Essential Oils

Mean, Clean, and Stress Free!

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Before we start this one off, I want to tell you that you’re a smart cookie and that you CAN DIY this next mixture I’m about to thrust upon you! So, boot-straps UP and get to brewin’!!

You’ve heard me talk many times about a post from Camp Wander regarding something called “DIY Purify” (I believe, originally from Dawn over at  First of all, I am in LOVE with this fresh, herby, clean, and germ fighting mix!  No home should be without it!  Not even you single men can do without this one- your Bachelor pad stink is no match for this!  And, wouldn’t you know, it’s just what my classroom and household needed today as we get ready for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving festivities.  Think of it like a “pallet cleanse” for your house/car/wherever… refreshing, germ smacking, and a superb odor eliminator!

Now, Pause a moment.  I’m a stress carrier.  I am a “never let em see you sweat” kinda girl and I bury my stress DEEP.  I tote that trunk AROUND!  That can get to you after a while!  SOOOOO, I rely a great deal on the de-stressing properties in many of my Essential Oils and EO Blends!!  Like that Frozen chick says “Let it GOOOO”!  Heh!  We will NEVER be without a diffuser for this very reason!  And our favorite anti-stress, relaxation, “I Am Enough”, “I Am Lovable and Capable” Essential Oil: Frankincense!  You’re wondering: what in the HECK has that got to do with “DIY Purify”?!  SO glad you asked!!

You know me & my little “MacGyver Mixology” couldn’t go too long without combining these two powerhouses!  I just cannot control myself!  Super glad I didn’t!!  “DIY Purify” + Frankincense = Clean, refreshing air and grounding, de-stressing undertones!  It’s Deodorant, DIY Room de-stinker, Calming, refreshing, and you can EVEN use it in your wash powder or as a competent of Cloth diaper stripper!!  I also know for a fact that it helps with car funk.  Don’t you look at me like that…you know very well that those 33 rotting french fries, 167 stale Cheerios, and that 2 month old lollipop that your sweet ones have neatly tucked between your seats and on the floor are a wretched stench!  Don’t be ashamed…it’s life.  Accept it!  De-stink it! De-stress!  Move on!

Where/How In The World Can I Use It?

I HATE conventional detergents and household cleaners/disinfecting sprays!  They are harmful, expensive, and, frankly, their “fragrance” is offensive to my nose…BLEH!  I like DIY Purify in my natural alternatives to these items!  I really love this in my Laundry Grind, in a spritz bottle w/ Warm Water and Witch Hazel as a surface cleaner, and on cotton balls in various places around the house to repel bugs & stink.  I’ve also used it to clean the HVAC Coils and filter in our home along with adding it to baking soda for carpet deodorizing!  And I know from reading that you can use it for repelling mosquitoes, Cleaning a skunked dog (DO NOT use on cats because of the Melaleuca), and for earaches!  Such a versatile blend!  Who knew?  Want a more comprehensive list? CAMP WANDER!  Find the Posts [H E R E] & {H E R E} & (H E R E)!

DIY Purify


White Fir: With traditional uses for tense muscles, fever, chills, coughs, and aiding with the bodies natural defense system, this woodsy, aromatic Essential Oil makes a fantastic base for this blend!
Lemon: This Essential Oil is known for it’s Anti Anemic, Antibacterial, Antibiotic,  Anti Microbial, AntiRheumatic, Antiseptic, Antiviral, Astringent, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Disinfectant, and Insecticidal properties.
Lime: Historically, Lime essential oil has been used to help cool fevers & help the immune system fight off sore throats, colds, flu, coughs and asthma. It also has traditional uses in helping with depression and an exhausted mind when used aromatically. Lime may be used topically to help with poor circulation, obesity, cellulite and as a toning agent to clear oily skin and acne.
Citronella: From insects to detox to disinfecting, this tart, earthy EO rounds out the Citrus notes in this blend and aids in germ elimination.
Melaleuca: A key ingredient in soaps, creams, lotions, and disinfectants throughout the world, this Australian beauty is a bacterial butt kicker with properties that include Antimicrobial, Antiseptic, Antiviral, Fungicide, Insecticide and Stimulant. Historically, Melaleuca has been used for centuries to help the immune system; it acts as a stimulant and helps the body fight off disease, bacteria, infection, virus and illness.
Cilantro: Not just for cooking or flavoring Salsa, Cilantro has also been used in Chinese medicine for its digestive and antioxidant properties! I’ve also recently read it can be helpful as a component in a heavy metals detox: who knew?!

And just add 8-10 drops of good ole “Frank” (Frankincense) to the mixture and use a few drops of the mixture in the diffuser, a spray bottle w/ warm water, or wherever!  Simple, safe, effective!

As Always, I Tell you: Go at YOUR pace, comfort level, and EDUCATE yourself!  Don’t take my word for it…do your OWN research and decide what’s best for you and yours!

Love Wholly, Speak Softly, Eat Yummily, Laugh Heartily, Hug STRONGLY, and be comfortable with being YOU!



Irish Blessing

From my family to yours, a very safe, Happy Thanksgiving!  May the Lord bless you and keep you!

What is a carrier oil…and what the HECK is it for?

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 When I first began using essential oils, I would hear people refer to this elusive and mystical thing called a “carrier oil”.  I wondered and pondered about what it could be…feeling too silly or stupid to actually ASK someone “What is a Carrier Oil…and what the HECK is it for?”.  Well, fear not, I felt stupid for us all, asked the questions, did the research, and I’m here to help!



First, essential oils and carrier oils are VERY different!!  Essential Oils are distillations from stems, flowers, bark, seeds, etc that have strong aromas, are HIGHLY concentrated and never go rancid!  They evaporate quickly and can be used in aromatherapy applications, on skin and even (some) in internal applications!



CO oils

Carrier oils, by contrast, are typically cold-pressed and do not evaporate like essential oils.  You will also find they have little to no aroma (which makes them a perfect companion for fragrant EOs)!  Carrier oils can also be referred to as “base oils”.  They are emollient rich, natural, liquid fat sources used for the purpose of diluting essential oils before skin application.  They “carry” the essential oil and can also have their own therapeutic and beneficial properties!  Carrier oils keep those “HOT” oils (like Oregano and Peppermint, etc) from burning or being too much for your skin thereby preventing potential irritations!


While essential oils don’t go rancid, carrier oils CAN (they typically start to stink, turn cloudy & white in color when this happens…but, be aware that if you add oils to witch hazel and shake, the mixture turns white … that does NOT mean it instantly went rancid…lol)!  If you mix the carrier oils with water, the mixture MUST be used in 7-10 days as Water + Oil breeds bacteria (eeewwww)!  Store your Carrier oils in sealed, colored glass or PET plastic bottles (Dark Amber, Green or Blue work best) and keep away from heat & sunlight!

Colored Oil bottles

There are more carrier oil varieties than I have fingers to count!  Sweet Almond, Hemp Seed, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Argan, Avocado, Jojoba, Seabuckthorn, Acai, Baobab, Vitamin E, Hazelnut, Evening Primrose, Apricot Kernel, Olive, Emu (yes, I use that too) and on and on!   I think I remember reading there are over 90 varieties of cold-pressed carrier oils (you can read about many of them right { H E R E }.  WOW!  But WHY are there so many?

Evening Primrose Oil


Each carrier oil, just like each essential oil, has it’s own unique properties…it’s own unique make up!  So the benefits of an oil like Baobab are going to be completely different from an oil like Sweet Almond.  Some have fast absorption rates, some are more emollient than others, and each carries it’s own unique combination of vitamins, acids, and components (like being an Antioxidant or antibacterial)!  So you can do a tiny bit of research and find the oil that is best for YOU (customization…LOVE IT)!  But here’s where I give a word of caution!

BEWARE: Not all carrier oils are natural and free from impurities.  Some can carry harmful toxins and even Arsenic!  Some are outright JUNK oils like peanut, cottonseed, canola, soybean, safflower, or low quality vegetable oils (you should also NEVER consume those oils I just mentioned as they are HIGHLY processed and almost ALWAYS GMO)!!  Know where they are sourced and only buy from verified pure, trusted names.  When searching for your first carrier oil, look for labels like nonGMO and Certified Organic.  We like Spark Naturals Hemp Seed or Fractionated Coconut Oil!  And, BTW, their Fractionated Coconut Oil stays liquid because it’s had all the heavy solids spun out of it!  Neat, right?!  It’s important to not that because NOT ALL Fractionated Coconut oils are physically separated like that!  Some are CHEMICALLY separated!  Again, READ your labels and KNOW your sources!!

**Mineral oil is NOT a natural product and should not be used with essential oils.  It may even prevent the essential oils from being absorbed into the skin.**

Our household is a teaspoon to 10 home…meaning we use a teaspoon of carrier to 10 drops of EO (unless it’s Oregano…then we only use 5 drops in that teaspoon…cause it’s HOT).  Now, if you have babies, you may want to increase your carrier oil amount or cut your EO drop number in half.

Here are some of my favorites:

Hemp Seed Oil

  • low in saturated fatty acids, possesses a significant content of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (PERFECT Omega 3 to 6 balance)
  • Highly nutritive and heals dry, damaged, aging skin
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Moisturizing making it a wonderful combo for Lavender and Myrrh
  • Contains Vitamins D and E
  • Great carrier oil for PMS and feminine issue focused essential oil blends

Sweet Almond Oil

  • Rich in proteins and Vitamin D
  • Soothes dry and irritated skin
  • Rich in essential fatty acids
  • Helps relieve itching & soreness
  • Light and inexpensive/great for massage oils

Fractionated Coconut Oil 

  • Used on oily skin as it won’t clog pores
  • Light texture and long shelf life
  • Washes out of sheets easily
  • Leaves a non-greasy feeling
  • Will spray through a pump sprayer

Avocado Oil (unrefined)

  • Rich in vitamins A, D and E & essential proteins
  • Best for dry, dehydrated or aging skin
  • Effective used for eczema
  • Recommended for use with a lighter oil (sweet almond)

Rice Bran Oil

  • Packed with Vitamin E
  • A natural stimulant of collagen production
  • Maintains skin-tone balance
  • Excellent for relief from eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis
  • Non-greasy, smooth & creamy

Argan Oil

  • Absorbs Quickly
  • Highly Moisturizing
  • Golden in Color with Moderate Viscosity
  • Rich in Alpha Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
  • Rich in Phenols and Phenolic Acid
  • Rich in Carotenes
  • Natural Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • High in Fatty and Essential Fatty Acids
  • Rich in Squalene and May Help Protect Skin from Free Radicals

As Always, I Tell you: Go at YOUR pace, comfort level, and EDUCATE yourself!  Don’t take my word for it…do your OWN research and decide what’s best for you and yours!

Love Wholly, Speak Softly, Eat Yummily, Laugh Heartily, Hug STRONGLY, and be comfortable with being YOU!




Hospital stays and the germs that lurk

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Blue GermMy husband and I, me as a former ff/medic and him as a current one, always try to discourage parents from taking their children to the ER or hospital unless it is an absolute emergent necessity!   If it’s just a cold or they are feeling sick, try your best to wait it out until the morning to see the physician or find an urgent care center for pediatrics that’s open late!   Doctor’s offices and smaller urgent care facilities are ALWAYS a better option than the hospital if your wee ones are not in need of emergency care!  Why?  Hospitals, though they try to keep things clean, are TEAMING with germs…bacterium, viruses…it’s honestly a frightening place for a small, weak, or compromised immune system!  You don’t want your child to be exposed to things like hospital strains of MRSA or flesh-eating bacteria!  But, knowing that there are times a visit to a hospital is absolutely necessary, we use essential oils to combat even the scariest microbes!!

Bl Small GermsOn a recent visit to the hospital (necessary and incredibly unplanned…ugh…it’s just not a place we like), I was horrified when I looked at a chair and then the floor.  Dirt, sticky stuff, gunk…the clean guru and germaphobe in me was FREAKING OUT!  I know people are in and out of there all day and all night…in every manner of cleanliness to filthiness…and that people are always making rounds to clean…BUT, you just cannot get every germ, every time!  There’s too much traffic in a hospital to catch it all before some unsuspecting humanoid reaches out and touches a germ infested surface (never touch your face, always wash your hands…stop looking at me like that)!  So what’s a girl to do?  Well, fear not…bubble wrap and Class-A suits are NOT the only course of action!


My favorite Essential Oil “germ hack” blend  (the one I used on this particular hospital visit…and was SO glad I did) consists of oils that are rich in antioxidant properties, antiviral properties, antifungal and antibacterial properties, and are just good all around immune boosters (do your own reading and research too… and MANY other websites have trials, studies, and statistics in DROVES)!  We use it in roller bottles, diffusers, and even mix this into spritz bottles with vinegar for cleaning or witch hazel for soft surface and skin applications.  I love this because it’s a bit warm and uplifting in aroma and ALWAYS makes me feel SO much better (and isn’t that always the goal?!).

I mix My own but feel free, if you don’t like single oil blending, to snag a bottle of Spark Naturals Shield and just add Thyme and White Fir to it…but keep in mind that there is Rosemary in Shield blend which is an oil that people with a history of seizures should avoid as well as pregnant women!  For those reasons, I blend my own variation WITHOUT Rosemary!

What’s In It?

cinnamonCinnamon: Intense, multipurpose oil lifts emotions, (depression, fear, loneliness, stress, etc). Rich, warming properties are invaluable!  Use for cold weather ailments, infections, and helping melt away aches and pains. A powerful broad spectrum anti-infectious oil, also anti-fungal!

Lemon: With Antiseptic, Antiviral, and Antibacterial properties, this oil is sometimes referred to as “nature’s disinfectant”!  Lemon is also a great immune booster and can even soothe broken capillaries, reduce redness and swelling, and uplift moods!

Clove: The Antioxidant to beat all others!  Clove is a masterful germ eliminator!  The properties of Clove are staggering…Analgesic, antiaging, antibacterial, anticlotting, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antiviral, carminative, expectorant, insecticide…and MORE!  Plus, when combined with Cinnamon, it just smells heavenly!

Wild Orange SNWild Orange: Extremely high in limonene, this oil is a butt-kicking cleaner!  Known for being an anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, and fungicidal, this oil is a MUST in many cleaning solutions (even commercially available chemical cleaners try to duplicate the cleaning power and uplifting aroma of this Essential Oil)!

White Fir: This powerful Antiseptic and Antioxidant oil is more than just a comfy aromatic!  With traditional uses for respiratory issues, infections, and as a topical massage oil for joint pain, this essential oil offers astringent, disinfectant and antibiotic properties sure to aid in wiping out surface and airborne germs alike!

thymeHeroThyme: This final oil is one of my FAVORITE antiviral oils (Basil and Black Pepper are the others)!  Thyme has eliminated Flu in our home MANY TIMES along with stomach viruses (all brought home by my husband and his patient interactions…or dirty shopping cart handles…GROSS).  With a huge list of properties like analgesic, anthelminthic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, carminative, cell proliferant, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, insecticide, parasiticide, rubefacient, stimulant, tonic, vermifuge (to name a FEW), this oil is one our family oil box (yes, we have on of those) is NEVER without!

Now for the recipe!

FL-20-PPV-IIIn a 15ml bottle, blend the following:

15 drops Cinnamon
25 drops Lemon
25 drops Clove
10 drops Wild Orange
15 Drops White Fir
15 drops Thyme 

Cap this, rock back and forth in the bottle to mix (do that before each use) and then take out 3-7 drops for whatever you are mixing it into.  I like to use White Vinegar, Warm water, and 7 drops in an 8 ounce spray bottle to mist counters, linens, floors, and anything else I can get my hands on!  For skin misting and “purse carry”, add 3-5 drops to a 2 ounce spritzer and fill rest of the way with Thayers Alcohol Free Rose Witch Hazel.  Shake well and lightly mist arms, legs, feet (I like to mist my long hair if it’s going to be touching the bed).  For children, DILUTE DILUTE DILUTE (I would only use 2-3 drops in a 2 ounce spritzer)…mist back and feet…places that they won’t easily touch or that are covered).  KEEP OUT OF EYES!  Here’s a lil caution…this stuff is HOT in sensitive places, so BEWARE: if you don’t want “Fire Crotch” after you use this, WAIT 10 minutes before touching sensitive areas or WASH YOUR HANDS with SOAP for at least 35 seconds (sing twinkle twinkle little star while you wash for accurate timing)!!!  😀  If you do get this somewhere and it begins to burn, apply a carrier OIL (not water) and rub in a circular motion from center out!

Now, if you DO NOT love the way this smells, NO WORRIES!  You can adjust the orange and white fir to your smell preference!  You can even omit the Wild Orange and replace it with Peppermint (for an almost Christmasy aroma)!  As long as the other EO’s stay the same, your mix will lose NO germ fighting capability!

Whatever oils you use, make sure it’s a trusted name that is PURE!  Many brands CLAIM purity but there are only a handful that actually ARE pure!  #WeTrustSparkNaturals And, if you’d like to trust them too…

Visit Spark Naturals HERE and remember:
SAVE MONEY (10%) on your order
with coupon code: essentialamanda !!

As Always, I Tell you: Go at YOUR pace, comfort level, and EDUCATE yourself!  Don’t take my word for it…do your OWN research and decide what’s best for you and yours!

Love Wholly, Speak Softly, Eat Yummily, Laugh Heartily, Hug STRONGLY, and be comfortable with being YOU!




Anti-Microbial Fabric Softener Made with Essential Oils

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Every time I think we’ve reached the limit of the cool DIY things we can make with naturals products and Essential Oils, I stumble upon another amazing thing someone is doing!!  This time, it’s Fabric Softener.

You’d think that Laundry wouldn’t be nearly so exciting but when you talk germ killing power, money saving, and DIY softening powers all in ONE…I’m pretty excited!!  As Rebecca over at Camp Wander says: Easy, Green and Cheap!

It’s actually quite rewarding to make your own laundry detergent and softener!  It’s empowering and healthier for your family…not to mention, you can save money and make ANY Essential Oil combination YOU desire!  No need to have to stick with what’s commercially available.  moreover, you’ll be killing germs and microbes that your traditional detergent and softener would never touch.

With a husband who’s a Firefighter/Paramedic, it’s difficult to avoid potentially deadly germs!  While I’d LOVE to build a high-tech decontamination unit and make him stand in it for 45 minutes before entering the house, that’s just NOT practical!  Making this stuff and diffusing oils in our home is MUCH easier and (honestly) probably far more effective!  So, what do you need for this DIY wonder that sanitizes your laundry…even in COLD water?


You’ve seen these babies before!!  I make a spritz with Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca and Witch Hazel which is very similar to the Camp Wander All Purpose Healing Salve!  We LOVE it for it’s powerful anti-microbial properties and healing powers!!!  I carry it everywhere instead of a commercial hand sanitizer.  It’s AMAZING!

Lavender is recognized as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, analgesic, natural antihistamine, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory

Lemon is an antiseptic, disinfectant, detoxifying, calming, anti-fungal, anti-viral

Melaleuca shows powerful antimicrobial activity against all three of the infectious organisms: bacteria, viruses and fungi. When diffused, it helps to prevent the spread of infection.

You are going to want to add this recipe immediately to your DIY Laundry Arsenal!!!  Especially if you have children or animals!!   And, if you feel like changing it up when everyone is healthy, Lavender alone or, Lavender and Lemon essential oils together is a wonderful fabric softener combination!

I give full credit for this wonder of a recipe to the lovely lady over on the Camp Wander Blog!  Check her out {H E R E}!

Antimicrobial Laundry Sanitizer and Softener

  • 1 – 64 ounce bag of Epsom Salts (4lbs Magnesium Sulfate)
  • 40 drops Lavender
  • 30 drops Melaleuca
  • 20 drops Lemon

Pour Epsom Salt into glass bowl.  Add essential oils and stir.  Store in a glass Jar (I have a new trick for this I will share below).  Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup in any temperature wash cycle!

Salt container

Okay, COOL TRICK to make your salts pourable!!  Take your Mason Jar (I advocate these because you can use them in a variety of ways, multiple times, and buy them in packs) and find an empty Salt container.  Now, cut the top off the salt container (like the image at the right), and take your mason jar lid and begin the process of trimming the salt container lid into a round (like the metal insert for the jar lid).  More detailed photo instructions { H E R E } on Linda Thompson’s blog!

Now, you can also use this EXACT recipe (which I totally DO) and make detox, healing bath salts.  I use 1/4 cup and soak 20-25 minutes in nearly scalding water (because I’m completely insane…don’t be like me…take a warm to slightly hot bath…don’t boil yourself…lol).  Bring a bottle of cool water with you and sip on it if you plan on staying longer than 25 minutes!  Add a little ginger and 1/4 cup baking soda if your after a sweating detox bath!

Looking for a completely EASY and cost effective way to get started?  Check out the Essential 4 Pack at Spark Naturals!  With it, you can make this fabulous recipe and even pop over to Rebecca’s Sister’s blog (One Good Thing by Jillee) and check out this AMAZING Peppermint lip scrub…EDIBLE lip scrub…SHUT UP!  { H E R E }  FOUR OILS = ENDLESS possibilities!!


As Always, I Tell you: Go at YOUR pace, comfort level, and EDUCATE yourself!  Don’t take my word for it…do your OWN research and decide what’s best for you and yours!

Love Wholly, Speak Softly, Eat Yummily, Laugh Heartily, Hug STRONGLY, and be comfortable with being YOU!

 Hack it Out of the Wilderness 


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Stink, Stank, Stunk-Get RID of the FUNK!

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Cleaning Solutions

stinkI have to laugh even as I type this because I am NO stranger to the dirt or “stink of life”!  From dogs to feet, children to husbands, mold to mildew, cabbage to bacon… our household is well versed in the battle of the dirty and ‘THE FUNK’!  After using a variety of Common, Commercially available cleaners, sprays, and fresheners (and learning about the horrific blend of chemicals they are filled with), I turned to my Essential Oils for help.  At first, I wasn’t sure that they would be the solution.  But with some research and a bit of creativity and a great deal of trial and error, I feel like I have a pretty good cleaning, freshening, decontamination regimen for our household!  So, what can you do to start out?

Suggestions: First, don’t be afraid to experiment with the Essential Oils YOU love best and natural household cleaners (like vinegar, peroxide, baking soda, and Castile Soap).  Just read up before practicing any mixology so you don’t mix anything you shouldn’t!  Next, keep it SIMPLE and make it EASY: I love having pre-made cleaning solutions (even some with rags or scrubbies already in the solution) so I am ALWAYS ready to GO (I know, I have ISSUES)!

So, Let’s start with some of the stinkiest things in our home…SHOES!  When Stinky Shoes Hit the Mudroom, Living Room, or Closet, they get a spray down with a mix of  20 Drops “No Stink” Blend, 1 Teaspoon White Distilled Vinegar, and then top off with either Vodka or Witch Hazel (I, being completely unadventurous, use Alcohol Free Thayers Rose Witch Hazel) in a 4 oz spray bottle.

“NO STINK” Blend

31 drops White Fir essential oil
20 drops Lemon essential oil

13 drops Lime essential oil
8 drops Citronella essential oil
(I use PipingRock’s Citronella)
7 drops Melaleuca essential oil
6 drops Cilantro essential oil

All Purpose Cleaning Solutions with rags (like in the photo above…the Jar) are my favorite!  Mainly because they do SO MUCH!  I can wipe a dirty counter, Hand, Floor, Wall, Fridge…whatever I want!  Cleans, Kills Germs and LIFE IS GOOD!  I found a Gigantic Mason Jar and bought Some 100% Cotton Wash cloths (8) for $1.50 at Target (Got a Grey Pack and a Yellow Pack).  The recipe is so simple…and FRUGAL!  I found really AWESOME scrubbies {HERE}

All Purpose Rag Solution #1

1 Cup Distilled Water (YES, ONLY DISTILLED)
2 Tablespoons Castile Soap (I use Dr.  Bronner Unscented)
15-20 Drops of Essential Oil (My FAVORITE Blend is Lemon and Orange)
1 squeeze of Witch Hazel (Thayers Alcohol Free Rose)


This solution CAN be a little “soapy” but I like that.  I scrub, let it sit, rinse my rag, and wipe clean.  Works like a CHARM!  Best part, When I use all my rags, I use the left over solution in the jar to clean the Tub…I just add 1 Cup of baking soda, 1 Tablespoon Cream of Tarter, 1 Tablespoon Castile Soap.  I scrub the tub, let it sit (that Cream of Tarter with Lemon EO gets mildew and rust out of my tub like a CHARM)!I love VinegarCLEANING SIMPLICITY: If you want to clean with just Vinegar but don’t like the smell, you can infuse the Vinegar with herbs or citrus peel in a glass container over a 2 week time frame (but SERIOUSLY, who’s got that much time?) OR, just take a gallon Jug of distilled vinegar and add 75-80 drops of the Essential Oil(s) of your choice!  Remember that if you use citrus oils, do NOT use plastic containers…use GLASS to store! 

Funky Carpets:  Baking Soda (1.5 Cups) and 20 drops of whatever EO you want (this mix is also great for freshening mattresses).  Lavender EO is a great oil if you want to fight dust mites!

Laundry is a FUN (funky) one!  You can make your own detergent (Like {HERE}) OR, you can purchase a fragrance FREE, natural detergent, like the Liquid detergent from ‘The Honest Company’ and then scent it with your own oils combination (we used 30 drops of Jeddy’s Blend in our last bottle)!  My Favorite Laundry “defunk” tricks? WOOL DRYER BALLS {HERE} (This is the first brand I have found that doesn’t pill or get linty…they are HIGH quality!) scented with your favorite EO (mine is Lavender).  And let’s NOT forget Fabric Softener!  I use 1 Gallon of White Vinegar with 70-90 drops Lavender EO and 2 Tablespoons Rubbing Alcohol (we use 90%…found at the local drug store).  Just stir before each use and add to your fabric softener dispenser (I add 1/3 cup).  



Finally, no matter what the smell, there’s nothing like a diffuser full of Germ fighting, stink killing AWESOMENESS!!  

Stinky dogs:  Try Diffusing Lemon or Lemon & Lavender together!  (Want to Cheat? Just use LLP Blend…works like a charm)
Bacon or Greasy Cooking funk: Try a Citrus Oil (Lemon, Wild Orange, Bergamot, etc)
Mildew or Mold: Try “No Stink” Blend above (I would OMIT the Citronella if diffusing) OR a blend of Shield + Oregano + Clove
Clean, Welcoming Home: 2 drops each Lavender, Lemon, and Rosemary
As a preschool teacher and Early Childhood Educator for over 15 years, I can tell you that this next blend is an odor eliminator of EPIC proportion… It tackles the TOUGH Stinky Funk: the throw-up, the poop, the pee, the dirt, the sweaty child smell…all of it!
2 drops Lemon EO + 1 drop Melaleuca EO + 1 drop Lime EO + 1 drop White Fir EO + 1 drop of Cilantro EO

Check out the oils our family uses {HERE}

 10% OFF Coupon Code: essentialamanda

As Always, I Tell you: Go at YOUR pace, comfort level, and EDUCATE yourself!  Don’t take my word for it…do your OWN research and decide what’s best for you and yours!

Love Wholly, Speak Softly, Eat Yummily, Laugh Heartily, Hug STRONGLY, and be comfortable with being YOU!

 Hack it Out of the Wilderness 


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Spark Naturals, Camp Wander, and ME…OH MY

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There are few things in life I am Passionate about after the Lord and my Family (which includes my baby Malinois, Boone).  Spark Naturals and Camp Wander are 2 HUGE Passions!  WHY??  Um, Because they are Amazing and Wonderful…and…and…I’m pretty sure (and let’s embellish and be lofty here) I’D DIE WITHOUT THEM (See, Dramatic)!!!  But I digress…there’s stroy-tellin’ to be done!

I’ve been an Essential Oil user for a while now but have only just begun my EO Journey with Spark Naturals.  I began using Essential Oils casually as I changed my life style post non-melanoma skin cancer (It was a frightening experience)!  I was looking for natural alternatives and I stumbled upon Essential Oils and began using them to “scent” my home (cause doggies and Fireman’s cloths STINK).   Post Chemo, I had no hair, horrible skin, bloated body and I was a less than ‘hot’MESS!   Even with diet and lifestyle change, I still had Neuropathy issues daily.
headacheBut after a motorcycle accident in 2006 (one MONTH before my wedding), I began to have daily pain in my back, shoulders, chest and migraines.    I suffered quietly and just accepted that this would be my fate for the rest of my existence…Grin and Get over it…never let ’em see you cry  (tough girl…it’s how I was raised).  And then through some education, reading, friends…I started to change the way I viewed Essential Oils.  I was introduced to Wintergreen, Frankincense, Deep Blue (similar to SN Amend)…and I SLATHERED them on.  They only took the edge off the pain and even PastTense only took the edge off my migraines.  But, even though they didn’t eliminate my pain and migraines, they helped tremendously…and made my life more enjoyable.  THEN, along came some Kindred Spirits (with great blogs…Camp Wander and One Good Thing to name two)…I got on board a train that changed my family’s LIFE! 


As a NEW lover of ALL THINGS Camp Wander  (My husband actually turned me onto One Good Thing and that’s how I found Rebecca and Camp Wander…in an Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse post, of all things), I began to read.  Suddenly, I saw she changed the Essential Oils she used (GASP).   But her info, insight, and recipes for LIFE were like minded and education based…so I kept on reading (and hungering for her next post…not gonna lie, it was like cyber stalking…it’s okay, I’m better now…the Oils made me do it…and so on…LOL).  One day, I think WAY back in June or July of 2013, I read about this Oil called Birch.  I’d never heard of it (because my eo supplier didn’t carry it) and Then I began reading about migraines and pain and what this amazing little oil could do.  So, OF COURSE, I got to order some…SOLD OUT.  Sigh.  Oh well.  And then, by some small miracle, I read on Rebecca’s Facebook page that they got a few more bottles in from their supplier.  HOT DANG!  I swooped in like a vulcher  and snagged one of 7 remaining bottles on the Spark Naturals website (SCORE)!  I waited with HOT anticipation for this EO!  Would it be as good as everyone said?  Would it even help me at all?  Read my Private Message to Rebecca on August 4, 2013:

Conversation started August 4, 2013

I wanted you to know what your commitment to Wellness and sharing means to me and my family!

I would like to say thank you for recommending Birch to us for pain. I got some recently from Spark Naturals (Shhhh, don’t tell my doTERRA upline…lmao). 7 years ago (a month before my wedding, no less) I was in a motorcycle accident (a large Florida bobcat ran out of the woods and right into our path). I was thrown over 300ft at 60 MPH (THANK GOD I had gear and a helmet on or I would have been DEAD). I injured my right hand, elbow, and upper back (shoulder area). I had road rash but that healed quickly and left no scar. But DAILY since the accident, my right forearm, elbow, and my upper back just ACHE…like I’ve been out in a wet cold too long or like I have the flu. It’s a horrible, deep pain. My muscles also twitch a little uncontrollably as I try to sit and rest.  Frustrating…embarrassing…I just HATE it! I turned to Doctors and found no relief. Then to massage and chiro…still nothing.  Then I found Essential oils (Wintergreen, Frankincense, Deep Blue) . Those helped take the edge off and made the pain tolerable but there was still a deep pain nothing seemed to touch…like a smoldering bog fire that just won’t let the firemen put it out (Can you tell we are a firefighter family…lol). I saw your posts on your Facebook about Birch.  I KNEW I needed to try it.  Spark Naturals had 7 left when I ordered…glad I acted quickly! I got this Oil Yesterday and I want to say, through tears of joy, THANK YOU! For the FIRST TIME in 7 years…I am PAIN FREE! I used just one drop with one drop Frankincense and a dab of Raw Shea and FCO (lotion I make for my ashy,dry, fair, sensitive legs). Literally within about 3 minutes, My pain was gone. And, That lasted HOURS. I reapplied before bed and was not even a little sore when I woke this morning (a FIRST)! I don’t know why it works or how it works…but I know it’s natural, it’s SAFE, it works, and I will continue to use it! From the bottoms of my feet to the tippy top of my head…THANK YOU for doing what you do! Your stories and suggestions change LIVES! And I’m glad that even as a doTERRA user, I can come here and know I’m welcome, safe, and getting great, solid advice! Love you, love your blog, love your HEART! XOXO!

Even as I read it now, I have tears.  Just by sharing Birch and a STORY about what it did…she changed a life!  And when I thanked her, she responded and we had a fun chat!  NOBODY with the following Rebecca and Camp Wander has takes the time to do that…NOBODY!  She’s about PEOPLE and education and being REAL…LOVE HER!  I feel like I made an instant, TRUE, HONEST friend!!

I began researching Spark Naturals and testing their oils.  When I had the same (or better) results, I KNEW it was time for my family and I to make a tough decision!  I LOVE my doTERRA family and all my girls…but this change was what was best for us!  Today, I have a family of kindred hearts and like minds in Spark Naturals; a Plethora of AWESOME, safe oils for myself and my family; a ‘to die for’ price point and bottle size variety; and a want to share and SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS…that Spark Naturals is just ‘da bomb’!  So WHY Spark Naturals and WHY now??  Price, Quality, Family, Kindred Hearts, 5ml AND 15ml, Friends, NO QUOTA or MLM, and…It just ‘jives’ with our lives…babe!
kick dirt 2All that Health and wellness talk…lol…DISCLAIMER:
Now, while I’d LOVE to say that today I’m a walking immunity complex, alkaline body of swirling Fruits and Veggies and completely organic, natural nutrients, DARE TO DREAM!  I’m the normal American, Country girl with the same food struggles, nutrition “issues”, and stressful life battles as YOU!  I am not better or stronger than anyone else…just aware.  I will say that life application, for me, MUST become a HABIT…without my patterns and habits for optimum predictability, there’s NO WAY I’m doing things like getting up at 4:30am for a workout, planning all our meals Sunday and doing all my “prep work”, Taking my vitamins and juicing 3 times daily, avoiding ALL sugar content, giving up coffee (HA HA HA HA HA HA…wait…no, HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA), you get lessons from dogthe idea.  I kicked Cancers BUTT at 21/22 years old…I stared death in the face, (and in my bold, strong woman dreams) kicked dirt on him with my cowgirl boot and scoffed … so, I made a command decision:  I’m gonna live with Jesus by my side, a burp in my throat and my Love holdin my hand…know what I’m sayin’? At 32 years old…I love my life and dang it, if I wanna eat a medium rare steak smothered in Bleu Cheese Crumbles, baby, I’m gon’ DO IT (yee-haw).  


Check out the oils our family uses {HERE}

 10% OFF Coupon Code: essentialamanda

As Always, I Tell you: Go at YOUR pace, comfort level, and EDUCATE yourself!  Don’t take my word for it…do your OWN research and decide what’s best for you and yours!

Love Wholly, Speak Softly, Eat Yummily, Laugh Heartily, Hug STRONGLY, and be comfortable with being YOU!

 Hack it Out of the Wilderness 



Attack of the Strep Monster, ROUND 2: FIGHT!

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist the title…I grew up in the age of Mortal Kombat video games… 🙂

December 18th, I was diagnosed with Strep.  As we were traveling and having friends and family, I opted for Antibiotics (875mg Amoxicillin) and began my 10 day, 2 times a day ritual.  I let the little Practitioner know that I have ALWAYS been, my entire life, a 14 days of antibiotics kid (10 days is NEVER enough).  She gave me some hullabaloo about antibiotics then vs now…I wasn’t in the mood to argue, so I took my script, paid my $100 bill, and LEFT!  Stupid is as stupid does…sigh.

Round about day 6, I got a MEAN cough and heavy green and brown mucous.  I called the Practitioner.  “don’t worry, it’s normal for that to happen sometimes…keep taking your meds and it should clear up by the day after your last dose”.  Okay, I’ll obey.

So, to be clear, I was RIGHT, she was WRONG and now on January 1st, I am on day 2 of Essential Oil COLD & FLU protocols!!   THANK GOD for Rebecca of Camp Wander!!

************************* You will notice I have changed the Essential Oils I blog about and use! I know this has left MANY of you asking WHY?.  First, I have a great many friends who use doTERRA as IPC’s for the company and the oils I used worked, however, I’ve found (from personal use and experience) that Spark Naturals oils are of the same effectiveness and are Incredibly high quality (and pure), more affordable and NO MLM hoops to jump through (and absolutely NO pressure)!  I have chosen to make the switch to not only save money, but because I have a kindred mindset…their mission and goals of education and wellness while providing pure product at a great price are all in line with our own family missions, beliefs and goals!  I just believe this is what’s right for me and my family!   With that said, I welcome you to compare and do what’s best for you and yours…but I will not entertain any debates about Spark Naturals , their oils, doTERRA, or our family decision.  I appreciate your understanding!  I still love each of you and am overwhelmed by your support every DAY!!***


I am having WONDERFUL success with the Flu Fighter (we do NOT call it the Flu Bomb in this house because of this funny little story I am about to share).  WHY “FLU FIGHTER” and not “FLU BOMB???

This story is from October 2, 2013: So, I had given a friend a roller bottle with the “flu bomb” in it for her trip to Oklahoma (She lives in Georgia). She was going through the TSA check point at the airport and was asked about the roller bottle (it was even a swanky new one with a smooth gliding METAL roller ball). She bubbled and gushed, with a happy face, that it was filled with Essential Oils and how they are so excellent for fighting off infection, etc. Well, apparently, her zeal made her appear “suspicious” because they pulled her into a room for 35 minutes an interrogated her about WHY the bottle was labeled “Flu bomb”…She had to call me on their phone, put it on speaker phone and have a “non-leading” conversation with me so I could confirm her story. OMG! SO, you might want to consider, if you are traveling, label your bottle “Flu FIGHTER” and omit the word “bomb”…which is what they had issue with, and also carry a little info card on the oils and a business card. They thought she was smuggling in some biological agent to infect people on the plane with a new, rouge flu strain. While we both DIED laughing at this (because she’s as down home American, Apple Pie, Beauty Queen, etc as you can get…and doesn’t like the THOUGHT of a lizard losing it’s tail or she cries…yeah, like she’s going to be a biological warfare terrorist…LMAO) it really did drive home the ignorance that still abounds in our nation (RIPE FOR THE PICKING). Their Ignorance isn’t a bad thing, it’s a TEACHING opportunity! So, go find some TSA people…and oil them up…LMAO! XOXO

So, whatever you choose to call it, here are the ingredients and the recipe:cold-flu-bomb

Oregano – Nature’s strongest Antibiotic
Melaleuca –Fights bacteria, virus and fungi
Shield – Spark Naturals proprietary blend created to support healthy immune function. Kills bacteria, mold and and virus.

The recipe we use for the onset of cold or flu is 3 drops of each oil in a gel capsule (If you get the Cold & Flu Bomb Kit, it will make your life easier).
**I also Add 3 drops Lemon and 1 drop PeppermintLemon is excellent for germ fighting, detox, and helping your liver through the harshness of flushing out all this infection.  Peppermint I add because I always end up with a fever and that prevents it or keeps it LOW!

I take one capsule every 2 hours (I actually have NO throat pain or swelling during the day after my 1st 2 doses)! I also put some Frankincense (one drop) under my tongue the last 2 mornings and gargled with warm Himalayan salt water with one drop clove and one drop Melaleuca (this technique is not for everyone and took a long time for me to work up to…the taste is NOT my fave…but, having personally had a capsule of Oregano Oil burst in my mouth, it’s nowhere near as bad as that so I’ve learned to be okay with it…lol).  If you don’t have that swanky pink salt, use sea salt… NOT a fan or advocate of plain table salt because it usually contains things OTHER than salt.  Personal preference.

Now, My personal treats today have been:
First, this recipe from Camp Wander in my Half green, Half Black tea:
Add 1-2 drops of Shield blend, 1 drop of Lemon essential oil and a tablespoon of Manuka (or other raw) honey to taste to a cup of very warm tea (she uses water…I just cannot do it…it’s Perfect in my tea (about 12-16oz of tea in this).  My favorite suggestion she gives with her mix: Stir with a cinnamon stick and sip slowly.  Yes, and AMEN!

detox bath
I totally felt like this!

And the second treat was my detox bath.  Pulse 2 cups Epsom Salt in blender or processor and then separate (split in half).  Use One cup of the Epsom and mix with one cup Organic, raw coconut oil (it solidifies in cooler temps and that’s Okay)!  Draw up a Warm bath (hotter you can stand, the better).  Put a towel on the floor in the bathroom and apply this first “scrub” on legs, arms, chest (DO NOT USE ON FEET…TOO SLIPPERY in the tub).   Then, to your bath water: One cup Epsom Salt, 3 tablespoons Baking Soda, 2 drops Ginger EO, 3 drops Peppermint, 2 Eucalyptus, 2 Rosemary (OMIT Rosemary if you have history of seizures). Soaked for 30 minutes and HOLY COW, I feel a TON better!!  Try to stay in the bath no less than 20 minutes and no more than 45.

I’ve kicked Strep’s butt once before with EO’s so I know it will be 1 maybe 2 more days and I’m golden!  Thanks for listening and here’s a prayer and a hope you don’t get sick…but if ya do, I’ve got you covered!

Check out the oils our family uses {HERE}

 10% OFF Coupon Code: essentialamanda

As Always, I Tell you: Go at YOUR pace, comfort level, and EDUCATE yourself!  Don’t take my word for it…do your OWN research and decide what’s best for you and yours!

Love Wholly, Speak Softly, Eat Yummily, Laugh Heartily, Hug STRONGLY, and be comfortable with being YOU!