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Practical Ways to Use Essential Oils: DIY Melt & Pour Soap

Use your essential oils to make your own DIY soap!

Many times, you get your essential oils and then have no idea how ot actually USE them! Sure, you can learn about aromatherapy and the three main ways to use oils: topical, aromatic and internal. Still, that leaves a little Continue reading Practical Ways to Use Essential Oils: DIY Melt & Pour Soap

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Practical Ways to Use Essential Oils: Making Roller Bottles & Droppers

Many times, you get your essential oils and then have no idea how ot actually USE them! Sure, you can learn about aromatherapy and the three main ways to use oils: topical, aromatic and internal. Still, that leaves a little practical usage to be desired. Without someone there to actually show you how to do some of these practical things, it is hard to figure it out all on your own! So, I have started a series: Practical Ways to Use Essential Oils! Continue reading Practical Ways to Use Essential Oils: Making Roller Bottles & Droppers

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DoTerra OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate Review & Demonstration

All in all, I am very impressed with DoTerra’s onGuard Cleaner Concentrate. First, it’s all natural and non-toxic, so no need for “well-ventilated area” or protective gloves when using it. It’s safe to use around kids (even babies!) and pets. Second, it actually CLEANS. No elbow grease required. Even windows and mirrors. Even stuck-on, long neglected gunky messes were cleaned up with ease. Third, it handles EVERYTHING. One bottle of cleaner concentrate will handle cleaning up a staggering number of things: floors, countertops, tubs, showers, sinks, walls, windows, mirrors, spills, even toilets!! Oh, and it handles dishwashing with ease regardless of whether you are using a dishwasher or handwashing. And, it smells GREAT! All in all, this one cleaner concentrate can and has replaced every single cleaner product that I used to use around the house. Every single one. It’s highly concentrated so one bottle actually lasts a surprisingly long time. I made a video of using this cleaner to tackle a deep-cleaning of my stovetop that had been neglected for way too long, so check it out below… Continue reading DoTerra OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate Review & Demonstration

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DIY Exfoliating Face Wash Pads

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If you are anything like me, you love having your face feel fresh and clean! Those exfoliating face scrubbers that you find at stores not only feel like you are scrubbing your face with a Brillo pad, but they are so expensive! Why pay a small fortune to damage your delicate skin with rough scrubbers made from man-made materials when you can make your own at home for a fraction of the cost, and using the materials that you want! You can make it as rough or soft as you want for your own personal needs, and at pennies per pad! Continue reading DIY Exfoliating Face Wash Pads

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Recipe: Butter Mints

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My husband has an undying passion for butter mints and I have an undying passion for doTerra essential oils, so I combined the two to create this amazing butter mint recipe! Use your favorite Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil for flavoring. Continue reading Recipe: Butter Mints

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Natural Dog Spray

dogSprayHave you ever wished you could get your hands on a spray for your beloved pooch that smells amazing, is all natural, won’t irritate their skin and actually conditions their skin and coat to minimize flaky dander?

Well, today is your lucky day! I am going to share with you my all natural, awesomely amazing dog spray recipe!

As with any top quality product, a little goes a long way! I have only filled a tiny little 6ml spray bottle to use with my gigantic English Mastiff and it lasts 2-3 weeks before it needs to be refilled! Of course, always use your best judgement and if your pet is sensitive to or allergic to any of the ingredients, omit them or don’t use this spray on them!

The Carrier Oil that I used was Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil. A carrier oil is a neutral oil base that you add fragrant oils to. This way, you can dilute the fragrant oils safely. The fragrant oils blend and mix in the carrier oil, eliminating the need to shake the bottle before each application, like you would have to do if you used water instead. Also, coconut oil is GREAT for a shiny, healthy coat and keeps pup’s skin hydrated without being oily and generally icky. Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil is totally clear, liquid, non-staining and is fully absorbed by the skin and fur, so there’s no stains on furniture to worry about either. Best of all, you can get Fractionated Coconut Oil at the grocery store or through my Essential Oil business! Excited yet? I am!

Here’s the recipe:

Natural Dog Spray

  • 2 drops Clove Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil

Mix the ingredients together into a spray bottle. Spray lightly across the dog’s back and sides. Because lemon and clove can sometimes irritate eyes and genitals, avoid those areas entirely. After a light spray, brush the dog’s coat thoroughly to evenly distribute the spray and help it work its way down through fur and undercoats to the skin. It smells great and your dog will prance away with a bright, shiny coat and better feeling skin too!

 

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Allergy Relief

Allergic Rhinitis, often referred to as Hay Fever or Seasonal Allergies, is an over-reaction of the immune system to a certain item present in our environment. This could be dust, pollen, dander, certain flowers or plants, you can be allergic to just about anything. Most people take an over-the-counter or prescription allergy relief tablet, shot or nasal spray and go on with their day. If you want to break free of the medication and live free and clear, read on! Continue reading Allergy Relief

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DIY Dryer Balls

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Easy Home Made DIY Dryer Balls

How would you like to stop buying dryer sheets, while still having great smelling, cling free and super soft laundry? Yes, it is possible and it is even EASY!

Dryer balls are basically balls of wool that you wash and dry in high heat so they turn into felt. The felt balls will bounce around in your dryer along with your laundry and performs the exact same job that a dryer sheet does: softens your laundry and prevents static cling. The more balls you can add to a load of laundry, the better they will do their job. Most people use anywhere from 3 balls up to 8 for huge dryer machines. You can start off small and work up, so if you think 3 isn’t quite doing it for you, just make another ball or two and start using them! They also make great gifts for friends and family: a unique gift that you made by hand and is very useful! Most people I know would rather get a useful, hand made item than a commercially made item because it shows you put the time and effort to think of them and make something special for them with your own hands. I would be willing to bet that the number of people who feel the same would surprise you!

For replacing those great smelling dryer sheets, this part is easy too! Just find an essential oil or oil blend that you really love and drop a few drops onto each ball before they go into the dryer with your laundry. I love using Citrus Bliss on clothes, Lemon and Wild Orange on towels and washcloths, and Lavender and Cedarwood on sheets and blankets. Don’t be afraid to mix up different oils for your laundry to get the scent just right for your tastes, and it is great to use uplifting scents in clothing, clean scents in towels and relaxing scents in blankets!

What You Need:

  • Wool(You can use Fisherman’s Wool from WalMart or craft stores, just make sure you are using 100% wool!, One skein, or roll of yarn from the store, will make about 2 balls so get 2 or more skeins)
  • Old stockings or pantyhose

Roll the wool into a tight ball, start by wrapping it around your fingers, then across the middle of the wrap to make a “butterfly” kind of look. Continue wrapping it around the middle, and across to both ends until you have something that is starting to resemble a ball. Then start wrapping while you slowly turn the ball, making sure to get a few good wraps in each spot before you turn, and only turn a very little bit. This might take a little practice to get really good at but it doesn’t have to be gorgeous to do a good job and if you have ever made a ball of yarn before, this should be easy for you. When you have a ball the size of a softball or an orange, you are done. Cut a tail of about 3-4″ and push the tail through the middle of the ball. This might be easiest done with a crochet hook or a large needle, but if you don’t have access to either of those, you can weave the tail around the strands of yarn as deep as you can get it.

Then, take your old stockings or pantyhose and put the ball in as far down as it will go. Tie a knot and start the next ball. It will go into the stocking leg and tie another knot. Keep repeating until you are finished with your balls.

Next up is the felting process. Wash the balls, stocking leg and all, in hot hot hot hot water. When they are done, dry them on the hottest cycle you have. Then dry them again. You can keep washing the balls and drying them with your laundry as many times as it takes to get them to stay into a nice, felted ball shape. When they have turned from a ball of yarn into a nice fuzzy felt ball, the process is complete!

You can drop some essential oil onto the balls and throw them into the dryer with your laundry just like you would use a dryer sheet, but don’t throw them away after you use them like a dryer sheet! If you want to change the smell in your dryer balls, just wash them with your laundry and change oil scents when you transfer them from the washer to the dryer with everything else.

Voila! Home made felted dryer balls that will last you or your loved ones for years! Enjoy!

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Icelandic Sweater

I had a lot of fun (and frustration) making an Icelandic Sweater, or Lopapeysa as it is known in Iceland. It is traditionally made with Lopi wool from an Icelandic breed of sheep with special fleece that is very warm, soft and weather resistant. I was making this sweater as a birthday present for my husband and he insisted that he did NOT want it to be wool. He wanted cotton. And a tight knit with small needles. Just my luck! But, a promise is a promise, so I designed the yoke (the part from the collar down the shoulders) special for him with a skull and crossbones pattern that I sketched on graph paper and tweaked until it would fit right with repeats and no leftovers to make a smooth pattern across the sweater.

I started with the Anniversary Sweater from Alafoss Wool Store and changed the yoke pattern to my own custom design. I figured I would need 2 1/2 SPOOLS of cotton worsted weight yarn, and 1 spool of black. And then 3 small skeins of gray for accent. I gathered up my husband and son and we headed out for yarn. By that night, I had everything I needed to start this project which, I don’t mind saying, intimidated the heck out of me. Up until this point, I had knitted blankets and mittens and scarves and hats but never a sweater. Not only was this my first20141218_131206 sweater but it was a notoriously difficult sweater at that, with a very small weave! At least the pattern was for worsted weight yarn (just using cotton instead of wool.. I can adapt the pattern for that), but the recommended needles were nearly twice the size that my husband wanted me to use. That’s just math, I can make a swatch to check my gauge, compare to the recommended gauge and adjust the stitch count for my sweater. But the sheer scope of the project is what had me wanting to run and hide! I honestly don’t know why now, looking back, that I was so afraid to tackle a sweater pattern. I find them pretty easy now, just time consuming.  But, I overcame my fear of the dreaded sweater pattern and started casting on for the waistband.

The Lopapeysa is knit bottom-up, which was a little odd to get used to. Also, I was an American knitter. Meaning, I held the yarn in my right hand and “threw” the yarn around the needles. I had learned to knit backwards (thanks mostly to my dyslexia) and sort of upside down. So, I always knit into the back of my stitches and the finished product always had the knit loops facing the wrong way. This also made purling very awkward and the overall progression was very slow. I had watched numerous videos on continental knitting, holding the working yarn in your left and and making small movements to knit each stitch. Considering my hand and arm exhaustion problems with my upside down and backwards american style, I wanted to give continental a try on this project. After all, it would be big enough to get the hang of nearly any new stitch!

Did I mention20150101_200223 that this was also my first time to tackle stranded colorwork? I decided to give it a go with Fair Isle style on the yoke to keep everything neat on the inside and just go with the flow. Two colors were pretty easy, since I could knit continental with one hand and american with the other hand at this point, and pretty soon I was flying through the yoke! It took me three weeks of nothing but knit stitch in my new continental style to finish the body of the sweater. To me, this was flying through each stitch! The continental style was so fluid and smooth and the time I spent on this really helped me to get the hang of the style, which is my preferred style now. I spent about two weeks on the yoke by itself, gaining familiarity with the stranded colorwork, Fair Isle technique and trying to keep to my pattern. One week for the sleeves and one week figuring out how to attach them! LOL! So, 7 weeks of knitting nearly nonstop to get this sweater finished. Considering I was learning a LOT of new techniques in this time, I think it went pretty well but I am sure I can finish one in a month or less now. Yes, I know I look tired in the photo. I WAS tired in the photo! We spent my time knitting this sweater to catch up on 4 seasons of Game of Thrones, 1 season of Under the Dome and 4 seasons of Warehouse 13.  It was winter, we were under blizzard after blizzard after blizzard and thankfully, we had internet access and Amazon Prime Streaming Video to keep us occupied. Here is the finished sweater, which my husband loved when his wouldn’t make it home and he had to go hiking in the last blizzard of the season and stayed warm the whole time!

Get one for yourself by clicking here!

 

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