Wednesday, February 20, 2019

People often ask about the best essential oils to get started with.

Essential oils support us in so many ways and we each have scent preferences. Two easy essential oils to get started with are peppermint and lavender. These oils are pretty flexible in their use. Still, they are concentrated, so diluting them with a carrier oil is needed for use topically. If you're using essential oils for kids, diffusing is a less intrusive way to introduce essential oils. It's best to consult with your physician before using essential oils with very young children. Our fave oils have a kids line, with guidelines for use to help you out!

Let's start with peppermint. We use it every day. It's wonderful on our diffuser bracelets, in lotion or in a body butter. I just love the smell.

The better half of us is not a spider fan. He uses peppermint throughout the inside of the house in the city and in all of the buildings at the farm to ward off spiders - works pretty well! A spray bottle with water and peppermint or rubbing alcohol/vodka and peppermint will do the trick.

Peppermint supports you in a number of ways: it's a pick me up, reduces nausea and headaches, supports focus and activates the thinker, provides some pain relief for muscles and sunburns (add it to organic aloe in a spray bottle and toss it in the fridge - ahhh!) Peppermint also smells great and can help to clear up stuffy noses. It turns death breath in to sparkles. Make a peppermint breath spray in a 10 ml glass spray bottle with 4-6 drops of peppermint essential oil (depending on the flavor intensity you're looking for) and filtered water.

Lavender is quite popular in the bedroom. For relaxation. You dirty minds!

Lavender doesn't usually get as much recognition for the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties as it does for aromatherapy, though it's often used to calm the skin. Lavender also supports relaxation, can calm and easy anxiety or restlessness, and it might just reduce your crankies. Many people love lavender in a diffuser at bed time to calm wiggly humans. We like lavender in a roller bottle with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil to calm nerves.

Wherever you start, do a little pre-research (pre-search?) and enjoy! There is no right or wrong, just what you're comfortable with in your home.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Love Day Blends

The day of love is underway at our house, with chocolates and heart shaped sour patch kids on the horizon. It's snowing outside and the sun is fading, setting the stage for - laundry!

Let's get real. When you have kids and pets at home, every day is laundry day. There's nothing a mama loves better than when the laundry is done. Leave it for the weekend folks, another couple inches added to the laundry pile won't hurt anyone. For now, spoil yourself a little bit. 

I've been thinking about diffuser blends to make the nose and heart happy today. Here are a few faves that you might like for this day of love:

Heart Day 
2 drops Ylang Ylang (a magic love oil!) 
1 drop Wild Orange
1 drop Sandalwood (trade this out for clove if you have it)
1 drop Cedarwood 

2 drops Wild Orange
1 drop Cardamom
1 drop Nutmeg (or clove) 

Hubba Hubba
1 drop Clary Sage
2 drops Bergamot
2 drops Ylang Ylang 

If you're in the mood for a massage, trying adding these essential oils to 2 T of miracle salve (this makes THE best massage lotion) or 2 T of lotion/massage oil:

2 drops Ylang Ylang
1 drop Ginger
1 drop Wild Orange
1 drop black pepper (substitute cinnamon or cassia essential oil)

Ylang Ylang is the theme today! Learn more about ylang ylang and our favorite essential oils here

Happy day of love!


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Unbottling Your Energy

Ever watched a toddler and thought to yourself, if I could only bottle than energy!? Me too. Me too.

One of the simple living thing strategies we've been working on is energy - put good things in, to get good things out, organizing, and everything in between.

A few weeks ago, I tried Reiki. Needless to say, I was pretty skeptical. Sleep issues are not a problem in our house, but letting go and truly relaxing are. All that running causes fatigue and crankiness. Enter Groupon and a path to Reiki was cleared.

Reiki is a Japanese technique, believed to channel energy to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and support your body's natural healing. (Hmmm...I thought quick nap, pretty music, essential oils, mom time - I'm in). I will say that I'd like to try this a few more times, but, my cranky is gone. There were some things I was holding on to that I've excused from my thoughts, which has been fab-u-lous! 

Given my limited Reiki knowledge and the brief information I was given by the Reiki therapist, I started digging in to the connection between essential oils and the chakras, to support energy post-Groupon. We've always used the essential oils that appeal to us through aromatherapy, but we've been ignoring the connection between particular oils and our bodies. There are some pretty great ways to use essential oils to support your health, and if nothing else, your thoughtful well-being just because they smell good.

chakra body sketch clip art Chakras are wheels, so imagine this wheel as the hub for the center of your energy in your body. I learned that I hold a lot of energy in my head, which didn't surprise me. My mind is always going, making connections, looking for meaning. Energy swirling around in there and getting stuck wreaks some havoc on my peace and joy. The two chakras at the top of your head and between your brows are referred to as the crown and the third eye, respectfully. Think of the third eye as a bit of intuition and the basis of your decision making. (Stick with me here, I too was thinking, uh - right...but it's true, energy is constant and it makes a body move).

If this chakra thing has you listening, you can gather a little more information here.

There are many ways to support your energy. You might find out there that running and meditation are ways to support the crown. Great ideas, except they involve running and meditation. Give me another ten years and I may be saying that meditation is the thing of the fifties, but for now, dark lights, pretty music, nice smells, zzzzzz - sleep.

This might all be a little much for you and that's okay. If you don't run unless you're being chased or meditate because it's weird or also makes you snooze, you might find a boost through aromatherapy from diffusing some essential oils. Our minds and bodies are impacted by scent in a significant way. If you've ever walked by someone wearing a perfume or cologne a loved one wears, or smell a great recipe cooking that a loved one has made for you, you know how smells can impact your memory.

Some essential oils have similar aromatherapy benefits. There are a few of these in the blends below with options to choose from depending on the scent you prefer or what you have on hand. If you're not sure where to start, try our favorite oils.

Grab your bottles and diffuse your way to balance!

3 drops Frankincense
2 drops Cedarwood (or Sandalwood)
2 drops Jasmine (or Neroli)
1 drop Lavender

3 drops Juniper Berry
2 drops Rosemary
2 drops Lemon (or lemongrass)

In all of this I started to wonder, how many of us hit forty and have what kind of feels like a mid-life crisis, when maybe what's going on is our energy is out of whack? We've put so much time and effort in to one or a few things and have forgotten about balance for ourselves. Then, something clicks, we work toward alignment. Not everyone needs this or gets there, but we look at those who are doing this work and think huh, mid-life crisis.

What if we do this work before we get there and lead a balanced life every day?  

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Are you ready for it? Chai Tea Latte Mix!

I love a good chai tea latte. I don't love the $6 price tag at the local coffee shop, the heavy syrup flavor in the ready-made mixes, or leaving the house when it's cold outside to go get one.

I invite you to add some heat to this recipe with a dash of cayenne pepper or a vietnamese cinnamon - delish! Throw on your favorite slippers, a winter diffuser blend, grab a book and sip your latte.

What you'll need: 
-food processor (very important or your chai tea will be chunky and funky, instead of smooth - I like small appliances that are multi-purpose, like this one)
-large airtight container 
-1 c powdered plain non-dairy coffee creamer
-1 c french vanilla flavored non-dairy coffee creamer
-1 c nonfat dry powdered milk 
-2 1/2 c white sugar 
-1 1/2 c unsweetened instant tea
-2 t ground ginger
-2 t ground cinnamon (my flavor fave is vietnamese cinnamon - it makes a difference!) 
-2 t ground cardamom (yummay)
-1 t ground cloves (yes! love my cloves!) 

Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl until all ingredients are combined. Process half of the mixture in a food processor until the granules are fine and the mixture has a smooth texture. (Generally, this batch is a little too large to put through the food processor all at once, unless you have the mother of all food processors). Store your chai tea latte mix in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (you don't want all of that deliciousness sticking together!)

To enjoy: 
I have found this tastes best when you put 2 tablespoons of the mix into an 8 ounce cup first, then add piping hot water and stir well. Top with whipped cream. Add a dash of cinnamon and you're set! 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Warm Thoughts

I love snow, fuzzy sweaters, warm drinks, spicy scents, and all things winter. Yet sometimes, when you're living in the tundra (how we affectionately refer to home in the upper midwest), you need some inner warmth.

If you're a parent of little ones, the book Frederick is an incredible way to describe how one needs some inner warmth to keep the soul fires going when the cold seems endless.  Frederick also teaches how each person's unique talents are valuable. It'll give you and the kidlets the warm fuzzies.

Back to us.

One of my favorite ways to bring warmth to our home is to diffuse some great warming blends. (Stay tuned for cold abyss weapon #2 - our chai tea latte recipe)!

If you're looking for some diffuser blends to support warm thoughts this week, while we thaw a little from the snow and ice blessings, try out these essential oil blends:

Cozy Up
3 drops Wild Orange
3 drops Cinnamon or Cassia
2 drops Clove (my favorite!)

If you want to toss a little up north in to your blend...

4 drops Wild Orange
3 drops Siberian Fir (Douglas Fir works great too!)
2 drops Cinnamon

To warm up and bust the germ crud...

Winter Warrior
3 drops OnGuard
2 drops Wild Orange
2 drops Frankincense

Our tried and true essential oils come from here. If you're not in to cold mist diffusing, but are seeking the benefits of essential oils, take a peek over here.