Monday, January 2, 2017

New Blog!

I've created a new blog as a personal challenge for 2017 to help INSPIRE other people to use essential oils everyday like I do.

Check it out here - www.365daysofoils.com

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Essentially You Newsletter

I've been busy working on a newsletter to go along with all of my business ventures.  You can read the first edition here!





Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Make your own Whipped Body Butter

It's winter in Michigan.  It's cold cold cold outside and warmer but super-dry inside.  Add to that popping in and out of chlorine infused humidity every day and we have CRAZY DRY SKIN.  My daughter has chapped dry cheeks.  My fiancees fingers are so cracked that they bleed and my knuckles are chronically dry.  No amount of store-bought creams or lotions seem to help for very long if at all.  

I also learned (they hard way, of course) that over-the-counter creams were nearly worse than using nothing at all - often the “extra” ingredients causing painful reactions or serving to dry out or create dependence on the product, doing more damage than good.  So the alternative, as with most things, is to simply create your own, holding the keys to the cocktail of ingredients necessary to heal.  Enter doTERRA essential oils and a little bit of DIY fun.  


BONUS - In addition to personal uses, these little jars make wonderful gifts, too.  My friends and I actually make up a bunch of this (and a few other goodies) to give as Christmas gifts and I'm posting the recipe at the request of some of the recipients because they want to make more.  :) 



Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons shea butter
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil
  • 1½ teaspoons castor oil (or can sub more almond oil)
  • 5-10 drops doTERRA eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5-10 drops doTERRA peppermint essential oil

Directions

  1. In a small double boiler over very low heat, warm the coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter until softened.
  2. Transfer to a medium size mixing bowl and add in the almond oil, castor oil, eucalyptus and the peppermint essential oils and stir together. 
  3. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until the oils are soft and thick (like a thick vaseline type consistency).  This can take several hours depending on if you melted them completely in the first step.
  4. When the mixture is firm but not hard, remove from the refrigerator and whip using hand beaters or a stand mixer until soft and fluffy. Transfer to mason jars. Seal until ready to use.
  5. Makes approximately 2½ cups whipped body butter.
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Notes

  • I used organic coconut oil that I found at Costco.  The Shea butter, Cocoa butter, and Castor oil were found on aromatools.com.  I actually found a nice almond oil and the small mason jars at Target, and since I'm a wellness advocate with doTERRA the essential oils were from my personal oil stash.  You can order yours here - mydoterra.com/annebengtson
  • I used small 4oz. size mason jars to store this in and made cute labels for the top.
  • Both refined and unrefined coconut oil can be used. I personally choose an unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil. Be sure not to choose a fractionated coconut oil, which comes as a liquid, for this recipe since it won't allow the body butter to set up properly. 
  • Cocoa butter or cacao butter is also called theobroma oil and comes from the cacao bean. It smells a bit like chocolate, and it helps give this cream a thick consistency. This oil is used to increase skin elasticity and reduce dryness.
  • Shea butter comes from the shea tree. It helps seal moisture in, protecting skin from winter conditions. 
  • Eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils are used for soothing and refreshing qualities.  They are both strong oils, so feel free to adjust the amount used in the recipe to suit your own personal tastes.
  • A little goes a long way. This is a thick, rich cream, and you only need a small amount for high moisturizing effect and seal. Because there are oils in this, they will melt slightly as they are applied to skin to help them rub in easier, but the cream is stable at a wide range of room temperatures.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

chunky gray infinity scarf

I've recently re-taken up crochet while I have down time waiting for my girls while they are at their after school activities.  After making scarves and dish cloths (hey, no one said I had to start big!) for friends and family this holiday season, I decided to make a scarf for myself.  I kind of made up the pattern as I went.  It was too cute not to share!  So if you're feeling crafty, here are the directions for making one for yourself.  

I used BERNAT Softee Chunky yarn in true grey and an N crochet hook. (please ignore the red yarn and L hook in the detail pictures - it was the easiest to show the detail with)



Start with a slip knot and then chain 14.

First row:
dc in 4th chain from hook.
dc in each ch to end (12 posts total)
ch 3 then turn

It should look something like this:


Second row:
dc in 2nd ch from hook


dc in skipped ch working behind your first dc
(this creates an X with the 2 dc posts)


skip 1 ch and dc in the next ch
dc in the skipped ch
repeat creating 3 more Xs for 5 total
dc in last ch
ch 3 then turn

It should now look something like this:


Third row:
dc across the row, ch 3, turn

Rows 4 - ?:
repeat these alternating rows (2 and 3) until you get your scarf to the desired length.  
(my scarf is 69 rows long)
make sure your last row is a row of Xs.  

Finish by connecting your end row to your beginning row to make an infinity loop.  I simply used the remaining yarn to stitch together the bottoms of the starting chains to the tops of the last row of stitches.  

Happy crocheting!

Please let me know if you decide to use this pattern.  I would love to see a picture of your finished product!




Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fourth Grade Christmas Party Plan

I've been busy planning a 4th grade Christmas party...

We're having cheese and chocolate fondue with lots of fun things to dip for our snack and we'll have hot chocolate, apple cider and water as drink options.  We're making super cute reindeer thumbprint ornaments and holiday party mix.  And we're playing some super fun "Minute To Win It" party games. Pinterest has definitely made planning elementary school holiday parties much much easier!!!  You can look on my "kids christmas" board on Pinterest if you want to see my recipes and other fun things I found.  

On to the Minute To Win It Games.  Isn't it cool that they each have an explanation video?!

Game One: Face The Christmas Cookie
1 player for each team
1 christmas cookie for each player
all teams may play this at the same time




Game Two: Snowball Fight
2 players from each team
4 "snowballs" (white styrofoam balls)
ping pong balls
only one team may play this at a time





Game Three: Reindeer Nose Dive
one player from each team
reindeer antlers
petroleum jelly to the end of each players nose
loosely tie a piece of yard with a red pom pon on each player
all teams may play this at the same time





Game Four: Merry Fishmas
one player for each team
chopstick attached to a candy cane with yarn
4 smaller candy cane
all teams may play at the same time





Game Five: Extreme Christmas Nutstacker
one player for each team
candy cane
8 hex nuts
small tray
all teams may play at the same time





Game Six: Deck The Balls
two players from each team
wrapping paper tube
ornaments with hooks
suspended string/yarn
only one team may play this at a time





Game Seven: Christmas In The Balance
two players from each team
wrapping paper tube
yard stick
ornaments with hooks
only one team may play this at a time






Game Eight: Christmas Ball
one player for each team
gift wrapped box
duct tape
ornament
all teams may play at the same time





Game Nine: Christmas Ball Conveyor
two players from each team
ribbon conveyer
ornaments
christmas tree
only one team may play this at a time






Game Ten: Christmas Cliffhanger
one player from each team
10 christmas cards
table
only one team may play this at a time





Game Eleven: Holiday Kiss
two players from each team
two suspended string/yarn lines
ornaments
only one team may play this at a time






There are 19 games total.  You can see all of the YouTube videos here.
All games and video clips are copyrighted by NBC.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chicken Fried "Rice"


This is what we had for dinner tonight.  It looks and tastes a lot like chicken fried rice with japanese yum yum sauce from one of our local favs, Kobe.  What it REALLY is, is a tasty, healthy, gluten free meal of VEGETABLES and chicken.  Here are the recipes:

Chicken Fried Cauli-rice
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of broccoli
1 medium carrot
1 bunch of green onions
5 or 6 med/large mushrooms
2 eggs
sesame oil
soy sauce (gluten free of course!)
salt and pepper

Chop up all of the vegetables (I used my pampered chef food chopper).  Cube the raw chicken.  Warm up about 2 Tbsp of sesame oil in a large sauté pan.  Add the vegetables and some soy sauce (to your tastes) and sauté for a few minutes.  Add the chicken.  Season with some salt and pepper and continue to cook the mixture until the chicken is fully cooked.  Make a little 'hole' in the center of the mixture and crack the eggs directly into the pan in this spot.  Scramble them up and mix them into the chicken/veggie mix.  Add a little more soy sauce if you like.  Give it one final mix to stir it all up and then remove from heat.

Japanese Yum Yum Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup water
1/2 tsp. tomato paste (I didn't have any and substituted Ragu spaghetti sauce!)
1/2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. paprika
dash cayenne pepper

Using a fork, blend all of the ingredients together thoroughly until well mixed and the sauce is smooth.  Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend.  Bring it to room temperature before serving.  (I didn't do the prepare in advance part.  It still tasted good to me.  Just sayin'.)

One daughter LOVES fried rice and the other could usually take it or leave it.  They practically inhaled this!  I almost didn't want to tell them it was vegetables and not rice at all.  My non-rice-lover asked if she could take the leftovers to school for lunch tomorrow!  It's that good.  :)  Enjoy!

A change of perspective

Well maybe more of a change in what we can see from the same perspective?  See for yourself.  Here are the before pictures:



and here are the after pictures (please ignore the dead flowers in the planter boxes - it's time to put mums in them for fall anyway) :



The pictures don't really do it justice.  Our yard looks so much bigger!  I can't wait to fill in and landscape the additional yard that has been uncovered.  The trees will fill in and be so much healthier now and we get to peek in on a pretty little bit of wetland complete with wildflowers, cat tails, and lots of birds and critters (the cats like this part the best!).