Mock (or not) Cranberry Lime Spritzer

This year I am hosting a family gathering that will include five grandkids under the age of eight! Talk about Christmas spirit and excitement!

Specialty drinks are an easy and delicious way to get into the holiday spirit. This mock cranberry and lime spritzer is a festive, fun, and delicious addition to complement any meal during the holidays. The kids can enjoy this one, too but I’m case the adults want to spice it up a bit, a splash of vodka before pouring into the adults glass is equally amazing.

Make it mock, or not.

Ingredients

Cranberry juice
Sparkling water or lemon-lime soda
Ice cubes
Lime oil

Instructions

  1. Fill glass with ice and pour sparking water or lemon-lime soda half way.
  2. Fill additional half of glass with cranberry juice.
  3. Add one drop Lime oil and stir.

Tip: For garnish, add sliced limes and cranberries.

Acknowledging the Goodness

In recent weeks I have been coming up with strategies to ease my aching heart about the obviously very different Thanksgiving celebration that this year will hold. On one hand, I am incredibly grateful for the health and happiness within my family and close friends, but I am also allowing myself to feel the very real disappointment and sadness that is present when I face the grim reality that I won’t be spending this years annual holiday surrounded by food, festivities, and of course, family.

In the big picture I realize that it is just one day. One measly 24-hour period that can easily be made up when this all passes with a bounty of food and connection.

And yet, I also have a strong need to acknowledge the sadness and emptiness that the lack of tradition brings to my heart. There is in fact a hole that is empty of the connection that regardless of how busy our lives are, people come together for one day of family.

I will miss that.

I have given myself a few days to notice the missing parts of the tradition that I love so much. I love the hectic amount of cooking, the matching orange, brown and red table decorations, and even the ridiculous turkey shaped salt and pepper shakers. I love to see my sons interact and jive each other while their sister tries to sheepishly engage. I love to see the history of our lives be woven together again for a few short hours.

Now that I have had my time to feel what I feel, I am ready to rumble with making new traditions. I decided to switch up my classic food items a bit and prepare a few new dishes. After spending some time prepping yesterday I came to the realization that cooking for two is much easier than fourteen, so there is some beauty there. I also realized that my kids are making their own traditions and that is what I always wanted. I had always hoped that they would grow up to truly own their life and create experiences for themselves that nurture their unique spirit.

As the turkey gets put into the oven today, I am reminded of all the good. I have raised two fantastic men, I have a warm ad cozy house, my career fulfills me and I am truly loved. Those are the things that matter. The memories and traditions will be locked into my heart space with fondness, and today I choose to take abundant breaths and soak in the quietude of the day knowing that all is well.

Photosensitive Essential Oils

When I first started using essential oils I had no idea that some oils could cause a burn. Crazy, right?

As we head into warmer months and more outside time, remember that some oils are photosensitive and cause a reaction that is uncomfortable when combined with sunlight.

Be mindful when applying the following if you plan to be in the sun. You can still use them, just apply on the feet or a covered area or take internally (I only ingest pure, certified therapeutic grade oils that I am positive have been tested).

Check out this gorgeous ebook for the basics and be sure to drop me a message if you’re not sure which oils are safe  I’m happy to help.

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Fruit and Veggie Wash

We tend to often be worried about washing our hands, but are you also making sure to wash your produce? If you don’t have a fruit and veggie wash, try this!

  • Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to a large bowl of cold water
  • Add 5 -8 drops of doTERRA LEMON essential oil
  • Add produce and soak for 10-15 minutes
  • Rinse and dry

It feels good knowing that my fruit is fresh and clean for my family.? And my kitchen always smells amazing afterwards! You can also make a spray bottle up with 20 drops, a splash of vinegar and fill the rest with water for quick cleanings like apples!

Ready to learn more about essential oils? Enjoy this gorgeous ebook!

Follow me for more goodness!

Purpose

I didn’t follow the traditional path when it comes to becoming a yoga teacher. I knew early on that my path would lead me to sharing yoga with those who are unable to easily access a traditional setting. I got many small certifications and began teaching before I even thought about getting a 200 hour accreditation. And to be really honest, I still cringe when someone asks me “where did you do your 200 hour?” I cringe because so many times our culture puts a focus on a title or a perceived standard. As my favorite poem the Invitation says—“it doesn’t interest me where or what or with who you studied, I want to know what sustains you on the inside when all else falls away”.

My path to becoming a yoga teacher was the same old monkey on my back that I carried because I didn’t take the common path and go to college. Instead, I got married and became a mom. I didn’t take a college class until I was 43 years old! Until I was able to see my own success I always felt less than others because I chose a different way.

What I have come to learn is that the path we take is OURS. There is no space for comparison when you are fully engaged with your purpose. I knew I was supposed to be a young mom and I also knew that I was supposed to teach yoga a certain way. I knew then and I know now that the paper certificate or who I studied with is irrelevant—it is how I show up on the world that matters. And that is with divine PURPOSE.

Let go of the distraction to compare and compete and instead step into who you really are. You’ll find a treasure within yourself that will change the world in many ways.

Essential Oils and Children

Now that I am grandparent (ack!) I am learning all about essential oils and children.  When I had my kiddos I had no idea I could swap out over-the-counter remedies for natural options. I sure wish I had these choices! I am determined to make sure my sweet little grandbaby gets to use essential oils and learn the natural way. I have been learning so much and want to share!

First, parents who are new to essential oils should know that essential oils and plant parts have been used for centuries to promote wellness, and are not a new fad or trend, but a tried and true solution for many of life’s everyday problems. Families in ancient Egypt used plant extracts and oils for everything from cooking and beauty treatments to embalming and religious ceremonies. For centuries, families in China have continued practices that promote wellness by using plant extracts and materials. Plant extracts and oils were a major staple in the households of ancient Rome, as plant parts were used for their fragrance and calming properties. After centuries of safe use, parents can rest easy knowing that essential oils have been proven safe and effective time and time again.

Because essential oils are naturally occurring compounds found in plants, they are a popular ingredient for many commercial products. Essential oils are often used in perfumes, soaps, candles, lotions, and skincare products to add fragrance. Due to their powerful purifying properties, essential oils are also frequently added to cleaning agents and products. Chances are, you most likely already have products in your home that contain essential oils. The benefit of using pure essential oils on their own is that it allows you to avoid the harmful toxins and chemicals that are often added to household products.

As mentioned, the key to safely and successfully using essential oils on children is observing the special safety guidelines that have been set to protect children from overexposure or sensitivity. As a parent, it is important to remember that the rules for using essential oils with children are different than those for adults. By observing specific guidelines when it comes to essential oil dosage, dilution, application, storage, and more, you can help your children safely and effectively enjoy the benefits that essential oils have to offer.

Dosage Because children have a smaller body mass; have thinner, more sensitive skin; and are still developing, their dosage level of essential oils should always be smaller than adult doses.

For a comparison of adult versus child doses of essential oils, take a look at the chart below: This chart provides general guidelines for dosages when it comes to using essential oils with your children, but remember to always consult your child’s physician about any specific health conditions or concerns before using essential oils on your child. Diffusing essential oils in your home will allow your children to reap the benefits of your favorite essential oils, and is one of the safest and simplest forms of application. Dilution Many parents have concerns about the topical use of essential oils with children because of their sensitive skin. The best way to protect a child’s delicate skin when using essential oils topically is to dilute before application. Diluting an essential oil with a carrier oil like d?TERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil before applying it to your child’s skin will help reduce the risk of sensitivity. Always supervise children during essential oil usage. Perhaps the most important safety guideline when it comes to essential oils and children is to ensure that your child only uses essential oils under adult supervision. Even if your children are used to essential oils and know how to apply them, it is always best to supervise any oil application to ensure safety. Essential oils are extremely potent and powerful, and many children do not understand concepts like dosage, dilution, and sensitivity. In addition to teaching your kids about applying essential oils safely, it is important to always be present when any essential oils are being used around your children.

Arborvitae–Before your next family hike, dilute Arborvitae oil and apply to the wrists and ankles to repel insects naturally.

Basil— During homework time, diffuse Basil oil in your child’s study area to promote a sense of focus for studying, reading, or completing other tasks that require mental clarity.

Cedarwood–Cedarwood oil holds relaxing properties that can soothe the body and mind. When your child wakes up scared in the middle of the night, dilute Cedarwood and apply to the bottoms of the feet to help them return to a peaceful feeling.

Cilantro— Dilute Cilantro oil and apply to your child’s fingernails and toenails to keep them looking clean and healthy.

Cinnamon— During your child’s nighttime routine, dilute one drop of Cinnamon oil in two ounces of water, and have them gargle the mixture for a cleansing mouth rinse.

Clary Sage— Before your child goes to bed, apply one drop of Clary Sage oil to their pillowcase to help them prepare for a restful night of sleep.

Clove–Clove oil holds cleansing properties that are particularly useful for oral hygiene. After your child’s six-month cleaning at the dentist, add one drop of Clove to their toothpaste to help maintain a clean mouth.

Coriander— The fresh, green aroma of Coriander oil makes it both relaxing and stimulating. When your child is working on homework or an important project, diffuse Coriander in an essential oil diffuser nearby.

Eucalyptus— To promote feelings of clear breathing and open airways for your child, dilute Eucalyptus oil and apply it topically to your child’s chest. As your child breathes deeply, the oil will provide an invigorating vapor.

Ginger–During a long car ride or road trip, diffuse Ginger oil in the car, or place a drop of Ginger in your child’s palm and have them inhale the aroma.

Grapefruit— If you have a teenager who is struggling with skin imperfections, add a drop of Grapefruit oil to their facial cleanser or moisturizer to help improve the appearance of blemishes. (Avoid sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application.)

Lavender— Add Lavender oil to your child’s bath, or dilute and massage on your little one’s abdomen to promote calming and soothing feelings.

Lemon— If your child craves sugary juices or sodas, add a drop of Lemon oil in a glass of water for a fresh, flavorful beverage. (This can also be done with Lime, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, and other essential oils).

Marjoram— Harness the calming properties of Marjoram by applying diluted Marjoram oil to a fussy child’s feet before their nap.

Melaleuca— To help with occasional skin irritations, dilute Melaleuca oil and apply to your child’s affected areas.

Peppermint— When your child feels overheated, add a drop of Peppermint oil to a cold water compress, or to a cold foot bath to help them cool down.

Sandalwood— Help promote relaxation and reduce stress by adding one drop of Sandalwood oil (Indian or Hawaiian) to your child’s evening bath.

Vetiver— When your child is having a rough day, dilute Vetiver oil and apply to the child’s neck and bottom of the feet to help promote calm feelings.

Wintergreen— Whether your child plays soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey, or any other sport, you can keep the unpleasant odor of their gear at bay by putting a few drops of Wintergreen oil on a cotton ball and placing it in their practice bag.

Aromatic use In addition to the essential oil uses designed for children listed above, one of the simplest and safest ways to help your children experience the benefits of essential oils is through aromatic use. By diffusing essential oils in your home, you can create an invigorating, calming, relaxing, or uplifting atmosphere for your children. Diffusing essential oils can also help purify the air in your home when you want to dispel unwanted odors or produce a clean, fresh scent. Diffusing essential oils in an essential oil diffuser is a simple way for the entire family to experience the powerful benefits of essential oils, without worrying about dosage or dilution.

Now that you know that essential oils are in fact safe to use with children, and have educated yourself about the safety guidelines, it is time to learn about some of the best essential application methods for children. While children can enjoy essential oils in many of the same ways as adults (with proper dilution and dosage), there are many essential oil usage methods that are unique to children.

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Freedom

We have all heard of the metaphors of feeling stuck in a cage and not able to be free to fly, or the imprisoning walls that have been built around us. The brick and mortar is often what we place around ourselves that create our own version of prison.  These can include negativity, questions of worthiness, regrets of the past and worries of the future. Similarly the key to the cage that we so often feel trapped in resides in our own hands. It is our choice to stay in the cage or take the key and unlock it.  No matter what circumstance we are in, we ultimately have choice in what we do with it.

We are not our circumstances, instead we are our possibilities. 

As I was planning this month’s classes around the concept of freedom and being liberated, I received a message from a dear friend whose young daughter was just diagnosed with autism. Heartbreaking as those initial words were, I saw within a few short days a woman take on this experience like that of a true champion.  Sure, she cried her eyes out and felt fear for the unknown.  We all do when we hear those words.  The first thing I did was send her the Welcome to Holland Poem.  Then we talked awhile about what may lie ahead as she leaned on my experience to help her navigate the first few steps on this new and scary journey. Then she got busy.

She certainly could have felt like this news was a giant reason to give up and stay stuck.  Many do.  She however, in her warrior spirit, immediately saw a need to advocate and start asking questions about services and community integration for her sweet little girl.  She took this as a chance to make a difference in the lives of her daughter and others.

That is what freedom is.

Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. My friend refuses to feel imprisoned by this diagnosis and she will use the power of her light to act and speak without restraint.

This is just one of a million examples of how we can feel stuck, trapped, locked in, or caged.  Whether it is a relationship, a job, a location or a belief you have about yourself, WE have the power to act, speak and think without restraint and hindrance.  We are in control of what we do with our circumstances.

Do you feel imprisoned?  Are you the one laying the bricks down and filling them with mortar?  Do you hold the key in your hand and refuse to unlock the door?

What would freedom feel like? This month we are going to chisel away the beliefs and fear that build a wall around ourselves.  We are going to slip the key into the lock and learn to fly. We are going to feel free.

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Categories of Essential Oils

Not sure which essential oil you need? Keep this handy chart tagged until you are familiar with which category does what.  I tell people when they are  learning to use essential oils is similar to learning to cook–in the beginning we need cookbooks and recipes but in time we become more confident and intuitively begin to know what we are doing.  Essential oils are much the same.  The more you use, the more you begin to know.  Trusting yourself and listening to your body helps, too.

? when you have anything skin related, the FLORALS will help soothe and calm your skin’s irritants (burns, insect bites, cuts).  FLORALS are also great for calming emotions and helping to reduce feelings of stress in the body and mind.

? when our bodies start to take on symptoms of an illness reach for your HERBS to help knock out the germs (thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, etc).  These powerhouses work so well at helping the body return to health. Many herbs produce soothing and renewing feelings.

? the constitutes in TREES helps to relieve uncomfortable aches in the muscles and joints (cypress, Siberian Fir, Douglas Fir, birch).  Emotionally TREES are grounding and balancing.

? when you find yourself feeling low, just reach high up on the tree for a CITRUS and feel the immediate lift both energetically and emotionally. CITRUS = happiness, plus CITRUS oils are detoxifying and cleansing for the body.

Check out this handy guide to learn more about the basics of essential oil use.

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Lifestyle Changes

Time for some Monday motivation?

The new year is around the corner and that is when many people look to making lifestyle changes. As a wellness coach I have walked the path and am grateful that at one point in my life I was burdened by weight.

For me, it wasn’t just the physical weight I was carrying that I wanted to shed. There was so much inner work that I did and as a result my radiant self emerged.

The first picture was taken six months after my first son was born—I was terrified and overwhelmed. A young 20 year old mom with a kid and a mortgage was a little daunting. I dove into motherhood and completely forgot about myself. I soon had two more kids and a bigger mortgage. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I began to see myself as important and in need of self-care.

I started with walking daily (which I continue to this day) and I started making choices around food. I also started to really do the inner work that was required. I often say “I woke up”. And in that awakening, I truly began to emerge from the outer shell that I had placed around me.

As I began to shine my life began to change dramatically. There is a vibrancy to my essence that was not able to be felt when I was burdened by the heaviness physically and emotionally.

I’d love to walk along side you in your emerging and be there to guide you when it gets hard. My services include more than just yoga. I also offer wellness coaching and a holistic approach to health. It is never just about the weight and I would love to partner with you to reveal the inner parts of yourself that can be found with a solid plan.

Let’s do this!