Essential Oils for Pets

My dogs are basically furry toddlers with old souls and huge hearts! So it comes to no surprise that I’m invested in their wellness and overall happiness. I can facilitate that in a more natural way with essential oils!

The first time I used essential oils for my dogs I made a spray mixture to keep bugs away when the dogs are enjoying the outdoors with us. It smelled great to me (not the bugs!) and worked well so I became curious of additional uses. I did some research, and wouldn’t you know that OF COURSE they’re good for our pets, just as they are for us!

Young Living essential oils are the ONLY oils I trust. This infographic is a great place to start, giving general guidelines when using oils for your pets.

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I look forward to sharing the many ways I’ve incorporated essential oils into my pet’s lives for their wellness and happiness. Feel free to comment if you have additional tips!

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Top 5 Ways to Soothe your Back without Medication

Even the most vigilant person can occasionally comes across back strain. Young, old, sedentary, athletic…doesn’t matter. Sometimes your back is just going to tell you when enough is enough! Below are the Top 5 items or tips I use to soothe my back without medication.

1. EPSOM SALT & BAKING SODA BATH SOAK: Relieve aches and pains by raising the magnesium levels in your body naturally! My personal recipe is to use 1 cup epsom salt, 1 cup baking soda (it increases absorption of minerals & helps neutralize chemicals like chlorine) and 6-8 drops of my favorite Young Living essential oils. Why not reap the benefits of essential oils while soaking up relief? Here’s a bonus recipe for you! purification-2

2. BALANCE BALL CHAIR: They may look and feel funny at first, but these chairs can improve posture and work your core muscles! That’s a whole lot better than weakening your core muscles by constantly sitting isn’t it? I use Gaiam Custom Fit Adjustable Balance Ball Chair. And because I like things pretty, I also purchased a Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Cover to match the room decor!  img_0492

3. SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE a.k.a. a FOAM ROLLER: Foam rollers are a fantastic alternative to a deep tissue massage when you’re short on time or funds. It will also assist to smooth out trigger points (knots) in your muscles and increase circulation/blood flow to the soft tissue areas. See the one I use here.

4. TENS UNIT: If you don’t know what a TENS Unit is and suffer from pain, your life is about to change! Honestly, this is one of my favorite ways to alleviate pain and discomfort. The unit provides electric stimulation to targeted areas for pain relief. I use the Omron Electrotherapy Max Power Relief and WiTouch Wireless TENS on the regular!

5. SULFURZYME: Sulfurzyme powder is a mix of wolfberry and MSM, an organic dietary sulfur that helps protect cells and connective tissue. All I’m going to say is THIS STUFF WORKS for me! Sulfurzyme is a product of Young Living. If you’re interested in essential oils, please visit the Essential Oils section here on A Plot Twist Life!img_0494

BONUS TIP:

  • LEGS UP THE WALL POSE (VIPARITA KARANI): This inversion is a deeply nourishing and restorative yoga pose for mind and body. Place a bolster or roll up a blanket and rest it under your bottom to elevate the pelvis, then slide your legs up the wall, lay back and rest in place for 5-15 minutes.

I hope these items and tips help you as much as they’ve helped me! Please keep in mind that I am speaking from personal experience and this should in no way be used to diagnose, treat or cure abnormal conditions of the body.

Did any of your favorite Top 5 make the list? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Magic Mondays – Back to School & Back to You!

The kids are back in school for the new year! We got in the spirit yesterday by watching the movie Grease! Now, another summer in the books and a new year of growing, learning and making memories for all. I’m just so dang proud of our kids as I see them becoming unique, intelligent and kind little adults. ❤

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Now, we all know that back to school does not really mean back to You as this blog title suggests. Even by tonight we might find ourselves shopping for new, class specific supplies or a different pair of gym shorts. You know I’m right! 

But hey, who says back to school can’t be about you a little bit? Take some time today to do something kind for yourself. Appreciate all that you do day in and day out! INDULGE in one thing or many things you adore!!

Here’s what I did for myself today:

  • Woke up an hour earlier. You’re probably thinking, “Umm…not fun!” I have a good reason though, promise. First day back to school is exciting but can also be a bit hectic in the morning. Ahh…I remember how everything seemed life or death and how I always wanted the first day to be perfect. It seems like it was just yesterday…

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Ha! I guess it wasn’t judging by that computer on the desk!!

Anywho, I wanted to wake up, have a nice cup of coffee and a little “me time” before the rest of the house arose. I specifically chose this mug from our honeymoon in Costa Rica b/c it instantly made me smile and think of that beautiful time. It’s the little things that make life so lovely to me. ❤

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  • Took a luxurious bath! Yes, I’m totally serious. Really. On a week day. On the kid’s first day of school…before they woke up. It was awesome. Young Living’s Lavender Bath & Shower gel is luscious and oh, so soothing!

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  • As I sipped my coffee, I diffused Young Living’s Clarity to help keep me on task for the morning ahead. I also picked up “instant Happy” by Karen Salmansohn.

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This book is filled with “10 second attitude makeovers” for a brighter and more fabulous you! It’s one of my handy positivity books. I flipped open the book and the pages read:

“Every day is a new opportunity to change your life. You have the power to say ‘This is not how my story ends.’ You have the power to rewrite your destiny.”

I immediately related this to today…not the “how my story ends” part, but how EVERY day is a new opportunity to change your life. Each school year is a new opportunity for kids to reinvent themselves, make new friends, find new interests. It’s a fresh start! And heck, why do kids get all the good stuff? 😀 We adults can do the very same thing. In fact, anyone can have this opportunity any day if they choose to! It took me a loooong time to figure that out, and I often forget. Today, I chose to take care of me as well, and that’s okay! Taking care of ourselves allows us to be our best selves. I didn’t change my life in any drastic way today, but I intentionally set out on a positive note which will certainly keep me more centered and positive throughout the day. If I keep setting this intention then my life will certainly be happier because practice makes perfect! We all affect the people around us, so these positive intentions will ripple through life and relationships.

That’s some serious Monday Magic!

Even if you don’t have kids, PAMPER YO SELF! YOU DESERVE IT. You might need it if you didn’t account for all the school zones on the way to work this morning. 😉

I’d love to hear about the different ways you take care of you! Let me know in the comments below. Whatever it is, MAKE IT MAGICAL, teehee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Fantastic DIY Gifts for Him! 

When I was younger, I did not appreciate DIY or homemade gifts the way I do now. The young me internally thought, “Umm…you could’ve just gotten me the gift card I asked for.” Ha! I was a little high maintenance (My husband might say I still am). crickets chirping. I blame ‘only child syndrome’. 😉 Well anyway, with age comes wisdom. With age also comes times in life when funds are tight. I am so grateful now for those times because it forced me to be creative! And yes, I do mean forced because I was a self proclaimed “un-creative.”

Now that I’ve given gifts I’ve made, I understand the thought, time and love those gifts represent. That person cared enough to create something for me that took time and effort away from other people or tasks in their life. Now don’t worry, I still LOVE gift cards and receiving gifts that I’ve asked for! 😀 In tough times (or not) though, it’s nice to give and receive a thoughtful, homemade gift to show that special someone just how much you care!

Below are my top five fantastic DIY gifts for him…

1. Favorite Song Wall Art:  Maybe it’s your wedding song, a song that is a private joke between the two of you (Like Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ for me and Chuck) or just a song that you know he loves! Whatever it is, write out the lyrics in your own handwriting (I think handwriting as opposed to stencils is much more personal for this project) on canvas to create a great piece of wall art that reminds the recipient of that wonderful memory you shared together.

Supplies:

  • Stretched canvas – size and color of your choice (I used 15×30 Artist’s Loft black canvas)
  • Metallic Chalk Markers (I used Craft Smart)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Song Lyrics of your choice (check online to make sure you have the correct song lyrics before you get started) Better to be safe than sorry!

Okay, so I did a little bit of a cheat with how I spaced out my lyrics. I wrote them out as they were shown on the lyrics site. I did this a while go and unfortunately can not remember the name of the site. There are a lot of websites out there to look up song lyrics though so you should be able to find one without difficulty. This saved me a lot of time trying to figuring out measurements. Numbers…Yuck!

I measured out the number of lines needed for the song and drew the FAINTEST lines possible with my pencil. I wrote the name of the song at the top in the light blue metallic marker shade. Next, I wrote the lyrics in silver. At the bottom, I wrote a special note for the recipient, i.e. My hubby. 🙂

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Unfortunately, you can see a bit of the pencil lines in this well lit photo. However, you can not see them at all in our bedroom. Also, I did not seal this upon completion which is now evident in a few places where the paint has possibly gotten wet and run a bit. Boo! SO…my tip as a newbie DIYer: ALWAYS seal your artwork. 🙂

Regardless, the hubby absolutely loved this gift and it’s meaning. Beauty is in the imperfections riiiight??

2. Handwritten Card or Note:  This seems like, duh right?! BUT if you’re more the funny card kinda gal then this will be a welcomed and appreciated card for your loved one. By gone are the days of a written love letter or telegram. Purchase a thoughtful card and continue the notion with your own words or use a blank card or even a handmade card! Spilling your heart out on paper may seem daunting, but my bet is the recipient will keep that card and read it again occasionally for a smile. 🙂 If not, lose him. You don’t need unsentimental people that don’t hoard Hallmark cards and look back on them occasionally for nostalgia in your life! 😉

3. DIY Massage Oil:  Essential oils are not just for women. Men certainly benefit from the therapeutic uses, and there are many scents he’ll enjoy! I created this blend especially for Chuck (hubby) for it’s earthy, masculine aroma and benefits each oil brings to him.

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Supplies:

  • Dark glass bottle (I used a leftover glass, massage oil bottle from a bath and beauty store)
  • Carrier oil of choice (I used Now Solutions Almond Oil)
  • 30 drops Idaho Blue Spruce – Relaxing, can be emotionally balancing and a wonderful aphrodisiac (wink, wink…it works!!) 🙂
  • 25 drops Cedarwood – Calming, anti-spasmodic (great for Restless Legs Syndrome) with a woodsy, pleasant scent
  • 25 drops Stress Away – a blend to help wind down
  • 25 drops Copaiba – Relaxing to aches and pains. Also amplifies the benefits of all other oils combined with it!
  • 15 drops Cypress – Can benefit circulation, herniated discs, arthritis, etc.
  • 15 drops Lavender – Overall calming and soothing

Combine carrier oil and essential oils into a dark glass container. Essential oils are heat sensitive so it’s best to keep in a dark container if possible. If not, please keep in a cool, dark place. You could also paint the outside of your bottle or wrap it in Washi Tape!

I only trust Young Living Essential Oils. Please do your research on oils before purchasing and using. Stay tuned for a post about why Young Living is how I choose to care for my family in SO MANY ways!

Not only will your beloved appreciate this homemade massage oil, but he’ll LOVE the future massages in store. 🙂

4. Frame an Old Family Photo:  My husband had this ADORABLE and large baby photo. Professional matting was outrageous in my humble opinion so I did it myself…mostly.

Supplies:

  • Photograph
  • Matting paper
  • Photo Frame

Because of the picture’s size, it was difficult to find a frame. Therefore, I purchased a frame that held two 5×7 portraits and removed the matting that came with it. I gave it a good go with the matting, but umm…NO. It was a jagged mess. Luckily, I was able to choose a matting and have the framing department cut it to my specifications for less than $10!

The result? Something that made my husband and kids smile and stimulated conversations of childhood nostalgia. My in-laws loved it as well. sky punch!

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5. Picture Collage for Men:

I absolutely love capturing our lives in photographs. It’s like getting to revisit wonderful moments in time whenever you’d like! I chose a large, rustic frame with chicken wire and small laundry clips at Michael’s Craft Store for 50% off. I proceeded to print out pictures of us in wallet size along with many, many Instagram photos! It was great to look through all the years of photos and reminisce about the time we’ve shared together.

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I MAY have gone a little photo crazy on this project. 🙂

I hope these five awesome, homemade gifts inspire you to create something personal for HIM! And of course, these projects can be tailored for anyone you love. That’s the great part about Doing It Yo Self!!

BEWARE: Upon opening gifts expect conversation, laughing, maybe a little crying and definitely cuddling! ❤

Remember, it’s not the size or price of the gift that matters. It’s the massive and priceless love and joy you share together that counts!

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Loving and laughing!


DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to show you a snippet of why I love essential oils so much and how they allow me to save money virtually every day!

I am a HUGE advocate of essential oils and how they have improved the lives of my family, home and even my fur kids! More on that later in a separate post. 🙂

For now, this easy recipe can save you money on all those bottled, foaming hand soap dispensers you find yourself purchasing on a regular basis filled with chemicals and dyes. Over here, a family of six runs through them pretty fast! That’s why I’m so excited to share this easy recipe with you. 🙂

Supplies:

  • Foaming hand soap dispenser
  • Distilled Water
  • Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap
  • 100% Pure Vegetable Glycerine (I use NOW Solutions found at Whole Foods)
  • Vitamin E oil (optional)
  • 8-10 drops essential oils of your choosing (I only trust Young Living Essential Oils)

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It’s my bet that most people have used a foaming soap dispenser before and will have one free to use. If not, you can find them online. I quickly found a 3-pack on Amazon for $10.98. I had several on hand so that part was free for me. I LOVE FREE!

Okay, I’m not going to be terribly technical here with all the amounts because a lot of these soap dispensers are shaped differently. If you are one of the Type A’s that needs exact amounts, LOOK AWAY NOW! Teehee…

  1. Wash your soap dispenser before using and allow to dry naturally
  2. Fill your soap dispenser approximately a 1/3 full of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
  3. Add approximately two teaspoons vegetable glycerin
  4. Add 2-4 drops Vitamin E oil (Optional – I LOVE soft hands so I add it in) 😉
  5. 8-12 drops of your favorite essential oils
  6. Fill the dispenser with distilled water almost to the top. Leave room for foam and screwing the top back in
  7. Give your hands a wash with this luxurious homemade hand soap and enjoy!

The following are a few essential oil recipes I enjoy using for hand soap:

  • 10 drops Thieves (when you need super, duper extra protection keeping bacteria away)
  • 5 drops Lavender and 5 drops Frankincense
  • 5 drops Peppermint and 3 drops Joy (Joy is a blend created by Young Living)

The Castile soap, vegetable glycerin, Vitamin E, distilled water and essential oils will last you SO much longer than purchasing a new dispenser, or even the refills on a regular basis! The savings really start to add up!

Tips: Give your soap dispenser a gentle shake before each use since oil and  water will separate. If you decide to use citrus oils in your soap, please use a glass or stainless steel dispenser. Citrus will eat away at plastic causing a chemical change preventing your body from receiving the oil’s benefits.

Please be sure to do your research before picking essential oils. Stay tuned for an upcoming post with more information about why Young Living is the only brand I trust with my family, pets, friends and myself!

In the meantime, enjoy the benefits of your natural and luxurious DIY foaming hand soap!