Just a blog about my adventures and mishaps in life.
Expect things like recipes, art, ways to save money,
fashion, creativity, beauty, babbling and randomness.
Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When the Allergy Trio Isn't Enough: Essential Oils for Allergies

Ahhh! Spring is in the air...and so is pollen, dust, and allergens! 

I've found that certain essential oils work just as well as, and sometimes better than traditional allergy medicine and no sleepy side effects.

First, let's talk about the general allergy trio. 

Lemon + Lavender + Peppermint

You can apply neat, make a serum, or take in a capsule, (please make sure that your oils are safe to take internally). Personally, we add equal drops of oil to a roll on bottle and top off with grapeseed oil.
For most people, the allergy trio is enough, but some of us need a little more.

Here are some essential oils that you can add to your trio to boost your allergy-fighting power:

Copaiba: If you're into essential oils, you should already have copaiba in your stockpile. It's great for so many things from pain serums, to irritation, to boosting the effects of other oils. Add an equal amount of copaiba to your allergy trio and breathe happy.

Eucalyptus: (globulus) First of all, eucalyptus smells awesome! It can help with asthma symptoms and other respiratory-type conditions. It also eases a scratchy throat and helps clear your head. Add equal drops to your roller bottle trio. If your oils are high-quality, (Do your research!), you can also add eucalyptus globulus to your capsule for internal consumption.

German Chamomile: An anti-allergen and antihistamine, a no-brainer to amp up your trio.

Cypress: A decongestant that clears your sinuses. Yes, please.

Roman Chamomile: This one is great for topical allergies and rashes. You can use this separately, or add to your roll-on.

So give them a try, individually or altogether, and boost your allergy-fighting ability!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

DIY Calming Sensory Beads

I saw these beads the other day on Pinterest and I thought that it was such a cool idea that I had to tell you about it.
 I LOVE crafty stuff that doesn't take a lot of time or money and this takes neither.

Sensory play is all the rage right now, and there are so many reasons why.
Kids are attracted to these little beads immediately because they look soft and squishy. They stimulate the senses, not only sight and touch but smell too!
These beads are perfect for taking a little time out and calming down. They would also be a fun part of a bedtime ritual.

Lavender can help calm stress and anxiety, and can also promote sleep. Be careful not to use more than a couple of drops though or it may have and adverse affect.

So run down to your local dollar store, (I went to Michaels because I was in the parking lot but I know that the dollar store has them), and grab a pack or two of water beads similar to these:

Now before you write down the brand name, let me tell you that I do NOT recommend this particular brand. You'll see why in a minute.
So grab your beads and a big container, preferably with a lid if you're going to keep them around for awhile. You'll also need lavender essential oil, (one that's okay for topical use), and some water.

Pour the beads into the container, mix some water with about two to four drops of lavender essential oil, (I used a whisk), and mix. Here's why I was unpleasantly surprised with these particular beads:

Ugh! I've bought water beads a million times before and I've NEVER had them turn the water colors like this. It reminded me a lot of red wine...
 so I grabbed a glass of wine and waited.

I had to add water about three times in the next 4-6 hours so that the beads would reach full size.
Then I rinsed for, I kid you not, about 40 minutes.

The great thing was that even after all the rinsing, the beads still smelled amazing. The balls are completely infused with the lavender smell. Yum!

Needless to say, even though these are ideal for little kids, (which I don't have any of right now), my ten year old played with them calmly for about 30 minutes, and gained the "awesome" side-effect of slightly purple fingers.

Learn from my mistake and buy clear beads, or at least make sure that they don't dye the water. Oh and make sure that they're non-toxic, just in case.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DIY Flavored Olive Oil With Essential Oils

I was inspired to make something with my oils when I saw these pretty bottles at the dollar store. That's right, the dollar store. I find some of the best containers for my concoctions there.

There's an olive mill right near my house that has AMAZING flavored oils in every flavor that you can think of. Problem is, the oil is around 15 or 20 bucks a bottle, for a small(ish) bottle, and. being the frugal mom that I am, I can't be that frivolous.

So this is an easy one: Just fill your (glass) bottle with olive oil and add 8-12 drops of your essential oil depending on which one you choose and how flavored you'd like it to be.
Here are the oils I had to choose from. I brought out all of my citrus oils because, personally, citrus infused oils are my favorite. You could also use Basil, Taste of Italy, Rosemary, etc.

 Please make sure that your oils are safe to ingest, this is really important. 

I made two oils, lemon in one and lemon/orange in another one.

Shake it up really well and it's ready to use. If you're feeling extra creative, throw some dried rosemary, basil, or other herbs in there for looks and flavor.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Repel Bugs Naturally with Essential Oils

We've made it through another Winter, it's Spring again! I love almost everything about Spring, the flowers, the weather, the lack of major holidays, (after Easter), but there are two thing that I DON'T like: allergies, and bugs! Today we'll talk about bugs; how to keep them away from your home, and how to kill them if they do come in.

There are so many insect repellent recipes online using EOs, ranging from using just one oil and water to using 10 different oils and loads of other ingredients to make the "concoction". Let's stick with the basics that work. Why add extra stuff if it's not necessary.

Most essential oils will repel bugs as opposed to killing them. There are a few "universal" oils that most bugs hate, lavender is one of them. Spiders, flies, mosquitoes, and more tend to stay away from lavender. Add 7-10 drops of lavender to a spray bottle, fill with water and spray away! You can even spray this right on your horses for horse flies.

Spiders B Gone:

  • 7-10 drops peppermint or tea tree oil
  • splash of white vinegar (optional)
  • splash of dish soap (optional)
  • water
  • spray bottle
Shake it all together and spray around windows and doors and along baseboards. It's that simple. Reapply every week or two for best results.

Personally, we have a real problem with scorpions here at my house. They're not only hanging out on the back walls but we find at least 10-12 in the house every year. Eeek! Scorpions do NOT like the smell of cedarwood, so this year I'm going to make the above recipe but substitute cedarwood for lavender. Should work like a charm and it won't hurt my kids or animals. 

You can alter the above recipe with any of these substitutes depending on what you want to repel:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Thieves Household Cleaner

1 capful to a 8oz bottle

I bought Thieves cleaner back in January. It sat in my pantry and, honestly, I forgot about.

Fast forward to March and the dreaded "Spring Cleaning". I was out of my regular kitchen spray so I decided to give this little bottle a try. The dilution for "most cleaning applications" was 30:1 so I put 1 capful in my 8oz bottle, (above), and 30 capfuls of tap water. It filled the bottle perfectly.

I cleaned the entire kitchen with this one cleaner and everything was sparkling and smelled great.
Don't get me wrong, there are a few things that this cleaner won't do. For instance, if you haven't cleaned your oven in two years, (guilty), you might need something stronger, but for everyday cleaning Thieves is my new go-to.

Today I decided to try mopping with 5 capfuls to my bucket of water. The floor looks fabulous and, again, the house smells nice and clean. I wish I would have taken an after picture of the mop water. Man, this stuff can clean!

I used 5 capfuls for this bucket

I'm no math genius, actually I'm terrible at math, but if 1 capful makes 8oz of cleaner than this 14.4oz bottle will make a ton! That makes the $22 price tag on this stuff  a pretty good deal.

Here are the dilution ratios from the website:
  • light degreasing 60:1
  • medium degreasing 30:1
  • heavy degreasing 15:1
  • floors 100:1
  • walls 30:1
  • upholstery, fabrics, carpet spotting 40:1
  • carpet 100:1
  • glass 320:1
  • pots and pans; 100:1 
  • hand cleaner 1:1

Monday, April 6, 2015

Let's Talk About Oola Essential Oils

Today Young Living began it's Oola line of oils. Instead of being geared toward physical ailments, these stem off in a bit of a different direction. It's all about balancing your life. I'll try to explain what I know, (which isn't much).

The way these oils work is based on aromatherapy. If you're familiar with the law of attraction and intention then you'll understand why these might make sense. For instance, let's say your working on a goal in the financial part of your life. Whether you're writing it out, talking about it, making a dream board, meditating on it, or something else, you would be smelling the scent of "finance" either diffused, topically, or straight from the bottle while focusing on your goal. When you've practiced this and your intention is clear, it's time to get to work.

You'll go out into "the world" and start working on your goal while smelling the scent of "finance". The scent should make your intention stronger somehow and help focus your goal.

You guys, I'm still working on this and trying to wrap my head around it. I don't fully understand it but I always love new things and new ways of looking at things. It's worth looking into.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Get Creative with your Essential Oils

This year for Easter we decided to buy those

 fake plastic eggs to dye. 

These eggs would be great for painting but I don't recommend trying to color these in the traditional way with your kids because they float, and barely hold the color.

So after a couple of eggs, I decided to get creative and add some oils to the dye. I grabbed peppermint, lavender, and joy and put one drop into each of the cups. I stirred them up and dunked the eggs. 

I pulled them out after a couple of minutes and let them dry. Delicious! What a great holiday potpourri. 

Hopefully the dye will hold the scent.

I hope that this post will give you inspiration to get creative with your oils. Try something new, there are tons of ways to incorporate your essential oils into to your everyday life.
Happy Easter!

Simple Foaming Hand Soap and Face Wash

Is it a hand soap? Is it a face wash? 

It's both! 

One great thing about making your own home and beauty products is that you know exactly what's in them. Another benefit is cost. I'm sure that you don't normally use your face wash as hand soap, or vise versa, but when you make it yourself, you can!
This recipe was something that the girls at one of my oil parties came up with. We were going to make a hand soap when someone suggested a face wash instead. Now I use it as both.
I'll tell you the recipe and then I'll tell you why these ingredients are great for your skin as well as your hygiene.

Foaming Hand and Face Wash:

  • Foaming soap bottle (I bought some pre-filled and dumped them out)
  • About 2T Castile Soap
  • 8-10 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • Water
First you add the castile soap to the dispenser. Personally, I use Dr. Bronner's because it's the only one that's easy to find around here and it's been around for a LONG time. It comes in a few different "flavors" or plain. The cool thing is that it's made with organic and essential oils. I chose peppermint for this soap. Here's about where it should fill to:

Now just add your oils and then add water to (almost) the top, leave room for the pump.

 Be careful, it will foam.
 A lot.

That's it. Put on the top and stir it or give it a shake. Don't forget your cute label.

This is a basic recipe, you can definitely get creative with this soap, use different oils, (think lavender, peppermint, or stress away). To be on the safe side, don't use citrus oils unless your container is glass. I've heard that citrus can eat away at plastic. You can also add a little almond or fractionated coconut oil for that added softness.

A quick note on why I chose 

tea tree oil and Dr. Bronner's:

To start, tea tree essential oil is antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and antimicrobial, it can diminish the appearance of scars, (acne), and is also an anti-inflammatory. All of these are great for face and hands and this just names a few of the amazing benefits of tea tree oil!

As far as Dr. Bronner's, here is an excerpt from their website: "You can use Dr. Bronner’s soaps for washing your face, body, hands and hair, for bathing, shaving, brushing your teeth, rinsing fruit, aromatherapy, washing dishes by hand, doing laundry, mopping floors, all-purpose cleaning, washing windows, scrubbing toilets, washing dogs, controlling dust mites, and killing ants and aphids."

There are only a handful of ingredients and most are organic, it's also pretty inexpensive, especially considering how concentrated it is. I haven't done the math, but this big bottle was around $7 for 32oz and I used 2 Tbsp, (1oz.)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I've Discovered Essential Oils

   In the last few months I've discovered the amazing world of essential oils. I use them for everything from allergies, to face wash, to wart removal, and everything in between. Looking back, I don't know how I ever lived without them!
For those of you that are brand new to essential oils, (EOs), like I was, EOs are basically the "oil" of the plant extracted in a special way that keeps the integrity of the oil in tact.
  Oils absorb into our bloodstream through our skin, (think nicotine patch), they can also be inhaled, or ingested, (be careful with that last one, not all oils are created equally).
  I'm not going to get into how they work or whether you should "believe" in them or not, that's up to you, but if you want to learn more about the oils themselves and discover some of the millions of ways to use them, stick with me.
My Little Stash of EOs on $5 from IKEA