Pumpkin Spice Cleaner

Pumpkin Spice Cleaner
I love me some summer, but fall is a very close second. Sweat shirts, bootcut jeans, crisp evenings, and all things pumpkin spice. πŸŽƒπŸπŸŒΎ

But I don’t want anything to do with the synthetic fragrances promised to smell like fall. ☠️ Those are B A D   N E W S  for your body.

What do I do? I make my own fragrances with the real deal — essential oils from plants God provided before He ever created people.

And I put those oils in my plant-based cleaners to give an extra boost to the air my family breathes. WHY?

πŸ‚ Traditional cleaners are toxic for our family — even the furry ones.

πŸ‚ This cleaner will fill your rooms with the happiest of smells that aren’t synthetic.

πŸ‚ It’s plant-based and safe for your kiddos, you can get the whole family involved in cleaning.

πŸ‚ If we get it on our hands, we rub it in, take a big whiff, and keep going!

πŸ‚ It’s so affordable!

πŸ‚ One bottle of concentrate makes more than 20 spray bottles, so less packaging and better for the environment.

πŸ‚ You can clean virtually any surface and any mess, so you can simplify your routine without five different cleaners.

Want a sample? Just message me, and I’ll pop one in the mail.

Friend, there’s a better way to live this life. I‘d love to help you take the next step. 

Be well,
Nicole

If you’re interested in fewer harsh chemicals in your home, you can get my free guide for Three Easy Ways to Detox Your Home here.

The Dirty Truth

The Dirty Truth
For me, it’s personal.

My mother was a two-time breast cancer survivor. Her mom had vaginal cancer before she later died with brain cancer, and her dad died of lung cancer. My other grandparents died with varying degrees of Alzheimer’s disease, and this only scratches the surface. I have other family members and friends who have similar stories that aren’t mine to tell, and I’m weary of hearing about yet another person close to me who has a life-changing illness that did not have to happen.

That may sound like a bold statement: it did not have to happen. But it‘s the truth. Each day we put hundreds of synthetic chemicals on and in our bodies and on our children, from the foods and medications we consume to the products we inhale, clean with, and slather on our bodies, not even realizing that they may be causing us harm. So many of these toxic chemicals can cause a laundry list of issues for our families, from lethargy, brain fog, and focus issues, to infertility and sexual dysfunction, to heavy hitters that no one wants. All because we want a clean home, soft skin and hair, and to smell and look pretty. 

But friend, it doesn’t have to be this way—there’s a better way to live this life. We can make the choice for it to be different for our families and take steps to change the trajectory we’re on. 

The first step is to stop the onslaught of harsh chemicals coming into your home by simply finding out what to look for and where they are hiding in plain sight. The next step is to replace the products that contain those toxins with healthy, harsh-chemical-free alternatives.

I want to help you take those steps! I have a free healthy home makeover guide in which I’ll walk you through each room of your home and help you dig a little deeper.

Our homes should be a place where we feel safe, a place where we can go to take refuge from the world around us. The products we bring into our homes should not threaten that safety.

Like I said, for me it’s personal. Get my free guide, and then let’s chat.

Be well,
Nicole
In memory of my mom, Patsy Sharp
1950-2021


If you’d like to get more wellness tips, join my Facebook group How to Be a Modern Hippie here.  


Tips and Tricks for a Healthy School Year

Tips and Tricks for a Healthy School Year
2020.  

If the past six months are any indication, this school year could be especially tough. Our kids have been home in our protective bubbles, likely with little routine, a slower change of pace, less pressure to perform academically, and and now it’s time for new experiences, new routines, new exposures, and new challenges. 

No matter if your kids are heading back to in-person schooling or hanging out at home to complete their schoolwork, they still need us to help them care for their bodies. It’s possible for our kiddos to stay vibrant, strong, and living above the wellness line this school year by adopting a few healthy habits that will boost their immune system naturally.

Health Starts in the Home

One of the biggest contributors to negative health is the large number of synthetic chemicals in our homes. Our homes are our sanctuaries, our place of safety and refuge. But sadly, the products we buy often contain ingredients that endanger them. 

We are marketed to and led to believe that even the “all natural” products are safe for our families when in reality, they aren’t. Many common household products can lead to health problems like eye and throat irritation, headaches, respiratory issues, allergic reactions, worsened asthma, focus issues, and possibly even cancer. These chemicals such as formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, ethanolamines, triclosan, and synthetic fragrance are wreaking havoc on our immune system at a time when we NEED it to be working at its best. 

It’s important to use truly harsh-chemical-free products when cleaning and disinfecting our homes. That also applies to what we’re putting on our bodies for personal care and on our clothing when we do laundry. I encourage your to read the back labels on your all-purpose cleaners, shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and laundry supplies.  If one contains any of those chemicals shown above, ditch it and switch to a safe, plant-based product that you can feel good about.

Synthetic chemicals aren’t limited to cleaning and personal care products.  I also want to encourage you to ditch those toxic air fresheners, plugins, and candles and switch them out for a much safer solution - an essential oil diffuser. Inhaling an oil can be greatly beneficial for kids! Breathing in essential oils directly influences the control center of the brain, the hypothalamus. This area sends instructions through our body concerning sleep patterns, mood, behavior, appetite, and the release of certain hormones. You’re not only making the air smell better, you’re supporting your family’s bodies! How cool is that?!


Morning Nutrition

Wake up, sleepy head!! It’s time for school. Whether they’re headed to a school building or just the living room, it’s important to fill that tummy with some good nutrition. 

According to kidshealth.org, “Skipping breakfast can make kids feel tired, restless, or irritable. In the morning, their bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. Their mood and energy can drop by midmorning if they don't eat at least a small morning meal.” 

Try to offer options that contain protein, fiber, or whole carbohydrates like fresh fruits, veggies, eggs, nuts, lean meats, or healthy grains. And since a spoon of sugar can suppress the immune system for several hours, sugary cereals and toaster pastries probably aren’t the best options.

It’s tough for our kiddos to always get the nutrients they need, especially if they’re picky eaters like my daughter. She takes a multivitamin that that includes a full range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that deliver whole-food multinutrient support for general health and well-being. Its important to us that it be free of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors too.

A few other daily supplements I recommend:

  • Vitamin C - Because our bodies cannot manufacture vitamin C, we can benefit by consuming this powerful antioxidant daily. It plays an important role in normal immune and circulatory functions, helps to strengthen connective tissues, and promotes overall health, vitality, and longevity.

  • Vitamin D - Vitamin D helps support bone growth, healthy muscle, mood, and hormone regulation. It also plays a key function in respiratory health, and through its innate and adaptive defense mechanisms, supports the body’s respiratory immune system. 

  • Probiotics - We can all benefit from a daily probiotic to promote healthy digestion, support gut health, as well as maintain normal intestinal function for the overall support of a healthy immune system.

Nighty Night!

Getting adequate sleep is uber important for staying healthy. According to Rachel Dawkins, M.D., with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, “Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine and an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and even depression.” 

You might be surprised to learn that children from ages 6-12 should be getting 9-12 hours of sleep a night, and children from ages 13-18 should be getting 8-10 hours a night. 

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is important, ideally starting at the same time every night. Here are some tips to establish this healthy routine.

  • Stop use of electronics/screens at least an hour before bed
  • Read a short book or excerpt from a book
  • Limit caffeine 
  • Take a warm bath
  • Dim the lights
  • Use calming essential oils topically or in the diffuser


Below the Wellness Line

Unfortunately, falling below the wellness line is a fact of life.  However - it is how our bodies learn to “fight.” According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Once the body has come into contact with a disease-causing germ for the first time, it usually stores information about the germ and how to fight it. Then, if it comes into contact with the germ again, it recognizes the germ straight away and can start fighting it faster.” This is why it’s so vital that we continually support our immune systems, especially if they have been threatened and are in a weaker state. 

One of my favorite things to do when anyone in our house is showing signs of going below the wellness line is a detox bath. This can be a great way to help restore the body, thanks to the ingredients within. Himalayan pink salt removes toxins from the body through a process called reverse osmosis. It also contains very high levels of minerals - like magnesium, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc. Activated charcoal is  powerfully detoxifying. It also deodorizes, purifies, and is anti-bacterial. Add in some essential oils and it’s a mix made with love that you and your kids are sure to enjoy. Be sure to drink plenty of water after a detox bath to help your body replenish and stay hydrated. 

 
Detox Bath

  • ½ cup Himalayan pink salt
  • ½ cup activated charcoal
  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Frankincense essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl or jar. When ready to use, add 3 TBSP to ¼ cup to a hot bath. Soak for at least 20-30 minutes. 


Oil Up, Buttercup!

Whether your child needs help with focus and concentration, wellness support, sleep, or emotions such as fear, anxiety, excitement, etc., we have access to some amazing tools — essential oils.  Essential oils can play a HUGE role in supporting our bodies when used regularly. Apply them or diffuse them while your family is getting ready in the mornings and during bedtime routines. You can even send rollers to school or apply oils to a diffuser bracelet or fidget spinner. If you’re doing school at home, have oils at the ready to apply or diffuse while the kids work. There are so many ways to use them to support a healthy lifestyle.

Obviously, that wasn’t a conclusive list of healthy back-to-school habits, but it’s a great start for many of us.  For those of you reading this now, I’ve prayed that your family will experience great health, little fear, and comfort with your decision about where you‘re educating your children this school year.  You’ve got this, mama!

Be well, 
Nicole


If you’re interested in more healthy living tips, check out my free guide for Three Easy Ways to Detox Your Home. You can also join my healthy lifestyle Facebook group, How to Be a Modern Hippie, here.








DIY Mask Refresher Spray

DIY Mask Refresher Spray
No matter which side of the mask debate you’re on, we can all agree on one of the downsides . . .

Mask breath.

Even if you brush and floss like the Tooth Fairy, within just a few minutes of wearing a face trap, your mouth can feel stale. That’s likely from breathing in freshly exhaled carbon dioxide instead of fresh air.  But it doesn’t have to be that way—there’s a better way to wear a mask.

I‘ve been adding essential oils to the inside of mine. I use a blend of Peppermint, Ravintsara, Eucalyptus, Lemon, and Wintergreen to create a cooling sensation for the mouth and throat.  The naturally occurring constituents eucalyptol, menthol, and methyl salicylate give the extra bonus of helping me breathe deeper. It’s like an effervescent breeze through a grove of eucalyptus trees.

The easiest way to apply these oils is to use the pre-blended Raven essential oil. This blend has long been known for the chilly, minty experience it creates when applied topically, inhaled, or diffused. We love to make DIY chest rubs with Raven in the winter season for that same reason—with zero harsh chemicals!

So naturally, Raven is the perfect blend of oils to make a Mask Refresher Spray. It’s small enough to carry in a purse or backpack, and it will even make it through airport security. My family has found that just a few sprays helps us to be less irritable while doing what we need to do.

Lavender spray is shown here

Here‘s what you’ll need to make your own.

5 ml perfume spray bottle
10-15 drops Raven essential oil blend
1/4 t. witch hazel
Distilled water

Directions: drop oils into the bottle. Add witch hazel, then fill almost to the top with distilled water. Spray the inside of your mask liberally as needed.

You could also make your Mask Refresher Spray with different oils based on your family’s needs. Try Lavender or Peace and Calming when you’re feeling anxious, Peppermint when your tummy feels off, or Thieves anytime you need those powerhouse molecules inside your body.

Ready for a bonus tip?

If you’ve been drinking coffee or you haven‘t had an opportunity to brush your teeth after lunch, put a drop of Peppermint Vitality oil on your tongue. 

Ready to get your own oils? Contact me below!

Be oily and be well,
Nicole

If you’re interested in more healthy living tips, check out my free guide for Three Easy Ways to Detox Your Home. You can also join my healthy lifestyle Facebook group here.  





Attracting the Good Guys in the Garden

Attracting the Good Guys in the Garden
For me, Mother‘s Day is the official beginning of gardening season. Each year, my gift includes a dozen or more varieties of flowers and green plants to adorn the pots scattered about my outdoor living spaces. My husband knows that getting my hands in the dirt makes me happy and that nightly watering is a much-needed getaway for my mind and soul.

Plants = My Perfect Gift!

There was a time when I used some pretty harsh chemicals on my flowers to keep them looking beautiful and to keep the bad guys away. However, once I started growing my own herbs, I decided I had to make a shift because what I put on my plants would end up in our bodies once we consumed them, leading to bio-accumulation of toxins that are linked to many chronic diseases.

After a bit of research, I discovered that those synthetic chemicals aren't just harmful to our families, but they're also responsible for the decline in our pollinator population. Although some fruits such as peppers self pollinate, not every plant does that.  Lots of them need the help of cross pollination between male and female plants, and our pollinating friends--the bees and butterflies--are crucial to the process. So instead of using harsh chemicals that can repel or harm our pollinators, I've discovered a way to actually ATTRACT them to our gardens.

Think about it this way . . . pollinators are attracted to the smell of flowers.  Luckily, many wonderful essential oils are distilled from . . . flowers! As it turns out, you can create this simple spray using essential oils to spritz on the flowering buds of your garden to encourage pollinators to come in and get the job done.


And while you may want to attract the bees and butterflies to your garden, other insects can totally ruin your garden plans. From eating your plants to taking a bite out of you, they can can really dampen your gardening dreams. I've created a free Gardening + Oils guide with recipes to help you with that and other aspects of gardening naturally, including unwanted growth, keeping pets away from your plants, and even companion planting.  I've even got a free gardening journal that you'll love to get your green thumbs on. 

If you don't have your own essential oils, it's time! Click the link below to set up a time to chat.

Be oily and be well,
Nicole 
 
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