DIY Foaming Hand Soap

A few months ago, I received Thieves foaming hand soap complimentary in my essential oils order.  I used it and absolutely loved it.  But, I went to re-order and was astounded to find they cost $17 retail each. Ridiculous!

Refusing to spend that kind of money on hand soap and desperate for the soap that’s left my hands feeling cleaner than ever, I discovered a super easy DIY recipe.  I love that with this recipe I can use whatever essential oils I want, to change scent with the season.  The Thieves essential oil blend feels perfect for this time of year, especially with the added bonus of immune system support.

This only takes 1 minute to make and you probably already have all the ingredients in your cabinets.  I don’t think I’ll ever buy hand soap again after figuring out this simple trick.

What You’ll Need:

Steps:

  1. Fill an empty soap dispenser 2/3 full with water.  You must add water before soap to keep from bubbling up.
  2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of castile soap.
  3. Add 4-5 drops of essential oil.
  4. Put the top on and shake slightly to mix all ingredients and it is ready.

Happy DIY-ing!  Let me know what you think!

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Natural Product Review: Thieves Fruit and Veggie Soak

Thieves Fruit and VeggieI am constantly trying new natural products to replace the toxic ones and create a safer environment in my home.  Every once in awhile, I come across a product that really stands out – Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak by Young Living is one of them.

I kept having friends try it and tell me how much longer it helped keep their produce fresh, but I didn’t really believe them. Finally, I decided to give it a try and was blown away by how well it actually worked.  Produce that used to go bad in just a few days now lasts me all week, if not longer. I was especially surprised at how long it kept strawberries fresh (even when cut!), which for me are always the fastest to get moldy and soggy.

This wash is powerful because it uses the combination of 3 different essential oil blends:

The three of these oils help to clean the produce of dirt and bacteria from grocery handling as well as protect from mold.

It comes in a concentrate so you just add 1 oz to a gallon of water for your soak.  My routine is to put all my produce in a clean sink when I get home from the store or farmer’s market and soak for a couple minutes.  Then, I rinse and dry the fruits and veggies before putting them in my fridge or counter top ready to eat!  I also put some in a spray bottle with water to use if I skip my routine and just need a quick wash for things like apples or potatoes.

What do you use currently to wash your produce?  Is it working to keep things fresh?

My Favorite Diffusing Combos

One of the ways I use essential oils every day is through aromatherapy. I almost always have some essential oils in my diffuser at home and on my desk at work. Research has shown that the fragrance of essential oils can have a profound impact on the limbic system (our emotions), the hypothalamus (our hormones), and on the oxygenation & function of the brain.  Today, I’m sharing some of my go-to essential oil blends to diffuse when I’m sick, stressed, or just want to clear the air:

EO Allergy BlendSeasonal Allergy Blend:

  • Lavender (4 drops) – Lavender is an incredible natural antihistamine and helps reduce inflammation in the sinuses.
  • Peppermint (2 drops) – The minty freshness of peppermint opens up the airways, helping you breathe and easing congestion.
  • Lemon (2 drops) – Lemon is another natural antihistamine that helps reduce inflammatory response and mucus.
  • If you have a sinus headache, add 3 drops of Copaiba – it’s a super strong anti-inflammatory that helps with pain relief.
  • *I used this same blend mixed with coconut oil to calm my skin and relieve itching when I had an allergic reaction that caused a rash.

Odor EliminatorOdor Eliminator:

  • Purification (3 drops) – This stuff is magical – it disinfects the air and neutralizes bad odors, including those from mildew and smoke. It’s a blend of citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, lavandin, and myrtle.
  • Lemon (4 drops) – Lemon helps to cleanse and disinfect the air while adding an invigorating, clean aroma.
  • This blend is also fantastic for getting rid of that mustiness in your washing machine or added to carpet spray used on pet accidents.

BreatheBreathe

  • RC (5 drops) – aka “Respiratory Congestion,” this incredible blend of oils provides significant relief from colds, sore throats and sinus issues. It contains many oils that help open up airways: Myrtle, (3 kinds of) Eucalyptus, Marjoram, Pine, Cypress, Spruce, and Peppermint
  • Lemon (2 drops) – Lemon helps to reduce excess mucus and to open up lymph pathways for proper drainage.

Immune BoosterImmune Booster

  • Thieves (4 drops ) – With powerful ingredients like clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary, this oil has proven through research and history to boost the immune system and disinfect the air of germs.
  • Lemon (2 drops) – Lemon helps to cleanse the body of toxins and opens up your lymphatic system.
  • Tea Tree (2 drops) – Promotes cleansing and purity, helping fight infection.

RelaxRelax

  • Lime (2 drop)  – Stimulates a tired mind and renews your spirit.
  • Lavender (2 drops) – Calming & relaxing.
  • Stress Away (4 drops) – My favorite blend… it truly does help take the stress of the day away.  It contains Copaiba (to help soothe), Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla (because who doesn’t love that wonderful fragrance!?), Ocotea (creates peaceful environment) and Lavender.

Happy BrightHappy & Bright – My very favorite everyday combo!

  • Joy (4 drops) – A delightful blend of beautiful oils that brings positive energy to the household. It promotes romance and harmony. It’s a mix of bergamot (relieves stress and tension), ylang ylang (to balance crazy hormones), geranium, lemon, coriander, tangerine (calming), jasmine (promotes feelings of love and support), roman chamomile, palmarosa, and rose (creates a romantic, magnetic energy).
  • Lemon (4 drops) – Purifies and provides a bright, uplifting fragrance.

Bedtime BlendBedtime Blend:

  • Lavender (4 drops) – Lavender is calming to the body, both mentally and physically. A University of Miami study found that inhalation of lavender increase beta waves in the brain, leading to heightened relaxation; and an Osaka Kyoiku University study found that it reduced mental stress.
    • Since lavender is one of the most commonly adulterated oils (chemical fragrances are added), you have to be careful where you buy it. I once bought a bottle from the grocery store when I ran out and, while it (mostly) smelled the same, it had zero effect on inducing relaxation like my Young Living bottle did!
  • Stress Away (3 drops) – The perfect blend to help you wind down for the day.  It contains Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood (to release melatonin), Vanilla, Ocotea and Lavender.
  • Variation: If you have them, add a couple drops of each of the following to the Lavender instead of Stress Away: Cedarwood – stimulates the pineal gland to release melatonin, and  Ylang Ylang – Restores peace and balances hormones (can help reduce cortisol spikes that inhibit sleepiness).

Oh Happy DayOh Happy Day!

  • Peace & Calming (4-5 drops) – I think the name says it all… this blend truly does bring emotional peace. It’s a blend of tangerine (combats nervousness), orange (sedating and calming), ylang ylang, patchouli (clarifies thoughts and promotes grounding), and blue tansy.
  • Frankincense (2 drops) – Increases spiritual awareness and improves attitude. This oil was used throughout the Bible to enhance connection to God through worship and prayer.

What are your favorite blends to add to the diffuser? Let me know how you like these!

Source: Essential Oils Pocket Reference

For more information on essential oils and why I chose the Young Living brand, visit this page.

P.S. It’s important to be careful how you diffuse essential oils into the air because when you heat them, it destroys the healing compounds. I use a cool air diffuser that uses ultrasonic technology to mix the oil with water and disperse into the air. This atomizer activates the healing effects of the oils and allows the aromas to stay in the air for longer.  Plus, it’s also a humidifier so is great to put by your bed when you’re sick.  When you order a starter kit from Young Living, it comes with an amazing diffuser – read here for how to get started.

Essential Oils: Where to Start

You’ve probably seen it all over social media… people are obsessed with essential oils.  Personally, I was really skeptical of the whole essential oil thing for awhile, but let me tell you: I tried them and I am now a believer!  They really are amazing and have helped me achieve better health naturally and safely.

If you’ve been wanting to try essential oils and just aren’t sure where to get started, I thought I would help provide a quick guide for you.  It can be a bit overwhelming sorting through all the information – what company to choose, what oils to start with, how to use the oils, and the list goes on.  I’ve done tons of research and I’m here to help!

What Kind to Buy? Does Brand Matter?

I’ve learned from experience that brand really does matter when it comes to the effectiveness of oils.  I’ve tried several brands and now only buy from a couple of companies I know sell pure, high-quality oils that actually work.  Many cheaper store brands use chemicals (in growing, distillation or bottling) or add filler oils and fragrances to the bottle.  Even if they claim to be “pure,” unfortunately, they often aren’t.  Young Living became my favorite company because they own their entire process from Seed to Seal – they grow the plants on their own farms (pesticide-free), distill and bottle the oils themselves.  I trust their oils to be safe and therapeutically effective based both on my research and personal experience.

What Oils to Try?

With hundreds of essential oils and blends to choose from, trying to figure out what to try first is probably the hardest part.  Here are 3 options for getting started:
  1. Free Sample – for my friends in Austin, I’d be happy to share a few drops of one of my favorites as a sample if you’d like to try something before you take the step to purchase.
  2. Try One or Two – Young Living has a product website where you can choose to purchase oils directly just like you would for normal online shopping.  You will pay full retail price for the items (unlike the option below), but you still get fantastic quality for the price.  Click here to create a Retail Customer account and then find products to purchase.
    • Which Oil(s) to Choose: I am happy to make personal recommendations based on what you’re looking to use it for – maybe you’re looking for something to help with allergies, with headaches, for energy, for non-toxic house cleaning, stress-relief, skincare… the list goes on – you tell me what you’re looking to tackle naturally!  You can comment on this post, use the contact form here or email me at healthyhopefulblog(at)gmail(dot)com.
  3. Start with a Starter Kit (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!) – Young Living offers a discounted Premium Starter Kit for $160 that includes a selection of 11 bottles of essential oil that are some of the most-used, plus a diffuser that allows you to use the oils aromatically. It is a great deal worth over $300 and gives you the ability to try all different kinds of oils. See below for a list of what’s included.  BONUS: this option also gives you a Wholesale Membership, which gives you 24% off retail prices for future orders. Here’s the basics of what is means to be a member:
    • No minimum order or pressure to purchase – You don’t have to purchase anything after your starter kit if you don’t want to (though I bet you will!).  There is no fee to keep your wholesale pricing active; you only need to spend $50PV on products each year to keep it.
    • Compensation as an Independent Distributor – When you sign up for the wholesale membership, it automatically enrolls you as a distributor. There is no obligation to sell oils, but if you’re looking for some extra income, there are ways to receive compensation for sharing oils with your friends.
    • Optional Essential Rewards Program – Your membership gives you the option to set up a monthly order through this program. It’s totally optional to participate, but each order does earn you points towards free products and you also get reduced shipping rates.

New Starter KitWhat is Included in the Premium Starter Kit?
Here’s a list of the 11 amazing oils included in the kit and how I use them for some ideas of the ways they help*:

  • 1 – 5 ml Frankincense – the most expensive oil in the kit, it is amazing for the immune system. It’s also great for spiritual & emotional support. This oil has been used in worship for centuries and was given to Jesus by the wise men for a reason. I was really skeptical on using any oil “emotionally,” but upon studying its use in the Bible and then actually seeing the effects personally, I was convinced.
  • 1 – 5 ml Lemon – check out my blog post about all the ways I use it for health, hygiene and cleaning
  • 1 – 5 ml Lavender – this one might be my all time favorite – read my blog post all about it
  • 1 – 5 ml Copaiba – good for sinus headaches, digestion and a great pain reliever
  • 1 – 5 ml Peppermint – the best for headaches and nausea relief; read 10 ways I use this oil here
  • 1 – 5 ml R.C.™ – a blend for “respiratory congestion” – read my blog post here.
  • 1 – 5 ml Purification® – the name says it all – this stuff is perfect for ridding forgotten-laundry/front-loader washer mustiness, as an air purifier, and to clear up acne – read my blog post here.
  • 1 – 5 ml DiGize™ – helps aid the digestive system – read my blog post here.
  • 1 – 5 ml PanAway® – I use this blend for easing sore muscles similar to IcyHot
  • 1 – 5 ml Thieves® – incredible immune support and a must-have when you are sick – this blend of several oils was used by thieves (hence the name) during the plague to keep them from getting sick.  It can also be used to make a super effective, non-toxic all-purpose cleaner and home disinfectant. Read more here.
  • 1 – 5 ml Stress Away™ – the name says it all.. I wouldn’t want to live without this! Read more here.

Plus…

  • A Dewdrop Diffuser (regularly $80 on it’s own!)
  • AromaGlide Roller Top
  • 10 Sample Packets (to use when you travel or to share with friends & family)
  • 2 NingXia Red® 2-oz. samples
  • Product Guide and Product Price List
How to Purchase a Starter Kit & Get a Wholesale Membership
Click here to start then choose “Member” like the screenshot below.  My member #2343919 should already be filled in as the person who referred you. Thank you for supporting this blog!
Sign Up as Member

Next, enter your personal information.  Since being a member allows you to sell and receive commission, it will ask for your social security # for tax purposes only. The site is secure.


Then, choose the “Premium Starter Kit”

ChooseStarterKit
It will then give you the option to choose an essential rewards kit – you can skip this step for now and select “No, thank you.”  It’s better to sign up later if you are interested – feel free to ask me about the details.

Enter payment information and shipping details and submit!  In just a few days, you’ll receive your essential oils.  Plus, since you’ve signed up for a membership, you’ll also get these awesome resources to help you learn how to use your essential oils:

  • I’ll add you to a private Facebook group where you can participate in a community that shares and gives you a place to ask questions and learn how to use your oils from other experiences
  • You’ll have access to FREE webinars and classes that will teach you how to use the oils effectively
  • And I’m here to help – feel free to ask me any questions you have and find a list of my blog posts on essential oils here

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. I am not a doctor and any tips I share are not meant to diagnose or cure disease; I am just sharing ways that these oils have helped me personally.