Not your Grandma’s Lavender Oil!

Not your Grandma’s Lavender Oil!

Let’s get off on the right foot!!!!!

Lavender Oil is great to give to your friend that talks too much:

https://media0.giphy.com/media/gx25XFU23LIT6/giphy.gif

 

Ok, so now that we’re off to a good start, we can talk about lavender with as much seriousness as I can muster.  Which is quite a bit because it’s early and I haven’t had any wine yet.

Lavender Essential Oil has been used and cherished for centuries for its unmistakable aroma and myriad benefits. In ancient times, the Egyptians and Romans used Lavender for bathing, relaxation, cooking, and as a perfume.  And while this all sounds well and good, you’ve probably read it a thousand times because Lavender oils is the oil of grandmothers.  It is comforting and has been around (rightfully so,) for ages.  The reason Lavender oil is so boring, and because it is tried and true; it is safe and it is effective. Today, lavender oil is extracted mostly from the flowers of the lavender plant, primarily through steam distillation, which produces a much different product than was used in ancient Egyptian or Roman times.  Today oils are much more pure (depending on the source) and some say thinner than oils distilled in ancient times.  One thing for sure is that with todays testing, (with the oils I use at least) you can make sure that if you are buying a great brand of oils, you will get consistency from bottle to bottle.

Recently a lot of research is being done around essential oils and using them medicinally, which I am super excited about.  A couple of studies that I recently came across taught me a couple of things that I didn’t know.

Recent research shows that Lavender Essential Oil improves blood circulation and reduces blood pressure. Improved circulation, increases oxygen that is available to your cells, organs, brain and skin.  Since oxygen is necessary for proper cell regeneration and function, lavender essential oil can be a great thing to add to your health arsenal.  It has also been proven to treat insomnia in a recent study which may be why everyone talks about putting a drop on your pillow; don’t you love how science is catching up with experiential knowledge of centuries ago.

Linalool is one of the major naturally occurring chemicals in Lavender oil.  Linalool is an anxiolytic, which means natural stress reducer. Although Linalool is available from a variety of plants, Lavender has it in very high concentrates.  In this study linalool from coriander seeds was shown to prevent the growth of HepG2 cancer cells, and since the amount of linalool used in the studies was equal to 25 drops of lavender oil, it could prove to be a promising tool in the fight against cancer, but of course more research will need to be done.

Camphor is another of the naturally occurring chemicals in Lavender Oil.  It is the part of the oil that is antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anesthetic, sedative and nervous pacifier, antineuralgic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, and insecticide substance.  WOW, that is a mouthful.  It is the part that gives Lavender a ton of other benefits beyond those your grandmother was telling you about.

Lavender oil reduces the appearance of surface skin imperfections. Now Were Talking…. You say wrinkles, and my ears poke up.

 

“Forgiveness is the smell that lavender gives out when you tread on it.” -Mark Twain

 

15 Uses for Lavender:

  • Take a Lavender Bath. Put 5 drops of Lavender into 1 Cup Epson salts then add to your bath water for an ultra-relaxing experience.
  • Head to Toe Rest! After a hard work out or a long day on your feet, rub lavender along with Lemongrass on your legs and feet.  It will help soothe sore muscles and allow you to fully rest.
  • Take the Acrid Out of Vinegar. Add 4-5 drops of Lavender oil to your Vinegar Cleaning Mixture for a better scent.
  • Quick Fix. Mix three parts fractionated coconut oil with 1 part Lavender essential oil in a small glass spray bottle or in a roller ball and roll on to help clear up skin irritation associated with chafing.
  • Bring on the ZZZS. Rub on the bottoms of the feet for a more restful sleep.
  • Enjoy a fresh and Clean Mattress. Sprinkle a mixture of 1 cup baking soda and 10 drops Lavender essential oil all over your mattress.  Allow the mixture to sit for an hour then use the vacuum hose to clean it up.  You can also add Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Clove or Rosemary.
  • Ouch! That’s Hot! Put 2-3 drops Lavender oil on a minor burn to decrease pain. I recently did this after I spilled scorching hot tea on my hand at Starbucks and luckily had my lavender with me. Result: NO redness, swelling or pain. NO sign of any burn. Lavender works wonders!
  • The Oatmeal Secret. Fill a baby food jar with oatmeal, add 5-8 drops of Lavender oil, When it’s time to wash your face, add water and it becomes an excellent natural scrub.  A little goes a long way
  • A sleep time Trick. A few drops of Lavender oil placed on a pillow will help a restless toddler (or adult) fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Flavor Twist. Lavender is a flavor enhancer Lavender Sea Saltis a welcome addition to many savory dishes adding to risotto and rice, and makes a fragrant rub for chicken, fish, or lamb, and an unusual and subtle flavor enhancer for freshly cooked vegetables, especially asparagus. Lavender Sugar, you’ll love the flavor it adds to your baked goods and drinks. Try stirring into hot or iced tea, use to sweeten scone and muffin batter, sprinkle over sugar cookies before baking.
  • Drop Lavender oil on cut to stop bleeding, clean wound, and kill bacteria.
  • Take the Ouch Out. 1 drop of pure Lavender Essential Oil will help relieve the pain and sensitivity of occasional sore gums, dry or chapped lips, occasional scrapes and abrasions or after too much sun
  • Clear the Mind. Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then use the inhalation method to draw the scent all the way into your amygdala gland (the emotional warehouse) in your brain to calm the mind. Then, rub on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body. Great for use in crowded areas like planes or subways to carve out your own personal oasis.
  • Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching reduce swelling.
  • Therapeutic Dish and Laundry Soap, If your liquid soap smells a bit flat, you can add Lavender for additional aromatherapy benefits. It transforms your cleaning experience.

 

Lavender flavored Sea Salt & Sugar

  1. Add 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil to 1/4cup Sea Salt or Sugar and Mix thoroughly.
  2. Store in a Glass Container or Give in a Jelly Jar.  Add a Label to make a Perfect gift for all the foodie’s in your life.

 

Then Just in case you need a place to store your pencils while letting everyone know what you think, I made this:

And you can get it here https://www.zazzle.com/essential_oils_pencil_case-256252344218509735

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Lotion that’s Sofa King Awesome!!!

Homemade Lotion that’s Sofa King Awesome!!!

It seems like through the years you collect things, right!  You collect a solid girlfriend every  year or so.  You collect favorite sweaters, memories, recipes, habits, ideas.  If you’re like me, you’re more selective in the things that you keep as the years pass, but you still collect things.  I have probably given more books back to half price books than I have kept as I have gotten more selective.  Looking back is one of the beautiful things that makes aging awesome.  I picked up a couple of solid friends in high school, a couple in my 20s,  few in my 30s, and now I in my 40s I have at least 10 besties that I can call and more importantly, count on, to be both honest and supportive.  As I have aged, my wardrobe has gotten amazing. I own clothes from 3 decades and have kept my favorite and coolest items, which always pair well with whatever is in season.  My house lounging clothes have gotten better too.  There’s nothing like a broken in sweat shirt and pair of leggings to rock around the house on a Sunday, it beats something new every time. I eat way better food in my 40s than I ever did in my 20s, and I drink better wine and gin these days too.  My relationship with Scott has become way less volatile, we fight less and laugh more.  Aging is awesome, but you know what isn’t awesome; the appearance of aging!!!  I told Scott in my early 20s to save his money because I was cool with getting older, but I was not ok with looking older, and the day would come when he would need to pay a plastic surgeon.  His response was making me watch a documentary called “plastic surgery gone wrong”, afterwords I started to develop a plan. I didn’t want to look old and I didn’t want plastic surgery either.

I still haven’t had any “work” done, and I don’t plan to, but shortly after watching that documentary, I began to think about my skin and my appearance with a slightly different perspective.  You know the perspective you have when you realize that you better take care of it while it’s still young, because it won’t be forever.  I began cutting chemicals out of my skin care regime and making a lot of my own products. Many product will make your skin feel soft and silky, but the key is to find products that are actually nourishing your skin.  Most products available in grocery and department stores are made using petroleum byproducts which actually seal off the surface of your skin not allowing it to breathe (think petroleum jelly here), they have phthalates which are known hormone disruptors and affect how your body produces hormones, or Sodium Laureate/Laurel sulfates which are another synthetic chemical that are used in engine degreasers and strip your skin of it’s natural oils. It is totally gross, and there is a solution.  Find/make good nourishing  skin care products, look to nature and realize that tons of people are already doing the research so you don’t have to. Buy Organic ingredients, and you can make organic products.

Here is my ultimate favorite lotion recipe.  I have had girlfriends steal this lotion, offer to buy this lotion from me,and beg for the lotion.  It really is a great moisturizer and a great gift doesn’t just feel luxurious and silky on your skin, it makes your skin feel luxurious and silky.  There is a big difference.


Sofa King Awesome Homemade Moisturizer

  • 7 TBSP Almond Oil
  • 2 TBSP Beeswax
  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBSP Cocoa Butter
  • 1 tsp anhydrous lanolin
  • 9 TBSP Distilled Water
  • 2 TBSP Vegetable Glycerin
  • 1/2 tsp Borax
  • 15 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Myrhh Essential Oil
  • 15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 15 Drops Geranium Essential oil

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler, warm the base oils, beeswax, cocoa butter and lanolin until the cocoa butter and beeswax are just melted.  In another pan, warm the water and vegetable glycerin, add the board and stir until the borax is incorporated.
  2. Remove both pans from the heat and allow their contents to cool almost to body temperature, until the oils/wax/butter/lanolin mixture just being to thicken and becomes slightly opaque.  It will be like a loose salve, This should take 5-10 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen. This is the most important part and I learned the hard way by trying to rush that the mixture won’t combine if both parts aren’t about the same temp. I did it probably 10 times before I figured out that there isn’t a short cut here, you have to be patient and particular with this step, and the rest will come together so much easier.   Sometimes if one is cooling faster than the other I’ll just put the heat on the cooler one for a second to try and get them the same temp.
  3. Immediately pour the oils/was/butter/lanolin picture into a blender scraping the sides of the saucepan to get every last bit.  Place the lid on the blender and remove the lid’s plastic piece. Turn the blender on medium and slowly drizzle the water/glycerin/borax picture through the center of the lid into the vortex of swirling fats below.  Closely watch want happens, almost immediately, the lotion will begin to thicken.  Blend for 5-10 seconds more, turn off the blender and check the consistency.  It should have a smooth texture.  if  the mixtures are not combining properly, turn off the blender and give the lotion a few manual stirs with a spatula to free up the blender blades, then replace the lid and blend on medium for another 5-10 seconds, repeat this until the ingredients combine and stabilize.
  4. Once ingredients are combined turn off the blender and add the essential oils, stirring a few times to mix them in, then blend completely on medium for another 5-10 seconds until the lotion is smooth and pale yellow.
  5. Pour the finished lotion into storage containers and lightly cover each container with a paper towel and allow the lotion to cool for 30 minutes before capping to prevent condensation build up on the inside of the jar.
  6. You can store at room temperature for 30 days, or in the fridge for 3-6 months.

 

This will make a big batch for me or a few small gifts for friends.  I use the little 1/2 pint wide mouth jelly jars to put it in with a little sticker and give them out for Valentines Day, Mothers Day or any other Holiday.

As I was writing the recipe out, I was thinking about all the qualities each of the ingredients have and how I was initially skeptical of the borax.  I got this as an organic healthy ingredient, but couldn’t help but wonder how putting laundry detergent on my face was going to be helpful.  I thought it might be helpful for others to go through each of the ingredients in this recipe and talk about exactly how they nourish your skin which ultimately doesn’t just make your skin look or feel good from a superficial standpoint, but actually nourishes your skin so that it looks and feels good because, it is in fact, healthier, after you apply it.

Almond Oil: Rich in Vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc, and a number of other minerals and vitamins. Almond Oils is a light weight to medium weight base oil that can be used in a variety of different body care recipes.

Beeswax: It provides a protective barrier over your skin, but is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture to your skin.  it is also anti bacterial and anti viral, so is great to help blemishes and chapped or reddened skin.  It is also a thickener in most recipes and will add a bit of body to the lotion or creme.  It is often times why chopstick stays solid.

Coconut oil: soothes eczema, sunburn and psoriasis, and its antiviral and antifungal. Coconut oil contains 3 fatty acids: capric acid, lauric acid and caprylic acid. Each of these acids kill candida, a common cause of fungal infection on your skin. Coconut Oil in its unrefined virgin form stays solid below 76degrees, this allows it to keep your lotion more firm at room temperature, but to liquify and be absorbed by the skin when your skin warms it

Cocoa Butter: derived from the cocoa bean this sweet chocolate-fragranced emollient butter, like coconut oil is solid at room temperature and melts when it touches your skin.  It has a high concentration of antioxidant compounds, including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. all three fatty acids help neutralize free radicals throughout the body, particularly in the skin. By reducing the occurrence of oxidative stress, cocoa butter can help reduce signs of aging, including wrinkles and age marks. Research has also shown cocoa butter to reduce the appearance of scars on the skin and help to boost overall skin health.

Anhydrous Lanolin:  is a natural byproduct of processing animal wool,  Since lanolin is chemically similar to wax, it has a number of applications in various industries and has been used to prevent rust on metal. Lanolin is also structurally similar to lipids found in human skin cells, which makes lanolin readily absorbed through the skin.  As such, it acts as a carrier base to facilitate the absorption of other compounds mixed with lanolin into the skin.  It is important to know that, while Anhydrous Lanolin is naturally occurring, there is a synthetic chemical modeled after the naturally occurring one called “cholecalciferol” or “Vitamin D3” that aren’t the same thing.

Vegetable Glycerine: is an humectant and draws moisture to the skin, but also sends signals to skin cells to complete skin maturation. Psoriasis is known to happen when skin cells die to rapidly and slough off prematurely.

Borax: is a naturally occurring compound mined in the United States, China, Ukraine, Turkey and India with the largest mine being in California. Borax is known to help smooth rough skin as well as fight off Candida and Fungus. In this recipe it serves as an emulsifier, allowing the water based products to combine with the oil based products.

Frankincense Essential Oil: is a powerful astringent, meaning it helps protect skin cells. It works on the matrix structure, or underneath layers of the skin that helps give skin elasticity and shape.   It can be used to help reduce acne blemishes, the appearance of large pores, prevent wrinkles, and it even helps lift and tighten skin to naturally slow signs of aging. Its sweet heavy fragrance reduces anxiety and tension by slowing and deepening the breath.

Myrrh Essential Oil: is in its powerful antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, expectorant, and antispasmodic properties. Yes, that is a mouth full.  It is known that Cleopatra used Myrrh as part of her skin regime, so well, it’s good enough for me.  Please not you should avoid using Myrrh if you are pregnant or epileptic, instead use double the Frankincense.

Lavender Essential Oil:  According to dermatologists and aromatherapists, lavender essential oil because of its anti -bacterial qualities is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne.  Acne develops due to a bacterial infection near the sebum gland. When sebum cannot be properly secreted from the sebum glands, it begins to build up, and bacteria feeds off of it, creating a vicious cycle of irritation, infection, and visible sores that can result in scaring of the skin.  Lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial infection, helps to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation, and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.

Geranium Essential Oil: is a lot of things, but a Cicatrisant is one that is particularly useful for the skin.   Everyone wants their skin to be free from scars and after marks of fat-cracks, surgeries, and acne. Unfortunately, many people end up spending a fortune and trying all the available cosmetic solutions on the market and still don’t get the desired results. They could have avoided a waste of time and money had they tried Geranium Oil first. It is a powerful cicatrisant, so it helps the scars and other spots on the skin to fade and vanish. It facilitates blood circulation just below the surface of skin and also helps promote a uniform distribution of melanin.  Additionally it helps to alleviate water retention in the legs resulting from poor circulation.  It helps to break up cellulite in the legs, and like Lavender helps to regulate sebum production resulting in less acne.

 

What Other Essential Oils do You think would be good in this Recipe?

 

https://www.zazzle.com/sofa_king_awesome_t_shirt-235658269051016007

https://www.zazzle.com/brunskillian_life*

 

 

 

Essential Oils, Your Antioxidant Ninja?

Essential Oils, Your Antioxidant Ninja?

One of my must have blends of Essential Oils is the Protective blend, it is my antioxidant Ninja, it kicks ass and takes names.  It has oils from cloves, orange peels, Cinnamon Bark/Leafs, Eucalyptus Leaf and Rosemary Leaf and Flower.

You can completely ignore this paragraph, it is the legal disclaimers I have to throw out there.  Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to be bored out of your mind.  The FDA is very strict about what claims can be made or not about all substances and although the FDA has given Essential Oils the GRAS or generally regarded as safe designation, I do have to insert the following disclaimer: Essential Oils do not cure, prevent or treat any diseases. However, although I am a total rule follower, I am also a gangsta.  I don’t think it is entirely fair to exclude the discussion of essential oils as they pertain (or could pertain) to peoples health.  So, my work around, is to discuss the chemical compounds in each of the oils in this protective blend.  Because there is plenty of scientific research on them, so one by one, we can go through the main ingredients in the oils to find out exactly what the active chemical compounds are, and then look at studies that find results about how those chemical compounds effect the body.

Essential oils are very complex, just like ninjas, with some essential oils having hundreds of chemicals that are naturally occurring in every drop and ninjas have billions of cells and lots of tricks. I don’t have the time, patience or brain capacity to cover all of the oils, chemical and ninja skills, so I’ll go over the main ones (the chemicals in the oils that is, not the ninja tricks).  It is important to distinguish that there are naturally occurring chemicals like the ones derived from plans oils that are found in quality essential oils, and synthetic or man made chemicals that mimic the naturally occurring ones.  For the sake of my sanity, I am only talking about naturally occurring chemicals here unless otherwise mentioned, mostly because I don’t want to type the words “naturally occurring” 4,000 times, although this blog post would pop up higher on google searches if I did.

Clove Oil; There have been studies done on the effectiveness and free radicals in clove oil, which happens to be the second listed ingredient in my preferred protective blend.  All food substances are rated on what is called an ORAC scale or (oxygen radical absorption capacity) or a foods ability to fight free radicals.  WTF is a Free Radical, we hear it all the time, but lets take a second to digest a little free radical info.

Imagine a regular, standard cell that has a neutron with 4 protons orbiting it.  Right standard 4th grade science.  Now imagine a cell that is pretty radical, it’s missing a proton aaaand, it’s pissed about it… right, it only has 3 of its 4protons.  (these are things like cigarette smoke, off-gassing plastics and many other things) This radical cell goes into your body and takes one of the protons from a cell in your body,, right, it needs a proton.  This causes the cell that it just stole the proton from to become  a free radical (short a proton) that cell then steals a proton from a different neighboring, close by cell which steals a proton, and you can see where this is going.  There’s a chain reaction that never ends!!!. The moral of the story is the more free radicles that are taken into your body through toxic air, off-gassing plastics, smoking or a whole slew of other things, the more your cells are unsound and trying to get the protons by stealing from each other or morphing in other ways.  The best weapon to stabilize a free radical is an antioxidant.  Antioxidants are cells that have an extra proton and they lend it to the cells that have been stolen from to stabilize them (really freely like a hippie gives out food) so that every cell has the proper ratio of protons to neutrons.  This is where the ORAC score and Clove oil come in. When we think about foods rich in antioxidants (antioxidant foods), the blueberry usually comes to mind.  Blueberries score 6,000 (six thousand, just so we are clear) on the orac scale.  Cloves on the other hand, depending on which study you are looking at score over 10 million.[1] Yes, you read that right, 10 million So you can see how giving your body a boost of clove oil, gives it a boat load of of antioxidants to use in the battle against free radicals.  This is so much better than leaving those sneaky little free radicals un-attended which can lead to (depending on if the fda approves you saying so or not) leads to disease, inflammation, lower immune response and a whole slew of other uncomfortable things.  Incidentally, the next closest food to the clove on the ORAC chart is the Chinese wolfberry which comes in a 100,000 so only 1 /100th of the antioxidants, but I’m sure tastes lovely.  I’m planning on 1st finding out if they are poisonous and 2nd procuring some so that I can try them if it is safe.

1st on the list of ingredients here is Orange oil.  (if you’re wondering why I did that out of order, it’s because Ninja’s are always full of surprises, and apparently I want to be too).  Orange oil(Citrus sinensis)  is a time-tested remedy (although probably not FDA approved, I’m not sure) going back thousands of years. It is documented that people of China, India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean have used orange to ease symptoms of colds and for cleansing as well as during purification rituals. Many different cultures have also used it for improved digestion, skin problems, cleaning and lifting depression. I mean really, who doesn’t feel better when it smells yummy in the house.  It is also said that Christopher Columbus carried orange seeds with him on his long journey to the Americas. So it’s quite the oil historically speaking that is.

The most prominent photochemical in orange oil is d-limonene. D-limonene is a  powerhouse!  The amount of research being done on D-limonene is steadily increasing but is not by any means of the imagination, exhaustive; there is still so much that can be done, and were on our way. Orange Essential Oil or, citrus sinuses is 80-96% d-limonene so when talking about d-limonene although we can’t substitute the words Wild Orange, orange oil is 80-96% d-limonene… just sayin.

 One PubMed article identifies d-limonene as “Being a solvent of cholesterol, d-limonenehas been used clinically to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. Because of its gastric acid neutralizing effect and its support of normal peristalsis, it has also been used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). D-limonenehas well-established chemopreventive activity against many types of cancer. Evidence from a phase I clinical trial demonstrated a partial response in a patient with breast cancer and stable disease for more than six months in patients with colorectal cancer.”   blah blah blah.. if you read that quickly you are way better than me.  It took me a few reads, and a couple of google search terms to figure out what it meant.   It is showing to be effective in breast cancer trials.  Big surprise there, alternative medicine has always been “rumored” to be helpful against disease.

Another preliminary study published shows that Limonene D dLimonene, a non-nutrient dietary component, has been found to inhibit various cancer cell growths without toxicity;  Journal of Carcinogenesis. 2009, Vol. 8 Issue 1, Special section p1-9. 9p.  In this Study conducted at the university of Italy, orange essential oils was investigated against three micro-organisms; Staph, Listeria and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the third of which is lesser known but causes pneumonia and UTI’s. ‘Two of the three oils tested were significantly active against the listeria, while the Valencia was active against all three  (If it can fight these three germs, I’ll use it to clean my counter).   So really, the main chemical in orange essential oils is d-limonene which has shown to reduce cancer cells, inhibit cancer cell growth as well as fight staph, listeria and other germs.  I’ll take some, Yes Please!

Tired of getting “Hangry” or more importantly are your co-workers and family tired of you getting “angry”?  Next up on our list of ingredients for the Protective Blend is Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, although you can read tons of articles about the health benefits of cinnamon an placebo controlled double blind trial published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine showed that when taken twice a day, participants taking cinnamon twice a day had lowered fasting blood sugar levels, as well as lower blood sugar levels after ingesting 75G of carbs over the placebo group that showed no difference.2

Eucalyptus Oil, is another powerhouse… are you seeing a trend?  The protective blend is filled with them.  Eucalyptus has wide ranging properties that include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial.   Boy is that a mouth full.  In a recent Study published here it confirmed the anti bacterial properties, but went on to show synergistic qualities of eucalyptus oil when used in combination with conventional antibiotics against Acinetobacter baumannii (which we also know as a “super Bug” ).  The study goes on to say that eucalyptus oil has radical scavenging properties and shows capacity to inhibit the lipid peroxidation (that is the whole stealing of electrons by free radicals we talked about earlier) Can I get a “Hell Yeahhhh!

The last ingredient in the protective blend is the Rosemary Oil. It has an ORAC score of 3,300, so again it is a free radical fighting agent, but its major chemical compound is carnosol, which has been shown to be anti inflammatory among other things. Carnosol, has been evaluated for anti-cancer property in prostate, breast, skin, leukemia, and colon cancer with promising results.(4)  Pretty impressive!

 

So you can see how a combination of these oils is great for killing germs in your home, as well as fighting free radicals in your body.  Hospitals around the country have began using essential oils for a combination of things including, reducing stress of staff and patients in emergency rooms, fighting germs, and purifying.  One hospital in Washington state just had a 2 day training on essential oils and potential uses in fighting “super bugs”, but I simply can’t remember where I heard it.  It is super exciting from my perspective because over the years I have tried to do everything I can to have my home be as non toxic and natural as possible.  What I have known for years based on my own experiential knowledge is now being supported by science.  Yippie for the Hippy!!!  Here is a list of 15 uses for the Protective blend and a super easy recipe for an antibacterial hand sanitizer.


Alcohol Free, Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer

  •  5 TBSP Aloe Vera Gel
  • 4 TBSP Water
  • ¼ tsp Vitamin E Oil
  • 8-10 drops On Guard

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and fill a small squeeze container for moisturizing hand sanitizer on the go.  That is really awesome, and doesn’t dry out your hands like those alcohol based ones, but this does take a little bit longer to dry. And you should use caution with this sanitizer and numb chucks, as they might slip out of your hands.


15 Uses for Protective Blend

  1. Sniffle Season? Fight it by diffusing  Protective Blend anytime you are concerned about seasonal threats or those “things that get passed around” at schools, gyms, work or other crowded venues.
  2. Get Charged. Mix a few drops of protective blend with 2 drops lemon Essential oil and honey in a teaspoon to soothe your throat during winter or any dry season.
  3. Pimp Your Carpets. Add 15 drops of protective blend to a cup of baking soda, Mix, sprinkle, allow it to sit for up to an hour, then vacuum it clean!
  4. Clean the Grub out of the Tub… in a Pleasing Way. Mix 5-6 drops with half a cup of baking soda to clean your bath tub and skip all the harsh chemicals.
  5. Be Naturally On Guard, All Day. Let protective blend with wild orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary support your immune system.  One of the most popular ways to use protective blend is to add a few drops to a Veggie Capsule and Swallow.  Bam!  Immune System Boost!
  6. Augment Your Air Filters. Put a few drops of protective blend on your Car’s cabin air filter or home air filters to obliterate Dank, stale filtered air.. right from the duct.
  7. “An Ounce of Prevention…” Some people amp up their Zink or Vitamin C intake (Via orange juice) every autumn. If this is you, add a few drops of protective blend to your juice for added protection or take it in water to eliminate the sugar from the juice.
  8. Help for your Speaking Docket. If you’re a “close Talker” or public speaker, create a protective mouth rinse by adding a drop of protective blend to 4-6oz of water, gargle and pep up your Delivery.  Your breath will be fresh and your mouth will be tingly.
  9. Your Mouth Will Thank You. Try swishing protective blend with a bit of water after dental work.  You can also apply protective blend directly to your teeth and gums, or add a drop to your toothpaste to soothe irritated gums.
  10. Got a Pull Out Kitchen Cabinet Garbage Bin? Garbage inside a dark cabinet is an ideal breeding ground for horrific odors. When you take out the garbage, spray down your cabinet with protective blend and water.
  11. Eradicate That Oven Cleaner Smell. Caked on black oven gunk does not easily come off. After your oven’s self-clean cycle, spray a mix of purified water, protective blend and Lemon Essential oil onto the oven interior.  This will clear up all of the greasy smells as well as the smell of the oven cleaner.
  12. Gym Machines Will Thank You. Before climbing on to that sweaty vinyl at the gym, spray it with a mixture of protective blend and water. To protect yourself from the last users sweat.
  13. Be Protected On-The-Go. Traveling to the wide open corners of the world often leaves you without hand-sanitizer handy.
  14. Sharing is Caring… But Not Always! A few drops of protective blend in spray Bottle with Water works wonders on grimy doorknobs, hand railings and countertops. Share germs no more!
  15. Smelly Pipes Got You Down? Add 5 drops protective blend to your wash during the rinse cycle for all of the benefits of protective blend in your laundry. It will leave your laundry extra clean and smelling Great.

 

What Other Uses can you think of For Protective Blend?

 

1- http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/360_pdf.pdf accessed 2/11/2017
2-“Cinnamon extract lowers glucose, insulin and cholesterol in people with elevated serum glucose”;  Richard A. AndersonaZhiwei ZhanbRencai LuocXiuhua GuodQingqing GuodJin ZhoueJiang KongfPaul A. DavisgBarbara J. Stoeckerh  Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine  Volume 6, Issue 4, October 2016, Pages 332–336
3-“Chemical composition, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-quorum sensing activities of Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata essential oils”Ângelo LuísaAndreia DuarteaJorge GominhobFernanda DominguesaAna Paula Duarteaa CICS-UBI, Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, Av. Infante D. Henrique, 6200-506 Covilhã, Portugalb CEF-ISA, Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal Industrial Crops and Products ,Volume 79, January 2016, Pages 274–282
4-“Carnosol: A promising anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent”, Jeremy J. JohnsonUniversity of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, USA, University of Illinois at Chicago Cancer Center, Carcinogenesis & Chemoprevention Research Program, USA. Received 29 November 2010, Revised 3 February 2011, Accepted 4 February 2011, Available online 5 March 2011. Received 25 June 2015, Revised 26 October 2015, Accepted 30 October 2015, Available online 21 November 2015 Cancer Letters Volume 305, Issue 1, 1 June 2011, Pages 1–7

Endocrine Disruptors, This Shit is Serious!!!

Endocrine Disruptors, This Shit is Serious!!!

According to a recent Census while showing affection from one person to another is a way of celebrating Valentine’s day, it is also a way to drain the old pocket book.  The tradition of exchanging gifts among soon to be secretly married couples began in A.D.496.  Esther Howland of Massachusetts was the first one to begin the profit making trajectory that it has become today by selling the first mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards in the 1840.  So it took a while to catch on, but boy, it has caught on.  February 14, 2017 is expected to garner over 30 Billion Dollars according to one article written in Business Insider. I find this absolutely fascinating (and disgusting), what was even more fascinating was the linked article to the census bureau’s findings about the day, that breaks down where the money is actually spent.

I actually love Valentine’s day, but it is because 17 years ago when my now husband, then boyfriend, spent our first Valentine’s Day together he explained that he believed it was a corporate holiday and that he would never get me flowers or chocolates on Valentine’s Day, that he would express his love all year long.  Over the years he has kept his promise to love me, bringing home random bouquets of flowers throughout the year, and I have convinced him that buying power tools on Valentine’s Day isn’t condoning the corporate sanctioned holiday that we all have grown to know and love.  So on Valentine’s Day, I get great useful gifts that help my house run better.  (BTW, I think I might get a Roomba this year and I am sooo excited about it…. Yippee, no more sweeping!)  Anyway, although his skepticism throughout the years wasn’t stemmed in health, over the years I have found health concerns deeply seated in some of the most common practices and gifts that people give to their loved ones.

 

The first item, and reason that I began writing this article on this blog is perfume.  Now over the years I have done some crazy shit to smell good. I’ve given up deodorant,,, a couple of times… I commissioned one lady to create a custom scent out of “natural” ingredients… it smelled sooo awful, (which was probably more my fault than hers.  I am sure of it.  Who mixes conifer scents with vanilla?  which is what I insisted she do).

I do however, have a favorite perfume that I have loved since I was in high school, it is not natural, and I keep finding bottles of it because they don’t make it anymore, or maybe they now make it again, but they stopped for a while.  I have made homemade soap using essential oils, I still make homemade lotions using essential oils… the bottom line is that I am not even a girly kind of girl, and I have tried it all!  Bitches go crazy over how they smell, and I get it; I do it!   I work in a hot yoga studio where pretty much everyone stinks.  The last thing I want to smell when I leave there is anything “natural” (aka B.O.)  The bad thing about being in a situation where your house, job, car and everything is natural is that synthetics begin to smell like synthetics and just as repulsive as B.O.

So as my nose started to change and I began to notice the difference between synthetics and naturally occurring things. I started learning about Essential Oils and other natural recipes.  I came across information about phthalates. You’ll find phthalates in perfume, hair spray, deodorant, almost anything fragranced (from hair products to air fresheners to laundry detergent), nail polish, and a whole slew of other things.  In fact they are so common that 95% of humans have phthalates detectable in their urine.[1]  I feel like phthalates are the reek of chemical based products that just smells wrong.  It is the smell coming out of those stores at the mall that sell thousands of bath products that have shelf lives that will last beyond the apocalypse and make your stomach turn.  My problem was initially that in my brain when I smell chemicals, they do not smell good, but then I smell my favorite perfume from back in the day, and it goes to a very happy place where somehow it the chemicals in that perfume smell good despite that I know it is chemical based and not healthy.   I have debated myself whether or not exposure to these little particles is worth it to smell dreamy, and be reminded of what if was like to be a 25 year old (even though I would actually never want to go back to my 20s, it’s nice to remember them.) could I give up my old faithful perfume, especially because at least initially, Essential Oils didn’t seem to last as long.

 

Did I really care about phthalate exposure?

 It turns out that good old faithful perfume isn’t the only place I am being exposed to phthalates.  They are in dairy products, shower curtains and almost every plastic product.   Additionally, they’re in meats, cheeses, iv drip bags and catheters. I wanted to know why they’re in everything?  What purpose do they serve and exactly what are they?  Phthalates are a small chemical partial used to make plastics more flexible, and used as lubricants in cosmetics.  Which doesn’t exactly sound all bad right…?  wrong (imo)!

Well, if you ask the American Chemistry Council, a known lobby group for phthalate manufacturers, who produce between 14-27 million pounds of phthalates per year, phthalates are a okay; two thumbs up. Phthalates are, by their accounts, “among the most thoroughly studied family of compounds in the world.” But what do some of these studies show actual show and leave up for interpretation?

Since the 1940s, Phthalates have been shown to have a negative effect on male reproductive development. Phthalates are now widely known to be “endocrine disruptors” WTF is an endocrine disruptor?  Here you go:

Hormones are chemical messengers that travel throughout the body coordinating complex processes like growth, metabolism, and fertility. They can influence the function of the immune system, and even alter behavior…In response to a signal from the brain, hormones are secreted directly into the blood by the glands that produce and store them. These glands make up what is known as the endocrine system. Chemicals that interfere with the function of hormones are therefore known as endocrine disruptors.

 Phthalates are thought to mimic and displace hormones and interrupt their production. This can have a range of unpleasant effects.

Here is a summary of the current studies:

  • In 2009, a small Taiwanese study on humans showed that phthalates passed from mother to fetus through the placenta affect female babies, sometimes resulting in abnormal sexual development.[2]
  • Boys who are exposed to higher levels of certain types of phthalates in the womb may show less masculine behavior (measured by playing with trucks and play fighting) than boys who are exposed to lower levels.[3]
  • Pregnant women exposed to phthalates in the workplace were found to be two to three times more likely to deliver boys with the reproductive birth defect known as hypospadias.[4]
  • A 2009 study determined that phthalate exposure correlated with premature breast development in young Taiwanese girls.[5]
  • A 2007 study found that higher levels of phthalates detected in the urine of adult males was associated with increased waist circumference and insulin resistance.[6]

 

WTF… Do I Do?

  1. Stay away from fragrance. Unfortunately, you will very rarely see phthalates listed on a product label — Luckily, there are clues. When it comes to cosmetics, the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label almost always means phthalates. What you want to see are claims like: “no synthetic fragrance” or “scented with only essential oils” or “phthalate-free.” And always use only Essential oil air diffuser fresheners.  Please if you don’t know how to get your hands on the best quality Essential Oils, contact me on the contact page, I’ll get you going.
  2. Crack the code. Plastic products with recycling codes 3 and 7 may contain phthalates or BPA. Look for plastic with recycling codes 1, 2, or 5.[7]
  3. Avoid plastic whenever possible, and never heat your food in plastic. Foods that are higher in fat — meats and cheeses, for instance — are particularly prone to chemical leaching. Even BPA or phthalate-free plastic may contain harmful chemicals. Opt for glass food storage containers, and choose bottles and sippy and snack cups that are mostly stainless steel, silicone, or glass.[8]
  4. Use your dollars to make sense, not scents. Several manufacturers have sworn off the use of phthalates due to consumer pressure. Others have never used these chemicals. Spend wisely!

What I do… Now… Phthalate Free

Today, I mix essential oils and carry them around with me.  I apply them often and always smell good.  The great thing about having essential oils that unlike chemicals don’t last forever, is that if I want something uplifting in the morning, I put on an uplifting blend.  After a meeting, if I need to calm down, I put on a calming blend.  So while the staying power of synthetic perfumes was a bonus for me early on, now I love the idea of being able to switch scent throughout the day, which affects my frame of mind. (Essential Oils, Actually, affect Your Brain).

For Instance, right now, my husband is talking about our upcoming trip to Cuba with more enthusiasm than I can handle, so I just rolled on a little “peace” blend, to calm myself down.  It is great even if it doesn’t last forever.

The last reason not to buy Perfume for Valentine’s Day is that  $600-700Billion dollars is spent every year from counterfeited stuff, and if phthalates have made their way into our mainstream products, who knows what’s in the counterfeited shit.

So, while I started this to focus on the prevalence of Phthalates in perfumes and air fresheners, here are the stats from the business insider article and the census.  Really, it’s first world problems just like Valentine’s Day is a first world Holiday!!!

Candy

1,364 Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced primarily chocolate and cocoa products in 2014, employing 42,043 people. California led the nation with 151 of these establishments, followed by New York with 119.[9]

While Candy is great, and I love it too, you have to ensure you are getting good ingredients and limiting your intake of them. Dark chocolate without a lot of the disguising red #5 goo in the middle is best.  It is hard to overlook the fact that nobody ever gave a square of dark chocolate as a gift.  There’s a reason we all know the big heart shaped box of chocolate, it’s because more is better…. Not really… Diabetes and obesity are huge problems, so if you decide to eat it, great,,,  Just don’t eat the whole box at one time.  Try to limit yourself to one piece a day, and keep in mind if you’ve never seen the color in nature, it was probably made using chemical colorants, try to avoid it.  When your body is exposed to chemicals, it stores them in fat cells and tucks them away in your fascia so that they aren’t just floating around in your body.  That makes them harder to access when you are ready to get rid of them.

Secondly, if you get a box of chocolates and decide to enjoy some,, enjoy them,  but for the love of god, before you “get busy” at the end of the night make sure you put the chocolate in a cabinet or up high where your furry four legged friends can’t get them. Chocolate is poisonous for dogs and every year there are multiple dogs in clinics all over the US because the dog got the box of chocolates.  According to the Pet Poison Hotline, 1/2oz of chocolate per lb of dog weight is poisonous.  But I do get it, we do want to support local manufacturing.  Just go easy on it so your pancreas doesn’t flip out (can you imagine what that would look like, like, if your pancreas just jumped out of your body,,,) and keep it away from your mutts!

 

$16.0 billion
 The estimated value of chocolate and confectionary product shipments for manufacturing establishments in 2015.[10] This is in fact how much we spend on chocolate every Valentine’s Day… Whoa!!!!!

$10.1 billion
 The estimated value of non-chocolate confectionery product shipments for manufacturing establishments in 2015.[11] What and then you add this to it… Shit’s getting Crazy.

3,217
  Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2014.[12] This one actually surprised me, because of the alarming number of people that are allergic to nuts these days.  But the confectionery portion of it seems accurate based on our health outlook in the us.

$3.4 billion
   The value of U.S. imports of chocolate and confectionery in 2015. Canada was the top source of U.S. chocolate imports that year with $1.3 billion.[13]  I really expected this to be Germany or Belgium, but Canada has turned into quite the foodie Country in the past Decade or so.  Kudos to them.

Flowers

13,765
   The number of florist establishments nationwide in 2014. These businesses employed 61,170 people.[14]  Again, super happy people are working, and how nice would it be to work at a flower shop where the room always smells delightful.

$131 millionThe value of imports of bouquet cut flowers and buds in February 2016. Of that, the value of imports of fresh cut roses was $72 million—the highest category of flowers.[15] This one trips me out a little more, I would almost always prefer to have a potted plant that I can put in my yard, fruit producing; even better.  I love how my almond trees bloom right around Valentine’s Day.  I guess all the flowers are going to die on the plant anyway but really 72 million in fresh cut roses that aren’t meant to bloom in February and are forced into blooming and then trucked from Greenhouse A to seller point B.  It does seem like a lot of waste so that people can have some crazy flower that has been marketed as “the” flower of Valentine’s day.  I will see this, it is better roses than Lillies, as your lilies are extremely toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure within a couple of hours of ingesting.  Even better than that is this Cherry Chocolate Mousse I got at my local bakery.  It is shaped like a rose, but the chef made it right there with her own hands and I stopped there while going to the grocery store so no wasted fuel.

Jewelry

22,655 The number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2014. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to couples of all ages. In February 2016, these stores sold an estimated $2.6 billion in merchandise.[16]  I do love weddings… I love being married, and I hope all these people that just spent 2.6 billion dollars love their stuff.

2,143The number of jewelry and silverware manufacturing establishments.[17]  Really, silverware seems like something I would get for Valentine’s Day.  So unromantic and surprising that it made it to this list.

$6.7 billionThe estimated value of jewelry and silverware products shipped for manufacturing establishments in the United States in 2015.[18] Not only did it make the list, but it is part of the 6.7 billion dollars in shipped products in the United States.

 

 

 

“Please Be Mine”

29.7 and 27.8 years Median age at first marriage in 2015 for men and women, respectively.[19]

47.5% The overall percentage of people 15 and older who reported being married, except those separated.[20]

31.9 The provisional rate of marriages per 1,000 people performed in Nevada during 2014. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked number one nationally in marriage rates. Hawaii ranked second with a marriage rate of 17.7. [21]

2.1 million The provisional number of marriages that took place in the United States (excluding Georgia) in 2014. That breaks down to about 5,800 a day.[22]


In Case You Want to buy Some Crazy shit at my store

https://www.zazzle.com/brunskillian_life*

 


 

 

[1] http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/phthalates-in-moms-and-babies accessed 2/13/17

[2] http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/phthalates-in-moms-and-babies

[3] http://www.webmd.com/children/news/20091116/phthalates-affect-way-young-boys-play#1

[4] http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/phthalates-increase-hypospadias-risk

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19344077

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17589594

[7] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/10/practical-values-hard-break

[8] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/09/opinion/09browning.html?_r=0

[9] U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2014, NAICS code (31135)

[10] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 Annual Survey of Manufactures, Products and Service Codes (311351 and 311352)

[11] Ibid, Products and Service Code (311340)

[12] U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2014, NAICS code (445292)

[13] U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics, NAICS code (31135)

[14] U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2014, NAICS code (4531)

[15] U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics, (Commodity code-0603 and 060311)

[16] U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2014, NAICS code (448310) http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/BP/2014/00A1//naics~448310 and Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services www.census.gov/retail

[17] ibid (339910)

[18] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 Annual Survey of Manufactures, Products and Service Code (339910)

[19] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 

[20] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

[21] National Center for Health Statistics

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/state_marriage_rates_90_95_and_99-14.pdf

[22] National Center for Health Statistics

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables.htm

 

Feel Good Friday Essential Oils Diffuser Blend

Feel Good Friday Essential Oils Diffuser Blend

On Friday afternoons, I like to put on some great Music, load the diffuser with something uplifting and spend a cool 30 minutes picking up my house so that the weekend starts off right with the house feeling great.  Try this mix in your diffuser this afternoon:

  • 3 Drops Bergamot
  • 2 Drops Geranium
  • 3 Drops Lavender

The lavender relaxes you while the bergamot and geranium both uplift your mood. Because who doesn’t want to start their weekend feeling great.

Then you can get this cup to drink your Saturday Morning Cup of Joe out of.

https://www.zazzle.com/z/3uomk

 

 

Why Essential Oils Gangsta?

Why Essential Oils Gangsta?

Scott: “what’s the name of your new blog?”

Me: “Essential Oils Gangsta”

Scott: Through a lot of laughter “Are you oilers secretly doing illegal shit?”

Me: “of course not, not all gangsters do illegal stuff, and Gangstas don’t either.  Especially not Essential oil Gangstas”

Scott: “Why would you name it that”

Me:”hmm, well because I belong to a group of people with a mindset that using oils to promote physical and emotional health is a good thing”

Scott: “why didn’t you call it a club then?

Me: “well because the word Gangsta brings to mind people going against the grain, and I think that going to natural alternatives first, challenging the way americans have been living and eating chemicals,  and focusing on mental health, is going agains the grain, but in a good way.

 

Soo then I decided to look up the word gangsta, which in most dictionaries is defined using the words criminal or criminal activity along with mobster.  In some cases I was right though, and it is a mindset or belief among a group of people.  So I was sort of right, and please don’t inform him that he was too.  However just for the record, i’m not doing anything illegal, it is too late to change it now, besides I like it and now you can too.  Here is where you can get your essential oil gangsta gear.

https://www.zazzle.com/mbr/238004464686060135/collections

 

Well, it’s #Groundhogs Day… Or Not!

Well, it’s #Groundhogs Day… Or Not!

Throughout my 30 day diet detox, I do many things and because I’m not out having drinks with the girls, most of them are done at home.  I once read that everything in your house has an energy attached to it.  (I’m sorry I would cite the source, but I’ve donated as many books to half price books as I have left, except my husbands, because he gets pissed when I donate his, but anyway I don’t remember which book it was.) So this book went on to explain that when someone gives you a gift that you don’t really like, and you keep it in your house, every time you look at it you will feel a little bit of negative energy.  It also goes on to explain that objects can evoke feelings of guilt, can clutter your thoughts, and can block/promote positive energy.  It really does make sense right.  Like everything is made up of moving atoms so there is definite energy in things, but (not this is me talking not the book) what if our energy and emotions can mix with the energy that exists within the object and create a different experienced energy.  When I read this years ago, I immediately thought about the objects that make me smile, that bring up good memories, you know the little objects that you collect throughout your life that make you feel good.  Well, at the time I decided that I would make sure everything in my living space carried a good and positive energy.  Then life happens and of course I lost focus.  I think we are all familiar with the pile of papers, that you just really need to go through and file, but don’t ever seem to make time to do it.  Lately during the average day I come across many things that remind me of groundhogs day.  I look at it, think about it, and then leave it so that the next time I look at it I can have the same distain for my lack of motivation in actually doing something with it last time I saw it, but then usually leave it again, and so the cycle repeats. During my detox month, I thought how great it would be to actually do something with these things. So each day when I would see something, like my used to be favorite sweater that my husband shrunk which makes me sad that I can’t wear it anymore every time I see it, I put it in the donate box, or the trash bin.  I have no guilt about getting rid of gifts that I don’t like instead of clogging up a closet with them. I tackled piles of papers, added all the addresses from sent Christmas cards to my address book so I would have them for next year, then recycled the christmas cards.

Energy is such a strong thing and while were on the topic of clearing out and uplifting the energy in living spaces.  Plants have specific vibrational levels or energies, and are a great thing to have in your house, but that energy can quickly turn negative when they collect dust.  The essential oils extracted from plants also have a vibrational level, and lucky  for us there are experts that study them to determine which ones actually affect the brain in an uplifting way.  Lately it has been the blend Motivate for me.  I love this stuff, and whenever I put it on or start diffusing it, shit gets done.  I think my husband is starting to love it too.  If you don’t have motivate, try some citrus like lemon, or contact me and I can help you get some motivate.

The only Groundhogs day I want to experience this year is the one where  Puxatony Phil decides we’re done with winter which either means he sees his shadow, or doesn’t but I always get them mixed up.   Either way I’m ahead on my spring cleaning, and the Brunskill house is feeling really great.   BTW, WTF is a groundhog anyway  Is it a bear that drank too much coffee and stunted it’s growth?