Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Break recap

Monday. It's dreaded for different reasons at different stages of life. When in school I had to get myself psyched up to go to classes after two blissful days of rest. When I was working I had to get myself back in the groove of completing tasks and attending meetings. Since I've been staying home with the kiddos I have to get myself ready to go solo for the majority of the day and the attitude changes that occur in my children when daddy isn't around after a couple days with him here. I still don't understand that phenomenon. Now that I have one in school I have to actually make myself look human and leave the house!

Spring break was a nice break from loading the kiddos up twice a day for school drop off and bus pick up. I was hoping to use the break to gently ease Aurelia in to a different nap routine that jived with Malakai's drop off and pick up times...but that didn't happen in the slightest. She barely napped at all actually. 

We took some time to play outside a little longer than usual. We took a trip to the library to stock up on new reading material. We watched tv before lunch (our usual rule is no screen time until after school). I even went out on the town on a weeknight with just Aurelia and hosted an essential oils class!

On Friday Ben took a day off and we headed to the coast, which was a bit windy but not too bad for Oregon in the spring. The boys have been asking to go to the beach for weeks. My mom came with us (it was her idea to go in the first place actually!). We had coffee at our favorite place, visited with my grandparents, and spent some time on the beach. 

{4 generations}

{attempting an aloof model pose. ridiculous}

{a little better, but they didn't want to stop playing to pose}

Ben played with the boys, my mom took pictures and I huddled up to shield Aurelia from the wind while she dug her toes in the sand for the first time and we watched the boys dig. It was a whirlwind trip but a much needed little getaway. 

The rest of the weekend we spent getting things done around the house/to the car and getting rest for two of the kiddos with colds. By the time we went to bed last night all of the clean laundry was actually folded and put away. I can't remember the last time that happened!

Now today, back to the routine of getting barely anything done before the day is coming to a close. Keeping up with our schedules and the chaos that comes from trying to have a schedule with 3 small children. But I love it. I'll be a little sad when our next break gets here and Malakai will have finished his first year of school, all the kiddos will be a little closer to their first/next birthdays, and our summer will go by in a blur of celebrations as it always does. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2 Ingredient DIY Diaper Cream {cloth safe!}

One of my first DIY skin care projects was to make a diaper cream that was cloth safe, could tackle Desmond's stubborn skin problems and still be gentle enough to use when Aurelia was a newborn. I did a lot of searching and comparing of recipes and landed on the following recipe that is not only great to use daily to keep your kiddo from getting an irritated diaper area but it's also great for other skin conditions, all of us have used this on problem skin and had great results. While coconut oil on it's own is a great moisturizer, adding the essential oils really helps target and soothe specific issues. 

I make this using just 2 ingredients, 3 if you count that I use two different essential oils. 

You'll need:
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • essential oils 
  • glass canning jar for melting
  • sauce pan
  • glass container for storage 
First, put the coconut oil in to the glass canning jar. Add a couple inches of water to your saucepan and bring to a boil.

Place the jar of coconut oil in the saucepan until the coconut oil is melted, watch it, it happens fast!

Once the coconut oil is melted, remove from saucepan and place on a heatproof surface to cool for 5 minutes. Then add your essential oils; 6-8 drops of lavender and 6-8 drops of melaleuca. This blend of essential oils is great for soothing multiple types of skin irritations!

Stir the oils in and then pour from the canning jar into 3-4 smaller (1-2 ounce) glass storage jars. Leave the lids off and cover with a paper towel as the cream cools. If after a day or so your oils aren't hardening, go ahead and put the lid on and set in the fridge for several hours until hardened. 

That's it!

We keep one of these at the changing table, one in the bathroom for after bath application to dry areas, and one in the diaper bag for on the go use. This would make a fabulous baby shower gift for a cloth diapering mama or any mama!

Want to learn more about the many uses of essential oils? Click HERE to head over to my essential oils page. There you will find the basics as well as a link to my on going Essential Oil Spotlight series where I feature oils and blends and their uses (including lavender and melaleuca), and of course buying information. 

*These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Essential oils are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Essential Oil Spotlight: Grounding Blend

The second blend in the Essential Oil Spotlight series is the Grounding Blend. These oils help to create a sense of calm and well-being and even soothes sore muscles and joints. It has a mild and slightly sweet smell that is hardly noticeable and great for daily use.

My favorite ways to use this blend are:
  •  add it to a glass roll top bottle and apply to neck and wrists, like a perfume.
  • apply 3-4 drops to a diffuser. I like to add wild orange for an additional boost of happy feelings!
What essential oil or blend would you like to see featured next? Tell me here, on facebook or by email!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Essential Oils: An Intro to Blends

Last week I featured one of my favorite blends in an Essential Oil Spotlight. Calming blend is just one essential oil blend that comes with a number of oils to achieve a specific result. Blends are great because you get the benefits multiple oils without having to have each one on hand.

 You can also make your own blends. The single oils that I featured at the beginning of my Essential Oil Spotlight posts all blend together very well.

Some DIY blends using Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint and/or Melaleuca oils:

  • Lemon + Lavender + Peppermint = eases seasonal respiratory discomforts
  • Lavender + Melaleuca = soothes various skin irritations. 
  • Lemon + Melaleuca = multi-surface home cleaning spray.
  • Lemon + Peppermint = invigorating blend.
The list goes on and on! You can get these oils in an introductory kit or a beginner's trio and start blending them for your needs. 

I plan to share some specific recipes soon. Some things I've been working on that I am excited to share are a soothing salve, pumpable hand lotion, wool dryer balls, homemade deodorant, sprayable skin toner, and cloth safe diaper rash cream. So be sure to keep an eye out here for tutorials and recipes as well as our take on uses for these things and more. 

I'd love to share more with you. If you have any specific questions or features you'd like to see here in relation to essential oils, please comment here or email me! As always, feel free to head to my shop to pick up some oils and start experiencing the many benefits they can provide!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Aurelia Ann: 6 months

Aurelia crossed the half year mark earlier this month and I'm being a total sap about it. She's our last baby and I am soaking in every single minute of her babyness. I'm mourning that fact that the little baby days are gone. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying each new stage as it comes.

Right now Aurelia is an expert roller. She loves tummy time except when she's tired- she'll plant her face down into her hands and fuss until she's picked up. Since she started rolling we haven't been sleeping that well as she wakes frequently and is struggling to get back to sleep because she just wants to roll around or if it's in the middle of the night she thinks she needs to nurse. 

She is the smiliest baby I've ever met. She smiles almost immediately when anyone looks her way. My favorite smiles are when she's so happy that her little body can hardly contain the joy and she stiffens up and wiggles all over with excitement. She does this a lot for her daddy and her brothers. She loves to watch Malakai and Desmond play and they love to perform for her. I hope that lasts forever, it's so sweet to witness.

She recently went through a phase where she wouldn't let me put her down without a fuss. It lasted about 2 weeks and I'm so thankful for the Ergo carrier we were gifted a few years ago, total life saver...or at least arm saver. My big girl is growing fast!

We had her well check last week and she is weighing 17 lbs, 8 ounces and is 26 1/4 inches tall and believe it or not, that makes her our smallest baby at this stage. Malakai was 20lbs 28 inches and Desmond was 22lbs, 22 inches tall by 6 months. Sometimes I feel like she outgrows clothing faster than they did, but now I'm just realizing it's probably because she has more clothing than they did at this stage so we end up with outfits that I set aside or forgot about that she'll wear once or not at all. I've since gotten better at breaking out the next size so it's ready and waiting by the time she's grown into it.

Aurelia has been loving her jumper that we just broke out a month ago and she also sits in a high chair at the table with us now. She tasted her first food last week at dinner, mashed up avocado. She made a few questionable faces, but ate it up pretty easily! We gave her pureed carrots this week and she always makes a funny face at first but then eats it up like a pro!

I can hardly believe how quickly she's grown. I miss the tiny baby stage but am loving this interactive stage of watching her learn as well. She's developing such a sweet personality. 

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