Sunday, July 12, 2015

Semi-Finished House Tour

These past two weeks seem to have dragged on during some moments and flown by in others, but still, I can believe we've already been in the house a little over two weeks and all that we've accomplished in that time.

When we decided to repaint nearly ever room in our home, on our own, I don't think my brain really comprehended what a huge undertaking that would be on top of moving in and trying to unpack everything.

But....we've mostly finished and I'm really loving how everything has turned out so far.

I've had several friends/family request pictures and if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you've seen some of the updates.  We still have to finish the garage flooring, the laundry room, playroom, and Master bathroom along with just some decorating of tables, hanging pictures, etc.  But I have to say, I'm really happy with the progress we've made in such a short period of time.

Without further ado, here's our new home.

The landscaping looks so much better since Bill pruned everything and cleaned out the old mulch.  We plan to mulch it this week.  I'm still trying to con him into getting black mulch, because I think it just looks so nice but he thinks it fades too fast, so we will probably end up with regular ole brown.

This photo was taken BEFORE we moved in and Bill had a chance to power wash the concrete.    

Breanna loves all the open space in this backyard.  Our previous backyard was FULL of trees and very little grass so the girls didn't spend that much time out there.

The plan out here is to re-stain the deck and fence once the weather cools down.  The space also looks different in that all of these ridiculously overgrown plants have been pruned, and we have our patio furniture on the deck.

These potters..... I love them so much!  I desperately need a wreath for my front door and I just found a girl, who lives not far from me, on Facebook who makes custom wreaths.  The crazy part...she is also from Indiana.

I still need to stain the table top I bought and painted to go on top of the milk jug, and I'd really love to have two rocking chairs here instead of the chairs that are currently here.  I also plan on hanging some outdoor sheers to give us some added privacy, but I really love that we have a porch that I can sit out on.

Looking in my front door.  I adore this table I found at Hobby Lobby last week.  You can't tell from the photo but it's black, teal and gold and distressed.  The gold really plays off the gold in the antique mirror we have hanging above it.  It was Bill's grandmother mirror years and years ago and the detail on it is absolutely stunning.

In the foyer...looking into the downstairs bathroom.  I got that vase back home at a store on the town square called Impulse.  They have THE BEST home decor.  I've even had Brenda mail me stuff to Charlotte.  The vase has traveled from house to house to house with me and I originally planned to put it in the living room but it just fit so perfectly in this space.

The downstairs bath.  We decided to paint this bathroom the same color as the Master Bedroom because we had just enough paint left over to do it, and I love that it's just a shade or two darker than the main living area.

Formal dining.  We've done absolutely nothing to this space except set up our table and hang curtains.  We plan to change out the light fixture to a more appropriate size chandelier in the very near future.  And my sister, who is an amazing artist, is currently painting me two large panels for the far wall.

Bill's aunt, Mom, and I were discussing last night how I should decorate this table.  I think we agreed on two lamp and nice floral arrangement but I'll see what works as I start decorating it.

The living room is mostly finished.  We still need end tables and our couch...which should be delivered in about a week and a half.  I'll be glad when we have enough seating for guests.

The wall behind the oversized chair is going to be the family picture wall that I had in my office at our previous house.  

I think we finally agreed on a table for our eat-in.  Those bar stools have been a huge hit with everyone that has come over because they are so comfortable.  I'm planning to order plantation shutters for the kitchen windows, a curved curtain rod that extends the length of all three windows and some long, white sheers.  I think it'll brighten it up quite a bit.

The hallway across the way has three doors.  Straight ahead is my laundry room (which I didn't post pictures of because it's painted but we haven't got the cabinetry for it yet).  The door to the right goes to the garage, and the door to the left goes to a large pantry.

The only thing we've done in the kitchen so far is paint and add bar stools.  At some point, we plan to take a couple sets of cabinets down and open up that wall into the living room.

I think my wine bottles might be dry now so that I can work on today's project - a center piece for the dining room table.

At the top of the staircase is the girls' linen closet.

I really love this chandelier and I wish I could take credit for picking it out, but I'm going to assume it's been here since its days of being a Model Home for the neighborhood.

Looking towards the girls' bathroom, the little girls' bedroom, and the guest bedroom/office.

Straight back is our bedroom, and to the right is Kinsey's bedroom.  The pictures are some that I made several years back with fabric, canvas, ribbon and some cheap black picture frames.

The girls' Mint and Coral Paris themed bathroom.  They were very specific in that they wanted this bathroom to feel 'light' and that they wanted a white ruffled shower curtain.  

Ava and Bre's room.  I still think this my most favorite room in our home.  The table between their beds has been in every home I've owned for the past 13 years.  It's been almost every color of the rainbow and been in almost every room of my home at some point.  I gave it a coat of silver spray paint, distressed and glazed it and added some new glass knobs.  Their beds...I seriously spent nearly an entire day putting them together.  Bill jokingly said, "They are having these beds until they go to college" because of how long they took to put together.  But I love how they turned out.  I made the panels behind their beds out of my shelves I found at Hobby Lobby and a $2 sheer curtain from IKEA.  The lantern was a wedding gift from Bill's Aunt and Uncle.  

The office/guest room/playroom.  We've done absolutely NOTHING in this room besides get the computer set up, organize the toy closet and put the boxes of stuff we haven't gotten unpacked in here.  It's a complete mess still.

However, the plan is to make this into a 'SPACE' room for my two littlest space-lovers.  The wall to the right that you can't see is going to be a floor to ceiling mural and their TV is getting mounted on the wall to the left.

Kinsey's room.  Kinsey's room is so peaceful and relaxing with the combination of whites, blues, and grey.  She picked her bedding out from PB Teen and it's so fitting for her.

"LIVE IN THE SUNSHINE".  Kinsey is incredibly uplifting and positive so when I saw this quote at Home Goods, I knew it'd be perfect for her room.  I also finally bought the Euro Pillows to go in the shams that match her bedding.

I LOVE this space.  It's perfect for her.

My relaxation place.  I'm a firm believer that all adults should have a place that they can just relax when they are ready to call it a day.  We choose a nice, soothing grey for the walls.  Hung a few pictures and called it a day in this room.

Just kidding....we still have to find a chair and end table to go to the left of the dresser.  I need a reading nook, y'all.  

The ugly Master Bath.  This room is pretty much going to be a gut job so I'm refusing to do anything in it until we figure out exactly what it is we are going to do.

Why do all builders put those ugly, plain, gigantic mirrors up?  And that counter top.... so bad.  This house is 10 years old but I'm not convinced that was 'in style' even 10 years ago.

The shower is getting ripped out and tiled.

I really haven't done ANYTHING in this room besides put some rugs in it.  I don't even have a curtain up.  It's sad looking.

To the left...where you can see a door frame...that's the toilet room, but I didn't figure you all really needed to see my toilet.  

And straight back...where I'm taking the picture above from is our closet.  If you walk through the door in the back of our closet, you will walk into a very large walk-in attic.   The only thing we've done in there so far is add shelving to organize totes, but it's still pretty empty as most of our stuff that we store (decor, out of season clothing, etc) is still in storage.

I think I can speak for Bill in that we both feel extremely blessed to have been able to find a home with most everything on our wish-list in the school district we wanted to be in for the girls.

I can't wait for them to get home from their summer vacations so we can truly start our lives here.

I'd show an updated picture of the finished garage but Bill is currently outside ripping the checker board flooring out so that he can pressure wash the tiles and add the red tiles into the pattern.  It's going to look really nice when it's done.

A few of you have been asking about paint colors and where I got certain pieces of furniture so I'm just going to post my source list below.

Source List:

Front Porch:
Planters - Aldi 
Milk Jug - Came from Bill's family
Chairs - Home Depot on clearance last year
Lanters - LED - Ross

Paint Color - Sutton Place Grey
Table - Hobby Lobby
Vase - Impulse
Vines in vase - IKEA
Mirror - Bill's grandmother
Rugs - Lowe's

Downstairs Bath:
Paint Color - Behr Flannel Grey
Curtains - They used to be in Kinsey's room - Home Depot
Rug - Home Goods
Bird Picture - Hobby Lobby
Shelf - IKEA
Blue/White Vase - Walmart
Greenery in Vase - Impulse and the bird in the vase was given to me by family after my grandfather's funeral.  It was in the floral arrangement on his casket.
Lantern - Lowe's
Bird Votive - Lowe's
Gold Candle Holder - Target
Angel - Housewarming gift from my girls' stepmom 

Dining Room:
Table - We built it a couple summers ago from some free pallets.
Curtains - Lowe's

Living Room:
Paint Color - Sutton Place Grey
Accent Chairs - Stein Mart
Oversized Chair and Ottoman - Ashley Furniture
Vases - Walmart
Paintings - My Mother-in-Law
Rug - Home Goods

Paint Color - Granite Bolder
Bar Stools - World Market

Girls' Bathroom - 
Paint Color - Valspar Pillow Mint
Shower Curtain - Home Goods
Towels - Home Goods
Toothbrush Holder/Soap Dispenser - Home Goods
Eiffel Tower - Hobby Lobby
Pictures - IKEA
Cabinetry Knobs - Hobby Lobby

Ava & Bre's Bedroom:
Wallpaper - Sherwin Williams  Book: HGTV Home II by SW Easychange Pattern: 493-5827
Beds - Overstock DHP Rose Grey Linen Upholstered bed
Bedside Table - I've had for 13-ish years
Lantern - Wedding gift from Bill's Aunt and Uncle
Vase/Flowers - Target
Mirror - Home Goods
Candles/Holders - Home Goods
Shelves - Hobby Lobby
Curtains - Lowe's

Kinsey's Room - 
Paint Color - I couldn't find the perfect paint color so I mixed Pillow Mint and a blue-grey color called Shark Loop
Bed - Overstock (Sleep Synch Waverly Upholstered White Platform Bed
Bedding - Pottery Barn Teen
Accent Pillow - Big Lots
Curtains - Lowe's
Vanity Stool - Overstock
Desk - IKEA
Make-up Storage Tower - IKEA
Mirror/Lights - Lowe's
Desk Top Mirror - IKEA
Perfume Tray - Hobby Lobby
Flowers - Target
Nail Polish Caddy - Home Goods

Master Bedroom:
Paint Color - Flannel Grey
End Tables - Home Goods
Lamps - Home Goods
Bedding - IKEA
Rug - Home Depot
Curtains - Lowe's
Seating Bench at end of Bed - Target
Picture above bed - Hobby Lobby
Other pictures - Wedding photos

Master Bath:
Towels - Home Goods
Rugs - Home Goods
Towel Basket - Home Goods

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Even If You Don't Know Me....Can We Just Pretend For a Moment That We're Friends?

Everytime I start to write this post something stops me dead in my tracks and I don't know what it is exactly or that talking about things like this can be a bit, errrrrr, awkward for me sometimes.  I'm a closet introvert.  Talking to new people, and sometimes people I know, is a HARD thing for me.  Which I'm sure some of you find to be a strange confession because Cassie and E always used to tell me that I was the one who made the friends for our group of friends.

But anyways, I don't want what I am about to write overshadow what I know about Young Living Essential Oils, and that is that they are legit, people!  If you are educated AND consistent in your use of these products, they will work for you.    

So, even if you don't know me.....can we just pretend for a moment that we're friends?  Can we pretend that you know my heart???  That you've heard my testimony.  That I wouldn't just try to sell you some crap just to sell you some crap that doesn't work.  These oils....they are changing our lives.

I have to be upfront with you and tell you that Young Living is a multi-level marketing company.  If you didn't know that, you do now.  It was truly the one thing that made me a bit uneasy when that amazing nurse gave me that cotton ball soaked in peppermint oil.   I love me some Jamberry.  I love supporting the single Mama's out there who work those second jobs on the side in MLM to pay for extra curricular activities, etc  But here's the thing...YL products, are genuinely so awesome that I'm not trying to sell you something just to sell you something....I'm simply sharing my love for a product that has changed my life.  And maybe it's a road that you've never thought to travel for yourself and your healthy.  Let me tell this, in the world of health, this one isn't often traveled, but as I've's so worth it.

What I've learned is that unlike most MLM companies, YL distributors are simply out to share the love because EO's are simply the bomb.  To put it simply...they will rock your face off.  They work.  They help with aches, pains, allergies, health, wellness, and pretty much everything in between.  To put it simply....You name it....There's an oil for that!

I don't think many of us honestly join the oily world thinking about the business side of these amazing products....we just want to use our oils and go about our marry little ways.  But then we use the oils.  And we fall IN LOVE.  And then one day it happens, you can't help but tell every single person you know because, well, they are just that awesome.  And then you see a friend post about their allergies or their child's rash and reach out to them, because....THERE'S AN OIL FOR THAT!  Then your husband may tell you that you have an obsession, but who is he to talk?  I mean, he asks you to put your 'voodoo oils' on him every time he sees you putting them on yourself or one of the kids...because folks, they truly work and even he knows it.

So you start sharing about them on your social media and one day it happens...a friend or family member seeks you out because they have to try these oils that they keep seeing you praise.  They, too, want to find a healthier alternative to OTC medicines, cleaners, and other products that contain insane chemicals.  So you add a couple products to your ER order for them, and once they see for themselves...they are ready to jump on board.  They want their Premium Starter Kit, because how on earth could you possibly pass up such a great deal?  11 oils, a diffuser, plus so much more to get your health on track for the cost of a cell phone bill!!!

Long story short, these oils sell themselves.  And it is SO very rewarding to work with a product you use and believe so strongly in because you get to see lives transformed.  For the better.  

The best part?  There's absolutely no catch!!!

You're not going to feel good temporarily at the expense of another problem popping up down the road.  (As a cancer survivor, I know this all too well!)  You aren't going to be take an Advil or Tylenol everyday for headaches and find out 10 years down the road that it caused damage to your liver.

These oils....they are 100% pure, natural, therapeutic grade oils.   And the health benefits you get from them are unbelievable.  I really have no idea why I held off on getting started using them myself but I can honestly say that it was a God thing that lead me to them.

So what are the benefits to becoming a wholesale member even if you don't want to be a 'Life Dropper'?  Wholesale members save 24% on ALL the products they purchase.  There is no monthly membership and there is absolutely no commitment to sell anything, though that option is there if you would chose.  It's like a BJ's or Sam's membership for OILS!  You only have to place ONE $50 order per year to keep your membership active, but unlike with BJ's or Sam's you actually get $50 worth of product and not just the membership.  How awesome is that?!

There are two kit options:  One is with the regular Home or Dew Drop Diffuser.  And the second with the Aroma Diffuser is $10 more but the diffuser is a bit more sleek (if you like that look) and it covers a little more square footage.

We also have an amazing ER program that I like to call our Frequent Buyers Club where you can actually earn points for FREE oils.  AMAZING!!!

So what do you say....are you ready to take control of your health?  Are you ready to say good-bye to toxic chemicals that could be harming you and your family?

If you are interested in learning more and or getting started with Life Drops:  You can find me here.

*If you have previously been talking to another distributor about YL and want to sign up, please contact them.

***Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional.  All opinions and experiences talked about in this post are my own.***

Sunday, February 01, 2015

What On Earth Are These Oils All About???

My name is Casondra and I'm addicted to oils.

Lots and lots of oils.

I use them for EVERYTHING!!!

It wasn't always this way.  For a year or so, I just watched a few of my friends rave about them repeatedly on their social media sites, and quite frankly, I really thought they were insane.  How could some essential oils make anyone feel better than medicine a doctor gave them?  I mean, sure, I'd used them in our humidifier to 'scent' the air, but wasn't that really all they were good for?!  A  couple months ago I got really sick.  I mean really, REALLY sick.  A sweet, sweet nurse introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils.  Peppermint, in particular, to help with a migraine that no amount of meds the doctors were giving me were even touching.  She put it on a cotton ball to diffuse it in my room and within minutes I was starting to feel some relief.  So much so that when Bill accidentally threw it away, I asked him to go find her so she could give me another one.

After doing some research, and realizing all the things that each oil in the Everyday Oil kit is good for, I told Bill that I'd really like the Premium Starter Kit as a Christmas Gift.  

And so the story goes....he bought me this amazing kit with all these beautiful bottles of oily goodness that I am now addicted to.

I've been getting the questions a lot here lately, 'What on earth are these oils all about?  What do you use them for?'  So I thought it easiest to just do a mini run-down of each oil that comes in the PSK (Premium Starter Kit).  But to answer the question of what do I use them for.... I use them for practically EVERYTHING!

I make beauty products, cleaning products, allergy products, mood lifting oils aka PMS oil for my oldest diva, sleep oil, bath bombs and salts.

I would seriously love to write about all my favorites but it would take you 2 hours to read so I'll stick with the products in the PSK because they are all so great.  I honestly don't know how Young Living narrowed it down to these 10 plus the bonus oil (Citrus Fresh).

So without further ado....

1.  THIEVES.   I'm not sure I could live without this oil.  If I had to give up all other oils and could only keep one, it would be this one.  This oil is known for it's anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-infectious properties.    It was created based off research about a group of 15th century thieves who rubbed oils on themselves to avoid contracting the plague while they robbed the bodies of the dead and dying.  Once caught, they were forced to disclose the formula of herbs, spices and oils they used to protect themselves in exchange for a more lenient punishment.  

I often diffuse this oil after the girls get home from school to pull air-borne microorganisms out of the air that they have brought home from school, and I have them rub it on their feet prior to going to school.  I am convinced it is what has got us through flu season this year with none of us having caught the flu.  *knock on wood*  I HIGHLY recommend this gem of an oil for everyone.

2.  MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA  (aka TEA TREE OIL).  This oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral.....and the biggest thing it's know for ANTIPARASITIC.  That's right....this is the oil you want in your arsenal if your child comes home with the dreaded head lice paper from school.  Enough said on that before we all start itching.

3.  LAVENDER.  Let me just start off by saying that when I first got my kit, I was NOT a fan of Lavender.  I've never been a fan of lavender scented lotions or candles or bath products, and I was so disappointed to find out that A LOT of the recipes I wanted to try called for Lavender.  I just plugged my nose because the benefits to this oil are AMAZING and guess what...the grew on me.  I just put in an order for a big bottle of it because I use it THAT much.  This oil is so versatile.  It's the oil that if you are questioning what oil you should use for something, Lavender is probably the answer.   It helps with respiratory infections, high blood pressure, menstrual problems/PMS, acne, eczema, psoriasis, scarring, stretch marks, burns, cuts, insomnia, nervous tension.  I can not say enough good about this oil.  Everyone needs this oil.  EVERYONE!

4. PANAWAY.  This one is great for aches and pains.  I use this one on Bill's back when his sciatica is acting up.  I had another friend use it on her shoulder when it was aching and it got rid of her pain.  I also use it in a mix I created for a friend of mine for her migraines and she said that they get rid of them every time.  I like to mix a few drops of this in with some Epsom Salt and pour into my bath to ease my muscles.

5.  PEPPERMINT.  This is another really versatile oil.  First thing in the morning, I put a drop of Peppermint in my hands, cup them over my nose and take a few deep breaths in.  INSTANT ENERGY!!!  Peppermint is also good for upset tummies, fevers, inflammation, indigestion, curbing appetite, congestion, removing ticks, bad breath, and arthritis...just to name a few. This is one that will always, ALWAYS be in my stash as well.  

6.  STRESS AWAY.  This is just like it sounds....a little bottle of stress away....that smells like key lime pie to me.  It's made up of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender.  Ava had to have a couple MRI's today and her entire body had to go in the tube.  Needless to say, she was NERVOUS.  So, I rubbed this on the back of her neck and on her wrist before she went in and she handled it like a champ.  This is another one I like to add to bath time.

7.  LEMON.  Lemon is SO good in water.  Now I know what you're thinking....can't I just add a slice of an actual lemon to my glass of water?  I could but lemon oil comes from the rind so the constituents are's actually better for you.  Lemon oil is known for being antitumoral, antiseptic, an immune stimulant, helps improve memory (yes, it's a great oil to diffuse while your little ones are doing their homework!), and relaxation (I rub this one on Bre at night before bed).

8.  FRANKINCENSE.  This is one of the oldest Essential Oils.  Do you remember hearing about this blessed little oil in church? When one of the wise men gave it to baby Jesus as a gift along with Myrrh and Gold?   Frankincense is amazing for skin which is why you will find it in almost every skin care recipe there is on Pinterest.  It's also considered the 'holy anointing oil' in the Middle East.   It has antitumoral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

9.  PURIFICATION.  Purification is an oil I use on a daily basis because I add it to every load of laundry I do.  It disinfects and neutralizes mildew and disagreeable odors.  If you burn something on the stove or in the oven....diffuse a few drops of purification and within minutes, the smell is gone.  If your garage disposable is starting to smell a little yucky...a drop of this will get rid of it.  But that's not all it does.  Purification will also disinfect and clean cut, scrapes and bites from spiders, bees, and wasps.  This is another oil the I will never be without.  

10.  JOY.  This oil is one that girls and I like to wear in our diffuser necklaces with a drop of lemon or orange or we rub it over our hearts when we need to be 'lifted up'.  It's an energetic blend of oils that lifts your spirit and mind.  Ahem....PMS oil for the oldest diva.

So there you have it.

Now, I need to tell you that the PSK also comes with several other goodies.

Some samples packets of Ningxia Red which is our Antioxidant Drink and it is delicious.  10 samples of Lemon, Lavender, Peace & Calming, Thieves, and Peppermint to share with your friends and family and a 5 mL bottle of Citrus Fresh which may just be my FAVORITE oil of all.  Because I love, love, LOVE all things citrus and it smells heavenly when you diffuse it.

If you are interested in checking out any of these oils you can do so over at  

Anyone who signs up for the PSK and mentions this blog post will get a FREE orange oil, 3 roller bottles, and a copy of my Chemical Free Home.