Let's be real here. Cleaning is NOT my favorite thing to do. I'm guessing it's not yours, either. We put it off until it's absolutely necessary.... or until someone is coming over.
Cleaning is even worse when we have to hold our breath to do it. Literally. Because the fumes from the toxic cleaners are too much.
Friend. Let me tell you. Beg of you. STOP HOLDING YOUR BREATH. CHOOSE DIFFERENTLY.
Believe it or not, cleaning does NOT require Bleach or any other synthetic chemicals. I promise.
Worse yet, those toxic chemical cleaners are indeed affecting our lungs - sometimes creating asthma or making it even worse for those already affected. They contain carcinogens and endocrine disruptors (which are chemicals that interfere with our hormones leading to a laundry list of other ailments!). Don't believe me? Check out this article from The Environmental Working Group.
Your best choice is to go natural. There is a big push for Natural Wellness - and for good reason. It's better for you. It's better for our planet. And it works.
Thieves Household Cleaner is the choice in my home. And hopefully yours.
Thieves is the all-natural choice that works on every surface. Use it to wipe down your countertops. Your stove. Your kitchen sink. Your bathroom sink. Your toilets. Your tile floors. Your wood floors. Even on carpet stains. Or laundry stains.
And, because it doesn't have ANY toxic chemicals, you can literally breathe easier. In fact, you'll want to take nice, deep breaths because it smells so dang good!!
Do you have a surface that needs a little extra TLC? Make your own Thieves scrub by adding 3/4 cup baking soda, a capful of Thieves Cleaner, 4 drops of lemon essential oil, and water until it's the desired past-like consistency. I promise you will be able to conquer that spot. And with lemon added in your room will smell even fresher.
This 2-minute video provides amazing visual proof that Thieves does Clean. And clean well.
Click Here to learn even more about Thieves Essential Oil, because Thieves is a power house blend and it's for WAY MORE than just cleaning.
So, STOP HOLDING YOUR BREATH!! Let me know which surface of your home you're going to clean first once you have this!! A side-perk that comes along with this cleaner is that you'll be excited to use it :)
Essential oils are certainly mysterious to beginners. I run into people who are nervous to use them simply because they hear about all the benefits but don't know how to use them.
I'm here to tell you - it's almost impossible to use essential oils incorrectly. However, there are better ways to use them to get the benefits you're looking for!
We're about to focus on topical use only - putting oils directly on your skin.
There are two main ways this is done: neat or diluted.
Neat: This means you are putting the essential oil directly on your skin - straight from the bottle. The amazing thing about quality, pure essential oils (Young Living) is that the essential oil molecules are so incredibly tiny that they can bypass your skin and virtually every other 'wall' in your systems. They are so tiny, in fact, that there are more molecules in ONE DROP of essential oil than there are cells in your body. TRUE STORY! So, using only one drop of essential oil on your skin is often enough to experience the benefits!
So, where to place that drop? That depends. Many oils can be put on the bottoms of your feet - there are Vita Flex points that are direct pathways to areas/organs of your body. But let's say you're experiencing muscle or joint pain in your knees or back. Well, drop the oil (Panaway or Deep Relief would be good in this situation) on the area of discomfort. And, as backup, I use a Reference App (called Reference Guide for Essential Oils, $6.99 in the App Store) that recommends locations for specific uses for oils (example: I look up 'hot flashes' and it recommends peppermint on the outside of your ankles. Who knew?)
Diluted: This means you're diluting your essential oils with a carrier oil. Wait..... back up. What's the difference between essential and carrier oils?
Essential Oils are usually steam distilled or cold pressed from a plant. There are NO fatty molecules in an essential oil so they don't feel greasy like carrier oils do. Carrier Oils are from the seed or the nut and are definitely fatty and greasy. BUT THIS IS GOOD! Carrier oils literally help to deliver the essential oil into the body. And they dilute that drop so you can use even less than a full drop (which is certainly great when using oils on kids!)
Even better, because essential oil molecules are so little, they also evaporate. The bigger molecules of the carrier oil helps to SEAL IN the essential oil so it can't evaporate on your skin! So, using less EO can actually be better because you know it is ALL getting absorbed when it's delivered in a carrier oil!
Which carrier oil to choose? Well, that's up to you. And, quite frankly, that could be it's own blog entry. Fractionated Coconut oil is easy to find in the baking aisle at the grocery store, and is a good choice. Some people don't like that it is processed to stay in a liquid form, and the fatty molecules are bigger so they might clog pores if used on your face. I like Grapeseed Oil - also can be found in the grocery store. It is great for balancing, toning, and smoothing skin. I also use Jojoba Oil (which is actually a liquid wax), which is nourishing and a good choice for sensitive skin types. The list goes on..... but these are my favorites and, from my experience, the most popular choices.
When you find recipes that you love, it becomes easy to make them in rollers (which I get here), dilute them, and then carry them with you or keep on your shelf.
SO, topical use. There are certainly benefits to using essential oils neat. It can be more convenient and undiluted will definitely get you results! Using essential oils diluted in a carrier helps to deliver the essential oil internally, seal it in, is safer for kiddos, and can stretch your wallet. And, really, either way, YOU ARE GETTING RESULTS. Don't make it any more complicated than you want. The mystery within those bottles will remain a mystery until you begin experimenting along your journey!
I sure hope you found value in this post. To get my free PDF and learn more about essential oils and uses, click here.
I get this question alllllll the time. Everyone wants to go natural. As moms we want what's best. We don't want the chemicals.
But are essential oils really safe?!
So here's my first thought. And it's actually kind of a challenge. Think about what you have in the cabinet under your kitchen sink. Or in the bathroom cabinet. Better yet - go check and see what's there. Products from pure plants? Doubtful. What you have is probably what almost everyone else has : products from the store that we trust because marketing tells us they're the best for a specific job. But turn those products over and check out that ingredient list. It's lloooooong and filled with chemicals we can't pronounce.
Are those products safe for kids? Heck, NO! And if your young kids are anything like my now-5-yr-old was, you've already put them all in a safe, unreachable spot!
When you ask if essential oils are safe for kids, you are basically asking if natural plants are safe. Because pure essential oils are just plant juice. Generally speaking, I'm going to say 100% that I would prefer natural plant juice in my home over any synthetic chemical from a store shelf. BUT, Young Living oils are so incredibly potent (because they're pure), so there are definitely some safety measures to consider:
- Err on the side of caution when using oils around babies and young children. Babies have thinner skin than adults - be cautious or avoid using eucalyptus, basil, juniper, peppermint, hyssop, and wintergreen around them.
- Dilute all essential oils for toddlers and young children (ages 2-5 yrs). When in doubt, stick with a 1:30 blend (that's 1 drop essential oil for every 30 drops of carrier oil). A little goes a long way - especially in a little body!!
- You are the mom. You get to decide what is safe for your kiddo and what you want around them. BE SURE TO TEST ANYTHING YOU USE ON YOUR KIDS ON YOURSELF FIRST. Mommy intuition is an incredible thing.
- Sensitivities to oils are rare but do exist. In a rare case of respiratory distress or topical skin discomfort, the cause is most likely because the system is overloaded. If it is topical, dilute the area with carrier oil; DO NOT rinse with water! Water will drive the oil deeper into the system whereas the carrier oil will dilute.
I am the mom of four daughters. Essential oils are a daily thing over here. We have diffusers in our bedrooms and our living space. We use oils topically as needed. The other day my 7-year old had a mosquito bite on her cheek and it was bothering her. She went to get the lavender and rubbed one drop, undiluted, right on the bite. We use a chest rub made of coconut oil and Raven essential oil when needed. My kids always get 'sleepy oils' either diluted on their feet or wrists, or in a diffuser when I need them to sleep and they're fighting it.
As you get to know your oils and how they work on you, you will begin to feel comfortable using them around and on your own kiddos. At the end of the day, if you are comparing natural products with synthetic products, it is safer and better to reach for natural every. single. time.
If you found value in this blog and want some safe, effective recipes and ideas sent to your inbox, click here.
I am officially not ready. And yet time keeps ticking. Days are flying by. Supplies are filling store shelves.
Back. To. School.
GAAHHHH!! So Not Ready!!!!
Do you like a routine? I certainly do. I function 93% better when I wake up early (alarm needed for this) and get a list written for the day - IF the day isn't already written out in my planner. I'm usually done with summer by the time school comes around - ready for the structure, the activities, and, let's be honest, having fewer kids at home with me (holla!).
But this summer has been so much fun! We've made new friends, gone on a few short trips, scheduled playdates on more days than not. My kids are getting a little older and can handle a decent bike ride with me in the evenings (with one still in the trailer behind me). And they're old enough that if I need that minute to get something done, I can kick them outside on their own! Because you and I both know what a treat it is to send your kids outside ALONE to play or find their friends on the block!
So, this morning I ordered our school supplies. Finally paid for school enrollment. Yesterday we had our physicals.... dentist and eye doctor appointments coming up. I'm already stressing out about the pile of papers that will form on our kitchen island every night - let alone the crazy amount of emails that will fill my inbox from school (does your school send out a million emails? I mean, I like to be informed.... but it's ridiculous!)
Here I am, planning ahead. While I was writing this I interrupted myself to put some Stress Away in the diffuser. I keep that one going most days - especially as the first day of school approaches. Not just for me, but for my kids! There is some serious anxiety that goes into the school year - you know that! They want to know who's in their class, with which teacher, and who will the sit by at lunch and play with at recess. When they finally walk off the bus they are CRAZY from being so composed all. day. long. So, Stress Away in the diffuser. And possibly Frankincense on their head. And Valor if they're if they're super nervous about all of it - who doesn't need a little confidence support?!
Another great idea is to apply a Focus Blend before school. Equal drops of lavender, vetiver, and cedarwood in a roller works wonders for eliminating those distracting thoughts and helping your kiddos out. On the big toe before those new shoes go on, or along the spine or on the wrists. Check in with your kid - maybe they want to bring it to school with them for a little after-lunch-help.
And you know we all want to stay healthy. Give your kids (and YOURSELF) the support you need with Thieves!! Or amplify it by combining it with lemon and oregano in a roller. YES!!!
Last, but certainly not least, and certainly not the end of the arsenal list, is Tea Tree. Go put a few drops in the shampoo your kids use. Little pesky itchy bugs do not like Tea Tree oil. No one wants to deal with those little, pesky, itchy bugs!!!
Okay okay. I'm feeling better. We can handle this transition.... It's going to be a great, wild ride. We've got our deep breaths and our oily arsenal.
Click here to get more back-to-school recipes sent to your inbox. There's nothing I love more than setting you up for success with oils!
Enjoy every last minute of this summer!!!
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils. And for good reason. There are so. many. uses.
This total gem is referred to as the 'Swiss Army Knife of Oils' because it has traditionally been known to balance the body and work wherever there is a need. If you look it up in any reference guide, the list of 'common primary uses' is long. I tend to sum it up by saying 'All Things Calm, All Things Skin.' Meaning, if you have Anything that needs some calming down (ie. emotions, thoughts at night, anxiety, blood pressure, indigestion, nausea), reach for some Lavender. Also, if you have Anything skin related (sunburn, wrinkles, blemishes, mosquito bites, poison ivy), reach for some Lavender. Aromatically, lavender can promote consciousness, health, love, peace, and a general sense of well-being.
Lavender is also really yummy in a pitcher of lemonade. It's amazing in some Epsom salts in the bath. It's great to add to whatever moisturizer/face cream you're already using. It's perfect in the diffuser at night. And add some cedarwood and there won't be a need to count sheep.
In other words, when in doubt. Use Lavender.