some of my favorite oil resources

I love my oily DIY because it helps me save so much money on my wellness journey.  There are lots and lots of awesome healthy alternatives but they tend to be pricey.  So I do a lot of diy (it is much easier than it seems) to help me have the quality ingredients I want, but at a price point that I am happy with at this stage.

I have lots of blogs and sites I love to reference. I wanted to share some of these and make it a one stop shop for everyone.

If you have ever tried a Face Oil you know how amazingly luxurious it is.  It can sound counter intuitive to use oil on your face if you’ve always been weary of breakouts but oil dissolves oil.  And stripping your body of its natural oils will only teach it to create more.  It makes some, you take it all away and it says, “oh, guys we need to make MORE oil”.  Face oil feels wonderful and it really helps my skin feel amazing.  The beauty of DIY is that you can customize it to YOUR needs.  My favorite site for guiding me through what I’ll need while keeping it simple is:

Crunchy Betty

Under eye cream is one of the few things I’ve been splurging on for years because my skin there is extra dry and I have dark eye circles.  I’ve always spent about $40-$50 for a little tub and that lasts for a long while so it didn’t feel like a huge deal.  BUT now I can make my own without the nasty toxins.  Using only a few good for me ingredients.  It’s amazing once you start to research that Shea Butter is actually great for under eyes because it smooths skin and reduces inflammation.  This is a nice simple recipe that I love:

Dr. Axe

I did leave out the aloe because I didn’t have any.

I also love this site for so many things that I can’t quite pick one.  She has great DIY recipes and a really good knowledge base for a natural home.

Wellness Mama

I’m about to make her bug spray!

If you have any other favorite resources for healthy living, please send them my way!

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so you’ve found a tick…

Ugh.

We found an embedded tick on my little.  blarg.  It is pretty common and we have this amazing modern medicine now so everything is pretty treatable.  I say this but I may have spazzed a little.

First we removed the gross bugger with tweezers.  I’ve heard too many conflicting things about all the other ways and just went with old faithful.  I put the creature, which was about the size of a sesame seed, into a ziploc bag and washed my hands.  Cleaned the spot on my little.  Called the pediatrician who is AMAZING (thank God for doctors and people who have devoted themselves to taking care of others!)!

I looked into my essential oil books and applied some lavender and tea tree oil on the site. Then decided I should crowd source from friends on what to do next.  There’s allllll sorts of information, antibiotics, tests, no tests, rashes, has to be embedded for x amount of time, only needs to be embedded for a minute, etc.  And I knew I wasn’t the first one to deal with this.  I’m really really happy I did and friends because I got all sorts of information and it was all pretty amazing. It was varied which I appreciate because it lets you explore your options for what gives you peace of mind.  So, I’m writing this because some of the things were so incredibly wonderfully helpful that I hope someone else can find it useful.

  1. First, save the tick.  Put it in a ziploc bag.  Wash your hands and maybe throw something like neosporin or essential oils or alcohol on the site. Take a picture of the creature.  Then put that ziploc bag in ANOTHER ziploc bag and put that in the freezer.
  2. Call your doctor to verify correct steps and precautions because things change all the time and I’m writing this blog right now in 2018.
  3. Submit the picture of the gross thing to www.tickencounter.org/tickspotters. They will respond in a couple days with what type of tick it is, how long they think it was embedded for, and the probability of it having an infection and the likelihood of you getting said infection.  ALL FROM A PICTURE!  And they sent us our report on a Sunday, so they are clearly working everyday to try to help give people some knowledge.  They also explain how they are able to tell, which is helpful.
  4. Take the frozen tick and put it in a padded envelope and mail it to www.tickreport.com.  Well don’t mail it to the website, but go to that site and follow their instructions.  You pay $50 and they’ll test the tick to see if it has any infections.  They’re amazing too.
    • They answer the phone and talk down freaked out moms (not me of course, I’m always super chill).
    • They will text you when your tick (something I never wanted as my own) arrives to them and just keep you in the general loop.
    • Your report is updated real-time so you can click on a link and see where they are with it.
    • You get results within 3 business days.
    • They apparently have all the ticks they’ve ever tested and keep them indefinitely in case you ever need to do more tests.

All of that is insane to me, and I’m so thankful that there are people out there devoted to this because it helps us evaluate further steps.  We are still in the waiting process for that report, but I wanted to share this because having outlined steps might help someone else.

What we do from here – antibiotics, blood testing, or nothing – will all depend on the report + doctor recommendations + mama taking care of her baby.  But these are first steps and some useful links.  I hope you are reading this for fun and not because you’ve just found a tick on your precious baby, but alas, here are steps to take if you need them.

whipped body butter

This body butter is to blame for my love of oils.  After months and months and months of skin issues with my little we were on the verge of getting prescription steroid lotions and I decided I’d make the time to make body butter at home using my Young Living Oils.  It was my last shot and I didn’t think it would help, but what did I have to lose?

So off to researching a million recipes for homemade whipped body butters online.  I love me some Wellness Mama and The Prairie Homestead but I ended up making a mix of things I found online.

And guys…it. is. magic.  At least for us it has been such a magical transformation!!  I love this stuff so much and it really is easy to make.  The hard part is making myself actually do it, but really it takes maybe 5-10 minutes of active time.  If you are experiencing the need for some moisture in your skin due to whatever, I really recommend it!

Kick the junky petroleum based crap out of your house and give this a try!  You have nothing to lose and a healthy body butter to gain!  Covering your skin, your largest organ with the junk that is on the shelves is no good, take control of where your dollars are going and add some goodness while also hopefully finding a fix!

Whipped Body Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 c. Shea Butter
1/4 c. Cocoa Butter
1/4 c. Coconut Oil
1/8-1/4 c. Grapeseed Oil
1/8 c. Beeswax Pellets

Essential Oils I like for my kiddos:

2-4 drops Tea Tree
2-4 drops Lavender
2 drops Cedarwood
2 drops Frankincense
2 drops Roman Chamomile

Note: The grapeseed oil can be replaced with any liquid oil of your choosing (almond, jojoba).  The beeswax pellets will make the body butter less greasy feeling.

To melt the ingredients you can use a double broiler or just grab a mason jar and put it in a pot of water, no need to go buy lots of new stuff!

  1. Over low heat melt beeswax pellets first.
  2. Once those are melted add shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil.
  3. Once everything is melted and stirred together, let it cool.
  4. Once cool, add essential oils stir it up and put it in a mixing bowl and then in the fridge to set.
  5. Once it has cooled completely, whip it up with a mixer!  That’s it!

img_0915Go and research what the different essential oils are good for and pick and choose your preferences.  I don’t use a lot of drops because my body butter is for my littles and a little goes a long way with amazing Young Living Oils.  And please, don’t put junky oils in your amazing body butter, you’ve done all that work, get the health benefits you’re seeking by using actual quality stuff!

img_1205

You can use all sorts of essential oils too!  If you want a post workout or cooling lotion use some peppermint or panaway.  If you want sleepy time lotion lavender and cedarwood are awesome options.  Seriously the combos are endless!

If you are interested in getting into essential oils, hit me up!  It can be overwhelming but it is so worth it and I’d love to hold your hand through it.  There’s a contact link up above to send me a message.

wellness and chemicals

So we kicked out plastics from our kitchen long ago. And we have been eating healthy for some time. But something that is a new realization to us is how MANY chemicals we allow into our home without even realizing it. It’s just so accepted to go to the store and get all the cleaners and soaps and lotions and such. Under eye cream – ask what is the best and just use it. Dry skin – oh this one is dermatologist recommended, grab it and go. Shower cleaner – bleaching power, yes please! Dish soap – gentle enough for animals in an oil spill, gentle enough for me!

Well, that’s over. So so so many of the things we bring into our home are filled with chemicals! These chemicals can be carcinogenic (cancer causing), endocrine disrupting (fertility? Thyroid?), allergy inducing, etc.

It’s crazy the things that we’ve just allowed into our home without blinking. I encourage everyone to download the “Think Dirty” app. Start scanning the things in your home. Even the things that you consider natural or plant-based. It is CRAZY!!!

Here’s some common home items and how they are graded:

You’ll be surprised with the grades you’ll find.  And you can click into the item and the ingredient to understand why it was graded as it was.  One of the most common offenders are things with “fragrance”.  When you click on that ingredient, you’ll see why exactly they have chosen to grade it so poorly. Look below at the “health impacts” for fragrance:

This is a huge reason why we’ve gone with Young Living! Candles, lotions, room sprays, etc.  I love the smell of a clean house and clean laundry and yummy soaps but I can get the same thing naturally!  No need to bring in possible carcinogens!  I am the gatekeeper to what comes into my home and I will not bring those things in if I don’t need to!  Why??  It’s also cheaper!!! Use wool dryer balls and pour a couple drops of essential oils on them instead of buying those awful for you dryer sheets! And I’m obsessed with my Thieves Cleaner. It’s super concentrated so that bottle will last me forever! But more importantly I can feel good about spraying it on our mattresses and clothes and carpet and shower and high chair!

The other awesome app to check out is the “EWG” app which is amazing for sunscreens, so make sure to check that one out now too! And make sure to scan your items before you buy!

We have switched out of this mindset and it can be scary and overwhelming but ultimately it is SO EMPOWERING!! I love that I’ve taken control of what comes into our home.  Replace items slowly so that the expense isn’t overwhelming, give your money to the companies that are willing to put your health before profit!

wellness journey

I feel like this wellness journey really began without me realizing.  I don’t even know that I’d call it a wellness journey so much as just trying to do well everyday.  I have been forced in some of my “wellness” journey because of health.  I’m fairly healthy so I can’t complain but for example, I have really bad allergies to RANDOM stuff and dust…very allergic to dust.  One of the things I’m allergic to is petroleum jelly which is in almost EVERYTHING we buy for skincare at the store.  I’m allergic to lanolin which is another ingredient that is supposed to help moisturize.  Things like that have forced me out of my comfort zone but I’m happy it has because…I don’t really want to slather petroleum products on my skin…I mean…ewww. But I couldn’t find any natural alternatives that didn’t cost a fortune or they just didn’t do the same.

With allergies you’re also told to lose all the good smelling things – detergents, fabric softeners, plug-ins, room sprays, candles, etc.  And clean sheet day just isn’t the same without that wonderful clean smell. But you do what you must.  I lived without those wonderful smelling things.

Then there was a plastic water bottle recall for the water bottles that EVERYONE used so that made me rethink plastics…they thought this was safe and then they changed their minds soooo what’s to say they’re not going to do the same with the other plastics? So off to glass and stainless we went.

Then I had kids and I definitely didn’t want all those chemicals around the kiddos.  Then my kiddos had dry skin and I slathered them in petroleum because nothing else worked and then that still didn’t work!  So I was forced to find other options again.

I have finally found some recipes for things that work for us.  Some homemade skin care.  Some oils. Some easy recipes.  I’m SO happy where we are and excited to keep moving forward on this.  I now have my yummy smelling laundry.  My clean (or citrus, or relaxing, or fall-like) smelling home.  I have affordable skincare that I know is good for our skin!

But I want to keep moving forward.  I want to take better care of myself.  Actually strengthen my core! Not because I want 6 pack abs but because I want my back to stop going out.  I want to be proactive with MYSELF so I can be better for them!  I want to maximize my time here on this planet but also enjoy myself.  I want to make good choices where I can for my family and the planet.  I want to be a good example to my daughter.  I want to be STRONG.  I have a lot of things I want and it is time to talk about how to work those in, because it is hard. There are only so many hours in each day, and only so much energy and coffee.

I hope that others can find some ideas here that maybe they haven’t tried yet.  And hopefully find a way of adding something healthful into their lives.  All are welcome and zero are judged!