Keep their tresses free from messes August 04 2015, 0 Comments

I'm not sure why, but my daughter was especially excited about making this up for herself.  She's getting very particular about her hair.  Which has it's awesomes except lately, we have encountered a daily struggle over who gets to brush it.  I bought her a pretty sparkly brush and bows and I thought that would be enough collateral to allow mama the privilege of brushing, but it's been communicated that she wants control of that domain.  Which is okay, except... it gets knotty.  Really knotty.  Actually even worse than knotty.. she tends to actually brush UP which teases her hair and she is thrilled with the result.  Come bath time when I need to shampoo through that mess?  Not so much.  Did i mention she's the most tender headed thing in the world?  When I even bring the brush within 4 inches of her head, she starts to cringe. Yikes.  Okay, enter THIS homemade spray!  Let me explain a little about what goes into it because I'm sure conditioner makes sense but tea & essential oils can throw some mamas for a loop.  First is the tea.  There are certain herbs that are so healthy for hair and this is an easy way to get the benefit.  Here's some you can get familiar with:

  • Marshmallow Root is fabulous for hair and actually has a cool, soothing sensation and when wet is slippery and also works as a mucilage, which provides a thick substance that can coat the hair and make it silky.   When brewing it as a tea you need to brew cold to keep these properties in tact.
  • Nettle Tea is also a great addition to your healthy hair spray as it is rich in iron and helps with hair loss and to promote healthy hair growth. They also help to control the amount of sebum on your scalp so if you are a dandruff sufferer, this would be a great add.  I always figure, if it's good, why not add it?
  • Chamomile is also super nourishing for your hair and scalp.  It can also add a crazy great shine and it's often used to lighten/brighten hair.
Low and behold, I found a tea on Amazon that contains all three of those things here.  So to make it easy, this is what I bought and used.  I have a strainer for loose leaf tea, if you don't, you can either get a cheesecloth and strain through that or buy loose leaf tea.  A helpful tip is to look for teas for kidney and bladder health, they often have hair healthy herbs in them.  Remember to brew cold!   

Next we want to find just the right combination of essential oils to add to our spray!  

This is so good for skin for anyone and I think everyone would benefit from it.  Added.

None of my kids have dry hair so I skipped this one.

Healthy hair is hair that grows.  This is also especially good for fragile baby hair.  I have a 2 year old is baby fine hair so this was great for her.  Added.

I hope you understand where I am going with this as it's all I'm legally allowed to say per the FDA.  But I have seen too many mamas use this combo successfully when the time at school came that sent them into a frenzy inspecting their children's scalp with a super fine comb... I can't not share it!

Okay here's my little teapot.  I added 3 T of tea and filled it with 1 cup of water.  

Filtered water on tap. It's a beautiful thing!

Let brew.  Remember since this is cold we need to steep for much longer.  Find something to do for 20 minutes.

Alright you're going to need to add 2 T of conditioner to a bowl.  I added essential oils to my teaspoon first so it created a slippery surface for the conditioner to just slide out and I wouldn't have to get super messy trying to get it out of the measuring spoon.  So I added about 20 drops of my essential oils to the spoon and dumped into the bowl.

Now your conditioner.  Add that to your bowl.  Lovely isn't it?  

Now you need a little hot water to break up the conditioner.  I added 1/2 c of hot water to the bowl and stirred it around vigorously.  Once I had a more liquified conditioner, I added my steeped tea.

And this is what you get!  Definitely not the prettiest thing in the world but it works.  It won't fully mix until you pour it into a bottle and shake it up well.

 

All finished!  Now here's the thing:  you HAVE to shake before every use.  This stuff separates something fierce and I have also decided I'd like to store it in a colored spray bottle.  I mean, you don't NEED but it definitely starts to look like a science fair project so it's much nicer to look at a colored, opaque bottle.  This lasts for a good couple of months sitting out so if I was going to do it again (and I am!) I would make a batch, store it in a mason jar in a bathroom closet and pour a bit for daily use into a bottle that's smaller, colored and has a finer mist spray like this.  This type of spray nozzle pictured is more for cleaning and so it will get their hair very wet.  Which is fine after a shower but it's also nice to put on dry hair to help with styling of combing through.  

 

Look at those luscious locks!  I have been spraying this on her hair after every wash.  

Look at that adorable four year old!  Oh wait, I'm supposed to tell you...

 

In two weeks!  She's super excited and the idea that I referred to her as four and not Almost Five was highly offensive. So I apologize to all other Almost Five year olds.  :) 


Homemade Playdough August 04 2015, 0 Comments

 

So school is fast approaching and I'm really excited!  I love making things with my kids and crafting with them, but being honest, sometimes it's just as nice to whip something up QUICK and with NO MESS... Amen?  We homeschool here so my days of non-stop crafts are right around the corner so while my littles were sleeping/resting in their rooms, I made them a surprise to come down to see.  Bonus:  This playdough keeps them entertains for HOURS which means it's a lifesaver while you're trying to make dinner.  I know my household can't be the only one that seems to meltdown right around 4:45.  Double Bonus:  It includes essential oils!  Which means I can custom make blends to help calm and soothe OR I can make immunity support blends because we all know that's so important once school starts.

 

 

Making playdough is super simple and easy!  I am not a fan of crazy colors.  Of course, my kids love them but I also want them to appreciate that sometimes, pure & natural is even more beautiful.  Plus.. I don't keep food coloring in the house.  So there's that.  To make it interesting, I added tea!  Imparts a great scent whenever it's played with and also adds a neat texture with all the little dots of crushes leaves.   So here's your list, adapted from my homeschool curriculum, the homegrown homeschooler:

  • 4 herbal tea bags
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of flour (I used white whole wheat because again.. it's all I had)
  • 1/2 cup salt (make sure it's fine enough that it will melt quickly in hot water)
  • 4 T cream of tartar
  • 1 T oil (I used coconut because... are you sensing a theme here?)
  • 10 drops of essential oil!  I'll give you some ideas of combos below

 

First, put your water in a pot and bring it to a simmer.  While you're waiting, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl

 

And once the water is simmering, add your tea bags to steep.  But OH!!!!  Don't nearly burn your kitchen down like me.  Turn off the flame first. Sigh  

Oh look!  I made them vintage.  In other words, I did that on purpose.  *wink*

 

Once they have steeped for 10 minutes, pull the tea bags out and set them aside.  Now add your dry ingredients to the tea and start to mix.  And it will look like this... and you might be tempted to get discouraged.  But then remind yourself, "Wait, this is only playdough.  Who cares!?"  Bring it together in a ball as best as you can, and then turn it out on a well floured surface.

Okay now the dough is out and I've been already squishing and kneading it.  Turns out the more you play with it, the more it starts to resemble playdough!  Once you've kneaded a few times, it's time to make a disc and grab your (now cooled) tea bags.  Rip em open and dump the contents out.  Now you get to continue kneading!   I promise, you don't want to stop!

Okay, now it's time to add your oils!  I am a huge fan of sooooothing my children into a mild coma (just me?) so I added my favorite relaxing oils:  Valerian, Frankincense and Lavender.  I added about 5 drops of each and then kneaded again.  If you wanted to add some immunity support, I would use 10 drops of thieves oil blend and 5 drops of frankincense.   

Okay my playdough is gorgeous, but I wanted a bit more interest.  So I rummaged in my cupboards for some loose leaf tea. 

There!  And... you guessed it, knead again.

This is looking a lot more like playdough.  I'm happy with my kid's naptime accomplishment.  

In order to keep them throughly occupied, I knew I was gonna need more than just playdough.  I'm a fan of showing my kids how to play and interact with nature over glossy, shiny (and expensive!) store bought toys.  I also do this by avoiding certain aisles in Target like my cart's on fire.  Turns out, both work pretty well.  I had some cabbage and flowers that I had in a vase that were about to be wilted, so I cut it up as play objects.

If you haven't already been told, muffin tins are the BEST for sorting and presenting play objects!  This is great for sensory and also for sharing (these 6 are YOURS, and these over here are YOUR SISTERS!  No questions asked).

I found some coffee filters, paper straws, mulch from my garden and random clippings from outside.  I promise guys, it's the little things.

And... check it out!  Starting to get creative.  I put them outside (because playdough is notoriously MESSY) and while I love to encourage free play I don't want to spend hours cleaning it up!  I gave them each a cookie sheet for their half of dough.

This is an hour later and they're starting to build little islands.  I love it!

Happy Playing!


Pucker Up July 28 2015, 1 Comment

I feel like the princess of the DIY making world.  Because right now, I am wearing my homemade lipstick! Yes, it's true, you really CAN put essential oils in everything!  I say princess because I am reserving the title queen for making soap.  For some reason that scares the bejeebers out of me!  So if someone is ever wanting to hold my hand, I'd be all over it!  

Okay back to the task at hand... lips.  As of late, whenever I think of putting something that goes onto my body, I have been much more mindful of the effects of random junky ingredients that go into it.  And since the average woman consumes POUNDS of lipstick in her lifetime *shudder*, all the more reason to care!  Unfortunately, the cheapest products are often the biggest offenders.  Well, until now!  This lipstick costs easily less than $2!  

So for those of us who DO NOT prefer to ingest random ingredients like beetles, fish scales and, my personal favorite, lead (!) why not take a crack at making your own?  This is SUPER easy and SUPER fun to make. So have fun and make this your own!

 

 

Let's start with our cast of characters.  Here is everything you'll need to make your lipstick, and it's all available on Amazon!  Save the essential oils pictured up front - we ONLY use Young Living in this house!  Plus, remember the whole ingesting thing.  Do you really want to ingest an essential oil that's full of warnings NOT to ingest it.

So you'll need:

Optional Color (in Lieu of Mica Powder)

  • For Red Hues: 1/8 teaspoon of beet root powder. NOTE: Add these very slowly as a little goes a long way!
  • For Brown/Tan Hues: 1/4 teaspoon (or more for color) of organic cocoa powder, a tiny pinch of cinnamon  to get the shade you want

Grab your double boiler and fill the bottom pot with water and turn to medium high heat.  

Now think 1:1:1  Here's what you need:

1 T coconut oil

1 T Beeswax pellets

1 T Raw Shea Butter

First dump the coconut oil in, then follow with the beeswax pellets.  By the way, if you're wondering why I have so much more than the recipe indicates, it's because I doubled the recipe.  And before you think about doing the same, I suggest you first wait and see how many I was able to make.  Because unless you're planning on gifting prettiest princess lipsticks to an entire troop of girl scouts, I suggest you just stick to the recipe.

 

Okay raw Shea Butter.  I never used this before I so I had no idea what to expect.  So cut the bag open and....

Oh!  Looks like Playdough!

 

And feels like playdough.  So just scoop out what you need...

And dump into the pot.  And this might result in some messy hands.  Messy hands always stress me out.  And I was tempted to get stressed out.  Until I realized that WAIT, this is actually GOOD for my body.  So while making these lipsticks, I suggest leaving as much exposed skin as possible.  Because the messier you get, the more you'll want to start randomly adorning the shea from your messy hands onto your skin.  Double Duty!

Okay as it starts to melt down, give it a little stir

And when I realized this might be taking longer than I thought to melt down, I lowered the heat a bit and clamped the lid on.

Okay I clearly have time to kill.  If I was smart, I would have set up this station BEFORE starting this whole process but I'm a procrastinator.  So, I'm doing that now.  Grab your pipettes.

Just checking... Yes!   I have time.  This whole bit of melting strange objects into my double boiler has me in a little panic.

PRETTY!!!  I set out little pyrex bowls to mix various shades and opened all my colors and think out loud, "It almost looks like a grown-up egg dying station!  To make it really grown up... I just need a little...."

Thank you husband!  He knows my number.  Okay now it really IS a grown up easter egg dying station. Except there's no eggs.  And it's 104 out.  

Woo-hooo!!!!  We are melted!  Okay, now please hear me when I say this, "YOU NEED TO WORK QUICK!"  This stuff is working against all time and space to get back into it's natural form as quickly as possible.  So take it off the heat and bring to your station.

Once it's off the heat, I added a couple pumps of this bad boy.  Don't ask exactly how many drops, I couldn't tell you.  A couple pumps.  I'm sure that'll get you there.  :)  After you add that in, add your essential oils to the pot.  I I'd say about 15 drops per recipe is about right.  I made it with slique, black pepper and cinnamon.  Spicy and tasty!  Because you know.. we are ingesting it eventually right?

Okay look right at me.  DON'T DO THIS.  I thought I'd pour some oil into each bowl and mix up various shades.  Nope.  This stuff hardened super fast that way.  

Back in the pot.  Gonna melt it down again.  The good news?  You can't mess this stuff up.  I already did it for you.  

Okay, it's melted down and I'm pouring a little of the oil/wax/butter mix into a pot and adding various colors to it.  No science here, I just added little sugar teaspoons until I liked the color.  For mica powder I needed more than I thought I would to get to this shade.

I found a shade I like!  Can't pat myself on the back yet, it's still working against me, trying to dry.  Grab your pipettes and start sucking that stuff up.

And pipe straight into the little ALREADY OPENED waiting tubes.  Did you hear my emphasis?  That means, open them ahead of time.  This will save a world of tears and keep you from a second glass of wine.

Look!  All finished!  

Since they hardened pretty quickly, it didn't take long for me to have to wait to cap them.  They also cool very quickly.  Okay this is a double recipe of lip balms.  So I'm sure if you don't feel like making your own lipstick, you can come over and swipe some from me because clearly I've got way too many!  Hope you enjoy!  Now I'm off to find some cute washi tape to decorate with as we have 3 girls in my house and I'm sure we'll each want our own.  

 


Throw your Hands in the Air Cause Your Pits Don't Care! July 27 2015, 1 Comment

I have been having on and off luck with deodorants FOREVER!  Not even the organic or natural ones.  I have tried everything under the sun and I have found that sometimes, something would work fabulous for a year or two and then BAM!  I needed to hug everyone t-rex style because there was no way I was lifting my arms up that high!   I started to get concerned about commercial deodorants because I was hearing all sorts of things about the dangers of aluminum in them and how harmful they can be to the lymphatic system when your body isn't naturally eliminating things out of your arm pits (which is why the good Lord made you to sweat!).  So let's start with some things we should know about deodorant and our underarms.

 There is actually a pretty big difference between deodorant and antiperspirant! We most often always say deodorant when actually what most people are buying is antiperspirant.  What's the difference  Well, deodorant helps fight body odor, but antiperspirant actually "saran wraps" over your ducts like yesterday's leftovers which effectively, blocks your body from the ability to sweat.  Sounds like a good idea, I mean, who likes sweating all over the place?  Well, here's why this is a bad idea:

  • Antiperspirants contain chemicals such as zirconium and aluminium that are taken up through the hair shaft or pores in the skin, where they react with water and swell. Once they swell they become gel-like and block perspiration from coming through.  Interestingly enough, they don't actually STOP sweating, your body just never lets it out.  Gross.
  • We eliminate a lot of toxins in our body through sweating. This is a natural function that could cause a lot of malfunctions over time.  
  • According to this study blocking off sweat in our body can actually cause our body odor to be worse over time since it's not flowing out when it needs to be.  
  • Your body NEEDS to sweat and actually has the ability to become immune to antiperspirants.  This could explain why I needed to keep switching brands.
  • While the FDA hasn't done enough research to tie the aluminum in antiperspirant to Alzheimer's there is still signifiant risks to your body.  Aluminum over time is very taxing on your kidneys.

Okay I'm sold off anti-perspirant.  But why make my own?  Well, it's super simple, super cost effective, you can scent it however you like and gives you the opportunity to show your underarms some REAL LOVE by incorporating essential oils on your skin.  To make deodorant here's what you need:

You can definitely make this without shea butter and only arrowroot or only baking soda but I have never liked the consistency of those as much.  And they also didn't work nearly as well as this recipe:
  • 3 T Coconut Oil
  • 3 T Baking Soda
  • 2 T Shea Butter
  • 2 T Arrowroot 
  • Young Living Essential Oils 
To start, I like using a double boiler.  Camp style.  If you want even easier though get a big glass jar and stick it in a pot of simmering water.  You'll make it all in the jar and it's super easy clean up.  So, fill with water and turn on the burner. Once it's hot, put the top on and then....
Add first your coconut oil, and then your shea butter.  I like to buy a big block of raw shea butter and it has the consistency of super soft playdough.  I know, you're already sold!
Wait for it to melt.  It takes a LOOOOONG time.
I'm still waiting so I thought I'd pull out some oils that would be awesome for deodorant.  I used a reference guide I had on hand to look up certain oils that helped with certain body systems that were of interest to me.  These are some of my favorites.  
Okay... we're done!  It's melted!  Now, turn off the heat.
Add your baking soda and your arrowroot.
And gently stir.  It will feel like super runny pancake batter.  And just like pancake batter, a little lumpy.  Don't stress that's okay.
Now I take the pot and pour it into these jars.  I like the wide mouth because it's easy for my hand to get in and around the edges when it gets low.  I also like it because it's even easier for my husband, who will not fiddle around with weird jars he'll get his hand stuck in just because his wife made it.  So I doubled the recipe here and it made enough for both jars. 
How did this even happen?  For my husband, I narrowed it down to these four.  For me... I put these ALL in on the left!  What is wrong with me?  Basically they're like cookies.  If I put them out, I WILL WANT THEM ALL!
Since it's runny and i'm in a hurry to try it out, I throw them in the fridge to cool off and harden again.  This isn't necessary but... why not? I took them out after 2 hours and put them in the bathroom.  Meanwhile, can someone please educate me about putting basil in the fridge?  Whenever I put cut basil in the fridge I feel like it wilts and burns black super fast.  How is this not a good idea?  Okay, sorry, back on track.
Next day, here is the consistency.  The shea makes it super soft and nice on the skin.  
Bonus: I have applied this morning and I'm still lifting my arms and smelling only the soft fragrance of 1001 oils!  Haha.  But no foul smells here!  Keep in mind it's currently 103 degrees where I live!  Win!

I've got some dirt on that cute little bear... July 27 2015, 0 Comments

Dryer Sheets were always a staple of doing laundry in my home growing up.  They made your clothes super soft and smelled so nice, what's not to like?  Well as I started to research, I found out... a lot!  

In Fact, Here's Something You Should Know:

I discovered a recent study that revealed that many of the top-selling commercially scented cleaning products you know the usuals, plug-in deodorizers, household cleaners, cosmetic products & lotions, all things laundry emit more than 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including some that are classified as toxic or hazardous by federal laws.

Here's the kicker.  Be wary of words like  “natural” and“organic."  They were citied as emitting as many hazardous chemicals as standard ones.   Wha????  Nooooo!!!!!!

From the study:

“Steinemann and colleagues found the average number of VOCs emitted was 17. Each product emitted 1–8 toxic or hazardous chemicals, and close to half (44%) generated at least 1 of 24 carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants, such as acetaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, or methylene chloride. These hazardous air pollutants have no safe exposure level, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Of the 133 VOCs detected, only ethanol was listed on any label (for 2 products), and only ethanol and 2-butoxyethanol were listed on any Material Safety Data Sheet (for 5 products and 1 product, respectively).

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and laundry products, currently does not require manufacturers to disclose any ingredients on the label, including fragrances in these products. The same is true for fragrances in personal care items, which are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration. The Household Product Labeling Act, currently under review in the U.S. Senate, would require manufacturers to label consumer products with all ingredients, including fragrance mixtures. “Disclosing all ingredients could be a first step to understanding potential toxicity and health effects,” says Steinemann.

So What Can You Do About It?

Well, data like that would convince the average joe to stop using toxic products in their home but I'm lazy and I'm the type that needs a little convincing.  And here are two major factors that definitely got me interested.  My awful dermatitis (but even that wasn't enough) and finally, MY KIDS!  Once I had little ones to think about I suddenly got very interested in making sure they weren't exposed to these household hazards.   After making a few changes I noticed an amazing by-product was... my skin was improving!  Now with healthier kids AND skin on the horizon, I started to see what else I could change in my problem.

Enter laundry.  It never occurred to me that what was rubbing up against my skin all day every day could be contributing to my problem.  I started subbing out dryer sheets for plain old vinegar for softening and brightening.  I LOVED IT and no, I didn't walk around smelling like a pickle.  I promise.  So here's the deal about homemade cleaners.  They only contain what YOU decide!  I think every OCD control freak just perked up (guilty).

But let's do better than vinegar from a plastic jug.  Because it's efficient and it's practical, but I am of the Pinterest generation and I want my pretty and I want my clothes smelling fine.  And don't we all?  So let's get started!  

Here's What You Need to Make Homemade Dryer Sheets

 

Shove some coffee filters into a jar (It can be plastic like those deli leftover containers.  But remember, Pinterest).  For reference, this is 50.  Oh, and you'll need a few other things.  

So my cast of characters is even more complicated than yours needs to be.  I have two conditioners pictured here only because I ran out of my Young Living conditioner so I needed to add a bit more from another brand.  However I'm not so sad I did because.... copiaba & vanilla conditioner mixed with coconut conditioner makes my eyes roll back in my head with euphoria.  So... if that's your cup of tea, mix away.  :)

Okay now let's get to it.  In a mixing bowl add 1.5 cups of Vinegar.

Then, Squeeze in 1 cup of Conditioner (or in my case, the mix of two).  NOW, this is the important part so listen up.  You'll need 3 cups of water to stir in.  But it needs to be HOT.  I used really hot, like nearly boiling water otherwise, the conditioner won't break up.  So if you get all flustered by having to wait for things, I suggest you turn on your kettle before you start this recipe.  Now, add in and then stir.  But don't do what I did and stir this vigorously.  Because then you'll end up with laundry softener all over your clothes.  I'm tempted to think I was FORCED to stir this vigorously by the clothes just CRYING OUT to experience this softening, blissful smelling action as soon as they could.  Well, no matter, into the laundry they go.  

Okay, now it's all mixed and frothy.  Perfect.  

Remember your coffee filters?  Okay find them and... I forgot to mention, you'll need another large empty jar (like 32 oz).  Pour your mixture over the coffee filters and then pour the excess into the big jar.  Somehow I got mixed up and filled my coffee filter jar to the top.  Well then I had very soupy coffee filters.  Not ideal.  So don't be like me.  Just pour in enough to cover.  You'll have lots left over.  Then just store both in your laundry room and throw one filter into the dryer with every load you want smelling fresh and feeling soft!  

Happy Laundry, Happy Lady!  

Note: If you've been washing with commercial detergents and softeners, your clothes might take a few washes for them to be stripped off.  So don't lose heart if you don't notice right away.  After awhile you'll feel the difference!

References 


Freshen Up with a Freshening Room Spray July 27 2015, 0 Comments

So I know many people are obsesed with plug-in room deodorizers and candles. I get it. We all want our homes to smell good.  And between leaving food in the fridge for too long, having little kids (especially kids still in diapers!), pets and just the general "funk" that comes from living in a house we all care about making sure our house smells good.  But here's the deal: No. Please.... no.  Spraying down your kids comforter with a chemical air disinfectant (not gonna use brand names but I think you know what I'm talking about) because he was sick is an invitation to a weakened immune system.  These crazy chemicals can wreak havoc on our bodies.  Also... who can stand the smell of most of them.  They smell like they were made in a lab because... well, they were!  Fortunately you can have your cake and eat it too with three simple ingredients:  water, alcohol, and Young Living essential oils.

Take your bottle, give it a shake and spray wherever you want!  Keep several different blends around.  One for linens, one for your shoe closet, one for commonly touched household surfaces... where ever you want!  This is the beauty of DIY.  Not only is it majorly cost effective, but you can pick certain oils that meet your needs and you can alter the strength by adding more or less oils.  

We all have a great time coming up with various blend ideas.  Here's a few to get you started:

"CATCH SOME ZZZZZs" BEDROOM BLEND

Shake up some Lavender and Roman Chamomile in a bottle.  I spray my pillows with this before bed every night. 

"FRESH FROM THE OVEN" KITCHEN BLEND

Combine some citrusy oils and a bit of vanilla extract to give your kitchen a beautiful fresh scent.

"GET OFF FACEBOOK AND GET TO WORK!" BLEND

Aroma Seiz and Ylang Ylang are our favorites to mix up when we need help staying on task.

"WHAT DIED IN THERE?" BLEND

Oh Purificiation!  This is a fabulous Young Living blend that we use non-stop in our home!  Strong and almost astringent type scents make this a great option for any area that needs a refresher.  Purification oil has Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavandin, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Myrtle in it which also make it a great option to use on occasional blemishes or spray right on your kids before they head outside.  You'll recognize the name Citronella in this blend and have a good idea of why it might be a great outdoors spray.  Just a heads up, before you do either of those two, make a separate spray and leave out alcohol.  

Want to Take it to the Next Level?  Check These Out!

 

Next Step, How to Mix!

Speaking of, the alcohol is necessary for the spray to mix effectively.  Oil and water don’t mix, but adding a little alcohol fixes that. It disperses the oil and also helps the scent linger longer in the air. You still should shake the bottle of room spray a bit before you spritz so that the essential oil is evenly distributed in the liquid. I reuse or purchase little glass spritzer or spray bottles for the room spray. I get mine on Amazon here.  

 
Now for the Ratios:
For a 16 oz spray bottle
  • 5 tablespoons vodka/witch hazel
  • 10-40 drops of essential oils (I'm a glutton so I use the upper recommended amount).
  • fill the rest of the bottle with filtered water 

 

Here's my current favorite mix I am LOVING!  I have, in my 16 oz bottle:

  • 15 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 15 drops Hinoki
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus Globulous
  • 2 drops Ocotea
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the alcohol into a small spray bottle. Add the desired drops of essential oils. Shake well and add the water. Shake again and spritz whenever you need a little pick-me-up.
  2. Oh sorry, that's it!  There's no more steps!  Do this now!!!  



How to Make a Milk & Salt Bath with Essential Oils July 27 2015, 3 Comments

So one of my favorite luxuries of life is baths.  I love baths and I try to get them in as much as I can.  And I'm not gonna lie when we were building our new home a HUGE factor for me was finding a house with a great master bath tub.  True Story.

Now here's something funny.  God created me.  He gave me the infatuation that I have with baths.  And I'm okay with that.. except He also gave me dry skin.  Awful dry skin.  I have definitely been able to get my dry skin related conditions under control... but my skin will always and forever skew dry.  Which makes soaking in a sudsy hot bath... a little hard on my already parched limbs. 

Enter the milk bath!  What?!?!  All I can say is... never question ancient Egyptians.  They definitely had some moral issues (cough) but for holistic health and cosmetics.. they NAILED IT! And milk baths were a favorite of many ancient Egyptians.  Normally I always used powered goat milk but today all I had on hand was my cultured buttermilk powder.  But that's okay because, I did a little googling and found out that there's MANY uses for different kinds of powdered milk in your baths!  So let's think outside the salts for a minute and check out all the different kinds of powered milk you can put in your tub.  Because here's the thing:  Dairy contains lactic acid,which acts as a gentle exfoliator on your skin.  And if you have already agitated dry skin, do you know all that roughing and sloughing can actually make it worse?  Especially on your face.. so be gentle peeps!  This mild acid can gently loosen, and even dissolve hardened sebum, and dead skin, allowing it to be gently buffed away with the help of a washcloth or body brush.  It can also help to soothe irritation, and moisturize dry skin.  So now, I can rock a fresh, healthy glow!

So, let's get to making!  You'll need:

1 part bath salt (epsom, dead sea, sea salt.... no table salt please!)

2 parts milk powder

Essential Oils!  Of course, we only use Young Living here because we know that even though you aren't ingesting in the tub you are definitely absorbing into your body, especially with freshly exfoliated skin and enlraged pores from the warm water.  So you want the highest grade possible.  I don't have a hard recipe for how many drops and please don't get hung up on it.  Just add enough to scent.  But if you NEED some guidelines, for my 3 cups total of milk & salt bath recipe I used 15-20 drops.  

For an idea of what milks you might want to check out, here's an excerpt from naturalbeautyworkshop.com:

Milk Powders
The heart of any Milk Bath recipe is, of course, the Milk Powder.  Milk Powder comes in many varieties.  Here is a little background info on each:

Whole Milk Powder
The classic, Whole Milk Powder provides a skin nourishing bounty of vitamins and minerals, with minimal dairy aroma.  It pairs wonderfully with almost any aroma or fragrance.  Whole Milk Powder now comes in an Organic Variety as well.

Buttermilk Powder
Buttermilk contains a higher portion of acids than Whole Milk Powder, boosting its exfoliative powers.  It also has a slightly sour scent that can be covered up my most aromas and fragrances.

Goat's Milk Powder
The most pungent of Milk Powders, Goat's Milk Powder must be fragranced with its natural aroma in mind.  Luckily, it pairs nicely with strong aromas, such as Lavender.  It is very high in vitamins A, B, and E, boasting a beta carotene content that is three times higher than Whole Milk.  Due to a complex blend of helpful acids, Goat's Milk Powder is by far the most superior of the Milk Powders when it comes to hydration, exfoliation, and nutrition.  

Coconut Milk Powder
Coconut Milk Powder makes a delightful alternative for conventional Milk Powders in Milk Bath recipes.  It's yummy Coconut Scent, and creamy consistency is a pleasure to use.  Keep in mind, however, that this ingredient is not suitable as a vegan alternative, due to the presence of milk proteins in its ingredients. 

Yogurt Powder
Yogurt Powder posesses very similar properties to Whole Milk Powder, and can help to cleanse, moisturize and exfoliate the skin.  Try pairing Yogurt Powder with fruity scents or ingredients to create Bath Smoothies!

Grain Powders
Powdered Grains add soothing properties to Milk Baths, amping up their beauty boosting abilities, and making the bath more pleasant.  While the classic ingredient is Oat Flour (or fine Oatmeal) there are a number of possible ingredients that could be used to create a unique Milk Bath recipe.

Oat Flour, Fine
A classic ingredient for skin care, Oat Flour lends soothing properties to Milk Baths.  It has little to no aroma or color, making it perfect for inclusion in specialty recipes.  Oat Flour is also available in an Organic variety.

Rice Powder, Fine
Finely milled White Rice Powder posesses natural starches that will help turn the bath into a milky white wonderland.  In Milk Bath Recipes, it should be used in smaller proportions than Oat Flour, since its fine grain will not disperse as readily at Oat Flour, and can leave a grainy feeling on the bottom of the tub. 

Nut Flours & Meals
Chickpea Flour or Almond Flour can add nutritive benefits to Milk Bath formulations, but should not be added directly to the tub.  Since these Nut Ingredients will not disperse into the bath water well, they can leave the bottom of the tub scratchy, and unpleasant.  To include these ingredients, pack them into a Tea Ball or a Tea Bag, allowing the properties, but not the texture of the Nut Ingredients into the bath water. 

Additives
Many nutritive ingredients can be added to Milk Baths to enhance them.  Other ingredients are added to help increase the slip or flow of the finished product.

Honey Powder
Honey is an excellent natural cleanser, and a classic addition to Milk Bath recipes.  Honey Powder makes it easy to include honey in your recipe.  This spray dried powder is blended to make it free flowing, and easy to use.  Honey Powder is also available in an Organic variety.

Herbs
Finely powdered Herbs can be added to Milk Baths to enhance their properties, increase their beauty, or add scent.  Since Herb Powders don't disperse fully into bath water, it may be a good idea to include them inside a Tea Ball or a Tea Bag to keep them from making the tub bottom scratchy or uncomfortable.  If you are using a Tea Ball or Tea Bag, you can use whole herbs as well as powders.

Salts
Generally, Milk Baths are not Salt based, but sometimes Salts are included in the recipe.  Some salts, such asBolivian Pink, or Himalayan Pink, can add beauty and color.  Others, such as Dead Sea Salt, can add rich mineral content.  The most highly used in Milk Baths is Dendritic Salt, which is often used as a carrier for aromatics. We'll discuss that more when we talk about scenting Milk Baths.

Aloe Vera Spray Dried Powder
Spray Dried Aloe Vera Powder is dehydrated juice from the aloe plant.  This soothing ingredient can be easily included in Milk Baths, as it dissolves readily in water. 

Corn Starch
Corn Starch is sometimes added to Milk Bath recipes to help thicken and soften the bath water, as well as ensure the free flowing nature of the finished powder.  

Kaolin Clays
Gentle Kaolin Clays are perfect for adding detoxifying properties to a Milk Bath.  Due to their mild nature, Kaolin Clays don't tend to over dry most skin types.  They come in a lovely variety of colors, which can add beauty to your Milk Bath as well. 

Coral Calcium
Our responsibly harvested Coral Calcium contains a dizzying array of nutritive minerals.  Add this powder to your Milk Bath to amp up its nutritive value.

Scenting Your Milk Bath
The best way to add a scent to your Milk Bath is with the help of a carrier ingredient.  Dendritic Salt and Baking Soda both work quite well.  Simply mix your aromatic with a few tablespoons of either Denritic Salt or Baking Soda until it has been fully absorbed.  Then, add the mixture to the rest of your Milk Bath.  You can use any type of skin safe aromatic you like in your Milk Bath, but be sure to go easy on the dosage when it comes to Essential Oils.  The user will be soaking in a hot tub, both inhaling the fumes, and coming into contact with the Oils topically.  A little will go a long, long way.  For this purpose, we recommend adding no more than 2%Fragrance or Essential Oil to a Milk Bath's total weight or volume. 

Base Recipe
Use this simple base formula to create your own amazing Milk Bath recipes from scratch!

  • 2 cups Milk Powder
  • 1 cup Oat Flour or 1/4 cup Rice Powder, Fine
  • Up to 1/2 cup Honey Powder, Kaolin Clay, Salt, or Corn Starch
  • Up to 2 tablespoons Aloe Vera Spray Dried Powder, Coral Calcium, or Herbs
  • 1/4 cup Dendritic Salt or Baking Soda with up to 2 teaspoons Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil mixed in

This recipe should be used at a rate of 2 to 4 tablespoons per bath.

     


    So they can smell you coming... while you're feeling amazing! July 27 2015, 0 Comments

    I love perfume.  Love love love.  I used to be a perfume junkie, always needing to collect the newest fragrance at Sephora.  I like musky, sweet, ambery woodsy scents. To me, it's pure heaven.  I'm pretty sure my favorite 12 year old Christmas present - a Love's perfume collection from my Aunt was what kicked off this obsession.  Remember Baby Soft?  Come on, I know you used it!  

    Enter the years of hormonal imbalances and caring about aging skin...  It happened slowly, but surely.  The stuff I was putting on my body was NOT treating me well, no matter how good I smelled.  I needed an alternative.   And guess what?  Making homemade perfumes with essential oils is so easy, your kids can make their own (what little girl wouldn't LOVE a homemade perfume as a gift?), it's great for your skin and won't prematurely age you.  

    So not only are you going to make a completely individual, customized to you scent, but you'll be taking care of your body.  Think about it:

    • Synthetic fragrances contain hormone disruptors which have been linked to a ton of medical problems, including hormone imbalance, thyroid issues and cancer
    • Synthetic fragrances can cause allergic reactions or wreak havoc on people with sensitivities, causing headaches or worse.

    So I know the power of smelling good... let's take control of our health and bless our bodies and those around us with perfumes from the highest quality essential oils, Young Living!  

     Okay here's what you need:

    Roller bottles.  I get them from Amazon.  These are my favorite.  Of course they match my logo perfectly.  Maybe that's why I love them.

    Essential Oils - whatever you have!  Just start opening bottles, holding ones you'd like to put together and give it a good inhale.  If you like it, you got a mix!  

    It's as Easy as 1, 2, 3... or Top, Middle, Bottom

    Guys this is easy and anyone can do it.  You just need to be able to read and have a sniffer.  Most people checking out this page have both. If you can't read and are on this page contact me, because I'm seriously impressed!  

    Okay before we jump into making... you need to take a minute and inhale some oils.... what do you want YOUR scent to smell like?

    What do you want your signature to be?

    For many people, there is a single oil that they absolutely love and that is enough for them.  Of course that's not complex, but trust me, it's still lovely and people will all recognize you by it if you wear it enough over and over.  

    I have a friend who LOVES jasmine.  It's her scent.  I love it too... maybe not enough to be a perfume, but on her it smells wonderful, warm and spicy and energizing.  And whenever I smell it, I think of my friend.  

    Young Living also offers lots of pre-mixed blends of oils that take the guess work out for you.  And I know the appeal of that!  

    However, I known the allure of making your own is ALWAYS making it YOUR OWN. So let's make magic happen.

    • Go check out your oily stash and spend some time sniffing.  Find an oil that is totally YOU.  You love it, it's should be named after you.  That one.  Grab it.  
    • Perfumes are all about having a complexity to them with top, middle and low notes of scent.  If you want something more complex than what you have in your hand, you'll want to add a few other oils to it. 
    • So, now you'll need to experiment.  There's a really helpful list here and check out the  list here at the middle of the page, and determine what notes the oil you picked contains and pick some other notes that would compliment it. Pick from what you have on hand (or might need to add to your wish list)

     

    I generally always use three oils together as my rule of thumb but my husband feels like that's overwhelming and when he wants cologne, he only likes to mix two.  But don't get hung up because there are no rules here!  You are making something that YOU love.  Rose-cypress, ylang-ylang-sweet orange, and lavender-clove are all blends that have been known to work well together.

    So after you put your oils in your roll on I want to suggest you leave the bottle about halfway empty.  Why?  You need a carrier oil!  I love carriers for two reasons:

    • Some oils can smell lovely but be hot on the skin so a carrier will help to dillute that heat
    • All essential oils are volitae and so they will evaporate off the skin very quickly.  The carrier will keep them on so you're smelling good and feeling the benefits much longer.  For perfumes I like fractionated coconut oil or Young Living's V-6 pre-mixed odorless carrier oil.

    I'm the type that likes some ideas to kick me off so here's some from one of my favorite healthy bloggers, Crunchy Betty.com

    A Few Blend Ideas to Get You Started

    Fresh and Kicky (Vetiver, Ginger, Grapefruit)

    • 17 drops grapefruit essential oil
    • 14 drops ginger essential oil
    • 10 drops vetiver essential oil

    Romantically Wistful (Rose, Lime, Vetiver)

    • 25 drops rose essential oil
    • 10 drops lime essential oil
    • 10 drops vetiver essential oil

    Sensuously Deep (Ylang-Ylang, Sweet Orange, Cedarwood)

    • 20 drops sweet orange essential oil
    • 15 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
    • 10 drops cedarwood (or sandalwood) essential oil

    I also created a blend with grapefruit, clove and vanilla. And one with jasmine, nutmeg, and basil.  I might have bought rollerball bottles in bulk so I'm going CRAZY over here.

    One last thing to consider... these make amazing gifts!!!  Does you mom have a certain smell she loves? My sister in law used to always spray lavender around her house and now it reminds me of her.  Make a custom bottle for someone. I promise they will love you for it!  

    The Bottom Line: Experiment!  Let this be fun and find your signature!

     

     

    Figured it Out?

    What perfumes do you already have and love?  Have you adapted some ideas and made a healthier version? What would you dream perfume be?  I want to know!!!  Want to see my current scent?  I am literally dying over how amazing this smells!  And I added a bit of my homemade vanilla (throw vanilla beans in a jar, top with a good vodka, store in a dark place and shake periodically... you're welcome!) and a little funnel makes pouring it and the carrier oil in super easy.  Don't ask me the ratios, I can't even remember.  I used up all I had left of vetiver but I don't think it was that much.  Check it out!

     

     

     


    Cooking with Essential Oils: Veggie Dip & Guacamole May 05 2015, 0 Comments

    Rebecca Alwine is an Army wife, mother of two, and current resident of Arizona. She started using Young Living in October 2014 and enjoys finding new uses for essential oils every day. She enjoys running, reading, lifting weights, and cooking. Rebecca is also a freelance writer and has been published online and in print magazines. She looks forward to sharing her oily finds with you. You can follow her on Twitter and on Instagram or visit her Drop Shop page to get your own oils!

    I’ve been slowing conquering groups of oils that I want to have on hand. This month will complete my citrus addiction and then I’m moving on to my Spice Cabinet Collection, as I’m calling it. As I’m incorporating oils into my everyday life, I’m cooking with them! I’m not a fancy cook or a stellar baker, but I make a lot of food in a little amount of time. Typically I prep the whole week (or more) in one day. So I like to make things easy. And I HATE squeezing or zesting a lemon! 

    So last week while preparing for a "Make and Take" event, I whipped up some guacamole and a veggie dip using … Essential Oils! 

    EO Guacamole

    3 avocados

    ½ tomato, finely diced

    ½ onion, finely diced

    1-2 drops of lemon

    5-6 drops of lime

    Sea Salt to taste

     

    EO Veggie Dip I

    ¼ cup softened cream cheese

    ¼ cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)

    1 drop of Dill

    1 drop of Lemon

    1 drop of Basil

    Salt & Pepper to taste

     

    What’s cooking in your kitchen? Stay tuned here for my next edition of Cooking with Oil!

    ~Rebecca


    My Top 5 Oil Uses April 21 2015, 0 Comments

    Rebecca Alwine is an Army wife, mother of two, and current resident of Arizona. She started using Young Living in October 2014 and enjoys finding new uses for essential oils every day. She enjoys running, reading, lifting weights, and cooking. Rebecca is also a freelance writer and has been published online and in print magazines. She looks forward to sharing her oily finds with you. You can follow her on Twitter and on Instagram.

     

    I started using oils in at late 2014 with my Premium Starter Kit and quickly realize I needed more oils in my life! I now find myself using oils multiple times a day for things I would usually either ignore or turn to the medicine cabinet to fix. So here are my top five daily uses for oils.

    In my water

    In every glass of water I drink there is a drop of citrus oil. I try to mix it up throughout the day but in my current rotation are Lemon and Citrus Fresh. I love the extra flavor my water has with a little oil and I love the smell. Remember we taste a lot through our sense of smell. Plus the citrus is good for me. Helps me to drink more water and also detox.

    To clean

    Just the other day my husband asked where the Clorox Wipes were. Um, no. We are now using Thieves to clean with. A little cleaner in the spray bottle and a paper towel (I’m sure I will at some point figure out how to make something reusable, but not today) for the counter tops, kitchen table, bathroom sink, etc. Oh, and what’s that next to all my sinks? The Thieves Foaming Hand Wash. Yup. Smells amazing each time I wash my hands. (And it’s an easy way to make sure the kids actually used soap…..)

     

    To brush my teeth

    Again with Thieves. I’ve really liked using the Thieves Toothpaste and Mouth Wash. LOVE them. Feels tingly and clean, smells good, what more could I ask for in a toothpaste? Added bonus: I don’t have to use the yucky tasting one my husband loves.

    For muscle recovery

    Since I’m a glutton for punishment and usually enjoy working out, I need something for that soreness most days. I’ve made Panaway bath salts for a nice relaxing soak. Or rubbed a blend of Valor, Purification, and Panaway on my sore muscles. And even put peppermint directly on a sore spot.

    To sleep

    Here’s where I first got hooked. I diffused a little Peace & Calming and my husband and I both started sleeping better. Much better. I’ve never had a problem sleeping but I sleep so much better now. My husband snores less, I feel better rested, and something magical comes out of that bottle. I could live without it (as long as something is being diffused while I sleep) but I’d rather not.

    I use oils for more than these 5 things most days, but these are the big ones for me. What are some things use you oils for?

    ~Rebecca

    Are you ready to start becoming oily?  Don’t worry, it’s not as gross as it sounds.  In fact, it’s pretty awesome.  While you do have the option to buy the oils at retail, if you want to start saving serious cash you can become a member and start buying oils at wholesale cost (which is 24% off the retail price!) or visit my page, http://thedropshop.com/pages/rebecca