Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hurricane Evacuation Survival Kit--Essential Oils Edition

I am a Florida resident these days. Northeast Florida, specifically. You probably heard we had a little hurricane passing by last week... Irma! My husband was suddenly called away for work less than a week before the storm hit (he's in the Navy--real world problems!), so with a minimum of power outages looming, and preemptive school closures I decided to pack up my kiddos and evacuate, along with 1/3 of the state!  Have you ever been through a hurricane, or other natural disaster? There is a LOT of work that goes in to preparation! Not to mention all of the work that goes in to travelling spontaneously with children. So, I did what I always do when I have stuff to do...turned to my oils to help me! I'm going to share my personal little hurricane heroes--the essential oils and oil infused products that got me through that crazy week!


It started with the decision. The decision to leave town. I admit I went back and forth, but when they decided to close school in preparation, I went for it! My parents, my grandmother, and my sister with her family live outside Atlanta, a mere 6-7 hours away. At least we wouldn't be bored!


Naturally, the first thing I do is check the weather forecast. The warmest forecasted temp while we're there is in the low 80s (nice!). The coolest... 50! 50-80 degrees! Sure, no problem! I didn't even know how long we were going to be gone! What if the storm was really bad and we stayed for a week or 2? I was immediately overwhelmed by packing for all of us. Essential oil #1 to the rescue: Clarity! I took a moment, calmed myself, and cleared my head with a few sniffs of this blend. I was on it! My mom does have a washing machine, after all. Everyone got approximately 2 of everything-- 2 warm long sleeves, 2 light long sleeves, 2 T shirts, ect, all the way down to 2 pairs of shoes. We can layer and change and do laundry. Packing, done!

Next task, preparing my property. The hubs is away, so mama's on the heavy lifting. Patio furniture, the grill, the kids' slide, my herb garden, it all has to be secured for the wind. Suitcases have to be loaded. This means tired shoulders and back! My go-to is the Deep Relief roll on blend. It has peppermint and wintergreen and invigorates my tired muscles! It is one of my favorite products and I keep it with me always since muscle tension is a frequent issue for me.

It was a long day, and I knew I had another one ahead, so I was sure to load my diffuser at bed time. My "Calm Before the Storm" combo: 4 drops Copaiba, 2 drops each lavender, and bergamot. I was beat and I slept great!


All too quickly, departure day is here! We get up and go to school like normal.  While both kids are out of the house, I finish getting ready: packing and loading, stocking my freezer with ice, bringing in the last couple of chairs from the porch, showering, and organizing the car. I pick up the kiddos and hit the road around 3pm. Right off the bat, there's an accident with traffic backed up 4 miles. Awesome.
The kids are tired and hungry, like they are everyday after school.  I'm already stressed and cranky and we aren't even out of the city yet! And then, of course, my 5 year old had to pee. We were  just on the other side of town and we've been in the car for an hour already. While we're stopped, I break in to my cooler and pop a NingXia Nitro, a super energy shot with B vitamins, green tea extract, and wolf berries. I also applied a drop each of Peace and Calming and Joy essential oil blends to my (very simple DIY) vent clip diffuser, and get my kids a snack. Then it's back on the road! And back to the traffic! The traffic is so bad, at our usual halfway mark we are a full 2 hours behind schedule.

Around 10 pm, we make our 3rd pit stop. I tell the kids, it's potty time, then they have to go to sleep! I give each of them a roll of the Tranquil roll on blend on the back of the neck, and a perky peppermint, rosemary, and frankincense blend for alertness and focus for myself. I refreshed again when I stopped one last time at midnight. I had to pull over just to take my tired eyes off the tail lights for a few minutes! Thankfully, my babies slept right through until we arrived at 1am!  None of us needed any help sleeping that night!


Bright and early the next morning--the only way kids know how, am I right?-- we awoke to a brisk 51 degrees! Just as predicted! I was sure to run a diffuser (I packed 2 of everything, remember ;) ) in the living room with Thieves and lemon to support our immune and respiratory systems with the change in weather. The other thing I needed that first morning... Cool Azul Pain Cream! After being in the car so long, actively driving, then sleeping in a strange bed, my body was aching!



After all that, we were able to settle in and enjoy some time with my family. After a whole week, the kids were getting antsy and ready to be home, and I was ready to get a full night sleep without being interrupted by a child on me, so we got set to redo--or undo--everything... the packing, the driving (which was a merciful 7 hours!), the unpacking, the putting everything back where it belongs outside. This round includes a little storm clean up. I am very grateful that my home was unharmed, and the trees that fell didn't damage anything else! Whether or not my garden is salvageable remains to be seen. It still had cucumbers and okra producing, but both were damaged. My young tomatoes seemed to just love the rain! They grew like crazy! So that's a plus!


Now, the suitcases are put away, the fridge restocked, and the kids back at school, but my oily products, in addition to the ones I use everyday, really helped me through all of this, supporting my body, my mind, and my emotions during such a hectic time!




Saturday, September 16, 2017

Slique Update

I wanted to give an update on my Slique progress and my feelings on it so far. I had to take a hiatus from the program! I few weeks in to it, I had an unrelated allergic reaction. I'm still trying to sort out what to! I had to go on a brief stint of medication and I scaled back on everything that wasn't necessary, trying to target what was bothering me. Since the reaction was more than 3 weeks after starting my Slique products, I am confident it is not the problem. However, the medication I was put on already reduces appetite, so I elected to save my Slique until all was resolved and all was well.

Having said that, I was pleased with my progress! The scale hadn't moved much, but there is a shift in my habits. My sweets are down, my afternoon snacking is almost gone, and I've almost completely kicked soda. The eating out is still problematic. My husband has been finishing training at work, and he's been home a lot. This has been vacation mode for us! Some days we'll go out just to get out of the house for a while. I am confident that his going back to a full time work schedule, and my daughter going back to school will help a lot with that last hurdle.

I have about 3 weeks of Slique Citraslim capsules in my home right now, waiting for me! And honestly, this has been a good test. I was starting to wonder if the changes would hold up after I stopped taking them, and so far, it's going pretty well! I'm excited to resume once my reaction has finished healing. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fall is in the Air

It may not quite feel like fall where you live. In fact, this is the hottest month we've had all year at my house! We're still having 90+ degree days regularly--ick! But, my kids are back in school, (preseason) football is on, and I'm starting to see "pumpkin" and "spice" trickle in to the stores. I feel like by the time 1 season peaks, we're mentally moving on, anxiously awaiting the next. So, we're talking about "fall" in August. Indoors, it's a pleasant 75 degrees, and I fully intend to use my safe, non-toxic essential oils in a diffuser, instead of synthetic fragrance-filled air fresheners and candles, to set the fall mood at my house! I wanted to share some of my favorite combos to get me in the mood for sweatshirts and boots, even if I'm still sweating in tank tops!


So, why do I love these? I'll tell you!

1. Chill in the Air, Thieves and Nutmeg: Thieves essential oil blend is a must for back-to-school and changing weather. It's excellent support for the immune system, and diffusing helps to purify the air. It includes cinnamon and clove, so topping it off with nutmeg means the smell of fall is built right in! This is our Saturday afternoon football blend!

2. Cozy Nap, Cedarwood and Orange: Truth be told, we use this combo year round. It is soothing and calming and a perfect bedtime blend. Cedarwood has great soothing properties, smelling sweet and woodsy, while orange is one of the few relaxing and autumnal citrus oils.

3. Fresh and Crisp, Copaiba and Eucalyptus: I use Eucalyptus globulus in this blend, since that is the one I have. Any variety of eucalyptus would work here. This is such a refreshing combo that will have you breathing easy with the windows open! The copaiba adds a light, woodsy note, with awesome soothing properties.

4. Trick or Treat, Christmas Spirit and Fennel: I am not someone who associates the smell of orange with Christmas, even though it is the dominant smell in the Christmas Spirit blend to me. Christmas Spirit is completed with cinnamon and spruce, making it so ideal for the whole season. I love adding a little fennel for extra spicy-sweet. It smells like licorice and even has historical roots in warding off evil spirits--does that say Halloween or what?

5. Fresh and Focused, Rosemary, Frankincense, and Peppermint: This is my favorite alert and focused combo. I keep it in a roll on in my purse. The rosemary and peppermint are so refreshing and invigorating, and the frankincense is grounding and centering. I love it for morning yoga with the windows opened!

6. Warm and Cozy, Orange, Cinnamon, and Patchouli: This combination is so relaxing and comforting for me. The orange is fresh, the cinnamon is warm, and the patchouli is spicy. I like this blend at bedtime since patchouli makes me feel so mellow! I don't always love the smell of patchouli. It is rich and heavy to me, and seems to dominate whatever I pair it with, which is why I go light on it. I do love how it makes me feel, so I find ways to use it!

7. Fall Spice, Clove, Nutmeg, and Orange: I fully admit I am a recovering Pumpkin Spice candle addict! I had them burning all fall long, year after year! When I discovered how bad candles are for your health--from the soot and junk in the wicks, to the synthetic fragrances--I had to find a substitute diffuser scent for fall. On top of smelling just perfect, clove is excellent for cleansing and purifying the air. Nutmeg is stimulating and smells like apple pie! Of course, the orange balances it out, adding a freshness to the spices.  

I hope these will help you get in the mood for cooler weather! And if you are new to essential oils, or don't recognize some of these Young Living exclusives, you can get more info on getting started with this amazing company HERE!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Back to School Jitters

I feel like I've said this every year since I can remember..."It's back to school time already?!" It doesn't help that it creeps earlier and earlier each year! But that's beside the point. The point is, it is, in fact, upon us once again!

This year is a big year at our house. My firstborn is off to Kindergarten and my little one is starting preschool! I've already started to strategize schedules in an attempt to give each child the attention they deserve, while mentally preparing for the nightmare adjustment phase. My 5-year-old still naps pretty reliably. She is apparently unique, and will now be at school from 8:20-2:50! At home my son goes for a nap by 2 and is in bed at least 2 hours, sometimes 3! (yes, and thank you essential oils for keeping the sleep train cranking!) His naptime at preschool: 12-2.

 This schedule change is just the tip of the newness iceberg! Any school is new to my little guy. He has a full-time stay-at-home mama he's very attached to! Of course, I left him with babysitters, and he's always done great, but I'm fully expecting a bit of separation anxiety on both ends.

As for my little Kindergartener... I remember her first day of preschool so well. She was in a phase where she only wore pajamas. Like, 1 outfit from 1 bath to the next. She also brought her best buddy, a classic Tigger, everywhere! We were so concerned about her attachment to it we bought, and actually still have, a backup Tigger stashed in my closet.  But, no buddies allowed at school. The first day went ok. It was the second week of school that she got nervous. She knew what "going to school" meant and she told me her tummy hurt on the way to school.

Her new school is a big school--K-8 in fact. 1500 students! It's terrifying to drop off your little 5-year-old at such an intimidating labyrinth! We went for the tour this week and took turns peeking in classroom windows. Parents are allowed to walk them in on the first day, but then, it's on them. All by their little selves, finding their way through the (only 2) halls to their respective classrooms (of 9!). I'm getting anxious just thinking about it!

Bottom line is, I want ALL of us to be prepared! How do we do that?  What could you possibly do to calm nerves in little kids?  In part by planning and preparation, like our tour this week. But also, lining up my favorite oils for calm and confidence! With that in mind, I've made us a few roll-ons, cause you never know which blend is going to be best for which kid!

I love roll-ons, especially for my kids. Even my 2-year-old can apply oils himself with these, and loves to do so! For the kids, I use 5-10 drops of the oil of my choice in a recycled 5mL bottle, and top with V6 carrier oil, or other liquid carrier oil. I love the YL roller tops, since they are stainless, and help me reuse old empty bottles!  Here are my favorite calm-and-confident combos, featuring some of my favorite gentle, kid-friendly oils:


Roll-on #1: Frankincense and Lavender. This is a powerhouse pair! Frankincense is well known as a grounding oil, promoting comfort. Lavender is soothing and calming. Simple, easy, and reliable.

Roll-on #2: Valor (or Valor II) helps promote courage and self-esteem, and overcoming fear. It is a blend that includes Frankincense, among other things, to support feelings of self-control, peace, and balance. Just like the name says, right?!

Roll-on #3: Peace and Calming + Joy is a fulltime staple in my house. I always have this combo roller in my bag for my kids and myself.  I think the names of these blends give you a lot of insight in to them. P&C, as you could infer, is designed to promote feelings of peace and calm, of course! It has bright citrus oils and balancing florals and helps to ease stress and tension. Joy has some citrus and florals as well, which is one reason I like to pair them and find them complimentary. These blends are both full of positivity: Jasmine promotes confidence, rosewood promotes gentleness, ylang-ylang restores feelings of self-love, and rose helps brings balance.

Roll-on #4: Stress Away + Frankincense. Stress Away is, yet again, a blend whose primary purpose is built in to the name. It has copaiba and cedarwood, which are both excellent to combat nervous tension, calming lavender, and bright, uplifting lime and vanilla, so it smells amazing! I love adding the grounding frankincense to it for those added feelings of comfort and security.

For application, you have a few choices: the soles of the feet are an easy one for a kid to do himself. Add socks and shoes, and you're good to go. What if you forget? Or the mood changes en route? Simple! Target any pulse points and concentration of blood flow. The neck and wrists/forearms are perfect. Otherwise, if the child feels they need it somewhere else, it's hard to go wrong. I mentioned that my daughter said her tummy hurt on the way to her second week of school. It took a few questions to figure out she was feeling nervous and was too young to identify that. I put oil on her wrists, but also a little on the tummy for good measure! Listen to your intuition, and your kids!

I will note here that I use Young Living essential oils exclusively on my children. Their quality and purity guarantee gives me such peace of mind that I am not using any contaminated junk on my babies! Plus, they have the biggest selection of oils and blends, including exclusives like copaiba, giving us a one-of-a-kind Stress Away. Learn more about getting these awesome oils 24% (or more!) off!

Here's to a happy and healthy school year!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Getting Slique in the Summertime

I am forever grateful for good genes/good metabolism/whatever it is that makes weight not a huge issue for me. I'll admit I am moderately fit and reasonably trim. But, I've had babies and been through seasons ebbing and flowing in how well I eat, mostly landing on the poorer side of that spectrum!

We moved several months ago. We were in transition for about 2 months and it was the holidays and it set up some not so great habits. We are eating out way too much, and I have a knack for grabbing a bite of something sweet way too often throughout the day.  Since that move, too, my husband has had an erratic work schedule, sometimes being off on a weekday, other days working through dinner. Oh yea, and did I mention, I've had babies? I think you see where this is going...

I have acquired that pesky "spare tire" to the point where my shorts from last summer are snug and the button is uncomfortable to sit down. So, I'm going to try Young Living's Slique Maintain package. Young Living launched their "Slique in 60 Challenge" earlier this year with 4 different levels, depending on your needs: Maintain, Assist, Advanced, and Complete. The Slique Maintain level is designed to help maintain a healthy weight and support healthy dietary habits--let's be honest, it's the latter one that's killin me!

Slique Maintain is 2 parts: The Slique Essence essential oil blend of mostly citrus oils, plus stevia, to help manage hunger* with a very pleasant taste; and CitraSlim capsules which may support the breakdown of fat, increase metabolic activity, and support energy levels.* I have added, as needed, the Slique Tea, which is an oolong tea that also helps manage hunger. I bought the tea first, and I really love the taste! In my opinion, it tastes better than Slique Essence (I'm not a big fan of the stevia taste!)

Here is the Slique in 60 Challenge:
"If you purchase any qualifying Slique kit once a month for two consecutive months and use the products faithfully and according to directions for 60 uninterrupted days, we promise that you’ll see a change for the better! If you’re unsatisfied at the end of the trial period, we’ll give you a product credit equal to the amount of your purchase.
You’ve got nothing to lose but inches and pounds!" You can find complete information HERE!
With Young Living in the picture, I am confident I am getting clean, safe, non-toxic ingredients to support a healthy body! Each of the Slique products is infused with their top quality, therapeutic grade, and delicious Vitality essential oils.

I'm in! Actually, I've been in, starting this week! Not really long enough to measure results, but long enough to notice that these products do what they are advertised to do! I immediately noticed a drop in my sugar cravings and snacking. Like, the very first day! That has to get me somewhere, right? I've also noticed a curbing of my appetite. Not to an unhealthy level or anything. I'm just eating a bit less when I do eat throughout the day.

I wanted to write about this here, one, for the review, but also for the accountability. If I put it out there, I have to document it. I can measure changes. And I'll feel like I owe it to the blog to see it through with an honest effort. With that in mind, here is where I am now, as well as my SMART goals:

As of Day 1: (This is about what my face looked like at hearing my 5-year-old see this picture and say "Look! It's mama when I was in your tummy!" Yeah, I need this!)
On my scale: 133lbs
Bust: 37 inches
Waist: 35 inches (ouch--that can't be right!)
Hip: 40 inches

On an aside, have you heard of SMART goals? It's something like this:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A – Achievable
R - Realistic
T – Time based

With that in mind, here is my plan:
1. Follow the CitraSlim capsule directions, 2 capsules morning, 2 capsules afternoon, for the duration
2. Have tea or Slique Essence daily
3. Hit, at a minimum 3, ideally 4 dots on my Fitbit (set to 10,000 steps)
4. Create a dinner menu weekly, so we don't default to a quick answer in the evenings
(Please note that my plan doesn't exactly fit the Young Living Challenge. I am confident in the company, and therefore in the product. Like I mentioned, I very much prefer the taste of Slique Tea to Slique Essence. They achieve a similar purpose.)

My hope is this challenge will help me to reset those bad habits, reducing sweets and eating out, and therefore trim that spare tire so my shorts fit well again! I'm really excited and I can't wait to see where this takes me!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA