Easy Poke Bowl Recipe

Poke (said POH-kay) means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian and refers to chunks of raw, marinated fish — usually tuna — which is then tossed over rice and topped with vegetables and umami-packed sauces. It's basically a giant sushi roll...in a bowl. Easier to eat and loaded with the same delicious flavor!

Poke is a staple in Hawaii but it has recently made its way to the mainland and I couldn't be more excited! Poke restaurants are popping up everywhere lately, and for good reason! It's healthy, delicious and totally unique. I had my first Poke Bowl experience in New Orleans a few years back at Poke Loa and I've been hooked since! I'm also a huge fan of making quick and easy bowls at home!

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Although tuna is my preferred fish of choice for Poke (and sushi), sushi grade tuna isn't widely available on a whim in my area. When I need a quick and healthy meal I have no issues with a simple steamed shrimp and crab salad bowl. Our local Whole Foods has both options fresh and readily available. I grab all of my ingredients at the grocery store and I've got an easy meal ready in minutes! Bonus points that it's filling and healthy!
 


DIY POKE BOWL RECIPE

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Poke restaurants are popping up everywhere lately, and for good reason! It's healthy, delicious and totally unique. Now, you can make your own DIY Poke Bowls right at home                             

Prep time: 20 min | Total time: 20 min         

                                                         

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Protein of choice (sashimi-grade tuna, salmon, shrimp) towel-dried and cubed
  • 1 cup shredded crab meat
  • 1 small cucumber, seeded and sliced
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1 semi-ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup shelled Edamame
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 3 cups sushi rice 
 
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SRIRACHA MAYO

  • 3 TB regular mayo
  • 1 TB Sriracha hot sauce

 

SESAME SOY SAUCE

  • 3 TBSP Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Asian rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Asian toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder (or 1 drop of Young Living Ginger Vitality essential oil)

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cook rice according to package directions and let cool
  • Dice and dry protein
  • Shred crabmeat 
  • Seed and slice cucumber
  • Prepare toppings of choice accordingly

Prepare Srirachaya mayo sauce as follows...

  • Stir together the mayo and Sriracha in a small bowl.
  • Cover and chill until ready to use.

Prepare Sesame Soy Sauce as follows...

  • In a bowl, hand-whisk together all Sauce ingredients.
  • Stir diced protein into the sauce, coating well.
  • Cover and keep chilled until ready to assemble bowls.

To assemble bowls...

  • Divide cooked rice into 2 bowls.
  • Distribute ingredients according to preference. I prefer to section mine off. You can mix everything together and then set on rice. Totally up to you!
  • Sprinkle with garnishes as desired
  • Drizzle with Sriracha Mayo.
  • Serve immediately.

The options really are endless when it comes to this. I am always crunched for time so simple works best most days, but when I have the extra time, I would definitely search for more protein options and fun toppings! 

ENJOY! 

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A Fresh Start + Val Marie Paper

I'm not a morning person. When I wake in the morning I walk around in a zombie like coma and go through the motions quietly and contently. Konner is the same. It's nice because we "get" each other. As we drive to school we jam a few jams, check out the scenery, and start our day with a smile. And coffee. I need my coffee. 

But today...today as we were listening to the radio trying to get our jam on, we were silent. Silent because we caught wind of the terrible news coming out of Las Vegas. I listened to the basics, answered a couple of Konner's questions and then changed stations. The next station was listing out the details of a local police officer that was fatally shot last night. Moving on to another station that was thankfully playing one of our favs, "Clocks" by Coldplay

When I arrived to work I pulled up the news on my computer. As I read more information about this tragedy, I got sad. And then angry. And then confused. What is going on?! What is happening to our world?! I looked to October for a fresh start. August and September brought on so much tragedy and heartache that I NEEDED a fresh start. I was couting on October. And then BAM. First day of the month...tragedy. 

But then...as I logged into my email I was reminded of what we need. What this world needs. What I need. Prayer. 

I struggle with this. I struggle with seeing the good when there is so much bad. I struggle with the why's. And the how's. I struggle with keeping the faith when evil is lurking so close. Too close. 

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Every year I purchase a new prayer journal from Val Marie Paper. I absolutely love her journals. Do I still struggle with prayer? Yes! But I'm learning. I'm learning to be a prayer warrior. I'm learning to keep my Faith strong. I'm learning to set aside those 10-15 minutes a day even when the world is full of distractions and evil. I'm learning thanks to Val's amazing and simple journals. I want to use it daily. I need to use it daily. It gives me a safe place to write down my thoughts so that they don't overload my mind.  

In my email this morning was a reminder. A reminder that it's ok to be stuck. It's ok to struggle. It's ok to feel discouraged or confused. It's ok to feel a little disappointed in that lost connection. The connection between you and Him. It's ok to need a fresh start. But you have to START! Start now. Turn off the podcast. Close the book. Shut off the TV. Grab the closest paper to you and your favorite pen and begin. Begin with a prayer. 

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If you need a little nudge or simple direction to get started, I highly recommend scooping up a Fresh Start Journal. This 31-day devotional on prayer was created to help you know more why to pray and help you create a consistent habit of it in your life.  It's a great way to get started and a great way to get a feel for how Val's journals work. And friends! Fresh Start is $5 off for OCTOBER! Use code FRESHSTARTOCT. Holla!

Another favorite of mine is the Kids Prayer Journal. I purchased one of these for Konner last year and it was a hit! Not only does it teach kids the beginning steps to becoming a prayer warrior, but it gives you a chance to sit with them and guide them through their Faith. What a special time! 

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The Family Creed guide is another great addition that I can't wait to start. This guide helps us become more intentional about motherhood. This is something I need and want to do. Something I have to do. I'm tired of going through the motions. I'm ready to set goals for myself and my family to help us thrive and grow as a family. 

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There's so many great options with a little something for everyone over at Val Marie Paper. I hope you find something that tugs at your heart. Take time to free your soul and focus on YOU! You deserve it! 


**Contents of this post may contain affiliate links. I buy it, I love it, I share it, you buy it, you love it, we all win.**

Amazon Prime Day 2017: Take all my money

Amazon Prime Day has arrived! If you know me...you know I love to shop. And if you know me...you know I love, love, love to online shop. There is nothing more exciting than sitting behind my computer buying items that arrive at my door two days later. 

Ok...I can think of a few things more exciting than that, but it truly is the BEST!

I had a plan to grab a few early bird Christmas items this go 'round, but let's be real...I can't keep it a secret. Kindle Fire's for everyone!

Find a few of my favorite deals below. I may or may not have grabbed one (or three) of each. I'll never tell! 

KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker - I'm a cold brew junkie! A cold brew maker with a spout for convenience?! SOLD!

Echo Dot - I didn't actually buy an Echo because the concept of it legitimately freaks me out, but if you are the type that enjoys computers named Alexa (WHO IS ALEXA?!) talking to you in the middle of the night...you do you! 

HP 14-inch Laptop - For when your Great Dane steps on your Chrome Book. 

Kindle Fire 8 - Amazon rolled out a 3 pack deal that I couldn't pass up! And may have grabbed a fourth because I love giving gifts! #staytuned

Fire Tablet Case - Duh!

iRobot Roomba - I still haven't bit the bullet on one of these but I'm inching closer and closer every time I see a sale. Don't tempt me!

Clarisonic Mia 2 - Ladies...treat yo self! 

Double Hammock with stand - Grab an ice cold glass of water and relax the night away. 

Dash Go Rapid Egg Cooker - Y'all! This is a game changer for me! Poached eggs give me life!

Instant Pot 7 in 1 - True story...I've had one of these for 2 years. True story...it's still in the box. True story...I hear they are life changing. So if you've heard the same and feel that you would actually use it and not keep it in the box for two years, get you one!

Seagate 8TB External Hard Drive - Saving photographers sanity since 1995. (Or whenever Seagate became a thing)

Hershel Supply Co. Backpack - School starts in a month! OMG! 

So there you have it friends. My bank account is crying...I'm smiling...life is the same as it was yesterday. Until tomorrow...when all of my goodies arrive! 

What deals did you grab today?! 

 


 

**Contents of this post may contain affiliate links. I buy it, I love it, I share it, you buy it, you love it, we all win.**

Diffusing Essential Oils - And why it's my favorite!

Essential oils are becoming more and more popular lately and for good reason! They are a wonderful natural tool to have in your arsenal. Along with a (somewhat) balanced diet (I'm trying people...I'm trying!) and amazing supplements from Young Living, I have HUNDREDS of essential oils, and oil infused products, spread throughout my house, my car, my purse, and everywhere in between. You will never find me without an oil within fingers reach. They have become a very important part of my life. 

If you want to learn more about the basics of essential oils head here. And you can read more about my undying love for Young Living here.

But today...I want to give a little insight (knowledge if you will) into the how's and why's of diffusing essential oils. 

First...

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are aromatic, volatile liquids that are found within many shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds. Sometimes called the “life blood” of the plant. Most essential oils are extracted from the plant through the process of steam distillation.

Although there are three different ways to use essential oils (Aromatically, Topically, and Internally) I am going to focus on the aromatic side today. 

How to use essential oils aromatically:

This is the classic way to use essential oils–the art of Aromatherapy!

You’ve probably already noticed the connection between scent and emotions. Maybe the smell of a certain flower reminds you of your grandmother. Or maybe she loved moth balls and you are doomed for life. Either way...a certain smell reminds you of her. 

Fresh cut grass, ocean air, fresh baked cookies, and evergreen trees are some of the scents we associate with specific emotions. But it’s not just random memories or reminders. Aromatherapy can provide the same physical and emotional responses on cue.

There are a number of studies supporting essential oil use for physical and emotional benefits. When we smell something, we first process the input via the olfactory bulb, which is at the base of our brain and connected to the amygdala and hippocampus, the parts of our brain associated with emotion and memory.

“Interestingly, visual, auditory (sound), and tactile (touch) information do not pass through these brain areas. This may be why olfaction, more than any other sense, is so successful at triggering emotions and memories.” (source)

Aromatherapy is essentially inhaling essential oils. There are times when I straight huff an oil right out of the bottle. For direct inhalation, simply open the bottle and breathe. You can also drop a few drops onto the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, then cup your hands over your nose and mouth and inhale. This is for those times when the dog busts out of his kennel, the kid won't stop whining, or my lack of carbs is making me want to eat a tub of ice cream. 

There's nothing wrong with huffing straight from the bottle but honestly, the easiest (and best) way to use aromatically is by using a diffuser. Diffusion works by distributing essential oil molecules through the air. Once in the air, they are inhaled and come into contact with nerves that send them directly to the brain. This is a quick and safe way of letting the essential oils go to work for you. 

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Because I love diffusing oils so much, I have Young Living diffusers in every room of my house. Including bathrooms and my closet. (Because really...no one likes the smell of moth balls. Even if it reminds you of your grandmother)

Why Young Living brand diffusers? Why not?! Really though...because I use (and LOVE) YL oils, it's a MUST (in my opinion) to use their diffusers as well. YL oils are pure and potent. They are the best of the best. With that being said, it's important to use a diffuser that is made and tested for use with their oils. I've seen first hand what can happen to a "cheap" diffuser. It's not pretty! 

So stick with the best and you won't have any issues. Take my word for it. ;)

 

I diffuse oils for many different reasons but the main ones are:

• For Relaxation and Sleep

One of the best and most well-known uses for essential oils is their ability to help you unwind at the end of a hard day. While there are several other methods for getting your soothing oils from the bottle into your blood stream where they start to work their magic, the diffuser is by far the easiest and longest-lasting of them all. Keep one at the office to help you relax on your lunch break. Have a diffuser ready to go with the push of a button when you get home from work in the evening. Set one on the bedside table to help your mind and body relax so you can sleep better at night.

• To boost our Immune systems

Using a diffuser in your home or office is a great way to keep your immune system in check.  Many essential oils are powerfully anti-microbial and when introduced into the air in vapor form, the organic compounds within the oils come into direct contact with airborne pathogens before they can invade your body. Some diffusers also double as humidifiers which will help to keep your airways moist and healthy so you are less susceptible to any microbes that do make it into your body.

• To Improve Cognitive Function

Using essential oils in a diffuser is a highly-effective way to super-charge your brain cells. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities – meaning that they are soothing when you’re overwhelmed, but they can also give you a pick-me-up when you’re feeling down or sluggish. By leveling out your mood, the oils in the air will help your mind balance. 

• To cleanse the air (Pets yo! They stink.)

If you have pets or small children, burning candles or incense can be a potentially hazardous practice. With an essential oil diffuser, you can reap the benefits of aromatherapy – and to much greater effect – without the risk of burns, wax spills, or other accidents. This is a much safer alternative to candles and incense! 

• Because I like to breathe

Essential oils are great for opening up airways to help you breathe more easily. If you are prone to seasonal discomfort or have sometimes fell like a fish under water, try diffusing essential oils in the room (or rooms) of your home where you spend the most time. Just remember to keep a box of tissues handy as your nose and sinuses begin to open so you can also avoid that mad dash to the bathroom!

• To keep pests away

Whether your problem is mosquitoes, house flies, fruit flies or moths, you can use essential oils in your diffuser to deter these critters from entering your home. I personally keep one on a table right near our backdoor and run that bad boy loaded with Citronella when we are going in and out on a Saturday afternoon. You can also do the same on your patio if you want to enjoy a pest free dinner under the stars.

• Saves money!

Yep! It's true! Essential oils are an investment into your healthy and well-being that in turn...save you money! With "transfer" buying and consistent use, we are living a life of overall wellness. The restorts to less medical bills, fewer cups of coffee (Yes...I still love my Starbs, but it's more of a treat now rather than a necessity), better productivity, and all around happiness. This all leads to saving money! Hooray! 

Speaking of saving money...

Did you know you get a FREE diffuser with your Young Living Starter Kit? Yep! It's true! Every Premium Starter Kit comes with a diffuser as well as a set of the most popular oils, samples of Ningxia and oils to share, learning info, and a community of new friends! We would LOVE to have you on this journey with us! If you're ready to join us, click below to get all set up! 

Grabbing my kit almost three years ago was the best decision I've ever made! Truly!

Target gives me life...and runs me broke.

Target. #bae. 

You've done it. You've strolled the aisles of Target filling up that bright red cart with things you need (Duh!) to make your home (and body...helloooo adorable t shirt dresses!) look amazing. Tell me you've done it! 

No? You've never done this? Get outta here! We've all done it! 

Then there's people like me. People who take this whole "Target is life" thing to another level. What level you ask? Oh...just the level of ridiculousness where you redecorate your ENTIRE house via Target.com, send it to a wishlist, and come back to Earth. Yep. That just happened. #oops

But in my defense...

 Image: Target

Image: Target

This was their opening number. Cute cat (that looks like Jimmy and Emma made adorable babies) perched upon a bad ass chair gazing outside at what I can only assume is gorgeous white snow that I will never ever see living here in Louisiana. Hook.Line.Sinker. Oh...did I mention we got another cat? *eye roll*

So about this new home decor...

 Image: Target

Image: Target

In my own little fantasy world, Nigel (our very large and in charge Great Dane) would wipe his paws before he came inside and I could own a light colored rug. For now, I'll keep dreaming. But one day, I will own this beaut! 

 Image: Target

Image: Target

I also suck terribly at keeping plants alive so I'm DEFINITELY living a fantasy with this whole "let's own succulents and make this place a home" thing. Ten points for fake plants from Tar-jay! And how about that chair?! My tush would love that thing! Jimmy would totes destroy it. But I would love it for the 6 1/2 minutes that I could enjoy it. 

See...that whole living in a fantasy thing. It's my life. 

 Image: Target

Image: Target

Part of me thinks this chair would be comfortable and part of me thinks it would just sit there and look pretty. I would love to say this could be my reading nook, but I don't read because I don't have free time because my life is a hot mess. So let's just "ooh" and "ahh" over how nice it looks and then move on to the chair below. Which does in fact look comfortable. So much so that I think I will actually (in real life) purchase it to use as a makeup chair. Perfect right?! 

 Image: Target

Image: Target

 

But enough about chairs. Who even has that much time to sit around? Let's talk about organization. I've come to the conclusion that I have zero green. Zero green as in...I want to be organized, I like organization, but I lack the ability to get organized. This is a problem for my red self. 

(If you're wondering why I'm spewing out colorful word vomit, it's because I'm obsessed with personality colors. You should totally go take the test and report back with your results. It's so eye opening!)

Anyway...organization. I lack it. I need help. This looks like it would help. I need it. 

 Image: Target

Image: Target

Seems simple enough. Grab a storage cube thingy. Grab a few wooden crates. Throw all of your crap in said crates. ORGANIZATION! 

 Image: Target

Image: Target

Then you can sit on your comfy couch and wrap yourself in this AMAZING sweater blanket (that I totally just ordered in real life) and stare at your handy organization. Right? #inaperfectworld 

Speaking of couches...

HolysexycouchNateBerkuswillyoumarryme? Y'all! I want to lounge out on this thing, then wrap myself in my new sweater blanket, and roll my eyes when Nigel wants to sit next to me. 

Should I save his schmexy collection for another day?

 Image: Target

Image: Target


 

Disclaimer: Eryn McBride (Hello Eryn) is a participant in the Target affiliate program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Target.com. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps little ol me and I promise you, as a self proclaimed Target addict, all of these items are amazing and necessary to function from day to day. (Ok...so maybe that last part was a little far fetched, but I promise to never endorse something crappy. Ok?)

Young Living + Put on Love Designs Instagram giveaway

Can you believe that it is Christmas week already?! 2016 flew by so fast! Crazy!

I am geared up and ready for 2017. I have high hopes that it will be amazing! #suckit2016

To celebrate the upcoming Holiday and that sweet little baby Jesus, I have teamed up with my friend Chelsea over at Put on Love Designs, for a fun little giveaway featuring her amazing diffuser bracelets. 

Head over to my Instagram for all of the details! Good luck!

2016 Pre-tween Boy Gift Guide

Christmas is a little over two weeks away and I would be lying if I said that I was even close to finished shopping. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Like...I have two gifts purchased. Yikes! Every year I tell myself that I will start early and every year I fail. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime y'all! 

This year, ironically enough, my hardest gift receiver is Konner. Partly because he has so much already, but also because he isn't asking for a lot. He has a couple of things on his list that I will be sure to snag, but I've had to dig around a bit to find entertaining, but not wasteful gifts for him. If you are in the same boat and have a child around his age (I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE HE WILL BE NINE!) I've got you covered! I'm a huge fan of educational and enrichment toys and gifts, I believe in playing outside versus being stuck behind a screen, and I'm allll about being bold in your Faith. If you feel me...keep scrolling. 

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. Buglet essential oil diffusing bracelet - Do I have any 80's babies following me? Remember slap bracelets? Yeah...you remember! They were all the rage back in the days of bright colors and spandex. Well...Buglet is taking slap bracelets to a whole new level with their essential oil diffusing bracelets. Dab a drop or your favorite Young Living essential oil right onto the pumice stone and you are good to go! I MIGHT have ordered an extra for myself. 

2. Curious Chef Kitchen Basics Kit - Kids love to cook! Curious Chef items are some of my favorite. They are real, working pieces that are safe for children. So your little one can lend a hand and you don't have to worry about missing fingers. 

3. Razor Heel Wheels - Remember Heelys? Those shoes that were really skates but were really shoes. I was too old to own a pair but I vividly remember strolling the aisles of Target with kids whizzing by me imagining the humor that would come from my sticking my foot out just enough to trip them. (Too much Big Daddy...Sorry!) Well...these are apparently the newest fad. And Konner wants them. #LordJesus

4. Razor DeltaWing Scooter - Konner LOVES to play outside and I LOVE that he loves to play outside. Kids need exercise. Not only for our sanity, but for their overall wellness. I did a little digging and came across this Razor scooter and I think it will be perfect a little outdoor fun! 

5. Kid's Prayer Journal - Valerie, owner and designer at Val Marie Paper, is local to me and creates the most amazing prayer journals. I've given both the women's and kids journals as gifts in the past and they are always well received. I LOVE the kids prayer journal for it's ease of use, but the most amazing part is that it guides children to a strong and solid relationship with Him. 

6. Tinker Crate - Last year for Christmas I purchased a Tinker Crate subscription for Konner. Tinker Crate is a monthly subscription that includes a project, instructions, additional activities, and online videos. It's interactive and can be enjoyable for the entire family. The bonus to this is that you can get one month or continue it throughout the year. We continued it for a few months and he loved getting a surprise activity to build. Also check out the other boxes created for younger kiddos. 

7. Claymation Kit - Uncommon Goods is one of my favorite sites to browse. It's packed full of unique gifts and activities for both children and adults. Kids can explore the amazing art of DIY animation with this creative claymation kit. Let those little imaginations soar! 

8. UNICEF Kid Power Band - Unless you are living under a rock, you know that fitness bands are a MUST HAVE right now. Konner begged for a Fit Bit for his birthday earlier this year but I just couldn't justify the price for something that could get lost or broken. Even the kids ones were very pricey! So I did a little digging and hit the jackpot at Target! (Surprised?) I came across this UNICEF Power Band and knew it would be perfect. Not only is it priced right, but the mission behind it is incredible. "The UNICEF Kid Power band empowers kids to get active, go on fun missions with famous champions and send lifesaving therapeutic food packets to kids in need." It counts steps, tells time, and earns rewards. It connects to an app so the kids can track their rewards and see their action helping others in need. Read more about it here: http://unicefkidpower.org

9. YL KidScents Oils mini set - We LOVE Young Living oils in our house. It's no secret. And I LOVE that YL has created a line specifically for kids. Each oil in the KidScents line is safe, gentle, and created just for little ones. They are grab and go which is not only convenient for us busy parents, but it teaches the littles how to take control of their own wellness. 

There you have it! Just a few of my favorite gifts for active and imaginative boys. Have a favorite gift to add to the list? Feel free to link me in the comments! Everyone loves a little online shopping. 

Starbucks and Donald Trump : Election Day hangover

Yesterday was a pretty historic day here in America. Over the last year and a half or so (Doesn't it feel like 5 years?!) we have heard opinions and promises from all sides of the campaign. It's been full of drama, hate, ignorance, and maybeeeee a little compassion, but regardless...we now have an official President-elect, Donald J. Trump. 

On this post election day it pains me to see so much hate being spread throughout our communities and country. It's appalling to see grown adults acting out based on a matter of a difference of opinion. This is NOT what it means to be an American you guys! This is NOT what it's about. It's about that damn green cup from Starbucks!

You know what I'm talking about! The green cup that caused an uproar because people thought it was the official Holiday cup but it wasn't actually the Holiday cup but they lost their shit anyway and completely ignored the meaning behind Starbucks genius marketing. Yeah. You know!

 Image: Starbucks

Image: Starbucks

On November 1, the infamous cup was released featuring a “mosaic of more than a hundred people drawn in one continuous stroke,” which the company says represents community and unity in a time of political divisiveness. A single line connects the figures. A coffee farmer, a family, a barista, friends embracing.

“The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo. 

It's like they knew what was coming. Imagine that! So maybe we can all learn a little something from Mr. Schultz. Maybe we should take his lead and unite as one. Let's work together to show our children and grandchildren what it means to love each other, respect each other, and work together even if we don't see eye to eye. Let's show them that we are ONE! Just like we got over the green cup, let's get over the election results. Let's focus on uniting to turn this country around. Let's focus on the delicious coffee that fills those cups, no matter what color they may be. (Eggnog latte anyone?)

 

Don't be a drama llama! OK?

P.S. Red cups are released tomorrow! See you in line! 

 

Grace, not perfection : Chronicles of a bad Mom

Parenting is hard. So hard! I mean let's be real. Kids poop in their pants, cry when they're hungry, throw crap in your face, and vomit on your new Free People dress. And then...they need to learn how to read, ride a bike, and tie their own shoes. Not to mention...they want to attend birthday parties on Saturdays when you are just so.dang.tired. 

Then...you have to feed them organic free range breast fed sweater wearing chickens. I mean...what.in.the.world?! Crazy right? 

It's hard! The decisions. The responsibilities. THE OPINIONS!!! #somanyopinions

In this day and age we are expected to do it all with a smile on our face and a crown on our head while wearing red bottom heels. (What's up with those anyway?!) Make a mistake and you are doomed. Doomed by the stranger in the grocery store, doomed by the lady glaring at you in the ice cream shop, doomed by the gentleman playing on FB in Starbucks (You didn't think he was actually working on that computer did you?), doomed by the social media keyboard nazis. They're real y'all! And they're brutal! 

Picture it...

You're in Target with your precious, sweet angel of a child. He sees the $3 Star Wars Lego set sitting in the "shit you don't need but usually buy anyway" section. You know what I'm talking about. It's the same spot in the checkout lane holding the Reese's and Funyuns that you grab while waiting for the woman in front of you to sort through her coupons. 

So...your kid sees this toy that he doesn't need. But he insists on having it. You tell him no. He whines. You tell him no again. He yells. You give him "the look" and threaten his life in the softest whisper. He SCREAMS. You ignore him. He's still yelling. You lose your shit. Fun times!

Then you look over your shoulder and the stranger behind you is glaring at you. They are giving you the look of death. Because you know...their kid is a perfect angel. Always. 

You get nervous. You forget to scan the cartwheel app. You can't find your red card. Disaster!

So you scurry out the door and your child is still screaming. You try to load the groceries into your car as fast as possible (so you can get home and lock yourself in the bathroom) all the while...another stranger is walking by you staring at you. The shame! 

So much judgment. 

Why...why are we so quick to judge? Why do we assume perfection? What happened to grace? 

Parenting is hard. I suck at it on a regular basis. Sometimes I feel like a bad Mom. But...I have to give myself grace. I have to realize that I am human. I have to realize that my child is not perfect. 

We, as parents, need to realize that we are doing the best we can. We all deserve a pat on the back. Go ahead. Do it. You deserve it!

 Even if you:

• Bought that Lego set after saying “no” 5 times

• Let your child eat a bag of chips for breakfast

• Skip bath time because he went swimming earlier that day

• Let your son pee next to the car in the parking lot because you didn't feel like walking inside

• Throw away toys while your child is at a sleepover

• Tell your child the ice cream man plays music when he’s out of ice cream

• Put super glue on a cut that might have needed stitches

• Told your child his friends birthday party was cancelled because you were too tired to bring him

• Sent your child to school in unwashed uniforms

• Tell them to go watch tv when they wake up before you on Saturday morning

• Play bumper carts in Target (TRY IT! SO FUN!)

 

We, as a society, need to realize that we have two choices when it comes to people, to see the good or see the bad. When you choose to see the good, you will live a life of compassion. People will see the good in you. This is how you live a peaceful life. 

So next time you see that Mom holding back all.the.cuss.words when her son throws a fit for an overpriced Lego set, give her a little grace. Lend her a hand, unload her groceries for her, and flash her a smile. She's doing the best she can! 

Inkwell Press Planner : Review + Coupon Code

I love planning, and "to do" lists, and schedules, and feeling like I have my life together, and getting ish done. You know...adult things. As a Mom, wife, business owner, and all around #bossbabe, it's important for me to keep my ducks in a row at all times.

Ok...so I don't always get things done, and I rarely have my shit together, but I like to pretend I'm a full functioning adult by owning a decent planner. Over the years I've tried so many planners that I even found a couple of brand new, unused 2015 planners hanging out in my home office the other day. The shame y'all! SHAME! Maybe I'm a planner addict? Or maybe I struggled to find a decent planner to help me take control of the chaos. Or maybe it's a combination of the two. That's a good possibility!

Really though...I've tried everything from the fancy Day Designer, to a personalized Erin Condren, to the new and seemingly popular (but way too time consuming) Passion Planner and even a simple Target planner this past year. Honestly, out of all of my previous options, the Target one was the best option for me. It was simple and to the point. Not too fancy and didn't require a ton of work on my end. I never really understood those planners that required you to do work before you can actually do work. You know...the ones that you have to fill in the dates, use fancy colored pens, and doodle your clients family in curved stick figure form next to their appointment date. Zero time for that. None. I like simplicity. 

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Last year my friend Amy posted about her new inkWELL Press planner and I was intrigued. Unfortunately I had already committed to the simple Target planner and was determined to make it work for me. You know...that whole unopened planner thing that we talked about earlier?! I was determined not to let that happen again. So I stayed strong and waited until the 2017 release and snagged one for myself! 

One of my woe's about the planners I've used in the past is that there was too much going on. The Day Designer has hourly breakdowns for each day and while that seems like it would be beneficial to someone like me, it actually stressed me out. (Yes...I'm weird.) As a photographer and business owner, I also felt that so much was missing for badasses like myself. Let's be real...I work 7 days a week. I need a full planner day for weekends too. That's one of the things I love about the inkWELL Press planner! Not only does it have a full day for every day of the week (No divided weekends!) but it also has two different layout options, the Classic and the Flex. I chose the Flex so that I can divide each day by personal and business and have them side by side to compare. Total personal preference! Either option is great! 

The most important thing though...is the quality. Y'all! This planner is amazing! The quality is top notch with so many amazing details!

The paper quality is the best I've laid my hands on. It's thick, soft, and very durable. This is super important to me having been a victim of pen bleed. Ugh! The worst!

I'm also very impressed with the gold coil binding. Again...very durable. This is super important for someone like me who literally throws her planner in the car, on the floor, on the desk, and well...everywhere. Like I said...I'm not good at adulting. 

Quality aside, the layout and features on the inside are so perfect! Not only do I need organization to try and stay sane, but I also need a good kick in the pants from time to time. I am in love with the monthly and weekly "top priorities" sections as well as the yearly and monthly goal tracking sheets. This will help me tremendously with my Young Living team and business. #goalsongoalsongoals I especially love the daily habit tracker. Most people will probably use this for water intake, exercise, etc. but I'm thinking this would be a good place for me to track my coffee and chocolate intake. It's all about balance right?!

I especially love the extra "notes" pages at the end of each month. Maybe this will alleviate all of the sticky notes that I have covering my desk. And life. Let's be real. They're everywhere! Can we talk about that pocket in the back? You know what it's for? It's to hold extra goodies like...the planner sticker sets! Stickers! That match my planner! This is Heaven! Ok...back to adulting. 

This thing's a beauty guys! And it's super efficient. I definitely see myself ordering an Inkwell Planner every year. I mean...it matches all of my other super cute "let me try to be an adult" stationary and accessories from the Target dollar spot. So perfect! Can I get an AMEN?!?

I was so antsy to use it and now it's officially a part of the family. I penciled in my first newborn session for the new year! So fun!

If you're thinking about getting your own fancy schmancy inkWELL Press planner, you can use my affiliate link to get yourself $10 off! It's good for any purchase over $50, which means your new planner will only be $44! Say wha?!? Enter your email here and the coupon code will be sent straight to your inbox. And don't forget to grab your matching stickers. Because...we all need a little fun in our life! 

My favorites from the 2016 Young Living Holiday Catalog

 

It's no secret that I love my precious, amazing, "can't live without them" essential oils. They are my life line. True story!

Do you know what I love more than my essential oils?!? CHRISTMAS!

Do you know what I do when Young Living releases the most AMAZING Holiday catalog filled with the most AMAZING Holiday essential oils and gifts?! I FREAK OUT!

Not only are the products super fabulous, but YL did a phenomenal job with the photography and design of the catalog. I mean...HELLO Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn!?! Top notch y'all! We're running with the big dogs! 

See for yourself:

If things go the way they did last year, YL freaks (you, not me) will buy all.the.things. and these goodies will sell out within days, if not hours. I've not a big risk taker so it was in my best interest to push my order through first thing this morning. It's for the greater good of humanity. Especially if you are typically on my gift giving list. Which brings me to...you are getting oils this year. You're welcome! 

While I didn't grab allllll of the items in the catalog, (I'm having major regret about this btw) I did snag a few goodies. My fav is by far the chocolate. Why? Because...chocolate. Infused with essential oils. ESSENTIAL OIL CHOCOLATE! YL suggests sharing. I think that's nonsense. #notsorry


I'm also prettyyyyy excited about the rebranded kids collections. We got a sneak peak at the rebranding back at convention (OMG! I never blogged about convention!) and I love how sleek and modern everything looks. So perfect! 

When Konner saw the bath set, he HAD to have it. And because I'm the best.Mom.ever, I ordered it right away. I also snagged the kids mini oils set for him as a backup. I'm a hoarder. Again...#notsorry


The essential oils basics set is PERFECT for gifts. I grabbed a couple for teacher gifts. I mean...who wouldn't want oils?! Much better than the piles of scrap paper pads, pens, and sticky notes. I know teachers can always use those, but I like to give those as welcome gifts at the beginning of the year. Teachers work so hard every single day to teach our not so sweet children and they deserve an amazing Christmas bonus! 


Winter...the most wonderful time of the year...for man colds. Ladies! You know what I'm talking about. Be prepared this year. Grab a wellness kit and tell him to shove it. Down his throat. Literally. You're welcome! 

And can we talk about the new Life 9 for a second?! Life 5 has been a daily staple in our house. Well...YL decided to sprinkle glitter on Life 5 and they created Life 9. Y'all! This bad boy packs a punch! It combines  17 billion live cultures from 9 beneficial bacteria strains to make your gut happy and healthy. Happy gut = happy body = happy wife = happy life. Or whatever. Get it!


I've always been a chapstick addict. I'm talking tubes everywhere. It wasn't until about a year ago that I realized just how bad your typical chapstick or lip balm actually is for you. Go ahead...Google it. 

I have since been using YL's lip balm (more specifically...Lavender) and oh em gee...my lips are like butta! Again...I'm prooooobably keeping this for myself. #stillnotsorry

I also grabbed the ART skin care set. Because lips like butta are pointless if your face isn't equally as soft. Can I get an AMEN?!


 Ladies...let's talk...is your man an Axe addict? Or maybe he lathers on his favorite cologne that he bought from that pesky lady at Dillard's? You know what I'm talking about...that $100 cologne that makes you feel like punching a cat every time he walks out of the bathroom. THIS WAS MY LIFE! It was nauseating. And then Gary invented Shutran. And then my life became livable again. Now my husband smells good, he's confident (there are super amazing benefits to this blend, ya know?!) and my head doesn't throb every time he walks out of the bathroom. 

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any babies born 9 months from now. Yes...it smells THAT good! 


Speaking of smelling good...

What gifts are you grabbing for your friends and family (and yourself) from the catalog? 

Not a Young Living member? What are you waiting for? Join us

I'm a basic white girl...I think

I did it y'all. I caved. I am now an official member of the "Basic White Girl" club.

Or am I?

Yesterday I made my normal visit to my local Starbucks and ordered my usual. Grande Java Chip frap with coconut milk, affogato style. YUM! But then it happened...the sweet little barista with her perfect little smile shoved a plate of muffin samples in my face. I smiled back and pretended not to see the muffins. She inched them a little closer and it happened. We made verbal contact. She offered me a sample. I couldn't say no. She was the cutest! 

So I grabbed a piece and wrapped it in a napkin "to save for later". Zero intention of eating it. I mean...who eats pumpkin anyway? Pumpkins are for carving. They are gross. 

NO! They are not gross! I can't believe I am about to say this...

I enjoyed the shit out of that muffin sample! I wanted more. I wanted an entire "moist, perfectly-spiced pumpkin muffin topped with sweet cream cheese and a sprinkling of chopped, caramelized pepitas for a delightful balance of salty and sweet." 

 Image: www.starbucks.com

Image: www.starbucks.com

What is happening?! Every fall I proudly exclaim that I'm no basic bitch! I don't like pumpkin. It was all a lie! That muffin was amazing! 

But the question still remains. Am I really a basic white girl? I just can't bring myself to order a PSL. I can't. It won't happen. (Unless that sweet little barista shoves one in my face.) 

 Mug:  E  tsy

Mug: Etsy

Why I LOVE Young Living Essential Oils

If you follow me on Facebook, or Instagram, or down the highway in Louisiana (please don't...that's just creepy) you know I love love LOVE my essential oils. Not a day goes by that you don't hear me say "There's an oil for that!" Because really...there's an oil for everything. E-VE-RY-THING! But I still get those loons who question me and my love. You know who you are! So I'm here to tell you why I love Young Living essential oils so fricken much!

1. They are pretty

Yeah. Yeah. I know what you are thinking. So what right? But y'all! This is a big deal. I love pretty things. People love pretty things. EVERYONE loves pretty things. It's what we, as humans, do. Glitter? LOVE IT! Unicorns farting rainbows? LOVE IT! Why? Because they are pretty! And Young Living products are pretty too! Their diffusers are sleek and modern and simple. The bottle labels speak to my soul. And the packaging...well...let's just say it's a DREAM to open up a brand new kit. It's like the Heavens sing. Yeah...you heard those angels when you opened your kit! 


2. They support a healthy immune system.

Thieves is my jam! With an active 8 year old that's in school, we need all the immune support we can get. I use Thieves all day everyday to keep my family in tip top shape! Plus...it smells like Christmas. SANTA!

 

 

 


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3. They smell like a spa.

Lavender is like a spa in a bottle. After a long day at work, it helps me unwind and relax for the evening. It also helps my zoo not be raging loons. 

 


4. They support your body.

Copaiba supports your body's natural response to injury or irritation. That's my way of saying...if you feel old, like me, you need this. Capiche?


5. They relieve occasional muscle soreness and tension. 

Combine Panaway with Copaiba and you will feel like a 21 year old dancing on the bar in the club.
 

Disclaimer: What you do in your spare time is a personal decision. I do not recommend dancing on bars whether you are 21 or 61. Don't. Just don't. Unless you're auditioning for the next Coyote Ugly movie. In which case...you still shouldn't dance on bars. 


6. They support healthy digestion.

You know those nights when you decide to binge on OITNB and eat an entire tub of ice cream? Yeah...Di-Gize is your friend. 


7. Sweet baby Jesus!

He loves essential oils too! 


8. They taste delicious!

I am a sucker for a delicious glass of lemonade. A glass of lemonade that is good for my overall wellness? Count me in! 

 


9. They replace my air freshener

I have a zoo. I love my zoo, but they stink. Bad. My husband stinks too. Those are just the top reasons I am thankful for Purification. Alongside Thieves, it's my top diffused oil. Nothing is better than a clean, refreshing smell without the toxic and head pounding chemicals of candles and plug ins. 

 


10. Just pray and apply Stress Away!

Not a day goes by that I don't pray and roll on my Stress Away. It's instant relief from the craziness of that thing called life. 

 


11. Brownies! I love brownies!

Peppermint is a wonderful addition to a batch of delicious, warm brownies. As a dietary supplement, Peppermint Vitality oil can support healthy gut function and digestive efficiency. Sounds like a win, win to me! 

 


12. Exercise is important. 

Ok...let's be real. I don't exercise. But my son does! He's an avid soccer player and a drop or two of RC on his chest gets him through his hot, exhausting games. 

 

 


13. Your body is a wonderland

That's probably NOT what John Mayer had in mind when he wrote that song, but let's pretend. K? We drink an ounce of Ningxia a day to load our body with antioxidants to support overall wellness. It's loaded with wolfberry! Wolfberries are your friend!


14. Learning is fun!

20 years ago I wouldn't have said that. I wasn't a fan of school. But learning about essential oils and the human body is so much fun! The way these oils work and the way our body benefits from them is truly amazing to me. I learn something new everyday and I love sharing the info with my fellow oilers. 


15. Community

The friendships that I have made through Young Living are second to none. I have truly found my happy place and my tribe. We are all chasing our dreams and supporting each other every single day. We laugh together, cry together, and kick ass together. We love our oils and love sharing our love of oils. 

 

 


There you have it. The love is real y'all. I really could have written a book about my obsession but it's time for me to hit up Starbucks. Want in on the oily goodness? You can head here to learn more about Young Living and purchase your very own starter kit. 

 

 

*Disclaimer:  The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living Essential Oils. I am not a doctor. Statements, products, and techniques mentioned have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Starbucks Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato

So here's the thing...I'm a creature of habit. When I go to dinner with my family or a group of friends, I always order the same thing. Planning to take me to a new restaurant? I will stare at the menu FOR-E-VER and then order under pressure and more than likely regret my choice. I wear black and grey and maroon (when I'm feeling spontaneous) and black and army green and black and dark grey and black. I like to live on the wild side. Clearly. When I go to Starbucks (Starbs...if you're one of the cool kids) I always order the same thing. Grande Java Chip Frapp with coconut milk, no whip. It's my drink. It's my life line. It's what my barista starts making as soon as I walk through the door. 

That is...until June 11. It was a typical Monday. Boring as hell. If I had to guess, it was probably raining that day. #Louisiana

So I headed to Starbs to grab my usual. (This has recently become a daily thing. More on that later.) When I opened up the app to check my Gold card balance (Yes, the addiction is real) I am greeted with an announcement about a new drink. Normally I ignore those announcements because...yep...I'm a creature of habit. I don't venture out of my comfort zone. Ever. But I see it..it's sucking me in...the magic words "coconut milk". I love coconut milk! It's in MY drink. The one I get every.single.time. 

I click on the details of this new drink and it sounds amazing. Coconut milk, white chocolate mocha, espresso, caramel drizzle, mocha swirl. HEAVEN! So against my own will...I decide to order it. I almost chickened out when my barista asked "The usual?" but I remained strong and uttered the words...

"Nope! I'm going to try something new today!"

GASP!!!

I'm pretty sure her jaw hit the floor. But she flashed me her usual smile and made my drink. My new favorite drink. Yep. I said it. I have a new favorite.  I am now the proud coffee addict that orders the drink with the most complicated name on the menu. And to make it even more complicated, I add extra white mocha. #YOLO

There it is! My new best friend! We have a bond like no other. You know what makes that bond even stronger? TARGET!

ICMM + Target = Heaven on Earth. I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing next to the mustard.

So about that addiction. Well...it's real. Starbs used to be my Friday treat. I headed there after a long week of work to reward myself for staying sane. Then life got stressful and I slipped a couple of drinks in during the week. Then life got hectic and I headed there almost every afternoon. Then I got an email from Starbucks inviting me to "compete" in a challenge. I'm pretty competitive so I accepted with open arms. So this week, against my will, I HAVE to go to Starbucks everyday before noon to earn 80 Bonus Stars. I mean...what else is a girl supposed to do?

See that sweet smiling barista? She spells my name correctly AND draws cute pictures on my cups. Oh...and did I mention that they have potato chip chocolate? It really is heaven. 

Did I mention that I love Starbucks?

 

Jimmy the cat

These last couple of months have been hella busy on our end. My family thrives on routine so the summer months kick our butt until we are begging for school to start back up. Then school starts and we are crying because...homework. And OMG! As I'm typing this I'm realizing that school starts in less than a month. Insert panic mode. 

But enough about that...we got a cat! (Just call me Dr. Seuss)

Jimmy the cat graced us with his presence for Konner's birthday back in the beginning of June. I never thought I would be a cat person but he has stolen my heart. Even when he's an ass hole and bites my ear in the middle of the night. 

I thought long and hard about adding ANOTHER animal to our already too small house, but I just couldn't say no when I saw his cute little face on my friends Facebook. She found him at her complex and was highly allergic so he needed a home. Now he's a member of our family and he fits right in with the craziness. He was super shy and a little hesitant the day we brought him home, but after a few days he fell right into place. 

 

As every photographer would (and should) I documented his arrival with a newborn session. I'm definitely thinking #kittenwhisperer should be added to my resume. 

Find me on Insta to follow Jimmy and his shenanigans! @eryn.mcbride 

Hello there!

Hey! Bonjour! Hola! Helloooooo! Welcome to "Hello Eryn", my latest venture. Because you know...I have so much extra time on my hands these days. 

First things first...I feel I owe a lot of you an explanation. If we are "friends" on FB, you may have freaked out and got a little too excited thinking I was pregnant when I shared my "Coming Soon" announcement for "Hello Eryn".  I'm sorry to disappoint the masses, but I'm not. And don't plan to be. Unless you can promise me that my next child will be just as cool as my first. And you can't promise me that so yeah...stop the madness!

So here's what's really going down...

I've come to the realization that my life is the absolute most exciting thing in the world and it needs to be documented. I'm pretty much a big deal, if you didn't know that already. 

Ok. Not really. Or not at all. Basically, I decided to create a place, a space, for me to document the happenings in my life. The good, the bad, the happy, the sad. Between my family, my travels, my love for oils, and my photography, I felt that it would be fun to share with all of my peeps and keep a "journal", so to speak, to look back on. I currently have a separate site and blog for both my photography and my essential oil goodness (you will hear a lot about those here) but I needed a landing place. A place to combine all of my ventures. A place to let it all out and share the goodness. 

So here we are! 

 

A few photos of my family. We're silly, and cute, and fun, and happy. Most days. 

xoxo - Eryn