Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Holiday Treat Twists--Oatmeal Cookies and Snack Mix with Wolfberry Crisp Bars

Young Living has many ingredients for spicing up your everyday holiday goodies! One of the more unexpected is Wolfberry Crisp Bars. They are typically a satisfying snack bar, made with hearty grains like quinoa and flax, pea protein, almonds, wolfberries, of course, and coated in chocolate. Yum, right? Once again, with some help from my foodie big bro, I have 2 great recipes to repurpose them unconventionally to jazz up your holiday treats. So get out that food processor (or a good old fashioned rolling pin!) and get cookin!

First, mix them into tasty oatmeal cookies.

1 1/4 Cup (2-1/2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 drop cinnamon Vitality
1/4 Teaspoon grated nutmeg or 1-2 drops nutmeg Vitality
2 Cup(s) Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup Wolfberry Crisp crumbs (pulse in food processor to crush)
1 Cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 Teaspoon salt (optional)

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; mix well. Stir in oats, died fruit, and Wolfberry Crisp crumbs; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375°F 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie or 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

You can also turn Wolfberry Crisp Bars into dust with a food processor and make it into a coating for a cereal, nut, and pretzel snack.

8 cups of rice and corn cereal (aka Chex®)
1-2 cups nuts of your choice
1-2 cups small cut pretzels
¾ cups packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup Wolfberry Crisp crumbs (pulse in food processor to crush)

Mix cereal, nuts, and pretzels in a large bowl.
Microwave brown sugar, butter, corn syrup & crisp crumbs for 2 minutes (stirring well after 1 minute). Stir in baking soda.
Pour microwaved mixture over the dried ingredients and stir well to coat. Cool, store tightly sealed, and enjoy a sweet and savory holiday snack!

Remember that Chocolate-Coated Wolfberry Crisp Bars are exclusive to Young Living and are made with all natural-derived ingredients, with no GMO ingredients, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. They are super delicious and super good for you all by themselves! I hope you'll feel inspired to look at an ingredient in a new way. Happy snacking!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Luxurious Lip Scrub

Are you on the hunt for a quick, simple, yet luxurious gift idea? I may have just the thing! Lip scrubs are simple to whip up and customize, but in the stores, you'll have to go to a higher end beauty store to find one.

A lip scrub, if you have never tried one, is very easy to use. Simply rub a bit on your lips with your finger to exfoliate (just like a body scrub), and rinse off. It is perfect for dry, winter lips! Are you having issues with your lipstick looking flaky? Give this a try! Just be sure to follow it up with a moisturizing lip balm, and you'll be ready for mistletoe!

This homemade lip scrub, with Young Living oils, at least, is even safe to lick off! (Not sure if yours are safe to use? Check the label! I recommend using essential oils that say, on the label, they are safe for internal use. Ya know, since you are using it on your mouth!)

Here is my favorite recipe:

1 tsp organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp organic olive oil
1/4 tsp honey (don't bother with a measuring spoon, it's just a tiny squirt)
2 drops your favorite essential oil for lip care

Mix everything in a small glass dish. This batch fits nicely into a .25 oz lip balm jar.

Now, which essential oils should you use? I love peppermint oil in this recipe! It's cool, refreshing, and so delicious! Grapefruit is a popular choice, but citrus oils make my lips feel kind of funny (that is NOT true for everyone! If you love a citrus flavor, give it a shot!) Lavender is a nice choice for anything skin-related.  And frankincense is especially nice for aging skin and would make for a particularly indulgent treatment.

For a gift, pair it with a nice, homemade lip balm in a complimentary flavor. I love this gift for the young ladies in my life.

In just minutes, you and those you love, can enjoy soft, healthy lips all winter long!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Aromatherapy at Home With The Premium Starter Kit

Aromatherapy is probably essential oils' mainstream claim to fame, with their mood-enhancing scents. Nowadays, it is easy to have the benefits of aromatherapy right in your own home--no spa or massage therapist needed!

Good quality essential oils are a healthy way to scent and freshen the air in your home. But there is so much more to it than that! The molecules of essential oils are so tiny, they travel through your nose, into your blood stream and to the limbic system of your brain (that's the part that regulates your basic emotions and drives). Essential oils are powerful and simply smelling them can affect your body not only mentally, but physically. You can use them aromatically to support your mood, your mind, and your body. Did you ever even notice that the second half of "aromatherapy" is "therapy?!"

To diffuse essential oils, all you have to do is add a few drops of your preferred oil to some water in the well of a diffuser. You can get a diffuser from lots of places now, including Amazon and health food stores. Mine came as a part of my Young Living Premium Starter Kits (yeah, I have more than 1...) Young Living oils are top quality, therapeutic grade, for maximum therapeutic value. The kit includes 11 of their most versatile and/or popular essential oils and the diffuser to use them with!  (Get your hands on it HERE!) But, once you have them, what should you put in your diffuser? You can, of course, start with any one on its own. That's a fantastic way to get familiar with each one, how it makes you feel, and how you like it.  Go slow and don't get overwhelmed! They aren't going anywhere! Once you've experienced them on their own, or if you are just more ambitious to start with, then you can take the next step and combine them to fine tune addressing your needs.

Here are each of the PSK oils with their primary aromatic uses, so you can see how mixing and matching can enhance their effects:

Lavender: calming, soothing, balancing (mentally and physically!)
Lemon: cleansing for the air, clarifying, and invigorating
Peppermint: stimulating mentally, invigorating, and purifying
Copaiba: soothing, promotes body's natural response to irritant
Frankincense: uplifiting, grounding
Stress Away: promotes peace, balance, and relaxation
Thieves: super cleansing, supports immune health
Purification: cleansing, supports respiratory health
RC: cleansing, supports sinus and respiratory health
PanAway: stimulating

Here's a comprehensive collection of wonderful combinations of PSK oils that make for great diffuser blends!


*Note that each combo appears only once!

I think you can see a trend here. The single oils are more versatile than the blends. And you can see, 2 or 3 oils are plenty! No need to get carried away.

In my bedroom, a medium space with 2 adult bodies, I tend to stick with 6 drops total: 2-3 drops of each. For my children I do even less. My 4-year-old gets 3-4 drops total in her room, and my 2-year-old usually only 2 drops. I may go up to 8 total drops in my open-concept living/dining/kitchen space. But IMHO, why waste? Now if we are under the weather, or there is something going around and I feel we need the extra support, I MAY flex those totals a bit, but I don't usually feel it is necessary.

Remember too, when combining oils, that some are stronger than others. I find peppermint, Thieves, and RC particularly dominant, while copaiba and frankincense are a bit lighter. I adjust accordingly, for example, 2 drops peppermint + 4 drops Stress Away or 2 drops RC + 3 drops lemon.

If you are just starting out, keep it on the light side and keep the exposure brief, especially for kids! Also be sure to keep an exit available for pets.

So bust out that diffuser and try something new!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Achy Body Spray

My family went on vacation last week!  Woohoo! (one reason I recruited some blogging help!) Well, it was more of a staycation, really, but involved a hotel room, nonetheless. And a hotel bed. And a hotel pillow. After riding in the car... Do you see where I'm going with this??? Stiff neck, achy back... Those pesky vacation ruiners weren't going to put a damper on my relaxation! I made sure to bring my Magnesium Spray. It is just the trick for those kind of everyday, ain't-as-young-as-I-used-to-be, tight and angry muscles. And the best part is it is easy to make and it works fast! With one of the peak travelling seasons nearly upon us, I felt obligated to share!

I got inspired by my old friend and DIY guru, Sherri, at Overthrow Martha. She has a wonderfully simple and economical recipe there to make your own magnesium oil, which is the base for this recipe. She also tells you all about why you need it and how you probably aren't getting enough of it in your life. Magnesium is great stuff! It's the active ingredient in epsom salts that make your bath so relaxing. It's so soothing on tired muscles! It does all kinds of amazing things for your body. I used a magnesium supplement when I was pregnant a lot! My doctor recommended it to help manage some normal pregnancy symptoms and it worked very nicely. It was a powder that dissolves in water. You drink it like a tea. But it can have some of those relaxing effects on your digestive system, which is actually helpful when you're pregnant! But a lot of people don't like to use it orally on a regular basis for that reason. A topical spray is a good alternative to get the benefits to your body while bypassing your tummy.

To make your own magnesium oil that you can spray topically, all you need is magnesium chloride flakes and water (equal parts). Once saw this, and knowing how to make a basic essential oil spray, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to inject some essential oils for some extra power! My top choices are PanAway and Copaiba. 

PanAway is an exclusive blend from Young Living of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint. It is specifically designed to support your musculoskeletal system with naturally occurring compounds like methyl salicylate and menthol. Copaiba is a single oil that comes from resin of trees native to the Amazon. It's known for supporting the body's natural response to an irritant and is very soothing! It is also a magnifier for other oils, supporting their natural effects. 
Put all those things together, and you've got a winning combination! Like throwing the kitchen sink at your shoulders!

So, here's how you do it!
Cover the bottom of a 1 oz spray bottle with magnesium flakes (1-2 pinches) 
Add 15-25 drops of PanAway + 8-15 drops Copaiba (I use this spray more as-needed than everyday, so I go on the stronger side)
Swirl to combine
Fill about half way with warm water, cover with your finger, and shake to combine
Top off with Sherri's Magnesium Oil, put the top on, and again, give it a little shake to combine everything

Then, all you have to do is spray it on what ails ya! My neck and shoulders get a lot of this spray! As does my lower back area. I do about 50/50 water to Mg oil here for 2 reasons: one is that I use more magnesium flakes to start with. I don't want to overdo it with the magnesium. But also, when the spray dries, it leaves some of the salt (as in chemical salt, not table salt), residue on your skin and it can feel sticky or even cause some mild skin irritation. I don't love that, especially using it around my hair. So, I dilute it more. You could certainly flex that ratio in either direction. 

Now, if you don't have PanAway and Copaiba (which I highly recommend, and happen to both come in Young Living's Premium Starter Kit), there are many choices to use in this recipe! Anything you like to use on sore or tired muscles would fit the bill: lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, wintergreen, pine... there are lots and lots 'o choices! 
Stay loose and feelin fine! 
(forgive me, I'm still recovering from vacation ;) )

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tastes of the Season: Fall 2016

I think you're getting the idea by now that I love to use Young Living Vitality Essential Oils in my food and drinks all the time! Well, I've been sharing the love an I've recruited my brother, Jeff, our family's resident food and drink connoisseur, to share some Tastes of the Season recipes featuring essential oils. He's been in the restaurant and hospitality biz for years, and has literally eaten his way around the world! Here's what he shared:

The 2016 Essential Oil Culinary Collection has several oils great for seasonal dishes this Fall, for all times of the day. Try adding 2-3 drops drops each of Lemon Vitality and Ginger Vitality with a tablespoon or 2 of ricotta cheese to pancake or crêpe batter for a spiced up Autumn breakfast or brunch treat! Reserve a little of the ricotta mixture to top your pancakes along with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Or use a little bit of seasonal jam (apricot, perhaps???) instead of syrup. Pair with seasonal fruit, like apples, figs, cranberries, or plums, to complete the meal. This will look and taste so sophisticated. It's perfect for everyday, or a social brunch.

Or how about mixing Rosemary Vitality with some olive oil to coat your roast, chicken, turkey or rack of Lamb for a rich, pine, & earthy flavor? 1-2 drops per tablespoon of olive oil should be plenty! Rosemary is a strong flavor! Any single, or combination of herb Vitality oils would do nicely here. Add salt, pepper, oven roast as usual, and voilà, a holiday feast!

If you like to entertain during the holidays (and who doesn’t?) you can prepare a holiday cocktail for you and your guests by adding Peppermint Vitality to chocolate liquor, vodka, and half & half to make delicious peppermint patty martinis or cocktails! Peppermint essential oil is really strong, so if you are making only 1 serving at a time (I know, but you never know!), try drawing a clean toothpick along the inside of the top of the bottle, then stirring it in to the cocktail mix. 1 drop would better serve 4 or so. For a twist on this, go hot toddy style, with spiked peppermint hot chocolate! 

Not sure if your essential oils are safe with food and drinks??? I can help you with that! If your essential oils do not specifically say they are safe for internal use, or have supplement information on the label, don't use them! Not all essential oils are the same quality and purity. Young Living's exclusive line of Vitality oils are all safe and labeled with directions for internal use. Learn more about them HERE!
Ready to get your hands on some and try some great recipes? Start HERE!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Steam Tent with Essential Oils

Have you ever tried a steam tent? Have you ever heard of a steam tent? Well, it's a very easy technique using steam to carry essential oils. It can be a great tool to support your respiratory system or your skin. The steam itself opens everything up, pores, sinuses, ect, then, a cleansing or detoxifying essential oil can go to work! My favorite essential oil for tenting is Melrose (a proprietary blend from Young Living with 2 varieties of melaleuca, including tea tree, and rosemary), but there are lots of great choices! Watch my brief demo showing you exactly how it's done!

Remember, as a word of caution, to remove contact lenses! Essential oils and contacts don't get along well :) Also, for best results for your skin, remove make up first.

Want to get your hands on those pure, clean, top quality essential oils? I only use the best, including those exclusive blends, and you can too here!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Immune Support with Thieves Tea

It's that time of year again! As the season changes and the weather yo-yos, our bodies seems to be more susceptible to all kinds of ickiness going around. Now is the time to work some little steps in to your day to ensure that your immune system is tip top and working hard for you! One way I like to do this is with a Thieves Tea. Now, "tea" is really a misnomer. There is no actual tea in this recipe! Which is kinda nice, cause you can drink it any time of day without worrying about caffeine. Here's what you need:

1 drop Thieves Vitality essential oil
1 drop Copaiba Vitality essential oil
2 drops Lemon Vitality essential oil
up to 1 tsp honey
very warm water

Put warm water in a mug. (Remember not to use water that's too hot, like boiling water. High heat can damage the therapeutic properties of the oils and we definitely don't want that!) 
Put a small but of honey on the spoon, then add your essential oils to the spoon. I have a squeezy honey bear and I like layer honey, oils, honey on mine. I feel like it blends the 2 better. 
Rock the spoon a couple of time to combine, or stir with a toothpick. 
Then, stir the oil-infused honey in to the warm water. 

I've discussed Vitality essential oils before. They are exclusively from Young Living and are labeled with directions for internal use.

Thieves Vitality essential oil is a blend of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus oils. Thieves is the super cleaning blend and the Vitality variety does that for your body! It is the best for supporting a healthy immune system. Keep in mind that Thieves is a hot oil and without the honey (and for some, even with the honey), it can cause a mild burning sensation. I think it feels nice going down, but if it's too much for you, try drawing a toothpick around the top of the bottle and swirling that in your honey instead. You'll still get the same benefits, but using a bit less oil!

Copaiba Vitality essential oil is a single oil and Young Living exclusive. It is a booster oil and naturally supports your body's natural response to an irritant, keeping those natural defenses primed! It adds a lightly woodsy note to the "tea" since it's derived from tree resin.

Lemon Vitality essential oil is a great little detoxifier. It's cleansing properties are great for your body, including your digestive system, which is a vital part of your body's total defense system. And it tastes like, well, lemons!

Together, these taste delicious and very appropriate to the cooler months! The cinnamon really comes through the most for me! My husband and I enjoy this drink on a regular basis not that the weather is changing. So, even though it doesn't actually have tea in it, it is still tasty, warm, and comforting, and doing amazing things for our bodies!

*Please note that pictured essential oils do not reflect current labels for Young Living Vitality oils. The labels have been redesigned.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

DIY Foaming Soap

Did you hear? The FDA has banned 19 "antibacterial agents" from commercial soaps, basically saying that they do more harm than good! The problem is really two-fold: first, it drives bacterial evolution leading to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, and second, it kills off the good bacteria that your body needs to maintain healthy balance. So, in light of this information, maybe now is the perfect time to be more confident embarking on making your own soap, knowing that you'll still get plenty clean!

The easiest place to start is with foaming soaps. I love foaming soaps. I've been using them for years! I always felt like they lasted longer. When I started on my essential oil and DIY journey, I found out how easy it is to make myself. I also found out that they are mostly water! I really HATE paying for water, including watered down products! So, now, I make it, of course!

I love that I can change it up and customize it. It's a basic formula, but I can add different oils, carriers and essential, to make exactly what I need at the time, like to meet the needs of my skin in summer vs winter, or what I prefer, like spicy in the fall vs fresh in the spring. I will alos add, that since making my own this way, I don't use lotion as much. Since it is made with oils, it isn't as stripping and harsh as traditional soaps, so my skin loves this recipe!

To make your own, first, you need to start with a foaming pump. I bought some from Abundant Health (I love the little travel size!). I've also recycled empty ones from store-bought foaming soap. If you're going to recycle, be sure you strongly dilute any essential oils used, since the grade of plastic is not verified. I also avoid citrus oils in my recycled ones since those seem to be more strongly degrading to plastics.

The next thing you need is a concentrated soap base. I love castile soap for this! It is combination of water, and a number of saponified oils, including coconut, olive, and jojoba. It also has a small quantity or potassium hydroxide necessary for the saponification reaction (basically the mechanism that makes soap grab dirt and carry it away.) You can get it pre-scented with natural fragrances, but I like to add my own. And since I use it for multiple things, I like my soap unscented.

In your bottle, combine about 2/3 water and 1/3 soap, and you could be done there!

If you like, you can add some things first...

  • vegetable glycerin
  • vitamin E
  • extra carrier oil of your choice (probably steer clear of regular coconut oil since it can go solid in cooler temperatures)
  • essential oils for skin care (Some of my favorites include, but are certainly not limited to lavender, frankincense, tea tree, Purification, Thieves, Melrose... the list goes on and on!)

Check out my video demo, including my facewash recipe, showing you how easy it really is!

Want to get extra clean this month??? Young Living is offering a FREE bottle of their exclusive, super concentrated Thieves Laundry Soap to new wholesale members for enrolling in September! Learn more about what it takes to get started today here

Monday, August 29, 2016

Healthy Scalp Spray

If you have kids going back to school, chances are you want their scalp to stay healthy! I guess you'd want their heads to be healthy no matter what, but going back to school exposes them to all kinds of pesky annoyances that you don't want them bringing home. That would mean keeping them home and doing tons of laundry... so let's avoid that hassle this year and keep that scalp, well, healthy!

For my school-aged child, I use this simple spray on her hair in the mornings before school using essential oils:

pinch of baking soda
15 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
1 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp witch hazel

1 oz spray bottle
small stainless funnel (will make filling that bottle a little easier!)

Put a pinch of baking soda in to a 1 oz spray bottle. Add in your essential oils (if you see oil swirling around the bottom of the bottle, add a little more baking soda. You want the soda to absorb the oil). Pour in warm water in. Cover with your finger and shake to dissolve the baking soda. Top with witch hazel and close it up.

I spray the hairline, 2-3 spritzes to get all the way around, a spray on the crown, then lift about half the hair up and get one good spray in the middle there.

Super simple, clean, and healthy!

I will note that in my home, and especially around my kids, I only use top quality, unadulterated essential oils! Learn more about what I use here!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

All About Cedarwood

This month, August 2016, Young Living is giving away a free full-sized bottle of Cedarwood Essential Oil to all new wholesale members. Free! Just for signing up! So, what is Cedarwood essential oil and why do you need it in your life???

Cedarwood originally comes from Morocco and according to Life Science Publishing's Essential Oil Pocket Reference it is "closely related to the biblical cedars of Lebanon" with traditional uses in medicines and embalming. The essential oil is steam distilled from the bark of the tree.

As for modern day uses... the list is impressive! It's well known for promoting a full and healthy hair (you could add it to that hair serum recipe I shared!) It also has some great cleansing properties especially for this skin. Aromatically, Cedarwood is calming making it a great choice for focus blends and bedtime, for grown ups and for kids!

Cedarwood is such a great partner with other oils! So much so that Young Living uses it in a lot of their proprietary blends including Stress Away, Brain Power, Highest Potential, and Tranquil Roll On. Don't those sound nice? They also take advantage of  those cleansing properties when including it in their ART Beauty Masque, Peppermint-Cedarwood Moisturizing Soap, and KidScents Bath Gel.

Now, I will admit, when I first tried Cedarwood, I hated the smell!  I thought it smelled like cat pee! Fortunately, I seem to be a rare breed there! And it has grown on me. I powered through, trying to seize it's benefits by combining it with other oils and/or using it on my feet for Vita Flex applications. Now, I really like the smell. It's sweet and slightly woodsy. I use it my diffuser at bedtime almost every night. I change it up, pairing it with different things on different nights. Here are some of my favorite combos! (I use 1-3 drops of each oil)

Of course, things like peppermint and rosemary are typically perky oils, while things like lavender and Stress Away are more often used at bedtime. But remember, Cedarwood is flexible and can be helpful at all times of the day! I will also note that many ultrasonic diffusers do not recommend the use of vetiver since it is so thick and viscous. Check with your manufacturer!

Any of these combinations would make for excellent roller bottle combinations for the Vita Flex applications I mentioned before. For kids, under 10, try 1-5 drops of each in a 10mL roller bottle, topped with a liquid carrier oil of your choice. For bigger kids and adults, go with 5-15 drops of each. Within those ranges, account for specific age, size, sensitivity, and experience with essential oils.

Are you ready to get started with the essential oils, and get your Cedarwood for free? Learn more here!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hair Conditioning Serum

Hey! How's the summer treating your hair? How about that beauty routine in general? A little rough around the edges? I'm going to share a slightly embarrassing moment I had several months ago...

Around Christmas, I started making the switch to a natural hair car routine, including a DIY shampoo followed by and apple cider vinegar rinse. I'll get to those another day. Apparently, it was not doing the ends of my color-treated hair any favors. I hadn't been in for a trim in a few months and when I finally went to get it cut, the girl asks me if I flat iron it often... I don't :( My poor ends were not handling the transition well! So, solution time!

I came home and started looking into essential oils that are good for your hair and I found a laundry list! Many tout benefits for your scalp, but having oily-prone skin and hair, I didn't want to go for a full-on oil application, either as a deep conditioner or regular conditioning treatment, so I was more selective. Here is where I landed:

Olive Oil--it's moisturizing and contains Vitamins A and E, leaving you with strong, shiny, manageable hair. Many carrier oils would be good in this application. Start with one your skin likes.

Lavender Essential Oil--it is my go-to for all things health and beauty! It's soothing properties apply to everything else I've tried, so why not my hair? I found it to be deep conditioner for hair. Plus it smells great!

Ylang-ylang Essential Oil--again, the smell! I learned that it has traditionally been used to support thick, shiny hair.
  • 1/4 Olive Oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops ylang-ylang essential oil  (get started with the best oils here!)
Add EO's to 2 oz dropper bottle and top with olive oil. Use a couple of drops on the ends of wet or dry hair.

Now, when I say "a couple of drops," seriously, 2 drops is enough for my hair! It is fine and straight and if I use more, it doesn't absorb all the way and looks oily. My daughter, on the other hand, has curls and 4 drops or so suits her better. I use this every time I wash my hair, on the ends only, because I believe in an ounce of prevention! I use 1-2 drops on damp hair, before blow drying, to help protect the ends from the heat, then 1-2 drops after for smoothing. 

When I use 1-2 drops after drying, I get the bonus points of lovely, calming, uplifting aromatherapy running through my hair, right there near my nose! Delightful!

After several more months, my hair is looking smooth and strong! I only hate that the weather is too hot to wear it down more often!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DIY Mouthwash

Mouthwash you say? Yep! This recipe is free of alcohol, sweeteners, dyes, and artificial flavors. It's so easy and cost-effective you'll never want to put that other stuff in your mouth again!

You only need 3 ingredients: baking soda, water, and top quality essential oils like these!  The essential oils do the heavy lifting here and you absolutely want to be sure you are using oils that are safe to use in your mouth! If the you have an essential oil that says "for external use only," BELIEVE THEM!

Popular oils include peppermint and the Thieves blend (which you can learn a little about here). Me? I love wintergreen! I've always preferred it to peppermint, whether it's candy or gum or whatever. But here is a great opportunity to customize it to your taste and your needs!

Add around 8 drops of each oil of choice to 1/4-1/2 tsp baking soda at the bottle of a glass bottle (mine is 8oz). Fill with water, and shake to combine!

Want a bonus secret ingredient???  Hydrogen peroxide! Based on the labeled instructions, you can use up to 50% of the 3% hydrogen peroxide with 50% water. It is well known as an antiseptic and oral debriding agent, which basically means it cleans stuff out really well. Added bonus? Whitening power! If you can tolerate the taste, it's an effective addition!

Check out my video to see how quick and easy it is to whip up a batch with my favorite oil combo!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Car Interior Cleaning Spray

Hey ladies, trying to get the man in your life on board with all this DIY stuff? Guys, no offense, but most proactive DIYers are female! Here is a recipe everyone can enjoy and everyone can make! It also happens to be one that helped me rope my husband in to DIY products too ;)

This is a solution to make the interior of your shine! We've spent years living in hot climates and the sun is brutal on cars. We use this spray on all of the hard plastic and vinyl surfaces on the interior of the car. It works great, makes your car look great, and smells fresh too!

2/3 cup water
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp vinegar
2-4 drops concentrated soap (we use castile, but any biodegradable concentrated soap is good here)
4-6 drops essential oil (think tea tree, Thieves, Purification...any of the good cleaners)

Combine in an 8oz spray bottle and shake as needed. The oil and water will separate, but remember not to make the soap go crazy!
Spray on surfaces in the car and wipe with a soft, clean cloth. *Watch out for windows! That olive oil will be a little bit of a pain to get off!

Now, ya'll know I loooove the Thieves Household Cleaner for just about everything, but the olive oil in this recipe will condition your vinyl surfaces and give them that great shine. I mean, look at those results!

It can also help a little bit with all the sun beating down on your dash. We don't have leather in our cars, so spot check on leather first, giving is a few days of sun exposure, especially if you are using citrus oils. You don't want any discoloration from the sun!

Monday, July 11, 2016

NingXia Red FroYo Fruit Pops

It's July and it's hot! Basically everywhere, right? Who couldn't use another way to cool down? Maybe a way that's even a healthy snack? I've got a great recipe for you!

My homemade ice pops feature Young Living's NingXia Red. NingXia Red is a supplement drink featuring the super fruit wolfberries, giving it its signature red color, and includes blueberries, cherries, plums, and pomegranate juices and extracts. It's loaded with antioxidants and citrus essential oils to support overall health and energy. It's so powerful, a recommended serving is only 1-2 ounces! Each ounce, btw, only has 20 calories and 2 grams of sugar. It is a great way to introduce ingestion of essential oils to kids, and so is this recipe:
  • 1 singles-serving size cup of vanilla yogurt (they make them a weird size now... like 5.something oz, so I re-use that empty cup to get equal parts, and save on a dish!)
  • 1 of the same "cups" of NingXia Red
  • 1 of the same "cups" frozen strawberries
  • 2-4 drops of Lime Vitality Oil (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and let 'er rip until well blended. 
Pour in to molds (try to avoid plastic if you can! Plastic and citrus oils don't get along!) 
Freeze and eat! 

The yogurt keeps it a creamier texture, more like a sorbet and it's so refreshing! It's a bit more hearty than your typical water-based pop. Serve it to your kids for breakfast! They will love you for it!

You can, of course, substitute out the strawberries for a different frozen fruit you like, and same for the Vitality oil.  You can also adjust the size of your batch to accommodate the number of molds you have. The important thing is equal parts.

You can actually get an ice pop set with NingXia and silicone molds from Young Living (safe for citrus oils!) here! Want to get it wholesale? Check out this page!

Don't wanna go for pops? Put in single-serving dishes, or a big bowl, and freeze that way. Mine got a bit more hard going that route, but still just as yummy! A grapefruit spoon was perfect for my larger bowl.

UPDATE! We made this with frozen peaches and lemon Vitality oil and it's SO good! Light and refreshing!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tub Scrub

I really don't like cleaning. I mean, does anyone really like it? What's your least favorite part? Hard to pick just one, right?  Well, one thing I don't hate anymore is the chemical stink that used to fill my home on cleaning days. It's really easy to make your own great, clean, chemical-free, fresh-smelling cleaning products! Did ya know that? Baking soda and vinegar will take you a long way! Throw in a little castile soap, lemon and tea tree essential oil, and you've got yourself a cleaning par-tay!  Here is the recipe I use for my tub, my sink, and anywhere else that could use a good scrubbing!

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp castile soap
  • 8 drops each lemon and tea tree essential oils (Thieves, Citrus Fresh, Purification, or Melrose would also be great in this recipe!)

Mix everything together in a bowl with a spoon (remember, glass or stainless is best when dealing with essential oils!) and sprinkle a light dusting on whatever you want to clean. Scrub a bit and rinse off. See, easy! Letting it sit for a little while won't hurt anything either. Today, I mixed and dusted before nap time, then did my tuck-in duties and scrubbed after. Store any extra in a jar with a shaker top for easy use next time.

Baking soda is a great cleaning product. It's cheap, easily accessible, and natural! It's also good for deodorizing and stains, and while mildly abrasive, it won't scratch your surfaces. Check out the box panels for some ideas on where you can use it!

The soap makes for a good texture and offers some more cleaning power. You want to wash off dirt, right?  Castile soap is a blend of saponified oils, including coconut, jojoba, hemp oils, and others. It is plant based. It is also a concentrate, so don't be scared of the price! It works out to a good value. Think of it as buying in bulk. You can get it pre-scented, but I prefer the plain, mild version.

Finally, the oils. Many essential oils, like tea tree, Thieves, Purification, and Melrose, have great cleansing properties. Lemon, Citrus Fresh, and Purification are all good for odors. Many citrus oils are helpful for stains, too! I like this combo for the scent, and it does such a great job! Everything is left sparkly fresh!
(Need to get your hands on some oils, including these great blends? Check out this page!)

Here are the great results I get with this scrub (you can click to enlarge)! Please don't judge my nasty sink and tub! My husband is away and I've been doing the single mom thing! I may have fallen a little behind on my chores...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Olive Oil + Vitality Herb Oils = YUMMY Dinner!

Do you like Italian food? How about Americanized Italian-inspired food? :) One of our favorite side dishes around here is bread with dipping oil. We mix up some dried herbs with olive oil and dip a warm, crusty bread in it...mmm...Since I've discovered Essential Oils that are safe to ingest (PLEASE follow labeled instructions! They aren't all safe! Get safe ones HERE), I like using them to jazz up my food dishes and this is a perfect one! It already uses a carrier oil and herbs in the same family. Any of the herb oils, like rosemary, oregano, Taste of Italy blend, or even lemon, would be tasty in this dish! And the herb oils are so great for supporting a healthy immune system. This is a great, raw application, where you don't risk high heat damaging the therapeutic properties of the oil.

  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp raw, minced garlic
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Italian dried herb blend (I use a combo that is 2 pars each basil and oregano, 1 part each thyme, rosemary, and parsley, stored in its own spice jar)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 drop Vitality Essential oil 
All you have to do is combine and enjoy! There is a lot of flexibility in the recipe. Just use what you have, and as much or as little as you like!  Precision is not important. I never even measured it until I got ready to share!  Remember to start with less, cause you can always add more.
I also love to translate this recipe to chicken. Simply modestly sprinkle the same dry ingredients on the chicken (I like boneless, skinless white meat for this).  Then I pan fry it in my cast iron skillet, on medium heat, using the Vitality infused olive oil to cook with.  Now, cooking with the essential oil, you do run the risk of damaging its therapeutic value, but you are still getting the great boost of flavor. I usually eat these two dishes together, with a little side salad, for a simple, healthy supper. 

UPDATE: I used this oil blend on diced red potatoes, then roasted in the oven, at 425 for 20-25 min... OMG! YUM!

Check out my video for a few more tips on making this dish happen! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

8 Essential Oils for On-The-Go Everyday!

I love my essential oils so much, and they are such a part of my everyday life, that I like to keep them with me always! They are my go-to for so many things for myself and my family, so it only makes sense, right?

I recently posted about my DIY Vent Clip for diffusing oils in my car. I also recently got a little oil travel bag (from Etsy!) that is now my to-go bag. I keep it stocked with some staples that I can diffuse in the car, or use other ways, as needed, while I'm out of the house. These things make taking and using oils on-the-go really easy!

This is a perfect opportunity to re-use some of your empties! Add 15 drops or so of your go-to oil, or personal blend, to an old bottle to create to your On-The-Go collection. That way, you the weight you are carrying around is minimized. Plus, you can keep your large bottle safe at home, where you will be using more of it anyway. This way, too, if the small stash gets broken, you aren't out an entire bottle of oil, nor will an entire bottle of oil spill all over your bag! Your big bottle is safe and sound, with most of your oil in it!

Check out my video for the 8 essential oils I choose to keep with us all the time, as well as my bonus bottle #9! I'll challenge you to keep track of how many of my staples are available in the Premium Starter Kit, which you can study for HERE aaaannd HERE.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Thieves Household Cleaner All-Purpose Sprays

The Thieves Household Cleaner is one of the best bang-for-the-buck products I’ve found from Young Living! It is an all plant- and mineral-based product and features the king-of-clean, Thieves Essential Oil blend (which is part of the Premium Starter Kit, and you can read a little more about here). Thieves is a combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyuptus, and rosemary essential oils, so you know it smells amazing!  Because it's all natural, it's an ideal cleaning solution for homes with children and/or pets.  But the absolute BEST part is... It actually works!!!  It actually gets things clean!

The Thieves Household Cleaner comes in a reasonable 14.4 oz or a jumbo 64 oz bottle (honestly, I’ve had the smaller one for months and it’s not gone yet. Maybe I just need to clean more...) Simply dilute it with water, or add to some baking soda, and you can use it to clean your house from top to bottom, on nearly every surface.  It's that easy! And a little goes a very long way. This solution is SUPER concentrated, so dilution is almost always required, making it an economical solution as well. Dilution ratios vary based on how strong of a cleaner you need.

I keep 2 spray bottles in my cabinet all the time:

1. A light weigh spray of 1 capful in about 3 cups of water + 1 tsp vinegar

    My favorite uses:
  • Mirrors (if it streaks, add a little more water)
  • Stainless appliances (think smudges on the fridge!) 
  • Chrome faucets
  • Giving kitchen or bathroom countertops an everyday wipe-down. 
  • My sofa. I spot clean from messy little fingers and every week or 2 just do a light mist over the whole thing to freshen it up.
  • Toys
  • My dinner table and chairs (they are wood)
  • The crib  
  • Re-usable AC filters
  • Doorknobs and light switch plates

2. A more heavy-duty, all-purpose solution made of 1 capful in about 1 ½-2 cups of water. 

    My favorite uses:
  • The stove top after dinner
  • The high chair 
  • Car seat cup holders
  • Old, sticky juice
  • The trash can
  • Toothpaste spots in the sink

*Be sure to spot check for color-fastness and against staining on fabrics and porous surfaces. But, my couch is red micro-suede and I've had no issues!

Just an FYI, each cap full is about 1 tbsp, so the smaller bottle gets you 29 caps and the larger one gets you 128! Such a bargain!

See, super easy! I do use this concentrate in other recipes as needed around my house, but I use at least one of these 2 almost every day. I love that I can get out my bottle #1 and just go to town, cleaning all over the house at once!  Don't you just love simplification in life?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

DIY Capsules

I've talked about Vitality oils before (see Infused Water). What do you do if there is a Vitality oil you want to use, but it isn't really appetizing to you? Or maybe it's a hot oil, and when you add it to water it's still uncomfortable for your lips? Enter capsules! Capsules are cheap and easy to use. Don't believe me? Check out my video showing you just how I make 'um and take 'um!

Please remember that not all essential oils are safe for internal use! Please follow labeling instructions and DO NOT ingest oils that don't specifically say it's ok! Young Living makes it easy with their line of Vitality oils! These are their same great essential oils, labeled for internal use. You can learn more about them here!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bath Salts

Bath Salts may be the most simple DIY out there and a staple for every beginner Essential Oil user. They are great to help you unwind from the day.  Literally, all you need is epsom salts and your favorite EO.  Epsom salts are a magnesium base which is very soothing for you physically and helps ease tension. Essential oils can have such great effects on your body and on your skin. Some are soothing, invigorating, and/or cleansing, and adding them to salts helps the oil disperse into the bath well, helping them get to you and keeping them from sitting on top of the water. Bath salts can be spiced up to cater to different needs, or to be pretty for a gift, but those are the basics.  I love mason jars for these. They are the perfect, inexpensive, large, glass vessel to house them.

For Adults:
Combine 1/2-1 cup epsom salts with 4-20 drops Essential Oil (I like 1-3 drops per ounce of salt) for a large, full bath

For Children:
Combine 1/4 cup epsom salts with 1-3 drops Essential Oil for a small bath

There are lots of variations and additives you can use to embellish your bath and lots of EO's to choose from. You could even use magnesium flakes instead of epsom salts! Both are a magnesium base.

Add up to equal parts baking soda to the epsom salts for a detox bath
Add 1-2 tsp carrier oil per 1/2 cup epsom salts for a silky, moisturizing bath
Add 1-2 tsp dried herbs per 1/2 cup epsom salts for aroma (and they are pretty in the jar!)
Add 1-2 tbsp citric acid per 1/2 cup epsom salts for fizz
Mix and match from the above, or use them all!

As for Essential Oils... there are so many to choose from it's hard to know where to start! The choice is yours and really depends on your goals. Are you looking to de-stress and unwind? Had a tough work out and looking to soothe tired muscles? Are you trying to get your kids ready for bed?  Feeling a little under the weather? A nice bath could be just what you need!

A few words of caution when choosing oils for your bath: Some oils are hot and can cause discomfort when used topically. Always use a carrier oil if you experience topical discomfort! Oil and water don't mix and rinsing with water will do you no good! In addition, peppermint has a remarkable cooling sensation that may not be enjoyable all over you in the bath! Finally, citrus oils can cause skin sensitivity in the sun when used topically. Use caution if you bathe in a citrus oil before going in the sun and cover up!

So go find a magazine or a good book, and get that tub filling! Get your oils (here!) and salts out for a good soak!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Air Freshener Pouch

It's Demo Day! This recipe is so quick and so simple I decided to just show you instead! Learn how to get Purification essential oil blend HERE!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

KidCare Cream

Melrose is one of my favorite Young Living Essential Oil blends. It is made of 2 varieties of melaleuca (alternifolia, aka, tea tree, and quinquenervia), rosemary, and clove. The scent is a little spicy in my opinion. The ingredients make it very cleansing which is excellent for your skin and scalp. It's a great addition to a facewash or shampoo; I've used it for both! It's also a good choice to support your respiratory system in a chest rub or in your diffuser.
One way Melrose is part of my everyday life is in my KidCare Cream. My little girl, bless her heart, is not the kid who wants a band aid for every little thing. My girl wants oil! And this balm, specifically. It includes lavender and frankincense, 2 of the most versatile oils out there, so with all these ingredients, it really is good for everything, physical and otherwise! These all have such great cleansing and soothing properties. Plus, making a small balm makes it convenient to keep on hand all the time. Any oily person will tell you, acting fast is key when using oils. They will also tell you to use what you have on hand to the best of your ability, so I thought is best to keep the most versatile oils with me all the time! Here's what I do: 
  • Melt 1/2 teaspoon each of coconut oil and other liquid carrier oil of your choice with 1/4 teaspoon beeswax in a double boiler (I have a glass measuring cup with a handle that works nicely as a mini-double boiler)
  • Remove from the heat and cool slightly
  • Stir in 7 drops each Melrose and lavender, plus 5 drops frankincense
  • Pour in to a 5mL lip balm tin
  • Chill in the refrigerator to set (you should end up with a creamy balm, about the consistency of an ointment)

Just use a little dab, as needed, and rub it in on the wrists, temples, tummy, or directly where you feel you need it! This same combo of oils would make and nice spray for hands-off application, but I like the balm to use for emotional support. And I find the balm more convenient in my bag. My tin lives in my diaper bag and we have it on hand, literally, ALL the time! It's equally effective on nerves or a cranky mood as it is at comforting everyday little bumps. If you don't have Melrose, tea tree on its own is a nice substitution, but I really like the extra boost from the rosemary and clove.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Infused Water

Warm weather us upon us! At least, I hope it is warm where you live by now! Vitality essential oils are a great way to give you water a boost. You can create all kinds of interesting flavor combinations while letting top notch essential oils work their magic on your body, keeping it happy and healthy all summer long! I like to use a combination of essential oils and fruits. This is a healthy way to have something interesting and refreshing to drink! Essential oils are super concentrated, relative to their source material. 1-2 drops in a tall glass is plenty to get the taste and benefits in a more convenient way. They can be used to support the health of over system in the body and support overall wellness. The shelf life is way better too!

Please remember that not all essential oils are safe for internal use! Please follow labeling instructions and DO NOT ingest oils that don't say it's ok! Young Living makes it easy with their line of Vitality oils! These are their same great essential oils, labeled for internal use. You can learn more about them here!

Check out my video with a couple of recipes I like, and a few tips for creating delicious infused water with essential oils!

Here are some of my other favorite flavor combos!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

DIY Vent Clip Diffuser

DEMO day! I just had to show you how easy this is! I love this little thing in my car. Now you can have aromatherapy with you, even on the go!

I was right, she wanted the orange feather! The feather actually makes for a really cool affect. It flutters in the vent air :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Baby Powder

I know what you are thinking… We are not supposed to use baby powder! It’s true that in light of recent headlines, most of us are reluctant to use baby powder as adults, let alone expose our kids to it. You’d be hard pressed to find a pediatrician recommend commercial baby powder for babies anymore too. That’s because of talc. Talc or talcum powder has taken over the baby powder aisle. It has a silicon component and it is often not recommended for use around babies because of the likelihood of inhalation.

I don’t know a lot of other moms who use baby powder, but I’m a big advocate! With one caveat. I don't use talc! When my daughter was a baby, I found a number of recommendations supporting the use of cornstarch for diapering. Applying cornstarch, after using wet wipes, helps to ensure the area is completely dry before applying any creams (check out my recipe for Head-to-Toe Baby Salve!) or covering up with a diaper. You don't want any moisture trapped against the skin and creams and diapers can do this, and the creams certainly can. That is their job! They are moisture barriers! I had to look very carefully at the baby powders on the shelf to find the cornstarch one, but there is one. ONE per brand, if that!  I found it so much easier to use, just sprinkle a little on at each change, I nearly quit using creams altogether! The goal here it to keep the skin clean, dry, and healthy!

Fast forward a couple of years to baby number 2. I’ve started making a lot of products myself and thought this would be an easy one to undertake. And I was right! Now, if you are concerned about the likelihood of GMOs in cornstarch, arrowroot powder is a nice substitute (and another great argument to make it yourself!) I use it at every diaper change and my little guy has had a pretty healthy little booty ;-)

I like to add essential oils to my baby powder, but that is optional. I specifically recommend Young Living essential oils, especially for use with children, for their top quality and purity. You can learn more about getting started with Young Living HERE. For children, the smaller they are the more dilute you want the oil to be. They are very powerful! You also want to start with gentle oils that are great for skin care, like lavender, frankincense, or Gentle BabyTM blend.

So let’s get started…
I use a glass salt shaker from my local superstore. It holds about ¼ cup, or 2 ounces. For my 1 ½ year old son, I use about 1-2 drops of lavender per tablespoon of powder in this recipe. If you are just introducing your little one to oils, or your child is smaller, you can start with even less.  I like to layer in the oil with the powder, filling my jar with a ¼ teaspoon (it fits nicely inside the jar and helps make less of a mess!) A funnel would help too. I fill about a quarter of the way with your powder of choice, then add a drop of oil, then up to about half way, then another drop, and so on. Once the bottle is nearly full, I cover with a piece of masking tape, or just my hand, and give it a shake to spread the oil around. 

Finally, I add my secret weapon! I learned this trick on a cooking show. It’s popcorn kernels! I toss several in on top and they work to break up clumps and help shake the powder out. They are also too big to clog up the tiny shaker holes on the top.

So, there ya have it. Simple, safe, DIY baby powder!

PS, this is nice for adults too!
I use it after the shower on my upper thighs for the same reason I use it on my baby!
Use it in your hair roots to help matte any oily-ness in between washes. Add a little cocoa powder if you are a brunette, and a make-up brush for precise application! Tea Tree oil makes a nice addition for scalp applications.
It will also help knock off sand from your feet after the beach, no essential oil required!

See, there really is a place in your life for baby powder!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Head-to-Toe Baby Salve

My children inspired me to pursue a cleaner, healthier lifestyle, and alternatives to everyday household products.  At their very young ages, I, as a parent, am so limited in what I can do to take care of them.  I hated hearing that there was really nothing I could do for them for so many things. When I had success with essential oils for myself, I branched out and started using them with my kids.

Now, I will stress that I absolutely trust that I am getting a clean, pure, therapeutic grade essential oil from Young Living, which is the only brand I use on my children. You can learn more about getting started with YL HERE! I will also point out that a parent’s discretion and judgement is critical. If you are going to use essential oils on your children, please use only the best quality, and keep them well diluted for their sensitive skin.  Begin with the gentlest oils, like lavender or frankincense and follow labeling instructions (label dilution guidelines are a minimum.) Never use oils in or around a baby’s eyes, and I recommend avoiding hands as well, since they so often go right in the mouth. My recipes are intended to support a healthy child. If you suspect your child is sick, please seek the help of a medical professional!

Now, finally, for my favorite, most useful, most versatile baby recipe: head-to-toe salve. Get your pen ready…

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 drop lavender

That’s it. Give it a stir and store in a glass jar. DONE.  Seriously!  I used this on my son, from about 3 months, literally, from head to toe.

Rub it on his head before a bath for a healthy scalp (give it about 10 minutes before washing out.)
Rub it all over for a soothing, moisturizing lotion (it is the best baby “lotion” I’ve ever used!)
Rub it on his little booty at diaper changes.
Rub it on tiny feet for restful sleep.
Rub it on tummies after eating (use a circular, clockwise motion around the navel to promote things moving things through the bowels).
Rub it on the jaw for teething discomfort.

If you’re the abundantly cautious type, notice skin irritation or discomfort (extremely unlikely, but possible!), have a preemie, or a baby with very sensitive skin, just add more coconut oil, making it 1 drop to 2 tablespoons or even 1 drop in ¼ cup. If your child is a little bigger, getting into the toddler range, 1 drop per teaspoon or so, will probably suit them better.

All that’s left to do is snuggle and sniff that sweet smelling head!