Crunchy Cabinet Must-Haves

Here are my crunchy cabinets must-haves! The majority of money saving things I make at home are usually using one or more of these ingredients. The best part about them all is that they are under $20 dollars and last a good while depending on how much you use them. Check em’ out!

1. Baking Soda Average Cost: $3-$10

Not only can you use this in a pinch to brush your teeth if you run out of toothpaste, but you can also make deodorant, scent stones, dissolving shower disks, face scrub and use it for cleaning! The possibilities are endless, just do a quick google search of “baking soda uses” and you’ll see. Plus, it’s dirt cheap at the grocery store. I usually buy a ginormous bag at Costco.

2. Bentonite Clay $9

You can use this clay to make great mask, it leaves your skin feeling so smooth. If it makes a great mask that also means it’s great for sucking out impurities, so think about that next time you get an itchy bug bite!

3. Beeswax $10

Beeswax can be used to make lip balms, salves, chest rubs, candles and SO. MUCH. MORE. It hardens any liquid carrier oil you add it to. For my crafty friends you can use it to make those old school letter stamps. I regularly make stuff and give gifts using beeswax and a 16 ounce bag has lasted me at least a year. A little bit goes a long way!

4. Almond oil or Jojoba oil $12- $18

These are both mild liquid carrier oils. They are the closest to the oils that your skin naturally makes called sebum, which means it won’t leave you feeling super oily. Almond oil (because it’s cheaper) is my go to oil to use for rollers. When making things for sensitive skin like a baby oil, beard oil or face cleanser, I use jojoba.

5. Coconut oil $10 (16oz)$17 (for a freaking Gallon)

Oh how do I love thee, let me count the ways! I use this to make most of my hardened concoctions like lip balm, chest rub & booty balm. It removes makeup, hydrates skin, keeps your teeth and gums healthy and at least fifty other things I can think of on the top of my head. Google it. I put that ish on everything.

6. Vinegar $2-$8 (depending on the size you buy)

I usually buy the gallon at Costco for super cheap. Other than my Thieves cleaner, I like to use vinegar for crazy grime, soaking up and deodorizing pee stains and unclogging drains. Adding a little to your wash cycle helps take away static cling too!

7. Vitamin E oil $6

Vitamin e oil is so nourishing to the skin! It may help your skin maintain a youthful appearance and it hydrates like no other. But be careful it’s a heavy oil and if you’re prone to breakouts use it sparingly.

8. Raw Honey $10

It can naturally help with temporary coughs and help soothe a sore throat. I also like to use it for my thieves elderberry syrup!

9. Witch Hazel $7

You can make toners out of it and use it for room sprays as an emulsifier. It’s great for soothing skin and dry out oily prone skin.

10. Castile Soap $11

Skip the name brand and you’ll save some dinero. I buy unscented and use my essential oils to scent it! I use castile to make coconut body wash and foaming hand soap. One large bottle lasts me a year if I’m just using it for hand soap. Some folks like to use it for face wash also, but it’s not my personal preference.

11. Epsom Salt $5

It helps sore muscles, soothes skin and volumizes hair! I’m just starting down the rabbit trail that is the wonders of Epsom salt. I use it for my kiddos night time bath with essential oils, they help evenly disperse the oils in the bath water.

12. Aloe Vera Gel $16

Aloe Vera is so beneficial for the skin! You can throw it in the fridge and apply it after a long day out in the sun. I like to use it to make an on the go hand cleanser that is free of all the chemicals. You can even make facemasks by combining it with bentonite clay.

And there you have it! Buy one or two a paycheck if you’re on a tight budget and you’ll be stocked up in no time.

 

Making Teas with Essential Oils

One of my favorite ways to use essential oils and reap some delicious benefits, is by making teas with it. The main complaint I hear against this method is that when the tea is prepared there is a thin layer of oils chillin at the top of your cup. There is a reason! There is an order you want to go in that helps emulsify the oils into your cup of hot water. Emulsify means to finely disperse. So, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 1 Teaspoon (or however sweet you like it) of one of the following: Simple Syrup, Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave or your favorite liquid sweetener of your choice.
  2. Enough Hot water to put in a mug.
  3. 1-3 drops of your favorite high quality hot beverage essential oil. (I’ve placed some suggestions below)
  4. A glass or non- porous material mug (NO PLASTIC… your oils will be absorbed by the cup)

Here’s how you do it:

  1. In your mug, place the sweetener of your choice and essential oil.
  2. Stir it until the essential oils are thoroughly incorporated into your honey.
  3. Fill your mug the rest of the way with the hot water and mix until the sweetener dissolves!

Suggested Oils To Use:

  1. Lemon: Lemon and tea = Life
  2. Peppermint: Wonderful for digestive comfort.
  3. Ginger: May assist in curbing temporary bouts of nausea
  4. Thieves: This is a Young Living blend and it’s basically tea magic for throats. I feel like a new woman after a cup!

There you have it! Now go and enjoy your oil film free drink!

 

30 Days Plant Based

So we hopped on the bandwagon – for a month at least. We watched the documentary “What the Health” and that was the final straw for us to eat more plant based foods. I was already a big fan of 100 Days of real Food, but we went a little HAM on recipes like mac n’ cheese so we wanted to see what it would be like for us to just eat plants. It was a gradual process for us. First, we started taking down meat maybe eating it 3 times a week, then we ripped off the band aid. No dairy and no meat. 30 days. Just to see what would happen to our bodies.

Why We Went Plant Based

  1. We want to be healthier – My family is active but would like to find a lifestyle that would encourage slimmer bodies. We are happy where we’re at, but it would be nice to lose a few pounds and keep them off! We don’t want to live a life where we look forward to “cheat days” we just want to be happy and enjoy food.
  2. It’s cheaper (?) – I’ll explain why I put the question mark later. I have a big heart for low income families because that’s where I came from. I firmly believe that industries I won’t name, make profit from sick people and therefore will not go out of their way to help people with preventative health. The main victims of this heinous business practice are low income families. Having a healthy diet; which is one of the biggest ways we can prevent illness, should not be hard and should not require a lot of money. If any way is going to be cheap, sticking to the produce section would be it, right?
  3. We want to raise healthy children – I don’t want my children to have to relearn healthy eating habits because they didn’t learn them when they were young. I know children who have been raised on healthy diets and they grew up never having developed a taste for unhealthy options. I would like to duplicate that, please and thank you.
  4. Ailments- My Hubby has some heartburn and my children has some eczema. We’d like to see if a plant based diet would resolve that.
  5. Behavior – Word on the streets is, things like dyes and gluten can affect your child’s behavior. We believe one of our children may have some sensory issues so we wanted to see how things might change in the department.

How We Did It

We went cold turkey. Most people from my understanding usually go vegan after having been vegetarian for a while. Not us! We went from occasional Chicken to Kale in 24 Hours. I hopped on Pinterest and found anything my picky kids would eat. I did make myself a few of rules:

  1. No Fake meats (except for soyrizo)
  2. No overly processed food
  3. Go gluten free the last week

The first week I tried to make a lot of recipes that resembled meat like “nuggets” made from chickpeas and “mac n’ cheese” but honestly, I’d just rather not. The only thing that was legit was this cashew sour cream I made.

The second and third weeks were a breeze honestly. We felt good and just made house favorites without the meat and dairy. Like spaghetti, cereal etc.

The forth week was when we went gluten free. Would you like to know what’s more difficult than going vegan?! BEING FREAKING GLUTEN FREE AND VEGAN. I couldn’t find bread that wasn’t super processed and everything kinda tastes and feels like your chewing cardboard.  So we noticed a lot of changes for the good, but some things sucked. I’m a “bad news first” kinda gal so let’s start there!

The Bad

It got boring for us fast. If we plan to stick this out, we will have to find some flavor variations. After a while everything tasted the same. I think that was my bad though.

I missed tacos and my favorite Mexican foods in general. We live right next to Tijuana, Mexico. The struggle is real when you can’t eat carne asada. I have yet to find a meatless alternative that resembles the real deal and I doubt I ever will. The question is CAN I ACCEPT THAT AS MY EVERYDAY LIFE?! *Stares dramatically into the distance*…… at least salsa molcajete is vegan.

It was labor intensive. Look, if it was socially acceptable to change my name to “maximum results with minimum effort” I would. Lots of food processor usage and roasting and yeah…. No thanks. Again, probably my fault.

It was hard to get the kids on board. They didn’t get why they couldn’t have cheese sticks and pizza. BUT by the end of the month they were saying “WE’RE VEGAN NOW WE CAN’T EAT PIZZA MOM” So. Freaking. Funny to hear from some 4 and 6 year olds.

It was not as cheap as I thought. “Shi-shi poo-poo” grocery stores (*cough cough* sprouts) were racking me up at about $300 bills for 2 weeks’ worth of organic produce and vegan pantry items. I will have to find a solution to that because yeah, no.

That’s about it though! Other than that, lots of awesome things happened.

The Good

My son’s behavior improved. He seemed a bit more mild mannered. He was a little less aggressive. And a little less of a freaking psychopath throughout the day. Just a little though. I think cutting the dyes effected his behavior the most.

My kids skin looked great. The day we started back on our regular diet, my baby daughters entire back broke out in a rash. Same with my son on his face. Turns out their bodies don’t like to eat animal products either.

Our digestion was magical. Things were uh, really regular in the baño if you catch my drift.

We lost weight. The grownups have lost at least ten pounds and the kids maintained their already healthy weights.

Allergies. I usually start getting post nasal drip (aka allergies) when the seasons change. I didn’t then magically when I started up again with the cheese and sour cream everything came back! Same deal with my toddler.

We’re gonna do it again.

This time with no time limit, maybe we’ll stay that way forever. I’ve just got to do a couple of tweaks here and there. The thing with going plant based is that the problems I had, I can fix. The ones with my family’s health? Not so much. My question is, if it affects my health and the health of my family, then is eating meat and dairy really worth eating? Because I had so many questions getting started, I took out the leg work for you for five days! I’ve made a FREE five day meal plan for you to give plant based eating a try! Just click here

 

 

My Hiatus, My Miscarriage Story & My Comfort.

*DISCLOSURE* This may be a TRIGGER WARNING for some as it will graphically talk about miscarriage. Proceed at your own risk.

I had to take a break this summer and I’m gonna tell you why. I was originally going to write about our vegan adventure this last month, but I can’t type a single sentence. There’s this big fat blinder in my brain and all I can seem to be thinking of is my sweet 5th child. I think that’s the Lord telling me “you know what you’re supposed to write about”. So, we’ll start at the beginning:

Baby #5

We found out we were pregnant with #5 and it was a shock. Our daughters first birthday was that month! We usually wait until our baby is a year old to see if we’d like to try for another one but, SSSUUUURRRPRISE! Here comes #5. I was scared, then I was happy and then I was angry. Why? Because I wanted to shout from the rooftops that we were having another little baby. Instead of congratulations, I knew I’d be met with “you’re crazy” or “another one?!” or my favorite, “are you going to be like the Duggars?”. So instead we kept it to ourselves. Something I regret and will never do again. I hid my joy of having another child for the sake of others. I felt like a hypocrite. I write about not caring what other people think, yet here I am doing that exact thing. So we started to tell close family and people we thought would be genuinely happy for us.

The Miscarriage

I was getting ready for my nephew’s graduation when I went to the restroom and saw blood. I assumed I was starting my cycle and then I remembered. I was pregnant. I panicked and cried, then immediately shut off the water works and told myself that it was nothing but some implantation bleeding and everything would be fine. As the days proceeded there after the bleeding continued, so I went to the E.R. That’s when I saw my sweet babe on the ultrasound. They said it was a threatened miscarriage and that from their point of view the ultrasound didn’t look like a miscarriage. They said the baby was still too small to hear a heartbeat. The timing seemed off to not hear a heartbeat, I had been pregnant for at least two months at this point! I still had hope and told myself “maybe my women’s intuition allowed me to find out I was pregnant super early.” So, a few days later we got ready for Young Living’s Convention and had a mini vacay in Vegas!

The bleeding continued and that’s when I started googling everything about miscarriage. I talked to friends who bled through their entire pregnancy and ended up being totally fine. I continued to tell myself that that would be my same fate. The bleeding continued and then the cramping started. That’s when I knew, but I refused to admit it. I remember lying on the floor of a warm shower balling my eyes out with my husband rubbing my back and me bellowing “I CAN FEEL MY BODY TRYING TO PUSH SOMETHING OUT, BUT IT”S MY BABY!” I took lots of showers during that trip, it’s where I fell apart so my kids wouldn’t see. So then I dried off and we went to the arcade, even though I felt like I should stay back. We went to eat and I went to the bathroom. That’s when I found a gray ball in my toilet paper, a little bigger than a silver dollar. I started at it and quickly panicked, flushing it down the toilet. I went to the emergency room immediately after that. I knew that was my baby. But the protective mother instinct in  me would not allow me to accept that. I kept telling myself everything would be fine.

The Las Vegas ER is something else! I went to give a Urine sample and there was a lady legit passed out on the bathroom floor hooked up to an I.V.! I felt like I was in the drunk tank. The staff was incredibly rude and unprofessional. It. Was. Horrible. Then after a few hours I met the lovely doctor (insert sarcasm here) They had already done the ultrasound. And he walks in and says in a very loud voice like I won some sort of sick lottery “Hey! Unfortunately, it looks like you had a miscarriage so….” -I immediately cry and he says “uummmm” quickly walks out and tells his nurse “I’m gonna give this one a little time” He walks over to the next curtain stall and in the same jovial voice asks the next patient if they’re ready for their prescriptions. No consoling. No bedside manner. Not even a sad voice. Nothing.

The Aftermath

So there I was alone holding my now empty womb with this repeating thought. “I flushed my baby down the toilet in a Vegas buffet.” That’s my miscarriage, I didn’t get to put him/her in a final resting place. I don’t have anything to remember her/him by. That’s it. My baby is dead and my consolation prize is an empty womb as if nothing ever happened. I went on to convention and did just that, acted as though nothing happened. I thank God for my husband and my sister who were there and mourned with me in the evenings when things seemed to unravel like the song “round midnight”.

My Comfort

I came home and was told things like “everything happens for a reason”, “God was protecting you from something horrible that was wrong with the baby” and “maybe one day you’ll have another”. None of that was a comfort to me. My baby is dead and there is no bright side to death. It reminds me of when Lazarus died and Jesus wept. He knew He was going to resurrect him. Jesus was mourning the fact the death exists in the first place. Its reminds me of the scripture in Romans that says “sin came alive and I died.” In the garden of Eden we were in perfect sinless harmony with God; then sin entered and we could no longer live forever. Death was not a part of the original plan. Death is not normal and I refuse to treat it as such. This may sound morbid, but my hope is in my coming home to Heaven. My comfort lies in the fact that my child is with the Perfect God man who could care for them better than I ever could. My joy is that my child has only ever known love in a womb and glory in Heaven. When we broke the news to the children that they would not be able to meet their newest sibling, their reaction was my favorite. Jesus says to have faith like a child and I get why now more so than ever. We told them that the baby is in heaven with God, their response was all smiles. My eldest daughter asks me “well, then why are you crying mom? The baby is with Jesus!” They get it. “To live is Christ and to die is gain”. I only hope to have their faith one day.

There are days I’m consumed with the feeling that I’m missing something, I’ll head count my children only to be reminded that there IS someone missing. Every time I’m asked if I am planning to have any more children I usually respond in my head with “I did” and then proceed to smile and say, “who knows!”. I spent a lot of time just trying my hardest to not ball my eyes out in public. Although I’m usually not a big fan, small talk has been a favorite of mine this summer.

There are days that are harder than others they’re usually spent walking around depressed and crying sporadically. Lots of movies and snuggles, which the kids don’t mind. It doesn’t just go away overnight, and that’s okay. You take as long as you need to process and grieve. If you’ve have had a miscarriage, I’m mourning with you and if your hope is in Christ, I’m also rejoicing with you. Sometimes they’ll happen at the same time and that’s okay too. I’ll look crazy with you.

 

Dear Fellow People Pleaser

I have a confession. There’s this continual battle I have going on in my head. I care about what other people think of me and I hate it. I over explain myself and get deeply hurt when I don’t get everyone’s approval, so I tread lightly. Even as I type that statement, the question “what if people disagree with own my personal assessment?” is running through my head. It’s that bad. After doing some reading and watching an interesting video on mindfulness, it got my gears turning. Why the hell do we care in the first place?

It’s Science

Back in “simpler” days there were some essentials in life to survive. Water, food, shelter and procreation. People formed groups because there’s safety in numbers, if you didn’t fit in and weren’t productive, you got kicked out of the group. If you thought it would be nice to befriend a wild animal instead of eat it, you weren’t an asset. Thinking differently or being different made you a risky individual and in the days of survival risky wasn’t a good thing. Even to find a mate and procreate, you had to present yourself in a way that made you look appealing. I think fitting in is a genetic trait passed down from our ancestors.

Your Brain is Trying to Protect You

No one likes rejection and no one likes to be embarrassed. If there’s a funeral, what color clothes will you be wearing? Probably not fuchsia. That’s your brains way of protecting itself. It makes sure you stay in the status quo to prevent embarrassment. One last reason is that people who hurt others with cutting remarks or judgments are usually very hurt themselves. It’s a defense mechanism that allows them to hurt first before being hurt by others. How exactly can you silence the voices? I’m not sure you can, but here are some ways you can make them much smaller.

#1 – Your Comfort Zone

You have to get out of your box of comfort to grow outside of it. There will be temporary discomfort, BUT that box of comfort will grow bigger and bigger and the discomfort will slowly go away. Eventually you will find new challenges and new ways to get out of your comfort zone. That’s how personal growth happens.

#2 – Have a Tribe

I have trouble with this but it is so necessary. Find a group of people that love and care about you who are driven and self-assured. Cut out the emotionally draining people that don’t add to your life or in the least limit your time with them. Find people that challenge you in your field and who will lovingly tell you not to wear that outfit.  Value their opinions and critiques of you.

#3 – Listen to Your Critics

I’ve noticed it’s common for people to tell you to ignore the opinions of others. I disagree. I think it’s helpful in a way. Did someone say you yell at your kids too much? Did someone say you’re a pushover? I challenge you to step back as if you’re not in your body and objectively see if there’s any truth to that. Is there? If not, keep it pushing, their opinion doesn’t matter anyway. If there is truth to it though, you have found something that you can add to your list of self-improvement. Your tribe is helpful but sometimes an outsider’s opinion can valuable, even if it’s harsh.

#4 – Social Media Sucks Sometimes

People only post the better side of themselves. We’re all guilty of it. We only post on social media the prettiest parts of our home. We take seven selfies before we choose one. We’ve probably screamed at our kids seventy times to get them all to look at the damn camera. Only for us to brag about what angels they are as they crush a bag of cheese crackers into the floor. Social media is a platform when everyone puts their best face forward. Don’t rely on that to determine what “normal” looks like.

#5 Rip Off That Band-Aid Boo

Rip off the band-aid and just be you! Stop over-explaining yourself to seek others approval. Everyone is going to see you through their life’s lens. Don’t forget that. I may have my car paid off and be debt free, but I still may be considered broke to a rich person. If a person can’t meet you where you’re at and love you, flaws and all, drop them like a bad habit, for now at least. They’ll come around when they’ve grown up. You are not Baskin Robins and you shouldn’t have to come up with a new flavor every time someone doesn’t like something you do. I am currently in the throes of finally accepting and embracing my strengths and weaknesses. Quite honestly the facade of being a happy go lucky Suzie homemaker is an act I am too tired to keep up with nowadays. In the wise words of Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time for that” and you shouldn’t either. Go live your weird (just me?) little life happy enough and surrounded by people who love you….. all of you.

 

 

Essential Oils 101 – Popular Essential Oils & Their Potential Uses

So now that you have schooled yourself up on oils, it’s time to talk about some oils you can use. I am a big fan of single oils but MAN! The blends that Young Living puts together are legit…. too legit…… to quit-OKAY I’LL STOP. With that being said any blends you see are Young Living ones, so if you use another brand you’re not gonna find them. Anyhow, I’m gonna throw some topics out there and say what oils might be your BFF in that department.

Skin

Making your own moisturizer using frankincense and lavender (or adding it to one you already have) can promote a youthful appearance. To even out your skin tone, you can also try a homemade toner in the evening with lemon or geranium essential oil. For spot treatment, try tea tree or purification essential oil. I’ve also heard great things about ylang ylang moisturizing skin.

Hair

There are a few I love. For the beards out there, try cedarwood and tea tree oil. For a long luxurious mane, try adding one (or all) of these to your shampoo: lavender; tea tree; cedarwood; thyme and rosemary. Seriously, add tea tree to at least one of your hair care products. It’s great for scalp health.

Nails

Make a nail oil with a carrier of your choosing and add equals parts lemon, frankincense, myrrh and tea tree. It’s great for maintaining nail health.

Sleep

All of these oils are great to promote a restful night’s sleep. My favorite singles are lavender, cedarwood, chamomile (German or Roman) and frankincense. My favorite blends are Peace & Calming (kinda obsessed with it) Tranquil, Stress Away & Gentle Baby. There are SO many more (google it) but I just wanted to list my favorite.

Tummy

Because even in California, you can have sketchy Mexican food. My favorite stomach oil by far is a blend called digize, I call it the tummy whisperer. IT DOES EVRYTHING. Other popular oils for the stomach are copaiba, peppermint and ginger.

Girl Look at That Body (I work out!)

I have some knee problems (PFPS) due to physical activity in the Marine Corps and the pain cream Young Living has is UHmazing for it. My Pre-workout favorite is R.C, it’s packed with all kinds of respiratory oils to keep my lungs in great shape while I get my fitness on. And the deep relief roll-on is great for post workout, its menthol-y goodness gives me and my muscles a nice cool sensation as I take my victory walk back to the van with my kagillion kids. Other oils great for this department are wintergreen, peppermint, copaiba, and the blend panaway.

Respiratory System

Breathing is important. You kinda need it. Basically any eucalyptus oil is great for maintaining a healthy respiratory system, myrtle is great too. Young Living also has blend called RC for the grown folks and a kid blend called snifflease that is RAD.

Getting my Mind Right

I have very young children, and they drive me crazy. My “woosah” roller consists of frankincense and lavender, I put it on and take three deep breaths. Lemon and grapefruit are my happy oils and I diffuse them often. Other single oils you may like are ylang ylang, geranium, peppermint and lemongrass. Favorite blends are joy, stress away (great with lemongrass) and white angelica. Again, there are so many more ideas for this topic on Pinterest and Google.

Immune System

Boosting your immune system is especially important when you have pole licking children. Tea tree and the blends purification and thieves will be your best friend. Plus, Young Living has a great Thieves product line to include hand purifier, cleaning solution, laundry soap, hand soap, surface wipes and a to-go spray I like to use in public places. I put that ish on everything.

Fin.

This series just skims the surface of the world of essential oils. The oil rabbit hole is indeed a deep one. I do hope though, that this helped you get started! As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding essential oil usage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essential Oils 101 – Pregnancy & Oils

Today we’re covering one of my favorite topics! Oils and pregnancy. Why is it my favorite? Because oils are awesome for this 9 month stretch full of crying, heartburn, cleaning, barfing….. and probably more crying.

I feel like as all of these rad medical advances go on throughout time, the list of crap you can’t do while you’re knocked up gets longer. Which sucks. Essential oils aren’t one of them luckily.  But like oils and children, this topic has a tendency to get you a whole lot of “make sure you don’t use” kind of comments. We’re going to cover oils you can’t use, whether essential oils can cause harm to your baby and some cool ways you can use oils while.

Before I give you the list of oils to be careful with during your pregnancy, I want to say if these oils are in a favorite blend you use, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It is most likely in such a low dose, it wouldn’t pose any harm to you or your sweet babe. Especially if you dilute.

The meh list.

Here is the list of oils that are risky to use during pregnancy. I compiled this list from NAHA and my aromatherapy books (regular name in bold, Latin name in parenthesis):

Aniseed(Pimpinella anisum); Balsamite (Tanacetum balsamite); Basil ct. estragole (Ocimum basilicum); Birch (Betula lenta); Buchu (Agathosma betulina); Camphor aka ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora); Indian Dill Seed (Anethum Graveolens); Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis); Ho Leaf (C. camphora) Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris); Oakmoss (Evernia pruastri); Parsley seed or leaf (Petroselinum sativum); Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium); Perilla (Perilla frutescens); Pfitzer Juniper (Juniperus xpfitzeriana); Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) Sage (Salvia officinalis); Spanish Lavender (Lavandula Stoechas); Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare); Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus); Thuja (Thuja occidentalis); Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens); Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

You’ll notice that most of these are not common, some of them aren’t even commercially available.

The only miscarriage that I know of due to essential oil usage is when a pregnant woman tried to use essential oils to abort her baby and ended up accidentally killing herself also.  That unfortunate situation should show you it takes A LOT to be any harm to your baby, so much so that it would most likely pose harm to yourself also. There have also not been any known birth defects caused by essential oils to my knowledge.Happy New Year!

Lastly, there are two that I didn’t see on any list but feel inclined to mention. There’s hearsay among midwives that peppermint can turn your baby. There’s no medical evidence I know of that’s supports this, but enough people have brought it up that it’s worth mentioning. Clary sage is also an emmenagogue which means it can gets some contractions going, so be careful with that one. If it’s in a blend that’s fine but I would avoid using it straight. I used it in last week of my third trimester on my ankles and it got a few going but nothing after that. Again, that just my own personal experience. So do with that information what you will.

 

Stick to the facts.

Don’t follow just anyone’s opinions. If someone isn’t dropping bombs of fact supported knowledge on you, then just smile and nod boo… SMILE AND NOD. Don’t discount their advice, just ingest it and compare it to the other evidence you’ve received and make an educated decision. Like you do when choosing breast or bottle, regular or cloth diapers, the list goes on. If you want an excellent resource to look up medical research and oils check out PubMed. You type in some words (i.e. pregnancy and essentials oils) and they give you a ginormous list of medical studies that were done using essential oils and the outcome.

Awesome ways to use oils when you’re fertile mertile.

Digestive System: Because that’s about the least reliable thing in your body when you’re pregnant. Apply Digize in a clockwise motion around your belly button to help with occasional heartburn or constipation associated with pregnancy. Also diffuse peppermint for occasional bouts of nausea.

Sleep: Lavender, Cedarwood and Peace and Calming are my jam for a restful night’s sleep. Apply them o your feet and diffuse them and night.

Labor: Try diffusing floral and citrus oils. Take a crockpot and fill it with 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of almond oil and 10 drops each of Lavender and Gentle Baby. Put some clean dishcloths in and set that sucker on keep warm and you’ve got yourself a continuous supply of comforting hot towels.

It’s that simple.

A drop of lemon in your water will be fine, I personally try to not go HAM when I ingest oils while pregnant. I usually stick to it in foods or a drop here and there in my drinks. Apply them topically however you normally do, just reduce the dose by a few drops and check out my topical post for preggo dilution ratios if you want to. Diffuse as you normally do. The fact that you’re reading this and looking up essential oil safety in the first place shows that you will be just fine friend!

 

 

Essential Oils 101 – Kids & Oils

My family is my most precious earthly possession. When I started using essential oils and would talk to other women, I noticed that there was almost a sense of hesitation when talking about putting oils on your kids. From then on I went through this phase of extreme caution when using oils on my kids, as if I was deciding to clip the red or the blue wire on a bomb. Then I went to school and chilled the hell out. It was a relief. So when people freak out when it comes to oils and kids I get why, so did I.  Here’s what I want you to do, go diffuse some lavender, pull up a chair, grab a drink and let’s ease your mind, knowledge is power right? You can’t get burned by fire from the stove if you know it’s hot!

SCARY STUFF FIRST

Let’s go ahead and rip the band aid off, KIDS CAN AND HAVE DIED/BEEN INJURED USING ESSENTIAL OILS. If you’re anything like me, I look at the absolute worst case scenarios and work my way to the more positive information. I don’t like surprises and I’m a bad news first kinda gal. So let me list some of the most extreme cases of injury/death I’ve come across (courtesy of: Haddad and Winchester’s Clinical management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed., Chapter 101, “Essential Oils”)

  1. An 8 month old had a seizure and died after 30 ML (a little over 2 tablespoons) of eucalyptus oil was administered orally.
  2. A 2 month old baby was unconscious after drops of peppermint were administered nasally.
  3. A young child ingested clove oil and suffered liver damage, seizures and went into a coma.

These are horrible instances where safety was not a top priority to the people administering those oils. However, we can use these unthinkable tragedies as a teaching moment. I do want to emphasize that these cases are very rare and you can easily die or get injured from overdosing on any medication, not just essential oils.

Leave the ingestion to the big kids and adults.

Your baby can barely take water let alone essential oils. Don’t even let the thought about making them drink oils cross your mind friend. Their sweet little baby organs can’t handle it yet. What is okay though, is making a gallon of lavender lemonade for your kiddos, and adding a few drops of a high quality lavender essential oil to some simple syrup. Need more safe tips on ingestion? Check out this link.

Don’t shove oils where the sun don’t shine.

When it comes to kids, if there is a cavity where the sun don’t shine, leave it to the professionals. You can use oils topically when you are changing a diaper but that’s where we should draw the line with our little ones. No nasal sprays and no enemas. Here’s my two cents on nasal sprays; a tooth infection is very dangerous, do you know why? Because it’s right next to your brain. Looking at the instances above, it only took a few drops to the nose to cause unconsciousness, yet it took two whole 15 ML bottles of oil to cause death through ingestion and I personally think there were two reasons. One, because of the age difference and two, one is closer to the brain than the other. Enemas should be left to the pros because that is a straight shot to your digestive system. When you ingest an oil it is filtered through your organs and then reaches your stomach, the other way doesn’t have those filters and little stomachs require more caution.

Always keep your oils out of your children’s reach.

If there’s a group of people who can eat a large amount of disgusting stuff in one sitting, it’s kids for sure. They have the highest chance of ingesting a lot of oils without you even noticing. If this ever happens call poison control immediately: (800) 222-1222

Eucalyptus and Peppermint…. Basically any oils that are controversial .

These are oils that people are usually cautious about. There’s a fear that they may actually cause respiratory distress, seizures and skin irritation in children. Most oil injury cases involve these controversial essential oils. Here’s an easy way to deal with that. Watch your baby and take down the dose. Easy peasy. If you diffuse 8 drops of eucalyptus for yourself, use 4 for the kids. Same deal with the rest of those oils, drop the dose and make sure to dilute. Check up on them every five minutes for twenty minutes. If they show adverse effects, it will usually show up after in the first fifteen so that’s why I say twenty just to make sure. After that just keep an eye on them. They’ll be aight’. If anything does happen, call poison control. For more on what an adverse reaction may look like, check this out.

NOW LETS TALK ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO!

Dosage.

We’ve already covered the three methods of application: Aromatic, Topical and Ingestion. But how much do you give your kids? Every good oil company should have a recommended dosage on the back of their bottles. With that information in hand, all you have to do is use my handy dandy essential oil dosage chart! So let me show you how it works:

Let’s say you have a 5 year old and the adult dosage is 3 drops. 5-8 year olds only need 1/3 of that dose. So instead of giving them 3 drops, you’d give them 1.

With babies since the dosage is much smaller. I’m a big fan of making small batches of rollers and balms, that way it’s fixing the dosage for you. You just dilute it so that way they’re getting smaller amounts of oils at one time, if you don’t know how much to dilute visit this post.

dosage-conversion

KID APPROVED EFFECTIVE WAYS TO APPLY OILS

Baths

Take a teaspoon or tablespoon of Epsom salt (the smaller the bath, the less salt) and add 1-3 drops of essential oil to the salt. Pour the salt into the bath and allow it to dissolve. Voila! I suggest a lavender or cedarwood bath at night. It’s fan-freaking-tastic!

Diffuse

Add 4-6 drops of your favorite essential oils to a diffuser, the bigger the room and the further away the kiddos are, the more drops you put it your diffuser. To support the respiratory system my favorite blend is by far Young Living’s RC. If you’re a fan of single oils, try 3 drops each of lavender and eucalyptus. For more info on diffusing go here.

Topical

I seriously don’t know what I would do without my oil roll-ons. They last forever and I use them ALL.THE.TIME. I also make balms for teething and for diaper changes. Topical application is my jam when it comes to kids. It is so effective! A favorite roller recipe of mine is 3 drops each of lavender and cedarwood in a 10 ML roller ball. Fill the rest up with carrier oil and you’re good to go. Its great to apply on the bottoms of your kiddos feet and wrists at night before bed.

Well there you have it! So long as you treat your oils the same way you do medications in your house, you’re going to be totally fine. As always, I’d love to be an essential oil resource for you, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!

Essential Oils 101 – Essential Oil Safety

In this day and age there are so many different schools of thought on essential oils and vague information about what to do or not to do, it’s hard to find a reliable source on this topic. So here is my humble two cents on safety. When I come up to my own conclusions on important information, I like to grab as much information as I can from both ends of the spectrum and find my happy medium. This info is my happy medium.

We already talked about safety when it comes to topical and oral methods of application so if you’d like to go over those feel free to hop on over to those posts! Here are a few additional tips:

LESS IS MORE

If you’d like to support your respiratory system and apply some eucalyptus to your chest and lungs, you don’t need 45 drops of oil to do it. In the case of essential oils, the rule is always less is more. When you use a high amount of essential oils in one sitting that’s when the adverse reactions can happen.

GETTING OILS IN YOUR EYES/ “MY SKIN BURNS”

Did you get peppermint in your eye? I have on accident and it feels like a small bit of my soul is getting ripped out through my eyeball. DO NOT FEAR! Take a cotton ball, soak it in milk (not fat free) and wipe your eye.

Did you apply an oil to your skin and it burns? Same deal. Apply milk or a carrier oil to your skin and it will stop the burning.

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT USE WATER. It will spread the oil more and it will suck.

TOXICITY

Toxicity doesn’t just happen when you ingest too many essential oils, it can happen from constantly applying the same oil to your skin and diffusing it also. Let’s say I was at work and diffused 20 drops of lavender from 8 am to 4 pm nonstop and I was sitting 3 feet away from it, there’s a decent chance that over time, that oil is going to cause you to have some toxic reactions. Here’s what a toxic reaction may look like:

-Upset stomach       -Fatigue

-Nausea                      -Persistent Coughing

-Vomiting                  -Liver Pain

-Headaches               -Urinary Disturbances

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms call poison control.

Here’s their number: 1-800-222-1222

Here’s the symptoms you need to call 911 for:

-Convulsions

-Respiratory Failure/ Stimulation

-If you don’t seem to have your senses about you like usual. It’s an indication that something is messing with your nervous system.

DOSAGE

Dosage is the key to a successful essential oil experience. If you buy your essential oils from an awesome company like mine, chances are they’ll know a thing or two about how to use oils. Read the back of the bottle and it will tell you how the average adult is supposed to use it. For children, pregnant ladies and the elderly I’m always cautious and do a little less and dilute if applying topically.

AGE AND HEALTH ARE IMPORTANT

Every individual is unique. If you have an old person running triathlons who wants to use oils, they’ll probably do just fine using the regular recommended dose. On the other hand, if you have a frail 10 year old, you should use the same dosage you would on a 5 year old. Refer to the dilution chart in this post for help with topical application.

TRUST YOUR BODY

If you apply an oil and you don’t feel great about it, then stop. If you use the recommended daily dose and don’t feel anything then up the dosage by a drop or two. It won’t kill you. Your body will be your biggest ally in using oils.

RELAX

Essential oils are not this huge thing to be intimidated by, you know your body, and you know when something is not right. Trust your gut when using oils and you’ll be just fine. You are the expert on you and your family.

Pregnancy and Kids are a whole other bag of worms we’re diving into next, stay tuned!

Perfectionism.

I REALLY did not want to write about this. Not because I don’t desire to talk about it, but because it’s easier not to. I came to sit at a coffee shop to write about the chemistry of essential oils and I brought out my handy thumb drive which has my aromatherapy books on it. God disagreed with this decision and when I opened my files it was the wrong thumb drive, so here I am. Time to emotionally vomit. I’ve been going to therapy and talking about feelings and you know, feeling them more. Growing up in dysfunctional families everyone usually takes up a roll. Mine was to be funny, smooth things over and act oblivious to the chaos around me. For me to believe my Mom, with all my little heart, that the scale in the garage she was using to weigh drugs was just a “jewelry scale”. To go to school for months and hop from one hotel to another, while pretending it was an adventure. Given her abusive upbringing she did the best she could; however I still came out with a lot of scars.

For a long time, I’ve turned that emotionally vulnerable part of myself off as a protective mechanism. It’s easier to not feel… for now at least. As a result, like a bad comb over, I have acted as though everything is fine. I’ve been going through life forcing myself to be everything I thought would look normal and happy. I envisioned cheerfully waking up at five with rollers in my hair, quietly enjoying a cup of coffee, reading my bible, waking up my beautiful angelic children and husband and welcoming them to a table full of breakfast. My house would always be clean, I would never yell at my kids, my husband would always be happy and LIFE WOULD BE PERFECT. All because I said so. That’s where perfectionism creeps in. I’m not talking about the normal kind that takes pretty notes and makes pretty things. I’m talking about the maladaptive kind that makes you hate yourself when you fall short. I spend most of my days disappointed with myself, forgetting that I am trying to create an environment for my family that I didn’t experience as a kid. Forgetting that I had seven mattresses in my room and VCR parts everywhere making it difficult to clean. Forgetting that while all the crazy stuff was going on around me, I was just THERE. No chores. No sitting down at dinner tables. No waking up to breakfast. JUST. THERE. Yet I sit here and expect to do all these wonderful things over night. I expect to do things parents have been teaching their kids to do for years; since childhood. Those expectations I’ve set for myself are tearing me apart and most people have no idea.

I can walk into church with my hair done and my little row of ducklings in tow and I can perfectly tell you “I’m fine, thank you for asking”. I can make sure that the downstairs part of the house is immaculate when you come to visit. And when I’m struggling, I can perfectly and nonchalantly tell you “life is tough” with a smile on my face. Meanwhile, I have four laundry baskets upstairs that the kids keep knocking over that I haven’t put away in weeks, dirty dishes shoved in the dishwasher I have yet to scrub off, my garage is filled with a bunch of crap shoved away before guests come. And when I’m home I cry all the time. I’m like a perfect sunny side up egg that has a rancid yoke. By appearance everything is just peachy, but inside is something rotten.

I write this to encourage you and myself. God has a purpose for us and our families even if we can’t see it now. Our children will see our imperfections while also seeing how hard we work to be different. We are doing this whole normal family thing for the first freaking time and we need to lighten up, acknowledging that we are learning as we teach too. Whatever family we see that we want to exemplify has their own imperfections behind closed doors and has probably taken generations to get as put together as they are. I am in the trenches with you, friend. We are so messed up and that’s okay, there’s a beautiful vulnerability and understanding you have because of it. We can only improve from where we are. Stay hopeful.