An Ever Green Life 2014 Favorites

2014-favorites

I launched An Ever Green Life during the middle of last year. My goal was (and still is) to share what I know about healthy eating, natural body care, and raising healthy kids. I hope to provide information that will help you, my readers, make healthy choices for you and your family. I also want to encourage my readers to make small, lasting changes and to recognize that little changes really do add up and make a big difference. I hope that I am achieving these goals!

There’s always something new to be learned when it comes to healthy living, and it is (usually!) a joy to research and write my posts. Today I want to share with you some of my favorites from last year. Here they are, in no particular order:

A Thankful Heart

Choosing a Safe and Effective Sunscreen

Is DEET Safe?

The Catch 22 of the Sunshine Vitamin

An Introduction to Antioxidants

9 Tips for a Successful Natural Childbirth

How to Use Lavender Essential Oil

Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Peppermint

5 Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products

7 Tips to Help Cure Picky Eaters of Their Pickiness

May the new year bring you and your loved ones good health and much happiness.

Verefina Holiday Traditions: Sugar Scrubs

Verefina Holiday Traditions Sugar Scrubs

Photo curtesy of Verefina

Verefina Sugar Scrubs are available year round in Grapefruit, Cool Mint, Lavender, and Lemon Poppy Seed scents. During the holiday season, they also come in Spiced Wassail and Apple Cider. In addition to smelling amazing (because they’re scented with essential oils, not artificial fragrances), the sugar scrubs also have several health benefits. They gently exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and allowing younger, healthier skin underneath to emerge. Unlike salt scrubs, which may irritate cuts and scratches and are drying to the skin, sugar scrubs help moisturize it. Sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws in and holds moisture from the air. So not only does the oil in the sugar scrub moisturize your skin, but the sugar does too. I feel like I just went to a spa after using Verefina Sugar Scrub, and for only a fraction of the price! And a little bit goes a long way, making them even more economical.

The Verefina sugar scrubs are made with 100% natural ingredients. As I mentioned before, they smell heavenly, and they leave your skin feeling refreshed. The Holiday Traditions Scrubs make a great gift for the holidays, or a treat for yourself!

Verefina Holiday Traditions: Mini First Aid Sticks and Immunity Roll-Ons

Verefina’s Holiday Traditions products and packages are back again this year! Among the packages are the Little Miracles and Health for the Holidays Gift Sets. Both make a great little gift or stocking stuffer.

Little Miracles Gift Set

The Little Miracles Gift Set includes a choice of 6 or 12 Mini First Aid Sticks. First Verefina Mini First Aid StickAid Sticks are a Verefina best-seller and a year-round must-have. Made with 100% natural ingredients, the Mini First Aid Sticks can be used to treat a range of minor skin problems, including dried or cracked skin, chapped lips, cuts, scrapes, minor burns, cold sores, insect bites and stings, and acne. Mini First Aid Stick are lip balm sized, so they fit easily into a purse, backpack, diaper bag, or pocket.

Health for the Holidays Gift Set

Another Verefina best-seller, the Immunity Roll-On, is also available in a gift set Verefina Immunity Roll-Onduring the holidays. The Health for the Holidays Gift Set comes with 6 or 12 Immunity Roll-Ons. The Immunity Roll-On is made with a blend of five essential oils- cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary- that work synergistically to support immune health. This immunity blend is a household essential during the winter months.

Both gift sets come with pillow boxes and crinkle paper, making it easy to the give the gift of good health to family and friends!

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Verefina Aloe and Calendula Cream

Verefina Holiday Traditions: Aloe and Calendula Cream

A Thankful Heart

Children's Hands

Last Christmas my sister gave me a Gratitude Jar. The idea behind it is simple: whenever you feel grateful for something, you write that thought down on a slip of paper, and put it in the jar. My sister decorated the jar and attached these instructions to it:

Start the year off with an empty jar, and fill it throughout the year with notes about good things that happen. On New Year’s Eve, empty the jar, and see what blessings you received in the past year!

I loved this idea when I opened the jar nearly a year ago, and I’ve steadily filled it with grateful thoughts ever since. At times, I would add to it nearly everyday; at other times, several weeks or even months passed by before I wrote anything down again. But still I’ve kept adding to it. I keep the jar on my dresser, and it is a daily reminder that I have much to be thankful for. I don’t remember everything that I’ve written down, but the slips of paper help me recall that I have been blessed throughout this year.

Maybe it’s the Gratitude Jar, or maybe something else, but I’ve noticed a change in my heart these past few months. For as long as I can remember, I’ve generally been happy with what I have. There were always things, though, that I wished were different or things that I wanted more of. Our modest house has often felt too small; it seemed as if there just wasn’t enough space for all of us and our belongings. I love new clothes and always seemed to be buying another shirt or a new pair of pants. Being a stay-at-home mom was (and sometimes still is) exhausting and overwhelming. Why, I asked myself, could I never seem to get a break or catch my breath? And why (darn it!) was there another toy lying in the middle of the hallway for someone to trip over? What I’m getting at is that, while I was mostly happy, there was always something about my life that I wanted to change.

I’m not sure why, exactly, but I realized not too long ago that I now feel differently. My life is certainly not perfect, but I am happy with it as it is. My husband and I have been together for about a third of my life, and I am blessed everyday by his presence. Our children are healthy and happy, funny and sweet. They have brought us more joy than I could ever have imagined. We live in a close-knit, yet welcoming community and have many wonderful friends. We are part of a church whose members care for each other and those in the wider community. We are blessed to call the mountains home. And it finally sunk in not so long ago that such things are more than enough. I think I’ve long known this in my head but often failed to truly feel it in my heart. Would a bigger house be nice? Of course. Do I still like new clothes? You bet! But these are not the things that bring happiness.

The directions on the Gratitude Jar say to “fill it throughout the year with…good things that happen” and to “see what blessings you received.” But I realized just a few days ago that gratitude isn’t only about being thankful for what you get, it’s about feeling grateful for what you already have. Maybe that’s what suddenly- amazingly- changed in my heart. Whatever it was, I am grateful for it.

Gratitude Jar