Urban Adventure Quest

Turn your city into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart phone, teams make their way among well known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. Play anytime during daylight hours. Start when you want and play at your pace.


Great Family Fun. Save 20%- Only $39.20 for a team of 2-5 people after Promotion Code: FGBLOG. Sign up online at www.UrbanAdventureQuest.com.


Our Package From Santa Review

We were asked to participate in a review of this service and agreed.  We received all the info and signed up.   It has been so fun!   Emmet has received letters and a video and loves it.   Signing up is super easy and takes only a few minutes.

Sign up here and use discount code FAMS17 to receive 25% off your order    There are several packages to choose from!

Emmet has been thrilled by his package and I am happy with the quality and attention to detail.   Highly recommend!

Austin Zoo Day

Last week we had the privilege of visiting the Austin Zoo.  This is a beautiful facility focused on animal rescue and rehabilitation.  The animals are obviously well cared for and loved.  There several scheduled zoo keeper talks throughout the day and very well maintained feeding area as well.

This is zoo is geared more towards the toddler and younger child age group and the facility is set up so kids have plenty of space to run around and easy, and safe, access to all the animals.  This is one of Emmet’s and my favorite outings.   We usually pack a lunch and stay several hours.  It’s a lovely and peaceful environment.

The Zoo is starting up a couple exciting new programs that will actually benefit up to age 13!

Introducing: Homeschool Nature Series & Winter Workshop

Two new education programs are coming to Austin Zoo!

The Homeschool Nature Series will have kids learning about biology and participating in exciting labs! Programs are designed for kids aged 7-13 years old.

The Winter Workshop is fun for the entire family! Join us this holiday season to make animal treats and human sweets!. Come visit us!
For More Information visit the Austin Zoo website!

We highly recommend the zoo for a fun afternoon!


Texas Renaissance Festival!



This past week, the kids and I had the privilege of attending the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, TX.   Spending all of Saturday there we were thrilled with the sites and entertainment surrounding us.  The food was amazing, and very well priced for a festival!  Average cost of a full meal for one was under $10 which I consider to be reasonable when out at an event such as this!  The costumes were gorgeous, the people extremely friendly and the day was perfect.  We were able to rent a stroller for Emmet as well.  As he is only 3 we realized he might not make it walking all day, so this was perfect.


The festival was founded in 1974 by George Coulam and his brother David Coulam on an abandoned strip mining site in what is now Todd Mission, Texas.  At the time, it  spanned fifteen acres, with three stages featuring small improv theatre groups, and merchants selling their goods on blankets.  The opening year saw a turn-out of 33,000.  As of 2017, the Festival features about 500 costumed performers on 25 stages. Its on-site shops include: international food choices; unique artisans; merchants and craft vendors; human-powered rides; an abundance of performers walking among the guests; and the Queen’s Royal Finale (fireworks if weather permits) at dusk.  We missed the fireworks unfortunately, but after all the fun we were okay with that! The fair hosts over half a million visitors annually.

There is onsite camping as well with the grounds having expanded to 55 acres of Festival and over 200 in parking and camping!

During the season the Festival boasts themed weekends.  This past weekend was the Celtic Christmas theme and there were plenty of Santas and Father Christmas characters attending!  We were amazed at the quality of the costumes.  Lola has decided we are putting our sewing skills to use for next year.  Watch out TRF!

Each of the nine weekends of the festival take on a different theme, influencing the performances, costumes, food, drink, art, shops, contests, and games throughout the festival grounds.

  • Oktoberfest – German theme, including polka music and dancing, and the serving of traditional German beer.
  • 1001 Dreams – Fantasy theme, encouraging lavish costumes of wizards, fairies, and elves and including several fantastical contests, such as scavenger hunts and costume contests.
  • All Hallows Eve – Medieval Halloween theme, including spooky decorations and contests, such as jack-o-lantern carving contests, to celebrate the holiday.
  • Pirate Adventure – Pirate theme, encouraging pirate costumes and including several sea-related games and contests.
  • Roman Bacchanal – Roman theme, encouraging Roman costumes and hosting several Roman-themed contests and games such as toga contests and spaghetti eating contests.
  • Barbarian Invasion – Medieval Barbarian theme, encouraging costumes of medieval barbarians and including “barbaric” contests such as the “Barbarian Battle Cry” contest and eating contests.
  • Heroes and Villains – Iconic figures of the past come to life.
  • Highland Fling – Scottish theme, encouraging traditional Scottish costumes and including bagpipe-playing and traditional Scottish food and drink.
  • Celtic Christmas – Christmas theme, including Christmas decorations and music, and featuring Christmas-themed contests such as “Candy Cane Hunt” and “Guess the Present” contests.

If you are looking for a fun and unique experience for your family, I highly suggest attending Ren Fest next year!  We will definitely be there!




Warrior Spirit!

So many of you know my obsession with oils. You know how much I love sharing about them and the journey I am on because of them. That journey walks hand in hand with another major journey full of personal growth, God and gratitude. That particular journey is another story for another day, however today I want to talk about the one that the oils is taking me on.

In our organization we have those who have come before us. We call them upline, but I also call them friends. One of my idols in this business is one of my top upline leaders, Monique McLean. This woman is a spitfire of Southern energy! She has got one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen and is amazing both on social media and in person. She is super successful in her business and yet is so humble and genuine. She lives for her family and her faith. And is so generous to all of us.  I took my teenage daughter with me on a road trip to Florida last March because I had the opportunity to participate in an event Monique was putting on.  I don’t fan girl often, but this little woman makes me so shy when I am around her. I just admire her so much.

Anyway, you can see the gushing starting. 😂😂. She has a FB group for her organization and right now we are talking about warrior spirits and freedom. Everyday she is posting empowering challenges and words of encouragement. Not just happy memes or quotes, but solid pieces of practical advice on growing personally. The only way to find freedom both financially and personally is through growth. Sometimes that’s painful and scary, but it works!! This is where my two paths meet up. The personal growth journey. It’s so amazing. And it puts me in a place where I know I am exactly where I belong at that moment.

So Monique is firing up that warrior spirit in me so if you see more boldness from me, you know where it’s coming from. It’s an amazing trip and so when I get all fired up about my business this is one of the reasons why. I found something so fulfilling and full of promise, and I am surrounded by people who believe in me. This all carries over and walks hand in hand with the rest of my life. I would be untrue to myself and my friends if I didn’t share this all with you and want you to come along for the ride! This is such an amazing journey!!! GAME ON!

Virtual Party Time!

Hey everyone!  I want to invite you all to a virtual party on Facebook!  We will be discussing all things Essentially Autumn and giving away oils and some fun prizes!  There will be something for everyone – skin care, recipes, cocktails, kids, moms, pets – you name it we will be talking about it most likely!  Did I mention prizes??!!

Friend me here on FB and I can get you an invite right away!


Sunday, September 24th @ 7PM Eastern Standard Time (6PM Central, 5PM Mountain and 4PM Pacific)

Just show up on your computer, no need to even wear pants!  But a beverage and snack of choice is mandatory!


Looking forward to seeing you there.  Don’t forget to send me a friend request so you don’t have to miss out!

Texas Renaissance Festival!

The Texas Renaissance Festival is the nation’s largest and most acclaimed Renaissance themed event. Established in 1974, the event attracts over half a million visitors each year to its 55-acre New Market Village and Fields of New Market Campgrounds in Todd Mission, Texas. This immersive experience features world renowned live entertainment, works by master artists and craftspeople, award winning food and drink, hand-powered rides and games, and over 100 interactive characters during its nine themed weekends from September 30 through November 26, 2017. For more information, please visit www.texrenfest.com.

Each weekend, a different theme comes to life across the 55-acre festival grounds including:

Oktoberfest (September 30 & October 1)
1001 Dreams (October 7 & 8)
Pirate Adventure (October 14 & 15)
Roman Bacchanal (October 21 & 22)
All Hallows’ Eve (October 28 & 29)
Barbarian Invasion (November 4 & 5)
Heroes and Villains (November 11 & 12)
Highland Fling (November 18 & 19)
Celtic Christmas (November 24, 25, & 26)

Texas Renaissance Festival! Kids 12 and Under Admitted Free Every Sunday!

Classroom Dojo

As parents, you probably already know that stress and anxiety are at an all-time high among children today. However, research has shown that mindfulness practice can improve optimism, reduce stress, and increase classroom focus for students globally. That said, it is still a relatively new focus for K-12 schools.

To do something about this, ClassDojo (a communication platform connecting home and school) is partnering with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to create a new activity series on Mindfulness.

The activities feature short, animated videos and discussion guides starring the ClassDojo monsters kids love.

ClassDojo is one of the fastest growing education technology companies of all time — now reaching 90% of K-8 schools in the US + 180 countries!

Mindfulness, along with other videos in The Big Ideas series, are designed to give parents & teachers resources in and out of the classroom to help with your child’s emotional development.


We received these videos and app and love them!  They have really been a fun way for my 8 year old grandson so learn some techniques in helping his anxiety.   As a thank you, I am giving away a poster and plushie to a random reader!  All you need to do is comment on this post and I will choose someone by Random Generator.  Good luck!!

The Perpetual You

(Photo courtesy of Kay Nass)

About a year ago I stumbled across a collaborative group through Instagram.  Lee Lee Thompson had commented on one of my photos and as I looked over her feed I became curious about her group, The Perpetual You.  What I discovered was this was a collaborative group of women who were putting together an online magazine along with website and blog that is all woman focused.  I inquired about submitting an article I had written, The Tree Mamas.  Lee Lee was very enthusiastic about me posting this to the blog and a friendship was born.

Since then I have written more for the blog, photographed the essential oils for a monthly column, was one of the quarterly panelists offering my perspective on thematic questions for a monthly column in the magazine, and now I am the book photographer for the recommendations section.  I love working with these women!  We come from all walks of life and it’s a wonderful feeling to support and be supported.  An honest collaboration of ideas and gifts to create something so beautiful and honest.  I am so grateful Lee Lee commented on that long ago photo!


Something cool happened this month with our little collaboration.  We are now in print!  That’s right, we are a full fledged, in print, monthly publication!  And let me tell you, it’s even more beautiful that I expected.  To be a part of something from the ground up is an honor and to share it with you all is a delight!

Check out our subscription information.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  As women, especially in the world today, we need to support each other and raise each other up.  Would love to see you all a part of this new venture.  You are always welcome…

Switching To Plant Based Eating

Today is Day 2 of my journey into plant based eating and so far so good.  I was a bit worried about my love for cheese breaking me down and having me running back to dairy, however a friend told me about cashew cheese so I headed over to Whole Foods yesterday and found some sliced.  I put it on my open faced avocado sandwich today and let me tell you, YUM!  This definitely is what I was hoping it would be.  I didn’t feel deprived at all!  If anything I filled up and am quite a happy camper with my lunch.

My sandwich consisted of:

2 slices toasted Ezekial bread

a dab of Earth Balance vegan butter on each half (making hummus for next time)

a slice of Cashew cheese on each half

handful of baby spinach

half an avocado divided


The smoothie was:

about 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

dash of coconut water

Almond milk

scoop of plant based protein powder that includes powdered greens


I have my supplements from Young Living and am still drinking coffee.  I use Almond milk instead of nonfat cow milk.  Still just as good!  I have talked about this for far too long and now that I am actually diving in I am thrilled.  We never eat terrible, however I am not getting any younger and can feel the effects of my love for bread and cheese a bit too much these days.  I would like the second half of my life to be the best yet in regards to my health, so here we go!  I plan on being here for a very long time my friends!

A very good friend who is actually the catalyst to all this, is having an amazing 2 week plant based group starting on September 1 for anyone who is interested.  It will be 2 weeks of plant based eating to see if it’s something you want to continue, and she will have tons of information and education on nutrition and what really does a body good!  It’s a Facebook group so anyone from anywhere can join.  It’s called  Inside Out: Healing Our Body with Plants.

Click on the title to join!  I am so looking forward to learning more and cooking some yummy vegan deliciousness!  Want to come along on this journey?


~ Cat