Cleaning with Oils and doing your research

I only want to use safe, easy, and effective non-toxic cleaners in my home, and especially my kitchen.  My biggest concern is after I handle any meat in my kitchen.  I want to disinfect the counter, the sink, the sink handle (that I handle with meaty hands), the knife, the cutting board…everything!  Maybe it isn’t as big a deal for the counters and sink (even though I am still breathing in the mist of whatever spray I am using, so sill a concern), but I certainly don’t want to spray anything on my knifes and cutting board that says “avoid contact with foods.”  My knifes and wooden cutting board are not dishwasher safe, and I don’t trust that my sink water is getting hot enough to kill the germs, so I always spray them with my dōTERRA Lemon Essential Oil and water mixture before I start cleaning them with the dish soap.  I was telling my Hubby about this, and he didn’t believe that Lemon Oil was powerful enough to kill salmonella, so he Googled it.  He found articles that showed that Lemon Oil was in fact very effective against salmonella.   Plus, one of my favorite things about using my Oils for cleaning is that I can use the oils for so many other things as well!  I haven’t just purchased a cleaner, I’ve also purchased something that I can use to help my digestive health, improve my mood, help me focus, take as an antioxidant, and help reduce allergen response.

My go-to surface and air disinfectant has been my Lemon Oil mixed with some water, about 5 drops of oil per ounce of water.  Search for natural kitchen cleaners and you will find all kinds of options, but for me it doesn’t get any easier than fill bottle with tap water, drop in some oil, shake and spray.  There are many oils I could use to disinfect, but Lemon Oil has been my favorite because I love the clean smell, it is the cheapest single oil we carry, if I don’t rinse well enough and there is some lemon flavor left on my cooking surface it won’t ruin the taste of my food, and it works.

However, when I was looking up some research studies to show you how awesome Lemon Oil is for cleaning, I changed my mind!  I’ve been happy with my Lemon Oil, but after doing even more research, I found that Lemongrass Oil (same price and smell pretty close to Lemon) may be more effective against some common kitchen bacteria, and Oregano Oil is even better!  I just added some Oregano Oil to my current batch of cleaner, and did not find the smell as overwhelming as I anticipated.  Once this batch is gone, I’m going to switch to Lemongrass and Oregano oil only, because why use “good” when you can be using “better?”

In summary, I have two take-aways for you:

  1. Oils are a great all natural cleaning option
  2. Do your own research (well, at least your own Googling).  Essential Oils are being researched more and more every day, and doing your own searching helps you get the most up to date information.

The resources I use when trying to research an oil, or a problem I want to solve with oils, are the following, in order:

  1. Modern Essentials book
  2. Emotions and Essential Oils book
  3. www.neweverythingessential.me
  4. www.aromaticscience.com
  5. Google
  6. Ask another oil user what has worked for them

Once you get familiar with these resources, using oils are much easier than you might think!  Plus, the websites will be there for you in the middle of the night when your child wakes up feeling sick and you aren’t sure what to use.  I am always here for you if you have a question, but I encourage you to use these other resources as well.

Tummy trouble getting in your way?

It seems like every time I travel lately, even domestic trips, I end up with an upset gut every time. I say gut because it is more than just stomach, in fact it usually is more like diarrhea or constipation. To much information, I know. But let’s be real, it happens to lots of us. At first I thought it was because I was just eating out more when I traveled, and the food was too rich for me, but as I got closer and closer to the big move to Ireland, I was eating out almost exclusively. So I think it is just trying different types of foods, or more likely, adjusting to the water in the new place. I usually just drink unfiltered tap water (if it is safe), and the content of the water varies from place to place, so I suspected that is the culprit.

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Regardless of the cause (as long as it is not an infection of somesort, which is a whole other ball of wax), it has become expected whenever I travel. Nothing like going to visit friends and having to excuse yourself to disappear to their bathroom every 20 minutes. Or even better, out on a bus tour with no bathroom breaks available when you get the tummy rumbles. I started to get the rubles as we were waiting in line for hours outside the immigration office. There was one place open nearby that early in the morning, but I don’t know if they had a bathroom, and you don’t want to risk losing your place in line.

When I was in High School, diarrhea was an everyday thing for me. I don’t know why this was happening, but know I got really good at chugging Pepto right out of the bottle and swallowing Imodium AD caplets dry as I was in the bathroom stall. Yuck. Not to mention these can both lead to constipation later.

Now I am so glad I have a better solution! Many Essential Oils help with digestive issues, but my favorite is definitely dōTERRA’s DigestZen Essential Oil blend, which puts your digestive tract in a zen state (get it?), no matter what the issue. I have a bottle of this in my purse with me ALWAYS, along with my headache blend and hand sanitizer/throat spray (yep, one thing for both, pretty cool!). Now whenever I start to feel heartburn, stomach-ache, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea coming on, I just drop a drop or two of DigestZen under my tongue and feel relief in just a minute or two. To be honest, I think rubbing it right on the skin over where there rumbles are happening works faster (meaning rub a drop or three on my lower abdomen if the big D is coming on), and is easier to use if you aren’t used to dropping such strong tasting things in your mouth. However, when I am with Mr. What-is-that-smell (he says that about even the yummy oils), I would rather just put it in my mouth where I can chase it with a drink of water or juice and make the smell go away faster. Plus I kind of like the taste, and if I am on a bus or at a table in a restaurant, it is less embarrassing than putting my hand under my clothes and rubbing :) Save that one for after you are in the bathroom!

There is a no-smell option as well, you can put 1-3 drops of oil in an empty veggie-caplet or gel-caplet and take like a pill, or use the lovely dōTERRA DigestZen softgels, which are caplets already made up for you. But a small sample-sized bottle of the oil is, I find, much easier to stash in the purse, and then I also have it handy for when I need to rub it on to relieve my sinus pressure.
Take some dōTERRA DigestZen with you on your next trip, and relax and enjoy your stay!

Healthier New Year, Part 1: Exercise

Healthier New Year: Exercise

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How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?  I hope you are continuing on your journey towards a healthier new year.  For most people that means a new exercise routine.  If you are embarking on a new exercise routine, or just revamping up your current routine, I want to introduce you to my 3 best exercise friends: Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Deep Blue.  While these are not the only tools you can use to improve your performance and reduce post-exercise pain, these are the ones that I consistently use, and feel significantly less pain the day after exercise than when I forget to use them.

Both Lemongrass Essential Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil have analgesic (pain killer) and anti-inflammatory properties, and I definitely want to reduce my pain and inflammation!!!  They both have individual uses that are very helpful as well.  Of the many uses listed for dōTERRA Lemongrass Essential Oil in the Modern Essentials book, tissue repair and repairing ligaments are the ones I am most interested in.  As you may know, the micro-tears you create during exercise, particularly weight training, are what helps build your muscles, but also is what is responsible for a lot of the post-exercise pain.  I use the Lemongrass to help repair those micro-tears, which both helps my body heal faster and helps prevent next-day pain.

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The Peppermint Essential Oil is necessary in my routine because, again according to the Modern Essentials book, some if its uses are to help with muscle aches and muscle fatigue, so this one helps me feel a bit better immediately, while the Lemongrass Essential Oil really helps my next-day pain.  Peppermint Essential Oil has also been shown to help with athletic performance.  Both adding a drop of dōTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil to your water and inhaling the aroma will help with your performance during your workout.

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Who looks good when they’re running anyways? This was towards the end of a 5K race I ran last summer.

My exercise of choice is running/jogging/walking, which is hard on my knees (getting older stinks!).  Use of doTERRA’s Deep Blue Essential Oil blend, which contains oils known for soothing inflammation, alleviates pain, and reduces soreness, is what has been saving my knees.  While Deep Blue is good for both muscular and joint pain, I have a few things that work for muscle pain, but Deep Blue is my hands down favorite for joint pain.  Last spring I was having a lot of problems with my left knee.  I went to an Orthopedic Surgeon who found out that my problem was resulting from the squats and lunges I was doing in my workout class (not the running, yay!).  I told him that I was using the Deep Blue, and he said to keep on using it …. and lay off the squats and lunges.  So I keep on using it!

Now for the actual helpful part, what to do with these oils.  I pre-mix a bottle of dōTERRA Lemongrass Essential Oil (20 drops), dōTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil (20 drops), and top off with dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil in a 2 oz. glass bottle, but you could also make it up as you need by adding a couple of drops of each to a Tablespoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil in your hand.

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  1. Make your mix, if you are going that route, so it is ready when you get home.
  2. Add a drop of dōTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil (please don’t ingest any oils that don’t have a nutrition label on the bottle) to your water; shake well before drinking, re-shake if it’s been a minute since your last drink.
  3. Rub a drop onto your chest (think vapo-rub effect) and inhale out of your hands after you are done rubbing in.
  4. Go burn some calories!!!!!! 
  5. When you get home, use enough of your Lemongrass/Peppermint/Fractionated Coconut Oil blend to cover your to-be-sore area.  For me that means thighs, hamstrings, and calves.  I also make sure to cover the area below my calves, because I have a tendency to get tendonitis there (remember the lemongrass is good for repairing ligaments?).
  6. Rub the Deep Blue oil over any effected joints.  For me that means knees.  If it’s a really rough workout, I put it around my knee-cap and behind my knee.  Then wash your hands well to prevent getting the tingly/cooling Peppermint and Deep Blue on sensitive areas.
  7. Cover it up (like put your workout pants back on), and wait a few minutes (maybe more like 15 minutes) for the oils to fully absorb into your skin.  I do my stretches, get a snack, log my workout, etc.   Then you can take your shower and move on with your day.  You could apply the oils after your shower just as easily.  But…as much as I love the way this blend makes me feel, the smell can be quite overpowering.  I prefer to get it in my body then get rid of the smell.

That’s it!  Add a drop pre-workout, rub some oil on post-workout, and you are done, and you’ll be thankful the next day.

I should also add that I use the Lifelong Vitality Pack of vitamins and supplements every day, which give me the energy to get up and get out.  Many people also use the Mito2Max supplement to increase their energy even more.  This is not like an energy drink, it gives you consistent energy all day very day, no peaks and valleys, no caffeine, no weird taste.

If you want to reduce your post-workout pain as well, or learn more about other was dōTERRA can improve your life, contact me  for a free consultation.

Happier New Year, Part 2: Emotions

In part 1 of having a happier New Year, I discussed regulating your mood with the Mood Matrix oils.  In part 2, I want to discuss addressing specific emotional issues.  There are two books that I love for addressing emotional healing.  The first is “Living Healthy and Happily Ever After: Psychological and Physical Remedies to Jump Start Healing,” by Rebecca Hintze and Sue Lawton.  This book is a great tool for walking you though the journey of emotional healing, and also has a lot of Essential Oil blend recipes to deal with specific emotional and physical issues.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have this book when I started on my essential oil journey, but I did have “Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing,” by Daniel Macdonald (hereafter called the Emotions book).  That is the resource I am going to focus on here, and all references to the properties of oils in this post will be from that book.  I think of the Emotions book as more of a reference guide for my oils than a manual on dealing with emotional healing, although it certainly does have a short guide to healing.  That is to say, rather than reading the Emotions book from cover to cover, I just flip to an oil and see what it has to say, or look up an emotion I am feeling in the index to see what oils to use.  As the book puts it, “We all hold unresolved feelings of pain an hurt which need to be brought to the surface for transformation and healing,” and if you already know what those feels and pain are for you, then you are ahead of most people!

I am not sure that I could have picked my issues out of the air, but as I explain in my testimonial video, I did a Zyto Compass scan which identified some oils that would be beneficial for me, and when I looked the resulting oils up in the Emotions book, I was shocked at what I found!  The emotions called out by my Zyto scan oils addressed exactly what I was feeling at the time.  Here are some of the ones that came up for me and a brief synopsis of what the Emotions book says about them:

Oregano: The oil of Humility & Non-Attachment, addresses negative, excessively willful, pride.  Let’s just say that some of these issues were causing major relationship problems for me.  Yes please, I would love to work on those!

Thyme:  The oil of Releasing & Forgiving, addresses unforgiving heart, anger, age, bitterness, resentment.  So after the emotion mentioned in Oregano caused arguments and issues, my unforgiving heart, bitterness, etc. sure made it hard to heal the relationship and move on to happier times.

Melissa (Lemon Balm):  The oil of Light, addresses depression, darkened, dreary, suicidal, overwhelmed.  This one was the hardest for me to read, most people didn’t know that I was fighting all of these emotions almost every day.

Grapefruit:  The oil of Honoring the Body, addresses anxiety over appearance and addiction to food or dieting.  I was struggling to maintain a 90lb weight loss and still trying to get used to my new body, I definitely needed this one!

Ouch, sometimes it is hard to face our weak side and admit that we feel some of these things.   But I was also super excited to find a resource that would help me heal.  Typically, when you are dealing with an emotional issue, the first thought is to use the oils aromatically, but I tried a few different application methods.  I found that for me, taking the oils internally (which I would not recommend for any oils other than dōTERRA) was the most effective.  After a few weeks of use, and remember that I didn’t have the other book and didn’t really know what to do other than take the oils regularly, I stated feeling amazing!  My poor boyfriend didn’t even know how to deal with me, because he had gotten used to always expecting a fight, but now I was just sprigging things off and moving on, a huge improvement!

Unfortunately, I did the equivalent of stopping my antibiotics after I started to feel better instead of finishing the bottle, and some of the emotions started to return.  So I started taking them again, and sure enough, the feelings started to abate again.  If the feelings return again, I will use the oils in conjunction with Living Healthily and Happily Ever after book and work though my emotional blocks for good.  My point being that the oils are so powerful, that even not knowing what I was really doing and stopping them before I was ready, I STILL saw amazing results.  The benefits would have been even better if I had been using them in conjunction with some form of therapy.

Most of my issues seemed clustered around anger and depression, but here are some examples of other emotions addressed in the Emotions book:  addicted, spiritual blindness, poor boundaries, burned out, blocked communication, disheartened,  drained, envy, forgetful, grief, hesitant, holding onto the past, attached to illness, isolated, judged, know-it-all, left out, manipulated, need for approval, obsessed, overthinking, panic, powerless, quick-tempered, reclusive, scattered, self-sabotage, trapped, unfulfilled, victim, or workaholic.

I would be happy to help you discover which dōTERRA Essential Oils can help you address you specific emotional issue, but the resources I use is not available online, so you can send me a message and I’ll so some research for you, so we can all have a happier new year!

 

Have a happier New Year, Part 1: Mood

New Year fireworks

 

Ready for a happier and healthier new year?  Me too!  I am doing a series on making a happier and healthier new year; let’s start with happier.  I’m not going to pretend that there is one thing that will make everyone happy, or that happiness means the same thing to everyone.  Although I think most people will be cheered up by this cute guy.

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Puppy aside, I am not going to trying to discover the source of your individual happiness, I just want to help your body be in a position to be able to accept happiness.  If you are overwhelmed with feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, etc., cute puppies aren’t really going to do much for you.  Some of the Essential Oils I recommend most often are the four oils blends in the “Mood Matrix.”  I try to explain these by saying when you feel like your emotions are all out here (then I wave my arms around my head like a crazy person), the Mood Matrix oil blends help bring them back in here (then draw my hands back towards my heart).  I am a visual person, can you tell?  As a visual person, this chart really helps me understand, and explain, what these oil blends are designed to help with.

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I use them all, but not every one every day.  Serenity is my go-to relaxing before bed oil blend, Balance is great for when I am feeling anxiety or anger, and Citrus Bliss and Elevation both help me when I’m feeling down in the dumps or just need a little more pep in my step.  You can use one at a time, but my brother turned me on to layering Elevation and Citrus Bliss, which is now my favorite pick me up.  Layering means putting one oil on, letting it absorb into your skin, then adding the second one.

Why would you layer instead of mixing them before you apply?  Well, that goes all the way back to Chemistry class.  The simple explanation: mixing two things together will change their chemistry.  DōTERRA has put extensive research and testing into the most effective way to blend the oils, including which oils will produce the best synergy, what order to mix the oils in, and how much of each oil to use.  This is why I LOVE the dōTERRA Essential Oil blends, they’ve already done all the work for me!

You absolutely can try mixing oils yourself, use other blend recipes that dōTERRA Essential Oil users recommend, or even seek out single oils that will help you, but these blends are always the first tool in my toolbox (or medicine cabinet) that I reach for when I feel like my emotions are out of whack.  If you have a specific emotional issue you are trying to address, that’s when I pull out my emotions book and start researching!  More on that one later.  In the meantime, I hope these Mood Matrix blends can help make your new year a little happier!

Preparing to go back to school class

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Preparing to go back to school with doTERRA

I had so much fun at my class today sharing with my friends how to make this upcoming school year a more successful one.  Well, at least one person didn’t have kids, and others admitted that the products were for themselves, so I guess it is more accurate to say we are just going to have a great year, school or not.  I’ll try to record the class for all my long distance “students,” but might not get that done before school starts.  So in the mean time, here is the info I handed out:  class handout  You can see that most of the info applies to all of us, like how to keep from getting sick, focus on our work, combat anxiety, and recover from a tough workout.

Of course, we went much more in depth, demonstrating how to apply some oils, discussing things like not diffusing citrus oils around cats (toxic to the poor things), and how to get the doTERRA Essential Oils at the best price.  So you will probably have questions, just ask!

It is so much fun when we get to try out the oils out, and especially watching everyone’s reactions to the oils.  Did you know that we tend to be drawn to the oils our bodies need most?  So when I put the Melissa Essential Oil (aka Lemon Balm) on the roof of my mouth, I just love it, but a person at class tried it and….well…. didn’t care for it.  Now we know she should stick to aromatic application!  That’s why I love doing in person sessions.  That, and because I am demonstrating how to apply the oils, I end up putting quite a few on and smell delicious AND feel awesome by the end.

Watch out for more upcoming classes, or schedule a 1-on-1 consultation, and try the oils out yourself!

Question: What was your favorite subject in school?

 

Lavender Essential Oil and Allergies

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Well, okay, maybe the equation is a little more complicated than that, but my doTERRA Lavender Essential Oil at least made it POSSIBLE for me to love the cats.

I have been allergic to cats since I was a little girl.  Not deathly allergic, but mega itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing type allergy.  I have a time or two been in a position where I have to live with cats, such as my current situation, when I moved in with my BF who already was the proud owner of two cats.  I have found that as long as I don’t touch the cats, stay away from areas where they like to sleep and therefore have accumulated hair, don’t touch them, clean regularly, don’t touch them, keep them out of the bedroom, don’t touch them, and stay on allergy medications, then it is tolerable.  That’s fine if I’m visiting for a weekend, but full time living with them makes it a little harder, and this does not lead to a situation where it is easy to fall in love with cats.  It stinks living with two sweet cats that you can’t touch!  Especially when they come up to me meowing for pets….sigh….I feel like such a meanie!  I was forced to harden my hearts against the cuties, so I wouldn’t be tempted to pet and snuggle them.  I would ignore them, and they got used to it.  After about a year and a half of this, Boddington had decided he had enough!  He was claiming my lap as cat territory.

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This picture documents the day it all changed.  I gave in and let him up, but refused to touch him!  But he decided that was good enough and forced his way onto my lap every day after that.  Time to try something new to fight my allergies. The over-the-counter allergy medications, and even some prescription ones I’d tried, wouldn’t allow me to pet the cats without breaking out with itching and sneezing, even when the cats were freshly out of a bath!  So I started trying the doTERRA “allergy shot,” which is 2 drops each of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint.

The first day I started with about 5 doses of this, and then cut back to 2 times a day (mostly because I would forget to take it).  I tried it on my brother too, but he couldn’t handle the taste of them all mixed together, so I started experimenting with different combinations that I could recommend to him, and found that for my cat allergy (pollen may be a different story once fall comes), that Lavender alone was working for me.   So now I take 4-5 drops of doTERRA Lavender Essential Oil twice a day, and am able to pet the cats finally!  I may not dig my face into their fur in a turbo cuddle (I haven’t tried this yet), but I can touch them and brush them without worrying.  And now Boddington and I can be friends finally!

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New Class August 11th

 

Preparing to go back to school with Essential Oils

I can’t believe it’s that time yet, but in some parts of the country, kids are ALREADY back in school!  If you want to learn more about how to keep your kids healthy, focused, well rested, and fight anxiety and back to sports pain, please check out my class!  If you can’t make it, I will post the info later, but it will be way more fun if you can come to class and try the oils yourself!

Purify, mildew nemesis!

Purify, mildew nemesis!

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I was on vacation earlier this month, visiting some friends and family who were nice enough to let me crash in their guest rooms and use all their facilities, including laundry.  I am going to protect the identity of my test subject here, but suffice it to say they were one of said friends or family.   I went to do some laundry while they were at work, and audibly gasped when I pulled out the soap tray of their front load washer.  It was half black!  At least that’s how it was in my memory.  This is what it really looked like:

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Before

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After

Okay, not exactly half black, but black enough that I was NOT washing my clothes in there!  To be fair, this is a common problem with front load washers, especially if you aren’t set up in a way that you can leave the drawer and door open to fully dry between washes.  And as the spots were mostly on the bleach cup they probably aren’t using, they probably didn’t think much of it.

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After

But I did, and I was immediately glad I had brought my brand new bottle of doTERRA Purify Essential Oil Blend, which is great on mildew, and some empty spray bottles (to leave with my newly converted-to-doTERRA-loving, friends and family for their various around-the-home-oil uses).  So I raided the kitchen and found some white distilled vinegar and a scrubby sponge, and went to work.  I filled the 4oz glass bottle with some Purify (I can’t remember exactly how much, I think 20 drops), and filled it the rest of the way with the vinegar.   In hindsight, I should have tried soaking the trays first, but instead i just grabbed my sponge and my spray bottle and got to work!

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After

Oh man, the further I got into cleaning, the worse it was!  I also found that there was a decade or so of hard water and soap scum build up cemented over the mildew, lots of soap buildup globbed on, and lots of tight little crevices I had to get into.  Good thing I like the smell of the Purify so much, it helped cheer me up a little while I was cleaning.  :)

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After

Eventually I persevered, at least it was close enough.  I am sad to say I couldn’t get into that little corner in the back of the washer, but I did darn good considering my tools, and there was no nasty chemical smell, I didn’t have to worry about it bleaching my clothes, and I didn’t even have to worry about it tearing up my hands!  Which is good because I couldn’t find any rubber gloves.  Actually, my hands were in even better condition than they usually are from just washing dishes. Although, in hind sight, I probably should have worn gloves to protect me from the mildew!  I am usually so worried about protecting myself form the chemicals, I didn’t even think about the mildew.

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After

Finally, I was ready to do my laundry.  I also did something nice for my host, and left them with a full bottle of vinegar/Purify mix to spray in the drawer area after every wash to help keep the mildew away, so hopefully we never see those black spots again!!!!!!!!!!

I am so happy to have a safe, all natural, and EFFECTIVE cleaner for my home, one step in many to help me detoxify my life.  I hope to feature many more cleaning tips using doTERRA Essential Oils.

Any cleaning solutions you want to see?

Happy Birthday Peppermint Brownies

Happy Birthday to Oilladylaura.com!

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Can you hear me singing the birthday song to myself?  Can you also imagine me eating these delicious Peppermint Brownies?

I am so excited to finally be launching oilladylaura.com, something I have thought about for about 5 months now.  What better way to celebrate a birthday than with cake and flowers!  Well, this is close enough to cake at least.  So delicious and so easy to make!  Your guests will think you really did something special for them, when all it takes is box brownie mix, the ingredients on the back of the brownie mix box, and 10 drops of doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil (EO).

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Not only does it taste AMAZING, but it’s also better for you and purer tasting than just peppermint extract.  Of course, with 10 drops total for the whole batch, and some of the EOs getting “cooked out” in the baking process, each brownie is giving you less than a half drop, but there is still SOME benefits in there.  At least that’s what I tell myself so I can justify eating more. ;)

So how to make them: follow directions exactly as on the box, but add 10 drops of doTERRA Peppermint EO to the vegetable oil before adding to the rest of the ingredients, which will help it distribute more evenly.  If you forget this step, you can add it right to the brownie batter, but I can’t guarantee you won’t have peppermint “patches” in your brownies instead of an even consistent taste.

 

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I wouldn’t recommend doing this with any Peppermint EO, doTERRA is one of the few companies that recommends you take the oils (at least the ones with the nutrition label on the side, which this one does) internally, so be careful what you add to your food!  See more about why doTERRA is different here, and enjoy your delicious treats!