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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Need last minute Holiday gift ideas that won’t break the bank??? Here’s a DIY Holiday Gift Guide to help!

DIY Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are fast approaching and everyone is out shopping for the perfect holiday gifts! But who wants the headache and hassle of fighting for a parking spot at the mall, sorting through hanger after hanger, or stopping at every kiosk to find a gift for those hard to shop for people on your list? Not me.  I worked retail enough years that I refuse to go to the mall or other retail establishments during this time of year on principle alone.  The past couple years I’ve moved more towards DIY holiday gifts.  Not only are they often much more affordable alternatives to traditional gift ideas, nearly everyone loves that you put time and love into handcrafting items for homemade gifts! But where to even start? I’ve taken some of the guesswork out of it for you and scoured Pinterest looking for some of the best DIY essential oil holiday gift ideas and tried out most of them so you don’t have to experiment! I shared these recipes with my friends and they were a huge hit! Below you will find gift ideas for nearly everyone on your holiday list!

Essential Oils 102: A DIY Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts for Her

For Any Woman

Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar

1. Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar:

For presentation I packaged each of the following recipes in a 1 oz plastic container (I bought a 10 pack at the Dollar Tree).  I spray painted the lids with a sparkly red paint and got little sticker labels at Michael’s craft store to label each one.  I used a wide mouthed Mason jar and sprinkled a bit of fake “snow” in the bottom then put all three small containers down in the jar.  I hot glued Christmas ribbon around the lid of the jar.  I found cute “For Your Mistle Toes” FREE printable labels/tags from: http://www.anorganizedfamily.com/2012/12/for-your-mistle-toes.html

ForYourMistleToes

I printed the tag then “laminated” with packing tape, punched a hole in the corner, then tied onto the jar with curling ribbon for a finishing touch.  You could also package with nail clippers, pumice stone, or even cute Holiday socks!

1a. Peppermint Foot Soak:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Peppermint tea bags (I used Celestial Seasonings but you could use any brand of tea)
  • 1/8 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • Food Processor
  • 1 oz containers with lid

Directions:

Cup open your tea bags and combine all three ingredients in food processor.  Blend on high for about 1 minute until all ingredients are turned into a powder.  Pour into your containers. Makes about 8 oz.

To Use: Add 1 Tbsp to warm water to soak feet.

Source: http://4hatsandfrugal.com/2013/06/peppermint-foot-soak.html#comment-12705

1b. Peppermint Foot Scrub:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1-2 cups of Epsom Salts (you could also use coarse sugar)
  • ½ cup warmed Coconut Oil (you could also use grapeseed, olive oil, or other carrier oil of your choice)
  • 10-15 drops of Peppermint essential oil
  • Mixing bowl
  • 1 oz containers with lid

Directions:

Mix ingredients together well in bowl to desired consistency (more or less Epsom Salts) and spoon into 1 oz containers.  Makes between 8-16 oz depending on how much salt you use.

Modified from source: http://blahblahmagazine.com.au/homemade-foot-scrub/

1c. Peppermint Foot Cream:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup raw Shea Butter
  • 2 oz Sweet Almond Oil (you could substitute jojoba or grapeseed oil if you are concerned about nut allergies)
  • 20 drops of Peppermint essential oil
    • Alternative oils: You could also use 20 drops of Lemon essential oil to make a “Lemon Custard Body Butter” or 20 drops of Lavender essential oil for a Calming Nighttime Cream!
  • Double boiler**
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer (stand up or hand would work)
  • 1 oz containers with lid (or larger 8 oz container if you do a body butter variation with alternative oils)

Directions:

Add Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Sweet Almond Oil to double boiler and heat until melted and stir.  Pour into mixing bowl, put in fridge and let cool until you can see your fingerprint in it (this could take anywhere from a few hours to overnight).  Add essential oils and use mixer to whip until it is light and fluffy like cake icing. Portion into containers. Makes about 8 oz.

**Don’t have a double boiler? No problem! Check out this homemade double boiler alternative from TipNut!

Source: http://unskinnyboppy.com/2014/09/diy-body-butter-using-essential-oils/

Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar Inspired by: http://www.thegunnysack.com/peppermint-pampering-gifts-in-jars-for-homemade-christmas-gifts/

 

Lemon Sugar Scrub

2. Lemon Sugar Scrub

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1  cup of Sugar
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil (can substitute EVOO, especially for acne-prone skin)
  • 5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 tsp Honey (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • 4 oz glass jar or decorative glass storage container

Directions:

Mix ingredients in mixing bowl and store in 4 oz glass jars (makes 2). Lemon Scrub can be used on both the body and face. It’s ideal for rough spots like feet, knees, elbows and hands. It’s also great for nail beds and cuticles.

As a body scrub: Apply to body, paying extra close attention to elbows, knees, feet and hands (nails and cuticles especially), and rub in circular motions for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse. Enjoy the silky softness of your impossibly smooth skin.

As a face scrub: The lemon and sugar scrub is also great for the face, but use with gentle circular motions. This scrub is ideal for people who suffer from breakouts and acne as all of the ingredients are highly beneficial to acne-prone skin. Lemon tightens pores and evens out the skin tone, sugar removes dead skin cells and cleans pores, olive oil heals acne scaring, and honey prevents future breakouts.  To use, apply to clean face in gentle, circular motions. Be cautious of using on open wounds, as lemon has a tendency to sting. Leave on for 7-10 minutes and rinse with cool water.

Source: Modified from several sources

You can even print FREE cute stickers using this link here: http://cincyshopper.com/diy-gifts-lemon-sugar-scrub-in-a-jar-with-free-printable-labels/

 

For the Bath Junkie

Lavender Bath Salts

3. Simple Bath Salts Recipe

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • ½ cup Baking Soda
  • 10 drops of Lavender, Stress Away or other essential oil/blend of your choice
  • Dried lavender buds (optional for use with Lavender eo) – I would include a small cotton muslin bag with the bath salts if I added dried lavender
  • Natural Food Coloring (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • 8 oz glass or metal storage container

Directions:

Mix ingredients together in mixing bowl and add to decorative 8 oz container or jar.  Optional, include a small wooden spoon and small cotton muslin bag to finish off your presentation.

Candy Cane Bath Salts

4. Candy Cane Bath Salts

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 3 pounds Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil (original recipe creator used sweet almond oil)
  • 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4-5 drops red food coloring (natural is best)
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • Air-tight clear containers for storage – I found these cute “milk” bottles in a 6-pack at Michael’s for $9.99 and they always have 40-50% off coupons so these are really affordable!
  • Labels (optional – visit source website for free downloadable labels)

Directions:

Divide the Epsom salt evenly between two large mixing bowls. In a small bowl, combine carrier oil and peppermint essential oil. Pour half the oil mixture into each of the two bowls of Epsom salt. Mix with clean hands. Add the red food coloring to one of the two bowls of Epsom salt and mix using clean hands until color is distributed throughout. Layer the bath salts in the clear containers alternating between red and white until the container is full. Seal container, label and give to a very lucky recipient.

Note: The red food coloring will tint the bath water, but original recipe creator reports having had no issues with it staining her bath tub. If you’re worried, you can easily leave out the food coloring and still get the same muscle-relieving benefits.

Source: http://www.brokenplowblog.com/2012/12/04/handmade-holiday-candy-cane-bath-salts/

Lavender Bath Bombs

5. Lavender Bath Bomb

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup powdered citric acid (found with the baking or canning supplies in “most grocery stores” – although I can never find it.  I bought mine on Amazon)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil (more or less based on your preference)
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond oil
  • Blue and red natural food coloring (optional)
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • Large glass bowl
  • 4 (4-ounce) silicone molds
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried lavender buds (optional)

Directions:

  1. If using, sprinkle the dried lavender buds into the bottom of the silicone molds (they’ll show up just at the tops of your finished bath bombs). Add the citric acid and baking soda to the glass bowl. Use a whisk to combine the mixture.
  2. Add the essential oil and almond oil to the mixture. Drop in about 4 to 5 drops each of the red and blue food coloring (if using). Use the spoon to combine the mixture very well.
  3. Add a few spritzes of water to moisten the mixture. Don’t use too much at once. Use the spoon to mix the ingredients well. The mixture should be the consistency of slightly wet sand, and should clump in your hand if you squeeze it.
  4. Use a spoon to transfer the mixture to the silicone molds. Pack it in very tightly, all the way to the top.
  5. Lay a few paper towels on a flat surface, carefully turn the mold over, and pop out the bath bombs.
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and transfer the paper towels and bath bombs to the baking sheet.  Cover with a few more paper towels and allow to dry overnight.

Celia’s Note: This recipe was a bit like a science experiment.  I had two failed attempts and had to really tweak my third attempt to get the bath bombs pictured above.  Citric acid fizzes when exposed to water so make sure to really use the spray bottle sparingly.  Also, if its humid outside (and let’s face it, it’s ALWAYS humid in Alabama) it may affect your product as well.  I found another recipe that recommends baking the bath bombs to help dry them out.  Preheat oven to 170° and then turn OFF.  Put bath bombs in oven to dry for 45 minutes.  I still had to remove the bath bombs twice during this time to press them back down into their molds before they dried out.  Read all about my Lavender Bath Bombs: Pinterest Fail!

Source: http://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/1028461/diy-lavender-bath-bombs

For the New Mom

Diaper Bag Essentials

6. Diaper Bag Essentials

Mix and match the following recipes to create an on-the-go Diaper Bag Essentials gift bag for the new moms in your life! You could find a cute cosmetic bag just big enough to hold the items you choose so she can just throw the whole thing in the diaper bag and be ready for whatever comes her way! It’s a thoughtful gift idea she can use throughout the year! Also a great gift idea for the next Baby Shower you are invited to!

DIY Hand Sanitizer
6a. Thieves Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Pure Aloe Gel
  • ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
  • 6 drops Thieves essential oil blend
  • Distilled water – I had planned to use purified bottled water
  • small squeeze bottle – I used a cleaned recycled hand sanitizer bottle

Directions:

Start with filling your squeeze bottle with aloe, about ⅔ full. Next, add the Vitamin E.  Add 6 drops of Thieves Essential Oil and give it a shake. Lastly, add a little distilled water until it is to the consistency you like.

Read my original blog post Is your hand sanitizer drying out your hands? Here’s an alcohol free DIY Thieves Hand Sanitizer recipe!

Recipe Source: http://www.eatcraftparent.com/2014/06/non-toxic-hand-sanitizer-with-essential-oils/

Don’t want to DIY it but love the idea? Check out Young Living’s Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier!

Lavender Tea Tree Diaper Rash Cream

6b. Lavender Diaper Rash Ointment

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup organic, raw unrefined shea butter
  • 1/2 cup organic, raw coconut oil
  • 5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
    • Other optional oils to add are Roman Chamomile, Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifola) for a bad diaper rash, or Gentle Baby essential oil blend
  • 1 tbsp. beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax
  • For Disposable Diapers – 3 tbsp. zinc oxide powder (optional – you can use arrowroot or cornstarch if you prefer not to use zinc oxide)
  • For Cloth Diapers – 3 tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable glycerine or aloe vera gel (optional, for added nutrients and skin protection)
  • Double boiler**
  • Mixer (stand or handheld)

Directions:

In a double boiler, place the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil in the top pan and bring to a boil. Leave in the pan long enough to melt all the shea butter and beeswax (5 minutes or less).

Remove from the heat and add essential oils.  Mix well and place in the refrigerator for a few hours – one to two. The cooling step is a very important part of the emulsifying process and cannot be skipped!

Once cooled (it will be harder), scoop into your mixer. A hand mixer should work just fine, too. Then, add the 3 tbsp. of zinc oxide  (or arrowroot or cornstarch) and the 2 tbsp. of optional vegetable glycerin and beat for 5 to 10 minutes. The beating lets oxygen circulate through the cream to fluff it up and thicken it.

It will look creamy and oily when you’re done, but after several hours it will thicken up A LOT. It’s just as thick as store bought ointment and way less toxic!

Celia’s note: I’m sad to say I’ve had several opportunities to use this recipe since I originally made it and it is WONDERFUL!!! I added Tea Tree oil to mine and it has done wonders to help alleviate discomfort and knock out diaper rashes on my little one in a day, maybe two if its really bad.   I now keep a jelly jar on the changing table and a small recycled Gerber baby food jar in my diaper bag (the image above the “Diaper Bag Essentials” heading is actually my diaper bag stash).  I’m about to transfer a jar into a plastic container to send to daycare because it works better than the store bought stuff! I will never run out of this stuff!!!

Source: http://mymerrymessylife.com/2012/07/homemade-diaper-rash-cream-green-non-toxic.html

ouchie

6c. Ouchie Roll-On: For Life’s Little Scrapes and Bruises

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 20 drops of Lavender oil
  • 15 drops of Frankincense oil
    • Bonus: 30 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.  Apply directly to the affected area.

Read my original post Ouchie! For Life’s Scrapes & Bruises

Stain Remover on the Go

6d. Stain Remover On-the-Go

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 capful Thieves cleaner
  • Distilled water
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add 1 capful of Thieves cleaner to roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to slowly fill the roll-on the rest of the way with distilled water.  To use:  Rinse stain with cool water.  Gently shake roll-on and apply directly to stain.  Wash normally when you get home.

Source: I wish I knew… I found that picture above being shared over and over in Facebook groups I’m a member of and for the life of me I cannot find the original source.  If it is your image and/or recipe, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

Thieves Household Cleaner is not currently a part of the standard Premium Starter Kit as most of the suggested oils in these recipes are but you can add it to your order at signup if you are interested.  I promise, you won’t regret it! A little goes a long way and I use it to clean everything!!!  Kitchen counters, bathtub, shower curtains, high chairs… I even add it to my laundry! Or you can get started with the Thieves Premium Starter Kit that includes TWO of each of the following: 14.4 oz Thieves Household Cleaners, Foaming Hand Soaps, Thieves Sprays, and Thieves Waterless Hand Purifiers, plus a 15 ml bottle of Thieves essential oil blend, AromaBright Toothpaste, and Fresh Essence Mouthwash with a BONUS Stress Away essential oil blend and roller fitment for easy application.   That’s enough to share with your friends and family for more Holiday gift ideas!!!

 

Gifts for Him

For Any Man

Vapor Discs

7. Homemade “Vicks” Vapor Shower Discs

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Baking Soda (approximately 2-3 cups)
  • Water
  • 15-20 drops of R.C. essential oil blend
  • 15 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin liners
  • Mason jar or other cute packaging container – here are mine all wrapped up!

Vicks - wrapped

Directions:

Add Baking Soda to mixing bowl.  Slowly add water until you’ve made a thick paste.  Just a little water goes a long way.  You want it to be the consistency of putty.  Add essential oil blend.  Spoon the mixture into lined muffin tin and let sit for 12-18 hours until hardened.  (You could also bake them to speed up this process, approximately 20 minutes at 350° – but if you do this add the essential oils after the discs come out of the oven to avoid damaging the therapeutic properties of the oils).

To Use: Place one shower disc anywhere in the bottom of your tub and let the steam from your hot shower release the essential oils to create an invigorating shower experience.  Especially enjoyable during the changing of the seasons or anytime you might suffer from a stuffy nose or congestion to help open up the sinuses and breathe easier!

Modified from source:  http://beingfrugalbychoice.com/2012/03/homemade-vicks-vapor-shower-disks.html

This is practically the same recipe but with different oils as my Diaper Pail Deodorant Discs.  Super easy recipe to follow and so worth it (plus another gift idea for the new mom)! Check em out!

Icy-Hot Muscle Rub

8. “Icy Hot” Muscle Rub

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup Beeswax Pastilles (or grated beeswax)
  • 2 tsp Cayenne powder
  • 2 tsp Ginger or Tumeric powder (Optional alternative: I bet Ginger essential oil would be an awesome addition!)
  • 15 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops Lavender essential oil
  • Double boiler**
  • Glass or metal containers to package

Directions:

Add coconut oil and beeswax to double boiler.  Bring water to a boil and stir until all beeswax is melted.  Add cayenne and ginger (or turmeric) powders and stir to distribute evenly throughout the mixture.  Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes but not long enough to harden.  Add essential oils and mix well.  Pour into decorate glass or metal storage containers.

Note: This will have an “icy hot” sort of feel to it.  Since peppermint oil is a “hot” oil and the recipe calls for cayenne pepper, have your friends or family do a patch test first to see how their skin will react to the rub.  You can always add less essential oil and/or cayenne or more coconut oil and beeswax (try to keep the same proportions to maintain consistency) if they have sensitive skin.

Modified from source: http://draxe.com/homemade-muscle-rub/

Ache Away

9. “Ache Away” Roll-On

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 10 drops each of PanAway essential oil blend, Peppermint, Frankincense, and Lavender essential oils
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.  Apply directly to the affected area.  Great for use on sore muscles, a crick in your neck or even a headache!

Note: Peppermint and PanAway are “hot” oils so have your friends or family member do a small patch test first to see how they react.  You can always add less essential oils or more carrier oil if they have sensitive skin.

 

For the Lumber Sexual

Black Spruce Beard Balm

(The image above is the recipe I made for my husband.  It is a modification of the recipe below because when I went to make it I realized I was out of Stress Away!!! It was a sad, sad day… However, I’m pleased to report that my husband LOVES this stuff!!! It’s a tried and true recipe for the bearded men in your life, approved by my not-so-crunchy baby daddy!)

10. Stress Away Beard Balm

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax
  • 1 tsp Shea Butter
  • 1 tsp Jojoba  Oil or Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1 tsp Argan Oil
  • 4 drops Vitamin E Oil (or the oil from 2 Vitamin E capsules)
  • 2-3 drops of Stress Away or other essential oil blend
    • Customizable with other oils! Feel free to change it up by using other essential oils of your choosing.  Some suggestions are:
      • Northern Lights Black Spruce (pictured) smells amazing! Nice and woodsy, sure to please any outdoorsman!
      • Sandalwood and cinnamon oils combined to give a sexy spiced winter aroma
      • Eucalyptus or tea tree oil can be added to combat blemish prone skin
      • Peppermint oil can be used as an extra anti-itch ingredient
      • Geranium oil is fantastic to calm reddened or inflamed skin
  • Double boiler**
  • 2 oz tin or other storage container

Directions:

Melt beeswax, shea butter, and carrier oils in double boiler.  Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Add Vitamin E oil and Stress Away essential oil blend (or your choice of essential oils). Stir mixture well, pour into container and allow to solidify overnight.

Modified from source: http://www.beautybythegeeks.com/diy-beard-balm-for-men/

Check out http://www.jebiga.com/10-diy-beard-oil-recipes/ for more DIY Beard oils, balms, butters, and mustache waxes for the Lumber Sexual in your life!

 

For the Preppy Businessman

shaving cream image

11. Shaving Cream

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Shea Butter
  • ¼ cup Sweet Almond Oil (or jojoba or grapeseed if you are worried about nut allergies)
  • 2 tsp Vitamin E oil (about 2 capsules)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Baking Soda (you could substitute Arrowroot powder or Kaolin clay if your man has a baking soda sensitivity)
  • 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice
    • Stress Away would smell lovely and is a “Dude Approved” fragrance
    • Lavender would help soothe skin irritation
    • Peppermint would be a nice and uplifting way to get his morning started
    • Other options and combos may include: Sandalwood, Peppermint & Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Orange & Clove… the possibilities are endless!
  • Double boiler** (or microwave safe dish)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer (stand or hand)
  • Small airtight container or jar (I love the moustache ribbon in the source image above!)

Directions:

Place Coconut Oil and Shea Butter in double boiler (or microwave safe dish) and heat until melted.  Remove from heat and add Sweet Almond oil and essential oils of your choice. Stir until well blended.  Place in fridge until mixture is almost solid. Remove from fridge, add baking soda, and whip until light and fluffy.  Transfer to container or jar.

Recipe and Image Source:  http://www.couponsandfreebiesmom.com/2014/11/homemade-mens-shaving-cream.html#_a5y_p=2813726

Young Living also has Brand NEW Shutran Shave Cream for men and Mirah Shave Oil for women that they just added last month! (Note: at the time of this blog entry my website does not currently have these products listed but you can still purchase them at signup if you are interested).

 

For the Motor Head

Hand Degreaser

12. Hand Degreaser

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp Epsom Salts (I found that 2 Tbsp was too runny)
  • 4-6 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 2 oz glass bottle or salve jar

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a 2 oz glass bottle or salve jar.  To use, shake bottle or mix ingredients, dump out a little on hands and rub together.

Modified from source: http://www.abundanthealth4u.com/v/vspfiles/downloadables/AbundantHealth_Holiday_Gift_Guide_2014.pdf

 

Gifts for the Whole Family

For Anyone

Orange Cedawood Lotion Bars

(A modification of the recipe below)

13. Lotion Bars:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of raw honey (optional)
  • 2 oz* Beeswax pastilles
  • 2 oz*  Shea Butter (or Cocoa Butter – would be nice for a subtle hint of chocolate, especially with Peppermint essential oil)
  • 2 oz* coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6-10 drops of essential oils of your choice
    • Lavender and/or Frankincense to soothe cracked and irritated skin.
    • Lemon for an energizing fresh citrus fragrance
    • Peppermint for an uplifting scent and holiday favorite
    • Other nice fragrance combinations: Orange & Cedarwood or Northern Lights Black Spruce for a manly fragrance; Abundance for a hint of Fall; Gold (Honey), Frankincense & Myrrh for a special Christmas blend
  • Double boiler
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin liners (paper or silicone)
  • Mason jar or other large jar to gift multiple bars to single person/family or small container or tin to gift one to a single person or as part of a gift basket

*Note: 1 oz is approximately 2 Tbsp

Directions:

In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax,  shea butter, and coconut oil until they become a smooth, uniform liquid.  Remove from heat and add the olive oil, honey, and essential oil drops. Mix well. In a muffin tin lined with muffin liners (reusable silicone works great!), ladle the mixture evenly between the lined cupcake wells. Allow to set (or harden) on the counter for 7 to 8 hours, or pop in the fridge to speed up the process.

Celia’s Note: I’ve found that my honey tends to settle out of the mixture when cooling.  It was less likely to happen when the bars cooled in the fridge but still settled some.  I just wipe with a damp paper towel to get the sticky off then allow to dry before packaging.

Modified from source: http://www.thankyourbody.com/orange-honey-lotion-bars/

 

raspberry-mint-lip-balm-1(Color optional)

14. Raspberry Mint Lip Balm (with SPF)

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Red Raspberry Seed Oil (sadly, this does not smell like raspberries but that does mean that it’s man friendly if you leave out the tint!)
  • 1 tsp beeswax
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E oil
  • 1/8 – 1/16 tsp Pink Mica (optional if you want a tinted lip balm) – I got mine on Amazon (Rose Red Mica Powder). They have a variety of color choices.
  • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • Double boiler**
  • Small tins or lib balm tubes for packaging

Directions:

Add Red Raspberry Seed oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil and Pink Mica (optional) to double boiler and heat until melted.  Stir well and remove from heat.  Let cool a moment then add Peppermint essential oil.  Stir until well mixed.  Pour into tin or lip balm tubes.

Note: Red Raspberry Seed oil has an approximate SPF of 28-50 so it will help protect your lips from the sun!

Recipe and Image Source: http://jenniraincloud.com/raspberry-mint-lip-balm-w-spf/

 

Winter Wellness Gift Basket

15. Winter Wellness Gift Basket Ideas:

Mix and Match the following gift ideas to create the perfect Winter Wellness gift basket for the whole family!

 

15a. Thieves Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

see recipe above under “Diaper Bag Essentials”

Breathe Easy15b. Breathe Easy Roll-On

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 15 drops each of R.C., Peppermint, Lemon, and Frankincense
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.   Apply to chest to help you breathe easier or to bridge of nose for more severe congestion.  Note: Be careful to avoid eyes as Peppermint is a “hot” oil and can burn or cause your eyes to water.

 

15c. Homemade “Vicks” Vapor Shower Discs

see recipe above “Gifts for Any Man”

Thieves Lozenges
15d. Thieves Lozenges

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ¾ cup of Raw (preferably local) Honey
  • 15 drops Thieves essential oil blend
  • 5 drops Lemon essential oil
  • Powdered sugar to coat
  • Pot
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Parchment paper or non-stick food mat
  • Knife or scissors
  • Glass jar or other storage container
  • Wax paper to make wrappers (optional)

Directions:

Bring honey to a boil and heat to 300° (use candy thermometer).  Let cool slightly and add Theives and Lemon essential oils.  Stir until combined. Once it has thickened slightly, place on parchment paper or no-stick food mat and roll into a long tube while it is still warm.  Cut into small pieces and coat lightly with powdered sugar (helps prevent them from sticking together).  I’ve also seen other sources suggest pouring into a small candy mold or rolling into little balls.  You can wrap individually using small pieces of wax paper (optional) or just package unwrapped in glass jar or storage container.

Source: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/481814860110843414/

 

Love this idea but not a candy maker? Young Living takes the guess work out of it and made them for you! Check out their Thieves Hard Lozenges!

 

Thieves Tea
15e. Bonus idea: Thieves Tea for Winter Wellness:

Include a 15 ml bottle of Thieves (+ optional Lemon essential oil) and Thieves Tea Recipe Card with your favorite Herbal Tea Sampler

Thieves Tea recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water or your favorite herbal tea
  • 1 drop Thieves essential oil blend
  • 2-3 drops Lemon essential oil (optional)
  • Raw honey (to taste)

Directions:

Heat water or brew tea as directed.  Add drops of essential oil(s) and honey to sweeten to taste.  Drink as often as necessary for immune support.  (Optional: Add 1 drop Frankincense oil and/or Peppermint oil for added support).

email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com for a printable recipe card pdf file

 

Thieves Diffuser
15f. Bonus idea:

A Dewdrop, Bamboo, or even Rainstone or Aria Diffuser with essential oils of your choice (Thieves, R.C., or Christmas Spirit are wonderful gift ideas for the holiday season) are always a welcome gift!

 Gifts for the Kids

Sensory Play-Doh

16. Sensory “Play-Doh”

Ingredients & Supplies (makes one batch):

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • Natural food coloring (your choice)
  • 10-20 drops of essential oils (depending on how strong you want your fragrance).  Oil and color pairing ideas below (but feel free to use your imagination!):
    • Lemon essential oil and yellow food coloring
    • Orange or Citrus Fresh essential oil and orange food coloring
    • Frankincense or Thieves essential oils and red food coloring
    • Peppermint essential oil and blue or green food coloring
    • Stress Away or Peace & Calming essential oil and green food coloring
    • Lavender or Valor essential oil and purple food coloring
  • Mixing bowl

Directions:

Stir together salt, flour, cream of tartar and oil in a big bowl. Add the boiling water and keep stirring until it forms a dough. When it’s mixed pretty thoroughly and has had a chance to cool a bit, add the essential oil and food coloring. Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed into the dough. This takes a while, but keep working at it! And be careful, because it could still be really hot!

Note: ALL of the above ingredients are SAFE to ingest so if you have a youngster who still occasionally likes to eat play-doh, you can rest assured that while this play dough is definitely salty, it contains no harmful chemicals!

Celia’s note: The above recipe makes one BIG batch! I divided my batch into 6 smaller batches before adding my essential oils and food coloring. I used a couple drops each of food coloring and 2-3 drops of essential oil. My mom had also found me some Gerber plastic baby food containers (see pic) from one of her friends that were the perfect size for storing a little of the play-doh. I will tell you that after sitting for a week my dough got a little sticky but this is easily solved by adding a bit more flour. Also, my natural food coloring seemed to color shift over time. So be aware of these issues and maybe do a test batch before wrapping up. I probably wouldn’t make it too far ahead of time. I have no idea how long it would last (certainly not as long as store bought play-doh) but it’s easy to mix up a new batch if necessary!

Inspired by source:  http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/52159/lemon-essential-oil-playdough?utm_source=loveandmarriageblog.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange

Also check out http://loveandmarriageblog.com/10-essential-oils-playdough-recipes/  for even more sensory play dough ideas using essential oils (ß she even has a link to free printable play dough mats that you can include for the kiddos!)

Sensory Bath Crayons

17. Sensory Bath “Crayons”

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Glycerin Soap (I found mine at Michael’s but you can get some really nice soap options on Amazon)
  • Natural food coloring
  • Couple drops of Essential Oils of your choice. Oil and color pairing ideas below (but feel free to use your imagination!):
    • Lemon essential oil and yellow food coloring
    • Frankincense or Thieves essential oils and red food coloring
    • Peppermint essential oil and blue or green food coloring
    • Stress Away essential oil and green food coloring
    • Lavender essential oil and purple food coloring
  • A microwavable bowl
  • Silicone Mold(s) – you can find Jello brand molds in cute shapes and sizes that would work as well
  • Packaging materials of your choice – I found these clear plastic treat baggies at Michael’s in the cakes and candies section, they also had ones with cute little holiday pictures, and used curling ribbon to tie them off.

Directions:

Most of the Glycerin soap comes in a block that can be cut into little cubes, something like 1-2” square if yours doesn’t.  I would start with maybe 2 cubes in your microwavable bowl.  Heat for approximately 30 seconds until all the soap is melted.  Once melted, add a few drops of your natural food coloring and essential oils of choice (you can always add more if you desire a richer color or stronger scent.  Remember, richer colors are likely to show up better when coloring but a little essential oil goes a long way!) and stir until well mixed.  Pour into your silicone mold.  The size and shape of your mold will determine how many crayons you will get from each batch.  Repeat with desired color and fragrance combos.  Let cool for several hours (you can put in fridge to speed up this process) until your crayons are hardened.  Once completely cooled package in multi- or single color packages.   I packaged my crayons in a clear plastic bag tied with curling ribbon since the colors of the crayons were so pretty to begin with!

Modified from Source: http://www.bathactivitiesforkids.com/2013/03/homemade-bath-crayons.html

Monster Spray

18. “Go Away Monster (Sleepytime) Spray”

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 4 oz Distilled Water
  • 4 oz Unscented Witch Hazel
  • 16+ drops of Lavender essential oil
    • Bonus:  You could also include several drops of other “sleepytime” oils like Cedarwood, Peace & Calming, Gentle Baby, Valor, etc.
  • 8 oz glass spray bottle
  • A cute label (email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com for a high quality png of the image I made that you can print out on sticky paper)

Go AwayMonster Spray

Directions:

Mix ingredients in an 8 oz glass spray bottle.  Print a cute label on sticky paper and add to bottle. Shake well before using and spray around your child’s room at night, especially under the bed and in closets, to scare away the monsters and promote a restful night’s sleep!

 

 

 

 

 

Where to buy your Supplies:

PSK with Diffuser Choices

 Young Living essential oils:

I only use Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils because of their commitment to quality and Seed to Seal guarantee.   All the primary oils suggested in the recipes above are part of Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit. The PSK comes with 11 essential oils and blends:

  1. Lavender
  2. Lemon
  3. Frankincense
  4. Peppermint
  5. Copaiba
  6. DiGize blend – for tummy troubles
  7. Thieves blend – for wellness
  8. Purification blend – for all things stinky
  9. PanAway blend – for aches and pains
  10. R.C. blend – to breathe easier
  11. BONUS: Stress Away blend – the name says it all!

Plus, you get to build your dream kit by picking a diffuser of your choice (additional cost for some of the diffuser options), plus awesome samples, an attachable roller fitment so you can easily apply your favorite oil, and 10 sample bottles!

The baseline kit with the Dewdrop diffuser is a small investment of $160 but the retail value of everything you get above is over $330!!! That’s a savings of over $170! Say What!?! Plus, think of all the money you can save this year by making all your own DIY Holiday Gifts for everyone on your list! It’s a no brainer!  Send me a message or email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com to learn more about how you can order yours today and save an additional 24% off retail on all future orders or to ask ANY questions you may have about essential oils or DIY home, health, and beauty products!  Ready to order now? Visit my page How to Get Essential Oils at Wholesale Pricing to sign up today!

Carrier Oils:

I prefer Carrington Farms brand of Coconut Oil for cooking and DIY beauty products available at Costco.

For fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond, Red Raspberry and other carrier oils I have had really good luck with the Dr. Adorable brand of oils available for purchase on Amazon.

Beeswax and Butters:

Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon both have a good selection to choose from.  If you are an Amazon Prime member you will enjoy the free 2 day shipping, especially as the holidays rapidly approach!

Glycerin Soap:

Michael’s has clear Glycerin soap for approximately $9.99 per package (make sure to check out their website for coupons – they often have either 40 or 50% off a single item!).  You can also find some really nice soap options on Amazon if you want a more gentle formula or extra ingredients like goat’s milk, etc.

Natural Food Coloring:

I ordered mine on Amazon (India Tree Natural Decorating Colors) although natural food/health stores may have some.  I honestly didn’t look really hard.  I know Kroger does NOT have it.  I just bought a set with the primary colors and mixed my own secondary and tertiary colors myself.

Citric Acid:

Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon both have Citric Acid for a reasonable price.  I got mine at Amazon (Food Grade Citric Acid) because I had another order ready to process and I have free shipping through Prime.  But my next order will likely be from Mountain Rose Herbs (Citric Acid) because I have some other supplies I need to order.  It’s a little cheaper at MRH but you will have to pay shipping so unless you have a bunch of stuff to order it’s not really worth it in my opinion.

Glass Spray Bottles, Roller Bottles, and other Packaging:

I’ve found that Kroger often has the Mason or Bell canning and preserve jars (4 oz and 8 oz) for pretty cheap.  I’m sure WalMart would have them for a good price too if you shop there.  Target doesn’t have a very big selection although they do have a few canning supplies.  They were a bit more expensive as well.

Michael’s often has really cute supplies for packaging (plus, they always have coupons on their website).  I got several of my glass jars for this class there. Always check their discount aisle right as you check out.  I also shop at Michael’s for ribbon, tags, labels and stickers to use to put the finishing touches on my gifts.  You could be as rustic, vintage, modern, or fancy as you can imagine with just a few extra supplies!

Shop around for the best prices on roller bottles (make sure they have stainless steel rollers because citrus and other oils can break down plastic over time and you want to be able to reuse them) and spray bottles.  Quality and prices vary greatly so make sure to read reviews if you are shopping from a retailer not on this list.

  • If you are a Young Living wholesale member, there is a secret Facebook group ran by another YL member that has really excellent selection of products for a good price. She buys in bulk so her items are usually pretty inexpensive and always the best quality.  She also offers multiple item discounts to buyers as well.  PM me on Facebook and I’ll add you to this group.
  • Amazon always has a good selection and the benefits of free 2 day shipping with a Prime membership often make Amazon the best choice, especially this close to the holidays.
  • A lot of YL members swear by Glass Bottle Outlet although I’ve never shopped there.
  • Life Science Publishing (they are the publishing company that puts out the Essential Oil Desk/Pocket/Quick Reference Guides) also has some supplies.
  • Abundant Health is another popular supplier of essential oil references and supplies.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Need last minute Holiday gift ideas that won’t break the bank??? Here’s a DIY Holiday Gift Guide to help! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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DIY & Natural Teething Solutions for the Natural Family

My little girl is growing up… I’m not sure I’m quite ready for this yet.  But there’s nothing I can do to slow it down so I am bracing myself for all that is to come.  Currently, we are teething.  Honestly, we’ve been pretty lucky so far compared to some of the mamas in my beloved Sugar Plums support group.  When we went to the pediatrician for her 4 month checkup I mentioned that I thought she was teething.  My pediatrician, who is pretty conservative with recommendations (which is one of the reasons we chose him – but sadly he’s not super hip on homeopathic or naturally minded interventions), assured me that all babies drool and chew on things like she had been and that it could be a couple weeks or months before she started “officially” teething.  Well in this case, Mommy was right.  2 weeks later her first tooth was visible.  1 week after that it had already cut through and her second tooth was visible.  She’s currently 5 1/2 months and both teeth are well on their way and I suspect that the top two teeth won’t be too far behind either.  We’ve been lucky to have very little irritability or sleep disturbances, no fever, and none of the diaper rash that is commonly associated with teething babies so far.  But I can tell she is uncomforable and while it was initially okay to let her gnaw on our fingers or hands those new little teefers are sharp! So we’ve been trying to find natural teething solutions to help her out.  Today I thought I would share some of the things we’ve been doing with you!

 

teething oil

1. Homemade Teething Oil – Given my love of essential oils, one of my first strategies to help alleviate some of the discomfort that my little one was having as a result of cutting new teeth was to turn to my go-to resource for essential oils and babies: Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern.  In the book, she suggests using Orange, Frankincense, or Copaiba oil diluted 1:30 with a carrier oil applied directly to the affected area.  I had Frankincense on hand as one of the Everyday Oils collection I got as part of Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit (message me for more information on how to get your new and improved Premium Starter Kit and wholesale membership!) and I had an empty 5 ml amber glass bottle (which holds an estimated 100 drops) so I put 3 drops of Frankincense in the bottle and almost filled the bottle with olive oil as my carrier oil (I figured this was easier than dropping out 33 drops of my carrier oil but feel free to be more exact if you’d like).  Olive oil is a key ingredient in our regular recipes in our home so figured it would be a good oil to get her used to tasting.  Plus, I figured it might taste better than the Frankincense and mask the flavor better than say coconut oil.  But you could use a carrier oil of your choice.  I just rub a little of the Teething Oil on my finger and let her gnaw on me for a min to get the oil to the affected area.  It does seem to provide some relief.  I wish I had Copaiba (now available as part of the new PSK and on my wish list for sure!) to help boost the power of the frankincense and provide added relief.

 

DIY Beeswax Wood Sealant

2. DIY Beeswax Wood Sealant for Wooden Teething Rings and Toys – You’ve probably seen the wooden teething rings and toys that are available online and through local boutiques.  They are really popular among the crunchy granola parenting crowds.  In fact, one of my best friends bought me this great organic wood owl rattle that had been treated with organic jojoba oil/beeswax polish.  It’s beautiful and we love it! (You can buy the same rattle here) But of course I thought to myself, surely I can DIY some sort of similar all natural wood sealant and create my own wooden teething rings and toys.  So I set out to the amazing Google and found a recipe  from The Modern DIY Life blog that worked beautifully!

DIY Beeswax Wood Sealant:

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • Olive Oil – We use the Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Costco
  • Beeswax – I prefer the Beeswax Pastilles from Mountain Rose Herbs because they melt really easily, but you could shave off bits from a solid block if that’s what you have on hand
  • Double Boiler
  • Glass Storage Container or Jar with Lid
  • Wooden Teething Rings (or toys) – I bought my untreated wooden teething rings here from Amazon

Directions:

The basic recipe is 1 part beeswax to 3 parts olive oil (although you could use jojoba or another oil if you preferred).  You want to combine your beeswax and olive oil in double boiler, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly melted.  Dip your teething rings or wooden toys into oil/wax mixture and set out on wax paper to dry.  Pour the remainder sealant in your glass container for future usage.  I used a paper towel to wipe off excess sealant and rub the rest into the wood really well.  When it is no longer wet to the touch you are done! Now you can use the toy or make a craft with your finished product.  See the next two teething solutions for ideas of what you can do with natural wooden teething rings! 

Teething Necklace 1 Teething Necklace 2

3. DIY Teething Necklace – This is a necklace that you wear while holding baby, nursing, or even babywearing.  Not only does it give them something to fidget with and help entertain them but it is made using wooden teething rings (sealed using the sealant recipe above) so it is perfect for those new little chompers to gnaw on!  Mine was inspired by these on Etsy! So if you don’t want to DIY it, go on over to Life Circles Necklaces and order you one (she also sells Baltic Amber necklaces – see below for more info)!

DIY Teething Necklace:

Supplies:

  • Wooden Teething Rings, sealed using recipe above
  • Donut gemstone bead – I get mine at Fire Mountain Gems.  Since my Pepperlonely wooden teething rings had an inside opening of 38 mm I purchased a donut bead (I used Labradorite because it’s one of my favorites!) that was 30 mm in diameter to make sure it would fit
  • Organic bamboo, cotton, or hemp cord

Directions:

I cut a length of cord a little longer than I wanted it.  I looped it through itself around the donut and tied a knot around the teething ring.  Tie a knot at the end.  Easy Peasy! Honestly, I wish my cord was a bit thicker.  I expect that it will eventually break.  I may actually try braiding pieces to have a thicker cord.  You can also had wooden or silicone beads to the cord to jazz it up a bit!

Teething Necklace 3 

She had no problem figuring out what this necklace was for! Perfect jewelry for babywearing! 

 

 

wooden teether

4. DIY “Rabbit Ear” Wooden Teether – I kept seeing these awesome “rabbit ear” wooden teethers on etsy and on the Aden & Anais swaddle b/s/t Facebook groups online (I’m a total A&A junkie!  We especially love the bamboo swaddles!) and thought surely these can’t be that hard to make!  I made mine up as I went, but here is a great step by step tutorial I found on Pinterest.

DIY “Rabbit Ear” Wooden Teether (with optional Crinkle)

Supplies:

  • Pattern
  • Material for “Rabbit Ears” – I chose a patterned cotton for the front and Minky for the back, both of which were scraps from other projects.  You could use pretty much anything you had on hand. I’d consider using terry or fleece for the back and have seen super cute teethers made out of muslin swaddle scraps! Or if you had wrap scrap materials on hand you could make a teether to match your favorite babywearing wrap!
  • Crinkle material (optional) – I upcycled the packaging from baby wipes.
  • Teething ring, sealed using sealant recipe above
  • Sewing Machine – although I suppose you could sew it by hand… I wouldn’t want to
  • Thread, Pins, Scissors, etc.

Directions:

  1. I started by drawing out a pattern on a paper bag (I always use paper bags to create my patterns on – it’s a great way to upcycle plus it’s tough enough you can draw, erase, and pin to your fabric while cutting without it tearing apart).  My pattern is about 12″ long, about 2.25-2.5″ wide in the middle with the “ears” being about 3″ wide and about 3″ from tip to where it narrows in the middle.  Honestly, in hindsight, I’ll probably lengthen the pattern a bit and make it a bit skinnier in the middle next time I make one.  Feel free to play around with the dimensions.
  2. Cut your fabric and crinkle material using the pattern.  Place your fabric together “right side” to “right side.” Pin it together with the crinkle material behind the “wrong side” of one of your pieces of fabric.  Do NOT put the crinkle material in between your fabric as you want it on the inside when you turn your rabbit ears rightside out.
  3. Use your sewing machine (or sew by hand) to sew around the edges of your material using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Leave a section open on one of the ears.  Flip your fabric rightside out through the opening.  You may need a pencil or something to help you get the points of the ears situated right.  Close opening – I chose to sew it up by hand.
  4. Use your sewing machine (or sew by hand) to stitch around the outside of the fabric, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance, to give it a finished look.
  5. Loop the fabric around the teething ring and pull the ears taught

** If you have a serger you could actually serge the edges of the material together instead of all the sewing and flipping rightside out that I did.  But I don’t have a serger and honestly don’t sew enough to justify the cost.  However, I’ve seen really cute teethers made this way.

 

teething biscuits

5. Homemade Teething Biscuits – They aren’t super pretty but they are super healthy and avoid all the junk in store-bought teething biscuits – like enriched flour (which means they have to add back in nutrients like calcium, iron, and zinc), sugar, or preservatives like tocopherols.  I found lots of teething biscuit recipes on Pinterest (my go-to resource for all things DIY) but really liked the recipes I found on Mama Natural’s blog.  To see the original recipes, check out her blog post How To Make Healthy Teething Biscuits.

Basic Teething Biscuit Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. steel cut oats (grind oats in blender till they’re a flour consistency)
  • 1 c. organic apple sauce – I made my own (see my DIY Baby Food Recipes blog post for directions and other recipe ideas!)
  • 2 TB maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut (optional – I left this out)

Substitutions:

Use 1 cup mashed bananas or pumpkin puree instead of apple sauce

Directions: 

Mix dry ingredients. Add in applesauce (or banana or pumpkin puree), vanilla extract, syrup, and melted oil. Mix well with spoon. I formed shapes I liked – the original author suggests “date-like” shapes but I preferred to make little rectangles, onto a greased baking sheet.  I greased with coconut oil but you could also use parchment paper. Bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven. Make sure to flip them halfway through so that you have a nice golden crisp on both sides of the biscuits. The original author suggests that you store in uncovered dish for at least 24 hours which will harden them further. You can also put in freezer and serve cold for extra teething relief!

**The little one LOVES the teething biscuits! And honestly, they taste good enough for me to eat like a cookie! Feel free to modify the recipe to make healthy cookies for the whole family! 🙂

 

amber necklace

6. Baltic Amber Necklaces (or Bracelets) – I’ve left the Baltic Amber necklaces for last because there will inevitably be some skeptic who yells at me about them stating that not only do they not work but they are dangerous.  So I’ll share what I know, including the pros and cons that I’ve researched and trust that you will do your own research and make the decision that best fits with your family’s beliefs and needs.  So here goes!

First off, lets address a common misconception: Baltic Amber teething necklaces are NOT for the baby to chew on.  If they can chew on the necklace, it’s too long!

Proponents of Baltic Amber teething necklaces will tell you that Baltic Amber has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, is electromagnetic and produces natural organic energy, is anti-microbial, contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals, has a slight sedative effect, and activates the solar plexus and root chakras.  Now you may immediately write it off as hippy propaganda and while the science is debatable there is some truth to these statements. First off, the Baltic Amber teething necklaces are thought to work on one of two mechanisms:

1) Baltic Amber contains succinic acid (true) which is suggested to have the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects (some evidence – mostly anecdotal but there are a few, and far between, empirical studies researching this claim).  Succinic acid is a natural ingredient in many fruits and vegetables (true) and an additive in many vitamin supplements and food products (true).  Also known as Succinate, succinic acid can often be found as an ingredient in OTC supplements used to treat arthritis and joint pain (true).

  • Proponents of the Baltic Amber teething necklaces suggest that when the amber is worn against the skin the body heat activates the succinic acid which is then absorbed by the skin and has an analgesic effect.  There is no doubt that amber does indeed contain succinic acid but the question arises as to whether body heat is sufficient to release the succinic acid and/or whether or not the succinic acid can be absorbed through the skin to have the same affect as taken internally as a dietary supplement.

2) Baltic Amber has an electromagnetic charge (true) which reduces pain and inflammation (debatable). There are a great deal of products on the market that claim to use electromagnetic energy to reduce pain (true).  But some studies claim that there is no significant reduction in pain using electromagnetic pulses and may, in fact, contribute to electro-sensitivity (true).

  • When amber is rubbed it does tend to produce an electromagnetic charge which will attract light bodies and magnetic iron ore.  Ancient Greeks suggested that when rubbed long enough amber would even produce an electric spark.  The question becomes, however, whether or not the rubbing of amber against the skin produces enough electromagnetic energy to be comparable to electromagnetic pulse therapy.

But the anecdotal evidence is strong. Baltic Amber specifically is a resin from pine trees that grew in Northern Europe around the Baltic sea as many as 300 million years ago.  It is harvested from the Baltic Sea floor by scraping the floor with nets and collecting the resin from tangles in seaweed and sand at ebb-tide. Baltic Amber has been used throughout history for pain management.  It is highly prized among the Nordic people, Celts, Mediterranean peoples, Arabs, Egyptians, Chinese  and Greeks for it’s beauty as well as healing properties. Those who subscribe to the idea of Chakras claim that it helps balance the Chakras by filling the body with vitality, alleviating stress, and drawing disease out of the body.  Because it is non-toxic, mother’s have been using Baltic Amber to treat teething pain for many years.

Risks with using Baltic Amber teething necklaces: I would be remiss if I did not address the risks involved with using Baltic Amber teething necklaces.  These are definite concerns and the biggest argument against using teething necklaces on babies and children.  As a result of the risks below Canada and Australia now require warnings on amber teething necklaces and France and Switzerland have even outlawed their sales in pharmacies.

  • Strangulation – the most common cited example of strangulation hazards and teething necklaces comes out of Australia where a young mom let her daughter sleep in her amber necklace and went to wake her from a nap to find that the toddler had gotten her arm twisted up in her necklace and cut her airway off.  Thankfully the mother found her daughter in time and she did not suffer any lasting consequences of the very scary event.
    • Some proponents of Baltic Amber teething necklaces will tell you their child sleeps in their necklace nightly and not to worry.  You can find blogs and forums all over the internet with similar stories of no harm done.  They argue that teething pain is still painful while their child is sleeping and that they want their child to benefit from the jewelry 24/7. But realistically, it only takes once and those who are proponents but advocate for safe use of Baltic Amber jewelry will suggest removing necklaces at night and during nap time, as well as any time your child is not directly supervised.  They suggest if you want your child to wear the necklace 24/7 to remove it from the neck and place it wrapped around your child’s ankle under a sock or in footed pajamas during nap and night time.
    • However, a correctly fitted Baltic Amber teething necklace would not allow enough room for a child to get their arm up under the necklace.  Find out how to get the proper fit here.
    • Some retailers also offer bracelets and anklets as suitable alternatives.
  • Choking hazard – amber teething necklaces do contain lots of small beads, this is true.  Therefor it is a logical conclusion that small parts = choking hazard.  If a child were to swallow several small amber beads all at once there is a definite risk of choking.
    • However, a well designed genuine Baltic Amber teething necklace from a reputable retailer is knotted in between each bead.  The idea being that the string would break if pulled hard enough, thus reducing the risk of strangulation, and if so only a single bead would fall from the necklace leaving the remainder knotted on the string, thus reducing the risk of choking hazard.

For what it’s worth: In my investigating the pros and cons, risks and benefits of Baltic Amber teething necklaces, I could not find a single documented death from either strangulation or choking related to wearing an amber necklace. That doesn’t mean the risks are worth considering when making the best, informed choice for your family but it is food for thought.

My little one has worn her Baltic Amber teething necklace every day since she was 12 weeks old.  She is now 24 weeks old, has cut both of the lower two front teeth and is working on cutting one, or both, of her two front upper teeth as we speak.  Compared to some of the other mothers I’ve met, my daughter seems to suffer much less from teething symptoms than other children her age.  She does drool some but not as much as others, is sometimes a little fussy (who wouldn’t be?) but is easily consoled with one of the above mentioned methods, never turns away the boob or solid foods, doesn’t tug on her ear as is common with teething pain, has had very little sleep disruption, and doesn’t have the often associated symptoms of diarrhea or diaper rash.  Overall, we love our Baltic Amber necklace (I actually have an adult sized amber necklace that I love as well) and I recommend any parent of a teething infant or toddler to do the research on them as a viable, natural alternative to medications like Tylenol for teething pain management.

For more information on Amber Teething Necklaces visit Amber Artisan’s website.  I did not buy our teething necklace from them, it was a gift, but they do have a beautiful selection of different genuine Baltic Amber necklaces, bracelets, anklets and other jewelry.  There are also tons of websites that give anecdotal evidence of the pain relief provided by Baltic Amber.

For a skeptic’s perspective visit Science Based Medicine.

 

7. Other Not-So-Natural Teething products we love:

  • Terry Cloth Teethers – Ask any grandmother or mother over the age of about 50 what they used when their children were teething and almost unanimously they will tell you they put a damp washcloth in the freezer and pulled it out for their children to chew on.  But we were gifted a Sassy Terry Teether that is shaped like a bunch of grapes.  It is designed to be wet and put in the freezer just like grandma’s remedy.  It is also available in a watermelon shape but we prefer the grapes because the little grape knobs are easy to chew on.

sassy grapes

  • Baby Banana Teethers, available as a banana or a corn cob (we have the corn cob) – this was one of those things that one of my Sugar Plum mamas, from my internet support group, said “go buy” and nearly all 120 members rushed out to buy right away, it’s that awesome! Seriously, they should give us compensation! This is a BPA-free, silicone teether toothbrush that is not only great to chew on but helps remove plaque and tarter from those little chompers to help promote good oral hygiene even before they can say “toothbrush!”  You can buy them as a set or separately.  Here they are together on Amazon: Baby-Banana-Brush-Bundle-Cornelius

banana corn cob teethers

So that’s that! What are some of your favorite teething home remedies, natural or not-so? Share below to keep the conversation going!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.