Monday, December 29, 2014

Moms on Mondays - Jillian from O+O

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Jillian and I have been long time internet friends and I just love her and her family so much.  She is a mama trying to make it happen by selling AMAZING products that you will find you just can't live without (once you try them).  I had the opportunity to review her stuff, when she was just starting out, and have been a repeat customer since, her oils are amazing and I can't wait to try her whipped blends as well (I have a thing for grapefruit!).  You MUST go check out her shop to support her growing family, trust me you won't be disappointed!  

What is the name of your shop and how can we find you? 

The name of my shop is O+O (said "oh and oh") and I am also on Facebook and Instagram (where I post updates, announcements, giveaways, flash sales and coupon codes).

Tell us about what you make/sell in your shop.

I make and sell perfectly blended, ready-to-use, healing oil blends and skin moisturizing products that provide the healing powers of high quality, organic ingredients including essential oils. I currently offer two collections: Blends and Whipped.

The regular blends are available in Lavender, Eucalyptus Peppermint, Tea Tree, and Lemongrass. These blends offer remedies for so many things including but not limited to: eczema, headaches and migraines, acne, dry skin and hair, muscle pain, muscle spasms, deodorant, and so much more! 

The Whipped Collection is a double whipped, deeply intense moisturizer that offers ultimate skin and lip protection. This collection is offered in three scents; Sandalwood, White Grapefruit, and Jasmine Rose and comes in one size only (Mama 2oz $10).

(Pictures from

How/why did you start making these products and open this shop?

I started making these products for my family and my daughter, Genevieve, specifically. I wanted to rid our everyday lives of as many chemicals as possible and once I realized what I had created, I knew I had to share with the world. My heart sings when I hear of how I've helped other families and individuals by healing ailments naturally and replacing chemicals in their home.

We have replaced all of the following products with my blends; ibuprofen, sleep aid, congestion medicine, deodorant, Neosporin, hydrogen peroxide, diaper rash cream, regular body lotion, face lotion, hand cream, bug repellant, sunscreen, conditioner, and more. 


How long have you been in business?

I'm coming up on my one year anniversary (and I can't even believe it!!)!!!! I opened up shop in February 2014. 

What is your background (college/career/etc.)?

I grew up in Indiana and my husband (who is in the Air Force) and I got married in 2011. We've lived in Florida twice, Maryland, and Georgia since then. I haven't gone to college yet because I'm not exactly sure what I would go to school for and I'm not set on a career life right now. I've worked as a professional nanny for four years and I've been a stay at home (work at home!) momma for a little over a year now. Best job ever!!!! And I'm so, so grateful to have the opportunity to be a SAHM. 

Tell us a little bit about your family.

My husband, Gaven, and I have known each other since middle school snd started dating right out of high school. We fell in love immediately (so cheesy!) and we were married less than two years later! Fast forward a few moves and states and we welcomed our first child, Genevieve Audrey, into this world in March 2013. Fast forward two more moves and states later and we are expecting another baby in February! We currently reside in Georgia and *should be* staying put for at least two/three years. Moving is exhausting but fun and we thrive on the adventure. Military life doesn't phase us!

How does this company help your family?  Or you?

O+O helps me in many ways. I can express my creative side in a constructive way and its so fun to have something that's just for me (it's for all of you too!) that I enjoy. It helps boost my confidence and I love to share the things I've created with others.

This business also helps supplement some income for my family which is necessary for a single income family, much less a single military pay grade income family. We are very provided for by the military by way of health insurance and cost of living allowances, but it's no secret that our United States military members feel underpaid. I'm so happy and blessed to have the opportunity of staying at home with Genevieve full-time and having O+O helps make big expenses like visiting family in Indiana twice a year possible. 

Did you ever think you'd be doing this?  What did you think you'd be doing instead?

I absolutely had no idea I'd ever do anything like this. I never thought I'd be a small business owner. I am so glad that that I am though!! I love having O+O in my life.

I can't really say what I thought I'd be doing instead... we didn't plan on having Genevieve when we did and I don't get to plan where I ever even live so I'm just here, living in the moment! Forever taking the situations I'm in and making the best of them!  

Does anyone help you with your shop?

No one helps me particularly, but if I do need anything then my husband is always there for me. You know.. hear me vent, listen to and share my excitements, watch the babe if I'm working, run to the post office for me, etc.

How do you find time to run your shop and create products?  

I'm asked this question a lot. Maybe I have a lot more time in the day than everyone else or maybe I'm just a really boring person, but I don't usually feel pressed on time. Of course, I don't have a 9-5 snd then pile everything on ON TOP of that, so that helps. ;) Genevieve is very good at independent play and I can get a ton of stuff done throughout any given day. She also loves to be included in the process of playing with my washi tape and helping stuff packages. My husband is also home a lot and that frees up a lot of my time if I need it. I also do a lot of my work in the evenings after Genevieve goes to sleep (7:30pm). I don't know, come back and ask me this question in a few months when I have a toddler snd a newborn and a home business! 

What do you love about this businesses?

I love spreading the healing powers of natural ingredients mostly. I love to help people feel befitted snd cure ailments they have. I love to help people rid their lives of harsh chemicals. I also love to play a small part in supporting my family financially. 

What is the most challenging part of this business?

The most challenging part is, not surprisingly, bringing in orders. Getting the word out there isn't an easy or small task for a small business owner. Marketing is difficult! Often times, my products are misunderstood or plainly just not understood at all. There is some explaining to what I'm selling and that's sometimes difficult to get across. If I say I'm selling shoes or leggings then that's that. No further explanation needed and you're buying my product because you need those adorable things for you or your child. But, if I say I'm selling healing oil blends, you have like a hundred questions so you either a) assume, b) are confused, c) ask. So, only 1/3 of you are actually figuring out what it is exactly and why you need it. This makes my job as a marketer more difficult because I have so much explaining to do but I need to do it without boring you (like I am now?). However, once my customers do take the plunge, they come back! And they're hooked! This makes all of those difficult parts so worth it and makes me feel really good about what I'm doing. 

Where do you see your shop in the future?

Hmm... That's a tough question. I'm not really a "five year plan" kind of girl. I know that people love my products and that I love my products and I'm going to continue creating and selling them as long as there's a demand for them. I spontaneously just created and launched my new Whipped Collection so maybe some more new products will make their way into the mix one day! 

Tell us your favorite product or your most favorite thing you've created?

Well, they're all my favorite. Seriously. Mostly, I love my Lavender blend because of how much it heals and helps Genevieve. I'm also completely and totally obsessed with my new Whipped Collection. It's just so moisturizing and amazing on my skin. I use it all the time. 

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

My advice would be to GO FOR IT. If you're passionate about what you're doing then you will have some sort of success. Stay true to yourself and it will show. Customers don't buy what you're selling, they buy you and why you're selling it. (That last part is from a Ted talk so don't quote me on it ;)) and don't forget to HAVE FUN! Try not to take yourself too seriously especially if you fail. No one will ever tell you it's easy and that's because it's not. 

What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own?

Two of my most favorite Etsy/Instagram shops are Spirit Bee Woodworks and Courtney Felt Creations.

Spirit Bee Woodworks (@spiritbee_woodworks on IG) creates beautiful, hand-crafted wooden products. I have a beautiful teething/nursing necklace and a very, VERY gorgeous custom ring with a stone inlay that sadly doesn't currently fit my giant preggo fingers. I love supporting Allison, Ian and Lemon.  {Seriously, this is the first time anyone has ever mentioned our shop on one of these, I am so touched; Jillian, you are the sweetest!}

Courtney Felt Creations (@courtneycreation on IG) is a small shop owned by sweet Canadian, Sarah, momma to Courtney. She makes the absolute CUTEST, most detailed and creative felt finger puppets and felt food toys for children. Genevieve has at least seven sets and they're absolutely one of her top favorite toys. Sarah strives to make her customers happy and is always taking new suggestions and blowing my mind with them. 

A favorite product of mine (besides my Whipped products!) is my Sakura Bloom ring sling. It's comfortable, convenient, and helps me keep my babes close. Genevieve loves snuggles and it's an easy way to carry her. I also really love the community I've found through Sakura Bloom. This band of mommas stay together and I'm happy to have found so many friends there. 
If you want to learn more about Jillian, her family and her shop, check out this post with a FaceTime interview I did with her awhile back (and review of her products, which we LOVE).  She is one of my favorite mamas I've met through IG and can only hope to meet her in real life one day!  Thanks Jillian!! :)

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Elf on the Shelf - Week Three

I know, I know, I'm late in posting these but the weeks leading up to Christmas just fly by! 

December 16th:

December 17th:

 (Fast forward to 1 minute and 58 seconds, the camera was in the fridge.)

December 18th:


December 19th:


December 20th:

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Fun

Picking out our tree and this one had to dance around and bury her princesses in the pine needles.

We got Lemon a small, fake tree for her room and she had so much fun hanging "oh-nah-ments" and lights on it.

Pictures with Santa, always fun.  We decided this year that if Lemon cried, we would pretend to cry too and then have the person snap a pic.  They turned out super funny but I'm not sure why she cried again, when Ian handed her to me she was already in tears and didn't even come near Santa!  They had a new system at the mall and it took forever (even on a week night way before Christmas) so I think she was just overwhelmed and over it.  We prepped her days before and I just thought she'd be ok, she even told us she was going to tell Santa she wanted a princess for Christmas (Cinderella to be exact).  She didn't get to but we had fun anyway!

We went to the Holiday Balloon Glow in Gilbert with Ian's family, and Miranda and Jonah, and it was fun.  Kind of chilly and wet (for Lemon's moccs) and neither of the babes cared much about the balloons but Lemon loved the little 3-5 year old dancers and watched every single performance, so wanting to be up on that stage dancing too.  This was the moment I thought I should get Lemon in dance (she even tried to pose for a picture with the little dancers when they were done).

There's a house by us that gets really into the Christmas spirit so Miranda, Tiff, our hubs and kids headed over there one night:

Lemon loves her Aunt Kiki so we met for dinner and then went and saw the fake snow at Tempe Marketplace.  She didn't know what to think about it, and wasn't that impressed, but LOVED dancing around for everyone to the music in the snow!

She also wasn't impressed to decorate our real tree, and we did most of the work, but when it came down (after New Years) she did say, "Where did the Christmas tree go?"  I miss it too Lemon!  She did love unpacking all of the ornaments and hanging them up.

We went to the boat light parade at Tempe Town Lake and it was our first cold night.  This girl looked so cute all bundled up, I hadn't seen her like this yet as a toddler!  The kids were not impressed with the boats (and there were too many people) so we went to eat pizza instead!

For the first time in YEARS, Ian got to go with me to my bestie's Christmas party (he usually always plays a show the same night).  We had so much fun and were so happy we got to go, together!  We didn't drive and even had some drinks!!

I was trying not to be really tall!  Hahahhaa

Ian also got to come with us to my families' Christmas party too (the night before Jenny's).  Lemon had a blast running around with Nani, Aunt Donna and her cousins Amanda and Cyrus!

Our tree turned out so cute this year, even if it was a bit lopsided:

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