Sunday, August 25, 2013

Three New Essential Oil Diffuser Blends + One More

An update: 

I left one of my new blends out of the blog the other day, so I'm just adding it in.

Just a short and quick blog today to post three four new diffuser blends. I've had a busy week, had a few grandchildren around the house before they had to go back to school, so I haven't had much time to blog. I did manage to put together a few new diffuser blends that I think you'll like.

1. Calm Rain


Think soft & gentle rain in the forest!

It's been hot and dry here in Texas....go figure! I can only dream of a calm rain these days, but this blend helps a bit.


2. Good Morning Sunshine


Put a little sunshine in your morning!

Those aforementioned grandchildren didn't want to wake up one morning, so I tried this. It perked the entire household up a bit!


3.  Harvest Time 


Don't you just love Autumn and Harvest Time smells?


Sometimes it seems I wish my life away, when it's summer, I'm wishing for Autumn. When it's Autumn, I'm wishing it were Winter, and so on. The only season I don't wish for much is Summer. Summers can be quite unpleasant here by July and August, it's so hot and more often than not....very dry. 

Did I mention I'm ready for Autumn?

4. Here's Hope


Have a little Hope! Drive those negative feelings out!


We all have those days when we're just down in the dumps. Life has a way of doing that to us. There are some Essential Oils that are uplifting, restore confidence and give energy. Try this blend in your diffuser when you or someone near and dear to you is going through one of those times.



These are simple blends using very reasonably priced oils. If you don't have what you need to make these blends, please click on link provided here: 




This link will take you directly to the Essential Oils page of Spark Naturals Essential Oils.

As always, be sure and use your coupon code PATTI at checkout for an additional 10% off your order.

patti

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bliss! Essential Oil Calming Blend

Today, Spark Naturals has unveiled its newest blend....


Bliss Calming Blend

Check out the new label!


From the Spark Naturals Website


Product Description

Bliss – Calming Blend
Our lives are filled with stress and that stress takes a toll on our health and well-being. Spark Naturals has created Bliss, a proprietary blend of Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood and Vanilla. As we selected the oils for this blend we picked only the best essential oils to help educe the effects of stress on our bodies. This is a great blend to use throughout the day as stress and anxiety rise. Diffuse at bedtime or apply to the bottom of your feet to assist in peaceful, resting sleep.

Bliss Blend Oil Application:

Can be used aromatically
Can be used on the body topically (Dilute for young or sensitive skin)

Get yours today!

Be sure and use coupon code PATTI at checkout for your 10% off.

Here's to a more calm you....and me!

patti

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Raving About Rosemary!

If you asked me to name my top ten Essential Oils, in terms of usage, Rosemary would be in the top five for sure. It is one of my most frequently used oils and one that I never let myself run out of.


“There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” 

William Shakespeare, Hamlet


Rosemary


Rosemary...


how do I love thee?

In the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning....

Let me count the ways....


  1. I love a drop in my shampoo(homemade recipe) You can also just add a drop to your bought shampoo.
  2. I love it in my after shampoo rinse. (Camp Wander's recipe for Lavender Rosemary Rinse)
  3. I love it in my nasal rinse recipe.(recipe here
  4. I love it in a Lavender & Rosemary Calming Spray.(20 drops each EO in 2 oz spritz bottle topped with water)
  5. I love it in my Invigorating Body Spray.(recipe here)
  6. I love it in my Saline Nasal Spray.(recipe here)
  7. I love it in my thicker hair blend.(Camp Wander's Recipe)I forgot this one....this is an update!

There's more, those are just the ways I love it best!


About Rosemary:


Spark Naturals Rosemary is from the botanical family rosmarinus officinalis and grown in Italy.

Description: Most popular for its culinary uses, Rosemary also has the ability to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity, relieve respiratory problems and reduce pain.

Properties: Analgesic, Antidepressant, Anti-Stringent, Carminative, Cephalic, Diuretic, Stimulant, Hypertensive

Historical Uses: Rosemary has been used to clear the mind and nervous system & stimulate memories; the diuretic properties have been useful in reducing water retention during menstruation, obesity and cellulite..

Use compresses and baths when trying to sooth stiff joints, arthritis, or rheumatism.  Use diffusion or other methods of inhalation when treating colds, flu, and as a mind stimulant.  Rosemary is certified as GRAS by the FDA and can be taken internally.  Rosemary has had positive effects being applied neat or with a carrier to the scalp, face, or neck for skin or hair/scalp disorders.  

More uses for Rosemary Essential Oil:

Add a few drops to mouthwash to help with halitosis.
Apply topically in areas of sore muscles, headaches or arthritis.
Inhale or use aromatically to aid with congestion, allergies, cold sores, sore throats or flu.

Rosemary Essential Oil Blends well with: 
Frankincense, Lavender, Sage, Peppermint, Geranium, Lemongrass

Rosemary Essential Oil Application:
Can be use aromatically
Can be consumed
Can be used topically (Apply NEAT)

Precautions Consult professional advice before use by those who are pregnant or nursing mothers.

You can find Pure Pharma Grade Rosemary Essential Oil at Spark Naturals.

Remember to use the coupon code PATTI at checkout for 10% off your order. Shipping is always $6.49 per order.

‘As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul.

-  Anonymous




patti


Monday, August 19, 2013

Homemade Chemical Free Shampoo

Tired of chemicals in everything you use, from shampoo to the food you eat? There are solutions to this problem. You can make almost everything yourself that works as well; or most times, better than all the chemical junk that we pay so much money for these days.

This little short blog is to share my recipe for my homemade shampoo. It's quick and easy and my hair is always a couple of shades lighter when I use this instead of the bought "poo."

Three ingredients! That's all.

Well...four if you count the water.

 Ok...I'll count the water....
  1. 1 TBS baking soda
  2. A few drops liquid castile soap
  3. 1-2 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  4. Water
In a half pint jar with lid, put one tablespoon baking soda, a few drops of liquid castile soap(any scent you like), one or two drops of Rosemary EO and then fill with water as hot as you like(it will cool quickly). Then put the lid on the jar, give it a good shake to mix and use half the solution, rinse, use the other half and then rinse very well. Make sure you rinse well on the last rinse in order to remove all the baking soda. There won't be suds, but truthfully, suds aren't where you get your cleaning power anyway.

I keep a pint of baking soda in bathroom on the side of the tub with the liquid castile soap and Rosemary EO. It only takes a minute to mix and I love the way my hair feels and looks when I use this homemade shampoo.

It may take several washings for your hair to adjust to this change, but don't give up too soon! You'll love it after a while, I promise. The Rosemary helps to thicken you hair. The baking soda strips off all the gunk that we put on our hair...the shampoo, gel, hairspray, etc. 


Chemical Free Shampoo

If you don't have Rosemary Essential Oil, you can find it reasonably priced at Spark Naturals

5ml $6.99
15ml $13.72

As always, be sure and use coupon code PATTI at checkout to get your 10% off.

Remember, shipping is always $6.49 per order at Spark, that's hard to beat for shipping costs these days.

Here's to cleaner, healthier, shinier, thicker and chemical free hair!

patti

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Essential Oils in the Classroom



BACK TO SCHOOL!


Love it or hate it.....it's here once again.....back to school, back to books!

Whether it's public school or homeschool, your classroom can be a much healthier, calmer and focused place this year with a few suggestions about using Essential Oils in the classroom.


Diffusers in the classroom are becoming a valuable and commonplace addition. 



Why? What is Essential Oil Diffusion?

Diffusion is any method or device that disperses essential oil molecules into the air. It’s the most popular method of using essential oils. 

Zaq Diffusers from Spark Naturals
(The Allay is temporarily out of stock, but there are a few of the Noor available right now!)

You can also find these diffusers at Amazon or Bombay Electronics.


The Lotus, The Whisper & The Spa Vapor
I currently have these three diffusers, the Lotus from doTERRA, the Whisper from AromaTools and the GreenAir Spa Vapor(you can find this several places, Amazon, etc.) I love them all!
How they work:   This technology produces a cool, fine mist in which essential oils are broken into tiny particles and delivered into the air.
Advantages:   Not much oil is needed, only about 1-5 drops of essential oil. They're easy to use, easy to clean and lightweight.


There are lots of good reasons to diffuse essential oils into the air in a classroom:

•    add natural fragrance
•    kill air born germs and treat sickness
•    achieve a calm environment
•    energize and uplift
•    offer better concentration for tests
Some ideas for using different oils and blends in the classroom:



Lavender, Jeddy's Blend, Zen: 

Diffuse to achieve a calm environment.


Peppermint: 

Diffuse during testing to help students focus and during the after lunch "sleepy time" to perk up those drooping students(and teachers.)


Citrus Blends such as Wild Orange and Bergamot: 

Diffuse to uplift, energize and also as an anti-viral agent.


Shield Protective Blend: 

Diffuse to sanitize the room, kill pathogens and keep the environment healthier. You can also make a sanitizing spray with Shield Blend and Water to spray desks, etc.

You don't have to worry about allergic reactions either, since Pure PharmaGrade Essential Oils are extracted from the plant and do not contain allergens. Actually, diffusing Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint and Respire(respiratory blend) will provide relief for those with allergies and asthma.



  • How Germs Impact Education


    - Nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold
    - 52.2 million cases of the common cold affect Americans under age 17 each year.
    -Infectious disease accounts for millions of lost school days and cost the US $120 billion a year

Visit Spark Naturals for your oils.

Be sure to use coupon code PATTI at checkout to get 10% off your order.

patti



Friday, August 9, 2013

Back To School Pack From Spark Naturals

It's almost "Back to School" time here in East Texas and perhaps in your neighborhood, it's already here. Whichever the case, Spark Naturals has released its newest "Kit in a Tin" just in time for the new school year and all the stress and germs that seem to show up for that first day of school too.

The Back To School Pack


Back to School Pack


From the Spark Naturals website comes this information:

Summer is winding down and getting ready to head back to school is in high gear! We agree, this is a stressful time for parents! Getting back into the swing of schedules, carpooling, homework etc. is a little overwhelming.
Not to mention that underlying anxiety the school years brings as we watch our kids struggle to focus. 
Yet another challenge!
Keeping our kids well!
Schools can be a germ fest, so many kids get sick the first 2 months of school. Have no fear, Spark Naturals is here…to help make this school year a success for all with our Back to School Pack!
We’ve paired two of our absolutely best blends; Jeddy’s Attention Blend and Shield Protective Blend! 
Jeddy's Attention Blend
Shield Protective Blend

We’ve also added two 5ml stainless steel roller bottles for easy application, all in a convenient tin for calmer mornings!
This kit will help you and your children to relax, stay healthy and remain focused! What more could a parent ask for?


Back-to-School Pack Includes:


5ml Jeddy’s Blend
5ml Shield Blend
(2) 5ml stainless steel roller bottles

These tins have precision cut foam to hold your blends and roller bottles firmly in place!


As always, use coupon code PATTI at checkout for your 10% off your order!

patti

Paleo Wheat, Gluten & Dairy Free Zucchini Bread

I ran across this fabulous blog called Elana's Pantry She has recipes for all sorts of special diets. If you are restricted in any way, you should pay her a visit. I found a Paleo Bread recipe on her site that I have adapted to accommodate my special diet. I would never have known where to even start however without first finding a recipe that someone else had already proven, so I am very thankful for blogs like Elana's. 

This recipe is wheat, gluten and dairy free!


Paleo Zucchini Bread




I especially like this recipe because you just dump it in the food processor a few ingredients at a time, pulse, pour into your pans and bake. How easy is that? 

I wanted a little more volume to my bread because of the loaf pans that I had, the original recipe made a low loaf, very delicious, but not a large slice. So, I added two grated zucchini, they add volume without changing the taste much at all. If you want a banana bread, use one small zucchini and one banana per recipe, it's delicious! Remember I doubled my recipe so I used two medium sized zucchini this time.

I'll try to make this as simple as I can, but I made several substitutions to her original recipe because of my food allergies and sensitivities. I am allergic to egg whites, so I try to limit my egg intake. I used ground flax seed in water in place of half the eggs.(I doubled Elana's recipe). 


One TBS ground flax seed & three TBS water = one egg



I am sensitive to coconut, so I used Tapioca flour and Extra Light Olive Oil in place of the coconut flour and oil. I also have to limit my vinegar because of being extremely sensitive to yeast. Anything fermented is not a good thing. I used balsamic vinegar, it's aged instead of fermented. I'm not really supposed to have honey either, but hey...I gotta cheat a little sometimes. I love honey!


A gathering of everything.



All the ingredients


Remember I have adapted Elana's recipe to fit my diet, if you want to follow hers you'll need to follow the link at the beginning of this blog.

One more thing before I get into the recipe. I ground my own almond flour from plain almonds. If you do this you'll want to sift the flour before you blend it with the other ingredients. There will always be a few contrary chunks of almonds in there. I don't mind a little nuttiness in my bread, but I don't want big chunks. If there are some small pieces, I just throw them in there anyway. This bread will also be a dark bread because the almonds are ground with the brown coating still on the almonds, blanched almond flour is ground from the inside of the almond without the brown coating.


Paleo Zucchini Bread


This recipe makes two small loaves or one large

3 cups almond flour
4 TBS Tapioca or Coconut flour
1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
5 eggs 
5 TBS ground flax seed/meal in 15 TBS water( this takes the place of 5 eggs) If you can have the eggs, just use ten eggs if desired.
2 TBS Extra Light Olive Oil or Coconut Ol
2 TBS Balsamic or Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TBS Honey



Dry Ingredients
  1. Place almond flour, tapioca/coconut flour, flax, salt and baking soda in a food processor
  2. Pulse ingredients together
  3. To substitute flax seed for half the eggs, mix 5 TBS ground flax seeds with 15 TBS water in measuring cup or bowl
  4. Pulse in eggs, flax & water mixture, oil, honey and vinegar
  5. Pulse in grated zucchini and banana if desired*(see special note below before doing this step)
  6. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. You can make two small loafs or one large with this recipe.
  7. Bake at 350° for 45/55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. This will have a moist center unless you cook it longer. You'll have to be careful and not let it brown too much on the bottom and sides. If you cook this as one large loaf, it may take longer to cook.
No room for zucchini
*SPECIAL NOTE: Depending on the size of your processor, you may not be able to fit this double recipe in. I couldn't. I had to remove half the mixture after step 4 in order to add the zucchini. I poured half in a mixing bowl, pulsed the zucchini in the processor, then mixed it all in the bowl before pouring into the pans.



Batter ready to pour into pans




Nothing left to do but eat it!


Hope this give you some ideas on how easy it is to make your own bread even if you can't have wheat! This recipe is especially good with a banana included too. You can even add a few chopped walnuts and you have banana nut bread!
patti


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Accidental Almond Nut Butter

A few weeks ago I posted a  blog on "milking almonds", dehydrating the pulp and making my own almond flour. You can read it here:

How Do You Milk An Almond?

I'm not making as much almond milk these days but I am making more bread using almond flour, or meal as some refer to it. I decided that I would just try milling the dry almonds to see if I could make my own flour. I had a jar full of roasted, salted(sea salt) almonds that weren't being used so I thought, "why not?" 


I'll give it a try and see what happens. I fully expected to turn out some great, yet a bit salty, almond flour.

Famous last words as they say...... 

What I got was an unexpected treat. I accidentally made almond nut butter. It was a bit dry so I added some Extra Light Olive Oil and it was pretty tasty. I even managed to make me a substitute peanut butter and banana sandwich. That was a treat!

I am allergic to wheat and very sensitive to yeast, so I cut out all bread a few years ago. I've not eaten a sandwich in about three years now.

I miss them....

I never realized how easy it is to make bread from other sources than wheat. However, that is for another blog that's coming up soon, pinky promise! This one is about my accidental discovery of a super delicious substitute for peanut butter. I'm also not eating peanut butter right now because of another eating lifestyle that I am undertaking, the Paleo diet. Peanuts aren't nuts, they are legumes, and not an accepted food on the Paleo Diet. I am far from educated on the Paleo diet, I'm just beginning to learn, hopefully I will be posting more on this later also

Meanwhile, back to the experiment!

I decided to try this again and take pictures this time, in case you've never tried to make almond nut butter. It's super easy, a little messy, but then most things in my kitchen are when I'm the one doing the cooking.

What you'll need:

This makes about 4 ounces of almond nut butter, if you want to make more, simply double the amounts.

One cup roasted, salted(sea salt) almonds
1/2 to 1 tablespoon oil of your choice(I used Extra Light Olive Oil)
A Magic Bullet or food processor or something similar with a good grinding or milling blade that will grind nuts
One cup measuring cup
1/2 or 1 TBS measuring spoon

What you'll need


You will need a Magic Bullet or something similar. I have not tried this in a food processor or blender, but you could give it a try. I made a very small amount. If you're making more, your food processor would likely work.

One note here before you try what I did thinking it would work better. I tried adding the oil to the nuts before milling. This did not work well at all. I've found that it works best if you mill the almonds first by themselves.

Process:


Place one cup of roasted, salted almonds in Magic Bullet or processor, mill as well as possible. 

Almonds in Magic Bullet



You will  find that the butter tends to cake up around the blades and the top of the container if you're using a Magic Bullet. Simply stir it back down and grind again.

Ground almonds cake up around the top



I also found that some of the nuts just refuse to grind, so I take out the butter that is smooth, place into a small bowl.....

First run



and put the chunks back into the grinder.  After grinding as well as possible, I remove the rest of the butter to the bowl, add the oil and mix. I actually put the mixture back in the Magic Bullet, changed to the blending blade and let it blend it really well for me. 


I used one tablespoon of oil for one cup of almonds, because you have to keep this in the fridge, and it will get thick. You may want yours thicker, if so, then cut back a bit on the oil. 

One Tablespoon Olive Oil



Then I placed it in a jar(or course I did)!

4 ounces of Almond Nut Butter


 And there you have your yummy almond nut butter. 



It's very tasty with just the right amount of saltiness for me. 

Now I have to go make more bread....I need a sandwich!



patti


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dust Mite Control With Essential Oils

Every home has them, they're so tiny you can't see them with the naked eye, but they're everywhere in our homes. In our mattress, carpet, pillows, furniture, even our curtains. 


Nasty little critters too.  


Dust Mite

To think of those nasty looking things living in every part of a home is just not a nice thought. If you've ever had allergy testing done, most likely you found that you are allergic to dust mites. I figure 99% of the population is. That's just my guess, it's not an official statistic by any means. It's so common to be allergic to dust mites that most people don't really take it very serious, but in fact, it is a very serious problem that can cause very severe allergic reactions.


The following information is taken from Wingsets.com


GROSS STUFF:
Apparently, dust mites have been around longer than dinosaurs. Not only that, there are probably up to 100 million different species of mites in existence, from the depths of the ocean to the most remote desert.  The common house dust mite, commonly referred to by allergy specialists as HDM (they are so clever don't you think) is also a close relative of scabies living mainly on fungi and rotting skin scales. It is a scavenger and will eat what it can find. For those who care, a common American species is known specifically as Dermatophagoides farinae.
THE REALLY GROSS STUFF:
An average mite will deposit up to 20 poo (dung) pellets a day and these “pellets” contain scraps of food, debris and enzymes that are very potentially harmful to humans. In fact, mites can and will eat their own droppings up to three times. These tiny little dung pellets in an unventilated room can remain suspended in still air for 20 minutes. The food of choice for a dust mite is skin scales, but it will also survive on pollen, insect scales, bacteria and plant fibers. It is, after all, a scavenger.
NOT A PRETTY PICTURE:
Although microscopic in size, the dust mite is absolutely not small in its potential for harm. The house dust mite has eight legs, each with a sucker and hooks. It can easily exist and travel back and forth on clothing, blankets, dog beds, mattresses, books in bookshelves, stuffed toys and furniture. Popular nesting sites for the mite include carpets, padded sofas and chairs, and especially bedding. Modern homes with high temperature, high humidity and lack of ventilation have been shown to be ideal breeding grounds. Dust mites survive best in temperatures in the range of about 77 degrees Fahrenheit and they like a high humidity around 75%.  A dehumidifier that brings the humidity down to 54% consistently can prevent a mite colony from thriving. A female house dust mite can lay up to 1 to 3 eggs daily and the maturity from egg to adult may take up to 30 days.
WHY THEY CAUSE DISEASE:
Identified allergens of the dust mite have been estimated at about 20. The enzymes from the mite are known to cause an allergic-like reaction. The major allergen from the house dust mite is so invasive that it has been found in fetal amniotic fluid at 16 to 17 week gestation and in the cord blood of some babies at birth.
People with a family history of allergies can be especially vulnerable to the mite and its droppings. Allergy specialists consider the common house dust mite (Dermatophagoides spp) to be a high risk determinant for allergic disease such as asthma, eczema, hay fever and atopic dermatitis. According to these experts, excessive exposure to the dust mite in people with these allergy issues is“unacceptable”.

UPDATED LIST:  Essential Oils recommended for dust mite control are:
Patchouli
Cassia 
Clove Bud
Eucalyptus
Lemon
Lavender
Melaleuca
  
Patchouli, Cassia and Clove Bud have been found to be highly effective against dust mites and moths.
I use a blend made up of 30 drops each of at least three of the above oils in 24 ounces of water in a spray bottle. I add two ounces of Witch Hazel(this is optional). I generously spray EVERY PLACE I think a dust mite might(that was strange) be lurking, doing its nasty work. I spray the carpets, beds, curtains, pillows, furniture, etc. While my bedding is in the laundry, I generously spray the mattress. It's also a good idea to add some Eucalyptus to your mattress freshener too. That would be some baking soda sprinkled on your mattress...add a little lavender to that too! It will make your bed smell heavenly!


Dust Mite Spray

You can purchase the oils for this blend from Spark Naturals.
Be sure and use coupon code PATTI for 10% off your order at checkout.

Some tips to help rid your home of dust mites


  • Wash your bedding once a week with HOT water. While this is not energy efficient, cold water will not kill dust mites. Add a few drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil to your laundry detergent.
  • Keep the temperature in your room relatively cool. Dust mites prefer warmer climates.
  • Add some plants to your bedroom. They regulate the level of humidity in the room, which in turn can help reduce dust mites.
  • Purchase a dehumidifier. This will help regulate humidity which will make it less inhabitable for dust mites.
  • Purchase an organic, natural latex mattress. These mattresses fight dust mites and are free of fire retardants and synthetic chemicals, which are sprayed on most traditional mattresses. These are about double the cost, but well worth it.  
  • Purchase all-natural, untreated organic dust mite pillow and mattress covers. They are a small investment, and can help eliminate dust mites from your bedding.
  • Purchase an air mattress. Dust mites can’t inhabit this inexpensive bedding alternative.
  • Carpet is a breeding ground for dust mites, and the best option is to eliminate it from your home altogether. If you can’t do this, vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Dust with a damp cloth so it actually collects the dust mites instead of spreading them. Add a few drops of organic eucalyptus and wintergreen essential oils to the damp cloth to kill the dust mites while you collect them.
  • Put items such as blankets, sheets, pillows and curtains in a plastic bag in the freezer for 48 hours. This will kill the dust mites. Make sure you wash these items after they have been in the freezer to ensure the residue from the mites is gone.
Now go kill those nasty little critters!

patti