Learning About Essential Oils


When I was quite young, my mother, an avid gardener, showed me how to gently brush my fingers through the leaves of aromatic plants like Lavender, Rosemary, Melissa (Lemon Balm), and Geranium. The secretory cells of many aromatic plants are located near the surface within the flowers and leaves. When the plants are touched, the fragrant essence of the plant is released into the air. These naturally occurring essences help plants attract beneficial pollinators while deterring harmful predators. Some people say that these fragrant essences are the life force—the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune defense—of plants. When an aromatic plant is distilled, the plant’s essence changes into a volatile (easily evaporated) liquid called an essential oil.

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Easy Teacher Appreciation Day Gift


Teachers give families so much of their time, energy, commitment, and care. And though we often feel we could never thank them enough, it’s nice to recognize the teachers who impact our kids’ lives during Teacher Appreciation Week. National Teacher Appreciation Day is May 5, 2015. Shared below is an easy Teacher Appreciation Day gift that kids can make with very little help.

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Fresh Citrus Sugar Scrub


Soon after I found that essential oils could ease my stress-related sleep issues, I discovered the joy of creating homemade bath products. Homemade bath products are free of synthetic chemicals and are very inexpensive to make. The recipe shared below for Fresh Citrus Sugar Scrub uses the same proportion of sugar and oil as the Vanilla Sugar Scrub recipe I shared several months ago. It’s a luxurious sugar scrub base that accommodates any essential oil.

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Natural Laundry Tips and Tricks


When my first son was born, I decided to “clean up” our laundry routine. I couldn’t believe how many chemicals commercial dryer sheets contained, so naturally, that was the first item I eliminated. For a while, we didn’t use anything in our dryer, but then I learned about wool dryer balls while visiting a natural parenting store. I was immediately smitten with them, but not the expensive price tag! As a knitter, I had an expansive collection of yarn at home. I grabbed some 100% wool yarn out of my basket and made my own. Read on to learn how to make wool dryer balls to soften clothes and speed drying time, naturally. I will also share my favorite natural laundry tips and tricks!

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Cranberry Granola Bars


Baking with my children is my favorite. It’s oh, so messy and creates warm memories—the sort of memories that are childhood! My family received a review copy of The Artful Year, a new book by author Jean Van’t Hul and creator of the blog, The Artful Parent. I passed the book to my youngest and invited him to choose a recipe to try. After some consideration, he flipped back to the page that featured a recipe for Cranberry Granola Bars. We both agreed they looked delicious and easy to make. As he shuffled off to retrieve the step stool, I gathered ingredients from the cupboard.

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