Saturday, November 15, 2014

Healthy Baby + Surprised Teachers

So yesterday I took my 8 month old to our 5th doctor's appointment where the doctor said, "he's perfectly healthy!"  Our sweet daycare teachers are a little baffled as to how he hasn't gotten sick when several rounds of HFM (hand foot mouth disease) and a tummy bug has gone thru his classroom of 5 kids all since August.

He cut 2 teeth in less than a week and has been a little fussier than normal with that and the teachers were almost positive that he had an ear infection.  Nope!

4 times they were fairly certain that he had HFM.  Nope!  (he has ezcema)

My pediatrician and a pediatrician friend of mine have both told me that they attribute a lot of this to our oily efforts to boost his immune system and stay ahead of anything coming our way.

Very proud to have a healthy baby, to have daycare teachers who are so cautious and protective of him and to have an arsenal of oils as my "go to."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Diffusers, Diffusers, Diffusers!

So, I think I have a bit of a problem....I have a diffuser for my classroom and every bedroom in my house (if you're counting, that's a total of 5).  There's something about a great smell but knowing that it's keeping my family healthy or helping us feel better that makes me keep buying them.  I have 2 that I purchased from Amazon and they work fine but don't hold a candle to the sq ft that my YL diffuser covers.

The problem is, now my friends are starting to love all things oils and so I am running out!  I currently only have 2 diffusers in my home (one in each of the kids rooms).  So I'm left with the temptation of buying yet another diffuser from YL (I mean...come on, you get 2 free oils with it, lol) or just waiting until my friends are done.

Well, I tried the latter...and then I had more friends want it.  So, I think I'm going to purchase yet another one.  I'm laughing as I type this because it seems completely excessive yet necessary at the same time.

The past few months, the success of the company that I'm supporting has skyrocketed.  I'm not sure if it's just that people are raving about essential oils more or what?  I know I certainly am.  The downside??  The demands on my favorite oils are thru the roof so the shipping has had a bit of a delay (a LOT of a delay in some cases).

So, I guess I'll have to wait a little bit longer for the next addition to my obsession.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NingXia Red

Ok, I feel like I can honestly say that NingXia Red has made a difference in my life.  I can't say for sure until I get back on it but I've been without it for going on 2 weeks now.  I ran out right before the beginning of the month and it was on the order I placed on the 7th.  (cheap me wanted to get rewards points!)

Well, I won't make that mistake again.

I've been tired, grouchy and had less energy overall.  I'm ready to get the spring back in my step!!  I think I might hug the UPS driver tomorrow.

Stay tuned.....

Updated 10/18-it is amazing the difference I feel!!  For a teaching mom of 2 under the age of 4 I'm never tired :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Interested in oils? Start here!

So this is a re-post because I've had friends look at my blog and not know "where to start."  So, I've changed the title in hopes to help make the research portion a bit easier.  Enjoy!

Catch phrase...Essential Oils

So, unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard people talking about Essential Oils.  It seems to be the new thing the cool kids are doing.  I also drank the punch of all things Essential Oils (will call them EO from this point) and I wanted to document my journey and learning curve in this oily adventure.

I've been using EOs for almost 4 months now, I started just a few weeks after my son was born.   To avoid being a book, I'll try to keep this post focused on why I started looking into EOs and why I went the direction I did.

I've always loved to make stuff but I'm creatively challenged...this makes being a teacher difficult, thankfully Pinterest exists.  Two years ago I found a recipe to make your own bug spray and I bought my first bottle of Lavender EO for this.   Friends loved this for their kiddos and I shared the recipe a gazillion times.

Well, one of my new neighbors was making homemade body scrub for friends and asked if I had any EOs she could borrow.  I let her borrow my lavender and I noticed it didn't smell the same as it did when I'd first gotten it.  I started to research this and learned alot...let me bullet point some interesting things I learned:
  • the FDA doesn't regulate Essential Oils.  
  • an oil can say 100% pure on it as long as it has 5% essential oil in the bottle!!  (this means it has pure oil and is diluted in the bottle but the company doesn't have to list what it's diluted with!)
  • some EOs have "for external use only" type of warnings on the label
  • as with other "organic" "natural" type of products, there is no regulation of these type of labels and the companies can basically put what they want on there.  This is true for so many products on the your research!
  •  many EOs have added fragrances to them (can contribute to allergic or site reactions..or in my case, headaches!)...oh, and they don't have to list this on the label
So, at this point I have a 3 week old and have read about the calming effect of EOs on babies...after this, you can bet I'm not going anywhere near them until a long convo with my pediatrician!

This week 3 of my son's life and he's going on his 2nd week of cradle cap.  My daughter had cradle cap and we were able to use the little hospital comb and massage the baby shampoo and it was manageable.  Well...not the case for this boy.  I asked for help in a FB mom's group, asked friends and family and tried everything:  hospital+shampoo (got the top layer off only), olive oil (just made it greasy), head and shoulders (nothing), baking soda paste (nope) and then I read about coconut oil.  I asked my neighbor and she is in love with coconut oil and let me borrow some....BAM!  Not only did the flakes come off but now my newborn smelled like a pina colada...bonus!  Unfortunately, it came back but the coconut oil helped get it off.

I talked to a friend of mine who'd been using EOs and has 3 kids and she encouraged me to research and she'd answer what questions I had....and the obsession began.  I looked up the bottle I was used to purchasing, the MLM brands I'd heard of and found several bloggers did comparisons.   I read and read for a week and a half (this replaced my reality TV obsession and it's what I did during feedings and while both kids napped).  I ended up going with a company called Young Living.

Before I dive into this, let me first say I am NOT marketing against any other company...I'm sure they all have their great parts, I'm just listing the reasons why I chose the company Young Living.

  • I'd seen friends have success with it (as elementary as that sounds, word of mouth is very important to me...what my friends recommend impact my purchases of baby gear, recipes I cook, vacation spots I travel to, doctors I choose, restaurants I try, places we go, gifts I give, etc)
  • You can visit their farms.  They have a "seed to seal" guarantee which means they pick the seeds, plant the seeds, grow them, harvest them, distill them, bottle them and you are welcome to visit and see any part or all of this process.  Open door policies are cool.
  • They've been in business for more than 10 years (I don't doubt the validity of new companies but I like to give a company enough time to see if people get mad at them and see how it's all handled...drama queen in me?  maybe)
  • I don't have to leave my house to get it (this goes along with my obsession with Amazon Mom/Prime and how I can shop in my pjs)
  • I read about success with cancer and Frankincense (had no clue what that was other than it was brought to sweet baby Jesus).  I basically googled Frankincense and cancer and found a dr with the University of Oklahoma (gasp) doing research and having success fighting cancer with this and it specifically lists the YL Frankincense.  Cancer's in my family...anything showing progress with this scores MAJOR points for me.
  • It is a MLM (multi level marketing) which initially made me want to walk away.  (Side note: I've been a "rep" for a beauty product MLM and I loved their makeup/skin care, etc BUT you had to buy several hundred dollars worth of products every quarter in order to maintain your "rep" status.  And it was always the new season stuff...seriously...what am I going to do with eyeshadow set that is bright green and royal blue?  Maybe if I'd been able to pick how I was going to spend my $...maybe..anyway I never made any $, I did get a discount on what I wanted but I ended up spending a FORTUNE and had a TON of products I didn't know what to do with...finally ended up throwing them away...sad face).  Anyhow, when I found this out I asked a LOT of questions to the gal I knew and here's why it's ok.  1) you don't sell anything.  2) you get 24% off.   3) the only requirement to keep your discount is spending $50/year.   4) you don't HAVE to buy anything specific (no preset packages like my previous MLM) spend that $50 on what you want, when you want it.  5) you don't do the "parties"  candle, makeup, bag, food, jewelry etc..(i.e. you don't have to monopolize your friends/facebook/coworkers etc and be "that girl").  There IS a business side to it and plenty of people make money with (basically you get a check if you refer a if you do have someone who drinks the punch like you did, you want them to list you as your referral).
  • the drama that I mentioned in a previous bullet, I found a lot of negativity being spewed toward people in the company.  Saw another company and strong competitor was formed from previous employees and has almost identical names for their products (a lawsuit was involved).  People were questioning the religious beliefs of the founders.  I found all of this interesting and it didn't bother me because as a mom, what I was looking for were lawsuits against the company for false claims, damages, injuries, etc.  Didn't find that.  It did make me feel better to know that it is a company with Christian founders/leaders but that had nothing to do with my decision.  Because lets be honest, I have no idea who founded the products I buy for my kids or what their religious affiliation is (Chicco, Homedics, Pampers, Huggies, Enfamil, Carter's, Fisher Price, Baby Jogger, etc).  This did, however, entertain me for awhile and made me realize that people attack each other's character when they can't attack "what they're selling."
  • my pediatrician.  My pedi is the type who will always give me the "home remedy" or "wives tale" to try and also write me a prescription for when those don't work (his words), haha.  I asked him about how he feels about EOs.  He told me he gets approached by parents all the time trying to "enlighten him" on their favorite stuff and he always looks into it.  He asked, "are they the ones with the nutrition labels on them?"  I didn't know the answer.  He told me, I've talked to a lot of holistic doctors and read a lot and if you're going to pick someone, stay away from the ones that say "for external use only" BECAUSE children's skin is so soft, they absorb things easily.  Even if you're only applying it externally, it will absorb internally.  With other baby products, they are regulated but since these aren't that's what I would look for.  Also, if it has a nutrition label or says "supplement" usually both, it's met the requirements for food (ingesting) but that is for adults NOT the kids.  His stance on the use of EOs is that he thinks they are great for mood, temperament, staying healthy, sleep, emotional needs, etc.  However, when someone is sick....and not just has some annoying symptoms,  he chooses modern medicine.  I agreed.  I left with a promise not to put oils IN my kids but ON my kids and he said always diffuse or apply feet first and then maybe wrists, tummies, etc but to use a tiny amount of oil and a large amount of judgement and common sense.
I'm sure there are more scientific,  important and legit reasons that I should've researched and maybe others do...this is not to compete with those but just a list of reasons I felt good choosing YL.   I took a breath, signed up, my friend put me in a private FB group where I could ask questions or search for remedies and just like trying a new recipe, I went in skeptical/cautious/hopeful.

As I'm writing this 4 months in I already have a lot of success stories and "maybe it was the oils, maybe it was luck" and I'll post them separately.

Oh, and my MIL called me a hippie and told me I better not stop shaving my legs...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Margarita Cupcakes!!

Ok, so this isn't all...but man were they yummy!!!!  I made these super cute cupcakes for a "stock the bar" party we hosted for some friends this weekend.  I'm sure there's a way to make them healthier, haha.

Margarita Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

1 box white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
7 1/2 ounces margarita mix
2 ounces tequila
1/2 ounce orange juice
3 large egg whites
3 drops Young Living lime essential oil
Zest of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners or spray with baking spray. Mix together margarita mix, tequila and orange juice in a large measuring cup. Add cake mix to mixing bowl and add egge whites, essential oil, lime zest and tequila mix. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds until dry ingredients are incorporated and then beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then cool completely on wire racks.

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2-3 T lime juice
2 drops lime essential oil
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lime zest
3-4 drops green food coloring

Beat cream cheese and butter on medium high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 2 T lime juice and lime zest and beat until combined. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated. Add more lime juice if necessary. Add food coloring a couple drops at a time and beat on medium high speed until desired color is reached and icing is smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes as desired.
Lime wedges, straws, and sprinkles all make festive garnishes. Refrigerate cupcakes in an airtight container if not serving immediately and bring to room temperature a couple hours prior to serving.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


So, I have a bit of an addiction to coffee.  When I was pregnant the first time I craved coffee ice cream (I went caffeine free for both pregnancies) and this last time I choked down decaf.  If I had an endless supply of cash I'd drink Starbucks daily but I don't so it's Folgers for me and Starbucks when I need/want a treat.

I'm a gold member at Starbucks and my kiddo doesn't know what the "golden arches" mean but she will point out the Starbucks logo and ask for banana or pumpkin bread.

Anyhow, after my caffeine-free breaks I thought I might be able to stay that way.  Yeah, that didn't happen.  I found that as a mom of 2, one cup of coffee just wasn't doing the trick...or two and three just upset my tummy.  I refuse to drink the monsters or redbull (they're neon colored...something is just wrong about that) and tea just makes me wish I was drinking coffee. 

I ended up buying 2 bottles of NingXia Red at a local YL meeting and thought I'd give it a try (I forced my husband in hopes it would help his cholesterol and BP).  I didn't notice anything shocking and didn't even really like the taste at first but it's not cheap so I was going to drink the whole thing.  After about a week we went on vacation so I didn't really notice a difference (and i didnt NEED anything, I was at the beach!) but I picked up this habit I was trying to get into when I returned.

I've been drinking it faithfully since, 1 shot each a.m. and have really decided I like the taste now.  I didn't think that it was making a noticeable difference because I felt great and was happy.  Well, we went out of town this weekend and it stayed in my fridge....BAM!!  After 2 days not only was I craving some NingXia Red I was dragging!!!  We got home Sunday night and I was tempted to drink some but didn't want to keep myself awake.  First thing Monday morning I had some and after 2 hours of grading papers I decided to clean out and re-organize the entire garage!  4 hours later instead of emptying and re-loading the dishes I decide to wash them all by hand...(what!?!)

And the best part was I had unending energy and was SO productive.  The bad part is I'm not sure I have enough left to last me until my next shipment arrives....ack!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Kidscents Round 1

So, I ordered Kidscents when they came back in stock in July.  My packaged arrived the beginning of August and no kidscents :(  backordered.  Randomly on Friday my kidscents showed up!  I was so excited to try them and so was my 3yr old who kept saying, "theyre MINE???  Just for ME!!"

We leave to go out of town and I pack my oils and the kidscents.  MY oil bag somehow never left my bathroom counter but thankfully the kidscents were in one of the kid suitcases.  So here we were, outdoors all weekend, staying in a hotel and no oils. 

M had been sick the latter part of the week so the first thing we did was rub tummygize on her tummy.  She was already feeling better when we applied it but she still asked for it.  no tummy issues all weekend :)

Then since I'd forgotten my purification, I rubbed the bite buster on M as a bug repellant.  Had no idea if it would work for that but I knew it had purification in it so it was better than nothing.  No bites all weekend!!  (don't tell M but I rubbed it on myself too after I heard family members complaining about the mosquito bites!)

M immediately developed a runny nose/cold as soon as we arrived at our destination.  We go there every year and the window unit is damp and always gives us sinus issues.  We applied snifflease to her nose and a little inside her nostrils and thankfully the runny nose stopped!  She was still a little stuffy all weekend but no longer grabbing for tissue.

All in all it was a GREAT first weekend with kidscents!  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends, back to the grind in the morning and this mom is going to need a double shot of NingXia red, I'm beat!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Toddler tummy troubles-win!

So I wake up in the 4s this morning and my 3 year old had snuck in bed with me.  I'm normally a light sleeper but this is the first week of school and I'm worn out.  I realize that she is sans-sleep diaper (she's potty trained during the day but I haven't been brave enough to try nighttime) and I asked her where it was.

Well, she'd used the sleep diaper in a major way and brought me a new one in the middle of the night but decided to just crawl in bed.

I walk her back to her room, take her to the potty and discover that she's had an upset tummy.  This is the first time she's had the big D since she could walk and it's confusing to her.  She keeps saying, "my poop is weird and my tummy hurts."  She asked me for some oils (love that) and I grabbed my DiGize (for anything digestion-related) and rubbed it on her tummy.  She said she was hungry but I was fearful it was confusion about the tummy pain and I didn't want to give her anything.

As I walked back to my room I heard a noise and was devastated to discover that my alarm was already going off.  ugh.

I got ready and woke her up about an hour later.  Her tummy was still bothering her but she was acting fine, not warm, etc.  I put more DiGize on her tummy and she said it felt better.  Packed a bland "brat style" lunch for her and sent the bottle of oil in her backpack.

They called to tell me she'd had an accident (unlike her) and her bottom was red from it.  Said I didn't need to get her as she was feeling fine but wanted the protocol for her bottom.  I told her about the oil and asked her to get some diaper cream I'd made from baby brother's room.

Fast forward to the end of the day, I pick up the kids and she has had "regular poop" (her words) and feels great.  I checked her bottom when we got home and it wasn't pink at all.

Double-oils win!  (the diaper paste is 1 tbsp coconut oil and 4-5 drops lavender)

And the bonus is I got home and my kidscents oils arrived!  I'm super excited as these are already diluted by Young Living and I don't have to mix up my own little batches for the kids....stay tuned for a report on them!

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Classroom calm

So my class after lunch is rowdy as most classes are in the afternoon.  I normally diffuse lemon and peppermint (2-3 drops lemon and only 1 drop peppermint) in the morning as it's a happy and alert mix.  I diffuse it intermittently so it goes off every 30 seconds.

This afternoon I decided to add in a little Peace and Calming (2 drops) and the kids noticed it immediately.  I had questions from, "Hey, I want a diet coke" to "it smells like my grandma's purse."  Apparently the combo reminded them of an old lady drinking diet soda (although I thought it smelled great, haha).

Regardless, guess who got to work and had the best class???  Yep, they did.

We will experiment to see if we have the same results with a different combo...maybe I could make that a science lesson but you can bet my diffuser will pay for itself this year!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Baby teething gel win!!

So my 5 month old started "school" last week as I returned to the classroom.  When I pick him up after the first day I'm told that they struggled getting him to take the bottle.  We discussed how I feed him and we went on our way.

Day 2 I get a call around 11am that they haven't been able to get him to eat yet (his last bottle was at 6am).  As he weighs 17lbs, I'm not worried about him missing a meal but I want to make sure he is hydrated.  He went down for a nap and at 12:30 they tried again and he took about an ounce.  I offered to leave school to feed him but we both agreed that they have to figure this out because I can't always go over there.

By 1:30 I called and suggested they apply some of the teething gel I made for him whenever he's fighting a bottle and then feed him.

I pick him up at 4 and they almost hugged me as they said "THAT WORKED WONDERS!!!  WHAT IS IT?"

Score 1 for mom and Young Living!

Teething gel is just 1TBSP coconut oil and 4-5 drops of thieves.

He's still not up to 8oz bottles per sitting with them but gets at least half of that each time and is improving daily.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

note to self

Don't reuse your NingXia Red bottle for lemon water. 

Here's why....people will think you're drinking Vodka straight from the bottle!!! 

I started teacher training this past week and had a genius idea to reuse an empty NingXia Red bottle for lemon water.  I was going to be gone all day and my normal mason jar wasn't going to be enough H20 to get me thru the day.  I washed and refilled the bottle with lemon water and went to work.  (Side note: I'm in a new district this year and no know one).  I walk into training and before I sit down someone said, "Girl you're crazy, we need to be friends."  I had no idea what she was talking about and I smiled, laughed and sat elsewhere.  I was assuming it was because I got there with about a minute to spare.

Fast forward to day 2 and instead of being at new teacher training, I'm with all of the other elementary teachers.  I was stopped 8...yes 8 TIMES by random groups of people saying something like, "ok we've placed bets on what's in the bottle" or "why would you bring the good stuff and not share?"

The best is when my new Assistant Principal said something.  (thankfully it was really funny)

Not exactly the way I wanted to make a name for myself but I got to talk about oils....alot.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to school lunches

So, unfortunately it's that time of year again and I'm sad to send my kiddos to "school."  While we're excited about this new chapter in our new city, I've loved spending the last 6 months with them.  Our previous school provided lunches so this is my first attempt to send lunch with my kiddos.  To be honest, this is what first started me on a healthier path because I didn't want to just send my daughter to school with quesadillas, lunchables or grilled cheese everyday.  I feared her lunches would all be in the tan/brown/orange family without any color or nutritional value.

So, I have a lot of ideas for what I'm going to send and I'll be sure and post successes and failures as we go along.

In preparation though, I've found some great containers and accessories that I plan to use.  **I'm experimenting with links, I apologize in advance if they don't work...I'm a novice.

I found some  Thermos Ice Mat, 6 Cube packs at my local store but they also make these in 9 and 18.  They were $1 per 6 cube pack.  I ended up finding some other ones that looked more like ice cubes and you can cut in the size you want.

I'm still on the hunt for the right lunchbox and the Land's end ones were recommended by the crew at but, of course, I'm shopping locally if I can.

I love love love this Thermos FUNtainer Bottle, Disney Princess, 12 Ounce stays cold all day and lasts forever!  It's not recommended for hot stuff because it keeps it HOT and could burn your little one's mouth but for cold stuff its AWESOME and doesn't leak!

I went to the store looking for the ziploc take along sectioned containers but my grocery store is a little smaller and I didn't have any luck.  What i DID find were these awesome Sistema 21652 Klip It Lunch Plus To-Go Container .  They come in all different colors, shapes, sizes, functions.  Some even have utensils that snap together.  My mom first found some of these and I'm addicted now and excited about having reusable containers that won't be thrown away.  You can find these at a ton of different stores and there are so many styles to choose from!

I can tell you that day 1 (and every day for awhile) he will have bottles and she (3.5yrs) will have carrots, cubed organic cheese and turkey pieces, veggie crackers, watermelon and a note from me (she can't read yet, just hoping Ms. Chrissy reads it to her).

Best of luck with your back to school lunches!  I think I'm stressing about this more than my lesson plans!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wanna learn more about oils?

So I get a lot of inquiries on facebook/email about this crazy oily journey I'm on.  I decided to do an online video chat type of thing where I could talk about the most popular oils, how I use them, what others say about them, etc. 

If you promise only to laugh with me and not at me, I'll share it with you.  (excuse my messy house in the background).

Vlog on top 10 oils I love!

I'd love your feedback.  I know that when I talk about Panaway I said one ingredient was Walgreens instead of Wintergreen, hahaha.  oops. 

Get oily people...all the cool kids are :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Holy Bug Bites!!!

So I had no plans to post anything about this topic.  However, my husband and I just returned from a trip to the Bahamas.  I had every intention of traveling with a whole supply of oils.  However, I had to get the kids oils ready and instructions written for the grandmas who are not oil familiar with which oils to use for what.  This meant I wrote a small book for them and after getting everything ready to go, I didn't go to bed until 1:30am and had to be up by 3:15am.

Needless to say, in my sleep-deprived state, I left with only the oils I had in my purse.

Fast forward to day 4 of our vacation and we had dinner at an outdoor pizzeria on the resort property.  I noticed the hostess stand had multiple bottles of Off on the counter.  (Some regular and some deed free).  Well I haven't used bug spray since we started on our oils so I didn't think anything of it.

About 20min into dinner I was slapped on the arm by someone who saw a mosquito on it.  She got it and I got up to get bug spray.  I opted for the "deet free" as I'm trying to be more natural.  I sprayed it from the knees down and on my arms.

The next morning I woke up with a vicious itching sensation EVERYWHERE!!!  My ankles were swollen from itching in my sleep and you can see some of the bites in this photo.

By the end of the afternoon I'd counted 52 bites from the knees down (we were in the pool/ocean most of the day so I had plenty of time to count).  Thankfully the saltwater helped a bit but at one point I just stuck my legs out in the sun (from the knee down) and actually hoped my legs would burn because I'd rather have pain from a sunburn than this itch!

All I had with me was Panaway and Lava derm sunburn spray.  I applied these and the lavaderm helped but I still itched.  My husband bought benadryl creme and it did nothing.  I walked around barefoot as much as possible because my flip flops made the bites itch.

Anyhow, I'm now on day 5 of bites and day 2 at home with purification and my bites are slowly going away but I can go without itching finally!!!!  Never again will I leave without purification.  It now has a permanent place in my purse!