Archive for the 'Essential Oils' Category

Incorporating Essential Oils into Your Routine

I’ve been using essential oils since July. I absolutely love what they’ve done for my family, so I recently completed certifications for three different classes: Essential Aromatherapy, Stress Management Aromatherapy, and First Aid Aromatherapy. I did this through a third party, someone who is accredited by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and wasn’t affiliated with Young Living at all, and guess what I discovered? What YL teaches is spot-on! Anyway, without further ado, I thought I’d share a bit about what “A Day in the Life of an Oiler” looks like for me.

A Day in the Life of an Oiler

I’m part of a group online, and we thought this would be something fun to share. Each of us leads separate lives, and we go about our days differently, but the common thread that runs through all of them is our love of essential oils. I started out small and simple with the oils, and it didn’t take long before I was using them throughout the day in various ways.

Here is what a typical day looks like for me. It’s a snapshot, if you will, of my typical day during the school week.

My alarm goes off at 6:15am. I jump in the shower and start my morning routine.

I added 1 drop of Rosemary and 1 drop of Tea Tree per ounce of shampoo. This helps deter creepy crawlies.

Shampoo: I added 1 drop of Rosemary and 1 drop of Tea Tree per ounce of shampoo. This helps deter creepy crawlies.

Hair Tonic: I roll a drop on my fingers and run this through my damp hair. This helps keep my hair healthy & shiny. It promotes hair growth.

Hair Tonic: I roll a drop on my fingers and run this through my damp hair. This helps keep my hair healthy & shiny. It promotes hair growth.

I added Geranium and Carrot Seed to my face cream. These help my skin. Carrot Seed is known to be a natural SPF.

I added Geranium and Carrot Seed to my face cream. These help my skin. Carrot Seed is known to be a natural SPF.

I always put a drop of Lavender in my mascara now! It helps grow long lashes!

I always put a drop of Lavender in my mascara now! (Just one drop in the whole tube, and you’re set!) It helps grow long lashes!

Once a week or so, I put on a Nail Potion to help strengthen my nails.

Once a week or so, I put on a Nail Potion to help strengthen my nails.

I follow that with my homemade hand cream, and you can click here for the recipe!

I make sure Claire and I use Stress Away on our wrists, if the morning has started out with a rocky tone. 😉

While she's getting ready for school, she uses a hair spritz I made to keep certain creepy crawlies away.

While she’s getting ready for school, she uses a hair spritz I made to keep certain creepy crawlies away.

I gave up Diet Coke (and caffeine) in July, so if I’m feeling like I need a jump start, I put a drop of peppermint in my water.

After I do drop-off (or see that she makes it to carpool), I eat breakfast. Since the weather has turned cooler, I love my Apple & Cinnamon Oatmeal!

I put one drop of an extra kick in mine. Thieves. It's a great way to maintain an healthy immune system.

I put one drop of an extra kick in mine. Thieves. It’s a great way to maintain an healthy immune system.

*Please note: As I mentioned above, I recently completed certifications in Essential Aromatherapy, Stress Management Aromatherapy, and First Aid Aromatherapy through a third party academy which is accredited by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). “Aromatherapy” is sometimes misleading, because most people think of scented candles, incense, etc, but it’s a LOT more than that. It’s about how the essential oils, which are natural chemicals, work on your body, mood, overall well-being, etc. Some schools of thought do not allow for the ingestion of essential oils. Some do. The only oils I ingest are those from Young Living and are rated as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). You don’t have to ingest essential oils for them to be effective, but if you decide to, they sure are tasty. 😉

Throughout the day, I use homemade hand soap, and you can see my recipe here.

Throughout the week, I do various chores on certain days, so they don’t build up. I’ve found that spreading them out over the course of the week makes them less daunting. Here are two of my favorite oil-based agents:
Glass Cleaner
Fresh Spray

By the time Pick-Up rolls around, I’m ready to get outside. Claire and I spend a while at the park after school every day. I am sure to have my bag o’ tricks packed with all kinds of EO must-haves:

My Thieves Waterless Hand Sanitizer is a MUST for the park, as is my Thieves spray, Deep Relief, Stress Away, Peppermint, Lavender, DiGize, PanAway, and Purification. Tucked above the oil bottles you can see my tub of handmade hand cream.

My Thieves Waterless Hand Sanitizer is a MUST for the park, as is my Thieves spray, Deep Relief, Stress Away, Peppermint, Lavender, DiGize, PanAway, and Purification. Tucked above the oil bottles you can see my tub of handmade hand cream.

After we get home and before we start on homework, I let Claire choose between Stress Away or GeneYus. (I rub them on her wrists and the side of her neck. Both are fantastic ways to help her focus on homework.)

After dinner and a shower, we start the Nighttime Routine with Claire. She chooses her oils for the night (if any), and here is a typical request:

Lavender & Thieves on her feet (to help her sleep and keep up her immunity)
Dream Catcher on her forehead (to deter scary dreams and promote deep sleep)
RC on her chest (I think the RC should stand for Respiratory Care, and it can be used as a preventative measure since school has started.)

And THAT is a Day in the Life of an Oiler. 🙂

If you have a question about any of these oils or how they may work in your life, let me know! Send me an email or check out the tab above on Essential Oils.

Metamorphosis

When Claire was a toddler, she’d bring me bouquets of Dandelions. I’d put them in shot glass vases. Now, I use a shot glass to measure out hippy-dippy Household Cleaner. There’s a story of metamorphosis here, but I’ll leave it untold.

DIY Fresh Spray

DIY Fresh Spray YLEO

I made another potion. (I’m not a witch! They put this nose on me! …she turned me into a newt! …I got better.)

😉 (All hail the Monty Python fans in the crowd.)

You know that air freshener/deodorizer that probably got its name from a FrEsh BREEZE?

Well! I just made something like it, from scratch.

Yes, really!

I’ve labeled my version “Fresh,” as you can see in the picture above, and that’s exactly how it smells. (“Wonderful” wouldn’t fit on my label.) I also labeled the cap for the bottle as a reminder that I should store the bottle without the sprayer in it. Since this concoction has citrus in it, leaving the plastic sprayer to sit in it can make it all wonky, so plan accordingly.

I got the recipe for “Kitchen Deodorizing Spray” from my Essential Oils Desk Reference, and I altered it to fit the size of the bottle I wanted to use. The recipe says it’s for more than just kitchens, and the description of its uses sounds a lot like that other stuff I used to use.

The recipe calls for:
* 2 drops Rosemary
* 4 drops Lemon
* 2 drops Eucalyptus Globulus
* 4 drops Lavender
* a quart of distilled water

I didn’t use quite a quart, so I changed the number of drops of Essential Oils.

The result?

Ahhhh-mazing! Once again, I’ve found a potion that is so easy to make and yet very effective. The notes with this recipe say that it not only covers up the odors, it cleans and deodorizes the air. You can also use it to disinfect the surfaces you wipe down.

DIY Hand Cream

“Hand Cream,” I wrote on my grocery list, because I wanted a small tube for my purse.

Wait… The last time I wrote “Foaming Soap Refill” on the grocery list, I ended up making it myself, and it was SO easy. Maybe this could be easy, too?

I started poking around online and found oodles of different recipes. I’m more of a lotion kind of person (**isn’t that right, Precious!?), and I like my lotions to be creamy. I found some that didn’t include beeswax (which would make them a more solid substance), so I picked some elements out of the various recipes and put together my own potion with things I had on hand. (Get it? On hand! Oh, the puns!)

The only thing I didn’t have was Shea Butter, so I stopped at the store on the way home after School Drop Off and picked some up. Earlier in the week, I’d also purchased the wrong granola bars (*Sigh* Mom! *eye roll*), so I used that as an excuse to make the extra stop for a potion ingredient.

Here is the recipe I used. It seems very simple, so I was skeptical. I’m also not confident at ALL in the kitchen doing these things, so I figured simple & easy was a good place to start.

DIY Hand Cream

INGREDIENTS:
–   4 oz. Shea Butter (I used two 2-ounce jars.)

–  2 TBS Sunflower Oil (I have this one on hand. It has a comedogenic rating of 0 (meaning it won’t clog pores) AND naturally has Vitamin E, so no need to add that, which a lot of recipes have listed separately as an ingredient. None of the recipes I researched used Sunflower Oil specifically, but they listed a myriad of different oils and said “etc.” at the end. Sunflower Oil is my version of “etc.”)

–  However many drops of whatever Essential Oil you want. I used 10 drops of Young Living Stress Away Essential Oil, and it’s very subtle. You can do more if you want. I was afraid to do too many in this experiment! (If you’ve dabbled in Essential Oils at all, you know that one drop can go a LONG way.) We love the way this Essential Oil Blend smells, so I figured this would be a great one to try. You can use whichever ones you want, just be careful about using ones that cause sun sensitivity, etc.

DIY Hand Cream Steps

DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt the Shea Butter. (To help with getting the solid Shea Butter out of its jars, I put an inch or so of water in a sauce pan on the stove and placed the jars in that long enough to make it soft and easy to remove from the jar. I dumped the water and then used the same sauce pan for Steps 1 and 2.)

2. Add the oil and stir.

3. Transfer it to a glass bowl.

4. Put it in the freezer to “solidify”…NOT freeze. (This took about 20 minutes.)

5.  When solidified, add Essential Oils (if desired) and whisk. (I used my hand mixer.)

6. Whisk until creamy. (for 1 to 2 minutes, or so. Be careful not to over-whisk.)

7. Transfer into a mason jar (or other container for storage).

8. Label your potion. (I cleaned & re-used one of the Shea Butter glass jars to use until the lotion tubes I ordered online arrive.)

AND VOILA!

THE VERDICT:

It’s INCREDIBLY easy to make! It smells great! (To me, it smells like Shea Butter, the Essential Oils, and Smugness.) Just kidding. Kinda. 😉 It’s the consistency I like.

It goes on a tad greasier than I prefer, and I was hesitant, BUT it absorbs so quickly that it doesn’t even bother me. I’m PICKY, PICKY, PICKY (did I mention picky?) about greasy hand cream. I can’t stand getting it on my phone, etc. This absorbed really quickly, and my hands are so soft! 🙂

Clean up was super-easy, too!

Once again, I’m left with an amazing DIY project result, and I’m wondering why it took me so long to try this myself.

**Bonus points to those who know the movie reference. I just couldn’t help myself. 🙂

DIY Foaming Soap

Foaming Soap

Click to see more detail. The recipe: 2-3 TBS Dr. Bronner’s, 5 drops of Thieves, 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine, and water.

 

Today, I tried my hand at making Foaming Soap. We like the brand we’ve been using, but it was time to buy a new pouch of the refill solution, and a friend had made this recipe with great success, so I picked up some Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and some Vegetable Glycerine when I was grocery shopping today and thought I’d give it a try. (I already had the Thieves Essential Oil* and the foaming bottles on hand.)

Result? I love it!

I’m not sure why it took me this long to do it! It’s easy. It’s simple. When you figure in the cost of the components, it’s cheaper than what we’ve been doing.

Amazing!

*I use Young Living Essential Oils. You can learn more about them here.

A Purse for Essential Oils

I’m a clutch kinda girl. In college, I carried everything I needed in a small wallet on my key-chain. When I had Claire, I didn’t carry a huge baby-bag, and by the time we ditched the diaper-bag, I was able to just get by with a well-stocked smaller purse. For the last few years, I’ve just carried a clutch. I love it!

I don’t like big purses. I do like having what I need with me, but I just like those things to be compact.

As you know, we’ve jumped into the world of Essential Oils. Prior to July, I never gave them a second thought. Now, I’m trying to figure out how to take them with me and still not have a big purse!

I did some searching online and discovered Borsa Bella. They have purses in this line that are created especially with Essential Oils in mind. There are a few different shapes and sizes, and I went with this one. It has a small handle that can turn into a wrist strap, or it can be re-attached to a longer strap, if you want. (A long strap is sold separately, but I have one of those that I keep in my glove box if I want to be hands free.)

Borsa Bella Wrist Strap

NO, this is NOT a paid ad! I wish… 🙂

Borsa Bella Desert Bloom

I opted to go with the Desert Bloom material, because it spoke to me the minute I saw it.

I opted to go with the Deluxe Take Along, because it’s roughly the same size of my clutch.

 

Inside the purse is an elastic band that has been sewn to make compartments that will protect Essential Oil bottles. I have the 5ml bottles in here now, but the 15ml ones fit, too.

Because there are bands on both sides, you can either fill both sides up with oils, or fill one side up with oils, or use any configuration you want to fit your other things.

Both ways seem to work with the wallet I have, but right now, I’ve got my oils on one side and my wallet on the other. (Because it’s got some padding to it, you can fill the whole thing up with oils and put this in a larger bag, or use this as your purse like I’ve done.)

Borsa Bella Outside Pocket

There is a waterproof pocket in the front that is perfect for my phone!

As for the oils I’m planning on taking with me to the park and when I’m out & about?

Peppermint
Lavender
Purification
StressAway

There is an extra spot available for either the Thieves Spray or Thieves Hand Sanitizer. I haven’t decided which of those (or both!) I’ll keep with me.

I’m so glad I found a way to keep my oils with me AND still have a small purse!

Kicking Diet Coke to the Curb

This is the closest to "my name on something" I've ever gotten!

It’s as close to my name on anything that I’ve ever seen!

Guess what I’ve given up? Yes, it’s true. My husband found this one for me when we went to Pearl Harbor in June. Isn’t he sweet? *swoon*

But, yes. I’ve given up Diet Coke. I’ve been dropping peppermint in my water and guess what? After working through my stash, I’ve not purchased anymore, and I don’t even crave it. I’ve not felt sluggish. I’ve not had any headaches. No, REALLY. I couldn’t believe it either. (I’d given up all caffeine for two years when pregnant & breastfeeding, so I knew I could do it…I just wasn’t sure how it would go this time around.)

My husband and Claire are still leery, but so far I’ve not had to dip into the Bail Money Stash at ALL. ‪#‎Allegedly‬

I’m putting together a post about it, but I’m amazed. I’ll try not to hurt myself patting myself on the back. 🙂

This is the water bottle I'm using now. It's "Glasstic," meaning it's glass on the inside and plastic on the outside. Pretty nifty!

This is the water bottle I’m using now. It’s “Glasstic,” meaning it’s glass on the inside and plastic on the outside. Pretty nifty!

Oh, and for the record, I can’t stand coffee and never drink it. So, this means I’m officially caffeine free in the beverage dept. Yeah!

The “3, 2, 1, DONE” Bath Soak

I promise The Casual Perfectionist is about more than Essential Oils, but I *have* to share my latest find! I love sharing potions. Here is another one we tried!

I stumbled across a recipe for a Bath Soak, and as luck would have it, I had all the oils I needed in my trusty kit.

3 2 1 Done BathSoak

I already keep Epsom Salt on hand and use that for soaking in the bathtub already. To the 1 cup of Epsom Salts, I added 3 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Stress Away, and 1 drop of Peppermint. (Get it? 3… 2… 1… Ahhh.) Sitting in a steamy bathtub with this potion can do wonders.

It feels so good, both Claire and I have tried it, and LOVE it.

Today’s Potion: Glass Cleaner

I’m new to this oil stuff, so when I see recipes that will replace what I use now AND use ingredients I have on hand, I can’t help but experiment. Today’s potion? Glass & Mirror Cleaner.

I have always used “the blue stuff,” and it works, but I’ve never been a big fan of the smell or how it makes my lungs feel.

These ingredients?

> Water
> White Vinegar
> Lemon Essential Oil**
> Thieves Cleaner **

Sounds easy, right?

The recipe I found online made a bigger batch than I wanted, so I broke it down for my little 1-cup-ish glass bottle:

1 cup water
1/2 tsp white vinegar
3 drops Lemon Essential Oil**
1/2 a capful of Thieves Cleaner**

The result?

I COULDN’T STOP USING IT. First of all, it smells SO GOOD. Second, it works BETTER than the blue stuff I’ve been using. Yes. Really.

What?
GET OUT.

Definitely keeping this one in my bag of cleaning tricks!!

You old-timers are probably chuckling at me. Who knew these oils work this well? Seriously.

And, yes, I’m a good little girl and store the bottle with a cap, removing the sprayer and cleaning it out. See? I’m learning!

** I use Young Living Essential Oils. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my Essential Oils tab above or by clicking here.

A Passion for Potions

You may have noticed some subtle changes here at The Casual Perfectionist. I’ve changed some pictures on the landing page. I’ve added a tab at the top.

What have I gotten into now? Well, as with most stories here at The Casual Perfectionist, there’s a short version, and there’s a long version.

Claire and I have a new game. I cover the label, and she guesses the Essential Oil ingredients. (She’s REALLY good at it!)

Oh, who am I kidding? They almost always end up being the long version… 🙂

In the past, I’d heard about “Essential Oils,” but I never gave them a second thought. I didn’t really understand them, nor did I feel they would fit into my life. Fast forward to our wonderful trip to Hawaii in May, and both Claire and I got severely sunburned while on a Beach Day in Maui.

Yes, I know I sunburn.
Yes, I know how to apply sunscreen.

…despite evidence to the contrary.

It was a comedy of errors that landed us in our predicament, and there wasn’t anything proactive we could do at that point. (In my defense of Claire’s sunburn, she’d insisted on doing her sunscreen on her face HERSELF. She told me she did it. I believed her. The sun made her fib quite evident. Apparently when your mom slathers sunscreen on you your entire life, you don’t really think you NEED sunscreen. Wrong-o!)

My go-to for all things sunburn-related has always been Aloe. We always bring a bottle with us when we travel.

A teeny, tiny bottle.
A bottle that we discovered would coat only one part of one part of one of us…and that wasn’t going to be enough.

I hobbled down to the ship’s store and purchased a tube of Aloe.

Not only did the Aloe we bring offer no relief, the new tube didn’t either…but what can we do!? I kept slathering it on, hoping the tide would turn.

We were eating one of the awe-inspiring meals in the unbelievable buffet (can you tell we’re new to cruising?), when a woman in a captain’s uniform makes her way through the dining room. She stops at our table and says, “Oh, it looks like you ladies have had fun in the sun!” We chat, and she proceeds to tell me about how I need to get some Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil for our burns.

What? An oil? Are you out of your mind, lady!?

I politely listened to her and she was quite adamant about it.

The Aloe wasn’t working, and we were desperate. I made another trip to the ship store that night and found a section that had the Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil.

I begrudgingly bought it.

You know what?
IT WORKS.

I could put clothes on without crying. I could sit without wincing. The pain wasn’t completely gone, and the redness was still there, but it wasn’t puffy. Claire’s face went many shades lighter within a couple hours.

I was amazed. We dutifully slathered on this oil, and it was amazing how quickly we bounced back from this big ol’ stupid situation.

But then I got to thinking…oil? Maybe there is something to this oil craze.

When I got back, I started researching. There are Essential Oils that can assist with a myriad of different things, from sleep to stress to cleaning your house with natural products. I really had no idea.

Essential Oils are not new. In fact, they’re very, very old. I was so intrigued!

I have a friend who lives near me that dabbles in Young Living Essential Oils. I contacted her, because I was curious. What do these oils smell like? We don’t like things with fragrance here…but I discovered that what we don’t like are artificial fragrance. The “real” smells of the therapeutic grade oils are actually quite pleasant. As with anything, some do not appeal to me, and some have grown on me, and we all have our own tastes, but I was pleasantly surprised.

So, after thinking about it, I decided to sign up for the wholesale discount. I bought the starter kit to see what this is all about, and I’m finding new things to integrate into our lives here every day. I love sharing what I’ve learned and helping others get their oil fixes, too. (Fixes? See what I did there? Punny!)

I got the whole kit, because you get a deal on all these things together, AND you get the wholesale discount on any future orders.

If you’re interested in checking this out and/or getting a wholesale discount, let me know. I’ve set up a tab above for Essential Oils, and my Young Living link can found by clicking here or on the photo above.

My husband, in true form, has started calling me a Witch Doctor. He teases me about my potions and snake oils. Life wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t do that! 🙂

Despite all the jesting, at the end of the day, he asks me to rub a pain relief concoction on his back and then asks for the one that works on bug bites.

At this rate, I’m going to have to order him his own bottle. 🙂

Curious about what this is? Let me know. I’d love to share what I’m learning! I love discovering this new-found passion for old potions. I learn something new every day, and it never ceases to amaze me.

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