Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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French Aromatherapy, My New Adventure!

Naturally Oily cover photo

So after falling in love with essential oils last year I started to really enjoy researching the various methods and uses of oils to not only make my own DIY home, health and beauty recipes but also to support all eleven of the body’s systems (e.g., nervous, circulatory, skeletal, muscular, lymphatic, endocrine, reproductive – male & female, respiratory, digestive, and urinary).  I admit that when I first started getting more interested in system support I was startled that people were actually talking about ingesting essential oils! It seriously sketched me out and I originally thought “No way!” But like most things, I took my time to research why people were suggesting internal usage and was surprised by the evidence I found to support this method of essential oil use.

I’ve been ingesting essential oils since May of 2015 and slowly but surely becoming more comfortable in making recommendations for ways that internal usage can benefit my friends and family.  But what I’ve found as I’ve put myself out there more publicly to market my essential oil business is that not only is internal usage misunderstood it is also incredibly controversial.  Fear of the unknown and lack of a solid understanding of why internal usage of essential oils can be safe and incredibly effective fuels this controversy.

What I’ve learned is that there are several schools of thought on aromatherapy that vary in their suggested usage.  The most common model of aromatherapy is the Anglo-Saxon, or English model.  This model tends to be more conservative and recommends heavily diluting oils before applying topically, usually in the form of massage.  The German model of aromatherapy focuses more on the inhalation of essential oils.  And the French model of aromatherapy emphasizes the medicinal use of essential oils and often recommends “neat” (undiluted) topical use and ingestion of essential oils for the treatment of common maladies and diseases.  Some might even argue that there is a fourth, American model of aromatherapy that is a fusion of the English, German and French models.

Maybe it’s because I’m a glutton for punishment but I’ve known for awhile that I really wanted to pursue certification in aromatherapy.  Honestly it’s been the overall cost that has prevented me from taking the leap before now.  I knew that I wanted to study under a program that subscribed to the French model of aromatherapy and it seems these are harder to come by.  Recently I learned about the French Aromatherapy Certification course at the East-West School for Herbal & Aromatic Studies and was immediately intrigued.  The EWSHAS is one of the oldest and most well-respected herbal and aromatic schools in the United States and the founders, Cathy Skipper and Jade Shutes, just have this almost zen quality when they discuss essential oils that really resonates with me.

So this week I decided to take the plunge and enroll in the French Aromatherapy Certification course.  I’m excited to learn more about the chemical constituents that make up essential oils and how/why they work.  Plus I figure I’ll learn more about how I can safely recommend essential oils to my friends and family to help support their body’s systems and keep their families healthy! What that means is that as I embark on this new adventure I will be sharing some of what I learn with you, my lovely readers!  So be on the lookout for future blog posts that will breakdown the science behind essential oils and how/why they work as well as profiles on the oils that I’ll be studying throughout my coursework.

 

Want to join me? Sign up to take the French Aromatherapy Course here!

 

Want to know more about the different schools of thought regarding essential oil usage? Check out Jade Shutes’, one of the founders of EWSHAS, explanation of the different models of aromatherapy on their blog here: Models for Aromatherapy: French, English, and the Emerging New Model.

French Aromatherapy, My New Adventure! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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Clean Your Hardwood Floors Without Harsh Chemicals!

I know y’all have heard me say it a thousand times but I seriously use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean everything in my house! Kitchen counters? Glass stovetops? Leftover food grime in fridges and microwaves? No problem! Bathroom tile? Toilet bowls? Mirrors and windows? Sure thing! Even caked on food in the baby’s high chair ain’t got nothing on my Thieves Cleaner!!!  During my recent  “New Year New You (and how Essential Oils and oil infused products can help!)” online class I mentioned that I even use my Thieves Cleaner to make my own hardwood Swiffer WetJet alternative and was asked to share my recipe. So I figured I’d share with you all as well!

As much as it kills my inner hippy to continue to use disposable Swiffer WetJet pads I haven’t found a good reusable alternative (see Update at bottom of post!).  With an old dog whose bladder sadly isn’t what it used to be I’m ashamed to admit how often I have to clean up accidents on my hardwood floors so I’m still on the hunt for a good, absorbent, washable mop and pad system that won’t break the bank (If anyone wants to gift me one of those fancy Norwex mops to review I wouldn’t say no!).  Until then, I’ll keep using my trusty Swiffer.  Until a couple months ago I just turned a blind eye and tried to pretend that what I didn’t know didn’t hurt me.  But we all know that’s faulty logic. So when my Swiffer Wood Floor Cleaner Refill ran out of juice I decided that I couldn’t ignore it any longer and went on over to Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning and gave it a search.  I’d like to say that I was shocked but sadly I wasn’t.  It just confirmed what I already suspected.  The cleaner I’d been using to clean my hardwood floors for the last several years got an overall score of D! The biggest concern is a cleaning agent called Lauryl Pyrrolidone which has been shown to be toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects but an also cause severe skin burns and eye damage and/or allergic reactions! In addition, synthetic fragrance also warrants concern for skin irritation, allergies, asthma, and possible neurological or respiratory effects.  Other ingredients of moderate concern are Benzisothiazolinone, for skin irritation and allergies, as well as Acrylic Copolymer and Dimethyl Siloxanes and Silicones, for persistence in the environment and a lack of data on health effects.  And to think, I’d been cleaning my floors that my dogs and infant were rolling around on with this stuff???

So after joining Young Living and trying out their Thieves Cleaner for the first time I started researching all the different ways I could use it.  Naturally, replacing my hardwood floor cleaner was at the top of that list! Young Living took the guess work out of a lot of uses for their Household Cleaner with their DIY Cleaning Recipes (see image below).  They suggest mixing together 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 10 drops Pine essential oil and 1 cup of Olive Oil and applying to hardwood floors using a damp (not wet) mop.  While this sounds divine and would likely be an amazing alternative to popular pine scented floor cleaners, I was hoping for something I could use in my Swiffer WetJet for ease of application.  So my search continued…

DIY Cleaning with Thieves Household Cleaner

That’s when i  stumbled upon Don’t Mess With Mama’s 20 Ways to Clean Your Home with Thieves Household Cleaner. Her floor cleaner recipe seemed much more likely to approximate the consistency that I was looking for since I wanted it to be sprayable.  Check out her recipe below:

Thieves Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Thieves Cleaner Hardwood Floor Recipe:

  • 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2-3 drops Lemon essential oil for a fresh scent (although I bet you could add or substitute with Pine for a delightful fragrance!)
  • 1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar (DWV) for a streak-free shine to your floors

You can also use this same recipe to clean windows, sills, mirrors, sticky residue and grime from nearly any surface!

So armed with a new recipe I was excited to try out I pulled out my empty Swiffer WetJet Wood Floor Cleaner container and got set to refill it with my new non-toxic alternative only to discover that it is damn near impossible to get that screw cap off!!!! Initially I was a bit deflated but thought surely I couldn’t let a common household cleaner defeat me so I set out to google a solution.  Turns out, it’s actually pretty easy to get these screw caps off! Here’s how:

  1. Bring approximately 2″ of water to boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Hold the Swiffer cleaner container with the cap submerged in the boiling water for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Carefully, using a towel or rubber gripper, turn cap to remove.  If it doesn’t come off easily, submerge again for another 30 seconds or so.
  4. You can carefully clip the little prongs on the inside of the cap to make the cap easier to remove if you so desire.  Or you can just repeat this simple procedure when it’s time to refill.

Once I got the cap off I simply poured my mixture in the container and recapped it, making sure to secure the cap so it doesn’t leak.  The recipe will fill your container approximately 2/3 of the way full.  Then you can use as normal.  I have been using this recipe now for several months and it cleans every bit as well as the brand-name cleaner and I haven’t had any problems with it spraying at all!

So there you have it, a non-toxic way to use your trusty Swiffer! Now to find a reusable cloth for it to alleviate my guilt over throwing away expensive disposable pads…  Have you used this recipe, or another non-toxic wood floor cleaner? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!

 

**Updated March 18, 2016:

After I wrote this blog post back in January, I started my hunt for a reusable option to alleviate my landfill guilt that I had by still continuing to throw away those WetJet pads every time I used my mop.  Now those who know me well know I absolutely love Amazon Prime (I’m too cheap to pay too much for shipping and Free is definitely my kind of price range) so naturally I headed on over to try to find a solution.  Reusable Swiffer Pads These Orowix Spray Mop Pads are what I found and ordered for only $8.99 for 6 reusable mop pads.  I’ve been using them now for a couple months and am overall pretty pleased with them.   You add the included Velcro strips to your Swiffer WetJet and the pads attach easily.  I was worried they might not stay on but I have yet to have one come off while mopping.  I’ve mopped my bathroom tile, the hardwood floors in my large open floor plan living/dining/kitchen area and cleaned up accidents that my old pooch hasn’t been able to hold in and so far there hasn’t been a job these can’t tackle! So if you’re like me and not ready to give up your old Swiffer WetJet add these to your Amazon shopping cart to get you by until it’s time to invest in that amazing Norwex mop system!

Here’s the link to the Orowix Reusable Mop Pads on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009MPA3AG?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

Clean Your Hardwood Floors Without Harsh Chemicals! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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My New Oily Storage Solution!

Oily Storage

I’m officially a full-blown Oily Addict and had finally run out of room in my awesome, handmade Native Andes Essential Oil Bag (<– Check out her link to buy yours and support Fair Trade for a family in Quito, Ecuador) that you see below.  I had been following posts on my oily groups about how people were storing their essential oils. There are all sorts of amazing ways you can store Naturally Oilyyour oils from store bought cabinets, spice racks, to DIY masterpieces.  But the idea that really resonated with me was using nail polish racks to store your essential oils.  There are some really inexpensive plexi counter top racks, big and small, some tiered, some that spin like a Lazy Susan and a whole plethora of wall racks in various shapes, sizes, and designs.  Several months ago I ran across this really beautiful Tree of Life nail polish rack on Amazon and just knew I had to have it! But I’ll admit, it’s not cheap.  So I was super jazzed when I got some birthday cash from my aunt that allowed me the luxury to splurge a little on myself.  So I placed my order on my birthday, New Year’s Eve, and by Monday, January 4 my oil rack had arrived! My hubby loves me so even though he was exhausted from staying up with the baby the night before, he graciously hung my new oil rack for me that evening.  I was so excited I couldn’t even sleep until I got all my oils placed on my new rack.  Then came the age old debate: to organize by color or alphabetically? I love the visual appeal of organizing Young Living oils by label color (and rainbows just make me happy!) plus by now I’ve been using YL oils long enough to know what color each of my oil labels are and can find them quickly.  I settled on setting aside my most used oils and PSK oils for easy access then divided the rest by size and color.  I must say, I’m quite pleased with how pretty it turned out once all my oils were placed.  And truthfully, I was a little surprised by just how many oils I had accumulated when I saw them all out together like this!  I probably could’ve justified the 6 tier rack instead of the 5!

How do you store your essential oils?  I love seeing other people’s storage solutions and eventually I’ll outgrow this rack and need additional options! Share your oily storage solutions below!

 

My New Oily Storage Solution! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures