Oh my aching knee…

On the unfortunate occasion of a nasty fall about 3 years ago…not only did I break my ankle, but I also learned that I have arthritis and am essentially bone on bone in my left knee. Joy.

At the time, the broken ankle was getting all of the glory and attention…my knee had never really bothered me much. I was getting older after all. And I was pretty rough on my joints when I was younger in life: gymnastics, track, cheerleading. A little aching here and there is to be expected, right?

Well, fast forward a few years and now that knee is starting to make it’s aged self known. It’s still not bad enough that I want to do anything drastic…like surgery…I’m putting that off as long as possible. So I stand less (I’m a nurse…this can be difficult), rest it more, exercise to build up the muscles supporting it (OK – I don’t exercise as much as I should…but I have been doing some mat work in the privacy of my home, cuz it’s not pretty!) and eating healthier to lose weight.

Did you know that 1 pound of weight loss = 4 lbs of joint stress reduction? Wow! Neither did I…so now there’s THAT motivation.

I used to take over the counter anti-inflammatories to help manage the pain, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. I was taking them several times a day but especially at night.

Sleep is difficult when you have an aching knee.

Until I discovered Deep Blue Rub by doTERRA. This is my new BFF.

Product Description from doTERRA:
dōTERRA’s Deep Blue Rub is a rich, topical cream infused with Deep Blue® Soothing Blend of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils that provide targeted comfort to tired and sore joints and muscles. Formulated with a propriety blend of natural plant extracts and other powerful ingredients, Deep Blue Rub provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas. With close to 5 ml of dōTERRA’s top-selling Deep Blue essential oil blend of Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysum, and Osmanthus, Deep Blue Rub is an essential addition to your bathroom cabinet, gym bag, or first aid kit. Deep Blue Rub is blended in a base of moisturizing emollients that leave your skin feeling soft, non-greasy and is the choice of massage therapists and sports practitioners who currently use dōTERRA’s Deep Blue essential oil blend in their practice.

I keep a tube at home and one at work. On days at work when I’m on my feet a lot and walking with little time to sit and rest my knee I will take a break and rub some into my knee. A small pea sized amount is all it takes. It’s non-greasy and non-staining so I can pull up my scrub leg and rub it in and go.

My nightly routine includes rubbing a pea sized amount into my knee immediately before going to bed. I’ll massage a small amount anywhere else that is aching too…sometimes my ankle, sometimes my neck…might be my leg muscles. Ahhh the relief! I’m not even kidding!! You know those over the counter anti-inflammatories I mentioned earlier? I almost never take them anymore.

I will squeeze every last drop of cream out of the tube. There is nothing wasted! You can see in the picture how I take the top off and I will milk the tube and squeeze every last little bit out by crimping the top over. In fact, I about panicked earlier this week when I thought I was OUT! Luckily I remembered I had ordered a replacement tube preemptively. Whew!! For once i was thinking ahead!!

deep blue rub


PS – if you are interested in using essential oils to manage your wellness lifestyle, please visit my doTERRA website here: Jan’s doTERRA website   Scroll down to the bottom of the page and request your FREE e-book “10 Solutions to Common Wellness Problems”. Feel free to contact me with any questions!

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”

{DIY}Land – Whipped Body Butter

{DIY} Whipped Body Butter

{DIY} Whipped Body Butter…so yummy!

As I have been venturing into a more “natural” lifestyle…and by that I mean…simplifying, reducing and/or replacing the products I use with ones I KNOW what the ingredients are…I’ve returned to the land now known as {DIY}.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s (OK I’m aging myself)…we called it “homemade”. My grandmother cooked with REAL foods as the starting point. I sewed most of my own clothes…including my prom dresses (gasp)! And at some point in the late 70’s and into the 80’s “homemade” became uncool. Which is really too bad. We sure didn’t know what we were doing to ourselves and our children by improving our lifestyles with fast food, convenience foods and products, etc, etc.

Well now we are learning that quicker and faster and more ingredients requiring more processing is not always best. I’m so excited to see the return of homemade and handmade items not only being acceptable but being celebrated and sought out! Just look at ETSY and Pinterest for ideas if you need them. Google {DIY} or “do it yourself” or “homemade” – you’ll get plenty of results!

As I’m aging, my skin is drying and I’ve been using more and more lotions and body butters to add moisture back to my skin. What I didn’t realize is how BAD most of the “over the counter” products are for us. I’m not going in to that here – you can do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

I’ve decided to try my hand at making my own body butter…and I have to say, I’m quite thrilled with the results! I’ve made a couple of batches now, tweaking the ingredients to come up with a recipe that I love. I’ve shared most of the first two batches with family and friends and the feedback has been incredibly positive. YAY! The next batch I make, I’ll share my specific process…I think I’m gonna tweak it just a bit more.

I only use doTERRA essential oils because I believe in their quality and purity. I started my search for a body butter recipe based on an article on the doTERRA blog found here: doTERRA Blog: DIY – Whipped Body Butter  This is a great place to start. Next batch I make – I’ll do a blog post about my specific process. It’s really so easy!



PS – if you are interested in using essential oils to manage your wellness lifestyle, please visit my doTERRA website here: Jan’s doTERRA website   Scroll down to the bottom of the page and get a FREE e-book “10 Solutions to Common Wellness Problems”. Feel free to contact me with any questions!

Memorial Day 2015

Middle TN Veterans Cemetery

Middle TN Veterans Cemetery, May 24, 2015

Growing up as the daughter of a career US Army Officer…military holidays were marked with much pomp and circumstance. Depending on the event there would be parades, ceremonies, wreath laying, reading of names, the playing of taps, demonstrations by the soldiers, flyovers, military band concerts, etc. We always were immersed in the true meaning of the holiday. I thought everyone lived that way.

As an adult living in the civilian world, I find that it’s easy for us to “forget” why we have this long weekend. We are bombarded with retail sales events, as the unofficial start to summer – people head to the beach or the lake, there are many outdoor family gatherings and BBQ’s. We need to be intentional about remembering and honoring the reason for this extra day off.

Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring those who died for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America. I hope each and every American will pause and reflect on this at some point today. And be grateful.

My husband and I drove out to the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery yesterday. It’s a beautiful, serene setting in the rolling hills of TN. We happened to arrive while a Memorial Day Ceremony was happening at the main buildings. We drove through the cemetery in peace and quiet, marveling at the beauty of the American flags adorning each and every grave. The main thoroughfare had larger flags waving in the breeze. It was a beautiful, yet somber sight. Families were visiting individual graves. Some of those graves are fresh. The reason for the holiday was abundantly clear. Some gave all. Some didn’t come home.


It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.   ~ General George S. Patton

May God Bless America!



30 days…Spring Cleanse…here I go…

…but first…I needed to set the intention…

I am the only one in control of my health. I am the one who chooses the healthy food that I eat. I am the one who chooses to move my body. It is my intention to spend the next 30 days, eating (clean) healthy food, adhering to the 30 day doTERRA Cleanse as per Dr. Hill and exercising at least 3 days a week.

YES…I WILL stick to this program for 30 days!! I will not get healthier if I don’t make some consistent changes.

Next I needed to ensure that I had the tools on hand to be successful. And no…we didn’t have a working scale in the house…so off I went in search of a user friendly, somewhat affordable, iPhone app compatible scale.

Yup…I purchased one…set it up and sync’d it to the free app on my phone and voila…discovered I have the body composition of a cannoli…oh boy. Now for the record…I do enjoy the occasional cannoli but I don’t want to BE one!

Intention set…check!

doTERRA supplements on hand…check!

Appropriate food in the house…check!

Baseline weight and measurements done…check!

Ok – we’re off and running! Stay tuned for more details about the cleanse itself.



Luke 2:19 “but Mary kept all these things in her heart…”


image from 4catholiceducators.com

In my Bible study this morning, as I was reading through the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke, chapter 2, I was struck by verse 19:

“…but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” ~Luke 2:19b NLT

And then again by verse 51:

“And his mother stored all these things in her heart.” ~Luke 2:51b NLT

My role as a mother has changed as my children have grown into adulthood; however, my concerns and love for them has only deepened through the years…if that’s even possible.

I’ve always prayed for and over my children; for their health, well-being and happiness, for them to grow up strong and confident, for them to be righteous, honest, people of integrity, contributing members of society, for them to realize God’s purpose for their lives, for them to lean on their faith in times of difficulty or trouble and to be grateful in the good times, for them to know that I love them unconditionally and so much more.

So much I have stored and pondered in my heart. So much I will continue to store and ponder in my heart.

So much like Mary.

God has instructed us to pray; I believe this “storing and pondering” is prayer. I love that prayer is my touchstone and conversation with God. And one of the most important jobs I have as a mother.

I’m thankful that while my children are grown and discovering all that life has in store for them, I can continue to pray over them…even though it’s no longer at their bedside each night. It’s my gift as their mother.



New traditions…

Change. It’s never easy.

christmas tree lot

(photo credit: Steven Dipolo/Flickr)

Today a BIG change in our Christmas tradition happened.

My family will probably think I’m silly and overreacting about such a seemingly minor change. But I don’t care. I’m mourning the change…despite the fact that it’s medically necessary. Yes…I’m still bummed.

Here’s the deal…we’ve always had a REAL Christmas tree. For 32 years. Beginning with the “charlie brown” Christmas tree we had for our very first Christmas in New Orleans. Seriously, it was pitiful…but it was beautiful to me. We were far away from family…in our new home and simply couldn’t afford a big beautiful tree. My sweet husband had to work Christmas Eve; he stopped on the way home and picked up a free, leftover tree. It was small with bare branches. We didn’t even decorate it. It was perfect!

Shopping for our Christmas tree came to symbolize (for me) the beginning of our Christmas celebration. Through the years we shopped at various tree lots, Boy Scout lots, commercially owned lots, “whoever has the best price” lots. We’ve shopped in in the warm and cold, rain and snow, daylight and dark. We used to be a family of 4 scouring the lot for the perfect tree. We’ve had flocked and evergreen. As the kids have grown into adulthood, we’ve transitioned back to just hubby and I on the hunt. Memories of the anticipation, excitement, temperature, sights, smells, sounds, lights, fires in metal drums, sawdust mixed with evergreen boughs on the ground hold a special place in my memory and heart.

Last year we discovered a new reality. Within just a couple of hours of bringing the chosen tree into our home, my hubby came down with what would become a raging sinus infection. He was perfectly healthy prior to the tree entering our home. He has a history of some pretty nasty, seasonal sinus infections often progressing to bronchitis. We had just never noticed it in relation to the Christmas tree before….but it was crystal clear. The tree was definitely a trigger. So out it went! Immediately!

This weekend, after some supportive, comparison shopping with my daughter…we finally decided on an artificial tree. Purchasing it in a big box…bringing it home to the garage…just didn’t have the same “holiday feel” as picking out the perfect tree on a tree lot. My son helped get it out of the jeep and into the garage; so technically, we ALL were involved in picking THIS tree and bringing it into our home.



New traditions. I sense there are memorable new traditions yet to develop. And hopefully, my husband will NOT be sick over the holidays this year or into the future. Healthy holidays are the plan!

Disclaimer: Christmas is clearly NOT about the tree. I know that. I value that the celebration of Christmas is about the birth of Christ. The Christmas tree in our home is merely a seasonal symbol. I value the traditions which encourage us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

Thanks for “listening”…I’m feeling better already! That was a fun trip down memory lane. Perhaps some new ornaments and holiday decor will help with the transition…








Virtual Coffee Date…

One of my favorite things is to have a good cup of coffee and visit with friends & family. It’s wonderful to take the time to slow down (you can’t drink hot coffee quickly) and be present, in the moment, sharing all the good in our lives.

I’d love to have a virtual cup of coffee with you! Venti pumpkin spice latte’s (with an extra shot) are my favorite fall splurge. The cost of one pumpkin spice latte (approx $4.86) will provide 18 MEALS for AT-RISK CHILDREN! Just 27 cents will provide a nutritious meal for a hungry child.

Our church – Highland Park Church is sponsoring a Feed the Hunger Pack-a-Thon on October 17th and 18th. Our goal is to pack 60,000 meals; half of the meals packed are being designated for FREM orphanage in Haiti…8 members of our church visited them last spring and discovered that they currently receive ZERO outside support and they were praying for food. HPC Haiti Relief was born.

Here’s where you come in…we NEED donations to meet our goal of 60,000 meals!

We need donations IMMEDIATELY! 

Will you please meet me for a virtual coffee date and buy me my favorite fall splurge – or two – or even three?! My life, and  most importantly, the lives of the children at FREM, will be enriched and blessed by YOUR generosity!

Donations are easy peasy: go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/fthdonate and donate with credit card or pay pal. Scroll down and select “Nashville Pack-a-Thon” as the special purpose to designate the funds.

I’ve already bought YOUR cup of coffee…will you please buy me one?

Haiti Relief Bucket Cover

Blessings to you!



Don’t let that airplane make you sick, travel with a few essential oils…

I had a pretty awful experience last weekend while traveling and was so thankful I had a few of my trusty essential oils with me.

While it seems pretty obvious that you are literally entrusting your life to strangers when you board an airplane, your basic state of health is up to YOU!

On the 2nd leg of a return flight home from a quick business trip, I encountered a filthy plane. And I mean filthy. I was seated in the rear, 1 row up from the lavatory aka “flying porta potty”. It was late in the day and I don’t know how many people that particular plane had already transported that day. Let’s just say it was lots. And lots. And if my previous flight was any indication…it’s clearly family vacation time and that translates to lots of kiddos who are innocent but notorious germ carriers.

The air vent on the side of the plane in front of me was totally blocked with dust. There could not possibly have been any airflow at all through that vent. And you do realize that the air on a plane is recycled, right? The oxygen content is already less than normal, which most healthy people tolerate and compensate for just fine. But as a nurse who has worked with plenty of oxygen compromised pts, I know the slightest additional stress on your body can lead to a myriad of problems. The stress of flying alone, compromises your immune system, we don’t need any help making it worse.

Now we’ll add in the stench I encountered. There is no pleasant way to express this…it was “eau de poopoo”…definitely not your mother’s eau de toilette. And it got worse as the journey towards home continued. And even worse when the flight attendants brewed fresh coffee…no…it didn’t cover it up. It just added another nauseating layer. My Row 31 seat mate and I had very interesting conversation about the aroma and trying to determine if it was the porta potty behind us or emanating from the front of the aircraft. Later when we deplaned we realized the entire airplane reeked of poo!!! It. Was. Awful. And just a little scary that we never knew the source.

I don’t normally experience nausea during a flight…but the “aroma de poo” and a little turbulence was all it took to bless me with a very uncomfortable tummy.

I was so thankful I’d brought a few of my favorite doTERRA essential oils with me!! Yay for thinking ahead & being prepared!

Here’s a picture of my oils recovering from a lemon spill on the initial leg of my journey. The good news? My hotel room smelled lemony fresh!


Lemon oil is like liquid sunshine. It is a happy & uplifting aroma. On this flight I used a drop on my hands to help cleanse and disinfect them from any unseen “nasties” I may have unknowingly touched. I love to breathe in the aroma from my cupped hands. **citrus oils can make your skin sensitive to UV rays, so use topically with caution if you are going to be out in the sun within about 6 hours.

Peppermint oil is one of my FAVORITES!! I use it daily! Peppermint has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic & cooling properties. It’s great for dispelling a headache and works to calm upset tummies as well. A sniff from the bottle and a drop rubbed onto the back of my neck & my temples helped to calm the nausea & freshen the air I was breathing.

Balance is a blend of blue tansy, frankincense, ho wood, & spruce. It helps to calm anxiety & nervousness. I used a drop of peppermint and a drop of balance in my hands, rubbed them together, breathed in the oils from my cupped hands and rubbed the rest on the back of my neck & wrists. This would be a great blend to rub on anxious children’s backs with a little carrier oil.

I definitely had more essential oils with me, but lemon, peppermint and balance were my heros on this trip! I NEED to create an “essential” essential oils travel kit! You clearly never know what potential health hazards you may encounter while traveling!

Here’s to your safe & healthy travels…


PS – Visit my website for more information about doTERRA essential oils. Scroll to the bottom of the page and get your free e-book with more information on doTERRA Essential Oils and how they can enhance your life!


As humans, we hunger for a vision. If we are unable to create a compelling vision for ourselves, we will latch on to someone else’s vision. With no vision for our future, ours or someone elses’s, we extinguish our powerful internal fire.

The GOOD news? You can re-ignite it at ANY time.

~Ray Higdon