Essential Oils – What’s the Big Deal?

Hi everyone! Kasey here from All Things Mamma!  This month I’m here to tell you all about essential oils ~

Essential Oils – What’s all the talk about?

If you’ve been anywhere near a blog, Facebook or any other social media site, I’m sure you’ve seen posts about essential oils. Someone is using them to help them relax.  Another person is using them to help fight off colds. And someone else is inviting you to a class. You might have wondered if they are a viable option for your family.  My opinion is YES!

Essential Oils - What's All The Talk About?

My experience with essential oils has been nothing but wonderful over the past couple of years.  They’ve completely changed how I live my life. I use them to make Diaper Wipes, as air fresheners and even in my food.  I use them to diffuse in the air, to clean, and I even rub them on my children – YES – I am treating my kids naturally whenever I can. Instead of grabbing over the counter medicine first – I go to my cabinet and grab a bottle of essential oil.

Essential Oils - What's All The Talk About?

People are using essential oils to replace everyday items in their homes for cleaning, laundry, headaches, stress and so much more and they’re doing so without harmful chemicals, additives and side effects.

So what exactly is an essential oil? 

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. They are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue.

Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as a single oil at a time or in complex blends depending on what you need. Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.

Let’s talk about the differences.

Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors and some airborne pathogens.

Application of essential oils can have immediate, localized benefit to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used effectively with massage and beauty therapy. They are also natural disinfectants.

Essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some essential oils have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support healthy inflammatory response in cells. Many essential oils are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but some oils should not be taken internally.

If you want to learn more, I suggest doing your research and even checking in with someone you know and trust (or me!) and have them point you in the right direction for information.  Remember – not all essential oils are created equal and you definitely want to use one that is safe for you and your family!  I have a ton of information on my blog, along with my own story on how essential oils have changed our lives.  Head over to check it out or let me know your questions in the comments below!  I’m happy to help!

Introducing Bevy – Collect, Protect and Share Your Digital Photos and Videos

There are a few irrational things that make me panic: Subzero temperatures. Running out of wine. This screen on my iPhone when I’ve taken TOO MANY PICTURES.

Cannot Take Photo IPhone Screen

And the thought of losing my photos. All of them.

You see, I’m not a professional photographer by any stretch, but you know what I am?

A moment lover. A memory catcher. A ‘remember-when-er’. And all of the pictures I have allow me to do that. A million years ago when I was little, my mom used to take pictures on a camera, take the film to be developed, wait a WEEK for that to happen and then have the pictures in hand to place in an album, a frame or to pass on to my brother and I.

You see that right there? This is a picture my mom took of me (a hard copy) at my First Communion wearing HER First Communion veil (which, incidentally was ALSO my grandmother’s First Communion veil AND my great grandmother’s wedding veil.)


Want to know what happened when my small girl wore that SAME veil? (a MOMENT, you would agree, right?)

Delaney First Communion

I took a picture of her in it.  And left it hidden on my computer. *sigh*

Now…like you, I imagine…I snap hundreds of pictures every week – from the monumental moments, to the mundane…. from First Communions and first days of school to soccer and baseball, to vacations and snow days, from holding hands and helping with homework…I have to confess, I don’t want to forget any of it….but I am morbidly disorganized and these moments are locked away – some on my computer, some on my phone, some on hard drives and until now – they have been close to impossible to access at a moments notice.

Bevy Collage

I say ‘until now’ as there is a solution. Today.

I have been lucky enough to have known that this solution was in the works and it launches now.

I am thrilled to introduce you to Bevy. Start here by watching this video and then I’ll explain a little more.

Bevy is both a small in-home device and a mobile app. They work together.

Bevy3- Timeline - App

It is designed to be both a photo and video experience not only for YOU, but for your entire extended family.

Bevy - In Home SystemThe device collects, protects, and stores photos and videos that are taken on any device – phone, tablet, or camera. It can happen the second you capture those moments or later. Any number of family members can access the Bevy device via the free mobile app based on their personal preferences.

Additionally, Bevy isn’t limited to wireless devices. As an in-home device, you can utilize Bevy to store and protect your images and videos from digital cameras, USB flash drives, computers and SD cards.

Since all your content is stored within Bevy, you and your family can readily access all of your content – photos or videos at any time. You can cuddle up and watch on your TV (you KNOW your small people will love to watch themselves on the big screen – as my kids can barely get enough of flipping through pictures on my phone) or simply find the pictures you need from a specific event – as they are all organized for you. With Bevy, all of your moments are safe and secure in one place – either with in-home USB back up  – which is free, or you can utilize a secure cloud back up for an additional fee.

You and I both know that the proliferation of constant moment and memory capturing means we MUST have a way to collect these photos so that we can look back on them – whether that is tomorrow – from our couch or five years from now when we want to honor someone at a special event.

Bevy is the solution: it is a secure, organized collection of all of our beautiful moments right in one place.

Can you tell I’m excited? I cannot wait to hear what you think.

Bevy was developed by Lineage Labs, a Boston-based firm founded in 2014. Are you ready for this? Bevy is available TODAY for preorder at Lineage Labs expects to begin shipping to pre-order customers in October 2015. Also of note – Ordering before May 1st will give you $100 off the $349 retail price as well as access to a special Referral Program for anyone who Pre-Orders AND pays a $50 deposit.

Here’s how it works: You will be given a unique referral code to share Bevy with friends and family. This means ANYONE who uses your referral code will receive a discount of $25 as will the additional referrer – this program makes it possible for you to receive your Bevy for nothing but your original $50 deposit. 

Disclosure: Because I believe so deeply in Bevy and the great minds behind it, I have partnered with them as a Consumer Advocate and have been working with them behind the scenes for many months now (and will continue to do so.) However, as you know, all opinions I share are mine and mine alone. (And for reference – I am not part of the Referral Program)


3 Simple Winter Braids You Can Do By Yourself

Winter can be a tough season. Yes, snow can be beautiful, but the cold weather can take its toll! It dries out our skin and can leave our hair brittle and breaking. Of course it’s important to take care of your hair to lessen the damage, but besides deep conditioning and using great products, protecting your hair is also a great option. So today I’ve got 3 braids that are perfect for winter.

Why are these braids perfect for winter? Because they keep your hair wrapped up and not blowing around in the elements and yet they are still stylish and beautiful!

3 Perfect Braids for Winter

3 winter braids

Simple Side French Braid – with Braided Bangs

simple side french braid

Let’s start with the simplest one. I know bangs can be a total hassle and they drive me crazy when they’re blowing around in my face. So with this braid, just do a simple French braid to the side and secure with a small elastic. Then do a big side French braid down the back, incorporating the small braid you did as you go. Then you can tug on the pieces a little bit to pull out the braid so it’s fuller and you’re done!

Topsy Turvy “Braid

winter braids - topsy turvy

Can’t braid? No problem! Remember the ’80’s topsy turvy ponytail? Well, that’s a simple way to get the look of a braid without actually braiding anything at all. Start with a section of hair like you’re going to wear it half up – secure and twist it under. Then gather the next set of hair into a ponytail and twist under again. Continue creating the twist all the way down securing with  small elastics each way. Done!

4 Strand Braid

winter braids - 4 strand

This looks so much more complicated than it actually is, promise. It’s like a basket weave. Take your 4 strands and start with the one on top. Put it behind the second strand, then in front of the third strand, then behind the last strand. Start over with the top strand of hair again. Repeat until you get to the bottom! Does that make sense? If not, leave a comment with a question, I’d be happy to help!

So that’s it! Three cute winter braids that will look beautiful while keeping your hair somewhat protected from the elements. They’re also very quick and easy, and I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for hairstyles on the go.

Have a great day!

Body After Baby: The Postpartum Dance

“Mom, are you having another baby?”

I get asked this question by my nine and seven year olds at least twice a week. Three times if I’m lucky. Our fourth born arrived four months ago, and the children are certain that something is terribly wrong with me since my body hasn’t immediately bounced back.

Tact. We’re working on it in our home. Clearly we need some practice.

Dressing your postpartum body can be quite the chore, particularly in those in-between months when you’ve finally (blissfully) gotten to the place where your regular clothes fit again, but they don’t fit…well. What to do when you want to wear something besides yoga pants, but you don’t want to purchase a whole new wardrobe? I have one word for you:


The modern day girdle, Spanx are a gift for those living in that transition between almost there and finally made it back to pre-baby weight!

It’s true that Spanx make you feel like you might die a slow death of midsection claustrophobia. Just pulling the body-shaping undergarments on is a workout in and of itself, so basically when you wear Spanx you’re killing two birds with one stone: Workout, and completely eradicate the flesh over your abs.

I am now at the point that, with the help of my trusty Spanx, I can fit into almost all of my regular jeans. No, I don’t think I get the full amount of oxygen that I need to fully function while wearing Spanx and jeans, but I do get my kids off my back about having another baby. So I consider it a win.

So for you moms who are trying to get your body back after baby, here are a few tricks (to go along with the Spanx, of course).


1.) Maxi skirts are your new best friend. Paired with a cute t-shirt, or a tank top and jean jacket, the maxi skirt masks the problem areas while showing off the fact that you have a waist again! Way to go, new mom!

2.) Maternity pants can still be your friend, too. Let’s face it – the elastic waistband is ridiculously comfortable, and with the right shirt no one will ever know you’re still in maternity pants unless you tell them.

Don’t tell them!

3.) Scarves and lots of them. It’s winter time so I can write that now. It’s harder to pull off a cute scarf in summer, but not impossible. You’re a new mom, for heaven’s sake! You can wear what you want!

Scarves are effective for two reasons: First, they help mask the midsection, thereby saving you from the remarks of young children and older men who seemed to have lost their filters (I’ve been asked twice by older gentlemen in the grocery store when my baby is due). Second, scarves are a safer accessory than necklaces when holding baby, who will grab hold of anything around your neck and pull with all her superhuman baby strength until she cuts off the blood supply to your brain.


4.) Cute shoes. You just can’t go wrong with a pair of cute shoes. They beg people to stare at them. Am I right?!

5.) Finally, confidence. Listen, the fact is this: Whether you had a baby a month ago or a decade, you have to remember that you grew a human inside your body! You carried life, and you brought it into this world. What you did, Mom, was nothing short of miraculous, and the after effects of that miracle may mean you hold on to a few extra pounds for a while…or forever. And that is okay.

Dress your body as it is now and stand proud and confident in the sacrifice you made to bring life into this world. Don’t worry about your jeans fitting perfectly, because I can guarantee the baby that nuzzles against your neck doesn’t care.

And your older kids will learn tact. Someday, they will figure out it’s best to not say anything at all. For the time being, you will just have to offer them grace. And maybe wear your Spanx.

Romantic Valentine’s Day Makeup

Have a special date with your significant other this Valentine’s Day? If you’ve already got your outfit picked out, then it’s time to think makeup! For special dates with my hubby, I love following this easy routine. It’s all about soft pinks, blushes, and earthy tones– perfect for a romantic evening!

quick valentine's day makeup routine


1. Start with your favorite foundation, BB Cream/CC Cream, tinted moisturizer, etc. For this look, I used Make Up For Ever’s HD Foundation, which I love for fuller coverage. It always applies flawlessly! But if you favor lighter coverage, Bare Minerals Matte Foundation is another favorite of mine!

2. Don’t forget to conceal any dark circle or blemishes! Need tips for conquering tired eyes? Be sure to check out my previous post detailing my favorite concealers!

3. Add a peach or rosy blush to the apples of your cheeks. I chose a soft dusty rose (Bare Minerals Blush in Morning) that’s a pretty, natural shade and universally flattering on all skin tones. (It may look goofy, but I always make the pucker face to get perfect placement on my cheekbones!)

valentines day makeup tutorial

4. Apply a soft pink eyeshadow to the entire lid. Then apply a light brown to the outer corners of your lid, blending over to about the mid-point of your eye. Also add a little of the brown into your crease. Blend all over to make sure there are no harsh lines and the pink gradually fades into the brown shadow. (I used Lorac’s Pro Palette shades Light Pink and Sable)

valentines day makeup tutorial

5. Line your eyes as close as possible to the lash line to add definition to your pretty blues, browns or greens! To get the cleanest, thinnest line possible, I always use a liquid liner. (My current fave is from The Balm.) However if you’re not a fan of working with liquids, then gels liners are an excellent option! They are a bit more precise and pigmented than pencils. Tarte makes my favorite gel!

6. Apply black mascara. If you want a slightly more dramatic lash, I like using Lancome’s CILS Booster XL prior to applying mascara. It primes and conditions the lashes, creating even longer looking lashes. For this look, I used Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Mascara.

7. Add a lip! I went with a color just a shade or two darker than my natural lip and stayed with an earthy tone. valentines days makeup tutorial

Are you ready to see the final product?

romantic makeup tutorial for valentine's day

Five Ways to Wear Booties

Have you jumped on the bootie bandwagon? I know I have. They’re such a versatile shoe that can really be worn year round! Here are the top five ways I rock ‘em.

1. With cuffed jeans.

booties with cuffed jeans

Depending on the length of your jeans, wearing booties with denim can be trickier than it sounds. I’ve found that cuffing skinny or straight legs works great!

2. With leggings.

booties with leggings

Now that I’m a mom, leggings are pretty much my favorite thing ever. Luckily, they look fab when paired with booties and a long tunic or sweater. Hello, chic mom-on-the-go!

3.  With a skirt/dress.

booties with a skirt for fall

Booties are a great substitute for regular ole boots or even heels! The next time you throw on a casual skirt or dress, give it a try! The often- thicker heel of your booties will be a welcome change from pumps!

4. With tights and a skirt/dress.

booties with tights

Something about adding tights with booties instantly dresses up the look. If you want to wear your booties to the office, this is definitely the way to go!

5. With shorts.

booties with shorts

See, I told you that booties were versatile for all seasons! ;)

Which look is your favorite?

The Ultimate WiFi Survival Guide: Stay Safe & Connected #NoWiFi

I’m staring out my window: sunshine, NO snow and a high predicted of 55. This is highly unusual for January. I am beyond relieved. We all know how much I dislike the cold and snow, yes? But, the truth is….I’ve had my eyes firmly fixated on the East for days now….first watching the predictions of ‘Snowmageddon 2015′ and then seeing the less-than-predicted (thank goodness) fall in New York City, but also watching my friends in Boston dig out from underneath Juno’s 30+ inches of snow.

But I can also see this Sunday’s prediction’s of the white stuff here. I may be excited we have been a snow-less January, but I also KNOW we are far from being out of the Winter Zone. February and March have been brutal in the past, so I’m not assuming we’ve escaped unscathed.

The Ultimate WiFi Survival Guide: #NoWiFi -

For me, this time of year isn’t simply about staring longingly at my favorite pictures of the Caribbean (and trust me – I do PLENTY of that), about bundling up with coats, gloves, scarves and warm boots, about avoiding the icy roads (I beg my husband to drive when the conditions are even vaguely unfortunate as my California blood pressure can’t take it) but about being prepared for Mother Nature to shut us down when it comes to power. Yes, that means no heat and electricity, but it also means #NoWifi or connection to the world the way we are used to connecting right now. While that may not seem like a ‘big deal’ on the surface….many of us no longer use landlines and rely on our cell phones and wifi not only for work, but to stay connected to family and friends for day to day activities – never mind the need to reach out in the event of an emergency.

The Ultimate WiFi Survival Guide: #NoWiFi -

For the past few months, I’ve been happy to join some brilliant friends in this online space as we’ve partnered with APC  by Schneider Electric to feature their APC Back UPS Connect and now to produce and share with you the Ultimate WiFi Survival Guide. It is FULL of the tips and advice you need to stay safe and connected during storms (hello, Juno! or good heavens….the tornados that typically blanket the Midwest in the Spring) and outages.

The Ultimate WiFi Survival Guide: #NoWiFi -

The good news is – the guide is easy to read and makes it possible for you to easily be prepared should you find yourself in a #NoWiFi situation anytime in the future. I’m thrilled I was able to share my thoughts and know what you see from my friends will also be helpful.

Click below to take a look (and be sure to let me know what you think!)



Stop Texting and Driving: It Can Wait

Delaney was probably 18 months old when she started to follow me around, arms up, saying ‘hold you….Mommy, hold you?’ It took me a moment, but I realized she was imitating me…repeating what she had heard me say to her over and over again, ‘Do you want Mommy to hold you?’

After that, it was noticing the way Cooper holds his fork and stops to hold the door open for people…and the way Delaney buries her nose in a book and keeps her iPod close by for constant checking. It’s the way they play ball in the house and raise their voices when they are angry.

Small people don’t simply do as you say, they do as you do.

They pay attention, they pick up your habits, both good and bad. (the ball in the house? Shockingly, that’s my husband.)

ATT It Can Wait

And the older they get, the more crucial it is that your habits are ones that don’t put your kids in any danger. Like texting and driving. According to stats compiled by Texting And Driving Safety, the minimal amount of time eyes are taken off the road to read a text is 5 seconds – if you are driving 55 mph – that is equal to the length of a football field with NO EYES ON THE ROAD. Now consider this – 48% of young adults have been in a car with someone who was texting and driving.** Do you want your child to be in the car with someone who drives blind for the length of a football field? Do you want to be that driver?

Because I feel so strongly about it, I’ve partnered with AT&T to tell you about their new It Can Wait campaign. The goal of the campaign and the accompanying app, DriveMode is to convince people like you and me to stop texting while we drive and stay focused on the road.

ATT It Can Wait DriveMode

DriveMode is free on both iOs and Android and it works seamlessly to silence incoming messages. You can set it up to turn on automatically when you drive (hitting 15mph or higher and turns off shortly after you stop) or you can turn it on manually.

AT&T customers can also customize an auto-reply that lets senders know you are driving and will get back to them soon.

ATT It Can Wait DriveMode

Additionally, you can use #X as the new ‘shorthand’ before you get behind the wheel to let your friends and family know you’re pausing your conversations and you’ll be offline while you are driving. Demi Lovato shows how she’s using it in this quick video. Parents of young drivers can set up the app to text them if their teen turns it off.

ATT It Can Wait DriveMode

The alternative? I can lend you my small dude. Coop would be happy to ride in your back seat and remind you to keep your hands off your phone while your driving. And honestly – he’s right – because he and his sister?

They are worth it.

In case you need some extra convincing… this video is a painful, but honest reminder of the toll text messaging has been taking on families…especially those of young adults as texting and driving is now, according to the Cohen Children’s Medical Center, the leading cause of death among teenagers – having surpassed drinking and driving. As of 2013, there were more than 3-thousand teens dying each year. And more than 50% of teens admit to texting while driving.** Maybe have them take a look at the reality of the loss…. this video or this one might be a place to start.

Then download DriveMode. And finally, join the nearly 6 million people who have already taken the pledge to STOP TEXTING AND DRIVING.

Make sure you are the example they need, that they know they (and you) are worth it and It Can Wait.

Thank you for being her.



Disclosure: While I was not compensated to share this program with you, I was gifted an iPhone 6 from AT&T to experience the DriveMode app. As always, all thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and mine alone. 

Five Ways to Wear a Blanket Scarf

I don’t know about you, but when it gets really cold outside, all I want to do is wrap myself up in a blanket. I’m not alone here, right?! Unfortunately with a job and a baby at home, staying snuggled on the couch 24/7 is not a possibility. But a great alternative for those times when you actually have to leave the comfort of your home? The blanket scarf! Yes, they are actually big enough to double as a blanket, and there are so many different ways you can style them!

1. Triangle Wrap

triangle wrap blanket scarf

Fold diagonally into a triangle. Center the triangle at your chest and wrap the two ends around your neck.

2. Rectangle Drape

how wear blanket scarf

Fold in half into a rectangle. Continue to fold until you have the thickness you desire. Drape around your shoulders!

3. Belted

belt a blanket scarf

You can belt the scarf in many different ways. Here I did the rectangle drape a bit thicker, but try it folded smaller as well!

4. Twisted and Looped

how wear blanket scarf

If you feel completely swallowed by your scarf, then this is the best way to eliminate some volume. After folding into a triangle, twist your scarf. Then half it and pull the ends throw the loop!

5. Shawl

shawl blanket scarf

Do a triangle fold, but put the triangle at your back. Loosely tie the ends for a shawl look!

Looking to snap up a blanket scarf of your own? You can get a look-alike version of mine from Amazon! There are also cute, inexpensive options from Target and ASOS. Happy blanket scarf wearing!

five ways to tie a blanket scarf

Family Resolutions: Make 2015 Your Best Year Yet


It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when we write down a list of ambiguous, unrealistic resolutions for ourselves – goals that we more than likely won’t accomplish because what does “Eat Healthier” really mean, amiright? Does it mean one spoonful of Nutella instead of two, or should I start Pinning fancy recipes for Kale and Brussel Sprouts now?

In recent years, the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions has become less popular. I think we’ve all come to realize that we set ourselves up for failure using the traditional resolution model of the past.

There is something invigorating about the first of the year, though. It teems with possibility and in many ways it feels very much like a fresh start. Setting plans for the coming year doesn’t have to be stressful, as long as we do it the right way.

In recent years, I’ve enjoyed bringing my kids in on this little goal setting tradition. It’s fun to sit down together as a family and discuss where we’d like to be as a unit in a year.

Kids love to set goals. It makes them feel safe when life is predictable.

How children set their goals, though, will depend almost entirely on their personalities and, to a lesser degree, their birth order. Most (not all, of course) Type A first borns will want to set very high, lofty goals (get all A’s on my report card), while feisty second borns will set the bar much lower (eat ice cream every day).

Setting goals as a family is a fun way to tap into your children as unique individuals, and it gives you shared direction as a unit heading into the New Year. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1.) When you sit down with your children, have a few loose goals in mind to help drive the conversation. This is more necessary with younger children than with teenagers. By already having a few suggestions written down, you can keep the conversation from derailing into suggestions such as “Hold a Koala,” or “Ride a giant turtle.”

Both of which do sound kind of awesome, actually.

2.) Keep the list short. The end result of this little exercise is to show your children that it is entirely possible to accomplish your goals, so it’s best to keep the list short and sweet.

3.) Make one of the goals service oriented. Look at ways that you could serve together as a family. Is there a local food pantry you could help with once a month? Do you have a neighbor who needs help around the house? Could you bake cookies for one of your neighbors once a month and leave them anonymously at their doors?

Enjoy this time of brainstorming as you come up with something that you can do as a family unit to give back to your community.

4.) Make one of your family goals fun. Maybe there’s a water park in your town that you’ve never visited. Make a plan to save up for a summer day of fun in the sun. Or perhaps there are parks in your town you’ve never seen. Set aside days in your calendar to explore new places in your own back yard. Goal setting doesn’t have to be lofty or expensive. Keep it fresh and fun.

5.) Set individual goals. Take turns sharing with one another one thing that you hope to accomplish in the coming year. This is a chance for you to model for the children the importance of setting attainable goals, and reaching them.

Write down all your 2015 resolutions and hang them some place that the kids can see. As you accomplish your goals, mark them off the list with a big, black marker. Your kids will love the feeling of accomplishment as they accomplish these tasks, and mostly likely, so will you!

Do you have any goal setting habits as a family? How do you bring your children into the New Year’s Resolution tradition?