DIY Surprise… Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Thankful for this new week, nothing like a clean slate to get those creative juices flowing!!  Well, instead of my Top 5 lists of awesomeness, I’m going to branch out and share a great do-it-yourself project this week.  I’ll be putting this one under “Health & Beauty” since a good, solid, no kids waking you up, spouse snoring, dreaming away sleep is not only healthy but also makes you feel beautiful!  Plus your feet will be soft and smooth, always flip-flop ready!  You guys out there will want to check this out too.  Of course this project does involve my Young Living Essential Oils, love, love, love!  So, let’s get to it!

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Items Needed:

  • Organic Coconut Oil – 1 cup
  • Organic Shea Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Young Living Essential Oils – 10 Drops Each Oil
  • Glass Pyrex Bowl
  • Double Boiler (Small Pot w/Glass Bowl)
  • Fridge/Freezer
  • Small Glass Containers – 1 oz Each
  • Labels & Printer – Avery Address Labels – 8160

How It’s Made:

1.  Measure out the 1 cup Organic Coconut Oil & 1/2 cup Organic Shea Butter in the Glass Pyrex Bowl, both will most likely be in solid form.  I use Whole Foods 365 Brand Organic Coconut Oil.  I use REFINED because it has less of a coconut smell and is being applied topically.  If I was going to ingest the coconut oil I would choose unrefined as this is in its purest form.

WF 365 Brand Organic Refined Coconut Oil

WF 365 Brand Organic Refined Coconut Oil

2.  In a Small Pot boil about 1 inch of water.  Once boiling, change temperature to lowest setting or simmer.  Place Glass Pyrex Bowl filled with Organic Coconut Oil & Organic Shea Butter on top of the Small Pot and melt down both substances to a liquid form.  This could take between 5-10 minutes.  I found that it takes longer for the shea butter to melt.

3.  Once both substances have melted, take the Glass Pyrex Bowl off the top of the Small Pot and set it aside to cool for about 20 minutes.   After it has cooled, add the Young Living Essential Oils.  I chose Lavender, Sacred Frankincense and Peace & Calming, which all promote relaxation, healing and rest.

Young Living Essential Oils Lavender, Sacred Frankincense, Peace & Calming

Young Living Essential Oils
Lavender, Sacred Frankincense, Peace & Calming

4.  After adding Young Living Essential Oils, stir to mix everything together then place the Glass Pyrex Bowl into the Freezer for 5 minutes or Fridge for 15 minutes.  After allotted time, the liquid should be getting hard on the edges as if to form back into a solid again, but the center should be more like the consistency of a raw egg.

5.  At this point take a fork and whisk the liquid, removing the harder pieces on the edges.  A paste will be formed since the mixture is still cold.  As it starts to warm up, it will take on a gel consistency.  It is now ready to be put into the 1 oz. Glass Jars.  I purchased these at The Container Store, my favorite organization store!!!  You can also find them online to purchase in bulk.

1 oz. Glass Jars  www.containerstore.com

1 oz. Glass Jars
www.containerstore.com

6.  To fill the 1 oz. Glass Jars I use a fork, as the mixture is easy to manipulate because it is more solid from just whisking.  Make sure when filling the jars that all air bubbles are released, this will allow for more mixture to be used.  Once filled, take a damp cloth and wipe excess off the rim and seal with lid.

7.  Now it’s time to make these filled 1 oz. Glass Jars look pretty!  The labels that I chose are the Avery Address Labels – 8160 which were purchased at Staples.  The name, ingredients and directions for use have been typed onto the label.  Before applying the labels make sure the outside of the jars are clean and dry, free of any oily residue.

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

8.  Since I was giving these Sweet Dreams Foot Salves as gifts to some very special people in my life I added an extra touch, a verse card that tied around the lid.  There are several other ways to decorate these from labels on the lid to ribbon around the jar.

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve With Verse Card

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve With Verse Card

Hopefully this DIY Surprise project will inspire you to make your own version!  It was both easy and fun!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

 

What are some do-it-yourself health & beauty projects that have been successful for you?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

 

“List”en To Me… Top 5 Ways To Cut The Chaos

Well, I’ve been blogging for a month now and really enjoying it.  I’m hoping my posts on essential oils have sparked some interest and helped you see that there are other options!!  If you missed them you can read them HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE 🙂

This week we are changing gears and talking about organization.  Ever feel like you’ve got a list a mile long and only an hour of time?  Are you always saying yes when you should be saying no?  Are you spending hours on Facebook or Pinterest yet your house is a mess?  Do you have a hundred projects started but can’t seem to finish one?  I get it, I’ve been there too and still visit every now and again.  Eventually you get to the point where you have to just cut the chaos, change it up and do a self check.  Here are my top five ways to achieve this…

Top 5 Ways To Cut The Chaos

1.  Wake Up Early – Yes, I mean EARLYYYYYY, before the family, the dog or even the sun rises.  Now what you do with that time, well that is what will set the whole tone for the day.  Maybe that is a large cup of coffee or some form of exercise like a quick run or it could be meditation or prayer.  Statistically, early risers have great success, optimism, energy and better sleep habits.  Personally, I struggle with being an early bird. I like to stay up late, get daily tasks done, write my blog, read a book or look through Facebook. However, I have challenged myself to make the change and go to bed earlier so that I can have that “me” time in the morning instead. I’ve found that my go to is prayer and setting my goals.  This allows me to organize my day, fill my soul with strength and be ready as inevitably challenges will arise.  So, what’s stopping you from waking up early?  Could you try this idea for one week and see what happens?  What way would you start your day?

2.  Clean Your Kitchen – I once read that if you clean your kitchen sink, not just the dishes, but the actual sink and make it sparkle you will feel a sense of accomplishment.  Well, I have to say that is completely TRUE!  Go ahead, I dare you to try it!  There is something about a deep clean, stripping away all the dirt and grime that has built up over time, that puts a smile on your face.  Especially when the rest of the kitchen or house for that matter is a mess.  Once you’ve tackled the sink, those counters will be begging to be cleared.  I have found that if I focus on one area a day, then the kitchen stays fairly clean throughout the week, which means less stress and more time to do other fun stuff.  Although there are many ways to handle this task of kitchen cleaning, the following example has worked in our house: Monday: deep clean sink – Tuesday: clean off counters – Wednesday: organize the pantry and throw out old items – Thursday: clean out fridge and freezer – Friday: take out recycling and trash – Saturday: clean the floor and baseboards – Sunday: finally REST and enjoy your day!

3.  Purge Your Closets – LOVE this one!  Think about it, you use this space every day, just like the kitchen.  It’s amazing how many clothes, shoes and accessories can accumulate over the years.  Have you ever looked at your closet and thought where is all my stuff?  Or you keep buying shoes because you can’t find the ones that match?  This is one area that is often neglected and becomes a storage unit instead of a functional space.  For this I say purge away!!!!  In addition to the awesome tips found HERE, I have a couple other ideas that have helped me in this process… Take your hanging items and place the hanger backwards on the rod so that the open side of the hook is facing you.  As you wear the items put them back in the closet with the hanger facing the other direction and within a month you will see the items that you are not wearing. At this point you can take those items out of the closet to sell or donate.  I recommend doing this for every season as clothes usually rotate.  Another great idea is to coordinate your clothes that are hanging or folded, putting short sleeves all together then long sleeves or you can sort them by color.  As you are going through these items to coordinate them take any that are out of date, the wrong size or looking worn and place them aside to sell or donate. When you know what you have and keep it organized, your daily routine will get easier, I promise!

4.  Simplify Your Social Media – Facebook?  Pinterest?  Instagram?  Twitter?  LinkedIn?  How connected are you?  As much as social media can be a blessing, it can also be a curse, a time suck.  It has been reported that our society is one of the loneliest yet everyone would tell you that through these sites they have a connection.  Honestly, why are you really using these sites?  Is it to tell stories of the life you have, the life you want or the life you want everyone to believe is your reality?  Recently, I read a blog post by The Humbled Homemaker – Making Facebook Interactions More Purposeful, she talked about downsizing her Facebook friend’s list after clearly deciding her purpose for using the site was communication with family and close friends.  I’ve also talked to several people that have put time limits on using these sites or have even taken a hiatus from these sites all together.  All these options are great ways to simplify and give you an outcome of more productivity and less distraction.  At the end of the day has your time on social media added to your day or wasted it?

5.  Write Out A Monthly Budget – In today’s debt filled society, the word “budget” is a whisper in the wind.  Did you know that the leading cause of divorce is due to money problems in the marriage?  True story.  Do you know where you are spending your money each month??  The majority of people would say that yes they do since they balance their checking account.  I used to say the same thing until one day I realized that there wasn’t enough money in the account to meet our needs.  Desperate times called for desperate measures which lead my husband and I to take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class in 2011.  I’ll tell you that this completely changed our way of thinking about money.   This involved writing that monthly budget and once we did a huge weight lifted, each dollar was assigned to a specific location and we saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  In fact, to this day we still follow his money management system.  We made the choice that we want to live like no one else so later we can live like no one else!  Just think about that, read it again and again.  To allocate your money is wise, alleviates stress and gives you the control instead of your money controlling you.  Who doesn’t want that??

Hopefully this list will inspire you to give a couple of these ideas a try and start to cut the chaos in your life.

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

 

What are some other ways that you have cut the chaos in your life?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

“List”en To Me… Top 5 Everyday Conditions & Oily Recipes

Over the last three weeks it’s been OILS, OILS, and OILS!  My hope is that you have gained insight on how amazing they are and learned the basics for incorporating them into your daily routine.  This week we are going to look at specific everyday conditions and the Young Living essential oils recommended as well the oil “recipes” that can be used.

Top 5 Everyday Conditions & Oily Recipes

1. Allergies – ahhhhh choooo!  Yes, who can relate to the sneezing, watery eyes, itchy skin, trouble breathing and constant brain fog?!?!  I know this personally since moving to the South and dealing with the pollen in the spring.  Now, normally you might be running for the Zyrtec or Claritin, however, I’m going to say STOP!  What if I told you that you could breath easy and never pop a pill????  Believe me when I tell you that Young Living Lavender, Peppermint and Lemon essential oils really work, not only do I use this combo in coconut oil but you can also try the following options as well!

ALLERGIES

 

2.  Insomnia – Do you miss those sweet dreams?  Are you tossing and turning at night?  Is your mind on full speed ahead, too many thoughts, so little time?  Insomnia is such a common problem for young and old, it has been said that there is quite a decrease in the production of melatonin after the age of forty.  It can be caused from dysfunction from areas of the body, such as the liver, heart, thyroid, hormones or conditions such as depression.  If you suffer from insomnia I ask you to consider the following essential oils, my picks would be Lavender and Peace & Calming, as when they are inhaled or diffused aromatically the fragrance can stimulate the limbic system and bring about a sense of calm over the mind which can help you finally get a good night sleep.

INSOMNIA

 

3.  Eczema – Being a new mom, I have talked to several moms whose children have had an issue with eczema.  To be honest, I was surprised as I had only known adults with this condition.  Fact is, it is the most common skin condition from baby to elderly.  It is inflammation of the skin and can be caused from several factors, such as diet, allergies, toxic product usage, etc…  To look at eczema there is red, flaky, itchy, dry skin which if you ask anyone whose had it they will tell you is VERY uncomfortable.   The following Young Living essential oils, my picks would be Lavender & Geranium, when applied topically to skin (neat or with a carrier oil) can be cleansing, soothing, regenerate skin tissue and reduce inflammation.

ECZEMA

 

4.  Headache – Does your world stop when you feel that pounding and pressure?  As I’m prone to tension headaches, I know all to well how they can just turn a day from good to bad very quickly.  Of course there are several types of headaches that can strike at any time, such as migraine, cluster and sinus.  If you are one to get any of these types of headaches think back to the last one you had, how did you feel?  Would you have done anything for it to just go away?  Conventional medications, whether over the counter or prescription, are usually a first line of defense, however, those can take hours to work and usually cause side effects such as drowsiness and upset stomach. Who wants to wait and deal with all that??  The everyday schedule of life must keep going. Since I started using Young Living essential oils PanAway, Valor and Peppermint in a blend of coconut oil keep me armed and ready for when those tension headaches happen.

HEADACHES

 

5.  Inflammation – Sore, tired, fatigued muscles?  I’m sure most of you can relate to this.  Whether its in the back, neck, shoulders, arms, or legs to pin point what is causing it can be tough as inflammation can be due to several issues such as diet, hormones, injury and infections.  The goal in using Young Living essential oils for this condition is to reduce the inflammation.  In my opinion, this is one of many ways to reduce inflammation and suggest that you also look at your diet – types of food your eating, side effects of medications you may be taking, toxic products you may be using on yourself or in the home.  The Young Living essential oil recommended for this condition is German Chamomile.  Additionally, I have personally used Copaiba and Lemongrass with great success!

INFLAMMATION

 

Are you ready to take the leap now?  Hopefully my list has shown you how they can have an amazing, healthy impact on your life.  If you’d like more information on Young Living and/or how to become a Distributor (discounted oils and shipping) click HERE.

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

 

Do you suffer from any of these conditions??  After reading this post, would you consider using Young Living essential oils??  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

 

Reference: Essential Oils Pocket Reference, Fifth Edition – May 2011 – Life Science Publishing

Disclaimer: The information shared with you is based on life experience, facts and research.  As I am not a doctor, nor play one on TV, I advise you to consult with your physician when it comes to information listed above as it is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any sickness or disease.  Additionally, I will not be held liable for any loss or damages.  Thank you!

Let’s Get Personal… Holistic Health – Where Do You Start?

I bet if you read my post earlier this week (if you didn’t click HERE) you thought “hey I could at least start with one of those options” or maybe it was “I’m ready to transform my lifestyle completely” either way when you are ready to make some changes, where do you start?

First, let me tell you a little bit about my journey to a more holistic lifestyle.  It was 2008, we were living in Northern California, we had just gotten married the year before and had decided it was time to think about starting a family.  Of course to do this I had to stop taking the birth control pills I was prescribed, little did I know what was about to happen to my life.  From the very day I stopped taking them, my body, my hormones went completely out of whack.  There was a constant (talking 24/7) headache at the top of my head, as if someone was pressing down in one spot.  My appetite was gone, I had mood swings, anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, night sweats, it was awful.  Worst of all I was exhausted EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!   I was getting cluster headaches behind my right eye and had a CT scan to rule out clots/tumors and the anxiety attacks got so bad that I could barely breathe and requested that the doctor give me a chest x-ray, which he knew wasn’t needed but I swore something more serious was happening.  The doctor said that my body would need time to adjust but for me this lasted a very long time, almost a year.  When you feel bad enough you will do just about anything to just have one good day.  So that is when I knew I had to switch gears.  It was time to take inventory of every area of my life.

I started with the food, boxes of processed food were thrown out, soda was thrown out, microwave was thrown out (really haven’t personally used one since), and no more dairy!  Only whole food – fruits, veggies and meat were on the menu for food to eat.  I limited my sugar intake and double filtered my water.  I started reading ingredients and researching what was in our foods.  I was shocked and was sure that this change was the right path for me.

Next was getting more exercise, getting outside, biking, running, hitting golf balls especially since we lived right next to the Bay with beautiful weather, great scenery and a par 3 course.

During this time I also researched about medications and their effects.  I wanted to understand what exactly the birth control medicine had done to me.  Also with the anxiety attacks the doctor had wanted to prescribe me drugs but I wouldn’t take them, it was a temporary fix not a permanent solution.  This is when I started visiting a holistic practitioner and seeing the physical therapist as well.  I learned about herbs and homeopathic medicines as an option instead of the conventional medicines.

Lastly, I knew my spiritual walk had been put on the back burner, so out came the bible, biblically based podcasts and lots of prayer.  I knew that I had to give God my problems not solve them on my own.  “The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” Proverbs 18:14

Within a month I started to feel much better. By eliminating foods (processed, sugar, soda, etc..) I was detoxifying my system (which I initially felt worse before I felt better), then add in the exercise and my energy level was back up.  My hormones had finally leveled out.  The headaches stopped, I was sleeping better, the anxiety was gone, my appetite was back…YAHOO!!!

Since then I have maintained this lifestyle, the healthy eating, exercising (mostly walking), using homeopathic medicine and seeing the chiropractor.  I’ve also added in essential oils, oil pulling (for another blog post), drinking kombucha & raw milk (again another blog post to come), it just gets crunchier!  Oh, did I mention that after all that we did get pregnant and yes, I had a beautiful baby girl, such a miracle.  Now as awesome as all this is, there are days when I may take a few steps back, eat bagels & ice cream (not together), not get out for a walk, but I’m good with that, I’m only human 🙂

Phewwww, did you get all that?  Not expecting a story like that, right?  Now back to my original question…when it comes to holistic health, where do YOU start?

1. Take inventory of your life. What area do you want to work on…is it food? exercise? health related? environmental?  It could be a combination of things, however, I would recommend taking one area at a time, baby steps.

2. WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.  When we write it down it becomes real.  Write it on a post it note and put it on your bathroom mirror or on your computer where you can be reminded all the time.

3. Research – whether by book, internet or an actual conversation with someone who has either experienced what you’re going through or what you are looking to achieve. Below are links to books and websites that have helped me in my journey for a healthier holistic lifestyle.

4. Ever hear that saying that “knowledge is power”?  Well it’s really what we do with that knowledge that ultimately makes the difference.  You have to put your plan (or in this case area of interest) into action.  Again, take it one step at a time and I’m sure you will make some great changes!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

 

Whose ready to make some changes to their lifestyle?  What area would you focus on first or are you already changing?  Comments and feedback can be posted below.

 

Links to Books, Movies, People & Websites:

– Book: The Bible

– Book: You Are What You Eat by Gillian McKeith

– Book: Ultrametabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman

– Book: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Jacob Gould Schurman & Thomas M. Campbell II

– Movie: Food Inc.

– Movie: Forks Over Knives

– Movie: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

– Person: Camille Vardy, L.Ac., DNBAO – My holistic practitioner in California, her website is full of information

– Person: Diane Sanfilippo – Nutrition Consultant & Author

– Website: Food Combining

– Website: Young Living Essential Oils