Hi! I’m Amanda. Holistic life & wellness coach, Montessori mom, Christ follower and nutrition junkie loving & leading an intentional life one day at a time.
I’m so thankful our paths have crossed! What brought you here? Wellness, Montessori, Faith? Feel free to skip to those sections below or pick through whatever interests you!
Our Wellness Journey
I believe in taking control of your own health and becoming your own advocate. My goal is to empower others with the information and tools to make this achievable and to help you come up with a doable action plan to implement right away. By choosing one thing to focus on, you can take small steps towards sustainable wellness.
Everyone’s wellness journey looks different. Our’s started in 2012. My husband Michael and I received the results from our yearly physicals and were shocked with the results. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and my husband was pre-diabetic. We were active and healthy. Our doctor at the time wanted me to go on medication and wanted Michael to come back in two weeks to check blood sugar levels again.
I asked if we could make some lifestyle changes instead of going on medication and was told no and handed a prescription to fill. I was persistent. I remember asking if I started running again and changed my diet (which I thought was fairly healthy) if it would help. He said no, you need medicine. (My BP wasn’t even that high!) I refused and told him I was too young and was going to work on lifestyle factors with or without his help. He grumbled a few suggestions at me and said he wanted to see us both back in 2-3 weeks for a repeat on blood work.
I started running 3-4 times a week and began researching what we should be eating. That’s when I found clean eating. We switched to whole grains, cut out processed foods, and stopped eating fast food. I cut out sugary treats and made sure to incorporate leafy greens. Two weeks later my BP was great and Michael was no longer pre-diabetic. The next appointment we had yielded even better results as did the next yearly physical. Looking back at it now, I realize we still weren’t eating that clean after those initial changes but they made a big impact.
I began reading about the impact of what we put in and in our body. We became more and more intentional with what we bought to eat, to use in our home, clean our home, and eventually began looking at preventative and proactive medical care options which lead us to essential oils. There were so many options it was overwhelming. I fell into a research black hole but eventually decided that I wanted oils that were 100% JUST that oil with no additives, fillers, preservatives etc. I wanted oils that were safe to use on and around our furbaby Adiya (I didn’t yet have children of my own! Now I do and LOVE using them with our littles). I wanted to partner with a company that put people over profit from growers/harvesters all the way to their employees and independent contractors. A company that paid people what they are worth and gave back to the communities they impacted. A company who sourced oils from where the plant thrives so that they had the best chemical profile (which makes them more effective!) AND sourced in a sustainable manner. A company that was transparent AND came back consistently clean when third parties tested the product. A company that would rather pull product than put out something sub par or unsafe. Something that I would feel comfortable using on and in not only my body but my family’s bodies.
Our Montessori Journey
I’ve always loved teaching. I gravitate towards it and find myself teaching different contexts. It’s always been this way for me. So when I graduated high school,teaching felt like the obvious choice. I studied elementary education initially. In fact, I did 3 years worth of classes in this area before I realized my love of English.
It was during this time that I first encountered the Montessori Method. It made sense to me. Children needed to move, learn with their hands, have a more individualized learning path, be taught one-on-one and in small groups.
I knew I’d plug my preschooler and maybe even my early elementary child into a Montessori program one day. But I had no idea that I would choose to stay home with my children. I had no idea that you could do Montessori from birth through high school. I had no idea that I would choose to homeschool my children (at least through the first plane). Young Amanda would never have imagined this life I lead now for herself.
When I was pregnant with our first child, I began reading to prepare for her arrival. I researched everything I could about every decision we would make from prenatal care to car seats. I read books to prepare myself mentally and spiritually for parenting but it wasn’t until after her arrival that I realized I should have also been preparing for her educational needs. Of course much of the infants growth happens organically and if we are engaging with the child, creating a language rich experience, and intentionally being present there is SO much that comes from that. Babies arrive ready to soak everything in and learn from their environment.
During our oldest child’s first year of life I found toddler Montessori resources online that peaked my interest. I read “The Montessori Method” and that was just the tip of the iceberg with my Montessori reading list (that’s still growing). I shifted the environment and began to observe my toddler. I started to pull together little DIY works for her. Some went well and were right on target and others were too advanced or not in line with her interests. We continued reading, doing daily life together and added more and more practical life both indoors and out as she became more and more mobile.
At about 18 months I started what I called “tot school” for her and began intentionally planning, holding space for a 2 hour work period, and spending as much time reading or playing/working outside as we could.
She showed signs of readiness for 3-6 materials this past January but with the birth of our second happening that month as well, we waited until March to begin introducing them. This gave us time to stick with the familiar, get through the sleepless nights with a newborn, and find our rhythm as a family. It also gave us time to implement Montessori from birth with our new baby. I hope to share what our children are working on here to help others as they begin or grow on their Montessori journey. Isn’t it beautiful that we can share our journey with others online and learn from each other?
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The Essentially Holistic Life shares wellness information to help you support your body’s natural healing process to be the healthiest version of you. I do not give medical advise or diagnose conditions. Please work with your preferred medical provider for these purposes.