How One Godly Man Changed Another Man's Legacy

This is Charlie. And let me tell you a story - of how his life was changed forever, because of a guy named Billy.

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Charlie is a wise man. A man of few words. Tender-hearted, giving, selfless, humble. Yet, prior to 1984, he was the exact opposite.

He was a prideful man. An alcoholic. Self-centered. Ran as far away from God as he possibly could. Yet, he had a family who loved him anyway - who continuously prayed for his salvation - including his own momma, and his own daughter.

One night, in an intoxicated state, he drove all the way from Del Rio to Houston for work. Normally, he would listen to music as he drove - but during that trip, for some reason, he was drawn to listen to radio sermons instead.

He made it safely - still drunk - yet in a completely different emotional state than ever before. His heart was overwhelmed with confusion, conviction - and no amount of alcohol seemed to drown it.

Exasperated with how he was feeling, he turned on the TV - when suddenly, the powerful voice of a guy named Billy filled the room. And it was as if Billy was talking to no one else - except Charlie.

Billy told Charlie about redemption. He told him about God’s overwhelming forgiveness. He told him that Jesus could take his wasted circumstances - no matter how awful the mistakes, or how grave his family failures have been - and make it all brand new. Charlie listened, glued to the TV, paralyzed.

Then, a girl named Dolly stood up, and started singing a song. A song so anointed, it caused Charlie to feel the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit. And with arms raised high, a tear streaked face, and forever-changed heart - Charlie wept as she sang:
“He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive, and I’m forgiven, Heaven’s gates are opened wide!”

From that moment on, Charlie was never the same. He called his whole family, and his daughter - asking for forgiveness, letting them know he gave his life to Jesus. His daughter rejoiced - and every painful memory she had of her Daddy was replaced with a supernatural, unspeakable love. And though Charlie’s momma died years before his salvation, her prayers for her son were not done in vain.

Today, Charlie leads his family through life as the prayer warrior and man of God he was created to be. And even at the mention of the name of Jesus, it brings him to tears.
 

Friends - Charlie, is my grandfather. His daughter, is my mom. Dolly, is Dolly Parton.

And Billy - was Reverend Billy Graham.

Billy Graham, 11/7/1918-2/21/2018

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My husband gave me ZERO Christmas presents one year. And his response was priceless.

Did I ever tell you about the time (last year) where I had literally ZERO presents under the Christmas tree?

Meaning - zero presents addressed to me. Like, not one. I had opened up ones from my parents a few days earlier - but Christmas morning, even Santa forgot about me.

I sat there on the couch, in my jammies, legs crossed and head tilted. Confused. Thought for sure a big surprise for me must be coming.

But do you wanna know Blaine’s response to me, after he opened up the big a** ping pong table I bought him?

“Oh, uh, I thought we weren’t getting each other anything.”

Me: ?!?!?!😟😟😭😭😭😭 **as sad violins played in the background**

I mean, Where he got that thought, I have no idea.

So he feels all bad, right. Realizes that the ping pong table I got him was pretty much awesome and the nothing he got me was pretty much not awesome.

So what does he do?

He shows up to the house after a couple of hours, walks into the living room where I was sitting.

“Merry Christmas, babe!” he said, with a massive smile on his face. In his hand - my Christmas gift. Wrapped so lovingly in a gray plastic Walmart grocery bag.

I looked at him blankly. Slowly took the bag from him. And as I peered inside, what do I find?

A pancake spatula. 
Because “you like pancakes, babe.” 
And a clip-on lamp for a college kid’s desk. 
Because “you like good lighting for videos, babe.”

Best part? Both had “under $3” clearance stickers.

I sat there completely frozen. My eyeballs were the only thing that moved, just so I could look up at his face to see his reaction. And y’all, he was legitimately proud of himself. Smiling. Like, he wasn’t joking. At all.

He was like “What, babe?! I spent two hours trying to find something you’d like!”

Me: ?!?!?!😡🤬😡🤬😡🤬😭😭😭😭 **as I chunked the pancake spatula from across the room towards his head**

At that point, he slowly started to realize that he’d committed the biggest Christmas gift fail of all time. And he started uncontrollably laughing.

“It’s NOT FUNNY!!!” I wailed. “Do I mean THAT LITTLE TO YOU?! Waaaahhhhhh”

But I’ll tell you what - now that I look back on that story, one year later, it’s so hilarious to me.
He truly tried. And he truly failed.

And you know what? Since that debacle, Blaine and I have had our best year of marriage yet. We’ve used that situation, and many others, to continue to learn how to make each other happy. Which love languages we operate in, and which ones we need to work on.

I tell you this story not to make me look like a spoiled brat and not to make him look like an insensitive jerk, because we both are truly not either of those things - at all. 

But I tell you this to share - that there is always - ALWAYS - something sweet that can come from something frustrating. Something to learn from that can come from something upsetting. Something to laugh about that can come from something annoying.

I pray your Christmas was full of joy. And if it wasn’t, look for the joy anyway. 
You’ll find it.

My husband told me I'm sexy. And it made me mad.

Yesterday, Blaine walked up behind me in the kitchen, and told me something so out of the blue that it almost made me explode.

“Babe. I’m so much more attracted to you right now than when we first met,” he said.

My first reaction as I stood there cooking dinner - EYE ROLL. Rolled those eyes so hard. “Ugh, stop.” I said.

“I’m serious!” he replied with a giggle. “You’re sexier now more than ever.”

Anger started boiling in my chest, just like the stew I was stirring over the stove. Steam started coming out of my ears, just like it was escaping from the pot in front of me. 

I could have sworn he was trying to piss me off. Or antagonize me. Or play some mean joke on me. Because there was no way - NO WAY - in my mind - that what he was saying was true. 

I mean, come on. Is he legitimately saying that my sleep-deprived eye bags are sexier than those 22-year-old bright green lookers?

Is he really saying that my overly loud mom-voice is sexier than those sultry single-girl sounds?

Is he truly saying that my saggy post-pregnancy skin is sexier than those perky pre-baby lady lumps?

Angry tears started to well up in my weary eyes. Thinking about all the things I was, and the things I am not anymore. How completely opposite and different things must appear now. How NOT sexy and unattractive and downright fugly I must be for him now, compared to what I was for him before.

I set the wooden spoon down and turned around to look at him. I can always tell if he’s for real by the way he looks at me - and it was very clear - he was being 100% honest. So instead of blowing up in emotional anger, I softly asked him, “Why?”

“Because. You’re a woman now,” he said. “You’re my woman.” 

That’s all he said. So simple, but with such sincerity behind it.

And oh, friends. How his answer convicted me so much. 

I just hugged him - so, so tight. And as we stood there embracing, it brought me back to a time - where my dad told me something similar about my mom. 

“I tell your mom all the time,” he said to me as we stood alone in the living room, “I tell her ‘oh, punkin (which he pronounces “bangin,”), you look goooood.’ She doesn’t believe me, but I’m serious.”

“Those hips might be a little bigger - but they birthed my three kids. Those crows feet might be a little deeper - but they’re there because of years of cracking each other up. Those gray hairs might be coming out more - but they are signs that I’m growing old with her. Every changing part of her is mine. And I love it.”

I remembered those words as I stood there hugging Blaine. Tears streaming down my face. I realized I was comparing myself - to myself. And it was so. freaking. stupid. Because clearly, my husband didn’t see me that way. Every changing part of me is his. And he loves it. 

We are so hard on ourselves, girls. We put so much emphasis on looks and appearance and the was-thens and the has-beens that we forget how amazing and cherished we truly are.

If you’re reading this thinking “yeah, well, I don’t have a husband who says those things to me.” Or “yeah, well, I know for a fact my husband wishes I was my 22-year-old self again.”

You need to know something.

You have someone seated at the throne of grace - who finds you beautiful, without blemish, without spot. 

He knew your name - even before you were knit in your mother’s womb. He knows exactly how many hairs are upon your head - even all the gray ones. He cares about you and adores every little detail about you - even the details you think are flawed. 

Every changing part of you - is in His hands. And He loves it. So, so much. 

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Second Baby, First Son: The Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery Story of #HughTheMan

On this day 1 year ago, our only son was born.

I've held back on sharing the full story of our precious Hugh the Man. How we found out, how we shared the news, the pregnancy experience, the birth story. It was a completely different experience in comparison to my pregnancy and birth with Lace, which you could read about here.

But now, today, that our baby boy is one, I found this the perfect opportunity to tell you about everything. ALL OF IT. From the very beginning, until his birthday - December 3rd, 2016.

HOW WE FOUND OUT

Conceiving him was not as much of a "surprise" as it was with our first baby, Lace. We had already begun entertaining the thought of getting pregnant again. They'd be over two years apart, just enough for her to get potty trained before we had another in diapers. 

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Just a couple weeks after my husband and I had this "maybe ready for another baby" conversation, I woke up one morning with a strong desire to go get a pregnancy test. I loaded up Lace in the car, grabbed a test at CVS. But I was super hungry, so we stopped at Chipotle to eat real quick before we went back home.

As we sat in a booth at the restaurant, sharing our black-bean-white-rice-corn-veggies-pico-de-gallo-cheese-sour-cream-guacamole-lettuce bowl, I realized I had to pee. No sense in waiting to pee until I got home, because LAWDY, I had to GO. Like BAD. That sweet tea creeped up on me like nobody's business.

Pretty much right when I sat down I had to stop myself - because I was like "CRAP! This is my first pee of the day! I need to take this test in my purse!"

Classy, y'all.

Super classy way to find out you're pregnant. In the bathroom of Chipotle.

I found out with Lace in the bathroom of Walgreens, too. So my "finding out" moments aren't as glorious or intimate or special as maybe your "finding out" moments are.

Sure enough, that sucker was a big fat POSITIVE. I didn't know what to do (probably because I was halfway embarrassed that I was still sitting in Chipotle), and I still wanted to find a way to creatively shared the news with my family.

So, I just Facetimed one of my best friends instead. I said "hey, um, does this look positive to you?" She responded with "um, yes, but where are you?! Are you at a restaurant?! Wait, you're at CHIPOTLE?! OH MY GOD HANNAH YOU WOULD."

My wheels were spinning on how to tell my husband. I can't keep secrets this big for very long, and he was to return home within just a few hours.

So, here's how I broke the news to him. His response was, well, such a guy response:

Once we shared the news with our family and best friends, and once our midwife deemed that the baby was healthy and thriving, we shared on social media with the rest of our sweet friends. It was on the day of Easter Sunday, and the caption to the picture we shared said this:

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"Lace, sweetie, when we say we have "a bunny in the oven," it's just a figure of speech."

We also had decided very early on with names. Probably because I'm a name addict. And my most favorite part about being pregnant is that I can get creative with cute name ideas.

For this pregnancy, Blaine and I agreed that if it was a girl, we'd name her Claire Amelia (Claire is the middle name of my sweet uncle who passed away. My middle name is his first name, Ray.) But if it was a boy, we'd name him Hugh Beckham (Hugh is Blaine's daddy's name, his grandpa's name, and also a popular name on my side of the family).

But in my heart, I always knew it was a boy, y'all. Always.

I had constant dreams about birthing a son (same thing happened with Lace). I would even have vision-like experiences that our next child would be a son (same thing happened with Lace). I never doubted once what the sex was of this baby. It was just one of those things where momma knows best, I guess. Or the Holy Spirit does.

But either way, my heart was in preparation for our boy - and I was thrilled.

At our 20 week appointment, we headed to the imaging center to get the ultrasound. My heart was pounding in excitement and nervousness. "What if it's NOT a boy? What if my intuitions were wrong? What if it's been a girl this WHOLE TIME?"

Though I wanted to puke my guts out the whole drive over there, something amazing happened. Right when the sonographer placed the gel on my tummy, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace flood my body. If it's a girl - praise the Lord. If it's a boy - praise the Lord. Either way, there is a very special and significant purpose for this child. And there is no one more fitting to raise this baby, THIS baby, than Blaine and I.

The sonographer swirled the stick around my tummy, checking baby's measurements and making sure all was well. She then said "well, do you want to know what it is?"

We nodded. And I probably tinkled a little. It was the longest 3 seconds of my life.

"It's a boy!" she said.

And all of the sudden, y'all, I screamed so freaking loud. Like REALLY loud. I didn't even know I was going to do that, it just came out. Kinda like when you do something on impulse that is really abrupt or noisy and everyone in the room is quiet, and you're like "oh crap, why did I do that, I didn't even mean to."

Yeah, It scared that poor lady pretty good. But sorry ma'am, the Lord is just so good!

THE PREGNANCY EXPERIENCE

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Those first 12 weeks of pregnancy were miserable, to say the least. The morning sickness and nausea tapered off quite a bit once I hit 17 weeks, but let's just say I got REAL familiar with our master bathroom toilet with this baby. Which was so strange to me, because with Lace, I never struggled with that. So odd how every pregnancy experience is so different!

One essential oil I loved to use during these weeks was Peppermint. I would apply on my tummy, under my nose, and on the bottoms of my feet. The smell of it was very refreshing to my mind, and the cooling sensation it left on my skin directed my thoughts away from how I felt. I'd also swallow a drop of Peppermint Vitality under my tongue, and drink a drop in water all day. 

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Come 20 weeks, though, I was getting worried. I wasn't "showing" hardly at all, and I was halfway through. With my first, I showed immediately - bloated up and out like a balloon. But my weight wasn't changing, and my stomach wasn't growing very much.

While some people might think that's "cool," that you're "so tiny" as a pregnant girl, I didn't think it was cool at all.

I rarely posted pictures of myself (other than monthly growth pictures), because of the fear I was experiencing. Probably because I feared of appearing "braggy" for looking so small at such a far along date, but also because I feared something was up. Something was up either with me, or either with him.

At our 20 week appointment, it was revealed to us that Hugh was laying "transverse" in my belly. Basically, instead of having his head down into my pelvis, his head was on the right side of my belly, and his butt was on the left side of my belly. It was as if he was being cradled sideways in my womb, instead of being upside down.

Not only that, that positioning caused my uterus to bulge much more towards my back than it did towards my belly.

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At around 24 weeks, he shifted a little - pretty much overnight. He was still transverse, but his butt started to stick out in the front of my belly more. I was so thrilled about this - because I FINALLY looked pregnant, instead of just like I had eaten a big ol' turkey leg.

The weeks following were getting increasingly harder, in their own way. Being pregnant in your third trimester while taking care of a toddler is the real deal - waddling after her, changing diapers, getting up from playing with her on the floor, loading her up in the car, still carrying her around the house, cleaning up her toys, potty training. It was a lot. (for those moms who are pregnant with multiple kinds under 5, you're better women than me).

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Hugh's due date was supposed to be on Thanksgiving. It was the perfect date for him to come in my mind - my parents and siblings would be there, my best friend would be there, we'd have plenty of help with Lace, and I could birth him in the comfort of my own home during the holiday. What a sweet and memorable Thanksgiving it would have been.

I woke up Thanksgiving morning - no contractions.

I woke up the day after - no difference.

I woke up the day everyone was to leave to go back home - no baby.

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At that point, I just lost it. I was so disappointed. I wanted so badly for my family to experience this blessing with me. But once they all finally left to go back home (except my mom), I took a deep breath, and told myself that it was any day now. Any day now.

More days passed. No baby. Finally, a whole 9 days had passed - and I. WAS. STILL. PREGNANT.

People were calling. People were texting. People were messaging. I just kept responding with a big fat thumbs down. I remember telling my mom "Goodness mom, I don't care if they pull him out of my nose, I just want this baby OUT OF ME!" So over it. So ready to hold my son.

We went to get an ultrasound to make sure he was still okay. He was still healthy, but the sonographer told me that Hugh was facing the wrong way, yet again. Instead of being transverse, he was posterior, or "facing up." This would have made for an excruciatingly more painful labor and delivery if he were to have been born this way. 

We needed this baby to turn. I went and got a chiropractic adjustment, to encourage him to move. I even went and got an acupuncture treatment, to stimulate him to turn in an anterior position instead. I even did certain exercises and movements that were said to help.

Finally, that night, at 11:00pm on December 2nd, 2016, I was bouncing on the exercise ball while my husband, mom, and daughter were watching a Maren Morris performance on TV. All of the sudden, in the middle of her singing "My Church," my water broke.

At last. Our son was coming.

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THE BIRTH

We called my midwife Danielle immediately after my water broke. Lace came out within just a few hours of my water breaking, so we knew this second birth would probably go quickly too.

She arrived at our house with two of her student midwives. She checked all of his levels and mine - all was well. But I wasn't contracting, not even a little. And it was very late at night. So Danielle told me to just go to bed, and try to get as much rest as possible, because once I woke up in the morning, more than likely I'd start the contractions fast and furious, and Hugh would fly right on out.

Throughout the night, Danielle would come into our bedroom and check my levels and the baby's. The contractions would mildly start, then stop. Nothing was consistent, regular, or significant.

The next morning at around 8:00am, Danielle came into our bedroom and encouraged me to get up and start walking to encourage regular contractions. And right when I slung my feet over the side of the bed, I felt my first legit contraction. He was on his way!

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One of my biggest fears was that I wouldn't know how to handle the pain of this unmedicated labor and delivery process. During my first natural birth with Lace, I was not mentally prepared for the intensity of the experience. So, I ordered the HypnoBabies program, and prepared my mind and body for weeks. 

Once I felt my first strong contraction, I plugged in my ear buds and listened to my HypnoBabies tracks. With every wave of pressure, I relaxed with the diffuser in the background. With every inch downward he moved, I breathed in my oils. With every centimeter dilated, I hummed in peace as my mom applied oils on my back. And truly, y'all, HypnoBabies made labor virtually painless. I HIGHLY recommend EVERY mom who wants to do a natural birth to go through this program. Changed everything for me! 

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The pressure became more intense as he started to transition past my pelvis. It started getting to the point to where I was like "man, this actually kinda sucks now, I'm ready for this to be over." Every contraction was pushing him further and further down (and making me poop a little too, sorry, TMI, but that's just what happens. All of your insides are instinctively pushing itself out with all its might). 

I then asked my midwife (in perfectly coherent English, surprisingly), if I could deliver him on the bed instead of the tub, because I wanted her to massage and stretch me with plenty of oil so I didn't tear. They helped me on the bed in our den, and after a few "IT BURNS" and "PULL HIM OUT" screams, a 7lb 7oz Hugh Beckham Crews was born, just after noontime, on December 3rd, 2016 - 10 days past his due date. 

And he was perfect.

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HUGH TODAY

We may be biased, but we think our Hugh the Man is quite the stud. He has very big brown eyes, very light brown hair, very big squeezable cheeks, and very big kissable lips. He is measuring to be tall like his daddy one day - always in the 80-90% range in height and weight at every doctor's visit. 

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A couple weeks after he was born, we got him circumcised by a well-renowned Jewish Rabbi, who travels the world specializing in circumcisions. It was actually a pretty neat experience for us to watch as parents. The procedure was extremely fast, happening in seconds. Rabbi Mike was hilarious, made it comfortable and jolly, and we stayed by Hugh's side the whole time, touching his little hands and head and singing to him so he knew he was safe. It healed beautifully and perfectly, too.

He is passive, jolly, easy to read. He loves being held by Mommy, being sung to by Daddy, watching The Lion Guard on Disney Junior (hence the lion costume for his birthday celebration)....and his sister. Oh, how he loves his big sister.

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That was a fear of mine, that Lace would be jealous, or that she would feel like she had been replaced. But, thankfully, we never experienced that with her. She coddles him, kisses his boo-boos, even gets sad when he cries. 

And for all of these 365 days Bubba has been a part of our lives, I've never once seen those two get irritated with each other....yet. I know, I'm sure they will at some point. But right now, they are the best of friends - and I pray its stays that way forever.

Life sure has been peaceful, fun, and so much happier with this little boy in it.

My prayer as his mommy is that he grows up to be a man of VALOR, a man of HIS WORD, a man after GOD'S OWN HEART. 

I love you, Hugh. You my son, you my son, you my son!

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 Happy 1st Birthday, #HughTheMan!

Happy 1st Birthday, #HughTheMan!

Why I Gave Up on my News Anchor Dreams

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My life wasn't supposed to be this way.

It was expected that I'd pursue television forever. It was expected that news would be my life-long gig. It was expected that New York or L.A. or Capitol Hill would be where I ended up one day.

After all, that's the only thing I was prepared for. Hours upon hours of studying and researching. Months upon months of high school and university extracurriculars. Years upon years of internships and workshops and part-time jobs, all focusing on one thing:

The television industry.

Video, recording, editing, producing, writing, reporting, and anchoring. Every bit of it - I was immersed. 

So it only made sense that television was what God wanted for me, right? What He had planned? I mean, what else did He want, if He allowed me to so extensively prepare for THIS - and ONLY this?

After graduating from Trinity University, I began my first gig as an on-camera reporter for a CBS affiliate news station. It was perfect. Exactly the job I expected to begin my adult life - with hopes of moving up the ladder to work for a bigger market with a larger audience one day.

But while the position was ideal - my personal life was not.

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I was sick - physically. I'd literally catch everything under the sun. Missed more days of work than I can even count.

I was empty - emotionally, spiritually. I was so desperate to numb the excruciating pain of tragic deaths and heartbreaks I had recently experienced - that searching for distractions was so much easier than searching for Jesus.

I was struggling - financially. I only made enough money to pay for rent and apartment utilities. And saving money? Laughable. Impossible. 

My life wasn't supposed to be this way.

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Fast forward a series of months.

I surrendered myself, and re-dedicated my life to Jesus.

I met Blaine.

We got married. 

I quit my current news job and searched for another one in Dallas / Fort Worth. 

I expected I'd find health by living and working in a different environment. I expected I'd find emotional and spiritual wholeness through the happiness of marriage and getting involved in church. I expected I'd find financial stability with a new TV job, plus with my new husband's income too. 

But I was wrong.

I was still sick - physically. My health was a joke - and going to the doctor was becoming an all-too-often occurrence.

I was still empty - emotionally, spiritually. I wasn't finding the happiness I expected during that first (hard) year of marriage, and I was angry that God wasn't making things better. In fact, things were getting worse.

We were still struggling - financially. No one wanted to hire me in the television industry, and Blaine was also let go from his job at the same time. Our savings were dwindling, and we were terrified.

My life wasn't supposed to be this way.

Fast forward another series of months.

Blaine and I went through a powerful weekend of deliverance and a miraculous time of marriage restoration.

We surprisingly, and unexpectedly, got pregnant.

Blaine landed another promising job/gig.

And I went to a class...

Yes. A class. About this company called Young Living that apparently had stuff that could help me. They had natural products and essential oils that could keep me healthy, even strengthen my relationships and emotions.

I went ahead and got a starter kit. Just to see if this stuff would work for me in my personal life - just to see if they'd help me with my physical body. That's all I wanted - because I was desperate.

And you know what...it worked. BIG TIME. 

I started telling my friends about what was happening with all of us. How these plants that God has given us since the beginning of time could work for them too - physically, emotionally, spiritually - just like it was doing for me.

And with that - wellness, purpose, and abundance were starting to creep into our lives.

All because of ONE decision - because of that little starter kit

My life wasn't supposed to be this way.

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Throughout that time, I still hadn't given up on my news anchor dreams.

I was still putting in applications. Still searching for jobs. Still longing to find something in the television industry that would make me feel like my years of experience weren't an entire waste of time.

And, still, I was being rejected. Over, and over, and over.

And just when we thought things couldn't get any worse, Blaine and I were then faced with a large burden.

We had $1,700 in taxes to pay. And we were terrified.

We had no idea how we were going to do this. Every penny Blaine made was going towards us just - surviving. Scraping by. Just so we could stay afloat with a roof over our head and food in the fridge.

We didn't know what to do. We just threw our hands up, surrendered, and ask God for a downright miracle.

It was then - that God did something. 

In the midst of all of my job hunting, God was providing in a way I couldn't see.

I didn't fully understand that I would soon - get PAID - just for telling my friends about those crazy ol' oils.

I didn't fully realize that by simply referring people to use this stuff, too, that a God-check was being invisibly accumulated.

Just days before we had to pay those taxes, I went down to the mailbox at our old apartment complex. I noticed in that thick pile of coupons and bills - a letter - addressed to me - from Young Living.

And there it was. That God-check. And for the exact amount we needed to pay our taxes.

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It's been 4 years now. And though I'm not in the television industry - my former dreams were replaced with something else.

I'm a mommy - raising my babies at home - which, unbeknownst to me, has always been the desire of my heart.

And God's dream for us - what He wanted - was to see us well. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. And He did that for us in the most unexpected way - through Young Living.

But on top of that, God also wanted our family to be well financially, too - and He did that. Through Young Living, too.

In fact, I'm about to share something with you that scares me. Scares me a whole lot. But you need to see this.

I'm going to show you exactly how God has worked financially in the lives of our friends, our family...and us, too.

And before I do, let me be clear - this is simply a compensation plan that reveals what ANYONE can benefit from. Not just me, not just people I know.

To give you an idea - today - one of my immediate family members is making an Executive income, one of my childhood friends is making a Silver income, an in-law of mine is making Gold income, we are making Platinum income, another in-law of mine is making Diamond income, and we have countless friends who are making Crown Diamond and Royal Crown Diamond income - all through Young Living.

And to see what that means numbers-wise, just look here at the monthly averages. And yes, I said monthly.

Our lives weren't supposed to be this way.

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I don't tell you about these God-like blessings with a braggart's heart - because I hate that kind of stuff. I don't tell you these things for you to feel like "oh, cool, good for y'all, but it ain't happening for me."

I share this aspect of my story, because you might have thought the same thing - "My life isn't supposed to be this way."

You may be struggling, too - just like I was.

And I'm here to tell you - I know the answer lies within one simple decision for you - just like it did for me. Just like it did for all of us in our family.

If you are seeking wellness physically.

If you are seeking wholeness emotionally, spiritually.

There is something - yes, from Young Living - designed to support your body systems in the most perfect and powerful way. Just get a starter kit. Let it help you, just like it did for me, and hundreds of my friends.

And if you are seeking freedom financially. 

Just try something for me. Again - get one of the super affordable starter kits. Use the stuff. Let it help you. Tell your friends. And let the company pay you for referring. That's it. 

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I don't think it's any accident that you read this.

If you made it through the end, to this part - it's because you were supposed to.

I also know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, without even knowing your full story - that you're currently dealing with at least one of the struggles I mentioned above. And let me tell you...

Your life isn't supposed to be this way.

The answer is right here, guys. It's right here in front of your face. It was for us. It is for you too.

The physical, emotional, financial, spiritual freedom you've been longing for - it's all encompassed in this post.

And this company - Young Living - has filled those cups. In every single way.

I don't need to convince you of anything - but I felt like if I didn't write this, if I didn't share what's happened with us, if I didn't tell you why I gave up on my news anchor dreams because of what God has done - then my story would be pointless, useless, and would do nothing to help you, or your family.

Our lives never turn out the way it was "supposed to be" in our own minds. 

Because God's desires, and plans, for your life - are perfect.

I gave up on my news anchor dreams. But only because God had something different. And He could have something different for you, too.

He wants you whole. He wants you well. He wants you happy. He wants you thriving.

Physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially.

Today's the day things can change for you. So let it.

Get a starter kit. Let me help you figure this out.

And let God do the rest.

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The Desire of Our Hearts: The "Winnie House"

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I've always been a dreamer.

Meaning, I'd dream things, and they would actually come to pass - or they'd foreshadow something - or they'd reveal feelings buried deep within my spirit. Even as an itty bitty little girl. Kinda crazy, but true.

But every time I'd dream of being HOME - whether the context of that dream was set as a little girl, or as a teenager, or as an adult - I'd always dream of being home in the "San Benito house." Even if I no longer lived there anymore, I still dreamed I did.

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It was the home we lived in the longest, my siblings and I. It was an oasis my parents built from the ground up. To this day, I bet I could walk around that house with my eyes closed and not run into a single thing. It was a place filled with laughter, filled with beauty, filled with memories, filled with Jesus.

But when I was in 8th grade, we moved. My parents built a house in Harlingen so we could go to high school in that district. And though the new home was beautiful - there was never, EVER going to be another home that felt like our "San Benito house." Never.

Blaine and I have now been married for 4 and a half years, and we have been renting this whole time. Before kids, we lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment. When we got pregnant with Lace, we moved into a quaint, two bedroom duplex. But when Lace was a year and a half old, we found the most special place of all - the "Winnie house."

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It was everything I ever wanted in a home. Painted white brick, mint green trim, black shutters. Dark wood floors, all-white kitchen, big picture windows. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a separate den area. Screened in porch, spacious back yard, all located in a safe and quiet neighborhood in the heart of town. 

When we toured it, we knew there was something special about this house. Something that we couldn't put our finger on - but it was just...different. Anointed, even.

And it was for rent - and in our price range.

We immediately put in our application within hours of touring it. However, we got a call saying there was another application in front of ours - a family who was moving to the area from Chicago.

My heart sunk. Why did I feel this way about that house if it wasn't supposed to be ours to rent? Why did I feel so safe within those walls if we weren't supposed to live there?

We started praying. Praying for the desire of our hearts - praying that the Lord would somehow, someway, let us live in the "Winnie house" - praying that for whatever reason, God would draw the landlord's heart towards our application instead.

About a week later, we got another phone call.

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The landlord told our realtor that since the Chicago family didn't have jobs in town yet, he denied their application, and accepted ours. And if we wanted to move in, we could do so ASAP.

The desire of our hearts.

Year 1 in the "Winnie house" was just as we had expected - special. So special. We got close with the neighbors, had family and friends over all the time, and most special of all - got pregnant with Hugh. 

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Two years earlier we gave birth to Lace at a birth center, because we thought it'd freak our duplex neighbors out if they heard my exorcist-like labor screams through our conjoining paper-thin walls. Now that I was pregnant with Hugh, I knew that being in the "Winnie house," I could groan and wail and battle cry through the entire labor and delivery process, and no one would hear a peep next door.

We were already so connected to this place - that Blaine would ask our landlord every couple of months if he would agree to sell the "Winnie house" to us. 

And every time, the landlord said no.

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Year 2 came as quickly as the first - and it was even more special. God started moving mountains in Blaine's real estate career, my lifelong passion of writing/video/creating came to pass with Healthier Hannah, Lace started flourishing in her larger-than-life personality, and we gave birth to our sweet, sweet Hugh - all within the walls of the "Winnie house."

Relentlessly though, every couple of months, Blaine would still ask our landlord if he would agree to sell the "Winnie house" to us.

And every time, the landlord would - still - say no.

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As we were approaching year 3, Blaine sat me down and said that we were going to have to make a decision.

It was time for us to buy - to start building equity in a home rather than renting one.

So, we either needed to let the landlord know that we would only rent the "Winnie house" for one more year, or buy a different house before year 3 started.

That same sinking feeling came over me. It felt like the "Winnie house" was trying to slip through our fingers, yet again. The home that was everything we ever wanted, the home we were raising our family in, the home that literally witnessed the birth of our only son - wasn't going to be a part of our lives anymore.

We told the landlord our dilemma, and that we would have to make a decision soon. We started touring homes to buy, both in town and out of town. But every house we saw - I would compare it to the "Winnie house." And it just - simply - never measured up.

We finally found a house that was somewhat comparable, one that we considered putting an offer on.

But it was so bittersweet - well, actually, it felt more bitter than sweet. We were going to have to move, again, (and let's be real, moving sucks). And we were being forced to submit to the fact that while the "Winnie house" was so good to us, it was apparently not God's will for us.

But just as we were about to put in an offer on this new house - we got an email. 

It was our landlord.

"After further consideration, we have decided to grant your request to purchase the property ("the Winnie house"). However, understand that we do not normally do this with our properties, as we have many homes in the area we rent out. But we have agreed that we will do this for your family only. If you would like to draw up a contract, let us know, and we will begin the process."

The desire of our hearts. Oh, He is such a good, good Father.

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And as of September 27th, 2017, the "Winnie house" officially became ours. The home of the Crews family. Forever. (at least I pray so)

I tucked the kids into bed that night, prayed over them, took a shower, and laid down in my own bed.

And as I drifted off to sleep, I had yet another dream. 

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I was home again - and, as usual, it was in my childhood "San Benito house." I was sitting in the living room watching TV, when I heard my kids giggling at each other in the kitchen.

But as I got up and walked into the kitchen, that 1995 "San Benito kitchen" morphed into the 2017 "Winnie kitchen." The Berkey water filter appeared on the counter, black and white MacKenzie Child's decor was being sprinkled throughout, a rainbow of at least 100 essential oils colorfully faded into the picture.

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I looked around and realized what was going on. My picture of home was subconsciously changing, in the most beautiful way. I stood there, back against the refrigerator, and cried - right there in the middle of my dream. Because I knew - now that I was dreaming of our "Winnie house," this was exactly where God wanted us to be.

We look forward to raising our babies here. We look forward to creating a thousand more special memories here. And I pray this is the home our kids dream about their entire lives.

We are home now. And Lord, we delight in YOU for it.

"Delight yourselves also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." -Psalm 37:4
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Healthier alternatives to WINE? Is that even a thing?

It's no secret that I love wine. All the winez. 

I've talked before about how, well, I just simply enjoy it. It's interesting to me. Tasty.

And in fact, some of my fondest memories as an adult have been at - none other than - wineries. Went to a bachelorette-weekend-of-a-lifetime with some of my best girlfriends, exploring at least half a dozen different wineries. Had the most passionate/romantic/memorable date of all time with my fiancé (now husband) at a winery. Experienced some of the most decadent foods that I've ever had in my entire life with my parents, at wineries. 

Plus, I hate beer (aaahhh don't kill me), so that's probably also why I'm a little partial.

Here's the deal, though. In this new journey of finding "all the healthier things," I've done a fair share of research on wine. And believe it or not - most wines aren't good for you AT ALL (shocker, I know).

And no, I'm not referring to the fact that it's alcohol and you probably should be drinking water instead (though, yes, that fact is true, but I mean - balance - right? hehehe).

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I'm actually referring to the chemicals/additives that are within most wines themselves. The stuff that makes you feel like crap after - legit - like one glass. The stuff that gives you hardcore headaches, or hangovers-that-definitely-shouldn't-have-been-a-hangover considering the very little amount you truly consumed the night before.

For one thing, they don't make wine now a days the way they did back in ancient times. The process and farming techniques now have much higher levels of alcohol, sugar, and chemicals/additives that improve the color/texture/flavor of the wine.

In fact, there are 76 chemicals that are approved by the FDA to be used in wine-making, and 38 of those additives are even considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe).

WHAT?! Gross, gag me. No. 

Fungicides, pesticides, mycotoxins, phthalates, and an ungodly amount of sulfites - all of those are lingering in your wine. Just floatin' around. Gettin' in yo belly.

And keep in mind - most of these wine companies aren't required to put on the label that they contain these additives. In fact, by law, the ABV (alcohol by volume) levels that are written on the outside of your favorite bottle of wine can be up to 1.5% greater than what it actually says. Like, they're allowed to get away with that, according to the government - if they're a little off in levels, hey, that's fine! Right?

WRONG! I want to know EXACTLY what I'm consuming, not a rough estimate.

So, here's what you need to look out for in researching which wine alternatives are healthier and better for you:

1) No added sugars to boost fermentation

2) Less than 12.5% ABV (the lower the alcohol content, the better you'll feel, all the while enjoying the taste)

3) Organically farmed and "dry farmed" (meaning only pure, natural rainfall contributes to the growth of the crops, not irrigation)

4) No commercial yeasts used on the grapes

5) Sulfites under 75ppm (even better if the sulfites are naturally occurring)

You can totally find wines like this at your local health food store. But, since I'd much rather have stuff shipped to me (because two kids under 3, y'all, going shopping with them isn't "the funnest thing ever" right now or anything), I picked Dry Farm Wines instead. They send me wine monthly, meet all of the above qualifications PLUS some, and I have never once been disappointed with any bottle they've ever sent me.

And, of course, by no means am I encouraging you to pick up wine-drinking if it ain't your thing! I just know that many of you readers might be like me. Wine (when drinking responsibly) enhances the flavor of foods, can enrich conversation and memories, and can help you relax after a long day.

Or, if you're REALLY like me, it can make you feel like a nicer person immediately after one sip. Even after a day of screaming kids and broken vases and pee-soaked sheets and realizing the veggies you wanted to cook for dinner are actually growing mold, all the while growing a massive zit in between your eyes and getting super annoyed with the fact that your husband decided to go on his fourth golf outing of the week.

And if you can't relate to any of those feelings at all - well. Cheers, anyway!

To try out Dry Farm Wines, click here.

10 Surprising & Preventable Things that Can Cause Headaches

There is nothing worse than a throbbing head.

The pain, the intense ache, the inability to get rid of something that can be so debilitating. 

In the United States, over 37 million people suffer from migraines, and 2-3 million of those migraine sufferers are labeled as chronic. 

While there are many things that can potentially cause headaches, here are some things that might surprise you that can trigger one. Knowing these facts can potentially help you eliminate the use of these products or change your habits to prevent painful issues in the future.

1) Room Sprays or Plug-Ins

While they might smell good, store bought room sprays and plug-ins contain chemicals like formaldehyde, phthalates, benzene, styrene, and other toxic agents that are hidden within the product but not listed on the label. According to the Environmental Working Group, these known allergens and toxins are researched and proven to be carcinogenic, extremely disruptive to the respiratory system and endocrine system, and can be a main cause of headaches for many people.

Our family threw away all room sprays and plug-ins and began diffusing essential oils instead, which cleanse and purify the air without any toxins, as well as make our home smell good. Some of our favorite essential oils to diffuse are Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, or blends like Thieves, Purification, or Stress Away.

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2) Candles

This one made me sad, because I was a huge candle-burner in my day before I knew the risks. Like room sprays or other fragrances designed for the home, most store-bought candles contain tons of toxic chemicals that can emit from the fumes when burned. The University of Melbourne did a study that showed how certain scented candles contained chemicals like benzene and toluene, which can damage the brain, nerves, lungs, and cause some gnarly headaches, too.

We have been able to create some amazing scents that remind me of my favorite candles by diffusing essential oils, too. This is a perfect chemical-free option that is safe for everyone in the family to be exposed to. My husband's favorite diffuser blend is 3 drops Lemon, 3 drops Peppermint, and 4 drops Thieves. My favorite diffuser blend is 4 drops Bergamot, 3 drops Lavender, and 4 drops Copaiba.

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3) Household Cleaners

I remember times when I would clean my house with conventional window sprays, countertop cleaners, mopping liquids, and dish soaps that would leave me with raging headaches - so much so, that I would make every excuse I could NOT to clean. Not to mention, the fear of my children exploring under the sink and coming in contact with these toxic products was absolutely terrifying.

If the "call poison control" warning on the back of isn't scary enough, household cleaners contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, perchloroethylene, 2-butoxyethanol, quarternary ammonium compounds, triclosan, sodium hydroxide, ammonia, and chlorine. If you plug these chemicals into the database on the Environmental Working Group website, you'll see they're some of the most damaging and dangerous chemicals that you can ever expose yourself (and your family) to. They can easily cause headaches, but also can cause other health issues that could be horrifyingly detrimental to the body.

We have ditched all of the stuff we previously had under our sink and simply switched over to natural cleaning products like Thieves Household Cleaner (which safely and effectively cleans EVERYTHING - countertops, floors, toilets, windows, mirrors, you name it) , Thieves Dish Soap, Thieves Laundry Soap, and even the Thieves Foaming Hand Soap. These products are plant based, safe for the body, highly cleansing, and aromatically pleasing, too.

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4) Beauty Products

Sorry to burst your bubble, girlfriends - but your favorite creams, makeup, face wipes, or cleansers could be having a major negative effect on your body - and yes, even contributing to unneccesary headaches.

The average woman applies over 300 chemicals to her face and body even before eating breakfast - those chemicals including parabens, isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, polyethylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), color pigments, talc, fragrances, and phthalates. Overuse of products with these chemicals contribute to headaches, and other dangerous symptoms that can deeply damage the body and immune system.

I, personally, had a hard time letting go of my favorite beauty products, mainly because I hadn't found any "natural" options that I liked better - that is, until recently. I now use Savvy Minerals makeup, the ART skin care line, and other natural beauty products that have left my face, hair, and skin feeling fresh, beautiful, and guilt-free due to the perfect plant-based ingredients. Click here to watch videos on my makeup and skin care routines.

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5) Perfume

Store bought perfumes are artificial fragrances. In fact, the word "fragrance” is simply a broad category hiding potentially hundreds of toxic chemicals. Perfume companies are not required to reveal the actual chemicals that are within their fragrances, hence keeping you in the dark about the true toxicity of what you're spraying or applying on your skin.

The toxic chemicals in perfumes have the potential to cause major headaches and migraines, on top of birth defects, cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, reproductive issues, and so much more. 

Instead of perfumes, I now use essential oils instead. And yes, my husband uses essential oils as a natural cologne, too! His favorites to wear are Shutran, Idaho Blue Spruce, and Frankincense. I created a DIY perfume with a custom blend of essential oils for myself, too, and talk about it in my most recent "Natural Perfume without the Toxins" blog post.

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6) Bright Light Bulbs

This one was quite surprising to me, but it actually makes perfect sense. People who are prone to headaches and migraines can have a sensitivity to sensory input, and the brightness of certain lightbulbs can cause anywhere from mild to severe head pain, as explained by Deborah Friedman, MD, a neurologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

When we originally moved into our house, the previous owner had left a whole box of LED energy-saving light bulbs in a cabinet. Being that we were wanting to cut down on unnecessary costs, we used those available bulbs in our lamps and ceiling fans. Over time, we realized it was causing us to get headaches more frequently, and even straining our eyes when the lights were on.

We switched over to incandescent light bulbs and softer lighting with less wattage, and we have never had a problem since.

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7) Computer, Smartphone, or TV Screens

We are a technological world today. Most people work on computers or smartphones for hours and hours per day, and even wind down at night by watching their favorite Netflix series. Yet, our eyes are straining to read small print on cell phone and computer screens, which can cause head tension and pain. On top of that, computers and cell phone screens have excessive levels of blue light, which can bring fatigue and sensitivity to the eyes. 

Ways to prevent this are to buy an antiglare screen protector for your computer or phone, or even blue light glasses to wear while using your device (get $5 off a pair here with promo code HANNAH5). If you have an iPhone, you could also turn your screen settings to "night shift," which eliminates a majority of blue light levels. Other options are simply to cut down your computer, phone, or TV time, or look away for a few minutes to give your eyes, and head, a break.

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8) Jewelry or Hair Accessories

Ever notice how when you wear that one pair of earrings, you immediately get a splitting headache? Or the relief you feel when you release your hair from the rubber band holding your ponytail together? Or how much pain a little bobby pin can cause?

I know it's frustrating, but sometimes jewelry and hair accessories are major contributors to headaches. The pressure that is being applied over long periods of time on the scalp or earlobes can cause nerve sensitivity and produce head tension. Wear your hair down, consider styling your hair with different tools, avoid wearing clip-on earrings, or choose to wear earrings that are lighter in weight.

9) Glasses or Sunglasses

Sort of the same as jewelry or hair accessories, sometimes the long use of glasses or sunglasses can be what causes a headache. Pressure on the upper bridge of the nose or behind the ears can be the very thing that is radiating pain straight to your head, and sometimes cause your head to hurt even long after you remove your eyewear.

Contacts are an option if you experience this on a daily basis. Other times, getting a new prescription could be exactly what you need, because your eyesight and vision could change over time.

Or, in my experience, I began to purchase glasses and sunglasses with plastic brims that have built-in nose pads. The protruding nose pads on my former thin metal glasses were what gave me splitting headaches in the past. 

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10) Diet

Last but not least, diet may be the biggest culprit to your headache problems. Here are some things you would want to avoid:

1) Sulfates: Found in alcoholic beverages. These are preservatives that can increase blood flow to the brain and cause dehydration, hence triggering a headache.

2) Caffeine: Some people who are addicted to caffeine can experience withdrawals when they don't have caffeine, hence triggering a headache. Or, sensitivity to caffeine can bring on a headache, too. 

3) Tyramine: Things like cheese and even bananas can contain tyramine. It's a substance that forms when the proteins in those foods break down over time. Aged cheese, especially, has higher levels of tyramine.

4) MSG: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a food additive that is known to be extremely damaging to your health, and is found in many non-organic foods, processed foods, and in things like soy sauce. It's been found to cause cramps, diarrhea, and migraines in 10%-15% of people. 

5) Nitrites / Nitrates: Found in processed foods like hot dogs, bacon, and lunch meats. These are preservatives that are known to dilate blood vessels and trigger headaches. 

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In order to pinpoint what in your diet could possibly be triggering your headaches, you can keep a food diary and narrow it down there. Also, simple elimination of these preservative and chemical-laden foods can bring drastic improvement, as well as switching to a dairy-free, gluten-free, or all-organic diet.

Is there something that triggers a headache for you that is not on this list? Comment below and tell us - KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER!

We Pay $450/month for Healthcare. That's It.

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Yes, that title is correct. And no, I'm not kidding you.

I remained on my father's health insurance plan up until the day I turned 26 years old. But once that day came, I knew I was going to have to join my husband Blaine's plan - and we were terrified. 

We knew we needed health insurance for two main reasons - in case of emergency, and for pregnancies. Outside of that, we were in great health thanks to Young Living's essential oils, supplements, and plant based products that kept us and our babies in top notch wellness. 

But premiums were rising. Costs were skyrocketing. The idea of paying hundreds (and possibly over a thousand) dollars a month for a growing family was not only scary, but downright ridiculous in our minds. It felt like, unless something catastrophic or expensive happened to us health-wise, we were throwing money out the window.

We started researching other options of healthcare that were approved under the Affordable Care Act. We were asking friends, reading articles, looking online, and praying that God would provide us with an affordable option that was perfect for our family.

We were then referred to Christian Healthcare Ministries.

It's not insurance, but rather a co-sharing program, where thousands of Christian families nationwide come together to voluntarily contribute to each other’s medical bills.

You simply choose a plan (plans can vary from $200-$450 a month), and your monthly payment goes into a "pool" of money. When someone in the program has a medical need that is over $500, the organization will take money from the "pool," and cover the costs for that person's medical bills.

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Because Christian Healthcare Ministries is okayed by Obamacare, there are no penalty fees to use this as your choice for healthcare.

But since this is not "insurance," you're considered a "self-pay" patient whenever you do visit the doctor. You pay for your prescriptions and visits out of pocket if it is less than $500 per incident. However, if the incident adds up to more than $500, you can submit your bills to Christian Healthcare Ministries, and they can reimburse your costs that went past that $500. 

When we had both of our kids, we ultimately only paid $500 to have each baby. Christian Healthcare Ministries reimbursed us for the rest. 

When I was hospitalized for mastitis after Hugh was born, we ultimately only paid $500 in medical costs. Christian Healthcare Ministries reimbursed us for the rest.

Lace was even recently hospitalized for dehydration and non-stop vomiting, and we are ultimately only going to be out-of-pocket $500 for that incident, too. Christian Healthcare Ministries will reimburse us for the rest. 

All we do is send in our receipts and bills to the organization, they review it, and send you a check in the mail to pay it off.

And my oh my, how many thousands upon thousands of dollars we have saved this way!

Christian Healthcare Ministries also has a super cool referral program, where you can get free months for bringing friends on board, too. Our previous insurance programs didn't do that for us, that's fo sho!

This program might be for you, too, or it might not. But since it has been such a money-saver and a great healthcare option for us, I felt it important to share this option with you, mi amigo!

To research if this ministry is for you, click here. And if you choose to enroll, be sure to let them know Healthier Hannah sent you by inputting my member number - 232612 - on your application!

Give Christian Healthcare Ministries a shot. It might ultimately pay for yours. ;) 

A New Season of Motherhood that is Perfectly Posh

I have messy children.

Lace is in that "let me try to pick apart Play Doh into as many micro pieces as I can and smush them into the fibers of the carpet" phase.

Hugh is in that "cup filled with Ningxia Red and Zyng on table? No problem, let me knock it all over mom's gray and white rug" phase.

And both of them in that "paint and markers? Let's color all over our bodies and all over the floor, too" phase.

I know, it's a season. As much as it makes me crazy, it's a pretty cute little season in our lives right now. 

But a new season that I'm not sure how I'm going to react to, one that will literally change the dynamics of our life drastically - is one that's coming up after Labor Day.

Lace is starting preschool. AND ballet classes.

And hey - it's only a few days a week - but it's still going to be a whole new ballgame. She'll have homework to do, little projects to complete, lots of driving to activities and classes and birthday parties and play dates here and there and everywhere.

As much as I'm looking forward to this new season, I can already foresee something - if I think my house is a disaster now, it's going to be nuclear in the coming months.

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Insert my friend Emily Jones-McCoy. Yes, the reporter for Texas Ranger's baseball team. Yes, the inventor of Posh Play. Yes, the mom of "Hot Mess Hattie" and "Warm Mess Henry" as she calls them. And yes, a hard-working, career-thriving, kid-raising, hubby-loving, life-living kinda mom. She does it all - and she does it all so, so well.

But here's the thing, Emily's kind of like me when it comes to our kids. She embraces their quirks, shamelessly shares their funny little habits/faces/shenanigans with the world, and knows that even in the midst of kiddy chaos, motherhood is hilariously beautiful - in a so not cookie-cutter perfect kind of way. And it's totally okay.

But another thing Emily and I have in common, is we like stuff that makes our lives easier. And if it's aesthetically pleasing or fashionable on top of that - TAKE ALL MY MONAYY!!

So the other day, Emily gave me a couple of her most popular creations - the Posh Play Mat and lunch sack / bottle carrier. Immediately, my eyes grew into big red pumping hearts, because I knew that this new season of motherhood for me was just about to get a whole lot easier, and a whole lot cuter, too.

The Posh Play Mats are chicly designed for in home use - arts and crafts, babies and kids' mealtime, homework, and messy play. But on top of that, they're also great for outdoor use - picnics, park visits, play dates, the like.

They are made from beautiful faux leather in snakeskin and crocodile embossed textures, making it super easy to clean (spill-proof and wipeable) and super cute to have in the home (can even be monogrammed). Oh and PS - my mat is in one of my favorite turquoise colors, so SWOON!

The Lunch Sack she sent is also perfect for toting around Hugh's bottles, my Einkorn granola as a snack on the go, and Lace's favorite organic gummy bears. And if anything spills or leaks on the inside - no problemo, mi amigo - easily wipeable, too.

The thing I'm most excited about, is I have Posh Play in my life just before this new season of motherhood and kidhood.

Now, I have the perfect mat to lay on the floor to let Lace play with her Play Doh pieces. I'll just tell her she can't get off the mat, because it's the "safe zone" and everything else is "lava."

Now, I have the perfect mat to lay on the floor and eat snacks with the kids. And if Hugh knocks over my Ningxia Red and Zyng drink - WIPE THAT BABY RIGHT UP.

Now, I have the perfect mat to help Lace with her preschool painting and coloring and drawing projects, and sewing up her ballet shoes and costumes.

Nap time, tummy time, lunch time, diaper changing time, picture time, homework time, painting time, play time, picnic time - this is going to be such a perfect addition to our ever-changing life. 

Things like this make new seasons something to look forward to.

To get Posh Play for yourself or a fellow mom friend, go to poshplaymat.com. And if you like discounts, like me, use promo code HANNAH for 20% off!

Natural Perfume without the Toxins

There's something about smelling good that makes you feel that you at least have "some of it" together.

Not "all of it," but enough to confidently walk into the grocery store without people knowing that you have a sink full of 4-day-old dishes and that the only thing keeping you alive is coffee and dry shampoo.

My whole life, perfume was one of my favorite gifts to receive. It made me feel womanly, attractive, and always put me in a better mood. However, as I started learning more about how toxic our everyday products can be to our health, I was completely heartbroken to learn about what my perfumes had the potential of doing to my body.

Store bought perfumes are artificial fragrances. In fact, the word "fragrance” is simply a broad category hiding potentially hundreds of toxic chemicals. Perfume companies are not required to reveal the actual chemicals that are within their fragrances, hence keeping you in the dark about the true toxicity of what you're spraying or applying on your skin.

The toxic chemicals in perfumes are known to cause birth defects, cancer, nervous system disorders, migraines, headaches, allergies, reproductive issues, and so much more. YIKES! 

So, instead of using perfume, I now use - you guessed it - essential oils! Not only does it make me smell good, but it is super healthy for my body.

Not to mention - ZERO of the toxic chemicals found in my former perfumes are found in these oils. WINNING!

However, I was running into one problem. There are so many good-smelling oils, and so many great-smelling blends. But there wasn't one that reminded me of my favorite fragrance that I used for so many years. So, I decided to make my own!

Now, don't get me wrong - DIY's are NOT my thing. However, I found it extremely exciting to create a fragrance that I could use to help me feel and smell absolutely divine.

Not to mention - I also decided to use a gorgeous empty crystal perfume vial that has been sitting in a drawer for a long time. So the fact that I was able to create a lovely masterpiece inside a glamorous keepsake, made this experience even more fun.

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Healthier Hannah's Natural Perfume

INGREDIENTS:

- 30 drops Bergamot Essential Oil

- 14 drops Copaiba Essential Oil

- 14 drops Lavender Essential Oil

- 4 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

- 100ml Empty Perfume Bottle

- 1 Tbsp Vodka

- Distilled Water

DIRECTIONS:

In empty perfume bottle, add in vodka and drops of each essential oil. Mix well. Fill rest of bottle with distilled water. Spray or apply on skin, and smell divine!

Aromatic Description of Each Essential Oil

BERGAMOT

Bergamot’s aroma is light, tart, citrusy yet sweet. Its uplifting yet relaxing aroma makes it a popular oil in perfumes, cosmetics, and lotions. In fact, approximately 1/3 of men's cologne and 1/2 of women's perfume contain an essence of Bergamot. In addition to its scent, Bergamot has attracted attention for its cleansing properties, and it’s often used as a luxurious ingredient in shampoos, soaps, and cleansers.

NOTE: Because Bergamot can cause photosensitivity, avoid applying the oil before spending time outside.

COPAIBA

Known for its gentle, warm, uniquely sweet yet woodsy aroma, Copaiba essential oil helps create a relaxing atmosphere when diffused or applied topically. Its natural fragrance makes it a popular essential oil to apply on the skin and even diffuse. 

LAVENDER

Lavender has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. It’s this dynamic aroma that has made the flower a classic for perfumes, soaps, fresheners, and beauty products. Because of its classic scent, it’s also highly versatile. From skin care products to relaxing routines, this oil can infuse many areas of your life.

YLANG YLANG

Ylang Ylang essential oil has a sweet, rich, romantic, floral scent. In fact, history shows that newlyweds would cover their bed with ylang ylang flowers on their wedding night. Because of its intoxicating aroma, it is a popular element in luxurious and indulgent perfumes and skin care products. You might even find this oil in high-end hair care products and spa treatments. 

Not only is this blend of essential oils my choice for a perfume, it is also my choice to diffuse in my home, or add on my diffuser jewelry.

The smell of all these essential oils together has made my life a little more happy, fragrant, and beautiful. Give it a try, or have fun making your own!

To order any of these essential oils for 24% off, click here.

Jesus can make Disney Villains beautiful, too

 All excited thinking I'd get some pretty hurr. NOPE.

All excited thinking I'd get some pretty hurr. NOPE.

Ever have something super annoying happen to you, then you reflect back on how ridiculous you were for being THAT annoyed?

I went to go get my hair done two days ago. My regular stylist wasn't there, so I had to use someone else who was supposedly "very skilled in bayalage on blondes." 

Lol. L-O-L.

 What I wanted (left). What I got (right).

What I wanted (left). What I got (right).

I walked in with the expectation of looking like a Disney princess. However, I walked out looking like Cruella De Vil. 

And I'm not kidding, y'all. Highlights and lowlights that were Dalmatian black and white. From top to bottom. All over ma head. 

I panicked. I ran out of the salon. I was on the phone with my girlfriends, sisters, and mom for hours afterwards - whining, crying, complaining that there was no hope in fixing such a permanent travesty. That I was so scary-looking that even puppies wouldn't come near me.

 (Eye roll). Soooo dramatic.

 Whiney sobby selfies I was sending to my friends. "I even look like a referee in a bun" (eye rollllllll)

Whiney sobby selfies I was sending to my friends. "I even look like a referee in a bun" (eye rollllllll)

While their words helped ease my nerves, I also held my Stress Away with a death grip. I swear that bottle was always within arms reach of me for a full on 24 hours. Applying, inhaling, diffusing, the works - using God's plants to ground my emotions and help me act like a rational human being that I totally wasn't at the time. 

 Wine always makes things better, too. 

Wine always makes things better, too. 

Finally, though - two separate hair salons, 6 hours of corrective treatment, and 3 stylists later - my Disney villain hair was neutralized to look more like a mixture of Princess Belle and Jane from Tarzan. Still not exactly what I wanted, but bearable. 

So now that my former-blonde-now-brunette self had calmed down a bit, I woke up this morning to do my daily devotional. 

And whadya know. The words on the page left me speechless. 

"Worship Me in the beauty of holiness."

"I created beauty to declare the existence of My holy being. A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic splendor - all these things were meant to proclaim My presence in the world."

"Most people rush past these proclamations without giving them a second thought. Some people use beauty, especially feminine loveliness, to sell their products."

"How precious are my children who are awed by nature's beauty; this opens them up to My holy presence."

I gasped. How off-balance my thought process was. Putting so much emphasis on stupid hair - and giving ZERO credit to God's beauty that was right in front of me. Nature. Plants. Constituents in a bottle that were helping me emotionally this whole time. Evidence of God's beautiful presence all along that I was definitely using - but definitely not acknowledging. 

Outward appearances are so fleeting. So superficial. So warped and twisted to what the idea of "beauty" truly is. 

And this morning, I came to realize that beauty isn't hair color, or makeup, or body image, or looks.

Beauty is love, is nature, is glory, is true, is holy, is real - is JESUS. 

You were fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who created beauty to begin with. And no matter what happens to you, or what you look like (naturally, purposefully, or accidentally), you are His. 

You. are. beautiful. 

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Style your Home and Oily Life with Rose Rack Boutique

I'm a pretty picky person.

I'm picky about how I style my home. I'm picky about designs. I'm even picky about how I carry my oils out in public.

So when my girlfriend Krystal Rackley started designing and creating mantle designs, banners, party decorations, and now essential oil carry bags - I pretty much freaked out.

Krystal and I both like pretty things, cute things, things that look fashionable and things that are functional. And once I got a glimpse of everything she had designed in her Etsy shop Rose Rack Boutique, it was like I came across EXACTLY what I was looking for in my home and in my oily life.

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Here's also a little fun fact about me - I'm a self-proclaimed MacKenzie Child's addict. I love all things black and white courtly check. So, when I asked Krystal if she did custom designs with her banners - she said YES!

Even if the banners you see on her website aren't exactly what you have in mind, she can create what you're looking for to the tee - and create it even better than you have it pictured in your own head.

And when it comes to essential oil bags - just CHECK THESE OUT.

Like - oh my goodness.

Easily my favorite carry bags out of ALL of them I've ever seen made throughout the years.

Not only are the designs beyond adorable, they are extremely functional. The elastic bands inside the bag can fit your 15ml bottles, and still have plenty of room in the center to carry your Thieves spray, hand purifier, lip balm, keys, or cell phone.

Now, obviously I'm sharing this with you because that's what I do - I tell you about my faves. BUT, I'm also sharing this with you because everything is also on BIG TIME SALE.

For anything your little heart desires to order from her online boutique, you can get 10% off by using promo code HANNAH10. And, if you want to order one of her UNBELIEVABLY CUTE essential oil carry bags, she will give you FREE SHIPPING on orders placed on or before July 1st, baby! 

Cute house. Cute oily bag. Cute boutique. Cute sale. 

Everything an oily momma could ever want!

Click here to get 10% off and free shipping on or before July 1st with promo code HANNAH10.

Follow Rose Rack Boutique on Instagram @roserackboutique or like their Facebook page Rose Rack Boutique!

Browse her boutique here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/roserackboutique

Once a Wino-saur, now a Juice-ceratops

Hi, I'm Hannah Crews. And I love wine.

I've simply just enjoyed wine over the years. I love tasting new wines, touring wineries, exploring wine lists at restaurants, comparing and contrasting brands I'm familiar with. It's so fun to me.

And - yes. Having one glass of wine chills me out, too. Especially after a long day full of boogers, screams, stepping on legos, and burning dinner. Ya feel me, moms?

So, when Juice from the Raw sent me a 3-day cleanse to review, and I knew I couldn't drink WINE during this cleanse, my inner WINO-SAUR was like "RAAAWWWRRR noooooooo!!!" 

But, I had to tell myself, "Suck it up buttercup. You need a cleanse. Your poor colon needs to get rid all that fast food, fried food, sugary food, and salty food, and yes - all that wine, too. It's time for a CLEAN SLATE for SUMMER."

This is my second time doing the 3-day Juice from the Raw cleanse.

I discovered it from my dear friend Susan (theconfidentmom.com) a couple years ago, and I was pretty much startled at the difference I felt in my body, mind, and soul after just 3 days of cleansing.

Their 3-day cleanses ship in a box of 18 drinks, where you drink 6 a day every 2 hours, or whenever you feel hungry. You're also allowed to eat 1 raw vegetable a day if you wanted to. (I would put some broccoli or cauliflower sprinkled with salt on a pan, and baked it for a crispier taste).

While I totally understood that juicing is a good idea, I HATE JUICING. But I LOVE JUICE FROM THE RAW, and here are my reasons why:

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1) The quality and ingredients are top notch.

Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Organic, Diary-Free, Soy-Free, Kosher? I don't know how much better you can get than that!

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2) It's extremely convenient.

I, personally, don't have time to wash, rinse, cut, juice, and store my OWN juices every day. I'm a "give it to me pre-made" kind of person. So the fact that these juices are all ready to go for me, and all I have to do is keep it in the fridge, it makes my life so much easier.

3) It actually tastes good.

I mean, who actually truly enjoys the taste of spinach juice by itself? NOT ME! So, what they've done, is they've blended each drink with a few different fruits and veggies, so that it's actually bearable and yummy to taste.

4) They don't juice their fruits and veggies, they cold press them!

Who would have thought that "juicing" your fruits and veggies isn't always the best way? Pressing produce, the way Juice from the Raw does, helps keep the nutrient-rich enzymes intact. It's by far the healthiest way for you to get your raw, unadulterated juices, because cold-pressing provides 3-5 times the nutrients and enzymes than your average juice!

5) The reviews ROCK.

After a survey of over 2,500 users, here were the results:

92% Experienced some weight loss during the cleanse.

93% Would recommend Juice from the Raw to a friend.

91% Agreed Juice from the Raw was a good detox.

94% Enjoyed the taste of the juice.

83% Plan to or have done a repeat cleanse within 3 months.

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My results?

After completing the 3-day Whenever Cleanse with Coconut Fusion, I wasn't as bloated. My digestive system was flushed out effectively and completely. My desire for sweet tea, fried foods, or bread went down to ZERO. 

And - here's the shocking part:

I couldn't finish my glass of celebratory wine for completing my cleanse. I just...simply...didn't want to! 

While normally that would make me sad - because I am a self-proclaimed WINO-SAUR - I have to admit. Being a JUICE-CERATOPS has made me feel so much better.

I even found myself missing my daily juices so much, that I immediately ordered a Forever Cleanse - just so I can fulfill my tastebuds for my beloved green drinks (my favorite ones)!

Does that make me weird? Maybe.

But finding this new "inner dino" in me is one of the best things that's ever happened for my health, and I encourage you to try it too.

CLICK HERE to use promo code hannah55 for 55% off your first cleanse! 

Gift Ideas for the Natural Mom

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DADS! Sons! Daughters! Friends! Coworkers! ....whatever!

Mother’s Day is coming up quite quickly.

And you don’t want to be stuck the day before thinking - “Cheese & rice, I forgot to get mom something! Let’s go to Walmart real quick.”

Y’all, Mother’s Day is the ONE DAY us moms have in an entire year that is designated to make us feel special. We are a poop-cleaning, dinner-cooking, soccer-practice-carpooling, boo-boo-kissing, people-pleasing kinda being.

I mean if I'm being honest, I'm lucky if remembered to put deodorant on for the day. Am I right or amirite!?

So look, y’all. I’m writing this out for you so you can get ideas in PLENTY OF TIME of what to get that special mom in your life - something she would really love to have.

And especially this mom of yours loves natural stuff – OH. This is the blog post for YOU, my friend!

1) Essential Oils Starter Kit

Look - if momma don't have oils, momma ain't living! Especially if she is already natural minded, this is the PERFECT (and coolest) gift you could give her, hence why it's rated number 1.

The Premium Starter Kit from Young Living is the gift that keeps on giving - because mom will be able to use these oils and products for TONS of reasons. 

Bad day at work? Stress Away.

Sore muscles from exercise? Panaway.

Tension in her head from screaming kids? Peppermint.

Ate a bad taco? DiGize.

Can't shut off her mind to go to sleep? Lavender.

Needing major immune support? Thieves.

Seasonal changes got her down? RC.

Emotions need to get in check? Frankincense.

Teething baby? Copaiba.

Gum in Sally's hair? Lemon.

Natural air freshener? The Diffuser.

The cool thing is, it's normally a well over $300 value, ONLY for $160 right now. So not only is it a bargain, it's a BIG GIANT almost HALF OFF bargain!

Plus, if momma really likes this stuff, she will get a 24% off discount on any products she wants to try in the future - just for getting the Premium Starter Kit first. Win-win, girlfriend!

To get your mom a Premium Starter Kit of Young Living essential oils, click here!

2) Natural Makeup and Nail Polish

So it’s no secret that I love ALL THE PRETTY MAKEUP THINGS. And ALL THE PRETTY NAIL THINGS. And sometimes, there are other mommas out there who just wants to feel beautiful every now and then, too.

But what about makeup that's not toxic? With no harsh chemicals? That is full of plant based ingredients and zero synthetics?

Or what about nail polish that is free from the top 10 most harmful chemicals found in conventional nail polish?

I'll tell ya - one of my most favorite natural makeup and nail polish brands out there is 100 Percent Pure. And if you haven’t gotten a chance to watch my natural makeup brands video – you totally should. Or the natural nail polish video – you totally should do that too. Because I RAVE about how amazing this company is, and how impressed I am with their products. 

So, let's brainstorm and browse together. Does momma like to wear:

Lip Colors? Click here.

Mascara? Click here.

Blush? Click here.

Eye Shadow? Click here.

Eye Liner? Click here.

Foundation? Click here.

Concealer? Click here.

Bronzer or Highlighter? Click here.

Nail Polish? Click here.

There's bound to be something on this list that she would absolutely adore.

Plus, they’ve got this AMAZING promotion going on right now, where you can get FREE SHIPPING on any products on their website! Perfect in time for Mother's Day!

Click here to take advantage of NOT PAYING that extra mula! 

3) Diffuser Jewelry

If momma loves oils, you’ve GOT to get her some diffuser jewelry! It’s so perfect!

Diffuser jewelry is so cool - it's a way to wear and smell your essential oils all day, on top of feeling fashionable and put together at the same time.

One of my favorite new diffuser jewelry companies is called Diffusing Mama’s. They've got unique, beautifully made, and uniquely designed pieces, and for EXTREMELY affordable prices. 

They've got so many pretty things to choose from - necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, earrings and more. But let me help you break it down to see which pieces the mom in your life might life. Which one of these adjectives describes your mom?

Elegant? Click here.

Sophisticated? Click here.

Sentimental? Click here.

Green thumb? Click here.

Animal lover? Click here.

Musical? Click here.

Sporty? Click here.

Funny? Click here.

Timely? Click here.

Simple? Click here.

On top of that, you can get 20% off ALL pieces between May 1-14 during their Mother's Day special! Just use coupon code MOTHERSLOVE2017 when you check out!

4) Instant Pot

Now. Y’all. This next gift I’m gonna warn you – it’s about becoming a Pot Head.

An INSTANT POT HEAD that is! 

Really though, the Instant Pot has easily become one of my best kitchen companions - one that makes my busy life so much easier, too.

The Instant Pot a pressure cooker. But - it's not just any pressure cooker. The BEST pressure cooker, and the EASIEST and SAFEST to use by far.

You can literally cook everything in this pot, y’all. I make stews. Roasts. Chili. Applesauce. Even bake things – all in this pot, and it cooks in just MINUTES compared to the hours upon hours it would take me to do something like that in a crock pot or oven.

This thing has become so popular among the mommy community. The fact that it cooks perfectly, saves time, and makes mom's cooking life a little easier - is such a blessing!

And guess what!? You can get $50 OFF the purchase of an Instant Pot with a value of $144.95+ if you use the coupon code "HANNA" on their website at instantpot.com! What a steal! 

5) Big Berkey Water Filter

And now, last gift, let me tell you about my girl Bertha.

Bertha is the name I gave to my Big Berkey water filter. And oh, do I love her, so!

I have family and friends who have one of these, and these pretty things have quickly become one of the hottest items to have if you're a "naturally-minded" or "crunchy" mom.

Not only is it beautifully designed and looks gorgeous in the kitchen or home, it makes healthy water that you can actually AFFORD, guys. 

It does an incredible job filtering out any bacteria, cysts, parasites, sediment and sedimentary minerals, or any kind of harmful pollutants or chemicals in your water - making it super safe for the entire family to drink.

It holds about 3 gallons of water at a time. But the coolest part - you don't need to change the filters constantly, because they are good for a VERY long time!

Each black filter has a life of 3,000 gallons. If you have 2 filters, and use 3 gallons of water a day, they will last over 5 years! A pair of fluoride filters should be replaced every 1,000 gallons. At 3 gallons a day, that's about once every 11 months!

For us - that is a huge money saver. My husband and I spent a fortune going to the store and buying gallons of drinking water, alkaline water, filtration systems - you name it. But the Big Berkey has been the answer to all of our water problems - giving us the cleanest, healthiest water, and keeping money in our pocketbooks, too.

To get mom a Big Berkey and see how you can qualify for FREE SHIPPING, click here!


Whether you are on a budget, or whether you are ready to splurge a little bit on your naturally-minded mom, you simply cannot go wrong with any of these suggestions.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms, and happy shopping for everyone else! 

 

These F-words made me a better woman.

Let's be real. I ain't no reader.

I'm the kind of person who simply can't sit and read through entire articles. Or overly-wordy Facebook rants.

Or super long blog posts. (Wait, what?) 

But it's true. And if you tell me to read an entire book - shoot. I might just fall asleep on page iv of the introduction section.

I get bored, distracted, and easily start thinking of other things I need to get done that are "more important" than making it to Chapter 3.

Now, I know, that part of myself is absolutely ridiculous. I have always been taught that readers are leaders, and learners are earners. Or that a well-read person is a well-rounded person.

But, initially, when some of us bloggers were sent Oola for Women in the mail to read and review, I was torn in my mind between two things:

1) "READING...ughhhh," said the little devil on my left shoulder.

2) "YOU NEED THIS. You just need to learn to love to read, period," said the little angel on my right.

While the whole struggle leading up to it was all about the IDEA of simply READING something....

....the battle between "to read or not to read" disappeared before Chapter 1 even started.


Oola for Women, written by Dr. Dave Braun and Dr. Troy Amdahl, is absolutely, positively, undoubtedly going to be your next favorite on your "Summer Must-Have Reading List," girlfriends. It's gotta be.

The entire book was focused on the 7 F's of Oola (Family, Friends, Fitness, Faith, Field, Fun, Finance), and how a woman can live balanced in an unbalanced world if she works on all of those 7 key areas of life.

The authors take you on a journey of understanding the importance of all 7 of these areas for women specifically. And if you're lacking in any of them, the words on the page motivate you and encourage you to improve that part of your life so that you can be the awesome woman you were always meant to be.

Not only were their words inspirational, the authors added in stories told by none other than - you guessed it - women.

Stories that shared their struggles and victories in finances. Their hardships and triumphs among friends and family. Their wins and losses in fitness and field. And their discouragements and restorations of their faith in God.

Breaking up with toxic people/things/habits (Oola Blockers) and replacing them with good people/things/habits (Oola Accelerators) were showered throughout the book - things every single woman should absolutely read and reflect upon in what's going on within their own life. 

And now, let me be perfectly real and raw, here. Sometimes, when it comes to "personal development" or "life bettering" books, I catch myself thinking,

"I don't need to read that, it's not going to tell me anything I don't already know."

Or...

"I'm in a good place right now in my life. Reading a book on how I can make my life better won't...well...make it even better, I guess."

Oh, friends. 

Oh, oh, oh.

BOY, was I SO wrong.


If I could be even more real and honest - let me share with you some things that I have learned about Hannah Crews after reading this book.

1) I suck at making efforts to have more FUN.

Maybe I'm just a "low energy" (say that in a Donald Trump voice) kinda gal, maybe I'm too focused on other areas, or maybe I'm just - boring.

But in reading more about the importance of having FUN in life - I realized, man. I probably should let my hair down more often. I probably should make efforts to do fun stuff outside of just work and being a mommy. 

I learned that when you incorporate JOYFUL activities in your life - put the computer down and go ride a roller coaster at Six Flags or something - it allows you to think clearer, enjoy things that aren't so enjoyable, and feel happier and healthier from the inside out.

So what did I do about it?

I went out to dinner with my girlfriends, where we laughed our heads off for hours.

My husband and I are booking a cruise - just for the two of us.

We had a game night at my house with some of my lifelong friends.

And IT. WAS. AWESOME.

2) I suck at FITNESS.

Just the thought of exercising makes me wanna drink wine, y'all.

Just the thought of running makes me wanna hyperventilate.

Just the thought of doing a bench press makes me wanna fall over and play dead.

But good heavens. After reading this book, it was like a light switch went off in my brain... 

...and I hired a trainer.

While that might seem drastic, I've learned this about myself - I WILL NOT exercise unless I know someone depends on me to actually do it. 

"Looking good" doesn't motivate me. "Beating goals" doesn't motivate me. But having a trainer telling me to be at the gym at 11am....motivates me. Because I don't want to let HER down.

Like for example - I played sports all throughout my life, even at my university during my college years. But here's the kicker. Yes, I was good at these sports, yes they were fun. But to be quite honest - I exercised because my team depended on me to perform at my best. I exercised because my coach depended on me to show up for practice, games, and meets. 

So for me - the idea of inconveniencing someone else's time, or letting them down in my performance, or disappointing anyone who depended on me to show up and get work done, was my SOLE motivation to be fit at all. It was all about them, and never about me.

Once I recognized that about myself, I realized that if I was ever going to improve me, I needed to set my personality up for success. And getting a trainer has given me the accountability that I needed.

3) I've been sucking at FAITH...way more than I thought.

This is quite humiliating for me to write.

But have any of you ever been in a place where everything in life seems to be going pretty good? All your ducks are in a row, everyone around you is happy and loving, the only conflicts seem to be what you should have for dinner?

That's the season I've been in lately. And sure, it's been a blessing.

But after reading this book - I was convicted so strongly about my faith complacency, that I broke down in tears.

Yes, we go to church faithfully. Yes, we tithe obediently. Yes, we pray over our meals and over our kids before bed at night.

But I have been lacking in spending just that one-on-one time with my Jesus. I've not taken time to just sit back and reflect on my life, and thank Him for it. My mind would simply get distracted, and just go on to the next thing.

And I realized - oh my gosh. The last time I truly sought the Lord intently, and read His Word - was when things in my life were going WRONG.

I was being a fair weather Christian - only crying out to Him during the storms.

And I knew that had to change.

I pulled my daily devotional from the dusty bookshelf, turned to that day's reading - and what do you know. The topic was the importance of quiet time to deepen your relationship with Jesus. And I just wept.

All Jesus just wants is for us to worship Him, to love on Him, to lift Him high - through the good seasons, AND the bad. 

So if that wasn't the most loving correction ever, I don't know what is. 

I cannot thank the Oola guys enough for writing this book. It has opened my eyes to things I need to change as a woman, in the most loving and right-on way.

And friends, I know that you are ALL like me to a certain extent. There are areas of your life that you're ROCKING at - and there are areas of your life that you're SUCKING at.

So let's do this together. Get your book, too. And let's be the best women we can be - OOLA WOMEN.


BUY YOUR COPY BELOW BEFORE THE MAY 2, 2017 RELEASE!

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