Friday, April 18, 2014

My Daily Routine With Essential Oils


My current EO stash, in all its' glory.
Ever since I wrote this post a few weeks ago, I've had a number of people ask me how I incorporate essential oils into my daily routine, which oils I've found to be the most beneficial, what's a good starting point if they're just beginning to use EO themselves, etc. Being fairly new to the whole "oily mama" gig myself, I thought I would give everyone a glimpse into my daily routine (and not just my oily routine, but my average day with two little ones, a dog, and life on one of the largest military bases in the States!). I'll talk a little bit about which oils have proven to be the most beneficial for me and my health, which oils have helped Alessandra's sleep issues, and how I balance everyday life as a mother and wife. Rhyming was not intended. So! A few things before I begin:

1. As a general rule, I dilute almost all of my Young Living oils with a teaspoon (or more) of a carrier oil. I do this so that I can prolong the life of my oils, as well as cover more area on the body. Using a carrier oil does not diminish the effectiveness of the oil, but it does take slightly longer for the effects of the oil to kick in. There are a few oils I do not dilute, and I will put a (*) next to those. As far as carrier oils go, I prefer to use sweet almond, avocado or grapeseed. You can find them at any natural food store.

2. When using ANY oils on children younger than six years, make sure you look up safety warnings first. I dilute all oils before using them on my kids.

3. I am not giving out medical advice. I'm not a doctor, and I don't have any medical background whatsoever. The oils I use help me with sleep issues, allergies, muscle tension, warding off the common cold, etc. If you're looking for a way to treat a brain tumor, cancer, pertussis, brown recluse bites, or severe depression with essential oils, you're not going to find that on this page. When in doubt, please see a medical professional!!

So, now that we've got that out of the way, I bring you my daily routine.

6am: Alessandra wakes up for her morning nursing session. This used to be extremely painful, as Little Miss would wake up at least 3 times throughout the night, but since her sleeping habits have drastically improved, so has my willingness to haul my butt out of bed at this early hour. I nurse her, put on her white noise machine, turn on the diffuser and put her back down.

6:20am: I begin my morning oily routine. I put a drop of Valor* on my wrists for grounding, Stress Away on my neck and shoulders (I carry most of my tension there), Panaway on my lower back, to ease the pain that I frequently experience there, and Thieves on my feet. I usually inhale Peppermint to give me a boost as well.

6:30am: One of my favorite times of the day! I make myself a cup of coffee, and spend some time in prayer and meditation. I typically pray the Daily Offering, the Memorare, prayer to St. Michael, and a Hail Mary. I check a few emails, do a quick budget for the day, and lay out a brief schedule (which, most assuredly, will be shot down within a few hours, because that's how my kids roll).

7am-7:30am: Tony, otherwise known as my "walking can of Red Bull" wakes up. We snuggle on the couch for a few minutes, and I make him breakfast. He is allowed to watch one TV show (current favorites include Clifford the Big Red Dog or Veggie Tales) while I finish up a few things on the computer.

8am: Alessandra wakes up in full force! I change her diaper, and give her breakfast while Tony fawns all over his baby sister. Which, really, is the sweetest thing in the world. :)

8:20am-9:30am: Tony requests to have me put "oil on the feetsies!" I put Thieves on his feet, and a drop of R.C on his chest. Kiddies get to have morning playtime, usually in Tony's room or the living room, while I get some chores done around the house and take a quick shower.

9:30am: And we're off! We usually run errands during this time, while everyone is in fine spirits. If we don't have any errands to run, we take a walk to one of the nearby parks. That's one of the nice things about Fort Benning; there are quite a few lovely parks within walking distance, and my kids never tire of them.

11am: Return home, get lunch ready for the kiddos. Tony usually has what Will and I have dubbed the "Tony special": whole wheat goldfish crackers, lunch meat from the grocery store deli, a cheese stick, and a piece of fruit. Alessandra has something similar. I usually just grab what I can. :) The kids then get about 1/2 hour-45 minutes of play time, and then we start to settle down for the nap.

Noon: Nap time! I change the kids into their comfy clothes, and put a little bit of lavender on their feet. I also get the diffuser set up in Alesandra's room (usually with 8 drops of Gentle Baby or Peace and Calming). We read a few books, sing a few songs, and it's lights out.

12:30-2:00pm: Mama's time alone, which is...
I kid, I kid! I love spending time with my little ones, but their nap time is a nice break for me. I grab something to eat if I didn't get a chance to eat lunch before, make sure to hydrate myself (I either add 1 drop of lemon* or 1 drop of grapefruit* EO to a large glass of iced water), catch up on email, straighten up the tornado that blew through my house living room, maybe do a little bit of reading.

2:00-5ishpm: Honestly, I would say this is the most trying time of my day. Who out there is familiar with the mid-afternoon sluggish feeling? I always crash around 2:30/3:00, which unfortunately is when my kids are up from their naps and ready to par-tay. I inhale a little bit of peppermint EO to give me a boost, and if there are any available, I drink a package of NingXia Red (unfortunately, I ran out, and will have to re-order some in the near future). I LOVE this stuff. It gives me a little boost of energy, without a caffeine or sugar crash later on in the day. Anyway, I usually try and get the kids outside at this point. Tony likes to play in our (fenced in) backyard with his trucks and the dog, and baby girl likes to roll around and play in the living room. Sometimes we take an extra trip to the park, and if I'm feeling particularly ambitious, we take the dog for a walk. (Not that the dog doesn't get exercise, but it can be a challenge balancing Tony on his bike, Alessandra in the stroller, and a beagle who pulls so hard it feels like my arm will be yanked out of its' socket).

5pm-ish: Will comes home, and Mama gets a break. :) If I haven't already done so, I get dinner started while Will spends some time with the kids.

6:30pm: Dinner for the fam. Tony and Alessandra usually eat what we eat, unless I've made sometime particularly spicy.

7pm: Bath time! I add a couple drops of Gentle Baby to the bath water, just to settle everyone down after the long day.

7:30pm: Bedtime for Little Miss. I add 5 drops of lavender and 5 drops of Peace and Calming to the diffuser in her room, and some lavender on the soles of her feet. We put on her white noise machine, nurse, and she's down for the night.

8pm: Tony's bedtime. He gets lavender on his feet as well, books and songs, and a few prayers. (Usually the Our Father, Guardian Angel, etc).

8-10:30pm: Finally, time alone with Will! We eat dinner if we didn't get a chance to earlier (I know a lot of people balk at our late dinner times, but what can I say. We lived in Europe for 5 years, and it's been a challenge to break out of the super late dinner time habit). Sometimes we'll watch a show together, or just chat and catch up on our day.

10:30pm-ish: When we typically go to bed on a weekday. My oily routine varies a bit every night. If my allergies are bothering me, I combine a few drops each of lemon, peppermint and lavender and rub the mixture across my chest and throat. I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately, and what I've found works best for me is lavender on my feet, and a few drops of cedarwood* between my brows, and behind my ears. I add about 8-10 drops of Peace and Calming to the diffuser in our room as well. Works like a charm every time, and I never wake up with that out-of-body-experience feeling I have when I take a sleeping pill. I take a few minutes to pray, and usually read a chapter (or five) of a book before drifting off.
These bad boys will knock you out. Guaranteed.
So! There you have it. As always, I'm happy to answer any "oily" questions you may have, and if you're interested in signing up for a starter kit, it's quite easy! Simply visit the Young Living website, and register as a wholesale member to get a reduced price on the oils. For the sponsor/enrollment number, type in 1704017. There's zero obligation to become a distributor, and you can order YL oils as frequently (or infrequently) as you like. YL oils have been a wonderful addition to our family's daily routine, and I could seriously go on for days about how much these oils have pretty much made our baby girl's sleep issues disappear. Wishing you a blessed Good Friday, and a very happy Easter weekend.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

What We Wore Sunday-The Beginning of Holy Week

Linking up with the ladies at WIWS after a long break. After moving to Georgia, finding a church, and dealing with allergies, a teething, miserable baby and Will's injury, it was just too much this past month to even think of snapping a picture of our outfits before running out the door to Mass. Today, we were in luck. We went to the 12:30 Mass (Alessandra decided after screaming all night long, she was going to take a nap at 10am. Cuz why not??), so we had a little extra time to kill. This is Alessandra's first Easter, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't been eyeing the adorable spring dresses for baby girls for the past couple of months. Today, Little Miss was thrilled-believe it or not!-to model the first one.

On Tony:
Shirt and shoes: Carter's
Shorts: Target

On me:
Cami, blouse and sandals: Express
Capri pants: White House Black Market

On Alessandra:
Striped dress: Carters
socks and Mary Janes; Koala Kids from Babies 'R Us
This week, I'm going to make a genuine attempt to engage my kids in fun, crafty (!!!), Christ-centered Easter activities. I hope everyone has a blessed Holy Week! For more WIWS, check out Fine Linen and Purple!

Friday, April 11, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday-Thrifty Pants


1. Fort Benning Yard Sales Facebook group rocks my socks. I've been able to get rid of some stuff that's been bogging us down during the last couple of moves, and make some extra cash. Go on. Admit it. You're just blown over by my resourcefulness. (I didn't even know "resourcefulness" was a word. At any rate, I didn't get an angry red squiggly line underneath it, so I'll assume I'm golden).

2. Will's injury is severe enough that he has to be recycled out of his current BOLC class, meaning he has to rest up, recovery, and start the whole class all over again once he's back to his normal self. It's a bummer (essentially, it means we won't be going to Fort Carson at the end of September as planned), but it's better than Will risking a permanent injury by doing too much too soon.

3. Holy Week is almost upon us, and I have to say...I'm really disappointed in myself. I've broken my Lenten promise on more than one occasion, and I just really feel like my prayer life is lacking. I'm not 100% sure how to get back in the game, so to speak. It's been a rough couple of months, and I haven't handled all of these massive changes as well as I could have.

4. Sunday was Alessandra's first birthday (!!!!), and we had a quiet family celebration. I had a cupcake store in town make a smash cake for her, and she was all over that bad boy once she got a taste of the frosting. Tony was excited to be able to sing "Happy Birthday" to his baby sister, although he became quite agitated when we informed him that Alessandra's presents were not, in fact, for him.
The cake.
The birthday girl.

The smash.
5. During bath time the other night, I was taking care of Alessandra after getting Tony out of the tub and drying him off. He disappeared for a few minutes, and the house became suspiciously quiet. When I went to go investigate, I found that the little goof had helped himself to one of my essential oils. Specifically, fennel. So my house-and my child-had the overpowering scent of black licorice for the rest of the evening. Good times. 

6. In other thrifty/financial awesomeness...my student loan has been paid off. We also saved up some extra money to pay off Will's loan, which is due in August. After that, we only have our car loan left, which I plan on attacking with a vengeance. Then we will be debt. free. It doesn't even seem real.

7. I just realized, while typing Quick Take #4, that not only did we celebrate Alessandra's first birthday...but I was able to celebrate one year of nursing (and we're still going strong!). I know it may not seem like much for seasoned mothers who have spent years upon years nursing their children, but when Tony was 9 months old I had to stop nursing him for a few weeks. I had to have emergency surgery (thank you, gallbladder), and I was on such heavy medication it wasn't safe to breastfeed. Will had to give Tony formula during that time-which did NOT go over well-and I was afraid we wouldn't be able to re-establish breastfeeding again. Fortunately, we were, but Tony weaned himself right before his first birthday. I'm glad Little Miss isn't showing any signs of stopping, because to be perfectly honest...I'm not ready to stop, either. Even though I don't relish the middle of the night feedings, I always look forward to the quiet, peaceful nursing sessions with my baby girl. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wedding Song Dance Along

Linking up with Grace today at Camp Patton for a fun topic. The first song you danced to as husband and wife-let's hear it! (See what I did there?).

So, we had an Italian Catholic wedding. And we partied as good Italian Catholics should, with delicious food served all week (yes, you read that correctly), plenty of alcohol served throughout the night, and fan-freaking-tastic music, with my cousin Leo as the DJ. I'm talking Sinatra and Dean Martin during the dinner hour, the tarantella after the food was cleared away, and of course, "That's Amore." We seriously had people run out to the dance floor for the first song, and not leave until the last one sometime around midnight.

So, our first song. We chose "Con Te Partiro," performed by Andrea Bocelli. Obviously, the first reason we chose this song is because it's beautiful and we love it. Plus, we were living in Europe at the time, and we were going on a Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon, beginning and ending in Italy. The main reason we chose this song, though (and not just because of the obvious Italian connection) is because it embodied so much of our relationship. Will and I spent the first 3 years of our relationship long distance; me in college in Wisconsin, and Will serving in the Army in Germany. We were lucky if we saw each other twice every year. Once we got engaged, we pledged to never be apart from one another again (unless of course, Army calls-and the Army did, frequently). When I translated-loosely, as my Italian isn't the best-the lyrics for Will, he agreed with me on the spot that "Con Te Partiro" had to be our song.

"There is no light if you are not here with me. Lands that I never shared with you, I shall experience with you on ships across seas that exist no more. With you, I will go. I know you are with me".

dancing at the reception

It just wouldn't have been a Wisconsin wedding if the groomsmen didn't buy cheeseheads.

We're married!!!! xoxoxoxox

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happy Birthday to our Girl

So, a year ago today, I was doing this.
Breathing through contractions on my living room floor. Tony was helping. 
I remember I woke up on the morning of Saturday, April 6, and immediately started to cry. Why, you ask? Because I was still pregnant. Despite everyone and their brother telling me, "oh, don't you worry! That second baby comes MUCH earlier than the first!" it was not to be. I was 41 weeks, cranky, and convinced I was going to be pregnant forever. I stomped downstairs, gave my mother the look of death when she made a snarky comment about me lying about being pregnant, and sat down at the computer with a cup of coffee and started browsing Pinterest.

Now, Will and I chose not to find out the sex of our baby, but we had boy and girl names all picked out. I remember pinning the story of St. Catherine de'Ricci to my Catholic board; I had never heard of her before, but I noticed that her birth name was Alessandra. I thought that was a funny coincidence, since that was the girl name we picked out a long time ago, but I didn't think too much of it at the time.

A few hours later, I was breathing my way through some pretty serious contractions, and I told Will this was The Real Deal, and he needed to call my midwives, stat. By 2:45 that afternoon, Will was driving faster and faster, and thank you Jesus there weren't any cops running radar calmly driving on the I-20 to the birth center in Marshall, TX. I remember very little about that drive, except I kept quietly praying the Hail Mary in between contractions, and squeezing Will's hand when I felt the pains coming. Once we got to the birth center, everything happened very quickly. I got into the tub, and within 20 minutes (and lots of screaming, cursing the ineffectiveness of Hypnobirthing and insisting that I was dying), my midwife placed my little girl in my arms.
I could go on all day about the joy of having a daughter, how having a baby sister has made Tony even sweeter and more gentle than he was before, or how my heart completely melted when I saw Will hold his little girl for the very first time. But I can't; there are no words that can ever describe these precious memories that are forever etched into my heart.
The proudest papa in the world.
Exhausted after nursing.


Our first night at home. That was probably the only time she slept.
It's been a year full of happiness, exhaustion, anxiety, but most of all, love. As tired as I may be every morning, my heart nearly bursts when I see Tony stop what he's doing, and gives his baby sister a hug and kiss. Even though I might have a million other things I could be doing, I live for the moments before nap time (such as it is), when Alessandra and I snuggle up on the glider and I nurse her before I put her to bed. Seeing her sweet little face every morning, hearing her adorable little belly laugh when I tickle her, and seeing my two sweet children play together has brought Will and I more joy than we ever thought possible. We have been so abundantly blessed with our little girl, and I can hardly wait to see what next year has in store for her. 

Happy first birthday, Alessandra Isabel. You are so very, very loved. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday-Injuries, Oils and Birthdays

1. Last Thursday, Will's class was doing combatives training. Will was sparring with another guy in the class, and he was injured pretty badly. To be more specific, the other guy accidentally tore Will's abdominal muscle. They were sparring, and the abdominal muscle went (and I quote), "RIP." Will was in a tremendous amount of pain, and he was whisked away to the hospital where he received an X-ray and an impressive amount of pain pills. He spent the next couple of days doped up on pain medication, and trying to find a comfortable position on the couch. He's feeling slightly better, but nowhere near 100%.

2. Due to Will's injury, we had to skip out on the military ball, for obvious reasons. Will could barely walk, let alone sit in an uncomfortable chair for a long period of time listening to speeches and dancing. It was the right decision, but I'm not going to lie-I was really bummed that I couldn't wear my sparkly Rent the Runway gown.

3. I am officially an essential oils convert. Can I call myself an oily mom now? I wrote this post last week, and I'm going to do a follow-up pretty soon about how I incorporated EO into my daily routine. Every time someone in the house announced they had a headache, a bruise, a scraped knee, trouble trying to fall asleep, muscle pain...I totally turned into this person.
4. In a mere 3 days, my little girl will be celebrating her first birthday. Unreal. We're all set with the smash cake, cute little birthday outfit...and I kinda dropped the ball and forgot to get a card and pretty balloons for her high chair. Guess which mama is making a run to Target tomorrow? (I should also add that we don't do big first birthday parties for our kids. Lots of reasons, but the main one being that we are in a brand new place and don't know that many people. So, it's a quiet family celebration for us).

5. I am totally digging this blogger I found via the 7QT linkup a few weeks ago. I especially love her Catholic book club reading list; I'm currently reading Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns, by Abbie Reese. It's fascinating, and I'm very grateful to Tiffany for recommending so many interesting books.

6. It's been a frustrating couple of weeks, and it's not any one thing in particular. The move, the long days with two small children (especially a toddler who is invested in testing my patience at every turn), Will's injury, dealing with the military madness again...and I've been a little stressed. Okay, I've been a lot stressed. Will and I were talking last night, and he's worried about me because he said I just don't seem as happy as I used to be. It's not that I'm unhappy, but I will admit to feeling stretched somewhat thin lately. Will kept insisting that I needed to do something for me, whether it was going to the gym after he got home from work (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA), getting a massage (okay, I could get behind that), going out for drinks one night with my friend (again, I won't fight that suggestion too much). I finally concluded that I need something to look forward to each week, to get me through the rough spots. What is it that I really enjoy? Travel, reading, wine, movies, writing, wine, Pinterest, wine, belly dancing...wait! Belly dancing! That's it! When Will deployed back in 2006, shortly after our wedding, I was all alone in Germany with nothing to do once the work day ended. I signed up for a belly dancing class, and I.freaking.loved.it. It was fun, it was a great workout, it was a good stress release, and there are very few things that can't be cured by swinging your hips to beautiful Middle Eastern music. I've decided to take up belly dancing again, although I can't decide whether I want to attempt a class or practice in the privacy of my own home. In any case, I'm excited.

7. Major props to my mom for finding the absolute freaking cutest Easter clothes for Tony and Alessandra. I received a package from her today (with the oh-so-magical Janie and Jack sticker on the tissue paper), and I have to say...I can't wait to dress these kiddos up. Pictures most certainly to follow.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How Essential Oils Saved My Sanity As A Parent

So...serious question. At what point do you consider yourself "crunchy?" Or at least, "semi-granola?" I started to think I crossed over to the crunchy side of life shortly after I had kids. I mean, we always recycled, I used those reusable grocery store bags, and for quite some time, Will and I were a one-car family. Then I had kids, and I thought, "you know what, I can take this to the next level." I veered into crunchy mom territory. I had a natural birth. I exclusively breastfed both of my babies. We cloth diaper. I'm a huge fan of babywearing (even though my multiple wraps and carriers drive my own mom up the wall). However. Will and I are still big fans of modern medicine. We vaccinate our kids (and ourselves). Tony and Alessandra visit the pediatrician for their well-child checkups, and we do not hesitate to call the pedi or go straight to the ER if we think something is seriously wrong and out of our control. Not to mention, both Will and I have family members in the medical field, and we are very grateful for modern medicine. I know for a fact I wouldn't be here without it, after what happened to me after Tony was born. All that being said, I will freely admit there are some things that just can't be solved with a prescription or a visit to the pedi. Take Alessandra's sleep issues, for instance.

I've written many, many times about how my baby girl is a terrible sleeper. Will and I have tried pretty much everything to get her to go to sleep for the past almost 12 months, with zero luck. She got *slightly* better by the time she was 7 months old, but it still wasn't anything to write home about. Our girl just did not want to sleep, and we've had some very tough days and nights since she was born. The worst part? She was crabby, exhausted and miserable during the day. We truly did not know what to do. About two weeks ago, Alessandra was starting to show signs of either a head cold or allergies. I wasn't sure which, as both would make sense. In any case, I was on the verge of tears. When Tony was sick as a baby, he slept even more than usual, and just wanted to comfy with me on the couch all day. Not Alessandra. Sickness made her sleep even worse than usual, and she was flat-out hysterical during the day (fussing, crying, rubbing her eyes, sneezing, etc). We've been through far too many bouts of sickness with our kids this past year, and I knew we had to go to Plan B.

When I was back in Wisconsin this past January, I had a massage from a girl whose mother was a teacher in my school district. Super sweet, very skilled at her craft (my back felt amazing afterward!), and very into natural living. She mentioned essential oils in passing, and I didn't give it much thought. However, with allergies and/or head cold number 4 hitting our house again, I decided to do a little investigating. I messaged my friend (after all the help she's given me, I truly believe I can call her my friend at this point), and I started checking out a couple of boards on Pinterest that were dedicated to essential oils. One brand I kept seeing over and over again was Young Living. I quickly received a message back from Joy, and she was SO pumped about the possibility of me using essential oils. She confirmed that Young Living was the best (for a variety of reasons, but that's a topic for another blog post), and she gave me some great information. I decided to go ahead and take the plunge, and I ordered Premium Starter Kit. I didn't know if those oils would help our baby sleep, but I figured, what's the worst that could happen? Our house would smell freaking amazing? I could deal with that.

The day before my oils arrived, I went to a natural food store here in Columbus and purchased a few carrier oils (sweet almond, grapeseed and avocado. I knew you should never directly apply essential oils to a baby's skin). When my package arrived the next day, I'll admit I felt pretty overwhelmed when I opened the box. Reading all of the information, smelling all of the oils, setting up the diffuser, and trying to figure out where in the world I should start was a lot to take in. I figured my best option would be to try and tackle Alessandra's sleep issues, since that was our main concern at that point.

For the past four or five nights, I've kept to my "oily" routine with Little Miss. I put the diffuser in her room, and I add Peace and Calming and lavender to it. After her bath, I add 1 drop of lavender oil to 4 tsp of sweet almond oil, and rub it on the bottoms of her feet (and a little extra on her tummy). You guys...I seriously can't begin to describe the difference. The first few nights were better than usual, but not perfect. Last night, for the first time in her little baby life, she slept without waking. From 7pm to 5:45am. I almost keeled over from shock. Alessandra was smiling and chattering in her crib when I got her this morning, and she's been in fine baby spirits ever since. I'm so relieved (not to mention well-rested) I could cry. I kind of feel like Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad-don't hate-when Walter informs him they're going to substitute methylamine in place of the difficult-to-get-their-hands-on psedoephedrine. "Yeah, Mr. White!! SCIENCE!" Only I'm all, "yeah, ESSENTIAL OILS!!! IN YOUR FACE, SLEEP TRAINING!" I figured since we had such great luck with baby girl's sleeping habits, why stop there?

I've had seasonal allergies for as long as I can remember. They were particularly brutal when we lived in Germany; the pollen there was absolutely unreal. What infuriated me more than anything else was that every single year, I was basically told, "yeah, allergies suck...ummm, you can try an OTC medicine if you want, but generally you have to just tough it out.." Well, first of all, I don't know about you, but medicines like Allergra or Clairtin don't work for me. Never have, never will. And when you're sneezing every 10 seconds, your eyes are itching like crazy, your throat hurts so badly you dread drinking anything that isn't laced with local honey, and your head is pounding, being told to just "tough it out" for the entirety of the season doesn't exactly sound like a barrel of laughs. Neither does yet another round of antibiotics. I can't even begin to tell you how many z-packs I picked up from the pharmacy these past two years. One of the oils that came with my starter kit was Thieves, and I've heard a LOT of people talking up this particular blend. I started out by putting 5 drops in the diffuser, along with 5 drops of Frankincense. Later that night, I mixed a few drops of Thieves with a carrier oil, and rubbed it on the bottom of my feet. I swear, I woke up the next morning without a runny nose, itchy eyes or a headache. Heaven.

The diffuser, or "Mr. Egg," as Tony calls it. So calm. So peaceful.

Just to be clear-as thrilled as I am with the oils, and as much as I love using them as part of my daily routine (again, a topic for another blog post), I do feel the need to once again stress that modern medicine has its' place. I prefer to use our oils for non-urgent needs, such as calming a fussy baby, and treating the common cold/cough/allergies without popping a bunch of pills. However, if you were diagnosed with cancer, I am in no way, shape or form suggesting you ditch chemotherapy for essential oils. If you have a child with severe behavioral or cognitive issues, I think essential oils can be a wonderful addition to your child's routine, but I would absolutely recommend working with a doctor, therapist, what have you. I feel as though too often we are pressured to force ourselves into a label ("well, I'm a low risk pregnant woman and I'm hoping for a natural birth, so if I really want to become part of the 'crunchy mom society', clearly I have to forgo any kind of medical treatment whatsoever for the rest of my life!" "My husband and I consider ourselves devout Catholics, but can we really consider ourselves 'holy' and 'devout' enough if we don't plan on homeschooling our kids?"). I truly believe that traditional and natural medicine can balance each other out at times, and I'm so thrilled with the positive changes to our routine from the essential oils. Now, to keep myself (and our budget!) in check, since I want to own everypossibleYoungLivingoilevercreated. ;)

If you're interested in hearing more about Young Living oils or you would like to give them a try, feel free to shoot me an email and I can point you in the right direction!