Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It Matters Where You Get Your Essential Oils!

In my upcoming posts, I'll be sharing some recipes with you that I've been testing out over the last few months. They're made with essential oils, and of course I have to include a disclaimer that every essential oil is not created equally. Hence, today's post. Before I get started sharing all the fun things you can do and make with essential oils (everything from vapor rub, first aid spray, & antihistamines to things like bug spray, bathroom cleaner, and even body balms and chap stick)... I'm going to share with you which essential oil company I chose, and what makes them unique from other companies. Then we'll move on to the fun stuff.

Here are a few quick facts as to why it matters who you get your essential oils from:
  • Essential Oils are only safe when they are 100% pure, organic, AND therapeutic grade. 
  • Unfortunately, there are no standards when it comes to labeling a bottle of essential oil. By law, a bottle can be labeled as 100% pure, even if it only contains 5% essential oil! 
  • In cheap bottles of oil, the therapeutic compounds have been destroyed by heat, pressure, and/or chemical additions. You get what you pay for. 
  • If you have an allergic reaction to essential oil, it's possible you're not allergic to the oil at all but are reacting to an additive.
  • Although they're chemically identical, research has shown that synthetic copies or oils adulterated by synthetic compounds don't work for healing! Only pure, complete oils do. In the case of wintergreen, the natural oil is harmless and has many healing properties, while the synthetic version is actually toxic. They smell and taste like wintergreen, but they aren't the same therapeutically.
  • Only 2% of oils in North America are suitable for medicinal purposes, and Young Living makes 98% of them!

When I started researching essential oils, I had absolutely no brand-loyalty whatsoever. I read-up as much as I could about a variety of essential oil companies, in search of one that I felt the most confident in its purity and quality. As you know, I chose Young Living. Here are a few things that set it apart from the others:

They are the ONLY company to retain control over the entire production process... they call this their "seed to seal process." They control the seeds they use, the dirt they use, their bottling facility, distillation process, test oils with both internal labs and third-party labs for the strictest quality control, and even track each individual bottle back to its original source, knowing exactly where it was planted. In comparison, I found that the other companies don't control their product from the point of seed, don't grow their own plants, and don't even distill their own oils. 

Young Living guarantees 100% pure, uncut, unadulterated, undiluted oils from carefully identified plants. If you smell their oil, it smells like the natural plant oil, because that's what it is. If your Peppermint Essential Oil smells like peppermint candy, you have a problem. This is not how pure, natural peppermint smells. In fact, an overly-sweet aroma is actually the hallmark of a manipulated or adulterated essential oil, rather than a therapeutic one. One company I considered is known for their super-sweet smelling oils, which they achieve through a process of distilling the oil over and over again, known as "complete distillation." The problem is that every time a plant is re-distilled, it requires higher temperatures and pressure to extract the oils, which compromises the oil's components. (Read more on that here.) In contrast, Young Living only accepts first distillation oils, at low temperatures and low pressure only, with no additives or dilutions, which ensures unmatched therapeutic potency.

Young Living not only distills their own oils, but they actually custom-built their own steam-extraction equipment. That equipment now sets an unrivaled standard WORLD-WIDE in both quality and purity of the oils produced.  No other company has come up with a distillation process to rival Young Living's.

They own and operate their own organic herb farms across the globe. They own more than 4,500 farmland acres across three continents. One example is their history-making farm acreage in the country of Oman. The most highly-valued Frankincense in the world comes from Boswellia sacra species trees growing in Oman. It is reputed as the highest-grade resin available, and reserved for royalty. The people of Oman are very serious about preserving the integrity of the Sacred Frankincense oil, as they consider it to be a gift from God. They're so protective of it that they haven't allowed ANYONE to access it or remove it from the country borders for centuries. Young Living is the first and ONLY company in the WORLD allowed to export this precious oil to the western world. This is due to the people of Oman's confidence in Young Living's ability to preserve the integrity of their oil in a way no other company can, from start to finish and with their world-leading distillation process. 

Young Living offers the largest essential oil collection in the world.  They offer 87 single oils and 70 custom blends.

They have one of the largest libraries of scientific review papers on essential oils in the world.

Young Living is recognized as the world-leader in production of essential oils. The FDA even asked Gary Young (the founder & CEO) to help set standards for essential oil labeling because of his expertise. He's also spoken at the United Nations conference on essential oils.


After taking a hard look at both Young Living and other leading brands, I felt the most confident in Young Living due to the above reasons. Since then, I've been using their products and I have only grown more confident in this decision, quite simply because they work. Also, the more I've learned about the company, the more impressed I am with their fanatical insistence on producing the purest possible quality products, and their un-ending research and quest for innovation and improvement. Here's an outside link to a post about Young Living's quality.

If you'd like to order Young Living essential oils, you can place a retail order or sign up as a wholesale member through this link.  (My # 1546126 should be entered in.) To learn more about wholesale membership, click here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Our Favorite Bible Story Books

Before giving these suggestions, I'd just like to say that no matter what Bible story book you choose for your child, always always read it with a critical eye because very few are 100% accurate. Be ready to change the text when reading to a younger child or discuss the inaccuracies with an older child. Without further adieu, here are our favorite Bible Story Books for children...

"Mrs. Lee's Stories About God's First People" and "Mrs. Lee's Stories About Jesus"... Although these two books are harder to find a copy of, both of them are great bible story books and worth it even if you have to look around to find a copy. She tells the stories accurately, (That's saying a LOT! I think these are the only books I've found that didn't need any altering to be true to the text.) in a language easily understood by children without dumbing them down. I love both of these books! They're very, very minimal on illustrations though, so they wouldn't work as a VERY first bible story book, but we started using it around age three as our boys were able to listen to a short story without pictures. I just wish she had more books to cover the rest of the bible- these two basically cover Genesis and Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sarah's Amazing Transformation!

You may remember in my "What's all the Fuss about Essential Oils?" post that I referenced a sweet friend who's suffered from migraines 5 days out of 7 for over 20 years that is now off her meds, migraine-free, and couldn't be happier. Today I wanted to share a little more of her experience with you. I asked her if she minded, and she said she was happy to write out a testimony to share:

I have been mostly bedridden for 5 years. I almost permanently lost my legs and have had 3 back surgeries, much therapy, heavy pain pills, chiropractic, vibration machine and massage to get me somewhat walking. I have been in and out of my wheelchair, and needing heavy doses of morphine off and on. I have also been having migraines since I was 9 years old and have tried everything under the sun, including changing my diet many time with no help. I was up to at least 5 migraines a week. I'm now 31 days migraine free and prescription drug free!! I'm walking like a normal person, actually going places and enjoying life!! No longer to I have to have my husband carry me to the bathroom!! I can do everything for myself and I'm taking care of my family again!! God has handed me my life back on a silver platter called YL oils!!

She's also been sharing updates via FaceBook during her first month of using the oils, as she just couldn't believe the changes she was seeing. Here are some of them: 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Organize Right Start Math Manipulatives!

Isn't it fun to get packages in the mail? I love getting school supplies like this! This is the box we got from Right Start Math...

After receiving it I wondered how in the world I'd organize all that stuff in a way that was uniform and accessible. I googled it and checked on Pinterest trying to find a storage system I liked and kept coming up short. After looking at a variety of storage containers from several different stores, I ended up finding JUST the perfect thing, and the price tag was minimal. I imagine I'm not the only mom who has wished for a good Right Start organization system, so I thought I'd share what I came up with.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Right Start Math Review

We have been using Right Start Math this year, and are loving it! Right Start takes a unique approach to math that just makes sense to me and I love seeing my son do well with it. (Here he is with little brother tagging along.)

Here is a glimpse into their philosophy:
  •  "Informal mathematics should precede paper and pencil work. Long before a child knows how to add fractions with unlike denominators, she should be able to add one half and one fourth mentally." Instead of putting lots of abstract worksheets in front of a Kindergartener, we're working hands-on with quality manipulatives. A lot of them. 
  • "The only students who like flash cards are those who do not need them." Amen to that. We use games, not flash cards, for practice. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Luxury Baths in a Bottle!

I've never been a big "bath person", but one of the perks of our new house is a nice big bath tub. Since I was pregnant, tired, and sore, Since it seemed like a pity to let it sit there unused, I thought I'd give the bath thing a go. After doing some intense research (you know, Pinterest style) I found all sorts of recipes for bath salts and bath soaks. Although it seems nice to make all that, I've got plenty of projects on my plate right now and wanted something simpler, and this is what I came up with...

Luxury Baths in a Bottle!

If you want to take a relaxing, skin-nourishing bath without lots of chemicals (which are pretty much every store-bought bath product), you need to look no further than the following basic ingredients: baking soda, milk, salt, and oatmeal. If you really want a treat then add in some essential oils too.

You can find lots of recipes for specialized bath salts and other concoctions on Pinterest, but for the most part, the good ones all utilize some combination of those ingredients. So I decided to just make some Bath Bottles instead. Here they are:

As pretty as they were in glass, I later opted for plastic containers because they're easier and safer to use with wet, slippery hands. (If you decide to make these, I share my free, printable labels at the end of this post!) Here they are:

To use them, simply grab what you need. Here's what each one is good for...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Join Young Living! (Part 3)

This post is for anyone who is ready to start using therapeutic-grade essential oils in their home! I already shared what all the fuss is about essential oils and why I chose the Young Living brand.

Here's the scoop...  If you'd like to place a retail order or sign up as a wholesale member, CLICK HERE. (My # 1546126 should be entered in.)

If you want to sign up as a wholesale member, what will it cost? All that's required is to buy a starter kit (ranging from $40-$150), and then you're IN!

Why sign up as a wholesale member? Because you'll get a 24% discount!

Do you have to order a minimum amount? Nope! Just order what you want, when you want it.

Do you have to sell anything? No, it just makes you a wholesale buyer.