Wednesday, March 18, 2015

catching up

These last few months have breezed by and it has been ages since I've posted anything on the blog! There happens to be an exciting reason for my mini hiatus (which you will see below) but now I'm back on track and will hopefully be posting more frequently. 

It's crazy to think that I started this blog nine years ago! At the time, Aaron and I were newlyweds planning our move to Chile and the blog documented our travels and experiences in South America. When we later moved to Southern California I started to do more photography and then after our first daughter was born I was so inspired by DIY projects and crafts. Because of the popularity of one of my tutorials I eventually opened up an online Etsy shop and it has been so exciting to make and ship handcrafted necklaces around the world! We then welcomed our son and the blog became a place to share our family's adventures. Almost two years ago we took a leap of faith and moved our family to the Central Coast to work with a missionary organization (YWAM) and I documented our journey here. Over the years this little blog has morphed with me and has taken all sorts of different shapes. I enjoy having this outlet and I sincerely thank you for following along. Here's to moving onward and upward!

Because I have a few months to catch up on I thought it would be easiest to share a handful of photos off of my phone to do a quick update...

To start things off, as mentioned above, here is the main culprit for my hiatus :)
We are so excited to welcome our third little one this summer. My first trimester hit me pretty hard but I am feeling so much better now and am currently six months along. We just found out it's another little girl and we couldn't be happier! 
In January I turned the big 30 and we celebrated with a trip to LA. We visited the Griffith Observatory, the Science Center and China Town!
Talia is so interested in Chinese and Japanese culture so this was a very fun experience for her! 
The birthday celebrations continued with a girl's trip to Cancun. My sister in law's birthday is the day after mine so she, my mother in law and myself decided to celebrate together in Mexico! This was an incredible trip and we had so much fun together.
We spent a day at Xcaret which was an experience in itself! We went snorkeling, swam in underground caves, and here I am swimming in the natural pools with all kinds of different fish. 
We also spent a day exploring the island of Cozumel.
Around four months my little belly began to pop :)
My parents came to visit us for two weeks in February which was such a sweet time. The kids loved having their Yaya and Grandpa here and we really cherished having that time together with them. 
We loved showing them around our little area which included lots of fun trips to our favorite spots like...
Avila Beach
San Luis Obispo
Pismo Beach
and Johnson Ranch Trail
During this pregnancy I have had such a sweet tooth and this homemade granola with greek yogurt and fresh berries hits the spot! (recipe on my instagram account @sarahortega)
Over the last few months we have really fallen in love with young living essential oils. The more I learn, the more amazed I am with how well these oils work with our bodies. I've always been drawn to natural products and remedies but at times it just felt so overwhelming. 
I am part of a great team that helped to educate and support me and in no time these essential oils replaced our medicine cabinet and I swapped all of my chemical filled cleaners with just one bottle of concentrated thieves cleaner that we use for everything. I also said goodbye to artificially scented candles and air fresheners and replaced those with an oil diffuser that we use everyday. I even swapped out my deodorant and now use thieves toothpaste instead believe it or not!
I could go on... it is something I am passionate about because of the improvements I have seen to our family's health. We use these for sleep, stress, anxiety, cuts and burns, colds, energy, muscle soreness and they have also been a big help in my pregnancy! Education is so important and I understand how overwhelming it can all seem so if you are curious, interested or on the fence I would love to help in anyway I can. You can email me at hello(at) (You can also learn more about our family's favorite oils and oily tips on our instagram account @ortegaessentials)
And the belly continues to grow :) We can't wait to meet our little girl.
That's it for the catch up! Thanks for following along :)

Monday, November 03, 2014

avila valley barn

A few weeks ago we spent a beautiful Sunday evening celebrating Liam's "half-birthday." We took the kids to Avila Valley Barn and had the most wonderful time. They had so much fun exploring the corn fields and the apple orchards, running through the hay maze and of course feeding the animals. It really was a sweet time with our little family. We ended the night with some Thrifty's ice cream and we were all quite happy with that. I am so thankful for moments like these and making pause in our schedules to celebrate life. Here's to many more happy half-birthdays!

Friday, October 24, 2014

essential oils

I had heard of essential oils here and there and they definitely interested me but to be honest I felt a little overwhelmed about how to get started and how exactly to use them. A few months ago I was properly introduced to young living essential oils thanks to a friend of mine that had been using them for years and was very educated in using essential oils. Now five months later I can attest that these little bottles have benefitted our family in such a great way.

I enjoy sharing things that I love on this blog and so I wanted to tell you a little bit about our own journey with young living essential oils and how they've helped our family. We began with the premium starter kit which came with 11 oils and a home diffuser as well as a wholesale membership. I spent a lot of time learning as much as I could about each oil and as we began to use them they quickly won me over :)

Our family has used these for headaches, trouble sleeping, upset stomachs, sore muscles, anxiety, heartburn, diaper rash, weight loss, cuts and burns, energy... the list goes on! I am constantly amazed at the power of these oils. I can tell you that our family has never felt better. Even my husband is hooked! He has struggled with sleeplessness, migraines, and an ingured knee for years and these oils have been a game changer for him. For myself I have seen a big improvement in focus, mood, stress, and fatigue. Our kids also love them and they've come in handy for scrapes and bumps, bug bites, fevers, bad dreams, and sleep.

There is so much information that could be shared about essential oils (trust me, I could go on and on about them!) If this is sparking your interest I encourage you to email me at hello(at) I would love to answer any questions and get a conversation started if you would like to know more. 

If you are ready to dive in and you want to explore young living essential oils for yourself, I highly suggest getting the premium starter kit like we did. It is $150 and you get 11 therapeutic grade essential oils, a home diffuser, product samples and access to wholesale prices which is a 24% discount. Signing up to be a wholesale member does not come with strings attached. You are not required to order every month (or really ever again if you don't want to) and you are not expected to sell anything. Young Living is an honest company with quality product. They have been around for 20 years and have truly forged the way for therapeutic grade oils. 

If you would like to sign up I'd love to work with you and walk you through your own journey with essential oils. Here is the link to get started and of course let me know if you have questions. I'd love to hear from you!

** If you live near the Pismo Beach area, I will be teaching an "intro to essential oils" class on October 29 at 6:30pm. Please email me if you would like to attend. I'd love to see you there! **

Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

slo creek farms

Earlier this month, Aaron was away on a camping trip with our YWAM students so the kids and I had a weekend on our own. A good friend of mine joined us on Saturday afternoon for a trip to our favorite U-pick Apple Farm. The kids loved walking through the orchards and picking apples off the trees. After filling their basket we made our way down to the creek for some hammock swinging and splashing around in the water. Here are a few photos from our day, enjoy! 

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