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 

DIY Perfumes and Colognes

DIY Perfumes and Colognes
A long shower. Freshly shaven legs. A favorite (or better yet, new!) outfit. And a spritz of perfume on the pulse points. It’s the perfect setup for date night!

Unless you're sensitive to fragrances, then not so much.

That was me. Back in the day, I loved a popular grapefruit-y perfume that I used on special occasions, but that one spritz of fragrance could affect me within minutes in a very negative way. Sometimes it was just a headache, and other times it would be a full-blown migraine. Either way, it was no fun!

Maybe that's you or someone you love.  Do you get nauseated from the smell of perfume? Or have you ever been nearly knocked over by the smell of someone's cologne as he walked past, leaving you coughing, sneezing, or with a headache?

If you answered yes, it’s likely because of the harsh chemicals often blended into commercial fragrances. A large number of those chemicals are harmful to the human body. Many of them are even listed on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste List for being carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and hormone disrupting.

And it’s not just perfumes or colognes. Many products list “fragrance” on the label, but very few name the specific ingredients that make up a “fragrance.” This makes it very difficult to know what’s actually in your perfume or cologne. Some of these chemicals have been linked to serious health problems such as cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies, and sensitivities.

The good news is that we don’t have to trade the confidence that wearing fragrance gives us for the risk from synthetic fragrances. We can ditch fake and harmful fragrances and make our own perfume and cologne and reclaim our flirty, sexy, confident, perfume-wearing selves! 

Ready to find out how? Here we go . . .

Fragrance Basics

Every quality perfume or cologne needs a good base. This allows for the fragrance to remain intact throughout the life of the perfume/cologne. You want it to have a nice shelf life so you can enjoy it for as long as possible.

You’ll want to choose a carrier with little to no scent. For spray-on fragrances, use a clear, scentless solvent like vodka or witch hazel (I prefer vodka). This helps the essential oil distribute evenly throughout the bottle. For roll-on fragrances, use an unscented carrier oil like jojoba or almond oil.

If you choose to use water as your base, which you can, be sure to choose distilled water. The minerals and impurities have been removed so it’s a “safe” option to use in sprays. However, just know that vodka or witch hazel would allow the essential oils to be more evenly distributed.

Depending on the size of the bottle you’re using—either a spray or roller bottle—you will want to loosely follow an 80:20 ratio. Use a carrier oil or solvent for 80% of the spray and an essential oil blend for the remaining 20%.

Blending by Notes

Let’s start with some simple guidelines to help you build a personalized blend of fragrances using your oils.

Essential oil fragrances are classified as “notes.” Just like music, you want all the notes—top, middle, and base—to harmonize, making a beautiful “sound.”
 
The Top Note is the scent your nose detects first. It is the “first impression” scent, usually a citrus or herb.

The Middle Note is the scent detected 10-45 minutes after applying and can last several hours on the skin. It is often referred to as the “heart note,” the one noticed after the top note is gone. It’s typically warm and well-rounded.

The Base Note lasts far beyond the other notes. It’s the scent that appears once the others have evaporated. It creates a lasting impression.

Use this quick table to guide you as you start blending notes. Start by choosing 2-4 oils in each row to work with; add as much as your nose likes! There are no hard and fast rules to blending; just do what smells good to you.


Be Safe

It’s important to mention that essential oils are potent and careless use of them can cause harm. Here are a few general safety ‘rules’ to keep in your back pocket.

Diluting oils is the number one way to protect yourself from accidental irritation; following the 80:20 dilution is a very conservative way to start, especially if you are more sensitive in nature to begin with. If you feel like you need your oils diluted less or more, go ahead. It’s totally up to you!

Some essential oils cause photosensitivity thanks to the compounds found within. I only use Young Living essential oils, and thankfully, their oils that cause photosensitivity are labeled. Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange, Bergamot, Tangerine, Peace & Calming, Stress Away, Citrus Fresh, Gentle Baby, and Joy are some of Young Living’s popular oils that cause photosensitivity, but other oils can come with these risks as well. Always check the label to see what cautions are associated with the oil you’re using.

But don’t let that keep you from enjoying citrus oils in your DIY perfumes and colognes! Your essential oils are diluted in the recipes you’re creating, but just to be safe, spray or roll on those perfumes in a place where the sun doesn’t shine or simply cover the area with clothing if you plan to spend a lot of time in direct UV rays.

A Recipe to Get You Started

Here’s a light, refreshing scent for everyday use.  This little blend will have you smiling all day!


Interested in a some more DIY perfume and cologne recipes? I have a free guide that I'd love to share with you. 

And if you want more info on the world's best, purest essential oils, let's set a time to talk. You'll be smelling amazing again in no time!

Be oily and be well,
Nicole

Where Are You Headed?

Where Are You Headed?
Imagine you are on an airplane, and the pilot makes a slight deviation to the flight plan . . . maybe just a one percent deviation.

Will you feel the shift?

No. But you can bet that after thousands of miles, you will end up in a very different place than where you were originally headed. Maybe even a different continent.

Twelve years ago today, I made that slight deviation. I was watching an episode of Oprah while folding laundry when her guests, Sophie Uliano and Julia Roberts, caught my attention.  I discovered that day that the detergent and fabric softener on the towels I was folding were actually harming my family.  That day I learned about the huge number of toxins in our household, personal care, and cleaning products and the silent and not-so-silent damage they are doing to our health.

And that day, I made a decision to ditch them. I immediately began making my own household cleaning products with essential oils and other basic pantry items. And that first decision led to another good decision and another and another. My family is now at a very different place than where we were headed.

Our generation has a problem.  I see the rise in disease . . . allergies, infertility, depression, cancer, and more. We have more than 6,200 hospitals in the United States—not because people are well, but because they are chronically ill.  And much of it can be attributed to our exposure to toxic chemicals in our foods, our cleaning products, our personal care products, and even our makeup. The average adult is exposed to thousands of synthetic, harmful chemicals each and every day. Where our generation is headed is nowhere we should want to go.

But it doesn’t have to be this way . . . there’s a better way to live this life.  It starts with making a deviation to your route, slight or dramatic—you choose. We are the gatekeeper of our home, and WE get to decide which products cross the threshold of our doorway. 

Will we choose products that oppress our cells or products that help us live a life of vitality?

I help women discover a lifestyle of wellness with fewer harsh chemicals. I want to be your Oprah.  Let’s connect below!
 
And if you’re interested in making a quick impact on your home, get my free guide for Three Easy Steps to Detox Your Home.

Are You Suddenly Homeschooling?

Are You Suddenly Homeschooling?
We’re in stressful times, for sure. Moms are on edge about all the things. We would give our very life for our kids, but . . .

Anyone else need to slow-walk alone through Target?
We’re cooking three meals each day + snacks, and our house is M-E-S-S-Y!
Financial worries abound.
Are our immune systems okay?
Wait, we have to entertain these monkeys? And make them wash their hands a billion times each day?
Then to top it off, we have to *gasp* homeschool?  Without yelling?

I don’t know about you, but I was NOT ready for this myself.  If that's you, check out this free guide to discover a few ways we can make this season as painless as possible. It can be done . . . it just takes some intention. 

Want more info? Let's chat!

Be well,
Nicole

If you liked this info, check out my free guide for Three Easy Ways to Detox Your Home here.

Cover photo credit: Kent Weatherwax

The Power of Intention

The Power of Intention

My favorite book is The Noticer by New York Times best-selling author Andy Andrews. I read this book during the first quarter of every year because it's packed full of life lessons that help me keep my own life in perspective. 

One of my most valuable takeaways from the book is a story told by one of the key characters, Jones, about the power of intention. Jones tells the story of five seagulls sitting on a dock and one deciding to fly away, and he then asks his friend, Henry, how many seagulls remain.

Henry replies with the seemingly obvious answer of four seagulls, but Jones corrects him by saying, "No. There are still five. Deciding to fly away and actually flying away are two very different things." 

He then explains that there is absolutely no power in intention. The seagull may really want to fly away. He may intend to fly away. He may decide to fly away. But until he spreads his wings and takes flight, he is still on the dock. There is no difference between that gull who decided to fly away and the others who never even thought about it. They are all still on the dock.

Many times we are like that seagull—full of great intention with little action. We make resolutions each January, and by March, they are long forgotten.  What were your intentions for 2020? Did you intend to have a healthier lifestyle, a leaner body, fewer toxins in your home? If so, you can still take action to make 2020 great!

I have found simple solutions for a healthier lifestyle with fewer harsh chemicals, and I would love to help you get started too. Wellness, Purpose, and Abundance are within reach if you will just leave the dock. Let’s chat!

If fewer harsh chemicals sounds good to you, you can get my free guide for Three Easy Ways to Detox Your Home here.