Safe, Natural, Nourishing DIY Hand Sanitizer

by Tiffany in Essential Oils

I am not a fan of conventional, waterless hand sanitizers. They are loaded with nasty ingredients that I would rather not rub all over my hands, or on my children’s hands. And yet this is the time of year when products such as this are sorely needed…when germs and illness are being spread around like party favors. Hand washing and good old soap and water are still king but there will be times when soap and water are not at hand or when a trip to the bathroom isn’t possible, so I see the benefit of safe and natural hand sanitizers.

For me there are a couple options. I use the Thieves spray from Young Living and carry it in my purse. I can also make a spray of my own using witch hazel and Thieves oil in a small spray bottle. During these cold winter months though all the hand washing and hand sanitizing can really dry your hands out. I need something that nourishes and soothes the skin while sanitizing with its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Enter this DIY hand sanitizer gel. Put it in a glass jar with a lid and you can take it anywhere…

Safe Hand Sanitizer

Safe, Natural, Nourishing DIY Hand Sanitizer

1/4 cup aloe gel
1/4 witch hazel
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t vegetable glycerin
8-10 drops Thieves oil or Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tee oil)

Shake well, dab on hands and rub it in. Gets rid of the germs and it won’t dry your hands out! Enjoy!


What I Do When I Get Hives

by Tiffany in Essential Oils

What I do When I get HivesI didn’t always get hives. My issues with these horrible, itchy little buggars began sometime after my cancer diagnosis and treatment. Some time after that rough patch in my life I started to break out in hives every now and again. I am not sure why I get them either. If you do an Internet search on the cause you will find dozens of possible explanations…allergy, liver damage, stress, lupus, food sensitivity…you name it. I don’t know what to make of all these possibilities so I don’t even worry about it. I only break out in hives a handful of times a year, nothing too frequent.

So what are hives you may ask? Hives are an outbreak of swollen, red bumps on the skin. The bumps can be as small as a pencil eraser or as big as a saucer. Many of them merge together to form plaques. They last typically for an hour or two and they are often very, very itchy. Rarely you can get them in your throat and they can obstruct airways. I had this happen only once and a trip to the ER was in order.

My biggest issue with hives is the itch. It is so itchy I am ready to claw my face off and I typically do scratch myself up after an episode. Thankfully though I think I have my personal hives protocol down. I have tried so many things over the years and this is hands down my go-to solution now.

When I feel hives coming on I do the following…

Jump in the shower
Rinse my scalp with an apple cider vinegar and cedarwood oil blend
Apply Tranquil essential blend after my shower (apply to temples, wrists, and on hives)

Tranquil oil

The hives stop itching almost immediately…no reason to claw my face off. The Tranquil oil (lavender, cedarwood, roman chamomile, and coconut oil) makes me relax and it helps reduce the redness and itch. The red blotches on my skin also go back to flesh colored much, much faster.

Now I just have to perfect my away from home plan of action. I am not always at home when the hives hit and I hate scaring people. So far I hope to be able to get to a bathroom where I can use towels and cold water to rinse my face and neck and then apply the tranquil oil. I carry a bottle of it in my purse. It’s a roll-on, so that is uber convenient.

I am happy to find a way to deal with the hives in 10-20 minutes rather than letting them run their course in 1-3 hours!

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Monday, January 26th, 2015

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Gifts for the Manliest of Men On Valentine’s Day

by Tiffany in Green Holidays

Gifts for the Manliest of Men On Valentine’s Day

I recently read an article about a new term for some men called Lumbersexual. I got a real kick out of it because it fits my husband to a tee. The definition is something along the lines of a metro-sexual who has the need to hold on to some outdoor based rugged-ness, and a finely trimmed beard. My husband often looks as though he just stepped out of an L.L. Bean catalog. He rocks the flannels, boots, and the beard. He is a real manly man…my Grizzly Adams, who looks a little less Grizzly and a bit more Adam Levine. I adore every manly inch of him.

I wouldn’t be caught dead giving him a stuffed teddy bear on valentine’s day though. A mushy card maybe because he loves to hear how much I love and adore him but silly v-day gifts you often see on the market…are just that, silly. If you really want to wow your Valentine this year, give him something he can really use. Here are some ideas for your manly man.

1. Food – The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Your mother was right! Prepare something special just for him or take him to a place that serves something a little different. Think…duck, rabbit, quail, pheasant, or other wild game….locally sourced of course.

2. A fun and manly experience – Check out Groupon and other local businesses for activities such as time at a gun range or archery range, a survivalism class, a hunting excursion, a camping trip, etc. This can be something you can do together or something he can do with his buddies, either way he will love it!

3. Technology – A solar cell phone charger, a subscription to Beats Audio, wireless earbuds…anything techy that shows your special guy that you also love his geeky side.

4. Games – Video games are to a gamer what chocolate is to a woman. He can’t go out and wrestle with lions or get into caveman brawls right? He is a modern man and he works out his manly aggressions online via video games. Surprise your guy with that video game he has been wanting.

5. Auto accessories – Men often take pride in their wheels. Custom-car floor mats, new parts for a more tricked out ride, there are many accessories to choose from to accessorize your honey’s wheels. If you are unsure what he wants than a gift card also works well. Often times men are hesitant to spend on themselves and this way he knows you want him to splurge on himself.

6. Books – How-to and DIY books are often a good gift. Try books about home construction, boat building, sheds and outbuildings, aquaponics, homesteading projects, and brewing beer.

7. An emergency kit – Fill a backpack with things your fellow could use when camping, or if he spends a lot of time driving. Things to add might include a heat sheet, a fire starter tool, waterproof-proof matches, a knife, first-aid kit, a wool blanket, a weather-ready LED crank radio/flash light combo and a micro tent. Think small, lightweight, protective, informative, and functional. He will be moved that you care about his safety.

8. Beer – If your Valentine is a beer geek, give him an assortment of gift cards for local breweries. That way you both gets regular nights out and he gets to try all sorts of new, local beers.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for something unique and ultra-masculine this Valentine’s Day for your own Grizzly Adams.


Getting Romantic with Feng Shui and Essential Oils

by Tiffany in Essential Oils

Getting Romantic with Feng Shui and Essential OilsThe excitement and passion we feel when a relationship is new is like no other feeling. You literally feel as though you could exist on love alone…who needs food and water when you are lost in love? It is an amazing high for sure but like all highs…there are also lows. Those feelings of passion and lust resemble a fire but as a relationship grows and matures we are left with embers…warm and constant. There is nothing wrong with those steady embers but sometimes we want to stir them up a bit and create some flames.

The embers may even start to cool as we go through various phases of our lives. Women especially are susceptible to changes in libido and desire because our hormone levels rise and fall. Childbirth, menopause, age, health and diet, and medical issues all play a part in our sex drive or lack thereof. You can’t turn back the hands of time or alter your hormones with the flip of a switch so sometimes you need to get creative and look for a natural fix. If there is underlying medical issues you will of course want to get to the bottom of it and you can always strive for greater levels of health. There are also herbal aphrodisiacs and sex enhancing supplements that can be taken if you want to stir up some embers quickly. Here are some natural remedies that will help…

Increase romantic feelings with Feng Shui and Essential Oils

Feng Shui is, at its core, about balance. Without balance in your life, it can be difficult to feel amorous. By creating surroundings where balance is at the forefront you can naturally create a more balanced inner feeling that will increase romance. Feng Shui will increase romantic feelings by making balance an important element in your room décor.

If any décor is too much one way or another – too manly or too feminine – it can disrupt the romantic vibe of any room, whether it’s a bedroom or a kitchen. It’s even more important to ensure balance, thus proper feng shui, (Yin and Yang) in your bedroom or other areas where you hope to feel romantic.

According to feng shui some especially romantic features to include in a room are:

No clutter – Clutter creates and unhealthy mental scramble. Ridding your home of clutter will increase the romantic feel by creating an atmosphere of peace and calm.

Eliminate Technology – the electricity from these objects can suck the romance out of any room, so it is imperative that all technology, including television sets are removed from any room you want to have a romantic feeling. Same goes for work related items and fitness equipment.

Birds—male and female bird figurines (like mandarin ducks) should be arranged together in any room to increase romance throughout the room, especially in your bedroom. This is one of the number one ways to increase romance with feng shui. Dragon & phoenix figurines couples work well too. The combination of Chinese Dragon and Phoenix together symbolizes, happy marriage, happy couple, living happily forever couple.

Pairs – Decorate in twos. Have two bedside tables, two framed works of art, etc. This creates balance.

Clean air – Ensuring that the air quality in your entire home, especially romantic areas like bedrooms should become a priority. This can be accomplished by opening up the windows each day even if it’s cold, or using a very good air purifier in your bedroom or throughout the house.

Soft colors – some people in feng shui call bedroom colors skin colors, but decorators often refer to these colors as neutral colors. Rich browns, beiges, whites, are all good bedroom and romantic colors. They will improve relaxation which always improves romance.

Lighting – Keep your lighting varied so that you can adjust the lighting depending upon the mood you want. For added romance, use candle lighting as its warm glow increases romantic feelings tremendously. It’s important to make sure to find nontoxic candles. Find beeswax candles in organic markets or online that are scent free or have only their natural scent. Avoid chemical scents and petroleum based candles. I also really like salt lamps with a dimmer. They clean the air and you can dim them for a warm romantic glow.

Love Scents – Diffuse scents around your home that promote intimacy, sensuality, sexuality, and romance. You can also use them topically as a perfume or in a massage oil. For a sexually charged atmosphere try the musky scents of cedarwood, patchouli, and sandlewood. To get the blood pumping and to give you a warm glow try cinnamon or clove. Relaxing scents such as lavender, ylang, ylang, and sandlewood help put you in a sensual mood. Also worthy of mention are rose, clary sage, frankincense, juniper, palmarosa, and jasmine.

Hormonal Support – Essential oils can be a tremendous support for us women to balance our hormones and moods. When the hormones are humming along, it is much easier to keep that loving feeling.

I recommend:

Sclaressence – Clary sage, peppermint, sage lavender, and fennel. I LOVE this stuff for hormonal balance and use it 3-4 times a week.

Progessence Plus Serum – Copaiba, Frankincense, Cedar, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Vitamin E, Bergamot, Peppermint, USP Progesterone (from Wild Yam Extract), Rosewood, Clove.

Try some or all of these ideas and soon you will be getting romantic!

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A Guide to Home Flooring Types

by Tiffany in A Green Home


When you are buying a new home or fixing up your current one there are numerous things to consider. Just one of them is flooring, but this is a biggie. You have to consider price, how long it will last, how easy it will be to install, and how easy it will be to clean and maintain.

Hardwood floors are the desire of many because they look so good and they last so long. They are also quite pricey though. Vinyl is pretty cheap but how long until someone scuffs it up or tears it? It is also ugly. Carpet is not too expensive but it is a major pain to keep clean.

What do you do with all these choices?? You look at all the options and you weigh the pros and cons until you come up with something you can live with. The chart below with home flooring options from DirectBuy has all of the most common choices and how they stack up in regards to cost, durability, installation, and cleaning. I would also add sustainability and toxicants to the criteria personally. In general the cheaper options are going to be more toxic to produce and more toxic to the owner (like vinyl and carpet). The natural options of stone, bamboo, and hardwood will be safer, more sustainable for the planet and yet more expensive. There may be some that fall in the middle of the spectrum, like ceramic tile. So it comes down to more than just cost, quality, install, and cleaning. It comes down to your values as well and what you are willing or able to pay. If your current flooring doesn’t align with your desires and values or money is the determining factor…you can use this handy chart to plan for next time.

Infographic - Home Flooring Types

Presented by DirectBuy.com