Wellness Wednesdays: Hand Cleansing Spray

Welcome to Wellness Wednesdays!

We just got back from a 5 day trip to Canada… and you can bet that I took my oils with me! Having a safe and effective hand cleansing spray was invaluable as we navigated airports, metro stations, etc…

diy-hand-cleanser

Not only does this DIY version contain the immune strengthening properties of essential oils, it is also alcohol and triclosan free. Why should you ditch your traditional hand sanitizer? Watch this video for an eye-opening look at this convenience item: Why You Should Never Use Hand Sanitizer

homemade-hand-sanitizer-spray

There are a TON of recipes online for whipping up your own batch of effective on-the-go hand cleanser. Here are two of my favorites:

doTERRA Living’s On Guard Hand Cleanser

The Prairie Homestead’s Homemade Hand Sanitizer

My go-to combination is pairing On Guard with Lemon in a 2 oz spray bottle. First, I fill the bottle 3/4 full of Witch Hazel. Then, I add my essential oils and top off the mixture with 1 tsp of Aloe Vera gel. Shake and voila! Excellent oils to consider using in your DIY spray: On Guard, Lemon, Melaleuca, Lime, and Lavender. Check out the research at aromaticscience.com to explore the specific immune boosting properties of essential oils.

immune-boosting-oils

This DIY hand cleanser was the perfect complement to my travel key chain.

travel-purse-kit

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Monday Musings: Words to Live By #4

Words-to-Live-By-Energy-Flows-Quote

As a new week begins, my words of wisdom to you are to check your mindset. Are you grounded in confidence and faith that things are unfolding exactly as they should? Or, are you choosing to be swept away in the drama of life where complaining and blaming are your best friends?

I was recently listening to a video series where this quote (author unknown) was mentioned by Susan Ferraro. Love it! It all circles back to gratitude, friends! Focusing on abundance invites greater blessings into your life.

Welcome to Monday Musings! Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite inspiring quotes. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This quote was created using a gorgeous frame from the Rhonna Designs App

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Wellness Wednesdays: Natural Bug Repellent

Welcome to a new series on the blog: Wellness Wednesdays! Each week, I will be posting info on leaning into healthy living, including practical tips on incorporating essential oils into your daily routine. First up: bug repellent!

Such an exciting topic, right? But, so essential for the summer! If you are anything like me, you want the protection that a commercial bug spray (like DEET) offers minus the smell AND toxic load! Have you researched the active ingredients found in common bug repellents?

I am usually a mosquito magnet! I was pretty skeptical at first– could I find a wellness product that would effectively ward off bugs? I’m excited to share my favorite combination of essential oils that do just that:

DIY Bug Spray That Works

I love the simple combination of TerraShield, Lemongrass, and Lavender. TerraShield is an amazing blend of 15 different essential oils that effectively repel insects. Read more here: Enjoying the Outdoors with our All-Natural Bug Repellent.

Terrashield-Bug-Repellent

You can whip up a DIY bottle of bug spray in a matter of minutes. Simply add your essential oils to a spray bottle and top it off with water or witch hazel. The ratio I typically use is: 3 parts TerraShield, 1 part Lemongrass, and 1 part Lavender. Since everyone’s body chemistry is a little different, you might need to do a little experimenting on the ratio that works the best for your family. Many people just simply use TerraShield with great results. If you are needing additional support, I would consider adding the following oils:

Arborvitae, Cedarwood, Peppermint, and Purify

Natural-Bug-Spray

Here’s another tip: carry a travel size bottle of TerraShield in your purse during the summer. Simply add it to your key-chain for instant on-the-go access!  <—see this post to prep your own!

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Gifts for Dad 2015

Father’s Day is right around the corner! What are you doing to celebrate Dad? It’s been so fun watching James and Olivia’s relationship blossom. Our toddler is quite the helper these days and very interested in Daddy’s house projects. I wanted our gift to him this year to capture a sense of “building” moments and memories.

I came across this PIN and absolutely fell in love with the concept! I bought a cheap hammer, found a Woodburner Pen (marked half off), and set to work!

Fathers-Day-Gifts-Building-Memories

Full project disclosure: Things didn’t quite go as planned. A quick and easy project quickly turned into 2 hours of fighting with the wood grain to make legible swirls. I wouldn’t chalk this up to a “Pinterest Fail,” but… man, oh man! I sanded. I retraced my outlines. And, I might have started to pull my hair out! I even burned my hand! (Thank goodness for lavender essential oil!) Believe me, I’m well aware that I’m missing a comma between “build” and “Daddy.” This project was definitely more time consuming than expected! But, I do think James will get a kick out the idea and effort that went into this handmade Father’s Day gift.

I paired this engraved hammer with a free template from Mr. Printables. I couldn’t be happy with how it came together. Check out the dimension! James always admires cards that have an “engineering” aspect to them, so I know he will love the stair-step effect created with this printable! You can grab your free copy HERE.

Need a little more Father’s Day inspiration? Check out this Pinterest Board for the perfect gifts for Dad and take a walk down memory lane with the following posts (click on the headings for links)!

Father’s Day 2014

Super Dad Book

Father’s Day 2013

Father's-Day-Ideas6

Father’s Day 2012

Father's Day Card 2

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Monday Musings: Words to Live By #3

Words to Live By- Someday Quote

I spied this quote (author unknown) in a recent newsletter by the amazing Lisa Serena of Soul Insights. I couldn’t help but create my own graphic spin on these words of wisdom. My mind immediately thought of a question:

How often do we neglect our own health and happiness because of XYZ?

We promise ourselves that we’ll get to it someday. Or, maybe we think, “If I can just get through [blank], I’ll have more time/money/energy to focus on [blank].

What’s your “blank?” Is it getting in shape by releasing extra weight? Perhaps, it’s about making yourself a priority or carving out more time with your family? How can you lean into making these “someday” outcomes an everyday reality? It’s a new week so put pen to your paper and start living… dreaming… and embracing a life you consciously craft.

Welcome to Monday Musings! Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite inspiring quotes. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This quote was created using embellishments from the Rhonna Designs App and a digital scrapbook paper from Snap Click Supply Co.

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Sunsational Summer Essential Oils

Sunsational-Essential-Oils

Ready for some great news? During the month of June, you can receive this fun kit of essential oils FOR FREE. All you need to do is place a 200PV order and you can start enjoying this selection of limited release essential oils: Cumin, Tangerine, Spearmint, and Dill.

You can’t buy these throughout the year– in fact, the last time the company offered this summer essential oils freebie was 2 years ago! Let’s take a closer look at how these sunsational products can help you with your wellness goals:

Cumin

This popular spice is perfect for adding to meat marinades, taco seasonings, and other dishes like chili, soup, and salsa. Tip: Since essential oils are so potent, you only need a small amount! Insert a toothpick into the top opening of your bottle to get a small quantity or simply start with 1 drop. You can always add more!

Properties of Cumin: supports oral and digestive health, promotes a healthy inflammatory response to everyday stressors, purifies body systems, and promotes healthy circulation.

Tangerine

This essential oil is an all time favorite. It has such a happy and uplifting aroma, making it ideal candidate to place in your diffuser. Feeling stressed? Add a drop to the palms of your hands, cup to your nose, and deeply inhale. You can also apply Tangerine to reflect points to boost your energy and mood. You won’t want to miss out on the amazing flavor of this essential oil in drinks and desserts. I love adding it to my morning protein shake! Warning: This oil is photo-sensitive, which means that you should avoid direct sun exposure after topical application.

Summer Sensation Essential Oil Kit

Properties of Tangerine: soothes feelings of anxiety/stress, supports a healthy immune system (excellent source of antioxidants), and uplifts mood.

Dill

This oil’s distinctive aroma will have you whipping up some culinary treats in no time! Here are a few fun essential oil recipes I found: Cheddar Dill Bread, Vegetable Dip, and Summer Salad Dressing. Dill is an amazing oil to include in your cooking adventures since it promotes GI health by stimulating digestive juices in the stomach and salivary glands.

Properties of Dill: promotes digestion and provides antioxidant protection.

Spearmint

I’ll admit- I’m not a huge fan of spearmint gum or candies. For some reason, the taste/aroma usually gives me a headache! When I first opened this bottle of essential oil, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s sweet minty aroma was both potent and delicate. In addition to flavoring drinks and desserts, try adding 1-2 drops of Spearmint to your water glass for occasional stomach upsets. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of the ocean– I can’t wait to test out this diffuser blend using Spearmint, Tangerine, and Bergamot: Just Beachy Blend.

Properties of Spearmint: promotes digestive and respiratory function, supports oral health, and uplifts mood.

Limited-Sunsational-Oils-Offer

I’m so excited to start incorporating these 4 summer essential oils into our routines! Which one is your favorite?

*Interested in learning more about the therapeutic benefits of essential oils? Check out these archives or send me a email!

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Monday Musings: Words to Live By #2

Failureisimpossible

Is it really possible that we are entering JUNE?! The months of 2015 are truly flying by. I recently heard this quote at a graduation and thought it was the perfect way to usher in a new calendar month and the start of a busy summer season.

What if we all take failure off the table? What would that look like? Can we replace our fears with curiosity?

Cheers to an amazing, fun, and productive month ahead!

Welcome to Monday Musings! Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite inspiring quotes. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This graphic was created with a digital flower element from Snap Click Supply Co.

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Searching for an All Natural Toothpaste

Great All Natural Toothpaste

When I was pregnant with Olivia, I started looking for an all natural toothpaste. Why? Because I started reading articles like these:

Scary stuff! The good news? Largely because of public outcry, Crest agreed to remove plastic microbeads from its products. However, these changes won’t be complete until 2016! My search to find a more natural product, in the meantime, took me to the Whole Body Department at my local Whole Foods. I settled on testing out Tom’s Peppermint toothpaste and ….well…. ugh… I just wasn’t satisfied. It didn’t foam… it didn’t leave my mouth feeling exceptionally clean… and, I hated the chalky after-taste. I went back to the drawing board of searching for a better alternative.

Fast forward about a year: I decided to try doTERRA’s On Guard Toothpaste. I never thought I would be singing the praises of a toothpaste…. but, this product is so, so good! Not only does it have a delightful cinnamon-y taste, but it is free from fluoride, polyethylene, parabens, and triclosan.

Why is this important? Just pause for a moment and consider how many times you brush your teeth per day… 2x/day = 730 times you are exposing your body to whatever is in your toothpaste at a minimum.

Want to learn more about this wellness product? See this INFO SHEET for the scoop on how various ingredients promote dental health.

You can purchase this product HERE through my retail shop. Better yet, contact me today about setting up a wholesale membership- this all natural toothpaste is one product that you will be using on a regular basis! It even comes in a convenient pack of 10, which is perfect for handing out samples OR traveling.

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Virginia Bluebells in Bloom

I want to let you in on a secret…

Blooming Virginia Bluebells

… there’s an area at Shaw Nature Reserve that erupts into a sea of gorgeous blooms near the Meramac River.

Shaw Nature Reserve Blooming Bluebells

A carpet of delicate Virginia Bluebells layers the ground– it’s quite unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Virginia Bluebells Shaw Nature Reserve

This beautiful display is only around for a very short window of time. Just the cherry blossom season, its beauty shines brightly and quickly fades as nature reinvents itself.

We went in search of this beautiful display on Easter Sunday. It is quite a trek to get to their location. James checked his phone after our excursion and our hike clocked in at roughly 6 miles… over the bridge, across the prairie, along the wildflower path, and down a steep hill.

Shaw Nature Reserve Trail

When we arrived this year, the blooms were just about to burst open. The blossoms were a hit with Olivia since they are purple (her favorite color right now). It was just a bit too early to see them in their full glory. I bet that this weekend (April 11 & 12th) would probably be ideal if the area isn’t under water due to recent thunderstorms.

Spring Adventures 2015

I love discovering local, unique gems like this one. There’s just something magical about this place and event. It almost reminds me of an ephemeral secret garden since it’s off the beaten path and not many people know about it.

Another perk of visiting this time of year? Thousands of daffodil bulbs are in bloom!

Shaw Nature Daffodils

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Springtime in Paris Contest

Earlier this month, I saw that Michaels was having a fun contest centered on the theme: Paris in the Springtime. I’ve wanted to go to France and this gorgeous city for as long as I remember. I’ll never forget seeing the iconic Eiffel tower erupt in a dazzling display of golden light on New Year’s Eve 1999. For this project, I decided to create a DIY travel journal.

Paris DIY Journal

When I saw this Recollections Keepsake Book at Michaels, I immediately thought of the Eiffel tower’s beautiful sparkles! It was also the perfect size to throw in my purse or suitcase to document beautiful memories of the City of Light.

Paris DIY Journal Embellishments

I embellished the front with elements from the Trinkets Collection by Project Life, a die-cut image of The Eiffel Tower created by my silhouette machine, and punched flowers. In terms of design, I opted to almost everything flat and avoid additions that might “catch” as this journal was shuffled between suitcases/bags {no double-sided foam tape, no rhinestones, & no ribbon}.

Paris DIY Journal Supplies

James and I have been so fortunate to travel to a number of amazing places in the past: Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Aruba, Barbados, Hawaii, and the list continues… A common theme I’ve noticed: If I don’t write down a snapshot of our day while we are on the trip, it is 10x harder to remember an accurate timeline that captures daily adventures after the fact. In the past, I’ve taken a small little notebook with me and scratched down details I didn’t want to forget. The problem? I haven’t had time to do anything with them! What a messy collection of memories!

Travel Journals

This beautiful on-the-go journal solves my issue! It will allow me to capture all those candid moments and effectively start the documenting process immediately.

To prep this little book for journaling, I sprinkled decorative elements throughout its pages. Here’s a sample:

Paris DIY Journal Pages

Why the “keys”? …No, it isn’t in honor of The Pont des Arts {although I would have loved to have seen this tourist spot before glass panels were installed}. Instead, it symbolizes getting off the beaten path and discovering Paris through the lens of a local. I look forward to not only visiting the top 10 list of iconic attractions/museums, but also seeing fun landmarks that might not necessarily show up in a guidebook.

Paris DIY Journal Cover

My goal with this project was to create something worthy of capturing the ever-evolving beauty and grace of the city. I can’t wait to fill in the pages someday.

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