I don’t know about you, but March gives me so much hope. It may still feel like winter, but I know spring is coming. In like a lion, out like a lamb!
How about we celebrate the onset of March with a nice big GIVEAWAY?
This week we’re giving you a chance to win an Essential Oils Kit and AromaFuse Diffuser valued at $110.00! You can view more details about the essential oils kit HERE, and the diffuser HERE at Plant Therapy.com. Plant Therapy has graciously provided this essential oils package as a prize so that YOU can get a jump start on your health and wellness this spring!
You should know that I’ve gotten Plant Therapy oils before as part of my previous Healthy Living Bundle purchases and they are fabulous. While I don’t hold a particular brand loyalty when it comes to EOs, I do love that Plant Therapy offers quality oils at a very affordable price.
Let’s take a look at the prizes in this giveaway:
The 7&7 Essential Oils Kit features fourteen of Plant Therapy’s most popular oils. 7 single oils, and 7 blends or synergies- hence, 7 & 7. 😉 This would be a great set for someone who is just starting out with essential oils and would like to try several out, OR for someone whom is well-versed in essential oils and is running low on the essentials!
The AromaFuse diffuser, with its sleek, modern style and programmable lights & timer, would be an excellent addition to any room. The large reservoir will allow you to diffuse your favorite oils for several hours for all of the added benefits of essential oil aromatherapy.
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Soap is one of those things that we all use in some capacity. Maybe you like to find it as cheap as you can. Maybe you like to make your soap as “natural” as possible. You might even view your soap as an opportunity for promoting health as well as cleanliness!
My real-life friend Corinne began making her own soaps in pursuit of a healthier alternative to conventional soap. I bought a bar from her because I wanted to support her mom-trepreneurial endeavors through her new business, Metta-Physical.
Corinne’s panna soap is made of all organic honey, jasmine-infused sweet almond oils, jasmine essential oil, and dried jasmine buds. The honey provides lots of moisture for dry skin, and jasmine is said to be both anti-bacterial and an anti-depressant.
My panna soap smelled delightful- like a floral garden in spring bloom, surrounded by the warmth of gooey honey. It was smooth and soothing on the honey side, and exfoliating and refreshing on the jasmine bud side. It was perfect for a quiet bath after the kids were in bed.
And besides, isn’t this thing gorgeous?
So, the soap is lovely. But what exactly is better about an herbal soap over a conventional soap? Why use essential oil in soap instead of regular fragrance? Why should I buy a fancy bar over the cheap stuff at the store?
I wanted to know more about Corinne’s ingredients and her soap-making process. I asked her a few questions so we all could learn more.
Abi: First, tell us what made you interested in making your own soaps.
Corinne: I never would have thought I would be making soaps, until I started my oiling journey. I was skeptical about a lot of information out there regarding essential oils and it took me some time to even start using the Young Living Essential Oil kit that I bought that sat on my counter for weeks. For some reason, people like to make it sound a lot more difficult than it really is. So I took it upon myself to start learning more. After all, what would I have to lose?
After implementing and then experiencing a healthier dynamic, both mental and physical, I become very intrigued to learn more. I started by taking all the processed soaps, bath products, lotions, cleaning chemicals out of the equation and trying to formulate my own through research. My soaps are progressing with time but one thing that remains true: I will never use a store brand again.
A: What kind of ingredients do you use in your homemade soaps?
C: I have been experimenting with many exotic ingredients and many basic herbs as well. Since the start of my oiling journey until the peak of my interest, I decided I needed to further my education in aromatherapy, anatomy and physiology. Experimenting with some exotic ingredients is cool….but learning how to fully utilize them for maximum benefits is another thing.
For example, Metta Physical’s Arhat “Lavender-Sage” Bars include an ingredient called Arjuna Bark Powder. The bark powder of the Arjuna tree that we put in the soaps at Metta serves as an astringent, and a sweet, cooling expectorant with Vitamins C & E for your skin!
A: What exactly is an herbal infusion?
C: We take all of our herbs and infuse them in Sweet Almond Oil for all of our soaps. (We use Sweet Almond Oil for its many skin care benefits.) The process of infusion can take 10 hours or as long as 6 weeks.
We gather our herbs and place them in a Mason jar, leaving enough room for the Sweet Almond Oil. For the slow process, we let the herbs sit on the window sill for six weeks until the oil gathers all the beneficial properties from the herbs. For quicker infusion, we can create a hot bath for the herbs and heat them for 10 hours to produce the same results. After this process we strain all the oil from the herbs and we are left with an even more beneficial and therapeutic oil for our products.
A: How can herbs in soap benefit the user?
C: After doing research on different cosmetic soaps, I was pretty shocked at the chemicals we are not aware we are using on a daily basis. A lot of these chemicals can be drying and lead to skin allergies as well. Aiding infections and exacerbating skin diseases, these chemical soaps also clog the pores of the skin and hamper the cells from breathing. Moreover, chemical soaps have animal fat and lack the essential oils from plant extract which give a natural and pleasing aroma.
My herbal soaps are 100% organic and offer plant extracts that soothe the body and the mind, relieve stress and tension, all while providing some intoxicating aromatherapy. You will see a difference in your skins appearance if you have battles with eczema and psoriasis. Even if your skin doesn’t need soothing from either, you will notice how emotionally balanced you will feel after using natural, herbal soaps.
A: I noticed you also use essential oils in your soap. What is the advantage of using essential oils in your soap over conventional fragrances?
C: Conventional fragrance oils are synthetic and do not contain any therapeutic benefits. Many people are even allergic to fragrance oils and they can cause skin irritations. Fragrance oils are also made up of a long list of various chemicals– often including essential oils with little regard for the natural qualities that make these oils so precious. I am more aware to the fact that sometimes we just do not know the extent of the chemicals used to produce a product and that is very scary.
Each true essential oil, on the other hand, comes with its own therapeutic benefits. Essential oil benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Since I have incorporated the true essence of essential oils, our immune systems have been the strongest this cold and flu season yet!
A: What’s your favorite part of soap-making?
C: My favorite part is knowing I am completely free to concoct something that will make someone else feel good or knowing I can help with a certain aliment someone might have by placing the right herbs and essential oils together. Sometimes I feel like I am in the kitchen cooking dinner when I am creating soaps…..except when I am done, I cannot lick the spoon!
It was such a pleasure talking about the soaps with Corinne, and I learned a few new things myself!
Why use herbal soaps? Here’s the recap:
- Each individual herb and essential oil has unique benefits for the user.
- By using a soap with healthy ingredients, you are avoiding the risks associated with long-term exposure to mystery chemicals.
- If you’re buying from an individual like Corinne, you are supporting a small business!
Metta-Physical is currently working on developing a website, but until then, you can order your own special herbal soap (and check out other awesome herbal products!) from Corinne here on her Facebook page. 🙂
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard some mention of the current Healthy Living Bundle. I’ve been talking about it, readers are talking about it, writers all over the blogosphere have been talking about it. I’m sorry to say, I’m going to mention it again because today is the LAST day it’s available and it’s such a super deal that I’d hate for you to miss it. (This post contains affiliate links.)
What is exactly is bundled together in this deal? It’s over 90 resources (e-books, e-courses, and physical bonuses) on all things health, food, and fitness at a super low price. Topics range from essential oil usage to real food recipes to natural remedies to exercise routines you can complete in your own home. It’s a dream package for the crunchy natural health nut, but also a great resource for anyone who is interested in taking a more active role in their own health.
Without further ado, here are seven reasons why I’m glad I bought the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle:
1) I have a secret relationship with junk food- and I’d like to leave it behind. Sure, we make most of our meals from scratch, I rarely add sugar to anything I bake, and I’m all about preserving the harvest and getting nourishing stuff in my body. But when it comes down to it, I still love me some good junky snacks.
While I don’t think the occasional donut or stop at the fast food joint will kill us, I definitely don’t think it should be the usual. I need real food and real snack ideas that aren’t going to stress me out with exotic ingredients or extensive prep time. I’ve been loving all the cookbooks included in the Healthy Living Bundle for that exact reason. (There’s over 30 of them, for less than the cost of one dinner out!) Freezer meals, crock-pot meals, chicken dump recipes, healthy snacks, kombucha, fermentation, and culturing recipes- all in one complete library. I keep visiting this section of the bundle again and again.
2) Because my husband’s a caveman. Actually, just kidding. He isn’t. And we’re not on the paleo diet either. But for those of you who are, the bundle includes an entire selection of paleo cookbooks, as well as an allergy-free section.
3) I’ve somehow turned into a smelly hippie. (E.g., my natural remedies are sometimes rather strong! 😉 ) One night at the end of my last pregnancy, I was feeling pretty sick and miserable. I put a homemade garlic-mullein oil infusion in my ears for an ache, an essential oil blend called “Breathe” on my chest for congestion, and a soothing nighttime essential oil blend on my feet. Tim came into the bedroom and declared, “Hi, hippie! What do you have on?”
I’m not usually slathering myself in essential oils, but I do enjoy using them as needed for natural remedies. The Healthy Living Bundle includes five major essential oil resources that cover the use of EO’s for cold and flu, family needs, and of course- their safety! Included in the cost of the bundle is also a free three-oil set from Plant Therapy. Just pay shipping and receive 10 ml bottles of lavender, lemon, and peppermint. That alone is worth half the cost of the bundle!
Even if you’re not into EOs, the bundle also includes a large selection of natural remedies for common ailments and natural home care. I’m always looking for ways to reduce the need for drugs and chemicals in my home, and the Healthy Living Bundle offers the knowledge and community support I need to achieve that goal. One bundle resource that I am absolutely thrilled about using is a year’s membership to the Herbal Academy of New England’s Herbarium– and that alone, at the usual cost of $45/year, is worth more than the cost of the entire bundle!
4) I’m totally a bohemian mother. Okay, okay, kind of kidding. I do wear my baby, breastfeed, make my own baby food, and cloth-diaper part time. And I did have my kids naturally at home. BUT in reality, I’m very flexible on these choices. I have may friends who do things very differently, and we get along just fine. 🙂
However, my inner natural-mama gets excited to see e-books on natural pregnancy and conception, breastfeeding, and morning sickness remedies in the bundle. (Oh, morning sickness. Why didn’t I have this during my last pregnancy?!?) From nourishing baby food to cloth diapers- and even going diaper-free- this bundle covers all the info you need to help give your baby a healthy start.
5) I’m actually a clueless homesteader. I know what I’m doing in the kitchen- well, usually, anyway- but I’m actually pretty clueless with the rest of the homestead. Sure, I help with the garden occasionally, but my hubby is the main plant man. I feed the chickens and collect eggs, but you don’t see me writing articles on complete chicken care, do you? And the goat? Well, she’s been a fun experiment for sure, but I’ve got a LOT to learn.
Good thing this bundle includes a homesteading section to help a girl out. There’s info on controversial chicken practices, gardening, food preservation, and even urban farming for kids! The authors want to help you create a more self-sufficient lifestyle wherever you live, be it in the country or the city.
6) I’m lazy. By nature, I would rather sit down than get up and work- and this is particularly true about exercise. While there’s several diet and fitness books included in the bundle, there’s three resources I’m particularly excited about:
- Love Your Body: The Imperfect Girl’s Guide to Positive Body Image from Elizabeth Walling. I haven’t read this one yet, but in light of my recent post on loving your postpartum body, I thought this would be an appropriate and encouraging read.
- The Healthy Moving Core Workshop, from Jennifer at Healthy Moving. (Normally $79.)
- The Thrive 90 Fitness Program- a 90 day program of short workouts that can be done at home, geared towards busy parents. Now that sounds up my alley! (Normally $47.)
These resources will help give me the motivation I need to exercise in the time that I have- and hopefully improve my overall health and energy level while I’m at it!
7) I’m cheap. I don’t like to buy things. And until this year, I’ve always drooled over these bundles, but kept myself from diving in because I don’t usually make unnecessary purchases.
If purchased separately, the various e-books, courses, and bonuses included in the bundle would cost you about $1900. If purchased in the bundle, it costs you a grand total of $29.97.
Did you read that? Here’s a visual in case you missed it:
How in the world is it this cheap? Well, the folks who put together the bundle made it possible by only offering it for a week. That’s one week out of the whole year- and today is the last day it’s available.
There are so many resources in this bundle at such a low price, it almost seems silly to pass it by. Even if you only use a handful of the many resources included, it pays for itself easily. For under $30:
- It’s cheaper than one nice dinner out, but includes recipes and meal plans to keep you eating healthy all year.
- It’s cheaper than a gym membership, but includes several months worth of fitness challenges.
- It’s cheaper than any one of the many classes and memberships would cost on their own. An herbalism membership ($45), a cultured foods course ($147), a free Craftsy e-course (up to $60), and several more are included in the cost.
- The bonus products alone are worth 7 times the cost of the bundle!
The Healthy Living Bundle is a great investment for anyone who wants to be an active participant in their health care. I love this thing because it’s filled with good stuff that I’m passionate about, and because it is a REALLY good value. And I pretty much don’t buy anything unless it is.
Check it out to see if it’s for you. If you buy it and decide it really wasn’t worth it, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can return it with no problems.
But…. my guess? That probably won’t happen. 😉
When you purchase the Healthy Living Bundle, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. As always, I only promote products that I have experience with and truly value. Thank you in advance for supporting our family in this way!
Essential oils. If you read any remotely “natural” oriented blog, you most likely have read about essential oils (EO) or seen them advertised. They’re everywhere, from homemade cleaners to body care products to natural remedies to chicken care.
What are these crazy oils?
Crunchy Betty quotes Valerie Gennari Cooksley on her EO definition: They are “highly concentrated plant constituents possessing potent medicinal and cosmetic qualities.” doTerra– a large EO sales company- has this to say about EOs: “If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health care practices.”
Basically, they’re a teeny tiny “core” part of a plant sold in concentrated form that can serve people in a variety of ways. I tend to think of it as natural plant extract on steroids. (Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.)
Okay, all that sounds great, but do they work?
In my experience, yes. I’ve had success using them to manage nausea in pregnancy, keep ticks off of my family in springtime, help soothe minor cuts and scrapes, and clean my house safely. I’ve used them for headaches, bath salts, congestion, immune-system boosts, and a quick pick-me-up for sleepy days. (And believe it or not, I don’t consider myself an EO junkie!) While everyone’s body is different (and may react differently to different oils), the general consensus among users (and even a lot of the science/research community) is that these things DO work.
However, like any other remedy or product, oils have their pros and cons. Allow me to briefly explain myself.
I’ll start with the cautions first:
- It’s easy for people to get carried away with them and believe they can and will fix everything. Not necessarily so, my friends. You can rub on all the oils on you that you want, but you still need to exercise, eat well, and care for your body, mind, and soul in other ways. And as Shaye from the Elliot Homestead reminds us, essential oils aren’t God.
- They can be used unsafely. Please read up on essential oil safety before slathering them all over or ingesting them. Know how to use each individual oil before trying something new.
- There’s no FDA regulation on essential oils. Make sure you do your research on individual brands and know what kind of product you are paying for, so you’re not spending an arm and a leg on a bottle that has hidden fillers.
- They’re a very concentrated extraction of a plant. While this is what makes them work so quickly and effectively, there’s still something so appealing about just using a plant that you’ve grown in your own yard with your own hands. I am a big fan of our own homegrown herbs, elderberries, and other super foods from our yard. While I love and use EOs as needed, for me, they will never take the place of a real live plant. Let’s not forget the form in which medicines, skin treatments, and nourishment are given to us naturally.
I hope I’m being clear- I really like EOs and want to make good use of them- but I don’t want to get carried away with them to the point where I don’t keep them in their proper place. Make sense? Now let’s look at some things I love about EOs:
- They work!
- You only need a little to get an effective result, so each bottle lasts a LONG time.
- They are much less expensive than conventional health remedies. Sure, $10-100/bottle (depending on what kind you buy) can seem like a lot, but when you think of insurance co-pays for doctor’s visits and medicine, expensive natural cleaning products, and the cost of high-end cosmetics, the bottle pays itself off very quickly.
- They have fewer possible negative side effects than many alternative products (provided they are used correctly).
- Each oil has multiple uses, so each purchase can be multipurpose.
- You can take charge of a lot of your health, beauty, and home care needs by making use of EOs.
In an effort to learn more about how EOs work, I’m going to be attending another free online summit to learn what I can about EOs: The Essential Oil Revolution. If you are interested in increasing your oil knowledge as well, will you join me?
The live version of the Essential Oil Revolution is now over. However, you still may choose to purchase the sessions for your own use at home. Doing so will give me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for supporting my blog!
This post was shared at Front Porch Friday.