oils

Whether you are a veteran ‘oiler’ or know very little about the incredible power of essential oils, the following 10 oils are a must for every home. Essential oils are concentrated aromatic liquids that have been extracted from flowers, seeds, trees, roots and shrubs. These truly natural oils are so much more than just a fragrance.

Essential Oils are THERAPEUTIC

Plants contain essential oils as a part of their immune system. They are required to help plants grow, evolve and adapt to their environment. Depending on the plant, its unique essential oil can do many other things such as heal plant injuries, defend against insects and bacteria as well as help the plant endure harsh environmental conditions.

These incredible healing and protective compounds found in essential oils are what enables them to be truly healing. Each essential oil has it’s own benefits including use for fevers, depression, infections, congestion, headache, insomnia, wounds, sunburn and so much more.

These 10 oils team up and have your back in almost any situation. Together their combined properties will help keep your home healthy and happy. Below you will find just some of the properties these oils have to offer! PLUS: find out below how you can get Therapeutic-grade, Non-GMO oils at wholesale cost (no tricks, no monthly fees, no string attached)! Just high quality oils without the high cost!  

Essential Oil Must-Haves


Get a Wholesale Account

You can enjoy these oils and so many more at wholesale cost with a Young Living account (typically that equates to 24% off retail)! The account is similar to a Costco membership, without the ongoing fees! With Young Living, there is a one-time purchase of an enrollment kit. And you get actual product with your enrollment kit and membership… so it’s way better than just paying a fee to join! There are a few options when it comes to the enrollment kits. Personally I purchased THE PREMIUM STARTER KIT and got the above oils PLUS a diffuser, plus samples and information packets for only $150USD (an incredible deal). There are also starter kits as low as $40 if you already have many of these oils and are looking for something different. Once signed up, you can purchase products at wholesale pricing whenever and however often you want.

How To Enroll

By clicking below you are directed to the Young Living site where you will enroll with me! Feel free to contact me with any questions about signing up, the oils themselves or their amazing uses. The Premium Starter Kit comes with a fantastic guide to get your started.
1) If you are in the USA you will be asked to provide your Social Security number. Why? Because by signing up for this wholesale account and becoming an independent distributor you have the opportunity to make commissions if you sign someone up using your Sponsor ID! If you don’t want to “sell”, you never have to, but it’s a great option for those of you with friends who still use candles and air fresheners and whom you would like to introduce to the wonderful world of Essential Oils! 😉
2) A Starter Kit is required- an Essential Rewards Kit is not required*.
Enroll

* Unfortunately, JOY is not offered to Canadian residents (which is why it’s not in the below photo). The Premium Starter Kit costs approx. $175 CDN which is still a great deal. Check out my kit below!

oils

teethingbanner

The Best Natural Teething Remedies

Unfortunately for baby (and parents), cutting teeth isn’t a milestone that happens all at once. The first tooth usually appears between 4-7 months of age and they get their molars near their second birthday. By three years old the vast majority of kids are sporting a full smile of 20 teeth.

This is a long journey for baby, and it can be quite painful for them. Some babies fly through teething with little trouble, others struggle most with the first teeth and those  pesky molars, and others find the entire journey difficult.

While there are various teething remedies out there, not all of them are natural. If you have been following my blog, you know that I think natural remedies are not only safer (especially when talking about babies) but can be just as effective, if not more.

When my little one (pictured above) started cutting teeth around 6 months of age I was immediately looking for how to decrease his pain without using a commercial product such as Orajel. After doing some research I found a variety of simple natural teething remedies that I could implement to make teething as comfortable for Quinn as possible.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. Baltic Amber Teething Necklace

41Hs9J4ocdLA Baltic amber teething necklace is made exclusively for wearing (not chewing) when a baby is teething. You can see it shown above in the picture of Quinn. What happens is that the warmth from the baby’s skin releases the active ingredient found in the Baltic amber, succinic acid. Scientific research has shown that succinic acid has a very positive influence on the human body. It improves immunity and the balance of acids when absorbed into the bloodstream; it stimulates the thyroid glands to help reduce drooling and soothes red inflamed cheeks. Amber’s anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties are recognized by allopathic medicine as a natural analgesic, which will help to relieve teething pain and calm a baby without resorting to drugs. It is extremely important that baby is supervised while a teething necklace is worn. It should not be worn during naps or bedtime.

2. Chamomile Nighttime Bath

If a bath before bed time isn’t already part of your nightly routine I highly recommend adding it in. A warm bath followed by a gentle baby massage will help calm and soothe baby. To go one step further, draw your little one a chamomile bath by placing a tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers in a reusable muslin drawstring bag and add to your baby’s bath water. Chamomile is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties and have long been used to soothe and relax. It is also a common sleep aid.

3. Sophie the Giraffe Teether

41XxjQd+XlL

I’m sure you have heard of this oh-so-popular giraffe before, but incase you haven’t, meet Sophie. Sophie the Giraffe teether is made from natural rubber and food paint and is Phthalates and BPA free. This natural teether is extremely flexible and has lots of parts for baby to chew like ears, horns, legs.

4. Homemade Teething Clove Oil

Clove Essential Oil has a natural numbing effect so it’s perfect for those days and nights when something a little extra is needed. All you need to do is dilute 1 drop of therapeutic grade clove oil in 1 tablespoon of almond oil. Mix together and apply to gums.

5. Zooley Natural Teething Toy

41YdHSZi-ZL._SX425_I was given a couple of these ring toys while I was pregnant and put them aside until now. My favorite thing about them is that they are made from 100% organic cotton terrycloth and untreated maple wood. This teething toy is completely free of dyes and harmful chemicals!, not to mention they are super cute.

6. Homemade Chamomile Tincture

I found this great homemade tincture by Wellness Mama that I am in the midst of making. I can’t share my personal experience on this specific DIY remedy, but can say that I have loved many things that I find on her site. The tincture is easy to mix, but needs 4-6 weeks to sit. I have another 3 weeks before it’s ready. If and when I need to use it I will swing back to this post and share my findings! DIY recipe here.

7. Nubby Mesh Nibbler

51Huqxq7OwL._SX522_To be completely honest I received a couple of these at my baby shower and had no clue what they were for. I of course acted extremely grateful and figured there was a good use for them… I just wasn’t sure what that use was.  While the product’s suggested use is to help introduce solids to baby, I find these great for teething. These nibblers allow you to put delicious and nutritious homemade purees inside before freezing them. Baby then gets to gnaw on the frozen food through the mesh pocket while holding the handle.

What are your favorite natural teething remedies? I would love to try new things and add to this list. Share with me in the comments below.
why_1_essential oils

why_i_oils
About 4 years ago I was introduced to the world of Aromatherapy and Alternative Medicine. I walked into a local aromatherapy shop with a group of co-workers and immediately had to walk right back out. I was so used to artificial fragrances, that the smell of pure oils from nature had me nauseous.  Upon returning, I spoke with the shop owner who asked me the following question, “what scents do you most often choose when purchasing laundry detergents, candles or air fresheners?”  Without hesitation, I listed off a few, “rain, clean linen and baby powder.” I was always drawn to these ‘clean fresh’ smells, however never thought twice about how someone could bottle the smell of clean linens. Little did I know, but all of those scents that I was so used to were synthetic fragrances. Upon doing some research to find out what went into these fragrances, I quickly found out that companies don’t have to tell you what they use; usually dozens, sometimes hundreds, of synthetic chemical compounds.

With this new found knowledge, I decided to start introducing essential oils into my life. Humans have been co-existing with plants for thousands of years, while we have only just begun to live with the chemicals and toxins that surround us each day.

So what is an Essential Oil?
An essential oil is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted. In short, it’s the REAL oil from a plant/flower.

How do I use them?
The question should really be how DON’T I use them. I use essential oils for nearly every aspect of my life. Here are just a few:
– I add a few drops of lemon or orange to my unscented cleaning products for a natural scent and for some added fight boosting properties
– I put a dab of peppermint oil on my temples when I get a headache
– I mix some oils of choice with beeswax for homemade candles
– Many are great for bug bite and itch relief
– Homemade rubs with black pepper oil help with joint pain and muscle soreness
– I mix some oil of choice with water and baking soda for a homemade air freshener
and so many more!

Here are the ones I have stocked 24/7
Lavender – Peppermint – Orange – Lemon – Eucalyptus – Grapefruit – Spearmint
I used to buy my oils from that local shop, but have since moved. Here are a few brands I have read about and encourage you to choose from. While the price of a bottle may seem high, you use such small amounts at a time and they are SO WORTH IT.
Young Living Oils
doTerra Oils


Getting Started

Lavender Oil is the perfect oil for newcomers to the world of Aromatherapy and a great way to make an introduction to the world of Alternative Medicine!

Lavender
Lavender Oil is extracted from the flowers of the herb Lavender (Lavendula officinalis). It is one of the only essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin, as most essential oils are too concentrated and need to first be mixed with a carrier oil before use. This property alone makes Lavender great because it takes little preparation!

Benefits
At first, I was extremely skeptical of Aromatherapy and particularly of the health benefits that using these oils would have for me. I could not have been more wrong. Lavender has so many beneficial properties including: calming, balancing, pain relief, healing, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

Uses
Lavender Oil has so many uses and benefits, and while not all of them include using it directly for your body, they will all help to improve health as it can replace the synthetic fragrances used in most commercial products.

  • Inhalation Therapy: The easiest way to inhale Lavender Oil is by placing a drop on the palm of your hands and rubbing your hands together. Simply cup your hands and take a deep breath. Repeat as needed.
  • Bug Bite and Itch Relief: Place a small drop on your bug bite. Repeat as needed.
  • Burn Relief: There are many ways to use this oil to treat burns.  For a small burn, dab the oil directly on the burn using an organic cotton ball or your finger. For larger burns, soak a washcloth in a tub with cold water and a few drops of oils. If you are dealing with a full body burn, such as a sun burn after a day at the beach, you could add 10-15 drops of lavender oil in your bath tub and soak for at least 30mins. As sunburns often do not surface right away, a lavender bath after a full day in the sun is a great way to help promote growth of new cells and heal a potential burn.
  • Lavender Bath Salts: Adding lavender bath salts to your bath is a great way to ease muscle aches, relieve tension and exfoliate your skin. Learn how to make No-Brainer Bath Salts here.
  • Skin Moisturizer: Add a drop of lavender oil to your current lotion before applying it to your skin. A great first step is just adding some to Coconut Oil for a fantastic moisturizer.
  • Air Freshener: Lavender has a beautiful aroma. It has a light floral scent with slight woody undertones. Check out my Air Fresheners post to learn how to make a variety of air-fresheners using less than 5 ingredients!Something to note about Lavender- there has been some talk that Lavender oil could be linked to estrogen imbalance in young boys. There are studies that say yes, and others that say no (like everything out there!) My thoughts on the matter? If my son is going to be exposed to something I would rather it be organic natural lavender oil than some synthetic crap (pardon my language). That being said, while my son is young and I am breastfeeding I have chosen to use a few different scents like chamomile in his homemade baby powder. Read more here.

    Resources:
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/140961-lavender-oil-skin-benefits/
    http://www.naturalnews.com/041730_lavender_essential_oil_migraine_headaches_natural_remedies.html
    http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/natural-essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender-essential-oil.html

flu_shots

at_home_flu_shots
41Fz4nv8GGLFlu season is around the corner, so what better time to ensure that everyone in your family has a strong immune system. While I have my personal opinion on the flu shot itself, I am going to throw that aside for this post and share 6 at-home “flu shots” that will boost your immune system naturally.

These six shots are made up of real food ingredients that boost your body’s immune system to naturally ward off colds and flus. Some of the below are made with a juicer (I own this one) although if you want to boost your immune system and do not have a juicer or do not wish to invest in one, you can increase the amount of the particular food you consume in your diet.

IMG_55421) “Apple Cider Slammer”
Apple cider vinegar is just that, a type of vinegar made from apple cider. This ‘Slammer’ contains beta-carotene, which according to the Mayo Clinic possesses antioxidant properties that counteract the damage done by free radicals and in return helps boost your immune system [source]. Find organic, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar for maximum health benefits.
Shot Recipe: Shoot back a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a two tablespoons of filtered water. Can’t stomach it? I personally suggest mixing a tablespoon with a tall 8oz glass of cold water to dilute it. I also add a touch of raw honey to sweeten it. This source suggests drinking this apple cider daily.

IMG_55492) “Green Machine”
Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and parsley provide a significant amount of nutrients including but not limited to, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6. These crucial nutrients play an important role in optimal immune health [source].
Shot Recipe: Toss together a selection of leafy greens in your juicer and enjoy. If you can’t swallow the taste of only vegetables in your juice, throw an apple through the juicer for some natural sweetness.

3) “Cod Liver Kiss”
IMG_5543Fermented Cod Liver Oil is a raw, traditionally fermented food. It contains more Vitamin A per unit weight than any other common food and is a great source of the ever important Omega-3 Fatty Acids. This powerhouse real food helps regulate and improve overall function of your immune system [source]. Read more about Fermented Cod Liver Oil here and here.
Shot Recipe: Fermented Cod Liver Oil comes in two forms. You can source it in its liquid form and take it daily as a shot, or you can choose to purchase it in capsule form. I buy these capsules from a trusted company. Check out the recommended dosage here. 

IMG_55454) “Blueberry Blast”
Blueberries are very high in antioxidants compared to other fruits and vegetables and contain powerful phytochemicals which give the fruit their deep blue color. A recent study done by the University of Oregon shared that the pterostilbene found in blueberries, when combined with vitamin D, could boost the body’s ability to fend off illness [source].
Shot Recipe: Juice a handful of blueberries and enjoy this sweet and sour drink. You can also simply increase your intake of blueberries if you do not own a juicer or wish to juice them. 

IMG_55465) “Carrot Kicker”
Carrots are an great source of beta carotene. One of beta carotene’s main roles is to support the body’s mucus membrane, which lines the respiratory and intestinal tracts. A strong lining makes it more difficult for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause you trouble [source].
Shot Recipe: Juice a handful of carrots and enjoy. Don’t have a juicer? Do your best to incorporate carrots into the upcoming weeks menus!

6) “Lemon & Ginger Drop”
IMG_5548Lemon and Ginger are a powerhouse duo. This couple not only supports a strong immune system by the lemon’s Vitamin C content, but together they help fight off an oncoming illness. Lemon juice’s anti-inflammatory qualities soothe sore throats and irritated membranes while the ginger helps cleanse your system [source].
Shot Recipe: Add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to 3 tablespoons of water. Grate or juice a pinch of ginger and enjoy. Instead of taking this as a shooter you can also enjoy a glass of homemade lemonade and simply add ginger.

Is It Too Late?
If it’s already too late and you are dealing with a cold and a sore throat, check out this post with 22 ways to naturally soothe a sore throat!

*Dosage: I personally take Cod Liver Oil daily, and rotate between these other “flu-shots” throughout the week.  As the shots are made up of real food and I do not have any allergies or food aversions, I take them freely!
**Please remember that these are just some ways to boost your immune system naturally and are not recommended as the only way to stay healthy this winter season.
***These “flu-shots” are a fun play on words. While the sources will give you more information on each “shot” and how they help your immune system, they are not a natural version of the influenza vaccine and do not contain the influenza virus. Please consult with your health practitioner with any questions. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Athomeflushots

herbalbathbags

herbalbathbags

You have probably heard of the health benefits of drinking herbal teas, but did you know the many benefits of soaking in an herbal ‘tea’ bath? In a warm bath, your pores open and allow your body to absorb the water that you bathe in. This fact alone makes a bath a great opportunity to infuse your body with the amazing properties found in herbs and essential oils.

The great thing about herbal bath bags is that you can customize them to fit your needs. You can create a bag that moisturizes your skin, eases muscle aches, exfoliates, soothes nerves or even calms your body. Here is a basic recipe which is great when making these as gifts, but feel free to experiment using the example ingredients below!

Herbal Bath Bag

Makes 1 Bath Bag
– Organic Fine Cotton or Muslin drawstring bag/ Or two 7″x7″ Cheesecloth Squares
– 1/2 cup of fine-ground oats
– 6 tbsp of dried green tea leaves
– 6 tbsp of dried rosemary
– 1 tbsp of dried rose petals
– 20 drops of lavender essential oil
– 10 drops of chamomile essential oil

Directions

  1. Place all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well. Slowly add drops of essential oils, mixing after every 10 drops.
  2. Spoon mixture into the drawstring bag.
  3. Store bath bag in an air tight container, in a dark and cool place for at least 12 hours.
  4. To use, hang the bath bag from the tap and allow the hot water to run through it as you fill your bath. You can then allow the bag to float in the bath. Soak for 20-30 minutes.
  5. These bags can be reused multiple times. As with tea, the bath won’t be as ‘strong’ the second, third or fourth time you use the bag.

Want to experiment?
Here are a few ideas of ingredients you can use! A good rule of thumb is to keep your Herbal Bath Bag at around 1 1/2 cups of dry ingredients to 20 drops of essential oils.

Dry Ingredients:

  • Fine-Ground Oats: ease itchy skin
  • Green-Tea: soothes skin
  • Dried Rosemary: acts as a toner
  • Chopped Orange Rind: speeds detoxification
  • Chopped Lemon Rind: relieves headaches, removes dead skin
  • Powdered Dried Ginger: eases sore throats and colds
  • Dried Lavender: promotes new skin growth; calming
  • Powdered Arrowroot: cooling, and eases the stomach
  • Rose Petals: moisturizes, calming

Essential Oils:

  • Lavender Essential Oil: promotes new skin growth, calming
  • Rose Essential Oil: moisturizes, calming
  • Spearmint Essential Oil: itch relief
  • Peppermint Essential Oil: decreases congestion
  • Frankincense Essential Oil: smooths wrinkles
  • Orange Essential Oil: speeds detoxification
  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oi: balances hormones
  • **lavender and tea tree oil are the only essential oils that do not have to be diluted in a carrier oil before application. With that said, ensure that you mix the oils well with the dry ingredients and do not simply drop the oils directly in your bath.**