Monday, June 12, 2017

What's in the Box? My June doTERRA rewards order

Happy Summer! 
My kids have been home for summer break for 2 weeks, and I would love to say we have a great routine in place, but we don't. At all. But, it's summer vacation and I kinda feel like you should be able to do what you want on vacation, as long as your chores are still getting done and you are wearing at least some clothes.

Thing 1 is having a bit of a problem with that last one...  He's been up for an hour and I've already said You cannot be naked! at least 47 times. So summer is going to be interesting around here. what's in the box? I'll tell you I resisted doTERRA's  rewards program for months. Autoship? Scary! No way! I really saw the benefit of the oils, but I did not want any part of a rewards program. Monthly ordering? Forget about it.
But then I was seeing free oils that I wasn't getting and rewards points I could be getting on things I was already buy
ing and decided to give it a try.

So easy! And completely not scary. And full of free! So much free! And, let's face it, free is good. Especially when it's free that you pick out yourself! For the uninitiated, doTERRA's rewards program (or LRP, as we like to call it) works like a frequent flyer program. You earn up to 30% back on qualifying purchases, and that's on top of the 25% wholesale discount. All shipping fees are also rebated as rewards points. It adds up fast! And every month doTERRA offers a free oil to rewards members called the Product of the Month. When you add the 25% discount and the 30% back and the Product of the Month and other freebies, I average pretty close to 60% savings off retail pricing.

All in a Day's Work

It is quite literally part of my job to help people on my team get as many free oils and products as possible. Yes, of course, I empower them to find natural solutions for physical and emotional wellness, and to build financial freedom (for those who want it) but FREEEEEEE. So I started a giveaway for my So Essential team members. Yep. More free stuff! Every month I give away a different oil, and one way to to get a chance to win it is by posting in our private facebook support group about What's in the Box. This month I'm giving away CHEER!

What's In The Box?

I thought I'd give you a sneak peek into my doTERRA box and show you what I ordered this month. My LRP order is absolutely different every month.

V-Shake times 2, because now that is summer vacation, Thing 1 thinks he can have unlimited smoothies. And he kind of can, because of the next thing in the box. This can be used as a meal replacement, but we use it more as a sports drink, high fiber, high protein snack.

TerraGreens, also times 2, are powdered greens. My kid's getting veggies every time he asks for a smoothie. See my Spring Break Smoothies post here

PastTense is a must have in my purse. You never know when the occasional stress-related head tension will pop up, and a few swipes of the PastTense roller and it's done. And if you carry stress in your neck and shoulders, try it there, too. 

*Even my husband will use it. 

TerraShield is an all natural bug repellent! It doesn't smell like poison, doesn't feel like poison, because it is actually not poison! And it works. I am a mosquito magnet, and never get a single bite when I use it. It's safe for your dog! It's safe for your garden! 

Pro Tip: Spray it outside around your doorways, to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside.

The Serenity Combo pack is in my box this month because I am co-hosting a sleep study this month! We use the Serenity blend nightly in Thing 1's diffuser, and rubbed on the bottom of his feet, to help ease him into bedtime. The Combo pack will save you a few dollars. The Serenity Complex Softgels contain lavender oil and L-theanine, an amino acid, both of which are helpful for calming & de-stressing! I'll have an update on how you an be part of the sleep study later this week! 

Lemon is used daily in our house: in my water as a gentle, safe detox and for antioxidant support. Thing 1 takes it with lavender and peppermint for seasonal issues (check out TriEase for a softgel version, especially if pollen is making you miserable.) I also use lemon as a safe, non toxic cleaner, and for DIY furniture polish.

I use black pepper mostly in cooking, and lately we are going through a ton of it, thanks to Thing 1's other obsession: hummus. It's smoothies and hummus all day long at our house. Take a large store bought container of plain hummus and add 5 drops each: black pepper, lemon, and cumin oils. It's fantastic.

We give Thing 1 On Guard daily for immune support. The rest of us use it as needed. This makes a great safe, effective, non-toxic cleaner, jsut mix in a spray bottle with water and/or vinegar. A science fair project was circulating on facebook last month that showed On Guard besting commercial cleansers.  

And now for the freebies! YAY! FREE! 

DoTERRA's Product of the Month is a 5ml bottle of  Serenity, so yes, I did get two bottles of Serenity this month. There is another promo this month and it's open to anyone and everyone! Immortelle is free with any 200pv order, whether you are ordering through the rewards program or getting your very first starter oils! Immortelle is an anti-aging blend because it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as sun damage and can even fade stretch marks. 


Cheer is an awesome happy blend from the Emotional Aromatherapy collection. It is a great mood lifter. Cheer is for aromatic and topical use only. New So Essential Oils members can also win this oil by joining with any starter set of oils. It's super easy!

Go to, or use the my oils tab at the top of the page. Then choose Join & Save and Wellness Advocate, enter your personal information and choose your starter kit. The most popular kits on my team are the Family Essentials, Home Essentials, and Aromatouch Diffused kits. The Home Essential kit will earn you the FREE Immortelle this month! Start your journey to wellness with FREE! Then ask to join the private facebook group So Essential Oils. I will contact you withing 2 days to welcome you to the team and schedule a wellness consult where I will show you how to get all the FREE oils you possibly can!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.

Spring Break Smoothies

It's Spring Break. You know what that means? We might get to sleep in this week. We aren't going anywhere. Amazingly, both my kids have the same week off. This hasn't happened in at least 5 years. So what Spring Break means for you might be different, but here it's an extra long weekend. 

What it means here is I'm not trying to drag my kids out of bed or nagging hurrying them to get ready so they won't be late. It likely means that Thing 2 will still complain about doing his chores all week. It means Thing 1 refused to wear a shirt this morning and I don't care. I can't send him to school without a shirt, but he can watch Sesame Street youtube videos in his mancave without a shirt on. 

Most days, Thing 1 comes home from school and asks for a smoothie. He brings me the blender, and the V-Shake, and the TerraGreens. Yep, the kid brings me powdered greens to put in his smoothie! Do your kids ask for veggies? 

It makes me feel a little bit like this...

V-Shake is awesome because it's high protein and high fiber so it helps fill my almost 17 year old kid up. (17? How did that happen?) He's a bottomless pit. And I can hide veggies in it. He won't eat fruit or veggies because he has sensory issues, so we are still buying baby food. With a smoothie, I can fill him up and get fruits and veggies into him and give him some probiotics. It's a Win-Win-Win.

Probiotics? Oh Yeah. So much of behavior and immune system strength is tied to a healthy GI tract. Honestly, it is not necessary to hide the PB Assist Jr. It tastes like Pixie Stix. And it comes in a similar packaging. It can be mixed into a smoothie or juice but tastes great right out the package. I may have taste tested it, once. Or twice. Or more. Thing 2 loves them. And he can easily swallow pills, but if I hand him a capsule of probiotics, he isn't interested. If I hand him a sachet of PB Assist Jr., he asks if he can have more. With a guaranteed 5 billion live colonies per serving, it's a powerhouse in a yummy kid-approved format. And those colonies are specially encapsulated to make it through the stomach acid to land in the intestines where they are actually needed. Yay for good gut flora! 

What?! You don't get excited about good gut flora? Wierdo.

Anyway the smoothies... I switch up the recipe in terms of frozen fruit, so that it tastes different every time. I do this purposely so that 
1. He gets more types of fruit (and therefore nutrients) into his diet.
2. He doesn't get so accustomed to a specific flavor that he won't drink it if it's different.
Thing 1 is a creature of habit, and that's a real concern.

Thing 1 Smoothie

8 oz. non-dairy milk (we rotate between coconut, almond, and cashew)
2 scoops doTERRA V-Shake
1 scoop doTERRA TerraGreens
1 banana (or sometimes 1/2 avocado)
approximately 1/2 cup frozen fruit. I never measure. Today we used strawberries.
1 sachet doTERRA PB Assist Jr.
1-2 drops of wild orange or tangerine doTERRA essential oil

Put everything in a blender and blend til smooth. 

The mason jar is for pictures only. Thing 1 gets his smoothie in a plastic cup.

I use the TrimShake, too! TrimShake is vegetarian friendly, but the V-Shake is vegan. While my son is using this line more as a sports shake, I use it as a lunch meal-replacement shake. It makes a yummy addition to any weight control plans. It's great for times when I'm on the go. And I am in love with the Orange Cream flavor. Perfect for Spring Break!

Spring Break Smoothie

8 oz. non-dairy milk
2 scoops doTERRA Orange Cream Trim Shake
1 scoop doTERRA TerraGreens (because Mommies need veggies, too!)
1 banana
~1/2 cup frozen mango or pineapple
1-2 drops doTERRA wild orange or tangerine oil

Put everything in a blender and blend til smooth.

This needs a paper umbrella.

If you try these, let me know what you think! If you are ready to take charge of your own wellness goals, I want to help! Please contact me. I'd be happy to call you and help you create a wellness plan.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How a small sample of essential oils changed my life.

Sounds crazy, I know. A tiny little sample of essential oil.. life changing?
If you don't know me personally, allow me to share a little background information. I have 2 boys, Thing 1, nearly 17, and Thing 2,  solidly 14. Names have been changed to protect the innocent cranky.

Thing 1 has some pretty significant challenges. I'm not going to go into diagnoses right now, but he has multiple issues. I am not a doctor.  I am a mom. And like every mom I know, I try to do the best I can to make my kids' lives better. Whether your kid has an alphabet soup series of diagnoses or not,  he or she can still benefit from essential oil usage. And let me tell you, parents: we can, too.

My doTERRA Story

My cousin had been posting about essential oils for a while and I half paid attention to them. One day she offered samples, and I asked if there was something for Thing 1. We chatted a bit, and settled on something calming. Thing 1 gets frustrated sometimes. He is non-verbal and that causes some problems for him. And for me. And for us as a family.

I was sent a tiny sample bottle of cedarwood. 

As a tree oil, cedarwood is grounding. Grounding is a calming feeling but not a knock you out for the night calming. Think about a tree being rooted to the earth. Tree oils can help dial back your daily stress levels.

Emotionally,  cedarwood is the Oil of Community. It helps you be open to relationships and feeling like you belong to a community, at work, at school, with family. 

Not long after I received that sample, my son had a huge meltdown. A meltdown is not a temper tantrum. A toy or a piece of candy won't stop a meltdown. My son had thrown himself on the floor. He was crying, screaming, thrashing.
It was heartbreaking. 
It is hard to see your child in anguish.
I could not console him. 
It was not safe for me to be near him.
I put a drop of cedarwood on my finger, darted in, and barely touched my fingertip to the back of his neck. 

Within one minute, he had calmed to a whimper. 

A minute after that, it was as if it had never happened.

Thing 2 and I looked at each other,  wondering if we had actually just seen what we had witnessed.

It was miraculous. 

I had to have this oil in my life! I joke that I wanted to bathe him in it. Truly, these oils are powerful. But they are so powerful that only a very small amount is needed. Usually one drop is all that is needed! 

We incorporated cedarwood into our daily protocol, and have since added other essential oils to help him, and us! I have been continually impressed with these oils. Since then, we have incorporated doTERRA essential oils and products into every aspect of your family's life. It is not overstating it that a sample changed my life.

If you are ready to change your life, I want to help. I am offering a free webinar on using essential oils for children with special needs, based on my own experiences and those from my team, as well. Contact me here if you would like an invite to this private event.

The webinar is Wednesday, March 29, 2017 7pm Central. It will be recorded, but you must be registered to receive the playback link.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bug Off: a bug free hike!

I got a lot of questions and messages about this bug spray when I posted about it on facebook, so I thought I ought to write it up where people can find it easily. And I'll be using lots of it this summer. Apparently I have a lot of hiking in my future, because Thing 2 is working on his hiking merit badge for scouts. I am not really a hiker. And I hiked 10 miles last weekend. Are you impressed? I am. Even my kid was impressed. 
We hiked on the path at Wicker Park, and made 4+ laps. This is the first of five 10 mile hikes to be topped off with a 20 miler. I am seriously trying to find excuses not to do the 20 mile hike. Suggestions are welcome.

We have had tons of rain here lately and the mosquitoes population here is healthy. Mosquitoes love me. The last time I was outside for five minutes I got bitten twice through my jeans. I feel like bare skin is fair game but you should not get bug bites through clothing. There was no way I was going to spend 4 hours outside hiking without bug spray. Except bug spray is gross. It feels gross. It smells gross. And let's face it, it's poison you spray on your skin. Why does anyone think this is a good idea? Yuck. I made my own. All natural. No poison. Smells good. Feels like nothing. And it worked. No bites!

It's super easy.
I used a repellent blend, lemongrass, peppermint, and arborvitae. The repellent blend was one I used last year, just slightly diluted in coconut oil. This year I've upped my game and made it into a small spray bottle, which I can carry anywhere, easily. And it uses my leftover 15 ml empty bottles.

Since the hike, I've also used the Bug Off! spray when I was in the garden, and while watching our town's Twilight Parade (twilight=prime mosquito time) and two other parades that Thing 2 was marching in with his scout troop. No bites! Thing 2 is off at Scout Camp for the week and he has a bottle, as well as extra oils to refill it when he runs out. 

Thing 2's favorite oils.

If you are interested in knowing more about essential oils, please contact me.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.

Monday, June 15, 2015

violet extract

So it's catch up time for blogging about last month's projects. My teaching job is done for the summer and Thing 1 is home now, too. (#goodbyefreedom) First up is the violet extract. This is likely the easiest thing you will ever make. 

Aren't they great? I love violets. Which is super lucky because they are all over my yard. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them. I wish they smelled good, but they really don't. These are pretty much just for looks.


Yep, that's it. 2 ingredients. Here's what you really need: a strainer, two glass jars, and time. But the time involved is leave it on a shelf and forget about it for 6 weeks or longer, so it's not like it really takes that long in terms of expending time. You are not stirring a pot for 6 weeks.

how to
Find a bottle. I used a mason jar. I did boil this jar and lid first, just to be sure it was sterile. Nothing should grow in the vodka, but I didn't want to chance anything.

Pick violets.Pick more violets. Pick more violets. You will need to fill whatever jar you have chosen. They pack and will wilt so you will need more than you think. If you find a good patch, you can just comb your fingers through the blooms and they will come off in your hand without the stems. Seriously pick more.

Rinse and drain the violets.

Pack them into the sterile jar. Fill the jar with vodka.

Put it out of the way, preferably in a dark cabinet and leave it there for six weeks.Or more.

oh yeah, violets. oops.

I actually started this batch last year. I put it out of the way in the downstairs pantry. And I'd pull out a jar of applesauce before dinner and think Oh! The violets! I should finish that! And you know, then not do anything about it. So leave it for 6 weeks, or a year, or some time in between that you remember it.

Strain the vodka. Toss the blossoms. I used a coffee filter inside the strainer inside the canning funnel. Totally optional, but helpful.

I did sterilize these jars, too.

I used two jars because I was giving away a bottle. I swapped a jar of extract for a bottle of walnut ink. My original jar was a pint jar. In retrospect, this is really way more extract than I needed to make. A half cup jelly jar would have been plenty, probably. Violets don't have a floral-type smell, so this extract doesn't smell flowery. It does smell very green and Spring-y. Use it anywhere you would use another type of extract, in cookies and cakes. I will be trying it in sugar cookies first. I'm looking at altering this recipe from Baking Away. Have you used violet extract before? Do you have a recipe I should try? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

things are growing!

It's Spring!

I mean, I know it's been spring for a few weeks, but it actually feels like spring and it's starting to look like spring, too. phew! The grass is greening up, and the trees have buds, some are just starting to have tiny leaves open. The very sad forsythia is blooming. (It's sad because it's planted with some other flowering thing right at the corner of my house. I didn't do that. My gardening skills are few, but I know enough to give room to grow.) Every year I wish I had more of it, but I only love it when it's blooming. I'm fickle like that.

The seeds I started last month have sprouted and with any luck, I will be overrun with tomatoes, cukes, and red peppers later this summer. Also starting in the sunroom: basil, cilantro, oregano, dill, and lettuce. While the veggies will get transplanted next month, the herbs will stay safely in the sunroom away from the bunny. The rhubarb is coming up and so are the strawberries which I had in containers last year. They will need a new home, too.

Daffodils are up (but need to be moved) and so are the chionodoxa.  New irises are transplanted in the front yard. And tiny little violet leaves are coming up through the lawn. This probably horrifies some people, but I love them. And this year there will be violet syrup. I'm hoping this will also mean a summer of violet lemonade and violet cocktails.

Friday, March 27, 2015

giving back

I think it's important to find a way to give back when you can. And I think it's often easier to do than most people imagine. You do not have to write a giant oversized check to a good cause. Sometimes it can be just a donation of your time. Volunteer organizations always need extra hands. Earlier this year I donated a piece of artwork to the Town Theatre project in my town. This is a project near and dear to my heart and I've worked on saving this theatre for the last couple of years. But that's a story for another day. It's the end of March, and we're all thinking Spring is around the corner - despite getting another snowfall this morning.

April is Autism Awareness Month. 

Truly, it is no cause for celebration in my house. Thing 1 is on the severe end of the spectrum. Everyday, every single day, we are very Aware of Autism. April is his birthday month. He will be 15 this year. Where did my tiny little monkey go? 

My sweet little monkey aka Thing 1, age 2

He's a big kid now. A big massive, hulking kid, although still very small for his age. He doesn't know his own strength. He's non-verbal and not quite potty trained. Thing 2 wishes his brother was more fun to play with. Thing 2 often wishes he has his own room on nights when Thing 1 just can't seem to settle down.  Yes, we are all quite Aware of Autism here.

Each year for April, I try to give back. I donate 10% of my sales for the month to the National Autism Association. Locally, the NAA offers grants to families to help offset the never-ending high medical costs associated with caring for someone with autism. The NAA is also behind the Big Red Safety Box, tools for parents and caregivers to minimize wanderings, because kids who wander are often kids who die. Children on the spectrum do not recognize dangers. Thing 1 wandered away from school last December. It's scary. 

This year, I will be donating 10% for autism from all of my sales for the month of April, except for my latest work which will be at the Towle Theater in Hammond. This show was installed today! I will be donating 25% of sales from this show. 

at the Towle Theater

To find out more about my 10% for autism challenge, and where you can see my artwork, click over to my art blog.

To donate directly to NAA, please click here.