I am excited to share this recipe with you as it is one of my all time favorite DIY recipes. Not only is this lotion inexpensive to make, it makes the perfect base for all the lotions in your life. It is important to me and my family to live a less toxic life style. Between my mysterious illnesses and my daughters Autism and ADHD diagnosis' it is imperative that I not introduce anything that could wreak havoc on our health.
Our skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs everything! The lotions we choose for dry skin, oily skin, itchy skin, bumps, bruises, stinky feet, and more do not need to contain any one of the ingredients that can damage the immune system, confuse your hormone system, create allergies, or worse cause cancer. Unfortunately the products you purchase at the store are full of all kinds of nasty ingredients that do just that.
Great news though! Its super easy to make your own base that is not greasy and as moisturizing as you need it to be. Enhance the cream with any number of essential oils and you can achieve anything!
All you need is filtered or distilled water, a carrier oil, emulsifying wax pastilles, and your choice of essential oils, we prefer Young Living Essential Oils because of their growing practices and purity. This recipe can be made in the microwave or in a double broiler, your choice!
Carrier oils are plant based extracts from nuts or seeds and are different then essential oils. In fact you need a carrier oil when applying most essential oils so you don't cause irritation, especially important in kids, babies, and pets. Carrier oils very often have a very minimal smell and are often used in cooking. They have a thicker consistency, making them great to blend with essential oils. There are so many, how do you choose which one is best for you and your family?
Different carrier oils can help certain skin conditions and improve the look and feel of your skin. When used properly, they can aid in the control of oil production, hydrate skin and hair, and even provide anti-aging benefits.
Check out this quick list to decide what is best for you!
Great news though, you can totally use more then one carrier oil! I added a splash of Sunflower oil to the mixture because it is rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that may be effective at reducing UV damage in skin. When applied topically it may help to nourish and protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals. I would love to tell you I have lived a perfectly healthy life...and if I had my medical state would definitely look a lot different.
Next, choose your container. While we melt, blend, and shake the ingredients in a mason jar, I would strongly suggest you pour the mixture in to your preferred container before it solidifies. Been there, done that and it is time consuming and messy.
With so many great options available, you can choose something fancy as a glass lotion dispenser to a silicone tube or even these travel safe containers from Target's discount section. I love making this recipe for teacher, friends, and family gifts. Smaller containers can easily be dressed up and personalized on a budget. I use www.avery.com to make my labels., you can even have them print the labels for you or choose to print them your self. Print either on one of their labels, sticker paper, or print on paper and cut out and tape to the container. No one needs store bought junk that will not only irritate your skin but migrate in to your blood stream wreaking havoc to your liver, gut, and more.
DIY 3 Ingredient Lotion
1/4 cup Emulsifying Wax Pastilles
1/4 cup carrier oil of choice
1.25 cups Hot (not boiling) water
30 drops (total) of Young Living Essential Oil of choice
1. Melt emulsifying wax pastilles in mason jar (roughly 30 seconds, stir and repeat) or use a double broiler. Mix with wooden stick, no plastic.
2. Add Carrier Oil and reheat to melt to a liquid (roughly 20 -30 seconds additional)
3. Add Hot, but not boiling water to mixture. Reaction is normal (changes to white instantly)
4. Add Young Living Essential Oils of choice (see below for our favorite combinations)
5. Cap and shake vigorously.
6. Pour in to containers and refrigerate to firm.
Counter safe for storage. Another reason I love this recipe, is that it won't melt in room temperature like body butter does.
Here are our Favorite Lotion Combinations:
Relax (perfect for a foot massage at bed time or as gift for teachers, etc)
20 Stress Away
Soothe (soothe the skin and emotions)
10 Roman Chamomile
Smoothe (smoothe the appearance of fine lines)
Ease (we use after work outs, growing discomfort, and even headaches)
Add & Melt Magnesium flakes to the base mixture
10 drops PanAway®
10 drops Valor®
10 drops Peppermint or Copaiba
Essential Oils for all skin types and sensitive skin: Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Neroli, Roman Chamomile, Rose
Essential Oils for Oily or problem skin: Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Geranium, Juniper, Tea Tree
Essential Oils for Dry skin: Clary Sage, Lavender, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang
Essential Oils for Dry and Aging skin: Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender
What combination will you make first?
Coming on the tail end of summer, Momma's are weary and kiddos think they are bored.
Enter Sensory Play. The use of sensory play can assist your child with touching, smelling and playing with the texture in an environment with little expectation. It can also help to build nerve connections in the brain and encourages the development of motor skills. The perfect tool for all neuro and non-neurotypical children.
We utilize several forms of sensory play since every child enjoys different things. My daughter loves it all, as a seeker she is always looking to touch, mix, smell, play, jump, and anything else you can think off in anything water and all things earth. Unfortunately sensory play is almost always messy, so if you are that mom (like me) that tires of the mess, be prepared with mats, cloths, close access to the sink with no distractions along the way. What I love about this recipe is it is by far the easist thing to clean up, which is good as when I wasn't looking it ended up in the craft area, but more on that later.
Aromatherapy Gak Dough is a little bit slimy, a little bit forming, and a whole lot of calm. This is not for the child that loves to taste all the things though, but with the right ingredients its not the end of the world if there is a lick here or there.
I love this recipe because its simple, most people have all the ingredients in their home, its super easy to clean up, and it kept my girl distracted for almost an hour with several days of play.
Be mindful to use products that are as much plant based and organic if possible, especially if your littlle one is not neurotypical and/or may attempt to eat the gak.
4. Add Shampoo mix to cornstarch and stir to combine well. The mixture will appear crumbly.
5. Add water to mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly to distribute the water each time. You want to add enough water that the a rolled portion of dough forms a ball that "melts" when held in your hand....the difference in this melting stage can be about 1 tablespoon.
6. Once you have a nice shiny dough that holds together in a ball but slowly melts in the absence of pressure, you are ready to play! Keep in mind that as you all play with this mixture it may dry out, add a little water to your hands as needed. It should be just enough to rehydrate the dough.
7. When you are done playing, add 1/4 tsp of water to the dough and store in a sealed container. The water will help keep it from drying out before your kiddo is ready to play with it again. I would strongly suggest a container over a ziploc bag. Ours lasted for about 5-7 days at room temperature.
** If you add too much water, add a little more cornstarch and if its too crumbly add a little more water. Remember to rehydrate **
Want to mix it up a little? Add some figurines, loose parts or cut it up with a play dough knife. If you are like my daughter, she wants glitter in everything, sure add a little. Just know that the gak cleans off well but normally the glitter sticks around. So if you are cool with purple glitter all over you home, more power to you.
Enjoy and see you next time,
I've been making healthy gummies for my daughter to give her a little something special with out exposing her to the sugary dye versions that they sell at the stores. Its always a bonus when I can sneak in something that helps support her immune system and aid in promoting a healthy nights sleep. Elderberry, Ningxia Red, and Tart cherry offers us all of that and they taste fantastic!
Here are the benefits of each of the ingredients and reasons why this recipe is so good!
Elderberries contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitamin A and vitamin B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage. (source)
I make my own Elderberry Syrup and many times have kits available for sale. The kits make it easy peasy for to boil, strain, add honey, and jar. The ingredients are all organic and my current recipe tastes amazing! You could use store purchased Elderberry, but be super mindful of any "extra" ingredients such as colors, dyes, flavorings, citric acid, etc.
Raw Honey: Honey had been shown to be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Raw honey also promotes restorative sleep in two ways. By consuming honey before bedtime, it restocks the liver’s glycogen supply and prevents the brain from triggering a crisis search for fuel, which can wake you up. Secondly, eating raw honey fosters the release of melatonin in the brain by creating a small spike in insulin levels, which stimulates the release of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan converts to serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin. As honey is a proven natural sleep aid, it naturally lowers the risk of all these health problems. My favorite place to buy honey if from here. (source)
Tart cherries are loaded with nutrition. In particular, they contain various antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. One cup contains 40% of the recommended intake of vitamin A, and 26% of the recommended vitamin C. Other nutrients within tart cherries include fiber, protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin K, folate, choline, vitamins B2, B3, B5 and B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. They also contain trace amounts of vitamin B1 and sodium. This does add a tartness to your gummies, if its too much feel free to use another juice (preferably organic and not from concentrate.)
Sleep is important at any age, and one of the tart cherry benefits is sleepy. Tart cherry juice is rich in melatonin (a sleep-regulating phytochemical) and has been found to improve sleep, according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2010. The results suggested that tart cherry juice has an effect similar to insomnia supplements such as valerian. Another study published in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2012 suggests that tart cherry juice concentrate consumption increases melatonin levels, which improves sleep duration and quality, and can therefore manage disturbed sleep. (source and here)
Gelatin is a clear, flavorless substance that comes from combining various parts of an animal, including connective tissue and bones. Gelatin powder has many benefits and one of them can help you sleep better. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from a sleep disorder. The amino acid glycine is responsible for this effect. I purchased mine from amazon, make sure its unflavored!
NingXia Red® ingredients include juices and extracts from superfruits such as aronia, plum, blueberry, and pomegranate, plus a whole-fruit puree of exotic wolfberries. This delicious supplement packs a big punch, offering NingXia Red® benefits that include support for normal eye health, cellular function, and energy levels. Delivering not only wellness-supporting superfruits, NingXia Red® also offer your daily boost of pure essential oils! NingXia Red® juice includes therapeutic-grade Lemon, Yuzu, Tangerine, and Orange essential oils for a delicious, powerful blend, plus a sweet, balancing hint of pure vanilla extract. (source and www.seedtoseal.com)
So there you have it! These little gems should help the kiddos get the restorative sleep they need while receiving the immune boosting properties of NingXia Red and the elderberries. Winning! Here is how to make them….
I give my 7 year old 1 of the bigger sizes and 4-6 of the littles each day, sometimes more depending on exposure or how she is feeling. I add these to her lunch box each day as a "treat," and she loves it!
Enjoy and see you next time!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Young Living products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
I first created this soup several years ago when I had a doozy of a head cold and all I wanted to do was to be able to breathe through my nose again. At the time I wasn't using essential oils for support and knew no other way. I love this soup and so does my 7 year old daughter. It is incredibly nourishing and fantastic for anything head or chest or even just to kick your immune system in the pants.
Packed with immune supporting goodness, such as bone broth, garlic, curry, cilantro, and ginger. Since its creation I've made a couple of modifications, but it continues to be our favorite comfort soup that offers us a huge added immune boost.
Over the years, I have tried adding additional veggies but it is just no the same. In the last year it has been necessary for me to lead a more vegan lifestyle, so I omit the chicken and bone broth and use more Veggie broth or a home made veggie stock. My daughter still gets the great benefits of bone broth though.
2 Chicken Breasts, cooked and chopped
1 Quart Bone Broth. (I use this recipe)
32 oz of Chicken or Veggie broth (this is my favorite)
1/3 of a 4.5 oz can of chopped green chilies, organic if possible
1/3 of a 14 oz can Coconut Cream
2 carrots, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 - 1.5 Tablespoons curry powder
2 drops Young Living Lime Essential Oil (order here)
1 drop Young Living Ginger Essential Oil (order here)
1/3 - 1/2 bunch of chopped Cilantro (optional)
Here in Virginia our apple season is almost over. I have been busy making all things apples. One of our favorite recipes, is Apple Butter. I love to keep extra jars of it in the freezer for eating and they make the perfect gifts! I have so many fond child hood memories involving apples. Apply picking, apple butter, apple sauce, apples with peanut butter or carmel, and my dads amazing apple pie. His crust recipe was the perfect combination of flakey, fluffy, and soft. Unfortunately when he passed away his filling and crust recipe went with him. It has taken me many years to tweak and perfect an apple filling recipe.
We used to buy pre made apple butter at road side stands or fairs, but then I discovered how much sugar went in to each of those delicious bites, so I was off to create a healthier version. As a family now, we still enjoy that goodness but in a much healthier version.
Most days, my daughter has a little bit of apple butter every morning on her gluten free waffle, except for the days she eats oatmeal. White sugar in our home makes for an extra crazy day in our special needs household, not to mention its just not good for you body! After months of tracking, Raising a kid is hard enough, why make it harder.
Store bought apple butter contains tons of white sugar, which is on our list of don't use if can be avoided. I set to the drawing board a couple years ago to find a recipe that didn't contain it, turns out that was much harder then I thought it would be. After much tweaking, I am very proud of my Apple Butter recipe. Its healthier, contains no white sugar, so easy to make (hello crock pot), and tastes delicious! Not to mention your home will smell amazing! My daughter had a farmers market brand recently asked me why it tasted yucky. She likes her sweets like her momma but this tasted funny to her and she wanted my apple butter (to magically appear from my purse.) A total mommy win in my books.
The Perfect Jar of Apple Butter
10 Medium-Large Apples (approx 6.5 lbs)
1/3 cup Organic coconut sugar
1/4 cup or 3 trickles of Local Honey, Agave Nectar, or Maple Syrup
2 tsp - 1 Tablespoon organic ground cinnamon
2 drops Young Living Nutmeg Vitality Essential Oil
1 drop Young Living Clove Vitality Essential Oil
1/4 tsp Salt (I like Pink Himalayan salt)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract (choose organic when possible)
Peel, Core, and slice apples. I tend to use a variety of sweet and tart apples. Pick from many of the varieties out there, choosing the ones you and your family enjoy the most.
Add apples to Crock pot plus all the other ingredients listed accept the Vanilla Extract. Cinnamon is to taste, we love cinnamon and use about 3/4 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. If I'm low I will use Young Living Cinnamon bark essential oil (1-2 drops) with 2 tsp ground cinnamon. I prefer to use all ground cinnamon in this recipe as it helps add your classic apple butter color. I find adding the honey or agave nectar tricky. If you are like me and hate to put sticky stuff in a measuring cup and then have to clean it out later, use the trickle method. Either a spoon (because those are lick-able) or with a squirt top, trickle in a zig zag pattern back in forth across your apples approximately 3-4 times.
Once all your ingredients have been added, stir using a metal or wooden spoon. No plastic spoons when using essential oils.
Set Crock pot on low and place lid. I always do this recipe at night time so I can wake to that amazing apple-cinnamon smell in the morning. Definitely no cases of the grumps on apple butter mornings.
10 hours later, stir your apples, breaking them down slightly so your mixture is a combo of smooth and chunky, add your Vanilla Extract, stir again, and replace lid. Cook on low for 2 more hours.
Using your immersion blender, blend your mixture until well blended (careful not to splatter, its hot!) At this step if your apple butter is a little watery, continue to cook on low in the crock pot with the lid off until desired consistency is met. I find this varies on the kinds of apples I'm using, some are more juicy then others. Some days its perfect, other days i have to cook for 1-2 more hours. Be sure to stir every 30 minutes while the lid is off. As it thickens you may see bubbling or even worse it could burn.
Add mixture to mason jars, leave a little gap at the top, let cool slightly before adding lid. The heat from the apple butter will aid in sealing your jar. I like to use a small or medium size. Ideal for storage and/or perfect for gift giving. Little 4 oz jars of this would make great teacher, co-worker, and family gifts.
Serve on your choice of bread, crackers, fruit, or just eat if off a spoon. We love it on top of waffles, dairy free cream cheese, and just off a spoon! Freeze extra jars for eating or gifting later.
Printable recipe card and Printable labels. I used Avery labels #22807 but you can print to paper, cut them out and tape them on. If using the Avery labels, when printing do not select fit to screen.
Enjoy! I can't wait to hear how you eat your apple butter!