Health “Potion”

With the changing seasons, itโ€™s so important to support a strong & healthy immune system!

Raw, local honey ๐Ÿฏ and essential oils ๐Ÿ’ฆ are two things that are a part of my daily routine this time of year!

To make this particular “potion,” I boil water on the stove (no microwaving!) and then let it cool to a temperature that is drinkable. At this point, I stir in a spoonful of raw, local honey, that has one drop of Young Living Thieves Vitality and one drop of Young Living Lemon Vitality. The honey helps the oils and water to mix, plus it has its own amazing health benefits!

All of this tastes so much better in my Rae Dunn POTION mug!

Essential Oils & Dogs

So many people wonder if essential oils are safe to use on and around dogs. It is a fair question, because so many essential oils on the market are NOT safe to be used on or around dogs…or humans. Some essential oils are made in a lab using synthetic fragrances, very similar to the process of making perfume. Others are distilled from actual plants, but they are distilled using toxic chemicals that then are in the essential oils that come from these plants. In either case, the product that is labeled as an essential oil does contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs…and humans.

The great news is there is one brand of oils that come from plants that are grown without pesticides or other toxic chemicals, that are distilled through a steam distillation process, and are tested for purity before being sold to the consumer. This brand is Young Living Essential Oils!

Young Living actually has an entire line of essential oils specially formulated for pets, called Animal Scents. If you’re just starting to use essential oils with your dogs, this is probably the easiest place to start!

However, you don’t have to limit yourself to just these oils. As you can see from the photo above, Selah is a huge fan of essential oils! I had my oils out to organize them the other day, and Selah came into the room and kept scooting closer and closer until she was right up next to them. It was super funny to watch her creeping closer and closer, as if I wasn’t going to notice her if she moved really, really slowly ๐Ÿ˜‚

The key when using essential oils with your dog is to 1) use a brand that is safe and 2) start slow. I always knew Young Living’s oils were SAFE to use on and around Selah, but when she was an itty bitty puppy, she didn’t like to be close to a diffuser when it was turned on or next to me when I had just applied oils to myself. The scent was a bit overpowering for her. However, as she got older, she started exploring oils on her own. She would go right up next to the diffuser and sniff the air coming out or crawl up next to me in bed and sniff my neck when I had just applied oils.

Once Selah started showing these signs of interest, I started using oils actually on her…very slowly. The thing to remember is that dog’s are much more sensitive to smell than we are, plus in Selah’s case, she is much smaller than I am. So when I think about oil application for her, I use way less than I would use on myself for the same purpose.

At 7 months old, as you can see from this photo, Selah is quite comfortable around essential oils. In fact, she often picks the oil that she needs! I will put out a few oils in front of her, and she will move some out of the way and then sniff the one that she needs and keep sniffing it until I open it up for her. Our bodies know what we need if we will simply listen…

Just like with humans, there is no one way to use essential oils with dogs. Each one is unique, each one has their own individual needs, and each one will be drawn to different oils. That being said, there are some oils that people often use with success with their dogs, and those oils are a great place to start! Oils like Lavender, Copaiba, Peace & Calming, and Frankincense are some favorites in addition to the Animal Scents line!

If you’re already using Young Living Essential Oils with your pets, which are some of your pups favorites?

*Disclaimer: When using essential oils with dogs, just like with humans, it is wise to do your research and learn how to safely and effectively use the oils. Ideas shared in this post are what have worked for my dog and other dogs I know, but your dog is unique and you’ll have to take some time to figure out what works best for him/her. It’s always best to consult a holistic veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s health and how essential oils might be used in conjunction with their wellness routine.

This Recipe is “The Bomb”

I love experimenting with new ways to use essential oils! Even after nearly four years of using essential oils, I’m continually learning new and beneficial ways to use my oils!

So where do I find new recipes? Some recipes I’ve found in reference books, like the Essential Oils Desk Reference from Life Science Publishers. Other recipes have come from friends sharing a DIY recipe that has worked for them…I seriously have gotten some of the BEST recipes through word of mouth! I also have a few recipe books that I’ve acquired over the years where I’ve found some real winners!

“The Bomb” is a recipe that comes from a booklet by Melissa Poepping that is now out of print, The Chemical Free Home. According to the book, this recipe is for “lighter, happier periods.” Hello, ladies, who doesn’t want that??? ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

The recipe calls for 10 drops Cypress, 10 drops Geranium, and 2 drops Helichrysum, plus some V-6 Carrier Oil.* Carefully drop the essential oils into an empty 15 ml YL bottle, then top off the bottle with Young Living’s V-6 Carrier Oil and put a YL roller fitment on top. Now you’re ready to go!

I apply this recipe to my lower abdomen and/or my inner ankles. I’m sure you can figure out the application to the abdomen area, but you might be wondering why the inner ankles? According to many naturopathic sources, the inner ankles are a great place to apply things that help with healthy hormone balance for women. I’m not a science nerd, and I don’t have the best explanation of exactly why that is, but I do know that it seems to be a great application point for me personally, so it might be worth a try for you as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, don’t forget, another BFF for every woman who wants happy hormones is Progessence Plus. Oh my goodness! That is a whole separate post, but any time I’m talking about happy hormones, I can’t help but mention this little gem! ๐Ÿ’Ž

What are your favorite essential oils for happy hormones?

*Please note: V-6 does contain wheat germ oil, so if you’re highly sensitive to wheat, you might want to choose a different carrier oil to use in this recipe.

DIY Soft Scrub for Sparkling Clean Sinks!

I don’t know about you, but porcelain sinks used to be one of my LEAST favorite parts of the house to clean, because it required so much elbow grease to get them sparkling. All that has changed!

Check out my sink today, after rinsing it with warm water, but before scrubbing:

 

All of what you see above are set in stains from before we moved into this house. Yuck!

 

Today, I was finally ready to tackle this beast of a sink situation. The amazing thing is it only took 2 simple ingredients!

 

You probably recognize the first ingredient on the left, good ol’ baking soda! I have tried cleaning sinks with baking soda alone, and it helped lighten the stains, but it didn’t remove them. That is why I decided to experiment with adding one more ingredient to the mix–Thieves Household Cleaner concentrate!

I put one cup of baking soda and one capful of Thieves Cleaner into this small bowl, and this was the resulting “paste” that it produced.

I then wet my sink, and spread this paste all over the sink, using just my fingers. I could have used a sponge, but I didn’t have one handy so I tried using just my hands first, and it worked perfectly! I wish I had a photo of the “during” process, but my hands were too dirty to snap a pic. I just lightly moved the paste around the sink, using slight pressure, but no actual scrubbing. I then rinsed the sink with warm water, and I was SHOCKED by what I saw!!!

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Are you ready for it???

Look at how SPARKLING white this sink is!!! All of this without using any harsh chemicals!

This same method works for cleaning bathtubs as well, so give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Oh, wait, one more thing! If you are not yet a Young Living member and would like a FREE sample of Thieves Household Cleaner, please contact me using the “Contact Us” tab at the top of the website and I’d love to chat with you & get a sample to you!

 

Puppy Hair Care!

It has been a bit cold & rainy here the last few weeks, and yet Selah doesn’t have that horrible “wet dog” smell that so many pups do. Because of this, I get asked all the time how I keep Selah’s hair so soft and smelling so great.

I have a couple of tricks! In addition to providing her with a nutrient-rich diet, I bathe Selah using Young Living’s Animal Scents Shampoo! This shampoo does not contain the toxic ingredients that many doggie shampoos contain, such as synthetic fragrances and sodium lauryl sulfate. Those toxic ingredients are drying to a dogs hair or fur, which can cause it to be dry and not shiny, plus they can be irritating to the skin. Animal Scents Shampoo does not contain any of these toxic ingredients, PLUS it is infused with essential oils which are soothing to the skin, nourishing to the hair and fur, and smell absolutely amazing!!! Because the shampoo is non-drying, I can wash Selah as often as necessary and not worry about her hair or skin getting dry or irritated. So any time she decides to play in mud puddles, I just give a quick little bath!

In addition to baths, I wipe Selah down with Young Living’s Seedlings Baby wipes every night before bed, plus any time she gets a bit dirty outside. They have a soft, lavender scent, and she loves them! She will sniff the wipes and her hair after I wipe her down, and because there are only safe ingredients in these wipes, I don’t have to worry about her absorbing harmful chemicals!

For more info on either of these products, you can hop over to the Essential Oils tab at the top of the website or click here.

DIY Carpet Deodorizer

During the fall and winter months, with people spending more time indoors, the heater blowing, and less fresh air circulating through open windows, carpets can get rather musty smelling. Many people turn to commercial carpet deodorizing powders without realizing that these contain toxic ingredients which have been linked to allergies and asthma. This is especially worrisome if you have babies crawling on your carpet or pets who not only walk on the carpet, but often spend a lot of time playing and napping on the carpet. Toxic chemicals are absorbed through the skin, and they are absorbed more rapidly in children than adults.

There is absolutely no need to put something potentially hazardous on your carpets when it is so simple to make your own carpet deodorizer that does not contain any toxic ingredients! Literally, all you need is 2 ingredients!

To make what is pictured above, you will need a Mason jar (any size), Ball Herb Shaker Lids (can be found on Amazon and also at many local retails), baking soda, and your favorite Young Living Essential Oils! I like the Purification blend, because it is odor-neurtralizing, plus I usually add in another oil that is just a scent I enjoy. Today, it is StressAway!

You then sprinkle this mixture on your carpets, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then vacuum it up!

Now, here are a few more tips:

  1. You can also re-use a parmesan cheese shaker or any other container that has a top that works well for sprinkling the mixture onto your carpets! I’m all about using what you have on hand when you can!
  2. I have tested out simply putting baking soda on the carpet and vacuuming it up, and I didn’t find it did much to eliminate odors. Seems the key is add essential oils!
  3. Lastly, the type of essential oils you use make a difference! You will not see these results using cheap fragrance oils that you pick up at the grocery store. Those are typically either heavily diluted essential oils (so not very powerful) or they are not essential oils at all–they are fragrances made in a lab, just like perfume.

Non-Toxic Face Masque

I don’t know about you, but I keep seeing all of these expensive chemical peels and face masques for sale. More than the cost, what is concerning is the highly toxic ingredients in them!  Even before I was all out “crunchy,” reading the label on every single item I purchased, I never felt good about putting something on my face that had harsh chemicals. It just seemed like a really risky idea, especially something that goes close to your EYES!  So, basically, I’ve just stayed away from face masques.

However, recently I’ve seen varying versions of a masque circulating amongst my friends that is made with only 6 ingredients, all of them safe & all-natural!

Four of the ingredients are ones I already had on hand! As you can probably tell from the 1-gallon jar, I use apple cider vinegar for ALL.THE.THINGS. But for real. I do. The essential oils are also ones I already had on hand, as Tea Area, Frankincense, and Rosemary are super multi-purpose oils that I use for a ton of different things!

The two ingredients I did not have on hand were Bentonite Clay and Activated Charcoal. Let me be real with you for a hot second. I have been wanting to make this recipe for several weeks now, and every time I went to the health food store, I’d forget to look for these two ingredients. Finally, I just hopped on Amazon and ordered them! One thing I love about ordering on Amazon is that I can read the reviews to see others’ experiences with the brands. I spent about 15 minutes researching each of these before deciding on these brands. They seemed to be the best quality with cleanest ingredients. The sizes that I bought offered the most “bang for your buck,” but you could also buy smaller sizes and save a bit of money up front. I knew I’d be making lots of this stuff and probably also giving some as gifts this holiday season, so I went ahead and sprung for the “value size” containers!

After mixing all of the ingredients together (recipe at bottom), I applied the mixture to my face!

This is my “I didn’t realize I the masque was going to quite this dark” face. I’m not sure what I expected, exactly, but not this!  It felt really nice, not at all itchy or tingly. The masque is supposed to be left on for 30 minutes until it is fully dry, and this pic was taken after about 10 minutes. You can see that some areas are drying and some are still pretty wet.

This is my face immediately after removing the masque! You can see that some areas are a bit red, which is to be expected. After removing the masque, you want to wash your face thoroughly as the masque removes toxins from your skin that you don’t want re-absorbed. You can see there is still a bit of the masque in some areas, and I did wash my face one more time after taking this photo to make sure everything came off!  I also immediately applied toner, which you always want to do after a masque to restore the pH balance to your skin. After about 45 minutes, the redness was completely gone and my face felt great! The best way I can describe it is to say it felt more smooth and firm, with no greasiness.

So, how did I make the masque? SUPER SIMPLE!

1 tsp bentonite clay

1 tsp activated charcoal

2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar

1 drop each of Frankincense, Rosemary, and Tea Tree essential oils!

Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier! Just stir until there is a mud-like consistency, and then gently apply to your face! I used a fan brush for easier application, but you can also just use your fingers!

When you try this out, let me know how you like it!

DIY Hair Spray

I’ve been on a journey the past 5 years to eliminate toxic chemicals from my home. This actually started way before I learned about essential oils. I learned that synthetic fragrances lead to all sorts of health problems, such as allergies and asthma, and they are endocrine disruptors. Yuck!

After learning this, I started ditching a lot of the products that were in my cabinets. One of them was hair spray! For several years, I just did without it. I’m not a high-maintenance type of gal, so it wasn’t a big deal…other than those times when I wanted to get a bit more done up for a special event.

Last year, I found a recipe for a DIY hair spray using essential oils and a few other all-natural ingredients. To my surprise, it worked great! ย No nasty chemicals, staying power, and {BONUS!} it made my hair smell great!

This recipe comes from the book The Chemical Free Home by Melissa Poepping. If you don’t have it yet, you should totally grab a copy! ย The spray bottle is one that I purchased online, then I used my Cricut to design and cut a fun vinyl label! ย The essential oils are all Young Living Essential Oils, which are free of synthetic fillers and fragrances and so nourishing for the hair!