Sunday, December 21, 2014

Soothing Calendula Body Lotion Bars

CONFESSION: I used to hate my skin. Okay, I think that feeling was mutual because I'm pretty sure it hated me too! All that hate and anger was manifesting as blemishes, redness, and unattractive bumps and dry spots all over my body. I was tried to make it happy by buying $100 creams and $150 spa treatments, but nothing worked! Soooooo frustrating!!!!!

But then something amazing happened: I went all natural (aka chemical free), my skin cleared up and became soooooo happy! Sure, it still acts up every now and then (um, winter skin anyone?) but I've learned that sometimes my sensitive skin just needs to be pampered a bit more than other people's skin especially when it's dry. And that's 100% okay because I like being pampered.

How to make DIY body lotion bars for dry, irritated skin. #DIYbeauty #calendula

Monday, December 15, 2014

Homemade Calendula Oil for Sensitive Skin

I know that I talk about essential oils a lot, but herbs are another one of my passions. Earlier this year I took a course about how to use herbs and Calendula was something that really stood out to me as something I NEEDED for my sensitive skin. The more I learned about it the more I felt like it could really take some of my DIY recipes to the next level.

What Is Calendula? 
Calendula officinalis is a really fancy name for regular ole Marigold. You can grow your own (dry it completely before use) or you can buy a good quality organic variety (like this one). 

If you haven't dried your own herbs before, then I recommend that you read this really detailed guide about harvesting and drying. It's a science and if it's not done correctly your mix won't turn out the way you want it and could even mold. {sad face}

How to make your own calendula oil for fabulous skin

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rest and Relax with Bedtime Balm

I am the type of person who lays in bed and thinks about her to-do list instead of counting sheep or snuggling up with a good book. Needless to say--- I have had trouble falling asleep.

When I started using essential oils I was naturally drawn to many of the calming scents. I found that when I used them before bed I was actually sleeping soundly and falling asleep quickly for the first time in YEARS!!  {mind blown}

It really is so amazing what just a few drops of essential oil can do! If I don't use them before bed, I can really tell a difference in my quality of sleep. AKA: I wake up 5-10 times a night and that suuuuuuuucks. 

How to make your own #DIY Rest and Relaxation #Bedtime Balm to support #sleep

Friday, December 5, 2014

Homemade Magnesium Oil for Relaxation

During my studies to get my masters degree in holistic health I learned that almost all people are at least mildly deficient in magnesium! In research studies 70-80% of participants were deficient! Eck!

Sadly, due to modern day farming practices our soils are becoming more and more depleted so even if we eat a healthy diet we often are eating food that are not as nutrient dense as they could be which results in us being deficient as well. “Magnesium is farmed out of the soil much more than calcium,” Dr. Carolyn Dean explains.  ”A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now we’re lucky to get 200 milligrams. People do need to supplement with magnesium.”

Did you read that?! The modern day diets have LESS THAN HALF the amount of magnesium than it did for our ancestor!!! {mind blown} Isn't that so sad and scary!? 

Learn how to make #DIY magnesium oil to help promote better #sleep and #health

Friday, November 28, 2014

How to Easily Remove Adhesive Naturally

This is so stupid easy that it isn't even funny, but everybody loves stupid easy, right? Why would you want to do anything the hard way, especially if it concerns glue? You don't because that's just ridiculous. So welcome to the easiest blog post of the year. Yaaaaaay!

I have always absolutely detested adhesive stickers. The are such a huge pain in the butt! Half the time I can only get half of the sticker off before I regret purchasing the item it is simply because it's nearly impossible to remove all the glue!! But I found the most simple and easy way to remove any sticker, glue, adhesive, or even crayon markings. It's ahhhhhhh-mazing!!!!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Homemade Orange Spice Solid Perfume

Solid perfume is my favorite way to carry my signature scent when I'm on the go. By carrying a little tin I don't have to worry about leaks or glass breaking in my purse which I loooooove! You can also get super fancy and put some of this perfume in a necklace locket to carry around with you. It's such a cute idea!!!

The best part is that this is super simple to make! Like ridiculously easy. You won't even believe it.

How to make an old fashioned solid perfume

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Homemade Lavender-Rose Hand Cream

I am a self proclaimed germaphobe!! It probably has something to do with my nursing school training. Once, they made us look at our hands under a black light to see what was there. Um, scary! Even after washing most of us still had lots of germs on our hands! So now I wash and wash and wash.... {shakes head} I blame the black light!!!

Now please understand that I am not endorsing that anyone try out compulsive hand washing, but I am saying that most hand soaps can dry out our skin even with regular usage. So for those of us who enjoy a frequent lathering, you can only imagine how dry our hands can get!

How to make luxurious lavender-rose hand cream

Friday, November 7, 2014

Relaxing Rosemary Lavender Bath Salts with Magnesium

One of the easiest things to make in the DIY world is bath salts. Why? Because you really only need two ingredients: Salt and Essential Oil.

How to make relaxing rosemary and lavender bath salts

Of course, you can add extra amazing things to get awesome results like dried herbs, different kinds of salt, and even a little bit of carrier oil to make things moisturizing. However, I prefer RELAXING bath salts to unwind after a long day so I add something special... magnesium flakes.

If you've ever used magnesium oil you know how amazing it can be! It helps to reduce stressful feelings, promote relaxation, helps the skin and so much more! My mom swears by it's anti-aging properties and calls it her surgery free nip and tuck. It's amazing how it's helped with her sagging skin!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Homemade {EASY} Lavender Mini Soap

I love the idea of making my own soap, but I admit that I am a bit scared by the idea of lye and all that goes into it. Soooo... I cheated. :) I hope you appreciate my sneaky ways!

Easy relaxing homemade mini-soaps which only take minutes to make! #DIYbeauty #DIYgifts

I bought pre-made organic goat's milk soap that has a melt than pour base. This make it soooooo easy to make your own soaps because you just, well, melt and pour! It's brilliant, awesome and easy --- that combo makes me so happy!! I have to say that this is one of the absolute easiest DIYs I've ever made!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Peppermint Cinnamon Body Butter

Get ready to blow your friends and family away with your mad DIY skills. This recipe smells very much like my Peppermint Chocolate Bark and quite frankly--- you will just want to roll around in this stuff. Or maybe it's just me...

But probably not. :)

#DIY Peppermint Cinnamon body butter is the perfect #DIYgift for #christmas

This mixture is just beautiful-- it's got hints of chocolate, peppermint, cinnamon and almond which all screams the Holidays to me. I'm more than happy with how it turned out and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bad Breath Busting Biscuit for your Dog (Grain Free)

I have a confession.

My dog likes to eat horrible things like vomit. It's so gross!!! He doesn't care if it's his own or the cat's upchunkings but he wants it. BAD. Needless to say his breath is less than desirable at time.

That's why I created the Puppy Peppermint Bad Breathe Biscuits. They are even grain-free for your paleo or gluten sensitive pup and it helps to clean his teeth and freshen his breath. Not to mention he goes crazy over them!

Bad Breath busting biscuits for dogs using peppermint essential oil

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to use the Thieves Premium Starter Kit

You may or may not know that I'm totally obsessed with Thieves essential oil. It's this amazing blend that smells like Gingerbread cookies and Christmas in a bottle. And there is a bonus!! It has some major germ fighting and immune boosting properties, too.

#Thieves Premium Starter Kit from #YoungLiving
I forgot to take a picture with the Thieves 15 ml bottle! Ooops!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Peppermint Lip Gloss

This year is a DIY Christmas! I'm really excited because I have a lot of great things planned, but I thought I'd start making gifts early so I don't get too overwhelmed as we get closer to the holiday season.

Easy homemade chocolate peppermint lip gloss for #christmas #diy #gifts.

My first project is a super easy homemade lip gloss. Of course, the flavors have a holiday feel, but it is very easy to substitute other flavors for different seasons. Lavender and Coconut are one of my favorites for when it starts to warm up while Peppermint/Grapefruit is perfect for summer. For fall, you have to try Cinnamon Orange! Yuuuum!!!!

My friend Joanne made a Peppermint Chocolate Lip Balm for her family and friends which was a huge hit! She inspired me to create a very simple recipe to share with you, but by request I made a lip gloss instead of a lip balm. I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Easy Homemade DIY Face Wash for Any Skin Type

Over the last few years I've changed my skin care routine from prescription meds, expensive face creams, and spa treatments to simple DIYs and the results have been amazing! I wanted to scream from the rooftop when DIYs gave me better skin at a fraction of the price of what I was spending.

I absolutely love this DIY face wash and I'm going to share my recipe, but since we all have different skin types I wanted to talk to you briefly about different ingredients that can be used. It's so important to find what works for each of us as an individual so feel free to mix and match until you find your perfect combination.

Building A DIY Face Wash
When constructing a face wash, a base is important. There are lots to choose from such as raw honey, rose water, yogurt, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, castile soap and more. The base will make up the majority of the face wash so it's important to find the one that works best for your skin type.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Why Make Homemade Beauty Products and a Giveaway

There is a saying, "What goes ON you, goes IN you". Many people don't realize that our lotions, moisturizers, serums, and other beauty products will interact with the skin and can enter into the blood stream. Don't believe me? Have you ever heard of a lidocaine cream, motion sickness patch or a nicotine patch? They work by passing a medicine through the skin and entering the blood stream to cause a given effect. It's science, people! The skin is a powerful organ which has the ability to begin absorbing anything applied to it in about 26 seconds.

This absorption of chemicals from beauty products is why I believe that it's so important to know exactly what I am putting on my body and on my family. I began using the Environment Working Group's product guide (The Skin Deep Database) a few years ago to look at the toxic load of my store bought beauty products. It blew my mind! I thought I was being safe when I purchased products that claimed to be green or all natural, but I found that some of them were only a little better than their chemical loaded counterparts!!

Natural Beauty Box #Giveaway #DIYBEAUTY #beauty

In the United States, the cosmetic industry is a 50 billion dollar industry that is sadly basically self-regulated. The Campaign of Safe Cosmetics states that, "Under the current law, the FDA can't require cosmetics companies to conduct safety assessments, and can’t even require product recalls". In fact, thousands of ingredients which are commonly used in the US Markets are banned within other countries! I don't know about you, but I have no desire to be part of an industry that is not required to prove it's safety.

If you want to read more about how our laws aren't protecting the consumer, then please read this great article The Ugly Truth about Chemicals Used in Cosmetics by Lindsay Dahl.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Homemade Eye Serum for Beautiful Skin

I have to give the credit to my friends Darlene and Lindsay for this idea! In our Facebook Group, they said that they use lavender essential oil around their eyes to help with puffy eyes. I thought that was just brilliant and further proved why I'm so obsessed with lavender essential oil. But you know me-- I'm always trying to take things to the next level! So, this great idea from these two ladies got me thinking: what if I could make a serum that not only helped their eyes, but also supported healthy skin around the eyes!

Yeah. Sometimes I have smart ideas. #truth

How to reduce dark circles and fine lines around the eyes using natural products #YLEO #diybeauty

To be honest, I'm pretty amazed at the results. One morning I looked at myself in the mirror and the darkness was so reduced that I could barely see it! I squeal. Seriously.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

DIY Ayurvedic Herbal Hair Shampoo

I have tried so many things on my hair: no poo, castile soap, ACV rinse, shampoo bars, mud poo... you name it! Most of them made me want to rip out my hair at some point, but the result really is 100% worth it! My hair has never been healthier or more manageable.

A couple of years ago, I decided that shampoo bars followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse was the best for my hair. I loved it and I still do, but many of my readers have told me that it just didn't work for their hair and the wanted an alternative. For months, I've been trying new and different hair products to try to find one that I can recommend to you all and after all this time --- I found it!!!

DIY hair care using Ayurvedic hair powders and essential oils

Ayurvedic Herbal Hair Shampoo
What exactly are Ayurvedic Hair Shampoo Powders? Well, they are hair powders that originated thousands of years ago in India. They are made from the leaves, bark, seeds, or other plant parts of herbs used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. They are known to increase silkiness, boost color and improve the overall manageability of hair without stripping the hair or using any chemicals.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How To Use the Essential Oils From Young Living's Premium Starter Kit

I have a confession: I am an oily addict. I'm serious! I use essential oils for everything!! They are perhaps the most versatile substance in my arsenal of holistic products, but I seem to always get the questions about what they are used for. The answer is that you can use them for almost anything! I use them for beauty products, cleaning products, and to help support my mood. Overall, they save me about $1,000 year than when I was buying traditional store bought products.

I would love to write about all of my favorite essential oils, but I doubt that you have about 5+ hours to read it. And if you did-- would you really want to read this blog post or would your rather watch the newest episode of The Outlander. Um, Outlander definitely wins! So I had to narrow it down to 11 different essential oils (Lavender, Frankincense, Purification, Lemon, Peppermint, Thieves, Copaiba, RC, DiGize, PanAway, and Stress Away). Why these essential oils you ask. Well, they all come in the Premium Starter Kit so that was kind of my lazy way of deciding!

UPDATE: June 19th the Premium Starter Kit changed. This post has been altered to reflect that change. To see EXACTLY what changes were made and what comes in the kit check out this post- Introducing the NEW Premium Starter Kit! 

To just learn about how to use the oils-- keep reading or watch the video below!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Simple Homemade Wood Furniture Polish

My life goal has been to find chemical free DIYs which are cheap, easy, quick and effective. Because who wants to be exposed to hazardous chemicals, but also who wants to spend more money, effort and time doing anything. Not me. That all just sounds silly to me. Thankfully, making your own cleaning products happens to be ridiculously easy.

A few years ago I started this blog to share all my chemical free DIY life hacks with you guys and I've been loving it! To be honest, I really don't know why I haven't shared this recipe before because it's so incredibly easy! Once I started using this simple DIY wood polish recipe I wondered why does anyone even buy the bottled stuff anymore! This is so quick and easy to make and it saves money, too! YAY!

Easy DIY homemade furniture polish #DIYcleaning #YLEO #greencleaning

Wood Furniture Polish

  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil or Jojoba Oil
  • 1/4 c of Vinegar (use white vinegar if you are afraid of staining, but Apple Cider is good for dark wood)
  • 1/4 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)
  • 25-30 drops of essential oils (I like using 10 drops orange, 10 drops lemon, and 5-10 drops cedarwood or pine) I recommend this brand
  • 4oz Glass Spray Bottle
Homemade wood furniture polish that's so easy and effective. #YLEO #DIY #DIYideasSimply mix everything into a spray bottle (glass is recommended) and lightly spray over the wooden furniture. A little goes a long way! 

Using a soft cloth, wipe the polish around until it completely covers the surface of the wood furniture. It shouldn't feel sticky or wet. If it does, there is probably excess -- just do a second round of wiping! 

Tada! Done! I really don't know how much easier wood polish can get! 

You will have to shake this before each use because the vinegar and olive oil will separate naturally.

This isn't a duster/cleaner-- I typically use these fancy chemical free cloths for that.

Storage:
This recipe should last quite a while if kept in a cool, dark place. Sometimes the carrier oils (ex: olive oil) can go rancid so always check the expiration date on your bottles. I like to label my spray bottle with that same expiration date so I can keep track. 

If you'd like to learn more about getting safe, high quality essential oils please read about where I buy my essential oils and why I use them.  If you'd like to join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook please fill out this form

Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY Workout Balm, Salve and Energy Drink

WARNING: Prepare yourself for my sappiness. Considered yourself properly warned.

My love for PanAway began due to my love for a man. It is true! Now, you should know that when I opened my Premium Starter Kit, that this was NOT my favorite essential oil. I was definitely all about the lavender, but that's probably because I am more of a delicate flower, overly cautious, and anti-exciting person anyways. I really think that exciting stuff is making DIYs. I'm happy with that.

So now you know that I prefer calm and peaceful, you are probably wondering how exactly did I fall head over heels for an adrenaline junkie? It was those big ole' brown eyes staring down at me. And those arms didn't hurt either! {swoons}

It's funny how the girl who thinks roller coasters are too big of an adrenaline spike is enjoying life with a man who jumps out of airplanes for fun and runs into a burning building for a profession. Go figure!! Life is funny like that, right?! It goes back to that theory of how we always look for balance in everything! Which are why essential oils are so great-- they help take care of him after his crazy adventures!

#DIY Workout Solutions: Workout Balm, Workout #salve, and #EnergyShot for #workingout

Friday, July 11, 2014

Amazingly Easy DIY Citrus Dish Soap

Sometimes I question my intelligence.

I have been trying to figure out a DIY dish soap recipe for months. MONTHS! I've been shaving down bars of soap, melting them, and then adding all these amazing ingredients, but then it ends up becoming a weird pile of goop. I've tried everything and NOTHING WORKED! Until now. This recipe is seriously so simple that I'm really ashamed that it's taken me this long.

Are you ready for this one? It might blow your mind cuz it's soooooo easy!!!!

Easy DIY dish soap that works for oil and grease! #DIY #dishsoap #greencleaners

DIY Citrus Dish Soap Recipe
  • 1 cup of Liquid Castile Soap (like this one)
  • ⅓ cup of distilled or purified water
  • 1 tsp vegetable glycerin which helps to cut grease and thicken soap (I like this one)
  • 5 drops of Lemon essential oil (I recommend this brand)
  • 5-10 drops of a complimentary essential oil like 5 drops of citrus fresh and 5 drops of purification (I recommend this brand)
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • Optional: 1/2 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner to have more suds
I add the salt to your soap dispenser or bottle, then add the essential oils and shake the jar to mix them together. FIY: Adding the salt to your essential oils helps prevent that whole "water and oil don't mix" thing. They will still separate a little, but not nearly as much.

Next, add the water-- shake, shake, shake to get the salt dissolved. Add the vegetable glycerin and castile soap-- give it one good shake and you are ready to get scrubbing!

TIP: This works best when NOT added to dish water, but rather put in a small dish and you dip the sponge into it to clean the dishes individually.

I gotta say that I'm pretty impressed with myself. If I have a particularly greasy item I'll just squirt a little directly into the grease and scrub-- it easily has come off for me every time! The vegetable glycerin also helps it to be gentle on skin, too!

How to make a homemade citrus dish soap that helps to remove grease #diycleaners #dishsoap
Essential Oils for Dish Soap
My favorite essential oils to use for dish soap are Lemon, Citrus Fresh and Purification because they smells fabulously and they clean really well!

I really like Lemon because of it's strong degreasing properties. I'll add other essential oils into the mix for better cleaning-- Citrus Fresh can help remove grease and grime from dishes, and Purification removes odors and disinfects as it cleans. Lately, I've been really liking Citrus Fresh, Purification and Lemon together. It smells so fresh and so clean clean!

But if you aren't a fan of citrus, you can use peppermint, lavender, Thieves, tea tree, pine or any other essential oil which is typically used in cleaning products, too. It's a lot of fun to create your own signature scent even for dish soap!!

If you'd like more information about essential oils please visit this post or if you'd like to join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook please fill out this form!

I can't wait to hear what you guys think of this DIY dish soap recipe! I hope you like it!!

Are you looking for Hand Soap? Try this recipe! I looooove it!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Homemade Air Freshener Recipe

I have a thing about scents: I loath bad smells and I'm obsessed with good ones. This has absolutely been an issues since I decided to become chemical free because most air fresheners are toxic. The other side of this story is that I live with a firefighter, a dog, and three cats so.. yeah, things can get smelly!

Easy homemade air freshener to remove odors and make your home, office or car smell AMAZING! #greencleaning

Back in my before-I-knew-better-days, I used to have those scented plug-ins all over my house, but I ended up with some nasty headaches so I stopped using them and then I moved to those spray air fresheners before I realized what's actually inside of them!! Go look at your favorite air freshener on EWG and see. It's a little disturbing. Or a lot. Okay, probably a lot. Just go look!!

After that, I replaced them with an aromatherapy diffuser which has been amazing and so many people have complimented me on how great my home smells which makes me soooooooo happy. But if you know me, then you know I WANT MORE!! I wanted something to remove odors!

I already use my DIY carpet freshener which is great at removing odors and deterring bugs, but I wanted to make something to spray on my sofa, chairs, curtains and other items which were laying around the house, but were a lot harder (or impossible) to toss in the washer. Plus, it's difficult to move the diffuser to an office and it's impossible to use in the car. I can easily carry this spray bottle in my purse anywhere I go.

Homemade air freshener recipe to remove odors and freshen fabrics, your home, office or your car! #easy #DIY #greencleaningWhat You Need:
  • Glass Spray Bottle (Like this one- 4 oz or this one- 1 oz)
  • 50% distilled or purified water
  • 50% alcohol (rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka)
  • 10 drops of essential oil per oz of water/vodka mix 
  • Pinch of salt (1 oz) or ¼ tsp salt (4 oz)
Mix the essential oils in the salt and then add the liquid. This helps to keep the essential oils dispersed into the water/alcohol mixture cuz you know water and oil don't mix ya'll. As soon as you combine everything, feel free to use it! It's so simple, quick and cheap! I love it :)
Here are some ideas for your scent combinations: 

I recommend this brand of Essential Oil
  • Grapefruit and Peppermint (3:1)
  • Stress Away and Lime (3:1)
  • Joy and Jasmine (3:1)
  • Lavender, Orange and Bergamot (2:1:1)
  • Purification and Lavender (1:1)
  • Rose, Lavender and Lime (2:1:1)
  • Lavender, Chamomile and Ylang Ylang (2:1:1) 
  • Idaho Blue Spruce and Orange (2:1)
  • Pine and Lemon (1:1)
  • Lavender and Peppermint (1:1)
  • Orange, Pine, and Clove (2:1:1)
I normally use Lavender, Peppermint, and Bergamot, but lately I've been wanting a smell that is more citrusy for summer so I added some orange and lime to keep it more in the season! Feel free to experiment and have fun! It's a blast making your own custom scents. You never know what you're going to absolutely fall in love with!

You can watch this video for a trick on how to find out which scent pairs well with one another!


If you want to make your own DIY perfume and making scent blends, check out this post.

If you'd like to make a DIY reed diffuser check out this post from my friend Vanessa!

If you'd like to learn more about essential oils please join my Facebook group by filling out this form! It's a lot of funnnnn!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

E-Cloth Facial Cleaning Mitt: Improve Skin without Chemicals

Did you know that it takes approximately 26 seconds for something that you apply to your skin to enter your blood stream?

If you've been following my blog, then you know that my goal in life is to reduce chemical exposures for myself and my family. I've been making my own DIY products for cleaning and beauty for a few years and it's made a HUGE impact on my health and my skin. I had sensitive skin, but I've seen tremendous improvements from making my own products. However, one of the most common questions I receive is that people want to know what my exact skin care routine.

Well, this is difficult because I don't really have a set routine. I listen to my skin and I do a variety of skin care treatments. To wash my face I use the oil cleansing method when my skin is dry, African black soap to control acne, and rosewater for normal skin but I add essential oils for acne, redness, or just to lightly wash my face. On some mornings, I will just wash my face with water.

On those light cleaning days, I have to say that I think that the E-Cloth Facial Cleaning Mitt has been a big help! It is so gentle on the skin (it feels almost like satin) and it picks up dirt, makeup and any residue which make be clinging to my skin. When I first got it, I really couldn't believe how dirty it can be even when I've spent most of my day inside my office! But the best part is that it's chemical free!!

How to clean your face naturally without chemicals. Removes makeup too! #makeup #skin #chemicalfree


How To Use It:
I use a small amount of my DIY facial cleansing solution or just water, then wipe it across my face. Simple!! I follow it up with Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera and some DIY Lavender and Rosehips moisturizer or a Rose Water Spray with just a little added vegetable glycerin as a moisturizer.

After I wash, it's easy to wash it out with some warm water and let it air dry. After a few washes, just toss it in the washing machine and it'll be good to go again!
E-cloth #giveaway

Win it! 
Now are you ready for the fun part?! There is a GIVEAWAY!!! E-Cloth already knows I love their products. I've written a review about their cleaning products (seriously-- amazing!) and I've been using several of their other products for months so when they contacted me with an opportunity for a giveaway I jump on it! How cool is this! You get a bunch of great e-cloth products!

The prize has three parts and it includes three bloggers to review each prize! Included in the giveaway is the E-Cloth facial cleaning mitt, an E-Auto Car Care kit (reviewed by Kristi from Veggie Converter) and a Large Cleaning and Drying Towel (Kirsten at Cheerfully Imperfect). Please visit each of these links to learn more about the prizes! You can see more information at e-cloth.com


How to clean your face naturally without chemicals. Naturally remove makeup and clear pores #chemicalfree #makeup #clearskin

This giveaway is for US residents only. The giveaway is sponsored by E-Cloth, but I was not paid for this review I just looooooove E-Cloth!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Easy DIY Mouthwash

I may or may not have an obsession with jars. Months ago, I happened to run across some absolutely beautiful sea glass containers on clearance at TJ Maxx by "accident". I might have freaked out right there in the middle of the store and acted like a fool because the bottles were $0.99 each and absolutely gorgeous! The best joy can be found in the small things in life, right? For me, it's bottles!

I wasn't quite sure what to do with them, until I stumbled across some information while I was researching Thieves essential oil for respiratory support. I saw that Thieves may also be good for oral health! That sounds pretty NOT bad, right?

Easy homemade mouthwash #YLEO #Thieves #oralcare

Why Use DIY Mouthwash
I use homemade mouthwash because of the same reason that I make all of my own DIY products: less chemical exposures and more money in my wallet. Not only is this CHEAP (less than $0.50 to make an entire batch), but you know exactly what is in this product!

Did you know that there are little regulations for  chemical ingredients like thymol, hexetidine, methyl salicylate, cetylpyridinium chloride, methylparaben and finally alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride (how do you even SAY THAT!?) Apparently nobody knew how to say it so they shortened it to Benzalkonium chloride which I guess is better, right? Eehhh...

Anyways, these chemicals can do a number of things just check out the EWG's safety rating ;)

And then there is that whole alcohol debate-- is that bad for you? Let's go ahead and say, "Maybe, probably, yes". It can cause dry mouth, halitosis, and there are some studies which raise concern. So, until their are more studies that show that it's safe-- I think I'll pass!

Have I convinced you? Well, let me try again! It can save you money and health, but also time, too! It literally takes less than 30 seconds to make. 30 seconds!!! That's as much time as it would take to walk down the dental care aisle and pick out a bottle of mouthwash (if you didn't read labels).

Easy all natural mouthwash #chemicalfree #essentialoils #Thieves
How To Make Homemade Mouthwash
  • 1 cup of Purified or Distilled Water 
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5-10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil (depends on how strong you want it)
  • 4 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil 
  • Optional: 1 tsp baking soda
  • Glass bottle (essential oils can degrade plastic)

Put the salt in the bottle, add the essential oils to the salt, add the water and shake. BAM! Done! Easy right! 30 seconds tops!

I add the essential oils to the salt before I add the water because the salt helps to keep the oils and water from separating (it'll still happen a little bit). You can also use some baking soda if you want a little extra cleaning power, but I use baking soda in my toothpaste so I usually skip that step.

You may want to adjust the ratios of essential oils. Thieves has some cinnamon flavor (which I love) but some people may enjoy peppermint more. You can definitely switch the Peppermint and Thieves in this recipe. In fact, that's exactly what I do for my man-- he is a peppermint fiend! You may also like it the flavor to be stronger or weaker so feel free to use a drop more or a drop less per your tastebuds.

Remember it's very important to use quality essential oils especially when you want to use them for therapeutic value. The regulations are poor for labeling of essential oils so to be labeled as "pure" the companies actually only need 10% "pure" product and the rest can be synthetic additives. {rolls eyes} So "pure" on a bottle means diddly squat. If you want to know more about essential oils, then please read this fancy little summary that I wrote. Psst… it's not fancy. 

I hope you enjoy this mouthwash recipe! I'd love to know what you think about it.

If you'd like to join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook please fill out this form!

Important consideration: Tap water has chlorine, mercury, fluoride, nitrates, and may even contain some carcinogens. I want to avoid all of that so I use distilled or purified instead.

Want more natural ideas for oral health?
Mary Vance talks more about the benefit of Thieves for oral health
Do you want to know more about Essential Oils that are good for oral care and learn about oil pulling at the same time? Check out this post.
Now that you have DIY mouthwash, do you want some DIY toothpaste too?
If you'd like to join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook please fill out this form!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Clean and Detoxify with Herbal Detox by Herb Pharm

I recently had a fantastic opportunity to write a guest post for my friend Lleaon over at The Holistic Saffron. She's an herbalist and aromatherapists who has a great blog that's really focuses on the healthy aspects of being natural. I was super honored when she asked me to write a piece for her blog! Eeeck!!!

All Natural Herbal Detox

Over the last few weeks, I have been taking Herbal Detox by Herb Pharm to help do a gentle detox to prepare me for a larger detox which I'm going to be taking part of soon (stay tuned for that!). Herbal Detox is an amazing 100% natural product which uses wildcrafted or organically grown herbs which I loooove! I'm super impressed with not only the ingredients themselves, but how dedicated the company is to making sure that they provide healthy, chemical-free options.

You should see some of the testimonials of people who use this product-- it ranges from helping with acne, sinus problems, joint pain, and even helping with some medical conditions. It's truly an amazing little product that's so gentle on the body.

I'd love it if you'd want to read more about my experience with this awesome little product! To see more about The Herbal Detox please go to my friend's website: Holistic Saffron. Thanks!!

If you'd like to join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook please fill out this form!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Superwoman Slim Down Detox and a GIVEAWAY

If you have read my blog for a while, then you know that I'm a big believer in detox programs. I've detoxed with bentonite clay, herbs, more herbs, essential oils, lemon water… you name it. Why? Because I really, really believe that a good detox is important for optimal health, maintaining proper weight, promoting healthy skin and reducing my risk for chronic illness.

I used to believe that just because I ate organic foods and reduced my sugar intake, I was healthy, but I forgot to think about all the things which I don't have control over. As much as I try to be 100% chemical free, my family still come in contact with so many chemicals, toxins, and heavy metals through the air we breath, medicines we take, foods/drinks we consume and the different substances that we put on our skin. Overtime, these pollutants build up in our tissues and can be detrimental to our physical and emotional health. Soooo…. it's kind of a good idea to cleanse the body every now and then. {wink}

So how do you know if you need a detox?

Are you:
  • Feeling like you need to drop a few pounds
  • Tired
  • Bloated or irregular
  • Suffering from skin problems (acne, rashes, eczema)
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • In a constant brain fog or have trouble concentrating
  • Sick of looking at a closet full of clothes and still not finding anything to wear
  • Dealing with allergies
  • Popping pills for headaches, joint pain, or muscle aches
  • Covering up those dark circles and puffy eyes with makeup and expensive skin creams
  • Battling cravings
  • Moody
If any of those describe you, then you may want to try to detox. But good neeeeews! This giveaway is all about detoxing, losing weight and finding a healthier YOU!


I’m really excited to be teaming up with Kristen from MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life and some of my favorite bloggers to give YOU the chance to reclaim your inner Superwoman (or man) and WIN a coveted spot in The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox and Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value!)! You can read all about it here: Slim Down Program Information

This is NOT an average detox! This is a program that actually teaches you about your body and sets you up for success! You also won't be starving yourself or feeling deprived like some detoxes.

The Superwoman Slim Down is a fully-supported “done-for you” 21 day 100% REAL FOOD, hunger-free program led by experienced registered nurse, certified health and wellness coach, and certified specialist in fitness nutrition, Kristen Boucher. (Whew! I'm tired after writing all her credentials) She will teach you step-by-step how to feel better than you ever imagined while eating delicious, nutrient-dense, metabolism-boosting foods and making your health a priority.

Granted, you shouldn't just believe me. Check out what these former Superwomen have to say about it here: Superwoman Slim Down Reviews

Giveaway Details
One winner will receive FREE ACCESS to The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox and Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value).

How to enter the giveaway:
  1. Sign up for the MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life email newsletter.  
  2. Like MIX | wellness solutions for balanced life on Facebook
  3. Use Rafflecopter to log your entries and unlock bonus entries. 

***Be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway to share the love!***

MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life
The Darling Bakers
Happy Mothering
Conscientious Confusion

This is a great program, ya'll! The Superwoman Slim Down is a great opportunity to really kick start your health and learn how to reach your goals. I am super excited to have the opportunity to hopefully give it to YOU for FREE! Good luck!  


The Fine Print
The giveaway ends at midnight ET, June 30, 2014. Kirsten will announce the lucky winner on July 1, 2014. Once contacted, the lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name and email address.  There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

6 Natural Recipes to Support Your Dog's Health

Since I've started using essential oils I've been researching ways to use them for my dog, Hercules. We've made DIY dog shampoo, flea collars, deodorizers, aging support, itchy spots relief and more.

Today I wanted to share with you some of our recipes that have helped Hercules and his doggie friends, Roma and Rudy. I recommend this brand of essential oil because it is recommended by holistic veterinarians! 

How to use essential oils for dogs to create recipes like shampoo, calming spray and more

When using essential oils, the amount used should be based upon the dog's weight. All of these recipes are for dogs who weight 60+ pounds. If you have a smaller dog, please use a larger dilution ratio by doubling the amount of carrier oils or water in the recipes. These recipes are not intended for other pets, including cats. Some of these oils can cause liver toxicity in our feline friends if applied directly to their bodies-- so dogs only please! Never use tea tree on a cat-- very small amounts can be fatal.

I recommend ONLY this brand of essential oil! 

How to make easy homemade dog shampoo. Can be helpful for dry skin and more #dog #DIY #essentialoils
DIY Dog Shampoo
This shampoo can be helpful to support the skin and coat.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons of castile soap
  • ¼ tsp vitamin E
  • 3 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of Roman chamomile 
  • 2 drops of Purification
  • 1 drops of cedar wood 
  • optional: 2 drops of citronella 
Mix all of this together in a glass jar (an oil dispenser works fabulously). It is watery, but use it like you would normal doggie shampoo. It doesn't suds very much, but it's gentle and very effective. A big bonus is that your dog will smell absolutely amazing for days! 

Deodorizing Collar for Dogs
  • ⅓ cup of purified water
  • 2 drops of citronella 
  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops purification 
  • 2 drops peppermint
Mix together the recipe in a small bowl and soak your dog's collar in the liquid. Be careful not to submerge any plastic pieces (essential oils can degrade plastic). Cotton or natural fiber collars are best for this recipe. 

Let the collar dry and then put it on your pooch! Instant awesomeness collar! Yay! And he will also smell wonderful!! I usually save my liquid by putting it into a mason jar and using it to soak his collar about every two weeks. No need to waste, right!?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DIY Wrinkle Blasting Lavender and Rose Hips Moisturizer

DIY beauty is my obsession! Ever since my I made my first DIY beauty product, I've been tinkering around finding more and more easy homemade beauty recipes to help support my skin. I am so happy to tell you that since switching to natural products my skin looks so much better and my redness has significantly decreased. After 30+ years on this planet my skin actually looks happy! And from talking to you guys-- I'm not the only one!

I love getting emails and comments from you all and I am beyond thrilled to hear how so many natural beauty products are helping you guys!  I love how so many of you have turn my recipes into your own recipes or even making completely new recipes! I absolutely love it! You guys inspire me so much! It seems like once we actually see the difference natural beauty products can make, then we are always making more!

This time I've come up with something so easy that you won't even believe me when I say it can take 30 seconds to make. But it's true. 30 seconds. Time yourself. {wink}

What You Need:
You simply just mix everything in a glass bottle and then you're ready to go. Seriously, it's that easy! 

How I Like To Use It
I like to clean my face, use Thayers Witch Hazel and then use a couple of drops of this moisturizer on my skin. It absorbs really well and makes my skin feel sooooo soft! But the lavender and frankincense work together to help reduce unwanted bumps too! WIN! 

Here is a video I made to explain a little bit more about the ingredients and how to make this super simple beauty product. 


Did you know that there are supermodels who swear by rose hips oil and it's awesome skin benefits. I figure they must know what they are taking about, right?! 

Just be sure that when you use essential oils on your skin (especially you face) that you use high quality essential oils (read this to see who I recommend and why). I have had readers tell me that some store bought brands have caused them to break out, develop rashes and other skin symptoms. This is often due to synthetic chemicals which can even be in brands labeled as "pure". So just make sure you do your research when choosing an essential oil, carrier oils and other products to make your recipes.

Make this last longer and go further with my DIY Toner

Questions? Make sure you read this article about DIY Beauty Basics 101 before you email me with questions! Thanks! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Essential Oil 101: The Basics

Are you sick and tired of not knowing exactly what's going in (or on) your body? It's a shame when companies are more interested in making a profit than protecting consumer!!! That's why I love essential oils-- they allow anyone to make high quality products so they know EXACTLY what they are putting on their bodies.

You can make non-toxic beauty, cleaning, and wellness products for every member of your family, including the furry ones! But it's important to know what you're doing when you use them because irresponsible use can cause serious problems.

Here's some bullet points for you.

  1. Don't drink an entire bottle of essential oil in one sitting. That's just dumb.
  2. Don't go around pour all the essential oils all over every part of your body like it's nothing. There are areas they should NEVER go (and it may not be what you think).
  3. Children are not adults. Don't treat them like adults and give them the same dosage
  4. Animals are not humans. Don't treat them like people. Give them different dosages too.
  5. Don't think that you can just pour essential oils straight out of the bottle. Many require dilution!!  Hint: Read the Labels

It is important that we use essential oils safely and responsibly and that begins understanding the difference between high quality essential oils and regular essential oils.

How to use essential oils safely for yourself, pregnancy, children and pets

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Nitty Gritty About Menstrual Cups

Alright, this one is for THE LADIES! If you have a penis, then you probably just want to go ahead and close this window. Today we are going to be talking about "Lady Stuff". And remember that I am a nurse. This means that I have absolutely no shame when it comes to bodily functions.

Have you heard about menstrual cups?! They are kind of life changing. #nontoxic #womenshealth

After I wrote a blog post about Pesticides in Feminine Hygiene Products, I recommended using organic cotton products. I had several readers tell me about how glorious menstrual cups were. For nearly a year, I researched them and made every excuses as to why I shouldn't try them… until I couldn't anymore. After all, how can I say "Hey guys-- give me recommendations for awesome stuff you LOVE" but then never try it? That's lame.

So I did some research and ordered my first menstrual cup. When it came in the mail, I prepped it by boiling it and prayed to God for courage as I waited for my monthly visitor.

Using The Menstrual Cup
When you want to use the cup, the instructions say that you should hold it in your hand and then squeeze it so it forms a C-shape. then you simply slip it into your vagina.

Let's be honest for a second. The instructions are supposed to tell you exactly what to do. I have no idea how far it should "simply slip" anything. The picture in the brochure was of a lady's hand up in her va-jay-jay and the instructions say "You will know the correct position in the vagina by practicing and getting to know your own anatomy". #fail instructions.

How to have a healthy period with menstrual cups #nontoxic #chemicalfree #womenshealthSo after I had prepped myself and gotten the courage to shove this little silicone thing up my lady parts, I had to go back to my computer and search for "Menstrual Cup Placement in Vagina".  Google, of course, has answers. The computer told me that it does NOT go all the way up-- just far enough to be inside the body and as you move it will settle and find the proper location to sit.

So I went back into the bathroom, stood in my tub (you don't know how messy the situation will get) and hiked my leg up on the counter and shoved that bad boy in. I was pleasantly surprised that I couldn't feel it at all! It is super comfy! But the little tail hung out a little bit which was KILLING ME. So I snipped the tip of the tail and then life became fabulous (Just don't snip off too much! The tail is handy for helping to remove it)

As I am completely paranoid, I checked myself every hour, but I'm happy to report that I was 100% leak free.

Trust me when I say that taking the menstrual cup out of your body is an activity that you want to make sure the bathroom door is shut for. I like to do a squat/leg lift/ ninja move. Once I'm in position, I just wiggle the cup and it loses it's suction. I am sure this looks absolutely ridiculous and it is something I never want anyone to witness, but it wasn't bad at all. Besides the appearance of the situation, it was actually pretty easy. I never spilled the cup, I never made a mess (which his kind of a mirale-- I'm klutzy), and it was actually simple and so comfortable.

Once it's out, dump the period goo into your toilet, wash it off and re-insert. Simple.

Best part: Decreased cramps, less smell, and I'm saving money by using a reusable product. So yes, it's totally worth it.

Ordering Menstrual Cups
Most companies have two sizes and have similar recommendations. Size one is for teens and young adults who have never had children. Size 2 is for women over 30 and women who have given birth, and it does hold more fluid in the cup.

I am a 31 year old, smaller framed woman (5'2" 125 lbs) who has never had children. I do my kegel exercises, ladies, so I ordered a size 1 (but that was mainly because I was scared). Luckily, it works just fine for me! Yay! My periods are a light to moderate flow and I NEVER got close to filling the cup even after 12 hours.

I ordered clear (they have color options) and I've never noticed any staining. It comes with  fancy little bag to store it in when it's not being used. Spare no expense, Lunette!

I ordered the Lunette Cup but I've also heard good things about The Diva Cup and the Moon Cup, too. Make sure you read the reviews and make the decision that's best for you! :)

So that's it, ladies! You now know more about my periods than… well… uhhh, nevermind. The entire world knows about my periods now. Woohoo!!

Have you ever used a menstrual cup? Which do you recommend and why?

If you'd like to join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook please fill out this form!

I have not been paid or compensated for this review.
 
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