Non-toxic Homemade Wood Polish

Non-toxic Homemade Wood Cleaner and Polish
Making our own natural and non-toxic cleaning products are so easy. Most of the time we already have all of the ingredients on hand. I love making homemade wood polish because I can get the fresh lemon smell that I love without all the chemicals from an aerosol can floating into the air and poisoning the air my family breathes.

I never really thought much about all of this until I was pregnant for the first time and my doctor's office gave me some literature for new moms. I'm one of those people who read through everything. When we bought our first house I annoyed the title company by reading through everything at closing. Anyway, in one of those papers I read a warning against the chemicals found in most of our cleaning products and that they could cause birth defects if inhaled/ingested. I remember thinking "If those chemicals can cause birth defects or miscarriage, what have they been doing to the inside of my body all this time?"

That set me on a course of learning that I never expected and led to how I feel today about the toxic load we are exposing ourselves and our children to everyday. Our chronic diseases, infertility, and a host of other problems can be laid at the feet of the chemicals that are so prevalent in every aspect of our lives. 

So I learned about GMOs, how to grow and can my own food and found easy adjustments for cleaner food and purer products where I could. This homemade wood polish is such and easy switch. 

INGREDIENTS  __________________________________________________________________

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil- honestly it doesn't need to be cold-pressed, the light will work just fine
  • 2 1/2 Tbls Distilled White Vinegar
  • 10 drops Lemon Essential Oil- you can also use Orange or if you want a woody scent Arborvitae.
  • 16 oz. Glass Spray Bottle- essential oils must be stored in glass, they will eat through plastic. These ones are a pretty color and come with cute chalk labels. 

INSTRUCTIONS  ________________________________________________________________

1. Add olive oil and vinegar to glass spray bottle.
2. Add 10 drops of essential oil.
3. Shake well before each use.
4. Apply to microfiber cloth and wipe wood surfaces clean. Repeat every 2–3 months or as often as needed. 

Enjoy bringing back the shine to your favorite tables, desks, floors, and more with this simple non-toxic recipe for homemade wood polish.

Check out more in our Essential Oil Series.

Homemade Garlic Powder

Homemade garlic powder has the most incredible scent and flavor. You'll be wondering what you've been eating all these years. Well, that's actually one of the reasons why I make my own spices.

Most packaged spices, including garlic powder that we buy from stores are full of anti-caking powders and other fillers so we really don't know what we are eating. There is also no way of knowing how old the spices are. We know that the antioxidants and other nutrients start breaking down over time so we could end up with something that is virtually tasteless and void of nutrition.

I wrote a previous post about how easy it is to dehydrate garlic. Seriously, it is. But I've had a lot of people ask what I actually do with this garlic and how I use it once it is dehydrated. It's so easy to throw a few slices in when I am sauteing veggies, making soups or dips. But my favorite thing is just to make homemade garlic powder.

Homemade Garlic Powder
I use a spice/coffee grinder and just fill it to the top of the silver fill line and process til it is a light fluffy powder. Watch out though. If you try to remove the lid right away you will end up with a cloud of garlic powder everywhere. So you need to let it rest for the dust to settle. I usually use up a bottle of garlic powder every few months; but once I had one for almost a year and I never had a problem with it clumping. But that is why I keep my dehydrated garlic in the slices and just grind what I need when I need it. It keeps the strongest flavor and I never have problems with caking.

Dehydrate Garlic Slices

 I use my dehydrate garlic slices but if you don't have any available then you could totally just use granulated garlic. Costco has a big jar of good California granulate garlic that I love.

Granulated Garlic
Garlic Powder

I just always save my spice jars and just reuse them, but there are a lot of cute ones on Amazon you could use if you want a cohesive look or wanted to give away some as gifts. These ones match the Spice Island jars you can get at the store.

I love easy ways to replace toxic and synthetic chemicals in our lives that don't take a lot of effort. Let me know in the comments if would be interested in seeing more ways to switch out everyday products/ ingredients with ones that are more natural and health promoting.

Homemade Bath Salt Ornaments w/ Essential Oil

Ah, I have had these sitting around for weeks and just haven't gotten around to putting them together. When I made my lavender bath salts over the summer, I knew I wanted to make it for friend Christmas gifts this year too. There is just something so special about a handmade gift and these come together so easy.

I found these super cute plastic ornaments at the Dollar Tree and thought they would be the perfect container to use for Christmas.

I changed up the recipe and used different oils. I actually used one called Serentiy. Which is a blend that includes lavender, cedarwood, ylang ylang and vanilla. Basically just heaven in a jar. Every scent that is the ultimate in relaxation and make you feel totally pampered. In fact, I think that is what I am going to put on the tags. Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Or Soak up the Season. Which do you prefer?

I had some dried rose petals I saved from over the summer along with my dried lavender. Don't they looked beautiful mixed within all the salt. And we know rose is great for the skin since it is used in almost every skincare line in the world.

I just used a big, glass jar to mix everything together in, but if you were going to make them in bulk then I think using a Bosch or Kitchen Aid mixer would work amazing.


  • 1 3/4 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1 Tbls Carrier Oil- I like coconut oil, but you can use olive oil 
  • 10 drops of Serenity Essential Oil- (I only use Doterra Oil, they have such quality ingredients and rigorous testing to make sure their oils live up to their high standards. You can find out more here). 
  • 1 Tbls of Fresh Lavender Flowers and Rose Petals - if you don't have these it is fine, they just make the salts look pretty and show what its made of. Kind of like how you garnish a plate with things that are in a dish so you know what's in it. 

  • Pour the Epsom Salt into a mixing bowl (glass or stainless steel- wood will absorb the oils)
  • Pour the Serenity Essential Oil drop by drop into the carrier oil and mix together with a spoon. 
  • Pour the combined oil over the salt and stir until it is equally distributed and the salt looks like wet sand. 
  • Stir in the lavender flowers and crushed rose petals through out.
  • Transfer into ornament whatever storage container you would like. (I don't mind using plastic here since they will probably be used pretty quickly and you don't have the chance of it shattering by being dropped in the bathroom.)

I know you are just going to die when you smell these.

DIY Shower Melts w/ Essential Oils

I did this DIY for an essential oils make-n-take I did recently and loved the end result so much I had to share these Shower Melts with you. Have you heard of bath bombs? Of course you have. They are all the rage right now, but if you find yourself without the time for a nice relaxing bath, shower melts are your new best friend.

You can make them in any scent but I made these specifically for someone dealing with sinus congestion or allergies. These O Christmas Tree melts smell like you are walking among a forest and includes doTERRA Breathe® Respiratory Blend to help give feelings of open airways and promote clear breathing.

O Christmas Tree Shower Melts

O Christmas Tree Shower Melts-

1 ½ cups baking soda
8 drops doTERRA Breathe®
6 drops Siberian Fir
3 drops Arborvitae
½ cup water


  • Combine baking soda and water in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add 15-20 drops of doTERRA essential oils depending on your preferred potency and mix again.
  • You can pack mixture tightly into silicone molds to make cute shapes but I just used a Tablespoon and dropped the mounds onto a parchment lined tray to sit overnight until dry.  
  • To use, place one or two tablets in the back of your shower and enjoy as the essential oils diffuse into the steam as you shower. (For best results, find a spot away from the direct flow of water so the melts can dissolve and release the aroma slowly).

Tip: For continued benefits after your shower, apply doTERRA Breathe® Vapor Stick to neck and chest area.

Essential Oil Holiday Gift Guide by Price

Hello beautiful friends!

We've put together some gift ideas for the people you love most in your life.
Some of these folks may be lovers of essential oils already, or maybe they are
brand new and you are easing them into this world of natural health. Either
way, we have incredible options for everyone!

Mini Gift Guide

Give the gift of health to everyone you know and love this year! Small gifts
that are perfect to use for any occasion during this season of giving and
gratitude. Think: teachers, mailman, stocking stuffers, Hanukkah gifts,
babysitter, co-workers, etc.

Lavender Touch Roller: relax nerves, support achy heads and tummies, soothe
irritated skin; this roller does it all and is sensitive enough for any person, big
or small. (13.75)

Travel Kit: Purchase this collection of 4 (Lavender, Peppermint, Wild Orange,
& Aromatouch) and break it up, so you have a mini oil for 4 dierent people!

Lip Balms: 3 flavors (herbal, tropical, & original), and full of gorgeous hydrat-
ing emollients and oils to keep your lips in great shape for the holiday mistle-
toe. My personal favorite is the tropical one, especially when it’s this cold out.
(6.50 each or all three for 15.00)

OnGuard Hand Sanitizer: ‘Tis the season for big family gatherings and
spreading germs. Throw this in everyone’s stocking to keep them healthy and
enjoying their holidays. Bonus; with oils like Cinnamon, wild orange, and clove,
it smells just like Christmas. (6.50)

Citrus Bliss Hand Lotion: All that seasonal hand washing leads to dry, cracked
skin, so they will love keeping this perfectly sized lotion in their purse or desk
to soothe their skin & relax their frayed nerves. The scent is uplifting and
bright too. (6.95)

On Guard Cleaner Concentrate: This all natural cleaner will help keep germs at
bay, while also boosting their own immunity; who can argue with that?

On Guard Throat Drops: Immunity right in your pocket. These throat drops
are perfect to throw in your bag and keep your body supported on the go. I
love taking these on airplanes, keeping one or two in my winter coat pocket,
and having on hand when your throat gets a tickle in church, etc. (14.50)

Mud Mask: Self-care is the big buzz word these days. Give your loved ones
something safe, easy, and that works to push toxins from their skin in 10
minutes or less. This helps to seal in moisture, dry up acne spots, and it works as
a wonderful detox when switching to natural deodorant. (Apply mask to
armpit area 1x a week!) (14.50)

Balance Deodorant: Speaking of natural deodorant, if you love someone, have
THE talk with them this holiday season. No, not THAT one. The one where
you tell them that conventional deodorants and antiperspirants contribute to
adrenal fatigue, imbalanced hormones, and ups their risk of congesting their
lymph system which can lead to the c-word. We promise it’s important. And
an easy switch with this deodorant option that scores a 1 on the EWG (basi-
cally the best score). (8.75)

Body Butter: This deeply nourishing body cream is perfect for the winter air
we are experiencing. Nourishing, absorbs quickly, and a perky citrus scent to
chase away the winter blues.(14.50)

Motivate Touch Roller: We all know that getting up in the morning is a chore,
and especially so in the winter when it’s basically dark when you wake up,
AND when you leave work. Motivate is great to swipe on in the morning in
place of perfume/cologne, and also to carry with you throughout the day for
an added pick me up (2pm slump anyone?). (15.00)

OnGuard Toothpaste & OnGuard Mouthwash: Power up your oral health and
boost your immune function, all in one shot! These seem like simple basics,
and they are, which is what makes them so powerful. Help add in wellness
support to their normal routine! (Toothpaste: 8.50 and mouthwash 14.50)

$25 Gift Guide

Introductory Kit: the three cornerstone oils: (lemon, lavender, & peppermint) to
get her oil journey going and to support her health naturally. Pop in a copy of
101 ways to use them and your recipient will be so grateful for a fresh start.
Serenity Softgels: Every human we know needs more quality rest. These
all-natural herb and essential oil softgels will help you to get the most out of
whatever precious window of time you have to lay your head on the pillow.
Non-habit forming, and totally safe. And, taking just one helps big time with
headaches and anxiety. Perfect for covering all your bases. And The Essen-
tial Midwife gives these 2 thumbs up for pregnant and nursing moms too!

Healing Hands Rose Lotion: Rose is the most precious essential oil available,
and it has the highest vibrational energetic signature of any oil on earth. It
immediately soothes skin, relaxes and slows down the nervous system
(de-stress!), and it gently boosts our immune function.. Plus 100% of the
proceeds goes towards The Healing Hands foundation's humanitarian work
around the world. (20.00)

PB Assist Jr.: These packets taste like a pixie stick, but are actually chock full
of double encapsulated pre- and pro-biotics to keep your digestive tract
running smoothly. Created for and loved by kiddos, but I’ve known adults to
sneak them too! Made with natural watermelon and strawberry flavors, it's a
"treat" mom can get behind too. (Perfect to split up into little bundles to pop
into multiple stockings!) (24.50)

Holiday Joy or Holiday Peace: What do you buy for the person who already
has everything? How about a blend that bottles up all the nostalgia for the
holidays and let’s you sink into the season whenever you difuse it? Put it in
the diuser, scent homemade potpourri with it, or put a drop on your coat
lapel. (24.50)

Hydrating Body Mist w/ Beautiful Blend: This body oil is the stuff dreams are
made of. Featuring our gorgeous Beautiful blend, this body oil is light and
hydrating and goes on so smoothly. It isn’t heavy and oily--you can spray it
on, rub it in quickly, and get dressed. Perfect for winter skin. Everyone you gift
this to will beg to know where to get more when their bottle runs out. (22.00)

$50 Gift Guide

Brightening Gel: This gel is truly a miracle worker. It wakes up your skin,
smooths and fills lines, and it brightens the tone. You’ll notice a reduction in
age spots and an evening out of skin. (34.50)

Anti-Aging Eye Cream: At any age, this eye cream is your ticket to youthful,
soft skin and a reduction of dark circles around the eyes. (45.00)

Copaiba Softgels: This oil reduces stress and inflammation, and frankly, we all
need more of that. The new softgel options makes it simple to add to your
morning line up. Perfect for after an intense workout, to soothe ragged
nerves, or to usher you into dreamland. (35)

Deep Blue Rub: So versatile and the perfect gift for anyone who has inflam-
mation in their muscles and joints. Wonderful for soothing neck, shoulder, and
head tension too. The perfect gift to grab for the guy who has everything.

Frankincense Touch Roller: Grounding and balancing emotionally, immune
stimulating, cellular regenerating, and mild enough for little ones and adults
alike. Perfection. (Now you know why baby Jesus was gifted this!) (45.50)

Petal Diuser: Endless options at their home for passive benefits both emo-
tionally and physically from using their oils aromatically. Now you can finally
ditch those scented candles and get ready to hear compliments on how
amazing your home smells, all the while you secretly know you’re making them
healthier too! (47.00)

Jasmine Touch Roller: Incredible on it’s own as perfume, but even better when
layered with Grapefruit. This oil also helps you to feel grounded, and sensual,
and supports your emotional and reproductive help. Maybe get two so you
can keep one. (42.00)

Magnolia Roller: One of the best tools for helping with anxiousness and
stress. Perfect to roll on each morning to support your emotions and mood.
Floral oils are always very supportive to our skin and reproductive health too!

Splurge Gift Guide

The Aromatouch Kit: Only $100 and full of oils to support immune health,
emotional balance, and aching muscles. Plus fractionated coconut oil to
protect and nourish. The perfect combination.

Rose Touch Roller: One of the most precious oils on earth. This oil has the
highest vibrational frequency and instantly helps to uplift your mood and your
energy. Wonderful immune support, incredibly healing to the skin, and a per-
fect gift. (75.00)

Kids Collection: This incredible new collection of oils for the kids in
your life are a perfect way to safely and eectively use oils with your family. 6
special blends that address the heart, mind, and body. The perfect gift for a
new family! (95.00)

Athlete’s Kit: This features 5mL bottles of Breathe, OnGuard, Lavender,
Melaleuca, and Peppermint, as well as the Deep Blue lotion, all in a convenient
zip pouch that you can throw in your gym. It’s also the perfect amount to take
on a quick trip! These staples address everything from respiratory distress, to
immune function, to aching muscles, to feelings of anxiousness. (65.00)

Yarrow/Pom: This new oil duo, available in December is one of the best new
things doTERRA has launched this year. The blend of yarrow essential oil and
pomegranate seed extract pack an incredible punch. Incredible revitalizing,
nourishing, and healing to the skin, you’ll be blown away by the results.
Equally as incredible internally, you’ll notice a reduction in inflammation, and
supported digestive and immune function too! (95.00)

The Lumo Diuser: Stylish and ecient,the perfect option for open spaces
and high trac areas in your home. Give the gift of health by sharing this
diuser and oils to help support immune function, reduce stress, and brighten
dreary days. They’ll love it because having it running will make them think of
you. (70.00)

I hope these gave you some great ideas to show love to the people in your lives.

Merriest Wishes!

Essential Oil Series: How to Dilute Essential Oils

We love our essential oils in our house and use them frequently and consistently to support our family's health. Because they are so potent and effective, when it comes to essential oils, less is definitely more. I remember wishing I had a dilution recipe when I first got my oils almost 10 years ago. I remember being worried about not knowing how to use them 'right'.  I knew they are suppose to be diluted but I didn't have a great method for figuring that out.

Luckily for you, I have this handy oil dilution reference chart. Now you can easily see how many drops of oil you should add to various bottle sizes before filling the rest of the way with a carrier oil. Remember, my favorite carrier oil is Fractionated Coconut Oil because it stays liquid at room temperature and it doesn't leave a greasy feel. Any good, pure vegetable oil will do however: jojoba, almond, olive, extra virgin coconut, avocado, etc.

As you can see, babies and kids really don't need a lot of oils for them to work effectively. Even for adults' everyday use we shouldn't be using that much. It is only when we need to address a targeted area or concern do we ever up the amount we put on; and then it is only temporarily until the issue is resolved.

Essential oils are great and we can use them in so many ways to support our health. I hope this chart makes you feel a little more comfortable and confident to start using your oils. If you want to get oil blends pre-diluted for babies and children, Doterra just released an awesome Kid Collection with safe and gentle oils made just for the precious little bodies in our care. You can check it out here. We've been absolutely loving them at our house. My little guy will walk over to me and life up foot and ask for me to put some oils on.

If you want some roller ball bottles to blend your oils on you can add some onto your DoTerra order if you already have an account or get some off amazon here.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. And check out the rest of the Essential Oil Series.

Essential Oil Series: How to Use Essential Oils

In the first part of our Essential Oil Series we learned what an essential oil actually is and how the purity of the oil really matters. Just like we are passionate about the quality and sourcing of our food, we should be diligent about the purity of our essential oils. If you have one that is Certified Therapeutic Grade Pure, you can actually take it internally. Other oils without that certification could be up to 80% of fillers, contaminants and unwanted chemicals. No thank you.

Essential Oils are so versatile and can be taken in 3 ways.

AROMATICALLY  ________________________________________________________________

INHALING: This is the easiest way to use essential oils. Place 1 drop of oil in your hands and rub them together. Cup your hands around your nose and mouth while inhaling deeply through your nose. This is the fastest way to get oils into your body to start working instantly. If you don't want the oil on your hands, you could also just take a deep breath right from the bottle.

DIFFUSING: I love this method for purifying the air, mood boosting and just creating an overall healthy atmosphere be it at home, in the car or on your desk at work. It's as easy as it gets. Just add 5-7 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) to a diffuser with water and sit back and enjoy the benefits of aromatic use.

TOPICALLY  _____________________________________________________________________

This is just what it sounds like, applying directly to the skin. Essential oils are potent, that is why we love them, so it is recommended to dilute every oil with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. A carrier oil is an oil like fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, etc that can help dilute the essential oil and allow us to rub/ carry the same amount of essential oils to a larger area of skin without using too much. Place 1-2 drops of oil of choice on hand, dilute with carrier oil and apply to the target area. Some of the best places to apply oils are typically the bottoms of the feel until you are sure there are no sensitivities then you can move to inside of the wrists, temples, base of neck and along the spine.

INTERNALLY  ___________________________________________________________________

I would never recommend this option for any but DoTERRA oils because I can't speak to their purity. Always look for the Supplement Facts on the label to make sure it is 100% pure and safe for ingestion. There are many opinions regarding ingesting essential oils so make sure to do your own research and choose what's best for you. 

You can place a drop of oil under your tongue for immediate absorption, place 1-2 drops in a glass of water, or fill an empty veggie capsule to take the oils internally. One thing to note is that some oils, especially citrus can break down petrochemical in certain plastics so make sure you are drinking from glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers.

*Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to doTERRA essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about doTERRA Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please do not stop.

How to Dehydrate Garlic Cloves

So I am one of those people who buys garlic in bulk. Tell me I'm not the only one who gets annoyed with how much a single head of garlic costs? You can get like 4 x's that much for the same price if you buy it in bags; which I normally do to feel like I am saving money.

Well actually, I do save money. But then I am left with the problem of having a bunch of garlic that starts to send out shoots before I can get through them all. There are a couple things you can do with your extra garlic cloves that need to start being used up. You can freeze it raw for later use and pull out a few at a time as you need them; but I rarely have the freezer space (yes, even for something as small as a bag of garlic. Talk to my husband, it is his longest running complaint how full our freezer always is.) You could roast it whole in the oven and have on hand to throw into pasta dishes, sauteed veggies or any other recipe. You could also plant it, or you can dehydrate it. 

Dehydrating veggies is one of the easiest means of food preservation and pretty cheap too. I got a dehydrator years ago off a classifieds website for $15 that has served me well. You actually don't even need a dehydrator. You could use an oven on the lowest temperature or even just with the light on or if it is during the summer and you don't live in a humid area, you can dehydrate your food outside. I mean that's how food was dried for centuries and it works just as well today. Honestly, it's so dry where I live that my cloves will dry up right in the whole head if I just left them out. Especially during the winter when my house is really warm and dry.

I usually like to slice my garlic into about 4-5 slices. I feel like that is a more manageable size to use in cooking. It also makes them more even and allows for more surface face to dehydrate faster. Just make sure that if your dehydrator tray has slats like mine, that you don't cut them so small they will fall through once they are dried.

Lay them out evenly and not overlapping but they can be close since they will shrink as they dry. I like to put mine in around the afternoon and let it dry all through the night. When you check in the morning you need to make sure they are crispy and break when you bend them. There can't be any pliability. That means that they aren't all the way dry and they will mold in their container. If they are bendy and don't break, leave them on for a few more hours til they snap like a twig.

Once they are all the way dry, place the garlic slices in an airtight (preferably glass) airtight container and store in a cool. dark place. I don't grind my garlic into powder right now but you could. It is best to break, slice or grind right before using because it helps retain all its flavor and potency.

When I am ready to grind my grinder, I use a spice/coffee grinder because it breaks it down to a soft powder.

Let me know in the comments if you give this a try or if you have done it before. And check back for my posts about making homemade garlic powder and garlic salt.

Essential Oil Series: Essential Oils 101

I am so excited about the curiosity around Essential Oils these days. I grew up in a pretty holistic, alternative medicine using home so when I first heard about essential oils, almost 10 years ago, I was intrigued and open to the idea. The thing I liked most about them were that they were all natural, pure ingredients. Not the synthetic stuff from a lab which we are usually prescribed. 

As a pregnant mother for the first time, I also loved that they were safe enough to use on babies. There is almost nothing you can give to a baby medicine-wise, so I loved feeling like I had some control over my baby's wellness. We have been using them to support our health ever since and I am happy they are getting more and more mainstream. Kind of like green smoothies.

Essential Oils are finally having their moment and it is well deserved. We know, and love to use herbs because they are so good for us; but guess what? Essential oils are about 50-70% more potent than herbs. 1 drop is actually equivalent to drinking 28 cups of tea from the same source. Since they are so potent you only need 1 or 2 drops, it makes them very affordable overall.

WHAT IS AN ESSENTIAL OIL  ____________________________________________________

But what exactly are essential oils you might wonder? Well basically, they are the aromatic compounds seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants that have made them sought after for food flavoring, mood enhancing and healing aids for centuries. In fact, most medicine is based off of the molecules found in the natural world known for their healing properties. And, their natural form provides an all-natural health option to benefit our bodies.

The most common method of extracting essential oils is low-heat steam distillation where pressurized steam is circulated through the plant material. The essential oils are extracted from the plant and carried away by the steam and then collected as the water and oil naturally separate. The more pure the essential oil, the more powerful the results.

PURITY  ________________________________________________________________________

Essential oils are definitely not created equal. Many essential oils on the market are not pure. Often, they contain up to 80% filler or other elements that dilute and alter the purity of the oil which then diminishes the healthful qualities of the oil. Just like with food, quality and sourcing matters.

Since I have researched to much into the benefits of eating clean food, I already knew I would not use essential oils from companies that couldn't prove how pure their oil is. I found what I believe is the best company producing the highest quality products and best practices. DoTerra.

"Each doTERRA essential oil is also carefully and thoroughly tested using the strict CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol. Experienced essential oil users will immediately recognize the superior quality standard for naturally safe, purely effective therapeutic-grade doTERRA essential oils."   -Doterra Website

Doterra essentially (see what I did there?) wrote the book on essential oil purity testing. No one had or has a higher grade of pure oils than them. I love that there are quality controls in place by testing EVERY batch. I also appreciate that they source their products from small farms in the countries where those plants are native grown while paying a fair wage to the farmers and distillers. They are involved every step of the way so they know with confidence that their oil is pure.

Up next, I am sharing about How to Use Essential Oils but if you are ready to get started now click

How to get Food Grade Buckets for FREE

I'm excited to share with you a trick I have been using for years to store my bulk food safely and inexpensively. Who else is gearing up for all the Christmas baking coming just around the corner in December? It seems like I am always cooking or baking something extra in the weeks leading up to Christmas. As someone who cooks a lot anyway, I like to have all of my dry ingredients on hand.

For those of us who cook a lot and like to save money, buying in bulk is a necessity. But when you buy food in bulk, it usually comes bagged in plastic or thick paper packages. Those are nightmare to scoop out of without making a mess. They tip over easily and pests can quickly chew through the thin layers to the food beneath. Not to mention issues with humidity and food going rancid.

Luckily there is an easy way to prevent that from happening. Food. Grade. Buckets.

The good news is that food grade buckets are really easy to get. You can buy them for about 4 dollars a piece. Buying 1 or 2 like that isn't a big deal. But if you want to stock up it can quickly make a pretty big dent in your budget. Some people try to get around this by buying the buckets at like Home Depot because they are less expensive, but you shouldn't do that.

You might be asking yourself if just any plastic bucket will work as long as it is clean. The answer is no. The plastic used for food grade buckets must be free of dyes, additives and recycled plastic products shown to be harmful to humans. The reason for this is that some foods will leach additives and chemicals from their containers which can poison your food. Most food grade plastic is in the HDPE category or high density polyethylene with the plastic code 2. You can find it buy turning the product over and looking for the number in the triangle.

I don't love the thought of spending $100 on buckets just to store my food. I'd rather spend it on yummy food! So one thing I found out many years ago is that you can go to your local grocery store bakery and ask they if they have any left-over buckets. They are usually happy to wash them out and give them to you for FREE. I just call ahead and ask and they will put some aside for me until they have as much as I need.

 What I love most though is that they come in a range of sizes from 5 gallons down to 1 gallon. My favorite size is actually the 3.5 gallon. It seems the perfect size for most packages of grain I get from Costco. And, they fit the same kind of lid as a 5 gallon bucket so I can use my favorite Gamma Seal Lids. Guys, if you haven't tried these, you are missing out. There is a ring that goes around the bucket then an inner lid screws on top making it so easy to get to your food without having to pry off the whole lid. It keeps it totally airtight and they come in a range of colors so you can color code your food easily. Love them.

These are the sizes of buckets I use

  •  wheat in 6 gallon buckets (which also can fit the gamma seal lids)
  • sugar, flour and long term storage grains and other food in 5 gallon buckets
  • rices, oats, quinoa, lentils, long term storage beans in 3.5 gallon buckets
  • beans and specialty rice like basmati or jasmine in 1.5 gallons buckets 
I have saved a ton over the years by storing my bulk foods in these buckets I've gotten for free. If for some reason you don't have a grocery bakery by you that has these buckets, I have 1 more tip. Pickles usually come in a 5 gallon buckets so those would be easy to grab from a fast food restaurant, or other restaurant that uses pickles. Just make sure you wash them VERY well to make sure you get the pickle smell out. 

Have any of you tried this? What is your favorite size of bucket?


Provident Princess

Essential Oil Series: Are Essential Oils Safe?

It's a common experience for someone to be so excited about their new oils that they want to use them for everything and on everyone but hold on there tiger, safety first. Just like the we love sunlight for its ability to help us synthesize Vitamin D, we are also very aware of the harm it can do from over exposure. Because oils are so effective and potent (which is why we love and use them), we really need to know how to use and not overuse them. 1-2 drops is enough, we don't need to dump on the whole bottle.

There are a few other points to consider to make your entry into essential oil life go more smoothly. I happen to know first-hand how being uneducated about oils can disrupt your journey into a more natural and healthy lifestyle. Let's just say I ended up with a burning, red face because I didn't know what a 'hot' oil was and that I should've have used it in a steam room. OUCH!

Lucky for you, you can be forewarned. Here are some common questions people ask.

Can I Put the Oils Anywhere?  ______________________________________________________

Normally if you are applying oil topically then we apply it to a targeted site on the body. But you should NEVER put oils directly into your eyes or your ears. The sensitive skin inside of your mouth might be more easily irritated by undiluted oils so be mindful of this before your first use. A good place to start is on the bottoms of the feet or along the spine until you know if you have any sensitivities to the oils. Speaking of dilution...

Why Should I Dilute My Oils? What is a Carrier Oil? ___________________________________

Essential oils are very potent so we only need to apply 1-2 drops to get the benefit it offers. One drop doesn't go very far when you try to rub it onto your body so we use a carrier oil that helps to “carry” our essential oil onto and into our skin. Our favorite is doTERRA’s fractionated coconut oil, but other options are olivie oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, cold pressed coconut oil, or any pure vegetable oil The benefits of using a carrier oil are:
-increases surface area of application 
-decreases your risk for sensitivities to the pure oils (especially important in babies)
-gives you a base to create your own blends by mixing your favorites together
-helps avoid wasting so much of your precious essential oil

What if I Get Some in My Eye? ______________________________________________________

My husband could tell you about this one. We know that oil and water do not mix so please do not try to wash off with water. It will only push the oil in deeper away from the water. You will want to create a larger area for the essential oil to disperse into; so rub ONLY a carrier oil over your eyes and face to dilute the essential oil back out of your precious eyes. Your vision might be a little blurred for a bit because of the carrier oil but it will be back to normal soon enough!

Which Oils Should I Avoid Using on Baby? __________________________________________

The National Alliance of Hollistic Aromatherapy lists these oils as irritating or caustic to the skin:

-cinnamon bark -clove bud -citronella -cumin -lemongrass -thyme -oregano -cassia-

There is so much overlap with different oils offering similar benefits, so it is a good idea to avoid applying these oils to young babies and using milder, gentler options. These oils can still be used confidently on ourselves, as long as we dilute them with a carrier oil of our choice. Test them on a small area your skin for your initial use. When you join our team, you get access to our private Facebook Community that is a wealth of knowledge to find the oils for the concerns you have.

Are Essential Oils Safe During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding? ____________________________

It is important to find a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable and will support you in the use of complementary and alternative medicine. As with any product, your midwife or physician should be aware of and approve your use of specific essential oils. The skin is much more sensitive and permeable during pregnancy, so be mindful of always diluting your oils well before application. Some oils that are good to avoid during pregnancy, even diluted, are clary sage, myrrh, and any blends containing these oils. These oils can promote uterine contractions and are best saved for use during actual labor, when delivery is intended. The safe use of oils during this beautiful time can be a natural and effective way to balance mood and reduce anxiety.

Should I Avoid the Sun After Applying Essential Oils? __________________________________

Yes and No. Certain oils can react with sunlight when applied to the skin and then exposed to direct UV rays. Make sure to always dilute these oils well, apply them to an area that is not exposed to the sun, or wait 24 hours before spending any amount of time soaking up its warmth! Oils that are considered phototoxic are: lemon, grapefruit, bergamot, lime, cumin, and any blends containing these.

Can I Use Essential Oils in the Bath? _________________________________________________

Absolutely! A bath is a great way to use your essential oils. But just like some of our other cautions, never add an oil that is 'hot', or caustic to skin in your bath water.  Always apply your oils to some kind of carrier before adding to your running water. I love epsom salt but vegetable glycerin or any shower gel/bubble bath that you already use and love, preferably unscented, can be used as well. A good amount to use as you learn your sensitivity levels would be 2-3 drops!

Can Essential Oils Counteract Prescription Medicine? __________________________________

Just like you should speak to your Dr. or Midwife about essential oil usage during pregnancy or breastfeeding; you should definitely consult your physician regarding any reactions that could occur, especially if the medication to which you are referring is vital to your livelihood. There are a couple that truly stand out, such as wintergreen oil being avoided by those taking blood thinners, and being mindful that tetracyclines can make the skin more sensitive to citrus oil + sunlight reaction. Most western medicine physicians will have limited knowledge when it comes to essential oils, so seeking out the opinion of a holistic doctor or registered aromatherapist is always encouraged. It never hurts to do a little research of your own as well.

All Set? Feeling confident to begin using essential oils? I hope so. Remember that one of the best benefits of joining our team is being connected to a huge community with so much knowledge and the resources to be successful in your natural wellness journey. Click HERE if you are ready to take the plunge into essential oils. And please leave me a comment if you have any specific questions.

Read the other installments of the Essential Oil Series.