Quote of the Week

"To know and love one other human being 
is the root of all wisdom."
~ Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited


How We Use Essential Oils

Let's get started, how can you use oils in your home...for those who are wondering, what exactly are essential oils?  Good question!  
Essential oils are the lifeblood of a plant, which can be found in a plant's flower, stem, leaves, bark, or fruit.  When applied topically, they can reach every cell in your body in 20 minutes! (20 minutes!)  Essential oils an transport nutrients, help support cell regeneration, and support digestive, nervous, and immune system health.

The possibilities are endless, but start with a few, trial and error, find what scents you like and dislike, and then begin to establish routines that work for you and your family.  

Why did you start using essential oils?

There are minimal regulations in the United States which dictate which ingredients can be allowed in personal care products.  After doing some research on my own and learning that many of the so-called "clean" products we used as a family were actually hard hitting offenders, I started to make some changes in our home, including adding essential oils.  Since we can't control everything in our environment, trying to take back what control I can to contribute to our quality of life by limiting our exposure to toxins and chemicals.  

I was especially freaked out after the recent memo by the EPA confirming the connection between formaldehyde and leukemia.  Until the FDA regulations increase and improve to eliminate harmful chemicals, we'll keep diligently reading labels, doing our own research, and work to understand what ingredients are really in the products we use.  Companies that are transparent about disclosing their ingredients earn our trust, such as Beautycounter, Young Living, and Seventh Generation.

How does one use oils?

Most people begin with the starter kit which contains 11 commonly used oils (digize, thieves, lemon, peppermint, copaiba, raven, citrus fresh, frankincense, lavender, panaway, and stress away).  Note: you definitely don't have to buy the starter kit, but it's usually a popular choice as you get the most bang for your buck.
Let's get started, how can you use oils in your home...

 We add a few drops of lavender and purification to wool dryer balls to freshen up loads of laundry. Dryer balls help dry faster without any of the toxins of dryer sheets with the bonus of adding a pleasant fragrance to your laundry.
One of my favorite uses for oils is to replace candles.  Some of my favorite blends include peppermint + lemon + lavender, stress away + valor, and orange + northern lights black spruce.  The fragrance and comforting aromas of candles without excess toxins in the air.  A lot of people swear by the 

Also use peppermint for headaches, I dab a drop on my temples and massage.  I don't know if it's the strong minty scent or what, but it usually helps even the worst headaches subside.

I also use purification to absorb stinky odors, for example, our in-house compost bin fills up quickly with two little kids and plenty of sandwich crusts and banana peels. After emptying the bin, it kind of stinks!  I add a rinse of dish soap, a few drops of purification, swirl it around, wipe it clean, and bam, we're back in business!

And my most favorite use for essential oils - sleep!  After my gallbladder surgery I had a really hard time sleeping, something I had never dealt with previously.  I started diffusing a few drops of northern lights black spruce + cedarwood every night and those zzzz's started coming.  Other favorite sleep oils include lavender + cedarwood, lavender + sleepyize, and stress away + lavender.  Sweet dreams!

Speaking of sleep, I also made a sleep spray from cedarwood + lavender + orange, topped off with witch hazel in a spray bottle.  I spritz on our pillows about 5-10 minutes before we're heading to bed for an extra boost of sleep inducing, calming scents.

While I've given you a few ideas as to how we use oils in our home, this is just scratching the surface with the possibilities for essential oils. 

What are your favorite oils?

Seeking Song Recommendations

Hello!  I need your help...with song recommendations!  I've been so immersed in podcast and audiobook listening these days that I don't know what's even on the radio anymore - wow, does that make me sound old!  Looking for upbeat, fast songs for a running / workout playlist.  Dance, pop, rap are all perfectly acceptable and welcomed!  Please share your favorites!


Mozart in the Jungle

Need a new show?  Upon recommendations from a few friends, I've just binged the first two seasons of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime.  Knowing close to nothing about symphonies and how they work, I've enjoyed watching a show about the culture and camaraderie of a symphony (even if it's fiction).  Episodes are 30 minutes; quick, entertaining, there's some love, some drama, some humor, all against a stellar musical backdrop.  

Dinner Last Night: Caribbean Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps

Tried these Caribbean chicken and rice lettuce wraps last night and it was a hit!  To avoid turning on my oven, I improvised with the chicken, and instead threw two chicken breasts, herbs de provence, paprika, minced garlic, and coconut milk in the crock pot.  Ultimately I think it turned out great.  The boxed rice was splendidly easy - always nice - and the crunch of the lettuce wrap paired with the refreshing flavor of the mango salsa was perfection!  


I don't really like to think that everything happens for a reason, but I saw this on instagram yesterday, on the 17th anniversary of 9/11, it struck a cord.  Shortly thereafter, I read this piece in the Washington Post, about perspectives of kids experiencing 9/11 remember, and I found tears streaming down my face.  

I was 18 on September 11, 2001, just weeks before starting college, and the weight of news, the replays of the footage felt like falling off an abrupt cliff into adulthood.  The gravity of the action taken, the carnage, a confused sense of trying to understand...how life would change in that moment, felt like a departure from adolescence and any remaining innocence forever.  I had never stopped to consider what it might've seemed like or been like to experience such a day as a child.  #neverforget

The Hate U Give

Did you read The Hate U Give?  It is an excellent young adult novel that debuted in February 2017, and has already been made into a movie!  I saw the preview when watching Crazy Rich Asians, I couldn't believe it!  Is it me or is the book-to-movie turnaround light years faster than it used to be?!

Anyway, this book is...WOW!  In a nutshell: sixteen year old Starr Carter is straddling two world; the low income neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends.  Everyday she navigates between her identity among her wealthy, predominantly white friends at school, and her the all black neighborhood where she lives.  She feels like she has a handle on her parallel identities when driving home at night with her childhood best friend Khalil, she witnesses his murder by a white police officer after they're pulled over.

Khalil's death becomes national news.  Many call him a thug, drug dealer, gang banger.  Protesting ensues.  Her identity as a witness is kept confidential due to her age, but what Starr wants more than anything is for the world to know what happened that night, that Khalil was sober, unarmed, and an innocent victim.  

As always, read the book first, but the movie looks just as captivating!