Peppermint Essential Oil

This is the third oil I am highlighting that comes in the Premium Starter kit.  Had I been more organized I might have saved my first Wellness Wendesday oil (Dorado Azul) for a later date.  Ah well – c’est la vie.

From Young Living:

Fresh, nostalgic, and instantly recognizable, Peppermint essential oil’s scent invigorates the mind and senses, while inspiring a sense of peace. Used topically, Peppermint oil creates a cool, tingling sensation on the skin, making it a favorite for sports massage and an important part of Young Living’s Raindrop Technique®.
When your day is dragging—through a workout, class, or day at work—enjoy some Peppermint oil benefits by applying it to your head and neck. The refreshing aroma will give you a boost of positivity! Peppermint is also a great option for diffusing on its own or with compatible scents such as Lavender, Rosemary, Spearmint, or Sage!

I just love the cooling sensation from this oil.  It was one of the very first essential oils I remember coming into contact with and has held a special place in my cupboard ever since.  I love to mix Peppermint Vitality into chocolate – especially into brownies… one scant drop is more than enough for a whole pan in my opinion.  Additionally, I LOVE to make a tea out of this – one drop in a 12 ounce cup of water with a heaping teaspoon of honey.  It is potent, so be warned.  Did you know that one drop of Young Living’s peppermint oil is equivalent to 26 cups of peppermint tea?  Yes, seriously.  I drink this “tea” when my nose feels stuffy and I want to breath – smelling this oil in your cup will help clear those passages right up.

Peppermint oil is also great for supporting digestion and can be taken as a tea like I mention above or in a gel capsule with some carrier oil or – once diluted can be applied directly to your area of concern.  I really enjoy using a drop of this in some lotion and treating my feet to a cool rub down after a long day of walking a lot.  Speaking of walking a lot – a drop of this on the back of your neck when you are at an amusement park or a state fair in the dead of summer will cool you right down.  Honestly – you will feel like you just got a giant jug of Gatorade poured over your head – but you won’t feel sticky and you will smell all minty fresh.

I like to take toothpicks and put them into the bottle (a stack at a time) and let them absorb all of the oil that I can’t get out of the bottle.  I then put those toothpicks out after meals for a breath freshener and a conversation starter – you can’t miss their smell.  This is a versatile oil and can be used in many different ways – I carry this oil with me a lot when I travel and add a drop to the back of my neck and my temples to help relieve tension from flying or sitting for very long.

I would love to hear how you use Peppermint essential oil in your daily life – comment below!

XO,

Rita

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Catharsis

Today has been emotional. I can’t be certain as to why. It feels like it came on out of the blue. This Wellness Wednesday post has nothing to do with essential oils and everything to do with mental and emotional health – my second favorite topic to discuss.

When was the last time you had a good cry? Prior to today, I can’t recall the last time I had a good ‘ol sob. I have had a few things on my mind over the last couple of days and apparently the sum of it all was affecting me more than I realized.

Last week marked three years that my dad has been gone. Three years that cancer claimed the win because the warrior was too weary to continue. Over a decade of fighting will do that to people. Last week was also our son’s fourth birthday. He is our world and we want the best for him. There is a development where Bug is concerned that is forcing our hand on some decisions that my husband and I thought we had a few more months time before we needed to act on that has me reeling a little. We will figure it out, no doubt, but it isn’t ideal and is very uncomfortable to say the least.

This week I put my mom on a plane to the Philippines by herself. That sounds ridiculous, she is a grown woman, yes. She was on a mission to prove to herself that she could make this trip by herself, without my dad… for the first time in a very, very long time. We dropped her off at SFO with a backpack and her phone. The 16 hour flight isn’t as bad as it sounds, especially since she has made that flight with children in tow before; flying solo would make this a cake walk. Once she landed I was able to connect with her and check in while she navigated the local bus system…2 busses and another six hours of travel on the ground. Then finally, 24 hours nearly to the dot later, she was home with one of my uncles.

This is why my mom is my hero. She was my dad’s hero too. She is as hard headed as they come and as defermined as all hell when she sets her mind to a task. The words to describe just how proud of her I am fail me. I keep thinking that my dad would be so proud of her too. In fact, I know he is. He visited me in a dream today. I don’t often get visits from my dad so the fact that I did so soon after my mom got home isn’t lost on me.

My mom said that all the brothers came over last night. Just as they would have if dad was there. I keep thinking that there is going to be a lot of tears for so many during this trip. It is the first time they will get to hug my mom since my dad passed. This is the first time my mom is going home to the house he built for her without him. This is the first time my mom will have come home since my grandma passed away. All of these thoughts flooded my system today and the tears started flowing. The dam of emotions broke wide open and my eyes leaked and leaked and leaked. And I felt it all.

Sometimes wellness is about riding the waves of emotion by being present and thoughtful. Feeling it all. That is where my mind and my heart was today. Those tears that were shed were my self care.

XO,

Rita

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Lemon Essential Oil

I am back this week with an essential oil that I use a lot around my home. Who doesn’t love the smell of lemons?

From Young Living:

Lemon essential oil is cold-pressed from the rinds of lemons, giving its aroma all the brightness of the freshly picked fruit. Cheerful, sweet, and nostalgic, Lemon oil can eliminate odors and infuse your whole home with its clean, lemon-drop scent when diffused.

Lemon oil benefits skin and hair as much as its aroma benefits your environment. Add a drop to your evening moisturizer to reduce the appearance of blemishes. Add it to your conditioner to smoothe and shine the look of your hair.

*Because some citrus oils like Lemon can cause photosensitivity, avoid applying to exposed skin before spending time outside.

We use lemon oil to add to our Thieves Household cleaner. This addition makes it smell even more amazing (is that even possible?) and it is great for removing sticky stuff. Be careful around granite stone surfaces as it could etch them. I use a drop or two on the stickers that come on picture frames or the bottom of plates; let it sit for a few minutes then wipe right off. I also like to add a few drops to a capful of Thieves cleaner and about a half cup of baking soda to use as a scrub on my bathroom tub.

We also love diffusing lemon to freshen up stale air. You can combine 2 drops with lavender and pepermint eos for a heavenly scent and as relief for seasonal stuffiness. Add lemon and any other citrus oil together to your diffuser and feel like you are walking in an orchard. All of the citrus oils are considered uplifting and can help improve/brighten the mood.

Use a drop of Lemon Vitality in a cup of hot water and sip to wake up your digestive tract and get things moving. Or in a glass of sparkling water to liven up your beverage rotation without adding calories.

Tell me what you use this oil for and how you use it every day, I would love to know!

Until next week!

XO,

Rita

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Lavender Essential Oil

Where do I begin with this oil?  It is the single most useful oil in all of creation. That is my opinion at least.  Did you know that this is the most popular product that Young Living carries? Yep, 100% pure Therapeutic-Grade Lavender Essential Oil.

From the Young Living website: “Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. It’s this dynamic aroma that has made the flower a classic for perfumes, soaps, fresheners, and beauty products. As one of our most popular products, Lavender oil is a great beginner oil and a must for every home.

Lavender essential oil isn’t just a favorite because of its classic scent—it’s also highly versatile. From skin care products to relaxing routines, this oil can infuse many areas of your life.”

I like to call this the Swiss Army knife of essential oils.  In our house if you get a cut, a burn, a bug bite my answer is always to start with lavender.  Need to relax, sniff the bottle.  Need to really relax? Add 5-10 drops to a cup of epsom or Himalayan sea salt and soak yourself in a bath.  You may need help getting out if the tub after though…jello…complete jello.  Need some help with catching some zzz’s add a drop in some lotion and rub on the bottom of your feet before bed.  

Want your laundry to smell good, add a few drops to your wool dryer balls.  Please tell me you don’t use dryer sheets still…if you do, google “how toxic are dryer sheets?”  and then let’s chat cause you need some oils in your life!  Need to freshen up a room? Add a few drops of this to a 4 ounce spray bottle, add an ounce of witch hazel then top it off with water and use as a room spray.  Better yet, use your diffuser and add water and three drops of lavender to work the whole house over and have everyone feeling good.

To try and combat seasonal triggers, I like to add a drop of Lavender Vitality to my tea or lemonade.  You can use it to make candies and syrups too. Warning, this is an acquired taste and only for those that like “perfumey” kinds of foods/drinks.  

So there you have it, the veey tip if the lavender essential oil iceberg.  Go do your research and the come back and tell me how you use or plan to use this oil in your life. 

XO,

Rita

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×It is for you to experience in order to grow.

This statement just hit me.

Over the last several weeks I have been trying really hard to work on my mindset – staying positive, learning to be present and grateful – training my mind to focus on positives. Things were clicking and I was feeling a mental shift. Then I took a blow – I was let down and disappointed by someone and more than that – I’ve been dwelling on it. Plans that I had put into place months ago fell through and I was left needing to find a solution on my own. There was no offer of help or apology for the mix up. It is during trials like this – where I find a solution and yet stay bitter about it that I struggle the most.

I’ve sat here trying to noodle through why this situation is staying with me – turns out it is good ‘ol disappointment. I am disappointed. Leadership skills, common curtesy and interpersonal communication skills are lacking. I’m highly annoyed by this and it is the primary reason for my disgruntled point of view. I have high expectations of people and I need reminders that it isn’t fair to hold others to my own expectations, it’s a recipe for let downs. I’ve admittedly wasted precious energy on my annoyance for the last few days. Today as I was reading through one of my mindset books -this phrase popped out at me… “It is for you to experience in order to grow.”

Well damn. How is that for some perspective? What this whole situation is stirring up for me is that I need to grow past this. Here is what I’m learning: 1) not everyone is a leader, 2) this feeling of disappointment is what I need to remember so that I don’t do these things to others and 3) be a better example. In the end, I handled it. I’ve centered my focus on that and have had enough of my own pitty party so I am learning this lesson and moving on.

Thanks for helping work through this – cheap therapy at it’s finest.

XO,

Rita

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Today was the best day

I had a chance to play hooky from work today.  Our normal daycare provider needed the day off and we don’t have an alternate place for our Bug to go on days like this so I used a sick day to be with him.   Talk about my true bliss.  I got a chance to live out the dream in my head of being a full time at home mommy for the day.  I am not certain I would actually be a good stay at home mom if the truth be told…

I am proud to say that I completed my first Oprah and Deepak free 21 day meditation practice this month.  I’ve really embraced the idea of meditation and I am continuing this mindfulness by working on my mindset – trying to retrain my brain towards positivity, owning your attitude and thus your day.  Bug always flys into our room between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. and states his presence… a tangible TA-DA – I’M HERE WORLD and I need to PEE – Can  you help me <insert either daddy or mommy depending on his mood that day>?!  He natually exudes the type of positivity that I am trying to harness.  Let me tell you, there is no better way to start the morning than getting to spend an extra hour in bed on a weekday snuggling, having tickling fits and playing hide & seek with your family before officially getting up.

We did eventually get out of bed and our PJs, brushed our teeth, and got dressed for the day.  Downstairs, we whipped up breakfast, played with Hot Wheels and watched Lego Batman.  I got laundry going and managed to get two full loads done.  We ventured outside to check the mail and discoved beautiful weather.   Since we didn’t have any set plans I asked if he’d like to go to the park and he almost came unglued!  His enthusiasm managed to coax his dad away from his work for a 30 minute break and he joined us on our little adventure.

At the park – our normally very hesitant little boy, OWNED THE SLIDE all by himself.  He marched right up the stairs and took a seat at the top of the big slide and down he went. We were elated for him.  He was having so much fun and was willing to try to climb up some of the other parts of the play structure which never happens.  My heart was so swollen and happy.  THIS.. this is the day that I have been holding in my minds eye for weeks, actually months now. Completely absorbed in my family – spending time together and completely electronics free.  I sadly don’t have pictures to share because I forgot my phone at home and I’m ok with it.  We spent a good amount of time climbing and running then headed home.

Once we got back from the park, Bug helped me make some banana bread and finished up our slow cooker chicken noodle soup for our dinner tonight while his dad went back to work.  Once the bread was in the oven, I loaded him up to run errands with me.  We ran over to the vet to pick up food for Psyche.  Then off to pick up some Christmas and birthday presents for his cousins – with a pre-negotiated stop in the toy section to peruse all of the latest offerings.  We made a last stop to pick up some bubble tea and egg puffs for a snack and headed back home.

The rest of the night has been our usual routine – dinner, a few videos – more playing and then bath and bed time.  I will hold this day close to my heart.  We didn’t end up doing anything “special” per se and yet the whole day was special.

I hope you’ve had an amazing day too.

XO,

Rita

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Birthdays and deep thoughts

 One day very soon I will wake up a 39 year old.  That will be old to some and young to others.  I can’t do anything about it – a fact is a fact and time keeps marching on.  My birthday has never been something that I make a big deal of.  I think I may be changing my mind about that though – each one I get is a blessing – I see that now.  Too many don’t get as many as I’ve already had.
What strikes me most and something that has been on my mind since the calendar rolled over to August is that all the years ending in 9 are going to hit me pretty hard.  I lost my dad when he was only 59.5.  I am grateful to have gotten to the age where the adultness better known as the “I know it all –ness” had worn off and I was closer to his age than not.  I got to develop a solid relationship with him.  59.5 is young.  So young. It seems that I miss my dad more on my own birthday than I do on his birthday or on Father’s day.
The thoughts that flood my mind sound like this: If Dad knew at this age, that I am turning… 39that he only had 20.5 years left what would he have chosen to do?  Would it be different than how it played out?  Was he happy with what he was sowing?
I hope that my candle will last more than the next 20.5 years and yet nothing is guaranteed.  So, I ask myself – what is my intention for tomorrow and the day after and the next 20.5 years?  What kind of legacy have I already sown and what modifications do I want to make going forward?  What is important to me?  What lessons am I teaching my son? My nieces and nephew?  If I only get 20.5 more years, what do I want them to remember of me?
I remember my dad always telling me he loved me and that he was proud of me.  Of all the angst that I may have had growing up – those are two things that I  never lacked hearing from both of my parents.  That is what I remember of my dad.  Of course there are other things – my mantra came from my parents: Be the Best you can be.  The silly things like needing to get a snack at a gas station – because you can and it reminds me of any car ride I ever went on with my dad – beef jerky or a snickers bar… it was just part of the treat of going on a ride with him.
So as the days approach and I begin the final year of decade thirty this is what is on my mind.  I’m crafting the life I want to live one day at a time.  I won’t lie that I’ve spent more time thinking about this since my dad passed away than ever before.  I try really hard not to regret – to embrace what I’ve done in my life and learn the lessons.  I am learning to spend my time intentionally.
XO,
Rita
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