DIY Chicken Coop Shelf

I'm the first to admit that I'm not a great DIY-er when it comes to big house projects. I prefer to leave that to the professionals so I know it will be done correctly. But when it comes to smaller things, we will roll up our sleeves, get out the tools and go to work. We've made a farm table for our dining room, raised beds for our organic garden, a couple hairpin leg benches and, possibly my favorite project, a chicken coop display shelf. (Insert heart eyed emoji!)

I love to find unique pieces at antique stores, thrift stores and even barn sales, so when I saw this beat up old coop outside of an auction, I knew it was going to live on our wall. We took it home and cleaned it up with some soap and water, but didn't do much with it in the way of decorating for over four years. (The coop was actually one of the first pieces I bout for our house!!) When we finally took the time to finish the project, we simply sawed off the perches and cut wooden shelves to fit each nesting box. My husband hammered the shelves in with a rubber mallet, then we attached a thick piece of wire to the back for hanging. We have it hanging on two large nails in studs in our dining room because of the weight and have never had any problems! I recently added a 'Pharmacie' sign above it that my sister gifted me for Christmas. 

I use the coop as storage for my oils since my office nook is in our dining room, and it's accessible with the flow of our daily life. (Having your oils out somewhere visible will ensure that you use them!) As we continue our dining room update I will probably mix in some other elements like our glasses for entertaining, a mix of modern and vintage vases (love these, these, and this) and other fun elements. Next up is a new light fixture and maybe some hardwood floors!!! 

Valentine's Favorites

Happy (almost) Valentine's Day! Admittedly we are not huge celebrators over here, but I do love all the pretty things and fun recipes floating around this time of year. We actually have some fun things happening including a Galentines event, family breakfast with heart shaped pancakes, a no-plans Saturday (my fave!) and homemade cookie making. Anyone else love intentionally NOT making plans on a weekend? I feel like we just need the reset sometimes, you know? Pajamas, coffee on the porch, good food, my people. Bliss.

A few other things:
+ Scented valentines because Orange oil is just so happy. (PS, we attached tiny puzzles instead of candy to ours. Other ideas: bubbles, a little toy car, organic applesauce pouch, small pack of crayons, clay, paint brushes, or other art supply. You can make your Valentines cards fit the theme too! "You're my main squeeze" for the pouch, "I like the way you roll" for the car, " etc.
+ Massage oils, perfume rollers, bath salts for my ladies
+ Oily infused cocktails (and mocktails!) for Galentines
+ Paw Patrol shaped pancakes using Elliot's Valentine from his Mimi (similar set here)
+ Paleo strawberry donuts just because (love having treats that don't derail our clean eating)
+ Trying a new cookie recipe on Tuesday so we can surprise daddy after work! If it's a bust, these are our backup plan.
+ Celebrating on Tuesday with some fun balloons and a couple new books. (PS you can preorder my sweet friend Jodi's book now!!!! Go go go!!)
+ Checking out some Pinterest DIYs for making Valentines for our family! 

I'm really excited about our Galentines night at my house tonight! Our theme is 'You should go and love yourself' ;) and we are making relaxing massage oils (oh la la!!) and face rollers with amazing skin supportive oils because we all want to look like J. Lo when we're fifty.  If you're local, come on over!! If not, we're loving you from afar. And if you're interested in joining in the fun, I'll gift you $25 back towards your premium kit today only! 

For Him: Natural Cologne

There are certain scents and oils that I gravitate towards because they remind me of my husband. Most of them are woodsy like cedarwood and vetiver, and they remind of being on top of a mountain or out in the woods with my man - a place where we both feel connected to our Creator and to each other. We diffuse these oils a lot in the evenings, and I love how our home smells of the memories we have together. So we decided to make a woodsy oil blend for my husband to wear daily and ditch all of the conventional, chemical-laden colognes. I'm pleased to say that the final product smells so much better than anything store-bought and he gets the added benefit of the aromatherapy from the oils themselves. 

Woodsman Cologne:
13 drops Idaho balsam fir essential oil
10 drops Northern Lights black spruce essential oil
8 drops Idaho blue spruce essential oil
5 drops bergamot essential oil

Add essential oils to a 10 or 15mL roller bottle, then top with a carrier oil. (We like fractionated coconut oil.) Apply to wrists and neck daily as desired. You can also adjust the amount of oils to your liking!

To learn more about why we use oils, go here. To get started on your own oily journey, go here!

Lavender + Rosemary Dry Shampoo

One of my favorite beauty products (and one I wanted a natural alternative for) is dry shampoo. My hair does best when I wash it once or twice a week, but I find that since having a little one, my roots get somewhat oily after a day or two. Plus, dry shampoo makes my morning routine all the much quicker. Those of you with long hair know what I mean ;) Sadly, the store bought options have a long list of ingredients I can barely pronounce, so here is the recipe for making your own.

For light hair:
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil

For darker hair:
2T arrowroot powder
2T raw cocoa powder
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil

Add powders to a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Add essential oils and gently pulse again. You may have to play with the amount of cocoa powder that you add in order to get a shade that is perfect for you. I have a mix of blondes and light brown in my hair, so just 1tsp of cocoa powder was enough for me. I suggest adding the cocoa powder 1tsp or 1T at a time and test it to your root color, adding more if you need. If your mixture becomes too dark, add a little more arrowroot powder to lighten it.  Store your mixture in a glass jar (I like mason jars). When ready to use, apply the powder to the roots of your hair using a makeup brush. And enjoy the calming yet uplifting aroma of the lavender and rosemary as you go throughout your day!

Other oils that would be great if lavender + rosemary isn't your thing: rosemary + peppermint, lavender + peppermint, lavender + copaiba, grapefruit + bergamot, bergamot + patchouli. You can find other ways we use essential oils here and check out a getting started guide here.

Because I love our oils and other Young Living products so much, and because I want everyone to have a chemical-free home, I'm giving away a bottle of rosemary oil to all new members this month! It's a great oil to have on hand during the winter months (we diffuse it a lot!), for making this dry shampoo, for making detox bath salts, for adding to finishing salts for grilled meat, even for making salad dressings! Just create your membership with a premium starter kit, and I'll send you a bottle of rosemary and some other goodies! If you aren't ready to take the plunge with oils but are wanting a chemical-free home, I recommend the Thieves Premium kit which has Thieves oil, household cleaner (favorite!), hand soap, waterless hand purifier, spray, toothpaste and mouthwash as well as some other things. Email me to let me know you're getting started, so I can send over your rosemary! xo

Lavender + Gentle Baby Bath Salts

I love using essential oils in our home for everything, and my beauty products are no exception. We create our own favorite combinations of oils and make roller blend, make our own cleaning products, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. This weekend I decided to take a little 'me time' and created a mini spa experience in my own bathroom. I plugged in the diffuser with balsam fir + lavender (my favorite combo for unwinding!), ran a hot bath, grabbed a book and soaked in the warm water infused with lavender + gentle baby bath salts. This is such a great way to relax and involves almost no effort! 

Gentle baby is one of my favorite oil blends for relaxing! It helps calm emotions and therefore great during pregnancy and for troubled littles. It's also amazingly soothing to the skin, so it's a great choice for adding to bath salts, either for me or for Elliot! Interestingly, many of the oils contained in this blend are used in high-end cosmetic products to enhance a 'youthful appearance.' And no home should be without lavender, the Swiss Army Knife of oils. We use it for so many things! 

Lavender + Gentle Baby Bath Salts:
1/4 cup epsom salt
1/8 cup coarse himalayan salts
3 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops gentle baby essential oil

Mix epsom salt and himalayan salt together, then add in essential oils and mix well. Store in an air-tight glass jar. When you are ready to use the bath salts, scoop out about 2T of the mixture and place it under the running water. This allows the aroma to diffuse throughout the water. Relax and enjoy!

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

With every changing of the seasons, we make it a point to freshen up our porch and patio with a good cleaning. It's actually quite necessary as we have three families of birds who insist on making their nests on our porch, which is really sweet, and I love watching the eggs hatch into babies, but the nests are, ahem, messy. We typically spray down our porch with water and wash any trouble spots with our all-purpose house cleaner (LOVE lemon myrtle oil for this!) or the porch cleaner below, then we clean our furniture and set it in the sun to dry. 

Porch cleaner:
1 gallon water
1/2 cup white vinegar OR 1/4 cup castille soap
8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
8 drops citronella essential oil
In a large mop bucket, add water and vinegar or castille soap (my preference!), then add in essential oils. I keep an old mop that I use just for our porch, so I mop the porch just like I would the kitchen! 

Wood furniture cleaner:
2 cups warm, distilled water
1T white vinegar
16 drops of essential oils*
Mix together water and vinegar, then add in essential oils and mix well. Use a cloth rag to apply the cleaner to the furniture, concentrating specifically on very dirty areas. *I like to use a mixture of lemon myrtle, bergamot, and citrus fresh oils. Lemon myrtle has a distinctly cleansing aroma, so it's a perfect choice for cleaning!

Metal furniture polish:
1/2 cup warm, distilled water
1/2 cup baking soda
4-5 drops lemon myrtle essential oil
Mix equal parts water and baking soda into a paste, then minx in the lemon oil. Using a cotton cloth, polish furniture, wipe clean, then clean with the all-purpose cleaner if needed. Metal furniture keeps best when you wipe it down regularly, which is what we do. 

To learn more about why and how we use essential oils click here and here. To get stared and join the Golden Drop Society today, click here! I'd love to help you along on this journey! 

Oily Tips + Tricks / Lemon Oil

Confession: I have a slight tendency to over-collect glass bottles and jars. It is partially due to the fact that we make all of our personal care products with essential oils and said oils need to be stored in glass containers. But it is also due to the fact that I can't help but repurpose the things, especially when the repurposing keeps us from having to purchase another item. I've been known to collect coconut oil jars baby food containers, rescue old beakers and graduates from yard sales, and even dig up old bottles in our backyard (true story). And while they all take an overnight soak in castille soap + water, more often than not, these repurpos-able items need a little more attention. Which brings me to my point:  the glory of lemon essential oil. 

After cleaning with soap and water, I rub the jars down with lemon oil to remove any lingering grime and also to get rid of the sticky resident that labels leave behind. Win win. Add an extra win for repurposing, and you've made my day. 

So here's to filling old bottles with magic potions, resourceful salves, fresh herbs and even a pretty flower or two.

Summer Hair Serum with Geranium

One of the disadvantages to natural curls is the insane amount of frizz that can occur during hot or dry months. To combat that I use my beloved Young Living copaiba vanilla shampoo, a mix of essential oils, and a coconut oil spray. I mentioned before about using coconut oil as a hair mask before shampooing during the winter, but I wanted to share an updated summer version as well! 

Geranium Summer Hair Oil:
1T fractionated coconut oil (or jojoba oil)
3 drops geranium essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
Distilled water
8oz spray bottle

Place coconut oil and essential oils into a spray bottle, then top with distilled water. Spray onto damp or dry hair as needed! Other oils that would be great: rosemary, cedarwood, Roman chamomile, clary sage. You could even add about 1tsp sea salt to this for a delicious beach waves spray! 

Friday Favorite // Oils + Babes

One of the main reasons that I started using essential oils was that I wanted to have natural alternatives for all of the things that come with little ones. I wanted to be able to control my son's exposure to harsh chemicals in the products that we use - diaper cream, bug repellant, household cleaners, etc. There is a list of our DIY recipes here, but I wanted to share some of my other oily favorites for littles, from newborns to kids!

+ Lavender: truly the swiss army knife of oils, we use this for just about everything - skin support, respiratory support, relaxing + unwinding, the list is endless! I use it in our linen spray, diaper rash ointment and wipe solution.
+ The Young Living Kid Scents collection: Sleepyize, Owie (we use a lot of this lately!), Snifflease, Bite Buster, and TummyGize.
+ Copaiba: a must-have for the early years!
+ RC: a must-have for the winter months, this blend stands for "Respiratory Congestion."
+ Purification: a main ingredient in our repellent, we also use this for respiratory support in the winter, and for a DIY room spray (love it on the dog bed!). This is a great alternative to those wall plug-ins that are unfortunately laced with formaldehyde. Our diffuser is constantly running, and this oil is our go-to.


Other Young Living products:
+ KidScents Tender Tush: amazing ointment infused with essential oils that is great for skin support.
+ Rose ointment: another great one for skin support, we use this for making diaper cream, after-sun cream, etc.
+ Thieves spray + Waterless Hand Purifier: for being out and about and for all the things that get dropped on dirty floors.
+ Bamboo Diffuser: we splurged a little and got a second diffuser to keep in E's room, and it was absolutely worth it! This diffuser has a one or four hour setting, so I love putting just a few drops of oil in it and turning it on during nap time or before bed. 

Other oil-related items:
+ Gentle Babies: my go-to reference for all things pregnancy, baby and child!
+ A cute travel case for taking oils in the diaper bag.
+ Paracord bracelets work great as diffusers for older kiddos!

And lastly, a completely superfluous item but one that has come in handy so many times, a diffuser paci clip, especially for long car rides and traveling!

More information on essential oils here and here

Master Bathroom Inspiration

After an unexpected water issue this past weekend, we have decided to go ahead with updating our master bathroom. Hashtag silver lining! Our home has a great layout but is very dated, so we have quite a bit to accomplish. Our style is modern farmhouse with minimal and natural elements, so we want to keep a minimal color palette, make the space incredibly functional, and also be able to do most of it ourselves. Here are some of our inspirations. 

White subway tile + dark grout + rough hewn flooring + black accents 

White subway tile + dark grout + rough hewn flooring + black accents 

Reclaimed wood + white sinks

Reclaimed wood + white sinks

Window + plants

Window + plants

We have already pulled up the carpet and are planning to start some of the work this weekend! More updates soon! Also, you can find all these images and more inspiration here