As a child, I’ve always been interested in the unknown and had many, many questions. I always felt like something was off and was super inquisitive of things in my upbringing, specifically with things I learned at Sunday school at my Catholic church. I could really go in deep with all of these thoughts that I had as a child, but let’s save all that for another post, shall we?

I do want to share a few things to shed some light on my path, though. At some point in my childhood, I decided I wanted to connect with spirits. I was on a mission. I was on a path of exploration. I found out a friend had a Ouija board and so I played around with that for a few years. I was always drawn to cemeteries and would find myself visiting them and trying to imagine the lives of the people and in some way thought that by reading their tombstone I was honoring them by acknowledging them at that moment. I bought my first deck of Tarot cards in high school, Rider-Waite, and tried reading for friends with a solid feeling I knew what I was doing – even though nothing made sense to me. I even spent many years exploring spells & potions and would hold circles with my best friend and her sisters. All of this while still very active with church, living at home, and very much to my mom’s disapproval.

At the time, I never really knew why I was so interested in this, just that I knew that there was more to life than meets the eye. What I was learning at church didn’t quite resonate. Fast forward to my 20’s when I almost lost my life and then my 30’s when my brother, Adrian, lost his. These two huge events were catalysts for change and for desperation to once again seek that spiritual aspect of my life I’ve longed for most of my life. It was Adrian’s death that was my massive wake-up call and also propelled me on a path that I now know I’ve been on for a while, I had just forgotten. Not so much my awakening, but my remembering.

And while I’m still very much doing the work (I don’t think it ever stops), I now know I’m here to help others. Things I had questions to as a child finally makes sense. With every step of my journey and with every connection I make, it is all just one more piece of the puzzle. With the help of others who walk this path, those who have helped me to remember, all the deep work I’ve been doing and massive shifts that have occurred, I know that it has finally come around full circle.

I have found things that truly connect for me and I want that for others. My desire to also be able to help others realize the light inside them, no matter what hardships they have been through or are currently going through if I am able to walk alongside them and help guide them in their remembering, their awakening, that is why I am here on Earth. Helping others realize their truth and worth is why I am still on this journey. I know how much healing I’ve gone through the past 5-6years and I want that for others.

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It’s that time of year, friends! It seems like most everyone I know has gotten some kind of crud or flu and it’s definitely making its way through the school. I know both my kiddos have gotten it. My parents and nephew were sick for a bit. Even Matt caught a nasty cold on his way back from Chicago. Wear a mask out there, peeps! Orrrr… make some elderberry syrup!

Now if you are new to the benefits of elderberry you are probably wondering, is this just another fad? I can assure you it is not. In fact, people have been using Elderberry (also known as the Sambucas plant!) for hundreds of years for its healing properties. I know it’s helped us stay above the wellness line and supported us in our times of need where we did not have to get antibiotics or prescribed medications. I’m currently taking it so I don’t get sick, and guess who’s the only one in this household to make it this season unscathed by the ickies? This lady, that’s who!

Benefits of Elderberry

There are quite a few reasons to have elderberry on hand. The following are some of the main reasons why this is essential in our wellness toolbox:

  • It boosts the immune system.
  • It helps to fight off colds, the flu, and respiratory infections.
  • Elderberry is loaded with Vitamin A & C.
  • It is full of antioxidants to help combat those free radicals.
  • Aids in digestion.
  • Safe for children.

Now you may have seen bottles of this good, all-natural medicinal liquid gold at the store, but I highly encourage you to try making your own. What?! Make my own?! YES! It’s super easy and it will definitely be more cost effective in the long run. Trust me, I wasn’t a big DIY girl back in the day, but there are so many benefits to taking a little bit more time into products you know will be life changing for your family. Besides, you want to get this goodness into your body before you get sick, and this is a great way to pump your body full of that goodness at a great price.

How to Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup

There are many recipes out there on the interwebs, and honestly, I don’t know where I first got my recipe, but a huge shout out to Annie Hauser for incorporating the Young Living Vitality oils into her recipe, so naturally I add it to mine too! But generally, the measurements are the same – 1 cup of water per 1/4 cup of dried elderberry, 1 cup of honey, and the amount of herbs or oils you wish to incorporate into your syrup.

  • 3/4 cup of dried elderberry. I got mine here. But Mountain Rose Herbs carries them, but usually, they are out.
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of raw local honey
  • Thieves, Clove, Frankincense, Copaiba, Cinnamon Bark, Orange, Nutmeg essential oils. You can use all of these or just some. I start off with a drop and adjust it as I see fit.

That’s it! Here’s my method, which you can also find in my highlights on my Instagram in my DIY stories:

  • Combine dried elderberry and water in a pot. Mix together and then bring to a boil with lid off. Heads up – uncooked elderberry is unsafe and toxic! Keep away from kids and animals!
  • Once it boils, bring the temperature down to a simmer and simmer this liquid with the lid on for about 45 minutes to an hour. You want this reduce by half.
  • After you reduce turn off the heat and let cool.
  • Once cooled smash the berries in your pot with the back of your ladle, spatula spoon.
  • Drain into another container. You can also smash the berries more while draining. You want every ounce of that goodness!
  • Add honey and herbs or oils. Friends, if you don’t have oils, you are making life a lot harder than it needs to be!
  • Put into a mason jar and store in fridge.

Voila! That’s it. Seriously. More than anything it is just a process, but definitely not hard. So what are you waiting for? Click that link above and get you some dried elderberry and make it this weekend. Let me know if you do!

Happy DIY-ing!

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What if I do all the things that bring me joy? All the things I’ve still been holding back on, what if I just did them?! Seriously. What if we all just totally switched up what we did and just lived our lives the way we really wanted?

This, in a nutshell, is the general thought I’ve been having the past few days. As I begin my 39th year and journey towards the fantastic forties, the thought occurred to me that I should do all the things I’ve been wanting to do and document it. In part to hold myself accountable by sharing, but also to see the progress I may or may not make during the year.

As I sat in my room the other day reflecting on how much my life has changed and in which areas it has remained the same got my mind spinning. I was really excited to turn 30. I had so many BIG plans. Honestly, I experienced so many wonderful things in my 30’s, however, I’ve still held back with so much. Why is that? How is it that I get so comfortable and complacent? It’s one of the things I put up a big fuss over, and yet here we are. The same. It sorta feels like groundhog day…

Can anyone else relate? Who else is searching for more meaning in their life? Who else is yearning for that something more? Knowing that you are meant for bigger and better things. To give. To help. To heal. To live this life with so much adventure and love!

What is it that holds you back? Why do we make excuses for ourselves instead of living in the moment and living our best lives? Fear. Let’s not let fear run this show. Truly. Let’s not just talk about it not running the show, but actually going out there and living it! This is my goal for 39. The journey to 40 is going to be one hell of a ride and I hope you’ll come to join me in witnessing it!

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I’ve always felt somewhere stuck in the middle. I have friends who are either just having kids or I have friends whose kids are much older than mine. It’s very rare that I find someone that I click with whose kids are roughly the same age, and honestly, from my experience, it’s because we have our peeps. Who has time to meet new people and build new friendships? That’s kinda rhetorical because I do. I enjoy meeting new people. It’s a little disheartening that it seems to be so hard. I mean, I get it. People are comfortable, myself included. Trying to meet new people and make new friends…the struggle is real. It doesn’t come easy. Or maybe I’m just making excuses. I’d like to think it’s not about me, that I genuinely try, but maybe I don’t? Oh well.

I do miss the days when they were toddlers. Days of sitting in the park, going to mom groups, story time at the library, play dates – it was easier back then. They were cuter back then! Snapping their photos in cute little outfits, observing them doing something obnoxiously cute, sharing all over social media the cute thing they did or said… It’s kinda silly if you think about it, but yet we all do it. In some ways it could even be seen as unfair to the child, right? I mean, maybe they don’t want their photo plastered all over social media. Heck, for safety reasons we probably shouldn’t. But again, here we are. And now here I am still blogging about them. Except for these days, it looks slightly different.

These days I need their permission. Yup.

God forbid I share something honest and true. For instance the times they still act like toddlers. When they sass me and pretend they’ve lost their hearing and have become blind in the process of finding a sweater. That awkward age of still having a childlike sense of wonder and having a child’s heart, with wanting to fit in with their peers and talk about boys & girls, wear makeup, and play Fortnite. (That game, for the record is the bane of my existence! I never should have allowed a gaming system or a game in this house!)

I will say that there are still many moments where I find my kiddos to be as cute as when they were 3 & 4. Those in between moments caught between awkward tween and self-assured minis. When they still want to snuggle and love on me. When they let me take care of them and give me big hugs and an ” I love you, too!” back. I love the people they are becoming and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Still, where are the groups for us moms with tweens & teens? Why is it that we get together and share the difficulties about babyhood and toddlerhood and then go our separate ways? Leave each other to our own accord? Pretend that we’ve got this shit together, when (at least for me) there are many days when I don’t!  My little cute kiddos, they are growing up to be big littles with more attitude? I don’t know about you, but it hasn’t really gotten too much easier. In all fairness, someone once told me when they were little that it never got better, just worse. Thanks for that heads up, friend! I’m still not any more prepared and some days would love a circle of support to vent that to. Seriously.

And as someone who tries to be spiritually aligned and go with the flow at times, this whole raising tweens is seriously doing a number on my energy. Anyone else feel me on that?! I need ALLLL the extra smudgings, energy clearings, crystals etc. to raise my vibration after an intense evening of whose cleaning up and getting in the shower first. Even typing that makes me exhausted.

So where my peeps at? Who else finds raising tweens just as challenging? Let’s support each other through this stage of life and chat about it. Who’s with me?!

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When you find out that your daughter had a super rough day at school and her heart hurts because “friends” are being unkind, and you are not quite sure how to support her… then you realize you have everything you need.

An ear to listen. Arms to hug her. Encouraging words to help guide her. A mother’s love that lets her know you care and WILL step in if things get worse. And plant allies.

Grounding to help keep me centered.

Release on her heart & liver for her anger and pent up feelings.

Joy diffused in our home to help support both our hearts.

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