Lovely Lemon Oil

I use lemon oil almost daily. I drink it in my water to cleanse and purify my tummy and to balance out my pH. Did you know that lemons, when digested, are actually alkaline? You would think they are acidic but they are not. They are actually one of the easiest, cheapest ways to balance out your body’s pH.

lemon, essential oil, pure, natural health, granola mom

A very popular essential oil, Lemon has multiple benefits and uses. Lemon is a powerful cleansing agent that purifies the air, disinfects surfaces, and can be used as a non-toxic cleaner throughout the home. When added to water, Lemon provides a refreshing and healthy boost throughout the day. Lemon is frequently added to food to enhance the flavor of desserts and main dishes. Due to its high limonene content, Lemon is a powerful antioxidant that can help ward off free radicals. Taken internally, Lemon provides cleansing and digestive benefits, can soothe an irritated throat, and supports healthy respiratory function. When diffused, Lemon is very uplifting and energizing and has been shown to improve mood and cognitive ability.

USES

• Diffuse and take internally to assist with seasonal respiratory discomfort.

• Add Lemon oil to a spray bottle of water to clean and disinfect tables, countertops, and other surfaces. Lemon oil also makes a great furniture polish; simply add a few drops to olive oil to clean, protect, and shine wood finishes.

• Use a cloth soaked in Lemon oil to preserve and protect your leather furniture and other leather surfaces or garments.

• Lemon oil is a great remedy for the early stages of tarnish on silver and other metals.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE

Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid. Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area.

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My (parent’s) Beach House

florida, emotions, forgotten coast, cancer, morning, loss, change, new houseI have spent many summers, many spring breaks and even a few Thanksgivings on a desolate beach on the Forgotten Coast of Florida.  This is the old school Florida house that you only see on TV now. Ground level, cinder blocks, funky yellow paint and blue seahorses decorating the house. It’s simple linoleum floor has supported me as I grew from a bored kid, anxious teenager into an adult that loves this home for what it is… a simple, peaceful respite from the rest of the world. It is the only beach that Colleen knows. There is an amazing sand bar just a short walk down the beach. If there is a really good low tide you can walk a mile out from the shore on the sand bar and only get to knee deep water. We have seen sharks, porpoises and critters not yet identified on the sand bar. I saw Halley’s Comet here and I saw Hailey Gill get married here. The beaches are deserted because the water is not clear, the seaweed covers every inch of white sand and there is this thing we call “mud bottom” where the bay brings in this black slimy sand in to the ocean. So, we don’t spend a lot of time in the water. Kids do, they always do… kids don’t care if there are sharks or a muddy bottom, they just want to swim. I have caught my fair share of hermit crabs, sand dollars, conchs and periwinkles . The drawbacks of this place being less than pristine, is that the wild life abundant. Bull sharks love the brackish water, we saw a female angler pull in a 6 foot Bull from the beach.  One year we saw a migration of sting rays, I thought it was cool, Mike thought differently. That was Mike’s first trip to the Alligator Point… he swore off getting into the ocean ever again. Thankfully he has changed his mind and will jump in bravely to play with Colleen and make her happy.

beach, loss, new beginningsI can’t even begin to list all of the memories I have of this place. Good, bad and ugly. Mostly good, but some very, very bad ones too. It is a heavy place for me to visit, but it is home. My sister was sick here, my dad’s dad died when we were here, my mother has mourned here deeper than she has at home. I find it hard to relax at the beach house now.

So, it might be a good thing that my parents are selling it. But it breaks my heart in two at the same time. I am trying to stuff it down and say it is for the best. Writing this is my way of facing it.

They are retired and spending more time a the beach now. For months at a time, they are stuck with no dishwasher, a small space for the two of them to be in and only one shower. Plus, my dad can’t keep his boat there. So, they are selling it and getting a newer, nicer home on a canal where he can keep his boat on a lift and they can comfortably live 1/2 of the year.

But my heart is still broken.

wedding, sisterI know that I have dear friends that are more like family who’s hearts will break a little too. Peyton and I got a boat load (literally!) of sand dollars one year. This was also the year I was introduced to Prince via 1999 – our mom’s were not too happy with that one, but I was hooked. I grew up with Joe (Joey to me!) here and we were in a bad car wreck on the way down to the beach one time with our families. I can also remember running up and down the boardwalk and playing Uno way past our bedtimes. Heather Ivey and I had tons of fun getting dressed up and going to the local “bar” and getting strange looks from the locals. We laughed until it hurt. Noni and our crew spent a long weekend there a few years back. She was pregnant with her Hailey on that trip. Jill was a beautiful bridesmaid for my sister’s wedding we had on the beach right out in front of the house. I honestly feel like I am losing a piece of my heart. I have been going to this beach since I was 4 and I have spent summers in this house since I was in the 3rd grade or so.

I know that change is the only constant and I need to just go with the flow, but I guess I need to mourn this loss too. I used to think that mourning was just for death of a loved one. Now I am know better and I know I need to move though the emotions instead of using logic to wiggle my way out of the pain.

I know that my sister is all tied up in this too. I feel like I am losing a piece of her too. beach, wedding, pirate

So, I am going to let myself cry over it. Today probably won’t be the last day I cry about it. It is funny how attached we can get to physical things. My yogic self knows that it really does not matter in the big picture… nothing is permanent, all material things are just dust blah blah blah… but this stinks.

The new house they have picked out has a weeping willow in the front yard. My sister wanted a weeping willow at her grave, but we can’t plant one there because it does not get enough sun. I think it is a sign that she is there too. I know we carry her spirt where ever we go so we will just have to make new memories in the new home and talk about her a lot. If the shoe was on the other foot and she was losing this house, I know she would cry too.

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The “Swiss Army Knife” of Essential Oils

lavender, natural health, france, belugium, essential oils, calm, peace, sleep, insomniaLavender is one of the world’s most popular oils. Lavender has been cherished for its unmistakable aroma and its therapeutic properties for thousands of years. Lavender is widely used and acknowledged for its calming and relaxing qualities. You see lavender scented baby products, linen sprays and eye pillows. Unfortunately, those products are loaded with toxic chemicals, are perfume grade and rarely contain any real essential oil. One of the ladies I work with is from Belgium and she smelled our lavender and she lit up and said “It smells like home! None of the other lavender I have smelled in the states smells like this!!!”

BOOM – yes, because it is from France and it is pure!

I like to call lavender the “Swiss Army Knife” of oils because it is so useful. I knew that it was relaxing but I had no idea that it soothes skin, helps skin recover quickly (think bug bites and minor boo-boos), eases muscle tension and it relaxes your mind. I like to diffuse lavender with wild orange for a peaceful night’s sleep.  If you apply pure lavender oil to the back of your neck and temples it can relieve muscle tension and soothe mind and body.

In ancient times, the Egyptians and Romans used Lavender for mummification, bathing, relaxation, cooking, and as a perfume; its ability to calm and soothe the mind and body continue to be Lavender’s most notable qualities.  Due to Lavender’s versatility and soothing properties, it is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times.

USES

  • Add a few drops of Lavender to pillows, bedding, or bottoms of feet for a restful night’s sleep.
  • Keep a bottle of Lavender on hand for minor burns, cuts, and scrapes.
  • Freshen your linen closet, mattress, car, or the air by combining Lavender with water in a spray bottle.
  • Add to bath water to soak away stress or apply to the temples and the back of the neck to ease muscle

    tension.

  • Use in cooking to soften citrus flavors and add a flavorful twist to marinades, baked goods, and desserts.

    DIRECTIONS FOR USE

    Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
    Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.
    Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.

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Finding Sacred Space

meditation, dog, puppy, sacred space, mom, kids, time, time out

Sometimes I have a furry meditation partner.

If there is one common thread that I see with busy moms it is that we don’t think we have the time or space to take care of ourselves. We feel guilty if we carve out time or space for just us.  But, when we are followed around by little angels/demons all day, we tend to get a little frazzled.  I remember the days when I could not go to the bathroom by myself and honestly, my girl is a tween and she has just started leaving me alone when I get on the phone. If I go to my room to practice yoga or meditate, she still finds a reason to come and talk to me. I now tell her that unless there is blood or fire – do not disturb. It is only for a few minutes. I know she is fine. This will help her become more independent and I think it will be helpful for her to know that she too can take a time out when she is 40 something and has little ones of her own to take care of. sacred space, meditate, yoga, flower, books, journal

I had to purposefully create sacred space for myself. I have friends who have created tis space in closets! It can be done even if you think you can’t! We all need a spot in our home to call “ours.” This spot is only for me. I love my spot. I have a big comfy chair (sometimes it is too comfortable for mediation!) a small table for inspiring books, my journal, a small altar and that’s it. That is all I need. Everybody knows in my house that this is my spot and it is not to be messed with. I keep it cleaner than any other space in the home to be honest. It is special.

meditate, journal, books, read, decorate, time, mom, family, kids, yogaI sit here when I teach my online oil classes. I meditate here daily. I read in my big cozy chair. I journal.

Does that make me a bad mom? I sure hope not. But, I bet ya you might feel guilty if you claimed your space or time. We all do. Get over it. Seriously, for the sake of your kids and yourself… get over it. Claim an adult time out and get your meditation practice (or reading or yoga) going.

Do you have a space that you can call your own in your house? If not… why? If you don’t have room, then get creative like my friend with a meditation space in her closet. Even if you make your bathroom super duper cozy and put a mediation cushion in there, that is the start of something.

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Coconut Pineapple Popsicles

coconut, pineapple, popsicles, summer, healthy, ice-cream, ice cream, freezer, diy, cooking

We all need a nice, cold treat on hot summer days. I finally found one that I can eat and not feel bad about. Of course, I had to make it, but it is super easy.

coconut, pineapple, popsicles, summer, healthy, ice-cream, ice cream, freezer, diy, cooking

Coconut Pineapple Pops:

1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup of pure pineapple juice
10 – 20 drops of stevia if you like

Mix it all together and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for several hours. You can add chunks of mango too! Yum!

Enjoy

xoxo,

Heather

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The Weird Way I Do Laundry

I have never really liked the perfume-y smell of some laundry detergents and fabric softeners. I can not imagine how overpowering those new scent beads must be. I just don’t think my clothes need to smell like a bottle of perfume to smell clean. Now, I can smell it on other people’s clothes and it bugs me. It does not give me a headache or anything, I just don’t like the smell.

DIY, Dryer Balls, natural, non-toxic, wool, all natural, essential oilsI do my laundry differently than most people. I don’t make my own detergent. I know a lot of people do and it saves money, but I use an unscented detergent for sensitive skin. I also use vinegar in the wash as my fabric softener. Did you know that vinegar softens fabric? It is cheap and easy. Just put about 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the wash along with your detergent. Don’t worry, your clothes will not smell like vinegar.

After the wash cycle, I put most of my clothes in the dryer. I hang up all of my delicates and my yoga clothes so they won’t loose their elasticity. I have about 6 dryer balls in the dryer and a big ball of aluminum foil. The wool dryer balls dry your clothes faster and get rid of wrinkles, the foil gets rid of static cling. You can also pin a big safety pin on the dryer balls for static cling too. I usually put a few drops of my favorite essential oils on the dryer balls and they give your clothes a nice mellow, clean scent.

Speaking of essential oils, you can use oils to get out stains. Lemon oil is great for stains. Just put a drop or two directly on the stain and wash. This is very effective for oil and sticky stains.

I like making the dryer balls. It keeps my hands off of the computer and it is meditative. They are very easy to make and they make great gifts. Throw in a bottle of essential oil to scent them with and you have the perfect house warming, new baby or just because gift.

So, maybe you can be weird like me and smell clean and fresh instead of like a bottle of perfume. How does that smell like the mountain air? I can tell you it sure does not smell like lavender!

If you are interested in getting the best essential oils – shoot me a message or call me.

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Ever had one of those days when you feel cray cray? Yea, me neither…

Am I going to cry?
Why do I feel like crying?PMS, Essential oils, Mood Swings, Mood, Clary Calm
Don’t you give me that look!
Did she give me a look? Now I not so sure.
Oh now I feel bad…
What in the H-E double hockey sticks is wrong with me? Crying, anger, perfectly fine and back again in under 30 seconds… yikes.

That was me this Sunday. I knew it was hormonal because I was just all over the place. So,  for the health and welfare of my family – I decided to go and pull out the big guns. I have used only a clary sage blend in the past, but I have researched sandalwood and I found that it is great for the supporting the endocrine system, so I added it to my oils  this weekend. Worked like a charm! I am happy to report that my family is alive and well and I am feeling normal again 😉

online essential oils, essential oil, class, free, free class

If you are interested in learning more tips like this join me on my Facebook page. I am also teaching an online class tomorrow 7/6 at 8:00 PM and you are welcome to jump in! Go here for the online class.

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Is your dog scared of loud noises?

Does your puppy crawl under the covers, shake uncontrollably, whine, or otherwise dogs, dog, pets, reflexology, natural, natural pet, essential oils, anxietycompletely freak out when people start shooting off fireworks, when a thunderstorm comes through or if any other shocking loud noise fires off near your house? Mine do. Koda just kind of hides or lays next to me. Yogi full on freaks, shakes and hides under the covers. I think if he could get under my shirt and then under the covers then inside a closet – he might feel better. If I don’t pick him up and hold him, he stares me down with his ears pinned back. It is pretty pitiful.

My baby boy - Koda the bully mix

My baby boy – Koda the bully mix

However, I do want to go enjoy my neighbor’s fireworks on Independence Day. They live a few neighborhoods down from us and it is tradition. So, I have a plan this year. I will diffuse lavender, grounding blend and frankincense for them in our bedroom and living room. I will also rub some grounding blend and lavender on their back paws. This helps them calm down. I also do this little trick for road trips.

So, if you pooch is scared of fireworks or storms, use some pure essential oils and snuggle them a lot if you can!

If you want to know where you can get the best essential oils, message me! 🙂 Find me on Facebook (Heather Swint – Essential Wellness) for the fastest response.

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Clean and Calm Lemongrass Oil

I uselemongrass, essential oil, calm, soothing, muscles, food, cookingd to grow lemongrass in my yard in my first house with my hubby. It is incredibly easy to grow and it actually repels insects just by hanging out in your yard – kind of like geraniums. Now that I have dove head first into essential oils I know that it is a very cool plant with healing properties that go beyond tasty flavor in Thai food and keeping mosquitoes away from my porch.

Use this one to help aching muscles and joints – it is great at supporting healthy inflammation response. I have taken it in a veggie cap with frankincense and marjoram to help soothe muscle aches. I really like to diffuse it because it smells nice and fresh. Mix it with bergamot and frankincense to aid in focus and help support a calm mood.  Speaking of bugs and diffusing – instead of lighting  toxic torches – diffuse lemongrass and enjoy the benefits of lemongrass and keep those bugs away from your BBQ. If you want to cook with it, just add a drop to any Thai dish for a fresh addition (you don’t have to buy an exotic ingredient for one recipe! bonus!).

If you do use this on your skin, make sure you dilute it in FCO and don’t use it in a bath… it will sting! I made that mistake once – oops. Learn from me my friends!

A tall, perennial plant, Lemongrass has a subtle citrus flavor and is used in Asian cuisine in soups, teas, and curries as well as with fish, poultry, beef, and seafood. In addition to its unique flavor, Lemongrass essential oil promotes healthy digestion and acts as an overall tonic to the body’s systems. It’s also purifying and toning to the skin, and is frequently used in skin care products for these benefits. Lemongrass can soothe sore muscles and joints, making it an ideal oil to use in massage therapy or applied directly to problem areas. Lemongrass has a pungent, herbaceous aroma that can heighten awareness and promote a positive outlook.

USES

  • To help soothe sore joints or muscle sprains, combine equal parts Fractionated Coconut Oil and Lemongrass oil and rub topically on area of concern.
  • Use to flavor entrées and meat dishes while promoting healthy digestion.
  • Combine with Melaleuca and apply to toenails for clean, healthy nails.
  • Rub or spritz on skin before going outside. Lemongrass essential oil naturally repels insects.DIRECTIONS FOR USE

    Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
    Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.
    Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity

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When is enough, enough????

stressed-mom, stress, mom, yoga, meditation, guilt, mommy guiltIt used to be that women stayed home, cleaned, cooked and took care of the kids and lunched with the neighbors and that was pretty much it. Of course, this came with the the side effect of that being the ONLY thing you could do, or maybe you could go get a “woman’s job” like cleaning houses, answering phones or taking care of someone else’s kids. (I once found an old newspaper in my grandparent’s steamer trunk with the want ads, it was very enlightening.)

Now, most women are expected to run a home, cook, clean, work a day job and take care of the kids. This leaves zero  time for taking care of yourself ladies. Zero. I am grateful for the men that step up and help, that will pitch in with cleaning, laundry (thank you Mike Swint!) and sometimes we even get a girls night out. But, do you feel guilty for going out with the girls? Or even worse…. going somewhere by yourself. Heaven forbid that you go see a movie by yourself, or get a massage, or take a yoga class. Is this guilt self inflicted, a residual side effect of years of programming,  or is it coming directly out of someones mouth? “I can’t believe you went and had a massage on a Tuesday!” or “When do you find the time to go to yoga?” Or worse “What gives you the right to take a break?” (no, really, that happens in some marriages) And here is the thing! It is not just men who are doing this to women… we are doing this to each other girls! I can not tell you how many times I have heard “must be nice to go to Athens and take a yoga class… I just don’t have the time for that.”  How do you think that makes someone feel? I guess they feel resentful so it is their goal to make others feel bad (subconsciously or not) so they are not all alone in their misery.

So… my question is… when are we going to be “enough?”

What is “enough?”

When did it become a bad thing to make sure you stay healthy?  Some women have to reach their breaking point before they take a break (which usually ends up being an unhealthy break.) Some of my friends feel like they have to earn the right to ask for a night off. It is like we are kids making sure we do our chores before our parents will let us go play.

The laundry will wait.
The toilets can be cleaned tomorrow.
Even after you die… your inbox will still be full.

It is OK (more than OK!) for you to take time for yourself.

I believe it is so very unhealthy for anybody to go weeks, months, years, with out taking a guilt free break. I also think it is unhealthy for our kids to see us running ourselves ragged and never resting. They are just tiny mirrors. Do you want your kid to never rest when they grow up? I am sure you do not want that for them. I don’t want it for my little girl. I work hard, keep my house respectable and cook dinner most nights. However, everybody in this house knows that there will be a night or two that I don’t cook. We can order in, eat leftovers, make sandwiches or go out. I am lucky to have a husband who is supportive and does not care if I take 30 minutes to do yoga or meditate. Granted… I have an older kid… so you can say it is easy for me, but I know women with smaller children who take yoga, meditate and have social lives. Some nights when I teach yoga, there are even dishes in the sink! Gasp! Guess what… this is real life, therefore, there are dishes in the sink.

Sometimes, it can feel like it is too much to balance out your life. Like, finding balance is a stressor in itself. This is valid. VALID.  If it feels like too much to find some sort of picture perfect zen mommyhood – then I still think it would be a good idea for you to take a time out before you lose your mind and start yelling at everybody for their shoes being left in the hallway again… or worse… you end up sick.

Even if you are at the stage in your life where when you go to the bathroom and you have little fingers under the door – you can do something for yourself. If you are at work, take a lunch break. A real lunch break. Sit outside and enjoy the fresh air… your “me time” does not have to be fancy.  A 5 minute meditation break can change your whole day. Imagine if you took a whole 10 minutes a day! I promise you can do it! Ask for help. Ask for support. If you are not getting the support you need, then there may be bigger issues brewing that you need to tend to.

Taking time for yourself is not selfish. It is necessary. Having a spotless house and being there for every. single. moment. of your kids life is not necessary. You, your marriage and your kids will all benefit from you taking care of yourself.

Namaste.

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