How I Deal With The Holidays As An Introvert!

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First, let me clear up what an introvert is. The difference between an introvert and an extrovert is how we recharge. I recharge by being alone and not being around a big group of people. Extroverts recharge by being around people and a lively uptick atmosphere. At least this is true for my husband, the extrovert, and I, the introvert. Big groups of people for me are sometimes overwhelming and exhausting.

Now that you know what my definition of an introvert is let me tell you my holiday schedule. It all starts with Thanksgiving, we host it at my house. Usually, it's a small gathering not too bad. Then I go Black Friday Shopping. 8 Tips For a Succesful Black Friday Trip here. I consider Black Friday super fun, but it takes me the whole weekend to recover. The first or second weekend in December is my daughters birthday party. Then there is going up to my moms for a weekend in December. Then whatever Christmas parties are in between. Then we have 4 family Christmas parties to attend on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Just writing that out makes me overwhelmed.

So how do I manage?

  • Schedule a massage. Sometimes with a new massage therapist. I've known my therapist since I was 19 and we are really good friends, so it's hard for us not to chat the whole massage. So going to someone new could help the temptation to talk the whole time. To be honest my answer to everything is to get a massage.

  • Read. During this time a year, I take the time to read every night. It's alone time. I also use the excuse that I need to wrap presents. This means being in my room behind a locked door, it's blissful. My husband hates wrapping, so it's perfect.

  • I know it's kind of cliche to say but take one day at a time. Sometimes I have to break it down to one event at a time.

  • Plan and be organized. It's even worse if you are frazzled because of last minute stuff to do before an event.

  • Say no to some parties. There are a few parties that my husband and kids go to that I don't. My husband is pretty understanding about how much I can handle. I also don't volunteer at the school this month.

  • I plan a day where I don't leave the house or get out of my PJs. I will be super lazy and just spend the day with my family no one else. We watch movies, we eat snacks, leftovers, microwave meals, whatever is super easy. I take this day and I am off.

It's a struggle to be an introvert during the holidays because there are so many events and parties. If I'm not careful to schedule some down time I become overwhelmed and grumpy and nobody wants to be around me.

I do love the holidays. It's the only time of year that I get to see some family. I love sharing food and catching up with people. Going and making cookies at Gramma's house with my kids. Winter break from school. It is a fun time of year, but it can be overwhelming. 

10 Gifts for an Out Doors Lover

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If have someone on your list this season that loves to go hiking and be outdoors then this is the list for you.

Smart Phone Gloves or Mittens

If you have followed any of my hiking post you have noticed that I also Pokemon hunt while I hike. Now I currently don't own a pair of these but I think they would help a lot in the Pokemon hunting part of my hiking. This morning while walking my hands were freezing and I was not wanting to take them out of my pockets to catch Pokemon, these gloves would have solved this problem.

AegisGears Paracord Bracelet X-Series with 19 Piece Outdoor Survival Gear Kit

I don't know about you but this kit is just cool, anyone that hikes would love this! It has 1 5/16" magnesium flint fire starter, 12' custom military grade MIL-C-5040 type III 550 parachute cord embedded with copper wire, hemp tinder line, secondary fishing line, compass, stainless-steel scraper, 2 fishing hooks, 2 fishing lines, 2 swivels, 2 weights, 2 floats, alcohol pad, dried tinder and 2 safety pins.

Swiss Army Knife

If they are not new to the outdoors they probably already have one. But if your loved one is a newbie then this is a must!

BSN Medical Leukotape P Sports Tape (Blister Prevetion Tape)

So far I haven't had the pleasure of using this tape, but I hear its amazing. This is definitely in my shopping cart for my sister in law, she walks the 3 day breast cancer walk every year.

Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband

Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch

I've had a few Fit Bits over the past couple years and so far my favorite has been the Blaze. It has some pretty cool features that I use while hiking like the pace rate and altitude tracker.

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Hydration Backpack; Free Rain Cover Included

These are great! What I like about this one above, is the chest strap. Its a little bigger then most, I have another one that is pretty small which is great because it's light, but I like to over pack, especially when I bring the kids with me.

Discovery Pass If you live in Washington State

If your not in Washington State check to see if there is a pass for your state parks.

Garmin eTrex 30x

You may have the question, "What does this tracker have that a phone doesn't?
25 hour battery life.
Get signals from satellite not towers.
More durable.

Dog Rope Leash

If your loved one has a hound then they are going to need a good strong leash to keep them from

running after that squirrel.

AVEX Claret Wine Glass


Now who doesn't need a wine glass while hiking?????

FitBark Dog Activity Monitor

10 Gift Ideas For Your Essential Oil Enthusiast

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Essential Bottle Aromatherapy Set

This would be a wonderful gift set for your essential oil lover who likes to mix up there own blends. As I've encountered, I get this new idea for a blend then go to my cupboard and find out I ran out of the container I need. You can never have to many!!

SOLIGT Essential Oil Key Tool

This tool helps open and close roller ball caps, it would work great as a super cool stocking stuffer. With this tool you will save your loved ones finger nails from breaking! One of the most annoying and challenging part of using the essential oils, is getting the roller ball caps on and off.

Essential Oil Wooden Box Organizer

This is soooo going on my Christmas List! It has 68 slots with foam padding at the top to help secure your oils. Also comes with a bonus label sheet!!!! If you are finding oil bottles all over your house, or your oil lover can never remember where they placed that oil they were working with, this is the gift for you!!

Basic Aluminum Essential Oil Case

If your oil lover is not ready to hold 68 spaces, here is a super cute case for them. This case has 25 slots and it comes in 10 different colors. A case like this would also be a really good travel case!

Travel Size Spray Perfume Bottles

These perfume bottles are perfect! Some of the other bottles are clear glass which is not good for essential oils. Essential oils should always be away from light.

Mini Mason Jars

Mini Mason Jars are super cute and would be perfect for your oils lover that likes to make blends and give them out. I love that the lids are not plastic. I have dropped my jars and had the plastic list break.

Tree of Life Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace 

Perfect for that someone who loves essential oils, but can't put them on there skin. I am one of those people, on a rare occasion do I put essential oils on my body. I have super sensitive skin and can not wear essential oils often. 

Car Diffuser

I love, Love, LOVE, my car diffuser. It helps mask the interesting my kids play a lot of sports smells. I have a full review of the one I own here

URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser

If your Essential Oil lover doesn't already have a diffuser then this is a must give for you.

Edens Garden Essential Oil Set

Any essential oils would work. If you are not sure what essential oils they would need, just go see what essential oils they are low on. It is also very important to pay attention to brand. Most of us EO people can be a little picky on the brand we use.

8 Tips That Will Help You Have a Successful Black Friday Shopping Trip!

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So this post is a little outside the norm for me, but I have been Black Friday shopping for the last eight years now and have learned a few very helpful tricks. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to join us in line at 3am.

Shop with a friend!

Maybe not a group, but at least one other friend of like mind. There are a few reasons for this:

• Motivation when tired.
• Tag Team. One can stand in line while the others shops. Often times the line to check out wraps around the store and you could be there for hours. It’s best, if you see that when you walk in, one of you gets in line and the other shops. Then, find your friend in line and switch. There will be plenty of time for both of you... trust me.
• Divide and conquer. A couple of times we have gone in a store as soon as they opened their doors and there was only one item we were after. We split the store, find what we need, then get out! We have done Target in ten minutes using this strategy!

Do Not Buy Electronics!!! We have this rule for few reasons....

• Electronics sold on Black Friday are not as well made. Rumor has it, that the TVs sold on Black Friday are made at a lower quality to make up for the price difference. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but that’s what “They” say.
• Too many people are competing for them. The electronics department in all the stores we enter is always packed full of people, and often times this is where problems with fighting and shenanigans happen. I just avoid this all together.

There is one exception to this rule. If you’re at a store that price matches. If the store price matches, it is more likely they will have the item and it would be manufactured at the same quality as normal.

Make a list!!!!!!!

I can't stress this point enough. Be organized. Every year we go through the morning paper find all the items we wish to get and then make a list. We have found the following tips as an efficient way to itemize:

• Sort items by priority. Some things will be more important to you than others.

• If the items are at more than one location, note which stores have the items you want.
• Sale prices. Write down the sale prices next to each item.
• Store opening times. This is important so you will be able to stagger your arrival times accordingly.

If they run out of the item you want, don't buy the next one up. This may just be us, but the joy of Black Friday for us is getting the perfect gift at that insanely low price. I could buy it at regular price any other day of the year. My favorite thing to do afterwards is to come home, show my hubby my loot and make him guess how much I spent. If I over spend, the game isn’t as fun.

5. Research the store’s return policies and price match policies and whether they change for Black Friday. There are a few stores that price match, but not on Black Friday. Then, there are few stores that price match only on Black Friday. This is how you get some of those items that were all sold out and avoid a bit of frustration. It is also important to know what the store policy is for returning items in case you have to take something back. 

Don't Bring Your Purse. I bring a small wallet that fits into my coat pocket, which zips shut. It’s less you have to carry, and less likely to get stolen.

Park in the back. It may seem inconvenient, but it’s a lot easier to get out. If you park near the front you have to fight the throng of people walking through the parking lot. Just remember, it’s early, nobody has had a good night’s sleep. For some people, this means that common courtesy goes right out the window. Also, lock all purchases in your trunk. I would suck if those amazing deals you just scored got stolen.

Bring snacks and your favorite caffeinated beverage. It’s bad enough that you have to stand in line for everything else this morning. You don't want to stand in line to get food too. There are times when you can sit in your car and not in a line. Just make sure to watch the water consumption so you don't have to use the bathroom a lot.

Did I say 8? Well here is an extra one on the house!!!

Be Patient!!!! The lines are going to be long. It is going to be crowded. At least one of the items on your list is not going to be there. At least one moment during the shopping trip you will think, “Why do I even put myself through this?” At this moment in your trip, don't be a jerk!!!!!!! You ruin everybody else’s time around you if you complain about the lines to the store staff, not to mention making everyone else’s wait longer because your taking up employee time to complain.

Now that you have all been armed with the knowledge of a Black Friday veteran, get on out there and take advantage of those amazing deals!

Headaches Suck! How I treat Headaches With Out Pain Relievers.

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I personally have suffered from headaches for as long as I can remember. I was 19 when I was in a car accident and over the counter pain relievers were no longer enough of a remedy for my chronic headaches. After that car accident, my boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to chiropractic care. I was terrified at first. I saw him get adjusted and told him I wanted no part of it. But my headaches only got worse after the accident and when you’re in that much constant pain, you will eventually try new things to find relief.

Even after I decided to try chiropractic care, I was so terrified of the whole experience that I made my husband come with me when I got adjustments to make sure I didn't die. We've all heard the horror stories about chiropractors, but I am a firm believer in them now! In the interest of full discloser, I must admit that I now work with chiropractors so I do have a slightly biased opinion. However, after receiving chiropractic care, the frequency and strength of my headaches has reduced a ton!!!! As of today, if I keep up with maintenance care, I rarely have headaches at all. That being said, I am a working mom and (even though I work for a chiropractor) I am not very good at taking care of myself, so I don't keep up with my care as well as I should. Which is why this post continues!!


I am a massage therapist so it shouldn't surprise you that massage is my next solution! When I have a headache and I am able get in for a massage, 99.9% of the time, my headache is gone before the hour is up. Also, 99.9% my clients have the same result. The exception is when it’s a migraine headache. Migraines are much less predictable and those solutions would be an entirely different post.


So, when I have been terrible at seeing my boss and I can't manage to get in for a massage, I find myself standing over my essential oils wondering what I can put near my nose to make the pounding in my head go away.

Good Essential oils to reach for when treating a headache are:

Roman Chamomile

Mix a blend of oils or a use single scent, whatever works better for you. Then, put a few drops where you can smell it and enjoy the relief.

Daily Stretches

Daily stretching is one of the best ways to prevent a headache from coming in the first place! Keeping your neck limber and releasing tension every day by stretching would definitely help. Buuuuut, I really don't want to be a hypocrite because I don't do it. I end up suffering for my neglect though! If you were my client and you came in with a tension headache complaint, I would show you a few stretches to help with the tension in your neck and shoulders. I will post some of these stretches below. But as a blogger, in the interest of full disclosure, I honestly don't end up doing these stretches until I already have a headache. They do help with relief, but you should do them more often than I do to help prevent headaches before you are in pain.

How can Essential Oils help DURING a Tattoo Session

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So, it's no secret between my tattoo artist and I that I hate getting tattooed. I love having tattoos, but I hate the process of acquiring them. That being said, I get through this challenge by using essential oils. There are no specific oils that are set aside for this one activity (like the oils for anxiety or stress). This is very individual.

I've tried other forms of distraction, like reading, listening to music, watching videos on my phone, but when the artist hits that sweet spot, distraction no longer works for me. Sometimes the essential oils don't work as well as I want them to either, but it's what I have found that works best for me.

How I determine what oils I'm going to use:

I use different blends each time. Most of the time what I do is, the morning I'm going in for a tattoo session, I pull out my oils and start smelling them. Whatever gives me that instant relaxed feeling gets dropped 1 mil Bottle, and I mix my blend. There really is no rhyme or reason to it, but it works. With the help of essential oils, I can sit in a session longer. It distracts me from the pain of being tattooed. It’s that simple. The essential oils seem to relax me to the pain and it doesn't seem as bad. It may be a placebo for me, but I'll take it.

Where I put the oils:

This depends on what I'm getting tattooed. Right now, I'm working on my back so I've done a few things. I bring an Essential Oil Inhaler and drop the blend on a piece of cloth that I can have near my nose. Tattoo shops can often times be cold, so I drop essential oils on my zip up sweatshirt sleeve and wear it backwards. You can also dilute the essential oils and wear them.

Here are a few essential oils that have worked for me so far:

Geranuim ....Anxiety, Irritability, Sedative, Stress, Tension
Rosemary ....Headaches, Stress, Tension
Lavender .... Headache, Tension, Relaxation, Sedative
Black Pepper .... Stress, Tension
Lemongrass .... Tension, Headache
Cypress .... Tension, Stress
Palmarosa .... Irritability, Stress, Tension
Chamomile (German).... Stress, Headaches, Sedative
Chamomile (Roman).... Anxiety, Sedative, Stress, Tension

Hiking Adventures! Tips On Hiking During Hunting Season!!

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Hunting Season is upon us, my friends. I don’t know about you, but I would like to keep myself whole this season. So here are a few tips on how to make sure you aren’t mistaken as prey while hiking.

1. Wear bright colored clothing.

Hunters are always seen with a bright orange (hunter orange) vest, sweatshirt, or hat to let other hunters know that they are not animals. You don't have to wear hunter orange specifically, any neon, bright color will work. I am planning on finding a pair of neon pink pants for my hiking trips during hunting season!

2. Hike with a buddy.

Two or more people will be easier to identify as non-animal.

3. Make human noises

Talk, laugh, maybe even sing. Don't be obnoxiously loud, but make yourself loud enough to be identified as a human.

4. Stay on the trail!!

Going off the trail is not usually a good idea anyway, but it is really not a good idea during hunting season. Generally, hunters know the area they are hunting in. If they don't, then safety tip 1 and 2 should have you covered.

5. Be aware of your surroundings.

Don't leave it up to the hunter. Make sure you are aware of what is around you. It is good to know when hunting season is, and whether or not you’re in an area where hunting is allowed. If you’re not comfortable hiking in a hunting area, there are over 100 Washington State Parks where hunting is not allowed. Click the link to find out more about this year’s hunting season.WA Hunting Season Info.

6. Keep your dog on the leash!

No matter how well trained your dog is, he/she can easily be mistaken for a wild animal.

Keep it safe out there and enjoy nature!!

FitBark Dog Activity Monitor

Hiking Adventures! Storm Week

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If you live in the Pacific Northwest, I'm sure you have heard all week about the horrific storm that we were supposed to have. “Even worse than the 1962 Columbus Day Storm!” they said. The local news channels were trying to play it down as just very windy, but there was some news article on Facebook (we all know that everything on Facebook is true right?) informing us that life as we know it was likely to fall apart. So, like a natural mama bear, I freaked out Wednesday night and made my family move everything we owned that could possibly be moved if a car hit at 80 miles an hour, into the shed or indoors. That's about everything outside!!! The hubs was not too happy about it. Then, Thursday morning, I sent my husband out (eye roll and all) to fill up every single fuel container we own with both diesel and regular gasoline. All this because, ya know, impending DOOM was upon us!

So, now that we are fully prepared for a zombie apocalypse (shot gun shells and all), I couldn't very well go out hiking in such a windstorm. I contacted my partner in crime and we agreed that maybe we should stay home on Sunday to repair the damage that the wind storm would createon Saturday. But the windstorm never happened. So, here I am all well rested and with no steps on my Fitbit. What is a girl to do? Well, I hopped on YouTube to search for training videos for hiking of course! Plus, I decided to take a super soggy walk around a local lake.

I came across these videos for stretching before hiking which I think are amazing! Stretching before and after a workout is super important. In my opinion, it’s just as important as the working out itself! I can't tell you how many times I have had a client come in for a massage because they over did it on a work out, didn't stretch enough and now they’re in pain. In my opinion, you need to stretch before and afterwards. Some trainers may disagree with me, but just make sure to listen to your body and do what is best for you! The stretches in these two routines are amazing. I plan on using these routines before and after each hike from now on.

Hiking Adventures! Des Moines Creek Trail

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Des Moines Creek Trail is a 4 mile round trip, paved path. We chose a much easier hike today for a few reasons. We wanted to explore and map out the trails around our area that are open during the winter. We like to test out trails before bringing the kids to them. Plus, we totally decided to geek out today and go Pokemon hunting and rumor has it, this is the place to be!!!!

This is a really pretty trail. You walk alongside the creek almost the entire time. Everything is still pretty lush and green, but this trail will still be beautiful and vibrant when the colors start to turn for fall. It is a wonderful place for taking pictures! The only down side is that planes fly overhead frequently on takeoff and landing. I didn't mind it much, but if you want the quiet and solitude of nature, this is probably not the place for you.
This trail also begins at Des Moines Beach Park and Marina. You can experience all the peace and serenity that one would expect on a beach, with the exception of an occasional plane flying over. Honestly, it wasn't bad at all, plus this is where all the Pokemon hunting took place! We did get a few Pokemon on the trail, but the Marina is where the party is at! All in all, this was a beautiful walk. It will be great in the winter. We plan on going again, rain or shine.