5 Tips for Breast Health

5 Tips for Breast Health

Between bra shopping and an upcoming annual visit with the OB/GYN, I've been thinking a lot about breast health lately.   This topic creates a good deal of fear and anxiety in many women.  Let's re-frame and focus on things that are within our control.  I've come up with 5 simple tips to keep your breasts healthy.

  

Oh, that bra shopping....I bought 4.  2 pretty bralettes and 2 functional ones.    

 

One of my criteria for bras is....NO underwire.  And that's tip #1. 

  

 

5 Tips to Keep Your Breasts Healthy

 

  1.  Ditch the underwire bra.  There's a good deal of conflicting info linking underwire bras to breast health.  When in doubt, just stop wearing them.   Any restrictive bra presents the lymph system from draining toxins from the body.  Sports bras are great alternatives.  Even better, go braless.  Research shows that going braless helps to keep your breasts perky.  Bonus:  underwire bras are so darn uncomfortable anyway. 

  

2.  Eat more fruit & veggies.  Produce is rich in antioxidants.  Antioxidants help to prevent oxidation and oxidative stress which produce free radicals that damage cells.  Bottom line: fruits & veggies help your cells stay healthy. 

 

3.  Eat less sugar.  There is research that shows links between sugar and the  C word.  Some attribute it to raised insulin levels.   Others think it's because sugar impacts the gut microbiome.  Regardless of how you look at it, too much sugar is unhealthy.  Just limit your sugar.  

 

4. Limit stress.  We all experience stress.  But it's super important to limit chronic and ongoing stress.  Stress hormones can prevent anoikis, a process that kills diseased cells and prevents them from spreading.  This is important stuff.  Do what it takes to reduce the chronic stress in your life. 

 

5.  Apply frankincense daily to the breasts.   Just a simple google will reveal tons of info about how frankincense supports healthy breast tissue.   A girlfriend recently had a thermal mammogram.  The technician encouraged her to massage her breasts daily with frankincense.   More and more medical professionals are encouraging alternatives and that's a good thing.

 

 There you have it.  5 simple ways that you can support your girls.....pun intended.  

If your looking for more info on frankincense, check out this post.  

  

9 Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

9 Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

9 Carrier Oils to Use with Essential Oils 

What exactly is a carrier oil and why do I need it?  Great question! 

Carrier oils, such as fractionated coconut oil, are used for diluting essential oils. They increase absorption, are good for safety reasons, and save you money.    There are many carrier oil options available and it can be super overwhelming.  Let’s take a look at nine of the best carrier oils to use with essential oils.  

Each carrier oil  has a different feel on the skin and each has its own therapeutic properties.  Each oil is a little different, so you can choose the one that suits your needs the best.

  1. Fractionated Coconut Oil.  This oil is a great go-to due to its long shelf life and non-oily feel on the skin. It has a low molecular weight and penetrates deeply.  FCO is very easy to spread and is light, so it won’t leave you feeling greasy.  Fractionated coconut oil has been processed so it stays liquid.  If you need larger amounts, this pump container comes in very handy. 
  2. Almond Oil.  Another light oil is sweet almond oil, a fave among massage therapists.  It’s nutty, delicious smell makes it one of my personal favorites. It’s easily absorbed and emollient.  Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamin E and great for the skin.  
  3. Avocado Oil.  This carrier oil has a medium weight to it, feeling almost waxy on the skin.  But it is super-beneficial as it contains nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins A, D, & E.  This oil promotes collagen and is wonderful for mature skin as well as dry skin issues. Research has shown that it can help to lower blood pressure, ease arthritis symptoms, and heal psoriasis issues.  So cool! 
  4. Jojoba Oil.  Very light and nearly odorless, jojoba oil absorbs well and is a great conditioner for the skin.  Its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties can help to treat acne.  Because it moisturizes so heavily,  many use it for it’s anti-aging benefits.  Jojoba oil has a long shelf life and is easily absorbed.  
  5. Oilve Oil. Olive oil has a slightly thick weight to it, making it feel more oily on the skin. Because it’s rich in fatty acids, it is nourisning for the skin.  Olive oil is also full of  antioxidants which means it’s great for healing and repair.   Bonus, you probably have this in your kitchen already.  It’s not my favorite carrier oil because it is heavy.  But I’ve used it in a pinch.  
  6. Wheatgerm Oil.  Although this oil goes on the skin feeling thick and sticky, It’s loaded with Vitamin E and is a natural anti-inflammatory.  It has anti-aging properties due to its vitamin content, supports collagen production, and can help prevent scarring. 
  7. Argan Oil.  This oil is light in weight and goes on the skin with nearly no oily feel.  It’s filled with fatty acids and is great for all skin types.  It’s beneficial for mature skin as it promotes skin elasticity.  It’s also good for stretch marks, nail cuticles, and split ends.  I like to use argan oil as a facial moisturizer (add a drop of frankincense and and a drop of geranium if you struggle with oily skin).  
  8. Rosehip Oil.  Light and only slightly oily on the skin with an earthy aroma, rosehip oil is rich in beneficial fatty acids and has anti-aging properties.  It is a good choice for dry skin and helps prevent scarring and eases psoriasis symptoms.  Rosehip oil can go rancid quickly, so proper storage and timely use is recommended.  Add a drop of Immortelle essential oil blend to rosehip oil and use for sun-damaged skin.  
  9. Magnesium Oil.  Technically, this isn’t an oil.  It’s magnesium chloride flakes mixed with water.  Since it has an oily texture, it’s called magnesium oil.  In our house, we do use this as a carrier oil.  Magnesium oil has it’s own amazing health benefits.  It’s a great choice if you are dealing with stress, inflammation, or sleep issues because magnesium helps all of those.

  

To quickly sum up: 

  • Fractionated coconut oil is our family’s most commonly used carrier oil.  I use it to make roller bottles and as a body moisturizer. It has a long shelf life.  
  • Argan and jojoba are my favorite oils to use as a facial moisturizer.  
  • When using a thicker oil,  combine it with another carrier oil to lighten it up.  For instance,  if you are making a blend to use for scarring, try adding a bit of wheat germ to almond oil.  You’ll get the benefits of both.
  • Consider keeping magnesium oil on hand.  It’s a powerhouse in it’s own right.

So there you have it. Nine great carrier oils to match your particular tastes and health needs.  There are many other options but I’ve chosen to hit on the carriers that you we most commonly use. Have other carrier oil options not mentioned here that work for you?  Share them in the comments below.

Freedom & Judgement

Freedom & Judgement

 I’m a thinker. And I’ve been thinking a lot on freedom. And judgement. I’ve seen so much judgement lately. Judgement is inherent.  We judge. We have to because we are humans and every day, we have to make choices. Making choices means judging.But here’s the catch….we can judge actions without judging people. I can think, “Hmmm…it’s best if my kids go to bed at 9pm and get up at 8am,” without judging the mom who lets her kids stay up all night (um, me!). We can bottle feed or breastfeed without judging another mama for doing the opposite.Our family has a bit of a non-traditional lifestyle and I’ve been judged and slammed on all of these things:
  • We homeschool. Actually, we unschool. Basically, life is learning. We don’t use a curriculum. Our kids follow their own interests and passions. I’ve been told that I’m a crappy mom over that one. More than once.
  • Our kids have been in and out of bars throughout their lives (they are 13 and 17 now).  My husband is in a band and we take our kids with us.  They’ve seen a lot of drunk people and probably a couple of bar fights. Because of this, alcohol has zero appeal to them. But good moms don’t drag their kids around in bars. Yeah, right.
  • I’m involved in network marketing. Oh, the judgment on this one is heavy. Online, people make jabs and digs. Sometimes in person, too, but it’s much easier to slam someone online. I love what I do. I’m proud of it. I’m good at it. I’m successful and retired my husband 3 years ago.  Once, someone told me that I didn’t make an “honest living.” It’s not like the mafia or something. But the judgement is fierce. And it’s ugly
  • I’m a believer and follow Jesus. Some people just wait and watch for believers to screw up so they can play the hypocrite card. Ouch!
Y’all, this is what FREEDOM looks like.We can educate our kids however we see fit. We can pursue our dreams and passions. We can choose our religion and political preferences. We can vote differently. We can parent differently.In our country, I can do my own thing. You can do your own thing. And we can both be right.  In fact, sometimes no one is right. It just is.We also have the FREEDOM to judge. Yup, we sure do. But judging only hurts us. Your judgement of ME says very little about me. It says A LOT about you. And those times that I judge, I need to do some serious self-reflection because usually, my own junk is surfacing.Enough rambling. Let’s just try to be cool people, o.k.?
How to Label Essential Oil Roller Bottles

How to Label Essential Oil Roller Bottles

 

If you have entered the world of essential oils, you are probably using roller bottles.  If you aren’t, check out this  DIY tutorial to learn how to make rollers.  It’s easy, safer, and saves you money.

And if you are making roller bottles, PLEASE label them.  If not, you will quickly find bottles laying around and you’ll have no idea what’s inside.  Trust me on this.  It happens.  More times that I would like to admit.

How to Label Essential Oil Roller Bottles

Tip:  Before you get started and attach any label, make sure the bottle is clean and dry.  It’s best to label your bottle first and then create your concoction. Otherwise, any oil on the bottle can prevent labels from sticking.

1. The most basic way to label is with paper and packing tape.  On a small piece of paper, write out the oils or blend name.  Cover this fully with clear packing tape.  Remember to cover the edges of the paper.  This isn’t the prettiest but it’s waterproof and it works.

2. Use round bottle cap labels.  These are designed for the top of bottle caps but they work very well on the side of bottles.  You can easy see the oils in the bottle.  You an even add a little number on the label to identify the number of drops in your blend.  Tip:  Cover these with clear packing tape.  Otherwise, oil will get under the labels, over time, and cause them to lose stickiness.

If you have a doTerra account, you can order these labels through the company.  If not, you can order them from Amazon.  You can purchase pages of individual labels and a book over at Oil Sharing Tools.  I love my book.  Ordering refills sheets is inexpensive and they keep shipping reasonable.

 

3.  You can create beautiful labels with a Circut or Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutting machine.  I had one of these and never took the time to learn it.  Fortunately, I have many friends who use and love their machines.  I’ve had them make gorgeous labels for me, including these.  Aren’t they pretty?

 

4.  Another option is washi tape.  Decorative washi tape makes super cool labels.  You can write on it, too.  Again, to keep it fully waterproof, cover with clear packing tape.

5.  I have found the perfect label maker!  After doing research, I purchased this Brother P-Touch.  And it is fabulous!  You can create quick labels or plug into your computer and use simple software to make more customized labels.  The 1 inch labels are perfect for including a name, recipe,  and instructions.  Labels are waterproof and come in clear and a variety of colors.  It’s the best!

These are my favorite methods to use in case you were wondering how to label your essential oil roller bottles. You can also find some super cool labels online. Here’s a few of my favorites:

There ya go.  A few of my favorites. What is your favorite method to use? Is there something I’m missing.  If so, let me know!

35 Ways to Invest in Yourself

35 Ways to Invest in Yourself

35 Ways to Invest in Yourself

(because you are worth it)

  1. Spend meaningful time with a friend.
  2. Save money.  You won’t stress when something unexpected comes up.
  3. Therapy and counseling.
  4. Massages, manicures, & pedicures.
  5. Surround yourself with people who love, support, and encourage you.
  6. Read.  If you’re not a reader, try audiobooks.
  7. Regular check ups with your doctor.
  8. Adequate sleep.
  9. Be generous with your time and money.
  10. Find a mentor.
  11. Laugh.
  12. Feed yourself spiritually.
  13. Eat real food.  You’ll feel better.
  14. Forgive others.
  15. Forgive yourself.
  16. Exercise. Engage in any physical activity that you enjoy.
  17. Spend quality time with your partner.
  18. Sunshine. Bask in it.
  19. Meal plan.  If you plan, you’ll eat better.  See #13.
  20. Pray and meditate.
  21. Get clear on what you really want.
  22. Have a few outfits that make you feel amazing.
  23. Time away from your family & kids. Take a break sometimes.
  24. Learn something new.
  25. Start assembling a team (trainer, chef, housecleaner, counselor, biz coach, etc.).
  26. Keep a gratitude journal. Write in it daily.
  27. Get an accountability partner.
  28. Connect with nature.
  29. Establish personal and professional boundaries.  Great book here.
  30. Organization (being well organized saves time and money).
  31. Have a purpose (what makes you excited to get out of bed every morning?)
  32. Play.
  33. Volunteer (helping others always makes you feel better).
  34. Use faith declarations and affirmations.
  35. Accept what is not within your control.

and an a bonus…

36.  Sex.  My husband tossed this one in.  It’s great for stress, sleep, your immune system, and a healthy marriage.

Here’s the challenge:  Pick out one thing and focus on it today.  Just one thing.

And then tomorrow, focus on one thing.

And so on.

Baby steps.

What’s your focus today?