Happy Friday!

Direct Sales companies have been around for years, but I feel like they are more common now than they’ve ever been.  Or is that just me?

I have signed up 5 times with direct sale companies over the past two decades.  After my experiences, let me just say I think its more than just liking the product you love.  The company itself has to be amazing!

And out of the ones I have been a part of, none compare to the company I am currently with!  Here’s a short list of my favorite differences.

1) I get a free website with no strings attached.  In the past I have had to pay monthly for a website, or spend a certain $ amount.

2) I get to pick what free product I want each month, and I don’t have to spend $350 to get it!

3) Free shipping on most orders.  And its fast; I get it within days of placing my order!  No shipping club fees for faster, cheaper shipping on my orders here!

4) I have the ability to get paid weekly and monthly with a higher return than any of the other companies I was with.

5) The company truly, truly is a family!  My team leaders are approachable, and always sharing and checking in with their team.   The company owners are personally in the fb groups sharing, talking, and listening to their members.  Maybe that comes with being a smaller, new company; but it transfers over to feeling respected.  You don’t have to be one of the top earners to get recognized on a personal level, and I love that.  I pray they never loose it!  I am in love with my company, and it fits so well with my cosmetology license.

I am so glad I tried Monat; I have never liked my hair as much as I do now!  It’s so healthy, its thicker, shinier, and I’m only in month three!  Cannot wait to see my 12 month results!

As a stylist who stepped out of the salon mainly due to family and health issues, I felt so empty and unfulfilled no longer working in the beauty industry.  It had been a dream of mine for so many years!  Monat has filled that role for me and I couldn’t be more excited about the days to come!

Another goal of mine is to bring hubby home.  his days in the military really did a toll on him, both physically and mentally.  yet, he still works to take care of us.  I married a good man.

Curious to find out what your hair is wanting?  Take the Hair Quiz to find out!

Blessings & JOY ~



NEW Products!!

Earlier this month at Young Living’s Convention in Utah, SO MANY AMAZING products were released!  Here’s a synopsis of a few of them!  Because they are from a wellness company I can trust, I know that they are the best and safest on the market!  I cannot wait to try them all!! ♥♥♥

After Sun Skin Care

Refresh and recover from a day in the sun with Young Living’s LavaDerm™ After-Sun Spray. This naturally derived after—sun spray offers temporary relief from the pain and itching of minor burns, minor cuts, sunburns, scrapes, insect bites, and minor skin irritations, so your family can keep playing all day.

Using menthol from mint, this spray soothes and cools the skin, providing immediate relief from the effects of outdoor activity. Plus, its moisturizing qualities—from ingredients such as aloe, Lavender essential oil, and Helichrysum essential oil—also help prevent peeling and leave skin feeling soft and smooth instead of tacky or sticky. With a vegan-friendly formula made without alcohol, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic colorants, LavaDerm After-Sun Spray is ready for the whole family to use at the beach, on a hike, or during any outdoor playtime.  Formulated without alcohol, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, animal-derived ingredients, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic colorants.

Insect Repellent

Don’t let bug bites ruin your family’s outdoor fun this summer! Young Living’s Insect Repellent is clinically proven to repel mosquitoes and other tiny invaders using only 100 percent naturally derived, plant-based ingredients.  Pure sesame oil and a carefully selected blend of essential oils traditionally used for their bug-repellent properties come together to make up all 99 percent of the active ingredients in this formula. The other 1 percent? Vitamin E. That means you can use it on your little ones and not worry about the harsh chemicals used in many traditional repellents. You’ll also love the pleasant, citrusy aroma and smooth, non-greasy, non-sticky application.  Formulated without DEET, parabens, fillers, phthalates, petrochemicals, animal-derived ingredients, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic colorants

**Due to state regulations, this product is not available for purchase in every state.**

Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

Made with ingredients you can feel good about, Young Living’s Mineral Sunscreen Lotion provides protection against UVA and UVB rays without harsh chemical ingredients. Instead, the non-greasy sunscreen offers broad-spectrum SPF 10 protection using naturally derived plant- and mineral-based ingredients, including non-nano zinc oxide—a physical UV blocker. The lightweight formula goes on smooth and stays water- and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes, so you can feel comfortable while you stay moving. With hypoallergenic ingredients and skin-loving essential oils—such Helichrysum, Carrot Seed, and Frankincense—this gentle sunscreen rubs on smoothly without a white residue, so you can effortlessly add it to your time outdoors.  Formulated without UV chemical absorbers, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, animal-derived ingredients, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic dyes.

Super Cal Plus

There are plenty of calcium supplements you can choose from, but Super Cal Plus™ was created to offer more than just calcium and minerals—it is a true bone-health supplement. With a synergistic blend of bioavailable calcium, magnesium, vitamins D and K, and other trace minerals, Super Cal Plus supports the structure, integrity, and density of bones and teeth.


Optimize your workout recovery with the triple-targeted formula of AminoWise™. It uses three blends for one powerful result: The Muscle Performance blend aids muscle building and repair, the Recovery blend helps reduce muscle fatigue, and the Hydration Mineral blend replenishes important minerals lost during exercise.  AminoWise was developed and formulated to fill a need within the nutritional product line as a during and after-workout replenishing boost for the muscles. With a hydrating blend of minerals that are lost during exercise and with no added sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or artificial colors or flavors, AminoWise is a standout in the field of workout supplementation.

AlkaLime Stick Packs

AlkaLime™ now comes in convenient single-serve stick packs, so you can enjoy this mild, alkalinizing drink on the go. Keep a few in your purse, backpack, or at the office. Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.  Helps maintain optimal pH in the stomach.

Seedlings Line 

While babies are known for their cuddly softness, dry skin affects infants just like adults. Hot baths, dry air, irritants, and other factors can all leave your baby uncomfortable and fussy. Combat the effects of dry skin and prevent future dryness with Young Living Seedlings™ Baby Lotion. This non-greasy moisturizer supports moisture barrier function and smoothly absorbs into your baby’s delicate skin, leaving it moisturized, soft, and smooth.

The mild, gentle formula of Young Living Seedlings™ Baby Oil was developed for an infant’s delicate skin. The ingredients are 100 percent plant-based and naturally derived to create a baby oil that will moisturize, soothe, and nourish your baby’s skin without the use of mineral oil.

Young Living Seedlings™ Baby Wash & Shampoo is formulated specially for infants’ delicate skin. Its mild, gentle formula is tear-free, sulfate-free, and made from 100 percent plant-based, naturally derived ingredients. It leaves skin and hair clean, soft, and smooth and makes tangles easy to comb out.

Young Living Seedlings™ Baby Wipes are ultra-soft and comfortable. The soothing formula leaves skin moisturized, soft, and smooth while providing gentle and thorough cleansing without drying your infant’s delicate skin.

Savvy Minerals


Whether you use it as the base of an elaborate look or on its own for a more natural approach, our mineral foundation has you covered. Part of our Savvy Minerals by Young Living™ line, this long-lasting foundation is made with high-quality, mineral-based ingredients. Its buildable formula can be used for sheer to full coverage and blends flawlessly for a natural-looking foundation that still diminishes the appearance of imperfections and blemishes. It is also an all-day foundation, so you don’t need to worry about it as you transition between your home, work, and social life. Plus, we specially crafted it without fillers, synthetics, or parabens, making it a great foundation for sensitive skin. With its long-lasting formula, gentle ingredients, and gorgeous finish, Savvy Minerals Foundation is the only coverage you need stashed in your makeup bag.

Nothing says natural, youthful beauty like blushed cheeks. You’ll love the healthy glow that Savvy Minerals Blush provides and the way it boosts your natural radiance. The mineral-based ingredients in Savvy Minerals by Young Living™ Blush are finely ground to provide a smooth, luxurious application. This also helps the product go on flawlessly, creating buildable color in a long-lasting blush that blends well for all-day wear.

Bring out your natural beauty without compromising on quality. Savvy Minerals by Young Living™ Lip Gloss provides natural-looking sheer to medium color coverage while adding shine. It applies flawlessly without the sticky feeling of many lip glosses.  This lip gloss formula is not tested on animals and is made with natural ingredients, so you can feel good about what you are putting on your lips. It’s also formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, bismuth, talc, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic colorants.

Complete your flawless look with a touch of mineral veil setting powder from Savvy Minerals by Young Living™. A sheer, mineral-based formula, Veil’s luminizing formula applies smoothly and easily, creates highlights, and blurs fine lines and pores for a glowy, airbrushed finish for all skin tones.


As a licensed cosmetologist, I think I am the most excited about the make up line.  But the bug repellent and AminoWise are a close second!  What excites you the most???

Find out more about all the new products here!  If you are not a YL Member yet, simply sign up here!

I would love to chat with you on Facebook ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~




p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥


Earn your Premium Starter Kit


So, I think this is kinda cool.  I mean, who doesn’t like FREE?  If you become a Young Living Member with a Premium Starter Kit, you can get “thank you checks” that will pay for the cost of the PSK!  How?  Simply by sharing this amazing wellness company with 3 (or more!) of your friends who become members, too!  When they sign up with a PSK you will receive $50 from YL bonuses!  $25 for the Start Living Bonus and $25 for the Fast Start Bonus!  Is that just not amazing?!

Bam!  Premium Starter Kit paid for!!

I wish I had known this when I signed up!!

If that got you excited, you might like to know that for every new distributor you personally enroll with a PSK, you’ll not only collect $50 but 25% of their orders for the first three months, too!

Being a wholesale member (think Costco) with Young Living gets you the amazing product at 24% off without the membership fees!  Yes, you pay to become a member…BUT YOU GET PRODUCT WITH THAT PAYMENT, unlike other wholesale companies.  Over $300 worth of product for only $160!

In the Premium Starter Kit you receive the Everyday Oils Collection and it is definitely named appropriately!  Those babies get used in our home on a daily basis!

Every day I am grateful for Young Living!

Blessings & JOY!


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Please use the “become a member” link above to sign up, or enter my member number (1622294) manually when signing up.  TIA!

{Rudling} sneak peak

So… while I don’t pursue family portraiture photography as a full-time business, it is something I really enjoy doing!  Especially of awesome friends!  This is the second time I have photographed this sweet family.  Only this last time we added grandparents!


The Mrs is a wonderful resource teacher; which is how I met her originally.  She has been such a blessing to our family; so glad to call her friend!



The Mr has only the best.accent.ever!  This time I got to enjoy the same wonderful accent from his parents as well!  Such a sweet, sweet family!



Thank you for entrusting me to capture your moments in time!

Blessings & JOY,



Our Response to the Bird Flu


Have you bought eggs recently?  I usually have quite a stash in our fridge, so when I went to buy eggs today I about died!  And we have a location to buy eggs (typically) at a great price!

Eggs more than doubled, all in response to the recent bird flu epidemic.

I only bought one dozen because we were clean out of eggs.  Yes, I want to buy farm fresh, free range eggs…but I am also quite budget conscience…and while I fully agree that we will pay for health in either our grocery bill or doctor bill…we have to eat and we have cut out 99% of processed foods.

We know someone who sells free range brown eggs and now they are totally a bargain, thanks to the bird flu!  So that is what we will be buying, until….we get our own fresh eggs!!


We recently bought a gorgeous house, and just brought home baby chicks!  We are going to have back yard chickens!!!  I am so excited!  Hubby grew up with chickens; I am so grateful that he will be able to teach me all I need to know about our egg laying pets.  😉


So, that is our response to the rising cost of eggs!  Albeit, indirectly…as we got the chicks before we knew about the bird flu.  Who else has backyard chickens?

Blessings & JOY ~



“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

Let me just say: never ever give up on your dreams!

In my recent post ‘Blessings’, I spoke of how many our dreams were becoming a reality in this new chapter of our family’s lives.

One of my dreams (for the past 20 years) was to be a licensed cosmetologist.  I have taken steps to attend cosmetology college three times.  The first time I was out of High School and our town had an adult college and the beauty course students were selected by lottery.  I took the entrance exam, but alas, was not chosen to be a student that year.  Life continued and I ended up married to my sweetheart and had three beautiful children.

Fast forward about 10 years and here I was again, in another town, taking steps to attend cosmetology school.  We had our three children, the oldest only being in kindergarten.  Because the school had just removed the night class option (and child care isn’t cheap!) I once again put my dreams on hold.

For the past few years, I have been researching the three cosmetology schools in the town we currently reside.  Because I wasn’t sure how long we would be staying, I always hesitated to enroll.  Now that we have purchased a lovely home here and have plans to stay for many more years, I have finally enrolled in a cosmetology school!  I am super excited, and am looking forward to this next chapter in my life!

I qualified for the Pell Grant, but will still acquire a student loan.  I want to pay it off as soon as possible, and will be offering portrait sessions (local clients), gallery wraps of my still life portraits, and different items in my etsy shop, with the hopes of buffering the cost of college!

Having dreams is important, being able to work to fulfill them is amazing, and I pray that my children will see that is is never to late to go to college and to fulfill their dreams.  I pray that as I will most likely be a “class mom” that I will be an example to the younger students.  That even though life may get in “the way”, cause them to be put on hold; that with hard work, creativity, and patience – dreams will come true. 😉

I don’t regret any of my past.  I have been blessed with the ability to be a stay-at-home-mom to our three children and that has been the best and most rewarding “job” I have ever done.  I don’t regret staying home and putting college on hold. This dream that is now becoming a reality has me quite excited!

Blessings & JOY ~



Wow!  It has been three months since I last wrote you! kids2 Can I just say how AMAZING God is when you seek Him and His will for your life?  Our family has gone through personal and physical changes already this year!

Our family recently ended a 6 year chapter in our lives.  To say it was stressful would be an understatement!  We didn’t know where God would lead us, or where our next chapter would be.  We were praying for direction, for jobs, for peace.  We were applying for jobs all over the United States, with nothing really coming back.  The end was coming near and we were starting to stress.  How do you provide for a family without income and a roof over your head? We had already given notice to the housing office on post that we were moving.  We called it our “homeless lease” as we were taking steps to move forward, but with absolutely no idea where that would be!

On a Wednesday my hubby met with our pastor.  They shared, prayed, and my honey left feeling blessed.  Two days later (when he has asked God for an answer by) he was feeling even more overwhelmed as we still didn’t have any answers.  In fact, he had only gotten a single ‘no’ to all the jobs he had applied to.  Then, within 15 minutes time he received not one, but TWO, job offers with excellent companies! We had also been in contact with a local property manager/realtor looking for a place to rest our heads at night.  We own an adorable boxer dog, and that always makes it harder to find a rental as no one wants you to have pets in their home.  I understand their sentiment, but it sure makes it hard when a member of your family is a sweet fur baby!

After that initial phone call with the awesome job offer, all the little details started falling into place.  The dreams we had as a family started becoming realities.  We LOVE where we live and were so glad we were offered a job locally.  We had been looking (dreaming) at homes in a neighborhood for many years, and had our eye on a house that had been for sale for quite a few months.  The home was still available!

Because the housing office was in the middle of a large policy change (and the fact that God takes care of ALL the details) we were granted permission to stay on post, in our home that we had enjoyed for 5 years, for a few extra weeks until we closed escrow on our new home!  What a blessing it was to be able to simply move from our old home to our new home, without having to store our items for a week and stay in a hotel.  You should see our boxer run all over her new (and so much bigger) back yard!

All the details, no matter how small, were taken care of!  It was so evident that we were moving in the direction that God wanted us.

Adjusting to these new life changes has had its challenges, but it has been so worth it!

Blessigns & JOY ~


Rock the Lunch Box


I recently joined Influenster.  It is a fun website where you can voice your opinion and experience on different products and companies.  You can also get a VoxBox or two in the mail, with products!  I was quite excited when I qualified to participate in their Rock the Lunch Box campaign! I was mailed coupons for some healthy lunch options.

Annie’s White Cheddar Bunnies –  We have always been a fan of Annie’s.  I love their crackers and macaroni & cheese boxes.  These White Cheddar Bunnies were no exception!  They are so good, and can be quite addicting!  😉  Not food related, but I love how they make their boxes the size they need to be vs a box that looks like you are getting more than you are!  Saves trees, too!

Honest Kids ‘Berry Berry Good Lemonade’ –  I found this lemonade light and refreshing, but weak in the LEMONade part.  My daughter didn’t even think it tasted like lemonade to her.  I am always one for a healthier alternative, and I am sure my kids enjoyed having such a treat (they usually get water) in their lunch boxes!

Rudi’s Organic Bakery Multigrain Sprouted Bread – This delicious bread is found in the freezer section, and once we brought it home I kept it in the refrigerator.  It is soft and not crumbly, with excellent flavor.  Hubby wanted to try the sprouted grain, so our children wouldn’t touch it – they didn’t like the “nuts” in it.  😛

Even though one of the questions to find out if I would qualify for this campaign included certain grocery stores, there were two items that I could not find at the designated store – nor any others we have in town!  Our family would have loved to try them, and until the coupons expire, I will be keeping my eyes out for them!  I do not know if they aren’t as common here in our area or why I couldn’t locate them.  I will let ya’ll know if and when I do!

Blessings & JOY ~ Sadie

* I received these products complimentary for testing purposes.

Baking Battles

Our family has been gluten free for nearly a year now.  I felt like I had to learn (and am STILL learning!) to cook and bake all over again!  Gluten-free is so different from gluten-full!  😉


I am still fully switching our pantry over to all the crazy gluten-free items…like brown rice flour, white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch…and the list goes on!  I have a few recipes that I love and are easy to make.  I have even more that scare the living daylights out of me when I read them!  They sound so complicated, albeit delicious.  Hopefully one day they won’t seem so daunting and we can delight in their heavenly gluten-free-ness!

Until then, I stick to what I know.

Except that hubby’s doctor wants to run some tests on him and has ordered him to eat gluten!  *gasp* So here I am tickled pink that I get to bake all my favorite tried-and-true recipes for this month!

It was short lived.

Can you unlearn what you knew?  I love baking and am known for my chocolate chip cookies, cake balls, etc.  Yet, this month of gluten-full freedom has made me sad as baked item after baked item has been lacking.

All I know is that I once could bake awesome gluten-full goodies, and now I cannot bake them nor gluten free.  Okay, so it’s not that bad…but it still hurts the heart to feel so lost in the kitchen! 😉

Blessings & JOY ~



Brownies for the Win!

We decided to purchase each brownie mix option at the grocery store a few weeks back.  I made each box and put them on different plates.  We were going to have a taste test!  The kids were super excited, and I always love anything chocolate.  😉


We bought the brand we had been buying for the past year: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Brownie Mix.  I love how it is healthy AND gluten-free.  This package requires you to add the most ingredients.  Butter, egg, vanilla extract, water (with chocolate chips or nuts given as optional).  It has a pretty normal brownie mix consistency, maybe a tad thicker.

The second brand we bought was King Arthur’s Flour Gluten-Free Brownie Mix.  Another GF mama told me she tried them and they were a win in her house!  This box had the usual items to add: butter (or oil, we did oil), water, and eggs.  This batch was considerably thicker than what I am used to when I make brownies.  This brand also required a longer bake time at 45 minutes.

The last and third box we tried is Betty Crocker chocolate Gluten-Free brownies.  This brand asked for the least amount of items, just a half stick of butter and 2 eggs!  It’s consistency was typical of brownies.

After they were all baked, and I tried to keep the others warm we dove in and gave our vote!  All are delicious, of course and it was a tad hard to choose.  Out of the 5 of us, three liked Betty Crocker and the other two (myself being one of them) preferred King Arthur.  I laughed when the brand we had been buying for the past 11 months was not anyone’s first choice!

Changing one’s diet can be stressful and exhausting…I often feel like I am having to learn how to bake and cook all over again.  Some things (especially breads!) do not taste the same when gluten free.  I enjoy having easy mixes and pre-mades that our family can enjoy!  🙂

Blessings & JOY ~