Luxury Soaps & Shampoos Hack with Essential Oils (contains affiliate links)

Life has certainly been proving to be, well, UNCERTAIN and as the mom of this crazy crew, I am torn between my lack of funds and the draw to better items for me and my family.  These are everyday products that you may or may not deem luxury items. But when I know I can get shampoo/conditioner or liquid soap or dish soap at the local dollar store, it seems like a big splurge to buy those for $8, $9, $10, $11 and up, especially when we go through them so fast.

A bubble bath for my youngest son recently ate up 2/3 of a bottle of wintergreen essential oil scented soap I had received as a gift.  Being deaf, his other senses are a big focus.  He has always sought out and reacted strongly, positively or negatively, to scents.  Good thing he really liked the scent of wintergreen!
In order to get the added benefits of essential oils (a luxury ingredient that is likely missing from my dollar items) I realized can add a few drops of a favorite essential oil or blend or one which seems to compliment the current scent of my soap or shampoo/conditioner as soon as I bring home the bottle. After l add around 5 to 10 drops, replace the lid and shake it up, it is ready to use. Furthermore, I get a quality essential oil that is not necessarily food grade as I don’t think it is necessary to buy the most expensive essential oils on the market for this purpose.  Adjust the amount of drops to your liking.
For kids who like the spray you might keep the empty bottle and refill with water plus one or two drops of a favorite essential oil (depending on how strong the scent of the particular oil) and shake it up.

For laundry I have begun using white vinegar with a few drops of essential oils in the washer in the fabric softener compartment. My front loading machine can easily develop a bad odor. (I found out this is common due to their design.) The vinegar/essential oil rinse helps take care of it, and no — the clothes do not come out smelling like vinegar. I just add several drops to my vinegar jug and then it’s good to go with a little shake before each use. I also like to add some essential oil drops to my clothes dryer which helps the clothing to come out with a fresh, but not strong, scent.  I did have a little stuffed dog who had some wear to whom I added several drops (about 12 – 15) of an essential oil blend every few loads.  I would just sniff it and if there was no more of the essential oil scent I would add some more. Since my laundry pup went missing I have just been using a wash cloth, but I miss my little pink laundry puppy.
14 Essential Oil Set (7 Synergies and 7 Singles) Includes 100% Pure, Therapeutic Grade of: Sensual , Energy, Germ Fighter, Relax, Immune-Aid, Tranquil, Invigor-Aid, Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Orange, Lemon & Cinnamon. 10 ml each.
I hope these tips help you to enjoy adding essential oils to upgrade your budget products and keep the wallet happy as well.


Christmas Week 2015

As we close in on Christmas, and I finally get an opportunity to write a blog post, I am reminded of the many changes in my mindset over the years.

When I was a younger wife and mother I was set on doing everything “right”. Not that I have given up completely, but my definition of what is “right” may have changed a bit. I’ve been told not to “major on the minors”. I focused a lot on the minors then. I still focus on the minors at times, and have to re-focus often. I’ll get to that later.

What we think of “Majors” and “Minors” will change as we have more or less resources. I am not just referring to financial resources, but also time, emotional energy, mental energy, health and more. It will also change with the demands on those resources. A sick child changes what a “have to” to a”let it go” very quickly as you focus on the needs of that child, and even as the seriousness and length of the illness varies. But, while as a young mom I was intent on having the diapers folded a certain way and had the emotional energy (and devotion of my helpful diaper-folding husband) to go along, that was not something I should have majored on in the least, but just been grateful for his help and enjoyed that sweet time together. (Sorry honey!)

Personal preferences are asserted as rights and folks view differing preferences as “wrong” in our culture all the time. Even in my daily life, it takes effort for me to separate myself from trying to teach the correct (or preferred) way to do things (just as I was “teaching” my dear husband my preferred way to fold diapers so long ago), from appreciating them and their efforts.

Prayer and Bible study along with thankfulness help me re-focus and stop majoring on the minors. When I get away from God I tend to focus more on my preferences and that spills over into my relationships. It is not a pretty picture. But when I focus on Jesus and all he went through for me, I can be thankful — for him, for them and can avoid majoring on the minors. Thanksgiving is over, but it is still a great time for giving thanks for our family, friends and especially at Christmas — our Savior.

Reminder to myself and my readers: Let’s make sure we don’t major on the minors this Christmas, but give thanks and major on our relationships — with God, our Savior and the people in our lives. Merry Christmas!

Another Blog?

Yes, I am starting another blog for sharing more of homeschool types of things as well as similar family-centered posts.  I envision this blog being more for other topics that are less about my particular family and more about life in general, though the posts may often be prompted by my or my family’s experiences.  If you are interested in the homeschool/family side of things and would like to take a peek at the new blog you can see it here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Understanding Someone with Lyme Disease

“Your paranoia of lyme disease is ridiculous!”

The month of May is winding down.  It has been and is Lyme Disease awareness month.  Having two daughters struck with Lyme disease along with co-infections this is a topic I am well-acquainted with.  There has been a lot of mistreatment and mis-categorization of Lyme disease/chronic Lyme disease.  There are great numbers of sufferers who have been mistreated and mis-categorized as well.  If you have seen articles or postings about Lyme disease or related co-infections over the past few weeks and if you see more in the next few days, please do not be annoyed.  Please understand that a few articles or social media postings or even in depth scientific medical journal articles will only have scratched the surface.  Be understanding.  Understand that you cannot fully understand.  Understand that the person with Lyme disease does not fully understand it but that they probably have pain and difficulties that they cannot even express.  Understand that the medical experts do not understand it.  And there is some disagreement.  But you do not have to take sides or understand it all to be understanding with your friend or family member, client, student or acquaintance who has Lyme disease and to support them in a way that is helpful.  They do not need you to tell them to exercise more, sleep more, eat better, pray more or change doctors.  They do not need you to relate to their arthritis, brain fog, forgetfulness, migraine headache, nausea or other pain with what you feel is comparable if you do not have Lyme, Babesia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonella or other tick-borne illness or co-infection that truly is comparable because, well, it is not. Common terms like headache, tiredness or fatigue are used for much more intense pain than those terms generally refer to.  Not to brush them off, but the symptoms of the Lyme sufferer are often brushed aside and are truly debilitating.  There are many awareness and fund-raising events across the country this month and I am glad to see them.  But I also realize that at any of these events, including those in my home state of Alabama, there are those who are too ill to attend or participate.  Hopefully the greater awareness will bring more understanding, and understanding will bring compassion.  Be understanding.  Be aware.  Be compassionate and pray for those you know with Lyme.  It makes a difference.