It’s back to work I go!

After taking the last 9 months off work to be a full time mom to my brand new preemie, Gavin, I’m going back to work!

By the way, it’s not like I “simply” had a baby and took 9 lovely months of planned maternity leave. It’s more like I was just living my life when my water spontaneously broke 8 weeks early. This event put the world as I knew it into an abrupt halt and marking the beginning of the most powerful life experience that both my husband and I have ever had!

I own massage therapy business and it’s been a big part of who I am for the last 10 years. I love massage and I love my clients. I’ve never minded working because I genuinely love what I do. Even the tedious behind the scenes stuff (AKA QuickBooks & Insurance Billing) isn’t so bad when you’re doing what brings you purpose. When there is a client that you care about attached to each transaction and when you get the old fashioned satisfaction of putting in a good days work at the end of each day, you don’t mind the hard work.

However, bringing my new found pride and joy into the mix certainly changes things. Ever hear about moms having all the feelings about returning to work after having a baby? How spending one minute away from their baby is pure torture? Yep. That’s a real thing. The kicker? Don’t judge me.

I work from home so he’ll actually be in another part of the house with a trusted family member or friend. I said don’t judge me! I can hear you judging me. I know it sounds pathetic but what if I’m in a massage when he first crawls or at the rate he’s growing, learns to drive?!?! I just hope that if any of these things do happen, whomever is watching him is smart enough to lie to me about it.

All in all, I’m happy to go back. I’ve honestly missed my clients and it will be nice to have a little outlet doing something I love. I’m excited because things are different now and I feel like I have the same set of tools but more compassion and experience to bring to my clients.

None the less, who could blame me for loving the chance to hang out with this guy all day?

Cloth diapers. Really.

Its been about 4 months since i started and it turns out that i may have over reacted. Cloth diapering is not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. The online support group has been amazing. Not a question has been left unanswered and I have not had any real problems yet!

PLUS, a friend of mine gave us her whole diaper stash which was a GIANT blessing! Since we have been able to try a variety of diapers I can tell you that they each have pros and cons but none of them have any cons that are deal breakers for us. My husband is even using them with no problems and minimal complaining!

My personal favorite is still the hybrid grovia 2 in 1 that I originally bought because they are very similar to the convenience of disposables and are super easy to use!

I feel like we have everything that we need so I can do a wash about every 5 days and never run out (I just usually wash on day 5 so they don’t get to gross). Our stash has about 5 dozen diapers. It includes the Grovia hybrid that I originally bought, Purple Unicorn with snaps and a variety of pocket diapers/ inserts. We also have 2 yards of flannel that I used for making wipes, a set of 4 wool dryer balls to help with shortening dry time, 5 dekor reusable diaper bags, 2 decor diaper pails (one for the nursery and one for the bathroom) a spray pal splatter shield, a spray nozzle for the toilet and a travel wet bag!

I use a simple homemade diaper balm made from coconut oil and essential oils. It works well to prevent rashes and never stains! Here’s how to make it:

4 oz pure coconut oil (solid form)

20 drops Essential Oil of choice (I use Lavender and Gentle Baby in equal parts)

Melt oil in 4 oz Mason jar, add EO’s (essential oils) refrigerate until solid, label with washi tape & a sharpie (or label of choice!) and store at room temperature. Ready to use anytime!

Tip: this is also great for adding quick moisture to my over washed hands!

To make homemade wipe solution, I looked up a popular recipe and then tweaked it to my preference. I love the recipe I’ve fine tuned but feel free to make it your own by adding a little extra or maybe a little less of something!

Homemade wipe solution recipe:

1 Quart size mason jar

1 Oz Dr. Bronners baby unscented pure castile soap

1 Tsp fractionated coconut oil

10 Drops lavender EO

10 Drops Gentle Baby EO

Mix all ingredients in jar and fill to top with filtered water. Once you have your wipes cut and in your dish of choice just pour the solution over the wipes. Ready for use! Store covered to maintain moisture. I find that the quart jar covers about 48 wipes with the right amount of moisture and maintains moisture until I use them up!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

What are Essential Oils & how do I use them?

Essential oil is the “lifeblood” of a plant because the oil protects the plant from disease, provides nutrients and helps to repel insects. They can be found in the plant’s flower, stem, leaves, bark or fruit.

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Essential Oils were mankind’s first medicine! Today, they are still used to bring health and healing to the body (physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally).

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Essential oils are very complex containing hundreds or thousands of different chemical compounds; this is what gives each plant its unique healing attributes and characteristics.

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Essential oils should smell exactly like the plant they come from – nothing more, nothing less. Often, companies will add things like vanillin to make them smell sweeter. Do your oils smell like a plant or a dessert? If it says 100% pure but it smells sweet, chances are something else has been added. This means that the therapeutic properties are either decreased or nonexistent. 

Another thing to look for on essential oil is expiration dates. 100% therapeutic grade oils do not expire because they do not have anything added to them, like preservatives. 

Essential oils are NOT the same as vegetable and/or olive oils. Vegetable oils are obtained from the fatty parts of a plant like the nuts, seeds, or kernels and are greasy. They can also go rancid over time. Young Living’s essential oils do not go rancid or expire – sweet! In the essential oils world, we refer to the kitchen oils (olive, coconut, avocado, grape seed, etc…) as carrier oils since they are often used to dilute the potency of therapeutic grade essential oils when applying to your skin.

If you’re wondering what on earth a “carrier oil” is…look no further! A carrier oil is a vegetable/nut/plant oil such as grapeseed oil/coconut oil/sweet almond oil etc. that can be used to dilute an essential oil. You have A LOT of options but here is a fractionated coconut oil that I like. Carrier oils ensure that essential oils applied topically are comfortable and prevent waste due to excessive application. Dilution with a carrier oil does not inhibit the effectiveness of the essential oil in any way.

Great times to use carrier oils would be when you are using oils on young children, when you are ingesting an oil for the first time, when the back of the oil bottle tells you that you need to dilute, and when you are using a “hot oil”. A hot oil is an oil that, when applied to the skin, can cause a “hot” or “burning” sensation. Diluting these types of oils can eliminate the sensation or make it more comfortable 

Three ways to explore the benefits of essential oils:
-Topically
-Aromatically
-Internally – Young Living has a specific line called the Vitality line. Oils from this line are OK to ingest. 

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Safety is important when it comes to using essential oils. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the information available, but using common sense and starting gradually will help ease any sort of intimidation you might feel as you begin using essential oils in your everyday life.

Store essential oils in a cool, dark place with lids tightly closed (and always out of reach of children). Always use and store EOs in glass containers, especially when drinking them in water, since most plastic products contain chemicals that can be broken down by the oil. Oils break down plastic because it is a toxin, they do not harm your body because your body is non toxic and organic!

Citrus oils are photosensitive and when applied to skin, they may cause a rash or dark pigmentation on skin exposed to UV rays or direct sunlight within 1-2 days after application.

Two holes EO’s should never be applied.. EYES AND EARS! Should irritation or accidental contact with eyes occur, never use water to clear the EO (they are not water-soluble). Instead use a V6 vegetable oil complex or other carrier oil (such as coconut oil or vitamin e oil) to cleanse the area and reduce discomfort.

You’ll also want to keep carrier oils (like coconut, olive, vitamin e, sweet almond oil, etc.) on hand for dilution when necessary.

Again, these are just general high notes on safety and usage information. EOs are an amazing, natural way to approach health and wellness for your family, but because of Young Living’s purity and grade of oils, they should be used with knowledge and respect. This is said not to scare you, but for you to realize that they DO work and can successfully be implemented into your family’s daily life with common sense. It is my hope that you’ll start this journey and discover the ability to use natural resources to treat yourself and your family. You won’t regret it!!

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Now, friends, why choose Young Living when there are so many other companies out there to choose from? I’m going to be honest here; some of those companies are cheaper. A lot cheaper. This is hands-down one of those cases where you get what you pay for. Yes, you *can* buy a $5 bottle of oil but *buyer beware* you’re receiving an inferior product.

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Young Living is the only company out there that has what is called the “Seed to Seal” promise. This has such a huge impact!  It means that Young Living controls every single aspect of their production line. They own their own farms. They plant their own seeds. They cultivate their own crops. They use essential oils on their plants. They oversee everything, literally, from planting the seed to sealing the bottle. They can say with a 100% guarantee that they know what is inside each and every bottle, and that they are pure beyond a shadow of a doubt. They don’t compromise quality just to get the product out there. If it’s not perfect and up to par, they don’t bottle it. It can’t get more comforting than that!

In our house, we have been working on living as toxin and additive free as possible. This is why I chose Young Living. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and if I’m going to be consistently using these products on the skin of myself and my loved ones, I want to know exactly what I’m getting!

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Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

Lets talk about teeth!

Sometimes teeth are no fun for anyone. Like…REALLY no fun. Thankfully, I have a few tricks that have worked really well for us!

Instead of turning to something we’d rather not be putting into our babes’ bodies, they can get some sweet relief from essential oils. For young babies, apply diluted Frankincense, Copaiba, or Orange to the gums and along the outside of the jaw line. You can also apply diluted lavender to the outside of the jaw for additional soothing.

For older children, you can use diluted Clove or Thieves on the gum and tooth area. These bring soothing comfort to your little ones so they are able to sleep great, eat and drink with ease, and feel like the happy little campers they are!

Recipe:
15 drops Frankincense
15 drops Orange
15 drops Copaiba
fill with coconut oil (or any other edible oil!)
Mix in a 2 OZ glass dropper bottle

Drop liberally onto your clean finger or a Q-Tip and apply where needed!

This works well for big kids and adults with braces, too!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.