this guy functional add in your favorite sticky notes.
I love that there are 2x2 squares in the page protectors because they fit the sticky notes perfectly.  Trim your photos down and then alternate with some patterned journal cards to create a functional dashboard.  Plus, this guy will be back and front - double the sticky note storage!

Mini Vision Board

In my current planner I have a mini vision board right in the front.  This helps me to keep on track with my goals during the year.  You can use this to create a fitness vision board, a vision board for your next vacation, or a vision board for a new home project.   
I created this vision board at the beginning of the year to go along with my vision planner.  I like keeping this smaller guy with me so that I see it everyday since my vision planner is much bigger.  You can check out some vision board tips in this post.

Visual Project Planning

This sort of goes with the vision board option above, but when you pair these page protectors with the project planning filler paper you can create a whole visually inspiring project section.  I'm using the pocket pages to store an overview of the aesthetic I'm going for with the wedding so that when I'm planning any part of the wedding I can make sure the whole visual comes together.
This can be great for blog planning or branding too in your social media planner.  You can make sure your whole brand comes together with the same aesthetic!  I shared these project pages in this post about the best productive add ons for the Happy Planner.



I just love all the creative ways we can use our planners right now.  It is so inspiring!  And the fact that the page protectors aren't just for one size of the Happy Planner is great.  These guys aren't just limited to memory planning...they are a very helpful visual tool.

If your'e looking for some more creative planning, productivity tips, & personal growth check out the Five Sixteenths | Live Creative group on Facebook.  And check out the YouTube channel for more planner awesomeness!  OH and if you want to save moolah on Happy Planner stuff, check out Blitsy to save some serious cash.

How do you use pocket pages in your planner?

xoxo, Moe