Friday, May 22, 2015

PartyLite Review

First off, let me say I LOVE PartyLite. The atmosphere is never quite right unless a candle is burning. They have the most gorgeous candle holder's I've ever seen! The only complaint I have- and it's a big one- is they are totally expensive. The ONLY time I purchase something is if it's on sale. Good news is, they run sales often, always have a clearance selection, and my PartyLite consultant hosts bingo nights that allow you to win some great free stuff.

A few months ago I attended a bingo night with my mother and aunt. It was only $20 for a bunch of bingo cards, raffle tickets, snacks.. there was even a cash bar downstairs. Yes!!!! What was better was the table of slightly broken or missing part type of items. I scored this adorable squirrel tea light holder. Just a dab of glue and it's good as new for only $5! That squirrel was originally $35 or so.

Anyways, I ended up winning a small glass star tealight holder and a DIY type candle holder set. I was pretty excited to do it with my 2 year old. It was so easy to clean up. It washed right off our hands and out of Lyla's clothes. The kit was $40, thankfully I got it for free. For $40, I could get 3x's as many supplies to do that project from a craft store.

The quality is fantastic, the candles smell SO good, and their candle holders are my favorite. So when you catch a sale make sure you take advantage. Find a friend who sells it and join the email list!

Want to befriend my PartyLite consultant? Her name is Amy Gorman. Find her website here.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

DIY Powdered Laundry Detergent!




It's compatible with high efficiency and traditional washing machines. With just 3 ingredients, it'll deep clean, preserve colored fabrics, and it's gentle on your wallet!

I feel like I am always doing laundry. With a toddler, nothing is safe. Dirt, oatmeal, blueberries, apple juice... you name it, it lands on her clothes and sometimes my couch. I'm pretty messy myself. Instead of using paper towels, I like to minimize my carbon footprint and use dish towels (or 'ma-peen' in my house). Anyway, all this laundry means a lot of laundry detergent.

The laundry touches our skin everyday. The blanket on the couch, your child's pillow, panties.. I think it's important that we know what we are using to clean these everyday. I am a big fan of a company called Melaluca (I'll write more about that later) and I've been using their detergent. It's the high end of pricing but I trust their products and every ingredient is safe. All of their products are so safe that their not required to put child-proof covers on them!

I've been focusing on our budget very thoroughly lately. I've found ways to cut costs without cutting quality. I knew after some research that I could totally create laundry detergent myself- I already have the soap! :)

I use the recipe below and store it in an air-tight container. You can always cut the batch in half if you don't need as much. Perfect for both traditional and HE machines!





-1 bar (4.5oz) of handmade soap
-1 cup of Borax
-1 cup of washing soda
-Essential oils (optional)

Using a grater, shred the soap until its very fine. If the soap seems soft, spread it in a thin layer and allow it to dry out over night. Combine the soap, Borax, and washing soda and mix thoroughly. Heads up- the powders smell very strong! Add your own special blend or a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix thoroughly and store it in an air tight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons for regular washes or 2-3 tablespoons for heavier soils. 
 If you don't feel like going through the hassle of making it yourself, we've done it for you! Our lavender, lemon, and rosemary detergent can be found HERE!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

DIY Diaper Rash Cream! No chemicals & 100%Vegan!

How to make your own diaper cream that doubles as a multipurpose ointment!


Searching for an all natural alternative to traditional diaper rash cream?

So was I. This was actually one of my first DIY skin product. Purely out of boredom I did an internet search of the ingredients of the Balmex  jar sitting next to me. I was not pleased at all. I never put into perspective what chemicals I was exposing to myself until my daughter was born. I've become more aware and educated about the products and foods I buy. I set out to find something I could mix up myself using eco-friendly, food grade safe, and all natural ingredients. After a couple of tests, I found a cream that works really well for my daughter.
What you're going to need:
  • 1/2 cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Bentonite Clay
  • 1 Tsp Honey (raw if possible)
  • 3 Tsp Castor Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Tea Tree EO (optional)
  • 1/4 Tsp Rosemary EO (optional)
1. Melt your coconut oil on the stovetop using low heat and stirring frequently. Once that's melted, remove from heat and stir in the olive and castor oils.
2. Allow mixture to cool for 15 minutes on the counter. You don't want this mixture about 100 degrees Fahrenheit otherwise the honey will burn and loose all it's bacteria fighting power!
3. Stir in honey and mix until it's dissolved.
4. Add in Tea Tree and/or Rosemary EOs along with the Bentonite Clay. Stir until there are no clumps of clay in the mixture.
4. Place the bowl into the refrigerator and allow it to solidify. I usually wait 2-3 hours, sometimes longer. Just because the top is solid does not mean the inside is, too!
5. Once mixture is solid, use an electric beater until it's thoroughly mixed and small peaks appear at the top when you pull away the mixer.
6. Spoon it into a large sterilized jar with a cover. Makes about 9 ounces! Go you!

Good stuff to know:

- The Tea Tree EO (which means essential oil, by the way!) and Rosemary EO are totally optional. They provide added benefits of killing bacteria. Rosemary EO should only be used when making a multipurpose ointment on children 10 years of age or older but Tea Tree Oil can be used on infants 6 months +.
-Coconut oil should ideally be virgin and cold processed but it's not necessary. Coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It's also an SPF6 sunscreen!
- Honey is a natural antibacterial, it's packed full of antioxidants, and it helps soothe sore bottoms.
- Castor oil and olive oil are great skin moisturizers! Castor oil helps to improve skin texture, too.
-As a multipurpose ointment, this can be massaged on flakey, itchy, red skin to help minimize pain and jump start the healing process. It can be used a facial mask to help clear acne and deep clean your pores. Bentonite helps soothe skin while drawing out impurities while honey acts as an astringent. For athlete's foot, rub generously on your feet and cover with socks. The Tea Tree EO will help kill those nasty germs, reduce odor, and coconut oil will soften your feet.

Where can I find these ingredients?

I usually buy my items in bulk allowing me to get more for my money. I realize not all of you need 10 pounds of Bentonite Clay... so here are the links for the best prices and quality.
If you want to have an all natural and chemical free diaper cream but don't want to do the work? I hear ya... Good news, you can buy it on our website!



Monday, February 23, 2015

Chest Congestion and Melaluca Oil

Melaluca is a fancy name for Tea Tree EO (essential oil). As I've mentioned in my last post, it has endless possibilities. My 2 year old daughter, Lyla, has this nasty cold. She's has no fever and is still sleeping through the night. It seems to be getting better slowly each day so I haven't felt that strong motherly instinct to run her to the doctor. She's been taking Nubees for her congestion and slight cough, lots of fluids, her daily dose of vitamins and minerals, but she needed an extra boost. We have been running her humidifier nightly and last night I added about 5 drops of Tea Tree EO to the distilled water. I ran it on high about 30 minutes before bedtime with her bedroom door open just to moisten the air a bit. I set the humidifier on low and put her down to sleep. By no means am I saying Tea Tree EO cured her but I'm happy to report she sounds a lot better! Her chest has cleared up some and her nose is not running as profusely as it was the day before. Her eyes are no longer red and swollen and she seems to be in less discomfort. I'm one happy mama!

Essential oils are the defense mechanisms from a plant. You're basically getting concentrated healing powers from nature. Tea Tree EO is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and so on. It's great at killing most germs and is an effective alternative to over the counter cleaning products, too!

Remember to use common sense when it comes to your child. No information  given here  should replace the advice of a doctor.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Starting Your Essential Oil Collection

Want to add essential oils to your medicine cabinet?

Ah, my daughter has hit the terrible twos... add a terrible cold and you have terrible chaos. With over 2 feet of snow on the ground, being stuck in the house, and unable to get some fresh air, this whole house has gone mad!

As I added some Eucalyptus essential oil to Lyla's running bath, I was inspired to share some of my favorite oils that have many benefits. Although your doctor's advice should be followed each and every time, essential oils can work alongside treatment to ease symptoms.

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is by far the most versatile of all essential oils (EOs). Not only can it calm and soothe, relieve stress and imbalances, but it's an antibacterial, too. Some common uses include:

BEFORE BED- I add a drop of Lavender EO to a carrier oil such as Olive or Avocado oil and massage on my daughter's skin. Always avoid the eyes, nose, & mouth! If you don't have Olive Oil on hand, you can substitute it for Coconut Oil or even add the Lavender EO to lotion!
BATHTIME- This can serve a dual purpose. When my daughter has a diaper rash, I add a few drops of Lavender EO to her bath. It helps kill the rash bacteria and provides a relaxing bath.
DIAPER RASH- After the bath, you can mix Coconut Oil with 1 drop of Lavender EO and apply to a diaper rash. It works wonders!
VACUUM FILTER- I have a small hand held vacuum that easily disassembles and reveals a round sponge like material that acts as a filter. If you look at your vacuum's manual, you can easily locate yours. Make sure the filter is clean and sprinkle 2-3 drops of Lavender EO directly onto the filter. Each time you turn on your vacuum, the scent will fill the room!
Before using Lavender EO, talk to your doctor. Although it's generally safe, do not apply it directly to skin- always use a carrier oil. Pregnant women should talk with their OB to make sure they're cleared to use essential oils. Lavender is safe for babies over 3 months old.

EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL (Eucalyptus globulus)
The staple in our medicine cabinet each winter has to be Eucalyptus EO. It's a decongestant, antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and expectorant making it a perfect fighter against the common cold.
VAPOR RUB- Add 1-2 drops of Eucalyptus EO to coconut oil and apply to chest and/or bottoms of feet. On smaller children, only apply to the bottoms of feet and cover with to socks. This will prevent the oil from getting into the eyes.
DIFUSSING- Add the recommended amount of Eucalyptus EO and distilled water to your diffuser and allow it to run a few times a day. It will help congestion and cough naturally!
BATH TIME- Add 1-2 drops of Eucalyptus EO to running bath water. I suggest kicking your socks off and soaking your feet so you can close the shower curtain without taking your eyes off your child. This allows the steam and EO to be easily inhaled, breaking up mucus.
CLEANING- Grab an empty and clean spray bottle. Add 9 parts distilled water, 1 part white vinegar, and 4-5 drops of Eucalyptus EO. The smell of the vinegar will disappear fairly quickly.
Before using Eucalyptus EO, talk to your doctor. Although it's generally safe, do not apply it directly to skin- always use a carrier oil. Pregnant women should avoid Eucalyptus EO altogether. ***Although I have been using Eucalyptus EO on my daughter since she was 12 months old, it's now suggested for use in children 10 years and older. It can cause slowed breathing. Always use common sense and caution.
TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL (Melaleuca alternifolia)

What a wonderful EO. It's very safe, very effective, and has many uses.
CLEANING- In a spray bottle, add 9 parts water, 1 part white vinegar, and 4-5 drops of Tea Tree EO. Can be used on almost any surface! Use it to disinfect toys, door handles, and counters.
HUMIDIFIER- Add 2-3 drops of Tea Tree EO to your child's humidifier at night. The diffusion of the EO will help clear lungs, kill bacteria, and even help with sinus infections.
DIAPER RASH- Add 1-2 drops of Tea Tree EO to Coconut Oil and apply to diaper rash. A few drops can be used in a bath to combat a bad rash.
EAR INFECTIONS- Never put oils directly into ear canal! I mix one drop of Tea Tree EO to one ounce of oil (olive oil works great). Mix well. Take a Q-Tip and dip it into your mixture. Pat excess off and apply Q-Tip to the outer ear twice a day.
Do NOT take Tea Tree Oil orally- if ingested it can be toxic! Tea Tree EO is safe for babies 6 months and older. If you are pregnant, check with your OB before use.

The uses above are just a needle in a haystack of possibilities. Do some research... your purchase of these 3 essential oils will pay off time and time again. Make sure you are getting your oils from a reputable distributor. Low price may mean low quality. Breath a little easier, go natural!

Here's a basic guide to diluting your EOs:
-The maximum amount of essential oils used on babies 3+ months topically, should not exceed 1-2 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
-The maximum amount of essential oils used on babies 6+ months topically, should not exceed 3-5 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
-The maximum amount of essential oils used on children 2+ years topically, should not exceed 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
Always test one EO at a time on young children to rule out the possibility of an allergic reaction.