Lately…

I always love posts from some of my favorite bloggers where they just catch readers up on what has been going on with them lately. Here is my version…

1. I have been having so many bursts of creativity. All of a sudden, I just have a plethora of ideas I would love to put into place. I am not sure how good they are or not, but it is pretty amazing that I have been on this streak of ingenuity. I have some new ideas for my current blog design (which is desperate need of a makeover) and ideas are popping up about where to take my other blog Spiritual Bahanas, (check out the premiere of Music Monday: here ).

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I also have tons of thoughts about new things to implement for work, my yoga classes and at home. It is difficult to find the time to put these all in to place, but it sure is nice to know my brain is still flowing.

2. I fear that I constantly smell like garlic and no is telling me. I cook with large amounts of garlic and cannot seem to get enough of it in my food. Yesterday, when I came home, I realized my house really smells like garlic (I used tons in the tagine dish I made. I also included; quinoa, lentils, squash, red bell pepper and carrots + tons of spices).

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This made me question if this is what I smell like and I just no longer notice. I guess I should pay more attention to if people move spots away from me in yoga class or if my students scoot away from my desk, when I am talking to them.

3. I am really, really trying to train my dogs to walk appropriately on a leash (i.e.-not jump and try to bite the leash [PENNY] or pull me down the road with freak-like strength [SUZIE]). I read Cesar Milan’s book over the summer and felt ready to tackle the task ahead of me. I am wondering if he should put a disclaimer on his books: “these methods WORK for all breeds, except bulldogs,…good luck with that.” 

I am still having a very hard time with appropriate walking behaviors. I have seen small (very small) improvements, but Suzie still yanks me down the street if she sees a cat. She pulled me so hard last week, I hurt my neck trying to re-gain control and it threw me into a migraine the next day. I had to leave work early to see my chiropractor, who is well-versed in the damage those dogs have done to both my husband and I . They are lucky they are so dang cute.

15382092575_53fed50c61_oPS-so help the next person who “jokes” “whose walking who? Hahahaha“…just.stop.!!!

4. My next essential oil purchase will be Clary Sage. I have been having worse cramps than usual the last couple of months, and found that this may help. Has anyone else every used it before? I would be interested to hear feed back.

Well, that’s what has been going on in my life. Tell me something that has been going on with you.

 

 

 

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DIY Projects with Essential Oils

It’s no secret that I am just a wee bit obsessed with essential oils, and finding new uses for them all the time. I use them on a daily basis for one thing or another and my current favorites are Lemongrass, Ylang Ylang and doTerra’s Serenity blend (lavender, sweet marjoram, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood and vanilla bean).

I have been doing deep, scholarly research, on Pinterest and have become inspired to try to make more of my own home and bath products. I hoping this is more economically and environmentally friendly, plus it will help justify the amount of money I have been spending on new oils (although a little really does go a long way).

I enlisted my step-son to assist me and we had a potion’s making class. First up was body wash. I just finished my previous body wash, so I rinsed out the container to be re-used.

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Into a mixing bowl went:

All of this was whisked together, then carefully funneled into the container.

14983231169_df5531eef2_o I love the smell of this! It left my skin feeling soft and clean. It will also double as my shaving gel.

Next up was dish soap. Again, I saved our previous dish soap container and gave it a good rinse.

Into the mix bowl went:

  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of Dr Bronners unscented castile soap
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil

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The whisking and funneling followed, along with a little bit of fun:

14983240929_7de01cb783_o The dish soap works pretty well and I love the addition of the lemongrass. It has a nice calming effect on me, during a less than calming activity (dish washing, ick).

I decided to soak up my free child labor and go for one more project, a coconut sugar scrub.

Dylan poured about 1.5 cup of coconut sugar in a container (you can also use brown or white sugar, coconut was just what I had on hand. I buy it pretty inexpensively from the bulk bins at Clark’s Nutrition.) He then covered the sugar with almond oil and added 10 drops of Ylang Ylang and 10 drops of the Serenity blend.

14983404167_ea0e0a14ac_o This scrub smells sooooo yummy. It worked wonderful to slough away dead skin. It left my skin feeling so moisturized that I did not need to put on lotion after my shower, as I usually do.

I have more projects on the horizon and will be happy to share more, if you are interested!

Do you make any of your own home or bath products?

 

Essential Oils Used While Traveling

So lately, I have become a little essential oil obsessed. I have always had an interest in essential oils, and usually had lavender and tea tree stashed somewhere in my house, but I wanted to learn more.

My cute friend Melinda started using DoTerra oils. She gave me some good information and invited me to an informational meeting. I was sold pretty quickly. I already had a decent knowledge of their benefits and I am definitely a believer in using as many natural remedies as possible, for any ailments.

When I told my husband I was going to an oil meeting, he pictured a scene like this, and made fun of me steadily:

Lucy oilHe scoffed as I begin experimenting with mixing oils and using them at various times. My husband rolled his eyes when my step-son became curious and I told him they were potions and we would have “potion making class,” as he helped me create blends.

When I started to pack for Europe, I knew I wanted to bring a few oils with me. I purchased this super cute case from AromaTools and loaded my oils in my carry on.

14536222709_f0a66b9206_oBelow is the list of what I brought, and when/if I used them:

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1. Tranquility Blend, by Aura Cacia: Obviously not a DoTerra blend, but still one of my favorites. I use this often when I teach yoga to help usher in relaxation as we begin to wind class down. I use it sometimes before bed, if I am feeling a little restless. My step-son loves this one, and will occasionally ask if he can “have some potion” to help him sleep.

2. Lavender: One of my all time favorites! Lately, I have mostly being using it on my hand. I have this weird skin irritation that I think came from lemons (I used to squeeze one in my water every morning). The lavender has really been helping the skin irritation and helping it to heal.

3. Eucalyptus: OK, this may be TMI, but it was a great tip I picked up from somewhere else, so I will pass it along. I used this oil anytime I had to go to the restroom….you know…number 2. You just add a few drops into the toilet before you go, and viola! When you are traveling with other people (in my case, it was 4 other people, and only 1 bathroom for all of us), it really helps! I also added it to the floor of the shower before I turned on the water. It gave off a nice, aromatic, lung opening effect.

4. Lemon: As previously mentioned, I love drinking a warm class of lemon water every morning, to get my digestion moving and help me wake up. Because squeezing a lemon every day started irritating my hand, I begin using this oil. It is so much more convenient! I just add about 3 drops to a glass of water, every morning, to help the detox process.

5. DigestZen: This is a wonderful blend of ginger, peppermint, tarragon, fennel, caraway, coriander, and anise. It is perfect for any type of upset stomach. I rubbed a few drops right on my belly a few times during my trip that I was feeling nauseous or experiencing the beginning signs of acid reflux (probably from eating and drinking too much). This blend starts working pretty quickly and really works! My friend also used it once during the trip and I had my step-son rub some on his belly, when he thought he was going to puke in The Vatican! (It worked, there was no incidents that the Pope would have to forgive us for.)

6. DeepBlue: Another one of my favorite blends! It contains wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, german chamomile, helichrysum, and osmanthus. Plus, it actually comes out blue, how fun is that?

I used this on the day of stair climbing, when we went to Notre Dame, and climbed the hills up to Montmarte.

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By the end of the day, my knee was not happy with me. I put some of this blend on a night, and by the morning, my knee felt much better and held up well, for another day of walking.

7. OnGuard: OK, this stuff is simply amazing, and came to the rescue a few times, during the trip. It is a blend of wild orange essential oil, combined with clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. 

The first time we used it was in Tuscany. My husband is horribly allergic to mulberry trees. He does not even have to touch one, if there is one nearby, the dander in the air will start to cause his face to swell up and his throat to close.

When we arrived at our beautiful villa, we ooohed and aaahed over the views, but soon enough, he started to feel a little off. We looked around and saw a huge mulberry tree, right in front of the villa.

We would be staying at this beautiful site for 3 nights and I felt awful that this amazing experience was beginning to have a negative connotation for him.

It was not long, before he looked like this. He was swollen, sneezing and coughing.

100_2078 I whipped out the OnGuard and added 3 drops to a cup of water and had him drink it down. Within an hour, the swelling on his face had gone down, and he was feeling remarkably better. For the remainder of the trip, he drank that down each morning and kept the allergy attacks away. He stopped making fun of my oils after that.

I also used OnGuard when my step-son was stung by a wasp. While he was playing in the pool, he was stung on his shoulder.

100_2034 Right away, the area begin to swell. I took him inside and applied a mix of lavender and OnGuard to the area around the sting. Again, within an hour the swelling had gone way down and he was quickly back in the pool.

8. Peppermint: This really helped me while I had the migraine from hell, the first day in Rome, as we explored the Colosseum and the Forum.

100_1832 I applied the oil to my temples, behind my ears and straight on my belly every hour. I was still pretty miserable, but without it, I think I would have thrown up for sure, or given up and laid down on the steps of the Colosseum to die.

9. Breathe: Another wonderful blend of laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, melaleuca, lemon, and ravensara. I really did not need to use it, but I brought it along anyway, in case my husband was having allergy related issues, with anything else. He has used it since then, and it definitely helps him breathe better, when he feels congested.

10. Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil): I never had to use it, but it is a good one to bring along. I brought it in case there was any injury or threat of infection. Tea tree is so good for knocking that out quickly.

Do you use any essential oils?