Rebecca Lately

Rebecca Reads: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Organizing and decluttering have always been fun to me.  Last year, I read an article on Maria Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and immediately pre-ordered it. Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

If you've already this book, you'll know that Marie describes herself as someone who has always enjoyed tidying and organizing.  If you haven't read this book, I will describe her for you.  I know what she's like not only because I read the book, but also because I recognized myself in her.  When I was younger, I would rearrange and reorganize my bedroom to get it as perfect as possible.  I loved decluttering, but most I loved finding creative storage solutions.  I need those creative storage solutions, because I had so much stuff.

And even though the amount of my belongs has gone up and down since then, I still have too much stuff.  I've been in a decluttering mood for a long time and, now, even moreso due to reading this book.  So, here are five things I learned from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and will apply to the decluttering of my house!

1- Do your decluttering all in one day.  Marie recommends decluttering your house all in one day.  I completely agree with this tip, because it's easier to keep your house tidy if it's tidy all at once.  This tip doesn't entirely work for me.  I just don't have a single day when I can go through the entire house and declutter.  I've made this tip work for me by decluttering all of a category of items in one day.  For example, I will go through all the books in one day, or maybe all the movies in one day.  That works better for me.

2 - Declutter the sentimental items last.  This is SO true!  Decluttering sentimental items can be a roadblock in your organizing plan.  These items are hard to get rid of.  When I come across a sentimental item, I put it right back where I found it (unless I actually want to get rid of it).

3 - Don't decide on storage solutions until you're done.  The point is to declutter, not to find clever ways to store things you don't need.  If you need storage when you're done cleaning out your house, you will definitely have boxes and containers at the end that you can use!  Rarely will you need to purse storage solutions after you declutter.

4 - Try to store all your clothes in your closet.  She does not recommend storing your off-season clothes where you can not see them.  This is a sure way to keep things you don't need, because you can't see all of your clothes.

5 - Appreciate your possessions!  Marie's method is a little different, but she suggests thanking the items that you're getting rid of.  She literally holds each item she is discarding, thanks the item for whatever it provided her, and then gets rid of it.  I have not graduated to speaking outloud to my possessions, but I have been acknowledging (mentally) how a particular item served me.  I also acknowledge that it no longer has a purpose for me.  This has helped me get rid of things that I don't need, but for some reason I'm still hanging onto.

Have you read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?  It has helped me a ton, and I know I'll read it again!

Oily Friday: My May Essential Rewards Order

It's that time again, time for my Young Living Essential Rewards order!  In case you've never heard of Essential Rewards, it's basically a loyalty program through Young Living.  Every month, you get an order shipped to your house.  You can customize the order and choose the processing date every month.  You also earn points per dollar you spend.   I love being on ER!  I've earned so many points, I've already redeemed them for a couple of free oils!  The points seriously add up fast.

Here's what I got this month!



Order your Premium Starter Kit here.

Join my Facebook group here!

Petit Vour May 2015

My Petit Vour box came in the mail this week.  I always get super excited for this box.  What start out as a 'let's try and see what I think...' quickly turned into a slight obsession over trying natural products!

In case you've never heard of Petit Vour, it is a natural/organic/vegan/cruelty free cosmetic subscription box.  For $15 a month, you will be mailed 4-5 items that fall under one or more or all of those previous categories!  I've loved it so far... and not only for their awesome logo!

Petit Vour Unboxing May 2015 1

Petit Vour Unboxing May 2015 3

MUN NO. 11 ANAROSE REJUVENATING ROSE TONER

I am a huge fan of rose toner.  It moisturizes my face so well, I use it in my morning and night routines.  This one by Mun (I'm assuming it's pronounced moon) will be fun to try.  I've tried organic rose toners before, so we'll see how it measures up!

Petit Vour Unboxing May 2015 4

LIPPY GIRL VEGOCENTRIC ORGANIC LIPSTICK

I was a little unsure of this color, but it applies slightly sheer!  The brown is still a little too orange for me, though.  It's very "90's."  The formulation, though!  It's amazing!  The texture is so smooth and buttery, it is incredibly moisturizing on my lips.

Petit Vour Unboxing May 2015 5

NYL "NEW" SHIMMER SCRUB

I did a double take with this one.  The sparkles caught me off guard. I mean, I love a sugar scrub as much as the next lady ... but sparkles in the shower?  Really?  Hmm...  I felt a little more okay with this when I read the ingredients.  The sparkles are mica, so they are natural.  I just don't know how I'll feel with rubbing it all over my skin.  That aside, it smells divine!  And the sugar feels very fine and soft.

Petit Vour Unboxing May 2015 6

ZABANA ESSENTIALS "NEW" DRY GLOW SHAMPOO

This is another one that made me do a double take!  This is a natural dry shampoo ... with shimmer in it.  Personally, my gray hairs give me just the perfect amount of shimmer.  I've already tried it (I had to break it open immediately!), and it does an amazing job of soaking up oil.  It does not look shimmery on my hair, but my gray-ish roots showed a little more in my opinion. I'm close to needing my roots retouched, so I won't completely blame the dry shampoo.  As apprehensive as I was about this dry shampoo, it performs very well.  It also blended into my dark, so I didn't have any white streaks  in my hair.  (yay)

What did you get from Petit Vour this month?  Do you gravitate towards natural products, too?

Orange You Glad I Didn't Wear Orange?



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Top: Everlane // Cardigan: Loft (via thredUP, similar) // Skirt: Nashona (other styles) // Clutch: BMC
Bracelets: Nashona // Shoes: Madden Girl // Necklace: Serrv

I'm sure I've said this before, but I love cool-toned colors.  When I venture outside of my favorite blues, teals, aquas, and purples, yellow is my next favorite.  There's something about yellow that makes you so happy!  It's cheerful and brings life to an outfit.  I love this Nashona skirt for just that reason -- it is a fresh breath of pattern and color in my wardrobe.

Tell me about your favorite piece of clothing at the moment!

Linking up with Shanna.

Shop similar styles:


Rebecca Reads: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green



an abundance of katherines

I am on a roll with these book reviews!  It's so nice to have time to read.  I think it actually helps me sleep better at night, too.

Anyways, on with the review!

I bought John Green's An Abundance of Katherines not long after talking with my coworker about John Green's books.  When I asked her to put them order from best to worst, I had every intention of remembering that list and reading them from in the 'best to worst' order.  Well, I got the book store and couldn't remember which one she thought was the best ... so I bought this one.  Turns out, this was her least favorite!  That just cracked me up...

Incidentally, I enjoyed this so much.  If you've ever seen John Green's videos on Youtube, they are insightful and witty.  And that's exactly how this book felt.  The plot was like nothing really happens ... nothing really happens ... something's happening ... nothing's really happening ... ooh, something might happen .. it's happening ... I SO know what's going to happen next ... it happens... the end.

The story follows Colin and Hassan, best friends in need of a road trip.  Colin has JUST been dumped by this girl friend, whose name was Katherine.  In fact, all of Colin's girlfriends were named Katherine.  Colin is a genius (literally) and is developing a theorem that can predict the future of any relationship.

Colin and Hassan's road trip takes them to Gutshot, where they meet Lindsey and her mother Hollis. Hollis owns and runs the tampon string factory in Gutshot, which is the bread and butter of the town. They also run a tour of a cemetery that contains the grave site of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which had enticed Colin and Hassan to visit Gutshot in the first place.

Hollis hires Colin and Hassan to make a documentary of Gutshot, so they stick around for quite a while.  Between TOC (The Other Colin, Lindsey's turd boyfriend), Hollis's strange behavior regarding her work, and a revelation about the Archduke, this novel is entertaining and funny.  It's a story about reinventing yourself and letting go, and I loved it!

Have you read An Abundance of Katherines?  Which John Green book is your favorite?

p.s.  I'll be reading Looking for Alaska soon!  If you've read it, I'd love to know your thoughts.

The BEST Mail Day // Beauty Box 5 Unboxing

Last Monday, I filmed the BEST mail day ever.  I had the poopiest Monday last week and came to the mail ... that was all for me.  It was just a little bright spot in my day, and it cheered me up.  And since it was such a good mail day, I filmed it!

I hope you enjoy!


Linking up with Molly and Carly.

Oily Friday: My Experience With Essential Oils

I have a few disclaimers before I get into the main point of this post:

1.  I am not here as an expert about essential oils.  I am very, very far from it.  This is my own personal experience with using Young Living Essential Oils.

2.  I know that there are a lot of different essential oil companies and brands out there.  I personally chose to use Young Living.  The quality, ingredients, and 100% pure therapeutic grade rate were all reasons that went into my decision.  I am not here to be all bossy about what you should you use.  If you use a different brand of essential oils, that's great!  I just want to clarify that whenever I speak about a particular essential oil or my experience in this post, I am only talking about Young Living Essential Oils.

3.  I am not a doctor.  I cannot diagnose, treat, prescribe, etc., anything you may have.  These are only my experiences and testimonials.

4.  I will also not say that I'm claiming to be 100% natural in everything that I do.  I have been working on ridding my house of unnecessary chemicals, and it's been a slow process.  Over the past year, I've been transitioning to less toxic cleaners and I have been trying out alternative ways to deal with some health issues.  I try to make the healthiest decisions possible, and sometimes I fail at it.  But, my goal is always to do little things here and there to be healthier and live healthier!

5.  This is not a disclaimer, but would you be interested in a regular "essential oils" series on my blog?  I have been trying out a ton of oils over the past couple months and I would love to share my thoughts with you!  I also understand if this isn't really everyone's thing.  I just need to know!

Soo, here we go...

WHAT IS AN ESSENTIAL OIL?

An essential oil is the "lifeblood" of a plant.  It's the plant in is most PURE form.  Think of it like this ... when you break a tree branch or a leaf and you see the brand or leaf start to seep a little of oil and the branch or leaf stars to "heal' itself .. well, that's the essential oil of that plant healing itself!

WHY I STARTED USING ESSENTIAL OILS

When my husband and I started kids, I researched a lot of natural ways to do things.  We cloth diapered, made our own organic baby food, etc.  For as long as I can remember, I have felt led to do things as naturally as possible.  Cue a few kids (three), busy jobs, busy life, etc., and my 'natural' tendencies went every so slightly by the wayside.  I never let go of my beliefs; I just didn't have the time to apply them to my life like I had previously.  I've had a few health issues creep up on me, and I am working hard again to get unnecessary toxins out of my home.  Essential oils have been a huge part of that for me.

As just one example, I started making our laundry detergent last year.  The recipe I make calls for essential oils.  I like to use lavender and peppermint (but you can really use any combo that you like... side note!).  Last year, I ordered some lavender and peppermint oil off Amazon.  This was before I understood that "100% pure" does not always mean 100% pure.  I used it in our laundry detergent, and it was okay.  I mean, it needed about 40 drops of peppermint... but I didn't really think about it much.

Cue the winter months, and I heard that it's helpful to diffuse cedarwood and eucalyptus in the house to relieve congestion from a cold.  So, this time, I bought some essential oils from the local health food store, which made me feel super special.  Again, I was still not aware that these oils were not 100% pure, but this was also around the time I asked Molly to add me to her essential oils Facebook group. That winter, I was diffusing cedarwood and eucalyptus routinely in our home.  But... the scent wasn't lasting very long and I used up the oils very quickly.

During that time, I was watching Molly's posts come across my Facebook feed and little by little, I learned more about Young Living Essential Oils.  I had tried some before, but they were small samples and didn't give them much thought.  If only I'd known what I had back then!  A couple months ago, I won a voucher that Molly was giving away on her essential oils Facebook.  I was super excited to take the plunge into Young Living essential oils.  I ordered my premium starter kit (and an essential rewards kit) that night!  And, as they say, the rest is history.

Lucky for me, Molly shared all the research that she did about essential oils.  It was very reassuring to know that Young Living takes such pride in planting, harvesting and distilling the very best and pure essential oils.  Another major plus for Young Living is that most of their oils are GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA to ingest.  When you see 'WARNING: DO NOT INGEST' on an essential oil bottle, that should be a huge red flag.

I have been using essential oils for two months today.  They have already changed parts of life that are very important to me.  I could go on and on about the changes I've seen in my life, but it could literally be a novel!  If you want to learn more beyond what I have heard, join my Facebook group! It's a great, welcoming group, and we have a lot of fun discussing how we use essential oils in various areas of our lives.

So, today I want to share what's in the premium starter kit.  This is the kit that I purchased.  I don't have all the items in the picture.  To be honest, I started using things as soon as it came in the mail and forgot to take pictures of the whole shebang.  This is just a fraction of the oils I have!

Oily Lately

If you are interested in oils, the best value you can get is the premium starter kit.  In the premium starter kit, you get the amazing Everyday Oils Collection, which has 10 of the most used oils.  You get 5 single oils and 5 oil blends.  You also get either the home diffuser or the dew drop diffuser. My diffuser was the first thing I broke out of the box!  In addition to the Everyday Oils Collection and the diffuser, you will receive a bonus 5-ml bottle of Citrus Fresh, one roller fitment, essential oil sample packets, two samples of the Ningxia Red, and a product guide.

If you'd like more information about Young Living and how they prepare the most pure essential oils, here are a few videos on different topics.

Soil Preparation: 

The steps that are taken to prepare the soil for the aromatic plants from which the essential oils are extracted. http://bit.ly/1EJx0gT

Growing the Plant
What it takes to grow a plant to produce the finest essential oil with all of the essential oil constituents.  http://bit.ly/1Hk9Q7D

The Distillery
The qualities of the Young Living distillery equipment that helps to maintain the small molecular weight molecules to produce the highest quality essential oils.  http://bit.ly/1IBFFJr


Lab Tests
The different analytical techniques used in determining purity and quality control.  Young Living standards are the highest and strongest in the industry.  http://bit.ly/1IEgKU2

I am going to include some answers to frequently asked questions.  These are questions I had when I decided to try Young Living essential oils.  You can leave additional questions below in the comments!

Why should I become a wholesale member?
Becoming an "Independent Distributor" awards you 24% off retail pricing.  You also have the option of sharing the oils with friends and family in order to earn commissions and earn free oils.  This is only if you choose the wholesale option.  You do not need to be a wholesale member in order to purchase Young Living oils!  If you choose to become a wholesale member, you will receive the 24% off discount, similar to a Sam's Club membership.

Is there a monthly order minimum?
No, you are not required to order monthly in order to benefit from being an Independent Distributor/Wholesale Member.  The ONLY requirement is to order $50 worth of oils in a year's time.  On a side note, there is an autoship program called Essential Rewards.  If you join Essential Rewards, there is a $50/month minimum purchase requirement.  You can participate in the program to earn points from your orders and potentially more products (it's SO easy to do!)

I don't want to sell oils.  Do I have to sell Young Living products to be a Wholesale member?
No, you don't!  Young Living uses the term "distributor," but it's only applicable if you choose to have a business.  There is no requirement to have a business.  Otherwise, you'd be considered a "Wholesale Member" with the same 24% discount.  And since there is no monthly order requirement, you simply order whenever you want.  Either way, the distributor/wholesale member route is the best option for you and your bank account, whether you're in it for the business aspect or not!

How do I join Young Living?
To being as a Distributor/Wholesale Member you must enroll with a kit.  While there are several options to choose from, I HIGHLY recommend the Premium Starter Kit.  This is the kit that I ordered, and it gives you the biggest variety of essential oils.  The value for the price is THE best.  It contains 10 of the most used and multifunctional oils offered PLUS a 5m. bottle of Citrus Fresh PLUS a diffuser and, of course, tons of things to read and sample packets.  You can order by clicking here.

If you'd like to email me personally with questions, you can reach me at rebeccalately [at] gmail [dot] com.

If this interest you at all, I would love to know if a series would be helpful.  I have so many topics I'd like to share, I was thinking of doing a weekly thing!  Would you like to know how I use my essential oils?

You can sign up to receive a starter kit here!  Join the Facebook group to ask questions.