essential oils

Friday Favorites: Simple Swaps for a Green Home

Simplifying our cleaning products and routine can feel like an overwhelming task, so here are a few simple swaps that you can make today to ditch and switch!

IMG_0919.JPG

+ Wool dryer balls:
I used to be a devout dryer sheet gal! I love for our clothes and sheets to smell good, but I found a better way! You can ditch the toxic dryer sheets and switch to sustainably sourced wool dryer balls + essential oils for scent! This is a super simple and inexpensive switch that will impact your health and the plant and make your laundry smell so good! We love peppermint or eucalyptus oil for adding yummy smells!

+ Foaming hand soap (DIY or DI-Buy) and glass dispensers:
Instead of purchasing single use hand soaps, opt for a reusable container and either make your own or use our favorite foaming hand soap (gentle on the skin yet kills all the ick!).

IMG_8605.jpg

+ One all-purpose plant-based house cleaner:
Our favorite cleaner is the Thieves cleaner! Because it cleans our ENTIRE home, it has replaced all the cleaners we used to have under the sink. Simplicity at its best! Thieves cleaner is safe for pets and little ones and is super cost effective - one capful makes a 16oz glass spray bottle. We use it in in a lot of simple DIYs - stain stick, stain pretreatment, mattress and upholstery spray, sink and tile scrub (find all of them here!). I like to keep a spray bottle made up in the kitchen and one in the bathroom so that even the five year old can clean up after himself!

IMG_0925.JPG

BONUS:
Grab an essential oil diffuser and our favorite essential oils to make your entire home smell like Anthropologie without the toxins from candles (EPA now says candle fumes are the new second hand smoke, so crazy!) I used to love scented candles and would wait anxiously for my favorites to go on sale each year. Now we diffuse some of our favorite blends, our home smells so good, and I can even leave the diffuser going when we’re gone and come home to a clean, purified and amazing smelling home!

A Healthy Pregnancy 01 I Preparing

 
From when sweet little Elliot was growing in my belly!! Somehow feels like yesterday but also forever ago at the same time. Note: This is NOT a pregnancy announcement!* 

From when sweet little Elliot was growing in my belly!! Somehow feels like yesterday but also forever ago at the same time. Note: This is NOT a pregnancy announcement!* 

 

We recently decided to grow our little family (and are SO excited about it!), so I have been incredibly intentional with taking care of myself. Self care in general is an area that can be difficult to prioritize, and I think we often forget about the less sexy areas of self care like vitamins and sleep. It's much more fun to get a massage or take a long, luxurious lavender bath! I'll take either please and thank you! 

Here are a few habits that I've started over the last few months to intentionally support my body and prepare it to grow another little human! All of these are amazing habits to focus on for overall health and wellness even without the potential for pregnancy because who doesn't want a long and healthy life!                            

 
 

NUTRITION: 
- LOTS of green vegetables including kale and spinach for dietary folate, lean proteins including some fish for dietary Omega3s, some complex carbs (currently obsessed with this GF bread). We eat a plant-based, mostly paleo diet with allowances for a little GF bread, rice or quinoa and balance it with making intentional decisions with any indulgences. I'm currently leading a January Whole30 for our wellness community! For more fertility foods, check out this video on Facebook!

- Healthy fats. I've been focusing on a *minimum* of 2T of coconut oil in addition to the olive oil we use on our salads and for cooking. I add a little coconut oil into my coffee (start with 1-2 tsp if you're not used to it!), a protein smoothie when not whole30-ing (the blender makes little coconut blasts that taste like chocolate chips!), overnight oats (when not whole30-ing) or even drizzle it over some fresh fruit! SO good over pineapple and berries!

- Decaf coffee. We actually switched over to using half regular, half decaf coffee when I was pregnant with Elliot and never went back. Fully caffeinated coffee makes me jittery so this balance works best for me! 

 
IMG_3466.JPG
 

SUPPLEMENTS:
- Vitamin B with folate (NOT folic acid). This one is very important. We've all be preached to that we need folate AT conception, but most multivitamins or B supplements contain folic acid which our bodies actually cannot convert to folate. B vitamins are essential to our health and well-being, and each B vitamin performs a unique and separate function in the body. But... they aren't stored in our bodies, so they have to be replenished daily.

- Antioxidants - also super important to help support that growing DNA! Ningxia Red supplement is an organic puree of wolfberries (aka goji berries) along with plum, aronia, cherry, blueberry, and pomegranate juices and extracts, and essential oils. Delish and so amazing for support for energy levels, normal cellular function, and whole-body and normal eye health. I love to combine one packet with 1/2 a can of orange or grapefruit La Croix and add a drop of citrus essential oil. This is also something to keep on hand to help settle that first trimester stomach! I may or may not be stockpiling, ha! 

- Healthy fats! Everyone knows that fish oil is great for supporting a healthy heart, and it's incredibly important to have super clean versions of fish oil. This one is hands down my favorite. Super clean and it also has some Vitamin D! Perfect because your body can't absorb Vitamin D without fat, so combining it in fish oil is brilliant!

- I also take this prenatal gummy

 
287A8231-D572-4B43-A0BE-566B8B0F9B86.jpg
 

KICKING THE TOXINS:
- When I originally went to see my doctor before we had Elliot, she told me my estrogen levels were high and that I was 'estrogen dominant' despite ever having ANY issues in this department. Want to guess where the extra estrogen and hormone disruption was coming from??? Personal care + household items. The Think Dirty app rates products based on potential to cause cancer, cause allergies and disrupt the hormones in your body, and just about everything at the drugstore or Target is toxic. So we went totally plant-based with our cleaning supplies, personal care products + even makeup! I went through each ingredient and searched it on the EPA website to make sure it was safe! 

OTHER HABITS:
- Meditation + quiet time to rest my mind and emotions, train my thoughts towards positivity and abundance. You can read my morning routine here!
- Exercise! I'm a big fan of the Tone It Up girls and even use their nutrition plan to get some new ideas for recipes! I just tweak them to our preferences, but those girls love kale so you know I love them!! I'm also currently working through a Gymnastics Bodies stretch + strength program.
- AVA bracelet. I bought (and LOVE!) an Ava bracelet to help track my heart rate, temperature, cycle changes, sleep and stress levels. I love the amount of insight it gives, that I can add custom logs, and even download my data for my doctor! 

What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself - throughout daily life or when preparing for motherhood?? 

Healthy Living, Young Living + iTovi

After being in vacation mode for most of the summer, I’m feeling the need for a reset so I’m jumping in on the September Whole 30, and focusing on intentional self-care for the next thirty days. Part of that for me is supplements, emotional support, and essential oils. That’s why we broke out our iTOVi scanner last night to get a feel for how to best support our bodies right now. The iTOVi works based on frequencies and bioimpedance to show areas that may need a little extra TLC.

I’ll admit, I was super skeptical about the theory of frequencies until I started looking into it more. Has your spouse, child or loved one ever walked into the room and you immediately feel your emotional state change? Have you ever gone to a concert or large sporting event and immediately felt the rush of energy in the stadium? It’s because we all carry energy around as a frequency.

 
IMG_0116.JPG
 

Your heart is a complex electromagnet that works by constantly emitting electronic frequencies to tell your body to pump blood, bring in oxygen, get rid of carbon dioxide. "The heart muscle itself, because of its electrical activity, creates its own endogenous EMFs" (electromagnetic frequencies)." In fact every living thing has a frequency. A healthy human body operates around 62-72MHz, and as our frequency lowers as our bodies work harder to maintain balance. How do we help our bodies maintain that balance? With plants! We can consume them or apply them in the form of oils. One of my go-to oils is lavender, which has a frequency of 118MHz!

“Every biological or nonbiological thing has a unique energy signature that vibrates at certain frequencies. A frequency is the number of times a wave repeats itself within a second, called an oscillation. iTOVi has measured and recorded each unique frequency of essential oils and supplements for each product company. Through the electrodes on the iTOVi scanner, these frequencies are sent into the skin, inducing a measurable response from the body.

"The scan report is the heart of the iTOVi experience. Each report is personalized to you the moment you are scanned. Products are then sorted from the top down by which ones your body had the strongest response." - iTovi website. You can read more of the research here and some of the science behind how it works here.

 
IMG_2492.JPG
 

After scanning, I started back on Mindwise (an amazing Vitamin D, healthy fat supplement that supports healthy adrenals and this mama mind!), Endoflex Vitality (endocrine system support), and SuperC (a healthier alternative to EmergenC). I also started using Purification oil over the liver, Release over my heart, and we have been diffusing Orange + Gathering. While using these emotionally supporting oils, I'm focusing on releasing control, being fully present, and practicing the discipilne of rest. (For more on emotions + oils, I love this book.) If you've been following along on Instagram you've seen that I also started back on one of my favorite workout programs last month, so I'll be continuing that as well. 

Your health is really a complex circle of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, and when any one area is out of balance, we feel it in all others. Finding balance is a constant journey, but one that has gotten much easier for us with our essential oils and our iTOVi scanner.


 
IMG_0117.JPG
 

If you want to get an iTovi scanner of your own, you can do so here. I love ours because it provides us with a road map for our health and is just so easy to use. It's super portable, works with your smartphone via Bluetooth and is easy to use with kiddos! Simply hold it against their back while they color or play. I love how empowered I feel as a mama with these tools! #winning

Book Review: Oola for Women

I've been a fan of the Oola principles since they released the "Infused" essential oil line with Young Living. As a full-time employee, full-time mom and entrepreneur, their mantra of focus on balancing faith, family, fitness, friends, finances, field and fun definitely grabbed my attention. And though my life has changed drastically since I read their original book, the Oola for Women was still as relevant. When one area of our lives slows down with responsibility, another inevitably ramps up, and all of us want that sense of balance. Hearing stories from other women (real women, some of who I actually know!) was encouraging and inspiring. (Psssst.... head over to Instagram to enter to win a copy of your very own!) 

The things that resonated the most with me were the Oola blocker and the Oola accelerators. I find my heart often needs a reset and reminder to let go of fear, anger, envy and self-sabotage and instead focus on love, gratitude, discipline, wisdom and passion. I also love a good pen and paper vision casting, writing out where I/we want to be, then working backwards to create practical, tangible steps towards achieving that big vision. "Goals are milestones to your dreams." Amen to that. Setting pen to paper to write out goals, big and small, makes them more real and more likely to be realized. 

So pour a glass of rose (or some kombucha if you're Whole 30-ing like me!), set up a warm bath with a lavender bath bomb and dive into this book. Really look at your life to find the sources of discontent, dream about what it is you want your life to look like, then write down practical steps to get there. Because creating that daily action plan will ultimately result in living the life of your dreams - your Oola life. 

Strawberry Einkorn Crumble

We have been following a wheat-free, largely plant-based diet for over ten years now, and anytime we made a treat, it was always gluten-free or paleo. When I heard about Einkorn flour, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try to see if it bothered me the way that traditional flour does. 

Einkorn is the original “staff-of-life” grain, the oldest variety of wheat and dates back to the beginning of time. Even more natural that sprouted grains, Einkorn wheat's natural genetic code and low gluten levels make it naturally compatible with the human body compared to the modern hybrid wheat of today. Modern-day wheat has been modified and hybridized, making it more resilient, but changing the way the wheat fibers grow. These modifications make the wheat stalks harder to break, but that in turn makes it hard to digest and creates inflammation in the digestive system. Einkorn grain is easier to digest, so nutrients are better absorbed.

Turns out that both my husband and I do great with Einkorn flour. No headaches, no bloating, no discomfort that traditional flour typically produces. Plus, it tastes great and is toddler-approved! We love this fresh and easy berry crumble with Einkorn flour. The simple ingredients that fit together perfectly and taste just like summer! Plus, it came together in matter of minutes with the help of a three year old.

Strawberry Einkorn Crumble:
{Recipe adapted from this one by Tastes Lovely.}

Berry Filling Ingredients:
4 cups frozen, organic strawberries or mixed berries, not thawed
1-2 T organic granulated sugar (to taste - we like a slight tartness to ours, so we do 1T)
3 T Young Living Einkorn flour (or GF flour or all-purpose flour)
3 drops Young Living lemon essential oil
A pinch of salt

Oat Crumble Topping:
1 cup gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
Just under ½ cup organic brown sugar
6 T Young Living Einkorn flour (or GF flour or all-purpose flour)
4 T grass-fed butter, cold, cut into small cubes

How-to:
+ Preheat your oven to 350. In a medium size bowl, make the berry filling by combining all ingredients and tossing to combine. Set aside.
+ In a separate medium size bowl, make the oat crumble, then use your fingers to pinch the butter and incorporate it into the dry ingredients until evenly combined and crumbly.
+ Pour the berries into a pretty pie dish or a square baking dish, and top with the oat crumble.
+ Bake uncovered until the berry filling is bubbling, and the oat crumble is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

This would also be lovely with coconut whip on top! Simply refrigerate a can of coconut milk upside down in the refrigerator overnight. Remove, flip right side up, and open. The cream will be on top, so scoop it out and whip it with 1T organic vanilla extract + 1/2-1T organic honey or agave to taste. Whip until it is light and fluffy. And feel free to substitute whatever frozen berries or other fruit you have on hand. This is a perfect, simple but show-stopping dessert for your Easter gatherings, Mother's Day, to take to a summer cookout or just because! 

Friday Favorites: Travel

Tis the season for jet setting, and we are no exception! We are headed out of town in a few weeks on an exciting trip, and I'm in full on planning mode! Here is a peek at some of my favorite things for making the most out of travel. 

For planes and car rides:

+ A really great book (or five!) on my Kindle. I love actual books but the convenience of a Kindle for travel! Currently loving Getting Noticed (love me some LTM!), Soup, and All the Pretty Things
+ Cheeky journal for writing notes, lists, brainstorming ideas, all the #bossbabe things! 
+ Motivation oil for tapping into those feelings of action and accomplishment. I like to apply a few drops behind my ears and inhale while I work! Smells dreamy.
+ Earbuds, natch
+ A great travel scarf for keeping warm on the plane & looking fabulous at the same time!

 

You know I never leave home without oils ;) 


Stress Away roller because.. #AtlantaAirport. Instant vacation!
Deep Relief roller along the neck and shoulders after lugging around those bags + sitting all day. 
+ Lavender & Northern Lights Black Spruce oils for sleeping in unfamiliar places! Helps wind down & relax.
Lemon vitality for staying hydrated, just add a drop of two to your water! 
Digize Vitality because travel food. I like one drop of Digize with a drop of lemon in a glass of water. 
Thieves hand purifier for clean hands, because #airports ew.  

 

A few other things:

+ Nena and Co. tassel so I can identify my bag eailsly & backpack tote which is a perfect daily bag and travel companion. Would also make a great diaper bag! I have my eye on a weekender bag as well... in case anyone is searching for a Mother's Day idea. #justsaying
+ A great pair of shades for adding a little sophistication to your look and because you know... sun. 
+ My favorite Tarte lip stain for looking put together even in the coziest travel outfit. Also some other favorites here. 
+ Lavender lip balm for moisturizing under a bold lip color or use alone for a natural look! 
 

Oh, and four of those oil faves come in the starter kit that I'm always talking about on Instagram! Interested in learning more about oils? Check out the Golden Drop Society website, find me on Instagram or send me an email! 

Green Home 01 I Cleaning

When we found out we were pregnant with Elliot one of the first things we did was switch out our Clorox Cleanup for a green cleaner. We had already switched out our soaps and shampoos to "green" options (read: popular brands that we thought were chemical-free but were really just synthetics based on plant components...), but we realized that we needed to start creating a truly chemical-free home. I knew that I didn't want our babe to be exposed to harsh chemicals... on his clothes, in the air. We also learned that our plug in air fresheners were laced with formaldehyde which totally blew me away and made me even more passionate to find healthy alternatives! I'm a researcher by nature so you know I scoured the internet for other options, DIYs and the best of the best for what we should use.

Fast forward three years later and we have achieved our goal. Zero chemicals, all plants, and a super clean home and great smelling home all at the same time. We use plant-based cleaners to clean the whole house, including the sink after we prepare food and meats. And yes it gets it super clean!! Added bonus is that our cleaning supplies are delivered directly to my door and I get $75 back every month to spend on whatever I want. (Insert praise hands emoji!) I love me some Target, but they've never given me $75 just for buying stuff I use every day anyway. And my house smells like a chai latte instead of harsh chemicals and bleach! #winning.

Here are some of our chemical-free cleaning favorites!
+ Thieves Household Cleaner: We use this for the ENTIRE house! Counters, floors, bathrooms, stovetop, showers, commodes, literally everything. This is super affordable because you use 1 capful per 16oz spray bottle for the majority of cleaning. If we really need a heavy degreaser we use 2 capfuls. 
+ DIY Counter Cleaner: Sometimes I also use a DIY version with Thieves essential oil, Lemon essential oil and a little bit of castille soap on our glass cooktop when it gets sticky!
+ DIY Mirror Cleaner: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner, 5 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil blend, 1 tsp white vinegar, and 3 cups water in a glass spray bottle.
+ Thieves Dish Soap and Dishwasher Powder: I also mix a bit of the dish soap with a little of the Thieves cleaner and water in a roller ball to spot treat stains on our clothes (helloooo little ones starting solids)!
+ Thieves Foaming Hand soap (kitchen) and Lavender Foaming Hand soap (bathrooms)
+ Thieves Laundry soap: This super concentrated laundry soap is my favorite! It gets our clothes super clean without chemical surfactants and artificial scents, and it is safe for HE washers! You only need 1/4 capful, so it lasts forever. Added bonus is that it is safe for cloth diapers! 
+ Wool dryer balls: We use these instead of dryer sheets and add essential oils to make our clothes and linens smell great! They help cut the static (use more dryer balls for loads with lots of fleece or static-prone fabrics) without adding crazy chemicals to your clothes. Peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus are some of my favorites to add to the dryer balls.

So basically we clean our whole house with Thieves essential oil, ha! The Thieves oil is a really amazing blend of oils named after a band of thieves who robbed plague victims during the Black Plague. They were perfumers by trade and were forced to reveal their 'secrets' when apprehended. The Thieves blend contains cinnamon, clove, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils that smells amazing and cleans all the things!  Plus, it is Gwyneth Paltrow recommended ;) We love to diffuse it with orange and black spruce or balsam fir, with orange and RC for respiratory support (great for after school!), with lemon and peppermint for a fresh and clean home. 

Click here to find out more about why we love essential oils and to start creating a chemical-free home of your own! 

 

Images by Morgan Blake for Golden Drop Society

Enough

It was 5am on a Tuesday morning and I had gotten up before everyone else to read and reflect, then get some work done. I turned on Ellie Holcomb's 'Red Sea Road' and heard this song. The tears just started flowing. I felt the Lord pouring out Truth over me and telling me to let go of the lies....

I heard this quote recently: "The story that you aren't telling anyone could be the story that is running your life." So in the spirit of understanding and hopefully encouraging other mamas, wives and women, here is my untold story. A possible alternative title to this post could read "Perfectionism, Vulnerability + Gospel Truth"....

 
 

It all started with the word 'enough'. Not too long ago I realized how much I use that word to describe my day...my actions, my work, my efforts, my parenting, my responsibilities. There is a constant inner dialogue running in the background that surfaces mostly in the quiet hours of the morning or just before sleep. Did I spend enough time with Elliot? Did I do enough rounds in that workout? Did I workout hard enough? Did I read enough books at bedtime? Did we spend enough time outside today? Did I show enough patience, love and grace to my family? Did I send enough emails and messages to connect with my team? Will my efforts be enough to move us closer to our dream, to the vision we have for our family? Did I love my family enough today? I mean I did lose my patience a few times... Did I serve my husband enough? I hate that I was short with him on the phone.... Somedays this exhausting list seems endless. 

What was/is driving me to that place? Comparison? Maybe. Perfectionism? Probably. The desire to have it ALL? Absolutely. I want a clean, organized and stylish home, a wildly successful career, a deep intimate relationship with my husband, healthy, happy, emotionally stable children, amazing physical health, strength and flexibility, delicious organic home-cooked meals and most of all a close, intimate relationship with my Creator. And all of those things are good, right things to want and to pursue, but when perfectionism and drive take over, the pursuit of it ALL creates a constant stream of 'Am I Enough' in my mind.

 
Untitled-1.jpg
 
my whole heart, my life's calling all right here in this picture...

my whole heart, my life's calling all right here in this picture...

I want to know that if I do abc that it will absolutely result in xyz. If I follow this plan, the things I want will happen. If I love and serve my family, our marriage will be strong and vibrant and my children will grow up to live Christ-centered lives. If I work hard, our dreams will come true. If I take care of my body it will be strong, healthy and see me through many many years. All these things I want are good, righteous things to want, but it's the inner drive to be perfect that causes problems. But perfect isn't possible. The beauty and pain of this life is that there are no guarantees on this Earth. The only place where I can truly find my hope is in Christ.

To be examined and aware of your every flaw and sin, then be told you are the exact opposite of how you see yourself—that you’re actually the beloved and beautiful handiwork of a master—is a truth that can sometimes be harder to live with than the lie of shame.
Because of Jesus’ atonement for our sin, this is who we now are: holy, blameless, without stain or wrinkle.  - via She Reads Truth

I believe that I strive for perfectionism because I want to truly love and to be loved. I desperately want to serve my family well, to walk out this calling that the Lord has placed on my life, to show people His amazing mercy and grace in the way that I live out my life. I want to cultivate an environment of love, light and warmth for my family. I want to love and serve my community, show gospel-rooted hospitality, lift up and encourage other women. I believe that the Lord places us in family units (including close friends that are like family!) as a parallel to the unity that we have as a body of believers and to the perfect unity we will experience in Eternity. So my desire to truly love and be loved is pure and righteous and rooted in biblical truth. However, my twisting of this desire into a pursuit of perfectionism is a slippery slope into sin. And the lies of the enemy run deep....

 
 

But.....
What if I saw me, the way that You see me?
What if I believed it was true?
What if I traded, this shame and self-hatred?
For a chance at believing You

You knit me together in my mother's womb
And you say that I've never been hidden from you
And you say that I'm wonderfully, wonderfully made

You're eyes, they have seen me before I was born
And you know all the good things that you made me for
And I'm wonderfully, wonderfully made
 - 'Wonderfully Made' by Ellie Holcomb

The beauty of the gospel is God's amazing ability to change our hearts, transform our minds and redirect us back to the path of freedom that He provides. I feel that I finally understand my drive to be perfect, to have it all in a pretty little package. And for that understanding the Lord is leading me to a place of freedom. He is showing me how to see myself in His eyes, to see myself through the lens of the cross and to let go of my question of 'Am I Enough?'

This is a day by day, moment by moment walk. Quiet moments in the early morning with the Lord, prayers for peace and rest, reminders of His grace and sufficiency, affirmations of His goodness, and grace for myself are the keys to my freedom from the lies. I am also using the tools the Lord has given me of emotionally supportive essential oils to help my mind and heart break free of the lies. These scents act like a trigger for my brain to remember and tap into to good, the positive, the Truth. To choose those thoughts and feelings instead of the negative, the lies of not being enough. 

Oils are the perfect compliment to this process for me, and I love how the grand design allows our bodies to use plants so easily to connect us back to ourselves, creation and our Creator. (Our sense of smell connects directly to the part of our brains that process and stores memories and emotions.) In the mornings I inhale the Humility blend and apply it to the center of my chest, just above the heart. I breathe deeply and repeat to myself 'I am enough. God's grace covers me.' I have also been using White Angelica to help connect to my whole story (the good and the bad) and to truly understanding the way I was made and how I was made to love on this Earth. I apply White Angelica behind my ears. I also diffuse it with lavender in the evening before bed to help process the underlying untold story, the lies that creep in so easily.

Praise the Lord for freedom from the lies. For when my heart rests in the presence of the Lord, I am enough. I am enough, because I am His. I am enough, because He is enough. And you are enough, because He is enough for you.

DIY Citrus Laundry Soap

When it comes to chemical-free laundry options, I love my Thieves laundry soap. It smells amazing, cleans our clothes (especially Elliot's school clothes!) and lasts forever. All of the other commercially available options (even the 'green' ones) are so overpowering with their scents, and sadly those chemical-laden perfumes that smell good are SO bad for our bodies. If I ever run out of my Thieves soap, though I follow a simple recipe to make my own and can customize the scent as well!

You will need:
• 1.5 cups of Borax 
• 1.5 cups of Washing Soda (in combo with Borax here)
• 1.5 cups of Baking Soda 
• 1 Bar of soap
• 20 drops total of essential oils - I used grapefruit and lemon

1. Grate the soap with a cheese grater.
2. In a large bowl, mix the borax, washing soda, and baking soda.
3. Toss half of the grated soap into a food processor. Add about 1/2 cup of the powdered mixture from the bowl. This allows you the food processor to process the soap into smaller pieces without sticking to the blades. Repeat using the rest of the grated soap.
4. Blend until mixed. Add your essential oils and blend again.  
5. Take the grated soap mixture out of the food processor and add it to the large bowl. Store in a glass container with a wide mouth.

To use, just add 1-2 tablespoons to each load of laundry! You can either place it directly in the washer before you add your clothes (recommended) or use it in the detergent receptacle. You can also add about 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar to the load to act as a fabric softener. When it comes to drying, I love adding 5-6 wool dryer balls to our loads to cut the static. I usually add a few drops of peppermint oil to each dryer ball! So fresh and clean! 

This also makes a cute addition to a gift for a new mama as this is a gentle cleaner for newborn clothes and even cloth diapers. Choose calming essential oils like lavender, orange, Gentle baby or Peace and Calming blends. More about essential oils here

Finding Freedom

Things have been quiet in these parts lately for a few reasons, but I've finally found my voice about something that's been stirring for the last couple years - FREEDOM. Becoming a mama changed my heart in a lot of ways, one of them being that I realized how much I crave freedom. I want to be at home with my littles, feeding them lunch and teaching them about snails on a Tuesday afternoon. I want to travel with them to see the Civil War battlegrounds and national parks as we learn about United States history. I want the freedom to build a small homestead and grow our own vegetables. 

Our reality is good, don't get me wrong. But our dream is vastly different than our reality. So we are taking some steps to change that. One of the biggest things we did was sell my car. We had a car payment on a pretty nice car, so we sold that car and purchased an older one. Less bells and whistles, less comfort but you know what? It's reliable AND it's paid for. And there's an extra few hundred dollars that can go towards paying off student loans, which is the first step towards freedom. 

I don't talk about it much, but Young Living is what is really paving the way to our freedom. Essential oils are so near to my heart and have changed our life in such an amazing way, that being able to share that passion as a career just makes my heart sing. I am so blessed to lead a group of women and men that love each other and are committed to a natural lifestyle. I get to share information, lead online classes, contribute to e-magazines, talk one on one with people, and bring natural health in the spotlight to help people live health lives. There is so much beauty in that. And so much freedom. And I'd love to help you find that freedom too.