Chemical Free Cleaning? It's possible!

I know what you're thinking, how is it possible to really clean a home without chemicals?  Trust me, at first I was a skeptic too.  It just didn't make sense to me, I thought I needed the chemicals that gave me headaches or made me dizzy to really get rid of the germs.  However all of that changed when I purchased Young Living's Thieves Household Cleaner.  

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When I first purchased Thieves cleaner I mainly used it the for mopping our wood and tile floors, cleaning the toilets and sinks while still purchasing other name-brand "natural" cleaners that to handle other parts of our home.  After seeing how great Thieves was at cleaning, I realized my other cleaners just weren't cutting it.  I started looking online for other options that I could make with my Thieves Household Cleaner (Pinterest is a great resource for essential oils recipes). Recipes in hand, I ordered my 16oz amber glass bottles (they're better for storage and when using citrus oils that break down plastic) from Amazon.com and was ready to get my cleaning party started!  What to know my favorite recipes and their uses?  See below!

  1. The first cleaner I made was my all-purpose cleaner.  This is great for wiping down our counters, sinks, cleaning scuffs off the walls, and great for the white tile in our bathrooms.  All I need is 1 capful of cleaner, and fill the rest of the bottle with water!  
  2. The glass cleaner is AMAZING!  I don't think my mirrors and windows have ever been clearer!  For the glass cleaner I mix 1 capful of cleaner, 1/4 white vinegar, 4 drops of Young Living's lemon essential oil, and the rest water.
  3. The wood cleaner is another one of my favorites.  I use a similar recipe with warm water when it's time to mop our floors.  I mix 1 cap of cleaner,  a small amount (less than 1/4 cup) of organic olive oil, 4 drops of Young Living's orange essential oil, and then the rest water.
  4. For mopping floors - depending on the size and amount of water I use 2 caps of cleaner, warm water, olive oil, and Young Living's orange essential oil.

Now for $22 this lovely 14.4 oz bottle helps me keep our entire home clean the natural way, for a good chunk of time and I absolutely LOVE it!  Want to learn more about Young Living essential oils, products and how you can clean your home naturally?  E-mail me at richellem13@gmail.com or mesage me on Instagram!

Patriotic Mini-Cheesecakes

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays and I am always looking for new, fun ways to celebrate.  This year I found the perfect recipe for mini-cheesecakes that are healthy, easy to make, and won't have you in front of a hot oven!

For these healthy mini-cheesecakes you'll need:

  1. Pre-made mini-pie crusts (I found mine at Target) feel free to make your own pie crusts with graham crackers or ginger snaps, I definitely cheated. 
  2. 1 package of cream cheese (you're only going to use half)
  3. 1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt
  4. 1/4 cup of Honey
  5. 1/2 a lemon
  6. 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  7. Berries (for topping, I went with blueberries and strawberries)

Now, I don't think you're ready for how easy this recipe is.  

Once you have the ingredients all you have to do is beat 1 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 4 oz (half a package) of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/2 lemon zest in a bowl (I also gave a little squeeze when I was done zesting before I added the rest to my water!).

 After everything is all whipped together, separate the mix into the mini pie crusts (I was able to make 9 with the above measurements, although you have enough for 1 whole pie).  

Now for the hardest part, let them chill in the fridge for roughly 1 1/2 - 2 hours (if you can wait overnight that's even better!) 

When you're ready to serve, top with fresh berries!  

Do you have any patriotic recipes you love to share this time of year?  Please comment below! 

Travel Diary: Paris

I can't believe it's already going to be a month since we were packing our bags and heading off to France.  Now that we're finally caught up on laundry and the suitcases have finally put away, I couldn't think of a more perfect time to share some of my favorite things from our trip!  Our trip consisted of three parts; Part 1 - Paris where we stayed in the Marais arrondissement (Paris is broken up into 20 arrondissements or administrative districts; Part 2 - Bordeaux, one France's wine regions, and Part 3 - back to Paris but this time to stay in my favorite arrondissement, Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  

This was our first time staying in the Marais, so I was excited to explore a new part of the city and step outside our comfort zone.  It was also the first time where we decided to try AirBnB internationally.  I'll have to be honest, I was a little worried - but we were diligent about studying the reviews, setting requirements for ourselves and what we expected, and staying in communication with our host regarding our travel schedule.  All of that hard work definitely paid off and I can say without a doubt I would use AirBnB again while traveling abroad.

AirBnB allowed us the opportunity to stay in a typical Parisian neighborhood surrounded by locals and some of their favorite spots.  We were also just a 10-15 minute walk away from the Louvre and my favorite Tuileries garden.  Interested in checking out where we stayed?  Just follow the link here.

For our first day exploring the city, we decided to pay a visit to the beautiful Sacré-Cœur located in the artsy Montmarte- note to self, wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to walk a lot of stairs.  This beautiful basilica is located at the highest point of the city.  The threat of rain was in the air, but the age old cliche still rings true - there's nothing wrong with a little rain in Paris.

If you're a fan of Dali, Renoir, Modigiliani, Picasso, and so many more you simply cannot skip Montmarte.  This city is where these artists lived and worked!  You can stroll past some historic cafes, while street artists will ask you if you'd like them to paint your picture.  It truly is an interesting arrondissement filled with so much artistic history. 

We took our time strolling through Montmarte because the next day we had reserved a bike tour through the beautiful Versailles!  Now if you haven't experienced Versailles, let me tell you - it's HUGE.  My first trip to Paris was with my family and since we were completely oblivious to how big the grounds are, so we decided to walk it.  We saw everything, but it did take all day and by the end we were cranky and past the point of sore feet and onto shin splits.  This time, I knew the only way we could see it comfortably was by bike!   Regardless of how you decide to see it, I do recommend making it a point to visit this amazing place and blocking out an entire day to see it.

Our tour started a Fat Tire Bike Tours office in Paris.  From there our group took the RER Train to Versailles which is roughly 45 minutes away.  After a short walk from the train station, we picked up our bikes and as a group road down the streets to a very traditional Parisian open air market.  There we were given time to purchase food and drinks (we chose wine!) to have as a picnic inside Versailles.  After the market we rode straight into Versailles and started at the Petit Trianon (which we toured) and then made our way over to Hamlet (my favorite), which is Marie Antoinette's little village and farm where she used to play peasant.  After exploring those two areas, we rode over to the water parterre where we had our picnic.  Tom and I chose fresh cheeses, meats, a baguette, and bottle of rosé!  After lunch we were guided back to the front of the front of the palace where we toured the inside.  

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After Versailles we had one full day left in Paris before it was off to Bordeaux.  We decided to take it slow, so we strolled from our flat to the Place Concorde.  From there we headed down to the Champs Elysees.  We stopped in the Grand Palais to view the current Rodin exhibit, and then made our way down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.  Now we haven't been to the top of the Eiffel Tower (we're both deathly afraid of heights), but we thought it would be a nice compromise to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe.  Let me tell you, if you haven't done it - you need to!  The Eiffel Tower is stunning, but you can't see it from the top.  When you're on the top of the Arc de Triomphe you have views of the Champs Elysees and the Eiffel Tower.  It's amazing and I can't believe it took 3 trips for me to figure this out. 

We were fortunate enough to be in the city on the one night of the year where all of the museums are open until midnight and are free!  We chose the Louvre and there really is an element of magic when you're strolling through a museum at night.  Don't worry though - if you can't make it for that one night a year, every Wednesday and Friday the Louvre is open late.  I can't recommend enough seeing it at night, it's a totally different experience than seeing it in the day.  Also, the Mona Lisa is great - but Napolean's apartment can't be missed!!

Places to Visit in the Marais (and surrounding areas):

  • Louvre
  • Tuileries Garden (get the gelato by the pond where the little boats sail!)
  • Angelina Paris (especially if it's cold, you have to try the chocolat chaud)
  • Peonies Paris - the cutest coffee shop
  • L'As du Fallafel Restaurant
  • Any glacier (Paris' ice cream) you walk by!  I made it a point to try them all. :) 

If you're looking for more recommendations, please shoot me an e-mail or comment below!

San Diego Hat Co.'s Newest Ambassador

It's no secret that I am a lover of hats, which is why I am so excited to announce that I am one of San Diego Hat Company's Spring/Summer Ambassadors!  San Diego Hat Company is one of my all-time favorite hat brands!  I love how they truly embody the San Diego lifestyle and make it available to everyone all year long through their amazing selection of stylish accessories.

So to celebrate my ambassadorship I am sharing my five fave hats from San Diego Hat Company that'll have you ready for summer vacation in time!

We're getting ready to take our much needed vacation, so keep an eye out to see how I style some of my favorite pieces!  

Have you added any go to accessories to your summer wardrobe?  I'd love to hear more! Comment or share with my on Instagram!

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San Diego Hat Company

 

 

One of my favorite trends for spring right now is straw bags.  Whether it's a tote, clutch, or everyday purse, there are so many cute options available right now!  

This round clutch from San Diego Hat Company is perfect for backyard BBQs or after church brunches.  I love how it holds just what I need and is quite the statement piece!  

Another straw staple in my closet this season is the Cameron Street Straw Byrdie from Kate Spade.  The combination of leather and straw in the design makes a work friendly piece.  It'll get you right through the work week and then off to picnics in the park over the weekend!

To see more of my favorites, scroll down below!

Starting top left: 1.)  San Diego Hat Company  2.) Bloomingdale's  3.) J. Crew and 4.) San Diego Hat Company

Which ones are your favorite?  Do you have any spring trends you love?  Share below!