Happy Fourth of July

It is the wee hours of the morning but we are up and watching Princess Sofia, all four of us in one small queen sized bed. So what is on the schedule for the wonderful birthday of America? Lots of relaxing and friends.

My parents decided to visit my sister so we are confiscating their home. They live right near the beach and they have a pool, SCORE. Since the public beach area has gotten a bit, well um, hectic and over crowded, we haven’t been going to see fireworks. This year we are going to do our own. Nothing spectacular but enough to get the kids excited.

We invited a few friends and their kids to hang out. Since I don’t want to stand by a hot grill all day (and all my dad has is a charcoal grill) I decided to put my crock pots to use. Carnitas and shredded chicken make perfect fillers for . . . TACOS! Yes, I am going to make Mexican for America’s birthday. Sometimes easy outweighs tradition. I will let you know how it turns out.

One of the major obstacles of the Fourth of July for us is our poor Maggie pup. Since everyone likes to set off fireworks near our house, she gets anxious and barks at every single one. It is not so fun for her. Cathee, my friend over at Once Upon an Oil made this great graphic for our furry friends to help them during this sometimes anxious time.

dogs

If you don’t have a diffuser, just rub a drop or two around their collar where they cannot get to it and lick. This will definitely help keep them calmer and more relaxed during the show.

Guess what?! You can use these SAME oils on your kids. HAHA Yes I went there. Put a little Valor on their wrists before the fireworks and they may not be cowering in your arms. I also give A some of the pops and she is off and running. Those things are the best invention ever.

Well, Sofia is over and that means it is time to get up and GO! Time to get all packed up and get to relaxing!! Enjoy the birthday of our wonderful country!

 

 

 

Brushing Up

Whenever you start looking at ways to get healthy or start a weight loss program you’ll read all about products that ‘help you start off right’. Every thing from colon cleanses to fasting to detoxing agents to . . . . whatever companies can sell you. BUT I am on this journey to living healthier, naturally, so why on Earth would I decide to use some chemical to clean my body?!?!? Plus a straight detox isn’t such a great idea while you are nursing. So I was on the prowl for something easier.

In seconds I found a great option for me, dry brushing. Go ahead Google it. You’ll pull up blogs, news articles, magazine articles, etc. all touting the miraculous wonders of dry brushing. But I am sure you are wondering Why? Why is this the answer? Well let me enlighten you for a moment.

First off, the skin is the largest organ in your body. It is the first layer of defense against everything outside of the body. It protects you from infection, extreme temps, chemicals etc.  At the same time it has tiny entrances, pores, that allow your body to soak up outside nutrients and all the environmental yuck as well. BUT when you eat, drink, take vitamins your skin is the last to get all those wonderful vitamins and minerals and then we coat our body with washes, scrubs and lotions filled with not so natural or healthy options. Also your skin will be the first to showcase any imbalance or deficiencies. First impressions y’all.

So how does this act of brushing your skin with an itchy, dry brush help? Exfoliation, sure, but what else? Brushing your skin will stimulate your circulatory and lymphatic systems, helps with bloating by shedding excess water, removes toxins, helps improve digestion, kidney function, encourages new cells, helps with ingrown hairs, stimulates nerve endings, helps showcase all that muscle toning (HAHA, yeah sure), unclogs pores. . . .pretty much a whole bunch of things to make you look and feel FABULOUS!

Well this sounds amazing and all but HOW do I get these wonderful benefits? Run to a natural grocer or bath store or even sit right there and head to Amazon and buy yourself a brush with NATURAL bristles, it’s going to feel rough and not so pleasant but that is what you want, trust me. The movement of the brush over your skin, in long, circular movements, starting from the bottom of your feet moving up towards your heart and your shoulders, then brushing downward on your back and don’t forget to brush your arms! Pay close attention to sensitive skin such as swollen boobies full of milk! Yeeeouch!!! Only did that once! Also, I go counter clockwise on my tummy.  I avoid my neck, especially the back of my neck as I have a nice patch of psoriasis. I brush with a bit more vigor on my trouble spots, such as my jiggly thighs and butt. Every little bit helps.

After you brush, anywhere from 5 – 20 minutes, take a nice, long, warm shower. Or for my mommas out there the five minute wash and go. But remember how I said we apply not-so-good-for-you washes and scrubs? This is the time to start looking for better options. I use Lush, Bronner’s or Alba body wash. I have thought about making my own. Dry brushing and the warmth of your shower are going to remove the dead skin and open those pores. Then get out of the shower, towel dry and massage some natural oil into your skin. I use either Almond Oil or make some homemade  lotion. You can even add some essential oil to the oil/lotion for even more benefits.

So let’s get some of the necessary comments outta the way. This is not immediate, changes in your routine usually don’t show results until you make it a habit, about 30 days. Plus, if you aren’t treating the inside right, remember it is going to show in your skin. This means reducing your sugar and refined food intake, drink more water (which helps to detox the body as well), get your body moving and sweat some of those toxins out and start paying attention to the products you are using.

I have been asked if I see a difference. Yes. Am I going to show you before and afters. Heck NO! I may be ok with my body but not enough to show you all that skin to prove it. Sorry y’all. But if I do get to my ideal weight . . . I might get brave.

 

 

 

 

 

Slow and bumpy?

Our kit has finally arrived and we have decided to start SLOW. . .  (I did rush out and buy glass water bottles for myself and J.) So we began with the allergy trio for J. Seems reasonable, right? WRONG!

Zulu Glass Bottle

My pretty hot pink oil bottle! I got this one at Target!

J has major allergy problems with grass, pollen, air, and pretty much anything in nature. So what does he decide to do for a living? Become a landscaper! GREAT idea hun, especially in Florida!!! But I get it, the family business, 40 years strong, stable income. . .so we will just work around those issues. This means weekly runs to Target for 12 hour allergy pills which also means we are probably getting our house watched by the police because they think we are running a meth lab out of our garage. He was using the pills (as instructed on the box) so much he was becoming immune to them! One can only take so much of an OTC medicine and I had started to worry about his pill popping, so this was the main factor in us trying the essential oils.

Day one, we didn’t think ahead of time to buy the vegetable capsules, but how bad could it be to try it in his water bottle? He came home from work that day with it 3/4’s full. WHAT the heck man? I just wasted 3 drops of each of those oils! But he said it was nasty and he was burping lavender all day, even after only drinking a few sips. Great. . . so what do I do now? I go to my lovely Amazon and scour for capsules, then I made a phone call to my SIL to beg and plead for at least 3 days worth of capsules. (She rocked and gave me an entire plastic baggie full of them!) We purchased the NOW foods ’00’ vegetable capsules and thanks to being Prime they got there in two days. Phew. Crisis averted! Now he is taking 2 allergy trio capsules a day. We will definitely have to up the drops to the max drops but they are working for him! We are also going to start adding them topically to really knock them out!

What is the allergy trio you may ask? Well let me just give you the low down!

ImageGreat stuff, right? Remember how I said we started off slow? To start, we only did 3 drops of each in the capsules. When making yours you can start off slow or go full blast, completely your choice and your comfort level. I was also adding a combination of lemon, lime or orange to his morning water bottle. Remember that great old saying “A little goes a long way”, that is SO true with oils.

So even though it started a little bumpy, our first experiment with the EO’s was a success. J is getting some relief from his allergies and taking a lot less of the OTC medicine. This is a win for oils in my book!!! Doing the happy dance over here! (If you have seen me do the happy dance you are probably giggling to yourself right now.)

 

**With the citrus oils a few words of caution!** First off, only put drops of these oils in GLASS containers. The citrus does some wonky stuff with plastic and who wants to drink plastic?!?! GROSS. I mean the whole point of EO’s are to be healthier and get the chemicals outta our bodies! Secondly, remember when applying topically, citrus oils photosensitive. What the heck does that mean?! Here is what the Essential Oils Pocket Reference has to say “…may cause a rash or dark pigmentation on skin exposed to direct sunlight or UV rays within 1-2 days after application.”  Especially those here in Florida, this is a big deal. If you are going to wear a t-shirt then applying to your chest would be a great idea. And you can always apply to your feet as well.

 

And so it begins. . .

Here we are, day one, the beginning of the beginning. . . But first let me go back to where it all started and how I got to this place. Be prepared. . .it’s a long one.

About 4 months ago I posted on the good ol’ Facebox that I was having troubles getting my 2 1/2 year old daughter to go to sleep at a decent hour or even stay in her room long enough to attempt to go to sleep! Toddlers, especially those with a strong-will, can drive their very pregnant mothers crazy. I wanted to tie her to her bed every night! (Not really, but I thought about it.) So the post got quite a few comments, mostly about books or methods that other moms and dads have used. Problem was we had tried most of them and my butt was getting sore from sitting on the floor every night. But there was one friend who mentioned they used essential oils, specifically Peace & Calming. In my head, “Sure. Right. An oil you put on your child’s feet and they calm down and fall asleep. You must be smoking some major crack.” But instead I decided to be less sarcastic and thank them for their suggestion, especially after seeing the price for a small 15 ml bottle of special calm potion. No way was I going to spend money on an oil. I instead went to Whole Foods and bought children’s lavender bath salts and enforced the you don’t have to sleep but you must stay in your bed night time routine.

So about mid March my sister in law decided she was going to research and get involved with Young Living, through the friend that suggested the night time oil to me. She was enthusiastic about getting her starter kit and telling me all about the ideas she had for the oils. So I have to admit right here I started getting interested but I knew my husband would never go for it so I pushed it to the back burner. She knew it would never be my decision but that she would have to talk her pill-popping, allergic to everything brother into the oils and boy did she.

One Sunday morning, we were all gathered at Grammy and Poppy’s house when she decided to break out the oils. She got going on how they helped her, how they would help him, the process of how they make the oils, how she was using them for her parents and so on. I just sat back and watched as he listened more and more to what she had to say. He started asking questions and asking about certain issues he has and how they could be fixed. It was actually shocking from my stand point as it is hard to talk him into anything holistic let alone trying to talk him out of his daily routine. But she did it and that morning I bought my premium kit along with orange and lime oils. The next day I bought the reference guide and the Gentle Babies books on Amazon.

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They are here!!! EEKKK

Two weeks of patiently waiting I finally received my kit and was overwhelmed. What the heck do I do with these oils?!?! Holy crap what did I get myself into? Oh this is just going to be a disaster! Yup I was regretting my decision for a day or two because I didn’t even know where to start. When I asked what everyone else did on the message board they said start with one oil and then grow from there. Well that’s all well and dandy but which oil do you start with? So many questions, so little answers.

So up pops the idea to journal my oil journey and overall attempt at healthy living, in a BLOG! YAY more work for me, right? Well not really, as I am going to be researching oils and their uses and then writing down what works for my family . . . why not share it with you as well? I am sure someone will benefit from my complete face plants! *Insert cheesy grin.* I will attempt to keep you entertained as well with my silly humor.

So make yourself some coffee (or hot chocolate), pull up a chair and enjoy.