Category Archives: For the Offspring

There are so many special products these days for babies, toddlers, children. This page highlights some of my favorites.

An Introduction to Essential Oils

Young Living Oils are great for your body

What are Essential oils, you ask?  Oils are called the “life blood of the plant.”  I like to think of it this way: if a plant had blood – which it doesn’t – it would be essential oil.  So, think of everything that your blood does for your body: carries nutrients, waste, gases, regulates temperature, hormones, etc.  Plants are a little different, obviously, but that gives you an idea.  Plants survive in the wild, amidst weather and extreme conditions.  Furthermore, essential oils tap into that knowledge and apply it to the human body.

What’s Different about Essential Oils?

Our bodies are a network of natural systems designed by a wonderful Creator.  Since essential oils come from plants – which were also designed by the Creator – they are the most natural option for our bodies.  So, our bodies know exactly what to do with them!

Think about eating an apple.  Your body recognizes all of the components as sugar, vitamins, minerals, etc.  Next, think about eating apple flavored cereal that was created in a food factory.  There are dozens of ingredients that you cannot even pronounce on the box.  If you can’t say them, chances are, your body does not know what to do with them!

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Why Young Living Essential Oils?

Young Living is a great company!  They have been in business for over twenty years.  The founders are believers who have spent much of their lives learning about plants, essential oils, growing conditions and educating themselves on health issues.

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There are many great recipes online – mostly I find them on Pinterest – for using essential oils to make other household and personal care products.  I would like to make a master list of all of the links for recipes that I have used.  Stay tuned for that.

Here are a few items that I have made using my oils:

IMG_2713 2  Essential oils benefit your health

Bath salts infused with essential oils

Products made with essential oils benefit your healthIMG_2856IMG_2727

IMG_2730Interested in becoming part of a team who loves essential oils?  If so, please research the company.  Just as the oils speak for themselves, so does Young Living.

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Want to Become a Member of my Team?

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If you’d like to sign up under me, click here.  Then, you are added to an informative Facebook group and get a diffuser necklace with a sample of an essential oil of your choosing.

Not sure you want to commit yet?  Sign up for a retail account (click the link above and change the Membership Type from “Distributor” to “Customer”).  You are not required to order and will pay retail price, which is one major drawback of this kind of account.

Order Peppermint and/or Lavender essential oil(s).  Those two oils have so many different purposes.  Check out Pinterest.  Lavender supports the Cardiovascular system, emotional balance, skin and nervous system.  Peppermint supports the following systems of the body: digestive, nervous, respiratory, muscular, skeletal and integumentary (skin).

A little background…..

My family signed up over two years ago and we are very pleased!  Young Living’s products are high quality and cost effective in the long run when you price out other alternatives.  We use essential oils every day to support the natural processes in our bodies and we have never felt better!  In addition to lifestyle changes -mostly diet and exercise- essential oils can make a huge impact on how you feel.

Once you sign up and fall in l-o-v-e with essential oils, you will need to think about storing large quantities of oil bottles.  Purchasing storage containers can be expensive, so check out my post about a DIY option.

Organizing Essential Oil Bottles

After being a Young Living distributor for over two years, we have accumulated quite a few bottles of different essential oils.  We ordered cases to store them, but not only was that getting expensive, but the cases have tops.  This makes them great for travel, but not so home-friendly.  The way we were organizing essential oil bottles had to change!

How to store essential oils on the cheap!
We love the case and the cap labels, but are running out of room!

After doing lots of research, the containers that were available to purchase just seemed like too much money.  My husband suggested that we use the containers that the company sends the oils in since they basically cost us nothing extra.  So, we started saving the containers.

Making Your Own Storage / Organization

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These are the containers that we were shipped in one month’s large order.  It doesn’t take long to build the collection needed to store a large amount of oils.

Store essential oil bottles using materials that you probably have on hand.

Cut the tubes to the desired height.  Hubby used a hack saw to cut them.  We decided to cut them all the same so the small 5 ml bottles would also fit.  I used a ruler to make the rows straight.

Essential oil bottle storage!

Attach the cut tube pieces to a piece of cardboard that you have already cut.  (Measure how large you want to make it first.)  I started using hot glue to attach, but then I ran out so hubby picked up some tacky glue at Lowe’s and that worked great.  Glue, place, press.  Repeat.

How to store essential oil bottles in the home.

Here’s what it looks like!  This storage system works great for us.  I measured and created this to fit in a drawer in one of our cabinets.  That’s awesome because you can customize this to whatever size you want.

As we get more oils, we re-arrange the bottles.  Our type A personalities require us to store the oils in alphabetical order.  Yes, I re-organize them each time we get a new oil.  It just makes it so much easier to find what you are looking for!  This system makes it easy to change where the bottles are placed.

Storing this amount of bottles can be very challenging.  I hope that you find this helpful!

Learn more about Young Living here.  Read more about essential oils here and here.

Family Fun for Free or on the Cheap

Have you ever noticed that planning activities for a family can be an overwhelming and expensive task?  You have to figure time, gas (if driving), food and cost of whatever you are doing.  It can seem like nothing is free, but there are some easy things that you can plan for free or cheap.  Family fun time is so important!  I feel like the enemy is always trying to distract me with things that aren’t as important as they seem.  Here’s a few activities that my family do on occasion:

Family Fun

Some Ideas:

1. Walk.  This is great for your health because it is exercise and forces you to spend time relationally with each other.  No electronics allowed!  That might make you dizzy anyway.  I have read that walking helps flush out your systems – that’s detoxing – plus it gets you out in the fresh air.  Obviously, this one is weather dependent.  My family loves to walk when the weather cooperates.

2. Build forts inside the house.  Okay this one is a must for building creativity in your kids.  It’s terrible how many hours young children, teens, and adults for that matter spend on screens (myself included!).  Using cushions from furniture, a few chairs, and some sheets, you can easily construct something for kids to play in.  Add something extra by eating a snack in the fort or playing a game.  This is great because it can be done at any time, regardless of the weather.

3. Play outside.  Here’s another one that brings back memories from my childhood.  It seems like kids don’t even know how to play outside anymore.  I remember being outside all day with my younger brother, only coming inside to eat.  We made up our own games which were really silly, but we had fun.  When it’s nice outside, send kids out to play.  It’s not hard to build a sandbox; if you’re not into DIY, you can pick them up pretty cheap.  *Trick: sprinkle cinnamon in the sand to keep the creepy crawlies out.

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4.  Go to the zoo.  Most zoos run specials and smaller town zoos are even free.  Pack a lunch and cameras.  My daughter is only two and we have already been to the zoo dozens of times.  I just read that the Philadelphia Zoo (pictured above) offers free summer admission for educators!  Check it out here.  The site is dated for 2015, so I will keep checking to see if it is updated for this current year.

More Ideas:

5. Look at older pictures/watch old home videos.  I have dozens of scrapbooks I made back when I had time –  before I was a mom.  My daughter loves to look through the pictures and that gives me the perfect opportunity to talk to her about what happened in the pictures.  It also helps her with name recognition of family members.

6. Scavenger hunt.  This one takes some preparation so you need to plan ahead.  My mom was great about doing scavenger hunts when they had a surprise for us.  One year, she sent me & my brother on a scavenger hunt with all of these clues hidden all over the house to tell us that we were going to Disney World.  She picked up Disney / Florida things on the cheap – yard sales, thrift stores, etc.  It is fun and exciting for children.

7. Prepare a meal together.  This would work best with older children.  J loves to be in the kitchen, but she’s not old enough yet to actually help.  I give her kitchen utensils and bowls so she can pretend, but older kids could really be a part of the preparation.  It’s always fun to get everyone in the kitchen, as long as your kitchen is not super tiny!  Prepare, eat, clean up, relax together as a family.  It’s always a good idea to eat together as a family at the dinner table.  Talk about your day; you could even plan your next fun activity as a family.  No electronics!

8. Play games.  Break out the board games!  Candy Land, Monopoly, Checkers, card games (My husband’s family plays Hand & Foot, but this is very difficult for younger children.  Would be great if your children are teens or older!), JengaCootie, etc.  So many families allow themselves to be distant from one another and do not interact.  Have a weekly game night – again, no electronics allowed!

Make Time for Your Family

The main goal for family activities is to do things together.  Be in the present.  Put down the Smart phone.  In fact, put it on silent.  Communicate to others that you will be spending time with your family and allow them to leave a voicemail or text.  Keep the family time sacred!  Be a part of your children’s lives.  Know their friends, dreams, goals, ambitions.  Make sure that they feel that they are important to you and that they matter to God.  Listen to your children with all of your attention, not “listening” while checking your e-mail or texting.  I know that this is extremely difficult in the culture that we live in, but it is super important! Make time for your family.

My Top Ten: Infant

  1. blog pic 2 Phil & Ted’s lobster high chair.  This thing is really expensive, but worth every penny.  J is almost 2 and we can still easily use it….. I think we put her in it starting around 6 months.  It clamps onto the table and is VERY secure.  Trust me, as a first time mom I was a little skeptical about how safe this was until I used it once.  Sold.  Will never be without it again.  It also travels very nicely, folds up & has a carrying case.  It is worth the spurge for my family.
  2. Lotus bed.   Another pricy option compared to the Pack n’ Play.  I especially liked this one because I nursed J and could lay next to her with the side zip closure.  And for all of your worry wart moms like me, there is a secure closure with the zipper so the baby can’t get out.  This is another thing that can be used well past the infant years.  We recently stayed in a hotel and J slept in it without a problem.
  3. Violet singing dog.  This stuffed dog is made by Leapfrog and can be programmed with your child’s name, and you can select what kind of music it plays.  We used to turn this on every time we wanted J to sleep: nap & bedtime.  She is almost 2 now and turns it on herself.  Great for travel also.  We don’t stay anywhere overnight without it.  I was leery about having a mobile for the crib, so we went without and used Violet instead (on the floor in front of the crib when J was really little).
  4. Baby Bjorn stool.  I am short.  We purchased a super nice convertible crib and dresser set before J was born.  We were thinking long term and the dresser is very tall.  This stool has been a life saver for me – invest in one if you are vertically challenged also.  When J gets a little older, we plan to use this for in front of the sink.  The other stools seemed to give a little when I stood on them – this stool seems like it could hold hundreds of pounds.   We know that it holds at least 180 pounds.  Another more expensive option, but remember: you often do get what you pay for.
  5. blog pic Puj tub.  My husband and I are not really into clutter (see other posts) and did not want to purchase those infant tubs.  They take up so much room and we did not want to have to think about storing.  This tub fits in the sink and travels amazingly!  We used this until J was old enough to sit up on her own in the sink.
  6. Chicco Keyfit car seat.  Sadly, I was unable to find the travel system including stroller that we used.  This car seat has amazing reviews and really makes transition from car to house / house to car easy on mom and baby.  There were many times that J would fall asleep in the car and we could just unlock the car seat, set the car seat inside, and let her SLEEP.  The base stays in the car and the seat can lock/unlock in place.
  1. Tommee Tippee bottles.  I nursed, but having bottles was a nice option.  We used them when we were out for shorter trips and if we wanted to go out on a date.  When I went back to work, obviously, bottles were needed.  We bought smaller ones for when J was an infant, but I wish we had just purchased these larger ones from the beginning.  These bottles do not leak like Dr. Brown bottles and they are shaped so babies can easily hold them. I’d recommend at least a three pack.  You go through these things like crazy!
  2. Nose Freda.  Okay.  Hear me out on this one.  At first, when hubs showed me this, I was grossed out – which takes a lot because I’m a science teacher and usually enjoy weird things.  But, this thing was the only way we could really clear J’s nose out.  Forget those nasty bulb aspirator things that the hospital gives you.  Talk about germ infested!  How do you clean it?  Anyway, this thing works.  The only snag we have run into is now that J is older, it is hard to keep her still to use this.  We use after squirting saline up her nose.
  3. Dream Baby grooming kit.  Another struggle we had in the beginning months of bringing J home was trimming her nails.  It is absolutely terrifying when you have to trim those tinny tiny little nails!  These scissors are slightly curved upwards, which is oh-so-helpful.  The traditional nail clippers have a larger portion for you to grab ahold of which is also helpful.  We actually got a different set with the toothbrush that came with three different ones.  It helped when J was teething and helped get her used to putting something like that in her mouth.
  4. Bibs.  I know all of the stores sell those cutesy little fabric bibs that everyone wants to get.  Especially for baby showers.  Don’t you know what that little baby will soon be eating?!  Squash, sweet potatoes, beets.  Those stains were extremely difficult to get out of WHITE fabric bibs.  I wish that we would have found these bibs sooner.  I don’t know if I would have even wasted money on the tiny fabric ones.  Ok, maybe a few when J was really young, but I got plenty of those from friends and family.  These plastic bibs are the stuff.  You can unsnap it so it lays completely flat – awesome for cleaning.

Everyone’s experience is different, but I know that if we had to start all over, we would definitely purchase all of these items again.  They may be a huge investment upfront, but the time and hassle they will save you is soooooo worth it.  Besides, that little love bug of yours will soon be big & walking around, too busy for so much cuddle time with mommy.  Snuggle while you can!