by Heather

Essential Oils

October 30, 2014 in Healthy Living by Heather

Essential Oil DeodorantI am honored to share with the readers of My Life Well Loved! Thank you, Heather, for sharing your readers with me and allowing me to share my story and personal passion with your community.

As an Independent Distributor for Young Living, I love pointing people towards a healthy lifestyle through the use of essential oils. You see, God used plants to heal me of chronic IBS & depression, and He gave me an entirely new perspective on health. I was formerly pessimistic and a victim to my genetics, as far as my health was concerned. The doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong & their tests were inconclusive. The best I could get was a lifelong prescription for pharmaceuticals, unanswered questions and was offered no encouragement or advice, besides my daily pill. I was stuck! But two years later, a miracle happened and my years of prayers were answered. Through an open mind and heart, I first learned & then accepted, that my daily choices had an impact on my health, quality of life and even my longevity. And that through my daily choices, I could impact my health and take control.

When the Lord brought Young Living into my life, I already had my health and quality of life completely rejuvenated through natural lifestyle changes. But going through pregnancy and becoming a new, full-time mama to a colicky baby was a major life event that turned my world upside down again. But God is faithful and delivered these healing essential oils to our lives at the perfect time. Essential oils are the “life blood” of a plant. I believe they are the most powerful natural substance we have today for maintaining our health. Quality & purity is of utmost importance, which is why Young Living essential oils are the world leader and have made such an impact on the lives of so many people, because their therapeutic benefits are unmatched. They promote health of the mind, body and spirit and I can vouch for all three of these aspects in my personal life!

In my family we have used essential oils for all sorts of daily ailments, such as occasional headaches and indigestion. We have used them for the whole family as a way to support our overall health & wellness, though immune system support & due to many essential oils having uplifting aromas. We have even used them to make non-toxic homemade cleaning products & body care. There are hundreds of uses for essential oils in our lives and each time we use them, we’re getting a little bit healthier. I would love to share a few of my personal favorite recipes for Young Living essential oils.

A Peaceful Nights Sleep: Diffuse two drops of Peace & Calming essential oil. For older children and adults: diffuse 3 drops of lavender + 3 drops of cedarwood. Run your diffuser for 30 minutes before bedtime and allow to finish diffusing after lights-out.

Pure & Clean Deodorant: 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot, 1/4 cup baking soda, 6T coconut oil, 14 drops lavender oil + 5 drops Purification OR 15 drops Melrose

Rosemary Lemon Sink & Tub Scrub: 3/4c baking soda, 2T castile soap, 2T water, 8 drops each Rosemary & Lemon essential oils.

I would like to invite you to check out my Facebook page for additional essential oil tips, tricks, and education. I am not a doctor & cannot treat, prescribe or diagnose anyone. But I absolutely love researching, educating myself and am honored to share in the personal success of so many individuals using Young Living essential oils. It’s so rewarding to help people get empowered for their health & to see lives changed, there is nothing like it!

I’m so thankful Jen shared a little bit about how oils have affected her health. I personally use lavender oil for my allergies. I have been amazed that I went from averaging 4-5 sinus infections per year due to severe dust allergies to only 1 last year! If you want to try out the oils, please contact Jenn and check out the oils HERE and let her know I sent you!

by Heather

7 Things You Learn From Your First Year of Marriage

October 28, 2014 in Faith, Lifestyle by Heather

7 things you learn your first year of marriageMarriage is hard work. Marriage is the entwining of two hearts and lives and of course, that takes time and effort. The first year of marriage isn’t easy, but it is so rewarding and exciting. I have loved every moment of the past 6 years of marriage with Eric…even the tougher moments because they’ve shaped our marriage into what it is today. Here’s 7 things I learned during the first year of our marriage (and am still trying to learn!):

1. I’m selfish. Sadly enough I realized just how selfish I was during the first year of our marriage and am reminded day by day. I constantly find myself having to re-learn that I have to give everything I have got to our marriage. It’s not 50/50, it’s 100/100. Just because I’m tired doesn’t mean I should treat my husband any less than how I feel at 100%. It’s hard to remember that in the moment, but I have to remember he can be tired too and everyone wins if we treat the other person like they are the most important person in the world.

2. Compromise is everything. This seems like a “duh” answer until you’re in the thick of an argument, or “discussion” as we like to call it. We have found that normally when we disagree, both parties are at least a little bit right and a little bit wrong. Being the first to say I’m sorry can be very hard. And yet, it opens up the flood gates for reconciliation. Sometimes, it’s nice just to feel heard or just to remind each other during tough times that “I still love you, I just want to work through this together.”

3. Space is needed. I thought when we first got married that it would be just like when we dated. When we were both home, we would both be cuddled up on the couch, or talking constantly, or holding hands, etc. I quickly learned for my husband’s internal well-being he needed alone time, just as much as I needed interaction. I try to plan one night a week where I go out with girlfriends or family and let him have his alone time while I get to catch up with others that I love.

4. Baseline. Set yourself up for success! What is important to you as a couple? For Eric and I, it was very important that we set our baseline solidly plugged into a church to set that foundation for our marriage. We really wanted to invest in a small group to get to know and do life with other like-minded Christian couples. That way we started our marriage out with new couple friends that have proved to be life-long friends so far with similar values to us.

5. Be goofy. You married this person because you have a lot of fun together. Keep doing the silly things that made you fall in love together. Hum out loud to the same tune, roll down the windows in the car and dance like crazy, make midnight Sonic runs! Do the silly things that bonded you in the first place. Laughing together is too much fun to let go!

6. Date nights. Date nights are critical to stay plugged in as a power couple. Even though we don’t have kids yet, we find that with multiple jobs and school, it can be hard to get in the quality time that we crave. I’m so thankful for a husband who initiates date nights usually once a week to make sure we are communicating and taking a moment away from home to be “just the two of us.” No phones, no distractions. I can’t imagine how much more imperative these nights will be once we have kids!

7. Praise is important. Your opinion matters to your spouse more than anyone else in this world; that’s why he picked you to spend the rest of his life with! So, when you think your husband looks cute, does a great job cleaning the house, notices things that make you smile, or makes a wise move at work, TELL HIM! Men love to feel respected by their wives just as much as we adore being loved and doted on. We have found in our marriage that the times it’s hardest to take the time to notice things and give praise are sometimes when it is needed most. When your spouse is stressed, they need to hear affirmation. Give it lovingly and lavishly and I promise you it will be appreciated.

These are just a few of the things I have learned in our 6 years of marriage. I think there are many more things that could be added to this list, so I’d love to hear what the biggest things you learned in your first year of marriage were in the comments below. Please share!

by Heather

DIY Where’s Wenda Costume

October 26, 2014 in Fashion, Lifestyle by Heather

DIY Where's Waldo/Wenda Costume

Where's Waldo & Pure Barre Instructor Costumes

Halloween Costume Ideas

Where's Waldo Costume DIY

Where's Wenda Costume DIY & Ceiling "Fan"

Where's Wenda Costume DIY

Are you a procrastinator like me on your Halloween costume? If so, I’ve got the perfect easy Halloween idea for you to whip up by this weekend. I actually got the idea from my husband who was going to go as Where’s Waldo? but after a last minute costume fail, he went as a Pure Barre instructor instead. ;) I started doing research on how to dress as Where’s Waldo for a girl and stumbled upon Where’s Wenda? Apparently, the female version of Where’s Waldo is Wenda and I was happy to find an easy and cute costume that I could wear that would be comfortable and pulled together for under $15.

Here’s what you need to make your DIY Where’s Wenda Costume:

-Red & White Striped Shirt

-Red & White or Red beanie (thanks, Target!)


-Denim bottoms

-Red Shoes

-Magnifying glass or binoculars

-Bonus: Red and White Striped socks

I borrowed the top from a friend, and bought the red hat at Target. Everything else I already had on hand. That means Halloween 2015′s costume is in the books. I really had a lot of fun with this costume and using the flashlight/magnifying glass.

If you need another frugal Halloween costume idea, make sure you check out my Rosie the Riveter costume from last year or scope out some of my friend’s ideas above in the pictures. The options they’re rocking are: Cat, Gypsy, Mail Order Bride, Silver Linings Play Book, Ceiling “Fan,” and Ninja Turtle.

What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year? Or if you’re not dressing up, what are your kids going to be?

Shop the Look: Shirt from The Pants Store (similar) | Glasses | Denim Cutoffs: Forever 21 (Similar) | Hat: Target |

by Heather

Clean Eating Broccoli Cheese Casserole

October 24, 2014 in Clean Eating, Recipes by Heather

Healthier Broccoli Cheese Casserole from My Life Well Loved

Alright folks, here’s the deal…I’m married to a man who can’t help but love Rice-a-Roni, pizza rolls, and tons of packaged foods. Even though I’ve expanded his palate a TON and he now deems brown rice and whole wheat pasta as acceptable, I’ve still got a long way to go. However, in my never-ending route to make my husband a happier man, I try to find classics with a twist to make it healthy and hearty!

We are pretty good at challenging each other to try something new. Whether it be me challenging him to eat healthier or him challenging me to try different flavors and spices: Hello, Indian! it’s a lot of fun to keep an open mind and experience new ideas, foods, and travel experiences together!

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In order to appease both of our palates I find healthier versions of his favorite dishes. One dish Eric loves is Broccoli and Cheese Rice in a box. He just can’t help himself. So, I set out to find a healthier version via my favorite recipe tool of the moment…Pinterest! And I came up with several adaptions to make Clean Eating Broccoli Cheese Casserole. I love that this recipe has no cream of anything soup in it and it’s lightened up. Major win!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Clean Eating Broccoli Cheese Casserole
  • 2 cups instant (uncooked) brown rice
  • 1¾ c Organic reduced-sodium Chicken broth
  • 3 cups broccoli
  • Non-stick spray
  • 5 teaspoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups skim milk, divided
  • ⅓ cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 12 oz reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Cook rice according to package directions, using chicken broth instead of water. When rice has a few minutes left until fully cooked, add broccoli into the pot to steam.
  2. In a separate pan, over medium heat whisk together flour and ½ cup milk in the skillet. Gradually add remaining 1½ cups milk while whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling. Turn off heat and add 8oz shredded cheese and greek yogurt. Stir until smooth.
  3. Season sauce with garlic powder, salt and pepper then mix.
  4. Combine cooked rice and broccoli mixture with cheese sauce, then stir to combine.
  5. Pour mixture into a non-stick sprayed 9×13 casserole dish and top with remaining 4oz of cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown.
  6. Let casserole cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from The Law Student’s Wife &. Iowa Girl Eats.

This recipe is really versatile so you could add in other veggies like mushrooms, cauliflower, onions etc and even chicken to make it a heartier casserole. Happy cooking!

by Heather

Dream Home

October 20, 2014 in Lifestyle by Heather

As Eric prepares to graduate from the Master’s Program in Nursing at UAB to become a Nurse Practitioner, we are starting to think about moving out of our little condo. It has been a great home for the past 6 years of marriage but we are ready for a change! I have already started day dreaming about the possibilities of our next house.

When I went to do a live blogging/social media broadcast (with B Metro Magazine) of the 2014 Fall Community Showcase with the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders, I couldn’t help but get the itch even a little bit more to start compiling my wish list for our next place.

B Metro Blogger


Birmingham Showcase Home

I was swooning over these ceilings, the style, the color palette and the open air feel that this room had.

Birmingham Showcase Home

I’m SO very ready for a bigger closet. A walk-in would  be a major bonus!

Birmingham Showcase Home

This beautiful open floor plan is exactly what I want in our next home. I want a great, open area for entertaining because I love having friends and family over.

Here’s some of my favorite home inspiration photos from my SWEET HOME ALABAMA Pinterest board where I’m hoarding all my home ideas.

Living Room





Again, entertaining is important to me! Especially a cozy outdoor space and an awesome porch!


If the hubs has heard me say it one time, he’s heard it a million times: OPEN KITCHEN & an Island!


Crisp, clean home office…yes, please!


 This is dreamy.

As you can tell my dream home would include:

-Great entertaining space

-Bigger Closets

-Porch or nice area for outdoor entertaining that finally includes a grill! (We aren’t allowed to have one at our condo.)

-Open floor plan

-Bigger kitchen with space for storing everything and as island

-Neutral palettes with bright pops of color

-A backyard so we can FINALLY get a dog!

What would be on your home wish list?

by Heather

14 Days of Style: Favorite

October 16, 2014 in Fashion by Heather

Lysse Leather Pants

Lysse Leather Pants

Lysse Leather Pants

Lysse Leather Pants

Lysse Leather Pants

Lysse Leather Pants

Lysse Leather Pants

Lysse Leather Pants

The 14 Days of Style Challenge on Instagram has been so much fun and I’m so glad so many of you have joined us. It’s been fun to get outfit inspiration from each of your unique looks and to get more motivated to dress up and really put outfits together each day before dashing out the door.

I have loved reading about your outfits, your days and hearing how this challenge has helped some of you dress up a little more despite your busy schedule. Get it, girls…so proud! So far, we have 174 posts with 174 different outfits…so even if you don’t link up pop on over and search the hashtag #14DaysofStyle for lots of ideas for how to style your hot to cool weather transition clothing.

This outfit is one of my personal favorites I’ve worn so far. I can’t decide if it’s the fact that I feel like I’m wearing comfortable Pure Barre workout clothes or if I really just love finally having some leather pants to wear, but either way it’s my new go-to. These leather leggings give just enough and help sculpt and hold you in all the right places. This top has a built in tank that is also slimming. Both are by Lysse and I’m now a huge fan of this brand!

The hot pink XO note cards are some of my new favorites from Scarlet & Gold and the monogrammed bag is SO SWOO of course….Swoozie’s!

If you haven’t linked up with us yet for #14DaysofStyle on Instagram, please do! All you have to do is use the hashtag on one of your outfit photos and you’ll be entered to win 5 pieces of clothing from Lysse & a $50 gift card to Scarlet & Gold.

Shop the Look: Pants: Lysse | Top: Lysse | Bag: Swoozie’s | Shoes: Zulilly (similar) | Necklace:  Stella Dot  | Note Cards: Scarlet & Gold | Earrings: At Home in Homewood

Thanks to Magen Davis Photography & Bon Bon Rose Girls for partnering with me on this!

by Heather

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

October 15, 2014 in Healthy Living, Recipes by Heather

Gluten Free Banana Bread | My Life Well Loved
I am beyond thrilled to welcome Callie from Luv Cooks to My Life Well Loved. She is a college friend, worked with me at my second post-collegiate job, and has been an inspiration to me for years in her charm, beauty and encouraging spirit. Her beauty radiates from her God-loving heart and seeps out through her eyes. She has a personality that will draw you in and make you want to be around her all the time to feel uplifted and encouraged. She is also an incredibly talented stylist specializing in food styling. Trust me, this Gluten-Free Banana Bread is just as good as she made it look. I got to sneak a bite while we were shooting it. I’d highly encourage you to check out her blog and work on Luv Cooks. See below to get a little taste of her recipes and way with words…
I absolutely adore banana bread. There isn’t a much better feeling than looking out your kitchen window to a golden fall morning, the warm smell of baked bananas and nutmeg filling your senses; then pulling the loaf, piping hot, out of the oven; letting it cool a bit; and slathering a slice in salted butter. Divine.
Gluten Free Banana Bread | My Life Well LovedAnd banana bread is so easy to share with the ones you love. A little time, the mashing of a banana (or four) and gently folding the batter so it just comes together- and bravo! You have a welcome token of love and affection for a neighbor, friend, or significant other.
I also know that baking gluten-free is very challenging, and I have done my share of experimenting over the past few months. A pantry shelf cramped with large bags of alternative flours and one vastly depleted grocery account later, and I can’t say that it was much of a success. But, hope springs; I finally found a banana bread recipe that works. And this one is absolutely brilliant because it requires only TWO flours. That’s it. And no xantham gum. Hallelujah!
Gluten Free Banana Bread | My Life Well Loved
So pull out the ripe bananas, stir up some applesauce and melted butter and enjoy a slice of banana bread with someone you love- whether they prefer gluten or not. It’s definitely worth your two flours.
Gluten-Free Banana Bread:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (4 to 5)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups brown rice flour
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  1. Put a kettle of water on to boil, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the water is boiling, measure 1 cup and pour it over the dates in a small bowl. Let them stand 10 minutes (during this time you can mash your bananas if you haven't already). Pour the water/date mixture over a colander, drain, and pat the dates dry.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs with a whisk in a large bowl. Whisk in bananas and next 3 ingredients until blended.
  3. Stir together brown rice flour and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Gently stir flour mixture into egg mixture, stirring just until blended. Gently stir in melted butter, walnuts, and dates. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (if you can wait that long). Enjoy!

Recipe via My Recipes.

Thanks to Magen Davis Photography for taking these fabulous photos!


Head over and visit Callie here & let her know I sent you by leaving some comment love on her blog posts.

by Heather

Whole 30 White Chicken Chili (Paleo)

October 13, 2014 in Clean Eating, Healthy Living, Recipes by Heather

Whole 30 White Chicken Chili

I have now made and had this Whole 30 White Chicken Chili 3 times. And I only got the recipe about 2 weeks ago! If that doesn’t tell you how good it is, I don’t know what will. The hubs even rated it, “Restaurant Quality.” (In case you don’t remember, the last dish I made that he rated restaurant-quality was my Clean Eating Creamy Black Bean Soup. And that was almost a year ago…so this is some serious verbiage not to be taken lightly!) ;)

Whole 30 White Chicken Chili | My Life Well Loved


Paleo White Chicken Chili

I had a co-worker share this recipe with me while we were doing Whole 30 and it quickly became a Whole 30 lunch crew staple. In fact, we’re making it again tomorrow at the office.

Whole 30 White Chicken Chili | My Life Well Loved


Whole 30 White Chicken Chili | My Life Well Loved

I know it sounds funny to axe the beans and replace them with sweet potatoes but it works. The sweet potatoes get cooked down and just the right amount of mushy to add that legume-like goodness to the mix. This soup is SO easy. It made a lot so we could use the leftovers for other lunches and dinners but you could always cut it in half. There’s also other shortcuts you can do like not making the homemade chicken stock and just buying 2 cartons of organic chicken broth.

This was my first time using a rotisserie chicken to make more chicken broth and I was very pleased with the frugalista feeling that came with it! Now that rain is settling into Birmingham, and the temperatures are finally starting to drop, this is the perfect soup to add to your tailgating line up or just for your ho-hum hump day dinner table to jazz it up a bit.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Whole 30 White Chicken Chili (Paleo)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • ½ bunch Cilantro
  • 2 large Onions
  • 32 oz carton chicken broth
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Crushed Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Avocados (optional)
  1. Strip rotisserie chicken of meat.
  2. Boil chicken bones in enough water to cover to create a stock to add to your soup later on.
  3. Season the chicken stock with salt, pepper, and any desired added spices.
  4. Peel sweet potatoes.
  5. Dice sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and cilantro.
  6. Sauté onion and bell peppers in a pan and set aside.
  7. Put sweet potatoes and 32 oz of chicken broth in large pot and allow to boil until the potatoes are tender (About 15 minutes).
  8. Once the potatoes are tender add the chicken, remaining vegetables, and spices to the broth.
  9. When homemade chicken stock has simmered for at least 20-30 mins add it to the pot as well.
  10. Simmer on low for about 20 more minutes.
  11. If desired, top with fresh salsa or avocados.

What’s your favorite fall soup to make?

by Heather


October 10, 2014 in Faith, Lifestyle by Heather

Adoption was not something I understood at a young age. Nor would I have ever thought of myself as being open to adoption. However, over the past several years, I have had the tremendous pleasure of learning more about the adoption process and how biblical it is through watching two close friends go on the adoption journey.

One of our best couple friends who led our first small group at Brook Hills have adopted two precious little boys from Africa. One from the Congo and one from Uganda. Isaiah weaseled his way into my heart a few years ago and I so hope we have a little boy one day as energetic, cute, and fun as he is! I would highly encourage you to read their story HERE.



adoptionWe have also seen another couple from our first small group walk through the adoption process but this time within the confines of the U.S. Seeing their faith in the process, and in God’s timing has been a blessing for Eric and I. They have a beautiful little girl named Emma Grace who actually looks so much like her mother.


It has been such a picture of the gospel to watch these two families go through the waiting, trials, and expensive process of adoption and I am so glad I have gotten to observe it up close.

“We adopt not because we are rescuers. No, we adopt because we are the rescued.” – David Platt

 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:27

And, now there’s a simple way during this fall season that you can help support adoption that’s also pretty fun! In 1990, Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s®, accepted President George H.W. Bush’s invitation to be the spokesperson for a national adoption awareness campaign. Just two years later, Dave established The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® as a non-profit public charity with one primary goal: to help every child in foster care find a loving, permanent family.

Halloween_couponsPurchase a Wendy’s® Halloween Coupon Book for $1 at participating Wendy’s to support foster care adoption. Ninety cents of every $1 Halloween Coupon Book sold between September 13 – October 31, 2014 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. Coupons are valid for use: November 1, 2014 through February 1, 2015. This year, Wendy’s® aims to give $10 million to The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®!

I always love a good reason to splurge on french fries dipped in a frosty and if this isn’t one, I don’t know what is!

Visit your local Wendy’s® to purchase a Jr. Frosty™ Halloween Coupon Book* for $1, which benefits the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

by Heather

Light Funfetti Dip

October 8, 2014 in Healthy Living, Recipes by Heather

Light Funfetti Dip | My Life Well Loved

Skinny Funfetti Cake Dip | My Life Well Loved

Skinny Funfetti Dip | My Life Well Loved

You guys…LIGHT FUNFETTI DIP is a party in your mouth! I am a little bit of a sweets addict…so when I find something that I can tweak to make a little lighter I am ALL about it! (Think around 100 calories for a 1/4 cup serving) This recipe for Light Funfetti Dip reminds me of Dunkaroos from when I was a kid. I remember thinking that was the biggest deal to open my lunch box and find Dunkaroos stashed with a love note from my mom.

Next I want to try this recipe with plain, non-fat Greek yogurt to see how it tastes. If anyone beats me to it, please let me know how it goes in the comments below! Are you dying for the recipe yet? If so, pop over to Aunt Bee’s Recipes where I’m guest posting today to share the recipe. I have become a huge Aunt Bee’s Recipes fan because Brandi is a fellow Alabama blogger with a heart of gold. She’s also a night owl like me so we are a natural match! Make sure you check out her blog and give her a follow for some fabulous recipes that are sure to delight your whole family!

What was your favorite childhood dessert? Please share in the comments!