Kids lunch ideas with *free* printable

Back to school is in full swing and I am loving the fact that I can hear the thoughts in my head again and go to the gym during the day without somebody calling my name 15 times :) 

What I do struggle with still sometimes is serving up nutritious lunches on the daily without stressing about having everything ready at any moment. It requires a lot of planning and making ahead but when you have a plan it becomes such a breeze - totally worth it. 

So to help finding things that are not always the same boring standards that my babies will get tired of I started making a list of things that they love and that I can easily switch up. 

You can download my list for free over on the right!
My tip: Tape it to the inside of your cabinet door so you can look at it when you need to in the mornings. I also use it for planning my grocery list and meal planning. 

Here is where I buy our snacks:

Larabar (Cashew are our favorites)
Organic Thin Pretzels (these are delish)

Our favorite Lunch box is the OmieBox. It's amazing because it can hold a portion of hot lunch as well as 2-3 cold or dry snacks. It's super easy for my kids to use, open and close and it comes with a carrying handle. Having tried out a bunch of different lunchboxes in the past these have become my favorite - they are also SUPER sturdy and not as flimsy as many others. I really wish I had bought these first - I would have never had to try any other ones. 


We use reusable stainless steel water bottles (these are my kiddos' favorites) because I try to have them stay away from juices during the school day. 

Let's conquer kids lunches in our amazing momtastic ways with these helpers! Enjoy!

Your path to greatness - what are you meant to do?

We are all destined to greatness!! You may not believe it yet- but you are here for a reason!

Finding your true purpose in life is such an exciting adventure!

Today I shared my new favorite tool for daily alignment with my purpose on Facebook. 

I got this book on the day of the total eclipse - after months of looking at it....I finally got the sign that I have to get was the perfect day!  

Watch my live here to see how the book is built and how it takes you through the journey!

This journal has become an amazing daily routine for me in addition to my other morning rituals (I will share those in a separate post). Each day you will be guided through different questions that really help you look at things from different views and focus you in on what matters so that you can inch up on those goals of yours! It focuses on gratitude, affirmations, visualizations, exercise and meditation. All of these combined will help you get to a state of more positivity, happiness and closer to your dream life!

The journal can be used for goals all across the, nutrition, career/dreamjob, spiritual growth, personal development, name it! 

To grab your copy of this amazing tool click this link. Use code DGX10 for a 10% discount!! Hooray!



The simplest way to start and end your day HAPPY!

Do you find yourself going to bed after a crappy day feeling like you failed? You know that even after a day where nothing seemed to go right...I bet you will find 3 things that put a smile on your face! 

Now imagine if you wrote those 3 things down right before bed! You would literally go to bed with that smile on your face! Do you have any idea how much positive impact that would have on your happiness? Especially if done daily!!! 

Check out my video about the 5 minute journal that I use every single day for a super subtle and simple focus change with HUGE impact! 

Below you will also see how the journal looks on the inside and how it's supposed to be filled out every day! 

Grab your journal here!


Flyer Fall SO copy.jpg

A daily mind vacation ... why I love my new habit of Meditation

Let's face it - I am like a squirrel running around all day trying to get #allthethingsdone. People who know me can testify that! And let me just tell you, it's not working out well. I end up doing 5 things at once (seems productive at first, right?) and never end up finish even one! Super annoying! 


Early this year I listened to an audiobook called 'Miracle Morning' and they recommended meditation as a method of focusing your mind daily and to continue that focus throughout the day. It also helps see things clearly and instill a feeling of peace and I searched for the best app and tried a few. 

I finally came across 'Simple Habit' and I freaking love it! I try to now meditate at least once a day for 5-10 minutes. It seems counter productive to take time out of our busy schedule to literally sit still and do nothing but listening and breathing - but soon you'll notice that the opposite is true - you gather your mindfulness and focus and you actually function better and more balanced for the rest of the day - it's practically magic. Still squirrel but not as bad, and believe it? I ACTUALLY get shit done these days (like this blog post).

Since I am more than grateful for having come across this simple change in my daily routine I had to share! I try to get my meditation in as part of my morning routine right before I write my gratitude journal = it's an amazing combo to start your day out on a super positive note!! 

When I feel the need, I do another practice during my little one's nap time - it brings my focus back on a crazy day and just gives my mind a timeout - so needed, right, Mamas?

My part of the app is actually a little wheel that touches all areas of your day that you might need a meditation for and you can pick from 5 - 20 minutes depending on how much time you have. 

I sooooo want you to try this out - you will see a difference in just one or two practices.

Check here what science says about meditation:


You can explore many different series of meditation practices and save them to your favorites so you can continue them daily. It's an amazing way to address any area of your life that you'd like to improve! 

Are you ready to meditate too? This is the app I use and LOVE!!!! Click here to get 2 weeks of FREE premium!!!!

Let me know in the comments what you think about it? 


Our usual Chaos - How to get back to taking pictures of your kids

Do it with passion or not at all

When my husband got me my first camera about 6 years ago his intention was for me to learn how to use it right and then take some really good pictures of us and the kids to keep in albums, scrapbooks and slideshows! Time was fleeting so fast, he wanted me to capture what I could and have fun doing it. 

Most of you know that adventure took a totally different turn when I realized how passionate about creating memories I had become! I launched my own photography business in 2011 and it was my absolute dream come true! 

Over the years though, as I was filling my calendar with my wonderful clients, I found myself getting more and more away from capturing my own kids and us as a family with my big camera - it was just too much to lug around that heavy thang wherever we went...just wasn't feeling it, you know? At the same time I missed it...

I tried every year as a New Years resolution to take a daily picture and post I had seen so many others do - but I failed miserably!! Like a week into it I already forgot the pictures or had no time to edit and post them...and gave up :( #fail 

This year was different. I decided to really make this a priority and also change up the concept a little so it works better for me!

I now store my camera in the kitchen where I see it often and take a snap of something that sparks my interest, is funny or just comes up in daily life around our house. I only edit once a week - set a timer for 25 minutes so I don't wander off into Facebook or other time sucking activities...and focus on getting a few good images finished! 

I am so excited that it's been a whole month now and I have not fallen off the wagon yet ha! I truly feel like I am connecting to my original passion and what I always meant to do! You can do this!

One year Cakesmash Session - Sneak PeeK

Cakesmash sessions are one of my favorite sessions ever! You never know what happens and they are always uber cute! 

This little cutie's family pointed me to a new to me location and I am in LOVE with it! It's beautiful, right on the Potomac and has an old lighthouse plus some gorgeous overgrown woods! A dream! 

cakesmashsession in old town alexandria

So he started out as a super happy camper but each time his little hand touched the frosting he screamed - it was hilarious (see outtake below). 

cakesmash session in old town alexandria

So we cleaned him off a few times and put him right back into the action. I was able to get some lovely shots and I am so excited to be able to give these keepsakes to this lovely family to forever remember their little buddy on his 1st birthday!

The super cute cake was made by my talented friend Cynthia from Cynthia Ann Desserts in Waldorf, MD! She creates the most delicious treats! 

Why you want to stay away from scented candles, wax warmers and air fresheners this Fall (and forever!)

"We live in a highly chemically infused environment where people use tons of products, just because it's on the supermarket shelves doesn't mean it's safe."

It's that time of the year - leaves are falling, air is getting crisp, we cannot wait to whip out those boots and cozy sweaters!! The one thing that CANNOT be missing is yummy fall smells (Hello, Pumpkin Spice!). So most of us go for a scented candle...I used to as well and loved it! 

Little did I know that though they seem safe, regular scented candles are a huge source of indoor air pollution and they put off chemicals that are considered just as dangerous as second hand smoke. Woah! (Source: Daily Mail UK and CNN)            

I learned this about 2 years ago and I was NOT happy!! I had used scented candles for years and years and had no idea that I was putting us at danger! 

perfect alternative to scented candles

When I started using essential oils I threw out all my candles...but when Fall comes around I still want that yummy spicy cinnamony orangy smell in my house that I love so much! Thank goodness there are diffuser blends that can give you the PERFECT alternative to those yucky candles with even better smells! 

The best part? The oils that you diffuse do not only smell amazing and are non toxic, nope! They even have health benefits when diffused into the air - so you are not only ditching the toxic air pollution, you are in fact cleaning your air and making you and your family healthier all in one (see more benefits below and google each of them as well - you will be so amazed!)

Below is my favorite Fall diffuser blend - so so good! 

Clove Essential Oil: Use For Antioxidant Support, Digestive Support, Physical Discomfort
Nutmeg Essential Oil: Nutmeg has a warm, spicy aroma that is energizing and uplifting. Nutmeg blends well with other oils such as Orange, Clary Sage, any Eucalyptus, and Ginger.
Cinnamon Bark: 
Cinnamon Bark has a hot and spicy fragrance that is said to unlock feelings of abundance. Many use it aromatically for its warm, inviting tones.
Orange Essential Oil: 
Orange essential oil, cold-pressed from the rinds of oranges, has a juicy aroma reminiscent of the fresh fruit.
Ginger Essential Oil: Use for Muscle Tension, Digestive Support, Stamina

Source: Young Living

If you feel like you are ready to start your own oily journey to better wellness and health, this month is a great one to start! Young living is giving a *free* laundry detergent to each person that grabs their Premium starter kit this month. you will basically be getting a $370 value of oils/diffuser/detergent for $160 - it's such a steal! More details are here!

Fall diffuser blend with Young Living Essential Oils

super limited Fall Availability for Photography Sessions

This year is going by even faster than last one. We have a home renovation, 2 trips in the summer, one weekend for Silver Retreat and other stuff on the calendar already for the upcoming months. 

When I was booking a cakesmash session for September the other day and we were having issues finding a Saturday that worked I realized how full my calendar is getting. 

So here are all 3 (yes, 3) dates that are still available on my calendar for family sessions in 2016! Get yours booked now to be sure to grab a spot! (of course I do have Fall Family Minis planned already - most likely for early October- keep checking for those to be released in mid Summer)

Oil Facts Thursday - Mind Blowing Fact #5


Adaptogenic means that essential oils can change and adapt to what your body needs, because it’s a natural substance. It does for my body what MY body needs, and for your body what YOUR body needs.

mindblowing facts about essential oils

Oils are a natural, living thing used to help your body work better. To work AS IT SHOULD.

Let’s say that we open up a bottle of Lavender together. For me, it might calm me down and make me want to take a nap. You might get a little burst of energy! This happens because the oil is adapting and doing what your body needs it to do for you.

Maybe for my body, I need extra support in normal estrogen delivery. And maybe your body needs to regulate and support the adrenal glands. Guess what? We can potentially use the SAME thing because the oil adapts!


Now here’s the other part of adaptogenic!

The essential oil you are using is not going to go past what the body needs. If you are supporting a certain organ in the body, imagine a vertical line that represents NORMAL. Maybe you are to the right of that line. The oil is going to do what it needs to do to bring you back to center. Maybe you are to the left of that normal line. It will do what it needs to bring you back to center.

It’s like a really nice friend guiding you through a maze with a blindfold on. Not the mean kind of friend that crashes you into things for their own entertainment.

Once you are on your NORMAL line, it just stops! You are not going to artificially drive the body in a bad direction. Because they are a natural substance and the frequency has done all that it needs to do, the body will stop accepting it.

Unlike this unfortunate scenario…





Oil Facts Thursday - Mind blowing fact about Essential Oils #4


Did you know??? Every single living thing has a different vibrational frequency. Every plant, tree, even water. Every cell in your body: your stomach cells, your liver cells… they ALL have a different frequency and they are all literally vibrating.

oil facts thursday mindblowing facts about essential oils

NOW, there has been a ton of scientific research done on plants and essential oils, so Young Living knows the vibrational frequency of each plant/oil. They ALSO have researched how the body’s cells function off of different frequencies. SO, they match the plants that help to stimulate and support that part of the body to create specific changes. Based on that, they use oils and create blends to help your body to operate exactly as it was supposed to!

mindblowing facts about oils #4.jpg

That’s why you can have an oil called JOY. Because they know that the frequencies of these specific plants/oils in that blend work with the right parts of the body to:

  • support emotional well-being
  • give a feeling of happiness
  • promote a more joyful outlook
  • calm down
  • reduce normal daily stressors

Scientifically, the oil is helping your body to experience joy! This is so, so fun for me to understand! Are you loving this??

The cells oscillate, hit another cell, and pass it on down the line… this is what’s happening! It’s literally vibration. And it’s PHYSICS. Nothing crazy or spooky or woo-woo is happening here, friends. It’s just physics.

Source: Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton, YouTube

Oil Facts Thursday - Mind Blowing Fact #3


The blood-brain barrier is a literal barrier, or coating, around the nervous system and around the brain, to keep toxins and junk out of it. It works HARD to keep the yucky things from reaching the most important part of your body – your brain. You can NOT live without the nervous system (your brain and your spinal cord), so we’ve gotta’ protect that bad boy!

(PS: in case you missed Facts 1 and 2, find them here and here)

Now, get this! The cell particles of essential oils are SO TEENY TINY and SO VERY POWERFUL, that they can cross right through the blood-brain barrier, through the blood vessels and capillaries, over the river & through the woods, and drive themselves right into your body quicker and more completely. This. Is. WILD.

There is an outer wall that keeps attackers out (it’s called your skin! Or your mucous membrane, like around your eyes). This wall fights off any invaders, until… something gets through that first line of defense. Then comes the next layer of warriors that are there to protect you. At each layer, the defending army of your body moves back to the next layer and continues fighting off the invaders.

Now the army that’s trying to attack narrows down further and further, giving the defenders more time to weaken the attacking army. This happens ring upon ring until the VERY LAST layer. That’s where the king (your brain & spinal cord) stays, hiding in that central tower behind all the layers of defense. If the attackers are trying to get through each layer, they better REALLY want that king. Because, the whole way in, they’re going to be beaten down, weakened and damaged by your defending army as they fight to get that king.

Let’s say a specific foreign invader gets into your body and you get sick. So you start showing symptoms. Once you have the symptoms, that foreign invader is WAY weaker than it would have been had you not had all those layers of defense!

We did a little research. We headed to and looked at several diseases. Almost every single one of them says “most commonly presents itself as a common cold.” You know why? Because your body naturally fought off something that could have been bigger and worse… and it fought so hard that the only thing those invaders had to show for themselves in the end was a measly little cold. That’s hardcore, and I love it.

Anyway, in the end, your king is safe!

Summary: Oils cross the blood-brain barrier so their wonderful power can get deep into your system neurologically, and affect every system of the body QUICKLY.