Saturday, June 14, 2014

VISIT OUR NEW PERMANENT SITE!!

Come see my new location at Life On The Urban Farm!!! I have made my blog more permanent so please come see it at the link provided!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Some Of My Favorite Ways To Use Essential Oils to Spring Clean

Like most people I love spring and getting things all fresh and clean. Something about the smell of having my windows open and my whole house smelling fresh clean just really helps me feel so ready to get up and get stuff done. Being I make all my cleaners, I rotate through which essential oils that I use to keep things fresh and new as the seasons change. For me it's the greatest part of making my own supplies and using essential oils. Being there are so many EO's that have great cleaning properties, it makes this fun to look through and see which will make the spring cleaning cut.

Last year I didn't have dōTERRA to play with, so this year I am REALLY excited to play around with some new scents and better properties from higher quality oils. I mean, WHO WOULDN'T be??? So I am going to go through the ones I am picking for this year and how I am using them. This year I plan to use Lavender, Purify, Citrus Bliss and Peppermint. 

Being I love explaining why I use the oils I do I will lay it out below...

Lavender - This oil ALWAYS amazes me with its versatility. For cleaning I love the fact that this oil hosts properties of being antifungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial. The fact that it has that sedative/calming effect makes this one that I use a lot on my homemade wool drier balls to keep my laundry smelling fresh and clean. I also LOVE to take some smaller little wool balls and place them in my clothes drawers with lavender on them also. That way I keep the scent going and everytime I open my drawers it smells AWESOME with a fresh whoosh of lavender. 


Purify - This one is newer to me, but I am so excited to have added it to my collection. Talk about another versatile oil that does more than one thing. This oil blend hosts all of the great oils listed below and helps lend to it not only being great when used in my homemade all purpose cleaner, but leaves a complex, fresh scent that seems to change from one great facet to another.  I found this recipe from Andrea at Frugally Sustainable. This also works great when mixed with my vinegar that I use in my floor cleaner.  I infuse my vinegar with lemon peels and then add about 10-20 drops of purify into the infused vinegar and measure out what my cleaner says for cleaner to water ratio. Being I have my lemon tree in back I just use the juice and then chop up the lemon peel and put it in a jar covered in vinegar and let sit for about 2-3 weeks. 

This is another great oil to use in my son's room in his drawers. Oh my goodness pre-teens can be stinky and purify really helps cut through that. Plus added to a small glass spray bottle and add some water and I now have a great spray for the bathroom!!! It's fresh and being it has great antibacterial properties what better place to spray it but in a bathroom and pre-teen boys room. Being this is a blend, there are several parts that make this fantastic for spring cleaning. It has a fresh clean citrus smell that, for me, really brings a bright feeling into what it's used on. This has citronella in it and this makes for an AWESOME addition to those winter clothes that need to be put away for the summer! Place some Purify on a small rag and add it to your clothes before packing them away.  Here are the oils in the Purify blend:

Lemon - has antiseptic and antiviral properties. Also the uplifting properties of lemon are great for spring cleaning. 

Lime - this has antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. 

Pine - has antimicrobial properties along with antiseptic properties. 

Citronella - has antiseptic, antibacterial, deodorizing, insecticidal, purifying and sanitizing properties. 

Melaleuca - this has antibacterial, antifungal, anti infectious, antiseptic, antiviral and immune stimulant properties. 

Cilantro - relaxing, uplifting, refreshing and has been known to potentially help memory. 

Citrus Bliss - Oh I am excited to be using TWO new blends for me this year!! I am usually not a citrus kind of person. I have really found when cleaning that these citrus ones pack a nice punch and add a clean fresh smell that helps calm and yet refresh. This blend is another one that is next to be used on my floors for cleaning and in my multipurpose cleaner to help me to change things up. Laura over at House of Joyful Noise posted a great recipe for all purpose cleaner that I am going to add Citrus Bliss to. This one is also making it into some foaming hand soap for the "public" bathroom that we have in our main area.  What says spring more than fresh citrus?! 

Wild Orange - antiseptic and sedative/calming

Lemon -  has antiseptic and antiviral properties. Also the uplifting properties of lemon are great for spring cleaning. 

Grapefruit - Antiseptic, disinfectant, stimulant and definite uplifting smell for cleaning. 

Mandarin - refreshing and uplifting and revitalizing. Helps to combat street and irritability. 

Bergamot - antibacterial (strep and staph infection, great for after cold and flu season!), anti infectious, antiparasitic, antiseptic, and uplifting. 

Tangerine - calming

Clemantine - soothing and sedating

Vanilla bean extract - calming and helps eases tension. 

Peppermint - Ok, so I have to admit I just absolutely LOVE using peppermint to spring clean. It's so energizing and refreshing and, for me, it just makes everything smell super clean. I use peppermint in my homemade soaps for after hot days out hiking in the sun. While you do have to be careful as to what parts of your body you use the soap on, it makes my homemade soaps refreshing and cools the body naturally. I always come out ready to get on with my day, energized and smelling great. Mixed with baking soda, peppermint Castile soap and a few drops of peppermint EO's I make a paste that I use to clean grout, sinks, bathroom showers/tubs, etc. Peppermint is one of the EO's that is perfect for my all purpose cleaner for bathrooms. With there being no windows in any of my bathrooms I love having a fresh, stronger smell that lasts and is refreshing. Peppermint is great due to its antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and invigorating properties. 

Spring cleaning can be so overwhelming sometimes, but having fun new ways to tackle getting the house ready for spring and the newness it brings definitely helps!

This blog post is part of a larger group effort from the dōTERRA team I am associated with. Make sure you visit all who have contributed to this AWESOME tour!!! I couldn't be more blessed to be a part of such a successful group of people. If you want to know more about joining my growing successful team, make sure you head on over to my dōTERRA page and learn more!!! 


 

Monday -  March 17th

4 Fresh Scent Natural Bathroom Solutions

http://www.littlehouseonthevalley.com

Post:http://littlehouseonthevalley.com/2014/03/natural-fresh-scent-bathroom-solutions/

 

Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

www.weedemandreap.com

Post: http://www.weedemandreap.com/homemade-carpet-deodorizer-essential-oils/

 

Clean& Deodorize Refrigerator

http://www.bloom-doula.com/blog/

Post: http://bloom-doula.com/blog/clean-and-deodorize-your-refrigerator/

 

Spring Cleaning Made Fun!

http://frontierblessings.com

Post: http://frontierblessings.com/2014/03/spring-cleaning-made-fun/ 

 

Tuesday - March 18th

Spring Cleaning Your Floors with EssentialOils

http://www.thepaleomama.com

POST: http://thepaleomama.com/2014/03/cleaning-floors-essential-oils/


How To Make Reed Diffusers With Essential Oils

http://www.livingtraditionally.com/make-reed-diffusers-essential-oils/

 

All Purpose Cleaner & Washing Curtains

http://www.houseofjoyfulnoise.com

POST: http://houseofjoyfulnoise.com/an-all-natural-all-purpose-spray-cleaner-recipe-and-washing-curtains-giveaway/

 

 

Wednesday - March 19th

DIY Daily Shower Cleaner

www.theprairiehomestead.com


Aroma Therapy

http://www.laramsey.com


Homemade Laundry Soap

http://scentsablehome.com/


Spiders and Pests Away

www.naptimewarrior.com

 

Thursday - March 20th

Keeping the Home in Homestead: So it doesn't smell like the barn

http://www.mamakautz.com


Making Musty Rooms Smell Like Spring

http://wholelottasomethin.com/


Deep Cleaning with On Guard

http://independencefarms.blogspot.com

POST: http://independencefarms.blogspot.com/2014/03/spring-cleaning-deep-cleaning-with.html


Room Sprays for Stinky Boys!

http://homewiththeboys.net

POST: http://homewiththeboys.net/room-sprays-stinky-boys/

 

 

Friday - March 21st

“The Bucket List” – How To clean withnatural products

www.anourishedhome.com


Keeping The Bugs Out

http://janasapothecary.com


Chemical Free Kitchen Cleaners

www.somethingforeveryonetoenjoy.com 


 

Saturday - March 22nd

Fresh House With Stinky Boys

http://www.themobsociety.com


MAMA IS SPRING CLEANING {WITH HER OILS}.

www.mamaisoiled.com

post: www.mamaisoiled.com/spring-cleaning


Spring Cleaning Your Car The Natural Way

www.thejoyfulhomestead.com




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Just a Week In My Life With Special Needs Kiddos and Using Essential Oils...

My kiddos come from varying background being 4 of them are adopted. It always poses unique challenges and great rewards. Our biggest challenges so far have been the behavior issues and one that has a pacemaker. For the past few weeks we have had quite a few successes with both of those I would love to share! 


Lets start with my "battery boy"... My son was born and raised until the age of 7 by his birthmother and when I got him he had quite a few emotional issues and a heart condition that has been quite the challenge at times. Battery boy has Cardiomyopathy with sick sinus syndrome and non-compaction syndrome to boot. He has been pacemaker dependent his whole life. Not the this stopped us (once in my care) from finding ways to make sure he is active and healthy. Not one person that meets him and learns of his heart issues doesn't exclaim "I would have never guessed you have heart issues". That always makes both of us feel good being we know as a team he and I have kept him as normal as possible. The problems we have faced are broken pacemaker leads (he currently is up to at least 3 in the time I have had him, 9 years) and a fast heart rate from aberrant pacemaker sites that arise naturally in his heart. His last lead replacement was a challenging one because he now is at the age that he is fully aware we usually have a couple options and they usually range from very invasive (sewing leads directly onto his heart) to fairly minor (generator change that only requires them to go into the shoulder "pocket" to remove the old and place a new one). We once again had those potentials and THANKFULLY we managed to have the fairly minor surgery.

For my family I have attempted to keep Western medicine as much on a "as needed" basis keeping my kiddos off the OTC meds and prescription meds as much as possible. The fact that my son was now going to be going through surgery we decided we would work with some oils to see how we could help my son get through all he potentially and eventually was going to have to have done. We started before surgery with some lavender placed just in his nares of his nose because there has been a couple studies done on post surgical pain and the decreased need for more pain medication post surgically. Secondly due to the fact that my son gets VERY anxious before being put under we placed some balancing type blend along with lavender and frankincense on his toes and back of his neck. After surgery the nurses were AMAZED (as was I) that he needed no extra pain meds (yes I let him have what they gave him being it was for less than 24 hrs. he was going to be on them). Before discharge I made sure to have them shred all pain med prescriptions because I told them we would be doing oils and if for some reason those didn't control the pain that I would do Tylenol and Ibuprofen since heavier meds just weren't needed. 


We went home and for 24 hours we layered (placed one oil and then another) frankincense, lavender and lemongrass AROUND NOT ON the incision being careful not to get any on the glue they used instead of sutures (oils can potentially degrade the glue so that was a definite "do not do").  My son came out on the second morning home and smacked me jokingly, he was IN AWE that he had absolutely NO PAIN and we didn't need to use any more after that. It astounded me that the body could use a natural herb in liquid form to help relieve pain. The only oil we used after the pain was managed was helichrysm, that again we used around the incision to help his body to heal faster. After one week we went to the Nurse Practitioner and she was really happy with how quickly and easily he had healed! He looked great. The best part was this was just one of the great successes we had that week.

My other son during the time that we were in the hospital dealing with battery boy, was at school and as I sat at the hospital I received yet another e-mail from his teacher. Getting e-mails from my son's teacher is nothing new. He has definite ADHD and all that goes with that. I have him on meds (I couldn't find any natural ways that worked for him) to help him catch up and be able to at least function in school but we STILL had issues with him. I had just finally fought, and fought, and fought, to get him an IEP which started right before we ended up in the hospital with battery boy. I opened the email and to my shock and surprise it was a glowing email wondering what I had done to make him do a complete 180 degree change! It took me a minute and then it dawned on me that we had decided to try an oil blend that Friday before all this stuff had happened. I was excited and wondering if that truly was it. SO I had my husband continue with the oils during the week to see if he stayed with those good behaviors and explained why. His teacher continued to be amazed at how awesome my son's behaviors were and even noticed that he was concentrating better and getting the material more than ever before. Because I was in complete disbelief I tried another oil blend one day after getting back from the hospital to see if it worked better, his teacher notice immediately and told me to go back to what we were using before because that one was working awesome. 


Weeks have now passed and the school staff has been amazed at the progress my son has made AND we were able to decrease his Concerta by 18 mg! He is still making progress that we have never seen and he even has made it difficult to go with all we identified in his IEP plan right before we started our oils protocol. After years of trying so many different things this has been the biggest success for us. Instead of tears of frustration as it  I am fighting for a little boy that has brought me huge joy and seems overly frustrating for so many, I FINALLY am able to have tears of joy as I hear all the great reports about him. Not that we haven't had a couple days that some of the behaviors don't creep back in, those do happen. He still has ADHD (we use the oils to help with the behaviors), the best part is those are so much fewer and far between, and the smile that my son has on his face as he triumphantly comes home from school after having an awesome day is enough to make me want to tear up every day. I still haven't been able to completely get him off his meds and I am completely happy to have reduced him almost to his starting dose that at the time made very little change. I can't wait to go back to his pediatrician and talk over potential plans as to how she and I can work to get my son off meds or down to the smallest dose possible without making him go backward in all the progress we have made. I make sure I let our physicians know what oils I am doing and why, first off the education to them is good and secondly I want to ensure we are all knowing what the other is doing. This is especially important when other medications are involved. 

SO as you can see, we have had some awesome successes lately integrating oils into our lives. I realize some would criticize me for having them on any meds at all and I see your point. For us and how I know my family to work, this has been huge strides. I also want to show those that feel afraid to say they have or are using medications to know that you don't have to be ashamed. I am always working to keep my kiddos off them but at times they are warranted in making sure my kiddos are able to function and go forward in how they live their lives. I am always trying new things to help them and sometimes that means a combination of traditional and western approaches to achieve that goal. 

Below are the protocols we used, again this worked for us and just like anything these results vary for other people. I am sharing them for those who have asked what I used. I use only high quality oils when I use oils on my family. That was the reasoning for me going with DoTERRA. 

Pain protocol

Layer one oil on top of another allowing a few seconds inbetween to allow for absorption. Lemon grass can be irritating to the skin so I recommend diluting it with a carrier oil prior to application. A few drops of each on the area that has pain and then massaging in worked the best for us. We have used this also for sore/injured muscles. This one is a favorite at our house!! We still have Ibuprofen and Tylenol at our house but we rarely use them now for muscle soreness. This isn't a cure, just a natural way to help our bodies to do what it wants to do, heal. 

Lemon grass

Frankinscence

Lavender


Relaxing Blend

This blend has become a go to for my kiddos and helping them in relaxing before sleep and with my ADHD kiddo to help him to control some of those behaviors at school. It's definitely not a "miracle oil" or "cure" but for him it really has made a difference in how he controls his behaviors at school. Oils are a great way for us here to empower our kiddos to use what God has provided to help them through their day. 

20 drops of a balancing/grounding blend (made up of spruce, ho wood, Frankinscence, blue tansy, blue chamomile and fractionated coconut oil)

20 drops lavender

5-10 drop Frankinscence (I have recently gone up to the 10 drops for the focusing aspect)

5 drops Vetiver 

I mix all these in a 5 cc roller bottle then fill to the neck with a carrier oil (usually one infused with lavender and chamomile) and my kiddos apply this themselves. I have their mixes down where we eat and, while I supervise, they are allowed to put them on (my kiddos are 9,10 and 11). Just another way to help empower them in helping themselves and their behaviors. This blend they apply to their finger tip pads (we do all of them but the thumbs are the reflexology point for the brain), then all the top pads of their toes (again the big toe is the brain reflexology point), back of the neck and base of the brain area. I also have them apply behind the ears and wrists which I have them do to help with naturally allowing their bodies to diffuse the scent throughout the day. My ADHD son applies this morning and then at night to help him to calm down before bed. He has found sleeping is easier with it and he has been able to sleep through the night better. Again, our bodies know how to use oils to help reach the states it needs to be in. So while this may not cure issues or cause sleep to happen, we have found in our house this really helps our bodies do what they need to naturally.  

Resources;









Disclaimer: Please understand that this information is for educational purposes only. I am a mom, I am not a doctor, I enjoy passing on the knowledge I have learned in doing these types of projects and through my research. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. Don’t take my word for it…you should always engage conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional to determine potential drug interactions and safety of use. Always when using essential oils for a medical condition or if on prescribed or over the counter drugs, seek advice from a medical professional (DR./PA/NP/Naturopath/pharmacist) on whether the oils will cause potential adverse reactions. 

These practices are what work for me and my family, if you chose to take and use them I encourage you take my research and do some of your own prior to using the tips I give. While I do a lot of research when putting these posts out it generally fits into what I would do with and for my family. If you have specific issues, allergies or conditions these practices may not work or may be detrimental to what you are intending to do for yourself. Again, I encourage wisdom and discussions with your healthcare provider to determine safe use of all posts that I provide that can be used for health reasons. 

Also know most of my posts contain links to products I have an affiliate association with. As a blogger I don't make much (if anything at all) and when you use links that any blogger, not just me, posts you help us to continue to buy supplies to provide fun posts with ideas and recipes that can be used. None of the links I post cost you any more because you have used my link, but do benefit the posts I do. We are thankful that affiliate sites have chosen to use their marketing budgets to help out those of us who love doing what we do and chose this way to market versus  bigger ad campaigns. This is definitely a great way to support more local businesses/venues!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Coconut Oil Laundry Stick


Since I went to making my own laundry detergent, I figured I should make my own laundry stain stick to treat stains. Knowing that coconut oil and Eucalyptus worked well for cleaning and stains, I put the two together to make my own stain stick. I have also added lemon essential oil to help with the cleaning factor. I make the stick towards the harder side of a soap making process so that I can just wet the clothes first and not get a mushy mess when I use my stick. This can be done in bar form too, I just like putting it in a container to help keep my hands from getting all soapy. 



The "recipe" is quite simple...

10 oz. coconut oil
1.75 oz. lye *
3 oz. water
1 Tablespoon Eucalyptus oil
1-2 teaspoons Lemon EO (you can add more or omit this)

* REMEMBER - don't take my calculations for granted, make sure to run your numbers through a lye calculator. I used the Majestic Mountain Sage, MMS to calculate this one. ALSO, remember add the lye to the water, NEVER the water to the lye (water to lye your going to die), it will explode hot water all over. 

First off I always get my sink filled with vinegar and water... Just FYI it truly takes a LOT of vinegar to neutralize lye solutions. I have usually not added as much as it would truly take to fully neutralize the lye. I still do it more for my own peace of mind but I thoroughly wash all my equipment after using it and my hands and arms to ensure I don't have any small lye crystals on my arms. I, personally, have never had an issue with making sure I neutralize and remove all lye from the equipment I use. That being said I encourage people to look up a solution that will best fit their sink, or wherever they are washing equipment, to make sure you have an adequate solution to neutralize the acid. There is a lot of differing opinions on what is the best method for cleaning soap making equipment. 

Next I ready my lye solution outside so it cools before I need it. How long I leave it outside definitely depends on the temperature and weather. I check it usually while my oils are melting. 


With this recipe I usually just melt my coconut oil in my little crockpot because I don't make a huge batch since I don't use this as quickly as my bath soap. Plus coconut oil doesn't take long to melt. Yes, the picture is of me doing it in my pot... I also like to let my lye solution cool a bit before adding to my oils to try to get them at the same temperature. 


Once my oils are melted I add the lye solution and then use a hand mixer to mix all the oils together with the lye and bring it to trace. Trace is when it starts to get really "cloudy" and starts to thicken to a runny pudding like state. Once you have achieved this you can add your essential oils and start pouring into your containers or molds for soap bars. Personally once I reach that state I do mix just a little bit more to ensure I have all the oils mixed with the lye. You have now started the saphonation process that is going to make your soap actual soap. 


Just like with soap you use on your body, you need to let the saphonization process happen for 4 wks to allow all the lye to process out. To use the bar after it's processed just wet your fabric and rub the bar over the area to be treated. 



Disclaimer: Please understand that this information is for educational purposes only. I am a mom, I am not a doctor, I enjoy passing on the knowledge I have learned in doing these types of projects and through my research. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. Don’t take my word for it…you should always engage conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional to determine potential drug interactions and safety of use. Always when using essential oils for a medical condition or if on prescribed or over the counter drugs, seek advice from a medical professional (DR./PA/NP/Naturopath/pharmacist) on whether the oils will cause potential adverse reactions. 

These practices are what work for me and my family, if you chose to take and use them I encourage you take my research and do some of your own prior to using the tips I give. While I do a lot of research when putting these posts out it generally fits into what I would do with and for my family. If you have specific issues, allergies or conditions these practices may not work or may be detrimental to what you are intending to do for yourself. Again, I encourage wisdom and discussions with your healthcare provider to determine safe use of all posts that I provide that can be used for health reasons. 

Also know most of my posts contain links to products I have an affiliate association with. As a blogger I don't make much (if anything at all) and when you use links that any blogger, not just me, posts you help us to continue to buy supplies to provide fun posts with ideas and recipes that can be used. None of the links I post cost you any more because you have used my link, but do benefit the posts I do. We are thankful that affiliate sites have chosen to use their marketing budgets to help out those of us who love doing what we do and chose this way to market versus  bigger ad campaigns. This is definitely a great way to support more local businesses/venues!!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY Baby Wash Cloths


I make a lot of "Mommy" products and needed a good addition to the collection. I know I STILL use my baby washcloths on my 4 year old. These are easy to make, affordable, and CUTE! I made sure to have a few different patterns and grabbed some terry cloth from the store also. I would HIGHLY suggest that a good thrift store look around would yield some cheaper and very nice terry cloth. 

I first picked a size that I wanted, I went with 6" x 7". Then I put "right sides together" and pinned them. 


Then I sewed the edges, leaving a small space to turn this back so I had the right side out...


Once the cloth is where it should be I actually ironed them flat THEN sewed it shut since I was able to get the opening set so it was easier to try to sew it shut and keep it not as noticeable. 


Since these are to sell and give as gifts I can easily add some Dr. Bronner's to be mixed with water and used on these great little washcloths!! :)