Summer Kick-Off!

Summer Kick-Off
Memorial Day has always felt like the first day of summer for me. We spend it around the pool, with the smell of barbecue wafting in the air. My children are giddy with excitement, knowing that school will be over in a week or two and then they will truly be free.

However, with the kick-off of summer comes summer worries. Back in the olden days when I was a kid, sunscreen was a novelty. Each year, my skin would burn, and then peel, before turning into an acceptable tan. I was still susceptible to sunburn as the summer wore on, especially on those days we spent sun up til sun down at the beach. My older sister, slathered in baby oil, would develop a deep, dark tan without my hazards. How I envied her.

Today we have lotions that tout 80+ SPF, and you'd think we were wearing invisible armor when out in the sun. Yet, skin cancer rates have not gone down. What's up with that? Perhaps the ingredients in many sunscreens are just as bad for us as the sunburns they are meant to prevent.

Sounds like a catch-22. What's a mom to do? This year, I'm going to try an all-natural, homemade sunscreen. Coconut oil naturally has sun-blocking properties, as well as several essential oils.


1 oz. Coconut oil (fractionated is fine)
5-10 drops helichrysum, myrrh, roman chamomile, or lavender essential oil

Use a little more essential oil per ounce at the beginning of summer, when you are not yet used to the sun, and a little less once your skin has become habituated.

Now, I have some very fair-skinned children who seem to get a sunburn no matter what I do. For them, I keep a spray bottle of distilled water and 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil on hand. I just spritz it on the burn, and it soothes and helps rapidly heal the skin.

Enjoy your Memorial Day, and remember to take a moment with your family to remember the real reason for this holiday, the men and women who serve our country and put their lives on the line to give us the freedoms that are uniquely ours.


20 Health Benefits of Essential Oils

Here's a challenge for you:  Go to your medicine cabinet and pull out the first medication you see.  Read the ingredients, and then read the side effects.  Hm.  Maybe they don't seem so bad.  Or maybe something surprised you.  But what if, instead of a list of warnings, you saw this?
  1. Positively affects the psyche
  2. Supports immune function
  3. Supplies potent antimicrobials
  4. Provides natural pain relief
  5. Reduces inflammation
  6. Eases stress and anxiety
  7. Decreases insomnia
  8. Rejuvenates skin
  9. Protects against colds and influenza
  10. Soothes digestive disorders
  11. Improves the circulatory system
  12. Promotes optimal endocrine function
  13. Supports the urinary system
  14. Soothes burns, sunburns, minor cuts, and scrapes
  15. Supports muscles and bones
  16. Provides oral and dental care
  17. Nourishes and strengthens hair
  18. Improves mental clarity
  19. Protects against cancer
  20. Provides safe and natural alternatives to household cleaners
Which would you choose?  That's why I always choose essential oils as my first line of defense for my and my family's health care.

doTerra Medicine Cabinet Makeover


Essential Oils 101

As essential oils gain in popularity, I get a lot of questions from people just starting out.  What do you need to know about essential oils?

Essential Oils are the aromatic liquid extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other parts of a plant. They are highly concentrated and are 50 to 70 times more powerful than herbs.

Essential Oils possess complex constituents that are highly beneficial to wellness.

Essential Oils kill viruses and bacteria. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses because they cannot penetrate the cell membrane. Due to their size and make-up, essential oil molecules can penetrate cells to kill bacteria and viruses.

Essential Oils are science-based. There are many clinical studies that show the efficacy of essential oils. Many synthetically produced pharmaceutical products are inspired by essential oils.

Essential Oils are a natural way to take care of our health. They have similar properties to synthetic drugs with no side effects.

Essential Oils can be used aromatically, topically, or internally*. Aromatically, they can affect mood, cleanse the air, and open airways. Topically, they give immediate comfort and immune support. They work quickly, as they pass into the blood stream within 30 seconds. They have both systemic and localized results. Internally*, they detoxify the body, improve the digestive system, and support internal organs.

Essential Oils are not all created equal. There is no governing body that determines what constitutes “100% pure.” Avoid those that say “not for internal use.” Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) oils have been rigorously, independently tested for purity and potency.

*Only use essential oils that have been laboratory-tested for purity and potency for internal use.  Refer to the label for instructions.


Every Day Heroes -- A Mother's Day Tribute

I received this e-mail from my mother, and I had to share.  She says,

"This is a Mother's Day tribute from the daughter of one of my friends who passed away last year.  My friend is Rita Schroeder and she was diagnosed with cancer four years ago.  It is not only a beautiful tribute to Rita, but to the impact all mothers have on their children, each in our own ways.  Rita's was though music.  Makes me stop and think about what gift did I give my children.  Sometimes I think we overlook our strengths and focus mostly on our weakness.  This mother's day, I hope you remember all the good you did and why you are loved.  Happy Mother's Day. "

Thank you, Mom, for sharing this and for all you have done for me over the years.  I still strive to be as good a mother as you each day.


The Perfect Mother's Day

Mother's Day

I have a confession. You know what I want for Mother's Day? A break from being a mom. Not from the good stuff – I can never get enough of the hugs and kisses and “Mom, you're the best!” I'm talking about the cooking, the cleaning, the refereeing, the unrelenting expectation that whatever the problem, Mom can fix it. My idea of the perfect Mother's Day is instead of an endless chorus of “Mo-om,” I hear “Da-ad” instead.

I've been a parent for almost 21 years, and I have yet to experience even one such day. I suppose I'll have to wait until my youngest leaves the nest – but by then, I imagine my “perfect” Mother's Day won't seem so perfect then.

I guess it's up to me to make sure that my Mother's Day is the kind of day I want. So, I'll curl up in bed while my kids prepare my breakfast (and leave the mess for me to clean later), reading homemade cards and unwrapping gifts made at school. I will take a nap. I'll eat through half the box of chocolates from my husband, and at the end of the day, when the house is finally quiet, I'll slip into a warm bath and be thankful for this beautiful chaos that I'm sure I'll miss one day.

Relaxing Bath Salts
Relaxing Bath Salts

4 cups sea salt, kosher salt, or Epsom salts
5-10 drops essential oil (lavender, Serenity, Whisper, or Balance)
Dried fragrant plants such as lavender or eucalyptus (optional)

Mix ingredients together.  Pour into decorative container for yourself or as a gift for others.  Use a few spoonfuls of salts per bath.