Sunday, August 17, 2014

Noonday

I have practiced restraint like never (ok, maybe an exaggeration!) before!  Friends, I have news!  I am an Ambassador with Noonday!!  Ambassador - as in to represent, to advocate on behalf of, to bring attention to.  Here's the story.

Noonday Collection, a women's and home accessory company, began as a way for the founder, Jessica Honneger and her husband to fund their adoption of their son, Jack, from Rwanda.  In 2011, they opened the opportunity to Ambassadors to represent the artisans from around the globe.  From the Noonday website

"Together with the Noonday ambassadors across the country, we offer you the opportunity to use your purchasing power to create change in the world {while looking really good along the way}. Your fashion sense can now restore dignity to abandoned women in Ethiopia, empower communities in Ecuador, and create business opportunities for Ugandans." 


Why, you ask?  Well, because I couldn't not.  

Here's a run down of my life:
Ages 10-25: so self centered I couldn't see out.
Ages 25-30: career/operation-find-a-husband focused.  a different kind of self centered, but just as small of world outlook.
Ages 30-34: new motherhood.  ZERO self-centered-ness, but maybe the smallest world outlook season.  I did not see beyond the walls of our living room...much less outside of our home or community.
Now: the blinders fell off.  

It seems without any intentional work on my own, I cannot help but SEE!  The books that catch my eye, the news stories I can't help but watch again and again, the things that keep me up at night...for the first time ever they are on a global scale.

Noonday was an answer to 'now what?!' for me.  My number one job is still 'Momma' and will be for a LONG time.  This is something I can do, to make a world impact on poverty, and still keep the main thing the main thing!  I'll be hosting Trunk Shows in your homes to present beautiful jewelry and accessories and the artisans who make it, to you and your friends so that YOU, too, can make an impact.  Conscious spending.  Buying with purpose.  Using your dollars to free instead of keep in bondage.

Here's the fun part!  

Shop!!  Here is my personal Noonday collection webpage.  Browse, read the stories of these amazing artisans and the purpose behind it all.  Read what's going on with The International Justice Mission and how Noonday is partnering with them.

Schedule a trunk show!  I have 40 of these amazing pieces all shined up and ready to bring to your kitchen table.  Invite some friends over, provide some drinks and snacks, and I'll bring the dress up pretties!  There are hostess benefits and even ways to host a party on behalf of a friend who is trying to adopt a child to help with their funding.  Anyone who schedules a trunk show with me by September 1 will be entered to win a $30 voucher!

Tushabe Layered Necklace  Discs and Pearls Necklace  Featherweight Cuff

La Noche Bracelet  Tagua Seed Bracelet, Coral  Kismet Day Bag




Email me at erin4noonday@gmail.com, contact me through facebook, or call me to schedule a party!  Help me at fulfill the Noonday mission of creating economic opportunity for the vulnerable!

-erin






























































Friday, August 15, 2014

Jack

Guys.  This child.



just a little breakfast.  while wearing a hard hat.  pouring OJ into cereal.  then eating it.


A two year old boy is a blessed thing.  There are have been glimpses before this moment in parenting that boys are just different than girls, but a two year old boy brings something new to the table.

He's loud.  And gross.  And tough.  And brave.  And likes hitting things.  And stinks.

That's about it.  Sure, he's cute and sweet and my baby, but mostly he's the aforementioned.

When I lose him (daily), I can usually find him either in the garage 'workin' (scratching things with a screwdriver) or in the yard hitting things with a stick.


When we are out *anywhere* he asks EVERYone what their name is.  Except he does it like so:

points his chubby finger at them
makes a loud noise so they *inevitably* pay attention to him
shouts in a deep, mean man voice 'Name?!'

He can say the whole sentence, "what's your name?".  He could/has at home even gone so far as "Hi, I'm Jack, what's your name?" and shake hands!  (Yes, we practice, daily.)  But does he??  Nope.  "Name?!?!"  This has caused me to quietly rename all of Edmond.  When the pointed at person walks off, Jack does not register that the exchange has ended.  He'll just keep asking.  So, I make up names.  Sorry, Edmond.  

He's like a politician....workin' the room.  Recently at church, Dan picked him up from his Sunday school class then carried him the short length of the hall around the corner to the door outside.  By the time they got to the car Dan was chuckling.  No fewer than 6 adults and much older kids had told Jack (by name) goodbye or to have a great day or just a 'what's up jack'.  Six people...none of whom Dan knew or who work in the children's ministry.  He probably had asked them their name.




Older kids like to play with him.  Younger kids are scared of him.

He is OBSESSED with movies.  The watching, the touching of the disc.  The character dolls in stores.  It's a problem.

He weighs as much as the girls.


that bowl of nectarines was for the table.  he dumped them ON TOP of his meal then ate the whole plate.


He wakes up at 6:03am.

He loves diapers and hates toilets.

He's perfect.



When I pray for him, I pray that we parent him as to keep his rugged, rough around the edges, growly boyishness...but refine him to be kind and generous and caring.  That sounds way sweeter than the actual prayer: 'Lord, don't let me beat it out of him.'

I luf him.
-Momma


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Home.

Remember me?  I won't even make excuses or promises...nice to see you again!

We moved!!  And it was a PROCESS!!  We started looking for a home in September of 2013.  We looked at 5 homes, made offers on 3, was in contract on one and nothing came of any of them.  We had highs, we had lows, we had moments of 'Forget it, renting is awesome!'.  Then we found home.  It's always fun to see in hindsight how God is preparing you for something.  I *still* cannot see it in real time.  I am impatient and grumpy and too fast by nature.  But in hindsight, it becomes crystal clear.

I may someday tell you about our home.  I may post some transformations and DIY/marriage growth projects.  Not today...today, here are my reflections on 'home'.

Home is where the heart is.

Pssh.

Home is wherever I am with you.

Bleh.

Now, before you translate that with a Jim Gaffigan voice to hear me say, "Dan and the kids mean nothing to her, she just needs a cozy dwelling." or "She's so materialistic that possessions mean more to her than people and relationships."  Please pause.  Breathe.  If the five of us lived together in a van down by the river, I'd have all I ever needed.  But, to me, it would not be home.

All of my thirty-four years when I have said the word 'home' I have been referring to my parents house in Laverne, America.  Home.

Where it smells like home.

Where I have memories of the layers of paint colors on the wall and the carpets on the floor.

Where my body knows, to the millisecond, how long I have before the garage screen door will assault the back of my heel.

Where I had sleep overs with my life long friends.

Where I suffered the terrible throws of heart break.

Where I know which spots in the hall creak under foot.

Where I know how long it takes the hot water to get hot...and how long it will stay hot.

Where I learned all my best athletic skills in the driveway or yard (ha!).

Where my brother and I learned to crawl into the attic to plug the cable back in that summer my parents had had enough of our TV watching.

Where Darin and I had our CHiPs police headquarters and parked our 'cycles. (He ALWAYS got to be Ponch...and I was John.)

Where I prayed with my best, best girls before walking down the aisle.

Where I walked down the 'aisle'.

These are the things that, to me, make a structure a home.  I know that this sentiment is not universal...those that moved multiple times during childhood or those without happy memories of home.  But, for me, this is it.

And that's what we I was searching for.  These things weren't as important to Dan.  He wanted a good investment, a close drive to work, a safe neighborhood....and if we needed/wanted to move in three years, cool.  Not me.  I hope for our kids to have memories of this place like I do of my childhood home.  So, you see, the only requirement for all these things to be possible for ANY structure to be a home...is time.  It's not the size, or the yard, or the crown molding.  It's weathering life with your people under the same roof...for many, many years.

God willing, we have found our home.

Bonus random pic...not at our house...because, well, i MEAN.






Friday, April 18, 2014

Childlike Faith

Easter.
Good Friday.
Resurrection Sunday.
The Gospel.
The Bunny.
Eggs.

The importance, significance, meaning of Easter has been one of the hardest messages for us to convey to the kids.  Maybe because it's SO important and significant and meaningful.  Maybe because some crazy threw in a bunny who delivers eggs at some point in history.  Maybe because even as adults it's hard for us to understand this side of heaven.

I've struggled with this so much this year.  Our nightly routine demands dividing and conquering.  One of us bathes the babes, while the other picks up, does dinner dishes, gets bedrooms ready.  I take the girls and do jams and lotion and water and diffuser on, Dan takes Jack and does the same.  I lay with the girls and read and talk and yell.  Dan takes Jack and rocks and wrestles and holds his breath.  This works for us.  It's just our routine.

This routine means that Bible reading and questions and explanations for and from the girls fall on me.  I love it, but I also feel the weight of it.  It could be a plot to delay bedtime, but they come up with some great questions...'how can Jesus live in my heart AND in heaven'?  'If heaven is so cool, why is it sad when people die (Anna and Elsa's parents from Frozen, namely)'?  Then they say things that make me get goose bumps... 'I miss Jesus'.  'I don't wanna go to heaven 'cause I'd just miss you so much'.  Dan works harder with Jack, it requires more patience and persistence to get him to sleep, but MAN...I feel like I need Billy Graham in the room with me most nights!

Easter is hard.  The gruesomeness of the crucifixion...not downplaying it, but not freaking them out.  The whole idea of a tomb (they have no reference for that).  Death back to life.  Grief to joy.  Transfiguration, eucharist, resurrection, gospel, sacrifice.  It's too much.  It's sometimes too much for me...how can it not be too much for them?

Me: Girls, what do we remember at Easter-time?
Them: That Jesus rescued us so we can be friends with God...oh, and there's a bunny!

I learn so much from them.

Rescued,
Momma

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Got Fixed!

Heeheehee, that title cracks me up!  Stitch Fix.  I got Stitch Fix-ed!

Have you heard of this?!  You go through an online questionnaire about your likes, style, budget, size, etc.  Then set a frequency that you would like to receive Stitch Fix.  My first 'fix' came on March 1, and I have to say - it was a ton of fun!!

It was exciting to get a prettily wrapped package


It was fun to see the infographic of style and outfit suggestions!


And it was fun to go through the five items they sent!






Why I'll do it again:
1.  It was fun and I thought of it as a first date.  A little awkward, but worth a second try.
2.  I LOVE having someone else shop for me.
3.  There was a review process of the items I sent back, so I feel like I might like more next time.

Why I didn't keep much:
1.  For the last 4 years I have worn primarily yoga pants and shopped a Target - these were FANCY clothes by that standard.  They were of decent quality and way higher priced than what I'm used to spending on myself.
2.  I didn't love the fabric of most of the shirts.  I can't even tell you the name of the fabric, sorry.  Think Chico's.
3.  Most was not casual enough for my clothing needs.

My entire 'fix' cost $280.  I ended up keeping only one shirt (the black one) this time and with the $20 style credit (money I paid when I signed up) and a $25 referral credit I ended up paying around $10 more.

It's worth a try, friends.  There is no commitment and no requirement to buy.

Here's My Referral Link if you decide to sign up.

Happy Anti-Shopping!
-Erin







Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Let's Get Oily!

First of all, don't you love how I've stuck with the Wellness Wednesday theme...stuck with the title with complete disregard to the actual day of the week??  I'm just cool like that!

Another way I'm super cool, you ask?  Well, I only admit to crunchy behavior when said crunchy behavior is en vogue.  I wanna be a cool kid.  Still.  So...here I am, finally sharing something I've been doing for a WHILE because now...all the cool kids are doing it!


We have been using Young Living oils for general health support for the last five years over here at The Prince House.  In the last 6 months, there has been a huge trend toward oils.  I don't know why, I don't know what the catalyst was, I don't know if all the dollars earned from this boom in business are being used in kind and smart ways...regardless, I am thrilled!

I am thrilled for a few reasons:

1.  Anytime we become more aware of the products we use (health care, home cleaning, beauty/self care products, etc) and choose more organic, REAL ingredients, we are better for it.  I try to move toward less or no chemicals with every purchase.  My go to cleaner (think Formula 409) is a product from Young Living called Thieves Household Cleaner.  While it does still have some hard to pronounce ingredients (surfactants made from natural sources) it is a 'clean' cleaner and disinfects without the use of scary antibacterial chemicals.  My personal skin care routine has become a mixture of essential oils (frankincense, lavender, etc), coconut oil, baking soda, and epson salt.

2.  As a mom, I love having something safe and natural to reach for when the kids are sick.  Thankfully, all of the illness we have had are of the 'let it run it's course' variety.  But, even if you know the best thing to do is to let it run it's course, you still have a sick and miserable child (or three) on your hands!  I use essential oils to alleviate the symptoms without altering how the body naturally fights the illness.  Lavender for pain from an ear ache, peppermint for tummy trouble, RC (Young Living's blend of eucalytus, pine and peppermint) for respiratory issues, Thieves to shorten the duration and **hopefully** prevent the whole house from getting 'it', Peace and Calming - well, for peace and calming, and Stress Away and wine for me.


3.  I just love it anytime we as a culture trend away from the 'I'm sick, figure me out, give me a pill and don't ask me to change' mentality and move toward anything that looks like 'It's my body, I'll take care of it the best way I can, and I love to learn new ways that can naturally help me do a great job'.

I am a distributor with Young Living.  If you would like to try an oil or two, I will pass along my wholesale discount to anyone new to the oily life!  If you are ready to jump in, Young Living makes it very easy...the Premium Starter Kit comes with a home diffuser and 11 Everyday Oils for $150! (A savings of $150 over buying all components individually at retail prices!)



While I am still not a fan of multi-level marketing sales, this company does a lot of things right...my favorite is that there is no requirement for any further action past the Starter Kit.  If you get it and it's just not for you, they can never hear from you again and that's ok.  Or maybe it will make a huge difference in your health and that of your family's....build a business!

I am loving my new role as the oily leader of my little group.  I am passionate about learning, doing it right, finding better resources than Pinterest for the decision I make for my family's health, and sharing information. I also am a part of an excellent, bigger team.  I have surrounded myself with women (incidentally!) that are well versed and experienced in the use of Young Living products!  If you'd like more information, let me know!  If you are ready to sign up, here are the details:

1.  Go to: Distributor Sign-Up
2.  Make SURE to check Wholesale Member (so that you will get the wholesale discount.  Prices linked above are RETAIL prices)
3.  Enter #1168979 into Sponsor and Enroller ID.
4.  Fill our your information.
5.  Select your kit.  (RECOMMENDED: The Premium Starter Kit - you get the home diffusor + 11 oils in this kit.)
6.  Choose your Essential Rewards package or opt out (I recommend you opt out in the beginning.  Try your new oils and then you can set up for Essential Rewards later if you choose.)
7.  Add any other items.
8.  Check-out!

In Health,
Erin

Disclaimer:  While I am a doctor, the most important part of patient care is the individual case history.  If you plan to treat these oils like medicine for your family, then learn and understand them like medicine.  The more aware we are about ALL things that we put into and on our bodies, the better we will be.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wellness Wednesday: Bone Broth

We have had a round of less than well over here at the Prince House.  Nobody had it severely.  Nothing lasted too long.  BUT, everyone had it...one after the other.  It made for a whole lot of living room sitting, baby carrying, butt wiping days, all in a row.

Here's what I tried to remind myself through these few weeks.

1.  You can do things 'right' (eat good food, get rest, supplement your diet, have good hygiene, etc) and still get sick.

2.  Sick means short term inconvenience, but long term benefit.  Growing an immune system means USING that immune system.  Truly healthy means that sometimes you run a fever and vomit out the bad stuff!

3.  Our bodies are smart.  Need for rest, increased thirst during a fever...these things happen without any help from a momma when a little body is fighting a bug.  It's really remarkable to watch.

Now that things are back to 'normal' around here, I am in rebuilding mode!  Rebuild their gut health, rebuild their hydration!  We eat yogurt and drink kefir.  We drink a ton of water or herbal tea (the kids love orange!).  We (mostly) stay away from sugar and any processed food.

One thing I love for healing your gut is broth.  Homemade broth made with quality ingredients is one of the best ways to replenish nutrients and heal your gut.  It is a mineral rich and nutrient dense food.

For you science minded friends, The Paleo Mom explains the benefits of two of the amino acids found in bone broth:

“In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body.  As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing.  Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.  It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.  Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver).  Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.  This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system.  In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect.  Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits.  It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels.  Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.”
The quaility and taste of homemade versus canned is pretty evident in a picture:
Homemade on the left, Whole Foods Organic Stock on the right

Here's how I made it:

1.5 - 2 pounds of chicken bones (I save these over time and keep them in the freezer)
1 onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 T salt

Put bones and 1 gallon of water in to a large stock pot.  Add apple cider vinegar and let sit for 20-30 minutes (this helps to break down the bones).  Add the vegetables and bring to a boil.  Add the salt and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover.  I let this then simmer on the stovetop for 24 hours.  For the first few hours, you should skim and discard any 'suds' that gather on the top.  After that, you can completely neglect it until the next day!








When it's finished, I let it cool for about an hour.  Then I strain it into a second stock pot.  Next, I pour through some cheese cloth to fill my mason jars.  I keep mine in the fridge and use within 5-7 days.  You can of course freeze it at this point.

We sip it, straight up.  I make chicken and vegetable soup with it.  I use it to make rice or quinoa.  Go crazy!

Enjoy!