2.18.2015

essential oils // all natural therapeutic play-doh


stell woke us up bright and early this morning (big surprise there) and asked what we were going to do today.  a long list of mama chores came to my mind: change and wash our sheets, make a pot roast, organize the nursery, sort laundry etc.  so to keep her busy and focused after homeschooling while i do my to-do's, i decided to make her some homemade play-doh first thing after my coffee.  to make our home smell like a spa and hopefully help my little lady calm down, i added some of my essential oils to the recipe.  genius idea, i know! actually, this has been all over pinterest and i've been meaning for some time to make this for our homeschool craft station.  i choose three oils that i know stella loves, and that also happen to be great and safe for kiddos: lavender, stress away, and grapefruit.

lavender: not only is lavender a true gem when it comes to relaxation, but it also helps with seasonal discomfort (allergies), eczema, and minor owies (cuts, burns, and scrapes).  we diffuse this one before bedtimes and it helps us all get ready to sleep, so naturally, this oil was going in my little one's play-doh.  give her all those zzzzzzz.

stress away:  this is a beautiful blend made by young living that i adore.  it smells of vanilla, cedarwood, lime, and copiaba.  basically, it's vacation in a bottle.  this essential oil does just as the name suggests, it promotes a calm nature and helps one unwind.  i use this as perfume and add it to my epsom salt baths at the end of a long day.

grapefruit:  this oils is very uplifting and fresh smelling.  i call it a happy oil and love that it is rich in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene, so it is nourishing to the skin.  i also like adding a few drops of this to my water/vinegar cleaner for an all-purpose spray and to water when i need a pick me up.

i love that each of these play-dohs have their own special oily job, but most importantly, that they foster creativity for kiddos who are eager to make something on their own.  stella is at that independent age where she insists on doing everything herself.  because this play-doh is all natural, including the young living oils which are safe to ingest if she happen to sneak a bite, i feel good letting her play while i make a hundred trips up and down the stairs.

here is the recipe, friends!

ingredients:    

1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tablespoon of oil, i used olive oil
*food coloring
*essential oils, i use oils by young living because each bottle can be traced to its source and because of their seed to seal process.

to prepare, add all ingredients, except the food coloring and essential oil, to a large sauce pan over low to medium heat.  stir until the mixture starts to get clumpy.  take off the heat, transfer to a large surface, and knead into a big ball.  divide your play-doh into three qual parts, pressing your thumb into the center of each ball adding an indent.  to the center of each indent, add one to two drops of food coloring and five to ten drops of essential oil.  i color coordinated the essential oil bottles to the food coloring because that kind of thing makes me happy.

i hope you guys try it out!  for more of my essential oil recipes, head here.  if you are interested in purchasing young living oils and becoming a member of my team leave me a note and i'll help you out, or head to this page to sign up to purchase your own kit.  note: you never have to sell anything when you become a wholesale member of young living.  in fact, most people don't!  being on my team just gives you heaps of education and support from other oil users like myself.  make sure you sign up wholesale to get your 24% off.  that is not offered to retail customers.  happy oiling, friends!


2.11.2015

snippets // lately


1. morning snuggles with my favorite.
2. nap time in mama's bed.
3. brunch at you say with my sweet gals friends.
4. feeding the ducks after church at loose park.
5. rose cheeks and cheerios.
6. stella the cat, basking in the sun.
7. that time i got all fancy for a rec dinner.
8. eating granola in our bed on a lazy saturday.
9. doing preschool at home.
10. his favorite place to play is on the couch these days.
11. theodore giving his sis all the loves.
12. curious george, doing his thing.
13. feeling our little plum kick together, in matching dresses that remind us of summer.

2.09.2015

essential oils // cleaning recipes


after busy weekends, our monday is usually dedicated to things done around the home.  a bit of homeschool activities with stella, laundry, shape puzzles with theodore, meal prep for the week, and cleaning.  

i love starting out our week feeling all fresh and clean, so when i have a free moment i like to get things dusted and scrubbed here and there.  i am in the (seemingly long) process of swapping out all of our non-natural cleaning products for ones made using essential oils.   sure i could have thrown them all away, but my husband is all...that's a giant waste so i am taking my time in leaning how to use oils and declutter with products i had already bought.  

i am such a maker and crafter by heart and really enjoy concocting and trying recipes to use everyday in our home.  because i have looked, i know there are hundreds out there to get inspiration from, so i just dove in and started trying different blends with essential oils i have on hand.  i am interested in safe cleaning products that will not only work, but will be healthy for our family and perhaps a bit friendlier on our wallet to boot.  that is why our family got into using essential oils in the first place.  they help promote a more intentional lifestyle by way of a healthier alternative to to many things we put on and in and around our bodies everyday.  

here are three cleaning recipes i use and love in our home.  i have more cleaning ideas and recipes using essential oils here if you care to take a peek!

*each of these recipes use 2 oz dark amber bottles that i purchased in bulk here.  they will prevent the oils from degrading when exposed to light and will not react with the oils like plastic can.  if you want to make more cleaning spray, just double the amount, friends.

pine sol scented wood dusting spray:

- 2 oz dark amber bottle
- 2 teaspoons of liquid castile soap (i prefer the unscented dr. bronner's) OR olive oil.  you choose what you like best.  
- 10 drops of lemon essential oil
- the rest with filtered water

to make, add all ingredients in the order they are presented above.  shake the bottle before spraying and dust on wood surfaces with a soft cloth.  i have found this formula not to leave any residue behind and it smells like pine sol which i happen to love!  doesn't everyone?

germ / antibacterial spray:

(for external use only because i am pretty sure we don't drink witch hazel)

- 2 oz dark amber bottle
- 1 tablespoon of witch hazel (sub witch hazel for vodka if you plan on using this as a throat spray too.  or if you want to clean AND party.  you're welcome.)
- the rest with filtered water

to make, add all ingredients in the order they are presented above.  shake the bottle before spraying and use to disinfect countertops, doorknobs, baby toys, to wash fruits and veggies, remove odors on yucky clothes, and for general sanitization of your husband's dresser/clothes/side of the bed. ;) 


linen / fresh laundry spray: 

- 2 oz dark amber bottle
- 1 tablespoon of witch hazel 
- 5 drops of purification essential oil 
- the rest with filtered water

to make, add all ingredients in the order they are presented above.  shake the bottle before spraying and use before bedtime or before you before you dry your laundry.  i like to spray this on our beds before sleeping or on furniture to give them a freshening up.  this also makes a really great air freshener for the bathroom.

//

if you are new to essential oils and want some of your own, i recommend getting the premium starter kit (11 essential oils and a diffuser).  you will become a part of my young living team where we will help along every step of the way, giving you support and resources to build knowledge and feel more comfortable incorporating them into your everyday lives.  i would love to have you! honestly, young living oils are something that i wish i had known about years ago because the benefits for our family have been substantial.  i'm eager to continue this learning process and share it with you all!

*click this link if you want to order under me*

sign up wholesale, and nope you never have to sell a thing!  wholesale just gives you a great discount at 24% off that retail customers do not get.

if you have any questions or comments about using essential oils please feel free to leave a comment below or email me privately.  i am more than happy to pass on what i know or help you find an answer to a lingering question. 

1.29.2015

motherhood // curing cabin fever


although there's no snow on the ground we have been getting a bit of cabin fever over here.  anyone else?  i mean, there are only so many frozen elsa puzzles one can do in a day.  sometimes when it is frigid outside it can be hard to come up with ideas to do with little babes.  one night in bed i started jotting down a list of things to get us out of our funk.  just a simple list of ideas when my mind gets foggy with the winter blues.  it's good to have lists like that on hand, an easy way to get motivated when your body suggests otherwise.  this list contains things to do both in and out of the home.  sometimes we need slow days where we don't get out of our jammies, and there are a few things on this list for that.  and they there are days that getting out of the house is a priority.  it is sometimes difficult for me to get all packed up before leaving the house with little ones, but after i do i am so thankful for it.  the fresh air combined with human interaction, it's kind of essential.  here are some ways we are curing our cabin fever this winter season.

1. go to your supermarket and get a big bundle of flowers.  those cheap carnations will do just the trick.  let one of your kids pick out the color, stella loved doing this.  toss them about your home in a frenzy, placing them in unexpected places like the bathroom or on a window sill.  do not go shy when it comes to flowering up your mantle.  go crazy.  your heart will thank you.

2. meet a playdate at a local nursery and pick out a few new plant babies to take home.  spend as much time as you can there, smelling the greenery and soaking up that fresh oxygen.  go ahead and pretend it's summer for a half and hour.  pick out an inexpensive plant to take care of with your toddler.

3. bundle up and get your buns to the park!  it might be freezing out but if you fill your thermous with hot coffee and put five layers on your babies you'd be surprised at how long you can survive on the playground.  we have a little park within walking distance and sometimes just walking there, swinging for ten minutes, and walking back does the job.

4. make a new music playlist or go thrift some new albums from the second hand store.  put them on first thing when you wake up, even before you make coffee.  music has such a special way of uplifting us and it's such a fun way to start the day.  lately we've been listening to the misterwives and stevie wonder.

5. diffuse your oils!  i am so serious, you guys.  diffusing oils such as grapefruit and orange and lemon and joy have been major sources of happiness for me.  you cannot go wrong when diffusing something citrus.  and whenever we need to freshen things up, we diffuse purification.  i have been diffusing oils everyday and it really has made a difference.

6. get together with other mamas you love spending time with and eat goat cheese together.  or whatever you feel like eating, but goat cheese is always a good place to start.  your babies can come along and mess up the house while you eat and chat.  so good for the soul, mama play dates are.

7. put your babes in a bubble bath.  turn up the music and let them play and play until they want out.  we do this day time bathing about once a week as fun activity.  sometimes, i'll take in a big stack of books and read to them while they play.  it is a great way to get them relaxed before nap time, too.

8.  have an indoor picnic.  this is a fun one to do with stella while theo is napping.  we will set out a blanket and sip juice out of little saucers and eat toast and jam.  albeit, it's no outdoor picnic, but still fun nonetheless and changes up our routine a bit.

9. go to the library.  this is another outing we make at least once a week.  we stock up on new books to read and spend time discovering new authors.  now that we've been going to awhile the kids know our routine, which is nice.  we also make it for story time here and there which theodore enjoys immensely.  your local library should have an hour for little ones, check out their web page for some fun ideas!

10. spend the day crafting.  this one takes heaps of patience because we all know doing crafts with little ones is not the easiest endeavor, but the gigantic mess is always SO worth it.  some of our favorite carats include watercolor painting, making play dough, making cards for friends, and tracing objects found around the house.

i would really love to hear some of your ideas on how to cure cabin fever!  thanks, friends. :)

//

for more of my essential oil recipes, head here.  if you are interested in purchasing young living oils and becoming a member of my team leave me a note and i'll help you out, or head to this page to sign up to purchase your own kit.  note: you never have to sell anything when you become a wholesale member of young living.  in fact, most people don't!  being on my team just gives you heaps of education and support from other oil users like myself.  make sure you sign up wholesale to get your 24% off.  that is not offered to retail customers.  happy oiling, friends!

1.26.2015

recipe // blood orange & jalapeño roast chicken salad


i am starting to get back in my cooking groove and i must say, it feels so good.  i had a dry cooking spell that lasted about three months where we relied on lots of take out and freezer meals.  thank goodness that is over!  although once and awhile it is completely necessary and delicious to go that route, i much prefer cooking for my family so we can fill our bodies with healthy foods.

this past week i had one of those days where i was in and out of the car pretty much all afternoon and evening.  we had many errands to run, a playdate, and lots of little stops in between.  before i knew it the sun was down and i had nothing prepared for supper.  it was looking as though chips and salsa would be our only option.  so on the way home i popped into our neighborhood market to get a rotisserie chicken.  wouldn't you know it, we headed home and were so exhausted from running all over town that day we barely ate any food!  the next day i realized we had quite a bit of chicken leftover so i whipped up chicken salad for lunch.  i used some blood oranges that are currently in season and it made all the difference.  in fact, it was so tasty that we ate it again for supper spread on top of toasted farm bread!  here's the recipe.

*when preparing salads i do not measure, so if you need to adjust any of the measurements to your liking, go for it.

ingredients:

1/2 rotisserie chicken meat shredded or chopped the way you prefer, no skin
3/4 cup of mini heirloom tomatoes cut into fourths (any variety will do.  you could also sub grapes)
1 handful of chopped parsley
1 big tablespoon of whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
1 pinch of cumin
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
the juice of 2 blood oranges
1/2 to 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped very fine, depending on how spicy you like your food
salt and pepper to taste

to prepare, mix all of the above ingredients together in a big bowl.  allow the favors to get to know one another by covering your salad and letting it sit in the fridge.  or, if you are super hungry, just dig in with crackers or a spoon.  that's what i did.  :)