YSU English Festival

51uxbcsyoblTomorrow kicks off the YSU English Festival!  Matt de la Peña is the featured guest, and I’m pumped!  I’ll also be teaching some prose workshops on Wednesday and Friday, so if you’re going, be sure to find me and say hello!



Review: Apsara Essence of Lavender lotion

61guxiyvoql-_sy550_I was a longtime user (and sales associate) of Bath & Body Works. This past year, however, I’ve switched out most of my personal care items for organic, truly natural products and I’ve seen a huge difference in my health — that’s without changing my diet or exercising more. The more I research ingredients, the more I understand that the synthetics that went into my B&BW products were making me miserable! Muscular pain, migraines, digestive issues, severe lethargy, brain fog. Now that I’ve detoxed from the toxins I’ve been putting on my skin, I have a high sensitivity to most “mainstream” products.

Enter Apsara. The company asked me to give an honest review their lotion in exchange for their a discount, and I agreed. In short, I really like the product and would buy again. Some highlights:

– If you think lavender really smells like what you get at most trendy stores, you’re going to be thrown by this. It’s not a sweet fragrance whatsoever, and it’s not purple. I’m used to the lavendula angustifolia variety, and this has a very similar, herbal scent. That’s GREAT.

– I can definitely smell the turmeric in balance with the lavender. Depending on your previous experiences with spices, you may or may not love the peppery scent that comes with the turmeric at first. Believe me, you’ll grow to love it. Your body KNOWS you need it! 🙂

– If you haven’t researched the health benefits of turmeric, you need to stop reading this, open up a new window, and start Googling. Pronto.

– Its consistency is thick enough to nourish the skin, but there’s no problem getting it out of the bottle, either.

I’m giving it four stars. Four because I LOVE the idea of this product, but I’m docking one star because it contains Tetrasodium EDTA and Phenoxyethanol. Why only one star? Because I know our bodies are designed to filter out dangerous chemicals to a certain degree. I don’t know how much of either chemical is used in this, and I don’t know if the company will improve on this in the future.

Based on what I know now, I feel like the good in this product outweighs the bad, and it’s still doing far better than most mainstream lotions — even prescription ones — can do. I’m definitely going to keep watching Aspara! I love their vision, and I want to see what they come up with next!


Young Living and Me


In 2012, I began using essential oils because I’d read that they helped with a plethora of physical problems. I tried lavender, and then Thieves and a small helichrysum sample I’d received from a friend. From there, it was peppermint, wintergreen, tea tree, lemon eucalyptus, grapefruit, lemongrass…and the list goes on.

While I had varying degrees of success with each oil for each concern, I noticed one consistency: there was a huge difference between the ones I ordered directly from people I knew than the the ones I ordered off places like eBay.

I began researching why there was a difference, and attended my first (of many) oils classes, led by a friend from church.

She didn’t have to sell me on Young Living — the products had sold me themselves. She and her team did, however, educate me on how to use them more effectively and safely, and I got to see some of the products I hadn’t given much thought to, like the Home Diffuser, in action. Even more products that sold themselves!

Another thing I’d never given thought to was multi-level marketing, or direct sales. I’m not the kind of person who can SELL SELL SELL, and besides, I already have two great jobs, plus I homeschool my daughter — I don’t have need or time to get involved with something like that.

I looked back at all the money I’d spent on oils, some good, some not so great, and I knew I’d found a company I would be doing most of my future business with. That, and the new Premium Starter Kit had just come out, and it was full of stuff I wanted to try or already loved and needed more of. With that in mind, and knowing that I’d get a 24% discount on all my purchases for a year with no obligation to buy anything on a regular basis, I went ahead and signed up as a Distributor.

No regrets! I loved my kit, and I loved learning about and talking about oils. Even though I have not intention of becoming a salesperson, I attended one of the business meetings, where my uplink explained how the Essential Rewards Program worked.

I already had a large order in mind, using my discount, and since it only took 50 PV (which, in most cases, is a correlating dollar amount) to enroll in the Essential Rewards Program (the monthly autoship program), I signed up to give it a test drive. My only problem with the ER program is it’s limited to once a month!

I also got around to trying the NingXia Red drink samples that came with the Premium Starter Kit. I’d heard great personal testimonies about the stuff, but I was totally skeptical.

But it was amazing. Tasted great over ice with water, and I had so much focus and clarity when I went back to work. Coffee isn’t tempting me anymore–I just want my shot of NingXia Red whenever I sit down to work now!

To top it all off, three weeks after signing up, I not only had enough ER points to get a free product, but I found out that I had a commission check on its way — and I never had to sell a thing, I just shared something I loved with someone I loved.

So, if you’re dabbling with essential oils, do your research. Try to find someone who’s knowledgable about what they’re selling and who is glad to help you navigate the road to wellness. If you don’t have anyone in your area, or if you have questions or want to share your experiences, feel free to contact me at eliza.osborn@gmail.com

And if you sign up for Young Living using my enrolled/sponsor code (or by clicking on the link below), please let me know! I’d love to connect and support you through your exciting journey!



Thank you, 2014!

While the latter quarter of 2014 is a blur of homeschooling, work, illnesses and setbacks, I’m so grateful to have some pretty amazing things to put in the yearbook, too.

– Vacations to Hilton Head, Geneva-on-the-Lake, St. Louis, St. Simon’s Island, and NYC

– My first SCBWI conference!

– New family by way of weddings and birth (we love you, Mark and Clara!)

– Collaborating with Storybird as part of their Creative Partners Project to release THE MYSTERY OF DOGWOOD CROSS

I went back at the end of the year and looked at the stats the story garnered and read through reader comments, and was just blown away with the love shown there for my debut novel. To anyone who’s read the book, this one’s for you!
2014 readers


Do What You Love

People keep asking me, “How are you? You seem really busy!”

And I am really busy, but it’s a busy-with-good-things kind of busy. I really do love my job, and homeschooling is by far the most fulfilling, exciting thing I’ve ever done. I’m done with my travels for the year (I think!), having just gotten back from a week in New York. And I’m still having a blast over at Storybird. Aside from the cycle of illnesses that seem to hit every fall, things have been going really well!

As my current work project winds down, we’re shifting gears to be more school-centric. THE MYSTERY OF DOGWOOD CROSS is approaching its final chapters, too, so I’m looking to what’s ahead in my writing life.

Right now, though, I probably won’t be updating this blog for a while. Instead, I’m focusing my posts over on my Storybird Author’s Journal. If you want to know what’s on my mind, you can find me there.