Fresh Doggy Laundry Day

I posted this picture on Instagram yesterday, because it’s just too funny not to share. The laundry round up of pet beds, toys, and blankets gives this sweet boy so much anxiety! But as all dog owners know, it is very necessary.

I love using essential oils around the house to clean. Not only does it smell great, but the oils also have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that work behind the scenes to not just mask the odors but destroy them. Here’s the blend I use to keep his stuff smelling fresh; Orange is the star of the show!

Fresh Doggy

Fresh Doggy

Lime- 9 drops

Bergamot- 18 drops

Lavender- 9 drops

Orange- 36 drops

I make the blend in a glass bottle with a dropper. Then I use the dropper to add about 20 drops into a glass spray bottle with a tsp of alcohol and 3 tablespoons of water. I use this to spray down his things between laundry days. After washing, I use 6 drops on a dryer ball and tumble.

Here’s a little more info on why I use Young Living Essential Oils. Let me know if you are interested in learning more!

Young Living products are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease or condition.

Essential Oils for Runners

Training for a half marathon has had it’s ups and downs so far…

I love the energy it is giving me and drive to be healthy all day, especially when I start the day with a run. I’m running 3 times a week, and have worked up to 6 miles so far. But my hips, knees, and ankles are taking a beating.

I’m stretching more and going to yoga, and incorporating some strength exercises for cross training to help. Using my collection of Young Living essential oils has also provided some relief.

To help both my lungs and respiratory system, and to prime my muscles and joints before I run, I use this blend from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy:

  • 5 drops Young Living Eucalyptus
  • 10 drops Young Living Rosemary
  • 5 drops Young Living Ginger
  • 2 drops Young Living Peppermint

I dilute 3 drops in a quarter size dollop of pure aloe vera gel and rub on my legs and lower back.

After my post-run shower, I use Young Living Cool Azul sports gel on my legs and lower back. It is both invigorating and relaxing when my legs are taxed. (It is packed with 10% pure essential oils per tube!)

And I have to say- stretching helps but I also try not to sit criss-cross-applesauce at my desk chair anymore. It paralyzes my knees after a run! Do you have any advice for managing the beginner runner aches?

cool-azul

Young Living products are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease or condition.

Yummy Smoothies (without a $300+ blender)

Smoothies are a daily habit for me, especially now that I’m trying to squeeze in time to train for a half marathon. It’s an easy meal or snack replacement and extremely freezer-friendly.

I buy the base ingredients in bulk, especially the spinach or kale and bananas because we love to eat them. Then I freeze the bananas when they are too ripe for my taste (without skins) and leftover greens when it becomes obvious we won’t use them before they turn to slime. Frozen fruit is also something I buy frequently, especially in the middle of winter.

Of course you can get fancy and expensive blenders and juicers, but I use this affordable Cuisinart Hand Blender. I have to let the banana thaw for 20 minutes or so, but otherwise it works perfectly. As for flavors, ice cream is just about my favorite thing in the world, so I use ice cream flavors as my smoothie-inspiration.

 

I always start with this:

2 cups of spinach or kale

1 banana

1 tbsp ground flax

1 tbsp chia seeds

 

Berry Sorbet:

1 cup frozen blueberries and raspberries or strawberries

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Young Living Vitality Citrus Fresh

Peanut Butter Cookie:

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 cup skim milk or almond milk

Young Living Vitality Ginger

Cafe Mocha:

1 cup chilled black coffee (French roast)

1 pack hot cocoa

Young Living Vitality Bergamot

Strawberry Cream:

1 cup plain greek yogurt

1 cup strawberries

Young Living Vitality Lemon

Superman:

1 small apple, cored & diced

Handful of shredded carrots

½ c pineapple

1 cucumber

½ cup blueberries

Young Living Vitality Lime

Creamcicle:

1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt

1 orange

1/2 c pineapple

Young Living Vitality Orange

Young Living’s Vitality line of dietary essential oils are perfect for adding a flavor boost to your smoothies also. You can find out more about becoming a Young Living distributor here.

Young Living products are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease or condition.

 

 

 

No diffuser? No problem!

As you know by now, I love essential oils. And, I have a diffuser that is also well loved. I have both the Dew Drop Home Diffuser that I keep in the large living area of my home, and a small USB Orb diffuser that I keep in the office. I move them to bedrooms occasionally, but for the most part they stay put.

Diffusers are wonderful, but my message today is… don’t let not having a diffuser stop you from experimenting with using essential oils. There are many other ways to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy that do not require a diffuser.

For a home fragrance, simply a bowl of hot water with a few essential oil drops floating on top can create a lovely effect. A cotton ball or tissue tucked into a corner of the room or car works well also. Less is more usually, so go slow at first and add more drops if needed. Especially in rooms where doors get closed frequently (or your car), the scent can build.

Adding a drop inside the toilet paper roll can improve any bathroom odors. Also adding a few drops to baking soda and shaking over carpet before the vacuum can freshen as well. I’ve found this book a most helpful reference.

Here’s what I’m currently using around the house to lift my spirits during these cold and gray days of winter:

Gentle Baby and Christmas Spirit (We call it Gentle Christmas)

Orange and Bergamot

Lavender

Awaken

Sniffleease

Euclyptus, sometimes with Lemon

I use Young Living oils because of their purity promise. You can learn more about the benefits of Young Living and being a distributor here.

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Young Living products are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease or condition.

January

My least favorite winter break activity is always putting up Christmas decorations. The house looks so sad and bare when I finish. So this year, to help bring some sunshine and warmth into my January house we are adding more light with candles, more cozy spaces with blankets and yummy smells and making it easy go outside.

I confess that I do not have a green thumb, especially with house plants.  I’ve had more success when I schedule time to water (we water on Wednesday around here). But if the plant needs more or less than a once-a-week water, it will have a short life. I just keep changing them out, especially with the grocery and Trader Joe plants and cut flowers. Some plants actually clean the air, but it pleases me also to add some fresh color to an otherwise dreary January scene.

Once reason I love Christmas décor, is that it’s not just the eyes that are stimulated. Your sense of smell is also heightened with the tree and wreaths made of tree clippings, and all the cooking smells.  We kept some of the greenery, which I give a spray of water (on Wednesdays, of course!).  I also try to bake bread or cookies once or twice a week.

bread

If not baking, I also use my essential oils to warm up the spaces. My daughter decided to mix a little Christmas Spirit with Gentle Baby a few weeks ago and dubbed it Gentle Christmas. We love the soft floral essential oils of Gentle Baby mixed with the sweet, spicy blend of orange, cinnamon, and spruce essential oils in Christmas Spirit.

greenery

To help get through these cold months, we also go outside every moment we can. Sunny days might be few and far between, but we make it a priority to get our vitamin D from sunshine. Keeping our hats, gloves, and scarves in a basket by the door makes it easier to be outside and play with our friends and run around with our dog.

How do you create light and warmth in your home without the Christmas decor? (Or do you leave it up? I was tempted to leave the tree with only lights but changed my mind…)

White Elephant Gift Exchange

I have a love / hate relationship with White Elephant gift exchanges. They can be entertaining if everyone playing is around the same age, agrees to raise the gift amount (I recommend $25), and if the purpose is to be funny. It’s wasteful for sure, but at least it doesn’t max out your creativity. However a one-size-fits-all good or funny gift for under $10, well that’s about as elusive as a white elephant.

My best idea for that latter kind of party is to bring something homemade (and falls into the category of “I wouldn’t mind ending up with it”). Here’s a round-up of what I’ve done in the past and a little of what I’m planning to do this year:

Let me know if you have other ideas!

Why use essential oils?

For me, the question is not why to use essentials oils, but why not?

I can think of at least twenty reasons to use essential oils, but here’s my top three:

1- Keep toxins out of my home – I primarily use Lemon to clean and Purification against odors, and keep the harsh chemical-based sprays to a minimum. I also keep my house as toxin-free as I can by using Young Living’s wide range of naturally derived products, like essential oil-infused dish soap and shampoo.

2- Better sleep- Diffuse or dilute as needed with a carrier oil Lavender or Stress Away as part of your bedtime routine. Better sleep gives me a healthier mind and spirit, and allows me to be more productive during the day and exercise regularly. Sleep is such an important foundation for overall wellness, and using essential oils to help relax is key for me.

3- Essential oils are energizing and immune boosting – Orange, Lemon or Grapefruit gives my water a flavor boost, and Peppermint on the back of my neck around 2pm (or just inhaling from the bottle) gives me the energy and focus to finish a difficult work day. Young Living carries a line of dietary essential oils so you can share and explore some of the best-loved essential oils in a variety of delicious ways. (A couple drops of Thieves and Lemon in some hot tea gives both an immune system and respiratory boost.) Anything I can do to ward off the cold and stomach virus feels right to me.

And here’s the kicker, why use Young Living? Aren’t all oils created equal?

The answer is no, they are not created equal. Young Living really has the best, most pure oils. Many bargain-priced essential oils found in common stores and websites are laced with synthetic perfumes, artificial dyes, and additives that can be irritating and toxic. With 22 years of experience as the world leader in essential oils, Young Living promises to deliver only 100 percent pure, therapeutic-grade oils. This starts from the farms and seeds they choose to the final drop of oil they produce.

Wholesale prices and free oils– As a Young Living member, I buy my essential oils and oil-infused products at wholesale prices. I build points through my Essential Rewards program for free products. And by sharing the essential oils I love and use every day with others, I can build teams, which also help earn reward points that can be redeemed for free products.

They give back- with the Young Living Foundation, Young Living Essential Oils continually seeks to partner with organizations dedicated to educating the public about the versatile uses and profound effects essential oils have on the mind and body.

And the Starter Kit– it’s amazing. The oils lasted me around 6 months. Would you pay $7 this week for a better nights rest? The diffuser and lavender alone make this kit a worthwhile investment.

Seriously, sign up here or let me know if you have any questions.

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