DIY Day Part I: All-Purpose Cleaner

Happy Tuesday! If you were thinking it was already Wednesday (like I was until mid-morning when someone burst my bubble) – sorry! The good news is we made it through Monday & it is DIY DAY! That means I have some awesome, clean-living, do-it-yourself recipes to share!

  1. All-Purpose Cleaner
  2. Foaming Hand Wash
  3. Body Wash

The beautiful thing about all of these recipes is that they are EASY (& arguably fun) to make, have effective cleansing properties, & reduce the toxins we are exposed to at home! Instead of damaging the air we breathe & our water supply with the chemicals used in standard cleaning products – these DIY recipes use essential oils (from plants) that have been used throughout history & have lots of positive side effects (check out my post about essential oils for an overview).

All Purpose Cleaning Spray

All Purpose Cleaner

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Mix water, vinegar & oils in spray bottle & shake before each use.
  • Spray & wipe clean 🙂

Benefits:

  • All three of these essential oils are an excellent choice for cleaning bathrooms & kitchens.
  • Lemon is great for tackling grease & freshening with the added benefit of mood elevation – it’s good to smile while you clean!
  • Oregano & Melaleuca are powerhouse oils for combatting seasonal & environmental threats.

Check out Part II: foaming hand wash & Part III: body wash for more DIY recipes!

Contact me for more information on purchasing certified therapeutic grade essential oils.

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Essential Oils: Introduction

“You can soak and splash in them, feed your skin, sensually smooth them all over, or simply breath in their wonderful aromas. The pleasure and versatility of aromatic oils make them one of nature’s kindest gifts. Essential oils contain the active ingredients of a plant in a highly concentrated and potent form.”

Essential Oils as described in the informative, instructional book on aromatherapy titled Complete Yoga Aromatherapy, Tai Chi and Massage by Carole McGilvery, Jimi Reed, Michele MacDonnell, Paul Tucker, Mark Evans & John Hudson.

Celebrating with Yoga

Why use Essential Oils?

Our world is a toxic place. With pollution in the air we breathe (inside & out of the home), pesticides, chemicals & hormones filling grocery store shelves (and the soil our food/water comes from), and stress often looming like a dark cloud, the desire to keep myself, and my family, healthy can be overwhelming. By learning new health information & tools for self-care I feel empowered to take a proactive approach to health & wellness.

Seeking optimal health, I use detoxification techniques regularly – including many of these 15 Simple Ways to Reduce Toxins in Your Life. While reading up on detox strategies, I kept coming across DIY recipes & tips. Making beauty, personal hygiene & cleaning products from safe, natural ingredients sounded great in theory – but I didn’t have the skills to do this. However, with encouragement from friends, combined with the desire to reduce chemicals & toxins in my life, I decided to learn more & try out essential oils.

Our bodies are magnificent machines designed to heal themselves with the right care & fuel. In seeking more proactive options I am so thankful to have added essential oils to my wellness tool belt at last!

Essential Oils

What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils come from plants (extracted from leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, etc). They protect the plants health & can benefit us too. Essential oils are very potent and thus must be used with caution & education. However, this potency is what makes essential oils affordable & worthwhile. Some benefits of essential oils include:

  • promotes emotional, physical, & spiritual wellness
  • easy to use & quick to enter through the skin
  • stimulates immune system
  • powerful antioxidants
  • detoxifies cells & blood
  • removes toxins from the air & increases oxygen
  • eliminates odors & smells delicious

How to use Essential Oils?

There are three ways to use essential oils: aromatically, topically & internally. These uses are based on the certified therapeutic grade essential oils. Essential oil use (especially topical & internal use) is a hot topic so definitely do your research and decide what is best for you!

AROMATIC

Breathe from the bottle, drop on a tissue/cotton ball & attach to a fan or air vent, use a diffuser, drop in hot water & breathe the vapor, use as perfume/cologne, & drop or spray on pillow/sheets.

TOPICAL

Dilute as needed with carrier oil & massage body or apply to feet, wrists & behind ears, apply to reflex points, drop in bath water, DIY (face serum, body butter, lip balm, deodorant, etc).

INTERNAL

Apply under tongue, swallow in capsules, drink in water/tea, add to recipes in the kitchen (check out this recipes for lemon lavender cupcakes – delicious!)

Where to buy certified therapeutic grade essential oils?

I only use the purest & most potent essential oils that are certified to be therapeutic grade. Do your own research before putting an essential oil on your skin or in your body. Contact me for more information.

One little peace … piece of cake that is!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” – That Mr. Einstein sure was a wise man. I strive to stay positive about the constant balancing act between all aspects of life and wellness. To be at peace with where I am on my wellness journey in any particular moment, I cannot see “balance” as a final goal or destination. Instead I look to find peace & mindfulness by being present, acting from a place of love & putting energy into the many things I love and need. There is beauty, joy & excitement to be found in accepting that finding “balance” is an ongoing piece of our lives.

photo

Finding a moment of peace and beauty on our mid-week hike!

When it comes to a balanced diet, it is no secret that sugar is my vice. Sometimes I feel in control, balanced… and other times I am at the mercy of cravings. Hard cycle to beat. I strive to follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating healthy. I stay away from sugary drinks & processed foods so that I can indulge in chocolate & baked treats. But let’s save the balanced diet discussion & challenges for another day. Because today I want to send you into the weekend with a delightful gluten-free cupcake recipe to try! I adapted this from a recipe on Pinterest so check it out in all it’s tasty glory here! Below are the changes I made to the recipe to create a lemon cupcake with lavender frosting!


Lemon Cupcakes (Gluten-Free) with Simple Lavender Frosting      

Yields: approx. 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free baking mix (flour) with xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup organic white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • OPTIONAL: 5 drops of certified therapeutic grade Lemon Essential Oil *always do your own research before consuming essential oils
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Cupcake Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees & line cupcake pan
  • Mix all wet ingredients (coconut oil, vanilla, milk, eggs) & sugar in a medium bowl
  • Add dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) & mix well
  • Stir in lemon zest & essential oil (optional)
  • Bake on center oven rack for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  • Cool completely. Frost & Serve.

Frosting Ingredients

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Oil
  • Certified therapeutic grade Lavender Essential Oil *see notes above on consuming essential oils

Frosting Directions

  • Start with 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon coconut oil & a splash of almond milk
  • Mix well & add more sugar or milk as needed to achieve desired consistency
  • add 1-2 drops essential oil, taste & increase to achieve desired flavor *note: essential oils are very potent & it is easy to overdo this!

That’s it! This is currently my go-to cupcake recipe as it is easily adapted to various flavors! For a more basic flavor try vanilla cakes (leave out lemon) & chocolate frosting (leave out lavender & add cocoa) … easy & delicious!

Did you know you can bake cupcakes in advance? If you refrigerate cupcakes they will dry out. But you can bake them, freeze them, defrost & frost when you are ready to serve. This means you can bake ahead of time & the day of your party impress your guests with fresh baked goodies! Or if you have more self-control then I do, you can bake cupcakes and keep them in the freezer for whenever you want a quick, homemade dessert!

ENJOY & have a great weekend (almost)!!!