Category Archives: General

SHOP LOCAL: Non-traditional Christmas Gifts for little ones

Last year my sister kick-started this idea for me as she gave both of my kids a super cute certificate for a date night with Aunt Ra-ra.  It included dinner at a restaurant of their choice, arts and crafts, special dessert, and a sleepover.  BEST GIFT EVER.  The kids LOVED it and it was so memorable for both of them.  It adheres to the old adage that kids spell love T.I.M.E.  So, thought it might be great to make a helpful list of LOCAL ideas to pass along to family members that are beginning to request a “list”.

*Downtown Boone Footsloggers Climbing Tower Passes.  (The tower is operated by Rock Dimensions).  You can find more info here


*Ski Passes/Lessons: I would suggest App Ski Mtn for the closest slopes and most family-friendly atmosphere.



*Children’s Playhouse Membership:  This is an idea that I recycle year after year. The membership is so incredibly reasonable considering the mileage you can get out of it with your little ones.


*Mystery Hill Pass: a great place to take them in the winter months to engage their curiosity.


*Blowing Rock Art and History Museum Membership: The calendar of events changes each month but always includes great children and family programs!

*Fun factory passes: The kids always leave exhausted!

*Caving Trip: This is a great activity in the winter.  River and Earth Adventures provides a phenomenal service exploring Worley’s Cave!

*Emerald Village Gem Mining: Such a cool place to visit and a unique experience.

Outside of this shopping local theme, a list of memorable “home” themes could include: baking date, arts and crafts, movie date, spa day, “build” day….the list is endless!

My family has also hosted a “theme” each year which you can have a lot of fun with.  I’ve heard of many that do an “alphabet” theme where the letter gives direction to that year’s gift ideas.  Feel like you are in one of those families where everyone already has too much?  Think about a “food and game” theme!  You typically exchange names for this and spend the day eating yummy food and playing all the new games!

I hope these lists give you a few ideas to get the ball rolling with your family.  Do you know of a local experience I missed as a non-traditional gift?  Or another fun theme you have done before others should try?  I would love to hear them!




Regional Recreational Vision: Middle Fork Greenway



We attended the grand opening of the new section of the Middle Fork Greenway trail this past week and were excited to see such a large turnout. There have been many people involved in this project that have committed countless hours, resources, and energy into this additional section.  The trail is a  joint venture between the Blue Ridge Conservancy, High Country Pathways, and a task force of dedicated individuals. This subsection is one more link in completing a trail system that stretches from Blowing Rock to Boone, and ultimately Todd.  There are still hurdles the group is facing for this to become a reality (gaining easements and fundraising) but the hope is that the large turnout is an indication of the growing community support.


In the last couple of years, it seems that there has been a noticeable development in the “branding” of the High Country.  While we’ve always been recognized as a mountain resort destination, it is evident that more and more people are moving to and/or visiting the area to take advantage of our many outdoor recreation opportunities.  While it is deffinatley not new “news” that the High Country is home to incredible cycling, climbing, hiking, skiing, kayaking, and mountain biking, it does seem that our community leaders, business owners, and citizens are becoming increasingly aware of the untapped potential of these activities.  I’ve always enjoyed the lure of my kids growing up in a simple mountain community, but I get even more excited about them growing up in an active mountain community where we all share in a work hard-play hard lifestyle.  Groups like those involved in the Middle Fork Greenway are essential to bridging the gap between public and private efforts to further develop our recreation infrastructure.  As more is done in the future, we should all be encouraged to get outside and PLAY!

High Country Pathways: High Country Pathways mission is to create a network of trail and paddle access points along the headwaters of the New River in North Carolina’s High Country. Its primary current initiative is the Middle Fork Greenway connecting Boone and Blowing Rock.

Blue Ridge Conservancy: Blue Ridge Conservancy’s mission is to permanently protect land and water resources with agricultural, ecological, cultural, recreational, and scenic value in northwest North Carolina. BRC has protected close to 18,000 acres in Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties.

Winter as a SAHM (Stay.At.Home.Mom)

I just realized the title of this post sounds more like a confessional than a blog post…..and it just might be. I get cabin fever after two days of back-to-back rain and not being able to go outside. So while I love when Fall comes each year, it also brings with it a little sinking feeling that winter is quickly approaching. I have come a long way with winter since first having babies. My kids are now 5 and 3. For the longest time, I adhered to the principle that the time OUTSIDE in the snow must be equal to or greater than the amount of time getting READY inside. So in that regard, life may have gotten a lot easier this past year or so, but it does still require a lot of planning. And for me, that planning starts as early as NOW to make the winter go by smoothly. Here are some things that help me get along. If you have any tips of your own, I would LOVE to hear them too!

 *Wii Fit: This was a life-saver as a Christmas gift last year. You get the winter bonus of being inside AND getting energy out. We only allow them to play the FIT games that require exercise. And it really works! Both of my kids LOVE it and actually start to complain that their legs are hurting from so many squats.

*Craft Enrichment Programs at ASU: My husband first signed me up for a beginner pottery class when my oldest son was first born. It was a great evening activity that lets the creative juices flow and takes your mind off things. I will be taking the spring 2015 pottery class again this year. Give this hint to the hubby as a Christmas gift idea! Their classes include: basket making, drawing, glass, jewelry, beadmaking, painting, photography, pottery, weaving, metalworking and woodworking. Get a group of friends together to sign up for a class and make it even more enjoyable!

*The Children’s Playhouse: We all know this as a great indoor space AND a family membership would make a great Christmas gift! Do you know about the Parents Nights Out? When ASU is in session they usually schedule them once a month on a Friday night from 5:30-8:30. The cost for non-members is $15/first child and $8 each additional. Members are $12/first child and $6 each additional child. We usually try to plan our date nights around this schedule.

*GOOD snow gear: I’m not shy about liking the good stuff. ESPECIALLY when it comes to outdoor and snow gear. I think it pays off and retains its value in resell opportunities.

*APP SKI homeschool days: this was awesome last year. Now that Caleb is in kindergarten, I will get to use these times to teach Ellie to ski! Here is the info from App Ski Mtn French-Swiss Ski School designed for ages 5-18 and family members.


Dates: Dec.12, 17; Jan. 7, 13, 27-28; Feb.4, 9-10, 18, 24-25; March 2-3, 10.

Pricing: $8 slope ticket (this flex ticket is good for 8 consecutive ski hrs), $7 group lesson (required), $6 ski equipment rental (optional) OR $14 snowboard equipment rental (optional).

Times: Beginner lessons are at 11:15 and Intermediate at 12:30.

-It is recommended that you reserve a spot up to 1 week in advance. You can call the French Ski office at the mtn to do so.

 *Winter hanging cart: My new purchase to make winter more tolerable for my type-A personality. I am sure there are prettier ones out there but I found this guy at Wal-mart. One thing I never like about winter is the coats, gloves, hats, boots, etc. scattered and hanging all over the house. This guy will stay in our basement right next to the door,  Problem. Solved.


*Baking: Anyone can tell you that I don’t really cook. However, baking is a bit easier for me as it only requires the timing of ONE dish to be the focus at a time. I will be challenging myself this winter to spend more time in the kitchen and involving the children in the process. Added bonus: it heats the house.

*Trip planning: The other three seasons in Boone I really don’t need a vacation or to get out of town. Winter is another story. I NEED to stretch my legs and can usually last till about the end of February. This year we are planning our first BIG ski trip as a family out west to Crested Butte, CO. In my opinion, the winter is when we REALLY need to take a vacation!


*Time out: You may laugh, but I put myself in “time out” all the time, usually for the same behavior that my children are in time out for. I think it’s healthy for them to see the value in quiet, reflective time. Maybe it’s the lack of vitamin D, but winter usually requires a higher volume of time-outs.

*Potlucks: I have to be really diligent in planning these. I always like the idea but the winter blues keeps me from following through alot. When I DO follow through though, I really appreciate it and it’s well worth the effort.

*Christmas gifts that keep on giving: I am going to do a whole blog post on this topic soon but wanted to get the ball rolling as you might have early family Christmas shoppers who are already requesting a list. We have opted for a children’s theme of “life experiences” this year. That could include a date night with a favorite aunt, ski tickets, ice skating, bowling, sleepover with the grandparents, tea party with friends, the list is really endless. This is also great because it helps fill up the calendar days for the rest of winter with fun activities that everybody gets to enjoy. AND it doesn’t break the bank for loved ones and takes the focus off of gifts! I will roll out that blog post soon and share some more fun ideas we have been thinking of!

I would LOVE to hear any plans or ideas that you have as a SAHM or a family for the winter! Please leave a comment below!


Rocky Knob Fall Fest/Take a Kid Mtn Biking Day (Oct.10-11th)

This was such a great event last year, and you should be sure not to miss it this year! The Rocky Knob Fall Festival combined with International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (no joke-it’s for real an international holiday) is coming this weekend !

 The events are starting out Friday night (10/10) with a fun time at the RK Pump Track from 5-8pm. They bring out lights and stage the track for when it gets dark, music, and fellowship as we watch some great riders shows some tricks. The kids love it and adult riders are friendly to them finding time to squeeze onto the tracks too. Caleb got some awesome LED bike wheel lights from The Incredible Toy Company last year at Christmas so it should be pretty fun to try those out.


The event continues the next day for a full-fledged family affair between 10am-2pm. They will have demo bikes available for the kids to try out (including Strider balance bikes for younger ones too). Training clinics include: Riding without training wheels, basic skill sessions (turning, braking, etc), pump track skills, and trail riding. This is quite a collaborative effort from several different groups representing that will be on hand to help your little one! There will be BBQ lunches available for purchase as well as a Silent Auction.


If you haven’t been to Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, this would be a great time to come check it out. The playground there is phenomenal. It really is more like a low ropes course for kids than a traditional playground. There is also ample tables for a picnic lunch or dinner. The trails are friendly but of an intermediate/advanced mountain bike skill level. The pump track has a “small” loop perfect for learning on and also a larger loop pump track. If you haven’t visited lately, the parking lot is now paved and there are some sweet bathroom facilities that are now opened!            


Last year the family absolutely had a blast at this event. And it was great to see all the kids encourage each other riding. I hope to see you there!


Fall Camping at the Nantahala Outdoor Center

Our favorite time of year is here: FALL!  We tend to kick our activity level up a notch these next couple of months to make the most of the decent weather to be outside.  We just got back from our favorite festival/camping trip of the year.  GAF (Guest Appreciation Festival) at the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) in Bryson City, NC.


It’s an awesome time of fellowship and family reunions with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts  We camp every year at the Lost Mine Campground down the road from the festival grounds.  The same families come year after year and it’s cool to see the progression of the kids on the river.  We have been coming to this festival since our days at ASU Outdoor Programs.  It’s crazy now remembering back to when we would come (prior to even dating) and now here we are almost 10 years later with 2 kids in tow.  The festival has evolved too and is a full fledged family event with a bouncy house along the river, face painting, pump track, and river fun for all ages.  The backdrop to all those activities is the Nantahala River.  A cold but friendly river for the diverse levels and abilities of river-goers.  The main attraction (and original purpose) of the festival is the MECA of used outdoor gear that gets swapped between people and sold to one another.  Just like your standard yard sale you have to get up EARLY to get the good deals but by the afternoon most people have made all of their purchases (or run out of money anyways) and are ready to PLAY and put to the test all of their new gear.  The only downside to the event is the amount of money you spend there.  We have found the kids last 2 mountain bikes there, their first whitewater kayak and accessories, and this year’s large family purchase: a double inflatable funyak.



There is an ABUNDANCE of activities to do in the area.  Knowing this we extended the weekend into a 5 day camping trip to maximize our time there.  A couple of our highlights included Jon and Caleb’s 5 mile stretch kayaking the Tuckaseegee River.


They put in downtown Dillsboro and took out at the Tuckaseegee Outfitters post.  A great stretch of river, mostly roadside.  Also spent some time mountain biking the Tsali trails near Fontana Lake.  The trails are part of almost a 40 mile system consisting of 4 different loops.  They are well maintained and the most scenic trails you may ride in the southeast.  The trails alternate use between mountain bikers and horseback riders on different days so you will need to plan ahead depending on the distance you want to ride and which loops are available that day.

The last day of the trip I took Caleb in our new funyak down a section of the Nantahala River.  It was great memories all around.  Caleb informed us when we returned that the one thing he DIDN”T like about the trip was how much his body seemed to hurt when he got in his sleeping bag at night.  He didn’t complain once during the day but it seemed at night his poor little 5-year old body finally caught up to him.  Until the next day anyways!


I can’t leave out this little one.  Though she was pretty devastated not being able to get on the water kayaking this year (f you are friends with me on fb you have probably seen the video), she had her share of big fun and there was no shortage of happiness!





Happy + Healthy During Flu/Cold Season

#1. Welcome to Revolution Oils “Healthy + Happy During Flu/Cold Season” The event will take place right here. Post will be numbered “1, 2, 3, etc” so you will be able to follow along. If you cannot see updated post, “refresh” your page by pressing the “enter” button.

#2 Team members online to help answer questions are:

a. Melissa Boyce

b. Jodi Magee Williams

#3 This Facebook event will be available on this page after the event.

#4 Young Living Disclosure –

YL-Disclosure (1)

#5 Here goes!!! Please share –Where you are joining us from AND What you are hoping to learn tonight. GO….

Welcome and Thank you for Coming (2)

#6 Essential Oils 101 – First, a little essential oils intro .

Essential OIls 101

HOW ESSENTIAL OILS WORK – Essential oils are steam distilled from plants – from the leaves, roots, bark, stems, and seeds.

They are called plant medicine as they protect the plant from disease, fungus, drought, and pests and do much of that in our bodies, too! They are much more concentrated, and therefore, more potent than dried herbs.

One drop contains 40 million, trillion molecules which means they are very small in size and can easily penetrate the skin & cell wall to correct the cause of disease at the ROOT.

The oils can also cross blood-brain barrier – the protective barrier membrane – and ease emotional and mental trauma, anguish and disease.

EO’s Work WITH the body to help it heal itself – drugs mask symptoms and cause adverse reactions, side effects, take over the functions the body is designed to perform itself, which leads to dependency on drugs. EO’s lead to wellness and independence from drugs!

Drugs are designed to perform ONE action, EO’s are made of many different chemical constituents, Lavender has 400 constituents that can each perform a different action in the body, which is why it is so useful for so many different problems!

The purpose of essential oils – 4 things:

• to bring oxygen to the plant
• to reduce inflammation and infection in the plant, to protect the plant from disease, weather fluctuations and pests, the plants’ immune system
• to bring hormonal balance to the plant
• to protect against DNA damage and to repair cellular damage at the DNA level.

ALL essential oils will do those 4 things, You don’t have to have every essential oil to get the job done, though some will be more effective than others for certain conditions. Can always try lavender or frankincense first!

#7 How to Use Essential Oils:

how to use EO
We are going to be discussing how to use all of these oils, so we want to explain quickly how to actually use them. There are three ways – aromatically, topically and internally.


  • Diffuser – my favorite way to use EO’s.
  • Changes mood & emotions, kills airborne bacteria, odors & germs
  • Easy, safe, less is more


  • Takes just 2-3 sec for oil to reach bloodstream when used topically.
  • Takes 20 min for an oil to reach every cell in the body.
  • This is a powerful and effective way to use oils!
  • Use vegetable carrier oils, organic is best, like Sweet Almond, Olive, Jojoba, Coconut, Fractionated Coconut, etc.
  • Do a skin patch test first to make sure you won’t have a reaction, especially when new to oils.
  • Use VITA FLEX POINTS – reflexology, this chart comes in the guide book we give to all those who purchase the Premium Starter Kit.


  • Great for chronic diseases like allergies, especially those related to digestion, diabetes, etc.
  • Put a drop of lemon in water, or dilute in coconut oil and add to herbal tea
  • Put in enteric coated gelatin capsules (doesn’t dissolve until it’s in the intestines, safer), Young Living sells these capsules.

#8 – What is all the fuss about respiratory, colds, flu, OH MY We do not want to get caught up in the media “scaring” everyone with information. This is what we “know” about the Respiratory Virus –

Confirmed cases sept 2014
a. As of September 7th, there were more than 1,000 children who had been put in the hospital due to the virus;
b. It has been identified as “human enterovirus 68”
c. Starts out as a cold with runny nose, sneezing and coughing, but when the wheezing starts you know you might have a problem;
d. Seasonal allergies can play a part in the virus;
e. It is of particular concern for children with asthma and should make sure their inhalers are easily accessible and a plan is in place if the attack gets worse;

#9 We “prepare” our family every year to help prevent sickness of any kind. How do you prepare your family for a healthy cold/flu season?

#10 GIVEAWAY – What is one health concern you have that you would like to work on? Only online

#11 Build Our Immunity: Natural Immune System Boosters:

a. Thieves Essential Oil – Thieves is such an amazing oil and kills 99% of airborne bacteria in 12 minutes. Diffuse it in your home. Rub it on the bottom of your children’s feet before they go to school. Apply down their spine with a roller ball (dilute it with a carrier oil for young children and children with sensitive skin.
#12 Thieves Continued for your household Watch Kate’s Video to see how she uses Thieves in her home

#13 Avoid refined sugar and processed foods. If you do nothing else, do your body a favor and don’t eat junky sweets because they suppress immunity thus making us more susceptible to catching “junk.” Easier said than done when you are not feeling your best! What are your tips or “go to” snacks that help you stay away from refined sugar?

#14 Eat Raw Fruits + Veggies – find creative ways to enjoy raw fruits and veggies to help your body’s pH more alkaline than acidic which helps you stay well. Yummy smoothies are an excellent way to down lots of fruits and veggies. Where do you find inspiration for eating raw fruits + veggies?

apple sandwiches
#15 Drink lots of WATER!! At least 64 ounces a day!! What are some tips you have that help you drink water throughout the day?

#16 NingXia Red – We love it in our household and call it Ninja Juice(-:

Ningxia Red

NingXia Red is a powerful antioxidant drink that contains whole Ningxia wolfberry puree that comes from the town of Ningxia in China. It is a super blend of blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices, natural stevia extract, grape seed extract, pure vanilla extract, and orange, yuzu, lemon, and tangerine essential oils. Its health benefits include support from head to toe, via a whole body nutrient infusion. Along with helping energy levels, it supports vision health and balances the blood sugar. I personally have seen it affect my energy, and my focus is amazing. I also think it is delicious, and my kids drink it on a daily basis with me. You only need to take 1-2 ounces a day to get the benefits. It is the perfect supplement to drink daily and give your immune system a big hand!

Does anyone else use NingXia Red?
#17 Oregano Essential Oil –


#18 R.C. and/or Raven Essential Oil – R.C. (Respiratory Congestion) is our go-to oil for cough and congestion. We mix a few drops with some coconut oi8l and make a chest/foot rub, place a few drops in a warm bath with Epsom salts, or put right on our chest when we are stuffy or coughing. Raven offers respiratory support specifically for respiratory viral infections. Have you used these oils?

Raven RC
#19 GIVEAWAY TIME – Only Online

#20 Lime – Lime is an instant mood lifting oil! If you are feeling a little stressed or under the weather, put this one in the diffuser and feel your attitude just perk up.

#21 Frankincense Essential Oil – Our family loves Frankincense. It has been known to help so many problems. Warts, Anxiety, Skin Spots, Headaches, Joint Pain, and so much more. We use this oil as part of a “treatment” when one of use is beginning to feel a little under the weather. We put Frankincense on our tummy, Lemon/Lavender/Peppermint on our spine, Thieves on our feet. We use this method two to three times on day one and then if we need it again on day two. How do you use Frankincense?

#22 Allergy Bomb Ingredients:

allergy bomb (1)

Lemon Essential Oil – highly antibacterial and boosts white blood cell count, safe for babies and young children. Also a gentle detox for your liver.

Peppermint Essential Oil (not recommended for children under 3) and great for upset tummy and energy boost and Lavender Essential Oil: promotes sleep and relaxation.
#23 Breathe Again Essential Oil – Finally able to breathe again! Have you tried Breathe Again? If so, how did you use it?

breathe again
#24 Valor Essential Oil – Called Chiropractor in a Bottle!! Valor helps align the body physically, emotionally and mentally. We apply Valor on our feet every morning before we head out. It has been known to improve confidence, help with anxiety and sooth neck pain. VALOR is a blend of Rosewood, Spruce, Frankincense and Blue Tansy.

valor (1)

— Builds confidence, courage and self-esteem because it is emotionally and physically balancing to the body. Great to use for a child who’s reluctant to go to school or is facing difficult social issues there, like a bully or mean friends. Or to go to a new school, start a new sport, task, etc.How do you use Valor(-:


#25 Supplements: It is nice to have a supplement line of kid’s vitamins and some quick meals that aren’t laden with toxic and synthetic chemicals. Instead, these products contains super foods that are natural and whole and also offer some nutrition when everyone sleeps in and has to make it to school on time. Has anyone tried these supplements?


#26 GIVEAWAY TIME – Online Only

#27 When Illness Strikes – We wanted to share some helpful tips when illness does strike. If it does strike, consistency is the key! So, what do you do once illness strikes? Start using your oils at the FIRST sign of sickness and frequency of use is VERY important as oils are metabolized, or used up in the body every 2 ½ to 3 hours. Gotta attack it and stay at it till the illness is gone, otherwise, they will not be as effective.

when illness strikes (2)

There are many, many great oils for fighting illness and when you buy the Premium Starter Kit through one of us, we give you a 458 -age guidebook that lists every ailment known to mankind and the oil to apply for it!

#28 Fire Cider Recipe: Start this NOW because it takes a month to mature.

#29 Rest It is difficult to rest when you feel bad or when a little one is not well. I’m going to teach you about the oils that help with anxiety and sleep! There are many that do this job well, but here are three I recommend and they all come in the Premium Starter Kit!

Sleep & Anxiety


— A blend of Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Tangerine, Orange, and Blue Tansy
— It was designed by the founder of YL, Gary Young, with children in mind! It is safe to use on even young children.
— It does exactly what the name suggests! Good for insomnia, anxiety, and the nervous system. I’ve found it to be very effective in calming my children down when they have trouble going to sleep. I diffuse it and rub it on the bottoms of their feet.
— Due to the citrus oils in it, it is also good for depression!

  • JOY

— A blend of a BUNCH of flowers – Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Rosewood, Lemon, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Mandarin and Palmarosa
— Commonly used for grief, sadness and depression because it is very emotionally balancing. Great to use for a child who is overwhelmed, worried, stressed. OR an adult! I use it a lot myself when I’m overwhelmed taking care of my three boys.
— Could be a nice oil to use in the morning to put a pep in your step, give you optimism and hope
— Use on the Auricular Vita Flex points on the ears, this chart comes in the 458 page guidebook I give to everyone who buys the Premium Starter Kit!


— Most researched oil for reducing anxiety
— It has a very calming effect on the body, many use it for insomnia and to help them go to sleep at night.
— You could make a lavender pillow spray out of it and spray on your child’s pillow, diffuse at night or roll on their feet at night to help them calm down to go to sleep.
— Other good oils would be Frankincense, Vetiver and Cedarwood, and Stress Away. All have worked very well for my kids!

#30 Chest Rub

chest rub

#31 Flu Bomb

flu bombs

#32 Cold, Cough, Flu got you down?

Post 1

#33 Runny Nose – How often do your kids come home from school with a runny nose? Here are some oils to help combat those runny noses!

Runny Nose

#34 Proper Dilution

proper dilution

#35 Our Next Event:

#36. How to Get the Kit: So, now we’re going to talk about how to get these amazing oils! So, there are two ways to get oils from Young Living, as a retail customer or as a wholesale member. A retail customer gets no discounts and no reduced shipping, but a wholesale member gets 24% off of everything when you buy one of the three starter kits!


10639713_10152536417691773_4029706315870633944_n (1)

Think of it like a Costco Membership, or an Amazon Prime membership, but it’s even better because there is NO membership fee!

  • You get 24% off of everything!
  • Opportunity to get reduced shipping & earn free oils through the Essential Rewards program
  • No contract, no minimum monthly order, no penalty fees
  • To keep your membership after one year, you have to purchase about $50, or 50 PV, a YEAR, not a month, a year. Easy to do!

We highly recommend the Premium Starter Kit as it includes everything you need to get a proper start with Essential Oils. Plus, it is an amazing value – you save over $150 by buying it as a bundled gift.

It comes with an aromatherapy diffuser, can’t just use a humidifier for essential oils. It must be one designed for oils. It is also an atomizer and ionizer, with several settings.

It also comes with ELEVEN oils, yes 11! The 10 oils from the Everyday Oils collection, which include Frankincense, Joy, Purification, Lemon, Peace and Calming, Peppermint, PanAway, Valor, Lavender and Thieves.

Comes with a bonus oil, Stress Away, which is another good one for stress, anxiety, and sleep.
It also comes with 10 oil samples and Ningxia Red samples, which as we discussed earlier, is an excellent antioxidant supplement drink made from wolfberry juice.

The diffuser alone costs $98 retail, the one shown in the picture is $110 retail

The 10 Everyday Oils set costs $160 retail, so right there, you save $108 by buying them together

Plus, we will send you a 450-page guidebook that lists every ailment known to humans and the oils it suggests to use with it! Like this post if you’re already a member! What have these oils helped your family with?

#37 Ditch the drugstore – Leave a message here if you would like to receive an email on how to “Ditch the Drugstore” – what oils help with everyday illnesses or Contact Me
#38 Final GIVEAWAY!! What is one thing you will take away and implement from the class tonight? Online Only
#39 Thank you so much for being a part of our journey. If you would like to order, please contact the person who invited you:

a. Melissa Boyce


c. Gael Wood

d. Jodi Magee Williams

e. Sara Coleman McFall

f. Kate Doubler

g. Becky J. Webb


Video to see the Premium Starter Kit:


Getting off the Mountain

I know some Mom’s do this ALL the time. They drive off the mountain just for dinner. I am NOT that Mom. I anticipate and plan a trip off the mountain pretty rarely but always appreciate it when I do. This weeks blog focuses on two great places for families in Hickory.

*Catawba Science Center: I had saved up this plan for when I noticed several back to back rainy days this summer and it was a HUGE hit. And you get the added bonus of it being educational! Pack a lunch to eat there, tour the hands-on science center, and round it out with a film in the planetarium. We went with another family and between all of us adults and kids we got a GROUP Rate (10 people or more)! Everything is better with friends! Check out their website at :   TIP: If the cost is too steep for your family, the 3rd Friday of each month is FREE!

*Kool Pool: Do you ever go to cool places and think to yourself “why isn’t this place PACKED?” This place has been on my summer bucket list for two years now and I FINALLY made it this past weekend. It is an awesome outdoor pool with a huge natural waterside (long but not steep….even BABIES were on it) and other cool features,  There is an abundance of picnic tables and you can bring in your own packed lunch! If you don’t have any plans this coming weekend (9/13 and 9/14) it will be the last weekend they are open this season. Added Bonus: admission is only $5/person since it is after Labor Day weekend when they typically close. I personally feel like general admission during peak season pricing is too high for my liking (at $15/adults and $8/kids), but they also offer ½ price after 3pm. Also…they only take CASH.  You can check out their website at :

NOTE: Directions can be tricky. Lots of turns on random small roads. Keep your directions close at hand. They have some listed on their website and we used google maps and found our way fine.



Let’s be real though: you know you go to Hickory for Target. Lordy I wish we would get one in Boone. In the meantime though, strap the kids in the carseat and enjoy the hour drive off the mountain!

10 things to know about moving to Boone as a Young Family.

It seems like there have been a lot of young families moving to Boone recently! I have been able to meet a few of them and thought it might help (from one person’s perspective anyway) to compile a list of useful information if you are new to the area and have little kiddos:

1. Weather: We get all four seasons of the year and it is awesome. My favorite is coming up soon: FALL! You picked an awesome time of year to be new to the area and will soon see Boone at its finest. We get a decent amount of snow (and ice) in the winter, enough to want quality clothing on your kids to play outside and good tires on your vehicle. Each snow accumulation usually melts off pretty quickly. Sometimes the biggest culprit of harsh conditions can be the wind here in the winter. Here is the link to our local weather source for area information!

2. Churches: If you haven’t noticed yet, you are in the Bible belt of the South. How do you know? Look around almost every street corner and you will find a church. In the summer, I have known some parents that can so carefully string together Vacation Bible Schools, they can last all summer long. We have a wide array of faiths in the area and can say with confidence you can easily find one for your family. I am biased, but I think it dictates a great community!

3. Schools: You will hear it from any parent you ask. We have a great school system with great teachers in our area. You can’t go wrong. If you are looking for non-standard schooling options you can check out:

*Two Rivers Charter School: a tuition-free NC Public Charter School. Go here for more information.

*Grace Academy: a classical Christian school serving students in grades K-8. A homeschool/private school blend. Click here for more information.

*Homeschooling is a wildly popular option for many here and a wonderful support system is in place if that is the right choice for your family.

4. Mom Groups: If you are a stay-at-home mom there are primarily 3 (organized) groups that you can be apart of for fellowship and encouragement.

*High Country MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers): Meet at Mt. Vernon church the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from 9:30-noon with childcare provided. Their first mtg of the year is coming up: Thursday Sept. 4th! For more information, contact Megan Drake at: to get more information about this great group of women!

*High Country Mommies: This group offers a simple way to connect with local moms for friendship, support and fun.  Members connect on private discussion forums to share information related to parenting. Each month, they also offer many face-to-face events for their members, their children, and families. Registration is free and you can do so at!

*Blueprint: A Christian group of woman and mothers of all ages who meet together the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month (Sept-May) from 9:30-noon at Alliance church. Childcare and a home-school room is available during the meeting time. Your first meeting is FREE and then $5/meeting or $25/semester. Contact Marci Parker at for more information!

5. Popular Playgrounds:

-Tot Lot: on Hunting Lane off of State Farm Rd

-Valle Crucis Park: off Broadstone Rd next to Mast General Store Annex

-Downtown Blowing Rock Memorial park

-Rocky Knob mtn bike park and playground: out 421 towards Wilkesboro

-Daniel Boone Park: on Horn In The West Drive off of Blowing Rock Rd.

– Junaluska Park: Located on Bear Trail off of Grand Blvd.

6. Kids clothing consignment:

*Bluebird Consignment: New and pre-loved children’s consignment shop located at the Harris Teeter shopping center. The store carries lots of new eco-friendly items and high quality consignment items from newborn to 18 years. Also offers baby registries. Check it out on their facebook page for store hours, consignment info, etc.

*Wee-Cycle Consignment: semi-annual children’s consignment sale. Location is subject to change at each sale so be sure to “like” their page on facebook to be up to date on the next upcoming one!

7. Farmers Market: We have a killer Farmers market located at the Horn in the West parking lot on Saturday mornings. Yes, you can get all the fruit and vegetables you need there, but many also go for the fellowship and community comradery. There is also an adorable “kids market” every other Saturday in the corner of the sale. It’s adorable…put it on your “to do” list.  Click here for more information.

8. Chick-fil-a: If you have kids, you will find yourself here a lot. Especially in the winter. It’s also a great place to meet people and let the kids expend energy. They do a great “toddler time” on the 2nd and 4th Thursday mornings of each month. The kids get a FREE breakfast (3 count chicken mini biscuits or cinnamon cluster) AND they entertain them! That’s a score in my book. They also do many other special kids events throughout the year, “like” them on FB to get the upcoming news or you can check out their website here.

9. The Children’s Playhouse: this place has saved my sanity on many an occasion with the kids. I ask for the $100 family membership every year for Christmas. It’s a 3 level house with a wide array of activities for kids of all ages. Go to their website at for information!  Also be sure to check out the fall dates for their Parents Night Out to schedule your next date night!

10. Other ongoing activities:

*Story time at the library: Every day at 11am on the story steps and Baby Lap Time every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30am.

*Fun Factory: indoor inflatable bouncy house playground and birthday party facility.

*Lowe’s Build and grow: register your child(s) for a FREE Saturday morning wood working project and your child receives a apron, googles, patch and much more. 10-11am.

*Michaels Arts and Crafts: check out our local stores kids crafts programs here.

*BRAHM: (Blowing Rock Art and History Museum) Doodlebug Club is an hour long class for preschool aged children on Tuesdays from 1-2pm. Projects concentrate on basic art skills and children are introduced to different art mediums. It’s a great way to introduce your child to art and meet other children and parents. Targeted for children aged 3-5. Doodlebug Club is $5/child. For additional information, contact Ethan Brooks-Livingston at 828-295-9099 ext 3004 or email

Last but not least, High Country Mom will be hosting a potluck for local families at Honey Bear Campground you will not want to miss!  It will be a great time to meet some other families and kids if you are new to town.  So save Sept. 28th at 4pm on your calendar and check back to High Country Mom soon for more information!


Back 2 School – Part 2 – Traditions

Back 2 School Traditions are so much fun and simple.  As we look back on our childhood, we remember the traditions our families shared with us. Our family has created a few of our own traditions.  We would love to hear how you celebrate “back 2 school.”


1. The Talk – I just adore this post and the moral teaching it shares with our kids.

2. Back 2 School Pictures and Free Printables a friend from Classical Conversations shared these links.  I am so excited to try these.  It is also fun to take a picture at the same place year after year.  

3. First Day interview – Capture this snippet in time by asking your little about all of their favorites.  Here is another fun and bright one.

3.  Lunch Box Notes – Every child’s love language is different.  So make sure you know their love language and what is important in your family.  Our daughter LOVES getting notes in her lunchbox and that is her part of her love language.  

back to school note

Three Sets of Bible verse cards – Encourage your little scholar throughout the year by slipping one of these into their pencil or snack bag.


Lunch Note Jokes – Fun to read and to share. Give them giggles for lunch!

Sweet Lunch Notes – These are especially from mom with some cards containing Bible verses to encourage. How perfect.


Star Wars Lunch Notes



4. Breakfast – Here are a few ideas for making yummy breakfast.  Kicking off the morning by sitting for a few minutes, praying and sharing breakfast will make so many memories.  You may not have time to do that every morning but every time you do it will be a blessing.

5. Planning Lunches: This is great to get the kids involved the night before in packing their own lunches. You may have a few things to add in the morning (depending on the ages of your kiddos).  Kids love to help.

6. My favorite tradition – caring, sharing and planning their goals for 2014-2015 together as a family.  This is our first draft for Melissann’s Plan.  Now we are making it “her” plan and what she wants to work on.  We are going on a family hike today to share this plan with her and get her feedback on what she believes is important and what she would like to accomplish.

photoOur goals is to build a safe place for our family to grow.  Just know I am praying for each of you and your families as you create traditions,  Enjoy each moment!

Family Camping


We had my family camping reunion in Damascus, VA this past weekend. We got a double unit campsite at Beartree Campground which is up the road from the Virginia Creeper Trail. We have stayed at this campground many times and really love it. The campsites are super spacious, clean, and staff is friendly. The forecast was calling for several days of rain during the stay so we were thankful for our check-in day of sunshine so we could get as much tarp coverage underway before the rain set in. Clearly being over-prepared runs in the family!


There is A LOT to do in Damascus. The priority this trip was having quality family time. If we were able to get good weather, we had hopes to get some climbing done here. Due to a lot of rain, we narrowed our activities down to the last leg of the Creeper Trail, and Smokey the Bear’s birthday party (he turned 70 this year)!



The Creeper Trail is VERY popular and can sometimes be really crowded. It is 17 miles of downhill beauty and perfect for kids.  We’ve found that the best way to take advantage of the Creeper Trail, while traveling with young children, is to put on about 5 miles up from Downtown Damascus at the Straight Branch parking area off of Hwy. 58. We put on early in the morning while the commercial shuttles are taking their first groups up to Whitetop Station to begin their 17 mile decent back to Damascus. By the time we are finishing the trail, at the downtown park, we have out-paced the first group from the top and practically have the trail to ourselves. And it’s the perfect distance for our 3 year old to ride at just under 5 miles. The choo-choo train and playground at the end of the ride are great incentives for her to finish as well. Since it is only ~5 miles, my husband just bikes back UP the trail to get the truck back (so we don’t have to pay for a shuttle) to pick us up. We didn’t think of it this time, but my 5 year old will be biking back up the trail with him on the next trip to really burn off some that energy. If you are needing a shuttle though, I suggest JC’s Outdoors. It is right off the Creeper trail at the end just as you enter Damascus.

We have been camping as a family since Ellie was in a playpen. We have developed our own little “bag of tricks” when it comes to camping with kids:

  •  Baby Wipes, and lots of them. (Nothing ground breaking here, but a real tragedy if you forget them)
  • Peanuts in the shell. Kids love them and it keeps their little hands busy while you are setting up the tent.
  • Chem Lights. I grew up with them as my Dad was in the military and we always had them on hand. They are great for kids at night and they don’t use batteries. They also make great lanterns that have to be “wound up” to be operable. Any light without batteries is great for kids.
  • Earthworms: You can buy them here in Boone in several places including Walmart. They will last for a few days in the tub if they stay cold. Great for fishing, worm races, measuring, wiggling. So on and so on.
  • GORP: An essential piece to all our adventures. This became a staple for my husband and I going through Outdoor Programs at ASU. Granola, Oats, Raisins, Peanuts. Extra bonus: M&M’s.
  • Ropes, and Bungee Cords: This keeps our 5 year old busy for FOREVER. You can make a swing, a bear trap, a zipline for stuffed animals, practice knot tying, etc. The possibilities are endless.





Our favorite time of year for camping is right around the corner… FALL. I will post some more entries on a camping packing list, meal ideas, etc. with our trips to come!

 Have any tips or tricks of your own for camping with little ones? I would LOVE to hear them! Post a comment below!